The dates for next year’s Connacht championship have been announced (so says this story in Hogan Stand). Our opening match against New York had already been confirmed for 10th May and, assuming we can make them the third championship scalp collected under The Second Coming, we’ll then be up against the winners of the Roscommon/Leitrim tie on 20th June at McHale Park. That date, amigos, is a Saturday (confirming this report that the GAA are planning to move a number of championship games away from Sunday). If this match ends in a draw, the following Saturday (27th June) has been pencilled in for the replay.
The first round tie between the Rossies and the Ridge County lads takes place up in Carrick on on Sunday, 31st May and the Sunday prior to that Galway open the defence of their provincial crown over in Ruislip. The winners of that one face Sligo on 28th June, with provision made for a possible replay of that one on 4th July.
Next year’s Connacht final is set for Sunday, 19th July. If, as expected it’s ourselves and Galway, it’ll be in Pearse Stadium where we’ll be looking for our first championship victory at that venue since the Connacht semi-final of 1967. If we’re not in it then I don’t really give a fiddler’s where it’ll be but if Kevin Walsh’s Sligo do manage to upset the champions (and Sligo have a half-decent record of doing so against the Herrin Chokers) then I suppose, if it’s us and them, it’d have to be in Markievicz Park. But that’s too much conjecture to be getting into late in November.
This year the fixtures caused no end of grief Chez WJ in terms of scheduling summer hols and so forth so I’m happy to see a nice big, fat window in the first two weeks in July with HOLIDAYS!!!! written all over it. This year we had to deny the chisellers their last day in school before they broke for summer and even then I only managed to touch down back at Dublin airport a little more than twelve hours ahead of throw-in time at McHale Park. I’m expecting a bit more in the way of serenity next year on that front. Until the throw-in, that is, at which time, no doubt, it’ll be back to good old-fashioned blood and thunder.