Mayo 0-20 Dublin 0-8: new jersey, great result

Wow! We stuff the All-Ireland champions by 12 points, racking up twenty points – the bulk of them from play – in the process. We’ve almost certainly retained our Division One status for another year and we could, if we beat the Kerrymen, even make it to the semi-final. And Conor Mortimer smashed Joe Corcoran’s long-standing record to become Mayo’s all-time top scorer. And I finally got to meet and shake hands with the real Willie Joe. Carlsberg don’t do league matches, but if they did …

I’m not sure how many time I trotted out the old “travelling more in hope than in confidence” cliché before leaving Dublin early this afternoon but it was well into double figures. The team that was announced last night didn’t fill me with confidence and I had real fears we could end up taking a right pasting. Well, that shows how much I know about this particular subject matter: I couldn’t have been more wrong about how I thought this one might go.

Over our early morning porridge this morning – before heading out to face the rigours of U8 hurling – the little lad said to me that he’d be happy enough to see us win this one, on the basis that then we’d both survive in Division One. That’s fairly mature thinking for a seven-year old but I was still glad that he opted to stay in the capital to go to a friend’s birthday party instead of heading west with me. Bipartisan bonhomie would only have lasted a while, I fear, and I’d say there’s a good chance we’d have had tears before bedtime if he’d had to witness his precious Dubs getting pulled to pieces in the comprehensive way that they were.

McHale Park look great, awashed with the evening sunlight, when PJ and I arrived and for the first time in ages we opted for the concrete bleachers instead of the stand so that we had the sun at our backs. I managed to locate John Cuffe who’d also made the same choice and we hunkered down beside himself and Liam Horan to watch the evening’s action unfold.

We were on the offensive right from the throw-in, with Aidan O’Shea a bristling presence at midfield where he was so obviously a man on a mission, eager to make up for his absence for the best part of the last three matches. Another man eager to make an impression was Michael Conroy who got us going in confident fashion with two lovely neat points from play, the first off his right foot and the second off his left.

Bryan Cullen broke through and fisted over to get the Dubs’ opening score but Alan Dillon responded with a fine score from out on the right and we then moved further ahead with points from Conor Mortimer (a free) and another from Dillon, which came straight from the kick-out.

After Andrews notched the visitors’ second, Mort nabbed a well-worked one from play which involved a quick interchange of passes before he drove it over from 40 yards out to draw level with Joe Corcoran’s long-standing all-time scoring record for the county.

After another point for the Dubs, Aidan O’Shea lamped over a glorious score from close to fifty yards out but the next score we got was even more significant as this one meant that Conor had now become our all-time top scorer. Here’s his pointed free that secured this notable position:

We were now five clear and you could see that confidence was starting to build, a process aided further when Alan Dillon knocked over his third of the evening and Michael Conroy then did the same with another peach of a score from a tight angle.

Dublin were finding it very hard to make any progress against us, with our backs enjoying the best of the exchanges – the way that Lee Keegan cleanly dispossesed the in-running Kevin McManamon was a particularly sweet cameo –  but when the rapidly advancing Kevin Nolan was fed a perfect ball, he had only David Clarke to beat and a goal looked certain. The big Stephenites man provided further proof, however, of what an excellent shot-stopper he is by smothering Nolan’s effort and clearing his lines.

That was an inspirational moment and we drove on to close out the half with two further points from Mort (both from play) and one from Barry Moran to push us eight clear of the All-Ireland champions at the break. It was a great opening half but we knew from bitter experience – in particular last weekend – that the job was only half-done at that stage.

Dublin really needed to put it up to us on the restart but instead we were immediately on the offensive, with Donal Vaughan galloping rapidly towards the Dublin goal. I thought he’d go for a major but instead he sensibly fisted it over. Aidan had no qualms about going for glory just after and although Cluxton stopped his shot, he handled it on the ground after it bounced back off him and Conor popped over the resultant 14-yard free.

Donie came raiding again just after and joyously thumped another one between the sticks to send us eleven clear. Dublin’s bad evening then got a whole load worse when Paul Flynn got a straight red after a clash with Colm Boyle. I didn’t see the incident and so can’t say if the card was justified but Michael Duffy clearly felt it was and so that was end of the Fingallians’ man’s involvement in proceedings. (Photo: Katrina Brennan).

So for the third match in a row, we found ourselves a man up for most of the second half. This time was different, though, as we had such a big lead before the red card was issued and, as PJ snorted, it wasn’t as if we didn’t have some practice in how best to use the extra man.

Two points without reply for the Dubs suggested that we still hadn’t this tactic cracked but gradually we began to suck the life out of them, each attempted attack getting swallowed up by the cover and Keith Higgins repeatedly using his speed to drive us forward.

More scores followed for us, with Conor notching his seventh of the night (photo: Katrina Brennan) and then Alan Dillon and Michael Conroy continuing to shadow each other, Alan getting his fourth from play and Michael following suit just after.

Dublin’s increasingly poor discipline then resulted in Diarmuid Connolly – who only managed a single point tonight – getting a second yellow. With two spare men on the field now, the only question that remained to be resolved was just how much more pain we could inflict on the All-Ireland champions. As it turned out, we didn’t do much more damage as all we added was one more point, our twentieth of the night which was – entirely fittingly – scored by the record-breaking Conor Mortimer.

It was a super performance by the whole team, one that makes you wonder why things went off the rails as badly as they did over the last few weeks. Aidan O’Shea’s return was of huge importance for us and the contributions made by the likes of Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Donie Vaughan, Colm Boyle, Andy Moran, Alan Dillon, Conor Mortimer and Michael Conroy was nothing short of immense. The rest of the guys all did well too – Kevin Keane and Shane McHale were both rock-solid at the back, for example, and David Clarke had a wonderful game between the sticks. Barry Moran didn’t have a rampaging night at full-forward but the presence of the big man high up seem to destabilise the Dublin backs and provide the kind of space that Conroy, Dillon and the Mort exploited with such glee.

It’s gone midnight now and I’ve wine to finish so I think I’ll leave it at that. It was a great night, one that proves you just never can tell with this Mayo team. This win doesn’t magic away all of the problems that have bubbled up in recent weeks but it does, perhaps, give us all more ground for optimism about where we’re headed … in those nice new jerseys that were unveiled in such low-key fashion tonight.

Mayo: David Clarke; Kevin Keane, Shane McHale, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Donal Vaughan (0-2), Colm Boyle; Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Danny Geraghty; Kevin McLoughlin, Andy Moran, Alan Dillon (0-4); Conor Mortimer (0-8, five frees), Barry Moran (0-1), Michael Conroy (0-4). Subs: Jason Doherty for Barry Moran, Peadar Gardiner for Vaughan, Cillian O’Connor for Conroy, Aidan Campbell for Dillon, Jason Gibbons for Geraghty.

49 thoughts on “Mayo 0-20 Dublin 0-8: new jersey, great result

  1. Could not make it home, but watched setanta. Real honest effort, great team performance. A. O Shea looked to make a big difference in the middle, but everyone can be happy with the part they played. Mort took his place in the history books, well done to him.

  2. Fantastic effort…just the tonic we needed. Now to find out if this was a one-off performance, or if we are trending upward. Happy day!

  3. Never doubted them!!, what a funny league, Donegal hammer us, Dublin hammer Donegal, we hammer Dublin. Kerry already qualified so will they experiment, and could we maybe still qualify for playoffs?

  4. Yes, I agree with the above comments,
    credit where credit is due, a great performance
    by all concerned, it gives us hope for the Season ahead. A.O’Shea made the difference, my man of the match, Barry Moran also improved his game.
    Credit also to James Horan and his selectors
    for a good nights work.
    The backs also played very well.
    Up Mayo.
    Cathal Henry.

  5. Great performance. Half back line were superb. Boyle is championship standard. Conroy a threat – kicked well off both feet. Dillon was obviously instructed to move the ball without delay – this works!

    AOS had a great game but the Dublin MF was dreadful. They managed to win an All Ireland last year with an average centrefield. This win should give the team confidence ahead of Kerry match. A win down there is possible if the attitude is right.

  6. well done Mayo
    I think not to get carried away though
    lots done more to do
    its only march after all

  7. Great win. I must say I am not a fan at all of all the basketball out of defence. All the handpassing, is a terrible blight on the game. We wont get away with it come championship time.

    O’Shea and Vaughan V Good. Have not seen McHale in action before. He done very well. All the backs played realy well.

    Never a dull moment being a Mayo supporter.

  8. Well done to everyone involved. I came out of McHale Park as proud as I have ever been since 1963 when I attended my first Mayo match! And you know what – we could have beaten them by even more if we didnt start fecking about in the last 10 minutes.
    I thought Donnie Vaughan was absolutely superb. His physicality and his charges through the centre were inspirational and his scores were a delight. AOS made a massive difference in the middle.
    Barry Moran didnt get great ball and was quiet enough but interestingly the Dubs felt obliged to double up on him all night and this left more room for the rest of the forwards who benefitted from the extra space and time on the ball. I would stick with him at 14 for another game at least.
    Kevin Keane and Shane McHale did really well as did all of the backs. These young fellas could easily have been overawed but they werent and that is great for the future.
    Conroy is a very dangerous forward – he got scores when it really counted. Where has he been for the last 7/8 years??
    What can you say about Mort? I think he delights in confounding the critics and fair play to him. I saw a level of physicality from him tonight that wasnt there in past years. He went for everything and took plenty of stick and showed great physical courage. Dillon nearly back to his best – thank God.
    Clarke pulled off 2 superb saves that kept our momentum going. Had Dublin got that first goal it would have given them a great boost.
    Now the real trick is to learn from this and figure out why we did well and also look to the Donegal, Cork and Down games and really learn the lessons.
    A good nights work – Div 1 secured for next yr (I think!) – pride restored, confidence restored and a lot of happy Mayo supporters tonight……..and of course most of all hope for the future.
    WELL DONE ALL!

  9. wel done billy joe padden played a stormer same with james nallen and ciaran mcdonald 12 poin win v dublin its great they were bad

  10. A good team effort. I agree with Cathal H. O’Shea had an outstanding game as had Alan Dillon. Nice to see him getting the standing ovation as he came off. Mort is always good for a number of pints. Fair play to him. Dublin made many changes from the team on the programme and to me they ended up with a better team than what they had selected earlier. ???

    I was delighted that Mayo did not get involved in retaliation with the Dublin players. Great discipline. Dublin appeared to be stuck to the ground at the start. There was lot of indiscipline with Dublin. I would say that when the League stats. are looked at, Dublin will be top of the table with sending offs.

  11. Sorry for my mistake – pints should read points above ( and I did not have any) in my post about Conor Mortimer. His best game ever?

  12. Well done indeed, what a performance from 1 to 15 and subs. Cambell must be scratching his head wondering if hes ever gonna catch a brake, two 3 minute cameos and two yellow cards.Better luck next time Ado.

  13. I agree with peter, delighted to see Alan Dillon getting a standing ovation as he came off. He was getting a bit of stick over the last while (even on this blog). Alan has given a lot to Mayo football over the last few years and think people need to remember that.

    AOS had a great game this evening (think we would have had a different result if we had him agaist Cork) also think danny Geraghty did well, picked up alot of the dirty ball. Think JH got his team selection spot on

    UP Mayo

  14. Well done excellent performance all over the field Were really up for it from start and lots of great performances. Higgins and Vaughan great in defence A O Shea did very well at midfield and Dillon and Conroy very good up front, Finally brilliant achievment by Conor Mortimer to overtake the great Joe Corcoran in the scoring stakes. He has been a great servant to Mayo for the last ten years credit where its due

  15. That was a great night and a great performance that showed us what is really possible. It was good to see us play our own game and to force a team like Dublin to try to stop us, rather than being overawed by them. Fortune favored the brave tonight and all the lads from 1 to 15, and the subs, were brave.

    What now needs to be done is develop a way to consistently produce that kind of play. This should start with concentration on making the basics completely second nature. We have strength in this squad and with the right guidance, we could have many more days like this.

    Keep the Faith!

  16. a great performance against a dublin team that lookeed jet lagged that is not an all ireland winning team they just turned up mayo looked good against a team that did not give a shit win or loose

  17. Well done Mayo.Congrats to all. Best performance from Mayo since 2006 semi final v dubs.Disipline outstanding. Kevin Keane and Shane McHale brilliant, also half forwads mopped up all breaking ball.Keep the feet on the ground. Good luck Mayo

  18. Ole Ole Ole Ole OLE OLE! i have to say i was blown away with this performance tonight.
    This was great fun to witness fair play to the lads.
    The backs were like the Roman virgin Titus Fuck!
    Aiden O`Shea how can we ever doubt his committment after this performance…he is the very life force of this team total honesty
    And the forewards well you couldn`t argue with the quality of most of the scores that they got this evening
    I have been to most of the games this year so far and I think I`ll be in Kerry next Sunday too.
    Come on ye boys in red and green..!

  19. Willie joe, fantastic blog as always! You really are a superb asset to mayo football for all supporters! I think the fact that you sat beside John cuffe sums up the good will and friendship associated with this blog! And on nights like this, not only is it a pleasure to read your words but it’s a pleasure to be a mayo man! So thank you, you truly are a star!
    Up Mayo

  20. Just wondering how Danny Geraghty did
    in Midfield and will he be an option for the
    future in this position

  21. Garry Duff everyone played well geraghty included. . .sure even willie joes old friend mike Duffy had a stormer. Superb showing. Very very proud of them.

  22. Watched the game in the clubhouse in Skerries, surrounded by Dubs. One other Mayoman and support from a Meath Man!

    The Dubs weren’t as concerned about a 12 point drubbing as we would have been, I suppose that’s what winning in September does for perspective.

    While the win was great, its hard to work out where we are at. The performance last nght was as good as the second half against Donegal was bad. Judgement should be reserved until aftger the Kerry game.

    Could we lose in Kerry and still qualify for the semis?

  23. grt performence lads. I was blown away by Mayos physicality, against one of the most physical teams around!
    Cluxton showed he is human and the dubs showed no discipline. Thought Keith and Vaughan were awesome, AOS was unstoppable, Dillon best player on the pitch, Conroy magic and Mort was mort.
    Oh yeah Boyle is the bravesst and toughest back in the county, more of him please. Keane has shown a lot of promise so now give him a chance.
    Take a bow JH and co. Those games do the heart good. Going to watch match again now and enjoy Gilroys face as he ages 20 yrs in 70 mins. HA HA

  24. Great to write after doing what we always expect from the team. The dreaded six point lead was breached and bettered. The sendings off did not hex us. We started with a canter, turned into a sprint and cantered home again.

    Conroy is a huge plus, the other forwards worked as a unit and men whom I gave a hard time to shoved it down my neck. Dillon was intellegent in his leadership. Andy was real strength and Conor showed what he can do when he puts his mind to it.

    Of course we have a good record against Dublin as we have against Tyrone. We also run up big scores in those matches. Now lets join the dots and square the circle. Amazing what a good win does, I never moaned , whinged or bellyached about the new jersey. Keep winning boys and ye can come out in sackcloth. Lets not stand admiring the work done, lets now focus on the road ahead.

  25. Mayo are a very poor team , we are out of our depth in this league , back to the drawing board for mayo football….. Wait that was yesterday morning!!

    Aidan makes a massive difference to this team , can we really make the semi after all this ? What a tipsy turbot league ( spell checker changed that for me) , with this form we could threaten anyone in a semi , all I ask is we drag this form into the next game..

    Fantastic stuff

  26. Just as expected like the mayo weather .. you plan a bar b que and it pisses rain, you decide to sit by the fire for the rovogue days and the sun split the stones.

    Most things went right on the night, Won the toss and decided to play with the unusual wind blowing from the bacon factory end that then proceeded to fade significantly at half time.

    Referee Mother junior Duffy was whistle happy and flinging cards like confetti, his linesman tried to rebalance by giving Vaughen and McHale yellows.

    But the real difference came in the Middle third, AOS fought for everything and kept his elbows down for most of the game, Colm Boyle brought that extra physicality to the half back line that is needed, Conroy Dillion and mort were prepared to shoot from play and distance ( with the wind and 50% return rate but our dominance in the middle allow for error). David clarke dealt with all that was asked of him

    So we made hay in the sunshine and on paper at least could qualify ( Per JH’s wish list )for the semi final. Six games rollercoaster performances from alot of players and management, If we could bottle last nights ingredients for future games

    who knows… a bit like the irish weather , it would be a great country with a roof on it

  27. 6 points up – yes we could lose in Kerry and make the semis, in fact we could lose in Kerry and still finish third if Cork, Donegal and Laois win their games. Incredible league this year, great to go into the last game knowing that we’ll be dining at the top table again next year.

  28. I dont have Setanta – I need a second fix – by watching it again? Is it available anywhere?

  29. Fantastic performance, well done to all involved. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a game as much in years.
    We just tore in to them, incredible physicality shown.
    We played the Mayo way – just go out, take off the shackles and play open expansive football. Some great long range points as well, something we were bemoaning here recently.

    Delighted especially for Mort and Dillon, two of the regular whipping boys. They’ve been great servants of Mayo, respect to them both.

    Still, just as things weren’t as bad as they seemed over the past few weeks, we’re not All-Ireland champions in waiting now. Time to find some consistency now and push on. But if we can maintain that level of agression and commitment, we’ll be heading in the right direction.

  30. well done lads n a brillant performance from every 1 on tha nite ,manage ment included, but lets not get carried away, we,v been ere bfore[dub 06 semi final] Isaid bfore wen u expect nothing from a mayo team they hav a habit jump,n up n biting ya . a great all round preform. though n if i hav a gripe it be that fowards wasted afew chances n 1st half with ther shot selection n wen 1 on 1 or tha chance comes for a goal why not go for the killer blow[u,l need tha n a semi or final n croker,eg.kerry,tyrone ect.]Abit of mees,n around n tha last 10 mins wen they shoud hav rammed it home n leave ths. dub. team think,n abou mayo if we meet them later n tha summer.. Dont like ths craic with mayo sopporters booing tha opposition,we,r better than tha n i hope some1 will put tha message out there.as for tha jreseys they maybe nice n sell,no more than tha dreaded red 1,i,m a tradionalist n its tha hoop for me tha GREEN above tha RED. Roll on tralee n lets hope a performance sim. to last nite, its not to much to ask for.UP MAYO.

  31. No it’s not, Sean – it’s run by a very poor imitation of the real thing. A quick rummage around the site – check the “About” section – makes this abundantly clear.

  32. On another point, did anyone read that piece during the week by our old friend Breheny?
    It was basically slagging off Connacht football and looking ahead to next year and Div 1 possibly having no Connacht representative.
    Well if Laois go down as expected and Galway beat the media darlings Kildare, Connacht will have 2 in the top division and Leinster only the one.
    I’ll look forward to Breheny’s article on the poor state of Leinster football after all that….

    It’s not often (well, ever) that I want to see Galway win, but I hope they beat Kildare next week.

  33. The one thing that really disappointed me last night wad the money raised for charity. It was announced that a little over €14,000 was raised. There was over 10,000 people at the game, meaning the majority didnt give the fiver.

  34. Island we live in very different times I’m afraid . . . Asking people to make contributions this week of all weeks was always going to be difficult

  35. Last year I was impressed by our progress through the league, and subsequent championship performances. What most disappointed me this year after watching the first Dubs Game and following performances against Down and Donegal was the lack of any progress or apparent lack of a plan. There was some improvement during the Cork game but yesterday evening, everything came together.

    Are we All Ireland champs in waiting? Not at all but we are making forward steps again, we can score from distance, we can be competitivein cf, we can play good ball into our forwards, we can defend, and we can do it against a big team (albeit a team that did not look like AI champs).

    Maybe the Donegal performance and subsequent fallout (internally) was a good thing, there certainly has been a positive response which bodes well for the coming year.

    WJ – maybe you should do a poll on the new jersey, I for one liked it and would buy it, curious to see what is the general view of fellow fans.

  36. @williejoe apologies, never actually go to reading the about section, little embarassing! Still a very good blog.

    Anyway, thought Dillon was the obvious MotM, the Dubs were absolutely terrible, Connelly has serious anger issues. Boyle looks a great asset in defence, very brave and most forwards won’t like marking him.

  37. After some research into the final round of matches, here’s the picture on our league position.*

    If Mayo win, they are in the semi-finals. Assuming no draws, and if Mayo lose:

    Mayo in the semis if 2 of Dublin/Armagh/ Down lose. Apart from that, we won’t be in the semis. Essentially we are rooting for Cork, Donegal and Laois.

    The only way Mayo can relegated is if Dublin, Donegal and Laois win and Laois win by 14 points and Mayo lose by 14 points or something like that. Essentially we are safe.




    As a matter of interest, here are the current point differences:

    Kerry 25
    Cork 18
    Mayo 11
    Dublin 10
    Down -12
    Donegal -13
    Laois -17
    Armagh -22

  38. I have been critical of Mort and Alan Dillon on this site before so it’s only fair to say they were excellent last night. Mort really put himself about.It was interesting that when Horan was asked to comment on Mort’s scores on Setanta he commented on his work rate instead.

    For me Colm Boyle’s spirit and fight last night was the single most impressive thing. Inspiring stuff. He and Conroy are huge additions to the squad. Lee Keegan is a much improved player in 2012 too.

    I think we should reserve judgement on a few others until the Kerry game. I would love to see the same hunger and attitude though. Really important that we win that game for all kinds of reasons. It’s hard to beleive that the implosion in Donegal was only 2 weeks ago. Great performance though, especially enjoyable for those of us with Dublin inlaws 🙂

  39. Keep up good work in blog, going from strength to strength – like Mayo Football. Great way of keeping informed on all things mayo gaa.

    Think we should all raise a glass to joe Corcoran. A quiet unassumingly legend of a footballer and man. Congrats to Conor Mortimer on overtaking joe on the all time scorers record. Would think it fitting if Joe is acknowledged for his long standing achievement.

    New jersey looks well but think it is missing the red hoop

  40. Missed the game and did not even get to see Setanta due to other commitments but the encouraging thing apart from the performance is that we seem to have real options on the bench.
    Consider – where would you fit Cillian into that forward line? In defence even Ger Cafferkey and Richie Feeney will have to be be pushing hard to come back in.
    I have always been a fan of Barry Moran at full forward and it nice to think that we may be able to leave him there.
    Here’s to Tralee next Sunday [long run but done before].

  41. Yes Andy long run but we did it before with success and next Sunday will be the same. Then the trip to Portugal which will not be a holiday. It can only reap rewards as it has in the past. Good that Club Mayo under another name did its bit to finance the travel. Well done to all and the League is ending up well.

  42. It was great to see Mayo play fast attacking football and taking scores from out the field. Ball handling was excellent with men making themselves available for the man with the ball.
    Defence was very tight, what a change from the last game in the fog.
    The Dubs probably thought they would do as they pleased similar to the last game and run through Mayo.
    It would be nice to beat Kerry, Sunday, and get more games before the championship.
    I hope we bring the good form to the Championship.
    Its important to stay in division 1, of the league competing against the best teams and getting used to beating them and bringing form into the championship beating top teams, there, as well.

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