It’s not just me that thinks this either. So do the Indo, The Oirish Times, Hogan Stand, Colm O’Rourke, Paddy Power and Uncle Tom Cobley (no link for the latter, I’m afraid, but I’m sure he does). Only RTE – who have hardly backed us to win any match so far this year – go for the Magpies.
It’s no surprise that we’re favourites facing Sligo in the Championship, especially at McHale Park, and although the Yeats County’s position as the defending Connacht champions creates an interesting new angle to tomorrow’s proceedings, I don’t think Eamon O’Hara is correct in saying that we should fear them. Well, maybe he is – “should” being the operative word. Respect them we surely do after their heroics last year but I cannot see how we’d fear them.
I think we will win, simply because with all those big men we’ve fielded around the middle third, we’re not going to want for possession and if we get enough ball into the forwards, we’ll score enough to win. We could even win by a decent margin but, given that Sligo have already played once in the Championship and with their title on the line and the prospect of the Tommy Murphy Cup leering at them, they’ve plenty to fight for. My fear would be that we don’t put them away with the chances we’re almost sure to get and that, fifteen minutes or so out we lose the plot, leak yet another stupid goal and then it’s anyone’s. A bit like the 1997 final against them or the other match we nearly lost, to Leitrim up in Carrick two years ago.
I’m still in Dublin, where, just like the longest day twelve months ago, it’s wet and dull and more akin to a day in November. Let’s hope that’s where the comparisons with 2007 end and that tomorrow will see a confident Championship start from the lads. I’m going down and back on the day tomorrow so it’ll be late tomorrow night before the full multimedia report on the match is posted here. Till then, amigos.