Saturday’s All-Ireland minor football replay will be broadcast live on RTE (presumably on RTE 2), though I’m not sure if they’re giving it the full Podge and Rodge Sunday Saturday Game Live treatment. Coverage gets underway at 2.15pm ahead of the 2.30pm throw-in at Pearse Park.
It’s good that it’s on the telly but those of you who are able-bodied and have the means to get to Longford on Saturday shouldn’t assume you’re off the hook. The lads need a big Mayo crowd there to roar them on to victory and so, despite the TV coverage, the full mobilisation order for supporters remains in force. Ray Dempsey, speaking to the Mayo News in the aftermath of the drawn game, said that the players would welcome the opportunity “to play in front of their home support” and it’s up to us to make sure that this happens. Anyone who hasn’t seen this team in the flesh since the Connacht final is sure to see a significantly more cohesive and kick-ass unit than the one that managed, somewhat fortunately, to squeeze past the Sheepstealers that day in July.
Saturday’s upcoming replay keeps taking me back in my mind to the 1983 U21 final replay. We should have won at the first time of asking in that one too, having led Derry for virtually the whole game, only to concede a sucker-punch goal (direct from a 14 yard free, taken by Damien Barton if memory serves me right) right at the end. By the way, for those looking for spooky similarities, that U21 team beat Roscommon in the Connacht final and saw to the Kingdom in the semi-final but the similarities that I see relate more to the team’s great spirit, the number of leaders they have on the pitch, their sheer style and will to win. So while you’ll be able to see this special team on the telly on Saturday, the only proper place to do so is in Pearse Park itself.
By the way, the Mayo News has a match report on the drawn game from Sean Rice (we got a free awarded against us for that perfectly legal swarm that’s pictured in the report, didn’t we?), a good analysis piece from An Spailpin and Kevin McStay’s column, all of which are worth a look.
RTE are also reporting that Tyrone’s captain Ryan Pickering will miss the replay as he broke his collarbone in the match at Croke Park. I’m not sure how bad a blow that is for them but it’s obviously an unwelcome development from their point of view and it will of course mean that there’s at least one change to the Red Hand’s team next Saturday.