Dublin Hammers Trip - Leicester City - Saturday 29th October 2011

West Ham 3 vs Leicester City 2

The day started out like any other for the lads travelling over to see the WHU vs Leicester fixture, but as Tommy Noctor would later realise... the Gods were watching! We met, as usual in the bar at the airport and spirits and pints were good. New travel Secretary Josh, found himself on the receiving end of some bad publicity – the gate was too far from the bar! He promised to rectify this for the next trip.

Our flight was delayed, as was Pat Gargan, who had time on his hands while travelling to the airport, so he knitted himself a scarf, later on we found out that he had done a hat to match!! There was no in-flight movie, which put even more pressure on Josh. Liam was forced to get him to lower his newspaper as he obstructed our view of the safety procedures – tut, tut!!!! The bus awaited us on arrival and quickly whisked us to the gates of the hotel. John Thompson did point out that the bus Jimmy got always dropped us at the door. Poor Josh got the blame again.

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On for breakfast and then to the Queens for pre-match refreshments. The time finally arrived and we took our seats in the Booby Moore and nervously awaited kick off. The Irons started well and put pressure on the Leicester back four and for 20 minutes it looked like we’d never score. Then within 2 minutes we were 2-0 up, as first the very impressive Baldock headed in from close range and then Faubert (did you know he was with Real Madrid) blasted one home from the edge of the area. Cue absolute mayhem in the ground!! John Carew was taken off with 15 minutes to go in the first half and on came the “hard working” Piquionne. All our best chances had come down their left hand side past the dazzled Konchesky. 2-0 in front at half time and we thought we’d definitely do this one.

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Leicester started the better in the second half and deservedly pulled a goal back after 15 minutes. It was a very open game as Leicester played some terrific football and we hoofed it everywhere except their weakest spot – the left full! We managed to get a third goal as Piquionne got his head to another long ball and Baldock produced a superb first time finish to make it 3-1. As ever the Hammers sat back and with 15 minutes left Leicester made it 3-2 and Liam, being his ever positive self, said he’d settle for the draw!! Mind you, he nearly got his wish as Tomkins powered a header off his own crossbar – I though we’d need a giant defibrillator for the crowd. But for once the Gods were watching and realised that Tommy Noctor had never been on a trip where we actually won – so it ended 3-2.

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It was off to the Wakeful for celebratory refreshments and a catch up with Brian who bore a remarkable resemblance to Pat Gargan. Someone heard Tom Jones was in the pub and poor Gary ended up with a pair of knickers on his head because of it.

We headed back to the hotel to get ready for our usual night in O’Gradys. There was a bit of disappointment as there was no band playing only a solo guitarist, so President Ryan’s usual song never materialized and he was forced to ad lib to something else. Joining us in the pub were WHU legend, Mark Ward along with Ted Terry (John’s auld fellah) and later on Mick Tobyn (Dublin Hammer of the Year 2010/11). Over all it was a great night as we danced, sang and drank into the small hours. New boy, Tommy 4 had a ball on his first ever trip to the Irons and had Paddy Rodgers taking care of him. Paddy did really well except when he tried to show him how to use the card (that wasn’t working) for the hotel room and managed to lock both of them out of the room! Jimmy Conway also suffered a senior moment but thankfully I am such a light sleeper I realised that he was out in the hallway – it was a good thing he knocked on the right door considering his dress code!

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The next morning the President held a quiz over breakfast that produced a number of heated moments, in particular Galway Eugene arguing over a transfer fee – cue Tom Jones and Google and Eugene was left with egg on his face. We couldn’t believe that anyone would question the knowledge of our resident Quizmaster!

It was off then for our cultural tour that was axed early on due to the poor quality of the sights in the capital. We stopped off to watch the Leeds game in the Crowne Plaza and then headed to the George for the Sunday afternoon game. We didn’t bother watching it, as President Ryan was presented with a football trivia quiz and with quids in we tested our knowledge. It proved to be a hugely entertaining time with only Dave Reid questioning the results.

Finally it was time to head back to the airport and two buses arrived – the sheer opulence Josh!!! Cue more mayhem as we split the crew between the lager and the cider buses for the long arduous journey to Stanstead. We arrived in plenty of time for the flight and got some food into us. Not sure how the flight went as I was asleep as soon as the doors closed! A great trip – as ever. Well done to Josh for all the arrangements. Here’s to the Hull game at the end of the season and our return to the Premiership.

Many thanks to Gerry Murtagh for the report and photos!

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