Search Results for 'Ger McDonagh'
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Elvery’s MacHale Park is the place to be this weekend, when the best eight senior club teams in the county do battle for a place in the semi-finals of this year’s club championship.
Castlebar Mitchels’ manager Pat Holmes is facing into his second county final in three years on Sunday which will also be the club’s third crack at the title in four. The All Ireland u21 winning manager from 2006 was also part of the last team from the county town to taste success in this competition 20 years ago, alongside a number of players with long roots to Sunday’s final, including his opposite number Declan O’Reilly who was a member of the panel and Tom O’Reilly whose two sons will line up in opposite camps come Sunday.
The dividing lines are fluid when it comes to the boundary, fluid enough to see two brothers togging out for opposing teams on Sunday, but one thing that is not fluid is the desire of both Castlebar Mitchels and Breaffy to take home the Paddy Moclair Cup with them on Sunday evening. Both of this year’s finalists have got there on merit, one was expected to be still standing here, while the others dusted themselves off after heavy defeat to the other in the group stages and have battled back to show their true worth.
I have so little energy this evening. I am wrecked after a tough session in the gym. The penny hasn’t dropped with me yet that the body isn’t able for the kind of punishment I once subjected it to. Earlier this evening, I was happily plodding along in the gym doing my thing, when I was invited to join in with the spinning class taking place in an adjoining room. The instructor pushed us hard for almost an hour. It was an eye opener and I can now admit to myself that the old body is not what it once was. However I comforted myself when I realised that there is no point in peaking this time of year! That is not the situation however for any new potential inter-county footballer wanting to impress new managers around the country. The reality is many of those players wil not have kicked a ball in months, yet they are expected to make an impression at these trial games. That’s the way it is, and until there is a better solution it will continue that way. I had a text from Ian Rowland from Crossmolina earlier this week announcing that he was invited on to the Mayo football panel for the FBD league. Ian had a wonderful year with Crossmolina, impressing in lots of games in both the league and championship. He is a player who has improved enormously this year and I expect there is more to come from this young student. Ian was one of the players invited to participate in a trial match last Saturday morning in McHale Park. I heard he played well in the trial, kicking a number of monster points that clearly caught the eye. Incidentally, I have rarely witnessed a player anywhere in the country who can kick the ball as far as this man can. Understandably, he is thrilled to be presented with this opportunity and I am quite confident he will do well.
I recall a few short months ago writing in this paper about the poor fare we were witnessing in the majority of games at the start to this year’s championship. I had witnessed some fairly ordinary fare in every province and the general perception was that football was at a very low ebb. It was hard to argue at the time and I kept my fingers crossed that things just might improve as the season progressed. Wexford created their own fairy tale and did produce some magic along the way as they shocked us all by making it all the way to the All Ireland semi final. But the magic for me in this year’s football championship came in the last two weekends. The All Ireland final displays from the minor and senior final were magical. The quality of play and the excitement generated in the minor final was terrific.
While the fog did not lift last Saturday in Castlebar, as the Mitchels finally saw off the challenge of Breaffy in the u21 A semi final, the result will stand unlike the previous week’s game which was blown up early. At the end of 60 minutes of hard fought and often times blind play the Mitchels came out deserved winners by 1-9 to 0-8. That win for Paul Jordan and Tommy O'Malley's side has set up a mouth watering encounter against another local rival, Ballintubber.