Drive for five delayed … for now

Photo: Independent.ie

After all the hype and all the chatter – which made it sound like it was the first bloody All-Ireland to be contested in a decade – the day ends with no winner. They go again on Saturday week.

Letdowns don’t come much greater than All-Ireland finals that end all-square. I’ve been in Croke Park to witness such an outcome three times – as well as the 1996 and 2016 football finals I was there the day Kilkenny and Galway finished level in the hurling in 2012 – and it’s as if all the atmosphere and excitement, which has been building all day, vanishes in an instant. 82,500 people suddenly come to their senses, pick up their programmes and head silently for the exits.

That was the fate of Kerry and Dublin supporters today. In those final frantic moments, either team could have nicked it – though Dublin had the great momentum over the last ten minutes played – and both will regret that they didn’t.

Most of the regret tonight will sit with Kerry. A man up for the entire second half, they failed to press home that significant advantage and took far too long to get back on terms with the flailing champions. Indeed, but for a brilliant 1-1 contribution from young Killian Spillane – on a day when Kerry’s more vaunted forwards failed to spark – the Kingdom would never have managed to overhaul their 14-man opponents at all.

When they finally did – with two minutes of normal time left – they were only able to edge a single point in front. With Dublin coming at them in waves from then to the finish, however, it was inevitable that they’d get the chances to level it, or maybe even snatch the win. Eventually they managed to bag the former but not the latter.

David Gough won’t get too many charitable mentions in the post mortems Dublin supporters will be undertaking over their porter tonight. They shouldn’t, though, go too hard on the Meath official, as they’ve been the beneficiaries of a few questionable calls themselves in finals down the years. Indeed, today was the first All-Ireland final I can recall when the decisions broke anything less than 50:50 from their perspective.

Despite the comical blathering of the RTÉ pundits, Jonny Cooper’s dismissal was wholly merited. Lucky to escape a card for the penalty, he picked up two yellows for similar fouls, both involving hands wrapped around his opponent’s arm. The second one was done right in front of the ref and so a yellow for complete stupidity wouldn’t have been out of order for that one.

So there was nothing wrong with Cooper’s dismissal but Gough surely erred in not giving Tom O’Sullivan his marching orders too. Already on a yellow he went in very high with the arm and was lucky to get away with a tick.

But Gough also erred in not awarding Kerry a second penalty early in the second half. Stephen O’Brien was unceremoniously hauled back by Jack McCaffrey as he was about to pull the trigger. It was a penalty all day long but nothing was given. That was a huge let-off for the Dubs.

As the second half went on, it was impossible to see where the extra Kerry player was. Ryan was ropey with his restarts all day but with the extra man why weren’t Kerry able to engineer a smarter out-ball on their kickouts? Time and again, Ryan hoofed it out long and frequently it was a blue shirt that grabbed the breaking ball.

With time running out, Dublin looked destined to win, as they always have done this decade. But, with normal time nearly up, the excellent Spillane edged Kerry back in front for the first time since the 20th minute. It appeared then that Peter Keane’s team might just do it.

But Dublin are never beaten till they’re beaten. A Costello effort that HawkEye ruled wide and a horror wide by Connolly suggested the drive for five might – as it did for Kerry in 1982 – fail at the death. But Rock nailed the leveller and then had a free to win it.

Now all the thoughts were about 2017 when, from an easier position, the Ballymun player converted the free that finally broke our resistance. This time, strangely, he opted to shoot off the ground and he put the free tamely wide.

Fans on both sides may be disappointed at the game’s anti-climactic finish but the GAA will, surely, be rubbing their hands. All that fretting about the 33,000 who turned up for the Kerry/Tyrone semi-final can now be forgotten about, with another full house guaranteed for Saturday week’s replay.

The hype always gets dialled down a few notches heading into replays and, drive for five or not, I doubt it’ll be any different this time. Dublin will be strong favourites and rightly so. It’s hard to see Kerry sticking with them for 70 minutes in a 15 v 15 contest.

An interesting sub-text will be who gets to ref the rematch. That decision could have an enormous bearing on the result, as we found to our cost in the 2016 replay. And, if the same official gets the whistle on the 14th, as Kerry could too.

Finally, a quick word about the Minor final. Congrats to Cork, who finally got past a valiant Galway team in extra-time. Full marks to the young Tribesmen, though, for the huge shift they put in and when they goaled deep in stoppage time it looked like they’d done it, only for Cork to hit back in kind seconds later.

The Rebels took over in extra-time and were full value for their win, their first Tom Markham Cup success since 2000. The Galway lads died with their boots on, though, and can be hugely proud of their battling performance today at the conclusion of what has been an excellent Minor championship.

137 thoughts on “Drive for five delayed … for now

  1. Far too much talk about refs, we as GAA people constantly giving them grief and never any credit. RTE panel at half time were a disgrace as were the Kilkenny voices for a week after the hurling, the decisions made were 100% to do with Richie Hogan and Jonny Cooper and nothing to do with the refs. As you rightly point out WJ, Cooper, McMahon and even Tyrell and Tommy Walsh(KK) got leniency on occasion. Very quick to crib now when the decision doesn’t suit.

  2. Maybe the great jim gavin is not such a guru after all. Poor management not to sub cooper as it was nailed on that he would get a second yellow. The connolly recall backfired on him too with that typical hero shot that he sliced wide

  3. Cluxton was a yard off his line when the penalty was hit surely a retake would have been a fair option. All the so called big hitters in both forwards failed to ignite were it not for both free takers the score would have been very low.The replay is very late on a Saturday evening for the travelling supporters not much consideration for people with a four hour plus journey home at 8 pm on a dark evening. I hope Kerry see it out I just hate them a little less than the Dubs.on today’s performance we wouldn’t have been too far off the pace nothing frightening on display.

  4. I had to laugh alriight at Ciaran Whelan loosing the plot over the Johnny Coopers dismissal.. he didn’t think either incidents were frees never mind yellow cards. They have spent years getting the vast majority of marginal calls in there favour they don’t recognise what balanced officiating looks like anymore. You can be damn sure whoever gets the reffing gig the next day out won’t be making calls like Gaugh’s today

  5. The Asal and Co on the Sunday game were full of praise for Kerry not being able to beat 14 men but if Mayo had failed to do it we would never hear the end of it. Whelan couldn’t resist a sly dig at Leeroy as well. Terrible analysis in general from Rte.

  6. Half time analysis (or lack of it) by RTE was a disgrace. Nice to see Whelan squirming. If that was Keegan sent off – he would have no problem saying it was a clear yellow card (which it was).
    Disgrace playing replay at 6 on Saturday evening. No respect again for travelling fans. Why isn’t the game played at 4 pm.
    Do you think Dublin would be asked to play a big championship game in Killarney or Castlebar at 6 on a Saturday evening.

  7. Reekview,
    When did you see a goalie who wasn’t a yard off his line when a penalty was hit? And when did you see the penalty being retaken for that reason [I won’t call it a foul]?

  8. Don’t worry Dublin Joe will be back for the replay and all will be well in the world again. The world as the GAA sees in ends somewhere a little bit west of Lucan

  9. Jesus that Peter Keane is some dose with his interviews. His Yerra stuff is so obvious he’s almost a parody of himself. He sickens my hole altogether. Two to three years and we’ll be back..will be much younger and more experienced !

  10. Hi All,
    I honestly thought we dodged a bullet today. Kerry should have been way ahead in the first half. I would also say that I have the utmost respect for the Dublin management team but some late reactions, non reactions and late changes surprised me. I can only be honest and I thought bar Tom O Sullivan getting a second yellow the Ref was grand. I am glad we live to fight another day.

    Kind Regards
    Martin the Dub

  11. – I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the match and I really enjoyed the game
    – Dublin were ropey and many of them were heavy legged. Kerry to be fair were all pace and hunger.
    – Gavin very slow to make changes with Johnny beaten by Clifford after only 10 mins and yet left on him.
    – Scully and Mannion should have both been taken off much earlier as should MDMA. Fenton anonymous…and yet they survived.
    – Dublin bench pretty useless today
    -Reminds me of 1996 where we were rank outsiders the first day and again for the replay. I would expect this to be just as close in the replay.

  12. Have to disagree Martin. Dublin were well in control before the sending off. That changed the game. It was the correct decision and I was glad to see a ref finally call out Cooper, he’s always at it. But up to then, Dublin had the game by the scruff of the neck and if not for the sending off, I think they would have won it handily.
    Once they lost a man, Kerry came into it more and should have won it in the end. When they went a point up they seemed to freeze though, playing keep ball in their own half when there was still enough time on the clock, instead of trying to drive on. No conviction or belief in those last few minutes. If it had been Mayo in that position, we’d be roasted by the media or called bottlers or some such.
    Kerry had their chance today and they blew it. Unless by some miracle, Dublin have another player sent off next week, I don’t see Kerry beating them. If they couldn’t do it when Dublin were down to 14 for most of the game and making some awful shooting decisions, they won’t beat them when they have 15 and are more clued in.
    Jim Gavin had an awful game on the sideline too and was very late running the bench – perhaps a sign that he doesn’t really have faith in the subs anymore?

  13. Never in a million years would Mayo have been awarded that penalty today against Dublin. Never ever. I’ve seen cooper and McMahon hanging off Aido and others for years and gotten away with it. Yes by the letter of the law you could argue the ref was correct. But it’s the inconsistency that drives me crazy. No way in hell that Dublin joe or deegan would award those calls against Dublin.
    The Kerry pundits are full of yerra and will set the tone of “Kerry youngsters will improve, blah blah blah” for the next 2 weeks. If we played for 45 min against 14 man Dublin and didn’t win it would be bottlers chokers etc etc. it’s just maddening. I think Dublin will win the next day there’s more improvement in Dublin. The lack of composure by Kerry in the final 12 mins was remarkable. Couldn’t believe rock placed the ball on the deck for that last free. Nearly impossible to score off the ground from there, from the hands was the only option. Funnily enough Connolly was capable of swinging that over from the position it was in.
    Fully agree with pullhard about Keane – he’s like a parody character in his interviews.

  14. I thought Gough had a good day. You can argue that Cluxton was off his line, O’Sullivan should have gone, o’Brien should have had a penalty, etc., but overall he did as well as one man could in such a fast paced game.
    On the ref for the replay, it is often given to the linesman who was 2nd in command on the first day. Unless I’m mistaken, that today was Conor Lane.

  15. A long time I have felt as depressed leaving Croker after our minors been bet. Seconds from winning, and once we conceded that goal we were gooshed in extra time..
    Funnily the Gaa make the 17 year olds play extra time after a compelling game in the heat today whereas the seniors get a replay? I wonder why?
    Maybe there are 8 million reasons,!!

  16. I was disappointed with today’s RTÉ commentary.
    Kevin Mcstay seems to be very pro Dublin.
    The half time analysis was a joke with the 3 pundits talking over each other.
    Brolly talking up the the Dubs too much.
    Jim Gavin was also a little jittery in his interview.

  17. Kerry have every chance in the replay. Dublin are hard beat but they’re not as good as people think anymore with some key players ageing e.g. McAuley, Cooper etc.

    Remember Kerry were 5 to 1 outsiders – absolute bloody nonsense.

    Kerry could have had 3 goals in the first half but their biggest error – due to inexperience- was not sending in direct ball yo FF line in injury time. Moran had a player free in front of him when dispossessed for equaliser.

    Really pissed off listening to this crap that certain Dublin played didn’t play well. Nothing to do with the quality of the opposition no? Don’t remember too many pundits mentioning that some of our lads didn’t play well in 2nd half of semi due to fatigue or lack of match fitness.

    ‘‘Tis funny how they play well against poor opposition but somehow leave it behind them against Kerry/Mayo in finals!

  18. Kerry have room for more improvement than the Dubs from today’s final.
    I don’t want to see either of the two teams win but that is impossible there will be a winner in the replay, both beat Mayo in 3 finals each in the last 22 years, the 1997 Kerry win was achieved by a poor team overall.
    Differences between Mayo and Kerry in finals v the Dubs.
    Kerry are primarily young, have no fear, carry no baggage that comes with being consistently beaten by your foe.
    Have a guy that is 100 % accurate from frees and 50’s, Seán Ó Sé.
    Can create goals, should have bagged 3 goals today may get them the next day.
    Have 2 brilliant fielders capable of winning high ball.
    Very confident, were nervous early on today but settled down after 15 minutes.
    Very strong in the tackle, superbly conditioned.

  19. Just to add to post above Pillar Caffrey said on radio that McCaffrey played his worst ever game for Dublin against Mayo…….absolutely nothing to do with P Durcan’s performance of course.

  20. Very enjoyable game today. Great comeback by kerry in last 15 minutes overturning 5 point deficit. Great equaliser by rock. He certainly has improved so much since a few years ago. I think the sending off cost Dublin and they will win replay. But there are AL’s in this Kerry team.. Hard to see to many winning outside these 2 for next 5 years.

  21. Good points Spotlight.

    McCauley I thought had a good opening 15mins, crucial to settle Dubs and he showed all his experience and warrior qualities. But he faded rapid as the game wore on and may struggle the next day as I agree Kerry will be stronger again.

    I’ll repeat what I said after our semi with them: Dubs FB line extremely vulnerable. Philly, O’Carroll, and J Cooper in their pomp were formidable, once in a generation combination, with Cian o’Sullivan thrown in as sweeper for good measure. They’re not there now (or not trusted by Jim) and they’ve no obvious plan to curb Clifford. Geaney and Paul Murphy could have bagged a goal apiece and of course the peno miss. I posted a comment from Croker at half time in our semi about J Cooper left isolated one-on-one with Cillian and the vulnerability that was there, a glaringly obvious open to be exploited, and of course Kerry honed in on this. In fairness to Mayo, Kerry had the benefit of analysing that semi and we had our hands full.

    Dubs bench almost non existent now, relatively speaking. Funny what a difference a year can make. I’m still backing Kerry for the replay.

  22. The number of times Kerry cut straight through Dublin defence and should have scored goals was unreal. They will win replay if they take their chances. Most interesting comment on RTE was from Pat Spillane on the poor record of the Kerry forward line as regards goals scored this season. If they sort that out on top of a superb free taker, will take some beating.

  23. Watched it from the Nally Terrace – excellent view. Dubs did well to hold on minus a man for most of the game. They were under pressure when Kerry got the goal, but never on the ropes. Kerry – extra man, penalty , point up heading into added time – if it was Mayo, we’d be lacerated.

    Gough was good even if he got some calls wrong. Dublin would have won with Dublin Joe

  24. During the President meeting of the two teams I could not believe the conditioning of MDMcCauley, he is carrying a major spare wheel and it was evident from the first run he made. If he plays the next day he would be one player I would be targeting, he is way off the pace. It’s easy being a ‘good’ manager when you are holding all the aces, but Gavin was shown up today, very poor decisions in MDMcC, Cooper and Small. The ref had a good game and the call on Cooper’s fouling was 100%; but the combined fouls by Cooper were nothing compared to what he did to D.O’Connor. Late dangerous follow through with studs up into Diarmuid thigh and he remained on the pitch – disgraceful!

  25. I bitterly remember the annual nasty commentry from the Dubs and certain journalists about our gallant forwards being bottlers when taking pressure scores…..interesting and gloatingly satisfying to see how the pressure got to the robotic Dublin team and management today.

    Maigh Eo Abú

  26. I feel like I want to reply to a number of poster’s here. . Firstly, Tuamstar I understand your feeling as regards to your wonderful minors, tough one to take no doubt, as a Mayo Supporter believe me, we know that feeling. But Galway U17’s did play allot of fantastic football in this year’s Championship, a bit of neaivity maybe, But overall Great Young Lad’s done their County and Province Proud, same as our own Mayo, you can’t ask for more from U17’S can you? @Carrig Dubh, the (analysis???) From Rte Pundits for the Match today live Senior Final, was bordering on an audition for the Christmas Pantomime, with 3 out of 3 biased Amandan’s, you might give the youngest of the 3 musketeers Ciaran Whelan one more chance, however not when Dublin are in the All Ireland Final because he’s beyond belief, forget him as a neutral Pundit, in such circumstances (altough in normal circumstances he’s pretty good)… As for the other two??? Well the mind boggles, bewilders and just plain breaks. , You have to feel for the excellent Joanne Cantwell, Are the other Two buffoon’s. Joe & Pat in a Competition as to which of them is the biggest Buffon? Because if they are, it’s a marathon and it has been going on for year’s…In fairness the Sunday Night, ‘ Sunday Game’ RTE analysis program was somewhat saved by Tómas O’Se.. and Finally it was a fantastic Game of Football today, you have to hand it to both Magnificent Team’s today, as was the Minors Final…
    I dunno who’s going to win the replay , I heard Kerry manager Peter Keane saying that Kerry didn’t bring 12 to 13 Thousand to Croke Park for nothing, be Japurs Peter Keane, that’s only a fraction of what Mayo’ bring to an FBD game … I’m exaggerating a small bit there, but 12-13 thousand is conciderably less than what Mayo brought to Killarney, or Limerick…sorta makes you think Who’s paying for the Dub’s’in the first place?

  27. Dublin out of sorts. The collective is off. I said this earlier that bringing back Connolly was potentially a huge banana skin and could tear at the fabric of the team ( or the esprit de corps as some might put it)

    Dublin played well below their standards today but still had magnificent fight in them to draw with 14 men. They wouldn’t be denied.

    Kerry played out of their skin intensity wise but Dublin have a couple of more levels yet.

    It was a fascinating game which had everything including sublime skill and ridiculous errors and turnovers.

    Gavin was incandescent afterwards and I believe that Kerry will be meeting a different proposition the next time.There will be far fewer errors next day. Especially by Gavin himself.

    The Blue mist of destiny,and history ,and Connolly , enveloped the collective over the past month or more and caught up with them today.

    Expect a venomous response.

    As Tony Hanlon pointed out WTF was MDMA doing there today ? He’s clearly not fit enough. I too was very surprised by that.

    Jack Barry was the best midfielder there today. Yet the pundits talk about the imperious David Moran. IDK about that. He was dispossessed at a really crucial stage.

    Dublin re jig for replay. Which players which matchups and why ?

    -Fitzsimons did well on Clifford
    -Byrne did well on Geaney.
    -Cooper to be on Killian Spillane or Tommy Walsh. Cooper on Walsh means high likelihood Walsh’ll be taken off or sent off. Expect Cooper to be much better next day.

    Midfield .
    -MDMA shouldn’t start.
    -James McCarthy to midfield. This could mean Cooper to number 6 and Philly McMahon to take the corner back spot (I doubt Cian O Sullivan can start on Seán O Shea)
    -Alternatively , Howard to midfield , Kilkenny to # 12 and start Costello or Andrews in the corner ( or Brogan)

    One thing is for sure , if Dublin don’t change MDMA they will be vulnerable the next day.

    Another thing is for sure is that if the Dublin subs are not impactful then they may struggle again.

    Finally , another bad game by Gavin and they could be well beaten.

    I did not think that Mannion or O Callaghan played badly. I thought they played well -just not their usual.

    The only Dublin players to play at their usual level today were Rock , Cluxton , Howard and McCaffrey.

    Clearly the collective is off. However it’s hard to tell from the outside what it is exactly.

    The Dubs however have the answers to any questions Kerry may ask(assuming the strife in the camp is under some sort of control)

  28. Cluxton,NcVaffrey and Rock kept the drive for five alive for Dublin. 1-13 of the 1-16 between Rock and Jack the lad and then Cluxton saves were as good as scores.

    Dublin most vaunted forwards outside of Rock failed to spark also. Kerry to their credit defended very well and Buckley’s stamp was all over it as seen with Mayo v Dublin in those recent finals. Kerry we five points down when the sending off happened if they were leading at half time like Mayo was in the semi final i think they would have won v 14 man Dublin and they could easily have led as they missed about 2-4 in the first half alone.

    Kerry got much more joy out of their bench which i think few would have expected. Wasn’t one of Jim Gavin’s better days. Got a lot of his match ups wrong and if he made the switch with Coopers marker he might have avoided red, his subs/changes were a little strange. Going back to the well with Connolly,McManamon who are both well past their best at this stage looked a little desperate.

    I expect Dublin to win the replay but if Kerry get their tactics spot on and defend well it will go to the wire once more. Certainly All Ireland in that group of Kerry players but probably will have to wait longer than two weeks.

  29. Ref was good apart from 2 decisions. The non sending off. He started the tackle high which would be black but still pulled him down, normally a yellow.
    The missed penalty. It was as blatant as you can get. Fouled outside the parallelogram I thought maybe playing advantage, fouled just as blatantly inside it. Had a huge bearing on the outcome. The Sunday game never even analysed it.

  30. As for Dublin criticism players not performing, I thought Mannion was a constant threat just his shooting was off. COC was good, just not the brilliant player on view all year. Diarmaid Connolly was correct to stay in the pocket and take on that shot, his technique and balance was good, just radar a bit off, would expect him to score it 75% of the time.

  31. Great to see cooper pinged at long last. Has been getting away with that shite for years. Fair play to gough.

    Absolutely superb game of football.
    You would feel kerry have missed their chance but they didn’t take a step back wgich will do wonders for this team
    Sean o shea my motm. Ice in his veins

    Anyone see john fogartys tweets this morning about managerial rumblings out west? Kevin walsh surely?

  32. Couldn’t help but wonder as I was watching Goughs excellent, authoritative performance, how different our finals might have been with a proper ref in charge. Basticks unpunished touch of the ball on the ground, 20m from goal, in the dying seconds leaving Cillian with a tap-over to win it? Smalls unpunished black-card ankle tap on Moran as he sped away towards goal? And let’s not mention the numerous gouges, jersey pulls, third man tackles, off the ball attacks that always went “unseen” by pathetic linesmen like David Coldrick and Sean Hurson.
    Totally laughable too that Kerry still this morning have a much vaunted forward line. Can you imagine the slating and personal insults our lads would receive if Mayo posted these stats……
    3 scores from play out of 11 first half attempts.
    Only 1-9 from play in 80 mins of football.
    Missed a penalty.
    Failed to beat Dublin despite playing against 14 men for 42 mins – we’d be branded as bottlers!
    Clifford swinging 3 wide and dropping 1 short to Cluxton – can you imagine what Cillian would be called?

    On another note, is Dean Rock a bottler now too, in the same vein as Cillian is, for missing a free to win an All Ireland?

  33. At the other end Geaney and Clifford were also misfiring especially in the first half.
    Johnny Cooper is an accident waiting to happen again the next day. Unable to manage Clifford and would have even more trouble on Walsh. No point replacing with Philly as he’ll also foul persistently and be punished. Their only hope is Cian OS and he must still be injured as makes no sense Davy Byrne and Mick Fitz who are good athletes but nowhere near as good at reading the game started started ahead of him. Also Rory O Carroll mustn’t be trusted by Gavin.
    Jim Gavin had his worst day as manager. Left MDMA, Small and Cooper on too long, Kevin McMenamon is no longer an option, where are the Besquel brothers? MDMA penalised to overrunning the ball, something he’s been getting away with for a long time.
    The next day if they don’t drop MDMA and also start Cian OS, they’ll be very vulnerable. Kerry forwards need to be told Dubs were there for the taking in 1st half. Kerry need to take first half chances the next day and once again risk the high press again, just take your goal chances. Howard used Aussie rules knee in the back for that brilliant catch, technically illegal but not spotted.

  34. Whelan at halftime? I rest my case about him. It’s laughable
    Fair play to Kerry.
    Unfortunately the dubs will most likely be better the next day. And I’m sure TheyL get a ref who will help them along.

  35. At half time Whelan actually said that he is biased towards Dublin and pat is biased toward Kerry. Spillane immediately jumped in and denied it so at least he appreciates that he is supposed to be impartial. Whelan is so blatant he should now be permanently dropped from the panel

    As for brolly…..it is concerning to think that he is actually a barrister

  36. Adding to my list of Kerry plusses – Costello’s point disallowed by Hawk Eye. A massive psychological boost for any team.

    Mayo 67 – how would you feel about Brolly defending you in a legal case?

  37. Have to politely disagree with those critical of David Moran, he gave away a few stupid turnovers but was mostly imperious again, a rolls royce of a player. Always playing with his head up too.
    Him and Fenton the 2 best midfielders in the country by quite some distance.

    Yesterdays performance from McCaffrey underlines again for me just how good Durcan was this year in curbing him, still cant figure out how he only came 3rd in the poty poll on here.

  38. I thoroughly enjoyed the game yesterday firstly, credit to both teams. McCaffrey’s goal was a joy to behold, what a strike move, back to front in seconds, a display of everything that’s great about our game. I thought the Kerry back six played superbly and Moran was imperious in the second half, some glorious fielding, what a player. Killian Spillane’s cameo was something else also, pure pedigree, coming off the bench and scoring 1-1 when they’re 5 points down and staring into the abyss. However, what I do have a gripe with, is the pass Kerry seem to be getting in the press. They left 7 points behind them in the first half and never really took advantage of the extra man. If that was us that’s all people like Martin Breheny and Brolly would be focusing on. Perception is a funny thing. Replay wise I’m not sure I concur that Dublin have more scope fro improvement. Kerry will improve too, for sure, Geaney, Stephen O’B, and even Clifford could light it up the next day. Will Brian Fenton ever be that quiet again? At times I thought he looked like he was carrying an injury, very heavy legged and lacking in energy, no surging runs. You’d expect if he’s right the next day he’ll throw off the shackles. Ultimately, I dont concur this was a game for the ages as it lacked sufficient quality at times, I think 2017 was a better standard. The replay certainly could be though, an awful lot of big players with a lot of scope for improvement. Looking forward to it I must say, Dublin to shade it by 4…

  39. Brolly is a complete bollox with an unhealthy bitterness towards Mayo . Cant see Rte bringing him back next year .
    I think Kerry will also improve and could well beat the Dubs .

  40. Is Cooper not out now for the final having been sent off… or is that just for a straight red?
    I have to say I thought David Moran was superb yesterday, mostly. At one stage, late in the game, he took one ball, took into his stride and threw two Dublin lads to the ground with his power surge…it was very impressive.
    Sadly I think Kerry needed to keep the foot on Dublin throat when they went 1 point up…but instead they began to play safe,keep ball. That was their moment to go for the kill instead of safety. Dublin might win the next day but pressure seems to get to them in finals…apart from Tyrone last year. They might have won 4 in a row but they’re nervous of finals.
    Good game, as a Mayo supporter I was surprised to say I enjoyed the game.
    Looking forward to seeing us there next year. Maigheo abú

  41. Kerry blew it, simple as. The fact they had an extra man at half time makes it even more of a bottle job. Keane and Buckley had 15 mins to construct a plan, and they failed miserably. You get one shot to beat Dublin and you better not miss, as we know all too well.

    Hope Dublin hammer them the next day an that’ll be the end of Gavin, Cluxton, McMahon, O’Sullivan and to a lesser extent McMenamin and O’Gara. Glad Cooper got the line, how he stayed on the pitch after stamping on Diarmuids shin, i’ll never know.

  42. My ball, RTE will continue to have Brolly, he is the Dunphy of the GAA .. everyone talks about him, watches him…

  43. My two cents:

    – An excellent and exciting final, even allowing for a lot of unforced errors. I believe that these can be forgiven given what was at stake for both sides.

    -I’m in total agreement regarding the RTÉ pundits, long since time that the lot of them were binned. If anyone thought that Ciarán Whelan was an impartial analyst, I’m afraid that yesterday’s display blew that notion out of the water. How he had the neck to insist that Mr. Cooper’s mauling of David Clifford didn’t merit even one yellow card is beyond belief.

    -Joe Brolly needs to be put out to pasture immediately. His antics have long ceased to be amusing and it’s a bad sign if Pat Spillane is coming across as objective and calm in comparison.

    -Speaking of Jonny Cooper, well I’m afraid that his dismissal was long overdue. I was behind the goal at the 2016 replay and his mauling of Andy that day went unseen by the umpires, not to mention the sly stamp on Diarmuid’s shins in the first game.

    -Jack McCaffrey was sensational, even our own Leeroy would struggle to bag 1-4 from half-back!

    -I think Kerry went very negative once they went in front, moving the ball backwards or laterally for the most part. Dublin actually dictated the tempo very well and were the better side for most of the second half.

    -How on Earth did Kerry allow Dublin to execute several short kickouts uncontested while being hemmed in to their own 40 following their own restarts? All while a man up.

    -The media bias is a real thing. If Mayo had let the game slip in the manner Kerry did yesterday, we’d be lambasted as bottlers, losers and whatever you’re having yourself. Kerry fail to get the job done having gotten every conceivable advantage and not a peep out of our esteemed scribes. Likewise, if we complained about some of the decisions given (like some Dublin fans are now) we’d be told to shut up and stop whingeing.

    -Speaking of which, for all the hoohaa about David Gough from the Kingdom in the lead up to this game, he actually didn’t really favour the Dubs at all, aside for the odd soft free they got in the first half.

    -You’d have to think that Kerry have shot their bolt on this occasion. The Dubs were cruising at 15 on 15 and even with a man down looked to be the better side for long spells. Kerry missed three goal chances and are unlikely to get them again the next day out.

  44. Catcol…….if I answer your question honestly I’d probably be in breach of every rule Willie Joe ever made for this site !

  45. Also, what was the story with one of the Dublin players (McMenamon perhaps?) kicking the tee away from the Kerry goalie at the end?

  46. Mayo are not in the final this year so the replay won’t affect me.
    I would like to admit that I would prefer to see the younger Kerry side win the All Ireland rather than the cynical Dubs, they get very soft frees, get away with dreadful stuff on the pitch, persistently fouled yesterday when they were ahead by a few points.
    Hope Kerry are brave enough to go almost all out attack, there are goals to be got from the Dublin defenders.
    McCarthy looks sluggish, can’t cope with a hard challenge.
    John Small is a loose canon
    Bringing back Connolly will prove to be a mistake, imagine how the guys felt yesterday after being left out of the match day panel, ie Brogan, Ó Gara etc.
    McMenamin’s legs are gone, made no impact when introduced last year in final also.
    Would the Gaa prefer to see the Dubs win the 5 or a newish Kerry team as champions?
    Kerry won’t fear the replay, Clifford and Geaney have yet to play well.

  47. Sadly the reason we are called bottlers and losers etc ( and will continue to be) is that our record in finals since 1951 is played 12, drew 2 lost 10 (I might be a bit out in the figures). Kerry have won SAM 37 times so will get an easier ride.
    There is only one way for this to change – start winning the dam thing when we get there

  48. John Fogarty in the Examiner is getting a bit of stick on Twitter for daring to stare that yesterday’s match wasn’t a classic. He has some stats to back this up – Dublin’s shot conversion rate was 50%, Kerry’s was 43%. Those figures are, from memory, significantly below what both teams achieved in the 2017 final.

  49. As predicted:
    @officialgaa
    Conor Lane will referee the All Ireland SFC Final replay between @Kerry_Official and @DubGAAOfficial

  50. I think thats a fair enough summary WJ.

    On balance i would definitely say that Dublin got more than 50/50 return on the decisions. You didn’t mention cluxton being a mile off the line for the penalty as well but to be fair I have never seen those pulled. I don’t agree with the Tom Sullivan view some have expressed – I think it wouldn’t even be mentioned had Cooper not got his marching orders. It should also be noted Cooper was carrying a yellow and a tick when he got sent off – O sullivan had just a yellow – those micked up to the ref heard him explaining to players it was a tick not a yellow. I don’t know if Cooper got his second yellow based on his second tick or a straight yellow.

    Brolly and Whelan were an embarrassment as usual. RTE didn’t even look at the o Brien penalty claim on the Sunday Game last night – they are more interested in BS than analysis. The only questionable decision that went against Dubs i think was possibly a penalty claim for O Callaghan in second half although nowhere near as obvious as the one on Clifford.

    While I agree Kerry missed a real chance. I think as you note some of their big guns didn’t fire, they too have room for improvement – Geaney, O Brien and Clifford would nearly be expecting 3pts a piece rather than 3 between them. Dublin on the other hand will probably expect big improvement from Fenton and more than 3 pts from O callagah and Mannion. One area i do think Dublin may no longer have the edge is the bench – Dublin don’t have a Sherlock midfiled option and I got the sense for the first time that James McCarthy and MDMA were showing signs of mileage – certainly the latter was badly outpaced a couple of times and looked cumbersome.

    On balance you would think Dubs should still do it if even one of their big 2 in the forwards fires but there is no doubt Kerry are capable of beating them. People say – they couldn’t beat them with 15 v 14…but thats not entirely accurate – they did in fact – they were just 4 pts down when it started. I don’t think they should have been 4 pts down at the time based on the chances they had – so thats why I think that point could be over played.

    Worth Calling out the mccaffrey is virtually unmarkable – it is heading for another player of the year award i expect.

  51. @Cantini, possibly true Jack McCaffrey could easily win another PotY award…. But Kerry don’t have the luxury of putting Paddy Durcan on Jack (Be Quick) McCaffrey.. of course Paddy D kept every Top Class Player that he marked very quite, but no one this year has been able to curtail Paddy Durcan at all…In saying that Jack might win PotY, for that to happen, Dublin will need to win the replay, and that’s far from a certainty to happen. .. Usally what happens in an All Ireland Replay, is that the player’s who were below par in the draw, have stormer’s in the replay.. John Fogarty in the Examiner, might think that yesterday’s game fell somewhat short of being a ‘Classic’… It’s always subjective as to what qualifies as a ‘Classic’ or not… I taught that it was great game, great excitement, great intensity, looking forward to the replay immensely!

  52. People saying kerry have room for improvement moreso than the dubs? Where are you getting this from? Okay maybe they can get more from clifford and geaney the next day, but their midfield played above themselves as did their defence. Much of Dublins problems started in midfield and their inability to control that area. I dont expect fenton to be as anonymous the next day, worst game I’ve seen from him in a long time. I would also expect con to raise his game too now that they will know what to expect from the Kerry full backline.
    Even with a few players playing poorly, dublin still controlled the game for most of the 70 odd minutes and in reality were cruising before the sending off. Coopers red made it a more exciting game than it ever had any right to be. And even with the numerical advantage and several other things going their way, Kerry couldn’t close it out. The actually looked afraid to go and win it when they went a point up, playing tippy tappy stuff in their own half – ridiculous.
    One positive from a Kerry point of view is that there is nothing to fear on that dublin bench and it’s clear gavin doesn’t trust them to do the job as much as he used to. MDMA can also be targeted.

  53. Think the Kerry media mafia did a great job for their county. All their cribbing about Gough paid dividends. As was pointed out earlier Mayo wouldn’t have got a penalty for what Cooper did and when I think of some of the things Dublin did in finals vMayo that went unpunished and then saw what Cooper got sent off for yesterday I can only shake my head. Then O Sullivan not getting a red was beyond belief. The Kerry mafia will now be cribbing that Gough won’t ref the replay. I still think he is the best ref in the country but he is human and was put under unfair pressure. Before the dubs feel too sorry for themselves they got lucky with a number of decisions as well. I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s final but was it any better than 2016 and 2017. I don’t think so. But of course Kerry v Dublin has to be the greatest ever. Kerry played well but lavishing praise on them when failing to beat 14 men for an entire half makes me wonder. No doubt if that was us we would lack the bottle and character to win the game. The Asal and his stable mates were beyond brutal yesterday. People whinge about sky but at least their analysis is tolerable. The Asal and spillane were brutal and Whelan descended to their level.

  54. Donie Buckley should get a lot of credit for the transformation in the Kerry defense.
    It’s not too long ago that we were all talking about how porous their defense was and how easy it was to run at them.
    Kerry’s tackling has definitely improved, with Buckley’s coaching.
    Buckley will have a big part to play in the replay.
    The element of surprise has gone, but I still give Kerry a chance to derail the drive for 5.

  55. I think from what I saw yesterday Kerry could win the next day but I don’t think they will with a different ref. We have seen many conservative refs down through the years unwilling to pull rough Dublin tackling.

    I thought the Dublin defence in particular was rickety and that’s not what you want in a defence at this level. Kerry can exploit this a lot more and if they keep and build on their confidence from the last day they could press this defence. They might have learned a few lessons the last day.

    The reason I say it was rickety is that to me they paid the Kerry forwards too much respect as well as lacking a controlled approach to defending and keeping out Clifford and Geaney, in particular. How many frees or 45s did Sean O’Shea score off their excessive unskillful robustness in defending one on one? It was O’Shea’s frees that kept Kerry in the game in the first half and they came for me purely from Dublin fear of Kerry forwards and ineptness in clean defending. The Kerry forwards could decide to play puck the next day, run, go all out. They don’t actually have to score – they could just sow terror and rattle the defence so mistakes are made. Would cards come then? Would players be replaced?
    I also think a significant factor is that O’Callaghan was kept quiet. That was a huge achievement and it’s unlikely to happen again.

    Can Kerry keep Fenton quiet again also?

    I thought the Kerry players showed a lot of energy and vitality also and can up this the next day.

    Dublin looked short of ideas and lacking in player options. The only lively ones were McCaffery and to an extent Dean Rock.
    Dublin showed weaknesses and if Kerry can press these, they can win. However, a conservative ref can work against them. Dublin could also give the Kerry goalkeeper a harder time in the replay.

  56. Kerry lost their chance yesterday imagine playing 40+ minutes with an extra man and ending up losing the battles for possession near the end. They have poked Dublin now and I really expect a reaction and some changes like MDM and Scully dropped for starters. Maybe Brogan to come back in as McMenamens legs are gone. Kerry filled the togs when they went 1 point up, comes from inexperience I suppose but they wont get a second chance.

  57. One thing that is becoming clear is that Dublins squad depth ain’t all that these days

    Once again they got very little of their bench, has been similar story in all their matches. Kerrys bunch had a huge impact with spillane sherwood and Walsh all contributing

  58. OK Reafteari I found the Horan Strategic Report and had a quick scan read on the mobile down the pub. All seems pretty good with sound recommendations such as an external independent root and branch audit of incomings/outgoings which is preceded in the foreward by ominous notes that the Committee found it impossible to get any financial information from the CB except for what was already in the public domain?
    With respect of the current debacle the recommendation under FF1 for finance and fundraising states in the 2nd bullet
    ” Establish an independent Mayo Foundation, with respected Trustees, which will attract support from the Mayo Diaspora worldwide who are favourably disposed to the aims and objectives of Mayo GAA, and are willing to contribute to their achievement. The Foundation shall aim to raise funds to disburse to worthy Mayo GAA projects, subject to a formal application procedure.”
    At face value that seems to be a carbon copy of what the trustees are requesting from the current CB prior to releasing funds and makes a lot of sense to me?
    Must sit down and do a comparison between the submitted report and the neutered version!

  59. WMD – that comment was completely over the top so I’ve had no option but to delete it. Just for information – seeing as you’ve only very recently started posting here – comments containing material of an insulting and abusive nature about anyone should really be avoided.

    The same point is true more generally. I’m finding myself increasingly having to edit back casually abusive stuff that people continually try to post here about all manner of people, be they players from other teams, GAA people, pundits etc. This site isn’t an unhinged social media platform and so I’d ask everyone to recognise this and stop misusing the comment facility here.

  60. Humblest apologies Willie Joe.
    On holidays and treated myself to some local ales this afternoon quite possibly clouding my brain and judgement when providing a character assination of Kieran Whelan.
    Back to black coffee and fell walking tomorrow!

  61. Listened to some excerpts from the Radio Kerry match commentary today. Really great stuff. It would have been wonderful to have had the legendary Wishee Fogarty around for a match like that.

    Out of the country at the moment so was listening to RTÉ on the wireless (should have tuned to RK based on what I heard today). I couldn’t believe how few times Fenton’s name was mentioned. I’d say maybe 6 times in the whole game. Unbelievable.

    Must say it was satisfying to finally see (hear) Cooper get his comeuppance. As others have said, himself, Philly and J Small have been getting away with so much crap for years. Dublin can hardly complain after all the media campaigns launched against Leeroy.

    I can’t understand why anyone would want to be a referee nowadays but it’s shocking that there is so much on the shoulders of one person. Certainly the linesmen should have a lot more say. If they had then it should mean a major reduction in the off the ball crap that goes on. Is it me or are refs now actually starting to pull a lot more for stuff happening well away from play?

    Will be rooting for Kerry in the replay. Maybe the absence of baggage will feed their sense of belief. I guess we also have to be careful what we wish for….

  62. Kerry at the moment are where Mayo was in 2012. Probably won’t win the AI but has laid a marker down as All Ireland contender for many years to come. Dublin yesterday on and off the field showed their first sign of weakest but it wasn’t their worst final display as that was in the drawn final in 2016. They aren’t getting the same impact out of their bench and just 4 players scoring for them in a final is a rare sight.

    Their forward scoring yesterday from play was.

    Howard 0-0 Scully 0-0 Kilkenny 0-0
    Mannion 0-2 O Callaghan 0-1 Rock 0-3

    The majority of people myself included expected Dublin with such a good scoring set of forwards would run up a big score from play against what was meant to be a weak Kerry defence. Yes can use the excuse of man sent off but that was defender not a forward sent odd and i can imagine Jim Gavin and his management will be looking for a much better scoring return from his forwards in the replay, he will demand it!

  63. In 2014 there was a view that Mayo would undo a suspect Kerry defence and while he was moving on, Aidan O Mahony firmly put that view to the sword. Himself and Crowley were immense. Same view was largely (and you’d have to say fairly) taken again for Sunday. Again their defence has come up trumps against much bigger odds than 2014. Donie B will definitely squeeze a few AIs out of this lot you’d imagine. Hopefully we will stay in the mix and continue to pose questions for them and other comets over the coming years although realistically there is some rebuilding to be done.

  64. I said 2 years ago Kerry and Dublin will share next 10 all Irelands between them. We know about the Dublin resources and Kerry got their act together in terms of underage development, centre of excellence, development squads, coaching etc.
    I think the gap between the big two and the rest is going to get wider over next few years. Its easy to convince a Dublin and Kerry player to put in the total commitment required at the top level as they are almost guaranteed to win SAM at least once over a 10 year playing career. Much harder to convince players from other counties to commit to the same level.

  65. WMD, my apologies for not getting back to you but I was on the road much of yesterday. In the interim, you found the report and a few things about it.

    Liam Horan’s committee was convened in the autumn of 2010 and its steering committee made up of the following individuals coordinated deliberations involving some of the finest men and women within the county and throughout the diaspora who had nothing but the best interests of Mayo football and more importantly, the social fabric of our people at heart.

    Steering Committee
    1. Aodan MacSuibhne (St Jude’s, Dublin)
    2. Charlie Gilmartin (Kiltimagh)
    3. Danny McHugh (ex-St Colman’s College, Claremorris)
    4. Denise Horan (Ballinrobe)
    5. Eamon Kennedy (Castlebar Mitchels)
    6. Jimmy Lyons (Aghamore)
    7. JJ Costello (Carramore)
    8. John Healy (Ballina Stephenites)
    9. Liam Horan (Ballinrobe, chairperson)
    10. Maria Staunton (Ballintubber).
    11. Martin Carney (Castlebar Mitchels)
    12. Neil Sheridan (Balla)
    13. PJ Monaghan (St Sylvester’s, Dublin, and Belmullet)
    14. Robert Grealis (Kilmeena)
    15. Sean Deane (Breaffy)
    16. Sean Hannick (Killala)
    17. Stephen Carolan (Belmullet)
    18. Stephen Rochford (Crossmolina)
    19. Tony O’Connor (Ballintubber)

    It was their recommendation as you note that the foundation be independent and I can’t help but think that if the Foundation had been started in 2011, as suggested, and not 2018, as necessitated, Stephen Rochford, a member of the Steering Committee, may have gotten us over the line in 2016 and/or 2017.

  66. That’s a bit much there, TH.

    Rochford owes Mayo nothing at this stage. If he decides to go manage Galway, then the best of luck to him. Not wishing any luck to Galway against Mayo though. I hope that we hammer them at every opportunity.

  67. TH – that’s a disgraceful comment, which I’ve now deleted. Mayomad/FDB – I’ve also edited out those bits of your comments in reply where you reference what was originally posted, as I don’t want to draw any attention to it.

    This is but the latest example of someone abusing the comment facility here, which is now becoming a clear trend among a minority who clearly have no clue nor any respect for this site and what it’s meant to be about. It’s a trend that needs to stop.

  68. The rumblings about Kevin leaving were going on since last week, as usual lots of rumours etc about his predecessor, but one thing I take away is our absolute shambolic county board. For a top dual county to be looking for two managers at the same time says a lot.
    Kevin’s dig and Michael Donoghue the same at facilities , finance, preparation of teams etc says it all.
    And I believe there will be more to come.
    Personally I hope PJoyce stays with the 20s and I would welcome Stephen Rochford with open arms.

  69. No problem with that Edit Willie Joe.

    From what I gather the Donegal Management team was ratified last night and includes Rochford, so that’s him in the Hills for another year anyways.

  70. Not good for us, thought Walsh would get another year playing his caveman tactics. Make no mistake, if Galway get the right man in they’re going to be a serious force next year. New managers always get a first year bounce

  71. I would hope Rochford would prefer not to assist the development of Galway. Regardless of his ill treatment 12 months ago, it would not sit well with the vast majority of Mayo supporters to see him take that job, if approached in relation to it. Rochford should be involved with the development of Mayo football at some level. In my opinion it’s the responsibility of those in charge of Mayo GAA to get the best people on board. Stephen would be an excellent u20 coach, a position (again in my opinion) which should be available given how 2019 went for us.

    John O Mahony was enough. Thank you very much.

    Anyway, it’s inevitable that Joyce and Divilly want it in due course. It may be a year soon but I think Mayo have helped out Galway enough over the past 20 years.

  72. I think Joyce will get the job but even if Rochford got it I wouldn’t begrudge it to him I would wish him well he’s a decent bloke and did his bit for Mayo football. Padraig Joyce will win Sam for Galway in the next 5 years make no mistake about it he is a proven winner. If we don’t appoint a forwards coach this season we may as well as forget about winning Sam. I think James Horan will try something different next season and I think he won’t be afraid to ask for help. It was frustrating this year to see a lot of our shots dropping the oppositions goalies hands things like that can be worked on I’d love to see Peter Canavan or Andy Moran brought In as a dedicated forwards coach. If Galway appoint Joyce they will be shooting the lights out we need to be able to match them

  73. Backdoorsam, I wouldn’t be so sure at all about Padraic winning Sam or anything near that..
    He has a lot of catching up to do on Stephen in relation to managing at the highest level.

  74. A lot of us predicted this last September when Stephen was shafted. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t get the Galway job. He will win an AI with them very soon, no doubt about it. The way certain delegates in the count board conducted their business with Stephen, they deserve to see him go and do an O’Mahony with the enemy. Mayo Gaa never learn from mistakes.

  75. That may be true Tuamstar but Joyce won 2 All Ireland senior medals I know Kevin Walsh did as well but he will set Galway up to play attacking football not the caveman stuff Walsh was overseeing anyway that’s Galway’s business we have our own team to get ready for next year but I won’t be looking forward to playing Galway if Joyce is their manager

  76. Why on earth would rochford take the Mayo U20’s job after bringing the senior team within a kick of the ball of winning Sam against the greatest team of all time TWICE and then getting shafted by the county board. I’m afraid we have lost a great man from Mayo football. I’d have serious fears of the effect he would have on that Galway panel that’s full of attacking talent. Anyways we are where we are and I know James is already working on next year.

  77. People here are getting a bit over-excited about Joyce possibly taking over the Galway senior side, IMO. The crux of this narrative seems to be that because Joyce was a garlanded player, he will take the Tribesmen to the next level. But we in Mayo should know that this doesn’t always follow, given our experience with say, Jack O’Shea, for example.

    We need to concentrate on rebuilding the side and especially on getting our underage and financial structures right in the next few years IMO. There seems to be decent work ongoing in this regard, so hopefully if we can avoid any messy situations (never a given with us, unfortunately) this can bear fruit in the mid term.

  78. It should appeal to a few either way including Rochford.
    The best club team in the country.
    3 All Ireland Minor Finals in 4 years. 4 or the last 5 in Connacht.
    2 of the last 3 Connacht U 20/21.
    Last 2 All Ireland Junior Finals.
    There are players to work with.

  79. @Reaftearai, that list of the steering committee looks like a full football team with subs on the bench.
    Fair play to Rochford if he gets the Galway job, did a brilliant job ad Mayo manager, this is a cut throat thankless job.

  80. We got to get our own house in order in Mayo, before we start to worry too much about regime change in Galway…. I always felt that, Galway were set up to defeat Mayo and not too much ambition afterwards… They did defeat Mayo on 3 subsequent occasions, but it was a 14 man Mayo Team for well over half the game on the last two occasions… The two recent Rossi defeat’s, in 3 year’s of Galway and and an over due defeat to Mayo, and the Galway fan’s have had enough of the dreaded ‘Galway Shawl’ Its a nice song an all, but not easy on the eye’s as a style of football….As it happens Galway are looking for two Manager’s, one for the hurlers and one for the football…. The Rossi won’t hardly want Antony Cunningham going anywhere for the foreseeable future, so I guess he’s staying put… Interesting time’s ahead! …Declan Bonner has proven to be a shrewd man for Donegal, in singing up the genial Stephen Rochford in the first place, and secondly getting him to commit to next year in the Hill’s as well… Not that we in Mayo are in any position to throw stones at any of our neighbors…. Plenty that’s far from perfect or ideal here in the Plains of the Yew, as regards the whole funding structure of Mayo GAA, as I read plenty about here on this Blog last weekend, not that I understood everything that I read, and of course I think that Mayo needs to take a learn from Donegal and make an addition to our Football team’s Management brain’s trust … Plenty that’s far from perfect or ideal in the whole of the GAA, from the Financial Doping of Dublin, the bizzare Venues fixture’s that sees Dublin at home for virtually every Championship game in their Neutral Venue where they haven’t even pay for the Grass getting cut… There has been a bit too much sniping at each other here in Connacht, especially between Galway and Mayo fan’s as regards each other’s defieancies!.. The ‘Galway Shawl’ Song is officially out of fashion right now… but the song the starts ‘I can see clearly now, the rain has gone’ when will we all be able to start singing that one?

  81. Galway would be mad not to approach Rochford and appoint him , he’s a top class manager.
    I pray to God that they don’t.

  82. @Mayo88 Touche. Given events of the last week, it’s important that we not only consider the recommendations of the Finance and Funding Sub-Committee put forward by Liam Horan but the impeccable credentials of the individuals who developed them

    They were as follows:

    Finance & Funding
    PJ Monaghan (St Sylvester’s, Dublin, & Belmullet, chairperson)
    Thomas Mitchell (Dublin & Belcarra)
    Michael Duffy (Dublin andBalla)
    John Cox (Dublin and Aghamore)
    John Cuffe (St Peter’s,
    Dunboyne, Co. Meath, & Belmullet)
    Frank Walsh (Dublin & Kiltimagh)
    Jonathan Mullin (Dublin & Kilmaine)
    Mary Davis (Dublin & Kiltimagh)
    John Gunnigan (St Vincent’s, Dublin, &Aghamore)
    Kevin O’Neill (Dublin & Knockmore)
    John O’Boyle (Naomh Mearnog, Dublin, & Parke)
    Billy Joe Padden (St Patrick’s, Carrickruppen, Armagh, & Belmullet)
    Jimmy Walsh (Ballyboden St Enda’s & Westport)

    Remarkable men and women, one and all. Among their number I count this blog’s moderator, as well as two regular and highly valued contributors, PJ Monaghan and John Cuffe.

    Beyond that, I see my neighbour, Mary Davis, a woman whose life’s work has been in the service of those with special needs, and Kevin O’Neill, a sterling performer on and off the pitch, who is one of the most inspirational people you will ever meet.

    For some, I understand that drawing back to the Horan report may seem like an exercise in futility, but given my professional training I’m always looking for the Critical Control Point when dealing with a hazardous situation and last week’s developments most definitely poses a hazard for football in Mayo.

    By my reading the Critical Control Point has nothing to do with last week’s statement by the Foundation and everything to do with the County Board’s failure to faithfully implement the recommendations contained within the Horan report eight years ago.

    Some posters on this blog seem to be hung up on form and function and IMO undue consideration has been given to the manner in which the foundation released while not enough consideration has been given to the chain of events, a pretty lengthy chain at that, which gave rise to the statement being necessary in the first place.

  83. Great article today in the Mayo News about Andy Moran, seemingly he was on the books of Longford Town in 2003 when he got his first league game for Mayo seniors, how close were we to not see him playing in the Green and Red, Phew!
    Also, in another article in the same paper, it finished by saying that the County Board were looking for a solution to the impasse with the International Foundation, hopefully it gets sorted out. We need, as a county, to be on the same hymn sheet next to have a chance at a decent crack at Nestor and beyond.

  84. I thought the 2 finals Sunday were very exciting.

    Galway in hard luck in the opener and one of the Senior sides will be kicking themselves in 2 weeks that they didn’t win last Sunday.

    Goodluck to whoever gets the Galway job.

    If I was Steven Rochford and was offered it, he would be more than entitled to take it. He did a great job with Mayo and will do well with whatever team he is with.

    I wonder would Galway go for a kerry man. Hardly, but Mayo did in the past.

    Its matter-less who Galway go for. We should be aiming at seeing Galway improving and been good enough to beat their improved team.

    We need Galway to be better and we need to be pushing each other if either of us are going to win an all Ireland.

    Kerry will take catching in the coming years as well as Dublin.

  85. @Rapparee…. Catherine’ Szabo the Magnificent Romanian athlethe beat Sonia O Sullivan fair and square in Sydney in 2000. She also, as well as Gold, has a Olympic Silver and Bronze medals, and 3 World Championship Gold’s the first won in 1997, and I never heard a word of controversy about her. ….

  86. Leantimes there have certainly been many question marks over the Romanian Gabriela Szabo and her authenticity so we’ll just leave that there.

  87. Rapparee – you can’t come on here and level an accusation like that without a shred of evidence. There are many places on the internet for spreading baseless conspiracy theories but this isn’t one of them.

    Once again, for everyone’s benefit, I have to point to another example of someone coming onto to the site to abuse the comment facility. I’ll repeat again – this cannot continue. Otherwise the very future of this facility is in doubt.

  88. @Our time has come, … Gaberila Szabo, fabulous Romanian runner… your right about her first name, and I was wrong about her first name, but I couldn’t find any question marks about her authenticity or anything else about her either….Many East European Sport’s people have been had a question mark over them, that doesn’t mean every one does…In Ireland we have a multiple Olympic Medal winner with plenty of question marks over her…. Gaberila Szabo, name is Clean, and you can leave it where ever you want!…

  89. Its easy to knock Kevin Walsh and personally I didn’t like the way Galway played under him but surely he deserves some credit too. When he took over, Galway were at a very low ebb and were quite simply unable to beat Mayo, but he changed that totally and we found it incredibly difficult to beat them instead. Where I believe he fell down was in not progressing them more. They had a defensive mentality and once Mayo had been defeated they seemed to take their eye off the ball suffering surprise defeats to Tipp and Roscommon. This year he got it tactically wrong, caught between two game plans and trying to be a bit more positive. Galway have really good players and a tradition of playing positive football and whoever gets the job has so much to work with. In fairness he has left the Galway team in a far better situation than the Galway he inherited.

  90. Good Morning All,
    As you know I have been made feel so welcome on this site for years now and some of my great friends are from Mayo. I have been reading the comments of some posters in the last few months and please tell me to mind my own business but if the posters can’t feel Willie Joes frustration at this stage then I’m sure the man will ask himself why he bothers. There’s some excellent posts and so many knowledgeable GAA people from all counties on this site so please let the few that post nasty and senseless comments cop on or else it might be gone.

    Kind Regards
    Martin the Dub

  91. Leantimes – https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/other-sports/sonia-o-sullivan-wonders-about-gabriela-szabo-s-olympic-gold-1.2524481
    Elite level atlethics performance especially Eastern European during the period in question must taken with a pinch of salt, but all you can say is if they haven’t failed the testing regime at the time in question then it’s suspicion, speculation and rumour. Even today with the advances in testing regimes pushing the envelope at the elite end is a murky game often mixed with politics.

  92. Jabers, I leave this place for an evening and it goes full-blown Alex Jones conspiracy theory peddling ! Behave yourselves, people 🙂

    Fully agree with to win just once, Kevin Walsh did a fine job overall in my opinion. It has been forgotten that Galway were really poor prior to his arrival and had lost a succession of championship games by a point in the previous decade or so. He instilled a spine and a defined game plan in them and won a couple of Nestor Cups.

    Problem for him (funny as it might sound) that Corofin were lighting up the All-Ireland club championship playing sparkling football. This seems to have led to many people in Galway thinking that an infusion of players from that club would automatically bring the good times back for the county team.

    It isn’t that simple, though. Micheál Lundy was a standout player for Corofin but struggled to make the transition to county ball, Leeroy kept him quiet on a few occasions. Likewise, Mayo clubs were extremely competitive in the early 2000s but we were way off the pace of the championship’s big boys at senior inter-county back then. There’s a huge gap between even top level club and county, especially in terms of the brand of football you can play.

    No top level county side plays like Corofin because you don’t get the space, even the Dubs funnel lots of men back behind the ball when they need to.

  93. Very well said Reaftearai…

    Niallmc1983 – I said he woudl be ideal for the u20 role. Jack O’Connor won several all irelands in kerry. He then did it with the minors and has played a huge part in developing what is now a very strong panel.

    People talking about Galway winning an All Ireland. They might. But let me assure you all that between now and 2029, at least 7 of those years will see a Dub/Kerry winner. Dublin because of the machine they are and financial, coaching and population advantages (which is very detrimental to the game at large, outside of the capital) and Kerry because they got their house in order underage 6/7 years ago with secondar schools and minor teams sweeping everyone aside. Sure it hasnt translated to success at u20, but maybe that’s cos some of their minors were so good they bypassed that level.

    Ourselves, Galway, Tyrone and maybe Cork and Donegal will compete for the scraps. Kildare have the scope to challenge potentially but no one else will come close.

    In order for Mayo to have a sniff of an All Ireland over the next decade we need a huge push at underage from primary school up. This needs to be innovative so as to be ahead of everyone else. Having an underage system on par with others wont be enough.

    We also need money and the Mayo Foudation is absolutely critical to any future success and these guys (all highly successful in their own field )should be absolutely credited for getting off their arses to organise – and I cant believe some of the stick some posters have given them. The Mayo Co Board have a legacy of messing things up as far back as nopt backing John O’Mahony in 1991. It’s long over due that this changes and fast. If it were a commercial business most of them would have out long long ago.

  94. First a word about Kevin Walsh. Caveman tactics? In 2016 I remember Jim Carney lamenting the state of Galway football and predicting something like Aido beating them on his own in the upcoming Connacht semi final. Well, we all know what happened there and since. We beat Galway this year, thank God – and James, but in the meantime, Div one status, AI semi final last year, league final last year. That’s not nothing, and remember Galway’s defence was dire.

    On his successor, it never ceases to amaze me how some Mayo fans talk up Galway. Padraic Joyce winning an AI with them in 5 years? I sat beside a Mayo fan in Limerick and he kept talking about the (superior) quality of some Galway players. He lived on the border and seemed IMO to suffer from an inferiority complex. Others were talking of Galway walking to an U20 AI this year, again attributing mystical qualities to Padraic Joyce. Rochford would be very good for Galway, but I would not like to see it. No way José!

    Tuam Star and Big Mike (I enjoy your posts by the way) – are the Galway Co Board that bad? Hurling champions in 2017, current minor champs, Corofin? They must be doing something right. And, I really did feel sorry for the minor footballers on Sunday. How near can you get?

  95. I agree with you there Catcol.
    As an aside – a great player does not always make a great manager. There are numerous examples of this not only from Gaelic Games but from all varieties of sports.
    I’ve never understood the assumption that a classy player will always make a classy manager. More often than not, It does not hold up to scrutiny.
    Padraic Joyce was an outstandingly talented footballer and seems to be doing OK with the Galway Under 20’s but there is no guarantee that he will be a successful manager.
    I cringe when I hear people mention the ideas of Ciaran McDonald as a manager, though thankfully this is rare. While Ciaran was another exceptional talent, there is no guarantee that he has any of the attributes needed to be a good manager. I believe he’s involved with underage coaching and to my mind, thats a great place for him to start should he have ambitions of Team Management.
    Andy is someone I believe has a future in Sports Management but there would be no point in parachuting him into management at this stage. I do think he would make great forwards Coach (and I’ve no doubt McDonald could be great at that too). These things take time and like any role, people need to learn to walk before they can run.

  96. Catcol, I wouldn’t know where to begin with the county board, in brief they are an unmitigated shambles.
    I’ll say this , they posted Kevin Walshs statement on the Galway Gaa website yesterday but cut out the paragraph where he stated that in order for county teams to prosper in the future more emphasis was needed from the county board on facilities, coaching, structures from under age right through to senior.
    They didn’t like what he said to cut the statement.
    Any wonder both he and Michael Donoghue have walked.

  97. Rochford was full if praise for Andy in the press. They clearly have a good connection. Wouldn’t a Rochford/Moran combo be nice in the future.

    Andy woukd be great with the minors/u20s. A perfect starting point or a senior club to begin with.

    Mayo must find a way of retaining our talent WITHIN our county. By God, we’ve wasted enough of it on and off the pitch over the years….Padraig Brogan, Kevin O’Neill, P Hanley(remember him????), John O Mahony. If only …

  98. Rochford is a narrow favourite for the Galway job according to the bookies, just ahead of Alan Flynn. Joyce is 3rd favourite.

  99. Bookies are just stealing money by including Rochford methinks. If you Google “Donegal team ratified” he appears to have committed to another year at Donegal on Monday evening, before Kevin Walsh’s resignation was officially announced.

  100. @WMD, Thanks for going to the trouble and finding the news article about Gaberila Zsabso…As I say her name is still officially clean… I can’t garuntee anyone what she did or didn’t take, but she only beat Sonia O Sullivan by maybe 2 Meter’s at most in a 5000 meter race in 2000, and Szabo was a World Champion since 1997.. No one has ever questioned Sonia O Sullivan, neither do I, and she almost beat Zsabso, and definitely didn’t have quite the achievement’s of Zsabso in big Competition beforehand?.. So in theory, you could ask questions and not be satisfied with the answers? as to any Olympic Athlete. Sonia was Ireland’s Greatest Ever Clean Female Athlete, she had a number of very bad days, and these had nothing to do with any of her competitors … I think it’s pretty obvious that the Chinese had serious question to answer, when 3 unheard of Athlete’s blitized Sonia and every other Athlete on the track.. I guess that this is the Mayo Gaelic ATHLETIC Association Blog, and we are bringing the Athletic to the fore…. Now what’s happening to Hickey? …Has he any holidays planned for Rio de Janerio? Should we send him back to face the music? I think we should!….. Your 100% right what you say, about Murky dealing, and you can include the place the FIFA World Cup is held, Olympic Games , World Atletics Championship…. Everything and Everyone should be above board, ethical and clean. .. When the Top Brass is Red Rotten it’s hard for the Sportsman ?or Woman at the bottom starting off to be straight and prosper!… And yet a huge amount are clean and some even successful with it , Still I don’t think that doping of GAA sportspeople is a problem, but if I’m right about this, and we want to keep it that way, the price for doing this is eternal viglance!

  101. Alan Flynn had a real mixed bag with Galway U21s. From 2013 winning the All Ireland to 2014 getting knocked out of the Connacht championship by Leitrim.

  102. Good Post Catcol.
    The county board are broke which is well known.
    They are just not the most visionary bunch which is not unique to Galway. Only last week, someone told me not to believe any rumour as this may in fact be someone trying to unsettle an officer in order to get someone else into position. They are volunteers in positions where professionalism is required. I 100% agree with you on PJ, great player but has no pedigree as a manager. On the underage success, there are a lot of brilliant people involved in underage coaching at a county and club level. Look at the clubs on the minor football team, Barna, Claregalway, Moycullen, all huge growth areas and clubs that will get very strong(lots of Mayos I might add). Surely Corofin will have a huge say on who gets the job, 2 all Irelands and 4 county championships in a row, Kevin O’Brien has to be in with a shout. As I said on here a few weeks ago, Connacht will be competitive in 2020, Mayo evolving, The Ross will improve and Galway with a new manager will have a bounce.

  103. Leantimes – my pleasure.
    With regards my comment “Elite level athletics performance especially Eastern European during the period in question must taken with a pinch of salt” I cast no aspertions with regards our Sonia it was just her misfortune to be competing throughout this period which was rife with doping and dope cheats.
    Look to the governing body the IAAF who as recently as 2017 proposed that all records set throughout this period up to 2005 should in effect be wiped from the record books because they as the governing body simply could not attest to the authenticity of any athletics records set during this period.
    If you set a record during this period up to 2005 then it would be your responsibility as the athlete to prove the record was clean, you would have to submit a sample blood/urine taken at the time the record was set for retesting, the only problem being the IAAF didn’t start to store samples until 2005?
    Of course this proposal to press the reset button met with strong resistance from high profile retired “clean” athletes who want their records to remain on the record books.
    The Eastern European aspect because after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the break up of Eastern bloc countries detailed documented records and personal testimonies came into the public domain circa the late 90’s detailing the systemic athletics doping programmes in East Germany and other Eastern bloc countries.
    The only surprise is that during this period Sonia was not competing against athletes resembling the cast list of Men In Black such was the level of doping.
    For the murky world of politics and professional athletics look no further than former Olympic champion, former Tory MP, Tory Peer and the current President of the IAAF Lord Sebastian Coe who has been mired in one form of corruption scandal after the other related to doping & bribery in his rise to power. Others such as his ex chief of staff Nick Davies have fallen on their swords but Seb has soldiered manfully on against the tide even relinquishing a nice little earner with Nike to demonstrate his ethical impartiality as only be has the vision and moral backbone to lead international athletics to the promised land!
    But as you correctly point out Leantimes this is a GAA forum, a noble amateur sport and long may it remain so.
    https://www.si.com/olympics/2017/05/01/iaaf-world-record-rule-change-paula-radcliffe-hicham-el-guerrouj
    Sebastian Coe helped to IAAF presidency by ‘corrupt’ official – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/36541301
    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/01/sebastian-coe-increasing-scrutiny-iaaf-athletics-nick-davies

    Martin The Dub – I hear what you are saying but for my transgression I have been on thin gruel and fell walking in the wilderness for 2 straight days now, surely enough penitence for a mere mortal Christian?

  104. Only now have I got to read the comments posted on this thread even though it’s a few days old. Does nobody realise that under GAA rules a county board cannot recognise an independent supporter’s club of any sort. Whether you call them a “foundation” or not. The County Board has to have complete control of all GAA activities in their county. To have any other organisation would be to have complete chaos. Co Boards may not be perfect but they are what the county’s people, i.e. the clubs make them.

  105. I don’t understand all the fascination with the Galway management job.
    Who cares who the Galway Co. Board appoint to the position, that is their business.
    We need to get our own house in order and win next years Connaught Championship.

    Also, I have followed this great blog for years.
    I know that we all get emotional sometimes and express ourselves in different ways.
    But for the sake of this great blog, let’s keep ourselves in check and Willie Joe won’t have to do so much policing and keep the blog going.

  106. I think its the realisation that the right manager in Galway could make Mayos progress difficult even Walsh made it hard with his “shawl” but an attacking manager getting us playing to our potential would be a problem for Mayo and Roscommon. I wont hold my breath the county board shenanigans in both codes would leave you fed up.

  107. Does all this focus on a new Galway Manager propelling the. ahead of Mayo illuminate the problem at the heart of Mayo football.That Deep down there is a belief we are just not goid enough when it really matters. We should focus on ourselves (controllable) and not on others (uncontrollable).

  108. Okay, WMD and Leantimes – I think it’s time to call a halt to that discussion about doping in sport. It’s not a relevant topic to be discussed here.

  109. Folks any update from Mayogaafoundation with regards their failed attempts to engage with the County Board which lead to the communications breakdown and Instagram statement?
    I understood a full statement with regards the chain of events was to be published on the Mayogaafoundation website, or have I misunderstood?

  110. WMD – Hopefully you have misunderstood and that things are dealt with in a more professional manner than that.
    I paid $100 in May to a member of the Mayo Foundation for a ticket to New York game. I was told by the member that all funds raised were going towards Mayo senior team training fund.

  111. OK I think the initial statement said something like the Mayogaafoundation had e-mailed WJ the history of failed engagement etc and would also soon be publishing full details to their website which all sounded a bit ominous!
    Then having read Reafteari’s post regards “not enough consideration has been given to the chain of events, a pretty lengthy chain at that” I was wondering had the full gorey details of the chain of events actually been released for public consumption and consideration?
    It seems not which might indicate lines of communication are still open

  112. I agree Carraig Dubh. I have also followed this great blog for years and I would also call on people to keep themselves in check so Willie Joe wont have to do so much policing. I remember a time when we went out of the championship the hallowed walls of this place went deathly quiet. Not so anymore which is one thing if it was just about club football, potential future players etc., and all that but i dknow about some of the stuff we are talking about these days… a lot of it is well left alone.
    All I know is i’m off to MacHale Park on Sunday to see Louisburgh and Kiltimagh.. both have qualified already but I think one of these two will go Senior this year and should be a cracking game

  113. Thanks, toe to hand – I’d share those sentiments. Just to clarify, I was given some information about the dispute from the Mayo GAA Foundation but I don’t feel it’s my place either to publish it or to analyse it. Likewise, there’s nothing to be gained from people airing details about the dispute here. If all parties to this disagreement have the interest of Mayo GAA at heart and are prepared to put this interest as their top priority then a solution can be found. It’s best this is done quietly and with as little fuss as possible and without people expressing opinions on the issue when they’re not in possession of all the relevant facts.

    As you also rightly point out, toe to hand, there’s club football action on this weekend. I’ll put up a post later on providing some details on what’s on and where. I had hoped I might be in the west myself to catch some of this but, as it turns out, I have to stay up here so I’ll be hoping to tune in on Mayo GAA TV.

  114. Willie Joe, is there nothing to be gained or nothing to be gained from your perspective?

    If you rewind five years ago, post-Limerick, you facilitated lucubrations on this blog which I think played a significant role in keeping the County board, a county board which had more or less binned Liam Horan’s Strategic Action Plan, mindful of growing dissatisfaction with their stewardship.

    If you agree with that synopsis, then I must ask why you felt that there was something to be gained from the discussion of the matters at hand then; namely appointment of the manager, coaching, underage development and shock of shocks, fundraising, and why you feel there is nothing to be gained from discussion of the foundation’s relationship to the County Board, now?

    Finally, up above, a number of people questioned the Foundation’s decision to release its statement through social media and not the Fourth Estate. Given yesterday’s article in the Irish Times, I think we can now see why their course of action was the prudent one.

    Quoting an unnamed source, the article, contained a number of statements; some true, some true but devoid of context and some which were plain false.

    As I don’t expect the IT to revisit the matter anytime soon where should concerned Mayo supporters seek redress if you don’t think they should seek it here?

  115. I think there’s nothing to be gained, Reaftearai.

    I’m not sure either that I understand the question you’ve posed about my “perspective”. I don’t see I have one on this issue, though I am wary generally of allowing the blog to get dragged into off-field debates in cases where it would really be far better for those debates to take place elsewhere. Plus, the inter-county year is over and I so consider this the closed season when I can devote far less time to the blog than is the case at other times.

    Debates that take place here on off-field issues like this can, as they also do on social media, often lead to exchanges between people who may not be in full possession of all relevant facts. Indeed, there can often be an inverse relationship between the strength of opinions expressed by some people and their knowledge about the topic at hand. On this issue, I don’t think the full facts are out there and I don’t see how a sensible debate can take place here on the blog without the full facts being known. I just don’t see what purpose it would serve and who’d be any the better off after it.

    As I understand it – and as that piece in the Irish Times states – there’s at least some hope that the problems can be resolved. I would certainly share those hopes and the last thing I want is that an ill-informed debate taking place here or elsewhere online gets in the way of this.

  116. Willie Joe, no one wants an ill-informed debate but that’s what one will get if one does not acknowledge the elephant in the room an elephant which can be acknowledged with a yes or no answer to the following questions?

    Was the Foundation set-up with the independence of structure and is it governed by the practices and procedures envisioned by Liam Horan’s draft report? Yes or No.

    Was Cairde Mhaigh Eo set-up with the independence of structure and is it governed by the practices and procedures envisioned by Liam Horan’s draft report? Yes or No.

    If the answer to both is Yes, then a reconciliation is likely. If not, “Mayo, God help us”

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