It’s Wednesday, the talk about last Sunday’s hurling semi-final is starting to subside and our showdown with Kerry this coming weekend is moving centre-stage. As a result, the coverage is starting to ramp up so here’s a selection to keep you entertained.
Let’s start with the local angle. The Mayo News was out yesterday and it has loads on the game in its superb 16-page preview. The best thing is to pig out on the paper itself, either in paper or digital format, but there are a few morsels from it online that will no doubt be of interest.
In his tactics column (here), Billy Joe Padden talks about match-ups, kick-outs and meeting Kerry head-on in the physical department. Ger Flanagan has an interview with Kevin McLoughlin (here), where he notes that the Roscommon replay was the Knockmore man’s 45th consecutive championship match for his county. Also in the paper Ger has a Bluffer’s Guide to Kerry – here.
Onto the nationals where there’s plenty to graze on too.
In the Irish Examiner John Fogarty has an interview with Kevin McLoughlin (here) and there’s a Q&A piece by Tony Leen with Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice, which is here. In the same paper John Fogarty also ponders about which of our lads might be best able to take on Kieran Donaghy and that piece is here.
Over at the Irish Independent it’s a similar theme. Colm Keys has an interview with Eamonn Fitzmaurice (here), with the same writer also focusing on Kieran Donaghy and what we might do to pacify him (here). On that topic, the same paper also has a piece detailing that rather left-field suggestion from David Brady that Aidan O’Shea could be the man for the job.
Onto the Irish Times where the main focus is Darragh Ó Sé’s weekly column, which is here. Darragh looks back, through rose-tinted glasses (as he’s entitled to do), on Limerick three years ago and also thinks about what mood the Kerry lads might be in heading into Sunday.
Not hugely happy and keen to up their performance is what he reckons. He also believes they have it within themselves to do it and concludes that, despite the fact that we’ve competed at the top level for several years, “in terms of winning, Kerry and Dublin have always come out in the end.” Ouch.
Darragh’s right on the facts, of course. So too is Aidan O’Mahony, writing in his AIB blog, when he says that Kerry are “judged on All-Irelands, not on winning semi-finals against Mayo.”
I know that this rather forthright comment has got up some people’s noses. As well as being nifty on the dance floor, however, the Rathmore clubman has five All-Ireland medals in his pocket so I’d say he’s more than entitled to his opinion. To be honest, this kind of unvarnished honesty is easier to digest than the usual Kerry diet of soft grins and plámás.
On the GAA website, there’s also an Eamonn Fitzmaurice piece (here) and they too have an interview with Kevin McLoughlin (here), who has some nice things to say about the county’s supporters. Finally, over on the RTÉ website, former Tyrone player Philip Jordan previews Sunday’s clash in his column (here) while James McMahon has a piece with John Casey (here).
Plenty there to get your teeth into over the course of the day.
There’s a jackpot of €15,300 and stand tickets for the All-Ireland hurling final up for grabs in the Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto. Play the Lotto here.