The hope is Jim McCourt was in Inchicore to see his beloved Dundalk turn in their best performance under Stephen Kenny’s guidance. He had planned to be there after his recent discharge from hospital following a seven-week stay.
His first game back was the Oriel Park meeting with Bohs. The result was satisfactory enough, but Bohs were disappointing. Jim claims they were so satisfied to be on equal terms, they “parked the bus” in front of their goals. (They call it blanket defending in Gaelic football, Jim.)
There was a good reception for Jim at Oriel, one of the club’s new owners, Paul Browne, going out of is way to welcome him. ”It’s good to know one’s support is not taken for granted.”
I can vouch for it that it was good at Richmond Park on Friday night, having watched the game on TV from start to finish. I have to be honest and say that my preference was for the racing from Dundalk Stadium, but hanging out in a big building with windows on it - to quote Leslie Nielsen in Airplane - where the At The Races channel wasn’t available, I had to make do with the soccer.
Dundalk had no intention of parking the bus. They went at St Patrick’s from the start, and were more than a little unlucky not to take an early lead, and even unluckier to go in at the break one down. The dismissal of a Pat’s player played to Dundalk’s advantage, but goals were still needed. Four came the visitors’ way, one of them a contender for the goal of a season that has just kicked off.
It should be good at Oriel and at the other venues where Dundalk play this season.