Sporting tradition is one facet of everyday life which continues to remain strong in Co Longford.
Be it GAA, soccer, rubgy or athletics, the county arguably couldn’t be in better shape.
Now it would seem another team sport, in the form of basketball is undergoing somewhat of a rebirth in the north Longford village of Drumlish.
This, some 30 years on since the high octane American pastime was last witnessed in the locality. “We started training back in October and had our first match last week,” said Tara Kane, one of the main instigators behind the suitably named Drumlish Dragons’ revival.
That debut, despite culminating in an eye-opening loss to neighbours Longford Torpedos, brought with it many positives.
For key players like Tara, it at least showed the appetite for the game is still tangible even after a three decade absence.
“I know we lost by 30 points but we have them a good game,” she admitted as she took a moment’s breather during training. “We were dreading it actually beforehand so it was great to have done so well.”
Her stance on where the club stands now and what it hopes to achieve as it continues its rehabilitation couldn’t be more defiant.
“Definitely,” was her direct response when asked about whether the club could withstand various challenges and almost inevitable recessional pressures going forward. “There is a lot of older women coming in not necessarily to play but just to be involved. My mother is there as well and she never played basketball in her life so there is a great old buzz around the place.”
Those words would appear to sit well with some of Tara’s team-mates and club officials. Seamus Keane, one of the familiar faces from the club’s earlier days, is back where he was in 1982 offering encouragement and words of advice from the sidelines.
“That (1982) was when I finished up,” he said. “I had a couple of teams here but there was no one to take on the mantle when I packed it in.”
Pressed as to what prompted his own return from the basketball wilderness, Seamus said the opportunity to get involved again while also staying trim was simply too good to turn down.
“I was glad to be asked to be honest as I was doing very little,” he pointed out in between a series of drills taking place in the background. “I tell you one thing running around with these women, it won’t take you long to get fit that’s for sure.”
His fellow coach, Ballinamuck PE teacher Ian Higgins was just as enthusisatic, saying the focus was now very much aimed at supplementing that feel-good factor.
“A lot of the girls would have played out in Moyne on All-Ireland winning teams so the pedigree is there,” he revealed. “What we need to do now is build on those foundations and get them playing as a group.”
Based on the evidence of last Wednesday night, that objective couldn’t be more obtainable.