Game day: this way to the business end

Mayo flags

Back in action again, back in Croke Park again – for the first time this year – with the prize on offer today a place in the All-Ireland series.

Win it and we’re back at the point we’d have got to had we taken the direct route through Connacht, albeit with a far tougher quarter-final facing us having gone the scenic route, but back at the business end of things all the same. Lose it and, well, we know the consequences of defeat in a do-or-die fixture such as this.

I’m looking forward to today’s action, with the usual mixture of excitement and trepidation, though I will admit that, with the bookies quoting us at 1/25 to prevail today, it’s more a case of the former rather than the latter on this occasion.

That’s not, by the way, underestimating the challenge Westmeath are likely to pose this evening. It merely acknowledges the fact that we go into this one as very strong favourites and indicates that I expect us to justify that tag.

The two rounds of the qualifiers we’ve come through so far have been good, for all of us: team, management and supporters alike. Although both qualifier matches have been at home, it has felt like a bit of a journey and it’s one that today takes us back to HQ and the chance to complete our passage through the qualifiers and onto the All-Ireland series.

For as long as we remain in this year’s championship, we have no option but to maintain a one-game-at-a-time mindset. And so all that concerns us now is to find a way past Westmeath later on today. I’ve every hope and expectation that this is what we’ll manage to do.

Best of luck to the lads at Croke Park this evening as they put everything on the line once again. Here’s to the completion of a successful passage back to the All-Ireland series for us. Up Mayo!

52 thoughts on “Game day: this way to the business end

  1. Nerves kicking in now but looking forward to the game and heading to Croke Park. Here’s hoping it wont be our only visit to HQ. Up Mayo

  2. Best of luck to Stephen and the boys. What we want is another performance like the first half v Kildale but for the whole match.
    I hope he gets the opportunity to introduce players who have not had the experience of playing in Croker with one eye on the next match.
    I don’t want to sound cocky but with due respect to Westmeath we should come out on the right side of this one.

  3. As long as they play the game at pace, we should burn Westmeath off. If not, it could be a long evening!

    “Hon Mayo”

  4. Hope to see Parsons take the field at some point..Midfield is badly needing a strong hand (pardon the pun)..Will be watching and willing from NYC as I made a pigs ear out of holiday dates..Always and ever Mayo..

  5. Does anyone think this match could have been played elsewhere,but a busy weekend in Dublin with luas works slowing everything up,not mind the evening throw in ??

  6. I don’t always get to go to our games in the big smoke for various reasons, but on the road shortly, excited. UP MAYO

  7. What a journey we have been on with this team . Fantastic to be heading for croke park today.. Let’s really get behind them today , hope to be in dublin at 1 ish , leaving from the midlands so not as bad for me . Excited now ,, hon MAYO !!!!!!

  8. I don’t think the team announced will start; I’m convinced Parsons will start (can’t see Vaughan playing at midfield). Andy Moran might make way for tactical reasons. Lotus and Barrett will need some game time. Would it make sense for Boyle to be rested due to his card situation?

  9. Still a bit nervous about Westmeath but we should have to much for Westmeath if we are on our A game mayo by 1 or 2 points would do for this one safe journey to all going leveling Donegal at half 9 the other half is up and ready for her home county also wear’s the red and green 5 killed in letterkenny this week on the roads not one with a belt on so belt up and drive safe Cusack stand lower tier 305 get ready for the green and red army up MAYO

  10. Good luck Mayo. Whatever about results it is a game after all. In light of recent events I urge everyone traveling to be careful and stay safe on the roads. Up Mayo.

  11. I agree G-Man. Bank holidays are not great weekends for matches as a lot of people are away and the evening throw-in is a problem for people travelling with kids. Also I know that a lot of people not travelling on the basis that they’ll save their money for next weekend. Meant to say in earlier post that I doubt if Keane is fit.

  12. The day has dawned…cmon mayo lets show the country what we’re made of. To hell with us being too optimistic…down with that sort of thing…careful now!!!

  13. Yes G Man…I d much prefer The Netherlands myself and just outside Leiden in a half an hour!!But anyplace would do…there’s a beautiful flat flat flat
    green space no matter where you look!
    Or perhaps Raz might pull by Schiphol on the way from London and drop me a line!!
    Otherwise it ll be Mid West and I’ve no complaints at all….c’ept please keep up with the play flow and keep opinions to appropriate times. Hup Mayo!
    Wish all involved the very best and have a great day out!!! I know I’m irreplaceable but would ye all throw in an extra bit of a roar and a note or two higher!

  14. Expect it to be tight for 50 minutes but we should pull away then. I imagine it’ll be a fairly shite game where we won’t appear to learn much

  15. Always slightly nervous when we go in search of the big cup. Looking for intensity, work rate and patience today. WM will sit deep so we’re going to have to think our way through this one.

    Looking for big performances from COC and AOS.

    Hon Mayo.

  16. I’m home for this one and really looking forward to been in Croke Park again!
    A slow and steady performance today is what’s needed, with a burst of power just before or after half time to keep them at arms lengtt and squash the WM confidence.
    IMO This is a perfect opponent at this stage so I think we’ll have too much for them. A slow burner would be ideal. Anyway, good luck to the team and coaching team and alwaysy, up Mayo!

  17. Cillian has to perform today , if not I’d be concerned if he should even start the game after this.. if we got Tyrone or Dublin you need people in form. There is other free takers there to replace him, .

    If we don’t win this by alteast six or seven it won’t look too promising heading into the next game.

    If we don’t win this at all then I’ll cry until next summer..

  18. You’ll be crying if I get hold of you, MayoUntilDeathDoMePart, after a windy comment like that. Whatever about Cillian’s contribution from open play this year – where I think he’s doing a hell of a lot more than he’s being given credit for – he’s out on his own as the best freetaker in the country. So, no, there aren’t “other free takers there to replace him” – he’s a one-off and I’m convinced he’ll do the business again for us on that front today.

  19. I’d like to see them hit that field running and frothing where it counts ….upstairs! Move the man, move the ball, move the feckin posts if you have to but above all… fw MOVE!!

  20. Expect this to be tight early on, patience required, safe traveling everyone, and for gods sake enjoy it,
    We will win it
    Maigheo Abu

  21. Best free taker in the country wj have you only seen Mayo play or you taking the piss? Look at stats and try stop talking horse shit!!

  22. Best of luck to all involved today. With a bit of luck we will get the victory we need, even a single point will do and no injuries. Safe travelling to all and roar your head off!

  23. Fully expect a good Mayo win today, provided we go out with the right attitude. We must be careful. It’s seldom the cow steps on the hare, but the hare is always careful, as he knows once will do.

  24. For those of you reading today’s papers, if you haven’t got to Tomas O’Se in the indo yet, can I suggest you avoid it. One of the most condescending and insulting pieces I have seen in quite a while, he trots out all the usual crap about Mayo people and the Mayo players. All I can say is I hope we do just enough to win and let’s keep them writing us off

  25. Best of luck today,I am not worried going the back door route,we would have to beat good teams anyway ,still confident we will be at the business end,also no worries about our star players,when the going gets tough ,the tough get going,and all that ,so booking hotel for September

  26. I don’t normally let insulting posts go up on the site but just for you, Jimmy Best, I’ll make an exception. I was well aware of the stats about Cillian before I posted what I did but you’re clearly not aware of these. Have a look – here. And please try to engage your brain before attempting to post here again. You muppet.

  27. Getting a bit ratty there WJ! Take it easy now, lie back relax,smile on the face and count all the times the WM net will rattle this day and then put a name on each shooter! You may then have a go at the points!!

  28. I should be angry at the comments posted against Cillian but for the fact that they are so ridiculous, they are amusing. Cillian O’Connor has been the countries top scorer consistently for the last few years. As WJ has proven the stats show he is the top free taker in the country (remember first game v Dublin anyone). He is our go to man when the chips are down and he has yet to fail to deliver. Granted he hasnt scored well form open play yet but he has just come back from injury and is playing a different role further out the field.

    Jim McGuinness once said of Colm McFadden after a poor league, Colm is undroppable as he will be my go to man at the business end of the season. The result, Donegal AI champions, McFadden scores heavy. Cillian is our go to man.

    Some Mayo supporters are just never happy unless there is a player they can gang up on and blame for the teams troubles.

  29. If Mayo dropped COC I think I’d walk away from football. I feel dirty even contemplating the thought.

    He’s not firing on all cylinders YET but ffs he’s one of the best we’ve ever produced. So get a grip lads.

  30. If we are to have any chance of getting beyond Quarter Final stage this summer then we need to be showing that we can rack up an enormous score against this Westmeath team. We are now at the stage in the year where Rochford forecast back in the winter where he would be looking to have us begin to peak. So todays game will be a key barometer as to whether we have any business looking to the rest of the summer with any real intention. I think today will be the day that we announce our return to the contenders table.

  31. Cillian and Seamie are still not fully match fit. I think we’ll see a better performance from both today. Donie likewise.

  32. Fair play wj you put that buck in his place.I think we should rest boyler(card trouble)and play Leroy Vaughan and durkan across h/b line

  33. I find it reassuring that we are ticking along and back in Croker without COC , Seamie and to a lesser extent AIdan hitting too form. Other players have stepped in and upped their game. So imagine when the big guns do hit form ……….

  34. A win will be good enough. Cribben may really have done us a favour in cranking it up. Would like to see Andy’s influence confirmed today, plus a vastly improved midfield, plus tight on opposition forwards, plus continued forward clicking from Evan, Diarmaid et al, plus Aido shining, but then again not too much to give potential future opponents one up on us.

    Apart from that…

  35. Willie joe. Clearly a couple of wind up merchants there with the comments about Cillian.

    At least one of them probably not even from Mayo.

    Oh and i agree with you that “Turnip Head” who appeared on here a few days ago is the best name i’ve seen on here so far. What a name. Hope he becomes a regular poster.

  36. Just looked at the stats WJ,in my opinion COC is the best I have seen in my time watching football including J Corocaran, C Dunne ,B Rock ,and T Giles so no arguments there ,I have no doubt when we need him he will step up to the plate,as will A OS and all our player’s keep the faith, up MAYO

  37. Comments on Cillian upsetting. He is a Mayo hero and dont know anyone who has worked and dedicated as hard for his county as Cillian has.
    How dare anyone from this county forget that.

    Mayo forever.Trust these great guys.

  38. Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! Mayo!

  39. Not sure why everyone is getting so upset about COC .Yes he is by far our best free taker but he simply has not performed this year ,I’m sorry but he hasn’t ,apart from near perfect free taking .He may turn that around today but Dublin only go by form not by a name.They drop players if they are not in form.

    I would rather Loftus in there instead of him the way he is playing.We all know Cillian is a great player but he isn’t showing it as of late.Loftus and Regan can take frees,maybe not as accurate but Loftus from what championship time he’s had this year looks like he’s a bit more to offer.

    Maybe COC not fully fit or just not back to it yet I don’t really know .I hope he proves me wrong today ,it’s not like I’m hating on him I’m just saying what is obvious to the rest of the country, he’s not himself since he’s came back from Injury . There’s no need to get so defensive over him because he has always been our best player ,emotional attachment aside ,I’m only going on his form ,we all know his ability.

  40. I agree with the last comment. Coc lacks pace & is inclined to foul. Hope he comes good today. However taking a brother off a team can lead to a reduced performance from the other brother. Remember he missed the entire league with injury & missing most of the London game was a catastrophy for his match fitness

  41. Jeez that was awful in the second half… Where do u start!? I’m all about doing just enough to get thru but that was concerning..
    we,ll need an almighty improvement to best Tyrone I’m afraid. Is Keegan in trouble?

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