This is just a quick early morning update from over here (I won’t annoy you by banging on about the sun shining brightly all day, but it is) to report that, to be honest, I haven’t really a whole pile to say.
I did a quick sweep through the papers just now and the only stories of note concern Donegal, with the Irish Independent and the Irish Examiner both reporting that their injury concerns are easing and that Eamonn McGee (almost certainly) and Karl Lacey (more than likely) will feature for them on Saturday.
They’re obviously carrying other bumps and bruises too, a fact that Rory Gallagher alludes to in that Indo piece above. The Donegal manager adds, however, that the quick turnaround they have to deal with can be as much a positive as a negative, citing Tyrone’s surge from the qualifiers to the All-Ireland back in 2005.
He’s definitely got a point there. While failing to win your province puts you in a bit of a hole, the momentum gained from winning a few matches on the spin thereafter can give a team serious acceleration going into the All-Ireland series. It does, though, mean you have to take down one of the provincial champions in the quarters to get back to the position you’d have been in if you won your own province but, once you’ve done that, then the earlier provincial defeat becomes just a historical footnote.
In this respect, I think we shouldn’t be laying too much stress on Donegal being a tired team, carrying loads of injuries and all that. If they beat us on Saturday evening, they’ll have three whole weeks to rest, recuperate and prepare for an All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin so I think we can expect them to bust a proverbial gut to get to that position.
There’s nothing about us in the nationals, though obviously there’s plenty of stuff by now in the locals but time doesn’t permit me to have a wander in that direction at the minute, I’m afraid. There should, I think, be some information released today on ticketing for the game so watch out for that if it does appear.
Finally, Elaine from the Smart Lotto team that’s working with the Official Mayo GAA Players Fund Lotto account has been on to ask me if I could give a plug for the Play, Like & Share competition they’re running which gives a chance to win tickets for Saturday’s game. This is running on Facebook and full details are here.