Well folks! It was to be one of the greatest, most eagerly anticipated days of my life! I had been fortunate enough to win the right to buy a ticket for the All Ireland Football Final 2006. Now, for those of you outside the Emerald Isle these tickets are as rare as hen’s teeth i.e. extremely rare!

Now, lets us not confuse football (or gaelic football) with it’s English cousin “soccer”. Gaelic football is one of the wonders of the Gaelic Athletic Association here in Ireland. I’m not going to get into an extensive history of this great came but to say that it is a kind of cross between basketball, soccer, rugby and tribal warfare! (Also see hurling, of which more at a later date!)

The two titans of this great showpiece of Irish sport at is best were the mighty counties of Kerry (who have a record breaking 34 All Ireland Titles to their name) and Mayo (who have …..2). The preceding minor (under eighteen) match between Kerry and Roscommon was a mighty event, ending in a draw 0-13 each, and had done its duty of whetting appetites for the upcoming main event. The crowd was throbbing with anticipation as the teams entered the pitch! It seemed that the red and green of Mayo was everywhere, and its was widely felt that this could be their year!

It wasn’t!

They were a complete and unmitigated shambles! It was over as a contest after 10 minutes. I sat there thinking “I drove and hour and a half to watch this dross!” And, then it hit me! Imagine how terrible I’d feel if I was from Mayo? 3rd final in 4 years or something like that, and as many drubbings. Haven’t won the thing since 1951! Granted I am from Wexford and we are also an unmitigated shambles. But somehow I prefer to be perennially missing out at the early stages than to be getting to the final and getting bitch slapped there!

At least I made it back to the pub (left 5 minutes early) to see Arsenal beat Manchester United, in the “soccer”!

And last night I got to see my own might club, Everton, overcome Peterborough in the Carling Cup. Victor Anichebe, keep and eye out for him, and remember you heard it here first!

~ by knightfall on September 20, 2006.

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