Will Galway bate Mayo?

‘Will Galway bate Mayo? D’you think will Galway bate Mayo? Not if they have Willie Joe – they haven’t a hope of batin’ Mayo’!

It’s half time in the 2020 Connacht final and I’m reminded of the 1992 Saw Doctors song Hay Wrap. An unlikely hit but as with many of their songs, it managed to connect with a huge amount of people living in the West of Ireland and beyond.

But back to the match. I played in Connacht finals in 2002 and 2007 and at those times, there was nothing more important than that game.

Your life on hold. Every minute of every day planned out to try and get in the best physical and mental shape possible. The 2002 game was on the same day as the World Cup final and I went hours without knowing the result – unthinkable in any other World Cup year.

I have attended other finals. Saw Sligo come close in 1997 and 2012 and get beaten badly in 2015. And while today I could probably take or leave the match it’s nice to sit down on a Sunday and watch it.

And as I do it’s funny to think about how something once so important is now so trivial. While to the lads on the pitch it’s anything but. But like me, maybe someday they’ll watch a Sligo v Roscommon final in the future and possibly reflect on the same thing.

It is nice however to look back at those days and be proud of the work we all put in trying to win those games. And while many of us have moved on to other things since, wouldn’t it be nice to someday feel the same way about whatever we’re up to now.