Decisive date with Donegal on Sunday

Image: @MayoGAA

Our seventh and final match in this year’s NFL Division One campaign takes place this coming Sunday at MacHale Park. Donegal are the visitors for this one, Cormac Reilly has the whistle for it and the match throws in at Castlebar at 2pm.

Everyone, I’m sure, knows the permutations from our point of view at this stage. With Roscommon already relegated, the last place in the ejector seat is set to be filled by either ourselves or Cavan. Kerry, while not yet mathematically safe either, are way ahead of both ourselves and Cavan (in that order) on points difference. Seeing as it’s only on this metric that they could take the hop we can assume that they’re assured of their Division One place for 2018.

A Kerry loss – they’re at home to Tyrone, by the way – would effectively guarantee our survival and this is true even if we lose and Cavan win. In the resultant three-way tie, Kerry (currently on a points difference of +6) would most likely be saved first, followed by us (-5). Cavan are currently on a points difference of -20, so they’re unlikely to be able to overhaul us, unless we get beaten decisively and they thump the Rossies.

Taking the Kerrymen out of the equation, we go into Sunday two points better off than the Breffni County so, regardless of how they do against Roscommon at Hyde Park, a win for us or a draw will be enough for us to stay up. Even if we lose we’ll keep our top tier status, providing Cavan don’t win and Kerry neither win nor draw. But if we lose, the Breffni lads win and Kerry get at least a draw then our long tenure in Division One will be at an end, as Cavan have us on the head-to-head rule.

It’s worth laying out the permutations from Donegal’s point of view as well. They got into Sunday in second spot – and so in pole position to contest the Division One final – and a win over us would guarantee them an outing in Croke Park on Sunday week. Monaghan, who share second spot on eight points with Donegal but lie behind them on points difference, can make the final too, but only if they beat the Harlem Globe Trotters at Clones.

That’s a prize worth going for, by the way, as a win for the Farneymen there not only would end Dublin’s unbeaten run it’d also deny them a place in the final. Depending on how our match goes, that final would then be between Monaghan and one of Donegal, Tyrone or even Kerry.

But back to Donegal. Rory Gallagher’s refashioned team have been a revelation this spring – I for one certainly didn’t expect them to prosper following that raft of retirements that were announced over the winter – and they’ve lost just once this spring. That was in Round 1 at home to Kerry when all those new faces, many of whom also feature on this year’s U21 team, were still only finding their feet. They’ve gone from strength to strength since then – winning three times and drawing twice – and they come to Castlebar secure in the knowledge that their 2017 League campaign can already be chalked down as a success.

Their working assumption coming into their game with us will, no doubt, be that the Dubs will do the needful in St Tiernach’s Park. Will they fancy a crack at the swaggering Metropolitans at HQ the following Sunday? Or would they prefer to dodge the ritual flailing that has been the lot of Dublin’s League final opponents in recent years?

None of us know the answer to those questions. I guess it won’t be until half-time on Sunday – by which point the course of events in Clones will at least have begun to become clear – that we’ll know too how much appetite Donegal might have for contesting the League final.

In any event, this idle speculation isn’t all that relevant from our perspective. Regardless of what mental state the opposition are in and how much they really want to get something from the fixture, the bottom line for us is that to ensure our Division One safety we need to get a result. Our mindset going into the game must – as I’m sure it will – be aimed squarely at achieving this objective.

The other thing we need to bear in mind is that Donegal and ourselves have developed a healthy dislike for each other in recent years. Last year’s meeting in Ballybofey was a bad-tempered affair and, new faces or not, we can expect them to roll out the usual Alpha Male he-man shiteology tactics that seem to be the norm for all Ulster counties these days.

The last time we played them in MacHale Park was in the final round of the 2015 League. We went into that game as well with the threat of relegation – and the chance of making the play-offs – hanging over us but the permutations then weren’t as clear as they are on this occasion. As things turned out that day, our result – a draw – had no bearing on our retaining top tier status, as Kerry’s win over Tyrone sent the Red Hands through the trapdoor. Our failure to win that game did, though, deny us a place in the semi-finals that year.

In terms of personnel for Sunday, we look to be in a decent position right now. Chris Barrett and Aidan O’Shea both slotted back in at Omagh last Sunday and the Mayo News has reported since (here) that long-term absentees Seamus O’Shea and Ger Cafferkey are both likely to be available for selection on Sunday. Donal Vaughan and Cillian O’Connor, who both suffered head injuries against Tyrone, are also both expected to be fit to play.

The picture on the Donegal side of the fence isn’t as bright. The Donegal Democrat reports (here) that Ryan McHugh will miss the game, as he picked up an ankle injury against Monaghan. Mind you, Karl Lacey is set to replace him so they’re not that badly off.

The bookies reckon we’re safe enough this weekend. Cavan are 1/8 with Paddy Power for the drop whereas we’re on offer at a sporting 11/2 (odds here). Their rationale for those odds is that, while they reckon Cavan (priced at 4/7) will beat the Rossies, we’ve been installed as clear 8/15 favourites to do the business over Donegal.

What do you reckon: how do you think Sunday’s meeting with Donegal will go for us?

How will we do against Donegal?

  • Win (58%, 254 Votes)
  • Draw (25%, 108 Votes)
  • Lose (17%, 73 Votes)

Total Voters: 435

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88 thoughts on “Decisive date with Donegal on Sunday

  1. Dublin are still favourites to make the final, even if they lose. The only team that can pip them there if they lose is Donegal, because they have a massive point difference

  2. Ryan mchugh will be a big loss to donegal i think donegal wont want to win with ulster coming up its ulster that they want to win not the leauge i think it will be a draw

  3. I think there is another way we can stay up Willie Joe.

    If we lose and Cavan win, would the following not be correct?

    If Kerry lose to Tyrone, there will be 3 teams on 6 pints and the team with the worst scoring record would go down. Currently Cavan and probably likely to stay that way unless they win big or we lose heavily. So the Kerry V Tyrone result could hold the key to the whole thing if we dont perform in Mchale park. Up Tyrone.!!.

    Or have i got this all wrong.

  4. Donegal have got a massive boost from 21 year old Ciaran Thompson. 6’4″ well built, mobile and can kick with unbelievable accuracy from distance. In the depths of the Tyrone blanket he stepped into pockets of space to kick three long range points.
    The only impactful retirement Donegal had was Eamon McGee. The rest were unlikely to feature much.
    We need to pick a physically strong team from the start in my view.

  5. If Mayo & Kerry lose and Cavan win, all three teams will be tied on 6 points. Head to head results then go out the window, relegation is then determined on points difference.

  6. Yes Jim Flag that is correct. I Doubt Micky Hart will like to finish off the league with 3 losses so that could well be a tight game. Also if Tyrone were to beat Kerry very narrowly and we hammered Donegal by 12 points(who knows what could happen, just a plausibility- they might lie down and not want the final) we would finish second – assuming Dublin were to beat Monaghan. A lot of us and buts there but bookies still offering odds on us to win the league.

  7. No point looking at permutations, Mayo need to beat Donegal pure and simple, thats the mind set we need to go in with, losing 3 out of 4 home games is unacceptable at any level. It has been made a little easier with Ryan McHugh out but still Donegal will be tough. 12 point win is not going to happen. Donegal will not lie down for fear of a final, they would be delighted to get to the final, its actually an insult to suggest they would go out to lose, would Mayo ever lie down and throw a game for fear of playing the Dubs, im sure everyone associated with Mayo would be highly insulted by the mention of it.

  8. You’re correct, of course, Jim – I actually started talking about Kerry in the post but then forgot to go through that three-way tie scenario, which is important because, as you point out, it could result in Cavan still going down if they win and we lose. I’ll edit the post now just to clear up any confusion.

  9. Lying down is not throwing a game. Look at 2013..did they throw that? I’d never suggest that they’d do such a thing . It has been a successful league for them already and they might not have the same will to win as us. Especially with a congested ulster championship to look forward to. I could be proven wrong though. Of course it’s in our hands and I’m sure that’s the mindset the players have. Was just pointing out a very implausible but still possible permutation. I honestly don’t think it’s going to happen but certainly Tyrone beating Kerry could very well happen and could save our blushes if Donegal turn up and outplay our lads in McHale Park.

  10. Donegal showed their relentless style v Tyone last time…relentless! Only difference was they did it better and slotted many snazzy scores….Fully devoted to it with no other intensions which will put it up to our undoubted never say die character. Great day out..

  11. Ejector seat !!! Love it…made me chuckle. Wont be so funny on sunday if we are to find ourselves in it of course. In the hope that we manage to get the desired result( and performance!) rather than not use the particular seat in question could we perhaps place the referee in it instead??

  12. I think its got “draw” written all over it.

    A lot of draws in this division dish ear and so far we have not had one. We are due a draw in the league. It kind of suits both teams too.

    Would prefer to see Tyrone make the final v the Dubs. They can put it up to the Dubs and had them beaten a few weeks ago until “Dublin Joe” came off the bench and kicked a wonderful late equaliser. Or something like that anyway.

  13. See that Mattie Donnelly has 1 match ban for strike on Aiden. What bout the strike on Cillian!!

  14. JP according to some posters on here, any of the u21’s cannot make an impact,as they dont have the strength and conditioning. Well Donegal have shown otherwise. Maybe Rochford should roll the dice come championship and include some u21’s and some of the westport forwards. I never saw as good a goal as westport player turned on his heels and rattled the back of the net. We need direct forwards. And before anyone goes on about intermediate vs senior. Darren O Sullivan won all ireland with junior team.

  15. Ciaran Thompson didn’t make too much impact last year as an u21 at senior level. He is an u22 now (21 years of age) and about a stone heavier.

  16. Jason McGee is involved this year might prove your point about u21s. But he’s a big lad also 6’4″ or so at midfield. Yer typical more towards 5’11″/6’1″ range of player will struggle at senior due to lack of strength.

  17. Keeping the faith that our Mayo lads and management will continue to do us proud this Sunday!!!! Love your commentary and choice of words John, made this read quite entertaining! Maigh Eo Abú always and prepared for the free heart stress test on Sunday!!!

  18. We have to win on Sunday make no mistake about that It would be a absolute disaster to go down espeacially with Galway going up to div 1 next year they will know all about it when they are there …..Saying that i think we will win as we are at our best when there is a lot riding on the game expect intensity levels to go up a few notches i would start the same team as against Tyrone except change Drake for Diurmuid and go at it rught from the start…..I think it would be better to leave Caff to his club for a few full games as 20mins is not enough to throw him into this….Mayo to win by 4 pts

  19. Earlier in the week, I predicted that there would be no retrospective action after the Omagh match. Well I’m glad to say I was wrong. But Tyrone have undoubtedly got off light. Mattie Donnelly being singled out for a one match ban,. Two other Tyrone players are very lucky not to be joining Mattie.. Some have suggested that Donegal would not want to play Dublin in a league final and might take it easy on us. Not remotely likely I would suggest, they have successfully blooded several young players in this year’s league and theese lad’s won’t be in any mood to take their foot off the excellerator. You can be 100% certain no one on this Donegal team will want to lose their place, considering how competitive it is there right now. We too have got to go for it from the off, nothing else will do! , We can’t depend on our luck again , we depended on luck last year. Let’s not tempt fate again. There is actually an outside chance of making the final, about 100/1 shot but nevertheless a chance, for that to happen Mayo would have to beat Donegal by 12 points more than Kerry would beat Tyrone, and of course Dublin would have to beat Monaghan. Don’t go rushing off to the bookie now!

  20. Think this is one where we should go hell for leather early on. Not a day for playing it cagey I would have thought.

    We don`t want to find ourselves two points down with five minutes to go. Not against Donegal. Besides ………..

    fortune favours the brave don`t they say? Sadly we have not shown much bravery at this venue in a good little

    while. For me – – this is a day to go for it. Break out of the bag. SOB lads please. Thanks.

  21. It’ll be interesting to see if Donegal will play one or even two big men in their full-forward line to try and exploit our lack of height in the full-back line. The last few times that we have faced this we have used Barry Moran in the sweeper position but I take it that Barry won’t be available to play this role next Sunday. If Michael Murphy etc. is positioned as an out and out full-forward at different stages during the game, we will need to be prepared for this.

  22. Tyrone are Tyrone,thats just the way they are.When it comes to the dirt there is no County better at it but this Mayo team went up to Omagh and toughened it out and won the game.That for me, tells me there is alot of fight still left in this Mayo group when they put their collective minds to it.Approach the game with Donegal with the same attitude and they will send home another tough,hard northern team with ambition packing.

    And another thing lets not get into the good,bad or ugly of a Referee,it’s nonsense and counter productive.

  23. We are -5 and they are +12.

    So 17 points between us. They go down a point for every 1 we score.

    A 9 point win could see us through to the final?

  24. Obviously I mean their points difference goes down when we get a lead and increase it, while our points difference goes up.

  25. Somebody get a calculator ! Only joking . Need to win this one and stay up . That would be job done in my eyes

  26. The idea that Donegal will not want to win on Sunday because they are afraid of playing the Dubs is nonsense. They would love to sent us down after what we have done to them in our last two Croke Park meetings Nothing will come easy for Mayo on Sunday and only a high level high quality performance will do.

  27. Tyrone had cavanagh and donnolly in their full forward line and we didnt do too bad. Think having Clarke there gives a lot of confidence. He’s like an extra full back at times.

  28. Keepmovingfoward, It’s not the scoring difference of Donegal but rather Kerry we need to look at. In the long shot chances of making the final. We would still to beat Donegal by 12 points more than what Kerry presumably beat Tyrone by in order to qualify… We have an even longer shot of qualifying for the final in the event of a draw between Kerry and Tyrone, and of course Dublin beating Monaghan, but in that particular seneraio Mayo would need to beat Donegal by 15+,points…About the same odds as the match being cancelled because of a Commet stricking McHale Park!

  29. Just to answer my own question.

    A 9 point win won’t do because either Kerry or Tyrone will come into it at the top and whoever it is will be better placed than us.

  30. Your welcome Keepmovingfoward, It’s also about the same chances as Cormac Reilly officiating at the match in Castlebar,.. I’m reminded of the Captain of the Titanic when informed of probability if Icebergs in the vicinity, ” Full Steam Ahead’ and was the reply, or word’s to that effect!

  31. @Niall, yes we did do well against Cavanagh and Donnolly alright but you would consider Murphy and McBrearty to be more dangerous than those two boys. I remember in the 2015 league game McBrearty scored one goal and had another one disallowed. It was probably the two bad goals that we conceded against Cavan and Monaghan that has us in trouble now so it’ll be interesting to see how we handle a big man in the square if Donegal try that tactic.

  32. I do think Kerry will beat Tyrone so a 12 point winning margin over Kerry’s winning margin would be required for a final slot (assuming Dubs beat Monaghan). Watch out for pigs circling over McHale park on Sunday for a sign of us engineering a 12+ points victory over those Donegal boys !! ?

  33. CORMAC REILLY did not have a bad day in Limerick HE CHEATED , HE cheated our players HE cheated our fans 26 BAD DECISIONS in one Match show that. have you all forgotten .

  34. Just saw a photograph on twitter of the team training in Athlone IT last night. Glad to see they were able to train together this week – really need a win this Sunday.

  35. @HSE agreed, donnolly isn’t a forward and lacks any attacking instincts as well as a poor shot. It’s a waste having him in there if you ask me. Mcbrearty and Murphy is about as good a full forward line as you’re gonna face buy I don’t think Murphy will spend much time in there. He needed more out the field especially with Ryan Mchugh gone.

  36. It does look that bit too big a gap to make it possible to reach the final.

    It makes it really interesting if you have a chance going into the last match. I remember our win over Westmeath in 2005 to reach the semi. It looked unlikely that day too!

    Can’t believe the Ref has Kerry connections and was allowed to ref the replay in 2014. Not only should a ref be independent in his decisions but he should also be seen to be independent, whether or not he is trying to be fair.

    Anyway, hope there is a big vocal SUPPORT for the team the next day.

  37. Aside from the win of course it’s essential that we put together back to back performances and show some consistency going towards the championship. Curtailing Michael Murphy’s influence on the game will go a long way to delivering a win.. I would have Lee Keegan tracking him for the afternoon, Tom P marking Ciaran Thompson and Paddy Durcan or Barrett on Paddy McBrearty.. shite to a blanket lads.. shite to a blanket

  38. Yeah Niall and toe to hand, it’ll be very interesting alright to see how Donegal will set-up. McBrearty only came on as a sub against Monaghan, so I wonder will he start against us. It should be a good one anyway. I think I read somewhere that it’s only 7 weeks until our first championship game from Sunday so that won’t be long coming around!

  39. WJ, interested to know what your opinion is on Cormac Reilly’s appointment? You’ve been very quiet on it!

  40. I haven’t, Dinnie – if you were following the comments you’ll have seen my opinion on it. In summary, it’s not the brightest appointment of all time and not one I believe makes sense but it is what it is and we need to accept it and focus on the game. If we end up getting relegated – and I’m not saying we will – it won’t be Cormac Reilly’s fault: it’ll be because we’ll have lost four out seven matches, three of them at home. Even if he has a mare and we lose because of it (which I don’t think will happen either) it still might not have any bearing on where we finish in Division One. What’s important is that the lads play to their potential on Sunday and that the supporters get behind them. Who the ref is on Sunday is of less consideration and shouldn’t become the main focus.

  41. I’m with everyone calling for calm in regards to the appointment of Reilly at the weekend. People need to show some maturity and stop giving out about him and focus on getting behind the team (like a normal football fan). It’s absolutely pathetic behaviour. I bet most of you who are giving out about the ref are the same people who were getting carried away before the Dublin game (thinking that we’d win easily) and completely overreacting after it (calling for major changes and even for Rochford to be sacked)

  42. Let Durcan and Keegan attack. Put other lads in to sit back and do the defensive work.

  43. Mattie Donnelly has a poor shot???? Off which foot because he’s one of the most two footed skillful players in the game.
    He scored three brilliant points in the quarter final. Two right and one left as I remember.

  44. A very stubborn call by gaa to appoint Mr Reilly as ref especially on Mayos home ground I don’t agree with booing an official but there are mayo supporters who feel very sore still think gaa are trying to prove that it is Mayo themselves that are wrong anybody with a brain would not make that appointment and avoid what could be a very nasty atmosphere hope we get a good result and every goes home happy

  45. We were lucky last Sunday. Things went our way. We onlly scored 4 points in second half playing with breeze. Donegal wI’ll go out for a win as they want to show they are the best of the Nothern teams left in the league and could win it. The way we played in the league we are a Divisor 2 team. I hope we will stay in Divisor 1 but it all depends on other results I’m afraid
    I won’t say anymore until after Sunday.

  46. This will come down to how much Donegal want another go at Dublin, as they may feel they have unfinished business there and might fancy another go at them. Right now they appear to be further down the road than us as regards match fitness, and with Murphy pulling the strings and still popping over the free from anywhere inside sixty metres, we’ll need to be on our game if we hope to get anything from this match.

    We also have to contend with the MacHale Park thing, and this is the real puzzle, why we seem to do so badly when playing there? It’s like as if the pressure to perform in front of the home supports causes us to freeze on the day. And it’s not that we haven’t a good sod to play on, as I took a stroll on the pitch after the Cavan match and was amazed at how good the surface was. So no pressure then, for us a must win match in front of what should be the biggest crowed of the season, where else would you want to spend a Sunday.

  47. Maigheogodeo, its not pathetic to give out about a ref who contributed to us losing down in Limerick. The GAA thought he had a howler and he was banished from reffing any mayo games until now. You obviously were not down in Limerick that day, because if you were you would have witnessed first hand the shocker he had.

  48. when are we expected to name our starting 15,tonight ???
    its probably safe to assume we wont list our subs until sunday, that’s annoying, would love to see caff back,but as someone already pointed out maybe he might benefit from a few more games with his club first,
    checked the weather for sunday just now,seems it will be 14 degrees,partly cloudy,good day for a game a football,
    hope there is a loud vocal crowd in Mchale we have to get behind the team from the first whistle,
    we need to register more than we did in the second half last week from play,murphy is popping them over from 50-60 yards and we need to be able to match that, speaking of murphy,who will be assigned the task of tracking him???
    ,looking forward to sunday,
    UP MAYO!

  49. Jennifer – we usually name our team at around 9pm on a Friday night. I doubt we’ll name our subs tonight, as we never do, but it wouldn’t take a genius to guess most of them. If you assume we start with the same team as against Tyrone, which we might, then the subs bench is likely to be the same too, aside from probably the addition of Seamus O’Shea and possibly Ger Cafferkey. If Ger isn’t named then one of current U21s might be included as well. If a few new names are added then a few named the last day will drop off. That’s all that’s to it, really. For info, our bench for the Tyrone game comprised the following: Robbie Hennelly, Donie Newcombe, Caolan Crowe, Stephen Coen, Donal Vaughan, Jason Doherty, Conor Loftus, Diarmuid O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea, Conor O’Shea and Evan Regan.

  50. Thomas O Se on RTE RADIO this morning predicted that it will be a Dublin/Donegal League Final, which means he believes that Donegal will a get a positive result in Mac Hale Park on Sunday.

  51. Who cares what Thomas O Se thinks. IF Mayo produce a poor showing Sunday then we more than likely will be relegated. Who outside Mayo would back us? For the record I believe we can and will get a performance and the result that will keep us in division 1 for another year.

  52. It’s quite possible to simultaneously accept the fact that our fate in the league is – and has been – entirely in our hands, as WJ quite rightly points out, and that getting a result on Sunday is what matters, while being furious about the “two-fingers to Mayo” appointment of a referee that has literally just re-emerged in Division 1 after two years out, to a crunch fixture for us. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

    The referee should have no bearing on the result on Sunday, but then, you’d expect that in most cases, wouldn’t you? Shame it didn’t turn out that way in Limerick. It’s now up to our lads to play well enough to beat a resurgent Donegal team and to act smart in the way they set up. Time to turn so-called home advantage into an actual advantage for a change.

    Ultimately I doubt I’ll be wasting much of my energy on Reilly – I’d prefer to get behind the team – but I’m getting a bit fed up of those of us who are quite justifiably annoyed about Reilly’s appointment being labelled as “pathetic”. Hope the view is nice up there on that capall ard.

  53. Tomás O’Sé isn’t very well informed, so I wouldn’t pass much heed to what he has to say.
    He said that Cavan have to win by a massive score to have a chance of staying up. They don’t – if we lose, they only need to win by a point.

  54. Donegal can lose to us and still qualify for the final if Kerry win or draw against Tyrone, and Monaghan lose to Dublin.
    The only concern for them is the points difference, so a draw or narrow victory for Kerry and a narrow loss for Donegal would still see them through if Monaghan also lose.

    So by that, you’d have to say that Donegal are strong favourites to make the league final.

    If Donegal draw with us and Monaghan draw, Donegal are still through unless Tyrone beat Kerry by 3 points.

    You’d have to fancy Monaghan to lose to Dublin and Kerry to get at least a draw vs Tyrone, so it looks very like they will be league finalists.

  55. also Tubberman, if we lose and Kerry lose, it’s down to points difference. There’s a 15 point difference for Cavan to make up there against us, which is not insurmountable but still a fair chunk to make up unless we completely collapse against Donegal.

  56. Anne Marie and others are entitled to their opinion without being labelled. Any sane person would have to feel that people are going to have this opinion given Cormac’s piss poor performance in Limerick. Feeling this appointment is wrong is one thing. Expressing it is another. The only reason not to express your feelings is that it may damage your cause. I do feel though that talking at all about the referee does damage our cause. Why would any Mayo person damage our cause. That is my (and others) opinion. I feel that by even mentioning his name we are damaging our cause – the Mayo cause which we all, I feel, genuinely support. Diverting attention from anything but the players and management performance creates a victim culture. These are merely exasperated opinions caused by the repeated disappointment of our goal not being reached. Saying we lost because of any other reason other than that we were not good enough is damaging. In the 2013 final against Dublin were we as supporters at fault? We were pretty silent. I don’t think we were at fault. The players are on the pitch. It is up to them to win it. All excuses create ways out – causes weakness in the thought processes. The only way to achieve your aim is to go out and do it. And it it does not work the first time you go again, and again. to be fair you don’t hear the players complaining. There is no high horse here. Our aim is the same as your aim even though we feel we can achieve it in a different way.

  57. Mayo need at least a point to stay up. Really they need a win as winning one out of four home games is unacceptable. Is it not head to head rather than pts diff that decides. Mayo lose and Cavan win with Kerry getting a pt means Mayo drop due to head to head rule. Mayo lose, Kerry lose and Cavan Win, Kerry drop due to same rule. Cavan fail to beat Ros then they are gone.

  58. Mayomad, if Cavan Win and ourselves and Kerry lose, then its decided on points difference.
    The head to head is discounted if there are 3 or more teams on the same points – unless they are on the same points difference.
    So – if Kerry lose and we lose and Cavan win, Cavan would need to be on the same points difference or better than us to avoid the drop.

  59. The “Softies ” in Mayo will do what they’re told, go on Cormac, head down there and don’t worry about them. I can think of 2 other counties off the top of my head where if Cormac had shown even a fraction of the bias towards them that he showed towards Mayo that day, he would not ref a game with them involved, ever again. There’d be such an uproar from those 2 counties that Cormac would join Sean Boylan and just sit home drinking chamomile tea.
    As far as the game itself goes, I’d agree ” very much so” with Martin Carney, Mayo have the greater need this time.

    Mayo by a few scores.

  60. Think our boys are under no illusions on what they have to do the weekend so I’ll go with a win by a few points.
    Hope there’s a good crowd Sunday because its a long lay off till championship.
    Are you heading down for this one w.j ?

  61. I see that TG4 are showing the Dub v Monag game.
    Any chance of the Mayo game been streamed?
    Go neiri le foireann Mhuigheo De Domhnaigh i Caislean A Barraigh.
    Mhuigheo Abu!

  62. What a soft bunch we are at times, me included. Tomas O Sè has 5 All Ireland medals I think. And he is now a pundit, who in my opinion has been very fair to Mayo. He thinks Donegal will get to a league final ergo he disrespects us. FFS grow up and cop on. So here. If Donegal are a team going places I believe they are capable of beating this Mayo outfit. If not we win. Leave O Sè alone. Everybody doesn’t have to love us and have a “Mayo For Sam Whenever” banner stuck in front of them.

  63. Jucer,
    We would need Monaghan to lose, and for to beat Donegal by 15 points and Tyrone to draw or lose by 2 points or so for us to make the final.

  64. The ref, no matter who they are wont decide this game. What Mayo do on the field will, as it does every other game. Reilly had a shocker that day and im sure he has been reminded of it every day since. Sure poor old Jimmy Cooney cant walk down the street without people tapping their watch at him. They are human beings in an amateur sport, time to move on. The notion there is a vendetta against Mayo by the GAA and officials is also ridiculous, only in Mayo does such things get any traction. If anything the GAA should love Mayo, other than Dublin we are the only county to sell out season tickets and bring a large support to each game. It is actually in the GAAs interest that Mayo remain in Div one and do well in the championship each year.

    As for sunday I think Mayo will win, not by a huge margin 2-3 pts possibly. Mainly beacuse Ryan McHugh is out and he is a vital part of that team. A team like Doengal only really function properly with a player like McHugh who changes defence into attack. I think there will be a couple of changes to the starting team on the day, AOS & DOC will start and possibly Douglas will get the nod in the corner (if not then will def come on as a sub).

  65. That’s largely true Mayomad, but when a ref fails to send off an opposition player in the first quarter of the game (i.e. Enright) and gives extremely soft frees to the opposition (i.e. Donaghy), and you end up losing in extra time, I think it’s a fair argument to say he had a bearing on the result. He didn’t decide the outcome, but he had an undue influence on it!

  66. That’s good Mayomad cept there’s more than R McHugh behind the Dong Resurgence! We need to be watching out for the whole lot of them.
    Last time in Ballybo Regan had a good day out …. Vaughan slipped up badly for their goal and Aido proved surplus to requirements and showed that one player is only that! Nally will also feel good about his score from the left that day. Surely coming in from the right would suit him better! There will be a right crowd of battles all over this weekend.
    Let’s hope we have that bit extra in the tank to overcome! Up Mayo….!

  67. Agree that Ryan McHugh’s loss won’t prevent Donegal being a dangerous opposition. Their tails are up and talks of throwing a game are silly. It’s non in the nature if players from any county. If their management pick a strong team then they will be hard to beat.
    I think McNailis is the biggest loss as Ciaran Thompson is still young and a few good games doesn’t mean he’ll star come summer.
    Despite losing players they’ve been further ahead than us in summer preparation and look a good team. They even look good without McBrearty. I think we’ll sneak it because all involved would like to finish the league strongly and avoid the drop but only just.

  68. And it’s not that they’ve been bulging with bags of minor and u-21 achievements of late either… they must be up to something else up there!

  69. Some Donegal young players look great in the league but remember the Ross lads looked world beaters last year.

  70. Mayo head into their final Allianz League game with the threat of promotion hanging over their heads aswell as a possible league final to play for as their face Official Donegal GAA in Elverys Sports MacHale Park on Sunday at 2pm.

    The team shows just one change from the fifteen who started last weekend’s win in Omagh with Young Player of the Year Diarmuid O’Connor replacing David Drake. This weekend will be All star defender Colm Boyle’s 80th appearance for Mayo having made his debut against Kerry in 2008. He has scored an impressive 1-14 in his previous 79 appearances.

    1. David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)
    2. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)
    3. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)
    4. Chris Barrett (Belmullet)
    5. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
    6. Lee Keegan (Westport)
    7. Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)
    8. Tom Parsons (Charlestown)
    9. Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchels)
    10. Shane Nally (Garrymore)
    11. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber, Capt)
    12. Fergal Boland (Aghamore)
    13. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
    14. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen)
    15. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)

    Team Manager: Stephen Rochford
    Selectors: Donie Buckley, Peter Burke & Tony McEntee.

  71. I think i’m affected by the gremlins WJ? All comments going to moderation

  72. At least in the Tyrone match we had a plan and players executed that plan well enough to record a victory. Credit to the management, vast improvement on some of the aimless performances that preceded the Tyrone match.

  73. Willie Joe you run a good and fair site , Who does Maigh EO GO DEO think they are with comments like that,[ normal fans ] ,,,,,,,,,, please delete my comment if you feel you need to .

  74. Now that we have a strong bench we have to maximise their effectiveness. The game is all about a panel of players. Our management have to start trusting the ability of our subs and bring them once players are waining. I hope we empty our bench on Sunday and give subs plenty of game time. He whohesitates is lost

  75. Looking forward to this one for sure. The Mayo v Donegal league games are always great battles. The young Donegal team are flying at this time of year and fair play to them. They are always well backed by a partisan crowd of followers. There is a lot at stake in this year’s encounter. There are battles to be won all over the field. I will be playing my small but important part in one of these battles. I am thinking of the battle on the sideline between 2 sets of supporters. You should make every effort to be there early, bring plenty of colour and make lots of noise in support of this great team. Try to show all your class on and off the field.

  76. Parsons will track Murphy when he moves into the full forward line and I’d expect Diarmuid to play in midfield at times

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