Thai bound on Sunday … but still shouting for the Dubs from exile

by Gazette Reporter
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All summer I’d been looking forward to Dublin’s quarter-final match at a packed Croke Park and then Murphy’s Law strikes …. I get a week-long gig in Thailand that means I am flying out (you wouldn’t believe it) on Sunday evening!

Sportswise, it doesn’t get much better than a throbbing Croke Park on a Sunday with Mayo and Dublin going hammer and tongs at one another, does it? At least I put my foot down to ensure I got a late flight out of Heathrow Airport and that means I will be able to sit down and watch the game before I jet off.

I have a good feeling about Dessie’s Dubs this year. I think they were so unlucky last year against Kerry when they lost to that last minute kick from distance from Sean O’Shea. But they were right in the game and when you consider that Paul Mannion, Jack McCaffrey and  Con O’Callaghan are now back in the squad, it feels like a much stronger team this time around.

Also the young lads are coming good, the likes of Lee Gannon, Killian O’Gara and Sean Bugler are adding to the squad to replace some of the heroes who have now retired.

Speaking of Dubs, isn’t Padraig Harrington a great example to us all. At the weekend, he won his fifth seniors’ title and although now in his fifties, he is still very competitive at the top level. What an example! I’d also like you to watch out for Leone Maguire who won on the ladies tour and came up short when leading in last weekend’s major after three rounds. I’d be very disappointed if she finishes her career without at least one or two majors to her record.

I will be playing a number of games out in the Far East but at my age, it is all about enjoying the journey rather than worrying about the destination of winning. We have a great snooker family and many of my fellow pros feel more like brothers than opponents, such is the amount of time we have spent in each other’s company down the years.

I guess that is the biggest sporting victory you can have – a life enriched with friends.

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