It’s midweek and our double All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Dublin on Saturday at Croke Park is now just three days away. It definitely has the air of an occasion that’s surreptitiously creeping up on us but maybe that’s just me because, to be honest, I haven’t a whole load of free time to be thinking about the football right now.
We’ve met Dublin so often over the past decade but, with all those Championship meetings ultimately producing the same depressing outcome from our point of view, you get the sense much of what’s been written leading up to this meeting is influenced by the reality of those past results.
There have, though, been plenty of cracking contests between us since 2012. For anyone who’s just dropped in from Mars and is wondering what the Mayo/Dublin back story is all about this primer on Balls.ie (here) provides the details.
The Mayo News has a great All-Ireland semi-final supplement this week and a few of the articles from this are now online. All are worth a look, with Billy Joe Padden outlining what he thinks we need to do to win this one, Edwin McGreal setting out five areas that could decide the game and Mike Finnerty setting out three talking points ahead of the big match.
The paper gives the ladies’ match against Dublin a decent mention too. In this respect, Mike Finnerty puts the spotlight on three Mayo players to watch out for in the curtain-raiser at Croke Park on Saturday.
Much of what’s in the nationals sits behind paywalls, which you may or may not be able to access.
The Irish Times has its heavy-hitting columns from Jim McGuinness, Kevin McStay and Darragh Ó Sé who all offer their tuppence on how they think the match will go. In different ways and with different degrees of emphasis they all ultimately give the nod to the champions to advance.
In the Irish Independent, meanwhile, Colm Keys talks key match-ups. Conor McKeon focuses on Dublin ‘keeper Evan Comerford who is set to appear between the sticks in an All-Ireland semi-final for the first time on Saturday. Michael Verney has an interesting piece with Enda Varley who makes the point that Covid-enforced remote working has helped to reduce Mayo’s usual geographical disadvantages this year.
That’s the lot for now. If you haven’t yet got to the podcast special episode with Séamie O’Shea then do yourself a favour and give it a listen. The big match preview episode will be online at some stage tomorrow.