Fourball one down coming to last orders
“It was like an inferno,” he recalled.
“Flames and smoke was everywhere. I could not believe it when I heard the firemen had gone into the house. When someone said Vinny was inside too, I got on my knees and prayed.”
It had taken several minutes, Dial-A-Smile wasn’t sure how long, before the top window upstairs had been shattered out and Vinny’s blackened face appeared among the flames.
He had found Mairéad under a bed in the back room, unconscious but breathing.
Vinny had called on the big lad, Kevin, to get his “arse in gear”, according to Two-Mile, and get over to the kerb.
“Then, he pushed the girl through the window opening and, holding her by the arms, leaned down as far as he could before letting her drop into the arms of the giant.
“After the girl was safe, the giant called for Vinny to jump. I thought he would but then it all went red and black at the window and we couldn’t see him.”
Dial-A-Smile tried to imagine what it must have been like for Vinny at that moment, in the room where he was born, petrified and alone, gulping toxic fumes in a fireball. He tried and failed.
“When our lads got to Vinny and dragged him out they thought he was a goner. He’d no vital signs for a while and a priest was called for,” said Big Dave.
It was almost a week since Vinny had been rushed to Beaumont’s ICU. Against the odds, he’d continued to hang in there, comatose.
No one knew the extent of the damage, not even Vinny’s four big mates in the corner. All they knew, because Dial-A-Smile had heard them talking earlier, was Angie, Vinny’s wife, had been summoned to the hospital that evening at short notice.
She would, according to Macker, text with any news.
It was almost a quarter past eleven and Dial-A-Smile had sneakily placed towels over the taps when he saw Macker reach for his phone as it beeped.
At the same time, Martin Kaymer stood over a putt on the 18th green in Medinah to retain the Ryder Cup for Europe. All was silent in Foley’s.
Kaymer’s stroke was sure and straight and as his par putt dipped under Illinois soil, the little pub erupted while, in one corner, four middle-aged men shouted loudest and longest, hugging each other as tears of joy streamed down their cheeks.
The news on Vinny, thought Dial-A-Smile, was clearly upbeat. “Thank God,” he whispered, before casually removing the towels. On this night of nights there would be time, after all, for a late one.
Bets of the week
1pt (each-way) Pádraig Harrington in Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (20/1, William Hil l)
2.5pts (lay Munster to beat Leinster in RaboDirect Pro 12 (12/5, Boylesports, liability 6pts)