Ladies final set to lead the way in attendance levels

Photo: Irish Examiner

The LGFA takes centre-stage at Croke Park tomorrow, with All-Ireland finals at Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels all taking place. In the big one at 4pm it’s Mayo against Dublin and chances are that many of those who were there last Sunday will be back again at Croke Park tomorrow.

The Connaught Telegraph reported yesterday (here) that ticket sales for tomorrow’s triple-header were already in excess of 40,000.  The record attendance at a ladies final was set last year, when 34,445 turned up to see the Cork/Dublin decider. Ourselves and Dublin are the two best supported counties in the country so I guess it’s no surprise that, between us, that high watermark will be smashed by a considerable margin tomorrow.

I’ve done a bit of rummaging round online just now to see if I can find any records for the best attended women’s sporting events. The highest one I can come across – in the world – is this year’s FA Women’s Cup final, which drew a crowd of 35,271.

Assuming tomorrow’s attendance tops that, which, on the basis of those ticket sales numbers, is pretty much guaranteed, then I think a bold claim may be made. It could well be the best attended women’s sporting event in the world. Period, as Sean Spicer would say.

Tomorrow’s senior final isn’t all about Cora Staunton but how appropriate it is that this legend of Gaelic football is back one more time at Croke Park. Edwin McGreal did a stats piece in the Mayo News this week on Cora (here), where the numbers he quotes in relation to her inter-county career are, at every level, simply phenomenal. She truly is a one-off.

But Cora would be first to remind you that she’s just one member of the team. It’s an outfit that blends youth and experience to good effect and it’s also a team, as captain Sarah Tierney explains in this piece in yesterday’s Irish Examiner with Jackie Cahill, that’s on a mission.

Last year they lost in agonising circumstances against Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final. Tomorrow, against the same opposition, comes the chance on the big stage to gain revenge and, with it, a fifth LGFA senior All-Ireland title for the county.

It’s set to be a memorable day in many ways at Croke Park tomorrow. What a fitting end to the inter-county year it would be from our point of view to see the ladies come away from HQ with the Brendan Martin Cup. Best of luck to them in tomorrow’sAll-Ireland final.

14 thoughts on “Ladies final set to lead the way in attendance levels

  1. Best of luck to them indeed hopefully they will do the business they are great ambassadors for our county. What can one say about Cora that hasn’t already been said She is simply superb. Would be great if we could get her coaching underage boys and girls teams.

  2. Seeing as we are basically bankrolling the GAA lets make them foot the bill for the coaches we need.
    Good luck to the ladies.

  3. Best of luck to our ladies Tomorrow, I’m travelling east, looking forward to pulling the jersey on again in the morning , each and every one of them ladies are a credit to themselves , their families , club and county , great to see high numbers expected tomorrow , hardly surprising seen we are the best supporters in the country ,
    Didn’t post after last Sunday’s heartbreak , I just couldn’t summon words to reflect how it affected me , I am so proud of our county , the meer mention of the colours green and red warm my heart , so on we go , tomorrow it is, fingers crossed we get Brendan over the Shannon,
    Cmon mayo

  4. WJ…on the attendance figures..you could certainly be right on the suggestion that the attendance figure may possibly be the highest women’s sporting event attendance worldwide in 2017 …I previously posted my understanding it could be the highest attendance in a womens’ sporting event in Europe ever but I now see that 70,158 attended a soccer match at Wembley during the 2012 Olympics in London in which GB beat Brazil 1-0 and, on a worldwide vein, the largest attendance seems to have been the World Cup Womens’ Final in Pasadena, Califormia in 1999 – 90,185 attended the US v China final. Would still be a green and red feather in the cap of the LGFA if we hit the 40,000 mark! Lets hope the Mayo faithful challenge themselves to return to Croker this Sunday accompanied by all those who couldn’t source the scarce tickets for the Men’s fateful final!l

  5. Winning wishes to the Mayo ladies in Croke Park tomorrow. Protect the ball, because as you know, if Mayo has it, then Dublin are impotent – a fact which appears not to dawn on many GAA people.

    Another essential, is to keep your composure (refuse to be rushed into decisions and indeed assume an air of superiority) particularly when in scoring positions and please, please no shots dropping short and into the Dublin goalkeeper.

    If appropriate, Mayo players in the middle third, should slow down the play (when in possession of course) and take a breather as it will serve you well in the last ten minutes or so.
    I look forward to a Mayo display of controlled fury.

  6. Wishing our team the very best tomorrow. Surely they will have a hell of a tussle with Dublin but I think our hunger and determination will drive us. Give your hearts ladies…that’s all we expect!! As always Mayo football is driven by passion. Hope we win tomorrow. Maigheo go deo!!!

  7. Very best of luck to our ladies tomorrow. So disappointed I can’t go due to work duties. What an achievement it would be for this team if they could pull this off, taking out a very strong Cork and Dublin on the way – not to mention what it would add to the Cora legacy. Was gutted for them last year v Dubs (what a fantastic game thst was), so hopefully there will be atonement tomorrow. Give ’em hell girls!!

  8. Cora is one of the greatest footballers to play in croke park and hopefully Tomorrow herself and the rest of the Mayo Ladies get over the line , I am sure they will do what ever it takes and with a bit of luck they can bring the cup back to mayo. up mayo always.

  9. Best of luck to the Mayo Ladies tomorrow! Hopefully we will have another sea of Green and Red supporters with full lung capacity to cheer on our brave heroines. Maigheo Abu!

  10. I will be in Croker tomorrow for the final, hard to go there so soon after last week but have to bring 2 of the girls, it would be great if Mayo could see off the Dubs with the added boost of doing it for Cora Staunton.
    I have watched last Sundays final and this is my fair summary.
    Mayo hammered the Dubs in the 1st half had 60% possession, but had 6 wides and one shot from 25 yards kicked into the Cluxtons hands. Cillian had 3 wides, Andy 1, Durkin 1, 3 of those wides should have gone over, The Dubs had 3 wides and 1 shot kicked into Clarke’s hands from 25 metres out.
    Andy flattened Cooper in a push from behind to pick up a pass and score a point, this cancels out the free that the Dubs should’nt have got at the end of the 1st half which was scored by Rock.
    Things went downhill fast in the 3rd quarter from 35 – 50 minutes, the Dubs scored about 5 points from play, to Mayo’s 1, in total only 3 or 4 points were scored from play, 2 from Cillian, 1 from McLoughlin and maybe 1 from Doherty.
    Vaughan looked frustrated early in the 2nd half, we lost our shape in the middle after he was sent off.
    Mayo over cooked the short passing game, maybe more long ball should have been played into Cillian and Andy, too many times Andy was a bit isolated and guys had to make up alot of ground to get forward and collect his pass, the long ball worked well, Keegan’s goal came from a long kick pass won by Andy and Cillian got a point from a long kick pass.
    Cluxton definitely laid his hands into Doherty’s back as he was going low to chase his shot that was saved.
    Keegan was 100% held by Kilkenny with 2 hands, this was most evident as Keegan travelled into the square surely this should have been a black card, another ref would have given the penalty.
    I know Loftus is very young but he didnt use his pace enough to get away from the Dubs.
    Keegan’s goal was a game changer but Aidan just scrapped the post with a kick from a long way out to go 2 points up, Cillians free on 69 minutes may have won the game but for hitting the post.
    Colm Boyle was badly shaken after the hit by small and should have been taken off earlier.
    As for the subs Diarmuid O Connor was good, Coen ( came in of 55 mins ) didnt impress and gave away possession at a vital time, Cafferkey was put on to hold a fresh Costello, I think we left it too late to bring on the rest of the subs.
    I felt that the linesman and ref gave Mayo a break ,ie, a 50 / 50 sideline ball went Mayo’s way, the ball was kicked to Cillian, he got a free, this was the missed chance in the 69th minute.
    I was disappointed that the subs didnt show more for the kick outs in extra time.
    The Mayo guys put in a tremendous performance, I always felt if Aidan played well in a final Mayo would win, Aidan played great, Barrett, Keith was cramped in the finish, Andy was brilliant ( the Dubs told me this week that they were relieved when he was taken off ), Cillian good 2nd half, Doherty was good, Parsons and Seamie were very good in 1st half but tired midway in 2nd half, Durkin was good but we didnt see enough of his running in 2nd half, Keegans great goal and man marking of Costello.
    Maybe Barry Moran / Conor O Shea should have been drafted into midfield late on for the kick outs, the guys left everything on the pitch, I feel sad for them not to have won.
    Last Sundays final was very similar to the 2013 final and the drawn final of last year, Mayo led the 2013 final by 1 point and were by far the better team in the 1st half, maybe a game with more long kick passing would be best against the Dubs, this running game is very hard to sustain especially last Sunday as it was fairly warm.
    I only hope those guys will be back next year, the toughest group of guys ever to play in a Mayo jersey.

  11. Mayo 88..Do you think the Dublin goal was legal?.. Do you think Mayo should have gotten.. No Penalty.. 1.Penalty or 2 Penalties.? .. Do you think that.. 7 steps twice before a goal should be allowed? . Do you think that Diarmuid Connolly ball carriers, 9 steps before a bounce that leads to a score is legal.? . Worse Do you think that 10 steps by Diarmuid Connolly before a Dublin score is legal.? . And only 6 before Dean Rock fists the ball over the bar is legal?.. I grant you, Diarmuid O Connor got a lucky, line ball, but it didn’t lead to a score!?… 50/50 decisions it most definitely ain’t!..

  12. Leantimes I agree with a lot of what your saying but the game is well and truly over almost a week now. There’s no point looking back or getting wound up about it anything that’s said on this blog or anywhere else Won’t change the result. Dublin has the cup and we must keep going and keep trying and one day we will win it.

  13. Leantimes, I agree with you on alot of the above, I did see in real time that the Dubs over carried for the goal, Mannion’s point in the 2nd half, a Rock point also in 2nd half, I actually saw those over carries from the Nally stand even though I’m short sighted and wear glasses in Croker, I more or less gave a running commentary of the match, some of the Mayo supporters around me could’nt seem to follow or keep up to the pace of the game, I guess that they never really played much in their lifetime.
    But we cant change anything now, the referee has all the power on the day.
    I will miss the buzz in the lead up to the matches, the hope of a good win before the matches, the great buzz when Mayo are victorious ( i’m thinking of the replayed Ros and Kerry matches ). The joy in my kids faces when I react to a score or the final whistle, the burger outside Quinns after the games, the one or two pints in Quinns when we win. Even at 47 I get an almighty buzz out of a win.
    I hope i’m wrong but I think it could be the end for some of the guys, a few fellas were actually wobbling in injury time to stay on their feet, anybody on this blog that played football will know this feeling usually in an early season friendly where the managers decides to play an extra 10 or 15 minutes.
    The Dubs were clever in their substitutions, Connolly played in a play maker roll in midfield, only Rock from the starting forwards was on the pitch in the end with all the rest gone off, our backs were wrestled in injury time, further sapping their energy.
    Its now time to head to Croker for the women’s final and we hope they win.

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