Monday’s sun was rather nice, Tuesday’s was nicer still, looking forward to Wednesday’s and Thursday’s and … bugger, the holiday is into its second week and time is moving remorselessly on till that moment when we get catapulted northwards on Saturday night and then … why then it’s on with the replica jersey (and, most likely, the Club Mayo Dublin fleece as well as it’s bound to be bloody freezing up there in the tundra) and it’s off to Castlebar for the Connacht final.
All seems quiet enough so far in the build-up to Sunday, at least that’s what my rapid online perusal tells me. No team yet but that’s to be expected – it’ll be tomorrow night or perhaps even Thursday (see, I can still remember what day of the week it is – impressive, huh?) – and not much in the way of news either. Barry Moran has broken his hand (thanks, ontheroad, for alerting me to this) which probably means his on-off career as an inter-county footballer will remain in the ‘off’ position for the rest of 2008. After his promising displays in the qualifiers last year, it’s disappointing – not least for Barry himself – that he hasn’t pushed on this year but it now seems that the series of injuries he’s suffered this year means that it’ll be 2009 before he gets a chance to stake a claim again.
Most observers expect little change in the team once it is announced and I’d be of the same opinion. (Johnno is a Blueshirt after all, so you’re not going to get anything radical from him – otherwise he’d have stood for Sinn Fein or the PDs.) We could quite easily see the same starting fifteen that was named for the Sligo game, though the one obvious change would be to replace Peadar Gardiner with Alan Dillon. That Mayo News article above states that the Ballintubber man is expected to be back in the starting side but I have a sneaking suspicion (though, on second thoughts, this could just be the onset of sunstroke) that Johnno will name an unchanged team for Sunday. Given that there’ll be all kinds of mind games about how picks up whom on the day, it would probably be the most sensible thing to do.
You’ve probably seen the stuff in the Mayo News today, such as the interview with Keith Higgins, the piece about 1998 (that was a shite summer too, as I recall), the one about the TV3 pundits, including David Brady (at least with TV3 covering the game, we’ll be spared the usual smug, waspish crap that Brolly comes out with), the bit about what kind of Mayo fan you are (Lunatic Luke hit a few chords with me, I must admit) and, of course, An Spailpin’s now regular pre-match offering, where this time he muses on the nature of the Mayo-Galway rivalry. And, of course, there’s Kev, who says we’re going to do it (I know, I know, he did say the Dubs would lift Sam last year but that was then and now is, well, now) and Stentorial Sean, who has a great picture of that big donkey Cullinane whacking Ronan in the jaw in the league game in April (any chance of some video justice for that one? Thought not).
Apparently Meath’s David Coldrick (you know him – he’s the young-looking guy who seems to be writing his diary on the run right throughout the seventy minutes, as he never lets the pencil out of his grasp) is the ref for Sunday. Well, look on the bright side – at least it isn’t that prick we had last year in Salthill.
That’s all for now. Time for Tuesday’s beer, I think, which is almost as good as Monday’s and slightly better than Wednesday’s. Make that a large one, guv’nor.