A position neither of us want to be in

Photo: Irish Independent (Sportsfile)

How on earth, in a Championship season where to date the absence of jeopardy has been the overriding factor, have ourselves and Galway ended up in the do-or-die fix that faces us tomorrow in Salthill?

Last Sunday we both had fairly similar objectives in our respective Round 3 matches, which was to avoid defeat and thus each top our group and qualify directly for the All-Ireland quarter-finals. Both matches were slightly tricky – Galway’s more so, given the quality of opposition they faced, albeit with Armagh shorn of the services of the suspended Rian O’Neill – but both were eminently winnable.

Even at the death, minute swings either in Carrick or Limerick could have kept ourselves and Galway apart tomorrow, even if in our case we’d by then blown the opportunity of direct passage to the final eight.

From our point of view, there was that late free, which, if converted, would have reduced the margin of defeat to two, leaving us second in the group. Did the sideline know the importance of getting a point from that free? Did Aidan? If not, why not? The Cork management, gesticulating wildly to the players once they went two up that they only needed one more score, certainly knew what was what in relation to points difference.

If we had converted that free and lost by two and if Monday’s draw had worked out the same in that alternative universe, we’d now be gearing up for a rematch with the Rossies at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park. That task wouldn’t have been a gimme by any stretch but it would definitely have been preferable to where we’re headed instead tomorrow.

From Galway’s perspective, the nudge they needed to avert a head-on collision with us was an even lighter one. In their case, the late free that Shane Walsh, like Aidan O’Shea down in Limerick, failed to convert might have been irrelevant had events elsewhere have gone in their favour. Had he nailed it, of course, Galway would have topped the group.

What ultimately did for them, though, was Ray Connellan’s late, late levelling free for Westmeath against Tyrone up in Cusack Park. Had Tyrone held on to win there, then they’d have ended up on four points with Armagh and Galway. In that scenario, the Tribesmen, despite their loss to Armagh, would have taken top spot thanks to superior points difference among the three teams. Instead they finished on four points with Armagh alone and so lost out to the Orchard County on the head-to-head.

Neither of us should, of course, have found ourselves in this predicament. We both made personnel blunders last Sunday and it’s hard to argue, on a day of extremely tight margins, that these didn’t have a bearing on where both of us ended up when the music stopped.

From our point of view, the errors made stand out in rather stark relief.

The decision to let Cillian O’Connor play club football on Saturday evening and so not involve him in the match-day 26 looks in hindsight to have been a major misjudgment. The Ballintubber player’s cool head, game awareness and ability to nick a vital score, not to mention his on-field organisational talents, would have been vital to us coming down the closing stretch. No way would that game have gone south on us the way it did if Cillian was on the field.

To my mind, the decision not play Sam Callinan from the start and then leave him on the bench was also mystifying. Sam has been a huge success for us this year and, despite his tender years, his performance in Killarney marked him out as a key presence in our backline. The Ballina youngster wasn’t injured last weekend so his omission was a real head-scratcher.

Here’s one for you: Sam didn’t play any part in either of the two Championship games we’ve lost this summer. I know, I know – correlation, causation and all that but, such is his influence at the back for us this year, I wouldn’t rule out his absence as a contributing factor to why we came unstuck in both games.

Galway’s screw-up with the medical paperwork, meanwhile, was comedy central stuff. Neither Damien Comer nor Dylan McHugh were fit to play, so including them at all in the match-day panel was a bit daft, but then to end up with a 24-player panel on the day just because they couldn’t do the admin efficiently was an embarrassment.

I doubt they’ll end up in the same quandary tomorrow. Even though there are doubts over Comer’s availability (McHugh seems to be okay) and Seán Kelly, there must be a strong chance that both will feature at some point in Salthill.

So, due to a mixture of bad luck and bad planning, both of us are where we are tomorrow. Neither of us wanted to be here and the last thing either of us need is a battle to the death against the other just to make the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

As Darragh Ó Sé so rightly observed in the Irish Times this week, the only winners from the two of us being paired together tomorrow are Kerry and Dublin. Whatever happens in tomorrow’s winner-takes-all showdown at Salthill, only one of us will be in the draw for the final eight, thus making the task facing all the others that bit easier.

196 thoughts on “A position neither of us want to be in

  1. Whatever happens happens. No one to blame but themselves, no dodgy ref decisions, wind, rain etc etc excuses.

  2. Just drove through Salthill and up by Pearse Stadium. Galway flags all along the prom, the corpo I guess, I should object (I’m not paying my local property tax for that, no way). Guys working real hard at Pearse Stadium, I stopped and had a walk in the gate, it looks fabulous, bring it on !

    By the way why does Mayo have a park at McHale road and Galway have a stadium in Salthill ?

  3. Exactly David. McStay and co plus the team dug this hole for themselves and they alone can get us out of it.

  4. Yeah honestly don’t know what the story was with sam calibam not playing?? Maybe keeping him safe till quarters and got a bit ahead of themselves? And cillian oh I don’t know ha

    @seaningalway you should go hang up a couple of mayo flags :p haha

  5. Spot on Willie Joe it was a fiasco of sorts – hopefully some painful lessons have been learnt and we can go again. Bring it on!

  6. Forget about things to date, the real championship starts now, let’s bring a new confidence, outlook and pure War tomorrow and see where it takes us.
    Take each game as it comes.

  7. One of us will march on, but in what state? To be honest, that’s a problem for another day. Any kind of win tomorrow will do.

  8. Hi all. I presumed more tickets would become available on Ticketmaster, but hasn’t happened yet, so I’m not taking any chances in waiting. So I am reaching out here if anyone has a spare ticket to sell at face value. I don’t mind where it is located for. 0879707172..

  9. The heart say Mayo the head says Galway by 4 and thats only if we break even and midfield and shore up the middle. Next season id like to see McStay taking control of the team and 2 new selectors brought in. The way Mayo played last week had all the hallmarks of a former managers fingerprints all over the team. We have to stop bringing back failed managers its madness. That might sound very harsh but I want to win Sam and at the very least I want Mayo to play FOOT ball not LATERAL ball

  10. I don’t know why, but I have a feeling we will take it tomorrow. Theres a good squad with no known injury concerns. Hope Rochford’s tactical prowess comes to fruition tomorrow, we will need a curveball. Sean Hurson will let a lot of the physical stuff play out, so it will be a dogfight til the end. The pressure is on Galway, they were my dark horses from the start of the year, but they are now in a place they really didn’t want to be in with a few niggles in the team. We can say the same thing for us, but think we will get the job done.

  11. I live 5 mins walk from Pearse Stadium. Corpo put flags on ever lamppost thru Salthill along the prom. If they didn’t, it’d be fairly bare. I grew up around here. I know every street and laneway anyone looking to get to match and a quick get away to avoid Salthill traffic should do this:- put Sycamore Drive into Google maps. It’s a quiet residential area with loads of free parking. If you walk to the very end there is a pedestrian lane that brings you onto Taylors Hill. Turn right. Walk about 300 yards up the hill past the Ardilaun Hotel. There’ll be a little gap in a wall and a laneway that brings you right down near the Stadium. Easy in and easy out.

    I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I’ve read loads here all week about this being a battle and Mayo need to be up for it etc. Honestly, that should be a given. I get the sense that some will be content were we to lose but put a real fight etc. This is bullshit in my opinion. It’s all about winning. You’re either a winner or a loser. Mayo is a big enough footballing county which should be striving to win outright, every year. Forget this ‘re-building’ mentality, like some who said they’d be happy for us to get to a QF or SF. Sorry, but it’s not a winning mentality. When Dooher & Co took the Tyrone job I can assure you they didn’t approach it that way and despite serious bumps in the road like shipping 5 goals in Killarney, they went on and deservedly won Sam in ‘21. We could take a leaf out of their book.

    Tomorrow. Go out and win the bloody thing. Then get out of there and immediately begin the process of preparing for the next one.

  12. @Quayman I have the same gut feeling to that we will take it to we have a much better squad then Galway in my opinion .

    Mayo by 2 or 3 ( though a point win over over the would do me just grand ha)

  13. WillieJoe, hope I’m not out of order here but I just heard Kelly is out ( from a good source) !

  14. Hard to believe so much came down to Walsh’s missed free last Sunday. So many giving out about the lack of jeopardy in the round robin but maybe the GAA got it spot on. If it had been the top two only to qualify then we would be out. Glad that Callinan is down to start tomorrow though like a lot of Mayo players in recent yeas his stock went up quite a bit when he wasn’t playing last week. Watching Cork v Ross. Interesting game though I am not fond of tactics of either side .Ross doing ok so far (though early days yet). They have a game plan and are very comfortable with it. They are a lot more patient on the ball than Mayo.

  15. In the old championship format every game was a knockout. If you won the Connaught final you were in a semi final. back in the sixties Micheal O’Hare would refer to the Connaught final between Galway and Mayo as the all Ireland final. The excitement of those finals was terrific.
    Tomorrow it is a Connaught final and with it comes the same excitement. Let’s enjoy it and give it our best.

  16. No tickets available on Ticketmaster. Surprising considering the attendances at recent games. Should be a decent atmosphere at it.

    If anyone has a spare ticket, I’m looking to buy one!

  17. If Kelly and Comer are out we really should be winning by 3 or 4, as have clean bill of health and nearly 20 panel members with all Ireland final experience.

  18. Fine margins now, a win and this season is really back on track & with a fair dose of momentum. A defeat & it’ll really have been an underwhelming championship & a massive disappointment considering the players available to us. I really hope we see something different tomorrow, a performance that feels less like the team is shackled.

  19. I’m not in favour of rumours being posted here at all, SeaninGalway, but I’m generally less concerned about ones relating to the opposition. For what it’s worth I don’t think we’ll know how either team is liking out until the final few minutes before throw-in tomorrow.

  20. Agree Willie Joe, expect 2 changes to our own crew and the same if not more to Galways.
    It’s very childish stuff IMO when know lads not going starting or featuring and naming them.
    Especially when many fans waste money buying joke programmes. We must be averaging 2 or 3 changes before throwin a game.

  21. That’s going to hurt. Rossies had that one. Throwing the ball up to yourself, when’s the last time you saw that. Cork a decent outfit!

  22. There is a beautiful beautiful irony in Roscommon losing by a point due to their defender over carrying the ball

    There is no need for mass rule changes to counter negative tactics from them

    it was only ever going to get them small victories

  23. Not over yet, Cork1-13, Ros 0-15, Diarmuid Murtagh some striker of a ball 68 minutes gone

  24. @Bateblanket you must behind or something? The game is finished cork won by 1 point

  25. Gaa go must be behind the radio, Smyth sent off now, at the death.
    So much for Gaa go

  26. Hard luck on Roscommon. A personal mistake probably cost them the match.They will have nightmares in Roscommon over the end of that match.

  27. Will be seriously pissed if Tommy Conroy doesnt start tomorrow and Cillian doesnt get brought on with 20 minutes to go get through tomorrow and we are back in this championship if we draw Derry or Armagh on Sunday.

  28. Mayo have officialy lasted longer in the Championship than Roscommon – despite Roscommon winning the All Ireland final in Castlebar two months ago. I just can’t explain it.

  29. We could see 1, 2 and 3 from group 1 still there tomorrow evening.. perhaps ours was the group of death after all!

  30. There will be a Mayo flag on the house directly across from the main entrance so do not despair. We will be gathering there before and after the game for the cup of tea and perhaps a few hang sangwiches!
    Do or die is our preferred option so I am expecting a few changes before throw in.

  31. There will be only 1 Connaught team left in the championship by this time tomorrow evening.
    Hopefully it will be us.

  32. Aah that’s a Shame GAA Go Go Go let you down.
    Some on here seem to think it’s the best thing since sliced bread was invented.

  33. Mike H, my stream was almost dead up to time maybe 10 seconds lag.
    Suspect they may have inadvertently paused stream during break, not a GAA Go issue.

  34. There’s that word Jeopardy, Again . Many things have irritated me this season, and that word is right up there

  35. What has happened Connaught football,a few weeks ago we were the strongest in the country,last week Mayo beaten Galway beaten today Roscommen beaten,tomorrow Galway beaten,only Mayo for Sam

  36. Corick bridge, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Rossies should know this after their time with McStay.

    In fairness though they butchered some great goal chances that should have given them a buffer.
    Fair play to cork though. Was decent second half.

  37. Good game in Cork. Great to be able to watch it plus two other preliminary quarter finals on GAAGO.. Can cope with the short lag. Enjoyed the game especially second half when negative tactics eased up a bit. Ross unlucky to not at least take it to extra time. They showed great spirit to come from 5 down. Unfortunate error to allow Cork score winning point. Then an inexcusable error to get a man sent off when they had a chance to equalise. Roscommon have been very unlucky losing by point in last two games.

  38. Bogman, thank you. Love that post. I’m gathering all my spirits here.
    We need to gather up all our spirits and energy and unleash them on Pearse Stadium tomorrow.
    We need our lads to have racehorse heels, archers’ guided accuracy and Colm Boyle blocking instincts.
    Whoosh! Up Mayo!

  39. We have lost to both Roscommon and cork .neither of which were all Ireland contenders and still aren’t.The level of improvement needed tomorrow in several sectors is enormous.I find it hard to believe that because it’s now suddenly do or die that we will suddenly solve all our problems.i desperately hope I am wrong but we might be relying on the hope that Galway aren’t as good as people think either

  40. 1985, agree. But we may not have to tomorrow if Galway missing the two lads. Be like us missing ROD and Diarmuid.

  41. Glory days… you hit the nail on the head. Failed previous managers. We have so many experts in this management team… How did not one of them know the importance of the aos free. They have been messing about all year with different team selection s. No settled defence. A style of football that pukes. Tomorrow unless we get a bag full of goals I cannot see it. We don’t kick from distance. . We don’t put high balls in on top of a keeper. We don’t have a plan b. . Miracle required. .

  42. Glory days, the book stops with McStay regardless who in management team with him.
    He’s the gaffer, he’s the boss.

  43. Up the Irons & Onion Sacks I may have an adult ticket and if anyone interested 2 student tickets available but wont know until later tonight or very early tomorrow morning Im afraid. Ill keep you posted.

  44. @Up the Irons & @Onion Sacks I may have an adult ticket and if anyone interested 2 student tickets available but wont know until later tonight or very early tomorrow morning Im afraid. Ill keep you posted

  45. Ah craggy please inform us of what the previous manager done to you,you have been criticising him for years,but on the failed managers,surely there are a lot of failed managers of your criteria is on winning the all Ireland,because you can count on the fingers of one hand,managers who have won all Ireland’s over the last twenty years or so,one of which is your fault managers with a club team

  46. Craggy boglands – we’ve had an extremely settled line up all year, going back to that charity game vs Sligo. What messing have they done with selection? Disagreeing with their tactics is a separate thing.

    As I said previously we usually score more points than the opposition. Keeping the goals out tomorrow is key. If we don’t concede one Mayo win.

  47. Corrick. Simple answer. Never will forgive him for the goalkeeper calamity. Inter County his record is not good. 3 years in donegal as a selector. 3 years of brutal football. Now we.are playing the same.

  48. Point taken WillieJoe, I did preempt my comment thought with respect to your moderation !

  49. There was no goalkeeper calamity,Dublin had cracked our kick out code as bad Kerry,you can find out easy enough,you are correct in saying that he was only a selector on the Donegal team, so you can’t blame him for the Donegal team,he is now the coach with Mayo so judge after the all Ireland,but you have not stopped criticising him for years,so I believe that you have something to explain

  50. I dont have to explain nothing. Did you not watch mayo s last two games and see the similarities to how donegal played when he was there. I’m not the only poster on here with these beliefs.

  51. No urgency. No ball going in long. No ball testing a fullback line or a dodgy keeper which i think galway have in gleeson. I expect big changes tomorrow and we can win but not playing Rochford football

  52. Just a point from today’s games. Cian Ward took it upon himself to question a ridiculously high % of referee Jerome Henry’s decisions..
    Theb when Jerome would get a difficult one right he might give a grudging mod towards it.
    It must have been 20 times he questioned his decisions and mainly with “let the game flow” guff.

  53. This is what Lee Keegan said about Stephen Rochford when had stepped down.

    “You saw from the way we played over the last, well particularly the two years, we were within a breeze of beating probably one of the greatest teams out there and that’s not down to luck,”

    “That’s down to brilliant management, brilliant planning and having that tactical know-how.

    “I think Stephen deserves any bit of praise he got. I think it was handled a bit poorly. Stephen couldn’t give us much more as a manager. From a player point of view I know he was highly regarded within the group.

    “Stephen deserves huge praise and from a personal point of view and a group point of view we can’t say no more than thanks to him because he did so much with us and he pushed us to the boundaries we never thought we would go.”

    Pretty high praise from Lee Keegan but Craggy Boglands I’m sure you know more than our greatest ever player.

  54. @JR, Playing devils advocate, there’s almost no instances of a current player or even recently retired player telling anything truthful about in camp. So, I’d rely on GAA interviews for close to zero. Every manager and coach seems to be brilliant going by GAA interviews.

  55. Monaghan through ! Another cracker of a game can’t wait for ours tommorow now.. Still unreal how it got changed to Sunday because Galway requested it still feel bad for mayo ladies ! But sure ..

    Still gut feeling mayo by 2 or 3 we can do this !

  56. Did Galway actually request the game be changed to Sunday because I don’t remember reading that anywhere or are people assuming they requested it .would Rte not have intended showing one of theese preliminary quarter finals anyway

  57. In the drawn game,when Dublin cracked our kick out code,now I am unlike some ,an not blaming any one because the last time I checked it is a fifteen man game,I will of course now down to Lee Keegans description of our manager,by the way what has Donegal won since he left?

  58. I don’t understand how you are blaming Rochford for all of this. what about Buckley, Mulligan, Mchale?. Kevin McStay is manager, so if management are to blame they surely he shoulder it, now for what it’s worth I think the players are getting off lightly here.
    5 points up to Louth, 6 up to Cork and couldn’t see it out. It’s very hard for Manager to get messages out to field so you need your players to take responsibility on the field and we failed to do that.
    We have a lot of young bucks so that will be experience for them.

  59. Craggy Boglands – it’s anmazing in this world how some people can be so negative. Wonder have you ever kicked a ball, I’d guess not. Easy be ann anrmchair expert but ann enormous anmount of work goes into preparing a team. Easy for you to sit and criticise.
    Clare, finding it hard to keep reading your 30 posts per day, banging the same drums over and over again and always cynical ans negative when it comes to Galway.
    May the best team win tomorrow and everyone should restrain themselves and reread what they are about to post. These are amateur sports people, doing their best for themselves ans their families and their counties.

  60. @1985 they did request for it to be changed as far as I know I could be wrong now but Im pretty sure that they did request it.

  61. What’s your source Clare on Galway requesting the match be played on Sunday? I’ve not seen that anywhere on mainstream media or the associations.

  62. Anybody know if some tickets are in PDF? I bought two tickets of someone on here and just want to double check legitimacy. Cheers

  63. It was said on this blog by others to that Galway had requested to change days to accommodate hurlers maybe not true as I said I could be wrong ..but why was our match not today if it wasn’t requested by Galway? Rte could have covered it today and given the talteann Cup teams more focus to not just mayo ladies.

  64. Glenn Ryan laying into ref Jerome Henry is ridiculous. The free count was 13-9 in Kildare’s favour.
    Kildare missed several goal chances and went out of the game in the third quarter allowing Monaghan reel them back in.
    This ref bashing guff needs to be knocked on the head.
    This kind of horse manure from defeated managers increases the culture of ref bashing in the game.

  65. @ForTheLoveOfMayo

    Thanks, I’m still looking at the moment anyway. My number is 087 626 8877.

  66. Well said Karen,I presume that you support Galway,obviously I hope that Mayo win tomorrow but if not then I will support Galway,it must give great comfort to teams like Roscommon that they have posters ready to !was them to Sam, of course it is simple to manage a team when you only post about them

  67. We will agree to disagree on mayo snew style of football. I’m only bothered about winning tomorrow. But with the midfield and half back line we played last week I’m afraid thr won’t happen. I trust Kevin will take control. I kicked plenty football karen. But not like that

  68. @corick Bridge I was just going by what I see on here s a good few said it ha maybe I shouldn’t all the time:p haha I think think @Karen does support Galway alright ha

  69. Great win for our hurlers today – thanks for Mayo support. The match v Kilkenny seemed to have Galway much sharper than Tipp. – granted they had a 2 week break. But on a positive note, once tomorrow’s winner avoids key ppersonnel injuries, only a fool would write them off 6 days later.

  70. @clare – “It was said on this blog by others” so your assertion that Galway requested the game be played on Sunday is just based on hearsay and zero factual evidence…
    It’s not just with Galway you pile on the negative comments and cynicism, it was the same in lead up to Kerry, Cork & Roscommon games. Felt sorry for the blogger “west Kerry having to endure your constant digs and and fact free posts.
    With regards to where I am from, well should that really matter in a discourse amongst adults? If you must know, one side of my family is Mayo, the other Galway.

  71. @karen this this bit uncalled for now I just give my opinions as this as blog I’m entitled to do so if you Don don’t it well do go on blog you won’t get everything youomeon a blog don’t don’t accusing me of ridiculous things it was certainly not cynicism it was my own predictions and options which is totally allowed @ willie joe ?

  72. I meant if you won’t like zes everything everything a blog so but your our of order tbh .

  73. I was giving honest opinion on kerry, roscommon etc and they came to light when we beat kerry feel sorry all you want but it was honest opinions I don’t vote for mayo every time I said wr would find tough againt louth we did so don’t be so judgy.

  74. @karen typos in few my comments but your being harsh this is a blog your going to see comments you don’t like I was predicting a mayo win v kerry certainly not ‘digs’ as you say honest opinion .. and honest about roscommon to if you don’t like honest opions maybe don’t don’t on a blog and attack others with their own opinions I’ve always said I my own opinions I’ve not seen you on this blog before so guessing your more fir Galway then mayo even if you’ve family in mayo I always give honest reviews/opinions of teams so you shod look at the house rules at this blog before you put comments like that.

  75. Dessie Farrell and his Selector are at the Tyrone game, I wouldn’t bet against Tyrone v Dublin in the quarter final, Cork v Derry, Monaghan v Kerry, if Mayo win v Armagh.

    I’m probably thinking too far ahead.

  76. Corrick. There’s nothing wrong with my facts. . The dogs on the street knows that this mayo team is much better than this when allowed to play expansive football. . Big changes needed tomorrow. Big calls to be made.

  77. Looking for one ticket tommorow if at all possible thanks
    Phone number (0894054300)

  78. I expect to see a change in our defense before throw in tomorrow. McStay picked a PR man before some of his coaches to gauge the public mood and I believe the public mood, rightly or wrongly is looking for a change in the heart of our defense. Of course I could be wrong and he will stick with what he has used in the last 20 or so games between FBD, League, Championship and challenge matches. My opinion, not that it matters one dot, is that he will try to appease the masses rather than sticking with his plan. I hope I’m wrong as it would be a real sign of a manager’s weakness if they were to bow to public pressure. Hon Mayo, if Kelly and/or Comer are out we should get the job done with a bit to spare.

  79. Well statistically the odds of Galway or Mayo drawing Dublin in the quarter final draw has decreased by both Kildare And Roscommon being knocked out. Now there’s a 1 in 4 chance whereas if one or both of them had come through it would have been 1 in 3 or 1 in 2 chance respectfully.

  80. I think blind stubbornness in sticking to a flawed gameplan would be a worse quality in a manager than bowing to (well founded) public pressure @thewestisbest

  81. A player we miss is Rory Brickendon. Part of our league success was that a lot of the starting 15 were of a build to work a pub door. When you got hit you stayed hit
    We desperately need to get back to that template. Look at the height and power of teans we were togging early in the league.
    Some of the tallest teams ever togged if you average it out. We’ve ended up a bit pick n mix since then. Not dominant in any aspect.

  82. If I’m not mistaken after todays results if we come through tomorrow there’s a 50 percent chance of us getting Armagh in the qf by virtue of the fact armagh cannot play tyrone or galway again

  83. Well said.. our time has come. What worked to a degree in the league has been found out in the championship. Just be a man and change it. Karen you have alot to say for a confused don’t know who your supporting

  84. Apologies it’s a 1 in 3 chance of the winner tomorrow drawing Dublin (as Mayo can’t draw Kerry/Galway cant draw Armagh) but if Kildare and Roscommon had come through the odds would have been shorter (at least 1 in 2 chance)

  85. Great win against Tipp, Galway really had their number with Tipp goalie saving 2 certain goals. Onwards to Salthill and the footballers turn to impress.

  86. Galway are favourites and they are the better team on paper. So they should win. But this is a Mayo Galway derby so and they are usually tight so with potential Galway injuries etc its a 50/50 game.
    The problem with Mayo is they are full of fear and not coached to back themselves or play instictively when the heat comes on. The Louth game was a real example of that. No self confidence. No deviation from a plan that wasn’t working and no leadership from the line.
    Whether we win or lose tomorrow we dont have the mentality to go much further.
    Hopefully the club championship will start on time this year.

  87. Tyrone starting to come good now, Kilpatrick is a powerful man in midfield reminds me of John McDermott from Meath.

    One thing I would like to change from what I mentioned earlier, the Dubs will get a handier team in the Quarter, ie, not Tyrone but maybe Cork.

    Im going to go against this, many people saying that the Prelim winners will not be fresh in the Quarter finals due to the many games, I think the extra game will serve them well, but injuries the main concern.

  88. I’m getting nervy now – 1 out of 2 done. But sure if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!!

  89. Some posters need to think before they type. Tomorrows game wasn’t scheduled for Saturday, it was scheduled for this weekend and I can’t remember a scenario in the history of the GAA where a county has had both their hurlers and footballers playing big knockout games on the same day. Our game was always going to be Sunday once Galway were in the hurling quarters

  90. And no harm in it either, gives us an extra day to work on things after last weekends mess

  91. @stephenite loads on here said it was scheduled for the Saturday so maybe they should think before they type also . I was not the only one who suggested that galway asked for the change in day either Btw

  92. Jeez……not so long ago this blog used to be a fantastic place for open and honest debate. It’s gradually turning bitchy and toxic. Absolutely no need for it and it’s honestly off-putting which is a shame as this blog has been fantastic.

  93. @JoeG? I agree I’m actually turned off this evening from posting now for a bit but still think its the great blog guess emotions are running high ha. But I think I’ll take a break for a bit now .

  94. We all want the same thing tomorrow whether we agree or not. . I have called out some drastic errors that has put us in this position let alone leaving cillian at home. Not starting hessian or Tommy. But that’s enough. I’m fully behind the green and red and always will be.

  95. Only catching up on comments now, as I’ve been doing other stuff. Just need to deal with a few things that have arisen in the last few hours.

    Craggy – I’m getting a pain in my whatsit from you making the same point about Rochy over and over and over again. Enough. You’ve made your point – it’s not one I agree with, but that’s neither here nor there – and repeating it continually doesn’t make it any more valid. If you keep it up, you know where it’ll land you.

    Karen – taking a pop at other contributors isn’t allowed. That’s the Play the Ball not the Person rule.

  96. Mayonaze i hope to see that famous flag of yours flying tomorrow , 96 its on the road since isnt it , oldest flag in the ground id guess .

  97. As said you are entitled to your opinion,not your facts,seeing as you said that Donegal could not wait to get rid even though he was there for three years,you did not realise that our our team coughed up four points in the drawn game,even though Dublin and Kerry players said that they had cracked our kick out code,you claim that Kevin McStay is not in charge of the team even though he is the manager,a man who was a captain in the army,give it a rest

  98. Well Bogman, its a long way from the bog to a house overlooking Pearse stadium but unless we discover a ball winning midfield tomorrow you will be taking that flag down. When Cork pressed up and forced us to take long kickouts our goose was cooked. Same thing happened to Ros today. Forget about the forwards, if we dont start winning long kickouts, they wont see the ball.

  99. Maybe we are not giving Cork enough credit they took out Roscommon today something we failed to do so there is a bit of hope for tommorow.

  100. Roscommon threw that away and lost to a 4 minute injury time point. Cork blew us out of the water.

  101. I’m looking for any tickets for tomorrow , stand or terrace , adult of child ticket it doesn’t matter .
    Phone number (0894577900)

  102. Hi I’m looking for 3 tickets for tomorrow’s match please if anybody is selling some. Thanks

  103. Trying to redeem ticket via season ticket account- but saying ‘no event’. Can anyone help?

  104. That’s it Seán, have had big Bertha since the 96 replay. The disgust after the ‘21 final has only partially subsided and Bertha has taken a mental break. No decision yet on tomorrow. I’ll be there.

  105. While I’d be as disappointed as most, that Mayo conspired to lose last weekend. And as Mayo Man living in Galway, I hope more than most that we get over the mountain in front of us, tomorrow. But the negativity on blog is really depressing. Got the article on how, apart from kerry game, Mayo not played well, we playing as well as most counties this year. And you could make the argument, we looked better than most. Time to get behind, the team tomorrow, and be there shouting them on.

  106. Spotlight – When you say redeem , are you trying to pay for it, or have you paid for it already?

    If your trying to pay for it now, its too late, the deadline was last Wednesday at 1pm.

    If you’ve paid for it before the deadline, its simply a matter of going into your account and into ” my tickets” ( click the 3 Horizontal lines in the top left hand corner to find this) and it ahould be there, if its not there, im not sure what to do, sorry.

  107. Well all the very best to our men tomorrow its been a huge week after the Cork game. Mayo means so much to us all. Lads now is the time. Bring the fight and determination. It’s time to hit hard and for some to prove they are worthy of the jersey and management to show their worth. There’s a very good side there show your strengths tomorrow. Win at all costs

  108. Thanks Paddyjoejohntom…usually the Wednesday lunchtime deadline is not a prywhen buying after that deadline…must be a big crowd going.

    I believe as a season ticket holder you can choose not to pay for one ticket…isn’t that correct?

  109. The level of debate on this blog is of a very high standard and we owe it to Willie Joe to keep it that way. This blog really adds to the excitement and enjoyment of big match days but some of the recent posts amount to nothing more than personal attacks about trivial matters which concern only the people involved and contribute nothing to the wider debate about Mayo football and other GAA sports. This undoes all the hard work that has gone into making this the best GAA blog in the country. I have learned so much, and I’m sure others have too, from the many wise contributions over the years and I’m looking forward to learning a lot more. This can only happen if we check before we post.

  110. Willie joe. Its my belief that we are where we are because of his style of play. Loads more think the same. Honestly Willie joe did you despair at the last two matches. This team is good enough to take Sam. All injury s cleared up. Remember the slaughtering poor horan got on here with a depleted team last year.

  111. I’ll be out of the country hanging around airports shlobberin tomorrow so can anyone tell me how I can watch the game? Is GAAGO ok?

  112. Ok Seán, f&ck it…she’s gonna make an appearance. They better bloody win for her.

  113. I think Galway team will be short a few tomorrow.
    Great opportunity for us.
    Weather and Atlantic winds the big worry.
    Spaced out watching football, Tyrone will do damage.

  114. Good man Mayonaze and Big Bertha.
    Well said Mayotilidie.
    Mayo seem to like to live on the edge. I worried we wouldn’t rise to the matches when lifelines there in the group stage. Well, lifelines are gone now. Back on the rollercoaster tomorrow. Woo hoo! Up Mayo!

  115. What we need in order to win tomorrow is total positivity. From everybody.
    The Galway hurlers got their win this evening and fair play to them.
    It’ll take a good team now to take them out.
    If we can win in Salthill tomorrow we’ll take a mountain of confidence from it and it will take some team then to knock us out of the championship.
    For what it’s work. The championship only starts tomorrow for us. We should all get in a positive frame of mind.
    Let’s go Mayo.

  116. Good to hear that mo chara . We cant determine tomorrows outcome but we can add to their belief and desire by backing them in the ground . Going to get some shut eye now if i can . This game always gets ya pumped , it brings back memories of days gone by , its a wonderful fixture , history , tradition and rivalry .

    My first one i can vaguely remember was 1984 in the old salthil , 87 in castlebar in that low scoring game , 89 rdraw and replay , 90 in tuam (horrible feeling after 89 ) , 97 &99 in tuam were the best of days , was it 06 when donnellan missed a free and mort converted to send mchale park rockin , that peader Gardiner point in 09 to name a few .

    Enjoy the occasion folks , chances are we might not get a sell out mayo v galway championship game in the west for years . I think its a day for a player to announce his greatness and i see Tommy Conroy 20/1 for man of the match . Galway how do

  117. “Textbook Mayo” I’ll show you f”€€)n textbook mayo…Galway are Crocked, Mayo by 5

  118. Looking forward to the game now. I’m expecting a huge reaction from our lads. They have shipped a lot of criticism this week from all quarters and knowing the calibre of men involved they will be their own harshest critics. I’m 100% behind these lads and management for the full 70+ minutes.I will roar at the ref to put a halt to any marroon tinted fuckology, I will roar at the Galway player who lies on the ground holding his head after minimal contact, I will roar at the Galway physio/doctor for jogging onto the field to help said playactor, even the Galway steward who blocks my view of the game for 2 seconds will get an earful. No more lambs to the slaughter in front of the whole country.
    We fight on the field and from the stands for every inch. No quarter asked or given. The way it should be. May the best team win.

  119. Sounds totally cliche, but I think we’ll win if we show/do the following:
    – Intensity
    – Tenacity
    – Not allow ourselves to get bullied like we did against Cork.
    – Moving the ball up the field faster after a turnover
    – A few high balls into O’Shea for the love of God
    – A lot cuter on the sideline and less of these predicable pre-planned subs to bring on midway through the 2nd half

    Another thing I’d like to point out and see tomorrow, in some of the league games and against Kerry in the championship we would score pretty heavily in a short period of time, and teams could hardly live with is. It reminded me of Dublin in their pomp. I know it’s going to be incredibly hard to do that against a team as well organised as Galway, but maybe if we go ahead by 3 or 4 they’ll have to discard the shawl and the game will open up. Anyway I’m waffling now. May the best team win.

  120. Sean, you’re dead right. Both teams have massive respect for each other. It’s a tribal confrontation, and all down to the day. It can go either way. We’re obviously on a high after beating Tipp. Btw. as regards Cork, it doesn’t surprise me, that after the recent passing of Teddy Mac. Cork would rejuvenate and contest to honour his memory. They always have the talent – now they have the desire. Definite dark horses…

  121. Yep let’s keep it positive in shouting for the team. I think Management calls on not risking injured players is now to our benefit. Since Ros, we’ve had injuries to Hession, COC, EMacL TC back from Long Term and being held back for impact. We don’t know if SamC was slightly injured or just rested to avoing young player burnout, so apart from Harry, Bric & Plunkett we have each and every possible player who would likely feature in the 26 available to us. I think saying certain players have to play is a bit silly given we need good kickers of the ball to get it to the inside line quickly and also the players requested by these posters to play are typically runners who opposition like to set up to stop. So whoever is selected to start, don’t despair, the available panel will be used to good effect and most of these players requested are likely to feature as subs, but it should be horses for courses as the game evolves. Uo Mayo.

  122. Let’s roar on the lads in Green and Red Today! Hopefully lessons have been learned from the Cork Game especially by Management.
    Half back line paddy, Padraig, Enda
    MF Jordan Diarmuid
    Cillian and Tommy Must Start.
    Important Mayo start well and build a good lead early. Just go for it it’s a knockout match surly this Will ignite our lads. Forget this lateral playing across the Field nonsense and kick pass the ball at speed into Ryan and Aido. If Tommy and Cillian start as well then Galway will have their hands full. No more running into tackles and being Turned over be cute with the Ball move it quickly up the field don’t give the Galway Shawl time to re set. We have to leave 2/3, Forwards in place stall times. ROD should be on the 40 and attack attack attack. Mix up our play. Pump in the High Ball to Aido. Cause panic in the Galway Back line and Goal chances will come. Goals will win this game Today. Whatever happens I hope that This Mayo Team and Management are hurting from last week and will put it right Today. I remember a certain Rugby Captain years ago being picked up by a Microphone on RTÉ “ where’s your fucking pride?”. Well Mayo Where is Ours? Mayo go out there Today and Play with Pride.
    Mayo to Win by 3.
    Go neirigh an TADGH le Mhuigheo.

  123. The amount of kicking of ball to inside line will be limited for rest of year with defensive structures in place by opposition, unlike in league. That said we are extremely reluctant to chance the odd one in, which given how many goals come off it and fact we have such a large target man is strange.

    Looking forward to tomorrow, with Galways injures I’ll go Mayo by 4.

  124. Well the day of reckoning is here it brings me back to the sixties, no more safe nets. So throw off the shackles and the crab football, football is a simple game but people confuses it. Bad weather, blanket defences, narrow pitches with us since the beginning of time so play the game according to our strength and oppositions weakness. I am not confident of our chances today based on our lack of form in recent games. Defence needs surgery in the half back line to block the free passage. Midfield needs Jordan there and Aido for periods. Forwards to play as a unit not relying on one or two individuals. Tommy snd Cillian yo play a big role.
    If the sight of the maroon jersey does not fire up our boys today then I don’t know what will.
    Time for the whole management team to display their contribution to the cause and making bold and timely calls. Let’s hear that Mayo roar around Salthill today just like 1967, memory still fresh in a aging mind
    Come on MAYO

  125. Rain showers all through the night here in Galway and more expected before 03.00pm. I expect a slippery pitch.

  126. As others have said this feels like a throwback to those great Connacht final days when winning your province really meant something. Gonna hit the road shortly and have breakfast in Salthill with friends. SeaninGalway, I hope the players have the proper studs in as it’ll definitely be slippery. Maigheo Abu!

  127. Malachy clerkin I think sums up our situation very well in the Irish times today.I remember that Conor Mortimer point to win the 2006 Connacht final.he was right in front of us and a brilliant kick it was and of course the gardiner to win it moment plus James nallens point off his left foot to put us 5 up in the pouring rain in tuam in 1999.mcstay having his jaw tested out in 1989 by a man who went on to play for mayo.I have had a feeling all year that the lack of experience at the back would cause us problems.when mcstay said we weren’t in transition I don’t believe he had counted on losing keegan and mullin from the set up .To come in with a new goalkeeper a entirely new full back line and experimenting with the centre back position was always going to be a big ask .Anyway best of luck to our lads today.As we know nothing is ever very predictable about mayo football

  128. Nice one @Lineball.. Family all asleep in my house here in West Mayo, but reading your post has woken me up and I am seriously looking forward to hitting the road for Salthill later. My 86 yr old father often talks of 1967 and bringing a bus load of supporters to Salthill that yr an dethroning the then all Irl champs.
    He (my Father) engineered things later that year so that he and my Mother were able to attend the all Irl semi v Meath on their honeymoon in Dublin! My Father is as bad as myself, unable to wait for today’s encounter. I’m glad for him RTE are showing it.
    Willie Joe, thanks again – I’m flat out reading the blog all week!
    I left Limerick very annoyed after our display last week but the mood changed following the draw an the excitement has been building all week!
    I feel Stephen Coen might have an important job possibly sweeping today, but it’s important we defend better today, better than any day this year, and I believe we can. We will have to fight like dogs down the middle and to be as clinical and as ruthless as possible up front. As others have said, nothing like the maroon shirt to get us going and our record at Salthill hasn’t been bad in recent years. Let’s invoke the spirit of ’67 an dump Galway out today.
    Mayo by two.

  129. Rain showers all trough the night here in Galway and more forecast for the rest of the day (although the sun is out right now). Bring the brolly ( not Joe).

  130. @RP McMurphy great post and bit of history, that’s the spirit. I left Limerick totally disgusted but the blood is hot again now, hope it’s a good game, Mayo by 4.

  131. Joet1480 GAAGO IS ok but it’s a few minutes behind the action. You have to get used to it – I combine it w Mid-west radio which is in realtime.
    To Craggy – Willie Joe speaks for all of us here – a personal vendetta against Rochy looks spiteful and petty. Maybe he made 1-2 bad calls but he’s human. To err is human but to forgive divine – never a truer word? Go Mayo!!

  132. Random one at the last hours lads, has anyone here ever bought complimentary tickets off someone. Got two yesterday from the blog and want to be 100% sure they are legit! PDF screenshot. Cheers

  133. Not good to sell complimentary tickets , jst my opinion . I’m personally very against touting and that is a form of touting .

  134. That’s a bit strong now. You hardly expect person to go out giving tickets away for free, selling at face value it’s not touting.
    The ticket holder had to go through whatever way of getting the tickets.

  135. Reading the confidence of the mayo fans on here is whetting my appetite for the battle in Pearse stadium today. PJ knows and understands the history of this rivalry dating back to when his uncle Billy played in the 80s where they loved nothing more than beating their near neighbours as recalled by Maurice brosnan in his interview with him before the league final. Beating mayo was like going to mass. They just went out and did it and lost only once to them in 16 years playing for Galway. The fact that this is knockout today will add to the tension for the fans where both sets know how much is on the line.
    Expect the wind and greasy pitch to play a big part in how this match plays out and I feel that whoever wins the toss and gets to play against the wind in first half and put pressure on opposition to get scores on the board will be the first important clash of the day. Can’t see more than 30 points in total in this so whoever gets to a 14/15 point mark should win this as neither side are great at closing out matches so will go down to the wire.
    Galway by 1.

  136. @Corick Bridge oh no worries I didn’t think your comment was aimed at me at all ! It was another poster I was off about but willie joe sorted that . Enjoy the match today or let’s hope we can enjoy it haha!

  137. CLare ,hopefully we will succeed,if not I will support Galway,after all we are neighbours,I just don’t like unfair criticism,I would not have been the best myself years ago,but management teams now are very up to speed, we must recognise that they see training and any other problem that arises,I have supported Mayo since the very early sixties and have seen good days and bad days, sixty six was a very hard one to take,sixty seven was a great day thumbed a lift from Bellacorick, the simi final not so good,eighty two in Tuam was very disappointing ,in fact I could not speak until I reached Castlebar,against Cork ninety three was bad ,but I would not change a single thing about my support for Mayo,and in July I won’t over celebrate,I will spend my time thinking of the great supporters that gave me lifts to matches and travelled the country supporting Mayo,people like Tom Carolan,Mick Mullarkey,Joe Rowland,Tom Rowland,Michael Barrett, Christy Commons,Tony Lynn,John Noel Carey and many more, I will remember them

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