The collective sigh of relief from Drogheda could be felt as a hot breeze in Dundalk last night as the Lilywhites blew their chance to be the first League of Ireland outfit to qualify for the Champions League.
For a good hour on Tuesday night Drogheda metaphorically held its breath as the brave Louth men took the game to the Polish champions. Athlone man Robbie Benson had tucked away a perfunctory finish on 19 minutes, causing the Poles to wobble.
But even with Legia Warsaw down to ten men and on the ropes, Dundalk just couldn’t muster the quality to Blitzkrieg the Poles into submission.
“Thank god for that,” said Drogheda fan Jeff Finnegan. “Those bastards get everything. Them qualifying would have been a disaster for the town.”
Drogheda United supporters gave the impression that they were behind Dundalk. They were being the bigger man, putting local rivalry to one side for the greater good just like Ireland did when she cast aside her differences with the Crown to join forces with the Allies and defeat Nazi Germany during The Emergency.
And like De Valera letting slip his true feelings by sending condolences to the German Embassy on the untimely passing of the Führer, Drogs fans betrayed their true feelings as pints were spilled and fists pumped in ecstasy when Legia Warsaw equalized late on. Never did the maxim the enemy of my enemy is really my friend ring so true.
“It was like watching a friend try to chat up a bird you fancied that was way out of their league (but not yours) and then look on in horror as it looks like they’re getting somewhere,” explained Drawda man Podge Coddington.
“Thankfully the Poles equalized and we won’t have Dundalk to thank for dragging the League to the next level. Wait and see though, they won’t share out their Europa League money and improve the standard of the league. Will they fuck.
“At least we’ve still got John Delaney and the FAI to look out for us.”