Game day – let’s conquer this kingdom

Right, the day has dawned. It’s All-Ireland semi-final day and this afternoon at Croke Park our lads take on Kerry with a place in next month’s final the prize. The match throws in at 3.30pm this afternoon and Maurice Deegan of Laois is the ref.

With the time before throw-in now measured in hours and minutes, there’s little time left for talking so I’ll make this one brief. Many of you will, in any event, be on the road right now heading east, readying yourselves for another massive Mayo day at HQ.

It’s a grand morning up here so far, with barely a puff of wind and no sign of the rain that’s forecast to fall in bucketloads later on. Maybe we’ll be spared the worst of the torrent while the match itself is on.

Whatever about the conditions, though, what we need to see from us today – from the lads out on the field and from supporters up in the stands – is a raging storm that lasts from start to finish. Nothing but our best – our very best – will be good enough to seal the deal today and so we need to unload everything we’ve got on the opposition from from the start.

Kerry are, rightly, favoured to win this one. They’ve glided in stately fashion into this semi-final, with three routine wins under their belts and they also take the field as the current League champions. They don’t lose games like this one often and we know full well that our championship record against them doesn’t make for pretty reading either.

But we know too about the talent, desire and never-say-die attitude in our own ranks. Those qualities have been sorely tested this summer but every time the lads have proved equal to the task. Today they’re sure to be tested like never before but it’s a measure of this team that we can be confident about their ability to respond and to thrive in this white-hot environment.

There’s been much talk in the lead-up to this game about Limerick three years ago and all that. While that 2014 tie provides a backdrop to this one that’s all it does. Today isn’t about revenge for 2014, instead it’s about winning in 2017 and that’s where our focus needs to be.

Can we do this? Of course we can but only if everyone plays their role to the full today. That includes supporters as well as players – today isn’t a day for passivity or timidity in the stands. The lads need our full support and it’s our job to give them that.

Okay, enough of the blather. Now it’s time for action. Time to march on Croke Park and take down this kingdom. Let’s do it. Up Mayo.

41 thoughts on “Game day – let’s conquer this kingdom

  1. Passing through athlone.
    Roads quiet enough.
    Today is the day!!
    A few more twists in this journey!!
    Come Mayo!!

  2. On the train from Sligo currently. I can’t bloody wait for throw in. Kerry are rightful favourites as wj has said but hopefully we foster the memory of 2014 in positive actions on the pitch. It’s gonna be a roller coaster no doubt. Here’s hoping…….

  3. See Barry Moran and Conor O’Shea on the bench instead of Boland and Regan. Very interesting!

  4. Beautiful morning here on the east coast , let’s hope the rain holds off until 5pm , nervous and excited all rolled into one . Let’s hope Rochford has been plotting a win against the Kingdom for a few months now , he would have known Mayo would meet them at semi final stage , if Mayo put in a big performance they will win.

  5. A definite win for us today, if the players can forget about the final outcome, stick to the game plan and most of all in the heat of battle, keep their discipline because that ref will be itching to start flashing cards.
    Fingers crossed………

  6. Safe travelling and En joy the game to all. I expect Kerry to share it. They will win midfield and close down or knockouts. Our hope would be AOS to go into midfield and clean out David Moran. Also the old high ball into our FB line is going to cause problems . Also Kerry move the ball so quickly through hands.
    Interesting to see how long Donaghy plays for and whether he starts. But after the ros game in not so sure Kerry will do it so hopefully they won’t.. .

  7. Safe travelling to all. Big big day today. Nothing less than a perfect performance will do bit thw players and management know that too. I feel they have being building towards this game tactically and physically as from the outset of this years championship they would have expected to meet Kerry in a semi-final. The fact that they cut it very fine on more than one occasion doesn’t change the fact that all this years planning, scheming and training was for today. Nothing else matters.
    I know we will get a performance of the year from the lads, I know our management will pull a stroke before throw in, I know our lads will leave the field with our hearts bursting with pride. Whether it is all enough to see us in front at the final whistle remains to be seen.

    Enjoy the day because these last 7 years have been unbelievable. There are 14, 15, 16 year pld kids that remember nothing only an outstanding Mayo team. Us more seasoned followers remember the bad old days so we know it won’t always be this good. This team deserves their day of glory but in sport, as in life, deserve has got nothing to do with it. Sometimes you just have to go and take it. Today is that day.
    Mayo, just go and take those fuckers down and give yourselves another crack at Sam.

    HON MAYO

  8. Conor o Sheas inclusion is a great idea. He can add freshness and running to the middle third as seamie tires.

    Barry is a gamble but he has the temperament and experience to deal with a day like this be it fullback fillforward or midfield he will bring his best to it and add another dynamic.

    I doubt they will start donaghy expect them to have JOD and Geanay inside and try crowd hlfforward line with maybe Michael Genay.

    Either way we are well able for them and have a very good bench to call on.

  9. Hello to any Mayo supporters on the way to Dublin , WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE” so get off your ARSES and SHOUT at ALL TIMES for OUR TEAM. Safe journey to all.

  10. @Outside of the boot. I take it you’ve read subs in the program? So Barry Moran and COS in?
    Who drops out from last weeks bench?

  11. Good people of Mayo. Roar like hell today from 3.30 onwards. As Willie Joe kind of said every Mayo person on the planet will be there either in person or in spirit or watching on/listening in from afar. Do it for this great County.
    Maybe even expect the unexpected.

  12. Good move to have Moran and o Shea in subs bench. Bring experience to the bench. Also give us more options for dealing with Donaghy. Smart move by management imo.

  13. There have been a lot of words used in describing how we should approach this game in order to come out on top in the end – physicality, pressure, running game….but I think the most important one for today is DISCIPLINE. These Kerry lads will come out from the word go and try and rattle us, they are experts at the “sly one”, they will be looking to get lads booked and sent off. So let’s keep the head, make sure we finish the game with 15 men, no black cards, no red cards, I would take 15 even 20 yellows if I thought we would come out tops in the end. Also I hope the ref is up to speed right from the start, remember Tadhg Kennelly’s assault on Nicholas Murphy three seconds into the star of the 2009 final, I have an awful feeling Aidan O’ Shea might be in for something similar today. So, look out for each other lads, protect each other, take no sh1t but do it with DISCIPLINE.

  14. Hon Mayo give it everything. And whoever is going to hit Aido, he better be in the full of his health !!
    We owe these guys one so let’s deliver today. Leave everything out there and above all – Refuse To Lose.

  15. Ya that’s what I heard.

    Gives us a different dynamic. Would imagine Barry would have being stationed at fillforward all week leading up to game as a challenge for donie so he must have shown well and hell of a option for us.
    Loftus Andy and Cillian any combination of the three playing off Barry should mean goals

    Use of bench will be key. Ours is better than theirs so let’s just hope they all play as well as they can

  16. Weather will be a huge factor today. The rain has already started and tropical rain storm predicted from 2pm. Needs best tacticians on the line to get the set up right for these exceptional circumstances.

  17. Come on the mighty mayo. Give it waskey today. Punish every kerry mistake and make sure yea force them to make plenty mistakes. Best of luck to all the team all the management and all the supporters. Another famous day for us.

  18. We bet them fair and square in 2014 – the ref changed that result. Kerry are rightly favourites this time round but Mayo have nothing to fear. We’ve been through it all already. Bring it on.

  19. Best of luck lads I’m calling this one as a draw can’t see Mayo losing but Kerry are so hard to beat I think we will be back in HQ again next Saturday evening

  20. Good call bringing in Barry and Conor. I say that because it’s a day for strong physical players. Boland and Regan imo on the light weight size for task on hand – but they’ll have their day.

  21. If Mayo make it through to the final will Clarke be dropped for a keeper with a better kick out ?

    Clearly this is a joke but his kick out has been extremely poor!

  22. Kickouts have to improve. If barry moran is fit to play , throw him to the edge of the square, kerry fb line is pure muck

  23. Someone tell me why we did a Brady on it and put o Shea on donaghy. Sacrificed our own game as far as I’m concerned.
    I’m so disappointed and I feel sick. And I don’t know if I can do this anymore. Ill with nerves. Worst yet. Love these guys but they are killing me and that smiley yellow yoke.

  24. So proud of the lads. Think we need a few switches for the replay. It was screaming for Aidan up front. Donaghy had lots of influence.

  25. Think we can win it saturday. We were a bit naieve when we went 3 and 4 points ahead on more than 1 occasion. All in all very happy with the draw. Wasn’t sure where the equaliser was goin to come from. Very exciting game.

  26. We can take a lot out of this game. AOS can tare Kerry full back line to shreds but he is not a man to man marker. Donahy got the space he needed to do damage. Maybe Harrison or Donie best option and play Parsons in front of Donaghy but don’t sacrifice AOS.

  27. Diarmuid looked burnt out – not sure was Shane Nally even listed in subs but game made for him. David Clarke a few good saves but really struggled to find his men from kick-outs. SS made some poor decisions – place in danger. Neither DD or SC can get scores, which are vital for late subs – Barry Keane came on as sub for Kerry in Limerick and scored – again today. Lee subdued but he’ll be back?

  28. Think Colm Boyle needs to take the batteries out of his sat navigation thingy! If its not working , he cant be substituted, surely. Aidan in mid and put Barry Big bird on Donaghy. Fair play to our brilliant team…never beaten. Kerry had their chance.

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