I’d picked out the ‘Quartet’ album by Ultravox as my CD for the journey to Bray to see the Wanderers versus St Patrick’s Athletic league game earlier on Friday [it’s not the one with ‘Vienna’ on it!]. It seemed like a suitable choice. There was due to be four of us for the journey – my three youngest children and myself – but by the time I left Drumcondra for the wilds of Wicklow I’d had two fallers. Isla had gotten a better offer, namely a playdate at a friend’s house. Elizabeth had decided she would probably be better off staying at home to rest up for Irish dancing the next day. So it was just Blaise and myself, a duo rather than a quartet. We stuck with the CD choice anyway, even if as a duo rather than a quartet we were more The Proclaimers than Ultravox.
We arrived at a Carlisle Grounds and joined a lengthy queue for tickets. This was a good sign. A decent crowd would help warm up the atmosphere on one of the coldest nights I can ever remember attending a football match at, and coming from Bray believe me I’m a veteran of many cold seaside nights. Inside, the hot food van was doing a roaring trade. Hot food would help warm you up as much as a good atmosphere. Amazingly, there was also an ice cream van in attendance, next to the hot food van. Anyone for dessert after their hot food main? What was even more amazing was that I saw a few people buying 99’s. I suppose they were told we have summer soccer now, so were playing along.
The crowd certainly was decent, which was great to see. They were in fine voice too, which strangely enough is what Ultravox literally translates as. They were treated to two quick-fire goals from St. Patrick’s Athletic, which at least from a Bray point of view wasn’t as bad as the three quick-fire goals the same side had scored against us in the opening exchanges of the recent Leinster Senior Cup game. At Bray we are always thankful for small mercies.
When Gary McCabe got a goal back from Bray there was still only 20 minutes gone on the clock and the goal was a shot in the arm for the Seagulls who started to grow in confidence and threaten to equalize, which would have been an outcome I’d have happily taken if offered before kick-off. A point from any game at this level is welcome.
Despite some further chances in the second half no equalizer came, and spells of pressure from St Pats saw them come close to pulling further ahead at times, but the Bray goal seemed to lead a charmed life. 2-1 was probably a fair result when the final whistle went, by which time Blaise was now wearing both beanie hats and scarves and I was left shivering my way back to my parents’ house to collect my car. We’ll probably be back next week for the home game against Waterford, by which time it looks like being even colder still, if that’s possible. So much for summer soccer. I wonder if the ice cream van will show up again next week if the mercury plummets even further?
We gave ‘Quartet’ another spin on the way home. We’d just been to see one of the quartet of games on that night in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, and the first of the quartet of league encounters between Bray and Pats this season, so why not?!