Photo: Mayo Mick
When Cillian O’Connor went down clutching his shoulder after only ten minutes of Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final against Tyrone and ended up getting wheeled off the pitch in the same way as Andy Moran was last year it seemed for certain that his year was over and that he had zero chance of featuring in next month’s decider. Not so, according to various reports this morning – Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, GAA.ie – which, although far from upbeat, would appear to leave at least a small sliver of hope that Cillian might yet play some part in proceedings on September 22nd. Personally, I’d be very doubtful that we’d see him starting – Mickey C’s hugely positive second half cameo allied to Alan Freeman’s confident dead-ball showing suggests strongly where the selection calls for the final are likely to go – but it’d be great nonetheless to have him in the match-day squad for the decider.
That GAA.ie report, by the way, references an interview yesterday evening with James Horan on Newstalk’s Off The Ball show, where the boss sounded relaxed, happy, confident and utterly self-assured in how to do the media side of things. Have a listen yourself – here.
While on the subject of audio, the Mayo News post-match podcast is also worth a listen – here. If you want some visual stimulation to go with it, you could do a lot worse than perusing Mayo Mick’s photo gallery of the action at Croke Park on Sunday.
Although the media attention is now switching away from us and onto this weekend’s Croke Park sell-out semi-final between Dublin and Kerry (a game I’m going to as well), there’s still a good bit of coverage about us today and, as you’d expect, it’s all positive stuff too. This piece by Fintan O’Toole in The Score makes the interesting point that all three MOTM nominees on The Sunday Game – Chris Barrett, Seamus O’Shea and Alan Freeman (who deservedly got the gong) – were peripheral figures last year and that the manner in which they’ve forced their way into the first fifteen is living proof of the ferocious competition for places on the team at the present time.
The Irish Examiner has a piece on the county’s “buoyant” mood as we start to gear up for yet another All-Ireland final appearance. This one has quotes from Seamus O’Shea, Alan Freeman (with some interesting thoughts from him about stepping up to take over the freetaking duties) and Donal Vaughan.
The Irish Independent, meanwhile, runs some numbers on the scoring return we’ve achieved from the backs this year and how these figures far exceed anything that Donegal and Tyrone – two teams noted for roving, play-anywhere formations – achieved in the past. That piece makes the point that Rob Hennelly’s pointed free last Sunday took our total number of scorers in this year’s championship to an incredible eighteen. No better way to finish up, then, than by having another look at that one by Rob last Sunday, a rousing score that met with plenty of appreciation from the now fabled #seaofgreenandred: