So here we are with our Division One status retained for another year and the final set of match-related paraphernalia for this particular League campaign to sort through and box away. No time like the present.
Mayo GAA nerds can have no complaints about the weekend just gone: as well as the seniors navigating their way to top tier safety yesterday, the U21s had that sensational Connacht final win on Saturday evening and the minors recorded their third Connacht League win of the year the same day. For good measure, the ladies yesterday maintained their 100% record in Division One of the LGFA, their win over Tyrone making it six from six for them. Plenty to get through then.
Let’s start with the seniors:
Nothing on the minors, I’m afraid.
All the above, as the saying goes, pretty much speak for themselves and there’s nothing in terms of post-match quotes to be plucked out and scrutinised. Click away, then.
The one issue rattling round in my mind this morning is the venue for the U21 All-Ireland semi-final. Hyde Park (stop sniggering!) and Pearse Park in Longford are both, for different reasons, out of commission and so too I guess is MacHale Park. I mean, the notion of one county being given home advantage in an All-Ireland semi-final simply wouldn’t be on, now would it?
O’Moore Park in Portlaoise and O’Connor Park in Tullamore – fine grounds, the both of them – tend to get pressed into service frequently for fixtures of this kind. However, a small bit of research (courtesy of the AA’s Route Planner tool) shows that neither of these make any sense in terms of the respective distances that supporters would be required to travel.
For those coming from the west, Portlaoise (205 km from Castlebar, 269 km from Belmullet) would be the worst option. It’s 113 km (motorway all the way) from Dublin. I’ve done this myself frequently and it’s a piece of cake from up here.
Tullamore (155 km from Castlebar, 231 km from Belmullet) is slightly better but a long way off being anything like half-way, as it’s an easy 101 km (all on motorway standard roads) from Dublin. Cavan has roughly the same kind of mileage from both sides (162 km Castlebar, 227 km Belmullet, 113 km from Dublin) but the roads, in particular those coming from the west, aren’t as good.
Which leaves the obvious option of Páirc Seán MacDiarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon. 89 km from Castlebar, 154 km from Belmullet and 153 km from Dublin. Easy to get to for both sets of supporters, a grand town to boot, a nice pitch and sure even the Dubs know where it is. Job done.
That’s all for now – I’d point you in the direction of the MOTM poll only Evan Regan appears to be heading for almost as great an endorsement in the vote as Lukashenko got in the most recent presidential election in Belarus. There’s a sign – their flag is green and red too.