Game day – place in the final there to be claimed

With almost indecent haste, we’ve arrived today at the final round of this year’s National League. Our opponents this afternoon in Round 7 of Division One are Kildare and throw-in at our temporary home of Páirc Seán MacDiarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon is 1.45pm. Meath’s David Gough is the ref.

There is, of course, another game for us in this year’s League after today’s final round and that’s the final itself this day week. Kerry are already guaranteed to be there and, had we shown a bit better form over the last two games, there’s a good chance we’d have booked our place in the Croke Park decider by now as well.

But we didn’t and, as yet, we haven’t nailed down a place in it. It’s in our own hands, though – win today and we’re definitely in the decider. And even if we don’t get a result today, we might still – depending on how other results go – make Croke Park next weekend.

The permutations surrounding League placings are all a bit dizzying – Kildare could get relegated today but equally they might end up in the decider – but, from our perspective, it’s all simple enough. If we win today we’re in the final and, of course, that’s what we should be aiming to do.

The manner in which we lost our way in both Tralee and Omagh provides an interesting backdrop to today’s match. At times – in particular in Omagh – it looked like we weren’t madly interested in claiming the points on offer.

I’m not sure I buy the narrative about our actively seeking to avoid making it to the League final. It’s a game at the venue we like best, against what’s currently the best team in the country. Sure, it’s a match we could lose but that’s true of every game we contest. Plus it’s a national title and we’re not exactly overburdened with those.

Kildare will do what they can to thwart whatever ambitions we might harbour about a League final appearance. They have their own battle to fight today – one against relegation – and, like us, they come into this game with their fate in their hands too.

The Lilies should also, from our perspective, provide us with a challenge not a million miles removed in likeness from that which Galway will give us. They have strength, with plenty of mobility in every line and forwards who are well able to shoot, while their backline isn’t perhaps as tight as it should be. How we match up against them will give us a decent indication of how well we’re placed to keep the neighbours in check next month.

These last few rounds have been strange for us, so accustomed we are to scrapping for our lives almost every year to avoid the drop. This year we had, by Round 4, achieved our spring target of retaining our top tier status, a luxury that has allowed us to experiment pretty widely since then.

That experimentation – whether enforced or by design (and it’s looks like it’s been a bit of both) – continues at Páirc Seán today. Despite that, we’re still sending out a strong enough team this afternoon, one that has the ability to get a win for us.

Our home-from-home record in this League campaign has been good so far. It would be great if we could extend this unbeaten ‘home’ run today, which would also give an appropriately positive sign-off to our wanderings around the province this spring.

And if we do manage the win, we’re also signing up for another meeting with Kerry, this time in front of the eyes of the nation at Croke Park. If that happens, we should, of course, welcome that challenge too and do what we can to lift the silverware then.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Today’s job is to put an end to this losing streak and claim the win that’ll book our place in the League final. It’s a place that’s there to be claimed by us so let’s get out there and do this.

Safe travelling to all who are on the roads to Carrick today. With a full house expected at Páirc Seán later on, it should be a great atmosphere and here’s hoping the match lives up to its billing too, with the right result from our point of view. Up Mayo.

79 thoughts on “Game day – place in the final there to be claimed

  1. I feel a win is necessary today with Galway coming down the tracks. They’ll be playing in Croke Park next week and we should aim for the same. A final against Kerry is exactly the type of game we need before the game against them.

  2. Today should be championship intensity in a sunny Carrick. We will see if we are ready!

  3. Tommy+Joe your completely right, Galway are in a league final so why wouldn’t we aim for one. I don’t think we can go into galway with three losses on the spin. I thought a player like ROD could do with a rest imagine he picks up an injury today there is no one even remotely close to replacing him

  4. A huge chance for our half forward line today.Top of the ground conditions and a sunny day against a team that will give them more space than the last two weeks.Without doubt there are two spaces to be claimed in this line for April 24th.

  5. I just want us to beat Kerry and spoil Jack O’Connor’s record of completing the double every year of his new Kerry term. Then let’s beat them again in July in the All Ireland final. That’s all that’s on my mind on this sunny Sunday. Enjoy, and safe travelling to all. Up Mayo.

  6. I’m the same liberal, really want a crack at the Harlem globetrotters of Gaelic football, absolutely love to wipe the cocky smile off jack o Connor .

  7. Huge opportunity. Big crowd. Something to play for. Summer and championship conditions. Great surface. Days like this is when our lads produce their best results. I expect us to win by 4.

  8. It’s clear to see that JH has no intentions or ambitions of getting to a League Final. Mayo are safe in Division 1. Keep experimenting with new lads and giving game time to panel members. We are keeping our Best players wrapped in cotton wool for the big challenge of Galway. This is the plan. Why should we sacrifice the likes of Paddy, Oisin, Diarmuid,Mattie or Eoin by getting injured in a League Final in a Thunderous, Full throttled encounter with Kerry? Hold our Best players in reserve for Galway. Have them fit and raring to go. Take another look Today in Leitrim of our Panel players. Sam was never won in March or April.
    Safe travelling to All Today.
    There is only one Plan.

  9. Listened to Billy Joe and Mortimer on the podcast, if Mortimer had an OnlyFans page Billy Joe would definitely subscribe.

    No idea what will happen in the match today, the do we/don’t we narrative around a possible league final is intriguing. I’d have liked a settled team by now (even though we could probably guess 12 of the team for Galway already) getting use to each other especially in half forward line. However, I guess there is a plan in place for Galway and the build up so let’s see what unfolds.

  10. Trying to buy 2 kids tickets for today and we both have ST.It will only let me purchase juvenile tickets with adult ticket.Does anyone know how to get two juvenile tickets only or has anyone got unwanted tickets please.

  11. Has the look of a championship Sunday about it today in the west. Should be a bounce in our step so hopefully our lads show a true reflection of where they’re at today. I’d like to see Harrison get minutes.Carney grab his spot & general upping of performance .That & a win will do me for the minute.
    Up Mayo.

  12. Kildare are a good test, they rate their full back line, if this is the case then it will make it more difficult for us to win if they manage to tie up ROD. Would definitely like a crack at Kerry next week, enjoy the day to all who are travelling.

  13. I fear our defence could be in trouble today trying to deal with that kildare forward line.
    Their performance last week against Monaghan was top drawer and unless they have an off day I can’t see our forwards getting enough scores to get the win.
    And if you were to believe the chatter, then Horan might not be too bothered one way or another!

  14. From just the glimpse I got of Kildare on last Sun’s “Sunday Game”, I was very impressed and wouldn’t be confidant of taking them. They can do well this summer.
    And likewise Galway. They looked terrific and will have a big say in where Sam will go this summer. Could they meet in the final?? Great odds I’d say.
    Up Mayo.

  15. Kildare v Galway in an All Ireland final? Surely you’re having a laugh UpMayo? Not a chance, league form matters little come championship, dubs will still batter Kildare in leinster

  16. I think we need to win this game. While a league final might not be the best thing heading into the Galway game, three losses in a row isn’t either. I do think giving some of our key player, such as R’od or Leeroy, is a rest good idea because as long as we isolate Flynn we should this game. A job for O’hora I would say.
    Up Mayo

  17. Forwards scoring from play is our main concern so hopefully this has been worked on in training and we see some improvement today. Getting to the finals hasn’t done Kerry, Galway, or Cork in hurling, any harm and will fine tune them further, same should apply to us. Go on lads, put your hands up for a place on the first 15/panel, not much opportunity after today.

  18. Changes on the sideline for us as well today. James Horan is NOT here, he’s at a family Confirmation, as per Mike Finnerty on the Discord chat just now! Lookit, next man up.

  19. Five changes – Harrison for O’Hora, Brickenden for Coen, Plunkett for Loftus, Carr for Boland and Diarmuid O’Connor for Orme.

  20. Good to see Diarmuid, James Carr and Brendan Harrison back in the starting team and Eoghan mclaughlin out with the team.

    Hopefully a win and no injurys

  21. We have to learn how to kick scores like Kildare, a master class in taking kicks from right positions

  22. Excellent point-taking in that half by Kildare, can see now how they racked up 0-24 against Monaghan. They’re halfway to that tally now. We’re creating plenty of chances but our finishing remains a problem. We should have scored three goals in that half.

  23. Harrison stretchered off, looked serious. Don’t know about Diarmuid.

  24. RO’D is absolutely different gravy. Work ethic, leadership, intensity, balls.. If he isn’t finally a marquee forward, we’ll never have one.

  25. RO’D is absolutely different gravy. Work ethic, leadership, intensity, balls.. If he isn’t finally a marquee forward, we’ll never have one.

  26. Been very modest I had great belief from the start that we would win the league,so at the moment I am throwing flowers at myself,up Mayo and well done to all concerned

  27. Thought Doherty was brilliant today. Strong and clever player, and works well with O’Donoghue.

  28. Radio boys forget were not watching the game. Great long range shooting from Kildare in first half. 12 wides for ourselves but otherwise we have created lots of chances. Kerry will be much tighter…

  29. Great win. I think we have a real chance of winning the league. Hopefully D’oc is ok and harrison’s injury isnt too serious. That man has terrible luck with injuries.
    Also I am so happy the dubs got relegated.

  30. Well done Mayo…lots of positives to take from that. Major negative is BH injury. Hopefully not as bad as it seemed.
    Now let’s have a good cut at the Kingdom next week. Up Mayo.

  31. I dont share in the delight of the Dubs being relegated but thats just me. We need to go and win the league now wont be easy against Kerry obviously but we need to win a final in Croke park

  32. Very open, old fashioned, free flowing, entertaining football. A joy to watch on a magnificent day. A typical mayo v kildare game. Probably too open from both sides.
    Great occasion for connacht next week, it’ll be an early start on the roads. For ourselves we’re now in a league final where at long last we’ll find out how we are really fixed. Can’t wait.

  33. Fine win today. Great to see J Doc buzzing. Should be interesting next Sunday. Very gutsy performance by Tyrone today.

  34. Well done, Mayo!
    We have scorers to put up that tally ; )
    I was listening on the radio and it was great to hear Jason Doc motoring so well.
    It looked like Jordan Flynn, Jack Carney and ROD were great today. But also Mullin and Carr.

  35. Very consistent scoring 1-10 in both halves. Kildare just ran out of steam in second half. They are very unlucky to down with 5 points..

  36. Is that 3 Connacht teams in Div 1 next year so and none from Leinster ? They are reaping what has been sowed unchallenged for the last decade . I wonder would Kildare insist on playing Dubs in Newbridge now if the chance arises. Or will they take the cash and likely beating in Croker (I’m not sure what way the Leinster draw has panned out this year. It’s been a formality for so long I’ve stopped looking ).

  37. Theee lads who wont get as much credit as there was plenty of good performances today but Rory Byrne, Rory Brickeden and Michael Plunkett all have stood up this league campaign we needed.

    Jack Carney and Jordan Flynn getting better with every game.

  38. Jordan Flynn has been find of league so far. Great to have a settled midfield. With Mc Brien at full back, Aidan centre back and Doc full forward, could we finally be starting a championship with all the central roles covered.

  39. Yes, Plunkett had a great game. Did his defensive duties and got up for scores too.

  40. GloryDays, we’ve won the Connacht Final and League Final lately enough in Croke Park – it’s the AIF we need to win in it.

  41. McBrien was excellent, had 2 good turnovers, I think one led to our breakaway for the first goal. He was subbed but it must’ve been tactical.

  42. Good result today. Good to see a decent spread of scores. Harrison is so bloody unlucky. An outstanding player, who has been utterly plagued with injuries. Heart broken for him. Hope he gets well soon.

  43. 3 votes for Ryan here just awesome.A bit like a challenge game at times with the space but we were a lot smarter.Rotten luck Harrison and more of a worry Diarmuid did not look comfortable at all coming off.Thought we were in trouble coming to the end of the first half but amazingly Kildare allowed us our own kickouts in the second half and that gave us the platform.

  44. Could not make the game and the Midwest commentary was a mixture of a comedy show and inaudibility.
    The roar of the crowd was the confirmation that Mayo had either got s score or made a good play.
    Were Mayo that good or were kildare that bad especially in the second half.
    Regardless the positive os Corning 2-18 is great

  45. Do Kerry really deserve to be 2/5 favourites to beat Mayo 7/4 come next Sunday , we only lost by a point down in Kerry in a game we could have won , a point that would have left us both on 10 pints each at the top , not a bad result for a team that played all seven games on the road , fill your boots you know it makes sense .

  46. We conceded a big score today. I don’t think AOS works at CB.They won MF in first half.Still great to be in the final and players like Hession Carney did very well and OHora got score of the game I think.We can win this

  47. To hell with Kerry , I couldn’t care less , if we win great , If we lose it’s all about Galway .

    Here’s my tuppence worth , Mayo are a better Gaelic football team than Kerry . Bring it on ,total belief in our bucks .

  48. Don’t agree with you on that one Willie Joe. Aido spend most of the day in Centre Back position.

  49. Hard to read too much into game. Kerry only drew with kildare. The positives today were that Carney Brickenden Hession McBrien put up their hands. Fair competition for places. Carr seemed to show well?
    A final in Croke Park awaits us as a bonus. Is it a double header on Sunday?? Nice to get to see our championship opposition

  50. Willie Joe
    You are largely correct however he roved around at one stage he was at FF.
    I just think he will be too slow in that CB position ghaving said that he pulled off a great block at one stage which was critical.

  51. Horan mightn’t be considering starting Aido at 6, however the bit of experience there will have done him no harm, ie if at any point he needs to ‘do a job’ there, ie for a specific player or opposition tactic. No harm to have options. The pace aspect would be my biggest concern but otherwise Aidan has plenty of the attributes to hold his own at CB, and currently Stephen Coen isn’t playing well, so I’m all for trying different options. Oisin also, obviously.

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