“The James O’Donoghue of three and four years ago would just turn around and kick that ball over the bar with his left foot. He’s not playing with the confidence you’d expect. If he was, he’d have chipped that ball over the bar,” said Oisín McConville, 22 minutes into Kerry’s Super 8 rout of Mayo.
In first-half injury time, with Mayo having pushed their advantage over a spluttering Donegal from two points down to six up, Fionn McDonagh hit Donegal’s Jamie Brennan with a ferocious, fair shoulder to win possession right in front of a heaving Gerry McDonald stand.
Little House on the Prairie is not an obvious starting point for a Super 8s allegory, but of all the virtues required by those who read and write about Mayo football, tolerance of the absurd is paramount, so I urge you to endure.
Although it wasn’t widely identified as a trend — more reported as a series of unrelated events — an intriguing development in 2017 was the signing by the managers of the country’s top four football teams to stay on until 2020, writes
After Kilkenny’s first All-Ireland senior title under Brian Cody in 2000, the strength of his panel was lauded to such an extent that when the Cats cruised through Leinster the following year their second 15 were deemed the next best side in the country.