Monday, February 22, 2010
ONLY A GAME?
Aontroim beat Sligo in a cracking game in Casement a fortnight ago and although they kept us hanging on until the final whistle before the victory was sealed this blog went home happy and vindicated by the success of our senior footballers.
Then not long after that came news of the win against Cabhán.
Two in a row!
What bliss. Long journeys home after defeat after defeat after defeat. For years and years and years. Then to add to my glee there came news of Doire’s dismal display.
In a totally non-partisan, non-triumphalistic and absolutely comradely way, I dropped a suitably comforting text to my leader, the deputy First Minister. His answer was illuminating.
‘Too many injuries, the grass was too long, the cows were in the wrong corner of the fields around Swatragh and the away jersey doesn’t work. But all will be sorted come the Championship.’
Scéal about Tír Éoghain going down to Maigh Eo prompted another one of my consoling texts to Mark McLarnon, an occasional Tír Eoghain man and a well-known dart thrower. His response was curt but no less entertaining.
‘Early days yet,’ he texted ‘ye Antrim people can book your summer holidays in August. The problem for us Tyrone ones is that we have to keep our summers free. Right up till September.’
Then on Sunday last on a bitterly cold day in Casement our senior hurlers saw off a hard-working Carlow side. Both sides made hard work of it but a win is a win is a win. After the umpteenth wide the two elders standing behind me commented on the unfortunate mispucking Carlow player.
‘I wonder what is going through Mark’s head at the minute?’ one of them
‘Don’t know’ his friend said ‘but there’s plenty of space’
Hurlers on the ditch often have a way with words. A wee book, The GAA,
Fun and Games by John Scally, published by Wolfhound Press contains many
of these fine words. From Joe Brolly as well as Pat Spillane, Ger
Loughnane and many many others.
Here are some gems, Pat Spillane first.
‘The first half was even. The second half was even worse’.
‘My mother has arthritis but even she has more pace than the Armagh
‘I’m not giving away any secrets like that to Tipp. If I had my way, I
wouldn’t even tell them the time of the throw-in.’
‘He had a photographic memory which never developed.’
‘Several of those players out there today aren’t even the cousin of a
‘Geoffrey McConigle has an arse like two bags of cement.’
John O Mahoney, ‘Good ball is when we have it. Bad ball is when the other
side have it.’
Mickey Harte ‘We had to work very hard for this – it took 119 years for us
to get it.’
Liam Griffin,’ He had an eternity to play that ball, but he took too long.’
Jimmy Deane, ‘Hurling and sex are the only two things you can enjoy
without being good at it’.
Colm O Rourke, ‘Benny Coulter has a left foot in the wrong place’.
DJ Carey, ‘If a team scores early on: it often takes an early lead.’
Henry Shefflin,‘I am a firm believer that you have to score more than the
other team if you want to win.’
And to finish…. some anonymous bits and pieces.
‘Even the McKennas don’t go to the McKenna Cup.’
‘Kerry would have won if Meath hadn’t turned up.’
‘Avoid excitement. Watch the Dubs!.
‘Ref!! you cudn’t see a foul in a henhouse.’
So there you are. Just to show there is more to life than meets the eye.
Or as Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh put it in one of his magical commentaries,
‘…and Brian Dooher is down injured. And while he is down I’ll tell ye a little story. I was in Times Square in New York last week, and I was missing the Championship back home and I said “I suppose ye wouldn’t have The Kerryman would ye?” To which, the Egyptian behind the counter turned to me and he said,’ Do you want the North Kerry edition or the South Kerry edition?’.. he had both …. so I bought both. Dooher is back on his feet”.