Damian Barton, the Derry manager who has been given an eight-week ban as a result of his involvement in an on-field melee in the McKenna Cup final against Tyrone, has been caught red-handed attempting to sneak his way onto the sideline for the match against Tyrone again tomorrow night.
Cookstown plumber, Leo Padraig McCaffrey, who was fixing Barton’s bath revealed that the Newbridge man was in the midst of a cunning plan:
“I was unclogging Barton’s bath when I heard a man with a strong Ardboe accent in the room adjacent to it. Although I had a fistful of blondie hair in my hand, I made my way over and saw Barton in an Ardboe jersey saying “I’m Kyle Coney, ghost oh boys” and stuff like that. I clocked on straight away what this gangster was at and toul him that Coney doesn’t play for the county any more.”
McCaffrey explained how Barton became a bit flustered, denying he was up to anything untoward at first, and then trying to tease out of him who is on the panel but was injured at the minute.
“I was having none of it. He was getting more desperate as I stood there shaking my head and then let rip calling me a typical Tyrone bollocks and was foaming and spitting and stuff. I hope Mickey appreciates what I have done.”
Barton has denied trying to gain access to the Tyrone dug-out and has promised to sit quietly in the crowd tomorrow. GAA officials, however, are investigating a Derry sub who has been named as Dickie Rock from Magilligan.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Nesbitt has been asked to refrain from hogging the hospitality prosecco tomorrow.
Following the decision by Tony Donnelly to step down as Tyrone assistant manager this week, Paddy Power has installed The Handbag Woman From The Hill as an unbackable odds-on favourite to stand alongside Mickey Harte on the sideline in 2015.
The woman, who has yet to be identified, is reportedly considering her options as revealing her identity might result in a van load of Dromid Pearses supporters driven by Declan O’Sullivan arriving in Derrytresk to confront her.
A Tyrone backroom official told us:
“Mickey feels that the current squad have lost a wee bit of steeliness and that maybe they need a fresh face to put the fear of God into them. Everyone agreed that there was only one person for the job and she resides in the lowlands near Tamnamore. Breaking the news to the players will have to be sensitively dealt with. I know for a fact that Kyle Coney has nightmares about this woman.”
Critics of the pending decision point to the fact that she hasn’t got a moustache and that nearly all Tyrone managers or assistants have possessed some form of facial hairiness since the 1980s. The unnamed official debunked this theory:
“That can be worked on. Anyway, they’ll not get as far as looking at her face. It’ll be what’s in her hand they’ll be keeping an eye on.”
Other applicants include Tony Donnelly again, Gerry Adams and a man from Moortown with a marvellous moustache.
Meanwhile, sources close to the woman in question have revealed that she has already placed an order for an even bigger handbag in one of the club books she gets.