It was upon arrival at the York racecourse last Friday the 8th of October that yours truly befriended a group of racing enthusiasts, the Ballyboys from Kilcock and ended up enjoying some pimms with them on the lawn and some craic over the two days racing.I was lucky in a way to meet up with these fine gentlemen as it was my first time racing in England and since I was there to do a review on the famous track, what better way to start than by obtaining some information and stories from five men who had seemingly done it all before.First things first,what is pimms i hear you ask?Well it’s a cool refreshing alcoholic beverage consisting of gin,lemonade and pimms itself and throw in some ice and sliced fruit such as apple and orange and you have the perefect drink to enjoy on a nice,hot day such as the one we had on friday.The British beverage is almost as much a tradition as the cup of the tea and the British down the gin-based drink by the gallon on hot summer months.So I knew it was going to be special kind of weekend when it started by me sharing a pimms with five Irish men calling themselves the Ballyboys and not a Guinness!! But that is the glory of the york races as I found out, whether you want to dress up in your finest collar and tie and enter the county stand or go casual and mingle with the rest it’s a great day out regardless which you choose. I went for the former and paid the £24 entrance fee which also got me the day’s race card and the badge for the county stand and other restricted areas. It turned out to be the right choice and i would recceomend it to anyone wishing to travel there next year(I say next year because as it turned out this was the last meeting of the year at York,which only added to the carnival athmosphere).With the large crowd there the county stand gives you the opportunity to take a seat every now and then and watch the races unfold in comfort.So with my pimms drank,my race card studied and my tips from the Ballyboys stowed away, I set off to explore the place, find my feet so to say which I found rather easy as though York holds a large crowd, it is small and compact to get around, the longest walk been from the parade ring to the betting ring. The most impressive thing I found was the view you have of the horses coming down the home straight as i was looking at them head on, something i’ve never experienced here in Ireland. And it was there cheered home my two winners Rude Girl @ 4-1 in the 3:55 and Veiled Applause @7-2 in the 5:00.But it was also there I was a shoulder to cry on for one of my new friends as he failed to back a horse he had been on about all day..Justonefortheroad, a 25-1 winner who romped home in the 3:20.But in all it was a most enjoyable first days racing in England for me and I had the added bonus of getting to meet ex soccer star Alan Shearer after his horse Justonefortheroad was victorious. So in all I was 100% sure of a return the following day and would highly recommend a day at the York races, the people are friendly, the food is second to none, you can do a day in the champagne bar or eat hot dogs outside of the county stand but if it’s fish your into as I was my money is on the little cold fish bar just behind the parade ring, it’s where I bid farewell to The Ballyboys…until saturday.
People that don’t like football have been saying to me for years that they would rather watch paint dry than watch a soccer game on tv..but i have always disagreed with them and defended the so called ”beautiful” game! But not anymore,either i am getting older and my interests’ are changing or soccer really has become(or always has been) just plain boring but i find myself agreeing with these aforementioned people.Last night was the final nail in the coffin,my playstation broke so i couldn’t play soccer on it,which is not boring i may add so i found myself twiddling my thumbs wondering what to do.A few years ago I wouldn’t of had this problem as i would have spent all day preparing and talking about the night’s games and then all night watching it.So last night with nothing else to do I sat down to watch the man united v rangers game,well spare me such tripe,united were usless and couldn’t break rangers down who in turn never got out of their on half more than five times as they decieded to play a 9-1 formation….great for the beautiful game that was.Anyway they went away happy with their 0-0 draw but it left me and i’m sure many more flailing soccer fans with the question whether or not to waste a night by watching that muck!! The most interesting thing about it,and it seems to be the norm lately,was the talk of wayne rooney’s goings on with with a lady other than his wife…would you blame him when he has to play in games like that every week..he needs something to get some excitemnent going.Peter crouch is the same,Ashley cole etc etc.It must have been the boring soccer they played in south africa that did it for these lads as they all play for england…so why don’t the irish lads stray from their wives and girlfriends??They must have great will power because they play the most boring soccer in the world.I’ve never seen them perform in the flesh but the tv is enough.They get the ball,hoof it up to the strikers and hope for the best from there.That was grand when we had niall quinn and tony cascarino and a small sriker off them but now we have two small strikers!!Anyway it must ”work”,we beat the mighty andorra last week 3-1 and even the higlights programme of that was boring.God help the people that paid upto 70euro into the new (half-empty,half-full) aviva stadium.But Ireland have always been boring so ill forgive them.Ok i don’t want to harp on too long and have you all think i’m some aul lad with a chip on his shoulder about soccer cos i come from a staunch gaa family or something but my last example is the world cup…I couldn’t wait for it,i had teams drawn out for people, a wall chart up, i was excited at seeing messi,kaka,rooney and so on…i wasn’t let down, i seen messy alright,messy game after messy game.Everyone was talking about how bad it was and then after a month of it they topped it all off with the worst ever world cup final between spain and holland.yes spain and holland,you would expect a bit of flair,great passing,goals.we got one goal and about 100fouls from holland to ruin the game.Good thing about the world cup,it’s not on for another four years.Anyway lets hope i get the playstation fixed soon.oh i forgot to say after like fifteen years of having sky sports i got rid of it this year.WHY? because soccer is boring now and thats all i had it for.But i will miss the cricket!!!!
TO THE TUNE OF JOXER GOES TO STUTTGART
It was in the year of 08 in the lovely month of may when the gatflys were swarming and the red was baling the hay, oh with sterling and sandwiches for Downroyal we began, Coxer packed his northy phrasebook and dvd money for ann! Some of the syndicate had never been over the border before twas the first time Lar put his foot outside of his back door but before we left for Ulster we knew we’d need a plan so we all agree that Coxer was the man to drive the van
In Antrim the m1 twas like the castle road there was every make of car and bus all carrying the full load, from ford transits and hi-aces and an old Bedford from mulhussey , with the engine overheating from long hauling the bag of money.
There were fans from newtownmoyaghey,calgath,mulhussey and kilcock all looked after by scobby like a shepherd tends his flock, coxer met a trainers daughter on the banks of the river bann and told her she’d be welcome in longtown while his wife’s off getting a tan! As soon as we found downroyal we got the horse box in a ring, eric walked striker and Bernard began to sing. The syndicate gathered from everywhere, attracted by the sound, the first rendition of carrickfergus in Ulster and coxer passed the flagon round.
But the session it ended when we’d emptied the flagon and stout and some dozed off just as the first race broke out…one by one we fell asleep, coxer had a dream, he dreamt himself, Vincent and scobby would once again be a winning team, coxer dreamt that they all agreed on eric to lead straight away and that striker was to only eat half of red’s bale of hay, but tempers they began to rise, patience thinning to a man, Vincent wanted berry but coxer wanted kinane!! The dream turned into a nightmare, coxer hit scobby an almighty whack who wanted to bring Charlie swan and lester Piggott back.The cock crew as if morning, it crew both loud and shrill and coxer woke up in the vip bar, many miles from harris’ hill.
Just before the race none of the experts gave us the slightest chance, they said that ‘romeos on fire’ would lead striker on a merry dance.Romeo and funatfuntasia for victory they were set until fran got striker out and gave him a gentle pet! What happened next is history, brought tears to tesses’ eyes, oh that day will be the highlight of many of our lives. Coxer climbed right over the top and the last time he was seen was arm in arm with frank reilly singing revenge for bohermeen.
Now lars back inside his door,he’s living with me mam and scobby has been proclaimed an honourary calgath man. But hey da remember the trainer’s daughter on the banks of the river bann?? Well didn’t she show up in longtown last week and….
Striking force is back in his stable, happy with his three-in-a-row and the syndicate lived up to its name, last out of davey’s, where boy the drink did flow!!!
KILDARE LADIES JUNIOR B CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 2:
As the people of Kilcock argued and debated about the new one way traffic system for the town,their senior ladies football team were creating some one way traffic of their own without any objections as they defeated Athgarvan by sixteen points in the Junior b championship at Branganstown on Tuesday17th last. The home side needed to bounce back quickly after a disappointing loss to Na Fianna in the opening round and they did so in some style,aided by the return to action of Emma Rochford from holidays. Minor player Grace White got the ball rolling slotting over the games first two points after some great work from Shona and Orla Cagney respectively before Athgarvan responded with a well worked point of their own.Kilcock struck the first goal of the game when the aforementioned Orla Cagney hit what looked like an effort for a point but it sailed in over the keeper’s head and into the back of the net. That score seemed to give the girls in green and gold the impetus to push on as they hit over three unanswered points,two from Rochford(one a free) and one from Orla Cagney.The forwards were linking up great together and the midfield were winning their fair share of possession from the kick outs but it would be unfair not to mention goalkeeper Eimear Kelly and her six defenders infront of her as they kept any Athgarvan attack at bay especially Bernie Durkan and Shona Cagney.The travelling team who are based in the Curragh did manage to break through and pop over two more points with ten minutes to go to the interval but Kilcock pushed on again with terrific individual scores from corner forward Katie Devine and two from midfielder Caoimhe Fagan just before the whistle sounded for half time
With Kilcock now playing up the steep hill in the second half it was thought that Athgarvan might play themselves back into contention and them thoughts became reality when they kicked over the halves first point but almost immediately parity was restored with two nicely taken points from half-time substitute Fiona Campion and the mercurial White. The next ten minutes were to kill the game as a contest as Kilcock netted two further goals through Devine and Orla Cagney.They did have to weather the storm a bit as Athgaravan tried to mount a comeback but the home sides defence was sweeping up everything thrown at them with Linda Byrne and Mary Tighe to the fore.Devine,Rochford and White all added further points in between three points for Athgarvan but the biggest cheer of the night went to goalie Eimear Kelly as she pulled off a superb save from the penaly spot to compound Athgarevan’s woes.When the referee brought the curtain down on an entertaing game, Kilcock were full value for their sixteen point victory and can now look forward to next week where manager John Mulligan knows stiffer tests await him and his improving side. Best for Kilcock were goalie Kelly while Bernie Durkan and Shona Cagney shored things up in defence,Sheena Byrne never stopped working in midfield supplying Devine,Rochford and White with the perfect balls that they duly dispatched over the bar but player of the game by a long shot was Orla Cagney who not only kept the score board ticking over but linked the defence and forwards with numerous hard working runs all night..After the game Mulligan said:’’I’m delighted with the girls response to last week,they all worked hard tonight and they got their rewards.myself and the selectors changed a few things from last week and asked some the girls to play in different positions and in fairness to them they did it with minimum fuss and did the job we asked of them.we know well face tougher opposition but well train again Thursday and go from there but i’m delighted with them tonight’’.
Subs:f.campion(0:01) for a.divilly l.keane for k.devine d.mulvihill for e.rochford k.ni’mhuiriherteagh for e.robinson
WIDES: 11 8
YELLOW CARDS: 0 1
RED CARDS: 0 0
GOALS: 3 0
POINTS: 14 7
PLAYER OF GAME: O.CAGNEY
Junior B Championship:Round1
Na Fianna 3:06
The Kilcock senior ladies team travelled to Allenwood on Tuesday evening the 10th of August to take on Na Fianna in the first round of the junior b championship but came out on the wrong end of the result albeit after a great effrot and determination from all of the team.After just failing to make the league final a few weeks prior to this the girls were in good shape after some intense training and preperation from team manager john mulligan and his team of selectors.However it was Na Fianna who were quicker out of the blocks and they raced into a two point lead after only four minutes and it could of been worse for Kilcock had it not been for d excellent goalkeeping of Eimear Kelly,mixed with some poor shooting from Na Fianna.Grace White settled Kilcock down after seven minutes with a nicely taken point after some good work down the left wing from sheena byrne and emma robinson.Na Fianna responded straight away with a well worked goal before fiona
campion struck a superb right footed shot that sailed over the bar from all of thirty-five yards for kilcock.There was to be only one more score in the remaining fifteen minutes of the opening half and that fell the way of the ladies from allenwood to leave the half time score..kilcock 0:02 na fianna 2:02
With the sun beginning to set beneath the trees(much to the delight of the blinded large crowd in attendance),kilcock re-emerged for the second half with the bit between their teeth and whatever manager jon mulligan said to them truly worked as they lay siege on the na fianna goal during the early exchanges.Emma robinson reduced the defecit to three points with a wonder goal from 25yards that was blasted to the roof of the net.two more points followed for the away side,the first a great individual score from white,the latter a simple tap over for campion when all some of her team mates around her seemed scared of putting the ball between the posts.With the game hanging in the balance,both teams fought tooth and nail for every ball in true championship manner,with na fianna been rewarded for thier efforts with a further goal and two points although it could have been more had it not been for the heroics of kelly in the kilcock goal and her defenders infront of her.Orla cagney goaled for kilcock with what was another long distance blast to the net.with just minutes remaing,white got her third point of the day for kilcock to reduce the margain to two points but na fianna made sure of victory late on with two unanswered points.Kilcock did have a chance to get a goal back from the penalty spot in injury time after sheena byrne was halued down in the box but the unlucky white saw her well placed penalty rebound off the bar.Best for kilcock were eimear kelly in goal while mary tighe and linda byrne worked hard all night in defence.orla cagney covered every blade of grass in midfield and grace white kept the score board ticking over upfront.While na fianna took home the two points,kilcock can be proud of their performance and go away and bulid on it for the next round.Afterwards mulligan said.”i’m delighted with my teams effort in the second half and though i never usually get worked up at half time i felt i had to today after what was a poor showing in the first period and i was happy with the positive reaction from the girls and we can now look forward to next week
Kilcock team:e.kelly,m.tighe,b.durkan,r.watson,c.fagan,s.cagney(c),l.byrne,o.cagney,k.devine,g.white,f.campion,s.byrne,k.byrne,e.robinson,k ni mhuirteagh Subs:c.leonard for r.watson