McCarthy and Clifford both lose the run of themselves in Hogan Stand speech
The All-Ireland junior final between Fossa and Stewartstown Harps ended in a manner that, quite simply, had to be seen to be believed.
It looked, for a long time, as if a David Clifford inspired Fossa were about to hold on for a run-of-the-mill-victory until suddenly, out of nowhere, this game turned into something like you've never seen before.
We won't even talk about the 0-11 tally kicked by David Clifford, all bar three of them coming from open play because, when you think about it, that was about the only normal thing that went on in Croke Park during this craziest of junior finals.
It all ramped up just before injury-time.
That was when Anton Coyle nailed Paudie Clifford with one of the latest and nastiest elbows you'll ever see on a football field.
It was hardly any surprise, a couple of minutes later, when that tension developed into something more.
It manifested itself in a row that resulted in the two Cliffords being sent off along with two more Stewartstown men. They ended their day with four red cards to Fossa's two.
The Kerry club held onto win, and their celebrations were passionate, but this show-piece was only getting going. Because there was drama wherever you looked.
One TG4 camera angle would show a member of the Stewartstown management team having an argument with Fossa players while their subs also got involved. This is all after the final whistle bear-in-mind.
One sub was even seen pushing winning captain Paudie Clifford as he made his way up to the Hogan Stand to collect the cup.
Indeed, it seemed that amongst the madness, David Clifford was one of the few calm heads on the field. "I certainly won't be holding any grudges with them fellas and I hope they'll do the same," he said in a graceful post-match interview.
And, hard as it is to believe, there was more drama to come.
Lost in all the madness was the fact that, you literally had one job Larry, the GAA president introduced Fossa captain Paudie Clifford to the crowd as 'Paudie Fitzgerald.'
At least Clifford could point to the bang-on-the-head for a part of his Hogan Stand speech that, in time, he'll surely regret. "To the referee and his officials," said Paudie. "Obviously a tough game to ref there at the end.
"A good job other than the end when I was wrongly sent off. Unbelievable how I was sent off. But a great job all around."
Paudie Clifford with the worst/best winning speech ever 😂😂😂
"To the ref and his officials.." pic.twitter.com/7otWVeCb5V
— Eoin Ó Muimhneacháin (@Moyno_4) January 15, 2023
McCarthy has no such excuses. All in a day's work at HQ...