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The Ballad of the 21st August 2003

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 The twenty first of August and the Reds were really up
For playing Sligo Rovers in the replay of the Cup,
The winners would meet Galway at the quarter final stage,
Another glorious chapter in the Shelbourne Golden Age.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 And so we went to Tolka on a misty August night,
Unusually we weren’t in red, but rather in the white.
But sure, it shouldn’t matter – we were full-time, they were not,
And we had home advantage so we ought to beat this lot.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 We started very brightly and we pulled their backs around,
Jayo hit the crossbar, but could not get the rebound.
Richie missed a header, and Dave Rogers missed a chance,
As Ollie led poor Rossiter a merry little dance.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Then Sligo’s Ollie Keogh, he scored a goal he won’t forget,
He picked it up from forty yards and slammed it in the net.
Seldom has the Shels crowd seen a better goal awarded,
It doesn’t happen often, but I actually applauded.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 But sure, it didn’t matter, we could easy pull one back,
We were solid in defence and we looked lethal in attack.
But Sligo got a free kick after roughly half an hour,
John Gaffney, just outside the box, despatched the ball with power.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 And if that wasn’t bad enough, a bare two minutes after,
Dave Rogers slammed the ball away, amid the Sligo laughter,
He’d just received a yellow, he should not have shown dissent.
The ref gave him another one, and off the eejit went.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 And now we started thinking that it wouldn’t be our night,
Ten against eleven, we would have to claw and fight,
And just before the half time whistle, Ollie Cahill burst through,
Placed his right foot shot with ease and made the score one-two.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 And when the second half began, we tore at their defence,
Sligo dug in bravely but we played with confidence.
Wes came on, a hero since he mesmerised the Poles,
Set up all the chances but we couldn’t get the goals.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 Both teams played their hearts out and they struggled manfully,
Despite the interventions of a fussy referee.
He blew for every little thing, and wouldn’t let it flow,
Which made for a disjointed match, despite the stars on show.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 The Bit o’ Red were wasting time, I don’t blame them a bit,
We’ll do the same next Thursday if we feel the need of it,
The fourth official indicated four minutes to play,
But despite our constant battering, it looked like Sligo’s day.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 And at the death, the ball was knocked to Jason on the run,
Surely he would have to score, ‘twas only one on one,
But McNamara took him down quite cynically instead,
The ref had no alternative, he had to give the red.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 My watch recorded ninety six, as Jason took the free,
He bent the ball around the wall to equalise with glee,
And from the depth of deep despair came massive celebration,
As many fans ran on the pitch in wonderful elation.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 And so it went to extra time, and Shelbourne held the aces,
Ten played ten, and now we’d start to put them through their paces,
Our fitness now was bound to tell – our equalising goal
Would surely have deflated and depressed them as a whole.

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 But give the lads their credit and they bravely held their nerve,
Defended very physically and pushed us back with verve,
And after fifteen minutes of the extra time were through,
Feeney scored a header and bold Sligo led three two.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 Shelbourne then came back again, and won a free out wide,
The Sligo players all stepped up, expecting an offside,
But one defender didn’t move and played four players on,
But each of them did hesitate, and so the chance was gone.

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 And when the final whistle blew, the Shels fans were deflated,
In contrast though the Sligo fans were wildly elated,
They sang and danced for ages to regale their football team,
While Shels sloped off in silence, fairly shattered, it would seem.

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 And so fair play to Sligo, and we wish them all the best,
The odds were stacked against them, but they mightily impressed.
If they can keep that spirit, they must surely soon go up,
But still, I feel gutted we’ve been dumped out of the Cup.

5

Notes

Oh, woe, woe, woe, woe, woe………….

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-ballad-of-the-21st-august-2003/