P.T.O. won the day for Dublin

Pace, tactics and organisation, that is. Taken in an agricultural context, the same three letters stand for power take off – the means by which most farm machinery is driven. In the case of the Dublin footballers, though, it was a matter of power take on which won the day for them. Now read on… In the build up to the All Ireland final, the only way yours truly could split the two protagonists was to reason that the strength of the metropolitans bench might eventually see them hold sway. All season, it was latecomers like Dean Rock, Denis Bastick … Continue reading P.T.O. won the day for Dublin

Cutting the cloth according to measure may leave a chill

My first trip to Lansdowne Road (it’ll always be that to yours truly) was memorable. It was a wild, wet day twenty years ago. Michael Carruth – who the previous summer was crowned Olympic champion – was encountered before the game. As was Jack Charlton and the entire Irish squad of the day. Among them were Gary Kelly, Phil Babb and Jason McAteer – all making their debut that murky March day. Their infusion to a squad that already contained stars such as Pat Bonner, Paul McGrath, Steve Staunton, Ray Houghton, Roy Keane, Denis Irwin and John Aldridge ensured Ireland … Continue reading Cutting the cloth according to measure may leave a chill

The same drink from a different glass?

How much do external circumstances influence decisions? The obvious answer is to very much so, but it’s a topic well worth dwelling on a bit. The first ‘real’ drink your columnist indulged in was a glass of Heineken. Why exactly that was is unclear, but, in an era when sports sponsorship by drinks companies has been a hot and divisive topic, it came back to mind. That whole area isn’t about to be strayed into here, as such, but the face of sponsorship and the sport it backs may be about to change fundamentally. Top level sport needs sponsorship to … Continue reading The same drink from a different glass?

Are the GAA finally beginning to see the light?

Having never been in a position to travel on a bus, only a guess can be taken at what it’s like to be waiting ages on one and then to see two of them come rapidly after one another. The old maxim relating to just that can be applied to many aspects of life all the same. Now including draws in All Ireland SHC Finals. Draws in football finals are even a rarity – only three have occurred in this lifetime – but to have seen one in the hurling last season was almost novel. Simply because, due to the … Continue reading Are the GAA finally beginning to see the light?

Reputations are earned the hard way

In keeping with the cyclical nature of things, shortly after the National Hunt racing season reaches its zenith at the Cheltenham Festival and begins to wind down thereafter, it’s around that time that affairs on the Flat really takes off in earnest. Action over jumps has always been the preferred sphere for me and most likely always will be. That said, a few special – albeit flimsy – connections are held with happenings on the level. Foremost among them that John Oxx’s family lived in Dunboyne and were heavily involved in the community. John Oxx John’s cousin Eugene Power – … Continue reading Reputations are earned the hard way

Are the revolutionaries about to be passed out?

Sport is a lot like farming, progress can hinge on timing. Now, it tends to be the source of much curiosity – as well as other less desirable things – that yours truly often manages to work farming into some of my articles, the majority of which tend to be sporting. Even more so when other topics come up for mention, but that’s a story for a different day! There are plenty of similarities though. Where farmers may have to switch crops from year to year depending on results delivered, the same applies to GAA teams. At the beginning of … Continue reading Are the revolutionaries about to be passed out?