There’s a wall of football coming at us over the next week or so and because of this there’s a bit of stuff worth reporting on about what’s in the offing.
Starting with the seniors, this piece by Daniel Carey in the Mayo News confirms that Andy Moran didn’t make the bench last Sunday due to shoulder ligament trouble and that he’s now facing the proverbial race against time to be available for selection for Sunday’s crunch encounter with the Donkey Ayters. The same report states that Andy’s place on the bench last Sunday was taken by Tom Parsons, now happily recovered from that nasty lung problem he picked up early in the Kildare match. Aside from Andy and the other longer-term absentees (and the Mitchels lads and, most likely, the U21s) it looks as if we’ll be selecting from a full deck (well, sort of) for the Cork game.
Sunday’s match will, by the way, be a double-header at MacHale Park, with the hurlers’ NHL Division 2B match against Wicklow acting as the curtain-raiser, where the action gets underway at 12.45pm throw-in. That match had been switched to Tooreen but it’s now going ahead at Castlebar instead, which obviously makes buckets of sense.
Before then, of course, comes tomorrow night’s do-or-die U21 Connacht championship preliminary round showdown between ourselves and Roscommon. After four years of plenty at this level between 2006 and 2009, we’ve since had to endure four years of provincial defeat – three times to tomorrow night’s opposition and the other time to Galway – during which time we haven’t even managed to reach the Connacht final, let alone win it.
Hopefully Niall Heffernan and his young charges will be able to halt this long and rather galling losing run tomorrow night in what’s set to be a real cracker of a contest under the lights at MacHale Park, where throw-in is scheduled for 7.30pm. Details on where to buy tickets for this match are here and with an entrance fee of just €10 with kids free you could find far worse ways to while away the evening. The Mayo News has a preview of the match – here.
It’s worth noting too that should we prevail in that game tomorrow night our semi-final, which would be at home to Sligo, has been fixed for the following Wednesday (19th). One fence at a time, though.
The All-Ireland club final is getting ever nearer too. I don’t know what the atmosphere is like in Castlebar at the present time (though I hope to get a whiff of same at the weekend) but it’s coming nicely to the boil up here. The little lad went off to school today in his Vinnies gear and came home well satisfied with the day’s festivities, not least the no homework bit. Oh to be young again.
The Mayo News have a cracking supplement for the club final, as I’m sure the other local papers have too (but I’m not in them so I won’t plug them too hard) and included in this are this piece on Aidan Walsh and Sean Rice’s analysis (which I’d disagree with when he says that Vincents have “confidence bordering on arrogance” but, of course, you’d expect me to say that). Best go out and buy the paper, though, for the full experience.
Final point, also on the club final – CRC FM will be presenting ‘The Final’ live from An Sportlann this coming Thursday (13th) from 8 pm to 9.30 pm. If you can’t make it on the night it’ll also be on the wireless at 102.9 FM where an evening of music, entertainment and discussion about the big day in Croke Park is promised.