This year’s League campaign is moving on at a decent clip and this coming weekend it passes the half-way mark. Our Round 4 fixture is a high-profile one, with the lads heading for the bright lights of the city on Saturday night for a clash with reigning League and All-Ireland champions Dublin. Throw-in at Croke Park is set for 7pm on Saturday and the Leinster official taking charge of proceedings for this meeting between the counties is Meath’s David Coldrick.
Given our titanic tussle with the same opposition in last year’s All-Ireland final there is, understandably, a fair bit of coverage in the media in the run-up to this fixture. Here’s a flavour of what’s being said.
The Irish Independent have a piece today on the game (here). I’m not sure who penned it but, given that it contains the risible claim that there’s “compelling evidence to support the case that Mayo need to win this year’s League title more than any other county” and then there’s no clue provided as to what that evidence might be, I’ve a fair idea who might be behind it. Come out, Martin, we know you’re in there.
John Fogarty in the Irish Examiner has a piece with Michael Conroy about Saturday’s fixture. The Davitts man – who, many of you will recall, terrorised the Dublin backline the evening we thumped them by twelve points in the League down at MacHale Park in 2012 – reckons that it would be far more important for our lads simply to get a win over Dublin than to be the ones that ended the Metropolitans’ outsized unbeaten run:
To be the team that ends their 32-game run would be something but it’s putting an end to the last five years that will motivate them. You’re not going to get revenge for last year in the league but this still would be a nice one to win.
I think Mickey C has a point. Ending their unbeaten run would be a nice bonus from our point of view but getting a win to set against the ten-game record of three draws and seven losses is far more important for us.
Taking the perspective of Saturday’s opposition, Frank Roche in the Herald has a piece with former Dublin player Coman Goggins. The Ballinteer man reckons that belief in their ability to get a result is key to Dublin’s long unbeaten run. For sure, it’s that sense of self-confidence we’ll need to rock at HQ on Saturday if we’re the ones to put a halt to their gallop.
From belief to knowledge (or, perhaps, the lack of it) – The 42 have a quiz on recent Mayo/Dublin clashes (here). I don’t need to tell you, I’m sure – though I’m going to anyway, that I effortlessly racked up 10/10 in this little test of knowledge. See how you do yourself in it.
Over on the GAA website, meanwhile, there’s an excellent feature by John Harrington (here) on Club ’51, which includes input from a number of good friends of this humble domain. It’s well worth a read and it’s also good to see the GAA hosting a detailed piece like this on grassroots supporters.
Enough words? The GAA have put together a compilation of scores from last year’s heart-stopping drawn All-Ireland decider – that’s here. How in the name of all that’s holy did our hearts keep functioning throughout all that?
Okay, time to think about the nuts and bolts of Saturday evening. We’ll most likely be naming our team tomorrow night (I’ll be offline in the evening then so fire ahead, as you normally do, and post the details here as it’ll be later before I’m in a position to) and maybe the Dubs will too. Then we’ll make one or two changes on the night and they’ll make two or three and then the ball will be thrown in and the game will be on.
There’s a piece in the Connaught Telegraph (here) about the choices facing Stephen Rochford and his selectors for this one. Decisions have to be made about whom to go with in a number of sectors but, with lads pushing for selection in several places, this is a nice problem for the management team to have.
Who’ll do it? Paddy Power – mindful, perhaps, that we last got the better of them way back in 2012 – have Dublin priced as strong 4/7 favourites to extend that 32-game unbeaten run further. What, though, do you reckon: how will Saturday’s meeting with Dublin go?
How will we do against Dublin?
- Win (67%, 271 Votes)
- Lose (19%, 75 Votes)
- Draw (15%, 59 Votes)
Total Voters: 405