Well we had such fun on Sunday. It was a bank holiday weekend here in Ireland and the final of the local hurling team's season. They were playing Ruan, a small village just outside Ennis and the game was playing at the Ennis ground.
It was an absolutely beautiful day, the sun shone continuously. We arrived in good time and didn't really know where to sit/stand. The seated stand was in shadow so we stood at the Ruan goal end where it was warm in the sun. This is our viewpoint:
The whole thing kicked off with a parade lead by the Tulla Pipe Band with both teams walking behind. The stand looks empty here but lots more arrived as time passed. You can see the 'goal' on the pitch. The players can score a goal or between the posts but the goal gets more points.
We soon realised we were amongst mostly opposition supporters when we let out a cheer as Killanena scored between the posts and then a goal! We cheered of course.....
The teams 'break' and scatter. Can you imagine a more perfect view with the Ennis Abbey in the background?
The scoreboard was just behind us and it amused me to see the little hand appear through the 'window' when the score changed! At this point Ruan had 2 scores from over the posts and Killanena had one goal and 3 scores from over the posts. 'Come on Killanena'!
I amused myself with a shot of the side of the scoreboard 'hut' and other interesting shapes and textures!
Killanena score - the ball is up in the air there somewhere!
At half time we moved position and went over to the side of the main stand. We were just about in the sunshine and it was more fun being with the crowd. We also had a closer view of the players and were near the Ruan goal for the 2nd half. Here is the half time score:
Exactly even! The second half was really exciting. First one side scored, then the other and so it went on.
Here a Ruan player is about to take a free hit from a fowl. They have to pick the ball up with the 'hurley' then toss it up and whack it! It takes a good deal of skill and the game is fast and furious.
Towards the end of the game, the crowd stood up as the action was at the other end of the pitch - the Killanena goal. Ruan were only one point behind - would they score a winning goal?
Killanena have been in 3 finals and lost the last 2. We watched the last one too! Not this time though:
Bottom right, the final score. One goal each but 9 hits to Ruan and 10 to Killanena. At last they'd done it - by one point!
There was such hugging and celebrations.
Then followed the presentation of the cup. Number 15 from Killanena - the captain - is Mark Flaherty - the son of our neighbours Michael and Elizabeth Flaherty. Their other son is also in the team! Here he is, having given a little speech in Irish and English:
And here the crowd watches:
'We are the Champions'
I took a few abstract photos of course. This is my favourite:
Hat and hurleys abandoned.
Team mascot? Job done...
Fortified by a coffee and a shared bag of chips, we headed home. As we approached Killanena we were surprised to see a fire by the side of the road - then another and another. They were celebratory fires of course!
The Killanena flag and fire by the road.
As I looked over the horizon the moon looked as though it was sitting on the hill. It looked beautiful and I got out of the car to try and take a shot of it:
How amazing it looked just sitting there.
When we arrived home the moon was shining brightly and reflected in Lough Graney. I grabbed my new Berghaus coat and ran down to the edge of the lake to take some photos!
This was on the way to the lake, the reflection looked like a fire.
Down at the fishing stand with the moon and the lights of Flagmount reflected in Lough Graney. I quite liked this one.
A similar shot but taken a little further to the right.
It seemed so bright I took a lot more photos but in actual fact it was too dark.
It was so beautiful down by the lake I stayed for almost an hour! My nose was a bit cold but I was still warm.
Jim had been worried about me and thought I'd fallen in.
We had beem so lucky with the weather as the next 2 days were pretty rotten. It was very very windy both Monday and Tuesday, with rain as well at times.
What a great day it was. Now Killanena go up into the next division, the 'seniors'. Let's hope they do as well there.
Off to Suffolk tomorrow evening - back on Monday night.
If you're interested to see more about hurling, this is on U-tube: