Group Stage draw – tough if we win Connacht, Dubs if we lose

Photo: Extra.ie (Sam Barnes/Sportsfile)

The draw for the All-Ireland SFC Group Stage was made a short time ago. Where we end up will depend on the result of Sunday’s Connacht final against Galway but we now have a much clearer picture of where we’re headed if we win in Pearse Stadium or if we lose there.

The Connacht champions have been drawn in Group 1 along with the Ulster runners-up, Derry and Westmeath.

The Connacht runners-up have been assigned to Group 2 alongside the Leinster champions, Roscommon and Cavan.

117 thoughts on “Group Stage draw – tough if we win Connacht, Dubs if we lose

  1. It gives me no pleasure to say it, but I called every one of the Group One teams as they were pulling them out. Uncanny. Draw from Hell if we beat Galway, but at least Derry at home. One small advantage, if we are in this group: we won’t be complacent!

  2. Neither Mayo or Galway would be happy with that draw, good chance that both will likely be playing a preliminary 1/4 final again this year.

  3. @catcol yeah I knew we would get either derry or dubs or both in each group couldn’t make it up!

    We are still better off winning on Sunday 100%!

  4. Jesus, as much as I want us to beat galway Sunday, now you’d nearly want us to lose!! The gaa really do know how to do things arseways….if you’d lose you’d fancy to beat ros n cavan(no disrespect)…n u never know with the dubs, get them early in the championship, maybe even a bit untested from leister…anything could happen

  5. Feck it . Go balls out to beat Galway and get a bit of silverware . Anything after that will be a bonus

  6. Cavan are a very good team. They are 2 tricky groups. Kerry are laughing…
    Very hard to know what the better outcome would be..

  7. Win Connacht and have to beat Westmeath to get to last 12.
    Lose Connacht and have to beat Cavan to get to last 12.

    Some about of pointless games between this and provincials to go from 33 to 12 teams. No wonder attendances dropping….

  8. If we lose on Sunday we play the dubs at a neutral venue. I would fancy mayo to beat the dubs away from Croke park.

  9. We are better off being in a tough round Robin group we actually always usually up our game for the big guns like dubs etc and then nearly loose to the likes of louth no dis respect to them.

    If we are good enough we will get through if not so be it!

    Let’s go all out to beat the neighbours and get a connacht for the first time in 3 years would give the guys confidence going into a tough group either way!

  10. What advantage is a ‘soft’ draw.
    Fortunately neither group is easy to win.
    Derry back in castlebar will be fascinating. Westmeath may bounce back and be half decent too. A lot to look forward to.

  11. It’s all about silverware. Go out and win your Final on Sunday. Really important to get a winning mentality into a team, especially young players. The All Ireland series will look after itself. If you win, Derry won’t be looking forward to playing you’s. Best of Luck Sunday and personally hope to meet you’s down the road later in the championship….

  12. Brutal draw – if you get Dublin in group you could have a near slip-up type performance from them like Roscommon last year. But there’s F all chance that Dublin would allow themselves to slip up against us. Would back Mayo to beat the other too.

    Derry at McHale park isn’t great either (assuming it’s the same layout re home and away as last season re seeding), and Ulster runner up will be tough whoever it is.

  13. Just go out and win Connaught and then wim all group games and keep winning till end. Few tough games but to win Sam you have to beat everything that comes your way. Kerry wont have a real game till semi final , that mightnt be the best preperation.

  14. Ridiculous draw. that’s a group of death for the Connaught winners, while group 4 is ridiculous.

  15. Much of a muchness really in the difference for connacht winners or runners up. Not much difference in difficulty between group 1 and 2, they are the 2 toughest groups

    Kerry with a laughably soft group.

    Get galway bet, thats all that matters this week.

  16. The neutral venues for game 3 in groups 1 and 2 will be very interesting!! Can we top either group? Derry like our own early provincial exit last year are in the long grass a bit but will carry the tag of favourites and they are not an unknown proposition any more. Dublin at a neutral venue will be a little more manageable than in Croker but are assembling the bomb squad again…..the Hyde should be available that day so Mayo or Galway should make early push for it? Breffini or Gaelic grounds no doubt will be in the mix depending on which group….

  17. Win your group or good night Irene, fully expect the teams heading into the quarter finals on 3 weekends in a row of matches to get serious maulings.

  18. No matter how it ends Sunday it’s a minefield from now on as someone said about definitely go all out win Sunday get a Connaught title in the bag top the group with Derry at home first game we have every chance of beating them and after that she’s crystal ball stuff

  19. Have the Gaa clowns given a 2 week break for the winner of the 2nd/3rd place playoff this year or is it still a 7 day turn a round.It really is a farce money making scheme if it hasnt.

  20. Do ya know, yer right…beat galway as good as we can and by as much as we can and go from there…get through quarter final and get untested kerry in the semi….we might not win the AI this year but why not sh1t on the like of derry or kerry’s parade….

  21. Don’t think we would win either group so it probably doesn’t matter which one we are in. But Dublin group probably easier in terms of preparing for preliminary QF.

  22. Win, and keep winning, at the end of the day, you’ll have to beat the ‘big’ teams if you want to win an All Ireland. Both groups are tough, but let’s get some silverware first and then focus on the rest of the season. Derry were made look very ordinary by an average Donegal team 2 weeks ago, there’s a world of difference between League and Championship as we have learned ourselves over the years.

    Anyway, let’s focus on Galway, we can’t let them win 3 in a row. They’ll be fired up for this one, Joyce won’t want to lose to Mayo again.

  23. Wise up all,it was specifically stated last year that Croke park would be venue for all neutral games and home venue for Dublin.
    It will continue The same unless all counties wake up and create a fuss
    There is also a proviso that you can lose home venue if it is not big enough.

  24. Need to top the group if have plans and hopes of reaching the All Ireland semi final at least IMO

    Question which will be harder to top

    A) a Group with Dublin in it
    B) a group with Derry and the Ulster runner up

  25. Best time to play Derry is first game after Donegal handed their arses to them. Playing Dubs last at a neutral venue might be a pressure game depending on how both deal with Roscommon and Cavan. Better option is Derry first up without a doubt.

  26. What is the draw for the provisional quarter finals. Are the team that finish 2nd in group 1 at home to the team that finish 3rd in group 2.
    Is this decided at this stage

  27. Our province is Connacht lads.
    We neither spell or pronounce it by the anglicised ‘Connaught’

  28. Go for the win on Sunday and a Connacht title.
    I would rather meet the Dubs in a knockout match than a round-robin.
    Happy to take our chances as a top seed against Derry et al.

  29. Having thought a little more about it, I think it’s best to win Connacht and have Derry at home and as JR said the Ulster runner up in Croke Park. Better chance than playing Dublin in the “ neutral “ CP.

  30. Group 1 probably the toughest group with group 4 being by far the easiest. Will it benefit Kerry who will emerge without a serious challenge. Our objective should be to win what’s in front of us, namely Galway and go from there. From either group if we emerge we will be battle hardened going forward.

  31. Neither option is straightforward but winning the group and avoiding a preliminary quarter final is more achievable if we win Connacht. So all guns blazing on Sunday!

  32. Go out and beat Galway Sunday then be ready and beat Derry they are not world beaters as Donegal showed them up a few weeks ago and when mayo played them In league wasn’t a lot between them and Derry were going flat out then ,, tougher group be better for Mayo won’t take eye off it like last year , lot of the teams can beat each other on any day so Nester Cup first then the group

  33. Perhaps we should be bullish about it , bate Galway , sit jj nestor in the front row of the stand in castlebar and let him watch us take down derry . Fuck it , hon Mayo .

  34. Unless we can get Diarmuid and Jordan fully fit, we have no hope. There is a gaping hole when teams run at us, even New York. We got away with on last Sunday as Roscommon were dreadful. If Galway decide to attack us rather than sit back and hit us on the break on Sunday, we could be in serious bother. Our lack of power in the middle makes us hugely vulnerable to top teams who can exploit this. A Connacht title would be a big achievement for this team!

  35. Jr, none of the neutral venue group games went into Croker last year – so why would it change this year? The neutral games will be more important for us this year as we are seed 1 or 2 playing a seed 1 or 2 unlike last year where we were seed 3 playing a seed 4 at the neutral venue..

  36. Just to point out Dublin played Sligo in Cavan last year in Round 3 and so they did play in a neutral venue and also the Kildare game was “away” in Kilkenny so the rules applied to them as well before conspiracy theories run wild.

  37. Justoutsideballagh – we were favourites against Roscommon and are slight favourites this weekend too. So I wouldn’t consider that a big achievement at all.

    Beating a team when we’re not expected to is a big achievement.

  38. Can we play Roscommon again in the group stage. Having already meet them in Connacht? If we happen to loose Sunday

  39. @Justoutsideballagh ah now roscommon weren’t that bad they tore our midfield apart. And got some good scores in. We just stepped it up a gear in the 3rd quarter. I’d have a bit more faith then that.

    I still think we will surprise people and get to a semi it’s good that we will be going in under the radar in either group by the looks of it feck it just go all out for it now on Sunday..!

  40. If we win Sunday there is every chance we will get turned over by Derry in Castlebar but there is also every chance Derry will get turned over by Armagh/Donegal. What happens if two or more teams end up on the same number of points.

  41. Dan Mayo – please note I’ve changed your handle on that comment you posted to Dan Mayo as (a) the handle Dan is already used by someone else and (b) Dan Mayo is a handle (not the only one, but the main one) you’ve used previously when posting comments here.

  42. @Mayo 36: Yeah. Only Provincial Final pairings matter from early Championship up until you reach Semi-Finals. Derry vs Donegal or Us vs Roscommon is irrelevant here.

    @DejaVu: Page 28 – https://mayogaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/GAA-Master-Fixture-Schedule-Booklet-2024.pdf

    (i) Where two Teams only are involved – the outcome of the meeting of the two
    Teams in the previous game in the Competition;
    (ii) Scoring Difference (subtracting the total Scores Against from total Scores For);
    (iii) Highest Total Score For;
    (iv) Highest Total Goals For;
    (v) A Play-Off

    A few more caveats involved if there are point deductions/walkovers involved, but nothing that isn’t a 1 in a million thing.

  43. Mayo36 – the answer to that is Yes, we could play Roscommon again in the Group Stage and will if we lose to Galway on Sunday. It’s only provincial final repeat pairings that are not allowed in the Group Stage.

  44. Not a hope the Gaa and the Dubs would allow Mayo play the Dubs in any other neutral venue other than Croke Park, we will hear the excuses, H&S, crowd capacity etc, you can be sure it will be Croker if Mayo are in that group.

    Technically Croke Park is a neutral as Dublin home ground is Parnell park.

    Mayo management, Board need to be strong on this issue if it arises.

  45. When we beat Galway I’d be happy enough in that group, competitive games that will make us battle hardened. There could be a great bounce to them come Derry after beating Galway. Cant beat momentum, plus the lottery bit is having everyone fit and well as you go through these games will be pivatol…

  46. DejaVu – ourselves, Kerry and Cork all finished on 4 points last year. Score difference decides it then.

  47. If win Connacht…

    Mayo v Derry (Home)
    Westmeath v Mayo (Away)
    Mayo v Armagh/Donegal (Neutral)

    If lose Connacht…

    Mayo v Cavan (Home)
    Roscommon v Mayo (Away)
    Mayo v Dublin (Neutral)

  48. What was the point in the gaa making this draw before the provincial finals. Some would say we could be better off losing and avoiding a quarter final with the dubs

  49. Do you risk lads close to full fitness on sunday or do we factor in which is more beneficial weighing it up against the prize on offer ?

  50. Correct bate the blanket, Parnell park which holds 5 thousand. Anyway what fear would Mayo have playing Dubs in Croker?…none at all as wide expansive pitches suit the team anyway. Let’s not get carried away with ourselves as crowd attendance is what pays the suits in HQ the big bucks.

  51. I like to think ahead, this is what I really think of that draw, here it goes.

    Give Kerry a shite handy group.
    I bet if Mayo are in along with the Dubs, that the ”neutral venue ” will be Croker, will Mayo management object if this comes to be ?
    Kill off Derry by placing them in a group with Connacht winners and their own neighbours Donegal or Armagh.

    This all leads to another showdown with the Dubs v Kerry, unless one or two others have a say in things.

  52. @Mark,
    I don’t think it’s fear but a Neutral venue is meant to be that, Hyde Park, even Limerick or Thurles, not a venue in ones own County or even Province.

  53. I agree bate the but it’s all about dollars and getting them to part with it. I’m not sure Limerick or breffni could take the crowd it’d draw either. Anyhow we’ve no say in it really.

  54. This notion we are better off losing Sunday is pure loser talk to be fair, with that attitude its only a question of whether you get knocked out in the last 12 or the last 8.

    If you do lose on Sunday and end up in group 2 where you are very likely to finish 2nd then you are potentially looking at a quarter final preliminary knockout clash with derry/armagh/galway. There is nothing handy about that.

    Go full boar to beat galway Sunday, get silverware, finish off Joyce as galway manager and go from there

  55. The gaa say that the integrity of the provincial title is important. They have just made a mockery out of it by making the draw today

  56. The team that loses on Sunday goes in with Dublin roscommon and cavan I believe

  57. We must go for a win on Sunday.
    Each group has its difficulties but momentum is key.
    Reading other forums no county wanted us in their group as we are so unpredictable.
    Go for it ,test ourselves against the best.

  58. Can’t understand why the GAA made the draw before the provincial finals.. crazy…

  59. Just go and win on Sunday .it’s better going in to group stages with confidence and put a dent in Galway’s .The neutral venue situation with Dublin should have been sorted out before now but I don’t think there will be huge crowds at any of these round robin games.far too many meaningless games with little jeopardy.

  60. Win Connaught, boost morale and then with lads coming back to fitness we have a tried and tested squad , go for it don’t make a hero out of Joyce.

    Derry are Derry , were well fit for them and winner takes top spot .
    Armagh we should be beating and if we not, time to book holidays and likewise Westmeath.
    Go for win Connaught, good test v Derry , physical battle v armagh but should be getting better of them and hockey Westmeath for confidence

  61. Brutal draw without a shadow of a doubt. Highly likely we will be in a preliminary quarter final again and playing a quarter final the following week if we win. Same as last year. For all the whinging about it should only be the top 2 teams that get out of the groups, like last year we might be damn glad of the third team in each group qualifying . The optimists amongst us will say we have Derry at home or Dublin in a neutral venue. The realists will say meeting a refreshed Derry after their badly needed break( like us last year) will be very difficult to beat. I doubt if there will be a neutral venue if we get drawn against the Dubs. The GAA will say it must be Croke Park. (Look at the massive crowds Dublin are getting this year,). Not. Really difficult for us no matter how you look at it. The big advantage is to top your group, play every two weeks. I genuinely doubt we will top either of those two groups

  62. Yes supermac. That is a very valid point. Go for it. That’s the way forward all right ??

  63. Sorry about the old cliche-take each game as it comes. Go all out on Sunday to win Connacht title, gain confidence and momentum and worry about whatever way the cards fall after that. Neither of our two potential groups are easy. Either way, we will have a lot of competitive tough games, which will benefit our young relative inexperienced developing team. It will give us a good realistic idea of where we stand and what we need to do to improve and progress. The imbalance in the groups shows the daftness in the current system, which stems from the GAA trying to keep everybody happy. The elephant in the room is the provincial championships, which are lobsiding the groups, with Leinster, in particular, a farce. Group seedings should be based on League placings, which would also elevate the importance of the League. There needs to be a serious review and overhaul of the entire league and championship.

  64. Best thing for Mayo is to concentrate on beating Galway. Connacht medals would be a good boost for the lads. Derry won’t fancy coming to Castlebar. Things change the longer u stay in the competition……players get injured and return from injury. We haven’t played particularly well so far so we can only improve. Can’t see us winning Sam this year but we could use the experience of tough games to harden our team…….better draw next year we could go places.

  65. If we win Sunday I genuinely believe we can top the group.

    Derry are tough but we are well able for them we fought back well against them in league even though lost in the end.

    Armagh are dark horses but we are well able for them to. Donegal I think we could also beat if they were to loose the final. Donegal only just managed to beat Tyrone .

    Westmeath well no dis respect to them but we should be beating them.

    The other group we’ll dubs are dubs but we’ve beaten them before, rossies and cavan I don’t need to say much else on them.

    I actually don’t feel to bad about the draws really rather that then a piss easy group. You don’t get anywhere by beating a division 3 /4 team to get to a semi.

    Bring on Galway and bring the noise and colour to pearse stadium on the bank holiday weekend!

  66. There are some conspiracy theorists here, maybe I am naive but will trust that this is down to luck. The confidence gained if we top or come 2nd in group 1 would be high. This would be my preferred option given that we would learn more about the team ( and management). Getting through to a QF in another group may not lead to the same point.

    Anyway, let’s beat Galway first.

  67. I wouldn’t mind beating all division 3 and 4 teams to get to an all Ireland semi final.that’s the objective.doesn’t matter how you get there .Anyway it is what it is .Galway is the problem for now

  68. @1985 I meant it is obviously better to be tested before you get to a semi at least you obviously know where you are at I even saw some kerry people saying they would have rather 1 division team in their group for a test. That’s what I meant.

  69. The other thing to consider in a tough group is that teams will / can take points of each other so 2 wins might top the group so if we are at home first against Derry and win then you are in a strong position (O.k. I know what happened last year but lessons learned and all that)

  70. Beat Galway and into group 1 fighting it out with Armagh for 2nd on final day in Carrick (most likely scenario)

    or..

    Lose Connacht and into group 2 where it’s a final day shootout with Dubs for a bye into QF (most likely scenario)

  71. Why is there such a big fear about playing derry ?imo there path to the group stages are very similar to mayo last year and look how that turned out.i for one think mickey harte has totally mistimed his run .I’d expect mayo to beat them in castlebar and beat Westmeath and armagh of course there is galway to come first.

  72. Realistically a Connacht title is the height of our ambitions so all the talking of losing being a better result bananas . Win Connacht. Anything else is a bonus .

    It also absolutely ridiculous that this draw has to take place now. The calendar is way way way too tight

  73. Here is what I can’t fathom, Munster and Leinster, ie Kerry and Dublin have no competition in their respective provinces, why then does the Gaa powers give them the weakest groups in the All Ireland series.

    Maybe people here will disagree with this, but I believe Derry will be a dangerous animal to get in the Group stages, I still think they will go further than Donegal this year.

    There will be no large crowds at any round Robin game.

    I would prefer to be in the Dublin group and get the Dubs outside of Croke park in a neutral venue.

    Provincial titles winners in Connacht and Ulster are severely punished in this so called draw.

  74. No break for teams than go into prelim 1/4s again
    Dead ducks for the likes of Kerry and Dublin to pick off

    All those games only to get knocked out by fresher teams

  75. Totally Agree KM, that’s a huge hurdle. I honestly don’t worry about what group we’re in but we need to win it & get the break.

  76. @Bate the blanket totally agree my dub mate goes to me well we have a slightly easier draw then last year I go well that can’t be hard and he laughed it’s true..!

    I still think we will be able to beat Derry. If we have Diarmuid, cillian O Connor, eoghan mc back we’ve a good chance.

    I don’t know still think we would be worse off in the dubs group.

    Dubs are on fire atm, rossies would be hell bent on revenge as always..

    Definetly better off beating Galway on Sunday.. Neither mayo or Galway will be going out to loose on purpose anyway both hate loosing to each other no matter what! Big test for both PJ & mcstay.

  77. Our only chance of silverware this year is coming on Sunday. Even the most foolish Mayo fan doesn’t see Sam coming to us this year.
    Therefore, we have to go balls out to claim the Nestor cup. Whatever will be, will be after that.

  78. Sorry km79, genuinely didn’t mean to steal your comment. Great minds and all that!

  79. @Bate the blanket: “…why then does the Gaa powers give them the weakest groups in the All Ireland series.”

    Not sure if I understand the question? They didn’t. An open draw is an open draw.

  80. Seems a lot of Mayo supporters dont believe we can win the all Ireland , im not suggesting we will win it but why so ott about not winning it , its very odd , i hear them on another podcast great lads and enjoy their show but they also keep beating the drum very loud about we have no chance of an all Ireland , like i say im cool with “ahh cant see us been good enough this year ” but for crying out loud quit with the shouting it from the rooftops .

  81. @seam Burke think it’s after 21. I don’t know I just feel ever since then we just always play it down as if we are afraid to believe again and I don’t blame anyone at all for that but it’s time to put the faith back again in the Young team we do have.

    We may not win Sam this year but we always have a chance.

    I nearly feel like I’m a bit annoying by going we can beat one of the big guns when we have faith in ourselves. Ha

  82. I would imagine the reason alot of people feel we can’t win the all Ireland is because they have seen how we have played this year.There are obvious areas of concern in most games where there doesn’t seem to any improvement from game to game

  83. @1985 also because I think teams that don’t top their group haven’t a hope. The GAA need to have a good look at this format, and scrap a round I think, top two qualify, and all teams have equal breaks between matches. Of course that won’t happen

  84. I for one don’t think we will win an All Ireland simply because I don’t think we are as good as at least 3 other teams and we are on a par with 5 or 6 others. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have hope that it could happen, but the best possibility was to get as handy a draw as possible and that most certainly did not happen as we have got an extremely difficult draw. Kerry have got a fantastic draw and likewise Dublin have got a great draw as well. I absolutely don’t agree with the conspiracy theorists who talk about the draw being fixed to suit Dublin/ Kerry. It is just pure luck (bad luck in our case) as to how the draw works out. Anyway regardless of how the draw panned out, Dublin and Kerry were bankers to make the AI Semi final. Derry would have expected to be there as well and probably will be but the draw has been unkind to them as well with games v Connacht champs and Ulster runners up. I think most of us from Mayo feel that the best we could have hoped for this year was a Connacht title. Win Sunday and that box is ticked. After that an AI quarter final would be the aim and with a bit of luck we could sneak into a semi final as the “best of the rest”. That looks unlikely now, but a lot of good football to look forward to nonetheless

  85. Being honest fairly disappointed with our group.

    Was hoping for Derry in Killarney on the 18th.

    Like the Mayo game last year that’s what the championship is about.

    3 D2 teams and beating teams without a contest is not what I’m interested in.

    We all agree Dublin will win Sam so it’s the journey and the big games thar bring the enjoyment.

    Playing Derry not Louth or Meath.

    Embrace it and enjoy it… As it’ll be Dublin come July anyway.

  86. Good man West Kerry – no inferiority complex there – looking for the best opponents, unlike posters here (myself included), crying into their beer about the unfairness of it all.

  87. The consensus seems to be that we wont win AI this year. But what about the possibility that we will win it when everybody else thinks we wont win it – or at least make it to a final. Probabilities are low but anything is possible.

    A win on Sunday against Galway and then an AI warm-up win against Derry and then one game at a time.

    I think it is far too easy a draw for Kerry and Dubs are really in a strong position but are beatable.

    CHB and FB positions still very unclear – that is what could definitely kill us off.

  88. I don’t believe in any conspiracy theory about the open draw.The problem is with the Championship structure and trying to accommodate the provincial championships into the group seeding, which is farcical, because we have two weak provinces, which is leading to unbalanced groups. The seeding should be based on League positions, which would be fairer and would also give the League a boost. While I would dearly love to be wrong, I do not think that we have a genuine chance of winning Sam this year and that is just being realistic, based on our performances etc. I am hoping for a good run with plenty of tough competitive games, which will help the development of our younger players and hopefully see us make further progress next season and beyond.

  89. We can win the All Ireland this year, however in mathematical odds and by that I mean if we had some magic formula that gave us the true probability it’s a long shot order of maybe 1 in 40 chance? But, 1 in 40 shots happen.
    Top the group.
    Get a favourable qf and semi draw.
    Meet likely Dublin in the final.
    We somehow manage to pull it off.
    I’m not without hope, I think it’s just good for the head to be realistic that it’s a 1 in 40 dice roll.
    1 in 43,…. Whatever medicine your formula is coming up with, 1 in 35. But these probabilities happen. 1 in 50, it happens.

  90. @JP: StatsAndSolos runs probability models on all this (built around ELO ratings & the likes) and prior to the draw had us sitting on 7% odds of winning it (think we were tied 4th most likely with Armagh).

    Really looking forward to seeing the updated numbers based on the draws. Though they might/will probably wait until after the Ulster/Leinster finals to update.

    I’d guess you’re not too far off on those ballpark numbers. ~50% to win Connacht, ~35-40% to beat Derry, ~65% on Westmeath, ~50% on Armagh/Donegal, ~30-60% on QF, ~30-50% SF, ~30-50% Final. Then throw in odds for the various alternative paths losing Connacht or going through pQF. Probably looking at about 2-3% chance all in now, which given Dublin’s >50% odds on paper is probably still top 6 or so in the country.

  91. As I said above, go all out to beat Galway and then home against Derry who will not be relishing that one either. We actually have a great chance to top the group and avoiding Dublin, Kerry and Derry in quarter final. As we saw last year finishing runner up in the group and playing a preliminary quarter with a tough quarter the following week is all but impossible to navigate where even minor knocks can’t be recovered from. Some great games ahead so let’s embrace the challenge.

  92. I called it the draw from Hell, but I’m not without hope. Beat Galway and that will give us confidence. We showed a fair bit against Derry in the league, and can come on a high as provincial winners.

    The case for losing, not that McStay is in that mindset, needs examination. Provincial finals are not nothing, Galway are serious opponents with realistic ambitions, and this will be close, tough, and hard fought. The crowd could be around 25,000. Lose that match and it will take players at least a week to get over it – it’s not like the league where you can take defeat on the chin, and move on quickly. The history of the qualifiers is littered with the dead of losing provincial teams who have gone on, in Beckett’s words, to ‘fail better’. Facing Cavan, who are no mugs, a fortnight after losing to Galway, would be psychologically tricky, with tough opponents including Dubs and Rossies wanting in the wings. Oh yes and supporters expecting, demanding, a statement win against Cavan.

    No thanks, I’ll take Derry at home.

  93. I hope the players are more confident than the some posters here. You can bet losing to Galway won’t even enter the mayo players heads they’ll be going all out for the win as should be and take what comes after that.

  94. Mayo players differ greatly from the mindset of the support.

    Number one , every single member of the Mayo panel will believe they can win an all Ireland .

    Number two , they will go hell for leather on sunday , every fibre of their body and mind will be aggresively looking to beat Galway .

    The day we start backing down off Galway in a connacht final is the day we may all go home . All entitled to give your opinion of course but personally think some of ye need to purchase a bottle of cop on if ya think there will be any pulling out by Mayo men wearing the county jersey against Galway in a connacht final .

  95. Whats the latest on the injury front , any updates on paddy , diarmuid ? Is jordan flynn available for selection ?

  96. I’d say losing Connacht would be the best thing that ever happened to us.

    Win it and we’d play Donegal/Armagh, Derry and Westmeath. The first 2 games would be very tough and I can’t see us going through them without picking up injuries.

    Lose it and we’d have to only play the Dubs which will fingers crossed be a place that’s not Croker because during Championship, that’s the best time to get them cold in the likes of a nice tight pitch like Tullamore. Beat them and take out Roscommon (again) and Cavan.
    That’d be easier than having to deal with 2 tough teams on the trot.

  97. @Manulla007: We’d play Derry at home first, then Westmeath away coming off the back of a 7 day turnaround compared to our 14 in the second game and Armagh/Tyrone in a neutral venue up 3rd. Potential to finish top of this group even with points dropped, all 3 beating each other type of thing, and we’d have a clearer picture of where we stand in the group coming into that final game, which could be an advantage with less emotional toll (if we lose to Derry we’d be ready for a pQF) if facing into a pQF.

    In Dublin’s group it’d be Cavan at home (a very well drilled side that are built around the things we struggle with, even without Paddy Lynch), Roscommon away with them also coming in on the back of a 7 day turnaround and then (you’d hope, assuming wins in the first two) an all or nothing ‘neutral’ shoot-out with Dublin on the final day. Lose that and you’re into a horrid pQF route on the back of a rough defeat that would leave you mentally & emotionally fatigued (along with the physical fatigue that would accompany any route through the pQFs).

    You’d guess ~35-40% chance against Derry & ~45-50% against Armagh/Donegal (so roughly ~20% chance of winning both) versus a ~30-35% chance of beating Dublin & maybe ~55-60% against Roscommon (potentially higher depending on how they recover their confidence after a likely heavy defeat against Dublin or much lower if they have a confidence boosting performance in Croker). Throw in the additional chance of only beating 1 of the two ‘tough’ games in Group 1, and I’d estimate the odds of topping both groups about even, just that one is more dependent on an all-or-nothing last day shoot-out (and if anyone is going to go all in to beat the Dubs in Championship this year I’d much rather see it be knock-out. I don’t expect them to lose twice).

    The only real upside for me to being in Group 2 is that we can tell ourselves the seemingly ubiquitous now fib of getting the easier group if we’re not able to land the Nestor Cup (or the highly unlikely case of throwing the final game to be better set for a pQF, which makes great sense but I’d hope we’d never see and would never expect the lads to do or condone). There’s no clear or obvious upside to being there, and plenty of downsides to the loss of confidence and momentum from losing Connacht.

  98. Sound. It’s count down time. I’m hoping Loftus could make an impact off the bench. He was never a bad footballer

  99. I wonder what the Mayo ang Galway managers are thinking now, this could be a very flat Connacht final with both teams looking to lose.

    Did anyone think of this, if Mayo get into the same group as the Leinster winners and top the group, ( neutral venue v Dubs, no way management agree to Croker ) this would leave the Dubs in a tough quarter final.

    I bet Kerry and the Dubs will not be drawn against each other in a quarter or semi final.

    Something tells me that Derry will have a big say in things over the next few weeks.

  100. @Bate the blanket: Mayo certainly won’t be looking to lose. Kevin has highlighted how important a Connacht win was to him since the start. He’s well aware of the impacts a loss can have be it confidence, momentum, or simply allowing Galway to get that 3 titles in a row. They’ll be going 100% for the win.

    As I suggested, just going on my gut then, we’re actually better off winning too. We’d end up in a final slightly less often (having to meet Dublin in a QF or SF more often) but more significantly we’d end up in a pQF less (which is vital, given models won’t come close to matching the fatigue the pQF route causes) and most importantly of all we’d end up winning it more often.

    We’ve gone from ~7% chance of winning the All Ireland pre-draw to ~7.4% chance of winning it if we win Connacht (we’d be avoiding Derry, Armagh/Donegal & Galway up until a final in most scenarios so likely what’s helping bump that) and drop to 6.5% chance if we lose Connacht.

    The odds of winning in both scenarios are overestimated in a simulation given it’d treat the pQF (64% of the time in Group 1 and 72% of the time in Group 2) & subsequent QF as normal games with no added factor for fatigue, but if there was a correction for that it would only make winning even more beneficial.

    (Credit to StatsAndSolos on all the numbers generated there. They’ll be sharing it all sometime later in the day once they’ve had a chance to tidy up the presentation).

    Interesting aside… Galway do actually benefit (ever so slightly with 0.2% greater chance of an All Ireland win, from 3.5% to 3.7%) from losing. We’ll have to be sure to get the numbers in front of PJ and Cian before throw in.

  101. Winning the Connacht is important for another reason, because it puts us top on titles there once again….Currently Mayo-48, Galway-48.

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