It’s not just the financial markets that have had a mental week: my own work one has been loopier than normal and I’m truly glad that Friday evening has finally come around once more. So, U8 hurling commitments in the morning notwithstanding, I think a few slurps of craft beer will be on the agenda a bit later on tonight.
I’ve enjoyed the debate that’s been rumbling on here over the last few days and I really should have brought your attention before now to this piece by Ed McGreal in the Mayo News about Aidan O’Shea and this troublesome, deep-seated injury of his. The details of what’s exactly up with the Big Lad are all a bit medical school – what with talk of the osteitis pubis, the rectus sheath and so forth – but the good news is that he appears to be on the mend and should be okay for the summer.
The extent to which this issue has been a real pain in the pubic area for Aido is evidenced by the revelation that he’s been carrying the injury since the Connacht semi-final against Galway almost a year ago. In that report linked above, it’s stated that Aidan may have to undergo surgery before the year is out to sort the issue definitively but it seems that for this year’s campaign he’s going to manage it as best he can with rehab and so forth. Which does kinda beg the question about what happens if that doesn’t work but I guess that’s where the lad with the scalpel comes into the equation.
In that same Mayo News piece, it’s reported that Danny Kirby’s luck with injuries hasn’t changed either, as he now has a hamstring pull to recover from. On the credit side, Tom Cunniffe made his first appearance of the year for Castlebar Mitchels in a recent league game.
We may have a full five weeks to wait until our first outing in this year’s championship but, shite weather or no shite weather, the summer’s action gets underway properly this coming weekend. And with matches down for decision in all four provinces on Sunday, the GAA appears at last to have awoken to the fact that it needs to announce the championship’s arrival on the scene with a bit more fanfare than has occurred in recent years.
From our perspective, the clash between Roscommon and Galway at Hyde Park on Sunday (throw-in 4pm, live on RTÉ 2) is clearly the one of greatest interest. Sure, the days of shit-or-bust provincial games are long gone but that doesn’t mean that it’s a clash that either county will want to lose, given that the reward for doing so is an entry ticket into Round 1 of the qualifiers. Ewan McKenna, previewing the game in The Score, reckons that Hyde Park is where we could see the first shock result of the summer and I think that’s an assessment I’d be inclined to agree with.
Prior to that clash between the Sheepstealers and the Herrin Chokers, we’re aiming for provincial glory (after a fashion) in the day’s curtain-raiser, which is the Connacht Junior final where we face off against the Tribesmen (throw-in 2pm). Like the great 1950 senior team, this particular Mayo side were given a bye straight into the provincial final, when both Leitrim and Roscommon failed to go to post. All they have to do now to keep the comparison going is to go on and claim the county’s sixth All-Ireland title at this level and our first since 1997. No pressure then, lads. By the way, full details on the Mayo junior team and subs for Sunday’s decider are available here.
Finally, if you want to take part in this year’s championship prediction mini-league, via facetheball.com, you’ll need to get your skates on as closing time for the first week’s predictions is 3.30pm this coming Sunday. There’s a bumper field of 46 signed up for this year’s competition, one that includes all three previous championship mini-league winners, so you won’t be able to see yourself for all the elbows that’ll be swinging once the action gets going on Sunday. If you still fancy joining the fun and games, details on how to do so are here.
Right – time for that beer, I reckon.