Who do we want on Sunday evening?

FIVE days on from the Connacht final and if we haven’t switched attention to the All-Ireland quarter final then we damn well should. No doubt John O’Mahony had the players switched to that focus when the team went back training on Tuesday night. In fact I reckon he would have done so as early as Sunday evening when the players went to the Galway Bay Hotel for a swim after the game.

WAY BACK WHEN: James Horan in action against Kerry in the 1997 All-Ireland final. It sparked a run now at four games since we last beat them. This year we could end that rut.

WAY BACK WHEN: James Horan in action against Kerry in the 1997 All-Ireland final. It sparked a run now at four games since we last beat them. This year we could end that rut.

Of course it is hard to completely focus on the quarters until such a time as we know who we are playing. That’ll all be known by Sunday night (unless we draw Limerick and the winners of Meath and Roscommon of course).

We can’t play Galway so that means there are eight teams we can draw – Antrim, Kerry, Kildare, Wicklow, Donegal, Limerick, Meath or Roscommon.

Now we’ll make two quick presumptions. Kildare will beat Wicklow, that much we are fairly certain of. And Kerry will beat Antrim. We’re less certain here because of Kerry’s shaky form and hassle in the Kingdom castle but we still reckon they should account for Antrim.

Donegal v Galway is less easy call and Limerick v Meath (we think they’ll have too much for Roscommon) is even harder to call. I reckon the four qualifiers though will be Kerry, Kildare, Galway and Meath.

And which of them do we want? Kerry. Kerry. Kerry.

Its not something you’d imagine Mayo people should be looking for after our recent record against them in Croke Park.

But a number of things make this year different.

Firstly Kerry are vulnerable. I know they’ve been vulnerable before and come back but this year they look like they are at death’s door. They’ll scrape by Antrim and the word from Kerry is of serious turmoil in the squad. Talk of physical striking of  a member of management by a player is out there, rumours of indiscipline have been confirmed and the overall feeling is that Jack O’Connor has been unable to control the dressing room in this, his second term, because of ‘de book’.

Kieran Donaghy is out. Darragh O Se is on the way out. Colm Cooper is having his worst season ever and the defensive six could change from week to week. They will not, mark my words, make any serious impression this year. They may not even get over Antrim.

And then there’s us. We look like a team that has a bit of gumption about us. The league game against Galway showed that. So too the league game against Donegal. The response after Michael Meehan’s goal on Sunday last was telling also.

But the ghost of those final defeats in ’04 and ’06 will hang over many of the squad. Could you imagine how psychologically revitalising victory over Kerry this year could be? Kerry may be vulnerable and not at their best but victory over them would be the biggest catalyst we could ask for. It would bring us into a semi-final against, presumably, Dublin.

We would have serious momentum.

Some might say we should look for Meath, or whoever the easiest draw would be. I disagree. We should look for the most beneficial tie and Kerry, followed by Kildare, would tick that box. At this stage making a quarter-final or a semi-final makes very little difference. We  have our Connacht title, everything from now should be geared towards helping us achieve our ultimate aim.

Kerry would be perfect. If we can’t beat them as they are at the minute then we’ve no business going any further. We would beat them, I am almost certain. And a massive weight would be off our shoulders. Bring them on!


3 Responses to “Who do we want on Sunday evening?”

  1. 1 deiseach July 25, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Brave words! Let’s hope what they say about fortune and bravery is true…

  2. 2 deiseach August 3, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Okay, I think that was a bullet dodged for Mayo . . .

  1. 1 Green and Red » Staying alive Trackback on July 25, 2009 at 9:21 pm

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