Ahead of the All-Ireland football Final at Croke Park between Tyrone and Mayo kicking off at 5pm.
Tyrone-born, Broadsheet reader Shayna writes:
Traditionally the third Sunday in September meant one thing in Ireland – All-Ireland Football Final Day. Tradition had given way to ‘The New Normal’ over the past years.The new normal I refer to is Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton holding aloft The Sam Maguire Cup at 5pm on said Sundays. This year, two very deserving teams battle it out in Croke Park.
Mayo have been near misses and also-rans. That changed this year defeating The Champions in their Semi-Final. The superstitious Mayo types will be thinking of “The Curse”. Tyrone have had their own demons to contend with, but this year it’s all change.
Mickey Harte is gone. Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher seem to be steering the ship in the right direction. The Tyrone panel are writhing over the humiliation in Kerry during the National League, retrospectively a timely kick up the back-side for The Championship.
Everywhere in Tyrone, there are red and white flags flying in anticipation of “Sam” coming home to Tyrone. The completely unorthodox Tyrone goal-keeper, Niall Morgan is a primary school teacher in Edendork, his kids composed a song for a Tyrone win. Neil Sludden, another Tyrone player, also a primary school teacher, in Fermanagh – it seems the whole of the school kids turned up in Tyrone jerseys yesterday. Feargal Logan visited St. Joseph’s Convent School in Donaghmore, he was received like a Hollywood celebrity.
I watched an interview with Peter “The Great” Canavan on BBC last night – The Tyrone team is unchanged from the semi. Peter’s son, Dara is on the bench, he’s 18/19, he’s there on merit, a great player. Peter’s opinion was that Cathal McShane should start – to be fair, when he came on, he scored 1-3 in the semi.
In 2004, I travelled with my Dad and uncle, both former Tyrone players to Crossmalina, Mayo for a National Football League game, the whole route was lined with red and white flags and bunting in honour of Cormac McAnallen – it was touching, Mayo beat Tyrone that day.
If Mayo were playing any other county, I’d be shouting for Mayo. Unfortunately – I’m from Tyrone. Come on Tyrone!
Previously: Tyrone Power