The Hill’s Alive – Dubs March On?

Looking forward to this weekend’s Division 1 football we reflect on ‘Back to Gold’, as the new Kerry GAA away jersey makes its debut in Mayo, the boys in blue are in fine voice in Omagh and a smash and grab job by Galway leaves Donegal deflated.

Hill on Tour

The Hill on Tour arrived in Healy Park last Saturday night in hearty voice and left even happier having watched the boys in blue jerseys despatch Tyrone with a ruthlessly efficient second half showing with the wind in their back. If this summer’s Super 8 has the effect of bringing the Dubs to the culchies then it will be a success. The colour, craic and banter was supreme. Clearly some of the Dublin faithful haven’t ventured north too often of late, there was a bemused response from a few big Dubs when the frustrated sweet shop attendant in Healy Park told them he couldn’t accept the old pound coins proffered for a Snickers and a bottle of Club Orange.

The movement and cultured telepathy among the All Ireland champions is a thing to behold. They combine elements of beauty and the beast. Jon Small was able to frustrate and keep Peter Harte quiet whilst up front McManamon was busily effective with his movement as usual, Ciaran Kilkenny bagged 1-2 rotating in and out from his no 14 target man role. Brian Howard is a real addition to the set up, the quality apparent in his energy and presence. The Dubs slipped up a gear in the second half cutting through gaps in the Tyrone defence, taking advantage and ruthlessly so of the slightest error. This Saturday night they take on Donegal. The game is preceded by their Ladies team playing Cork at 5.00pm so wrap up, and get along to Croker for a great night’s football.

Tyrone Power Fades

Contrary to some of the media reports the Tyrone performance in the first half was good, very good at times. The movement up front of Conor McAliskey and Lee Brennan was excellent and Brennan justified the clamour for selection with three good scores from play, one following a supreme dummy. But for any young GAA fan, the opportunity to see this Dublin outfit up close and personal in a provincial ground should not be missed. Croke Park is great but it creates a distance between fan and player that is at odds with the ethos of the league. Young Gaels thronged the pitch afterwards and the Dublin GAA players were superb in giving up time. Special mention has to be made of Philly McMahon who after the game attended a youth event in Carrickmore to give a talk on the perils of drugs. It was an admirable thing to do the night after a game, fair play to Philly.

Galway Smash and Grab

Donegal are next up to face the Dubs in Croke Park on Saturday night, and they will be anxious to avoid another defeat as with Tyrone and Kildare they are marooned at the foot of Division 1 with zero return. Arguably the Tír Chonaill men have been putting in the performances but unfortunate not getting the results. Galway recorded a good victory in Letterkenny with Shane Walsh and Damien Comer doing most of the damage and Sean Armstrong kicking a late score to snatch a one-point victory. Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty kicked 0-9 but too often he seems to be ploughing a lone furrow and could do with a Michael Murphy return. Galway for their part entertain Mayo this weekend and will be seeking to go three games undefeated against their bitter western rivals. Mayo lost to Kerry last week and won’t be happy at all they lost to the Men in Gold. The last twenty minutes with two extra men on the field yielded only one point. Kerry celebrated their win in their new Back to Gold away jersey. Could it be a lucky omen for them on the road?

Quote of the League So Far

In the last few days the Annual Congress motions were published with one eye-catching effort from Tipperary on the agenda that aims to define the melee. What next, a definition of handbags or the good old shemozzle? Whatever the definition, former Tyrone defender and current Fermanagh GAA Maor Foirne Ryan McMenamin can claim quote of the league so far. Towards the end of the Fermanagh match with Wexford there was an exchanges of opinions oblique/stroke melee. Ricey was duly sent to the stand for his role in proceedings. “My main concern was player health and safety”, Ricey told SportsJoe. Cue a few LOLs all round.


Saturday 10th February

Allianz Football League Roinn 1

19:00 Dublin v Donegal Broadcasting on Eir

Allianz Football League Roinn 2

19:00 Cavan v Meath Broadcasting on Eir

Allianz Football League Roinn 4

17:00 Carlow v Leitrim

19:00 Laois v Waterford

Sunday 11 February

Allianz Football League Roinn 1

14:00 Galway V Mayo Broadcasting on TG4

14:00  Kildare v Tyrone Broadcasting on TG4 (Deferred)

14:00  Monaghan v Kerry Broadcasting on TG4 (Deferred)

Allianz Football League Roinn 2

14:00  Clare v Tipperary

14:00 Cork v Louth

14:00  Roscommon v Down

Allianz Football League Roinn 3

14:00  Armagh v Longford

14:00 Derry v Offaly

14:00  Sligo v Fermanagh

14:00  Wexford v Westmeath

Allianz Football League Roinn 4

13:00 London v Limerick

14:00  Antrim v Wicklow