Is it just me or has time just started to go a whole load faster all of a sudden? Whatever it is, here we are and it’s the night – not even the day – before the final.
Throw-in is at 5pm tomorrow so now, with the hour approaching 9pm, in 24 hours from now it’ll be all over. I should, indeed, be most of the way through the post-match blog stuff by this time tomorrow.
It’s a quiet night-before-the-final situation up here in the capital tonight. No Bowe’s gathering, no going out at all but I’ve a few nice crafty cans in the fridge so they could come under pressure soon. Otherwise I’ll be doing no sleeping tonight.
Is it worth poring over any of today’s coverage? I’m not sure it is but, at the want of something more productive to do, here’s some of the best of what’s online about the big game today.
The Irish Times has a really beautiful piece from Swinford poet Martin Dyar (here) about the Mayo journey we all know so well. The final paragraph really hit home for me – it’s well worth a read.
The same paper, which I appreciate is behind a paywall for some of its content so you may or may not be able to see all of this, has plenty more today. This includes pieces by Seán Moran with Dermot Flanagan, Ian O’Riordan with Feargal Logan and Malachy Clerkin’s By the Numbers.
The Times have also provided a nice twist to their punditry by sending out their columnists to bat on the teams named by the two finalists. Darragh Ó Sé provides a guide to the Mayo team while Kevin McStay does so for Tyrone.
There’s a fair bit to choose from over in the Irish Examiner as well. Former Galway manager Kevin Walsh talks tactics and wonders if the management of either of the two counties will shake it up or stick to what they know – that’s here.
John Fogarty casts his glance backwards by speaking with five Mayo people who were alive in 1951, friend of this house Seán Rice among them, to find out what it was like to be a young supporter of the team then. That’s here.
Other pieces in the paper include Christy O’Connor on Rob Hennelly, Kieran Shannon on James Horan’s second coming and Christy O’Connor on Padraig O’Hora. Oisin McConville and John Divilly also do a tot of both teams, bench and management in their Player by Player assessment.
In the Irish Independent, Tomás Ó Sé gives us – as he did on the radio this morning – the most tentative vote imaginable to do the business tomorrow. That one is here.
Also in the Indo, Conor McKeown looks at the players who have stood up for us in the scoring stakes since Cillian’s injury struck (here), while Colm Keys recalls the welcome the grieving Tyrone playing party were given in Castlebar back in 2004 following the sudden, untimely death of their captain Cormac McAnallen (here).
Finally, one I missed yesterday, Fintan O’Toole has a great feature on Kevin McLoughlin – the oldest player on the field tomorrow, according to Malachy Clerkin’s By the Numbers list linked above – in The 42. That’s here.
That’s enough for now. Back with some more mellow thoughts in a bit.