It was a gala occasion in Dundalk this week as competitive European football returned to the town after more than 20 years with Dundalk F.C. playing CS Grevenmacher of Luxembourg in the Europa League. Going into the game with a scoreline of 3 goals apiece from the away fixture, Dundalk never looked in danger, but would have liked to have chalked up a more comfortable score line than the final 2-1 on the night.
Still, a fun night was had by all, and the town march ever onward, towards the more formidable PFC Levski Sofia of Bulgaria in the next round. It was a treat to hear the UEFA Anthem (or “The Champions League music”) reverberate out across the Carrick Road, to see a lone vuvuzela, and to see Oriel Park converted into an all-seater UEFA licensed venue.
Final score: Dundalk FC 2 – 1 CS Grevenmacher (Dundalk win 5-4 on aggregate)
The picture shows Dundalk’s own mascot Lily the Panda, stirring the crowds of the main stand, as captured by my brother.