Saturday 24 March 2018

Little room to manoeuvre if second replay is required

There is doubt regarding former Mayo footballer Liam McHale’s future as coach to the Cavan football team
There is doubt regarding former Mayo footballer Liam McHale’s future as coach to the Cavan football team
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A second All-Ireland semi-final replay between Dublin and Mayo, if required, is likely to take place on the following Saturday in Croke Park again, leaving the winners with just a week to prepare for an All-Ireland final.

In the unlikely event that the teams would be deadlocked again after tomorrow's replay and extra-time, the probable date would be the following Saturday week as the All-Ireland camogie finals take place in Croke Park on the Sunday.

It would present an obvious imbalance in that one team would be preparing for the biggest game of the year, having played three consecutive weeks while their opponents, Kerry, would be without a game for four weeks.

In that case there are no plans to move the date for an All-Ireland final which is set in stone for a number of reasons, among them the return of emigrants from abroad which has been planned many months in advance. It would be uncharted territory for the GAA in the qualifier era if such a scenario was to unfold.

Last year's All-Ireland semi-final replay between Kerry and Mayo went to extra-time but it was the first semi-final and there was time to play around with.

Meanwhile, doubt remains over former Mayo footballer Liam McHale's future as coach to the Cavan football team.

Cavan manager Terry Hyland brought in the former Mayo star to work with the forwards but, with his brother-in-law Kevin McStay favourite to take over in Roscommon, in a possible joint capacity with former manager Fergie O'Donnell, it is thought likely that McHale would link up with him.

The pair were together when St Brigid's won the All-Ireland club football title in 2013.

Hyland is already searching for a new assistant after Anthony Forde's departure last month.

Irish Independent

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