Darren’s Diary – Kicking The Habit (Day 33) – Saturday, 24th March 


Two more All-Ireland finals without a trophy.  Two chess teams denied county success and two draughts teams not managing silverware.  Yea, sports wise, the last 24 hours pretty much sucked. 

It’s a long trip home when your teams don’t win, especially from Clones but Dunmore can feel very long as well.  It’s disappointing when a team you put in so much work with doesn’t get the success their efforts deserve.  And you also feel the pain of those involved with a team you follow.

I put the whole sport thing in perspective yesterday so can contain my hurt easily after we didn’t come home from the Community Games with any titles.

We were unlucky with the under 16s as the eventual winners Dunmore only got past us on countback.  But it just didn’t happen for us at under 13 level or the two draughts teams.

It was a brilliant night attendance and competitor wise with 24 teams in the five competitions and credit to Dunmore Community Games for delivering a fantastic event.  As an MC and co-ordinator, I was delighted with how things turned out.

That didn’t stop me sitting up till 1.30am that night as a coach trying to work out what with wrong and how we can fix and change it next year.  The agony and ecstasy of management is always seeking the right formula before someone else starts picking holes in it.

Athenry and Sarsfields camogie teams will be reflecting at this moment after their All-Ireland ambitions went up in smoke today.  For whatever reason, Galway teams just can’t catch a break in national finals.

For Athenry, they were chasing the game after conceding an early goal and even though Eimear Keane got one back in the second half, three Tanya Johnson saves and other missed goal chances gave Johnstownbridge a 1-8 to 1-6 win in the intermediate final.

And Sarsfields’ agony against Slaughtneil continued as they came up short 2-11 to 1-9 in the senior final.  Was happy for Sinead Cannon to get a goal after missing one last year.  But a Niamh McGrath injury plus strikes for Tina Hannon and Louise Doughan gave the Ulster team another title win.

Dermot and I found another good eating spot in Ballymahon today and we’re stopping there shortly on our journey home.  Cooney’s gave us a delightful breakfast and we’re hoping the dinner has a similar positive effect.  Had a fascinating chat with two Mayo men about football.  Where would you have it – two Galway men debating with two Mayo counterparts in Longford 😀

Tonight will be quiet one as catching up on reports before heading to Dublin tomorrow for the ladies football league game.  Sinead is away in Scotland with the girls and if the cocktail o’clock facebook post is anything to go by, they’ll have a cracking night.

I’ll see her tomorrow as will be in Abbotstown beside the airport and my game finishes around the same time as her flight.  Isn’t it great how sometimes things just work out nicely.  And I’ll be taking her to one of my favourites haunts – Macari’s in Kinnegad on the way home 🙂

I won’t lie – last night’s and tonight’s trips home having had me thinking about a smoke but hardly strong enough to call it a craving.  I think even non-smokers want one on days that won’t work out perfectly even if they’d never seriously consider one.  I’m the same now.  Time for grub and will chat tomorrow.