8 July 2010 – Munster’s travelling circus moves on as the West awakes

Dublin: 0-8

Cork, Tipperary, Limerick, Waterford, Laois, Offaly, Cavan, England, Kenya, Romania, half the FC Irlande football team, anyone who has ever stepped into the hairy for a pint and the referee: 2-10

On the way up from Strasbourg yesterday afternoon the man on the radio told me that there was a heat wave in France and that all old people should stay indoors.

No wonder then that the Dublin team was without Fergal Mythen, Martin Crowley, Conan Mac Oscair and Denis O’Sullivan. What with a combined age of 603, better the lads stayed at home with their slippers and fixadent, than suffer heat stroke out in the Parc 50. It did leave Dublin extremely short and with only ten men in the stifling heat the Dubs struggled to impose the running game that had been so effective against The West last week.

The game started at breakneck speed and the inevitable schmozzle erupted after only a few minutes played. Timmy went in with the boot on cyclist Phil Roche and Rochey, rightly so, lost the plot. Those watching feared for the mild mannered Cork man who was only going for the ball, like.

As Munster settled into a rhythm they passed the ball superbly around at the back with Barrett, Collins and McGrath creating space for the overlap at every opportunity. Hough was causing major problems and every time he got possession it felt as if a score was coming. Dublin went in at the break 1-5 to 0-1 down and were struggling. They came out fighting in the second half though and through Matti, Alec and Johnny O kicked some very good scores. The second Munster goal from Cavan man Ollie killed off the Dublin challenge although not before some great goalkeeping by Adrian Beau in the Munster net who had proved a thorn in Dublin’s side just when a goal would have brought them right back into the game. Notable performances by Adrian, as mentioned, Collins and O’Donnell in midifeld and Matti who worked his socks off for the Dubs against the run of play. Barrett must be criticized for not having the balls to go for a hop ball early in the second half. When taunted to grow a pair and go for it, the contrary little mucksavage retorted: “‘ I’m too small, like”. Yes indeed.

Man of the Match to Michael Hough with some great scoring from out the field and a constant threat in front of the Dublin goal.

Leinster 0-8

The West 2-10

By the time the game started the heat had reduced considerably, which worked to the advantage of the West. Sitting by the radio Big Liam heard that old people were allowed back out again and rushed down to Parc 50 to lend a hand to his fellow bog-munchers. His presence made a big difference, no pun intended, and one wonders if he could have swung a victory for them the last day against the Dubs.

This was a much more fluid encounter and only for two sloppy enough goals Leinster could easily have shaded it. The West had the first sight on goal as the Antrim Maradona who looked more like the Antrim Yakubu tried to catch the ball in front of the goal when a simple punch would have done the trick. He later turned into the Antrim Drogba coming off the field with a very sore hand. The West pushed on though with Big Liam causing all sorts of problems up front and Crusher and Burkey under constant pressure at the back.

Whereas Dublin were simply outclassed Leinster were left to rue some bad wides on a night when they became the first team to exit the race to become Belgium’s best club side. Pearse was excellent at times for Leinster and kicked some great scores but the experience of Giller and James O’Connor in midfield shone through as they stamped their authority as the came wore on.

A solid game of end to end football created the outstanding player of the evening in Olof Gill who kicked some masterful scores from all sorts of angles, making it an easy choice for Man of the Match.

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