Cork match fixed for Limerick

The last time we were rostered to play a championship match at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick there was near meltdown amongst the faithful. But that was an All-Ireland semi-final replay and in 2014 we felt, quite rightly, that it should have been played at HQ and not at a location that was a mere hop and skip away from Kerry.

Getting on for three years later, it looks like we’re on our way back to a venue that holds precious few good memories for us. This time it’s to play Cork in our All-Ireland Round 4A qualifier on Saturday week (22nd July).

The GAA’s CCCC hasn’t yet officially confirmed that the game will go ahead at the Gaelic Grounds but the Mayo News have already broken the story. I’m hearing that this is definitely kosher, though we’ll have to wait until the announcement is made officially to find out the throw-in time for the game.

UPDATE: The GAA have now confirmed the match for Limerick (here) but no word yet on a throw-in time for it.  

FURTHER UPDATE: Mayo GAA have confirmed the game for 5pm and also that it’ll be televised live by Sky.

We’d have preferred a return to Ennis, for sure, but I doubt too many are willing to go to war over this match being fixed for Limerick. While the venue is far nearer to Cork than it is to Mayo, we’ll still outnumber vastly the meagre support the Rebels are likely to muster for this contest.

At least this decision means that the GAA sensibly chose to back away from a possible incendiary decision to fix the match for Páirc Uí Chaoimh. I’m not sure, to be honest, how seriously this option was ever considered but I guess the fact that it was mooted at all meant that it was a possibility. An utterly insane one but a possibility all the same.

So Limerick it is. Providing the lads build on the dominant second half performance put in at Cusack Park the last day (and assuming that Cormac Reilly isn’t put in charge) there’s every chance that we’ll get to create some nice new memories of the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday week, thus pushing those ghastly recollections of 2014 further into the background. Another reason, then, for me to regret that it’s a match I’m not going to be able to get to, given the alternative plans already in the diary for me for then.

141 thoughts on “Cork match fixed for Limerick

  1. I have to say i don’t understand why this round is not home and away like the previous rounds.

    You are exposed to luck of the draw in round 3B…but if you get through that you earn the right to neutral venue? Why? YOur still 2 matches from a quarter final…what is so sacred about this round.

    btw, i see galway v Donegal is for markevicks.

  2. GAA need to deal with these off the ball incidences. A headlock gets very personal for most if not all players and would react the way Harrison did. Should be a straight red for the provocateur. Ref needs help of course which could mean more linesmen or video review.

  3. very good question cantini – typical GAA, no reasoning ever needed. Roll on Cormac Reilly in Limerick. I wouldnt be one bit surprised if he gets the whistle for this one

  4. I don’t understand how they choose limerick over ennis or somewhere in the midlands

    an absolute Joke

  5. Cccccccccc will be meeting again at 4. Times will probably be confirmed then.

  6. I think Loftus is the real deal and management are doing a nice job building his experience and confidence. Interesting that he was the catalyst for turnarounds in the last two games with his goal against Derry and then his quick thinking to find Cillian unmarked in front of goal for the Clare game. He also had a nice assist against Sligo I think where he drew the defenders before passing to Cillian for an easy goal.

  7. C Loftus is a good addition. …
    options for full forwrd line now include coc, am, c Loftus, e regan and possibly j doc if required.

    Such a pity B Reape is in America. He is not far behind C Loftus in terms of talent and potential.

  8. Wj is right, we’re not going to make a big song and dance coz there’s no point.
    However distance wise and familiarity wise, this is the same as calling Pearse Stadium a neutral venue for this fixture, I wouldn’t have a problem with it (besides it being a hole to get in and out of) but Cork would be up in arms if this game was in Pearse Stadium.
    In that case why is Limerick ok? Right, got that off my chest, hope the lads rest up well and have all the dirty diesel blown out in Ennis.
    Are there senior club fixtures in the calendar for next weekend?

  9. Reape would want to be involved next season. From his perspective if he’s serious about Mayo then he needs to (a) make himself available and (b) work harder than anyone else to earn his place. Same applies for any young player. Irwin comes to mind.

    Sometimes players who’ve had success underage fall foul of complacency. That 19-22 age is hugely important. If you haven’t secured your position on the senior county panel by 22 then your chances of ‘making it’ are greatly reduced. Your relying on being a late bloomer or just bring a bit part addition, like Adam Gallagher. He, is one who could yet play an important role but time is ticking….

  10. Harrison was lucky not to see red, but the fact is, he got away with it. If you get the rub of the green with a decision like that, then count your blessings and move on. Trying to excuse what happened in understandable, you stick up for your own. But calling for a player to be sent off, while excusing another’s involvement is taking the partisan stance too far. Have a look at the incident again:

    There is literally no part of that clip that paints any player or official in a good light. Six points up, and two minutes into injury time means there is no reason to be acting the maggot. The game is over at that point. Focus should be on discipline and closing the game out, not getting involved in incidents that can get you sanctioned.

    Going down to 14 men in a tight game, we all know how that can pan out. There will be games down the road with alot more at stake than breezing past a division 2 team. A brain fart like that in one of those games, and it’s curtains for another year.

    Food for thought.

  11. Mayonaze, you are right but at least the potential is there. The fact that loftus, diarmuid, boland and Coen are actually starting games this year is hugely positive and I commend Rochford for bringing them and of course the lads themselves for working hard enough to get in.

  12. Agree with comments on loftus and himself and cillian seems to be striking up nice patnership there

  13. I know you are right about Gaelic Grounds holding precious few good memories for us Wille-Joe, but I do have one…
    The sight of Aidan O’Shea lording the field against the Kerry Minors All-Ireland Semi-final replay in 2008. He was a man amongst the boys that day, and as per nowadays, his boots were carrying over 40+ stone on many occasions with lads hanging out of him from every angle. I was there with the Kerry (Mrs-to-be) and left the ground full of pride with a great win over the kingdom- knowing also that the future was bright…..and it was…it still is………

  14. We’d be better off just getting on with it than cribbing about the choice of venue. There’s a difference of 50 minutes in journey times to Limerick from Castlebar and Cork City, its not a significant advantage that anyone should be up in arms about. Ennis would have been more equidistant, but may not have been able to hold the Mayo crowd for a last 12 game.

    It’s a neutral venue. There’ll be hardly any crowd from Cork at all. They are notoriously bad travellers when it comes to supporting the footballers, and this will only be exacerbated by the low ebb the team is at and their hurlers taking all the interest.

  15. Should have been Ennis Would be big enough as cork will only take about 500?

  16. I wonder will a certain bovine male from Castlebar travel? The stewards of the Treaty county still talk in hushed tones about that evening in 2014, the mere mention of his name causing panic, the call going over the radio “we need more stewards”….

  17. @Mayonaze. Brian Reape was on the panel and doing the training and played well in one FBD league game. Single handedly has been the driving force behind Moy Davitts the last three years. So your advice to him was actually what he was doing. They do fitness and skill tests etc. Who knows how they prune down the panel. But anyways I am sure he will be back in there next year.

  18. There was a great Mayo crowd in Ennis on Saturday evening and again the team fed off the energy of the crowd. When you consider that there is motorway from Ennis to Limerick, the extra distance is not great. This is a further opportunity for the Mayo support to come out in big numbers and drive this team on. We should outnumber Cork by at least 10 to 1. A massive Mayo crowd would really help this team to banish the ghosts of 2014.

  19. Nice one JP…good to hear. And yes I appreciate panels get trimmed.

    Objectively speaking a player needs to force his way onto the panel by 22 so hopefully Brian makes it a no-brainer decision for management next spring.

    There’s a huge opportunity for lads like him, Gallagher, Irwin to make a place for themselves on this senior Mayo panel…an opportunity which is much more open than it is for defenders where we are already well supplied.

    If I were advising a young forward id be saying to take leaf out of Maurice sheridans book…practice practice practice free kicks to the point of becoming a reliable machine. That alone would be a hugely useful advantage to a new forward.

    There’s no time for these lads to be living off u21 success. That’s done. Old news. There’s a great opportunity now to stake a claim as a Mayo forward over the next few years knowing you have a very solid defence behind you.

    Reape and co should be chomping at the bit.

  20. Great- delighted its 5 pm and not 7 ,thank you Mayo Mick
    happy days- on we go
    cant wait for this next match

  21. It is – Rob was adding some more chat to this this morning to take account of Cork being confirmed as the opposition so later this evening is when it’ll be good to go. I was a tad unhinged myself when we were recording the in-game stuff so I’m awaiting this episode with some trepidation!

  22. It’s good to know the place of the battle and set ourselves up to attack.limerick it is, let’s make it a happy hunting ground.
    Harrison was foolish, he should walk away as the game was over bar the whistle. He sure winded sexton with that throw down though, sexton wasn’t long releasing his grip once he hit the ground. There’s no point in talking after the fact, other than to say that the ” Red Mist” got Seamie sent off for very little contact against the millionaires a few years ago. Our players need to manage their emotions as much as rochford and coach manage the team, count to 3 and calm down. This will become more of an issue if we meet either of the big 2 later on, we need discipline and let them be the aggressors and black/ red card recipients.
    Players indiscipline is going to make Mayo lose a close game if they’re not careful.

  23. Saturday, July 22: Clare v Tipperary 3pm (RTE), Cork v Mayo 5pm (Sky), Donegal v Galway 7pm (Sky).

  24. regardless of whether Cork bring a big crowd or not, I expect them to put in a big performance based on the following motivating factors:.
    (i)Every pundit seems to be writing off their chances
    (ii)with the hurlers winning the munster final, they will also want to show the cork public that they are worthy of their support.
    I think the game will be very tight and we will need to put in a big performance to get over the line

  25. willie joe a quick Q for clarification

    we are on the same side of the draw as Kerry and Rossies

    if we beat cork and Galway beat Donegal we play Kerry in a quarter final is that correct?

    If Donegal beat Galway its a draw for the quarters and we play Rossies or Kerry??

  26. no Morag, if Galway win we’d be playing Roscommon as the no repeat rule still applies for the quarters as far as I am aware.
    If Donegal win then two bowls with two names, 50/50 chance of Roscommon or Kerry.
    IF we wont the quarter final, then we’d obviously play the winners of the Kerry match.
    Big hurdle to get over Saturday week first though before worrying about any of that.

  27. No, Morag, it’s the other way around. If Galway beat Donegal then they can’t play Roscommon again in the quarters so, assuming we beat Cork, we’d have to instead and Galway would play Kerry. No draw would be needed under that scenario. If Donegal beat Galway and we beat Cork, then there’ll be a draw, with Kerry and the Rossies in one bowl, ourselves and Donegal in the other. If Cork beat us … then we lose all interest in what happens next.

    Km79 – it’s Limerick Colbert. Limerick Junction is out in the boondocks, it’s not even in Limerick, it’s in Tipp. Limerick Colbert is across the river from the Gaelic Grounds, it’s a good half-hour hike on foot.

  28. Atmosphere will be rubbish for this, big stadium about 65% empty .
    We tend to exaggerate the level of support we have although its good its not great , id estimate about 7,500 mayo were im ennis . Where in the name of jaysus do the other 40k come from come all ireland final . I find it mind boggling.

  29. I’m glad the game is on Sky. Won’t have to listen to the likes of Duignan and Brolly pontificating like they are performing some social good when in fact they are happy to line their own pockets…good luck to them but don’t make out Sky subscriptions is the only place the money is flowing in the GAA. as for the analysis!

  30. Sean

    I know several in NYC and further across the USA that travel for finals with Mayo and several more in Mayo that wouldn’t go to castlebar to watch them
    Play in the league but break the place up if they don’t get a final ticket. It’s a funny old thing, maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder ?

  31. What ever happened to the Dev squad for players 19+ years that played minor but did not progress to senior. I thought they remained under the guidance of the coaching development officers. Surely if this is still in plsce this is where Reape and others from minor/u21 winning panels should be.

  32. Ah jaysus lads, it’s a bit early in the year to be bitching about who gets all Ireland final tickets!

  33. Hi all, from when games are announced how long is it usually before tickets for sale appear online. Thanks.

  34. Any idea when tickets for our encounter with cork will be available to buy online ,went on to gaa .ie Just now , can’t see them listed

  35. Not bitching and certainly not in the context of overseas supporters getting their hands on final tickets. It was more to do with how its such a massive difference in numbers . Whrer as there are some very valid various types of fans who go to just the final , ie dedicated exclisively club men , overseas gaa members , neutral counties etc but id hazzard a guess there are between 8-12 k sunshine mayo fans who simply dont be arsed with games till the latter stages

  36. Happy enough that sky got it to be honest, can’t abide RTÉ anymore. Looking forward to the train to limerick, takes the pressure off and can enjoy a pint or two to settle the nerves.

    I cannot state highly enough how dangerous this tie could be, Cork will be written off everywhere, we need Rochford and co to be ultra professional in the way they approach this game. Cork have zero to lose, and are in a perfect position, just like Roscommon yesterday. They’ve a few AI medals in their pockets, so we have to expect they’ll go hell for leather at us. We as supporters need not be looking ahead at potential quarter or semi pairings (tempting as it is) Plenty a time for that if we beat Cork. One game at a time…..

  37. Ross were written off yesterday and look how it turned out. Sligo were written off against Ross a few years ago and they won.
    Mayo need to be very serious about every single game as they are all season enders if they’re not 100% switched on.
    Sean, I wasn’t attacking you, I agree. Where do all these fans come from?

  38. Maybe even a greater number than that, Sean Burke. But home league games never drop below 11..12K, seen almost 20 K a few years ago for a match on Easter Sunday with Donegal ..Yesterday’s Connacht Final attracted 18,Kplus, according to RTE .. Now if Mayo were playing it would be a sell out,.. Ennis almost a sell out with live television.. Apart from the Dubs, what other teams can boast the number’s Mayo attract?… As the championship progresses every team left in the race will attract more support, but Mayo is exceptional, after Mayo come Donegal, Tyrone and then Kerry in terms numbers for support…For a County of its size Roscommon ain’t bad either.. I know that ‘all the cow’s were milked in Clare’ over the last weekend,. It was a bad time on the sport’s stage for the Banner… But the GAA has milked the numerous and loyal Mayo fan’s many many times down the year’s!.. It’s a wee bit early in the year to be looking for All Ireland ticket’s yet, unless you are from Dublin or Kerry!

  39. Match should be in Ennis not Limerick There will be about 15k at match Perfect crowd for Ennis but will look small in Limerick leaving a poor atmosphere

  40. People bitching about all Ireland tickets are ye mad lads A poor Galway bate us Derry almost beat us and Clare we’re beating us until we woke up in the second half. Forget about all ireland tickets I’m telling ye we’ll have our hands full with Cork. One game at a time and let us play our part in the stands on match day

  41. In fairness Sam, no one was bitching about AI tickets. It was just said that we’ve about 10k supporters for most games but 40k when it comes to the final, nothing to do with tickets. I think even the most optimistic supporter isn’t looking that far.

  42. Dont think this is about all ireland tickets at all.
    It’s just a question bout the no of fans at qualifiers compared to no of fans in the last 2or3 championship games. It was great to see a huge Mayo crowd in Ennis but I sure hope it’s double that for Limerick. They really do need us with them. IN THIS TOGETHER.

  43. Eh whose bitching about all Ireland tickets? Sean correctly pointed out there is a huge differential between the amount of mayo fans that go to games up to the final and then the demand for tickets for a final. You might want to read the comments. There will be circa 15k in a 40k stadium for the cork game, ruins the atmosphere. Better off in a smaller stadium.

  44. Madness having a 3/4 empty stadium in Limerick. Will be terrible Stadium and will look awful on the sky cameras. Give me a packed Ennis any day.

    Anyway there are politics at play behind the scenes that none of us are privy too.

    As long as we beat Cork that’s the main thing

  45. Mayo supporters will travel to Limerick. Its a day out. I want to congratulate Kevin McStay/Liam McHale and this young Roscommon team on a wonderful performance yesterday. Mc Stay is in Roscommon 2 years and he has won them a Connacht title. We have a management 2 years and they have only won one championship game. Who is fooling who. And remember Roscommon had 75% a new team this year 10 of them Under 23 years if age. I also want to congratulate the referee yesterday. If we had referees, who took a leaf from his book football would be a great game. We are indeed proud and thank Kevin/ Liam for their perseverance and all that has happened in Roscommon this past 12 months. If Mayo GAA County Board had the balls to let the players who called on our management to step down to take a hike, we too could have done better. Anyhow that’s water under the bridge.

  46. I wouldn’t write off cork, head to head they have a good record against us. They attack with a lot of pace and opened up Kerry a few times and were unfortunate to not score goals. We should win if we give them respect. Look at galway yesterday they didn’t realise they had a game to play!

  47. Great for the Rossies and all that but as the qualifiers go on the connacht championship looks
    Less and less significent. It’s all about the all-ireland really since the qualifiers were introduced.
    Does anyone remember or care who wins a
    Provincial championship.
    Players like loftus, coen seeing a lot more game time. And Regan had a chance of redemption
    As well. So in hindsight losing to galway in the
    Last two years has not matteted to mayo.
    It’s Sam or nothing. The connacht
    Council as you alluded to previously WJ know the
    Game is nearly up for the connacht championship.
    Beating Cork and meeting an untested Kerry (due to a irrelevant munster championship) in the
    Quarter finals would be the ideal draw.

  48. True Grit …What is the point of your text.
    I don’t get it. As you said yourself that is water under the bridge… but you posted your opinion water under the bridge or not. Pointless.

  49. That’s the spirit True Grit, never let a day pass without throwing some more bile into the world. How dare people enjoy life and the great days out supporting this team. I too am happy for McStay and McHale, but I’ll hold off on their coronation just yet. One of the keys to their success was that they actually got rid of the Rossies out of the set up and all the parochial shite they brought with them. They beat a bad Galway team that just about beat a 14 man Mayo team playing absolutely rubbish and who believed the hype written by Martin Breheny and other hacks. I would relish the opportunity to bring them back to reality in Croker should we get past Cork.

  50. As an expat who has to travel thousands of miles and at some expense it never ceases to amaze me how many other Mayo people make the pilgrimage to support our team when they reach the latter stages of championship . They come from all over the world , the diaspora , celebrating what has almost become a global cause rather than about a game of football .

    The huge numbers at the latter stages of the championship is only a positive thing. My best guess is that GAAGO subscribers aboard are also dominated by Mayo people. We support the team all year long to be fair .

    Mayo represent the truest elements of sport , fair play , courage , persistence , camaraderie , spirit. It’s no wonder we have the best fans in the game. Who can not applaud these elements intrinsic to this Mayo team ?

    Not only that but we are also ( in terms of the lesser and short term goals of winning titles ) the perennial nearly men , the horror show of misfortune that unbiased people can’t help but watch with mixed feelings of intrigue and anxiety. We are compulsive viewing and we are always there or thereabouts.

    This Mayo group is so special in terms of their courage , persistence , fair play , and being leaders of men in so many ways. They are the best of the best among us. I would hire any of them in an instant .

    They now represent my own lost dream of my youth ( my only regret ) of personally (not )climbing the steps of the Hogan to receive Sam for the faithful. That dream lived long and despite wearing the green and red at underage , I “discovered ” my talents lay elsewhere .

    It took this team to show me exactly what a limited player I was. Their dream I daresay is shared by millions the world over , Mayo people or not. The cause is Global. The courage in this team lives on .The dream will never die ! ( sorry about that).

    A more reductive approach is required by the actual players whose only goal ( towards achieving their short term goal of winning titles ) should be ( like the New England Patriots ) to win the next ball and get the next score. Just doing that makes everything more possible regardless of other teams abilities.

  51. “riseagain” I second your comment to true grit.
    I chose to ignore him/her at the time.

  52. To Swahili. I totally agree with you. To Rise Again and Mairtinin I say the truth hurts, but its still the truth. There is no point in sweeping it under the carpet and pretend every thing is rosy. We sure are a County who more than most deserve to bring home Sam, and maybe this could be our year, who knows. Just because I gave compliments to McStay/McHale and outlined our shortcomings, does not mean I don’t support my County. And to add What if we had McStay/ McHale. We may have Sam by now. I always give credit to where credit is due. The Connacht Telegraph Motto is ” Be Just and Fear Not”

  53. So Willie joe ,

    We beat cork and galway best Donegal we play the rossies and galway play Kerry , is that correct

    Lots of confusion over the quarter finals

  54. I’ll second that Castlebarred…lovely sentiment by Swahili and I too am one proud Mayoman who cannot attend games but I do when I can. My Dublin born daughter is also green and red to her heart and though it pains me to see her sob at our near misses I am proud of the integrity and honour that our footballers carry on our behalf. They make me even more proud to tell people I’m from Mayo and I believe that the next score is all that matters…keep on doing what you do best and we will support you even from afar…always. I saw a message from my brother in Brisban today…he says ‘we are a year closer to winning Sam’…and that nut will be cracked sooner or later…but we are closer now than ever before! Maigheo go deo!

  55. The only people writing off cork will be the Kerry and Dublin pundits cos they want us gone out of the equation.

    Underestimate any cork team at your peril. Mayo, be warned.

  56. That’s it exactly, Mayoman. I don’t understand the confusion, the rule that previous provincial meetings are to be avoided where possible makes it all pretty straightforward.

  57. True grit..I think most Mayo supporters echo your sentiments re Mc Stay and Mc Hale..They like the rest of us have moved on from the sorry saga of two years ago…

  58. I have just looked at Liam,s blog. Reminds me very much of James Horans time with Mayo County Board. He got rid of the County Board,s involvement, and that is why we reaped our rewards. We too went to Croke Parke with our cornations and we came back in the end empty handed. Every team has a dream and we know all this crap about Martin Breheny and all the other hacks. Sure they wrote the same SHITE about us, and do you know at times I think they were not far off. From your blog it appears every one is wrong, 14 man Mayo team, a bad Roscommon team etc, etc, and if its not that its referees. If you look at all the blogs last few days from our bloggers it was all Galway. Just because the beat a Mayo team who were like Galway yesterday, does not mean Roscommon are a bad team. Let us beat Cork and then we can see how good or bad Roscommon are, As of now the are going to Croker and we are tripping down to Limerick.

  59. That’s fair enough, True Grit, but remember that there’s never just one narrative that’s correct from everyone’s perspective. I’d strongly share your good wishes to Kevin and Liam and to how yesterday’s game was reffed. As to the heave, all I’d say is that that particular topic was discussed exhaustively here in the past and there’s no point bringing it all up again in the middle of a championship season. Also I’m not sure where you’re getting that stat about our current management team having only won one championship game so far. We won six, drew one and lost two last year and so far this year we’ve won three and lost one.

  60. The championship game,s I refer to is in the Connacht Championship as some blogger stated that the Connacht championship does not mean much. I will also be in Limerick as I have been at every Mayo match apart from challenge matches for over 45 years, so I have seen the good , bad , and ugly side of Mayo football. This present team of the past 7 years have been the greatest I have ever seen in my time, and to be fair all the players it was always a management cock up that stopped us from getting our hands on Sam. I,ll rest my case WJ

  61. Mayo lost more people per head of population in the famine than any other county. we are the most dispersed people in Ireland.

    You know the saying there is an Irishman in every corner of the world. My American colleague likes to add…”yes and it’s likely he is a Mayo man”

    It’s natural as we progress every year and especially when we get to a final that the demand for tickets is insane. A relative was based in the US with Aer Lingus a number of years ago and said the demand for tickets home for All Ireland weekend was at its greatest by far when Mayo were involved.

  62. I agree mayonaze, cork cannot be underestimated. There could be a nasty little sting in the tail there if we’re not careful and fully tuned in. Cork are completely under the radar now and are being written off by all and sundry. Screw any thoughts of quarters against Kerry or the rossies. Going for the cork jugular from word go is the mind set needed on Sat week. The langers are a very proud people and can play football

  63. That’s grand, True Grit – clarification noted. It’s still an incorrect stat, by the way, as we’ve won two Connacht matches under the current management (as well as Sligo this year we also won over in London last year) but that’s kinda splitting hairs, I guess.

  64. True Grit – Who’s to say we would have even made it to a final last year if the current management team hadn’t been in charge.

    These negative comments at this stage of the season aren’t going to solve anything. You’re acting like we’ve been knocked out already. It’s a total defeatist, loser’s mentality to be talking about past defeats right now. All our energy should be focused on the next game and supporting our players and management.

  65. Great Post Swahili. There was close to 10K Mayo supporters in Ennis. I got there early as I had a seat in the middle of the stand. I watched the Mayo crowd filter in. They took over every vantage point. They were in full voice long before a ball was kicked in anger. They optimised the words you wrote about being from Mayo. Loud and proud all afternoon. Our new goal should be to fill the Gaelic grounds with more of those proud Mayo people who simply love this team, Sam or no Sam. Is feidir linn.

  66. Great post as well Swahili, this mayo team have brought us so many brilliant days.
    I don’t like Tom Parsons though………my wife has nominated him as her ‘no strings’!!

  67. Very well said Jaden re Harrison
    We are proud of our mayo lafs but it doesn’t mean we go around wearing green and red glasses.
    Hopefully Harrison has learned is lesson as that incident could very easily have ended tragically.
    Dont know if there is post match action, but the mayo management should certainly have words with him.

  68. We can be glad that the ref dealt with the Harrison incident during the match otherwise I can assure you he’d be facing a suspension. The tackle has garnered some public attention and was the first topic discussed on the gaelic football segment of 2FM’s sports show. The GAA would have taken stock of this to ensure spear tackles are not tolerated but as the ref dealt with the incident by giving Harrison a black card, he’s in the clear.

    I agree with Duignan’s comments re Sky coverage. It goes against the ‘grass roots’ ethos of the GAA that our games are not on RTE exclusively. The ‘money’ argument doesn’t wash….the GAA has plenty of money. Its unadulterated greed plain and simple.

  69. Spotlight, RTE don’t give a shite about grassroots. They don’t care about lower level hurling, the weaker football counties, qualifiers that don’t involve bigger teams etc etc. Their pathetic coverage of the league and smaller championship games is evidence of that, so Duignan can jog on as far as I’m concerned.

    TG4 have done more in their short existence for grassroots GAA than RTE ever have or ever will

  70. There is a fair percentage of the population that do not have sky for one reason or another. It certainly is greed before people. The only point imo is that in mayo money does seem to filter down to smaller clubs as every little club seem to have respectable facilities nowadays.

  71. MayoMark, the point here is not RTE’s emphasis on grassroots but rather the GAA’s as it is they who decide ultimately what broadcaster will show their matches. After all, Sky just want the glamour games also. Everyone wants to see the big games on TV and the GAA is disenfranchising many ordinary people who can’t afford Sky Sports from enjoying the games on tv (many who are volunteers etc. or ordinary supporters with their respective clubs, hence my ‘grassroots’ comment).

    Its not the Sky deal per se that bothers me, more so how it conflicts with the stated amatuer ethos of the GAA……..its not that long ago that they banned players from drinking certain brands of sports drinks after matches.

  72. While sky deal may be about money. If not for Sky how many games would realistically be televised given amount of games there are now with qualifiers? Rte can’t have 24/7 gaa coverage every weekend and if go back decade or so ago how many matches were televised?
    Be nice see TG4 with games perhaps but cost of production of so many live games may be issue for them.

  73. One advantage of sky is it is giving gaelic football world wide exposure. Also opportunity for irish people living abroad to watch games.
    TG4 give great service throughout year. We need fans to go to matches to create atmosphere.
    Its difficult to get balance right but great to see lovely sports facilities in small towns and villages. Support for mayo team is great and I would say mayo are doing well re money spent in mayo to develop facilities

  74. Lots of options for the next day in the back line , I would like the see Vaughan played at full back instead of caff

    Caff is not the same player since he came back unfortunately ,

    Chris Barrett is doing well , how will we accomodate Higgins and durcan now?

  75. I see that it’s been reported this morning that we have no injury worries after the Clare game and that all members of the squad are now taking part in full training sessions. So its roll on the Cork game!

  76. It was hard to read where Keith Higgins position was in the second half of the Clare game. I’ll add further. It was hard to read where a lot of our 2 – 12 players positions were. Which makes me think should we cut loose a bit further from talk of corner back, full back, centre back etc. Simply put we need out most effective players on the pitch. With the harum scarum all action pace of modern football the amount of times you end up in a 1 v 1 point scoring/preventing situation is quite rare. With that in mind the best six backs I have seen this year for Mayo are (no positions)
    Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Lee Keegan, Stephen Coen, Patrick Durcan, Keith Higgins (attacking from middle third).
    Interestingly Keith Higgins best contribution has clearly been attacking forward from the middle third and even in or around the oppositions 45!!! I cannot recall too many blocks or interceptions or good shadowings that he has done back around the corner back position.
    I’ll go out on a limb and say the above six backs are close to as good in the country.

  77. Its tru what you say about modern game and similarly with forwards we seem to be operating with several sweepers taking turns and it seems to be working well.
    The backs you mention are more memorable for work they do going forward than any excellent defensive work , though I do think harrison is complete player and disclipinary lapse is a once off.
    Teams havent diverted completly away from traditional style either. I think those six backs might struggle to contain a Murphy or donaghy used as target men full forwards. Thats my opinion and I would have concern re keith higgins.

  78. RTE coverage of gaelic games is terrible–little or no news on the radio sports news. Much more news of League of Ireland & indeed cricket–coverage should be tied in to contract.

  79. @OnTheDitch. I would actually have Keith Higgins up around half backs. He isn’t as tight as Barrett, Harrison in defending.
    Yes those big full forwards are an issue. In the case of those you need a specific plan as Coen is the tallest defender there with none of the others being particularly tall.
    However mobility and footballing wise I think it’s our best six.

  80. @JP Agree to an extent about Higgins – certainly not our tightest man-marker and wouldn’t give him that job and neither is he a fantastic sweeper. He should instead be given a role on an opposition forward who drops deep – he would keep them on the back foot, have the engine to follow them up and down the pitch and still contribute defensively where he often seems be pop up in the right place at crucial times.

    I think to be honest this year we will play with 7 backs. Those mentioned above plus Caff. Caff is still an underrated player imo. Rarely gives away a foul, often prevents/delays the forward getting on the ball with the merest of touches, not flashy and not interested in leaving his post at FB. Of course he has his flaws but I’d have him in most days.

    Finally I liked the way we lined up against Clare – we may have stumbled upon our best formation. Keeping Loftus, Andy and Cillian up enables us to win ball in the FF line and crucially, give it quickly to a fella in support. Kev Mc is playing out around HF where he is most effective and Aido is allowed to rampage forward from a MF role. Coen plays almost as a deep lying/3rd midfielder and gives additional defensive cover when necessary.

  81. True grit,Roscommon has won a match so they are better than Mayo we will see,I believe that outwitting Tyrone is equal or better also drawing with the finest team to ever play football must count for something, and before we go into changes for the replay ,that problem has not disappeared

  82. True Grit – living in the past and still sore about 2015 can’t be good for your health. Get a life and enjoy the journey. I suspect you still feel Mayo would be better off without Aidan O’Shea and, if I get the jist of an earlier message correct, most of his 215 team mates. Whatever the final outcome of the 217 c’ship, this team has fought harder and given more entertainment than any Mayo team I have followed for the best part of 60 years.
    Enjoy it and stop moaning!

  83. The competition for places is building nicely which is good to see. It might be no harm to give Jason Doc a start against Cork to keep the lads up front on their toes. Players like Danny Kirby and Shane Nally have been a bit unlucky too having not seen much game time in the championship so far, as they did well in the league.

  84. Agree with some posters, particularly East Cork Exile from another post on the danger Cork pose.

    As Enda McEvoy said recently, before the hurling revival, Cork are Cork. What that really means is that, for the footballers, they THINK they are better than most other counties. The hurlers KNOW they are better than any other county. Remember Donal Óg saying to Anthony Daly before a Munster clash: ‘we’re Cork, boy’. Throw in the Munster title, reopening of the Park and you can see those red jerseys puffing up with pride.

    And, they don’t rate Mayo. Mayo’s championship wins are regarded as flukes that just came along. Remember that league final of 2012 and the ‘how dare you’ attitude they adopted.

    So let the mantra be that you can’t beat this crowd often enough or by enough.

  85. I have been at the past two games and have been really impressed with clarkes kick out , the loopy ones he used to have, he doesn’t seem to do them anymore

    O shea gives him a serious option in Midfield for 50/50 kick outs

    we now have the best all round goalkeeper in Ireland

  86. What is exciting to think is that we haven’t really had our full 15 available. If you look at the last day Patrick Durcan and Tom Parsons are two players who we all rate quite strongly. That’s a fair bit of athleticism to add into the mix.
    Loftus for me is the kinda guy makes things gel seeing quick passes others can’t see. He had the ball in the second half the last day, I couldn’t see much of an option on for him with defenders closing in. He pulled off a long and accurate left handed fistpass straight to Kevin Mc. Crucially this ball went straight into the outstretched hands of Kevin and he could flash over the point. So he could see that difficult option and he had the accuracy to pull it off to perfection.
    Litte glimpses as well like when he was trapped in the corner in the first half after a pass from Andy. I don’t know how he worked the ball out of there with two defenders up close but he managed it. You can’t coach that kind of stuff. It’s really instinctive going right into the areas of creativity, mental sharpness etc.

  87. Morag Bellingham , your right,.. Clarke’s restart’s have improved considerably.. Very important as I think that the ‘mark’ is a really suits Mayo, with SOS, AOS and Tom Parsons all very fine fielders of a ball… . Barry Moran might still give us something as Barry is an incredible fielder himself.. , he has still to make the match day 26, he might be needed against Cork, as Cork have far more to offer in midfield than either Derry or Clare.. Kerry are the other team that the ‘mark’ will benefit greatly… On another subject, I see that ‘Brian Cody’ has escaped sanction for his ‘hand’s on’ the linesman, because it wasn’t mentioned in the referee report…. A 12 week ban would be meaningless in any case as Killkenny are not playing again this year… But in all fairness, why should Brian Cody escape punishment for the exact same infraction of the rules as Diarmuid Connolly or Evan Commerford? …. The GAA do have a problem in terms of their administration of discipline… It has to fair and seen to be fair across the board!

  88. I agree too clarkes kickouts much improved. I think I would keep loftus under wraps and use as impact sub for moment. The less exposure he is given the less homework kerry and dub can do on him. Also it takes pressure of him but increases his hunger when introduced

  89. Great post Swahili!

    I used to go to most of the NFL and championship games when I was based in Mayo, but have been abroad in central Europe for the past six years with little prospect of return. Obviously, now I can’t attend the majority of Mayo games, though I watch them all on GAAGO.

    I am the secretary of the local GAA club in my city, and also play gaelic football, handball and hurling, to varying degrees of success! So when the chance of an All-Ireland final ticket comes up, damn right I’ll make it my business to be there.

    I must admit though, the numbers of Mayo people on Dorset St. before 2012 and particularly last year’s final would make you wonder. I’d say we nearly could have filled the stadium ourselves for last year’s drawn match.

    Mayo must start this game properly: a repeat of the lethargic approach to the Galway and Clare first halves will leave us with a sticky afternoon ahead.

  90. I stillthink the game should be in Ennis even for Mayo fans travelling from Belmullet and Achill its a lot further than say the 1 hour journey Corj fans have from Mallow and Cork city….Il be there regardless but the powers that be dont make it easy for us….

  91. Agree with FreeSpoon, if youre coming from out the peninsula from blacksod neck of the wood which I know many who do, it takes near 4 hours to get to limerick. hardly fair at all. Atmosphere to be average as its way too big a stadium. Mayo to bring 10,000, Cork about 4000ish. A smaller stadium like ennis would’ve suited us as our noise would be better heard. But ho hum. I for one will certainly be there shouting.

    Moran the gift that keeps on giving. Brilliant performance at the weekend. So naturally talented. Thought Loftus did well for his first big match at senior. Kev Mc my star player though. Gets on so so much ball.

    Maigh Eo go Deo

  92. Just checked there, (what did we ever do before goooogle maps!!)
    Belmullett –> Gaelic Ground 283Km
    MacHale –> Gaelic Ground 163Km

    Castletown Bear –> Gaelic Ground 195Km
    Pairc Ui Caoimh –> Gaelic Ground 119Km

  93. There seems to be a bit of confusion too over Ennis. On the Clare GAA website it states capacity is 28,000. H & S have capacity limited to 14,800 in Cusack park. “Official” attendance was 11,760 (I think?). Now, if that figure is correct, I certainly wouldn’t have liked to see it with 14,800, never mind 28,000, it was jam packed!
    Evane Ni Cuillean tweeted an hour before the match that there were 12,000 tickets sold the week of the match.

  94. Limerick gaa grounds 49,866
    Room for everyone and gaa know mayo fans will travel

  95. Limerick is the obvious choice for the game. As this round is to be at a neutral venue im sure Cork would have something to say about playing mayo in a ground they had just played in two weeks before hand, as would we if the game was scheduled in the same ground Cork had just played in. Fair is fair and for once the gaa got it spot on in venue selection.

  96. Actually there was plenty of room behind the goal that the O’Connors scored into, in Ennis.

  97. I like the way loftus plays. He has the ability to link with Cillian and Kevin Mc and anyone else with a sharp brain and a sense of position. He could be a key player for us yet.

  98. Yes D …. missing a link piece iand maybe we have something now that will work…. Game against Cork will reveal a lot. Both teams too having the extra week will be significant. Hup!!

  99. It doesn’t matter which of us wins really – Cork or us – because Dublin or Kerry will bayte us anyway in my opinion. Dublin clobbered Westmeath and Kerry won easily against Cork. Dublin are a better side than Kerry also I feel when at full strenth. Understrength against Kerry in the league final and they dominated as usual the last ten minutes. Kerry lucky to get over the line. I hope I am wrong of course…Muigheo abu!!

  100. Is there any point in going ahead with the game mayoabu? Possibly it be better to call off the rest of the games and just let Kerry and Dublin play each other every weekend until the end of September????

    It seems pretty clear that we took over last day when our half backs started to attack and we went away from pointless 50 yard kicks to the corner. I noticed that when boyler or Keegan attacked Higgins and Coen dropped back. We generally had a sweeper back but it changed from player to player. It’s an
    Interesting formula but takes serious organisation. I felt it took us a while to get it right in the first half as Clare extra men in defence attacked and no one picked them up. A big positive has been clarkes kickouts. They have improved no end and are greatly helped by aido dominating the skies. Also Cillian’s general play has been excellent. Getting on so much ball and distributing well to players around him. I still think we lack confidence when shooting. Doc, Kev mc, Higgins all had chances for simple scores but looked to pass to someone in a worse position or simply waited for contact. The form of Aidan O’Shea would make you think anything is possible though.

  101. Yes no suprise that we have improved after going
    Back to our preferred running game.
    Constant Aimless kicks into an isolated full forward Line was clearly not working.
    What exactly were Mgmt hoping to
    Achieve with this tactic of having only
    Two scoring forwards on the pitch that
    Every attack went through

  102. Dublin took mayo by a point after a replay and Cillian o connor surprisingly missed a chance to take it to extra time is probably the reason Jim Gavin changed strategy to time their build in momentum for later in the year. This is an age old tactic in Kerry unless they need to win the league having not won the all ireland in a few years. Mayo perfected it last year and are heading in that direction again which is why we are seeing more effective running from deep. The S+C team are earning their keep. I only hope the defensive coaching matches them but I have my concerns. Its going to be an intriguing august/sept.

  103. I had a full rewatch of the Clare game. I recommend if people do it they pay particular attention to Stephen Coen. I don’t think he put a pass wrong in the entire game. He was operating as a midfielder even when Aidan was down for kickouts. He was pulling off some good kickpasses which were leading to scores or scoreable frees. He was just a player transformed when playing behind the ball rather than up ahead of the ball with his back to goal. When he was within scoring range he was doing the sensible thing and handpassing it off.
    With Aidan coming down for kickouts Stephens relative lack of height for midfield doesn’t matter. He’s not too bad on that front anyways, I’v stood beside him, I’m 5’11” and he had a fair bit on me, probably 6’1″.

  104. AOS interview on Newstalk Sport ….great stuff ….podcast worth a listen…top class!

  105. That’s so true, JP – I watched most of it again and Stephen’s contribution to proceedings was way more pronounced than I’d thought on the day. He’s like a kind of hidden weapon for us! For sure, he’s a player who is becoming ever more important to the team as time progresses. The other player who stood out for me after the break on second viewing was Seamie. From half-time to when he went off he gave it everything, contributing greatly to our middle third dominance and repeatedly setting up the plays for the runners coming through.

  106. Its a bit strange that we completely changed tactics from what we have been doing in the previous 2 and a half games at half time the last day. Don’t get me wrong, it worked so I’m glad we have, but I find that odd.
    Did rochford go “f*ck it lads, my ways not working, lets go back to a running game?” find that hard to believe that a manager would do that. Was it a tactic, “play like that for the first 2 and a half games” and then change it when we play a more open team? And then do it in the second half when we could have been buried at half time? That doesn’t strike me as likely either.
    And then, your making major tactical changes but your back on the field nearly 5 minutes before the opposition. I would have thought it would have taken all of the half time break to make sure everyone knew their jobs.

    Its not a rhetorical question, I don’t know the answer, again, its not a criticism, it was great to see it but I cant logically figure out where it came from

  107. Yes JP coen is improving with every game and is a very important cog in the wheel.
    I remember after a league game awhile back pat Spillane criticised his kick passing and you could see he put in serious work into it since.the lad has 2 under age A.I 1 sigerson and was in a club A.I and 2 A.I senior appearances not bad for a young buck.
    I think he will be one of our top players going forward.
    On Ger caf he wasn’t around last year so it will take a bit to get used to the sweeper system,Ger is a good honest full back and kept the Clare danger man quite.
    I have full faith in ger and think he becomes the fall guy when things go wrong, just aswell he wasn’t on the pitch for the two own goals or he would have to leave the country.
    We are moving in the right direction and hope to see Kirby and nally get some game time the next day.

  108. Seamus had one of his best games for a while is true.
    With Barry Moran maybe being a future option off the bench our strength in depth in the middle third of the pitch is as good as we’ve had.
    I’m not sure it would get picked but I’d love to see AOS, SOS, Tom Parsons and Stephen Coen all on the pitch together. AOS at 11, Seamus and Tom in midfield and Stephen Coen at 6. Flank those four with a lot of pace and athleticism and it could be a serious platform for us.

  109. Agree on both comments about Coen – he got on an amount of ball and used it well but I almost completely missed it live.

    I’m not sure how much we changed tactics, I think it was more about getting the right players in the right positions. No surprise to me that Kev Mc was better around the HF line and I think having two out-and-out FF in Andy and Loftus gave us better attacking shape. This gave the runners more space and time to attack from deep. Also a good few of our scores, including Diarmuid’s goal, came from balls into the FF line that we won but crucially had support in the FF line or a runner from deep.

  110. But that’s a key tactical change, we were hitting the 45 and then kick passing in the first half and other games.
    Second half we were running at them and interchanging passes in order to get the ball in closer to goal. The end result was a score or a free if fouled, or a player slipping through from a good pass clear on goal.
    We were also putting more bodies around the “D” to recycle the ball whereas with our previous tactic we were endeavouring to keep that area clear to give the classic long corner forward type ball which bounces in front which is lovely to look at but rarely works for us.

  111. @east cork exile… I honestly think that Rochford is keeping everyone guessing as much as possible… granted we sailed very close to the wind in the Derry game, but even when time was running out I still felt we weren’t going to lose… Of course Derry getting that poxy goal just after we had taken the lead made a bit of a balls of it, but I do believe that Rochford had planned for us to appear to scrape through in the last 10 minutes… It was a pity it went to ET because we really showed how fit we were, something that wasn’t that evident in the first 70 minutes. Extra time we were a different team and showed what we are capable of, albeit against a team dead on their feet. The same against Clare, when Clare went 6-1 up the little fella looked at me and said “I feel sick”, and I told him, don’t worry, we’ve got this! When Cillian hit the net he turned to me, smiled and said “I’m OK now!”…
    I know Rochford got a lot of stick last year for playing Hennelly in the replay, but he had to change something… There was so little between the teams in the drawn match… And while Clarke is one of my favorite players, sometimes his kick outs weren’t the best, so I can kinda see the logic! If we had won, he would have been a genius, however it backfired, but at least he tried something! Clarke really seems to have worked on his kick outs this year and is now without a doubt the best goalie in Ireland.
    So, I for one am happy enough to see the tactics being mixed up throughout the games, because if we’re guessing, so are the opposition!

  112. The Clare game should have taught the manager a lesson he should have already known re county players – to get the most out of them you play them in their best position. For the remainder of the year – Keegan should be played no 5. Vaughan across hb line and nowhere else. Coen across hb line or midfield. McLaughlin no 10 and Cillian told to stay inside the 45 yard line and preferably the 21 all the time. To win a game you have to be able to score – you have a better chance of scoring with “natural” forwards rather than trying to convert backs at this stage of the year.

  113. a_mc.. No doubt about it, Clarke’s kickout’s have improved noticeably , but we as yet have to come up against a top class midfield… Versus Clare we did come up against a good midfield, Gary Brennan would get on almost any team in Ireland, and played with distinction for Ireland in the last international rule’s competition… However despite Cork not quite being able to boast of a midfield player quite as good as Gary Brennan, their overall strength in this area is way ahead of what Clare has to offer… In the ‘Don’t foul’ analysis of the Kerry /Cork match, the Rebel’s had very close to parity with Cork in team’s of possession and shot’s at goal with ‘the Kingdom’.. What gave Kerry the easy win on the score board was their incredibly effective score taking, in comparison to Cork wastefulness, which included a few goal chance’s… So despite what the’ bookie’s’ odds, might seem to say,. Equating Cork on par with Derry and Clare, this is easily Mayo’s most serious opposition to date… Ideal territory for an ambush, and that’s something they know plenty about in Cork… We have to be very careful or the the ‘Gaelic Ground’s’ in Limerick will become our ‘Béal na nBlaith’ for a second time in 3 year’s.

  114. Clarke’s kickouts were good the last day but was put under zero pressure, it will prob be somethign Cork will target I’d imagine

    Great day in Ennis, v proud of our players, fans and people collecting for Mr Gavin

  115. @ east cork exile, I’m with you. From the outside it would appear like he’s tried a couple of different things, Keegan at 6, long kick passes to ff line etc and they have not worked so we’ve just gone back to our running game.

  116. Hi all, tickets for the match online now….just online and offered location GA for the Mackey stand….is that general admittance or is their a section G row A and if so is A pitchside? Have searched the net for detail but to no avail?


  117. South Mayo Exile …. Vaughan across the hb line.

    I can name 5 better options …
    Keegan boyle higgins. …. Durkan and Coen.

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