Saturday, May 13, 2006


'right it's 4.30, lift should be here any minute now, I'm already togged out and ready to go. The ALSAA sports hall is ours from 5-6, the Kempo Karate crowd are on after us. I hope we've enough bodies to get a game going by five, don't want to waste too much time. Then finish up around six, quick shower, catch the bus and I'll be in Richmond Park for the 7:45 kick off.

Lift arrives on time, but we've only eight bodies. The hall is huge. Biggest venue I've ever played indoor in. Bit of a problem when there's so few of us though, because a couple of the lads are around 60 years of old (seriously!). The rain is pounding off the roof; hope the Pats / Derry game goes ahead.

A couple of stragglers arrive - 5 a side - not too bad, on such a brutal day. Still belting down outside. The Whites are in control of the game, but we get cocky and concede a couple of shit goals. Recriminations. "I f'in told you to watch 'im." There's only one goal in it now. "Ah for f sake Pat, run."

It's nearly 5:57, we've fallen a goal behind. I'm loitering wide on the left, game's at walking pace now as the early exuberance takes it's toll. Brendan's in possession, nobody's closing him down... nobody's moving. At all. I see where he's looking, and my burst of [pace is not the word, trot, maybe]. Anyway it's a crap ball but a deft flick surprisingly comes off, making it an incisive ball and we're level.

Great, we won't lose anyway. 6o'clock, game over. But the Kempo shams haven't arrived, the hall is still ours....''we'll play 'til a quarter past six lads.'' Quick calculation. Yeah I'll easily make the bus. We lose!

There's a bus stop right outside ALSAA, I'm there before half six, stopped raining now, not bad; good night for a game. Brother rings: "I'm at Connolly Station, meet you at the ground". Check the buses. Shit the 748 that goes to Heuston Station doesn't stop here, and I won't have time to walk up to the airport for it. Fortunately I had anticipated such ill luck, accustomed as I am to being on the receiving end of same. Plan B was the 16A, it would leave me around Christchurch and if I was running late it wouldn't cost me much to get a taxi from there to the ground.

The 16A leaves the airport at twenty five to, nice one; mp3 player and busfare at the ready I begin to think about the game. Pat's have started the season well. You could write off the opening round draw with Waterford on the opening day of the season. There are always a few weird results at either end of the season. I fancied them to beat Cork and they did.

"No go ahead Gith, I'm going over to Inchicore, yeah, see you next week, thanks anyway".

Molloy is playing out of his skin, great to see. I like the look of O'Connor on the left. Haven't seen them play with Rutherford in the team, pity he's not playing tonight.

There goes Dave, just about to give him a wave, he blanks me. Prick. I'm glad I cleaved him earlier now, though I hadn't intended to at the time. Brendan pulls out just after him. Jaysus, no one stayed back for a pint tonight, that's unusual.

And the last time I saw Derry they were beaten by Dublin City at Dalymount, they weren't at the races that night. It was as if they couldn't lift themselves against [supposedly] poorer opposition after the highs of the Setanta Cup games, they were still in the running at that stage. O'Flynn was wide on the left for most of the game, and he might as well have been selling the chips in Burdock's, because he wasn't doing anything else. what a bummer, I'd been looking forward to seeing him in full flight. Quarter to seven, any minute now.

Lovely, here comes the yellow beauty now. 16C, that doesn't stop here, didn't know there was a 16C. It passes. Must check that one out, for the next time. Where's the f'in 16A? Urbus. Aircoach. Park and Ride. Check time, getting a bit stressed now. No pint before the game; I'll have an extra one after it so. Watch, deflated as 8 buses travel in the opposite direction. There are 4 other people at the bus stop now, but as we are all men we do not speak to each other. Timecheck; 7 o'clock.

I don't believe it, where's the bastard bus? I'm not going to make it. I haven't enough money for a taxi. Even if I had I'm not sure I'd be prepared to part with at least €25 to arrive at the game late. Ring bro'; he's already at the ground, and he had to travel from Balbriggan. I'm really pissed. No match and no lift home now either. And it's starting to rain again. I fuckin' hate buses!

Dublin Bus, supporters of eircom League football. My arse. Well it won't happen again, as soon as I get in I'm going online to doublecheck these routes. Next time I'll leave the 'ball at 6, walk up to the airport and get that 748. I wish those shites 'd be earlier so's we can get started bang on 5 o'clock, then I'd get the full hour in. Rain doesn't get heavy. I'm starved.

Arrive home, enjoyed the walk, seeing as I had my mp3 player with me. Check the buses before I forget. Let's see. Check By Route:16C - Please see Route 16 or route 16A for this service. AAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHH.

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