61 years on – Ireland grandly slam door on Welsh hopes

As a Tyrone supporter I know all too well what it’s like to savour the joy of winning a long eluded prize after years of heartbreak and frustatration. And from an Irish rugby perspective 61 years is a long time to wait for a grand slam.

It was a closely fought contest with a few heart-stopping moments, especially when Wales went ahead with 5 minutes to go. But I knew that Welsh penalty in the last minute wasn’t going to go over. The Tommy Bowe try and the Ronan O’Gara drop goal will linger long in the memory.

A highly partisan crowd, (although not all were there for the rugby – a few were watching the Newcastle v Arsenal match on the other screen) in Toolans in North Finchley, scarcely recovered from the St Patrick’s Day celebrations of a few days previously went wild as the final whistle blew. It wasn’t easy, but grand slams never are.

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