Jarlath Burns: Semi-final excitement
IT’S HARD to believe that as we approach the last game of the National Football League, only one of the semi-finalists in division one and none of the relegation victims have yet been decided.
At this stage, any of the remaining six teams could get into the semi-finals and any could still go down, though Cork look an unassailable bet to get into the top four. At least, that’s what I think, though allowances have to be made for my chronic maths blindness.
This is the best thing about top fours. It gives every team a purpose as they enter into the last match. Mayo, on paper, are in the most precarious position with fixtures against Dublin and Kerry to come, but given the fact that the Kingdom are home and hosed, it is fair to assume that Jack O’Connor will give the new lads a try out in the last match with nothing at stake and this just might rescue the Mayo men.
Back in 2010, they also benefited from this sort of last match generosity when Cork handed them a victory in Pairc Uí Chaoimh in the final game knowing that this would put them into the final against Mayo themselves and keep Dublin out of the decider.
They returned to Croker the following weekend for the final and we witnessed one of the most one sided finals ever as Cork, in front of about five hundred of their supporters won by double figures.
The full story can be read in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published March 29. To get your copy, click the subscribe button on this page, or buy one in your local newsagent now!