What the hell is "Peil Abu" anyway I heard someone say.... Gaelic football without the tackling ... was someone's response... nah I wouldn't have anything to do with that sacrilege sure you'd be drummed out of the GAA....... "its mixed" someone else added to the conversation ...... "I'm in" was the sceptics rely... So we all arrived down to St Annes pitch 10 @ 5pm on a Bank Holiday Sunday to find that Neil and Stuart had done trojan work setting up 2 pitches with the juvenile goals and there was what looked like a large crowd of "Jersey Pullers".... the GAA's version of the Foreign Sports WAGS around. Whether they were there for the support aspect or just there to admire the fine specimens on display we weren't sure. It looked like from the outset that it was going to be very one sided when it came to the sex's being represented .... but fair play to the Mna na hEireann we managed to get 4. Teams were picked and divided into fairly even matched sides and then the lads togged out to reveal all sorts of sporting aids e.g. leg/knee/elbow/back braces inhalers..... and with that some "Hurler in the ditch" was heard to say "Get somebody to check the defribrulator, cause I think there going to need it". The bibs were handed out so we had Blues, Oranges, Blacks and Yellows with comments about the "bang of these surely someone could have used a bit of Cilit Bang". Stuart and Neil then went about explaining the rules and it being a "non-contact" game to a few groans and that once tagged you hand over possession immediately and everybody smiled for some reason. The tags went on and it looked like a bunch of lads in a lingerie shop trying on suspenders and getting it very very wrong..... The blitz was set for 3 games of 2 halves with 10 mins each half. So we got off to a flyer with there not being any chance of pacing oneself for the 3 games with people sprinting .... ok jogging fast like they never moved before. Now in hindsight maybe we should have warmed up before hand going on the age profile of the players being on the generous side of 30+ but we didn't and guess what we had an injury straight off the bat with the 1st ball in possession and then the 1st injury with possession and then the mee-maaw and to the sidelines and his day was done....but at least he can say to his kids "I was there on that faithful day".
The scoring zone thingy took a bit of getting used to i.e. fisted points only and only from inside the "zone" but eventually
we got going and a pattern emerged some "cute whoors" deciding to soccer it up the park "cause they cant tag you" but that was knocked on the head quick sharp. Now what can I say about the tagging....... ok we needed a ref and I'll leave it at that. The first game came and went far too quickly and the red faces on everybody told its story..... "Dis is much harder that I thought it was gonna be".... yeah we had to run if you wanted to win this "non-competitive" game. The teams switched around and the second game was 7 mins a side as it was getting dark and the burgers were burning but I fear that the real reason was that the effort expended in the first game was going to be hard to match. the third games were always going to be difficult affair with limbs/lungs struggling to work but there were some fine scores racked up and the games were fairly close right up to the wire..... non-competitive my arse.....The final whistle and the crowd went wild, the pitches were invaded by the junior spectators who helped their respective parents struggle/walk off the pitch to be met by the wives or husbands with some Nurofen, a hug and some warm words of encouragement "you did brilliant out there Dad/Mam dont worry about the score!!... can you walk".
Listen there may have been injuries but they were light except for the black-eye and the sprained ankle but everybody managed to break into a smile at least once during the afternoons effort so I'd call that a result. Back to the clubhouse with everybody for some much needed refreshment and some beautiful burgers and hot-dogs and of course the post match discussion/argument which was followed by promises to be there next week "for sure... if i ever get to straighten my legs again".
I'm sold on this new fangled sport and thanks to the lads for organising it ..... and the catering crew for the BBQ...
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