Tuesday 27 September 2016

EXCLUSIVE: What legendary GAA commentator Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh predicts for the All-Ireland replay

Cian Murray

Published 21/09/2016 | 13:57

Mayo have not blown their chance to win a first All-Ireland title since 1951, according to legendary GAA commentator Micheal Ó Muircheartaigh.

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Ó Muircheartaigh believes Stephen Rochford's side has more metal than previous Mayo sides that have fallen at the final hurdle.

"I fancy Mayo [to win the replay], I fancied them for the first game. They are improving as the year goes on. They were full of fire at the finish the last day. Dublin seem tired, but often replays are totally different.

"[Mayo are] different this year. They're strengthening as the year goes on. I think they have geared their training to have a little bit left all the time and that's a good outlook to have.

Ploughing 2016. Brendan Rice (11) from Shannonbridge and Emily Heffernan (8) from Tullamore take a closer look at a vintage John Deere tractor Picture: Gerry Mooney.
Ploughing 2016. Brendan Rice (11) from Shannonbridge and Emily Heffernan (8) from Tullamore take a closer look at a vintage John Deere tractor Picture: Gerry Mooney.

"Outside of maybe the die-hard football followers in Dublin, everybody else would love to see Mayo win," he told Independent.ie at the second day of the Ploughing Championships.

He also dismissed any mention of the infamous 'curse' which has been preventing the men from the west picking up their first All-Ireland since the early 50s.

Crowds at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore Co Offaly. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Crowds at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore Co Offaly. Photo: Steve Humphreys

"I think its time is gone. It's been there since 1951. There may or may not be a basis to it, but it's a good alibi anyway," he said.

Despite criticism, the GAA legend insists that last Sunday's All-Ireland will stand the test of time as a classic encounter.

Rugby stars Rob and Dave Kearney meet Rory Doyle (7), from Knockcroghery, Co Roscommon at the Ploughing. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Rugby stars Rob and Dave Kearney meet Rory Doyle (7), from Knockcroghery, Co Roscommon at the Ploughing. Photo: Gerry Mooney

"Even though there were mistakes galore in it, it was really, really great entertainment from the first time the referee threw in the ball until the full-time whistle," he said. 

Ó Muircheartaigh spoke at the event of 'tractor football' at The Ploughing Championship. He was lending his skilled commentating to the event.

"It is the first time ever for me commentating on tractor football... It is here for a cause. It's raising awareness of heart failure.

"One of the stands here is by Novartis and they're willing to test the heart of anybody who walks in.

"No pay, no cards, or anything. Just walk in and they will test your heart for you. " 

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