Is anyone from this town or county – Bruff RFC being the honourable exceptions so far – going to do the decent thing and win us a national title this season?
A title, a title, our kingdom for a title the success starved peasants of Shannonside beseech Hermes as we prostrate ourselves at the entrance to the Athena Temple of Nike, and, er, Tom Collins.
Shannon RFC, the old reliables, could always be depended upon to win something, to keep the Dublin and Northern barbarians from the door, but even they’ve come up short recently.
I trace their relative decline back to the time they banned their supporters for atin‘ crobeens at matches because of the Swine Flu scare. For if the opposition, peeping out from the base of the scrum, catch sight of a Shannon fan growling at them with a pig’s trotter in his gob then it can have a tremendous psychological effect. It’s worth ten points on the board I reckon. No team talk can prepare your for that.
Ah, the swine fly, remember that porkie? It was predicted that Paddy would die in his thousands, that rag and bone men would be scouring the estates of the Treaty City forlornly crying “bring out your dead.”
The health fascists will now doubt claim that there was no epidemic because they put precautions in place. Bollocks, there was never any epidemic to begin with; reminds me of a yarn about Ian Paisley. Back during the Troubles, Paisley kicked off a storm about plans to erect a statue of a Catholic politician in Stormont. The Unionists, egged on by Paisley, were in uproar. There would be no Taig sneering down at them from atop a plinth on their hallowed turf, rant, rave etc etc.
However, there never was any plan to erect a statue of a papist in Stormont. Regardless, Paisley took the credit for putting a stop to it anyway.
Meantime, Young Munster came close, but not close enough, while Garryowen flattered to deceive. Aforementioned Bruff RFC won the Bateman Cup – all hail – bridging an 83-year gap since Mr Bateman, courtesy of Young Munster, made an appearance on Shannonside. Where is that cup incidentally?
In contrast, our Gaelic footballers, at county representative level, last won a trophy of note around the time Oliver Cromwell was a teenager.
The footballers’ last Munster title win was in 1896, a failure rate which spans three centuries.
As written in here previously.
“No one knows who the Limerick captain was in 1896. But as he accepted the trophy we imagine he must have claimed that his side’s win over Waterford that day would usher in a period of dominance for the Shannonsiders.
“Er, am, not quite, because the failure rate has now embraced two world wars, Henry Ford’s mass production of the automobile, the Titanic hitting an iceberg, the 1916 Rising, the Bolshevik Revolution, the establishment of the Irish Free State, Al Capone, Mao, Joe Stalin, Pol Pot, Elvis Presley’s appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, only to be told, “you ain’t got no future as singer son, best go back to driving a truck,” Bob Dylan, Hendrix burning his guitar on the stage at Woodstock, the Rolling Stones, JFK, the moon landing, Muhammad Ali, the Iron Curtain, Papa Doc, Margaret Thatcher (Mama Doc), Punk Rock, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the internet, and last, but not least, the closure of Daffys.”
At least they’re consistent.
Our hurlers appear to be getting their act together, but unless there’s an outbreak of the Ebola virus in the hurling strongholds of Ireland over the next few months the Championship is beyond us.
Limerick FC are chugging along nicely in the First Division. Promotion is by no means beyond them. The club looked poised to return to their spiritual home at the Markets Field, a success story in the making I reckon.
Pike Rovers, meantime, are through to to the FAI Junior Cup, one of Europe’s biggest amateur knock out competitions. They’ll meet Tipperary’s St Michael’s in the final at Turners Cross, Cork this month.
We may have cause to celebrate there, while the Limerick Oscar Traynor side, the representative team for junior football on Shannonside, are through to the National final where they’ll meet the Dublin AUL.
Congratulations to Declan Considine and Aidan Ryan on steering the above through to the National deciders.
Moving from the beautiful game to the noble art, Wille Casey’s waist was adorned with the European super-bantamweight belt last November after he stopped Dublin’s Paul Hyland in round four to claim the vacant title at the University of Limerick. But the Big Bang relinquished – as per rule – the continental strap to chase the WBA World super-bantamweight crown, forgoing a European defence against Bernard Dunne’s conqueror Kiko Martinez.
Unfortunately, for Casey, he came up against Cuba-born Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux in Dublin and the battle of the southpaws ended after Casey was taken into protective custody by the third man in the ring in round one after being subjected to a barrage of punches by the two-time Olympic and AIBA World champ.
Andy Lee had one outing this year. The 26-year-old, who boxes out of the famed Detroit Kronk, dropped and stopped Scotland’s Craig McEwan in Connecticut in March. It was a close one though as Edinburgh-born McEwan was ahead on points going into the tenth and final round of that encounter before Lee hit the jackpot at the Foxwoods Casino and knocked him out.
Lee will now be hoping to leave Alex Bunema all shook up when he meets Memphis-born puncher for the vacant NABA middleweight title in Illinois next Wednesday. Granted, the NABA crown is just a made up title to take the bare look off a promotion. However, a win should edge Ireland’s only boxer at the 2004 Olympics one step closer to a world title shot.
All in all it has been another iffy 12 months for sport in Limerick. If there’s any Limerick club or individual out there that has won a national title over the last year then write in a let us know about it.
We need pretences to bask in your reflected glory, pretences to emerge, days later, blinking into the sunlight from a darkened lounge bar.