Posts Tagged ‘Shamrock Rovers’

WEEKEND OF SPORT


2012
03.26

Shamrock Rovers 4 Shels 0

Rovers win the Dublin derby

Two great results for two of my favourite football teams. A visit to Tallaght stadium in Dublin, my first of the new Airtricity Premier League season, was rewarded with a convincing 4-0 win by Shamrock Rovers over Shelbourne. Mind you, Shels did not help their cause by losing a player after only seven minutes. Goalkeeper Dean Delany was red-carded for a foul in the box on Billy Dennehy. Gary Twigg converted the spot kick. A back pass from Stephen Hurley drifted slowly towards the goal, ending up in the back of the net, much to the amusement of the home supporters in the 5,000 crowd. Kick-off had been delayed for ten minutes because of the number of spectators waiting to gain entry. President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins was in the stand. Will be interesting to see the replay on RTÉ’s Monday Night Soccer show. A long-range strike from Ronan Finn just before half time made it 3-0. Shels continued to battle against the odds but Aaron Greene added another for the Hoops, who had Gary McCabe sent off for a second offence. So both sides in the Dublin derby were reduced to ten towards the end.By that stage the three points were already in the bag for the Hoops, who remain at the top of the table along with Sligo Rovers.

Jack Midson

Less then 24 hours later I was delighted to see another 4-0 scoreline, this time in favour of AFC Wimbledon who were at home to Burton Albion. A badly needed three points to keep the Dons clear of the relegation zone in npower League 2, their first season back in the Football League. Glad to see Jack Midson is still sharing the top spot for goalscorers in the division with 18 goals. After the soccer, it was time to switch my attention to the RaboDirect PRO12 rugby matches involving the Irish provinces. On Friday night in a sell-out match at the RDS (coinciding with the Tallaght match) Leinster lost by a single point against the Ospreys, 22-23. Tommy Bowe was rested by the Welsh side but turned up as a guest on RTÉ’s Saturday Night Show with Brendan O’Connor. Looking forward to seeing Tommy back in action for Ulster next season! Listening to some of the Ulster match away to Treviso the news was not good but by the time I got round to checking the result I was delighted to see that a last gasp try by Ian Whitten had secured a 23-27 victory. There was also time to watch the first half of the Connacht match against Munster shown live on TG4. An impressive performance by Connacht for forty minutes but not enough to match the strength of the visitors who went on to win 16-20. Finally some GAA thoughts.
On Sunday I was anxious to see how the Monaghan footballers would do in their Allianz National Football League division 2 match against Galway. Monaghan lost home advantage because of the ugly scenes at Clones at a previous match and they had to play the game at a neutral venue at Pearse Park in Longford. The Farney men went down by 0-12 to 1-14 (17 points) and are now in danger of being relegated to division 3 next season. That would be a terrible shame as there are still some great footballers on the team. One of them is Paul “Jap” Finlay from Ballybay, profiled in this excellent piece by Keith Duggan on Saturday in the Irish Times.

A TALE OF TWO SCARVES


2011
12.21
This is a tale of two scarves. Both have been in demand during the cold snap. They are football scarves but with a difference as neither has a club’s name in large letters across its length. By coincidence each was used on an occasion linked to my activities with the William Carleton Society, of which I am Chair.
AFC Wimbledon scarf
The first is an AFC Wimbledon scarf, described by the online shop as “a new era grey knit scarf with yellow and blue to ends with embroidered crest”. I purchased it last season and wore it on two recent trips to Europe and another to London. I was in Berlin at the opening of an art exhibition at the Irish embassy by an artist friend Patricia Lambert when I had this scarf with me. Thankfully the temperature in the German capital remained just above freezing during the weekend I was there in November. A few weeks later I was in Vienna and again the scarf kept me warm as I visited the Christmas markets in the Austrian capital. Most importantly, the scarf is comfortable to wear and does its job properly. As my season ticket seat at Kingsmeadow is in the front row of the stand I will be glad to wear it at any games I attend in the winter months. I brought it with me when I attended the league 2 game between AFC Wimbledon and Accrington Stanley, which we lost 2-0. The next day I went into the centre of London to meet someone I had never met before, so I wore my AFC Wimbledon wooly hat as well as the scarf.

Paul Brush met Michael Fisher at a Whitehall pub

As it turned out, Paul Brush who was in England from Australia along with his wife and two daughters turned out to be a Crawley FC supporter. He had attended their match the previous day when they beat Burton Albion 3-0 in front of a crowd of 3001. Paul pointed out he was the “1″ on the end of that figure! The reason we arranged to meet was because he is a distant relative of the 19thC Irish author William Carleton from Co.Tyrone. I am Chair of the newly-formed William Carleton Society, which runs an annual summer school at the beginning of August every year. Paul provided me with some useful information and promised to remain in contact as he attempts to explore his family tree.

Now for the second scarf. It’s green and white. Some thought it was a Celtic one. Others might regard it as an Ireland one suitable for soccer or rugby. But it’s none of those. It was purchased at Tallaght stadium when I organised my tickets for the three home games that Shamrock Rovers FC played in the Europa League. I wanted to show my loyalties especially when it came to the last match against Spurs. It proved to be the final game for the Hoops’ manager Michael O’Neill after three years in charge. Rovers went down 0-4 to the English Premiership side but O’Neill got a rousing farewell along with Enda Stevens, who joins Aston Villa next month.

Shamrock Rovers 0 Spurs 4

The scarf was needed when I went on the annual mulled wine walk at Knockmany Hill near Clogher in County Tyrone. It is run by a number of ramblers groups from both sides of the border and also cross-community. I joined in the carol service after enjoying some warm gluehwein and mince pies. Then I proceeded to relate to the assembled crowd a story by William Carleton called A Legend of Knockmany. I did not have time to read it all but I summarised part of the tale about the giants Fin McCool and his great rival Cuchulain. When I returned home I posted a picture on facebookshowing me wearing the green and white scarf and remarked that this did not mean that William Carleton was a Shamrock Rovers fan! I then reflected on the matter and discovered that after all, there was a connection (albeit very tenuous) between Shamrock Rovers founded in 1901 and Carleton, who died over thirty years earlier in January 1869.

Addressing ramblers at Knockmany wearing Shamrock Rovers scarf

So here goes…….William Carleton in the days before his death was visited by Rev William Pakenham Walsh, rector of Sandford Parish Church, Ranelagh in Dublin, who also conducted his funeral. The chuch is beside an avenue that leads up to Gonzaga College SJ. The school colours are also green and white, by the way. When I went there in 1967 the back rugby pitches near Milltown Park were bounded on one side by a wall which also bordered Glenmalure Park, once home of Shamrock Rovers FC which had the best playing surface in Ireland. The Jesuits leased the land to the football club and there is a letter in the club shop at the new ground at Tallaght from the then SJ Provincial at the time the Hoops moved. So maybe the Shamrock Rovers scarf was appropriate in memory of the Sandford connection with William Carleton. In the case of Paul Brush, he would no doubt have preferred if I had worn a Crawley FC scarf to identify myself: no chance of that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHAMROCK ROVERS SLIP AGAIN


2010
10.17

Pre-match warm-up

I went back to the new Tallaght stadium a week ago (October 9th) expecting to see Shamrock Rovers moving to secure their first League of Ireland title since 1994. Sporting Fingal had other ideas and spoiled the fun for the Rovers fans who for most of the match were solidly behind the Hoops.

Teams line out

Rovers went ahead after 13 minutes, missed a 2nd half penalty and looked like holding the lead until the last 15. The visitors took control and a series of defensive errors saw Rovers concede two goals just before the final whistle. So Fingal went away with three points and Bohemians took the opportunity to topple Rovers from the top. Rovers had been hammered 5-1 away to Dundalk and suddenly their title hopes appear to be evaporating. No doubt manager Michael O’Neill will be taking them in for a good talking to before their final two league games. One thing I enjoyed about the game was to see the crowd pouring in to watch Irish soccer on a SATURDAY for a change, when no English Premiership matched were neing played.

Hoops prepare

There were more signs today of Rovers’ weariness when an own goal in the 90th minute meant that St Patrick’s Athletic managed a 2-2 draw in the FAI Ford Cup semi-final. The replay will be next Tuesday at Inchicore and the winners meet Sligo Rovers in the final. I watched them defeat Bohemians 1-0 last Friday at Dalymount Park and they played well.

Come on the Hoops

SHAMROCK ROVERS’ REVIVAL


2010
08.31

I made my first visit to the new stadium at Tallaght recently to watch Shamrock Rovers. As a schoolboy I used to watch the Hoops at Glenmalure Park in Milltown, a ground with a great history. It adjoined our school rugby pitches. I can remember the great atmosphere there, patricularly during cup games against teams such as Waterford. Apart from an odd visit to Tolka Park during the long period when Rovers were homeless, I had not seen them play for many years. I arrived five minutes late and by that stage Rovers were a goal up against UCD, a side which only developed after my time at Belfield. There was a great atmosphere at the ground and the pitch and stadium looked well. Rovers went on to win 4-1. Whoever said that Monday night soccer wouldn’t work? It was a great advertisement for Airtricity soccer. I also went to the “Hunky Dory” stadium in Drogheda for the first time recently where the students were once again the visitors. The home side won by a solitary goal. The crowd was not big but the supporters (both sets) were enthusiastic and did their best to create some atmosphere. It’s the only pitch I know where one of the goals adjoins a garden wall and house extensions. Unlike the great space in Tallaght. It’s good to see Rovers again at the top of the league.

I intend to pay a return visit some time to see them in action. Come on the Hoops!