Eleven All-Star nominations for us


The list of nominees for the 2016 GAA/GPA football All-Stars was announced a short while ago this morning and we’ve got eleven players on it, the same number as Dublin. In addition we’ve also got nominees for the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards.

The awards are divided into goalkeepers, backs, midfielders and forwards. Here’s how we did in each:

Goalkeeper: David Clarke.

Backs: Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Paddy Durcan, Kevin McLoughlin.

Midfielders: None (a bit harsh, in light of Seamie’s incredible All-Ireland final replay performance).

Forwards: Andy Moran, Aidan O’Shea, Cillian O’Connor, Diarmuid O’Connor.

POTY: Lee Keegan.

YPOTY: Diarmuid O’Connor.

The full list of all nominees is here and the awards will be presented at Dublin’s Convention Centre on 5th November.

Congrats to all on their richly-deserved nominations.

189 thoughts on “Eleven All-Star nominations for us

  1. How did Conor Mcmanus not get even nomimated? A highlights of his scores thus year would have three or four contenders for point of the year.

  2. Donal vaughan had a very good year i thought. Bit hard on him not to be in the mix for an all star.

  3. Fair play to one and all.
    Little disappointed to see Kevin Mac only nominated as a back – probably dilutes his chances of getting an All Star.
    O’Connor is nailed on to get the Young Player.
    A fair return would be five. Probably won’t happen though.
    Higgins, Boyle, Keegan and possibly Clarke to get one each. Harrison and Andy deserve them but probably won’t.

  4. Who picks the All Star nominations? Do they do any analysis of what actually happens in matches? McManus, Vaughan & Donnacha Walsh should all be in with a shout of an All Star (never mind a nomination)

  5. Great to see we have SIX of our defence nominated for All-Stars, but I certainly think Donie Vaughan deserved a nomination, as did Seamie O’Shea..

    The Indo is saying Cluxton is a shoe-in for an award just because David Clarke did not start in the final. But when he came on he almost saved an unstoppable penalty and made SIX saves afterwards with not even one mistake.

    Well done Mayo. Mayo abu

  6. The national media appear to be favouring cluxton to get all star. After his performance in the Kerry match I don’t understand how he is even nominated. I think if Clarke doesn’t get this he is robbed for a second time this year.

  7. Exclusion of SOS disappointing. No Donegal Murrphy! Interestingly , not many out and out performers among those forwards!!

  8. Of all the Mayo players I like to get one would be the knockmore man.think he got shafted a few years back was it 2012?

  9. Cluxton will the goalie simply because he had a decent final and despite the fact that he conceded plenty against Kerry (that’ll just be white washed out of the equation). Keegan should get the player of the year, but they’ll give it to Fenton because the Dubs won’t like it if it’s Keegan.

  10. The irony could be that we get the senior player of the year and the young player of the year but no Sam Maguire…let’s face it, all stars are a nice personal award but its a completely flawed system and entirely subjective. There are players out there in counties who are class and rarely get a mention.

    Gaelic football is a team game – you win together, you lose together. It’s great to see a new fella get one, like Harry for example as it’s recognition of their status but generally I wont really care how many all stars Mayo get…all that matters is winning the cup. We didnt so I dont give a flute and nor should any other supporter.

    It’s grand now for the “national” media to give our lads a pat on the back, particularly Keegan…with all stars and awards. Medals in pockets is all that counts.

  11. I dont think players like Keegan, Higgins, the O’C’s etc will gain any solace if they look back on their respective careers and at the end of it have no celtic cross but a bag full of all stars.

  12. Mayonaze, you are dead right. And there’s only one way to fix that, they have to stick at it and rochford and his helpers have to be smarter with decisions and be certain that they put those u21 lads in play for the entire league campaign.

  13. GBXI.
    Those stats make very interesting reading indeed. A hair’s breath between the teams.

  14. Looking at the full list of nominations I think Mayo will pick up 3, Harrison, Keegan, Durcan, Clarke might win but the keeper all star usually goes to the winning team. This is not to say the other nominees dont deserve one, but the likes of Quinlivan, sweeney, Hearte, McHugh, McBreirty, Geaney, Paul Murphy, will prob pick up one and then the Dublin contingent will get the lions share.

  15. Thanks for that link GBXI. It really is a s tight as that. Those figures and details really do reflect how close we are to the Dubs, a cigarette papers width, in fact! One point in it from over two and half hours of play. Draw your own conclusions from that.
    Davy Clarke, Brendan Harrison, Leeroy and Paddy Durcan for the all stars, but you never know with it really.

  16. It’s telling that none of us would be surprised that none of our forwards would get any.

  17. Im surprised Aidan O’Shea was nominated for an All Star. Also surprised that Ciaran Kilkenny is nominated for Player of the Year I think Johnny Cooper would be far more worthy of the nomination.

    Would be great to see Clarke, Harrison and Durcan pick up awards along with Lee.

  18. Some day soon I think a county team will approach ‘Dont foul’ to come onboard as an analyst, should be us but it won’t be. He is the best at it. When you are inventing the actual methodologies from scratch of how to assess performance I really think you have the full insights. The expected points analysis based on sectors of the pitch for example.
    If everyone is on the Performa Sports platform tool that most teams use then you don’t really have any advantage.
    Something bland like “We need to reduce our turnovers”. Well it’s not far removed from ‘We need to score more’, ‘We need to concede less’.
    We need someone who would state specifics like ‘We need to attack more centrally late in games based on X, Y and Z’
    He would be the most qualified person to answer:
    What are the top three things we need to improve for next year?
    What is already at a good enough level and only needs to be maintained.
    Can we squeeze any more juice out of the tackling lemon? What is it resulting in as opposed to devoting more of our time to shooting and counter attacking.

  19. Yeah GBX1 that stat where we converted 2 out of 8 attempts when we were under no pressure or very little pressure is very telling about our forwards. Move that to 4 out of 8, still only 50% and we win by a point.

    But nowhere do the stats record how we got shafted with Keegan’s black card. Even with the famous error and those forward stats, i feel we still would have won the game had Keegan been there for the second half. But no, Dublin got their way and we got shafted. The expectation was set up and Deegan duly delivered.

    And all this patronising bullshit about giving him a token nomination for the Player of the Year, we all know Fenton will win it.

    I feel very sorry for Keegan and for the whole team. The narrative in the National media is that we shot ourselves in the foot and it’s true, very hard to argue with, we partly did but the Black Card for Keegan campaign worked like a charm and his head was delivered on a plate.

  20. Predictions: Mayo: Harrison, Keegan, Durcan, Moran, O’Connor (maybe).
    Dublin: A lot
    Tyrone: Mattie Donnelly and Harte
    Tipp: Quinlevan
    Clare: Garry Brennan
    Kerry: Geany

  21. Stats don’t tell you about a players mental strength, how he will react under pressure. That requires common sense, which we were sadly lacking picking the team for this final. Going forward, we need a voice of reason in the Management Team so that Stats are not the be all and end all.

  22. So true, All the Way, so true. While we cannot change what happened I really would like to lessen its possibility occurring again. I’m not a member of a club in Mayo (and I can’t see Vinnies entertaining this proposal) but I really would like to see a motion being put before the Convention this year, and ultimately put to Congress, preventing the appointment of officials from the same province as one of the teams in All-Ireland series matches. Enough is enough. Conor Lane wasn’t perfect by any means but he didn’t ride us on all the big decisions. Deegan did so every single time.

  23. MDM tackle on Cillian O’Connor airbrushed out of the media coverage, Connollys late and dangerous tackle on Vaughan – no media coverage, Cooper trying to break DOC leg – no media coverage, blocking runs no media coverage, Connollys trying to get Keegan send off and his dive – no media coverage, Phillys constant mouthing – no media coverage, Smalls trip no media coverage. Deegan putting away his yellow card and then chickening out and taking it back out again – no media coverage. This Dublin team are protected to the hilt and nobody calls them out. OK to wish them well etc but they need to be called out the same as COC and Leeroy were called out. We are seen as the wild men from the West while Dublin are seen as the protecters of all that is good. Bullshit. All I am looking for is balanced coverage or no coverage.

  24. Sinabhuil…you’ll be waiting. Mayo get a bit of plámás now once the threat of kncoking the dubs off their perch has faded. We’l continue to get the sympathetic rubbish from the media and generally from people in other counties as well as plenty of slagging.

    t’s kind of like the discussion pre-final that until we go and win it, we’ll always have deal with the flak. All-star awards feel hollow at this point…bordering on meaningless for a team on the brink of glory. This group of players must win an all Ireland or they’ll quickly be forgotten about by the GAA public, maybe not in Mayo, but the reality is that people only remember champions.

  25. Media are not interested at this stage in the nitty gritty of last Saturday’s game. They move on to today’s story and understandly so. They do not care who tripped over who in a field in North Dublin a few days ago. Dublin won and move on is the story. A lot bigger stuff happening out there.

    It is up to Mayo to write their own narrative and dwelling on a string of excuses is not best way to set out.

  26. Thanks for that link GBXI.
    It’s great analysis and particularly on the kickouts it’s not as clear as we are think regarding goalkeeper decision.
    I guess it was just a difficult ask to expect Robbie to be sharp overall and while the kickouts are not conclusive Clarke overall having played since June was going to be sharper and his performance on kickouts in the first game was not bad enough to warrant bei g dropped. Anyway the man made a call and everyone did their best and gave us a great year . Roll on 2017

  27. Berry of course you are right and I am usually the one saying what you are saying but its the hypocrisy and bullshit I cant deal with. If I met Philly, Johnny, Small or Connolly I would buy them a pint – many pints (orange juice for Philly!) but it is the sheer lies being written by ‘journalists’ that I cant take. I dont begrudge Dublin anything they are a great team who play with great passion – is this the first Dublin team that dont have a town team attitude?

  28. On the issue of referees, go back to 1939 where a free In at the death v Kerry was then changed to a hop ball, 1948 v Cavan and 4 full minutes shaved off the game, John Finn broken jaw ’85, the disgraceful X 2 performances by McAneney v Meath, Donegal 2012 poor referee, Limerick and Reilly 2015, and we have a common thread. Mayo have no clout, no voice in the boardrooms where big decisions are made, never had and never will because various supine Co Boards don’t have the ability to hammer and fight the counties corner with Croke park, with fixtures and with referees. Those inches count too. Witness the extraordinary lengths Dublin went to last year to free up Connolly, to this day the final decision defies legal logic but Dublin got their man off. Would you imagine Mayo inner sanctum having the ability to do that? Me neither.

  29. GBXI – read that don’t foul piece, thanks for the link. Not wanting to rake the ashes but I see it doesn’t mention how one of those kickouts led to Keegans black. It doesn’t mention how the change would have destabilised the defence on the eve of an All Ireland replay.
    The management made a mistake, everyone makes mistakes, such is life. They had a theory but it didn’t work out. In my opinion, there is more to goalkeeping than kickouts, forgive me if I’m old school.
    The biggest mistake I feel was not making a substitution at half time, Rob nearly hit the corner flag with the free just before, signs were not good.

  30. I’m all for the motion of stopping referees officiating games with teams from their home province but when you think about it is it viable? Assuming Dublin get to the final that means that Leinster wouldn’t be able provide refs for 3 of the 7 All Ireland series games (7 if there are no replays). Are there enough top level refs from the other 3 provinces is ny question.

  31. You have to start with finals JammerCee, it should be a complete no no for the ref to be from the province of the competing teams. That’s not hard to do.

    Just imagine for a second if a Sligo man had reffed that and made the same decisions. What would all those Dubs and commentators from other counties be saying then? They certainly wouldn’t be telling you to forget about it and why did ye change the goalie?

    We got shafted again. Maurice Deegan should send Rob Hennelly a thank you card as Robs misfortune has totally taken the focus off what was a very poor referring performance.

    I’m sure this has been referenced already but if you havent read it do so:


  32. This one is taking a while to get over more than likely becasue we were so close. The initial gut wrenching disappiontment is almost gone and now the cold reality and anger has taken its place. I am worried about one thing for the future and that is the physical aspect of our game. I have absolutely no doubt that the lads will bounce back as they are incredibly mentally strong. I noticed Leeroy at the end and he had a sort of indifferent look about him as if to say ‘well looks like we have to work that bit harder next year and so be it’ I felt we dropped this year in terms of form and cutting edge and overall couldn’t seem to reach the peak we reached in last years semi.

    I firmly believe Rochford deserves all the criticism he gets. Had Rob not gotten the black I feel it could have been a very comfortable win for the dubs. He doesn’t seem to be taking any sort of blame for his decision which worries me.

    One thing that didn’t change was the supply into the forwards. Parsons was far too slow delivering it in. The one time it did work was when Seamie delivered quickly into Aiden who dished it off to Leeroy and the result-goal. I wonder what the narrative from the management was-play the exact same as the last day? How?…If Rob’s kickouts were supposed to be going long, why not throw Aiden into midfield and play Regan or someone a bit more mobile to drag the dubs defense all over the place and then bring runners into the game? We have huge work to do in offense-hope our defense doesn’t suffer becasue of putting extra emphasis on this.

    In saying that Keegan was a huge loss and is easily the best player in the country at the moment. Why don’t the Mayo press start getting an agenda going against some dub players now? Philly Mcmahon got away with bloody murder the last day. As the Americans say-we have to play hardball.. stop being manipulated physically and mentally and just be that bit cuter.

    Overall though I do feel dublin were the better team the last day-particulalry in attack although our defense were great. They looked more dangerous and if we would have gotten to extra time I wouldnt have been overly confident-the backs were juiced.

    There is lots of room for improvement but hopefully the legs to do it.

  33. Why cant there be one top ref from each province. Final Mayo v Dublin, ref is choosen between Ulster or Munster, simple.

  34. The All Stars, lack serious credibility. I wrote yesterday that ‘Connor McManus’ was the best corner forward in the game, but would he get an All Star?. Well not if you don’t nominate him! . Ciaran Killkenny nominated for PotY??? , never showed the responsibility nessarly in both All Ireland matchs. SOS not nominated??? And Aiden nominated???.. Keegan and Harrison should be certainties,.. Parsons could not get nominated because he missed too much of the championship due to injury .Donie deserved a nomination. Our fowards struggled all year, Andy brought allot to the party, won the ball, took scores, gave confidence I to. those around him, he was the best foward for Mayo. Mcloughin nominated in defence, reduces his chance of winning an All Star, he is Mayos most skillful players , Mayo has easily the best defence, but we will not win.all the All Stars in defence. Durcan, deserves a All Star, his exploits with Mitchles and Mayo should be. enough for him.. I wonder how ‘Don’t foul.ie’ would select the All Stars,.. It’s always been open to interpretation, a bit like the ‘Black Card’ Best of luck to all the Mayo men nominated!

  35. In order to make it over the line Mayo need to control the controlables and Kieran Shannon in the examiner highlights the single biggest reason why we haven’t made it. Really interesting article. Keegan is the only player to have scored with both feet in a final, some such as AOS having great difficulty scoring with any foot. Every weekend I see great young club footballers but all shooting with their good foot. Do clubs coach players to be 2 footed? They need to start at U8/U10. It’s too easy mark a one sided player, AOS is the glaring example of this. Control the controlables.

  36. We have to look within ourselves for the future:

    1. Why do we not have forwards who can kick with both feet?
    2. Why do none of our players grab the games by the scruff of the neck and win us an All-Ireland title?
    3. Why were Donegal able to land a knock-out blow on the Dubs in 2014 but we couldn’t in 2013, 2015 and 2016?
    4. Why do our management keep making risky decisions that don’t appear to have much of an upside but have major downsides? Our keeper this year, Freeman in 2013, Keane in 2012.
    5. Do our players have the mentality to win an All-Ireland title, that’s what it really comes down to?
    6. Do we have to wait for some of our younger players to win us an All-Ireland title as they have done at underage levels?

    I’d prefer to concentrate on these things, rather than on the ref. We actually had a lot of decisions go our way this year, over the full season, so I don’t think that we can say that referees shafted us this year.

    P.S. Well done to all of our players that were nominated.

  37. A small point that someone might be able to clear up for me. Who was the overall leading scorer in the Championship of 2015. I could swear it was Cillian but now I am not so sure. The match day program had the Fermanagh man in the 2015 slot. Can anyone help.

  38. Correct the stats don’t mention black cards. The one thing that’s bugging me most about that match is that just after Keegan got the line Connolly smashes into Vaughan way after he had passed the ball to Aidan and it was right on front of Deegan. The most blatant of black cards. Drove me mad!!!

  39. Leantimes. I don’t think its fair to say that Ciaran Kilkenny didn’t show the responsibility necessarily in an All Ireland Final. When the pressure was at its most he won the last 2 kick outs of the game. For the first of them he sprinted 40 yards to lose his man and collect the ball when no-one else was giving Cluxton an option. The second and last kick out of the game he out-jumped not one but both of our midfielders and caught the ball cleanly. Regardless of what people say about the lateral passing he engages in when the pressure is at its most he never hides from the ball and shirks responsibility.

    Well done to all the Mayo nominations. Small consolation but good to see them getting some official recognition for the year.

  40. John Cuffe. You are on the money there. Nobody beats Mountjoy Sq when it comes to fighting that corner. Kerry and Cork and good also. We select sheep and our teams get it up the arse. Ultimately we end up with what we voted for, and we cannot blame anyone but ourselves. A CASE OF LOOKING AT THE PERSON IN THE MIRROR.

  41. GBXI …. A criminal screwed up system…rotten!

    D Clarke is to be admired ….what a presence he gives to that back line…how he showed his calibre after coming on!!

  42. PJ McManus, Dean Rock has ended up with 1.57,.. Cillian is second with 2.44,. Michael Quinlivan Tipperary 2.27,

  43. Being honest I couldn’t give a crap about about the All Star’s. We lost the one that mattered, winning the All Ireland. Still very raw about the game. There are bigger worries and priorities in life but let’s face it, for many of us…following and supporting Mayo is a huge part of it. I feel like I have been hot by a bus all week. I can only imagine what our players are going through.
    The weekend can;t come quick enough and get out to see a club game to try and clear the dirty diesel.

  44. PJ McManus, from play which might be a better reflection of a players worth, because the chances are that these players won frees as well, Paul Geaney Kerry 3.13, Diarmuid Connolly Dublin 1.16, Michael Quinlivan Tipperary 2.12, Connor Sweeney Tipperary 3.09.and Peter Harte Tyrone 3.08.

  45. And it’s way beyond time the authorities copped on and brought in whatever is necessary to protect the image of the game. Ah! but sure most of the time things work out ok. Arah! sure this and arah sure that!! And so it will go on and on ad infanitum.
    Can anyone say why they don’t use tech to assist refs… In this day and age?
    Would it hold up the game too much….? … any more than it took Mr Ref to sort things out last day and then erroneously. Or would they consider it unethical or unclean or something in light of the fact that our rugby friends have embraced it.

  46. As I said last night, if Deegan is reffing a match in Mayo next year, I will be there, with a Loudspeaker…….

  47. One thing that annoyed me was the appointment of Damien Dempsey as the entertainment in Croke Park before the match they did the same thing to us last year with Aslan. Bear with me on this in my opinion it’s the GAA giving the Mayo fans the two fingers I’ve nothing against Damo Dempsey I have his cd’s at home and if I was offered the gig is do it too but he like Aslan are true blue dubs and he got the crowd going at the end saying up the Dubs etc no mention of poor ol Mayo God help us. I want to know why can’t there be a band from a nuetral county providing entertainment the same as why can’t there be a referee and a team of linesmen ans umpires from a nuetral province. Why didn’t Mayo county board insist on this and complain to Croke park? The least we or any other county deserves is a level playing field especially playing the all ireland champions in their own back yard. It’s not good enough you might think I’m being padantic but little things like this make the difference or can make a difference I don’t want to see it happening again if we get to a final.

  48. It could be worse in that they could have dropped Cluxton just before the game and selected Damien Dempsey in goal.

  49. Let me start by saying that i always think the All Stars ought not be dominated by the two teams that reaches the final. It is hard to believe that probably 12 or 13 of the best players for the year come from only 2 counties in the final. All Stars is supposed to be individual awards not team awards but the reality of them is they are individuals awards for the best teams….and fair enough, it will never change.

    I am also amazed neither Connor McManus nor Teiran McCann has been nominated. Peter Harte has been put in the forwards which is a complete disservice to a superb attacking half back where he should be a shoe in. It is even a disservice to him that he is not nominated for POTY in my view. …I thought Fenton should have been dropped from that pedestal after the replay where Parsons and SOS handed him his arse.

    Team I’d pick based on nominations


    Cooper, Higgins, Boyle, Keegan, Small, McLoughlin

    Fenton and Donnelly

    Geaney, Moran, Comer, McBrearety, Connolly, Harte, Rock (just just just about)

    I don’t think Harte should be a foward nominee but he has to get an all Star somewhere.

    That woudl be Mayo – 6, Dublin 5, Tyrone 2, Galway, 1, Donegal 1.

    But it won’t work out like that – they will give McCarty the one i’d give McLoughlin – 2 outstanding displays at the business end of the season notwithstanding.

    They will also give another Dublin forward or two an All star – probably Kilkenny but while i thought he was exceptional last year, don’t think he deserves it this.

    And nod will be given to Tipp in Quinlivan too instead of MOran i i suspect.

    I think Gary Brennan not even getting a nomiination shows how silly these awards are – he would have made either the Mayo or Dublin midfields for the final but can’t even get a nomination.

    anyway just a bit of fun. I never take it seriously since John McPartland from Sligo failed to get a nomination for destroying Kieran McGeeny in the drawn game and replayed quarter final in 2002. McGeeney even got player of the year despite those two games too….ah sure lookit!

  50. Paddy…! Your loudspeaker I hope you ll use to hit officialdomdoms on top of their heads.
    After all it’s their job to do…don’t they sit down and talk about these things in depth or do they? Are they not embarrassed by and do they not cringe at the sight of so many inaccuracies shown up in games.? It’s not enough to say we re all humane any more. Neither are we Neanderthals!!

  51. Just realised i put 7 in the forwards….

    rock your dropped (although you will get one in reality because free takers get disproportionate attention…at expense of brilliant McBrearety or uncultured Comer).

  52. What annoys me most about deegan is he trys to be the celebrity ref, false smiles.
    You could see he got spooked by the hill shouting off off off before dishing out the black to Lee.
    But the push on Kevin McLaughlin in on goal was the worst because Costello got his first score from the turn over.Aidan Oshea is as well to wear a saddle the amount of players he has on his back.and why do all other teams have to work on there tackle when philly and the boys just flake all around them.Eugene McGee is constantly defending the black card well a fare playing field in the tackle would be a bigger concern.
    Deegan just do your job as a ref its not much to ask for,if you want to be a celebrity swap with martin king nobody would notice.

  53. Cantini. In my opinion, Harrison has to get one. He was brilliant for us, well ahead of Higgins. I think it will be Harri, Cooper, and Philly Mc in the full back line

  54. BackdoorSam… If you want to get anything done on that score of intertainment you de want to make your move now! IMO , humble it is, you need to go big for a big space, big and spectacular and fresh. We happen to have the very it in the county at present…in the form of the big Mayo band/orchestra which would do a spectacle performing a mixture of Moonlight/Oft in…/ Green and Red of…and something from the Grainneuaile suite perhaps.

    If this could not be navigated for CP then surely for homecoming t’would be a no brainer and more appropriate and outstanding than a bit of a band doing a Green and Red of…. at half tempo as we had the other eve in McHale! NOW IS THE TIME!!

  55. If Leeroy gets an Allstar, does that mean he is the first Mayo player ever to get 4? Says it all really if it’s true…Incredible player.

  56. If Keegan had been on the pitch in the 2nd half we would be All Ireland champions, its as simple as that…Its all down to Deegan and the Media, what a joke..

  57. Cheers Leantimes. Well done to Rock. I was referring to 2015 list on the match program. I believe that the media reported that Cillian had more scores than the Fermanagh forward in the 2015 championship. However the match day program had the Fermanagh man as top scorer for 2015. Is my recollection on this true or false. While the scores from open play are important it has always been that the top scorer has been counted with the free kicks included.

  58. @14allnall41
    Having rewatched the match. it was a blatatna clear push in the back by McCarthy on KMac and an easy free in for COC. Ball turned over and they score off it. A 2 point swing
    And then Philly clumsily goes into AOS in the back as he was going down for the ball in the box. A stonewall penalty but AOS has not a hope of ever getting a penalty again.

    Two absolutely terrible decisions by Deegan that probably cost us the match.
    A free and a penalty all day. Watch the two incidents again.

  59. Cantini Not sure why you included Comer on your list. Galway have much better footballers than Comer, and a few names comes to mind on that front. In fact I think you are being a bit harsh on one or two of the Sligo forwards there.

  60. HSE – you ask do we really have the mentality to win it? A good question and one I have asked constantly. Very relevant in 12 and 13, but it may be a bit harsh to apply it this year. Castlebar this year would be a perfect example.

    It is really inches when it’s a one point game after a draw. Dublin you could say threw away the first game. If Mayo had a three point lead going into injury time and Aido and Cillian say messed up over a sideline ball, can you imagine the reaction to that?

    Missing Leroy, Donie and Boyler from our backline for the last quarter left us vulnerable to those counter attacks. That’s where the penalty comes in of course. Three points saved if it hadn’t happened. I’d better stop. Thought I was over it on Sunday; think it’s getting worse as the week goes on. Help!

  61. pj

    I think Comer is a bit rough around the edges but dogged dogged footballer who seems to enjoy the big occassion. He was a real handful the evening against ye guys and was one of the few to excel the day against Tipp. i certainly think he deserves his nomination….i tell you one thing – i wouldnt’ like to mark him.

    I don’t disagree with you re some of our own too. I think Pat Hughes is hugely underrated footballer – he has scored average of 4 from play over the last 2 seasons and against teams like Mayo, Roscommon and Tyrone…ain’t too many players doing that from the bigger counties you’ll find. unfortunatley he was injured for our clash with Clare this year and only appeared in last 10 minutes – but even then managed to find the net.

  62. Turnip Head The last kick out should be watched carefully by everyone. 4 players were under the dropping ball. AOS had his hand held while he was prevented from moving into position as the ball was approaching. Parsons was pushed out of position while the spare Dublin player jumped uncontested for the ball. It was straight out out of the Tyrone and Donegal”How to win Midfield Handbook”. Very unfair to say we could not win the last kickout, a fairer way to say it was that the rules were not applied when it mattered. I blame the people of Mayo for that for being such a soft touch

  63. While I don’t think Deegan purposefully went out to give Dublin the benefit of the big calls, the fact remains he made some woeful calls…Smalls ankle trip on Andy…Vaughan taken out…Keegan card etc which impacted significantly on the result. Now, I don’t categorise him like that @&€# Cormac Reilly, who id never forgive.

    Still I cannot see Deegan getting a game in Castlebar next year…possibly an away game. We should get hundreds of A4 sized black cards…and hand them out to supporters entering the crowd…(I’m kidding…..kinda).

    Apart from singing and chants(although Dublin are closest with cmon you boys in blue)…the one thing missing in GAA compared to soccer is the lack of supporter demonstrations, regardless of whether they be perceived as positive or negative… This is due to the lack of home games in Gaelic football.

    You see it a lot in other sports.

    I’d love to have a pub to go to before a Mayo game, home and away…where hardcore/dedicated supporters can gather…that’s where songs begin. It lends to a more vocal support at the match but the same fans need to be close to one another in the ground, otherwise it’s too dispersed.

    Too many times…McHale park is quiet despite a big turnout. There isn’t enough of the collective when you’re a gaa fan.

  64. As I said earlier Mr Deegan will need lots of cover the next time he come to Mayo…He is a brave man if he come down…..

  65. Mark Horgan is comparing the Mayo Fans pain at just attending semis/Finals to that of his own when he used to go to watch his brother Shane play for Leinster. He said there was no enjoyment as he was always just willing his brother to win that medal which they finally did in ’09 and then went onto do again in ’11/’12.
    I dunno just wishin hoping and praying and clutching at any straw that we can cross that line and cross it next year.
    He said it all changed after the win he could enjoy the games again.
    Also Lee’s tweet in heart breaking & extremely honest.

  66. Cantini The goal he scored against Tipperary was like something you would see at an underage game. Two Tipp defenders barely attempted a tackle when they had the opportunity. That goal told every Mayo supporter we would not have much of a problems with the Tipp defence, and how true it turned out. Jim Carney highlighted Walsh earlier in the year as a quality player and I would fully agree with him on that. Conroy also had a good game against us but he faded after that. I agree with you re the Sligo forwards you mention. Sligo is not a team we will look forward to meeting in the coming years. I think there are some decent young players coming through in the long grass.

  67. The last four championship game’s between Dublin and Mayo were very difficult to ref.. Last year’s drawn match Dublin and most especially Philly the Saint got away with blue murder on AOS,..and a blatant number of punches on Colm Boyle, when he was brought down for the penalty. Way worse than what John Small got away with last Saturday..makes me admire the ref for this year’s drawn even more ‘Conner Lane. (If their was an All Star for referees I’d nominate Connor Lane) . Most teams don’t physically challenge Dublin at all, only Mayo and to a lesser extent Kerry brought anything to the Battle at all.. The Towel was thrown in before the ball was thrown in with most team’s when they play Dublin .. So Dublin continuly do what they like, get a reputation of whiter than white, which Jim Gavin does plenty to enhance.. This just like Dublin having played just one championship game outside Dublin in 10 years, (and on that occasion Laois, didn’t get get to play at, their very fine home ground of O’Moore the park), Sporting justice and. Common Sense would suggest that theese things have to be challenged. I’m beginning to miss the Meath team of old.

  68. I havent even watched the game back on tv but to start blaming deegan is daft . Tbh im still baffled by the selection change of goalkeeper and if im honest im really confused by the lack of chat about it. To my memory i thought small desreved a red, if he had of connected with cillian he would of put a hole in the side of his jaw, it was a vicious swing that just missed. Still a straight red if ya miss though.

  69. Re Deegan. After his poor enough handling of the 2012 final between us and Donegal, also his poor display in our league final loss to Cork, he was given our second league match of 2013 v Tyrone. He finiished that one in a high note too, he awarded Tyrone a last minute penalty tondown us by a point. Refs don’t really worry too much about us

  70. Hi married to a Mayo women and would dearly love to see Mayo win an All Ireland. Having watched the match again 3 times I feel it’s important to bring some balance to the Deegan performance. While he did make bad calls they were on both sides. After Mayo goal hit on Copper off the ball not sanctioned. Some very soft Mayo frees in 2nd half last one Mayo scored 100% no free. AOS peon call in 2nd half not given but either was Kevin Mc one. Every supporter looks to the refs performance when your team loses, me more than anyone been a Tipp man!!! I really feel in most games the ref is not the biggest reason why any team wins or losses.

  71. Re trip by Small on Andy. Was it not a black as he had blown for the free before the trip took place. Can anyone confirm the rule?

  72. Sean, I’d say Rochford went with Hennelly because he was probably in form in training; generally has better kickouts than Clarke and Roch didn’t fear the threat of a high ball into the square. Yes, it was the wrong decision, Clarjs deserved the start, but ‘deserve’ isn’t a word that should be used I sport…this error of this decision was amplified by the fact that Hennelly had probably the worst performance he’s ever had and he started playing Gaelic football! Everything went wrong, his kicks were dreadful, his free was poor at best and he made a shambles of a routine catch. The manager has to take responsibility for decisions but even in a nightmare Hennelly wouldn’t have been that bad!

    I feel very sorry for Clarke. I hope he stays on and given how close we are if be shocked if he didn’t. It would be terrible way to bow out of county football.

  73. Tks W.J. for post at 11.48.
    Wrote yest even that something gas to be done bout ref,officials linesmen from same county as a team. Happy to hear your suggestion to put forward a motion to convention to get this sorted.Is it Co Board that puts it forward?
    Well done to all nominees. Well deserved but difficult to leave out any of them.
    If Lee and Donal were on 2nd half no doubt at all we’d have Sam now but as they say if is a big word. Dont think any of us will ever forget 2016 in a hurry.

  74. He slipped when he was taking pos of the ball and then in panic tried to save the situation…. ! Was Andy in on goal??? Forgot about that ! More anguish but no harm at this stage.

    I’d say Clarke will show the man he is! He and H buddies..! I’d feel more for H in this situation.

  75. Yes Leantimes…! Meath were the boys!
    The Dubs have all those advantages mentioned in lists and there’s another.
    When they train its just down the road for them!! Our crowd have to travel all over the place to get together with some up there and the rest scattered
    wide across the plains.
    And on top of that we have all the other s…to contend with.

  76. @ catcol, yeah I know what you mean. The point I was trying to make was that our Minor team that won in 2013 and our U21 team that won this year believed 100% that they were at least as good and better than any other players or teams out there and that’s the way they played. Our current senior team is probably at about 99% belief, there is still that little something holding them back for whatever reason.

  77. With respect inbetweener your missing my point I couldn’t care less about the entertainment in Croker what I’m saying is Mayo were playing Dublin and the grab all association puts in a Dublin band to entertain the crowd. They also select a Leinster referee that to me doesn’t sound fair. The GAA couldn’t give two Jimmy Tarbucks about us and the Mayo Co Board haven’t the Liatthroidi to challenge them. What’s this the president of the grab all Assoc told us in 14 if ye know what’s good for ye ye’ll get on with it now and play yer replay in Kerry’s backyard and stop yer complaining. I’m pissed off about it because this Mayo team are good enough to be champions if they had got a fair chance.

  78. I agree Backdoor Sam, but the mentality in GAA is that if you lose and make any complaint, even in circumstances where you were clearly wronged, it’s still considered sour grapes…you’re a whinger…you’re a moaner. GAA is only about the winner. This Mayo team MUST win. Otherwise it’ll continue to be a mix of plámás, criticism, slagging, sympathy…just more of the same bullshit that we are sick of.

    In sport winners get the decisions from the refs more often than not.

  79. 2 questions:

    1. How many forwards who score regularly off both feet are playing senior/ intermediate football in Mayo?

    If there are few, as I suspect, should this not be one of the great immediate priorities for Mayo underage and adult football coaching alike?

    Reason I ask is because Dublin had three 2 two-footed forwards score from play last Saturday, Connolly, Brogan and Costello. Paul Geaney was also potent off two feet against Dublin. There was a notably greater level of efficiency between the Dubs forward line and Mayos offensive play in the last few minutes, Mayo players constantly had to work the ball 70 or 80 yards over and back in combined passes towards a kick-able position. It embellishes distances covered per man alright, but with spartan returns/ km. I honestly think Mayo will forever struggle to reach the summit until we develop a couple of two footed sharpshooters.

    2. The ability to score frees from the hands falls off beyond 35 yards in my opinion. Why are free takers abandoning the art of the placed ball from the ground for those awkward ones further out the field?

    Pressure kicks from the past which I doubt would have been scored from the hands would be:

    Derek Duggan v Mayo, 1991; he was 60-65 yards against wind
    Eamonn McEneaney v Kerry, AI Semi 1985.. 55 yards and out on right.

    I know Cilian was knackered at the time he took his kick but I’d still think with the angle that was on it, would have favoured a right footer from the ground.

  80. You’re right…it would have been bread and butter for Maurice Sheridan.

    An off the ground free kick specialist is a huge asset to a team.

    The most obvious difference between us and Dublin was as you alluded to, their superior movement in attack. This must be improved as well as our point scoring. Practice makes perfect!

  81. Interesting from Oisin McConville on seconds captains. States that Evan Regan should be more involved and moulded into the Mayo team, as he’s accurate. Also states that Mayo people reckon he can’t win ball, Oisin says so what if he can’t, haven’t we the likes of AOS to win ball. I couldn’t agree more. Here it is in and around the 30th minute


  82. I hope Deegan never refs a Mayo game again. Would be surprised if he did. He shafted us well and truly and the Dubs victory is tarnished. They made sure that our best player was removed from the scene. Poor Keegan was a dead man walking before the game even started.

    John smalls rugby tackle around the heals of Andy Moran unpunished. The assault on Cillian while on the floor unpunished. The sickening assault on Vaughan unpunished. Dean Rock free on 38 minutes was so far wide that it didn’t even trigger an alarm on the hawk eye system. Rock knew it was wide too but the white flag was raised.

    Next time we play a final/semi and the referee chosen is from the same province as the opposition we should tell them we are not playing. Stand our ground. Let the GAA either change the ref of award Dublin/Kerry a walkover. I’ve had enough of this shite.

    As for the All Stars. I would give it back if i was a Mayo player and awarded one. Not interested. Not after the events of 01st October. Keep it.

  83. Couldn’t give a toss about the All Stars and I’m sure the Mayo senior players don’t either. The celtic cross is all that matters to these lads and for yet another year they come away empty handed. Bitter sweet token gestures are of no real value.

  84. Great tweet by Lee Keegan. Closure for 2016? Dublin were the best team this year. Time to move on now. It’s up to us to be the best team in the country in 2017. Roll on the new year.

  85. I’m a proud and active member of my club and as such I am a member of the GAA. I resent it being called the grab all association. Most of the lads I know who are GAA members grab nothing but give a hell of a lot of their time and energy.

  86. Can we please stop blaming refs for our woes, deegan didnt loose the game for us, Dublin were better than us in attack and thats where games are won. Deegan had some poor decisions in a very difficult game to ref, Mayo benefited from some of those decisions too. Can we not be the crowd that blames the ref again. Take our loss and move on, the players arent blaming the ref.

    Also stop with the sympathy for David Clarke, Im sure he doesnt want or need it. Its a squad game and the manager made a call to eek out a percent or two in an extremely tight matchup, as a manager is entitled to do. It didnt work out on the day but I can see the logic behind it,he couldnt possibly have envisaged thats how it would have worked out, this would have been tried out on the training field the week before the game. I would comment him having the balls to make such a big call and so am confident he will make the hard calls in the future.

  87. Regarding Ciaran Murphys article. Maybe there is some truth in it? At this stage of this teams lifecycle and us as supporters with our emotional investment…is it still enjoyable? If I am honest I didn’t enjoy any game we played this year. I just wanted it to be over with the right result. Watching the drawn and replay finals was torture and is torture just thinking about it.
    It is like an anger building up inside…can we just win the bloody thing please!!!! And have all this media attention, pity, slagging etc on our woes over with.

  88. Hi

    I’m only new to this blog but hats off to Willie Joe for the service it provides.

    Thinking back over the game and believe me I’ve done a lot of thinking in reality we are just a few % behind Dublin. In my opinion.

    In a rational sense we have an exceptional set of backs, very competent midfielders and strong goalkeepers. I say that plural as they both have strengths and granted Hennelly may have made a error for the penalty but the Dubs put so much pressure on us at the start of the game that the (assumed) tactic of retaining possession from the start by going short didn’t work. He has no one to aim at by going long either.

    Our issue is, and it’s not all down to the ref, I do think Deegan had a bad game but we can’t change the way he thinks. The problem we have is forward(s) we line out with 6. The game starts and 10 (K Mc) retreates to sweeper as is the plan. We are down to 5 forwards. AOS moves into 14 (I believe he is totally wasted here, he’s either an 11, 8/9 or 6) at 14 he has 2 lads swinging out of him. The laws of average are against him and the delivery into him is wrong. High looping balls are bread and butter to a full back line. One guy just drags him (never get a free) the other guy just breaks the ball. Essentially now we are down another forward. 4 left. 13 (J Doc) spends most of his time defending (again this is given job) 3 left. 12 (D O C) plays a lovely fluid game but he is again tasked to “track back” 2 left. Our Captain (who often pops up in our half back line / full back line) and Andy M. Andy is an out and out forward but, and here is my main issue against a stellar defence like Dublin 1 forward or 2 if Cillian is up there is not going to win us and All Ireland title. We have to work so hard to get our scores and a huge amount come from frees. We have no expression when we attack bar when Keegan came storming through and like when Donie did in game 1. These are back carrying the forwards. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have scoring backs but if the majority of our scores (bar Cillian and frees) come from this groups then should these guys not be our actual forwards (I’m reaching a bit here)

    Overall the return we get from open play from our forwards simply isn’t good enough, it’s ok up to the semi final but against the Dubs it’s not good enough.

    I dearly dearly want us to win but we need to have 1 / 2 forwards who are literally lazy insofar as they play as inside forwards who are confident and able to kick / attempt scores off left and right anywhere inside 30 / 35 mts.

    If we can keep 4 / 5 forwards in there actual positions and by threatening then we will win and beat teams in a controlled manner.

    I’ll go back to the start. We have excellent defenders who can play man to man with a sweeper to help.

    We need to more aware of what a forward units purpose is.

    We get this fixed we will win. FBD starts in a few months, back on the wagon. Solid league performance also.

    Sam isn’t to far away.

    Keep the faith.

  89. Mayomad..Deegan did not have by any standards a great game..Are we not entitled to express our grievances??And yes absolutely Rochford had the bottle to make a tough call which had worked for us in previous games but it was very clear early on that the decision wasn’t working ..No change at half time..The rest is history…I feel Clarke was hard done by and irrespective of our lack of forwards I will always look back at 2016 and think what if..And I don’t often do that..

  90. @ km79,
    Thank you for linking that onto the forum. I think we would gladly lose 1000 allirelands by a point if it meant that a little kid would make it. We in Mayo are tough, we will get over this and move on in 2017 with a much stronger team and mentality. Of that I have no doubt.
    Best wishes to Rochford and his family.

  91. As regards Evan Regan I think he should have a stint out in the open for a while. Ever since he came on he seemed to have always been under pressure doing his work.Being constantly gobbled up wold naturally get at ones confidence and this could be what has happened with him. Give him a while abroad to loosen up and find himself!

  92. This is my first post since the defeat and there are a couple of things I’d like to share. I’ve been reading and thinking a lot since. While I understand the despair, disappointment and even anger I see this a little different. Maybe it’s because I’m over here, in a place where no one cares a damn about Mayo, and yer’all over there, immersed in the post mortem of could have been.

    As soon as the final whistle went, I turned and headed for the exit, disappointed we lost but knowing we could have won it, had we not taken a needless gamble on the goalkeeper. There’s no doubt in my mind, with that decision, and it was obvious within the first ten minutes that it was a colossal mistake…..but anyway, let’s move on.

    John Small should have gone for the handtrip on Andy, but Maurice decided otherwise. Leeroys goal was sheer class, a daisy cutter, leaving cluxton no chance and Doc was lucky to stay on the field.
    Dermo should have gone for his body check on Donnie and Small again for his haymaker while on top of Cillian.
    Dermo played Deegan very well resulting in Leeroys black. This was pivotal but not the defining moment.
    A notable mention for young Coen who was sprung into the fire unexpectedly and did a super, super job. Want proof, just look how he tracked McMenamim from midfield late in the second half and made a crucial interception at just the right time to deny Dublin.

    Robbie came up to take the free right on half time and his body language ( it was right in front of us) suggested he just wanted the half to end. But it would get worse for him.

    Second half, bad luck, unforced error and next thing you know, we’re a goal down. Another mountain to climb. And climb it we did. It’s going about as bad as it can be going and yet, no panic, what character!

    Nothing in it, a few minutes to go, Andy misses an easy one, followed by another miss from aido, one he should have nailed!
    No free for Kev Mac as he was barged over on the 21 nor for Aido as he was fouled repeatedly in the square. Maurice wasn’t buying it!
    You could go on and on. The point is…

    …despite the black cards, the non calls, the officiating, the gifted 4 pt lead, and stoopidist decision ever by a management team, we could still have won this!

    I take great pride in the way these lads played, with toughness and grit, yet never panicked. We came up short by the smallest margin but looking ahead with the likes of Clarke, Harrison, Boyler, Durkan in the back and these young lads like Coen, Reagan, Loftus coming through, we’re going to remain a championship team for a few years to come.
    And win it we will! These younger lads know what it’s like to win and that’s that’ will drive them on again next year.

  93. Mayomad
    Those are fair points but it is ironic we drop someone now being spoken about as an all star.The kickouts did improve after Rob went off.But…we all make mistakes.Problem is …is there a willingness to drop players who have been phenomenal for us to give new players a chance.It could cost us league games….and can we gamble on peaking late in the season.I really think Kerry will be the nemisis now.Dublin wont replicate that hunger.
    wanting something is not enough.I said before ..name me a good ref for Mayo.We will have to be better than a bad ref I think.
    Still think we have best supporters in the land but All Ireland could be a few years away.

  94. This will be the All Star line up 2016.
    1. Clarke
    2. Harrison
    3. Enright
    4. McMahon
    5. Keegan
    6. Cian O’Sullivan
    7. Peter Harte
    8. Gary Brennan
    9. Fenton
    11. Cillian
    12. Kilkenny
    13. Quinlivan
    14. Geaney
    15. Rock

    Think its a joke that Fenton gets poty, to be honest keegan and Connolly are the best players in the Country. If you were a County manager and could pick 2 out of the 3, it would be Lee and Diarmuid all day long. Player of the year is nothing more than a popularity contest.

    Also think its a shambles that dean rock will get one, tapping over 30 yard frees all year long. When the pressure was on in the first game outside the 30yard mark he bottled it big time.

  95. The AI is there for us…next year, we’ll be back, we’ll be better and, we’ll win it.

  96. Yew Tree…..I didn’t read Ciaran Murphys article but you touched on how I felt this year…I hated the games…I felt ill at times! Sick from wanting victory so much! Don’t get me wrong now…I roared myself non stop…even on Hill 16 the last day a group of Mayo supporters in front and beside me were looking at me oddly thinking…does this guy stop shouting trying getting Mayo Mayo chants going…

    I have to be honest I didn’t enjoy the build up between the drawn and replayed game.

    Every season since 2012 has ended in bitter misery…the joy has been sucked out of the journey. And an air of anger had descended… A feeling of ‘plz just go and win the bloody thing’. Not an anger at the players, not at all…just a general feeling of being pissed off.

    It’s even gotten to a point where if we win has it been worth all the heartache and sorrow for weeks..every year!? At this point I feel we need a few all Ireland’s to make up for all this shite we’ve had to deal with as fans.

    We’ll all be back for 2017 but it doesn’t get easier. In saying this I still believe this squad can do it. We are really closer now than any of the previous years, but time is against some players. Hopefully the new lads coming thru can strengthen us further.

    Lee Keegan has a super attitude. It gives us confidence to have leaders like him.

  97. there’s no great shakes in having the best supporters in the land btw…what competition is there?
    And if the big bosses don’t buck up soon and see some light it will be even less of an acolade!
    Our forwards were v poor ….pain in my head listening to this and yet we scored 1-14 against the wonders that are the Dubs. We gave them a goal and the ref gave them three points soooo that gives us a final tally of Mayo 1-14
    Dublin 0-12.
    If we can manage to shake a leg at all next year we ll win this thingamajig once and for all!

  98. The best ref I’ve seen this year was Branagan from Down. He reffed AI minor final and also dub v done and brandished the black card in latter game without hesitation. I was shocked to see such consistency in applying the rule. Doubt he’ll ref a dub game for a while again though as he needs to be brought into line. Adding to John Cuffes comments in relation to being shafted forever, I sat with an elderly man from kiltimagh on bus to knocklyon who told me of two more games in 67 v Meath and 69 v Kerry where you had to be there to believe how bad the shafting was. WJ, I wanted to make your acquaintance in 311 on Saturday but felt it was better to maintain my anonymity!!

  99. In 1996 after Meath had beaten us by one point after two games in the All Ireland final, both teams were awarded the same number of all stars. I don’t see why that shouldn’t happen again this year. There’s only a kick of a ball between us and our star players are at the very least as good as Dublin’s stars.

  100. I don’t care much for the all stars, neither will our lads without the Celtic cross.

    @inbetweenet this Is why despite all the bad luck/ decisions whatever, we could still have won, with a kick of the ball.
    We need to rethink our forwards and there should be no sacred cows. There are none on that Dublin squad.

  101. Can we stop with the moaning about the Ref lads? He had little to do with the reasons we lost, in fact the only game where the referee has had a massive impact was the 2014 replay and he hasn’t been given a major game since.

    We only have ourselves to blame for the loss, we need to accept that.

  102. So the trip on andy by small was not a black card in your opinon Joe . What did Deegan indicate to everbody and its mother when Lee felled Mr Connelly .. a tug of the jersey ,is that a black card offence .I spoke to Dublin fans in section 328 at half time and could believe how Small was not black carded. They actually said he cant controll a game properly..JOE are u telling me that Deegan did not favour the Dubs last saturday evening.Dublin cause was helped majorly by his decisions and many Dublin fans recognise that fact…its over now and time to lick our wounds . Regroup and prepare for all the elements which will come our way in 2017.

  103. Hueyandlouis, Clarke is rightly talked about as an all star as he had a very good year, I dont agree that he was phenomenal, he had poor kickouts in nearly every game which resulted in the concession of scores. The end of the drawn game were particularly poor and im sure thats was the basis of the change as it was obvious Dublin would attack our kickouts in the replay, as they did. Hennelly had a nightmare, thats obvious and the change was a mistake, easy to judge in hindsight and Rochford couldnt have thought that was how it would have worked out. I personally wouldn’t have changed Clarke. However there is very little between the two keepers, both are excellent shot stoppers (remember hennelly v cork) Clarke edges it in the air while Hennelly has the better kickout. So while a big call to make, not an outrageous one as many suggest.

    Regarding making changes for the league, personally I dont care if we loose every game in the league (except the Ros game) if it means young forwards get extended game time, its all about championship next year, everything will be geared towards that..

    Regina, Deegan had a bad one granted but in the last 10mins it was all there for Mayo regardless of refs decisions, our lack of quality scoring forwards was ultimately our downfall. Blaming refs for our woes only covers up the real weakness in our game.

  104. @pjmcmanus My memory of 2015 is Cillian and Quigley were level on scores going by Match Programs last year but Cillian got the golden boot because they realised that he hadn’t been credited with a point he scored in an earlier round and therefore he won by a point in the end.

  105. To beat the dubs by 1 point you need to be 6 points better then them. That’s just the way it is. They will always get the big decisions, the campaign against lee is proof of that and make no mistake if it had been Tyrone they were playing I’m sure the likes of peter Harte would get the same treatment.

    I read an interesting stat yesterday about the development money given to each county per registered player for 2015 by the gaa. Dublin get around 270 per player, Mayo get 22. This is the best stat to show the inequality as you’ll normally get rubbish like “we have more ppl we need the money” but that doesn’t hold true, we should all be getting similar amounts per player. Mayo got 2 more full time coaches this year, up to 6. Dublin have 50 plus. So to those moaning about us not have two footed kicked there are reasons behind this. To develop both feet needs to start at a young age. My son plays for a big club in Mayo, as he’s not a superstar he gets a bit left behind but he enjoys it, there’s not enough coaches(all volunteers) to really give each child individual attention which is what’s required, it’s not a one size fits all scenarios as they are all at different levels. His cousin the same age plays for a club in dublin(not one of the big ones) and has received bespoke training plans, has access to full time coaches which has brought him on a massive amount. The club has various training partners, its own gym etc better facilities then the biggest Mayo clubs.

    I can only see Dublin getting stronger unless the inequality in the competition is addressed. The Leinster championship is dead and what’s worse it was let die. It’s not a level playing field.

  106. If the news is correct that Stephen Rochfords son is in crumlin hospital ,I just wondering what as bloggers hers on this site , can we do to send Stephen and his wife all our best and to pray for his son , if its ok with WJ

  107. NiallMc, agreed, leinster is dead, in the GAAs drive to build Dublin into a force over the past 10 years they have killed football in the province. Counties like Meath and Kildare who have the population look to have given up. I full restructuring of the game is required, thats not to stop the dubs but just in the interest of fairness. Munster is a joke also, Kerry played Clare, Tipp, Clare to get to an AI semi, thats just ridiculous.

  108. The words of Lee Keegan:

    “Sadness and regret fill me. We lost but I have the honour and privilege of running into battle with legends that I will respect for life,” the Westport clubman states.

    “Dublin GAA are a supreme outfit and deservedly All-Ireland winners. The customary tweet or message is to say we will fight on and we will but it will be a tough couple of months souls searching.

    “As ever supporters made my year by always doing what you do best. Thanks for following and supporting us through everything.”

    That for me is closure for the county season that was 2016. 2017 is a new year. The clubs are back in action at the weekend. Best of luck to all involved with Mayo GAA in the coming months and years.

  109. Mayomad …. I love your name and it’s quite appropriate when you say that it wasn’t quality of ref that robbed is at end of game. We all know that greater strength in forwards would have made sure, but with what we had on this occasion at that time you surely cannot but agree that the ref effed up three times….depriving us in so doing and giving unworthy advantage to D to scrape over the line.

  110. Mayo lost because they were not good enough. Trotting out excuses about referees or whatever will not change that one bit. The winner is the team with the higher score and that is all that matters. Very simple really when you think about it. Mayo have played in three AI finals(draw counted as one) and one NL final in the past five years and lost them all. Same old excuses after each one despite the same flaws been evident in each and everyone.

    In fairness to the players they are not buying into any of this stuff from what I hear.

    Time to man up, buy a less acidic grape and move on.

  111. In an interesting article in today’s UK Times, Bernard Brogan feels that money has nothing to do with Dublins success. He argues (correctly I’d add) that it is the structures they’ve put in place that is driving the success. However, to credit one without the other displays the loss of touch and aloofness that inherited money usually brings. Much like Donald Trump claiming to be a self made man while conveniently leaving out the $1,000,000 given to him as start up money, Bernard doesn’t seem to realise that it’s money that allows them to have a full time coach in every club and produce coaching policies such as this http://www.dublingaagamesdevelopment.ie/wp-content/uploads/Coaching-and-Games-Booklet-Final.pdf

    He does touch on one point that we could look at and its not financially based. He names all the ex players in charge of development squads such as Jason Sherlock U13/14, Collie Moran U15/16, Ciaran Whelan U17. We have a number of brilliant county players coming to the end of their careers who are based in the county and would have so much to offer. Surely these are the people we need involved coaching our development squads instead of 60 year old men who haven’t kicked a ball in 30+ years and who have no idea what the modern game requires.

  112. “Maurice Deegan cost us the game” carries a lot of truth. Its not an excuse or sour grapes. With just a pint between the sides at the end, his decisions swung it. Yes our front men did not score enough and the goalkeeper decision cost us dearly. We could still have won with a 50/50 ref.

    Watched the whole game again. Not good for the soul. Does anybody know what happen to Parsons. Blood streaming from above his eye before half time and he had to go off to get patched up. Was it another act of thuggery to be added to the list going unpunished and unseen by 8 officials?

  113. I agree with every thing you say B but will stand by what I have said for ever. And I like all sorts of grapes …big fat ones and small roundy ones , ones with stones and ones without and I am fully aware that I am not a player but just an interested onlooker who can’t stand much of the s— that goes on!

  114. Inbetweener, agreed that the ref made mistakes but I dont believe that resulted in Mayo loosing. Deegan made calls that benefited Mayo also.prime example blackcarding of Cooper, that was a massive call, one which we never capitalised on. Im not a fan of AOS in the forwards but surely he should have been in the square before Cooper reached the bench to take advantage of a full back line in disarray before they regrouped. Are we going to spend another winter whinging over refs decisions, blaming the ref for our woes yet again. 8points from play over 150mins of football, only two goal opportunities (Andy in first game, Lee in second) tells the story for me and until we address that issue Mayo will never win an All Ireland.

  115. If anyone who downloads and reads that coaching booklet doesn’t get a cold shiver down their spine then they’ve a problem. Look at the names involved, look at the courses on offer. Now compare that to who we’ve involved. Money helps, but if you’ve €35k to pay a coach aren’t you better to pay a young, relevant and up to date individual as opposed to someone simply because he’s been a great servant and one of the boys? Who would get the most out of a group of 15 year old lads on a development squad? A lad they saw playing in the All Ireland 4 months earlier or someone who they’ve to ask their father “was he a good player”. It’s all about relevance, you wouldn’t ask the Bay City Rollers to front a campaign aimed at teenagers today.
    Is Mayo coaching and development a nursery for future greatness or a nursing home for past talent?

  116. I worry about the future. Can we sustain this level for the coming years? Can we look at getting to a quarter final as min achievement, year in year out a la Kerry and Dublin?

    To sustain that you need a defined plan in place for young talent. Professional coaches cost money but are a must. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

    I watch a lot of club football in this county and the alarming state of shooting by forwards does transfer itself to the senior team. We are good but not good enough and in a big semi or final game against top quality opposition we have been found wanting again and again.

  117. Yew Tree, unfortunately money talks, Dublin have bought their success and will continue to do so as is the want of the GAA. Kerry have some chance because of the wealth of coaching talent within the county. Mayo’s current success is down to a golden generation of players not due to top of the range coaching set ups. I hope I’m wrong but I see the disparity between underage structures between the two counties and despair.

    Just as an aside does anyone know where the money for the season ticket goes? I have the cairde and would hope that the money stays in the county.

  118. NiallMc1983 – I agree but it is these years with all the money coming in while the team is successful that we need to plan for the future. Now I was born in the late 80’s so Mayo have always been to the fore. I don’t want us slipping back like Meath have done for example. A few barren years whould be easy take if we could just win one Sam but if this team slips and we have no Sam it will be utterly depressing.

    I don’t trust those in charge at the top level in Mayo GAA (the decision makers) to ake good calls.

  119. Hope Springs, Firstly, I agree there is too much of a focus on referees in the post-match analysis. To be honest, I don’t think Maurice Deegan went out to do his job in a biased way. Let’s be clear, referees are human like the rest of us, and have the same pride in their work/adjudication, so why would they want to let themselves down in front of a 4 million audience?
    The authorities have tried to clamp down on cynical play, but in so doing, have put an impossible burden on match officials, especially referees. I am not in favour of easing up on the need to cut out cynical play in football, however, I think TMO should be used, similar to rugby, for the major calls. This would have the effect of ensuring players hone their tackling skills/techniques, and put the onus on players to carry out their own risk assessment before committing to the tackle, in order to avoid being compromised.

    I was recently on holiday in Blennerville, Tralee, and in the course of a conversation with a local man involved in underage football coaching, the subject turned to forward play, and in particular how Kerry, year in year out seemed to produce these free-scoring talents. He told me the reason is quite simple; playing club football up to u-16, players are just allowed one hop, one solo, then they play the ball to a better placed colleague. This philosophy ensures that at an early age players get into the habit of firstly looking up, then figuring out their next pass, while also improving their accuracy.

    In general, it lends to less individual play, and draws kids of all abilities into the game. It also ensures that the “finishers” get a good supply of possession, and so over time they naturally develop a confidence in taking on the shot opportunities. I know Mayo have a great tradition at under-age, but it might be an issue worth looking at. And I would recommend that Galway do the same.

  120. For anyone interested in how the GAA is being managed across the country look up Shane Mangan on twitter. He has some staggering statistics. Dublins game development income for the last 4 years was 7.5 million, Mayo’s was 204,620.

    It beggers belief, financial doping at its worst.

  121. It was, Jim – it was a headbutt and you wouldn’t need to be a detective to finger who did it either. Worse still, Coldrick saw it and did nothing about it.

  122. Man of Aran That’s a fair point regarding referees in general. What ever your thoughts are on Deegan his decision ma king did not cause us to loose that game. I am always aware that he is one of the people who has read all the rules at a match. We cannot avoid the fact that we did not have a MDMA or a Brogan to push us over the line

  123. The county chairman committed to investing an additional €80-100k for coaching at the banquet last week. Now that could employ 3 full time coaches. If only there was some brilliant county footballers coming to the end of their careers, someone synonymous with Mayo football over the last 15 years. Someone with a professional background in S&C, who’s lifestyle is something all young athletes should aspire to, who’s played at the top level and knows what it takes to get there.
    Now if such a person existed they may well not be interested, but I can tell you, if I was on the county board they’d be the first person I’d be calling.

  124. I don’t want to harp on about the reffing but remember we did only lose (not LOOSE! by the way) the game by a single, lousy point. Every large call on cards Deegan made in the replay was wrong: Small should have gone on black after five minutes and on red before half-time but only got a yellow for what he did, Lee definitely shouldn’t have got black (and Connolly incidentally should, for remonstrating aggressively with the ref – that’s no.5 on the black card list) and McCarthy should have got red for that vicious hit on Vaughan. Then after the penalty goal, Dublin went all out to foul at every opportunity we broke upfield, the piece de la resistance of which tactic was Brogan rugby-tackling Diarmuid to the ground, a stonewall black card offence which didn’t even result in a free – Deegan enthusiastically waved on play for that one. I’m not 100% sure if Brogan’s point came after that but I think it did. I don’t think a single Dublin player was carded for all this fouling, which I guess was the main reason it continued unabated right to the finish. Now, take all these decisions in the round – are they worth 1-2 points for us over the course of the game? These were the major decisions in the game that Deegan had to adjudicate on and every, single bloody one of them went against us. Did they cost us the game? We’ll never know, of course, and our own discharging of both barrels into our feet with that insane goalkeeping decision sure didn’t help, but wouldn’t have been fun to have the thing reffed 50:50 all the same?

  125. Ya Mayomad, sure I’m with you all the way but would prefer to hear u say unlikely rather than never!

    Man of Aran …that’s a very revealing post esp the Kerry bit. Anything they do needs to be looked at. And anything that can improve the game in general should likewise be sussed!
    And of course no one would want to let themselves down in that CP situation but the point is… he did….and everyone knows it, saw it, including himself. That’s it!

  126. I apologize WJ if I overstep the mark here but I’ve seen/heard enough shite about this Dublin team the last few days that I must vent the truth.
    Dublin planned to bring a much darker tone of thuggery to their game for last Saturday. That was totally clear. Don’t mind all this bullshit of Corinthian spirit, and band of brothers bollocks! That’s all media PR, Jim “smiley” Gavin waffle. They knew they could not outrun us, or bully us if the game was played like the drawn game, i.e. man-on-man, full blooded manliness exchanges with each giving as good as he got in honest 1-to-1 battles. If this happened again it meant that Dublin had no advantage. Our lads could do that all day. And then some more.
    So, the Jackeen defaulted to plan B. Thuggish cowardly acts of violence that if they happened on the street would have the perpetrator up in front of a judge. Deegan, and more so his cowardly linesmen – one who was vastly inexperienced to officiate such an explosive encounter, and the other who looked like a terrified 6 year old shaking in his boots on the sideline, he was actually afraid to look sideways!
    Examples of Dublin’s “processes” are…
    Smalls unpunished black card challenge on Moran. This set the tone, right from the off! Once this was not given, Dublin knew the way Deegan was going to ref the game and therefore gave them license to extol their Corinthian spirit. The best teams play the ref as well as the opponent!
    McCarthy constant pulling, dragging and punching of Doherty (off the ball of course) in the first half – right in front of Coldrick on the Cusack stand side. Numerous tics and yellows missed here!
    Philly shoving his fingers into Aidans face while lying on top of him – unpunished, of course!
    John Smalls thrown punch on O’Connor – strike, or attempt to strike is a straight red. Not apparently when it negatively affects the Dubs it seems.
    McCarthy taking out Vaughan leading to Donie being removed concussed. McCarthy was off the ground and in full flight when he connected with Vaughan – unpunished, again.
    Brogans rugby tackle on DOC, again missed by the match officials. At this stage I think Dublin would have been running low on subs (5 + 1 for a black card). But sure Bernard wouldn’t foul a fly, would he? When they didn’t black card MacAuley for his ankle tap in the drawn game how could they black card Brogan for a similar offence? You couldn’t do that to Dublin.
    The supreme act of thuggery though was the headbutt through on Parsons. Typical thug stuff. Parsons couldn’t be out-muscled or outfought so his cowardly opponent threw the nut on him, cheaply, and got away with it. Big man! A fine example of Corinthian spirit there!
    Let’s not mention the small stuff like the push in Kevin Macs back, right in front of the Dublin posts on the 60 minute mark, with Mayo 1 point down! Or the boot that MacAuley stuck in when a Mayo man (I can’t recall who) was in the process of going down to pick the ball. Another missed free to Mayo and yet another unpunished yellow card for rough play! Also, the way Dublin forwards would lean over the Mayo backs arm, when they put in to dispossess the ball, and then fall over the arm whilst holding it thereby pulling the Mayo back to the ground but making it look like the Mayo back pulled HIM to the ground, won them 3 points from frees in scorable positions in the second half. They did well to fool Deegan but that is basic stuff for a ref to spot. And guess what? Deegan bought it hook, line and sinker!
    However, to be fair to the match officials, and in the interests of balance, they did influence Deegan in one instance. I’m convinced, and I’ve watched it over and over again, that Deegan was giving Lee a tic for jersey pulling (watch Deegans actions and the “pulling back action” he does). There is a slight delay as if he has heard something through his piece, he looks around and then does the “pulling down action” and produces the black card!
    You know what, despite the dropped ball and Lees black card, I remain convinced that if we got fair play on all the other instances listed above we would have won. This game was always going to be decided by inches but there was a foot or two given to Dublin by poor officiating. I don’t believe it was bias, I believe it was sheer incompetence by his linesmen/umpires and him losing the run of the game pretty quickly.

  127. I know it’s a moot point but that one Dublin point looked well wide. I was watching it in a friends house on a big screen TV so I had a pretty good view. A Dub who was in my company was amazed the Hawk wasn’t activated

  128. As for the All Stars? It’s poor consolation for any of our lads but, for my money I think Clarke, Harrison, Higgins, Keegan, Durcan, Vaughan and Cillian are all deserving. However, I believe only Harrison, Keegan, Durcan and Cillian will get the nod.
    Cluxton will get the no.1 slot because Dublin won. Cooper will get no.3 and Small no.4, Keegan and Paddy will get the wingbacks and Cillian will get a forward berth.
    Hands down PotY is Leeroy. Head and shoulders above everyone else and one of the finest half backs to ever play the game. He won’t get it though.

  129. Great post Willie Joe that sums up a lot of what I feel about the game. I don’t want to be whinging and moaning about the Ref but sometimes you have to call it like it is.

    We lost Keegan and many of us feared that it would happen and it did and Vaughan was taken out of the game and McCarthy’s blatant challenge went unpunished. How did Small survive two blatant Black cards, the latter a possible Red ? Dublin probably picked up more cards than we did so there was the illusion of punishment but Deegan gave them yellows that made no difference.

    Are people seriously suggesting that if we had Keegan and Vaughan playing in the second half that they wouldn’t be worth at least a point to us ?

    We got shafted with the Keegan call and a lot more subtly through Deegan turning a blind eye to several cards for Dublin that could have been Red or Black.

    All we want is fair play and once again, as John Cuffe history lesson pointed out above, we just didn’t get it.

    The big calls went Dublin’s way and when you lose by a solitary point it’s hard to take. I know people will say that we were the architects of our own downfall and I wholeheartedly agree but the story is a little more complex than that.

  130. Hawkeye can actually pick up every indiscretion on the pitch. Everything. 3rd man tackles, late hits, punches, line balls, double hops, over-carries (Kilkenny?) everything. But, and this is the best thing about it, it can only be called upon by an umpire or ref. The ball could be 4 foot wide and given as a point and Mr. Hawkeye could be going mental in his box at the decision but he cannot contact the ref to correct him! That’s mad Ted.

  131. Remember how Johnny Cooper smashed one of the Kerry players into the post after he scored the goal…..should have been straight red and the Kerry player didn’t make it out for th second half. Unfortunately the big decisions always seem to favor the big teams and until we win the fvckin thing every real (and imaginary) injustice will be dismissed a moaning

  132. Lads whats so annoying is that no more than before the game when our collective band of media heads didn’t really open their mouths, that we have no-one out listing some of the facts that are irrefutable and most definitely, at a minimum cost the chance of having a fair attempt at winning the game.

    Removing the footballer of the year (I don’t care if they officially say it, he is) in the first half had a major impact
    Removing our all star full back who played everywhere else bar full back hes that good (!) had a major impact
    Putting 6 stitches into the head of one of our midfielders had a major impact I mean how the fuck has that just gone away??? Seriously, have we so little pride in ourselves that we just let that not be spoken about. Why aren’t our county board standing up for our players??
    imagine for a moment the shoe was on the other foot – the Dublin county board would move heaven and earth to get that information out there and make sure the player in question was sanctioned.

    I don’t care if it sounds like sour grapes, I’m well aware of the maxim of when you win say nothing, when you lose, say less, but those guys deserve a level playing pitch at a minimum – they most certainly do not deserve having to go on the field representing their county and have someone perpetrating an assault on them that would end up in court if it happened on the street. Surely there is video of that somewhere? Why isn’t that being brought out and our county board doing something about it.

    Our team are the mentally strongest in the country. They will never give up, but one thing that might make some of them throw in the towel is the fact that when it comes to the big days, they cant get the slightest bit of fairness from the GAA, and now they cant even be guaranteed that someone wont commit GBH on them and get away scot free!!!!

    Again, I don’t care if its sour grapes, our county board need to stand up for them and while it wont change this might in some way, ensure that they might just think twice before screwing us over the next time.

    We tried to help our cause through twitter before the game, can we now try and help ourselves for the next big game and get some evidence of this out there and trending so that the clowns in Croker cant ignore it and just let it go away?? We cant do much bar show up to game, shout, and lend some financial support. But if no-one else is going to do anything, can we do something about this?

  133. Pebblesmeller….! If I wasn’t a bit laid up I’d be out looking for you. Your post has made my day. And what a day it is….maybe I’ll get in a bit of the walk …the air had freshened up considerably!

  134. @Pebblesmeller.

    I’m all for discussion and analysis, but at least try to bring a semblance of balance to the table. The fact that you feel the need to apologize in advance was a sure sign you should probably have stopped typing at that point.

    Just to recap, The truth is that Dublin are:

    * Thugs.
    * Cowards.
    * Criminals.
    * Violent.
    * Wafflers.

    Hyperbole-laden ranting like this does no good to anyone. I’d be happy to discuss every talking point in both games to the nth level of detail, or to offer an opinion on how to improve performance of either team, or the standard of regulation in general. But if the “truth” is that Dublin are evil kitten-punching monsters, and that’s that – what would the point be?

    But lest this descend into negativity, let me share a single learning of my own, from 16 years spent in the wilderness from 95-2011.

    The day that Mayo collectively accept that victory is solely within their sphere of influence, is the same day that Sam is lifted above the head of a Mayo Captain.

  135. Willie Joe, if we want to get so technical about black cards, and what constitutes a black card consider these offences: was D. Rock being subjected to sledging by a “prominent” Mayo defender right from the get-go? Also, to effect a legitimate shoulder charge, a player must have at least one foot on the ground – so the rules say. Now, I remember another “prominent” Mayo defender being guilty of this offence in the drawn game. Nothing was done on either occasion. I, like most people would have loved to see Mayo win last Sat. but if an official does not get all calls right, and if indeed some go against us, I do not assume he was out to “get us”. Anyway, I think it is past time that not only the football rules on tackling, but the football rules in general, need to be re-constituted to allow for efficient policing of football as it has evolved.

  136. From what I could see, Man of Aran, Rock was giving as much as he was getting in that exchange. Also if black cards were given out routinely for sledging then Philly McMahon would never see out 70 minutes, ever. Boyler’s shoulder charge in the drawn game (which I assume is the one you’re on about) was marginally late and he got a yellow for it, which was correct as that isn’t a black card offence. Brogan, by comparison, hauled DOC to the floor rugby style in the second half of the replay right in front of the ref and we didn’t even get a free, never mind see a card for it.

    If it were a case of marginal calls either way, I’d concede the issue. But it wasn’t: every single big decision went against us and every time a hard decision had to be made (and I forgot McMahon’s headbutt on Tom Parsons by the way, which Coldrick saw) Dublin got off leniantly. I’m not assuming Deegan and his officials were “out to get us” but they were incompetent and they did make several, game-influencing homer calls on the day.

  137. The Dubs would not stand a ref from Galway or Roscommon reffing a game between Mayo and Dublin in All Ireland final. But we still put up with this bullshit, no refs in Ulster or Munster just a joke really! Ask Kerry they all about this too after semi final.

  138. deegan was afraid of his life, the dubs had him well tutored on what was expected. and today bernard brogan is saying that video reffing is the way to go, can you imagine him saying that if small was red carded for punching with a closed fist? or dean rock red carded for using his 2 fists to punch higgins in the back? or connollys numerous dirty tactics?
    lets hope bernie get what he asks for, video reffing all the way.

  139. @WJ – Can it be assumed that the actions of Doherty on Cooper just after Keegan’s goal is something that couldn’t be considered a “call”? Ditto McLoughlin on KevinMac somewhere around the 22nd minute. Kev rounds him heading towards goal, and gets hauled down.

    I have little doubt that if you switched the colour of the Geansies in both events, the narrative here would be very, very different.

    The only absolutely clear cut howler from Deegan, was how Small stayed on the pitch. Probably every other decision merits at least a debate.

  140. To take your analogy to its full impact Jaden, if you “switched the colour of the Geansies” for all events during the game reservoir dubs and similar sites would have self combusted and the media Dubs would have been in over drive since. And I would have had sympathy with them, just as I did with Fermanagh way back in the qualifiers.
    That was another example of the “big team” getting the calls but most Mayo people weren’t afraid to admit that.
    I don’t buy into the daft all Dubs are soccer fans narrative, because its nonsense. There are just as many straight forward down to earth, passionate, loyal GAA fans in Dublin as there is everywhere else. But there does appear to be an inordinate amount of Dublin fans who will just not see that there may be another side to an argument when it comes to incidents that went one way and maybe should have gone another.

  141. @ Jaden,
    The only reason I felt the need to apologize was because I generally like to post a balanced, fair and thought out opinion. It’s unlike me to present a point of view so one-sided. For proof I invite you to look back through my many posts on here over the last number of years. Minor league, U21 Connaught championship, posts from NYC, wins, losses and draws etc. Not just All Ireland finals. However, such has been the portrayal of this Dublin side as the greatest ever (I’m not necessarily disagreeing but it’s certainly open to debate, they may not be even the greatest Dublin side ever?) that I feel a lot of extremely negative and nasty elements of their play from last Saturday has been ignored in the rush to hold them on high as the darlings of the game.
    Thugs and cowards? In my book, anyone that throws a headbutt on another is both a thug and a coward. So yes. The man that threw it is, in my opinion, a thug and a coward. He couldn’t beat Parsons in a man-on-man fight so he dropped the head on him. That’s what thugs and cowards do. He may be perfectly likable outside the game, but on the pitch, he is a thug and a coward.
    Criminals? Well, there’s no-one on the Mayo squad that was bound to the peace for an unprovoked attack on a man that resulted in him having his eye socket fractured. And yes, if someone threw a headbutt on someone on the street that drew blood and 7 stitches I would expect charges to follow.
    Violent? Yes. McCarthy is 6 foot plus and probably well over 13 stone. And, an outstanding player. He flies through the air, unprovoked, to plant his shoulder in to the chest of an unsuspecting player. That’s not exactly shaking hands, or trading blows, or wrestling on the ground. That’s unprovoked violence.
    Wafflers? For Jim Gavin to say that the perfectly timed, scripted and orchestrated event that was the anti-Keegan slur campaign had NOTHING to do with him, or Dublin GAA, stretches the bounds of credibility to it’s limits.
    This is not sour grapes, even if it comes across as that. We did as much harm to our own chances of winning as Dublin did, particularly considering the penalty and two shots dropped short into Cluxtons gloves. It’s looking for balance and fairness. The drawn game was a wonderful exhibition of both sides going at it as hard and as honest and as fair as has been seen in years, if ever. However, I stand by my opening comments that Dublin planned to bring a much darker tone of thuggery to their game for last Saturday.

  142. You could, I suppose, Jaden but I’m not sure, given the kind of challenges being put in, that Doc could have merited anything more than yellow. I’m not convinced either that the McLoughlin one could be termed a black card one. I know it’s with green and red specs but I’m not sure the ones I’ve mentioned are even debatable. Small, as you concede, should definitely have walked. McCarthy’s hit on Vaughan was clearly designed to cause physical damage and take the player out of the game and in that it was 100% successful. Red all day long. A headbutt into the face ditto. Brogan’s mounting of Diarmuid and hauling him to the floor the same. I’d’ve been more than content with a 50:50 outcome of decisions and cards but we didn’t get anything close to that.

  143. Ok Jaden, then please put into context how half the Cusack Stand saw St. Philly throw his head into Parsons brow and he ended up getting 7 stiches. Or maybe the hawk deployed to take care of the pigeons mistook Tom for one?? No excuses for losing but God above that man is one nasty piece if work. ‘That’s what real football is like’ was his description after the game. Still think the better team won though on the day by the way.

  144. The only stone wall bad ones were:
    – Brogans non-card.
    – Whatever happened to Tom Parsons. Why the hell did Parsons walk immediately off. He should have stayed out till a card at least yellow was issued.
    – Smalls attempted punch
    – Dohertys push on Cooper.
    McCarthy in replay seemed to have eyes on the ball regarding Vaughan.
    When he calls over Small but not Cillian that was a clear cop out. Usually its a yellow to both.

  145. Deegan lost the plot early doors. Small’s trip on Andy was probably a black. Deegan bottled that call but then decided to make up for it by ludicrously banishing Jonny Cooper, and then decided to even it up by blacking Lee. Both Cooper and our legend Keegan had their day’s ruined by a incompetent ref.

  146. What we should really be thinking about is, why was it that after James McCarthy was black-carded, the Dubs would probably say harshly, in the first game, we didn’t push on and win that game. Dublin were then down 3 players from last year’s back-line, like we were in the replay when we lost Lee and Donnie (Ger Caff gone as well injured for the season).

    Why did Andy Moran, a forward blast his chance high over the bar when a defender, Lee placed the ball low into the corner when he got his goal chance. We seen Conor Loftus score a lovely goal against Monaghan in the league, a low dinked shot past the keeper. That’s what you want to see your forwards do. If Andy scored his chance then that would have put us in a great position. That’s what we need to improve on.

    Also in the first game we seen Paddy Durcan going for a goal when he had two men inside him. As Man of Aran said in Kerry the emphasis from a young age is to get the ball to the man in the best position, we need to do that as well.

    We have not won an All-Ireland title since 1951, surely to God every year it can’t be the refs, the officials, the venues, the curse, bad luck, etc. etc. etc. Maybe it’s just that we’re not good enough and until we are we won’t win the big one.

    We have lads coming up who don’t let anything get in their way. One of the highlights for me this year was our U21 team beating Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final, when everything seemed to be going against them, they still found a way to win as they did also in the final against Cork, when nothing seemed to be going right for them. Our senior team must do the same thing.

  147. I’d just reiterate the point – we lost, after 160 minutes of football, by a single point. I’m all for improving everything we do but we have to be doing a lot right to get that close to the so-called greatest team ever to play Gaelic football, a team Kerry’s great and good were queuing up in advance to pay homage to and to say how it’d be no shame to be beaten by them.

  148. @pebbles totally with you and every word you said sums up what my feelings were after forcing myself to watch the full game last night. Honestly it did seem different rules when it came to tackles, and all I can say, being as fair as I can to the ref, is that Dublin have it down to a fine art, like they illegally hit the man first as if it’s a coming together then proport to legally tackle. Also it’s like the black card type fouls are occupying the refs mind, everything else is a free for all. Probably the biggest frustrating one for me was the clear cut push on kmac towards the end and they wend down and scored. Not withstanding that, we have our own problems which have been well addressed here. The one thing I will give the dubs tho, despite all they have won, they do give it 110% in terms of commitment and intensity, something you might think would wane a little esp in an amateur sport

  149. Interesting round of club games this weekend. Can posters post their view on games/players Saturday/Sunday.
    Just be good to have something fresh.
    A lot of 2017/18 players will be in action.

  150. Pebblesmeller, your posts at 1.38pm and 3.11pm and Willie Joe your post at 12.55pm are absolutely spot on.

    Excellent work. Accurate, factual, true, honest and telling it like it is.

    I see what happened Parsons now. My God there are some nasty pieces of work in that Dublin team. How they got away with such filth is beyond me. Eight officials watching on and they all bottled it.

    Thuggery won the day. Assault reigned supreme and the best player in Ireland still had the dignity and decency to congratulate them.

  151. When you come up against Dublin all you want is a fair ref. Decisions went against them too, but absolutely nothing compared to the massive f*ck up of a decision which saw Keegan black carded. They couldn’t cope with our best and probably most influential player being on the pitch so resorted to intimidation from Connolly and the Hill when the opportunity arose – absolutely pathetic behaviour, but what else would you expect when you come up against Dublin.

  152. I agree that all officials should be from a neutral province.
    As regards Hen/Clarke in the drawn game we were about to change goalies with about 4 minutes of normal time left–if we had made the change we would be champs . Both are good goalies and i do not blame either for our defeat–either do i blame our management.

  153. I couldn’t care less about the all stars. Way I do know though is if we had a few more Keegan weed b unstoppable. Back next year again. Find some natural forwards though for fuck sake

  154. Great points there Willie Joe on all we have done right. You might be interested in this terrific piece by Paul Rouse in de Paper in support of Rochy and his achievements this year and the worked though logic of the Hennelly decision:


  155. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, to beat Dublin by 1 point you need to be 6 points better then them such is the advantages they have handed to them.

    I would encourage everyone to get out to the club games this weekend. It’s up to the grass roots to keep the game strong in the county because we certainly won’t be getting any help from the GAA herachy.

  156. Pebblesmeller, Willie Joe and east cork exile-is there any chance of meeting you all before league game on 4Feb so that I can buy you all a pint? Refreshingly honest and accurate account of proceedings on Jone’s Road. I tip my hat to you all. I wish we had someone to do it regularly on the national airwaves. The nonsense that goes on to glorify the duds is mind blowing and sends out a strange message to our kids. I banned myself from this site months ago due to my own lack of discipline in posting but after reading your posts I just couldn’t resist.

  157. Willie Joe , you are right we are very close to one of the greatest teams ever ,

    If Clarke was Left in goal I am convinced we would be champions

  158. Still gutted about losing the game but I am tired of all this blaming the ref. It was a tough game to ref and Deegan did get calls wrong. Small should have got a black early on and a red before half time. Neither Keegan nor Cooper should have got blacks. Soft frees were given to both teams but even though our backs were great we were that bit indisciplined in our tackles and Rock was given easy frees which was a pity as the rest of Dub forwards struggled to score before Costello came on. We didn’t lose because of ref like McEneaney in 1996 and Reilly in 2014. We lost because of a big call that backfired by management and because our forwards are not quite good enough to get sufficient scores. Having said that I thought the team put in powerful performances over both days. Re the All Stars Cluxton is a shoe in because he has been the best goalie for years and was brilliant again on Saturday. Clarke was excellent all year but even if he had played the full game I doubt he would have got it ahead of Cluxton. Lee should get Player of Year but may not.

  159. @catcol, I read that rouse piece in the examiner and he’s simply wrong! It was a monumental miscalculation by management to put Henelly in there instead if Clark. In their statistical modeling, they obviously failed to factor in that he hadn’t played championship ball in 6 games and was not up to AI final mental speed. No fault of his, you only get that mental speed and strength from been in the thick of it, not on the training ground.
    I do agree with him that we are closer to Dublin than any of the other top teams and that we can win it next year. Loved what I saw from Coen when he replaced Leeroy. This kid gets it!

  160. Maybe after Saturday when the club games start we can draw a line in the sand and look forward to next year whilst keeping tabs on potential new players that might make a difference. Just want to say Willie Joe thank you very much for this blog and the hard work you do on it moderating etc it helped me get through the week after the disapointment of losing thanks again.

  161. I agree with all these posts about the big calls going against as us…time and time again…what can we do about it!?

    It’s so important that our funding of underage develops. To be honest I haven’t a clue how we rate compared to elsewhere but I know for certain we are behind Dublin and Kerry and possibly Tyrone too. I’d say we are on a par with our Connacht neighbours but that’s all. When you look at it our crop of u21’s this season were a flash in the pan…we’ve been brutal at u21 for 5/6 years.

    I think we won Ted Webb this season. Not sure what talent is coming through underage.

    I’d love to know where the money we give to the “players lotto” really goes!? I’d say a hell of a lot of money goes to that feckin stand at McHale park!

    Mayo have such a huge supporter base. Largest outside of Dublin I would say. It should be tapped into WJ… Why isn’t it?

    Also is there a development squad? A senior reserves so to speak? If not, why not?

  162. Dublin had cormac costello to bring on and kick three points to win the 2016 all Ireland we didnt have a cormac costello.

    Well done Dublin. See ye in March for league , a game we need to win . If we are going to win the all Ireland we have to start beating dublin.

  163. Anyone know how much c’ship ball Costello had played up to his introduction in final?

  164. While I agree we were on the wrong end of some refereeing calls the last day, I’m sure dublin would claim the same. We got almost twice as many frees as dublin and while I have not and will never watch the game back again, i think some of them were soft from what I remember. Personally I don’t think we can hide our other issues behind the ref.

    We made a crazy decision to change our keepers and it backfired. Our forwards didn’t score enough from play when on top. Our bench made much less of an impact than dublins. They are the 3 biggest reasons we lost the game in my opinion.

    We are very close but until we address the last 2 of those issues, we may continue to fall short. We need to control the controllables.

    Without doubt this defeat hurts the most. I’ve been moping around feeling sorry for myself all week and it’s not getting any easier.

  165. We have to grow out of this defensive (ironic) reaction when others tell us we are a forward or two short. We really are and believe it or not could of won at least two all irelands since 2012 if we had them.

    Risk has to be taken in 2017as regards trying out young forwards and a more dynamic forward play , who gives two hoots if it doesnt work out , its sam or nothing with project Mayo now , its tough on the players but thats how it is now.

  166. Diarmuid needs to be closer to goal and well rested next year. He wont be u21 at club or county so thats a few games less. He shouldn’t feature only off the bench in the later league games. He’ll have Sigerson to play.

  167. Well Pebbles that’s spot on. There is nothing in your post that cannot be backed up by video. I’ve watched the bloody thing enough of times to realise that everything you mentioned is bang on. From the drawn game too we had the MDMA tackle on COC. The clearest – go home and stay at home – red card in the history of the game.
    Lane and Deegan are decent enough men I am sure but the crying all week before the game got into Deegans head. I am guessing also that at some level within the GAAs hierarchy people are happy with the fact that Dublin winning ways helps the coffers no end….and sure why wouldn’t others be encouraged to help that continue….nothing explicit of course.

    About Dublin being the best team ever???? ah for fucks sake.
    This bunch of thugs aren’t even the best Dublin team. The most successful Dublin team was that of the 1890’s – with six All Ireland titles – the following decade another five and a three in a row in each decade.

    The best team any of us have seen is the Kerry team of the 70’s and 80’s. In twelve years, played ten and won eight. PEERLESS. Paudi O Shea, Pat Spillane, Mikey Sheehy, Ger Power and Denis ‘Ogie’ Moran have 8 each and about ten others with 7. In that ‘Golden Era’ of football Dublin won three titles ’76, ’77 and ’83. Go back to 1978 for the Dubs losing to Kerry by 17 pts. The heaviest defeat in the last 80 years. We don’t hear about that too often.

    When Cluxton kicked that free back in 2011 for the win against Kerry there was no happier man than myself. I was delighted for Dublin, the team, the fans everyone – I could see how much it meant to them. But over the last while they’re beginning to wear on me. It’s not only that they’re winning – and in doing so doing it at Mayo’s expense – it’s more than that there seems to be a growing energy around this team that they are beyond reproach. Everyone, including and most importantly, officialdom seem to have embraced this notion of compliance or conformity, an almost innocence. The truth is far from that and plenty of indiscretions point this out. The individual incidents have been highlighted here and elsewhere and the re-watching of the games will endorse that.

    Don’t get me started on the money.

    Croke Park and home advantage………

    If all this sounds like sour grapes or whatever I don’t care. Build a bridge and get over it blah blah blah. We are told and we tell ourselves it’s a game of inches. It is for sure. Dublin, by one way or another, have gained all the inches they need – with an embarrassment of help.

  168. The only truth worth considering now is this; its over! 2016 is finished, we lost and Dublin won. We move on.
    The way to ensure that we get the calls from the ref or any official next year is to be so bloody good that we don’t need them. That’s the challenge. I tend to be pessimistic by nature but I firmly believe that this team can go on to win an all ireland next year and if they keep the head and keep at it they can actually dominate football for a few years. In all my 50+years following Mayo I have never really felt this until after the drawn match.
    Hon Mayo!

  169. @joet1480 feel your pain been a Tipp man when Kilkenny beat us year after year. Like a lot of people on this blog, I blamed the ref after Tipp matches especially after 2009. When the dust settles and you look at the bare facts in the cold like of day, like Tipp that year Mayo are lacking and it’s just inches. Mayo I feel are lacking natural scoreing forwards to win big games on a consistent basis. You might get so far on a great defence but it won’t get you to the Holy Grail. Sighting external factors like the Ref and Dublin tatics while understandable, does not take away from the fact that in my opinion for a team to win an All Ireland, it needs to look inward not outward.

  170. Totally agree with mayo mad re blaming the ref. It’s absurd. In 186 minutes of play v dublin in the 2 finals, mayo led for just over 5 minutes.the black card for keegan was a stonewall decision. He was always going to get nailed for pulling down a player in or running onto a scoring position. However I think keegan has a chance of getting a deserved player of the year. On the other hand I think it’s farcical that even a single mayo forward got nominated for all star, but would be amazed if 1 evenue gets awarded. 3 points from play in the final is muck. While the backs and mid field were heroic constantly thru the cship, the fwds score from play stats were apalling even against the weaker teams. An interesting article in the times during the week stated that in all of the last 6 games against the big teams mayo’s fwds were outscored. This has been going on for years in recent memory. With the incredible performances of our backs and midfield, even if we had the fwds of any of the other top 4 teams the all ireland would have been a shoe in for mayo! What is the problem with mayo’s fwds???….

  171. Dyalikedags – I’m not blaming Deegan for the defeat, and I’d rather just focus on next year at this stage, but I’m not letting you go unchallenged on your “black card for Keegan was a stonewall decision” comment. Yes, Keegan grabbed Connolly’s jersey for a millisecond, but Connolly dived, he just threw himself on the ground when he felt contact. And even if Keegan deserved a black card then so should Connolly for his reaction immediately after the incident. See offence 5 here: http://www.the42.ie/black-card-offences-gaa-graphic-1246838-Jan2014/

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