Checking in on Cork

Right, it’s time to begin the countdown to the Cork game. We’re playing them this coming Sunday at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick in what’s an All-Ireland SFC group stage Round 3 clash. Down’s Paul Faloon is the ref and the match throws in at 2pm. It’ll be streamed live on GAAGO.

Our task next Sunday is a straightforward one – win, or even draw, the game and we top Group 1 and advance directly to the All-Ireland quarter-final. If we lose then who wins the group will most likely come down to points difference: assuming Kerry beat Louth then ourselves, Cork and Kerry would be level on four points.

While a loss wouldn’t be catastrophic for us, it would all the same represent a rude reversal, in particular after securing that unexpected and very welcome win over Kerry in Killarney. It would also pitch us into a preliminary quarter-final the following weekend and all the jeopardy that emanates from that particular fate, including, assuming we clear that hurdle, a tougher quarter-final the weekend after.

So we should be aiming to complete the group stage with a third win from three outings. But sure we’re well used to beating Cork now – as someone on the blog noted recently, the most recent time they beat us in the Championship was before Sam Callinan was born – so that’s all grand.

Except it isn’t, not really.

It’s true that we’ve beaten them the three most recent times we’ve met in the Championship – in 2011 (when they were the defending All-Ireland champions), in 2014 and in 2017 – but you then have to go back to 1916 for the most recent time we got the better of them in the Championship before then.

In between we lost the 1989 final to them, shipped an unmerciful whipping from them in the semi-final in 1993 and also lost to them in the 1999 semi-final and 2002 quarter-final. Overall they’ve won seven of our twelve Championship encounters and we’ve won five. There haven’t been any draws, though our most recent meeting, in 2017, went to extra-time in what was a heart-stopping evening in the qualifiers at Limerick.

Photo: RTÉ

That 2017 meeting was also the more recent time we’ve faced each other. For the decade prior to that we met regularly in the National League, including in two finals (2010 and 2012), both of which Cork won. But the Leesiders have been in a funk for some time, stuck in a Division Two rut from which they can’t seem to extricate themselves.

Their form this year illustrates their diminished status in the game at the present time. A less-than-stellar League campaign saw them flirting dangerously close to a ranking that could, due to Clare’s victory over them in Munster, have seen them plying their trade in the Tailteann Cup this summer. For a county of Cork’s size, with a proud history and the handy knack of turning up once a generation to win the Sam Maguire, this can only be described as punching well below their weight.

In Round 1 of the League at the end of January, Cork lost to Meath, beaten by four points in a match that seemed to herald a new dawn for the Royals under Colm O’Rourke. That didn’t, of course, work out for them as they ended two places below Cork in the Division Two table and are now contesting this year’s Tailteann Cup.

In Round 2, the Rebels made amends by thumping Kildare by thirteen points at Newbridge. They were then rather unluckily beaten by Dublin by two points at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in the following round.

In Round 4 they hammered a hapless Limerick, banging in six goals in a home match they won by an eye-popping 24 points. It was Munster opposition to Round 5 as well, this time Clare, with the Leesiders winning that one at Ennis by eight points.

Promotion was, with Dublin and Derry in the division, always going to be a stretch for John Cleary’s side. It became an impossibility when they fell to defeat away to Louth in Round 6, losing by three points that day in Ardee. A Round 7 draw with Derry back at Páirc Uí Chaoimh did, however, confirm their place in the Sam Maguire end of the Championship, regardless of what happened to them in Munster.

As things turned out, that was just as well.

Like us in Connacht, Cork only had only one day out in Munster this year. Indeed, it was the same day – 9th April – that we had and, as we fell to defeat in Castlebar to the Rossies, the Rebels were losing a Munster quarter-final tie to Clare at Ennis. It was a match in which, in front of a rather paltry 3,661 attendance, the Banner County fought back in the second half to snatch a one-point win.

Bracketed in Group 1 alongside ourselves, Kerry and Louth, Cork have one win and one loss in the Championship’s group stage. That win – over Louth – in the opening round all but guarantees their advancement to the knockout stage, though the possibility still exists for them to win the group, should they beat us and the points difference works out in their favour.

Their Round 1 match was an away game and Louth opted to nominate Páirc Tailteann in Navan as their home ground for the tie. That game, played a week after our match with Kerry, turned into a veritable shoot-out, from which Cork emerged the victors by 1-19 to 1-17.

That set up an intriguing Round 2 meeting with Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. With the Kingdom reeling from their unanticipated loss to us and, with it, the end of their long Championship unbeaten run at Killarney, here was a chance to strike a proper blow on their great rivals.

Photo: Echo Live (Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile)

They really went for it too and it was only David Gough’s application of that stupid penalty-outside-the-square rule, which no other ref ever seems to bother with, that hauled Kerry out of a whole load of trouble in that game. Kerry were mightily relieved to come away from that one with a 1-14 to 0-15 win.

The Leesiders’ ability to go toe-to-toe with Kerry will undoubtedly embolden them as they head to Limerick on Sunday. Allied to this is likely to be a feeling, however deeply this might be buried, that we’re a county they should be beating. They’ll be able to point to the 2014 and 2017 meetings – in which, on both days, they gave us a belly-full – to support this line of thinking.

Fond thoughts about the late, great Teddy McCarthy surely won’t do their cause any harm either. Cork were great when the recently deceased Glanmire man was in his pomp – he was one of their key man in the 1989 final – and Sunday’s game will be the first Championship one the Rebels will have played in since his untimely death last week. What better way to honour Teddy’s memory than a morale-boosting win over us?

We’re fairly strong favourites to prevail at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday. It’s a venue we’ve a decent record at too, now that the scar tissue from 2014 has, if not fully healed, become less of an itch for us with the passage of time.

Since that traumatic August evening, we’ve played three Championship matches there. The first was the above-mentioned qualifier meeting with Cork in 2017, then we played Limerick in the first round of the qualifiers in 2018 (Cillian bagged a modest 3-9 in that one) and, of course, we rather gleefully dumped Galway out of the Championship there in a qualifier game in 2019, on a night when James Carr scored that wonder goal for us.

This means that Sunday’s game will be our fifth Championship match at the Gaelic Grounds. Someone on the blog pointed out the other week that we’ve never lost a match in normal time there but, even including extra-time, our record there going into Sunday is a healthy three wins to one defeat.

Which side of the ledger do you think will have one added to the total on Sunday? Or could we have the first ever draw – in either League or Championship – between the two teams? Let’s end with a vote to test the waters on that very question.

How will we do against Cork?

  • Win (72%, 717 Votes)
  • Lose (16%, 157 Votes)
  • Draw (12%, 116 Votes)

Total Voters: 990

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89 thoughts on “Checking in on Cork

  1. Mile buiochas WJ for setting the scene so elegantly as usual! Just watched back the recent Cork v Kerry match on GAAGO. Cork were very wasteful but they are a dangerous team, especially, if they had the shooting boots on! Yes the penalty changed the game as WJ alluded to above. In order to get a point to top our group we certainly need to play our A game and increase the intensity compared to the Louth match!!
    Mhuigeo Abú!

  2. This is one match we really need to target.
    We need 3 matches on 3 successive weekends as much as we need a hole in the head at this stage.
    We need the win or the draw on Sunday.
    That would leave us with 3 matches in July with an ideal 2 weeks between each.
    Cork will really be focussing on this one as a win gives them a real chance of topping the group.
    In that respect it’s a free hit for them.
    We need to be ready for this.
    I was at the Louth match and was left with two impressions at the end.
    Our midfield & half forwards were extremely reluctant to shoot from distance.
    Why are we so afraid of kicking a wide but not at all afraid of getting turned over with
    our sideline to sideline stuff ?
    The other impression was that we need a better return from our distance frees /45s.

  3. @Joey I think at the louth match they were reluctant to shoot from a distant in case louth got the ball back and held onto it for another good 15 min haha during the league and kerry match we did kick pass from a distance a lot more then we did in previous years.

    Cork will be a tough test and no push over..but mayo will be going for this one and want to produce a statement win after louth game.

    Cork are a decent team but mayo 5 or 6 .

  4. I have been afraid of Cork ever since the draw was made and I agree with Joey our half forwards and Midfield are afraid to shoot from distance so unless we get a few James Carr specials and a contribution from Cillian in the second half I think they will beat us as its hard to see where the scores will come from. ROD and Matty especially need to play better than they did against Louth but I expect they will.

  5. That one defeat though WJ , ahh man it will live long in the memory .

    I see Sean Cavanagh is blowing smoke up our hole predicting it’s our year . Utter nonsense at this point , thinking it’s killing our critics that we are tipping away saying nothing . Of all the years in the modern era it’s the quietest with the “Mayo for Sam “ brigade and long may that continue .

    Be very weary of the threat cork pose to our ambitions of topping the group . They were within a whisker of getting something from Kerry whom had improved since our clash by my watch . Hurley will cause us bother unless we can bottle him up . Be fantastic to see some improvements n defence ie creation of goal chances been stopped down the middle

  6. the Louth match should be consigned to History now in fairness. I think the way we played was as much to do with keeping whatever slender lead we had. If Louth didn’t have the ball, there was little they could do with it other than to defend as they did to make sure we didn’t have any opportunity to do much with it either. We scored 14 points from 25 shots with 5 wides, 3 saves, 2 short and 1 off the post according to GAA Statsman on Twitter.
    We had 14 shots from play where we scored 6, and 11 from placed ball scoring 8.
    I think when you’re playing a team like Louth it’s most important to retain possession and wait for the high percentage chance. It’s boring, but it’s hard to beat them otherwise.
    As for Cork – I’ve long maintained they’re a team that can beat anyone on their day but are not consistent. I only hope they don’t have their day on Sunday, we need to get at worst a draw from this.

  7. It’s going to be a real tough game against Cork on Sunday, they have to go for a win, so this game will show where Mayo are really at, hopefully it’s a big improvement from the Louth game. I’d love to see Mayo’s Forwards have a right go at Cork & Midfielders need to start getting more possession especially in second half where they seem to drift out of games, winning primary ball is essential. I’m going to TUS Gaelic Park on Sunday, hope it’s dry, looking forward to seeing Mayo Team play well hopefully. Up Mayo.

  8. Cork have been poor all year. Yes they put it up to kerry but kerry haven’t been great either this year.

    Mayo are a much better team all around then cork I honestly don’t understand the fear :p haha yes we should be weary of every opposition though.

    But we should beating cork in fairness. They will test us but I will be a bit shocked if we loose tbh .

  9. Parking at the Greenhills Hotel for 5 euro only 5 minute walk to the grounds from the car park for anyone going

  10. I went for the draw on the basis that this will be a tight match and could make an argument for both sides. I think that we have a bit more structure but Cork under Cleary will also be getting more organised than previously. Will Cork be patient enough if things are not going there way, probably, but hard to know as they have been inconsistent.

    Another good test for Mayo, hopefully we will show a bit more attacking guile than versus Louth. It will be good for confidence if we win, bad if we lose and still leave unanswered questions if we draw. I think that the AI winner is likely to come from one of the group winners (or possibly Kerry if they come 2nd) so hopefully we end up giving ourselves the best opportunity on Sunday afternoon.

  11. Cork got relegated from Div 1 in 2016 on scoring difference since them they have spent 6 years in Div 2 more fighting relegation than pushing for promotion and one year in div 3

    A county of their size to be out of Div 1 that long is hard to believe and haven’t looked close to returning.

    It’s 2012 since they won a Munster senior title, longest spell since the 1930s I think and in the All Ireland championship the last eight years they only reached the last eight of the championship twice and reached it by beating Limerick,Laois who were Div 3 teams those years.

  12. But for the Penalty and been reduced to 14 men Cork were the better team against Kerry so I don’t get how some are so confident that Mayo will beat them in what is not a Knock-Out game. Back in 2016 and 2017 some teams which were poor on paper brought us to extra time in the back door matches with us winning by narrow margins . in 2016 and 2017 we had a very experienced Team which was a better than the Mayo team of today . I think it is a Fifty Fifty game which can go either way
    Lets hope that more Mayo fans travel next Sunday than travelled to Killarney where we were outnumbered 7 to 1

  13. MO2023, that’s it in a nutshell. Like Louth they could cause us problems and make life difficult. But expect 6+ win.

  14. Your welcome left boot its on the left hand side on the way in to limerick just after tesco free parking in tesco too seen lots limrick ones parking there on Sunday was at the game to get a feel for Sunday lots of people saying cork by 1 or 2 cork are very confident so the will probably go for the blanket defence because mayo struggle with it

  15. Willie Joe , I like your historical summary going back to our victory over them in 1916. But let’s just go back 34 years. . Corks number 15 that day was the son of a Mayoman. Mayo’s number 15 played his club football with Ballymun. The 2 will meet again on Sunday. Whoever was the better cornerforward that day in 1989 matters little now. I’ve no doubt that Kevin will prove the better manager. Looking forward to seeing you all on sunday

  16. @Hills of donegal sure cork people are always confident :p haha can’t see them winning to be honest.

    If they do use the blanket defence they aren’t as good as louths blanket and mayo will break through .

    I’m sure mcstay & co will have come up of a plan to break blankets ( I hope haha )

  17. I read Sean cavanaghs article.Not really sure what to make of it really.cork will be confident of beating us because like Kerry they don’t really rate mayo football and always think they can beat us .unfortunately until we start winning all Irelands that is the way we are perceived

  18. Unless we shake off that benzocaine showing of last week, it will be a long and forlorn trek home from Limerick on Sunday. Cork are a damn good team and well capable of dumping into the preliminary playoffs.

  19. I went for the win but I am always nervous of Cork because I remember the days when they seen Mayo on a fixture and just chalked down a win.
    The thing that always worries me with Mayo is that we can never hold a lead we did’nt in 2014 against Cork or 2017 and we didnt against Louth the last day either.
    Opposition know they always have a chance when playing us………we always find a way to bring the opposition back into games…we were lucky enough with Louth. We were not in control of the game and incredibly could have lost it in 90 seconds. That has to be rectified. I would love to get Colm Boyles input on why he thinks it happens……what was the perspective on the pitch for example in 2014 and 2017 when it was all coming apart

  20. The new structure is uncharted territory, yet we seem to be applying the old rules. Every match counts – at least McStay recognises this, but few others seem to do so. We won our first game and most people, (including this poster), thought – QF here we come. Now teams have suddenly realised that all games matter. Cork will go into this firmly believing they can top the group. If our mindset is off, we’re toast.

    I think management realise the need to win. I hope the players do.

  21. It certainly was a penalty and a black card in the Cork /Kerry game. That’s the rule in my opinion, the foul denied Kerry a goal chance. Thats it, if other Refs dont give the decision, then other Refs are wrong. .. More important thing, is not what already happened in Pairc Ui Caoibh but whats going to happen in the Gaelic Grounds next Sunday. It will do well to provide half of the excitement of the Munster Hurling Final played at the venue last Sunday . In view of the fact that only 3K+ attended Clare v Cork, I dont see the need for the GAA to hold this match in a stadium that held 43K+ for the Munster Hurling Final last Sunday, Ennis would have been a much better option. I think it was only 11K+ in Castlebar v Louth , less than any League Fixture held in Castlebar for many years.

  22. My take on the game on Sunday is different to a lot of posters, I’m afraid.

    Cork in my opinion are focused now on the preliminary QF. Six or possibly seven days after the game with us. That’s the game they have to win. Will have no intention of bursting a gut and going flat out against us for nothing and, indeed, will have no intention of coming even close to doing Kerry a favour – and handing them 1st spot back in the group!. They are not stupid.

    So that’s how I see it – Cork using the game as prep for the preliminary QF game. Talk of past feats by Cork in bygone days is pie in the sky as far as Sunday’s game is concerned in my opinion.

  23. Mayo possesses a formidable roster of skilled players who have consistently displayed remarkable talent and determination. McStay will have a plan for Cork’s blanket. Go Mayo!

  24. @TheLondonEye totally agree with you. We are a much better side then cork . Yes cork are good but they’ve been fighting to get out of division 2 the last few years no where near the days they used to hammer us back in the day.

    If we can’t beat a division 2 side then we may as not well go further tbh .

    But I think we well beat them by 5 or so no disrespect to cork but we should win and go with the mentality that’s its a must win I hope mcstay and co have drilled that into the guys and I’m sure they have haha .

  25. A potential banana skin ahead and Cork are a dangerous animal but surely this one really will be decided by which Mayo team turn up. Will it be the one blew away Kerry, Tyrone and others in the league and sauntered into Killarney and thumped the All Ireland champions in their own back yard? Or will it be the Mayo that laboured against Monaghan at home, couldn’t get going against Roscommon and patted around against Louth? If it’s the former version then I think we get the win but if the other Mayo turn up it could be a nervous afternoon. Contrary to what many think I don’t believe the Cork self-belief will allow them to adopt tactics that they would deem unworthy of their well-earned standing as aristocrats in the GAA world and that blankets are for lesser teams to use. I’m predicting a rip-roaring, skilful encounter that both Mayo and Cork are famous for. As for parking, I’ve always found it to be no trouble as there are plenty of places near the ground.

  26. Every Mayo forward inside the 45 who looks up and has a millisecond of a chance to shoot for the posts should shoot…..Great if pointed, no harm if wide, but please please no unnecessary back passes or hand offs…..just shoot.

  27. Excellent Intro WJ as usual. I am hopeful for Sunday. I can see James Carr repeat his screamer from the Gaillimh match and expect ROD and Aido to make hay. Hopefully Cillian will be back to hit some long rangers over the Cork Duvet. I watched back both the 2017 SFs V Ciarrai and Cillian was sublime in some of the scores. Boyler and Zippy were on fire. I think Mayo by 7, expecting goals and a repeat of the Kerry roasting. Won’t be in the Gaelic grounds but at least GAAGO are showing. No coverage of the Ciarrai V Lu match whatsoever. Guess its the wireless for them or head for Port Laoise. Maigheo Abu.

  28. I think we are ticking along nicely. We have taken care of business well enough so far. It was plain daft that we had to face Roscommon within a week of the league final while Galway were off in the sun. Saying that if we had of taken one of the two early goal chances against Roscommon then we may still have beat them. We had Louth beaten comfortably enough bar the late goal.

    Here is the lesson to be learned. We have already seen that playing games week on week is not ideal. We were missing McBrien and Carr for the Roscommon game. A week off after the Galway final and they might have been available. If we avoid defeat to Cork then we top the group and things potentially become a bit easier for us.

    No better incentive for the team to go and take care of business at the weekend and get an extra week off. Please God we get a bit of luck with injuries. If we can avoid injuries to key men I still think we have are in with a shout.

  29. See good old pats Spillane has ranked his top 8 for sam and has Galway 1 and kerry 2nd shock horror and has dismissed us after louth down to 4th though haha. Good old pat haha.

    Looking forward to the game should hopefully be more entertaining then louth ha !

  30. I’m expecting a completely different game from Mayo on Sunday than what we saw from them against Louth. For a start their ears are still burning from the criticism of the poor performance against Louth and Kevin McStay and co won’t want that to happen again. Secondly, there’s more at stake in this one with the prize of finishing top of the group, handier draw etc. – an element of complacency was almost certainly an element here too. Thirdly, despite Kevin Walshe’s influence in the backroom, Cork’s DNA is still front foot football and I don’t think their blanket is as embedded yet as other more well known protagonists of that art (Galway etc). Finally, Cork although improving are still division 2 and won’t live with our pace if we hit our stride. Yes they ran Kerry close but Kerry played well within themselves, it was a really hot day and Cork were always going to rise it for Kerry as a given. Not writing cork off at all but I would be shocked and deeply disappointed if we dont win this one handy enough.

  31. MartyK – can understand the sentiment, but do you remember how deflating it was under “Horanball” to see Paddy Durcan flying up the pitch, going for a score and having it drop short and other team back down the pitch again? Picking Paddy as an example as he’s one of our best players. Flexibility will be key, including a bit of keep ball as long as we’re getting shooters into the right spot.

  32. Ideally we make a statement preformance, and sit in quarter final as a team other teams want to avoid. But Mayo have a habit over the years of playing to level of opposition. Which for neatural we usally a great watch. Cork have a free shot here as well. Nobody expecting them to win, lose still in it, win and thats there year a sucess. So we need to be pro-active in this match, have high energy and tear into them

  33. If we draw with cork I think kerry can top the group can’t they on points difference? Or Mman I wrong? Find it confusing ha.

  34. @clare. A draw will do mayo as kerry can only get 4 at best and mayo would be on 5… I include myself in this but aren’t we really a pessimistic set of supporters. It doesn’t matter what the opposition we can never back mayo to win. Must be all the scars from the last decade and a half.

  35. Btw i don’t include you @clare in the 2nd part of my previous post haha as you might say yourself.

  36. Cork might try to get the bodies back and play similar to Louth but it’s not easy to perfect that style of play in 2 weeks or less. And they don’t have the fire power up front to play that way either when the ball is transitioned up the field. There was a reason for kerry improvement in performance against cork from the game against us and that’s because the opposition was poorer considerably. Not in the amount kerry improved. Cork are middling were a lot better and should be looking to swat them aside and prepare for 1/4 final with a 2 week break

  37. @No doubt haha we really are a bunch of pessimistic supporters well not me though as you say to :p ha

    I agree think it must be from all the hurt down the years that a lot of mayo supporters don’t want to get hopes up and I totally get that .

    Yes I’d settle for a draw then but I think a draw would still be a bit disappointing I’d say mcstay and Co are aiming for a statement win to make up after the louth display..and also think the guys will want to prove themselves again

  38. stating group winners have home advantage for quarterfinals. My understanding is all quarterfinals to be played in croke park. Anyone know the real story

  39. I was full Sure it was pre Limnary quarter finals home advantage and quarters in croker .. I think croker would suit us much better then mc hale Park if we were to go straight through ha.

  40. Clare. Spillane is dead right to rate us 4th after that shambles of a performance namely by management in castlebar. And yes I agree with you croker is better for us so hopefully quarters are there but we have a lot of work to do to get there yet. My best mayo team is. Reape. Hessian. Mcbrien. Callinan. Durcan ohora coen. Doc.flynn. ruane carney conroy. Aos carr Rod.

  41. At this stage I don’t pay any heed to Spillane or ORourke,two way past their sell by date,as for selecting a team I am more than happy to leave it to our wonderful management team,I believe that they are head and shoulders above any other management team

  42. @Craggy boglands don’t think so blanket defence parking the bus awful hard to playa against let’s see how kerry do against them.. but anyway louth are done and dusted thank goodness for now anyway!

    @ corick Bridge your right to I should really do the same haha ..

  43. @No doubt says:

    Home advantage for group winners in the Tailteann cup in the Quarter finals. CCCC will select the quarter final venues in the All Ireland championship, not set yet but will likely be Croke Park for all 4.

  44. Clare,I admire your posts,I used to be the cheer leader but I am happy to let you do it,there are a couple of posters who are not entirely happy with the management it I am very happy with them

  45. I have alot of faith in Kevin mcstay. But there was nothing wonderful about the performance in castlebar. Let’s be honest about it. Big decisions to be made and big questions to be answered as we move into the real championship. Will a rookie fullback line and Loftus at 6 hold out. I’m not so sure but fair play to Kevin he has thrown them in there. No choice with the full back line anyway. . Everyone is entitled to post their team on here. That’s the fun of this wonderful blog.

  46. Corick and bridge. Just to get this clear. I’m not unhappy with manager. I like numerous posters on here was not happy with the way we went about our business in castlebar. Blanket aside. We lacked intensity and desire as well and resorted back to what we used to do a few years ago. Lateral and backwards. I’m sure Kevin will take the bull by the horn s and resort back to a more positive approach against cork. This will not be an easy match

  47. @Clare
    @Corick bridge
    Keep up the positivity and cheerleading. I love it.
    We are very good at times at talking ourselves down whilst going all starry eyed and weak at the knees at other counties.
    We won the league for only the third time in 50 years so the management must be doing something right.
    Plenty of reasons to be positive and I still think if we get a bit of luck with injuries that it will take a very good team to knock us out.
    The glass is half full.

  48. @corick Bridge haha thanks .. cheer leader I laughed at that one! Ah just like to try and be optimistic better then being pessimistic:p haha

  49. I don’t believe the current management have got any real criticism on here but people are entitled to question certain aspects of play and positioning.John o Mahoney John maughan James Horan and Stephen Rochford have all got us close but for various reasons we didn’t get over the line.Kevin mcstay and his management team will be judged at the end of their tenure.I was desperate for mcstay to get the job back in 2014 and I believe he is the right man for the job but that doesn’t mean that what we witnessed against Louth wasn’t very worrying and everyone must pretend we didn’t see it

  50. Logic dictates that we should win on Sunday.
    We have a better squad, playing in recent years a Division above Cork, and their capabilities have shown no evidence that they can rise to doing to Kerry what we did in the past month.
    However, it will be tougher than most think.
    The Teddy McCarthy factor will be used to galvanise their dressing room and logic then gets challenged.
    The biggest factor that will see us over the line may well be the poor performance against Louth and the way the players and tactics respond to that.
    Mayo by five plus in the end, and on to the QF, where the whole thing ratchets up a few notches.

  51. The rebels have a proud record in football. Underestimate them at your peril. They will be hard to beat and are improving. However our fate is in our own hands. If the lads are allowed to play to their full potential they should win. But they must take their goal opportunities when presented. Total concentration for the full duration of the match also required. Mayo by six.

  52. 1985. Thank you. I’m following mayo since the late seventies. Seen alot of manager s come and go. There’s a big difference between negatively. Positivity and Reality. I believe this team is very capable of going a long way if we get small things right. We didn’t the last day but I’m hoping for a big turn around. No statements needed just a win playing proper football. The mayo way as Kevin eluded to when he got the job.

  53. 1985, similarly in the Roscommon game, which McStay was building up as the key game at the start of the year.
    We were well out foxed that day as well by Davy Burke.
    The speed of Changes being made and ability to adapt quickly on the fly is an area I’ll be hoping to see improved over next two rounds.

  54. I’m not writing off cork either they are good team but just have confidence in our team that we are the better side and should do the job. If we don’t well then we will face tougher competition later on and if we can’t beat cork well ..

    Cork are also inconsistent in their performances a bit like us in a way I guess! They were poor against clare but then raised their game for kerry they always raise their game for kerry as they are close rivals bit like mayo/Galway. They won’t see us the same way at all so be interesting to see which cork and which mayo will turn up ..ha

    @mind the house thanks ha! : )

    Mayo still by 5 or 6 .

  55. I’ve often said it wait till the end of the season b4 judging management. Comments can look very silly in hindsight. Plenty of managers in different codes get things wrong during the season and still come out smelling of roses. Jack o Connor. Cody, pep, ferguson all had bad days at the office but it didn’t make them bad managers.

  56. This game is to all intents and purposes a preliminary QF . All be it with a second chance. Win this one and we don’t need to play the other. This must be the mindset of the players on Sunday. Lose the game and nobody will even remember we beat Kerry. We need to go at them hard and get two weeks to prepare for the next one.

  57. That can be very true no doubt, main thing if making comments is to make it on evidence and sound observations.
    We have an extremely experienced management team, and one heavily resourced and financed with a team as they said themselves not being rebuilt.
    I be quite surprised if we do not make final 4. We’ve a very strong panel of players, and no stand out opposition like Dublin team of past years.

  58. I said it before Management must still have a trick or two up there sleeve. Also last chance for players to cement a place in the match day 26 before knock out football begins. I expect Mayo to be nicely primed for this one.

  59. Tommy D, hopefully. Practically all games to date including the “behind closed doors” games have shown very little variation in selection or strategy bar the dead rubber Monaghan game. And to an extent Louth game where precautions taken with one or two key players.
    But I think most people here could name their take on starting team for knock out rounds and would probably have it nearly spot on.

  60. Its hard to judge Cork they missed some scores against Kerry but created lots of chances. I expect Mayo to win by 3-5 points but ye might be in a battle if Cork bring the shooting boots.

  61. Ya I would echo some of the concerns after the Louth game. We looked a bit off it and dare I say clueless at times to beat the blanket. Similar to Roscommon. As they say, “styles make fights”. And it’s abundantly clear that we struggle with blankets.

    But if there is anyone who has something up the sleeve, it’s Rochford (going off previous tactical moves in big games). So I would be hoping we have something in the locker if the time comes.

    Cork will prove a difficult task if we are complacent. If we play well, we should win with plenty to spare. Topping the group is vital

  62. We’ve never beaten Cork with plenty to spare, and I don’t see that changing on Sunday.
    They ran Kerry close and but for the penalty and black card, who knows….
    We were in our pomp in 2017, albeit always scraped through qualifiers, and Cork brought us to ET, and probably should have beaten us.
    I’d be happy enough with 2-3 point win and into quarters.

  63. Cork always seem to lift it against us .as I said I believe they think they should be beating mayo.we will need an improvement in our ball winning ability in midfield.Ian McGuire would still be a good midfielder for them.I wouldn’t be overly confident but we should be good enough to get the points

  64. @No doubt agree with regards management not to judge till after season sure I still remember everyone laughing mostly outside of mayo when mcstay was appointment manager and some inside mayo . Don’t think many are laughing now .

    Mcstay& co are 1 of the best management in the country surely they can come up with a plan to stop the blanket I’m sure they will as they know more teams will try it against us now.

    Yes it was a bad display against louth and I think we were ambushed a little and that but lessons learnt and time to move on .

    Seriously don’t get the whole cork will make it difficult for us though.. maybe its passed defeats to them it must be.

    hmm good team but division 2 team for the last few years or so anyway I’ll stop as I sound like a broken record :p haha looking forward to the game should be a cracker I’d say safe travels to all!

  65. After two rounds, Mayo have four points, Kerry and Cork have two points each, and Louth are pointless.

    Table-toppers Mayo can claim a direct route to the quarter-final if they defeat or draw with Cork. If Mayo beat Cork and Kerry beat Louth, then Kerry will have a home preliminary quarter-final tie, Cork will have an away preliminary quarter-final tie and Louth are eliminated from the championship.

    If Cork beat Mayo, then where they and everyone else in this group ends up in the final rankings will depend on the Kerry v Louth match.

    If Cork beat Mayo and Kerry beat Louth, then Cork, Mayo, and Kerry will all finish on four points each and will be ranked by scoring difference. Mayo currently have the edge there with a scoring difference of +6, though Mayo (0) and Kerry (-3) are well within reach of them.

    If Mayo beat Cork and Louth beat Kerry, then Louth, Cork, and Kerry will all finish on two points and would be separated by scoring difference. Louth and Kerry are both on -3 so a win for Louth there would see them at least sit above Kerry in the table and be guaranteed of a home or away preliminary quarter-final.

    In that scenario, it would all come down to the margin of victory for Mayo and Louth to determine whether Cork or Kerry would be eliminated from the championship.

    Finally, if Louth beat Kerry and Cork beat Mayo, then Cork and Mayo would both have four points but Cork would be table-toppers based on the head to head rule. Louth and Kerry would both have two points but Louth would claim third spot on the head to head rule and Kerry would be out of the championship.

  66. Clare I don’t really know how Clare ambushed us .the world and his mother knew they would set up like that.what else were they going to do

  67. Ambushed probably the wrong word course they knew but we had no response really I what i meant.

  68. Jesus I am losing my mind i meant Louth but if our management knew Louth were going to set up like that why didn’t they have a plan or one against Roscommon who we knew would also set up like that.Maybe it’s all part of the master plan or at least I hope so

  69. Ya they are still available, willie joe if you could share my email address with amc that would be great. Or i can email you my phone number? Thanks

  70. It’s a nice thought Clare, but plans not tested are a very dodgy foundation to rest a final on.
    Beating blanket likely requires moving at speed from deep with support runners on loop/off shoulder or being able kick the ball over bar from around 45.
    No need to hide from our opponents our ability to kick the ball over bar 🙂

  71. Brian/amc – I’ll mail you both now to put you in touch.

    James – those tickets are now gone but getting tickets will be the least of anyone’s problems for this game!

  72. @Gizmobobs ah I know was being hopeful haha! So hard I was there to myself even how do you beat that ? … I’m sure mcstay & Rochford are going over it &over it I think Rohford is a dark horse sure didn’t he bring us soo close before..

    Agree honestly we shouldn’t be fearing cork don’t take them for granted for sure but shouldn’t be fearing them..don’t think anyone would want to face mayo in a knock out (not that is a knock out but its a must win for us) .. not being over confident just the facts :p ha

    Hope it’s a good game either way with no injuries either team!

  73. On Sunday it might just be Sam Callinan but hopefully, some day, we’ll have an entire team who never experienced defeat to this lot.

    95 years is a long time. I doubt I’ll be around to see it but fingers crossed we’ll reverse that stat with interest

  74. I voted for a win with the following logic.
    1) McStay is going for every game and for consistency bar the Monaghan one which was irrelevant and used to give fellas a chance to play.
    2) He also recognises the importance of the direct route.
    3) Cork are mid division 2 and we are division 1 with good momentum having won the league.

    Regarding Cork, there is no chance of them setting up to play a preliminary QF the following week, they will try and top the group and get the week’s rest. Kerry are not as good as last year and Cork ran them close but consistency has to be a factor, Clare beat them who have since lost by 5 to a struggling Donegal team.

    If we bring our A game or close, we win. If we get at least 2 goals we win. If Cork park the bus we struggle to win but will probably have enough to dig it out. I’d qualify this a bit by saying if Diarmuid misses the game it gives Cork a better chance but on the flip side we could bring in Cillian and drop James Carr back to wing forward. Also if Paddy Durcan plays the whole game it’s worth a few points to us.

  75. I wouldn’t be getting too upset about the favourites thing.
    I’d have Dublin marginal favourites (but holding fire a bit until their group completes and also as I think they have the weakest of the contending teams managers) with Galway, then us, then Kerry who are still not firing often enough and overly reliant on Clifford. If we played Kerry a 2nd time I think we’d beat them again, not as easily but by 2 or 3. Derry are quite close too and Tyrone could get back in the mix. Armagh possibly lack the killer instinct but could take out any of the others on their day. Roscommon probably have more bottle than Armagh. There’s nothing in it between ourselves and Galway but they have Walsh and Comer probably both in and around their peak age. I’d give them a 55% chance of beating us and Dublin maybe a 60% chance. But lots of ball to be played yet and with a full panel available we are very much in the mix. A win at the weekend cements our chances.

  76. If not focussed and ruthless going into this game, we will lose.
    Cork want a win and are completely capable of making things hard.
    If we are focussed with a right plan we can win. That’s the result I went for.

  77. Even if we do lose it’s very possible we’ll still top the group. Say we lose by 2, that would still leave us with +4 difference. Cork would be +2, meaning Kerry (assuming they win) would need to overturn a -7 point deficit to knock us off top spot.

    On second thought, a win or draw might actually be the safer option

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