Gaels hit jackpot as news of Lotto win brings a smile
At a minute past two, Lugs’ phone rang. “It’s Nobby!” he cried. “Stall the digger, lads. Stall the digger,” he commanded. Lugs pressed the answer button. “Well? Give it to us with both barrels,” he barked.
There was a silence, for no more than five seconds but it seemed longer. Then, Lugs threw his phone aloft and roared at the top of his lungs.
“We got the whole damned lot. A hundred bloody grand! A hundred bloody grand!”
It was the cue for bedlam by Bull Island as cheers rang out across the bay, there were hugs and tears, Gaels of laughter and even a high five between Vinny and his hulking nemesis, Lugs.
Against the odds, Dial-A-Smile caught the mood. “I think we have cause for celebration. The drinks, and I mean one per man, are on the house. Well done, lads. As I always say, if you’re not in, you can’t win.”
Vinny did a double-take at Dial-A-Smile’s gesture, which was out of keeping with Foley’s stingy policy of refusing as much as a Christmas glass of punch for its loyal customers. Still, he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. “Pint of stout for me please, Dialler,” he said.
It was the first of many, each one as majestic as the one which preceded it. Right through the cards at Fairyhouse and Leicester, the club GAA and the Premier League footie at Carrow Road, the pints flowed as the Gaels plotted a brighter future.
Only it wasn’t all so bright. It was Nipper Normanton, a lively corner forward in his prime, who pointed out that the hard work was only starting. “We guaranteed in our application to match the sum we were looking for. Where in the name of the Seven Sinbads are we going to find €100,000?
“And even if we found a Fairy Godmother, we’d still need another 50 grand on top of that for dressing rooms and some parking space. Considering we don’t have a tin pot to pee in, I’d say the chances of us cashing in the sports grant cheque are somewhere between slim and none.”
There was a silence as Nipper’s caution was absorbed. As a sobering mood descended on the diehard Gaels, the door burst open and Nobby Stokes dashed in. “Have yiz heard, lads?”
Vinny frowned. “Of course we have, sure you told us,” he said. “Not that news,” said Nobby. “The news from the Spar around the corner. A winning Lottery ticket was sold there last night for a half share in a €2.5m jackpot. Someone around here is wearing a very big smile.”
As the lads shook their head at the improbability of it all, Vinny stroked his fleshy chins. He had an inkling whose smile he should be looking out for.
Bets of the week
1pt each-way Hello Bud in Becher Chase (16/1, Boylesports)
2pts Ballymun Kickhams to beat Portlaoise in Leinster SFC Club final by 1-3 pts (5/2, Paddy Power)
2pts Lay Celtic to beat Spartak Moscow in Champions League (1/2, Bluesquare, liability 3pts)