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The west is best

A Mayo man in Galway
The west is best


I mentioned the possibility of needing to emigrate if either Castlebar or Ballintubber win the county title. That was before the semi-finals last weekend. Semi-finals I thought Knockmore and, with a little less certainty, Shrule might win.
But it is an all-west Mayo final. Mitchels and the ‘Tubber upset the odds to set up one helluva local derby final. Which is great for them.
But it sure won’t be easy to look on from a Breaffy perspective.
Both clubs would be our nearest rivals in terms of both geography and regular meetings in recent years. The biggest rivals? Probably Mitchels, it being the whole town v country thing.
And now we’re left with a county final between both teams. Four weeks of a build-up, all amount of previews in the papers and on radio. Envy is certainly one word which springs to mind.
But, do you know what? A strange feeling came over me last Sunday during the Mitchels v Knockmore game. Not alone had I the reason  of Mitchels being our arch rivals to shout for Knockmore, but I had a nice accumulator bet on Knockmore to win the senior championship and Burrishoole to win the Intermediate.
As the game progressed I felt this strange sensation. It was like an outer body experience. It certainly wasn’t something I ever felt before. Could it be that I was supporting Mitchels?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ll probably live to regret it. Certainly if Mitchels turn around and win the county title I’m not looking forward to listening to their wing-back Ronan Burke talk incessantly about how great they are (and he will, trust me!).
But at the same time when you know a few of the Mitchels lads it is hard to be completely against them. And as the game went on against Knockmore there was no doubting that it was Mitchels that deserved to win.
Which brought us to the second game. Ballintubber v Shrule/Glencorrib.
The question we had to ask was would it be bearable to have both our nearest and dearest rivals in a county final, especially in a year in which we exited at the quarter-final stage with a substandard performance?
Some of the Parke lads reckoned it was the only final to hope for (Mitchels v Ballintubber) as it would be some occasion. Thinking about it, they were right. It would be and will be some final so just as we thought we’d be hoping for Knockmore to win the first game and our support changed mid stream, so it did in second game, from Shrule to Ballintubber.
And as for the build-up, well I won’t emigrate. Being in Galway ought to be enough of a barrier. Although as I write (Monday morning) I hear there’s gangs from both clubs on the way to Galway for the night. If you want me for the rest of the day, I’ll be in the college library hiding.