Gearing up again

Diarmuid Connolly red card

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

Morning all. It’s now the day before the day before, with Saturday evening’s All-Ireland semi-final replay against Dublin back at Croke Park (throw-in 5pm) coming sharply into view.

There’s plenty of talk in the papers this morning about Diarmuid Connolly’s unsuccessful CHC appeal last night (Irish Independent, Irish Times, Irish Examiner). All of these reports mention the possibility of further appeals, to the CAC and even to the DRA, so this one could still have a bit to run. Time is obviously not on their side but whatever about trying to get a DRA hearing ahead of Saturday, it’d surely be feasible to get the CAC scrambled in time to consider an appeal against last night’s CHC ruling.

The fact that the issue is rumbling on is obviously a distraction for them but given Jim Gavin’s enormous backroom team (which equates in size to a small multi-national company) and the resources available to Dublin GAA generally, it’s surely a task that can be handled by functionaries who aren’t involved with getting the team prepped for Saturday’s replay. Who knows, maybe Jimbo has an in-house legal firm squirrelled away in his backroom coterie for just such an eventuality.

Regardless of what happens from here with the appeal, Dublin obviously have to be planning for how they’ll line up if the Vincents man doesn’t get off the hook. They’re due to name their team tomorrow night but I’d say they’ll just follow our lead and name the same team as last Sunday, swapping Kevin McManamon for Connolly (and Fitzsimons for O’Carroll if the latter isn’t okay to make their match-day 26) in the team they announce.

No more than ourselves, how they actually set up will be another issue altogether. If neither O’Carroll nor Connolly are fit/cleared to start then their hand is to some degree forced. The question then becomes whether or not they’re willing to risk altering their formation in a more fundamental way. O’Carroll would obviously be replaced, as he was the last day, by Fitzsimons (who played really well, his first half rob on Cillian being a particular highlight) and while McManamon or Alan Brogan might be drafted in for Connolly, I think Tomás Brady – a player who did enormous damage against us in the League match down at MacHale Park in March – is the likelier option to start.

Midfield’s a problem for them too but given that both teams are likely to maintain the same kind of cautious approach to kickouts, at least in the first half, they could probably gamble with MacAuley and Fenton there again. This isn’t ideal for them as the former is visibly a shadow of his 2011/13 self and while I thought watching on the day that Fenton played well, last night’s second viewing showed that he squandered several possessions. It’s fairly clear they’ve got pretty major issues there.

An obvious switch would be to move Cian O’Sullivan up and draft in John Small at centre-back. That’d be a risk, though, not least given that McMahon is unlikely to be given the same latitude to foul Aidan with the kind of impunity he enjoyed the last day and so keeping O’Sullivan in his established role as sweeper might be considered a higher priority than redeploying him in midfield. Bastick would be more than okay for a full half of action so I’d say they’ll gamble with the same midfield pairing for the opening 35 minutes and seek to limit the aerial exchanges they’ll have to face during this period.

Enough on them. There’s nothing of substance in the nationals today about us, apart from reports on our team announcement, and I’d say we’ve pretty much finished our public talking now ahead of Saturday evening. As in truth it’s been pretty much ever since the full-time whistle sounded last Sunday, the focus now is on gearing up for the replay and making sure we’re as ready as we can be for the enormous challenge that awaits us then.

Support the lads ahead of the replay: go to the Mayo GAA website (here) and click ‘Play Now’ to contribute to the cause via the Mayo GAA Players Training and Welfare Fund Lotto.

136 thoughts on “Gearing up again

  1. Just a question you might be able to answer Willie, Dublin have to submit their squad today according to the new rules, Right? If so, do they need to name Connolly and take the chance that he gets off, or can they sub him in on Saturday if he gets the all clear?

  2. Have you noticed willie Joe, the vile and nasty comments said with hatred the Dublin forums are spewing in our direction? I heard of a few scuffles in the Cusack Stand on Sunday, one which the guards had to intervene. I would be slightly worried Saturday that a small fraction would cause trouble and ruin the ethos of the Gaa community

  3. I heard from a reasonably reliable source that Rory O’Carroll is ok to play. Supposedly, he didn’t get any stitches at all and the issue was that his eye closed up and his vision was impaired. He was also not concussed and allegedly, was in work on Monday.

    Hence, I would expect him to start. I don’t think that’s a bad thing as his tackling is very poor and he should gift us a few more handy frees. I also think that with himself (no doubt angry at the clip he received the last day), Cooper and McMahon playing in the FB line, there is liable to be a sending off at some stage there. As you said WJ, I thought Fitzsimons was very impressive on Sunday and would prefer to see him on the bench.

    Our boys have to be so careful not to react to anything. Cillian, Lee and Aidan will come in for some more treatment and just cannot react.

  4. Fear an chomortois – the stuff on Twitter and the like doesn’t faze me as these platforms give every idiot under the sun an outlet to say what they want in public. Like coming across a drunk urinating in the street, the best thing to do with that kind of stuff is simply keep well away. Blocking specific users on Twitter works well I find. What has shocked me, though, is the stuff on places likes gaaboard.com which, as I’ve already mentioned, is usually a forum where reasoned debate takes place amongst people who know their stuff. Since Sunday, though, a number of long-standing Dublin contributors on the board have become completely unhinged in what they’ve been saying and if this kind of stuff is indicative of a wider viewpoint I’d be worried. I’d still be of the view, however, that those involved in the GAA at ground level in Dublin are as sound as ever (and no sounder people you’ll find) so hopefully their moderating influence will help to keep the lid on things the next day.

  5. I’m not sure, crunch – but see Luigi’s helpful comment from earlier on (on the ‘Team named, Connolly ban upheld’ post). This would seem to indicate that if they want to play him, he has to be in the list of 26 and this list should have been submitted by now. So if he gets off he’s on the list but if he doesn’t they’re limited to a match-day 25. It’s got to be a risk worth taking from their point of view, as otherwise any further appeal would be pointless given that even if it’s successful he still wouldn’t be able to play as he wouldn’t be included on the list submitted.

  6. Fear an chomórtais – Agreed but in fairness there has been plenty of Mayo fans at it too.

    Cod – I heard the same thing myself about ROC. Dublin never actually came out and said he got stitches. I don’t know how the rumor started.

    A friend of mine works with Cian O’Sullivan and he’s been in foul form all week. Don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.

  7. There could be some latitude for the Dubs to name Connolly in case of an appeal again. They could name him as sub goalkeeper & move the sub keeper further down the subs list. Goalkeepers can be replaced after the team list is submitted, but there’s no rule to say the sub keeper can only play in goal & only those named at 1 or 16 can play in goal.

  8. Whatever about tactics/ lineups etc one very important aspect is discipline. Kinsella will be told to strike early and often to make sure things don’t get out of hand. This should help A OS who showed great discipline on Sunday. An early goal from him would lift de roof and put major pressure on dubs defence!

  9. I think Mayo get under the skin of Dublin in general. This started when we beat them in 2006 and warming up in front of the hill. Beat them again in 2012 and ok 2013 they got us back but they were not happy with all the Mayo fans on “their” hill that day either.

    That said I except cooler heads to prevail and for the replay to be a more open game of football. People will say all sorts online but in real life don’t have the courage. Lets just do our talking on the field and ignore the comments of the odd clueless fool.

  10. Slightly off topic but in relation to naming teams and squads, is it true that Donegal started 2 players against us in the quarter final who were not even in the parade? You would think that the 15 in the parade would have to be the starting 15. If that is not the case you could parade any 15 out of the 26 squad and start almost a completely different 15. Keep opposition guessing right until the throw in.

  11. The story started on the RTE commentary, 2winjustonce – I watched the match again last night and Darragh Moloney said they’d got word he needed ten stitches. More than a bit daft of him to come out with stuff like that while the game was still in progress, in particular if – as now seems likely – there’s no foundation whatsoever to it. Glad to hear that Cian O’Sullivan is kicking the proverbial cat this week! I hope he’s in even worse mood next Monday. I’ve heard the opposite by the way about one of our lads but I’m not naming names here.

  12. They did, Jim – the two changes they made were within the 26-man panel but two of the lads who took part in the parade didn’t start, can’t recall who they were now. I was watching it on TV from abroad and it took the lads on Sky a good five minutes to figure out who the 15 on the field for Donegal were. That was taking the cloak-and-dagger stuff a little too far, I think.

  13. League Game 12 – Connolly & Flynn sent off
    League Game 13 – Father Ger sent off for a kick
    League Game 14 – Clukton sent off for a kick
    A.I. Semi – Connolly again and Copper & McMahon

    In the AI Semi in 2012 Clukton was rattled I remember himself and Varley at it.

    I’m sure there’s many more that’s just quickly off the top of my head but I don’t believe any Mayo players have been sent off and I don’t remember them getting under our skin too often.

    Whatever about RTE, when the stitches rumor went viral why didn’t Dublin GAA come out and say that it wasn’t true.

  14. I think it suited them not to, 2winjustonce, as it muddied the waters at a time when there was plenty of talk about video evidence being used for further punishments, in particular Philly McMahon. Dragging Cillian into the Rory O’Carroll incident (ten stitches! Do you hear me? Ten bleedin’ stitches!) made it less likely the CCCC would go there or, if they did, that we’d pay a higher price in terms of who got sanctioned.

  15. On the different men in the parade – I remember Galway doing something similar back when O’Mahoney was managing – think they had 17 in the parade – cannot remember what game it was though.

  16. He probably had paper stitches so there may have being an element of truth to it but either way let them talk about it all they want Cillian played last years replay with one eye . the other was closed from collision with AOS.

  17. I’m not sure that’s correct, nooneshoutedstop – the rules on team lists (which Luigi posted on an earlier piece and an explanation of which which are on the GAA website here) appear to indicate that if you swap out your sub-goalie after submitting the list of 26, the replacement can only play in goals. I know from the club that Dermo is a handy hurler but I’ve no idea what he’d be like playing between the sticks!

  18. Agree 100% WJ a cowardly tactic. Taking the cynicism from the pitch and into the Board room. If this is true, and no stitches were required, I hope this is exposed in the public domain.

    That maybe true, Outside of boot, but they should have clarified it.

    They may also have been trying to increase the pressure on Cillian and get the Dublin fans on there back. You wait and see the hills reaction when he takes a free. No better man than Cillian to rise above it.

  19. I think it also had increased to 14 stitches at one stage WJ. When we beat them on Saturday it’ll will probably have escalated to full facial reconstruction surgery.

  20. There is a theory that the following holds true:

    Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total F**kwad

    You need only browse Twitter or Youtube video comments for five minutes to affirm in no uncertain terms that this theory is correct.

    The vast majority of the bile you see over last weeks game is spewed forth from such people. They’re probably decent enough in real life, but given the right circumstances, pretty much anyone can be tempted to resort to this kind of behavior. (Although not everyone, I might add).

    There is a post on this very forum not this morning that says:
    “Anyway, one thing we can be sure of is that Keegan, Cillian and O”shea will be targeted for special treatment on Saturday. These 3 should expect a mixture of punching, spitting, pulling hair, pinching, biting (yes biting) gouging, “accidental” finger in the eye, and arrestable offences like ABH and GBH and common assault, as well as plenty of verbals.”

    Just re-read that for a minute. There is a person – probably not that much different from you, I, making the claim that a Mayo player (or indeed several) will be almost certain to suffer from an attack causing Grievous Bodily Harm, by some animal in a Blue Shirt.

    Are they exaggerating wildly? Almost Certainly.
    Are they correct? Almost Certainly Not.

    Then why say it?

    Could it be to Demonize “The Enemy”? Could it be to incite a reaction?

    Both are the very definition of Trolling.

    This kind of inflammatory comment has been EVERYWHERE for the last four or five days.

    gaaboard is a dead loss at this point.
    HS is now only calming down after a storm of rubbish, insinuation and equally offensive counter claim.
    ResDubs and this splendid Blog (Kudos where due WJ), are somewhat less affected, but the underlying current is still there if you go looking.

    So why is this issue getting worse, and why has this Semi-Final served as a flashpoint for this type of behavior?

    I’m not sure, but I have an idea as to why.

    In a nutshell – Consistency.

    Consistency is the one thing that we seem to have lost most of in terms of management of our national sports.

    There is no consistency to the actions and decisions of Referees.
    There is no consistency to the actions of the appeals process.
    There is no consistency in the treatment by the media and pundits of all County teams.

    One could argue that the only consistent behavior shown by the GAA powers-that-be of late, is the consistent raw deal fans get with regards treatment, be it with Ticket Distribution, or fixture handling.

    We have an organization that has been tasked with the (almost sacred) duty of protecting and promoting our national sports, and this years report card for that task will have no-pride-of-place spot on the Fridge door.

    Ambiguity breeds dissent. Should he or shouldn’t he have been Booked/Replaced/Sent off? Will he get out of a ban on appeal? Did the punishment fit the crime?

    We could ask these questions about any one of 20 or 30 players this year. I can never recall before such uncertainty.

    It is this uncertainty, and the at times seemingly random decisions made by those charged with making those rulings that is creating the tension. It is feeding our fears, and giving us ammunition to drag out events long after they have happened, and so resentment festers in us.

    And what is our vent for such fears and resentments? One another. Welcome to the human condition.

    Take any debate about any player and ask the following questions as an example.

    Is the player to accountable for what happened? Yep.
    Is the referee accountable for what happened? Yep.
    Is the appeals process accountable for what happened? Yep.
    Is the GAA with ill-defined rules of play accountable for what happened? Yep.

    And yet, who is on the receiving end of our ire? Other Fans.

    Madness.

    I’m not going to bore you with the “why can’t be all just get along routine”, because that’s never gonna happen. If you think I’m gonna starting hugging Mayo fans or Royals after tough games, think again. But I will shake their hands if we loose, and I will try not to be (too much of) a sanctimonious pr**k if we win.

    We need strong leadership from the GAA, and the pledge that they will react to the situation, and stem the worrying trends of late by removing ambiguity from the rules, and their implementation.

    And Jasus, stop handing out 16 tickets to every head-the-ball who asks, and one ticket per seat.

    Good Luck on Saturday, you may need it. Every winner has at some point on the journey.

  21. The stats in that article are interesting. Suggest targeting all of Dublin’s kickouts as improved possession means they’ll have to defend more. And find other tactics to address the potential risks of doing that.

  22. Presumably the Dublin push for the CHC meeting last night instead of tonight might have something to do with supply the player list by 9am this morning.

    That link says there is a fine/potential banishment of the manager to the stands if the panel list isn’t supplied by 9am. I wonder would Dublin be willing to accept that punishment to hold out on panel list for another day to see if they can get Connolly cleared?

  23. I previously posted Dubs hadn’t too many options for lineup change but some interesting ideas on Reservoirdubs site about playing Fitzsimmons presuming ROC plays and moving COS to midfield. They also suggest Bastic at FF moving him out if needed in midfield. However that’s risky as Mayo have lots if practice using big FF in training, Dublin don’t. Also both sets of fans see Bastic as a 50 minute max player at this level.
    After the last day I’m not so sure COS is a world beater in midfield. The quality of Cluxton kickouts is what hurt us in 2013. MDMA was the main man for them that year.

  24. At half time, the Sky pitchside reporter gave an update about O’Carroll. I can’t remember if he said stitches but I am sure he mentioned concussion and vomiting. I remember it well because it was pretty shocking news and I felt very sorry for him.

    If none of this actually happened its an absolute disgrace. Either sky made a story up or Dublin did. If Dublin did you can be sure they were all talking about it outside the referees room at half time attempting to influence his second half performance.

    People die from head injuries sustained in sport…. Crying wolf over a serious head injury to influence the ref is disgraceful and should be dealt with by the gaa (I bet it won’t even be investigated).

    I wonder if Tyrone had done it, would it be bigger news in the media.

    I want to stress clearly we can’t be sure if this was a case of crying wolf and if it wasn’t then I apologise for the accusation and wish O’Carroll a speedy recovery.

  25. People die from head injuries sustained in sport…. Crying wolf over a serious head injury to influence the ref is disgraceful and should be dealt with by the gaa (I bet it won’t even be investigated).

    Just as Mr Philly McMahon, did, lied outy they ran on with Oxygen and started stabilsing him only for him to jump up and start bickering with ref.

    Look its all part of Dublin being rattled.
    I genuinely think they thought they were playing Arsenal and thought “they dont like it in their face ” and so went “up it ” at Mayo but in actual fact Mayo werent in the least bit deterred and so Dublin then resorted to play acting .

  26. Ah this blog is brilliant , fair play to ya willie Joe. Really appreciate it. Im loving the build up to this game cant wait for sat. These are great times .

  27. On the Dublin team and the options minus Connolly, I think that they have to start Rock, as the free count on both sides is likely to be higher on Saturday and Dublin need a solid free taker.

    I can’t see Alan Brogan starting as (a bit like Andy for us) he is great to spring of the bench with 20 mins to go and get a few points. If he is in from the start, he would be unlikely to be able to fulfill that “renewed impetus” role. As WJ suggested earlier, Thomas Brady would likely be a direct replacement for Connolly, with no other changes to the starting forwards.

    I think that their midfield and backs will be the same as last Sunday, with O’Carroll making a miraculous recovery, whereby the 12-stitch gash completely disappears in 6 days!

    On our side, I am surprised at the inclusion of Vaughan, given Noel Connelly’s after-match comments on Sunday. Durkan is the direct replacement if Donie doesn’t start but don’t rule out Kevin Keane or even Turbo Tom, if he is fully fit.

    If we use a sweeper, it should be either Doherty or McLoughlin and give Boyler a specific marking job on Flynn. Boyler did not seem 100% comfortable in the sweeping role the last day and I always think that really focused players like him need a specific job, which he would then do to perfection. Leroy should pick up Brady(or Connolly if he finally gets off) Caff on Andrews, Donie (or replacement) Kilkenny, Barrett on B Brogan and Higgins on Rock.

    Same personnel again from there up except replacing Drake with a forward. I would like to see Freeman getting a run as he can cover back to centrefield if necessary, but Ronaldson could also cause havoc and Freeman could be held in reserve in case a replacement is needed for Cillian later in the game.

    As the legs get heavy, Big Bird, Andy, Alan, Sweeney and all the backs subs already mentioned + Harrison are options from a very strong bench.

    We can do this.

    Keep the Faith!

  28. Galway introduced 16 players to President McAleese before a game in Salthill v.Mayo.
    There had been speculation over whether Michael Donnellan would start. I think it was 2005 but not sure.

  29. Well Said there A Dub near Shrule ‘But I will shake their hands if we loose, and I will try not to be (too much of) a sanctimonious pr**k if we win’

    That’s the kind of competitiveness we should have. As a Proud Mayo Man living in Dublin with 2 Dublin Children I love the sight of The Hill in full swing……….. even greater when we beat them over the years. Roll on Saturday

  30. Mayo’s strengths are midfield and free taking which are Dublin’s weaknesses. Let’s play to our strengths and their weaknesses and we will win.

  31. @A Dub Near Shrule says

    Good post…just to add, I think there’s almost too much drama from supporters and the media in general about last Sundays game. I was struck (no pun intended) by AO’S’ reaction to a post game question…(“was he head-butted..?” he said he was, for it was obvious after all)..but he went on to say that he didn’t think the game was dirty, nor will we get all the calls right, just two top teams going at it real hard (or words to that effect).

    And ur right, all champions need a little luck along the way, maybe Mayo will get it Saturday..
    meanwhile Kerry are keeping the engine warm..

  32. I don’t like getting ahead of myself but win on Saturday and it’s a 2 week turn around to the All Ireland Final. It would be an unusual build up to the final

  33. @Anne-Marie
    Yeah they are….have a gander at the Kerry GAA boards and there’s plenty of talk abou it..interesting perspectives from the oul nemesis

  34. Rather see brogan marked by higgins and Barrett on Rock. In truth rock is a passenger from play, while brogan caught a couple of handy balls in his chest against Barrett. Stop brogan and we stop dublin I think.

  35. I think I’d be shitting it if I was from Kerry

    Both teams were very poor last week but in essence it really was the first real test for both (Donegal gave us plenty in the first 35 but really faded from the restart)

    It was a great one to get out of the system and both teams have the benefit of another chance the next day to improve and push on into another gear

    It’s an extra game to:

    – perfect whatever system you use
    – find your ideal 15
    – perhaps find a new ‘trump card’ – see Donaghy 2014
    – get a real proper test under your belt

    The 2 week break is perfect I feel for a final, the winner Saturday is carrying real momentum. Kerry haven’t played in 4 weeks and that was against a team who are a very different proposition to Dub or Mayo

    Kerry really aren’t that good, I’d be very confident the winner on Saturday will win Sam

  36. The flip side of all that is another chance of an injury or a suspension I guess, so I do those Kerry peoples’ point in a way

    But honestly if we win Saturday I think we’re possibly in the best position since 96 to take home Sam

  37. Fair play ‘A Dub Near Shrule’, couldn’t agree more.

    The GAA and it’s disciplinary bodies are nothing more than a joke right now.
    Rather than concentrating all their efforts on restructuring the current Championship format (which does need to be looked at), they really need to sort their shit out with this.

    If a player is sent off for striking, or other red card offences, that should be the end of the matter. Referee’s are constantly undermined, which seems to have a knock-on effect on other ref’s are other games.

    Connolly was right to get the line, that should have been the end of it. And in the matter of balance, Keane’s red card should not have won it’s appeal either.
    Fair enough, Keane’s infraction was nowhere near as bad. But if he was sent off for a striking offence, that should have been the end of it. We would have bitched and moaned about it, but the decision should have been final.
    We were right to appeal, as were the Dubs with Connolly. The simple reason all counties are appealing decisions is because they know they have a fair chance of getting the player off. That’s how much of a joke the GAA and these other bodies are right now.

    I understand that appeals are necessary in some cases (particularly when the alleged offence didn’t actually happen), but the GAA have left themselves too open to ambiguity because of it’s sham of a rulebook.

  38. @ciaran
    I wouldn’t worry about Kerry just yet…the way I see it is
    a) win on Saturday
    b) walk away with no cards/suspensions or the like and
    c) walk away with a clean bill of health

    Btw, anyone know if Reagan’s name is on the panel list provided to GAA ahead of Saturdays match?
    Just wondering if we are ever going to see him play !

  39. i’m not so sure that Dublin’s midfield are a beaten docket.

    Basick did well, Fenton did reasonably well and that game should bring him on. O’Sullivan is an option and McAuley could be a good impact sub. Overall I felt our midfield didn’t impose themselves enough – I didn’t really rate Tom P as having a (consistently) good game. Both he and Seamie will really have to be on their game.

    We all need to get a grip. It’s a game, Mayo weren’t angelic last Sunday; in fact, and I’m delighted with this, my overall impression was of superior Mayo strength, toughness and fitness, mixed with just the right amount of abrasiveness. I did not have that impression after either of the Kerry games last year.

    But such a performance brings a reaction from the opposing camp and they have plenty to go on.

  40. I thought Chris Barrett did very well on Brogan, thats the quietest I have seen Bernard against us in the last few years. He only scored two points from play, surely that must be the least that he has scored against us in a long time. He usually scores at least one goal. Even the two points he got, he was under savage pressure.

    There was an interesting stat in the Irish Times stats overview article, that 1-5 of the 1-7 that Dublin scored against us in the first-half came directly from long diagonal balls into our defence. The thing is who do we have to cut out these balls? Barry Moran would be ideal but can we afford to start him in the replay.

  41. Get over the semi final first…semi finals are all about winning and getting into the final.
    We have won plenty of classic finals in the past only to be shown up in a final.
    Mayo or Dublin will have a great chance against Kerry.

  42. Whatever Dublin team is out will be extremely tough and strong and you can be damn sure they’ll be full of siege mentality.

    We need to be ready, ferociously hungry but disciplined…and clinical.

  43. This is a massive test for Mayo on Saturday. It’s time for us to win a big game. When’s the last time this team won a match where they were underdogs in the bookies?

  44. Mayonaze – Not sure if we were underdogs in 2013 v Donegal.

    Definitely underdogs v Dublin in 2012.

  45. Connolly’s 2nd appeal is this eve and the 3rd if required tomorrow evening. Think it’s reasonable to assume he will start Saturday as will Rory o’Carroll

  46. Dublin 2012 indeed

    We were faves v Donegal in 2013

    It’s a very valid point by Mayonaze though, we have become experts at beating the teams we should (which is a far cry from begone eras and can never be taken for garnted) but we haven’t gotten over the line vs the ‘juggernauts’ so to speak

    the teams we’ve beaten have been mainly wounded AI champs (no mean feat whatsoevere though), but what a time this weekend will be to gain our best victory of the current era

    We have been very unlucky in that no draw has ever ‘opened up’ for us

    There has always been one team better than us and we always have to end up facing them

  47. This day 20 years ago, the Clare Hurlers ended a 96 year wait for an All Ireland and put an end to any curse crap. Come on Mayo we need this.

  48. The display from both teams last week wouldn’t have been enough to beat Kerry. Still think we will win by a couple of points this week as our midfield pairing is far superior to the Dublin one. We won’t be as bad again for 60 minutes, but if we are we are in real trouble. Let’s all roar the boys to victory.

  49. Yeah East Cork Exile that AI was a joke 🙁

    Cork 2010 is another that springs to mind!

    While this is laughably looking ahead of myself (we’re right in the mix this year, and I honestly think we’ll do it!) next year looks like it might have the potential to “open up” for us, in that (assuming Kerry and Dub win provinces) we’ll only have an Ulster team in the way of a final- can’t see us losing to any of them any time soon, and from then who knows

    We really had a tough draw this year. Would be all the sweeter to do it!

  50. Well in that case we can pretty much assume it’s a given Connolly will play

    Who knows, maybe Cormac Costello would have been the match winner had he started and Connolly will end up being ineffective? 😀

    What will be will be

  51. I think c o c needs to be careful he does not lose his cool on sat as he will recieve plenty of attention for the dubs. I presume Connolly get off.

  52. i agree with those who think that Dublin are going to be difficult to beat even without Connolly. This is the most obvious of all observations. His replacement, whoever that is, could well be capable of doing even more damage than Connolly.
    The fact also remains that Dublin had us well beaten by the 60th minute despite us doing fairly well defensively. I imagine they thought the game was over as did many in the crowd.and they probably lost focus. That will not happen the next day.Yes you could argue that we were brilliant in the last 10 -15 minutes and indeed we were but Boyler’s penalty was mostly down to stupid defending – he had very little chance of scoring. In addition Brogan had a quiet enough game. I fear we might see a lot more of him on Saturday.
    Another obvious observation is that it will require a serious improvement by our lads. The good thing is that there is scope for improvement in both our selection, our game plan, in our execution and in our attitude. I feel we gave them too much respect the last day especially after their penalty and we were far too cautious when attacking.
    The big question of course remains to be resolved – are we good enough to win an all Ireland this year? The day of reckoning really has arrived. If we are the best team in the land we will take care of Dublin. We need to go out onto Croke Park and show the world just how good we actually are and not be too concerned with Dublin or their reputation. We need to focus on playing top class football and building our own reputation as an exceptional football team. If we do that and still come up short then we will have to continue to live with that reality and continue to give the lads the support, the respect and the regard that they so richly deserve.
    As regards Kerry I would love another rattle at them………….and i suspect the team would too!

  53. Please please no injuries or red cards for Cillian or Aidan. We have a great roster but these two players are needed if we’re to win the AI.

  54. I don’t see how Dublin could have a siege mentality going into this one. With the actions of Cooper, Connolly, and McMahon, they can consider themselves very lucky to only have one suspension among them. They will know this and so will Mayo, so I don’t think it will have any impact in terms of attitude on Saturday. Connolly is clearly seen pounding into Keegan on the floor! How this could be appealed is truly beyond me, I mean, come on!! They were the clear aggressors all day, and it should be inevitable that at least one of them would have to face the consequences of this.

  55. Good point made there Ciaran about next year. Facing Ulster in the semi. Also in Connacht we have the Rossies and Galway at home if we have to play either or both of them as we chase a 6th Connacht in a row. Anyway that is for another day. Bigger fish to fry right now.

  56. When you think back to the All-Ireland semi-final against Tyrone in 2013 none of our forwards scored from play in the first half that day either just like last Sunday against Dublin. I notice that a lot of the other top teams have forwards who can score with both feet, we don’t have many of those type of players. It’ll be interesting to see if we’ll go for having another scoring forward on the field from the start the next day. Kevin Mc was playing in the corner forward position early in the Dublin game but I think that role never really suits him. There hasn’t been much talk of Alan Dillon at all the last while. He was a great man to chip in with a few points down through the years. He is handy off either foot as well.

  57. Another day, another Diarmuid Connolly appeal.
    Tonight it’s the CAC.
    If that doesn’t work, then it’s the DRA.
    Saturday – court?
    Utter madness that this exists in the GAA.
    With any cop on, he shouldn’t win any of these appeals.
    He hit someone in a match and received a red card. End of story.
    But one just does not know with the GAA.

  58. We all have memories of various matches down thru’ the years from the time your father brought you to your first Connaught final to the great occasions of recent years. And this is our inheritance and passion for the game. Your father would have advised you on how to play the game and I do believe the old adages hold true today. One of my dad’s sayings was ‘ that ball is mine and nobody else is going to get it'( the opposition!!). Of course this can lead to a physical game especially if you come between the ball and the man who has this attitude. However I do think it is good advice as you are playing the ball and not the man. This is the way to win.
    Mind you I do remember learning my first curse from my Dad. I was six at time and myself and two brothers were in the back of a Ford Zephyr car coming home from a Connaught final which we had lost to Galway. My Dad was driving and discussing the match with my uncle who was in the passenger seat( well there was no passenger seat in the front only a bench seat). Dad said( forgetting our presence in the back) “that ref was only a bastard anyway”. It was said with great emphasis on bastard and I was calling everyone a bastard for the next week until some man told me it was not a nice word and I should refrain from using it.

    But the ref is still a bastard………not really but it does reflect the hard job they have down thru’ the decades.

    So play the ball not the man and the ref will tell you he knows who his parents are.

  59. Oh Christ I wish it was Saturday. We need to focus more on attack I am not saying we should abandon our defensive plan but we have to back ourselves in attack. I think what we will see from the Dubs is pressing us further up the field and live with given away frees outside scoring zone. As a unit they are not the greatest tacklers not surprising when their game is build mostly on attack .We need to drive at the fuckers with lads running looking for off load .We can’t isolate Aidan again. We have to force Cluxton to go long and believe we will win most of aerial battle. I said it before Sunday and I’ll say it again we need to get the better start and obviously they stay ahead.Mentally and physically we will be in better shape for Saturday. Let’s the Dubs worry about Dermo 🙂

  60. With or without Connolly we still have a huge task on Saturday.I think most of us would agree that dubs were way more polished team in first half. In fairness they got some excellent scores while we relied on Cillian and dublin indiscipline to hang in I was delighted to be only 3 down at half time. Thought we were better in 2nd half but something that has dogged us for years kicking bad wides again came back to haunt us. Dublin though playing poor enough still seemed to get their scores easier. Some people are now saying that momentum is with Mayo and some of our lads are sure to play better. But how many dubs would have been happy with their performances last Sunday. Very very few. They normally create over 40 scoring chances but were way down on that. This was their first proper game since Donegal last year so its sure to bring them on. Maybe they will actually play football next saturday something they happen to be good at and forget the sledging and thuggery we saw on Sunday. A lot of Mayo lads will have to really up their performances if we are to win. In fact its a tribute to our team that eventhough we were not playing well and in the face of huge provocation we still managed to sneak a draw. My admiration for our players is total but I think they will have to put in a superb performance to win

  61. Don’t see Donnie playing ,,,, also think Clarke might get the nod in goal ,,, big barry is playing too well to be left on the line so might see him mid field with tom going to 11 and aido at 14 or barry at 14 and aido at 11 ,,, feck it I wish it was saturday,,,,,

  62. Like me A lot seem to have tickets for the hill so why don’t we get in early and fill middle section while the dubs are finishing their buck fast ,,,,,

  63. I can’t do anything without thinking about this f**king match. It’s consuming me, it can’t be healthy!

    And this bloody appeal tonight. When do we hear the results? Agh!

    I really want him to be gone for this game. He is a huge player for Dublin. That can’t be overstated. Him gone gives us a better chance. Come on the CAC!

  64. Your right there mayo mark ,,, found myself at work scribbling down 2 different mayo teams I was pickin for the next day ,,, thank god I’m not the only one obsessing about it !!!

  65. Feck it – I hope he gets off – maybe at the next stage though, tomorrow evening as opposed to tonight.
    Whoever wins on Saturday will have Kerry waiting for them in the Final. Need to be able to beat all comers at their best in order to be able to beat Kerry too.

    I fully expect the Ref to put manners on any messers and with any luck our lads will keep their cool and let the Dubs pick up many cards of all shades on our way victory.

    Aidan O’Shea to have a better day this time round as I feel he will be better protected and I expect we’ll bag a 2 goals anyway as a result. We need to belt in as many of them as we can and have Dublin chase the game.

    Also I feel we’re a fitter team than them – the last 10 minutes on Sunday showed as much, and should it be a case that it goes Extra time on Saturday, we will have the upper hand again. I don’t believe it will and we’re good enough to finish it off in 70 minutes.

    With Barry Solan in our camp we have the best in the business to ensure we’re fully recovered for Saturday.

    5pm Saturday can’t come quick enough.

  66. As a 4 Year Croke GAA Season Ticket holder I’m pretty pissed off with the seat I have for this match.. along the isle in section 302, nearly as well if I was in 301, one row in from the touch line, right under hill 16. Fuck it, ya know what Im glad.. when we’re baiting the shite out them Ill be able to shout up at a quite hill that they can buy everything else but they can’t buy a team like we’ve got

  67. Connolly can appeal to the highest authority in the land but it won’t change a thing. He struck an opponent – his suspension will remain. On Donie’s injury, I’m wondering if it was the reported AC joint problem that really lead to his substitution. Did anyone notice how dazed he looked after the tackle…he was walking around aimlessly following the play that was going on close to him, but at no point did his body language indicate a shoulder problem before signalling to the sideline to be called ashore. I’ve a feeling he’ll be fit to start.

  68. I don’t think the Mayo squad will give two highlands about the “Will he? Won’t he, shambolic Connelly debacle. It is a distraction for the Dubs so the longer it goes on the better. He let himself down but bearing in mind some of his previous on and off the field of play, maybe just like “A Ballymun man who walks away” Connelly just resorts to type in testing times.

    I was really impressed with Mayo’s coolness on Sunday despite the fact that the Dubs melodramatic, hyperbolic bullshit was reaching a symphonic peak. There was a moment in the match when Aido moved away from the actor/player Mcmahon, (he was probably bored with the incessant yaps from the ladeen) Anyways Aido stood calmly beside the linesmsn to have a chat directly beneath the baying hill of blue as serene as a Buddha in a temple, or wherever Buddha’s do there Buddha thing. Great stuff !

    Mayo should remain calm and focus only on the match. Hopefully we’ll keep the Dubs yapping and pleading arms outstretched at the ref. Then we will have them exactly where we want them and we can turn the screw good and true.

    Not long now…

    ‘Come On Mayo!!!

  69. One player who has rarely been mentioned in all this is and I believe, despite Paddy Durcan’s solid showing, was a big loss last weekend was Donal Vaughan. Durcan may be faster but Vaughan is a way more intelligent player and over the last few years has been crucial in opening up defences and creating important scores, particularly in big games. He was playing so well this year too. Fingers crossed he’s fit for this weekend, could make a big difference.

  70. That’s from the “Mayo Banter Page”. No other ‘source’ whatsoever
    Could well be just an ‘anti-jinx’ or a ‘you heard it here first’ type thing

    It’d surely be very early for result to be out?

    That said I’m sure he will get off

  71. Yeah that’s where I saw it WJ

    he’s a mile the most credible source I’ve noticed so I’m gonna go with his take

  72. steve if we win on saturday we only have 2 weeks before final,so after 2 hard games 2 weeks in a row it gives very little time to prepare for final ,next week will be recovery and week after will be very light training,very little time to put plan in place,so i think this is going against us,3 weeks would be ideal

  73. -With or without Connolly the Dublin HF line is their best line, they did too much damage in the first half on Sunday last.
    -MCCartney made the goal and scI red a vital point, we need someone that will focus on him and only him for the entire game similar to Lar Corbett on Tommie Walshe.
    -There was definitely one minor scuffle in Section 305 the last day but nothing to be concerned about. I think you will see a little more emphasis on security on Saturday.
    – Best of luck to Mayo and of course the Galway Hurlers.
    – Our guys refuse to be intimidated on the field and by God we will NOT be intimidated in the stands or on the hill.

  74. @eremaldisle.. i actually think the 2 weeks is perfect provided no injuries. Recover till Tuesday, get media shit out of the way Wednesday then 11 days to final. Gives lads less time to focus on it and over think it.
    Previously we have always had 3 / 4 weeks build ups and as a supporter it drives me crackers and i would imagine for players its the same. We’ll be ticking over nicely if we win and the yerra’s will have gone 4 weeks without competitive football. I love the thought of 2 weeks only for it. Sure we all nearly went mad waiting for last sunday after we beat Donegal… that was a three week wait. 2 weeks is perfect lads!

  75. I’ve heard so many say that Kerry not
    that good.

    They are in the final and this rubbish that whoever wins our tie will win the final…..

    Well, frankly, is nonsense!

    In an all-Ireland final, Kerry are a dangerous animal.

    Whether it’s Mayo OR Dubs who face them,
    Whoever does, will not be a foregone conclusion.

    But I appreciate that’s for another day.

    Jaysus, I really hope we bate de Dubs – we so much, so much more deserve it.

    NOW LET’S GO OUT ON THE GREEN GREEN GRASS OF CROKER AND FEKIN DO IT!!

    Cumin MAYO.

  76. In 85 when we drew with Dublin in Simi I think we were 7 points down early in second half,I’ll never forget tj’s catch in midfield and drive forward for equalizer.here’s hoping the replay goes better this time..

  77. A few assumptions here that are wrong. One writing off Dublin midfield. Fenton caught some good balls but got turned over a few times too many. Dublin may move COS out and start Bastic with Fitzsimmons or small coming into backline.
    Whoever did down Parsons impact was not watching the same game as me. He was on the ball more than any Mayo player, decision making good throughout and did a mountain of work.
    Seamie was a bit quieter than usual so will need a bit more from him.

  78. If Connolly manages to get off through further appeals to the various bodies within the GAA well then it will be a free for all on Saturday evening and let every man look out for himself. I might have to take to the field meself to help out the lads, aka Mick Barret, though I am up in the Cusack Upper Row Z. If the GAA don’t take a stand here it’s the death knell for Gaelic Football I feel. There are a lot of fine footballers not playing the game due to the lack of discipline prevelant in the game today. Hon Mayo, justice may prevail.

  79. Yeah in fact i’m actually expecting COS to be mid

    He looked a bit lost at centre back for some reason. Small could come straight in

  80. Connolly will definetly get off. No doubt theirs nice juicy envelopes being sealed, and ready for distribution as we speak….this is Ireland after all.

  81. Good man (???) Shuffy Deck. Parsons has played a huge role in the developemet of this team. IMO he is the best midfielder we have seen for years, in any jersey.

  82. As for the sweeper I prefer McLoughlin and or Doherty with help from midfielders when we haven’t the ball and maybe Freeman is the man for the first half after all as some of ye have said he works hard on opposition kickouts.
    Going by the stats piece pushing on Cluxton kickouts is the way to go for most of the 70. For speed I would not be letting Ronnie onto the pitch before 40th minute as Dubs FB line is physically strong. Sweeney was a bit trigger happy with his chance so maybe Ronnie or A Dillon would be better as the late sub. We all know Andy will be on sooner or later. Attacking kickouts is not suited to Barry in 1st half so it’s tradeoff having him FF. If Bastic plays Barry might be good in his natural position midfield with SOS as no 11 Sweeper. The curve ball may be Regan as I’ve heard he’s not small but lack of experience maybe just too risky. Maybe Donie didn’t hurt ACL joint at all, maybe dead arm or head injury. Or maybe Drake really gets on again with more clever running by our half backs. To me he looked tough and uncompromising with good pace.
    Notice I’m using word maybe a lot. This game has us all going. Cmon Mayo.

  83. DIEHARD

    Fair play. –

    Well put…

    We can talk about BALANCE all day long……..

    Or we can err a wee bit on the other

    side of caution

    Whatever we do, Jaysus, let’s not err too much on

    THIS SIDE OF CAUTION….

    If I had a choice, I would prefer to push a little bit more than being pushed

    Let’s go at the Dubs a little bit more than they go at us……. but not TOO much!!

    A BIT of caution. But NO REGRETS!

    Lets take em DOWN!!!!!

  84. Me too Mayo Mark!

    If I were a betting man I’d prob put a pound or two on freeman to start 13 but it could be one of about 6 or 7!!

    And what’s the story with Vaughan!

  85. What a stunning display fron COC last day. Our free taking made all the difference with Dublin free taking v poor. We should run at them and draw frees as COC will slot them over all day.

  86. Dont think we can rely on COC for frees all the time. that was part of Dublin’s plan the last day to try and foul out the field so that we couldn’t score. I expect the same the next. One man i think needs serious watching the next day is Ciaran Kilkenny.

    He scored 3 points from play. more than Flynn and Connolly combined. He is only getting better and we need a plan for him.

  87. A Dub Near Shrule, I agree with you on the morass that passes for GAA rules. I readily bow to the knowledge of earlier posters on naming the squad by a certain time. If that is correct then a team is penalised despite a regulatory body’s later decision to overturn a referee’s original decision. That cannot be right.
    I’ve said before that the GAA should consider and adopt the best aspects from other sports. Where important decisions are in question then recourse to a TMO. The time involved is minimal, but the correct decision of paramount importance. Foul play must be stamped out, as must thuggery. Neither are sporting.
    As for Saturday? After the most emotionally exciting 15 minutes it has been my honour to share with supporters in 45 years I believe we can win this replay. I’ve posted a few times that the spirit and fitness of this team is beyond belief. They showed it last year and again last Sunday. They can take it to Dublin once the initial “pleasantries” of the first 10 minutes are over.
    A Dub In Shrule, best of luck and handshakes after.

  88. Has failed to get off with his 2nd attempt, has one more chance to get off but sure you would like to be beating their full team!!!

  89. Hi, From whay i can mske out from Dublin Gaa Twitter, Diarmuid Connolly was Unsucessful in Appeal. News is about 2hrs old. No Confirmation. Ciaran 2.

  90. Id say everyone would need to be careful from now on.There will be no more rescindin cards unless totally justified.What odds on Keane starting Sunday?

  91. Let Connolly have the whole family on and all his buddies. It’s essential that we set up in scoring mode from beginning of game. That’s a call and one that will condition the rest of the game.

    It’s wonderful to think that after this game and the next Mayo will forever more never be taken for granted or a soft touch!! James Horan take a bow!

  92. Worst incident Mad Max’s feigned injury.
    As they don’t have a punishment for this type of offence, he should be taken to a quiet room before tomorrow’s game, given a couple of decent pucks and told to
    “feign that ya bolix”

    Bloody Cheat!

  93. That’s true, Overthebarshouting – McMahon stayed down pretending he had got a belt to the head for at least two minutes and only “recovered” when it became clear that Joe McQuillan wasn’t going to take any action. Worse still, the Dublin medical team were in on the cheating, treating poor Philly like it was the A&E.

  94. Just want to look forward to the match now. Some Mayo fans – in particular on Mayo GAA banter page, were euphoric last night when connollys appeal was rejected. A dangerous mindset that hopefully won’t seep through to the players. It’s very distracting for the player involved though – leeroy had his worst game in a mayo shirt in Limerick last year after all the fuss during the week. Hopefully there won’t be too much of a siege mentality building up in dublin now after this. I believe the appeal last year was a distraction to the mayo squad leading up to the replay and didn’t help us, hopefully it will be the same for them this time. Our prep this time should be much more streamlined.

  95. In all fairness there is no way he could have got off because it would not be possible to referee the match lf he did ie. it would be a licence for every thug on the pitch to put in the boot at every opportunity.
    Now more than ever we need to watch our discipline which will be harder when the belts hit bruises from the last day.
    Aiden has some temperament to hold the head like he did the last day with all the abuse he was getting.
    Dublin will still be hard to beat even without Connolly and whoever comes on for him will be busting a gut to impress so that he’ll get a starting place in the all Ireland (in his head!).
    So on we go with trust in the management and players to see us through because they haven’t let us down so far this year.
    COME ON MAYO! !!

  96. Have no doubt about it…Jim Gavin is hyping up the SIEGE mentality this week…Mayo will have to be ready for this.

    I think the dubs know well that Connolly won’t get off but are exhausting avenues to make it appear that they are being hard done by. Kevin Keane is referenced in almost every report you’ll read about Connolly.

    IF Connolly manages to play on sat it’ll be a bonus for Gavin but they are preparing and have been all week uth out him in their plans.

    All week they’ll be hearing ‘one rule for the culchies, another for us’…

    Mayo be very prepared.

  97. Thanks WJ! Yes…we have bucket loads of or own ammunition!

    Any Mayo supporters going to the Hill? We were completely out numbered the last day.

  98. They tried to mangle Aidan O’Shea last Sunday and for nowhere. They’ll now look to unsettle the likes of Keegan and Cillian O’Connor who have taken on the roles of pantomime villians in their eyes. I’ve no worries about either being able to handle the attention but one mantra has to be in place for all – do not react. Head up, chest out and plough on.

  99. Mac’s left boot – I say that too. Mayo fans were also euphoric on twitter. He’s only 1 player. We haven’t won anything. I don’t like that mindset.

    We should worry about our own team.

  100. The thing is Lee Keegan has pretty much always got the better of Diarmuid Connolly when they have played against each other. In fact I’d say Lee has scored more from play than Connolly has, while marking him. Who knows his replacement might have a storming game. It has been Bernard Brogran and Kevin McMenamin that have done most damage against us really in the past few years. Ciaran Killkenny looked very dangerous in the first half as well, much more dangerous then Connolly.

  101. Some great analysis and stats on this site https://dontfoul.wordpress.com/. It highlights how we really restricted Dublins attack compared to other games they have played this year.

    Imo I don’t think we should change things much from last Sunday. I think the test of the our defensive formation (which is still quite new) will have really helped to develop the team, so I would expect that side of things to continue to improve.
    That and a little more composure on front of the posts will get us over the line.

  102. Even if Connolly does very little all game, he can still kick a monster free or set up a goal or kick a point from nowhere. He’s a match winner

    He’s absolutely top class.

    Maybe my view is a bit skewed as I only recently watched the 2013 semi, but that day he was out of this world. The further away he is from the action tomorrow, the better in my view

  103. Mac’s Left Boot you are spot on. 100% agree. And HopeSpringsEternal you are too re the danger of his replacement having a stormer.

    I actually hope at this point that Connolly gets to line out. And I’d sooner beat them with him (though obviously I won’t mind if it’s without either!!)

    I know my glasses are tinted green and red and we wouldn’t be fans without some kind of bias but the blinkered vision within the blue camp is incredible.

    Anyway, roll on tomorrow. I just want to get on the road at this point and get the job done.

  104. Another way of looking at it though…

    say his direct ‘replacement’ is Kevin McMenamon (sp?), for example (ie Mc wears 12 and is only change to forwards)

    And Mc goes and has a stormer. But then Dean Rock is again ineffective

    But maybe if Connolly was cleared to play they would have actually started Kev Mc anyway and dropped Rock. So what we could end up with is Rock being the indirect replacement for Connolly. I know which one I’d rather face.

    If we take their 6 forwards as a whole, they certainly look less frightening a proposition to me without Connolly

    Anyhow, it doesn’t really matter, he either plays or he doesn’t it completely out of Mayo’s hands. Control the controllables

  105. Disagree with Keep Calm… One of the stats articles during the week analysed how many chances and scores came our way when pushing up on Cluxton and forcing him to kick long. I know it would be hard to concentrate on doing that for 70 but that would mean we have more of the ball meaning they are on the back foot more consuming energy. Although we were very good at turnovers last day Dublin, they may work on being more clever at not getting turned over as much.
    Management may have had a rethink. For that reason Barry mightn’t start and Freeman might. Otherwise Drake who seems fast and combative might get picked again in the forwards but be instructed to push up on kickouts. I prefer the Freeman option with our half forwards sweeping back. Kevin especially good at stealing ball. That means Freeman and Cillian tracking a half back in open play when we don’t have the ball. Normally I don’t choose Freeman in debates as it comes down to head to head with Andy who’s such a great leader but Freeman may have more to offer from the start. Andy’s turnover skill is more about good guessing and backing himself than pace. Better impact maybe when opposition concentration is dipping. Also Freeman looks like he could get goals. Was free inside when Andy got the equaliser. If Andy starts we’d be hoping to have a lead before taking him off as it gives the crowd a great lift to see him coming on, that lift wouldn’t be there if he started. I know it’s strange to use the Mayo crowd but Dublin will try same crowd boost with Alan Brogan.
    Barry may be needed when Seamie tires.

  106. Not sure they’ll start Kevin Mc, could go for Brady or Costello. Whoever they play needs watching and if it’s Brady they’ll be trying to complete more in midfield. But that weakens their already weakened attack (which has dropped back scoring rate a tad) taken due to their Donegal defensive rethink so probably one of the other 2.

  107. We do need to change a few things. Consider the fact that we were well beaten by the 60th minute and faced a right thrashing but for the lads themselves stood up and took on the challenge. If we had lost the game what would the analysis be like? It might go something like this…….
    1. We left our best player AOS isolated and out of the play for far too long by the way we set up. The balls into Aidan were poor as well. The result was that we had only three shots scoring just one point from play in the first half. Not a winning formula.
    2. We played a lad who had no serious inter county competitive experience in front of 82000 of a crowd. (Unfair criticism perhaps but that is what would be said). He helped block up the attacking zone but surely we had others who could have done the same AND gave us a bit more by way of attack.
    3. Some of our attempts at scores were pathetic and way below what you would expect from inter county players with ambitions to be AI champions.
    4. We left Barry Moran on the bench for far too long and we used Micky Sweeney when Alan Dillon might have been a better option for the last few minutes given his long experience of big games.
    5. Andy Moran despite kicking vital points kicked one horrible attempt into the keepers hands and failed to make the pass for an almost certain goal when his own angle was very tight. Great player but can’t be doing that kind of thing if he wants a Celtic cross.
    6. We showed too much respect for dublin almost bordering on fear at times and forgot what it is we are good at ourselves.

    And people would go on and on about a whole plethora of negatives……….Thankfully we have another bite of the cherry thanks to that which makes this team great……heart and courage and a lot of footballing ability. Let’s learn the lessons. People rarely get a second chance to put things right. We have that chance tomorrow. Let’s not throw it away.

  108. I am not, for once, looking forward to being in
    Croker tomorrow. I hope I am wrong but I think it may be quite difficult for Mayo supporters – the atmosphere may be very hostile as I think a lot of Dubs will twist the truth to make it look like they have been hard done by.
    Coupled with the incendiary device that is alcohol, we may have to listen to a lot more vitriol than we normally would.
    So be careful and don’t get sucked in.

    PS, WJ – obviously joking on the McMahon thing. Not trying to advocate a vigilante type hit on him. But I seriously believe if the GAA mean business (and I’m not convinced they do!), they need to have a look at these feigning theatrics and put something in place to nullify it.

    Last thing WJ, I have heard so many (and read also) different takes on the Cillian incident and there appears to be very varying opinion on it.
    From one angle, I suppose it’s possible to suggest that even though he couldn’t see ROC behind, you could argue that he knew he was there – and even though he was being held back, that he still intentionally swung the arm to connect. I find it a tricky one and am trying to be as balanced as I can.
    Enjoy the game everyone. Dublin will come at us from the word go.
    We need to be ready.

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