Catching up


I’ve been posted missing over the last few days, arriving back last night after a thoroughly enjoyable family break in London, so I guess a quick catch-up is in order. Despite it being the season to be jolly there’s been a bit going on so, in chronological order, here are a few items to catch up on.

Friday night last was the Mayo News/O’Neills Club Stars 2016 bash. This week’s paper has ten pages of coverage on the awards, including details of all the award winners, lashings of pics and all that. It’s out today in paper and digital variants.

Saturday was Interprovincial semi-final day and had I been in town over the weekend I would, I think, have made my way to Parnell Park for the Connacht/Leinster match. Connacht are the defending Railway Cup football champions but the competition is returning this year after a two-year gap, no suitable spot having been found for it in the 2015 GAA calendar.

The Westerners are still the champions too, as they came out on top at the Donnycarney venue on Saturday evening, winning out over Leinster by 2-17 to 1-18. Understandably, we only provided two representatives to the Connacht starting fifteen – David Clarke in goals and Jason Doherty (who bagged six points, four from frees), with Conor O’Shea making an appearance off the bench – while Dublin also had two players, Darren Daly and John Small, on the Easterners’ side.

Connacht now play Ulster in the final, where they’ll be aiming to win back-to-back Interpro titles for the first time since the Fifties. That decider takes place at Páirc Seán MacDiarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon this coming Saturday, where throw-in is set for 2pm.

Last Sunday my local club up here in the capital, St Vincents, captured their seventh Leinster senior club football title when they outgunned Offaly’s Rhode by 1-16 to 0-12 in the provincial decider at Portlaoise. I got to all of Vinnies’ post-All-Ireland Dublin SFC matches in October but, for one reason or another, I missed out on the entirety of their Leinster campaign. No doubt I’ll be clambering back on the bandwagon in the New Year, though, for the All-Ireland semi-final against Derry’s Slaughtneil.

Vincents have, of course, a sliver of the Green and Red about them in this campaign with Enda Varley now integral to their cause. He’s hit the target, as far as I recall, in all of their championship matches this year and he contributed two points, both from play, on Sunday. A return to Croke Park is now starting to come into view for Enda and for the Marino faithful next March.

Right, I think that’s everything up to date again. Aside, that is from everything else I need to catch up on now.

26 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. I know Enda Varley has been tried and tested with Mayo but could he be in line for a recall? If he’s making the Vincent’s team and doing well he certainly deserves another look.

  2. One thing you might have overlooked in your busy weekend Willie Joe was the victory of Louisburgh over Charlestown in the Under 21 B final. I didn’t get to Castlebar myself but thanks to MD Roof Services I watched it online. It was a brilliant production, interviews and camera work were really professional. Well done to the sponsor!!!!!

  3. To The umpiressays you said you were watching that u21 game online.reading the papers Padraig prendergast and jack Reilly both seemed to have had good games for their respective sides and scored well each.could you elaborate any more please?

  4. I saw Prendergast earlier in the season and he is a nice footballer and I am glad to see he is doing well for the burg

  5. Backdoor Sam and others – Varley should be reconsidered. He’s doing well with Vincents and will benefit from the Dublin milieu.

    JH dropped and recalled as he pleased and I think the current management are open to looking at players, though they certainly have their own ideas of who can cut it.

  6. @Aidan, you can have a look at the U21b final on Youtube. Localstreaming posted it up there and I think they have it also archived on their site.
    As to your query. Padraig Prendergast if you were thinking in terms of tall midfielders in Mayo looked the best footballing one. I mean just from a pure skill with the ball point of view. I haven’t seen of big midfielders in Mayo one who strikes the ball as sweetly as he does. The resulting shot of course has a nice accurate straight flight over the blackspot. Usually you wouldn’t associate such good shooting with a big tall player. I’m pretty certain he is going to be tried in the FBD as I don’t think he is held back by a college team.
    Jack Reilly played well also. He had two very good goals, one with his left foot and one with his right foot. They are both on youtube. It is interesting to check his position once he receives the ball. 90% of players would not even get a shot on target from the place where he receives the ball.
    The left footed one he swivels on the spot and shoots immediately low and to the corner. Similar to Liam Irwins first goal in the U21 final but with more pressure between him and the goal.
    The right footed one he breaks into space and shoots from distance over a defender and the keeper with power.
    He also had some very good passes throughout the game. Skill wise he is very good. It will be interesting to see how he progresses as he strengthens up. Certainly a very good prospect for next years U21s. If all he did was pass the ball he is able to put the ball on a plate.

  7. Just collecting my Christmas tree locally here in Dublin, and almost kicked over Sam. Yes, the cup was lying on the ground at the Christmas Tree sale at St. Kevin’s club. ‘it’s very heavy’ I said, picking it up and explaining my roots. ‘Yiz wouldn’t know anything about that’ was the reply.

  8. Don’t worry Catcol, wait and see what he says when your heading west next September behind a bus with Sam aboard. “yiz” will know all about what it weighs after that.

  9. @JP, Prendergast won’t be tried in the upcoming FBD league due to Louisburgh’s AI semi final.

    I was impressed with what I saw of him too. Seems to have a decent turn of pace for such a big man. Certainly none of our current senior midfielders have his shooting capabilities.

  10. JP Well put together, you have Prendergast in a nutshell. Catcol There could be a Christmas Tree growing out of that cup this time next year in Mayo of all places … believe.

  11. Padraic O’Malley was also brilliant in the middle for Louisburg the last day. Strong, aggressive, handled a lot of ball and also took a couple of fine scores from play. Not sure if he is U21 next year but if so he must be considered by Solan.

  12. Catcol , Was it the weigh of the Christmas tree or the weight of the Sam Maguire you were talking about there? In either case, you could have feigned injury to your back and suied, ala the Pigeon Shit case in Dublin’s Heuston Station, recently, that’s something they (the Dubs)(but to be fair, not all Dubs, others outside of the pail might just do the same thing) would know plenty about. But there you go. As the iconic Dubliner ‘Luke Kelly’ sang many times, ‘For what died the son’s of Roisin, was it this ??’ Hardly, I would suggest.! But you missed the chance for a retort…

  13. Thanks Leantimes – yes not easy to retort in those circumstances; you just have to suck it up.

    And here’s a question for all oldies: the last time I had my hands on the Sam Maguire was as a 6 year old in Ballaghaderreen, when I lived there. I was sitting in it.

    There was a reason why it was in Ballaghaderreen in 1957. Don’t all rush with the answer.

  14. Was the Sam Maguire in Ballaghadereen in 1957 because Seamus ODonnell from Ballaghadereen had played for the winners Louth in 1957?

  15. catcol,

    you should have shoved the tree and the cup up his arse. Yet again that fine Dublin gentleman displays all the humility and class that attracts the entire country to them. Fine Dublin wit, or thick ignorant c:):)t ? you decide.

  16. On the point about Sam and humility and all that, I can only say that, from my own personal experience up here since the final, the Dubs have been very good winners. From what I can see the “sore winners” thing seems to be more of a social media phenomenon, the cure for which (one I’ve practiced myself since October) is to spend less time in that parallel universe and more in the real world.

  17. @WJ, well said. There is a reason why Twitter and Shitter rhyme.

    On the semantics of the weight of Sam, as far as I know, the replica (which is what would have been in the car park) is about 2Kg lighter than the real thing.

    They don’t let the real one out of Croker any more, in light of events from the last time it took a trip to Connacht.

  18. Yes JP and Jaden – Seamie O’Donnell was a neighbour and he brought the cup back to Ballagh some time after Louth’s win.

    I believe I was photographed sitting in the cup, but I have never been able to lay my hands on it. No Willie Joe I won’t ask you to mount a search campaign on that one!

    Maybe the real arrogance was in the treatment of the cup rather than opponents. When I chanced on it it was lying on the grass at a Christmas tree sale. This has echoes of the cup lying in henhouses down in Kerry.

  19. Catcol….I was born, raised and “kicked out” of Ballagh. I was 17 in 1957 and knew Seamie O’Donnell well. I lived near him..

  20. Living and working in Dublin I have to agree with Willie Joe The real Dublin supporters have been very good winners The social media hotheads are not representative

  21. Well I must have been unlucky so and met the social media hotheads in person in each of the 6 games in the last two years.
    By the way, I’m married to a Dub (Thomas Davis club), so have met all sorts. Yes there’s sound genuine supporters of course (particularly their away supporters) but, in my experience there is a greater percentage of gobshites in their support than in any other county.

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