Four games in and we are not where we want to be in the League. Three straight league losses were a hard pill to swallow. Despite a hammering from the Rebels in round 1, the Munster lads sit below us in the table which is a reassuring fact that not all hope is lost.
The most infuriating aspect of the League this year is that the Rossies are sitting comfortably above us on six points. They dished out some payback on our behalf returning the hammering down in Pairc Ui Rinn while snatching points off Kerry and Down also. This should not sit well in Mayo.
Sure, we could take the point of view that it looks good for Connacht to have two teams in Division One and that a team other than Mayo are thriving. However, it has to be remembered, they are the noisy neighbours and they’ve gotten even louder, this must be stopped.
Yes, we are half way there and most definitely we are living on a prayer. Thankfully we have progressively been building and building since that loss down in Cork. Narrow two point losses to both Dublin and Donegal are games which could have swung either way.
Much like those two losses, our last game swung in the balance and thankfully for the first time this year, the pendulum swung in our direction. As Willie Joe mentioned in an earlier post, our record against Kerry is impeccable, in the league that is! Hopefully the Monaghan victory is the catalyst in a second half revival in the League.
We are in a position at the moment which could see us succeed, slumber or just stay stagnant. Worst case scenario: losses to Kerry and Roscommon with a win against Down almost a certainty. A relegation battle would ensue and going off recent form, it seems as if our nearest buddies would be Cork.
If it is the case that we both linger on four points and end up battling for survival, then this is a battle already lost as the head-to-head rule means they have the jump on us there. It is still wide open though and a win against Kerry on Sunday would see us leapfrog the Kingdom.
Best case scenario: three from three. If the Down game is a certainty and our record against Kerry is to stand to us, we only need to worry about the noisy neighbours. A change of venue may occur yet which would take the pressure off us in terms of going to their hunting ground and grabbing a win.
That would leave us on eight points and certainly in contention for a semi-final spot. Six points would seem to be the magic number, the last team to get relegated on a score of six was Roscommon in 2003. Since then though, any county that has reached this magic number has hung on but only just.
At the start of the campaign, I presented an opposite hypothesis to that of Stephen Rochford’s and urged for success and not just survival. You don’t know what you’ve lost until it’s gone though and Division One status is something a team of Mayo’s calibre should have tightly under their belt for next year. It is not often I admit I am wrong but I was wrong and at this stage I would be delighted with the safe six point mark.