Four changes for Sunday’s provincial decider

The team for Sunday’s Connacht senior football championship final against Galway at MacHale Park (throw-in 2pm) has been named. Here it is:

Mayo (Connacht SFC final v Galway, 13/7/2014): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Colm Boyle (Davitts), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe); Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole); Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber).

James isn’t noted for making significant changes from one championship match to the next so it’s perhaps noteworthy that the team named for Sunday shows four changes from the one that lined out against Roscommon in the semi-final last month. Into the side for Sunday’s decider come Chris Barrett at corner-back (his first start since last year’s All-Ireland final), Barry Moran at midfield (his first championship start since the 2012 All-Ireland final), Alan Dillon at corner-forward and Andy Moran at full-forward. The quartet missing out on this occasion are Tom Cunniffe (injured), Diarmuid O’Connor, Conor O’Shea and Alan Freeman.

Given that Tom’s absence is enforced and the experiment of starting the two young lads was unlikely to be repeated for a championship match of this significance, the biggest call James has made involves restoring captain Andy Moran to the team at full-forward in place of Alan Freeman. Andy takes his place in what is a fundamentally reshaped forward line, in which Jason Doherty is the only player named to start in the same position as he did against Roscommon. The changes in the forward line made for Sunday see Kevin McLoughlin switching out from 13 to 10, Aidan O’Shea moving up from midfield to centre-forward, Cillian O’Connor shifting across from top of the left to top of the right and Alan Dillon coming in at left corner-forward to make his first start of the year.

Sunday’s team also shows five changes from the one that started against the Tribesmen in the Salthill mauling of May last year. Gone from that starting fifteen are David Clarke (long-term injury absentee), Tom Cunniffe (injured), Cathal Carolan (long-term injury absentee), Enda Varley and Alan Freeman with their places taken by Robbie Hennelly, Chris Barrett, Barry Moran, Jason Doherty and Andy Moran, who, of course, came off the bench at Pearse Stadium to memorable effect.

65 thoughts on “Four changes for Sunday’s provincial decider

  1. I wonder what the plan is for Aiden O’Shea. It has been demonstrated time and again that he does not suit playing as an orthodox 11 so I am surprised that he has been named there for such a big game. It is an issue twice in effect because we lose our best midfielder and gain a poor centre half forward in return. Hopefully James has a different approach in mind for him than the one that was tried and failed badly in last year’s league.

  2. So the leaked team doing the rounds was correct. Mayo might have a mole in the set-up :o)

    Seriously, that’s a lot of changing around. Hard to see it starting as selected. Gibbons must be a live option off the bench if it’s not happening for Aidan at 11. Big day for Barry Moran. Galway’s midfielders are young, tough and mobile. Is his fitness up to a game like this?

    Freezer will be disappointed but it’s hard to argue with it based on his display in Roscommon. If he reacts to being dropped like Andy Moran did, Mayo will only benefit.

    If Dillon stays in at corner-forward, it might be no bad thing. He clipped a couple of good scores from the corner in Pearse Stadium last year. In my opinion his days of running the show from 11 are over, but he knows where the posts are.

    I thought Andy would have been selected in the HF line if he was selected at all. His FF displays in the league were not up to his own standard. Perhaps that’s down to fitness. Let’s see what happens on Sunday.

    By the way, there’s an interesting discussion here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9In3bD0D4n8&feature=player_embedded) between Messrs Maughan, Casey, Silke and Walsh about Sunday – worth a watch.

  3. I am nearly always of the opinion that the manager knows best but it must be hard on Jason Gibbons after the league campaign that he has had. I also feel sorry for Freeman but I believe that Andy Moran in the best forward that we have bar none. His craft in getting and distributing the ball is very good and his points the last day were a joy to see. I believe we will win. The backs especially the full back line will have to beware of the high ball and the half backs whilst not detracting from the great work they do going forward need to mind the house also. I think Horan has got it right but he must be quicker to change things. Feeney should be sprung if the need arises and if the midfield is getting beat athletically then he must bring on Gibbons. I believe that if Gibbons played in the AIF we would now be all ireland champions. Best of luck. Which way will the back door be facing on the bridge in Cross village on Sunday evening. A much loved local character, now deceased, placed a real back door on the bridge as you drove towards Galway the first year Mayo beat Galway with the back door system!! The craic does be great in the border towns especially Cong, Cross and Shrule. Cant wait for Sunday!

  4. Are there 6 better forwards than Freeman.Interesting team.A fit Barry is a huge addition.
    Horan has the right to but out his best team and time will tell if he is correct.I do not believe in this saving guys for subs lark.Hope thisis the correct team.Would not be my choice but I am not manager.I think we must back James fully despite any personal reservations we may have.

  5. Firstly its great to see Chris Barrett back, in Tom Cunniffe’s absence. Hopefully he will be fully fit as Danny Cummins is a handy forward. Maybe Keith Higgins will be marking him instead. Also I’m delighted to see Kevin McLoughlin back at no. 10. When he is playing well he really sets the tone for us. I’d prefer to have Colm Boyle playing at no. 7 as I think that position suits him better. It’ll be interesting to see which of the three big men will play at no. 11. Barry Moran would probably be better able to take a score. Its a pity that Jason Gibbons is not starting, maybe he is still not fully fit. Alan Freeman is unlucky to miss out. Overall I like the look of this team. We have a very experienced full-forward line.

  6. An outstanding 15. Mate just pointed out that 5 of our 6 forwards are All Stars.

  7. Can gibbons, o Shea x2 and Barry Moran all play on the one team?? I doubt it. Too many square pegs in round holes. Gibbons missed 6 weeks of training that’s probably why he’s not on.. Good to see chris Barrett back

  8. Wonder is James playing games here, can’t see that team playing that formation. Interesting to say the least

  9. Mmm. Like a lot of posters delighted to see Barrett back, but not sure at all about AOS at CHF. And Dillon starting? Again would have felt impact sub was the role for him at this stage.

    It certainly is a team with the opposition in mind. Big men to counter their huge midfield and Andy and Dillo to dog Finian Hanley. Freezer not seen as imposing himself enough obviously.

    Still, the bench presumably will include Jason G, Freezer, Mikey S, Richie and the two starters from Roscommon.

  10. That’s not correct, Mark, it’s three of the six (AOS, Andy and Alan) that have won All-Stars. Kevin Mc should but didn’t in 2012, Cillian got YPOY twice (should have been three times) but hasn’t yet got an All-Star (he should have but didn’t last year) while Jason has never got one either.

  11. AOShea bursting through with the ball should lead to black cards for Galway.
    In 89 we had 4 midfielders on the team.

  12. Good to see Barry Moran back in action. I hope he delivers. I also hope Andy Moran is back to 100% after his injuries.

  13. Good to see the team announced.
    I know it is a wait on a week like this but it is good to see the team announced officially . It is of no benefit to anyone for teams to be leaked unofficially .
    Clearly the team has to be known to a certain amount of people prior to the official release but be patient . I can’t wait for Sunday to come around, can’t wait to see can we beat Galway , can’t wait to see,what I get for Christmas , can’t wait to see what team is named in our next game etc etc
    But we have to wait for certain things and maybe holding back on letting everyone know our team , before the official release would not give our team any advantage – but it would show a united front for the cause

  14. Just have to trust management on this one cos first impression is very disappointing team. Backs sound but A O’Shea in forwards never worked before and he just adds to the lack of pace in the forwards. Maybe the plan is Barry to full toward, Andy centre and O’sheas midfield. Just can’t have aidan in forwards, proven disaster.

  15. I dont believe they will line out like that. Cant see Dillon waiting in FF line

  16. Delighted to see Chris back. Naming the best team for each opposition we meet? No matter what any of us here on the ditch think should or should not be playing, we have no say or control in. What control we do have is being the 16th man and get behind the team and management and “Support”. We need to show them that we are supporting them, shout them on from the sideline and turn McHale Park into a #SEAOFGREENANDRED!!

    Really looking forward to Sunday now, once the team is named it kinda makes it “real”?
    See ye all Sunday, and remember the minors are on at 12 and deserve our full support too! We’ll be there from 11.

  17. I have to admit to being very disappointed with the selection. The backs pick themselves and maybe Keane could be disappointed (Harrison is for the future) that he didn’t get the nod but I have no complaints about Barrett lining out, he needs game time. I can only assume that Gibbons is not fully recovered/fit for this game as he was our stand-out performer in the league. I agree with Aidan at no.11, Kevin Mc can play almost anywhere and, obviously, Cillian in the corner but from there on the selection of the other 3 forwards is very disappointing. Mulholland won’t fear that attack.
    In my opinion we are missing a great opprotunity to re-energise our attack with young players, at home, in a provincial final against our greatest rivals. Instead we have resorted to the same old same old. I do not mean to be disrespectful to Andy, Dillion or Doherty but we all know what we get from them at this stage. We will end up heading for Croker (either directly or via the qualifiers) with the very same attack that has not performed (offensively or defensively) in the last 2 All Ireland finals. What is the definition of insanity again? you keep repeating the same mistakes but expect a different outcome!!
    Management know the players best without a doubt and are looking and watching them train so they know their form but my gut reaction to the side is one of a missed chance to fully integrate fresh/young faces.
    Anywho, Mayo to win by 5.

    Hon Mayo.

  18. Who are these fresh young faces Pebblesmeller?? The only person who I think can feel hard done by with that selection is Freeman. He does as much as any other forward from play bar McLoughlin yet is always the first to get the curly finger. That is mainly down to Mayo’s running game and lack of decent ball in to Freeman though. Anyway, the best players will always be picked for any particular game, doesn’t matter how long they’ve been around.

  19. I get the impression that James wants to finish this one early before the young Galwegians get a confidence boost & start strutting their stuff on our patch.
    I hope this selection also heralds the start of a rotation policy at 8,9,11 & 14.
    With Freeman & Gibbons ready for introduction I hope we intend to rotate the hell out of these positions. That should give the opposition 3,6, 8 & 9 something to think about.

  20. Agree pebblesmeller. One example is Sweeney. Would it not be better to give him a start in a major game and see how he reacts? If he bombs it would hardly be the losing of the match. But maybe he plays a blinder and becomes a viable option. We’ve all seen time and again what Dillon and doherty can and Can’t do..

  21. I agree Puckout. I would hold Dillon in reserve and give Sweeney a run. Freeman can be great and he can be poor. I hope if he is introduced he gives a big performance. Same with Doc. It is time for those two lads to deliver consistently on their potential.
    Also I hope AOS is in top form. When he plays well Mayo play well. He is crucial to our success.
    All that said I wouldn’t be surprised if the starting team had a change or two before throw in. Like last year in Pearse Stadium.

  22. An interesting team and even though I have huge reservations on Aiden O’Shea on the 40 James and his co selectors is in the best position to judge.While alan freeman was man of the match in, I think, three of our league matches they were early games and he seemed to lose form for some reason in the later games. I have no doubt that he can bounce back. Great to see Chris Barrett back fully fit after his long injury layoff. I did not expect to see him starting.
    Now for the minor team.

  23. Great to see Andy back, we need his experience. Big call with Barry. Think we will end up with 3 in the middle with Dillon, Doherty and McLoughlin the link to COC and Andy inside. Our 3 big men to win the middle and challenge then is to move the ball quickly enough to HF line. Could work really well if players are tuned in to it.

  24. Pebblesmeller
    Dont think that Conor or Diarmaid ready yet and playing them for experience not the way to go.Have to be convinced Jason brings more to table than Freeman.Indeed Horans devotion to Jason needs to be repaid soon.
    A lot of the others are hard to call due to injuries and match fitness.Barry could be phenomenal as could Dillon or Andy or Gibbons but it is down to fitness.
    I think Aidan canplay anywhere and I do not share reservations others has.
    I worry a little about Donie in that positio and a little about Rob too..can be a little brave at times.
    Really hope this goes well for James…and us.
    I think we will be lucky to come through and certainly dont see 5 in it.

  25. Andy is only just getting back to where he was after the cruciate two years ago
    Alan Dillon is in the same position regarding his groin injury so expect to see different performances from both of them this year compared to last year

    Jason Gibbons is probably still not match fit after his injury

    I expect Aidan to play as a third midfielder and Andy to play at 11 with runners off him bearing down on goal

    Alan Freeman plays as well as the delivery he gets and when he’s playing around the square he doesn’t get enough quality ball

    we’re set up for goal chances and plenty of them

  26. Think we need to focus now on the match. McHale again (Examiner yesterday) spouting crap about jaded Mayo, and joined by Ja Fallon on the same tack.

    As I’ve said before, this IS a real possibility in any game we play, but there was no evidence of it in the Roscommon game and spouting it as a fact is dangerous, but by God it should make JH and the lads even more motivated.

    Indeed, as the game is coming into the mirror view, despite the fact that Mayo have hammered Galway last year and beaten them comfortably over the recent past, concensus seems to be building that Galway have the advantage.

    What does it take to get some respect around these parts?

  27. I’m surprised by that lineup, Aido, Andy and Alan up front! Maybe we’re still experimenting?. Still, we should win it, with the bench we have.

  28. I guess football is a 20 man game now so subs will be important.

    Would be interested in seeing Duffy at full forward.

    I also think its a day for Doc to shine- last chance saloon.

  29. GBXI, well in my opinion Sweeney, A.Gallagher and D.O’Connor have all shown more in the league than Doc or Andy. Freeman seems to be a victim of poor quality ball into him, 6 balls into him v Roscommon, 4 were miles from him, 2 he got he set up a point with 1 and got dispossessed the other time. Sweeney scored and set up goals in Mullingar & Croker. Gallagher scored 7 points in Omagh and was in the top 3 scorer’s after 3 rounds of the league. O’Connor has been solid and disciplined, granted he wasn’t great in the Hyde but who was? If those lads were granted the same chance as Doherty, who seems unstoppable, we would have a far more varied and unpredictable attack.

  30. I think when the Mayo team was named for the Roscommon game, it probably gave them a bit of a boost. I think the naming of this team will have the opposite effect on Galway. We have 13 of the players who started last year’s All-Ireland final, Tom Cunniffee and Alan Freeman, the two players not starting. They have been replaced by Jason Doc and Barry Moran, both players who started the 2012 final. I’d say Galway would prefer to see Conor O’Shea and Diarmuid O’Connor starting this game, they are players for the future. We are not that far off being the best team in the country, when we are on form, we just need to make a few teaks here and there. I probably still would like to see us using a playmaker at no. 11, in saying that Kevin McLoughlin can play that role for us too from no. 10. Roll on the big game!

  31. Hard to know what to say about this team but here goes anyway.
    The definition of insanely has been mentioned already but maybe this is as good as it gets for us , we have no better players than the ones picked.
    Dillon in the corner has to be the place for him, he was our most accurate forward last year ie. he had the most scores to shots ratio from play.So put him near the posts.
    We have been screaming for McLoughlin to play no.10 all year.
    Andy seems to be back to near his best now he had a couple of great games for his club lately.
    If Aiden offloads the ball quickly he could be a great link between mid field and the forewards he should be able to see everything around him with his height.
    Then again how often has it been said that you need to have your best team on the field in the last 15 minutes roll on Gibbons Freeman and Sweeney.
    Oh fuck it I don’t know but one thing for sure I’ll be there roarin’ like a mad man as usual.COME ON MAYO!

  32. I think it is fantastic we have the depth of squad to provoke the debate of who should or should not start. It is a twenty man squad which generates competition internally that must be good for Mayo and hopefully all will play their part in victory. Galway have a strong mid field and I think Barry Moan will be an inspired choice. Aidan on the forty was always worth trying given his strength. I pity the Galway full back line when they see him thundering down on them. I just hope he does’nt hold onto the ball too long.

  33. Delighted to see Aidan moving up. Gibbons must still not be be fully fit or else he would be starting. After his injury alot of people were convinced that he was gone for the season. I hope Barry Moran can step up, he his capable, that’s for sure. I really like this set up and I think that Aidan will shine big time now that his journey has been shortened.

    I hope that this Mayo team can fulfill to their potential. They owe it to themselves. One step at a time.

  34. I’m happy enough with this selection. Gibbons would have been a better choice for No 11 if fully fit but I’d be fairly confident he’ll make an appearance at some stage. Dillon and Andy Moran have been playing very well of late for their clubs and if that form has carried into the squad sessions then their starting places are merited. Barry Moran also being given his chance on Sunday so he needs to take full advantage and put in a good shift. We need a good start so beginning with a strong experienced fifteen is the way to go. Can’t wait !

  35. This is the best position with player availability when have had in a long time. Only Carolan out long term. When was the last time Doc, Dillon, Andy and Coc have all been fully fit to play together. I am not counting last year as Andy and Dillon or Coc as they were nowhere near 100%. I think that is the best team available to us and should be good enough to do the business on Sunday. If they are struggling the likes of feeney, gibbons, sweeney and freeman can be called upon.
    Hon Mayo.

  36. Obviously the big men picked around the middle are to counter Galways big midfield which was impressive v Sligo. Once Cunniffe was declared injured and Barrett declared fit the backs picked themselves and they ll need to be on their toes because Galway attack is dangerous. Forwards are interesting. Id say Galways backs may be vulnerable hence its probably a wise move to go with our most experienced men up front. If I was a Galway back I d prefer to be marking a young inexperienced Mayo lad than a proven performer and unfortunately the younger lads have not suggested that they deserve to dislodge any of the older guys just yet. Think Freeman is a little unlucky but his performances in our last 3 big games v derry and dubs in league and Ros in championship were not great even allowing for the fact that poor ball was sent his way. Sweeney cant be too far away either as any time Ive seen him he impressed. For me the biggest surprise is the inclusion of Barry so hopefully he s fully fit and can regain his 2012 form. Should be a good match and hopefully a positive outcome. Good luck also to the Minors and a double would be great.

  37. On holidays so keeping my ear to the ground from afar and will be watching this one in an Irish pub.
    However, I don’t see the named team starting, never mind positional changes.
    JH is looking at a likely Galway game plan based strongly on trying to win midfield and putting pressure on our half backs. He and knuckles Buckley are not going to give Mullholland advance warning!
    Expect us to win.because the tight match against the Rossies will have brought us on and young Galway haven’t been tested yet!
    On Mayo !!!!

  38. I like this line up. It is capable of scoring goals. My doubt would be the fitness of Barry Moran at midfield. This team have a chance to claim a starting berth for the business end of the competition. I am expecting fireworks from the starting 15 around 2 pm. It will be interesting to see who has the appetite for battle then.

  39. Catcol, you were wondering what a team has to do to get some respect. The only way Mayo will get respect is after they win an All-Ireland – probably All-Irelands, plural, at this stage.

    And it only makes sense. Mayo have been knocking on the door for so long with no answer you can understand how every other team would think Mayo will always have an Achilles heel and if we keep hammering we’ll find it. And that counts in multiples for a border rival like Galway.

    Besides; respect is over-rated. Mayo got tons of respect after beating Donegal last summer but it wasn’t much to take to the bank when summer was over. Where Mayo are now it’s Sam or nothing. It’s cruel, it’s not fair, but it’s true. Please God they’ll get off to a good start on Sunday. I’m happy out with the team myself.

  40. Feck respect, we don’t need to worry about what anyone else thinks, if we manage 4 provincial crowns in a row, that speaks for itself.
    to keep coming back when most other counties would roll up into a ball and cry for a year, speaks for itself. G’wan Mayo.
    Be Proud.

  41. Not a bad team but it is a pity we cant feed Freeman with good ball as pointed out above.

    I was in the canal end (davern or what ever) for the Dublin Wexford game. I had a great view of the forwards/backs interaction. Macminiman (spelling ??) is so dominant, i felt intimidated by him from the stand and he drove the wexford back line to distraction while on or off the ball, they all had one eye on him.

    Our Aidan and Andy are tough as we all know but if they could turn on some pure raw aggression mixed with real speed it would tear up any back line. No more nice guy stuff.

    Hon Mayo

  42. Loving the way Galway are been built up by lots of people, if the weather is dry we will see a very different mayo performance compared to our last outing, i think aidan is gunna b pushed into ff with andy playing the quarter back role from chf. I think JH is planning a drone strike on top of Hanley an co with aidan breaking ball and coc mopping it up…gunna be an interesting tussle.

  43. Delighted with team selection for this game.Its all about horses for courses. Dillon set the tone last year in Salthill, let his marker know there was a game on before throw in and opened the scoring, you cannot train experience.

    I expect Mayo to really test the young Galway buckos on Sunday and will run out comfortable winners , Mayo by nine points.

  44. Experience will be the difference in this final and this line out has it in spades. Great to see Barry back in midfield and having Dillon and Moran flying is where we want to be. It’s a 20 man game now so to Freeman ,Feeney and co coming in to rock it up will be as vital as anyone on the starting 15. Galway and Ros are both on the way back so we need to be making hay now. Great to see Mayo doing the biz now as I remember those days in the 70s n 80s when we could hardly buy a win.
    On a personal level this final won’t be the same without being able to talk to the old man about it .He would enjoy this. Hon Mayo

  45. Juan, Galway are not being built up. By who really. In fact the opposite is happening. Galway know a lot more about ye than the reverse which is to be expected in fairness. Very few outside core Galway football fans realise the potential of this team but at the same time know where we are in terms of our development. At the off the ball roadshow last night which was previewing the match with a mix of personnel from both counties it became clear that Galway need to rid of the ‘no more mr nice guy’ after last year in Pearse stadium where a handshake at the start of the match was met with a nordieesque style box from the Mayo counterpart. Yes it is part of the game but if anything we need to make stand. Am by no means advocating foul play as there is a clear difference between making your mark and breaking the rules. I don’t think the black card issue will be huge on Sunday but if we get to Croke Park directly or thorugh the back door the black card needs to come into play big time to banish some of the stuff we have seen over the last few years.

  46. I must say thats better and he needed to go for experience after ros. But I still have reservations about boyle at 6 he is a natural wing back and coming down the middle does not suit him.
    A change was needed in midfield and barry will give us that extra ability to win primary possession and lay off intelligent ball. Was surprised how quickly aidan ran out of steam in ros so might be smarter moving him to 11. Anyway looking forward to it and hope we put in a solid performance

  47. I would be very disappointed that any Mayo player would not shake hands like a gentleman before or after a game. Both counties have long traditions of good sportsmanship and should not get involved in this kind of stuff. You don’t have to descend to this to play tough hard and uncompromising football. Respect your opponent………and then bate him like a man!

  48. KC,

    Until I see video evidence of a ‘box’ of a Galway player by a Mayo player, I refuse to believe that this incident happened. You are going on the claim of a Galway player who is feeling quite bitter about last year. The same crowd had Olly Turner and Keith Finnegan on a radio news discussion show the very next day saying that Mayo had the ref as an extra man, and that Andy Moran’s goal celebration (a goal he scored after coming on for the first time, having missed the previous year’s All-Ireland final) was distasteful and was attempting to incite the Galway players.

    This, despite a 17-point beating of Galway.

    Galway have dirty players of their own, lest we forget.

  49. diehard by no means was i singling out Mayo but more reflecting where the game is at nowadays and just used that lesson that was given to us last year as an example. Connacht teams on balance more than any other province have been too nice and particularly when they went to Croker. My point is that we need to make our mark and stamp our authority for any future bouts with the likes of Northern brethern and the Dubs.

  50. Kc, To be honest i dont really read much of the tripe that is written in the papers nor do i listen to publicity hunting has-been ex players who are trying to make a name for themselves. So i wouldnt have heard any sport shows discussing sundays match. I work in a large office with lots “seasoned” Gaa fans, who are tipping Galway for this one, by no means are they experts with All-Ireland medals, but like the vast majority on here they have a good insight on football. Thats what i was refrencing along with some confident North Galway friends of mine who beileve Shane Walsh is their new messiah…..and he very might well be!!.

    In reference to your comment about a mayo man throwin a box before the game, im delighted to hear that, to me it shows passion and determination and gains a small advantage over the opponent before a ball is even kicked. Id also have no qualms in Galway men doing the same…its all part of the game. Plenty a time to be nice to eachother when they hang up there boots and are panelists on a radio station/tv station etc. for what its worth, i think this game will be a brutal encounter, im expectin mayo to come out very physical which is a welcome part of our game under Horan. Mayo by 5.

  51. Just to clear up that point about handshaking and boxing at last year’s match, I can clearly recall the incident that KC refers to. From what I remember, prior to the throw-in a Galway player put out his hand to greet his Mayo marker (whom I won’t name but is an experienced player) but was met with a two-handed shove (not a box) which sent the Galway lad flying backwards.

  52. Correct WJ, it was a shove, not a punch.

    When Galway ruled Connacht in the early eighties they used to tell each other before games against Mayo: “Tough it up, and the Mayo boys will cough it up”. And sure enough it was true. At least until the likes of Kilgallon, Forde, Maughan etc, arrived on the scene.

    The same applied to Mayo 2004-2010, despite our two AIF appearances in that time. Thank God JH has toughened up Mayo physically since then. Whatever way our skill-set goes once JH departs the job, I sincerely hope that the principles of strength and conditioning remain. Mayo must never again allow themselves to be physically bullied – by anyone.

  53. Yes WJ I remember that incident too and it definitely wasn’t a box. just as you say a shove that sent the Galway lad backwards.Any talk of a box is way wide of the mark

    I won’t name him either but he’s not exactly the biggest guy on the team and he plays in the FF line on Sunday.

  54. It was a shoulder in the chest & gave out the correct signal of intent. I live in Meath & football people here say we are missing a few lads that operate on the edge at all times.

  55. Mayofan to clarify none of these incidents impacted on the result as a hammering is a hammering in any man’s language. As for Moran’s celebration they tell us the greats cleebrate with humility so we can all take what we want from that perspective. Willie Joe whether it was a two handed shove or otherwise i think it is fair to say that the key point here is being bullied around the field. Its up to us to sort that out as it has happened a few times against various opposition. The only reason i referred to the incident last season against ye is because it was referred to on the Newstalk show last night and not in critical manner of Mayo necessarily. As for Galway having dirty palyers i think the 2 guys sent off last year against ye skews the records book as we have a pretty unblemished (many might say unfortunately) record over a 15 to 20 year period.

    Juan i suspect A Mull is picking 13 and 14 on the Galway team for specific reasons. 14 is back to the form he showed as a youngster until 5 years of terrrible injury problems. He might not last the 70 mins but he is there to protect our more sublime forwards. Whether it will work lord only knows but at least it is completely A Mulls team.

  56. I dunno. You can be as tough and as dirty as you like when the game is on, but you should always shake your opponent’s hand before the start of the match. A cheap shot really by Dillon.

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