After my few compulsory pints in the club on Saturday night I went home to the couch, and the steak sandwich, and the bottle of red, and the channel surfing, and found myself, incredibly, settling down with a great British institution, “The last night of the Proms”.
The last night of the Promenade Concerts is a British musical love in involving the best of British bombastic music, some terrified foreign guest performers, and an orchestra conductor who tries, and usually fails, to inject a sense of altruistic bonhomie to the proceedings by bantering with an audience containing, indisputably, the largest annual gathering of blithering English twits on TV.
This is classic Home Counties England in all its glory. Union Jack bunting, hunting horns, pith helmets, and lines of tossers decked out in historical military regalia. Its as England as Enid Blyton, pork pies, cricket on the green, spitfires, warm beer, spanking, and losing at Wimbledon.
The orchestra belts out the nationalistic rousers and the Wally’s in the audience join in the chorus with fervour worthy of a Nazi rally.
I found myself watching the proceedings through my fingers trying to ascertain did we have anything in Ireland that vaguely resembled this celebration of village idiocy served with lashings of Sloan Square chinless wonderment!
To my horror I realised we do …. It’s called the Dail.
Greystones Rugby Club is a sleeping giant. Similar to ourselves they are a parish Club with a large catchment area to feed off. Their pitches are first class and seem to go on forever. On the pitch they are rebuilding and while they showed plenty of heart and effort they were lacking as much with the ball as without it. Inevitably the first 20 minutes was about Clontarf getting a measure of the home sides commitment but once the breakthrough came it was a procession of tries that took the visitors to 56 13 with 10 to go. At that point the substitutions left defensive frailties and ‘Stones to their credit finished well with 3 tries to make the final score 56 32. It was in the tight where the real battle was and it was very encouraging to see how well the younger Clontarf players fared. Most notable was the performance of Tom Byrne who showed composure in the heat of battle well beyond his years. The front row of Des M, Wang and Polar were as usual strong in the tight and a bloody nuisance in the loose.
The senior game was followed by the J1’s who lined out with more than a liberal distribution of last years under 20’s. . Facing them was a gnarly group of Greystones men who did no end of chest banging and grunting to psyche themselves. This may have unnerved the ‘Tarf team because they fell to a 17 nil deficit fairly quickly. However, once the boys got into a rhythm and moved the home side around the roaring turned to wheezing and then to silence as the visitors tore the home side to shreds out wide and ran in 54 25 victors .