All quiet on the Eastern front

It’s that odd period of the year, the one where it all goes deathly quiet just before we then proceed to go slightly insane as our first championship match of the year steals up on us.  The Sligo game is now less than two weeks away but it’s so quiet out there – apart, that is, from all that pathetic pissing and moaning from managers and TV pundits about the handpass rule – that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was the middle of the closed season.  It’s not even raining so it doesn’t feel at all like summer.

There’s bugger all coming out of the camp in terms of how things are shaping up either, though Mike Finnerty in the Mayo News has some useful gossip on a tight hamstring here and a groin strain there and that sort of thing.  There isn’t even any talk yet of tickets, even though the match at Markievicz is undoubtedly an all-ticket one.

This is the problem with the way the championship gets going every year, though, with a badly constipated fixture list for the first two months before utter mayhem is then let loose once the qualifiers start and the matches get backed up the way the traffic used to do on the M50 in the good old days.  This coming weekend, for example, patrons can choose between the heady delights of Donegal v Down (in fairness, a tasty enough fixture) or Roscommon v London and we have weeks more to come of this scheduling-on-mogadon as the provincial championships grind their insufferable ways to a number of utterly underwhelming conclusions.  And then the championship starts for real, hopefully with our lads still in it at that stage.

We may have had a challenge match up this end of the country this evening with Kildare but I think this match was an under-the-radar one and so I don’t even know if it did take place.  Or if we’ll ever know who played where for us in it or, indeed, who won it.  Never mind, it’s now just eleven days until the Sligo match and, with the home team aiming to inflict only their fourth championship defeat on us in fifty years, we’ll all no doubt be fully plugged into the action that day.  In the meantime, I guess there’s little more to do but to enjoy the sound of silence … and start thinking about those tickets.

PS: There is, of course, that unedifying catfight over in the ladies’ corner that’s doing all it can to fill the vaccuum but I think the less said about that, the better.  There still appears to be time to sort the problem out but I guess it’ll all hinge on whether or not there’s sufficient inclination to do so.  The county has a proud record in ladies’ football and it’d be a shame to see its name sullied in this way so here’s hoping that common sense can yet prevail on the issue.

9 thoughts on “All quiet on the Eastern front

  1. Mayo played 3 * 25 minutes last night.
    Team that started was:

    K O Malley
    C Barrett G Cafferkey K Higgins
    P Gardiner T Cunniffe K Mc Loughlin
    T Parsons R Mc Garrity
    A Moran S O Shea T Mortimer
    E Varley A O Shea C Mortimer

    Kildare won by a point, they were eight up after 20 minutes. I wasnt at the match but was talking to a man that was. Cunniffe & Varley picked up knocks. A Moran scored 1-4, Conoreen 6 pts. Dillon not togged, Freeman not there, all the rest including Donie Vaughan used. Kildare hit hard and were up for the match. Seamus O Shea our best player, Peadar and Trevor struggled both replaced.

  2. Thanks for that info, lads. Sounds like Kildare were well up for it – McGeeney appears to have them well primed for Leinster this year. Actually, with Meath looking okay too, Leinster might turn out to be competitive enough this year for the first time in ages. Hopefully those knocks the two lads picked up won’t be of any consequence. Interesting to see the captain and vice-captain struggling: what odds that neither of them will start against Sligo? You’d have to think this is unlikely but if the team is picked on the basis of form, it could happen.

  3. Small report on the Mayo News site:

    Lilywhites make a point to Mayo

    Senior Challenge
    Kildare 1-15
    Mayo 1-14

    Cormac O’Malley
    Longwood

    MAYO’s recent unbeaten record in challenge matches was ended on Tuesday evening as they went down to Kildare by a point in Longwood, Co Meath.
    Despite the secrecy surrounding the fixture, a small crowd turned up to watch a relatively low-key affair unfold over three 25 minutes periods, with Mayo’s Trevor Howley, Barry Moran and Aidan Kilcoyne also watching on from the sidelines.
    There was, however, a welcome return from injury for Donal Vaughan and Alan Dillon who both joined the action during the final third and showed no ill-effects of their recent groin and hamstring problems respectively.
    An early goal from Kildare full-forward Eamonn Callaghan helped the Lilywhites into a 1-5 to 0-4 lead after 25 minutes. Mayo’s only scores in that period came from four Conor Mortimer frees.
    Kildare were six points ahead after 50 minutes (1-11 to 0-8) with Andy Moran (3, two frees) and Conor Mortimer (free) topping up Mayo’s tally.
    John O’Mahony’s side upped the ante in the final third and got back on level terms with only minutes remaining as a goal from Andy Moran and points from Enda Varley, Mark Ronaldson, Alan Dillon and Billy Padden made a game of it.
    However, Kildare nicked a couple of late scores and Shane Nally’s point for Mayo came too late to affect the final outcome.

    MAYO
    K O’Malley; C Barrett, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; P Gardiner, T Cunniffe, K Mcloughlin; R McGarrity, T Parsons; A Moran (1-4, 2fs), S O’Shea, T Mortimer; E Varley (0-1, 1f), A O’Shea, C Mortimer (0-5, 5fs).
    Subs used: P Harte, M Ronaldson (0-1), D Vaughan, A Dillon (0-1), BJ Padden (0-1), S Nally (0-1), L O’Malley.

    KILDARE
    S McCormack; H McGrillen, G White, E Bolton; K Cribben (0-1), B Flanagan, M O’Flaherty (0-1); D Flynn, D Whyte; J Kavanagh (0-3), J Doyle (0-2, 2fs), R Sweeney; A Smith (0-3), P O’Neill (0-1), E Callaghan (1-2).
    Subs used: D Earley for Whyte; K Ennis for Callaghan; W Heffernan for Smith; D Lyons (0-1) for Flanagan; A MacLochlainn for Bolton.

  4. Johnno never gets the captaicy right. Kevin O Neill and Gardiner in 2007. Both gone by the time we wimped out to Derry. Next up was McGarrity but he was blighted with injury and illness , Trevor has too many problems with form and injury to be a captain. But do we over rate the captains role? Kerry has theirs foisted on them, Darren O Sullivan last year, Brian Sheehan this year, neither would be probably Jack O Connors first choice but Kerry do ok and the captains get to call the toss.

  5. it looks like Johnno still doesnt know whay way his forwards/mid field will line out. As for the capt, well there is an all ireland winning captain on the team….why not try Keith Higgins? Anyway its not going to happen and Trevor will start and I hope it will work out for him….

  6. Do you know someting the rest of us don’t Ted ?
    Ontheroad mentioned last years AI winning captain Darren there.
    But the Fact is he did not start every match for Kerry even though he was captain of that team. Way it is in Kerry is you’re good enough for the team only if you can make your place on that team.
    No one – not even the captain is above being dropped in Kerry. And i think it’s the right way to have it too!

    So why should Trevor start ?? Just becasue he’s captain ? I don’t think so.

  7. I think ted is right, johnno tends to be conservative and loyal when it comes to team selection, and even though trev is not setting the world alight (by any stretch!), I think he will give a chance to the elder mort to prove his worth as a player and leader. I’m not saying I totally agree with such a strategy, I was very disappointed with trev’s performance in croker, but he did have a couple of good matches in the earlier rounds and surely some credit must be given to the capn for mayo’s excellent and unexpected run up to the final. If we are fair, we should give the man a chance against sligo, nobody could ever question his heart and determination! It is very possible that he could have a stormer against the Magpies and lead from the front. We’ll have to wait and see how it pans out, but it would be very erratic and unsettling to do anything as radical as dropping the captain so soon before the opening game. Lets keep the fingers crossed and I for one will be shouting encouragement in his direction from the Sligo terrace. Come on trev and come on Mayo, it’s time to step up to the plate once again.

  8. I amn’t saying Trevor should be dropped. But Topo you say “lets be fair”.
    How about being fair to the others who are pushing hard for a place ?? There is a big enough squad there and i don’t think anyone wants to be on the sideline.

    And yes I agree there is of course a lot to be said for loyalty. However I can also argue Sligo is a good opportunity to blood new eager younger fellas into the championship for the first time. Better than blooding them against stronger teams than Sligo or against some tough team away where we may be on our last chance.

    At the end of the day though I remain with the view from above that the best players (on form) should start the important games and no one should walk on because of their position.

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