fThere were jubilant scenes in Páirc Tailteann on Friday last, marking the two-in-a-row Cooney Cup victory for Réalt na Mara.
But first, there was the big battle. The Cooney Cup is coveted by schools across East Meath and played by pupils from Fifth and Sixth Classes. And this was the final in Páirc Táilteann, Navan.
A fine team from Gaelscoil Bradáin Feasa provided the opposition. And what a superb team they were! They used every weapon in their armoury displaying fine hand passing, high fielding after passing, and superb teamwork.
Indeed, the score reflected as much. Réalt na Mara were ahead by only one point after seventeen minutes of play and just about held on to that one point lead by half time. The sides drew level after half time, but we pulled away by a margin of four points at one stage, only to slip back down to the one point lead with six minutes to go.
There wasn`t an unchewed nail left on among the spectators by the time the match was drawing to a close.
To chants of "Réalt na Mara" from a merry band of supporters, the team pulled a couple more points out of the bag before the referee called time on one great battle.
Heavy rain could not dampen the joy and delight of the winning team. It marked the end not only of the match, but a year of solid development of both skills and character, under the steady guidance of Mr Arthur and Mr Culligan.
But an Gaelscoil were mighty opponents. Gracious in defeat, we have no doubt that they will put it up to Réalt na Mara again and again. For now, however, the Cooney Cup is ours!
A fitting end to a great season on the pitch, and indeed, off it.