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Showing posts from July, 2011

Celebrate Darren's achievement and forget the preaching

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Given that this blog has in the past celebrated the achievements of Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, the European Ryder Cup team and Padraig Harrington it’s shockingly remiss that I’ve not yet managed a post about Darren Clarke.

The big Dungannon man’s Open triumph was the pick of the bunch when it came to defying the odds.At 42 most experts had written off his prospects of picking up a major title.
Last night, though, the BBC got to screen its now traditional documentary, charting the home-coming of yet another major champion.It was a bit of a tear-jerker, capturing emotional scenes as Darren brought the claret jug back to his family in Portrush and to his two sons.
Now Clarke is a nice guy, but he’s not one of the generation of non-descript, clean-cut, identikit sports stars.The documentary captured an awful lot of drinking, alongside the formal celebrations and (let’s be honest) a little on screen inebriation.Some pompous asses have chosen to focus on this and describe Darren as a …

Will more strikers equal less tedium?

Northern Ireland fans probably deserve the summer off after the disastrous Carling Nations Cup campaign, but no such luck I'm afraid.Nigel Worthington named his latest squad today, ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier against the Faroe Islands, scheduled for August 10th.
To be fair to the manager it is a fairly adventurous selection.He names six forwards in the 23 man panel.David Healy is back in the frame, Burnley’s Martin Paterson gets a recall and Jamie Ward, the Derby County striker who secured a permanent move from Sheffield United last season, has finally made a breakthrough to the senior set-up.
Another new face is James McClean, who has attracted the attention of a host of English clubs, playing for Derry City in the League of Ireland.There is a suspicion that he has been promoted too early, with the threat of FAI poaching in mind, but Pat McCourt and Niall McGinn graduated successfully from the Brandywell to become influential full internationals.
In the normal course of eve…

Violence on the streets points to political problems

From Friday's Irish News.
Yes, it’s that time of the year again.The annual mayhem is in full swing in Northern Ireland.
Sectarian clashes at an interface in East Belfast were followed by dissident republican disorder in Craigavon, then - not to be outdone - loyalist rioters torched cars and attacked police last weekend, after a dispute about flags in Ballyclare.All this before the familiar scenes of destruction engulfed Ardoyne on Tuesday night.
The summer threatens to be a long and hot one for the security forces, at flashpoints across the province. It’s thirteen years since the Good Friday Agreement heralded a hopeful new future for this part of the world, but although power-sharing is firmly entrenched at Stormont, on the ground our communities seem as divided as ever. Politicians may frequently pay lip-service to their desire to “move on” from traditional quarrels and deliver a “shared future”, but evidence from the streets suggests either that people aren’t listening or else…