It’s best to stay indoors during a downpour of sport

TV View: Perhaps the greatest challenge was keeping an eye on Everton v Bournemouth, Leeds v Spurs and Limerick v Cork all at the same time

Apparently it was sunny over the weekend. But when you’re keeping an eye on the end of the WSL season, a penalty shoot-out in the Championship play-off final, Borussia Dortmund v Mainz, Munster taking on the Stormers, our Republic of Ireland young fellas playing Spain, Dublin and Galway and Limerick and Cork in the hurling…..

…. and the final stage of the Giro d’Italia, blurry clips of Rhasidat Adeleke being awesome again, the Scottish women’s cup final with Limerick’s Claire O’Riordan the player of the match (or “O’Ryer-dun”, as BBC Scotland insisted on calling her) and the climax of the Premier League season, – if you’d told us it was snowing we’d have been in no position to doubt you.

“You’ll find me tomorrow in north London on a park bench with a bottle of gin,” Emma Hayes told Sky after her Chelsea side won its fourth WSL title in a row. Come the end of the weekend you’d have been tempted to join her.

Perhaps the greatest challenge – and have some sympathy here, the struggle was real – was keeping an eye on Everton v Bournemouth, Leeds v Spurs and Limerick v Cork all at the same time, the first two contests, in contrast to the third, resembling a “Grand National for disappointed also rans”.


Once Leeds went a goal down, at which point their supporters began singing “que sera sera, whatever will be, will be, we’re going to Coventry”, it was a chance to check in on the hurling.

All square at half time between Limerick and Cork, Joanne Cantwell dusting down her abacus. “Waterford are leading Tipperary by 17 points to 8 at half time – so a draw here at the Gaelic Grounds combined with a defeat of five points or more by Tipp is the only way Tipp can exit the Championship, so if things stay as they stand Tipp will go out and Clare will play Cork and ...”.

If Anthony Daly had seen snow fall on the Gaelic Grounds on the eve of June he wouldn’t have looked more confused.

Us too. Although, mercifully, the Premier League permutations were less complex, especially after Leicester took the lead against West Ham while Everton were still using a GPS in an attempt to locate the goal, the chances of them finding it as likely as Donal Og paying in to see a Tailteann Cup game.

“Everton have only ever been relegated twice in their entire history, the last time when George VI was the monarch,” Rob Hawthorne reminded us, the atmosphere in Goodison Park by then a mix of the funereal and the furious as their lads seemed intent on abdicating their slot in the Premier League.

Back in Limerick, it was, well, fast and furious. Breathless in fact. Michael Duignan described the spectacle as “one of the maddest games” he’d ever seen, “and I’m a long time up here in this commentary box”.

Limerick won by a point – rumours of their demise, etc – and a single-score victory was all Everton needed too.

It’s at times like this that you can spend as much time watching the watching crowds than watching the games, their response to nerve-shredding climaxes quite often as absorbing as the fare on the pitch. Back in the day, of course, they had transistor radios glued to their ears, now it’s interweb apps and such like.

Some day a thesis will be written (actually, it probably has already) on the tendency for the stressed male supporter – see the Gaelic Grounds or Goodison Park – to cradle the back of his head with his hands, while the female version more generally smothers her face.

This phenomenon was first noted in James Crombie’s one-for-the-ages photo of the crowd waiting for Kerry’s Sean O’Shea to take that – as it proved – match-winning free against Dublin in Croke Park last year.

We need anthropology to delve into this.

Although, Peter O’Mahony somewhat debunked this observation by smothering his face in his hands, rather than cradling the back of his head, when man of the match John Hodnett summed up Munster’s URC triumph live on telly. “Yeah, look, f**k it, some win in fairness.” The moment of the season, that.

Meanwhile there’s a fair chance every child born in the blue half of Merseyside in the next few months will be named Abdoulaye, boy or girl, after Doucoure scored the goal that prevented their abdication from the Premier League.

Sport? How the hell could you not love it?