The news on the sporting landscape was all dark on Wednesday. Tuesday night’s crushing defeat of Ireland by Denmark and the end of the 2018 World Cup dreams was enough to be going on with.
Close on its heels came the news that Ireland didn’t quite make it on the Rugby World Cup front either when our bid to host the 2023 event failed.
A Candle in the Dark
On my way home from Galway on last night, a candle in the dark appeared.
I was told that two Castleisland boys had been given a pair of boots by the Dane who scored the hat-trick against us.
That was the gist of the story. It remains so except that the boots are not those of hat-trick scorer, Christian Eriksen but of Nicolai Jurgenson the No 9 on the Danish side.
He’s the one who lofted the ball with which Shane Duffy triggered Ireland’s false dawn.
Supporters from Scart and Cordal
And the boys are not from Castleisland but they do go to school here.
Eddie Horan from Scartaglin and Cathal O’Donoghue from Cordal were at the big game on Tuesday night and they hung around the entrance to the players’ entrance / exit area in the hope of getting a jersey or two.
They asked a security guard to approach the Danish players and convey their request.
Hold on to the Jersey
Jurgenson said he wanted to hold on to the jersey. Seeing the two boys he solved their situation immediately and threw off his boots and gave them to the guard before rejoining the celebrations on the field.
Eddie, a 2017 Kerry minor and Cathal, a keen GAA and soccer player, both got a little solace from one of Ireland’s darkest sporting nights.
The boys, both students at St. Patrick’s Boys’ Secondary School brought the boots in this morning and one still has the Aviva Stadium turf embedded in its studs.
Not the First Time
It may not have been the first time that a Dane has given the Irish the boot but it is by far the most pleasant incident in the long history of engagement between the countries.
Both Eddie and Cathal have been travelling to Dublin for the best part of the last decades with the Georgie O’Callaghan arranged bus tours.
They both have nothing but praise for Coach O’Callaghan who has given most of his life to date in the interests of the game at under-age level in the Castleisland area.
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