I live in a relatively small village in Ireland. A far cry from busy Dublin, where I was born. We have countryside aplenty, and the sea on our doorstep. It’s a place I’ve lost my heart to, a community I’ve become a real part of.
Often it is only in hard times we see community in action. However yesterday was a glorious day, where our village came together in huge numbers to watch a football match. Not just any match, yesterday was the Intermediate County Final. In it’s history this was a first for our village. We had got to the semi final last year and just missed out. This year we had gone one better. We were only one match away from making history. The opposing team had years of history behind it, having faced this moment many times in their past and as a result were highly favoured.
My Other Half is deeply invested in this team. You may remember our twenty fifth anniversary celebrations had to be fitted in around it? So instead of sitting at home wondering how the match was going I was in the stadium biting my nails, soaking up the excitement.
It was point for point but after injury time the whistle blew and David had beaten Goliath. Grown men cried and a team roared.
As we re lived the final moments over and over, one moment in particular was discussed. With only minutes to go the other team had had the ball, they ran and with a mighty kick the ball flew towards the goal. We watched in horror, surely it’s a goal? Was there any time left to regain the lead? As the ball reached the goal it changed course and hit the post, inches keeping it from the back of the net. We breathed a sigh of relief but many scratched their heads. How had that ball not gone in?
Well I like to think I know the answer.
I believe we had a bit of magic on our side yesterday. One of our team members had a baby son, born sleeping last Christmas. He took some time off but returned and was instrumental in getting the team to the final. Yesterday I like to think his small boy, met another young boy, Daniel at the match. Daniel was a passionate Gaelic footballer and a real supporter of this team. I like to imagine that we lined out with two extra players on the pitch wearing blue and yellow. With minutes to go they saw that ball heading for the goal, and boys being boys, they shook that post as hard as they could averting disaster.
History was made.
Celebrations went on all night. The team somehow managed to get up today and visit the local schools. Among those watching will be the team of the future. Tonight the fun continues. They paraded through the village on an open top bus, led by a garda police motorcade and the local pipe band.
It’s been a glorious few days. There are times in my life I miss Dublin, but on days like these I am so pleased and proud to be part of this community. Congratulations to all concerned.
Photo by Howard Crowdy.