‘It’s definitely this Saturday?’
‘Yes, this Saturday down in Castlebar!’
‘Are you sure?’
‘Yes, of course I’m sure!’
‘So…what’s the manager saying?’
‘Oh. The players’ confident at least?’
‘Not sure, they’re not saying much either.’
‘Oh well that’s fair enough, I suppose.’
‘Yeah, just flying under the radar.’
‘This week should be fun so…’
There’s been an eerie silence around Roscommon this week as the senior footballers prepare to take on arch rivals Mayo in the Connacht Senior Football Championship semi-final in MacHale Park on Saturday evening. No press night, no telephone interviews, and no photo opportunities. Just the sound of silence as the team led by Anthony Cunningham attempts to end the 33-year Castlebar hoodoo.
‘What would you expect them to say?’ you ask.
‘It’s going to be very tough. Mayo are the National League champions and one of the favourites for the All-Ireland this year.’
‘Lookit, we haven’t won down there in 33 years, we’re under no illusions as to how difficult this will be.’
‘We’ll go down there ready to give this an almighty rattle.’
While not ideal in terms of coverage, the silence is understandable in a way. It has, after all, been over three decades since Roscommon supporters last celebrated a win over the neighbours in a championship match in Castlebar. A long time…surely everything that could be said about that record has been said by now?
Sometimes less is more and if anything the silence has added a little bit of mystery to this Roscommon team as they work hard to pull off what would be a major upset. If it works and the Castlebar spell is broken they will have been justified in just getting on with things. If not, well then it’ll be interesting to see if this approach continues ahead of the qualifiers.
One thing is for certain however: we’ll definitely have a full match report and reaction in next week’s paper!