Dublin date approaching

Photo: Irish Independent (Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

This coming Sunday it’s Mayo v Dublin but not as we know it.

On this occasion – for the first time in the Championship since 1906 – the venue isn’t Croke Park but is instead Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon, where we’ve already played twice in this campaign.

The match throws in at 3.45pm on Sunday, Martin McNally of Monaghan is the ref – he also took charge of our game against New York in Gaelic Park back in April – and it’s live on RTÉ. Midwest will have radio commentary on the game as well.

We last met them in the Championship at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage last year. Having stayed with them well in the first half, they blew us out of the water after the break, eventually consigning us to our worst Championship defeat since the 2006 final.

Since then, of course, the Dubs went on to reclaim the Sam Maguire last July, showing that, despite the six-in-a-row that they’d completed during Covid in 2020, they were far from sated. They’re now favoured to claim back-to-back titles this year.

Having returned to Division One this spring, Dublin’s National League campaign got off to an uncertain start. They opened with a one-point loss to Monaghan, a baffling upset given that the Farney lads then lost all six subsequent matches, though Dublin’s defeat was at least partly explained by the panel’s return from holidays shortly before that game.

We then beat them – also by a point – in the second round, the winner coming from a bit of quick thinking by Ryan O’Donoghue, who squared an injury time free to Fergal Boland who shot from distance to seal the victory.

Dublin looked in a bit of bother at that stage of the campaign but they went on to win their remaining five matches, in the process qualifying for the Division One decider against Derry. Those wins were against Roscommon at Croke Park (by seven points), Kerry, also at Croke Park (by ten points), Derry at Celtic Park (by five points), Galway at Pearse Stadium (by eight points) and Tyrone at Croke Park (by a thumping 21 points).

The final against the Oak Leaf County finished level after extra-time but Dublin lost the penalty shootout by 3-1.

The Leinster Championship campaign that followed was the same pointless exercise that it’s been for over a decade. Dublin crushed Meath by 3-19 to 0-12 at Croke Park in the quarter-final and saw off Offaly by 3-22 to 0-11 at HQ in the semi-final. Louth, to be fair, stuck well with them in the final before the champions pulled clear to win by 1-19 to 2-12.

The provincial title gave the Dubs top seeding in the Group Stage draw and our failure to win Connacht meant we were a second seed. The draw saw us ending up in Group 2 along with Dublin, Cavan and Roscommon.

Dublin were held to a draw by the Rossies in the group stage last year and they gave the Jacks a decent rattle in this year’s opening round as well. Dublin bagged two late goals in that Croke Park meeting but were a bit flattered by the 2-19 to 0-13 scoreline.

In Round 2 against Cavan at Breffni Park the weekend before last, however, Dublin were in uncompromising form. They cruised to a 5-17 to 0-13 win in that one.

That result, which gives Dublin a twenty-point advantage over us on scoring difference, means that they only need a draw on Sunday to claim top spot in the group and, with it, direct passage to the All-Ireland quarter-final. For us to top the group, nothing short of a win will do.

Dublin are huge favourites for this novel Championship meeting in the west, the first time ever that we’ve played them in a Championship game in Connacht. It’s a venue we like and where we’ve had a long unbeaten run in the Championship, though, admittedly, this has only been against the Rossies.

Indeed, he last time we played anyone other than the neighbours there in the Championship was also our most recent defeat there. That was against Westmeath in the qualifiers in 2001.

So, what’s it to be on Sunday? Can we rack up a third Championship win this summer at a venue that’s become a home from home for us or will the Dubs continue their long run of success in Championship games played outside HQ? Let’s end with a vote on that very question.

How will we do against Dublin?

  • Lose (58%, 608 Votes)
  • Win (35%, 362 Votes)
  • Draw (7%, 75 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,045

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107 thoughts on “Dublin date approaching

  1. Tickets still available. Mad to think that the Hyde might not sell out a Mayo-Dublin championship game in June. Lack of jeopardy is seriously hurting attendances this year.

  2. @Tommy+Joe I know right so much for the 10,000 or so dubs that will travel anywhere for their team. Though not sure how many mayo fans will go hopefully we turn it into green & red.

    I’ve a feeling I’ll be having a drink or two to celebrate our win this time next week :p we are pretty much written off for this match but I really think we are going to win even if narrowly.

    We usually have one good shocker of a win nearly every year and I’m betting it’ll be this one.

  3. I don’t think there’s any chance that it won’t be a sellout. As the week rolls on the ante is gradually upped the tickets will will be sold, I’d be pretty sure on that.

  4. If we thought at start of the year we would be facing the dubs without paddy durcan and possibly diarmaid o Connor and David mcbrien then no one would give us a chance.i would be hoping that Dublin have dropped off a level because we haven’t really shown anything this year so far to suggest we could beat them.hopefully the two lads are fit to go

  5. For sure it’s a tough test without durcan & diarmuid o Connor no doubt about it.

    I thought David mchrien was only taken off as a pre caution the last day?.

  6. I don’t know what the injury situation with mcbrien is .I just said possibly without him

  7. @1985 right so I think we will still have him it was just a pre caution mcstay said apparently.

  8. If there is ever a time to win a game this is it. We need the extra weeks break to give the lads with knocks more time to get ready for a QF. Not to mention the momentum it would give both the players and county if we were to beat Dublin. Unfortunately though I think it will go another way, even the results on the poll so far make for grim reading. But mayo often play better as underdogs. Team selection absolutely vital. We need to play a sweeper in front of Con. The man has got 7 goals already this year alone. I’m not keen on starting Tommy, form hasn’t been there year to date and I’d fear he could get badly exposed if Dublin really go at us. Need a big game around the middle too. Try to put the kickouts the opposite side of Fenton as a starter and be like dogs on the breaking ball. Mchale could be a plus from that point of view. Hoping for a result but fearful of a 6+ loss.

  9. @Clubman
    There was footage of the Boland incident and it was a stonewall red card. No appeal.

    I hope we go all guns blazing on Sunday. The best form of defence is attack. If that is an ageing Dublin team let’s get them doing some running.
    Absolutely vital we make them work for their scores and that we don’t hand out any gifts.

    We look friendless at the Bookies. Dubs are best
    price 2/9 but we have a punchers chance.

  10. My Mayo team to play Dublin

    1. Reape

    2. Coyne
    3. McBrien
    4. McHugh

    15/Sweeper: Coen (interchange with o’hora)

    5. O’ Hora
    6. Callinan
    7. E McLaughlin

    8. AOS (we need his physicality and ball
    Winning ability out the field)
    9. Ruane

    10. D Mchale
    11. Flynn
    12. Tommy C

    13. ROD
    14. Cillian

    ? James Carr

  11. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t be hopeful of a Mayo win against Dublin. If we had our strongest team available, I think we would be in with a bit of a shout, but without Paddy and Diarmuid(also I presume) and possibly McBrien(unlikely to be risked, if a hamstring problem, I cannot see us winning. But I hope that we give it a real go and take the game to them and not go damage limitation. This game will be a great experience and good for the development of our younger players. Let’s take off the shackles and play with freedom and see where it takes us.

  12. @Glasagusderg where was it said about mcbrien and hamstring? He didn’t seem bad at all when they took him off.

    Honestly think we are going to win this. That’s not me with my green & red tinted glasses on either.

    If any game we would throw off a surprise win this is it.

    Mayo by 2.

  13. Everyone’s forgetting Dublin have injuries to key players. There’ll be nothing between them at the end.

  14. Dublin outside of Croker and with a few injuries to its the best time to get them. Who will be available on our 26 we probably wont know exactly until before kick-off. McBrien hopefully will be available, Diarmuid and Carr are the big question marks I suppose. I believe Mayo will be big time up for this one and will go all out for it. A huge game with a big prize available and as I’ve said before one that could blow the championship wide open..Everyone should be frothing at the mouth for this one …

  15. I have to say I’m warming to this idea of Donncha McHugh on Fenton, we’ve tried everyone else on him at this point and noone can get a handle on him so may as well stick our most athletic man marker on him, similar to the job McHugh has been doing on Enda Smith

    Tommy c hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire with recent cameos but I would expect him to get the nod to start against dublin, it was noticeable how much ROD benefitted from having conroy on the pitch as a distraction v rossies.

    I seem nothing from the last day to dissuade me from the notion that Cillian/AoS can’t start together, I thought both were only OK against the rossies so back to the jobshare role for both.
    Given that AOS never plays well against the dubs I give Cillian the nod

    I worry for o’hora against dublin if mcbrien is out so hoping mcbrien was only cautionary.

    Just a hunch but I suspect Loftus is very close to starting at this point also

    Start the following then.


    McHugh (to go out on Fenton)
    Eoghan mcl



  16. Aidan o Shea was actually nominated for man of the match in the drawn game with Dublin in 2015 and he played well in 2016 and 17 finals although he did fade out late on in those games.in the replay in 2015 he was given absolutely terrible ball in a lot of which was ballooned up in the air and into the corners .it was a question posed here a few days ago as to how we are totally unwilling or unable to deliver decent ball into him when at full forward and as far as I remember he had a very good first half against Dublin last year before being mysteriously removed

  17. @1985

    By what measure are people saying AOS played well in all those games, we seem to set the bar very low for him, he always puts a shift in of course, that’s a given. Winning the occasional throw in or laying off a few handpasses is nowhere near enough to justify playing every minute of every game. I don’t think it’s too harsh to expect a lot more from him in terms of scores and creativity.

    There was nothing ‘mysterious’ about him being whipped last year v Dublin and I couldn’t understand the outcry, he showed well in the first 20 minutes and caught a great kickout over Davy Byrne that led to a score but that was pretty much it. His race was well run by the time he was whipped off, we needed scoring threats on the pitch at that stage

  18. Me too supermac re Mchugh on fenton , love to see an old fashioned man marking job , its so underated in the modern , just dont leave him alone , disrupt , hassle , harry , quick hands in , dont commit that he can glide past you , just be an absolute pain in the backside to him

  19. Well by the the measure of being nominated for man of the match in one of those games at least.as for last year quite a few mayo players could have been pulled before o Shea

  20. From any rational view point, its hard to make a case for Mayo to win this. The Dubs look like they are in cruise control and its very hard to see us winning the bulk of the match ups. Even if we do manage to get on top of them over the course of the first 40 to 50, they’re bench is absolutely stacked with gamechangers and proven finishers. If i wasn’t from Mayo and fancied a flutter, I’d be confident at calling a Dublin victory with between 5 and 10 points to spare. However….there’s something nagging at me about these lads. Are we really as far off from contending as all of the experts suggest? In my many years following Mayo football, that’s always been a nice place to be for us, but its been 20 years since we were this far under the radar. I can’t shake the sense that there is something building with the like of McHugh, Callinan and even Mattie & Jordan, returning to a bit of form. I like that we’ve been winning and learning, there’s something to be gained from that, at this stage of the newly condensed season. The defeat to Galway too, it was a game we should have won, but was by no means, detrimental to lose. What did we learn that day and what will mean when we review the season as a whole? Maybe nothing, maybe something. And then, again, there’s something nagging me about these lads – I think they’ll lean in to being written off and having a point to prove. Dare I say it, a bit of the class of Tyrone, 2005? Do the players and management think Dublin and Kerry are that far ahead of them, that only Donegal or Galway can challenge them? Do they fuck. There’s just something nagging me about these lads…..

  21. If McB hasn’t a full week put in at full tilt I don’t think management will risk him, I’m sure they will feel Paddy and maybe even Diamuid came back a half game too early and can’t afford any more casualties.
    Hard to see us getting a win but stranger things have happened.

  22. A bit of a feel of 2006 SF about this one. Mayo being written off. Dubs out of their comfort zone of Croker, akin to Mayo warming up on front of the Hill. That despite pundits calling it otherwise threw Dublin completely in the first 20 mins. We have a lot of new faces that don’t carry the baggage of Dublin defeats in the past.
    Could see us losing by 10 or winning by 2 depending on the hunger levels.
    Maybe draft in Kobe Mc Donald, by the looks of the Cork game he will be hard to handle in a couple of years.

  23. We have beaten Dublin 3 times in the last 3 years. Granted 2 of those were in the league but from 2013-2020 we couldn’t buy a win of any kind.

    Obviously we’re underdogs this weekend but it certainly won’t be a colossal shock if we sneak a win.

  24. It would be a mistake to go hell for leather against the Dubs in a game we don’t have to win. We have already qualified for the next round. The aim of the Dubs game should be entirely about learning what we can to beat them later in the Championship. Some people are confusing this goal with ‘going out to lose the game’.
    We can approach this game with a learning set-up and still win! But the focus should be on figuring out a system to beat them in a months time and if that means not showing them our full hand, so be it.

  25. The really sad fact is that our year could be over on Sunday week, so enjoy every minute. Can’t wait for this Sunday, yes the dubs bench is huge but we should create enough chances to win it. Whether we take enough of them is the question…

  26. @You three I think as I said we will beat dubs and then get our confidence going big time and end up in a semi haha

  27. @John Kennedy…I know most people will scoff at that suggestion but I can understand it. Enda McGrearty in the Ah Ref podcast put forward, what I believed, to be a worthwhile argument in favour of what you’re saying.

    It’s not knockout. We are missing arguably our two most influential players and leaders and our full back looks a major doubt. Our form to date hadn’t been great. My fear is that we put in a mammoth shift on Sunday, actually play our best all year but fall just short and then are gassed two weeks later in a QF, never mind the small matter of a home PQF 6/7 days after the Dublin game. By no means is the suggestion not to try to win the game but it’s very hard to see us winning it without those lads so do we take a bold risk and rest key players with the objective being to actually prolong our season? It’s worth discussion. Bring in Hession, Plunkett, Brick, ODonoghue, McDonnell, Loftus, Towey…

    I know it goes against some sports psychology thinking but imo it’s hard to see any team beating Dublin twice in the championship. What does beating them on Sunday do? Not much.

    I know there’ll be people reading this thinking it’s daft, but have a listen to McGrearty on the podcast. If you’re a regular listener he often talks a lot of sense.

  28. John Kennedy , i dont think it is possible for the current Mayo panel with paddy out , diarmuid ? & mcbrien ? , to play three weeks on the trot and expect to be fully at it on the third week . I have heard men who know a lot more about what is required say it would be impossible for Mayo to perform their best on the third week , simply isnt enough recovery time .

  29. Sean Burke – I agree with what you say.
    Dublin are favourites to win and for good reason. If we go full-tilt this weekend with our best options, and lose, we would be in an even worse scenario with 2 back-to-back games against opposition weaker than the Dubs, who we might normally beat, but don’t because we sacrificed too much against the Dubs, a game we don’t have to win.

  30. We can win this. In the same way we beat Kerry last year. This is the game Mayo can win this year. We are a quarter final team but we can win this one

  31. Lads and ladies if the new proposed rules by Jim Gavin are passed it won’t help the current mayo team that’s for sure. I think we can all count on one hand the amount of goals and points (outside 40 meters) we score and I’d say it’s well below the average of the other big teams?

    I actually like the new proposed rules as it’s encouraging players to go for goal but also not afraid that have a pop from 40 odd meters out. Will hopefully bring more skills out of players and hopefully get rid of some of the horrible style of play we have seen from both at club and county in mayo over the last 18 months.

  32. We have to go ball headed to win this game. Dublin are out of croker and we know Hyde park well. We supporters have a big part to play cheering and roaring the team on. With no seat plan in place I propose for like minded vocal supporters to occupy the stand area on the 45 metre line out from the graveyard goals. If a good few vocal supporters arrive there we can get the chanting and roaring going from the start of the match. If we start the cheering more MAYO supporters will join us and will help the team. Please bring your hats and flags and a good voice for cheering on the team. Please start arriving from 2.30

  33. While I agree with you Green & Red. It’s definitely not going to suit us at the moment, with so few able to kick long distance points. Some can for sure and it will force us to practice it much more in future. I’ve no idea what we do in training but it seems obvious that the likes of Dublin, Kerry, Donegal and Armagh must be doing it, as they can all kick some outrageous points.

  34. In this new set up, the sideline shout of ”push them out” will have to change to ”push them in” to the less dangerous single point zone.

  35. @Green&Red: Not sure how fair it is to judge new rules on old games. Everything on the field changes with all the stuff off it.

    Durcan, Carney, Boland, RO’D, CO’C, DO’C & Tuohy I’d back to be well above national averages for +40 shots. The fact they aren’t choosing/tending to make them at the moment under the current risk/rewards isn’t a real reflection on their ability to do it when needed, the whole risk/reward on that choice will be morphing hugely.

    Take 6 bodies out of the attacking 65, give a higher reward to a mark claimed inside the 20, give a higher reward to outside of the 40 to push defences to push further up & a higher reward for goals and suddenly you’ve got a whole different defensive setup & shape to contend with.

    As a team more focused on MvM rather than a focused blanket I’d feel it suits our current setup down to the ground. A little more need for a sweeper to prevent goals & some more work needed on our defensive attackers handling their increased 2v1s & their switches as a result (along with freeing up more room for 3 attacking attackers like Towey/McHale/Conroy/Hurley who wouldn’t be punished as heavily for a lack of defensive physicality) but a much easier transition compared to the likes of an Armagh or Galway IMHO.

    Overall love most of the changes. No obvious outliers as bad ideas and other than a few nuances that would need finer detail to assess (e.g. being punished being forced from the edge of the 2 point zone into a 1 point zone with a free being moved forward) but I’d imagine the vast majority will provide an exciting spectacle. Excited to see a few of them (mark advantage, tap & go frees & 30-50m delay penalties especially) in action.

  36. Personally 100 percent disagree but thats because i think we will beat dublin on sunday . I expect our ff line to make hay sunday and announce ourselves as all Ireland contenders , sit back and recover well for qf weekend and let the rest of them kill eachother to reach the qf the following weekend .

    Im saying no more on the subject , let the game tell me the story now at this stage , if im wrong im wrong but if im right let there be no negative spin put on it . See ye sunday hup Mayo .

  37. @youthree yes totally is! : )

    Seriously believe we are going to show everyone what we are made of on Sunday and why no one can ever write us off.

    My dub mates are getting more nervous by the minute!

    No one gave us one bit of a chance v kerry in killarney and the same v dubs..

    And if we do win Sunday (which I think we will) the sky is the limit…!

  38. By 6PM on Sunday we’ll have completed our first of 3 games in 14 days.
    Or we’ll have completed our first of 2 games in 14 days.
    Time to rest & recover is what is at stake.
    We’ve reached the bottleneck part of the season.
    If we want to take the shorter route this is the minimum of what’s required.
    We must score at least as many goals as Dublin and none
    of the usual slap-in goals can be conceded.
    We give no gifts, ie. good discipline. no cards or unnecessary frees.
    We are ready for the 3rd Quarter when the Dubs will attempt to put the game to bed.
    We have a tendency to wobble coming down the finishing straight.
    For this reason we have AOS on the field for the second half and
    playing the role of defensive midfielder for the last 15 minutes.
    We need to win as a draw will consign us to second place.
    Let’s go and do this.

  39. Seán Burke, I am feeling this way too. Quietly I have this impression. I feel there’s more to us than we’ve seen.

  40. Hope you are right Sean Burke. FF line is only line we look like we can compete with the Dubs. Even at that what is our FF line. Our style of play has not changed all year. Slow build up, totally predicatble and when we lose possession and teams run at us, gaping holes. Will require massive improvement on Sunday to trouble Dubs. Could see us hanging in there for 50 min but cannot see how we are winning this one. Wish I had your optimism but will be there to shout them on and hope they and you prove me wrong.

  41. I had a feeling back in 2006 that we would beat the dubs ,there was no logic to it at all and in the end we did win in what was probably one of the craziest unstructured games ever played.unfortunately that lack of structure is no longer part of Dublins make up.At full strength I would give us a decent chance but for me the injuries have weakened our hand dramatically with very little left on the bench to make an impact.obviously I hope I am completely wrong

  42. Off topic, the new rules that going to be trialed following recommendation by Football Review Committee. May not suit Mayo. Shooting outside an 40m mark be worth 2 points. And a goal worth 4 points. We as a team, dont score enough goals, and have my reservation about our kicking from distance. I say Paddy Durcan, Ryan, and COC in his prime, but other are hit and miss.

  43. A lot of quiet optimism building as the match draws closer but I’m not convinced that we will suddenly spring into life as we did in the Rochford and Horan eras. Did enough to get past Roscommon and Cavan and should have seen out the game against Galway, however this is a massive step up and not the kind of attritional battle you want at this stage of the championship. Make no mistake, the Dubs want to beat Mayo each and every time and not be letting the culchies get any notions about themselves. The Dubs see themselves as the kingpins who are too good for a prelim QF and can perform in any setting, Croker or otherwise.

    I see the argument for not throwing everything at this match and starting some of the more fringe players. Like it or not it is a big ask for any team to play three big championship games in a row with the difficulty increasing for each subsequent game. Maybe we should be cute and game the system whereby we go all out for two games and try for a semi-final. Despite the opposition it is still a group game and win or lose we are guaranteed knock-out football.

    However, it couldn’t sit well with the team or management to try such an approach and the rewards for beating Dublin would be enormous. Guaranteed QF with a two week break and the confidence boost for the team and the jolt that the support have been craving for three years at this stage.

    To beat Dublin we need to mark-out or curtail the following at a miniumum: Fenton, Con, Small, Costello, Kilkenny, Mannion. Do we concede the Dublin kick-out or push up, and do we have a plan for each scenario. Do we have the personnel to stick with them for 75 minutes, including the artillery that they can bring on from the bench. Even playing with a full-deck I am not sure we have, and given the injuries we have it’s a huge ask. Going by form it’s a Dublin win for me but I will be there to roar on the lads regardless. It would be embarrassing if we were out-supported by the Dubs in our own back yard.

  44. Dubs will score goals I think. Thats the difference. I think Dublin +10.
    Hope I’m very wrong

  45. Dublin being out of Croker isn’t an issue for them lads, ask Cavan and countless others in the last few years. Dubs in league out of Croker is an issue because they tend to lose by a point but them, with their own injuries this Sam campaign, is an issue for them. Mayo to nick it by a point.

  46. Felt we were playing inside ourselves especially against Cavan, we have more to offer and this will show where we are at, Mayo by 3 points,

  47. I think this is actually an opportunity to test the likes of Hession and get valuable minutes into them. I wouldn’t risk anyone carrying any kind of knock this weekend.

  48. if we lose this weekend, we’ll be playing the following weekend. if we were to win that, which is not a given, we’d be playing again the following weekend in a quarter final against a team who had an extra weeks rest, and we’d probably run out of gas like we did last year.
    So do you hold back this weekend, and most likely lose in 2 weeks without ever having given it everything for a game?
    Or do you give it everything this weekend and see where that leaves you?

  49. @Tubberman I say we go for everything this weekend sure we may not win Sam this year and if we can’t beat the dubs in round Robin we’ll then we will know where we are at. Go all out for it I say the dubs definetly will imagine if we sent fringe players out for this I actually can’t think of that image of being slaughtered with our fringe players..

    Pity hession hasn’t seen much game time unlucky with injuries.

    See some going we will loose by 20 plus not on this blog but jaysus we haven’t slipped that much yes we are missing key players but come on..

    But a narrow mayo win for mayo.

  50. Where are the Mayo scorers going to come from? Of course it’s possible we win, Dublin under par and Mayo produce something like Kerry last year. I don’t see it happening on the evidence so far. Mayo have too much power and scoring threats. We have very little bar Ryan.

    Mayo to keep it tight for 50 mins. Dublin by 6-8

  51. Yew_tree, I think that’s what people were saying before the 2016 Final too, that Dublin had too many scoring threats and we wondered where at all the Mayo scores were going to come from with only Cillian and Andy up front. Magically we held the Dubs to a draw.
    I think the same line of thinking applied before the Kerry game last year and magically we blew them out of the water.
    I know I’ve been talking about magic there but maybe Kevin and all have some magic up their sleeves this weekend.
    I’m optimistic for a Mayo win but it will involve something special (and that’s possible).

  52. Dublin are a long way ahead of Mayo. We haven’t improved on last year really let’s be honest. If this game was in CP it’d be another comfortable win for dubs. League game means nothing. They hammered Kerry a few days later. I get people are trying to be positive and the change of venue was a bit of a win but dubs have no issue travelling. Look what they did to Cavan.
    We might live with them for 60 but look at the benches….and the impacts they make….we have tanked in most games after 60 and subs have made little impact..
    Sorry to be negative but the lack of progress in the league is really showing now.
    Hope I’m wrong. Dublin by 8

  53. After the week that’s in it it’s nice to see a poll again with just two to vote on! At the moment 60% are going for a win for the Dubs and I’m struggling to see anything but that on Sunday. This Dublin team hammered us by 12 points less than a year ago and if anything they have a better squad to pick from this year. Colm Basquel, who scored 2-2 against us in that match might not start such is their choice of really good forwards.
    To have any chance of winning we have to match them in midfield and try and limit the impact of Fenton. I don’t expect McHugh to be given the job of marking him as some posters have suggested and we’ll likely see our midfielders, and probably Flynn too, taking turns on him. McHugh will have his hands full with either Kilkenny or Mannion.
    We’ll need a hell of a lot of things to go our way on Sunday if we are going to win and if we take our chances you never know. One thing’s for sure though is that I’ll be there roaring on the team!

  54. @Moose79 dubs are ahead of most but are they really that far off we did beat them in league we really don’t know where mayo are at I know only league but we still beat them . Get the negativity but we only lost to Galway by a point then they went onto beat Derry who won the league and beat dubs though derry do look flat out.

    But the thing is honestly don’t think it’ll be an 8 or 10 point loss that’s a hammering.

    Mayo to come with a bounce and pull off a shocker.

  55. Fenton is the heartbeat of this Dublin team, if his impact is reduced then the Dubs can struggle, he wasn’t right maybe carrying an injury v Derry in the League final and looked completely out on it from the first few minutes in that game and had a nightmare of a match.

  56. Clare I think we know at this stage that you think mayo will win .some people just have different opinions.it can be deemed as negative or maybe because there is no to evidence from any game this year that we could get to the level needed to beat Dublin especially without one of the best players in the country

  57. Does anyone have any opinions on Stephen Cluxton as goalkeeper in the 2024 season? I saw Diarmuid Connolly mention him as his GOAT (Greatest of all Time) last year in an interview. I think it was last year.
    I ask because I’m less experienced than many of you in weighing this up.
    It strikes me that he is a very senior player at this stage and even though he is a great, could we not try to test his nerve a bit? He must be 40 at least at this stage.

  58. Don’t underestimate Mayo’s sideline.
    While we were well beaten by Derry in the league we were the first team to try a ball over the top against them.
    I am not deluded, we just aren’t good enough now for the all Ireland.
    We need to build a mean defence like our neighbours Galway.

  59. @Swallow Swoops, the man is 42 and three quarter years old. It’s mad to see the calm direction he still seems to exert on Dublins performances. I’m waiting for the game where he finally loses that control like an aging boxer who’s signed up to one fight too many. I expected it to happen well before now but am still waiting. Maybe on Sunday next…..

  60. I think I’ll get meself a pair of those rose tinted glasses Clare-mout a dafog

  61. @Swallow Swoops: There isn’t really a debate or even conversation to be had on him being the GOAT. It’s a fact at this point. He redefined the role of a goalkeeper in the GAA, the first to really turn a restart into a consistent and genuine attacking weapon, and raised the bar on many aspects of the game. Basically every aspect except for the outfield attacking stuff Morgan/Beggan/Rafferty are recently carving their own niche in Cluxton was doing ahead of everyone before him.

    He’s 42 now. Everyone figured last year was his big goodbye… but apparently not yet.

    We’ve gone after their kickouts hard in the past. Often to good effect, once or twice to great effect (I’d say he’s driven more balls out over a sideline against us than every other side put together) & a fair few times to our detriment. I’d expect we’ll go for it again at the weekend, at least when the opportunity arises.

    A hard press only works if it doesn’t have any leaks or gaps. Give Cluxton an out anywhere from his own 20 to the opposition’s half and he’ll hit it more often than most. Combine that with Dublin’s pace all over the side, some of those absolutely electric and who will have an edge on their Mayo markers, and it becomes a real challenge closing those gaps. Do a half-hearted press where some go and some leave their men free & you’ll be hurt. Badly. Then you’ve also got a 6’6″ tower in Brian Fenton with lads like Howard, Lahiff, Small, Scully, Con & Kilkenny who can all field a 50/50 ball alarmingly often so even when pushed long needs a solid effort to get breaks & win the scrappy ball. So nothing easy there.

    Closing those gaps to press takes time, so like most sides we’ll tend to restrict our presses to frees & marks where we have the opportunity to get in place before the kick. A lot will come down to where/when Dublin provide us with those opportunities to press. In the previous game Roscommon were doing great when pressing us but once they didn’t have fouls/frees to facilitate the press they weren’t able to get in place in time to really go for it & ended up only getting a handful of attempts despite the success they were having off it. An often undervalued aspect of Tommy playing is how often he earns frees rather than scores from play, where the expected return is slightly higher given it usually allows us to get the next press on.

    So yeah. We’ll go after it when we can. We’ll likely get some joy off it (he hasn’t looked nearly as sharp as previous years yet this year, so hopefully a bit of an off day on his part coming rather than the day he finds his feet – either possible), but with Dublin keen to force us to shoot from play under pressure rather than leaving RO’D/CO’C with frees I’d expect our chances to be relatively limited.

  62. I was returning from a funeral in Mayo this evening and was just thinking about Cluxton. I might be daft but the thought struck me, what about O Shea really going in hard on him and putting him under pressure. Kevin McLoughlin did it in the past and he didn’t like it and lashed out and got sent off. Imagine that happened again with no Evan Comerford . What’s number three like.

  63. Really get the opinion from listening to the latest pod on Patreon that Lee Keegan is not overly impressed with Kevin McStays tactics and management.

  64. @Clare.I can’t remember where I read it, but I did read somewhere that McBrien was replaced at half-time, as a precaution, because, as far as I can remember “he felt a tightness in his hamstring”. Obviously hope I am wrong, but, if correct, I wouldn’t expect him to be risked, with other game/games coming down the track.

  65. There is a difference between being negative and realistic. Being realistic is to acknowledge Dublin are a really good team who have better players overall than we have. Being realistic is to acknowledge that we have done very little in the last number of years to suggest we can beat Dublin. Being realistic is to accept that at this moment in time we are a bit below the top 2 or 3 in the country. Being negative is to moan constantly at our tactics. To be continuously be questioning every move made by management and give out lots about certain players. Sport is sport. We have an outside chance of beating Dublin but in all likelihood they will beat us as they usually do. They may even beat us by 5 plus points. That does not mean we should all stay at home because the chances of us winning are slim. That’s what the bandwagoners do. The team represent us. We should support them because regardless of anything else we know they will give their best because that’s what Mayo teams do.

  66. Nephin good point, was it not Andy Moran that put him under pressure in a league match in Croker when he got sent off!

  67. Nephin, think number 3 keeper is O_hanlon and he plays some league matches at times. Seems fairly secure and level headed but going in on keepers has its dangers. They’re a protected species and any acting the you know what and the card will be out in no time.
    Dublin’s full back line is dodgy without Davy Byrne and Gannon fronting him. Howard gets sucked in at times when Mick Fitz is off chasing his marker which can cause problems. Personally, I’d be more worried about O’Shea’s temper if he was to try unnerving Cluxton. He can get riled easily enough himself.

  68. TsuDhoNim I think you’ve bigged up the Dublin ball winners a bit too much there especially Fenton who’s nowhere near 6’6”, 6’4 at most and not as big or strong as Aido even though he’s probably won more off Aido than any other midfielder it’s often aided by blockers on throw ins. It’s team work to win a throw in.
    What Fenton has though is that great combination of fielding and mobile for a big man along with being very two footed. The last attribute is probably the most important of all as he probably scores close to 40% off his left where others might screw it from the wrong side on their good foot.The really boosts his scoring stats. The other thing is he’s almost never injured. As for marking him, Conor Loftus has done a good job in the past. McHugh has done well in the role apart from the recent Ros game when Smith played out of his skin after being targeted not just by us but several teams. The other tactic is Mattie on him although Fenton would win the aerial battle Mattie could send him on the back foot with his runs.
    I think the key to winning is build a lead of 4+ after half time and score more goals. The other teams pushing them never really got a gap and the subs bench is good and did the damage. I also think we’ll need McBrien at the back so hopefully it was precautionary.
    As for their other ball winners, Howard cleaned up in 1st half of last year’s AI so Cluxton will look for him too. He kept getting free of Kerry and was found by Cluxton. I also think we need some of that Mayo chaos to unsettle the Dubs including their supporters who were given plenty of palpitations by us in the past.

  69. O’Shea getting riled easy enough? Given the amount of abuse he takes every game and the lack of support he gets from refs when he’s being constantly fouled, his even-headedness borders on extraordinary. How anyone could question his temper is beyond me.

  70. Tsudo, it’s O’ Cofaigh Byrne who’s the giant in the Dubs team, and he’s at least 6 7,” but not very agile as a consequence. Fenton is 6 4″ but has tree trunk legs so yes, powerful alright.
    Interestingly the giant has a famous mother in RTE, Brid Nic Cofaigh (bad grammar is mine).

  71. In relation to the attempted riling of Cluxton. Just think it could backfire is all. Every marquee forward gets stick and Aidan is no exception. Nothing personal in it.

  72. O’Shea is like a lamb temper wise on the field. I don’t know when is the last time I saw him lose his temper on the pitch and God knows he’s had plenty of occasions to do so throughout his career

  73. Wow a lot of yous are so pessimistic. This is Mayo V Dublin in the Championship. There shouldn’t be more then a kick of a ball in it. It wouldn’t shock me if Mayo win, and even if we win yous won’t be far away. As I’ve said on this before our jersey is a red rag to a bull to you guys. I guarantee this will be the best Mayo performance since the second half in the All Ireland Semi final of 2021. It’s proper championship, big game feel now…..

  74. Hill 16 – what’s the feeling in Dublin about the Dublin team this year. Are they as good as last year? Have they the drive they had last year? Is been a year older going to show this year?
    I think most people cannot see any team winning the all Ireland outside of Dublin.

  75. Hill16, thank you for helping me raise a smile.

    I admit I was getting sucked into some pessimism though I have a feeling there’s more to Mayo than has met the eye this year.

    TsuDhoNim, thank you hugely for that fabulous answer above. I love a good clear explanation and it was so well written and easy to follow. That’s a real skill. I also understand more about the intricacies of pressing now. I know we’ve done it to good effect against Dublin and Cluxton often. I also think it’s most unpleasant to be on the receiving end of a solid press (I remember Mayo v Kerry in the Super 8s in Killarney in 2019 where I was standing behind the Mayo goal and I get shivers).
    I note we unnerved Cluxton at the end of the drawn SF in 2015 and that was just from play. He was rattled at that point.
    (I also think they used the Cluxton-Fenton duo to kill us after half-time time 2019, so TsuDhoNim your focus on Fenton makes sense).
    I would also love to see Aido’s strengths used in FF to really raise the blood pressure of the Dubs. The man’s a mountain with good hands and a clever head, well able to react quickly. He’s due to shut up the detractors and show everyone what he actually can do.
    Not even nagging Cluxton, which I think could backfire, but Aido getting in close to Cluxton’s goal or wandering around in front of it could just spook a goalie (given his physical presence). Cluxton is probably not just trying to stop goals, he probably has a role marshalling the defence as well and as such, he cannot ignore Aido.

  76. The general consensus with the Dublin support is that this will be the first real test we get this year, in a game that is important, but not knockout. That said, 3 games in three weeks, with the third against a rested team is not a path to savour. Best win and top the group.

    Both sides have injury issues (who doesn’t), but we have the stronger bench.

    Expect it to be tight for the most part, but if the Dubs show up and Mayo switch off even slightly, it might get messy. The flip side is if our forward line don’t to play to potential, or near it, that might embolden the Yews to push on.

    Expect to see green flags raised at both ends – failure of a team to do so is a tacit death sentence.

  77. @Mark Dempsey/@Shuffly Deck: I’ll take your words on it if you fancy 6’4″. Remember looking for an official figure on it before and the information being a bit all over the place.

    He missed minor completely for being too small, great ball skills but didn’t have the height. Then shot up 13 inches in 12 months at ~19 years of age, with somewhere in that period being when he passed 6′. Since then there have been all sorts of profiles listing him at both 6’4″ (can’t find the source of those, though they are numerous – a lot from his early county days so wouldn’t be shocked if he stretched a little since then being the late developer he was) and more at 6’6″ (those originally came from official Dublin player profiles that listed him in more recent years at 1.98m, but they’ve done away with physical profiles these days so tough to reference them & they’d always be viewed with a pinch of salt for every side).

    Noel McCaffrey (Jack’s aul’ fella) was Brian’s development manager for years prior to his drop at minor and often talked about their history there, knowing Brian better than most, always mentioned Brian being about 6’5″ in recent years so probably a more accurate assessment than most.

    I’ve always seen Aidan referenced as 6’4″ and Brian always looked to have an inch or more there (though Aidan, like PO’CB, much bigger width & size overall) but hard to ever see both standing perfectly straight so that could be the different frames creating that view rather than an actual difference in height.

    6’3″ to 6’7″ it’d be the same situation. A beast of a lad, leap like a salmon, incredible fielder & a huge threat. His new role this year pushing even further forward as more of an 11 & outright target man at times could be one that causes havoc for us. Will be interested to watch it pan out.

  78. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, both sides progress and something tells me Mayo will sneak this just about, with Dublin facing Donegal (their nemesis) in the provisional qf.. if, indeed, that’s a possibility within the parameters of the All Ireland rubric.

  79. I didn’t mean for Aidan to go in bullheaded after Cluxton. Rather be a downright nuisance in around the square. If the opportunity arises to chase him down like he did to the Donegal keeper in the league last year, I think it was.
    Mark. I’m prone to the odd daft statement myself, but that one by yourself about Aidan losing his temper is a classic. Unless of course you were using hyperbole. In fact I think if anything he’s too placid. I would love to see him horsing a few lads around a bit more.

  80. Like your thinking Mark. I have a sneaky feeling we’ll win this, but have a feeling it’ll be a resurgent Derry who will send the Dubs packing!

    It’s a huge ask, absolutely no doubt about it.
    We’ll need Personal Best performances from a lot of the lads. We’ll need Donnacha McHugh to keep cleaning his man, & to keep contributing at the other end.

    And most of all, it would be extraordinary if we conceded a goal & still won the game. So keeping a clean sheet is imperative

  81. Apart from the odd shake of the head towards a ref or maybe a clap in his direction after another unfathomable decision against him ,I haven’t seen Aiden ever close to losing the head during a game.

  82. Nephin, nowt daft about anything being said here. People can be overly empathetic when it comes to their favourite footballer, pop star etc etc. I’m open to being called a Muppet if things don’t pan out… Dubs will lose by a point and Cavan will beat the rossies. Feel free to call the powers that be if either prediction goes awry.

  83. Regarding AOS, lack of protection from ref. Alway remember the agenda against Lee Keegan around the 2016 All Ireland final. Every past Dublin Footballer was in media telling the nation that Lee a dirty player etc etc. Always wondered why we never called out, how AOS, cant buy a free in a match. This should be mentioned after nearly every match/ win loss or draw. Need to set naritive, not follows others

  84. Blaithnaid Nic Chofaigh, a gaelgoir friend from corifin tells me just now…my bad..

  85. I met and was talking to Fenton a few years back.. nice fella. I’m 6′ 4” and he looked to be the same height as me if that is anything to go by. He probably was 3 stone lighter than me aswell but that’s a stat I’m working on. Don’t think I’ll be ready to tog out Sunday though 🙂

  86. Ultimately you have to score goals to beat Dublin.

    You have to have a very good performance at FF.

    You also need 6 man markers as they play 6 attack minded forwards.

    Kerry in Killarney last year may seem similar but in retrospect Kerry were up and down last year and ironically it wss Mayos lost to Cork that propelled us forward.

    Mayo need to be very compact as I don’t think this Dublin team are as good as previous teams at breaking down tight compact teams and more than anything they need to kick the ball and not run it.

    Unfortunately as much I hate to say it I just haven’t seen Mayo scoring enough and are very reliant on 1 forward to do the damage.

    Tommy Conroy needs to have a big game and help Ryan ODonnoghue.

    Best of luck lads hope you find it in that Mayo spirit and will to win to find the result.

  87. In a way I would think stopping Dublin scoring goals is as much if not more important .in the two semi finals we beat them in 2012 and 2021 they didn’t score a goal.when basquel scored against us in first half last year it felt immediately to me that we were up against it

  88. One of the people commenting were asking what’s the consensus in Dublin about the team this year. ( Apologies not sure how to Tag the name in this, technology is my kryptonite ) Honestly we don’t know. We are missing a few, and to be honest, we haven’t been tested in Leinster or the All Ireland series. A few worries about we play in fits and starts and we do give away a lot of goal chances. We are under no illusion this is the big test for us. We know what Mayo will bring.. One way or the other this is going to be close

  89. West Kerry yea I agree but stopping them scoring a goal will give us half a chance .i think it was 19-16 we beat them in 2012 but as you say can we get to 18 or 19 points

  90. 1985,

    I agree and it was the concession of a soft goal that killed us last year.

    I think Mayo can get very compact and make that hard it’s just can they rack up the score on the far end.

  91. We were also disallowed what looked like a legit goal in 1st half last year. Could have put Dubs under pressure, although the 3 games in 3 weeks would likely have done us in at some point in the game. We need a good kickout strategy also especially if Dubs put on the press. Some kickouts need pre planning and signals for if the game is in the melting pot. While we’re not happy with some stats this year, a few things going well for us or bad for them really changes the odds.

  92. Shuffle deck 100% agree. Still question why our goal wasn’t allowed. We were only a point down at half time yes 2nd half down fall was awful but the 3 games in 3 weeka was our downfall & Cork loss. . Dubs had a 2 week break. And went onto to win Sam.

    As Ryan O D said even though he got some crap for it we aren’t that far off them though obviously missing durcan such a massive loss but still think if we can keep a clean seat and reape can do some of the magic saves like he did v galway in league final last year we are in with a big chance some dubs I know who always go to the games haven’t bought tickets for this surprising.

  93. @West Kerry always welcome your views. Out of interest, how do you think Kerry are shaping up?

    As others have mentioned, we’ve actually had clean sheets on the rare occasions we have beaten Dublin. So for us, it would appear to be most important to not concede a goal, as opposed to us bagging goals…..to be honest, I could only see us winning the game if we keep Dublin to less than 15 or 16 points, as I can’t see us scoring enough to beat them otherwise. Scoring goals against Dublin has proven very very difficult for us over the years.

    The only thing is that this game is not the be all & end all, so the game may be more open & more helter-skelter than if it was straight knockout. So maybe we might find the scores easier to come ny

  94. I wonder will Dublin be thinking long term for this match and might throw the match?

  95. Highorlow.

    Apart from suggesting being absurd.

    There’s no advantage to losing.

  96. Mayo Focus,

    How Kerry are doing is the number 1 question down here this summer.

    The answer is nobody really knows as we’ve D2 teams and won them all without a real test.

    Cork gave us the best game so far.

    The one positive I’m taking is Kerry have a far greater spread of scores as David Clifford is not in the form of previous years.

    The same question marks are hanging over us,
    Midfield and teams having figured out how to play against our defensive set up.

    We beat Louth by 28 points last year and I don’t forsee that happening on Sunday but bookies have -10 for Kerry.

    My fear is we get a very tricky QF and we get caught having not played a D1 team to date.

  97. Knowing higorlow id hazzard a guess there was a hint of sarcasm with a bit of irony thrown into the mix too .

  98. Throwing my Tuppence worth in, I’d say the Dubs will be testing their long range point scoring ability this weekend. Chances are, the vanquished, will be meeting a highly organised Ulster outfit in their next fixture and will cut their cloth to fit. I doubt there’ll be more than one goal scored and Mayo will nick it by the bare minimum. If it’s a high scoring open game then it’s advantage Dublin.

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