It’s not just Mayo supporters that have been left scratching their heads after the weekend’s NFL action. While we thought for a good while yesterday that we were going to end up getting a pasting, instead tomorrow’s papers will be all about the beatings dished out by Kerry and Galway to Tyrone and Dublin respectively. And, for good measure, Derry walloped Westmeath by 14 points in today’s other Division 1 tie, a result that sees the current league champions top the table on points difference from Galway and Kerry after two rounds.
As the dust settles this evening, we’re in fifth spot in the Division, with Donegal and the two promoted counties, Dublin and Westmeath (in that order), below us. With one league point, our points difference of -2 puts us ahead of the Herrin Gutters on -8 while both Dublin (-10) and Westmeath (-19) have yet to get off the mark and are already showing signs that the step-up to the top tier could be a stretch for the both of them.
We’ve got the Lake County next at home (I’ve seen Charlestown being mentioned as the venue for this match on the 8th of March – can anyone confirm this?) so it’s reasonable to assume that we could be approaching mid-table respectability before we have to travel to Kerry and Galway over the two weekends after that. It looks as if the outcome of those two difficult away matches will determine whether or not we’ll be fighting for Division 1 survival over the course of our remaining two games. Even if this is the case, however, both of these – against the Dubs and Tyrone – are home ties and you’d have to think we’d be on for getting a result in at least one of them. If we do this and also avoid a trimming in any other matches we happen to lose, we should be okay. Brave prediction time, then: we’re going to hold our Division 1 place again this year.
I should, however, point out that I’m not the sharpest tool in the toolshed when it comes to predictions, a fact that will be revealed shortly when the Mini-League results for Week 2 come out. On a weekend of odd results, the only ones I got right were the wins for Galway, Derry and Monaghan and so I’m resigned to seeing myself still stuck in the Mini-League basement after two rounds of the action. Go on then, Johnno, have a laugh at my expense. God knows you deserve to.