Sport Gaelic Football

Friday 15 December 2017

Kiss says it all as fans celebrate unique victory

Shane Curran (left) celebrates the St Brigid's win with Frankie Dolan
Shane Curran (left) celebrates the St Brigid's win with Frankie Dolan
Frankie O’Dowd with his mum Martina Cogan
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

YOU know that you've made it when football fans are naming their children after you.

Little Frankie O'Dowd (5) was among the thousands of supporters to learn a lesson in Croke Park – it is never over until the whistle goes.

His hero, uncle Frankie Dolan, had all of Croke Park on the edge of their seats as he landed a sensational point to ensure St Brigid's became the first team from Roscom- mon to win the All-Ireland Senior Club Football title.

Nobody in the hallowed grounds was more thankful than their divil-may-care goalkeeper Shane Curran, who promptly grabbed Dolan in an impromptu lip-on-lip tussle on the pitch.

"It is wonderful. It was a long time coming. We called him after Frankie Dolan and he scored the winning point," said little Frankie's delighted mother Martina Cogan, after the match ended St Brigid's 2-11, Ballymun Kickhams 2-10.

In among the sea of colours, there was one man who was stopping the delighted and despondent supporters alike in their tracks. All ears were agog, as sports commentator Jimmy Magee quipped "Frankie goes to Hollywood" now.

"It was real football. They actually kicked the ball to each other. It was a brilliant game, like football of old," said Mr Magee.

St Brigid's supporter Aengus O'Rourke had five missed calls from his mother, former politician Mary O'Rourke, as the club landed the big one.

"We are just totally consumed by it at the moment," he said.

Yet, with the highs, come the lows.

"I'm devastated," admitted Ballymun Kickhams' supporter Brian Murphy, whose club has dreamed of the win for over 50 years. "We'd never been to an All-Ireland club championships."

Yet, the west proved truly awake, as the Galway supporters renamed March 17 St Thomas's Day. There were more than a few tears shed as St Thomas' of Galway won the hurling title with a 1-11 to 1-9 win over Kilcormac-Killoughey of Offaly.

After a long-awaited first victory, Colie McGarry battled with emotions as he revealed his late father, Tom McGarry, a national school teacher in Peterswell, Co Galway, who died three years ago, would have loved to have witnessed it. "To get to the final, to win it, it is unreal," he said.

Every house in Peterswell was decorated with flags, said Crea Mulkerrin who had brought along six-month-old Manus for the joyous occasion.

see sport: Pages 10-13

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