Okay, it’s Dublin Sunday three weeks so it’s time to get focused on what’s now top priority for those of us looking on. Forget all the gushing about the Greatest Game of All Time (for those with short memories, it’s worth recalling there was the same fawning after the Dublin/Kerry semi-final in 2013), from our point of view the only point of relevance is that it produced a winner against whom we’ll battle for Sam on 18th September.
What was really striking – in my detached demeanour sitting slap, bang in the middle of the Lower Hogan yesterday – was the numerical advantage Dublin had in relation to supporters in the stadium. They had all the Hill, of course, but they also appeared to have the vast bulk of support in the stands.
As I said in yesterday’s piece I’d reckon they had (at least) a 75:25 advantage in terms of support there yesterday. In a stadium the size of Croke Park, that’s quite an advantage.
I’ll get around to the top priority I mentioned above in a bit, but this point I want to make first is relevant to what comes after. Which is this: despite all the support they had yesterday, when the going got tough for the Dubs shortly before half-time the serried blue ranks went missing on them. For all the world it was as if someone had pressed the mute button and the volume wasn’t restored again until the team had dug themselves out of the hole Kerry had planted them into.
Okay, they didn’t go completely quiet but there was precious little in the way of encouraging noises from the Dublin support when they were under the hammer. Instead I heard plenty of expletives directed by blue-shirted supporters at their own players. Sure, by the end they were all singing again but when the going got tough, the support went missing on them … again.
In this regard, I think it’s fair to say that we tend to beat ourselves up a bit excessively about our own performance as supporters. I know, we DID all go too quiet in the second half of the 2013 final but the decibel levels we reached at matches since then – in particular the two Kerry games in 2014, the two Dublin games last year and Tyrone this year – bordered on spine-tingling.
Which brings me back to the top priority issue for us today: tickets. The share-out of tickets for finals isn’t like other games so Dublin won’t have three-quarters of Croke Park roaring from them the next day. They’re still likely, given demographics and all that, to have more support there than we do but, on the basis of past experience, we shouldn’t be that badly outnumbered on the big day.
The key thing now is for everyone to do what they can to get hold of as many tickets as possible and get them into the hands of our supporters. Every ticket counts, every additional voice roaring the lads on is important so the more tickets we can hoover up the better.
In this respect, there are a few draws for tickets that I want to bring to your attention. First there’s the Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto, the weekly draw for which is on tonight. There’s over €10k in the jackpot at this stage but more importantly there are also two tickets for the final included in this week’s draw. These will be drawn separately so two people will win a ticket each in tonight’s draw. Play the Lotto here.
Breaffy GAA club have a draw for six tickets – details here.
Donegal GAA have a draw for four tickets – details here.
UPDATE: Drumconrath GAA club in Meath have a draw for two tickets – details here.
UPDATE: Club Rossie have a draw for two tickets – details here.
I’ll post information on other draws as and when I hear of them. If you’d like some eye-ball attention for a draw you’re aware of or want to promote (daily hits are topping 11,000 here on the site and rising by the day so you’re guaranteed a large, receptive audience) then just let me know. Either post a comment with the details (if there’s a link included it’ll go into moderation, this is an anti-spam safeguard) or else mail me with the details and I’ll do the rest.
This battle needs to be fought and won on many fronts. For supporters, the frontline is now all about tickets. And more tickets. And more tickets. Mayo forever. #MayoForSam.