Shelbourne v Longford Town: A Photo Essay

When my alarm went off at 5am (after not getting much sleep due to a perpetually-waking two-year-old) I wondered "why would you do this?". And on a day I'd taken annual leave

Getting a flight to go and watch Longford Town - it was like being in Europe. Though with our European record being what it is, I hoped it would be nothing like seeing Longford Town in Europe.


Time for a quick Apostolic Blessing from a League of Ireland evangelist.

With the common misconception that you could only find work in RTÉ through nepotism and with our surnames being similar, Tony was regarded as my "work dad".


New season's kit, all hung up, clean and fresh - like our football season dreams - will ultimately end up crumpled and tattered - much like our football season dreams


The club's all-time record goalscorer here three hours before kick off. Hungry for goals or at a loose end?


Is there anything as thrilling as the first glimpse of floodlights?


€15 in? A bit steep for a First Division game? Maybe with talk of a boycott by Shels fans regarding the move to Dalymount, everyone else has to make up the difference


A steward practises his long throw


Time for waiting is over...


Despite the boycott, some Shels fans came and made themselves heard, for the first half at least


I've been in that gantry quite a few times. The most memorable was when working on TV3's Eircom League Weekly in 2007, a late Dave Mooney goal saw Longford beat Shamrock Rovers. It took Town to within a point of Waterford in the battle to avoid the drop. That day, Longford turned down a bid from Southend United for Mooney. A decade on, he now does play for Southend and Longford and Waterford are in the First Division. Maybe it's all preordained.

The last time I was up there, Ryan Guy scored a hat trick for St Pat's and got sick on the pitch just underneath us.


Truth be told, the game wasn't great. Longford Town missed a penalty before half time, but otherwise not many chances for either side.


Longford Town fans were in good voice though


It was cold, we missed a penalty to drop points, I was up early and at the start I asked a question "why would you do this?" when the question really is "why would you not?"


Now, you may or may not know that I've written a book - Cabra Cadabra. It's laden with League of Ireland references and it's funny - in my opinion at least. Why not buy it so I can retire to take photographs of League of Ireland grounds? Exactly, there's no reason not to.

And finally, some housekeeping. Not that I'm sure you'd want to, but these pictures are mine and you may not use them without permission. Drop me a line...