Royal audience this Sunday

I mentioned the upcoming challenge match with Meath in a post last week and, in doing so, erroneously said that the match is taking place on Sunday week, the 18th. It isn’t – it’s on this Sunday, for the very good reason that the Royals open their Leinster Championship campaign on the 18th when they face the Scallion Ayters at Croker (where they share a double-bill with the Short Grass County and the Goat Suckers). In my defence, the error was really one made by the Mayo News, as I was only cogging what they wrote.

With Meath all fired up for their Championship opener (well, the few of them that aren’t under suspension at the moment) we can expect a robust challenge down in Dunderry on Sunday. Perhaps not as robust as this but a good work-out is in prospect nonetheless. I was hoping to take a trip down there myself but I think there’s already something else in the diary for Sunday so it looks as if I’ll have to give it a miss.

Incidentally, on the subject of the Royals and suspensions, Meath GAA blogger Ronan made a very good point recently about the inconsistency in how the Meath-Dublin brawl was handled compared to the equally violent outbreak that occurred the same day between Cork and Armagh. The difference between the two was that the cameras were on hand at Parnell Park to capture the donnybrook there and because the Dubs were involved, a salivating media pack was also in tow so the story got saturation coverage. In contrast, there was bugger all coverage of the battle up in Armagh and so the lads involved up there got off scot-free. As one who joined the post-fight lynch mob in relation to the events at Parnell Park, I have to hold my hands up on this one as well. You’re dead right, Ronan: searching for consistency in what the GAA does can be a thankless task at times.

11 thoughts on “Royal audience this Sunday

  1. I’ve had a look around a few sites and can’t find any details on the throw-in time but I’ll keep looking and post the time if find it.

    It looks as if the Royals will be well up for it, though: according to the Meath Chronicle they’re in Portugal on a training camp this week and we’ll be playing them just after they get back. There could be skin and hair flying in Dunderry!

    It would be great to see Mac back alright, we live in hope I suppose.

  2. What time is the throw in for the Meath game Willie Joe? After 1996 I never saw us as contenders for playing them in a challenge. Time is a great healer. This time in 2004 MacD made his comeback for Mayo in a challenge in Lucan or Leixlip , it will take time to heal this fall out .Will he appear in the game against Meath? So long.

  3. According to the Dunderry site on hoganstand its at 6:30 pm in the evening. I found it a few mins ago. Thanks for alerting us to the date change.

  4. Thanks for that, lads, beat me to it. If it’s an evening throw-in, I might be able to make it. Hmmm …

  5. At the (very great) risk of annoying people here, I would like to raise (hell) and a few other issues regarding Ciaran MacDonald. Clearly he was one of the most talented players in the game, and when he was on form he was a joy to watch, taking control of the game and bending it to his will.
    But, I would suggest that Johnno has thought very carefully about what he is doing by allowing this situation to develop.
    One of the things that kills team spirit is managers appearing to play favourites, allowing one player leeway which another may not get. Jimmy Nallen went to the trial game alright. Mac should have swallowed his pride, and turned up, at least in civvies, and not expected special priviliges based on his past deeds.
    This is not Johnno cruelly tossing aside a great player who had given great service but part of the necessary management of a team. Mac knows how these things go, he is long enough playing.
    I suppose no player thinks it will happen to them…

    Johnno must weigh up whether he can foster a team mentality strong enough to make up for the loss of Mac, I’m sure he’ll be looking for other players to take on the mantle themselves instead of looking for him every time they have the ball- Most teams in the country know how he will play every game- and the know how the rest of the Mayo team will play when he is there.

    If he was disciplined enough to play to a more rigid format, rather than to his own ideas, I think he would be of more use to Mayo. Perhaps I lack the necessary romance in my soul to view his meanderings into the half back line as an expression of his free spirit. I understand how he can be seen as part mystical warrior (which is, I’m told, the popularly held veiw in Mayo) but sometimes I just think he is tactically undisciplined. Maybe it’s the recent joyless, dour utilitarian influence that’s affecting me. Mentioning no particular province in particular…

    Now Willie Joe, (spotted the man himself there a few weeks ago, he’s looking hale and hearty) I realise posting this on a Mayo GAA blog is tantamount to a declaration of war, but I really feel that the sentimental views ye hold towards this man are at variance with the perception of him in other counties. And with that grand sentence, I will finish.

  6. I don’t think it is a declaration of war – there’s nothing wrong at all with the honest opinion expressed by someone from outside the county who doesn’t appear to have an axe to grind. In any event, if you’ve been following the online debate (on either or you’ll have seen that a Johnno-Mac fatigue has now stilled the debate!

    Your point about team spirit and all that is well made and it could well be the case that this is Johnno’s aim. Likewise, you could be right that we could be accused of veering towards the sentimental in terms of our viewpont on Mac and his contribution to the team.

    For my money, however, he’s the most naturally gifted forward we’ve produced in the past 15 years and, at 33, he still has something to offer. While we have a number of decent forwards, they’re all more or less of a certain level, whereas Mac, on his day, has the ability to operate on a different level entirely. If he’s fit – which he says he is – he’s got to be in the panel and not just for sentimental reasons either. Sadly, however, it looks like this now isn’t going to happen.

  7. Sorry to chide innocent bystander but the perception I have found in other counties re. MacDonald does not tally with his. A quick trawl through recent Dublin and Kerry sites on Hoganstand will verify that. Of course he is different and thats what made him. The only county I know that shackled him was Kerry. Give me the romance and the mythical warriors any day. I am heartily sick of “utiliterian” Ulster teams with their boring work ethic killing a fine game. Recently we have had Monaghan huffing and puffing their wares. Let romance live, most counties will not win the All Ireland, then lets be remembered for throwing a bit of sparkle in. God knows we are sick of the likes of Dublin and their sledging allied to muscle flopping at the cut off stage each year. Football is for winning of course but its for enjoying as well. I for one am glad that we in Mayo throw up the odd “flawed genius” on occassions. Thats why bands like the Saw Doctors can stitch in the other Willie Joe to their song. Cannot imagine a Meath band trying to insert a line about Ciaran Whelan in one of their songs.

  8. Thanks Willie Joe,

    I hope that Meath can field a decent team given the injuries and suspensions.

    The Meath County Board has not done us proud with its appeal to the five suspensions they received after Parnell Park. According to news reports they are looking to get off on a technicality — the presence of a Wexford official on the original CCCC investigating committee. Crazy stuff.

    Then there was a brawl in a club championship match between Trim and Kilmainham Wood. Given the County Board’s reaction to the suspensions the Meath players received for the Dublin brawl it doesn’t look like they will be too heavy handed in punishing those involved.

    Consistency. Pah!


    PS Ciaran Mac is welcome to transfer to Meath. Himself and Geraghty would make a great forward pairing. 🙂

  9. Mac and GG would strike fear into plenty of backlines alright, Ronan. Maybe Graham should head West – there seems to be more votes for Blueshirts over there!

  10. Well ontheroad, I am no fan of the current obsession with muscule over skill, but unfortunately I think it’s only the legitimate response of counties to the rules as they are currently being applied. Perhaps it’s because building muscle can partly compensate for years not acquiring skills. “If we can’t bate them at football, we’ll just bate them” seems to be Pillars attitude.
    Don’t get me wrong here, Willie Joe, my point is not whether Mac the player would be an addition to the squad- It seems everyone is in agreement on that. But it strikes me that if he had a similar attitude as Jimmy Nallen it would have avoided alot of hassle for all. It can be debated whether Mayo need to move on from their dependence on him if they are to prosper. I still think Johnno would have been better getting him to stick closer to the opposition goal than he was inclined to, but he obviously felt he needed to wield the scalpel instead. At this stage,if he came back into the team it would be saying to the other panel members ” your work over the last few months was for nothing, this lad can come in at the start of May and it makes no difference”
    He may have destroyed his chances of returnng by giving the indo that interview- anyway if he did return it would create a media furore focusing the spotlight on the team, something Johnno would not be keen on!

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