2004 Results And Fixtures
Some photos from the year are
League latest- Division 1, 9-5 record. Third place.
Blitzes - Bowl final in IOST
Cup - Open-top bus cancelled
Wednesday 28/04/04 Big Al's Flyers 10 - 9 Usual Suspects
ALSAA. Att: 3 and a dog
Low expectations. Way Better. After the Flyers reached the brink of disaster last year the top brass have spent the winter slashing costs across the board. With no Big Al's money coming in and the fat-cat umpires awarding themselves a massive 50 per cent pay rise nothing could escape the bean-counters' axe. Belt-tightening was the order of the day. It didn't look good.
Now Emer has been sold off, all foreign assets disposed of, and with Deano and Peter being retired the result is a much slimmer Flyers outfit as Chief Executive Officer Brian W.W. Ebbs looks forward to the challenges facing us in 2004. A couple of cheap new additions left money for Chairman Betty and Director of Fun Tony Burns to fly to Rio in March to attend a conference on Softball in a Low-Cost Global Economy.
The spectacular turn-around in fortunes was displayed last night in a head to head battle with Usual Suspects, darlings of the common man, under the shrewd leadership of maverick Adrian 'O'Leary' Forrester and the tight fiscal control of Alacoque. Winnipeg-based softball analyst Ian Clarke who said the Flyers 'were fuqt' was one of several experts who had predicted the Flyers would go under but already there is talk of the 'Manager of the Year' award once the Flyers can decide who is actually running the club.
Ebbs commented later in ALSAA that he was well ahead of his predicted target at this time and was confident that the Flyers would come through their rebuilding process by winning every game this season. 'We must build upon this, it is not a time for sitting back', he said from his reclining chair, 'and going forward I hope to God that we can somehow fluke another win later in the season. You can quote me on that.' With the budget only stretching to one plate of victory chips for the season Betty spoke later about 'empowering the players' by giving them the choice of buying their own in future. A heated debate on whether salt/vinegar/red sauce could be put on the chips ended abruptly when Gary scoffed them all.
Devally's Devastating Moment: By passing his MBA exams and getting Allison pregnant Adrian has left us down one and a half players before the season has even started.
Debutante of the Day: Barbara Connolly has been playing the blitz circuit for years but now has finally paid subs. And played a blinder at 2B. And big welcome back to Ann Murphy, playing her first game for us since July 2nd 1996. Can you believe some Flyers didn't even know who she was? Kids today.
P.S. Good Luck to..: Bro and the rest of the would-be record breakers.
Wednesday 12/05/04 1Z Blazzers - Flyers
Postponed - to be rearranged. Probably 16 June.
Wednesday 19/05/04. Beachers 9 - 39 Flyers
St. Annes Park, Raheny. Att: 2.
Wild Running. You can pay 20 euros at the Sugar Club if you want comedy. Things were quiet til around the 5th innings when a huge fight erupted. Soon all the players from both sides were involved, then coaches and subs all joined in as the mêlée moved from one side of the pitch to the other. 'Fisticuffs? In a park on the Northside?' exclaimed Southsider Tony, nearly losing his monocle. Mark thought about ripping off his number and tearing into the crowd. To Fiona it looked like a normal GAA game at home, except the ref was able to walk unaccompanied to his car afterwards. Eventually play resumed but then the match was quickly abandoned before more aggro broke out.
Meanwhile back in our game nothing much was happening except the Flyers kept running and running like Houllier's tenure at Anfield. From the earliest scoring: Flyers 5 runs, Beachers no runs; Les Volers huit points, Les Plagers un point; Les Volers cinq points, Les Plagers nul points, it was clear we would be the Rrruslana tonight and they'd be the Irlande.
Debutant of the Day: First game of the season for Adrian, Gary, and also for Marion, taking a break from being a ringer on the Clontarf over-35s ladies badminton team. But the winner of the award is Yankee Sean. Betty suffers the ignominy of being substituted for someone even older than himself.
Devally's Devastating Moment: In a game crying out for one Adrian's replacement Gary ignores instructions and swings on a 1-0 count when on deck batter Ann is running off to the trees with little Ben who can't wait any longer.
Wednesday 26/05/04 Flyers 10 - 9 Marlay Martyrs B
ALSAA. Att: 2
M 220.127.116.11.1.0.3 9
F 0.1.2.0.2.2.3 10
There One Where We Beat Marlay B: Guest Reporter: #99. So no-one told us it was going to be this way... Fiona "Monica" Mac got into an early flap at the arrival of Marlay on our sofa at ALSAA Perk, but this wasn't going to put us off our coffee. Brian "Joey" Ebbs put on his "I'm in charge" face, as he struggled with the maths of fielding 9 players in 10 positions, settling for a 3 man outfield of Monica along with Tony "Ross" Burns and his pet Mark "Marcel the Monkey" Walsh.
After an early 3-RBI HR batting frenzy by Marlay, the Flyers Friends whipped up a mocha-choca-frappa-cappa-latte-instant-coffee-cino of a match which saw SS Sean "Gunther" O'Shea serve up slices of the softball at Cora "Duck" Burke, living up to her name as the ball rocketed at 70 mph past her head. Bronagh "Chick" Rumgay in a flurry of feathers blocked the umpire's view, Caroline "Phoebe" Walsh on second wondered what the game was all about, while Betty "Chandler" Moen chuckled to himself muttering "Could I BE pitching any better?" as a 2-out bases-loaded fly ball was caught.
Bottom of the 7th, the Flyers are 2 runs down, and it's Ross to bat, digging up a double from somewhere (see what she did there? -Ed.), followed by the Duck, who batted a single, but somehow managed to waddle as far as second ("But I thought it was an overthrow" as her sofa mates screamed at her to run), followed my Mark-cel the Monkey, leaping up and down with excitement as Duck waddled home tying the game. Chick next, moving an excited Marcel around the bases, and lastly 0-for-3-but-I'm-not-substituting-myself-out Chandler comes to the plate. Drew "Janice" Hennessy can be heard going 'OH ... MY ... GOD' as Chandler hits it through 2B's legs, exclaiming "Could that have BEEN a better hit for the winning run?" Joey tried putting on his "tough luck Marlay" face, but true to form it didn't work, and a self satisfied smug grin took over.
Devally's Devastating Moment: DDM this week goes to stealth-Betty, trying to retrieve a bat from home plate, while there's a play at home. Betty flung himself to the ground in the hopes that no one would see him, but alas, the ALSAA groundsmen had actually cut the grass this week, revealing his position to everyone but the ump, as Mark lightly danced around him to score another run.
Debutante of the day: Caroline, showing Mark how infield is really played.
Wednesday 2/06/04 Oddsox Black - Flyers
CUS Bird Ave, Clonskeagh.
Postponed - to be rearranged. 8 September.
Week 2 catch-up
Wednesday 26/06/04 1Z Blazzers 7 - 22 Flyers
Ulosers. I. Calypso Two convertibles - Where do they get the money? Coming up redheaded outfielders from the county Leitrim. Then, lo and behold, they blossom out as Alan Brennans or Marian Dolans. Then think of the competition. General thirst, who's on first? Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing an 'African, Asian and Irish Food Store'. Save it they can't. Off the Suspects perhaps. Put down three and score five..
He halted before Kelly's diamond, staring at the hanks of infielders, outfielders, black, blue, green, brown and grey. Fifteen multiplied by. 1Z-Blazzers. Blazzers Boylans. The figures whitened in his mind unsolved: displeased, he let them fade into the shade. Read on ...
Dedalus' Devastating Moment: Stephen, on his way home with Bloom, stops off at a house of ill repute. Gets a bit tetchy and breaks a light with his walking stick.
Latest comeback queen: Swiss Bettina turns up at training with a fellow Eagle Claudia who teaches us a new pitching trick.
Wednesday 23/06/04 Flyers - Renegades
Wednesday 30/06/04 Diamond Dogs 23 - 12 Flyers
Pembroke CC, Sandymount.
Barking Mad. All reporting by: #99.
The Flyers headed south of the Liffey
We knew the game would be iffy
With no supporters at all
We couldn't stop a ball
And the Dogs sprinted bases in a jiffy
Not only could we not field
The batters box had an invisible shield
We couldn't break out
Which, without a doubt
Was the reason why runs we can't yield
"The suns in my eyes!", we were feigning
"I think it's going to start raining!"
At the end of the day
There's only one thing to say
"You'd better be there! Monday! At training!"
Devally's Devastating Moment: Too many to mention. In a first for the Flyers, the DDM goes to everyone on the team. Stand up and be proud!
Play of the Day: After overthrowing 1B by momentarily forgetting Cora isn't actually 8 ft tall, Tony redeems himself by fielding a ball at SS, stepping on 2 for an out, and an accurate rocket-like throw to 1B for a second out to end the inning. Tonytastic stuff.
Debutante of the Day: The world welcomes Gemma Mairead Devally, baby no. 3 for Alison and Adrian, and little sister for Eleana and Derbhal. Congratulations from all of us.
Wednesday 7/07/04 Usual Suspects 7 - 17 Flyers
Pembroke CC, Sandymount.
MBO? The Flyers were rocked this week when news broke of a major buy-out bid by former supremo Dean O'Gorman.
The bid for a Worth 3DX bat was initially made public at the Usual Suspects blitz on June 26 but commentators felt at the time it was just drunk talk and wouldn't amount to anything.
O'Gorman claimed he had bought the bat and was the only Flyer who used it. It is believed his initial bid of his old Flyers top has since increased to include Emer's old top as well and two turtle-necks, which would allow the more-modest-than-Patricia-the-Suspect-stripper Flyers girls practice their own stripping technique before vice king Mark Walsh's return.
O'Gorman is recognised throughout softball as the player who single-handedly turned the Flyers fortunes around from almost relegation last season to 5-1 this year by leaving the club and joining the Suspects.
Winnipeg-based softball analyst Ian Clarke has described the subject of the take-over as a design bonding Worth-exclusive fibre metal wrap over a cryogenically treated shell and frame to increase impact strength and yield a 14% thinner bat frame and larger sweet spot. The unique patent pending design increases the springboard effect for greater hit distance he claimed, adding that the larger sweet spot means more surface area on the 3DX will produce more solid hits. Which doesn't really explain why Deano was happy to take a walk in the fifth.
Famous Five: Down 6-4 after four with two 3-up 3-down innings Flyers went into the fifth a bit worried. With two outs Ebbsie hits a 3-RBI home run to give us a useful lead going into the bottom. Two walks for the Suspects loads the bases with one out. Fine running catch and throw from Fiona Mc in LF holds the runners before the third out completes the game-turning shutout. Cora's stand up triple over RCF helps us to score five more runs in the sixth.
Devally's Devastating Moment: Ordering victory chips in the Merrion Inn proved harder than expected for Brain Ebbs. When told that chips could "only be ordered as an accompaniment to a main course" he stared blankly at the M1 staff. "That means you have to buy something else", Gary told him, ordering the usual fried chicken for himself. Problem solved.
Wednesday 14/07/04 Flyers 10 - 5 1Z Blazzers
ALSAA. Att: 3, then 1.
Betty Potter and the Chips of ALSAAkan. By Cora Burke. Midway through the term at HOBwarts, young Betty Potter found himself heading off to another softquidditch match for his team the Grifflyers at Alsaakan. Potter arrived at the pitch just as Brian "Dumbledore" Ebbs was casting a spell over the team to help them win. "Battus Catches Winnus Chipses" he incanted, reminding them that a win tonight would release the chips of Alsaakan. And the chocolate of Switzerlan.
The Grifflyers took up position on the pitch, with Potter perched upon his Imbus 2001 pitching mound. Things began to go wrong for the Grifflyers in the first inning as getting an out was repelled by a goodus battus spell cast on their opponents the Slyblazzers, who scored 3 runs in the first inning. Babs "Hermione" Connolly, watching from the sideline, took hold of her softquidditch wand muttering a spell to help the Grifflyers along. "Pitchus Swissmiss Claudias" she muttered in Potters direction, thus making Mick disappear and introducing a new movement into Betty's pitching style to throw off the opposition.
Suddenly the game began to take off for the Flyers. Tony "Ron" Burns dived at the golden softquidditch ball every chance he could get, using his magical powers to not overthrow Cora "McGonagle" Burke on first, who in turn used her own magical powers to transform herself into a Statue of Liberty, an orangutan and a Zebedee in an effort to stop the ball. Adrian and Gary "Fred and George" cast magnetic spells on their gloves to direct the ball straight into them with minimum running effort required. Fiona "Mrs. Weasly" Mc hit a safe double, under the spell of slidus into basus.
The Slyblazzers, under the direction of Kevin "Snape" Kelly cast a few spells of their own to counteract the Grifflyers magical charms. Caroline "Ginny" Walsh momentarily held her magical map of where the next play would be upside down and while a well fielded golden softquidditch ball arced towards 2nd base, nobody was there for the out. Ann "Sprout" Murphy's cloak of invisibility not only made her appear invisible in the outfield, but also apparated her to the bushes with little Ben Weasly, who suddenly couldn't wait any longer. Meanwhile, a uselus-strongus-armus spell was put on Dumbledore Ebbs who overthrew first base by as much as 10 feet at times. And another spell on Ginny's batting led to Dementor Concannon calling her out on strikes twice.
By the 7th inning, the Slyblazzers charms wore off. The Grifflyers were 5 runs up going into the top of the inning, and a magical shut out – including Dumbledore throwing a ball on target to first base – meant the Grifflyers had won another match, releasing the chips of Alsaakan. Not to be outdone by Dumbledores magical abilities of making chips appear after every win, Betty Potter yelled "Expectus Patronus" at the chips, thus producing an accompanying bowl of cocktail sausages.
Devally's Devastating Moment: Deservedly goes to Adrian who, despite being the lead off batter, never managed to hit the ball out of the infield. When pressed as to why he was rubbish he tried to explain what went wrong over a few pints in the bar. "I timed the impact on the softball bat at about 2.0 msec. in my brain. So the fundamental and second vibration modes were both excited with about the same amplitude. Hence, there were now two vibration nodes in the barrel as is normal. The impact at the fundamental node did not excite that mode, but did excite the second mode. And the impact at the node of the second mode did not excite the second mode but excited the fundamental mode. I wanted to hit the ball half way between the two nodes, what I call the sweet spot, since (a) both modes would have been excited but only with small amplitude and (b) this spot would also be closer to the centre of percussion. This would have resulted in the ball travelling a greater distance than the 65 feet maximum attained". Right. So are you saying you were crap, or the match ball was crap, or both?
The doctor is out: Counted out. Tony didn't fare too well at the first aid course on Saturday it has to be said. Luckily no Flyers were injured in the course of this match.
Wednesday 21/07/04 Flyers - Beachers Week 10 resceduled.
Wednesday 21/07/04 Flyers 4 - 5 Beachers Week 11
Wednesday 28/07/04 Marlay Martyrs B 11 - 14 Flyers Week 6 plus VAT.
Wednesday 9/08/04 Flyers 7 - 16 Renegades Week 12
Wednesday 11/08/04 Flyers 9 - 7 Oddsox Black Week 13
Wednesday 18/08/04 Renegades 18 - 3 Flyers Week 14
Wednesday 1/09/04 Flyers 9 - 16 Diamond Dogs Week 5 and then some.
Wednesday 8/09/04 Oddsox Black 0 - 7 Flyers. Forfeit awarded against Oddsox Black. Cup - Round 1
Wednesday 9/06/04 Flyers - The Braves Round 1.5
Tuesday 3/08/04 Flyers 5 - 18 Batpak Tournaments - Flyers Blitz. III. 29/30-May-2004. ALSAA Suspects Blitz. 26-June-2004 IOST Limerick Blitz. 21/22-Aug-2004 Ryanair Corporate Night. 16-Sep-2004
Postponed. To be played next Monday.. Marian goes home. Marian has her tea. Marian watches some tv and when she is tired Marian goes to bed.
DDM: Ebbsie and Ann turn up for the game.
B 0.3.0.2.0.0.0 5
F 0.4.0.0.0.0.0 4
Bankers cash in, teachers learn us: After agreeing to the postponement last week Flyers bend over even further tonight to take an ass whupping from the Be-Atch-ers. It was tight, and we crack-ed. Butt for Ebbsies HR we might have not scored at all as Flyer after Flyer couldn't pick a hole in the infield. We tried to ring the changes but when it was up t'Gary in the 6th and up t'Swiss in the 7th and those coming behind them we couldn't get the runs and there was no glittering finale.
With Fiona Mc off at a Camogie Players and Referees Co-Operative Society meeting in Wicklow our own token leftie Allison dropped in on her way home from the cabbage patch for her first game of the season and scored the only run for the girlies while the rest of them sat around bitching about everything. Four runs in the second was our total so despite Tony's double play we all went home hungry.
Debutant of the Day: Andrew Navan-man plays his first game and shows how easy it is to just get on base. Beginners luck.
DDM: Seventh innings, one run down, runner on one, two outs, 3-0 count to Tony. Lets a strike go. OK. Looks at the next pitch. Little white batter on left shoulder says 'that's well inside. Leave it. You won't be able to hit it way over there to RF.' Little red batter on right shoulder says 'But there's a girl up after you so if you walk she might get out and we'll lose so you better hit a HR.' Little white batter says 'if you walk the girl can walk too and leave the bases loaded for Betty to try knock in the tying and winning runs'. Little red batter goes 'Don't listen to him! Don't let Betty be the hero, you be the hero. Panic. Panic. Panic.'
Marlay park, Rathfarnham.
Is that the new thing Ebbsie? The original tinker-man Brian Ebbs had his day in the sun last night in Rathfarnham. We beat Marlay earlier in the season with nine so lets do it again. Same order.. Tony, Cora, Mark, Bronagh em none of these are around. Put Ebbsie lead off and let him play SS (we're doooomed!). Put Betty in RF (Doomed!) and let Sean pitch cos his knee injury has kept him out for all of July. Then who's on first? Al Brennan? With Caroline on third? Christ on a bike. We don't even have Cora for her rain dance. At least Babs, Gary, Fi and Allison at C will know what to do...
Then Sean's knee suddenly starts getting better so the tinker-man tinkers some more. Betty is wearing his lucky outfield boxers and can't really change into his lucky pitching speedos so dresses as superman under all the green. First innings Flyers equal our total v Beachers on Monday and hold them to 2. Tie the 2nd, win the 3rd, tie the 4th with Ebbsies HR. Roche is going mental on the sidelines. Their RF has stopped yeehaaing. The new infield are doing everything right. If only Ebbsie would stop throwing it from RF to LF all the time and if only Gary and Fi would talk to each other for those monster hits.
In the fifth Al Brennan dives back onto second base and a koala bear falls out of a tree in Australia. Win the fifth, win the sixth when Babs holds a great catch with the runner sliding in to 2. 14-9 going into the last and we have our second auto-out 2-up 3-down innings. Fiona Mc starts packing her bag. Eh Fi, we are winning... we have to go back out there.. Two running catches by Ebbsie finishes them and their season off. Birthday boy Gary gets his fried chicken and Taylors kindly sponsor our victory chips when we forget to pay. Doesn't get better than this.
DDM: Leaving Taylors someone says to Ebbsie 'see you tomorrow night'. A confused Ebbsie asks 'Why, what's tomorrow?' Eh, the National Team Quiz night in Tallaght. You're organising it?
Fancy stat: 'The age of consent in Austria is 14.', Ebbsie tells us in the bar matter of factly, before adding 'For homosexual and heterosexual activity'. Nervous laughter or no laughter?
When Sean met Tony: More laughs in the bar when Sean remembers his first day at training. Tony asks him 'do you wanna warm up?' and does one of those Irelandy lame wristy starting-off throws. Not having seen this playing in New York and expecting to really get his arm warmed up Sean thinks 'this guy is terrible, he throws worse than a girl. I hope he's the catcher'. When he finds out Tony is regular short-stop he wonders what has he let himself in for.
Complaining that she hadn't been getting enough of a mention in recent reports Marian was determined to make her mark on the game tonight. After our 3-week break from training we tired ourselves out in pre-game warm up unlike the Renegades who came out flying from the first pitch. Playing with 10, against 9, against a Northside team, with Adrian but no Al Brennan, on the Northside, we couldn't figure out whether destiny had decreed a win or a loss. Marian started her evening getting tagged at home to end the first but it was after a really long run.
Ebbsie's plan was to move the outfield so far back they couldn't see the circus in infield but still had to run in to get the ball after we missed it. With nothing going to RF Cora is moved back in to 1B. Renegade hits it down the first base line. Betty runs to cover the base. 1B falls over and ball rolls away, runner is safe. Betty goes back to pitch to next batter. Suddenly thinks 'that was Marian on the ground at 1B'. Looks back over to 1B. Cora is there. Huh? At the same time Tony in LCF is thinking 'Wow Marian must have raced in from RF to cover that ball so quickly.'
They hadn't reckoned on crafty old Ebbsie and his tinkering. If we don't know about it then maybe they won't notice it either.
DDM: Second inning and Marian is playing 2B. Line drive to her left. Couple of steps, glove out and she's stopped it at waist height. She's looking out to RF. She's got her glove up in the air. Flyers are thinking 'great stop'. Marian is looking for the stands full of excited Flyers fans cheering her name, still with her glove up. But there's silence. Flyers are thinking 'yeah good stop.. em throw the ball to first.. Marian?' Marian still has her glove in the air and is now looking at the ump. Batter has reached first safely. Flyers are scratching their heads. Yup Marian I'm afraid it did hit the ground soon after leaving the bat.
Is that the new thing Ebbsie?: This is not the time. The original tinker man has consulted his chart of the heavens... 'Mercury will be retrograde all month. Even though the planet begins its backward slide on August 9 (until September 2), you will feel the effects of an out-of-phase Mercury from the moment the month begins. There is no point in rushing toward an August 9 "deadline." It would be far better to delay actions to a few days after September 2. Mercury is the planet that rules all objective, rational thinking, and when it sleeps, we tend to stumble about as well as we can without benefit of its special assistance.' When is our last game of the season – September 1st - d'oh!
ALSAA. Att: Mrs Betty and her friend Sarah. It wasn't pretty on Monday and the infield wasn't pretty tonight either, conceding five runs in the second. We won't panic. Plenty of time left. Just stop it with the Claudia Stierli pitching. Ann gets her once-in-a-lifetime hit. Just hit singles and doubles, practice getting base-hits for the games coming up. Don't go for homers Gary and Tony. Only 3 outfielders. Plenty of time... what's that? Rain?? Three innings gone and we're 7-5 down and it's raining??? Aie aie aie. Don't panic. Solo HR from Gary, Adrian takes a walk. First one in 8 years and Deano isn't here to 'Boo'. Flyers score 4 and after a bit of panic relax again. Marian had too much excitement on Monday so stays under the shelter. Anne Kiely lets us play on in the rain til the middle of the sixth and decides it's time to go to the bar and let their pitcher shout at the Shels game on the tv.
Devally's Devastating Moment: Second innings, girl on third, bloke on second. Probably an overthrow. Or a walk. Ball hit back to pitcher. Plenty of time to get the out. Check the runners. Third base. No-one there. Second base. Runner dancing around. OK. Let's get the out on 1. Hey hold on where's the runner who should be checking on third? Gone straight home. Panic panic. Don't throw the ball anywhere. Safe on one, runner scores, Cora and the outfield go nuts. Ebbsie tells Betty – you're right, keep the force on. That's why he's the manager and buys the victory chips.
St. Annes Raheny.
Never enter the woods. That's where the ball waits. Flyers head off to Clontarf to try to find the Renegades pitch. Wasn't actually too hard to find. It had only moved about 30 metres closer to the bushes in LF than it was at the start of the season.
Against a team of Johnny Foreigners our 100 per cent Irish team showed about as much talent as our Olympic squad, leaving bases loaded top of second and conceding 13 runs in the first two innings. Higher, stronger, faster? Maybe we popped up higher, over-throwed higher, faster came the outs, and stronger was the medication Betty was going to need. When he hit a 'first pitch' and 'not over the infield' the team let him know. His flame went out completely and he base coached third for a couple of innings. Half the team worried about their jobs. That's it. That's why we couldn't focus. Not because half the team had one eye on Limerick and the other half had one eye on Austria. Betty settles down, takes a walk, we win the sixth inning and everything is ok again. Spotztalk punters take a bow. Flyers are going no-where next season.
ALSAA. Att: Little Ben, Mickey J, and Sichul.
Sixteen runs and pretty much all due to calamitous infield errors. We sucked. The outfield started calling the infield a circus a few weeks ago. Roll up Roll up. The circus hasn't left town yet.
First get together for the team in two weeks. Or had we actually met and played before? The half team who went to Austria said 'Ireland' to each other a lot and the other half didn't get it. The half that went to Limerick continued faffing about where they'd left off. At least Gery who did both was recovered. Half the players who went to Germany to play football in the home of Erdinger came home with a black eye, stitches in his cheek, cuts on his chin, a chipped bone in his ankle and had all the gear miles away in Clonskeagh. Every year that Herbstfest gets us...
Randomly selected DDM out of dozens to choose from: Top of six, two outs and the Dogs are somehow only one ahead. Runners on one and two. Ball bounces down towards stand-in SS. With fading light and them wasting time whenever they could we suddenly had a chance to win... No! Another mis-field starts a three-run rally to kill us.
Let's do the time warp again: Saw Philip Scanlon at lunchtime. Then Collie turned up to umpire, smartly dressed in a suit and tie. Soon after Ann Murphy turned up to play, like we expected. Then get this - out of somewhere Mick Jacobs turns up to appear to many.
Bird Ave, Clonskeagh.
48 hours before the game and the original tinkerman had a lot on his plate. After scoffing all the pies his thoughts turned to the last game of the season. A spate of injuries, college, and people ignoring mails left him short handed in the lads department. We had a fourth guy, but he was on crutches. We needed a miracle.
And it came to pass that on training on Monday there suddenly appeared amongst the group a long-haired and bearded man in his early 30's. 'Jesus Christ' exclaimed the Flyers. 'Heh heh heh heh heh yeah' replied the stranger. He took Tony's crutch from him and broke it, saying unto him 'Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh you'll have to walk now heh heh'. Looked like we'd found our saviour. Then two hours before the game Mickey J said he couldn't make it even after we'd registered him and wasted 25 bucks. So we play with 4 guys and never get to hear the old excuse about not being able to catch the ball with his glove cos he used play cricket. Once. Like one day.
Tony plays one B anyway. With the bat Tony never hobbles to first to have a runner go in for him. A surprising number of Reds in the Blacks' line-up hit the gaps. Dave Nolan hasn't lost it. Flyers stay in it til the light fades in the sixth. Umpire 'Kevin' tells the home team, who are ahead, that this is the last innings and asks them do they want to keep batting. Hello? Of course they do. Ask us do we want to keep running after their hits when we won't get to bat again. They knock in seven in the last to make it 20 runs to 8 and look worse than it should have been. Flyers have now lost 18 stone between them from the lack of victory chips since the start of August.
DDM: Laura, or something, looks like a Red, hits the hole and gets to third. Has no intention of going home. None. Short-stop Ebbsie has the ball between the outfield and infield and is moving in towards second. No other runner on the field other than the one on third who is staying put. Not moving. Flyers RF has joined the pitcher between third and home in case there was a play. Which there wasn't going to be. Ebbsie throws the ball in. Betty decides the play must be dead by now so isn't too concerned about moving and stretching for the ball and decides to let the ball stop itself in dead ball territory. Umpire Kevin, European standard, awards the runner home on an overthrow.
Oh Caroline: finally does something worth a mention in the report. Bare-handed too.
So what happened Swiss Tony in Germany?: Well eh there were these orphans crossing the road and a there was a truck on fire racing out of control down the hill towards them. And eh the orphans were blind. And the had cute little golden labradors. Who were also blind and had their own little dark glasses and sticks. Except the puppies were dead and the orphans didnt know and they were dragging the dead puppies behind them across the road. Towards the old nuns home they were going to visit and that was on fire too. And there had been a drought so there was no water coming out the fireman's hose. And the hose went on fire too and burned the little paws on the kitten that was missing one leg and was bringing a dead bird home to its owner who didn't even have a home since the burning truck demolished his house. And...
DDM for the Sox: Thought there was a lot of Reds playing alright. Too many it seems, since more than one played for the Reds the night before. We get it checked and are awarded the game. Serves em right for playing with 10 against our 9 and whacking the ball all night after they had won already.
A walkover. Pity.
The Cup. Great. A random series of walkovers and byes until defeat to a Premier team. Or the year when we lost 2 games and were still in the cup. This year we didn't even get a bye. No wonder Betty is doing a sponsored frown and only cheers up when we talk about Xmas on the balcony of the bar afterwards watching ghost planes go by.
With only 4 guys around the original tinker man's brain goes into overdrive. And then only 4 girls turn up so we ring around and find Cora at home. When Babs turns up we wonder whether to ring Cora back... Marian is promoted to third in the batting order and gets on base 4 times out of 4. She must have batted in the seventh but we'd stopped filling in the scorebook by then. So in Flyerstats she batted one thousand. Its all her batting skill, there's no such thing as errors and you can't blame her if the runner on 1 can't run to second quick enough. 4 for 4.
Batpak go home to lick their wounds after the game instead of going for a jar. The victory platter we were promised doesn't arrive either but Ebbsie's latest new thing, a burger and a Finches lemon, keeps him happy. Mrs Betty comes out to make sure he brings his wedding ring home this week and the other girls are secretly ag caint faoi caora agus an Ostair? Cad é an scéal?? Is something ba-a-a-d about to happen?
Devallys Devastating Moment: The little bat-traps we laid to trip up their runners worked 3 times but also snared Marian as she ran towards home from 1B with the ball. So Cora sitting at home eating her dinner thinking the game was on Wednesday until we rang her doesn't get the prize.
Is that the new thing Ebbsie?: Is it a 2B? Is it a RCF? No it's Ebbsie tinkering with 9 fielders and 10 positions to fill.
Hasn't happened. Too much stuff going on in May. It'll be back in April/May 2005.
May. Big month for sports. The championship starts, the Premiership finishes, Roland Garros, the Flyers Blitz. A chance to get your 20 at-bats before the season really kicks in and time to blood your new players. Not this year though.
Triple-I. We enter with only 2 girls – good old Cora and good new Caroline. First up Marlay A. Five ex-Flyers are involved. 8-0 hurts. Gary is made manager for the weekend. After a break comes Shutout 7. Extra innings uses up valuable lunchtime but we win. Next is Limerick followed by the Kegs. Muireann makes a Flyers comeback. Really great to see her back. We read the rules and our heads drop when we see that our 3 wins mean we'll be in the top bracket tomorrow. Usual Suspects. We have to play the proper way. Even tho they have Deano they beat us in extra innings. Head to the bar for nosebag and gargle.
By Sunday we have drafted in Trina but lost 3 guys. Defeat to Oddsox puts us up against Dodder and their orange shirts. We lead 7-1 after 2 innings but then things fall badly apart. Tournament over before lunchtime. It all makes Apathy Athletico sound as intense as some other teams and players.
Many thanks to Emer, Dean, Junior, Muireann, Ben and Trina for guesting and to Elaine and Joanne from the 'Sox, Cliodhna from the Kegs, and Ashleigh from Shutout for filling in the gaps. And hasta luego Mark.
Flyers fell out of bed, opened the curtains, blinked, but headed for Templeogue in the rain anyway. Kegs first and we scored more in the extra inning than in the regular game. Oddsox punks next. Their blokes batted/struck out left handed but used a girl catcher playing 6-4. Betty's error being a smart-ass cost the run in the 1-0 final score. Sun came out for the day. 7 reverse runs in the first against the Suspects sorted out that game. Loan Homers also had their guys batting left. Until they realised they would lose and started batting properly. First bad call at home of the day when Tony called out with Julie playing catcher. Lunch, including Orla's chicken. Maybe too much lunch cos we fell asleep against role-swopping leftie-hitting Dodder when tied at 5-5. First Derek's call against Ebbsie sliding home then a good switch hit to LF fooled us. Last up Blazzers. Mark called out by Tim for missing the plate on a HR and outfield burned by a LF hit from Shelly I think. Victory to Blazzers and we are one of 3 teams tied on 2-4 standing. No boat race here - Game Over. Cora and Barbara rescue the day but lose the Mr and Mrs contest in extra innings. Thanks to Marlay Orla for playing for us for the day.
With their team suspended by the Wickla county board our three Annacurra camogie players got the weekend off to a great start by having a few drinks in the University sports bar on Friday night and re-enacting their (alleged) mass brawl in the nightclub after. Brave garda Mark stepped in to separate the girls, take down particulars and remove some evidence for forensic examination in the privacy of his room. Later in the Kilmurray residents' bar Tony and Betty had a crafty plan to keep drinking til they served breakfast and then go for a kip after.
First up on Saturday was the Kegs plus Renegade P, Slammer SS, and a HF to distract Betty. We lost by two but it could have been by one except when Mr FionaMc aka Michael aka Mick hit over the outfield he rounded first, rounded second, rounded third and ran home without touching a single base. Then concentrated more on inventing calls than playing and lost by three to Galway. It would have been closer except when Mick hit he slid into first.
Annacurra's goalie, midfielder and full-forward take their hurls and train at lunchtime. Tell no-one. There'd be trouble. Then Limerick, and the cameras were on us. Allison's yellow vest/blue tracksuit clothes clashes with one of their blokes' same gear. Adrian and Betty's hitting arrive in Limerick when the old Johnny 5 bat is dusted down. We won, eventually, when we got a chance to ump ourselves, and take nice looooong steeeeaaady strooo-o-o-okes. Superheroes Oddsox with Lara Croft kicked our butts. Celebrated scoring one run by downing shots of prairie fire, toasting Clarkie's future with tequila and Tabasco. Last game was against Loan Homers and the moaningest pitcher ever. It was third base we nearly killed five times so what was his beef? Win by about 6. Would have been more except Mick steps out of the batter box hitting the ball.
With the lie-in secure it was time to party. Our own superhero, Captain Fionamc, got into disguise, no-one recognising her dressed in something called 'a skirt'. Fat frogs in the stables couldn't stop us worrying how long the bench would support our weight. No dishco tonight so late jars drinking with some Suspects and getting Al Brennan to retell the story of his days when he was young and needed the money and was a giant baby kissagram. Banned camogie star Catriona starts hurling insults instead and it's time for bed.
Sunday and the rain. Marlay B. Ten runs up after two. Would have been more except Mick took off from 1B on a fly ball. Would have been less except on their only decent hit of the first 60 minutes one of our umbrellas invades the pitch and it's called a double. Tony nearly decapitates the runner on third with a hit down the line. Concede 10 runs in the bottom of the last and win by one. Gary hasn't played cos of his back injury. No-one tells Marlay/Shutout who all hop on him. It's getting wet and half the team head for the bar. Get called back so Lisa never finds out if Johnny Wilkinson would have preferred her pouring yoghurt over him and licking it off, or him staying out in the rain kicking rugby balls.
Coasting along in the bowl final against the Icons, leading 12-5 with 7 minutes left before rain stopped play. After a long break it's still raining but we decide it's only 7 minutes left let's get it over with. Meanwhile pitch has turned to a swamp, ball doesn't move, players slip and slide and we could only get one out in the seven minutes when we restart. Icons take the lead, time is up and we never got to bat and make them field under the same conditions. Bah.
Head to the showers and the bar this time. Cold, wet and tired. So tired that when just before the presentation Janet asks us did we win the bowl we answer truthfully. Doesn't matter – after we get our medals Jimmy tells everyone what a great team we have been over the years and tries to give us the trophy. Having discovered the match reports Caroline spends the weekend doing and saying nothing that could get reported. Other than snoring like an elephant in the car on the way back.
Ryanair wanted to pay Aer Lingus money to teach them some of the secrets of our success... We are to meet them one dark evening in an empty field. 5 of us turn up, 36 of them. Where to begin? Well take the money first. Cora pitches for both teams, Betty umpires and tries to explain the rules. Fiona, Caroline and Tony wander around keeping an eye on things and showing them what to do.
We teach them what we want them to know, and slyly note and try to poach their people who have the skills we need. The one with gum shield can catch. The one with the red britches can hit. The ginger guy in the football shirt who looks the most sporty can't hit the ball at all. The old guy hits a homer. He seems to control the money too. Noted. They are all good craic and when it starts raining and is too dark they want to play on but we call it a draw, head to ALSAA to drink their beer and then accuse them of robbing our stuff after a little mis- understanding from our inventory department. Thanks to Mags and Joanne in Ryanair for setting this up.
Week 10 resceduled.
Wednesday 21/07/04 Flyers 4 - 5 Beachers
Wednesday 28/07/04 Marlay Martyrs B 11 - 14 Flyers
Week 6 plus VAT.
Wednesday 9/08/04 Flyers 7 - 16 Renegades
Wednesday 11/08/04 Flyers 9 - 7 Oddsox Black
Wednesday 18/08/04 Renegades 18 - 3 Flyers
Wednesday 1/09/04 Flyers 9 - 16 Diamond Dogs
Week 5 and then some.
Wednesday 8/09/04 Oddsox Black 0 - 7 Flyers. Forfeit awarded against Oddsox Black.
Wednesday 9/06/04 Flyers - The Braves
Tuesday 3/08/04 Flyers 5 - 18 Batpak
III. 29/30-May-2004. ALSAA
Suspects Blitz. 26-June-2004
IOST Limerick Blitz. 21/22-Aug-2004
Ryanair Corporate Night. 16-Sep-2004