The Six-Goal Plan
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 07:35 PM
"Who would you say has the best legs?" *
Such was the calibre of the commentary on the sidelines from a Government Minister last night as Fine Gael donned a maroon strip and took on their coalition comrades in a clash of the ash.
In an idea conceived to build on the team spirit of the Government coalition partners it was an evening featuring sweat, more sweat, swagger and the odd dirty tackle.
Fine Gael fielded a team that included Paudie Coffey, a former county hurler to face a Labour squad with a county champion hurler from Tipperary (Ger Slattery) and a Deputy who has played hurling at every single level for his county, the man of the match; the mighty Jack Wall.
Despite a perception that the larger coalition party would have many a fine hurler, the Labour lads and lady were more than a match for their counterparts, and dominated throughout.
Lacking the speed of a conventional match, there were decent displays of skill as Labour took an early lead, firing in the goals and points consistently, thanks to the effort of John-Jim Byrne, Shane Reilly, Senator James Heffernan, Cónán Ó Bróin, Jim Mc Grath and Ger Slattery.
Minister Alan Kelly claimed to have brought half the team, and the Kelly trio (including Jim Mc Grath, Ger Slatter) did indeed prove to be the skilled trinity.
This was balanced by the antics of a former basketball player who wouldn't have looked out of place with a hoover on the pitch and wins the dubious honour of most comical player - step forward Kevin Humphries.
Hurling virgin; Ged Nash, braved the field sans helmet and lived to tell the tale, which was more than could be said of anyone unfortunate enough to cross his path.
However it was George Cummins who did the most to bring down the government with a clip that must surely have left Deputy Coffey limping around Leinster House for the rest of the week. John Paul Phelan enacted a swift retaliation and broke a hurl over star Labour player Cónán Ó Bróin.
And while Tension ran high on the pitch, there was drama too on the sideline as Fabio Capello-double; David Leach, enjoyed a rare opportunity to raise his voice in his role as manager.
Some of the commentary from Senator Denis Landy was a little more bo selecta than conventional selector, much to the enjoyment of the largely Labour crowd of supporters, led by cheerleader Ciara Conway with her homemade Joan 3:7 sign.
Match officials were thin on the ground and the sound of the barrel being scraped was audible as Mark Garrett, Robert Dowds Gary Honer and Jody Madigan were called to judge. Honer's tenure was costly and resulted in many lost sliotars and a controversial awarding of a goal to Fine Gael.
Such was the scale of the gap in the scores in the end, that not even the absence of the injured Séamus Conboy impacted on the final result, as the final score line hit 6-8 to 1-2.
They may have limped to the final whistle but the event was a success for Deputy Jerry Buttimer, who arranged the Coalition Clash of the Ash for the Merrymount Hospice in Cork.
*A Fine Gael team member won this one
Jack Wall TD
Minister Alan Kelly TD
Ged Nash TD
Kevin Humphreys TD
Sen. Denis Landy
Sen. James Heffernan
Cónán Ó Bróin
John J. Byrne
Fine Gael Players:
Martin Heydon TD
Brendan Griffin TD
John Paul Phelan TD
Sen. Paddy Burke
Paudie Coffey TD
Jerry Buttimer TD
Paul Connaughton TD
Joe Carey TD
Jerry Buttimer TD
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