Details on Dublin

Photo: Irish Sun (Ray McManus/Sportsfile)

Right, the countdown is now on in earnest for our meeting with Dublin on Saturday evening. It’s Round 3 of this year’s National League campaign and our Division One meeting with the Dubs takes place at Croke Park where throw-in is set for 7.30pm. The match is being broadcast live on RTÉ2 and Meath’s David Gough is the ref for it.

None of us need reminding about when we last beat Dublin at HQ nor do our memories need to be jogged about the two previous times this century that we’ve got the better of them in the Championship. The League, however, is a very different story from our perspective because we’ve very few victories to boast about over Dublin on their patch in the spring competition.

The most recent win we’ve recorded over them in the League at Croke Park was back in 1971, in the semi-final of the competition, a game we won by 1-9 to 0-8. Prior to that, we beat them way back in 1954, again in the semi-final, by 0-11 to 0-7, before going on to get the better of Carlow in the final. Going further back, we beat them in National League finals at Croke Park in 1941 and 1934.

In modern times, however, our record away against Dublin is an extremely poor one. Our emergence as a serious force in the game over the past decade – when we repeatedly put it up to Dublin in the Championship – did nothing to improve our stats against them in the League.

Let’s be honest here – most of our League showings against them in the past ten years (both home and away) have been cringeworthy. We threw away a very winnable match at Croke Park in March 2013, coughed up a two-goal lead at Croker late on in March 2014 (though at least we drew that one), got beaten out the gate at MacHale Park in 2015, lost narrowly in Castlebar in 2016, got thumped at Croke Park in 2017, got well beaten at MacHale Park in 2018, got thumped again at Croke Park in 2019 and got well beaten again at MacHale Park in 2020.

Malachy Clerkin noted on the podcast last week that, for Dublin, the League meeting with us in recent years was always a guaranteed two points in the bag for them. As that grim list above shows, frequently we failed even to show up in games against them.

That awful record has, then, to form part of the backdrop to Saturday evening’s meeting. On this occasion, we’re heading to HQ in high spirits, having garnered three points from our opening two games, while Dublin are rooted to the bottom of the table, with two defeats from two outings.

Let’s stall the ball there, though, and go back in time a bit to chart Dublin’s trajectory into our meeting on Saturday night.

The obvious place to pick up the story is from after the All-Ireland final of 2020 – in which, of course, they beat us to complete the six-in-a-row – when they were still top dogs, then eyeing seven straight Sam Maguire successes.

In retrospect, the Covidgate incident early in 2021 proved to be a decisive fork in the road for them last year. The brouhaha resulting from that was, by all accounts, the reason why Stephen Cluxton walked off the panel and his departure, combined with the failure to persuade Paul Mannion to rejoin the squad for last year, weakened the champions’ hand for 2021.

They didn’t, though, look a whole load weaker in the League, as they ended up sharing the Division One title with Kerry, with whom they’d been bracketed in Division One South, along with Galway and Roscommon.

Dublin had nine points to spare over the Rossies at Dr Hyde Park in the opening round of last year’s League and they then drew a mad-cap match with Kerry on a scoreline of 4-9 to 1-18. Banished from Croke Park because of the Covid training infraction, that game was played instead at Semple Stadium.

Tuam was the venue for their game with Galway, which was a close enough contest but which one Dublin eventually won with four points to spare. Kerry topped the Division One South table on points difference and so Dublin were paired with the North table-toppers Donegal in the semi-final.

Dublin won that semi-final by 1-18 to 1-14 at Breffni Park. There was no time to play the final, though, and so it was awarded jointly to themselves and Kerry. By now, of course, all the chatter was about an All-Ireland final between these two.

The first real hint that all wasn’t well within Dessie Farrell’s squad was the Leinster quarter-final against Wexford. Dublin won that game by eight points but only after a painfully laboured performance.

Meath should have got closer to them than the six-point margin they eventually lost by and Kildare, showing a staggering absence of ambition, never really came out to play against them in the Leinster final. The Lilies got what they deserved and lost by eight as a result.

After we beat Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final, the narrative shifted immediately to how they were over the hill and how the world and its spouse knew that this defeat was always coming. However, going into that match – not to mention for long stretches of it – Dublin’s demise looked anything but certain.

From our perspective it was, of course, a hugely enjoyable and massively satisfying win. But it wasn’t a result we ever really got to savour properly, overshadowed as it was by the crushing disappointment of the subsequent final loss to Tyrone.

The question for Dublin going into 2022 was how they’d react to being mere mortals again. The tuned-in manner they started the year, winning the pre-season O’Byrne Cup with some ease, seemed to show that, once again, they meant business.

But then came their undoing against Armagh in the League’s opening round. That was as bad a performance as Dublin had put on at Croke Park since the day of the startled earwigs in 2009 and the 2-15 to 1-13 loss they suffered against the Orchard County was one that sent shockwaves around the world of Gaelic football.

Kerry in Tralee wouldn’t have been their first choice of where to go next but that’s where they had to go the weekend before last. This time the beating they got was far worse, though the tide only turned in that game after Conor Lane’s bizarre decision to disallow a goal for Dublin in circumstances that were far from clear from a playing rules point of view. Once Kerry got stuck into them after that, they began to take a right pounding and Dublin did well to limit the damage to a seven-point loss at the finish, as they went down by 1-15 to 0-11.

Those two defeats mean they’ll take the field back at Croke Park on Saturday night as the only team without a point on the board in Division One this year. Their great record against us in the League would suggest strongly that this is a situation that won’t remain that way by full-time on Saturday, while we’ll see the game as a great chance to inflict further damage on a wounded adversary, while at the same time taking a further important step towards our Division One safety.

It has, on the face of it, the makings of a real humdinger. Well, of course it has – it’s Dublin versus Mayo under the lights at Croke Park in as match that, even though it’s only the League, will have real bite.

But which way will it go? Will Dublin maintain their long winning run against us in the League or can we, for the first time in over fifty years, beat them in this competition on their own patch? Let’s end with a vote on that very question.

How will we do against Dublin?

  • Win (53%, 494 Votes)
  • Lose (34%, 319 Votes)
  • Draw (12%, 112 Votes)

Total Voters: 925

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115 thoughts on “Details on Dublin

  1. A wounded adversary can be more dangerous….if Mayo is to show that there is something different about us and the shackles of losing another all Ireland has been left behind then we have to at least draw this match. Dublin will play for pride on top of anything else and I expect the Hill to be in full voice – the country bumpkins need to be put back in their box and Dublin will want to lay down a marker. I hope we can come away with this one without it turning into an episode of Casualty – we cannot afford any more injuries. Roll on Saturday. I cant wait.

  2. Is it very unusual that in the 3 games we have a referee from the province that we are playing, mind you David gough is one of the best

  3. Is anyone else having issues with buying tickets on ticketmaster for the Dublin match? There seems to be an issue with not being able to select seats in Croke Park but not in other grounds. Any ideas? Signed in through the gaa account of course.

  4. Hi folks,

    I enjoy the forum some very good debates and a lot of knowledgeable people.

    So I hope you don’t mind me contributing,

    Something that always surprised me with Mayo during the years of those epic games with Dublin was that you never took the league games too seriously.
    I always felt that however irrelevant to the championship it would be good for morale to beat Dublin in the league.
    The game on Saturday should be considered a real opportunity to have back to back wins against them something I don’t recall happening before.
    Dublin are a million miles from the 6 in a row and some star players have downed tools in my opinion.
    Unless Dublin get some firepower back upfront then Division 2 is a real possibility.

  5. David Gough has shown in the Tyrone/Armagh game that he won’t tolerate indiscipline so we’re forewarned. While it’s not a must-win game for us, it could be for Dessie if not for the Dubs. So, I expect we’ll see a much stronger Dublin team than they fielded in Tralee. Another win against them would be sweet but more importantly I hope we get through it without any injuries. Maigh Eo abú!

  6. Another defeat (if it happens on Saturday?) to Dublin will heap the pressure on Dessie, the perception with the Dublin public that Dublin’s disregard for Covid restrictions somehow contributed to a fall in standards and the withdrawal of Stephen Cluxton from the panel, and Dessie was the manager when that happened, the buck must stop somewhere, so it probably stops there with Dessie Farrell. The highest standards applied and no deviation regardless how legendary the status of any player if Jim Gavin wanted to bench him.. Now we weren’t without disciplinary issues ourselves, as regards Covid regulations, but our Kit Van got a one match ban and is now good to go again.. And again from one of our Officer’s of the Mayo County Board, a few months back, giving Dublin even more ammunition to moviate themselves for a revenge mission versus Mayo, talking publicly about their “arrogance”. Tommy Conroy is a huge loss for Mayo next Saturday, especially with such a keen Ref as David Gough.. I just have a strong feeling that Dublin won’t finish the game with 15 player’s if Mayo put up a serious challenge.. If Mayo can win on Saturday, probably we would be eliminating Dublin as contender’s for League Glory later in Spring and put ourselves in a position to challenge for the same League honours.. It’s a hard one to call, I expect David Gough to have a busy time going to his pocket and I expect all 3 colour’s of card’s to be used on the night.. Hopefully can get over the line by a point or two, and hopefully hopefully no more injuries!

  7. West Kerry
    Yeah I agree for some reason we never seemed to be able to get to the pitch of it in The League and we didn’t seem to attach the same importance to it as other Counties.In fact Paul Galvin said he would be as pissed off losing a league game as a championship game with Kerry…..and you could see it in him.
    I think the league is of critical importance myself and its great to win it too….as hasn’t happened too often in our history either.
    I would disagree though that Dublin are that far off and I bet those big names will pick up the tools on Saturday night!!!

  8. Interestingly, I think it was James ODonoghue who said on last weeks OTB pod that the current League matches are pretty much at Championship pace or certainly not far off. He should know. So yes, League is hugely important.

  9. 1989

    The thing with Dublin is their form this year is a continuation of their form from last year.
    Their key players with the exception of Con are in their 30s are probably in their final year.
    The aura has definitely gone and from what I’ve heard they don’t want to play for Dessie.
    Look at Fenton a Rolls Royce player but his form has gone off a cliff.
    I genuinely believe they are in a dog fight to stay up.
    2 games at home Mayo/Donegal then 2 on the road in Ulster.

  10. I think we should all take a moment, and spare a taught for our Tyrone friends up in front of the disciplary committee in Croke Park tonight. Sending Love for the day that’s in it.

  11. Big part of Dublins strength especially under Jim Gavin was their bench. Most on that bench would be starters on every other team.

    Now under Dessie Farrell their bench is mostly made of decent club players but many whom are struggling at Div 1 level and the business end of inter County championship. Make no mistake this is a very winnable game for Mayo on Saturday night and i believe Mayos bench option will be key in winning

    A side note, Mayo U20s get their season up and running with a round 1 Leo Murphy cup game against Roscommon this Friday in the Connacht GAA Centre. A 7pm throw in for that game and other group games are against Derry, Donegal away the following weekends.

  12. Welcome West Kerry. Always nice to get perspective from another county. I don’t think Dublin are finished yet as Pat Spillane suggests in today’s paper. Indeed while Kerry are motoring well, if anything (god forbid) were to happen David Clifford then no way could I see Kerry winning Sam. Not a hope. He is that good and important to Kerry.

  13. Yew_Tree,

    Thank you,

    You are spot on and honest to God I wished Pat would show some sense and not write stuff like that.

    Dublin will be in an AI Semi final and anything can happen but for me they are very beatable now.

    Clifford is a special player and we certainly would be in big trouble if anything were to happen to him.

  14. Saturday night will tell an awful lot about where we are currently at in our standing as apparent top tier team. Put in yet another characteristic haphazard league performance and we will be beaten comfortably by a hurting and motivated opponent. Get to the pitch of the game early and we could be in with a shout of taking a precious point (maybe even two) home with us from Croker. Can’t see Dublin being as poor again. Expect fireworks from them in a battle they will be desperate to win.

  15. Hope Gough does not let the Dubs away with the thuggery they brought to Croke Park for our last meeting with no consequences for the players involved. Looking forward to what should be a great and hopefully sporting game on Saturday night!

  16. 1989: ” I think the league is of critical importance myself and its great to win it too….as hasn’t happened too often in our history either.”

    What? We won so many League titles that we were known as the League Specialists

  17. Isnt it a sad state of affairs that Mayo are struggling to find pitches to train on (from tomorrow’s Mayo News). That coupled with no home league games means all this extra travelling for the players. Any of the counties thst have thier own Centre of Excellence are so lucky. This is where we are now after years of filling out croke park. Depressing.

  18. While I’d love to win on Saturday night in the bigger scheme of things it’s no big deal. Dublin have been way too good for us in recent league games but it has no bearing on our championship clashes. Mayo are not usually up to speed for the league and we all know that our county needs to be 100% at it to perform well. If we lose on Saturday some posters will think it’s a disaster and start having a go at
    James and certain players. If we win certain folks will lose the run of themselves and see us as favourites for the AI. But the truth is, while it would be lovely to win, it won’t make any great difference to how we perform in late spring and summer.

  19. This league is different. Our championship begins on April 24th. We were rusty against Donegal; while we were a bit lucky against Monaghan, we weren’t rusty. Win or lose on Saturday, I think we’ll be going full throttle. I just hope we are mentally ready for a team under pressure and hurting big time. We tend to be surprised when teams we’ve beaten lie in wait for us.

  20. Can’t believe there isn’t plenty of pitches in Mayo for the team to train on? In fact, I quite like the idea of the odd session spread around the county every now and again. Down in erris where I’m from any Mayo player has had to drive over an hour to training for decades anyway.
    There’s some fine surfaces in some of the clubs around the county and I can see plenty of positives from getting the lads to train in smaller clubs, in terms of inspiring the locals.
    For example if the Mayo senior team ever came to train at my club, a small junior north Mayo club, it would literally be talked about for decades to come locally.

  21. Winning and losing is a habit. While we beat them last year, our overall record v Dublin is grim.

  22. The trick to winning games at this level is keeping out the goals. So far in this league the team who got the goals won the match it’s that tight.

    Last year we did something we never did against Dublin in previous years and that was not conceding goals.
    As a result we won the game the Real reason why we beat them.

    No more than the Monaghan game recently we got two goals the second goal was the decisive score.

    It will be the same on Saturday and going forward don’t concede goals make sure you get one more than the opposition.

    So as far as I can see the team who gets the most goals this year in the champo will probably win it.

  23. Grainne Uaile
    True enough but in my lifetime ie soon to be 51 years (born 1971) we have won 2………so proud of our history in the league but I still stand by my orginal point ” we havent won too often”.
    Maybe 2022 will be the 3rd!?

  24. Larry Duff if you’re from the same parish as myself you’ll remember when that club started back in the mid 80’s there was a fairly steep run down to towards the goal on the “changing rooms” side. You’ll be aware also that in since it’s inception as an originally differently named club it’s come on leaps and bounds in terms of facilities.

  25. The Centre of excellence is for Connaught so perhaps county teams don’t get many training sessions on it.

    Regarding Dubs, they still have plenty of excellent players and no way would I say Fentons form has gone off a cliff. Other teams know his importance and are right to try and mark him more than an average midfield duel and only right. The same will be true of a Clifford, Con O Callaghan and Shane Walsh and many others. Too good to leave marking to chance. CO Callaghan has dipped alright but every player has an off year. However I wouldn’t be over awed by the Dubs. Their subs bench has some very good players but not at the level of a few years ago and James McCarthy now in 30s , Philly not getting games, Cooper in 30s too. Murchin very good but not as good as mccaffrey. Davey Byrne nowhere near the level of Rory O Carroll. So there are players there who mightn’t make every team. From my perspective I’m hoping the Dubs take out Kerry in AI semi if that’s the match up leaving the Connaught Ulster side of the draw an easier game in the final. As I see it Kerry are definitely stronger the Dublin.

  26. This really ought to be a mayo win, dubs are treading water and we need to put our foot on their throats now and send them to the trapdoor.

    They are firmly back in the pack now and with hessian,mullin and ruane back we will likely have our strongest panel in about 2 years to pick from.

    No point showing then too much respect, the fact is they have lost lots of legends and their newbies clearly are nowhere near the standard of Dublin 2013-2019

    I expect a win and I think we will win

  27. Mayolass – Mayo don’t need a new centre of excellence. That would be a complete waste of money. There are loads of pitches in Bekan that can be rented for training. Our players have far less travelling now than 3 or 4 years ago when half the panel were living in Dublin.

    Swinford is a fairly central location for training all things considered. There’s an astro turf pitch there along with a top quality grass pitch.

  28. Looking at the dubs subs bench against Mayo in 2017. What other team in the country could bring on 6 subs like that. Mayo could have possibly brought in 2 really good subs at a stretch. Dublin brought in 6 of the best players in the country. Their bench is gone for now. The number of subs should be reduced to make it a somewhat equal playing field.

    Subs used 22 P. Flynn for J. McCaffrey19 D. Connolly for P. Andrews25 K. McManamon for E. O’Gara17 B. Brogan for P. Flynn12 N. Scully for C. O’Callaghan20 C. Costello for P. Mannion
    Subs not used 16 M. Savage18 D. Byrne21 D. Daly23 E. Lowndes24 M. D. MacAuley

  29. Supermac I also saw Mcloughlin and Moran were both at the training session in swinford going well, a fairly full squad to pick from, can’t wait, I think we will have just about enough for this one , tight but a 2 point win and back down the road west …

  30. According to RTE,.. The 4 Tyrone player’s have had their suspensions upheld.. 4 Tyrone player were red carded by Ref David Gough, following what used to be called a “Shemozzle” versus Armagh at the end of their last league game.. David Gough again has the whistle for Saturday evening game in Croke Park, so with the GAA apparently backing up their Referee’s on field decisions, both Mayo and Dublin player’s need to be on notice as regards on field discipline.. Several long suspensions were handed out to several of the Galway senior Club champions following the Connacht Semifinal, by Connacht GAA.. The same Ref involved on that day, issued 2 Red Cards to the manager and another member of the Meath management team at their last league game… At the moment, it seems to be ZERO tolerance of any indiscipline as regards the on field decisions of the Ref in game’s.. Hopefully Mayo player’s will be on notice as to the apparent but welcome change in the attitude of official GAA.

  31. I’m sure it will be Sean. I’m flying in for it. As I’ve previously posted its time for lads to put their hand up management and show why they should be involved and not sitting on the bench. Men like. Orme. Flynn. Boland. Carr. Plunkett. Both coen s. Eoin o Donohoe. Men need to stand up now in the cruel absence of Tommy conroy . I still haven’t got over it. How I wish he was in croker on Saturday night. Players need to help Ryan and shift the burden of scoring off him. Doc has helped but we need so much more from midfield and especially the half forward line.

  32. Is eoin o donoghue involved , I don’t think he’s on the panel this year , I could be wrong of course

  33. Sean – as Mike Finnerty stated in the Q&A pod on Patreon, Eoin O’Donoghue is not on the panel this year. James Horan confirmed this at the press event held last week.

  34. Mayolass – there’s a big difference between improving the current pitches at MacHale park and buying a new greenfield site with no changing facilities, parking etc.

    There are lots of clubs in Mayo that got a government grant to cover 50% of their development costs. Tuam stadium got a grant too so hopefully the CB can apply for something similar.

  35. This is a must win game for Mayo, make no mistake about it. Anything less will be a backward step and will frame last years semi final victory over Dublin as an anomaly, and not the start of an upward trend for us. Dublin have their backs to the wall and Dessie looks unlikey to survive the league, so we should be looking to be the ones that relegate them and end Dessies tenure. Dublin will be a wounded animal so you have to expect a reaction to their two defeats, but the thing is, you can’t turn form on and off like a tap, and Dublin are in very poor form. Their play has no forward thrust to it, no cut to it, like it used to have, even in the league. They have lost their aura and now opponents are no longer beaten in the dressing room.
    My biggest worry is we always find a way to lose games we are expected to win. There is a fragility to our mindset that means we never truly bury a team, and keep our foot on their throats. We tend to go to the level of our opponent and end up in a shootout we struggle to win, or a dogfight to the final whistle. In our two league games so far this year we should have been 5 to 7 points down at half time, and our opponents out of sight. The fact we were still in the games had nothing to do with us and more to do with the inefficiencies of our opponents. For example, when Hennelly is our saviour you know things have malfunctioned further out the field! Our midfield has been non-existent and the burden of scoring has been left mainly on O’Donoghues shoulders. These two factors must change on Saturday night. Ruane returning should help but if we are again relying on O’Connor and Walsh in our half forward line then we can expect further blanks from that area.
    Dublin to get their season back on line with a win, and another galant defeat in the offing for us.

  36. Some good points there Pebbles, though you may be a little harsh on our ability to grind out the two previous results – something James Horan confirmed. You’re on the money on our lack of ruthlessness, and our tendency to struggle when we should be out of sight, and when we are clearly better than our opponents – think Down, Meath and Clare in the league last year.

    ‘Fragility in our mindset’ is good

  37. I with you pebbles on this one . Matty and mullin only coming back. It will be too much for us at this stage of the season. Dublin just have to win and will in my opinion.

  38. Dublin will be hopping off the ground for this one. Firstly becuase it will be a revenge act for the chanpionship and secondly they will genuinely believe that they always beat us in the league, which there will be strong belief that they just need to show up and bag 2 points and get going and 3. If they lose this one and go 0 from 6 points they really are in trouble as regards relegation.

    unfortunately I expect Dublin to win, whatever the reason, over the years when it comes to this league match we almost seem half interested, I have no idea why either but there has been plenty of times coming in to it when the form guide said probable win for Mayo and we’ve just tanked. Would love to be wrong.

  39. Right I’ll have a crack at the team:
    Rob Hennelly;

    Brendan Harrison,
    Padraig O’Hora,
    Michael Plunkett,

    Paddy Durcan
    Stephen Coen
    Lee Keegan;

    Mattie Ruane
    Conor O’Shea/Conor Loftus

    Fionn McDonagh
    Diarmuid O’Connor
    Bryan Walsh/Fergal Boland

    Aiden Orme,
    Jason Doherty
    Ryan O’Donoghue

    In both cases where I’ve two names, I think the first one might be named and the second one start

    Conor O’Shea/Conor Loftus – O’Shea has the jersey, and management have been persisting with him. I think we’d all like to see someone new tried here but I don’t think it’s the game for it, Fenton is too important for Dublin. Conor Loftus is the safe option, played well in that position against Dublin before and he’s played a lot with Ruane in that position, which might help Ruane settle back into the team quicker.

    Bryan Walsh/Fergal Boland

    Firstly, I’m giving McDonagh the game time because I think he needs it. I think he starts because he’s a bit of an unknown from the bench.

    Between Walsh and Boland, Walsh needs game time, Boland needs an opportunity. Walsh is developing, Boland is in his here and now phase of his career. I think Boland warming up against Monaghan suggests Horan wants to give him that chance.

    I’m looking at a bench of Aidan O’Shea, Jordan Flynn, Kevin McLoughlin, Oisin Mullin and Enda Hession
    Pace and power, of all these, Oisin is the only one who isn’t experienced at coming off the bench, and the roar from the fans when Oisin and Kevin Mc come in might really lift the team.

    Starting Plunkett – I just think he’s up to match speed basically, whereas Mullin and Hession aren’t. Give them time off the bench here, look to start them next week against Armagh.

    If we don’t leek goals here we should win. We’re maybe a light short on scorers but Dublin are also. Billie Joe said he’d have no issue putting Aidan up against the Dublin midfield because they don’t have the engines of old, but if they don’t have the energy to run Aidan into the ground, doesn’t that suggest we could run them into the ground.

    I don’t think this a must win game but it is an opportunity. We’ve been finding ways to win games, that’s an invaluable trait in a team, we need to show the ruthless to seize these opportunities when they come our way. It’s probably the edge Dublin have had on us for the last decade. This game can be a big step in the right direction, but it’s hardly falling down the stairs if we lose

  40. I think the game is of hugh significance for mayo. We will find out what we are made of. Are we capable of back to back wins over the Dubs. Can we put ourselves firmly ahead of Dublin in the ratings. No excuses acceptable, weakened panel of players, referee decisions or any other rubbish about us not having to win this one.
    Its also about bringing our A game to Croke Park, each and every player.. Redemption time for some who underperformed on their last visit when they failed to fire.
    Thats why im looking forward to the game, we will be much the wiser afterwards

  41. We have a real chance in this game and I think we should go out determined to win it. I want us to take the chance to assert our strength for what it’ll bring us in belief, momentum and a message to our opponents.
    The only thing is that I wish us to avoid injuries.
    I’m also a little worried about our scoring ability in Tommy’s absence but I always believe in our ability to pull rabbits out of hats.
    We need to believe in ourselves here and act accordingly.
    The opposition will be stark but we must rise to the occasion and emerge victorious.

  42. The Secretary’s stupid comments on Dublin I’m sure won’t be forgotten. Dublin will be well fired up for this one. It’s time Mayo started winning these games. 10 years without an NFL win over the dubs.

  43. I’m genuinely surprised a some of the pessimism ahead of Saturday.
    Mayo got a good draw against Donegal and a very good win in Clones.
    Dublin have been poor since last June.
    Yes they have players to come back but so have Mayo.
    You should be going into this with expectation of a win.

  44. West Kerry we are being realistic. Mayo were awful for 50mims v Donegal. If monaghan took their chances they would have beaten us. We need to produce a big performance to beat Dublin.

  45. It would be nice to see new forwards that can score.
    Centre half forwards; nice to see Boland, Towey, D. Coen/Moran/McDonagh/Dempsey
    We need something different in this area of the field compared to what we put out in last years All-Ireland final!
    Mhuigeo Abu!!

  46. yew_tree,

    Unless Dublin all of a sudden find form I think you’ll be surprised how far back into the pack they’ve gone.

  47. I’m Surprised with people thinking this game is so important.

    It’s probably the least important game in over a decade between the two,
    Free hit, play fringe players , show some good progress and move on quickly.

    Dublin will win this, but just hope we show some positive signs and experience to new players.

  48. Seems the Dublin fans are rattled lol… trying to motivate based on county board secretarys comments. Definitely time for us to lay down a marker…

  49. @west kerry. I’m with you on this. Lots of pessimism on here. Maybe it was mayo pressure that caused monaghan to miss so much. So far mayo have found a way to win so why not go to Croker with confidence and expect to win. No doubt Dublin have great players to come back but I think mayo have enough to beat them on this occasion

  50. If Mayo don’t play themselves into a defeat then it won’t be for the lack of trying by a number of posters who seem hell bent on trying to shove Dublin back up on a pedestal instead of putting the foot on the throat when they’re down.

    Mayo are one of the top teams in the country so I think some posters actually need to start treating them that way instead of talking about them as if they are a minnow.

    If we play for the full 70+ minutes we’ll beat Dublin.

    I hope the players don’t buy into some of the unwarranted pessimism that is often written.

    Motivate not denigrate.

  51. @skyline irl. Why isnt this game important. Imo it is key to how the rest of our season will evolve. Its Croke Park for one thing. Its Dublin desperately needing a win and to finding some vein of form. Its Mayo trying to build momentum and come away with a positive experience from Croke park. Its every Mayo player under the spotlight as to how they perform under the pressure..
    An absolutely fascinating tie. But regarding it as not important is the ‘soft Mayo’ touch weve been trying to shake off for years…

  52. Viper. I think I’m being realistic in my opinion s. I just think Dublin have more scoring forward s than us at the present moment and scoring forward s win games. Also matty and mullin and a few more just coming back with no game time. Like I said if Tommy was playing I would go for a mayo win.

  53. Totally disagree ontheditch. I really look forward to game.

    To much emphasis on this game, and if we lose ,
    You wait and see all the comments.

    This game should be used to develop,
    New players that need croke park experience, regardless of result.

    If you want to get rid of the soft touch, bold decisions
    Will be need and some common players will need to be omitted the wknd, especially around the Midfield and the half forward line.
    Also, I’m not meaning Aidan o S, who should play.

    Developing is number one for me this wknd,
    Realty is we won’t see dublin until a final in all likelihood. So this game in feb needs to be used for different reasons , win and then it’s great for a few days,
    But I’d take a loss if it means new key players are given a Chance to step up.

  54. Viper, so we can only see the game through red and green tinted glasses, and post accordingly, Is that it? It’s blind shite like that that has us over 70 years without an All Ireland win, and 13 final defeats in a row.

  55. When Dublin were in their pomp they always wanted to keep their foot on our throat to keep us down.
    They did the same with Mayo.
    You never saw them not taking the league seriously.
    So if I was a Mayo man I’d want to do that on Sat.
    When you coldly look at that Dublin team their is not much to fear anymore.

  56. They’ll put a lot of effort into nullifying ROD , if they succeed in doing so , we will need someone else to step into the scoring tally . I know I’ll be ridiculed for suggesting this but Aido on the square could be given some time frame during the game

  57. The importance of this game is being over played. Yes it would be nice to compound their recent record of losing to us but it won’t matter a whit come July.
    I expect both teams to improve and we could have a very good game. I like the look of our bench. If I were to make a change it would be Aido in midfield with Ruane starting for sure as he’s 100% fit. We don’t know what % Mullen or Hession are. If I thought Mark Moran might come close to Bryan Walsh for work rate I’d start him cause he can shoot the lights out. Otherwise I’ve long been a fan of Boland. In improvement in performance and a loss wouldn’t be a disaster. I backed a draw in the poll.

  58. Sean Burke, you’re right – that is a ridiculous suggestion based on multiple occasions when it has been tried and failed.

  59. Viper,
    to your point that “If we play for the full 70+ minutes we’ll beat Dublin.” That is exactly the problem! We haven’t played for a full 70 minutes in over two years and I haven’t seen anything in a change of style or personnel that is suddenly going to correct that. To some that may seem pessimistic and overly negative, but to me it is the truth and there is a big body of evidence to back up my argument.
    In last years AIF at NO point in the game did we control or dictate things. We were bet at half time and everyone knew it. In the SF v Dublin we didn’t lay a glove on the Dubs until the last 20 minutes of normal time. Dublin toyed with us that day and bored themselves into submission. When we finally got at them they couldn’t respond and momentum and madness got us over the line. In the Connaught final v Galway in Croker we were a shambles at half time and only played for 20 minutes of the second half. We went missing too in the Connaught SF v Leitrim for 20 mins and Clare in the Division 2 SF should have beaten us.
    Go back to 2020 and we didn’t show for the second half of the AIF v Dublin, left Tipp hanging in the game long enough to allow them score (what would normally be a match winning tally) 3-13!. In fact, by my reckoning, I think we have to go all the way back to the 2020 Connaught SF v Roscommon to see a full 70 minute performance from Mayo. In that game, from start to finish we competed and controlled the scoreboard and our opponent.
    As anyone who is used to reading my posts knows that I am a fervent supporter of our lads in the green and red but after last years shambolic performance in the final I have removed the green and red tinted glasses and view our performances now through a more critical lens. As you rightly said we are now a top 4 side and consistently competitive, to a point. In my opinion, if we are to commit the huge financial resources ploughed into the county set-up (which means less € for the clubs!) and the parking of the club championship (and league in some cases!) at the behest of Horan, then we are entitled to judge their performances to a higher standard.

  60. @Pebblesmeller, I think you have misunderstood my post a little to be fair because I am in general agreement with you and I am the last person on here who looks at anything with tinted glasses, I’m all about the details and trying to increase the percentages constantly.

    In my opinion for “Horanball” to be successful and what I mean by that is putting the main rivals to the sword with a few points to spare then the team must play to a high tempo for 70+ minutes because we are not a team who seem to be able to control the game, to know how to slow it down when needs be, so it has to be all in or nothing and when it’s all in we will just tire most teams out.

    This is where management come into the equation, and responsibility must be taken for below par performances.

    Management need to be able pull the spring back and release it when they cross the white line and unleash the dragon., it’s a skill in itself.

    A race horse wont win a race on his own and bolt out of the stalls, he needs the jockey to maximize his potential.

    It would be a total travesty to fail because of a lack of motivation but that is something that needs to be sorted in the dressing room, it might sign old school now but the old hairdryer treatment can work wonders at times.

    I watched a lot of stuff about Alex Ferguson and Bill Shankly over the years and their techniques, every manager could learn a lot from them but you need the personality to go with it.

    A lot about the game is all in the mind.

  61. Pebblesmaster. No Team has performed for a full seventy minutes in every game for the last two years even Dublin or Kerry. Tyrone were very poor in some of the League games last spring. Galway put in a superb run of League games two years ago but when the Championship came, another story. Tyrone had two big performances in the Semi Final and Final but could have been beaten by Kerry and had some luck in the Ulster. In the last two years Mayo have made two finals but were never in the top two teams in that time. (Cillian’s injury) Top four yes. Dublin Kerry top two . Top four is a great achievement for a Team who have had twelve first team players retire in the last three years . Don forget we are nor performing at underage for the last six years . All serious Teams suspend the Club Championship while the County is in the Championship so I don’t get your point there. Imagine if we had lost a few County Players in the lead up to the Semi Final then the County Board would have been lambasted. What happens on Saturday night will have no relevance in the Championship. We know how the established players will perform in the big Championship games but it is a chance for some of the new players to show if they are up to it.

  62. @sean Burke…
    Aido has been tried at full forward umpteen times now and it’s clearly never worked, how much evidence do you need. It’s fine against teams like Leitrim but not against any good team. For the first time every we have scoring inside forwards who can win their own ball so not sure why you would throw aos in.

    His role now is as impact sub to come on and help organise and grind out a game and that has worked well in both league games. Any talk of him as a starter is madness imo

  63. Can we stop this perform for “70 minutes” lark

    When was the last time any team put in a “70 minute” performance?

    We just lost an all Ireland where you’d have to say if we played for 15 minutes we’d probably have won

    Honestly if either team on Saturday puts in All Ireland semi final level performance on Saturday, they’ll almost certainly beat the other out the gate

    I doubt either team will though.

    We’ve enough starting to make sure we’re not out of sight at any point, and enough off the bench to give us momentum down the closing straight.

    The evidence of the first two games suggests that when we don’t get things right from the start, we stay calm, make positive changes and find a way back into contention. Dublin simply haven’t shown the same in quite awhile

  64. Question for everyone:

    I’ve seen some posters are worried about a lack of firepower on our end. I’d tend to agree but still think we can win on Saturday.

    Can I ask, would those posters feel better if Darren Coen were to start instead of Aidan Orme?

    This would probably be our most full of scores full forward line ATM

  65. O’Sullivan,
    “No Team has performed for a full seventy minutes in every game for the last two years”….that’s not my point. My point is we have only performed for a full game once in two years. There’s a difference.

    As regards the club championship and league games being parked, go and look at the Kerry and Tyrone club fixtures for 2021 and compare the number of rounds with the Mayo club fixtures. Also, Horan running a panel of 35 to 38 players and not releasing them back to their clubs, meant that there were 15 to 17 players not getting any game time with Mayo OR even their clubs in league games.

  66. @FrostTHammer, So you think we shouldn’t put in a full shift because nobody else does ?

    Isn’t that even more of a reason to get the motivation right, knowing that the opposition will wane, we have the legs on most if not all teams in the country, there’s no question about that.

    When Dublin were in their prime and were able to control the tempo they were actually putting in 70+ performances, doing that isn’t all about high tempo you know but in Mayo’s case it has to be because they know no other way.

    You actually back up my point very well when you say “if we played for 15 minutes we’d probably have won” regarding the All-Ireland final.

    If 15 minutes would have won an All-Ireland final, what would 70+ do, it certainly wouldn’t be worrying anyone facing a weakened Dublin.

  67. Having AOS, Oisin and Kevin Mc to spring from the bench on Saturday night would be nice. Even Hession.
    AOS has a very poor track record against Dublin, so he just cannot start.
    The sub role for him has worked well so far. A big last 25/30 mins around the middle would do the trick.
    We should have a stronger bench than Dublin on Saturday. Changed times.

  68. @FBDinashui you guessed right! Great facilities now to be fair and hopefully we will be a small north Mayo intermediate club later this year and not junior! Kilmeena have shown the way

  69. @Viper

    Since covid we have lost a total of 4 games, Tyrone twice, Dublin and Galway once. In terms of winning matches, this is probably one of our most successful periods ever.

    In that period we have maybe put in maybe one full 70 minute performance, against Galway in the first game of that period.

    So while there is almost certainly a correlation between giving a 70 minute performance and winning, the inverse is simply not true. You do not need to give 70 minute performances to win games consistently.

    70 minute performance is a unicorn. It’s something to aspire to, but to do it consistently is a big ask.

    I believe that this coming game is a fantastic opportunity for Mayo to make a statement. A 70 minute performance to boot, would be a MASSIVE statement. If winning is a step forward, then winning with a 70 minute performance is imo 3 or 4 steps.

    There’s very little evidence to suggest Mayo will put in a 70 minute performance, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest they don’t need to do so to win this game.

  70. @FrostTHammer, what I did say was to put our “main rivals” to the sword, clearly there’s no need to burn yourself out if you are in total control of the game but it’s dangerous to underestimate any team as we have seen many times in the qualifiers.

    You drop your standards and they up theirs and all of a sudden you are in a dogfight.

  71. Pebblesmaster. Tyrone played their Senior Club Football Final on the 14th November 2021, Mayo Club Final and Dublin on the 21st November and Kerry on December 5th . So when it comes to parking club games we are more or less the same as the other top teams. Nothing to do with Horan

  72. @viper

    My earlier post was more of a general expression of exasperation with the “70+ minute performance” statement than a comment on anything in particular you said.

    I do think that this group of players has it in them to start putting in performances, like that Dublin team was, on a consistent basis. I don’t feel that they necessarily need to do it now. Saturday is about winning, and the statement that makes.

  73. Hard to see Fionn McDonagh starting Saturday with him playing the Sigerson final tonight for NUIG, Horan should rest him and let him enjoy the weekend if they win it. Paul Towey and Conell Dempsey should also be rested.

  74. FrostTHammer, that was an interesting question you asked about whether posters might choose to start Darren Coen ahead of Aidan Orme in the context of a perceived lack of firepower up front.

    It’s hard to answer definitively, for me. They’re different types of players.
    For me it involves stamina versus scores.
    Darren almost always comes on late to nail crucial scores when we need to push over the line for a win. His accuracy and certain store of stamina seem to be maximised here (when other teams are tiring).
    I don’t know if Darren has lots of stamina to go a full 70 minute game at senior level and do all the things Horan asks (forward defending) and/or matching elite teams’ backs. I feel awful suggesting this because I don’t want to say anything negative about a fabulous player. Indeed if that is a struggle for him, it might negate his effectiveness.
    On the other hand, Orme has the look of a young lad with lots of endurance. Maybe he could set up assists. Maybe he could get vital turnovers in the forward part of the pitch, which could bring a score. And maybe he could grow in confidence to take scores on himself. Maybe we could see more of his left leg (for scores) and this could be valuable information and ‘money in the bank’ for later in the year.
    Strategically then, I’d play Orme for most of the game with Darren C to do what he does so well – try to get us those crucial scores at a crucial time, late in the game.
    FrostT, I think it was you who made the point above about Mayo rejigging things in the second halves of games recently to better set us up for a winning end to the game. I thought you made that point well.

  75. Sigerson Cup Final, live on TG4 this evening 19.20 PM for anyone interested in keeping an eye on the Mayo players involved.

  76. Swallow. That where I see the problem with orme. He might get a few turnover s or assist s. We need scores . We have plenty men men that can do that stuff. Apart from Rod. Where are the scores coming from. I would start coen. A strong man and will go for his own scores. Orme has a long way to go in my opinion.

  77. O’Sullivan,
    Tyrone played 17 rounds in their senior league division 1 competition from the end of May to the final which was just before Christmas. They ran their championship alongside that from early October to middle of November. Tyrone players were mostly available to their clubs for the league, obviously not as much once championship approached.

    By comparison, Mayo played 5 rounds in 2 groups in the senior league from early August to the middle of September, with players involvement being restricted/controlled. They then ran the championship off then. Even if you include the Walsh tournament that’s just another 3 or 4 games.

    Dress it up anyway you want, Mayo clubs have less time with their county players than other counties. That’s not be luck, it’s by design.

  78. If Carr is good to go , he should start . He’d make hay , I’d predict he’d score two goals running at that Dublin defence .

  79. Craggy, I see what you mean. We need people who can be a scoring threat. We have ROD and Jason at present.
    We definitely need more than these two to be consistent.
    We are often lucky to spread the scores around but it makes me uneasy to rely on that. Tyrone realised this, for example, in the AIF and shut down our outfield scorers.
    Maybe we can see something from Fionn McDonagh, Boland, DOC with Coen to contribute too.
    This is a question that does not go away and comes back again now that Tommy has been injured.
    It’ll be interesting to see how we address it. I think we have the gumption to do so.

  80. Absolutely this is the time for carr. Boland. Mcdonagh coen to show us what they can do against a suspect defence. . And quite right swallow .. in the absence of Tommy. Players got injured against monaghan. Not much on here about it but when Tommy got injured we all jumped on to hope for the best but alas it was the worst. That’s how important Tommy is to mayo. Now let’s unleash carr in that role or even try him at 14

  81. Shaking my head here at the 70 minute discussion, which seems to boil down to semantics for some posters. I would be more concerned with a persistent tendency towards starting games slowly over the last several years. While some posters might say that we can’t go for a full 70+minutes due to our intensive style, surely it can’t be a part of the gameplan to have to come from behind almost every time we play a decent team?

    A good start would definitely be half the battle against a Dubs’ side who must be short on confidence at the moment.

  82. Likewise, teams in recent years haven’t even doubled up on Aido as he hasn’t got the pace to skin anyone any more and we don’t get support runners to him quickly enough, when he does win possession. Full-forward against the Dubs makes little sense, in my view.

  83. @It Means Nothing to Me, well the slow starts and not going for 70+ mins are intrinsically linked, it’s just a different way of saying the same thing.

    As to why there is a tendency to start with a low tempo, it’s a question for the manager really and as you say “surely it can’t be a part of the game plan”.

    It’s something that needs urgent attention though.

    We need to start controlling games against the better teams and we wont do that by starting slowly.

  84. Brilliant podcast with Conor McKeon. Straight talking dub with no agenda. No cliches or sniping over old times issues. Breath of fresh air.
    Still can’t believe we haven’t beaten Dublin away ever in the league. Disastrous record over perceived rivals which we definitely aren’t with a record like that. Hopefully we can put that record right this weekend and lay down an important marker for the season building on early momentum.

  85. Wow great to see mcgloghan flying fit for ul , mcdonagh playing well orchestrating a lot of the play , gough blowing for a lot of tight over Carries

  86. Scandalous that this game is been played in a hurricane! Player welfare mo thoin!! (Backside)!!

  87. All mayo players showing well. Towey is a player of the future for sure. Entertaing game in dreadful conditions. Galway punished for giving away a few scorable frees, but anyones game. Nice crowd adding to the atmosphere.

  88. Coming nicely to the boil at IT Carlow now. NUIG were six up but it’s back to one now. Eoghan McLaughlin got one of those comeback scores for UL.

  89. Fionn mcdonagh the stand out player here tonight hes every where so comfortable on the ball hopefully he can carry that form to the county team

  90. NUIG 0-12 UL 1-6 FT. They did well to win it out having lost both Tommy Conroy and Sean Mulkerrin, two established county players, to long-term injury.

  91. Hard to play in those conditions tonight . Anyone think a few established county players look wrecked tonight . Fionn had good patches. He needs time now to cement his spot for us in half forward line .

  92. David Clifford very well held.. Cahal Henaghan was excellent when he came on, 3 outstanding score’s in difficult conditions.. The Kelly’s lads really drove it on for UIG. Fionn McDonagh was the best of the Mayo contingent.

  93. Great competition, Galway very strongly bonded as a team, Fionn showed what he is capable of, when needed most but so many outstanding performances and Clifford scoreless from play? What odds would you have got on that

  94. How that game was played tonight is beyond me.

    David Clifford looked exhausted and who could blame him. Being flogged week in week out.

    If he starts on Sunday it’ll be a disgrace.

    NUIG full value for their win.

  95. The conditions meant clifford was never going to shoot the lights out and nuig were clearly the better balanced team, well deserved win.

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