Game day – semi-finals are for winning

So here we are.

It’s a perishingly cold morning here in the capital, where, after a night of hard frost, a thick mist hangs over the December air. We live not far from the sea here and at regular intervals the mournful calling from out on the bay of a ship’s horn breaks the Sunday morning silence.

And we’re in a pre-Christmas All-Ireland semi-final against Tipperary today. The match takes place at Croke Park, just a short distance away from here but it may as well be on the moon. It’s a closed door match, live on RTÉ2 and Sky Sports Mix, with a 3.30pm throw-in. Meath’s David Gough is the ref.

When this one-slip-and-you’re-gone Championship began just a few short weeks ago we were no more than one of many hopefuls seeking to progress in it. Now just three counties are left standing – Dublin, Tipperary and ourselves.

There’s been much debate here and elsewhere following Dublin’s latest pythonesque performance last night. But, of course, we’ve no call to be involved in such chatter at all, as we’ve a more immediate worry to focus on today. And if we don’t get over today’s significant hurdle then Dublin will be of no concern to us.

Had this madcap Championship gone to form, it would have been Kerry we’d be playing today. Were this the case, we’d be in a very different mindset about this All-Ireland semi-final. Even if Cork had won Munster we’d be thinking differently about it.

But instead it’s Tipperary and we go into this afternoon’s behind closed doors meeting as very strong favourites to make it through to yet another final. And it’s easy to see why we’re favoured to do this – today is our ninth All-Ireland semi-final in ten years and we’re bidding to reach the decider for the fifth time this decade.

If anyone had told us a few short weeks ago that it would be Tipperary barring our way today we’d have gleefully chewed off their arm at the offer. But this Tipperary side are no walkover and we know full well from their historic win over Cork a fortnight ago that they’re a team we need to prepare for with caution.

The Premier lads have every right to feel as if the stars have aligned for them this year. Kerry unexpectedly eliminated by Cork, who must then have believed the heavy lifting for provincial success was done, Colin O’Riordan back in the fold for the few short weeks required and others available to them too who haven’t been there in recent years.

They’ll come into this afternoon’s semi-final with their confidence sky-high. We know they don’t fear us – they’ve spent most of the week saying this in the media – and we can sense they don’t hold us in the same regard as they might other potential opponents at this stage in the Championship.

But that’s okay. If anything, that kind of attitude from the opposition is of benefit to us.

We need to concentrate on what we’ll bring to this contest. We have to look no further back than our Connacht matches against Roscommon and Galway for hints about what this should be.

In both of those contests, we started strongly and took the game to them. While we sustained this approach well against Roscommon and won that one fairly easily, we failed to do so against Galway and were fortunate enough to fall over the winning line at the finish.

A good start today is vital. Tipperary got off to a flying start against Cork in the Munster final and they never looked back. We can’t afford to give them a similar injection of confidence at HQ today.

But starting well won’t be enough to get a result today. We need to see a sustained performance over the seventy minutes, with the bench being used in the right way to keep a high tempo right throughout. In other words, we need to see a Croke Park performance from this team.

There’s been much talk over the last few weeks how James Horan has shaped his remodelled team with an eye to playing at Croke Park. Today’s the day we’re going to find out the veracity of that claim.

James has certainly built this team with speed in mind. We’ve more pace in our ranks now than at any time inside the last decade. That should stand to us today, as should the huge experience that still resides within our ranks.

We need to be ready for a real battle today, as Tipp know this is a shot to nothing for them, as they aim to claim a first All-Ireland final appearance since the 1920 final was contested in 1922. Such an unburdened attitude makes them a difficult, unpredictable opponent for us.

But, equally, we’re a fairly daunting prospect for them. We’ve played at this level pretty consistently for the last decade – only once failing to reach the final four since 2011 – and the only counties to beat us at the semi-final stage in that period are Dublin and Kerry.

So we know a thing or two about All-Ireland semi-finals. In particular, we know they’re for winning. So let’s get out there and do just that. Here we go again. Up Mayo.

139 thoughts on “Game day – semi-finals are for winning

  1. Mile buiochas WJ for your clear and precise blogs and to Rod Murphy and all the people at the Mayo news and elsewhere for providing us with the wonderful podcasts. Go hann maith ar fad.
    Go neiri le foireann Mhuigheo inniu. Bigi curamach agus thog aire daoibh fhein ar an galar-Covid 19!
    Mhuigheo abu!

  2. Best of luck to the team and management today. Hoping for a big performance and a continuation of all the great days out we’ve had in Croke Park over the last ten years even if we’re not there in person! Maigh Eo Abú…

  3. It’s really strange that we are all not heading to the match. My wife has just pointed out that it will be the first time ever that we all sit down as a family together at home to watch a semi-final.
    I think Tipp have some serious operators and they are well set up. I hope our quality, pace and passion will will through. No matter what it will be great experience for our newer players.

  4. Best Wishes to mayo today .Very cold and fog -1 at the moment here in the east hope the team have all ready travel thank Wille Joe for a wonderful blog

  5. Very strange to not be heading to Croker, but its still as exciting. No matter what happens today, very proud of the whole team and managment. A new team and we’re in the final 4 again. Don’t know how lucky we are. Winning the Connacht was a serious achievement, this is pure bonus territory! Saying that, fingers crossed we get through. Hon Mayo.

  6. Mayo by 10-12!! In my view Tipp beat a rudderless Cork in the poorest Munster final in years. Tipp are only an average Division 3 team with no recent Croke Park experience. Like Cavan yesterday, they’ve already had their big day of the year. Up Mayo

  7. Good Morning all, the Christmas tree is up
    and today Mayo are playing in the all Ireland semi final !!!!
    No I am not still smoking those Wacky cigarettes… Its for real.
    I am so excited for todays game.
    Mayos Management and trainers will have
    Them ready for a big game full of speed ,skill,
    and Intensity from our Team of Experienced
    and young stars .
    Mayo have given us all some great days out in
    Croke park and even though we cant be there to
    Shout them on today we will be watching from home and
    Screaming and jumping for Them ( watch out for the Christmas tree)
    Enjoy the day everyone and Maigh Eo abu.

  8. On the ditch, the match day download version programmer will be available at 11am on the DBA publishing site

  9. No mark moran or Darren McHale which surprising given how well both performed in the internal game 2 weeks ago and Cavan game last week.

  10. Great coverage as always Willie Joe and thanks to everyone for the build up to the game.. really has been a fantastic lift in these strange times. The cold blue ice colour theme of last Christmas has gone out the window and has been replaced with a multi coloured theme this year with a particular emphasis on red and green. Had I it my way it would all be red and green but I got ove-ruled and reluctantly a few other colours got introduced. Anyway the scene is set and it’s a case of hold on to your chair!
    On a more serious note good gloves and good studs will be important today. The ball and ground will be greasy and a lot of slipping and sliding and handling errors until the lads adapt to the conditions. C’Mon Mayo

  11. Boland Carr and Towey on the bench today maybe more suited to Croke Park. No Colm Boyle, or Seamus o Shea. Best to luck today

  12. This will be a proper battle, wouldn’t be surprised if JH springs a few of the dogs of war from the traps in the last quarter.

  13. Fionn McDonagh, Mark Moran and Bryan Walsh dropping out with Carr Boland and Towey coming in. Surprised with Fionn McDonagh exclusion felt his height would have been an asset. Boland coming in for the first time in the championship will be chopping at the bit

  14. Wow, interesting omission with Fionn.
    Could be carrying injury or just not in form this year. Happy for Boland.

  15. Sam are ye definitely sure he is coming!!
    Mayomessi could you post the full bench please. Hon Mayo!!

  16. Best of luck to our lads today. We’ll need to be tuned in 100% for this, as WJ said above, Semi Finals are for winning, nothing else. The talk from Tipperary is all about All Stars and the colour of the jersey for the final clash with Dublin. They don’t rate us one little bit, let’s go out and show them what we can do. No fear, let’s go Mayo!

  17. Have to give a shout out to those not in the match day panel some having given years of service who rightfully will be able to attain todays game, looking at the list below just thinking to myself about the competition for places just to get on the benches

    Rory Byrne
    Eoin o Donoghue
    David MacBrien
    Colm boyle
    Jack Coyne
    Donie Vaughan
    Seamie o Shea
    Mark Moran
    Bryan Walsh
    Fionn McDonagh
    Darren McHale
    James Durcan

    plus the injured players
    Brendan Harrison
    Jason Doherty
    James McCormack

  18. The very best of luck
    to our players and management today.

    Only three teams left. Tipp, Mayo and some crowd from Leinster who scraped through and bridged an enormous gap since their last final appearance.

    I have the sofa lined up at the exact angle I want towards the TV.

    Enjoy the game everyone.

  19. Now only have to pick from RTE and Sky coverage, don’t think i can listen to anymore of o Rourke drool. McGuinness is going to do a segment on our new players which should be interesting.

  20. Think Walshe, particularly, is unlucky to lose out. Thought he did very well against Galway.
    Others must be flying in training and youth policy continues with only Parsons and Higgins making the bench.
    A good day for football and really looking forward to seeing this young pacey team perform today.

  21. Best of luck to the Mayo team today. It must be exciting especially for the newer players, and also for our seasoned operators to be back on a pitch they know and love.

    If our lads are fully focussed on the job I have confidence in them. When we are like that we are a match for anybody. I hope to see them focussed.

    I firmly believe Tipperary will be a tough opponent today and that they’ll have prepared a strategy to negate us on the field. With intelligent management and confident players, they’ll try to keep us out of the scoring zone and cut off our channels. Will we have a plan B? If we’ve properly prepared, we will. Our young lads are smart enough to play any few more sophisticated moves James might have developed for tough situations.
    We’ve seen grit from our lads so often in the past – we can remember individual players and times. We’ve also seen flashes of brilliance from young lads – we can remember those too. Both of those things are still there today and can dig us out if the going gets tough.
    I have a special thought for Keith Higgins today – a wonderful player. Enjoy the game everybody!

  22. Good luck to the Mayo Team and Management today. Mayo will beat the Premier in a close tough battle. I would expect Tipperary to tear into us from the start,push up on our kick outs and try to win the long kick out. Don’t be surprised to see Aidan back here a good bit today in order to win the Midfield battle. However I fully expect this match to mirror Dublin v Cavan with Mayo running the subs bench for the second half and winning by a healthy margin.We must move the ball quickly to the forwards with speed and accuracy. This is our best chance to practice our plays before we play the Dubs.What happens today in Coke Parks wide spaces will determine whether we can beat Dublin. Does JH have a new game plan? Are there new tactics to be deployed v Tipperary ones we have not seen before. If Conor Loftus starts at MF will we bomb the high ball into Aidan o Shea and Tommy Conroy? How do we score more goals has this been addressed? Goals will be needed to beat Dublin make no mistake about it and a Ruthless tough edge brought to this game and the next. Tipperary are a Division 3 Team who struggled in that Division this year. Yes we should Respect them like any opponents but we surly should be beating this Team by 10 plus points in order to give Dublin something to think about. This should be hammering today. This is the first major Croke Park Championship Experience for a lot of our Younger Lads. Today’s experience will stand to them in the Tougher games ahead. I hope They perform today and are allowed express their potential in this warm up to the All Ireland Final.
    Go neirigh an Tadgh le Mhuigheo.

  23. Delighted to see Parsons and Higgins in squad. Although Keith has lost the bit of pace that can be a huge drawback in one-on-one marking, he’d still be a great man to come into the middle third for the last 15mins in a tight match. He’ll punch holes, especially if we are chasing the game by a couple of points. That acceleration over several yards is still there. Other younger players may rightly get the nod ahead of him; it all depends how Horan sees it.

    Best of luck to our lads today.

  24. Interesting that three of the subs that came on the last day, Walsh, Moran and McDonagh, are not on the panel today. Of course, injury might be playing a part.
    But also, it looks like one of two things. Horan is going with form, as he said he would all along. But two, Horan is pushing towards the more experienced campaigners now. Not in terms of Boyle and Seamie but more experienced in comparison to those missing.
    Interesting. Can’t wait.

  25. Gizmobobs how did mayo get on in the friendly v Cavan last week?
    Pity for Brian Walsh – he was sublime in that second half of the Connacht final

  26. Just back home from a walk down to Croke Park, just to see what it’s like on this weird All-Ireland semi-final day. Clonliffe Road deserted, no barriers up, no Guards or stewards or hawkers or anything else. Croke Park itself closed up and silent. The fog is still there and it’s not going to shift at all today. It’s a cold-to-the-bone kind of cold out there and it’s not going to be any less cold three hours from now.

    A photo I took along the canal of a fogbound Croke Park is here.

  27. Strange times WJ. can’t wait to be back at match days hopefully in the not today distant future, sinking a few pints and having the craic. Those pre match nerves sending shivers down your spine until the ball is thrown in and then all other worries or concerns disappear for 80 minutes and it’s just pure focus and roaring from the best fans in the world!
    Until then it’s the sofa, the fire and roaring at the tv. It’s still the same nerves though!

  28. Yeah that makes sense Sean, thought Walsh would be in line to start.
    These are weird Sundays alright Willie Joe. The day of the Connacht Final I walked down by Pearse Stadium and it was eerily quiet, no match buzz or fans intermingling just no atmosphere.
    Just so strange not to be having a couple of pints, meeting up with friends and family and heading up to Croker to support the lads.
    We’ll all be roaring at the telly.
    Best of luck to the team today.
    Hopefully they’ll give us another day in ?

  29. It will have an eerie feel about it by the looks of that photo Willie Joe and the cry of the seagulls circling around the grounds looking for scraps. So long as they don’t have introduce a yellow size 5 O’Neill’s we will be ok 🙂

  30. That fog might lift later.
    I see ladies semifinal Galway v Cork is playing now in Croke Park at 1.10 pm.
    Parnell park pitch frozen

  31. Best of luck to lads today..Will be weird watching it with wine and a Christmas tree but such is life..Word is that two of the young guns absent today pulled hamstrings in training on Thursday night..
    Maigh Eo Abu

  32. All that’s left to say is Best of Luck to Mayo today. Hoping for the victory and no side effects, no doubt the lads dropped are well replaced by the others in their places and that they get to play a part at some stage. I’d like to see Towey getting a run today regardless, just to let him taste the whole thing, big game on a big pitch with no crowd.

  33. The comment of the studs and gloves and correct boots might souund stupid but I think its on the money. Even the Dubs were slipping and sliding a bit yesterday so adapting quickly to what I imagine will be slippy conditions will be crucial today. I expect Mayo to win if ye do like the Dubs and pick the scoring chances, if the aimless belts at the posts commence then it might be a long day in foggy Dublin.

  34. @Mayomessi thanks for subs and programme info. Enjoy the game. Decent bench gives us options.

  35. Delighted to see Boland and Towey in the match day squad. Would love to see Towey get 10+ minutes. The lad has a great confidence about himself and is well able for the physicality.

  36. Best of luck to Mayo today. I’m fully expecting a Mayo/Dublin final in 2 weeks time.

  37. I’m delighted to see Towey in. He could be the revelation of the championship if he gets to play and gets a bit of decent possession.

  38. Not looking too bad at half time lads? Few dodgy moments in the first 5 mins but we’ll iron them out for the final

  39. 24 points is some first half score in an all Ireland semi final. Ruthless. I’d take Cillian off soon and give me the likes of Towey or Carr a run.

  40. Tipp are woeful at the back, totally non existent . We’ll face a different backline against dubs

    Some brilliant Mayo play. Delighted.

  41. That scoreboard is Easy on the eyes. Cillian in dreamland with that accomplishment. David Clarke saves at the right time can’t be forgotten either

  42. Half time. It looks like we are on our way to the final. However, with a back line like that, 3 clear goal chances and 3 balls dropped into the Tipp goalie. If that happens against the Dubs then we will be in serious trouble.

  43. @our time will come think Mayo won by 11 or so.

    Lack of defensive strategy could be big issue in final.

  44. Looking good but don’t forget we are playing Tipp who are trying hard in a hurling county. Dublin are the target. Well done to the Mayo lads

  45. Tipp have been woeful first half. Their basic skills really letting them down. It’s no exaggeration to say that Leitrim would be ahead of them at HT.

    However…our defence were looking very vulnerable to be honest. Clarke was MOTM after 25 mins.

  46. Mayos defence was very good against Roscommon and Galway. Have a feeling today, James told them to go all out attacking which leaves massive gaps. James probably felt going toe to toe with Tipperary we will win and he was right. When we played Roscommon and Galway we were more cautious and less attacking. It’s a fine balancing act.

  47. Hope McLaughlin is ok..???

    Plenty of positives but we’ll all realise just how poor Tipp have been.

    .. again, our defence is parting like the red sea. The dubs would have a field day. So that is where we need big improvement the next day.

  48. Scoreline flattered us greatly. Give Dublin those Goal chances are we’ll get walloped! And we gave away 3-13 to a Division 3 team.
    Cillian, playing his best but Dublin will have a plan for him too.
    Hard to be optimistic!

  49. Can we not just enjoy scoring 5-20 in an AI semi final and winning it easily ?
    There is very little point analysing the vast majority of that game

  50. We meet again we’re like a old married couple at this stage.. May I point out some of you were commenting about the Dubs not smiling yesterday evening,, didn’t see to many Mayo lads leaping around there today.. See you in two weeks and it’s mad to think the hunt for tickets and you outnumbering us won’t happen this year.. Stay safe

  51. MOTM poll up, this will be an easy one. Cillian needed three points today to hit 400 points in the Championship. He ended the day with 4-9.

  52. I wonder why Mayo didnt take part in the bloody Sunday tribute. It would have been a nice touch.

  53. Hard to know what to make of that really. On the one hand, Cillian was on fire and just one wide in a championship semi tells its own story. We were ruthless today and finished the game early, not something we often manage against weaker sides.

    Super game from Tommy Conroy and the work rate was brilliant in the first half, notwithstanding some brain farts from the Tipp rearguard (third goal was a shocker, would hardly see it at Cumann na mBunscol).

    But we gave away far too many goal chances and conceding 3-13 is not a great sign ahead of the Dubs.

    Great to see Parsons get a run!

  54. Great performance well done Mayo but Clarke’s kick outs are killing us and Dublin will punish us

  55. You can’t seriously blame Clarke tonight Backdoorsam. Kept mayo on the game early on a nd performed well throughout. We need a sweeper simple as that

  56. Clarke’s kickoutas for sure. Tipp won at least 4 or 5 in a row the in second half. Tipp won the battle big time there for sure. Lee Keegan found the going rough as well I think. OHora may start the final?

  57. Comprehensive win for Mayo. The defence is a major concern ahead of the Dubs. I would expect a far tighter set up but the warning bells are sounding which is weird to say after such an easy win.

  58. Lahanman, for the same reason Meath didn’t take part in the tribute when Dublin did it, they were not involved on that day 100 years ago. It was Dublin v Tipp that day and it’s only right Tipp paid tribute on their own today.

  59. God bless David Clarke, if those early tipp goals went in could have been a very different game.
    We need Colm Boyle for the final, is he ok?

  60. Are you for real pullhard? Blaming Clarke for terrible defending when he saved 2 or 3 goals also. We’re going to need a double sweeper against the Dubs to have any chance our defense is absolutely all over the place. Also what is Horan at, playing Keegan in the FB line

  61. Corick Bridge if we defend like today we have exactly zero chance v the Dubs.

    Since 2004 we’ve been defending like this in croke park

  62. I’m not blaming Clarke as such centrefield, I think he was 3 or 4th best player today. His shot stopping today was immense. Was anyone showing clearly for his kickouts that stage of second half? Or his short ones? Was game already won at this stage and outfield weren’t as ravenous for the potential breaks or clean catches that could have presented themselves. I think we are so feckin close now to the big prize and switching off like that is so frustrating

  63. Lee hasnt looked right all season tbh. Not as sharp. Gave another silly free before HT, a needless jersey pull and then the black 2nd half…maybe the sight of the blue jersey will wake him up. Never thought I’d utter it but he actually looks a bit of a weaklink in the defence.

    It wasn’t as though we hadn’t numbers back. We did, but our positioning was all over the place.

    We need more defensive cover from Loftus and Ruane.

    The tipp defence were hopeless today. Tommy and Cillian wont get the freedom of Croke Park in 13 days time. Still waiting for Diarmuid to come to life…

    We are still in it….you just never know;)

  64. Great win for Mayo, Huge respect for Tipperary
    3 13 conceded took the gloss of the win maybe
    Not a bad thing for us.
    The dubs would have got at least 7 goals against us today But I think the Mayo players will
    Know that and will play a different game in The All Ireland football Final.
    2020 what a year.
    Well done again Mayo.

  65. Interesting to hear the post match comments concentrating so much on Clarkes kick outs as a failure , before the video analyst pointed out that Tipperary only lost two out of their own 24 kick outs ,while Dublin do bring a far better all round game than Tipperary they don’t have the aerial advantage that today’s opponents clearly held .

    And given the amount of not only clean ball they won from the kick out’s but the 50/50 ball that went their way especially from our own kick out’s gives us a far greater chance come the 19th than we had today, hard to fault any thing else from todays game , There were several very wayward passes in the first 1/4 and three soft attempts at a point but other than that it was an excellent all round performance’

    I have no idea who the near side linesman was in the first half but his attention to detail was a joy to watch even if the first instance did result in a hoped ball from our free , hopefully he gets the final job and keeps the same eye on Dublin as he did both sides today.

  66. Any word on Eoghan McLaughlin injury?? He looked in pain, holding knee. Not good.

  67. nothing to lose, plenty to work on and the men to do it. Sit back, breathe and prepare for the Christmas final of finals…time to rumble James and the Mayo boyos…
    We are where we want to be, let’s do our thing and let anyone else do theirs and see who’s got the fire in the belly…Maigheo go deo.

  68. Our defence was really poor today..Watching it back now and even after 15 mins it’s evident that Keegan is not at the races..Tipps first goal.was a nitemare from a defensive perspective..This has all to be fixed in 2 weeks??
    On a positive note it was brilliant to watch Cillian return to form.For a long spell he had completely lost his mojo..

  69. To be fair to Lee, he kept Quinlivan scoreless from play for entire match if I’m not mistaken.
    We were still unforgivably open though and massive improvements needed.
    Dubs could have the match won after 5mins if we repeat today’s defensive showing.

  70. Well done to management today for getting this so perfect.
    Cillian O Connor’s 4-09 must be a record for an All Ireland semi, I would like to see if this can be verified.
    James Horan’s tactic in the final will be all out attack, the best policy in order to beat the Dubs but this means that Mayo’s defence will be one-on-one, it will be risky but pray to God that we get 1st half goals v the Dubs, no doubt Mayo are a 1st half team but the Dubs are a ”fully robotic ” 2nd half team, get well ahead and finally stun the b*******.
    Will there be attendance allowed for the final ?, anybody got any ideas to gain entry ??

  71. Well done, Mayo! I’m delighted for us all. It’s great to be heading back to an All-Ireland final against the Dubs. Horan will have us ready. Hope everyone is relishing where we are this eve,

  72. I would like to propose this, it’s not a joke.
    That Willie Joe who has been running this blog for years is allowed in some way to attend the final.
    I for one will be close by outside the stadium in 2 weeks time.

  73. Against the Dubs AOS is going to have to go to midfield (deep lying midfielders)and Keegan CB on KK.

    Our kickout cannot be ad hoc v the Dubs there will have to be designated receivers on our kickouts along with a couple guys on the ground in for the breaks that go with the receivers. There’s going to have to be savage work put into that like a rugby line out.Would put Diarmaid as designated sweeper has height and mobility. Also a real level of tactical fouling needs to be brought into our game

  74. What a game! Our high press was exceptional, could cause serious problems to the Dubs.

    Cillian looks the best forward in the country. Ryan O’D looked to come of age, Tommy Conroy was foot perfect.

    We shipped a huge amount of goal chances though, maybe it was complacency because we were well clear but we had three early so worrying.

    Our kickouts are the elephant in the room. Tipp kind of pressed them today and ran riot on the back of it in second half, what will Dub do? Kerry pressed Clarke last year in Super 8s and we were 9 points down at HT and game was over. When we were still in the game against Tyrone in the league and Clarke chipped one straight to their forwards and that goal ultimately sent us packing to Division 2.

    Many will say Clarke offers so much more than KOs so lets be factual about what he contributed to the game (even tho you can’t beat top teams not creating scoring chances off kick outs but how and ever). He made a super save against Quinlivan, next one from Sweeney was straight at him and he couldn’t have gotten out of the way if he tried but saved it none the less, then he fielded a good high ball. He made no great shape at their soft first goal. He conceded 3 in total, making 2 saves, one good field and one bad field.

    In second half he had a mare, couldn’t get the ball away, punched a high ball straight down in front of him to a Tipp player (the very same as many on here were saying was Patton of Donegal’s downfall but we got away with it). KO after KO was 50/50 at best, Dub will be out of sight after 20 mins given their high press is excellent. He also came out for a crazy ball that he dropped it and Quinlivan luckily snatched at it.

    I’d be interested to see what Dontfoul’s piece will be on this, I’d say our KOs were negative 9 or 10 points at least.

    These are the facts, and IMO we can’t beat Dubs with his KOs

  75. We won’t defend like that against the dubs. We backed ourselves to win a shoot out today and had the game won by halftime. We won’t be employing a full time sweeper or anything but we’ll def be more cautious.

  76. Never been so happy to be sooo wrong. Mayo just scored 5-20 in a Munster All-Ireland semifinal, with I think???, 2 wides. Bring on the Dubs.

  77. That scoreline is flattering us to be fair. Tipp could have had about 5 goals just in the second half. 3 clear cut goal chances within the first 10 minutes of the first half. They were cutting through time and again and just lacked a bit of clinical finishing. Dublin will put those chances away.

    Glad to see Mayo’s forward movement and shot selection has improved, but I do not understand why Horan would believe that sort of defending is acceptable in the latter stages of championship. They obviously backed themselves to win a shoot out today, but that type of defending won’t be good enough for the Dubs, who will punish you if they get any sniff of a chance. Our midfield also conceded about 4 or 5 catches in a row off our own kickout in the second half, all of which resulted in goal chances. What do we reckon Fenton will do the next day?

  78. NiallMc1983, I agree with you, we won’t defend like that v Dublin and also the Dubs dont have the aerial ability Tipp did, Dublin attack is based on pace and athletic ability, we do have players to match that. We went be playing a full time sweeper, closest we will get to that will be Coen playing deep.
    People need to stop panicking, Horan has been building up to this game, it’s probably come a year earlier than expected but the team will be ready. We have just put on the best attacking display since Donegal game in 2013 and now some are suggesting we take 2 or 3 players from that attack and play them in defence, all that’s doing is trying to keep the score down. Only way to beat the Dubs is to score heavily, we finally have the capability of doing this, going defensive now will be a huge mistake

  79. If we get to a penalty shoot out in the final, I’d be confident! Clarke is some shot stopper.
    We had the game won when tip got most of their goal chances apart from the two in the first 10 mins.
    Keegan didn’t give a smell to Quinlevin that’s why you didn’t see him.
    Hoping Mc Laughlin hasn’t done damage to his knee. He has been excellent

  80. Hello Everyone,
    What a great win. Brilliant just brilliant. People will talk about the concession of scores in the second half but let’s be honest it was over at that stage. I am not going to make predictions for the final, just enjoying today. If I could propose something, this is not a joke. With the potential for inclement weather in two weeks’ time, the idea of playing the game in the air dome in Bekan could be an option. I know this is farfetched and won’t happen but the idea of the air dome is to cover eventualities such as this

  81. I would like to congratulate our mayo team on an excellent display of of scoring it will really shorten the winter ? also I thought cora done herself proud on analysis today spoke very clear and firm new what she was talking about great day for mayo time for people now to put up the flags what we wouldn’t give to be back in croker

  82. You’re right there mayomad. We were playing an average division 3 side today that we had built up to be a world beater(which we have done to every team that we have played this year, i still remember someone here predicting Roscommon would beat us by 6 points!!) Horan knew that and just said go out and go at them. Galway are a far better side than Tipp. We are a good side with some absolute stars on our team but we like every team in the country bar one has flaws. Unfortunately it’s that one that we’re going up against next. Going defensive against them doesn’t work but we won’t beat them in an all out shoot out either, so it’ll have to be something in between. Hard to see but listen we’ll give it a shout. Also was great to see Tom parsons get a run out. A great servant for mayo and probably doesn’t have many chances left to play in croke park.

  83. Anyone going down the negative route this evening would want to go to bed for a month. Mayo won. In a match that some said would be close. They won by double figures and are in another all ireland final. Dad was 38 before he saw Mayo in an aif! This is my 10th and I’m around the same age. Grow up. Esp after the fiasco of 18, just appreciate the joy of getting to another aif!

  84. Would like to think that Ciarán McDonald has had something to do with return from the forwards today. One wide I believe. And as someone else pointed out good to see forwards keeping closer to goal. A few dropped shots today so room for improvement. On defense it is good to know now that we need to tighten up for the final. This has been our strength in the past against the Dubs so expect us to do better in that department.

  85. Centerfield,if we score like we did today Dublin will go home at half time,we have nothing to fear from Dublin ,we will clean them out

  86. CH-icago, main difference today in the forwards was decision making. The right pass at the right time and getting the right man in the correct position to take the shot. There was no panic shooting or hero shooting from the sidelines.

  87. Rory Gallagher got 3-9 in one championship game for Fermanagh, can’t remember anyone topping that until now.

  88. Well done to Cillian, so deserved MOM.
    Also thank you Cillian for saying how ye missed us supporters today and ye wanted to perform for all of us in our sitting rooms and something to cheer about?

  89. Good point about Clarke in a shoot out but final goes to a replay. We are in the final so job done.
    Massive score conceded but Horan sorted out forwards since Galway game who is to say he wont do the same with the backs for the next day and get it right.
    Midfield is a real problem for suits the engine room at the end of the day where it all starts.
    We will give it a right go and if it doesnt happen we are out again in about 6 weeks with a hell of a team for 2021.
    Anything can happen in a final. A red card for Dublin whatever you just never know.
    We are in it now. This is the year to do it

  90. Dublin don’t concede goals Corick Bridge. It’s like going from playing Galway United today and playing Bayern Munich in 13 days time. Dubs have scored 14 goals against us in last 7 championships matches. Get organised at the back or get hammered. This has the makings of 06 final again

  91. I appreciate the sentiment, Mayo88, but honestly I’ve no interest in going to the final this year. We’ve had great match days here at home over the last few weeks watching on TV and I know that our experience is one that’s mirrored in Mayo households the world over. I’m perfectly content to stick with this arrangement for the final as well.

  92. I think today Horan told the lads to put extra pressure on Tipp out the field. Our two wingbacks – Paddy and Eoghan – spent more time in Tipp half than our own half in first half.
    Horan knows himself that things have to be tightened up at the back. Deep down how many here would gave said we would reach final this year – very few I would say. There is no pressure on us going into the final. Dublin still haven’t been tested yet this year.

  93. That was a great performance from Mayo today.
    They have given the people of Mayo so many great days.
    James Horan will have a different game plan for the Dubs.
    In the year that’s in it, this may be our year.
    Keep the Faith and applaud this great team.
    If every man plays out of their skin, we have a great chance against the money machine that’s Dublin.

  94. Bigtime Sean. Thought Mullin was a bit out of position a few times too but Tipp were really poor up front so we got away with our sloppy positioning.

  95. Centerfield,this is 2020 we will press the Dublin team from the start we will win,and win win easily,I have never heard such a crowd of pessimism in my life ,we should enjoy our victory

  96. Well done to Mayo, James and Cillian for a great result today. The game was over at half time after Mayo imposed themselves on Tipp. Cillian spoke so well in the after match interview and included the loyal supporters.
    We have the best and shrewdest manager in JH. On both of his tenures as manager he came in following our under 21 successes in previous years with a long term view. With Ciaran Mac now on board and a progressive County Board all the pieces are falling into place again for more assaults for Sam.
    To get to a final this year is a bonus with so many changes to the team but now that we there be lets go and give it a real crack, win Sam and leave it in the Capital.
    Yes changes to personnel, positions and tactics will have to be made for the final and I fully expect James and Co to make the right calls. Interesting today was in the final quarter that Clarke kept going long when Tipp was on top, they missed an open goal and scored another off our kick out. Keeping the powder dry?
    Can’t wait for the final and defeat for the professionals.
    Thanks Willie Joe for an excellent blog and keeping us Mayo exiles up to date on TEAM Mayo.

  97. I’m over the moon. You’ve to give it to the Mayo team on reaching this far. Impressive men. They will win all-ireland. That much for sure. Regarding today, You might think I’m crazy but I was hoping the match would have been postponed at half time, as we definitely need more time in these conditions in croker. In any case, it is what it is. Now onto the next game.
    Dublin looked impressive yesterday against a average Cavan team. Costello sending off against Meath got me thinking and singled to me that referees are braver without Dub crowd. This levels the playing field a little bit. I for one relish getting another chance against this Dublin team. They’ve been built up so much and I do not think Mayo has got the credit on how close we got, on how vital ref decisions didn’t help our cause. Here looking forward to Whelan face looking like he swallowed a wasp after the next day lol

  98. Today we “played” Tipperary on the 19th we will ” play” Dublin , Horan got the tactics right today why shouldn’t he get it right on the 19th

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