The match was about to begin and with it, the hopes and dreams of every Westmeath man and woman. Here, in the majestic and forbidding Croke Park, which was festooned in maroon, green, and gold. Impatient gasps and shouting broke out. Then, with a blow of the referee’s whistle, there was a roar of eighty thousand souls.
“Calm down Aoife, there is seventy minutes to go,” Yvonne laughed.
It was answered with a nervous smile.
Kerry took an early lead and were four points up after the quarter hour mark.
There was a deathly silence from the Westmeath supporters.
Then Aoife began to chant.
Westmeath, Westmeath, Westmeath..
Others joined in and then it sounded like the entire stadium.
Then Westmeath scored a brace of points and drew level.
The game then went back and forth with long stretches of hand passes.
Shouts of –
“Kick the feckin’ thing” went up.
Each team scored two further point before the whistle was blown for half time.
“I might pop up and see if James and Stephen are okay.”
“Yeah, right Aoife. I saw the way you looked at him.”
“You fancy him. Go on, off you go.”
Aoife looked dismissively at her sister.
“I’ll be back in a few mins.”