Remember the first match of the All-Ireland Hurling Final? It ended in a draw, and the GAA rules state that the match must be replayed in this case. Sweet deal for them, getting to sell out 80,000 plus seats at historic Croke Park for another match? Sign me up for that!
We didn't get tickets for the match, but we made plans to watch the match (I keep wanting so write 'game,' but I feel that would be inappropriate for this sport) at a pub on the North side of Dublin near Croke Park stadium where the
game match was played.
We left home mid-morning and walked the whole way to City Centre and on to the neighborhood of Croke Park. Almost every pub we passed was flying the county colors of Cork and Clare, and cars passing by displayed flags and other tailgate-esque materials on the way to the stadium. As we got closer to the stadium, we fought through crowds of spectators cheering, singing, and drinking their way to the match. It was very reminiscent of a game day morning at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, with a Northern European flair.
The crowd was in good spirits, and the drink was certainly flowing, but the amount of sick-drunk-surliness was certainly lower than a college football game, especially given the later time of day at the hurling match. Late kickoffs at Iowa could have some pretty epic tailgate shenanigans, but not so here. Also noticeably different was the lack of actual "tailgating." For those unfamiliar (all non-Americans) tailgating gets its name from parking a pickup truck outside or near a game stadium and having a pre-game party with barbeque, ball throwing, and usually drinking. The lack of parking places and public drinking laws move all of the pre-match reveling to homes and pubs.
We got to Hogan's pub just past the stadium and found seats in sight of the television. The match was an exciting one, with Clare taking the cup with a score of 5-16 to 3-16 (that computes to an overall score of 31-25.) For the best recap of the match, read the RTE writeup, complete with photos.
We walked home after the match, no short trip indeed. Luckily, I was able to find an incredible haul of abandoned glasses as match-goers walked out of pubs to get to the match on time with their drink glasses. I won't need to collect many more glasses after this day's haul! Can't wait for hurling season to start next Spring.
|Glasses found around the hurling final|