Saturday, 21 March 2015

A day to celebrate in
sunshine and sunset

Sunset at the Burnaby estate in Greystones, Co Wicklow, this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Patrick Comerford

This has been a thrilling and entertaining day for all rugby fans. At the end of the first half, Italy was just a point behind Wales (14-13), and it appeared they might be no pushover. But everything changed in the second half, and watching a more than convincing victory for Wales (61-20), watching the Irish match against Scotland could have been a nail-biting experience. Thankfully, in the end, it was a glorious victory for Ireland (40-10).

The English team seemed to have an impossible task ahead of them. In the end, they might just have closed that margin – one more converted try would have allowed England to clinch that vital one-point margin ahead of Ireland. But as the final whistle blew at Twickenham, England’s margin (55-35) was not enough despite England having a splendid victory.

For Ireland, England and Wales to end up on eight points each, with everything hanging on those tight point differences (63-57-53), has left many breathless – in all three nations.

This is Ireland’s second consecutive Six-Nation title, and it was the best-ever Irish victory in Murrayfield. After the sad performance against Wales and the disappointing Irish exit from the Cricket World Cup, this is a wonderful Irish victory. How should I celebrate?

Celebratory double espressos in the Happy Pear, Greystones (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

It has been a beautiful spring day all day. Despite cold bite in the air, there have been clear blue skies and strong bright sunshine. I left my phone on to follow the England-French match as two of us headed out to Greystones, Co Wicklow, for a very late lunch at the Happy Pear and two celebratory double espressos.

The Happy Pear was closing as we left and walked down to the Burnaby Estate, where the amber sun was setting behind the trees.

Evening lights on the beach at Greystones this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

We continued on under the railway line, and out onto the beach, where a few families were still enjoying the evening lights. Out to the east, in the Irish Sea, the lights thrown by the setting sun against the horizon left beautiful hues of purple, pink and orange between the sea and the sky.

On the way out of Greystones, the final whistle had blown at Twickenham. I stopped close to the Kilruddery Estate, south of Bray, to catch the lights of the lingering sunset to the west behind the outlined edges of the Wicklow Mountains. A residual pink and orange glow remained in the clear sky all the way back through north Wicklow and south Dublin.

What a beautiful day.

Sunset in the Wicklow Mountains seen from the Kilruddery Estate near Bray, Co Wicklow, this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

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