By Jimmy Rhatigan
Pics: Donal Foley
THE GODS of sport smiled gently on our city last Sunday.
Two home finals against top Munster opposition and our camogie and hurling whiz kids hit the jackpot in both.
The girls set the trend with a one-point win over Cork in the senior National League Division Final after a game in which the Cats were top dogs in the first half but then had to hold on for dear life in the second.
The hurlers did the opposite. They were good without being great in their first half but were the lords of the Nowlan Park arena as they ran rings around Tipperary in the second half of their league decider.
The afternoon was perfect for hurling and for supporters of the small ball.
A noon Sunday roast, an amble or a drive to The Park and two excellent games of which Cuchulainn and his sister would be so proud.
Cork fought gallantly in the camogie but after a cagey opening, Tipp looked anything but comfortable in the company of their old enemy.
Walter Walsh was our target man, the spearhead of attack as he continuously made a nuisance of himself and displayed marvellous talents.
Paddy Deegan was a rock of stability in defence and TJ Reid was awesome as usual, a superbly talented hurling craftsman who would probably squeeze a sliotar through the eye of a needle.
Nowlan Park was bursting at the seams and while local supporters seemed to be cagey rather than overawed early on, they eventually exploded into a crescendo that might have rattled the roof of one of the ardáns, if there is such a focal.
It is still early season but the dash on to the pitch to smother our hurlers with congratulation had a hint of All-Ireland aura about it.
With trophies already under their belts in early season, the rest of the year is now an oyster for two superb squads that did our local game proud on a super Sunday when, surprise, surprise, it failed to rain, and unsurprisingly, a bumper attendance crowded into Nowlan Park and weren’t disappointed.
On the latter score, we would have to add, apart from Tipp and Cork supporters.