Well, it looks like summer has finally arrived in these parts but, don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll be hammering down with rain again by the time the Bank Holiday weekend comes around. Whatever about the weather, though, it’s a weekend with some football action to look forward to.
I’m planning to head for Croke Park with the kids to catch the double header on Saturday evening and it’ll be interesting to see if Kildare (who play Offaly) and Dublin (who face Westmeath) produce the same kind of fusillades that ourselves, Cork and Kerry opened our championship campaigns with over the last two weekends. With the entry of the two Leinster heavyweights to the fray this weekend, this means that by close of play on Saturday we’ll have seen what are likely to be all the serious contenders for Sam in action at that stage so we’ll have a better idea then about the cut of their respective jibs.
For those who are interested in how we’re shaping up ahead of Connacht semi-final against Roscommon, Monday’s challenge match against Cavan at James Stephens Park in Ballina (throw-in 1.30pm) is a good opportunity to assess how the land lies. Top of the agenda in this regard will, I guess, be to see what kind of attacking formations we try out now that Cillian O’Connor is unavailable for at least several weeks. It’d also be good to see if a few of the other recent casualties are ready to return to action and it’ll also be important to see what the plans are in relation to freetaking.
Cavan should provide lively opposition on Monday, having themselves started their Ulster championship campaign in such sparkling fashion with their confident dismissal of Armagh on the same afternoon that we played Galway. We tend to play each other regularly enough on the challenge match circuit, though we haven’t clashed in earnest since that meeting at McHale Park in the qualifiers back in 2007.
Elsewhere this coming weekend, there are clubs from the county taking part in the annual Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta National Finals which this year are being held in Ring, Co. Waterford. Kilcommon will represent Mayo in the Junior Finals and they’re down to play Donegal champions Fanad at 12.45pm on Saturday while Kiltane will be in action in the Senior Finals where they’ll take on Naomh Aban, the Cork champions, at 7.30pm that same evening. The Comortas Finals are live on TG4 on Monday with all games live on RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta over the weekend.