Sunday 17 May 2009
Shamrock Rovers v Bohs and growing up
I MADE one of my now infrequent forays to a League of Ireland match after some years being a regular attender last night to the Dublin derby between bitter rivals Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians.
The occasion entailed a cross-city trek to the Hoops' new Tallaght Stadium, still a work in progress but at least a permanent home for one of Ireland's famous football clubs.
On the pitch, Bohs went 1-0 up from a penalty in the first quarter of an hour but we were stunned – in an otherwise lacklustre game in which Bohs had looked (too?) comfortable – by two goals by Rovers in the 88th and 89th minutes. Rovers ran out winners 2-1.
Throughout the match, in the stands, there were distractions, which caused me to miss the second Rovers goal.
I had mates in both sets of supporters and there are many passionate fans on both sides, but why are there 'crews' imitating their English hooligan counterparts with an apparent need to prove their 'manliness' by swearing and abusing the opposition if not getting to physically attacking them.
My experience at LOI and English matches makes me think twice about taking my young son again even though he's obsessed by 'The Beautiful Game'.
The journey home on the LUAS with many of the still-boisterous Bohs fans was good-natured, even with the up-close and personal presence of the Garda and LUAS Security's 'Men in Black'.
Earlier, a lot of the stuff inside the stadium was handbags at 40 paces but why do grown men – and many were adults, not 'teenage tearaways' – have to do this? Why don't they rent a backroom in a pub somewhere and have a big cage fight – and stop giving going to a match a bad name.