I was going to try to figure out the position on what the different possible outcomes of the final round of matches might mean for us but I see that Digits has already done so in the comments so there’s no need for me to attempt to do this.
In summary, it looks as if we’re safe from the drop (unless there’s a very unlikely combination of results coupled with a massive swing against us on points difference) and while it’s theoretically possible that we could reach the semis even if we lose in Tralee, a win over the Kerrymen would definitely get us there. As last night proved in spades, the Lord helps those who help themselves (in last night’s case, to twenty points against the All-Ireland champions).
You’ve probably seen a fair few of the match reports already but, in case you haven’t, here they are: Mayo Advertiser, Sunday Independent, GAA.ie, RTÉ, Setanta, Hogan Stand and Breaking News. Sportsfile also have a selection of photos from the game.
According to the TV schedules, the whole match will be shown again on Setanta Ireland tomorrow night (throw-in 9.30pm).
Colm Gannon in the Mayo Advertiser also got some post-match quotes with James Horan, where the boss was obviously fairly happy with his charges’ performance. Here’s what he had to say:
It was a good display, we played well today. We did a lot of good stuff and we might have caught the Dubs a bit cold today so we took advantage of it and played our game and played well. So we’re delighted with the performance.
James was clearly happy that we kept at it until the final whistle last night:
In various games particularly in Laois and up in Armagh we had spells and very good periods. But we didn’t keep it together for 70 minutes, today we did and we drove on. We definitely learned from last week a little bit, as we’ve learned from every week that we’ve played. Delighted with tonight and are looking forward now to training Tuesday night and what’s ahead.
James pointed to our much-improved midfield showing last night as a key factor in our success when he said:
Every time he’s [Aidan O’Shea] played for us this year he has been excellent and the same again today. Danny Geraghty did very well today in the middle also, it was very competitive and we won ball. To win big games against big teams you need to win the midfield battle and we did that today.
He also had praise for two of the more inexperienced lads:
Shane McHale and Kevin Keane have played well every time they have put on a jersey for us this year, I had great confidence in putting them on there and they showed what they can do.
Compared to the last few post-match interviews he’s had to take part in, that one must have been a breeze for the manager.
Finally, have you seen the new jersey, which – utterly unheralded – got its first airing last night? Here it is and, as you can see, it’s basically the same design as the ill-fated commemorative one, minus the maritime motif.
Opinion will, I’m sure, be divided on it (unfortunately I’m not in a position to test that proposition statistically as my poll widget has been out of action for some time), not least because there’s no band across the belly. But, hey, if the lads perform every time they wear it like they did last night, who cares what it looks like?