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You can’t beat Bank Holiday League of Ireland football


I was working nights this weekend so switched off to what was happening in domestic soccer as best I could. If results went the way I didn’t want them to go then I had an excuse to ignore them. It was probably best to ignore the results even if they went the way I would have wished too, because I’d only get annoyed at not having been at those games.


Such are the joys of shift work. Unlike a nine to five job, which allows you to get to the football every weekend, my shift pattern sees me miss two successive weekends of soccer every five weeks. Pot luck decides what games I actually get to see.


Finishing up on Monday morning and realising that there were games on later in the afternoon was a welcome bonus. Bank Holidays are great. The weather was superb too still so I’d get to catch up on some of the sun that I’d been missing all weekend.


I had a choice of fixtures. Stradbrook for Cabinteely versus Athlone Town kicked off at three. The advantages of going to that would be the likelihood of seeing some goals, I expected Cabinteely to win easily [I was right – they won 4-0]. The disadvantages were having to get up after very little sleep and drive across the city. Shelbourne versus Drogheda United on the other hand didn’t kick off until five so would allow me a full day’s sleep plus would only mean a walk down the road. I opted for Tolka Park.


Blaise decided he wanted to come to the game with me so the walk down to the ground gave us a chance to catch up after the weekend. It seemed he’d developed an interest in cars since Friday – he was counting up the numbers of each type of car we passed as we walked through Drumcondra. As we approached the ground he announced that Toyota were number one, followed by Volkswagen and Hyundai [our own car type – Mazda – didn’t even make the top ten].


I was impressed with this, but even more impressed when he linked his car-counting to the SSE Airtricity League First Division table. ‘’So, Dad. Toyota are UCD, and Volkswagen and Hyundai are Drogheda and Shels”. Memories stirred of making similar kinds of associations when I was his age. Blaise not only looks like me but he also thinks like me!


The game was a good one, watched by a decent-sized crowd. Shelbourne were impressive as they created chances to try to get the win that would close the gap on Drogheda and UCD. Tim Clancy is doing a great job at Drogheda though, and they stood firm against the challenge. It was going to take a special goal to win this for Shelbourne and Dayle Rooney’s rocket fitted the bill, only for a late Drogheda penalty to square things up.


So 1-1 it finished. The table still read Toyota, Volkswagen and Hyundai as the top three, closely followed by Nissan, Renault and Ford [Longford, Galway and Finn Harps] to use Blaise’s car survey in a bit more depth. There was no time for counting cars on the way home though; we were in a rush to get back for Soccer Republic and the highlights of Bray’s 3-1 win over St Patrick’s Athletic, which I recorded and played back a couple of more times later on in the evening!

Brian Quigley

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