AP 3 - 2022 - 200-2

25 September 1997 Edition

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Sportsview: Take Sam home to Mayo

Nothing would give greater pleasure to neutrals on Sunday than to see Mayo winning the All-Ireland Football Final. Not only because they lost last year's final. It's more that Connacht deserves a title and it would give football in that province a much-needed boost. Sam has't been across the Shannon since Martin Meehan put on his suit and spit-polished his shoes (or since Richard McAuley did his eleven plus).

Kerry haven't won anything in a long time but they still have the memory of being regular winners. There are still people in Kerry who expect them to win every year. Their time will come. By the way, there was a great quote in the Irish Times on Wednesday. In 1990 Cork hammered Kerry (2-23 to 1-11) and the Kerry supporters were leaving the ground long before the end. ``Lock the gates and make the fuckers watch,'' was the cry from the Cork supporters.

There has been a lot of rubbish written about the psychological handicap facing Connacht teams after a such a long time without a win. I don't believe any properly prepared team holds any store by what happened before they came on the scene or what the tradition is. They know that they have a job to do and all the baggage will go when they step onto Croke Park.

It will once again be fascinating to watch how the two full-forward lines perform. Kerry look to have a superb advantage here and that could be the winning of the match. For Mayo, all eyes will be on Liam McHale. I have a sneaking feeling he will turn in the type of performance that could make all the difference. I'm going to stick my neck out and predict a Mayo win.

By Tony McCabe


An Phoblacht
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Ireland