Sport

Highlights of the socially-distancing week

Dublin star Diarmuid Connolly
Andy Watters and Thomas Hawkins

Lesson learned

I was talking once to a guy I know well, who was doing well in business at the time, still is in fact, about what advice would he give to youngsters starting out.

''That's an easy one,'' he says. ''I'd tell them one thing: To be successful, copy success.''

This guy would always gave a shrug of the shoulders and say: 'Ach, you know how it is; struggling.'' when greeted with a friendly: ''How's it going?''

Not giving too much info away is maybe another reason he was so successful.

The story came into my head when reading Aaron Kernan’s answers in the 'Best of Enemies' page in The Irish News this week .

''The first time I came across Diarmuid Connolly was when Crossmaglen played St Vincent’s in a challenge game before the 2007 All-Ireland semi-final,'' said Kernan.

''It was down in St Vincent’s, and we absolutely wiped the floor with them.

''We went on to win the All-Ireland Club that year, while St Vincent’s had a meeting and said ‘that’s the standard we need to get to’.

''They got their act together really quickly, won Dublin that year and the following February we ended up playing them in the All-Ireland semi-final.

''They beat us easy.''

St Vincent’s and Dublin obviously had the same approach as that savvy guy back in the day.

Words to the wise

Never give up, ever.

Armagh’s Aaron Findon has endured a fair few injury problems in his career but has no intention of giving up his fight for a county jersey.

The St Peter’s, Lurgan midfielder made his debut for the Orchardmen in 2014.

“I was only a wee pup then,” said Findon with a laugh in his interview with Andy Watters this week.

“It all went very quickly, it was my rookie year and everything was new.

“It was great craic and I would love to get that wee skinny Aaron back and be able to run around the pitch the same way.

“But I’m still here and there’s still a bit of life left in me.”

Tweet to inspire

Ava Finnegan, teenager daughter of former Antrim football star Anto, is using the lockdown for a good cause.

Anto was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) back in 2012.

His daughter says: ‘’I haven't got my haircut in a few months due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

‘'Later this year, when the lockdown is over I will be getting my long hair cut in aid of The Motor Neurone Disease Association and donating my hair to the Little Princess' Trust, who will use it to make wigs for children and young people with hair loss.’’

Rolling back the years

THE re-runs of the Republic of Ireland’s games in Italia 90 on TG4 continued with the 0-0 draw against Egypt last night. It was only when my son fell asleep on the sofa watching the 1-1 draw with England the previous week that I realised that it’s fair to say that you needed to be there (I mean be around during those brilliant days) to appreciate the amazing drama of those games. Ah the memories of Paul McGrath passing back to Mick McCarthy and him launching a 70-yard high ball in the general direction of big Cas… Yes, the ball went out over the sideline and bounced into the stand but the entire nation remained glued to their half-ton TVs. Great memories but the style of football hasn’t aged particularly well.

Happy birthday to you

JACK Charlton turned 85 yesterday. Happy birthday Jack. The 1966 World Cup winner was the architect of the Republic’s qualification for the Italia 90 and USA 94 World Cups and let’s not forget Euro 88 either. For every goal Ireland scored there are 10,000 great memories and stories of where we were and who we were with.

Me, Mickey O’Loughlin, Darren Quinn and a couple of thousand others watched the Republic v Holland game in a nightclub in Salthill and the place went absolutely bananas when Niall Quinn scored. By the way, that game is on TG4 next Friday and if my son falls asleep again I shall consider halving the size of his inheritance which, in these lockdown days, will bring it down to just under 37 quid.

A good lockdown read

‘In so many words’ The best of Con Houlihan

A COLLECTION of the finest columns from the legendary Kerryman who in his time was a fisherman, a turf cutter and a rugby player but became best known, of course, as a social and cultural commentator and one of Ireland’s finest journalists. This is a series of superbly-written and insightful pieces from hunting to fishing and Gaelic football and hurling to soccer. Packed full of wit and wisdom, it is recommended lockdown reading.

Best sports documentary

MUCH like my colleagues on The Irish News sports desk, in fact the entire Irish News, the lads and lasses at Netflix are playing an absolute blinder this weather. A lot has already been said about the superb ‘Last Dance’ but another one to look out for is the also brilliant ‘Losers’ series. It begins with the amazing story of Michael Bentt who, despite being forced into boxing by his abusive father, went on to become world heavyweight champion. Since retiring Bentt he has flourished as an actor and director. Well worth watching.

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