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22nd Jan 2024

Croke Park still recovering from damages caused by Storm Glass

Lee Costello

A performance for the ages.

There was a red warning yesterday and it turns out it was for good reason, as Storm Conor Glass wreaked havoc on Croke Park.

The fluorescent orange tornado was seen breaking balls, ripping nets, and knocking grown men over – and even managed to reduce others to tears. 

Of course, those were the tears of Watty Graham’s Glen players who had survived a storm of their own, to emerge victorious against St Brigid’s and be crowned the All-Ireland senior club champions for the first time in their history. 

The Roscommon champs were the dominant force throughout the majority of the game, putting on a clinic in finishing, by kicking some unbelievable scores, despite the torrid weather conditions. 

Ben O’Carroll put on a masterclass in the first half, while Brian Derwin was a wrecking ball, demolishing everything in his sight in the full forward line, and getting a brilliant goal for his efforts too. 

With the Connacht side four points up and only 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Glen looked lost at sea, taking on shots from poor angles, and trying to force it a little too much. 

However, this turned out to be the calm before the storm, and when Michael Warnock kicked a desperately needed point to put three in it, umbrellas started to fly, dogs started to bark, and foreboding chills started to tingle throughout Croke Park – it was brewing. 

What followed next, is one of the greatest and most heroic performances a footballer has ever graced this fine establishment with, as Glass received the ball from Conleth McGuckin, and started to drive at the St Brigid’s defence with gale-like power. 

You could hear the crackles of the crowd increase in volume, as the Derry captain continued his march forward, and as he poised himself to shoot, the decimals reached thundering levels – and we all know what follows thunder. 

A lightning strike from his right boot saw the ball rip past the helpless keeper, and Watty Graham’s Glen erupted. 

There was no time to take cover however, as the ginger hurricane leapt high above everyone else, creating the illusion that he was momentarily floating, before cracking the O’Neill’s size five with his fist like Thor swinging his hammer in battle. 

The ball broke to McGuckin who sailed a fine point over the bar to give them the lead, and stun the Roscommon kingpins. 

Conor Glass

With Glass spearheading their late charge, the Derry side managed to hold on and be crowned All-Ireland club champions, for the first time ever.

Nonetheless, when people look back on the day that Glen became ‘Kings of Ireland’ as captain Conor Carville put it, they will take a breath, show a smile, and sigh: ‘what about that Conor Glass though?’ 

Of course, no storm, tornado, hurricane, or any other metaphor this writer just used, will leave the town of Maghera in a more desolate state than the crazy celebrations that must have hit it last night. 

The week to come will be even more mad with jubilations – not that anyone in the town will be complaining though.

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