Looks like we’ve got the place to ourselves today, chaps, what with the bulk of the womenfolk on the planet glued to the box following the action from London. A bit like the All-Ireland in reverse, I suppose.
There’s some inter-county action on over this latest Bank Holiday weekend (you wait for ages and then two of them come along together), with the seniors playing Antrim in a challenge match on Sunday (throw-in 2.30 pm), the juniors in championship action tonight against Leitrim under the lights at Aghamore (throw-in 7.30 pm) and the hurlers facing a tough last-chance-saloon Christy Ring showdown with Kildare at McHale Park tomorrow (throw-in 2.30 pm).
Starting at the end, if you like, details of the team and subs for the hurling match are here. I see that Keith Higgins is named among the subs for this one but I doubt that he’ll see much action, unless the plan is to place him at the end of the square and rain balls in on top of him in the hope that he can make the odd Lar Corbett-esque connection with a few of them. Or something.
I don’t ever remember a inter-county championship match taking place in Aghamore before now (although I do recall that the ladies played there not that awful long ago) but we won’t have that to say after this evening’s Connacht junior championship preliminary round tie against Leitrim is held at the pretty East Mayo venue. Details on the starting fifteen and subs for this evening’s clash – for the right to face the Rossies in the semi-final next weekend – are here.
The squad seems to be a blend of up-and-coming youngsters, some of whom have featured at minor in recent years, and the kind of more grizzled honchos one expects to encounter at junior level. One name in particular leapt out at me from the teamsheet, though: Michael Conroy from Davitts at top-of-the-left. There’s a world of a difference between Aghamore in April and Croke Park in September but it’s good to see Mick lining out on a county team again and maybe this could prove a stepping-stone to a return to the fold at senior level at some stage.
More on the junior set-up under new manager John Kelly can be found in this piece by Mike Finnerty in the ever-informative Mayo News.
I’ve no more news on the senior challenge match with Antrim and I don’t expect we’ll see a team sheet for that one ahead of throw-in. I think PJ is going along to it, though, so I should have some news about it on the day.
Finally, just a quick update on the facetheball championship mini-league. Although the action starts this weekend over in the Bronx – where I see that the Exiles’ captain Dan Doona is expressing confidence of going one better than they did against Galway last year – the first round for prediction purposes isn’t until the middle of next month so there’s plenty of time before then to get the mini-league set up, which I’ll do when I’ve a bit more time. Right now, I’ve some bunting and shit to put up. T’ra!