Hurling-Not for the Faint-Hearted.Mature

Well this is (hopefully) the beginning of my fantasy story (I won't say book because it would NEVER be published :P). The first chapter is too short, so I may edit it in time, but for now enjoy.....I hope? :D



Tadhg glanced into the sky. ‘Shit' he thought. The gobshite's over shot it'

Sprinting down the wing, he squinted ahead through the torrential rain.

 ‘I'm not going to reach it. Someone's about to get decked!' he thought with a grin.

Out of the milling crowd waiting for the arcing ball to drop, a massive figure launched himself into the air.

‘Ah no. Feckin' Cullan. Only fifteen, me arse!'

It seemed improbable that such a lummox could heave himself so high. Falling out of the air with the small leather ball in his hand and a triumphant, gormless, grin on his face, Cullan began to lay about the crowd with anything he could use to burst out. Fist, foot, hurley, made no difference.

‘Good luck boys. Get too close to that monster and you know what's going to happen'

Still, he couldn't let him past without at least trying to stop him.

‘Sekrasa take me. He looks like a drunken heifer with a limp. A fast drunken heifer with a limp. I think for this special young man, it's time to abandon more congenial methods'

Holding his hurley out horizontally, Tadhg made as if to plant himself in front of Cullan. Seeing this, an expression of confused delight spread across Cullan's face.

‘Sadistic bastard. Won't be smiling for long will you?' Tadhg thought, baring his teeth at him.

Cullan pounded on, eating up the remaining mud churned distance. Tadhg waited.

‘Wait. Wait. Now!'

Pivoting quickly, Tadhg turned from Cullan's outreached arm. Cullan turned with him, but too slowly to stop him jabbing the edge of the curved wooden stick into Cullan's hip. A wide-eyed expression of pain and shock painted Cullan's face. He collapsed to one knee with a squelch, dropping his hurley and the ball as he went.

‘Thank you very much!' Tadhg thought as he scooped up the ball on to the flat of side of the bas of the hurley. ‘A dead leg will take down anyone.'

 ‘Eejit turned when I turned. Why would he do that? Sick bollocks must have wanted to hit me more than play the game! At least there's a reason for my violence.'

Snapping back to reality with a crash, Tadhg picked himself up from the ground.

‘Pay attention fool!'  he thought angrily. The ball had gone loose in the fray. Looking up, Tadhg saw Jamesie about to flick up the ball into his hand.

‘Shite. Can't catch him.'

Suddenly out of nowhere, Seanin appeared. Delivering a shoulder, Seanin sneaked in a cruel (yet very effective) swing in between the legs of his opponent with the heel of his hurley.

‘Ouch. Breaking ball is right. Wouldn't want to play against Seanin. Poor Jamesie. He'd better still be coming out tonight or I'll bate Seanin. With rocks. From far away. Behind a wall. He's a dirty fighter after all'

 Tadgh had firsthand experience of this from various scuffles with him; these scuffles being widely known as ‘horseplay'. This phrase had always seemed strange to Tadhg.

 ‘Since when do horses play? Stupid small parish with its eejit phrases.'

 Tadhg however, realised this was unfair of him. He didn't dislike the area all that much. ‘I just can't stand how close-minded some of the people are. Do they care for anything outside of this parish? There's more in this world than feckin' fields and porter!'

Seanin grinned at him as he soloed up alongside Tadhg. ‘I'll say sorry to him later!' as he slapped the ball to Tadhg. ‘Now would you ever go off and score? I'm too far up!'

Realising that Seanin's marker was free, Tadhg raced up the pitch, holding possession for as long as possible.

‘Ah feck it, I'm going for a score. We're two down!'

Running towards the other team's full back line, balancing the ball on the bas of his hurley, Tadhg measured the distance.

‘No time!'

Lining up the shot, Tadhg flicked the ball to shoulder-level from the flat of the bas of the hurley. As it came down, he lashed out at it, sending it rocketing towards the somewhat shocked goalkeeper. No one took a shot from this far away. Not for a goal. The ball rattled the top corner of the net. Or would have if there had been a net. The small amount of supporters and Tadhg's team roared with delight.

‘Ha! Yes! One point up!'

The full and half forward line ran to envelop Tadhg in rough hugs. Had this been anywhere else, someone would be quick to pronounce the ‘offending' party of being a ‘Gay boy. You joining the Teyal bum boys?'

To Tadhg this was utterly ridiculous.

‘Yes, because you feel affection for your fella friends, you're suddenly gay. Close-minded fools'

Seeing the grins on his team mates faces, Tadhg smiled ruefully.

‘Have I become so high and mighty?'

Jogging back to midfield for the puckout, Tadhg cast a furtive eye around for Cullan. He must be up by now. And sure enough, there he was, limping back, mud splattered knees and all, to the full back line on the other side of the pitch. He shot Tadhg a murderous look.

‘Ah shite. I'll have to fix this somehow later. Otherwise I'm going to end up with a hurley broken across my head at some point.'

The goalkeeper returned eventually with the ball looking rather disgruntled.

‘Ah come on now Andy. Stop being such a feckin' whinger'

It had taken Andy so long to retrieve the ball from Ed Brennan's field that there was little or no time left in the match. And sure enough, as soon as the ball was pucked out, the whistle blew. Well it would have if the referee (Ed Brennan in Wellingtons) had not lost it the previous day while milking his cows. Instead he roared ‘Right, that's it, I'm drenched and going for a pint!'













The End

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