Checking on the Kingdom

Photo: Irish Independent (Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)

It’s another day closer to our All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry and so time to look in a bit more detail at what Sunday’s opponents have been getting up to over the last while.

While this is our seventh semi-final appearance in succession for Kerry it’s their fifth on the trot. Back in 2012 Donegal took them out in the quarters on their way to claiming Sam that September. Since then the Green and Gold were beaten by Dublin in the 2013 semi-final, won the All-Ireland in 2014, lost the final to Dublin in 2015 and lost again to Dublin last year, this time in the semi-final.

Kerry remain the only county to make it to at least the All-Ireland quarter-final stage every year since the current structure was put in place in 2001. While they never managed to come out on top in the championship against Tyrone in the first decade of the new century and have been fairly comprehensively eclipsed by Dublin this decade, they remain one of the most consistent and hardest to beat counties in the country. Their 37 All-Ireland titles confirm this.

Last August, Kerry came close to toppling Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final but the champions, via late points from O’Gara and Connolly, eventually wriggled clear to win by two. That semi-final defeat saw Kerry legends Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O’Mahony and Colm Cooper make their final championship appearances.

We saw early evidence this year of how Eamonn Fitzmaurice was planning to refresh his panel. New faces such as Jack Barry and Jack Savage did well for them in that League meeting down in Tralee in February and it’s no surprise to see Barry nail down a midfield place alongside David Moran in Kerry’s first fifteen this summer. Another newcomer, Kevin McCarthy, didn’t play that evening in Austin Stack Park but he has since established himself on the first fifteen.

But it’s not all change down South, far from it in fact. Indeed, if you compare the list of Kerry players who were involved in Limerick in 2014 with the current panel it’s basically most of the same lads. By my reckoning, 19 of the 24 players Kerry fielded that evening are still there – the exceptions being Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O’Mahony, Pa Kilkenny, Kieran O’Leary and Declan O’Sullivan (as well as Gooch, who was an unused sub at the Gaelic Grounds).  Incidentally, we’ve roughly the same number of survivors from then as well.

Turning to how Kerry have got on this year, they’ve obviously been motoring well. After an up-and-down Division One campaign that saw them finish level on eight points with three other counties, ourselves included, scoring difference unexpectedly propelled them into second place in the table and into the final against Dublin.

They made the most of this development too, finally ending the Dubs long unbeaten record and recording a first win over them at Croke Park in quite a while, in the process garnering their first League title since 2009. Quite a nice day’s work.

Since then they’ve only played three times in the championship. Curiously, this summer we’ve also met all three counties they’ve beaten on their way to this year’s All-Ireland semi-final.

First up for them were Clare, with that meeting – like our Round 3A qualifier – taking place in Ennis. Kerry lost Donnchadh Walsh to a second yellow before the break that June day and they needed the injection of class off the bench from James O’Donoghue to see them home on a 1-18 to 1-12 scoreline.

We bettered that six-point margin of victory by a point when we met the Banner lads in the qualifiers the following month. How we fared in our games against Cork and Galway, however, was in marked contrast to the no-nonsense manner in which Kerry swatted both of them aside.

Cork were particularly abject in the Munster final, where Kerry didn’t really have to raise any kind of serious gallop in winning by 1-23 to 0-15. Galway and their lovely forwards ran at the Kingdom in Croke Park in the quarters and they should have done better in the process but the Munster champions were never in any danger of losing that one either, eventually emerging victorious on a scoreline of 1-18 to 0-13.

So, Kerry already have in the bank a League title and three routine championship wins from three outings this year. Little wonder, then, that this serene form sees them installed as 1/2 favourites to prevail on Sunday against a side that has already lost once and came damn close to losing again on three separate occasions in this campaign.

But, as they say, past performance is no guarantee of future success. Our battle-hardened troops will take the field on Sunday against the game’s aristocrats in fine fettle and with every confidence in their ability to get the job done. Let’s, then, finish with a poll on how you think this compelling showdown will go.

Will we conquer the Kingdom?

  • Yes (75%, 845 Votes)
  • No (25%, 281 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,126

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61 thoughts on “Checking on the Kingdom

  1. At this moment in time 83 per cent of voters think Mayo will beat Kerry. Now thats some vote of confidence in a team who lost to Galway, drew with Derry, Cork and Roscommon and only put one really decent performance in this Summer. I sure hope such confidence is justified and that we wont be tearing team and management to bits here after Sunday. Think I will pay Paddy Power a visit

  2. With the way we are playing, you should have included a draw in the vote section!!!

  3. A draw is no good to Mayo against this opposition. We have to take them out on the first day. This is always the case when we play Kerry or Dublin. Look at the history.

  4. I voted with my heart…I suspect many others did. I just can’t back against Mayo…I would eben back us in a basketball game against the Harlem Globetrotters.

  5. We started quite poor in both games in 2014. We got into the replay in quicker fashion though and actually went 7 up at one stage until that donaghy lay off to JOD which still gives me the horrors

    I don’t think we can afford any slow start Sunday or dare I say the game could even be out of sight by HT.

    Looking at it at a real basic level, Kerry look better than 2014 while we look worse. I think in a way though we might be better suited to playing the big teams now if the two finals last year are anything to go by. We are that bit more experienced now and more composed

    In all honesty though I think we’ll need to hit complete lights out and perhaps even need a bit of luck on the way to win this. i can’t honestly see us keeping out the 3 boys all game, and I’m worried about midfield and our kickouts.

    I think we’re playing them a round too late to hope for an upset

    Our best hope is to start high octane grab an early goal or two and rattle them

    I’ll assume we’ll continue our form from the roscommon replay. If not we’ll lose by north of 10.

    I think it’ll come down to a few key moments and objectively id back their lads to get scores easier and make less errors.

  6. From the papers today i.e. News & People looks like Harrison v Geaney Barrett v O Donoghue,Vaughan v Donaghy and Keegan v Walsh with Higgins and Boyle sweeping,I think that sounds right

  7. What about Kerry putting donaghy midfield …….Fitzmaurice is going to spring some suprise . He would hardly start him from the bench would he …..

  8. If Donaghy is playing, he will be at midfield for the throw in and will contest any hop ball with Aidan.

  9. I just don’t see why the odds are so much against us. Man for man we’re as good if not better than Kerry. This Kerry team were blessed to win an all-Ireland in 14 and have done nothing since to say they’re getting better. They have putting so much emphasis on winning a league – imagine if Mayo had won the league Spillane and co would be tut tuting at how insignificant it is (and it is!). Mayo need to attack Kerry and not show them too much respect. This Kerry team is built on their army of pundits building them up, they’re an average team, I’m confident we’ll take them on Sunday!

  10. We should not fear Kerry if you look at our defense who from Kerry would make it,and in AOS,COC Jason andDoc we have as good as they have,I believe that we will win by at least six to reach a final which we can win,we have heard all year just look at our next game but I think our team and management are not looking at this game ,their focus will have been on the final,and rightly so they know that they are as good as anyone and this nonsense about cute and rough Kerry men means nothing to them they are well able to dish it out as well,come Sunday evening I am sure we will have people saying that Kerry was not that good and we will have to improve for the final, but we can only beat what is in front of us up Mayo

  11. The only team Kerry fear is Dublin and rightly so. They just cannot beat them at the moment…and thIs has been the case since 2011. They (Kerry) won the league final by a point (very lucky to do so as Dublin, missing several key players) took control in the last ten minutes.

    Anyway, Kerry defence is s..t poor. Mayo need to score two or three goals to win this game. I feel we will score a couple ok. Their forwards generally score more than ours’ ….same for Dublin….they have better forwards.

    I doubt Donaghy will start…He will be sprung in second half. No chance of Donaghy playing in mid-field. Too old to last the pace. He does a lot more damage in close to goal…looking for penalties and trying to dominate the backs. He doesn’t dominate Philly McMahon or James McCarthy. They always sort Donaghy out.

    Up Mayooo…

  12. Following the usual Saturday game of golf, fifteen of us while sipping a pint in the club house got involved in a discussion regarding the outcome of our match with Kerry. As I live in Dublin there was obviously a great cross section of Counties represented in the discussion, from Donegal to Wexford and much in-between. Following the slagging that usually centres around Mayo football, I eventually got them around to forecasting the outcome of the match, the result of my little poll was 9 to 6 in favour of Kerry – this I felt was a fair reflection of where we stand in the GAA world right now. But when I look at the poll above I see it’s 78% – 22% in favour of our lads, so either my fellas with drink on board are out of step with Mayo football, or a lot of guys on this blog just vote with their heart 🙂

  13. Some serious optimism on here. No offense here corick bridge, but to say “our team and management are not looking at this game, their focus will be on the final” is absolutely ridiculous. We haven’t beaten them in 21 years, and by some posts on here they’ve magically turned into the Outter Mongolia under 12’s. I just hope the massive confidence on here won’t turn into a massive over reaction, if we’re the wrong side of the result Sunday. Jesus Christ lads Maurice Deegan is reffing it, Maurice FECKIN Deggan……

  14. Well, corick bridge ….. that is music to the ears!! Positive, hard, patient ,composed, ruthless, accurate,respectful, creative, brave, cute, committed determined,disciplined, honest and humble ….one for each position on the field. We will measure up, let’s not fear.

  15. North Korea has threatened to fire missiles towards Guam
    One thing is for certain,and that is kerry will launch missiles towards the Mayo goal in Croke Park on Sunday
    Rochfords side will be on red alert
    They know what’s is coming down the tracks in the first quarter
    Kerry can mix it up and have more aces up their sleeves in the form of paul greaney and James o donoghue who will
    Feed off donaghy
    They will be lethal once Kerry are in the groove
    Jonny Buckley is another baby face assassin whose ability goes unnoticed
    When the Galway forwards ran at the Kerry backs they caused them some anxious moments
    Galway created at least three goal chances but didn’t take them.
    If Mayo can create similar chances
    They will unlikely miss them
    Kerry will be favourites to win
    But I have a feeling that Mayo will upset the form book and win by a few points

  16. Nearly there now ye must be bursting to get on the road. As ye said Galway with our lovely forwards couldnt beat Kerry but if they had taken the goal chances it would have been an interesting match. I said we needed 3 goals against the kingdom as they had put up 23,24,23 against us in previous three meetings. In 2017 final score was 1-18 to our 13 so indeed the three goals were needed.
    In their last four meetings with Mayo the kingdon have put up 27,23,19,25 against Mayos 14,14,19,22 so I think ye will need the three goals Galway failed to get and kick 15 points and ye will go close to taking Kerry out. I worked out yer average to date as 22 (20,14,27,20,27,15,31) which probably wont be enough so it will take a big performance from Mayo. Incidently Kerry have to date kicked 21,24,21 in this years championship.
    Sorry if the stats are crap but I thought it was interesting.

  17. Kerry are favourites to win on the basis of their form, their league final victory and impressive record over us. 21 years is a long time without a win and I feel (without any real scientific evidence) that we will do it on Sunday. A Kerry friend of mine accused me of being a ‘cute Mayo hoor’ when I suggested to him that my hope is that ‘we give them a bit of a test before they meet Dublin in the final!’ My sense is that Kerry are very wary of us. We have lots of lads with a winning mentality and Kerry know full well that any slip by them will be punished. Add in the extra pressure of being favourites on their shoulders, the obvious hunger of this Mayo team, Jack Barry’s inexperience, the lack of any intensity in Kerry’s previous games, a pinch of luck and we could be preparing for September again. Revenge is dish best served cold and I think Kerry will have the shivers all the way back to Tralee after this one! Up Mayo!

  18. Look everybody, don’t get complacent-.. Psychologically Kerry will have it to a tee…. Mayo have to expect that Kerry will be close to their best…. I’m 100% certain that Kerry will be just that… What will stop Kerry is being better than them,.. Easy said but a very different and difficult task to achieve …. However, Our best will be good enough,… Mayo have been Jeckle and Hyde…. But August and September is what we have been preparing for, Kerry is what we have been preparing and Mayo is most definitely what Kerry have been preparing for this August…. Let the battle commence, Gladiators from both sides will give everything on the pitch for their county.. Mayo fan’s will be their usual colourful and loud best fan’s in the country….. The team won’t be as colourful (Black and Red), but let’s hope they are one’s celebrating at the final whistle – and Kerry will be blue (Oh So Blue)…….. FINGERS CROSSED!

  19. Reamonn. Our average is lower when you consider 2 games had extra time and the Roscommon replay was an outlier.

  20. Scoring averages and all that stuff is very interesting in the lead up to games but are of scant relevance on the day. Every game takes on a life of its own – who would have thought Dublin would only score 4 points against us (excluding the 2 own goals) after a half an hour in the All-Ireland final? The real data (which we don’t get) is average distance covered, number of possessions, turnovers, scoring chances, high balls won etc. If you can get each player to raise their performance levels a few percentage points anything is possible. Just sayin!

  21. Aidan O’Mahony – “In other counties, you might have people telling you how well you did, but for us it’s all about expectancy. That’s why it could be a 60-year famine for someone like Mayo but still we feel the need that bit more.”

    The. Fucking. Arrogance.
    Oh, I’d love to beat them.

  22. Yes I was thinking of those games as outliers but I left it. Of course its just interesting and meaningless for Sundays game but perhaps when we look back on Monday we will see Kerry scored in the mid-twenties, if its lower I would expect a Mayo win. I stand by my belief ye will need goals and Galways video has surely been watched many times by Rochford. I wish we could see all those turnover stats etc it would be brilliant. There is a journalist down in Tipp that does them for the hurling and it makes fascinating reading. I understand the inter-county teams have those stats themselves obviously but it would be interesting to see them.

  23. A comment above about Kerry maybe being under pressure as favourites has got me thinking when was the last time they actually lost a knockout match as favourites?

    I’m nearly certain Donegal were marginal favourites in 12. Surely dublin were slight favourites in 2011 given the fanfare around a first final in 16 years? So Down 2010? Some going to be fair! Especially for a team that’s apparently “mediocre”

  24. David Brady said that Mayo should play Aido at full back to mark donaghy. Given he already said this year that Kildare would beat Dublin and Galway would beat Kerry, let’s hope it’s three foolish predictions in a row from DB. Great player, but the less said about his punditry the better.

  25. The Kerry defence are strong don’t let anyone fool you and they’ll target Andy in particular. He had been our ‘go-to’ guy all league and championship. Our main outlet. After the game in Tralee Kerry will be well warned so Mayo need to be clever in how they attack.

    And while speaking of defences, yeah sure we have great individual players but seriously, our defence as awhile this year has been porous and disorganised when not in possession. Cut open by Derry. Cut open in the 1st half by Clare, cut open by cork, cut open 1st 15mins v ros. The latter didn’t show up for the replay. We had a superb defence last September, but so far this year in league(remember how many man of the match awards Clarkey won!) and championship we’ve been very average.

    On Sunday we’ll face the most potent attack we’ve encountered since last years final. Some might say they’re better than Dublins. I can’t see us scroing more than a total of 16 points on Sunday so Mayo’s defence needs to be right, not for one half or for 60 mins. We need a 77 minute solid, organised, and focused defensive display. This is crucial if Mayo are to prevail. And we need parsons and Seamie to have big games too.

    It’s gonna be tough. Do-able but a big step up from the form we’ve showed to date this season.

  26. Hi there. Just wondering if you know otherwise,but in this weeks Mayo News, BJ Padden mentions that Donie+Lee are “one black card away from missing Mayo’s next game”. I was certain that black card accumulations no longer count going into a final. But maybe I’m wrong. Thanks for your time.

  27. I’ve given up predicting Mayo games but think their best chance is a low scoring encounter. Getting into a shootout with Kerry will not end well in my view.

  28. I like predicting the scores so here it goes

    Mayo 3 14
    Kerry 2 16

    Mayo to win a hard game and rochford to be commended for his tactic which made a couple of Kerry stars less of an influence than was expected.

  29. @ Stephen Cowley – I think you’re right to be honest. I read an article on the black card last month saying the same.

  30. Rochford’s Brigade, I couldn’t agree more. I could understand O’Mahoney actually having such a highly vaunted opinion of himself and his tribe but I found it hard to believe that it would be committed to print. Mayo are a lesser people, in O’Mahoney’s view. They should dine at a lower table. Kerry need to win the final more than Mayo need to win the semi-final is a fair extrapolation of his contribution. After all that the red and green have contributed over the years to the All-Ireland Series and after all the heart-ache of the last seven years? I certainly hope that his utterances are used against him and his County to good effect.

  31. Alot of people saying Kerry are past it, not as good as they were etc etc. The truth is no one really knows what shape Kerry are in. The All Ireland race starts for Kerry on Sunday. Like Mayo they have tailored there preparations to peak in late August especially as they know they can walk through Munster with little trouble, you simply cant judge Kerry on league or munster performance. Kerry will be ready and flying from the throw in, anyone who thinks different hasnt been watching Kerry football for the past few decades, its all about performing in Croke Park for them.

    Mayo will need to move up another couple of gears on the last days performance to get the result, we wont run through them like we did against Ros, a variation in tactics will be required to open them up.

    Also, talk of Leeroy marking Moran is ridiculous, Moran would destroy him in the air, there is a good 6-7 inch difference in height. Especially with the mark this would be handing Kerry primary possession. Lee may well operate around the middle but he wont be picking up Moran.

  32. I think somewhere between 1-14 and 1-17 could win it. Kerry have good scoring average but our backs tend to be very good come Croker. From our bad Ros start to end of replay they were very good against a pretty good forward line albeit that opposition’s overall team wasn’t strong.
    I voted with heart but think it could be very close indeed. Like Mayo’s odds v Cork seeming generous I think the same for Kerry’s odds in this one. 1-15 I think Mayo are stronger but Kerry FF line is dangerous and Moran is a top midfielder. Also Maher could give them something so Mayo should be bringing on fresh legs e.g. Coen if Maher appears in 2nd. Donaghy will start because he helps them click and we can expect him to last about 50.

  33. Midfield could be very crowded with Donaghy drifting out if not enough going his way and his Mayo marker following and maybe Aido in there too. Might for that reason be smarter to leave Lee on the wing where he can do more damage.

  34. As for the being a game too late couldn’t disagree more. With one week turnaround Kerry would have beaten us. Now we could have done without the Ros replay but it actually did us a favour in building team’s confidence. Would rather Kerry take us 100% seriously and beat them anyway than sneak into an AI final under the radar.

  35. Can anyone tell me where can i get tickets and is there concessions for Pensioners?

  36. In Listowel on Monday night. They had a preview of the match on local radio. They spoke to John O Mahony and said Mayo would be favourites following their great win in the QF. John O said we would be travelling in great numbers more in hope than anything else. They also feel if they perform like the did in the league final or Munster final with quick kick passes, they will win!

  37. A lot of good points mayo mad.similarly Donie v donnaghy is a mismatch when it comes to Fielding. Parsons only mayo player would compete with donnaghy in the air. Hopefully management will be monitoring Donnaghy closely and have their plan B and not delay executing it. Donnaghy rather lazy player nowadays who hangs around the danger zone

    Don’t know if midfield is so much a Fielding exercise any more outside of set pieces like kickouts. Certainly a small man can be effective at midfield and Lee offers great mobility

  38. I think it Mayo will find it almost impossible to win this game and the main reason is they are playing without any ‘natural’ forwards. Their ‘running game’ has serious limitations against teams like Kerry with good forwards, good midfield and average backs. Andy Moran doesn’t qualify as a natural as although he wins ball out in front and makes good runs he rarely if ever takes on his man one on one. Neither does Cillian O Connor who in any case is too slow. Natural forwards would include Regan, Loftus, Reape, Douglas however these players have not been brought along these last two years or given enough game time for other players to alter their playing style to get the most benefit from playing natural forwards. Think of any really good team over the years and each would have had at least 2 natural forwards. Having said that if the manager starts either Loftus or Regan with the instruction to play near Aiden O Shea for easy offloads then they could do damage. Aiden O Shea needs to do nothing else except straight running hard with the ball towards the opposition goals.

  39. James – tickets are available online (here) but you can also get them at your local Centra or SuperValu. As far as I know, you have to pay the full price (€45) and then claim the €10 concession at the gate on the day. That link above explains more about this – concessions can only be claimed on Cusack and Davin stand tickets and you have to go to a specific gate with the appropriate ID to claim it.

  40. Taming Donnaghy is one concern. The bench is the other. Players to come off the bench in the last quarter to win the game for one team or another. The truth is we know little about our bench but not to say they could be major influence. It’s only reasonable to expect our forwards will be sharper in front of goal and Kerry backs no more than average.
    Desperate weather forecast for Sunday wet wet wet…

  41. I thought ‘natural forwards’ got scores! I admit that some of Cillian’s performances have been erratic so far this championship but his numbers stack up with the best of them. As for the other lads like Regan etc you only get so many chances to prove yourself at this level. Wayward finishing and taking wrong options wont do when the fat is in the fire. Rochford at al. sees these boys in training etc and picks them on merit. I agree that we could do with more consistent menacing scorers coming through but so does every county (bar Dublin and Kerry). Fire and Fury needed for Kerry on Sunday and not just in attack.

  42. One of the reasons I feel 2014 is relevant is the lack of actual matches between these two teams in recent years. Since the beginning of the Horan era we’ve only played them twice in Championship (’11 and ’14 – three gmaes counting the replay). Contrast that to Dublin, four meetings (’12, ’13, ’15, ’16) and six games. And I wouldn’t put much relevance on the ’11 semi-final as it was the first yr in the cycle, with us in bonus territory and Kerry certainly a better team at the time.

    So which team is better or worse than 2014? I actually think nether have moved that far from that point. We’ve lost a bit of legs perhaps but gained experience and a couple of decent younger players (Durcan, DOC, Loftus, Harrison). Overall I think our backs are better than ’14, midfield and running game a bit worse and forwards have the potential to be better. Kerry I think were on a slight down-slope then with old warriors like O’Sé, O’Mahony, Gooch etc. on the last few laps. But they are beginning to get that fresh infusion of talent through. In 2018-2020 they will be AI favorites. Now is the time to take them while their defenders aren’t great and their younger defenders haven’t gained the cuteness, with no O’Sé or O’Mahony off the bench to help them out. I do think their MF has improved and they have the best FF line in the country if they all hit form.

    Think back to ’14. We should have beaten them. It still hurts. If Keegan hadn’t got sent-off in the drawn game, if Donaghy hadn’t landed at that juncture, if a switch had been made. The replay, if that game was played again 10 times things couldn’t have gone as badly for us. They should have had a corner back gone after 20 mins, Aido and Cillian taking each other out of it and the ref, Christ the ref.

    We should have beaten them then, I don’t think the relevant merits of the teams have changed much. If we break even in midfield and avoid getting completely rode by Deegan I think we’ll do it.

    My biggest worry isn’t Donaghy – I think you can plan for him – it’s Moran. He’s what makes them tick, provides them with primary possession, blocks up MF and is a great distributor. Personally I don’t think any of our MFs match him. For that reason I’d drop J Doc or DOC for Keegan. Have Keegan play as a 3rd MF around Moran and let him win breaking ball and burst forward. Prevent them winning clean ball and get their MFs on the back foot.

  43. @kevmy I think overall both teams are slightly better than 2014.
    As I look at the players and go back through the years. The fitness and form seems to be improving steadily.
    It’s just so are the opposition.
    Mayo 2017 would beat Mayo 2012 (too much teamwork/fitness).
    Dublin 2017 would wallop Dublin 2012 (far too much forward talent)
    Tyrone 2017 would wallop Tyrone 2012 (no comparison in talent/fitness)
    Kerry 2017 would wallop Kerry 2012 (Kerry were a long way down fitness wise in those days)
    Now team and player form is like the weather, but in that five year timeline the overall trend is improvement on a player and team basis.
    For us the addition of Brendan Harrison starting, Diarmuid OConnor and Patrick Durcan has really strengthened up the depth of the team.
    The brains of Cillian and Andy are being used much more effectively nowadays in my view as providers who can also score.

  44. Different View ……

    The game is not all about your inside line …
    Kerry play three up top, Dublin two up top, Mayo two up and Tyrone One up.
    It’s all about making best use of what you have.
    Mayo have three verdict decent inside forward …. Cillian, Andy & Conor Loftus.

    Kerry have the weakest half forwards & half backs…. but the BEST midfield options. .. easily the best of the four reaming teams.

    To beat kerry …. you must put their midfield on the back foot and drive forward hard and often through your half backs and half forwards.
    This will diminish the influence of there full forward line. I believe if Mayo squeeze the middle eight this will give mayo a great foundation for the game on Sunday.

    This game WILL be won between the two 45′ not on the inside lines. Get on top here and play from there.

  45. Not a whole pile between both sides before the match so maybe let’s look elsewhere. Attitude and discipline, Salthill for example, attitude brilliant, p. a. man going mental with Mayo who refused to walk behind the band until they were ready, more important things on their minds etc, discipline not so good, Keith checking the Galway man’s cough in plain sight of the ref. Very important we show Kerry no respect on Sunday, this is our patch, piss off home and go back to telling stories or whatever ye do. Get in their faces like Tyrone. If we can stay on the fine line between attitude and discipline who knows where it might take us.

  46. @RiseAgain – You’re absolutely right. They also use that space to launch quick long ball into the inside line. Squeezing here will limit that type of ball or at least give time to put in cover.

    I suspect Kerry will use the same attack template but just with different personal and try to orchestrate mismatchs e.g. Barrett on Geaney and send high ball (if that happens during the game).

  47. AMayoFan ..
    Barrett will go with O’Donoughe, Harry with Geaney … This is in Mayos gift not Kerry.

    Really looking forward to Harry v Geaney.
    Top forward v best corner back playing. Great test for Harrison.

  48. Does anyone think there is far too much hype around what we will do with Donaghy (even the lads in Kerry are saying it). Id be very surprised if he is the winning of this match for them, the talented wing forwards are far more dangerous. I think this is sometimes Mayo’s issue – we seem to look at the opposition and see what we have to change to beat them. Implement our own game plan, let them be the ones that need to change!

  49. Mayomanindublin …..
    I’m sure kerry bloggers are having same discussion regarding AoS, and the power running game mayo pocession.

  50. ” It was a stroke of bold genius by the Kerry manager Jack O”Connor once again to present the Mayo team with their worst nightmares as soon as the cheering from the national anthem haf finished .High, looming balls were rained down on the Mayo full back line ” Keith Duggan recalling 2006 final.More of the same tactics for Sunday I wonder …..

  51. Yes but Donaghy feeds the boys around him Donaghy a thorn in our side in past and big player on Sunday. Of course Kerry would love to have us thinking he is no longer a force

  52. When was that black card rule changed ?

    Seems only three months ago or so before championship started I read an article about how connolly would be well advised to take a black in early rounds to see out his one match ban due to an accumulation of black cards.

  53. I’ve had a quick search just now and I don’t see any reference anywhere to an amnesty for black cards prior to a final. When you think about it, it’d make little sense as players would be much more willing to take a black in the dying stages of a semi-final to help get them over the line knowing that it’d have no consequences for the final. (Of course, in the hurling world there are no such concerns – the wild West continues to prevail there on the disciplinary front but that’s another story altogether).

    For info, the official line from the GAA on cards when the black card was brought in is here. We’ve all seen several examples of black cards given out for non-black card offences. The most egregious example, for me, was Lee Keegan’s in last year’s replay (a pull back, not a pull down so not black) whereas Connolly screaming in Deegan’s face waving an imaginary card at him was black (no.5 on the list). Nowt we can do about it now, I know, but that one still stings badly.

  54. In a recent Irish Times article (which I tried to link to in a comment a couple of days ago, but my post never got published), it stated that a suspension received in a semi-final as a result of 3 black cards does not apply to All-Ireland finals, and will carry over to league or championship game of the following year.

  55. Earlier this week BJ Padden wrote that Vaughan and Keegan could not afford another black card (or reading the official line as presented above, a double yellow). Is Padden accurate? Are both players in danger of missing a final should we get to it if they were to get a black or double yellow? Also heard conflicting reports about an amnesty for finals but cannot see logic in it and cannot find where this is written.

  56. Apologies for that Tubberman – I’ve no idea what happened to that comment. Any comment with a link attached to it goes automatically into moderation but I should still be able to see it and okay it. If you can find that link, please do post it again and I’ll watch out for it.

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