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Another “hard luck story,” yes, another “brave attempt,”
Another year deflecting all the English fans’ contempt.
Bucharest looked ordin’ry whene’er the ball was crossed,
But let us call a spade a spade, for once again we lost.
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We played with fire and passion, but we didn’t get the breaks,
They didn’t threaten greatly but we made two bad mistakes.
A rollercoaster of a game in which our dreams were tossed,
And people say that we were quite unlucky to have lost.
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We showed them in the second half, and got our game plan going,
We raided down the flanks at will, with confidence a-growing,
But we need to take our chances, as we found out to our cost,
For when the game’s forgotten, sure, the score will say we lost.
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We battled hard, competed well, and battened down the hatches.
To me, the others only seemed quite comfortable in patches.
But stressing Shelbourne’s strong points means the vital facts are glossed –
We scored one but they scored four – the maths mean that we lost.
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Like Ireland in the seventies, defeats become heroic,
The hardened fan accepts them with an attitude so stoic.
Am I unrealistic when I get up and accost
The fan who shrugs and says that it was fated that we lost.
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The thing about defeats is that we’re starting to accept them,
The strength of the opposing team serves only to deflect them.
The words “heroic failure” are upon my heart embossed,
And underneath, in tiny script, the two small words “We lost.”
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I don’t want condescension, nor this patronising pity.
All we’ve done is banked a few more thousand in the kitty.
Maybe someday, some team will escape this permafrost,
And then we will not need to say, “They did well, but they lost.”