The day after

Photo: Louis Gunnigan

In this crazy, week-to-week Championship run we’ve been on all summer, it’s as if each day has its allotted role. If that is the case then today is the one where – all too briefly – we bask in the pure, unalloyed enjoyment of the win the lads secured the day before.

What a win it was. In watching the game on GAA GO from afar, I can readily concede that I only captured part of the drama and excitement of the occasion. I was still absolutely wired throughout so I can only imagine what it must have been like for those of you there. It’s a game, I reckon, that’ll live long in the memory of supporters.

From what I gather too – and this came through loud and clear on the iPad as well – you, the fans, can all take a hearty bow. That wasn’t a hushed home crowd yesterday evening, you roared like demons from first to last. You were that proverbial sixteenth man. Fair play to every one of you.

What can one say about the warriors out on the pitch? On that, I’m all but lost for words. Written off repeatedly by the so-called experts, having their credentials questioned at every turn but, when the fat’s really in the fire, they never fail to perform. I bloody love this team.

One of my favourite Mayo players this decade is Jason Doherty, a true unsung hero and such a hard-working and committed team player. It was sickening to see Doc stretchered off last night with what looks was a serious knee injury. We can all only hope and pray that the damage he suffered isn’t too bad.

Losing Jason would be another bad blow, heaped on top of all the other players we’ve lost at various stages this summer. But Mattie’s back and looked in great shape when he came on yesterday. Tom – sigh! – is back too and it’s not tempting credulity to think that Diarmuid might well make the 26 next Saturday.

In that sense, the closer we get to the prize the stronger we’re becoming. We’ll need strength in abundance next Saturday, regardless of whether it’s Dublin or Tyrone we’re up against. Either of them will be tough and, with both of them seemingly fielding B teams today, they’ll be fresh too.

That’s an advantage, no doubt, but set against this is the battle-hardened resolve that runs through our group like an electricity current. Anyone who doubted how hard we are to beat got their answer in MacHale Park last night. Now, back on our favourite pitch at HQ, does anyone really think we’ll be easy to get by next Saturday?

But let’s leave the looking ahead until tomorrow. That’s sorting out the tickets day and it’s when we start to switch the focus from the game that’s just gone to the one that’s coming up. But don’t let that spoil today. Go on – luxuriate in yesterday’s great win, the latest chapter in this odyssey we’re all on with the team. Truly, these are the days of our lives.

We’re travelling pretty much all day today ourselves so I’m not sure when I’ll get the match-day podcast episode up here on the blog. We’ve two flights to do so I may get the chance between them to sort it then but, if not, keep an eye out on iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify or Podomatic as the new episode may be online for a while before I get to it.

Finally, a huge shout-out to Tom for covering the match report here on the blog again yesterday. That made our final night here more relaxed – and a bit more beer-oriented – than it otherwise would have been. Reading through Tom’s report I really got a sense of what it was like in Castlebar. When you think about it, providing in words a taste of what you’ve seen yourself is the essence of good writing. Top man, Tom.

Right, miles to go before I sleep and all that. On a summer where we’ve still got some road to travel with this great team of ours. Up Mayo.

63 thoughts on “The day after

  1. The best bit was that Donegal tried the hard man act all day, with the full permission of Mr Gough and it got them nowhere.
    The shoulder to the face of Aidan and the roaring down on top of him afterwards was trampish stuff of the highest order. Roles reversed I’d be embarrassed if one of our players displayed that clownish behavior.
    I can now see why some of the Donegal crowd were shouting for Meath last weekend in Croker. It was the fear and ye were dead right to fear us lads.

    I think we must be the only team who would look forward to playing Dublin in a semi final. We were supposed to be gone in round 2 of the qualifiers, we’ve unearthed and blooded some absolute gems of young fellas this season, our owl fellas are getting better like vintage wine, absolutely nothing to be afraid of, we’re in give it a lash territory in this semi now lads.
    Mayo Tyrone final, we finally for once get a bit of luck on final day and win it.

  2. Seeing Aiden interviewed afterwards in the news late last nite, and marks under his eye and looking like he was in battle( which he was), and that behaviour by Donegal to be let go by Gough is just a pure disgrace. It was a def red card.
    Sickening.
    Bet it won’t even be mentioned, but if it was Murphy it’d be all lovey dovey spouted dribble.

  3. Fuck Gough.. fuck Murphy and getting away with murder because of who he is..and fuck the media writing us of..we know this team and what they are… Fucking warrior’s.
    Beating Galway in Limerick and Donegal last night are in the top 5 results we have had this decade given the context…..
    Cannot wait for Saturday.. don’t care who it is.

  4. Great result, well done Mayo!

    Lads the wife was asking me, What the hell is Andy Moran made off? In fairness he was like a 21 year old out there last night..
    The Dubs will fear ye… make no mistake

  5. Agreed Tubberman, Gough was fine last night. He missed two clean mayo pick ups off the ground back in our own defence so we had our own fortunate calls too. It was a very difficult game to referee & I think he did fine. He’s been pretty good to Mayo in the past so I don’t think we should be moaning now. Great result & a fine performance.

  6. What a game and what a team we have. Could not be prouder of those wonderful men the heart the fire the spirit Jesus they are warriors. The crowd too were fantastic. Thanks lads for a brilliant summer and its not over yet!

  7. I’m still raging at that tough-man stuff that Gough let go. Its unsafe refereeing, as it gives opposition complete free reign.
    It wasn’t enough for them to get soft peno. I agree, I’d be ashamed if our team did that.

  8. Proud as punch to see the tenacity return. Languishing in mo leaba still on a third viewing . Mc Donagh and Doherty stood out especially…what an addition to the group And what a group! Just another little lift for the next day please and I believe it’s there. Thank you All the Warriors.

  9. I think if a team from Connaught and a team from Lenstier play in a semi final the ref should be from north or south,not a man living in meath or Kildare that works in Dublin,not fair

  10. Really hope the Jason Doherty injury isn’t as bad as it looks. He is one of our most important players, does so much dirty work and a great physical presence in our half forward line. Crucially, he often plays well against the Dubs in championship.

    Listen, we’re up against it next weekend, but you never know with this team.

  11. Thought the ref was fine. Except for the challenge on AOS. That was a red for sure. Well done lads. Nothing to loose now. Up mayo

  12. Where’s Aiden o Rourke now?
    Sick when I read that article. Implied we shouldn’t show up at all in our home ground by not even a Mayo written in it at all. LOL LOL
    Shows all he knows about our warriors one and all.

    Oh it doesn’t matter that a player is smashed to the ground with a elbow to face, and we can’t say anything about the referee that let’s that go!!!
    Not saying anything about it is where we fall down in trying to protect our players and for games to come. IMO

    Well done Robbie H, you played one of your best games under immense pressure. WE have the 2 best goalkeepers any team could ask for.

    The journey continues…… for the summer of our lives. LONG LIVE THESE GREAT MAYO MEN.

  13. Rewatched this morning.
    Lots of good performances but paddy durcan a clear motm. A Captains performance pocketing one of the best players in the country and kicking 3 big points. Massive leadership.
    Harrison and mcdonagh also stood out on rewatch and Doherty had his best game of the year by far

  14. This mayo team are like Rocky balboa. They just won’t give up. No matter what’s said or done they keep getting up. It’s a credit to all involved. I must say I did not believe it was in them given injuries and previous performances. But when I saw the bench my hopes were built.

    Great season to have win the league and be in the last 4 of all Ireland. Who’s knows where it could take us. As wj has said let’s enjoy this and comment on next weekend tomorrow.

    The rocky balboa story continues …..

  15. Our warriors were never going to let it end on a wet evening in Castlebar. We head for Croker next Saturday evening to roar on our two mighty teams. There are a few special players on that minor team and we need to nurture them to take over from their heroes. Safe home WJ, there will be a good few more blogs to write yet.

  16. Nice Sunday morning feeling.

    Great to be planning for a trip next weekend, but the more I think about the loss of Doc, the more that gutted feeling grows. Awful to lose a player like him anytime not to mind for what will be a desperate semi final battle next weekend.

    Great ball winner, and kicks inspirational scores at crucial times (boomed over a cracker yesterday).
    He’s a player for all seasons. What a display in the league in Tralee this year. Everything stuck to him in the wind and hail. AOS rightly got the plaudits that evening, but Doc was immense. That match kick-started the assault on the league title.

    He somehow seems to maintain a low profile, but it’s players like him who really exemplify the collective spirit that’s evident within this group when they’re on their game.

    As supporters we’re all obviously gutted, but I can’t imagine what it must feel like for him (or any player) who has worked so hard and sacrificed so much all season only to have it all snatched away in an instant.

    While Doc’s loss is very unfortunate, no doubt JH et al are already planning ahead. A win next weekend would surely speed up JD’s recovery ?

  17. I haven’t posted in a long time but I have read most of what goes up on this great blog. And sincere thanks for providing, supervising and injecting a wonderful source and forum Willie Joe. It’s more important to us than you can ever imagine!
    What prompted me to post now is the real prospect of playing Dublin next week or a couple of weeks later.
    Please remember the mood we were in on last Friday – Unhappy (but secretly delighted) to be underdogs; rallying fellow supporters to roar the roof off the stand in Elvery’s McHale Park; and willing our Warriors to again defy the odds.
    Our long journey has taught us that we are always at our best wearing the underdogs tag and with our backs up against the wall outwardly, and when we’ve accompanied that with resolute belief and butterfly anxiety within.
    I’m begging my fellow supporters to load the mega tonnes of hype and the weight of expectation that accompanies it in to Dublin’s 5 in-a-row heads, while we relish the underdog tag again in the build up, and another great Mayo support will witness our battle hardened and new young Warriors combine to make us even more proud of them.
    Remember, while Croke Park is Dublin’s home ground, it’s also our lads favourite pitch. And the more Aidan O’Rourke’s that ignore us, the better – more motivation feed for our warriors and supporters!
    Self praise is no praise I know, but I’m proud to be a member of the best band of supporters in any sport anywhere. You can only be from one place and thank God, we are Mayo and our battle colours are Green and Red!
    Finally, my thoughts are with the Doc this morning. As WIllie Joe said- he’s a unsung hero! He works so hard and wins so much ball in the middle third, a great link player and grabs a point or two at key times in every game. A warrior that fights until he drops. I hope the scan shows it’s not as bad as he appeared leaving the field. Get well soon Jason.

  18. Yes that was sweet. Thanks lads. I’m contented for now.
    So sad to see Doc injured. He was playing superb and his physical presence has been huge. As others have said he’s another unsung hero and I join my healing wishes with everyone else that he may not be as badly injured as it looks.
    I look back in my mind’s eye and see that tackle AOS put on their keeper, Patton. That was a statement and it said everything that we needed to hear. Don’t mess with us, we’re here for business. God was it good.
    Yes, I was disappointed with Gough but it’s true we got away with a few pick ups off the ground. But I still think some of the cynical fouling dished out was unacceptable and I’m surprised that our team didn’t receive the same protection as Donegal. However we can complain all we like but my overriding sense is of pride and contentment. From here on it’s really bonus territory and we truly have nothing to lose. As you said above Mayo Mark…sure Mayo don’t even come into the equation for a shot at Sam this year. That’ll do.

  19. just up after a long and happy night .supporters were brillant in castlebar last evening.i think it is terrible that mayo ladies are playing their all-ireland quarter final versus armagh on saturday in longford.the powers that fixed that game probably assumed donegal would win.i am calling for the ladies game to be put back to sunday or else to play it in croke park before the mayo v cork minor match.

  20. @Cloud9 Well said! Best post iv’e seen in a while. Lets keep the underdog tag (which won’t be hard). Sure we’re going up to make up the numbers, lets hope we can keep it respectable!!!

    Still on a high from yesterday, reading all the Sunday papers with glee. Willie Joe is allowed the odd break from posting match reports 🙂

  21. Excellent article by Keith Duggan in the Irish Times.

    Love the opening line –

    “Welcome to the bear-pit. If the dream is over, then nobody told Mayo. Not even the summer rain could prevent the Mayo faithful from turning molten as the wild bunch whipped up another 70 plus minutes of beautiful and at times nonsensical chaos”.

  22. “They’re gone they are definitely gone ” .That’s the stuff Joe .Keep writing us off .
    Jason Doc is a massive blow for us .He is hugely under rated even by some Mayo fans .
    Bar the goal Cillian got Doc’s point was massive for us ,followed closely by Chris Barrett’s and Paddy Durcan . Three massive scores that went a long way to getting us over the line .
    I had the same feeling watching this game as I did watching us play Galway .We always looked in control but this being Mayo you can never relax .

  23. Anybody got Keith Duggan piece from the Times for us who aren’t subscribers if its allowed of course?

  24. I must admit, after being to almost every game this year my expectations of a positive result yesterday were waning after the last couple of games. Even though I put money on the lads to do it I didn’t expect what I saw. This was like the Mayo of old, invigorating stuff from start to final whistle. Hassling and Harrying in the tackle, I think I lost count at 28 turnovers. Standing up to the rough tactics of a Donegal team that thought all they had to do was turn up to win was heart warming to say the least.
    Losing Higgins when we did would have dropped the heads a year ago but we now have EOD to come in and do the job that’s required. I thought he played very well. Aidan, Seamie, Doc before the injury all played excellent. Leroy done a fantastic job quelling Murphy while he was on him but lads, you got to take your hats off to the one man that, in my opinion, has been our outstanding player of the back door this year and that’s Chris Barrett. He played exceptionally well yesterday, tackled ferociously, turned over a lot of ball and ventured forward to grab scores when we needed them. Well done Chris. If this team can repeat that performance then I don’t fear who they put in front of us next weekend. We may win, we may lose, but if they fight like that we cannot complain as it will only be an exceptional team that will take us.
    Well done lads, try and take it easy this week and say to yourself, just two mor performances like yesterday and who knows! We can all believe!

  25. With the Magnificent Noise and Atmosphere that was witnessed by those of us lucky enough to be there in MacHale Park yesterday evening.. What a travesty of overregulation and stupidity it was to see several thousand Empty Space’s…If it is Dublin that we get in the Semifinals, we won’t see any Seats Empty in Croke Park…It should have been the same yesterday in MacHale Park… It’s just as Safe full to the hilt as Croke Park is…. probably even safer… Those loyal Mayo fan’s who didn’t get a ticket for yesterday and I know some of them… hope ye get tickets for the Semifinal, and with the extra help we will be even louder and better next Saturday..

  26. Best Media expressions from yesterday .
    “ Oisín Gallen is the meat in a Belmullet sandwich of Chris Barrett and Eoin O Donoghue ( Mike Finnerty)

    “ Mayo were rampant. The finished team – yesterday’s men – all of that, were given a standing ovation at half time “ ( Keith Duggan)

    “ To play Mayo is to enter the fun house . It’s to try to play football in the house of mirrors “ ( K Duggan)

    “ But their attempts to build from the back ended when they met they Mayo threshing machine around the middle of the field “ ( K Duggan )

    “ This was Mayo in their natural habitat , thriving in organized chaos , rebelling in a real tough game and soldered into the pulse of the local crowds , whose dial was switched to Saturday night berserk “ ( K Duggan)

  27. For me, the moment of the match by a country mile was Boyler’s bone crunching but fair tackle to dispossess the Donegal man in the first half, right after we got our goal. Donegal were almost through on goal, with an overlap of at least 3 men, and Boyler said “thou shalt not passs”!!! It can’t be overstated how important that moment was. Absolutely huge. Match very much in balance then. Boyler is a nailed on All Star this year already.

  28. This match in Omagh is a joke.
    The GAA should give the gate fee back to the supporters.
    Dublin Joe worth 4 to 5 pts, for the Dubs.

  29. Congrats on the win yesterday! What a phenomenon this Mayo team is.
    But that’s the end of my good wishes 🙂
    Really looking forward to next Saturday now.
    Finally, a game for us Dubs to get excited about.

  30. JH has a big call to make this week. Do you play Darren Coen at full forward or not? If he does then he needs support. If not then it’s flooding midfield and depending on paddy, et al, playing on the break? BIG BIG CALL???

  31. So Tickets will go on sale early Tuesday morning through Centra and Supervalu stores and online on tickets.ie.
    Its important to book tickets early to avoid disappointment as Dublins huge support base are expected buy up loads of tickets as this is there biggest game they have played in 2 years.

  32. Well who would have thought?the all Ireland champs v the peoples champions, next Saturday is going to be legendary.. Will Mayo be the team to stop us doing Five…I’ve got great enjoyment watching Mayo this year, yous are barmy on and of the pitch… This is gonna be Great… See you there

  33. We have to move on from yesterday’s victory and the whole frenzy stuff.

    We are in an all Ireland semi final now . Our shooting is so poor , I can’t fathom why it’s so bad . Am I right in saying our conversion rate yesterday was 38% and the dubs usually have one Of in and around 90%.
    I still think it’s dublins full back line that needs to be got at and Rory o Carroll isn’t going to be the answer there either , he looked so off it today .

  34. Mayo Supporters need to keep their heads down over the next few days, keep the hype and attention focused on Dublin, after all they are going for 5 in a row an we are supposed to be finished. Our lads are battle hardened and eager for road. We will hit them at 1000mph next Saturday. Mayo fan’s job this week is to talk and hype up Dublin, let our lads do the talking on the pitch. Take a leaf out of the Yerra bible. Hon Mayo!

  35. You’re right Sean. The fact we still.managed to win with that conversion rate is baffling. Other than the Galway game our hit rate hasn’t been good. Maybe it was ok v Armagh but they had more shots than us. The stats are weird that’s for sure. But it’s an area we absolutely have to rectify in 6 days.

    The dubs defence is fine. Today was a nothing game. The last time there was talk of an iffy full back line was when we went to Killarney and we know how that turned out!

  36. Outta the blue – There are plenty of people that would like to see Mayo lose next Saturday, and would hope that you give us a good beating. Trust me, we would prefer to be the All Ireland champions rather than the perceived “people’s champions”.
    However, there will be plenty hype in the media, but no pundit will go for a Mayo win. I am interested in the number of dubs fans who comment on the publicity that Mayo generate, this is not generated by those close to the team. For what it is worth, I hope that the Dubs do the 5 in a row if you manage to beat us next week.

  37. It must be nice to leave Dean Rock at home today.
    Reports on RTÉ mentioned that he watched today’s game on TV.

  38. Can I ask one question on something that perplexed me last night – who was going to take frees when Cillian came off? Why was Loftus not brought on? Crazy things can happen late in a game when only….

  39. Looked like there was a prior arrangement between Gavin and Harte to allow Dublin win by a few points today. Tyrone could have tried a bit harder today and won the match. Does that mean that Tyrone showed Mayo a lot of respect and decided they would prefer to play Kerry. I don’t think that Mayo would ever put on a stunt like that today and on their home ground, disgraceful. It looks like a Kerry Dublin final unless we stop the drive for five. I don’t think that Tyrone will get to the final this year. What a fiery gutsy performance by our lads last night and the Mayo crowd were unbelievable, still a bit hoarse yet but happy. Might give the Dubs a good rattle next Saturday evening if we bring our shooting boots.

  40. I agree with you everhopeful.
    Mickey Harte and Jim Gavin seem to have a good laugh together after the final whistle.
    The pressure cooker is going to heat up for the Drive for 5.
    This will be a big factor next Saturday evening.
    We will be big under dogs, but sure we will try to doour best and keep the ball kicked out to them.
    Hopefully Diarmaid o Connor will be fit.

  41. Justin Morgan, season ticket attendance usually takes a few days to update from Castlebar as opposed to Croke Park where it’s usually almost immediate. And it’s a bank holiday weekend too. Check back on Wednesday and if it’s not updated then, email the season ticket office. (Who will do absolutely nothing about it.)

  42. Outta the Blue, one only has to briefly peruse Hogan Stand or the various social media websites to show the utter hatred and disdain a lot of people seem to have for our proud county. Some of it IMO goes way beyond simple footballing rivalry and is more of a reflection on an unhealthy mentality prevalent online these days, one which unfortunately is also permeating the non-virtual world.

    I look forward to taking on the Dubs, most of whose genuine fans will be in the stadium next Saturday.

    Safe travelling to all.

  43. Well done to JH and management, trainers, back room staff but esp to our ever giving, resilient, magnificent Mayo team..we are so proud of you and we are the luckiest fans in the country..barr none.
    I think the encouragement by all the Mayo online groups, plus the ‘score’ poster really gave permission to us.. (the sometimes restrained supporters in McHale Pk ), to be as vocal as we normally are when playing away…well done.
    All the talk by the media of Stephen Rochfords inside knowledge of the team was blown away, JH we applaud you.
    From this house and Im sure every GAA Mayo house around the world…Jason Doherty we pray for your speedy recovery. We hope you can don that Mayo jersey soon with your usual no fuss HERO style, and a true gentleman to boot.

    Good luck to all next Saturday.
    Minor and Seniors we salute you.
    We will give our undying support to you.

    Maigh EO Abú

  44. Thanks Ann Marie. Even the season ticket machines in McHale park put some of us through the wringer!

  45. Sean Burke 38% of 35+ is better than 70% of 20 attempts. If you don’t shoot you won’t score .One thing I’ve never done is take a forward off for kicking a wide. It’s the man who don’t shoot the problem .

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