As the excitement from Sunday’s memorable All-Ireland semi-final win over the Dubs starts to subside and we begin to gear up – with no trace of any fights about where the homecoming shindig will be held – for Game 5, it’s only appropriate to pause and reflect this morning on our stricken captain. Andy had his cruciate op yesterday just up the road from here in the Santry Sports Clinic and he’s now apparently targeting the latter stages of next year’s league campaign for his comeback. Obviously, he’s still enormously important to us off the field – as the above photo of the subs’ huddle prior to throw-in on Sunday demonstrates – and will be too the next day. Get well soon, skipper.
Coverage in the national media about our game is now, understandably, tailing off as attention rightly turns to Sunday’s hurling final (where, incidentally, it’d be great to see Galway take the first of this year’s All-Ireland titles west). It’s worth pointing you towards Darragh Ó Sé’s column in today’s Irish Times, though only to say what a rank take on Sunday’s match this is.
As Sean has already pointed out in the comments, Darragh reckons we have Joe McQuillan to thank for our win and instead of providing any kind of considered analysis of the game he instead opts to provide a blokey account of the day a few soft Kerry lads spent going up to the big city with their big soft mouths wide open (all the better to be after horsin’ pints into them) and having a whale of a time altogether. And there was me thinking Darragh was a serious football analyst when instead he sounds all the world like a poor man’s Billy Keane.
The Irish Examiner’s John Fogarty, meanwhile, manages to squeeze the last ounce out of the “Dubs to appeal” non-story by penning this article that confirms the Dubs won’t be appealing anything. Time to move on, John Boy.
You’ll probably have gorged yourselves on the local papers at this stage – I didn’t make it into town yesterday myself but I’m planning a raid on Eason’s for definite later on today – but both the Mayo News and the Connaught Telegraph have stuff online that worth mentioning.
The Mayo News has Mike Finnerty’s match report, Ed McGreal’s post-match quotes from James Horan and Aidan O’Shea while the same writer also has quotes from Mickey Conroy and Cillian O’Connor. What the latter said is worth repeating, I think, as it touches on the dreaded ‘H’ word (no, not the homecoming, the other one). Speaking with a wisdom that belies his tender years, the Ballintubber sharpshooter has this to say about the danger of too much excitement in the Mayo camp ahead of Game 5:
Everyone knows there’s always going to be a bit of hype, there always has been over the years but I think we can deal with that. That’s for the fans to deal with, for them to get excited and to get hyped up, and that’s only a good thing in the county. But our job is to make sure it doesn’t affect us.
You heard the man. Right – Paint? Check. Sheep? Check …
The same paper also has a piece from Mike Finnerty on the three things we learned about the team last Sunday and there’s also a piece by Ballinrobe native James O’Connell who was flying the flag over in faraway Sri Lanka as the battle was unfolding at Croke Park. The usual match analysis pieces by Sean Rice and Noel Connelly haven’t been made available online yet but that’s where the bike and Eason’s come into it.
UPDATE: Sean Rice’s analysis (and very good it is too) is now online – here. Thanks to Roger for pointing this out.
The Connaught Telegraph also has a few articles worthy of mention (even if they don’t say who wrote what). Here’s their match report, an analysis piece, a bit on the key moments and issues in the game and another article with quotes and stuff.
As usual, the Western People are stuck behind their paywall and won’t come out to play at all at all. I know this whole how-do-we-make-money-in-the-face-of-the-shift-to-online question isn’t an easy one to crack but staying rooted to the sidelines altogether surely isn’t the answer, not least given the more enlightened approach their competitors are taking.
Finally, I think we’re due at least a small snigger about the up suas in the Donegal camp over the homecoming celebrations. I know that this is a thick-as-shit local politicians’ issue and has nothing to do with the Church of Jimmy the Redeemer but when The Man himself finds that he has come down from the pulpit and wade into the issue then you know that they’ve screwed up and that they know this too. Jimmy reckons that talk of homecomings is “disrespectful” both to his disciples and to us infidels. Quite right, Jimmy, you said it, Jimmy, give it to them, Jimmy. Round 1 to us, I reckon.