Closer

Mayo flag 2013 AIF

Friday morning and it really does now feel that Sunday’s shuddering clash isn’t all that far away. It’s been a long week – in so many respects, not all to do with football either – and the waiting’s not done with yet but there’s not that much of it left now before Sunday and all that awaits us in Croke Park then.

If you need a bit of revving up to get you going this morning, then the Elvery’s ad that was released yesterday should fit the bill nicely. It’s spine-tinglingly good and here it is:

Club ’51 are also in motivation mode at the minute. They’ve compiled a Top Ten of All-Ireland semi-final moments, the first part of which is here and the second is here.

Next, a few notices about events on up here tomorrow evening, just in case the cancellation of the Bowe’s meet-up has left you at a loose end. I’ve two such events to draw to your attention, one on either side of the river.

Starting with this side of town, one of the oldest GAA clubs in the country – Beann Eadair out in Howth, which was founded in 1885 – have a pitch re-opening event tomorrow evening. I know we pride ourselves on spectacular pitch locations, such as the one on Inisturk, but for my money the Beann Eadair pitch, located on an elevated site off Balkhill Road halfway up towards Howth summit, takes some beating with its panoramic views out onto the sea. A cold spot on a Saturday morning in early spring, to be sure, but a visual treat nonetheless.

Full details of Saturday evening’s event are here. GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaill will be doing the official re-opening honours at 6.45pm with the tape-cutting bookended by Dublin v Rest of Ireland Legends matches in both hurling (5pm) and football (7pm). The latter will feature the likes of Ciaran Whelan, Ciaran Duff, Barney Rock, Eamonn Heery, Dessie Farrell, Peter Canavan, Joe Brolly, Seamus Darby, Darragh Ó Sé, Liam McHale, Kevin McStay and Martin Carney.

Over on the southside, meanwhile, Good Counsel GAA club have a match that same evening against the Belmullet intermediate team. The match throws in at the club’s Davitt Road pitch (which is here) at 6.30pm tomorrow evening and there’ll be a trophy presented after the match to the winning team in memory of the late Thomás Mulligan, son of Frances McLoughlin of Belmullet and nephew of the late Eddie Cuffe. The bar at the club will be open after the game for whatever you’re having yourself and, if you plan to use public transport to get you there, either the 123 bus or the Luas Red line will land you right to the door.

Okay, onto today’s coverage. On us, there’s a feature on Aidan O’Shea in the Irish Independent and one on Colm Boyle in the Irish Examiner. For them, it’s MDMA day, with the Ballyboden man featuring in both the Indo and the Examiner.  The Irish Times don’t appear to have anything about the game (certainly not online) but apparently there’s a rugby game on tomorrow so they appear to be getting exercised about that instead.

RTÉ have a column by Ray Silke, in which he analyses what he says are the three key questions that’ll decide Sunday’s match. Don’t all jump on poor old Ray’s head now, y’hear? The man is only giving his opinion.

Speaking of opinions, Tomas Ó Sé, writing in the Indo, plumps for Dublin to do it. By my count, that’s the fourth Kerry pundit to do so this week – Darragh, Bomber and Spillane (on the radio this morning) also having all tipped them to win. Well, they are the 4/7 favourites after all.

Back to the Examiner where there’s a rather curious piece by John Fogarty who highlights ten “flashpoints” in matches between ourselves and Dublin in attempting to portray the rivalry between us as being a “best of enemies” one. The problem is that six of these examples are from less than full throttle League games – with two incidents each plucked from our NFL meetings in 2012, 2013 and 2014 – and most of them, as I recall, were much ado about nothing. As was the blood sub example, an issue that this writer for some reason simply can’t let go where it involves us. As I said, it’s a bit of an odd one.

If daft stuff is your bag, then Vinny Murphy going head-to-head with Conor Mortimer in zorbing might do it for you. Each to their own, I guess.

If it’s reading of more substance you want, though, then look no further than today’s Mayo Advertiser, which is crammed full of interesting material on the game. Colm Gannon has a match preview, so has Ray Silke (yes, this is the same as the one I linked to yesterday), there’s John Casey’s opinion piece, features on Colm Boyle and Barry Moran and an interview with Noel Connelly.

But let’s finish with some more opinions – yours this time as it’s time to put up the poll to see what the mood is like as Sunday approaches. Well, then, what do you reckon – who’ll do it?

Who'll win the semi-final?

  • Mayo (73%, 410 Votes)
  • Dublin (27%, 153 Votes)

Total Voters: 563

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It’s not yet too late to express your support in a tangible way for the lads: go to the Mayo GAA website (here) and click ‘Play Now’ to contribute to the cause via the Mayo GAA Players Training and Welfare Fund Lotto.

54 thoughts on “Closer

  1. The very best of luck to team, management, and yes the county board, this team has bee absolutely magnificent over the last few years, I thought that they would find it difficult to come back this year but they are even better, good luck and save travelling to everyone

  2. The time is near alright. Someone said its the dubs who will run out to the pitch first on Sunday. No doubt run towards the Hill and take the applause and a rendition of “Boys in Blue”.

    That noise will die down and its then we need to hear the deafening “Mayo Mayo” chant from all around the ground. So loud our lads will hear it in the dressing room. Keith Higgins saying a few last words to his men might then say “Jesus, do you hear that chant”. Then Mayo run out and the whole place shakes. Bits even start to fall off from parts of the stands!!!

    Then the parade. Somebody lets off a green smoke flare followed by a red one on the Hill and the smoke drifts across the ground. Support, colour and noise not seen like this before at this venue.

    Most importantly it continues for 70 minutes. Remember what James Horan said about “negativity creeping down from the stands” in the 2nd half of the 2013 final. We can do our bit or just sit there quietly. Please people if you are lucky enough to be going would you please bring colour and noise. We will need that 16th man on Sunday.

  3. Well said, Jim Flag. No silences like that, ever again. We may well be outnumbered on Sunday but we absolutely have to make ourselves heard and claim this day, in our ground (it’s as much ours as Dublin’s) for ourselves.

  4. Nice and comprehensive reading to sink the teeth into, nice one WJ! Apart from Ray Silke 😉 😀

    But yeah onto the match and it should be a belter, and I’m really starting to get excited now. Arguably the two best teams in Ireland over the past 3 seasons coming head to head.

    Dublin have won 4 of the last 5 “big competitions” and hold a very positive recent head to head in this rivalry. It’d be lazy analysis in the extreme to read too much into those matches though, the majority of which- in my view anyway- hold little relevance to a full-blooded Championship encounter in late August. However there is one that certainly does- that All Ireland final of two years ago

    That day a shaky and nervous Dublin side got over the line with a performance that was simply just good enough to see off a lethargic and remarkably flat Mayo performance. However there were a number of factors that were crucial- a great bench, a masterclass in kickouts by Stephen Cluxton and the clinical-ness of Bernard Brogan.

    Championship form to date shouldn’t be read into too much, with Dublin steamrollering everyone in their wake, as is the norm for them of recent until the semi-final stage, and Mayo beating a terrible Sligo team and a tired and leggy Donegal. Mayo’s main test, in fact, has been their neighbours Galway in a 4 point win, where plenty of questions have been asked about the defence. Since then Mayo seem to have gone up in a lot of people’s expectations despite, in retrospect, not having faced too stern a challenge at all in the meantime

    Dublin are in a nice position. They have far less expectation than this time last year where they came unstuck in a bizarre semi v Donegal. They will have learned lessons in the year that has elapsed and had plenty of time to prepare. Mayo went out the same weekend in a match they were rode by the referee but it was an opportunity missed over two legs. Is there any evidence Mayo have improved enough in that time? We will only find out on Sunday

    In these recent glory years Mayo have been able to beat a few wounded All Ireland Champions, but have just fallen short in the big ones. This is certainly a ‘big one’. Dublin have won two Sam Maguires and 3 leagues in that period. Will this year be different for Mayo?

    I bloody hope so, but don’t think it will. Dublin possess better all round quality up front and are bound to have a plan to stop O’Shea’s influence. Stop O’Shea and they’re well on their way. Mayo need more forwards to step up and put up big scores and need their backs to limit the Dublin attack enough to snuff them out creating goalscoring chances at the other end. It goes without saying this is one hell of an ask. Especially given the way this backline has been opened up at times

    Where Mayo can get a foothold is in midfield and from there they should get plenty of ball to at least feed O’Shea with. I still think Dublin will put up too big a score at the other end for this to matter though, with Flynn, KK and Connolly all capable of kicking scores out the field and creating goal chances for the inside men. Bernard Brogan has had great joy v Mayo recently, and this is a worry. Can the same Cafferkey who had an average 2014 make the step up we know he’s capable of? Is Higgins the man for the job? I’m loathe to agreeing with Bomber Liston but his point about Dublin having much more reliable scorers to fall back on if their top 2 or 3 are having an off day, is not all that wide of the mark. If COC (no form at all to date in champ) and AOS misfire who else is there to put up a big score for ourselves?

    The hard, cold analysis point to a slight Dublin win but thankfully sport isn’t an exact science. This Mayo team have shown such hunger, intensity and belief over the last few years that this looks certain to be less straightforward than it should appear. They have enough drive in them to really upset teams and it might well just put them in a position to win this. Can they take advantage of this when it is in the melting pot?

    Alas, it’s Dublin by about 3 for me if I’m truly honest. But I certainly won’t give up hope and cannot bloody wait for it

  5. Spot on Ciaran – when you analyse it coldly, it points to Dublin win, but that’s not to say Mayo don’t have a great chance, and obviously we all hope to repeat the glory of ’06 and ’12!

  6. Ciaran, you can harp on about all these stats. Who have Dublin played this year to date? Any Division 1 team? Your entitled to your opinion but your love in with Dublin is getting sickening to be honest and a negatron in the run up to the match. I live in Dublin and have been to all championship games to date. I can catagorically say this is the finest team we have ever had, along with a very strong bench, and we will win on Sunday by at least 3 points. I have seen this team demolish Sligo and beat Donegal with 40 Minutes gone in a game, I also watched them play possession for the last 30 odd minutes closing out the game. Theres no mention about this in your above post. Maigh Eo Abu!!!

  7. In fairness to Ciaran (though I did roll my eyes a bit when I read it!) he gives a good analysis above and as a football fan he’s entitled as are any of us to say it how we see it panning out. I hope he’s eating humble pie for the next three weeks but everyone has different opinions on how this game might go and that’s part of the build-up.

    The beauty of it is, while you can be eating and drinking stats and probabilities for breakfast dinner and tea, nothing takes into account the occasion itself, the will and hunger to win, the 16th man, the hop of the ball and the little bit of luck. For what it’s worth I think Ciaran will be proved wrong on Sunday, but the day won’t be without it’s coronary inducing moments either.

    Is it Sunday yet?! Maigh Eo Abu!!

  8. By God that ad is good.

    Just to add to the round up Willie Joe, here again is the indefatigable Ray Silke with a fairly measured piece (RTE online): http://tinyurl.com/nb2l4f5

    One thing strikes me about big name columnists: their comments are all tailored for a particular audience, and indeed with Silke and others, their analysis appears over a number of outlets, all subtly honed for the particular readers.

    Thus, writing in Mayo Advertiser or other Mayo outlets: Mayo. RTE online: nothing outlandish here please, so, if this then that. The Herald? Dublin of course. Can you imagine 5 or 6 Herald pundits tipping Mayo, or any opponent of Dublin? Irish Times? well, there’s a (meaningless) rugby international on, so the Ros OCK brigade have to be looked after. Sunday Game? got to keep the audience entertained, so send in the clowns.

    All shaped by editors and reporters for their readers who don’t expect feathers ruffled.

    You would wonder what these guys really think.

  9. It might read a bit pessimistic in retrospect now that I’ve reread it, actually more pessimistic than I am in reality! Probably hard convey it over writing! It’s the type of battle I could see Mayo winning 3 or 4 times, and Dublin 6 over 10 meetings, all of the matches very tight!

    But I actually give us a very good chance of winning this match, but just giving a breakdown really based on what level I think the teams are really at and from what I’ve seen.

    I didn’t really mention Mayo’s hammerings this year, like I didn’t read into Dublin’s, I don’t think they’re all that relevant heading into Sunday. Each team to date has been a vastly different level to the opposition Sunday. My own opinion is formed over the last few seasons really

    FWIW, I think we’re certainly the second best team in Ireland, probably just short of Dublin, but that’s no reason we can’t actually beat them the next day, sport isn’t straightforward

    I might be lauding the Dublin team a bit, but in truth I think they’re a superb side who have been the best team in the country for a while and have really set the benchmark. It would be no shame whatsoever to lose the next day to be honest, to be fair this Mayo team have never lost a match to a team worse than them and that’s insane consistency in itself

  10. The players will leave nothing behind them in the stands.

    We have a job to be the 16th man. Leave nothing behind.

    Remember the roars of “Mayo” throughout the warm-up and parade in Limerick last year. Spine tingling.

    Let’s set a marker early. We are starving for Sam Maguire.

    This is out moment.

  11. You can certainly make the case for Dublin winning, but this Mayo team always have a major kick in them in every championship, and I don’t think we’ve seen it yet this year. I would be very surprised if it doesn’t come on Sunday.

    We need a formation to keep the goals out of course, and that’s where H & C will have to perform. Their superb use of Barry Moran against Donegal entitles them to the benefit of the doubt in my book.

    There are any number of duels that could decide this game. But ultimately I think that if we can keep the goals out – as we did in 2012 – and if Cillian O’Connor recovers his match sharpness, we will have enough to win.

  12. I think subconsciously there might be Anne Marie!

    Don’t believe in jinxes or that craic but think my unconscious mind is telling me to keep predicting the Dublin win so it invariably won’t happen!!

    I’ll be doing more than eating humble pie if/WHEN Mayo do win 🙂

    In contrast to the sentiments of my post above, if we win Sunday I fully believe we will win the final mark my words, I can def see us beating Kerry! Have a better team than them and you don’t get the insane rub of the green two years on the trot. So obviously a hell of a lot riding on Sunday in my mind

  13. Sunday can’t come fast enough will be biting what is left of my fingertips reading all the previews and as expected most are picking Dublin.. What they may have in talent we have it in heart,pride and complete passion this team is special and I hope we raise the fucking roof on Sunday and put in a performance that is to the top table in September.. Safe travels to all

  14. I’m a fan of the green and red but even without the tinted glasses on and looking at it in a clinical manner I think Dublin will struggle on Sunday for large parts of the game, because all teams get a purple patch at this level and Dublin will too but it’s the shear hunger in Mayo to win Sam that cannot be matched by Dublin. They may have better athletes and Bernard brogan but that hunger is not something you can put in a players head, it has to grow there over time and Mayo have a crop of it growing since 2011 in this squad. Enough waffling.

    Mayo 2 17
    Dublin 1 13

  15. I can see a few goals in it for Mayo and in particular for Cillian.

    I believe Dubs will have Cian O sullivan sweeping but maybe not as deep as we think. Cluxton will probably aim to come for any high balls put in on top of Aido and there is where Cillian could sniff out a goal or two.

    Andy Moran is always great for a goals v dubs too.

  16. Am so glad that Ciaran has posted his analysis and expected outcome…………it’s nearly a carbon copy of the one he done prior to the Mayo- Donegal Q/F and that for me, puts all the stats to bed…………………….we’re gonna win cause C has us down for a loss.
    Seriously though, I am confident that this team will not let the Dubs or anyone else come in their way this time round, they have a collective spirit underneath that is seen only once in a while in sport……………a robot like never say die attitude that has been honed by the disappointments of the past and especially after the replay in Limerick last year.
    IMO it will be a high scoring game for Mayo and Cillian and Jason D could stun the Dubs with AO’S in a proactive/ reactive role, whichever the need.
    MaighEo Abu

  17. I’m really torn. I could list 100 reasons why either team could win. This is what makes it fascinating. The nervous tension is building and I am ready for the game now!!!

    I work in Dublin and I cannot remember a less hyped Dublin and every real Dublin supporter is carrying the same nervous tension as ourselves.

    The one reason I think we will win on Sunday and win the competition outright, goes back to our defeat to Donegal in the final. Every Donegal supporter, bar none were convinced they were going to win. It felt arrogant, sickening and even condescending. This year, there seems to be the same belief around our team of legends and it is building stronger by the day. I think it might be coming from our new management team and their perceived ability to get the match-ups right and to change the pace of the game at will. This will be vital on Sunday. If Mayo can control the tempo, they win, simple as that!!!

    WJ didn’t put an option for a draw in the poll, something tells me that come Sunday around 5pm, one of the 2 teams will be trying their upmost to get the goal that will get one.

  18. Hi, There are little or no Dubln flags out of windows or in cars in this Gaelic part of D. It was sickening when they were playing Kerry and then the euphoria carried on to last year. I guess it is Supporter Fatique. Will this reach the team?
    Yestetday I mentioned that J. Horan saw Cian O:Sullivan as Sweeper for the low ball into Aido.The reason being because Aido is quicker than their full back RC but can contest the high ball. Now. Aido did get low ball the last day and it does not have to be high. Now Barry Moran might not be very tbankful for low ball.
    Now i dont know what is the matter with ye all that you dont see Mayo getting 4 goals. Maybe Cluxton has lost his reflexes. It happens to us all. One must keep the Dublin goalpost in front of your mind. . Our defense is second to none. Best wishes to you all. Ciaran 2.

  19. Well folks, of course, without question, Mayo can win. Note i say “can”. Mayo are now the most battle-hardened team in the country, strong and very, very, hungry!!! After seeing the new defence in action, second half against Donegal in the league, i said, that if Mayo keep that defence, they will be a problem for any team in the country.
    Look at the Donegal match a few weeks ago; they could have beaten Donegal out the gate. No exaggeration!!!
    A Kerry friend of mine told me about a friend of his, who has followed Kerry all over the country all his life, said he hopes that the Dubs win, because, if Mayo win, Kerry are “fucked” in the final.. So, bring it fucking on!!!

  20. Jim Flag, that was a great post. Could’nt agree with you more. We really need to be as loud as possible, it will drive the lads on when the game is in the melting pot, similar to 2012 (us supporters were top notch that day). If your a shy type then have a few pints before hand to loosen up, if your a lunatic, save your voice for throw in, if your getting dirty looks from neutrals or Dubs beside ya feck them! Roar them on all the way, we can really play a part on sunday! Drove into work this evening and saw the green and red flag flying high along the liffey….gave me goose bumps, cannot wait now till Sunday! Hon the boys!!!!

  21. The boys on the Last Word on Sport on Today FM were very up beat about Mayo’s chances. Both Paul Early and Martin Carney went for a Mayo win. Carney made a good point about the two semi-final losses that Dublin have had against us and Donegal, in both games they didn’t score any goals. We all remember the missed goal chances Dublin had against Donegal last year. Senan Connell, went for a Dubin win of course. He said that the Dublin players are hopping off each in training at the moment. It should be some game. If we can keep Bernard Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly quiet and get Aidan O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor rampaging at the Dublin defence (getting on top in midfield will be key to this), then we will be in with a great chance. Roll on the game!

  22. The only pundits goin for a Mayo win are from Connacht. Everyone else says Dublin! (And Ciaran;p)

  23. I don’t expect it will be a high scoring game with both teams being so well matched.. the start at least will be a very tense niggly affair if not the whole of the first half with defense and yellow cards coming out on top. Disipline and getting an understanding of the refs mood will be crucial as I can see a player r two going on black cards. We need to be cool, patient in our game plan, reassured in our ability and ruthless when we get our chance. We need to create our own luck this time and not do anything stupid.. concentration concentration and more concentration and let’s see this f*% k^r out to the bitter end if need b.. right, now that I’ve got that off my chest.. I,’m off out to kick the dog r break something.. This waiting has me head wrecked.. C’mon Maigheo

  24. Think Ciarans post is very accurate and fair. I too think Mayo have a good chance of winning but there is no doubt Dubs are deserving to be favourites. . Theres no point saying Dublin have beaten nothing because the same accusation has been thrown at Mayo when we beat the Connacht teams, a tired Donegal, a weak Cork etc. Dublin have been excellent for a number of years beating all opposition except for being ambushed v Donegal in last years semi. They have excellent footballers all over the field and them losing semi last year will be huge motivation this year especially with Kerry waiting in final. What about us. Well we have been excellent for the last 5 years and it is great to see them back again as hungry as ever. We too have brilliant footballers all over the field. But we have not won the big one and thats a massive weight on our shoulders. When we could have won it in 2012, especially 2013 and v kerry last year we just could not get over the line so its no surprise Dublin are favourites. Its interesting to note that many who are tipping us such as McStay, Carney, Earley want us to win and may let their hearts rule their heads while the Kerry experts and many of the neutrals are tipping Dublin. I genuinely believe we can win but a lot has to go right for us to succeed. I am more confident than I was in 2006 or 2012 v Dubs but less confident than I was in 2013 and we all know what happened in those years, This group of players have been brilliant and deserve the ultimate reward.Come on Mayo.

  25. Dublin have the advantage with better forwards while Mayo only cillian o Connor in the forward for Mayo and I think he is a class player and need a very good game too much hype on o Shea I don’t want to be negative but that’s truth and there to much hype on o shea

  26. Seo Spoirt mentions, once again, the possibility of Big Barry and Aidan O’Shea in the forwards. They reckon that could be very productive!!!

  27. A few of the Tyrone boys went for us, Peter Canavan, Brian McGuigan and Fergal Logan. Michael Quirke and Tomás Ó Flatharta from Kerry picked us too as did Armagh’s Aaron Kernan. The Roscommon lads Shane Curran and Karol Mannion are backing us while the Galway lads Ray Slike and Seán Óg De Paor think that the Dubs will win.

  28. Did I repeat that line only realised it as I posted sorry about that up Mayo but still cautious about sunday

  29. Dublin have Named their team:

    Stephen Cluxton
    Jonny Cooper
    Rory O’Carroll
    Philip McMahon
    James McCarthy
    Cian O’Sullivan
    Jack McCaffrey
    Brian Fenton
    Denis Bastick
    Paul Flynn
    Ciarán Kilkenny
    Diarmuid Connolly
    Dean Rock
    Paddy Andrews
    Bernard Brogan

  30. Play barry as sweeper again and play freeman alongside aos upfront now thats a better version of the twin towers i think

  31. Just a small word of caution about the opening phase. For years dublin teams have

    employed “shock and awe ” tactics at the start of a game. ie …. go bald – headed for

    the first five mins and land a heavy punch. That`ll daze em! I just think its another

    thing we have to be wary of. Ive seen it work for them before. So……… steady as

    she goes. No game is won in the first quarter. But it can be lost.

  32. Have they named their subs? Surely MDMA will be there, if not.Starting … Are the dubs telling porkies the sly dog’s!

  33. MDMA will start Anne Marie no doubt about it..I’d be more worried about Kevin mcmenimen coming off the bench with only goal in his mind

  34. All Kerry pundits are hoping for a Dublin victory. They want to have a go at Dublin in the final. This group of Kerry players have lost 2 All-Irelands to Dublin and want to “right that score”. That’s a big reason why all of the Kerry media personalities are plumping for the Dubs.

    It’s about evening up the score.

  35. Billy Joe recommrnds fresh sub or is it Legs when Kev Mc enters the fray. A nice time for Tom Cunniffe to come on? Perhaps.
    Dublin will be ‘flat’. Ciaran 2.

  36. We all know McMenamon is an impact sub if let, but after that I think we’ve advantage in forward subs. The lads will be told to watch their subs and not get complacent.

  37. Don’t over think it lads !!
    The dubs are at their most vulnerable state of the championship, no test and meeting one of the top four (or in truth the top three) in a do or die game. They have reason to be worried. If ye draw they will win the replay have bo doubt, if ye win ye will probably win the final so it is dangerous for Kerry and that is why most people with a pinch of football knowledge in this part of he world are leaning towards a Dublin win,, but that’s more in hope I think.
    The Dubs Kerry and Mayo can all win the final as there is little between the three teams, this is possibly one of he greatest finals to win and I am so looking forward to the 20th of September 2015. Great teams find a way !

  38. Who cares about Dublin line up. Question is how we will line up. Think it has to be a defensive line up and hit them on the break. If we hold our nerve Dublin have shown they are clueless against a tight defence. Mayo by 6 as we will pull away once we frustrate the hell out of them.

  39. The stories coming out of the South are that Kerry are preparing for Mayo in the final and have had Tommy Walsh training at full back for the last two weeks!
    It’s as simple as this. If we perform to our optimum, and I believe there is another 15% in us on top of the Donegal game, we win. We have to be with them with 10 minutes to go and they will buckle. For all their wonderful attacking they are mentally fragile. When it’s truly put up to them, physically and mentally, they will buckle.
    1. Put their kickout under pressure.
    2. Close off the central area in front of goal and block the path. Clean sheet is essential.
    3. When Kev McMen comes on, bring Durcan on to man mark him. Durcan is every bit as fast.
    4. Philly Mc is a hot head head. Rile him.
    It’ll be “squeaky-bum time” close but if we get the above in place we win by 2.
    Hon Mayo.

  40. Cluxton vulnerable as well as is Diarmuid C. We need to niggle them, frustrate them, defend and attack as a team. No way to cope with our strength in attack. If we protect our full back line can’t see us losing this one.

  41. I’ve spent a couple of weeks listening and reading. So here goes, I now make my own prediction . (The truth is that the vast majority of “experts” and analysists write and say what it is that their paymasters and readers want to hear.)

    The Dublin management will not have their focus on those areas which are “popular” in many commentaries. Such as the strength of our full forward , our midfielders or any weakness in our full back line etc. Hey, Jim Gavin & Co will have studied our water carriers.

    Dublin know and we know that Mayo’s win is as likely to be based on Andy’s brilliance when he enters the fray in the second half as it is on Chris Barret’s brilliance throughout. I’m just picking two possible examples

    Dublin will have awesome talent on display this weekend. That goes without saying. However, In terms of talent, preparation, hunger and having served an overly long apprenticeship I feel we bring a little more to the table.

    For this and these reasons I expect that lesser lights on our panel (if such exist) will see us through on Sunday. I expect it to be the best game of the year.

    I expect Mayo to win.

  42. Look it. Forget 2012 v Donegal, 2013 is the one we kicked away. We had Dublin on the rack and we missed 6 very scorable points and went in at half time leading by 1 when it should have been 6 or 7. The got two poxy goals, one from a turnover and the other completely against the run of play. They were so ragged in the final 10 minutes of the second half that their version of defending entailed jumping on the backs of our players, piggyback style, to stop us out the field. Sophisticated defending?
    If we do our stuff, they can’t beat us.

  43. Gavin said during the week its down to the individual battles in each position and that Dublin will win more of these and win the match. Think it is the right logic but he underestimates a lot of our players if he thinks they are going to win these match ups. The only way the Dubs could win would be to knock us off our stride and think we are mentally and physically far too strong to let that happen.

  44. If ever you could sum up what supporting the yew county means to people that ad has just done it thank you so much for sharing I cried and so to did my 83 year old uncle who has a ticket along side me on Sunday hopefully we will have an emotionally filled day out.

  45. Good one Pebbles.

    To add to your list of Dublin nigglers – Jonny Cooper. He needs to be watched and sorted. He was ‘up Brian Hurley’s ass’ for most of the league final, niggling, mouthing, clawing – hand on the neck/throat, you name it.

    And, it succeeded. Hurley did nothing, Cork did nothing.

    They preach total football, all out attack etc etc, but practice the dark arts as much as anyone else.

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