Considering Kerry


We’ve successfully negotiated our way through the qualifiers, encountering and overcoming far tougher opposition on the way than we had to do on previous backdoor runs. Our 2019 Championship odyssey now shifts back from straight knockout to three guaranteed outings over the next four weeks in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final group stage, aka the Super 8s.

Our first opponents in Group 1 are, of course, Kerry this coming Sunday. The tweak given to the Championship schedule this year means that provincial champions have home advantage in the first round – Phase 1 in the vernacular – which means we’re off to Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney on Sunday to take on the Kingdom in a match that throws in that afternoon at 4pm.

For all of our matches this summer I’ve given a summary of the opposition and what they’ve been up to over the past year. Because we’ve already played Kerry twice this year, however, there’s no need to cover the same back story again. Instead, all I need to do is point you towards the piece I did on Kerry before we met them in the League down in Tralee (that one is here) and the one I did ahead of the Division One final (here).

Since then, of course, we beat them in that League decider at the end of March. That day wasn’t just noteworthy for the fact that we finally managed to win a national final at Croke Park it was also the first ever time we’d beaten Kerry in such a decider. It also extended our unbeaten run over them in matches played at HQ to five.

Once our spring frolics were over we went our separate ways in the Championship. While we were forced to tramp the highways and byways of the qualifiers to get to the Super 8s they went the direct route. It’s fair to say that they didn’t really cut any kind of dash in doing so but they won Munster (again), which would have been their sole aim for this part of the summer campaign.

Their Munster semi-final opponents were Clare, who yesterday missed out on Super 8 qualification by the narrowest of margins. Meath, who edged them out, have, of course, joined Kerry, Donegal and ourselves in Group 1. Colm Collins’ team endured a torrid opening half against the Kingdom in that Munster semi-final, going in 1-9 to 0-3 in arrears. They battled hard after the break, though, closing the gap to six points at the finish, as Kerry won by 1-15 to 0-12.

Cork, seemingly rejuvenated this summer after suffering relegation to Division Three in the spring, had a right cut off Kerry in the Munster final two weeks ago. In a free-scoring encounter, Cork repeatedly carved open their opponents’ backline, plundering three goals in the process. Kerry, reduced to fourteen men for the final quarter when Paul Geaney was dismissed, were relieved to emerge from Páirc Uí Chaoimh with a 1-19 to 3-10 win.

Much of Kerry’s defensive travails right now are being linked to the loss through injury of the combative Peter Crowley who did his cruciate in a club game at the start of May. The 28-year old Laune Rangers clubman was a vital part of their defence and they looked more than a bit rickety in that sector without him in the Munster final. Mind you, I’d say they’re happy enough in the knowledge that the marauding Mattie Ruane isn’t an option for us either next Sunday.

This match is set to be a bit of a strange one for us. Having survived three do-or-die qualifier ties in successive weeks, this one – while hugely important – won’t either get us into the All-Ireland semi-final or see us knocked out of the Championship, regardless of how well or how badly it goes for us. Kerry are at an advantage in having taken part in the Super 8s last year – and have the scars to prove it – so they’re likely to have a better feel for this game and what it means in the overall scheme of things.

That said, as was pointed out on The Sunday Game last night, Kerry will be under enormous pressure to get the win on Sunday because, if they don’t, the following Sunday’s clash with Donegal will eliminate them if that one goes awry for them too. Providing we beat Meath – something we haven’t, mind you, done in the Championship since 1951 – then we’ll most likely still be in the hunt going into our Phase 3 meeting with Donegal regardless of how we fare in Killarney.

Strip it all back, though, and you come to the rather obvious conclusion that this is a match both teams will want to win. A draw is a possible outcome too, maybe even a likely one, given it’s a round-robin fixture. Kerry are warm 8/15 favourites with the bookies, but the handicap is just two points.

What do you reckon – how will this historic first-ever Championship meeting in Killarney between ourselves and Kerry go? Let’s end with a poll on that.

How will we do against Kerry?

  • Win (67%, 836 Votes)
  • Lose (20%, 256 Votes)
  • Draw (13%, 162 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,254

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111 thoughts on “Considering Kerry

  1. Sean Hurson has been named as Ref according to Midwest. He officiated when we played Clare in the qualifiers in 2017. Didn’t see that game as I was about 3.5KM above sea level on a mountain in Colorado, and I had to rely on very intermittent updates from twitter on scores.

  2. Sean is going to be under a lot of pressure this week. The Yerras commenced media operations last week and I doubt they’ll let up. No question they’re intent on setting the narrative for engagement.

  3. Great work, yet again, WJ. I honestly don’t know how or where you get the time to run this place. It’s so professionally ran that it is easy to forget you do this out of your own free will and time. You must have a Masters degree in Time Management or something because I don’t know how you do it.
    I don’t get to post as often, or as long, (thank God some might say) but I’m always looking in. Really looking forward to these next three games and seeing where they take us.
    This journey for me goes way back to 1983 with the highlight of back then being the drawn 1985 All Ireland semi final v the Dubs. I remember going to Carlow and Portlaoise struggling to win Div 3 games and reading teamsheets with 2 or 3 AN Others listed to play. We’re a long long way from that now and what has happened since 2011 has been epic. Truly epic. Life changing, really for so many people. These warriors have given us something to be proud of, to associate with and to fight for. No longer are we the laughing stock of the country pushing cars around car parks etc. No one fucks with us now.
    These warriors have kept families together and friends connected as we have driven the miles, together, from one end of the country to the other. Debated, fought, laughed and cried together.
    I have always said that whether we win the lot or not, it is now irrelevant. This journey has been life changing and I’d bet a pound to a pinch of shite that we’ve had more enjoyment than many an All Ireland winning supporter. So thanks for all your hours on this blog.
    There’s more to come, we’re not finished yet.
    Not a single backward step from here to September. We drive on, always on the frontfoot. Those fucking Dubs are ours to take down.
    Hon Mayo.

  4. What colours will both Teams line out in?… You know how superstitious some Kerry people are… Will they go for the Paul Galvin inspired Star Trek Look, like in the League Final?… What ever colour you would call that?… ‘Gold’ I heard a Kerry accent refer to it last March.. But I also heard it called something else entirely!

  5. I hope Mayo go with that Blue / green Jersey, I liked the look of it, or better still the black Jersey from 2017, there is a mean streak in that black one.
    For what it’s worth 2 of my dreams came true so far this year.
    One was a few weeks ago where I dream’t that I lost my top front teeth, sure enough, I broke my front top veneer tooth completely this day 2 week ago in France.
    The other dream occurred in the early rounds of the league, it was of 2 Mayo players accepting the Sam Maguire, and I wasn’t there to see it and didn’t believe it in my dream. Maybe this dream has already come through via the National League win.

  6. I wonder are guest blog contributor Darragh Berry and his girlfriend still speaking after us batin the herring chokers

  7. Tickets just got now. Can’t wait. Hope it’s blue and green jersey. Love it.
    Michael o’ Muireachtaigh just said on the radio the Mayo support unreal as he was in Limerick sat evening and says they’re will be more Mayo than Kerry at the game.

  8. Hi, could anyone please tell me is it first come first serve for tickets or are you assigned to a certain seat? Up mayo

  9. Kerry will be going all out for this one. They will want to put an end to the current record we have against them. They don’t respect us and don’t believe we have any business beating them, to be sure. The Kerry media boys will be in full effect this week, I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of “on message” articles and opinion pieces in the coming days.
    On the pitch, controlling midfield is going to be imperative and I’m actually concerned by this. Aidan didn’t look 100% in either the Armagh or Galway games. David Moron will be looking to keep Aidan out of the game. I’d say Kerry are only delighted Ruane is out.

  10. The one real confidence booster for me is the breadth of players we’ve used so far, young and older, much of this enforced due to injuries. The benefit being that those taking to the field and the subs coming in can look at each other and know that they’ve overcome adversity together in the last 3 matches. There must be a strong element of belief and trust as a consequence. Its all about trust within as team, and spirit within a team and we’re looking good on that front.

    Another clear positive is our kick passing which hadn’t registered with me until I saw it highlighted on the Sunday game. Clearly James’s coaching is paying dividends and hopefully the lads can sustain this.

    Kerry undoubtedly have ability and will be up for this like no other but to win they’ll have to earn it one would think. Stephen o’Brien is one to watch and I’d put Paddy on him.

  11. Big queues to buy tickets on line. Mayo v Kerry was last game where tickets were made available and there’s a waiting time of 20 -30 minutes. Reckon it could be close to sell out. Despite the distance and the fourth week in a row I bet we will travel in big numbers

  12. First come first serve on seating. Will have go down night before to be on safe side….

  13. Thanks pebblesmeller! Great post. I feel exactly the same on all points! Thanks for articulating it so well! Just 4 mins wait left for Kerry tickets:) fingers crossed…

  14. Would have a concern about midfield also, Aido not moving well compared to a few weeks ago .. possibly carrying an injury there,
    Wonder is there any official update on Tom ?

  15. To all Mayo supporters who think they will be heading to Killarney get your ticket now on or in Centea or Supervalu stores , Kerry Gaa, Kieran Donaghy, Tomas O Se and Darren O’Sullivan are sending out tweets appealing for Kerry supporters to come in big numbers to try outnumber Mayo for Sunday.

  16. It will be some occasion in Killarney. Great post Pebblesmeller! I have relations in Kerry – they gunning for us. We have to be ready on the field, sideline, in the stand/terraces. The ex players are out urging kerry fans to attend. I see a statement from James Horan thanking the supporters – I wanted to say back to him ‘we’d go anywhere to support them’!

  17. Mairead – On what radio station/Show did you hear Micheal O M..? I love listening to that man speak.

  18. This is my first contribution to the blog. I have been a fan of Willie Joe for many years now and enjoy all the wonderful insights and comments of contributors. It is also amazing to see the personalities come thru’ in all the commentary.
    My sister attended the match in Limerick ( I was unable due to work commitments). She brought her eight year old son to the match. She arrived home delighted with the win. However she did comment on the off the ball fighting that went on which included a head butt by a Galway player on a Mayo player. She had great difficulty in explaining the situation to her eight year old. She also said it would be difficult to allow her son to continue to play GAA football if these were the values being taught in our game.
    Physicality is part of the game and that is fine. Disrespecting your opponent to the point of doing injury is not. How can this happen when you have four umpires, two linesmen and a referee all supervising the game. This will destroy the game we love.

  19. Ex players are urging Kerry fans to attend, and you can be sure we’ll be hearing plenty more carefully timed thoughts from Tomas and friends over the next week.

  20. Ray Darcy this afternoon Yew tree. Took a trip from golf to Limerick. Great praise for us Mayo people.

  21. Each and every Kerry player will go through brick walls to win this one. They are hurting badly after the recent defeats and will try everything and anything to bully us and play us off the pitch. Question is can our lads replicate the sheer desire to win, intensity and game smarts as they displayed on Saturday night. It’s a big ask to get back up to that level of hunger in just 8 days – but we have the players to compete with them all the way. Hoping for a win but would settle for a draw.

  22. These cute hoors knows what it takes to win All Irelands more than anybody.So the fact there calling to get there own public out shows how much the support and noise will mean Sunday and shows that there nervous about Mayo breaking the Killarney record.Darragh O’Se was already writing about us as far back as last Wednesday and Eamon Fitzmaurice the week before.I was listening to Kieran Donaghy on Off the Ball this morning and he sounded very cautious and low key than his usual self,when asked about the game on Sunday, he highlighted that the full forward line of James Carr, Coen and Cillian will be hard stop a few times.Clifford and Sean O’Shea are the 2 men to stop for Kerry but there very suspect in defence and in Goal after that.

  23. I really hope keegan is back to mark sean O’Shea with paddy Durcan on Stephen O’brien. Barret on geaney. Harrison to mark Clifford but he’ll need help. I’m really worried about fatigue affecting our full back line. We’ve pretty much played the same 3 for all league and championship and rarely taken any of them off. I think we’ll rake up a decent score but any slip of concentration at the back and we’re in trouble. I think we’ll need to dominate possession to win this one. Stop the ball into clifford and he’ll come out the field looking for it which is what we want, him away from the goals. We need aido at 100% for this one and at his absolute best.

  24. Kerry will be up for this but by fuck so will we. They absolutely robbed us in 2014 with the significant help of cormac Reilly. It puts fire in my stomach just thinking about it so I can only imagine what it does to the players and James Horan. They might think they owe us one but we owe them plenty. They have skilful forwards that need minding but they haven’t the strength & conditioning to match our warriors and they haven’t the fans to match our fans (I know we’ll travel in large and loud numbers again). I believe we will win this game but fans and players need to be at the pitch of the game from start to finish and fans driving our lads on to the final whistle- let’s turn Killarney into a mayo fortress. This is a must win game to keep building momentum

  25. Clifford and O’shea are not the only 2 to stop from Kerry. Stephen O’Brien caused a lot of trouble in the league final and with David Moran back, they will be looking to him to push back against Aidan. He certainly has the mobility and physicality to do so. I’m hearing James O’Donoghue is expected to be fit also. They will be a stronger team than what we faced in the league final to be sure

  26. This should be a cracking game. Mattie Ruane is a huge loss for Mayo and Aido hasn’t been at full tilt recently. The positives though are the number of new faces which appear to have potential and talent and belief. Kerry will try to rattle that belief but JH has the know how to prep and instil belief. I have no doubt Kerry want to win this, to assert their superiority, to clear the recent record and put it straight. A lot, for us depends on our hunger, attitude and belief. We know we can do it and God it would be great to start this group with a win. I’d take the draw too but of course I’d rather we win. When you have the upper hand it’s important to do all you can to mantain it. Let’s hope Mayo do it on Sunday. Hope we’ll have a big support. It was impressive down in Limerick…fair play to you all. Maigheo le do thoil!!

  27. Object of the next 3 games is to get to a semi final. Beating Kerry helps but it’s not the only route. Let’s not get rattled if we lose this one. It’s a big ask and there is a massive game in David Clifford

  28. The foot passing and vision on Saturday was very impressive and is a major benefit to the team overall, when our forwards are winning their ball and they are. However, to really put this Kerry team under pressure and hurt them, I think we will also need to revert to our runners coming from deep at times, as this Kerry defence won’t be able to cope with this, they were literally chasing shadows at times in the league final when we ran at them.

  29. A tough game to start the group, no question.
    But I actually think we can get a win down there. I’d be more confident of beating Kerry away than Donegal at home to be honest.
    The advantage we have on Sunday is those 3 games under our belt, Kerry have been idle for a few weeks now. All the A v B games, challenge games and training is no comparison to the match sharpness we have.
    It may be late on in the game that this may well be a disadvantage to us, as tiredness inevitably sets in. This is where we have to use the bench wisely and freshen things up. We have a very deep squad, now is the time to use it.

  30. I think ye could be running away with yerselves lads. Kerry are going to play men behind the ball in this one. Peter Keane isn’t stupid enough to get into one in and one battles all over the pitch. Kerry played vert defensively in the early round of the leagues. It wasn’t just for the sake of it. I think its a plan we have been working on for a while. If they were coherent enough to put it on the pitch in January / Feb it surely has been worked on since.

    I know Donie Buckley has many admirers in Mayo. He was hardly in with the squad until the end of the league so would hope to see if he has an influence in our favour.

    Aidan O’Shea definitely seems to be a bit out of sorts or minding himself. I was at the game on Saturday night and Mayo have definitely learned from the past in terms off the ball holding etc. Nothing wrong with that as they were on the receiving end for long enough. It might have just been watching it live but, i thought Kevin McLaughlin seemed a bit leggy as well.

    As for the seating in Killarney. Im no great lover of the stand Fitz stadium to be honest. Seats are old bench type things. Much better view from the St Fininans terrace side. There has been some work been done on the score board ed the last while with the old concrete seats behind the goals removed so they might have to have had a health and safety check to get final capacity number before ticket could go on sale

  31. Carrs goal has got 5 million views on twitter somehow. some people commenting under the video asking what the sport actually is. but anyway. The power of social media.

  32. Would people go with a sweeper next weekend ?

    The Kerry forwards need to be kept off balance all game and at all costs. If they get in to any type of groove, we all know how lethal they can be.

  33. Stop the hype. Still not over our injuries and playing Kerry at home they rightly so should be favorites. Our lads will be up for it though no doubt.

  34. And the Mayo train continues to roll on…..we’re like one of those freight trains you see trundling along the tracks in the middle of the US of A, slow and steady but packing some serious cargo.

    We’ve the experience, power, personnel and capabilities to beat Kerry in Killarney this Sunday.

    We need to build on the game plan from Limerick, controlled ferocity and use the size of the pitch. The ball will always move faster than a man, hit the passes, feed into the half forwards and full forwards (whoever is selected) and make Kerry try and defend. Look at what Cork did to them, they template is there.

    We’ve a good record in Kerry recently and also playing against them, no need to change this now.

    Game 1/3 – the train is picking up speed.

    P.s. delighted we beat Galway, can’t happen often enough.

  35. This game is a bit of a few shot for us in that we are still in it even if we lose. Kerry have to be worried. Playing Meath third is the worst possible draw and with a huge Mayo crowd going to descend on Killarney its a much toughe game for them than it is for us

  36. Lads and Lassies, anyone thinking of travelling to Killarney for the match on Sunday, PLEASE DO! Kerry are worried, when you see former players BEGGING their supporters to come out to a match, in their home pitch, they are worried, very worried of the huge Mayo support that will be there to outnumber them again! Sunday is going to be a thriller.
    By the way, at last count, Carrs goal video clip on gaa has been viewed 6.52M times, thats over 6 and a half MILLION times!!

  37. Just listened to podcast do not know the names of the 3 presenters but their discussion of our game consisted of at least 10 minutes discussing how good P Cooke was for Galway. Discussion of Mayo performance focused solely on how good we are at cynical fouling not one iota on any other aspect of our game. I really think the county board should be actively rejecting this narrative before it goes too far. We have a PRO and I think he should get busy. Now also is the time for Brady et al to reject this mantra every time they are on the national airwaves or papers.

  38. Pebblesmeller, really good post. Well articulated on behalf of so many.

  39. I think to be fair the main stream coverage (Indo Times RTE etc.) has been largely praising of Mayo’s performance and despite all the coverage James Horan and his players will know exactly what they have to do to get the better of Kerry irrespective of the coverage and have long since had the smarts to ignore all of it – good or bad. Sean Hurson is a decent ref who will run the game as he sees it so I’m confident we’ll get a fair crack at them.

  40. There is NOTHING that annoys me more than being told by our own supporters to “stop the hype”. There was no hype this time last year cos we were out on our arses already.
    These days are to be embraced and enjoyed. Bring the colour and noise. As last summer showed nothing is guaranteed and nothing is forever. We may get knocked out in Super 8s but we may also win the bloody All Ireland. Either way we have at least 3 Super 8 games and we should be free to talk and speculate about them all we want and enjoy superlative goals like James Carr’s!!!!
    If he has 5 million views of it on YouTube then what difference will us talking about it do!!!!!

  41. Pebblesmeller, that’s so perfectly put. I am so grateful for this journey we have been on, and for the many fine people I have met along the way, the new friendships made and old ones rekindled. A few years back it was all about the winning – that elusive All-Ireland was the be all and end all. It isn’t any more, and I can guarantee you we’ve had more craic and laughs along the way than many of those who have watched their team lift Sam for the last four years. That’s not a dig, or anything – I just can’t see how they would have gotten the same enjoyment without the sheer exhileration, drama, highs and lows we have experienced over the past nearly-decade.

    Obviously winning is still the dream, but if you don’t enjoy and appreciate and savour days like Saturday for what they are, there is literally no point to any of this. Would I swap it all for a Sam? Hmmmm …

  42. Re,, the main reporter is Maurice Brosnan, he graduated from NUIG, he’s is very pro Galway no doubt and my guess is he might be from Kerry, probably take all that into account when he is commenting on Mayo business!

  43. Should go all out to try to win this match if we could beat them down there it would be tough for them to recover for Donegal the following week and put us in pole for the group.

  44. I agree totally Km79 – hype away I say. It won’t make one bit of difference to the players as they are well used to it. The hype doesn’t bother the Dubs either it seems!

  45. I would like to win this match – it would be ideal if we could. Then the foot could come off the pedal a bit for a week or two.

    I feel Kerry may be looking at certain Mayo players more than others as ones to have caused them bother – Mattie Ruane, Aidan O’Shea, Lee Keegan, Diarmuid O’Connor and Andy. I think they see those players as ones who have been a spanner in the works for them, to be wary of.

    My hope is that we have threats all over the pitch, outside of the above players also.

    Needless to say that those Kerry forwards need minding. And Stephen O’Brien.

    I’ve seen James Horan’s post League Final comments mentioned several times now – that he felt Mayo could have won that game by many more points. This really seems to have rankled with a lot of Kerry football people (nobody puts Kerry in the corner! ; ) )

  46. Beware of the Keee-ree Keee-ree chant. It will be powerful in Fitzgerald stadium in July. It may even feel uncomfortable at times but keep yelping May-O May-O as much as possible!! Need I even mention it…

  47. Well men it’s funny how we get so worried about Kerry and all that of course Tomas O’Shea and ex players will try and back there county and try bring a big crowd to the game there as passionate as we are it all adds to the occasion both teams won’t lose the game because of hunger they both want this one big so enjoy the build up and have a good weekend

  48. earlier poster on the money our ex players and loyal servants should be coming out strong on media…watching game over and over and 2 lovely moments sticking out from Saturday….coc on knees with off load to paddy d for a pt and darren coen with what looked like punching over his own head a pass to coc to convert a point…..fully appreciate looking forward etc but you HAVE to savour some of the journey…that confidence.wuth those particular moves is amazing…..mayo by 2 pts in killarney

  49. Looking at that wonderful goal again, the thirty yard pass along the line from Paddy Durcan took out a whole lot of Galway players and James Carr’s run, weaving this way and that left his markers for dead, what a finish! Loads of people viewing it on Twitter and it’s their first introduction to GAA football, the comment’s are price less, a great advertisement for Gaelic football in the age of social media!

  50. Denis the pass from paddy was beautiful and was MEANT they know what they’re doing

  51. Km79. Spot on.
    I was thinking that exact same thing. Over 5 million views of James Carr and we are supposed to keep the hype down. How ?

    Let no one be fooled. We’re not coming in under any radar. We are on everyone’s radar.

    We are the most exciting team in the country to watch when we put it together on the pitch. We fairly put it together Saturday evening. It was brilliant to watch our lads playing like that and everything on the line.

    We have players now who can swagger and let them swagger to their hearts content.

    Hype isn’t all bad either. I can guarantee, it does a player a lot more good telling them they were very good or brilliant even, than telling them that they won’t beat Kerry or Dublin or whoever.

    We are on a roller coaster with this team. Enjoy it and scream and shout and enjoy it to the max, or else get off the roller coaster and have a go on the swing in the corner.

    I’m enjoying my football to its limit this year because as you rightly pointed out, we have no idea when or where it is going to end.

    As it stands, we are now gunning for Kerry.

  52. League Final Team V Kerry
    Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels), Lee Keegan (Westport), Donal Vaughan (Castlebar Mitchels); Matthew Ruane (Breaffy), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy); Fergal Boland (Aghamore), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Darren Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), James Carr (Ardagh).

    Likely In for Sunday’s match are; Clarke, Boyle, McDonagh & Cillian O’Connor
    Likely Out are Robbie Hennelly, Matthew Ruane, Fergal Boland, Diarmuid O’Connor
    Possible inclusion of S.Coen or a good backup

    We are in a better position now than in the league final I would argue but Kerry have home advantage.

    If ever there was a game to travel too this is it, remember 2014 and that should be enough to make your mind up!!
    Anyone looking for a lift post on this forum and you will get sorted, just one condition wear the red and green.

  53. If Mayo supporters are finding difficulty mustering up the motivation to cheer, just recall the cynicism Kerry meted out on us. Think of dancing Donnacha in ’14 getting Lee sent off in Croker, still the most unsporting act I’ve ever witnessed on a football field when you consider that he didn’t even touch him. Very far from the spirit of the Gaa. No team is made up of saints,
    but that’s a particular type of nasty. He was fully aware of what he was doing: remove Mayos main threat by all means possible. Not to mention Limerick that same year, and I’m sure Aido wont forget the cowardly punch to the face by donaghy in ’17.

    Kerry are well versed in winning dirty. In addition to the above, they’re experts at clamping opponents in low-risk areas of the pitch and slowing play when it suits them. We’ve a bit to go yet before we get even with them.

  54. Feel this game is just a week too soon. We seemed to tire in the last quarter against Galway. We’re fully capable of beating Kerry, but 4 games in as many weeks might be a bridge too far against a young Kerry side. Pity their wasn’t a 2 week gap to this game.

  55. Has anyone’s attendance been updated from Limerick on Saturday evening yet?

  56. Kerry will be much stronger than they were in league final. Gavin White into half backs. David Moran into midfield to match Aidan physically. David Clifford now fully fit – league final was his first game in 6 months. James o Donoghue now fully fit

  57. Fair play to this Mayo team. It keeps producing the goods when it matters. The thing that I have been very impressed with them this year is their discipline on the pitch. No red cards as of yet, which cost us on at least two occasions in the Connacht Championship especially against Galway over the years. I can recall Higgins and D O’Connor both getting their marching orders against them which ultimately cost us the games. Hopefully this discipline continues into the Super 8 and who knows where it will take us. Onwards and upwards Mayo!!!

  58. Mayo need to be ready for Kerry’s intensity right from the start. They’ll want a super fast start and get ahead as there is huge pressure on Kerry. Mayo need to manage the first 15 min defensively and keep things tight.
    Running the bench will be key too, 4 games in a row means some players who might have played well up to now might have an off day. If we can survive the opening salvo, our full forward can do the damage. I hope there is a big home support, more pressure if things start to go wrong for them. This might not be a knock out game but Mayo win it could be a knockout blow for Kerry! Really hope we do it, just couldn’t beat Kerry often enough!

  59. Our lads will be bloody ready for this,a draw would not surprise me either though, this is the potential group topper game, what a start to the super8 . Regarding any bias from the press, I get the vibe that the national feeling is in our direction. I m not sure now where I read it last Sunday but it said the whole super8 thing was a dreary enough affair without mayos involvement. And here we go this Sunday, game one, already the headline act!

  60. Think Kerry will be a better team than in the league final .. All of us could see a lot of Mayo players were tiring near the end of the Galway match .. Kerry will try nullify Aidens impact and hope the are fresher and sharper for last 10 mins .. Cant underestimate the loss of Ruane and D O Connor. Kerry will be very hard bet and we might a bit of luck and play out of our skins to beat them .. Buckley will be a huge addition defensively to them .No being pessimistic but feel this is a massive task for us

  61. My ball..Very realistic assessment..Cant ignore the fatigue factor or the bonus value of Buckley to Kerry..But this team of ours are just such stubborn warriors that anything is possible..

  62. Revellino; Agree with most of you post, however players react differently to being praised/admonished. Some players will go out after a bit of praise and improve, while others will think they don’t need to improve and regress. Some players if a manager said to them, that he was thinking of trying another player in his position, will go out determined to prove that he is the best man for the job by upping his performance. Like all teams I`m sure we have a mixture of all in the squad. This is where the manager really becomes a man-manager.
    Lets all enjoy the journey. Certainly a lot more positivity on the blog in the last week.
    Hopefully we will all be leaving Killarney on Sunday; Happy, Hoarse and Hopeful

  63. No doubt about it this is not a league game, so I think both teams will have improved alot since league final, both defences will be tested on Sunday, Mayo has the edge slightly so let them take full advantage & up their performance accordingly. Mayo to shade it.

  64. I think we have to be a little careful here. We’ve played Kerry twice this year, beaten them twice but we’re coming in to play our 4th game in 4 weekends with a few key lads looking a little bit bruised. Am thinking Paddy, Leeroy and Aido, of those that have been playing in the qualifiers to date. We do have the benefit of an extra day this time around, and while that’s not a huge amount, we will have to make the best of any time we have for treatment and recovery.
    Kerry will be absolutely fired up for this, that already clear as some of their former players have been active on Twitter in encouraging the Kerry fans to snap up tickets for the game. They are aware of how the Mayo crowd can lift the Mayo team and are looking to pull out all the stops. I can’t say I blame them, its a home game for them, and they have a record in Killarney that shows they haven’t been beaten there in the Championship since God was a boy. They also won’t want to allow our recent run of form against them to continue, notwithstanding the fact that we are now in a league format and if either team takes the win here that puts them in a very good position for qualification for the Semi Finals. For all the talk of Down and Armagh being Banana skins, this is a lot more than that now.
    That makes it all the more important for our own fans to show up in numbers and make the noise – if you can go, go, and roar on the team as best you can.
    Up Mayo.

  65. I’m expecting an all out offensive attack from the throw in from Kerry. They know themselves that their defense is not airtight.

    I think James should put a lot of extra focus in containing them for the full first half. Easier said than done.

    If we could limit them to 1 – 12 or 1 – 14 I think it would give us a chance of turning them over.

    I agree we will see a different and better Kerry than the league and Kerry will see a different and better Mayo.

    I’ve seen improvements in us now from the Roscommon to Down to Armagh and to Galway. Improving each game. We need to step it up again Sunday.

    Regardless of what our forwards score or how our forwards play on Sunday our defense has to come out on top.

  66. The mood I sense is very similar to the build up before the 1997 All Ireland Final and we all know how that turned out. There’s nothing wrong with confidence but Mayo need to be careful and some of the reaction on here post Sunday has been over the top, due mostly I assume, to the emotion involved in winning a ‘doe or die’ derby. In cold light of day however, and when looking at our championship run so far in an objective light, we have been average, with flashes of class mixed with dollops of awful defending and dreadful shooting. An interesting stat is that Down, Armagh and Galway all had more attempts on goal than us.

    Also would people please stop talking about hits on you tube and daft stuff like that. I’m sure the rossies weren’t even goin on about Cregg’s goal against us (not too dissimilar!). How Carr does over the coming games will be a real test.

    Kerry will be absolutely gunning for this on the weekend and Mayo need to be ready in every capacity. If the lads aren’t fully tuned in we could be in for a wake up call. We have a team good enough to win, but none of our performances to date in the championship will be enough to win in Killarney – last weekend was our best but there’s still heaps of room to improve.

    Hoping AOS form picks up. His best performance was against roscommon and his influence in games has decreased in the subsequent matches. McLoughlin too, bar his 1-1 cameo, has not reached anywhere near his best nor has J Doc. We need these lads to step it up for Killarney.

  67. Not sure if anyone has mentioned this already.
    Kerry beat Roscommon by 3 points in a challenge in Limerick last week.
    Kerry were without Clifford, O’Shea and Morley, while Roscommon also held a few back.
    Didn’t actually get a scoreline

  68. Some great posts on here i have to say. Make no mistake about it Kerry do have fine players but the fact of the matter is if 9 or 10 of our players perform then we will win.
    I m not crazy about calling the neighbours heron chokers. Thats an accusation that the former smart alec Galway captain tried to stick on us. It was in fact a nickname that Galway people themselves put on Connemara people. I had never heard of it until he wrote about it in a Galway Advertiser article a number of years ago. Hope he enjoyed his nephews penalty.
    Carrs was an absolutely brilliant goal but nothing will ever better the goal i saw Joe Lindsey from Kiltane score in McHale Pk v Down in 1986 league game-an absolute belter that i had the priviliage of seeing.

  69. Mayomagic2000 – check your attendance again for Saturday in Limerick, mine was updated this morning

  70. Not sure if it was referenced in here already buy John Divilly wrote a great piece in the examiner praising Paddy Durcans leadership and performance last week, its spot on

    Of all the much vaunted Kerry attackers, the guy that seems to cause us the most-trouble in recent times is the underappreciated Stephen O’Brien, he has been oustanding every time we have played them. I would look to Durcan to do a similar job on him as he done on shane walsh last week

  71. I don’t know where the over confidence is coming from either. Things have very much evened out between the two teams since the league final. Our midfield is still a big problem area and I think they will push up on our kickouts. They will want David Moran on the end of as many of those as possible and Aidan’s form has dipped. He seems to be struggling without another out and out midfielder in the middle with him. They’ll be looking to let the ball in fast to Clifford etc. A not fully fit Clifford was a handful for Brendan Harrison in the league final and I would be fearful about what might happen there if Clifford gets going. Add to that, Sean O’Shea, Paul Geaney, Sean O’Brien, and a fit James O’Donoghue. That’s a lot of people who need watching and if the ball is quick and clean into them, they could make hay.
    One thing that might work for us is that Kerry seem vey fired up for this and they may try to lay down a physical marker. This might play into our hands. Would be wary of what kind of work Donie Buckley has done with them in that kind of regard though.

  72. This is going to be a sell out so I’d advise staying over if it’s an option for you as the traffic will be chaotic after the game. Nobody in Kerry is overly confident in this one as out team is very young and have much to learn from a battle hardened outfit like mayo.

    One possible chink in the mayo armour is the fact that ye haven’t yet played in a super 8 game and that brings a few unforeseen issues. Last year against Galway we went into that game in what I can only call an unfocused manner. The fact that this was a three game gig, the importance of winning your first game definitely did not register at the required levels and Kerry will be well up for this game. On the other hand Mayo have been on a perilous run of do or die games with only one result available, now that imminent threat of the abyss is a little blurred and it may well impact on your performance, I’d definitely did to us last year.

    On cillian o connors scoring record I can assure you that nobody from Kerry will one bit interested in that little bit of sporting trivia, the only record of consequence next Sunday afternoon is who kicks the most scores as a team. Ye have new found threats in a dangerous forward line and we have a few capable bucks in that area ourselves, if we feed our forwards with more efficiency than we have been doing I think we will win saying that our backs are a little suspect when teams run at them and ye could cause plenty of grief for us there. Saying that I felt Cork were a little fortunate in the Munster Final as two of their goals were kinda freakish and had more to do with luck than creative play but as they say a goal is a goal and I was happy to see them improve so much as a team this year.

    Young Carr scored a beauty last Saturday so I won’t be looking forward to seeing him bearing down on the Kerry goal but I can’t imagine he’ll get such a soft run in any time soon after showing what he’s capable of.

    Looking forward to this one BIG TIME

  73. Great result at the weekend. I seemed to get the impression we were waiting to use the kick-pass faster attacking tactics until we got to the serious end of things.
    I’d say had we overcome the Rossies, we’d have seen it against Galway in the Connacht Final, as it was, we used it to great effect last Saturday night.
    We went at them straight from the off, direct fast balls in to the front line of attack, none of the slow lateral stuff we’ve been doing against them in recent years.

    I suspect we’ll be trying more of the same against Kerry this weekend. Their defense is their weak point, get at them from the start and turn the crowd.
    Having said that, they’re attack is extremely good, so we’ll need to be on our toes and make sure we don’t leave ourselves open to the counter.

    Already a mouth-watering prospect on Sunday, and it’s only Tuesday yet.
    Hon Mayo.

  74. Onemoretime, I have mentioned that Joe Lindsay goal many times but nobody seemed to recall it. I was beginning to think I had dreamed it! It was a fantastic solo effort. I think it was 1988 as I recall he had fallen out of favour by the time Mayo met Meath in Croke Park. Incidentally, I totally agree with Pebblesmeller and Anne- Marie. The Mayo voyage has become far more than just a quest for Sam. It’s hard for other counties to understand that so they wonder why we keep coming back.

  75. Strong comments from Horan, why he made them I’m not sure, but if it were me, it would be directed towards my own players. ‘Don’t perform on Sunday and there are two guys returning to take your place. Nothing like internal pressure to add that bit of extra motivation and help to refocus the minds quickly after last Saturday night
    Direct Quote;
    ‘Better still, Horan reckons that captain Diarmuid O’Connor and rising star Matthew Ruane could yet feature in the Super 8s, which conclude on the first weekend in August, despite having broken a wrist and a collar bone in recent weeks respectively.’

    He not saying they will be ready for the semi’s but the super 8’s!!!

  76. I recall it, Finbar! I was lucky enough to be there at MacHale Park to see that Joe Lindsay rocket, which, as Onemoretime says, was against Down on a dank old day in November 1986. And what a rocket it was.

  77. Down Under, I certainly hope he does!!

    Gamechanger10, don’t be going all yerra on us with your young team. I think Mayo will be very much focusing on getting a result in this one; I wouldn’t fancy us against Donegal in Castlebar. But I think it will be a big ask; I would have concerns about our midfield, particularly if David Moran is on song; about our energy reserves after three weekends on the go, about our general defensiveness in the face of this Kerry attack. We cannot afford to concede early goals this time. It’s a huge ask to go down to Killarney and come out with a win, and I would be delighted with even a draw.

    As others have mentioned, 2014 still rankles with Mayo people and despite the run of wins since then, it still cuts very deep. So motivation won’t be lacking.

    Really looking forward to getting down to Killarney. Pity there isn’t a flight from Knock … if a certain contributor is watching, do you think you could have a word? 😉

  78. I don’t think anyone really is over confident for this one. Gamechanger hit on a point i’ve been thinking myself since Saturday, will we have lost a bit of edge and focus as this isn’t a knockout tie? I certainly hope we haven’t, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we did!.

    Kerry are favourites, and more importantly their fresh, coupled with home advantage, which, puts added pressure on Kerry, But, I think they’ll sneak it by 2-3points. Its well within us to beat them. Stopping O’Brien hurting us from deep is a must. Can’t wait for this game, the atmosphere will be electric.

  79. The pressure is on both teams in my view. Kerry won’t want to lose their record in Killarney to us of all teams and also will want to end our unbeaten run against them in the Kerry which stretches back to 2009!! Add in the league final defeat, earlier league defeat to end their 100% record and the All Ireland semi final replay defeat in 2017 and they won’t be lacking in motivation for this game!! The flip side is we have really got in their head lately and if we can hang around in this game the doubts will start to creep in for the Kerry boys!!
    The pressure is on us as we are novices to the super 8 format and a defeat here will give us a mountain to climb to qualify for a semi final!! No team who lost their first game in the super 8’s last year made it out of their group! Throw in the injuries to the middle third and the fatigue that will surely effect the team in the last 10 mins of this game we really could do with a whirlwind start like against Galway if we are to sneak this game against Kerry!! I really don’t know how this game will go and the fresh legs of Cillian, James Carr, Donie and hopefully a now fully fit Seamus O’Shea will all be needed to conquer the Kingdom in their own backyard!! Lee and Paddy will hopefully be able to give us 70 pus mins the next day as we will need to quieten Sean O’Shea and Steve O’Brien and hopefully Aidan can put in a tour de force against David Moran because getting on top in midfield goes a long way to stop the very serious forward threat Kerry carry.
    The good news is the loss of Peter Crowley is huge to Kerry I think as he is the fulcrum of their back six and we can definitely open them up for goal opportunities with a mixture of running down the center and probing with kick passes the wings of the Kerry defence. I haven’t a clue how to call this one as it is the toss of a coin and probably will be won by the minimum but we have to take any goal chances we create!! Expect Andy to play a major role next Sunday should we manage to claim an important victory to start our first super 8’s!

  80. First time poster looking for a bit of info. Would anyone have any idea when the date and time of the Donegal game will be announced? Any help appreciated.

  81. You said it all there Crete! Top analysis. You could walk on to the Sunday Game with those kind of smarts!

  82. Coillte Mick – those details won’t be announced until after the Meath game but there’s a two-week gap then until the Donegal game.

  83. I feel really confident about this one. Kerry falling over the line against a div 3 Cork team to win Munster. Had to wait and see who they would be facing.Low and behold its Mayo in their home patch, who are coming in with a lot of confidence. I dont think fatigue for Mayo will be a factor. games beats training any day. Our record against Kerry this decade has been good and we no longer fear them. Respect them yes, but we can stand toe to toe with them now. Our league final win over them has to give our boys huge confidence now. A win will set us up nicely for the rest of the Super 8s.

  84. WJ thanks for the reply. To me it doesn’t make any sense why they couldn’t confirm it at the same time as they announced the other fixtures. It would certainly be a benefit to all the supporters and in terms of planning, to the players and management as well.

  85. Thank you folks, attendance has been updated promptly. And I have to say the stewards inside and outside the ground were excellent, friendly and willing to help with children.

  86. I’d actually be more confident about playing donegal in Castlebar than Kerry in Killarney. Especially if we had DIARMUID and Ruane back. We are well capable of beating them but I just feel fatigue will catch up with us at some sooner rather than later. The 2 weeks break before the donegal game will help us immensely.

    I’m also surprised that not many people are mentioning that 2 out of the other 3 teams in our group have members of their coaching staff that have an intimate knowledge of our team! This is not a good thing for us!

  87. Nialmc1983 good point there but Buckley and Rochford have enough to be worrying about when they are playing mayo. James Horan has his own mindset and with the amount of new players ye are fielding it may not be of that much consequence to ye. In fact with Buckley the players will know exactly what he is trying to achieve and more importantly the Mayo players will know how to test his set up as they will have learned many tricks in those edgy AvB games in McHale Park.

  88. – We could go ultra negative with two sweepers and keep it very congested and tight from our 45 back a la Tyrone most of the time but I definitely cannot see JH going with anything like that
    – Therefore you will have to imagine that JH will go with the more gung-ho approach with a sweeper similar to how we lined out against Galway.
    – I think it is likely that back and forwards will even out with each other with the Mayo forwards getting the better of the Kerry back 6 and vice versa the Kerry forwards getting the better of our back 6
    – It then follows that the winning of this game is in the mid-field diamond area. I would like to see KMcl and J Doc pulling back from the HF line right into the middle for each kick-out as David Clark will be forced to kick long at least 90% of the time on Sunday and breaking ball will be key. I would leave Fionn on his own slightly advanced from the HF line so he is ready for the fast kick-pass and for him then to be the first runner to draw the Kerry cover (probably Sherwood and White) out followed up by Kmcl who has the pace to drive forward once Mayo get possession from the kickout. This would also leave a lot of space in front of our FF line to do damage. Who partners Aido ?, do we need another catcher (SOS) or more a tracker/marker like Coen or maybe Vaughan.
    – Fitzgerald is a great pitch, weather is promised good and the place will be rocking, this game is there for us.

  89. Finbar and Willie Joe
    I would not have argued with you on the date Finbar as my own recollection of that was hazy but fair play WJ you have put that to bed for me. The move i beleive was started in the hb line bý Jimmy Browne but i m open to correction on that. 2014 was a watershed in Mayo football which i wish had happened earlier in this teams evolution. It was the year Mayo teams stopped taking shit from others. Kerry have tried those rough-house tactics on us plenty of times since but it has backfired everytime since. However i do fear that Hurson is a weak ref.

  90. I was also there to see the Joe Lindsay goal in 1986. Best goal I have ever seen

  91. I take your point game changer, of course it must work both ways, if Buckley has a knowledge of the Mayo players it’s follows on that the mayo players should have a knowledge of buckley.

  92. @onemoretime..kerry bullied us physically in the league game in Castlebar last year.
    This game will be massive. I’m not sure how confident I am but the room is booked and looking forward to it!

  93. FW
    I agree but we have ben able and ready for them on most occasions. Nothing like a bit of hurt to drive you on.

  94. I know that a lot of people talk about impact of losing the first game based on last year’s record, but this really can vary year on year.
    In the hurling round robin last year, most home teams won, this year, a significant number of away teams won.
    Having said that, I just think that Kerry will be highly motivated for this, and will be a real achievement if we get anything from this match.

  95. Mikey if we lose this we are away to donegal in Croker next week with five bob in our pocket in a ten bob game. If mayo lose they will beat Meath as the history will widen the nostrils ye will do the necessary and have donegal in an all or nothing battle in Castlebar,. In this environment in a year end game I would respectfully suggest that donegal will not receive a warm welcome at your kitchen table.
    An added ingredient will be the fact that Rochford will have the donegal crest on his chest and whilst the players will have a very firm closeness with their recent past history there is an extra ingredient here that will put Parafin in each teams fire as they will both want to lay down a marker for so many reasons, loyalty, acceptance, perhaps revenge and a willingness of proof of worth depending on the various perceptions. Bottom dollar is that Donegal will want the deposit paid before they meet mayo so this game is huge for us. I think donegal will be a hard nut to crack in the super 8’s so a win for us on Sunday is rent up front or eviction in football terms.

  96. Gamechanger, you have a way with words.

    (I too think Donegal will be a hard nut to crack – they have some power and athleticism in particular. But I’d be curious to see them really tested and to see how they’d react then).

  97. I agree Swallow Swoops,
    Their showing against Tyrone was like a veneered performance, let’s dig and see what lies under the polished surface, mind you with Murphy there he is
    Likely to bite your head off, he is for me the total package in football, dripping in talent full stop. When playing Donegal he is their dorsal fin, despite your location on the field you are always looking for him, that’s how dangerous he is.

  98. if mayo play their running game on Sunday they will win.
    when in possession not to panic if nothing is on
    do what Dublin do recycle recycle how many times have we handed the ball back to the opposition and given away a score in the past.
    it nearly cost us against armagh when aidian gave the ball to the armagh player in the closing minutes. so hopefully they won’t be forced to panic on Sunday and a win is on the cards
    best of luck to the team and management

  99. A cursory glance at a Kerry supporters social media forum is informative . Firstly, and though many of the Kerry posters don’t and won’t say it, they are quaking in their boots of us, To say they have a low opinion of all in this parish (i.e. this Mayo blog) is an understatement. That wouldn’t provide cause to keep me awake. But what really caught my attention is the impression they have of our team. Or rather the impression they are trying to portray of our team. They, as in the vast majority of their postings, portray us as an outfit whose modus operandi is based on foul play, dirty tactics and underhand methods. Cynacism and gamesmanship are two of the more flattering words used by many of the Yerras to describe our attitude to the game. This from a County who, it must be admitted, have traditionally fielded the finest and most aristocratic of exponents of our Gaelic code but, who always buttressed this with an undercurrent of, let’s not be diplomatic and call it “dark arts”. Let us call it as it is and was has been. Thuggery and rough house tactics of the lowest. Win at all costs mentality. Kennelly’s pre-meditated throw-in assault on Cork’s Nicholas Murphy in 08 or 09 is but one of many examples of what Kerry are capable of.
    The outpourings of revulsion by some Kerry people with regard to the manner in which we Mayo demons have dragged our National game into the abyss speaks volumes about their mindset. So also has been the hysteric appeal from the Kerry good and the Kerry great to their lessers to muster the troops and attempt to match and mark the loyal Mayo support which will materialise in Killarney on Sunday.
    Traditionally Mayo, if anything, have been naieve and possibly too sporting and manly. It is my earnest hope that Kerry get everything they expect, fear and dread on Sunday afternoon….. Maigh Eo abú.

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