It’s set to be a case of Groundhog Day on the Mayo v Galway front next Sunday. (All together now: “Eggs and rashers for the Mayo slashers, barley (or should that be hay?) and oats for the Galway goats!” I haven’t been able to get that old ditty out of my head ever since Safetysam mentioned it in the comments yesterday evening). This is because the FBD “Home” Final has now been scheduled for this coming Sunday (21st February) at McHale Park, with a 2.30 pm throw-in. Not just that, but good old Marty Duffy will once again be doing his best to ruin proceedings with his own inimitable take on how to referee a football game.
We should, though, draw a line there in terms of the degree to which next Sunday’s meaningless clash with the neighbours may be seen as a re-run of that hugely enjoyable league encounter eight days ago. Big Joe and the Herrin Chokers will, for sure, roll into town hellbent on revenge for that hole-kicking but the last thing we should do next Sunday is to offer them the chance of redemption against anything resembling the same Mayo fifteen.
Instead, we should use Sunday’s game to give a run-out to every single one of those lads in the current 27-man panel who have yet to experience action since the NFL began and we should only field three or four of the lads that currently feature on the first team. So what if the Fat Controller sends out his strongest fifteen to face us? Sure, they could exact some revenge for the thumping we gave them the other week but it’d be the hollowest of victories for them if they prevail against a weakened Mayo side and such a tactic does of course run the significant danger of backfiring spectacularly if our second-rung team were to do the business against their first-choice selection.
The NFL encounter on 7th February is unlikely to be the last set-to we have with the Tribesmen this year but the only one we need to be thinking about now is the one that’s almost sure to be facing us in high summer, should we clear the hurdle that Sligo will place in our way beforehand. Sunday’s FBD encounter is of no consequence whatsoever and we should treat it accordingly. I plan to: not only will I not travel to it, I doubt if I’ll even be following this one live on the wireless.