Search Results for 'Stephen Cluxton'
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Mary Hannigan of The Irish Times is one of my favourite journalists. Her TV View column in Monday’s Times is a must read as her humour, caustic wit, and wry take on things invariably brings a smile to my lips.
Mary Hannigan of The Irish Times is one of my favourite journalists.
The 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. It promises to be a hectic 24 hours of GAA action with Mayo replaying Dublin for a place in the decider against perennial favourites Kerry, and the Galway hurlers trying to bridge a 27-year gap that stretches back to Conor Hayes as team captain in 1988.
As in every game between two evenly matched sides a number of factors will be decisive in sorting out where the winning and the losing of this game will be. We will look at a few of those factors here.
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.
Ten minutes from time Jack McCaffery swung the ball over the bar and the Hill was in full voice as Dublin went seven points clear and Mayo were hanging on looking for a punchers chance of resurrecting their interest in this years All Ireland senior championship. But they dug in and fought it out to the not so bitter end. Eight minutes from time Andy Moran fired over a nice score from play, a minute later Keith Higgins side stepped his way to a point and the gap was closing in.
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.
Traditionally, once the starting 15 was announced all talk would move towards the various match-ups that would occur on the field. But even with Mayo announcing their starting 15 on Wednesday night for Sunday's big game, most of the talk was shifted towards "is that how they will actually line out". Since Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly threw the curve ball of dropping Barry Moran into the starting 15 for Mayo's win over Donegal in the quarter final win over the Ulster men, the chances of their doing the same for Dublin became a more real possability.