by Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent, Limerick Leader
ON a bright spring Sunday in April 2014, the Monaleen U-10 Community Games Gaelic football team travelled to Killaloe to play an early season challenge game against the local side.
Monaleen had won the Munster title the previous year, qualifying to compete in the All-Ireland semi-finals in Athlone, but this was a new squad. There were plenty of early season rustiness on show from both sides through the opening half with little separating the sides on the scoreboard. Just before half-time Killaloe struck for two quick-fire goals, both of which were softish in nature. As a Monaleen assistant coach I was summoned to take a trip from my spot on the half way line down to the full-back line to try and sort the defensive frailties out.
Shortly after I arrived, Killaloe struck for a third goal and I quickly realised the root cause. The full-back and corner back had noticed the arrival of Anthony Foley on the sideline and were busily discussing same when a high ball dropped into the danger area and the Killaloe full-forward had little difficulty in dispatching the ball to the net.
They always said Anthony Foley had an innate ability to be in the right place at the right time on a rugby pitch. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best place for the Monaleen Community Games side that April Sunday two years ago!
Neither Monaleen player would have been old enough to remember Foley as a player, they knew him as the Munster coach and were in awe that he would come to their match. Somehow it just didn’t seem right to tell the three excited youngsters chattering away in the back of the car on the way home that evening that the Munster coach was at the game to watch his son playing. As far as they were concerned, he had turned up to watch an U-10 football game.
Most of those same players are 12 now and struggling to come to terms with what has happened to Anthony Foley. Their dads are around the same age.
Sport is cruel at times, we all know that. But, not half as cruel as what life can throw at us on weeks like this.
This article is taken from an article published in the Limerick Leader by Colm Kinsella on 22nd October 2016
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