Quick round-up, then gone for a few days

I could say it’s been non-stop for me today but that’s not quite true – I was going great guns 42 km into a 50 km cycle this morning when a puncture just outside St. Margaret’s brought an abrupt halt to my gallop. It’s been all go, though, since I finally managed to get back home but I can see from the comments that you’re all up to date so that’s grand.

That was a great win for Connacht in the Interpros today and it’d be good if they could go on and win the bloody thing now, having last done so way back in 1969. The old timer in me would love to see the Interpros being revived properly – I have this slightly daft idea of it being run off right after the All-Ireland, when the weather is still good and there’s a big appetite for live action, with some kind of tie-in to the All-Stars. I know that this most likely fails the practicality test, in terms of club fixtures and what-not, hence my recognition that it’s a partially mad idea but I still think something better than a mid-February slot could be found for this unloved jewel in the calendar.

That’s all I have to say this evening, to be honest, and for the coming few days as well. I’m up and away early in the morning – not, alas, on some swanky mid-term break but instead it’s another overseas work thing. I’ll be checking in now and again to make sure that all’s well here but if you could all make a special effort over the next few days to keep the comments between the ditches that’d be appreciated.

75 thoughts on “Quick round-up, then gone for a few days

  1. Holy cow Willie Joe, a 42km cycle and another 8km pushing a bike, that’s some going on a Sunday morning. I spent the day on the couch, nursing a hangover, reading the papers and watching sport, something’s gone wrong somewhere πŸ™‚

  2. Safe travels WJ. I was out on the bike myself yesterday and met a similar fate. Mind you, I was nowhere near the 42km mark … πŸ˜‰

    Agree re the Interprovincials – but let’s face it, scheduling across the GAA calendar needs work across the board. Too many competitions at too many levels, with clubs in certain counties typically being the ones to suffer when they should be playing in the best conditions. But unless the GAA are prepared to get behind this competition I really can’t see the point of it (from a supporter point of view at least) – it sits there neglected every year, yet has the potential to be a nice little addition.

    Out in Vincents territory for work this morning (as indeed I am most mornings). Very low-key out here. Not a blue sheep in sight πŸ˜‰

    Have a good week all …

  3. WJ, are you really sure you want to do that?…you know its like leaving the kids at home unsupervised! πŸ˜‰

  4. If castlebar win and they better, I imagine it will be a big boost to the mayo team. Barry Moran and co with club medals in the pockets show up at mayo training with an extra bounce in their step, can only be good for all involved.
    That said, I think Mayo are carrying 2 passengers up front that will need to be dropped for 2014, I don’t know who replaces them but they add nothing to the team. Sorry for being harsh on a Monday, and Andy Moran is not one if them by the way.
    Andy and dillon are older but are still big parts of the Mayo setup.
    Lots of thoughts recently in my ould head, how the hell can donegal and Dublin with the same quality Mayo have go and win Sam? Drives me nuts.

  5. I still don’t get this David. The second time time you’ve stated that Mitchels better win the final. Once before the Crokes match, and here now. What does that even mean?

  6. David, to be fair, we dont have a Murphy or a Brogan….nevertheless there’s still hope. I believe if stay healthy, tighten up in the FB line, concede less easy goals and make one or perhapas two adjustments to the front six, we can win this year.

  7. Sad news that Colm Cooper has ruptured his cruciate and will be out for the year. I wish him all the best in his recovery. A serious talent that will be missed this year.

  8. Mister Mayor don’t you know that in his absence, Willie Joe will have installed some of that hi-tech surveillance equipment to monitor all activities on the site and any loose comments will be dealt with on the spot…..:)

  9. I don’t get this “they better win” stuff. Castlebar have already done fantastic to reach the final for some they have exceeded expectations. AI can be won however St Vincents are superb side and they have experience of winning it in 2008.

    Sad news about Cooper gone for the season at his age hes unlikely to ever reach the level he was at.

  10. Agree. He’s the classiest footballer I’ve ever seen along with Maurice Fitz. Real shame he won’t be playing in 2014- love watching him, a pure genius. That first half v Dubs last year was beyond belief

    Awful news for Kerry though. I don’t think they’d much chance of winning Sam anyway but their chances are now zero IMO.

  11. Poor g o o c h big loss for Kerry cork will prob win Munster now. Looking forward to Kerry in 2weeks is it at home.

  12. Mayo mark
    “Better win” means they really need to win this one for club and county.
    Colm Boyle in the league semi a few years back, wouldn’t take no for an answer and got his result by fighting through

    That’s what I pray Castlebar players and subs do.
    I know they’ll do they’re best, lets hope it’s enough
    Sorry for the confusion.

  13. Its a new look Cork team this year they have better talent coming through having won three in a row Munster U21 titles and they would be due a home game against Kerry this summer. Without Gooch and others retired Kerry have uphill task to hold onto their Munster title and avoid relegation in the league.

    Mayo should beat them in 2 weeks.

  14. They still have mark o Shea and o donoghue and they are dangerous. Wonder will mayo bring in any of the Mitchell’s lads and one last thing when is the u 21 game against the rossies

  15. Sad to hear this too. I have immense respect for Gooch – a superb footballer and by all accounts a gent off the field as well. Our football season will be poorer without his presence, as will Kerry’s … mind you, I still can’t bring myself to write them off..!

  16. Na with Galvin and O’Se gone it would have been a massive ask, never mind Gooch

    They’re an aging team and have huge mileage on the clock with no one really of any significant note coming through yet, bar O’Donoghue

    I’ve been writing them off since losing to us in league semi 12 myself, though many thought/think I was mad!!!

    They’d now be my 7th or 8th faves for Sam this year tbh with this news

  17. Barry Moran has to start mid

    I’d always start Feeney, but it won’t happen

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Cunniffe was only starter come champ though

    You can forget about Kerry they’ve no hope of winning Sam

  18. Cooper is a huge loss for Kerry. Apparently they are going Loo Laa down in The kingdom over the tackle that got him injured. Best of luck to the Gooch in his recovery. He’s more than a class act.

  19. Bookies are rarely wrong and I just read that after the sad news about the Gooch, Kerry’s odds have gone out from 6-1 to 9-1. That’s testament to his value to the Kerry score lines in the games he plays in! And no county has a replacement as good in the wings for Colm Gooch Cooper!

  20. Need a target man in the forwards have Barry Moran fits the bills there he is stong what p durcan and t king should they be on the mayo panel too,

  21. Below is a link to an Interview with the Dr. Crokes manager after the game against Castlebar Mitchels (at the end of the match report).

    http://www.radiokerry.ie/sport/heartbreak-again-for-dr-crokes/

    Most Kerry and GAA fans in general are saying that it was an accidental challenge that injured The Gooch. I add my own comments to all of the others and wish a speedy recovery to Colm Cooper. I’m sure like all other GAA fans, we hope to see him back playing to his best sometime in the future. He is one of the best players to ever play the game.

  22. They can go loo laa all they want but it was a legitimate attempt by Ger to block Coopers shot. Its very unfortunate for him to suffer such a serious injury as a result of the contact bit there’s little point in Kerry folk in trying to apportion blame.

  23. Have been impressed with both Moran and Kirby for Mitchells. They have good understanding and would give JH a great physical presence up front. Maybe we already have our own Murphy – just have to give it a chance !

  24. Jaypers, it sounds like hes very upset in that interview and really annoyed about the injury.
    Too bad about gooch, a proper footballer and though I don’t know him he seems like a nice lad from what I hear.
    Get well soon gooch.
    Final word about the Crokes manager, 130,000 plus Mayo people know how he feels, sincere commiserations, it’s a killer but life goes on.

  25. Without Cooper the odds will become larger on Kerry however with so few top sides i doubt there is 7 or 8 teams better than them.

    Dublin,Mayo certainly

    Cork hard to know with so much change themselves

    Donegal can they find their 2012 form?

    Tyrone maybe

    Kildare,Meath,Monaghan no i don’t think so..

  26. Let them go Loo Laa. From my experience with some of the kerry supporters they would want to learn from the motto, “humility in victory & dignity in defeat”. What was the defender to do? Let him shoot on goal unhindered?? These things happen in any contact sport and us, as Mayo supporters, have been on the wrong end of many unfortunate injury situations but we just get on with it. Flanagans hamstring, Moran knee, Cillians shoulder, Cunniffes hamstring etc. etc.
    I feel very sorry for Gooch as he is an outstanding example of how the game should be played but I couldn’t care less if the Kerry supporters are going Loo Laa or not.

  27. Well done Hopesprings – what an interview with the Crokes Manager!

    As for his remark that the opponent would be jailed in Kerry for the Cooper foul… can’t see that Tom Cunniffe did anything except put a hand on his shoulder.

  28. Barry Moran an option at FF for Mayo?

    Sorts out the Moran/O’Shea/O’Shea conundrum anyway

    Saying that, I still think Freeman is the man, but will James pick him? The fact he only got about a 5 min cameo v Tyrone doesn’t bode too well for him IMO

    I’d like Moran at mid but if Horan is not going to sway from the two O’Sheas maybe he’ll look at Barry for full…

  29. Yep. No Sam for Kerry this year, and with Galvin and TomΓ‘s O SΓ© gone and no Gooch until 2015, they are now officially in transition mode. They haven’t won Sam for 5 years, which as we all know is considered a ‘famine’ in Kerry. Well, they may settle in and get used to it for a couple more years, God love them. They might even start to appreciate how lucky they’ve been to see the great teams they’ve seen.

    Really hope we meet them in the All-Ireland semi now. A Mayo annihilation of Kerry in a championship game would be deeply satisfying.

    Mind you, with those three stars gone, Kerry will have a real job on their hands to get out of Munster.

  30. To be fair Freeman is a good target man and was playing that role superbly in the AI final before that infamous subsitution.

    Can’t agree on other two, not to be harsh but I thought Durcan was average, though obviously the 2 goals aside. I’m not even sure he’ll make the under 21 team never mind senior panel.

    King just isn’t physical enough and the likes of Doc, Mickey C, Andy, COC, even Varley are better corner forward options as is Regan but who knows the story there

  31. Yeah Cork would be my roaring favourites win Munster and Kerry could be very vulnerable in back door then (depends on draw though). Any Ulster team or leinster team coming through with momentum could well smell blood.

    Saying that I just keep getting a weird feeling we’ll meet them in quarters. I’d take that in an instant now by the way.

    MO2014- I’d have Dub, Mayo, Cork, Donegal, Tyrone and Kildare all ahead of them I think. I know Kildare flatter to deceive more often than not of recent but I really rate their new manager and they have good young players coming through

  32. I cannot agree with your assessment of King. OK, he is no giant, but neither is Gooch or O’Donoghue and they are the two top forwards in the game. King has the fitness and stamina levels needed and certainly has the balance, pace and acceleration we badly need in the full forward line. On top of all that, as a result of his soccer skills and training, when he is in front of goal his focus is UNDER the crossbar as opposed to hard and slightly over it!
    For all their endeavour and commitment to the cause I cannot see how Varley and Doherty would be considered so far ahead of him.

  33. He could easily pick all three and have them rotating. Moran was rotating between the forwards and midfield the last day and it was a success for Holmes. However like everyone in inside line a big FF is only reliable depending on ball delivered into him. One player so that is necessary is Richie Feeney.
    He was injured the last day and withdrawn in second half. Still he scored 2 points from play and set up Moran twice with the kind of ball a big FF wants. First goal came from a long ball into space between FB and 1/2 back line. And the second was a high ball beautifully flighted into Moran’s path and on bad side for full back. Moran then got the chance to knock it down perfectly to an on rushing forward and King was there to capitalise. Rest is history.

    Not sure when Castlebar fellas will be back though to help the County team. Certainly not prior to the AICF.

  34. Wouldn’t the following forward line be interesting to try out sometime for the Craic on an unsuspecting back line? With the freedom to chop and change and mix it up as they saw fit.

    McLoughlin Cillian o Connor Adam Gallagher

    Aidan o Shea Andy Moran Barry Moran

    With Seamus o Shea and Jason Gibbons or Tom Parsons at MF.
    It would pose a whole new set of problems for any defence!

  35. Tough on Cooper and on Kerry. Hes a brilliant player and irreplaceable. Cant understand why or how they could apportion blame to anyone. It was just unfortunate and wasn’t anybodys fault.

  36. Don’t know if anyone else heard but I’ve been told that Richie Feeney has been carrying a groin injury and had to have an injection before the game last Sunday.

    I hope it doesn’t end up being chronic condition, because he’s a player Mayo needs involved (as we all regret from the AIF last September). He tough, fearless, direct running team player, and with a combination of belief and skill, he’s very under-rated as a point scorer. I wish him an Castlebar the very best on March 17th.

    Also, anyone got an update on how is Aidan Kilcoyne is recovering from that serious freak knee dislocation injury early last October before the club quarter-final v Ballintubber?Remember his killer 3-3 that knocked Ballina out of the championship just last September.
    I wonder when is Aido expected back training again?

  37. I’d say you can forget about Kilcoyne. Awful hard luck on the lad, hope he’s coming along ok

    Agree completely on Feeney always a great lad for a score. He was superb v Ros he’d actually always be one of the first guys on my teamsheet

  38. Now now lads, less of that snipping – remember the boss has asked that in his absence, we might try and keep the comments between the hedges πŸ™‚

  39. I agree with b Moran at full forward but cillian should be in the corner where he is a real treat wonder will he be back for rematch with dubs.

  40. Mayo v Cork game down for March 16th to be switched to Saturday evening 15th in Mchale park if Cork agree to it.This is to allow parade go ahead on Sunday and all of Castlebar go to croker on Monday

  41. Following on from the tackle by Tom Cunniffe that caused that unfortunate cruciate ligament injury to Colm Cooper, is there now a danger that the Ref will target Castlebar Mitchels players in the final ?

  42. I thought it wasn’t Tom that made the tackle, no?
    It’s rotten to lose cooper for any length of time, just a great skillful player and plays the game like it should be played, even if he helped beat us.
    I think it’s over for him, age and injury might knock it out if him.

  43. The news that Colm also suffered a fracture to complicate the injury and extend his recovery time is very sad. But I do believe he will be back, Henry Shefflin has proved that being in ones thirties is not a deciding factor. I certainly hope to see him playing again, but perhaps not against Mayo.

  44. Yeah Mayo McHale, its a good point to make about the ref but again we should be thinking that if the Mitchels put in their best performance and play to their potential, we should not be worrying about the ref. The result will look after itself. Whoever is the best team, should win the game and the ref should have no bearing on that. The top teams don’t worry about the refs.

  45. The one thing that I notice from the tackle is, if you look at both of the players involved in the tackle, they both have their eyes on the ball, to see if it’s going over the bar, as the tackle is been made. This is what leads me to believe that it was just a very unfortunate accident. Both players were concentrated on the ball, and where it was going, not the player, as they both then collide with each other after the incident. Ironically if they had been looking at the player, they probably would have realised they were going to bump into each other, with The Gooch, in the middle. Best of luck to him anyway and fingers crossed that he will come back a better player.

  46. In normal circumstances HopeSpringsEternal, that would be true, but with Vincent’s having more or less a home match and probably a two to one advantage in support, the temperament of the Ref, whoever he may be, will be severely tested. Lets hope for Mitchel’s sake it doesn’t come to that……

  47. Yeah Mayo McHale, it would be sickening alright if a few decisions went against them, that caused them to lose the game. It’ll be interesting to see who is appointed to ref the game. The couple of early yellow cards that Mayo got in the 2012 All-Ireland final didn’t help our cause. Fingers crossed that the ref will do a good job.

  48. I don’t think either of those factors are true – this will be Vincents’ first appearance in Croke Park since the 2008 All-Ireland final and the experience of playing there on an occasion like this will be as new to them as it will to the Castlebar lads. Also the support for Vincents is likely to come primarily from Marino and around and won’t attract the fair weather crowd that follow the Dubs so I doubt it’ll be anything like two-to-one against Castlebar on the day.

  49. It wasn’t Tom Cunniffe that collided with Cooper, I think it may have been one of the midfielders but defo wasn’t Tom. There was no uproar that there was anything deliberate about the tackle to cause the injury, from what I saw it was just unfortunate for Cooper what happened. So Castlebar should have nothing to fear on Paddys Day. If anything they are the fairytale story of the year and may actually benefit from some decisions against Vincents. Hoping to be there on the day myself to cheer them on. Anyone pondering going i’d highly recommend it. It’s a great day in Croker at the club final. I was there in 2001 & 2003 watching Crossmolina and in 1999 & 2005 watching Ballina. Very enjoyable victories in 2001 and 2005! Hope the lads can make 2014 as enjoyable on 17th

  50. *** Colm Parkinson did try to make a (fairly poor) attempt to pin the injury on Castlebar on Twitter but he was fairly shot down by a few good Mayo folk πŸ™‚

  51. I agree Trevor Naughton, the Club finals make for a great day in Croke Park and the atmosphere usually is second to none. And yes I was there too, watching Crossmolina and Ballina do their stuff, and I will be cutting short our weekend away to be there for the Mitchels too – mind you the wife ain’t to happy, but needs must. In reading your piece Trevor I notice you weren’t there to support Knockmore in the 97 final, tut-tut πŸ™‚

  52. In fairness, most of the Kerry folk too, have not really been blaming the Castlebar Mitchels lads for the injury, I came across the below comment on one of the Kerry GAA forumns:

    (Noting wrong with the challenge. Best forward in the game, bearing down on goal, defender dives to execute a block, Gooch is too quick, freakishly gets sandwiched between two desperate defenders. Pure bad luck is all it was, they hard;y pulled a dirty stroke all game, very good footballing side.)

  53. Saw my first Vincent’s car flag in Marino today. The hype machine is cranking up! πŸ˜‰ Mine must be one of the few cars parked in that part of town with yellow and red hanging on the rear view mirror.

    Any word on the ref yet? I doubt it’ll have too much of a bearing to be honest. I’d be far more worried about Mossy Quinn myself …

  54. Yes Mossy Quinn is a class act alright, definitely the ace in the pack for Vincents, and Mitchels are going to have to do a two man marking job on him from the start.

  55. Can understand why t cunnife is getting the blame on cooper s challenge it is not fair on him. He was just going for the ball.

  56. Tom Cunniffe is not getting the blame for Cooper’s injury. Where are you getting that from? Cooper dummied to Toms right and Tom went. But Cooper jinks to Toms left and Tom was gone. Nobody does this like the Gooch. Its actually beautiful to watch. Cooper gets a rapid shot away as Ger McDonagh rushes in to get a block on the shot. Ball goes over the bar but McDonagh collides with Coopers leg. All happened in an instant. No malice from any player. Hope he recovers soon as our game needs Colm Coopers

  57. I really hope he is brought back in – still only 22 but very strong and is the type of player that will cover the entire area of the pitch – very good at disposessing opponents and well able to kick points from distance.

  58. I am sure the attack was launched from the ‘grassy knoll’…or then again it may have been the Library??……

  59. Take a listen to the Radio Kerry interview with the Crokes manager who says the Mitchels player would be jailed in Kerry if such a foul was committed!

  60. And there was I thinking they were only found in Turkey and Spain – you couldn’t be up to those Vincents crowd πŸ™‚

  61. Diehard at least you have addressed the 11 issue with coc there. People are failing to mention we will not win an all Ireland until u put a natural forward at 11. this higgins thing is nonsense. I’d also say you have to have either barry or aidan inside, cant have both. Would say aidan inside myself. Moran probably more mobile

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