Told you, didn’t I? No sooner had I … blah, blah, blah. Well, here it is anyway.
Ronan McGarritty is injured, apparently, and, but for that, could (would?) have lined out against Derry the weekend before last, where, had he done so, he’d also have skippered the county team for the first time. Now he’s battling to be fit for Ballina’s All-Ireland semi-final with Nemo (shouldn’t they be on strike?) the weekend after next and, if they win that one, he’s unlikely to turn out for the county until the league match against Kildare at the end of March.
Mike Finnerty reports on the two challenge matches last week (against GMIT at Aghamore on Thursday and Ballina at Ballyvarey on Saturday) and he muses on who might be playing where come Summer. With BJ still feeling the after-effects of that dead leg (what does one do with a dead leg, by the way – bury it, or, perhaps, cremate it?), both John Brogan and James Kilcullen were given a run-out at no. 3. Mike reckons we’ll see David Heaney back there again in June. I’m not so sure we will.
He sees midfield coming down to a battle between Tom Parsons and Seamus O’Shea to partner Ronan. In this context may I, once again, present for your gratification The Brother’s suggestion about deploying Ronan at full-back? If both of those young bucks could do the business in the middle (maybe with DB riding shotgun), it could be a runner. It could, you know.
Mike also says that Trevor Mortimor got a run-out at both half-back and half-forward. Mort has the potential to scare the shit out of opponents so where’s best for him to do this? I can’t see him going the full 70 minutes in the half-backs but he did look useful enough there last year in the qualifiers so it might be an option.
He reckons Alan Dillon and Andy Moran are the only dead certs to start in the forwards. You’d have to add young Mort to the list: just look at his scoring stats over the past number of years. I know, I know: he has his detractors (form an orderly queue, there, lads) but, as PJ said once, “he may be a bollix but he’s our bollix”. I like Mort – that winning point against Galway in the 2006 Connacht final still lives on snugly in my memory banks – and I think he’s just too valuable to us to leave him out of our Championship team.
While Mike Finnerty concentrates on selection options for the Summer, The Voice of Experience confines himself to who’s likely to play against Donegal this coming Sunday. He reckons Tom Cunniffe will start at corner-back (so he should and all) and that Tom Parsons might also get the nod at midfield, with Brian Benson, Barry Moran and Aidan Kilcoyne in contention for places in the forwards. As I mentioned the other day, the case for giving Killer another start is now a very strong one.
Mike Finnerty has another piece that’s worth a look, which concerns the ongoing travails in the women’s game. It says something when the women’s county board can make the FAI look competent in the area of selecting a manager, don’t you think?
And that’s all the news in the Mayo News, the Mayo News, the Mayo News …