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Despondency for Galway hurlers – but there was a local link with winning minors!

 

It’s Saturday evening as I write and I am getting an old familiar feeling in the pit of my ample stomach. I’m a bit tense and uptight, and it’s all because, after nearly four months since our opening championship matches, we are welcoming Kilmore to Creggs for an Intermediate Championship game.

  As it turned out, I needn’t have been any way uptight, as our visitors were way too strong for us. Despite a late flurry in which we scored three goals, we were well beaten by a well-drilled, powerful outfit who might prove the biggest obstacle to Fuerty’s expected eventual victory in the Intermediate Championship.

  For us, all is not lost, as a lot of our players only came back from the US in the last few days. Unless things have changed a lot through the years, I doubt if they spent too much time on either the running track or in the gym! But they’re back now and I would expect a big improvement in the next short while…so who knows what the future might still bring.

  On a personal level it was great to meet –even for a few moments – one of the legends of Kilmore football, the great Joe McEvoy. He looked as fit on Saturday evening as he did when last I saw him!

  The other notable thing about the second half was the rain that fell in torrents. If ever the term ‘drowned rat’ was appropriate, it certainly was that evening, as when I got home I could have been wrung out. It all adds up to the joys of club football.

  It’s now Monday morning, and there is no denying that on the Galway side of the border there is a definite air of despondency and disappointment after the hurlers’ defeat in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling final.

  However, in Creggs, a village that hasn’t really been known for its hurlers – although the Keane brothers, Seamus and Martin Joe, were both top class exponents of the small ball game – we can take a small bit of consolation in the fact that two players, John Hanbury (seniors) and Diarmuid Kilcommins (minors) both have strong local connections.

  The young Kilcommins is a son of Creggs native Tadgh, and of Hilary Hussey from Oran, who herself was a top Roscommon camogie player. Her brother Michael was also a very good county hurler for Roscommon. Diarmuid had a superb game for the victorious minors on Sunday, scored a few outrageous points and had a major influence in Galway’s win. His grandfather Larry has long been a big supporter of the maroon and white, and he’s surely a proud man today.

  As for John Hanbury, his father Chris was a nephew of Sarah O’Roarke (nee Hanbury), who along with her husband Mick ran Roarke’s shop and pub, which is now run by his son Michael and wife Carmel, and which all my readers know as Mikeen’s. It has been in Creggs for a hundred years or more.

  A small bit up the road, Ballygar had corner-back Michael Flynn on the minor team, so congrats to him and the club. Despite the senior loss, which by the way was well deserved (sadly), it wasn’t too bad of a day for our immediate locality.

When I take my final bow… play this classic, please!

Many years ago, probably 25 or 30, myself and Carol headed off to the Braemor Rooms in Churchtown, Co. Dublin to attend the Red Hurley and Twink Christmas Show (along with a full supporting cast) and all these years later I can still recall having a great night and really enjoying what was a superbly presented and produced show.

 

  Carol and Twink were – and still are – very good friends, and so when the curtain came down we were invited into the inner sanctum, where we met all the performers, including the wonderful Red Hurley, who at the time was one of the biggest stars on the Irish circuit (as indeed was Twink).

  Anyway, fast-forward to today, and on Marian Finucane’s show this morning (Joe Finnegan was over), who should be interviewed – and singing live – only the aforementioned Red. He is now 68 years of age, but still singing as well as ever, and still recording and doing live appearances, and he seems to be as popular as ever.

  On the radio this morning one of the songs he sang was the classic ‘How Great Thou Art’, and in fairness he did a super job on it. However, as I listened to it, I realised that if anyone ever did one of those mini-interviews with me where they ask about your favourite places, and your favourite nights out and that kind of stuff, if they asked me what my favourite song of all time is it would be the Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill version of that very same song.

  In fact, even though I’m at work and flat out (probably asleep says you), I have just brought it up on my phone and listened to it, and I hope no-one comes in for a while as the hair is still standing on my head. What a marvellous performance. When I take my final bow from this earth, I will want that song playing as I hit the road – to wherever I might be headed.

  Whether I’ll be going up or down, or even if there is an up or down, I’m not sure, but either way I cannot imagine a better song to play me out.

Wanted: Young lad with money and good road frontage!

I’m taking my first venture into the social and personal world, for today in Roscommon I met Anne Marie, a regular reader of my column who comes from Tuam (don’t know if she still lives there, or if she’s somewhere in Roscommon). After discussing the demise of both the Galway hurlers and footballers, she asked me to do her a small favour. She is looking for – in her own words – a strong young fella between 19 and 22 years of age, with loads of money and good road frontage, and she is willing to travel to Mikeen’s to meet this lad (if he exists).

  I had a go at Dan Dooner for her, but he tells me he doesn’t qualify on any count, so if there’s anyone out there who wants to meet Ann Marie you’ll have to come through me; here’s hoping that Anne Marie hits the jackpot in Mikeen’s! 

And finally…

Finally for this week, it’s now time to hit the highways with our dance tickets, and as usual our regular crew will be calling –so please greet them kindly.

  The former Personality of the Parish, Tom Connolly, will be doing his rounds, and if there’s anyone who has any time to spare and would like to help, they will be very, very welcome. The two charities –the Lourdes Invalid Fund and Cancer Care West – are extremely worthwhile. The Lancers are all set to put on a brilliant show, so I look forward to visiting you in the near future and seeing you all in Dowd’s in Glinsk on Saturday, 15th of September.

 

Till next week, Bye for now!

 

 

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