That two Byrnes did themselves a favour for their futures in the blue and bluer gansey of Dublin in the opening game of this year’s league was particularly appropriate.
Rabbie himself would have approved: after all, it was January 25th. Burns’s Nacht. In fact I had an agonising choice to make on the same night:
- Should I go or should I stay?
Talk about a, erm, Clash.
Should I go to the Rabbie Burns fling (with Haggis by Hamish) in the tavern here in Malta known as, yes, We 5.
The 5 refers to the Five flags on display outside – Scottish, Welsh, Norn Irish, English and oh, yes, British- this watering hole for We Band of Brothers, aka ex Servicemen of HMF. Not, alas, a true-blue Dubs flag in sight, fusiliers or otherwise.
In the end I compromised: I stayed in and watched GAAGO which was showing, alive alive o, the Dublin v Kerry clash.
The symmetry which the two Byrnes brought to the occasion was admirable: one a back, going forward; the other a forward, foraging backwards. Davy Byrne (no, ma’am, he did not change his name by deed poll to give himself an unfair advantage in order to nail down a plaice: indeed, he is too moral and public-spirited for that class of carry out) is a firm believer in the age-old adage: attack-ack-ack-ack is the best form of defence, as Billy Joel might put it.
Having, as captain of the Dublin All-Ireland winning captain in 2012, helped Daniel Radcliffe, actor, to develop a taste for celebrity celebration, Davy Byrne has progressed from Hogwarts to Hill 16 in the city of Potter, Maureen and Harry. Pedants will point to his failure to stop the other David, Clifford, from hitting the onion sack a whack in the manner wondrous in the first half.
Fie for Pedants! David Byrne is a polished footballer, not a pendant. No puller and drager, he.
As for the other Byrne, Aaron. He looks like a chap who never rhymes Yale with fail. Indeed, if he keeps playing with the same flair and air of someone who casually knows how to unlock the sercurest of defences then the City Fathers will be compelled to rename Aran Quay in his honour. Let AB keep getting stuck in.
Conor McHugh, your honour, is so good he could be related to Ryan McHugh. Which reminds one: if David Clifford hailed from Lifford and not from the county of O’Connell, then Tyrconnell with the Masterly Michael Murphy also in the line out would have Wee Daniel O’ Donnell remastering:
-Sam Enchanted Evening.
The Kilkenny called Ciarán displayed a specific skill he had been inclined to be more prolific with during his Under 21-days but has been more close-fisted with since going senior: the vertical take off. No better exponent from the Downunder.
(Hurling snobs look away, look away: down in the other Kilkenny of St. Ciarán the following day it was reported on GAAGO and sources else, that the hearts of the B. and Ambers are marble-black as those of the B. and Tans. Nowlan says No! to a Dublin revival. Let’s hope this is but an aberration once again and that laethanta níos gile are in store for na hiománaithe of Dubh Linn).
To finish where one came in: Burns’s Nacht. Lovers of the Red, Red Rose from the Mull of Kintyre to Mulligan’s will have found plenty to mull over in Croker last Saturday: from Peno to Biro, Dean Rock’s to the Ref’s respectively. There was gore galore (ask Niall Skully) while no one rose higher than Brian Fenton.
The Raheny Meanie continues to act like he owns the ball even as he plays the game like a melody that’s sweetly played in June. Truly was he the man who looked as if he was newly sprung in Jan, especially as he lazily but menacingly re-emphasised the point on four singular occasions at the Canal End. He makes the mesmeric seem as commonplace as the banal.
And best of all! One, Billy Keane did not point out that B.F’s father is a Kerryman.
Billy Keane’s da, John B. was, and once penned a drama called ‘Hut 42’. With an audience of 42,000 in attendance between the Railway and the Royal Canal, let’s just say a Big Draw was a fairly fitting result.