Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Real Reason that Mayo Lost to Derry in Ballina

It was naïve of the people to Mayo to think that Mr Louis Walsh could be named to the impossible honour of Mayo Person of the Year without expecting some sort of karmic retribution. And it is only through the influence of the otherworldly that we can explain the events of the Mayo v Derry game in Ballina on Sunday.

In the light of that traumatic defeat, the Mayo football public can only hope that the gods will settle for Sunday’s cuff around the ear, rather than the worrying prospect that they intend to take satisfaction all year from the Heather County for having such peculiar values as to appoint as the Mayo Person in excelsis a man whose qualifications for that honour at are not at all obvious.

How innocent of their inevitable doom were the home support in Ballina as the crowd gratefully watched the teams assemble for the throw-in – it can be a long winter without football. Mayo got off to a cracking start, horsing ball into Barry Moran at full-forward where Moran was making himself busy. They support play was a little lacking, but it was early days. Derry struggled with the new rules, and found three of their starters sent to the line with yellow cards before half-time. Mayo could not lose from there.

But meanwhile, far above in the great beyond, the huge wheel of fate turned. Any people that make a hero out of Louis Walsh deserves all they get, and they got it in spades in Ballina Sunday.

After the success of feeding Barry Moran in the first ten minutes the big Castlebar Mitchell saw nary a ball for the next hour. The Derry substitutes, particularly Uimhir a Fiche Cúig, who was not even listed on the program, cleaned up all around him. And when Mayo couldn’t get the ball out of their own half and were fading, fading, fading on the heavy sod of the bleak midwinter, who arrived to save the day? A blackberry smeared gasúr and C-Mort. Mission impossible. Thanks boss, and good luck.

An Spailpín doesn’t get upset about the league, being a man who takes the long view. It was a bad day at the office, but there’s a long time between February and the Championship where a lot of things can happen yet. But your faithful and nerve-shattered correspondent does have one suggestion however.

It is the belief of this blog that Mister Walsh and whatever class of a gobbaloo voted for him as the finest example of the Mayo Person living in 2009 be sent out to Clare Island, home of Gráinne Uí Mháille herself, Banríon Mhór na nGadaithe Mara, and locked in a bothán out there listening to Westlife’s Flying Without Wings on a constant loop until they fully repented.

Mayo’s next day out in the League is on St Valentine’s Night at Ballybofey in the County Donegal. High above the earthly sphere, the gods make their plans. We can only wait, and cower.

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