Back in Croke Park today to see Clare beat Limerick in the All Ireland Hurling SemiFinal. Today I was in the ‘neutral’ role unsure whether supporting Clare or Limerick. In the end Clare were comfortable winners. Last Sunday attended Dublin Cork All Ireland Hurling Semifinal in Croke Park – Cork won by four points. Was not neutral and was very disappointed to see Dublin beaten. Some controversy over referee sending off of one Dublin player – although really came down to decision to award yellow card very early in the game. Got over my bias in favour of Dublin: great game, great spectacle and Cork were just about worth their win.
Last Wednesday attended All Ireland Minor Girls’ Football FInal (actually replay) in Mullingar – Dublin v. Galway. With last kick of the game in 8th minute of injury time Galway scored a goal to win by two points. Have not witnesses such devastation in a long time as that seen in the Dublin camp. Two well matched teams. Possibly Galway a little sharper in attack. Dublin had come back with two very late goals in the first match so this time it was Galway’s turn. I am sure the Dublin management must rue the decisions to put five subs on – seemed to disrupt their play and coincided with Galway revival.
Last Friday attended Intermediate Ladies Football Dublin Championship Final in Newcastle, Co. Dublin. What a beautiful pitch. My own Club, Kilmacud Crokes, were beaten by two points by a very experienced Thomas Davis team. Great game of football – and right through to the final whistle there were opportunities for either team to win the game. Another opportunity for promotion just missed by Kilmacud Crokes.
So – not a great return in terms of seeing my teams (Dublin, Dublin, Kilmacud Crokes) losing three times. But have to say felt privileged to see so many excellent games – served up by amateur players who give so freely of their own time (as do mentors,families, coaches and friends). I would also be confident that each of the players on those losing teams has gained hugely from the experience – being part of a committed team, achieving such high standards of play and learning from the games themselves.