Straight Talk­ing

Bray People - - NEWS - MARISA REIDY

AL­WAYS THE brides­maid, never the bride..poor old Mun­ster are this week re­liv­ing an all too fa­mil­iar nightmare. Fail­ing at the penul­ti­mate hur­dle, de­spite giv­ing it ev­ery­thing they had in the tank.

To non-Mun­ster fans read­ing this, I apol­o­gise, but my heart is bro­ken and I need to get it off my chest!

You see, I had my trip to Cardiff all mapped out, ex­cit­edly re­liv­ing that un­for­get­table day in the Welsh cap­i­tal in 2008 when Mun­ster were crowed Heineken Cup cham­pi­ons.

I re­mem­ber it as if was yes­ter­day and what it meant to the play­ers and the thou­sands of Mun­ster fans who had made the jour­ney to the Mil­len­nium Sta­dium.

Fool­ishly some might ar­gue, I was cau­tiously op­ti­mistic on Sun­day that we'd at least be in with a fight­ing chance of book­ing our place there again this year. The mad­den­ing thing is we were within reach, but left it too late. How many times have Mun­ster done that?

In case you haven't fig­ured it out, I love Mun­ster and see­ing them give away silly penal­ties to ar­guably the best kicker in the world was so in­fu­ri­at­ing. There were sloppy mis­takes that ul­ti­mately cost them the match and as a fan, that's so dis­ap­point­ing. It's one thing be­ing de­stroyed on the pitch and not de­serv­ing to win, but know­ing you were there or there abouts is heart­break­ing.

But does it make me ad­mire or sup­port them any less? Ab­so­lutely not!

That's the thing about Mun­ster. You in­vest so much in them, fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally, that you can't turn your back on them when the go­ing gets tough. It's like a bold child - you're mad in the heat of the mo­ment, but you know it won't last very long. Any­way, I'm sure they're feel­ing bad enough with­out their fans stick­ing the boot in.

Speak­ing of fans, you have to ad­mire those who made the trip to Mar­seilles, es­pe­cially when some had writ­ten off Mun­ster be­fore the game even started. I priced the trip, but un­for­tu­nately my budget wouldn't stretch. Only for that, I'd have been there!

The so-called Red Army never ceases to amaze me, and long, long may it last.

If I heard it once on Sun­day, I heard it 20 times - ‘Sure there's al­ways next year.’ At the time it was lit­tle con­so­la­tion but it's true. There is al­ways next year - and I've o doubt the Red Army will be with them ev­ery step of the way.

Mun­ster’s Paul O'Con­nell shakes the hand of Martin Cas­tro­gio­vanni, Toulon, af­ter the game. Alas, the dream of a Cardiff fi­nal re-run has been dashed for the Red Army.

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