24 May 2024

Sixth Years Win… Soccer Jersey Competition

13 June 2023

Back when Saturday Night Live was known more for its comic genius than woke nonsense, the Billy Crystal-created character, Fernando Lamas, would regularly and hilariously opine: “It is better to look good than to feel good”. And, it being America in the 1980s, most of the TV (television) audience missed the irony and did their best to fulfill the charge. And it seems that St. Conleth’s College Class of 2023 adopted this dictum as their sporting mantra, as no class in living memory has looked so well when lining out to face the Staff Soccer Immortals in the annual May maelstrom of a match. Stylish lines, vibrant colours, witty monikers… Vice Captain, and Haberdasher, James Clancy certainly did his part making sure the Sixth Year Team looked good… as they failed to seize the Goblet of Fire for the fifteenth straight year!

The Sixth Years, in fairness, did their best, playing like a hustling Huddersfield. We were like Cruyf’s Barcelona, again. The star of the show was Mr. Lonergan: like Steve Sidwell in his prime, or Neil Lennon slightly after his, our top Tipp man was everywhere, chasing down the ball, taking every single dead-ball kick, tackling with abandon and making sure to tell everyone else exactly what they should be doing, even our august referee, Shay Keenan.  ‘Ubiquitous’ you say?  At one point Mr. Lonergan not only took a corner, but he was also there on the other end, trying to head it in.  If you slow down the replay, you can just barely see a flash of ginger charging at light-speed into the box! And his fellow hillbilly, ‘Commissioner’ Gordon Weldon, bossed the midfield like it was harvest time in the fields surrounding his native Nobber and he had a few surly farmhands to set to work on the combine. Oh, and did we obey orders! Mr. Morris and Mr. O’Neill put their ancestral county rivalries on hold and pulled together as only country lads can, putting in shifts of grit and determination, but the star of the county fair had to be Mr. Smith: watching him prance around the pitch, with all the elegance and subtlety of Messi on a midfield run or a prize Angus bull patrolling his paddock, was a wonder to behold, as was our lone Corkonian, Mr. Breen, the darling of the terraces, but not opposing forwards. And the Staff Dubs also did their part: Mr. O’Dulaing, a Kevin Moran-like rock in defence; Mr. Nolan, who came with the Saudi cash; Mr. Carvill, who got his angles and muscular torsion calculations spot-on, volleying home a stunner; and the ever young Sean Ingle- who added some northside style and swagger to our substance. Of course, we cannot forget Gavin Sheridan, our rarely seen PME teacher of Accounting and Home Economics, who came out of nowhere to play like a pro (we said ‘like’) in goals. Current Fifth Years are already talking up their chances, and they do have some Ringsend/East D4/Raglan Road grit, but we are not really worried. Fifteen years with the Goblet of Fire in our grasp…. see you next May!

by Charles Latvis

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