It’s Wednesday, which means we’re already in three-more-sleeps-until territory ahead of our Round 1 qualifier clash with Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds. Given how close we now are to the game it’s all very quiet out there. To be honest, I’ve been more preoccupied myself with the start of the State exams today – we have a soldier in that particular field again this year – than I have about when we might name our starting fifteen for Saturday.
But it is Wednesday and so time is rocking on towards the game. The Mayo News (paper and digital editions) had some team news yesterday, with a piece by Mike Finnerty revealing that both Brendan Harrison and Donal Vaughan could miss out on the Round 1 fixture due to injury. Mike also states in that piece that Lee Keegan’s involvement on Saturday could “be limited”, given that he’s still only on the comeback from that serious shoulder injury.
I guess we won’t name our team for the game until Friday evening. Even then, the fifteen we name is likely to show the bare minimum in terms of changes from the Galway match. We’ll definitely be listing two changes from the last time, with the unfortunate Tom Parsons and the suspended Diarmuid O’Connor both out of Saturday’s fixture.
Fit-again Cillian O’Connor will, for sure, occupy one of those vacancies but all eyes will be on the other available slot and, in filling it, what this means for how we’re going to set up in Limerick. Seán Rice, writing in his Mayo News column this week, gives a good run-down on the options facing Stephen Rochford and his selectors – it’s here.
The view from the other side of the ditch is captured in two pieces that might be of interest. Mike Finnerty has an interview in the Mayo News (here) with former Limerick footballer Pa Ranahan. He reckons the Shannonsiders “have nothing to lose” on Saturday evening and that they should “go out and enjoy it.” He does, however, add ruefully that, for Limerick “the big drawback though is that it’s going to be their last match of the year.”
Limerick’s manager Billy Lee also bigs us up in an interview piece in this week’s Limerick Leader, which is here. In referring to us as “the second best team in Ireland” he also, perhaps, betrays the fact that most football played in Limerick occurs close to the Kerry border.
Interestingly, that piece also talks about the possibility that Saturday’s match could have been fixed for Newcastle West rather than the Gaelic Grounds, a development that surely would have put most social media platforms offline for a few hours had it happened.
That article states that Limerick have a clean bill of health heading into the game. I’ve no idea,though, when they’ll be naming their team for the fixture.
Right, devoid of any real news, there’s nothing for it but to wrap this one up with a poll on Saturday’s game. Okay, then, all you glass-half-full and glass-half-empty merchants, all you Tiggers and Eeyores, what’s it to be at the Gaelic Grounds?
Will we beat Limerick?
- Yes (88%, 581 Votes)
- No (12%, 82 Votes)
Total Voters: 663