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Mad fool or a prophet I predict a long Mayo winter

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But it won’t happen. They will be probably the better team on the day but something always goes wrong for them.

A doubtful decision by the referee might gift a penalty to Dublin, for example, or there might be a melee and a sending-off. Or maybe an unfortunate accidental injury to one of their stars in the early defining moments of the game.

One way or the other Mayo always finishes up in the sin bin reserved for the losers, and that is very sad. It will be a long winter again below Croagh Patrick beneath which, not so many years ago, in a pub in the foothills, I saw women with rosaries clutched in their hands rather than glasses watching their team lose a semi-final against Cork, again a game they should have won according to the formbook.

On the hurling front, after a thrilling All-Ireland final earlier this month which ended level because a Clare defender who had never scored before wrote himself into the sportlore by scoring the equalizing point, the experts are saying that Cork are unlikely to play as badly again as they did in the final, and are likely to clinch the title second time around.

I have a gut feeling though that the young Clare hurlers, driven on by their uniquely passionate manager Davy Fitzgerald, are likely to have gained more from the draw and will not alone win what promises to be a thriller but may win going away.

If it happens, to quote the old saying, there won’t be a cow milked in Clare for at least a week.

Am I a mad fool or a prophet? Time will tell for sure.

(Editor’s note: As usual, Cormac was right again as Mayo was once again defeated by Dublin on Sunday.)

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