Parochial and passionate: Even in defeat, local sport has special impact



It’s a wet Sunday morning, and, as I hop out of the nest, I am looking forward with excitement to a great sporting day.

  Our footballers are starting their O’Gara Cup campaign down in Loughglynn, with an 11.30 throw-in against Eire Og, and from there it’s off to Ballinrobe where our rugby lads are due to meet the home side in a vitally important junior league match.

  The obligatory Sunday morning fry is polished off with gusto, and then it’s into the trusty (not that trusty for the first few weeks, but it seems to have settled down a bit now) old Volvo, and off with me to the football game  in Loughglynn, to which I have to say I was travelling more in hope than confidence.

  The funny thing was that for a good part of the game we were competitive enough, but towards the end the superior fitness of the Eire Og lads told, and a couple of late goals gave a slightly false impression to the scoreboard. Anyway, that was done and dusted by about one o’clock, and so off I headed, cross-country, to Ballinrobe, where our lads – leaders in their league – were about to get a lesson that in time to come may hopefully prove to be a blessing in disguise. We got off to a great start, and were 10 points up after as many minutes, but from there to the end we were outscored by 16 points to 5, and ended up losing by a single point.

  There was some dissatisfaction with the performance of the referee, but our lads have only themselves to blame, and made more basic mistakes in that one game than in all the other games they have played this season. However, the great thing about sport is there is always another week, and, next Sunday we have the chance to get back on the horse when we host N.U.I.G. in The Green.  

  It’s a game we must win, so I would appeal to everyone to get to Creggs on Sunday afternoon, support the team, help them get over the line, and set up a last day’s outing in Headford, where another win should (finally)  seal the league title.

  It was a sad journey back to Creggs, made even more sad when my wiper blade (on the driver’s side) flew off on the way to Claremorris. It goes without saying that the rain, while not terribly heavy, continued nearly all the way home, but I made it safely, and in truth I enjoyed the day, even though we had a 100 per cent losing record.

  The great thing about local sport is it is so parochial and passionate, and as I am writing this on Monday afternoon, I am already looking forward to the rugby game on Sunday, while the footballers have a few weeks to dust themselves down, put in a few hard training sessions, and get ready for their next outing. It’ll be another ‘more in hope than confidence’ fixture, as it’s away to All-Ireland finalists  Michael Glavey’s on Sunday, 11th of March.


I’d have sacked taxi tantrum brats


For all of us who have grown increasingly disillusioned with the outrageous earnings of Premier League footballers, the story from Spain last week of how four highly-paid and senior members of the relegation-threatened West Brom team broke a club curfew (when supposedly on a training camp), went drinking into the early hours and then stole a taxi, simply reinforces our belief that a lot of these so-called role models are nothing more than spoilt, overpaid brats, whose limited football ability has given them a lifestyle they most certainly don’t deserve.

  If something like that happened with your local amateur GAA team there would be hell to pay, but in this instance they will be fined a week’s wages (or two), which they won’t miss, and all will be forgotten in a week or two.

  To my mind, the disrespect shown by the four players to their club, their manager, and most importantly, their supporters, particularly in the situation they find themselves, should warrant instant dismissal, and I have to say that if I was in charge of West Brom none of those players would ever wear the club jersey again. The wonder I have is why they took the taxi and drove back to their hotel, while the driver was in McDonald’s ordering their takeaway. If they weren’t hungry in the first place, why did they go there at all? Who had the food?

  The news from Spain is that the driver has apparently dropped the charges (maybe  helped by a sizeable donation from the wealthy footballers?) so they will escape scot-free for their actions. If it was me or you, or anyone else, we would be thrown into jail, and the keys thrown away, and we most certainly  would live to regret breaking the law in Spain.


Food for thought


Getting away from the pampered wealth of those footballers (see item on West Brom players), down in the Kerry College of Further Education, they have opened a food bank to ensure impoverished students don’t go hungry while they are trying to make ends meet.  

  The college has launched the ‘take it or leave it’ initiative, which effectively means there is a table full of groceries which students can donate to, or take food home from. The Principal said that they are conscious that, for some students, going to college is a big step from a financial viewpoint, so the college started this project in collaboration with the students. Basically, if some students have some extra food left in a given week, they can leave something on the shelf, and the next week, they may take some away.

  While I imagine it’s hard enough to look after the scheme, it sounds to me like a great idea, and ensures that even the poorest of students will at least not go hungry. As far as I can figure out, it’s the students themselves that provide the non-perishable foods, so I suppose it’s like a community effort. I for one applaud their initiative and say ‘well done’ to everyone involved.


And finally…


Finally, for this week, it’s now a lovely, bright Tuesday morning, and last night I turned back the clock a little bit and headed to the cinema to watch a film that I thoroughly enjoyed, The Greatest Showman.

  It’s the story of P.T. Barnum, the visionary who effectively brought the magic of the circus to an unsuspecting world. The film, for me, also brought back the magic of the cinema, and the sheer enjoyment of complete escapism for a couple of hours. I have to say it’s a wonderful, inexpensive way of having a night out. I know I’m always promising to do this and that, and never do – this time it will be different, and the cinema will now see me a lot more frequently in the future.

Tll next week, Bye for now!