Dublin match fast approaching

Mayo Dublin flags AIF 2013

Back at base after half the week away and there’s plenty of catching up to do. Thoughts about the match up in Derry have faded fast, replaced instead with a focus on Saturday’s evening’s clash with defending League champions Dublin at MacHale Park, where throw-in is fixed for 7pm.

It’ll be the first visit of the Dubs to our home patch for three years (how the powers-that-be in the GAA schedule games so that something like this happens is beyond me), with their last appearance at MacHale Park back in March 2012 being an evening to remember for us but, for them, one to forget. They finished that one with just thirteen players on the field on a night where Conor Mortimer wrote his name into the history books as the county’s all-time leading scorer as we thumped the then All-Ireland champions by a margin of twelve points.

2012 proved to be a good year for us against Dublin, as we also went on to beat them in that memorable All-Ireland semi-final later in the year. Since then, however, we’ve failed to beat them at all. In 2013, they had three wins over us, all in Croke Park, beating us in the regulation League fixture at the start of March and then following that up by beating us again in the League semi-final. But the biggest loss we suffered to them that year was, of course, the big one in September. I still, I must admit, cannot fathom how the hell we managed to lose that one.

They haven’t beaten us since but we haven’t returned the favour on them either. Our League encounter last year, also at HQ, was one we should have won with ease but contrived to blow by conceding three utterly preventable second half goals. In the end we were lucky to get away with the draw.

And so we meet again on Saturday night in a contest where the stakes are high enough. Dublin have four matches on the road this year and they’ve already lost both of the away ones they’ve played – against Cork and Kerry – while they were fortunate enough to claim a point out of that suffocating encounter with the Tyrone anti-football machine last weekend. If Jim Gavin’s men lose again this weekend relegation becomes a real threat for them so I think we can expect them to field something more like their A team and we should also be anticipating having to face opponents who will be gunning to secure a result at MacHale Park.

I don’t know if it’s just me, living up here and having spawned progeny that shout for them, but I always think there’s something special – in a good kind of way – about clashes between Mayo and Dublin. There’s a keen rivalry there, for sure, but it’s certainly a more good-natured one than that which exists between, say, ourselves and the likes of Cork, Kerry or Donegal.

In the spirit of brotherly love, Castlebar Mitchels have metaphorically opened their arms to the visiting supporters on Saturday, throwing open the doors of An Sportlann to the Dubs ahead of the match. Full details on this are in the poster below.

117601_Castlebar Mitchells_Dubs poster V2 (1)

In terms of match odds, Paddy Powers have this one at evens, with that 15/2 price for the draw the most tempting one on offer. Interestingly, the same bookies have us as 5/2 favourites to land the League title and they’re not even providing a quote for us on getting relegated (Dublin are priced at 10/3 in that market, with Derry at 1/50 and Monaghan at 15/8).

Seeing as it is Thursday, I think we should have the team announcements later on this evening. Dublin may delay theirs until tomorrow (and almost certainly won’t line out as selected) but we tend to name our pick in or around nine on a Thursday evening and it’s usually the fifteen we start with.

Okay, then, let’s end with a poll: the bookies can’t separate the two sides for this one but what do you reckon about it?

How will we do against Dublin?

  • Win (59%, 91 Votes)
  • Lose (25%, 39 Votes)
  • Draw (16%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 155

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22 thoughts on “Dublin match fast approaching

  1. I have the draw backed myself WJ – Dublin will be gunning for points but likewise we are hard beat in Castlebar. Neither team employ a blanket defense so hopefully we are in for a high scoring game and a Mayo win of course. We should have 10,000 at least in MacHale Sat night.

  2. I think this is our first big test for the new management. they have had the a good run of luck so far , The dubs will be gunning for us so it will be a good test to see where we are really in terms of skill and fitness . Also looking forward to see how Pat & Noel cope with a team running at our guys , rather than that blanket crap we had to watch over the last few games .

  3. Looking forward to this. Atmosphere should be really good going by recent Mayo-Dublin clashes (as well as the sheer numbers at our League games this year so far). Forecast for Castlebar is for dry weather too.

    On the pitch this will clearly be our toughest test in the League to date. We’ll be put to the pin of our collars on Saturday evening and it’ll be fascinating to see, given that we have six points on the board, whether the motivation is there to dig it out when the Dubs turn up the pressure.

  4. Davy, I think just the contest to get the likes of Keegan and Boyle going full tilt again. There is a good rivalry there with the dubs and both play it the right way.
    Regarding being lucky, maybe that will be the difference between Horan and this management team. Luck seemed to desert James at crucial moments. People will say it’s much more than luck and its true but Kerry got buckets of it last year, so maybe we’re due some…
    Roll on sat and de boys in blue!

  5. Fair point Puckout. Keegan especially has looked to be in second gear so far. Boyle showed flashes of form in the second half in Derry. It may well be that they’re timing it to really come good later in the year which is, of course, is the right thing to do. But you would imagine that the sight of the blue jerseys will get their blood pumping on Saturday.

    I hope you’re right about our new management team getting the breaks. An All-Ireland was never won without luck.

  6. Yea — its a while since we`ve had a win against them. And that game in 2012 was

    a replay. The first fixture was “fogged off” a few weeks previously if my memory serves

    me. We were behind that day, on the scoreboard too when the ref blew it up.

  7. Good teams make their own luck and then take full advantage when the opportunity presents itself. Mayo have had their chances, those moments in games where it is now or never, shit or get off the pot time. We let those chances pass us by when lesser teams have taken them.
    Saturday night will be our stiffest test to date and I am interested in seeing how our new management deal with the considerable attacking threat that a front 6 containing the likes of Connolly, O’Gara, Brogan, McManamen, Flynn and Rock presents. Game by game their big guns are returning and they have added a fresh face at midfield, in Shane Carthy, who looks the real deal, a proper midfielder and not the show-man “elbows” MDC has become. Cluxton is back between the sticks so their possession rate will sky rocket and although they did struggle against the blanket defense of Tyrone, we don’t have a blanket to throw across them so they will create plenty of chances. With a front 6 like they have it is safe to assume they will keep the lads on the scoreboard busy.
    For our part, it is vital that we gain a foothold in the middle third of the field and use the ball wisely. We have to starve Dublin of the ball so it doesn’t matter who is in their attack – they can’t score if they don’t have the ball!. If it was me, I would work on isolating McMahon and/or Fitzsimons as they are both sloppy tacklers and hot-headed. Winning frees in the scoring zone will be crucial in pinning them back inside their own half – allowing us to move higher up the field – and will prevent them building up any momentum in their counter attacking play. Dublin will want a fast paced open game so we should look to take the sting out of the pace of the game at every chance we get. Slow it down, play the ref and frustrate Dublin, even if we are behind early in the game. Their defense (and their tackling in particular, 26 frees conceeded v Tyrone) is their weakness and the more we play in behind their midfield the more pressure they will be under and the more likely they are to foul and lose the head.
    Despite all this, I believe we will lose by a couple of points but it would not be the end of the world. Dublin will be desperate for the 2 points as they will not want to get dragged into a relegation battle with 2 games to go. This desperation will drive them on to give their best performance of the year so far and be enough to take the spoils.
    I hope I’m wrong. Hon Mayo.

  8. Its one that will really tell us where we truly are and where we’re going.

    Home venue a great help, but I’m concerned.

    Dublin desire and power huge factors.

    But we’ll hope for the best.

  9. Good teams do indeed make their own luck, Pebblesmeller. But they still need the breaks to go their way to win an All-Ireland. Nothing that Kerry did made Paul Durcan kick the ball straight to Kieran Donaghy, for example, and nothing they did made Colm McFadden’s late chance hit the post instead of going in to draw the game. That was Lady Luck and Mayo will need her on their side to get to the holy grail.

    Anyone know if the U-21s that were in action last night are available for the Dublin game?

  10. If we are to win on Sat evening we need to put pressure on the Dubs from the start. That means Cluxton’s kickouts,with forwards on their toes so he does not get away with those short kicks to defenders to set up attacks. That tactic worked well for most of the match last year.

    Regards last night’s U21 match and the ambulance delay. It is not the HSE’s responsibility to provide ambulances on standby at matches. Where provided these are usually St John’s or other voluntary organisations. Sometimes Civil Defence depending on availability or private commercially run ambulances. The question is when should they be provided on standby – an injury is as likely at a Junior B game as any other. The crowd attending is as big a factor as any other in my opinion as the chances of a spectator being taken ill has to be taken into account. And regards the actual delay last night we do not know at what stage was it decided an ambulance was needed. it seemed to me from the stand that there seemed to be a bit of uncertainty about the seriousness of the injury early on.
    Incidentally Donal Wrynn, their black carded player was their only senior panellist. Considering that we had 4/5 senior panellists we have to wonder how it took so long to establish a grip on the game. We looked terribly uncertain and out of sorts early on and if it were not for Hall’s goal we could have been heading home with our tails between our legs. We need a ball winner in our full forward line. Without a ball winner there is no hope whatever of breaking a hole in a curtain defence.

  11. I saw some woman online blaming Enda Kenny for the lack of an ambulance last night-LOL.

    Someone on here wrote that it was €10 admission yesterday. Let’s assume 1000 people paid in-that’s €10000. Could the GAA not have given the Order of Malta or Civil Defense €500 out of the €10000 to have an ambulance at the game. Not rocket science

  12. Davy J
    I would think that the u-21 will be available.They were all subbed last night once the victory was secure

  13. I was just thinking, if things were the other way around, the Dubs top of the table at home, playing us second from bottom, I don’t think that they would show us any mercy, hoping that we wouldn’t get relegated. They would expect to beat us, so we should expect to beat them. I hope that we really go all out for the win. I was reading an Article a few weeks ago by Ronan O’Gara and what he was saying was, that before you become champions, you have to think like champions. Yes it will be a very tough game. Yes Dublin should have their strongest team of the year playing against us. Yes we are missing some players but I’d love to see us going out playing like a team of champions would play. They are coming to our home ground. Us supporters have a part to play as well. I’d love to see a huge crowd supporting our lads on Saturday and roaring us on to victory. It will be a very hard game but a game we should be expecting to win on our home patch. Roll on the game!

  14. Agreed hopesspringseternal, we are one of the top teams the last few years and I think it’s well part time to start believing in ourselves both inwardly and showing it outwardly. Really looking forward to Saturday, I’m going for a win

  15. Looking forward to Sat evening – love the atmosphere in MacHale park when the dubs come to town – and under lights makes it more special. As for the game itself I think Dublin will prove too strong for us. They have taken a different approach this year sarcrifising league points in the early games in order to develop new comers and fringe players, however, Saturday will be a different story as they go in search of securing their position in Div 1 for 2016 and a thumping could be on the cards if their forwards get ample supply. If we can dominate the middle third then we have a decent chance of carving out a victory…. even if we are without Cillian. I do hope a couple of our younger lads get to start this game as it will be an invaluable experience for them regardless of the result.

  16. 45 Yea I agree with that the Dubs in McHale Park on a Saturday evening makes for a great atmosphere. They are the Glamor team of the GAA and have always been appreciated in McHale Park. I expect they will field a strong side and they will probably.win this one. We should focus on looking at the new players in this one. KK, Ronaldson, Kirby, Douglas, Sweeney. It will tell us where we are heading even if it is still early March, and the Championship does not start until August.

  17. 1.) Robbie Hennelly – Breaffy
    2.) Tom Cunniffe – Castlebar Mitchels
    3.) Kevin Keane – Westport
    4.) Keith Higgins – Ballyhaunis (Capt.)
    5.) Lee Keegan – Westport
    6.) Colm Boyle – Davitts
    7.) Patrick Durcan – Castlebar Mitchels
    8.) Seamus O’Shea – Breaffy
    9.) Donal Vaughan – Ballinrobe
    10.) Kevin McLoughlin – Knockmore
    11.) Aidan O’Shea – Breaffy
    12.) Diarmuid O’Connor – Ballintubber
    13.) Mark Ronaldson – Shrule/Glencorrib
    14.) Alan Freeman – Aghamore
    15.) Jason Doherty – Burrishoole

  18. 2013, I can’t watch it. I fear going to confessions in case seeing a rerun is the penance. What I do recall and what surprised me at the time was that they were the fit, free flowing team that no-one could live with. Most of them were stretcher cases by the end. It is early in the season. The pressure within the side will, hopefully, come from knowledge that if you don’t perform then there is another waiting to take your place. That’s what motivates along with the pride of representing your county, whoever the opposition. Good luck to the team.

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