Old Wesley v Shannon – 20 Years On
This Saturday 31st October Old Wesley travels to Shannon in Limerick to renew combat and friendships. The two clubs met six times in AIL Division 1 in the 1990s. Prior to the AIL there was a regular friendly fixture between both clubs for many years. The last match between the sides was during season 1996-97, 19 years ago. The photos below are from an AIL match between Old Wesley and Shannon at Donnybrook in season 1995-96. There are many familiar faces on both sides however there are two striking differences between then and now. The first is the volume of spectators; at its height AIL matches in the 90s attracted crowds of up to 2,000, and for finals considerably more. The rise in the number and profile of matches involving provincial teams has caused AIL crowds to drop off considerably since. The second observation is the playing surface. The match 20 years ago was obviously played in the second half of the season when the Donnybrook pitch used to tear up with the high volume of matches played on it. What a difference today with the all weather pitch; do we detect an element of jealousy from the players of 20 years ago.