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Liam Gallagher once described a gig he played in Slane Castle as biblical, what went in Croke Park last Sunday was nothing short of the same. It was the most anticipated All-Ireland semi final in living memory and it certainly did not disappoint. I arrived early to do a piece with Radio One outside the Croke Park Hotel alongside former Hill 16 favourite Barney Rock and the place was buzzing at 12.30pm. I ran into a few former team mates, namely David Heaney, David Brady, and Kevin O'Neill who had just flown in from the USA for the game. I also had a chat with current Kerry minor and former All-Ireland winning senior manager Jack O'Connor who was rightly cock a hoop about Mayo’s chances. He told myself and Brady that he was coming up to Mayo for a week after they eventually win Sam which he said could be in a few weeks time. I hope he’s right.
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.
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.
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.
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, is eagerly anticipated.