As well as watching out for the weather – which, by the sounds of it, will be little changed from the kind of half-hearted ‘summer’ conditions that have been with us for the last fortnight or so – it’s always worthwhile, in looking ahead to an upcoming championship fixture, to keep a weather eye out on who is going to be in charge of proceedings on the day. Not that we can do much about it but, having taken it up the you know where from refs in the championship in each of the last two years, we have every reason to be more concerned than most about who gets the job for games involving us.
So, relax, hombres – it’s not Joe McQuillan, who will be on duty closer to home at the weekend, as he’s doing the Tyrone/Donegal Ulster semi-final. It’s not Pat McEnaney either and, with the help of the Good Lord, we won’t run into him again before he hangs up his whistle for the final time at the end of this season.
The man we have got this Sunday is Rory Hickey from Clare, who, by my reckoning, will be reffing a championship match involving us for only the second time, with his first being our comfortable win over New York the year before last. The previous September, he was the man in the middle for our drawn All-Ireland minor final against Tyrone. Our most recent encounter with him was this year’s NFL match with Cork in McHale Park back in April.