A broth of a day at Wembley and two Pogballing
matches brought the Gaelic Games a bigger attendance than Phil Mafuta’s ball. neither
Gaelic Football or Hurling are well known in England but Irish exiles flocked to this
annual encounter. First the football and Mayo in the darker shirts go straight into the
attack against Offaly who last played at Wembley eight years ago. One of the top teams in Gaelic
Football at present. Mayo recently captured the National League title and they were pressing
their opponents hard. it’s a close thing with this rebound. And there’s another near miss.
But now Offaly are attacking and this throw over the net but between the posts gives them
a point. A goal with the ball in the net scores three points. It’s an unusual game something
between soccer and rugby and a little bit that’s just pure Irish. Almost anything seems
to go but the only player allowed to pick the ball up from the ground is the goalie.
Offaly were scoring well but Mayo had built up a convincing lead and finally won by 3
goals and 12 points against Offaly’s 3 goals and 7 points. One of the victorious Mayo players
is a priest and in Ireland Hurling is something of a religion too. So what better exponent
of this ancient and skillful game for the Wembley crowd than League champions Cork and
All-Ireland champions Kilkenny. In spite of a marked resemblance this sport has little
to do with jolly Hockey sticks. It’s fast,tough and exciting. The scoring similar to that
in Gaelic football using points and goals separately. Cork had the upper hand throughout
and this sparkling run down the left wing was just one example of masterly ball control.
Another point to Cork gives them a final score of five goals and thirteen points against
Kilkenny’s four goals and six points.The cup’s a corker too.

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Dennis Veasley

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