Well, once the leaves start to fall and the first chill winds begin to blow, you know that the-summer-that-never-was is no longer with us and that we’re faced with a whole new kettle of cold fish. And the All-Ireland is over and, with it, all inter-county action has finished for the year. All we’re left with is the club stuff, the moribund Railway Cup and the sound of biff-bash-boom from Down Under. That and wondering what Santie’ll have in his sack.
I had intended to do an end of season review but work intervened this week and I’m heading away tomorrow for the weekend so it might be a bit late to do so next week. Here’s the short version instead: another disappointing season for the seniors, another year of messing around with team selections at the wrong time which led to Johnno experimenting in key positions in the middle of the championship, another year when it looked as if the sideline was on auto-pilot, another loss to Galway, another failure to reach the All-Ireland series, beaten (as well as by Galway) by the eventual All-Ireland winners (third time in five years that’s happened), Gosh: if we’d beaten Tyrone we could have beaten Dublin and then have beaten Wexford and then – yes, you’ve guessed it – got our holes kicked once again by Kerry in the final but we didn’t so there’s no point in thinking along those lines. Away from the seniors, it was a promising under-age year with our U21 dominance of Connacht continuing and an All-Ireland left behind when we lost narrowly to eventual winners Kerry in the semi-final. And then there were the minors, our true heroes in 2008, Ray Dempsey’s lads who kept our championship campaign going right up till five o’clock or so last Saturday evening and who came within seconds of snatching a thoroughly deserved All-Ireland title and whose gutsy performances over the course of their campaign give us renewed hope for 2009.
That, in a nutshell, was 2008 and now that it’s all over I’ll be putting my feet up a bit too. There’ll be plenty going on in the background, what with the archive still a work in progress and a site re-design for 2009 (are you listening, TJ?) to sort out. And, of course, there is still the club stuff, the Railway Cup and the thuggery from the Antipodes to talk about so I won’t be completely idle over the coming months of dark nights and all the rest.