Date: 23 July, 2020
Competition: Leinster Senior League, Sunday Senior Division
Result: Bluebell United 2, Crumlin United 2
Tickets: No entry fee (they have charged a fiver in the past, which I believe is normal, but seemed to be waving people through after taking names for contact tracing at this game).
Attendance: circa 90
The game: A first game back after corona for me (though the second for the teams). A cliched game of two halves, in which Crumlin United utterly dominated the first half winning two penalties, the first of which was saved by the charismatic Andy McNulty in the Bluebell goal. They scored the second and then added another, and then seemed to fall apart in the second half.
Crumlin looked like getting the win anyway, but Bluebell’s very late scrambled equaliser tied the game. Strangely, that was the same result as the last time I saw these two play at this ground, a final day of the season contest for the LSL top-tier title which saw Bluebell win, as Crumlin needed to win the game to overtake them. They’ve typically been at the top of this league, though both have faded to upper mid-table in recent years, which is a shame, as the rivalry is intense, making for quite aggressive-feeling and argumentative games – always entertaining.
The ground: Set in the back of an industrial estate just inside the M50 in West Dublin, Bluebell’s ground has a tiny stand, a few other assorted seats, and a decent-sized clubhouse-style building. It has a couple of odd little quirks if you look closely, not least that under the grass around the sides is a plastic pitch that occasionally pokes through. From what I can remember, the bar is decent and popular, but it was basically inaccessible today due to corona.
Extras: The main bonus, I guess, I seeing some of the best amateur players in the country: the LSL has no promotion to the League of Ireland second division, which I’ve long thought is a shame, as many of its teams would be competitive at that level.
Assorted asides: Parking is a real nuisance. I’ve learnt over the years that the best bet is probably the small roads in the industrial estate over the main road, but considering the attendances here, the parking is a bit of an irritant.
My totals for the year so far:
Games: 3. Home wins: 1. Draws: 2.
Goals: 11. Home goals: 6. Away goals: 5. Goals per game: 3.67
A few pics: