Another year, another national final

AIMF 2008All that volcanic ash from Iceland may have brought the aviation world to a grinding stop (ushering in quite an eerie silence in these parts, where the sound of planes landing and taking off is normally part of the daily background hubbub) but we’ve still got the league final against Cork this coming Sunday to look forward to.  And looking forward to it I am, as it’s always good to see the lads in the green and red plying their trade at Croke Park.

While I can sympathise with those Mayo followers who’ll have to trek up from the west for Sunday’s decider (Cusack Park in Ennis would get my vote as a more suitable alternative), we should all once again remind ourselves that we’re fortunate to follow a county that gives us a regular supply of national finals to go to. Counting league and championship finals at senior, as well as U21 and minor championships, this will be the seventh successive year that a Mayo team will have appeared in a national final.  I know – our strike rate in these finals has been pretty wretched but the only one we can do anything about is the one that gets underway at 4 pm this coming Sunday, which is all the more reason why a good turnout is needed at HQ for the occasion.

Despite a full programme of club matches at the weekend, there don’t appear to be any new injury worries for Sunday (well, none that I’ve heard about yet). According to the lads on gaaboard.com, Seamus O’Shea played for Breaffy yesterday, as did Alan Dillon for Ballintubber and while Ronan McGarrity didn’t line out for Ballina in that one, the word last week was that he should be okay for this coming weekend.

We’re still a few days out from seeing a teamsheet for Sunday’s final but at this stage, it’s looking like we’ll be close enough to full strength for the game.  According to Midwest last week, the main doubts concern Enda Varley and Trevor Howley, while the Mayo News reported last Thursday that Conor Mortimer is suffering from a hamstring strain.  I’d be surprised if all three aren’t fit to start at Croke Park.

12 thoughts on “Another year, another national final

  1. Good piece Willie Joe. I really thought the chances of everyone coming through the weekend games ok were slim to none but thankfully things sound ok.
    Looking forward to the trip to croker, half empty or not, there more often we play there the better!

  2. Just saw on other sites that John Forde , Mayo 1950/51 All-Ireland winner and Ardnaree stalwart has passed away. So too has a man whom I saw play for Mayo the good Mick Ruane. Life ticks away and little by little we lose our hereos of the past. sunday next we are back where we are no strangers to. Time to make a statement and start winning the big ones. We wont get forever.

  3. Enda Varley came on for the last twenty mins for Garrymore so it looks like he will be fit for next Sunday .Wonder if Johno will name his team before Sunday

  4. Saw that, ontheroad – it’s sad to see that another two men who wore the colours with distinction are gone.

    Thanks for the heads-up re Enda V, Mossy. Sounds like he’ll be alright for Croke Park. I’d like to see Enda get a starting place – he deserves it, given his role in getting us to the final. If we are naming a team ahead of Sunday (and I don’t know if we will or not), then Thursday evening is likely to be when it’ll be announced.

  5. Hope to make the trek up from Cork for this. With a bit of luck I’ll have something to come back down with and annoy all the smug Corkonians. They’re all supremely confident that they’ll beat us. You wouldn’t believe the amount of times I’ve heard ” We let ye win so we could beat ye in the final instead of having to play Dublin “. Anyone know if Irish Rail have any special offers on this weekend or will I have to fork out €72 ?

  6. Conor Mortimer played for Shrule-Glencorrib vs Ballaghderren and sored 1-6. 1-5 from play so no sign of a hamstring strain 🙂

  7. Good piece Willie Joe. The lads have a great chance of beating Cork this weekend and this would lay down a great marker for the championship. For the first time in a number of years there is real competition for places in all areas of the field. The lads have played very well during the league so hopefully they will keep this up and bring home the silverware on Sunday. Stay positive lads. Maigheo Abu

  8. Very sad news about Phil McGuinness. Puts all else in perspective. Sympathies to his family and the wider Mohill community, also to his team mates and the unfortunate individuals who were involved in the incident, complete and random accident by all accounts. All of us who have played the game can only say, but for the grace of God….. there goes I. Terrible, terrible loss.

  9. Yeah shocking news. One life tragically lost and many others ruined as a result. Puts all in perspective indeed topo d rite

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