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The Clash of the Ash

Updated: Apr 5

The ash clashes, and hurlers pump their hurls in the air, another point. In the heart of the field, proud parents and ardent supporters gather, a tapestry woven from generations past. Fathers and grandfathers before them brandished the club's colours with fervour, and today, their sons carry on this hallowed tradition.

A flash of yellow slices through the air – a warning from the referee.

‘Ref, for feck’s sake, what was that for? Are ye blind?’ echoes across the pitch, a chorus of discontent blending with the game's relentless pace.

The game surges on, undeterred.

Murmurs rippled through the crowd, a collective gasp. ‘Jasus lads, that was a close one. He should have got a red card!’ Their words were a testament to the game's razor-edge.

The whistle's cry marks halftime, a pause in the tempest. The crowd dissects the game, lauding the goalkeeper's prowess and pondering tactics and potential substitutions. ‘And did ye see that 65, great talent, he’ll go a long way,’ they marvel, eyes alight with anticipation.

A hush falls, a reverent silence, as the team reclaims the field, taking positions with solemn gravity. Spectators, divided in allegiance, watch with bated breath, their gazes darting from scoreboard to pitch. A dance of points ensues, a back-and-forth that edges the game towards its climax.

Time dwindles; hearts race.

‘We need a point,’ the thought, a silent prayer amid the crescendo of palpitations and shallow breaths.

Eyes closed, a bargain is struck with the divine, ‘Please, God, just one more point, and I’ll go to mass every Sunday, and if it’s a goal, I promise I’ll do communion as well.’

A roar shatters the tension – a goal. A collective inhale held, ‘Christ, ref, just blow the bloody whistle.’

And then, release – the final whistle. Backs are slapped, congratulations shared, ‘A great game,’ they affirm, their voices a blend of relief and exultation.

Silence falls as the manager steps forward, his voice thick with emotion, ‘Well done, lads, ye played out of your skins.’

A pause, a breath, a hand to his heart, ‘God, you don’t know how proud I am of ye.’ In this moment of vulnerability, a shared silence binds them.

With a look towards the future, he promises, ‘ A vow not just for victory, but for the continuation of tradition, the nurturing of talent, and the unbreakable bond of community.

‘This time next year,’ he pauses, ‘ we’ll win the Under 8’s Championship.’

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