It’s Thursday night already and our second League match of the year is now coming at us at speed, with throw-in at MacHale Park set to take place in under 48 hours from now. It’s not, of course, the only match of interest to Mayo GAA fans this weekend so here’s a quick sweep of relevant information on the weekend’s matches.
The Mayo/Dublin game throws in at MacHale Park on Saturday evening at 7pm. Parking won’t be allowed, for safety reasons, on the N5 that evening so this will have knock-on effects for parking round the town. Details on parking-related issues here.
The self-scanning machines will be in operation once again at MacHale Park on Saturday evening for season ticket holders. They’ll be deployed at turnstiles 1-8 from 6pm that evening and if you need a primer on how to use them, I did one last year – here.
On the match itself, Mayo GAA announced earlier on this evening that the starting fifteen for Saturday night will be named tomorrow evening. Dublin will probably name their pick at some stage tomorrow too but I haven’t seen any confirmation yet of their plans in this respect.
If it’s chat about the match you want, then the Mayo Advertiser podcast is the place to go, where Colm Gannon talks with John Casey about the fixture:
The ref for Saturday night is Armagh’s Padraig Hughes. He’s an official who tends to court controversy – it was he who awarded Kerry that hotly-disputed penalty in last year’s Munster final, attracting a rather OTT reaction from Joe Brolly as a result – but I think he’s far from the worst official on the roster. We last came across him in last June’s Connacht semi-final win over Galway.
I’m planning to undertake a very rapid trip to the west to get to the game but, of course, there’ll be loads of people heading in the opposite direction to get to Croke Park for the All-Ireland Intermediate and Junior finals. It’s unfortunate that such a clash is occurring but it wasn’t really something that could have been planned for or avoided and it’s not the first time in recent years that we have the county team playing a League match at one venue and a club side playing in an Intermediate or Junior final at Croke Park on the same weekend.
Ardnaree are on first on Saturday, with their All-Ireland Junior final against Kerry’s Templenoe throwing in at HQ at 3pm. Then at 4.45pm Hollymount/Carramore take the field in their All-Ireland Intermediate final against St Mary’s of Kerry. The two Kerry clubs are odds-on favourites to win on Saturday (Paddy Power have both of them priced at 3/10) but it would be great if one or both of the Mayo clubs were to spring a surprise at Croke Park.
Both finals will be shown live by Irish TV, which is accessible online and via satellite – details here.
If you’ve any energy left for more football action when Sunday comes around (I have to be back in Dublin before midday that day so that rules me out) then you could do a whole load worse than take in the ladies’ League Division One match against Dublin. This takes place at the Swinford Amenity Park where throw-in is set for 2pm. Regardless of how the lads do on Saturday evening, it’d be great to see the women follow up that marvellous win over Cork with a second victory in this League campaign.