Grand day out for Arsenal Titans as ‘woeful’ Down are not out just yet

Joe Brolly yet again manages to endear himself further to Tyrone folk with Seán Cavanagh remarks

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger  is lifted by his players as they celebrate their victory against Hull City in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Reuters

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is lifted by his players as they celebrate their victory against Hull City in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Reuters

 

So, you watch the FA Cup final while recording the clashing La Liga decider and then Clive Tyldesley tells you the result which ruins it but you try to watch it any way only for the man over on Sky to say at half-time, when it’s tingle-a-rama, “for those of you on Sky Sports 4 please turn over to Sky Sports 1 right now”.

But you’re over at Wembley at the time watching Arsenal go to Hull and back so you miss the warning so you have no clue that you should press record for Sky Sports 1 to see the second La Liga half.

Ah look.

So you end up with a recording of Bristol v Rotherham Titans in the rugby Greene King IPA Championship semi-finals – seriously – with Alex Payne telling you “there’s a real crackle around here!” in a venue that looked like someone’s back garden. And Titans head coach Lee Blackett assuring you “it’s a massive game, there’s no doubt about it”, with you howling back “but NOT as big as flippin” Barca v Atletico!1!1!’.

And even if you wanted to know if Bristol or the Titans prevailed, which you didn’t, the “End of Programme” message ensured you would never find out.

Apart from that, Saturday was grand. And grand in the end, too, for the Arsenal Titans after a tricky-ish start, two down after eight minutes not an ideal start to their quest to end a trophy drought that dated back to when The Irish Farmers Association celebrated its 50th anniversary. They’re 59 now.

Little wonder the Arsenal players gave Arsene the bumps after the game. Adrian Chiles: “Is this anything you ever considered doing to Sir Alex Ferguson, Roy?” Roy: “Yeah, we’d like to throw him up - and not catch him.” Ooooh.

Lee Dixon and Tim Sherwood gasped, Adrian chuckled, Roy gnawed on his flexing cheek muscles. There’s a lotta healing to be done.

Unpleasant knock
And there’s a bit of healing to be done too for Brian O’Driscoll after that unpleasant knock in Saturday evening’s Dutch Multinational Banking And Financial Services Pro 12 semi-final against Ulster, a competition which cynics say is to the rugby Beer Cup as the FA Cup is to the Champions League. Kind of: “Meh.”

But, as Arsene would tell you, a cup’s a cup, and this year the Rabo thingie is big because it’s prolonging our BOD-viewing-time. “The long goodbye gets even longer,” as Hugh Cahill put it when the camera picked out the poor concussed fella in the stands as his team-mates over-turned Ulster’s Hull-like 9-0 advantage.

There were, you can be sure, those who doubted Leinster could complete the comeback, but complete it they did, in a Down-ish-like manner.

After the first half in Omagh yesterday, the RTÉ lads – including debutant Tomás Ó Sé (“Hopefully I’ll get a word in”) – appeared to have lost the will to live. “Down’s football has been only woeful . . sometimes you think there are a lot better things you could be doing on a Sunday than sitting watching that stuff,” said Joe Brolly, and Tomas was left concluding the only way was up in his punditry life. Down and dusted? Colm O’Rourke reckoned so. “I would consider that at this stage this game is over because Down are even worse than I thought they were going to be,” he said, while Tomás demanded a raise before agreeing to watch the second half.

But. Down – but not out.

A draw in the end, a contentious decision or two along the way, Joe endearing himself further to Tyrone folk by alleging his old buddy Seán Cavanagh took a dive to earn a free. “IT’S ONE OF THE MAN’S SPECIALITIES, FOR GAAAAAAAAAAAWD’S SAKE,” he said calmly, having already ruled himself out of the running for the “Friend of Mayo 2014” award by suggesting their players had zilch character. “Ah Jesus Joe,” said Michael Lyster’s eyes.

We’re up and running. (Clive Tyldesley: “The Dubs and Kilkenny win the 2014 All-Irelands.” Hush).

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