A place in the final beckons

It’s a truly glorious morning weather-wise up here in the capital and for Mayo’s women footballers a glorious opportunity awaits at Croke Park this afternoon. Their LGFA All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Kerry throws in at 2pm with the winners playing either defending champions Meath or Donegal in the decider in a fortnight’s time.

Expectations for this Mayo team weren’t all that high even just a few months back. A decent League campaign was followed by defeat to Galway in the Connacht final and the immediate aim after that would have been to get out of the group, which they did, finishing second to Dublin who beat them in the final group match.

But Dublin are now out, as are Galway, and Mayo’s stirring win over Cork at the quarter-final stage last weekend has opened up a route to the final in a competition that now seems to have been blown right open. Kerry – Division 2 League winners this year but, like Meath last year, a team that are improving rapidly – now bar the way to the final for us and the Kingdom are narrow favourites to win today.

What was so eye-catching about our win over Cork last weekend was the huge workrate the team put in from first to last. We pressed high on their restarts, fought like demons for every loose ball and took the game to them at every opportunity. As the saying goes, fortune favours the brave and we certainly showed bravery in spades the last day in Ennis.

We’ll need to do the same and more at HQ today. It’s already warming up here – and it’s not ten in the morning – so it’s sure to be hot, perhaps extremely so, this afternoon. That’ll make it difficult for both teams and so adapting to the conditions will be an important factor in how this one goes.

The fact that Kerry are the very slightest of favourites this afternoon isn’t going to bother Michael Moyles and his young charges. As Saoirse Lally said to Mike on the podcast this week – a really great listen if you haven’t got to it yet – a key difference in recent games is that we’ve sought to impose our game on other teams and it’s certainly an approach we’ve profited from.

Meath’s example last year undoubtedly appears to have inspired ourselves, Kerry and Donegal this year. As Meath’s Emma Duggan noted earlier this week, ‘the hunter has now become the hunted’ with last year’s upstarts now firmly installed as the new establishment team this summer.

But while the Royals are the undoubted favourites to claim back-to-back Brendan Martin Cup successes, they’ll know that the other three still in the Championship will really fancy their chances to knock them off their perch.

Today, though, Meath are only of interest to their semi-final opponents Donegal. Our sole focus is on Kerry and it’s only if we get past them that we can then focus on the final.

Semi-finals are for winning. This hugely likeable and big-hearted Mayo will, for sure, give everything in pursuit of victory today and I’m really looking forward to being there at Croke Park to see them in action this afternoon.

A place in the final is there to be grabbed. Let’s go grab it. Up Mayo.

16 thoughts on “A place in the final beckons

  1. Great stuff, looking forward to the match now. Also enjoying the break from the mens senior team currently. This year was a bit toxic with us also plagued with injuries as well so no harm getting a break from it and coming back fresh next year. Up Mayo

  2. Mayo ladies very unfortunate to be 7 down 4mins before half time. Kerry’s first goal was a shot for a point that got deflected in. Might be a slight bit naive I think. Trying to defend legally all the time whereas Kerry prepared to give a free and a point away every time Mayo get close to goal. Playwisw there’s nothing in it. Keep going ladies.

  3. Mayo have no idea how to deal with Kerry runners from deep. Massive issue in the first half but nothing done to try and stop it

  4. Alan Kenny. Sad to say but maybe they should be fouling tactically in the right areas.

  5. Hard luck Mayo we were all suprised when they beat Cork so maybe exiting at semi final stage like last year but without their Aussie rule players isnt a terrible result

  6. Hard Luck Mayo… Congratulations to Kerry, better team won.. I think in fairness Kerry got whatever break’s were going and slightly flattered by the score line. Fair Play to the Mayo women they kept trying and trying right up until the final whistle. Michael Moyles has done well with the Mayo Women’s team, when you take everything into account, it’s almost a completely new team, with Sarah Rowe, the two Kelly sisters, and Rachel Keirns living the dream, and rightfully so, in OZ…I think the girls have done well, and another year’s experience wouldn’t be surprised if they were well capable of beating Kerry next year..I taught Kerry really tired in the heat in the last quarter and if either Meath or Donegal are within a few points of them coming into the last quarter in the All Ireland final, I’d expect whoever it is to prevail versus Kerry.

  7. Hard luck ladies, no county can compete at the very top with 6 of their best players missing. Good achievement to get to the semi final.

  8. Final Whistle pod is now online for club members, in which Sinéad Stagg joins me after the game to review where it went wrong for us against Kerry today.

  9. That was a humiliating first half. Another Mayo team out thought and naive. I wonder was the effort in Ennis a factor.

  10. This is a skilful Mayo team of which I am proud and which I think can go further in the years to come.
    I found them very open in defence today and this allowed the Kerry goals that won the game. Mayo also made a few handling errors outfield that cost them possession.
    Allied to the ease with which Kerry scored their goals (space allowed by us), their defence was water tight. They were determined to prevent goals and keep opposition scores to a bare minimum. This defensive base was their platform to win the game.
    In conclusion, I very much like the skills of that Mayo team. They’re solid and had great interplay. Brushing up defensively could bring them on a lot.

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