The Summer Is Finally Here

Posted on June 13, 2011

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Ben Brosnan skips away from his man in the Leinster Quarter final last Saturday

Yes, yes, I know that it’s been raining on and off for the last week. And yes, I know that technically the summer started on the 1st of May and woe-betide anyone who tries to rearrange the calendar to suit their own whims but if I’m to go by my own internal clock then the summer arrived on Saturday evening.

In a crowded Wexford Park where Championship season floundered into full swing.

There was a quiet and inexplicable sense of hopeful optimism around the town and my workplace on Saturday morning. Could Wexford pull off the shocker of probably the century?

It was inexplicable because at no point did our hurlers ever look like beating the giants that are Kilkenny. At no point for the last ten years have we looked like doing it, except when we miraculously did do it in the 2004 Leinster Semi Final, something that a few random spectators and I reminisced about on Saturday – clouding out the beating that was to come by talking about the Jacob’s Cracker – the shot that caused Brian Cody to collapse behind the Canal End goal, the same way as if he’d been hit by a sniper’s rifle.

Of course it wasn’t to be. Kilkenny ran out easy winners but I must say I expected the beating to be worse.

The real stars of the day were our football team. A second half rout over Westmeath has set us up in a lovely position to reach our second Leinster Final in four seasons. Our forward play was quite simply gorgeous and it was fantastic to see a full, energetic Wexford Park getting behind them.

Football’s always been the poor relation in Wexford despite historically being a football county, the only team to contest six-in-a-row, winning four of them.

I’ve a good feeling about this team this year. I think Carlow could be a potential banana skin but I also think that if we win and Kildare can beat Dublin that there is a Leinster Title in us.

I think Dublin will be a bridge too far – a stigma exists there, the memory of the 2008 drubbing would have to play on many minds. But I think with Kildare we would have a fantastic chance.

The summer is finally here. For GAA people, it’s the first throw in of a ball that you see in person. It’s the first broken hurl, the first sweetly struck point off the left boot, the first unwarranted yellow card and badly called free.

For some people, this is all there is to live for during the summer months.

I am among this army of ‘some people’.

Ger Loughnane once uttered a quote about hurling that sums up the GAA in general. I’ll leave you with it:

To some people, hurling is not that important in the great scheme of things. But to hurling people, hurling is the great scheme of things.

Posted in: Sport