Into the West
If Aliens ever invade, we should all hide in Dunedin Park. They’ll never find us!
Wrong turns, dodgy directions and after a quick detour to cash in some traveller’s cheques, the main Blessington convoy eventually found is way to the impressively maintained and even more impressively secluded Dunedin Park, home to Carriglea Boys FC.
For what was surely going to be (based on league position) an easy run out for the boys in green, conditions couldn’t have been better. Beautiful blue skies, white cotton wool clouds and a lovely surface for football meant that everything was set up perfectly, for an enjoyable morning of underage football. Although, there was a strange feeling that something was missing…
Pitch marked? Check!
Corner flags in place? Check!
Referee? ……Che ……. No referee!
Bananas in Pyjamas
After a quick call and confirmation that the referee was injured, both management teams huddled together and quickly conferred. We’ll ref it ourselves and play for the points was the decision, and after a short pause to choose the referee and find a whistle, both teams took their positions and the match kicked off.
Right from the outset Blessington looked distracted. Gone was the hustle, missing was bustle and many of those watching, would have been excused for thinking that last week’s wine hadn’t turned back into water after all. The team looked punch drunk! Was it the delayed start time, was it the thought of the upcoming crunch match against Rathcoole, or, was the fact that the stand in Referee for the first half, was still wearing his pyjamas!
As the early minutes quickly passed, the first effort of the game saw Jack Hardy try his luck from just outside the box. But his long range effort not only gave the on-looking daisies plenty of time to duck for cover, but also gave the Carriglea keeper the chance to position himself and make the first save of the day.
As the half progressed and the scores remained level, a close range effort by Jack McManus was met with a fine save at his near post, by the opposition keeper. Instantly, the call of “Use your box and kick it long” came in from the opposition side line, and without further ado their young shot stopper duly obliged. HOOF! The ball rose slowly into the mid-morning air and then paused momentarily, before beginning its final descent. Somehow, Billy Moore managed to read its flight path, position himself perfectly, and fire the ball back in the direction it came, over the keeper’s head and into the back of the gaping net!
One Nil to Blesso, courtesy of Billy’s boots!
The remaining uneventful minutes of the first half fizzled out and the referee’s whistle brought not only welcome relief, but also some freshly sliced Orange segments and the chance for some words of encouragement from the Blessington coaching staff.
With team talks complete and the introduction of Aidan King and Matthew Callinan, the referee for the second half (Stephen McManus) checked his whistle, blew his watch and the match resumed!
Things suddenly began to look different now and there was definite sense of a new found energy and enthusiasm. It looked like the change in both personnel and exotic refreshments meant that the second half was going to be far more fruitful, than the seedless one that had preceded it!
With only a couple of minutes gone in the second half, Aidan King won the ball high up the pitch, raced in behind the Carriglea defence and slotted home from close range to make it 2-0 to Blesso. Long sighs all round and some welcome breathing space!
It wasn’t long before a third and fourth were added by King and Hardy respectively, and all remaining doubts were suddenly washed away. The dying embers of game saw King crown a royal second half performance by coolly bagging his first ever hat-trick, after tidy finish from just inside the opposition penalty area.
As the final whistle blew and both teams exchanged pleasantries, there was a palpable sense of relief amongst the Blessington supporters. 5-0, job done, let’s go home.
Before anyone even a chance contemplate the next upcoming match away to Rathcoole (2-3 result prediction), Stephen McManus appeared out of nowhere with a celebratory box of jellies. Slowly, the fans and players returned to their cars and as they silently munched away on their end of match treats, some Liverpool Fans amongst them began to ponder…. “I reckon Luis Suarez gets sweets after every match, they thought…. and I bet his favourite bar is, a “Chomp!”
Roll on Rathcoole next Monday night!
Blessington Team: Patrick Foley, Ciaran Clarke, Bobby Gray, Jack Hardy, Shane O’Connor, Zach Power, Billy Moore, Jack McManus, Aidan king, Matthew Callinan