Sean Moran reports in today’s Irish Times (just scroll on past John Morrison’s rant about the match programme that was on sale at Carrick last Sunday – the bit I’m referring to is at the end of the article) that Conor Mortimer is fit again and raring to go and so he should be well ready for our Connacht semi-final clash with Roscommon on the 20th. I can’t provide any evidence (well, there’s nothing in the Mayo News that I can point to at any road) to confirm that he kept his vow to be ready for action in time for Shrule-Glencorrib’s club championship opener last Sunday but I assume that he did.
No doubt he’ll take some part in the challenge match up the road from his home patch on Friday evening, when the lads have their final pre-Sheepstealers run-out in the form of a challenge match with Louth at Garrymore. While it’d be good to see how he’d get on as part of a Mort-O’Shea-Moran full-forward line axis for that outing, the young Breaffy man won’t have dispensed with the books by then and so he’ll probably still be nailed to the desk at home. As a result, that particular configuration may have to wait a few weeks more for its formal unveiling.
Mort’s return is obviously a welcome boost – anyone who was in Portmarnock the other evening will have been concerned at the way that both Barry Moran and Aidan Kilcoyne failed to impress against the Dubs. We need quality in the forward line and even if Mort hasn’t been close to top form in the recent past, he’s still one of the best quality forwards we’ve got at our disposal. We’ll need him against the Sheepstealers and it’s good that he’s declared fit at this stage as he should be well ready to line out from the start on the 20th.
Where that match is going to be held will, so says Mike Finnerty in the Mayo News, be decided tomorrow. I’d heard the rumours – as I’m sure everyone else had too – that it’s been touch-and-go for some time as to whether or not McHale Park will be ready for the 20th. According to Mike, we’ll all know for definite tomorrow and although Sean Feeney sounds fairly definite in that piece that the match will go ahead as planned at McHale Park, it’s not his call to make and I wouldn’t be all that surprised if the decision were to go the other way tomorrow.
Personally, I wouldn’t be overly exercised about this one way or the other: there’s a building project going on, there are regulations that need to be observed (because, heh, this isn’t a bank’s activities we’re talking about here) and observed they’ll be. I guess that if the Health & Safety Police veto McHale Park, we’ll give the Rossies the home tie and then take the home fixture back from them the next time we’re drawn to face each other in Connacht. And if I’m doing the match as a day trip from up here in the capital, I’ll save around 120 miles on the round-trip. So, donning my selfish bastard’s hat, you can see why I wouldn’t be too concerned if we were pointed towards Hyde Park on the 20th. By the way, is there any chance – should both of us make it through, like – of persuading Galway to concede home advantage to us for the final? Thought not.