So this is what winning feels like?

A Breaffy Man in Castlebar
So this is what winning is?

It started with a defeat to Tourmakeady in the West Mayo Under 12 B Final in 1993. ‘It’ being my tale of woe when it comes to losing.
We, Breaffy, had beaten Tourmakeady by over 20 points earlier that year and thought it was just a matter of turning up that day in Parke. We learned at a very young age the perils of ever taking Tourmakeady for granted.
My father went to that game and knocked years of fun out of the fact that Tourmak’ had three girls in their starting team. If there’s one thing that’s sure to annoy a boy it is saying that women were better than him at football. Only in time did a more enlightened view of things emerge.
Laziness, and Championship Manager, saw me skip playing Under 16 football in 1997 and Breaffy went and won a county title. My last year at minor and U-21 with the club saw us unable to field and those experiences pushed me in the direction of soccer for a few years.
The wonderfully named Ballyvary Blue Bombers knocked on a few doors too but each time we were promoted, it was as runners-up, not as champions. We lost the 2001 Mayo FA Cup Final too. My first year in NUI Galway saw our team make it to the final of the Harding Cup - the All-Ireland Freshers soccer tournament. Guess what? UL beat us 4-0.
And while I was on a sabbatical from Gaelic football, albeit playing a bit of Junior B, what had to happen? Breaffy went and won the County Junior title in 2003 and the Intermediate in 2004.
It is frightening that the first winning team I was involved with was in a management capacity, when Breaffy Minors won the West Mayo Minor B in 2005. I was back playing with Breaffy at this stage and our seniors won the Division 1A in 2008. Pity I was in Australia that year.
But last weekend I finally won something as a player. Far from Broadway it might have been but Westport B’s ability to hold Balla to a draw gave us, Breaffy B, the Division 1F league title. Or, as one party-pooper said on Twitter, the Division 6 title. But when you are waiting most of your life for a winner’s medal, you will be grateful for whatever comes your way.
Westport B were flavour of the month in Breaffy anyway with father and son management duo Peter and Tom Reynolds, the Brian and Nigel Clough of the operation, coming in for high praise. Their star man at the weekend was Liam Staunton, ironically a first cousin of mine. He wasn’t even born when Tourmakeady put manners on my eleven-year-old self. I don’t even know if it would be legal for me to buy him a pint but his money will be no good in Breaffy for some time anyway.