The throw-in up in Letterkenny takes place in around 5 hours so that makes this review of the previews very much an eleventh hour exercise, if that bit of metaphor-mixing makes sense.
Not surprisingly, given (a) our dismal record against them in recent times and (b) our failure to record a single win on their patch over the past fifty years, the Herrin Gutters get the nod from most quarters in advance of today’s encounter. RTÉ backs them, so too does Hogan Stand and Paddy Power has the home side on offer at only 8/11. But the normally cautious Sean Moran in the Times gives us his tentative backing and the straw poll on this site is evenly split between the cup-is-half-full and the cup-is-half-empty camps. So it’s not all doom and gloom – anyone for a draw?
We’ll be doing well to get anything out of today’s game, I reckon, but it’s still a match we could and should win, given that we’re putting out what is probably our strongest side right now against a team showing wholesale changes following the heavy beating they got from Kerry in the opening round. I just hope that everyone else on the team remembers that Barry Moran is that big guy in the no.14 shirt who enjoys having Hail Mary balls pumped into him all day long.
A win would be nice – it is almost eight months since we won our last competitive fixture, after all – but equally important will be the kind of performance the lads produce. We all know they’re capable of far more than that disjointed, insipid effort against Derry and it’d be nice to see them providing some proof if this today.
I’m feeling withdrawal symptoms already over missing today’s match and, given my domestic arrangements for the day, I’m not even sure I’m going to be able to follow the action from Letterkenny in real time. In the hope, however, that I’ll be able to keep an ear reasonably well tuned into the live commentary on Madwest (assuming there is live commentary on Madwest), I’ll shift the Twitter widget back up to top-of-the right for the afternoon and do what I can to provide updates via this medium on how the match is progressing.
I’ll also be back later with a match report (of sorts) but given that I won’t be at the game, my report on it will, by necessity, be far less than the usual first-hand multimedia extravaganza. Instead, it’ll be more like a rag-bag of reheated second-hand observations. Still, if they win you won’t be complaining, now will you? Till later.