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As Wee Pete himself commented: "I breathed a sigh of relief when Mc Keever retired, only to discover that something even worse had replaced him." Last Sunday, Crossmaglen's James Morgan was alone and isolated on Darren Hughes. But for the fact that Rory Beggan's confidence collapsed, they would have. He lost his nerve and kicked it short across field to a team-mate 60 yards from goal. No one was play-acting or running to the ref asking him to give a card. When the full-time whistle went, the neutrals in the crowd were delighted that we were to be treated to another 20 minutes.

It is a sight that would make Mickey Harte or Malachy O'Rourke ill. This abdication of responsibility was, for me, the key moment in the game. Crossmaglen gained the upper hand and Beggan was gone. Scotstown looked the more likely, until Kieran Hughes' ridiculous behaviour left them a man down. It was a victory for the game, reminding us just how thrilling real football is. "It has inspired us all to play as much football as we can together." This echoed a conversation I had once in the Crossmaglen club house. The more we win, the more we get to do that." (Oisín always calls me 'kid'.) After lengthy negotiations, I have signed a contract to write The Joy of Football: The Gourmet Guide to Real Football, complete with explicit illustrations of things like kicking, man-to-man marking and footballers playing with their heads up.

A pocket edition was swiftly published, so even the most inexperienced novice could consult the illustrations at short notice if he or she struck lucky on a weekend.

It was a watershed moment, bringing sex out from the shadows and into the mainstream.

I wrote last week that if you want to see football, you'll have to go watch a club game.

I was in Navan for a chatshow a few weeks ago and one of the lads, now retired but still close to the team, told me the Meath senior footballers are already training together five days a week, not including their personal training itinerary.

It promises to be a watershed moment in Irish society, bringing football out from the shadows and back into the mainstream.

I believe real football is something to be savoured and enjoyed, and that it is an essential constituent of a healthy life balance.

Instead, it is something to be savoured, enjoyed and openly discussed.

The Ulster club championship has, as usual, been absolutely riveting.

Think of Slaughtneil's semi-final against Scotstown, where Darren Hughes - without being swamped by the 1-13-1 formation - scored 1-3 from play and the spectators were treated to a brilliant game of football.

At no stage did Tony Mc Entee drop a sweeper back or switch him. Before the replay, the TG4 anchor asked Tony what measures they had taken to deal with the full-forward threat. In Cross, like Ballinderry or Corofin, from a young age they are taught that your responsibility is to mark your man.

Tony said: "Paul's a big boy." He was saying that players must sink or swim alone. This has two effects: their forward division isn't being robbed and the defender is entirely comfortable with the responsibility.

It is worth pointing out that Peter rarely scored against him.

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