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Holding forth at the back

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He is one of the hardest, toughest, defenders you are likely to come across on the field of play, the kind of guy who puts his head in where it hurts, without consideration for his own wellbeing in the pursuit of victory. His hard hits are legendary, with the shoulder he put in on Damien Comer in last year's Connacht championship meeting between Mayo and Galway being felt right back up to the rafters in the stand in MacHale Park. But when you meet Colm Boyle off the field, he is one of the nicest fellows you could meet. Boyle has become a regular of the Mayo senior team press events and he is always courteous with his time and willing to ask whatever questions are put to him. For a guy who thought six year ago his inter-county career might have been over, he has become one of the backbones of Mayo success over the last half a decade.

Mayo can beat Dublin if they play to their optimum

This Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final clash between 2013 All-Ireland champions Dublin, and the team they defeated by a single point in that final, Mayo, has the entire country anticipating a humdinger of a game. Croke Park itself is a total sell-out, so there will be 82,000 plus a few stragglers at the game itself, and about 750,000 viewers tuning in on TV.

Are we there yet?

What a mouth watering clash we have in prospect for Sunday. Some of the biggest names in planet GAA competing against each other. We can now definitely say the three best teams in the country are left in the race for Sam Maguire, no one can argue against that. Kerry did all they had to do to get by Tyrone and reach another final but Sunday’s clash between Mayo and Dublin is the one we have been waiting for. The games against Dublin are incomparable especially at championship level. People all around lose the run of themselves. Croke Park is a cauldron of unimaginable noise, even deafening while wearing a headset and on radio duty. The league game in McHale Park this year between the two sides almost attracted a crowd of 16, 000, the likes of which I have never seen before for such an early season clash, which is where I am going to start. Dublin came into that game on a serious losing streak and in relegation trouble, Mayo were on the crest of a wave. All Dublin folk will tell you that game was the turning point in their season; they gave Mayo a right trimming winning by 2-18 to 0-10 that evening and went on to comfortably win the league thereafter. They have since won nine games on the spin.

Mayo look to take the Hill for a crack at the Kingdom

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Traditionally, once the starting 15 was announced all talk would move towards the various match-ups that would occur on the field. But even with Mayo announcing their starting 15 on Wednesday night for Sunday's big game, most of the talk was shifted towards "is that how they will actually line out". Since Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly threw the curve ball of dropping Barry Moran into the starting 15 for Mayo's win over Donegal in the quarter final win over the Ulster men, the chances of their doing the same for Dublin became a more real possability.

Brian Kennedy will play the Roisin Dubh

Brian Kennedy will play the Roisin Dubh on September 5 from 8pm. Tickets cost €20 (€18 members) and are available online at

Breathnach achieves new PBs in British League

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Galway's Sean Breathnach produced a superb performance in Liverpool in the British Athletics League recently.

The pro who stayed at home

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A well known Galway golfer, Peter O’Connor, otherwise known in the golfing world as “Snowball”, recently passed away at the age of 89.

Mayo can beat Dublin if they play to their optimum

This Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final clash between 2013 All-Ireland champions Dublin and the team they defeated by a single point in that final, Mayo, has the entire country anticipating a humdinger of a game.

U-21 defeat to Limerick provides a reality check

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After the stunning victory over Tipperary in the All-Ireland senior semi-final and the euphoria of that win and  the minor success over Kilkenny, it was tempting to believe Galway were going to have it all their own way for the next few weeks in intercounty hurling.

Connacht take pre-season scalp in Thomond Park

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Connacht pulled off a worthy pre-season scalp when they overcame Munster at Thomond Park by 28-12 in their final pre-season warm-up fixture.

 

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