Another chip off the shoulder?

As we embark upon a fresh Championship season, the hearts of the Mayo faithful have inevitably began to refill with hope. This has undoubtedly been aided by a successful end to the Spring. It was one that saw Mayo bring to an end an unwanted string of Croke Park final losses. It also brought to my attention something which I found quite interesting.

The League final win represented not just a Croke Park victory, but against none other than the historical bogey team. For the second meeting in a row, Kerry fell victim to Mayo in Croke Park. This got me thinking, when was the last time Kerry actually beat Mayo in Croke Park? 2011. That’s right, Kerry haven’t triumphed over Mayo in the home of football since James Horan’s fledgling year with his Mayo side.

When Mayo met Kerry in 2011, they were very much a team on the verge of a breakthrough. The previous year had proved very disappointing, crashing out of the qualifiers against Longford. James Horan’s tenure almost got off to a bad start, cutting things very close against London. After that though, his young team surprised many knocking out defending champions Cork in a quarter-final. This coming off the back of a Connacht title success.

Going into the semi-final, so early in the development of the squad, they realistically stood no chance against such an experienced Kerry side. That’s how it turned out in reality too. Kerry ran out a fairly comfortable victory and progressed to the final.

That is the last time Kerry beat Mayo in Croke Park. Since then the sides have faced off four times in Croke Park. Although it must be admitted that there is the asterisk of two draws and that infamous night down in Limerick.

One thing can be undeniably taken from it, however. From a team who used to fear the sight of the green and gold shirt, things have certainly changed. Mayo no longer fear Kerry. In fact, I don’t believe they fear anyone.

The last few years has shown us a team who truly believe they can beat Kerry. It isn’t just with regards to Kerry either, this is a team who is truly starting to believe in themselves. They believe they can go up against any team in the country, and see out a victory on the biggest stage of all.

Is this truly a sign of things to come? It’s far too early to tell. However, one thing that is certain is what we’ve known along. This is that neither James Horan nor a single player involved with that panel is about to throw in the towel any time soon.

37 thoughts on “Another chip off the shoulder?

  1. Before you start competitives between Mayo and Kerry it’s best look at where Kerry are at. A more accurate comparison of the 2 counties might be made in a couple of years from now. I have watched many great Kerry teams emerge over the years and in my opinion what we are seeing now is the real deal. Mayo won the League ok now move on. Make sure you leave your counter behind and check that it is fitted with a reset button. The tale of this year’s championship has yet to be told. We were outside the top 16 last time out. We were about 3rd or 4th in Connacht last year. On championship form lets not be getting too carried away. Have a chat with someone from Tipp. They had a great run in a championship not that long ago.

  2. 4th in Connaught? Let’s be realistic Galway and Mayo trade 1st and 2nd between them in Connaught.

  3. Roscommon it is , why some even dared to think Leitrim had a snowballs i dunno but anyway we need to be so focused and tuned in for our clash with Roscommon or our whole season will be ruined .

  4. Diarmuid better be fit also. Rossies creating goal chances galore. Time to move on from the league, look at Kildare and Meath scraping by div 4 teams. Limerick beating Tipperary, league means f•••k all come summer time.

  5. Both Meath and Kildare unconvincing winners, so very likely to be no change in Leinster. More predictable than Euro elections.
    Team v Roscommon will be very interesting. coen has got decent game time, may very well start, but good understudy to Cillian. Most important we have subs on the bench capable of upping the temple for the final quarter. Rossies will frustrate us, it’s a serious challenge…

  6. It’s definitely McHale Park, and will probably sell out. The Rossies bring a conciderably bigger following than Galway, especially when it’s against Mayo… Indeed one of the very few times that another team had more support than Mayo, was in the quarter Final versus Roscommon in Croke Park, in 2017… I hope that the health and safety people realize that restrictions of the Mchale Park capisity to 30K which happened last year versus Galway and at least 5 or 6 thousand empty space’s in Mchale Park, for all to see, is pure stupidity… Indeed Catlebar isn’t the only venue to suffer from these decisions…Dr Hyde Park had it’s capisity dummed down to 18K for the Connacht Final last year, and again Newbridge could easily hold another thousand or two than was allowed last year….Shane Curran, ex Roscommon Goalkeeper, better known as “Cake” said about the people making those decisions, when asked about it last year on TV. .’Were they drunk, or were they blind’ very true for Shane. . Anyhow a big win for Ross today, will bring a big crowd to Castlebar on the 25th… looking forward to it, should be a great night in Castlebar… Very Good writing Cian, and good luck with the Leaving Cert!
    ..

  7. Lets not get ahead of ourselves thinking about Kerry, there is the not so insignificant team called Roscommon coming to Castlebar. This wont be an easy game, believe me. In the league they very nearly beat us and gave good games to Dublin, Tyrone and Galway. While it was nice to win the league Kerry are a team in transition so lets not get carried away.

  8. I’d be shocked if it was even near a sellout . Semi final v Ros would be lucky to make 20k , I’d go even lower and take a punt on 18k.

  9. Well done Cian that’s a very well written piece and best of luck in the leaving Cert. the league was great but we need to build on it now Roscommon in Castlebar will be a tough game but it’s tough games we need and we are a tough team so
    Hopefully we will keep progressing

  10. Willie Joe, living as I do in Roscommon, I went along for a look today.
    Re the audio report, you said Diarmuid Murtagh got a straight Red card.
    I think that Diarmuid got a black card, with Conor Daly getting the red card.

    I hope the people on here who talked up Leitrim’s chances for the past week, weren’t stupid enough to put any money on them.

  11. Thanks for that correction, Observer2. I was on the terrace across and I thought he’d got a straight red for it. It was a bit away from where I was, though, and I can see from the match reports online that you are indeed correct. Apologies for that.

  12. A lot of jittery posters on here,and us not even havn kicked a ball in (real)C/ship yet! Have faith in our lads,and let Ros,Galway and the rest of the fukin country worry about us for a change!

  13. Well written Cian. Top Job.

    PJ. It’s nigh on impossible to say where we were in the pecking order last year. With the catalogue of serious injuries to key players. We were operating without maybe 4 or 5 of our best performers.
    Take Fenton, Mcarthy, Kilkenny and a couple of others out of the Dublin team and they wouldn’t have been lifting Sam last year.
    We were just a beaten docket with all our injury woes.
    I’d agree, not to write off Kerry just yet. I’m thinking of the 1996 semi final where we beat them well, and yet fell to them in the 97 final.

  14. Cian. Important point to note. We can beat Kerry every year for the next fifty but it won’t matter one bit if we don’t win an All Ireland.

  15. As regards capacity of McHale Park safety is more important than any other consideration. Yes in the championship match against Galway there were empty spaces in the stand and in the Albany end near the stand. I would say however that the access to the ground needs to be better managed. Everyone coming in from the Mitchells end and then traipsing all the way to the Albany end. Stewards basically having the craic with people standing in the isles and just one walking aisle in the middle of the terrace. There were crushes where people are looking for seats or having the craic with neighbours and friends and more people coming in and being held up. No control being exercised. I thought it was very dangerous. All you need is for one person to go down and you have a serious problem. You need access from multiples sides of the ground and the uncovered seating should have ticket numbers. Putting 20k people into one area to find their own seat is simply crazy.

  16. Great article… it’s kinda hard to see Dublin getting such a quiet run into their 5 in a row. I’d love to see the pressure build up to bursting point for them sooner rather than later.
    Mayo are doing all they have to and are building nicely. But any progress will be blown into huge thing and we need to believe and support to the perfect end… perfect I hope. We are a team who truly believe in themselves and that’s the exciting thing for me.
    Just for the record WJ I see another MO díreach on the blog…céad míle fáilte…

  17. @Sinabhuil, the only numbered seats are in the stand the holds 10K , with plenty of leg room, access and egress,… I know that last year season ticket holders were given allocated seat’s .. I have never seen any such danger or problems in Mchale Park… Castlebar can comfortably hold several thousand more than the 30K that was allowed..In fact for the record, Castlebar is almost definitely the safest place to sit and view a match in Ireland, given that is the only All seater in Ireland, outside of the Aviva, which is a Rugby and Soccer stadium…. The stewards are fine, level headed, volunteer’s who do not get paid for their troubles…In fact, I have been by this stage at most of the big Gaa grounds in Ireland, for the biggest of match’s and only on one occasion was there and hint of danger from the big crowd.. apart from this one time, and the GAA to be fair to them made changes to ensure it not happening again.. I am of course referring to the 1983 All Ireland Final, when several thousand managed to gain access to the Canal End terrace and Hill 16 terrace….The dreadful weather, and voilent nature of the game itself were contributing factors to the danger on the terraces. .. The official attendance on the day was over 70 K but in reality probably nearer 85 K… This was the last time an All Ireland Final wasn’t all ticket, you could buy a ticket for the terrace on the day, nowadays you can’t get near Croke Park without a ticket.. OK you won’t get, the service of a five star hotel in Mchale Park, neither should you expect to, but well in excess of 30K can easily sit and watch a gaelic football match, in safety and realitive comfort….

  18. Nice piece Cian and hope to see more from you here in the future.

    I’m going to be controversial and say that I think the Rossies will be a bigger challenge for us this year than Galway, should we win on the 25th.

    This might come back to bite me – it wouldn’t be the first time – but I feel confident that Connacht will be ours this year and some of the wrongs of the previous years will be righted. For the life of me I cannot fathom how we have let this Galway team get so many over on us in recent years, and I expect us to put ourselves in a position where we put an end to that in July. The performances of the team to date (Galway and Dublin games excepted!) and vibes from the camp suggest that they are a different animal this time around.

    The Kerrys and the Dublins and the Tyrones can wait for another day – I hope!

  19. I don’t agree with you Leantimes. There was issues at the McHale Road end at the Galway game and access and egress needs to be improved. No point in playing the green and red card where safety is an issue.

  20. @Sinabhuil, I totally disagree with you, And, more over, I can prove that you are completely wrong …first of all, There is no such thing as a McHale Road End of McHale Park… … And genuinely I haven’t missed Mayo Match’s in Mchale Park for decades, and I never seen any instance of danger to the public…nor apart from the 1983 All Ireland Final, have I ever seen anything that could be possibly termed as a danger to the public at any GAA fixture anywhere…..Granted not every thing is five star everywhere,. but it is totally safe to go to GAA match’s all over Ireland, and nowhere more so than Mchale Park… Of course it would be much safer if no games ever took place… Health and Safety and Insurance is gone out of hand in Ireland… A great curtural event that took place for many decades in is now no more, because of such rubbish.. I refer of course to the Ballina Salmon Festival, how much the better of a Socity is Ireland because of so called health and safety concerns!

  21. Compensation culture is the root of the problem you’d imagine which results in h&s been ridiculous as a necessity. Little Timmy falls over and cuts himself , mammy & daddy think firstly that’s some lolly for lanzorate rather than just getting him stitched up down Castlebar general and telling him to be more careful .

    Overcrowding will not be an issue in McHale park, I don’t know what people do be thinking when it comes to mayo support but it’s so exaggerated . 5-7 k Ros , 12-16k mayo , 2-3 k floaters , absolutely no way will the crowd exceed 25k . I don’t even think it will hit the 20k mark tbh.

  22. I’d say you’re right there, Sean – I wouldn’t expect the crowd for the Roscommon game to top 20k. Sure, I’m even missing it myself!

    I do, though, think that we need to up our game a good bit on match-day organisation for championship games at MacHale Park. It was all a bit of a shambles for the Galway game last year, with fans arriving not long before throw-in making their way on the pitch down towards the Albany end because the single walkway along that side was totally clogged. Those heading for the Albany end were all but brushing shoulders on the pitch with the Galway players warming up. It was mad stuff.

    The root cause of this seems to have been that, as Sinabhuil has pointed out, everyone entered the ground from the same side. If 20k+ are expected then there has to be an option to enter via the MacHale Road as well so that those late arriving can get onto the Albany end without having a repeat of what happened against Galway, which looked like this.

  23. Good man Sean Burke..it’s the new shite compensation culture that is causing all this. Look what’s happening to so many childcare centres and small businesses, closing down because they cannot afford the Insurance and the stupid amount that is being paid out. Don’t start me..

  24. Yeah, was inclined to say 18k or so. However, that’s a good game for the Rossies to have under their belt (I didn’t predict it, nor did I predict that very impressive score), and why shouldn’t they hit for McHale Park full of confidence?
    Remember, the quarter final replay drew 40,000 to Croker two years ago, on a Bank Holiday Monday! And, don’t forget the Galway game drew a full house last year, and there were plenty of Galway people there.

    We’ll get a sense of it next week and what the vibe is like in Roscommon.

  25. Well as, the late Great, Hollywood legend, Dorris Day sang far better than I could even say ‘Que Sera, Que Sera, what will be will be’ .We will know on the day just how many people turn up on Saturday the 25th, it’s certainly not live on RTE…. I had completely forgotten about the late comers walking across the pitch to get to the Albany End before the Mayo/Galway Match last year.. it definitely happened, the picture never lies, and it’s far from ideal…. But is it a Safety Issue?.. For me it’s not a safety issue, even if many will argue otherwise… Insurance and Health and Safety have gone mad in my opinion in Ireland.. and I’m glad that today the EC has begun an investigation into the insurance industry, not before time… and that’s only the Competition’s aspect of insurance that’s investigated… The last time that I was in Mchale Park was for the Monaghan Match, and as was planned, many multiple of the amount of people that walked across the Pitch last May, ran onto the Pitch, hundreds, if not thousands of mostly kid’s of all ages…a great time was had by all, Connor McManus was revelling in the joyous atmosphere that Monaghan bus returning almost forgot him…No injury was reported, but I did hear that a marker or two ran out of ink, so many authrogaphs were signed!… People coming late to match’s are certainly an irritant, and they often stand in front of where you are sitting to view proceeding, and to hell with those who came in early to get to their seat in good… If any of ye have a good look at the picture on the link by Willie Joe, have a look at the, amount of Empty seat’s in the stand, and the amount of Empty seat’s in the Albany End as well…. Entry to McHale Park via Mchale road or the Albany End, would improve things for those might help comfort… but the place can easily accommodate well over 35K more safely than most other venues!

  26. Mo direach (i.e. the one who posted at 7.39pm on the 12th), please use another handle as that one is already in use by someone else and has been for some time. I’ve added a ‘2’ to your handle for now.

  27. Two semi finals and the Connacht Gaa deciding to charge an extra 5 euro for tickets for this May 25th semi final will turn a few supporters away. I think a bigger crowd would attend if the game was played Sunday afternoon but SKY and switching it to Saturday evening mattered more.

  28. I am a season ticket holder.but i think it is absolutely scandelous that the ticket price for mayo v roscommon is 5 euro dearer than for galway v sligo.WHY is this so? BOTH MATCHES ARE CONNACHT SEMI-FINALS. mayo and roscommon supporters are being taking advantage of and it is not fair play.

  29. @Jimbo, Of course you are right, time for the Connacht Council to reverse this unfair decision…People Power, brought about the Newbridge or Nowhere climb down by Croke Park last year…Mayo supporter’s are numerous and capable of good organization .. Maybe we should take a lesson from Kildare…As it happens it won’t directy affect any season ticket holder because this is considered the first round of the Championship and included in the price… but I agree with you, what’s good for the Goose should be good for the Gander!

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