I’m still feeling a good deal less than frisky and I notice that my fellow Mayo GAA blogger, who had been strangely silent for a few weeks, has now broken cover to say that he too has been under the weather this last while. I can only come to one conclusion arising from this: blogging about the ups and down of Mayo’s footballing fortunes can be injurious to one’s physical (not to mention mental) well-being. In other words, don’t try this at home, kids.
I’ve prescribed a long night’s kip for myself starting shortly so I’ll make this a quick one. Sean Rice does the Omagh match report in the Mayo News and he also does the analysis on the match where he quite rightly lauds David Clarke’s repeated saves, which, by the sounds of it, helped us to avoid a worse beating. We can all, I know, give Clarkie a hard time on occasion – with that short-kick out to P Joyce the other week an easy stick to beat him with – but Sunday’s performance should make us acknowledge that he’s a fair old shot-stopper all the same.
With the league over, the Mayo News has a rather lurid headline to its story about how the senior squad will now need to be trimmed back to thirty for the championship. Surely the sub-editors could have come up with something a bit more colourful for this story: what about “Blueshirt boss in squad slash shock” or something similar? The story does make the valid point that some players who have featured in the league will now have to be jettisoned from the championship squad but there’s no point getting into a guessing game on the issue. We’ll know soon enough, by the sounds of it.
With the seniors now all cocooned away for over two months, the focus switches strongly onto the U21s who are, for the third year in a row, appearing in the All-Ireland series at this level. Here’s the match report in the Mayo News from the Connacht final (which features an excellent photo of Donal Shine ballooning his penalty over the bar) and the same paper also carries an interview with the U21 joint boss Noel Connelly. The Hollymount man disarmingly states that “in football terms we’re probably not the best team left in the competition” adding that if you have lads who will give you 100%, you have a chance. A bit of smarts on the sideline helps too and Noel and his two colleagues have certainly shown plenty of that over the past three years.
The match at Nenagh (really – what genius came up with that one? I didn’t think the property developers had got their hands on Cusack Park in Ennis yet) starts at 3.30 pm and, according to the ever newsworthy Club Mayo Dublin website, it’s live on TG4. I won’t be able to make it to this one (I’m doing the Kerryman on it, waiting for de final, like) but, if I’ve read him right, my fellow Mayo blogger appears willing to run the risk of further disease in the noble pursuit of putting words to our footballers’ deeds. Truly, you’ve never had it so good …