Search Results for 'Tom Parsons'
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My first permanent teaching post was at St Gerald’s College, Castlebar, 20 years ago this September. And having taught in the county for eight years, I appreciate the ravenous and deep rooted desire that exists there for a senior All-Ireland success. The school principal at the time was big Brother Thomas Durnin from the De La Salle Order, and he asked me to bring the Sam Maguire Cup down in 1998. The reaction of the older members of staff was revealing. They would take the canister. Look at it, and then hand it over quickly, with a certain amount of disdain, muttering something like; “I don’t want it. Or want to touch it, unless we have won it ourselves.”