Forget Elm Street, it was Nightmare in Parnell Park for Galway
Jubilant Roscommon and their fans only ones celebrating in the city of the tribes
Massed ranks of the Roscommon faithful celebrate on the pitch following the Connacht final win over Galway at Pearse Stadium in Salthill. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho
There’s a small chance that the footballers of Thailand and Roscommon might not know this, so it possibly won’t further elevate their jubilation levels, but they are the joint winners of our prestigious ‘Most Exuberant Celebration of the Weekend As Witnessed On Our Tellies’ award, just nudging out the hurlers of Dublin after their victory over Galway and the cricket fans of India when their nation romped to victory at Old Trafford.
Sweden, Galway, Galway and Pakistan were on the receiving end of this joyousness, so apologies to all, there’s no intention at all to rub it in, but the sea of smiley faces on our telly screens over those 48 hours would have left you feeling so warm it would almost make up for there being divil a sign of summer.
“The primrose and the blue! They’re shining! They’re smiling! They’re joyful! They’re tearful! But above all else, they’re Connacht champions!”
So said Marty Morrissey, not of Thailand but of Roscommon after they saw off Galway in the Connacht final, and so delirious were the scenes you could even forgive Marty for declaring that the Rossies had won the Ulster title for the 23rd time.
According to Google Maps, it’s only 56.7km from Boyle to Belcoo, so they’re just a tectonic shift away from being part of the seven counties, so it was an easy enough mistake to make.
Thailand, meanwhile, experienced a tectonic shift themselves when they scored against Sweden, albeit in a 1-5 loss, their happiness on doing so almost enough to flush yer cynicism down the loo.
“Bualadh bos,” hollered TG4’s Marcus Ó Buachalla when Kanjana Sung-Ngoen scored for the team that had been on the receiving end of much of the week’s World Cup chat following their 0-13 defeat by the US of A, who celebrated even the 13th like it’d be the last goal they’d ever score in international football.
“Should they have been more bashful,” Jacqui Hurley asked Richie Sadlier. “No! Well…..”. You couldn’t but share his indecision.
“Different universes entirely,” he concluded of the two teams, Thailand receiving as much support from their powers-that-be as the Pakistan bowlers received from the Indian supporters at Old Trafford.
(“Is he the Rolls Royce of batting,” Ramiz Raja asked about of Rohit Sharma. “Yeah,” said Nasser Hussein, “and there’s a Lamborghini at the other end with a couple of Ferraris still to come,” he added, the strength of India’s batting line-up leaving him fearing Pakistan’s bowlers would have a collective crick in their necks from watching their deliveries dispatched to the heavens).
“I think Thailand are in for a long night,” Megan Campbell had said pre-match, and she wasn’t wrong, although anyone who concluded this was an indictment of women’s football didn’t watch our boys’ recent joust with Gibraltar.
Come Sunday and there we were watching the World Cup clash of Sweden and Thailand in Nice live on TG4 and Marcus fáilte romhating us and telling us there wasn’t a scamall in the spéir, and then expressing his exhilaration over the emotion of the Thailand “bainisteoir” when her girls scored. If this is our new telly normal, you can only give it a hug.
The US might well have won by more than 13 if it wasn’t for Christiane Endler. “A red hot Chile keeper,” as Gabby Logan unapologetically described the Chilli Pepper after a performance bordering on the bonkers.
Hope Solo was beaming come full-time, in a ‘told you so’ kind of way. Before kick-off she’d told us that Endler was the best goalkeeper in the tournament, so we just took that as a dig at Alyssa Naeher, the woman who inherited Hope’s No 1 Murikan jersey, Hope not being shy with the digs. US coach Jill Ellis?
“She relies heavily on her assistant coaches, she cracks under the pressure quite a bit,” she said. Hope thereby sealed our ‘Saucer, Cream’ award.
Jamesie O’Connor and Nasser Hussain, meanwhile, share the award for ‘Most Valiant Attempt to Explain The Inexplicable’ after Jamesie tried to clarify the permutations in the Leinster hurling championship ahead of Saturday’s two games, and Nasser had a go at decoding the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method for us. A method that left Pakistan needing 136 off 30 balls after the rain desisted from pelting down in Manchester. Mission totally Impossible.
Galway’s mission seemed more doable. Although, as Jamesie warned: “The nightmare scenario for Galway is if they lose in Parnell Park and Kilkenny v Wexford ends in a draw they’re out of the All Ireland series.”
Forget Elm Street, it was a nightmare in Parnell Park.
For the bulk of us on this island the summer has yet to begin, for the Galway hurlers it’s all over before they even had a chance to whip out their Factor 50.