John O’Mahony is hardly going to be doing cartwheels with excitement from qualifying for the FBD final and you won’t find me doing them either. In fact its more of a pain in the butt than anything – we’re now going to play Galway twice in February. Familiarity breeds contempt and all of that.
But its no harm to have a winning habit going into the NFL. It was eventually a four point win in Ballinlough today in what was an awful game. Had the host club been of a charitable nature, they would have refunded the few hundred poor souls on the way home.
Again Mark Ronaldson top scored for us, taking 1-7 for himself, which has him on 1-20 for the three games this year. Good going in any book. The more I see of the Shrule dynamo, the more I think he will nail down a starting place in the championship team. He’s perpetual motion and really works hard. People will always point to his small stature but I reckon he has a lot to offer and would thrive playing off a big man like Aidan O’Shea.
O’Shea’s older brother Seamus made a welcome return to the colours today, himself and Enda Varley freed from the McGrath Cup which they play for UL in. I was very taken by the midfielder and he could be in line for a start next week.
It was interesting to see Ronan McGarrity not start. I’m sure John O’Mahony wouldn’t say he was dropped but that’s what it looks like and it may be no harm.
Neither he nor Tom Parsons offered much in the first two games so its no bad thing to let players know they need to up their games. Nothing works better than a bit of bench time.
O’Shea and Parsons struck up a good partnership at Under 21 level and they could well start next week. I reckon its a more balanced midfield than Parsons and McGarrity. We need a strong player here in terms of physicality. A David Brady/Colm McManamon type. I think O’Shea offers that to a degree. How much so would only become apparent after an extended run. Lets hope he gets that. If I was Tom Parsons I wouldn’t get too comfortable either. His performance will have to up too. In fact he should consider himself lucky to have started. After last week’s cameo at midfield, I thought Barry Kelly deserved an extended run there but O’Mahony left him at centre-half forward, which is something he very much isn’t.
Enda Varley hadn’t a great game but I’m a fan of the Garrymore man and he should be persevered with. He’s a strong, natural, scoring forward. We don’t have too many of them floating around.
It was also interesting to see Ger Cafferkey come back from injury today. We had been told that he would be touch and go for the Galway game, but now it would appear that he’ll be available for selection. Should he be picked at full-back? I’d give Alan Feeney the number three jersey and try Cafferkey out elsewhere. Maybe 4 or 6. But I think Mr O’Mahony will go with the conservative, don’t shake things up more than you have to approach.
It was also great to hear Kiltimagh winning today and book a place in the All-Ireland junior final. It would be something special to see such great football men like Peter Burke and Tomas Morley end their careers with an All-Ireland.
Mayo team v Roscommon: David Clarke; Liam O’Malley, Ger Cafferkey, Donal Vaughan, Peadar Gardiner, Trevor Howley, Keith Higgins; Seamus O’Shea (0-1), Tom Parsons; Andy MOran (0-1), Barry Kelly, Trevor Mortimer; Mark Ronaldson (1-7, -1-0 pen, 5fs), Aidan O’Shea, Enda Varley. Subs used: Ronan McGarrity, Shane Nally, Neil Douglas.