Dublin 2-14 Mayo 0-15: final step proves too far once again

Photo: RTÉ

Up until this evening, no team had laid a glove on Dublin in this year’s Championship. We gave the all-conquering Metropolitans a decent rattle in this final but ultimately it wasn’t enough as we lost out by five points.

Unlike those heart-wrenching one-point losses we’d suffered to them the last three times we played them in the decider, Dublin had a clear margin of victory on us this time. They were better than us and were full value for the win. It’s as simple as that.

So at the top it’s only right to congratulate Dublin on yet another All-Ireland success. The bulk of their squad are laden down with Celtic crosses at this stage but their hunger and desire to win shows precious few signs of dimming.

There’s an easy rationale for Dublin’s win this evening. Goals often do win games and the two first half ones they got went a long way towards the five-point win they ultimately achieved.

While the goals weren’t fatal in themselves from our perspective they put the champions on the front foot at crucial times, forcing us to push hard to stay with them.

The more we pushed, the more errors crept into our game, especially after the break. Passes got misplaced, shots dropped short and the scores we needed to get to keep the pressure on them didn’t materialise.

Dublin, by contrast, became more fluid as the game went on. They got a big lift from their bench with the introduction of Howard and Mannion, two changes that strengthened them.

Our switches didn’t have the same positive effect. I’ve no idea what the problem was with Paddy Durcan but his withdrawal from the fray at half-time was obviously a blow for us. His replacement, Michael Plunkett, did fine in defence but Paddy’s loss further up the pitch was felt. None of the other changes we made gave us any additional momentum either.

When Dublin had the ball in the net from Rock after just 14 seconds – the fastest goal ever scored in an All-Ireland final – it looked as if this was going to be an extremely grim evening for us.

To our credit, though, we battled back really well, cancelling out that goal with three quick points and it was still all-square at the first water break.

Key to this was the performances of Oisín Mullin and Ryan O’Donoghue, both of whom drove at the opposition with abandon. We were winning the restart battle then too, forcing Dublin to survive on far less possession than they’re normally used to.

Cillian O’Connor was giving Byrne the run-around inside. When he caught his second mark in as many minutes close to the posts and fired over, we were two to the good and visibly growing in confidence.

But then, in a flash, Dublin cut us open for a second goal. It was a cleverly-worked score too, O’Callaghan slipping the ball to Scully and then peeling away into space in front of the goal into which Scully lofted a perfectly weighted handpass back to him. O’Callaghan’s fisted strike was like a tennis smash, the goal putting them back in front by a point.

They were two up at the break. Just before half-time, though, they lost McDaid to a black card, giving us the chance to profit from the extra man early in the second half.

That didn’t happen, though, as Dublin reverted to a keep-ball approach for those ten minutes, which we spent largely chasing shadows. By the time McDaid was readying to come back on, they were still in front, albeit just by a point.

It was then that ref David Coldrick appeared to get two big calls wrong in quick succession. Cooper could easily have got a black for the way he dragged back and tripped Aidan O’Shea but the ref opted simply to note the foul. Then a mistimed shoulder by Fitzsimons caught Lee Keegan straight in the chest but the ref waved play on for what looked a borderline straight red card offence.

Those decisions weren’t, though, in any sense decisive to the outcome of the game. It was then, however, that the momentum swung back in Dublin’s direction and, once it did, they gradually pulled clear of us.

In a ten-minute spell leading up to the hour mark they scored four without reply, sucking the life out of our challenge as they did so. We only got one more point before the finish – from substitute Darren Coen – and once they’d added another from Kilkenny they were content to hold possession for as long as possible to see out what was in the end a fairly comfortable win.

Losing this one – our tenth final defeat since we last won it – doesn’t feel as bad as many of the others did. Maybe it’s the resigned air of inevitability about it – I do fear we may be witnessing the final years of the inter-county game in football – but it’s also that the what-might-have-been aspect of those one-point final losses to Dublin isn’t a factor this time.

Putting my more optimistic hat on, we can say that the year has been a good one for us. We brought through loads of new players, we won Connacht for the first time in five years and we made it to the All-Ireland final. Despite League relegation, that makes for a positive year in my book.

All the more so in light of the year it’s been. James Horan and his team brightened the mood for Mayo people everywhere in what otherwise has been a very dark and forbidding time for all of us. We owe them all a big debt of gratitude for this.

So, that’s it for 2020. We’ll go again – of course we will – when the time comes for us to do so. But we need to get over the Christmas first. Up Mayo.

Mayo: David Clarke; Chris Barrett, Oisín Mullin (0-1), Lee Keegan; Paddy Durcan, Stephen Coen (0-1, mark), Eoghan McLaughlin; Conor Loftus (0-1), Mattie Ruane; Kevin McLoughlin, Ryan O’Donoghue (0-2), Diarmuid O’Connor; Tommy Conroy, Aidan O’Shea, Cillian O’Connor (0-9, five frees and two marks). Subs: Michael Plunkett for Paddy Durcan, James Carr for Conroy, Darren Coen (0-1) for O’Donoghue, Jordan Flynn for Loftus, James Durcan for McLaughlin.

Who was our MOTM against Dublin? Pick your top three performers

  • Oisin Mullin (29%, 1,033 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (18%, 645 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (14%, 519 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (11%, 409 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (7%, 241 Votes)
  • David Clarke (4%, 155 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (4%, 128 Votes)
  • Mattie Ruane (2%, 88 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (2%, 81 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (2%, 75 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (2%, 55 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (1%, 36 Votes)
  • Chris Barrett (1%, 28 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (1%, 20 Votes)
  • James Durcan (0%, 16 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (0%, 15 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (0%, 12 Votes)
  • James Carr (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Darren Coen (0%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,023

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162 thoughts on “Dublin 2-14 Mayo 0-15: final step proves too far once again

  1. Proud of the boys. Lee played well. Paddy was a massive loss, if we can fid a tall midfielder and take the pressure if Aido, we’ll be in the mix again next year. This is so reminiscent of Horans first term. By the 3rd season we were top class. Im full of optimism, its the beginning of something rather than the end.

  2. Until we stop conceding goals in All Ireland Finals we won’t get over the line. Anyone who thinks we can is kidding themselves. We do so many things well but conceding goals in these big games kills us. it takes all the pressure off the opposition and gives us a mountain to climb.

  3. Agree, not to disappointed, Horan got to semi first year last time and then finals, we are building but if we go with hi tempo game every player has to be at same pace, but good effort

  4. Hi Willie Joe – can’t agree that the two terrible referring decisions weren’t decisive. For Cooper’s one, they would have been down to 13, albeit for a minute or two as it overlapped with McDaids’s. A potential straight red for Fitzsimons would have permanently deprived Dublin of a key man at the back for nearly half an hour, as it turned out. Plus it would have been an easy free for Cillian too.
    That said, I fully concede that they were better than us…however those two decisions would certainly have changed the dynamics at the very least.
    Thanks Willie Joe for the blog and the huge work in curating it. We all remain immensely proud of the team and management tonight. Maigh Eo abú!

  5. Couple or points I would like to make:-

    1. Johhny Cooper should have got a Black Card, Ref bottled it as McDaid was still off at that time and Dublin would have gone down to 13 players.

    2. Mick Fitzsimons ‘assault’ on Lee Keegan was a straight Red, Ref bottled it again. Question I have for Ref , if roles were reversed , Lee would have walked. No free even given… we were down 2-8 to 0-13 at the time.

  6. Very disappointing. Did so much right but in the last quarter lost control of the middle and missed some crucial scores in that period also.

    Dubs could dominate for a long time…

  7. Summed up pretty well wj.
    Had a decent rattle of them and can hold heads high but it never truly felt in doubt

    First off kudos to any dubs checking in, best team won. Leaving aside the wider conversation about population/financial advantages they are superb footballers and brilliant and thinking their way through a game. John small, con and mccarthy particularly impressed. Durcan had snuffed killenny out until he was forced off.

    Onto mayo…
    Mostly positives and a few negatives.
    – The big glaring positive for me was the fact that our 2 best performers was 2 of the newbies, both oisin mullen and RO’D were outstanding and fearless. Great outing for both and we have 2 lads to build a team around in future
    -credit where its due. Clarke done well on kickouts. I’m forever criticising him here so only fair to call out a near flawless performance off the tee
    -cillian excellent again. Toss up between him and Fenton for poty
    -subs bench was a Savage disappointment. Made no impact, arguably weakened the team
    -Johnny cooper’s immunity to black cards is strange. He got away with exact same v Cavan
    -ill be in the minority here but I thought once again AOS was very poor in a final. We needed far far more from him. OK he wins a few frees but a player of his stature really needs to be impacting on those games. He has never scored in an all ireland final. Need far more from him especially wen youngsters like mullin and Rod are leading the way

    … Overall its been a hugely positive season. Horan deserves credit for holding his nerve and sticking with the young guns. We will stroll out of div 2 and our transition is well underway with a very good age profile. We’ll done boys

  8. Also proud of the players. Came back after each goal without using too much energy. With 15 minutes to go the goals hadn’t rattled mayo and the game was there to be won and the better team won. Would like to have seen couple of the older players coming on at that stage to use experience and maybe get over the line. They can stand tall tonight

  9. 1st goal was a shocker all round.

    Mccarthy catching a kickout and being allowed run length of the pitch was u14 stuff.
    A few lads just followed their own men and didn’t take the initiative and go to mccarthy. Killer stuff

  10. The drag down of Aidan was a drag down of a player running in on goal Black card simple as.
    The “mistimed” assault on Lee was perfectly timed it stopped him from scoring Red card simple as.
    To say this would have had no effect on the
    Game ?????

  11. Very proud of the performance, hugely disappointed for the players though. We have made progress this season and i feel James will continue to blood new players next year. We are are a work in progress and whilst today hurts there is more than ‘green shoots’ emerging with this group. Keep the faith and up Mayo.

  12. I Suppose it is fair to say that the better team won . I feel for the Mayo players, especially for the older lads . Dublin were Rattled by Mayo & they had to earn their Title . James Horan & Ciaran McDonald will learn alot from this Game . No 1 . Aidan O Shea should stay in at Full Forward , he doesn’t have the pace to come outfield any more . 2 The Mayo Subs made No impact . Darren Coen & James Carr dont have the Pace for Intercounty Football . Keith Higgins & Mark Moran were the men to bring on . Next July is not far off & Mayo Will Have Another Day . Hopefully Brendan Harrison will Return to the Panel .

  13. Priority number 1 is for some kindly benefactor to nail oisin mullin down with a cushy high paying job and keep him away from the aussies.
    The lad is going to be some player, he needs to be at midfield in future. Outstanding from him and Ryan o’d tonight

  14. It’s strange that had fitzsimons made a no arms charge like that in rugby he would have been sent off but nothing in a Gaa game. McStay completely gutless in commentary on that assault in case of offending anyone.

    Dublin march on. How many will they win this decade? Probably at least seven of the 10. 1 down already. Maybe something will change when the AI semis and finals stop selling out.

  15. Goals not an issue IMO. we were in a winning position if we kept playing on coherently.

    Dublin bench won it. Our subs made no impact.

  16. @supermac.you mentioned the league. I know the whistle is only blown in championship but our opposition in the league are down, westmeath and meath in the group and top 2 into semi against top 2 in other side of the group and then the final… This means 4 games will promote a team

  17. A big thank you to james, his management team and his players. They have given us all a much needed distraction the last couple of weeks and they are to be commended for their efforts.

  18. Dono why Horan decided to go with the sweeper at the start of the second half. Should have waited until the 10 minutes were over. We scored 10 points in the first half playing attacking football, 5 points in the second half with the sweeper. Yes we kept Dublin goaless but no point doing that if you can’t score. Durcan injury played a part in the decision. Still baffled why Horan took Ryan O’Donoghue off, our best player and creating most chances. Soon as he went off we lost a lot in attack. Last 10 minutes we had 5/6 attacks, only got 1 point. Instead of chipping away at the score, Darren took two terrible shots and Carr took another. That could have been 3 points. Decision making in those last 10 minutes were terrible. Dublin on the other hand took their time and kept the scoreboard ticking over.

  19. Centerfield, you’re 100% right, it’s a simple analysis…..Mayo back line and keeper to maintain goal-free clean sheets and we’re well fit as a team to compete on points and win these feckin finals……..Dublin never overtook us on the points tally and we were well up on that scoring stream for most of the game. Keeping goals out at all costs is an imperative. Although we pulled a goal in that manner against Tipp, I absolutely hate the openness and exposure of keepers to those 2-handed slap down goals……no chance whatsoever. To be fair to O’Callaghan, his 1-handed goal was great but the 2-handers are so soft, backs must see those opportunities creeping up and do all they can to stop them……..they destroy games.

  20. First off have to say congratulations to Dublin. Hard luck to Mayo but fair play to James Horan for giving youth a chance this year he was rewarded with a Connacht title and a run to the all ireland final. I have to say well done to David Clarke too as I am often critical of his kick outs. For me the Lee Keegan incident was a red card all day and Johnny Copper was lucky to stay on the pitch. I think the occasion got to Tommy Conroy but he’ll be back and he’ll learn loads from today. I agree with an above post Oisin Mullen needs to be kept in Mayo whatever it takes and he’s an attacking midfielder not a defender, our subs today weakened the team even if Darren Coen did get a point. I hope young Towey gets a chance next year and he grabs it with both hands and maybe Mark Moran makes a return all in all proud of the lads I think we should do everything in our power to get out of division 2 next year and keep rebuilding youth is the only way forward.

  21. Still very proud of our lads. They worked their asses off until the end. And we have some talented players coming through. Apart from the two goals I thought we defended well. The first goal was exactly the same as Murchens goal v Kerry last year. It was a play straight off the training ground. Once he got away from Aidan they had an extra man straight through the middle with only six defenders against seven attackers.
    The shoulder on Keegan was at least a free and a yellow card and I’ve seen red given for that type of thing. Every point counts in a game!

  22. Too raw to say too much now.

    Can only say I’m proud of the lads. In an awful year they gave us something to believe in. We didn’t get over line but we’ll come again.

    Up Mayo.

  23. I’m a massive fan of Aido and he’s one of our best players for a long time. But yet again, he was peripheral in an All Ireland final. That’s the bottom line. A player of his talent has got to find a way to impact games like this. The greats step up to another level in the biggest games and drag their team across the line. We needed that from Aido today. There’s a few others in the same boat but to win an AI, you look to your talisman players to win the game. To beat Dublin you need your Aidan, Paddy Durcan, Cillian and diarmuid, Lee Keegan to give 9/10 performances. Cillian in the first half was the only one who hit that level.
    We were never winning once that happened.
    Massive credit to Ryan and Oisín but it they are our two best – we ain’t beating the dubs.

  24. Supermac, if I could I would but I’m not in that position. But I wish I was. He is an exceptional footballer. He really needs to stay here with us.

  25. Still proud of this Mayo team. Took it to Dublin first half but faded later on. Lee Keegan has some history of injustice in Croke park. Black card in 16 not even a foul. Clear penalty in 17 2nd half, play waved on. Shocking frontal challenge today no action taken. When playing Dubs it’s not the decisions given against you, it’s the obvious decisions not given that decide games. That is just another advantage that Dubs have over opponents who challenge. It has become acceptable. So 6 in a row. Kind of makes a joke of the milestone last year 5 in a row.

  26. Cluxton looked like a haunted man as he delivered the most uninspired acceptance speech in living memory. He knows now the damage that’s been done.

    I hear from a reliable source that there’s bonfires lit in Roscommon tonight.

  27. I’m sorry to say that Kevin McStay’s contribution tonight was an embarrassment at every level. Total failure to call out big decisions that went against us.

    His piece in the Irish Times this week was lauded in these pages but did nothing to help. It was full of guff about the spirit of Mayo GAA but omitted to mention that Johnny Cooper has been playing over the edge for years. Why not do something useful and write an article that highlighted that issue in advance.

    Great servant to Mayo GAA and all the rest, but sorry chief – not good enough.

  28. Yes the better team won but fair play to the lads they are the one team that always put it up to the dubs and the team they fear. Dublin would have loved to put up a big score today and derail the Mayo rebuild.
    The ref bottled it on the two incidents but why did Mayo agree to a Leinster ref who very probably reffed some of the Dublin internal matches. They should have insisted on a ref from Munster or Ulster.
    Strange to see John Costello the Dublin CEO give the acceptance speech to Cluxton and then Cluxton read it out word for word.

  29. JH deserves huge credit for getting the team, in treansition, to an AI final but the same old issues raised their heads once again. When only 2 of your forwards score, Ryan OD and Cillian and 1 sub , D Coen then you can make all the excuses in the world but it won’t change a thing. Oisin and Ryan OD are the future. And Tommy C and Eoin McL will be there too. But most of our big players didn’t show up. Don’t know why. Our subs made no impact, maybe because they had so little game time in the championship.

  30. Great effort by Mayo players today, but why not play a half back line of Keegan Durkan and McLauglin, the best in the country, when you have a full back line of Barrett, Mullen and O Hora,

  31. we were never in a winning position Catcol. We were 2 behind at half-time instead of being 3-4 ahead because of those 2 goals. We dominated the kickouts in the first half so had to be going in ahead. Can’t apply pressure to top class teams if you give away cheap goals

  32. The lads battled hard as always but I kinda felt we lacked a bit of experience in some key areas of the pitch today, Jason Doc and Parsons are huge losses in this regard (hopefully they can make a comeback next term).

    We are also still over-reliant on Cillian for scores, who was again excellent today.

    And yes, the decisions not to penalize Fitzsimon’s frontal charge on Keegan was disgraceful (McStay somehow missed this in commentary, which I hope was a genuine error rather than pandering to the Dubs). As was the failure to black card Jonny Cooper for his pulling down AOS going through on goal. But ultimately, it had little bearing on the final outcome.

    Mayo continue to leak goals in finals, and not alone that but early goals. As long as this persists, second place will be our lot.

    Overall, as painful as this may be for the next few days or weeks, it has been a good season overall. Hopefully a few of the old warriors give it one more go in the new year.

  33. Very proud of our lads today but at end of the day it is professionals in all but name against amateurs and the gap is widening.

  34. Over this one already . Better team won .
    Really wanted the players win it for themselves
    But from a purely selfish point of view it would have been such an anti climax to win it watching an empty stadium in front of a tv
    Let them have their 6 in a row
    Let the GAA continue to bury their heads in the sand
    We will be back next July
    Happy Xmas Willie Joe and thanks as always for the opportunity to connect with other Mayo supporters. We needed it this year more than ever .
    Hopefully we will all be celebrating on Jones’ Road next July
    Over and out until 2021

  35. Congratulations to Cillian who is the Top Scorer of the Championship for 2020 for an in creditable 5th time. In spite of all the records he has broken this record is unlikely to be surpassed in my lifetime or yours. I remember when he got his second golden boot and he just out of underage category. At that point he became a member of a very elite group of forwards like the great John Doyle of Kildare and others. Tonight he is in a class of his own.

  36. Not disheartened. Delighted the way Mayo stood up physically all over the field. (Did Keith Higgins stand up to Philly in the tunnel) It was marvellous how David Clarke managed the kickouts. Also WJ your describtion of secnd goal as a tennis smash seems accurate. He nearly saved the first palmed effort but it was so accurate. Did Dublin have a shot at goal? There was a belief that Dublin might be shooting goals for fun.

    I felt that Mayo could win all the way through and really hoped that Carr or Darren Coen were going to goal when they came on. Michael Plunket seemed good but have no idea who he was marking.

    But I was resigned before the final whistle but as someone else mentioned it was lovely to see them going for a goal with Diarmuid taking a 45 with time nearly up. Entertaining to the end.

    Another Poster mentioned that we could be back again in July. What will JH and Ciaran Mc serve up next? It is a tough job.

    P. S. I read the front page of the Western People in Easons this morning this and it related the game to the great Mayo character in all walks of life never giving up and always conquered adversity wherever they went. Just a bit OTT. This seems very unfair on the other 31 Counties. Our current crop of footballers are exceptional.

  37. Ah dont mind them carrot face..if that’s the only reason they have to light bonfires, then it’s best to ignore.

  38. Ah it wouldn’t be the same unless the Rossies were celebrating another teams loss. That small mindedness is the reason they are where they are i.e nowhere. Can’t even win a quarter final let alone compete with the big dawgs.

  39. Thanks
    To the Podcast, Willie Joe and this blog and to the mayo squad and management. Didn’t think we’ed have a final never ming play in one, so credit to all involved.
    No matter what is happening we need to let the youngsters grow and run the league, They will fill the responsibly well.
    Horan’s line in the prematch “…players still realising how good they are, how good they could be..” gives me great hope.
    Now for Sligo, is it being streamed?

  40. Indeed Dave, it is beyond sad if that is what they are at and a sign of the ultimate losers’ mentality.

    We will get a kicking in the media in the coming days and weeks, and no doubt from many of the keyboard warriors on social media. But we will rise again as we always do.

  41. The teams of the past 10 years have been the greatest that Mayo have produced in my lifetime. 70s were awful, 80s slightly better, 90s and noughties similar to 80s.
    They should have bagged 1 or 2 but it wasnt to be. JH knows what it takes and has this team ahead of schedule. That was a decent performance tonight, just hadn’t the legs to close out the deal. I’m not even going near Coldrick as I’ve vented enough earlier on today. Stay positive and happy xmas to all.

  42. The injury to Durcan threw Mayo for that second half. When we should have gone for it in that 10 minute spell. what we ended up doing was trying to adjust to not having Paddy on the field. Plus we let Dublin have the ball for long periods. If you were watching it you would have thought Mayo were down to 14 men, not Dublin.

  43. Heard a lot of booing and jeering from the line of Tommy Conroy every time he got on the ball. Very scummy from the blue corner, doing that to a young fella in his first All Ireland final in an empty Croke Park where everything could be heard. The lowest of the low. Absolute filth, but I’d expect nothing less. I’ll never respect that Dublin team.

  44. Hard to process the loss at this stage so perhaps best to say nothing except to thank Willie Joe once again for giving us the gift that is this blog again this year.
    Enjoy the break and see you all in the New Year. Hats off to the Mayo supporter who yelled his head off for the full seventy plus minutes this evening under the railroad bridge on Jones Road. He gets my vote for supporter of the year.

  45. I stopped reading that rag that the Derry scut writes for about 23 years ago. No problem with free speech and contrary opinions but let’s not suppose that just because it isn’t in tabloid format it’s not sensationalistic, mean spirited and pandering to the most populated county in the country. Think twice prior to purchasing or clicking.
    That is by no means to take away from a clearly deserved win by Dublin.

  46. Great job on blog each year first of all. Enough has been said about the two flashpoint decisions – Mayo IMO need to develop that no prisoner mindset on their side – no way can you let lads dance across your box untouched. Outside of this – the unforced turnovers were a killer and D O’Connors pass out over sideline was a killer. It seemed every time we turned Dublin over we have the ball back handily with misplaced, tepid passes. I see that as our biggest undoing today. Have to value the ball when you have it.

  47. I am an avid Mayo supporter for many years like everyone else on here and after every final that we lose, we come on here and say how proud we are of the team for doing their best.. you just have to wonder is it something that has bred into the psychology of the County that its grand as long as we do our best. No all ireland now in 70 years and countess opportunities, plenty good enough to win many of the finals we were in but not calculated enough to see them through. Its hard to imagine a kerry football forum or kilkenny hurling forum congratulating their team year upon year for doing their best. Look I love Mayo as much as the next supporter but at times, the acceptance of being second best becomes tiresome.

  48. Oh well.2 goals and watching our full forward line chasing their full back line down the pitch for the second half.our subs didn’t work out.
    We need to get a bench that’s like for like,for year’s subs are making no impact.
    It’s a young team they’ll learn from it.enjoy the Christmas all,next year is just a couple weeks away.

  49. Anyone else think rte coverage was terrible aside from the 2 commentators, I dont know how many kickouts they missed due to showing replays or showing someone on sideline, they also missed the potential black card by cooper and not the aidan o shea one but off the ball cillian was been pulled back in middle of field while we were attacking down the left wing, sky were able to show it, the attack on lee was red all day , it was frontal and high

  50. Cmon lads. Let’s not humour brolly by discussing him. A desperate troll and attention seeker. Publicity is oxygen. I just can’t understand how every 2nd club in mayo invites him to their dinner dances

  51. Firstly, congrats to Dublin, fully deserved, can’t have any complaints, they’re a level above the rest at the minute.

    On to Mayo, in order to beat Dublin, you CAN’T let in soft goals, that was the difference tonight, getting sucked towards the ball is a crime at this level, it’s a mistake we’ll learn from though. Harrison will settle the ship next year in the FBL when he’s back, he was a huge loss this year.

    Tonight I feel like I did in 2012, of course I’m upset that we lost, but there is huge hope for the future, we are a team that is building towards beating Dublin, tonight we were a few small steps away from sealing the deal. In my view, the young lads coming through could well be better than the players that backboned the team from 2011 to 2017. It took James Horan two full seasons to get his first Mayo team to the peak of their powers, he in my view is now ahead of where he was at the end of 2012.

    The age profile of this team is good, with a bit more conditioning and cuteness we can win the big one. We are not far away, 2020 was always going to be a stepping stone, it just turned out to be a bigger step than we thought possible.

    Just a word on the players, Clarke done well, can’t be faulted for the goals and for the most part his kickouts were solid. Oisin Mullin is the real deal, he settled the ship after a poor start, a real leader and he’s only 20. He must be kept playing GAA at all costs, he’ll be our best player in 2 years if he stays. Keegan was solid, the hit was a yellow at a minimum. ROD was good, made some errors early on but is fearless. With a bit more conditioning he’ll be a serious player.

    Thanks to the players and management for making this miserable winter shorter, your efforts will never be taken for granted.

    Regarding that article in the Indo from the nordie based in the West, his opinion is worth shit, he should never be invited to a Mayo preview or function again, he’s the ultimate Dublin fanboy, he just jumps on the bandwagon of the team that is winning. Forget about him.

    Regarding the Rossie bonfires, if true that’s a new level of shithousery from them. We may have lost tonight but at least we will win an All Ireland in the very near future. If I live to be 500, I’d be certain that they’ll never get to a final again. Enjoy getting to the 1/4s lads, that’s your level.

    Happy Christmas and New Year to everyone on here, stay safe. Thanks WJ for keeping this place going. Up Mayo, our day is very near.

  52. Dave Johnston, with respect, what do you think we can say this evening? Will we blame players, managers or the team for not doing better? I think it’s fairly clear that we’re in a rebuild. What better can we expect from our players? I used the word ‘proud’ consciously – when I saw the effort that went into subduing that voracious Dublin team, especially in the first half, from a team that’s playing together as a unit only this year – yes, this makes me proud. It makes me proud that our older players have the neck to come back year after year following the defeats they’ve had. It makes me proud to see young Oisín Mullin and the way he played today in Croke Park. Ditto Ryan O’Donoghue.
    Do you wish Dublin weren’t the team they are? Could that mean there would be less reason to fail?
    Should we save our pride until we win an All-Ireland, whenever that will be?
    Tell me what we have to do better to achieve that.
    I’m sorry that your comment doesn’t sit well with me though I know you want what is best for the team.

  53. Liberal role in the tie
    I like you have No respect for this dublin team
    The outrageous advantages they have had including officials is ridiculous.
    Whats worse is the born in Mayo folk who feel
    We must not say anything to upset their dublin
    Friends even if its the truth.
    Maigh Eo Abu.

  54. I can’t figure out Horan’s philosophy on football, it didn’t work 1st time round as we conceded goal after goal and again today. We can’t win leaving 2 on 2 at the back.
    The re-build needs to continue, not enough scoring forwards. Sadly there is no point having the older lads in the squad if they were deemed not good enough to play a part this evening.

  55. @swallow swoops. No disrespect to the team today. But I’m not talking specifically about today. This is about talking about 30 years of failures in finals, 89, 96, 97, 04, 06, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20. See a pattern. Many of these finals were within a point, but yet we we’re on the wrong side of that point loss every single time and come on here every time and congratulate the team and many times complain about a ref decision that went against us..thats not the mentality of winners, sometimes you have to make your own luck in tight games like these. No disrespect to the team today and hopefully many good years ahead for the younger members of the panel.

  56. David Brady hit the nail on the head afterwards. Our elementary mistakes cost us today; our naivety. He said of course the Dubs can be beaten and other teams will look at today and the ways in which we got at Dublin. But alas, we came up short, and a lot of this was of our own making. I wouldn’t be too kind or too praiseworthy of Mayo today. We lost. Apart from a decent first half, we underperformed overall. And, yes, to lose yet another All Ireland final is concerning. Very concerning.

  57. I felt that the 2 goals were very soft. We seemed to leave the Dublin players unmarked as if none of our lads noticed them. I mean they were left wide open. We had the numbers but just were not alert.

    Bernard Brogan scored 2 goals with the hand to the net before, so it’s disappointing that something that seems so fundamental would happen again.

    I’m not going to comment on the referee.

    For a good part of the game we were absolutely outstanding.

    I don’t agree that Aidan was poor. He won almost every decent ball that went his way.

    We were never going to benefit from the extra man, as Dublin were always going to defend deep and timewaste for that 10 minutes.

    Overall, delighted with our display, but
    We did leave 3 or 4 short in to Cluxtons hands and I felt it wasn’t the occasion for a couple of the players who got turned over 3 or 4 times each. No names.

    10 out of 10 for effort.
    7 out of 10 for execution.

    Management did a great job on kickouts.
    Took a good approach to winning the middle third battles.

    Player alertness in picking opposition spare man up in front of our goals needs working on for next year.

  58. Dave Johnston
    Are you blind? Can you not see what’s in front of you? That Mayo team played their hearts out and were easily beaten by a county going for 8 in 10 years. Let me paint you a picture, Dublin will be congratulated in 2023 for winning 10 in a row and you’ll be asking in 2023 why Tyrone aren’t able to field better teams or why Kerry are not like the Kerry of old.

  59. Dublin better team if only for tactics. Kept ball when they needed to. However lady luck nor ref on our side. Apart from the tackle on Lee Keegan and Aidan he gave Dublin a couple of soft frees in the last few minutes that resulted in two points. A point here a point there it would have been a lot closer. Mayo are a point or two off Dublin. Not bad for a tradition year. Lots of hope and lots to look forward to.

  60. The shoulder charge no card/free was a terrible decision by Coldrick. It was him that sent Keegan off in 14 semi aswell

  61. Ok Dave. Thats fine. Keep thinking that way..I agree that Dublin are a phenomenal team. But look at today. Goal conceded after 20 seconds, 2017, goal conceded in in the first minute. Then we mount a comeback and draw level with a great effort. Massive effort today in the first half to go 2 points up and then another soft goal conceded to fall behind again. We were by far the superior team in the first half today..should have been going In at half time 4 or 5 points to the good and it would have been a different game. Its the simple mistakes and lapses in concentration that kills us time and time again. Dublin were on the ropes in the first half..cluxton not finding his men with any kickouts, Oisin Mullin lording it at midfield. The supposedly invincible Fenton being beaten. It could have been a very different game. But when Dublin get into a 4 or 5 point lead, they are professional and can see the game out. It could have been down to the wire had we sorted out our flaws.

  62. Yeah I do not accept that Dublin were 5 points better. Left it all out on the field but ultimately couldn’t get the Goals. Lee was very unfortunate to be honest and had a relatively good game up to that knock. Paddy was a huge loss. Massive.

    Flip the script for a second. If McCarthy went off for Dublin you’d have a selection of riches to replace. Mayo simply just do not have that luxury and that’s the difference.

    Mayo had anything but loser mentality today. Going by some logic posted here was Philly McMahon indulging in loser mentality too when he lost the head in the tunnel? I hope he never gets a gig with Rte after that thuggish move.

    My only complaint about the game overall is that Aidan and Cillian deserved far much more ball than they got. Instead we played pass the fucking parcel around and outside Dublin’s 45 once too many and kept getting tackled before there was a chance to penetrate.

    I also thought Darren Coen got a bit too giddy near the end with his shot selection but it’s all for nought now.

    All we can do is move on and learn. And go again. And we will.

  63. Well done Dublin, they finished the game very well. I think our players can be very proud of the effort and their performance despite knowing they could have won it. The Dubs wouldn’t have finished so clinically if we managed to get a sizeable lead during our periods of playing well in the 1st half. Durcan’s loss probably accounts for a few points because he’s a leader and very consistently excellent. Plunkett did nothing wrong but Paddy gives so much in attack as well as defense.
    As regards the ref’s blunders, the first one looked a straight black in real time and the 2nd one looked a great Dublin hit in real time and I didn’t think the Dublin Player was being malicious, reds have been given for this but I don’t think the ref got a good view of it, play continued on until it had to be stopped. Keegan recovered well and gave a good performance throughout.
    I have no time for so called fans bashing AOS who lined out at FF. Dublin dominated most of the 2nd half so it’s always going to be difficult impacting a game from there especially when reliant on half decent quality coming in. I would give Aido a 6/10 and don’t doubt his effort and commitment in any way.
    Also for Dubs goals, they were rehearsed as Con OC admitted in his interview saying it’s nice when they come off. There was almost nothing to stop the 1st one once Dublin won the throw in, Mayo had not time to set themselves up and Dublin to give credit executed both goals extremely well. I think no team would have stopped the first goal and almost none would stop the 2nd either, Dublin had one other goal chance in the game as we had one for Eoghan Mc (whose mind just wanderd a half second ahead of himself) and Cillian with a half chance where he took a left footed point. Kevin Mc gave rookie Jack McCaff a roasting in 2013 and Eoghan did significantly better than that. Mullen is a star in the making if we keep him as is Eoghan Mac and Tommy C is definitely a great man to have in the mix for places.
    Our subs were low impact with wrong decisions but we were on the back foot and it’s simply big occasion and the pressure of trying to stop a loss back foot mistakes stuff.. trying to spot a goal chance and then shooting from awkward positions when no goal on. I honestly feel both Coen and Carr are excellent players, the game was 80% lost by then and they made some mistakes, Mannion didn’t set the world on fire at the other end either, nor did Basquel. Howard was the difference for them and losing Paddy the difference for us.

  64. @Swallow Swoops. You congratulate this team as much and as many times as you please.

    @Dave Johnston. We have been the outsiders in all 10 all Ireland finals from 1989 to 2020. All 10 of them.
    We have over performed and given our greatest ever performances in some of these games. Fact.

    These players are winners. Every last one of them. Every player goes out to give 100% and every Mayo player and team deserve a clap on the back whether they win lose or draw.

    I’m as proud of this mayo team today as any mayo team that ever pulled on a jersey. If we had been beaten by 40 points today I would still be on here saying I am proud of them.

  65. Great effort have to be proud of the lads 2nd best team in Ireland to the best team of all time. T Conroy & McLaughlin junior not used properly never got into the game. Paddy must have been carrying an injury to take him off big loss. In fairness James & Cieran had some balls to bring in all those young fellas after lockdown we never thought at start of the year we’d get to another final. So proud maybe one more year with Aido at full forward (Legend) but if he drifts outside of the 40 again take him off time for the young guns to take over the mantel. To finish Oisín Mullen awsome for a young fella and Keegan imense againn. Mayo Abu

  66. Dave Johnston, I have some sympathy with your position and I see what you are trying to say. I see also why Big Mike, who I think is from Galway, agrees with you. To take the Galway hurling example, they are a proud hurling county who want to win. They don’t want to be second best but unfortunately they have been underdogs for many years. They don’t think that’s good enough and hence the striving for better. But it’s not always as easy as that, as this Galway hurling team themselves have discovered. And that’s not taking away from their class or brilliance.
    Maybe you could actually say Mayo have overperformed rather than underperformed these last 30 years.
    You ask about patterns in ‘89, ‘96, ‘97, ‘04, ‘06, ‘12, ‘13, ‘16, ‘17, ‘20.
    I think we had a right good shot in ‘89.
    As for patterns, we came up against teams in their pomp in ‘96 and ‘97, and 12-13 / 16-17 & 20.
    The above sentence is the pattern I see.
    It took us until 2012 to be competitive – we were naive from 1989 until 2006. And we had the naïveté knocked out of us through the school of hard knocks that cost us games (receiving end of cynicism from Dublin; Donaghy thrown in at final minutes). That’s not the only reason we lost games but it was a necessary development I’ve seen us come through. We have become more hard nosed this last decade; we also became ‘consistently competitive’ (not inconsistent); and we have now developed a full team with pace. These are big developments in the scheme of Mayo football.
    In case you might have overlooked it, no team has thrived this last decade while Dublin has been reigning.
    What I think you are getting at is this – maybe we need a massive, fundamental overhaul that will see us operate at a higher level, maybe as Limerick hurling has done. Maybe that will come.
    In the meantime, much as I don’t like to say it, maybe we have been overperforming. After all, most of us would be happy ‘to win just once’.

  67. Don’t comment here often but i have to say thanks to James and the lads. We did alot very well today. Thanks for gettin us through 2020. Ye did us proud in a year we had

  68. Sorry posted without finishing my comment. Ye did us proud in a year we didn’t have anything to look forward too. I would have settled for a connacht title at the start of the year. So many young lads on the panel, looking forward to the further but i have to say thanks to the lads that have gave us so much enjoyment over the last 10 years.

  69. On a positive note for us, as I’m not as disappointed this time given how little chance we were given by anyone, I think the future is fairly bright from a position of people talking about the end of an era a few years back. Now we have a potentially massive panel with Boland, McDonagh, Walsh, Moran all potential future stars at half forward and Ryan OD doing very well in an AI final so there’s heaps there. There’s also Ciaran Treacy, Mikey Murray and Cian Hanley who all featured in 2019 and hopefully Jason D dons the jersey again too. In the backs, O Hora may yet establish himself and Harrison is yet to return & I wouldn’t rule out converting a forward into a back if top heavy. Oisin if we keep him will be a star for years to come though maybe from midfield not full back line as will Eoghan Mac. Jordan Flynn also showed signs of promise as a big mobile midfielder / HF this year so next year could bring plenty of game time for him. So while Kerry, Donegal, Tyrone and Galway all could be contenders next year, we need to stay ahead of Galway, and no disrespect to Ros who could emerge from Connaught but less likely.
    Of the veterans, hard to see Higgins staying on when he got no game time this year, Boyle might give us another year (cruciate recovery normally takes > 1 year) but age isn’t on his side either. Tom P if he’s as recovered as possible mightn’t feature again but if he has more to gain in fitness, maybe there’s more from him. Seamie OS and Donie likely out of the picture going forward. All 5 are legends and have given us so much. I’m sure a few of them will soldier on and try to give some more to the cause and hope we can see at least some of them wear the jersey again.
    I’m wary of the always next year mentality, thinking grab the chance when you can, but in our case if we can keep going the front door we have a great chance of more SF’s and finals in the years ahead.

  70. The Ref bottled 3 decisions in quick succession..Black card on Johnny Cooper, definite Red to Michael Fitzsimmon and a free in to Mayo, followed by a decision against Aiden O Shea which led to a free scored by Paul Mannion.. and Kevin McStay bottled his objectivity during the match, mind you he bottled that in his contribution to the Podcast a few days ago…He put Coldrick on a pedestal as one of the best Refs in Ireland… McStay bottled his response during the Saturday Game show on RTE, when asked about the most blatant Red Card offence during all the live Championship games of 2020…I enjoy almost all the Podcast on this Blog, but I never heard so much absolute unchallenged Horse Shit from McStay… Still I’m sure it pays well!…At the end of the day, the best team won, no doubt about it Congratulations to Dublin, immense 6 in a row.

    And it doesn’t hurt if RTE’s so called analysis won’t call out the blatent unfair advantages conferred on ye by the powers that be, and of course Coldrick is a great Ref because Kevin McStay says so.

  71. We will need a few bigger powerful running athletes next year.
    Barry Duffy is needed for big unit power.
    Cian Hanley for rangey middle third running power.
    Sharoize Akram with his edgy abrasive middle third speed.
    Jack Carney again a rangey elite athlete.
    We were simply too tired and with too weak a bench to win that game.
    Bench next year:
    Aidan OShea
    Kevin McLoughlin
    Jason Doherty
    Lee Keegan
    Aidan to the bench next year?????? Oh the heresy. Well, do we want a repeat of his recent performances versus Kerry and Dublin in white heat championship?
    Alternatively do we want from 45 mins to the end Aidan OShea running on top of the ground fresh. We don’t have the gut as a county to make that call with big players.
    Frankly it would be a county mini meltdown, whereas it would not be barely commented on with other over 30 players.
    Lee is a sub next year also in my view.
    Today was very high octane and we faded in that second half with zero bench impact.

  72. This was a bonus final appearance. Go as far as you can would defeat to Roscommon Galway or Tipperary been acceptable? After Last year’s semi final loss was clear we had to rebuild and we did this year this is not the peak for this team. We added real pace but need to develop an impact bench. Conroy O’Donoughue McLoughlin & Mullin huge pluses and will learn from today. McLoughlin needs improve his attacking skills still a bit raw. Mullin has more to offer as half back or even midfield. McDonagh Carr Towey need to become real options in attack then next year is a real target and a shot at the title . Keep the faith

  73. Surreal evening, from utter disappointment for those warriors that never give up to optimism for next year.
    The dedication to Mayo football by the players and management should never be overlooked. In the most horrific year possible once again the Mayo team helped many through the dark days. Sincere thanks to you all.
    Dessie Farrell and Cluxton looked years younger and relaxed when interviewed tonight compared to the start of the game..goes to show the how anxious they were and how seriously they take the Mayo challenge.
    My retired ex footballing, Parish Priest uncle told me tonight that theres a bigger population in some parishes in Dublin than in Co Leitrim. And then he said consider the amount of 18 to 30 yr olds that are available in that parish alone to play compared to rural counties with guys emigrating, working outside the county, travel, etc. Interesting point.
    Congratulation to Cillian being top scorer and being considered for player of the year. He definately is in this house as Im sure he is in O Connor land.
    ZIPPY…WELL DONE!
    Martin Carney we missed you today. Nothing like have the TV turned down and listening to Martin.
    Wishing the Mayo team, management, and Mayo fans a happy and safe Christmas.
    Enjoy your break Mayo, you did yourselves, your families, clubs, and Mayo proud. Medals do not define you.

  74. I don’t mean to sound critical but in many ways Mayo have made this Dublin team, maybe just as much as the Dub funding/resources/structures etc.

    If we even took just one of massive chances to beat them over the past 7 years and got over the line, who knows, they may not have developed into the monster they are now. Success breeds success and we should have had ours. Its a horrible horrible irony i guess.

    Im feeling sorry for myself tonight but there’s truth in this. We brought Dublin to their limits, but they overcame, they got stronger for it. We also got stronger, to a point (2017), but the damage was done, the monster was created, and Dublin had enough in the success bank to draw on. We had nought.

    I’m deeply concerned for Mayo football tonight and I say that with the best of intentions. Truly. We have lost and will continue to lose players of a generation for us, and there are no guarantees on a continuum of talent.

    I salute all the players for giving it their all throughout this awful year given the circumstances.
    We all need a few weeks now to reset. Won’t be easy mustering up positivity but we’ll go again.

  75. @one hop one solo.
    It’s Dublin we have to beat ultimately.
    I don’t see James Carr as an attacking option on his form the last two years. He is around one score from six shots this year. He has not made an impact.
    There are younger players who have more potential now aged 18/19/20.

  76. JP big year for Carr needs a full league campaign but can score off both feet. Moran McDonagh and Towey are other options any other candidates?

  77. Roscommon fan here,and just reading these comments on cooper is just unbelievable,ref was more than fair to mayo and Keegan has got away with so much tactical fouling down the years like our own david Murray , and the pull down against galway ,mayo a great team and much better than teams that won Sam, just pure unlucky that dubs have brought football to different level ,with money like most things in life a massive factor

  78. Mayo are not the reason that gaelic football is in this current situation, remove that idea from your head. Mayo are losing a golden generation themselves and there’s no guarantee they’ll be replaced. I hear people saying stuff like Man Utd were unbeatable too until they were beaten, the trouble with that argument is that there’s not a Liverpool or Man City to come in and break the domination. This will go on until it eats itself in about 5-8 years time or less, once the crowds drop away from the games we will see changes being forced on the gaa. No idea what the changes will be but there will be changes because this model is not working. Dublin population growing rapidly, Mayo and the others along the west coast are stagnant or shrinking , what will it look like in 2030??
    Anyways. That’s for another day I suppose. Tonight I feel very sorry for all that Mayo team, tried so hard and played so well. Massive effort put in by all and nothing to show for it.

  79. Well it’s often said you need at least 4 forwards putting in a top performance to win an all Ireland

    Only two starting forwards scored from play yesterday. That is sobering

    Same old story

    Mcstay had some stat on the Sunday game that I didn’t quite catch properly but it was in relation to all the mayo/Dublin finals and the relative scoring of their subs bench in them games.

    Once again it was extremely sobering from our own perspective. We’ve actually never had a sub make a huge impact in a final.

  80. Until Dublin start winning finals handy every year I think people are being a bit OTT with their assessments of the game being in serious bother and so on

    I’d describe this Dublin side as incredibly efficient, unflappable and resilient, however it still stands that they could very easily have lost a few of the finals over the last few years

    We can point to funding, population etc but at the end of the day, we’ve only ever had two forwards at best perform in any given final, we’ve had extremely limited impact from our bench, and our decision making at times has been very subpar. This I’m afraid is a surefire recipe to falling short on the big day. We’ve had our chances but ultimately just haven’t been good enough

    A very mediocre Kerry team should have beat them last year (yes because of a red card). But I think it’s getting clear at this stage it’s Kerry who are the best hope of ending the dominance. They have the forwards, the scoring power and are building the necessary squad depth – this will be what catches Dublin eventually.

    2013 was the real chance missed. We just completely fell flat on the day, after blowing everyone out of our path in the run up. 2017 was the one we performed best in (and probably would have won most other finals ever played with that showing) but again it was more heroic from 1-9 than where it really needed to be

    Dublin are fortunate in one way that football over the last 3 seasons is in a poor place overall. But if teams like the Tyrone of the 00s , Kerry of years past, even Galway of 98-01 could come again then itd get very interesting indeed. What do they all have in common? Incredible firepower up front. The only thing is do those sides have the intensity, physicality and athleticism of mayo? Tyrone maybe, the others definitely not – and that’s where we blow other sides out of the water

    So if we could even come again with a team like 2013-17 – BUT with more scoring forwards and options off the bench… Maybe Conroy towey etc are the missing ingredient

    I still think Dublin are there to be got at with good forwards. They concede lots of frees when attacked with pace It’s just there’s no team of present can do it at the same time as competing physically all round the park

    So combine good scoring power with the workrate mayo have shown time and time again and then you have the perfect ingredients to stop the juggernaut. But it’ll be a few more years yet till they’re stopped but there’s reason to not be totally despondent. They won two of the 6 in a row after a replay and another by a single point . Can be very small margins indeed

  81. So in summary.

    The 2020 All Ireland was won by
    a financially doped team, playing at home, refereed by a blind man with match analysis carried out by a cast of budgies that have about as much credibility as a bunch of sandal sellers in a Baghdadi market.

  82. Fair play to James Horan and the Mayo team, great heart and commitment and overall great team, they have given us so much joy, however the competition as a whole has become so boring, Dublin with all it’s advantages has taken the competition out of it, I live in Leinster and haven’t gone to a match since 2012, I don’t see the point as it’s so predictable, this predictable scenario is now spread outside of the provinces. I agree with some of your posters, Dublin will dominate for years to come, and people will just get bored of it, the sad thing about that is those that are second best may lose interest. Lets hope I’m wrong.

  83. Has anyone looked at the stats for throw ins to start the match. I think the tactic of Aido running up to jump for it rarely works. We do it every time so the opposition know they just need to block Aido and then their other player fields the ball and gets a clear run on goal. Seems to me we lose a huge percentage of throw in by persisting with this tactic every time over the past few years.

  84. Congrats to the Dubs.
    This lose is a forward step, alot of new players found.
    I watched alot of mayo club championship football and there are more very talented players, young players to break onto scene next year. (Fact)
    J H and his team will do the job!
    Onwards and upwards….
    Wishing you all a Very Happy Healthy Xmas and Peaceful New Year! (See ye all soon )
    Mayo forever

  85. @justoutsideballgh .
    The first throw in , diarmud positioned himself incorrectly just behind Fenton . He allowed Fenton free to jump with McCarthy . So it was a 2 on one with O’Shea . Just small decisions but it actually was part of the goal buildup .

  86. Dublin were rattled for a time yesterday but in the end the goals and the poor return from the forward line did for Mayo. I thought Conroy might do something but like many young players before him the day overwhelmed him. 15 points will never beat Dublin someone here said 20 would be needed and they were not far wrong. As long as McCarty, Fenton,Scully are there Dublin will be very hard beaten. Add Kilkenny and O Callaghan and Rock and you are at 6 All Star players its just a great team. Fitzsimons a yellow card and Cooper a black card but neither given but Dublin would still have won. Need more from the forwards and poor shot selection at end could have brought Mayo closer but Kilkenny missed a few soft ones too. Next year will still be Covid so its up to us to knock ye off yer pedestal in Connaught. We have beaten the Dubs in U20 and can beat them at senior too.

    Happy Christmas see ye in Pearse stadium on a very windy day in March.

  87. I wish people would stop blaming ref for our losses.mcstay was dead right not to question the ref live on air and have the whole country laughing at us.R.od got a soft free in the first half.our full forward line is getting pulled down the field to often and our wing forwards are asked to do far to much in match’s and are gased after 50 mins.the only solution is to get a bench as good as the lads coming off.eoin mclauglin was gased for the last 20 mins and mistakes started to show,why wasn’t Higgins brought on?listen we got bet by ten last year 5 this year should be 4 if we popped the free over at the end.we are closing the gap slowly plenty to learn from but we need to sort out a strong bench.

  88. Hard luck to JH and Mayo team. Fought bravely against all the odds and ultimately not good enough. We just don’t get the impact from the sub’s that Dublin do simply because Howard Mannion etc are a lot better than what we have. We need to stop blaming everyone after we lose. True the ref made a few controversial calls but we say that after every final. Some of our guys were super, some quite good and for a few others it just didn’t happen. We knew beforehand that we needed everybody playing well to have a chance. Also we made unforced errors and just didn’t have the experience at the crucial time. But they played with pride and passion and gave us so much in this dreadful year. And for that we should be grateful. I hope they, and WJ and all readers of this blog have a happy Christmas.

  89. – Up until the 62nd minute we were still in the match and then the usual few quick points on the board and away they pulled.
    – Paddy had Kilkenny, DOC did well on Fenton, Barrett had Rock under control after the first goal and Oisin was breaking even with King Con. Paddy Small and Buggler controlled and we won a load at mid field so we did an awful right.
    – Dublin deserved to win though, most refs would not have given Cooper a black card and Coldrick was blindsided on the frontal charge on Leeroy this was one for the umpires to alert him on but they kept quiet.
    – Pride and proud is all very well but we need to win so here are the questions I have…….
    – Who was supposed to be marking Howard ?
    – Why are people surprised our bench made no impact, they made no impact against a Tipp team we had beaten into the ground
    – This charade of putting Aido and DOC in for the throw in has never worked and yet it continues ?
    – Two of the starting forwards score from play ? Not good enough
    – We never came near scoring a goal because we kept the attack stretched to both sidelines and rarely tried the middle channel via fast ball
    – Was Eoghan Mc carrying a knock, I think he was rattled by Scullys involvement in the first goal and never got into the game.
    – No sentiment in Sport which means no going back to older players for us, Tommie and Eoghan have their best days ahead. Harrison is the only one I see with something to offer.
    – The provincial championships are in good enough order except for Leinster. However the actual All Ireland championship is at a cross roads and is heading on the same road as Leinster….

  90. Its looking like we won’t have Harrison again next season, saw him on crutches there at the end. Im not sure what the story is with Jason Doc, but hopefully he’ll be back at some point. I think our main objective for D2 is to blood 3/4 more players. We need another midfield option, i’d be seiriously looking at Nathan Moran, he’s at least 6’4 and has filled out something shocking. He doesnt have lightenting speed, but does have a good engine if that makes sense. Young McBrien will hopefully get a good run in the league. James Carr needs an extended run of games to really see what he cam do, seems to have regressed big time since 2019. Tommy Conroy needs more gym work, not great yesterday, but definetly one our most talented forwards iv’e ever seen.

    Main objective, keep Mullin here by whatever means possible. Hopefully LeeRoy stays at it. The AI final is only 7 months away after all.

  91. Im like many others feeling really disappointed. But I think we need to be very clear in our assessment of what Horan and co have done here . How many lads has he brought into the team this year and they got to the final . It’s a serious achievement. Someone asked me will we be back next year ? By fuck we we will!!

  92. Is there anyone from knockmore who could put brolly on slats for the winter, you’d have a great return of slurry the man is so full of shite.

  93. Agree with that. Horan has done a really fine job bringing these new players through. Hopefully nobody pulls the plug just yet. Doherty, Harrison and few others will reenforce the panel in a few months and they should be looking forward to next summer ASAP. I thought Oisin mullin was very good as were a number of others, the ability is there. We just have to prepare and go again in the league in a few weeks time.

  94. Better team won. Dublin controlled the last 10 minutes. But I thought we didn’t make enough of the extra man when we had it. We’re not using O’Shea well enough either.

    Ref bottled a few decisions and agreed on Kevin McStay – he didn’t help with his plamasing of the ref all week. Thought he was terrible on commentary too. What is the point of some of these Mayo pundits? So many of them seem to just be enthralled by Dublin and so preoccupied with not appearing as sore losers that they don’t even tell the truth anymore. As for Joe Brolly…why does anyone in Mayo entertain him? Midwest asking him onto the radio this week was ridiculous.

    Overall though, I was impressed by the team, especially the young lads. Oisin Mullin was terrific and the Mayo county board have to do everything to keep him. They gave it their best but the Dublin bench won it for them again. I’m optimistic about the future of our team. Not optimistic about the future of the championship though, in all honesty. Dublin could very well win 10 in a row. GAA HQ has abandoned the rest of the country.

    And can we please start applying a bit of pressure to the narrative around Dublin that they’re all sweetness and light?? Kevin McStay and the lot feed into this so much and it’s rarely challenged.

  95. I think the reality yesterday was everything needed to go for us to get a win. I feel so sorry for the lads as they did get so much right on the day but it still wasn’t enough. I felt Cooper’s challenge was a black card, the hit on Lee was really bad and at least a yellow along with a gimme point. Paddy was a huge loss..in a nutshell all these things needed to go our way, Paddy doesn’t get injured, the ref does his job and still it may not have been enough but it would have been very tight at the end.

    If I was told before the game yesterday we would win a huge amount of primary possession, limit the influence of Fenton and limit them to 2 goals (All things considered I felt they would get goals and keeping it to 2 was not complete disaster) I would have thought we had a big chance. Some people on here have commented about soft goals, personally I think both goals were extremely well worked and I think very few teams facing the Dubs would have stopped them scoring those goals. Unfortunately we did not get goals and I felt we need at least 2 of our own to win, we didn’t ever look like getting goals either. The other huge influence on the game was the quality available to both teams from the bench, we don’t have the standard of player to bring on they have, nobody does, Paul Mannion and Brian Howard would be nailed on starters in any other team in the country.Make no mistake it takes huge huge effort to stick with the dubs for 55 mins which we did and that is the point where legs start to get tired and we need reinforcements, we just don’t have the impact players they have and that has been the case in all the finals against them.

    Yesterday’s loss hurt, maybe not quite as much as other years when I honestly felt we were the better team and went so close but couldn’t get over the line. I think the positives we can take is that we have some very good footballers and maybe the drop off after our the last of our old guard hang up their boots may not be as bad as we feared. It does make me sad tho that we now have a situation where any team apart from Dublin is going to have to play flawlessly with everything going their way to even stand a chance. .

  96. Aidan going out for the throw in is crazy. Not working. Should stay at edge of square . We’d never get a goal in 13 seconds if we persist with our present tactic. Well done to team. We are proud of you . What’s another year. Happy Christmas to all

  97. Kieran whealan made sure to state in the Sunday Game last night thst Fitzsimons tacking is always “disciplined”. Kev sitting next to him. You couldn’t make it up.

  98. Just a thought with all theis talk of amalgamations and splitting counties, how about a 31 county C’ship with the winners going on to play the corinthians of the GAA. I’d imagine it would solve the attendance issue and give hope to those counties….

  99. Goalkeeper

    Harrison s coen eoin o donoghue

    A o shea

    Pat durcan oisin Mullen eoin mac

    Ruane flynn

    Fionn mac ryan diarmuid

    Cillian conroy

    I feel we need new goalkeeper. Clarke was good but he too old now. O shea to play deep defensive role as it’s his best position. Coordinating the defence. Stephen coen to be our full back. Our defensive shape gotta improve.

  100. Looks like we have our own version of Groundhog Day but we aren’t learning the lessons and taking advantage of the experience gained like Bill Murray in the movie!!!
    It was a final appearance by default given the knockout nature this year. Kerry and Donegal would more than likely have made it through the Super Eights. Would we? We are rebuilding and finding fantastic new talent as good as the old stock but quicker and more athletic. Oisin Mullin is the pick of the crop but can we hold onto him?
    AOS is getting a bit of stick unfairly imo. He is no 14 but has to work all over the pitch in every game. When will he be left inside for a full game to see what he can do with decent ball going in to him? We did a lot right yesterday but need more scoring forwards. Dropping balls short is soul destroying. One other thing, that ball over sideline by Diarmuid was not his as receiving player moved inside when he should have stayed out on the line. Roll on next year. Thanks to James and the lads for all your efforts and giving us something to lift the doom and gloom. Thanks to you Willie Joe and to Mike and all the Podcast team for your Trojan work. Once more into the breach!

  101. Thanks for the amazing coverage WJ.
    Very proud of Mayo, They alot right, and for all the talk of other northern teams and Kerry, have closer than all the rest.
    Love the freshness of the team, brilliant job James and co.
    Looking forward to it all again next year.

  102. One thing is for certain
    We/the county board have to do absolutely everything in their power to keep Oisín Mullin in the country

  103. The same posters always seem to blame ref for defeat all the time. Its tiresome,
    A bit more sober reflection and the reasons we lose became clear

    -dublin are a much better team, no shame in losing to them
    – the 3 main differences were dublins brilliant game management, the quality of their bench and the variety of scorers. Only 2 mayo starting forwards scored, if you take away the reliance on cillian then theres noone else doing the scoring up there. Conroy gets a pass as he has been excellent all year and its his first rodeo. AOS was anonymous, nver contributes on the scoreboard.
    – on rewatch, diarmuid had a fine game, done as well as could be expected on fenton and won some massive turnovers
    -mullen and r’od both outstanding, 2 big players for the future

  104. Great blog over the year(s) Willie Joe! Wonderful effort that is much appreciated all over the globe. Ditto your bloggers – hard to keep up at times…
    A few thoughts on the match and other aspects
    1. Refereeing standards and consistency are a real issue. Badly need a peer review system where referees are rated and get the big matches based on past performances and not GAA patronage. How does Joe McQuillan get to be a linesman (again) for vital Dublin matches??? We need to avoid any potential conflict of interest esp if you have contributed in the past to a team’s preparation.
    Coldrick, two linesmen and two goal umpires failed to see the trip on AOS (black card) and the frontal shoulder into Keegan’s chest (red card) – amazing! In a peer review system, suck errors send you to the back of the queue until you rehabilitate your standards through lesser matches.
    2. The GAA needs to seriously consider the introduction of a DRAFT system to help equalise player distribution / financial support for team development beyond the top teams. Most people don’t appreciate what such a draft would look like – it has never been seriously debated as to how if could work in gaelic football.
    At a basic level, restrict each county to a maximum of 30 players on their playing list for the year. If high quality players are not making the top 30 list in their county, they could opt to join the draft and be available for selection/recruitment by another county. Players with parents/grandparents from a particular county could opt to play for that county or could take their chances in the draft. Top quality players will find no bother getting recruited and they would thus guarantee them regular top class county exposure and games. Such a draft could go some way to equalising the current mal-distribution of funds to one team (Dublin) and make for a much more competitive and enjoyable spectacle. It would obviously involve funding to encourage travel/accommodation expenses for group training, etc. A refusal to accept a draft could involve a sanction of having to sit out the competition x 12 months.
    3. A modified league system with 10-11 teams in three division would dovetail well with such an innovation. Players would be guaranteed up to 10 top quality games in each division of roughly equal standard. With increased TV and streaming coverage, there would be an incentive for players to play most of these games week in / week out and showcase their talents. Five or ten minute cameo performances now and then must be soul destroying for emerging talent…
    4. Infrastructure development needs to be fairer and financially supported from GAA central funds. The present trajectory is headed for a serious loss of interest with teams like Dublin having all the advantages – large population base including schools and universities to choose from, virtually all home matches, minimal travel inconvenience plus the added perks and bonuses associated with sponsorship deals… The current scenario has become very BORING. I wouldn’t go to a Dublin game even if I got paid to attend – unless Mayo were playing!

    Finally thanks to the players, management and supporters for another exciting year and for being the the best team in the country. You provide the best entertainment by a country mile. Our younger brigade will learn a lot from last Saturday night’s final. The school of hard knocks will teach you a few things about yourself and how you will approach such games in the future and you will emerge with much more resilience and adaptive skills from this setback.
    All Mayo is proud of your efforts – We are Mayo after all!

  105. On Friday a Dublin acquaintance posted on my Facebook page “it’s the hope that kills”. I wondered how to answer and decided to wait. If we won it would be easy. A little less so if we lost.

    I left my home in Louisburgh in 1984. Little did I I suspect it might be the last time I’d live there. Like thousands before me and thousands since leaving home was a necessity. But as I left my parents were sustained by hope that I’d find work and happiness, that I would not forget home and that someday I might return.

    There’s a light of hope burning in every Mayo person that is unquenchable. The wonderful footballers Mayo have produced over the last decade and more have kept that light burning brightly. And I am certain sure they will continue to do so.

    Through thick and thin it’s never the hope that kills, it’s the hope that sustains.

    Wherever we go, Up Mayo

  106. Spectre is on the ball there , posted a piece on friday about this ,aos in front of 3 but it didnt show up on here why is the best corner back in the county not in the 26 eod has come up through the ranks in this position, rod to stay at 11, there is nothing between those 2 teams, its all bluff by the dubs, i said friday stop the goals and the dubs were beaten, in every final v dublin soft goals have beaten Mayo , do anybody think that fenton is a better midfielder than jack oshea, wrong tablets, When will we ever learn , come on the moderator and a proper debate needed on whats wrong with this runner up mentality , for the record aos would have been the best number 6 in the old style, 60 years following mayo, did anybody see Joe Corcoran play with the heavy ball.
    slan anois…

  107. Fair play to lads they tried there damnedest and proud of efforts and made winter shorter. They will be back. I’ve maligned clarkes kickouts before but fair play he was excellent.

    Subs made big difference for both teams. Biased I know but find it hard believe Darren McHale, Higgins, Mark Moran, Swanee wouldn’t offer more drive and energy than some the options we constantly use.

    Feel sorry for Tommy c who been great all year. But again wouldn’t be to hard on him what role was he asked to to he was in backs more than nout and when off Murchin really opened up.

    Best luck to minors today also.

  108. Dublin were the better team over all yesterday.
    And if Mayo had the chance of having
    Huge GAA financial backing.
    Huge financial sponsorship.
    Home advantage All the time.
    Their own Referees and officials ect.
    Maybe just maybe Mayo would be the better Team.
    David Coldrick gave the 2 water breaks on Mayo kick outs Advantage Dublin.
    David Coldrick didn’t give a Black card for a Black card offense Advantage Dublin.
    David Coldrick didn’t give a Red card for a Red offense Advantage Dublin.
    Posters using the word Bottle is just nonsense
    He didn’t Bottle anything he made those decisions without hesitation.
    And as for people thinking dublin are sweetness and light you don’t have to look to far to find them on here.
    MAYO will be back , but MAYO will not win an All Ireland Final until there is a level playing field.
    Maight Eo Abu.

  109. Our constant high press game plan is too demanding on our forwards and they are running out of steam with 20-25 minutes to go. Not even the Dubs could keep this intensity up. In our last 4 games we have lost the second half in each game. Seeing forwards sprint back 30- 40 yards to make a tackle might look great but is physically burning them up.
    We also had at least 5 different players drop 5 shots into goalies hand. All shots were taken from within 30 meters of the goal. We lost the game by 5 points.The Dubs dropped no ball into Clarke’s hand.
    Having said that we are in a better position looking forward now than we were at the start of the lockdown.

  110. The psychological damage done to our senior players after now losing 5 all irelands is soul destroying, it is ok saying we have promising youngsters coming into the set up but they are going into a dressing room full of men who had heartbreaking experiences In all Ireland finals as opposed to dublin youngsters going into a dressing room full of serial winners, it does make a big difference to the mindset, anyway going back to yesterday’s game isn’t it telling that our best player was a 20 year old kid who looked so comfortable out there in Croke park yesterday, let’s hope we can keep him.

  111. @supermac, maybe if Aidan played at full forward for the game he would contribute more on the scoreboard..Aidan always seem to be an easy target on this blog.

  112. We were beaten by a better feam:We should have A oS as a holding centre back for the thrw ins. Loosing Durcan was fatal as was kicking balls Into Cluxttons hands. Ref did not help with some vital calls. It is not rocket science to have officials from a neutral province. What to do with AoS____impact sub?

  113. Until we can address what Brolley says we’re on a hiding to nothing. Happy Christmas Willie Joe and thanks for all the interesting reports/comments.

  114. It’s maybe a bit premature but looking ahead, does anyone have any news on the release of season tickets for 2021?
    Thanks.

  115. Anyone that listens to the gospel of Brolly needs their head tested. Overall we all said it throughout the week. Our hearts were ruling our heads. This team are in transition. We did extremely well to reach an all Ireland final and we have Dublin the most competition they had all year. Sadly I can some of our great warriors that we know and love step down and not go again next year. I won’t name anyone as we can all guess them. Thank you to the team for giving us life and hope in these crappy times.

  116. @walterwhite

    AOS didn’t contribute anything when he was playing out the field either bar 1 catch at start.

    The reason I am being critical of him is because is our most high profile player and captain. In a team filled with novices we needed him to produce more, he didn’t.
    Cracking player and great tackler but He doesn’t play well in finals, surely we can agree on that after all the evidence we have seen with mayo and breaffy.

  117. Horan has done what Rochford failed to do and that is bring in new talant, AOS got left for dead on first goal, some say he stay at full forward but forwards need to score, how many points has he scored this year?, I think impact sub at midfield or centre half forward is we we need to be looking, hi tempo team need youth

  118. Just looked at the scoring stats for Mayo. We scored only 5 points from play. Only ONE forward on the starting 6 scored from play. (Ryan O Donoghue 2) Oisin Mullen 1, Conor Loftus 1 and Darren Coen1. Cillian scored 5 from frees and 2 from Marks, and Stephen Coen 1 from Mark. And hoping to win with that record.

  119. I think any talk of players stepping down is premature. The new season is very close, stick at it, let horan put a few more new faces in the team over the spring and keep the older warriors fresh and let them recover. Not many set a foot wrong last night, they lost a game we knew they likely would, but the rebuild is underway and the added pace was very evident. Mayo need to have new guys ready to and do what Dublin do, reenforce the team into the second half. Leroy, aos and co are needed more than ever but in different roles. Impact guys to bring on when the game is there to be won. They can do it, the opening will come but they have to stick together. Harrison and doherty will be back, they add a lot of experience to close out games.

  120. Cillian scored two from play as well, True Grit – he got nine in total. Four of the starting forwards didn’t score and, while some of this may be explained by the fact that fixed positions don’t exist in the modern game the way they used to, it’s still a stark shortcoming for us. It’s not the first final this has happened to us either.

  121. The 2021 final is in July I believe. That is 6 months away – hopefully we can use this 2020 experience to keep the continuity and drive going forward seamlessly from 2020 to 2021. This is a great blog especially for all the fellas overseas – thanks WJ.

  122. Usual people having a pop at Aido, same people heavily influenced by what they hear in media than having the ability to read a game. Aido was deployed mostly in midfield yesterday, he didnt spend 70 mins at FF, when he did he generated frees. Horan had him MF a lot of the time, due to our in ability to win primary posession there all season. Cleaned out in every game, bar yesterday…..I wonder why that was?. Aido cant be everywhere, yesterday was the epitome of robbing Peter to pay Paul. But continue on bashing the lad because he didn’t score or because he couldn’t catch James McCarthy!….probably one of the quickest players on that Dublin team. Like plenty other players before him, some ‘supporters’ won’t know what they have until he’s gone.

  123. W J. My apologies about Cillian. You may be correct about fixed positions with forwards , but 5 out of Dublins forwards scored. That is the difference. Anyways 2020 is coming to an end, and after the year we have had, we should thank God for the blessings and enjoyment he have us with all the games we got through. May I wish you WJ and all you family and all families a Happy Christmas and hopefully a better 2021.

  124. Can anybody tell me was Durcan injured in the 1st half.
    I’m not going to watch this game again, I feel most of us know why we lost.
    Glad it’s over as it was not a place to be around me during the game yesterday, driven by the will to win, seeing the referee giving Dublin almost everything in the 2nd half and in my opinion it was a game that was in the balance even when we were 3 points behind in the 2nd half. Why was there no shots at the Dublin goal ?, was their an over use of the mark ?
    We long time supporters have seen this so many times in finals in the past.

    We will come again in hope of winning next time out but the years are catching up on us all.

    Galway hurlers have lost 20 finals and won 5,
    I think its 13 defeats for Mayo at this stage.

  125. Someone mentioned it in the comments earlier about 2nd best mentality in the county and I don’t doubt it has creeped in. I love Mayo and am extremely proud like the rest of us but this was the first final where could watch (perhaps helped by seeing it on Tv) that in the cold light of day we just were not good enough to do it. And while there is no shame in it, we still have some work to do to change that.

    We really do need to look at our attitude for future games and not just finals. All too often I see people paying far too much respect to other counties we take on with guff that comes from a place of the victim and not the winner.

    We are a challenge for anyone when we play well and Dublin sure as hell found out in the first half. But hard luck and breaks aside, there truly has to. be a Belief that we can win not just the final but every game.

    Stop this utter negative nonsense during the league and early championship of being defeatist with comments like “ if x doesn’t change to y then we are finished ”

    Does Dublin or any competing county in a final think about the negatives? I would bet not. They back themselves with full and total belief to win.

    The good luck messages from sponsors and former players over the week said a lot. “Good luck lads and do your best and see where we’re at” not a single one that said go and Win it. Just “do your best and we’re proud either way.”

    We know Mayo can do their best but we now have to know and realize that they can do so much more. We have to Believe that they can Win.

    If we want to be Champions then we should start Acting like Champions. Go into the championship with our belly’s out with pure admiration for the team and not a shed of doubt or any fucks given.

    Mindset is everything.

  126. AoS gets do much unfair criticism of the pitch and do much abuse on the pitch, it’s only when he is gone we will know what we missed.

  127. I think we’re viewing some of Coldricks big decisions with green and rose tinted glasses on here.
    The black card that Dublin did get was extremely harsh. McDaid didn’t even alter his run. I thought it was harsh.
    Keegan was very lucky to get away with a more blatant third player tackle than McDaids in first half.
    Cooper decision – I think this should have been a black. It’s what it was brought in for but probably by the rule book it wasn’t a pull down.
    Keegan shoulder – Fitzsimons hit on Keegan was definitely a free but a straight red would have been very harsh. It was a hit into the front of the shoulder not into the face. Timing was fractionally off. Small on Boyle in 2017 was way worse and a yellow was given for that one and no one was complaining. And if we’re giving reds for them tackles not many games would finish with the full compliment.

    I don’t think any of Coldrick’s decisions had any bearing in the outcome. Dublin won comfortably in the end and never had to hit top gear.

    James Horan needs to realise that you can’t play that high octane game for 75 or 80 mins against the likes of Dublin. It’s not possible. The difference in the energy levels in both teams was huge at the end. If Dublin wanted they could have really hammered home their advantage in the last 10mins.

  128. Mayo problems are at the back and always have been, yesterday dublin scored 16 times Mayo scored 15 times, in 2016 Mayo (2) 15 dublin 0-9 a draw , mayo scored 17 times in that game, dub scored 9 times, does it matter who scores in games, a corner forward is not going to score defending 5 metres from his own goal . in 2017 final 1 point seperated the sides . In 2013 mayo scored more points than dublin . That clearly shows where the fault lies . Against tyrone mayo scored 13 points with the blanket on , tyrone scored 0-9 plus three from the referee final score 13–12 , this was mcEntee at his best , Mayo have not learned from those results, what about 2012 did mayo score more points than Donegal. In those two games tyrone v Mayo and dublin v Mayo ,, 9 points were scored against Mayo , but not on the score board. Are those facts or fiction. slan anois

  129. With 20 minutes left to go that old familiar sinking feeling of the match running away from us began to set in. The Dubs are the masters at strangling the life out of teams and so it was proven last night. We are just never going to win a final by relying on refereeing decisions, bounce of the ball, luck, divine intervention etc. We need a meaner defense and a bigger return from our forwards. Two scorers up-front is just not enough. Conceding goals without scoring any of our own won’t do it. Nothing will happen for us unless we make it happen. There’s no point putting any blame on a referee who gives us an extra-man for the first ten minutes of the second-half. Cooper should have been black-carded ahead of McDaid IMO.

    The baggage of another final loss aside, I was proud of the way we took the fight to the Dubs in the first-half. Mullin and O’Donoghue were battling like demons. Midfield took the game to Fenton and McCarthy. Loftus had a decent showing.

    I do think we need a more balanced team in the traditional sense. We cannot rely on the likes of Keegan, Durcan, McLaughlin to bomb up the field and pick off a few scores. The energy required to mark the Dublin attack is too great. The team were clearly out on their feet after the second water break.

    Disappointing of course but there is always next year. There is definitely plenty of reasons to be optimistic. We will be back

  130. Just read Joe Umbrella’s piece in the Sindo (by chance, I would never buy it myself). Absolutely scurrilous stuff, character assassinations of people he almost certainly doesn’t know personally.

    Any club chair inviting him down needs to give their head a wobble.

  131. Where to start , did Dublin deserve to win just about, did they deserve to win by five points NO way . but when you keep giving away the ball as we continually did the whole game through your just handing the game to them.

    The only thing Clarke had to do the entire game was pick the ball out of the net twice nothing more or nothing less.

    Goals apart we were more than a match for Dublin , but at the end of the day goals win matches especially all Ireland finals.

    David Coldrick had a great first half apart from not adding an extra minute or two for the Dublin black card but he was sadly absent during the second half. he was close up and had a perfect view of the Keegan hit and bottled it and should have issued a straight red for the tackle on O’Shea who was through on Cluxton when dragged down , and talking about O’Shea , Horan has got his tactics spot on until yesterday but not putting Aidan up front until the second water break was criminal given the lack of height in the Dublin back line.

    Oisin Mullin had a barnstormer of a game , the pin point kicks from Conor Loftus were a joy to watch and Tommy Conroy’s first taste of the big stage will only wet his appetite for more / next year . the future is bright and come next June be again knocking on Dublin’s door as we advance towards another final.

    To be honest my heart was not in a win yesterday due to the circumstances , nothing can compare to being there on the day when we finally deliver plus the bank balance due to non attendance will stand me in good stead for a full campaign next year with a bit of luck.

  132. Bad weekend all round for Mayo in was has been a truly depressing year with this covid.

    Let’s be we all knew Mayo’s goose was probably cooked yesterday when 2 points down at half time. Made no advantage of the extra man 2nd half for 10 minutes and after that it was just a matter of how much Dublin would win by thankfully only 5 and they didn’t rub salt into Mayo wounds by going all out in the final quarter

    Then today, scoreline says a two point loss to Sligo minors but they were well beaten and pretty much lost every personal battle against a sligo team full of intensity.

  133. Did anyone notice the throw in for the second half? Dublin won it again but this time we fouled them. That’s what should have happened for the first throw in as well. This is a Dublin set-play. We saw it with Murchen last year.
    Our much vaunted full forward line were drawn away from goals by having to track their markers. This was totally predictable. Several on here including myself mentioned it. It is hard to address but if your most dangerous players end up defending their own endline they won’t score a whole lot.

  134. ” He bottled it” “He bottled it ”
    Did he bottle the water break timing as well?
    For feck sake lads Whats wrong with ye?
    Call it what it was a deliberate decision.

  135. Good bit of talk about our scoring return from forwards – and our impact from the bench – in finals

    2012: 2 starting forwards scored from play – Kevin McLoughlin 0-2 and Mickey Conroy 0-1. 2 subs scored – Jason Gibbons, Richie Feeney (both 0-1)
    2013: 2 starting forwards scored from play – Andy Moran 1-2 and Keith Higgins 0-1. No sub scored
    2016 Game 1: 3 starting forwards scored from play – Cillian O’Connor 0-3, Andy Moran 0-2, Jason Doherty 0-1. One sub scored – Alan Dillon 0-1
    2016 replay: 3 forwards scored from play: Andy Moran, Diarmuid O’Connor, Kevin McLoughlin – all 0-1. No sub scored
    2017: 4 forwards scored from play (the outlier) – Andy Moran 0-3, Cillian O’Connor 0-3, Jason Doherty 0-2, Kevin McLoughlin 0-2. No sub scored
    2020: 2 forwards scored from play, Cillian O’Connor 0-2, Ryan O’Donoghue 0-2. 1 sub scored – Darren Coen 0-1

    Breaking this down a bit more.

    – In half of the 6 finals NO sub scored. And no sub has ever scored more than 1
    – In only half of the 6 finals did over 2 forwards score from play (2017 was easily our best showing where we had the record of 4 in total). FIVE scored for Dublin yesterday alone. Enough said
    – 6 finals and in total only 10 instances of a forward kicking more than one score from play. That’s an average of not even 2 per match. Again, Dublin had FIVE yesterday alone…

    Sobering and sadly clear reasons why we haven’t won Sam 🙁

  136. Time to put 2020 to bed and prioritise getting back up from div. 2 now. I’d imagine there won’t be a pre league compo this time so if it’s straight into the national league (if it happens),we have to give the likes of James Carr,Towey and Eoin O’D a sustained run of games + a new midfielder or 2 and try to get a bigger panel bedded in . We have to experiment with different styles of play also and vary what we do on a given day when plan A is not working. I would be optimistic that we will be right there in the mix challenging for silverware in 21. Merry Christmas to all.

  137. The ref did not cost us that game, I’m sick of always looking for excuses outside of our own performance. First half we played heroically, and should have went in a couple of points ahead on the balance of play. But we didn’t, we switched off for the 2 goals and then Dublin coasted home after the 2nd water break. As has been the case against the Dubs for the last decade, goals have been the difference.

    But we showed a lot to be hopeful for in the future. And in reality, I think it was always a year too soon for this team. I thought our midfield would be overran, but it wasn’t until Howard came on that they got on top. Kickouts went well. 15 points is not a bad return, but you need 20+ against Dublin. Mullen defended mightily well, but Con is so dangerous if he gets a sniff. Kilkenny was immense in 2nd half, a shame Paddy had to go off as he done well (obviously hate to see Paddy with the shackles on him, but needs must in certain games).

    But there is hope. A lot of these young guys are still green, but will come on for the run as they say

  138. Oh not a chance McStay to comment on those decisions that went against Mayo. I wonder why Midwest Radio invited Brolly above all people on to that show. The comments he made about certain people in todays paper are a total disgrace and its not his first time.

  139. Tough watch in general yesterday, I genuinely thought ye may get them , and despite them not playing well for most periods they still had enough to turn it on and win by 5..
    What for the rest of us?
    The only good thing is its Christmas time to spend it at home with family, hopefully we get a hold of this virus in the new year, and the GAA will be back in full swing very soon. Merry Christmas to all here.

  140. Mayo Dunphy, I agree with you 100% here on Aido. I couldn’t have said it better myself. He is a colossus. He had to sacrifice his game at full forward to go into midfield to shore things us there yesterday. If he wasn’t at midfield, things could have crumbled quite quickly. He also provided structure and directed things yesterday from there.

    I really think if he could have stayed all game at full forward he’d have caused havoc. Aidan rarely scores from there himself but he wins or breaks ball for others to score. I think the forwards would have scored more with him there.

    In addition, he could have drawn cards, which is a real hope of mine against the Dubs. It’s a possibility. See how Jonny Cooper was pulled aside after one yellow yesterday. Moreover, if he drew fouls, Cillian could just keep popping them over. I do believe we needed one or more goals – if AOS could have been there, if we had that luxury, we might have opened things up there.

    Overall, I believe we were a team yesterday that’s not at their full shape – we are not yet as robust as we need to be, but we’re building towards it. We were stretching yesterday. AOS had to be deployed to shore us up, do basic stuff, give us structure. Everything else could happen around that. He has been brilliant for Mayo.

  141. Let’s be honest lads and ladies, Dublin could have won by a lot more than five points if they hadn’t done their usual soporific keepball once they got four points up towards the end. They carved us open for a goal inside 13 seconds, FFS.

    The Mayo lads battled like lions as we knew they would, but they are simply up against against far, far too much. In addition to having the best team by far, the GAA gives Dublin every structural advantage conceivable.

    And until these are addressed, they will win 7,8,9, 10 in a row. Or as many as they please.

    Clearly, nothing will happen while the incumbent GAA president is in situ. But it beggars belief that GAA Congress delegates are not raising this matter or proposals to reform the championship on an even keel.

    Or that we have the likes of Kevin McStay telling us that Lee Keegan was tackled fairly when he quite obviously shipped a big hit to his chest.

    All we can do is to keep the fires of Gaelic football burning in Co.Mayo and let the cards fall where they may.

  142. Too drained , just don’t understand it anymore , we cant keep losing all Ireland finals and thinking, next year will be the year .

    I think it’s far more simplistic than we all think , find out why we aren’t as fit as Dublin in the last 10 mins phase ,solve that and we will go a long way , that’s three times now where we have been found out in games v Dublin as regards fitness level to finish the games .

  143. People are talking about a midfield problem, there is no problem just play O Mullen and Ruane there and leave Aiden at full forward for the hour and don’t have him running the length of the field all day from throw in. Mullen will be best midfielder in Country for next 10 years.

  144. I have a sneaky suspicion that the main driver for the Gaa pushing for competitions to take place during this year of the Pandemic was to keep the Dublin streak going.

    I wonder if Kerry were the 5 time champions would we have seen a ball kicked at all this year.

  145. Sean, the Dubs have a superior bench. The bench is how they see out tight games and it’s been absolutely key to their success in the last decade. Their subs beat us in 2016 and 2017 too. The fresh legs they’re bringing on are multiple All Ireland winners who are often better than the players they are replacing. They’re finishing games with their strongest 15. They can afford to take a risk and leave Brian Howard and Paul Mannion on the bench, two players who if they played for any other county would be nailed on starters. Then they can call on them with 20 minutes to go and swat aside opposition that has their best 15 on the pitch from the word go and have already been playing at their peak for the last 50 minutes. How do you think a back feels when there’s 20 minutes left and their man goes off and they see Paul Mannion jogging towards them from the sideline? It isn’t simply a matter of matching their fitness. No other county in the country has their squad depth. I don’t know how that can be fixed either.

  146. While James Horan deserves huge credit in rebuilding a team, I feel he made huge mistakes on his substitutions, the perfect time to bring in Keith was at half time when he was clearly fired up for a battle, when Dublin were down a man. This was our time to punish Dublin but instead Dublin held the ball managed the clock as they do so well, game over.

  147. Any word on what happened Paddy? I wonder was he carrying a knock into it . Would have been just typical of our luck if he was

  148. I like AOS, think he’s been a great player for us, but not a natural forward, I think he is been asked to do to much, don’t think he can have impact in any position for 70, so I’d like to see him in midfield for last quarter, nobody seems to know were to put him and for me this creates imbalance in the team.
    But a fine player for us he has been over the years and has sacrificed his own game on many occasions

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