Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Billy on the Box: A great escape for Trimble in Italian job

It's the festive period and no better time then for Ulster to put their feet up, relax with a nice glass of Chianti and enjoy a repeat of the Italian Job.



A touch of red would be just the ticket and it needed a press of the button of that hue to pop open Sky’s coverage of the game with Aironi on Saturday.

And things couldn’t have started much better.

With the Italians still working out that this wasn’t football, Andrew Trimble (pictured) steamed in to touch down. Or rather he didn’t.

As he ran over and failed to touch down properly, analyst Matt Perry confirmed that this was ‘a big miss from Trimble’. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Still, Matt was a little confused too, commenting that Stephen Ferris was a star in ‘international football’. I’ll stop you there. The Italians can get the hang of it, so can you, although it could be great news for Nigel Worthington’s successor.

Anyhow, it wasn’t long until Ulster came rampaging through again, with the last Trimble to march through so emphatically a man in Portadown several years ago, but this time Andrew held onto the ball — just — to score. Much easier without a sash and holding Ian Paisley’s hand.

As Andrew | juggled the Gilberto, commentator Simon Ward said he had ‘a touch of the BT Barnum’s’ but that has since been traced to a dodgy dish of pasta in Monza.

And when in Rome, or Monza, you are at the whim of the host broadcaster so captions of players were accompanied by big words with a lot of ‘Zs’ in them and mostly ending in ‘I’.

I never studied Italian. I have a Latin ‘O’ Level, an invaluable addition to my curriculum vitae (see), but Sky have yet to open a facility to allow us dead language fans a much-needed outlet.

But despite the language barrier and the odd slip of the ball and tongue, it was a great escape to victory that gave Ulster a Christmas tale with a happy ending.

Matt, before heading off to Central Perkio, concluded it was ‘a good book with many chapters in it’. It’s just a shame they were in Italian and we couldn’t understand it.

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