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'Candle' must be lit to keep Warren's memory alive

The turn-out at Warren O'Connor's funeral told us all how torn the community were at the tragic events that foreshortened his life.

I have received several texts thanking me for my tribute last week, but I feel the appreciation should lie elsewhere.

My column should be about the AFL and things that are going on in that organisation but in the first week after the break I was given the opportunity to pay tribute to this fine young man.

My old friend Alan Talbot texted me to tell me that everyone read my article at the funeral and that Warren's father Fran asked him to thank me specially and I don't really know what to say about that.

As I said last week, it was one of those occasions where football takes a back seat, but I feel we must do something that might remind us of Warren O'Connor. An annual event, perhaps a game between the fire service and the league.

If any of you have any ideas regarding this I would like to hear from you.

I am sure that I could come up with a sponsor for the event, trophy, medals that sort of thing, but I feel we must keep the memory alive.

Boland hat-trick helps Marino waltz past Ratoath

Last week, I didn't get to wish you all the best for the second half of the season, I am doing that now.

I have to say that I missed a game last week due to a change of venue but Gay gave me a run down on what turned out to be a cracking encounter.

The game between Marino and Ratoath Harps was due to be played on Harmonstown Road but was switched to Ratoath.

Ratoath would have been favourites here and, with ten minutes to go, it did look like they had the points in the bag.

Declan Gallagher gave them an early lead, but Ivan O'Connor levelled matters. The home side went ahead again courtesy of Mick Ryan but they were tied at the break when Sean Brady equalised for the visitors.

Gallagher bagged his second and Ratoath's third with ten gone in the second period and they held the lead until the 81st minute.

Up stepped Niall Boland to amazingly score a hat-trick in the dying moments to give the vistors the points on a 5-3 scoreline.

A quick story to finish up with. Last week, St Kevin's had the temerity to leave a young man named John Treacy on the sideline.

Treacy is a legend at the club -- at the tender age of 50, he still has a few years left in him. He played League of Ireland for St Pat's and was just a little too young to play on the great Shanard Road team in the St Kevin's road leagues many years ago.

We spoke about our old days at the club and I meant to tell him about the best piece of advice and logic I got from a coach at the club.

It was about free taking and I am not 100pc sure as to the identity of the coach so I won't mention names. He said 'when you take a free-kick you must do two things beat the wall and hit the target.'

Logical enough I suppose, he went on 'If you don't beat the wall, you might hurt somebody but you won't score.

If you don't hit the target you won't score either. However if you beat the wall and hit the target it is down to one man, even if it is a feeble effort he might blunder and you'll score, but you must hit the target.'

I never forgot that advice and I watch the premiership and am amazed at the amount of so-called dead-ball experts that continually fail to get the first two parts right.


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