Catching up

Photo: The 42 (Inpho)

I’ve been a small bit out of the loop in recent days so it’s time for a general catch-up following last weekend and with an eye towards the coming one. In which, by the way, I’ll be slightly off the pace again, but I’ll explain that shortly.

Right, starting with last weekend and with the county’s hurlers, whose comeback win over Derry in Round 3 of this year’s NHL Division 2B leaves them joint top of the table along with Down, both of them with three wins from three.

Top scorer for the lads the last day was, of course, Keith Higgins, whose presence with the hurlers and absence from the county’s football team is being felt in roughly equal measure. Park that for now – more a few paragraphs later, though, on our dwindling rearguard options for this coming weekend.

Next up for the hurlers is a home match against Wicklow this coming Sunday at MacHale Park (throw-in 2pm). A win in this one and they’re into the Division 2B final, almost certainly against Down. Win that and they’re in Division 2A next year, where Pat Gilroy’s Dublin could be too unless they get their stakes on. So maybe Mayo v Dublin in hurling … we’ll get to Mayo v Dublin in football shortly.

The second bit of business from last weekend is Stephen Coen’s completion of what appears to be a unique treble. As the above photo illustrates, Stephen is now an All-Ireland winning captain at both Minor and U21 level with the county and, with UCD, captain of the Sigerson Cup winning team as well. And a player from Mayo to boot (we can make such jokes amongst ourselves). Style on you, Stephen.

It struck me, though, when reading the comments on the site on Saturday, how a few used the opportunity to point to Stephen’s supposed shortcomings as a player. Strange timing to have done this, I reckon, but as the saying goes, there’s now’t as queer as folk.

The final piece to point you to from the weekend just gone relates to Cora Staunton’s adventures Down Under. Undeterred by an elbow to the nose in a match against Collingwood, a bandaged Cora returned to the fray to help Great Western Sydney Giants to victory in their opening AFL match. Fair play to her.

Okay, onto this coming weekend. I guess I’ll start with the selfish personal bit, which is that I’m not heading west for this one due to other commitments up here.

It’ll be the first meeting between the counties I’ll have missed since well before the blog’s inception, the first in fact since the 2004 League encounter at MacHale Park. We beat them by 1-10 to 0-3 in February that year, with Andy Moran featuring off the bench for us in that one.

Wins against the Dubs are, sadly, few and far between for us nowadays. We’ve never beaten them under Jim Gavin – during which time we’ve had three different management teams – with our last success being the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final, which really does feel like rather a long time ago (because it was).

I was thinking about doing a downbeat piece on this post-2012 record against them – one that reads P12 W0 D3 L9 – but then I saw that Anthony Hennigan in this week’s Western People (paper and digital variants) beat me to it. Maybe it’s just as well, as I’d end up even grumpier than I currently am after wading through all that.

One thing that jumped out from Anthony’s piece was the aggregate scores recorded by both counties over the twelve matches. This points unambiguously towards the main reason we’ve come out the wrong side of the bulk of those encounters.

Dublin’s total reads 21-167 while for us it’s 7-161. That’s as clear an example as you could possibly want of the old adage about goals winning games.

Only once in those twelve matches – the League meeting at Castlebar two years ago that Dublin won by 0-9 to 0-7 – did they fail to hit the net. By contrast, we were unable to raise a green flag in half of those games.

With several players out for Saturday night, we’re obviously going to be up against it yet again against Dublin in this one. Little wonder, then, that many – myself included – reckon that the best approach for Saturday could well be the same defensive-minded one we rolled out in that game two years ago. It was a style that didn’t ultimately ensure we avoided defeat but did mean we didn’t take a hammering either.

Which brings us to who is and who isn’t available for us this weekend. The Mayo News (paper and digital editions) reports today that Paddy Durcan, one of the few star performers we’ve had so far this year who hobbled off late on against Galway, and Brendan Harrison, who failed to line out in Salthill due to injury, are both doubtful to feature against Dublin.

With Cillian O’Connor suspended, this means the team we name will, at best, contain just seven of the side that started last year’s All-Ireland final against the same opposition. David Clarke, Colm Boyle, Kevin McLoughlin, Aidan O’Shea and Jason Doherty are all pretty much certain to line out, while Tom Parsons will probably make his first start of the year and Andy Moran, following his recent bereavement, most likely will be back too.

On the flip side, however, four players who came off the bench on All-Ireland final day – Ger Cafferkey, Stephen Coen, Diarmuid O’Connor and Conor Loftus – should all be available. I’d say at least two of that quartet will be named to start on Saturday night.

There’s oodles more in the Mayo News today, by the way, including an in-depth piece by Mike Finnerty on the status and likely return dates for the long-term injury absentees from the panel and an interview by Mike with Donal Vaughan to launch the sponsorship this year of the Mayo News football podcast. Audio versions of both of these items will feature in a special bonus episode of the podcast, which will be hitting the airwaves at some point tomorrow.

Okay, I think that’s everything up to date once more.

70 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. Just would like to acknowledge Kevin Keane, he has given great service to the County the last few years. He picked up a bad injury last year and according to the Mayo News has been released from the panel. Kevin will return to Westport and hopefully regain form and fitness and return to the Intercounty scene. Always played with heart and determination.

    Also, a little surprised to see Brian Reape released didn’t seem to get much chance this winter. He is young enough to come again. These are hard decisions for all involved.

  2. Congrats to Stephen, a remarkable feat from a humble football loving young man who can play. I know from chatting his teammates in the U21’s his leadership qualities and motivation talks are inspiring!!
    Well done to Cora, again this woman is clearly a special talent to walk into a different skill set and perform.
    Looking forward to Mayo standing up Saturday night!!

  3. Agreed Redcol, these guys give everything to their county , sometimes they do not fit into the management vision

  4. Sorry to hear about Reape and Keane, I think both are capable of bringing a lot to the Mayo team and that they stick at it outside the current panel and give Rochford no option but to recall them. Remember how Boyler was dropped by Johnno because he wasnt up to county standard? Thats true, and look at him today.
    Well done to Stephen Coen. People can say what they like but the guy has the medals to prove it, hes a winner 3 times over at the highest level and is just getting started.

  5. @dave
    Boyler was far too light for county standard at the time.
    Doesnt apply to the same degree to Kevin Keane, Brian Reape or Michael Plunkett.
    I honestly do not understand our plan or vision to devlop players for the next three years.
    They wont develop on fbd and dropped rinse and repeat.

  6. So this will be the 13th meeting of Dublin v Mayo since 2012. Interesting as the number 13 can be lucky for some…

  7. @MayoMagic – Relying on omens and superstition is unlikely to prove a fruitful approach to next Saturday. 2012 is the last time Mayo won of of these encounters, although there hasn’t been much in most of them, last year’s league pasting was the exception, rather than the rule.

    I can see this game being shadowboxing of the highest order. Neither side will want to give away the goods too soon, and a conservative approach tactically will be order of the day.

    With the Dubs, I think we can expect more the the same served up thus far, maybe with a focus on pushing on for the entire 70 minutes – we have tended to drift in and out of games in the first three encounters.

    Hard to know what Rochford will do, at a wild guess he may setup very defensively to try and limit overall scoring – parking the bus, so to speak. Kickouts will be a point of interest, will he try and use a bigger midfield pairing to win out primary possession, and try and disrupt Dublin’s rhythm? Distinct possibility. Who will take over freetaking in COCs absence? Will it be passed about, depending on distance and side of the pitch?

    Based on league form to date, no-one is going to hang me for predicting a Dubs by 4+ result. That said, past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Still, I’d be surprised not to be leaving McHale with 2 points in the bag.

  8. Congratulations to Stephen Coen a gentleman and leader on and off the field. I have a good laugh at those who run him down on this blog. Like the guys with so many honors are so plentiful in this county Released from the squad does not mean finished with inter county football. It is amassing how many people make the inference. Anyone who thinks KK is finished, think again.

  9. Looking forward to the visit of the Dubs on Saturday night. I do not look back at the 9 defeats in a negative way, far from it. Playing Dublin and Kerry every year in Spring is one of the great things about being in Division 1.It would not be Division 1 without them. Long may it continue.

  10. Good update by Mike Finnerty in Mayo News on players due back. Didn’t realise Donie Vaughan was out for so long. Expected to be out for another 2 months.

    Mike’s comments on Keith situation are worrying from a football fans standpoint where he says “it remains to be seen when (if)” Keith is expected back.

    I would defo be in favour of setting up defensively at the weekend. We can’t afford to ship a heavy loss at the moment. Try to contain the Dubs and who knows we may finally start to click up front.

    Looking like the last 3 games against Tyrone, Donegal and Kildare are going to be huge.

  11. One thing we can’t do is play AOS at 11, and leave him there. He has to play defensive midfield, and contest kick outs. We also need pace to try to match the dubs, Durcan and Harry if out are big losses. I would start Akram, Boland and loftus, give them a full match and see how they go.

  12. Well done to Stephen. That is just brilliant. Ahh gutted too for Kevin Keane as he was so determined to get back with the team. Most worrying/disappointing though if the warrior Keith dosent come back to the football. He was outstanding last year.

  13. Three billboards outside Effinn, Castlebar
    – Billboard #1 “Dublin will have 90% of their strongest team available, Mayo will have 60% of theirs”
    – Billboard #2 “Expect packed defences and prickly attitude with plenty of cards”
    – Billboard #3 “Dublin to win by about 5, there may-be a sequel later in the year”.

  14. I think we need to start AOS at FF to give the Dubs something to think about and play in direct ball. He has the capability of winning frees around the square. In fact I’d stick B Moran in there as well and try the twin towers approach. We need to mix things up a bit now and I think Dublin would be uncomfortable with such an aerial threat in front of their goal.

    Loftus should start at no.11 and I’d try DOC at midfield to add some legs there. Monaghan’s result last weekend has put us under real pressure.

    Gibbons needs a big game at midfield on Saturday to show he can cut it at this level.

    Disappointed about Reape – we need young forwards coming through.

  15. Very worrying information about Keith from a football perspective. He’s pretty much irreplaceable. If Durcan and Harrison are unavailable this weekend we’ll have a very cobbled together defense. I’d go for this team:

    O’Donoghue, McDonagh, Crowe;
    Boyle, Coen, Stretton;
    Gibbons, Aidan;
    McLoughlin, Gallagher, Diarmuid;
    Loftus, Doherty, Andy;

    Could play McLoughlin sweeper and Loftus half forward if we’re going to park the bus. A win is beyond us in all honesty, but hopefully we’ll have some positive individual performances.

  16. Here’s a question for the audience (Mayo supporter in the USA – my updates on information are a bit more scattershot).

    Last year, Rochford had a development panel. There were 5 players, including James Carr from Ardagh and Adam Gallagher from Mayo Gaels. After that, I haven’t seem any information about them lining up for Mayo since then.

    Does anyone happen to know? I would think these young players would be of great benefit to the county.

  17. Excuse my ignorance here but id like to know what is an actual academy in gaelic football in Mayo ? What does the development of young lads mean as well? What is the actual meaning , ive never really understood it . In soccer for example across the pond I can understand it and even in a city like Dublin. I just dont know how you organise for player A from Aghamore , player B from Achill, Player C from ballinrobe etc to get together regularly , lets assume these young lads dont drive at 16/17 , there is no public transport as such, it must be near impossible to organise regular sessions alone nevermind the rest of the logistical nigtmares.

  18. Congrats to Stephen Coen indeed. A fine achievement. I would have the negative commmets which a pinch of salt considering where they may be coming from…

    I believe he has improvements to make to really nail down a senior place but that Mayo half back lime is the hardest line to break into.

    His leadership skills cannot be questioned. I wouldn’t regard Ray Silke for example as the greatest footballler but his leadership was second none when leading club and county to All Ireland glory.

  19. Disappointed for Kevin still feel he has something to offer. Was looking forward to reape one man that gave galway fullback Sean o a lot of bother in 21 championship last year. We may be somewhat to conservative and loyal to the present panel.

  20. Sean Burke – Others probably know more than me but I’d say the academy is for u15, u14 players which are broken up into North, South, East and West Mayo. Also the Ted Webb side which used to be u16 but that may change with the regraded minor championship.

  21. Thanks wide ball, I wonder how many times they get sessions during the year and do they ever get the four regions together at all ?

  22. I see that has named 3 Mayo players in their Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup Best XV:

    Right corner-back – Stephen Brennan (NUIG/Mayo)
    Centre back – Stephen Coen (UCD/Mayo)
    Right wing-forward – Adam Gallagher (NUIG/Mayo)

    Well done to them. Galway and Kerry also have 3 each along with us (3 being the highest no. of representatives per county).

  23. So academy is under age… What is development squad? Presumably our second string?? What’s the program for them? How often to they meet? Do they play games? Can we go to those games who’s in charge? It all a mystery, probably tactical to keep our developing players away from the spotlight.
    Glad to see Horan back in Westport. He has a young squad and they will be well looked after. I expect Westport to supply a few county players in years to come and my tip for the top is definitely Brian O Malley for midfield…
    Other progressive clubs doing great work with youngsters, but the development squad, clouded in mystery. Can anybody through light on the subject?? Sounds a bit like a premiership soccer concept but is it for real?

  24. @ontheditch development squad runs along with senior squad .they would train with the seniors.there was 5 in it last year.
    Who this brian o malley you on about?

    Great to see ex players getting involved with underage something that should have being done years ago but well done to mike connelly and the board for finally pushing it and getting the right people to do the let’s hope it implemented and we get the rewards down the line!
    Underage being poor last few years hope we don’t do a Meath on it.

  25. Brian O’Malley is a good prospect but not for midfield imo. Full back or half back would be his best position.

    Does anyone know are the u20’s training at the moment? I know our minors haven’t done great the last few years but we still have the makings of a decent team….

    GK – Paddy O’Malley.
    Backs – Johnny Maughan, Brian O’Malley, Gavin Durcan.
    Midfield – Jordan Flynn.
    Forwards – Oisín McLoughlin, Ross Egan, Colm Moran, Ryan O’Donoghue.

    Probably 1 or 2 others that I forgot.

  26. @Aidan. Thanks for clarifying that. It’s a very small exclusive group, that surprises me, for some reason I expected development squad to be a shadow team, more or less.
    Brian O Malley played on Westport intermediate team at age 18. In all Ireland final he was switched to full back when Kevin Keane went off injured and had an excellent game. Intelligent footballer who can take his scores makes him an ideal midfielder in my book. I expect Horan will make a complete footballer out of him. His brother Conor is reserve goalkeeper with Peterborough in league 1.

  27. Disappointed to see Brian Reape cut from the panel if that’s true. It would be interesting to know who Stephen Rochford has in mind as potential forwards for the future. I thought Brian Reape and Ciaran Treacy should have got a game to see what they could produce alongside the regular forwards. All they got was an FBD match in appalling conditions. I wouldn’t be inclined to judge any lad on the basis of a game like that. Obviously there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that I wouldn’t know about but I thought Treacy in particular showed a lot of promise.

  28. @diehard as you said it’s what we don’t know that goes on behind the scenes that players are judged on to.supporters can only judge on what they see on match days.i also had high hopes for reape this year.i would expect Boland to kick on this year and hopefully Hanley can add something.

  29. Blondie11 – the only info on this published so far is what’s in the Mayo News today, i.e. that Brian Reape, Michael Plunkett and Kevin Keane were among a number of players released from the senior panel in recent days. I’m sure the names of the others dropped will be revealed in due course but until that happens I don’t want to see people named here.

  30. With last weekend being a free one for us, it was probably used as a last trial for those on the edges of the panel. There was probably A versus B games etc. on Saturday or Sunday, so we’ll just have to trust our management’s calls on who made it and who didn’t make it this time.

    When you think about it, since 2014 our changes have being all about evolution rather than revolution. Diarmuid O’Connor and Conor O’Shea came on board that year. Then Paddy Durcan and Brendan Harrison followed that. Stephen Coen in 2016 and Conor Loftus last year made progress along with Fergal Boland. So far we have seen Eoin O’Donoghue do well this year. Hopefully Adam Gallagher etc. will do well too in the coming months.

    You’d still like to see a new goalkeeper, a midfield option, a specialist full-back and that elusive out and out scorer coming on stream soon, time will tell if we can fill these positions as the years move on.

  31. Disappointed to see Kevin Keane off the panel, I had visions of Keane and Comer going to battle in May…. It’s difficult to get back to your best after a cruciate injury, still hope to see Kevin in Mayo senior jersey in the future… Great double header to look forward to on Saturday, the girls deserve support as well… Great young team there, and it will be interesting to see how they develop without Cora… Impressed so far I have to say…. Especially when you consider that so many have not played Div 1 before…. Great potential there, and I could easily see them win an All Ireland in the next year or two. Of course they are up against it on Saturday, against the regining All Ireland Champions Dublin, … But I expect the finest supporters in Ireland to be there early,… Mayo supporter’s of course!

  32. Panel appearances going by Match day programmes

    David Clarke 3 starts
    Robbie Hennelly 0 apps

    Eoin O’Donoghue 3 starts
    Ger Cafferkey 3 starts
    Paddy Durcan 3 starts
    Stephen Coen 3 starts
    Colm Boyle 2 starts + 1 sub
    Shane Nally 2 starts + 1 sub
    Brendan Harrison 2 starts
    Caolan Crowe 1 start + 1 sub
    Ger McDonagh 2 subs
    Michael Hall 1 start
    Sharoize Akram 1 sub
    Donie Newcombe 1 sub
    James Stretton 1 sub
    David Drake sub v Galway no game time

    Jason Gibbons 3 starts
    Aidan O’Shea 3 starts
    Barry Moran 1 start
    Danny Kirby sub v Monaghan no gametime

    Diarmuid O’Connor 3 starts
    Kevin McLoughlin 3 starts
    Andy Moran 1 start + 1 sub
    Jason Doherty 2 starts
    Cillian O’Connor 1 start + 2 subs
    Evan Regan 2 starts
    Neil Douglas 2 starts
    Conor Loftus 1 start + 2 subs
    Adam Gallagher 2 subs
    Fergal Boland 2 subs
    Fionn McDonagh listed sub v Monaghan no game time
    Ciaran Treacy listed sub v Monaghan no game time
    Peter Naughton listed sub v Galway no game time

  33. Mayo had a coaching review sent to club chairmen this week. Does anybody have a link? These are the areas that need to be discussed now.

  34. Gutted to hear about Reape, really think he has something special about him. Only chance he got was a shit night in January against Galway, where he scored a cracker from play by (wait for it) actually being out infront of his man, receiving the ball and in the same movement turn and smack it over the bar from about 45 yrds. Obviously Stephen knows best and all that, and maybe theirs valid reasons to let him go, either way im sickend. I can see why people are hoping on Gallagher coming good, but lets face it, he hasn’t nor ever will have the pace required to make the difference we need, when it matters. The lad is good, but just joins the list of slowish forwards we already have.

    This Dublin game should a been used as a “Trial” game for the panel, likes of Plunkett, Reape, Keane should of all being played to see how they’d get on, what harm would it have done? We’re gunna get pasted anyway, might aswell learn the real charachter of these fringe players under lights on a Sat nite, rather than a damp squib in house game on a Sunday morning!.
    Dublin by 9.

  35. So Frank Roache has an article in todays Indo about Mayo Dublin this weekend, and starts the article off by saying how some Mayo diehards made a return trip to Celtic park on Saturday (for the hurling) scene of Mayos round 1 Qualifier great escape last Summer.. Am i missing something? Do these guys not do some quality research? Wasn’t the game played in Castlebar? It’s the small things lads that get me!!

  36. He’s from The Herald as far as I know Tuamstar. He lives in the Dublin bubble along with 90% of his readers.

  37. What a great picture to warm the site with, is there any other 23 year old gaelic footballer in the country that has such a collage of photos at that level – I wouldn’t think so – well done, no doubt he wont be resting on his laurels but himself and his family must be very proud. There are only a handful of half forwards in the country with blinding pace, the rest he will handle no problem, get the right defensive unit and the appropriate defensive plan for any given day and who knows…..

  38. We are all looking for some forward to come out of the pack and make a difference. Reape was talked about. we don’t know the full story. He was listed as number 29 for DCU in Sigerson cup. Is it injury? study? not prepared to give the savage commitment required for intercounty football? not good enough?
    Does anyone know what story with James Carr. There was talk of problems with his hip. Is it a short term or longterm issue??

  39. This weekend is the perfect opportunity to show that we are the best supporters in the country. It could be a tough night on the pitch but a good time to raise the decibel levels. Let the Dubs know the spirit is strong and we fully intend to be meeting them again when the real prize is up for grabs. Let our own lads know as well that we are with them all the way through thick and thin. Hopefully we will see a battling display from Mayo.

  40. opportunity for the likes of crowe n drake to come off the perch, join big bird and ruffle a few dublin feathers………:]

  41. I hope the stewards are on duty down the dublin end at half time. I dont want to see another Dublin fan come on the pitch at half time and put a dublin flag in the middle of the pitch.

  42. Lordy, we don’t have much to be talking about. Bird jokes? Any word on what the weather will be like for the match itself? Or if young Hanley has a chance of getting drawn into the panel for a session or 2 ?

  43. I wonder is Willie Joe running the owl poll for this game.

    Would be interesting to see how the pilgrims would vote. There seems to be a lot of predictions of a bit of a mauling for us and talk of damage limitation. Dublin by 9 etc.

    Was talking to a Mayo fella last night who has put money on Dublin by 14 +.

  44. This game will be lot closer than most think. I’d expect Mayo to play a defensive game and keep it low scoring similar to the last Machale Park meeting v Dublin. Dublin playing at home on a good pitch could only beat the worse team in Div 1 by 7 points and they conceded 2-10 against them don’t forget.

  45. jimflag,
    dublin will more than likely win this game, but not by 14 or even 7. This will be a tight low scoring game and Mayo will give a good physical game despite being well below full power.

  46. Tuamstar and It Means Nothing – the Herald, from a sports perspective anyway, is the Dublin equivalent of the Mayo News/Western. It’s aimed at a Dublin readership, and to its credit, it does cover the club scene including juvenile games reasonably well. Somewhat similar for soccer.

  47. How time’s have changed,… The Big ugly ‘Sea Gull’s’ that once flew over McHale Park, especially down at the ‘Bacon Factory’ end have thankfully migrated to Dublin.. and fly and squale, and good manners will prevent me from saying what else they might do over Croke Park nowadays, O. verfed with the left overs of ‘Spice Burgers, Greasy Chip’s, Ray Wing’s, Dublin Coddle, and Battered Sausage’s ,… If’ Bird Watcher’s Ireland’ need to know anything about ‘Bird’s’ the Mayo Gaa Blog is the place to look for information… Seriously tough if you were in Croke Park early today, you might mistake the place as part of the set for a remake of the ‘Alfred Hichcock’ movie ‘The Bird’s’………… ‘ Ah in Dublin’s fair City, where the girls are so pretty,….. The best fed Sea Gull’s, that ever did fly,….. When ye come to Mayo,……Bring yer ‘Pretty Girls, I hope so….. But leave yer fecking Gulls, to soar in the Dublin sky!

  48. @catcol: Aye, but the Western People and Mayo News aren’t purporting to be national newspapers, that’s the difference.

  49. WJ, the hurling is down for Ballina Stephenites on Sunday, not Castlebar. Hand on heart, I’m looking forward to that more than I am the football on Saturday … and a short walk home after (after a shneaky pint in the Stephenites bar of course) …

    Adding my congratulations to Stephen Coen. I see his mam and dad at every game and it was lovely to see him acknowledging their support. One of my very favourite days in a Mayo GAA jersey was watching him lift the Connacht U21 trophy in 2016 after beating the Rossies and I hope we see him lift many a trophy more. Of all times to be having a go at the lad – you’d really wonder about people, wouldn’t you?

    As for Keith Higgins , there is nothing to say he’s not taking an extended break like Aidan did last year, so why the panic? if he needs time out, he needs time out. I have to say I’m delighted to see him hurling and enjoying it. Life is very short sadly and while he would be a massive loss to us even if he did decide to step back, those lads deserve as much right to do what makes them happy as anyone else.

    Loving the bird jokes. Might have an owl flutter on the game before Saturday … I don’t think we’ll win but as time goes on I don’t think we’ll get the mauling they expect to dish out, either … in fact I think I’ll put a few quid on the draw!!

  50. Have two sneaky pints Anne-Marie. A bird never flew one 1 wing.

    Crowe, Drake and big bird would make a great golf team. 2 birdies and an eagle.

  51. Thanks for that correction re the venue for the hurling match, Anne-Marie. When I wrote the post the GAA website had it down for Castlebar but it’s obviously (and sensibly, in light of the state of the MacHale Park pitch) been shifted since then.

  52. As well as Crowe and Drake are “flying” in training – I think there best positions are “wing” back and “wing” forward. Also heard Drake had a lucky escape in an in house game last weekend – he had to “duck” quickly to avoid been hit in the face with a stray fist – and no “fowl” was given by the referee.

  53. I have a choice of 3 things to do when I get home from work today.

    Watch an episode of the Partridge family.
    Read the Wild Swans of Coole.
    Watch One flew over the Cuckoos nest.

    Not sure which to do but I have the evening to myself once I have the 2 hens put in and counted.

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