Championship mini-league: it’s all a bit embarrassing really …

How much more pomposity does a man need?  There I was on Sunday evening reflecting smugly on the fact that my 76-point haul from Saturday’s qualifier matches had sent me surging 72 points clear at the top of the mini-league when I decided to check the overall leaderboard and found that, for the first time, I had my nose out in front there as well.

I’m only eleven points to the good there and there are a few other lads in hot pursuit so I’ve no problem doing a Johnno on that one to let everyone know how tough it’ll be to get a result there.  On the mini-league, though, it’s beginning to look like it’s mine to lose at this stage, though I suppose I’d do well to heed Andy Moran’s words about complacency halfway through the Sligo game.  As the old saying goes, it ain’t over ’till it’s over.

Next weekend’s quarter-final ties (sadly not the ties I’d predicted would occur – see: I’m not getting everything right this year) look reasonably straightforward.  You’d have to think that Kerry – tradition notwithstanding – will have enough in the tank to record a first ever championship win over Down, though wouldn’t it be great fun altogether if the Kerry lads once again started to crap themselves at the sight of those famous geansais?  Likewise, you’d have to back Thrown to have enough in the tank to handle Pat Gilroy’s improving Dubs.  I’d love to see the Rossies give Cork – who now look a team that peaked for the league final – a right rattle but Paddy Power has the Rebels at 1/14 and it’s hard to argue with these kind of odds.  The match of the weekend, though, will be Kildare and Meath: it’s a toss-up as regards who’ll win it and the Royal Ball Throwers will come into it carrying all that baggage from their Leinster final ‘victory’ while Geezer’s Lilywhites seem to be coming to the boil quite nicely.  I dunno about the rest of you but that’s the one that’s giving me most pause for thought this weekend.  That and the minors, of course.

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