Ode to the Cork Footballers
(Ode to the Cork Footballers)
For twenty years our Rebels fought for All Ireland football glory,
But try as they might they could not get a happy ending to the story,
We came so close so many times, and nearly crossed the line,
History within our finger tips, only for fortune to decline,
Larry did some Trojan work and then Billy took the wheel,
He got the Rebels oh so close, but each loss had its own ordeal,
Three years ago when the Nemo man was interviewed in defeat,
He claimed the Rebels would be back, and that Cork would not retreat,
He wasn't wrong, he knew deep down that this team had all it
That they would grow strong from those defeats and learn from their mistakes.
When strife struck home and supporters marched, old grievances
Canty led, the players followed, and his team they stood united,
Conor came and things settled down, the Kingdom blocked our
But the Rebels worked tirelessly and knew they'd have their day.
Despite the digs from Joe Brolly, or what others said in writing,
From Bere Island to Pairc Úi Rinn, the boys never gave up fighting,
All the Dubs thought we were in the bag, they never saw it coming,
Donnacha sliced the ball into the net, and Cork just kept on running.
"Oh Cork were lucky" they cried with fright, there
was panic in RTE,
Poor Brolly seemed to think his views alone were worth the license fee,
Even Spillane squirmed as Cork drove on, excuses were wearing
The Rebels weren't playing well we heard, so how come they always win?
And with that 'goal' against Kildare, Down got to the final
We all know Benny was in the square, but the umpire was fast asleep,
The Rebels were being counted out, some said they were going
All the talk was of County Down's abundant amazing skill,
'The men in yellow had never lost a final', we heard the pundits
But we believed in Coun-ihan, and that Cork would have their day.
The Nordies hit an early lead while the Rebels just sat back,
Going in at half time in arrears? Sure everything's still on track!
Then the whistle blew for the second half and things changed
Nicholas appeared out of the sky, catching balls fanatically.
Then the biggest roar of the day, came when the signs went up
The Down boys could be seen shaking in their boots as in stepped Captain Canty,
He marshalled Cork's defence, every Down man around him a gonner,
Cork pumped the ball high and long into Ballydesmond's son O'Connor,
The balls rained in and forwards clicked, now the Cork boys
over Croker ruled,
Goulding slotted points and forty-fives, the Newry boys were fooled.
"At least two minutes of extra time" around the stadium
We've waited twenty years for Sam, but for this tension we were not groomed!
Cork fans whistled or clutched their hearts, exhibited all sorts
of strange behaviour,
Fellas sweated half their body weight and a few old dolls went into labour.
Then suddenly Goulding stole the ball and was underneath the
A yellow jersey took him out and then we all knew Down were broken,
Danny lobbed the ball into the square, and the final whistle
Noelie jumped into the air, and Donnacha coiled over bent.
The Rebels went bananas and the crowd all sung the Banks,
Sam Maguire was collected and distributed down the ranks.
Rain belted down and soaked us through, but like the Dubs with
boos and jeers,
Nothing could derail this Rebel train, nothing could quench our cheers,
With all the recent history this team's task was so unnerving,
But never was there a win for Cork that was ever more deserving,
We remember the words of one great Corkman, Mayor McSweeney
in his prime,
They seem so apt for this Cork team, given those defeats suffered over time,
It's not the men who can inflict the most, to whom final victory
But to those gallant heroes who suffer the most, it's them who are rewarded.