Poll: who’ll win the League final?

I know our interest in this year’s League may not be what it was a few weeks ago but this weekend sees the culmination of the spring competition, with the four Divisional finals taking place at Croke Park on Saturday and Sunday.

Most attention will obviously be focused on the Division One decider with Dublin hot favourites to beat Derry and so retain the title they won last year. If they succeed in doing this, the Dubs will complete a League-Championship-League sequence of victories, as Cork did back in 2010-11, but Derry – who on Sunday will be just three weeks out from their championship opener against Donegal – surely aren’t coming to the capital just for the day out. This one could prove to be a bit closer, I reckon, than those 1/4 odds on Dublin might suggest.

Time for a vote on how you think this one will go:

Who'll win the League final?

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49 thoughts on “Poll: who’ll win the League final?

  1. Dublin will win it. In good form and very strong everywhere so far in 2014
    The championship is a different story, I reckon donegal and cork will be hard beaten, Derry maybe too.
    Too bad that Dublin don’t have to travel for their games like everyone else, it’s a big advantage but we have to put up with it for now. Hopefully there’s a manager out there somewhere plotting how to disrupt the dubs before it all become the Scottish premiership farce.
    For Sundays game, Dublin by a long way.

  2. Hard to see Derry competing against Dublin. I know they had 14 men but I thought overall that they were lucky against us and we were tired and poor. If Dublin control Mark Lynch Derry will find it very hard to get scores. All year so far they have been asleep in the first half. If they get going and goals early this could be a long day for Derry.

    I think Dublin by probably 5/6 points

  3. I think Dublin will win. However I hope Derry wins it especially as they have a hard first round championship game coming up.

  4. Dublin should win pulling up..derry struggledl against a very flat and below par mayo team, the fact that mayo had just started the heavy training part of the fitness programme played a big part in the defeat to derry .im convinced we will see a different mayo animal come the white hot heat of the battle for sam ,I For one believe horan and buckley havent shown their hand yet ,mayo4sam and why not.

  5. Can someone tell me do the Cairde Maigheo ticket holders need to print out their tickets or will the card be scanned at the gate in Gaelic Park?

  6. I agree Peter,
    They haven’t shown their hand yet.If they really wanted to beat Derry , would the obvious changes not have taken place.Swap Andy with Kevin, move Keith back with Caff gone off and leave Jason on.Very similar to the semi final last year v the Dubs bringing on three lads that hadn’t kicked a ball for the county before that.Even the great Kerry team of the seventies, didn’t win an A I in April.

  7. The one thing that Derry have in their favour is their physicality. Everyone talks about Dublin’s footballing ability but they have serious physicality in their team as well. Derry will go toe to toe with them in this regard and will in no way fear the Dubs. Will Derry be able to handle their pace though? Derry like to attack at pace as well so it’ll be interesting to see how Dublin will cope with this. You’d think that with the start of the Ulster championship just around the corner, Derry will have one eye on their up coming game against Donegal. With Donegal v Monaghan up first and Cavan playing against Roscommon on Saturday evening, four of the eight league finalists are Northern teams, again maybe this adds some more evidence to the theory that these teams are further advanced in their training programmes at the moment.

  8. I voted for the Dubs. They won this one on a Sunday afternoon in Omagh. Derry are no world beaters but they are extremely fit and dedicated. They can make a tough day out for the Dubs, but no more than that IMO. For all those of who write of the Mayo team by April, a timely reminder that the football season starts this weekend, as it always has.

  9. I think Derry will make it very difficult for Dublin in Sunday. They are and have always been a very dogged team and will look to grind this game down, crowd the defense and keep it as low scoring as possible. Brian McIvor is a shrewd operator and I wouldn’t rule out them sneaking it by a point if they can manage to hold out against the Dublin attack.

  10. 45, I like your thinking, but I fear Dublin have way too much fire power and I think the Dubs could win easily!

  11. I’m going with Derry here. They’re tough and will shut down Dublin’s route 1 to goal. I’ll watch it but in all honesty, I couldn’t care less who wins.

  12. Dublin will win out in the end.

    The Dubs might struggle and lose their way but ultimately the Dubs will have no problem overcomming all Derry throw at them. The Dubs have the mind set of champions and champions can be beaten from time to time but they never ever lose. You have to admire the Dubs belief and mental strenght.

    I know that you can’t compare The mayo house of pain to the Dubs experience but in fairness The Dubs for a County which could have four County teams, spent a time wandering in the wilderness too.

    If Mayo want to fare well in the championship, they don’t need to play like the Dubs but they do need to possess the mindset of the Dubs.

  13. Would love to see Derry smash them but Dublin all the way by as much as they want. If they play their usual one half game only then they will win by 4-6 points. If they play for both halfs they will wipe Derry away.

  14. Dublin by 5-6 points i think. One thing iv noticed about Dublin is they have played the exact same football in the latter rounds of the league as they did in last years championship, the same tactics have been used. Mayo have been the opposite, playing in our usual league type style. Its all well and good Dublin playing fantastic championship level football in spring, but it gives us and other teams time to plot there downfall as we know exactly how they will play, Mayo on the other hand have given away nothing in the league and i think we are in a great position now, pressure from the media is off while Jh will have a few tricks up his sleeve, and i expect our defense to be rock solid come august. Quietly confident about the summer ahead. Expect us to be in top form cone late august/september.

  15. I agree with you Juan on Dublin & Mayo. Dublin are being built up as invincibles and they’ll probably enhance that reputation on Sunday. Derry too are being talked up and I’m sure Donegal are smiling.
    looking forward to an interesting summer and also quitely confident of an AI final re-match!

  16. Isn’t that the beauty of being champions, every year they are built as unbeatable!
    Donegal last year, never dreamt such a pasting was on the cards after besting the next best team in ulster in the first round by a few goals.
    Dublin looked great against cork when they got going but you’d ask why cork were able to run ahead so much in the first place , great comebacks are a dangerous way of winning if they are to be counted on.

  17. I never played football but I love mayo and mayo football in particular In muredachs in 1965 i was thrown off the team for letting in 7 goals the dean pa hegarty threw me off. Anyone remember him? What amazes me is the way people say there’s nothing in Connacht and mayo will have no problem. This I feel is dangerous talk. Last year after we took Galway apart and then Roscommon everyone was saying mayo were not tested in Connacht. They said there was a big gulf between division 1 and 2. This is easy to say after the event but on the morning of the mayo / Galway match no one was saying it was going to be easy this was a local derby and mayo/ Galway matches were always closely contested even the rte panel said before the match that it was going to be close but afterwards they came out with the division 1 division 2 rubbish. The simple truth was that mayo were great last year. Connacht is not a walk over. Look what Galway did to cork later in the qualifiers. Let us hope mayo don’t fall into the trap of taking Connacht for granted.

  18. Liam – I don’t think this Mayo team will be taking any opposition for granted – they have their own game to fully focus on and they know only too well that their recent league performances have fallen short and that there is serious work to be done to get back to the performance levels of last summer. Hopefully the Derry game was a timely wakeup call for both players and management.

  19. Rossies did very well today against a decent Cavan team. And they did the job without their U-21 stars. They’ll also benefit from a tough game v Leitrim in a couple of weeks, and with their u-21 integrated back in to their fold, they will be a serious challenge in Hyde Park in a few weeks time. No disrespect to Leitrim.

    We’ll need to be sharper with the fitness moved up a couple of notches, and be much tighter at the back. New York and a challenge or two will be needed to sort the leaking goals and also our best forward six in their best positions. No disrespect intended to NY.

  20. Rossies looked good, fair play to them. We’ll be in good shape come june, id expect a conprehensive win, we have nothing to fear once we play “our” game and impose ourselves on them from the start.

  21. I’d agree Juan – team still have a few weeks of intensive training to get things together for June 8th. Ros were lucky to win that game – only for some very poor shooting by Cavan in the last 10mins. No doubt their tails will be up now going into the Connacht Championship but they’ve got to beat Leitrim first before they even begin to set their sites on us…..

  22. Thought Ros’ were very fortunate to win that game, Cavan kicked some bad wides in the 2nd half.

    The standard of football was poor enough, especially considering these 2 teams were the standout performers in the division.

    I’d never write Leitrim off in a game against Ros’, there’s no team they like ambushing more than the rossies.

  23. Jh was right to avoid this dublin until he really has no choice, poor Derry, annihilated!!!
    Dublin can be beaten, but it’ll take better than derry to do it. Cork and Mayo are maybe the only candidates to even think of being able for it.

  24. you make it like Horan choose not to have the lads in a league final David ? Was it me or was Oisin Duffy black card harsh?

  25. More like fortunate than right ! Dublin look very formidable once again as the Championship approaches. Really thought Derry would make it difficult for them today. Probably a good thing that they’ll be on the other side of the draw should we manage to emerge as winners of Connacht…

  26. Who are all those people who predicted a Derry win, makes you wonder if they saw the Semis

  27. I didn’t see the games today but you’d wonder where does this leave us? Dublin hammered the Derry team who we couldn’t beat when they had 14 players! Then again a couple of weeks ago we had 14 man Dublin on the ropes, 6 points up with about 14 minutes left to play. If we had taken our chances against them, Dublin wouldn’t have even made the semis. You’d have to say apart from the Dubs, if we play at the levels we can play at, we are still as good on our day as any other team. I really hope that we go back to basics for the New York game. If Keith Higgins starts at no. 10, Kevin McLoughlin at no. 13 and Enda Varley is our first sub to be brought on, I’d be a bit worried for the season ahead. It’d be great to see Keith at no.4, Kevin at no.10 and Mikey Sweeney starting at no. 13. You’d love to see Adam Gallagher getting some game time as well.

  28. Mayo man in Galway,
    I’m not saying horan threw the semi but he could have changed things that were obviously needed according to better judges than I.
    Thankfully, losing a league final to Dublin today wouldn’t achieve much for us, ny next is the first step on our real journey

  29. A few things from todays matches in Croker. First off it was a good thing we didn’t beat Derry – a mauling from Dublin would be the last thing we needed before heading to New York. And secondly Mayo could do worse than watch the Donegal Monaghan match and see how forwards should play. The skill level shown by the Monaghan forwards was so refreshing to watch, every one of them was capable of taking on and beating his marker, making space and popping the ball over the bar, or laying off to a better placed team mate. They ran a good Donegal team ragged and on this evidence, there will be no Sam for Jimmy this year.

  30. This slapping/palming and throwing the ball into the net for a goal should be looked at. There’s no skill in that. It’s football ffs!

  31. Agree totally Mayo McHale, I was very impressed by Monaghan.

    As you say, their forward play was great to watch, but I also thought their backs kept a formidable Donegal attack well under wraps.
    The Monaghan goal was a joy to watch, I doubt we’ll see better this year.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to write Donegal off however (for Ulster at least).
    They have a massive game with Derry in Celtic Park coming up in 3 weeks (which also might go some way towards explaining Derry’s woeful performance), they have other immediate priorities.

    Dublin were very fortunate to even make the semis of the league (partly our fault in fairness), so I’m not going along with this ever growing common consensus that Dublin will be unbeatable this year.
    Let the media etc build Dublin up as much as they want, this can’t do the rest of us any harm.

    A lot was made of our late collapse against Dublin in the league, but let’s not forget that we played them off the park for long periods of that game.

  32. Dublin great again today. Really are an excellent team but its only April and we have been closer to them than anyone in games that matter. Donegal and Monaghan looked like an Ulster championship match, Monaghan were impressive but Donegal in action in championship in 3 weeks so I doubt they were too concerned about today. Certainly thought Ros did well last night. Remember they were playing a side who conceded on average no more than 10 points per game in league. Ros gave them a headstart but still defeated them and that’s without the U21s. Morale is very high in Ros at the moment and assuming they beat Leitrim they will be well ready for us on June 8. If you are even a small bit off for these championship games you tend to come a cropper. We know what we have to do and should be better than them but if we give them a whiff of a chance they will take it. I have seen us ambushed by them on a number of occasions, 1986 and 2001 spring to mind, to take them lightly

  33. Mayo are the only team who can put it up to the dubs. In 140 minutes of football in the last year they re only one point ahead. Can’t wait for the summer and more of the 2013 performances. I hope mayo lock down the back and pulverise anything that crosses the half way line. Mayo would have given the dubs a game today unlike derry

  34. Dublin have to be complimented . Not afraid of success , indeed welcoming it. Double last year, half way there this year.

    There is no doubt that Dublin are targeting consecutive All Ireland’s . They have the panel, the manager and the chutzpah . Plus they work like donkeys . Funnily enough we hear nothing about them heavy training or peaking or saving themselves.

    Funnily enough one of the teams capable of putting a spanner in the Dubs spokes is Mayo but that comes with which Mayo will appear. We have a lot of what’s needed but we also need to roll the dice and make a few hard calls.

    Johnny Cooper marked Derrys Lynch out of it. We couldn’t manage him. Dublin’s first choice 6 would be Brennan with Brian Cullen second choice. Cian o Sullivan played there too.

    So I don’t believe we will achieve a lot if we stay conservative but if we are bold , tackle like we did last year, pick the team on first names then we might have a big say in proceedings. Dublin shows fortune favours the brave. Time for us to try a slice of that . Dublin are odds on, a heavy load to carry for the next five months.

  35. Lad and ladies hands up ye who said we’d have it hard against Ros?? Can’t see them coming close to us! And the ref in that game was atrocious absolutely no advantage rule or black card!!! The Dubs fairly kicked ass but I really think there gonna have it hard to keep that up til September. No test for them till August either!! Don’t rule us out yet folks. Is feidir linn!!!

  36. I know this is raking over old ground but Jesus Christ Donegal are a classless team… for a county with some of the nicest people you would meet.. their football team are a disgrace.. Sooner Jimmy fucks off the better for them in the long run,

  37. Unlucky in the final week Willie Joe in the Predictions League, although its nice to see 3 Mayo people in the top 10 (I finished 7th overall). Congrats to the winner by the way. Do you know if there is a similar competition for the championship around anywhere?

  38. Dublin are league champions for the second year running.

    The Dubs were magnificent. The Dubs look like they are an unstopable force. The belief, intensity and determination that the Dubs exude in each and every game is frightening. The Dubs are the champions and it will take a serious force of nature against nurture to stop them. I have not seen to date any evidence that any other team possess anything to equal the mental strength that the Dubs have in abundence. When all the tactical bullshit is boiled away in September it will come down to mental strength.

    Derry came into this game with their tails up to the max. A 14 man Derry had just put the beaten finalists to the sword. Derry had in my opinion there best showing player on that day sent off. Derry would not be denied and were deserving winners against Mayo. Derry were definetly up for the game. Derry’s reward was absolute annihilation. You can’t butter up annihilation. Despite Derry’s best efforts and all that…

    If I was to condense everthing down to the essence of what makes this Dublin team magnificient it would have to be McMannomins goal. Charging forward he leaned back on his shot which was gamely deflected by the Derry keeper. Mcmannomin reaction was to drive on forward, regain his momentum before diving to the floor fist extended to thump the ball home to its original destination. Never ever give up on the ball. There are no tactics that can battle that belief, that determination.

    It will take something special this year to beat the Dubs. Do I think Mayo have it? Yes I do. Do I think they have the mental strenght to unleash their true ability? I don’t know? Time will tell, it always does.

  39. could not be more happy about to days results, Dublin have the all ireland won already. pressure off mayo , love reading all the commets on this site , i have seen lots of mayo people not mayo football teams down turn the years , like everybody on this site you can;t knock us ,every defeat makes us stronger, mayo for sam 2014,

  40. Completely agree with mayoforever, im rubbing my hands together listening to this “invincible” talk. There odds on for sam in april for fuck sake. This is brilliant for us, and maybe the other 1-2 teams that can beat the dubs on a given day. Not a bit of pressure on us now, and make no mistake, we will b well in the mix come august/september. Sure we love nothing more than to knock out the reigning AI champions, and the way the draw is set up, that trend could continue on the biggest day for us all in 5 months time!! Keep the faith.

  41. just one question i seen on the connaught telegraph last week that caff and o connor are struggling to be fit for sunday is this true does anyone know.

  42. What about playing a Ultra Mobile defensive team against the Dubs in croker.
    Might be the only way to match them. Revert to the Donegal defensive strategy of two
    years ago. Not pretty but might work.
    Pack you defence to block the running game and try and break at pace.
    Your only three out and out forwards would be your full forward line. You half forward line would be defenders with licence to break up the pitch.
    Possible team

    Hennelly
    Harrison Caff McHale
    Barret Cunniffe Keegan

    Gibbons Vaughan

    Higgins Feeney K Mac
    Moran Freeman O’Connor

    Just another way of approaching it.

  43. Facetheball I agree completely with you. I feel that this is kinda what Mayo done in 2012 and it was very successful. To do this you need great athletes with good handling skills. This style will be made easier by the black card. No more blocking off the runners off the ball. How often did we see Mayo players stopped this way in 2012? Kildare, Tyrone, Donegal and Dublin to a lesser extent all deploy these tactics in some shape or form. Breheny, Spillane and Brolly’s bullshit about attacking football is all fine and well. Does it get you the cup? Use your strengths. I think Mayo’s strength is fitness and speed.

  44. Agreed. Anyone that sets up in an orthodox fashion will get badly beaten by the Dubs. Time to get defensive I’m afraid. Our defence if deployed properly is stronger than our attack anyway.

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