Today’s announcement by the GAA that next Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone has been postponed by a week, with the result that the final has had to be pushed back by six days as well, comes as a rude reminder that Covid-19 and its baleful effects are still very much with us.
We know ourselves what kind of havoc a Covid-related incident within the ranks can wreak. It’s one thing having to cope with a problem like that ahead of a Connacht Championship clash with Leitrim but it’s another matter altogether having to do so in the days leading up to an All-Ireland semi-final. It’s impossible but be hugely sympathetic to the plight Tyrone find themselves in right now.
It does, I guess, make their semi-final clash with Kerry – which has now been fixed for Saturday, 21st August, with the final scheduled for a fortnight after that, on 4th September – even more of a free shot for them than it already was. Kerry were strong favourites as it was to progress to the decider and, in light of the turmoil facing the O’Neill County, they’ll be fancied even more now to do so. Does that make Tyrone dangerous dark horses? Maybe, though maybe not.
With the final pushed back, this means that the winners of our semi-final against Dublin will have a three-week run-in to the decider. That will probably be welcomed by whichever of us emerges from Croke Park with the win on Saturday night but there’s no point in our giving it any more thought than that. Anyone thinking beyond Dublin and the enormous test they represent for us has too much time on their hands for rumination.
UPDATE: It’s now being reported that Tyrone’s continued participation in the Championship is in doubt even with the week’s delay to the semi-final – report here.
As the lads get ready to face the Dubs, you can support them in a practical way by playing the Mayo GAA Lotto. This week’s draw also includes the chance to win tickets to the game – details here.