Dublin Hammers Meetings - Season 2016-2017

Dublin Hammers Meeting - 21st May, 2017


Well here we are at the end of another season! Wasn’t really sure what the turn out would be like after last weeks horror show against the mickeys, would the membership ‘be on the beach”, but I need not have worried as upon arrival the room was full and humming with pre-match conversation.

The team sheet came up and I for one was little disappointed that in a game with nothing riding on it Slav didn’t play any of the youngsters. So be it, the game kicked off and Burnley made the early running and before long they scored the goal they deserved. oh dear we thought… but no, the Hammers came back and a loud cheer heralded a nice finish from Fergers after a back-heel from Ayew had put him through on goal!

Half time saw the usual devouring of sandwiches and more pints bought.

We were by far the stronger team in the second half and got our just rewards after Fernandes shot was parried onto the cross bar by the Burnley keeper, it bounced back to Ayew who headed in from close range… thankfully this week he didn’t miss! After that we never really looked in trouble.

In fact, after the goal the only highlight came when Jason arrived in sporting a new moustache… a spontatious rendition of “I want to break free” by Queen ensued.

The satellite link to the telly decided to play up for the last five minutes of the game, stopping… starting… rewinding… jumping forward… thankfully the ref blew up and the 3 points ensured we finished 11th.

The owner has asked me to remind everyone that the AGM is on next Monday 29th of May and will start at 8pm sharp. Please make the effort to attend.

Report by Paul Smith.

Dublin Hammers Meeting - 17th December, 2016


Well what can you say except… thanks very much! 3 games and 7 points!

A good crew of Dublin Hammers gathered for this pre christmas game, our second home game of the week and in our current position, another must win.

We started off ok but all to soon we were watching the team stutter again, slow build up play and a complete lack of movement being the main problems. In fact it was like watching a re-run of the Burnley game, the only difference being that Hull came to try and play football instead of disrupting the game as often as possible.

They should have taken the lead when Cresswell's shoddy backpass went straight to the Hull forward… one on one with Rudolph (hey it's christmas) there was a collective intake of breath from members as we watched the ball canon back off the post to safety! Then Noble cleared off the line, down at the other end Ayew had a header cleared off the line. Rudolph also saved brilliantly from a corner.

By mid-way through the second half it was end to end stuff. The noise coming from the crowd urging West Ham on could be heard on the tv and this was matched as members shouted encouragement too. From two breakaways Hull hit the post again… twice! Surely this was only going to end one way… then we were awarded a penalty after a foul on Antonio… Noble stepped up and buried it! Que relieved celebrations from all.

On the final whistle the meeting emptied at the same speed as the London Stadium against Arsenal as members headed home. A great little meeting, jovial atmosphere and great to see everyone in good spirits. Everyone roaring the Hammers on in the second half was a great craic, even the younger members joined in… and for once the script went our way!

I heard that the police are interested in interviewing West Ham after two suspected muggings this week… and on twitter… the post was awarded the man-of-match by West Ham fans!

The Swansea game on… Boxing day… St Stephens day… the day after christmas day… IS being shown in Brannigans.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Report by Paul Smith.

Dublin Hammers Meeting - 14th December, 2016


About 15 Dublin Hammers gathered for this must win game between 2 struggling sides. I'm not sure why, but for some reason I expected a "performance" from West Ham… really have a go at Burnley… but what we witnessed was in reality a poor excuse for a football match!

I guess the league table doesn't lie, both teams struggled to put two passes together and coupled with numerous players from both sides feigning injuries at every opportunity it was frustrating watching.

West Ham just about had the better of the first half and in the final few minutes before half time they took the lead after being awarded a penalty after a foul on Reid. Noble stepped up to take it… his shot was saved… but fortunately it rolled back across the goal and Noble managed to finish it off at the second attempt.

The second half proved to be an endurance test… what with the absolute guff being played by both teams on the pitch, coupled with the owners stomach causing absolute havoc at regular intervals, the final whistle was gratefully received and we headed off into the fresh Dublin air!

Well a win is a win and the league table looks a little healthier this morning, but the game is best forgotten… as quickly as possible in fact!

Report by Paul Smith.

Dublin Hammers Meeting - 19th November, 2016


An early start in Bray with a couple of pints watching ManUre against Arse, then just time for a swift one in the Harbour Bar before boarding the Dart into town. Along the way the Dart soon filled with the egg-chasing hordes (Ireland were playing the Kiwis at the Aviva).

I arrived at Branigans to find Tommy and Liam putting up the flags, heading downstairs to the bar I met James and before long more and more lads came in and a busy meeting settled down to watch us take on the Tottscum at White Shite Lane. Word spread that Randolph was in for Adrian and Sakho was starting up front, his first game for us this season.

Minutes before the kick-off the President arrived in, now usually November is a month of abstention from the drink for our President, but today he had a pint in his hand?… maybe he knew something we did not about the coming game!

West Ham started well enough and before long a header from Kouyate struck the crossbar, the ball came back in from Reid and Antonio headed us into the lead. Nice one, although one member was overheard to complain (rather tongue-in-cheek) that it was always Antonio that scored! However we got to half-time without too many scares, in what was rather a lacklustre first half.

Half time sandwiches were devoured, I won the spot-the-ball (for the second time in 20 years!), the owner stood and made his usual speech.

The game resumed and before long they were level… a Randolph save denied Erikson, but Winks shot in the rebound. Bollocks! Randolph was called into action again, making a terrific save to deny Dier. Then down at the other end referee Mike Dean awarded us a penalty after Janssen pulled back Reid. Lanzini stepped up to finish the spot kick with style.

Both teams made changes and it was all going nicely until the 89th minute. Substitute Son's shot was parried by Randolph straight into the path of Harry Kane who couldn't miss from 3 yards out. 2-2... Bollocks… again!

With seconds left on the clock Harvard Nordtveit (a second half sub and in my view probably the worst player on our books at the moment) gave away a penalty after making contact with Son. A feeling of disbelief came over the meeting as we watched Mongo score from the spot, to make matters worse Winston Reid is then sent off with seconds remaining.

As the camera scanned the celebrating tottenham fans a loud chant of "yids" could clearly be heard on the commentary… funny, nothing in the papers about it this morning?… now I wonder what the reaction would have been if the West Ham fans had sung the same song? The usual hypocritical double standards apply here.

Is there anything more galling than losing to those slags… 2-1 up with 11 minutes to go… really? Sickener!

Oh well, just a double header against ManUre to come next week, followed by Arsenal and Liverpool, on current form it's going to be a long 3 weeks... I suspect that this coming line up of fixtures has had something to do with the President skipping his usual 'no drinks in November' ritual this year!

Great to see everyone, see you next week.

Report by Paul Smith.

Dublin Hammers Meeting - 26th October, 2016

WEST HAM 2 vs CHELSEA 1. EFL Cup 4th Round.

Someone obviously told the Chelski manager, Conte that this game was a casual dress match and that as he was heading to Essex he should try and fit in by wearing a trackie!! Slav, who showed class opted for the pullover and jacket attire for the game.

Anyway, both team made changes which meant that the younger players could get a run in the team – in particular Chelski who included a number of younger players in the midfield and forward line. The gamble didn’t pay off for them as the Hammers turned in a no holds barred performance. To say they bashed Chelski is an understatement – they won every tackle, were first to every ball and passed the ball well all about the pitch.

The game was on Eurosport which suffers a delay in transmission so at the score standing at 0-0 I get informed that Kouyate scores the first goal – two minutes later he does! We go nuts and afterwards there are numerous calls to turn off all score text alerts.

Throughout the first half we dominated proceedings and Chelski struggled to get into the game. We had a couple of great chances but failed to build on our one goal lead. As halftime approached Chelski managed to put some decent play together but were unable to find the equaliser.

We all trooped downstairs for the second half as there was a Dublin Tour thing arriving in at 9.00pm.

Down in the bar on the other TV, Sky were showing the Manx derby and as our game resumed (including the delay) the score comes up on the other screen to say we are 2-0 up!! Cue much shouting of shoot, shoot for the next two minutes until finally Fernandez scores. Again we go nuts!

Chelski in an effort to get something from the game bring on Mr Ugly, Diego Costa who promptly falls all over the place looking for free kicks. Then they bring on Hazard, but none of it works as the Hammers defend well and attack with pace. With five minutes additional time added that donkey Cahill manages to grab a goal back but it’s too late as from the tip off the referee blows it up.

Into the draw for the next round and there’s plenty of jokes flying around regarding the delay in transmission – one of them even suggesting that we have already won the next game. We catch the draw on Sky and find out we are away to Man Ure – do you all remember Paolo and Barthez from one of our greatest moments???? Here’s hoping!

A great gang turned up for the game and all went home very happy indeed.

Report by Gerry Murtagh.

Dublin Hammers Meeting - 15th October, 2016


It may have been the international break or our recent 25th anniversary that saw a good attendance show up in a positive frame of mind for our league game away to Crystal Palace.

We were delighted to see Cresswell back but Slaven opted to play three at the back and push him more into midfield. This meant that we were much better going forward but struggled slightly at the back early on and thankfully Zaha didn’t punish us when he found himself on his own in the area. Cresswell was very lively throughout and some great interplay between himself and Payet led to the opening goal as Lanzini, who is developing into a wonderful player, met his cross and beat the keeper. We went wild!

We were playing really well, defending in numbers and getting bodies behind the ball and then breaking quickly when we got possession – the way we played all last season. With half time looming the referee awarded Palace a penalty, cue much moaning and groaning. Up steps Benteke and bang – the ball flies miles wide – so bad in fact that Tommy told me to duck as it nearly hit the window in Brannigans. Just on the break Benteke powers a header off the upright. So at half time we breathed a sigh of relief that we were still ahead.

The sambos arrived, Liamo gave his speech (chastising Tom Jones for “conducting DH business” while he was talking), Dessie sold the “Spot the Balls” and we all had a yap and a bite to eat. There was good news for Bad News as he won one of the “Spot of Balls”. Liamo then raced towards the door to eject a few unsuspecting visitors who thought they could drop by for a pint – they soon found that Irish hospitality is not top of the Liamo agenda!!

The second half kicks off and both teams play an entertaining game with both defences standing solid. The closest we came to a second goal was Antonio’s header cleared off the line while an excellent stop from Adrian denied Palace. Cresswell got two yellow cards in the space of 60 seconds, the first was not a dive but should have been a peno for him; the second was not malicious as Zaha had his head bent down low so Cresswell’s arm connected unintentionally. Both were poor decisions by the officials but it meant that we welcomed Cresswell back and also said goodbye to him in the space of 75 minutes!

It was nail biting stuff at times but thankfully we came away with the three points which pushed out of the bottom three. So it’s onwards and upwards!

Report by Gerry Murtagh.

Dublin Hammers Meeting - 25th September, 2016


It has been a poor start to the season and we look off the pace and very nervous on the new pitch. So I went into Brannigans to see the Southampton game with little confidence. In the previous two league game we conceded 8 goals! There was a poor attendance in for the game compared to last season but we did welcome a number of visitors to our midst.

Brain Madden looked fit and healthy for his age as he did the half time “Liamo” news bulletin. Most important bits were the signed top to be raffled at our 25th and a reminder to get people in for our quiz on Thursday. I did the Spot the Ball and managed to get stiffed by someone! Sorry lads!! The president was busy showing his knee x-ray to people and it did take us all by surprise.

On the screen the first half of the game was evenly matched but we never looked like scoring and I think our new man upfront “Zsa Zsa Gabor” is a stocking – one of a long line of stockings that West Ham have signed over the years and we look forward to whatever injury he picks up shortly like all the other stockings we have With about 10 minutes remaining in the first half we concede a goal... here we go again time.

Half-time sambos arrive and the mood is a bit downbeat.

The second half was no better than the first as Southampton bossed us in every area. Flimsy appeals for penalties and free kicks are the sign of a poor team and we were certainly that throughout. Two more goals were conceded to see the tally at 11 goals in three games.

Things have to change – my own feeling was that we have injuries yes but the level of players we are bringing in are finding it impossible to cope with the pace of the Premiership and indeed the lack of time on the ball they were used to getting in other leagues. Maybe we should start looking for players from lower divisions that are used to the general hustle and bustle of English football. I do believe that Slaven will change things around but it could be a long season of struggle to survive... normal service is resumed, eh!!!!!!

Report by Gerry Murtagh.

Dublin Hammers Meeting - 15th August, 2016


Our premier league campaign started off with a tough away game against Chelsea. A well attended meeting settled down in a hot stuffy Brannigans to see what the coming nights football would bring.

To be honest we were poor, the first 10 minutes were OK, we kept the ball well and Carroll was causing them problems at the back… but from there on it was mostly downhill. To be honest we made them look good, long balls to Carroll, who to be fair to him, won most of the headers, but Valencia and Ayew on either side of him offered no support, thus gifting possession back to Chelsea. The 20 million Ayew soon went off with a thigh strain to be replaced by the equally poor Tore. We were fortunate to go in at 0-0.

At half time while munching sandwiches we were sized up for the new anniversary shirts, Brian M did the half time announcements and we settled down for, hopefully, a better second half.

No such luck, minutes later Antonio conceded a penalty and Hazard converted. Antonio went off to be replaced by Byram, who did well against a rampant Hazard. Chelsea continued to pressure us, we carried on from the first half with Carroll all alone, and most of the other players taking too much time on the ball and allowing Chelsea to close us down and force mistakes… of which there were plenty! Fortunately Chelsea didn’t finish the good 3 or 4 chances they made.

The ref also was poor, issuing a rake of yellow cards in the first half, then in the the second half bottling the booking offences to those already on a yellow… notabley Costa’s nasty challenge on Adrian… Costa already on a yellow should have been sent off without question!

Our only ray of light came in the 67th minute when Payet came on for Nordveit. Almost immediately we looked better. We won a few free kicks and from one of these Carroll caused mayhem and the ‘Ginger Pele’ hammered in the equaliser! 10 minutes to get out of jail… in injury time Costa scored the winner. Disappointing, but no more than we deserved…

The sooner Payet and Lanzini are both back the better, and lets have Antonio on the right hand side of attack please!

Good to see everyone and good to be up and running again!

Report by Paul Smith.


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