Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Billy on the Box: A gael warning

As the renowned Danish lyricist and recording star, Whigfield, once said, Saturday night means it's party time and not one minute we can lose, my baby.

As a passage of literary genius you have to admit it's great stuff but BBC Northern Ireland hit back this weekend with more lip sync action than a Milli Vanilli concert.

The Championship came live from Omagh as Fermanagh and Derry clashed for the first time on a Saturday night.

On the longest day, made even longer by Mark Sidebottom telling us this at every opportunity, the tornado sweeping Tyrone would have been enough to blow Ms Whigfield's towel off.

Unfortunately it also must have wreaked havoc with the Beeb's recording equipment as Austin O'Callaghan's discussions with Jarlath Burns and James McCartan were impossible to follow.

Poor Thomas Kane would have needed our Danish minx's hairdryer as he tried to control his locks and big Joe Kernan at the same time — no mean task.

Sadly the sound was fixed in time for the commentary on this the longest day ... sorry, mentioned that already.

Beside Sidebottom we had the unbiased views of Derry legend, Enda Gormley, and clearly neither of them wanted to be there. It's Saturday, we should be at the cinema and this was clearly on their minds.

"It's likely to be like popcorn in the breeze," Sidebottom told us as the gaels were hit by a gale.

Both went for Derry to win — obviously the Butterkist of death. I humbly apologise.

It took three seconds for the first foul of the game, and this really set the tone for the night with referee Syl Doyle, obviously related to Mrs Doyle, handing out cards like cups of tea at a wake.

Then again when Fermanagh have a player called Goan, it all becomes a bit clearer.

Things were looking rosy for Enda at half-time, Derry in front and in the studio, everyone's lips all moving in time with the words.

Austin must have been thanking his lucky stars but just as he got into his stride he was rudely interrupted by Omagh's version of Gladys Pugh who bing-bonged all over the half-time chat.

Enda was having his own problems, with wund. It took me a couple of listens before I figured out he meant wind, and Derry having had too many cups of tea at the break came out and were promptly blown away.

It could have been much worse, at least Martin McHugh was absent so he couldn't rub salt in the wounds. Or is it wunds?

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