Mayo 4-17 Donegal 1-10: demolition men

Final score

There are bad days and there are good days to be a supporter of the county team but today was something else entirely. Under James Horan we’ve become used to strong quarter-final performances and under him too we’ve become almost blasé about our ability to dump out the reigning All-Ireland champions but today’s utter destruction of Donegal was of a different order. If ever a performance represented a screaming declaration of intent, then this was it – Donegal arrived onto the Croke Park pitch as reigning All-Ireland champions but what the lads did to them over the course of the seventy minutes that followed meant they left it defeated and utterly destroyed. Because of it, we’ve now been installed as 5/4 favourites for Sam and it’s easy to see why.

In my wilder imaginings leading up to this game, I’d tossed around idle thoughts in my head that we might somehow do to Donegal something equivalent to what we did to Galway back in May but these were just that – idle thoughts – and I never really expected us to annihilate them in the way that we did. When it was announced just before throw-in that Lacey wasn’t going to start and that Mark McHugh was, it seemed apparent that this wasn’t exactly a stoke of genius by McGuinness but that it was instead a move borne of desperation. We had our own, well trailed, switch prior to throw-in, with Chris Barrett coming in at corner-back and Keith Higgins moving nominally to the half-forwards (with Richie Feeney dropping to the bench) but taking up a roaming role.

We hit them like an express train from the off and within five or six minutes led them by a devastating 1-3 to no score. Cillian O’Connor – who today became the first player ever to score hat-tricks in two successive championship matches and, incredibly, is still eligible for consideration for the YFOY award again this year – got the first and Alan Dillon smashed over a screaming second.

The next score, though, was when it first came apparent that we were intent on gutting them when we won a dirty ball on their end-line and Kevin McLoughlin lined it up for Cillian to pass almost nonchalently to the net. Alan Freeman confidently added our third point just after and we were six to the good.

Aidan O'Shea

Aidan O’Shea was already putting himself about with purpose at midfield – Aido was absolutely awesome today – but it was Donegal fans who had the next few reasons to cheer when a bouncer from Murphy from a free went all the way over and McHugh added a second, this one from play. As events transpired, it was their sole score from open play before the break.

Then, after Murphy got their third from a free, we hit them with another hammer blow at the other end. Keith Higgins, fed by Alan Dillon, opened them up with a very intelligent, long handpass to Donal Vaughan who evaded the flailing Durcan before, a bit like Salthill, rolling the ball into the net.

That, in truth, was the instant the game died as a contest – Donegal had worked hard to cut our six-point lead in half and now they were back at square one. They got the next one – another Murphy free – but we then shot seven further points without reply before the break, cutting them open again and again, breaking that bit more of their resolve with every score we got.

Impressive and all as that salvo was it could and should have been far worse for the champions as we missed two clear goal chances, one by Cillian and the second by Cathal Carolan (on as a sub for the injured Tom Cunniffe midway through the first half) which came back off the butt of the upright with Kevin McLoughlin then spooning the rebound wide. But such was our dominance that we were able – literally – to laugh off these misses as we ended the half an amazing twelve points ahead.

The game was well up for Donegal at that stage but Seamus O’Shea’s thumping opener soon after the restart was a clear hint to them that the pain wasn’t going to lessen in the second half. We kept pounding them and as we did so their heads dropped visibly as it began to dawn on them that not only were they going to lose they were going to be thrashed out the proverbial gate.

Seamie on the burst

Two more Cillian goals followed – no marquee forwards on the Mayo team, eh? – and then Donegal’s miserable day went from bad to worse when Eamonn McGee got a straight red for a truly disgraceful, disgusting and cowardly stamp on sub Enda Varley’s neck. Now a man up, we were able to tear through them at will and, to be honest, it was a surprise that we didn’t add another goal or two to our tally before the end.

There were,though, some delicious moments to savour. Chief amongst these was the sight of Kevin Keane coming on and kicking a glorious point into the Hill end. It was a real classy move by James to bring him on when he did and the look of sheer delight on the Westport man’s face – flashed around the ground on the big screen – as he trotted back into position afterwards was truly heartwarming to see.

Our bench-emptying and the realisation that we’d posted enough to win three games finally saw a dip in performance from our lads in the closing minutes. We were a yawning 22 points up at one stage but the final winning margin was cut to sixteen with McFadden annoyingly (even more so because it came from a free that shouldn’t have been awarded, just one of Joe McQuillan’s bad decisions today) breaking through for a consolation goal. Small consolation it was, though, as Donegal ended up getting the worst scorching suffered by a team defending their All-Ireland crown in living memory.

We had heroes all over the place today and it was such a complete team performance that it doesn’t seem right to pick any of them out for special mention. Before doing so, then, it’s worth pointing out that we had an incredible fourteen separate scorers today, which shows just what an attacking threat we’re capable of posing and which augurs well for our hopes of going the whole way this year.

While we’re on the subject of the team performance, I think it’s only fair that the plaudits be extended to those sitting – and dancing – in the stands as well. The Mayo support today was big and raucous and they kept right behind the team until the final whistle sounded. Well done all who were part of this effort.

Comhghairdeas

In terms of individual performances, Aidan O’Shea – who ended up getting sent off on a second yellow seconds before the end but because it was only a yellow he won’t miss the semi – was absolutely awesome today, utterly dominant around the middle, which he owned from start to finish. Riding shotgun with him, Seamie wasn’t far behind his kid brother in his contribution to the cause as he put in another big Croke Park display.

All of the backs were excellent. Tom Cunniffe started brightly but unfortunately went off injured, Ger Cafferkey was calm and assured, Chris Barret had a storming game – got a super second half point too – and wing-backs Colm Boyle and Lee Keegan took the fight repeatedly to the opposition. Donal Vaughan was, I thought, superb, driving up that central channel time after time and scoring that wonderful second goal.

In the forwards, Cillian – with his haul of 3-4 – was obviously to the fore but Alan Dillon had a real stormer and Kevin McLoughlin kept popping up to good effect all over the place.

Would you call Keith Higgins a forward? I’m not sure but he was excellent and he brought this excellence all over the pitch. Alan Freeman got well stuck in, took no crap off the McGees, and got a few nice points – here’s one of them – when we needed them. Andy looked a bit off the pace but he still got a trademark beauty of a point in the first half.

Of the subs, Cathal Carolan put in an enormously productive shift, including very nearly scoring a carbon copy of the goal he’d bagged on his championship debut against Galway, Richie Feeney was great the way Richie always is when he comes on in big matches, Enda Varley (who thankfully wasn’t hurt in that incident with McGee) knocked over a real screamer and Darren Coen was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet too, something which – as already noted – Kevin Keane so joyously managed to do.

The sole concern, really, was Rob Hennelly’s kickouts which were anything but assured, with this facet of our play jarring noticeably compared to the well-oiled performance elsewhere. This is only to be expected, though, given that Rob is only a wet week back on the scene and I’ve no doubt that there’ll be plenty of work done on this before we face Tyrone in three weeks time.

That’s the next challenge we now face, as we come down off the high we all experienced today. We’re priced at 2/7 to win that one but from what I saw of the Red Hand at Croke Park last night it’s clear that they’ll be tough, sticky opponents for us in the penultimate round. But we’re a tough, uncompromising outfit ourselves and we can and will head into that one with confidence that James Horan and his incredibly committed bunch of players will be aiming then to take another decisive step towards their ultimate objective. Who knows? We may have more magical days to savour before this championship campaign is over.

Mayo: Rob Hennelly; Tom Cunniffe, Ger Cafferkey, Chris Barrett (0-1); Lee Keegan (0-1), Donal Vaughan (1-0), Colm Boyle (0-1); Aidan O’Shea, Seamus O’Shea (0-1); Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Keith Higgins, Alan Dillon (0-2); Cillian O’Connor (3-4, two frees, one ’45), Alan Freeman (0-2), Andy Moran (0-1). Subs: Cathal Carolan for Cunniffe, Richie Feeney (0-1) for Dillon, Enda Varley (0-1) for Moran, Darren Coen for O’Connor, Kevin Keane (0-1) for Boyle.

89 thoughts on “Mayo 4-17 Donegal 1-10: demolition men

  1. Well done Mayo! Nice performance… Donegal were as flat as a pancake.

    BEWARE Tyrone …mickey Harte n his cute hoors haven’t won 3 all Ireland’s in the past decade for nothing! To be honest they shudda beaten Donegal the first day.

    Focus!

  2. Game 1: 16 point win
    Game 2: 12 point win
    Game 3: 16 point win & 3rd Connacht Title in a row.
    Game 4: 16 point win & Sam evicted from the Hills.
    Our Jimmy is winning matches ! !

  3. Very satisfied with that demolition job…..bout time. As Aido said, we’ve won nothing, so heads downs and prepare for Tyrone.
    Btw, joe Mac is a bollix for sending aido to the line. Nothing malicious, he dominated!

  4. Brilliant stuff Mayo, that was a team on fire today. Im gutted with the manner in which we lost and don’t even talk to me about Eamon McGee, totally shameful. I think i might have to avoid this blog for a few days til i have a chance to lick my wounds. Us donegal fans have had a brilliant run and we can’t complain. But this is Mayo’s year and i truly think they are unstoppable this summer. Enjoy this evening and i wish you all the best for the next two games. Over and out, Im away to sit in a corner and cry!

  5. Have beaten the reigning champs 3 in a row, have the feeling it,ll be impossible next year.
    Fab win, excellent in every position (even those carrying injuries)
    WOW

  6. I commented previously how poor Dillion has been this year. What the hell do I know. Awesome. Will never doubt the guy again. Just awesome! Roll on Tyrone!!!

  7. Brilliant, Brilliant Mayo. What a tank of a footballer Aiden O Shea is.Great times to be a supporter indeed!

  8. No need to worry about Aido, Ian – it was a second yellow and so, like Stephen O’Neill against Meath, he’ll be available for the next match.

  9. Incredible stuff. Mayo really look like a team on a mission and will take some stopping. Roll on the 25th

  10. Great team performance today and enjoyed singing in the rain on the hill. The guys were focussed and composed and eventhough my fear that Aos would get sent off materialized he had one hell of a game. Super support for Mayo today and great calmness among the mayo fans walking along clonliffe road nothing big one yet no point in us taking out the all Ireland champions again for some other team to profit off time for us to seize the moment.  Thank u mayo team and mgmt for a great year so far

  11. Wow, that was incredible – we’re fairly leaving a trail of destruction in our wake this year.

    I hope Cunniffe’s injury isn’t too serious, although I was impressed with Carolan again – not our classiest forward by a long shot but a great work rate and perfectly suited to a sweeper role.

    Was nice to see Kevin Keane get a little bit of redemption for last September as well with that point, that could bring him on because I still think there’s a quality corner back there in a year or two’s time.

    All the best to the Minors tomorrow, lets make it two Mayo teams in Croker on the 25th.

  12. Christ AOS had a massive game.best performance i have seen it.and we kept going at them.I worry about Dillon though seemed well off the pace.but i was so impressed with the whole team performance normally i could have criticisms about one or two but i couldn’t see it.I was very impressed with the amount of turn over we done when putting them under pressure.Donegal were very poor.we done exactly what they did to us in all Ireland last year in the opening of game.The ref was appalling i thought.we would have beat any team in the country today without doubt so we know what we need to do for rest of championship.they say we couldn’t score goals? We have to gave the most goals in championship.anyone have the stats on that?

  13. It has been described in the Indo as the most complete performance of modern times.

    We have to keep our heads and I am sure the management will.

    Lets just think about Tyrone, Sean Cavanagh and not fantasise about who we would like to play if we get through.

    Please everybody!!

  14. Incredible win so happy for our Bucks to have that under their belts. Donegal were woeful and some of their big names looked like they would rather be elsewhere. Chris Barrett put in a good shift on mcfadden. Onwards lads bring on Tyrone we’re ready!

  15. Just checked prices after listening to audio.

    11/8 best price to will AI

    Aido clear favourite at 11/4 to be player of the year

    The bookies taking no chances after that performance

  16. I’ve lost my voice, what a brilliant day out.. AOS, what a class act.. the whole team to man were brilliant.. have it recorded.. must watch again.. bring on Tyrone.. can’t wait

  17. Jesus Christ what a performance. Can’t believe what we did. Every mayo player performed. Ado is a legend. Cillian is unbelievable. Caff class. Barrett brilliant.
    Haven’t felt this way since 96. Mayo lets finish this thing!

  18. We live for days like this, a performance to match anything seen in Croker in my memory. What a confidence boost it will be for players and management as we move on to the semi-final. For once just once can we dare to dream !!!

  19. Super performance today. But as we know only to well no Sam yet by beating the reigning champs.
    Thought Andy took a while to get going today, he seemed a bit off pace today. Not criticism of Andy as he is still critical to mayo linking ball.
    Credit to Donegal fans who were gracious In defeat, think they realise how lucky they were last Sept. felt early on when McFadden kicked ball into hennellys hands that it was going to be our day. Enjoy tonight and let’s keep it up next day.
    WJ, ya might need a helmet for all the ‘hits’ your blog will get over next few weeks.

  20. What a performance, were so lucky to have a player like COC In our ranks.. Certainly our ‘ marquee forward’. Dillon showed class is permanent, was worried about Andy in the first half hour but he came good and a game like today will have brought him on 50% fitness wise, he’s our ace in the pack if his fitness continues to improve. Every player could have been MOTM, bit great to see they are so focused for the next task. Honestly believe they can thrash any team but Dublin this year.. They are my only worry. Hoping Kerry do a number on them in the semis! Well done to James and the lads! ( and donie vaughan, who has attracted a lot of criticism in his time)

  21. Carlsberg dont do revenge but by god if they did..Unreal today,when the teams were running out on to the field i thought we outnumbered by about 3 to 1 judging by the reception Donegal got. Ten minutes in we were louder and you,d think everyone in the place was in green and red. My mother always said tere would be days like this. (I tought she was raving)

  22. Super super day.optimism does pay.dublin will beat kerry and we will beat tyrone.then its glory time if we focus….if.lets not get carried away but we are simply the best this year.great support today. Wont cry any tears for Saint Jimmy of Donegal.

  23. Thought Dublin were good in patches last night and had them as clear favorites before today. But mayo were just a different class today, at the minute they are head and shoulders above what’s left. All going well over the next few weeks, its there for the taking!!!

    To win just once!

  24. We have won nothing yet.
    we have been (close to) here before.
    so proud to be from mayo though.
    keep it steady and all back to business on Tuesday.
    Meigheo Abu

  25. In may of 96 before i had to return to California and before a championship ball was kicked I placed a 100 punt on Mayo to win the All Ireland. I got them at 33 to 1. James Horan played mid field in the final that year and it’s only fitting that James is still on the field. The time has come to rigjht the wrong.

    Mcguinness with his back Quiff can have a word with Mcgee about endangering players along with other things. No matter, Mayo will move forward. I have lived in Tyrone for 10 years now and will keep you posted on the craic. Mayo did us all proud today. I knew Donegal were desperate from the pre match bullshit hocus pocus from the former guru Mcguiness. I admired the way Mayo kept there composure. They must retain that. We have tough test ahead. We can and will over come.

    I’m away to the leaba. I go to same a contented man. it was a brilliant day for Mayo. The west is awake, the west awake…

    “Come On Mayo!!!”

  26. Lorrie……….Don’t cry, nobody could have beaten Mayo in that form today !………you still have what we’re chasing, a couple of modern era AI-titles, never forget that !……Here’s hoping we can produce the goods again in 3 weeks and get to that final……Win it and I’ll go ape-sh@&t !!………I’ve been dreaming about that big day for the last 40 years !!

  27. Throat is raw after that trip to croker. I roared my head off at the game and was very proud of that whole panel and the training staff and Horan, they are on a mission. I imagine Dublin and the others will think today was our allireland and I don’t blame them, 62 years is a long time and if we make the final it will be 4 finals in 9 years, we simply have to redouble our efforts as fans and support them without annoying them in their everyday lives. Get your family and neighbours to put up the flags and wear the jerseys around town. It’s the little things that make up the big picture.
    Jh and his crew will manage the team, we need to manage ourselves as fans, get those flags up and get to croker in 3 weeks no matter what.

  28. We have won nothing yet ???? …………We’ve won 3 in a row Connacht’s, we’ve beaten the reigning champions for the third time in a row as well and above all this Mayo has buried the nightmare of Sept last…………and buried it emphatically…………
    Going in against Galway , people were worried, this Mayo answered emphatically………..again’ ditto against Roscommon and London.
    In 4 matches so far 13 goals and 65 pts and that from a team that isn’t supposed to have a ‘marquee’ forward ( sure 2 hat tricks, are everyday by all the other ‘greats’) ………..Oh and we’ve not been tested ……yet.
    I don’t know what JH and this side have to do to get people to believe…………
    Maybe the opposition this year wasn’t as bad as seemed and instead we are just very,very good………….I actually believe we are and prior to the Qtr final last year against Down, the writing was on the wall that this side was going to notch up some big results against the big sides………..it happened to some extent last year but they have brought it to a higher level this one……………If we were to go no further in 2013, I for one would have to applaud what has been achieved and the great pride they have restored to the Green and Red of Mayo ………..and they almost single handedly have proved how to beat the ‘blanket game’ and prove that good football can win out ( not to mention ‘champagne football’ )…………..the future of GAA football is in our debt.
    Truly magnificent today, absolutely fantastic.
    MaighEo Abu

  29. They gave it their all. I gave it my all. We all gave it our all. Savour it for tonight. And then …

  30. One of those games where it felt like a dream watching it at times.. Will be nice Bank Holiday viewing tomorrow 🙂 Outstanding Mayo performance today. Bring on game 5…

  31. Don’t we just love the b/h weekend!

    Not putting any dampners here but we have been here before, I was so confident back in 2006 after beating the Dubs…. However, this Mayo team has really upped the Ante and will take a really good team to beat them.

    Have to say I was impressed by Tyrone on Saturday, despite the controversy, Cavanagh’s performance looked like the MF performance of the weekend before AOS stepped up. Tyrone will test us, but so long as we keep our feet on the ground, we will be favourites and rightly so.

    Our ability to create and score goals is a huge plus, we can defend, have a strong midfield and look seriously focused, (Me thinks that we got the best deal in the deal with Kerry), can we do it? Have been hoping to see it since my first final in ’89, maybe, just maybe this might be it, will sleep well knowing that the dream is alive and well.

  32. All the top drawer stuff was rolled out today for sure…….tight possession, direct and accurate passing, rapid ball carriage up sidelines and down the middle…..everyone and I mean everyone standing up for the count…..dogged determination to tackle and dispossess as ruthlessly as possible……relentless pursuit of any lost ball (not many !) and all ground level scraps of ball……..Very Very impressive intensity……..That’s the winning formula……Now lets do it again !

  33. Enjoyed every syllable of that WJ, and indeed every minute of today.
    We’ve won nothing yet and there is a challenging road ahead, but you can’t buy the kind of composure and confidence the lads showed out there today, and up til this year that is what has been missing. This day is one to be savoured for sure. Onwards we march.

  34. What a performance. I admit I hoped to win by a point or two but wouldn’t have been surprised to have been pipped. Thank you ALL. What a panel!

    Damien Lawlor has a good article in today’s Sunday Indo and gives huge credit to Horan, as well as Buckley,Kilcawley,Prendergast,Coughlan and the Moffitts and rightly so. Probably an oversight, but he forgot to mention one key man….James Nallen. A truly great mentor and,like Horan, a former collosus of a player and a gentleman.

    We have a terrific panel of players, true sportsmen all who are prepared to give all for the cause. And the best management team you could ask for. Shrewd people who know what has to be done and how to do it. You deserve the ultimate prize. I am more confidant now than I have ever been that you WILL do it. Is feider linn.

  35. Yeah good performance but its done with now (and Donegal were awfully poor today) any of you who have been following Mayo long enough should know that this is merely a quarter final win….we’ve been in countless semi finals over the past 20 years and lets be a bit glic about this one…Tyrone will be serious opponents. They have a heap of all ireland medals…and they have a load of young lads on their team who were on their All Ireland winning minor team from 2008…which AOS, Hennelly and KKeane should know all about….

    The only reason Paddy Power have us in as fav’s is cos they cant be sure of the dubs beating kerry and they are underestimating tyrone. Dublin are still the team to beat.

    Also…we cudda had a lot more support in Croker today….to be honest i thought we’d have more…i know alot of ppl who stayed at home. Donegal got a bigger roar when they came onto the pitch. C’mon Mayo…get behind the team!!!

  36. Interestingly, a few rumours coming out of Donegal that Colm McFadden might have played his last game for the county and Paddy McBrearty may be emigrating for now. No idea if there’s any truth in them or not. However, if there is, we might have done more than just beaten Donegal today, we may have finished them as All Ireland candidates for the foreseeable future…

  37. What was that little dance that was seen in the crowd after one of the Mayo scores…
    It’s sure to go viral. It shows a man enjoying the moment to the full let’s say. !
    .

  38. I had a score on @aidoXI for player of the year at 25/1….
    Paul McDonnell ?@PMcDonnell1978 21 Dec
    25/1 for @AIDOXI to be player of the year 2013….. thats worth €20 of anybody’s money. #mayo2013

  39. What a truly great performance from mayo today ! It’s just fantastic to be following this great bunch of lads .
    However there is a but as I feel our overwhelming of donegal was partially down to their fatigue. So I for one will expect a much sterner test from Tyrone in the semi final . I do believe they can overcome this challenge if they keep their focus and I hope that all that were there today resume their seats and indeed bring 1 or 2 friends with them to counteract what will be a large Tyrone support . I think its vital we match Tyrone in this regard and not be waiting ‘Kerry style ‘ for the final !

    Thanks again lads – cant wait for 3 weeks time !

  40. We need more green and red support for the semi ..those of us who were so privileged to have been there yesterday for that epic performance didn’t give up for one minute we were brilliant even if I say so myself.

  41. The best performance I have ever seen by a Mayo team. Really makes you proud.
    While it’s easy to get carried away after that win, this is a time for caution.Tyrone are no mugs. They’ll have learned a lot from yesterday. Aido etc will be targetted. It will be an absolute battle.

    IF we get through that it only gets harder – The one time Kerry showed their cards this summer they cut Cork to ribbons in the Mun Final.Dublin could and should have scored 5-6 goals against Cork. Yesterday must have done wonders for the players confidence and they will need it. We will find ourselves in a sticky spot at some point against Tyrone, Dublin or Kerry that’s for sure. Based on yesterday you feel this set of players will come through that – but if they win it, it wont be handed to them, thats for sure.

  42. Settle lads , we;ve beaten many an All-Ireland Champion before the final!

    All this favorites nonsense, over hype and arrogance will lead to complacency .
    There s still the Dublin , champs 2 years ago , dubs are dirty meath 96 like tactics team

    Tyrone Mickey Harte knows how to win games ,

    And Kerry are Kerry . I still have bad memories from any final against Kerry .

    I like this panel a lot of strength in depth ,
    Hope this is the year .

  43. A truly great performance. We have a Team and Panel of Serious Footballers intent on only one mission bringing Sam to Mayo on the 22nd. September.

    Andy created a lot of space with his lines of running, and this opened up scores for the other forwards, his presence was a motivating factor alone, yes I agree just a wee bit short of match practice.

    It was a joy to be there and see this team not alone score 4 goals, but create a number of other goal chances.

    I will stick to my original forecast Mayo and Dublin in the All Ireland. Kerry looked a very tired team indeed, time has caught up with them.

  44. Fair play to our lads on that wonderful performance was one of the lucky ones to be there!! Now for my two complaints I thought James horan would have taken aos off when the game was righly won to spare him the danger of a second yellow and to give Barry a bit of game time! And number two the man who pressed the button to play the N 17 when the game was over instead of The Green & Red should be sacked! Not a bad day all round when that’s all I have to moan about! Maigh Eo Abu!!!

  45. The only reason Paddy Power, or any other bookmaker, has us favorites is because they are watching the flow of cash. If there is more money going on Mayo and less on somebody else Mayo’s odds will tighten and the others will get wider to encourage money on to the less favored team. Paddy Power’s own opinion does not enter the picture, they just want to generate interest in betting so more will bet and the flow of cash is not predominantly on one team creating a risk for the bookmaker.
    I think Cillian O’Connor has justified my opinion that he is best deployed in the corner where his instinct for goals is best used. One of the marks of a good team is that good players can be played in their best position and not used to shore up a weakness somewhere else in the team. Another is that there is no one player dominating the team, a player who is central to every play as Kieran McDonald was in 2006. it was no fault of Kieran’s that he was targeted by Kerry and our game plan was disrupted as a result. Another is that there is no obvious weakness as our full backline was in 2006. David Heaney’s placing at full back was an example of a good player being played out of his best position to shore up a weakness elsewhere. This year I do not see any obvious weaknesses to be plugged and we are able to play everybody where they at their best to the overall advantage of the team.
    Yesterday’s performance was absolutely magnificant by each and everyone but special mention must go to Air Chief Marshall Aiden O’Shea who really ruled the skies.
    However yesterday is done and the focus now has to be on Tyrone. It is often said that you are only as good as your last game. This is nonsense – you are only as good as your next game.

  46. first of all, utter magic yesterday !

    but i too think barry should have gotten a run and aidan should have come off.

    and why oh why didnt we do this to them last september ! as the spailpin said a while back mayo people only know sam or utter devastation , we won game 4 but its matterless now that game 5 has come into view.. can we reach the same heights again on the 26th or have we peaked too soon ?

  47. This, I think, has to be the greatest ever demolition of All Ireland Senior Football Champions, beating Meath’s 2 = 14 to 0 = 5 win over Kerry in 2001 by one point.
    I just hope we don’t suffer the same fate as Meath who were trashed by Galway in the final.
    I don’t think we will – this team and management are not going to get carried away before the job is finished.

  48. Awesome performance by mayo. Words can’t describe how absolutely thrilling that win against Donegal was. I’m delighted for Alan Dillon. He ran the show and gave the 2 fingers to those calling for him to be dropped. Cillian O Connor & Aidan O Shea are top class players. For young men they are just immense. Well done to the whole set up. Management deserve huge praise for where we are….. Bring on Tyrone.

  49. Had predicted a 9 point win but didn’t see that coming. Nice to see the “redeemer” clueless on the sideline with the “blues guitarist” standing next to him. All mouth and no trousers. Anybody know why Cillian did not take our first free of the 2nd half? Mcloughlin took it and went wide. Cillian should take all the frees surely. Anyway we dismantled the reigning all Ireland champions like we’ve dismantled any one else we’ve played so far.
    Great to see that McGee’s act of thuggery was dealt with immediately and appropiately . Kerry seem to be a 1st half team and have faded badly twice in a row in the 2nd half. Anyway, happy days.
    Magnificent performance all round. Can we have a huge Mayo crowd for the Tyrone game?

  50. Don’t know where to begin. It was half ten by the time I got home last night as I had to drop off some of the lads in Athlone and another in Claremorris on top of the 1 hour delay in trying to get out of Clonliffe college. I had decided not to read or comment on any of the match until this morning in case I would wake up and realise it was all a dream.
    To begin with I went to my first match in Croker in 1983 and me auld fella brought me to my first match as a seven year old in 1980. I have been to almost every game in Croker Park and remember rattling the galvanise sheeting at the back of the Hogan stand in 1985 when Willie Joe Padden was giving Brian Mullins a midfield masterclass in his own back yard. I have followed the lads to division 3 games in Carlow when we were total shite and stood in the pissing rain in the Canal in 1997 when we played Offaly off the pitch. And I have to say I was never ever ever more proud to have the Mayo colours on me than yesterday. At one stage there was a welling of such pride in me that I nearly cried. I am not eloquent enough to adequately describe it, and if I started I am afraid I would wear the keyboard out, but, I have never seen a Mayo side dominate a game from the first to the last whistle in such a manner as OUR LADS did yesterday. Men, one and all. No, fucking men, one and all.
    Jimmy is winning matches, but it’s OUR Jimmy that’s winning. And the only thing that was targeted yesterday was the Donegal midfield and full back line. And they were ripped asunder.
    Proud beyond words. Now close the deal lads and win the fucker, once and for all.

  51. Well done to James and the team yesterday a great performance. Looking forward to the Tyrone game, we the supporters and the team have to keep the feet on the ground. Tyrone defeated Mayo this year in the league in Castlebar, they will be hard beaten in the semi final.In 2001 Meath defeated Kerry 2-14 to 0-5,but in the final Galway defeated Meath by 9 points.

  52. I think, and hope, Kerry will do the Dubs and that they will have too much forward movement, cuteness and firepower for what I believe is a suspect full back line. Cork made Dublin look better than they are and even then Cork should have rattled the back of the net twice. Everyone raving about Jack Caffrey running up the pitch and creating goal scoring chances. Where was his marker? Do you think a Mayo half forward would let him run up the pitch unmarked?
    I think then that we will have too much speed, physicality and hunger for Kerry in the final. After that, God help Mayo!

  53. I am bursting with pride, I did see this coming but we will have much tougher tests ahead. We all need to get behind the lads and get to Croker in three weeks. The lads can see the summit, a lot of the heavy lifting has been done. We do need to stay realistic but we can dream as fans, there is nothing wrong with a bit of excitement. BELIEVE!

  54. Mayo can and will beat Tyrone (just about) but Dublin are on a different level altogether. Let’s hope their form dips and our momentum continues – its time to end this fucking 62 year old famine!

  55. Very impressive performance. Look very well tuned in yday. Was that the best performance from any team ever? I can’t remember a more complete performance by any other team. Tyrone will be easily beaten in semi. Final probably against Dublin will be tough. Can the west do a clean sweep this year Brigids, Galway, Rossies & Mayo?

  56. Jaysus all. You know me; Mr.Conservative and careful. Yesterday changed all that. I have never seen a display like from a Mayo team. They were magnificent!! They beat the shite out of one of the best teams in the Country. A lot of pundits and commentators tipped Donegal, including Sean Armstrong and fair play, Mayo were an unknown quantity and Donegal were All Ireland champions.
    I think too much is being said about Donegal being tired and etc. etc. They are one of the best teams in Ireland and have probably the best defence in the country and Mayo kicked the shite out of them, why??
    Mayo had a hunger, a passion and a swagger. They were so cool and calm and hit Donegal like a hurricane; huge men, and belted them. Did anyone notice how that when many of the Mayo lads hit a belt, they went back for a second one. Now I was dubious about this team but they are special.
    Now, forget complacency and tactics and if’s and buts. All Mayo have to do over the next two hurdles is to have the same hunger and passion and go out to kick the shite out of Tyrone, first, and than, whoever.
    No team in the country could have lived with Mayo yesterday. Repeat that twice more and Sam is coming home to Mayo. Let’s not think of failure. We have 60 years of hurt to avenge and avenge we have to. This is our year.
    No team, no matter how good they are, can function in a hurricane. All their tactics and skills are fucked.
    Remember Leitrim, under John O’Mahoney, came out like little dogs and hit Mayo, the favourites, in the Connacht final, like a hurricane and won that match, which they should never have won. They were eaten alive in the Semi Final. Why did they win? Think little dogs and a hurricane. Enough said!!!

  57. Great to be thereabouts again. Not too important to win, just to compete. Following Mayo since early 60’s and look forward to each championship season. As long as the lads do their best and give us a run for our money we can’t ask for more. After all, they have to go out on Monday morning and earn their livings just like the rest of us.
    Great to see Andy coming back to form, Alan at the top of his game but more importantly Freeman being given a sustained run to show his worth to the team!Would have loved to have been at the Pattern of Orlar today to hear the craic!

  58. Don’t agree 45 that Dublin are on another level. True they looked very good against Cork but Cork were sluggish and too many of their players are a little bit over the top and lacked the pace to play in Croker – they made the Dubs look good imo. Remember Meath put it up to the Dubs for much of the Leinster final also – they’re a good team with a strong bench but they’re definitely beatable and Kerry who are very much under the radar will give them a much sterner test and may well take them.

    We should only ( like James ) be concerned with our own performance and we can improve especially in our forward line where Moran and Dillon will be getting fitter and sharper by the week and Cillian will also get better ( is that possible ? ) with more games.

    If we get our performance right we will beat anybody – I’m firmly convinced that this is our year.

  59. a pure performance,

    personnly i think that the only way the Green and Red will win Sam is if Kerry beat Dublin

    Dublin are a serious outfit and will take some beating

    Up Mayo

  60. I hope you’re right All The Way…but we beat a very poor team on the day yesterday, so while I’m confident that the right performance can take us past Tyrone, I still have a big fear of what Dublin could do to us if going at full tilt..

  61. Are ye guys serious 45 and Bazham?

    Writing Mayo off is silly…Both Dublin and Kerry will fear us. If we go in defeated in mind then it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

    Can we have some optimism please?

  62. Was at Senior and Minor games and Frankly both were awesome displays as indeed was the display by Roscommon minors, our neighbours.

    I think we need to steer a sensible course now. No overhyping of team but no inferiority complex either. Horan and Nallen as well as all last years players know the high of quarter /semi final wins turns to dreadful lows if you dont go all the way. I honestly dont think that will happen this year.

    Now I dont rate Tyrone but most teams can beat another on a given day so caution and application is necessary.

    Two things concern me:

    1. Why did David Brady broadcast about Donie Buckley using headphones etc? Its not important but lets keep our secrets to ourselves. Also why was the Higgins move so well known before yesterday. Too many big mouths I think.

    2.The inconsistency of referees. The guy in the Roscommon match today as bad as I have ever seen. Hope Mayo dont get some egotististical rule maker up or for example frees could be given against Aidan when crashing through opponents. I thought McQuillan did well especially when Rory Gallagher did everything to get Aidan sent off. THought McFadden clutching his face a disgrace.

    Mayo supporters are the best in Ireland- proved it again yesterday if proof was needed. Lets keep our heads and hopefully all will come as we deserve and expect.

  63. Delighted for Freeman with his 2 points but also his display. He hassled and harried the Donegal full back line and was never intimidated or cowed by the McGee thuggery. That game will finally make him believe that he belongs in the no.14 shirt and can play at that level. It’s funny to think that Horan was in the wonderful position to remove Dillion, Moran and O’Connor early from the fray to aid their recovery. There is as much credit due to Horan, Nallen (our 2 Jimmys), Buckley and all the medical/physio/nutritional staff as there is due to the players.
    Keep it up everyone and September will be special.

  64. How far away is big Barry and mickey conroy. Thought seamie really complimented his brother yesterday and they are fast developing into a formidable partnership. Donie Vaughan played his best game in a mayo shirt and moving Keith further forward was a master stroke. And what about Chris Barrett. Thought he was immense yesterday. Any word today on Cunniffe’s injury today?

  65. I wonder will the Aussies be looking at AOS again after his performances this year or is he too old (23 ?) at this stage ? Mr Kennelly might be on the case.

  66. I said last week that if Mayo did not dictate the pace of this game from the off I.e win the throw in & get the 1st score & get stuck into Donegal then Mayo might find it difficult to break down Donegal & win this game.

    Well I have been to Croke Park many times over the years stretching back to Dublin v Mayo replay All-Ireland semi Final 1985, which was my 1st ever Mayo game & 1st time in Croke park.

    Yesterday blew me away. Mayo looked like a team who have the know how to win an All-Ireland Final.

    Pundits & experts can reason all they like about Donegal being tired & not up for it.

    Yesterday Mayo came at Donegal like men possessed.

    Their ball handling, quick passing, men looking for the ball. Pace, Power & pure drive, it was exceptional.

    It is the best Mayo performance I have ever witnessed anytime anywhere.

    Aidan o Shea has turned into a superb athlete & footballer.

    He was immense in Midfield yesterday.

    I saw him against Cork two years ago in the 1/4 final.

    He could hardly run that day & looked seriously unfit.

    Yesterday he was lean strong as an ox.

    Tyrone is going to be so physical in 3 weeks time.

    Two years ago our Mayo team could not compete in the physical side of the game.

    By god they can now. They have been so well conditioned.

    That takes time & now you can see these guy’s have bulked up & are so strong.

    It was a pure joy to watch. Is it possible that this finally could be our year.

    The ingredients are there. We take the next game & apply ourselves the same way we can beat Tyrone.

    Anything is possible with this squad.
    They have the belief. You can see they have moved up a gear from last year.

    It’s time for all of us to believe we are good enough to win our 4th All-Ireland title.

  67. A complete team performance, our power, pace and skill levels are at an all time high. Horan is always saying we are aiming to be the best we can be but yesterday must be as close to that as possible. Im proud to say i support that team. This is a team on a journey to the promised land and there is no getting away from the hard facts in front of us, we have blitzed everyone in our way this championship and it will take a serious team to beat us.
    In the 4 games so far we have trailed only once, that was against ross for the first min or so.
    To quote john cuffe on this site some time ago, ‘ aidan o shea has finally stepped into his kingdom as a mayo footballing god’.

  68. john griffin,

    i am not writing off Mayo at all, and i totally agree that Dublin or Kerry will fear us !!

    but looking at Dublin over the championship they are shredding teams to bits exactly the same way as Mayo are

    that game against Cork, jes they could have had 5-6 goals, Meath beore that etc not taking away Mayo’s fantastic win but Donegal were shocking

    but i would perfer to play Kerry in the final, but it should and will be a Mayo Dublin final,

    both play the same game should be a great final,

    but hear’s hoping Kerry will beat Dublin ( thought id never say that) and if so the 62 year wait will be over !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  69. Joe Mac………………Fair play to you, I enjoyed reading that post and I agree 100% with you………..Bring them on.

  70. Watched it again tonight at home, aiden o se is really becoming something else, very fit and has taken all the lessons onboard, but he is only one, the whole 20 pulled their weight and it’s good to see the mayo forwards hassling defenders, defending from the ff line is Mayos new method. It’s complete football, all defend and nearly all attack. Whatever happens, if they repeat that 2 more times I think they have a good chance.

  71. BazHam – Cork contributed someway to their own demise, making Dublin look better. Alan O’Connor was completely beaten for pace, he couldn’t run. They lobbed high balls all the time into a non existent full forward line; the whole second half, without copping on.

  72. I’d tend to agree with you on Dublin (and Cork) Joe Mc – I was in Croke Park on Saturday evening and I thought Cork were worse than useless, utterly clueless in attack, and their failings masked a few that Dublin have too. For one thing, the Dublin forwards still seem to think that it’s only goals that count on the scoreboard – time after time they went for goal when they should have been tacking on points (Brogan, for all his goal chances, failed to score from play). Once again, Cluxton was their highest scorer … As well as this, Jim Gavin has clearly put a huge amount of faith in untested (and they’re still untested) young lads and it was obvious that a few of them – Cooper and Mannion in particular – were finding the pace of an All-Ireland quarter-final a bit hard to handle. How will they handle a semi or final, I wonder? I’d be concerned for them against Kerry and have been saying for some time that, if they were to meet in the semis, Kerry could well take them. Overall, I think any notion that Dublin are ahead of the field at the minute simply isn’t the case based on this weekend’s matches.

  73. Thought you all might like to know that today (Monday) saw a new high reached in terms of hits on the site. The total for the day was 10,015, which is the first time it’s gone over 10k in a single day. Can’t for the life of me figure out why that should have happened today …

  74. It must be something to do with our craving for and acheiving high numbers in 2013
    WJ.
    Agree with you on the Dubs, they have a lot of weaknesses, the same for Kerry, though Kerry can be good for 40 mins………they tire rapidly……….that leaves Tyrone and us, Tyrone IMO will not live with this Mayo side…….if we can carry on the hunger and tenacity that has been shown till now…………two more performances close to yesterdays will take Sam as this is as complete a unit as I’ve witnessed in my lifetime……..They made a promise on their homecoming in Mac Hale park last year and up till now they have delivered in a way that that we could only have dreamed…………Those that didn’t fear us before now have a lot to worry about and I honestly don’t know how anyone can prepare to plot a way of holding a team that scores from everywhere and anywhere and never gives an inch in any position…………It’s ours to lose and the 3 left know it by now…………..and we haven’t been tested yet ?
    Brilliant for the Minors today, a Mayo double ? Why not.
    MaighEo Abu

  75. We drove up on Sunday morning and stopped of at the services on motorway.The place was a mass of green and red,amazing scene,The amount of families and young supporters was truly something else.Who could imagine what was going to happen later that afternoon.I was never as proud to be a Mayo supporter that day and we have had some good days in Croke Park. Pundits keep saying we have not been tested yet, but you can only beat what has been put in front of you and we have proved ourselves so far.Tyrone will be a harder challenge but these group of young men seem to have a lot of self confidence in themselves and all the panel are quality footballers. Hopefully this our year and who knows what it will do for all these young supporters.Well done Enda and our Minors, the future looks bright.

  76. A famous week-end but now reality returns. And the reality is we can win the NEXT game against TYrone. Lets concentrate on that now. I think the team is clear and even the subs have settled look about them.
    In terms of Tyrone quick ball and physicality is the answer. Tyrone will be like Donegal last year – negative and physical. WE need to watch that especially break away goals.
    Those of us who have suffered since 89 in All Irelands know what it is like to lose and know how teams must plan for everything.
    HIstory means nothing to this team but they should be focussed as I believe they will be on game 5 and nothing else.
    Mickey Harte is a gentleman but a fierce competitor- and he knows how to win. WE will under estimate him at our peril.
    Fear no-one but respect everyone and finally keep the killer instinct.

  77. Does anyone know if conor gormley is gunna be cited after his halftime punch on the monaghan player? Or is it even possible that he could be cited and banned???

  78. After that performance on Sunday I can die happy. Mayo played like Brazil. Even the best teams ever playing their best football would not have survived that Mayo onslaught. Have been following Mayo teams for the last 40 years, and that performance was easily the best ever.
    Only flaw is that the fresh legs that came on did not seem to add momentum. Lets keep our heads, believe in our team, give the best support we can, and let our football do the talking.

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