LIMERICK'S Rubberbandits have missed out on securing a Christmas number one in the Irish charts to Matt Cardle, despite putting up a "heroic challenge" to the X-Factor winner.
The London based company that compile the charts for the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) confirmed to the Limerick Leader that Cardle had beaten the 'Bandits to the top spot with sales just shy of 55,000 units, his 'When We Collide' selling just 500 units less than Elton John's 1997 'Candle in the Wind' record for the most single sold in a week in Ireland.
The 'Bandits sales for 'Horse Outside' were less than half Matt Cardle's tally with around 20,000 sales, but the Limerick group still trounced their own record of the previous week to claim the best-selling download ever in a week with the song.
"The Rubberbandits put up a heroic challenge to the X-Factor winner," said an industry spokesperson.
It is thought possible that the Rubberbandits may reach number one in next week's charts, as large amounts of the single only made it to Irish record stores as of Christmas Eve due to bad weather, with the chart decided at close of business on Thursday, December 23. Huge demand remains for the single.
The 'Bandits previously told the Leader that they were up against a "commercial beast" and "don't have the resources to compete".
Blind Boy Boat Club compared their attempt at scooping the X-Factor winner to the Irish Christmas number one - a feat no other act has achieved since 2002 - as akin to "two youngfellas from Limerick with hurley sticks taking on the British Army, as represented by Simon Cowell, Matt Cardle and Louis the traitor".
Speaking from their "winter hideaway at the Corbally baths" in Limerick, the 'Bandits denied any disappointment at failing to secure the Christmas number one spot and said Cardle deserved the accolade "as he doesn't have the looks, so he needed the number one at least".
"It is a bit like getting a complimentary honour in your Inter Cert, everyone knows what it really means," said Blind Boy.
'The Bandits reminded their fans that "a horse is not just for Christmas, it is for life", and vowed to return with another single in the new year.
The group play three shows in two days in Dolan's Warehouse next week. For more see Wednesday's Limerick Chronicle newspaper.