Even in defeat, cup final day was memorable





It’s Monday evening as I am writing this, and I have to say that  even though we (Creggs) lost the Connacht Junior Rugby cup final to Connemara in Galway on Sunday, it was one of the best and most exciting days that I have had for a long, long time.

  All week the excitement was building in the village, and I suppose after 26 years (since our last appearance in the final) it was understandable that some of us would be really looking forward to the occasion. While the result was a bit disappointing, the day itself was truly memorable.

  At around 12 midday, the bus – a big 191 registration vehicle – headed off for the Sportsground with the entire team, management, and a number of supporters on board, while the rest of us travelled by whatever way we could to get there – and boy did we get there!

  I would think that the occasion of the Connacht Junior Club Football Final a few years ago (against Louisburgh) was the last time I saw as many Creggs people together. Everywhere you looked you saw lads and girls who had been with Creggs right from the very beginning to now, some of whom had travelled great distances to be there. Quite a number of them I hadn’t seen for years, and it was great to catch up with all concerned. 

  As I said earlier, the result was not the one we had hoped for, but in a game that reminded me very much of the CBS one a week or so earlier, we were up against a very strong, physical team. Connemara certainly deserved their win, but – as with the CBS team – we never gave up, put in some unbelievably heroic defending, and left everything we had out on the field. No-one can ask for any more.

  The after-match ‘celebrations’, which took place in Donoghue’s in Abbey and in Mikeen’s in Creggs, confirmed what I have always known, and that is that, win or lose, our lads know how to party. Even some of us elder lemons gave it – as Jack Charlton used to say – a bit of a lash. All we can hope for now is that the lads and management stick with it and come back bigger and better next season. 

  It has always been said that you have to lose one to win one, and although it will be a tall order to get back again in a year’s time, I fully believe we can do it. If we do make it back again, this time I am going on the bus, and please God the long wait will finally come to an end.


Almost losing Hope…

You might possibly remember that I told you about our Christmas Week drama when the chimney in the sitting room decided to go on fire, and how brilliant the response of the Roscommon Fire Brigade was – and how efficient and professional they were in dealing with it.

  Well, the good news, as I write this bit on a lovely Tuesday afternoon, is that the chimney is finally being fixed. The lads are at it at this very moment in time. The only downside is the noise, with the sledge and the jackhammer going flat out, and so just there a while ago, I decided to take our miniature Jack Russell, Hope, for a walk – to give her (and me) a little break and a bit of badly-needed exercise.

  Now on the face of it, that shouldn’t be too much of a chore, but you don’t know me! The problem was that I had never put on Hopey’s harness before (Carol always does that), and even though it seemed to be a very simple contraption, it almost proved too much for me. To make matters worse, the dog knew the very second I took down the lead that she was off for a walk. She got very excited, whimpering and crying at the thought of her trip to the beautiful Lenamarla countryside. 

  20 minutes later, as I tried for the umpteenth time to get the yoke ‘round her neck, or wherever it was meant to go, I could see her big round eyes looking up at me – and if I could understand dog talk I know well she’d be saying to herself…what sort of an idiot is this fellow?

  However, perseverance eventually paid off, I got the harness into some kind of shape that didn’t strangle her, and the pair of us hit off. As we walked, I realised that this is, in my opinion, the nicest time of the year. Everywhere you look you can see the signs of the new spring life…the shrubs are all beginning to sprout, the daffodils are actually in some cases beginning to fade, but my favourite wildflower, the primrose, is in full bloom. On a nice day like today, it’s easy to be enthusiastic about living in the country.

  And then I thought of how wonderful the new, fully-lit walkway at the rugby club in Creggs is, and I realised (although I have yet to go on it) that even on the darkest winter nights we can go for a perfectly safe stroll there. So I said to myself (I would have said it to Hope, only she still hadn’t forgiven me for taking so long to yoke her up), that we really have no excuse any more for not getting in some exercise, and that Creggs is a great place to live in.

  Anyway I’m now back, writing away…the jackhammer is on a break, Hope is having a nap after her walk, and, all seems well with the world…well, except in the world of Irish soccer, where John Delaney appears to be running out of road. But, as the fellow says, we’ll wait and see what, if anything, happens there.

And finally…

Finally for this week, Dancing with the Stars produced an unexpected winner when Mairead Ronan and her professional dance partner, John Nolan, took the Glitterball. But, a year after Jake Carter took the prize, I wonder will it make a huge difference to the lives of the three finalists?

  Cliona Hagan is already a popular country singer, but will this recent exposure really push her career forward? Will Johnny Ward get much busier as an actor, or will Mairead become a more regular feature on our television screens?

  I don’t know the answers, but winners of such shows as The Voice of Ireland, Ireland’s got Talent, or You’re a Star, all seemed to disappear without trace, so I only hope these three entertainers can at least continue being a success in their chosen careers.


Till next week, Bye for now!