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St Stephen's Day Match Report

posted 17 Jan 2014, 07:34 by Sallins GAA Club
According to the Official GAA handbook, all teams are only allowed a maximum of 15 players on the pitch at any given time... However, there is one unwritten exception; The Sallins GAA St Stephen's Day Charity Match, where both teams 'mysteriously' finish the game with well over 20 players each.

The Charity match has been one of the highlights of the festive period for many years now and this year's was no different, with the final score reading St Bridget's Terrace/Hillview 1-13 The Village 0-16.

Glasses of hot whiskeys acted as water bottles, Liam Robotham was never seen without his camera, football boots were covered in cobwebs and duct tape and the sale of Deep Heat to rub on aching muscles was at its highest.

The Village took the lead through Will Collins before Conor Herbert levelled it up for The Terrace/Hillview just moments later, popping a point over the bar that had a Dublin flag stuck to one of the uprights. Nothing has been confirmed as of yet, but rumour has it that Liam Mulligan is responsible.

At this stage the subs began rolling on, the only problem was that nobody was coming off. Even The Terrace/Hillview manager Murt Walsh tried to get in on the action, although The Village still believe he was slipping referee Liam Herbert a few bob to ensure his side won. 

After the sides exchanged further points, The Terrace/Hillview were awarded a penalty as Dave Sharkey seemed to forget the rules of Gaelic for a moment and touched the ball on the ground. Eamonn McCormack put the resulting penalty into the back of the net.

With half time approaching everybody was on the pitch, the ball could hardly be seen! Players were mistaking Dave Sharkey's bald head for a size 5 O'Neill's ball, Tommy Brady and Eoin Delmer were holding hands and Liam Mulligan was trying to jump up and touch the crossbar.

The second half started like the first, with 15 players each and ended like the first, with grandparents and 5th cousins playing. 

The Terrace/Hillview began to take a commanding lead with superb performances in the backs and the forwards. The Herbert Trio of Anthony, Michael and Eamonn minded the house (Not the house in the Terrace) while Jacko McCormack, Conor Herbert and Brenner Gill were doing the business up front!

There was talk that star studded names such as Mickey Corley and Mick Robotham were flown home especially for the much anticipated game and not for the family occasion of Christmas although by the looks of it, I don't think Mickey missed out on any Turkey and Stuffing yesterday!

Chairman Kevin Dillon got his name on the scoresheet which was a big enough surprise in itself, but what came as an even bigger shock was that he wasn't wearing a suit! Speaking of fashion sense, Stretch Winders lined out in his famous gardening gloves and swimming togs! 

News was also spreading that Seanie Johnston had been viewing a house in Sallins to try get in on the action but with Tommy Brady involved, everyone concluded that one Cavan man was enough!

The Village looked to be heading for defeat but they showed great heart, character and determination along with a few generous free kicks to rack up four points in a row to bring the game level. Liam Herbert then blew his full time whistle despite shouts coming from players saying "Next score wins" which is something you'd hear at under 9 training on a Sunday morning!

Speaking after the game Murt Walsh claimed that the Dublin flag affected The Terrace/Hillview's performance and he also shrugged off claims that he brought on too many substitutes jokingly stating that his players actually "went to the dressing room for a drink of water" and that others were "in Naas hospital getting physio!". 

The final score finished The Terrace/Hillview 1-13 The Village 0-16, which was played in order to raise funds for the Sallins Tidy Towns.

Same time next year lads?

- Eoin Beatty