The summer season kicked off last Saturday night but the weather was far from summery. Indeed, as we left the grounds, we were met by the council gritters. At least no one could complain about the midges!
Neale Fenn looked even sharper than usual in his grey and black coat but unfortunately the 2-2 draw softened that sharpness. Two nil up at half time and playing some really excellent football, it looked like the three points were very close to being in the bag. On numerous occasions some slick passing carved through the Cobh rearguard but we should have bulged their net on more then twice.
Maybe we went to sleep or took the two goal lead for granted but in the second half Cobh were a totally different side and managed two goals of their own which left the hosts feeling like we lost.
We certainly lost two valuable points. Shane Keegan, the Galway manager was an interested spectator and no doubt he left the ground rubbing his hands, not because he was freezing. Instead he must have been happy that his team's tags as favourites for the automatic promotion spot was looking good. They hammered Athlone Town 4-1 the previous night, with Furlong, his last minute signing bagging a hat trick. But it's a long journey from the frosty start of the season to the end when the leaves will be falling.
Apart from proceedings on the pitch, we had a much brighter start to the season than poor Drogheda. Their home game against Finn Harps couldn't go ahead because of the poor quality of the floodlights. Meanwhile at the City Calling Stadium, we had brighter lights than ever before. Or did you notice? Among the close season additions, new lights have been installed and those over the stand, in particular, were extra bright. It was also very satisfying to see such a good crowd in attendance, especially on an extremely cold night when it would have been easier to vegetate in front of a fire. And when you consider that 99.9% of the attendance was local, it was a marvellous turnout.The famed chef Gary O'Hanlon was among those present. Now that he has free Saturday nights, maybe he'll help out with the sandwiches!
The Clubhouse was jammed tight at half time which was also great to see. Our prices are the best value of any sports ground in the land so it's no wonder, it's well supported for every home game. Fair play to the overworked volunteers behind the counter.
Prior to Saturday night's game, Neale Fenn and his assistant Daire Doyle visited Melview and Stonepark schools as well as the Attic Youth Club. This initiative has often been spoken about, so seeing it actually happen was most encouraging. As a result, we had many extra youngsters at the game with all promising a speedy return to the City Calling Stadium. Other youngsters present was the under age team from Ballymahon, the Mini Inneys and looking very professional they were too.
None of the above advancements happen by magic. Well done to all those working hard behind the scenes; your contribution is greatly valued.
TALK OF THE TOWN
Andy Dardis was just inside the turnstiles selling the match programme and hopefully you picked up yours. This season it has a new catchy title 'Talk Of The Town'. But it's significantly more than just a catchy title. It had plenty of articles, interviews and photos by a wide variety of talented contributors. Some clubs struggle to produce something half as good. Hopefully, the high standard of the first programme will be maintained and that even more contributors come on board as the season progresses.
FINN HARPS UP NEXT
This Friday night we make the long trip north for a particularly tough assignment when we face Finn Harps. Harps have always been a tough team to beat, especially on the home patch. This season will be no different and for many so called experts, they're the team to go up automatically. Section O, (who added greatly to the atmosphere last Saturday night) will be running a bus to the game. Keep an eye on the weather and bring some extra wollies...it could be cold up in Donegal. Harps, who haven't played a game yet will be hoping that the Siberian snow remains in Siberia.
The Club's fundraising raffle needs a few extra volunteers to sell and promote the 50/50 Draw. As the title suggests, half of the takings are handed out in prizes each week, the other half goes to the club. And we don't have to tell you that the club needs as much funds as possible. Even if you were to take a few tickets to sell among family or friends/work mates, it would make a great difference. Give Andy a shout, he's love to hear from you.
CAR BOOT SALE
Our first Car Boot Sale of the 2018 season will be held on the St Patrick's Day Bank Holiday, which will be on the Monday following St Patrick's Day. Everything from a needle to an anchor will be available so whether you're sewing, sailing or just want a brilliant bargain, don't miss our famous Car Boot Sales.
SUPPORTERS' CLUB AGM
Our AGM will he held on Monday, March 5th at 8pm and you're more than welcome. For many seasons now, a small band of dedicated volunteers help the club in an ever expanding array of projects. Some office holders have been in position now for what feels like a hundred seasons and would be more than willing to hand over the reins if you'd like to take up the challenge. See you there on Monday, March 5th.