Start of the week, kids still comatose upstairs – their body clocks thinking it’s an hour earlier and no school to get roused for – but it’s a busy week work-wise before the Easter break. And match reports to wade through first.
Before delving into the reports on the game themselves, it’s worth looking at this handy overview by John Fogarty in the Irish Examiner of all the main relegation and issues to be resolved next Sunday. This doesn’t go into the Division One permutations in the forensic way that the issue was run to ground here in the comments last night but it’s a handy primer nonetheless.
I think you all know by now the way we stand heading into next Sunday. If we beat Donegal – for whom Michael Murphy will be suspended, as he picked up a second black card this year in yesterday’s game (a tactical ploy on his part, it was hinted on the radio yesterday) – then we’re in the play-offs. If we’re lose, we’re still safe … unless Donegal hammer us out the gate and only then if Tyrone also beat Kerry by more than two points.
As John Fogarty points out in that piece above, this isn’t the first time in recent years that Kerry have had to travel to Omagh needing a result to stay up. They’ll surely relish the opportunity of consigning the Red Hand and their shitball tactics to Division Two so regardless of how we fare against Donegal, you’d have to conclude that we’re almost certainly sure of our top flight status for yet another year.
Not wanting to get ahead of myself or anything but if that is the case – and it surely is – then, that thumping by the Dubs two weeks ago and the late goal concession yesterday notwithstanding, it also needs to be acknowledged that the first chapter of the Pat and Noel era looks set to be chalked down as a success. The aim at the outset of this League campaign was to survive in Division One while giving some new talent the chance to shine and it now looks – barring a disastrous reversal next Sunday – that this will indeed be achieved.
This should give the lads a bit of breathing space ahead of the serious stuff facing us over the summer. Talk about winning or not winning the All-Ireland is, a bit like all that incessant and extremely tiresome Mayo4Sam nonsense on social media, all a bit pointless at this time of year. Once the League is done with – which will more than likely be the case for us next Sunday but our interest could yet extend beyond that – then the focus has to be the first round of the championship and only the first round of the championship. One step at a time and all that.
Right, back to the papers where I may as well stick with the Irish Examiner which has a match report and post-match quotes from Brian Cuthbert and Pat Holmes. Other nationals: Irish Independent, Irish Times.
Colm Gannon’s report in the Mayo Advertiser features a cracking photo from Sportsfile of the fateful moment that Brian Hurley made contact with the ball for the game’s decisive goal. At this juncture, I have to mention again the ludicrous similarity in the two sets of jerseys – why the hell weren’t we wearing our shiny new black and luminous green ones yesterday? Also, how could a player on either team who is colour-blind be expected to tell his team-mates from his opponents? What about a colour-blind ref?
By the way, talking about refs Colm speculates that Mickey Conroy’s black card could have been for what he terms “simulating contact”, i.e. diving, even though Colm reckons the Davitts man was fouled. The incident happened close to where we were sitting and it certainly looked like our man was fouled but even if he did dive that isn’t one of the five specified black card offences. It’s not the first time in 2015 that Eddie Kinsella has made this kind of mistake and it’s not the first time this year either that we’ve been at the receiving end of his DIY interpretation of this particular rule.
Right, that’s your lot. Just a final piece of early news about next Sunday’s match – Meath’s David Coldrick has been appointed to ref it. It’ll be the first time we’ve come across him since the drawn semi-final against Kerry last August.