Galway Bay FM didn’t have a reporter in Bayonne but a roving reporter with a difference stepped into the breach and called them home perfectly as Connacht scored a shock win in the Basque country.
Pearse Keller, the travel agent who looks after Connacht, answered the call and kept listeners back home informed as Pat Lam’s young team scored a great win.
He is a good mate of mine and we had a good laugh at it, not least as he showed great composure not to lose it when Bayonne had a penalty to snatch the win but fluffed it in the dying seconds.
But it is not as if Pearse hadn’t enough of a busy week at that stage. Connacht brought their kit van to France but ran into difficulties when the ferry out of Rosslare was cancelled due to bad weather.
Kitman Martin Joyce delivered though, heading to Dublin and across to Holyhead, down through England and across the Channel to France and then about a 12-hour trip down to Bayonne.
It was a trip which was more than worthwhile for everyone as the late win gives Connacht a good chance of making the quarter-finals â€” even if it could prove more than a bit of a hindrance in their bid for a top six finish in the Pro12.
It was great to see around 100 Connacht supporters there, including families, and the Irish were given a fine welcome in what is a lovely city.
Red and yellow armies
It was on to Clermont Ferrand on Sunday for the Munster match, which also proved to be a good encounter.
But the most memorable thing about this game happened outside the stadium. Clermont have a great bunch of supporters â€” the ‘Yellow Army’ â€” and they organised for thousands of their fans to congregate in the centre of the city and then march the few kilometres out to the stadium with the Munster supporters.
Everything in Clermont revolves around the huge Michelin factory so it was their yellow open-top bus which led the parade with a colourful jazz band lashing it out.
Other bands followed, hundreds of Munster supporters joined in and it was some spectacle an hour and half before the match to see it go by.
It brought home all that is great about sport as fans of all ages gathered and sang and chanted their hearts out before going inside Stade Marcel Michelin and creating a red-hot atmosphere which continued for long after the game finished.
Sight/sound of the week: The gang of Connacht supporters who went out on the side of the pitch and gave one final rendition of ‘The Fields’ before departing Stade Jean Dauger late on Saturday night. The match didn’t start until 8.45pm and it was midnight leaving the ground.
The said it: â€œHe dribbles a lot and the opposition don’t like it â€” you can see it all over their faces,â€ who else but Ron Atkinson.
It happened on this day: 17th December 1934: Ray Wilson, perhaps the lowest profile member of the England team which won the 1966 World Cup, was born in Shirebrook in Derbyshire. The full-back, who won 63 caps and who played for Huddersfield, Everton, Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, now lives near Huddersfield having retired from a successful undertaker’s business which he set up.