Photo: @GathererTony (via Twitter)
As well as being in the midst of First Communion season, we seem to be swimming in championship launch events at the minute. The Ulster championships were launched as long ago as 30th April at the MAC in Belfast and then last week it was the turn of Leinster (on Tuesday in the sumptuous surroundings of Farmleigh) and Connacht (on Thursday at the Centre of Excellence in Bekan). The Munster variant is due to be held tomorrow at St John’s Castle in Limerick.
This is, of course, all an exercise for empty yapping, with managers and players furiously down-playing their chances of success while smiling, or going all mean and moody, for the cameras. There was more championship yapping yesterday afternoon down the road from here when RTÉ were broadcasting live from St. Vincents where their summer coverage was launched on the Saturday Sports show, with Dessie and his big, soft grin and the whole Sunday Game crew on hand for the event.
Despite all these launches – and with New York almost a week out of it already – no shots are due to be fired in anger on the football championship today. This is, however, the last quiet Sunday we’ll have before the action all gets going in earnest.
Ulster, as it always does, will provide the first battles of interest, with Tyrone entertaining Down at Omagh a week from now. Closer to home, though, there’s a contest the same day that’s of more than academic interest to us, as Roscommon host Leitrim at Hyde Park (throw-in 3pm). The reward for the winners in that one will be a home semi-final against our lads on June 8th. Soon enough, then, we’ll be back in the thick of it.