Joxer goes to Clongowes

Last Thursday the annual Staff v Students Soccer match for the Brendan Cullen Perpetual Trophy took place with the masters finally taming the pupils in a tense penalty shoot-out. Our doughty sports reporter (and now it seems, poet), Richard the Rhymer lost the run of himself altogether and submitted this – well – report, we suppose (with apologies to Christy Moore)…

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‘Twas in the year 200, almost the month of June,

All the boys were swarmin’, Trampas howlin’ at the moon.

As their minds began to drift outside, the bell sud-denly began

And O’Hara packed his Physics book and equipment in the van.

Some of the lads had never been picked in the team before,

‘T’was the first time Gabhán O’Briain had seen a ball or more.

Before they left for action they knew they’d need a plan

So they all agreed that Shalvey was the one to be the man.

Inside the school the corridor ‘twas like the Long Mile Road

There was every kind of boy and child off to join the fold;

Football boots and jerseys – it was all a big melee

Excitement overflowing now that all the kids were free

There were fans from Ballybunion, Ballina and Ballymun,

On the journey to the astro-field – the craic was ninety-one.

Meanwhile all the staff sat tight and waited for the sign,

Referee Linnane had a look outside and he said that they’d be fine.

As soon as they got to the pitch, they huddled in a ring,

Wrighty was to go gung-ho, Condron on the wing.

There would be fans from every single dorm, attracted by the sound,

Amazed and shocked and stunned to see Maloney fly across the ground,

But the planning it soon ended, it was time to face the bout

All the manly chests inflated, and all the team fanned out,

As one by one they took their place, Steve O’Hara had a dream

He dreamt that he and Frank Kelly both sat down to pick the team.

Stephen dreamt they both agreed on David Gibbons straight away

And that Brennan, Croke and McElwee were certainly to play,

But the tempers they began to rise with patience wearing thin,

Frank wanted big Niall Leahy, O’Hara wanted in.

And the dream turned into nightmare, Stevie struck him with a smack

Kelly wanted to bring Paul McCormack and Eamon Jackman back,

Well the crowd cheered by the sideline, and the whistle sounded shrill

And O’Hara woke with shin pads on and quite a nasty chill.

That morning not one expert gave the staff the slightest chance,

They said the fabled Clongowes team would lead a merry dance;

With their funny uniforms, their fans for victory they were set

Until Garry Corcoran got the ball and stuck it in the net.

What happened next is history, brought tears to many eyes

Oh that day will be the highlight of many teacher’s lives;

Well O’Hara punched the air with glee and later he was seen

Arm-in-am with Frank Kelly singing Ocean Colour Scene.

And now all the boys are back in class, they’ll soon be home to mam

But despite the loss they grinned and smiled, proud to be a Clongowes man.