What a weekend on the sporting front! Three great (well i’m assuming the France match was) rugby matches and high drama in the Carling Cup final. But what a contrast between the two occasions. Ireland produced an outstanding display to hammer England on an emotionally significant day. The respect and dignity which Ireland fans applauded England and as ‘God save the Queen’ rang out on the site of the original ‘Bloody Sunday’, and the atmosphere in which the match was played bore stark contrast to the scenes at the end of the match in theMillennium Stadium today.
Ireland put in a dominating display, outplaying England in ways I never imagined. Politically it was a massive occasion and for me it seemed almost the closing of a long and bloody chapter in Irish history. For England to play rugby at Croke Park the home of the GAA is a sign of how much the South of Ireland has moved on from the sectarianism that still afflicts the North. Maybe our politicians should take note. Back to the football. Drogba has been phenomenal, the football was end to end and full of drama, Arsenal have an exciting young side that will dominate in years to come, yet it all erupted in handbags at the end. Given footballers’ ability to go down at the slightest touch I was surprised not to see the pitch littered with players writhing in ‘pain’. I’m sure there will be repercussions with a few players handed bans, shame it has taken the shine of what had been a fantastic game, with some great goals by Drogba and Theo Walcott. First trophy of a possible 4 for the mighty blues, and Ireland showing what they are capable of – maybe better not to peak too soon with world cup coming up…..