Reds get Blues in golf but bounce back in Croker

Gobsmacking comebacks meet hyperbolic pundits as Europe, Cork and others celebrate

Breathtaking. Simply breathtaking. The pride. The passion. The emotion. The crowd. The atmosphere. The colour. The leadership. The unity. The teamwork. The camaraderie. The highs. The lows. The thrills. The spills. The ecstasy. And the despair. All brought to us live by Sky Sports.

Some people would have missed West Brom v Burnley, though, perhaps tuned in to the Ryder Cup, "the doggonest thing I've ever seen," as Butch Harmon said of the final day's action. "Maaaaaaaaan, this is something special," he emoted. "Can we have another Ryder Cup next week," he asked. (No Butch, you most certainly cannot).

If Tom Watson’s Reds thought they had their problems trailing by four points to the Blues yesterday morning, at least they had a whole day to sort it out - Eamonn Ryan’s Reds, over at Croke Park, had just 15 minutes to deal with a 10 point deficit, the Blues positively cruising.

Cork v Dublin in the All-Ireland football final, a meeting of old buds.


"You just go out and play it like it's your back garden," Cork captain Briege Corkery had said on Thank GAA It's Friday, but when you're going for your ninth All Ireland football title in 10 years, and, like Rena Buckley and Angela Walsh, a multiple camogie All-Ireland winner to boot, you've probably played in Croke Park more often than in your back garden. So, it's familiar turf.

(“One of the few things that Briege Corkery hasn’t won is the ploughing championships,” said Daire O’Brien, at which point we saw her commandeering a tractor. So, that’ll be next).

A gobsmacking comeback, Dublin swept away by a tidal wave of scores, “maaaaaaaaan, this is something special,” Butch would have said, if he’d channel-hopped to TG4. Tom could only purr at the Red Rally.

Nine in ten, then, although Brian Cody and Henry Shefflin would put the Cork team in the ha'penny place, the pair of them just one short of 11 after Saturday's replay triumph. Cork man Tomas Mulcahy doffed his cap. Then put it back on again. "Jesus, I hope they don't start talking about going for number 11, give us all a break and be happy with ten." True.

Cyril Farrell nearly choked on his wine gum, which Michael Lyster told us he had trouble swallowing during the ad break, so they feared he'd be mute while Ger Loughnane and Tomas filled the silence.

And there was a serious shortage of silence over at Gleneagles, prompting Patrick Reed to advise the crowd to ssssssssh, in a slightly manic way (Jack Nicklaus in the Sky commentary box: "What in the world is he doing?! He's inciting a riot!"), but that was the day that was in it: emotional.

Before we teed off, Paul McGinley tried but, initially, failed to remember the key word he’d shared with his team the night before - “concentrate” - so that didn’t bode well, but after a rocky start, things began to run smoothly.

Not least with Graeme McDowell, who, after playing like a drain early on, trailing in a Cork-esque kind of way, came back to impossibly beat Jordan Spieth. "Unbeleebable," said Miguel Angel Jimenez, before man-hugging him (cue Sky slo-mo), then inserting his cigar back in his mouth. (Did we lose count, or did the European Ryder Cup team have more captains, or assistant captains, than the Irish army?)

So, all looking swell for Europe, Jack’s earlier suggestion that everyone would turn off their tellies if it became a non-contest by lunchtime - at which point Sky said ‘thanks Jack, bye now’ - looking accurate-ish.

“Jack, have you any advice for your team?”

“Win ‘em all!”

And with that he was gone.

On we went and Rory was Rory, as was Justin Rose. Hunter Mahan almost disappeared over the horizon, but back came Justin for a half. "And a half point is a half a point," he said, "but like we did on Saturday night, it's actually a full point in terms of the differential between the two teams."

Pretending we understood that, we moved on to Jamie Donaldson and his useful shot that won the Ryder Cup for Europe.

And the crowd went wild.

"Scenes that only happen at a Ryder Cup," said Ewen Murray, who obviously missed West Brom v Burnley, him being busy and all.

All over by 4.30, then, Team Europe left pretending they cared about the outcome of poor auld Victor Dubuisson’s clash with Zach Johnson, neither Paul nor Jamie watching because they were close to making love live on air as they exchanged expressions of affection.

“The whole of the continent is proud to stand behind these 12 players in victory,” said Paul, perhaps anticipating open top bus rides through the capitals of Poland, Turkey, Lithuania, Belarus and such like.

Job done. A weekend Kilkennt, West Brom, Cork and Europe will never forget.