Thursday, April 30, 2015

Update 30th April

Richard Starkey at Seventy Four

Richard Starkey is seventy four and looks pretty well for it. As Gerry Emmett sometimes flatters people by saying “He is wearing very even”. Anyway enough of the Richard Starkey. He is of course universally known as Ringo Starr the drummer with the Beatles, probably the most famous pop band in the history of the genre. For people of my generation The Beatles were THE band. While I was a great admirer and loved many of their songs I am not an expert on their lives and music. Ringo with Paul McCartney are the two surviving members of the band the other two being George Harrison and John Lennon who was shot in New York in December 1980.

The Beatles lit up our lives in the sixties and led to it being referred to as ‘the Swinging Sixties’. It was a time when English pop music ruled the universal airwaves with the exception of the King i.e. Elvis Presley. The Beatles are of course a Liverpool creation and after some time in Hamburg they returned to The Cavern Club in the city under the management of Brian Epstein. Ringo Starr had replaced Stuart Sutcliffe as drummer. Every song released subsequently turned to gold.  The band prompted frenetic popular support which became referred to as Beatle mania.

Amongst their great albums are Abbey Road, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Revolver, The White Album and a hard Day’s Night which was the soundtrack of a slight movie of theirs. Ringo sang rarely but led the song ‘Yellow Submarine’ which first appeared on ‘The Revolver’ album. Donie O’Connor with his ‘Bubble’ song has resonances of ‘Yellow Submarine’ as a classic kids song. Ringo was later to be one of the voices in the popular children’s television series Thomas the Tank Engine The Beatles went through many various incarnations in a short time. Ringo is married to Barbara Bach for over thirty four years. He still tours in the United States with an amalgam group called the ‘All-Star Band’. He has stopped giving autographs and tries not to shake hands according to an article I’ve read recently. The Beatles and Ringo were part of a fun time of emerging possibilities in our yesterdays. Many of their songs will endure, some just pleasant sound bites and others with the depth of one of their greatest ‘Imagine’.  I’ve become smothered, in my mind, with all the material and achievements that I might refer to so recognising my own limitations I’ll just abandon that idea here.       

Roscommon Football’s Rising Reputation

Roscommon’s star continues to rise as evidenced on Sunday last with their Division Two Final victory over Down. It is a fine achievement to progress so rapidly from Division Three to Division One winning both divisional finals on the way. The almost muted reception of winning on Sunday and the appropriate low-key acceptance speech of team Captain Niall Carty is further evidence that Roscommon GAA have higher aspirations.

The dismissal of a Down player late in the first half distorted the win somewhat and after a pretty dismal first half the Roscommon team gave an excellent account of themselves in the second half. Senan Kilbride scored points resonant of the memorable ones scored by Frankie Dolan in Portlaoise over a decade ago . The display of a number of players such as young Murray at corner back was really heartening. Three Roscommon players were named on the media tam of the week Sean Kilbride, Ciaran Murtagh and Cathal Shine. It is good to see Cathal's progress as midfield has been problematic for Roscommon for some time. He is in the mould of Seamus O’Neill of Kilbride from a few years ago. He will of course need assistance in that area and maybe Higgins might develop more to provide that. It will also be necessary for the adjacent half back and forward lines to forage for the famous ‘breaking ball’. Along with Senan’s fine points, David Murtagh’s goal, struck with venom, was a delight. It was good to see that the management gave a number of what might be regarded as emerging or fringe players a chance. I was pleasantly surprised by the contribution of young Connolly and it was good to see Donie Smith, who was unlucky in Mullingar, get another quick chance. So well done to all involved, players, management, county board and the dedicated supporters.
Down, it must be said, were poor. The question on looking at the Division One Final was how Roscommon would fare against these teams? They would fare pretty well against a hugely disappointing Cork but the Dublin machine is another matter.

The Connacht Championship Fixtures are basically as follows. On Sunday next May 3rd, Galway take on New York in N.Y. with the winners playing Leitrim on May 17th. Roscommon play London in Ruislip on May 25th  with the winners advancing to meet Sligo, in Sligo, on June 20th.  Mayo take on the winners of Galway/New York/Leitrim on June 14. The Connacht Final is on July 19th.

Tony McCoy

The great jockey Tony McCoy ended his great career on Saturday last after his kinda ‘long goodbye’. Usually sportspeople who retire are pretty comfortable with their decisions but Tony did not seem so. It would not be a huge shock if he found retirement too dull and that he missed the competitive arena too much and returned. Of course returning to the rigours of being a jockey would probably be more demanding than any other sport so we will see. In terms of his greatness while he is unquestionably the greatest in his domain how does he rate in sport generally? I remember such an analysis once of the legendry  Australian cricket player Don Bradman whose test batting was 99.94 with the second being on 63.90. The argument was made that ‘The Don’ was so far ahead of the second placed international test batter that he was entitled to be regarded as a sportsman whose ability could cross the sports records. Perhaps so too with McCoy.

Boyle GAA

In reading the Boyle GAA notes one sees a hive of activity there with U 12/U 14 A and B/Minor/Junior and Senior and Ladies on the go. If one looks at the results as listed in this week’s Roscommon Herald one will notice the high scoring generally in the games. The example of the Murtaghs and Senan Kilbride are in evidence. For example the Boyle minors scored 5. 13 to Western Gaels 1.20 in their replayed Division three game last week. The Division Three minors play Kilbride in the Final in Tulsk on Friday evening.

The big upcoming Senior game is the first round of the Championship versus Castlerea on Sunday week May 10th in Castlerea. The Junior team made the long journey to Fuerty last Friday evening and came away with the spoils. I have always regarded the nurturing of a second team as very important to the welfare of the top echelon. 

GAA Higher Education Rising Stars

It is good to see that three Roscommon footballers Enda Smith, Tadhg Lowe and Colin Compton have been included with third level recognition of their best players in the season past.  


Missing Monkey

In Sean’s picture of the brass as featured on the Home Page some days ago the one thing I missed ... a brass monkey.


I have been informed of one of those popular fun sites, on Facebook I presume, and it is called sports One entry says: “The GAA has a place for everybody and it is…Junior ‘B’!  


I am a collector of quotations and this one struck me from a week-end newspaper “Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forward”. That is if you are not a Benjamin Button of course. 

Regards to ...
The Boyle Diaspora and I hope our visitors to Perth in Australia are having a good time. 

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