Dubs dig it out in the rain

AIF 2015 full-time

2015 won’t go down as a vintage year for Gaelic football and so it was more than a bit apposite that the biggest football day of the year should be spoiled by the incessant rain that fell in torrents all afternoon at Croke Park today. Not that Dublin, who comprehensively outthought and outfought what looked a very ordinary Kerry side to claim their 25th All-Ireland title, will care. Today was their day for singing in the rain as they captured Sam for the third time in just five short years.

Everything I’d reckoned – and written in my preview – in advance about today’s final I got pretty much completely wrong. I’d thought that, man-for-man, Kerry would be a match for Dublin and that their ability to get quality ball inside would cause Dublin all kinds of problems. I thought they’d do a better job on Cluxton’s kickouts and that they’d be dominant on their own. I thought they’d win. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Ten minutes in, the Cluxton bit seemed on the money. The Dublin keeper made a hash of his first four or five kickouts and twelve minutes were played before he finally managed to land a restart into blue-shirted arms. Although it wasn’t being translated into scores, the defending champions were going better at that stage, with Dublin labouring a little.

But Kerry’s misses soon began to add up – with five wides after fifteen minutes – and it was obvious that Dublin weren’t going to spend the whole day soaking up pressure from the Green and Gold. They should have had a goal as early as the fourth minute but Kealy saved well from Rock.

It was Rock, with his second free of the day, who levelled it up after Cooper put Kerry in front for what ultimately would be the only time in the game. Geaney got them level again on four points each ten minutes before the break – after a long-range Cluxton free edged Dublin one clear – but the next ten minutes belonged totally to Jim Gavin’s team as they moved to claim a decisive hold on this contest.

They went in 0-8 to 0-4 in front, with those four unanswered points leaving Kerry with a huge task in the heavy, soaking conditions. For me, the pick of those four scores was the third one, when Denis Bastick turned over a ball inside his own half and seconds later Paddy Andrews – who was having a frustrating time of it up till then – arrowed the ball over the posts at the Davin end. Kerry were attacking at full-tilt before Bastick’s interception and that score looked worth far more than the single point they got on the board for it.

Kerry needed to come out with greater purpose after the break and two quick points, from Lyne and sub Darran O’Sullivan, halved the deficit facing them. Andrews went close to goaling at the other end, though, and soon Kerry’s good work was undone, with points from Bernard Brogan (a free) and Paul Flynn restoring Dublin’s four-point lead.

O’Donoghue – who I felt flattered to deceive today and was ultimately called ashore – and the impressive O’Sullivan pointed to chop the lead back to more manageable proportions. By now, Fitzmaurice had decided to go for Plan B, replacing Geaney with Donaghy, but a clear insight into their mounting panic came when Paul Galvin was sent in for David Moran. It was at that moment that I finally realised just how well cooked the Kerry goose was.

Paul Flynn, putting in a storming second half, then knocked over his second point of the day. With less than ten minutes left to play now, Sam was coming into focus for the Leinster champions and when sub Alan Brogan galloped upfield and fired over into the Hill they were all but home and hosed.

Kerry repeatedly tried to unlock the Dublin rearguard with a series of Hail Mary deliveries but none of these met with any success, though Kerry could arguably have got a penalty from one of them, as Donaghy was wrestled to the deck inside the square. All day long, though, ref David Coldrick gave the defenders on both sides the benefit of the doubt, which, in the horrific conditions, made life tough for the two forward lines, and on this occasion too he kept to the same script.

In truth, Kerry didn’t deserve any such break, with their ponderously slow build-up, forever looping back for another lateral pass when what they really needed to do was take the Dublin defence on head-on, making it easy for the Dubs to keep them at bay.

There was only one other score before full-time – a Brian Sheehan free – as Dublin shepherded the game safely to the ending they wanted. They won by three points, but it was a decisive three-point win.

Croke Park panorama

I’m glad they did it, partly because of the good GAA-loving friends and neighbours I know up here but also quite simply because they deserved it more. Both teams had to cope with the horrific conditions – and there was an enormous quota of handling errors today as well as an alarming amount of slipping and sliding – but Dublin were the only team playing ball out on that skating rink. And when all the tough questions were asked of them in the second half, they had enough answers at the ready to enable them to dethrone the champions.

Dublin’s victory today means that, for the fourth year in succession, we come away from the championship with the bridesmaid’s bouquet, having once more been beaten by the team that won Sam. Cold comfort that is to us, I know, but it does at least show that we were, once again, agonisingly close – but once again not close enough – to being good enough to go all the way.

This year, though, Dublin are deserving All-Ireland champions. While we had our chance to do them in the drawn game and could have pushed on too in the replay, ultimately they beat us fair and square at the semi-final stage and we can have no complaints about how that one ended up. What today’s match provided further proof of, though, was the extent of the larceny inflicted on us in Limerick last year. Today showed that Kerry are no more than middling – even after they won out last year I reckoned they were no better than the fourth best team of 2014 – and with the raft of retirements that are sure to come in the wake of today’s defeat, it could be the case that their future isn’t as bright as it was almost universally thought to be.

But the future is for again. Today, in the rain, the day belonged to Dublin. Well done to them on a fully merited All-Ireland success.

My attendance at today’s All-Ireland final was courtesy of Chill Insurance. My thanks to them.

144 thoughts on “Dubs dig it out in the rain

  1. Very hard watching the dubs lift Sam and would have Been harder watch kerry do it. You could not make it up on how close we have come to
    Lifting Sam. Very frustrating. Unbelievable really. Anyone but Mayo it seems.

  2. Congratulations to Dublin. Superior in all sectors of the field today for the full 74+ mins. That match undoubtedly confirms our position as #2 in the country right now….so there’s still a lot to be positive about looking forward to 2016. Today’s comprehensive defeat should mark the end of a number of Kerry stalwarts and a slap back down a number of steps in the queue of AI contenders for championship ’16. Hon Mayo !!!!!

  3. Dubs better team on the day, kerry were not at the races. Philly deserves a major punishment for the eye gouging – our kids should not see that and think it’s acceptable, I’m sure his all Ireland medal will catch his tears. We are so close and as a comment on the last post said brolly and co voiced how they underestimated mayo. Roll on 2016.

  4. We had Dublin on the ropes this year and Kerry on the ropes last year but both times we failed to land the knock out punches. You could say we had the Dubs on the ropes early in the 2013 final as well. In fairness to the Dubs since Jim Gavin has taken over they have won 8 out of 9 titles. 3 League titles, 3 Leinster titles and 2 All-Ireland titles. So credit where credit is due they have been the best team in the country the last few years. In saying that we have to learn to take our chances when they present themselves. Surely our day will come sometime soon but only if we learn the lesson of putting teams away when they are there for the taking.

  5. Well done to Dublin. Played well considering the conditions. If it was a dry day I think they wud have won by more. Kerry were and are average. Onwards towards 2016.

  6. Again Mayo were close this year. But if H&C don’t find some system where Mayo can get the scores needed to get us over the line in the big Aug/Sept games the wait will go on. The Dubs should have won by more.

  7. Well done Dublin and to Martin the Dub and all genuine decent Dublin supporters enjoy the victory. As for Mayo we are not far away but we need to tighten up our defence and get more streetwise on the sideline a big ask but not impossible I’m pumped and ready to go again Jan 16 FBD

  8. Today’s game showed how good Mayo really were. We held Dublin to a draw whereas Kerry were completely outplayed. Mayo deserve to be awarded more all stars than Kerry.

  9. Who get man of the match hard to give someone as it was a team effort maybe Jim Gavin James McCarthy he was brilliant today it makes Mayo look good or is that a fair comment

  10. Dublin will win the next 2 All Ireland’s can’t see anyone getting near them next year or the one after, they have a hunger and desire I have just not seen in any other teams. I was at the match and even though I got soaked it was electric, have to give credit were credit is due they are a great team and have the best supporters in Ireland. also well done to the Kerry Minor’s they strolled it really blew Tipp away. man the Dub’s are some team!

  11. Cait That is a strange statement given that Mayo was not playing today. If the Dublin performance changes your perspective of Mayo’s worth that is a different question. Genuine Mayo supporters believe, and I hope I belong in that camp.

  12. Well done to Dublin and Martin the Dub………………..I voted for them during the week and could only see Kerry as having history behind them whereas the Dubs came through by over coming us in the two games…………….that was a great platform for them and they showed it over the 70+ mins and in every position.
    Not many All Irelands will be won with 12 points but a Kerry team that can only score 9 is very rare……………that said the Dubs were worth much more than the 25% winning margin.

  13. well ……… optimism is with me this evening. I don`t know why. I~ suppose it comes

    down to the feeling that we are there or thereabouts. Tiocfaidh ar la. I will never stop

    believing as long as I breath. That`s all. JL.

  14. Well done to the Dubs! Deserved to win by more.
    Where does that leave us? Not too far off the mark I’d say. I’d really love to think we have another big kick in us but I fear this victory for dublin might only make them stronger for next year. But the you’d never know. It might take the appetite off some of them. In any case we need to get our own house in order and if there is discontent among players it needs to be sorted out one way or another and pretty soon at that. It’s hard enough facing into a regime of training after so much disappointment even with a united camp and full confidence in the setup. Sort it out lads and quick or else it’s bye bye to any dream of winning an all Ireland. This a duty that falls to players management and co board alike and calls for honesty and humility all round.

  15. We have now been beaten by the All Ireland champions in the last four years and Kerry in 2011 when they threw it away. This means fuck all in terms of future success but is a fact.

  16. Ffs people,talking about being second best tonight. That’s why we are where we are because we are happy being second best. Kerry have lost an All-Ireland but you won’t hear a word about bullshit co board stuff or anything like it. October headlines in Mayo again…

  17. What was really good about Dublin today and in the Mayo game was how well they defended, they sucked the life out of us in the first half as it was so hard to get scores and they did it again today. I never rated Gavin as a manager but i have to give him credit now, he learned from his mistakes last year and has made Dublin much harder to beat,, if we can do the same then there is no reason why we cant win an all ireland. All the pundits agreed today that Mayo deserve credit for the way they were so close to Dublin for long periods of the game.Congrats to Dublin and Martin the Dub who is a nice genuine Dublin supporter.

  18. Was at the match myself, its amazing how much of a knot Cluxton gets himself into when pressurised on the kickouts, if Mayo didn’t concede the kickouts to them ye would have beat them.

  19. Well deserved Dublin. Disgusted at McMahon eye gough though, cant remember seeing that in Croke Park before. Mayo should take heart and come back stronger. We have been within a whisker for 5 years now.

  20. And stronger Dublin be to next year with O Gara Mannion and Costello back 3 quality forwards! The only one that may retire is Alan Brogan!
    A lot of that Kerry team will prob retire but they won’t go away for long or if they go away at all!
    There a conveyor belt of talent coming through in Kerry with 2 all Ireland minor titles in 2 years and jack o Connor taking over under 21s!
    Can we challenge Dublin well we need to introduce new quality players and have quality to come off the bench to.Anyway that for another day fbd and national league may give a better picture where we be at going into championship next season.
    Congrats to Dublin there the champions for a reason they were the best team and there no trophies for the defeated and that includes us!(bar provencial of course!)

  21. Deserved winners today no doubt. Paul Flynn MoM for me. No point comparing anything with respect to mayo ….every game has its own life. If kill ian young had netted that great chance, kerry may well have snuck another one which given how poor they played is to their credit….they are always hard to beat. Connolly very good today as was McMahon and cooper. James o donoghue will be glad to put year behind him. Maher and Moran will be very disappointed with their show….will probably cost maher player of year I think could go to McMahon now.

  22. The match today changes little for Mayo – we still have the same issues to sort out ahead of next year, the leaky defense and problems in the forward lines. If we don’t fix those, Sam will remain outside our reach.

    A good win for Dublin, they were never really threatened today.

  23. Dubs strolled to victory today, in control from early on and were never in trouble at any stage really. Poor enough game. Best team won in 2015, second best team beaten by Dubs in semi replay. Another case of close but no cigar. Yes close, so no need for all the doom, gloom and negativeity that seem be doing the rounds for the past two weeks. I know it’s really hard to take being so close so often, but as long as our team is close then there is that chance that we will eventually prevail. Blind optimism or blind faith?? Who knows?

  24. The lads on Sunday game fairly bottled the McMahon incident. Especially mcstay…o se didn’t want to seem sour grapes and Whelan is a dub….mcstay just bottled it. No wonder Micky Harte feels Tyrone get raw deal. Was worst act of year by far…when u think of uproar after the semifinal. Cowardly stuff.

  25. Hi All,
    Firstly I want to thank you all for the kind wishes and good lucks to the Dubs and all the nice comments to me. I am so proud that we have that in the GAA as its not found in any other sport. I wont patronise any Mayo supporter tonight and I never would but your team are probably 5 minutes away from the Title…..you guys came so close this year and lets be honest Dublin or Mayo would have beaten Kerry today. You have so much to look forward to and so do we because we are for sure the 2 best teams in the Country. Thanks again for all the kind comments you are genuine people and our biggest threat in 2016……now please Mayo go and try to win the League it is a great start to the year cheers.

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  26. Congratulations to Dublin. At the start of the championship you would gave picked dublin to win the all Ireland and indeed a dublin kerry final dublin simply had the best players and the strength in depth. They had more match winners yo count on today and against mayo when needed. Jim gain also got a lot of calls right this year. You would have to question some of the decisions by the kerry management today and by the mayo management in semifinal replay.
    As for Mayo’s year I would have considered reaching AL semifinal a good achievement at the start of the year given the legacy of the last few years and having new management. In fact they did much better then I expected this year. I think pat and noel tried a few different things which ultimately didn’t work but they should be applauded for their courage. In 2016 it’s hard to see a big improvement from Mayo we need to fi d more strength in depth. Also at some point you would expect the psychological toll of the last 4 years to tell. It’s hard to look beyond dublin for next year if they keep their hunger. Kerry to stay the same at best they probably over preformed in winning Sam last year. Tyrone would be the team you would expect biggest improvement next year.but in the mean time keep dreaming and hoping……

  27. Martin the Dub,
    you are a credit to your county. Judging by your fair and balanced comments on this site anyway over the months and years. Never any gloating after victory and never any sour grapes after any rare defeat.

    As for Mayo. Have we left the last 4 All Irelands after us? Defeated by the eventual champions each time. On 3 of those 4 occasions we were in a “winning position” at some stage during the game but could not finish the job. 2013, 14 and 15.

    With a flick to the left or a hop to the right we might have got 1 of them at least.

    Anyway what do i know? I had tipped Kerry to win by 8 today!!! Oh dear.

  28. Dublin will be a stronger unit next year. They were always in control today. Only bad refereeing decisions (we’d know a little about that) would unseat them today and that didn’t come to pass.
    Maybe we can say that we are the second best team. What does it matter? It takes at least 30 players and a great manager with a great back-up team to make an assault on the final ascent. We probably have most of the players needed. Two or three of the current team/panel have served us so well are now surplus to requirements but they have given us great service.

  29. Congrats, Martin – great win today. Hopefully we’ll be back putting it up to your lads next year but Dublin were worthy winners this year for sure.

  30. Thanks Cait I appreciate that….nice one cheers

    Hi Jim Flag….thanks a mill for your response cheers…and in my opinion you cant look back, we were called bottlers etc until we won in 2011 after so long so you are so close to winning it could be exactly like us when you do….there might be a belief in the players that the monkey is off the back…..and then Mayo could win a few. I really respect your guys belief…it is just a matter of time

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  31. Well done Martin. A real gent.

    I imagine it’s an unbelievable feeling to be there when your county wins Sam. Enjoy the celebrations. Please god we will experience it some day.

    What today demonstrated is that no manager is a messiah. Fitzmaurice had a nightmare today and got tactics and subs all wrong. Gavin was similarly exposed last year. When he was, he came up with a plan to tighten defence and it came good today.

    On a sour note, it will be hard to swallow if Mc Mahon wins player of the year. His gouging today was the worst act I’ve ever seen.

  32. Martin mcaffery has some engine was his sick before this game I heard it on the Marty squared earlier that’s something else

  33. Today goes to show Mayo haven’t regressed from last year…definitely are second best team in the country…let’s hope the remainder of the club championships shows up two class forwards for next year!!
    Let the lads hit the sauce hard for the next few months, forget about Gaelic Aa much as possible and come back next year refreshed!

  34. Thanks Cod I don’t want to sound like Jim Gavin or any other manager but I haven’t seen it as I am not too long home and only half jarred!! It is an unbelievable feeling Cod to be there or even when you are not there just to be a part of it as you are from the County is awesome…..to be honest the late and great (and my Hero) Heffo said ” Beating Kerry in the All-Ireland Final is like winning 2 All-Irelands”. Don’t you worry you are so close that it will happen soon we all know that

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  35. Congrats Martin – Dubs very impressive today, showed lots of character from start to finish in horrid conditions and thoroughly deserved the victory.
    Now roll on 2016 for everybody and we’ll continue to believe.

  36. Wonders will never cease ..brolly picks a mayo man as his player of the year and mayo goal as his moment of the year..

  37. Brian

    Who do you think is happy we are second best? Not me but its a fucking fact we are in the top four. That means fuck all in terms of winning Sam. but I cannot see any happiness in the thread that we are. Give over will Ya or put something constructive how we can get over the line. There will be plenty of shit on the kerry boards , don’t you worry because they are just as tucking bad as us with their shit. I spent the afternoon with twenty of them and they gave it to the manager afterwards.

    On another point Joanne Cantwell and her colleagues really need to look at themselves with post match interviews. Will you stay on? Cringeworthy. What did she expect EF to say! I am leaving now. Good luck.

    the whole interview a disgrace

  38. For once I agree with brolly…sort of…because I think mccaffrey/brogan were probably edging it. I think o Shea was a phenomenon and it was as much the attention dublin had to give him as anything that allowed mayo to get as close to them as they did….sense a lot of mayo people didn’t really appreciate that as reflected by player of year poll.

    Keegan and o Shea will be the mayo all stars which was reflected tonight ….but suppose all stars are only for personal trophy cupboard….but still we’d all like to live one!

  39. Would expect more than 2 Mayo all stars after today. Donnacha walsh was anonymous today and will be v lucky to pick one up. No way should kerry get 4 all stars after that today. Also he won’t win it but for me Lee Keegan was the best player on show this summer in the championship.

  40. Fair point re Aido, Cantina. And we should not forget how immense he was for us last year. In Limerick he was playing so well until the head-clash. In fairness, the Dubs defence were class today again (Cooper and McMahon especially I thought) and really exposed Kerry. I wasn’t expecting it.
    I agree that McStay in particular bottled the Philly incident, especially given that he’s the neutral analyst. It should not get brushed over like that just because of crap excuses like, ‘the night that’s in it’. Dangerous play is dangerous play and he has got form now.

  41. I think the Kerry management from what I saw few bits and piece that were shown on telly was obvious that they were not in agreement at all, I mean at one stage it looked like Fitzy more or less told the ex goalie to go away, another time he just completly blanked him. no doubt in my mind something was not right and as always you will find there is agro in the camp. Gouch Cooper one of thee best footballer’s the game has ever produced played God knows how much in defence! Philly Mac out scored him, Donaghy had no impact, and not excusing Philly but he is no saint either tripping Cluxton up and punching James Mcarthy in the face. its a mans game and to be fair it was fairly clean considering the first game against Mayo. do you know what 2 hours ago Philly Mac was 1/5 to be man of the match and the lads on the Sunday game said they knew who it was at 7:00 and then changed it at 8:30 and again later on, would make you think, like Brian Fenton was a weak 9/2 second fav, like 1/5 is nearly a certainty like how were the bookie boys that sure Philly mac was gonna get it and then not to, maybe the Donaghy incident swayed it. strange decisons wonder was the DRA involved. ha ha

  42. Well joe brolly what did you think of that. Dubs very deserving winners and in truth much better than 3 point scoreline suggested. Cant figure out Fitzmaurice who has been deemed a managerial genuis. Took off Geaney 0 2 and O Donaghue 0 3 when kerry needed scores Left gooch on didnt start darren o sullivan and took too long to bring donaghy on and amazingly took david moran off. Jesus if Noel and Pat did that there would be some people on here going ape shit. Thouht some of Gavins changes were strange as well but of course when you win you are a hero. Disappointing enough game though conditions were dire. In truth Dublin have been the best team in country for last 3 years and were just ambushed by Donegal last year. As for us its no consolation but we have been the second best and have beaten Dublin in 2012 and been extremely close in 2013 and this year not to mention being brutally unfortunate v kerry last year. So to those who have written us off and called for wholesale changes in management and players, pause and reflect for a minute. Are things as desperate as you are making out or are we just a tiny bit away from ultimate glory which one big push, some more tweaking and a little bit of luck might bring

  43. Congrats to the Dubs and to Martin the Dub
    No question over the result today. Dublin best all over even mid field where Kerry on paper were rated best. Interesting than it was where Kerry were seen as strongest a young Dublin midfielder gets MOM. Dub defence were the difference as they negated much of the Kerry forward line. I had MOM between Fenton, ROC and Philly but Philly dirtied his bib a bit today so prob went against him.

    Amused as always by the way panelists have certain cliched opinions on different teams. Kerry forwards were poor today and hit a lot of wides. Interpretation they had an “off day”. Now when Mayo do that the conclusion is usually we have no forwards. I even heard a comment on radio earlier today say that Mayo gave lodt big games for that reason and we couldn’t score enough. If that so called ‘analyst’ checks a few results think he will find that Mayo even on the losing side rack up pretty high scores. Problem is usually we just concede too much !!

    Enjoy the celebrations Dubs !!

  44. Cillian O’Connor absent from Sunday Game list with an average 8.4 pts per game and joint highest scorer for 2015 with 2-4 from play and 1-29 from placed balls, 42 in total.

    So, the most accurate and prolific scorer in the country doesn’t get on the RTE list and probably wont get an All-Star either. That doesn’t seem right.

  45. does anyone know what the feck Joe Brolly was trying to explain about the not being enough participation with 27 other teams, like what is supposed to happen have a double back door kind of thing or a consolation Sam McGuire for the teams that get beat in the semi’s? to be fair lads is anyone complaining about Killkenny wining All Ireland’s every other year. remember its 15 v 15 and its not called ” the All Ireland ” for nothing. like I dig what you do be saying Joe Brolly and your a great human being and analyst but man sometimes you lose me. am I alone?

  46. Bobconlon, If you would use the occasional full stop and capital letter in the appropriate places you might be less alone. It’s far easier to follow Brolly’s meanderings than yours.

  47. Second year in a row the All Ireland final was low quality viewing. Few highlights to think of much like the championship in a whole. Would be easy to use the rain as excuse but i have seen many good or at least decent games in the rain. Kerry beat Tyrone so that makes them 3rd best at least would Mayo have held Kerry to 0-9 like Dublin did remember one of the main reasons why Mayo haven’t won Sam is because they have conceded too much in semi finals or finals.

    End of day first is everything second is err… well done to the Dubs.

  48. Looking forward to seeing if Gamechanger pops up here with his thoughts! He was busy telling us last week only 4 Mayo players would make a combined kerry Mayo team, and that eamon fitz was a tactical genius. Give me Cillian and Aidan any day over Johnny buckley and Stephen o Brien. Diarmuid o connor also a much better player than Donnacha walsh. Unfortunately gooches greatness is well behind him and he should have been taken off instead of geaney yesterday. Maybe fitzmaurice was too loyal to some of his old playing buddies?

    When you saw them turning to Paul galvin, a guy who hasn’t done anything meaningful in five years at this level, you knew kerry were in dire straits. Tommy walsh also – surely if he was making any impact at training he would have come in for Moran at midfield instead of a 35 year old half forward?

  49. Hard to believe it’s all over for another year; and while it all ended in a bit of a damp squib (literally) Dublin were well worth their win today. Congrats to them and their supporters on a deserved victory and to Martin the Dub who is always class personified on here. I was sitting near the Hill and by god they are a sight and sound to behold when in full song.

    I have never seen a Kerry team look more lost or ordinary in Croke Park. The Kerry lad sitting behind me felt, much like yourself WJ, that Galvin entering the fray was a sign of sheer desperation. A relatively dour affair it might have been but Dublin were impressive, particularly in their defending and Kerry had no answer for it. If you’d told me last week that they’d win an All-Ireland against Kerry without scoring a goal, I’d have questioned your judgement – it goes to show that you never really can tell. I think though that even despite the conditions this year’s final was more enjoyable than last year’s.

    McMahon however is an embarrassment to his county and brought trampish behaviour to new levels this year. Although that’s probably an insult to tramps everywhere.

    Naturally we are all wondering what might have been, but when you’re beaten fair and square you can have little complaint. Onwards now to club. And probably the usual drama in October as we try to get our shit together. As for Brian, I don’t know what kind of company you’re keeping but they sound like a strange breed. I’d suggest finding a few new friends!!

  50. Well done to Dublin and Jim Gavin. Top team and manager.

    I thought in sport that the beaten finalists are placed second and third is settled if required by a play off between the beaten semi finalists. Not that it really matters. It certainly will not to Kerry.

  51. Congrats to Dublin. Best team in the country are champions no doubt about it.

    Please can people stop fooling themselves by saying we are second best. Kerry looked ordinary yesterday because the best defenders in the country shut them down. Had it been against Mayo you can guarantee they would have scored a lot more than 9 points, as they have always done so in the past. It was same guff last year when people were saying we would have beaten Donegal. We have had our chances against all those teams and blown them all. We have no right to say we would have done this or that until we push on and win the bloody thing.

    In saying all that, yesterday’s game lifted some of the despondency that has been lingering since the replay. We’re not as far off the top two as some would say, but there’s a lot of work to be done and in fairness a bit of luck to come our way also.

  52. Just imagine for one minute that it was us not Dublin in the final yesterday and that we lost the game. imagine the list of excuses this morning-

    The whole system would be a joke we shouldn’t have been expected to play such a big game with only 2 weeks to recover.

    Management started a player who was sick all week.

    Management started a player and there was no way you could recover from a hamstring injury in one week.

    How come management didn’t start him, he scored a goal last week when he came on.

    How could they leave a former midfielder player of the year off he changed game when he came on last week.

    What did they start that wing forward, he was no good all year.

    The referee would no doubt coming in for some blame as well.

  53. Well done Dublin excellent display.
    As for mcmahon just knew he would do something stupid today.
    He will probably come out and say from a different angle you can see the player pulled his finger into his eye.
    He is a good footballer but hard to respect him.

  54. Got this one totally wrong was sure Kerry would be lifting Sam 2 years in a row ! Well done to the Dubs their mean defense won it for them absolute class and the performance of Brian Fenton was unreal congrats to Martin the Dub and all genuine Dublin supporters feeling a lot more positive this morning for some reason although all through the match yesterday I had this knot right in the pit of my stomach. Hope for all our sakes everything becomes clearer in the next few weeks and we can look forward to preparing for the league and the dreaming hoping praying and believing begins again Maigheo Abu!

  55. Hard luck to gamechanger 14 no more than ourselves not good enough.We were criticising our oum team for those five wides in the second half of the first game against Dublin.
    Kerry did the same thing yesterday when the game was there for the winning.
    It looks like the dubs are out on their own now and we could beaten them .

  56. Went out of my way to avoid that yesterday, I haven’t seen the game so won’t or can’t comment. But it feels like we’ve left another one after us.


  57. I don’t have any Gra for either team, but the arrogance of some of the kerry pundits in the media would really turn you off them. None more so than pat Spillane. He was in rare form before throw in yesterday, telling us all kerry were a dead cert to win next years minor title and generally talking about how great kerry were, with an air of a man who was cock sure kerry were going to win. However the crowning moment of idiocy was when he claimed cian o sullivans ability as a footballer was because his parents or grandparents were from some little village in kerry! Thankfully Joe cut across and reminded him that it was down to the excellent coaching structures at kilmacud Crokes that developed o Sullivan as a footballer, and not his kerry ancestry. He simply should not be allowed near the tv screens when kerry are playing, full stop. Although ’twas Easy talk to him at the end though!

  58. I hope a few people have had some time to think of our own situation after yesterday’s game. Watching Fitzmaurice, Murhpy and O’Neill completely meltdown on the sideline and send on a player who hasn’t kicked a ball at this level in 4 years, I couldn’t help but think what would be said on the blog if we had done sometime similar. The elegant prose and wit of gamechanger will be stretched to cover up this complete collapse at the hands of Dublin. Hammer the hammer indeed.

  59. @Joel1480

    I think you answered your own question in stats provided – 2-4 from play. Peadar Andrews didn’t make team and got 0-9 from playin in just the semifinals and final alone – no idea what he clocked up against the minnows. Don’t think anyone could argue wiht Conor McManus – he was real leader in all Monaghan’s 4 games which were very tight affairs apart from late surge against fermanagh. Bernard Brogan 6-20 from play…don’t think there is much more needs to be said there. It was the one line they picked on Sunday game I thought was spot on – personally i think Parson’s deserves it over Fenton at midfield- who by the way appears a very nice and modest young man seeing him interviewed last night – but finalists will always get the nod.

    Its worth noting as willie Joe pointed out that James O’Donoghue didn’t really perform yesterday – i thought the same myself at the match – when watched on sunday game however, i was struck by fact that he still managed to nail 3 quality points in a game where points were nearly as hard to get as goals. He had a poor game and was top scorer from play in the match….by his standards I don’t think he had good year but I still think he is the best footballer in the country with Connolly and O’Shea close behind…looking forward to next year already.

  60. A lot of people around saying Fitz is a tactical genius. Glad he has nothing to do with the Mayo setup in fairness. Replacing Moran with Galvin in a game where the Gooch get out scored by his marker. Genuine Kerry supporters got sucked into the myth around Fitz. Not even average in my oponion. I am not a great JG fan, but he does enpower his playersand for the most part sends them out to play ball. Well done to Martin the Dub, great to have you on board as always.

  61. Lads fitzmaurice won SAM will ye stop talking guff.. he had one bad game.. he is still a lot better then we had in recent times

  62. Well done to Dublin and Martin the Dub. Best team by a mile yesterday. A very unusual match as the result never looked in doubt. The weather played a big factor but it was the same for both teams.
    This time next year maybe we will be waking up all very happy….maybe just maybe?

  63. @PJ

    As always I think tactics are talked about way too much…usually the team with the best players playing on form will win regardless of tactics. A lot of quality kerry players simply didn’t perform yesterday and hard to blame that on EF. Whether a move looks good or bad from the sidelines point of view is all down to one thing – how the player he puts on performs…if he does well – the manager is a tactical genus – if he does poorly, he got it wrong.

    I think one instance yesterday highlights this better than any – if Killian young hadn’t slipped/dropped that ball near the end, there as a straighforward pop pass to Galvin to palm into an empty net at the edge of the square….every chance Kerry would have won had they got a goal from that – EF would be a tactical genius again for springing galvin….the margins are fine and they are determined by players, events and luck and only marginally by the managers themselves.

  64. I hear ya Cantini, I hear ya. Still for me I’m just not sure about the Sunday Game list. If we look at the statistics again for COC we can see that from play he scored 2-4. Conor McManus 1-8, so there is only a point in it! And Brogan, well it’s hard argue with the stats there I suppose but the opposition early on not the hottest for the Dubs. In terms of points contributed in the games he played in and the defences he played against I’m sticking with COC for something….anything………he didn’t get a mention……jaysis! And you are right about Tom Parsons – again, not even a mention.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to a few club games in the county this weekend and beyond that again to January and the phenomenon that is the FBD League and the National League itself. Nothing like the cold seats and hot tea in McHale Park to get ya dreamin’ again of summer 2016

  65. Not a big fan of Gavin, but no matter what midfield they play against, he has out witted.

    In 2013 he took our midfield out of the game. same in the 2 games this year, same against a very formidable Maher & Moran. Midfield was the strongest area of the pitch for both Kerry & Mayo and an obvious area of potential dominance. yet time and again Dublin seem to negate it. I think the team that can overcome this will beat Dublin.

    Pushing up on Cluxtons kickouts might be part of it, but it didn’t work for Kerry.
    Actually, this almost plays into their hands, as it has allowed McMahon a free role and deprived the opposite of a man up front.
    I don’t know!!!

    But what I do know is I would love for Mayo to revert to a more conventional set-up, with 2 corner forwards holding their position with COC in the middle. We then have strong runners (and ball winners) like AOS, Duirmuid & AN Other on the half forward line. We often complain of our lack of forwards, but we are actually depriving them of the opportunity to play or improve. Sticking the likes of Sweeney on with 10 minutes to go and expecting him to win the game is unfair when he hasn’t had a proper opportunity all year.

    Finally and probably very controversially, I would reposition Lee to cornerforward and leave him there. He is 2 footed, and knows where the goal is. He would also take some minding.

  66. Firstly, great write up WJ, fully in agreement with it

    When kerry beat ourselves last year- with the help of enough luck to last a team a decade- I had little doubt they’d be beaten handily in the final by last year’s real juggernaut

    As is the nature of knock out football though, a single freak occurrence can end your season and that’s exactly what happened when the clear best team in the country were shocked by Donegal. The latter then completely folded in the final after going an early goal behind, and Kerry then completed one of the handiest All Irelands in recent memory.

    I said before Sunday I wasn’t fully convinced by them and that they hadn’t beaten much and to put it frankly they were absolutely atrocious yesterday. Way worse than I ever could have envisaged. It was as flattering a 3 point loss as I’ve ever seen- in better conditions it would have been north of ten. What I thought was in the script last year actually transpired this year! And it is as clear as day the best team in Ireland have lifted Sam

    I don’t even know where to start when analysing kerry’s performance. Their much heralded midfield was beaten up a stick, they had a nightmare on the sideline (can someone please explain how a vastly over the hill Paul Galvin is expected to change a game over the likes of Tommy Walsh or BJK?), their defence was cut to shreds time and time again (it’s a mystery they didn’t concede a goal), and the movement of their forwards was laboured- Gooch was anonymous for the most part and Johnny Buckley showed his true limitations at the top level

    Dublin for their part did what they had to do and had some stellar performances by Jack McCaffrey (my Player of the year), Philly Mac (who should be nominated), ROC, COS and Bryan Fenton. Their bench had much more of an impact than kerry’s overrated one also- Alan Brogan was enormous, MDMA brought more guile to the play, Kevin Mac had yet another lively cameo and Mick Fitz was as solid as ever.

    This time last year I had to say I found talk of sheer Kerry dominance over the next few years strange. Had that All Ireland series been played 5 more times they’d have won zero imo. They now face a crossroads 12 months later.

    Starting at the back, Fionn Fitzgerald showed once again he’s not up to inter county standard, AOM and MOS will probably call it a day, and Peter Crowley was bet up a stick by Connolly. Shane Enright and Jonathan Lyne did have stellar seasons though and Paul Murphy really has to come in here. It’s still looking like their defensive frailties will be here to stay for a while though

    David Moran was MIA in the 2 biggest games of the year and is highly injury prone. Bryan Sheehan showed yesterday his limitations in open play. Anthony Maher had a very consistent year though and will get an All Star beside Fenton

    Up front they’ll always be dangerous and their forwards will keep them consistently competitive in August/September. They need to find the right 6 though. Donncha Walsh, James O’Donoghue are the certainties and Paul Geaney made a good case this year and last year to be included amongst these. The Gooch had no sort of impact at all this year by his standards and EF faces a big decision as to what role he can play next year. Donaghy either has to accept an impact role for the year or he’ll probably call it a day. Darran O’Sullivan however must start (he was brilliant yesterday), while one bad game shouldn’t take away from Stephen O’Brien’s stellar campaign.

    Dublin will certainly be here for a while and already they’ll be hot favourites to do the much sought after 2 in a row with the same manager. I can’t see any retirements bar Bastick perhaps and the likes of Cormac Costello, McHugh, emmet O’Conghaile, Eric Lowndes, Davy Byrne and young Small off recent successful under 21 teams will be knocking on the door for a starting place. Not to mention the obvious return of O’Gara in place of the disappointing Dean Rock. There’s 4 more All irelands to be played out in this decade and I could see Dublin winning 3 of them anyway to be honest

    As this is the MAYO GAA Blog I guess it’s fitting to finish on a thought for ourselves. At the beginning of the year I thought retaining Connacht and losing to the Dubs would be a good result. As it transpired we brought them as far as a replay. Next year if we can retain Connacht we’ll avoid themselves until the final, and likely kerry also. So I think we have a lot to look forward to- remember the 2 in a row is notoriously difficult!

    However while we brought them to a replay- and maybe even could have snuck it- it’s clear we are a level below Dublin and for that reason yesterday didn’t hurt much at all. It’s up to us to close the gap next year now and I look forward to it.

    Roll on 2016

  67. 3 league titles and 3 allirelands in 5 years for dublin. I wonder will you guys and gals be as forthcoming with the congratulations in 2025 when they have 6 of the last 10 allirelands and only getting stronger with each passing year? Their is a danger that Leinster will become a nonevent, do we want Meath and Kildare and the rest to just go out and be ripped to pieces every year from now on? It’s going to keep happening, there’s no doubt about it and it’s not like in Munster or Connaught where Kerry and Mayo have the upper hand today but really the likes of Roscommon, Galway, cork, Tipperary and others on certain years will challenge and have a real chance of provincial success. There’s nobody in Leinster within an asses roar of catching the dubs and while it mightbe great for the hordes in blue I imagine that the potential county players in otherleinster counties will think twice about giving up their time and effort when theyknowwhats in store in Croke park, in front of the home crowd. It’s sad and is going to ruin the championship.
    I cannot congratulate Dublin, and it must be a hollow title for the dublin fans that think about it in a sporting manner. Dublin are light years ahead with population numbers and finance, you have AIG vs a bakery for sponsorship in some other Leinster county.
    All this being said, Mayo have a great opportunity of being in next years final and may well get Kerry as opposition since Dublin might take the obligatory year off after winning, or worse still they don’t, and dublin decide that back toback allirelands are the new goal for themselves! Either way, no congrats to dublin. The Yankees of Gaelic football

  68. Well done to Dublin, no doubt about it best yeah in the country! Did anyone notice on the telly that as Murphy and Fitzmauris argued on the sideline, Mikey Sheey was Sat behind the two big men and couldn’t see the match at all. While Dublin were by far the best yesterday I taught talking off James O’Donohue was a very poor decision. He also took off David Moran and brought on Brian Sheehan, just the same as he did V Tyrone, definnately Copper should have gone off he was annoyamous. Look Dublin were just better than them end of story. Good luck to them, Saint Philly to my mind has been a disgrace and the GAA need to look at their disciplinary procedures, Maybe better still they should take a good look at the Rugby World Cup and see if the can learn anything, the powers that be in rubgy seen to do that sort of thing very well?

  69. I agree with almost everything Ciaran said above. However talk of dublin winning the next 3 or 4 is just silly. No one knows what the future holds. Many good players get jaded and lose hunger with victories and dublin have been especially prone to this over the years. The population factor is also overstated imo. I’m open to correction on this but I believe cork have by far the largest adult male registered GAA playing population in ireland, followed by Tipperary and then dublin? Plus don’t forget many talented gaa players in dublin play hurling over football unlike us here in Mayo. There’s no doubt money and sponsorship is an advantage for dublin but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse all the time either. It’s a pretty defeatist attitude in my view.

  70. James Horan was on Newstalk yesterday and was asked if Dublins money made a huge difference. He said money makes a slight difference at the very top and mentioned the supposed oxygen recovery sessions after the drawn game. He made a very valid point though, Galway and Meath aren’t training as hard as Mayo or Kerry and that’s not down to money.

  71. If they won 10 of the 10 next All-Irelands Dave damn right I would congratulate them, because money or no money, no-one knows better than ourselves that the work and dedication required to compete at that level is incredible. Do you feel the same way about Mayo dominating Connacht?

    And I can assure you that – rightly so – there is nothing hollow in that victory for any Dublin fan today.

  72. And let’s not forget that Kerry are not short of a few euro either. Why? Because they have put proper fundraising structures in place, both at home and abroad, something any county is capable of improving on. Particularly when your team is consistently competing at the top level and engagement is high. No biscuit tins in Kerry!

  73. Not yet, Outside of boot! I think we can safely say at this stage that there is a letter and it has been delivered but as to the rest of the detail I don’t think there’s any clarity at all.

  74. Jack McCaffrey was sick for 3 days last week spent 24 hours on a drip and yet Dublin managed to keep this under wraps. Imagine if same happened one of the mayo lads leading up to a big game. There would be people of all sorts of forums and social media trying to be the first to break the news. Some people never learn. Always want to be first with a story.

  75. Tom Parsons had a broken thumb and not a person knew about it. David Drake knew all week he was starting and not a word about it. Barry Moran came in as sweeper and no one knew a thing about it. I think one thing that can be said for the management was that they kept a tight ship this year and no leaks came from within.

  76. I seem to remember reading somewhere about a letter (or two) written by the mayo team to the county board in the late 1940’s. There were unhappy with the set-up and demanded improvement. A few years later, well we all know what happened..

    Now, I know nothing of this current letter, but maybe a bit of a storm would be no harm.

  77. Mac’s Left Boot- with regard to Dublin winning 3 out of the next 4 or whatever, it’s more a scenario I can see unfolding, rather than a definitive prediction!

    A lot can happen in even 12 months, of course. They suffered a freak result at the hands of Donegal last year, and who knows the same may happen again. Intangibles can play a very large role in a given season also.

    I just hope the next time that does happen, we are the ones that benefit- not Kerry!

    However ‘silly talk’ is probably a bit much, they’ve won 3 out of 5 now (and ironically enough, one of those that they didn’t win- 2014- contained some of their most devastating performances in that 5 year period) and given their age profile, recent underage success, strength in depth and overall quality, it certainly isn’t a stretch to predict them completely dominating the next few years and even beyond.

    Kerry- who pretty much stumbled upon an AI out of the blue last year- are still in a transition phase, Mayo have fallen short against the eventual champions in each of the last 4 seasons, Tyrone are still quite a way off, and Donegal look at a bit of a crossroads now. Maybe Cork could be the ‘twist’ in the story so to speak, but they lost a lot of quality players after the 2013 season to retirement and don’t seem to have a clue of their first 15. A lot of passengers featured for them this season, which is pretty unbelievable given the pick they should have available

    A lot can change, but as things look right now, we’re probably relying on Dublin slip ups to see another team being crowned champions in the coming seasons.

  78. I wonder who delivered the ‘letter’ ??Could it have been the one and only big bird himself taking on the role of carrier pigeon?!! Letters are so 1950/51 – surely someone could have emailed it ??!!! 😉

  79. Who needs tv when you’re a mayo supporter? Theirs more drama on this blog than Monday night telly. A letter ye say? Hope we are not turning into Cprk hurlers!.

    Congrats to the dubs, best team all year, fully deserved. Kerry wer shocking yesterday. Wheres all the cute hoorism now ha? Before gamechanger or someone pops up to remind us of their 37 AI’s, they have without doubt developed a mental inability to beat Dublin. 3 times since 2011 they failed to beat them, jesus, maybe their catching our “cannot beat Kerry” syndrome. They might be waiting a while for number 38 if thats the case.

  80. Liam didn’t the connacht telegraph name a team with andy Moran starting earlier in the year a day before co board was set to name it. This wasn’t the only story they had all year. Also Rumours referred to above if true how come the information is in the public domain?

  81. There is something absolutely rotten about a supposed objective championship where one team can play 53 straight games at home. When we played Dublin this year, they had played in Croke Park 11 times since our last appearance there, not including Donegal a few weeks prior. And the worst of it is, that they will get Carlow, or Offaly or whoever next in the first round and it will be in Croke Park. And they will get their usual dressing room. And they will warm up in THEIR usual spot.

    No matter what way you dress it up, that is truly incredible.

  82. Here’s a question to an imaginary Kerry person:

    If you were told before hand that your opposition would:

    * score 12 points
    * miss 3 clear goal chances
    * squander many frees – again
    * have their leading scorer firing blanks
    * have their goalkeeper mess up regularly
    * have Cooper & Mccaffery taken off in the second half

    What would you do?

    Answer: cartwheels across the floor

    Dublin did all of the above and still won with something to spare. Pretty good going, from a pretty good team.

  83. Good analysis Ciaran. Would agree with a lot of it. Not sure I’d be as negative about Kerry overall though. if there is one thing you can count on Kerry will be smarting from yesterday and I wouldn’t put one cent against them not winning the All Ireland again at least once in the next 2-3….as O’Rourke put it wryly last night…they’ll “sneak” the odd one here and there….wouldn’t we all loved to be accused of “sneaking” all Irelands.

    The year is over now and I’ve enjoyed the banter on this site the last 6 or 7 weeks. There is no doubting the passion of Mayo supporters and their love of the game. I’ll be back to shout ye down in Connacht again next year, as no doubt will the other 3 counties….5 in a row is quite enough thank you….but in truth it will be serious task to overthrow ye.

    I still think Mayo needs to unearth one or two marquee forwards if they are make the final step. i think this along side Aidan O’Shea will be the key to glory for ye. COC could be this man but while it is nearly apostasy in Mayo to say such things, I don’t see him as the man in that regard right now. Firstly, let me say categorically – I think he has the ability and temperament!….

    ….but needs to (a) take more responsibilty in looking to score himself when he gets the ball and (b) needs to play inside the opposition 50 for the entirety of the match – not collecting ball 50 yards from his own goal. Part of his shortcoming therefore I see being down to management – in not keeping him in where he belongs around the goals and down to himself – he needs to get a bit more of that Andy Moran mentality about him – ability wise he is probably a better footballer than Moran but needs to get “greedy” for want of a better word. There was a very significant moment in the final yesterday where JO’D had beaten Cooper in the second half, had made the space and elected to try and handpass it someone else and it was on his left foot about 25 yards out….he passed it straight to Dub and chance missed – that is not what a marquee forward does and to be fair to O Donoghue he rarely makes that sort of decision. I think COC looks for lads too often sometimes….the best score he got all year was the first point in the connacht final…never mind how poor sligo were on the day, Ross Donovan is as good a corner back as most counties have…COC got the ball out at the corner flag and took Donovan on inside and out before popping over a lovely point. I didn’t see him take on Donegal or Dublin backs in the same way over the 3 games.

    So it is either he takes up that mantle or another 1 or 2 lads as good as his brother joins the fray in the forwards. One of the two must happen or I fear ye will be talking about being 2nd or 3rd best team again next year.

    I don’t think there any serious problems at the back for Mayo and midfield remains very strong…but that extra 10-15% up front needed.

    Anyway best of luck (but not too much) to ye anyway – time for my intrusions here to come to an end for at least the time being….the great thing about the GAA – notwithstanding all the rubbish on the Sunday Game and listening to ‘wooly’ on off the ball is that – come next May, we will all dream and believe again and down with anyone that tries to create a two or three tier system.

  84. Agree with Mayo Mark…..plus reports are that while Mayo were heading down on a bus west Monday after the drawn game, the Dublin squad were in the National Aquatic Center doing recovery pool sessions and apparently straight into oxygen tents to aid quick recovery. In fairness, it was probably Tuesday evening before Mayo could get together. Word also is the most of the Dublin players didn’t even work that week! Don’t know how that could be, but it is the small things that make a big difference when the margins are so small. Look, there will always be the ones who have more, but the SHOULD have to play games away from home, at least up to the provincial final. Is there seriously any sports competition in the world that one team plays in the same ground for every match of the main competition? Its not sour grapes, and well done to them yesterday, but it is not a fair competition. End of

  85. Cantini apart from the suggestion that he should stay closer to goal, it reads like you’re giving advice on the playing of Gaelic football to Cillian OConnor.
    Cillian does take responsibility in shooting but he also does very important assists.
    – His setting up of Colm Boyle for the penalty only about the top few % of inter county forwards can escape out of double coverage and put a handpass in front of someone 10 yards away who is arriving at pace. Even one foot too far forward or a foot too far behind him and Boyle can’t take the ball in stride.
    So when you are talking marquee, it’s there in a lot of the difficult stuff made look easy.
    Mayo don’t have an attack problem of individuals more of how we counter attack. If you were to correct only one single thing, the most important would be that we cross the 45 quicker than we are. Whether that is a runner or a kickpass it doesn’t matter. Get into the scoring zone before the opposition have retreated.

  86. Bobconlon – I’m not going to allow you to start picking fights with others here. The point made to you about punctuation and grammar was, on the face of it, a reasonable one. You’re only a recent arrival here on the site and I’ve already had to place you on constant moderation watch so please have another read of the house rules (here) before posting any other comments. Thanks.

  87. For anyone who might be tempted to agree with Padraig Duffy’s claim last week that all is well with the GAA’s disciplinary processes, the full text (all 43 pages, including a minority dissenting opinion) of the DRA decision in relation to the Diarmuid Connolly appeal is here. No suspension, for anything, will stick after a decision like this and the notion that there should be a different standard of proof for an elite player in a match as important as an All-Ireland semi-final compared to an ordinary clogger sent off in a club game is truly shocking. This has nothing to do with the rights and wrongs of Connolly getting off (which is all moot now) but just a comment on the process and the impossible knot into which the GAA has now got itself.

  88. See ya next year Cantini! Enjoyed your posts over the year. Won’t feel February hopefully!

    I’d agree we’re definitely a forward or two short. As bad and all as Kerry’s attack was yesterday they have more match winners than ourselves, and lets be honest this played a key role in them winning last year.

    DOC was a great find and if AOS and COC can stay fit we have three gems there. It’s just about finding one or two more. They may aswell give Evan Regan and lads like Conor Loftus league time and see can they cut it against the Div 1 teams. Even if we only find one new option, it’ll be a huge boost. If we could have 4 out and out reliable lads up top, there’s always the chance someone else will put in a huge showing in the latter stages and suddenly we’d take even more stopping. It also gives us a margin for error if COC/Aido has an ‘off day’- the latter being pretty likely you’d imagine given how he’ll be bundled up by opposition

    It’s a big winter ahead for the mgmt. I think priority number 1 should be whether to decide to stick with Aidan at full and if he is to get injured, is the plan B Barry/Kirby at 14? As in are we going with a target man guaranteed. If so, we need a lot of work on our service to these men. We also need to have a contingency plan in place in the event Aidan is tied up by 2 or 3 fellas- this should automatically leave some other key player free for us to do damage. use O’Shea as a decoy/diversion more than anything

    For all they did wrong yesterday, Kerry played some lovely floating balls on top of Donaghy. None, sailing out over the endline or looping in the air for half an hour. all it might need is one goal to come out of it, and it could be the difference in taking home Sam

    Anyhow I’ll tip along myself for a while, am GAA’ed out. Scary that we’re almost into October! I’ll be following the club closely though, there’s nothing like a fresh cool Autumnal Sunday watching/attending a club match imo

  89. Cantini, I’ve enjoyed your contributions immensely, you’ve been a great addition to this place over the past few months. And sod the two-tier system!

    Working through that DRA report at the minute, and I think it’s made me more angry and disillusioned with the GAA than anything else I’ve ever seen. Certainly more angry than anything that happened on the pitch during that game did. It’s absolutely shameful. Whatever about indulging in the dark arts on the pitch, these shenanigans in lawyers’ offices are far more sinister.

    And MayoMark is correct, but it’s the delegates in the Leinster Council that are responsible for a lot of it, not the GAA themselves. They are happy to concede home advantage in Leinster, regardless of the edge it might give Dublin in games where counties from other provinces are actually capable of competing with them.

  90. Dublin has several advantages over every other county, the most notable being money and population but also intangibles such as playing every game at home (not their fault but down to Leinster council delegates putting finance before fair play), players all living in the county (as they don’t need to move for work purposes or college) and being the most marketable ‘brand’ in the GAA. The surprise is that it took the county so long to put proper structures in place, in terms of coaching, identifying and developing under-age talent and ensuring that minor and U-21 stars graduated successfully to the senior ranks. None of these advantages will disappear anytime soon and any team that wishes to compete against Dublin has to accept them and attempt to put proper structures in place themselves.

    One advantage that Dublin has, and in my opinion an unfair one, is in the allocation of games development grants. In ensuring that Dublin GAA does not lose the battle for under-age players to soccer and rugby, Dublin is currently in receipt of a direct games development grant that almost exactly matches the other 31 counties combined (provincial councils are allocated significant games development grants that are then disbursed to schools, counties etc.). While it is to be expected that Dublin would receive the largest allocation, purely on the grounds of population, it strikes me as inequitable that Dublin was allocated €1,460,400 in 2014 whereas Cork, with a population of over 500k, received €69,000 while Galway, having a population of approx 250k received €53,800. In the longer term, I fail to see how such an unequal allocation of resources will result in anything other than Dublin powering further ahead of competing counties.

    The notion that a strong Dublin is essential for a strong GAA has its merits. However, in ensuring that the battle for hearts and minds of the next generation of footballers is not lost within the capital, the need to support counties to enable them to compete with Dublin, particularly at provincial level, seems to have been neglected. While it is clear that counties with a strong football pedigree and population base (Meath and Kildare being the most obvious examples) need to do much more, a provincial championship that sees twenty-point beatings regularly handed out will not flourish in the long run. Even the most one-eyed of Dublin supporters will think twice about turning up to witness ritual slaughters at Croke Park if they continue to be the norm, rather than the exception.

    While comparisons with Mayo’s dominance at provincial level are valid, Mayo’s five consecutive Connacht titles are largely down to an exceptional group of incredibly driven, skillful players coming together at one time. In the long run, can anyone say with confidence that Mayo will be a consistent top-4 team in a decade’s time? A myriad of comments on this blog regarding the lack of structures in place within the county would suggest this is sadly unlikely. Contrast this with Dublin where coaching structures, finance and playing population all look to ensure that they remain, to use James Horan’s phrase, consistently competitive for the foreseeable future.

  91. This Dublin team has failed twice to get a two in a row and I think that next year this will weigh heavy in their minds making it less likely that they will ease up in their efforts. All part of the experience.

  92. Sorry I meant to say can Mayo beat them. if some team does not beat them next year, I can see everyone wanting to gang up on them. like why can’t other teams just beat them. they are only human at the end of the day. like hey its going to be a hell of a job to do it. who ever does beat them will know they had a match for sure! that’s all I can say about it.

  93. A poor final to round off a poor championship. Lots of mismatches and then the poor decisions on discipline again. Donaghy didn’t just imagine his eye was being gouged . Roll on next year, it can only get better.

    The GAA would do themselves a favour also, by trying to at least organise their games at reasonable intervals over the Summer, rather than the feast and famine approach.

  94. Just got a text message re Mayo Players Lotto. Back when it started I made a 10 week subscription but in recent weeks when I tried to renew the system would not recognise my password. Not could I start afresh with a new password as the system said my email address was in use with “another account”. Last week [on 16th] I texted Mayo GAA admin [0868378457] re the password problem. No response to date.
    I am familiar with LocalLotto.ie which my club uses and the service there is way ahead of Mayo Lotto.

  95. Brendan was saying that Dublin has an unfair advantage and outlined his point very well. the only problem there is why don’t Dublin on that basis win the Hurling as well? like the G.A.A is more than just football. and Dublin always had a bigger population but that does not mean everyone there is Dublin. like lets get real most people from the Country live and work in Dublin. and only so many Player’s can play on the team. how did Kerry win so many All Ireland’s with so few to pick from if that is the case. its a simple game out score the other team.

  96. Alot of ostriches on here at the moment.

    Talking about possible next year when all indications are that our senior setup is in crisis.

    When will all this come to a head? It needs to for better or worse but there will be consequences whatever happens. Makes next year look difficult already

  97. kerry will be back to win next years final,i never seen a kerry team playing as bad in croke park on final day,every one of them were flat,they looked over trained

  98. Anyone catch any club football the weekend? Stephen Coen got an important goal for Hollymount. I wasn’t able to attend any game had something on.
    Great win by Belmullet over Westport and comprehensive, 12 pts to 1-3!!

  99. @emeraldisle
    Your surprised that a poster on a mayo supporters site would think his county are better than someone else. Mayo might be behind Dublin but they’re damn close to Kerry the last 4 years. Still tetchy over yesterday I see.

  100. Dublin have a huge advantage re money and population but in turn you gotta say we have that same advantage over every Connacht county bar Galway. Kerry likewise don’t have s massive population but are dam smart about coaching underage, nurturing them and brining them through to senior. They are also masters at fundraising as their NY fundraiser in the Plaza Hotel earlier this year shows.

  101. AndyD
    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a response. I emailed them on the 11th of August regarding the issue of card payment (only one option) and still haven’t got a response.

  102. Sorry to say but Dublin were way better than their score yesterday. can anyone here really say that Kerry are even near close to Dublin. like for sure the Jury is still out on the potential that Mayo might find. but it looked very conclusive to me that Dublin are in a league of their own. the standard always goes up. you can’t knock them for that. IMO Kerry won’t win for maybe 5/6 years as a lot of damage was done yesterday. plus there is a possible 6 really fantastic player’s they have had through out the years likely to retire.

  103. That Kerry poster should take it on the chin the same as us we all know that Kerry in a final are very hard beaten which they showed on Sunday the fact is the weather conditions spoiled the game most neutral football people that I heard giving there opinion said Dublin would have won the game by a much bigger margin in dry conditions he must rember a lot of that Kerry team are pushing on and every thing comes to an end the same as the end will come for all good teams

  104. Eremaldsie, if ye didn’t start cormac Reilly in Limerick last year , I think we might of proved we were better. Sure ye couldn’t put away 14 man Mayo in croke park the week before .

    “Nowhere near Kerry ” ask me bollix (seen pic of tshirt with similar words a few mins ago)

  105. Joe Mc says: talk to you next year, I wonder will the story be the same?
    We have the players as always, but: have we the men on the sideline?
    By these recent games with Dublin, and the lack of a Tactical awareness from the
    Managers, I doubt it.
    In the League we had Kevin Keane at Full Back and Danny Kirby at Full Forward,
    but alas, come the championship where were they.?
    I feel sorry for Aidan O’Shea, they do not know where to play him.
    Any chance of appointing Jim McGuiness as Advisor?
    Cathal Henry.

  106. There is a good few teams out in the wilderness this day’s. like what has happened to Meath, Cork, Galway, Armagh, Derry, Kildare. these are teams that have won All Ireland’s and have just not been able to keep up for some reason or other. like don’t forget Kerry went with out an All Ireland from 1987 to 1996.. like they won it in 86 but were not even in a final from 87 to 96. they did of course win in 97 beating, well the less said about that the better. Kerry 13 Mayo 1- 7. I am saying that it is possible for other teams that have been gone in the public’s eye to suddenly reappear with a bang. is it really that much of an advantage that Dublin get to play in Croke Park, cause the way I see it, I would always want to play on the best surface with the best atmosphere. some of the games between Dublin and Meath in the 90’s were legendary. I wonder does anyone have any idea’s as to what would make the current format of the championship more if I can say fairer? often wonder do people think it should be changed or is it o.k the way it is. some one was saying a 2nd or 3rd tier system. how would that work. I like this Blog as it is more user friendly then other’s plus there is some good piece’s well written here too. looks like its time to hibernate for 6 months. the winter is starting to bare its teeth. ouch!

  107. eremaldisle – you’ve a bit of a cheek coming onto a Mayo site causing trouble making statements like that. Find somewhere else to take out your frustrations at losing yesterday, here’s not the place to do it.

  108. Well folks I am not a happy camper today, firstly let me congratulate Martin the Dub as your team won a firefight in smoke and deservedly so as they were simply better on the day with no excuses. Obviously I am referring to the abysmal conditions in regard to the smoke but the condititions were exactly the same for both teams.

    I was at the game yesterday and at the teams homecoming tonight and I was saddened like all losing teams and supporters when the dreams of what ifs and if only s were pondered. I think we should have received a far more convincing beating on the day as the Dubs had our number both on and off the field. In 2011 I was majorly grieved but in 2013 I said to my yound lads we gave it out best shot and did ourselves proud so we will walk away with our heads held high and come again. We did in 2014.

    Not starting Donaghy was a big mistake in my opinion and not because of his skills but because of his leadership qualities, I know he is not your favourite but he brings an edge and an unpredictability to a forward line that has unhinged backlines for the past ten years. Davis Moran in my opinion did nor inherit the unexpected responsibility of the captaincy well and I genuinely believe his game suffered as a result.

    Gooch and all forwards were clearly under strict instruction to follow their markers as a result of the damage McMahon and co. caused the mayo defence when not tracked. Like everything else conditions had a very telling impact on the game and the ball was being held in the midfield area for far too long by the Kerry middle eight which drew the Dublin half forwards, half backs and a delighted McMahon into the glue trap. Gooch playing in his own halfback line must have been a fantasy come true for Gavin. The other backs were more comfortable with their marking duties with one of the perceived gun slingers out of town.

    Gooch should have gone early and if not, Donaghy should have been introduced at half time (at least) with Walsh to keep the Dublin backs from imposing their increasingly confident attack on Kerry. At least McMahons tow rope would heave slackened on Gooch and his skills could have caused Dublin many more problems than they did on the day.

    We were a little unlucky for a penalty call on Donaghy but big men will not get them ones in the square no more than O Shea in the first game but that’s show business so there is no point in whinging its all spilt milk now. I haven’t watched the replay yet but there looked to be a blatant foul on one of the Kerry players in the first half under the hogan stand but I couldn’t see who was pulled to the ground as people stood up and obstructed my view, the replay will confirm or clarify my assumption I’m sure..

    Anyone that knows a pinch about football will know that Kerry had one of those dreadful off days that one would associate with a league game or at least an early Championship game, to pay like that in an All Ireland Final will haunt players of that standard for the winter months but they will pick lessons from it, so too will the Kerry management and Fitzmaurice will be kicking himself inthe arse until September 18th 2016…

    O Mahony, O Shea, Galvin, Donaghy, Walsh and Gooch will think long and hard about their future as people are humming Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, but I think two or three of them will lace the boots again in march or April, not because of the great games they played but because they won’t want to go out in a whimper like yesterday. These are proud men and to be beaten is one thing but to make so many poor shot options, kick so many dreadful wides and to be turned over so regularly will grate on them as players.

    Some have said that Kerry are a poor team above, if Killian Young had scored that gilt edged chance that he had and we unfairly managed a draw. Who would win the replay ?? I think I know what the answer is but that again is one to the what if’s.

    God bless to all and I pray that none of your team suffer any serious injury in the county championship games in either Mayo or Dublin. We will rise again in 2016 to see who holds the best cards and who plays the best poker in the heat of the Championship. This is sport and weare lucky to have wonderful athletes to represent out counties at this lvel.

    Ciarrai Abu in 2016, watch this space,,

  109. Fair play, Gamechanger – takes a big man to come out and say your piece with such honesty the day after such a disappointing experience for your county yesterday.

  110. Dublin slowly squeezed the life out if Kerry but they still could have snuck it or even a draw. Conditions were a factor as Dublin had the stronger tighter back line especially the full back line and this meant Kerry would need to be extra clever to break them down. They were not clever for once, poor shot selection and execution let them down. Their sideline made wrong calls too, especially Galvin, should have used Walsh instead.
    Wouldn’t write Kerry off yet, in a dry day they might have done better but maybe not quite good enough to beat Dublin. Gooch showed it’s rare a lads form returns the season after a cruciate. Like us they didn’t persist pressurising Cluxton and got some returns when they did. They have great forwards but their backs may have been overrated.
    Well done to the Dubs. Best team for at least 50 of the 70 minutes, deserved winners.

  111. I enjoyed the game immensely, not rooting for either. Even though there was only 3 pts in it at the end, I always felt Dublin had them at arms length from about the 20th minute on and felt that a route could have been on, if Dublin had executed on any of the goal chances they had.
    Still it was unusual and rare to see Kerry schooled in Croke Park in an All Ireland Final.
    Dublin thoroughly deserved this and margin could have been much greater.

  112. I was genuinely shocked at the performance (or lack thereof) from Kerry. I was pretty sure they would be more than able to match up to Dublin and had the depth to counter the subs from Dublin too. What transpired was Kerry desperately throwing on the likes of Galvin who has seen little or no game time this season.

    The Dubs were on top all through and in truth it would have been a colossal injustice if they got anything out of that game.

    Where does all this leave us? We’re close but bottom line is we had our chance to beat the last two winners and fell short. We can look to the ref, the venue and the fallacy of the disciplinary structure. Or we can ignore all that shite and just go out and make it happen for ourselves.

    I don’t buy this nonsense that it’s hard to look beyond Dublin for the next few years. That’s absolutely bullshit. If I was a Mayo player at the moment I’d pin a picture of McMahon holding that cup to the fridge with his comments that ‘the second best team in Ireland is the Dublin B team’.

    Is it now? Up to the likes of Mayo to counter….

  113. Fair play gamechanger, a proud Kerry supporter to the end. Any team can have an off day and they had theirs on Sunday. What surprised me watching it on TV was the Kerry sideline. I don’t expect any management team to win a game from the sidelines as I feel the winning and loosing happens on the other side of the line. But the Kerry sideline were not up to much on Sunday. I have seen better in the south Dublin interfirm junior kickaround afterword competition’s

  114. Well Said to Gamechanger10. I would like to say fair play for taking the defeat on the chin. its an admiral quality to have. I see E. Fitz is staying on for another year, very brave IMO to do that as I said I think it will be 5/6 years before Kerry assemble a squad good enough to compete at the level that’s required to win Sam back. like they can say now they are a team in transition… if 6/7 player’s retire. cause a team that won it last year ain’t IMO a team learning to gel. secondly the Minor’s looked impressive beating a very well beaten Tipperary team. but it will be at least 2 years before they get a run on the senior’s.

    So next year is going to really be in a way Mayo’s year to prove the doubter’s wrong! if they can find 4/5 good player’s and be more astute with how the close games out, who knows where that may lead them. but they need to do it on a consistent basis and improve from game to game. if they continue with AO’S up front like full forward up front, then to me they will be starting off on the wrong ” feet” never mind foot. play him in a position that is tailor made for him. Half Forward. win ball and lay it off and block Defender’s that are trying to get back. or just play him where he is IMO one of the best mid fielder’s the game has ever seen. you can’t be the top team every year, the top team is the one who goes out and wins Sam. that is what top is. no more no less.

  115. People have to understand that writing off Kerry or Kilkenny etc. is what fuels their fire to win more All-Ireland titles. At the end of last year a no. of Kilkenny players retired and a lot of people said that they were finished. When Kilkenny won this year, what was the first thing that happened after the final, they said that people writing them off was their main motivation for winning this year. So writing off Kerry is a foolish thing to do. Of the team that started last Sunday only one player, you would think will definitely not be there next year, Aidan O’Mahony. Yes a number of their subs will also probably call it a day as well. Remember when Kerry won last year, Kieran Donaghy’s first message was for Joe Brolly i.e. saying that the conveyor belt was not broken in Kerry.

    In the off season the two most written articles are, 1. Will Mayo win the All-Ireland next year? and 2. Are Kerry finished for a few years?. The answer to these question always ends up been NO to both of them. As I said people should write off Kerry at their peril. For us it is time to fix our own leaky roof and not worry about our neighbour’s roofs. It is like an argument between two bald men over a comb, wondering who is the second best team in Ireland, pointless. Yes we are near to Dublin at the moment. Can we move on to a new level. Will they fall back a level. Will other counties come into the equation next year. Its all to play for again. Can we learn from our mistakes this year, Dublin did after their defeat to Donegal last year, we need to learn the hard lessons like they did.

  116. Hope Springs Eternal, as usual you speak the truth. Write off Kerry at your peril. Remember last year, when we thought we were facing a weakened Kerry team? They weren’t weak enough for us to overturn them. And they will smart from Sunday’s defeat like no Kerry team before has ever smarted. Hell hath no fury like a defeated Kerry team.

    It was a curious sight all the same to see them so static, so rudderless and so lacking leadership on the field. There will be no soft platitudes down in Kerry for them after a performance like that, and they will be highly embarrassed by it. Which means they will be baying for it next year.

    What stood out for me on Sunday wasn’t just the physical performance of Dublin, which although far from perfect was far superior to Kerry’s. It was the confidence they exuded all over the field. While I thought Kerry would come back out in the second half in a more confrontational manner, it quickly became very apparent that Dublin had the belief they would win and the confidence to push on.

  117. Yeah your right there Anne-Marie, we were 9-5 down at half-time last year in the drawn game against Kerry after they had well out-performed us in the first half of that game when it was 15 against 15. In relation to their poor performance against Dublin, you’d wonder did the long lay-off play a part too and as Gamechanger mentioned, they were missing Kieran Donaghy’s leadrship early in the game as well. The long lay-offs have been a big problem in the hurling championship over the last no. of years with the Munster teams suffering because of this against qualifier teams.

    It would be great if you could get to the stage where you’d have the last four teams left as early as possible and then let them play in a round robin series with the top two teams then meeting in the All-Ireland final. Imagine this year after our draw with Dublin still having games against Tyrone and Kerry to look forward to. That would make for some really competitive games at the end of the championship.

    Its amazing the small margins between teams as well in the big games. In last year’s final Colm McFadden’s punched effort came off the post in the dying seconds, which would have brought Donegal level with Kerry. Then this year it was Killian Young who had a great chance to level the game up for Kerry. For us it was Mickey Sweeney’s effort against Dublin that could have taken us into the final. Surely one of these years, we’ll get one of these breaks if we can maintain our mantra of been consistently competitive.

  118. HSE, I think that the Dubs didn’t get a lot of the breaks: 5 balls went away from Brogan early on; Cluxton’s kicking was off, Fenton hit the post with a goal at his mercy, Dean Rock should have done much better with his chance, and more besides.

    It was the way they dealt with these setbacks – and playing in a final magnifies your errors – that was so impressive.

    Defensive tenacity, an ability to eke out points, when scores were so hard to come by, and to work like dogs all over the field for 74 minutes are the hallmarks of a really good team.

  119. As was said above alot of talk here about Mayo football in 2016 that is jumping a lot of the hurdles that are in the way of things right now.

    Big questions to be answered and lots of hinting in the local papers this week. Who will be the management. If there is no change in management will the player play. If there is a change in management who will it be. Would the county chairman work with a new manager if his brother was pushed.

    Welcome to the silly season. This year its a scary silly season.

  120. @ catcol, Yeah when you put it like that, it was probably because of Dublin not getting those breaks that Kerry were still only three points down late in the game. In saying that, like us, Kerry missed a lot of chances when they were on top in the first half. One or two more points for them in the first half would have made a big difference. As you said though if a few more breaks had went Dublin’s way they would have been much further ahead but even against us the first day, in the first half they were well on top but still only led by 3 points at half-time. It just shows, for as good and all as they are, when we really got on top of them in the last 15 minutes of the drawn game and when Donegal blitzed them last year, they still have their vulnerabilities when you run at them at speed. There might be hope for us all yet. This year they seemed like a really driven team, Jonny Cooper probably summed this up. That was their greatest asset. Maintaining that next year will be their greatest challenge.

  121. WJ, CONGRATS ON AN EXCELLENT OVERVIEW OF THE GAME! I feel that McMahon’s point before half time was the point of the game! A right footed player from the right had side with the Gooch defending. McAndrews was good but…….

  122. What if any inspirational Player’s will Kerry have playing for them next year? also there seems to be, if you read between the lines on this Blog some kind of discontent in the Mayo camp. maybe its all hear say but I get the feeling all is not well in the West.

    I hope there is not, as I would like to see a happy well put together team going forward next year. I feel already its being looked at as a two horse race. is there any dark horsey’s
    out there. interesting food for thought. I am already starting to feel the withdrawal symptoms kicking in know that its all over for another 4 month’s. stay safe and well people. lots of love Stan.

  123. Fair play Gamechanger10.. can’t fault that analysis.. we will see in yee all in Castlebar in early 2016 please god.. and with a bit of luck we will all be well and hearty and well able to knock lumps out one another.. slan

  124. Respect to Gamechanger, didn’t agree with your views on a joint kerry/Mayo selection last week but it’s not easy to come back on here after a defeat like sunday and speak like that. Looking forward to next season already. Certainly won’t be ruling kerry out, you can be sure they are already targeting a semi final tilt at the dubs. Hopefully we can slip through quietly on the other side of the draw!

  125. I am delighted Dublin won and should have won by way more. More or less blitzed Kerry.

    Mayo have great players indeed and came so, so, so close to winning an All Ireland AND when they do, a bit like Spain who always promised and never delivered until in recent years, they will win more than one in quick succession. Dublin buried the hoodoo against Kerry a few years ago and now Kerry cannot beat Dublin!! Role reversal. Mayo need a top class sports psychologist and one or two more ruthless forwards (and lady luck)…..they got none against Kerry in 2014 sf against Kerry…..I personally would love to see Mayo win an All- Ireland and even though I am a Dub fan, I would travel down to Mayo with my Mayo brother in law for the craic. I love going to Mayo to fly fish and unwind, especially to Westport and Delphi. Your day will come……shortly, hopefully.

  126. Hello,

    A Dub here first time on the website, I have to say I have read most of the comments and i’m humbled. I really expected the comments to be anything but the Dubs.

    I was chatting to a friend of mine “A Mayo man” about the semi final I watched the reply several times before the final and I was convinced Dublin would win. To be honest so would Mayo had they beat us. Kerry were uncooked for the final, their defense is terrible. Cork and Tyrone showed that. TBF Cork should have beaten them the first time round but the peno against them made sure that was not to be case. Tyrone just don’t have the bag men but got through on goal four times on them. Kerry’s speed was too slow in the final. Fitz brought on too many old men to make an impact and should have taken the gooch off early and left james on.

    Kildare was a farce plain and simple, the dubs beat them in the first ten minutes and sat back hoping to make a game out of it. But I have to say that match gave Kerry the thinking that they could beat anybody. As did leinster for Dublin last year.

    If I have to pick holes in Mayo it’s tuning the game more in flight. I think Aidan on his own up front was wrong and it showed in the first ten mins. Stick him half forward with two options either side of the square and it’s golden. Make the defense tight work the frees and keep on O’Connor on the pitch with 3-34, 1-29 from dead ball says it all.

    Dublin V Mayo 2016.


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