Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Demise of the Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics are here once more,
Though not as good as heretofore.
There’s not the same excitement here
That I enjoyed in yesteryear.
For, though I still admire the skill,
The ski-ing’s really gone downhill.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup

Oh, God bless Mick O’Leary,
His horse first past the post.
He answered every query
And never once did boast.
The Ride of the Valkyrie
Had everyone engrossed,
The aftermath was eerie,
As though we’d seen a ghost.
The weather may be dreary,
With cloud from coast to coast,
But God bless Mick O’Leary-
He needs it more than most.


And bless his horse, so keenly paced
That bore its passenger with haste,
That ran the race with strength and guile,
A mirror of its owner’s style.
Ensured he didn’t get there late,
And did not carry extra weight.)

The Aintree Grand National

Folk get irrational
About the Grand National,
It makes the whole country go crazy.
We’ll urge on a horse
On that Liverpool course
Or berate him for being so lazy.
O’er Beechers they’ll crash
With a cut and a dash
And we’ll stand and we’ll scream at the blighters.
But why do I always
Pick three-leggéd donkeys
That have an old twinge of arthritis?

The hat comes around
And I feel duty bound
To pick out a horse’s name from it.
And when its inspected,
I find I’ve selected
A nag that’s called “Luminous Vomit.”
The boss picks a flyer,
A good, honest trier,
Oh why do the gods have to slight us?
And why do I always
Pick three-leggéd donkeys
That have an old twinge of arthritis?

The starting line’s raised,
And great trails are blazed,
With most of them set for a fall.
The air’s tight with tension,
But never a mention
Of “Luminous Vomit” at all.
The names are related,
I wait with breath bated,
I’m hopping around like St. Vitus.
Oh why do I always
Pick three-leggéd donkeys
That have an old twinge of arthritis?

The enclosure is filled
And the owner is thrilled,
And the bookies all smile with great cunning.
But there’s only one snag –
I can’t find my nag,
Is it fallen? Refused? Or still running?
How I long, how I long
That my horse will run strong!
Just once may it spur and delight us!
But why do I always
Pick three-leggéd donkeys
That have an old twinge of arthritis?

Ballad of a Gambling Man

It started as the odd little flutter,
With some change I kept inside my hat,
And every so often, I’d put a
Few shillings on this horse or that.
My wife was dead set against gambling,
The thoughts of it made her quite ill,
But on Saturday morn, I’d go rambling
To see my old mate, Willie Hill.

All ye, who are travelling to Cheltenham,
Pay heed to my caution’ry tale,
For once I had land
And a bank balance grand,
But I had no perception of scale.

The stakes soon began to get bigger,
I was betting the bulk of my pay.
With ev’ry damned wager, I’d figure
A big win would see me okay.
My wife, she was getting suspicious
For my pay packet seemed pretty thin,
But the stories I told, quite fictitious,
Meant she gullibly took it all in.

So you, waging fortunes at Cheltenham,
Though you think it is par for the course,
Just imagine the hurt,
I lost more than my shirt,
On the back of an old piebald horse.

No longer were days long and sunny,
Oh the bookies are true friends to none!
I was great when I’d plenty of money,
But they blanked me when I was undone.
For Joey and Willy and Paddy
May seem very pleasant and nice,
So long as you remember, dear laddie,
That their friendship will come at a price.

So you, riding gung-ho at Cheltenham,
Hoping hard for that one perfect strike,
Remember Sod’s Law –
Sure, you never once saw
A bookie out riding a bike.

At the Curragh, I met a sharp dealer,
And I laid out the deeds of my house.
Then, after another Tequila,
I said that I’d throw in my spouse.
I looked at the going minutely,
And studied the formbook with cunning,
Then plumped for a horse resolutely –
As far as I know, it’s still running.

Oh you, spending thousands at Cheltenham,
Just hear out this impassioned plea.
Please don’t overspend
Or else you might end
A wandering minstrel like me.

My wife took the news quite serenely
As I packed up my suitcase and left.
Her new man moved in very keenly,
And I stood outside, quite bereft.
I’m sleeping among the hydrangeas,
Hoping someone will throw me a crumb,
And I’m begging for pennies from strangers,
Still hoping the big one will come.

So you, on the slow boat to Cheltenham,
In your quest for some zest in your life,
Please don’t be a booby,
Forget about Ruby,
And spend it instead on your wife.

Will Jessica Kurtin Ever Pull Herself Together?

I’ve never been partial to watching fine horses
Jump stupid-shaped fences on stupid-shaped courses.
I’m left rather cold by a faultless clear round,
And give a loud cheer when a bar goes to ground.
But best of them all is the horse that refuses!
Oh, how the recalcitrant gee-gee amuses
When the rider’s sent sprawling, demolishing railings,
And the crowd roars approval on viewing his failings.

But recently there has been talk of skulduggery,
Drugging and doping, and chemical thuggery.
Accusations abound as to who might administer
Illegal biotics, and other things sinister.
The riders all claim that they have no idea
Why the tests on the horses don’t come back all clear,
And the trainers and vets are all equally puzzled
As to how all these dodgy narcotics are guzzled.

There’s just one solution – it must be the horses
Who buy all these drugs from their undisclosed sources.
Last week at the Horse Show, you could see a few jumping
With quivering fetlocks and adrenaline pumping.
And it’s rumoured that one unidentified nag
Was caught in his stable with a brown paper bag.
The world must be warned for there is no mistaking
The problems inherent in equine drug-taking.

They say you can lead any horse off to water,
But not if he is a confirmed cocaine snorter.
And would the police trust their own horses if
They were found to be smoking a massive great spliff?
Yes, where would we be if the horses and dunkies
Went stealing in Tesco’s like desperate junkies?
And why aren’t the Drug Squad in Dublin out stopping
The show-jumping stallions who practise pill-popping?

Oh, narcotics and horses, they never should mix –
There’s much better ways to be getting their kicks.
The world laughed out loud at the ludicrous tale
Of the American stallion that didn’t inhale.
But we mustn’t be harsh, and we mustn’t forget
The way that these horses get saddled with debt.
For everyone knows, once addiction has started,
A foal and his money are very soon parted.

Tour de France

Once again, the Tour de France
Is won by Mr. Armstrong, Lance,
Who captured all the famous scalps
On his traversal of the Alps,
And well deserves that yellow top,
As cream of this year’s cycling crop.
For seven years his swaying bum
Has brought him to the podium,
And all the rest, though fast and fit,
Are surely sick of watching it.

And, as the Champs Elysées cheers,
Our minds fly backwards several years,
To that great day when Stephen Roche
Made his Parisien approach.
When Ireland watched him cycle in,
As though out on a Sunday spin,
Afraid that this most friendly chap
Would blow it on the final lap,
And let go of the handlebar,
Or be run over by a car.
Oh how it gave our hearts a lift
To see him not arrive adrift.

And yet, the memory that really
Stands out isn’t Stephen’s wheelie,
But rather at the presentation,
When the leader of our nation
Tried to steal the rightful thunder
From our Irish cycling wonder.
As Charlie waved his arms aloft
(And here in Ireland thousands scoffed)
Millions, staring at his face,
Thought Mr. Haughey won the race,
And from Bangkok to Yucatan,
They wondered how so old a man
Could triumph on so long a trek
With such a hard and wrinkled neck.

But I, whose energy is spent,
While cycling up a slight ascent,
And must dismount to take a pill
When halfway up a little hill,
I must salute those gallant men,
Who sprint up hills and down agen.

But one quite nagging thought persists
About these sporting masochists –
They pump those legs up mountainsides,
Ten thousand feet and more besides,
In hot and very humid weather,
Backsides made of hardened leather,
Pedals strapped onto their feet,
Sweating madly in the heat,
Muscles straining, brows perspiring,
Gulping air and slowly tiring,
Resisting every urge to throttle
The wag who hands an empty bottle,
Panting as the climb gets higher,
Praying they don’t burst a tyre.
A thousand miles and more they do it –
Why on earth do they go through it?
Why do they persist in straining,
Yard by yard without complaining?
The only reason I can see,
That they’d endure the misery
Of heat and strain and hurt and bugs,
Is if they all were high on drugs.

The Demise of the Dubs

So sad! The blue and navy flags
Have all been taken down,
No sign of all those Dublin wags
Across the pubs in town.
The dreams of Sam have faltered
And they troop back into work.
The mood has greatly altered
And I’m trying not to smirk.

My wife is Dublin born and bred –
We have our vocal tussles.
She says I should live in a shed,
I ask her for some mussels.
But, like her fellow city folk,
Today she’s all done in,
And I light up another smoke
And try hard not to grin.

Each year the Dubs espouse the view
That this could be their season.
Their optimism sparkles through,
Without recourse to reason.
But once again, they’re second best,
Again they’ve missed the boat.
Each August time, they get depressed –
It’s so hard not to gloat.

Why do people love to see
The Jackeens getting pipped?
They dance around the pubs with glee
Whenever Dublin’s whipped.
One shouldn’t laugh when they are panned,
One really should be bigger,
But Jeez, one’s only human and
One’s trying not to snigger.

Their population’s treble that
Of any other county,
But every year, the champagne’s flat,
Without that yearned-for bounty.
Tyrone enthralled the nation
They were hungrier and fitter.
It’s a sad, sad situation
And I’m trying not to titter.

The further that the Jackeens go
Within the competition,
The louder are their wails of woe,
On seeing their demolition.
The rest enjoy the yearly show
Whenever Dublin blow it.
Oh yes, it’s very sweet although
I’m trying not to show it.

The Ballad of Kevin McBride

As pugilists go, he was always a big ‘un,
Though he lived in the shadow of Barry McGuigan.
The second-best boxer to come out of Clones,
The chance to turn pro was a bit of a bonus.

Thirteen long years as a heavyweight pro,
This journeyman boxer took many a blow.
As brave as a lion, his World Title hopes
Were very soon battered and hung on the ropes.

He battled for money, he battled for pride,
Though few knew the name of bould Kevin McBride.
Like Rocky Balboa, he’d not garnered fame
And did not enjoy universal acclaim.

They set him up nicely for one final fight,
A whipping boy, primed for Mike Tyson’s delight,
Another statistic on Tyson’s CV,
Though plenty of cash to be made from TV.

But Monaghan’s hero did not read the script,
By the end of the fifth, Tyson knew he was whipped.
And for Kevin McBride, he achieved lasting fame
As the man who put Iron Mike out of the game.

The Ballad of Francie Bellew

– Laois v Armagh Quarter Final 2005

Oh gather near
So you can hear
The things I have to tell you
About the Ar-
-Magh superstar
By name of Francie Bellew.

The Laois men came
To wide acclaim,
But none of them did fancy
The battle royal
On Croke Park soil
Against old warhorse Francie.

This mighty man
Jumped, caught and ran,
As though he were a chis’ller.
At times inspired,
He never tired
And really played a sizzler.

“You try your best,”
He cried, possessed,
“But this time I’ll repel you!”
And though Laois tried,
They were denied
All day by Francie Bellew.

He mopped up all
The dropping ball
From Munnelly and Clancy.
Poor Laois were left
Bemused, bereft,
Dispirited by Francie.

While others on
Armagh’s team shone,
With goals and points well taken,
He led with glee
And thus brought home the bacon.

If you searched hard
To find a yard-
-Stick of perfection, well you
Just couldn’t stray
From that display
By vet’ran Francie Bellew.

Its true Laois scored,
A poor reward,
The goal was somewhat chancey,
But by and large
Their entourage
Was gobbled up by Francie.

When Laois attacked,
Their men were tracked
And tackled as required.
Their game-plan was
Destroyed because
Bould Francie was inspired.

In life, you’re sent
To some extent
To where the fates propel you.
But giants there
Could not compare
To mighty Francie Bellew.

So travel to
Far Timbuktu,
Descend the mighty Yan-tse,
You’ll never find
A man to mind
A forward line like Francie.

The Armagh Donegal Replay

They were boxing and tipping
And striking and rucking,
And hitting and tripping,
And gouging and pucking,
And yanking and brawling,
And weaving and ducking,
Battering, mauling,
And beating good-looking.
They were tapping and butting,
And seizing and punching,
And knocking and nutting,
And thumping and crunching,
And charging and chopping
And earnest refuting,
And digging and bopping,
And belting and booting,
Walloping, checking,
And striking and smacking,
And dobbing and decking
And whipping and whacking.
They were wrestling and wriggling
In obstinate fashion,
And nudging and niggling
And tackling with passion
And mouthing and moaning,
And much remonstrating,
And growling and groaning
And recriminating.
And braining and smiting,
And walloping, thrashing,
And pounding and fighting,
And bashing and smashing,
And vexing and tugging,
And pulling and dragging,
And rapping and mugging,
And constant hand-bagging.

It was, fundamentally,
A great time for all
When Armagh, incidentally,
Beat Donegal.

Sam Won’t Come to Dublin

Sam won’t come to Dublin,
He’s acting awful shy,
Though Hill 16 is bubblin’
And expectation’s high.

They’ve sent the invitation,
Respondez s’il vous plaît,
Arranged the celebration
For that historic day.

The semi-final beating
Of Wexford’s gallant men
Has seen the Dubs repeating
The same mistake agen.

They’re sure that come September,
When autumn leaves are down,
Old Sam will then remember
The way to Dublin town.

But two quite tiny swallows
Do not a summer make,
And heartbreak often follows,
With anguish in it’s wake.

For Sam won’t come to Dublin,
That’s something of a joke.
He really can’t be troublin’
To come up to the Smoke.

He sends a ‘Maybe’ answer,
Which makes them all go wild,
But, sure, he’s just a chancer
Tormenting this poor child.

Running to Standstill

With U2 above in Croker,
It was something of a choker,
To miss them would be something of a blow.
But Cork v Tipp’s unmissable,
With absence unpermissable,
So everybody knew just Vertigo.

It wasn’t Sunday Bloody Sunday
But a Munster Final fun day,
A Fire that is always Unforgettable.
And that aforementioned fire
Can be fuelled by plain Desire,
And missing out is instantly regrettable.

In the first half Tipp were Bad,
Spurned the chances that they had,
Their claims to greatness sounded rather hollow.
For the Cork side showed that they
Could once more go all the way,
And their joyous fans all shouted, “I Will Follow.”

It was wished by one and all
To be a Fly Upon the Wall.
At half-time were Cork happier than Larry?
And did they deem it funny,
Think it sweet as Wild Honey,
And think the Edge they had would surely carry?

But this Tipperary side
Showed an awful lot of Pride,
Paul and Eoin Kelly were inspired.
And the sliothar whizzed around
Back and forth across the ground,
Like a Bullet from the Blue Sky it was fired.

But ‘twas Cork went on to reign,
Munster winners once again,
Their fans ecstatic at this Elevation.
As the Seconds ticked away,
On Cork’s most Beautiful Day,
The Sweetest Thing lay in the celebration.

But Tipperary are not gone –
Through the back door, they’ll Walk On,
Though they’ve Still Not Found What They Are Looking For.
Stuck in a Moment, so it seems,
As befalls the best of teams,
But Boy, they lost the battle, not the War.

Goodbye Wimbledon

The paparazzi swarm like ants
To snap those girls that flash their pants.

So Wimbledon is gone? Goodbye!
My eye stays resolutely dry.
Oh what an ordeal it has been,
Two weeks in South West Seventeen.
Robotic men with tree-trunk thighs –
The Terminator in disguise –
Smash balls with no finesse or guile.
‘Tis hardly service with a smile.

Meanwhile, the girls take every chance
To bend and stretch and flash their pants.

The Swiss is on a mighty roll,
And swallowed Andy Roddick whole.
Other players, like Lleyton Hewitt,
As the seeds predicted, blew it.
No shocks, no upsets, quite forseeable,
Nobody was disagreeable.
Oh Lord, let McEnroe come back,
And spray around some foul-mouthed flak.

And sad old men, as in a trance,
Stare as the ladies flash their pants.

So Wimbledon is gone? Farewell!
Two weeks of total sporting hell.
Serves so fast they’re indiscernible,
Absolutely unreturnable.
The ballboys, having been well taught
To chase their balls around the court,
Crouch fearfully in utter dread,
Lest one loose smash should leave them dead.

The umpire gives a sideways glance
When carefree ladies flash their pants.

So Wimbledon is gone? At last!
Poor old Tim again outclassed.
The highlight, yes, without a doubt,
Is seeing Henman bowing out.
The sobbing all around the ground,
When beaten in the second round,
Is beautiful to hear and see
For hardened cynics such as me.

Said Guildenstern to Rosencrantz,
“Prince Hamlet never flashed his pants.”

So Wimbledon is gone? Hooray!
As boredom, not the rain, stops play.
Rallies few and far between
In London’s SouthWest Seventeen.
Smash and volley, volley, smash,
Become the norm in every clash.
No Borg or Becker in the sport
To spray their balls around the court.

Pray tell me, what’s the papal stance
On girls who blithely flash their pants?

Galway 5-18 Kilkenny 4-18 John 3-7

The Galway hooker sailed the seas
In search of Liam’s treasure.
Aided by a pleasant breeze,
She ploughed the seas at leisure.
Then, up above, the look-out boy
Exclaimed in horror, “Ship ahoy!”

The clambered to the bow to view
The vessel that was sighted.
Thoughts of plunder gripped the crew
And made them all excited.
But then their Galway hearts did sag
To see the black and amber flag.

The fiercest ship in all the world,
They gazed upon it sickly.
Whene’er that standard was unfurled
Opponents sailed off quickly.
Equipped with modern warfare features,
Armed with vicious feline creatures.

The hooker though refused to flee,
Remaining calm and stoic.
The crew looked on with bravery,
Resilient and heroic.
And as the sun o’er yard-arm shone,
They sailed to meet their foe head on.

The muskets fired, the cannon roared,
The Galway hooker listed.
The Cats prepared to leap aboard,
The Galway crew resisted.
Bombarded by relentless flak,
They pushed the snarling wildcats back.

Head to head and toe to toe,
Each crewman fought with bravery.
Though fearful of a fatal blow,
They would not sink to knavery.
Then with the hooker gaining heart,
The tide pulled these two ships apart.

And as the ships engaged again,
The Tribesmen gave no quarter.
Many haughty cats were slain
And pushed into the water.
But though the vict’ry seemed complete,
The Cats would not admit defeat.

Back they came from certain death
And now the fur was flying.
They cursed their foes with every breath,
Afraid that they were dying.
Staring down into the drink,
They clawed themselves back from the brink.

The Tribesmen though fought tooth and nail
With steadfastness unblinking,
And then a whisper did prevail –
The Black and Gold was sinking!
Suddenly that ship of braves
Descended ‘neath the rolling waves.

The Tribesmen sank down to their knees
With thanks for their salvation,
So grateful they’d this chance to seize
Eternal approbation.
This fight would be relived by some
For many, many years to come.

And then the look-out boy declared
He’d seen a red sail risin’,
And everybody grimly stared
Out at the far horizon.
They knew full well they would not baulk
At battling with the men from Cork.


The pairings for the Quarter Final made the two teams smile,
For Tyrone and the Dubs had not competed for a while.
Victory for either team might herald a new dawn,
And both sides thought they had a chance, when their two names were drawn.

Hill 16 was hopping with the navy and the blue.
The expectations were quite high that Dublin would get through.
From Poppintree to Blanchardstown, from Blackrock to Old Bawn,
Towards the pitch at Croker they’d been resolutely drawn.

Mickey Harte was cautious, though he tried hard to be candid,
He said he hoped the Tyrone lads would not be caught red-handed.
They questioned him minutely if he favoured brains or brawn,
But the wily old campaigner said that he would not be drawn.

Tyrone started brightly and built up a head of steam,
Revenge for missing hubcaps seemed to galvanise the team.
They practised their short-passing game upon the Croke Park lawn,
And first blood to the Ulstermen was confidently drawn.

At last the home team scored a point, and plenty more besides,
Though Caffrey must have been dismayed at all the easy wides.
But Quinner’s goal on half-time meant he was a man re-born –
No finer portrait of sheer bliss had Gainsborough ever drawn.

What did Mickey Harte put in the players’ half-time tea?
An elixir of amphetamines to give vitality?
It must have been quite potent, like a pinch of rhino horn,
As from their bodies any thought of lethargy was drawn.

Where once the Dublin midfield ruled, they now were forced to cower,
Surprised at the intensity that some called Tyrone Power.
The forwards looked more lively and did prove a constant thorn,
As out of their positions, the poor Dublin backs were drawn.

Then up stepped Magic Mulligan to score a wonder goal,
And Tyrone, like a fresh-baked crust, were really on a roll.
And on the Hill, the thousands there all bent their heads to mourn,
As the curtain of their hopes and prayers were very firmly drawn.

But Dublin to their credit kept on beavering away,
Though the fans were disappointed when good chances went astray.
Time and time again, anticipation turned to scorn,
As shots went sailing wide and yet another blank was drawn.

But Tyrone seemed a bit unnerved, and daft mistakes crept in,
They couldn’t put the Dubs away and underscore the win.
The Ulster fans were now the ones who seemed the more forlorn,
Their faces told a picture, they were agonised and drawn.

And sure enough, bould Tomás Quinn put over a late free
Which made the GAA accountants rub their hands with glee.
For victory from Tyrone’s grasp was well and truly torn,
And no-one could believe the Quarter Final had been drawn.

At the U.S. P.G.A. Championship

At the U.S. P.G.A. Championship, odd happenings occurred,
Like on the first day, Curtis hit a birdie on the third.
He thought that it was dead, as everybody round the pin did,
But after giving mouth-to-mouth, they said it was just winded.

Mickelson and Davis Love were going round together.
Each of them were dressed quite irrespective of the weather.
Mickelson looked pretty drab, while practising his swing,
But Love, in total contrast, was a many-splendour’s thing.

A wasp flew right up Monty’s leg, which caused him great alarm.
He had to whip his clothes off, lest it caused him any harm.
No longer did this canny Scot look confident and jaunty,
And many in the crowd felt ill, on seeing the Full Monty.

Padraig hit his ball into a rough spot on the course,
Where several home appliances were dumped amid the gorse.
His ball was quite unplayable, and Padraig started cryin’
When after several practice strokes, he went and hit an iron.

Bruce Springsteen wouldn’t publicise how much he stood to gain.
He had a good few dollars on young Tomas Bjorn, the Dane.
When asked why he had plumped for him, the Boss was heard to say,
“It’s always been so good for me – Bjorn in the USA.”

Bernhard Langer went around accompanied by his son,
But in the heat, the little Langer nearly came undone.
“I really need a cup of tea,” he whispered to his Daddy.
“That’s not a problem,” Bernhard said, “I’ll go and get the caddy.”

Woosnam was quite hungry as his ball flew out of sight.
It landed in a bunker, which increased his appetite.
“Would you like a sand-wedge, Ian?” his caddy asked with ease.
“Thanks,” replied the golfer, “Make it lettuce, ham and cheese.”

Sadly, you could hear poor Tiger coughing from afar.
The record breaking superstar was feeling under par.
His nose was full of rocks, but he was trying not to pick it,
But eventually he sought the private shelter of a thicket.

The lump that he picked from his nose was very large and round.
It nearly broke his wrist when he did flick it to the ground.
There it lay for two whole days until a wayward snail
Did cover it with whitish gunk, secreted in its trail.

Stadler was not certain where his wayward drive did fall.
He came upon this object and he thought it was his ball.
As he struck it sweetly, the offending object burst,
And that is how Craig Stadler hit a bogey on the first.

The Ulster Quarter Final

(Sunday June 10th 2005 Armagh 0-12 Donegal 0-12)

The Ulster Quarter Final was a fierce and tense affair,
A rollercoaster ride for everybody who was there.
Armagh were odds-on favourites, League Champions and all,
And many didn’t really rate the men from Donegal.

A shock did not seem on the cards at Clones’ bustling venue,
An Orchard County victory was written on the menu.
Joe Kernan’s boys began with power, and quickly took control,
McDonnell looking lively as they swarmed around the goal.

And sure, it seemed the game was won by minute twenty nine
When robust Kevin Cassidy was banished to the line.
Five-two down and one man short, and Donegal looked doomed,
And many commentators said a crushing beating loomed.

But Donegal did not lie down; Neil Gallagher inspired
His team-mates on to greater stuff, to do what was required.
With ferocity of tackle and a steadfastness of mind,
By half-time they had battled back to seven-five behind.

And when the second half began, Armagh seemed badly shaken,
As pressure piled from Donegal and points were quickly taken.
For Sweeney and McFadden it was Christmastime come soon,
Enjoying total freedom on that Sunday afternoon.

Donegal’s young goalie was assured and so alert.
Michael Boyle had taken time off from his Leaving Cert.
They said that his performance in between the sticks was such
That the education system couldn’t teach him very much.

But just as it appeared that the League Champions were gone,
Philly Loughran’s introduction seemed to spur them on.
At three points down they never thought of throwing in the towel,
Although they had bould Paddy McKeever sent off for a foul.

Armagh increased the tempo and were fighting like the devil,
And as the full time whistle neared, these two fine teams were level.
And then it seemed that Donegal were destined to enjoy
A famous win, when scoring from a point by Christy Toye.

But pressure from the Orchard County finally bore fruit –
Oisín, the great McConville, looked relaxed and so astute.
He sent a narrow-angled shot in over for a score,
And thus Armagh and Donegal were back on terms once more.

And that was how it finished up, pulsating to the last,
And many checked their watches for the time had gone so fast.
Have Donegal now missed the boat, or can they still attain
A victory next Saturday when these two meet again?