It’s already Wednesday, the match takes place on Saturday and, for many of those planning to go to Pearse Park, that lumbering semi-State hulk called An Post stands in the way like a great, big, moth-eaten colossus. The logistics of getting all the right tickets into all the right hands within six days was always going to be a challenge but when, as one of the lads on gaaboard.com has pointed out, Ticketmaster can’t issue tickets in pdf form via email and have instead to post them out, then the challenge is even greater. I don’t want to alarm anyone but have you seen ComReg’s latest figures on An Post’s delivery performance?
In other words, today is the day for getting tickets sorted out. The excellent Club Mayo Dublin website has some excellent information on the various options (some of which fall well short of excellent) that are available for sourcing match tickets. This information isn’t only for the benefit of us pampered metropolitans either – ye lads in wellies also need to take note and take action accordingly. It seems that Ticketmaster could be the best option but only if the tickets are in the post today and, even then, you could still find yourself pacing the hall on Friday morning waiting for the postman to arrive. Anyone who can source tickets via their clubs should probably do so, just to be on the safe side.
Pearse Park holds 18,000, most of it standing up, so we can expect a full house there on Saturday. Kevin McStay mentioned the venue yesterday in his Mayo News column when he recalled the 2006 final replay down in Ennis where Cusack Park was full to the gills and it’s worth remembering that around 24,990 of the 25,000 souls that were there were from Roscommon – do you remember it on the telly with the whole place completely awash with primrose and blue? Extrapolating from that, it looks as if demand for tickets could well outstrip supply for Saturday’s replay, which is another reason to get your shout in early.
Directions to Pearse Park are here. Coming from Dublin, you take the Sligo bypass as far as the THIRD roundabout where you turn left onto Battery Road and then turn right at the first roundabut (there’s a petrol station at this junction and some other retail outlets) onto Lisbrack Road where Pearse Park is located. From Mayo, most will opt to come through Longford town (which, on a Saturday, is guaranteed to be a major pain in the cojones as the town can be impossible to get through at the best of times) so whether you’re coming in from the N63 or the N5, you need to take a left when you reach Main Street and follow the signs for the N5, turning left at the roundabout with all those retail outlets.
There are, I know, various sneaky back roads as you approach the town, both from the N5 and the N63, which you could take to avoid the Main Street but I’ve never used them myself (and, with the motorway from Dublin – and I see they’ve now designated it as a motorway all the way to Athlone so one can, from today, really let rip on it – stretching across the Shannon, I’m unlikely to have to use them at any time in the future). A few minutes perusing Google Maps to find the back road for you (options from both the N5 and the N63 are there) could save you a lot more than that stuck in traffic with the good people of Longford come Saturday.
Okay, enough of the talking – time to get those tickets sorted.