4pm Saturday at Croke Park

So says the Club Mayo Dublin website, in a world exclusive. I trust those guys – well, I did get my bespoke fleece from them, didn’t I? – so I’m taking it as official. No doubt those lazy sods in RTE and elsewhere will get in on the act shortly, when we should also learn what the curtain raiser will be.

UPDATE: It’s now confirmed for Croker on Saturday, according to this report on Setanta.  We’re on at 4pm, with Down v Wexford on the undercard and the two other qualifiers will be played the following day, also at HQ.

3 thoughts on “4pm Saturday at Croke Park

  1. Now that the draw is made and the date/time/venue i sorted, our minds turn to the likely selection. What changes will be made at the back to deal with the obvious problems of the last outing? Who will fill the gap at midfield in Ronan’s absence? Bearing in mind that the running game we favour will play into Tyrone’s hands, what changes will be made up front? Tyrone too, are not without their own selection questions. How badly injured is Sean Kavanagh? If he is fit, can they afford to leave him at No 14. From our perspective, who will pick up the McGuigans? How do we deal with the roving game of Brian Dooher?

    If I was in Johnno’s boots, I would assign Howley, Cunniffe and Aidan Higgins on the McGuigans and on Penrose. I’m not yet certain who each should pick up, but these 3 need to be tightly marked. I would give Keith Higgins a roving role on Dooher with strict instructions that he is to get into Dooher’s face for the entire 70 mins. Tackle him whenever he is near the ball – even if it is as far back as the Tyrone square! I would give Conroy one of the remaining defence places and the other to either Gardiner or Kelly. Seamus O’Shea would get the call-up to partner Parsons in the middle. 10, 11 and 12 respectively would go to Dillon, Harte and Moran. Killer gets one corner, Mort the Younger the otherand (for the long absent power up front) Heaney would get the No 14 shirt.

    That way we could counter Tyrone’s game, use the quick ball into the danger zone and dictate the game from the start.

    But then I’m not in Johnno’s boots. And although he knows our guys better that any of us and, hopefully, he has more time to study Tyrone than I have had, I don’t think he would choose the team I suggest. He doesn’t do sweeping change and would be more likely go for something like: Clarke, A Higgins, Nallen, K.Higgins, Heaney, Cunniffe, Howley, Harte, Parsons, BJP, Dillon, Moran, C Mort, A O’Malley, Killer. Whoever he chooses, I hope he believes as much as I do that we can win this. If we do, we are in a great position because, with the way the draw has worked out, Kerry will now really have to earn their place in the last eight. Dublin look strong and seem to be improving with every game, but their next game will be a lottery as they will be against a different prospect from anything that they have faced in Leinster. The rest are around our own level.

    So it’s back to HQ. We should be well used to Croker by now and get stuck in from the start. God knows we have had our share of days there. The Tyrone support is usually plentiful and vocal. Let’s hope our supporters get in the mood for it and go out to win the supporting match in the stands as well.

    Keep the Faith!

  2. It’s hard to know what kind of team he’ll put out, given that the team that finished the Connacht final was so different from the one that started it and bearing in mind the injuries to Ronan and T Mort as well as Howley’s return to fitness. I still can’t see Johnno making wholesale changes – he doesn’t appear to be that kind of guy – but significant change from the starting line-up on July 13th does still look likely.

    I agree that if we win, we’re really back in business, although another tough game – against either Dublin, Cork or Armagh – would then lie ahead the following weekend. Let’s take it one step at a time, I suppose.

    I agree with you Ted about the decision to bring the match to Croker (even if it suits me best): what’s the point in spending all that money on somewhere like Carrick-on-Shannon and then not using it for games like this?

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