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This Sunday at noon Jeffrey Lynskey's gallant Galway minors will take on Kilkenny in their All-Ireland minor replay as part of a triple-header at Croke Park with the second minor semi-final, between Tipperary and Dublin (2pm), and the senior All-Ireland semi-final between Galway and Tipperary (4pm).
The Mayo junior adventure came to an end in Croke Park on Saturday afternoon, when a far classier Kerry side put them to the sword without much fuss to claim the All Ireland junior crown.
After last weekend's two mis-matches in the All-Ireland quarter-finals, GAA people are really hoping for some high quality fare this Saturday, when Monaghan take on Tyrone and Connacht champions Mayo face Donegal. The second game is the more attractive fixture by far and following Donegal's 10 point defeat of Galway last weekend, and in particular the way they finished the game, Rory Gallagher's men will feel that they can take down Mayo, as they did in the All-Ireland final of 2012.
For me the championship proper starts tomorrow at Croke Park. What has gone on before is bordering on a joke. Apart from Kildare defeating Cork in a round three qualifier and Cork almost catching Kerry on the hop in the drawn Munster final the rest has been straightforward and in some cases embarrassing. The first year the quarter-finals were introduced the cumulative winning total of the four games was just 11 points, the first two this year yielded a 35 point winning margin for Kerry and Dublin. I have no doubt Kildare would have taken a respectable few points loss to Cork in that qualifier rather than trying to come to terms with that 27 point humiliation at the hands of Kerry last weekend. Who would ever have thought that Kildare footballers would suffer a 19 point and a 27 point hiding from Dublin and Kerry and in the same season knock Cork out? Football has gone crazy.
After blitzing their way through Connacht without much fuss the first test of Mayo's credentials from a side outside Connacht will come tomorrow when they square up against Donegal in Croke Park. Mayo joint managers, Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes, announced their starting 15 for the showdown on Tuesday this week, much earlier than they have done for their two other championship games, and the starting line-up showed no changes from the one that started against Sligo in the provincial decider.
I thought I was hearing things when I tuned into Midwest radio last Saturday evening to see how our minors were getting on against our bitter rivals Galway. I did not make it to the game because of the lure of what was on TV as I wanted to see how Roscommon would respond after their embarrassing defeat at the hands of Sligo. Mayo’s defeat to Galway by a whopping 17 points has to go down as one of the darkest days in Mayo football at minor level. I do not recall any Mayo minor team taking a pasting of that magnitude.
The Galway footballers have been drawn away to Armagh next weekend, July 11/12, in round two of the All-Ireland football qualifiers.
As a meticulous planner who maps out my summer so as there is no collision between family events, birthdays, nights out, holidays, etc, and football matches I was shocked to hear that the first round of the Mayo club championship was put back a week, 11 days before it was due to take place.
Alan Flynn's Galway U-21 footballers are the 2/1 outsiders this Saturday evening when they take on Roscommon in the Connacht final at Tuam Stadium (6pm).
The Galway u-21 footballers will now face a highly-rated Roscommon outfit after defeating Mayo by 1-12 to 0-11 in McHale Park on Saturday evening.