As the countdown to the championship begins, Mayo selectors ought to be able to resist the annual plaintiff cries at this time of year for the recall of sunshine footballers.
They left Longford crestfallen, but you couldn’t fault their effort. The bright promise of Mayo’s Connacht U-21 campaign had been left behind in Charlestown and Sligo.
You get the impression that Mayo are playing to no plan in particular, that their recoveries are caused more by accident than design. It’s a team full of contradictions.
So fickle were the results of the last round that neither Mayo nor Tyrone can be certain they are out of danger. Shocks next Sunday could spoil the party for either side.
Once more we had succumbed to the inevitable. The first half had run its predictable course. There was nothing for it, but to concede that a chasm was opening up.
The contrasting performances of Mayo at U-21 and senior level were laid bare at the weekend. Our award-winning columnist gives his views on events in Charlestown and Ballina.
A plucky performance by Mayo came close to toppling Kerry in Tralee. Mayo, minus their U-21s, looked fragile, but braved the den and might have stolen the points.
Somewhere from the precipice consisting of Kerry, Dublin, Galway and Tyrone Mayo must hack a further two points to be safe, an immense task for a team in transition
In ordinary circumstances you would expect Mayo to comfortably account for Westmeath on Sunday. But you can’t be sure which Mayo will turn up in Charlestown.
For what seems time immemorial St Jarlath’s has been the dominant football college in Connacht. But Sunday’s final between two Mayo colleges signals a wind of change.
Having lost their opening games, the result of next Saturday’s league match is vital for both Mayo and Donegal. To lose a further foothold will imperil divisional security.