Some interesting battles await

WE had promised to look forward to some individual clashes in tomorrow’s game in Tuam at some stage today but time has kept us offline until now.

ACID TEST: We'll know a lot more about Ger Cafferkey's future as a full-back after he faces Michael Meehan on Sunday.

ACID TEST: We'll know a lot more about Ger Cafferkey's future as a full-back after he faces Michael Meehan on Sunday.

So we’ll just have a brief look. Battle number one. Ger Cafferkey v Michael Meehan. A serious test of Cafferkey’s ability at full-back. How will he get on? Hard to say. He has the pace for Meehan but perhaps not the strength. Meehan is a very intelligent forward too. It will be very interesting.

 

Number two. Kieran Conroy has been picked at corner-back but we don’t think JOM is foolish enough to leave him at corner-back. No. One of Galway’s corner-forwards who are Matty Clancy and Paul Conroy will drift out the field and Conroy, not Liam O’Malley, will follow. There he might well come into his own and make Liam Sammon think twice about his corner-forward coming so deep.

Number three. Tom Cunniffe v Padraig Joyce. We still don’t know where Trevor Howley stands in management’s plans considering he’s just coming back from injury. For now we’ll have to assume that JOM and Co fancy Tom Cunniffe to be wearing number 6 for the summer. With that in mind how he fares against the best Connacht forward of his generation will be a real test of Cunniffe’s mettle. The Castlebar man will have Joyce for pace and might be able to storm forward but I’d like to see him stick to a man-marking job tomorrow and see if he can blunt Joyce’s threat. Do that and we’re a good way towards victory.

MIDFIELD BATTLE: We'll need Ronan McGarrity to get the better of Barry Cullinane tomorrow.

MIDFIELD BATTLE: We'll need Ronan McGarrity to get the better of Barry Cullinane tomorrow.

Number 4. Ronan McGarrity v Barry Cullinane. The type of midfield match-up McGarrity may not relish. He’s coming up against a physically stronger and taller man and he can’t allow Cullinane to bully and dominate him. Given his indifferent form this year, TIALTNGO isn’t full of confidence about how the Mayo 2008 captain will do but now is as good a time as any to step up to the mark. He does have superior football skills than the sometimes awkward Cullinane so hopefully that will count for a lot.

Number 5. Trevor Mortimer v Diarmuid Blake. If Sky Sports were covering this game this would be the duel worthy of their famous Player Cam. This will be a war within a war as two men who don’t know the meaning of pulling back go at it hammer and tongs. Hopefully Mortimer’s direct running can trouble Blake.

Number 6: Aidan O’Shea v Finian Hanley. A big, big ask for the Breaffy youngster being thrown in for his first start against one of the country’s best full-backs. A bit harsh on him if you ask me but if he gets direct ball right into him, he has the presence to trouble Hanley. However ball into space should see Hanley have the pace to be out in front.

All interesting battles and I’m looking forward to tomorrow now.

A word too for St Colman’s of Claremorris who go into battle in the All-Ireland Senior A Colleges semi-final in Longford against Edenderry of Offaly. A pity this game couldn’t be put as a curtain raiser in Tuam. Edenderry are not highly rated so Colman’s go into this game with more than a fighting chance. Jack O’Connor’s Colaiste Na Sceilige of Cahirciveen await in the final after getting the better of the Ciaran Gourley (the Tyrone corner-back) managed Dungannon side today.

Colman’s have a great team in the truest sense of the word. Everyone works for one another and everyone knows what’s expected of them. Best of look lads and hopefully we’ll have a Mayo team in a Hogan Cup final.

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