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‘Twas on July 28th, when Shels played Hajduk Split,
The reputations of the Croats fazed them not one bit.
They faced them with a steely eye and hearts of Irish grit,
And very shortly scored through a sublime Fitzpatrick hit.
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But eighteen minutes on the clock and our balloon was burst.
Our fortunes were quite suddenly unluckily reversed,
A free-kick incorrectly launched and Blatnjak did his worst,
And Lady Luck and Fickle Fate were uniformly cursed.
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But Shels stuck firmly to their task and matched them blow for blow,
Managing quite nicely to disrupt the Hajduk flow.
And then a chance for Stuey but he couldn’t keep it low.
It would have been a perfect strike with seconds left to go.
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But when the second half began, Shels quickly fell behind,
When Petar Sutu showed our net was not too hard to find,
And Shels supporters knew the half would be a long, hard grind,
And some of us were really pessimistically resigned.
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But giving up the ghost is not what Fenlon’s team’s about,
They never seem to show the slightest traces of self-doubt.
And Jayo’s volley seemed to put them back in with a shout.
Sadly though, it hit the bar, bounced down and came back out.
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Then agony! Disaster! With just minutes left to play,
Thorn-like, Dragan Blatnjak notched his second of the day.
It was a cruel addendum to a sterling Shels display,
As Ger McCarthy got stripped off and quickly joined the fray.
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But there was still a giant twist left in this epic tale,
As Alan Moore, like last time, got the Redsmen out of jail.
Ger McCarthy set him up and Alan didn’t fail,
To put the lads in sight of that elusive Holy Grail.
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Tolka should be packed next week to help to lift the team,
To go that one step further and to lick Croatia’s cream.
The atmosphere ought to be intense in the extreme,
As Shels go hell for leather in their European dream.