Musings and photos of wild and everyday life

Sport

18 Shades of Green

9th green and Blessington Lakes Tulfarris Golf Club Autumn evening
10th hole Tulfarris Golf Club & Blessington Lakes Autumn evening

10th hole Tulfarris Golf Club & Blessington Lakes Autumn evening

There seems to be a lot of polarisation over golf.  So many people play it and enjoy it but there are also a lot of people who think it a waste of space.

I am biased here.  I do like my round of golf and would argue that whatever else, golf courses tend to preserve a plot of nature – land, plants, scenery and wildlife – that otherwise might be destroyed in another commercial exercise.

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This post is about Tulfarris Golf Club, one of the many fine courses in Ireland, and indeed Wicklow, and one of the prettiest.

Aiming at the 14th green Tulfarris Golf Club Wicklow in evening sun with moon

Aiming at the 14th green Tulfarris Golf Club Wicklow in evening sun with moon

18th Fairway & Green from 13th tee Tulfarris Golf Club Wicklow Autumn evening

18th Fairway & Green from 13th tee Tulfarris Golf Club Wicklow Autumn evening

13th green & Blessington lakes Tulfarris Golf Club Wicklow in evening sun

13th green & Blessington lakes Tulfarris Golf Club Wicklow in evening sun

9th green and Blessington Lakes Tulfarris Golf Club Autumn evening

9th green and Blessington Lakes Tulfarris Golf Club Autumn evening

Putting from the fringe 9th Green Tulfarris

Putting from the fringe 9th Green Tulfarris

…………………….Tulfarris is a challenging course but its real charm lies in its trees and views which help even the worst rounds and encourage wildlife.   Deer, Foxes, Buzzards, Ravens, Little Grebes, Sedge Warblers, Mute and Whooper Swans as well as many other species can be found here.

Little Grebe feeding Baby on small lake Tulfarris Golf Club

Little Grebe feeding Baby on small lake Tulfarris Golf Club

Jackdaw at nest in Copper Beech Tulfarris GC Blessington

Jackdaw at nest in Copper Beech Tulfarris GC Blessington

Blackbird M with Leatherjacket in the rain Tulfarris GC Blessington

Blackbird M with Leatherjacket in the rain Tulfarris GC Blessington

Mute Swan claims victory on 8th Green Tulfarris

Mute Swan claims victory on 8th Green Tulfarris

At the end of the day, though, it is the magnificent Oak and Beech trees that really show Tulfarris off.

Oak Trees beside 15th Tee from 13th tee Tulfarris Golf Club Wicklow Autumn evening

Oak Trees beside 15th Tee from 13th tee Tulfarris Golf Club Wicklow Autumn evening


Boys in Blue – phew!

Cardif, 22nd May 2011, the definitive game of 2 halves. Heaslip on charge HC final Cardiff

What a roller-coaster.

At half time, depressed Leinster fans were nearly afraid to hope.  Saints fans – Jimmies – were beside themselves with joy.

Leinster Celebration lap HC Cardiff

However in the 2nd half, an envigourated, determined and free-flowing Leinster finally showed their strength and the great passing and running game that had blown away all comers up to that and the Saints could not cope.  They were helped in the second half by the poor and naive refereeing of Mnsr. Poite who now gave the penalties to Leinster seemingly because they were going forward – when he had repeatedly wrongly punished them  in the 1st half for the opposite ‘offence’!  There are so many offences now in Rugby that the referee has an incredible influence on the game.  There is an acute need for education and increased standards in refereeing and more standardisation of the interpretations.

Currently the referrees penalise only a fraction of the offences and this necessarily skews games as referrees are human.  Almost all the offences should be called which would lead to fairer matches, more adherence to the rules and eventually a smaller and simpler set of rules.  The current tinkering and continuous adding to the rules in the name of making the game more open,  is crazy.  Also ignoring forward passes and preventing players from fighting for the ball (close to the core of the game) is slowly turning it into a mix between Rugby League and American Football!

Horgan & Cullen hold HC on Leinster Celebration lap Cardiff
Leinster congratulated on HC Final win Cardiff

Brilliant exhibition and a great day but commiserations to the Saints fans who were gracious after the match, offering their congratulations even though this must have been an awful way to lose.


Boys in Blue

Blue Army

Have to mention the Boys in Blue – Section of 48,000 Leinster crowd at Heineken Cup semi-final, Lansdowne Road

What a great show of strenght against another top French team in the HC semi!

The atmosphere was buzzing from the start with the stadium packed with nearly all Leinster supporters and dancers (including Kara!) out with flags, representing each of the 30 players.

Dancers & Flags for Leinster pre semi, Kara as Seán (7).

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Toulouse Lion confident pre semi
Toulouse’s Lion looked happy but maybe a bit too casual. Leinster’s looked a lot more determined!
Leinster Lion more determined pre semi
In action, Leinster never quite hit their peak but had enough for a very talented and experienced Toulouse, that kept a good defence.

Reddan fires out a pass for Leinster - HC Semi
Roll on the Final and the Northampton bruisers.