**A couple of deadline notices. First the Bright Sparks Quiz on Friday night and second the Boyle GAA Know Your Sport deadline is Easter Monday. I believe this can be done online.
Organ Donor Week Contact Details
I was asked to repeat the ways one can sign up to the organ donor so I repeat it here. Organ donor cards can be got by phoning Lo-Call 18905 43639 (Free Call) or Freetext the word Donor to 50050. You can store organ donor card, the E card on smart Mobile Phones, simply search for Donor E Card at I Phone Store or Android Market Place.
Roscommon lose out to stronger Galway
Roscommon were beaten by a stronger Galway side last Sunday. The midfield dilemma still prevails and it hard to see how it can be resolved. Cathal Shine had a great game against Kildare but he needs considerable assistance to make for a midfield that we can feel comfortable with. It was a very difficult day for football and Roscommon –as did Galway-had a number of chances which did not materialise, wood work and all those vagaries. So it is down to the coming weekend as to which teams from Division Two get promoted. Down have 8 points with Laois, who have 5 points, to play. Roscommon, Meath and Cavan all have 7 points playing Westmeath, Cavan and Meath. We would expect Down to beat Laois and get promoted. If they do not draw Cavan or Meath will have 9 points and if Roscommon beat Westmeath they too will have 9. If Meath win Roscommon go up because of their game result. If Cavan win they, as of now, have a better points difference over Roscommon. Galway now with 6 points is safe and has little chance of promotion even if they win against Kildare who have 4 points. So it all goes down to Sunday.
Roscommon U 21s Face Connacht Final Challenge
The Roscommon U 21 team play Galway in the Connacht Final at Tuam on Saturday at 6. While the Roscommon supporters have high hopes this is going to be a difficult game. The Galway U 21 players on the senior team did well last Sunday particularly Damien Comer. Anyway we wish the team and all associated with it all the best. (On your visit to Tuam’s rather neglected pitch environs you will come across memorials to former Tuam and Galway legends Sean Purcell, Frank Stockwell –referred to as ‘the terrible twins- and goalie Jack Mangan. These are near the pitch on the dressing room side).
Roscommon CBS in First Senior ‘A’ All-Ireland Final
Last Saturday Roscommon CBS made history by reaching their first Senior ‘A’ Final on Sunday April 12 in Croke Park v POBALSCOIL CHORCA DHUIBHNE (Dingle) the holders of the Hogan Cup. While the CBS had great school teams in the early forties the competition was restricted to Inter-Provincial games then. The Hogan Cup competition began in ‘46. When CBS did win a Connacht title in 1948 with Batt Lynch as Captain they lost the semi-final to St. Patrick’s Cavan. The CBS came out of Connacht again in 1998 and despite a 1.13 from Stephen Lohan they were defeated by St. Colman’s Newry-the eventual winners- after extra time at Clones. So this is a historic first for the school. It is a credit to the management of Willie Hegarty and Seamus Heneghan and also to the surrounding clubs who have done a lot of good work at under-age level. I am thinking especially of Oran and St. Ciaran’s who complement the usual number of Roscommon Gaels players. CBS will have a huge task in dethroning the reigning holders Dingle of Kerry easily dismissed as their second half defensive displays against Summerhill and especially against Good Counsel demonstrate. In any event it is a great achievement for CBS and expands the reputation of youth football in the county.
Ireland Hanging On
Ireland just kept their hopes just hanging on with Shane Long’s late goal. I asked someone by text what the game was like and the response was thus; “Yeah, it wasn’t as bad as they normally are, for once”.
Easter Monday is the date of the Roscommon Fleadh which is the first Fleadh in the country. Boyle had a great reputation for Fleadhs and Irish traditional music for decades. There were two great All-Ireland Fleadhs in the town in 1960 and 1966 in great weather at Whit week-end which people subsequently referred to as ‘Fleadh weather’. There were many other county Fleadhs and Connacht Fleadhs in the town during those years. I remember the big crowds and great atmosphere at these festivals. There was always a good ‘Northern Ireland’ group of people present at these Easter Fleadhs in Boyle.
Through the years I was also at All-Ireland Fleadhs in Buncranna, Clomel, Enniscorthy, Ballina, Sligo and of course a number of times at the spiritual home of the Fleadh, Listowel.
Next Monday’s County Fleadh is in Elphin and I expect that the strong tradition of Roscommon Fleadhs will continue
Top Sports Books Finale
I’ll finish off today with my number one book. It is a pretty personal choice as it covers, for the most part, Gaelic games of the forties. I have a particular interest in those years which were the great years of Roscommon football. Cavan were Roscommon’s senior opponents on four occasions in those years at Final and Semi-Final level. The Polo Grounds trip of ’47 was the most unique of All-Ireland finals. Cavan beat Roscommon in the Semi-Final so Roscommon were close to the trip which would have provided so much material for ‘folklorists’ and scribblers like me. Paul Fitzpatrick has written a book I would love to have written myself …with Roscommon as the central theme of course. It’s a lovely book written with a light yet poignant touch. t.c.
1. The Fairytale in New York: The story of Cavan’s finest hour
Paul Fitzpatrick (2013, Ballpoint)
The 1947 Polo Grounds All-Ireland was Ireland’s Rumble in the Jungle, New York our Zaire, a location and adventure so exotic that it scarcely seems believable. But it did happen, and thanks to the initiative of Fitzpatrick, we now know just how and why.
The following books are also very worth considering.
11. Last Man Standing: Hurling Goalkeepers
Christy O’Connor (2005, O’Brien)
John Feinstein may have done it a few times over on Stateside: follow a group of sportsmen from a range of teams over the course of a season, all competing for the same prize while sharing in something bigger again. But it’s hard to say if any of those efforts match this of O’Connor’s. He didn’t just go for players in any old position. He went for goalkeepers. And not just any goalkeepers, but the greatest and most charismatic generation of custodians the old game has ever known: Cusack, Cummins, Fitzgerald, Fitzhenry, McGarry.
To top it off, O’Connor was a fine goalkeeper himself and so brings a unique empathy and understanding to his subject. As Liam Griffin notes in the foreword though, this book would have helped rid some men of their demons and teach the rest of us to stop demonising these “exceptional, courageous and often lonely souls who have the guts to be The Last Man Standing”. It’s an exceptional book.
12. Screaming at the Sky: My Journey
Tony Griffin (with TJ Flynn) (2010, Transworld) …….a different unique story by a Clare hurler.
About the highest praise you can give Tony Griffin is that while Christy O’Connor’s The Club is possibly the best GAA book ever, it’s not iron-cast that it was even the best book by a Clare hurler in 2010. Screaming At The Sky is another original, even lyrical, book, brilliantly crafted by ghost-writer Flynn, consisting of just four chapters, each a season in Griffin’s career.
13. The Damned United, David Peace
Brian Clough’s 44 days at Leeds United. Greatest football novel ever written…led to film The Dammed United….Johnny Giles did not like it!
14. ****The Miracle of Castel di Sangro, Joe McGinnis's…….a loveLy book…..it would be like a book following Fuerty or St. Croan’s to Croke Park.
A small-time team in Italy’s Serie 'B'. Magical and surprising.
15. Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger. Later a TV series.
16. Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi (Tennis)……controversial at time of publication.
17. A current very popular biography is: (soccer)
Zlatan Ibrahimović’s hilarious autobiography reveals football's………
Sep 12, 2013 - Zlatan Ibrahimović does not do humility. As might be suggested by the title of his autobiography – I Am Zlatan – modesty is not his thing.
18 a/b/c The Anthony Daly Autobiography/ The Paul Galvin Autobiography/The Bloodied Field about Bloody Sunday in Croke Park in 1920.
19. ‘I Am Zlatan Ibrahimović’ is the story of the football player known to fans around the world as Ibra. Modest Zlatan is not.
What next in terms of the top…..films maybe!