It is funny what makes you feel loved and appreciated. I have just spent the last 20 minutes talking to God on the big white telephone with our three-years-old Neasa rubbing my back, giving me hugs, and telling me that it will be OK. “You’ll be better soon…” was the recurring mantra.
Unfortunately the six-year-old was much less supportive — life hardens them quickly — and she contemptuously told me that they were not real “pukes” at all as I was not making any large splashes. Having not eaten in three days, I didn’t expect much else. However, what took the biscuit — sorry — was when she told me to “finish up”, or she’d be late for school.
I hope Neasa is right and I will be better soon as there is a terrific weekend of sport ahead and there is top quality fare on offer on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Friday night under lights in Ballinrobe at 7.30pm, St Jarlath’s college Tuam take on St Gerald’s in the Connacht colleges senior semi-final.
There are some top players on both panels, and both managers, Terry Regan and Joe McCabe, will be hopeful their respective stars will shine brightly.
St Jarlath’s are badly hit with the absence of team captain Ronan Steede with a broken hand and Kieran Cunningham who is ruled out through suspension. St Gerald’s have the immense presence of Mayo minor star Aidan O’Shea at midfield and he may be the crucial difference. Unless 2007 All-Ireland minor stars Tomas Fahy and Conor Doherty can break his grip around the middle, then Jarlath’s will find it difficult to advance.
On Saturday St Colman’s face St Mary’s in Shrule at 12.30pm in the other semi-final with the Mayo side slight favourites to advance in that encounter.
The Dubs trip west is worth watching
Then we have the action from the All-Ireland intermediate finals with Galway hoping for success on two fronts, and then on Sunday we have the highlight of the weekend with the Galway seniors taking on Dublin in Pearse Stadium at 2.30pm.
I saw the Dubs against Tyrone in round one and they played the game at a high tempo. Ciaran Whelan, who has his detractors, had a superb second half, and along with Bernard Brogan, almost wrestled the two points from Mickey Hartes’ charges. Jason Sherlock too had a fine game and his duel with Finian Hanley will be one to savour.
The major negative for Liam Sammon’s Galway is that Barry Cullinane is out through suspension. The big Claregalway man would have the inches and brawn to nullify Whelan.
He is the type of player who would have enjoyed the challenge of taking on the Raheny man and perhaps dominating the midfield area. The Dublin full-back line that lined out against Tyrone of Paddy Andrews, Denis Bastic, and Alan Hubbard is inexperienced, and if Michael Meehan gets enough good ball, he could do some real scoring damage.
You need to win your home games if you want to make the league final, and hopefully a large home crowd will turn up to support the lads and cheer them on to victory.
It has the making of a top-class game, and if you want a game to whet your appetite for the main event on Sunday, you can check out the Galway over 40s who face their Dublin counterparts in St Mary’s at 3pm on Saturday. Galway will be powered by the likes of John Fallon, Brian Silke, Tom Greaney, Francis McWalters, Tomas Kilcommins, and Harry Walsh, while Dublin are expected to have the likes of Paul Curran, Joe McNally, and Jack Sheedy in their ranks. Now where did I leave those cold and flu tablets?