This team can choke an opposition – let’s party!

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As I sit in my office in St. Peter Chanel College in Kokopo, Papua New Guinea, my excitement for September 18th has taken off. This morning I received the message below from a good friend, an ardent Dublin supporter. He was at the Tipp game.

I can certainly sense the want in Mayo. At the match the Mayo crowd cheered every single score like their life depended on it and they got behind their team when it was needed it was wonderful to see.

With that kind of want there is a risk. In wanting it so much, fear can become the main player. Twice in recent years I can remember when this was the case.

Many have referred to the eerie silence in Croke Park in the second half of the 2013 final. It felt like: “Oh no, it’s happening again’. Fear took over.

At half-time in the drawn semi-final in 2014 I stood talking at the back of the Hogan stand. We were behind, Keegan was gone and it was a gloomy conversation.

Then my good friend and huge Mayo supporter Clare Higgins from Kilmovee asked “What’s the positive?” I replied: “Well, we know that if they get going this team can choke the life out of an opposition.” She smiled and said: “Let’s go for that so.”

Back inside, Kerry scored first and, full of fear, I muttered “It’s looking bad.” My daughter Niamh roared “Well, it would help if someone cheered”. The thought seemed to echo round the stadium. Mayo, supporters and team, came alive and for 25 minutes Kerry were choked. (Niamh does not claim all the credit but as her Daddy I put it all down to her!)

And we have seen it so often from these players: Dublin in 2012, Donegal 2013, Kerry 2014, Dublin 2015, Kildare, Westmeath, Tyrone and Tipperary 2016. When this team play it is a joy to behold and no-one can stand against them. When the beauty and joy of what they are submerges the fear they are a force of nature.

Before I got the quote I mentioned above I was flat. Dodgy internet meant I saw only one half (the first) of the Tipp game on The Sunday Game Live. The display was not great. I won’t be there for the final. (Before coming to PNG last year I had missed, since back in 1967, just one quarter-final involving Mayo and not one semi-final or final in which we’d played).

Now thanks to the message above from Conor Hosford (let your Dub friends kill you if they want!) I am buoyant. The fear of losing which pervaded the qualifiers is over. Let the glorious begin.

Our opposition is Dublin, the team of the decade so far. Let that be our inspiration. What a way to win!

Let’s not react negatively to any comments. Instead, let’s welcome them:

  • Colm O’Rourke wants Mayo to win but he thinks Dublin will. That’s OK.
  • The whole country wants Mayo to win. In July 2015 Bernard Brogan told me he wants Mayo to win an All-Ireland … after he retires!
  • If we weren’t playing Dublin everyone in Dublin would want us to win. (Somewhere in his heart Aodhán Ó Ríordáin wants us to win).
  • Almost every pundit will say Dublin are going to win. Let them. Logically they are right.

But then we know this:

This team can choke the life out of them. This can be the day.

So every time someone says Dublin will win we say: “Bring it on”. Let every reaction be a positive one.

I can’t get home but I’m flying to Brisbane. I want to watch with other Mayo people. I want to cheer and roar and cry with Mayo people if we win.

Pic 1

So my call to all in Mayo is this: throw off the shackles and let go the fear.

  • The management has to be calculating. We don’t.
  • The team has to plan and be ready. We don’t.
  • Pundits have to try to be logical. We don’t.

We just have to go wild. Purge any fear. Don’t wait ’till the week before. Deck the county in green and red now. Create a mighty wave that will let the players know that we know they are ready to claim their place in history.

Let them arrive in Croke Park knowing that we have no fear, that we trust and believe in them. Let them know that we believe. Let’s have a huge celebration of what it is to be Mayo.

This is the year. Let’s get ready to choke the life out of them.

Pic 2

Will you be watching the final from afar? If so, can you suggest a good venue where you live in which Mayo supporters could gather to watch the game? Let us know in the comments.

126 thoughts on “This team can choke an opposition – let’s party!

  1. Had Mayo done what Kerry did in the last game we’d have been lambasted in the press. 5 point lead at half time and 3 points up going into injury time, chokers, bottlers, mentally fragile. Instead the narrative is being spun that Dublin is the greatest team of all time to spare the Kerry blushes. I said it earlier in the year with Galway after they trashed Roscommon and everyone was talking about how great Galway was, well they weren’t, Roscommon were red rank useless. That was a poor Kerry team that choked and yet they had the Dubs beaten.
    Mayo will beat Dublin in two weeks time

  2. Enjoyed that article. You have great idea in relation to suggesting places in different cities in which to gather and watch the match.
    If you have a decent crowd you can get the proprietor to set the place up for it a bit better.

    I can suggest a great fry in Dublin few people know about. Kennedys in Fairview is by some distance the best fried breakfast in Dublin. It’s near the junction in Fairview. Near the large Centra. What better than a top class breakfast and the paper.

  3. Nice piece Eoin. I agree with ya Liam on Kerry.Were they hit with the fear going in at half time ahead?

  4. Liam, I like your style, and couldn’t agree more.
    It’s not a 36 okd Kerry man, playing out of position, that the Dubs are going to meet.

    It amazes me that no main stream journalist picked the point of Kerry’s top forward, Geaney, being withdrawn for a 36 corner back who, in ten minutes, didn’t touch the ball once. Then again, as the saying goes, paper doesn’t refuse ink.

    Mayo by 4.

  5. I had the same thought that fitness wise we are a massive step up from Kerry in the 21 players likely to feature on the day.

  6. Good post and it must be difficult to be so far away for this one.

    Personally I feel most counties would be happy enough to see us lose for many reasons but we should not underestimate the negative effect of things like the big fella who ran onto the pitch in Limerick and the media frenzy over the penno against Fermanagh.

    I could be wrong on this general sentiment but it is something that can be an advantage.

    At the end of the day we have far more room for improvement – midfield, Cillian & Diarmuid being the primary ones and if we play our own game plan we will win.

  7. Can’t resist..This is courtesy of Joe Brolly..
    “The Dubs show us what sport is..They remind us of the value of true sport.Something to inspire us..Something that MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.. (yes..he actually wrote that but I used capitals for effect..)Will Jim be sainted before presentation of Sam I wonder??

  8. Mayo have one big game in them .The dubs won’t know what hit them come the 18th.i have just watched the last four times we played them in croker, we got to pace ourselves in first half and come out like men possessed in second when Dublin are at their best.I think Mayo do be too hyped up when playing Dublin in the first half,which socks the energy out of them.
    After all its a game of two halfs.

  9. Thanks Eoin, we be off to Croker with heads high, so proud to be a Mayo woman, we’re some county and some team, now let’s keep it cool when I’m told Dublin will win by a cricket score I say ya prob, ( not what I believe ) but nothing to lose is a great place to be, hon Mayo ???

  10. Great piece Eoin. You hit the nail right on the head when you mention the fear factor. It’s the only thing holding us back in my opinion (even though admittedly that could be seen as a tad simplistic by some).

  11. Tks Eoin for your great post.
    Agree totally this team of lads need us all to really believe in them. They are like family to us and if they run into trouble we then have to step up to help them accross the line.
    No better supporters to do that. We’re the experts in how to do it. Look at how silent the Dubs go when their team are behind.
    Also its time for all of us at home and abroad to begin saying Thank you guys for BRINGING SAM HOME,and keep saying it as our collective mantra. IT WORKS. Lets all focus and keep calm.
    THANK YOU GUYS FOR BRINGING SAM HOME.

  12. JP – spot on. Kennedy’s is a good spot any time of the day.

    Nice one, Regina – Brolly is a caricature of himself at this stage. He should have added that, as well as making the world a better place, they’re also kind to animals and old ladies … or should that be animalistic old ladies? Whatever.

  13. I read Brolly’s article as well and two things struck me: (1)) Dublin are being ‘glorified’ a bit and (2) We played 4 minutes of keep ball against Tyrone and now we’re being classed as negative. Don’t understand that.

  14. If anyone is from athletics background I think this four weeks window will mean we are the fitter and faster team. We have had a good run with being injury free. Peak performance for a final is just an outcome of fitness sessions over the year and an appropriate tapering off.
    We have also added serious pace to our 21 players in Regan, Loftus and Harrison.

  15. That green land cafe in fairview has to be the tastiest breakfast ive ever had. Fairveiw must have two good cafes.

  16. Croke Park looking good for the hurling final.Looking foward to 2 weeks time when the Mayo team come out on to the pitch.

  17. Eoin, what you say about ‘fear’ is undoubtedly true, but one of either Dublin or Mayo are going to lose in two weeks time regardless of the fear or lack of. . So many of this current Mayo panel have been there so often I have think we have learned how best to deal with the ‘fear’,. We may have been slow learner’s but we did learn. The return of Mr Hyper Confidence himself Andy Moran to the form of a few years ago is brilliant. Andys presence and confidence is infective.. Boyler, Keegan ditto… Nothing, but Nothing is being leaked from camp,. Snip bits and tactical formation occasionally came to my and others notice from time to time, under Horan & “C&H.. I’m convinced Mayo are as unpredictable as is possible to be. We have to bring something different to what we done before didn’t work, and we did play very well especially in 2013. ,but we still came up short. But we were predictable, we have had patches of brilliance, mixed with long periods of mediocrity to get us to this All Ireland final . But we are there. Look there’s always pressure, pressure on the Dubs too. The more Mayo’s chances are wrote off, the more pressure they will be under. I expect allot of negative publicity from the media about Mayo the coming weeks, the more the better I think, the more Dublin are praised the better as well.. I’ll have a go at predicting the Hurling final, I’ll go for Tipperary just got a feeling, they will be the hungrier team!

  18. What a phenomenal game…..incred!!!..Tipp showed the way….win the dirty ball and never say die and then shine!!!! Can we ask for this?

  19. Fair play to Tipp. I know they haven’t been waiting decades for success but they fairly blazed a trail (an Elvery’s one!) for us today. On the big day, you just have to get out there and do it and, boy, they did that in spades. Great performance, great champions.

  20. That second half must be one of the best second halves in a final. I think we were all imagining us unleashing some 64 years brewed hurricane in two weeks time.

  21. Tipp skinned the cats in fairly convincing fashion. Relentless work ethic, killer instinct and great forward performances. An omen for us? We should take a leaf out of their book and never take the foot off the pedal. When you start to smell blood, go in for the kill!

  22. Really enjoyed that Eoin, living overseas for the most part since 2000 it’s much better nowadays with improved technology. Sunday is a working day in Dubai but GAA matches make a good start to the week.

  23. There is no way, absolutely not a chance, not even the faintest glimmer of possibility that they will keep us off the pitch in two weeks.

  24. Seamus Callanan has his best ever game for tipp, we’ll need aido or Cillian to have their best ever game to beat the dubs

  25. Very well put Eoin, and that’s a great phrase that your friend came up with too, “Well, we know that if they get going this team can choke the life out of an opposition.”

    I was just thinking that on the evening of the 18th of Sept., barring a draw, either Philly McMahon etc. will have 4 All-Ireland medals and Keith Higgins etc. will have none or McMahon etc. will have 3 and Keith etc. will have 1. Surely Keith etc. will get their hands on those elusive medals!

    It will take a monumental effort from our lads though and from us supporters as well. We can do this! Roll on the game….

  26. Liam. I’d say your right but 1 thing struck me watching the hurling today. The player’s right to embrace each other and shake hands with the opposite team needs respecting too. Would it take anything from their celebration if thousands of mad supporters some with drink on board were on top of them. Don’t get me wrong i’ll be the happiest man alive if we do finally finally get there but the very people who bring us there need to enjoy it as much as they possibly can.

  27. I agree with Richie duck, I think the players of both sides deserve the space on the field after the game. I used to be a big fan of “plan b” but I’ve changed my opinion. I must be getting old!

    However, let’s not get into planning for anything at this stage; wait until after the 75 or 80 minutes are up. Leave the pre-planning to Rochford and his crew… 😉

  28. Great article and spot on. We have a role to shout and roar like lunatics for 75 minutes on Sunday week. Horan mentioned the eerie silence 3 years ago when we lost by a point …it’s a grain of rice that tips the scales so let’s do everything we can for this great team.

    Tipp showed us the blueprint today. Absolutely savage workrate and spaces will eventually appear. Fantastic performance by them. We need to replicate that workrate in 2 weeks.

  29. How about this chant to lift things at times of quietness – O Shea, O Shea, O Shea, O Shea to the air of OLE, OLE, OLE, OLE

  30. Part of Tipp’s success today was how much they outworked Kilkenny all over the pitch. They were hassling and harrying them all the time, and Kilkenny couldn’t settle at all. Tipp did a great job of just wearing them out and interrupting any attempt to build up a flow of play. Kilkenny couldn’t carry out their typical second half storming performance because Tipp simply didn’t allow them to. It ended up with Kilkenny making silly mistakes, making bad decisions and descending into all-round sloppy play because they were under so much pressure. There’s something to be learned from this performance.

  31. Nice article but we can talk about fear and hunger etc etc but two things will decide final. A Ability and Talent B How we perform on the day. Dublin have shown what ability they have. They are a great team and beat a good team in AISF. We have not shown that ability or talent YET this year. We don’t know how we will perform on the day. We have a mixed history of performances on AIF day, being poor in 1997, 2004 and 2006 and fair in the other final years . The baggage we carry in not having won for so long is sure to bring pressure and fear both on the field and in the stands. People talk about Tipp winning today, but they have no baggage. They ALWAYS expect to win. Not having won in 6 years is unacceptable and remember they beat a team who are on the way down and whose panel is so bare that Cody, the best manager ever, was not able to bring on a sub in the FB line despite the fact they were being absolutely roasted. If Mayo beat Dublin it will be a much greater achievement than Tipps win. We will have put our patchy form behind us and beaten a team at the peak of its powers. It will require super performances from players and management. Hunger is not really relevant because I presume we have been ravenously hungry in every final since 1989. Cool heads, clever tactics, top performances and a dollop of good luck is what is required.

  32. Of course we can beat Dublin, good thing is that we invariably play well against Dublin. I am in no doubt that this is the best Mayo team in my lifetime and we have at least 5/6 of the best players in the Country (KH, LK, CB, AOS, COC & DOC). If we get a bit of luck and play somewhere near our potential we can win this.

    Lets start believing.

  33. 1 thing that’s needed on big days is composure dublin have plenty of guys who show it in abundance. Our guys need to be composed as well. Stay calm. Defensively solid and keep score board ticking over . If game is in the balance with 15 minutes to go we need smell blood and funking go for it. Dublin finish very strong as we know. Mayo game plan being worked on hopefully unlike last year as aido left to plough lone furrow. Can’t happen again

  34. To win just once, a great post. So damn true. We deserve what we get on Sunday week, Dublin will not be there for the crack and are going to be very calm even if they’re down a few points near the end, that’s the danger, Tyrone don’t have the talent of Dublin or else we would be talking about who retired and the 2017 league today. We should have lost that game but had lots of luck on our side. I wouldn’t count on luck for much, better to make your own luck and take the points and goals on offer

  35. I wonder what is the route of our victory parade on the Monday night. Will it be just up the main street in Castlebar and then on to Mchale?

    Will something be organised to mark the moment when the cup actually crosses into County Mayo? Something like a 65 gun salute from a cannon. One for each year.

    How many are they expecting in Mchale? Surely full to overflowing?

    No fear in our players on the 18th. When you know you are going to win there is nothing to be afraid of.

  36. Jimflag..would an open top bus from Dublin be too much do you think???Imagine all the bonfires in Ballyvary and the trip into Castlebar with cars lining the roads..Main Street would be closed for the week and Mick Byrne could retire by the end of it..We would be hoarse, exhausted and ecstatic..Carlsberg and their damned dreams..

  37. Tipp showed today how much of a final is on the day. Belief and workrate. We have the ability but every single final we have fallen short on at least one of the 2.
    In 2013 we should not have been found wanting for hunger and winning dirty ball. We were.
    I just can not see that happening again .
    Everything will be left out on the pitch.
    If that’s not enough on the day so be it.
    I believe it will

  38. Homecoming and open top buses? The madness has surely begun. I just really hope that we don’t pay a deposit or more for this bus before the whistle at 5 on the18th.

  39. Defeat is not an option here and thats what the players mindset will be. Im not too bothered about the memory loss of all these journos and pundits, who just seem to completely forget we brought the dubs to a replay last year . Yes we have not set the world on fire en route to the final as we all know but as most of us are also in agreement with is just maybe this is what we needed this year. Gavin has a tough assignment trying to work out mayo 2016 cause we havent showed anything that would suggest we are capable of beating his globetrotters. What does his video analysis team look at , do they go back to dublin game last year or look at Tyrone/tipp game from this year , id suggest theyre fooked cause Rochfords Mayo are going to be a different animal to anything they’ve showed ao far. Our lads can look at the kerry game and learn a lot, number one is their full back line is not as weak as a lot of us expected it to be. Long high ball will be dealt with , they have worked on this , it was probably obvious to management when they knew roc was gone . Id still test it though in a couple of plays with both Aido and Barry in there pending on how the game is going.

    I dont buy into the high press on cluxton from the word go, study the way Kerry did it and come back to me, it was very well executed, timed and calculated. I do think cluxton is soft in the head, you can get him to react like McLoughlin did a couple of years ago in croker in a league game.

    We have to remain disciplined at all times, SOS black last year for example was the height of stupidity.

    I truly believe we can do this now as it gets closer im leaning towads SR is a lot smarter than people think.

  40. I think Jim Flag and Regina are posting with their tongue in their cheeks no harm to have dreams in fairness I think the hype is being kept to a minimum please God this two weeks we’ll all be hoarse and wretched tired but elated from roaring on the green and red to victory

  41. It is possible to get under Cluxton’s skin, but after all the talk recently of pressing on his kickouts and putting him under pressure, I think he and the rest of the Dublin team will be working very hard to tidy up in this area. I don’t see him making the same mistakes again, if I’m honest.

  42. Justoutsideballagh…. Another good one!!i believe we need a few if we re having one at all!And what about Mayo Mayo Mayo to the ole ole tune as well?
    Wishful thinking!! But there’s a lot of that going on anyway and increasing!
    We need to stifle Dubs fluency through the middle and if we do we ll be getting places.

  43. Cyril Farrell just made an interesting point on Sunday game about the crowd before the game, KK fans were quiet and didn’t cheer when their team was been named, he said a small thing but it set the tone. Mayo supporters need to set the tone and although we’ll be outnumbered we need to roar the team on once they come out. Intensity in the stands will set the tone!!

  44. Will be watching it in Sydney. More than likely the Criterion Hotel (Now PJ Gallaghers). Should be a decent crowd from both counties there.

  45. What people don’t realise about today’s hurling final is that it was fantastic because the ref ignored the rules of the game.
    If Lane is good with that, we win by 4.

  46. Cluxton will prob gave a good game in the final. I’d be surprised if he didn’t. Players of his calibre tend to bounce back from adversity…otherwise they wouldn’t be as highly regarded in the first place. All this talk of getting in his head, I don’t buy into it at all.

    Equally, I’d expect Cillian to have a good final as he and quite s few others were average at best against Tipp.

  47. Dublin will target our kickouts. I’m sure of it. It’s something we need to be prepared for. We need a massive game from Clarke. We need his best yet.

  48. Mayonaze , I think Clarke has been excellent this year and is more than capable to manage the kick outs effectively

  49. I think Clarke has been very good overall. He has made a few saves when called upon most notably with his feet against tipp… He can take credit for the stop v Tyrone but it was straight at him. He came off his line well that day at the end too but on the flip side don’t have been happy with his pass to Durkan earlier on. His kickouts have been decent without being faultlessly but what I’m saying is that he needs to have a really clinical performance on the 18th; one that’s as close to being error free as possible.

  50. If Tyrone had beaten Mayo in the quarter and Tipp in the Semi, I’m pretty sure, the media would be in overdrive on the impending classic. About Micky Harte’s tactical awareness, the defensive organisation & fitness of the Tyrone team. A lot of pundits would be focusing on Dublin’s inability to create a goal opportunity against Kerry and the nordies ability to get inside cluxtons head. The Dublin media would be all on tune, “ref needs to protect our nice boys from rough tactics” “ref needs to crack down on sledging” “ref needs to protect the dub full back line from bullies”

  51. Tipp were good yesterday, but the choice of referee really helped them. Brian Gavin wasn’t calling fouls on Kilkenny players unless it was completely blatant. If you look at the Tipp tacking a lot of it was essentially fouling and it swallowed Kilkenny whole. Now that’s usually what Kilkenny do to others, Tipp used that advantage to get on top and Kilkenny couldn’t get them off.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all saying the ref won it for Tipp, far from it, Tipp brought all the necessary requirements to win this one, and did so deservedly. But Gavin set up the platform for them to do it. There were plenty of opportunities where an attack probably should have ended in an easy tap over free for Kilkenny, ended up in a fist pumping, crowd rousing turnover, clearance and start of an attack for Tipp.
    That was down to the referees interpretation. He wasn’t necessarily wrong, he just chose to call them in a certain way. That is huge for us Sunday week to have a chance, I think a lot of the frees called against us this year have been soft, as in not really fouls. I don’t think our players have actually been fouling a lot, we just seem to have gotten on the wrong side of refs which I think is some sort of subconscious payback from the Fermanagh game and the grief Joe Mc got from that. He made the decision yet it was somehow our fault.

    Now this will either go two ways, as it often does with refs. Conor Lane will either do as some have done and bow down to the might of the supposed superior team and current champions and give them a free anytime we tackle hard, or he will do what Brian Gavin did yesterday and make Kilkenny work that bit harder for their frees and allow Tipp to be as robust if they like. Ultimately I think his interpretation may well decide the game.

  52. Papua New Guinea , I saw Grant from eastenders out there on SKY and it looked a tough spot, Fair play to you Eoin for flying the flag.

    Nice piece. There was something about those 14 men when they ran out on the pitch after keegan was sent off, we really put it up to Kerry ( a much better kerry team than now ) sadly I feel that game and that whole championship was lost on the line that day for reasons we have gone into a million times.

    lets not leave Sunday week behind us !

  53. The match ups in this game will be fascinating I think this will be the first time in a long time we will be at full strength.donie getting injured last year was a big set back and playing him in replay didn’t work out parsons also got injured at a bad time.apart from caff and in my mind is a huge loss we are injury free and are coming into this game just where we need to be.
    Dublin had a good game the last day but don’t think it was the game of the ages,I often witnessed better.Kerry to me where bet much like us last year with the use of there bench.Kerry are not a bad team but when you have have 6 or7 well in there 30 s Dublin’s fitness will get you in the end.
    I think rochford and co will have a big say in how this game will pan out.
    And I honestly think he will out do Gavin on this one, the rest is up to the boys on the field to execute it.
    Have a great feeling about this game can’t wait

  54. East Cork Exile, I agree with you regarding the soft frees against us this year but I’ve put that down to being the favourites in most our games (ok my theory doesnt hold up for the tyrone game), i dont think our tackling is off this year its just the underdog always gets the benefit of the doubt. Sunday week will i think be reffed along similar lines to the kerry v dublin game.

  55. Mayonaze, I think your in the hennelly brigade,

    we need to support Clarke….. he wont let us down……….. never has

  56. What about Spillanes slip of the tounge after the Dublin Kerry game…… “Dublin are worthy champions, they have …… ahem, I mean of course they have a big game to come against Mayo” he follows up with to mask over his first remark. Well I hope SR has this statement on repeat play and booming it through the team bus going into croke park .. “Dublin are worthy champions” …. Would love to make him choke on those words …

  57. There was another one in the post-match interview with Jim Gavin where he was asked how he felt having “retained the title”. I know, strictly speaking, the semi-final win meant they’re still the reigning champions and so still have the title but it was still odd to hear the question posed in that way ahead of the final.

  58. I think our lads need to forget about all that stuff and focus on the things they need to do on the field. Learning from Tipp – keep it simple – man up and work like hell.

  59. Ned you are way way off on that and in fact I don’t know where you’re getting that from!? Did I not say that Clarke has been very good? I’ve also numerous times said that we are lucky to have two very good keepers and Kenny OM was also top quality.

    My comments were based on too much emphasis on Cluxton and that IMO he is a brilliant keeper. This lead onto me saying that I expect Clarke’s kickouts to be targeted by the dubs and that we need to be ready for this… finalised by me saying that he needs his most clinical performance. All valid points don’t you think?? Again, I don’t know how on earth you got the ‘ Hennelly brigade’ rubbish from.

  60. Exactly die hard,Spillane and others know to well what this bunch of lads can do if firing on all cylinders, the fact our boys have stayed well away from the media this year is in to our barrow.
    I think Aido learned a good lesson how the media works after the Fermanagh game and could be seen in his no nonsense interview with rte after the Tyrone game.
    Just have a feeling the country will witness why we hold this team in such high regard on the 18th and by god is it festering for awhile.

  61. @Liam There is not a chance in hell of anyones getting onto the pitch should we reach the promised land. I have it in good faith from a GAA bean counter up north here that the number of injury claims the GAA has to deal with after every pitch invasion .esp in Croker was on average of 30 each time. That is the real reason they don’t allow it , keeping the grass in good nick is only a red herring.

  62. During that ding dong first half yesterday Tipp stood up with play and score to the cat.Twas more free flowing than what was to happen in second but already on a few occasions a Tipp jersey was seen to emerge with sliotar to hand with more black and ambers sprawling than usual.
    Tipp intensity escalated from half time and each time they won the scrum you felt the cat was thinking about its next saucer of milk. And so it proved to be a victory hewn out by a ruthless will to win….down to graft,teak hard attitudes and belief. They broke up that KK swagger and proceeded to display their talents supremely in all sectors. But they first did their ground work!!
    You are right on Diehard….it’s in your name!!

  63. Mayonaze, I would agree with your previous post regarding kickouts. They will be targeted the same as we will try to pressure Dublin’s kickouts. Clarke has been very good but a couple of kickouts have gone astray each game. A more complete performance is required as is from every player. Your observation was balanced and is the same as saying Cillian needs to convert more if not all of his frees. There wasn’t a hint of Hennelly in your post and I hope that particular debate is dead and buried (I believe it’s banned anyway). As WJ said we are all on the same side.

  64. Spilliane after Kerry game. “Dublin are worthy champions”. —– Brilliant.

    “Jim Gavin was asked how he felt having retained the title” ——- Even better.

    I love this stuff. Obviously they cant see what’s coming down the track towards them on 18th Sept. Gather up all yer money and get into William Hills, Ladbrokes, Corals, Paddy Powers and take that 3/1 on Mayo. Easiest Money you will ever make.

  65. Hey posters, could we keep off the victory parades and pitch invasions for a while?

    We’re having a go at Dublin for their hubris, but it’s actually pundits who are falling over themselves and not all of them Dubs. Gavin himself has been pretty measured, he really doesn’t do emotion, (though a Kerry friend saw him fire an iPad away during the our 2013 final clash). Remember too that Dublin had a similar semi final victory over Kerry in 2013 (another greatest game…), had a week less than us to focus on the final, and it didn’t do them any harm.

  66. Tipp were deserved winners but they did seem to get them lucky breaks at times .. Hopefully we will too , all these small things add up . Excitement building and so are the nerves ..

  67. I agree catcol. It is most definitely the pundits who are falling over themselves to heap praise on the Dubs, but I don’t believe that mentality will seep into the Dublin camp itself. Gavin is too sensible and this Dublin team is too long on the go to let complacency take over. Mayo gave them a fright last year and I doubt they’ve forgotten it. The commentators may be writing Mayo off, but you can be sure those closely involved with the Dublin set up won’t be taking anything for granted. They were shown up against Donegal in 2014 when it could be argued they weren’t at all prepared for what Donegal could bring and maybe believed their own hype. It won’t happen again and anyone who thinks the Dublin team and management think themselves that they’ve won anything yet is probably mistaken.

  68. Jim flag
    I hope you don’t bet the ranch on Mayo, you do realize they are going to be playing Dublin,? Right? the same Dublin that have won 26 games in a row and 4 national leagues in a row.

  69. I agree Dreamysleepy….. this Dublin set up is as professional as you can get in the GAA. Complacency wont be a factor whatsoever. In fact it’s ridiculous to think or assume that when you look at the closely fought battles Dublin and Mayo have had over the past 10 years in championship and no more than there being far too much made of Cluxton, I also think there’s far too much being made about media’s comments and how they admire this Dublin team.

    The reality is that this game will be down to performances on the day and some tactics and game management on the line – but mostly how the players do on the pitch. What media say and what fans think has much less bearing that people think – particular when you take into account the two teams involved, their experience and the level of professionalism now involved.

  70. The hype is generated by the pundits and media and will not have any effect on the Dublin team what so ever. Dublin are the most professional team in the history of GAA and will act accordingly, anyone who thinks they will fall victim to the hype like the teams of the naughties are mistaken. Mention has been given to the Donegal game in 2014 and in fairness Jim spotted a fault in the Dublin set up early on and exposed it ruthlessly. That door has beed firmly shut with the deployment of Cian O’Sullivan.

    In saying all that Dublin are beatable as are all teams no matter what sport. Mayo will need to be at their very best and then some for 70+ mins to win. I think Rochford has been setting up for this game all year. We would have crushed most teams playing our open running game but Rochford knows that is not the way to go to win the ultimate prize. He has been a lot more measured than what went before, trying things, tweaking things. I think it has taken a long time for the players to fully buy into his methods but by getting to a final in his first year will prove to the players that he knows what he is doing and everyone will be singing off the same hymn sheet on the 18th. I expect a surprise of two re selection/setup on the day too.

  71. I think the fear factor is a very valid point. When I say that I am thinking more of ourselves the fans than the players. I agree completely in regard to what happened 2013 and I was guilty as anyone. When you want something so bad, the fear of not getting it can be so huge it’s numbing. That’s how I felt in 2013 in the second half, consumed by fear and dread. And I think there are a lot of Mayo people out there who felt the same.But it’s when things aren’t going well that’s when the fans are needed most. We need to forget the past and believe we will win and never lose that belief. Fucking make ourselves heard. Fucking make ourselves seen…wear your colours (more than a headband required!). This group of players owe us nothing but we owe them for all the enjoyment they have given us so let’s do just that.

    And you know what, Fuck Joe Brolly and his sneering. If he think’s Dublin will wipe the floor with this Mayo team he’s even more fucking stupid than I thought. To hell with the doubters and the haters, if Mayo hit the heights we all know they are capable of they can beat anyone but we all need to believe that. HON MAYO

  72. If we’re all serious for a minute though, if there’s anyone, ANYONE in the world that can end war and social injustice, it’s the Dubs.

    Or the Dahbs, as our friend Ger from RTE likes to call them.

  73. Great to see those measured responses dreamy sleepy and mayomad.

    The Dubs are very professional and the management won’t be at all complacent. However, being written off all over the place is still good for us I think. If everyone outside the camp is telling the players it’s a done deal, particularly friends and colleagues, this can seep in. It definitely sunk in with Mayo against Galway. It’s small stuff, but little things can help.

  74. Just found out I’m sitting in section 301 for the final. It would be nice to be a bit more central suppose I’m lucky to have a ticket anyway I was stuck there for the Tyrone game so it might be a lucky omen I’ll gladly take the same result

  75. The magnitude of the victory parade which will take place in Castlebar on 19th Sept would suggest to me that

    A. It would leave very short notice to start drawing up the plans for it at say 6pm on 18th.(when the whole county is going mad, including the people trying to arrange it).

    B. It would be like hosting a sold out Connacht Final in Mchale Park with 24 hours notice. (sold out but no tickets required and so we dont know exactly how many thousand are attending).

    C. Police officers drafted in, stewards, traffic restrictions all arranged in a few hours.

    D. Remember, every Mayo person in Connacht will be there that night (except for the few who might say “ah sure i’ll go and see Sam the next time we win instead”).

    E. No plans put in place would suggest to me that we have accepted that we are going to lose and on the off chance that we win, sure we will throw some owl type of half baked reception together at the last minute.

    F. What happened to “losing is not an option”? As far as i am aware, losing is indeed not an option. A draw is no good to us either as we have seen in 2014 and 2015. So the stage should be set and the town prepared for mass delirium. The like of which we have not seen before in the County town.

  76. The trouble with this Mayo team is that they take too long to settle into games. That wouldn’t normally be a problem because of the way they can play and rack up scores when they do find their rhythm in games. Second halves have been Mayo’s downfall all year. They seem to have to go through the whole process of finding their rhythm again in every second half. That is the biggest problem that I can see. I’m no expert of course. And there are many factors for this with the opposition changing players position or personal. If Mayo are to progress I feel it is Mayo that will need to do the big changes going into the second half. Even if we are ahead. Changes that are not counter reactions to what Dublin are doing. I know Kerry tried this last week but their problem was tired legs couldn’t see out the plan. Kerry invited Dublin on to them with the one goal of letting Dublin get a couple of points and build up confidence. Have a few scraps in the middle or just inside the kerry half. Don’t try and press up, just let Dublin believe they were getting the better of them. And after 10 minutes go for the killer blow with a long ball in the hope Dublin would be so confident they wouldn’t get men back as their mindset would be on all out attack. That tactic failed because of no changes up front and a tired Kerry team. It was the right setup in my humble opinion. They knew they couldn’t go toe to toe with a fitter Dublin team for 70 odd minutes and it showed in the way they were not able to execute that plan. They couldn’t make penetrating runs or get that final pass when they actually had the chances later in the game.

    It’s funny how the media try and tell us something different than what we actually seen ourselves. After the game the whole talk was how Dublin stuck to the plan and how their heads didn’t go down or how they didn’t panic… Hold on for a minute.. once Kerry scored the first goal Dublin were all over the place. They couldn’t win kickouts, they were getting dragged out of position and they couldn’t buy a pass when they did get into the Kerry back line. They were well rattled. They only reason they won this game is because of the reasons outlined above. They were allowed back into the game because Kerry allowed them into a false confidence they had planned to destroy with a killer goal. It didn’t work out that way but a fitter Kerry would have finished the job.

  77. Good god lads the talk of plans for a homecoming is quite premature.
    While I’m confident that we can beat Dublin if we play to our full potential and all our players are on Song, lets not get too ahead of ourselves just yet.
    As it happens – i don’t think we’ve had a game yet this year where everyone has played to their peak offering. Tyrone was the closest we came and I think I could perhaps highlight Diarmuid O’Connor not being at his best – granted he was back from an injury picked up and he looked as if he was injured at the end of that game also. Cillian and his brother were both a bit off form for the Tipp game, as was Kevin Mc from what I could see. I would argue that Seamie has had a few games so far where he has not been up to scratch either.
    For us to beat Dublin, we absolutely must be at the very peak and each and every player has to be at 100%. Nothing less will do. Any other bits of luck that go our way can only help but we can’t be relying on that either.
    I have no doubts that we can do this.
    And any bits of encouragement that we as fans can offer from the sidelines would do no harm either, seen as I’m talking about things.

    Up Mayo.

  78. Jim Flag chill we have won nothing yet I’m sure the county board have the homecoming sorted and are quiet rightly not broadcasting it to the country there will be plenty Of time after 5 pm on Sunday 18 to announce a homecoming via mad west and social media if the need arises in the meantime

  79. I can understand why media and those outside of Mayo are giving us little chance. 3/1 in the bookies speaks volumes for the general opinion of the neutral. To be honest and I hate to admit, but if I wasn’t a diehard Mayo supporter I’d be giving Mayo an outside chance at best too. I’d be saying what everyone else is saying, firstly that this Dublin team are a machine with a terrific sub bench. They have so many star players, particularly in attack that 3 or 4 can have an off day but the other 3/4 will have a good or great day. Rock too, doesn’t seem to miss many frees. Defensively they were good against a strong Kerry attack. The two goals were a bit lucky, let’s be honest. Kerry didnt score for the 1st quarter and only managed 5 points in the 2nd half.

    Sure, this Mayo team has run the dubs close in years gone by but lost in 2013 (when Mayo were on form and playing much better in the run up to that final whereas dublin weren’t as powerful then as they are now but still managed to eek out the win). Mayo lost again in 2015 and we havent seen any real evidence of improvement since. In fact if anything I’d be saying that on the evidence of 2016 Mayo have regressed and have stuttered their way to a final. The argument against this would be that Mayo have curtailed their attacking flair game so as to tighten up at the back. To that I would say that the Mayo defence hasnt been fully tested. Yes, they prevented Tipp from scoring a goal but allowed Tyrone an open goal chance(the only one of that game) and far too many shots at target that day. If Mickey Hartes men had their shooting boots on we’d probably have been out. The Dublin forwards are light years ahead of the Tipp, Tyrone, WM and Kildare….

    My opinion would be that Dublin will really test this Mayo defence, one still, seemingly without a regular fullback. The 18th of September is a day Mayo must win 4 of the 6 match ups in this section of the field. This will be a tough ask but it’s absolutely vital for Mayo.

    Mayo must also win midfield. Midfield is an area that Mayo have as much strength if not more than Dublin but Mayo will need to be like savage hounds on the breaking ball for the entire game. And whenever the Mayo midfield sub is brought on, whoever that might be, he has to have a big impact.

    The area of most concern for Mayo is upfront. As a unit it has been inconsistent at best. Simply not scoring enough and not creating enough goals. The return to form of Andy Moran has breathed some life into it but you can be damn sure he will be a marked man by the dubs. Andy doesnt appear to have 70 mins in him anymore so how he is utilised will be key for Mayo. He is at his best when he wins possession and shoots or lays it off quickly. When Andy starts to hold onto possession it slows things down and invariably breaks Mayo’s momentum. Mayo need to strike Dublin like a rattle snake – sudden lethal bursts. If the Dublin defence filter back and Mayo start going lateral (which we must accept will always happen at times in a game) then Mayo will be in trouble. Mayo need to mix it up – some well planned long direct ball and some running attacks. Cillian needs to be close to his best and someone else needs to really put up his hand and deliver – a Doherty, a Diarmuid. Both in fact.

    The stats in the run up to this match and form are overwhelmingly in Dublin’s favour. In order for Mayo to win we need a bit of luck coupled with the lads pulling out one of their best ever performances over the past 4/5 years. According to the bookies and they are usually right, there’s as much chance of Dublin opening up this Mayo team and winning by 7/8 points as there is of Mayo actually winning the game – with Paddy Power giving 16/5 on Dublin -8 while Mayo to win are 11/4. Daunting odds if you are hoping for a Mayo victory.

    Does anyone know when a team at 3/1 last won an All Ireland Final??

    Mayo supporters are pinning hopes of victory on faith along with some facts and stats. Hope that the team can deliver an outstanding 70+ minute performance because form says they wont. Faith in a bunch of footballers who have been our best in over half a century – faith that they have the ability to do it. Faith that theyve been waiting for this one moment. Faith that fate is on our side. Fact that we have run Dublin close on many occasions and beaten them once or twice in league and championship albeit not for some time now. Whereas, reality, current stats and form all point to a Dublin success.

    We need it all to fall right for us on the day. If Mayo can bring a superior level of non-stop intensity then this could be a significant factor. You would expect that both teams will go it at it full steam but Mayo must find it within themselves to surpass Dublin in this sense. Doing so can give us a psychological edge on the day.

  80. Jim Flag are you just pulling the piss or have you some alternative motive here? Its talk like that which keeps that lazy annoying myth alive about Mayo supporters over hyping again. Let’s get behind the team on Sunday week and support them 100%. Everything after that will take care of itself.

  81. Jim Flag is dead right , nothing written on this blog will win or lose this game lads, we are past the point of no return now. I hope the Castlebar vintners and their hostelries are ready for us on Monday night , i personally plan to drink 2 quotas.

    I think we are the second best team in the country, in the final on merit and the dubs should have put Kerry to the sword.

    maybe the dubs have an off day ? no one ever sees that until it comes .

    Mayo are 3-1 , so mathematically we would be expected to win once every four times we play Dublin, maybe the 18th will be that day.

    whats the worst that can happen ? nothing we haven’t seen before , we have a limited downside and an unlimited upside , now that’s my kind of gamble !

    now dear media , please give me more about these wonderful dubs!

  82. I cannot find records of betting odds, but it must be a long time since any team was more written off in a final, than we are now. Perhaps Donegal in 1992, going back to Offaly in 1982. We were given no chance against Cork in 1989, ran them closer than anyone expected. While its great to be going in as underdogs, our performances so far in 2016 warrant this.

  83. We were 5/1 to beat Cork in 2011… I remember putting €50 on us but on All Ireland Final Day…it’s a long time since such an outsider won. Yes, Donegal in 92 would have been the same I reckon. Armagh in 2002 would have been outsiders but by sure of odds.

  84. I believe the Dubs were an unbackable 1/2 to beat us in 2012 while we were around the 5/2 mark or thereabouts. This despite the fact that we annihilated Down in the quarter final, and the Dubs scraped past Laois.
    We know how that day turned out – we lead by 10 and the Dublin Joe got the call and did all he could to bring the Dubs back into the game.
    I think I have a link to the odds from that day somewhere. I’ll post the link if I can find it.

  85. One pundit who I think is interesting at the moment is Alan Brogan. He is close enough to the team, I feel, to give some insight into their thinking or overall approach.

    In previewing our match with Tipp, he made the point that we are not to be trusted. Interesting word, meaning I suppose that Mayo are as unpredictable as the weather. He’ll be worth watching.

  86. Jays this place is gone to pot, give me some of what you are on Jim, its powerful stuff.

    I do think Mayo will win but will as you guys pointed out need our very best display from each of our players .

    As regards the match ups I think we have the ability to not only shut down our direct opponents but also better them and play freely ourselves.

    Rochie is a tactician and will have the right lineups and tactics covered that I have no doubt, McEntee will provide the motivation, Buckley the tackling etc etc , yes each member of staff needs to be on point and I think they will we . They are experienced personnel with winning mentalities, all of which were recent winners of an All Ireland in some form or another .

    I mean to date our defenders have each played well be it in different games or otherwise but the Tyrone game seems to be forgotten , that a game we showed mentality, togetherness and outright appetite for the battle .

    For the Dubs game I think if we lined up like

    – Harrison on Rock
    Harrison is capable in the air and very good at tackling so shouldn’t give Rock an inch, with Rocks lesser playing ability than that of the other 5 it should also allow Harrison to help tidy any breaks.

    – Barrett on Brogan
    Perfect man for the job the experienced Barrett licked Brogan last year and one of only very few to have kept him quiet . His coolness and rugged determination will prove a motivational factor in the Mayo full-back line.

    – Higgins on Kilkenny
    The supposed playmaker the man who’s always on the ball and likes to drift, well let him try track Higgins , let Higgins play out in the halfback line and where Kilkenny likes to roam, fight fire with fire.

    – Keegan on Connolly
    This will be worth the admission fee on its own , if Gaa done player cam this would be some battle to watch for the 70 + mins .

    – Boyle on McManamon
    What a battle this will be as well, two small men in stature but absolute warriors and neither will back from the other, like Connolly and Keegan, what a clash this will be.

    – Durkan on Flynn
    Two lads with massive engines and whilst Flynn is a class act Durkan has the attributes to quell him and match him for speed and possession .
    Another 50-50 battle.

    So in my humble opinion if we play to the very best of our potential we will match Dubs in the this department and maybe even tag on a few of our own scores with Higgins and Keegan driving Connolly and Kilkenny backwards .

    If we add Kevin Mc to there and maybe Seamie sitting a bit deeper to fill in when McManamon brings Boyler out of the middle I think we will get the measure on them .

    Centrefield too should be even enough as I would start Tom Parsons and Vaughan with Donie picking up MDara and Parsons on Fenton.

    Fenton is a hell of a player and Tom is too but he will have to be at his very best to keep up with Fenton so no harm having Seamie there too to soften up Fenton and also contest aerially.
    I do think Seamies tongue will be out trying to keep up with Fenton on his own so starting Tom P at 15 and dropping into midfield should give us that bit of extra life and options in midfield .

    Vaughan v MDMA will be a physical battle too and MD is ratty so Vaughan’s physical presence is sure to aggravate him.

    Look its all ifs buts and maybe but I do see us a matching them at the very least and making it tough for them and if our men up front can play to their very best as we know and have seen Cillian, Diarmuid Andy and in particular Aidan play then why not?

    We have great options from bench too in Coen, Moran, Dillon,Loftus Conor O Shea and Regan .
    Anything is possible but we have the skillset, the hunger and the management team so hopefully we get a break for once and then over to you Jim for the year long party.

  87. They were, indeed, FDB and they were the same odds the day we beat them back in 2006 too. My favourite Dublin odds, though, were for the quarter-final against Tyrone in 2008 when they were 1/4 to win. It was only the night before when I was reading the match preview and saw that Tyrone had 12 All-Ireland medalists in their ranks that it began to dawn on me what might transpire but, of course, I never made it to the bookies to put my money where my mouth was.

  88. We were 5/1 not 5/2
    I have fond memories of my trip back to the bookies after that one
    Especially after being told by a Dub on the way in to enjoy my day out as I won’t enjoy the match
    Ah memories 😀

  89. Betting tends to follow the weight of money anyway. I heard stores of some Galway lads that made small fortunes in 1998 by betting on Galway with bookies based in Kildare.

    The 3/1 is a bit crazy though, as someone above alluded to, if Tyrone scraped by us and were playing Dublin the odds would be a lot tighter.

  90. @ Catcol, I was actually just going to mention about a article in The Indo, that Alan Brogan wrote about us. He was really talking us up, it was like an article one of the Kerry pundits would be writing. Brogan’s mother is from Kerry so maybe that explains it! It was like as if he was taking directly to the Dublin supporters and saying something like, don’t write the Mayo boys off or think that Dublin have the title wrapped up already. There probably will be plenty of articles like this from former Dublin players, former Dublin managers etc. in the next two weeks, i.e. trying to make sure that the Dublin supporters don’t get too carried away and think that they only have to turn up on the 18th of Sept.

    There was an article straight away on the Monday after the Kerry game too by John O’Leary, the former Dublin goalie, talking up Cluxton, like as if he was trying to build-up his confidence again for the final. Telling us all what a great keeper he is, so you’ll see plenty of that kind of talk as well.

  91. Yeah I read that Brogan article earlier.
    It does certainly seem like he’s trying to warn his county against any possibility of complacency.

    He ends his article with – “I’ve written off Mayo once already this year. With what I’ve seen from them in the last six weeks, I won’t be doing it again. And you can be sure Gavin and his troops won’t either”.

    This is the link to it if anyone’s interested –

    http://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/alan-brogan-taking-responsibility-has-helped-to-build-resilience-35019241.html

    I also had the misfortune to read Brolly’s article from yesterday. What utter shite.
    But please keep it coming media people, keep it coming.

  92. Yes HSE good points. The problem is there will be an avalanche of bullshit over the next couple of weeks and that any sense that was there during the rest of the championship will disappear, as all and sundry gear up in their blue or green and red jerseys.

    We have our share of them too, and I’m steeling myself to withstand some of the stuff that will be raining down on us from the Ballina brigade (you know who I mean).

  93. Lots of posts on tactics and match ups all of which are interesting especially outside of boot who made valid points on each position particularly Parsons v Fenton which is a must. I’m sure both management teams have plans to counteract the opposition but as a boxer would say, plans and strategies are only good until you get punched in the mouth. Its how you adapt to the changing circumstances of a game that counts.

    This brings me to the most imortant match up, Rochford v Gavin. Past Mayo managers imo have shown a very inflexible attitude when planing for opposition, Horan for all his positive points and turning Mayo from a joke to a serious team, was way too slow to change what wasnt working and too slow to freshen up the team re subs. PatNoel relied too much on AOS at ff and didnt plan for when that approch didnt work. Now we have Stephen who looks to be way more calculated, willing to experiment, studies the opposition and tries to counter their strong points. These are the games where a manager like this cones to the fore, with tactical cunning to level the playing field against a superior opposition. If Rochford wins his match up then we can dare to dream

  94. If tipp can beat Kilkenny why can’t Mayo do the same what’s your opinion on bubbles o dryers comment after the match. It didn’t sound good.

  95. Re Bubbles, after beating the old enemy, the emotion of winning an all ireland, you can forgive him that. Interviews straight after a game are pure emotion and no one is thinking about appropriate vocabulary.

  96. Cait, if Mayo were to win, every single player could say the F word as much as they wanted for all I care. Its not as if people don’t hear it in everyday life. Obviously there are better ways to say stuff on the TV but just after a game like that fulfilling a life dream etc etc. To me its not meant to harm anyone, its just pure raw emotion.

  97. Betfair exchange has mayo at 3’s. I am thinking of hedging…putting a few quid on mayo because if we do indeed win I think I may need a few extra quid in the pocket!!

  98. The thing with odds as someone already alluded to is that they are skewed by population.
    If mayo and Dublin were two dogs racing and both dogs were identical in every way the bookies would probably have the Dublin madra at 1/3. Because if you take Dublin population at 10 times that of mayo, then the bookies are likely to lose a lot more in the event of the Dublin bitch winning.

    So by my reckoning, the bookies actually feel this game will be a lot closer that their odds suggest.

  99. Haven’t been reading the blog in a while with all the back to school craziness (some of us aren’t fortunate enough to also have an AI final ticket hunt frenzy into the bargain!). Funny listening to you talking about betting odds against the Dubs. .. you could get approx 8/1 for us to beat them in the 2014 semi and they were roughly 1/10. Ashamed to say I never took a punt.

  100. Add mc stay to that list too. Mayo 51 – legends indeed but not very clever it appears. Remember mc stay telling everyone on the sunday game the week before the 13 final that Mayo people would be delighted to see ger Brennan start the following week.
    What happened? He kicked two points and was one of the best players on the pitch.
    Just one example of what not to say the week before a game like this.
    We don’t need fellas giving out dressing room wall material for the dubs.

  101. Dave- Just to correct you on something. They haven’t won 26 games in a row. They drew one last year. And they were damn lucky to come out of it with a draw

  102. Mayonaze Sensible and reasoned post. Dubs great side. We will need to be excellent to beat them. Jim Flag confident man. Any news yet on the 2017 homecoming. Is it true they are arriving with Sam into Castlebar airport on concorde

  103. Its true alright to win just once. The bould Micky Ring secured €180,000 funding to resurrect the runway to take the concorde. Someone said they heard it on midwest earlier today.

  104. I also believe it is our defensive match ups that will be the biggest factor in us winning. I see it being:
    Harrison – Brogan. Fully rested youthful and pacey Harrison with a long reach and taller than Brogan is all wrong for Brogan.
    Keegan – Connolly.
    Higgins – Rock.
    Boyle – Flynn. Think Boyle can win this as Flynn seems a bit off.
    Durcan – Kilkenny. He did fine on Kilkenny last year. You need a flyer for Kilkenny.
    Kevin McManamon – I would play Kevin Keane who is our only defender to have done any good on McManamon. If Keane doesn’t start he certainly should finish last 15 minutes to close out McManamon who is usually best late on. If doubt me go and check the league game and watch Keane stop McManamon in his tracks. (auto text had travels for tracks…. We really need to highlight Kilkenny and McManamons steps. Kilkenny holds onto the ball with one hand making shape to solo and takes two more steps. McManamon is just steps crazy)

  105. Just looking at the scorers from the Dublin v Kerry match , Dublin had 8 pts from frees, also only 1 of Dublin’s subs scored (O’Gara) compared to 3 Kerry subs, this would indicate that Dublin’s bench is not as strong as it used to be , and McManamon looks like a starter for the last few games as opposed to an impact sub in previous seasons, in a nut shell if you keep Dean Rock quiet and limit the opportunities they have with frees and the bench not looking as strong as it did in previous years, they look like an average team, it wouldn’t surprise me if Mayo get the upper hand here, they are coming in, in a great place, no one is giving them half a chance of pulling this off, there could be a surprise in place……….

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