This match should already be over and done with but Storm Jorge had other ideas. So instead of Saturday night lights, it’s an early Sunday afternoon start for our NFL Division One Round 5 clash with Kerry. Hence, by the way, the change from the usual match-day graphic above too.
The refixed game throws in at MacHale Park today at 1pm. Martin McNally of Monaghan – an unfamiliar ref to us – has the whistle for it.
The early start to the game means, in turn, an early start today for those of us based on the other side of the country. So that means less time for final pre-match thoughts, which perhaps is just as well. Today’s a day for deeds rather than words.
Tyrone’s win over Dublin in the wind and rain up at Omagh last night means that our handy route to avoiding relegation – by relying solely on beating them in the final round – has now been closed off. We’ve three games left to play and now we need to win two of those if we’re to avoid the drop.
Realistically, today’s match has to be viewed as one of these. And sure why not? We’ve a very good League record against Kerry, though not, admittedly, at today’s match venue.
It doesn’t help either that Kerry are fielding their strongest possible line-up today. They’re not yet safe in Division One themselves and so they’ve named the kind of team they’ll expect a result from this afternoon.
That makes our task all the harder today. But that could, somewhat counterintuitively, play to our advantage. In recent years the team has played its best football when its backs are up against the wall.
We need to channel that kind of uncompromising approach today. We also need to show that the second half collapse the last day in Clones was a one-off.
Today we need to see the real Mayo, putting on a proper performance. Hopefully one that secures a result for us.
Right, enough babble – it’s time to hit the road for Castlebar. Best of luck to the lads today, as well as to the women’s footballers and the hurlers in their League matches too. Up the lot of them. Up Mayo.