What will come of us in the Kingdom?

REMEMBER WHEN? The Mayo team that beat Kerry by a point in Mickey Moran's first league game in charge in 2006. How many of the fifteen can you name? We'll give the answer on Monday.

REMEMBER WHEN? The Mayo team that beat Kerry by a point in Mickey Moran's first league game in charge in 2006. How many of the fifteen can you name? We'll give the answer on Monday.

TIALTNGO has to admit that the Mayo Kerry NFL game on Sunday is not foremost in his thoughts this weekend. No that fate falls to Saturday’s Under 21 championship clash with Galway (see preview below) but we’ll know a lot more about our seniors after Sunday.

We couldn’t have asked for an easier three games to start but our return of three points from Derry, Donegal and Westmeath isn’t too productive. Instead of potentially having relegation, well, relegated to the back of our minds, we still need to get a win from one of Kerry, Dublin, Galway and Tyrone to be fairly sure of safety.

But those two points are hardly going to come on Sunday I’m afraid. Kerry are normally as excited about the league as Ciaran McDonald is about seeing a journalist but this year their attitude has changed, up to now at least.

GUESS WHO'S BACK?: Kerry manager Jack O'Connor with Colm Cooper

GUESS WHO'S BACK?: Kerry manager Jack O'Connor with Colm Cooper

Jack’s back and O’Connor is like a dog with a bone this year, after watching from afar as Kerry once again fell to Tyrone in last year’s All-Ireland final. They exploded that fury on Tyrone in the first half of their win over Mickey Harte’s men in Healy Park and then managed to take care of Derry, who have been steadily improving under Damien Cassidy.

Kerry look good for a league title and the one thing which might work in Mayo’s favour are our own distincly average performces to date. O’Connor might feel this is the ideal game to taper Kerry’s preparations. Bring down the pace, bring in a few players and still be good enough to see off average opposition. No point going gung-ho in March to overcome a middlin’ enough team is likely to be the attitude of the king of the ‘yerra’.

Its not nice that we might be thought of in those terms but what better to do than capitalise on that complacency. We don’t and won’t need to talk about our record against Kerry in championship but the league has been a happy hunting ground for us.

We’ll have a better chance than the 3/1 odds in the bookies would suggest but the second half against Donegal remains the only time this year we’ve hit anything resembling a performance level that will challenge Kerry. Another problem the next day will be strength in depth.

Players who could have been expected to start such as Tom Parsons, Mikey Sweeney, Donal Vaughan and Kevin McLoughlin will all play under 21 on Saturday. To ask them to start again the following day wouldn’t be fair. Perhaps tog them but no more.

Seamus O’Shea should get this chance to shine at midfield and Alan Dillon and Pat Harte should be back to line out in attack along with the Mortimers, Barry Kelly and Mark Ronaldson but we could be short of options in defence. Ger Cafferkey will hopefully be back but, even still, who is there to line out at corner-back, opposite Liam O’Malley? Pat Kelly is gone, Aidan Higgins doesn’t seem to be around yet and Vaughan and McLoughlin will have played the day before.

A DOUBLE SHIFT?: Will Kevin McLoughlin have to line out twice in 24 hours?

A DOUBLE SHIFT?: Will Kevin McLoughlin have to line out twice in 24 hours?

Add in that the opposition will probably be Gooch Cooper, Kieran Donaghy and Darren O’Sullivan. Not ideal. There could be every chance that Vaughan or McLoughlin could play two days running when we consider the lack of alternatives.

John O’Mahony is delaying naming his team until after the Under 21 game so he’s probably thinking along these lines. Which would make you wonder why we are so short of corner-backs. But that’s an issue for another day.

Can we beat Kerry on Sunday? Possibly, but a lot needs to go right. I won’t be completely surprised if I see it but TIALTNGO won’t be trying to regain money lost from Cheltenham by backing Mayo. Kerry by three.

Advertisements

1 Response to “What will come of us in the Kingdom?”



  1. 1 Green and Red » Previews, U21s and stuff Trackback on March 14, 2009 at 9:39 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: