It’s a long way to Pairc Ui Rinn

Indeed it is, especially if you’re planning on doing the trip by bus. Those nice people at the AA (think roads, not booze) compute the distance from Castlebar to Cork city at a tasty 173 miles, which they claim could be covered in three hours and thirteen minutes. And the rest: Gort alone takes half an hour to get through and, although the Ennis bypass is now open, there are still plenty of towns to get stuck in on the way. Castlebar to Cork by bus? Well over four hours, maybe even getting on for five. Not an inviting prospect, that’s for sure.

Why is all this relevant? Well, it’s stated in an article in this week’s Mayo News that the plan for the team getting to Cork for Saturday night’s match involves trekking down ON THE DAY by bloody bus (sorry, coach, i.e. a bloody white bus), playing the game that evening and then travelling straight back up. It gets better: there’s a whole slate of county league matches taking place on Sunday so anyone not completely knackered by the time the magical mystery tour gets back from Cork in the wee hours of Sunday morning will be by the time the final whistle sounds at their league clash the following day.

It’s also worth pointing out that our final three league games are on over the coming three weekends. Has anyone given any thought to the likely impact on the county panel from exposing them to two competitive fixtures (one of which takes place 173 miles away, accessible only by bloody white bus) within 24 hours? The risk of injury must be heightened, both arising from the journey itself and from the effect of throwing tired limbs into the fray twice over a single weekend. I’d say that these insane arrangements make it a racing certainty that we’ll end up with a few absentees for the visit of the Dubs the weekend after next. Are they travelling down by bloody white bus, I wonder?

Little news of note as yet about the team. The same Mayo News article confirms that David Brady will miss the match, with Kevin O’Neill’s participation still uncertain too. Trevor Mortimor is also a bit doubtful having got clocked in a trial match against the U21s (hardy U21s coming through, it would appear) but apparently Ciaran Mac made a 15-minute appearance in the same match, so he must be getting close to a return to active service. Take your seat on the bloody white bus, O Great One.

Johnno reckons (same article again) that it’ll be hard to get anything out of the Cork game. He’s been saying that every game so far. I believe him this time, even if he is a politician in the making. I’m not sure what Johnno’ll say in the event that we don’t get a result down in Cork but I’m getting my shout in early – I blame it all on that bloody white bus.

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