Sunday is drawing ever nearer and with it our first competitive meeting with the Dubs since that excruciating NFL encounter down in Ballina almost twelve months ago. (The challenge match between the counties in Portmarnock last May doesn’t count, I reckon). For us metropolitan Mayo people, there’s nothing quite like a clash with the Jacks to get the juices flowing and while Sunday’s league set-to doesn’t have the same cachet as that never-to-be-forgotten 2006 encounter, it’s still a match to look forward to nonetheless. Then there’s all those split loyalties to contend with – my two girls are siding with me for Sunday but the little bucko is sticking resolutely to his blue corner. The official line we’re all holding to is that we hope it’s a draw but I can’t see myself sticking to that once the ball is thrown in at McHale Park. It’ll do for now, though.
With only a few days to go to the match, the arrival of my 2010 Club Mayo Dublin membership card in this morning’s post was as well timed as it could have been. Enclosed with it too was a nice letter from Mary King which pointed out that all of the profits made by Club Mayo go exclusively towards the preparation of the county teams. The money raised in this way helps to fund things like panel training weekends and a scholarship scheme for the Dublin-based players, as well as meeting the cost of gym membership for players based up here. This is exactly the kind of stuff that needs to be funded and the ability to contribute in some tangible way to this is, I’d say, the reason that most of us who are members are more than happy to continue as such.
There’s also a match day promotion taking place on Sunday which may be of interest to some of you, especially those of you with chisellers who are under 16. The County Board will be raffling four O’Neill’s footballs at half-time on Sunday and the draw is open to all kids who are (a) under 16 and (b) in attendance at McHale Park for the match. To enter, all you (or they) need to do is complete the form (double-click the image on the left to get a full-size copy of it which you can then print) and hand it to one of the stewards on duty at the ground before half-time. The draw will then take place at half-time and the winners will be presented with their footballs by Johnno and some of the players immediately after the match is over (and, one assumes, after the pitch has been cleared following the obligatory post-match invasion of the hallowed turf).
Remember, if you want your kid(s) to enter, he or she must be at the match on Sunday in order to do so. As Sunday will be just a daytrip to the west for me, my little midgets won’t be coming with me (can you imagine what the “are we nearly there yet?” chorus would be like if they did?) so that leaves the field clear for others to scoop the prize.
No word yet tonight on how Mark Ronaldson’s appeal went but there might be something on the RTÉ sports news a bit later. If there is, I’ll post a quick update here (or on Twitter) to confirm what the crack is on that but I suspect we all know already what’s going to happen there.