Going for a win
Queen Elizabeth II may find her Jubilee Celebrations a little bit upstaged on this special Bank Holiday weekend – at least on Sunday — as Leitrim takes over London. There will be more Leitrim faces in Ruislip for the Connacht Championship clash than there were in Páirc Seán for some of our Allianz League encounters. We travel well.
At the tail end of the League no one was travelling, as concerns about a possible defeat seemed to gain momentum. But in recent weeks the green and gold in the veins of everyone from Bornacoola to Tullaghan began to take hold again and frantic fingers logged in to Ryanair and Aer Lingus and to the Crown Moran in Cricklewood, the base for the Leitrim players for the weekend. All of a sudden the mood changed, we were going and going for a win.
Some are heading off on Thursday, might as well make a long weekend of it; others fly out Friday; some wait till Saturday, while others who were late searching for flights are still happy to pay through the nose to go out and back Sunday. Brian and George and the team and the County Board will not be lacking in support from the home county, nor from the hundreds of Leitrim souls scattered throughout England who will join the throng in Ruislip. Willie Donnellan will be extra busy, snapping hundreds of faces for the Observer –“just one more, keep the eyes open and for the love of God smile”.
The officers and members of the Leitrim Association will be busy meeting and greeting their fellow county men and women around the GAA centre and along the sidelines, warm handshakes and a genuine welcome, especially for anyone from their own corner back home. Even the London team has a sort of a Leitrim ring to it, with names like Byrne, McGreevy, Mulligan, Mulvey, Kelly. McGoldrick and O’Neill, not to mention our own former county star, Paul McDermott, who will likely see action in the green and white as the game progresses.
Back home eager ears will be tuned into Shannonside and to Ocean FM and to national radio, while tweeters will be following the action as it is continually updated by Leitrim GAA, by Connacht Council and by gaa.ie. Later in the week they will soak up the reports and blow by blow accounts in the Observer.
The game is expected “to go down to the wire”. Leitrim won’t mind that, a last minute point to clinch it will only add to the excitement and will maintain the buzz as green and gold jerseys swarm around the dressing room before heading back to the city and to the favourite establishments owned by county exiles as they toast Paddy Maguire and his fellow players.
By Monday evening Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead and Luton will have shuttled hundreds of hopefully happy Leitrim supporters back to Belfast, Dublin or Knock and Buckingham Palace can take over from Ruislip for the rest of the weekend!
Collette Fox PRO
01-Jun-12 by Colette Fox – PRO