‘’I want to see the bright lights tonight’’

Brian Quigley

I brought a couple of Richard Thompson CD’s along on Friday last for the drive to Bray to attend the Wanderers versus Finn Harps game. No real reason, I just felt like a bit of folk-rock. But as I approached Bray from the Shankill side and crossed from Dublin to Wicklow, I wondered if something subconscious had put me in a situation where I was listening to the song ‘’When I Get To The Border’’ from the album ‘’I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight’’.

There’s another song on there called ‘’The Cavalry Cross’’ which always reminds me of the cross on Bray Head. Perhaps Richard was a secret visitor to Bray when he made this album, circa 1974. Funnily enough, that’s right about the time the modern-day incarnation of Wanderers came into being.

I was certainly looking forward to seeing the bright lights last Friday. There’s something special about approaching any ground that is floodlit, it’s like a beacon, a beckoning Mecca. I think I speak for a lot of Wanderers fans when I say I am really pleased the club has returned our home games to Friday nights, a time that I think would come out top of any straw poll of Bray supporters.

Being the first home game of the season there was extra excitement in the air. Meeting friends in the pub for a pint before the match, wishing each other a ‘happy new season’. Getting back into the old routine of buying your match ticket, your match-day magazine and lotto ticket. The crowd at the game was a decent size, and most people made for the covered seats to shelter from the rain, so there was a great atmosphere in the stand.

It certainly rained in Bray last Friday and it certainly rained goals in the Carlisle Grounds. Four in each half. An eight-goal thriller. Thankfully the eight were split five to three in Bray’s favour. No more than we deserved, we were the better side, but Harps looked useful and played some nice football.

Bray’s new target-man Anto Flood opened the scoring and goals for Bray followed from the returning Gary McCabe [a brace, one from the penalty spot], Aaron Greene [a beautiful header] and Dylan Connolly. Five-three. A five star performance that lifted Bray to second in the table on the night. Dizzy heights; or are they? I think Harry Kenny and his squad are expecting to be up there this year; more bright nights and bright lights to come.

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