Longest day of the year, eh? More like a grubby morning in bloody November if you ask me. Anyone planning to prance around playing at druids today would, I reckon, be well advised to pack the raincoat and wellies as well as the white robes and the bull hides. If pagan rituals aren’t your thing then it’s definitely a day for the high stool.
The forecast for the next few days isn’t much better by the looks of it, though there now appears to be a chance that the rain may have lifted ahead of throw-in on Sunday. Then again, it may well have not so the stand could be a better option on the day than the concrete bleachers.
On a wet day, a bit of reading wouldn’t go amiss so if it’s reading material you’re looking for, here are a few options:
From this week’s Mayo News Willie McHugh’s memories of McHale Park in years gone by.
In the same paper, Noel Connelly issues a call to arms to the Mayo team, telling them that Sunday affords them the opportunity to show the world what they’re made of.
In yesterday’s Irish Independent, there was an interesting piece about the impact of emigration on the Leitrim senior team, and on the GAA world as a whole, in recent years.
The same paper has a so-called SWOT analysis on us by Martin Breheny, which, under a paper-thin veneer, is just another case of Martin Breheny trotting out the usual Martin Breheny inanities. But it’s a wet day so you might want to have a look at it.
Looking at what the opposition have to say, the Ridge County’s corner-forward Ray Cox is interviewed in the Leitrim Observer where he says they don’t fear coming to McHale Park and that their aim will be to stay in the game over the opening quarter and then see how things develop. Which is, I guess, what you’d expect one of their lads to be saying.
In the same paper, Leitrim’s joint manager George Dugdale is interviewed by David Goulden. Again, nothing particularly earth-shattering there – the Leitrim man says that they know well the scale of the task facing them having never before won on our patch but that Sligo’s achievement the other weekend in claiming a first-ever championship win over the Tribesmen on Galway soil could act as inspiration for them.
Finally, the Mayo minor team to face Sligo in Sunday’s curtain-raiser at McHale Park, where throw-in is set for 1.30pm (i.e. after the ladies’ Connacht Intermediate semi-final between Sligo and Leitrim that gets underway at midday) has been named. Details of the team and subs for Sunday are as follows:
Mayo (Connacht MFC semi-final v Sligo, 24/6/2012): Conor O’Malley (Westport); David McHale (Knockmore), Sean Moran (Kiltimagh), Kevin Lynch (Mayo Gaels); Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels), Cian Burke (Ardnaree Sarsfields), Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber); Brian Mullen (Westport), Adam Gallagher (Mayo Gaels, Capt.); Eoghan Lavin (Kiltimagh), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber); Darren Duffy (Aghamore), Shane Hennelly (Shrule/Glencorrib), Sean Regan (Ballina Stephenites). Subs: Marcus Moylette (Islandeady), Joe Geraghty (Ballintubber), John Moylette (Ballina Stephenites), Conor Langan (Ballina Stephenites), Donal Ronayne (Davitts), Ryan Coleman (Castlebar Mitchels), Conor Byrne (Aghamore), James Quinn (Ballinrobe), Val Roughneen (Balla).
Incidentally, there’s an interview with Tony Duffy in this week’s Mayo News in which the minor manager reckons that Sunday’s opponents Sligo should be seen as favourites for this clash. I’m not sure if that’s a fairly rudimentary attempt at mind game or what but I guess we’ll find out when the action gets underway in the early afternoon on Sunday.