The road ahead of us

So, the defeat to Galway is slipping away into the background, with the consequences of that loss and the road it has sent us on in this year’s championship now beginning to stare us in the face. I know others have already detailed some of this but I thought it would be worthwhile to set down in full what is known about the route that’s facing us as we prepare to embark on another run at the qualifiers.

The first – and perhaps most obvious – point is that we’re now, by virtue of the loss to Galway, in knockout territory in this year’s championship. This summer is, of course, different in that should we, once again, reach the All-Ireland Series, we’ll be guaranteed three Super Eight matches. But to reach that point we have first to negotiate our way through four knockout ties. A slip-up in any of these and our year’s football at senior inter-county level is over.

The fun starts next Monday morning. The line-up for Round 1 will, barring draws after extra-time, have been completed the previous day and the Round 1 draw will be broadcast live that morning on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 after the 8.30am news bulletin.

Sixteen teams will be in the hat for the Round 1 draw. This year there’s no A and B sides to the qualifiers – instead, it’s an open draw, with no restrictions. The counties in the draw will be the following:

  • Armagh
  • Cavan
  • Derry/Donegal
  • Down/Antrim
  • Dublin/Wicklow
  • Kildare/Carlow
  • Limerick
  • London
  • Louth
  • Mayo
  • Meath/Longford
  • Offaly
  • Tyrone
  • Waterford
  • Westmeath/Laois
  • Wexford

So, a few obvious ones we’d want to avoid there. Tyrone, in particular, are a county we’d like to steer clear of and, to be honest, we’d do well to keep away from anyone else from Ulster in this opening round.

One welcome aspect about this year’s opening round draw is that we get a bit of time – a full thirteen days – to get ready for whomever we’re paired with. Usually, this period is less than a week – and that’ll be the case too for counties involved in subsequent rounds this summer – but, to start with, everyone in Round 1 gets a decent interval to plan for the knockout tie facing them.

Teams in Divisions Three and Four of the NFL will, for all ties in Rounds 1, 2 and 3, enjoy home advantage. Seeing as the bulk of those in the draw will fall into this category there is, then, a better than even chance we’ll be drawn away from home in the opening round.

The Round 1 matches will all be played on Saturday 9th June. Should we make it past this tricky first hurdle, Round 2 is scheduled to be played two weeks later, i.e. on Saturday 23rd June.

For the Round 2 draw, the eight survivors from Round 1 will be pitted against the eight losing provincial semi-finalists. Once more, any counties from within this cohort operating out of the bottom two League Divisions (and there will be a few) will enjoy home advantage in Round 2.

Round 3 takes place a week after Round 2, i.e. on 30th June. The draw for this round is another open one, involving the eight Round 2 winners. Obviously, the dangers of bagging a beast in this one – once again, Tyrone being the obvious example – are greater. Although this draw is an open one, repeat pairings are ruled out if they can be avoided (say, if it would mean the likes of Cavan and Donegal meeting again, having already done so in Ulster).

As an aside, it’s worth noting here the impact of the more compact championship season. Should we still be standing after Round 3, it’ll still only be the end of June, a point in the year when, of late, we’re only starting to get the lugs pinned back properly. This underlines still further the need for us to come out of the blocks fast in this qualifier campaign.

Round 4 is set for a week after Round 3, so these matches will be played on Saturday or Sunday 7th/8th July. Unlike the earlier rounds, Round 4 qualifier ties are played at neutral venues, frequently – though not always – at Croke Park.

The Round 4 draw pits the four survivors from Round 3 against the four beaten provincial finalists. As with Round 3, repeat pairings will be avoided where possible so if Galway tank again against the Rossies we won’t – if we’re still standing – be granted the pleasure of their company then.

This draw serves two purposes. First it determines the Round 4 pairings but it also sorts out which group a qualifier potentially ends up in at the Super Eight stage (see below).

The four winners of Round 4 enter the All-Ireland Quarter-Final Group Stage, aka the Super Eights. This will comprise two Groups, which, in 2018, will be filled in the following way:

  • Group 1: Munster champions, Connacht champions, Ulster beaten finalist/qualifier, Leinster beaten finalist/qualifier
  • Group 2: Leinster champions, Ulster champions, Munster beaten finalist/qualifier, Connacht beaten finalist/qualifier

The Super Eights start the weekend after Round 4 of the qualifiers and will be played over what the GAA terms “phases”, which is just another way of saying rounds.

The Phase 1 games, played on the weekend of 14th/15th July, involve the two provincial champions in each group playing each other (in old money these would be All-Ireland quarter-final ties) and the two Round 4 qualifier counties doing likewise.

The Phase 2 games are played the following weekend (21st/22nd July) and then there’s a fortnight gap to the Phase 3 matches (on 4th/5th August). Both of these phases involve the Round 4 qualifier teams taking on the provincial champions in their respective groups.

The top two counties from each group in the Super Eights qualify for the All-Ireland semi-final. The winner of Group 1 is paired with the runner-up in Group 2 and vice versa.  The All-Ireland semi-finals are down for decision on 11th and 12th August.

There’s then a three-week gap to the final, which is set to be played on Sunday, 2nd September.

That, then, is the road potentially facing us in this year’s championship. How far along that road we travel is down to us, how we perform and whether or not our performances are good enough to keep us involved as the story of this year’s championship unfolds.

The Mayo GAA Lotto is a practical way of showing your support for the team as they embark on this road. You can play the Lotto here

212 thoughts on “The road ahead of us

  1. Crystal clear Willie Joe. It could be heaven or hell, or purgatory with a bit of fun thrown in.

    What do you think yourself? Will we be champs or chumps?

  2. 5 games in 5 weeks will be tough, especially if there are more injuries. June will hopefully be a very busy month for all here!!

  3. I’ve no idea, Ger – it’s literally one game at a time from here. Hard to say how we’ll fare out but sure we’ll start to find out soon enough.

  4. Wow Wille Joe, superb as usual, I think iv got the jist of it now, potentially a lot of games for us, if we get the rub of the green, in the early rounds, we should ok, 1 game at a time, with qualification for the super 8s the goal, its tough task, but no better men to complete it.

  5. That’s a good question, Galway Exile, one I don’t have an answer for. The GAA website has no details on venues for these games. The system has hard-wired into it that Dublin play two Super eight matches at Croke Park while everyone else only has one but, that rather outrageous anomaly aside, there are no details as yet on which games are to be played where. I suspect we won’t know until much closer the time.

  6. I know it’s an amateur game but in all but name once the summer comes around.

    A lot being made of five games in five weeks but in most other sports that would be deemed a light enough schedule. It certainly makes some injuries difficult to manage but that’s part and parcel of the game. Most of the players will love playing games and immediately gearing up for the next challenge.

    It’s knockout ball for a few weeks so that should sharpen the minds. There’s always a risk of being caught cold but I don’t think we need necessarily fear it either.

  7. The one fact we know about the super 8s is the provincial champs play each other in the 1st game so winning the 1st game for us is vital as we’ll be playing the other qualifier.

  8. i think the answer to the home and away is on the GAA wallchart.

    The provincial champions appear to have their home game in Round 3.

    So each team from the backdoor will play a provincial champion at home in Round 2.

    The fixtures are designed to avoid dead rubbers. If we got to Super 8s it may work in our favour. Game 1 vs a backdoor team in Croke Park. Game 2 at home to a provincial champion. Hopefully we would have 3 or 4 points in the bag by Game 3 where we would be away to a provincial champion.

    Maybe we will play Galway in two more championship matches this Summer!!! A Super 8 Game and the All Ireland Final!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. I know they have to play Meath; however, wouldn’t an away draw to Longford at Pearse Park (sorry Glennon Bros Pearse Park), be interesting?

  10. Just watched Tyrone v Monaghan, Colm Cavanagh, should have got a red card right from the throw in, There seemed to be verbals going on with him and his marker,he never watched the ball at all at the throw in, just his marker, and gave him a few digs in the face seems like, and got a away with it, in full view of the ref I might add. What are these refs like at all. Bet Sean kept quiet about that on the Sunday game. Great game though, McManus is some player, bad news to draw Tyrone in the first round, as they seem to be well ahead of us in terms of fitness.

  11. The mind boggles. I was never a big fan of the super 8s as I feel it only benefits teams from Munster (Kerry played one meaningful game – I don’t count the Munster final! – before they played us in the AI Semi and Dublin who got no challenge until they met us in the final! This will be a serious test of our squad depth now if we can keep it between the ditches for the qualifiers. All things being equal we are still in the top 3 in the country – but when are all things ever equal in the GAA! It’s a pity Connacht don’t do a Munster and seed teams or all provinces do what the hurlers have done – have a round robin provincial championship and ditch the qualifiers altogether. If Mayo come out of this one alive (they are amateur players after all) and reach another final it would be one of the most extraordinary achievements in Gaelic football history!

  12. There’s no team ahead of us in fitness by any margin at this stage. Galway weren’t, both teams about the same.
    Would like to avoid Tyrone in 1st round simply because they are the obvious danger team from that lot and not sure how many of the previously injured players will be at 100% full tilt. My guess is they’re coming along nicely but we can’t be sure until after next game. There’s one or 2 other teams we could get dragged into a dogfight with (but we’re better than) and the rest of that pool we can handle with a bit to spare. Away draw takes the pressure off a bit too.

  13. @The Mayo Viking, just interested, is there some TV channel that showed the complete Tyrone /Monaghan match?.. It’s something that I would be interested in watching in full, if I knew where to look.. @Liamontherunsince 51,..’When are all thing’s equal in the GAA? ‘.. Never I would suggest, and not much commitment to making thing’s any fairer either.. If anything, it’s the other way it’s going!…’A worst case seneraio, we draw Tyrone away in Healy Park’… Would Healy Park hold the expected crowds?.. Possibly if there was live TV, keeping a few thousand supporters at home… On the other hand, Healy Park was not full for the untelivised match with Monaghan last Sunday, and the capacity of Healy Park is less than half of what MacHale is… Restrictions on MacHale Park ticket sales to 30K, kept the attendance to just under the 30K on May 13th, although very easily 3 or 4 thousand fan’s could be accommodated in seated comfort on the day…. It just shows the phenomenon of the incredible Mayo support… Makes me wonder, what venue’s can actually hold the expected Mayo supporter’s… What will the money men of the GAA do?… Remember last year, every Mayo match’s was televised live,.. There are a fixed number of live TV match’s and a much greater number of fixtures this year… It remains to be seen!

  14. Why should we fear Tyrone?

    We’ve beaten them in most championship matches. We beat Monaghan in the league and they were ahead of us in fitness.

    I think Mickey Hart is detrimental to Tyrone’s long term ambitions; rather like Wenger at Arsenal.

  15. Longford who i expect to lose Meath would be tougher nut to crack in the qualifiers than Cavan and Armagh IMO.

  16. Oh yes, felt so sorry for Sean Cavanagh on Sunday. That smile will be wearing thin now.

  17. Dublin could possibly have three games at croker according to some commentators speculation. If they have an away game where the crowd couldn’t be catered for is the reason been bandied about. Does that apply to Mayo as well just as a point of interest?

  18. There’s only one way to answer sean cavanagh . Picture it Cillian, Sam maguire in the hand,gentle speak (unlike Donaghey ) ” what ya think of that Sean Cavanagh Boy” zzzzzzz zzzzzzz one can dream I suppose

  19. Leantimes – BBC NI showed the Tyrone/Monaghan match in full on Sunday evening. I’m not sure, though, given the vagaries of accessing content on their iPlayer from here, if you’ll be able to view it via that method.

  20. Sean, don’t you know that that type of favoritism and biase is only reserved for the boys in blue!

  21. Please Sean Burke, don’t even contemplate descending to Donaghy’s level.

    I detest Brolly – most of the time – but that remark was crass. Just think, an All Ireland the bag and all he can do is have a go at Brolly.

    Me? I’d be prepared to carry Cavanagh, or Brolly, or both, all the way to Castlebar, when we win it.

  22. In fairness to Sean Cavanagh he was on two Tyrone sides that won the AI through the back door so probably has a fair idea about what it takes to bounce back from a disappointing provincial championship defeat.

  23. I think we will come through this. I fully expect to be there in August.
    Ultimately from there though the loss of Tom Parsons will probably be too much for us to overcome. Similar to Andy in 2012

  24. Thought Cavanagh was a lot more fair in analysis after our game than the pre season fiasco show the week before when Leitrim v NY only got 15 seconds and Sligo v London a few minutes. He said afterwards his belief that Mayo wouldn’t make the Super 8 was based on thinking we’d lose to Galway meaning a long road for us. Highlighted how adaptable we are and acknowledged this helped us beat them in 2016.

  25. That would be my fear pat if we did come through the qualifiers which in itself would take a fair bit of doin. Parsons had become a vital cog in this team especially for croker .

  26. Yeah, Leantimes, it was on BBC 2 NI at 7 Sunday evening, Deffered coverage, I recorded it, so watched it today. Donegal game is on next week, im in London, so not sure if you can get it at home. You Tube might be showing clips of it, or as Wille Joe said BBC iPlayer, check ur 7 day guide on BBC 2 NI, and u may be able to get next Sunday’s game,

  27. If anyone wants to read about unlikely stuff happening, the newly formed Las Vegas ice hockey team were 500-1 to lift the title in the USA this year. They’re now in the final and stand a good chance to win it.
    Never say Never. And specially when you have a bunch of hard jawed experienced players willing to fight it out.

  28. What are we planning to do on Cluxtons kickouts this year!

    Seriously though we need to get some consistency in the performances and quickly now.
    Hopefully we get a couple of D4 teams so that we can build into the qualifiers

  29. Believe it or not Dave my Uncles grandson (first cousin Tricias son) plays with that Ice Hockey team (Vegas Golden Knights). He played with them through the season but haven’t seen his name in the line up since the play offs started. He might be out injured at the moment. I hope they win the Stanley cup so that he gets a winners medal for himself. His name is Brad Hunt from British Columbia. His Grandfather, my uncle Jimmey Rip was from Ardagh.

  30. @catcol .. we should fear Tyrone cause they humped us about 8 weeks ago in castlebar and tight pitches , either McHale park or omagh will not suit us…. i would love, and i mean love to beat them . if we meet them in croker I’d fancy us.. but not where it would be played on June 9th.

  31. Small world there, rev. They’re even surprised themselves, it’s amazing what a hard neck and a bit of coaching can achieve.

  32. Leantimes just checked You Tube, the Tyrone v Monaghan game is on there, full match in 6 parts,

  33. Yeah the venues are determined alright. So much so that winning connacht is a complete disadvantage.

    The Connacht champions will be awarded with a likely tie v Kerry in Croke Park, followed a week later by an away tie to the Ulster Runner up (or whoever beats them). Doesn’t sound very appealing!

  34. No problem Leantimes, hope its helps, Wille Joe, a query, remember the papers used do a ref watch, and a rating after games, Why did they stop doing that? or do they still?

  35. I remember that, mayo viking – it was the Examiner that used to do it. I’m not sure if they still do but I haven’t seen it in their online GAA content for a good while now.

  36. I’m tired just reading the possible fixtures we might have to play in. Don’t know if I have the stomach for it anymore these defeats take their toll.

  37. No finer team to take on this challenge! We did it TOGETHER in 2016 and 2017! This is when Mayo is at their best, backs to the wall! Let’s do this!!! See you all in Croke Park September 2!! Maigh Eo Abú!

  38. Going by highlights of Tyrone Monaghan game both teams especially Monaghan are near the top of the pack. Monaghan use similar tactics to Dublin last year to unravel the double sweeper. Seemed to ignore the 2 inside and shoot well from the edge of the D. 1-18 against such a defensive set up is impressive. Fair play to Monaghan who took some great scores. I thought Morgan should have been straight red for kicking the Monaghan goal scorer.. Cluxton was for a lesser lash against Kevin Mc a few years back. Ref wimped out there. All not well in Tyrone camp despite a good performance and some excellent shooting. The last second goal was a 1 in 10 freak that went in so the gap was really 5. Mickey treating adults like children and making them all go to mass is a problem in the modern era. They have a good pool of players and County structure is good but their manager is letting them down. It seems he hasn’t learned from last year’s humiliation.
    Despite this at this stage of season I would still hope to avoid Tyrone. They put up 1-16 (freak goal included), we had 0-12 albeit in a tricky wind for 1 half & 14 men for the other half the match. If we both reach round 3 (can’t play them in round 2 I believe) I wouldn’t be as bothered as 2 wins would build our momentum. Not worried about any other opponents in round 1 pool. I would hope we score minimum 1-15 in our next match in a winning manner that builds confidence. Like Salthill last year I saw enough to suggest we’ll come good and are ahead on early fitness this year. Roll on Monday.

  39. Yeah,think the indo did it as well, as I remember reading the reports on the way to work on a monday morning, with a headache from over indulging the day before, ha’ha’ha, we can only get indo,and times over here, as far as know, anyway no worries, thanks for jogging my memory, used to like the way they did the reports back then, statistics, he said,she said, red cards, yellow, frees, attendance, what both managers said, and loads more, Oh and ref watch, it was a great read, and detailed reporting, maybe it’s just me reminiscing and being silly.

  40. I’ve a holiday booked on the continent for the first week in September so that’s the obvious problem I see with this.

  41. Group 1 of the super 8s looks like the one to be in. Otherwise you’re in with Dublin, Cork and the Ulster champions in Group 2.

    Group 1 will be Kerry, beaten Ulster finalists and some mickey mouse outfit from Leinster who have just been thrashed in the Leinster final.

  42. So in the super 8 thing there are 2 groups, how does it proceed from there? 1 from each group meet in the final?

  43. Yea …….. I have just got to read these posts now and it does look like a long road ahead of us.

    Plenty of pitfalls I`m sure along the way.

    All we can do is not to look beyond the next game.

    What`s the most important shot in golf ? Ans. The next one.

  44. Top two play off in Semi Finals

    1st place in group A plays 2nd Place in Group B.
    2nd place in group A plays 1st place in Group B.

    Playing in group 2 (with Dublin), means you can’t meet them again until the AIF, so it’s not that clean cut.

  45. It doesn’t matter what group you end up in. You have to win two games regardless.
    Personally I would actually like to face Dublin in the super 8’s. So let’s say we lose and win our other two games.
    We make our way through to the final to face Dublin again. Right, well at least we are coming into that final with known things that we know need fixing from the loss in the super 8 group game.
    Also, if you beat Dublin, you have the chance to put them out of the competition if they draw (score difference v Mayo) or for sure lose another game.
    We lose these big matches against Dublin coming in blind to what Dublin will present in that championship year. It would be nice for once to have had a big championship match already.
    We play Dublin in the super 8 and we get suprises that maybe Cian Hanley and James Durcan go well. That is very useful information for a potential final.

  46. Jim Flag the Connaght Champions go straight into the Super 8s like the other provincial winners

  47. Oliverkelly. Yeah i know that. Its just there is nobody in Connacht who can live with us when we get going. EG Rossgommon last year. Doesn’t matter which of them wins Connacht. Its 2 pints in the owl bag for us in the super 8s if and when we meet them.

  48. Ok. 2 from each group will be the semi finalists. Not that it makes a bit of difference. The house is burning down but all the gaa do is paint the outside and feed the guests at the table. Anyone care to hazard a guess at the winner in September?

  49. It would be lovely to qualify, and meet the rossies in the first game of the super 8s, let’s hope we get the rub of the green in the draws.

  50. Darragh attempts third man tackle with a “Nicholas Murphy special” to the head of Mayo’s 16 th man.

    Mayo man shrugs it off .
    ——————————————
    Mayo will have none of this “ Win it for Tom blather” blared the headline.

    Darragh went on to explain ….well… tbh I’ve no idea what he was trying to say except that…. does anyone have a clue what he’s on about ?

    I’m guessing here that he wanted to nip in the bud any burgeoning sympathy for Mayo due to Tom Parsons’ unfortunate injury. Or any movement by Mayo’s much vaunted traveling “16 th man “ to “win it for Tom “?

    It’s all part of a rather unfortunate pattern this year with Marco and Yogurt trying to constantly knock Mayo down since January when Marco went ballistic in the meeja upon hearing of a Mayo training camp in April .

    Then , clutching at straws , claiming Mayo were finished ( but if they weren’t then they were still finished anyway ) .
    “No hope left “ ( for Mayo) went Marco’s headline in March .

    For a team that they claim are finished the Skelpies are paying an awful lot of attention to us . They sound worried . Panicky even.

    Thus Darragh’s headline needs little further explanation but could use an analogy . The most apropos is of course the cowardly hit on Nicholas Murphy of Cork in the opening seconds of the All Ireland Final of 2009.

    Darragh later explained about that in his Times column that this was pre planned and just part of “ the dark arts” of Kerry. I mean this might be the only literally true thing he’s ever written .

    And so came his attempted but unsuccessful foul hit on Mayo’s 16 th man (who the poorly supported Kerry team look at with some envy )

    Didn’t Sheehy himself allude to how influential that extra man was last year ?

    Despite their best attempts this Kerry team remain unloved simply because in Kerry they know there are better managers and better systems of play.

    The domineering stink of the Skelpies in the background certainly does nothing for this teams popularity. They will remain unloved.

    Lost in translation :
    ———————————
    Meanwhile Marco’s recent headline startled me into realizing something I should have understood before now .That English is in fact his second language ! This was a huge wake up call for me.

    “Mayo are find new ways to lose “ went the headline .

    It remained uncorrected by his , allegedly fluent in English , masters after five days online. I mean that just shows no respect to just leave it there uncorrected .

    It was a symbol of the sloppiness of all concerned and their disrespect for Marco’s shallow opinion.

    But it accurately reflects the ethos of these meejits who are absolutely everywhere , saying nothing or shag all or making idiots of themselves , or whose analysis amounts to “ I fancy “.

    TBH it was Reminiscent of Gooch being groomed last year for his apprenticeship at RTÉ and was asked what he was looking forward to in the new season . “Seeing Ciarán McManaus “ he deadpanned not once but twice while standing beside him Ciarán Whelan had a look on his face like the cat who ate the canary . This clip was then played hundreds of times thereafter on GAAGO to the endless amusement of Montrose.

    Stench
    ——————————————

    The subjects of the Kingdom ( i.e. everyone , regardless of lifetime achievement , without an All Ireland Medal in the back pocket ) remained concerned about the Skelpies and their influence on Amen.

    Wise heads were worried that the stench of the Skelpies domineering narcissism in management would extend to the newer , younger generation and infect the likes of David Clifford and Sean O Shea in such a way that they didn’t know which way was up .

    Mercenaries :
    ———————————————
    The Skelpies to be fair were better at getting other counties riled up to fight Mayo than they were Kerry. And so Cork last year and Galway this year had a fair dose of Skelpie influence .

    What Cork were thinking bringing in Professor Yoplait I’ve no idea ? Short term non solutions to long term and bigger real problems ?

    But Magoo bringing in Yogurt for a lick was if anything an even stranger one. Pat McDonagh for one can’t stand yogurt because it competes with ice cream and swirlies . So anything that reminds him of that tends to set him off.

    Speaking of which , 3 million in Supermacs funding for Galway football should be a potent reminder for Mayo people. The guys in Westport , Ballina and Castlebar should remember that when purchasing buckets of sausages and swirlies that ..
    1. Ireland has one of the highest rates of heart disease in the world ( and that’s not a good thing )
    2. If you’re determined to do yourself in anyways , please find a fast food outlet that supports our team
    3. Those Galway boys will Lord it over us like the Lords of the Manor they believe they already are the more times you order from Supermacs.
    4. Think of it as if when you are licking that swirly , you are licking Magoo’s balls ! There , that should do it !

    Bye for now ,
    Swahili

  51. Wonder has anyone else been drafted into the panel as an additional midfield option following Tom’s injury? Would like to see Jason Gibbons handed a place. While there is nobody who can fully fill the void left behind by Tom’s loss, I can’t think of a better reinforcement from around the clubs with the right attributes and a decent amount of intercounty experience.

  52. Fantastic Swahili. I thought the day couldn’t get any brighter and then I read your multi biography of the skelpies and their mindless meanderings. I would now be very surprised if they don’t get you to pen their life stories.

  53. I see stand tickets for the connacht semi-final between galway v sligo are priced at 25 euros. our quarter final v galway the stand tickets cost 30 euros.i thought semi-final tickets should be higher than for the quarter-final,or are connacht council taking advantage of the mayo supporters.

  54. I’d say Jimbo it’s a case of us getting screwed. They must be delighted we are in the qualifiers. The extra couple of games we have to play could be worth another few hundred thousand on the the gate to whoever gets to pocket it.

  55. Jim Flag but where are you putting them in your post. You said group one is the place to be in super 8s with the munster winner, ulster loser and some micky mouse Leinster team. The connaght champions go straight into group 1 with Munster winners there will be no room for Mayo if ulster loser and Leinster micky mouse team are also in the group

  56. Just to put into perspective the contempt with which the CB view club players, all league games this weekend are fixed for 6:30pm. The Champions League final is an event, even people who don’t follow soccer want to watch the final. All they had to do was fix games for 5pm or 5:30pm and that would have solved all problems. Instead they leave it to managers to make 20 phone calls to other managers and refs to try and change the games. One stroke of a pen on a fixtures spreadsheet and you make everyone’s life a little easier. Is it any wonder they’re viewed with such disdain by players.

  57. Liam. The poor timing of club league games this weekend is not unique to Mayo cb. In the county I now live in there is a full round of league games fixed for 7 pm on Saturday evening. I presume they are fixing it at the later time to accommodate club players who have to do a full days work on Saturday.

  58. I should have put County Boards, plural. It’s indicative of the treatment of club players across the country. Most players would make arrangements to finish an hour early given the evening that’s in it. Lads are sick of it.

  59. Excellent work agent Swahili I wonder what would professor Reginald from energia make of it all maybe he would even find clever humans in Skelpie land or have I been out in the Sun too long

  60. As most of you know by now, the Gaa is in for the money, they want counties that will bring the big crowds, Mayo and the Dubs lead the way in this regard, I would be sure that they want Mayo to stay in the hunt for as long as possible, my bet is that Mayo will get an easy draw on Monday morning next.
    I’m not sure how the Super 8 will work, it is rumoured here in Dublin that the Dubs have 2 panels of 25 players training on separate nights.
    I reckon that viewing numbers and match attendances will be well down for the Gaa games on Saturday, due to the champions league final, I’m predicting another jammy Liverpool win.

  61. Anybody know when they decide on Diarmuid’s ban, and what’s the likely outcome.?

  62. JP2 – you were seeking to elicit information on something relating to the team which isn’t yet in the public domain. Not allowed here, I’m afraid.

  63. The History Lesson.

    Ah!
    The men that gave all for this country. What do they think now from wherever they’re looking from.
    Gave it all they did. And a hundred or so years on, we’re a fine set up.

    You can order a pizza now without getting out of the bed. A hundred years ago you wouldn’t get pizza delivered. Would yea fu*k. You’d collect it yourself.

    And a hundred years ago you wouldn’t drive in to a car wash with the heat on in cold weather and the air conditioner on in hot weather and watch the rollers wash and rinse.
    Would you hell.
    You’d give some young fella a good kick up the arse and tell him he’d be getting another one if he didn’t wise up his ideas and get the car shining.

    Sure there’s bucks now using pulley devices to pull on their tight jeans and their arse’s sticking out the back like bed and breakfeast signs.
    A hundred years ago the arse’s were gone in the trousers alright, but it wasn’t because of tight jeans.
    Jesus no.
    It was because they sat around all day doing nothing.

    And there wasn’t any factory jobs a hundred years ago.
    By Jaysus no.
    The fair day was the only chance they had to make a few bob.
    The poor devil’s used to sell whatever bit of cocaine or cannibas they were able to smuggle in to town.
    The poor creatures.
    That drug money had to do them until the next fair day.

    There was no school buses either a hundred years ago.
    The parents used to have to drop all the children off to school. They’d pick them up from school in the evenings and the whole family would then go to a resteraunt for dinner. The poor bastards.

    Me great grandfather told me one time they didn’t even have sky sports in his day. He told me every house had a satellite dish a hundred years ago, and the poor devileens might have to watch a match or the grand national, and the commentary in German or French.

    He told me he had to walk uphill to school. But when his father made the money from the drugs on the fair day, he hired a contractor to level the road and he bought me great grandfather a car, and the poor auld devileen had to drive himself to school.

    It’s always important to hold on to our history and make sure that the facts don’t get mixed up down through the years.

  64. @True for you Revellino, God bless your memory!… Sure wasn’t ‘History’ beat into ya, by the teacher’s, that was just National School, & the Oh So Christian Brother’s in secondary school, if you were lucky enough to continue the coparal punishment for a few more years, if your parents could afford it,? .. Not everyone’s parent’s could afford this realitive luxury ,.. In my previous life in Auld Ireland (after hypnosis, regressing to a previous life) , I cannot for the life of me, remember any Cocaine… Maybe I had taken too much Cocaine, thinking it was Snuff in the first place, and that would account for my not remembering in the first place …. Poteen, & Snuff at the ‘Wakes’…. But we smoked some strange stuff in the Clay Pipes, or as they were referred to in a previous life as’ Dougines ‘ made in Knockrockery County Roscommon, , and it wasn’t Tobacco,.. More likely Rushes, Straw, Heather and Turf Moul.. Mayo haven’t even won any All Ireland in the early years of my previous life,.. But I can remember us all being very happy…. Mad for road, or at least the Crossroads, where Comely Maidens would be dancing with Atheletic Youth…. I taught of myself as an Athletic Youth back in them day’s… Dancing like the Devil, telling the best looking girls of the great day’s to come for Ireland… But sure they weren’t interested in someone like me, despite my thinking of myself as athletic and reasonable looks, they wanted someone with enough land for at least 3 milch Cows, a few sheep and an Acre or two, of spuds, to feed the family of fourteen, herself and future husband would surly have…. And me not even realated to a Priest!..I hadn’t a hope with any of Comly maiden’s, who knew the value of a few Acres of land, but no fault of their own, knew little else!.. Then way back in 1936.. Mayo won their first All Ireland final… And me having no land to inherit in the Fair County of Mayo, done a bit of travelling… Well let me tell you, if you will believe me, all the women in all the other counties of Ireland that I visited, couldn’t get enough of a Mayo man… And then I woke up!
    .

  65. Just before I head out the door into that madness, a few quick thoughts.

    We have no control over who we face in the first round. We will have to beat whomever is pulled out of the box.

    What would we gain from beating a London, Wexford, Antrim or Offally? Fuck all I think is the answer. Other than staying in obviously.

    The stench of fear whether it comes from supporters or players is something other teams thrive on. If we pull out a Tyrone or a Cavan, or whoever the stronger teams are considered to be. We’ll simply have to beat them to stay in and probably gain alot more from them match ups. There is no reason that an on form Mayo cannot be beating any fucking team that’s left in.

    Comer early in the first half, when he held his position was going to score whenever he got on the ball. That’s a fact. You could see the belief in his own abilities. He was glowing with confidence. Cillian was at one stage raising his hands into the air trying to get the crowd behind him. Trying to use the crowds energy in a desperate effort to gee himself up. We gotta to believe more in our own abilities and let that confidence flow onto the pitch and, that type of confidence and belief will infect the crowd and they will roar.

    We need to stop looking under our oxters like a drunk in a bar when the door opens. We gotta stand up, Believe and stride head on to face him.

  66. @Revellino, the way the world is gone that pulley device I fear it exists!! Think it’s why you included, the truth is always funniest. Don’t confirm, let me live in happy ignorance 🙂

  67. But there haven’t been any reports published online or in the papers about such a game being played and so I really don’t want tittle-tattle being spread here about it – such as who played and who didn’t, who scored what etc etc – in the absence of any reports.

  68. I could be wrong but our next game will be the first time a championship game involving Mayo is not televised since that infamous defeat to Longford in 2010?

    A lot has changed since that day. As much as losing All Ireland’s is painful, is much rather we be getting beat at that stage than going out early to Longford.

    Our u20’s are down to play Leitrim away in championship the same weekend as our first qualifier….a critical year in my view in that we need to start making inroads at underage again.

  69. Sorry wj I wasn’t trying to be smart but I live on the sligo border and it was widely known the game was on, and I just thought when your posters were aware of the monaghan game recently they would know, I have just come home and I have heard the result, sorry for causing any bother

  70. That’s fine, JP2, and I get where you’re coming from on it. I’m just concerned that this place doesn’t become a repository for unconfirmed information, including on challenge games that haven’t been officially reported on.

  71. Mayomafia.
    I would say there is a 1 in 15 chance that we get “Tir Eoghain” and a 1 in 15 chance that we get “An Cabhan”. Also a 1 in 15 chance that we get “Port Lairge” and believe it or not a 1 in 15 chance that we get “Londain”.

    I came to this conclusion using the formula that there are 15 possible opponents in the owl bowl and we will get 1 and only 1 of them. I could well be wrong on all this though.

  72. Flash sale today of select junk food at Supermacs.

    Darraghs Stale and tired Irish Times nothingburger €3.99

    Made from genuine fresh meat from the stony grey soil of Monaghan but beaten to a paste by the Yerra machine and then largely replaced with Darragh’s own proprietary Skelpie schlopp filler (c)this one will definitely fill you up almost to the point of well… you know !

    Served Extra cheesy and sloppy and definitely with no mayo.

    No way !

    No lettuce or tomato sauce either or indeed anything red or green.

    Also comes with chips and marc(o) my words the chips are down .

    All proceeds to go towards the Skelpies’ English as a second language course.

  73. Swahilli,.. Your talking about ‘Junk Food’… Well we all know that’ When the chip’s are down, Mayo Delivers, and its not Pizza either ‘… We even had a feed of’ Kerry Lamb last August!….

  74. As I see it, we have a 1 in 15 chance of meeting Tyrone in Round 1 (as Jim Flag said). We can only meet them – or Cavan – in Rounds 1 and 3, so we escape that particular obstacle in Rounds 2 and 4.

    We have a 1 in 7 chance of meeting Tyrone in Round 3 (assuming both counties arrive at the Round 3 stage). Round 3 matches take place on 30th June.

    Moral of the above – let’s start at the start and try to get over the first match first and go from there.

  75. I think I might do the draw myself when I get home from work. Sure wouldn’t my draw be as good as anyone else’s. I’ll put Mayo into the cornflakes box and London into the rice krispies box and perform that part of the round 1 draw first. So that’s us playing London in the 1st round. No point in waiting till Monday morning. I’m thinking of moving Tyrones 1st round qualifier venue to the gazza strip or Baghdad to promote garlic games in them areas.

  76. Can someone just break down the draw again, I’m unsure of how it works. I think it’s 1/134 chance we get Tyrone. My neighbour has a cross eyed, 3 legged jackass that’s a dinger at predicting these draws. He correctly predicted the score in the replay with Roscommon last year and I think I’ll ask him in the morning how he thinks the draw will go. If he doesn’t bite me, it’s usually a good sign.

  77. What about a trip to Waterford. Have we ever played Waterford before.I would love to get a team and a ground that i have not been to.

  78. I couldnt find a Mayo Waterford match in the archives. It would be a great trip to Dungarvan. Saturday night in Dungarvan, couldn’t beat it.

  79. I think you’re right, JP – I don’t believe we ever played them before. Dungarvan would be good, Fraher Field has been hosting GAA matches for over a century. A number of All-Ireland hurling finals, going back before Croke Park was acquired, were played there. Aside from the football at all, there’s the Waterford Greenway and all that nice Dungarvan craft beer. Sure beats going to bloody Longford!

  80. I may have had too many weetabix this morning but who cares if we get Tyrone? There is clear unrest in their camp and Sean Cavanagh has now heaped the pressure on his former manager with his comments. Nothing will refocus our players more than to play a big team first. We traditionally play poor against the lesser teams (Westmeath, Fermanagh, Derry, Clare, Longford, Tipperary). When the gun is put to our head we play our best stuff.
    We have 4 weeks rest and time to reset. Keegan back and Cillian match fit. Tyrone are struggling with injuries. Bring them on first and lets see where both sides are at.

  81. Exactly clubman. I’d obviously be happier to get waterford, as it would be a cracking weekend away and an easier draw, but I wouldn’t fear Tyrone at all. A couple of inquires for them too as well as Harte being suspended. Remember, they lost their big game too! We are in the exact same position as them and they were actually soundly beaten at home by Monaghan.

  82. Just for the record Tyrone annihilated us less than two months ago! It would be hard to see the same not happening again given how we performed against Galway’s blanket

    We have been losing all year. We need a nice starter and a win before we can go into a game with any big guns with confidence

  83. Agree that we shouldn’t be too fearful of Tyrone, but it’s still the toughest draw we could get (also the toughest draw they could get).

    We need an “easier” game to start off. Gert some confidence flowing and get some more game time for our injury returnees.
    A trip to Waterford would be great, just a shame they stopped the flight service from England to there…
    Either way, an away draw would probably be preferable, which is a sad indictment on our shite home form. Might ease some of the pressure as well.

  84. Longford or Tullamore would be a much shorter trip for me but i would prefer a trip to Waterford.

  85. Mayo have been very poor since All Ireland Final , very poor in FBD League , with a second string team , so shows nothing coming through . Very lucky to beat Monaghan in League thanks to Ref decision , everyone beat Kildare so nothing there and again lucky to get draw against Donegal . Poor show again against Galway only scored 12 points which wont win many games and when playing with the wind put 13 players in defence and failed to mount a serious attack. Cant see much to get excited about for rest of Summer which could end on 9th June

  86. You’re absolutely right, Ger – our record this year has been one where losing is the norm, winning the exception. Including the FBD, our record so far this year is DLLW WLLLWLD L. We’d want to be careful about what we wish for on Monday morning.

  87. Your right Culmore, may as well climb into the leaba and pull the duvet over your head. We’ll give you a shout in early September when its all over.

  88. Cant understand why people want us get a “hard” draw. The rewards are the same if we win – we get into the next round. We get no bonus points for beating a Tyrone compared to a Waterford. The only thing we would get is probably a few more injuries because it would be a tough physical and emotionally draining game at the start of 7 games in 9 weeks – if we keep winning we will get plenty of hard games along the way.

  89. Ideally we’d get a handy draw and the games get progressively harder until we reach the super 8’s. It took until the second game against roscommon for us to spark last year so I for one hope its as handy as possible until we reach croke park. An early exit and I wouldnt be able to pick up a paper, turn on the radio or TV or look at my phone until October/November time.

  90. Look, of course I want us to get a “handy” draw. But I don’t buy into the inevitable impending doom if we draw Tyrone. They aren’t that good ffs! League or no league, we are a better team than they are, and they were disappointing against Monaghan. I’d fancy our chances against absolutely anyone in the qualifiers.

  91. I think we actually played well against Galway. Our shooting let us down that day and indiscipline. Shooting for Mayo is hit and miss and we could as likely have a good Shooting day on June 9th as any date in July or August. I don’t think any number of games will make our shooting increasingly more consistent month on month. If we shoot a accurately on June 9th we’ll beat anyone in the draw. If we shoot like we did against Galway later in the qualifiers, it’s going to make life tough even against some teams outside the top 4.

  92. I don’t mind who we get in the qualifiers as long as we don’t have to play them in Castlebar our home form is atrocious.

  93. As JP2 was saying yesterday John Casey in the Advertiser is reporting on the challenge match V Sligo, here what he wrote:

    “Mayo faced Sligo in a friendly game on Tuesday evening in Markievicz Park going down by 3 points on a scoreline of 1-19 to 1-16 – I have been reliably informed. The scoreline somewhat flattering as Mayo scored 1-3 in the last few minutes. The game was refereed by David Gough and not open to the public.”

    Also

    “From reports by my spy Colm Boyle and the injured Tom Parsons were the only two missing.”

  94. Follow up q to WJ: So whats the difference between discussing that game on here and the more recent game where I also have not seen reports? Not trying to be smart here at all, just wondering if people have any reports/discussion points on the game that would be of interest after the Galway defeat

  95. The handiest draw possible please. Waterford or Offaly would be just the tonic. Div 2 or higher and we could well be out. Anyone who wants us to draw Tyrone are either not from Mayo or I want us dumped out in the 1st round!!!.

  96. Yeah, unless i’m mistaken our record in the fortress that is Mchale Park for 2018 is (leaving aside the mickey mouse FBD)

    Played 4. Lost 4.

    Scoring 0-12 and 0-12 and 0-8 and 2-9 if i remember rightly. Some really shocking performances in there too. Until this is sorted out we are better off away. I think if we draw a mickey mouser from division 4 or 3 we will be automatically away anyway. Unless they have a really mickey mouse ground that cant hold the thousands coming from Mayo. I wonder what will happen then.

  97. Just sprayed my coffee from laughing at that Rice Krispie/Cornflake comment from Revellino..A tonic.The last thing the GAA want to see is Mayo or Tyrone out of the championship in early June..Particularly us..God knows we bring everything to the table..Colour,craic and the endless drama..I appreciate the challenge aspect that people mention but we just need a win at this stage to get back in the saddle.

  98. Jim Flag – sure there was no issue with Ennis last year (not a mickey mouse ground) but any re-arrangement of grounds to give advantage to the away team is reserved for the GAA’s favoured children only, so you can rest assured whomever we draw won’t be put out of their home ground to accommodate us.

  99. Of all the teams we could potentially get, I think playing Carlow would be the most beneficial. They are extremely defensive and well disciplined in how they set-up so they would mirror very well the systems we have found it difficult to break down. It would be a great learning exercise (especially for fringe players) on how to work scores against a Galway-style team. They also carry very little in the way of attacking threat, so although they would be tough to break down, I don’t see there being much of a risk of them actually knocking us out. I think it would be an ideal test.

    I don’t buy the line of wanting to face the likes of Tyrone/Cavan early – those teams are qualifier pros and it’s quite evident that the Mayo squad grows into the summer, so facing them early is not ideal. Saying that you have to beat the good teams to win an All Ireland fails to recognize that the more good teams you play, the higher probability you have of getting caught. Survive and Advance as Jim Valvano said.

  100. You’re probably right there FDB.

    Also. Say we make it to the super 8s and we are in the same group as the Dubs. I can envisage a scenario where our “neutral” game is against them and is played at the “neutral” venue of Croke Park. Not a word will be said either.

    Anyway a lot a football to be played before we cross that bridge. Lets start in Waterford.

  101. Is the “neutral” game not set for provincial champions v provincial champions this meaning we’d play the other one in our group in neutral ground (croker)

  102. Can’t see why Tyrone are assumed to be odds on to beat us, if drawn.

    If someone from another planet, without any knowledge of background or context, saw the league game against Galway, the likely reaction would be, ‘yiz are in for a hidin’ in May’. If then presented with the championship match, the response would probably be, ‘boy what an improvement, yiz were unlucky, discipline let yiz down etc’.

    In other words, we ARE on an upward trajectory since February. We have had a further month of training and time to get the regulars back. Tom P and Diarmuid of course are big, big losses for the next match, but I’m convinced our panel is stronger now. Crucially, the panel has to be used intelligently, and management haven’t covered themselves in glory on that score.

  103. According to John Casey, Sligo beat Mayo in a recent challenge game behind closed doors.

  104. In the absence of Tom, the player I want to see step up more than any other is Donie Vaughan. He can fill that vacuum more than any and is a serious presence driving forward and will compensate for Tom in this respect. Donie needs to bring his game to an even further level and I believe the ability is there to do that.

  105. Jim Flag, our record in MacHale Park thus far, this year is,…. Played 6, Drawn 1, Lost 5… I, for my sins was at those game’s… Draw with Leitrim, conceded a last minute goal and missed a penalty… FBD, Beaten by Galway, who ended up with a Galway version of the 12 Apostles and Galway still won, in the FBD, you might be forgetting … I should get a few months remission from my Purgatory for having gone to all these very disappointing match’s.. Regardless of the 15 player’s Mayo start with, and we as poster’s will give out about, I think we should start with a few newbies, eg James Durcan, Cian Hanley, Shane Nally, Carolan Crowe ect… Our very bad record this year, (even if in the end we were lucky to stay up).. Same old, even if loved by us fan’s haven’t been doing it for us, what can those not picked to start be thinking?.. Sitting on the bench watching some very poor performances repeatedly by the same player’s and some lamentable on field discipline as well, it’s time for a shake up, in my opinion!… Our last two matches, we rightly made a change at full back,..&.. On both occasions, eg, Carolan Crowe (came into the full back line, taking up easily one of the best inside forwards in Ireland, Paddy McBreathy and very successfully too) albeit you could say Carolan Crowe played corner back,..Chris Barrett, played with a great deal of success on Damien Comer, another top class forward. How bad, Ger McDonagh and Kevin Keane, must have to be, not to be better than what we played with for the majority of the this year’s match’s ?, and not on the panel?… If Mayo are to have an extended run in the championship?.. We have no other option but to play a number of less experienced players, give them the experience.. Even if that means dropping an All Star or two, from the starting 15… I won’t mention any names, but I can think of at least 3 players who have won All Star’s in the past, and their performance this year so far, does not merit a ‘Garunteed’ starting berth on the Mayo team… We need to have serious competition for starting places, or else it will be a short Summer!

  106. Agree with that Leantimes. It’s time to let some of these players have their chance. They need to start for the 1st qualifier and let them find their feet. They’ll hopefully need these games for later in the year hopefully as starters. It will he a bit late in an all ireland semi final looking to the bench for players to come on and them having little or no playing time under their belts.

  107. Very hard to look at the fbd, league and the Galway game and say that the usual.suspects have been doing the business. A couple of our forwards have played pretty well, not brilliant, but there are at least 3 of the forwards who could do with starting the qualifiers on the bench. It’s time to see what the other lads can do now.

  108. Agree with Leantimws also regarding bringing in new players but why In the name of God did we not give them game time in the league? We’ve got it arseways trying out new players in the championship rather than the League

  109. I agree our home record is atrocious this year but still a home draw is more preferable to travelling to the likes of Carlow or Waterford. Qualifiers is playing virtually every week. Travelling affects recovery and impacts time available for training. The less travelling the better

  110. Good news, the ass didn’t ate me. I showed him a few pictures to try and figure out his prediction for Monday’s round 1 qualifier draw. He started braying excitedly upon seeing the picture of the Blaa’s and pint bottle of Guinness. For some strange reason he got highly aroused at a picture of Sean Cavanagh. I think it’s Fraher Field for us then.

  111. well if Sligo can give us a good beating at this stage with a near full team its Mayo God Help US .

  112. Is this the same John Casey that saw a shamozzle in the tunnel before all Ireland final. I would take that with a pinch of salt with what he says.

  113. The level Mayo are playing at the moment
    Will not upset any Team in the draw, we must face the facts some time !!.

  114. Had a nightmare last night that we drew cavan and they bet us comfortably by four points.

  115. @Mike. So Waterford, Offaly etc would think it was just fine to get Mayo and would fancy their chances?

    Bloody hell man. Come on. You don’t really believe that

  116. I had a dream last night that Rochford brought me on in the all ireland final with 4 minutes to go. We were awarded a free 65 metres from goal. Rochford sent in instructions for me to take it. I took an almighty run up to the ball and let fly. I kicked herself clean out of the bed.

  117. We have to win 4 in a row now. We’re sure of that.
    Probably 8 out of 9 to win Sam.
    It looks like a tall order.
    To win through the front door we probably would have had to win 7 out of 8, so things are not that much different now for us than if we were starting out our year.
    Cillian and Lee and Donal, these are 3 massive assets to have back and available for 2 weeks time. Massive.
    Hopefully Harrison is on the mend and ready for action as well.
    Tom Parsons is our big loss and Diarmuid, we’ll have to manage without for the 9th. Diarmuid will really have to cop on when he gets back playing. No more silly stuff.
    I believe firmly now that our 2018 fortunes lie in what we do and what we change in the forwards. I think we have a real chance to improve up front.
    We have had no problem with having players in the forwards who have worked like dogs over the past number of years. Trojan work done up front.
    Trojan work on its own hasn’t been enough. Its got us to within inches of Sam but inches is still another year without Sam.
    Our average contribution from our forwards hasn’t been high enough to lift Sam. Our forwards have had to rely heavily on help from our backs in the scoring department.
    Rochford has been hailed for making ballsy decisions over the past couple of years. Its time for him to earn his crust and show some trust. If some of the newer lads are not played in the qualifiers I’ll be hugely dissapointed.
    Who wants another year of a great year when we got going but just came up short in the final. Another 2 points and yea could have won Sam. Fuck that.
    To win Sam we need to improve.
    To improve we need to have forwards who can score more.
    To score more we have to make changes and introduce these new guys.
    I’d rather we lose in a state of team development than to send the same army out to win a battle that they haven’t been able to win for the past 6 years, and by sending that same tired army out again setting Mayo football back another year.

    A bright future and a great year is in my opinion, totally reliant on changes needed in our starting 15. The old engine needs an oil.change.

  118. @Revellino, I would agree with all of that.
    Based on senior club football James Durcan is a player who can score but also be involved in setting up scores. With our lack of pace I believe he is needed.
    Cian Hanley was the best minor forward we produced in recent years. He is worth persisting with to help get him back up to a good level.
    The forward line really need to be coached into having moves nailed. Taking on blankets with 45 probing or individual forays from our defenders will not score much more than 13pts against a Division one blanket.

  119. @Revellino, did you score that 65 metre free kick to win the All Ireland in your dream?.
    I also have dreams that Mayo won the final, this usually occurs in the run up to the final but lessens as the final draws nearer.
    The thing is that one wakes up in their sleep to find that their dream wasn’t real.

  120. Handy draw please – a skelping by Sligo underlines where we are at right now and confirms the need for more time before we faced with a big gun.

  121. If sligo beat mayo it’s the end it’s hard to believe they did if its true its over for mayo

  122. Same as in the past 2 years we are really vulnerable in the first qualifier So anyone who is hoping for Tyrone or indeed any Ulster county must be looking forward to a summer off from following Mayo Why do we need a good test now We got that in league and v Galway and we know what happened We need easy draws, gain momentum and confidence, build up our match fitness and if we are still alive by the end of June we will be serious contenders If we get a difficult draw Monday we will have to make do with watching the World Cup.

  123. I did Mayo88. I nailed it. It would have gone over another 20 yards out. Right over the black spot.

  124. Nervous re Monday morning draw. Definitley want a lower division team first to get us motoring and time to get our big guns back playing. ( you might make an appearance yet Revellino….we need that accuracy ( ha ha!!!)

  125. Dublin and Wiclow playing in portlaoise this weekend because of capacity in Aughrim. Capacity in Longford for Meath game tomorrow is 6000. If mayo have to play division 3/4 teams between season tickets, family tickets etc will there be any tickets on general sale for those grounds?

  126. Ah, lads, there ye go again – reading something into what for Mayo was a meaningless frieldly with Sligo. You have to bear in mind the Mayo lads would have been at a low ebb after losing to Galway and, of course Tom’s injury.
    In contrast, the Sligo players would be all reved up – with a view to playing Galway. What the players need is a little down time to re-charge the batteries. I’m sure they’ll give it their all – overall, this may not be good enough, but they are a magnificent proud bunch of lads, so keep the heads up.

    I remember one time taking a penalty in a colleges match – and the advice I was getting was go low to the keeper’s left as he was a tank of a lad – so mobility wouln’t have been his forte. But as I was about to kick, I slightly lost my footing, but still made good contact. The ball came off the underside of the crossbar and into the net – a screamer! Of course, I explained to the lads after that I had guessed the keeper heard the instructions being called out so decided to change strategy.

  127. Apologies, Galway Exile – I’m just getting back now to your question from yesterday. There’s no great difference between either but in both cases I’d prefer if people didn’t look for or post info here on matches that haven’t been reported on in the media. That’s just my preference – in, perhaps, a naive attempt to make sure this isn’t a space where all manner of bullshit “facts” are posted – and one I try to hold the line on. Also if challenge matches are played behind closed doors then I don’t see the point in putting into the public domain information that team management might not want to see made public. Not least given the fact that those doing this would profess to be Mayo supporters …

  128. Getting beaten by Sligo does sound like an ominous signal .

    But only if the context is that we were primed to play well.

    That would bode ill for this year’s prognosis on reaching the super 8’s no matter which way you would look at it .

    But I’ll tell you this. Rochford is a Fox , no question about that. IMO he’s an Uber Fox ( Bizarre substitute decision making ( BSDM) (c) Anne Marie aside )

    TBH morale has to be well down after Galway , especially because of the manner of our self-inflicted defeat . And Tom’s injury turned the whole thing into a kind of blackness.

    (Which makes Darragh’s attempted fist to the head of our 16 th man at this time all the more worthy of a solid dish of revenge down the road)

    But , believe it or not , maybe this team haven’t seen or hit rock bottom yet ? Maybe they need to ? And fast ! So that they can start recovering a la 2017.

    Obviously this is very speculative and questionable what I’m saying here .

    But maybe Rochford just might be taking them “there” – the dark place – ( or at least not doing anything to stop it ) to show them what it’s like ?

    They may not be responding to the usual methods .They may be sleep walking . They may be unable to lift themselves to the required level .

    It’s certainly looked like that so far this year for ten or eleven games so far over a five month period ( to be fair it’s not easy to keep performances of 15-26 players at elite level year on year )

    Now there are many reasons ( or excuses ) for this but still …!!!

    ….Sligo ?????

    I mean WTF use is a friendly against Sligo to us ? I mean why even have it in the first place ? Unless we owe them something It’s not like that would be of much use to us in the usual scheme of things .

    Maybe it would allow new players to be tried ( who weren’t in the league )and help some ( relatively )out of shape players to get game time ?

    But why not have another game with more appropriate rivals like Monaghan or Donegal or Roscommon or Clare or Tipp ?

    Sligo makes no sense to me as to why it was even on the table ?? Except that it’s cheap and easy to put together ( was Pat McDonough in fact behind this ?)

    A beating by Sligo though might wake some players from their ( relative ) slumber ?

    Might ???

    A good heavy legged training session 2 -3 nights before to prime them and then wham – beaten by Sligo as prophesized by none other than the great Oracle himself , Marco Skelpie .

    “See “ says Rochford to his charges , “ maybe Marco is right “?

    At least one would hope it would wake them and not have them coming up with more excuses . And Rochford would be aware of the power of humility here. This would be humbling to these proud players . Rochford has something to work with now .

    And yet I must be in love with this team because I can find no fault with them individually except that their composure , discipline and ball handling let them down repeatedly and they sometimes don’t seem to remember their primary strategy is to ruthlessly run up the score.

    Maybe I’m looking at the world through red and green lenses ? Maybe Marco is right ? Maybe this is how it ends ?

    IMO , is it fcuk !!

    Bookended by Longford ‘10 on one side , what ignominy awaits on the other side and when ?
    Sligo would fit the bill ? But how about Waterford or Wicklow ? Remember we usually beat ourselves in these situations .

    The Sligo thing is worrying for this year tbh and I would usually be a massive bull on this teams prospects, no matter who they played.

    Again , very speculative , but I wonder if there is a deeper malaise here ?

    Something seems “ not quite right “.
    I have pondered at times the balance of power in the camp and maybe one could wildly speculate that not every decision that’s pinned on Rochford is in his judgement the best or even correct decision.

    Witness the goalie change in the AIF in 2016. That decision probably belonged to others ( as per Holmes / Connelly )He was a new manager and he succumbed to player power. That was huge. I am sure he is filled with regret for it.

    But that kind of ( drunken )player power doesn’t just stop . He may need to bring some reason to bear on the situation so that he can lead this incredibly strong minded group of players .

    So a beating by Sligo might do it ?

    The drunk may finally wake up in the ditch and realize , I need help . I need to listen .

    Over to you Foxy !

  129. Interesting that David Gough was again the ref. I said it last year I had hoped he would have gotten the final as his style of Reffing suits us . He even gives Aidan O Shea frees !

  130. I also have faith in Rochford, Swahili. Let’s hope he’s not merely a young fox but is a 100 year old fox!

  131. I am working closely with a football team. We have a friendly next week. We will be using it to work on a very specific part of our game. We don’t care if we win or lose. This is how friendlies or challenge games work. They are absolutely irrelevant

  132. MayoMark, You are 100 percent correct, friendlies are not matches, they are a training excercise to work on particular aspects of the game, even the refs are asked to ref the game in a certain manner and to pull on particular fouls (if a player has a tendency to over carry the ref will be instructed to pull that player on that infringement etc) the result of these games is utterly meaningless.

  133. MayoMark and Mayomad, thanks for your experienced input . Do you have ideas or suggestions as to what those aspects that we needed work on might be and how they pertain to the strengths of this particular Sligo team ?

    Secondly do you think Sligo ( knowing they have an upcoming game with Galway ) were taking it seriously ? Did they want to win ? What would it mean to them beating Mayo coming into a game with Galway ?

    I did admit that I was being very speculative in my musings but I also think there is a slightly deeper and maybe more consequential story here.

  134. I hope it was forward play we were working on as everyone can see it’s clearly not working right now. Hoping for an “easy” draw on Monday.

  135. Well if they were working on a particular aspect of their game – the working doesn’t appear to be working !

  136. To my mind Sligo was a very good choice.
    Firstly, they are not currently in the qualifier round 1 draw and are not direct opposition to us at present. They were therefore an option. Neither team has anything to lose by playing each other and has everything to gain.
    Secondly, it strikes me that a lot of the teams in the Round 1 draw are of a similar level to Sligo. This gives us a run out against a level of opposition we may very well meet on 9th June (all going well).
    The challenge game took place in a timely fashion as well – that is, soon after our Galway defeat. The powers that be used their local Connaught contacts to set the game up without delay. Saving time like this and having a game soon enough is worth a lot for us at present – it’s worth more to team development than having a game next week for example. It may have taken longer to organise a game against another team.
    As to the question of what management could gain from a friendly, I felt it could be a chance to let Cian Hanley and James Durcan operate as part of a team. They had no/very little game time during the League and, as they look like potential contributors for us this season, it seems vital they learn to operate within a team – I say for Hanley in particular, who hasn’t played a full county senior game ever, I think. It also lets the lads who are recovering from injury play a real game in game conditions (they are lacking this – remember several had no games in the League, and Evan Regan had minimal game time in the League. I suppose we want to have a team who are actually fit to fly and give it a go on 9th June and after. Each game is important now – each could be our All-Ireland).
    Sligo are a friendly side (I think). Why not have a run out against them?
    Who else do you suggest we play? Maybe ye feel we should try some of the bigger guns?
    Tyrone? For obvious reasons, I think we wouldn’t be contacting them seeing as they’re in the pot with us for June 9th.
    Monaghan? Well, the timing is not probably right for that. Anyway they may not feel the need to have a game seeing as they won last week.
    Donegal? We played a friendly against them only recently.
    Kerry? I don’t know if we want to be having a challenge game against a team we consider as one of our primary rivals.
    I won’t go on ad infinitum — but maybe ye get my drift. What other team of a higher level do ye consider preferable to play?
    What MayoMark and Mayomad said above seems sensible and wise. I had been disappointed to hear of our loss to Sligo but their comments put it in a different – and convincing – light. We shouldn’t be reading anything into the game or the result as we frankly don’t know what the game was being used for.

  137. All great points Swallow Swoops. My speculation on this stops now . Thanks to you , MayoMark and Mayomad for clarifying this issue for me. Happy to admit I jumped the gun and was clearly in error. I’m Solidly back on the bandwagon now ( though I was never off it )

  138. For those of you watching the Liverpool v Madrid final, Ramos has shown what do do with the best plater on the opposition, and just slyly injure him, and maybe the Mayo lads should take note, Rock etc.

  139. Not at all Swahili – of course, you’re and we’re allowed to wonder, but I just don’t think wondering about that game will do us much good. We’d be more mithered than anything else and it’s not worth it. On the game just now, poor Liverpool. It really reminded me of our outings versus Dublin in the All-Ireland. Liverpool came out of the traps all guns blazing but somehow strange and unfortunate things can happen sometimes when you’re stretching and hoping so hard against a big team. I think they showed great character (and ability), as Mayo also have done. I also felt proud again of Mayo for coming back from defeats so many times, not letting setbacks colour them.

  140. I agree everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong for Liverpool..from Sala’s injury, 2 crazy goals, the sub Bale coming on and gets a wonder goal. It just so felt like us again. And to think that our players are amateurs, so many living other side of country. Some bunch surely to keep coming back. (Sorry for rambling on!)

  141. Very true, go again. But I think we all realise when it comes to team sports, the top class finishers decide the day. The beauty of it is, these individuals are born with the talent – much like top class sprinters, and they live and die by their scoring achievements.. Even towards the end, you could see Ronaldo’s envy at not ending up being hero of the day.

  142. Would love to have seen Liverpool win tonight. United and Everton fans will celebrate more than Madrid.
    When I feel bad about these soccer teams loosing I always remind myself that these guys are all multi millionaires. That helps me get over the dissapointment fairly quickly.
    Mo was unfortunate. Always thought Ramos would play a big part in the game and he did.
    Brilliant goal from Bale. Better than Ronaldos every day of the week.

  143. Interesting what you say about the top class finishers Man of Aran. Ronaldo, being one, didn’t get a look in tonight. He was kept very quiet. I think you’re right – top class finishers can decide the day (but not always). I would venture to say that a team that works together, than can carry each other ‘on their back’ can have just as resounding an impact on the final outcome as one superstar. I realise I am being contrary here but I think it’s fair to say this too.

  144. The way I see it, Swallow Swoops, it’s not either/or – imo to be champions, in any team sport, you need both teamwork and the individual brilliance (game changers)to get there.

  145. Any team ??? And plenty of cash Man of Aran and favourabe venues and a referee that knows which way he’s giving the frees before the ball is thrown in.

  146. @mayo88
    Your comment has no place on this site
    Would never wish injury any any other teams players win it far and square .

  147. I don’t think Sligo are as bad as everyone here is making out. Over the last decade they have beaten Galway more than once in the championship. Not saying it will happen the next day but I wasn’t overly impressed by Galway the last day either. you’d never know what might happen.
    Also – anyone freaking out about challenge match results really needs to get a grip. Seriously.
    Cork are a side I think could be a dark horse this year. I’d definitely fancy them for the super eights anyway. The swagger and “corkness” is always worth a couple of points in a tight match, and they have plenty of talent.
    Softest draw possible tomorrow please. Any of Antrim Waterford London limerick or Leitrim would be sound! There’ll be plenty of tough tests in the following weeks.

  148. Can anybody tell me if the Conor O’Malley who was called into the Irish soccer team recently is the same Conor O’Malley who played in goal for Mayo minors in 2012? Incidentally, WJ, in the archives he is listed as Conor in Connacht championship games but as Cormac in the All Ireland series.

  149. @MayoMarks, any view that Castlebar have gone up a level? Massive win yesterday without their county players. Anyone coming up like Robbie Faden or Rhyne Collins? David Stenson I think is a player could go up a level.

  150. AndyD – yes it’s the same guy. Quality player. That was a decent side in 2012, I was there when they got caught cold by Meath in croker in the semi after a few very dubious refereeing decisions.
    From the team, Paddy Durcan, James Durcan, Adam Gallagher and Diarmuid o Connor have graduated to the senior set up with Conor o Malley obviously going well in soccer too.

  151. Hello Croke Park , Jim here
    Cp. Yes Jim how can we help you.
    Jim. Was just wondering if you could pair Mayo and Tyrone together in the draw tomorrow. That way we get rid of one of them straight away.
    Cp . Jesus Jim , you can be an awful little bollox at times. Where do you think we get all that money to train our team every year.
    You’re job is to prepare our team , so leave the fixtures to us. Have we ever let you down before. Let us worry about Mayo, don’t we have Joe and Maurice to sort them out and if needed Cormack does a great job

  152. Goodman Nephin.
    They are putting the balls in to the milk cans as we speak.
    I believe the draw is live on radio. Great idea so that everyone can see with their own 2 eyes that there is no funny stuff going on.
    2 big giant milk cans and a buck from price Waterhouse inside each milk can with a mining helmet on looking for a particular ball to hand out.
    Martie with the die running down the side of the big forehead and a glitter off his smile that would force a 747 pilot out of his cockpit from the glare.
    Of course Marty will be wearing his newly launched aftershave. It’s called repugnant. And like it says on the label “Doesn’t smell great but will keep the flies well away”.

  153. A challenge game is of no relevance whatsoever when you are trying to gain any measure of where a team are at. Both Rochford and Corey will have agreed to play this game in particular phases so as to suit both sets of players equally. The result would be a mere side note as all involved know they have to setup in ways that will bring fluency to particular aspects of their play.

    Corey is a Tyrone man and he will undoubtedly bring a bite and meanness to his defensive structure and Mayo no more than Kerry always struggle with that particular structure. In the qualifiers there will be plenty of the lesser teams that will play very defensively so even a perceived handy draw will cause problems. Mayo are a big shark in that tank and every minnow will have nothing to lose so will probably play the football of their lives having absolutely no expectation or pressure weighing on their shoulders. The stronger teams will see it as a huge opportunity to take ye out as some top players will be suspended or not fully fit and after the recent loss will go for the jugular in the hope breaking a possible weakened spirit.

    I hope ye get Waterford and the next best thing in the next round as Mayo will need a little nursing after an annoying defeat which included the dreadful loss of one of your top players in Tom parsons. Diarmuid o Connor will also be back for the following game and the injured players will be that little bit closer to full throttle.
    Good luck tomorrow !

  154. They should show it live alright. They could maybe sandwich it in between Home and away and Fatal Attraction to add some suspense to the whole thing.

  155. Jaysus Id say many of ye will not get a wink of sleep tonight tossing and turning and thinking of balls and Marty and the unseen hand of Jim. Then wake up at 10am tomorrow after sleeping through the “mayo chant” alarm and then a quick log onto here to see who ye have drawn. Ah Jaysus its Galway how the fuck is that possible then you turn around in the bed to see Kevin Walshs big hairy arm wrapped tightly around you and its just claustrophobic and you start screeching. Mammy bursts in the door whats wrong Willie you were roaring like a looney. I had a bad nightmare mammy says he any chance of a cup of tae and a rasher sandwich.

  156. The draw is on radio, which of course is very shady. And an independent adjudicator? From a financial company that says it’s telling the truth?
    Debatable too. Why don’t they do the draw on tv?
    At least that way it can be trusted.

  157. Operation Mongoose update
    ————————————
    Dropping the A bomb on Aughrim.
    —————————
    Mongoose was “buzzing “ read the headline from Hoganstand.

    This ,allegedly , was in anticipation of the tensely anticipated ( not ) championship encounter of Dublin and “Wicklow “( which is basically just shorthand for wicked low in the National league standings )

    Even Blasphemy’s much vaunted Heath Robinson ratings contraption could not spew out a rating on Wicklow. Couldn’t even get a read on them.

    Blasphemy in fact was toying with the idea of using nano technology ( which he had heard about down in Murty Rabbit’s pub in Galway ) to be able to get the read on Wicklow. So it was off to Legoland with him.

    Underneath the Hogan headline there was a picture of a startled Carlow man watching disbelievingly as Mongoose , soloing in full flight , lapped him three times around the pitch before overtaking him at Road Runner speed for the fourth time en route to goal . I mean the Carlow man’s eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his head .

    It was ,the hapless player thought ,like he was taunting him to , Fiach McHugh style “ follow me up to Carlow “

    It should be noted that Mongoose’s (and also McCaffrey’s ) favorite show growing up was Road Runner. There was the legend that as a child Mongoose would run amok around Castleknock coming up like a rocket behind the elderly and going “ meep meep “ with predictable consequences .

    Then he would make a quick goose step or two and then Vroom….he was off !

    In the picture on Hogan you can see the poor Carlow guy thinking out loud “ Fc*k it , I didn’t sign up for this “.

    What was worse , Mongoose was taunting him “ as Gaeilge agus as Bearla” This was a comprehensive beating for any man to take. On top of that Mongoose was making completely inappropriate jokes about Carlow men and nervous sheep.

    Meanwhile over on the Indo website the picture once again was of Mongoose being battered between Keegan and Donie or , metaphorically speaking , a Rolls Royce and a Massey Ferguson.

    Mongoose looks very uncomfortable and has a face on him like a bulldog chewing a wasp . He didn’t know how the gps system screwed up so badly and landed him smack in the middle of the agricultural show like this.

    He didn’t like the way Keegan snuffed him out of big games. And if there was one man with a bigger work rate it was Donie.This was something he intended to work on. As well as speed !

    The master had insisted that he needed to be at his best for Wicklow and ,believing that , Mongoose was indeed buzzing. The master had named an almost comically strong team of superstars for the opening game against the lowest team in Ireland . Nothing was going to be left to chance as they pursued the five in a row . Nothing.

  158. I was on my in to the stones concert and there up on the wall was was the big picture / mural of Lee Keegan. I stopped and stared up at Lee for at least 3 minutes.
    After contenting myself staring up at the great one I said to myself “your welcome back sunshine, we sure as hell missed yea” and continued on then in to the concert in mighty form.
    Welcome back Lee. There’s business to be taken care of.

  159. Dave, the draw is also shown on live TV via RTE news station.

    Will people ever stop thinking these draws are rigged. They really aren’t. The only draws rigged in GAA are the club draws for all Ireland tickets.

  160. Watching Liverpool last night was indeed a bit like watching Mayo in a final from keeper howlers to god awful bad luck.

  161. @ The Napper Tandy… Carlow currently leading Kildare 1-8 to 1-3 at start of 2nd half… so Carlow might not be up for grabs!

  162. good stuff there gamechanger. Yes every team will have some Mayo incentive to drive them on.

  163. Thanks sean. You’ll have to forgive me because I trust nobody anymore. But on a more positive note, it’s nice to see Carlow giving Kildare a game.

  164. I’d happily take Kildare
    I said it at the time that they are the worst team mayo have played in the league in years
    No system of play whatsoever
    If Daniel Flynn has an off day with his long range shooting they have no other plan

  165. Poor Kildare. I haven’t seen the game. My goodness, that is a run of unfortunate luck for them. And they have some good players… I am kind of speechless at this. But I should try to see the game, if possible.

  166. From what I have seen of Kildare (and some of ye will know them better) they haven’t succumbed to the defensive system. Is this what happens teams who don’t go that route?

  167. Looks like Meath will be in the pot too. 5 points down and a man down against Longford

  168. Kildare well beaten by Carlow and Meath about to be beaten by Longford! Leinster is officially dead and buried as of today.
    Maybe it’ll give Paul galvin and the other experts something to talk about other than saying what Mayo are doing wrong. I look forward to their take on why Kildare and Meath are finished, and Finished they are. I know a few fellas involved with a club in Meath and it’s not good at the grassroots they are saying. Let’s hope Mayo do not collapse like those 2 once proud football counties have.

  169. Looking at the halftime massacre of Wicklow and it’s easy to see why young lads have no interest in playing football in the county. Savage stuff.

  170. And that is what it is , it’s just savegery on Wicklow. Yet most don’t want a second tier competition. Putting teams like that out to play against the likes of Dublin is just simply wrong on so many levels. If they threw a light weight boxer into the ring with a heavy weight , what would happen. If castlebar Mitchells played kilmovee shamrocks etc etc . It’s just pure fookin nonsense.

  171. The Leinster championship is a shambles.
    1, The once proud county of Meath has slipped to a terrible position.
    2, The Gaa allowing Dublin to humiliate Wicklow does nothing for for the minnows.
    3, Carlow beating Kildare, a division 1 team against a Division 4 team.

    Mayoforever, I would prefer to win dirty than lose playing fair great football.
    I have seen it all, how teams win, what they need to do to the opposition.
    Think of the fouls committed by the Dubs in the finals of the past two years,
    Vaughan getting a knee to the head from McCarthy in the replay of 2016.
    The trip on Andy Moran in the same game and no black card for John Small.
    I was in Croker when Tadgh Kennelly tried to decapitate Nicholas Murphy at the start of the 2009 final, Murphy had to go off immediately.

    We give out when the Mayo guys hit the opposition hard and sometimes they a black card, I am sure that they are frustrated at the standard of referring.

    How I would love to see a few Dublin guys get smashed in the next fixture v Mayo.

  172. Mayo88 – I’d be thinking we need to curb our aggression going forward. Getting lads sent off helps nobody

  173. James here are the 16 teams:

    Armagh
    Cavan
    Derry
    Antrim
    Wicklow
    Kildare
    Limerick
    London
    Louth
    Mayo
    Meath
    Offaly
    Tyrone
    Waterford
    Westmeath
    Wexford

  174. T’will be one of the following…

    Offaly,
    London,
    Louth,
    Cavan,
    Wexford,
    Westmeath,
    Kildare,
    Wicklow,
    Meath,
    Waterford,
    Limerick,
    Armagh,
    Tyrone,
    Antrim,
    Derry.

  175. So Meath and Kildare join the ranks of qualifiers. Pure brutal for both of them. At least galway a Div 1 outfit knocked us out. They were beaten by supposedly really inferior opposition. Well done by the way to Carlow and Longford. From a positive perspective, if we get over Round 1 we will have a great chance in Round 2. Joining us will be Tipp and Limerick from Munster, Leitrim and probably Sligo from our own provimce, probably Down and Fermanagh up north and Carlow, laois or Longford from Leinster. Nothing to get too worked up about there. The big draw is tomorrow. About 4 or 5 counties there to avoid, especially the Ulster chaps. Give me Waterrford tomorrow and Limerick in the next round and I will be happy. Would like to avoid Tyrone especially and would prefer not to meet Cavan Armagh, Derry and even the nobbers from Meath. Feel we could beat them all but better off avoiding them. Please dont give us tyrone and mickey

  176. I suppose Bernard Flynn will be blaming Meath’s humiliating defeat on Aidan O’Shea for posing for those selfies !!

  177. Three well dressed fellows with scousers accents in Tubbercurry looking for the police station and enquiring about an officer Clarke??

  178. Funny feeling we will get Tyrone and hope it is find out if its going to be a long summer or not

  179. I wrote that Kerry All Ireland out of my own history books because of Kennelley’s premeditated act of thuggery. Unlike Ramos last night we actually know Kennelly meant it because he wrote about it in his book.
    If Mayo have to resort to that level of cynicism I want no part of it.

  180. Shuffly, you beat me to it. If that’s what it takes to win an AI, they can feckin keep it

  181. Lighting the candles here to avoid Tyrone in the morning. Even at our lowest ebb we should have enough to get through the rest of the teams, especially with Keegan and couple others back to fitness. If theirs a real handy draw in the morning watch our all ireland odds shorten. All our bucks need is a win of any description and the tails will be up again. Waterford/offaly/london/louth or wexford, please.

  182. Shuffly Deck and others.. I agree with you Shuffly… There are nowadays, (‘legal Sport’s???).. Like MMA, where intentionally injuring your opponent, is rewarded and applauded and you can even kill the other guy… Gaelic-football at its best, is physical and injuries can and do unfortunately happen, but to intentionally injure an opponent, or to encourage anyone to do so, is in my appalling… In Rugby, rules apply and are enforced to minimise the possibility of injuries.. Citing of particular fouls happens and retrospectively, player’s and by inference, the teams they play for, are punished.. In the last two matches that I attended in MacHale Park,.. I seen 3 bad injuries.. Two by dangerous tackles and one an unfortunate accident…. It’s all very well, someone talking about taking a talented player out of the game, by foul means but it shouldn’t be described as sport… Many years ago, I played club Gaelic-football in London, tell you the truth at the time it wasn’t much more than glorified thuggery, and the London Metropolitan Police wouldn’t arrest you for assault on the pitch… You know nowadays, young men are so fit, so conditioned, if deliberate injuring of a player, someone would eventually be paralysed or even killed.. What would you say then ‘Oh, I didn’t mean to hurt him as bad as that’ or what?

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