Saturday 10 December 2016

Loyal fans raise the roof as sluggish Boys in Green claim vital victory

Ryan Nugent

Published 07/10/2016 | 02:30

Conal (9), Aidan (5) and Senan (10) Doohan at the Ireland vs Georgia qualifier
Conal (9), Aidan (5) and Senan (10) Doohan at the Ireland vs Georgia qualifier

They sat down, they stood up, some of them even took their shoes off - all for the Boys in Green.

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But for 55 minutes it looked like the players hadn't noticed what was going on in the stands as they struggled to get on top of a scrappy Georgian side.

Until that point, the most entertaining thing had been a pitch invader. Just when it seemed Ireland would slip up at home, captain Seamus Coleman had other ideas as he bundled home what turned out to be the winner.

The performance was a long way from the heroics of Lille, but that didn't matter a jot.

Sam McGill (9), Mia Connolly (10), David McGill, Lucie McGill (6) and Erin Connolly (10) from Kildare town were cheering on the Boys in Green. Photos: Sportsfile
Sam McGill (9), Mia Connolly (10), David McGill, Lucie McGill (6) and Erin Connolly (10) from Kildare town were cheering on the Boys in Green. Photos: Sportsfile

The win was what counted and the fans went home happy with the result, if not the performance.

Due to the GAA drama of recent months, it was easy to forget the men who stole the hearts of the nation with their heroics in France.

Brian and Cathal Murnane (9), from Naas, Co Kildare Picture: Mark Condren
Brian and Cathal Murnane (9), from Naas, Co Kildare Picture: Mark Condren

But last night the Boys in Green were back in town. Having provided the nation with a rollercoaster summer, hopes were high for more of the same.

A healthy crowd made the journey to Aviva in Dublin 4 last night and they made their voices heard.

Brian Murnane (48), from Naas, Co Kildare, was at the game with his son Cathal and said there was renewed optimism this year. "It's back after a good Euros and hopefully we can build on that," he said. "We really need to push on for our home games," he added.

Jim Finnerty (65), from Ballybrack, Co Dublin, was already looking ahead to the next game in Moldova. "I'm over to Moldova on the weekend," he said. "I'm flying out Saturday - there are 18 of us."

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