Last Saturday, next Saturday

The Mayo News, reliably as ever, has a full report on last Saturday evening’s challenge match with Cavan at Ballinrobe.  It was only a challenge game (albeit one for which the famed Tim Kelly Engineering Floodlit Cup was on offer) but, even still, Mike Finnerty’s statement that there was a “general lethargy” in the team’s performance is a bit worrying, given the sluggish display the side put in on the opening day of the league against Derry.  Hopefully, this torpid start to the year will give way to a more committed on-field mindset and that we start to see a change in this respect this coming weekend.

A good number of first-team regulars lined out in Ballinrobe, with nine of the starting line-up in Ballina also on the field for the throw-in on Saturday evening.  Colm Boyle replaced Pat Kelly at wing-back, Pat Harte replaced Tom Parsons, on the wings Barry Kelly replaced BJP and Aidan Kilcoyne replaced Alan Dillon and in the corners Conor Mortimer replaced Andy Moran with Mark Ronaldson coming in for  Mikey Sweeney.  Kieran Conroy (for Boyle), Seamus O’Shea (for Harte), Mickey Mullins (for Killer), Colm Cafferkey (for Vaughan) and James Gill (for Kelly) were all given a run-out.  So too, on his home pitch, was goalkeeper Kenneth O’Malley who made his first return to the colours since suffering serious injury towards the end of 2007.  Chris Barrett was also togged out for the game but he’s not listed as having come on in the match report.

Elsewhere in the Mayo News, Johnno has a bit of a moan about the switch in venue and throw-in time for next Saturday’s league match with Donegal.  He’s right too – it’s going to be a pain in the hole for Mayo supporters to get to Letterkenny in time for the 2.30 pm throw-in next Saturday and it’ll probably mean that the away support will be well down on what it would have been had the match gone ahead as planned down in Ballybofey or even had it been switched to the Sunday.  There’s not a peep, though, out of the County Board about this last-minute switch in arrangements and the inconvenience it’s going to cause for the team and its supporters.  They really do need to fill that PRO vacancy, don’t they?

Johnno also gives some info in that article on team news for Saturday.  Alan Dillon didn’t start in Ballinrobe because of a groin injury he picked up in training.  I’m not sure I like the sound of that: Alan was injured for a fair bit of the league last year and the attack wasn’t the same without him.  We’ve a few hairy looking assignments coming up in this year’s NFL and we’ll be struggling if he’s out of the side for any length of time.  Andy Moran also missed the Cavan match due to a knee injury but it sounds like he’ll be okay for the weekend.   It’s likely to be late in the week, though, before we get any definitive team news for the Letterkenny contest.

3 thoughts on “Last Saturday, next Saturday

  1. I read Mike Finnerty’s piece in the Mayo News and I note that Mike has cast a jaundiced eye on what enfolded v Cavan. Be under no illusions we are in trouble and John O’Mahony is not helping things by his manner. He is permenantly down beat, his readiness to drop into poor mouth political spin gives me a pain. His rant about players emigrating has a hollow ring about it, we won two senior All-Irelands in the midst of an economic desert in the early 1950’s. By the way back then Big Pat McAndrew was in New York and John Nallen lined out for Galway and we still won All-irelands. He needs to stop the excuses, keep them for the voters who may/may not be gullible. One thing for sure and its this, the ordinary fan will see through the yak and spin very fast and what we have endured in years one and two will hopefully not be tolerated in year three. This championship will define Mr O’Mahony and his future as a football manager, that in turn might effect one way or another his political career.

  2. Johnno and Declan Kidney were both appointed to popular acclaim to finally bring a golden generation over the line before the music stopped for ever. I’m sure the situations aren’t exact parallels but my golly it doesn’t do much to chase the winter blues away in the light of the goys [sic] performance on Saturday.

    I always try to keep perspective in the League. Barry Moran is a sign of progress. I’d give Parsons a spin a 11 because quality counts there. Conor won’t win his own ball and someone has to serve it to him on a plate like Danger used to do. Nervous times boys, nervous times.

  3. As you said yourself last year, Spailpin, it’s only the league and I guess it’s not the time to be overly pessimistic about how we’ll fare this year. I think some effort is being made to put a proper shape to the team but our remaining league fixtures will tell us a lot about how our preparations for the summer are coming on relative to everyone else’s.

    I think you’re right about Tom Parsons – we could get by without him at midfield but could do with him at centre-forward. He’s strong, intelligent, well able to bring those around him into the play and has an eye for a score (the Tyrone match last year excepted). With him at 11 and Barry Moran at 14 (with Barry Regan also in there somewhere – maybe in the full-forward line too for our own version of the Twin Towers), we could do a whole lot worse.

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