It was like this last Thursday evening. Several matches in the last of the Louth GAA’s intermediate league series were listed, but the ones that mattered most in the tussle for promotion were taking place at two Dundalk venues.
Clan na Gael were at home to St Mochta’s, and at Pairc na Gaeil, on The Ramparts, Gaels - who shall be known as ‘we’ and ‘us’, so that there can be no doubt as to where the scribbler’s allegiance lies - were out against Naomh Malachi.
Victory would give us the title and a place in senior league football next season....provided Clans beat Mochta’s. But if we were beaten, whichever side won the Castletown match would take the spoils. The three teams went into this last series of matches level on points; if it came down to score difference, Mochta’s, Louth Village’s representatives, were best placed to take advantage.
Malachis didn’t come to The Ramparts bearing gifts, nor was it expected they would. They went at it from the very start, but against a team coming off a huge win the previous weekend and playing with the help of a strong wind, they couldn’t stop the score from mounting against them. It was 11 points to nil at the break and 1-16 to 1-4 at full-time.
Business over at The Ramparts, even more attention than before turned to Castletown, where they’d been late getting underway. There’d been bulletins coming in all evening via the mo-jos...Clans leading but down to 14....Mochta’s two in front inside the final quarter....Clans are fighting back.
This wasn’t a repeat of the last day of the 2011/2012 Premiership, only a reminder of it. The trophy, commemorating Dunleer’s Jimmy McShane, had been brought to Clan na Gael Park, but when Clans hit back to win by a point, doing their erstwhile - and probably still - keen rivals a turn, Declan Byrne had to hightail it across town. With the rain pouring down, the Co Board man made the presentation to Sean Fee amidst tremendous yahoohing. There was a sing-song afterwards
Three years ago, Clans put us down; now they give us a twist. They, and Mochta’s, still have a chance of going up. Along with St Fechin’s and Geraldines they now go into a knock-out, and whichever side emerges unbeaten from it gets the not inconsiderable prize.