Thank God the game was played before Lent had begun. Celtic never deserved to win the match thanks to some schoolboy errors, but the defensive tactics employed by the Juve players, particularly on corners and on Gary Hooper, were enough to drive a man to drink. And they did!
I’ve been off it ever since, using Lent as an excuse, but at least those few pints nullified the frustrations of watching Juventus play like that.
Even thinking about it now has me yearning for a pint.
(Cathal Dervan is sports editor of the Irish Sun newspaper in Dublin)
GAA: Shane Curran is the larger than life 42-year-old goalkeeper who plays with the St. Brigid’s club and used to play for Roscommon. He is also a great character whose celebration at the end of Saturday’s win over Crossmaglen in the All-Ireland made many of our papers in photographic terms.
Minutes before that shot was taken, Curran was upended when his face came into contact with an opposition player as he celebrated a Brigid’s goal at the other end of the field.
Not that he holds a grudge towards the opponent who left him with a bloody nose. He told RTE, “We got the goal, and it’s an emotional time when you get a goal in the dying minutes of a match and as I was going back I think I might have run into a lad’s hand.
“I don’t know whether he meant it or not but it certainly connected with a rather big nose anyhow. I didn’t even see him being sent off. I was on the ground!”
Now that’s a tale Curran will get to tell for many years to come.
GAA: There were some strange sights on GAA fields over the weekend. In Wexford, the county under-21 had to call a halt to training for a few minutes on Sunday when a camel ran onto the pitch. The animal, it transpired, was from a circus based nearby.
Then on Sunday, up the road in County Meath, players from Donaghmore and Seneschalstown forgot their league rivalry when they came together to push an ambulance after it got stuck on the sodden pitch after an injury to a player. Teamwork they call it.
GAA: The Gaelic games family lost another stalwart last weekend when legendary RTE broadcaster Sean Og O Ceallachain died at the age of 89. For those of us of a certain age, Sunday evenings were never the same without Sean Og’s round-up of GAA results from around the country. Having met him on more than one occasion, I can also confirm that he was a gentleman.
HURLING: Henry Shefflin’s injury problems are reported elsewhere in the Irish Voice, with Kilkenny boss Brian Cody unsure when the great man will be back, but back he will be. History beckons for Shefflin next summer, and don’t bet against him winning a record 10th All-Ireland title with the Cats, injury or no injury.
RUGBY: Ireland will be without Jonny Sexton, Tommy Bowe, Cian Healy, Mike McCarthy, Simon Zebo and Gordon D’Arcy for a variety of reasons when they play Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday, a game Declan Kidney has to win apparently to keep his job beyond the summer. Not much to ask, is it?
SOCCER: You gotta love the name of the English defender who’s just signed for Airtricity League side Limerick – he’s called Robbie Williams. Does he say “take that” when he makes a tackle? Sorry.
HERO OF THE WEEK
You just know Neil Lennon has a point when he lambasts a referee for his poor performance and UEFA don’t punish him for it. The Celtic boss was dead right to question the Spanish official’s performance in charge of their Champions League showdown with Juventus last week when his team should have had at least one penalty. They were never going to win the game, but at least their manager was brave enough to speak the truth afterwards. The fact UEFA didn’t punish him means they know Lennon was telling the truth as well.
IDIOTS OF THE WEEK
The flag protests in Northern Ireland took a turn on Saturday when loyalists caused the North Belfast derby between Cliftonville and Crusaders at Seaview to be postponed. What a protest about a Union Jack flag has to do with a football match is still beyond me. Surely they can make their point elsewhere.
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