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When you sit down and talk Galway hurling with David Collins, you can imagine what it is like to be in the dressing room and ready to go to war in maroon and white. If passion alone won a Celtic cross, then Collins would be weighed down with them at this stage of his career. But, alas, the 31-year-old Liam Mellows' man has just the one from the u-21 championship in 2005.
"When you're younger, you play enough All Irelands up against the gable end of the house. I must have played in 50 All Irelands around the side of the house already, and I won them all. "
"Brian's a fierce competitor and he'd fight for every ball there, whether it's a Galway ball or a Kilkenny ball - and so would I. The thing we'd love to be doing is still playing," says Galway hurling manager Anthony Cunningham of his Kilkenny opposite Brian Cody.
Joe Canning v Joey Holden
Cycling home from work in Galway city to Moycullen on Tuesday evening, the same car passed me three times in the ongoing traffic jam that has existed at the edge of the Connemara village for the past nine months.
It was done and dusted, Mayo were going home and the dream looked to have died for another year when Jack McCaffrey put the ball over the bar to put Dublin 2-12 to 0-11 clear with 60.45 gone on the clock. Mayo brought in Alan Freeman just after the white flag had been raised.
Ten minutes from time Jack McCaffery swung the ball over the bar and the Hill was in full voice as Dublin went seven points clear and Mayo were hanging on looking for a punchers chance of resurrecting their interest in this years All Ireland senior championship. But they dug in and fought it out to the not so bitter end. Eight minutes from time Andy Moran fired over a nice score from play, a minute later Keith Higgins side stepped his way to a point and the gap was closing in.
The GAA community and wider community in Mayo were in mourning this week following the death of the talented 19-year-old Darragh Doherty who lost his life in a road traffic collision on Sunday night. Doherty from Ballyhenry in Kilmaine was killed in a single vehicle traffic collision at Carromore, near Ballinrobe on Sunday night.
When word filtered through, shortly before throw in ahead of Mayo's All Ireland quarter-final win over Donegal, that Barry Moran was starting instead of Andy Moran, it caught almost everyone off guard. Where would the big Castlebar man play? In a twin towers approach with Aidan O'Shea on the edge of the square? In the middle of the field with either Tom Parsons or Seamus O'Shea pushing forward? They were two of the most likely options, but as a defensive sweeper, nobody saw that one coming.
"What we do need to concentrate on is being at our very best in June, July, August, and September, and whatever we have to do to be in the best shape we can be, that's what we have to concentrate on," said Noel Connelly on a wet and cold evening last November when he and Pat Holmes sat down to meet the local press for the first time after their appointment as the new Mayo senior management ticket. This coming Sunday is last Sunday in August, and things have gone exactly to that plan so far. If they are to keep going until September then the next step is to get over Dublin on Sunday.