Tuesday, July 25, 2006

SNAKES AND LADDERS

It's been a snakes and ladders period for eL clubs recently. Cork City put in a scorching second half performance in Cyprus last week to maintain their Champions League push. Drogheda United and Derry City both have a decent chance of progressing in the UEFA Cup and Shelbourne have burst into life.

Yet on the day of Cork's progression much of our thoughts were fixed on the sudden, though not unexpected implosion of Dublin City. Many fans never took the club Seeryously, but their expunge-sion did not reflect well on the league in general. Poor ol' Cork found themselves RRS by Dublin again.

As the Southerners awoke the following morning, gingerly rubbing their tender rears, they were presented with the news that they would be without Danny Murphy and Joe Gamble for the Red Star match - both players attracting amorous advances from Apollonic counterparts. RRS UEFA style! Murphy's fists of fury earning him a second post match dismissal this season - surely this achievement must be recognised accordingly.

We use gold stars on jerseys to convey great achievements; why not a small red rectangle on the chest for every dismissal a player has received. Quinten Hann, the Aussie ex - snooker player came to Dublin a while back to fight Dublin footballer Jonny Magee over three rounds; we could invite him back to take on Danny in Turner's Cross - full house guaranteed!

Nonetheless, a great achievement was tainted by other stuff. Did Rocky lose his wallet? It was only on the 13th July that they signed Lee Roche, why did they bother?

The Shelbourne saga drags on. But suddenly on the field they've exploded into a goalscoring frenzy as Nutsy stuns the football world by picking an identical side for consecutive games. But the dark side remains.

Olly struggles manfully on, generating smoke and smudging mirrors; trawling ebay for that most precious commodity. Time. But maybe the most bizarre story has emanated from Barna.

I assume it's a picturesque place; it's a few years since I've been. The most famous resident of the western hamlet is legendary financial guru Nick Leeson. And he has warned the eircom League clubs regarding their fiscal imprudence. What's next, Rocky and Olly handing out Vaseline outside Turner's Cross from the boot of John Delaney's car? Ian Stokes liberally administering same to Damo's slightly reddened orifice? Priests wearing condoms? Referee's saying they got it wrong?

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