Saturday night all right for fighting?

Okay, time is now ticking on towards our opening fixture in this year’s NFL with myself and my little Dub having already decided to eschew the delights of the Croke Park double-header and to point the car instead towards the M7 and the delights of O’Moore Park. Can’t wait.

James Horan was interviewed in the Mayo News the other day (twice, in fact, there’s a longer interview here as well) where he said he’s expecting we’ll have “an absolute battle” with the phlegmatic midlanders on Saturday night. Given their recently-found flintiness under the tutelage of former Armagh player Justin McNulty – whose approach to the job appears to be a cross between the philosophies employed by Geezer McGeeney and Jimmy “Are You Disrespecting Me?” McGuinness – that’s a reasonable assumption, I reckon, for James to be making.

Laois won promotion to Division One last year but then had an underwhelming championship – beaten well by Dublin in Leinster (I was at that one and they were piss-poor that day) and then hammered in Round 2 of the qualifiers by Kildare – so McNulty will obviously want to start his second year in charge with the O’Moore County on the right foot. With the midlanders’ hard-edged and defensive approach coming up against our bunch – whom, with Cian O’Neill on board and making his presence felt, appear to be hitting even harder than they did last year – we could be in for a feisty enough encounter under the lights on Saturday evening. It probably won’t come close to matching what happened a few weeks back at the same venue but it might be as well, all the same, for all the lads wielding clipboards  the next evening to remain in the stands where they belong.

This being the start of the proper football, there’s some discussion going on elsewhere that might be of interest to you. The match thread on gaaboard.com is here and there’s also some talk about the game (as well as other stuff) on Laoistalk.com.

We’re narrow favourites – 4/5 – with Paddy Power – details here.

We haven’t named our team yet but I understand that we’re likely to do so after training tonight. Assuming we do, I guess the first place we’ll all hear it will be via the extremely efficient Mayo GAA Twitter service so you might want to keep an eye out on that later on. Once the details are out, I’ll post them here as well.

Finally, I see the lads at Club Mayo Dublin dug out an old video I took of Andy Moran’s penalty goal the last time we played Laois in O’Moore Park, which was also under the lights, back in March 2008. Here it is:

Earlier that same evening, Conor Mortimer popped over a delicious point from play and whatever about the possible robustness of the upcoming exchanges on Saturday night it’d be nice to see Conor add to his already large points tally for the county in a similar manner to this:

6 thoughts on “Saturday night all right for fighting?

  1. Laois game will be interesting. Should be a win for us. Up the M6 to Kilbeggan turn right towards Tullamore 6/7 miles avoid Tullamore and 21 miles to Portlaoise via Mountmellick. Mayo contingent in NUIG game yesterday in Dangan played reasonably well. Neil Douglas, good; Kieran Conroy unfortunate to get the line; Jason Doherty fair enough but the one to impress was David Gavin. Papers blew all out of proportion to day concerning the end of the games. But then it is G.A.A. bashing time. Ref told player to score from the 45 as the time was up. He kicked short, the ref blew full time. The ref was “crowded” by the St. Mary’s players and after the usual verbals. It is incorrect to say that the referees room was attacked. One wonders were the reporters who had an opinion on this game in attendance?Poor standard of football. there are former Sigerson players who would cringe.

  2. Time to get the jersey out of the drawer – leaving for Laois straight after work tomorrow. Will be interesting to see the difference between the start of JH’s 2nd year and his 1st – if we can recall from our 2011 campaign, we were notoriously slow starters – I think we went in at half time in nearly every match bar Galway behind.

    Speaking of Galway, I’ve seen it reported in various places that one of four newcomers to their side this weekend is Mark Hehir. Can’t really be regarded as a newcomer if you’ve played several championship matches, can you?

  3. Good to hear Gavin played well. He struggled in the fbd final before being taken off. Alan freeman scored 1-6 in his sigerson game against Carlow IT. Four were from frees. I think the Laois game is going to be tricky. Mcnulty will have them in great shape and with them at home, as Horan says, it’s going to be a battle. I’m looking forward to it.

  4. There’s an interesting look to the spine of the DIT Sigerson team. Aidan O’Shea centrefield, Tom Parsons No 11 and Alan Freeman No 14

  5. Parsons is not intercounty standard and should not be considered again. I also reckon that Gibbons won’t make the championship panel either.

    Said it before but Aidan O’Shea should be operating at centre half forward – he caused alot of damage running in straight lines from that position last year. What let him down was his decision making – when to give and when to go. This will improve with good coaching though. He has a great eye for goal too. If he’s closer to the sticks he will be more composed when shooting.

    Looking forward to seeing the game tomorrow.

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