Who’ll win Connacht?

We’ve had a glut of football over the weekend (and in various codes too), with several talking points arising from all the action. Chief amongst them for many, I guess, is the issue of what the summer now holds for the Kerrymen following a very flat performance from them against Cork yesterday. Personally, I thought the talking heads on The Sunday Game – where’s Spillane when you really need him, eh? – were a bit too fast with their post-match obituaries about all those “fading stars” within the Kingdom’s ranks. As so many counties – including ourselves – know to their bitter cost, Kerry are never out ’till they’re out and they ain’t out yet.

Most of the focus west of the Shannon will, however, now surely be on the destination of the Nestor Cup, following Sligo’s sensational comeback win over Galway in Pearse Stadium on Saturday evening. I see that the bookies have now installed us as strong favourites (2/7, like) to retain the Connacht title, which means that while we’re not as short odds as Cork now are to win Munster (1/100) we’re more warmly favoured to win in the west than the Dubs (4/7 – the Kildare halo effect again?) are in Leinster or Tyrone (11/8) are in Ulster.  (Odds from Paddy Power – here).

Seeing as the poll functionality is up and running again here on the site (with a thumbs-up given to the new site design in the first poll run since it returned to the fray), I reckon it’s an opportune time to test the waters on this issue. So, who is going to emerge from what is now a three-cornered battle for the Connacht championship this year?

10 thoughts on “Who’ll win Connacht?

  1. The GAA bean counters should be rubbing their hands with glee.Entering the third week in June and everbody is still in the championship. Hell, Mayo wont be out for another 2 weeks. We have been subjected to shadow boxing and sham matches masquerading as championship. The great Frank McGuigan refuses to go to those matches, he sees them as a sham.

    Cork and Kerry woke up this morning both still in the championship, one not able to eliminate the other yet. Kerry play a game extra, Cork are into the last 12 and more than likely last 8. Clare and Sligo also have last 12 spots booked but nobody is gone…kaput.

    Strangely enough Mayo now stand on top of a hill where the view is clear. They play Leitrim next. This is the county that beat London first time out unlike us last year. In 2006 we shaded them by a point and made an All Ireland final. On the other hand Leitrim possess 2 Connacht senior titles and 1 u21. If we beat them we face Sligo who possess 3 Connacht titles and no u21 title and a single minor title.

    Now I assume Mayo has a psychologist so i hope he tells them the following. If Mayo are the team they aspire to be seen as i.e twice league finalists in last 3 years, All Irl semi finalists and having beaten Cork, Kerry and Dublin in last 12 months, then meeting those two teams should be seen as stepping stones to lay down a marker.

    One of the things O Mahoney succeeded in doing well was talking up everbody else . The trick for this manager is to talk us up, point out our history point out where we are and whats expected. God forbid if we slip up against either of those two teams. It will be worse than Longford 2010.

    Of course both Sligo and Leitrim will correctly see this Mayo team as there for the beating. Sligo beat them well two years ago. That however is not our concern. We should focus on us and look at history. History says they dont do it often. We should then confirm history. If Mayo lose to either then we have got major problems.

    From 1 to 7 we seem settled. We dont know/not sure/injury concerns/not trusted…take which ever you want about our 8/9. Who are the Mayo midfielders? O SheaX 2 or McGarrity, Geraghty, Gibbons or Barry Moran/

    Does the manager go with sacred cows up front in Moran, McLoughlin, Dillon, Mortimor and O Connor leaving one place for Freeman, Doherty, Conroy, Kirby, Varley. Or will he go for broke and stick big men up there and pick two from the former named certainties?

    Sligo if we make the final will have two cards to throw at us. Are we ready? Time to show Costello that he wasnt good enough for Mayo and give him a dose of what Tomas Tierney got everytime he played for Mayo against Galway. They will spring O Hara at some stage assuming we make it. If they do then we should confirm that its time he retired. Be in no doubt that Leitrim and Sligo relish playing Mayo, they see us as a county who will buckle as evidenced by Neutralgaa who bears a striking writing resemblance to a clown on the Sligo Hogan Stand site called Farmer 1 who passionately hates Mayo. Lets not fool ourselves, plenty want us to fall and make fools of ourselves. The only way left is to paste what stands in our way …have we the bucks to do it??

  2. John you should give our boys the pre match speak, that wasas good as pachino in any given sunday

  3. John, Moran and McLoughlin should certainly be sacred cows up front. Two of the best ball winners we have. Am a huge fan of McLoughlin. Gets on loads of ball and chips in with a couple of points in every game. Would also play Dillion and O’Connor. Freeman and Doherty would be my other choices.

  4. agree with that facetheball , let mort make an impression when he is introduced later in the game , oconnor and moran are the 2 sacred cows for me ,
    great stuff john cuffe

  5. WJ, This reminds me of the poll on RTE the other night where 86% thought we’d beat Croatia. I doubt that you’ll find much dissension here either.

    Love the new site by the way. Are the links gone for good?

  6. The poll is, I guess, as much a ‘Keep the faith’ barometer as anything else, Richard! The links are back since this morning, by the way – if you scroll down the right-hand side they’re located below the ‘Categories’ panel.

  7. Congrats Willie Joe on the revamp.. its a credit to you .. don.t take heed the knockers there ten a penny in this county……. don.t like people having a go a players like Alan Costello .. think its a cheap shot .. the lad never got a real chance with mayo and I for one am glad to see the lad playin good football

  8. Good to see the Blogroll back WJ. Agree wholeheartedly with Facetheball. Moran and in particular McLoughlin are essentials. What I meant by “sacred cows” was that the named lads seemed surer of a spot rather than Doherty, Freeman, Kirby, Conroy, Varley etc. Personally I would use Conor Mort to close out a game and from a deeper position. His game in the corner is well known to all counties and the lad should be liberated. I believe he is an asset yet but tweek his game. I believe Freeman, Varley, Kirby, Cillian, Conroy , Danny Geraghty even Regan should be ahead of Dillon on the list. Mine is a purely personal opinion so I dont want anybody from that neck of the wood busting a gasket because I dont worship at the alter that Alan is hoisted on.

  9. Hi John. Agree with you but I think Dillon would be an asset off the bench. He wins plenty of ball and takes up good positions but his downfall is that that he doesn’t run in straight lines. If he addressed this; put the head down and ran straight like McLoughlin he would be more effective.

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