The Alternative Heroes of May 20th. 2000.
What a day it was, at last the frustration and impatience purged, by the victory in the AIL final; so we were entitled to celebrate a little and I suppose we did; a little, more. What a day and what a night we had at Templeville Road.
Much has been written about Trevor’s team, Popey, Nicky, Kev, and Grimmer, so here firstly a mention of the heroes of yesterday, deservedly there. Ones I saw, recent stalwarts like Jemmo and Potsy, Keener and Dev, also Vinny Cunningham, Deano, Ray Hernan, Steve Hennessy. Then there were Hot Rod, The Rat, Hush, Skinny and Dec Fanning, Charlie Barry and Dave Gardner all basking in the warm feeling of fulfilment. St Mary’s legends of earlier times were also to be seen, Johnny Moloney, Sean Lynch, Michael (not Mick) Glynn, JB, Terry Young, the Hickie brothers and Cetts. Vinno Mc Govern and Banana Joe were there, so too was Matt Jones, Paddy and Barney Moran, Gerry Bowden with non-Eugene; Sean Cooke looked as though he had played that day, Joe Fanagan wanted to, and Ned Carmody probably could have. There too were the great prime moving figures of the club, Matt Gilsenan, Bill Fagan (Dorian Gray), the Paddys; Fearonand Jennings, the Johns, O’Donoghue and Murray and “the father of the house”, Paddy Bolger. Even refs of renown like Merv “The Swerve” (the youngest ever member), Tommy, Joe, Peter, Dave and Pyner (on and off the pitch) were to be seen imbibing the cup of glory and whistling a happy tune.
The Pres and Viv were transported; maybe they came with J D and Eileen in their new limo. (I bet Noel found them a space, if Louis and Ian let them in). J D C and Joy all around him, looked contented, Paul (The Hat) and Adelelooked cool, Colin looked after everyone, the committee all looked happy and things looked up
However, this little piece is about the alternative heroes. Those I met who could have been great players or were going to be, depending upon what stage of the night I spoke to them; those who were brilliant, but misunderstood, or treated badly by the selectors. As I moved downstairs, with the sounds of “Dec and The Setting Sons” and Trev’s Rare Oul Times ringing in my ears, the first I met was Luke who told me that he was a wonder player who could easily have been playing in the final, as he made better passes than Vinny, then I saw what he meant, for he had three dream babes draped around him, obviously a cool hand Luke. The warm evening, the hot shots and Bacchus all gave a glowing atmosphere, alive, throbbing. However, I had to keep a close eye out for Barney (Shaft), the tame treasurer, as he was handing out the cheques and lots of compliments. Then I met Liam the loose-head/morals who had played many an epic for Marys, under Le Pere Barry, he had been such a great prop that he now worked as a stagehand in the Gaiety. He was chatting with Fiach the forward-coach who had worked with many a Lock and now is managing one of Lenihan’s hardware stores, when in strayed the Macintosh brothers, from the seventies, they had played so well together, they were known as the double centres; it was strange that they never really made it when the selectors were said to be sweet on them, maybe having two wings outside them from the local Kentucky Fried didn’t help them. Boring Bert told me he had not made it at Mary’s, even though his game was full of variation and imagination, so he left, and is now big in rugby league, you can see why.
“You know I was faster to the break down than Ned” said Charlie, from way back, and at last the reason why he works for the A A, came to me. He was arguing with L A Confidential who played and talked the best game since Man (Never a Boy) George. “The number seven is now the most important position” (No, not in that oriental book) he roared; “only after a break down can the opposition win the ball, in the modern game”. Not all who were there agreed,as you might imagine, so it was decided to get the statistics from Des Daly (Font of all Rugby lore). He supplied Serena, wow, what statistics! And John Carvill agreed.
Maurice looked ever so worried, since the earlier meal, which he kindly supplied for the team. He said that Patsy had lost one of his lifters and it turned out to be Paudge, from the J 6s, who had in fact, only gone out for a breath of air. He was lucky that, that was all Patsy had mislaid for I noticed, lurking with a pint of beer, John B, Half-Fly extraordinaire, who had faster hands than Deano, or so he said, and of course is the reason why he spent two years in Mountjoy for pick-pocketing. I also spied Harry who could sell dummies better than Banana Joe. That of course is why he works for Johnson’s baby Care.
The night wore on and it was good for all of us to meet old pals and remake friendships after many years, to see how well people had done and realise that you were the only one not to have aged. The arm wrestling and weight (pint) lifting, mixed with the odd scrum and a fair few very “loose” mauls, showed that the night was aging, if not the revellers. Certainly most of the younger members were still finding their touch and the older ones taking a drop at the bar. Chewy and Robbie ensured that the girls got the best of service. Dave D stayed cool, Eddie H and Mick(the medium) O’C beamed, and Floody never said a word! Reggie was still trying to get a Pair-in to meet Popey. However, the night had to end sometime and soon Rynner was asking people to collect their cars “and drive”, “and drive” after an unforgettable day.
As I was leaving, I met a sultry young woman in a blue mini, with a red bull and a blonde guy. She was determined to play rugby for Marys. She could not see it being anything but stimulating. She could not see anything wrong with a scrum coming down on her and was very positive about trying tip tackles, it was clear she was born to be a HOOKER.