I’m in! I thought I’d missed the boat earlier in the day when an approach to what I’d reckoned was a very long shot resulted in the dreaded response of “If only you’d called an hour ago – I’ve just given one away”. As it turned out, this near-miss didn’t really matter because by around six this evening it had begun to rain tickets and at this stage it looks is if we’re all sorted. I had a bit of crack with The Brother about the ticket hunt today, arising from my pigs and truffles metaphor yesterday, and I thought that I was heading for the position of top porker when I got a firm lead on a ticket this afternoon before he had bagged anything. As it happened, however, he nailed down the first one of the day before I pulled mine and he’s now waiting for a second to fall into his lap. Oink! Oink!
So, onto the game where our minors carry with them not just their own hopes of success but also the weight of expectation from us lot on the sideline and, of course, the baneful shadow of all those past failures in finals. This latter factor is, however, of no relevance for the lads taking the field in the Green and Red tomorrow – they’ve never played in an All-Ireland final before and the fact that other Mayo teams have failed to make it over the line should in no way lessen the chances of this bunch of lads doing so tomorrow afternoon.
Tyrone are a cracking team who’ll be difficult to beat – and they’ll be guaranteed to have the bulk of the support inside the hallowed ground – but our lads look the real deal and the way they’ve improved steadily over the course of the campaign augurs well for tomorrow. Ray Dempsey and his colleagues have molded a fine unit of young players and they have what it takes to go out there tomorrow and secure legendary status for themselves. And I’ve fifty notes on them at 2/1 with Paddy Power to do this so it’s not as if they’re under any kind of pressure or anything.
Those of us lucky enough to be there have a job to do tomorrow as well. We’ll be heavily outnumbered inside the ground and we can’t rely on the Kerrymen – who, when the ball is thrown in at 1.30, will still be ambling up and down the Drumcondra area with big soft grins on their faces and the world of welcomes for themselves on their annual visit to the metropolis – to do our shouting for us. We won’t need our voices for the senior match so we have to make sure that we give it everything we have in support of our lads’ quest for glory. We can do it, of course we can.