Molly Malones Cup - Reporter Brian Dunne (slightly biased)
The wind was blowing a gale as the players assembled in the tunnel. You could hear a pin drop as each player jockeyed for position to be first on the pitch, first to experience the white-hot atmosphere & first to get away from the terrible smell of stale beer & fags steaming off the Connaught boys. The story goes that every one of these western lads had been on the lash for the past 2 days, celebrating -in advance - a famous victory. They reckoned they couldn't lose - having been paired with the champion Leinster team. It has to be said that Connaught isn't a province steeped in success, let's face it they haven't even had anyone in the Eurovision song contest. Annannyway, enough said. The ball was thrown in by a Carnew (Marian Lake thought Carnew was somewhere in the South of France) man - Eugene Brennan, into a mid-field comprising of O'Regan, O'Reilly, Lyons & the mighty Dunner. The Leinster/Connaught (L/C) team were immediately on attack & maintained a huge possession & territorial advantage for the rest of the half. The M/U (no not Man utd) team only stayed in touch with a couple of very soft goals by O'Connell & Cronin. Burn, Cryan & Mordaunt were doing their best down the other end, but a huge number of wides from their wayward club feet showed why their defenders & not attackers. The umpires, down the canal end, (namely Finnegan & Byrne) seemed to forget where they were from & made some dreadful calls - all in favour of the M/U mob. In contrast, the Railway end umpires were doing a very fine job - with a great understanding of the square-ball rule. Half-time was reached all square, with the L/C team having played into a gale force wind, & the crowd from the North & South looking a bit shell-shocked. Unbelievably, the wind did an about-face for the 2nd half, & the East-West combo knew they were in for torrid half-hour -more from the elements than the opposition. Again the L/C gang dominated, with the father & son combo of McGeeny & Gormley to the fore & Horn hitting his targets, bar one, with monotonous regularity. Kavo & O'Connor were beginning to wear a frown & Mihalovics was roaring abuse. Taggart & Grealish were dancing the tango, having done the fox-trot throughout the 1st half, culminating with a Taggart can-can to finish off. Then it happened - with 30 seconds left & M/U a very fortunate 1pt up, Dunner (who O'Reilly was pushing in the back for the whole of the 2nd half) pulled a ball out of the clouds & went on a searching run, leaving O'Regan, Kavo, O'Connor & a few others in his wake. He then played a beautiful & very unselfish ball into the parallelogram, for O'Sullivan to run onto. The Galway stalwart was held back by Lake, in the most cynical action ever seen -since the lions were released on the poor oul' Christians. The poor chap had the shirt torn from his back, with scratch marks left down the length of his back that'll take some explaining. O'Sullivan sobbed for hours, after the game- with his Jersey in shreds- saying he felt violated.