Search Results for 'Mickey Conroy'
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I am sure many of you felt as deflated as I did last Sunday. After leaving Elverys MacHale Park deflated I went home to watch the game again on TG4, and just in case I missed anything on second viewing I had to watch Sunday Sport later on that evening to see what the pundits said about the game. The reality is Mayo should be playing in Croke Park this Sunday against Cork in the semifinal of the National League. They threw away the game against Donegal or should I say kicked away. Some wayward shooting late on cost us a place in the semifinal.
It wasn’t as if we weren’t warned. We expected a Tyrone backlash, we didn’t think it would be so convincing. The scrutiny and criticism directed at Mickey Harte’s Tyrone after their capitulation against Monaghan in the first round more than galvanised the red hand for their trip to Castlebar. Sports writers, commentators, analysts, and even Mickey Harte’s most loyal supporters questioned his credentials and his team; they’re as good as dead it was declared.
When I woke last Sunday morning at 6.30am to find an inch of frozen snow covering the entire landscape around Charlestown I immediately thought there was no way I could travel to Killarney in these conditions, but I had to as I had the radio equipment in the boot of my car and without it no live broadcast of the much anticipated game could take place.
As I expected, Galway qualified for the Connacht final after a somewhat facile victory over Sligo in the semi-final in Markievicz Park last weekend.
First things first, The Battle of Bellaghy white collar boxing event between Charlestown GAA and Curry GAA held in the CBD complex in Charlestown was another phenomenal success and I am sure the coffers of both clubs are well boosted after it. I have played in many a big game down the years and would consider myself reasonably calm and in control given a particular situation, but boxing is a different animal. I had a week from hell in the lead up to the event, I could not sleep properly and was extremely anxious and nervous for pretty much the entire week, none the less, I took part, took my beating, and have very sore ribs to prove it. I would suggest for anyone who thinks I am off my trolley, to sign up for an event to see what I am on about, as every fighter on the night were pretty much petrified, even the good boxers. The box is ticked and at least I am alive to tell the tale. Note to self; you are never doing it again.
Although it is only round three of the National league on Sunday when Mayo take on Kerry, it literally is a league defining match (There will be more on rounds of a different kind later on). The winners of the game have a chance of making the semi-finals; the losers are staring relegation in the face. Mayo have had some good results against Kerry in the league in the last number of years and no question they will not fear them particularly with Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper sidelined for the year . It is sad for us as footballing fans that we will not see the eight-time All-Star in action this year however I am sure there are many a manager and defender quietly delighted they will not have to endure the full wrath of his skills in the summer of 2014. Cooper’s last championship game, last year’s All-Ireland semifinal against the Dubs, was arguably one of his best in a Kerry jersey. I was secretly hoping Kerry would win that game as I felt Mayo would have had a better chance against them in the final. Kerry are under transition at the moment and very regularly line out with players we have not really heard of just yet, so now is a good time to play them.
The only thing that will be remembered for a long time after Friday nights game in MacHale Park, will be a trivia question for years to come. Who was the first Mayo player to get a black card? That unfortunate footnote in history has gone to Moy Davitts' Sean Kelly whose Mayo debut came to a premature end ten minutes after it started, when he was shown to the line as the game crept over into injury time.
Two weeks on from the pain of Croke Park, it's back to playing for the pride of the parish this weekend as the quarter-finals and relegation semi-finals of the Treanlaur Catering Senior Football Championships take place. MacHale Park in Castlebar will host two double headers of last eight action on Saturday and Sunday, with the entertainment getting under way with the meetings of Castlebar Mitchels and Ballina Stepehenites at 3.30pm and Charlestown and Garrymore at 5pm tomorrow. The first game is, on paper, probably the game of the weekend, with the two most successful sides in the history of the competition going toe-to-toe. Pat Holmes' Castlebar men go into the game as favourites after blitzing their way through the group stages, which included a comprehensive win over fellow last eight side Breaffy. Holmes' team have been knocking at the door of winning the Moclair Cup for the first time since the early 90s and this year could be their time. With Barry Moran, Tom Cunniffee (if he is fit after having gone off at half-time in the All Ireland final) and Richie Feeney back in situ, alongside the likes of Danny Kirby, Aidan Walsh, Neil Douglas, Alan Feeney, and Ciaran Naughton, Mitchels have the player power to over-run any team in the grade. Not that Ballina will be any pushovers. John Healy's side will have to do without inspirational goalkeeper David Clarke, who had not recovered enough to take any part in Mayo's All Ireland series campaign. Healy will be able to call on experienced players of the calibre of Ronan McGarrity, Pat Harte, Ger Cafferkey, and Eanna Casey; while Evan Regan could have a major impact up front if he gets going. This time last year Ballina were staring down the barrel of the relegation gun after a horrible season, but they have pulled themselves together this year and will not give up without a fight. But when all is said and done, Castlebar should just have too much for them.
A certain brand of Danish lager does not do GAA weekends but if they did it would not be a patch on what unfolded in Croke Park last Sunday (as long as you’re from Mayo). I had a dream last week that we had two teams in Croke Park for All-Ireland final day- that dream is now a reality. Not since 2008 did any county have teams in both minor and senior finals when Tyrone were successful on both occasions. I sat beside Barney Rock for most of the minor game and at full-time he and Oisin McConville could not have heaped any more praise on our minor team when both described them as a serious outfit. Mayo ripped Monaghan apart, scoring goals at crucial times, culminating in a very impressive total of 3-19 and they had contenders for man of the match all over the field, I opted for wing back Michael Hall who seems to be trying to emulate another number five on our senior team. On a day that had mixed emotions for the minor camp, may I wish Cian Hanley a speedy recovery from his very unfortunate injury.
What a wonderful occasion last Sunday’s Connacht finals day was in McHale Park. I arrived in Castlebar at 11am and already could feel the buzz and anticipation as many supporters were parking miles out the Charlestown road at that early hour. The day was not as sunny as expected but it was very humid and extremely energy sapping for the players, and even the well prepared Mayo players who did not have to get out of second gear were down on all fours at the end gasping for air.