North v South – Linfield and Shamrock Rovers go head to head

by Pearse Corcoran

Shamrock Rovers TallaghtLinfield and Shamrock Rovers played out a decent game of football on a cold and miserable Monday night, probably the most positive thing for yours truly having to brave the elements.

Shamrock Rovers, who looked a rejuvenated team after last season’s shambolic scenes under Stephen Kenny, showed good signs early and were promising big things.

Linfield, on the other hand, were determined to put up in a good showing but you quickly got the feeling that the performance was being driven from the fact they were playing south of the border.

The occasion was the main talking point, as it always is on days like this. When two giants of the game come together the country they reside in sits up and takes notice, and the battle of North v South is always something that creates talking points.

From early on the chants started from both sides. The fnas threw toilet paper. They made rude gestures towards the opposing fans.

That turned out to be the most exciting part of what was supposed to be a massive spectacle but ended up more like a damp squib.

Linfield were riled up and ready to go but couldn’t handle the sheer dominance from a Rovers side led by midfield maestro Ronan Finn. The Tallaght side ran out comfortable 4-1 winners in the end.

The culture of sport in Ireland means that there is a nasty competitive streak when it comes to a battle of territories.  This is evident especially when the North and South lock horns.

After the game, reports started filtering through that crowd trouble was being highlighted. Some fans from the Linfield end had hoisted up a Union Jack flag to taunt the Shamrock Rovers fans on the other side.

The “tougher” element of the Rovers fans are a group called the “SRFC ultras” and they drummed up a massive support among the home crowd with a growing sense of tension right throughout the stadium.

After the match that escalated but the groups involved were out thought and out muscled by the numbers of Gardaí who let it be known that they weren’t taking any trouble from fans.

For someone like myself, who was a first timer at this occasion, it was eye opening but I also had a sense of “don’t hang around here for too long”.

It wasn’t like the nights you saw on the television of the old times. It wasn’t like ’95 in Lansdowne road. This wasn’t a war.

The cops came prepared that the worst could happen, however the worst was left at home it seems.

4 Responses

  1. BelfastBlue says:

    There was a great atmosphere at this match regardless. Some decent goals and no serious trouble. Some scuffles amongst Bluesmen but no all out riot and no damage to property. Both sides are “guilty” of provocative chants but all in good spirits!

    I think this situation has dramatically improved since they met in the 84 European cup. I’m Linfield true and true and was impressed with Shamrock as a club. Their fine stadium, pitch, support and the welcome I received by some of their club members and earlier in the shop when they couldn’t do enough for me. Was quite taken back by their hospitality. Of course their “ultras” are a different story but every big club has this. Its called football culture!!!

    Interesting to note that since the game some quarters of the media and political circles are looking for an investigation into Linfield fans behaviour? Catch yourself on!!!

    The host club shamrock are not looking for an investigation and their fans have been quite sound on the matter. Some twit journos and a mickey mouse sinn fein man are behind this! Stay out of football and leave it to us the fans!

    2nd leg: Blues 3 shamrock 0!!!

  2. Andrew Cornelia says:

    Don’t mean to be a bummer mate, but ”Fuck of Linfield, why don’t you go home” is not a good spirited chant, and I don’t really like the fact you’re trying to water it down.

  3. Pat says:

    The SRFC Ultras are not the “tougher” element. Just an Ultras group that do Tifo and displays at games.

    And chants like Fuck Off Linfield, It’s Time To Go Home might not be the done thing in the pub but it’s part and parcel of live football.

  4. stiofán says:

    the SRFC Ultras are an ultra fanatic group of supporters they do not engage in violence or sectarianism, the sectarian chanting was regretable but it came from all sections of the shamrock rovers support it is unfair to blame the ultras only.

    as for the violence in Windsor, it was conducted by a small minority of “fans” aided by a small number of cliftonville “fans”. i would like to apologise to linfield and the psni on the actions of this group of plastic provos.

    i would be interested in hearing what linfield fans and other northern clubs think about an all ireland league. atmospheres would be great with larger turnouts. niether league can realistically hope to become any more competitive by their own. thougtts?

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