We’re back home – our flight into Dublin landed not long before midnight and so I’m not sure if I’m coming or going this morning. But back I am and we’re back in the All-Ireland semi-final this coming weekend.
The turnaround is, once again, a brutally short one, with our semi-final against Dublin scheduled to throw in at Croke Park on Saturday at 5pm. Mayo supporters have every incentive to get into HQ early that afternoon, however, as the county’s Minors take on Cork in the All-Ireland MFC semi-final in the day’s curtain-raiser. That game throws in at 3pm.
As has already been mentioned, Cork’s Conor Lane is the ref who’s been assigned for the big match. We’ve had him plenty of times in the past, notably for the drawn All-Ireland final of 2016. He’s no better or no worse than a lot of them so hopefully he’ll do his job with fairness and efficiency. That’s all we ever ask for.
If you’re a season ticket holder you’ll already have got the relevant email on this, including how to make use of the Bring a Friend option. As ever for a match of this magnitude, it’s better to get the tickets squared away sooner rather than later.
There’ll be loads of media coverage on Saturday’s big game ahead of throw-in but here’s a sample just to kick-start you.
RTÉ have a piece by Peter Sweeney with Donegal’s Neil McGee (here), who reckons we have a fighting chance of doing the business on Saturday. RTÉ also have Aidan O’Rourke’s column (no sniggering at the back there, please). To be fair, it’s worth a read as the Down man provides some good analysis of how we mastered Donegal from a tactical point of view. As you’d expect, though, he doesn’t rate our chances against Dublin the next day.
Over at the Irish Examiner, Conor Sheridan – a really fine writer – has a wonderful colour piece. I love, in particular, his ascribing the Madiba knick-name to Andy Moran. That one’s here.
Finally, for now, in case you haven’t yet read it, do take a few minutes to savour Keith Duggan’s wonderfully lyrical match report from the Irish Times – here. That’s one that’ll definitely set the pulses racing.
Right, there’s unpacking to do, tickets to sort and a few dozens other things besides. It’s back to reality. And back in the All-Ireland semi-final.
There are two tickets for the game plus an overnight stay in Dublin up for grabs in this week’s Mayo GAA Lotto, as well as a jackpot prize of €5,700. Play the Lotto here.