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The storm blew ‘cross the country and uprooted sturdy trees,
‘Twas not a day for football in the Force Eleven breeze,
But there was still a decent crowd on down in Dublin 4
To reproduce one final time the famous Lansdowne roar.
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Derry were quite confident with Stephen back in tow,
Though Ciaran Martyn’s absence, like the weather, was a blow.
And Pats’ were scarcely tired by their long three mile trip,
Unveiling, with wry humour, their new Barcelona strip.
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Both teams struggled manfully to overcome the gale,
Through balls, long throws, corner kicks, but all to no avail.
St. Patrick’s started brightly as the rain began to fall,
Searching, seeking all the time to play the killer ball.
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It came with twenty minutes gone, a through-ball on the button,
Keegan dummied deftly and Mulcahy outpaced Hutton.
David Forde came rushing out, the Pat’s man kept his head,
Chipped it o’er the keeper and the Inchicore side led.
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Five minutes, though, the scoreline stood, till up stepped Pat McCourt,
Slid a perfect reversed pass and Pat’s defence was caught.
With marvellous composure, young Mark Farren took the ball,
A left foot shot past Ryan and the score was now one-all.
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The wind swirled all round Lansdowne, as each team was cursed and favoured,
But as for all the players, concentration never wavered.
McCourt was causing problems, leaving Murphy on the floor
But half time came quite soon without addition to the score.
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Derry came out fighting as they probed the Pats’ defence,
Farren looked quite dangerous, but Foley was immense.
The game began to open up with play around each goal,
Though Derry very carefully began to wrest control.
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The game became quite scrappy as conditions disimproved,
Every time the ball was placed, it resolutely moved.
A Beckett lob sent Ryan back before it cleared the post,
And Farren curled a great chance wide as Patricks looked like toast.
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Then quite against the run of play, Molloy was crudely felled
“Penalty!” the mass of fans from Dublin 12 all yelled.
The whistle sounded shrilly and Molloy himself stepped up
To blast the ball past Forde and put a Pats hand on the Cup.
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But as the minutes ticked away, the Candystripes pushed on,
McHugh looked very lively and old Gary Beckett shone.
Then came a short and hopeful lob and Clive Delaney leapt,
Nodded over Ryan and the Pats supporters wept.
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Ninety minutes came and went, the winner never came,
Despite the chances both teams had to finish off the game.
And so it went to extra time as nerves became intense,
Both teams quite determined not to slip up in defence.
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Extra time saw both these teams attempt to find some form,
Struggling with the opposition, struggling with the storm.
Pats were sorely troubled by a crisp Sean Hargan drive,
And Barry Ryan was so relieved to see his goal survive.
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And then young Quigley made a run on down the flank, and checked.
Sean O’Connor came bursting through and Derry’s dreams were wrecked.
Once again Pats took the lead and Derry’s shoulders fell,
But after half time’s turn around, they fought like merry hell.
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A rasping drive from K. McHugh and Ryan tipped around,
But when the corner came across, the Pats ship ran aground.
The ball came through to Hutton and it struck him on the legs –
The roar from Derry’s faithful could be heard in Killybegs.
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Scarcely had the noise died down, another corner came,
Tormenting Pats’ defenders in this topsy-turvy game.
Poor Stephen Brennan nicked it as the strong wind took its toll.
His fateful touch beat everyone and steered it in the goal.
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And therefore Derry took the crown, despite their great fatigue,
Sweet consolation for their disappointment in the league.
Poor Pats had thought they’d clinched it and their long long wait was o’er,
But football is a cruel game – just ask in Inchicore.