Ire­land stand up to Pa­pua New Guinea as Har­ring­ton tries to un­scram­ble egg

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Sports -

beaten Wales by just the 44 points. So, Pádraig’s bat­tles with na­ture looked like a tame enough challenge in com­par­i­son.

Mind you, at least we got the op­por­tu­nity to buckle up. Aus­tralia’s Chan­nel 7 (via eir Sport), be­fore turn­ing their at­ten­tion to Ire­land’s game, brought us news from the Scot­tish camp – three of their play­ers, in­clud­ing their cap­tain, weren’t al­lowed board their flight from Christchurch to Brisbane be­cause they were trolleyed.

That one of the play­ers was called Johnny Walker had Lau­rie Da­ley gig­gling so hard the stu­dio desk trem­bled, but Brett Kim­mor­ley thought it was no laugh­ing mat­ter, pre­fer­ring to focus in­stead on on-field mat­ters, namely the strength of Pa­pua New Guinea. By the time he fin­ished rem­i­nisc­ing about how black and blue he would be af­ter play­ing against them back in his day, you wished the en­tire Ir­ish squad had been thrown off their flight to Port Moresby.

Our host Jim Wil­son asked Brett for his pre­dic­tion. “PNG will win, ob­vi­ously.” He didn’t bother ask­ing Lau­rie, he was still snort­ing over Johnny Walker.

But just five min­utes in to the game, pos­si­bly in­spired by a highly emo­tive ren­di­tion of Ire­land’s Call by a man called Scott Muller (who is one-tenth of The Ten Tenors, ap­par­ently), Ire­land only went and scored a try. Take that, Brett Kim­mor­ley. Granted, they didn’t score again and lost 14-6, but still.

So, on to Turkey in search of early morn­ing Ir­ish suc­cess and there was Pádraig be­ing in­ter­viewed by Sky’s Tim Barter as he am­bled down the fair­way. Tim was ask­ing him about his mir­a­cle shot in the sec­ond round when his ball landed be­side a tree, An­drew Coltart de­scrib­ing his predica­ment as “like try­ing to un­scram­ble an egg”. But with his bot­tom close enough to be­ing perched on a branch, he man­aged to pitch the ball within three feet of the hole.

Dog cho­rus

Pádraig made the point that golf­ing life would ac­tu­ally be a whole lot eas­ier if ev­ery shot was out of a tree, be­cause there was re­ally only one way to ex­tri­cate your­self, so you weren’t trou­bled by choices. Soon af­ter he found an­other tree and you be­gan to won­der if he was aim­ing for them. He, alas, found the wa­ter from there, his con­cen­tra­tion pos­si­bly not helped by a cho­rus of bark­ing Turk­ish dogs in the back­ground. But then he chipped in to make par and he had those mad stare-y eyes on him, so you sensed he sniffed vic­tory.

Not to be, though, Shane Lowry miss­ing out too, hav­ing shared the lead go­ing in to the fi­nal round. And Wayne had had high hopes for him, largely due to his, well, al­lur­ing dig­its. “This boy, he has the sexy fin­gers … we talk about sexy fin­gers, but this guy, these are seeeee­ri­ously sexy.”

You didn’t know where to look, re­ally. But if there was a poll car­ried out on Sun­day ask­ing “which Ir­ish sports­man has the sex­i­est fin­gers?” you’d guess Cork City fans would have flooded it with votes for Mark McNulty af­ter his penalty save helped them com­plete their League and Cup dou­ble.

A dou­ble-dou­ble, too, af­ter Cork City’s women opened the day by beat­ing UCD Waves to win the cup with a peach of a goal from Clare Shine. “Two years ago we couldn’t even score a goal,” she said af­ter the game, which gave some in­di­ca­tion of how the team has pro­gressed this last while.

The high­light of the day, though, was pos­si­bly Brian Kerr’s homage to flares, a num­ber of which were set off dur­ing the boys’ game de­spite pleas from the FAI that they be left at home.

“I al­ways think it adds a lit­tle bit of a big time touch to a match, the smell of the flares, far too much health and safety stuff around matches these days,” he said, in­sist­ing there’s divil a thing wrong with “a lit­tle bit of smok­i­ness”. And Ge­orge Hamil­ton reck­oned it was all very fit­ting in light of it be­ing Guy Fawkes Night.

Guy, of course, was hung, drawn and quar­tered. But we shouldn’t give the FAI any ideas as they con­tinue try­ing to en­force their ban.

Pos­si­bly in­spired by a highly emo­tive ren­di­tion of ‘Ire­land’s Call’ by a man called Scott Muller (who is one tenth of The Ten Tenors), Ire­land only went and scored a try

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