Midweek already with the warm glow of sending the Kerry lads back home crying to their mammies without a second half score to show for their troubles now receding and the prospect of the significant challenge that Tyrone will represent this coming weekend starting to come into view. It’s another one I’ll be sitting out, I’m afraid – this one was never on my radar and I’ve domestic commitments up here on Sunday which prevent me from heading west for it.
Sunday will definitely be one for the hard core fraternity, both in McHale Park and down in Killarney, with both matches going head-to-head with the Six Nations rugby clash with England that afternoon. Kerry have said they’ve no problem with the 2pm throw-in for their match with the Dubs on Sunday, which is understandable given that manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice is lining out for Finuge at Croke Park in the All-Ireland Intermediate club final on Saturday night, but you’d wonder why our match isn’t being played that evening as well.
Well, sort of. The reason why we’re playing on Sunday afternoon appears to be linked to that hoary old issue of TV rights, as our match is being shown in full as the deferred coverage game on TG4 that afternoon. On the one hand, it’s a bit daft to have installed those floodlights at McHale Park and then only use them the very odd time for league matches but, on the other, it’s kinda nice that they’re showing our match on the telly (especially for those of us who can’t be there).
Not much word as yet on the game itself. This piece by Mike Finnerty in the Mayo News says that Alan Dillon, Evan Regan and long-term absentee Cillian O’Connor remain sidelined, while there are doubts over Richie Feeney – who came off injured late on the last day – and Donal Vaughan, who never went to post due to hamstring trouble. I guess all will be revealed when we name our team at 3am on Saturday morning.
You’ll probably know by know that the ref for Sunday is our old pal Maurice Deegan. His inept handling of both national finals we were involved in last year has meant that the Laois whistler has now supplanted Joe McQuillan in the pantheon of Mayo GAA-related shite refereeing but there’s nothing we can do about that now and we’re stuck with him for Sunday. All we can hope for, I guess, is that, unlike last September, he’ll keep an eye out this coming Sunday for cynical fouling perpetrated by both teams.