It’s Thursday and we’re getting ever closer to Croke Park on Saturday. Well, time-wise in my case rather than geographically speaking but you know what I mean.
There’s loads of stuff in the media today about the game, most of which you’ve probably seen by now and some of which has already been mentioned here so it’s not really worth my while trawling through them all to stick up the links.
I’ll make an exception, though, in the case of the Mayo News podcast, which is here. Dammit, I may as well go the whole hog and embed the Soundcloud thingy for it so you can listen to it from here. Et voilà:
I’ve been following with interest, as they say, the debate that’s been going on here since the weekend. The degree of nervousness that’s out there about Saturday’s match is, I think it’s fair to say, rather palpable. It’s a stance that’s understandable enough – Donegal, whatever about their narrow loss in the Ulster final, their legginess coming into this one and the injuries they may be carrying, still represent top-class opposition for us and a team that, if things go awry for us, could well dump us out of the championship.
We’ve only ever met Donegal three times in the championship, with them winning twice and us once. The first meeting was way back in 1992, when they prevailed by 0-13 to 0-9 in the All-Ireland semi-final in the year that they took Sam back to the hills for the first time. They beat us again the next time we met them, only this time it was in the final itself in 2012, and while our victory over them at the quarter-final stage the following year was emphatic, and rather cathartic, it never really made up for the one that, from our perspective, got away the previous September.
With us firing on all cylinders, I fancy us strongly to do it but with them doing likewise, I wouldn’t be so sure. I think the bookies have this one priced right – we’re narrow 4/5 favourites to prevail but Donegal, at 7/5, aren’t exactly rank outsiders. The draw, priced at 15/2, is the value bet but I’m not convinced we’ll see this one ending up all square either.
I’d love to see us record the kind of win we achieved over them in 2013 but only a madman could expect to be seeing a similar scoreboard to the one pictured above at 7.45pm or so on Saturday night.
What do you reckon – will we do it?
Will we beat Donegal?
- Yes (86%, 407 Votes)
- No (14%, 69 Votes)
Total Voters: 476