It’s a cold, wild, windy Monday afternoon, and believe it or not I am thinking about the weather, because as recently as Wednesday (of last week) I visited Castlerea Golf Club and played a few holes all by myself in the most beautiful weather imaginable.
In a line I will always remember from my compositions in the national school, the sun “was splitting the stones, and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen in the sky”.
Fast-forward to Sunday and our local footballers were to be playing St. Barry’s in the second round of the Tansey Cup in Creggs, but the torrential rain of Saturday night put paid to that as our pitch was waterlogged. Therefore, the match was transferred to the pitch of our neighbouring club, Fuerty, where I headed for the two o’clock throw-in.
There is something special about club football matches and about the diehards that follow their local teams through good and (mostly) bad times, but the hardy souls who braved the elements on Sunday should get medals, because, weather-wise, it was sheer torture. I am going to matches for a long time now, but never have I been as cold or as miserable as I was on Sunday afternoon. When I got into the car to drive home, my hands were so cold I could barely feel the steering wheel. That’s my excuse for the Barry’s supporter in a red BMW that I pulled out in front of as I took off – and I do apologise.
I also have to apologise to our scorekeeper Mary D, who never gets the score wrong – but this time she did, as I gave Barry’s a point that belonged to Creggs, and so as I headed home for a life-saving shower, I was sure the game had ended in a draw. The good news is that because of my mistake (if you follow) we had actually won by two points.
Now I have to say that sometimes we are critical of our teams, and indeed of the match officials – and in the case of the latter, sometimes with good reason – but after watching a quite enjoyable contest which could have gone either way, I must say well done to everyone involved and I hope ye never play on as cold a day again.
Out here in Creggs, it was a great weekend for such a small village, as on Saturday night, at a big gala event in the Galway Bay Hotel, Creggs RFC was named Connacht Club of the Year – an amazing but well deserved achievement. Then on Sunday the U-18 and a half (don’t know where the half comes from, but it’s there now) team won the Connacht League by beating a hugely fancied Corrib fifteen in the final. I’m told we had a good number of representatives at the Connacht Dinner, and it was a great night with the Connacht senior players in great form after their brilliant win earlier in the day over Cardiff.
Continuing with Creggs wins, and huge congratulations to local lady Kathleen Coleman (formerly Keane), daughter of the legendary Bill, who, while living outside Ballygar now, is from just down the road. Kathleen won €70,000 on Winning Streak on Saturday night – well done!
Fond memories of Sean
A few years ago I wrote a piece in this newspaper lamenting my lack of success when it came to sowing daffodils, and I told you that not once but twice I had failed dismally to get any to appear, even though it is widely acknowledged that they are the amongst the easiest flowers to grow, as evidenced by the fact that they can be seen flourishing on ditches, by the roadside, and in the middle of fields.
Anyway, a short time after I wrote it, I was surprised to get a phone call from Boyle’s Sean Young, advising me how to sow them. This was the same Sean Young who was manager of the Roscommon footballers during my short time with them back in the mid-1970s, and in truth, I had never spoken to him since then. However, it was so nice of him to take the time out to try to help me with my flower problem, and we had a long chat reminiscing about our (short) time together with the Rossies. I was sad to read on last week’s paper about his recent passing.
There were many tributes to him for his work as a coach and a manager, but I will always remember him telling me when first I reported for county training, that as a forward, if I couldn’t put the ball over the bar from fifty yards, I had no right being on a county team! How right he was. If that criteria applied now, there would be very few forwards on any county team – scoring points from a distance is almost a lost art.
As for the daffodils, they are now flourishing in the garden, so even if he couldn’t make a footballer out of me, at least Sean had some success in turning me into a gardener. May he rest in peace.
Finally for this week, a little tale concerning Tom Connolly, a former Personality of the Year here in Creggs. A few weeks ago he was a passenger in a car coming down from Galway, when it pulled into a filling station for petrol, which the driver duly filled and paid for.
As he sat back into the car he remarked to Tom that the Roscommon People was to be got in the shop, and that he was surprised to see it so far into Co. Galway. When Tom asked him was he sure, the driver said he’d run in and get one – he won’t admit it, but he couldn’t last the week without reading my piece!
Anyway, he shot into the shop, grabbed the paper, and was just back in the car when two burly gentleman came looking for him – they thought he had stolen the paper, and were going to apprehend him. Thankfully they saw the funny side when he showed them it was, and is, a free paper, but if we had a Star of the Week Award, it would have to go to the man who was nearly arrested so he could read the Roscommon People!
Well done Tom, it shows our readers will go to any lengths to get their weekly fix – even to getting one in the heart of Galway.
Till next week, Bye for now!