The weekend ahead

Image: @MayoGAA

So the dial has shifted again since Sunday.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I found it quite satisfying yesterday – with TV and radio all focused on Level 5 – to let my mind wander back to thoughts about the game against Galway.

I did, I admit, express doubts in advance of the game on Sunday about the advisability of inter-county games resuming at all, in particular at a time when Covid infections are rising so rapidly. Maybe it was the sugar-rush high from the win but I think it’s beyond doubt that the return of inter-county action has the capability to provide an entertaining distraction for everyone, at precisely the time when such a diversion is really needed.

Well, for Mayo supporters, that’s certainly the case if we can keep producing performances like the one in Tuam.

This coming Sunday we welcome Tyrone to a hushed and empty MacHale Park. Throw-in is 2pm and Fermanagh’s Niall Cullen is the ref. I don’t think we’ve seen too much of him but he did take charge of Westport’s IFC All-Ireland final match in 2017 so at least the Covies on the team will be on nodding terms with him.

As I mentioned earlier on in the comments, TG4 announced today that, as well as providing full deferred coverage on Sunday of our must-win match with the Red Hand County, they’re also going to stream it live on the TG4 Player.

Connacht GAA are also planning on getting in on the streaming act. They announced yesterday (here) that they’ll be streaming all the upcoming Connacht Minor football Championship games, starting with the meeting of Galway and Leitrim this coming Friday.

We’re paired with Sligo on the other side of the draw and that semi-final is scheduled for Thursday 29th October (throw-in 7.30pm). All the matches in this year’s Connacht MFC will be played at the Connacht Centre of Excellence.

That’s if they’re played at all. The Level 5 restrictions announced last night contained an exemption for Senior inter-county games so it’s not 100% clear what the story is for Minor. Hopefully it’ll be confirmed that these matches are going ahead.

UPDATE: After some initial confusion earlier on today, the GAA have now confirmed that, from midnight tonight, all Minor and U20 games are “paused” until further notice.

Definitely going ahead this weekend are the opening clashes in the hurling Championships. For us, this means the Nicky Rackard Cup and in the first Round on Saturday we’re set to take on Monaghan at O’Neill Park in Clontibret. That game throws in at the Monaghan venue at 2pm on Saturday.

To end, two snippets looking back to Sunday.

The first concerns Aidan O’Shea who, it was announced today, was voted GAA Footballer of the Week for his display against Galway. Congrats to him.

The second relates to Ciara Buckley, whose Memories thru a lens Facebook page has featured loads of great action shots involving Mayo teams in recent years. Ciara’s main focus is hurling – she’s the county’s hurling PRO – but plenty of football games have featured in her portfolio too.

Last Sunday Ciara captured an outstanding action shot of Aidan O’Shea in orbit, a photograph that went viral and ended up as the feature picture on the front page of the sports supplement in the Irish Examiner on Monday. The same paper has a nice piece today on Ciara and her famous photo – that’s here.

31 thoughts on “The weekend ahead

  1. Niall Cullen reffed the game in Tralee (St.Patrick’s Eve) last year…he & his crew were staying at the hotel we were staying at & they got a spontaneous round of applause on their return back after the game!. He did us no harm that night anyway

  2. Good news that the minors will be getting some exposure, hopefully they will use the Galwaygaatv steaming service heard it got good reviews. Very quiet on the Minor panel front no mention on challenge matches. Hopefully it can go ahead.
    A plan for Conor McKenna is a must, very strong and mobile. Stephen Coen will have his hands full.

  3. Delighted we’ll at see the match in full on the box, albeit deferred coverage. I’ll wait for that and tune out from radio and social media etc whilst the match is on live.

    It is great that plans are moving forward. Obviously that could all change but there’s an air of quiet optimism. We’ll take that for now.

    One thing in the championship’s favour is that its running for a short time. Amazing to think we’re nearly into November, but the obvious caveat is that 2 months is a long time where Covid is concerned. Still, its possible there’ll be a match on the 19th December 2020. Wouldn’t it be mighty. Time will tell…..

    Let’s enjoy the week and the buildup to Tyrone.

  4. Thanks FBD. But is that only online? Would prefer the big screen. My TV has connectivity but is a nightmare to load live streams as its slow, and not sure if chromecast of the player can be done. I’ll check out all of the above though, thanks

  5. Morning Ireland on RTE said that the GAA have confirmed that only senior intercounty fixtures can go ahead, so it looks like the minor championship is shelved, for now at least

  6. It was the govt who clarified that only senior inter-county can go ahead actually, not the GAA.
    So that would mean it’s out of the GAA’s hands, no u20 final.

  7. Very harsh that for a one off game to finish it out , that’s why everything should be taken into context individually as much as possible and not use a sweeping statement across the board .

  8. Under 20 All Ireland off.. Seems very unfair , so long for these young men to be waiting and then it’s taken away again..

  9. Don’t think underage is confirmed off yet – according to RTE a short while ago (here) the relevant Department says that the position on that “is still being clarified.”

  10. Very tough on the minor county teams and especially the Galway & Dublin u20 teams but these are the conditions we have to deal with for the moment!
    For the Tyrone game I would love to see Keegan moved out to mark McKenna or Pádraig O’Hora given the man marking job on McKenna.

  11. I can certainly see the reasoning in postponing underage games, of the competitions that have only just started or haven’t even started yet, due to level 5

    But its all getting a bit silly if they cant just allow one more under 20 football match go ahead, and at the same time allow a plethora of senior games to operate this weekend

  12. Watched the Galway under 20 s lads against Kerry and they looked handy enough. I would guess that
    they will get a reprieve for this one-off game.

    No one should expect the Tyrone game to follow the same pattern as last sunday. I expect them to be
    tighter in defense with a bit of sledging thrown in. Hope none of our fellas retaliate or get sent off. It could
    ruin the day. (ps. I`m still above the ground)

  13. Good to hear Greenandred!
    Sledging for sure from the Tyrone bucks, nothing new there.
    Someone else here noted that Aidan got a lot of frees last Sunday that he wouldn’t normally get as the referee seemed to be a bit more tuned into what’s going on with him in the game and the ‘attention’ he got from Sean Andy. I hope it follows again V Tyrone. The man is pretty much unmarkable in many games but never seems to get the return in frees. If it is something that the referees are copping onto were in clover!

  14. Mayo roosterman. Mayo were well up for that game in Tralee. O’Shea was rampant. He let the play flow and Kerry could not cope with Mayo’s physicality. We paid for it later in the year though! I would have preferred a Gough or a more technical ref. Definitely Gough seems to see things that other Refs dont.

  15. I actually thought the Galway Kerry game was one of the poorer u21/20 games of recent years. In my view Dublin would have won with several points to spare as I didn’t see a defence to stop the likes of Ciaran Archer.
    I think if we had not played in a storm we would have beaten them, but that’s how it was and we move on.

  16. The Galway chairman was on Galway Bay earlier said that Croke Park had been in touch with them early this morning to say neither U20 or Minor could be played. Whatever about the 20s they’ve played a few games, no minor in Connacht has played a minute, very disappointing for any guy in his final year and not great for their development, can’t see that particular competition being played at all now.

  17. Since all, or practically all, of those minors are able to attend school without Covid worries, or too many worries, I don’t see why the minor football cannot be played. They may not have played any games yet but they would have put quite an amount of effort into training and being ready to play. I have not heard any reports of Covid being spread through matches. The whole handling of Covid seems up in a heap, On last night’s news I heard a doctor saying that half the people called for the routine second Covid test do not turn up and no sanction, or worries apparently. I recall also hearing that one quarter of those called for a first Covid test do not turn up either. No wonder it’s rampant through the country.

  18. Agree AndyD there is no logic in stopping a one off game when these guys can go to school and sit for hours in an enclosed classroom

  19. In fairness JP conditions were the same for both teams that day

    It was a bit of a lottery as it transpired, but Galway – to give them their dues – have more than backed up the win and asserted themselves brilliantly in the matches that followed. Thems the breaks

    I wouldn’t write them off in the final either. Many players sitting on the bench for Galway on Saturday (despite still being depleted personnel wise overall) were key players for their clubs in the recent senior championship. They have a savage squad and to add to that they were also missing arguably 3 of their 4 best players against Kerry – who will all be massive additions when they’re back

  20. Disappointing that the underage competitions are not going ahead and it’s probably not so much the games themselves that are worrying, it’s more what happens after trophies are handed out…they can’t control the celebrations.

  21. 2 hops,
    It’s easy to solve the problem with aftermatch celebrations. Let the presentation of the cup take place as normal but then hand the cup back to the Co Board or whoever for safe keeping, players go home and there will be damm all celebrations.
    As I understand it when Tyrone won their All Ireland’s Sam was always in the custody of a Co Board offical.

  22. 2 hops,
    Boys will be boys alright but will men be men?
    The “Cup” is always the centrepiece of the after final celebration. Take it away and make it a disciplinary issue if players take part in any celebration and you solve the problem. There is also that old rule “conduct unbecoming of the Association” and another making clubs etc responsible for the conduct of their supporters. If these had been implemented or even threatened in cases such as the Blackrock Cork Co Final celebrations a lot of problems would have been solved.

  23. Great to see Aido voted Player Of The Week ahead of Ryan McHugh and Dean Rock Well deserved , playing great football, wreaked havoc in the Galway defence and a great leader who doesn’t get half the credit he deserves.

  24. I’ve noticed recently a fair few people have mentioned Lee not being as mobile as he used to. I’d like to take you back to spring 2018. Tyrone showed up in our last home encounter and bullied the team off the field, Keegan was deliberately targeted and ended up months without playing for the team and picking up an injury that was disgustingly and undoubtedly originated from a pre meditated tackle. I’m sure that will be in the back mind of him and every Mayo player on Sunday. I’m expecting a dogfight over the weekend and don’t think a Horan managed Mayo team will roll over this time round. Won’t be a game for the faint hearted that’s for sure.

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