I know we can look back now on Sunday’s match in a relaxed state of mind. I doubt too many of us were wholly chilled out, though, when it was confirmed that Lee Keegan wouldn’t be lining out in the rematch with Roscommon. In the event, Lee wasn’t required but we didn’t know this beforehand.
Post-game, Stephen Rochford was quickly able to confirm that the current Footballer of the Year will be fit to face Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final on Sunday week. Speaking to the Mayo News (here) the manager said that, if it had been necessary, Lee could have played for up to 25 minutes.
Seeing as the game was over after Keith’s goal on 23 minutes, no such requirement arose. As we continued to pound the neighbours up to the break and beyond, the sensible decision not to play him at all was taken.
In that piece linked above, Stephen was also able to confirm that we’ve no fresh injuries worries ahead of Sunday week. Jason Doherty was withdrawn soon after landing heavily on his knee on Monday but it seems that was no more than a routine bang.
So, with a yawning gap of a week and a half to go until our next championship outing, we can all relax a bit and enjoy the feeling of being back in an All-Ireland semi-final for the seventh successive year. Oh, before I forget it, that’ll mean a Bowe’s gathering the night before. Tradition demands it at this stage.
Another tradition at this time of year – when Kerry are the opposition – is to haul the yerra-ometer out of storage, plug it in and run the musings of former Kerry greats, who are now in the punditry game, through it. There are two pieces to be tested to get us going, from two of the Ó Sé brothers.
First up it’s Tomás in yesterday’s Irish Independent (here). Not much in the way of the desired content here, I’m afraid. He compares us to Kerry in 2009, reckons we have a running game to hurt the Kingdom and will come into the semi-final as the most battle-hardened outfit. So far, so predictable.
But how about this for forensic analysis:
In a strange way I think it was the kind of result and performance that will ground Kerry for the next fortnight. They’ll come to Croke Park and know to expect war.
Well, who’d have thunk it: a grounded Kerry side heading into an All-Ireland semi-final expecting war? That’d be a novel one, wouldn’t it?
Right, onto Darragh over at the Irish Times (here). Big brother tends to play it for laughs a bit more and lays on the Kerryman shtick with a larger trowel.
In fairness to Darragh, he does pay Kevin McStay a nice compliment in today’s column. He remarks that it’d have been far easier for Kevin to have stayed up in the media area on co-commentary duties rather than taking his chances down to the sideline, where he ended up seeing his young team getting crushed. He’s right, you know.
But Darragh can’t help himself and is soon back joshing around. In making the point that Keith Higgins is unlikely to be claiming any marks on Sunday week, he states that the Ballyhaunis man is no more than 5′ 7” in height. I’m not sure exactly what height Keith is but you can safely add three or four inches to Darragh’s estimate.
Darragh also shows that he’s up there with Tomás in the forensics department. He says that those cute Kerry lads will have seen how we pushed up so effectively on Roscommon’s restarts and he reckons they’ll be planning accordingly. Oh bother – I really thought they might have missed that subtle ploy of ours.
In summary, then, lame enough stuff from the two lads but then much of this punditry lark is of that kind. By the way, if you haven’t yet seen the wonderful satirical take on how to construct your own Jim McGuiness column then you really should take the time to do so. It’s here.
Right, that’s enough laughs for you for one day. Back to work, you lot.