There’s some stuff to report on from last weekend’s two challenge matches and also the first bits of info are starting to appear about the start of the league at the weekend.
Mike Finnerty’s report on the match with Westmeath is worth a look. This confirms other reports that we played okay in the first half but that things went a bit awry in the second. From what I hear, the weather was pretty crap in Ballinrobe on Saturday evening and the windy conditions probably contributed to the over-elaboration that Mike Finnerty complains about.
The same writer has a piece about the run-out against DIT on Sunday morning, which we lost by 1-16 to 1-15. A notable point here was that Killer lined out against us, having come on as a sub for us the evening before. He seems to have performed better for DIT, banging over seven points. Maybe those leg warmers that No one Shouted Stop mentions were a bad idea, after all. David Heaney also returned to the colours, playing the full seventy minutes at centre-back. (By the way, where was Trevor Howley last weekend? He didn’t play in either match). It also notable that someone other than BJP – John Brogan – lined out at full-back, though there’s nothing said as to how he fared in the position and whether or not he’s a viable prospect there.
Nothing as yet on the team for Saturday night but Sean Rice gives the options a good mulling over. He’s got a different take than I do, I see, about BJ at full-back and has claimed that the experiment has been a success in the three games to date. He even goes so far as to say that BJ could be a long-term option for us in the position. I hope he’s right, though I’d agree with him when he says that how BJ fares against Paddy Bradley on Saturday evening could go a long way towards deciding whether or not he has a future in that position.
In other news, the official launch of the NFL was held yesterday, with Ba-Ba-Bertie as special guest (doesn’t he have anything better to do, like attending a tribunal or something?). At the launch, Pillar (who always seems to wangle an invite to these types of gigs) and Donegal’s Brian McIvor both came out in favour of the new ban on collective training in November and December. As noted the other day, this is not a view shared by Our Man.
Sean Moran in the Irish Times (sub req’d) quotes odds provided by Boylesports for who they think will top the Division 1 table. Kerry are 11/4 favourites, next are Tyrone on 4/1, Derry 5/1, Galway 6/1, ourselves on 13/2, Donegal 7/1, Laois 12/1 and Kildare on 6/1. Given the unpredictable nature of the league and the considerable uncertainty over who is really up for it, there could be some money to be won there, I reckon.