I have to confess that as I write this match report my mind keeps wandering to the upcoming game in Castle avenue on Friday against Old B. One of the pluses of the AIL structure as it stands is that it throws up mouthwatering fixtures as the season comes to its final stages. We have been fortunate to be involved in a few of these so that stomach knotting anticipation that I am currently feeling is very familiar.
This fixture is not to be missed. Clontarf, three points behind league leaders Old B with a game in hand will be looking to build on an outstanding year so far and to deal a counter-blow given their defeat at Anglesea Rd. in the opening match of the season. Old B will be looking to consolidate at the top in the knowledge that a loss on Friday leaves them with two games to make up the deficit.
May I respectfully encourage all Clontarf members and friends to be there and be a little bit partisan and noisy. In fact, better than that, I bloody demand that you be there and you bring all of your friends and their relatives to roar Clontarf on.
This is not a sporting ambition…
We’re on a mission from God!
Film, The Blues Brothers, 1980
Garryowen jumped out to a quick start at a blustery and cold Dooradoyle on Saturday when, against the run of play, Alan Gaughan got in for a somewhat fortunate score. Always unnerving for the away support when a linesman raises his flag and brings it down again. Is he indicating touch or cheering for the home side? . . . who knows.
Clontarf reacted to this setback with their usual sang froid and proceeded to tighten their control, up their accuracy, and exact retribution. Executioner in chief was Bryan Byrne, who scored two tries by half time in what became somewhat of a rout. As the visitors ironed out their earlier handling issues they pretty much dominated in all phases of the game; bossing a surprisingly limited home side up front and stretching them at will out wide. Bryan Byrne finished a man of the match performance with three tries and a congratulatory punch in the head from a home player in a scuffle after a Clontarf maul which saw his brother Tom yellow carded for having red hair or a red face or something. Mick McGrath stormed in for his obligatory score after great work on the right from Evan Ryan and Darragh Fitzpatrick.
So Friday is a big one . . . Or maybe THE big one . . . happy days!