As diehard said in the comments last night – this is it, time for the talking to end and the action to start. I’m heading west in a bit under two hours from now and I’m aiming to be parked up and ready for the fray well before this evening’s 5 pm throw-in time.
I’m looking forward to what the day may hold, in particular to see how well we’ve recovered from our last competitive outing, which will, in turn, provide plenty of insight into how the rest of 2010 is likely to pan out for us. While we’re strong favourities with the bookies to win – an outlook, not surprisingly, shared by those responding to the poll here (where 87% of respondents said we’d win) – Sligo come into the game brimming with confidence and, if what I’m hearing is correct, emphatically expecting to see their lads record what would be just their fifth championship win over us eighty years. In front of their home fans, on a roll from their good league campaign and managed by the formidable Kevin Walsh, they have every chance of doing one on us today but, providing our lads pitch up at Markievicz with the correct mindset and an application for a hard evening’s shift, we shouldn’t be lacking in confidence about our own chances either.
But, as I said at the outset, the time for words is now over (well, until after the match at least). It’s been a long time since I was last in Markievicz Park (our 1983 Connacht championship clash, I think) and it’s been a fair while (though not anywhere as long as that) since I’ve seen Ben Bulbin’s majestic outline. It’ll warm the heart to see it again later this afternoon and I’m hoping that our lads’ performance this evening will be one to lift the spirits too. ‘Till afterwards, hombres.