Dublin 3-14 Mayo 1-10: blue wave washes us away after the break

Well, that sure was a game of two halves.

At the break, with us eight to six up, things were looking as positive as we could have hoped for in advance. We’d worked like demons in that opening half, repeatedly turning over the ball in our backline to break up their attacks and asking questions of them at the other end.

The only nagging concern then – when all manner of delicious possibilities were beginning to materialise in our minds – was that the dominance we enjoyed in the opening half hadn’t translated into enough scores. We were two up, but we should have been five or six clear.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, however, it was all over. Dublin hit us like an express train after the break, taking us for 2-6 without reply in a devastating 15-minute spell. We simply had no answer to this full-on barrage in blue.

Lee Keegan’s goal – he does love scoring goals against Dublin – briefly gave us hope but wild shooting and poor shot selection meant that we failed to close the gap further when there were chances there for us to do it. When Fenton scored their third goal on sixty minutes it really was all over.  

How different it was just a short while earlier in the day. When Croke Park filled up – all the way to capacity – just before throw-in the atmosphere inside the stadium was electric. It really felt as if a seismic contest was about to unfold.

And for half the game that was what we got. We got the game’s two first scores – a Cillian O’Connor free that HawkEye confirmed was over and a point from play from Seamus O’Shea – and were off and running.

We’d made three changes in advance of throw-in. Donie Vaughan, Mattie Ruane and Diarmuid O’Connor started instead of Kevin McLoughlin, Fergal Boland and Darren Coen, seemingly going for increased heft and height in the middle third. Two Rock frees had them level after five minutes. Then James Carr showed well for the ball inside, turned and curved a nice score over off his left.

In a flash, Dublin stole ahead. Mannion should have done better when played in but blazed over. Then Rob Hennelly’s short restart was intercepted and Mannion popped it over to put Dublin one up.

We responded well. Cillian O’Connor’s effort from distance just made it over and then Paddy Durcan raided forward to reclaim the lead.

As Dublin started to look a bit unsettled, Small went into the book for a high challenge on Colm Boyle. Cillian coverted the free to edge us two clear. Rock ended a 12-minute scoreless spell for Dublin with another free. We made our first change then, which looked to be an enforced one, as Donal Vaughan gave way for Keith Higgins.

As Dublin were increasingly content to sit back, their blue blanket strung across the field with virtually their whole team back beyond half-way, as we dominated possession and played the ball back and over in front of their shield. Then Boyler punched through a gap and let fly off the outside of his boot to increase our lead to two once again.

Half-time was now approaching and we pressed to extend our advantage further. We pulled a further point clear, with Paddy bagging his second, but they had the final say of the half when the hitherto subdued Howard cracked over a fine score from distance to cut the gap back to two.

As the teams trooped off at the break and 82,300 people exhaled it felt for all the world like Mayo/Dublin days of old. We’d taken the fight to them, they looked more unsure of themsevles than at any time since the 2017 All-Ireland, and we were in this to win it. The job we’d came to do might not be done but it looked then as if the task was at least half-done.

Dublin got the opening score in the second half right from the throw-in. Rock was held back by Chris Barrett and the Ballymun player was unerring from the resultant placed ball.

Then came what, in retrospect, looked like the game’s real momentum-changing moment. Paddy shot from distance and it looked to be heading over but his effort just didn’t have the legs and a scrambling Cluxton pawed it out. Dublin hoovered up the loose ball, tore downfield and O’Callaghan shrugged off the attentions of Lee Keegan and stuck it in the net.

That started what quickly turned into a rout. We lost four kickouts in a row, Dublin gobbling up the breaking ball – how we could have used Jason Doherty then – and coming at us repeatedly. Scully, Mannion, Rock (a free) and Mannion again, this one from an utterly ludicrous angle, pushed Dublin six clear.

Where before they had been overly cautious, Dublin were now playing – and attacking us – with abandon. We literally had no answer to this assault.

O’Callaghan shimmied by Lee a second time to bag his side’s second goal, Mannion’s point a few minutes later extending their lead to double digits.

With a full twenty minutes of normal time still left to play, our goose was well and truly cooked. Lee’s goal rose a cheer in the Mayo ranks and so too did Tom Parsons’ heartwarming appearance off the bench with ten minutes left to play. Sadly, though, that was just after Fenton had hammered the final nail into our coffin.

And so the game played out to its predictable finish. I thought we might get the margin of defeat back down to single digits but we just failed to do this. Cillian’s dismissal on a second yellow in stoppage time capped a truly miserable second half for us.

We’ve no complaints, of course, about today’s result. While we matched Dublin – and more – in the first half we were simply no match for them at all in the second half. That third quarter onslaught was nothing short of awesome and we simply had no answers to it.

The hard run of games – and, in particular, that bruising battle against Donegal a week ago – can’t have helped, especially when Dublin hit the accelerator after the break. We looked a tired team well before the finish and it was perfectly understandable that we should.

So that’s it for 2019.  Well, seeing as today was our third defeat in this year’s Championship, I guess it is time to fold our tent for the year. Tonight’s not the night for any considered appraisal of the year – there’ll be time aplenty for that in the months ahead – even if the margin of this defeat does have an end of era feel to it, certainly for a number of our brave warriors who have given so much for so long in the service of their county.

Tonight, it’s sufficient to sign off by saluting those efforts and thanking the lads for all they’ve given. Now it’s time to rest up, recharge the batteries and, in time, start to think about 2020. But just not now.

Hard luck too, by the way, to the county’s Minors, who were always bailing water against a slick and confident Cork team in the day’s curtain-raiser at Croke Park. They eventually went under by nine points in that one.

There was better luck for the ladies today, another battling performance seeing them get the better of Armagh by 2-12 to 1-12, as they advance to the All-Ireland semi-finals. Well done to them.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Stephen Coen (0-1); Lee Keegan (1-0), Colm Boyle (0-1), Paddy Durcan (0-2); Aidan O’Shea, Seamus O’Shea (0-1); Fionn McDonagh, Donal Vaughan, Matthew Raune; Cillian O’Connor (0-3, two frees), Diarmuid O’Connor, James Carr (0-1). Subs: Keith Higgins for Vaughan, Kevin McLoughlin for McDonagh, Andy Moran for Carr, Eoin O’Donoghue for Boyle, Tom Parsons for Seamus O’Shea, Fergal Boland (0-1) for Diarmuid O’Connor.

Who was our MOTM against Dublin? Pick your top three performers

  • Paddy Durcan (28%, 383 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (22%, 306 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (12%, 160 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (6%, 84 Votes)
  • James Carr (6%, 82 Votes)
  • Chris Barrett (5%, 63 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (3%, 44 Votes)
  • Seamus O'Shea (3%, 40 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (3%, 39 Votes)
  • Robbie Hennelly (2%, 33 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (2%, 31 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (2%, 27 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (2%, 26 Votes)
  • Fionn McDonagh (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Eoin O'Donoghue (0%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 716

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49 thoughts on “Dublin 3-14 Mayo 1-10: blue wave washes us away after the break

  1. Fair play to our boys!!! Nobody could have lived with Dublin in the first 10 to 15 mins of that second half and I mean no one. There was bullets and cannons and arrows coming from everywhere!!! The ship was on fire!!! The Mayo team and supporters can hold their heads high and that team can enjoy their well deserved holiday/rest. Thanks for the memories

  2. Mayo tired in the 2nd half , Too many games each
    year , why they don’t take the Connaught championship more seriously I’ll never understand especially with an ageing team ,The Donegal game with 2weeks rest was proof of that ,Hope to see ye back next year ,

  3. Esctasy last saturday. Agony tonight. They tried so hard. All them exhausting games caught up with them. How can amateur players cope with those demands and the GAA dont care one iota.
    Totally heartbroken for them tired weary warriors. (Amazing to see Tom play again – a hero). Its the saddest thing how this group never won An Ireland. I just cannot accept its over….

  4. Thanks WJ for all your work on the blog over this & many other years. I’m a long term lurker but this is my first time commenting. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of our players who bravely battled against the odds all year. I feel utterly dejected though by this defeat because more so than any other game over the last 5 years, it has exposed the gulf in class between the Dubs & the rest of the Top 5. It’s hard to see how they won’t now win 6 & 7 in a row, even beyond. How many Dublin titles will it take before the powers that be implement the reforms that are needed before other teams can realistically aspire to win an AI?

  5. Thanks WJ . Not easy do a match report after such disappointment. Sadly deep down I think we all knew that it was coming especially once the defeat against Roscommon put us on the gruelling energy draining qualifier road. The team has gone into the inevitable decline in last 2 years and tonight was just the confirmation of that. From our first game in championship in New York serious flaws in our game were not or could not be addressed might be fairer. But all that is for another time as you say WJ. But we have to acknowledge Dublin what a terrific performance and team. Yes you can say they have all the advantages and resources etc. But they still go out and do the business. They are a class apart.
    Final thought I wonder why Andy didn’t try and point the last free himself instead of passing it inside. We still got a point from it but it would have been a nice sign off or Andy if he did….

  6. Glas agus dearg, they’ll probably win at least 8 in a row and the gaa will realise they’ve created a complete shit storm with next to fuck all attending games and ultimately not selling out all Ireland finals. Gaelic football is slowly dying before our eyes with the monster that croke park have created and it’s a crying shame. Lots of young boys and girls will eventually turn their efforts to soccer, swimming, athletics etc. so fuck them for what they’ve done in the last 15 years and they only have themselves to blame

  7. Dublin are an awesome team no doubt and deserved their victory today. However we all knew that Mayo had to be at their best to have a chance. The six day turn around after a bruising encounter with Donegal was too much to ask of this gallant Mayo team. It was awful to see Colm Boyle standing on the forty totally exhausted fifteen minutes into the second half with no more to give. Why is this happening. Dublin were fresh while our lads were completely bollixed with the effort of the previous week and the first half. This is nothing short of abuse. It is abuse of the players, the fans and the game. The Gaa should be ashamed of themselves.
    Well now they will have their five in a row. Now they have a team that no one can beat. Now they have control of the game in headquarters in Dublin. But they have fuck all else. No teams left in Leinster and a diminishing return in the rest of the provinces. The thirty one counties should revolt and set up their own association and leave Dublin and HQ to their own devices. By the way this is not a rant against Dublin. This is a rant against the more and more centralised Dublin powerbase that is now the Gaelic Athletic Association. They introduced the super eights which involves more matches and then condense the time required for them by bringing back the date for the all Ireland final. We know all the arguments for various decisions but there is no joined up thinking. No consideration for the consequences of each decision. Player welfare is certainly bottom of the list. We see today the consequences of these decisions. A team and county that will take a long time to recover.
    Make no mistake this is the stuff of revolution. There is no level playing field. Yes the year is over for us Willie Joe. But the year really starts with congress and there should be a rallying cry. “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”

  8. Thanks WJ for all the labors this year, and what a rollercoaster year it was.

    Not willing to toss in the towel yet => utterly destroyed by injuries. Too many missing pieces and lads without enough time back to compete fully. Further in and further up in 2020.

  9. I don’t buy this thing of Mayo not taking the Connacht Championship seriously. That is a cover argument. Beaten by better teams on the particular days in question although the 17 wides against the Rossies tells me that game should have been won. Front door always the better option and all counties have the same ambition in that regard.

  10. I don’t think James Horan is taking a defeatist attitude to this. I imagine he see’s this year as a building block with ups and downs. Injuries really caught up with us. We don’t have the resources of Dublin but when we lose the likes of Ruane, OConnor, Docherty, Parsons from our pick then its going to tell.
    Dublin in their home venue is always a tall order and being honest given all of the above is the result that much of a surprise?.
    We need an injury free year to give ourselves a chance and 2019 was not it.
    I still think all of our big name players have alot to offer next year.
    Hopefully we can develop a few more and give ourselves every chance in 2020. Which is only 4 months away!.
    If we keep doing the right things then eventully it will come right. Doing the wrong thing (giving up) is never an option….

  11. Yes eye on the ball it’s a disgrace. How can they possibly pump that much I to Dublin. How many games development officers have they in comparison to other counties? They sicken my hole now and Jim Gavin comes out and patronises the gaa people of Ireland by talking about how tough the opposition are when in reality it’s far from a level playing field. I don’t have any figures to hand but I know it’s a disproportionate amount of mi eye going their way and their sponsors pump it in as well. Enough is enough….

  12. I know I’ve had pints now but it’s a joke….apologies all, I just love my county. I’m off to get some fresh air. I’ll stop talking now

  13. A county with 1million 300 thousand people to pick a team from a sponsorship that only cork and Kerry come close to all your players live in the county so you can train together and on top of that you pretty much play all your games at home then a team with all those advantages should be winning 5in a row having said all this they are the greatest bunch of athletes the game has seen mayo abu

  14. It’s time for mayo to look a new goal keepers to change the kick out .I think it’s to late to try and change the goalkeeper we have at the moment to adapt to new way of kick out’s are doing by the top teams . Very proud of this bunch of players for the 8 years .if we can tweak a few thing we will be back in the mix next year .

  15. Cant speak highly enough or Praise these Mayo lads enough for their battling on the field this year. They done us proud. Maybe we should have in the dressing room known at half time the Dubs were going to go for us in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half and maybe James could have strengthened the Shield with Kevin Mc and O Donoghue. I thought Carr was playing well when taken off but DOC seemed sluggish tonight. Maybe should have stuck Aido into the small square and bombed in the high ball in the second half mixed it up a bit. Cluxton did not seem comfortable under it.
    Anyway you cannot fault these Fantastic Mayo lads who have played their hearts out. They have to be wrecked tierd after the number of games played weekly and the injuries we had with key lads just coming back from injury. It has been a successful year, League Winners and an AI semifinal plus unearthing a new young band of players who now will go on to wear the Green and Red. It was special to see this Team win the League, they did hold up a Cup in Croke Park and were on the winning side in a Senior Final for once.
    Its no shame to be beaten by the best Football Team Gaelic Football has ever seen and if the Dubs were not this invincible machine Mayo would have won 2 or 3 All Irelands in recent years.
    This Dublin Team are Majestic and a Class apart.
    So I salute these Mayo Warriors, Panel and Management. We will rest now and regroup for next years battles. A Connaught Title is a Must for next year which may help with Cutting down on Fatigue and Injuries.
    Finally a huge Thanks to any of our Heroes who may now feel the time is right to retire. I dont think it is and I hope that next year brings a more bountiful Harvest for Mayo Football.
    You have given us a Great Year, You All are Magnificent Mayo Men and a true Credit to your County.
    Thank you to You All.
    Go neirigh an tadh le Mhuigheao.

  16. I think we can be proud of the Mayo panel tonight, they pushed Dublin to where they haven’t had to go for the past 2 years. Dublin hit top gear in that 3rd quarter, and really nobody can stick with them on that form. We poked the bear, the bear didn’t like it, and the bear bit back.
    The first half performance was as near to perfection as we could have hoped for, apart from not being far enough ahead at the break. How pleasing it was to see smug Gavin on the big screen without his customary smirk as we outplayed them, out-tackled them and generally bossed the game.
    But we knew there would be a 2nd half backlash from Dublin.
    I have to say there was a noticeable change in the referee’s attitude towards us in that 2nd half as well. We couldn’t buy a break, and Aido definitely should have had a penalty after Lee’s goal. How the likes of Cooper, Small and McAuley can consistently get away with some of the dirt defies logic.
    Kerry or Tyrone won’t get within an asses roar of Dublin in that form. We’re still the only ones who can push them, but they are a machine with all the cards stacked in their favour, I fear it’ll be a long time before we can catch up to them.
    To the players, management and backroom team, thank you again for the greatest entertainment all summer, keeping us on the edge of our seats, keeping our blood pressure high, and keeping our nails bitten. The good days have been very good, the bad days not so good, but everyone one of those on the pitch and on the sideline deserve our applause, our appreciation and our respect.
    And finally, to Tom Parsons, to see that man take to Croke Park today was remarkable, it’s a pity we were out of the game when he came on.
    I for one am proud to be a Mayoman this evening, and the Green and Red flag will continue to fly on my house in Sligo long after Dublin’s procession to the All Ireland title has been completed.

  17. Head all over the place tonight, so just some random thoughts…

    In the first half, Paddy Durkan, as usual, kicked 2 excellent points…In the second half, he had 3 efforts at the posts…2 dropped into Cluxton’s arms while the third went wide….Luck deserted us in those moments, but what an outstanding player Paddy Durkan now is…Surely, an All Star contender.

    Needless to say, we were completely blown away in the second half, scoring a paltry 1-2..Our legs were going at that stage, and I have no doubt that the defeat to Roscommon caused a lot of our problems by sending us down the dreaded qualifier route..Too many games in succession was always going to affect our aging team.

    Was a bit disappointed to see the amount of Mayo supporters, who walked out with 15 minutes still to go.

    Did I imagine it, or did Tom Parsons really come on ?
    What a legend of a man to come back from such a sickening injury

  18. I am very proud of this team, and the game just flew by! The first half was brilliant… But we should have known that the first half means nothing to Dublin. So many teams have led in the past and then Dublin comes back and lights out. Today was not going to be any different. We were lured into a sence if security and then bham… Full ambush. And that was that. But in reality we really were too optomistic.. And why not… But a six day turn around was never going to work. I am not going to take away from Dublin, because they are very good and clever players, but the format will have to be looked at again. There was no let up for the punishment of losing the Connaught champ. Once you qualified for the 8’s there should ha e been a reset, to give all teams an equal chance at this stage. There should have been a two week break. All teams didn’t come I. With equal opportunities. That and the reality that Mayo have had too many wides all seasons.

  19. Blown out of the water when Dublin stepped up the gears 2nd half. End of the road for that panel of players that was consistently competitive group against even Dublin. Full blown transition from next year now and supporters must realise through that Mayo aren’t going to see many if any AI semi finals in the next 3 or 4 years.

  20. Wouldn’t bother talking about all of Dublin’s advantages tonight They had the same advantages yesterday and it only sounds like sour grapes They are an awesome team and our guys deserve immense credit for the way they tore in to them For me the biggest cock up is the new system where we had to play 7 in 8 weeks with a one week break to semi final That’s not sour grapes it’s just a shitty system It’s not that we don’t try to win Connacht We just simply are not up to speed early in the summer until college is over and the travel and logistical problems are not as great That’s no disrespect to Ross and Galway who have got the better of us in recent years. Anyway despite today’s result I have nothing but admiration for our team and the efforts they made this year

  21. I can only salute this team and it’s supporters. To see them leave every single drop out on the field was humbling and made me proud . There will be time to discuss selection and tactics but for now these lads deserve all our praise . We are back in teddy Kennedy country lads . The work begins anew and the dream will never , ever , die .

    Thanks a million lads .

  22. During an almost unbearable time in our county’s social and economic history in the early parts of this decade, these boys gave us something to be really, truly proud of. We can never thank them enough.

  23. End of era for sure in that we will have some retirements but what a journey we had since 2011. So thanks to all those fantastic players!
    It’s 30 years since 89, it might take another 30 but we wouldn’t swop with any other county!

  24. End of the road. We’re going to lose at least four great servants for next year. While many will argue we have good talent coming through – the reality is that none will come close to the quality of players we’ve had the privilege of having representing our county over the past 10 years. Dublin going to win 6-7 in a row followed by Kerry to eventually take their crown. It’s back to the days when an occasional day out in Croke Park for a quarter final or semi final will be a massive occasion for our beloved county…….and so it should.

  25. As a dublin supporter living in donegal i am very happy tonight and hopefully we can go on and win the final but the reason im writing this is to take my hat off to andy moran what a class act he came down to the hill after the match applauded the hill and went over to Stephen cluxton shook his hand and they both embraced i for one am sorry that this team will now probably break up because they were the one team who always had us chewing our nails but you will be back and as i said before andy moran class man class player

  26. Fair play Dublin are a great team & i don’t begrudge them all their victories, they will reign for a long time, not even Kerry will beat them now or for a long time either. Mayo are a good team but they need to retreat & repair, recover, & start to build once again next year. Time to relax now.

  27. What an absolute fucking privilege to follow these lads this year and every year. Those who feel sorry for us or for them really don’t get it. As for those who don’t see something to love in that Mayo team, well they’ll continue to pull the legs off spiders and bully the smaller kids. They’re not our concern, there’s no teaching someone who can’t appreciate beauty. Thanks boys. And thanks WJ for allowing us to get it all off our chest.
    Good night all. ??

  28. No shame or blame on either the players or management who gave it their all today.

    Dubs unstoppable in second half but I agree that the long run of matches finally caught up with us.
    In looking at the match, you could say we started with 5 midfielders! Seamie, Diarmuid, Mattie, Aido and Vaughan. Albeit they didnt all play exactly there. Diarmuid the only real forward of the 5 though. I see why we did it and half time score justifies the overall team selection, but you’d have to say we should have been more up then, but where were the scores gonna come from? Cillian had an off day, and there might have been merit sticking with Darren Coen. Even though he had a quiet match last week he was still winning ball out in front. I still think Dubs would have still won today no matter what and I’m in no way criticising team or management. But there’ll always be what-ifs.
    Even as we were in that first half, I still think we missed a trick by not kicking a few balls into Cillian. I cant believe at times Cooper went man-on-man with him. Our tackling, energy and application was still admirable in first half and hats off to the lads for that. Perhaps Aidan could have went into the square for a time also.
    Hard to analyse a lot in the second half as we were completely overran.
    Definitely the feel of end of era time. Very disappointing for some of our older warriors but sport doesn’t do sentimentality and rebuilding must begin but could take a few long years.

  29. Supporters expectations were way, way too high coming into this match. Reading the blog yesterday some of the stuff written was crazy, like this could be our year, with the strength-in-depth on the bench we’re a match for anyone, I’ve a feeling we’re going to do it etc etc. Do we lose the run of our selves or what? anyone in their right mind who would take the time to weigh up the strengths of both teams could only come up with one conclusion, Dublin are miles ahead of anything around at the moment and the 5 in a row could very well become 6,7, or 8 in a row before other teams catch up.

    Beating Donegal was our AI final this year and that was an achievement in itself but for fuck how could a team who have been on the road for 7 weeks on the trot be expected to take on a brilliant Dublin team who hardly broke sweat all year, it’s just not possible and anyone who thought otherwise were not in the real world.

  30. Here here Mayo Mark, the greatest team of all time to inspire young Mayo men coming through the ranks, I am beyond gutted tonight and it’s hard to see where we go from here after seeing that 2nd half display from Dublin, have to wonder what is the point anymore.

    Got the feeling from Andy’s body language that that was the last we would see if him, poss the likes of Clarke, Higgins, seamie too, devastating to think these warriors didn’t get what they have deserved.

    Just a few things that irked me today, Dublin season fans smack down the middle of the Cusack, intro music for them at start of second half and nothing for mayo, and girl from Dublin trying to rile up the Dublin fans with all the up the Dubs shite before the start of the game, not to take anything from a phenomenal team but by fuck could the GAA make it anymore biased it they tried. Tyrone or Kerry may as well not bother throwing in the ball tomorrow, the organization has turned into a shitshow.

  31. The journey home was long , dark and the rain pelted down but I wouldn’t have missed that first half for anything. It started in New York and finished in Dublin but they gave us such thrills and excitement along the way. Mayo team I salute and thank you for a great season. As I supporter I feel privileged to stand with the green and red,

    Have a rest, reflect and let’s continue to support this fantastic team and a new season again.

    For now let’s enjoy the great games, wins and excitement they gave us and will continue to do so.

  32. I just want to come on here to say one thing. I just saw ratings of player performances on a national paper that have Young Carr a 5…

    And that is an absolute disgrace. I was at the davin end in the first half and that kid was outstanding – he won every ball kicked to him – I Think he should have backed himself a bit more shooting but for a young lad he was super in every other facet and anything less than a 7 is an insult and needs to be said…morons with lap tops.

  33. Hats off to Dublin. I’m not for complaining about GAA financial support right now but I do think the fixtures with super 8s doesn’t work. While Dublin were excellent in that super spell our work rate dropped. The game logjam contributed to our demise and with hindsight we didn’t help our cause at all losing in Connaught especially knowing up front there would be a logjam. The team never capitulated today but we did lose most of our composure after the blitz. Also going for points when we needed goals. I got that impression Dubs FB line wasn’t impermeable.
    I’m not as pessimistic as some about retirements. I can see Keith and Andy retiring because of their age but not so sure Seamie and Chris will be so keen yet although Chris’ article today suggests he might while still at his peak. Boyler was rejuvenated this season so I hope he stays and no way Tom P will retire after working so hard to get back. James Carr looks a serious forward, Darren Coen had a good year. Fionn didn’t do so well today probably because of the scale of the occasion but he’s an excellent find and hopefully Kevin Mc will be back fresh next season. Several other forwards (some playing as extra midfielders) today were not long back from injury and below their best. A few more fresh faces from U20 success and lads around the scene J Durcan, Cian Hanley, Treacy and a few more could push us on. We could do with a few extra FB line players coming through. Stephen Coen did well today. FB line more so than forwards. We’ve good options in half backs and midfield, Plunkett and Mccormack could nail jerseys next year. FF line could do with finding a new star. Kerry always seem to have stars up there.
    As for final, Kerry capable of getting a 1st half run on Dublin should they win v Tyrone. We should have been 4 or 5 up, not 2

  34. Got to take the positives from the year, won the league, blooded a lot of new players and used over 30 players. With all the injuries and consecutive games we done so well to get to a semi final and to out play a brilliant Dublin team for 35 mins,who no doubt will go on to win 5 in a row. The future is bright, getting everyone back fit next year and a few more new players we wont be going anywhere for a while yet.

  35. Just getting into home now. The 8.30 bus from Dublin got into Galway at 12.30, having stopped at several towns enroute. I then made my way to the Pucan on Foster Street and had a few to relax and take in the days events from up in Dublin. On my way to get a taxi home I saw several Mayo supporters still in the green and red colours, wearing them proud and loud. That’s it, that’s what it is to be a Mayo supporter of this great team of ours, beaten but unbowed. It was a great year following the warriors of Mayo, first in the League and then the qualifiers up and down the country, no pun intended there! A few months off to draw breath and we are back at it again in January 2020. I can’t help but wonder are we playing on a level playing field for all the teams around the country, is the gap getting ever wider and if this is true then how do we fix it. I know one thing for certain, next year we will go again, in the mean time I feel for this great band of warriors we have and their hurt right now. They have given me and many others so much joy over the last few years. I hope those that can, will return to continue this quest and deliver the big prize sooner then later. Up Mayo!

  36. No moaning bout money especially from the same people who said we’d win today. After all we’re probably second for spending on our senior team.
    No moaning bout ref.
    No moaning bout successive matches.
    No moaning bout goalie.
    No moaning bout players or management.
    This year has been a success. League winners, beat galway in championship, made the super 8 and all done with a team in transition and an unfortunate run of injuries.
    Talk of Dublin being unbeatable etc and how many more ai they’ll rack up is pure nonsense. They won 2 of their last 5 AI by a point. They won no all Ireland today. The are beatable. Every team is, including the kerry team of 82.
    Should mayo have been punished for winning connaught titles year in year out? No, it was up to galway and Ross to raise their game which eventually they did. Now it’s up to us and other teams to raise their game to the Dublin level. And they will, eventually.
    Finally, congratulations to Dublin on a magnificent second half performance of what I can only describe as champagne football. I’m sure I’ll appreciate it more once I’ve seen it again on TV and my disappointment wanes.
    I thank you WJ for all your hard work here all year and though I’m sure you don’t want to think about it now but I hope you cover the club championdhips to their conclusion where hopefully some more pieces of the rebuilding jigsaw can be found.

  37. Fantastic summary by Willie Joe , hit the nail on the head . Hard luck to mayo , so unlucky to be the second best team of a generation , some amazing players and fantastic support.

    In my opinion the best rivarly the gaa has ever seen

  38. I have been in Croke Park for all our great occasions good and bad going back to 1985 when we lost to Dublin after a replay. I could not be prouder of my native county. The class, the grace, the determination, the work ethic and the willingness to give everything for each other and for us supporters. I could not be prouder. We have been especially graced since 2011 to witness a unique group who have been maybe our most talented and most determined ever. Easy come back from success, to work year on year for 9 years to turn disappointment iinto success is a mark of true sportsmen. I will never forget league final this year. We are still the only team to fill croke park year on year and have fans in every county. Don’t forget a lot of that Dublin team will go in next few years and they still have no full back line. No one is unbeatable. If we went out with a team next year of Hennelly, Harrison, Coen, ODonoghue, keegan, plunkett, Durkan, Parsons, Ruane, mcdonagh, Dohertty, D OConnor, cillian, AOS, and Carr with a mixture of youth and experience on the bench wouldn’t you give us a great chance. All is not lost, we are in transition not demise, Mayo forever. I wouldn’t change my lot for Dublins for a second. Dublin a great team with every advantage. Mayo a great team with sheer heart.

  39. Watched andy after game yesterday he went to hill & applauded dub fans who clapped back & you could see respect & admiration on their faces what more can i say about that titan to come back from injuries that would stop an elephant & be even better year on year is incredible last word i’ll leave to a dub fan who said to me that its players like andy that make him love the game he crosses all boundries is a joy to watch and always plays like a 20 year old hope he gives 1 more year & gets that medal which he deserves for the joy he’s given to all football fans . Hail king andy

  40. Thanks WJ for fair report on the game.
    Just a few points – James Carr a real talent and played well yesterday.
    Fiona McDonagh, great prospect.
    Proud of the team – beaten by a superb team.
    A certain Derry ‘ tabloid journalist/ very average former footballer’
    says Mayo didn’t have the men to win an All Ireland – that has to be the FAKE NEWS of the year!

  41. To call that clown a journalist is an insult to journalists.

    Also WJ has barred anyone from mentioning the ape on here, so follow the rules. No more about that absolute child. It’s only fueling the fire. I doubt any Mayo’s buy that rag anymore, I know I don’t.

    In fact WJ needs to stop linking any indo reports from now on.

  42. Morning after is always tough but can also (eventually) shed a more even perspective on where we stand.

    First of all I’d like to suggest that this season represents some genuine progress. We halted the march of Galway and this should not be overlooked. We also discarded our poor record against Meath in HQ. We reached the Super 8s and gave a more than decent account of ourselves.

    We also beat Kerry twice – once in a final in HQ – to win a national title. Our first national title in nearly twenty years.

    We’ve blooded a number of young players, and these guys look like they’re more than capable of holding the torch through to the next decade. McDonagh, Carr and Ruane have all performed admirably and have loads of improvement in them. The likes of O’Donoghue and Treacy will also step up in time.

    As for the established lads – Paddy Durcan has now established himself as an elite player nationally. Diarmuid had a wretched season with injury but he’s a real leader for us. Harrison came into form when we needed him and I thought Stephen Coen was superb over the last month.

    Some of the more experienced lads will need some time to assess where they are and what the can contribute into the future. Cillian missed an awful lot of the season and was only really getting into the groove over the past few weeks. Seamie likewise was absent for a long time and I thought he was excellent over the last fortnight. Leeroy had his own injury concerns and I’d say he’ll reflect on this as being a difficult season for him. It was fabulous to see Tom Parsons back and he’ll return next year as a real leader for us.

    I wouldn’t like to see us prematurely retiring lads online over the next few weeks. The likes of Boyler was discarded by many last year and look at the season he had. They need time and space to contemplate these decisions and I hope we give this to them.

    So we’ll go again next year. Whether we – or anyone else – can compete with the empire is another story. In many ways we can’t really do much about this. What we can do is look within our own house and get as much as possible out of ourselves. If we can do that then I’d look at this as the start of a new era as opposed to the end of something.

  43. Just to say highorlow, I don’t mind if WJ ceases to link the Sunday Indo, as that is where that northern idiot (asal) mostly writes, and to be honest, that Sunday paper is a complete rag anyways, and is nothing like the Mon to Sat version, where the GAA coverage seems to be better balanced and a bit fairer to us.
    Just my opinion.
    I’m only reading the blog now, and was only able to watch a repeat of the game last night.
    Sunday was heartbreaking, but now that the dust is settling, I too can look back and say that really, it has been a cracking year for us under James Mark 2, blooding new talent, beating the ‘auld enemy’, reaching the last four etc.
    I’m not blaming anyone for anything, I’m just looking forward again, but I do want to say that I am privileged to be living in this era to witnesses arguably Mayos greatest ever team.
    What a super bunch of lads who have given us such great days out, and Tom P? What more can be said about the man, what an absolute warrior.
    Willie Joe, many thanks for all your hard work, I, along with many, would be lost without ya!
    Up Mayo!

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