Photo: Ireland West Airport via Twitter
As the above photo taken at Knock airport this morning shows, it would appear that – with just three days to go to the All-Ireland final – we’ve moved well beyond the realms of painting sheep. I think it’s safe to conclude that the dam has now well and truly burst.
First things first – no team news as yet so no further word on the Colm and Lee situation. There’s nothing to do, I’m afraid, but to wait and see what the teamsheet says when it eventually appears.
There’s plenty in the nationals again today but the more interesting stuff this morning comes from online sources, three of them in particular.
First up is that master of the silken phrase, An Spailpín Fánach who provides this lyrical preview of Sunday’s final. An Spailpin reckons that if Donegal don’t let the occasion get to them and play the way they’ve been playing all summer then they should win but that if they don’t it could be our day.
Emmet over at Action81.com comes to much the same conclusion in his big match preview, though his analysis is based more on prose rather than poetry. Emmet – who, by the way, has got almost all of his pre-match tips right this summer – plumps for Donegal, pointing to the strength in-depth within their panel and their resolute defensive style in doing so. I think this perhaps glosses over both our own formidable panel and our defensive record this year but Sunday will, I suppose, reveal all.
Moving further along the spectrum from melody to mathematics, the excellent Don’t Foul has a stats-based analysis of various factors in the contest. The figures presented in this analysis show that while Donegal give very little away in terms of scoreable frees, they do provide the opportunity for the opposition to shoot from well out so we’ll need to see similar scoring from long-range like we did against Dublin. I think that another factor (not mentioned in the analysis) will be the reffing because it seemed to me from the Donegal-Cork match that Coldrick was swayed by the huge Donegal support and effectively reffed the match like it was a house party for them. We know Deegan is as weak as water but if he’s even-handed in his approach, we’ll either get more scoring chances from frees than Cork did or Donegal will get fewer than they did.
While we’re on the topics of previews, Conor Deegan provides his in The Score where, unsurprisingly, the Down man goes for Donegal. You’d be hard pushed, I reckon, to find a single Nordie who’d give us a chance on Sunday – they all seem to be cooing sweetly about Jimmy The Redeemer’s system and how his supermen are implementing it to perfection. We shall see.
Onto the nationals, then. The Irish Times has interviews with Aidan O’Shea and Frank McGlynn, the Irish Independent has interviews with David Clarke and Brian McEniff while the Irish Examiner has a piece on James Horan. There’s also some stuff on RTÉ, in the form of pieces reheated from interviews by Brian Carthy with Donal Vaughan and Jim McGuinness.
If it’s audio you’re looking for, then you might want to tune in to the Out in Front All-Ireland final podcast, which features Tony Boyle and John Casey. I haven’t see any word of it yet but I guess the ever popular Mayo News podcast will be available at some stage tomorrow.
Finally, the lads from Swinford have provided some video evidence of their conquering of Mount Errigal the other day. Here it is: