London calling to the faraway towns

 “London calling to the faraway towns,

Now that war is declared-and battle coming down

London calling to the underworld

Come out of the cupboard, all you boys and girls”

The Clash, 1979

“London calling” by The Clash is one of my favourite driving songs.

No matter what or where the trip is a few minutes of that tune improves the mood considerably for all within earshot.

And while Joe Strummer may be gone on the Tube to the next life, London will still be calling a fair few football fans and shopping fans this weekend for the Galway v London game in Ruislip.

It should be an easy victory for Galway based on previous outings to that venue.

To prove my point: in 2004, the score-line was Galway 8-14, to London’s 0-8, with Padraig Joyce scoring 2-3 and Joe Bergin and Michael Donnellan also banging in two goals apiece.

Mayo beat New York 3-28 to 1-08 that same month in 2004 which was the first game of their trip to the All-Ireland final that year. And - FYI - Conor Mortimer scored 1-12 in that outing.

Back to this weekend, where Liam Sammon and his selectors have a number of injury concerns to assess before finalising the starting line up for Sunday.

Joe Bergin is doubtful after recent micro surgery on his knee, but he is hopeful of being available, while Kieran Fitzgerald only resumed training this week after being out for the past couple of weeks.

Niall Coyne, Darren Mullaghy, and Damien Dunleavy are all carrying knocks and may not see action. That said, as long as Galway have the spine of the team in good fettle and can get sufficient supply into the likes of Nicky Joyce, Cormac Bane, and the omnipotent Michael Meehan they should advance with ease to face Sligo in five weeks’ time.

Galway played Cork in a high scoring challenge in Limerick last weekend. That game ended on a score-line of Galway 4-15, Cork 3-13; however the game became rather meaningless in the second half as both sides ploughed on a pile of subs. Still it was a good run out for the panel, and should see the team in fluid form to see off a gamey, but limited London outfit.

Calling a spade a spade, once the Galway players take the field with the right attitude and application, there will only be one result.

Football championship really takes off this Sunday

Maybe it’s just me; however the football championship has yet to really take off with neither the sight of Mayo defeating New York or Louth and Fermanagh advancing last weekend enough to get the blood even simmering.

We could do with a blast of championship fervour, and this weekend sees some intriguing games up for decision. Hopefully with a bit of good weather and people going to games in polo shirts and their county colours instead of waterproof gear and brollies, perhaps we can get into the championship mood.

O’Moore Park, Portlaoise sees a very enjoyable looking double header with Longford v Wicklow and Kildare v Offaly. The first game is a hard one to call and you couldn’t see either of them doing much in the Leinster championship either way, although Glen Ryan’s new voice may bring a bit of momentum to the Longford boys.

Kildare will fancy their chances of doing a bit of business this year and it is difficult to see Offaly stopping them at this stage.

Kieran McGeeney’s charges garnered a few big scalps during the league and they should jump the Offaly fence unless Shane Lowry togs out with his driver and does the business for Brian Cowen’s county men from full-forward. It is a local derby and anything can happen in those types of games, however I would plug for a Lilly win in that one.

A game that I would like to see is Tipperary v Limerick in Semple stadium. Tipp have had a great year to-date; promoted and division three champions over Down is fabulous progress.

John Evans though will know that they need to scalp Limerick to really put down a marker. It would be great to see them do so; however Mickey Ned O’ Sullivan’s team should have too much experience to allow that to happen.

Up North, Derry take on Monaghan in Celtic Park in what should be a roller coaster ride. Damien Cassidy (Derry manager ) has stressed all year that the championship is what they are all about and that’s what their mind-set looked like in their listless display against Kerry in the league final. Enda Muldoon is a loss with a broken bone in his foot, however with Joe Diver and Fergal Doherty at midfield they should get enough ball into the Bradley boys to sneak out off their home patch with a win.

PS: If you feel like doing a bit of humming on the way home; the chorus from London Calling is:

“The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in

Engines stop running and the wheat is growing thin

A nuclear error, but I have no fear

London is drowning - and I live by the river.”

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