The camogie final is out of the way – and what an ending it proved to be in that one – and so the path is now clear to our showdown against Dublin next Sunday. Indeed, by this time next week – barring, of course, a replay – the destination of Sam for this year will already have been decided.
I think it’s fair to say that this year’s build-up to the final is on the low end of low-key. I saw a promo a bit earlier on for the Up For The Match programme next Saturday and couldn’t help but think that Dessie and Grainne will really have to earn their corn in that one as they try to whip the audience into a frenzy of G’wan Bridie, Up the Yard, Harry, and all the rest.
Because, you know, familiarity breeds contempt, though, thankfully, the nasty online stuff I was on about the other day – which was so prevalent twelve months ago – seems to be nowhere in sight this time around. I could be wrong but I think that on both sides there’s more in the way of grudging respect for each other this year.
Of course, there’s familiarity for both of us with being in the decider. This is Dublin’s fifth final in seven years and it’s our fourth in six so it’s little wonder that neither of us are jumping up and down with excitement at simply having got this far. For both counties, what’s important is what happens once the ball is thrown in at Croke Park on Sunday.
We still have a week to go, with the build-up gathering pace with each passing day. Once you get to the Sunday before, it’s as if time both slows down and speeds up, which is a recipe for dizziness if ever there was one.
There’ll be plenty of build-up stuff here on the blog over the coming days but here too I can see that it’s quieter than it was in other years. All you need to do is to trawl back through what was going on at this time of year in 2012 and 2013 to see that there’s way less giddiness now.
But that’s okay. This year it’s all about the game itself, rather than the fluffy stuff around it. Seven days out. And counting.