As some of you may know by now, bi-location powers or, failing that, ready access to a helicopter will be needed for hardcore Mayo supporters this coming Saturday. Our first round qualifier date with Longford at Pearse Park at 7 pm will have been in most people’s diaries since the draw was made the other week but it now transpires that this date clashes with the minors’ first round Connacht championship tie with Roscommon at McHale Park, where throw-in has been fixed by the Connacht Council for 5 pm the same evening.
I know that two different sets of suits (or patterned jumpers, as the case may be) were involved in sorting out the dates for these two fixtures but you’d think that it wouldn’t have been beyond the intellectual capabilities of those involved to spot the obvious fixture clash and to shift one of the matches – most likely the minor one, which could easily have been moved to the following afternoon – so that people who want to take in both could be accommodated.
Instead, we’re left with the ludicrous situation of one Mayo team ending a championship match at one location while, around seventy miles or so away, a second Mayo team will be taking the field to start another one. You couldn’t make this shit up.
Personally, it doesn’t inconvenience me as I had only ever intended to go to the qualifier match in Longford. However, I’d say there are plenty of punters who’d be more than happy to get to both games but they’ll now have to choose which team they’d rather shout for on Saturday evening. With the Johnno II era now obviously tottering towards its ignominious end while Tony Duffy’s reign as minor boss is only starting, I’d say that a fair few supporters will choose the brave beginnings option and head for the minor match at McHale Park, which in turn could mean an even smaller Mayo following for the seniors over in Pearse Park.