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Published on November 19th, 2009 | by Ronan


On the Main: An Epic Tragedy in Six Halves

Last night, Darren sent out an email to all us culchies to see if anyone had any interest in covering the match. There was an unprecedented response, so expect to see about thirty-seven posts about it here complaining of injustice and such. No, actually, Anto is going to do a post later and that’ll be the end of it. Before he does though, I thought I’d throw in my two francs.

Robbie Keane celebrating after his goal

On the Main: An Epic Tragedy in Six Halves

In Zurich, eight names, two pots
Seeded on association advice
The good to get the weak
We didn’t have any choice.
First name out, game one at home,
But no sighs of relief
We’d be away in Pari,
Why couldn’t it be Greece?

Nervous fans, nervy players,
Saturday came in a whimper.
The match an anticlimax
The result couldn’t be simpler.
One to them, none to us,
A huge uphill battle ahead.
We shouldn’t be too disheartened,
They didn’t leave us for dead.

We always got the same story
From Eamon and the others.
“Andy Reid, Andy Reid”,
You’d swear they all were lovers.
There’d be no Reids, nor Moses,
We didn’t need divine intervention,
Just a parting of their back four,
And hope for a wicked deflection.

The sun set over the Seine,
As the bells tolled nine,
They’re an hour ahead remember,
Central European Time.
Amhran sang loudly,
With theirs we hummed along,
We’d need more than singing,
To prove the doubters wrong.

We started strong, full of gusto,
Vim, vigour, and spunk.
Fans’ singing worsening,
As they got more and more drunk.
Drinking wine from pint glasses,
Stinking of Garlic bread,
But the roar was deafening,
When Robbie put us ahead.

We weren’t there yet,
Just made it one all over two games.
But it felt better than anything,
As we chanted out Keano’s name.
Thirty-two minutes, the whole world changed,
With Cowen and Marys out the door,
Like being back with Bertie and the good times,
Our prosperity and voices soared.

Had to go for a second,
One was not enough.
That’d send us to penalties,
Which we were bound to fluff.
Half time, still leading,
Trap sat them all down,
Translator at his side,
Set sights on Raymond’s crown.

Panic in the other dressing room,
Sent on Govou to little use,
But injuries set us back,
Not McShane, you goose!
But Paul held his nerve,
I could barely hold my own,
Rob and Damo missed one-on-ones,
Our World Cup chances blown?

Ninety wonderful minutes up,
Thirty more nervous ones due,
But they didn’t retreat,
Kept attacking for two.
But France had now more mettle,
They attacked much better,
Once again, chances blown,
As Robbie missed a sitter.

It was then fate intervened,
Into the box, a high free kick,
Kept in by Henry,
Ball in the net, we all felt sick.
The replays made it worse,
Temperature up to a hundred and then,
Cheated out of the World Cup,
A joyless summer again.

Our warriors could not admit defeat,
And kept going to the end.
But even Given up front,
Could not make amends.
We can’t blame the players,
They gave their all,
It was simply a repeat of Maradona,
He put his hand on the ball.

It’s not all doom and gloom,
We can learn from this, and grow.
We can be better, we are better,
Things we now know.
Just in time for the Euro draw in February,
Book us tickets on the plane,
Because in the year Twenty-Twelve,
We’ll be in Poland and Ukraine.

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About the Author

Music blogger turned book/TV blogger. Avid follower of the Irish soccer team.

10 Responses to On the Main: An Epic Tragedy in Six Halves

  1. Niall says:

    Nicely done bro. I like it.

  2. Ronan says:

    @Niall Glad you like it.

  3. Darren Byrne says:

    Truly epic! Mine now pales in comparison:

    There once was a match in Paris
    That made Irish fans trés angry
    Henry handled the ball
    The ref made a bad call
    But the whole sport’s a mystery to me

  4. Ronan says:

    @Darren Ah but Limericks are a much more nuanced artform. Excellent poem!

  5. Niall says:

    Someone needs to do a haiku now. I would, but I hate the things.

  6. Ronan says:

    Got to hand it to
    Them, they won, that is what counts
    It wasn’t fair though.

  7. Emlyn says:

    Wonderful stuff! Awful outcome 🙁

    Our joy did build,
    The game near done,
    Then Henry felt ball,
    Not us who won.


  8. Keleher says:

    Well done, Ronan 🙂

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