The Mayo News has a bit of, well, news which is worth drawing your attention to and there are also a few other bits and pieces worthy of mention before I slope off for the evening.
The first is that Ed McGreal reckons Aidan O’Shea might be facing a two-match ban for his straight red last Sunday. This is because under the GAA’s arcane disciplinary code repeat offenders get double penalty points and so Aidan’s (at the time meaningless) retrospective ban for clocking Paul Galvin in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final could see him pick up an extra match ban for his troubles. It doesn’t look like we’ll be appealing any ban either and it’s not clear yet when the beaks are going to arraign Aido but I guess it’ll be soon.
It’s not on the Mayo News website but Ed McGreal was kind enough to post a picture via Twitter earlier on showing the photographic proof contained in the print edition of the paper concerning the correctness of ref Barry Cassidy’s call in relation to the shouts for a penalty when Enda Varley got felled in the first half of last Sunday’s match. This shows that Enda was, indeed, outside the square when he was deliberately tripped by that little Poland scut so credit where it’s due to the much-maligned official. Maybe he will get to ref the All-Ireland after all (well, Mother Superior Duffy and Blind Joe McQuillan were the last two to be given the honour so on that basis no-one can really be ruled out).
Ed also has a piece about the chaotic end to the match on Sunday where he says that the ref had a match programme (which hit its target) and a plastic bottle (which missed) fecked at him as he made his way to the dressing room. Ed also says that one of the stewards also apparently went native and engaged Barry Cassidy on some of the finer points of the rules of Gaelic football as they were making their way off the pitch. Oh dear – at least they won’t be able to take a home match off us.
Okay, that’s enough about Sunday. Mike Finnerty has a preview of tomorrow night’s do-or-die preliminary round clash in the U21 Connacht championship, which takes place at McHale Park (throw-in 7.30pm). After his heroics with the minors in 2008 and again in 2009, Ray Dempsey has had two very lean years in charge of the U21s and so the pressure will really be on to get a run going in this campaign. It doesn’t help, of course, that tomorrow night’s opener is against the reigning All-Ireland champions but that’s the hand we’ve been dealt so we just have to get on with it. There’s no word yet on how we’ll be lining out but Galway’s team was announced earlier on and the details are available here.
Finally, you may have noticed this article by Colm O’Connor in this morning’s Irish Examiner concerning RTÉ’s pathetic coverage of this year’s league. I’ve been giving Montrose a fool’s pardon on this for some time as I was under the assumption (which I now know to be incorrect) that RTÉ didn’t have the rights to the NFL and so could only use the matches already broadcast by Setanta and TG4 in their godawful League Sunday highlights programme. Turns out that’s not true – a point alluded to by Newstalk’s Ciaran Murphy yesterday (both on the Off the Ball show and on Twitter) – and that RTÉ could show highlights of all the Division One games if they were arsed to do so.
What made me laugh was that they trotted out “the current financial climate” as the reason for their piss-poor coverage of the league, whining that they weren’t in a position “to send a camera to every game” for their highlights programme. Sure, the bloody clowns never send a camera to any game at all, relying as they do on the Setanta and TG4 content. And this isn’t a policy that began today nor yesterday either so that blather about “the current financial climate” is just blather.
It’s good, though, to see that some sports are being spared the axe. The “current financial climate” hasn’t prevented RTÉ from expanding its love-in with rugby as they’re now broadcasting live coverage of Ireland’s U20 internationals. It’s not just for bogus tweets that the so-called ‘national broadcaster’ needs a good root up the hole.