Friday morning and it really does now feel that Sunday’s shuddering clash isn’t all that far away. It’s been a long week – in so many respects, not all to do with football either – and the waiting’s not done with yet but there’s not that much of it left now before Sunday and all that awaits us in Croke Park then.
If you need a bit of revving up to get you going this morning, then the Elvery’s ad that was released yesterday should fit the bill nicely. It’s spine-tinglingly good and here it is:
Next, a few notices about events on up here tomorrow evening, just in case the cancellation of the Bowe’s meet-up has left you at a loose end. I’ve two such events to draw to your attention, one on either side of the river.
Starting with this side of town, one of the oldest GAA clubs in the country – Beann Eadair out in Howth, which was founded in 1885 – have a pitch re-opening event tomorrow evening. I know we pride ourselves on spectacular pitch locations, such as the one on Inisturk, but for my money the Beann Eadair pitch, located on an elevated site off Balkhill Road halfway up towards Howth summit, takes some beating with its panoramic views out onto the sea. A cold spot on a Saturday morning in early spring, to be sure, but a visual treat nonetheless.
Full details of Saturday evening’s event are here. GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaill will be doing the official re-opening honours at 6.45pm with the tape-cutting bookended by Dublin v Rest of Ireland Legends matches in both hurling (5pm) and football (7pm). The latter will feature the likes of Ciaran Whelan, Ciaran Duff, Barney Rock, Eamonn Heery, Dessie Farrell, Peter Canavan, Joe Brolly, Seamus Darby, Darragh Ó Sé, Liam McHale, Kevin McStay and Martin Carney.
Over on the southside, meanwhile, Good Counsel GAA club have a match that same evening against the Belmullet intermediate team. The match throws in at the club’s Davitt Road pitch (which is here) at 6.30pm tomorrow evening and there’ll be a trophy presented after the match to the winning team in memory of the late Thomás Mulligan, son of Frances McLoughlin of Belmullet and nephew of the late Eddie Cuffe. The bar at the club will be open after the game for whatever you’re having yourself and, if you plan to use public transport to get you there, either the 123 bus or the Luas Red line will land you right to the door.
Okay, onto today’s coverage. On us, there’s a feature on Aidan O’Shea in the Irish Independent and one on Colm Boyle in the Irish Examiner. For them, it’s MDMA day, with the Ballyboden man featuring in both the Indo and the Examiner. The Irish Times don’t appear to have anything about the game (certainly not online) but apparently there’s a rugby game on tomorrow so they appear to be getting exercised about that instead.
RTÉ have a column by Ray Silke, in which he analyses what he says are the three key questions that’ll decide Sunday’s match. Don’t all jump on poor old Ray’s head now, y’hear? The man is only giving his opinion.
Speaking of opinions, Tomas Ó Sé, writing in the Indo, plumps for Dublin to do it. By my count, that’s the fourth Kerry pundit to do so this week – Darragh, Bomber and Spillane (on the radio this morning) also having all tipped them to win. Well, they are the 4/7 favourites after all.
Back to the Examiner where there’s a rather curious piece by John Fogarty who highlights ten “flashpoints” in matches between ourselves and Dublin in attempting to portray the rivalry between us as being a “best of enemies” one. The problem is that six of these examples are from less than full throttle League games – with two incidents each plucked from our NFL meetings in 2012, 2013 and 2014 – and most of them, as I recall, were much ado about nothing. As was the blood sub example, an issue that this writer for some reason simply can’t let go where it involves us. As I said, it’s a bit of an odd one.
If daft stuff is your bag, then Vinny Murphy going head-to-head with Conor Mortimer in zorbing might do it for you. Each to their own, I guess.
If it’s reading of more substance you want, though, then look no further than today’s Mayo Advertiser, which is crammed full of interesting material on the game. Colm Gannon has a match preview, so has Ray Silke (yes, this is the same as the one I linked to yesterday), there’s John Casey’s opinion piece, features on Colm Boyle and Barry Moran and an interview with Noel Connelly.
But let’s finish with some more opinions – yours this time as it’s time to put up the poll to see what the mood is like as Sunday approaches. Well, then, what do you reckon – who’ll do it?
Who'll win the semi-final?
- Mayo (73%, 410 Votes)
- Dublin (27%, 153 Votes)
Total Voters: 563
It’s not yet too late to express your support in a tangible way for the lads: go to the Mayo GAA website (here) and click ‘Play Now’ to contribute to the cause via the Mayo GAA Players Training and Welfare Fund Lotto.