Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the box: Squeaky bottom time as final day is left dripping with utter farce

By Billy Weir

We should have known the ride was going to be a bumpy one on Final Score when Mark Sidebottom opened with the following health warning - "I don't think we've ever had a day like it at the bottom."

Words usually associated with a proctologist but let's not forget this man did dress as an elf earlier in the season so when he warns you that 'on the final day of the season it was frantic', you should prepare for some squeakiness and probably seek a second opinion.

"So then to the action, the big relegation battle saw Carrick Rangers host Ballinamallard at Taylors Avenue, it dripped with late drama, your match commentator, Jackie Fullerton," he said and then came nothing.

"Well, apologies we'll get to that one briefly," he said, as we all feared for a repeat dose of that day when the ailing patient couldn't be revived. But this time technology wasn't the biggest problem.

"We'll move to Milltown, Warrenpoint Town in survival mode in need of a win against Dungannon Swifts, Warrenpoint did survive," he said, taking a little of the drama out of proceedings, or so we thought.

"But they do stay up, now the big relegation battle saw Carrick Rangers take on Ballinamallard and, as I said, it dripped with late drama," he said as we returned, prompting dancing on the streets of Warrenpoint, with only one small problem - he was talking out of, well, you can probably guess the orifice by now.

"Carrick stay up, Ballinamallard into the play-offs," he concluded and as for Warrenpoint, were they up, down, going round and round, we still weren't sure.

"You'll have worked out by now, but Warrenpoint are down," came the response, without the merest hint of an apology but at least we were thanked for our company at the end of the final Final Score of the season.

Now, some of you may think I am being harsh, and I might be, but it's a confusing time and I'm not quite sure, but what I am 100 per cent sure about is that football fans are being treated like fools.

Trying to bring out a highlights programme in such a short space of time is a recipe for disaster and the most annoying thing of all is that the Irish League Show, shamefully confined to the internet, does everything all fans want, even allowing for some of Joel Taggart's shirts.

This week's episode was superb, proper highlights, reaction and analysis, everything a fan wants from what was an incredible last day, but the powers-that-be somehow can't see it. Well, not on the telly anyway.

If you want drama, kill Final Score off and find Joel and his wardrobe of wonder a new home.

I have found one, there's a lovely half hour-shaped hole called Home Ground where poor Gavin Andrews is being all rural and up to his knees in bovine droppings that would be perfect, rather than treating us all to a large steaming pile dripping with farce that is Final Score.

Belfast Telegraph


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