The green and red of Mayo.

They were up early this morning stumbling into cars, vans and coaches across the county.Along the line from Westport, Castlebar, Claremorris and Ballyhaunis they boarded the train this morning.

Last night pints were downed, tactics discussed and plans were made in Lavelle’s in Belmullet, in Gielty’s in Dooagh and Toby’s in Westport.

Today at Croker the Kingdom takes on my lot.

When Damien Brazil throws-in  today in this first Senior Championship semi-final of the 2011 season. The winner’s will meet either Dublin or Donegal in the final on the 18th September.

The Green and Red of Mayo is always where my heart is in matters “Gah”.

My Da was one of a rare breed. A Mayo hurler.  A good Mayo hurler. His parish team back in the day took a bit of beating in the county. He’s looking out of an old black and white picture on the wall. No head gear, a few of them, with little fingers bent and Mick McCarthy noses.

We’re not Kilkenny or Tipp that’s for sure, but Mayo IS a football county and, god knows, we should have done better over the years.

We should been too strong for Meath in 1996 and after beating the Kingdom to get there, but we failed at the last.

I was in the Hogan stand in 2006 hopes were high after the semi against the Dubs, but it was the Kingdom’s day.

So we’re at Croker again  and for us it’s been a theatre of broken dreams.

In fairness we’re good at semi finals there.

Family duty keeps me in Donegal.

The young man in the photo would understand-they’re his grandchildren.

Today, again, we hope.

It’s what we do.

Again and again.

Please lads get to the final.

I’m over 2006.

I really am and I have a very special agent in Achill who can get me a ticket…

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