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When he interviewed for the job of minor hurling manager last year, Jeffery Lynskey was told "this was probably the worst minor team ever". Roll on nine months and Lynskey's minor marvels were climbing the steps of the Hogan Stand to claim Galway's 10th All Ireland minor title.
No matter what when on in the build up to this game, the simple truth when it came down to the crunch was that Dublin were the better team and won out in the end. The pantomime theatrics of the crowd booing the perceived villain on either side of the debate gave way to a game of football in the end and Dublin were the side who landed the knock-out blows when it mattered most.
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.
As an intriguing SSE Airtricity League premier division relegation battle continues, Galway United's Eamonn Deacy Park clash with Longford Town on Saturday evening can certainly be classed as crucial.
The Galway minor hurlers will get proceedings under way next Sunday at Croke Park when they take on a highly-rated Tipperary in the All-Ireland minor final (1.15pm).
Cycling home from work in Galway city to Moycullen on Tuesday evening, the same car passed me three times in the ongoing traffic jam that has existed at the edge of the Connemara village for the past nine months.
This time last season Iorras Aontaithe were on the brink of relegation and they needed a moment of magic to spark their season into life. Thankfully they survived and maintained their position in the upper echelons of the Mayo Football League.
The Mayo u21 hurlers head east on Saturday as they enter unchartered waters in the All-Ireland u21B Championship with an away assignment against the Royals in Trim. Mayo have had a progressive season at U21 level this summer, having beaten both Sligo and Roscommon to claim the Connacht GAA u21B title and pick up the Hogan Couriers Cup in the process. The confidence gained from winning their first Connacht u21 title since 2006 was a major bonus to Mayo, as they then overcame Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter final in Letterkenny a fortnight ago. The Westerners came out on top by 1-14 to 1-6 in a physical encounter - the Mayo goal coming from Corey Scahill (Castlebar).
Last year Achill came within touching distance of bringing the Pete McDonnell Cup back home from the mainland, when Castlebar Mitchels B pipped them at the post in the junior final. Despite that disappointment the island men shook off that heartbreak a few weeks later and went out and represented Mayo in the Connacht championship and went all the way to the Connacht final, where once again they fell just short when the Aran Islands beat them in a game that was dubbed the All Island final. But the men from the island have dusted themselves down and are back again for another shot at claiming the Mayo junior title.
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