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3:13 - not quite enough

It's not often that The Clash are referenced prior to one of the nation's major sporting events, but that is what happened today. Joe Brolly, ex player, All Ireland winner, pundit, contrarian (professional in execution, still amateur in enjoyment, in case the GAA were worried) and all round entertainer, was worried about the Mayo goalkeeper, Rob Hennelly. He thought he was indecisive when it mattered so came out with a verse from the Clash's 'Should I Stay or Should I Go?'

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know

And there were moments in the game where Hennelly's play influenced the result, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

This game was the result of last week's breathtaking draw in Croke Park, where Mayo and Kerry battled each other to a standstill in a game that neither deserved to lose. The replay, dependent on whether you subscribe to conspiracy or cock up theory by the GAA, was played in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, a home game in essence for Kerry and a trip into the unknown for Mayo (I think the last time Mayo played here was when Methuselah was a lad and Cavan were still looking forward to a run of success in the All Ireland).

The game was as expected - full of great individual performances, forwards jumping higher than defenders, defenders throwing themselves in front of forwards, goals, points, great saves (see Rob Hennelly), terrible kick outs (see Rob Hennelly), one team leading only to be pegged back, passion, players facing each other down, clashes of heads between teammates, a pitch invasion of one...and then extra time.

Mayo came, saw and fell just a little short; Kerry always seemed to have a little more in the tank, a bit more imagination and more options, so it was no surprise that they ran out 3:16 to 3:13 winners, but if these two games were your first introduction to Gaelic Football, the footballing Gods (and Joe Brolly) were smiling on you.

Posted by johnward 23:15 Archived in Ireland

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