Feast of football

It’s going back a decade at this stage but, for a number of years before that, the August Bank Holiday weekend was arguably the best weekend of the year for Gaelic football. This was because the four All-Ireland quarter-finals were run off over successive days, in the form of two double-headers at Croke Park.

It was a time to pig out on the inter-county action. It was a veritable feast of football, where, over two days you got to see the final eight counties in the hunt for the Sam Maguire go at it hammer and tongs.

It was a weekend of the year I always relished. More than once I went along to HQ on both days, even in years when we weren’t involved, as it wasn’t necessary to have a dog in the fight to enjoy the action. Indeed, with stress levels severely elevated on days when the Green and Red were in action, those days watching on as a neutral were pure enjoyment by comparison.

There’s been much debate about the new Championship structure and I think we’re all struggling to some degree with this much-changed format and what it means for Gaelic football’s summer campaign.

The Championship got underway back at Easter Sunday but so far we’ve seen little in the way of blood and thunder clashes. Indeed, we can claim involvement – as well as victory – in two of the highest profile matches played so far this year, as we got the better of both of last year’s All-Ireland finalists.

It was only last weekend that we got the first proper whiff of cordite, with four counties biting the dust in quick succession. From now on it’s knockout all the way and so, this coming weekend, four more will be for the hop, possibly ourselves included, though we’ll be aiming to ensure that instead it’s the Dubs.

Regardless of who comes out on top this weekend, we have a football weekend to savour. That’s because, for the first time since the summer of 2013, all four All-Ireland quarter-finals will once again be played over two days, with double-headers on both Saturday and Sunday.

I’m not sure if this is just an accidental by-product of the new Championship structure, with its über-condensed match scheduling, or if there was a concrete plan to reinstitute this special weekend in the Gaelic football calendar.

All I know is that I’m off to Croker both days this weekend and I’m already licking my chomps at the prospect. The annual feast of football is back.

145 thoughts on “Feast of football

  1. I’ve a fancy for Tyrone, Travelling Wilbury. They’ve found form at the right time and Morgan can kick over the press to a midfield Kerry can’t match. They’re not too shoddy up top either. I think they might well nick it.

  2. @Pullhard wouldn’t be a bit surprised with that prediction ! Really is wide open this year …makes it all the more exciting ha

  3. I’d be with Willie Joe on this one. Tyrone certainly know how to get the job done and Kerry never enjoy playing them. Kerry’s form has been very patchy and their over reliance on David Clifford might come back to bite them.

  4. Just wondering what night the CCCC meet up. Monday night historically always seems to be a favourite. Hoping the Ryan incident has been okayed at this stage?

  5. KMac, thought one the press outlets was cited on earlier thread and that there was to be no follow up on that incident.
    Hopefully that’s correct.

  6. @KMaclegend doubt anything will happen regards that the whole thing been ridiculously blown up by Galway a Galway player shoved/ pushed Ryan right before was unintentional and no clear footage of it. Also they should look at that awful hit on Tommy conroy if they are going to try blame Ryan o d for something so ridiculous but no of course Galway seemed to have not seen that one ..end of rant ha

    Ryan O D will be playing next weekend . Shame on all for the witch hunt over him on social media.

    @pullhard yes it really is ha! So good though soo boring when you know what teams will def win it ha..can’t wait !

  7. We need to revamp our kickout strategy before Sunday given how it misfired so badly against Galway. I expect Mattie to be back in the middle the next day but our big problem is getting bodies in to contest broken ball. Dublin will go full press from the off to make us go long so we need to get bodies under the long ball. Reape can kick easily 60 or 70 yards so lets get the ground war going well away from our goal.

  8. I’ve seen that reported too. No further action to be taken as footage inconclusive.
    Nothing in it.

  9. I’m afraid the footage on social media today isn’t great but i hope ROD faces no further action and is free to play.

    Never seen Kerry so written off before a big game but to behonest I understand it.

    Certainly a very tough draw for us.

  10. I’ve given Kevin seirious stick for continuing to pick the wrong type of player for a certain position, delighted now they made some neccessary changes.

    It’s a lovely feeling to knockout the old enemy in they’re back yard. I really didn’t see us winning especially being 5 points down against the best defence in the country.

    Moving to next week, I really don’t like this talk of “Dublin not tested, this the time to get them” etc etc. Dublin are flipping Dublin, and while not the standard of old, they have the players and “home” advantage to beat anyone. Should of beaten Kerry last year. The Dubs have been tuning themselves for the AI seiries. They feel they owe us one for having the cheek to end their 7 year unbeaten run.

    I can gurauntee you we will see the most nasty, cynical, and 1000% focused Dublin team this year. If people are foolish to beileve they don’t have the stomach for a fight, they are badly mistaken.

    My main worry for us is the short turn around. We have already seen how much an “emotional” win over Galway takes out of us, we were flat as pancakes against Roscommon.

    We have not strung two good back to back performances all year. Dubs are rightly favourites because they are fresh and rearing to go. I personally don’t think we’ll have enough left in the tank given the 7 day turn around.

    I do not beileve Sam is within our reach this year. Reape doesn’t convince me when the pressure is on, and the likes of Callinan and Coyne have unbeileveable potential but are still a bit raw. I expect the Dubs to beat us as they have the edge on fitness. 1 week is not enough mentally and physically.

  11. Keep faith Margie, there will be several changes so team be freshened. I do understand your reservations and they are well founded.
    Dublin. Are favourites so we don’t have that that tag weighting is down.
    I’m sure management will work on a kickout strategy this week, as that’s a key element this week. Reape when looking up had nothing going for him last week, wind on top of it added insult to injury.
    If push comes to shove mgt should just let him rip it over the top and try win the 50/50s in their half.

  12. @west kerry can’t trust footage on social media . Also if action is going to be taken ( really doubt it will ) what about the smack against Jack Kearney back the head ? Straight red all day no drama being made of that at all funny that..and Tommy conroy hit as I’ve said.

    I’m sure kerry will put it up to Tyrone as they always do but Tyrone are looking dangerous like they’ve got their act together.

    Mayo are well able and take on dubs have the faith we can ha :p

  13. Funnily enough my usual very confident dublin mates when it comes to gaa are pretty on edge Atm this week haha ..

  14. I agree Willie Joe. In fairness to them, they know how to put manners on the Kingdom when it matters.

  15. 1985, there is actually a full body view video of it.

    Dublin definitely wouldn’t want to see us coming. West is best or pullhard may have mentioned it earlier, but we have the potential to go completely unscripted and have the years of S&C under our belt most counties cannot match. When combined with our playing talent it’s pure chaos that you can’t plan for.
    Sadly it has not got us over the line before, but this Dublin team isn’t as strong as the 6 in a row team.

  16. Just watch the 2021 semi God we were good that day. TC has to start on Sunday.Rod aido and TC they will tear dublin apart.leavw the three 20 yard frk. Goal as much as possible.

  17. Am I the only one left who expects Kerry to beat Tyrone this weekend.
    Tyrone were very lucky against Westmeath and beat a poor Donegal team. I expect Kerry to win by 4 points plus and lay down a marker.

  18. @Upyaboya we were so good people say dubs fell apart but everyone knows we usually come good 2nd half like v galway people say Galway fell apart 2nd half but in reality mayo came good …

    Never write off mayo.

    I think Tyrone will take kerry think they are just better their forwards are scary ..ha

  19. 1985,

    Yes there is pitchside footage on twitter today and being honest its not a good look.

    But look as a lad that used to defend Galvin many times I know how you look after your own guy.

  20. Dublin are the only tean in the last eight that hasn’t played any of the remaining 7 teams at any point so far in the championship. In s format designed to get the best 8 teams into the quarterfinals that has to be a concern for Dublin….

  21. Reap must put the kickouts as far out the fields as possible and Mayo much crowd the area to pick up the breaking ball, like galway did last weekend. That should stop the dubs doing the high press.

  22. Clare,

    That’s what they call whataboutry.

    I don’t want to see ROD getting sanctioned and I doubt he will.

  23. West kerry think back to the Cork kerry final afew years ago 2009 t kennely takes out n Murphy don’t come on here and slate a mayo player of dirty play when kerry are the masters.

  24. @westkerry no not really wasn’t ‘whataboutry’ at all.

    No ones making any issue of Tommy c hit but yeah on Ryan o d? Two Galway players aimed for him when the ball was no where near him prior to this so called incident there was ALOT of off the ball stuff going on from both sides as usual with mayo/ Galway.

    Yes I agree but there won’t be action taken against Ryan o d as inconclusive.

  25. If Ryan O’Donoghue were to face any sanction then every off the ball misdemeanor that was ever caught on a smartphone but not picked up by officials would come before the CCCC and there’d be months of a backlog. I suspect it would end in a legal challenge and get laughed out the door. This stuff is a nonsensical sideshow.

  26. I don’t think Mayo next Sunday will in any way resemble the Mayo from last Sunday.

    The shackles are off and I think this team is been built to beat the best out there and we are likely to see a performance, levels above what we saw last weekend.

    The mucking about business with the likes of Galway, Louth and Cork is done and dusted and time now to crank everything up another few notches.

    I’m fully convinced we are ready for the Dubs. No doubt about that.

  27. Guarantee all this ridiculous stuff going after Ryan o d on social media / off the ball etc is only going to egg our guys on even more and they will come bouncing would like to be the Dubs waiting for that.

  28. Upyaboya.

    That hit on Murphy was an utter disgrace and he should have walked for that.

    I don’t care what jersey you wear if somethings wrong it’s wrong.

    I challenge anyone to watch that footage today and attempt to defend it.

    But as I said, I doubt he’ll face any sanction and that’s the correct thing in my mind.

  29. Clare,

    Today’s footage is not inconclusive.

    And your argument about a hit on Tommy,
    That’s exactly what whataboutry is Clare.

    Talking about a different incident to defend or deflect from another.

    Anyway let’s move on.. its done with now.

  30. The best thing for us as Mayo supporters to do on the Ryan incident is Shush…and concentrate on beating the Dubs in a few days time .

  31. @west kerry did you watch what happened before it ? Did Was untinitional nothing in it you can’t see anything fron that footage anyway Ryan o d did nothing wrong .

    Anyway bring on the Dubs wouldn’t want to be them waiting for a riled up mayo as I’m sure they will be after all this ridiculous stuff!

  32. We’ve a good chance to take the dubs – no doubt about it. Personally I don’t like the narrative peddled about the ‘chaos’ Mayo bring.I think it belittles the football talent we’ve had over the last decade. This so called chaos refers to fabulous periods during games when our team expresses itself and unloads its potential in energetic skilful and concentrated play – with few errors and 100% belief,commitment and will to win. More of that on Sunday please boys. Up Mayo

  33. Clare,

    I don’t care what happened before it.

    The footage today is very clear and there’s no ambiguity.

    I’m not here to upset anyone so well leave it at that.

  34. @west kerry the footage is inconclusive end of. Yes @2hops totally agree with you on that 1!

    Time to concentrate on the Dubs do you think con will be a danger to us? He’s the one I’m most worried about ..

  35. I think we need to forget Sunday past and start looking ahead now, it’s done. I’m glad Ryan has an edge to his play, good teams need that. Did he cross the line on Sunday, possibly but the best players live on the line (not the sideline). The players will be recovering now and each focusing on minor tactics which when added up can hopefully be the difference between winning and losing. There’s no point getting too worked up at this early stage though and I hope the players aren’t chomping at the bit yet as it just wastes energy, save that for when they cross the white line on Sunday, that’s the only time it matters

  36. West kerry its not done as i said kerry are the masters of synicol playl and the first too highlight a potential wrong doing. NO Footage have I seen highlights a wrong doing. Watch the clip rod can only make contact with Kelly left foot yet Kelly hops as is right foot is hit. Its total bull and we need to move on.if it’s conclusive against a mayo player I’ll be the first to call so don’t come in here make a call at try and defend It
    review the clips.on line Kelly indicates his right foot is hit hit yet rod is no where near his right foot watching too much premiership j think.

  37. West Kerry thanks for the answer.I haven’t seen that footage but Ryan would want to be careful.A red card at that stage of the game would have been disastrous.in all fairness we wouldn’t be happy if this happened to one of our players.I would think the gaa can only use official cameras for evidence and they would have done something by now if it was going to happen

  38. West Kerry, will you ease up on about it. Im delighted Ryan has the snarl and bit of dawg in him. A Kerry man/woman coming on here acting holier than thou about a bit of hand bags of the ball is laughable. He stood on his ankle, get over it. You had a lot of respect from posters here over the last few months, don’t ruin it for yourself.

    For what its worth I think Kerry will beat Tyrone, simply because Tyrone are not being written of by everyone. The “Trone” pysche relies on being given no chance by anyone. Kerry will be well prepped for them now, I expect a comfortable Kingdom win.

  39. For the record…

    I want ROD on the pitch on Sunday.

    I will be roaring Mayo on and believe you will win it as you on the right path.

    Incidents happen I’m not condemning the lad I just offered my view on it.

  40. West kerry my last say on this but over the last decade we as a county have been over by the kingpins of Gaa enough is enough we won’t have it coming from a dub or kerry. Play with the sword die with sword. It’s an inclusive incident and shouldn’t be brought up or tolerated by kingpin off gaa.

  41. West Kerry’s posts on here are always fair and well informed.there won’t be any action taken now I hope but the problem is if the referee or linesmen had seen this in real time he probably would have been in trouble as an attempted strike is a red card.Yea he was probably being baited but he has to keep his head.If the ballymun saint was still playing he would certainly be on Ryan’s case on Sunday

  42. I also think Kerry will beat Tyrone.

    I agree with Margie that Dublin will be well up, fresh and hungry. The only comparison this year is that we both played Ros. We lost. Dublin didn’t.

    They topped Div 2. One which has a team, Cork, who mauled us in the final quarter and Derry, back to back Ulster champions. Dublin should have beaten Kerry last year. They are extremely dangerous.

    There is no excuse for Mayo not being ready. There is no excuse for Mayo not being hungry like mad dogs. We’ve been chasing this blasted cup for 70+ years. We lost in a QF last year – with a feeble challenge against Kerry. First time back for a championship game. Time to stand up now Mayo. Time also for Ruane to show some form at Croker!

  43. I seen the incident live in front of me, West Kerry is correct, don’t see why he is getting stuff for telling the truth. two wrongs, even ten wrongs dont make a right.

  44. Unless I am totally wrong in Carrick.kelllliss big rom? is hobbling on right foot. From.whatbive seen on Sunday game Kelly is indicating he has an issue nwith right footwd players.

  45. @mattd you must have been far far back in the stands then if you thought it was ‘clear as day ..’

  46. Would ye all feck off to bed snd quit contributing in one way or another to a kangaroo court on ROD.
    And the draw next Monday will have three northern teams and Mayo in it. I’ve seen 3 Ulster blankets in the tea leaves.

  47. I would argue that the first 15 available to Tyrone might be stronger than what is available to Kerry. But the Kingdom’s bench is better than the Red Hands. It might just have a bearing on the game tilting it Kerry’s way but just about. Especially with only a weeks rest for Tyrone, they might actually have more need for reinforcements. . I know Tyrone were well in control v Donegal, but still they only used 2 Subs the last one in the 72nd minute. Mayo could actually start a number of players on Sunday that saw none or very little playing time v Galway on Sunday last. Fionn McDonagh, Padraig O’Hora, Conor Louftus could all start not having played at all last Sunday, Mathew Ruane, Donnacha McHugh, and James Carr only came on in the last quarter they would be as fresh as any Dublin players. The time given to Kevin McLoughlin, Enda Hession, Cillian O Connor and Jason Docerthy would only have brought those players on having played so little up to now. A number of players you would have to keep an eye on, to see if tiredness was catching up with them Aiden O Shea, Jordan Flynn, Jack Carney , Ryan O Donoghue and Diarmuid O Connor have been playing allot mostly game after game , Diarmuid sat out the Louth game..Paddy Durcan, Stephen Coen and Eoghan McLoughlin have all sort of being eased back into the starting 15 having missed a fair bit of action up until now. And still we have others like Bob Touhey, Aiden Orme, Darren McHale and Michael Plunket, you know all in all we should be able to start a pretty fresh 15 v Dublin, not quite as fresh as Dublin but enough to keep them honest anyway.

  48. Just a post on Galway.Would the football board in Galway not consider developing Tuam Stadium as the home ground for Galway footballers.You can mark Galways dismal record of reaching All Ireland Finals or Semi Finals since the time they moved to Pearce Stadium in 2003.Tuam was a fortress for Galway footballers , Mayo could never win there for years until 1999 in the rain.
    Since Galway have moved to Pearce stadium Mayo have beaten them there in 2009, 2013, 2015, 2020 and 2023.
    The other big reason is the effect the Sea breeze has on the quality of football played and the difficulty to shoot, it has major bearing on the game.Lastly everyone you talk too, hates travelling there , even Galway fans complain how hard is to get across the city and find parking for a match.if that game was in Tuam the last day , Galway never kick the same amount of wides and win the game in my opinion.

  49. Achill 75, finally an interesting post from someone, saying it for years Salthill is not a venue for proper championship football most days with the sea breeze. Tired of reading posts here by so many about a player who got stuck in Sunday. Live outside the County and fed up over the years listening to people tell me Mayo are a nice team. Guess what? “Nice Teams Don’t Win All Irelands”!!! If Mayo bring the intensity they brought for the 2nd half of that Beach Volleyball last Sunday we win pulling up

  50. An awful lot of time, words and opinions etc. on the Ryan incident. I doubt and hope that no action will be taken and, if it is, we should appeal it and defend it thro’every hoop available, until the last minute and lawyer up, as Dublin did with Connolly. From what I have seen it is inconclusive, but there may be clearer footage. I don’t know if Ryan deliberately targeted Kelly’s injured foot, but It did look a bit suspicious and, if deliberate, was downright stupid, regardless of the jostling that preceded it. I am pretty sure that if the boot was on the other foot and a Galway player targeted one of ours, we would have a good few up in arms on here. Sometimes we need to take off the green and red glasses. We need to be smart, careful and disciplined and not give refs a decision to make. Opponents will try to wind us up and get a reaction and Dublin are masters at it. Apart from Ryan I remember two incidents of ram like forehead to forehead stuff involving, I think, Eoghan and Jordan. We need to be careful with our reactions and don’t overreact-a red card would spell big trouble.

  51. Used to love the bank holiday weekend football weekend.
    It was a novelty to get there back then as we only became regulars in 2011-2013. Before that it was every odd year.

    The weekend produced some great Mayo performances
    2004 v Tyrone, 2011 v Cork, 2013 v Donegal were all big performances as underdogs

    Don’t think we ever won one when we came through the qualifiers though.
    We won q finals in 16&17 in the half fixed A and B draws

    Always made hard work of a q final we were expected to win

    Hopefully this will be a similarly big underdog performance from Mayo.
    I think the current Dublin team can be rattled physically.
    In 2021 we upped the anti in the 2nd half and Dublin lost their heads.
    I think they are average enough at half back and half forward.
    I don’t think we will get away with playing a forward in the half back line again.
    If Comer was fit last week, he would have punished us for leaving Jason Doherty on him.

    I’m having palpitations here at the thought of Con O Callaghan getting a few balls v Loftus or Doherty

  52. More tickets became available last night. Plenty available it would appear, link here: https://www.ticketmaster.ie/event/18005ED6955021F0?did=mayo3.

    It would also appear that the GAA have been up to their usual ticket trickery, releasing only so many and instituting blind panic so some bought Nally Terrace tickets early in thew week in the belief that nothing better would come up while now there are plenty of good stand tickets on offer. Serious questions to answer by the GAA at this stage the way they’re jerking around supporters on this front.

  53. Very annoying Willie Joe but it is normal practice from ticketmaster. I am expecting an avalanche of good tickets to become available tomorrow and possibly Friday.

  54. Big money to be made on Tyrone in mayo!

    Talk about recency effect, only 10 days ago they drew with a D3 team. Before that they had won 1 in 5 championship games

    Donegal are useless this year, Kerry would have bet them out the gate too

    This “great record v Kerry” in chship is very outdated too, don’t think they’ve beaten them in regulation play since 08.. hardly too relevant in 2023

  55. @westkerry.keep posting here your more than welcome imo. I hear you. I saw the incident live and we were very lucky to have 15 on the field. We can’t condemn a player from another county for dangerous play and expect others to ignore ours. Can’t ask people to stop commenting on the incident as it’s a major moment of the game and isn’t that what always gets the attention. Hopefully nothing becomes of it at this stage as we need our best players available.

  56. Three very competitive games on the trot is a problem. The depth of our squad offsets this to some degree. From what I understand about physiology it is depletion of glycogen levels in the liver as a result of a series of excessive exercise and the time needed to build up that glycogen store. Normal training regimens avoid excess and glycogen depletion. Excessive exercise also allows a build up of lactic acid which damages muscle. I am sure there are lots of people on here that might know more than me on this subject. But making full use of substitutes and using players that did not play last week will diminish the problem. That is why having the depth of squad we have is great. It will be a great feat if this team beats Dublin next week and will be all credit to good management.

  57. I think the little ”rest” Matty had last week will be just what he needed. Guaranteed he’ll be back to his rampaging best this Sunday. I’d expect him to relish the another crack at Fenton and at least break even on Dub kick outs. For our restarts he needs to take Fenton as far away as possible from the area Reape is kicking to.
    I would say we will be looking more to go short and build from the back this time though.
    A clean sheet is vital and I could see Tommy, Ryan and James leaving Cluxton on the seat of his pants.

  58. Really excited about this weekend’s games. Should be 4 massive battles and hard to be too sure about any of the outcomes. For ourselves we really need to at least break even on kickouts overall but we must absolutely nail our own otherwise it gives the opposition energy and we face an onslaught. No intention of trying to tell management how to pick the team but hope we get a good start and can keep our shoulders to the wheel for the 70 plus minutes.
    I agree with the shambles that is Ticketmaster and apart from the anxiety it causes fans it’s just plain unfair to treat genuine GAA people with disdain. Apart from the allocations sent to competing counties and corporate groups, the rest should all be up for grabs from the off and let first come be first served.
    Finally, could we please move on from this fecking ROD incident. It’s over and our minds should be focused on Dublin not on what’s done and can’t be influenced. I’m going for a Mayo win in a tight but open game.

  59. Agree Willie Joe but it happens all the time with at Ticketmaster and have never heard it raised outside of this blog!

  60. Since Ryan O Donoghue started to make a serious impact for Mayo he tends to get ‘special attention’. Most top class forwards have experienced this. Ryan got it against Cork and Galway the last day. From what i could make out thats what was going on when he tried to stamp on the foot of an opponent. It was foul play and if the ref saw it he was gone. Ryan is a tough hard competitive lad who isn’t inclined to take sh*t from anyone but he needs to be careful or we could end up with 14 !
    As a Mayo man I’m delighted we have lads like himself and Jordan in our forward line who won’t be messed with.

  61. I seen Andy interviewed and he clearly think’s Dublin will have too much although he did back Mayo in a Heart v Head situation.He thinks Dublin are much improved on the last 2 years.
    The bottom line is though we got destroyed on our kickout in Salthill and were only kept in it by Galway misses.
    What are we going to do in MF ???we dont have a big ball winner in there anymore.
    It’s very rare that teams with those our MF stats from Sunday win.
    Also interested to hear Colm Boyle talking about our backs getting forward ahead of the ball and leaving gaps and mismatches behind them and how this also limits options for a player bursting forward to keep moves going. He mentioned that against Cork also.

  62. Being pedantic here Achill75, we won in 1997 in Tuam. An absolute classic, McDonald came on (he had come back!), scored two points, and created mayhem during his twenty five minutes on the pitch.

    This was it! First win in Tuam since 51. With McDonald we could beat anyone. The omens were perfect, the stars were aligned. Later, Meath were toppled in Leinster, and only Offaly and Kerry or Cavan stood between us, and sure we had beaten Kerry the year before…

  63. Margie… You wrote a post way back here and I totally agree. I am 100%Mayo and have every hope we win. But Dublin are Dublin. They’re coming for the big one this year and they have total focus. How much talk is there about them on social media or sports blogs… very little. They will be ruthless and I am afraid they’ll rip us apart, if we are not equally ruthless. Be prepared for the ultimate dog fight.
    If Mayo really turn up for this one, it could be amazing. Otherwise I see nothing but a Dublin win.
    I think it’s time to focus. Bring it on.
    Maigheo Abu

  64. West kerry is always fair in the comments they make here.I’d ignore the snide comments made about them.I too saw the social media sideline view of the incident(have a look Clare) and if the ref or officials saw this view,then Ryan would have been sent off- much as I hate to think of that senario.We’ve been the victims of wrong sendings off before-(Shamie v Dublin,Lee v Kerry),so mabye things balance out.Anyway we hopefully have all our warriors ready to go on Sunday, and we come out on the right side of things.

  65. Think Mayo will be fresh going into this one, it wont be like a few yrs ago where we were gassed at about 55mins. The panel and the break some players got will see to that, albeit as someone mentioned the energy levels of Aiden, DOC, Jordan and maybe Cone will need to be watched closely. Mayo will have to set the tone early and try and Boss it, always felt that with Dublin if you get at them you can really upset them and that’s the beating of them. I’ve said it a few times but the more I think of it absolutely Aiden should stay in the corner full game – it will give extra space to our speedsters and he can get marks plus conserve his own energy levels to see the game out.

  66. What are peoples thoughts on line up for Sunday. Will Conor Loftus and Mattie Ruane be restored. I was a bit surprised even though it wasn’t working out that mgmt. waited until last weekend to abandon this plan they have worked on since Jan with Loftus at 6. Coen looks a more natural fit there anyway but will be interesting to see if they go back to original plan now they are in Croke park and not facing blanket defense.

  67. Yeah not liking the pile on at all on West Kerry

    Opposition fans are a hugely valuable contributor to the blog – an outside voice is always so good to hear – even if Tuamstar’s cringeworthy anti-jinx attempts all year do begin to grate at times 🙂 😉

  68. I was pleasantly surprised to see McStay take a scalpel to the team last week, some big calls with mixed results but he deserves kudos for going with it anyway as he would have been lynched if we had lost with that lineup.

    So many options now I could see him taking an axe to the team again for next week and keep the dubs guessing. A 15 shouldn’t be set in stone and should always be open to changes based on opposition

    Ruane was deservedly dropped last week and didn’t set the world alight on his cameo bit I’d be shocked if he isn’t starting v the dubs, going to need all the rangy athletic guys we can muster around the middle so he will start.

    I expect o’hora will be back in too and potentially one other wildcard. I could see Carr getting some joy out of that dublin backline in croker and also recall the huge impact hession had v the dubs in 2021

    Doherty didn’t do enough for me last week and Kevin mc paid his way last week but I suspect he will be stood down on this occasion


    O hora
    E mclaughlin

  69. Looking forward to all four games this weekend, all should be tight right to the end. Dublin are Dublin, you don’t become a bad team overnight, they are a team filled with multiple All Ireland Winners who have set their sights firmly on an All Ireland this year. Look what they done to Louth and Sligo, they still have the ability to destroy teams. That said, I have to laugh at some of the Dubs coming out with the line of ‘revenge for 2021’. To hell with that, we want revenge for ’55, ’85, ’13, ’15, ’16, ’17, ’19 and ’20. That’s some line of hurt there, we should be ravenous for them on Sunday, Up Mayo!

  70. @diehard that has been noticeable alright re ROD, he definitely is being targeted as Mayos biggest threat this season and invariably teams are putting their best man on him. Cork in fact were double marking him at times. Thought young McGrath done well on him for Galway, hopefully now with conroy fully back to speed that will take some of the attention off him.

    I’d suspect it will be murchan tagging conroy, Fitzsimmons on RoD and newcombe/Byrne on AOS.

    On paper it’s a poor dublin defence yet collectively they seem to be keeping the goals out so must be doing something right

  71. No one in Galway seems to be making much of the Ryan O’Donoghue incident, the people dragging it out on social media seem to be from Mayo and surprise surprise other counties that are still left in the championship.

    On the Pearse Stadium thing, not really a fan of the place but Hurling and Football are on opposite sides of the county so while it might suit ye lads above in Castlebar and Ballyhaunis it certainly doesn’t suit people from South Galway or Connemara. Most other counties have their stadium in the county town, its just on the wrong side of it. Its quicker for Galway hurling folk to get to the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick in a lot of cases than it is to Salthill.
    The ideal spot I always felt was Athenry, rail and motorway connectivity to everywhere and a lovely surface

  72. I do like Eoghan McLaughlin and his athleticism is incredible. But he shouldn’t be starting as a wing back in my opinion. His tackling & basics aren’t great as of yet.

    But as a rampaging wing forward late on, I can’t think of anyone better. Get him running onto lay offs from Aido etc and he’s a weapon.

  73. Hey guys well as the name suggests I’m a Dub. Long time follower of this Blog because always great topics and love for the game. I hope there’s no problem with the enemy on Sunday commenting. Just two issues I wanted to raise
    1. Who are the favourites for the game on Sunday. This is Dublin v Mayo the biggest modern day rivalry in the game. Form goes out the window. I feel our style suits Mayo with all the pace In the team. Can I call a winner?? Not a chance. But I do know both teams will tear into each other and there’ll be lots of passion on show. It’s what the championship needs this year. All I can say is may the best team win.
    2. On the ROD situation. Did he stamp on Kelly?? Yes he probably did. Is there a county in Ireland that doesn’t resort to the dark arts?? No. For all our close battles over the year I think it was always one thing those great Mayo teams missed, a nasty streak. You have to have it in your team to win an All Ireland. I’m not favoring players intentionally injuring each other. Just that the nasty streak is needed. Should he be banned?? No certainly not. He didn’t murder anyone. No matter what teams are playing you want the strongest team available. Again hope it’s alright the enemy posting in. Cheers.

  74. @Mo-Direach, I completely agree with your thoughts. As a County, we never handle expectation well. Some of us were accused of being “animals” with our criticism of the Cork game, but look how the team and managment responded. Im not saying the fans rage won the game, far from it, but when our backs are against the wall we play pur best.

    A lot of people are taking Dublin for granted, thinking theirs a soft centre there now. But as you also said they are fully focused on this, and the lack of noise coming out from them is eerie. We need to be absolutely ruthless and nail whatever chances we get.

    We will have to up our performance massively to have a chance on Sunday, they have everything they need to actually hammer us. We do not respond well to week in week out games.

    On a side note, I hope Johneen Small gets some special attention for Eoin’s broken jaw. I hope someone lays a marker down early on him – not today pal.

    I’d be genuinely surprised if we bet them, and if we lose, ill rest easier knowing Galway won’t be sneaking an All Ireland right under our nose.

    @Big Mike, nice and fair comment regarding that incident. Stuff happens, and my Galway friends and family were not making any issue with it. The form of Walsh is what really concerned them post game. I think myself the long club season didnt suit him, he looked mentally fatigued in my opinion.

  75. @diehard: Sean Kelly was going to town on Enda Hession who’d just come on. The usual hard shoulder & dragging stuff but cranked up to 11 trying to unsettle a dangerous runner and crossing a line on what’s normally acceptable for refs (borderline having a chat/yellow stuff). Ryan saw it happening and stepped in to back up his teammate.

    Ryan crossed the line with the shoulder in the back & leg swipe (debatable yellow/red if it had been spotted) but given the context of Kelly going after Enda I don’t think he, any of the squad or backroom will be feeling too regretful on it.

    Definitely needs to work on keeping the cool in decisions like that, he’ll be targeted by Dublin and others hoping for cards. However it’s that same edge (held by Lee, Cillian & plenty of other players around the country near the very top of the game) that makes him the player he is so hard for him or others to soften those edges too much.

  76. Opt2misteek I’m just saying that there was lots of off the ball stuff going on from both sides … and if Ryan should have been sent off well then so should the guy who hit on Tommy conroy but nothing being said about that .

    I like hearing outsiders views on things is well it what makes a blog good but bit sick of the whole witch hunt on Ryan o d .

    Anyway we should be concentrating on the Dubs game..ha

  77. Honestly although it won’t be a popular opinion but I think it’s high time GAA supporters of the county scene got a say from ticketmaster to all Ireland final ticket distribution to GAAGO . There needs to be a voice . We are treated like shit by the organisation and taken for mugs .

  78. 100% agree TsuDoNym….Ryan or the rest of the lads won’t be too regretful given the context.
    Lads need to stand up for themselves and their team mates and not take crap from anyone. But being cute as well not to get sent off.
    Long enough Mayo were seen as ‘nice’ players. You need a hard edge to be able to compete at the top level.

  79. Hill 16 well Dublin certainly had their share of players with a nasty streak including one individual who crossed over several lines with his behaviour but anyway Martin the dub was a good contributor on here for years .i wonder where he went.Anyway hill 16 can you pass us on any information on Dublin injury situation

  80. The big thing to watch out for on Saturday is how the 2 week break teams do v the 1 week break teams. Personally I’d suggest that the 1 week break teams should be out of the blocks quicker but equally should tire quicker towards the end. Teams playing on sunday could tweak their starting teams based on what transpires on Saturday, especially if it becomes obvious which break was more beneficial.

  81. Don’t be surprised to see more changes to the team before throw in. Reading between the lines and comments from McStay and Rochy after the Galway game they mentioned horses for courses. I would expect Mattie and Enda to start with Kevin and Jason missing out. Which of Eoghan or P O Hora (presuming he’s fit) will get the nod. Do they start Tommy or James Carr. Tommy took an almighty belt into the chest last Sunday and might not be 100%. One things for sure, the team named on Friday morning won’t be the team that starts.

  82. Jason Doherty appeared to be taking up the Conor Loftus role last Sunday which seemed to be the plan in earlier league games.we have no idea why Conor Loftus wasn’t playing.was he dropped or was it the food poisoning issue

  83. Looking forward to the match on Sunday but I can’t call it. We certainly were fortunate that Galway were not up to it on Sunday. They should have been home and hoses at half time and failed to capitalise on the:
    – Home advantage
    – Significant wind advantage in the first half
    – The numerous opportunities they had to score from frees, given they were awarded twice as many as us, a few of which were soft enough and ultimately very scorable
    – The hay that Comer was making inside
    – Dominating the midfield and our kickouts for the whole game.

    Ultimately my view is that Galway lost that game more than a case of we won it but records as we know won’t reflect that so I’ll enjoy the victory.

    On the ROD thing, it’s fairly indefensible in my view and he’s a lucky boy that nothing is happening given how it was highlighted on the Sunday game. Not the first time they’ve shown bias but this time they may have had a point. Only Seán Cavanagh mentioned that what was shown was inconclusive and that it takes 2 to tango, and any additional footage I’ve seen shows Seán Kelly was well able to dish it out himself.
    That being the case I do feel the GAA needs to do something about all the off the ball pushing and shoving and hard man play acting that goes on. Lads shouldering each other is just posturing but what sort of impression does it give kids?. When under 12s go on to the pitch is it a case of shouldering and dragging off their opposite number the whole time while the ball is up the other end of the pitch?. I realise I’ve gone all “won’t someone think of the children” but until that small stuff deemed as handbags is dealt with, then incidents like ROD and Kelly will continue on. So we either condone it and accept it’s part of the game, or address it and remove it from the sport.

    As for the Dubs on Sunday, it’s hard to know where they’re at as they’ve only played one Division 1 team this year in Roscommon. They’re rightfully favourites in my view having topped their group and benefitting from an 2 week break. We’ll need to improve on our form and cut out all the unforced errors or we’ll be in bother early enough. By the same token, Mayo Dublin games tend to take on a life of your own and God only knows how it will end up. It would be lovely to continue our winning streak over them but I don’t think I’ll be wagering any money with the Bookies on this game.

  84. I dont see Dublin as waiting in the long grass for us, Mayo will be fully tuned in for them. It will be a very different game to Galway and I expect 4-5 changes from the starting 15 the last day, who they’ll be I can only guess. Mayo should have momentum on their side to and its not the Dublin of old but still a decent outfit with match winners. As we get closer to the weekend you’ll see the usual media barb from the usual siuspects (Philly, Redmond etc.) plenty of paper pages will be filled to so expect every sort of rubbish to come out but sure they are used to that now and who really takes any notice nowadays anyway. Mayo to the Hill anyone ? for a nice curve ball !

  85. Time to move on to the challenge ahead.
    Any of the Dublin wins were as a result of substitutions in the last quarter.weve got to be alert and make counter changes ourselves.
    It’s been our worst quarter in recent games. Having a lead and not managing it.
    Good use of bench and we can win this.
    No matter how good a team is, it’s always a shell shock when asked to go up a level. That’s the challenge for Dublin imo and they’ll find it more difficult than they may think. There will be surprise results at weekend

  86. I was on Ticketmaster early enough to get 2 tickets (about 45m – 1h after they were released). There was a lot of traffic but when I got in they kept offering me tickets I didn’t want, but at the same price €40. I just kept rejecting and stuck with it because I knew there had to be some in the general areas I would like. And hey-presto was offered 2 in the middle of the Hogan after about 15 rejections!!! At that stage it was a game, but you needed time to sit in front of the screen.

    I think the Kerry Tyrone game will be hard to call, I expect an edgy encounter. Thrilling to watch.

    Similarly with Mayo Dublin, we need a few tricks to secure our own kick out and address the midfield and direct running threat Dublin will try to impose.

    Hon Mayo

    – aghhhhh the nerves are back!

  87. @supermac.you left Callinan off your team. Was that an oversight or tactical? He played well last Sunday and made team of the week.

  88. Reading about the Sevens rugby success, a comment really struck me :
    Attack wins a game. Defence wins a championship!!
    I know it’s a different code but there’s truth in that.
    Hope we have sufficient at either end of the pitch.
    I expect… we have.
    Maigheo go deo.

  89. I don’t know how to read this game at all , I thought Dublin had gone backwards up till a while ago and then I started to notice they were improving game on game , they went from a close two point victory v Kildare in Leinster to hammering them by nine points in the group game .

    My heart says mayo of course and I will convince myself to believe for 70 mins but in truth I don’t believe it’s physically possible to recover from a bruising game v Galway last Sunday , I just don’t think their is sufficient time for amateur athletes to get the body and mind tuned . When you consider that and factor in our fading out of games regularly in the last 15mins under normal two week gaps this doesn’t make for a good result . If they get a hold of midfield early on it could be a very long Sunday evening.

    Mayo by 6

  90. @Mo-direach: Really interesting look at the defensive situation(s) & consequences from Stephen O’Meara’s YouTube: https://youtu.be/T_iXNBBZ5KI?t=1006

    Turning Galway over on 35% of their attacks, together with them missing another 35%, had a huge impact on that game. If you’d have told most people before the match the game would be decided on Galway having 37 attacking phases to Mayo’s 27 (and 19 of those into a Galway blanket) I’m not sure too many of us would have been predicting the win.

    Has to be noted the context of the game skews those numbers heavily. Had Galway not been so wasteful in attack Mayo wouldn’t have sat/brilliantly be held as deep in the second half (we went from something like the 58th minute to the 72nd without scoring despite the gale behind us) and could have dramatically altered a number of those figures (with the risk of more Mayo attacking phases increasing Galway’s scoring rate, despite potentially fewer attacking phases, as it would be into more favourable defensive positions).

  91. I admire the way Mcstay speaks before and after games.

    Always positive and upbeat about how well preparations have gone and how they feel in a good space to give any team a rattle.

    No excuses either.
    You win because you performed and deserved to win, and when you don’t win, then you didn’t deserve to win. No excuses.

    Some other would be managers saying, they think Dublin will be too strong for us. I know who I would want in charge of the team. The person that believes they can take down the Dubs.

    That has to be the first rung on the ladder. To believe you can do it.

  92. About the three weeks in a row playing, I’d like to think more about that.

    Who is in line for a third full game in three weeks?
    McBrien – am I right there?
    Paddy Durcan
    Jordan Flynn
    Jack Carney

    (I think Coyne was subbed off versus Cork…not sure.
    I think Sam C missed some game time.
    Also Stephen Coen.
    DOC missed a game.
    Mattie and Conor Loftus missed the Galway game.
    James Carr hasn’t played all. Neither has Tommy. Or Eoghan Mc, Enda Hession or Pádraig O’Hora).

    In summary, I think Reape, Jordan, Ryan and Aido have played the most.

    I’m definitely open to correction on the above.

  93. All correct imo, , except for reape who only played last few mins against Galway

  94. It’s not a bad consideration. Who might be freshest in the legs based on recent game time.
    In my view being really well selected around 75 mins of pace and talent is our route to victory.

  95. West Kerry is indeed a fine contributor but it’s laughable to think he/she is any different to every other Kerry GAA person I’ve ever met.
    This is – rabidly obsessed with winning the AI every year. Some of the biggest snipers in the game have come out of Kerry over the years including Galvin, O’Mahony and Kennelly. Conincidentally they were all on teams that won, and won lots. It’s an essential component of winning Sam to have a couple of dark arts specialists in your team. Surely we all know that by now?
    Dublin were the same – long list of villains (to borrow a buff eganism) when they were at their peak.
    I was absolutely thrilled to see ROD standing up for himself the other day like that. Was it distasteful? Of course it was.
    Do we need as many players as possible with that attitude to win Sam? Damn right we do. There are dozens of books that could be written on nice mayo teams getting bullied around Croke park over the years on all Ireland final day and feeling hard done by. We were even complaining here just last week that cork physically bullied us in Limerick (which they did). No one outside Mayo listened or cared if I recall correctly either.

    You need a mean streak to win. West Kerry knows that very well as does Tomas O’Se – who always has the Kerry jersey on in RTE without fail.

  96. I think we would pip Dublin all things being equal, but three hard battles one weekend after the other might just be a bridge too far, especially against opposition who’ve had two weeks off and have hardly had a test all year. I hope that I’m wrong.

    West Kerry is a good contributor here, and I don’t see anything wrong in what he wrote. ROD was lucky to get away with that one, as were one or two Galwegians (late tackles on Tommy Conroy, anyone?).

  97. @Swallow Swoops

    Both Aidan and Jack Carney were subbed off well before the end in Salthill

    Diarmuid missed the Louth game iirc

  98. @Mikey3 totally agree with you. For years we were told we were to soft/nice and that’s one reason we didn’t land sam. You def do need to be able to stand up for yourself and not be bullied around the place every team has one or two like that that’s won sam look at Tyrone / dubs kerry etc can’t be soft in gaa.

    I never said West kerry wasn’t a good contributer course he is and i hope he keeps posting but my point was Mayo/ Galway always knock lumps out of each other was happening all around the pitch on Sunday.

  99. Thanks, Frost.
    Amazing how we can forget.
    That leaves Colm Reape, Jordan and Ryan with a lot of game time.
    Of those, Jordan has done some battling. I’m sure Ryan has too though perhaps in a different way.

  100. @Swallow Swoops

    Colm Reape, David McBrien and Ryan O’Donoghue are the only ones to play every minute since the group stage began up to and including Galway

    Jordan Flynn was subbed out against Louth

    Diarmuid O’Connor, Paddy Durcan and Jordan Flynn every minute of the Cork and Galway games

  101. Examiner reporting that Jack Carney was in a sling at end of game, but should be fit for Dublin.

  102. @TsuDhoNim

    The numbers are interesting.

    All the talk is about how well and the numbers Galway put into pressing our kickouts, especially first half

    But did this have an unintended consequence of reducing the number of counterattacks they were able to launch into our pushed up backline?

  103. Frost, that picture helps us understand the lads whose energy might need to be minded or considered going into the Dublin game.

    From your post, this is the spine of the team that has played full minutes in the last two weeks:

    Colm Reape
    David McBrien

    Paddy, Diarmuid and Jordan cover a lot of ground.

    Hopefully we can find a way to manage their gametime on Sunday, if necessary.

  104. My last comment on ROD. I totally agree that Mayo have been too nice in the past and most top winning teams have a nasty aggressive streak and some top exponents of the dark arts. I am delighted to see Ryan and other stand up for themselves and teammates,but there is a fine line between standing up and crossing the line and I think Ryan was lucky that he did’nt get a red, as the ref. probably did’nt see it-that would have cost us the game. By all means be aggressive and don’t get bullied, but be smart and don:t give the ref. a decision to make-any red from now on and it’s game over. Poor aul Donie Vaughan probably cost us an All Ireland by giving John Small a well deserved and well overdue clatter-it was the right thing to do, just at the wrong time as Small got a second yellow.

  105. I think ye will struggle against the Dubs same as Galway would have struggled as it was as predicted a very hard game and now here come the rested Dubs. If ye keep them from scoring goals ye have a fair chance still but need to double mark Con. I think if Clifford is shackled Tyrone will win and I expect Derry and Armagh to come through other matches. If ye win on Sunday ye will go close to winning it so why not play defensive in 1st half as Dubs dont have long distance hitters as they had 6 odd years ago. Its another massive weekend so excited but disappointed we are not there but should have never been in the position to have to beat most difficult rival. As for Salthill I hate it to be honest. In the early 1900s Galway GAA pitch was to be out where Ballybrit racecourse is today. Tuam, Athenry, Ballinasloe also viable propositions and I get sense if ye had rhe cash it would be good luck to Mchake too. As for ROD I was upset to see him appear to target Seans injury and no doubt the ref will be told to keep an eye on him gas thing is he is a very good player doesnt need to get involved but even the great Clifford gets a yellow in every match there is too much messing off ball by all sides that needs to be stamped out excuse the pun. Mayo need to stop the goals to win in my view and ye have a top keeper but the lad cannot be unprotected with Con lurking. Exciting week for ye and next we we face the green machine as big undrrdogs. Hard to believe in 4 odd weeks all will be resolved.

  106. The points made by GlasagusDearg seem quite valid. David GOUGH is one of the best refs around, generally makes good & fair decisions but he won’t stand for any macho strutting & head butting. Let’s finish the game without any red cards & Up Mayo, as ever!

  107. Funny looking at the teams I see guys are picking, going back to the former that didn’t work v Roscommon, Louth and Cork onwards and upwards from the Galway game.

    Management need to pick carefully v the Dubs, we know the current danger men in the forwards.

    Any injuries in the Dublin Camp @ Hill 16 ?
    Will Dean Rock start ?

    Hard to gauge the Dubs and Mayo right now from the day they met in 2021. A few Dublin players lost there discipline late in in the game, looked very bad for guys that won All Ireland in the preceding years.
    I see it as gains and losses for both teams since then.

    I am confident going into this game but the two weeks in a row could be a factor, thank God we have that full panel now provided there are no injuries.

  108. @Chesneychet doubt we will struggle against the Dubs be a hard fought match but we def won’t struggle. We always up our game against the dubs.

    They had to bring back the old guard to try get sam I think our young ones will give them a run for their money.
    Might be close in the end but we can give them a good game .

    Who would be good at marking con? …

    Hard luck in the football but least ye have the hurling ..

  109. @Chesneychet, you have made a few valid points.
    Similar to 2019, Mayo played Meath, Donegal 1 week later and the following week it was the Dubs.
    The Dubs set a trap for Mayo, they say back for the full 1st half and defended, Mayo were doing all the probing trying to get scores, they were tiring Mayo out.

    At half time the Dubs were probably standing and stretching in the Dressing room, at the start of 2nd half the Mayo guys were caught be surprise as the Dubs started off in 5th gear, in that 10 minute spell the Dubs won the game.

    I’m saying we should have their measure by now and management should be prepared for anything.

  110. Difficult to predict anything for Sunday. If you were a journalist tasked with covering that game, you could almost have 2 versions ready to go now… (1) Battle hardened Mayo sink Dubs, (2) Battle weary Mayo sunk by Dubs.

    Really looking forward to this. Again as with the Galway draw, I wasn’t at all unhappy with this fixture. I’m sure that management and the whole team prepare hard for every match, but I firmly believe that drawing the likes of Galway and Dublin, subconsciously brings that extra element of focus that can often be missing (and therefore fatal) when drawn against other opposition where there isn’t such a big axe to grind.

  111. Not a tactical point but would be interested to know how people are feeling in general for the match. In previous years for a match like this the “real” feeling I’d have was nerves but then remind myself of how strong the team was and they always stood a chance. This time round I genuinely have a confidence in the team, even though I know the Dubs could be a real threat, especially with goals. Maybe that will flip on its head in the next few days!

  112. I think Mayo players will be alright for stamina & speed for Sunday, not much sprinting or physical stuff this week, just enough to keep the fitness levels tuned in. Midfield is a concern for Sunday because Mayo’s Midfielders didn’t win much high ball against Galway last Sunday, so they’ll have to come up with a plan for Dublin around the middle third or they may struggle to win 50% possession & that’s a game changer to keep attack going rather than defending mostly.

  113. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again…. ruthlessness and green flags will win out the day.

  114. @Exile, we are always afraid to get too carried away prior to games, things just have to go fairly right on the day, some guys will have the opportunity to raise their games and a few others hopefully will feature and do well also.

    The poll here is something like 65 / 35 for a Mayo win more empathetic than the Galway game poll.
    Kickouts will be key.

    I always think that when the focus is on one player it can be risky.

  115. I can’t see mayo getting the win on Sunday we has 3 hard games louth cork and Galway I think the miles will get us in the end hopefully iam wrong

  116. Exile – a piece of me is telling me that Mayo havent showed their full hand yet (last 10mins against Louth, last 15mins v Cork apart from those spells they played pretty well up to that point. I’ve enough said about the Galway game but that one was just for winning). I think the overall gameplan is to be more direct but not unleash it fully until needed and mix it up til then if that makes sense. Throw in the ‘need for speed’ all over the pitch – if all this clicks we could have a serious animal on our hands. That is also why I think we will see Eoghan, Carr and Tommy start the next day and Enda, Cillian held back for a while. lots of if’s and buts attached so I’ll go take my tablets now

  117. Bob Touhy is continually making the 26 , any chance he can get time this weekend, especially with our midfield problems. Maybe something different that the Dubs will not be expecting.

  118. I’m surprised too Nephin that Touhy hasn’t got more time in the championship. They invested a lot of time into Bob in the league and I thought he played very well in general. He’s the only young player that this management team has brought in I believe and considering how poorly our midfield has being functioning at times, one might have thought that Bob would get a few minutes here and there. Then again he’s in a better place to Orme who got the road after the 1st league game and has now been brought into the 26 at the very last moment in the past 2 matches. Neither seem to be in the picture.

  119. Tuohy might be an option at wing forward at some stage of the game as a kickout option.I think Flynn could be ideal for dealing with James McCarthy.ruane can compete with Fenton in the running stakes but not in the air so don’t know what we will try there

  120. We will win on Sunday if we bring the same pace and intensity that we brought to the second half against Galway. We will lose if we return to the slow build up play and lateral passing that we saw against Louth and Cork. The pace of players like Conroy and Hession caused Dublin all kinds of problems in the 2021 semi-final and it was probably the main reason we won. Our defence will have to be super tight and it’s essential we don’t concede any soft goals. We need to win the turnovers and break at pace in the same way as we did in the second half against Galway. Keeping Con quiet will be a big challenge and I’d be tempted to put Callinan on him but McBrien will probably get the task. This game will be close and as edgy as hell but I believe we’ll win it by a few points.

  121. Excited to see how we’ll go after pressing the Dublin restarts. You’d have to imagine Gary Matthews might have some thoughts on that topic.

  122. I can’t see Dublin pressing our kickout near as hard as Galway did the last day. I’m not worried about midfield at all. We are stacked with big athletic men in our middle 8 which I think Dublin (like Kerry) will struggle to deal with. I don’t know whose responsible for making the calls in midfield but I think with all the changes the last day our kickout strategy suffered. The amount of times we had 2 and 3 men jumping for the same ball the last day was criminal. Galway had one man contesting with 3 or 4 waiting on breaks which they invariably won. The lads will have this ironed out by Sunday I have no doubt.

  123. McCormack another Midfield option made bench game or two ago but not seen since.

    How shicutin, agree goals will likely be key. We’ve only gotten 1 from our starting 6 forwards in 5 games now, and played two division 2 teams. will that sort of return be enough v Dublin?
    I think if it is to be we will have to keep them out of our own.

  124. Correct maroon, that’s a very good point, when you’ve a couple men up contesting the number men you have to scrap for breaks is greatly reduced.

  125. Have to disagree a little FDB: we scored 1-6, was it without reply, one free, and five outstanding points, oh and a goal for the ages. Yes, we were cleaned at midfield, but we found a way.

  126. Like most people I haven’t a clue how Sunday will go. We’ll just have to wait and see. We have been unpredictable so far and we haven’t seen the Dubs in a big clash yet.
    What will be important on Sunday is our attitude irrespective of who is picked. We will need to compete very hard all over the field, show them no respect and stand up to them physically and psychologically. That alone will go a long way towards victory. Combine that with a bit of cuteness and a small bit of luck and we can win.
    We need to tidy up around the middle on the breaking ball and we need to tighten up in the middle of the defence but Dublin have plenty to worry about with ROD, Tommy, Aidan, Diarmuid, Cillian, Carr or Jack Carney.
    Lots to be optimistic about.

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