It really was all for the best that we didn’t nick the win against Tyrone yesterday – our reward would have been a date with de Dubs in a match that has now been shifted to the 16th so that the place can be packed to the gills with Jackeens. On yesterday’s performance, they’d have pasted us, driven on by a desire to extract maximum revenge for 2006. Instead, they get a different revenge mission: they should have beaten Tyrone at the same stage in 2005 and, but for an absolutely woeful refereeing call in the drawn game – which led to a penalty that Tyrone converted – they would have done so. Tyrone are likely to give the Dubs a better game than we’d have given them but I can’t see them doing enough to stop the Jacks.
Kerry are obviously on a roll too and Galway will be hard pressed to stop the three-in-a-row juggernaut. While Kerry are weak enough defensively, Galway have their own problems in the back six and Kerry have far more options in attack. We’re still the only Connacht champions since 2001 to make it past the All-Ireland quarter finals and I don’t expect this to change next weekend.
Elsewhere, Cork will poo all over Kildare (how on earth could a team as limited as Kildare make it this far? By pulling three easy draws in the qualfiers, that’s how) and I haven’t a clue what’ll happen between Wexford and Armagh. I wouldn’t rule out a shock win for the Yella Bellies in that one.
Back to our vale of tears, I see that Johnno is already dropping hints about his likely departure and his body language on The Sunday Game earlier on tonight was pretty clear – he has as much interest in staying on as next door’s cat. We shouldn’t stand in his way, I think – more on this anon.