The radio (via the internet in my Dublin-based case) might not have provided too much entertainment on Saturday night but the telly made up for it, at least to some degree. The Donegal-Kerry game was shown live on Setanta Ireland (which is probably the only thing that’s keeping my sub to those tossers in NTL going), a match that was being risibly billed as the GAA’s answer to what used, in less PC times, to be called the Charity Shield. Ballybofey in early February bears precious little resemblance to Wembley in August and there didn’t appear to be too much charity in evidence on the field either, with Kerry defender Tom O’Sullivan getting his marching orders in the first half.
As you’ll know by now, Donegal snuck the win due to an injury-time own goal from Eoin Brosnan, just when it looked as if Kerry’s long run of opening day defeats in the NFL (we did them last year and the year before as well but it’s been a number of years now since they got a result in the first round of games) was about to end. I remember monitoring a Kerry GAA discussion board prior to the 2006 All-Ireland and was struck by how nobody had a good word to say for poor old Brossie and they’re probably giving out shite about him this morning as well.
I know it wasn’t a Seamus Darby kind of thunderbolt (oh, go on then – here it is again) but a Kerry defeat, a rare enough bird at the best of times, is always a thing to be treasured. It’s just a pity it couldn’t happen a bit more often on the warm Sundays as well.