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Even with only a few minutes to go last Sunday afternoon in Kenny Park and with both sides vying for their first senior title in a long time, and nothing between the sides on the scoreboard, there was a really muted atmosphere in the ground. There was barely a murmur on the packed terraces and the stand was never in any potential danger of being shook to the rafters.
It was a good day for Galway club football last Sunday at Hyde Park with both Galway intermediate and junior champions, Maigh Cuilinn and Clifden, qualifying for their respective Connacht finals.
Mayo are on the look out for a new senior football manager after the inevitable resigning of joint managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly last Friday night. It was a somewhat embarrassing saga in the Mayo GAA family that such an event occurred. By the time Noel and Pat resigned I had simply had enough. I was so drained from talking about it and anxiously waiting for any developments that I was relieved there was closure.
The Maigh Cuilinn footballers were too strong for a hard-working Athenry outfit last Sunday at Pearse Stadium in the county intermediate football final.
The Galway minor hurlers, under the impressive guidance of Liam Mellows' club man Jeffrey Lynskey, produced a great display of pace, skill, style and substance on Sunday afternoon to see off Tipperary by 4-13 to 1-16 in the All-Ireland final.
No matter what when on in the build up to this game, the simple truth when it came down to the crunch was that Dublin were the better team and won out in the end. The pantomime theatrics of the crowd booing the perceived villain on either side of the debate gave way to a game of football in the end and Dublin were the side who landed the knock-out blows when it mattered most.
The GAA patrons in both Galway and Mayo have one thing in common this week, a frantic search for tickets for next Saturday and Sunday’s two sell-out games at Croke Park. It promises to be a hectic 24 hours of GAA action with Mayo replaying Dublin for a place in the decider against perennial favourites Kerry, and the Galway hurlers trying to bridge a 27-year gap that stretches back to Conor Hayes as team captain in 1988.
As in every game between two evenly matched sides a number of factors will be decisive in sorting out where the winning and the losing of this game will be. We will look at a few of those factors here.
GAA patrons in both Galway and Mayo have one thing in common this week: a frantic search for tickets for next Saturday and Sunday’s two sell-out games at Croke Park.
"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.