Sunday, August 12, 2007

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?

No comments: