Champions 

So, it truly was Mayo Day. And what an evening it was at Cusack Park in Ennis, one where the county’s U21 team swept to All-Ireland victory thanks to a five-goal haul that saw them beat Cork on a scoreline of 5-7 to 1-14. They did so in front of a raucous, partisan Mayo crowd – who made up all but a few hundred of the 7,467 attendance at Cusack Park this evening – a crowd who roared the team home to a truly memorable All-Ireland victory.

We made it to the ground a bit under an hour ahead of the 6pm throw-in but by then the stand was almost full, with more and more punters – every single one of them, it seemed, from our camp – arriving with each passing minute. It was obvious even then that Cusack Park would, indeed, be a home from home for us this evening and that’s exactly what happened.

Cork struck the first blow by way of a pointed free within the first minute of play but we settled into the contest quickly enough once Michael Plunkett raided forward to bang over the equaliser. We hit the front for the first time when Matthew Ruane finished a storming downfield run by knocking over a glorious score.

Already we had a grip around the middle but although we did briefly pull two points clear – after Cork had equalised, we responded with two, one from a Conor Loftus free and the second from play by Michael Plunkett – we failed to take several other chances that came our way.

We hit a succession of quite poor wides, most of them from unpressurised shots, and this wastage with the wind behind us in the first half had an ominous feel to it.

In contrast, Cork’s attacks were a model of efficiency. Every time they got within range they scored and as half-time approached, our two-point lead had mutated into a three-point deficit. Our wide count had hit eight at this stage.

We were still three points down when the announcement was made that there would be three minutes of added time at the end of the half. By the time the teams trooped off the field, though, the contest had been turned on its head by an explosive 2-1 scoring burst from our lads.

The first goal was created initially by a piece of wonderful persistence by Sharoize Akram. Bursting forward, he lost control of the ball but chased his marker down and somehow regained possession out near the corner flag. A neat interchange of soccer-style passing then ensued before Michael Plunkett got it and laid it into the path of Diarmuid O’Connor who appeared like an express train to palm the ball to the net.

Liam Irwin added a free to put us a point up and then the Breaffy player smashed home a sensational second injury-time goal for us. Fergal Boland – busy and influential all evening – turned the ball over out the field and it eventually ended up with Michael Plunkett who was was once again the goal provider. He fed Liam who swivelled and let fly off his left, the goal shooting us four clear at half-way.

Half-time

The job was far from done, however, as Cork would now have the stiff wind at their backs and we’d need a more consistent supply of scores at the other end. Or so we thought.

Cork came at us with intent on the resumption. Two points within three minutes halved our lead but our nerves were steadied somewhat when Liam Irwin boomed over a ’45 for our first score of the half.

Cork responded with a point but we then hit them with another hammer blow. A rapid attack saw the ball fed to Conor Loftus whose rasping shot came off the underside of the crossbar and into the net. Five up now and, perhaps for the first time in this contest, glory was unquestioningly beckoning for us.

When Cork’s Seán White was black-carded soon after for a crude and utterly stupid foul on Stephen Coen – whom he caught around the neck and pulled to the ground – it looked like their composure was going. If we could continue to drive on, the cup would surely be ours.

But suddenly the contest swung the other way. A slightly undercooked ’45 for them made it as far as full-forward Kelleher who met it with a punch to route it to the corner of the net, cutting our lead back to two points. Two minutes later, they converted a close-in free and our lead was back down to the minimum.

Once again Conor Loftus steadied us, this time with a pointed free, but Hurley banged over a long ranger straight away after. Cork got the next score too, another free, and now with just six minutes remaining it was once again all square.

I have to confess I didn’t think we’d do it from there. All the momentum appeared to be with Cork and the script appeared to be written as another story of All-Ireland final heartbreak for us.

But these lads don’t do heartbreak. This is the group of players who’d stared down the barrel in both the Connacht final and the All-Ireland semi-final and had come with a barnstorming finish to win both games. And come they did again this evening … and how.

Liam Irwin had a chance to put us ahead with three minutes to go but his shot tailed off wide. From the kick-out, though, Conor Loftus intercepted and gleefully dispatched the leather to the net. The Mayo support erupted as one, a wall of noise reverberating around this luckiest of venues for us, as it began to dawn on us that we’d just struck a mortal blow on them.

But there was better to come and it came in the shape of Liam Irwin. He got onto a long angled ball pumped in over the cover that he batted almost nonchalantly beyond the reach of the Cork goalie. Into the net it trickled and once more an uproarious clamour ensued from all around the ground.

We're going to win

In the midst of a hurricane, there’s a deathly calm in its eye and it was there that I resided for those final coruscating moments of this All-Ireland final. There were four minutes of injury time and they’re four minutes I’ll treasure for as long as I live because for all that time I could see with certainty that this time, this Mayo team of heroes, were about to be crowned All-Ireland champions.

I wanted it to end yet I also wanted it to go on forever. I watched the seconds of broken time (as they used to term it back in the Fifties) rack up, I drank in the joy of the huge, cacophonous Mayo support all around me.

Cork had one last attack and they ended up winning a ’45. Which they pointed and then, suddenly, it was over. And we could at last add this team and their achievement to those that went before them. 1967, 1974, 1983, 2006, 2016. All-Ireland U21 champions.

final score

There was only one place to get to now and that was out onto the pitch. And there I hoisted my young lad – my road-trip soulmate, since last year 100% a Mayo supporter – onto my shoulders and he captured on my iPhone this video clip of Stephen Coen becoming the fifth Mayo captain to take possession of the Clarke Cup. What a moment that was:

And how lovely it was to spend time afterwards meeting people – so many people, all of whom you’d gladly stay and talk for hours with, if only there was the time to do it – and taking in the realisation that this time the big day was ours. This time we came in flying our flags and we went out flying them too. This time we won. We won.

Some teams have a winning feel about them and after this evening’s stunning All-Ireland victory we can safely ascribe that quality to this U21 team. They’re not a side without shortcomings but their will to win was little short of breathtaking. Most of them tasted All-Ireland success at minor level two years ago and now they’ve picked up a second All-Ireland medal at U21. These lads are winners, pure and simple.

I always bridle at the notion put about by those outside the county that we, those who support the Mayo footballers, are some kind of long-suffering tribe. We’re not, you know – we have great days following teams in the Green and Red, teams of players who continually shoot for the stars. We don’t always make it there but this evening in Ennis we did and, boy, does it feel sweet tonight. Yes, this truly was Mayo Day.

Mayo: Matthew Flanagan;  Eoin O’Donoghue, Seamus Cunniffe, David Kenny; Sharoize Akram, James Kelly, Michael Hall; Matthew Ruane (0-1), Stephen Coen; Fergal Boland, Conor Loftus (2-2, two frees), Diarmuid O’Connor (1-0); Liam Irwin (2-2, one free and one ’45), Fionan Duffy, Michael Plunkett (0-2). Subs: James Carr for F Duffy, Barry Duffy for Kelly, Morgan Lyons for Plunkett.

93 thoughts on “Champions 

  1. Well done lads, all Mayo are proud of ye. Hon the green and red. Happy Mayo day everyone. I’m a proud Mayo man to day!!!

  2. Martin the Dub you are ever the gentleman thanks for your kind comments needless to say we are delighted with the win

  3. 10 years on from 2006 and again we are witnessing the genesis of a very special Mayo team. I can’t recall such a complete Mayo performance in a final. Two cracking goals in the dying minutes of the game, when do we ever see the likes. Congrats lads on a fabulous victory.

    Fair play to the support as well. It felt like a home game. Let’s keep it going.

    Anne-Marie, nice touch with the flag. I’m sure it didn’t go un-noticed by the team.

  4. What a team,they have no problem with finals,hopefully most of them will go on to be legends in the senior team in the future,now for September

  5. Great self belief and grit shown lads.

    Fantastic achievement to put minor and U21 championship wins together

  6. Such spirit and belief. Enormous thanks to the team and backroom squad. One day to remember. Onwards and every upwards for Mayo.

  7. What a great bunch of lads, congrats to all involved. A great day to be from Mayo………….Mayo All Ireland Champions on Mayo International Day. BRILLIANT.

  8. Ah that did the heart good. This team are special. Never give in and back it up with great football. What a win. Watch out Dublin we are coming…

  9. So proud of that team. Brilliant stuff. No bottlers there. They’ve proven what can happen when you refuse to accept defeat. Hope it’s celebrated properly, unlike the minor win three yrs ago.
    We have so much to look forward to. Great times ahead.

  10. Fair play Absolutely brilliant Proud to be from Mayo today and always. This team has had to overcome incredibly difficult situations in last 3 games. Pipped an excellent Ros team and came back from dead v Dubs On two occasions today it was looking grim but we hung in there and finished both halves powerfully. This team seems capable of overcoming the odds. Maybe the future is in safe hands. The future is red and green. Happy MAYO DAY, Maigh Eo abu

  11. Great win, score a mere 7 points and kick 680 wides and still win with a big cushion. Only Mayo are capable of such a feat. I think we better protect some of these fellas from Barcelona scouts! Some of the off the cuff soccer style chips, side foot passes etc were top drawer stuff, and this will inject some great fight into the senior team, as if they need it ! Well done to all. A great day.

  12. Congrats to the players and managment wonderful day for Mayo supporters, on this great day i wonder what those delegates who questioned the strenghtening and conditioning team feel this evening,Isay lets leave these things to the people who know what their doing.

  13. Great win ,,,, wonder will our seniors have a final some day like that ,, even not playing brilliant ,,get scores at right and grind out win ,,, sometimes ya need a bit of luck too ,, incredible bunch of young men ,

  14. Happy happy happy mayo man on mayo day.this group are the real deal,no sign of panic when things go wrong.senior champions elect..MAIGHEO ABU

  15. Yes, thank you very much Willie Joe, you keep us all up to date,and the site is addictive

  16. What a win, what a team. These lads know how to win tight games.

    We’re in a great position here with such a strong senior setup in place to feed some of these lads in to over time. Good underage players have been going missing afterwards around the country for years, but in Mayo we have a great record of getting the best ones on to our senior team.

    If we do that right we can merge these lads with our seniors over the next two or three years and hopefully continue to dominate Connacht football for years to come, and maybe even finally go that one step further in September. Possibly the likes of Coen, Loftus and Hall could be bench options as soon as this summer, not to mention DOC who is already central to our senior team.

    Happy Mayo day everyone! 🙂

  17. Wow fantastic feeling!!! After being in the doldrums at this level for last 5/6 years finally we have produced a group of footballers that know how to win.
    There attitude is something to behold what a special group and I look forward to see many them in a senior jersey n the years to come!
    And great Mayo support in Ennis to well done everyone!

  18. Grit, composure and skill. Congrats to everyone involved. Mayo are NOT finished yet, the long awaited day will come.

  19. Aw lads. Five goals in an All Ireland final. Scored at very important times too. That is some going.

    At last we have players coming through who know where the back of the net is in the biggest games. We have players now who have played in a minor All Ireland final and an U21 All Ireland final and have won both. What a change that makes and what confidence it will give them if/when they play in a senior final.

    Pathetic attendance from Cork. If Mayo had traveled in such small numbers as Cork there would have been nobody there at all.

    Anyway the future looks bright. A huge shift since Easter Sunday morning when we were facing relegation in Hyde Park and the U21s had just scraped past Leitrim.

    Unbelievable really and what drama along the way. Thank you to all involved.

  20. Speechless

    They are the future,the last 2006 team makes up half of today’s team these bunch can go on to be better. Most of this team have two All-Ireland medals all ready, the confidence that that will bring them come summer will be a huge positive DOC , Coen ,loftus and hall..In time most of them will blend into the senior team, the years ahead look good, sam is just a matter of time,this team doesn’t slip on banana skins in finals.

    Bring on the summer.
    Bring on the Dubs.
    Tiocfaidh ar la.

  21. Congrats to the team and management. Great guts today. So happy to see a Mayo team score goals and look so lethal.

  22. Sometimes your name is just on the trophy. What a win! Even when things looked totally against them in the second half, they always believed they were going to do it. Absolute heroes. One to savour!
    They’re finally going to get the credit they deserve for 2013 when, unfortunately, it was shrouded in disappointment owing to the seniors. The last time a team won a minor championship and then an under 21 championship three years later was Tyrone in 1998 and then 2001. If this team achieves at least one third of what they achieved at senior level, I’ll die a happy man!

  23. Well done to the lads, management, backroom team and indeed all that fantastic support in Ennis today. Hopefully it is just the springboard to more success. Great day to be a proud Mayo man.

  24. Just before half time I was watching the nifty intricate passes from Mayo that set up the first goal and I thought to myself this is like watching Messi and Ronaldo in full flow, but then reality took hold and I realised that Messi and Ronaldo wouldn’t hold a match to the Mayo boys.
    Moments later I was watching the ball been flicked around in the air with deft aplomb to set up the second goal, and I thought to myself this is like watching the Harlem Globetrotters in full flow, but then reality took hold and I realised that the Harlem Globetrotters wouldn’t hold a match to the Mayo boys.

  25. Unbelievable win, some of these lads have 2 all Ireland’s in 3 years which is unheard of in most of our lifetimes watching Mayo teams, just winners. A huge tonic heading into the championship, I felt there may be something brewing after the Dublin win and I still think that’s the case. Sweet sweet sweet, what a skipper Stephen Coen is, a leader of leaders, well done lads, we’re beaming the world over.

  26. Wonderful game. All thats best in Mayo football , huge team work and brilliant individual skills. Are some of these the first mayo footballers with 2 all ireland medals since 1951.

  27. Murt. The Minors of ’66 had lads on the ’67 U21 winning team as had the Minors of ’71 on the U21 winning team of ’74. I also think Peter Ford won a minor in ’78 and an U21 in ’83. Seamus O Dowd, John Clarke, Tom Cafferky, Eugene Rooney Minor Winners 66 U21 ’67. U21 winners ’74 were J O Mahony, Ger Feeney, Con Moynihan, Johnny Culkin, JP Kean, Mick Higgins, Ger Farragher and M Maloney. Mick Gannon had a broken leg . All those named won the minor in ’71 v Cork.

  28. Just in the door and jazzus i’m absolutely wrecked.. voice gone, nerves gone and floating on pure euphoria. What the hell will I be like when we win Sam

  29. Just in the door from Ennis……..totally wrecked and absolutely thrilled and delighted. I really don’t know what to make of these lads except to say that they are different to most of of what I’ve seen in my 50 or so years following Mayo. And that’s no disrespect to our great players or teams of the past.
    How in gods name do you win an all ireland kicking so many wides, being annihilated in the square under the high ball and being outplayed for a lot of the match? Well I suppose by sticking the ball in the net five times and at crucial stages of the ame. And that, my dear brethren, takes nerve and composure as well as skill and an almost naive belief that it was possible in the first place. That’s our lads for ya!
    For now I’m just going to celebrate and wallow in the glory it brings to our great county. Talk of the future is for another day. But there is definitely a bright future for us Mayo folk.
    Hon Mayo!!!

  30. This team battled better opponents with guts, intelligence and spirit to overcame the odds. My motto of “its how you finish not how you start” still holds. How they finished both halves is exceptional – that’s what I’m waiting for in our seniors. The future is bright – its Red & Green

  31. Just got back to Dublin. One of the best days ever supporting Mayo…..and there have been a few!! What a County we are. Teak tough, only 128,000 of us and despite all the blows we take we just keep coming back.

  32. Would bring Irwin, Ruane, Akram into the senior squad they may not be ready yet but need to get them involved at that level to push their development on.

  33. First of all Happy Mayo Day to everyone who blogs on this blog. Secondly it’s always been GREEN AND RED . Mayo were exceptional today . Goalkeeper had a fantastic day at the office as for his counterpart enough said . Anyway today belongs to us and the future seems to be looking very bright indeed.

  34. Came home and watched it all over again. The audacity of our first goal! As the ball went from Sharoze it became, for most, a lost cause. A wide. But he chased and harried. There then ensued a fabulous sequence of ground football skill. Call it soccer if you will, but you won’t see better technical skill in the Premiership. And the ball is presented, invitingly, in the air to DO’C who is coming at speed and applies the coup de grace. I’m around a while but I’ve seen few finer goals in important matches. None maybe!

  35. What I love about this team is that they never let anything bother them, they have great self-belief and faith in themselves. Even after kicking a lot wides, giving the ball away at crucial times etc. they just went onto the next play and didn’t think about what happened before. They just get on with things and have a lot of great leaders in the team as well.

    Between this year in the U21 grade and in the minor grade of 2013, they have now beaten teams like Cork, Tyrone, Dublin, Monaghan, Roscommon and Galway. That is great for these players to get used to doing that, beating these teams. I make it that the only one of the big teams that they have not met is Kerry. Kerry beat us at the minor All-Ireland semi-final stage in 2014, we had a good team that year as well, maybe we might get them back next year! I wonder how many of these lads are underage again next year.

    To think that we scored five goals today and that was without our ace marksman, Brian Reape who was injured and also Tommy Goals Conroy who was injured for this campaign as well. That was some going to get that many goals. I’m sure that Darragh Doherty RIP, who was a great man to score goals too, will have a big smile on his face tonight up in heaven!

  36. Agreed it was a fantastic day.

    @Hope Springs, quite a few of them are underage next year. Flanagan, O’donoghue, Cuniffe, Akram, Ruane, Reape, Duffy and a few others. Hopefully a few more of these lads are brought into the senior panel to gain experience. Even if they don’t play I think it could boost the morale around the panel having them there.

  37. Hoofit, I think that’s up there with post of the year 😀

    What a day… what a day. WHAT A DAY. We wandered around for ages afterwards just soaking it all in. Meeting so many of the brilliant people we have met on this wonderful Mayo GAA journey over the past few years. I think I hugged or was hugged by half of Mayo. We smiled and sang all the way home and even now I am still smiling and floating around on a little cloud of happiness.

    Sourceoftherobe “audacity” is the exact word I used to describe the play in the first half … these lads were taking goals they had no right to take, they were just marching up there and snatching them. Never in all my life have I seen such audacity and barefaced cheek from a Mayo team. There were no Mr Nice Guys out there today. They didn’t give a damn, they just paraded in there and took those goals like they were entitled to them. And it was fanbloodytastic. As Stephen Coen said, they wrote their own history.

    I was apprehensive before the game, but after only five minutes I knew in my heart we were never going to lose. Even with the 480 wides, which was very out of character for this team in fairness. Five goals though lads. FIVE GOALS!

    Today feels special, because I think we know the long wait is nearly over. Sam is coming home, maybe not this year, maybe not even next year, but very soon. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind now about that.

    Ultair, credit for the flag goes to Mayo Mark whose idea it was last year and who let me borrow it for the day … they surely did Darragh proud today and it was lovely to hear Matthew Ruane pay credit to him.

  38. Thanks Dan, that’s a good sprinkling of players available for next year so. The future looks bright!

  39. I thought that we had blown it in first half, but fair play to the lads they were brilliant, the goals were something else, but the goal stopper Flanagan had a stormer, and their MOM from semi Hurley substituted, unreal. I never thought I would ever see another mayo team score 4 goals in a final as in 1967, the willie McGee show, to surpass it magic is the word.
    Down to earth now and back to the grind, as Jimmy cricket would say ” there is more”
    Where would we be without willie Joe’s site, excellent uptodate news for us all the time.

  40. I work for a former employer of yours WJ and was name checked in a recent staff publication about being a long suffering Mayoman in desperate search of an All/Ireland.

    Ready, willing and only delighted to deliver an interview.

  41. Given that mayo day was such a success we should keep it going and have mayos year.

  42. So proud of the lads. Heroes. Shed many tears tonight. Let’s do it at senior now boys.

  43. well said wj , im in sweden tears in my eyes , could,t be there…london in 4 weeks time, but great bunch lads and what a county we are, were and always will be , win or lose……

  44. What a game! Well done lads. A proud Mayoman this evening in Ennis. Thanks Willie Joe for your excellent match reports. It’s surreal travelling home after winning an all Ireland!

  45. I agree with Anne Marie I think the big one is not too far away maybe not this year but soon. I’ve now been present at games where the Mayo senior team won the league back in 01 the Minors won their all Ireland 13 and now yesterday the U 21 team with a fairytale 5 goals so only the big one left to win the huge Mayo support yesterday was a credit wouldn’t it be great if we got behind our ladies for the League final in a few weeks they have been brillant too this year

  46. This was pleasant reading on a Sunday morning. The last time I seen an interchange of soccer passes the final man getting the ball scuffed a glorious half volley mad wide at which point a neutral supporter roared “There’ll be no soccer here today!” 🙂
    Those soccer passes show the confidence of these lads. I’m sure there was an odd “pick it up” roar, but its good to have lads that are unconventional. It was a glorious, glorious day.
    The huge support was a boost to the team. Well done Mayo on and off the pitch.
    Special mention to Brian Reape who was in good spirits with his family.

  47. Just had a sound dreamless sleep.Thought id surely have a rerun of some of those goals but no need on this occasion . We had the real thing yesterday. They looked in trouble with the wides.They seemed to have a problem with Kelleher and Coakley. But rewards were reaped for timely running,strong support.composure(famous word) at critical points of the game.Their heads were up. They showed a cheek that has been little seen in Mayo football and it’s hard to say where it comes from but long may it continue. Can we hope that it might become virulent in our teams? Muigheo Abu and no more Muigheo Amu.

  48. Just up and I have a bad head. I don`n care – it will be gone tomorrow and we will still

    have the trophy. There is a template there for the senior boys or any other team

    that cares to look at it . It`s this; You don`t have to follow someone else`s script. You

    write your own by mental toughness and perseverance. These lads have it in spades.

    They just never gave up.

  49. Well now – I didn’t expect that. A match report turning into something altogether more affecting – a beautifully written piece and a reminder as to why I keep returning to this blog while I’m “out foreign”.

    I don’t who you are – I’m far too lazy to look you up – but thanks WJ.

  50. well done to our lads yesterday, they just never give up. as always proud to be Mayo

  51. Head a bit sore this morning but what a wonderful feeling. Very proud Mayo man today. What a great bunch of lads on this team Any other team would have let the wides get on top of them but not these boys. Akram out in the corner chasing down a lost ball is such a great example of the never say die attitude.
    Well done to all involved and to you too WJ for such a lovely piece to sum up all our feelings on a great Mayo Day.
    1916 was Mayo first All Ireland final appearance. Would be wonderful to bookend that one with a winning final . But that’s for another day enjoy today. MAIGHEO ABU

  52. Great bunch a lads. Loftus took hees goals exceptionally well. That was the difference. Good cork outfit

  53. Some stand out points that made the victory so heart warming.
    Victory despite the bloomers.
    Under sung heroism in defence.
    Neutralising of powter and Hurley
    Bottling up of the two big fellas
    So often a man coming at pace for pass
    Smart recycling
    Precision and composure at close quarters
    DoCs demo on how to break a tackle…a delicate lookin touch!
    Not once getting caught in poss.
    A joy it is to ruminate like this on a beautiful Mayo May morn.

  54. Now this is a day I’ll be buying lots of newspapers!!!!
    How many “days after” have we gone into media blackout for a week 🙂

  55. Congratulations to the Mayo team, management and supporters, you all played your part in making yesterday a fantastic day for Maigh Eo.

    What is so refreshing about this Mayo team – and it was also evident when they won the minors – is that they have that crucial trait that Kerry and Kilkenny teams possess and that is, it’s their natural birthright to be winners. I know it’s early days yet and we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but with the right coaching, this group of players can definitely go on to greater things.

    Willie Joe, your blog adds so much to the enjoyment of days like yesterday, for what is victory but only having the opportunity to share one’s joy with fellow, like-minded people.

  56. I suppose our county board for once have to be given credit to on the appointment of this management team.they have got slated for various appointments and rightly so down through the years but they got this one right

  57. Thanks for those goals on you tube Whitey!!.
    We actully looked even better in the TV.
    Will be watching that a few times today!!

  58. There’s a 1916 parade in Castlebar today and our brave u21s are due to be in the parade. Great chance to show our appreciation especially for those who couldn’t make it to Cusack Park. Don’t let this opportunity pass by – it mightn’t come again!
    Sore head here too this morning but still on a massive high.
    Btw where can we get to see the Roscommon match?

  59. Only getting round to looking at the blog now!

    Didn’t make it back to Dublin until after midnight – of course Willie Joe you had your report, audio and video up by then!

    How great it was to be in Ennis yesterday, both before and after – a lovely feel to a lovely town.

    When I saw Eugene Lavin near me I felt confident – he was right beside me in 06 when we did the last job on Cork – they must hate the sight of the green and red, and we couldn’t get one over on a a more deserving bunch.

    And the performance? What can I say that hasn’t been said? I can’t say that I really felt worried when Cork drew level, but I sure didn’t see two more goals coming. We showboated a little after the third goal and let them back into it when they were reeling. The confidence of Loftus and Irwin for those goals was astonishing, not to mention DOC.

    Am thinking of instituting a new award – the Palm D’or. Irwin (v Ros, and Cork), O’Connor (v Dublin and Cork) are the main contenders. Maybe you should have a vote on this Willie Joe!

  60. The sore head never felt so good. Great feeling this morning. Congrats to each and every one of our fantastic team and management team. We are a proud people and this is a proud moment. We don’t experience too many final wins. This team remind me of…dare I say it… Meath teams of the past. They are never beat and never give up.

  61. What a day, what a MAYO DAY!!!!! Yessssssss!!!!!!

    What a wonderful, wonderful group of heroes. I’m still beaming with pride and joy at what this team achieved yesterday and the manner in which they did it. An extremely skilful group that just do not do failure. Each goal was as good as the other and was worked and taken with such confidence and belief and even swagger. Lovely to see the 5 of them back there on the vid. Wohoo!!!! Still speechless. Congrats to each and every one of you lads, it’s a outstanding achievement. The desire to win was something to behold, and the final few minutes told the whole story.

    Come on Mayo!!!!!

  62. Your never as good as they say you are, your never as bad as they say you are, but Christ this team tests that saying. I was sitting behind a prominent sports journalist in the dying minutes of the game and he turned and smiled saying “this is new territory for us, knowing we’ve it in the bag while the clock rolled down”. I travel to most matches with my brother who is a very astute reader of the game, he spots stuff that I never see, however, I judge a game more on emotion and body language (I’m usually jumping up and down like a jackass). I can honestly say, both in Tullamore and Ennis, I never thought we’d lose, our name was on the cup after the Connacht final.
    A brilliant day that’ll long be rembembered, had my eldest lad with me who hasn’t missed a U21 game this year and who interestingly has never seen Mayo lose a championship game at any level. Got to sit with the prawn sandwich brigade thanks to my uncle, a staunch and proud Mayo man resident in Ennis and even had a pint with Enda Kenny in Clarinbridge on the way home.
    Carlsberg don’t do days, but………….

  63. One moment of frustration with the ref was his wrongfully blowing Akram for over carrying up the wing at end. He obviously was unsighted and presumed the Mayo flier must be fouling it! And there was only one moe red to beat! What a cameo!….we lol see them again!
    Another lovely sight was the tiny Mayo supporter running on with ball in hand and getting his high five from Irwin…more cheek in the making!
    So good to look back over it all again and savour the great moments !

  64. What a great performance. A great team performance but I thought the captain Stephen Coen was absolutely immense in the second half, inspirational stuff.

    Also anybody who watched the all Ireland semi final between Cork and Monaghan would have seen what a danger Hurley was for Cork. The Mayo corner back O’Donnaghue had one of the best man marking displays I’ve seen in a long time completely shut Hurley down.

  65. I think yesterday also provided a slight insight into what we can expect when we win the big one.
    Roll home on Monday at some stage after stopping in Ballaghadreen to top up. Say hello to the wife and kids. Throw a few pairs of jocks and socks into a tesco bag. Ring the credit union for some twine. Ring work and tell them I’m off sick for the week. Feed the dog, kiss the wife and kids and tell them to collect me in Blacksod in 7 days after I’ve toured the county.

  66. Liam, I hear ya. I’ve told my lovely lady that in the event of an all Ireland senior title win for Mayo then her otherwise shteady and omnipresent man will be doing a full tour of the county…..and a little different than the ones we shared during our courting days. I will be available for short, necessary communication for the duration of the tour as long as it doesn’t interfere with conversations I might be having in, say, Tourmakeady, Ardnaree or Keenagh as the bus stops for more congratulations. After yesterday’s win I feel it could be wise to re-contract again….Just in case.

  67. Congrats to the Team and The Management on a great win yesterday.This Team has shown a never say die attitude against Roscommon,Dublin and Cork great fighting qualities.After the Roscommon game the Management resisted the temptation to parade the cup at half time at the Down game in Castlebar,helping to keep the players feet on the ground.It was fantastic to be in Ennis yesterday and meet genuine long suffering Mayo supporters with a smile on their face after an All Ireland Final.If these players are properly looked after and if they further improve then the future is bright for Mayo football.

  68. Sportsfile reporting that Stephen Coen the first minor/U21 winning captain since Cormac MacAnallen.

  69. Probably be a good idea to bring the dog Joe as we’ll be sharing accommodation with him for a few weeks afterwards.

  70. Just checking back on reports of the Leitrim game. Matty Ruane a sub, Shiroize a sub, Liam Irwin not on panel!

    Val Roughneen and the Harrison lad have since slid off the match day 24. Brian Reape the big scorer that day and played no part yesterday.

    Interesting evolution.

  71. Five very different goals too.

    Loftus doesn’t half know how to finish to the corner of the net. Unstoppable.

    Lethal in front of goal. Absolutely clinical finishing and deadly for the opposition.

    Hope some of these lads make their way on to the senior panel and bring that hunger for goals with them.

    An incredible scoreline for an All Ireland final. This will never be forgotten.

  72. You soldiered here many moons ago WJ. I won’t embarrass you by putting a number on it. It was a Vinnies man that works with me who mentioned it. Will definitely have to swap war stories over porter alright.

    And we can briefly browse over the small matter of an all-Ireland win too!

  73. Congrats to Mike Solan and his team. Well done to Stephen Coen and a wonderful Mayo U21 team. All Ireland champions that says it all for me. I have been to most of the AI U21 finals and there have been quite a few of them. This one was the best by a mile. I never had any time for the “long suffering tribe” notion myself. I have had too many great days out following the Green and Red. Finally well done to WJ, Club 51, and all the fine people that turned out to make Mayo Day a very special one in Ennis.

  74. Can anyone help me find the game on tg4 player?
    I tried the tg4 player app on iPad but the game is not up there…. Or I’m too excited to find it??

    Thanks.

  75. Look back at the goal Akram set up….how many players would have gone down to pick up that ball…and drawn a foul. You’d end up with an 14 yard free out in the bloody corner….almost impossible to score. The presence of mind to keep the ball alive soccer style…..incredible

  76. Well done to all involved. Hopefully these lads push on and don’t get left behind like our great early ’70’s team.

    I don’t think that will happen in this era.

  77. Delighted to have Mayo game in Ennis enjoyed every minute of it. Great bunch of players. Congratulations to all involved. Proud Mayo man living in Ennis .

  78. Thanks to the team and management for a wonderful campaign . Head is very sore still even though I got back last night , must be old age I’m afraid . There is an air around Mayo football since horan took the senior team back in 11 and I firmly believe we will be competing at the top for years to come , yes we all know about the disappointments but in a time where we have a superb senior set up we have now won a minor 13 and u-21 all Ireland , that bodes well for the future in any language .

    Another observation , senior players at the u-21 games , all together they look such a tight unit . No sense in getting carried away though in the sense that come 18 th of June the u-21 victory will have no bearing on proceedings v Galway . The Roscommon v New York score is bizzare but a win is a win at the end of the day , you’d have to think they were in heavy training schedule prior to flying out or else they are in deep shit.

  79. Living the dream since Saturdays wonderful win. So proud of Stephen and all the lads.
    Only getting round to blogging now after a tremendous weekend.
    Old Moore predicted Mayo to win All Irl in 2016, only he hadn’t reckoned on our great U 21s.
    The turnout of Mayo supporters was a sight to behold and the presence of the senior panel members didn’t go unnoticed in Ennis last Sat night.

    The feeling after the final whistle when we all ‘invaded’ the Cusack Park pitch was surreal. I shook the hand of young Akram, my hero of the game, as we both shed tears. However I was mindful of the ‘Barca Scouts’ in our vicinity so we kept our encounter low key!

    The return journey to Co Meath with my 2 children after was like floating on air. That winning feeling is mighty … A great year ahead

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