Roscommon v Mayo.
Roscommon are getting closer to their established rivals Mayo and might have just pipped them at Hyde Park on Sunday. It would have been a sweet win. Still one must look at the positives of an upward curve. There were many very good performances. The full back line did really well. Half back Ciaran Cafferkey got a fine goal. Kevin Higgins got a lot of possession at midfield but his ratio of scores from efforts is much too poor. He should be advised to ‘give it to the shooters’ as Killian with a K Egan will remember. Cathal Cregg covered miles of ground. The first half was very poor football. The introduction of Enda Smith and Diarmuid Murtagh showed that the young guns are ready and it was probably a mistake not to start them. Donie’s introduction was too late. So I expect a number of changes next time out though the manager seems to be wary of starting the under 21s’. Still there were a lot of positives and this summer and the next few years give us possibilities to look forward with optimism to. Once again the admission prices at €25 for the stand and seated area with €20 for terrace was much too high. I am told that the equivalent in Leinster is 15 and 10. The Connacht Council argument is that it has so few games in which to bring in funding. Still it is the same people who support draws and such fundraising efforts who go to those early games. Sad for Donie Shine who suffered the curse of the cruciate ligament injury on Sunday. It is a tough injury and so prevalent. He was back to near his best at times this year but now he faces to tough road of recovery and rehabilitation.
Boyle v Elphin in the Senior Championship
Boyle have their first outing in the Senior Championship on Friday evening in Croghan stadium v Elphin. As the cliché goes there are no easy games at this level and this is no different. As usual there is a certain amount of coming and going from last year’s successful Intermediate campaign. Marc O’Connor who had a great season in 2013 has pulled back and Ciaran Cox is in London while Roch Hanmore has returned from Oz. Enda and Donie Smith will be key players but there are others like Cillian Cox, Tadgh Lowe, Mark O’Donohoe and of course the captain Sean Purcell who will also be very important. The question is have Boyle the strength in depth that is necessary at this level. Friday evening will inform us as to the present overall quality of the side.
Local Historian Mister Tivnan
I was one of a very good attendance in the Church of Ireland last week to hear Mister Frank Tivnan talk of the background to that building amongst his many diversions. We were also invited to participate in the singing of two famous hymns as he said to give it all a certain atmospheric lift. History and local history especially is a passion for some people and there are few as passionate as Mister Tivnan. Here he described the symbol of the eagle fronting the lectern and the broken pillar, the term Dulce et Decorum…and the imagery of the stained glass windows and the explanation of the place name of that lovely area and graveyard of Easters now or Esters now. Years ago I accompanied him on a tour of the town and my attention was drawn to objects and elements that I might have passed numerous times without noticing including the varied chimney pots as one walks down from the Crescent! It is a positive facet of Boyle that there are so many elements from the Famine pot, the various plaques and inscriptions that make Boyle such an interesting streetscape. And one has to commend Mister Tivnan for a lifetime of sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for it all.
I have been a jack of a number of trades and a master of none down the years. In the same sense I follow nearly all sports. The carnival of emotions that is the World Cup is upon us so it is as well that the turf is ‘footed’ if not saved. Once again I read Eamon Sweeney’s remembrance of past World Cups especially his first one of 1974 when Johan Cruyff and Holland were in their prime. Though they did not win they were one of the great teams. That period from the middle sixties to say 1980 was a golden age for sport. The competition is in Brazil which had probably the finest team ever to win a World Cup in 1970 and the finest team never to win in ’82. So we look forward to the dramas, the controversies, the emergence of heroes and villains, agony and ecstasy, against the towering backdrop of Favelas, deep social inequality, corruption and unrest. ‘Double, double toil and trouble’.