Thursday, January 03, 2008
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Almost six months after our 2007 championship exit, Mayo's footballers finally take the field in something resembling a competitive fixture this coming Sunday when they take on NUIG in the Connacht FBD League at Ballinrobe. The FBD, like the O'Byrne and McKenna Cups (and, to a lesser extent, the McGrath Cup) in the other provinces, serves as a kind of pre-season before the NFL gets going at the start of February. It's a nothing tournament - even we wouldn't get excited about winning it.
So Johnno is spot on when he describes it as a "non-event", though he does so due to the fact that so many players will be unavailable, given that the third level institutions have first call on county panellists. Johnno has apparently been left with around twenty waifs and strays for the opening match with NUIG on Sunday so it's anyone's guess who will line out where in Ballinrobe. Here's Mike Finnerty's tuppence worth. And Sean Rice's.
Finnerty says that both James Gill and Pat Kelly will feature in the FBD matches this month (after NUIG, we play Sligo IT and Roscommon), which, if true, is good news. While he obviously possesses bags of talent, Gill has delivered very little at senior level to date and so his departure from the inter-county scene last year was little surprise. It would be nice to see him prove all the doubters wrong in his second coming. Paddy Kelly has been in flying form at club level for Dublin's St Vincent's (as has Brian Maloney) on their way to the All-Ireland club semis and so his recall is of little surprise.
Other names - new ones this time - mentioned by Finnerty as being in the frame are Achill's Colm Cafferkey and Donal Corrigan, Knockmore's John Brogan, Charlestown's Tony Mulligan, Westport's goalie Tom Higgins and Shrule-Glencorrib's David 'Roundy' Geraghty. I expect the last lad named there is on his own special weights programme.
Sadly, I won't be able to make it to Ballinrobe for Sunday's "non-event" - the lure of Parnell Park on Saturday night for the Dubs against the Goat Suckers has proved too strong - but it's great to see action of some sort returning after almost half a year's absence. And, with plenty of action on the menu over the coming weeks and months, it should also make it a bit easier to keep the site humming.
But, it IS a new year and, in the spirit of fecking out all that old stuff and replacing it with something more in tune with the shiny new year, it's time to unveil what has hitherto been my little secret project. (Mine and Gerry's, aka Tommy Joe, that is. None of what I'm about to reveal would have been possible without his technical wizardry).
Yes, folks, Green and Red 2.0 is about to be launched, with the blog moving to a new domain (http://mayogaablog.com), with a different look and feel but also containing all that old bile you've read and loved over the course of 2007. It's still only in beta, mind, and the builders haven't stopped dumping their shite around the place but, work permitting, I'm hoping to be out of the old place and completely moved in over there in a few days.
The main advantage of the move is that I wanted to have separate pages for results, fixtures and the like and I also wanted to have readily-accessible archive pages, which (warning: New Year's Resolution about to approach) I could then backfill back to the year dot. Blogger doesn't allow me to do this and so we have to part. It's nothing to do with you, Bloggie love, it's me. No really, it is.
Monday, December 31, 2007
With the New Year comes the return of inter-county action (unless you happen to be from Cork, in which case the only action you're apparently going to see will happen on the picket line). The first shots in sort-of anger have already been fired, with Monaghan (about whom many have high hopes for the coming year) losing their opening McKenna Cup fixture by a point to Queens up at Clones yesterday. That'll teach them to jump the gun. Next weekend sees the start of the O'Byrne Cup with de Dubs tackling the Goat Suckers at Parnell Park on Saturday evening. Micko v the Dubs: that might be worth a look, I reckon.
No word yet on the FBD league but it's got to be getting underway soon, as they need to finish it before the league starts in a month's time. Oooh! I'm almost giddy with the excitement of it all.
On that note, all the best for the New Year. Here's to silverware. Here's to delusion. Here's to another year of following the Green and Red.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
It's Christmas, in other words, and so time to sign off for a few days. However, plans are already afoot for a revamp of the site early in the New Year (new look, new domain, that sort of thing) so keep an eye out for what's in store.
Meanwhile, have a great Christmas and New Year and I hope that the experience of reading my various rants here have been at least partly as enjoyable as has been my creation of them.
Keep the faith!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
There's a large crop of GAA books out this year. I must confess that I haven't read those by Sean Kelly, Jack O'Connor, Oisin McConville or the new biography of Micko though, from the reviews I've seen, any of them shouldn't get flung back in your face. I have read, and enjoyed for the most part, Roland Tormey's Summertime Blues, a nostalgic account of what it felt like to follow Dublin on their way to their last All-Ireland in 1995.
That was the last long, hot Summer in these parts and it was also the final one that I spent in London (where the Summer that year was even longer and hotter than over here) and, having missed all of that year's championship (as well as most of the previous seven), the stuff about Jayo scoring the goal in his stockinged feet and the controversy about Charlie Redmond's sending-off in the final were stories I'd only heard about vaguely in the past. The story is mainly recounted, a la Nick Hornby, from the author's perspective as a member of the blue horde on the Hill but it's also interspersed with interviews with a few of the players. Personally, I'd have preferred if he'd stuck with his own story as the bits told through the players' eyes was the kind of stuff you could have read in any newspaper article.
The other odd thing was that, for all his talk about yearning to see the Dubs win Sam again, he has very little to say about what he felt like and what he did when they finally did go and win it. Did he run down O'Connell Street buck naked? Did he go on the piss for three whole weeks? (Either could happen to WJ, dear reader, were Mayo ever to triumph again). It would have been nice to know what he thought of seeing his team reach the summit and what the view looked like from there.
The other book I'd point you towards is Michael Foley's excellent Kings of September. This was, I thought, a bit like reading The Day of the Jackal, in that you know the ending but it doesn't spoil the story. (De Gaulle doesn't get shot in Michael Foley's book either). Seeing as the denouement results in defeat for Kerry and their hopes of making history smashed to smithereens, it made, all told, for rather enjoyable reading. The film version is, I see, on TG4 on Christmas Day and I'm already looking forward to putting my feet up beside the fire (sorry, Bronwen!) with a glass or two and waiting for that magic moment - which is almost as good as that bit in Mary Poppins where she first appears in the sky holding her brolly - when Seamus Darby has his date with destiny. Ho! Ho! Ho!