Fallout from Kevin Keane’s appeal continues


Photo: Irish Examiner

That piece by Sean Moran in this morning’s Irish Times is interesting, stating as it does that the Croke Park suits are reportedly furious that Kevin Keane’s appeal the other night was successful. Kevin wasn’t, of course, the only player to get off the hook at the CHC meeting on Wednesday night but his case did seem the most clear-cut and, at a purely procedural level, you can see why the suits would be annoyed that ref David Gough’s decision was overturned.

However, any fury that Croke Park might have about this decision surely has to be aimed at the CHC itself and not at us, which Bernard Flynn (at least in part) does in his idiotic intervention on the issue. All we did was chance our arm and take the appeal – as we also did, though without success, in relation to Donal Vaughan’s black card – and it was up to the CHC to decide the merits of this. If certain individuals had to absent themselves from a particular decision then that was their own business and if those left in the room didn’t stick to the script then that was hardly our fault.

Flynn’s caterwauling aside, I don’t, to be honest, believe there’s any danger of our successful appeal having any kind of negative ramifications for us. In particular, I can’t see it having any bearing on the semi-final is likely to be reffed. In fairness to Joe McQuillan, he’s one of the most experienced officials on the roster and while we’ve had good days and bad days with him so too have Dublin.

Every ref will get a few calls wrong in every game (as Gough did the last day, though he did very well overall) and there are sure to be a few contentious decisions the next day too but I’d certainly have McQuillan ahead of, for example, the likes of Coldrick and Deegan. What befell us with Reilly last year was no conspiracy but rather a ghastly one-off – giving an incompetent official bigger and bigger matches risked something like that happening eventually, which unfortunately it did to our great cost – and I’d be happy enough that we’ll get a fair enough shake the next day.

There is a wider point in relation to the CHC appeals, though, which concerns suspensions picked up at this time of year. A straight red in early February carries the same suspension as one collected in August yet the resulting one-game ban you get for each can’t be seen as equal punishments. It’s one thing missing a League game on a dirty, cold Sunday in early spring, quite another to be prevented from lining out in an All-Ireland semi-final or final.

Going back to the incident that occurred in the Donegal game, there’s nothing either to stop a mean-minded sore loser exhibiting anger management issues in an All-Ireland series match (for purely illustrative purposes, let’s call him Michael Murphy) from starting a fracas which results in an opponent from the winning team (let’s call him Kevin Keane) retaliating to an overly aggressive provocation and getting a red card as a result. Even if the player from the losing team gets sent off as well (which should have happened to Murphy but of course didn’t), the punishment he gets can’t be equated to that suffered by the player from the winning team.

It’s little wonder, then, that you get so many appeals like this at this time of the year, with all manner of technicalities brought into it. In the Diarmuid Connolly case it was (I think) that the ref hadn’t written his name in the book, in the Lee Keegan case it was that Coldrick said he’d kicked out at Buckley and we were able to show he’d only attempted to do so (a loophole since closed, by the way). The bottom line is that counties will do everything to ensure that their players don’t miss out on the biggest matches of the year and, more often than not, players meet with a fair degree of sympathy when they plead their cases to the CHC to get off.

While this outcome clearly offends the professional classes sitting behind their desks in Croke Park – dreaming, as they surely do, about the “product” they’re marketing and how it can be made ever more like the professional team sports they long to ape – it’s not today nor yesterday that successful appeals began to be made at this time of year. Indeed, there are such a litany of cases that may be cited that you could argue this phenomenon is part of the GAA’s very fabric at this stage. That’s not saying that any of this is right or correct but just how it is and Kevin’s successful appeal on Wednesday night needs to be seen in this light.

73 thoughts on “Fallout from Kevin Keane’s appeal continues

  1. Well said willy joe. Flynn’s attack on management for even attempting to appeal is farcical to the extremes. While I personally do not think Kevin should have gotten off I’m delighted he has. Management want a full hand to pick from so it is only natural that they would do everything possible to have that. It up to chc to decide on outcome of appeal so flynn’s indignation should be reserved for them.

  2. I am absolutely thrilled he got off, rightly or wrongly. Thrilled, and we should make no apologies about it.

    In fact, I hope he picks the ball clean off the ground in the last minute, throws it 3 yards wide only for hawkeye to malfunction and award us the score, resulting in a 1-point win!

    Anyone ever heard the curious case of “Put up the flag, Paddy!!”?

  3. Jim Gavin’s comments on referee very carefully thought out and delivered as “I don’t really care but…” type attitude – completely designed to influence ref though. Ciaran Whelan was going on with similar stuff after the Fermanagh game…GAA is getting more and more like the premier league on issues like this. Not saying Dubs only ones at it but the pre match ref mind games definitely playing a bigger role now.

  4. The reality is Kevin let us down. Last minute, game won and he let himself and his teammates down. [Deleted].

  5. Flynn is exagerating in the extreme
    – punch in the face
    – Murphy was not even trying to get him sent off
    Jese give me a break but that is not how it played out at all.
    That slap you could stand there and take 50 of them and not suffer concussion.
    Doesnt mention Murphys closed fisted shove with the hand he was holding the collar into the centre of Kevins chin.

  6. B Flynn would need to get himself a bottle of cop-on. He is anything but entertaining on the radio and for sure has joined ranks with other slim-shirted x-Meath players plummeting crap out of them every week. What should he be doing you might ask – take himself, O’Rourke and the rest of that old elite down to Dalgan Park and make their county players into hardy men again. They are Dublin’s whipping boys for the last 10 years, robbed a Leinster title off minnows of the game and are now lambasting young lads left, right, and centre on the National airwaves for a few silly and meek altercations. Jez I idolised that Meath team of the late 80’s – I might need to start rewriting my childhood memories!

  7. Ger Bohan while Kevin McManamon could potentially drive at and through most of our backs you would have Kevin Keane sitting at home.
    Go back and watch the league to see how much Kevin Keane brings to the table in terms of stopping power. One of the few backs I seen in the league manage to stop up McManamon on the burst. Kevin Keane has let no one down, it’s amateur sport and yer linking two matches 3 years apart.

  8. Ger – I’ve taken out that second bit of your comment as it’s a clear breach of the rules (specifically nos.8 and 11) on what may and may not be said here about specific players.

  9. Totally agree with JP, i watched the league game the other night, and keane did a brilliant job on k mcmanamon. Keane will be a seirious bit of muscle to bring on if our backs are tired.

  10. Can we have some positives the vibe is sinking on a nice Friday evening.
    Was anyone at the Ballina – Moy Davitts U21 game? Reportedly the Mayo club football goal of the century was scored by the Darragh Ruane. Caught the ball in his own square, burst out through tacklers, went the length of the pitch, did a 1-2 and scored.
    Wasnt at the game myself but thought some Ballinas or Foxfords or persons at said game could comment. I’v never heard of a full back going from square to square with only a 1-2 being their time off the ball. Common enough you might see a guy come in later into an attack.

  11. The solution to these type of incidents and other difficult refereeing decisions in big games is to copy the rugby system of having a TV official to whom these things are referred by the match ref. I know it would only work for televised matches and we would need to have the time managed separately also. This would cut out a lot of the crap and give lads a chance to get fair play. After all that is what they deserve having worked their arses off all year. It would also take a lot of the pressure off the ref who at present has to make massive decisions on the spur of the moment. To expect them to get it right all or most of the time is unrealistic. As well there should be a TV review system where issues that the officials missed could be dealt with afterwards. Players and managers would soon realise that the best chance of winning was to concentrate on playing football.
    Time to move forward. All any of us want is 70 minutes of football refereed in a fair and consistent fashion. What we are at right now is amateurish bullsh*t.

  12. JP
    Yes, I was at it. Some goal alright for that late stage in the game and all the way up from full back. He might have given a couple of 1-2s going up the pitch before a quality low finish into the corner.
    Looks to be a lovely balanced footballer with great pace.

  13. I would agree with that diehard, we have hawkeye , now bring in a video call for games in croke park ( or just for all ireland series games maybe) . 2 video calls per manager per game. it goes up to the box and the lads decide above.

  14. If you give the managers the power of “challenging” calls with hawkeye/video analysis it’ll just lead to pointless challenges being made near the end of a match to wind down the clock or at any time to halt momentum of another team.

    In truth it’d never work, it’s too open to abuse. At least in tennis there’s far more need for it all round and only takes about 20 seconds max

    Giving the referees the sole power to refer to a television match official, like in Rugby, is the only way really it could ever work. I don’t see it happening any time soon though

  15. Bernard Flynn was a lovely footballer but is one brutal analyst/commentator
    Anyone who has the slightest understanding of football knows how far of the mark this guy is. With regards to Kevin Keane and some of the derogatory remarks that have been made about him by fellow county men, well he owes none of us anything. I hope he gets a run in the semi-finals and there is no one more deserving. He suffered under Horan but still kept coming back for more, he was outstanding in the League and is the bit of steel we may need against the Dubs.
    Rather than try and find fault in these bunch of lads who give us so much entertainment and fill is with so much pride I would suggest people’s time would be better spent talking about our strengths and what possible obstacles we will have to overcome to bring home Sam.
    Up Mayo and please Tyrone put a smile on all our faces on Sunday.????

  16. Obviously a “strike” depends on where it is. You fluff a fella’s face and it’s a red card. You thump a fella in the chest, well that’s fine, especially if you hold onto his jersey.

  17. Dear Editor, the ball had gone wide and Murphy attacked Kevin, there is grounds for a civil law case here, Murphy was clearly the agressor, it’s all on video. Yours, Denis Nealis.

  18. Again Flynn preaching about punchin people? Having played on that team? Is he feelin alright? By his Meath logic then boylan has a lot to answer for!!!!!!!!! I mean Neath football is in crisis and this guy talkin shite? Madness

  19. @Ciaran, couldn’t disagree more.
    A team would be stupid to waste their right to challenge a ref’s decision on trivial matters, particualrly if time taken is automatically added on. And Refs would just end up refusing to review the very incident you need them to if it was just in their power.
    Think of any of the big games in recent years that turned on bad refereeing decisions – Limerick last year, Killarney this year, Louth’s Leinster Final, not to mention Rufflegate… If you disagree strongly with a decision then appeal there and then or shut up afterwards. If you have used up your appeals on the wrong things and have none left, then tough! Otherwise here’s your chance to set it right.

    Mind you I could see Davy Fitz using up his appeals in the first 5 minutes of every game:)

  20. Seriously time to move on from this and to ger bohan who was saying great things early in year how things weren’t right in the camp and all sorts splits etc will you please stop criticising players no body let anyone down not it high time you got behind your county and showed a bit of positivity for once.we are in an all Ireland semi final in just over a week where a lot of counties would love to be.our players are a credit to themselves there clubs families and mayo and we love going length and breath of Ireland and beyond supporting them.if you have nothing good or positive to say don’t say anything at all save all the negative talk for the pub! Someone might listen to you there .

  21. To those claiming Keane deserved the red,
    If Keane’s hand had connected with Murphy’s arm instead of his face, would he still deserve the red? Because the rule book doesn’t distinguish where you connect.

    Keane did not deserve a red for that offence.
    “He punched Murphy in the face”. If he punched Murphy in the face, Murphy would know about it, Murphy didn’t even flinch.

  22. Thanks Alf Stewart. He has great potential alright Ruane, probably the best since Gary Ruane. With his speed and toughness I think he’ll be called up next year.

  23. Agree with St. Pat’s Oldie and Aidan. We should be enjoying our 5th All Ireland semi Final in a row ( this is surely a first for Mayo Football? ) and the fact that we are now along with Kerry and Dublin the 3 super-powers of Gaelic Football. with little between the three. This is a fantastic achievement and now it needs to be crowned with a title win.
    Arguments about disciplinary procedures are of little interest to me at this time.

  24. For anyone who wants to review the video of the incident again (Bernard Flynn, perhaps?), the relevant 30-second extract is here. As may be readily seen, Murphy was clearly the aggressor and, contrary to what Flynn claimed, he did look to get Kevin in trouble. The big baby.

  25. I see your point Cosa Bana but the added time is a farce as it is and this would only add to that

    Say you get 3 challenges a match and you’ve used none by 65 minutes. You’re winning by a point, with the opposition having gotten the last few scores. Instead of lads feigning injury, which we so regularly see towards the end of matches, this just adds a new dimension to cynical time wasting by challenging complete nothing calls. By challenging a few times here you just slow down the opposition’s momentum and gladly wind down the clock.

    The worst scenario is guys actually doing it in the added time. How often do we see 2 minutes added (and perhaps 3 minutes may even elapse as of stoppages in this time) and about 30 seconds actual football played in this time?

    How do you define how much is added on for each? Different calls will take different amounts of time to review. Some could take about 2 minutes, others 20 seconds. Can you trust referees to add on enough time after the match? It could only work in a “stop the clock” scenario and even at that it’ll be abused to give teams a breather and halt opposition momentum

  26. Lads who gives a fuck I think we have all spent enough time debating this. The fact is Keane is clear to play we have an All Ireland semi to loof forward .Jaysus lads just think of the athmosohere up there 🙂

  27. I thought the sending off was daft. People should read clerkin in the examiner today. Keane did damn all. Foolish to give ref an excuse -yes. Guilty – no….in my view. Harmless.

  28. It’ll die down on Sunday!

    Actually speaking of “silly season” doesn’t Aido usually pick up his “hamstring” injury around now, each year?? 😀

  29. Paul Early was on the last word in Sport on Today FM, he was doing co-commentary on the match on Sky and he was saying that he said at the time that he thought that it was a harsh sending-off, that it was more so rough play than a strike by Kevin Keane and he still believed that was the case.

    I was just thinking about the game at the week-end, all of the pressure is on Kerry, no one really expects Tyrone to win and for Kerry it would be almost unthinkable for them that they could lose to Tyrone again. I was reading a piece in The Examiner earlier in the week by Mike Quirke, he was saying that coming near the end of the 2003 semi-final that Tyrone won by 0-13 to 0-06, a Kerry supporter ran up to Páidí Ó Sé, the Kerry manager at the time, throwing punches at him! Its a must win game for them. If they lose you’d have to think that it would be the end of the road for a good few of their warriors. It will be very interesting indeed!

  30. Speaking of red cards – I’d say we could see a few of them being dished out on Sunday in the game between Tyrone and Kerry. Weather forecast not looking too good either so the whole thing could descend into ‘drench’ warfare !! 🙂

  31. I was abroad and that clip was the first I have seen of it WJ. I have to say he deserved his red and he deserved his acquittal. These rules were initially considered as a result of an increase of heavy grade niggling which is of course is in reality a fairly serious thump when you consider the level of physical condition these guys are at. I don’t condone punching obviously but an exchange like this one does not in my opinion capture the essence of intent of those scripting regulation to stamp out the increasing nastiness that was developing.

    These are players laying down a marker that they won’t be bullied or that they won’t stand back. When a player runs past another player and hits him a dirty skelp or a blind elbow, well that’s a red. What we saw with Keane and Murphy was little more than a testosterone coloured flag being laid in the sand of no mans land in Croker. If we lose this willingness to exchange that spirit of the deceleration of no surrender than we lose the very spirit if our games, after all they are representing their Club, County and their family not to mention a life’s tradition that they hold dear.

    Good on the arbitrators who correctly complicated the fact with the prevailing greyness of competition, timing and reason. While they are officially and strictly off the table of consideration when coming to these decisions it is refreshing and comforting to see that justice is prevailing above regulation.

  32. WJ – thanks for the 30-second extract. It is abundantly clear to me that the aggressor was Michael Murphy. The blow he struck warranted a red. Kevin’s retaliation was mild, considering the provocation. Kevin Keane has shown his mettle since the 2013 AIF and good luck to him. We need him and his ilk.

  33. Flynn is one of those Meath players who hate Mayo. Listened to him in Talk Sport recently and his dislike for Mayo and Cork was evident. In the world of today’s punditry he’s a has been best ignored.

  34. Flynn is an idiot, end of. He offers no tactical insight into a game and his drone monotone voice would put an insomniac to sleep. Like most Meath men they hate us because the land commission took the best of their land and rehoused families from the west of Ireland. Sure didnt they poison the land!
    I’m delighted for Keane, all the more because he shouldn’t have got off his red card. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if Keane had dropped Murphy 🙂

  35. Mayomaningalway, you are right. The place will be rocking, literally. I remember being in Croker for the 85 drawn game (my first trip) and I swear the old Hogan stand shook to it’s foundations that day. The very back row of the stand, batein’ the sheets of galvanize.
    Our day is coming. If we play to our potential, there’s no way we lose. Hon Mayo.

  36. The bad weather this Sunday will level the playing field, I was edging for Kerry but have a feeling Tyrone might grind it out. If it’s close with 10 mins to go I think Tyrone can sneak it.

  37. You are all unfair to Flynn. He has actually tipped Mayo to win the AI.Also I heard him rightly castigate a ref on radio much to the consternation of rte

  38. With or without Keane we’ll beat the dubs . And they’ll be crying from the hill all the way to the Atlantic sea . I think the lads will stick with the same team bar one or two . Them being Barry moran left on the bench as well as maybe Donal Vaughan . Maigh Eo Abu come on the yew.

  39. Keane should be well up for playing a role from the bench on Sunday week, with enough time to get his head nice and clear. And all this guff provides a bit of cover maybe for the players and management (who are being nice and quiet) to get on with their preparation.

  40. Have watched the match again on Youtube. Not a great recording – seemed slower than the actual – carping I know.

    However, on seeing the Vaughan (sorry Donal O’Beachain) incident in a bit more detail, it was definitely a black.

    Still, Caoimhin O’Cathain deserved to get off on appeal.

  41. Keane possibly deserved red He also possibly deserved to get off on appeal Flynn definitely deserves to be ignored, As analysts go he is down there with the worst. He really is that bad. The fact that he s from meath shouldnt make any difference but it does just like cormac reillys home county should be irrelevant but it wasn t.

  42. Hoping we can move on from this debate. Something good comes our way and still loads of people taping into the negative. Common sense prevailed and most of the appeals seem to win on technicalities, in our case ref didn’t actually see it, it was umpires call and he was being influenced by Murphy.

  43. As for the team, be very surprised if Vaughan dropped. He’s done little wrong, the only other option for HB line being Cunniffe or Barrett the 2 lads who were injured earlier in the year. Durkan is talented and expect him to make starting 6 next year but too high risk to start in such a big game late in championship, though he may feature when Dubs start to tire.
    Be very hard on Barry to be dropped as he did well last day but as Connelly said horses for courses so good chance he will but depends if Andy is sacrificable once again. Tactics vs best 15 as Andy would start if it’s the best 15.

  44. Forget about the Keane incident,let’s move on.I hope our players and management don’t read this blog,I’m sorry but it’s starting to sound like poor us,pick it up people and take the fight to them whoever they may be Dublin first and after that who cares because mayo are on a mission ONE GOAL …SAM…MAIGHEO ABU

  45. What if Keane had been a nice Mayo ladeen and just ignored Murphy’s blatant thuggery? Would that have been the right decision to make?

    Keane did not back down to the “Murphy sneer” and his corner boy antics. Keane stood up to the bully and his red card was “Rightfully” overturned. Sometimes the good guys win in real life. This is the case here and sends out the message.

    “Don’t fuck with “The Men from Mayo!

  46. This is absolute rubbish having a trend about Keane …. Can we move on ??

    What do people think the team will be for the dubs and the match ups ??

  47. My god, Mayo fans don’t have much time for Murphy do they. Not one of us knows what transpired between Murphy and Keane before the cameras were fixed on them, not one of us knows whether that nice Mayo lad could perhaps said something to rile the big bad donegal bully. It’s only a week to the game, probably time to move onto matters of more importance.

  48. Lorrie

    What utter nonsense.The game was effectively over and Murphy clearly riled Keane and then tried to have him sent off and succeeded.Of course Keane had to push him away.If someone had their hand on my neck I d react to.
    I do agree it is time to move on and I for one am not sorry to see the Donegal era end.Kevin Keane is a full hearted decent lad and his villification this week borders on lunacy.

  49. Hueyandlouis, I saw what happened too, clearly Murphy was aggressive before Keane struck out. Do you think Murphy just grabbed him by the throat randomly for the sole purpose of getting him sent off? Possibly, I don’t know, neither do you. I do know that there’s been a hell of a lot of time spent vilifying him this week. I can say too that Michael is also a full hearted decent lad. I’m delighted for Keane to be honest, it was a moment of madness and I hope he gets every chance to make up for it next day out.
    The “donegal era” has ended has it 😀 That’s interesting to know.

  50. Just before the main incident a high ball was kicked into the Mayo goalmouth. At this time there was a lot of grappling between Keane and Murphy. Keane had grabbed Murphy preventing him from going for the ball. This is something that you see all of the time in around the goalmouth area. This is probably what riled Murphy. It was an over the top reaction from Murphy then grabbing Kevin by the throat, which was not nice to see. That was wrong and it was wrong for Kevin to slap him back. If he just pushed him away hard, nobody would have been talking about what happened. Murphy was wrong to go to the umpire as well. Thats the way I seen it anyway, there was wrong actions taken by both players and overall I would think that Kevin was least in the wrong hence that was why he was cleared to be involved the next day. Roll on the Dublin match!

    P.S. I wouldn’t be writing off Donegal either!

  51. Hoping again we move on from this topic, of the recent comments Lorrie is correct that our vilification of Murphy is extreme. However I will say in recent times he has been mouthing a lot to officials, perhaps frustration at being targeted especially in Ulster where it would appear Justin Mcmahon in particular sledged him for a full 70 minutes. In our game Murphy probably should have been off for persistent personal fouling before the event. Donie’s black was correct but the ref missed the most blatant black card offense by Mcglynn. I have no truck with conspiracy theories but although perception of that game was ref did well, a lot of Donegal’s frees look very soft and the one where Keegan took out Parsons ending in Donegal free was bizarre. Kept right balance on outfield tackling and keeping play moving, advantage rule etc. but missed a few things that could cost one of the top 4 teams in a big game. Hope the refs for remaining 3 games are on their game. Time maybe to give umpires same status as linesmen in Championship or have 2 refs like Aussie Rules as the game is very fast now.

  52. I voted for Tyrone tomorrow based mostly on the weather forecast which makes the whole thing a lottery and evens it up completely. Tyrone as underdogs would be very happy with a soggy or slippery pitch. However Croke Park probably pull covers over it so this assumption is based on minor game being a washout beforehand.
    Justin potentially could handle Donaghy based on how tight he marked Murphy sledging aside earlier in the summer. Tyrone midfielders are mobile and Kerry have added Buckley to ensure they win more ball. The Geaneys are probably Kerry’s weakest regulars and are dispensable so they’ve a very strong front 6 now. Harte is a super player which is maybe why they dropped Sheehan for this one but Cooper will play on the 40 now so he could be picked up by Harte which could be a great duel. Not sure if Kerry have a reliable right footed free taker starting so if I were Tyrone I’d try to push Kerry to the right all day long especially if weather bad.
    Tyrone’s FF line is very good but not sure of their half lines Harte aside and assuming Donnelly who is a super player plays midfield.
    On a good day Kerry could win 10 of the 15 battles, on a crap day that could even out. One area I believe Tyrone are significantly better is goalkeeper.

  53. Donaghy was well marked earlier by Cork but is full time free to concentrate on football this year, no work commitments. He may see this as a last hurrah commitment wise so would expect him near his best unless opposition have a plan.., a handful. Important to have man marker on Cooper as he can really unlock the rest of them.
    Didn’t realise only reason Donaghy dropped v Kildare was injury in warm up.
    Tyrone also need a plan for Tommy Walsh being added to midfield if things not going Kerry’s way there.

  54. Actually I dont think Donegal will win another Ulster for a long time and I think their brand of football was horrible to watch and without soul.
    I think Kerry will be way too good for Tyrone and the top three all have it to play for.
    cant say Mayo will beat Dublin but they will give it a fair go.

  55. I hoping for a mayo Tyrone win what do ye think I think they can win t and m here’s hoping

  56. I’ll make a bold forecast: Team chosen will be same as before with Andy at no 13. Team playing will have Durcan in for Andy, with Barry on the bench.

    I think management are strong enough to do this. Duncan is inexperienced, but his pace is something that is essential to counteract Dublin’s all round mobility.

  57. Keane deserved his red .

    You have a right to appeal , so why not have a shot.

    The red should of stood though but you take your luck , otherwise you’re a bit daft really.

    On the match itself , I keep changing my mind , im not sure at all. One side of me says , we are flying , aido is in the zone will do damage, Cillian is due a game and management were sharp for Donegal game,

    Other side is sayin , they destroyed us in castlebar , we were beaten up a stick on every battle, Dublin have not played anything like their full potential yet and will be 100% focussed for this one partly cause of Donegal semi last year, Dublin have a speed gear on us imo and it could prove to make us look very inferior come 5 pm next Sunday.

    Jekyll or Hyde , time will tell.

  58. Tend to agree with a lot of that Sean Burke.

    On the other hand, I’m not so sure about Dublin, and this has nothing to do with Mayo. Can they keep up that level of fitness from March, the league final and so on?

    Their midfield is iffy. They may well be keeping Macauley in reserve, but can he get to AI semi final intensity just by walking on?

    One thing Mayo should have in spades is the motivation that stems from an AI final defeat and the added motivation of the hammering in March.

  59. It is absolutely vital for us to get on top first. We need to hit them hard and early and make a nuisence of ourselves. If Dublin get in top first it could force our half backs to hold position and in turn limit our attacking strength. I think we should dominate mid field and even of Cluxton tries to go by pass mid field we should still be able to dominate. If we don’t have the ball we need to be like flies to shite. Tis the only way but we must get on top first.

  60. Near impossible to keep up that type of flies on shite type of intensity with a top team like Dublin for 70 mins, it’s whether they get goals and vital scores when our intensity levels drop in periods.

    Unfortunately in the modern game a lot will probably come down to ref decisions , will he apply the same rules to those giving aos special attention as he does everyone else ? Will the massive Dublin crowd sway some decisions ? And there’s always the aul Lady Luck , let’s hope we have her on the day , off the post/penalty decision/concussion to star players/drop the ball etc etc , a lot is on the day.

    So fooking nervous but I know this team will fight for all they are worth and that’s what makes us so proud of them , they are without doubt a team that bursts your heart with passion.

  61. The thing which annoyed me most – and Shuffly totally correct to say time to move on from the issue – was Murphy mouthing at the umpires. That’s it.
    It was all pretty harmless run of the mill handbag stuff…
    I actually DO firmly believe that some people (more than others), like to dwell on constantly berating others and go way over the top sometimes.
    Not that it’s wrong to sometimes criticise. – It is a democratic site, after all – but some people don’t know when to let go!
    Feck sake, let Flynn have his say – what harm can it do?
    Even many here thought Keane lucky to get off.
    Also there is sometimes a bit of over the top remarks about other teams – like “Donegal play with no soul”
    I mean what sort of crap is that – they have played with pride and passion the last few yrs!
    I just think we should sometimes keep more with positive comments which discuss the merits of our team, tactics, personnel etc.
    Lastly, though I do believe some are too negative at times, I do not believe that most people here (not near as many as suggested anyway) think there is a conspiracy theory against Mayo.
    And I certainly don’t believe that if we lose to the Dubs, that we will be running around blaming someone other than ourselves.
    It is nonsense to suggest we are sore losers and whingers as was alluded to yesterday.
    Last year was exceptional for me (v Kerry in Limerick) in that the ref was shocking.
    We do however, have a mighty habit of goin on about all-Irelands we should have won but didn’t – and there is an element of sometimes overly feeling sorry for ourselves in this.
    And fans from other counties probably do get fed up listening to us on this.
    But there is a good bunch of perceptive posters here, by and large, who DO NOT suffer from conspiracy theories.
    This time next week, I will be on valium!

  62. Over the bar shouting. There was two All Irelands that were taking out of our own control and they were the Meath replay in 96 and the Limerick debacle. All others were down to poor decision making in the heat of battle and just not the getting a rub from the green when needed. If O Shea and Cillian had not collided head on just at the point when Mayo were torking up the gears, we would have won in Limerick, despite every conceivable obstacle slung in our path.That was the AIF.

    I’m so looking forward to Sunday week and to five o clock when I’ll be roaring out The green and Red of Mayo I can see you still…

  63. overtheBARshouting ????????????????I couldn’t have said it better,as far as tomorrow goes I can’t call it the weather might give Tyrone’s game plan an advantage even though Kerry beat cork during brutal conditions,fuck me I don’t know.Who by the way would we rather play assuming of course we beat Dublin….?

  64. 96 was my first All Ireland I watched as a young fella Jaysus how I wept after .All I can remember from that game was how Meath were though and they love to get physical .Oh how things have changed .

  65. Think Tyrone could grind out a result….unfortunately. Hope I’m wrong but still think those kerry boys see overated.

  66. I expect kerry to have a comfortable win tomorrow against tyrone and I am currently in the kingdom where those I have spoken to are very confident of ultimate glory. In relation to discipline issues I think that every red card should be reviewed by a special committee after the game whose decision is final with no appeals allowed. Although it may be harsh a y form of striking or violent conduct should be treated severely as we want to stamp this out of the game. So kevin card should stand as we do t want players to get the idea they might get aay with throwing a few slaps.

  67. Over the bar shouting

    The style of football Donegal played was the epitome of negativity and it is soulless mundane stuff.Of course Donegal players have passion but playing sometimes the entire defence behind the ball was hard to watch and does little to enhance football.That was my opinion and if you enjoy the style they play thats absolutely fine.
    A little less of the personal venom aimed at your fellow Mayo posters perhaps.We all want the same thing.

  68. About 30 seconds before Keane’s sending off SOS hit in face over by the sideline. Surely as much a red card as Keane’s!

  69. If u read my post properly u should
    be able to easily determine I aimed NO venom
    towards my fellow Mayo posters at all!
    In fact the opposite, I would say…
    To be honest, I understand your views about
    blanket football – it can be awful to watch, when played as an entire blanket.
    To be fair, I think Donegal had moved on from the awful stuff they played v the Dubs in 2012.
    I would wish though if u could point out to me where I “aimed venom at Mayo supporters”
    Really u have, in my opinion, thrown this at me without foundation.
    But sure, as this site is democratic, I will be more concerned with other posters views on what I said. I would humbly hope to expect a different reaction.
    But u are right, we all want the same thing.
    I love Mayo, have been to the last 7 AI finals (not a boast, I know many here have too) – and I love meeting Mayo supporters from every part of the Co. when the games come along.
    And I have the height of respect for the great no. of people who contribute to this blog.
    Especially those in far away places.

  70. JoR
    Point on those 2 all Irelands totally accepted.
    I just genuinely feel we should just let
    them all go – Even ones we should fave won.
    I went on for yrs about the Meath defeat in 96 myself and I’d has done me no good.
    I had to let it go – the 2013 v Dubs final haunted me for ages too.
    Now (I realise) it is best to channel all that mental energy going FORWARD.
    Can’t change the past but we can do something about what lies ahead.

  71. Overthebarshouting, I saw no venom in anything you posted yesterday, far from it. It was actually way back in 2011 that we played the ultra defensive blanket against the Dubs but it seems that we’ll be forevermore castigated for it in some quarters. Anyway, I cannot wait to next weekend, I’m nearly as excited as if we were playing ourselves and less nervous so it’s all good. There’s a lot of goodwill up here towards mayo and we’ll all be shouting for you all the way.

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