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The FAI Cup Final 2004

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 The weather was quite nondescript, the day of the invasion,
But Waterford and Longford fans both savoured the occasion.
The two teams from the provinces ensured a tasty menu,
The only Dublin input in the Final being the venue.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Lansdowne Road was hopping as the fans roared their support,
Both teams bringing up more fans than anyone had thought.
For Waterford, the hunger for a trophy was explicit.
This was their big chance and they were not about to miss it.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 But Longford who, a year ago, had won no silverware,
Had now been tagged ‘Cup Specialists’ to Matthews’s despair.
The holders of the trophy had the League Cup in the bag,
And were hoping to sneak out and claim another piece of swag.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 The first half started scrappily and steadily got worse,
Both teams seemed to suffer from that old Cup Final curse.
Longford tried to hoof it long, avoiding their midfield,
But at the back, the Munster men stood firm and would not yield.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Waterford tried passing, but their final ball was pants.
In fact, in that first half, there was but one half-decent chance,
When the likely lads from Longford nearly suffered a reversal,
But O’Brien saved adroitly from a header from Pat Purcell.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 The crowd, however, sang away, completely undeterred
By the absence of excitement down in either final third.
At half-time they reflected that they’d now come through the worst,
Hoping that the next half would be better than the first.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 And sure enough, the second half showed better application,
As Waterford’s proud warriors warmed to the situation.
Young Murphy and old Willie Bruton caused no end of trouble,
Darting left and right to try to stop a Longford double.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 And thus it was, on sixty-three, the pair of them combined,
When Murphy held off Gartland with a header so refined,
And Willie Bruton, running on, fair smashed it in the net,
To give the travelling thousands a reward for all their sweat.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 But Longford’s head refused to hang, and they stepped up a gear,
Determined not to lose the crown they’d carried for a year,
And Waterford retreated as the men in red and black
Sought the equaliser that would get them back on track.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Chances came and chances went, but Waterford held fast,
Denying their opponents any hope they might get past.
The clock was ticking slowly down and time was nearly up,
And it seemed the Blues had finally got both hands on the Cup.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 Five minutes of the match remained when Longford got a throw,
Two balls were flung onto the pitch, but Feighery let it flow,
And Alan Kirby picked one up and powered it past Dan Connor.
How strange a former Blue should have that very special honour!

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 Relief for all the Longford fans, the Blues were stricken dumb,
But neither knew the best (or else the worst) was yet to come,
For thirty seconds later and Devine seemed in the clear,
As the Waterford defence seemed almost paralysed with fear.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 The danger seemed averted though, as Eric turned and checked,
But he passed to Keegan as his sight on goal was more direct.
And lo, the balding substitute precisely did the rest,
The first time he had scored with Longford’s badge upon his chest.

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 The Longford fans just went berserk, they scarcely could believe it,
Ecstatic that the Midlanders had managed to retrieve it.
But Reynolds’ men just hung their heads in absolute dismay,
Stunned their day of glory had been cruelly snatched away.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 So the Cup returns to Longford, it’s ribbons red and black,
And who’s to say that next year they will want to hand it back?
But spare a thought for Waterford and their long trophy drought,
Their thirst so nearly slaked, until the match was turned about.

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-fai-cup-final-2004/