Making my Debut

I was chosen to play with the Galway team in the girls’ exhibition match during the interval between the minor and senior matches.  Patrick Kane from Lettergesh NS was chosen to play in the boys’ match.   I set off for Roscommon early Sunday morning with my mother, father and grandfather.  Luck was going my way as my father was supposed to have an unmissable game in Tullycross that day, but it was cancelled because of the pitch being unplayable.  When we reached Roscommon town we met with Richard Bowles, the Secretary of Cumann na mBunscol at 1:45 pm outside the Hyde Centre.  For once I was the first one there.  Eventually everyone arrived and we went and togged out.  I was the only Connemara person there and didn’t know anyone at first but then realised that I’d played against most of them in club matches with the Grainne Mhaols, the most recent being Elaine Monaghan who plays with Mountbellew.  I was playing in the forwards wearing number 10, Paul Clancy’s number (my favourite player).  I didn’t get to watch much of the minor match as I was getting togged out and wasn’t allowed to leave the hall.  I only saw the last five minutes, when we all had to sit on the sideline. Some of my friends came over to wish me good luck.

Then I started getting nervous especially since there were over 25,000 people there and I was so scared I would mess up.  Our game was eight minutes long and it ended up level while in the lads’ game Galway won 3-0 to 2-0.  When the whistle blew we lined up on the pitch and cheered the two senior teams on to the pitch.  I was very excited since it was my first time attending a Galway match.  After our game we went back in to the get togged in.  We were told that we were allowed to keep the whole set, socks, shorts and the new  jersey.  I sprinted up to the stands to find my parents and was just in time.  At half time we did the Mexican Wave at least twenty times.  I really enjoyed the match and think Padraig Joyce had an outstanding game.   After the match I went to Supermacs in Galway where I met Joe Bergin and Kevin Walsh.  I went up and shook their hands and wished them good luck against Mayo in Castlebar on 2nd June.  I’d love to go the Mayo match and hopefully watch Galway go through to another Connaught final.

Written by Danielle Lydon (Eagles Nest NS)

Connemara Life

Summer 2002