Richie Ford, late of the Louth parish and more recently Monaghan’s in his role as compiler of statistics, the kind which nowadays play such an important part in club as well as county team management set-ups, came on via the magic machine just hours after last week’s sheet hit the street.
“Down didn’t draw with Kerry in the 1991 All-Ireland semi-final. There was just one game, and Down won it by 2-9 to 0-8,” he said. (Aiden Donnelly had the same message.)
Richie also had this to say: “That game marked Pat Spillane’s last in the Kerry colours. He was at full-forward, and complained that if the ball had been sent long to him Kerry would have won.”
Once again I bend the knee to Richie, who’s sharp when it comes to these things. I once sat with him on a Gaels team in one of Leslie Toal’s sports quizzes in the Clans, and we won, he and the others coming up with the answers and me carrying the water.
His e-mail of last week also carried a championship prediction, bringing to a whopping five the number of this year’s entries in a competition which very few are talking about. This is another test of his mettle.
Strictly speaking I shouldn’t have let Richie in, since first games in the junior had been played the previous weekend, and his nomination for this competition, Oliver Plunkets, had won pulling a bus. And, by the time this appears, his choice for senior, St Patrick’s, the intermediate, Sean O’Mahony’s, will have played their openers.
But he’s a Gaelsman, and, really, it would be awkward for me down at The Ramparts had I not listed him.
There’ll be a review of his and the other selections before the knock-out stages are reached.