Even all these years on, the week-to-week schedule of the National League takes a bit of time getting used to. No sooner has the dust started to settle after one match but the next one is approaching rapidly. The two months between late January and the end of March pass by in a blur.
So, even though the dramatic denouement up in Ballybofey only happened the other night, that game has already been boxed away for posterity. Now it’s all about the Dubs – on the double – at MacHale Park this evening. The women’s LGFA League clash throws in at 5pm while the men’s game gets underway at 7pm.
I think it’s fair to say that the team Dublin announced last night didn’t increase whatever hopes we might have had for getting a result this evening. It’s a very strong pick – far more so than the teams Dublin tend to send out for League games at this time of year – and it’s one that shows Dessie Farrell is taking no chances in ensuring that his county’s long unbeaten run against us continues unabated.
The last time we took a point off Dublin in the League was that madcap drawn match at Croke Park in 2014, a match we had in the bag before conceding two late goals. Since then it’s been five defeats on the spin, three of them bad thumpings.
In fairness, despite our anaemic home record, we tend to perform better when playing them at MacHale Park. The 2-18 to 0-10 thrashing we endured at Castlebar in 2015 was very much the exception as the following year, on a wild and wet night in the west, we lost out by just two points. in 2018 we went under to them by four points at MacHale Park in a game where we conceded daft goals early in both halves and missed plenty of chances as well.
So our cause shouldn’t be seen as a hopeless one tonight. It is, though, an extremely tough assignment for a team featuring plenty of new lads who are only starting to feel their way at this level.
In that respect tonight will tell us a lot about our upcoming talent. This is a great chance for players to stand up and be counted. Here’s hoping they do and, if they really put it up to the mighty Dubs, so much the better. The best of luck to them and to the ladies as well in the curtain-raiser contest.
A huge crowd, perhaps in the 15-20,000 range, is expected to be at MacHale Park this evening. Mayo GAA have issued some ticketing information that’s worth a look – that’s here.
In light of the amount of traffic that’s expected to be in the MacHale Park area tomorrow evening and, given the tendency of many match-going drivers to park on the N5, some important advice has been issued about where’s best to park – that’s here.
In line with my desire to cut down on unnecessary mileage this year, I’m sitting out this one myself and so I’ll be watching the game live from home on Eir Sport. as a result there’ll be no post-game audio report from me afterwards but, on the flip side, the match report will be up quickly enough along with the MOTM poll. Up Mayo.