Five days to go

Graphic: @MayoGAA

With the women’s final yesterday out of the way – and what a final it was too, a cracking contest in which the utter fearlessness of a marvellous Meath team won out – there’s now a clear view ahead to the men’s decider on Saturday evening. And because the final takes place on a Saturday this year, this means there’s now only five days to go to the big game.

So we’re into the pre-final maelstrom already and, with just four working days ahead before match-day, the time will go by in the blink of an eye.

Tickets have been front and centre to the debate on here and elsewhere of late. I’m not sure it’s an issue that can be solved to anyone’s satisfaction for this year’s final but this afternoon’s announcement by Mayo GAA (here) that a further 500 tickets are to be allocated via a draw to the county’s season ticket holders will certainly soften the blow, as will the allocation this week of some more tickets to the clubs.

The sad fact is that not everyone who wants to go to the final will get a ticket to do so – in large part because of the decision to play the final in front of a half-capacity crowd – but hopefully there’ll be good news for plenty of you on that front in tomorrow.

Right, onto some final coverage that should be of interest.

First, there’s Jim McGuinness’s column in the Irish Times on Saturday – here. As ever, the former Donegal manager’s take on things makes for a fascinating read and what struck me was how similar his view was to that set out by Andy Moran in the OTB podcast. In particular, both noted how naïve Kerry’s attack play was – run, run and run again – and both of them commented on the paucity of shooters Kerry had in their ranks.

Andy also features in a column in the Irish Mirror (here), where, among other things, he contrasts the experience of the 2004/2006 final appearances with 2012 and after. In short, night and day.

In the same paper, former Offaly All-Ireland winner and subsequent Mayo player Seán Lowry reckons that we’ve a better chance of beating Tyrone than we would have had accounting for Kerry. You’ll find that piece here.

Next, one from the other side of the fence. This is in the Irish News, where Kenny Archer speaks Tyrone co-manager Brian Dooher about the season to date, the challenge that Mayo will pose and how his side’s preparation has gone. That one’s here.

Back to the Irish Times where Malachy Clerkin’s column today is here and where Aonghus Ó Maicín has a piece on Ciaran McDonald second coming for the county in his current coaching role – here.

Over at the Irish Examiner, meanwhile, there’s another Seán Lowry piece (here) and there’s a piece with quotes from Stephen Rochford (here), taken from his appearance on the paper’s podcast, which, unsurprisingly, echo a fair bit of what he had to say on the latest Mayo News football podcast where he spoke at length with Billy Joe.

Colin Sheridan also has a column in the same paper and, as you’d expect, it’s another cracker. That’s here.

Finally, that piece from the UK’s Guardian that I linked to yesterday on the so-called curse is here. It’s all a bit of hokum, of course, but I always like to read things about Ireland that we all know about intimately but which are being written for an external audience. An audience that has no idea there is only one plan.

Right, that’s enough for Monday. Tomorrow’s Tuesday so there’ll be another podcast episode and it’s local paper supplement day as well. And, of course, one day closer to the final. Up Mayo.

UPDATE: I meant to include in the post but omitted to do so a reference to the passing of former County Board chairman Paddy Muldoon. The Aughagower man served Mayo GAA in many different capacities over several years and he was also a driving force for Westport GAA. Condolences to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.

126 thoughts on “Five days to go

  1. A wait of 25,557 days is coming to an end on Saturday.

    When Lee Keegan collects his Celtic cross at 7PM, it will leave Ciaran McDonald as the undisputed best Mayo player never to have won one.

    Also seeing that we beat Tipperary in 2020 semi final and Dublin in 2021 semi final, we must be due to play Ulster in the semi final next year after we win Connaught. That gives us a great chance to win back to back All Ireland’s.

  2. Well, I don’t know about the rest of ye but I got a dose of the butterflies in the tummy today at around 12 o’clock. They’ll be there now full time more or less for the next few days. A Dublin v Kerry final just doesn’t have the same effect!!!

  3. Great admiration for Séan Lowery enjoyed reading his piece, he was sitting right in front of me for the last All Ireland, down in the corner between the 14 yard line and end line, Cusack, Canal End.. It takes me back to 1985, Séan scored a great goal in Hyde Park in the 1985 Connacht Final v Rosscommon, A great long diagonal kicked peach of a pass by Jimmy Bourke… Kicked passes that good are pretty rare, but an early kicked long diagonal pass would be Kriptonite for the Tyrone defense and the way they set up, Imagine a Tommy Conroy,.. James Carr, Darren Coen, Aiden O Shea or Ryan O Donohue coming on to a pass like that, and do like Sean Lowery did in 85… I don’t really care who passes it or who finishes it, so long as it’s a Mayo man…Who will give us that diagonal pass?.. Conor Louftus, or Oisin maybe, Lee Keegan?..Letting my imagination run away with me now! .. Got a WhatsApp message today, .I think it came from the Church in Cong…I’m sure hundreds of Mayo fans and others have gotten the same message.. I know exactly what type of pass I want the Holy Spirit to influence.. Lord Hear Us.

  4. You want to underestimate Tyrone?

    We know what Tyrone will do and it’s worked against us in the past. I’d nearly go as far as to say it’s worked for us too, against Galway and Dublin.

    They put up their wall, we start passing the ball back around. A player makes a run, gets blocked off, turns back, recycles the ball, another player makes a run, turns back, someone from the half back line makes a run, turns back, a corner back makes a run, turns back, eventually Tyrone get possession, we have players out of position, space at the back, wide open, Tyrone score a goal. We repeat the process and get a couple of points, Tyrone get another goal.

    It’s so obvious that Tyrone want to be the team soaking up the pressure and counter attacking. Against Kerry, they sat back and let Kerry have possession from their kickouts.

    We definitely need a target up front. If they give so much room for the Mayo kickouts, we should be ready to take advantage. We could nearly be taking our kickouts from the hands, just inside our 45 line!

  5. Mullen, O Hora and McLaughlin all fit for the final. Can’t best the young lads!!! ?? Great to have them!

  6. I’m too tight to pay the subscription for Malachy Clerkin piece 🙂 Any chance it could be copied and pasted into a post ?

  7. Like a previous poster said, my nerves have hit me. Hard. I actually have anxiety thinking about the game. So much can go right and so much can go wrong. I’ve tortured myself thinking of the latter but the former nearly scares me more. Definitely seen too much disappointment to dare believe we can win it.
    Tyrone are a damn good team and deserve respect. They’ll be really hard bet. Unlike the bookies, I’d really have this as a 50/50.
    There really is nothing between them. I’m just hoping we finally do it. I’ll die happy then!

  8. @Howshi Cutting.. make sure your not thirsty if you arrive ticketless around Croke Park on Saturday evening next, just incase you stay ticketless, the Pubs around Croke Park were closed for the Tyrone /Kerry semifinal.. So if you didn’t get a ticket, you wouldn’t be able to see the game in the Pubs around there if they remained shut like they were for the last semifinal.. It would put the tin hat on it if you were thirsty as well.. Good luck with the ticket hunting!..

  9. Long time reader, first time commenter!
    Longford man with strong Mayo connections (aughamore on my mother’s side and Swinford on my father’s).
    My proudest day as a Longford man was seeing us beat mayo in 2010. Since then, I have watched the Mayo story with great interest. It was a seminal moment in the modern history of Mayo football and maybe if ye win, we can claim some part in it!

    I truly hope and pray that Mayo win on Saturday. It won’t be easy and to be honest, I’d have fancied Mayo more against Kerry. Wishing Mayo all the best of luck on Saturday. Keep the faith.

  10. pessimistic on Tyrone being “ready” to take it all the way. I believe their victory hinges on goals scored on the counterattack. Everyone points to the lucky goal rebound Jack Barry kicked out toward mckenna but rewind ten seconds and Ben McDonnell fails to spot the huge overlap of two free Tyrone players steaming onto 21 yard line. Despite earlier form mccurry should start on bench and maybe have mcshane on to try and go for the jugular early. A weight has been lifted off these guys with Harte gone , it’s plain to see.

  11. Great to wake up to the injury news, no idea what the actual situation is for the two lads but it keeps the build up going nicely. Who starts, what position, who makes the 26, do the two lads start if fit, what to do with Aido, any left field changes, Carr, etc etc etc!

    Hokum, another word to add to the vocabulary gleaned from these pages.

    In terms of the pubs, they will be open!

    Weekend can’t come quick enough, as Seamie said in one of the podcasts, the week before drags and you just want to get to the day.

  12. If we stop Tyrone scoring goals we will win comfortably 8/10 points or more, but goals or not we will still win

  13. I don’t even want to predict what’ll happen cause mad things have happened in many of the finals.
    The bounce over the bar in 96, the row, the non performance in 97, match over after 10 in 06, dropped balls, OGs, sendings off and so on.

    i wouldn’t be surprised if they really go out to unsettle some of the players on Sat and we need to be ready for that. Personally would start Carr and bring Tommy off bench as impact sub. Go with Carr and OShea upfront to start to give them a headache.

    Got the impression from watching bit of the Kerry match again that they thought they just had to turn up. Probably as a result of the hype and the big win in the league. It’s the only reason i think can explain the constant running into contact etc.

    This Tyrone team is not in the same ballpark as the Kerry teams of the 00s or Dublin teams 13-17 so this is a huge opportunity but it has to be taken and a performance delivered. 97 is a reminder of what can happen where we lost to a pretty limited Kerry team through a terrible performance and some bad decisions on the sideline.

  14. @sean dolan Hope all is well up in Longford Sean! You might have heard of a man I know well, the John James (Ruby) O’Reilly from Lanesboro! Good to see the support from other counties, I’d have a big connection with Lanesboro myself.

    The butterflies are nesting since yesterday and the search for the elusive ticket is ongoing. I’ll not leave the county on Saturday unless I have one, I just can’t see too many floating around Dublin.

    One minute I’m thinking a win is on the way, the next more heartache. I’m slowly going demented and spending a fortune on raffles. I’ve almost bought a House in Westport.

  15. For me this match is like a boxing war of attrition. Let’s assume it was actually boxing for the moment. How would you approach beating an opponent that you are physically bigger than, have a slight edge in fitness but they are probably a little slicker in pure boxing skills and ringcraft.
    You would keep things tight and set a high tempo whilst maintaining a solid defence.
    I see no difference for us in Gaelic football.
    The first three quarters of this game is about our workrate, defence, discipline and patience. If the score is 7-7 at the 3/4 mark that’s okay.
    At the second water break there is still 22-24 mins of playing time likely.
    That’s an ocean of time if you have a legs advantage. That’s time to rack up 1-4 to 3 pts type score.

  16. Travelling home on Friday afternoon. No ticket yet but hopeful. At the same time, no divine right to one either. Will be lots of us in the same boat.

    No matter how that end of things pans out, I want and need to be home for the game. I’ll just have to be as close to the action as I can get. I’ll roar from Gills if that’s to be my station for the day.

  17. Don’t know if any on here are like me and save up the podcasts. Just listened to the last one with Stephen Rochford last night and it was only superb. Billy Joe summarised exactly right at the end when he mentioned how much you can learn from a chat with him. Between James and Stephen we have been blessed (with no disrespect meant to our other men in charge meant either). In James we trust – if things go well and we concede no more than one goal I think we’ll do it.

    WJ, you do such a wonderful job here. Thank you.

  18. Paddy Muldoon was a gentleman a good neighbour and a mayo gaa man through and through. Had the pleasure of his company many times during my childhood (Might not have thought it was a pleasure at the time as it usually involved rounding up sheep). He was as enthusiastic about a club underage achievement as a intercounty victory. Fondly remembered by many people in the local area and through out the entire county. Rest in peace.
    Presumably there will be a minutes silence/applause for him Saturday?

  19. Centerfield i agree that kerry bought their own hype. Im not sure about leaving tommy off though. He is needed to track runners. He might make hay early on too. My view is Tyrone are not that great defensively. Kerry broke through several times and scored 22 times. Not exactly water tight are they. Kerry left off diarmuid o Connor and that was a huge mistake. Our diarmuid matt and loftus will have much more of an influence that kerrys midfield did not have. We will win this guys.

  20. Ryan o D burst through, three men tearing the ball from his hands, it fell in front of him, goal for Mayo. 1-02 to no score.
    Sorry, I don’t know what happened next. I woke up with the excitement.
    Mayo…my heartbeat.

  21. Imagine the nightmare for any of the sides if they have to stand back and watch a mark being tapped over the bar to win the game probably from a ball picked 2 inches from the ground. A years work gone with the most stupid rule to be introduced to gaa imo.

  22. Don’t start Tommy Conroy? No, no, no, and no. Tommy and Ryan contribution to our win over Dublin was just under 50%, their scores in extra time won the game. They both will absolutely start. Tommy has the movement and pace a corner back hates, plus he will track back and the keep going the other way. I’m fairly sure he’ll get a goal on Saturday too and will finish with 1:3/4.

  23. @tubberman, The people who were lucky to draw a ticket started to receive emails from 8pm so I would assume a similar time this evening before people will find out. I know the wait is a killer.

  24. I have to agree 100% No Doubt. The offensive mark indeed offends me. It is a blight on the game.

    Mayo by 2 in extra time.

  25. @Paddy Ban
    the lack of transparency is very frustrating. Only the GAA can get away with this, would not be tolerated in any other walk of life.

    A simple tweet could remove a lot of anguish. “Every season ticket holder not successful in first draw is eligible in second draw.”

  26. The draw was last night so I’d expect the emails to come out this morning
    Last draw was at 5 or 6 in the evening and emails came out at 8

  27. I watched back the Dublin game this week and it has to be said that Patrick Durkan was sensational. Didn’t do too much flashy stuff but stopped so many goal chances and defended like a dog. He was outstanding.

    Tommy Conroy and Ryan O’Donoghue really came to life too towards the end off the 2nd half.

    If Mayo can weather the physical and mental storm that Tyrone will bring (which I think we will) I don’t think there’s anything stopping them from finally getting over the line this time.

  28. Interesting that it was Stephen Coen who was chosen to front the press conference with James after the Dublin match.

    Andy spoke about Diarmuid, Conor Loftus, Mattie really “trusting” Stephen. I love that, real clarity who our leaders are and an embedded trust. Andy has the inside track.

    It just demonstrates Stephen’s standing within the team and also how he’s viewed by management. Obviously those lads all had the under 21 success together with the Hollymount rock as their captain. He’ll be a future Mayo senior captain for certain.

    We’ve other leaders aplenty. Aidan, Lee, Paddy, Mattie, Diarmuid, and a few of the younger lads are emerging as real leaders too.

  29. Have to agree with you Liberal role in the tie, when Stephen is given a task and manages to stay in his own half of the field he is excellent. I would have been one of his biggest critics in the past but this year he has been exceptional going about his business, minding the house when all around him bomb forward. I think he will have a key role Saturday picking up either Meyler or McShane once he enters the field.

  30. Ticket got also, checked “my invoices” in ticketmaster but havent received email yet. best of luck to all here..

  31. Its season ticket and actually i also haven’t got email. I just kept checking invoice on ticketmaster.

  32. Large seating groups all getting tickets together based on two lads who have text me that they and all their groups got tickets

  33. Just got an update from 3 friends all season tickets. Emails just in. Fingers crossed for the rest of you

  34. Thanks, got one the last day but not sure if the other 5 that are linked were even in the draw today.
    KM those pals of yours were lucky wish my group were

  35. I have 2 ST linked to the one account number and the email came with reference to the account number.
    does your 5 all have same account number too?

  36. Mayoman89 all are under the one account number and one email so I would assume when email came out the last day it was not entered again today even though there are other ticket holders on the account. Delighted for all that are sorted, along way ahead of where things were a few days ago

  37. Really positive news on the injury front according to the Examiner with both Oisin Mullin AND eoghan mclaughlin ready for Saturday

    Not so positive for Tyrone with 2 likely starters Richie donnelly and Rory brennan likely to miss out with lingering covid issues

  38. Supermac, I’d take that news with a giant pinch of salt if I were you.

    Nothing in the season ticket draw today either. Five of us and not an email between us again. Beginning to think we are a different type of cursed!

  39. Mayoman89, I had 2 season tickets linked to one account, and when we replayed Dublin back in 2015 i could only get 1 ticket for the replay, i changed it after that incident. GAA not clear on this, should be linked to season ticket number not account number. Still no luck from second draw.

  40. Ballinanameen GAA have the most 100% transparent draw, 20 a ball , bonus ball wins . Ballagh handball also have a very fair draw this week where the entries are limited to 150 .

    The pure greed of some of these draws is disgusting but them two I’ve seen are the best so far .

  41. So much talk about the 2 week vs 4 week break, back in the good aul days of a 4 week vs 3 week break, surely someone has dug out some stats somewhere as to the breakdown of which led to the more winners?!

    Like with anything – including subjective things like preparation levels and Horan’s experience vs Logan/Dooher’s experience, as covered in Andy’s piece linked above – we’ll know which is best at 7pm on Saturday 😉

    As for Richie Donnelly and Rory Brennan, did either even feature in the semi?

  42. My luck is in again, @turniphead sorted me with 2 tickets for the Dublin match on the Friday afternoon, and 1 got the magic email to say I have 1 ticket for the final too, I have 2 linked to my account but 1 is better than none!

  43. @MayomanInDublin – They did say the draw was among 3000 ST holders yet I havent heard of a pair being won that are linked to the one account, only ones with separate emails in the same seating group so would have reduced the odds further, maybe someone here can correct me on that.

  44. The great basketball coach Pat Riley once said.

    “You have no choices about how you lose, but you do have a choice about how you come back and prepare to win again.”

    We are back and we are full prepared and I firmly believe we are going to win on Saturday.

  45. Did some quick calculations on the ticket front.
    Mayo got approx 11,000 tickets this year.
    Normally get 12,500 in the pre covid era.
    That’s 1500 odd tickets less. Yet initially all 3500 season ticket holders were told no chance, and so far 1000 have been looked after. Hmmm. Doesn’t add up.

    Also each club gets an average of 100 tickets as per the Mayo news.
    46 clubs in Mayo – 4600 tickets. We will be generous and round it up to 5000 if counting the players in the panel and families etc.
    5000 plus 1000 season ticket holders.
    The big question is – where the hell are the other 4000 odd tickets gone to??

  46. Managed to get 4 tickets for the family. Need another one to complete. Any idea how much the touts were looking for tickets in the Semi? I am guessing I will have to pay 1k+?

  47. No luck either in the second season ticket draw. Getting desperate now. Will gladly take 1 ticket anywhere in the ground if anyone knows of one going?

  48. Nothing here either. Desperate times indeed! Again well done to all lucky enough to get one!

  49. Talk about flogging a supporter to death the Mayo GAA are now announcing a ticket draw for every day this week.

    Now that is really taking the p*ss out of fans

  50. Fed up listening to people crying about tickets,can we not just be happy that there is at least some spectators at it,I thought this was a football forum to actually talk about football,not a bunch of kids saying they’ve no luck with tickets,we get it lads
    Now can we start look forward to the game

  51. Hopefully Oisin Mullen will be ready and I would start Harrison too, put himself and O’hora as man markers, which would release Lee to the half back line with paddy and Mullin. Some punch in that line, but there is zero chance of McLoughlin togging on Saturday. The 6th defender would be Coen.

  52. Ok gillactio,thanks for your valuable input
    good to see Mullen back,I think O’Shea might be better out the middle for this one,would like to see Lee Keegan back on the half back line,hope Tyrone don’t throw 14 men behind the ball and go back to old tactics,I think Mattie is inline for footballer of the year if we do win and Has a big game,think we will by 3-4 points

  53. O’Hora on McCurry – will stick to him like superglue.
    Harrison on McKenna – a repeat of 2016 finals again when Harrison was unreal on Brogan.
    Lee on Donnelly – he will move all over the pitch so we get the benefit of Lee and his goal / point taking ability.

    1/2 backline; Durcan, Mullin, Coen.

    Say Myler is tasked with man-marking Durcan but we’ve Coen tasked with man-marking Myler 🙂

    Do we move Tommy to CF, have Aidan and James Carr in the FF line. 2 big men, like Kerry did to us in 06 with Johnny Crowley in the corner? Ryan plays @ 15.

    It’s only Tuesday…..

  54. And for what it’s worth, this game isn’t going to a replay either.

    I don’t think it will be a one point or a two point game. I believe we will win with a bit of daylight.

    Tyrone were brilliant and deserved their semi final win.

    But I don’t compare us to Kerry.
    I compare us to us.

    Kerry were a two trick pony who had chances to win.
    We are no two trick pony.

    And this nonsense we beat a beaten Dublin team.
    We beat a Dublin team who played as well in that first half as they have in any of the last 10 years.
    We beat Fenton and Kilkenny and Rock and McCarthy and O’Callaghan and Fitzsimmons and Murchan and the Smalls and the rest.
    We intensified and intensified and intensified until even they the 6 times champions could handle no more.

    We hauled back the so called greatest team of all time and beat them going away at the finish.

    We didn’t beat Dublin because they were a beaten docket. We beat them because they couldn’t handle our pressure.

    We have match winners all over the pitch, I mean all over the pitch.

    James and Co. are not taking their team to play in an AI final they are taking them to win an AI final.

    They have full belief in what they are about to do, and that is win Sam and I have full belief in them and that they are going to do it.

    Begone any doubts.
    Begone any talk of replays.
    We are going to take Croke Park with full belief in our abilities and we are going to land Sam on Saturday.

  55. McStays Irish Times column today is behind a paywall. He seems very confident that we’ll win. Has anyone read it?

  56. Lads, Harrison is not going to start, massive difference coming on at the end of a game in extra time and starting an All Ireland final, Horan is not going to take a chance on a player with literally a few mins of game time over the past two years over a settled FB line who were excellent v Dublin. O’Hora, Plunkett & Keegan will start on FB line, Tyrone will not play a 3 man ff line so Keegan will possibly operate close to hb line anyway so no need to big selection calls for something that will probably happen as a result of Tyrone setup.

    As for the suggestion Tommy not start!!!! I really dont know what people are thinking sometimes. The semi final showed he has the stamina to go flat out for the 70mins and beyond so when limit his playing time when we can get the benefits for the full game. Yes the bench is important in the modern game but a bit of common sense has to be applied too.

  57. If aiden is fit and starts in midfield or bit deeper he will do the business. Thats where he plays best. Billy joe wrote in mayo news about kevin mac to 14. An interesting point i think

  58. Listened to the second captains podcast there previewing the final. Mcconville thinks we’ll win, says he has been impressed with us all year, especially our defence and midfield. Paul Flynn tipped Tyrone because they have been more consistent throughout their games compared to our up and down performances against galway and Dublin.

  59. That’s a good point on Kevin Mc @spectre. I’ve a feeling Tyrone will put meyler on Kevin to try and blot him out like paudie Clifford. Meyler wouldn’t be comfortable in the full back line though.

    So maybe have Aido at 11 and Kevin at 14

  60. Got the congratulations email today. Brilliant. My young relative who drives me to all the matches also got one of the golden tickets. Neither of us has any record of winning anything! Now all we need is the right result

  61. Kevin highlights the importance of “Coragem”, the word Brazilian coaches use to describe turning up, playing and performing on the day. That sums it up really.

  62. McStay’s column noted we will need to play for 70 minutes to win. Keep turnovers at 20 or less and wides at 6 or less. Lovely couple of paragraphs to finish as well, noting how proud we remain despite our losses and our hardships. Very supportive of Aidan and the role he could play, particularly against Tyrone’s less mobile midfielders.

    In terms of the game to come, it’s hard to argue with the first point. Allowing a period of total Tyrone dominance could see us badly punished, especially if we had to chase the game.

    You can make the case for either team being stronger as a defensive or forward unit but I feel we are notably better at midfield, and unlike Kerry will fight ravenously for any breaks in that area. It’s this, more than anything, that gives me confidence that this time our number will come up at last.

  63. Personally, I would be more comfortable if all the pundits went for Tyrone. I’d be very surprised if Darragh Ó Sé goes for us in tomorrow’s Irish Times (he almost never tips us).

  64. @it means nothing to me .. Darragh Ó Sé being Kerryan will feel very dirty tipping Tyrone! I say he will make a case for both and come down slight favour for Mayo but both are fortunate to be All Ireland

  65. @wideball kevin is quick over first ten yards and has great handling. Very good link man with tonnes of experience

  66. Any chance of us springing Alan Dillon and run a masterclass like he did in 2016!

    Kevin is a lot more experienced than Paudie Clifford and could be the key there, working in tandem with Loftus on the 40.

  67. I have said it before I have never being more confident about an All Ireland Final but I wont lie when I do see other posts about us winning by a bit of daylight or some say we will win by 3 or 4 or even 5 points my hands get sweaty and and my heart skips a beat .
    This is our year !!!!

  68. @Mayoman89.. have a look at that 2016 again.. Tyrone 9 times out of 10 would have won that with a bit to spare.. Great time for Stephen Rochford and his management team, but that was no masterclass.. No1, Tyrone’s Niall Morgan, missed virtually every free he took.. No2 David Clarke made an excellent save the only goal chance of a conservative safety first game.. No3.. Séan Cavanagh was sent off.. That was a lucky one.. and while it was far from a masterclass from Right, Mickey Harte made a few very curious decisions… Despite all that went wrong for Tyrone, Mayo only won by a single point! .. Nothing beats a bit of luck, and we had it that day.. Hope we get more next Saturday!

  69. Phew I’m reading Revellino early in the day!!!!! But now I can’t cook the dinner. It’s only Tuesday!

  70. Any Mayo fan who is lucky enough to be there on Saturday better roar the lads on from minute zero to the end. Let no man, woman or child be outside when the lads enter the pitch and that glorious sound comes on during Takaka Rain (Ah Ref uses it for his intro).

    I cant go due to personal reasons but I was able to source a ticket for a loved one. And i know they will be roaring us on in my stead.

  71. @Leantimes – Your memory is a lot better than mine about that match, although I do remember it being more of a smash and grab victory for us and the celebrations afterwards in the stands were brilliant.
    I’ll take the same on Saturday!

  72. Anyone know the numbers in last nights Mayo GAA draw !

    Anyone else find it strange that last nights €11,200 jackpot has only gone up a €100 to €11,300 despite everyone and their dog buying tickets trying to win an All Ireland ticket

  73. Would move McAliskey miss to number 1 on your list Leantimes, it was an absolute sitter and was definitely the difference on that day

    Agree overall, i think a lot of the reaction at the time was due to us being actual underdogs and it was Tyrone’s first Ulster Title in years, but in retrospect its a game we absolutely limped over the line in when we should have been about 6 or 7 points better than a vastly overrated (at the time) Tyrone side – who would go on to lose by a cricket score to Dublin a year later

    We actually saved our best (in patches) for the final(s) that year!

  74. Revilinnio not only do I think you should
    Be in Croke Park on Saturday I think you should
    Be in the Mayo dressing room delivering the half time team talk stirring stuff fair play to you

  75. Mgt. should highlight real winning strategic options. Keegan offers these in spades. Going on what he showed in semi-final, his beautiful deliveries into the full forward line from outside the defensive line would be worth 3 marks over 70 mns, not to mention his scoring potential, and these points should be considered in positioning him.

  76. It was none the less sweet that probably unexpected victory for us in 2016.. It was a double header quarter final played on a Saturday, was it Donegal and Dublin in the ‘curtain closer’ afterwards.. Us Mayo supporters were feeling giddy and dizzy in the Cusack Stand, and it was about 20 minutes into the second game before I could pay it any attention… Tipperary had beaten Galway in the other quarter final the Sunday prior, and that was the Premier County were then our focus..

  77. It’s amazing to think back to early ’16, ’17. We were even acknowledging here that the team were coming to an end, a rebuild on the way. How we got to those finals I’ll never know. Remember Derry in McHale park?! We simply couldn’t score until Loftus saved us. Then, some 3 years later we make yet another final, and yet another this year. Now once again we’ve a promising young team. Massive credit James and Team.

  78. So Aiden Henry is now saying Cillian is back in training and will be in the 26. At this rate his exclusive tomorrow will be that Ciaran Mac will be starting @ no.11

  79. Isn’t it great that there is so much competition for places that we are discussing various permutations that James will come up with. Great fun in that altogether. I have not a clue myself as I think we have such a talented squad that any combination would work. It is great to have such depth. I think Horan’s biggest problem is where and when to play Aidan. Maybe he is the guy to inspire if we are struggling and bring him on then. You have to be impressed with the substitutions against Dublin. If our best football was played in the second half then there is a strong argument that this should be our starting fifteen. Mind you I don’t think our first half against Dublin was that bad. A couple of converted missed chances and we may have been only a three point deficit. We will have a better start on Saturday as management will have sorted our slow starts. McStay is right. We have to play a full 70 minutes full on. A hard task and will require the full extent of the squad. Hession has to start and if Oisin is fit we have a problem with starting Aidan. But as O’Hora said this is a team not a collection of individuals. Mayo by five.

  80. What in the hell is Colin Sheridan at? Writes a big article about Cillian watching Mayo win the All Ireland without him! Spare a thought he says. Honestly like the mind boggles at this stuff. All this absolute non sense written before a ball is kicked, and against a team who thrive on been written off etc. Our lads in the media have a lot to learn.

  81. One of the following is true:

    1. I read all the above suggestions on tactics, took the opportunity to meet with James Horan this afternoon and passed on your ideas. He said thanks, he wasnt sure about the KevinMc at 14 one.

    2  I accidentally met James Horan for 10 seconds this afternoon, his car parked beside mine, I said “James…, good luck” and like any good Mayo supporter,  left the man alone. He was chilled as always.

    It is a weird thing reading the blog and the man himself walks up.

  82. Anyone now the list of songs they will play in Croker if Mayo win? Hope they play We are the champions by Queen after the Green and Red of Mayo and maybe the Boys from the County Mayo!! Sick of all the same U2 songs in Croker over the years!! Dublin have had a few different songs over the years at the final whistle , Molly Malone, the Ould triangle, and the Boys are back in town.

  83. On the one road.
    Surely James won’t go down that road of naming an injured player, just to get him a medal. John Maughan did this in 97 with Dermot Flanagan and we all know how that worked out. We need a full panel of flying fit players for this Saturday.

  84. Thought Colin Sheridan article was a brilliant read myself.So good in fact I read it twice.
    Clearly from looking at other comments he’s not everyones cup of tea but it’s definitely worth a look!!

  85. Its not personal against Colin, but Brolly and others get lambssted on here and rightly so. Im sure lots of people will love the article, but imo it does us no favours. I know the days of newspapers on dressing room walls is gone, but that article will be mentioned in Tyrones meeting room, you can bet your life on it. The time for this emotive writing is if we we win the damn thing, not 4 days before.

  86. I agree Nephin – there is no sense in naming a player unless he is fully fit and I dont think James would consider it no matter who the player is.

    The Connacht Telegraph has form in posting “hearsay”. Its a shame that they do this. Its one thing newspapers not reporting some stories that are common knowledge but reporting stories without basis for it (i am assuming yesteday and todays stories are incorrect) is just ignorance. I would love to be proven wrong and see a 100% Cillain on Sunday but there is no hope

  87. The stuff Aiden Henry is coming out with wouldn’t be allowed on here if he was a poster.
    Name a source or else it’s just shitetalk in the pub.

    Unwelcome distraction and does us no favours.

  88. Been reading blog, and there has been alot of guess what the team selection should / will be. The job James has done this last two year, has been very impressive, and the topping on the cake could be next Saturday. Will team selection be based on training A vs B matches. Or do you look at opposition weakness, and attack that by using a player at your disposal strength (eg. They have small full back, we use a bigger man in full forward). Do you play, one kerb ball, totally left field to throw the opposition. Or selection a mix of all above. Who be a manager

  89. If Cillian is able to jog a bit I have him togged out , get him every 10 or 15 min to warm up on the sideline . This will give Tyrone something to think of . They might hold a defender back to go on Cillian when he comes on ,which he will not . I hope Mayo start cautiously and not concede any early goals especially if we playing into the hill in the first half , and go full out attack in the second half .

  90. I dont think any major surprises with team. Oisin will come back in to replace Eoghan – think Lee will get released to the half back line
    Front six will move around – KMcL will do what he usually does. Jordan Flynn to start for physicality and after 40/45 minutes we introduce a few more speed merchants – Enda H, J Carr.

    Only problem with starting Jordan Flynn is it limits options of bench if one of the big men gets hurt.

    POH, Oisin, M Plunkett
    Paddy, S Coen & Leeroy
    Mattie and Conor
    DOC AIDO Jordan Flynn
    KMcL, Tommy and ROD

  91. Was it not Aidan henry who first broke the news on oisin prior to Dublin game ? Not saying its true about cillian , wouldnt personally have any inside track whatsoever . Not sure I’d dismiss it either . Brady said it last week sure .

  92. The Connaught Telegraph once again running an absolute nonsense of a story.

    There is absolutely, categorically no way anybody could be back in training so soon after an Achilles Tendon rupture. Let alone in contention to play a game.

    The sooner people see the Connaught for what it is the better.

    The only surprising thing in that article was that the author put his name to it.

    Small coincidence that they run a rubbish, click bait story the same time their bumper AI Final preview comes out.

    These people are preying on the Mayo supporters to lime their pockets via paper sales, with no regard for the individuals they are writing about.

    Poor Cillian is probably having a bad enough week thinking about missing a final without having people ringing and texting him.

    Boycott it and spend your money on journalism with integrity

  93. Cillian is a guest speaker at an uo for the match lunch in mount falcon on thursday, so doubt he’d be doing that if he had a chance of playing

  94. I’m more likely to play a part on Saturday than Cillian
    He ruptured his Achilles
    That will be best part of a year

  95. Wouldn’t be surprised seeing Cillian on the 26 but very hard to see him get any game time. You’d imagine that he’d be there as a last resort if we were having no impact from the other subs. I’d back the other subs at this stage to do enough. 11 subs is enough to merit his inclusion though. Fitness allowing.

  96. At this stage I couldnt pick a winner. Unfortunately a mistake for a goal could decide what will be a very tight match. I thought Tyrones discipline was suspect against Kerry but it dependshow much McQuillan will tolerate. Mayo must not get drawn into that type of game by Tyrone. The Tyrone forwards got 3 goals against Kerry which must be concerning for Mayo. The kick outs and breaking ball in midfield for Mayo could win the game right there . The ability of Mayo to kick points under pressure from strong Tyrone backs would concern me. Its there for either team to stamp their authority and claim Sam. Mayo have got to keep the wide count down and correct shot selection and they have a good chance but its 50/50 a draw wouldnt shock me.

  97. What’s the story with the Connaught Telegraph and it’s so called. ‘Exclusive stories’???
    If it’s not injury news,it was leaked teams….
    Terrible bad form and wouldn’t see it happening in other counties

  98. I actually remember back in 2014 coming up to the final there were rumours that gooch was back training for Kerry after his cruciate. Ultimately there was nothing in it. Gooch was back doing light jogging but was nowhere near a return to full contact training.

    It’s the same thing with Cillian I’m sure.

  99. Lots of positivity on the blog about our chances. That’s great to see. But I genuine6worry about Tyrone. They have been more consistent in all their games this year than we have. We did well v Galway in second half and against dubs for 10 minutes extra time and about 15 in normal time. This is a very experienced Tyrone outfit with almost all of them involved in the 2018 AI Final. They repeatedly do the same to us in league games. Suck us in turn us over, score on counter attack. I fear we may see the same on Saturday. Some of our forwards will struggle with their swarm tackling. We had the upper hand in recent championship games, a lot better in 2013 but a bit a bit lucky in 2016. I am surprised we are favourites. I would dearly love to see us win but past AI days leave me concerned. MAIGH EO ABU

  100. The Telegraph is a joke of a paper. Mayo training tonight and Cillian at home watching the Ireland game…see his Instagram post. Cillian was also recently on a holiday abroad. Jesus some of the so called journalism over there is hilarious.

  101. There was a photo of Cillian last week on Instagram out foreign on a lads holiday in a moon boot!
    So yeah – the Connacht telegraph is talking crap.
    Willie Joe – just wondering why I’m in moderation after every comment, not sure if I said something wrong, certainly don’t think I did anyway..

  102. Didn’t see that Sheridan piece Mayonaze, but agree this stuff will be gobbled up by Tyrone. Reading the Irish News, they’re framing it as ‘us against the world’. Mayo, the people’s favourites, the fairytale that will come true – they see themselves as a team ready to burst those kind of bubbles.

    Maybe we need Brolly and others to keep spewing their bile. A national chorus of approval is the last thing we want.

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