Ranelagh off to the races this Thursday
THEY'RE under Starter's Orders in Smyth's. That's where Ranelagh Gaels were formed in 2003.
They have jumped a few fences since. This Thursday night they hold a Race Night at Smyth's (8.30).
It's a big fund-raiser to help with the upkeep of the club's new facilities at Herbert Park and Bushy Park, as well as the general running of the club.
All are welcome. Eight races will be shown. It will be like being at a real race meeting, with all the betting and banter.
Lucky punters could end up like the former Waterford manager, Niall Carew, who won €170,000 for backing three winners and predicting that the first meeting of Kerry and Mayo would end in a draw.
The Gaels have travelled far quickly. They began with one adult team. Now they have two adult men's sides, plus a adult ladies team.
And the brightest news of all concerns their Academy. It started in 2012. It's been a huge success.
It takes place in Herbert Park every Saturday morning. Over 80 children are taking part.
The kids are as young as four. They can't wait for Saturday.
Ranelagh also field teams at U8 and U9 level. The Dublin U21 full-back, Rob McDaid, popped down to help with the U9s.
His presence brought a sparkle to the little faces, and his easy-going manner and footballing tips went down a treat.
Famous Ranelagh residents over the years included the great film star, Maureen O'Hara, who lived on Beechwood Avenue.
Ken Doherty lived on the street right opposite the auld triangle around the corner from Jason's Snooker Hall.
When he was a child, he used to have to stand on a biscuit box to play.
What a homecoming the World Snooker champ got in 1997.
The Gaels are working hard to mould the stars of tomorrow, and a visit to Herbert Park on a Saturday morning confirms it.
Many of the present U8s and U9s could well follow Rob's road. The refurbished pavilion at Bushy Park has also raised the spirits, and the club are hoping to hit the jackpot with Thursday's Race Night.
It will be a super night out. For more information, click onto www.ranelaghgaels.ie