With Linfield being drawn away to Bohemians in the Setanta Cup and the game being held on a Saturday, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to head down to Dublin for a weekend.
The fact that the game was a 12.30pm kick-off would have meant getting on a bus for 8am, so it gave me even more of an excuse to head down on the Friday and stay overnight.
After getting the train down and checking into my hotel, I then headed to the Temple Bar district where I was staying, taking advantage to look around some of the markets that were up and running.
The last time I was in Dublin, i’d stayed in the outskirts of the city, and as a result, mostly spent my time in the main crowded touristy places, so it was good to see another part of the city, and what it offered.
Of course, the camera was packed and the eye was set to look out for graffiti and Dublin didn’t disappoint.
My favourite was one drawn in chalk commenting on art, but notable worthy mentions for A Bicycle, Spok, A Monkey, Hysteria, and one mocking people from Cavan.
That evening, I decided to take in the delights of the Airtricity League, and the match between St Patrick’s Athletic and Sporting Fingal.
St Pat’s are an established club in the league, and were looking to take advantage of Bohs inactivity to go top of the league against newly promoted Fingal, formed only two years ago.
The match took an age to really get going, and for all the huff and puff of both teams, it finished goal-less. It wasn’t a bad goal-less draw, but in reality, for all the possession and situations, neither side really looked like scoring.
So, come Saturday, up bright and early to head down to Dalymount Park for the lunchtime kick-off.
I entered the ground about 50-60 minutes before kick-off, and I was amazed by how poor the facilities were.
I’d been to Dalymount Park last year, but was in the Jodi Stand, on the other side, and the facilities seemed OK, but the end were Linfield fans were situated in was accessed via a narrow alleyway, and the turnstiles were like relics of the 1960s.
It could have taken just 1 person to get frustrated by the arrangements for a situation to develop. Thankfully, it didn’t.
The match itself was a disapppointing 2-1 defeat, with the game changing on a harsh red card for Linfield’s Markus Kane.
The away goal, and the performance certainly gives hope that the situation can be rectified in the second leg.
I’d planned to stay in Dublin for the afternoon and get the 7pm train but the constant rain made the decision to get an earlier train home an easy one.
Next up, is a trip to the North of England as part of April’s STLFTEM, where I received some good news on the ticketing front.
I managed to get tickets arranged for the Blackburn v United game at Ewood Park next Sunday, while I also got lucky by managing to be successful in getting tickets for a Five Live show debating the future of Liverpool and Everton.
Still undecided about wether to head to Bramall Lane for Sheffield United v Coventry, but most definately looking forward to seeing James at Sheffield Academy.
Meanwhile, got May sorted for STLFTEM with a ticket for Echo and the Bunnymen at Custom House Square., which is on the same day as the Irish Cup Final.
No pressure Mr Jeffrey, but you’d better not cock-up the semi-final.
Meanwile, June’s STLFTEM has been sorted with Tegan and Sara at Mandela Hall.
Until then, enjoy some photos from Dublin