It’s Donegal

Mayo v Donegal

So we’ve finally found out who our opponents will be in next weekend’s All-Ireland quarter-final. I guess it’s no surprise that today’s Round 4B qualifier results have confirmed Donegal as the county we’ll be coming up against at Croke Park next Saturday evening (throw-in 6pm).

Tyrone’s win over Sligo in today’s opening 4B qualifier game at HQ raised the possibility of our meeting them instead next weekend. Despite their mounting injuries problems, however, Donegal did enough to account for the Tribesmen in the day’s second qualifier match. With a Donegal/Monaghan rematch at the quarter-final stage ruled out, that left us paired with Rory Gallagher’s charges instead.

Nobody needs reminding just how tough an assignment this is likely to be for us. Right up to their surprise Ulster final loss to Monaghan, Donegal were consistently priced at shorter odds than us for ultimate glory in this year’s championship and the narrow defeat they suffered on the same day that we closed out five Nestor Cup victories in a row doesn’t mean they’re suddenly a soft touch for us in the All-Ireland series.

Sure, injuries are taking their toll on what is the shallowest panel within the so-called Big Four but they’re still the most dangerous opponents we could have been paired with at the last eight stage. The challenge they’ll lay down to us is likely to be far greater than anything that Kildare or Fermanagh will muster against Kerry and Dublin respectively tomorrow. It’s a challenge we’ll need to be up for in every sense and I’ve every expectation we will be.

142 thoughts on “It’s Donegal

  1. Serious serious test ahead for us next weekend. It won’t be easy and I except we may be biting fingernails. The game could go either way in my opinion.

    Donegal upped the gears in the second half v Galway and Galway had no response to it….I think the shouts that Galway are a coming team need to be lowered….they have a serious amount of work to do to get up to the standard of the top 4/5 teams.

  2. So it remains to be seen, have Mayo devised a tactic for stopping a player? You stop Murphy and you stop Donegal. Kerry done it, Monaghan done it and Tyrone done it and were unlucky not to pull off a win.

  3. Thought Donegal were flat in ist half.they were very good in 2nd half but Galway missed some good chances.we can be sure Murphy will be placed at edge of square.mcfadden seems to be back to form and macniallais is an excellent player.Donegal will try and frustrate us and i imagine they will have a lot of men behind the ball.they might try in do what Tyrone did to us in the league! Anyways i still expect us to be to strong for them.galway opened up there defence at ease at times and I thought at times Donegal looked flat especially in ist half.galway had a chance to go 2 points up but conroy missed a free.we be a totally different prospect for them as they will be for us but i think we will have to much for them.we are coming into this game nice and fresh!

  4. I personally think we have a better chance of beating Donegal than Tyrone .The 6 day turnaround will have a big affect on them .I know Tyrone are in the same boat as Donegal on the 6 day break , but Tyrone looks a fresher team . Its a short time for our management to work on their plan for the Donegal attack and to tighten things at the back ,but i sure they have worked out a plan for them .

  5. Very tough game next weekend and the momentum has now very much swung Donegal’s way after that brilliant second half performance. They had leaders all over the field who really stood up when needed in the last 20mins. A massive test for our lads on Sat but if we can’t beat whatever is put in front of us at quarter final stage we might as well forget it. Hopefully Noel & Pat will muster up a plan to deal with Murphy and McNeilis upon the next 6 days.

  6. It’s Donegal as we knew it wud be. That FF line is going make it seriously busy for our FB line. IL be honest I think it’s going to be close and too close to call IMO. We haven’t had a test like this so let’s see what we’re like. Can’t wait know. Up Mayo

  7. Tough test coming up but if we haven’t a plan by now to deal with a bombardment of high balls then we are frigged anyways.

    Could be completely wrong but Galway looked like they ran out of steam before Donegal started dominating proceedings. Donegal looked like they reverted to McGuinness’ teachings to steer themselves to safety.

    Things I picked up –
    – Donegal suspect when hit at pace, particularly with overlapping runners. Mayo’s S&C should stretch Donegal more than Galway.
    – They also did not like Galway’s aggressive tackling. That’s something that they’ll face even more next week. I would be of the opinion that Mayo’s tackling has improved further since 2013. It unsettled them two years ago in AIQF.
    – Donegal need Murphy in at FF to win. Can’t see them testing top teams with him playing anywhere else.

  8. Agree that we have got the most difficult quarterfinal, but one that will be a great test to see if we are back as a leading contender to land the big prize. We have huge motivating factors, that league game we should have won, proving two years ago wasn’t a freak result and don’t forget that all ireland final of three years ago. Where I am worried is McFadden & Murphy. We need to mark these guys, something Galway completely forgot to do in that 2nd half. We need to go man to man on these 2 players which if we do I’ve no doubt we will beat them. Our midfield and forwards will get enough scores to keep us ahead. I think we’ll do it.

  9. Were Donegal impressive or Galway pretty average? Donegal absolutely cleaned out midfield and were easy winners from there. Conroy, Lundy and Sice all taken off while Murphy, McFadden and Gallagher kicked on. I thought Galway were exceptionally poor and couldn’t believe Shane Walsh was left on the bench as long as he was. Bad defeat for Galway and fifteen years now without a win in Croker.

    One big talking point ahead of the quarter will be whether we play a sweeper on Saturday. We simply have to in my opinion. If we can keep a clean sheet or limit them to one major I think we’ll have enough to progress.

  10. Watching Jim mcguinness after he was saying its vital that Donegal score goals and they not scoring enough points this year.they hit 14 wides today 15 in Ulster final

  11. Yes as Jim McGuiness said Donegal need goals. The problem I see for Mayo is that they are conceding goals. Murphy will need more than one defender to hold him. I thought Donegal looked tired at the end of the first half when things were not going their way. Donegal are kicking too many wide’s and if Mayo prevent them scoring goals, Mayo should have too much energy for them and could win comfortably.

  12. Well if there’s one thing we’ve learned from todays games, it’s that our opposition in Connaught were way off the mark when it came to the business end of the Championship. A worry maybe, but something we’ve had to live with for a few years now.

    Donegal’s performance in the second half was mighty impressive, and it seems they have a better panel of players than we give them credit for. That said, the second half performance might be a blessing in disguise for us. It will put us on notice of what we can expect from them, and no one can say we weren’t warned. On the other hand, Donegal will now have high expectations of going places again this year, and that’s where hopefully they will come unstuck.

  13. I hope our defence can improve from the Galway and Sligo game especially under the high ball if we can then we have a great chance it will be a good test for us and if we pass it it will stand to us in the Semi Final we need to hit the ground running and not give away silly goals

  14. It’ll be tough alright.

    I thought Donegal looked goosed after about 45 minutes.
    They needed their leaders to stand up and they had to draw on all their reserves of experience to kick on and bury Galway.
    That they did it. Hopefully that took a lot out of them, especially with us coming in nice and fresh next week.
    Some of their players looked absolutely shagged, they seemed to be running on empty. Yet they still kicked on. They will be hard to put down, this year could be some players swansong.

    No idea what happened to Galway. They looked good at times in the first half but fell apart completely when Donegal put it up to them.
    Looks like they are simply overrated, particularly their forwards.

  15. Galway replaced 5 of their forwards their defence was leaking badly when the pressure came on.Donegal cleared the heads after ulster final defeat McBrearty will never have as many wides again .Management have known for the last fortnight there was a fair chance it would be Donegal they should have known their big men are capable of changing a game who ever comes out of it will be well tested for Dublin.

  16. Conroy missed a free early in second half to put them 2 up and then Donegal took over at midfield
    You cannot judge their subs as game was over After second goal

  17. T’will definitely be tough going v Donegal next Saturday. But Galway have an awful lot to do before they can have realistic hopes of challenging for Sam.

    I see Ciaran 2 beat me to the Mayo Ladies result but I can add that some Kerrymen were seen taking notes so I presume it is they we will be meeting next. They had a good win over Cork in the Munster final so must be useful. Will we ever get away from them? They keep turning up like a bad sixpence, ok, a bad 10c in today’s world.

  18. Donegal were very impressive in 2nd half and are a serious team. As WJ pointed out, up until the Ulster final they were ranked ahead of us in the bookies and in most corners of the media. They are better IMO than Monaghan.

    Sligo showed today just how poor they are so the Connacht final should be completely shelved in terms of an indication of where we are.

    If anything, they jury is out still on us…and even if we beat Donegal it still will be cos the dubs await the winner. Daunting.

  19. Just back from Croker.

    Will reserve comment on the Mayo game until later in the week.

    Peculiar game. Donegal looked as if they would blow Galway away early on, but had to play

    second best to Galway for quite a while. McBrearty kept disimproving as the game wore on.

    I felt Galway were right in it and more in the early stages of the second half as Donegal

    squandered chance after chance. But, and this is their real problem, they don’t know how to

    win a big game. McGee penalised for diving, great chance for Conroy to put them two up

    and deliver a psychological blow; he fluffs it badly. And the rest of the forwards began to

    match Donegal for squandermania.

    Donegal’s power was decisive once they went two up and their goals were very good.

    However, they only looked good towards the end when Galway were finished. For quite a

    while I thought it would be Galway. I never though that in our semi final.

  20. The Donegal game will be the real answer to the difference between Horans management and Pat and Noels. Here’s hoping they have a plan and act on their feet from the sidelines on the day.

  21. donegal scored their 2 goals today into the hill end 2nd half.
    donegal scored their 2 goals in 2012 final in to the hill end.
    mayo should play into the hill if they win the flip.
    donegal are no joke and one would be foolhardy to be looking beyond them.

  22. I am happier with mayo playing donegal rather than tyrone. Better the devil you know or something! Next week will be donegsl’s6th game to our third. So they will be well battle hardened and we untested. I think the key as earlier posters have said will be if we are able to stop them goaling they are not getting enough scores otherwise. Mind you they are not conceding many either 11 today and 11 the last day. Mayo will have to take their chances and that’s why I’d like to see Andy Moray play he nearly always delivers on the big day.. I think mayo are playing more as a unit this year despite all the focus on AOS and that could be what will make the difference next week.

  23. Feel a match v Donegal is perfect for Mayo – win it and you have probably had the test you need before facing Dublin who themselves will probably coast another game tomorrow. So we would be facing a team who have had zero championship tests and who walloped us in the league – I reckon this Mayo team would fancy a chance to right what happened that particular night with relish.

  24. Team Sheet .. i feel that you keep moving the goal posts in the sure and certain event that one day you will be right. I told you so time…We still remember the great days we had in Salthill and Roscommon under Noel and Pat.We have made it to the last 8, that’s a real achievement in their first year. More to come hopefully. Donegal will be the real test. They have done it all before. If we are beaten next weekend I would give Donegal a real chance against the Dubs. The Championship starts here.

  25. Pj I think if the dubs get a hold of Donegal this year they’ll hammer them.

    Next wknd is gonna be tough but whoever wins will be massive underdogs goin in against the Dubs. Can anyone genuinely see them slipping up at semi final stage two years running?

    Anyway full focus on next Saturday. Any kind of a win will do me just fine.

  26. As Kerry say hammer the hammer. SOS on Murphy follow him wherever he goes. Vaughan on McFadden. would also consider playing AOS at midfield for the first 20 to soften a few lads up.

    Clarke

    Cafferkey
    Keane
    Higgins

    SOS(Sweeper)
    Vaughan(Sweeper)

    Barrett
    Boyle
    Keegan

    B Moran
    Parsons

    DO’C
    McLAughlin

    C’OC
    AOS

  27. Mayonase Yea that’s a fair point. Galvin would be in a spot if they get tripped up at semi final stage again this year. I see that Tomas O’Shea is focussing on the Dubs already in the media talking up their chances. Down in Kerry they are starting to worry about their September meeting with the Dubs it would appear

  28. Delighted its Donegal rather than Tyrone and PP have us at 5/6 which I think is very decent odds,better still is -1 at 6/5.

    The 6 day turnaround as well as our speed around the field will win this game for us.

    Mayo to win by at least 4 points.

    Yes,I am very confident.

  29. Interesting match today but Galway simply weren’t good enough. Forwards and midfield simply weren’t at the races in the second half.
    This match will be the litmus test for Noel and Pat. It’s up to them to be tactically aware enough to take on Donegal. For me, the key is midfield. If you can beat them at midfield, you can beat them. We know all about the players Mayo have. Now it’s about the management.

  30. Folks, there is no need for us to be afraid of Donegal.
    They were very average for the entire first half. The started without their named no 6 (Thompson) and no 9 (McElhinney) and spent the entire first half fluting around trying to break down Galway’s newly installed blanket defence. They got little change out of that and McBrearty spent most of the half trying to pick a scrap with Galway’s Johnny Duane. McFadden was one of the few that they had that showed well during the first 35 mins.
    At the break, they must have got a right good bollockin cos they emerged in the second half with a plan and a renewed determination to break Galway’s defensive structure. The named nos 6 and 9 came on and gave them fresh legs to push up on Galway. Amazingly, with now total control of centrefield, they had only gained a lead of 5 points by the 60th minutes, despite dictating the game from the 35th minute.
    In the end, it was the pure physicality of being a Div 1 team that was the factor that allowed them to pull away in the last 10 mins and score their 2nd and 3rd goals (into the Davin end – not the Hill 16 end as was suggested above).
    The reports on the internet are fawning all over Donegal, but as a neutral watching from the Hogan Stand, I saw nothing to be afraid of.
    Our plan should be simple. Win centrefield and keep pushing up on them. This will force Murphy to come out foraging for ball, thereby negating their biggest threat. I have every confidence that we will win this.

    Keep the Faith!

  31. Lets call a spade a spade paddy of house power has us as -1 favorites personally I feel this game will be tight but I’m gonna call it Mayo 2-16 Donegal 1-12 these lads haven’t let down to often and we are in the golden age of mayo gaa

  32. Donegal looked back in form for the last 20 mins ..the first 50 not so much ..i actually thought at half time galway were on a roll and could pull off an upset ..hopeful that we will finish the job..

  33. I was watching the match with a Kerry friend of mine and both of us felt that after half time Galway had lots of opportunities to go ahead but missed them, wrong options, bad shooting etc; etc. That gave Donegal the advantage and they took it. To be fair to Galway, that was not a bad performance and if they learn lessons from it they will be a bigger threat next year. They are improving all the time. A few posters here are inclined to scoff at them, but look at us, the masters of not learning lessons, throwing away a possible two All Irelands in the process. I would not be so quick to blame Galway and if they are a force next year, great!!!

  34. I’d be of the Fourgoal McGee school of thought on this one too. Nothing to fear if we go out and play our best game – we will beat them.

    Donegal can turn on the style on the day and their speed of counter-attack is a real threat, so I don’t anticipate it being an easy game or an easy win by any means, but I do believe we are superior in more areas of the field and are good enough to beat them.

    Would be more than happy to see no goals in this game unless of course we are the ones scoring them. And I’m also hoping we beat them by playing our own style of football, not theirs, but I’d settle for the win regardless!

  35. NYCgreenandred…I’d dispute that this is the golden age of Mayo gaa….we won 6NfL titles in a row and Sam in the 30’s… Got to 3 All Ireland Finals in 4 years between 48 and 51, winning twice.

    The modern era has seen us win 5 Connacht titles and while that’s good, it’s against the backdrop of galway being in a dreadful state, not having won a senior game in croke pk in 15 years.

    This team is very good…but can only really be considered great, if they win the Sam Maguire.

    Also..at underage level, while we’ve won a minor All Ireland, our record at u21 over the past 6 years is dreadful. In fact Mayo not being in a final since 2006 are now on the longest run since the u21 grade began without having competed in a final. That’s very concerning.

    If the lads can beat Donegal..Dublin and one more team then yes, this could be considered a golden era.

  36. I only saw the last 20 mins but one thing struck me is that McFadden is class. Give him room and he will punish. He’s also a player who can be put off his game. He set up the 2nd and 3rd goals with really excellent distribution.
    The other thing that hit home is that when ahead near the end they are very hard to get the ball off so we should be aiming to be ahead before 60th minute and doing to them what they did to Galway.
    They’re mean in defense but haven’t met the championship version of AOS at FF. McGee showed how to mark against Monaghan but McManus (who is classy) still got 4 off him. Remember Francie Belew vs Star.. Gooch vs Brennan… reputations are there to be broken.
    Listening on Radio earlier both teams today wasted a lot of chances but have Donegal time to set that right? If McBrearty isn’t right we have much better chance. Like some if ye not too worried about Donegal subs, Galway were taking all the wrong options as game wore on apart from Walsh who looks like a star. Big Galway mistake leaving him off so long. Galway made some good runs and poor kicks just like start of their game vs Kerry last year but this time at the end, perhaps lack of belief or confidence.
    This game could be a cracker and really hope to see management show their worth, preparation and game changes both important.
    I think the lads know what they’re at, here’s hoping.

  37. Was in Croker to check out our opposition & Donegal did get their game going towards the end. This is going to be a big step up from anything we experienced in Connacht.
    The key with Donegal is not to give them a lead, keep tabs on Murphy & McFadden & not concede goals.
    The key at this level as we found to our cost over the past few years is to keep a clean sheet. Three clean sheets would take us to a place we haven’t been for 64 years.
    We need to make a start by keeping their score down next weekend.

  38. Think Galway were a better footballing team last year gone very negative this year and very poor midfield

  39. I agree with lahan man,stop the 3pointers and there toast,Galway today were gr8 in the tackle and had Donegal on the ropes until the 45th min, no 13 should have looked up and chipped Duncan,game over ….but the opposite happenedGalway lost focus and Donegal took over….game over.we won’t be that soft ,this bunch of lads are too long on the road to crumble like Galway today..mayo by 7.

  40. Agree with team sheet …. This will be Mayo managements big test ….

    Will they be able to act on the sideline and big changes if we come into difficulties in the full back line

    Mc fadden was playing out in the half forward line and supplying balls into murphy, we need to combat that…..

    Ok the basis of watching the Donegal game last night , I feel Mayo should have just enough …

    We need to get the match ups right …..

    STOP MURPHY ..,,,. You stop Donegal

  41. Thought it was a cat game yesterday really don’t think we have anything to worry about but it all depends on the day! Did anyone else notice how Jim Mc Guinness reckons we won’t be setting up definsevly and that Donegal will be preparing for the usual way we set up? Hmm hope the lads took note and are unpredictable with everything Maigheo Abu!

  42. A lot of good opinions stated above, as well as a lot of nonsense! donegal looked leg weary today and experience shot them through in the last quarter, I fancied Galway at half time, but they had no leaders to drive them on whereas donegal had several! some wojeasusly bad wides from both sides, and it took mcfadden and murphys know how to win! I’m not in anyway writing off donegal, but unless they play like they did in the last 20 from the start they will go in at halftime like they did a few yrs ago! We have lads chomping, looking to make a mark, and most of all who are fresh, that will be the difference!

  43. Be careful with anything McGuinness says at this stage as he could be trying to mess with our managers heads. Our lads need to come up with their own plan. Force Murphy out by dominating middle third. That won’t be easy as they have McHughs in mopping up ball so we probably need Kevin Mc and one of the Docs in doing the same. McFadden probably needs a man marker like Keegan on him. Keane did well on him after he was moved in 2012 but that would mean Caff on Murphy so perhaps swap them and hope Keane’s improved muscularity is enough. I’m not convinced Turbo will be picked unless he’s returned to championship form in training. Great lad and worth a lot to team at 100% but he was out injured before championship as was his competitor Barrett so depends who’s recovered form the best. If Keane 100% he has to start this one for height and more so strength as we know Donegal will try pumping balls in. Caff could do a good job on McFadden if he doesn’t wander too far out. Match ups might be more important than positions. Keith might be the best man for McBrearty and McNailis needs a plan too.

  44. Six day turnaround won’t help Donegal. I think this is a game that will suit our hard running game. The likes of Donie running from deep will hurt them with other runners on the shoulder. Big difference is we can also go long to AOS, COC and Andy. We have plenty of options.

  45. Higgins will pick up McBrearty. McFadden played out the pitch for much of uesterday. If he continues to wander I think Boyler will move onto him. Keegan will look to McNeilis and I’m more than confident he can smother that threat. Keegan can rampage forward but I’m very impressed with his defensive discipline. He’s quite happy to sit and contain when required.

  46. Roy – Donegal scored one goal (McBrearty) into the Hill end. They scored two second half goals into the canal end.

    What’s interesting on this is that Galway got a very bad start, by conceding that McBrearty goal, but got right back into it, obviously when they were physically in the game. From about the 15th to the 45th minute they were right in it and I felt Donegal were going up and down lots of cul-de-sacs.

    But – and this is a real Donegal strength – they didn’t panic and they don’t panic. This allows them deliver a killer blow when the time is right.

    Rory Gallagher seemed very pleased afterwards. Felt he was talking to Pat and Noel as much as the interviewer.

    Expect lots of Donegal gamesmanship in the week ahead.

  47. Why is it today’s quarter finals are broadcast on rte and next week only on sky? This is disgraceful that our national game is not accessible to all

  48. Delighted its donegal , the harder the better and we will soon see if they learneed any lessons from the pas 3-4 years and now espec. under noel and pat management, iam sure they have everything covered, game plans ect. to who ever were meeting. its very simple really play our own game , we all know we have to tighten up at the back, some defenders not gonna mention anyone may be sweatind for their place come sathurday, but that what u have a good strong panel for and as anyone knows when u go out and have a bad day theres always your buddy on the sideline to take your place, anyway think as long as we tighten up at back we,ll take the dunnys, as for galway they will be a force i reckon not next year, but year after so now is the time to make hay and finnally deliver, i said all year the only team that can beat us this year is the dubs and still believe, great to see they have ferman. and with all due respect to the ferm. boys its dublin in a canter in 2-3 gear …….Hope every one travelling next sat. gets up early and support our juniors at 2 clock , their up aggainst it as this team is kerrys deveolment panel, how, they manage that i dont know, they have a diff. way down there how they run their leagues an championships,maybe we shoud follow suit….They dont call them cute kerry hoors for nothing….Anyway onwards and upwards, always the green above the red, C,mon Muigheo, tiocaigh ar la……

  49. The selection of this team for Sat.will test our new management as it is imperative that they get it right, and not make the mistake that James Horan did last year in the replay against Kerry. The dogs in the street knew that Caff.should not have been placed at F.B.
    after Donahys display when coming on in the drawn game, it was unfair to Caff. to be put in that position. He is a good player and can do a man marking on McFadden as he seems to be playing a different role for Donegal this year.
    I am going to stick my neck on the block by suggesting that S O Shea be placed at fullback
    as we have plenty of options for C.Field, just cast your minds back to 2012 when we were destroyed in the first few minutes by Murphy and McFadden.We can win this game if we get our team properly placed and get stuck in from the word go,we have a very experience outfit with plenty of talent to see this out

  50. Fitness should be the deciding factor. Galway fell off the pace badly in the second half. In the final two years ago some of the Dublin players were stretcher cases towards the end. Against Kerry in the first game last year fourteen took them to the cleaners in the second half. Add in that Donegal have had such a slog, and congratulations to them for getting through, together with the changes we have made should see us through. It will not be easy, but you wouldn’t expect it to be.

  51. Pjmcmanus: You read me wrong…..I expect Pat and Noel to make the changes/act from the line. As mayo51 states – this is our test, have we learned anything over last 4 years. I really feel it was those failing that cost Horan (unfortunately – I liked Horan in fact I’m behind anyone that manages our great county, supporting for 35 years).
    We have to have learned – we’re as good as any team left we have the players. But winning is all about delivering in every aspect on the day.

  52. Philor says we should play SOS at fullback? Is he serious. Are we now going to field a team based on what we think the Donegal line out will be. Also says we have plenty of midfielders (who are they?). If we cannot line out our team to play to our strengths then forget about winning. Michael Murphy and Aiden O Sea can both play midfield and full forward. If we cannot win ball around the middle then its curtains for us. In my opinion we are not capable of upsetting Donegal. They are no forgetting our last outing against them in Croker. AOS was a hero that day and didn’t turn up at the next match, this also could happen the next day. We have not been tested yet and we don’t know is the glass half full or half empty. Looking at Donegal yesterday they only played for 20 mins and in this time they blew Galway away. If they play like this the next day its the same for us. I hope I,m proved wrong

  53. True Grit you are correct in my view. PlayinG SOS at full back, a position he has never played in . He also has a habbit of carring the ball into tackles which would be very dangerous in front of his own goal. This is a habbit which he seems to find hard to change

  54. We will need SOS at midfield and Parsons we do not have loads of midfield options as we all know what happened in the first half against Kerry in Limerick

  55. True Grit – I’m not sure how you can make out that we’re not capable of beating Donegal. You said it yourself, Donegal only played for twenty minutes. That won’t be good enough against Mayo or any other team left.

  56. thanks for that catcol still reckon there is a “sword” in the hill.
    the main thing for mayo the next day is not to leave murphy isolated 1on 1 with the mayo full back. tom cuniffe is an alright full back, but does murphy need to be double marked.
    ideally the pressure will be on the other goals at the start.midfield will be crucial.

  57. Tom, What I said is Donegal only played for 20 minutes and destroyed Galway. If the play the full game like that against us its” good night Irene”,

  58. Yes Roy agree we have to avoid these one on one situations with our backs, which has been a feature of our play all year.

    Donegal’s FF line is lethal, one of the strongest, and McBrearty won’t kick wides all the time and our FB line is a worry; at least left on its own it is.

  59. Tom Cuniffe is not even related to a full back imo–he can not fetch a high ball. A fine player in other positions.I feel we have destroyed Cafferkys confidence–a fine full back but needs to be ruthless aka Mc gee

  60. Donegal have only played in fits and starts for the last month. Monaghan were good enough to take advantage and I believe we are too.

  61. Cunniffe and Caff are both under pressure for their places. Barrett and Keane could well slot in at their expense. The competition for places might bring the best out of them yet.

    Cunniffe improved in both games as the match wore on but he doesn’t have the luxury of a slow start against Donegal’s inside line.

  62. Just after being asked to go to the pub and watch the community shield,as boring as that seems it might be more exciting than this stuff on the Sunday game.

  63. the full back position is between Caff and Keane. Caff did well on Murphy when moved after Keane was in trouble in the first 10 minutes in 2012 Final . SOS or Vaughan playing out of position if moved to Full Back. Put Keane or Caff goal side on Murphy and play a sweeper in front to cut out supply. Maybe Higgins as Donegal destroyed Dublin last year by running at speed through the middle in the final third of the field, If you look at the two games against Kerry last year Caff did well on the Star and got some bad calls from the Ref and of course Brolly went on a bit. i would play the following team .

    Hennelly,

    Full Back Line : Barrett, Cafferty Cunniffe ,

    Higgins Sweeper.

    Half Backs : Boyle Vaughan Keegan

    SOS. Parsons

    Half Fwd’s : D O Connor. Doherty Mc Loughlin

    Full Fwd’s A O Shea C O Connor

    Higgins staying directly in front of Murphy,

    1. Blocking Murphy gathering clean when Donegal use the long ball

    2. He has the speed to close down Donegals attackers runnig through the middle

    3. He has the pace to be first to any loose ball in front of the Mayo Goal

  64. True Grit ,of course you prepare a team for the opposition you are going to meet you will find that Donegal will have a plan for Aiden the next day so we would be very naive not to do something similar.I agree that S O Shea may not be the man for the job but judging from reactions it is obvious that it is a problem area. Don’t forget the job that David Brady did on Donahy when introduced albeit a bit late in the day,I don’t think David ever played at F.Back before for club or county.
    Not trying to score points here but we do have 3 other C.F. players apart from Seamus in Barry Moran Tom Parsons Aiden O Shea and you could also include D.Vaughan who has some engine.

  65. Just thinking ; Brolly made some comments after the Limerick Game about Cafferty being ‘Too nice’ and Hennelly ‘Will I come Will I go ‘ and the the Mcgees would treat The Star differntly … i think the Star had a big say in Kerrys win. After these comments many Mayo fans have got the idea that Brolly is correct but in reality Cafferty is rarlely beaten and teams that have got the better of The Star double mark him -Tyrone always. Hennelly made one mistake in AIF against Dublin but made several saves . He has good hands and is good at frees over the 45 mark

  66. sorry that should read : i think the Star had a big say in Kerrys win against Donegal in last years final

  67. All these hockeyings being dished out in the championship make our loss to Dublin in the league look like a respectable result. Massive gulf in class between the top teams and the lower echelons. I just hope Fermanagh stick it to the Dubs but you can’t help but worry…

  68. Lads,
    Don’t take the bait from true grit. He’s as much a Mayoman as Percy French. Mayo by 5.

  69. Kerry were outstanding. They are better this year than they were last year.

    Dubs in 3rd gear. Handy victory against a gallant Fermanagh.

    Interesting to hear ‘Banty’ say that he fully expects a Kerry Dublin final and that the only other team who could possibly be there are Donegal…. What else wud u expect from a mcananey!??

  70. How do you you think this game will go I have a bad feeling about this match all the hype will be on o Shea what happens if marked out of it and full back line is suspect.

  71. I agree with you Cait about our full back line being a bit suspect but I have faith in the management to sort it. Yeah they will probably target AOS but maybe Cillian and Diarmuid and a few more will step up

  72. Question: Does anyone know when the gaa season ticket holder can purchase tickets in the week leading to a match? Im using my fathers and it’s not available yet. Secondly, has anyone used the “bring a friend option” and how easy is it to book 2-3 tickets and can you choose where you sit? Thanks

  73. I don’t mean to negative but a o Shea gets a lot of media coverage and Donegal will use that to their advantage

  74. @catcol kerry got 7 goals all into the hill.
    i suppose in a game of two halves one has to attack and defend the hill. the latter situation may require a sweeper.

  75. Those poor lads in Kerry, Dublin and Donegal are completely ignored by the media, with their ads running 24/7 on the telly. That young Donaghue lad hardly ever gets a mention. Dublin pure rank at the back, but sure it’s only Mayo who has problems in that department.
    Mayo will beat Donegal and Dublin.

  76. It’s very likely that AOS will get special attention from the two Magee’s. Again, this should leave our other forwards a little more space. Think if we keep the intensity high that Donegal will run out of steam in the last 20mins.

  77. After watching the Dublin game there and even more convinced that if you rough Cluxton up a bit he is liable to do something daft.

  78. Andy Moran will be a handful for mc Garth that leaves 2 McGee’s to mark CoCand AoS,I like that match up

  79. Is it not scandalous that the other two quarter final, or any quarter final, are exclusive to Sky next Saturday???? Is it not strange that the Dub’s weekend is exclusive to RTE???? Why is there are no objections being raised at delegate level?? Does anyone care??? The Irish are typically shy of action but will talk loads of shite behind closed doors.
    How about all those folk who have no Sky and cannot afford Sky???; those in the middle of the countryside, living alone with no transport or too ill to go out???
    One poster here recently dismissed it and said people could watch it somewhere else. I meant to castigate him, (“castigate”, close to what i meant.).
    My blood boils. Do the Shites in the GAA realise that those are the people who created and supported the GAA from the word go and without their support there would be no bloody GAA. Surely they could have had it on RTE as well and if Sky didn’t like it, Fuck them!!!!

  80. Just read that clown Tommy Carr’s piece on the rte news app. Saying that theirs no way Donegal will beat us, well thats their motivation for the week and pre match speech. He always knocks us any chance he gets, and now is quite deliberately building us up for a fall. Hope Mcstay highlights the impending treatment aos is gunna receive, in his article this week. It needs to be drummed into the reff that just because he’s a beast does’nt mean he can be fouled left right and center.

    Kerry looked good, but still think their fb line is achilles heel. Two 35yr olds will surely be exposed by the big boys?? Dublins result was perfect for them, the hype around thrm will calm a littke now plus they’ll work hard on their defence before a semi. Lot of confidence on here in regard to us beating donegal…i am not so confident, iv a wrotten feeling their gunna turn us over.

  81. Joe Mc, that ship has sailed. Sky have the rights and that’s it, end of story. Have it for next year as well. Best you can hope for is the powers that be don’t renew the deal.

  82. Well well well will we do it its going to be a tight one to call . I’d say that Rory will have donegal well drilled in the run up to this in counter . Ara we’ll be able to deal with there defence no bother . But it’s our defence I’d be worried about a please god we’ll be happy campers coming home on Saturday night . Best of luck to the junior’s this weekend as well Maigh Eo Abu come on the yew.

  83. Listen mayonaze I don’t like your tone we have to at least think that we are going to do it otherwise we might aswell be picking daisys.

  84. Easy there, John – everyone is entitled to their opinion, be it of the glass half-full or half-empty variety, even if the latter does grate a bit in the run-up to a big match.

  85. You’ve completely misinterpreted my tone then Mr Jennings. You might be advised to have another read!

    I never once mentioned nor insinuated that we don’t believe it shouldn’t believe. I’m an advocate of if you don’t think you can win then you won’t.

    I was having a dig at the mcananey’s.

  86. I’m actually a bit puzzled as to how you even thought I was being of ‘glass half empty’ mindset??

  87. We will beat Donegal by 3 or 4 points,, there is no way that Donegal can create big performances week after week, they have to be tired at this stage, only problem for us is that we are lacking game time and not been tested. Think we will beat Dublin handy as they must be the most over rated team in the history of the GAA. Then it’s the final against Kerry who looked on another level to anything we have seen this year, but that’s for another day. Keep the faith we are very close.

  88. Anyway…best case scenario is to get past Donegal with ‘room for improvement’… I would have liked to have seen the dubs win by more today but that ‘goal’ was farcical.

  89. Juan if Donegal need any sort of motivation from Tommy Carr we have the game as good as won

  90. I wonder if the league game in Castlebar in April gives us any pointers to next Saturday? Its a game we should have won easily, but for one of the most inept performances by our forwards in recent years (one character in particular had a miss that will haunt him for a while). Defensively we played very well that day, and even though Murphy was not playing, it bodes well for the QF.

    Not wanting to rant, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the level of paranoia about analysts is beginning again. Tommy Carr, Spillane or Brolly are not invoked in speeches by managers before matches, don’t be giving them magical powers they don’t have! Similarly I have seen on social media some gobshites already preparing the ground on blaming the ref because he’s from Meath, by the end of the week someone surely will unearth his long lost Donegal family or other similar madcap conspiracy theory.

  91. Tom, fair point, i just think we can do without these articles, id rather he focus on how bad our defence is. i know they’ll be looking for payback from ’13 and that will be the basis of their motivation.

  92. Although ’13 was our payback for ’12! Any chance we can use ’92 to even things out….

    If payback worked galway would have beaten us this year OR last year in connacht!

    I’m hoping we want it more than Donegal and for me it boils down to your skill, ability and of course mindset. Luck too plays its role.

  93. Hi All,
    Just remember when you play Donegal that you can push the keeper and the ball into the goal and it will stand, this is a new rule passed today by a Kerry Ref in Croker. Just be careful though because Donegal can do the same to you too……and we will do the same to whoever we meet, its okay to do it as you seen today.

    Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  94. Actually putting all bias aside only a fool would bet against Kerry now.Thats the reality and only those with rose tinted glasses or blind faith in their team could surmise otherwise.
    Martin chill out…ye get more than your share of decisions always as do Kerry for that matter.

  95. I reckon we should play AOS at CHF next day with nobody at FF at all. Let him win possession and run at that space and draw frees. If we attempt to play him at 14 like we did against Sligo i reckon Donegal might do a job on him. At CHF we could feed him long balls and he could do exactly the same job winning possession but a little further out the field where he would be harder to contain. With runners coming off him this could cause massive problems for any defence and we have the runners to do that particular job.

  96. Ha, Martin the Dub, that was a foul every day of the week, strange decision. Big Papa Durcan wouldn’t go in as easily as that though. I think I’ll have to avoid this blog for the week, all the analysis will make me far too nervous. At half time yesterday I was having some seriously negative thoughts about scraping past galway only to get pulverised by mayo the following week. Feeling a good bit more positive now but more hopeful than confident. If we were coming into the tie well rested I’d be giving us a great chance but it’s a short week to recover and prepare. On the other hand I’m picturing the mayo lads chomping at the bit to race out of the traps. Anyway, I’ll remain hopeful and think positive thoughts! If we do go out this weekend I can assure you that I’ll be putting all my remaining effort into shouting for Mayo all the way.
    Over and out 😀

  97. Whatever complaint you might have about Sky, at least you won’t have to listen to Tommy Carr on it. The guy is brutal and misinterprets most aspects of the game.

    Kerry looked clinical today and David Moran is the most influential player in Ireland. I still think Mayo can beat Donegal, and Dublin given a bit of luck. On last year’s evidence there’s not much between us and Kerry either.

  98. Hi Cait,
    I have to be honest the 2nd goal was a shambles it had to be miscommunication by 4 players!! I actually think its no harm that happened today and not the next day because we need to cop on to those errors quick. See you soon in the semi-finals Cait I hope and so do all the Dubs, cheers.

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  99. We have been up with the best in the country since 2012, sometimes I have to remind myself of that when reading some of the negativity . Don’t get me wrong I criticise as much as anyone on where it went wrong that we didn’t win it out in 12/13 and 14 but I think we sometimes need to remind ourselves of how fookin mighty this bunch has been too.

    If we play to our potential and get a bit of luck I think we are in with a right good shout this year .

    It will be so interesting to see how we set up for sat evening , I hope we persist with the bear on the square , would love to see Regan get at least a seat on the bench. I’d play a sweeper system if it were up to me , what on earth Galway were at I’ll never know for mcglynns goal, Johnny dwanne was in to mop up the runners but he just watched and admired for the goal and straight after did the same only Donegal didn’t get the goal.
    I’d go with an old fashioned man markin job on Murphy , I would of suggested cunnife but he’s not been sharp at all so far.

  100. The cut off the supply line brigade are out in force again. Funny I heard this brilliant piece of strategy before the matches in 06 against Kerry and 12 against Donegal.

    Bottom line our FB line have been terrible this year. only 1 player at the required standard and none of them able to compete in the air. Against the other top 4 teams we will need 2 sweepers 1 big man (SOS) to give us an aerial presence and 1 mobile sweeper.

    If we go out playing the same 3 on there own at the back it is conceivable that they could conceed 4-5 goals in croke park

  101. Wondering what the story is with Curly Wee McGee’s ankle injury and whether he will be fit in time for Saturday? One thing for sure is that the other nacker sibling will give Aido dogs abuse. Just hope he can keep his cool and that the ref won’t shirk his responsibilities to deal with the inevitable sledging. I think we will need a bit more pace in the inside line to capitalise on the double marking of Aido – so I would rather see Ronaldson start instead of Moran.

  102. If we go man to man the opposition can move us where they want us. McGuinness used this he said v Dublin last year.
    Theyll run McBrearty/McFadden/Toye/McGlynn at us centrally 35 yards from goal with overlaps and breaking single coverage. If we foul the free is kickable.
    If cover moves out gaps appear inside.
    Dublin play a sweeper and tactically they have a team of analysts have checked this to the nth degree.

  103. I’d go with vaughan as a sweeper and stand him right infront of murphy, vaughan can actually catch the ball over his head. I think barrett will start instead of cuniffe. Diarmuid and kmac to fall back and solidify the area between our 45 and full back line and breaking at pace on the counter. Its brilliant to have Aido as an outlet whether he drifts in or out or not, theirs more of a 60/40 chance he can win any ball put into him. This is the team id go with if it wer up to me.
    Clarke
    Barrett. Caff. Higgins

    Vaughan

    Keegan. Boyle. Harrison

    S.os. Parsons

    D o’connor Doherty. K.mac

    Aidan. Cillian

  104. Ya I’d nearly agree with that team above

    Sacrifice Andy and have him as an impact sub ….

  105. Personally I would put Vaughan on macniallais.hes a very dangerous player for them.i can see Keegan taking up mchugh they were knocking lumps out each other in league.be interesting to see what role parsons may play especially as he dropped back into our own full back line late in the Sligo game and he also dropped back a small bit in ist half v Galway.murphy is the big threat from play and placed balls.i hope we be watching videos of Vinny Corey of Monaghan keeping him quiet.murphy didn’t score from play off him in last 3 Ulster finals.anyways the flip side Donegal will definitely target aos they will also target cillian and you can be sure our full back line is going to get aerial bombardment .i still think we have to much pace and power for them but i be very weary that Donegal will try to slow the game down big time and bring us into a level where we may not be able to play free flowing football as we want.patience and the bench could be key to this game!

  106. Ultair, yes i realise that for now it’s a done deal but i would hope there will be changes the next time.. Still nobody here seems to give a shite!!!

  107. I dont recall Vaughan ever catching a ball above his head. Its an area we are weak in. Keane, Diarmuid, AOS, Parsons and SOS have done overhead catches in games.
    Vaughan would be better off the bench running hard at a defence that is tiring.
    Keegan is the man for MacNiallais. Keane for Murphy. Caff on Murphy he would power through him with ease. Keane has chunk, similar Patrick Durcan should be looked at to start in corner as he has speed, chunk and is injury free. He is also similar to Boyle, no brake pedal in dirty ball contests.

  108. Mayo will have to put a defensive minded hard tough player that will have be ready to mix it on Murphy as he is no shrinking violet and intimidates most of his markers. He is their main man and when he is well marked donegal look ordinary blue who ever picks him up they will have to be limpet like in their approach and forget about their own game.

    O Shea should be started out the field and his running game will creat space for some forwards other than Killian as he will be tortured for as long as they are in the game. Only if ye get well ahead of them will their systems rearguard abandon the pumps, that’s when O Shea and O Connor will do serious damage inside. If ye don’t have a sweeper with pace and a good ball carrying ability ye are goosed as they will inflict that constricting system on ye and squeeze the life and heart out of the players.

    I think Mayo should beat them and have the ability to give them a bit of a roasting but their system is hard to break down and your management will have to have something up their sleeve. Lumping ball into the square could result in it coming out with runners coming from all directions towards the Mayo backs. Like Kerry did last year at least two of your half have to mind the space in front of the full back line at all times even when they try to draw them into the donegal side of the field. Good luck and I hope ye succeed

  109. Do what Kerry did in final pulled donkey and jod ont the field thus bringing McGee and McGrath with them leaving space in behind(geeneys early goal)

  110. To be honest can anyone tell me who in the Mayo back line is able to man mark our AOS? and please don’t say Vaughan can. I don’t think there is anyone who can mark him. If that’s the case who the fuck is able to mark Murphy as he is by far a better player than AOS. If we want to have this discussion let us try it within our own panel, and then we may be able to have an answer to ” who can mark Murphy”. We have AOS and Cillian who are dangerous, but Donegal have the same if not better as well. I hear Mayo are trying Parson,s as the person to mark Murphy. Another joke as this guy never played in the backs and its to late now. I read in the Western where JH said if you don’t have class then all the training wont do. Pity he didn’t see that when he was in charge. Some guys on the Mayo team are athletes and not GAA players.

  111. I haven’t read through the previous comments – but I wouldn’t be too worried if I was a Mayo man.
    We totally collapsed around the middle of the field in the second half – Donegal outmuscled us there and that was the winning and losing of the game.
    They won’t do that to Mayo around the middle.not a chance.
    Donegal are not in the same league as Dublin or Kerry this year imo.

  112. That man marking job of Murphy should be shared between keane and Vaughan.
    When he is full forward from start let Keane get stuck into him with Vaughan sweeping
    When he goes outfield Vaughan can follow him and be more than capable for him out the field. Vaughan and keane are too fine physical lads and we need that to give it hard but fair to Murphy.

  113. The strongest back with the most visits to the anger management therapist should be chosen to mark Murphy. Essentially a sledgehammer for the hammer, a back up is also needed as if he does his job he should at least have a yellow card within the first 20 minutes if he is cute, if not he will be gone on a red after five.. I’m being a little flippant I know but the point I make is sound I can aure you. Don’t swing the sword blindly as it has to count and they have to question their general as early as possible, they are brittle if you hit them early just like 2013.

    I know there are many on this site that dislike Kerry intensely but you have to acknowledge that they don’t panic until the water is lapping around their ankles and even then they have saved the day on many occasions when they had no right to do so.

    Mayo are a serious team and they can go all the way this year if they are well managed and controlled. I hope Kerry win but I am a kerryman, if we should loose I would love to see mayo win but I would not like to be on the terraces to witness it as I think the fans would sac the stands and terraces of Kerry folk. The Dubs can be beaten by Kerry or Mayo if we get a bounce of the ball on the day so it’s all to play for.

    I think Tyrone will skin Monaghan and that should set up an interesting semi final !! Old scores and all that. It’s all to play play for folks so let the games begin !!

  114. Galwayman . You have great confidence in our midfield, based on what? We only barely shaded it against you and Sligo was no test. I think we will need AOS out around there a lot. If they get on top at midfield we are in bother.

  115. True grit ,I don’t know whether you’re serious,trolling or a rossie .

    ” Murphy is by far a better footballer than AOS”

    I wouldn’t agree with that at all but everyone is obviously entitled to form their own opinion . Two exceptional footballers of this era I wouldn’t swap him for Aido though . A lot of opinion is formed through what the media tells us and how they hype it up , Murphy has had an average enough year so far if the truth be known . In our most recent championship game with Donegal in 2013 , AOS was unbelievable and by far the best player on the pitch .

    ” some of the Mayo players are athletes and not GAA players”

    Foff and start praying your bucks don’t draw us first in the league as Ye rossies would be some picture doing the guard of honour for the all Ireland champions .

  116. Really enjoying this forum and reading so many like minded enthusiastic Mayo supporters views, I just can’t get enough of the Championship.
    Just thought I would throw a few of my thoughts in the pot.
    I can’t see AOS playing FF against Donegal, it will be too congested. He will be a play-maker and maybe used to draw players to make gaps. We will have to play with a lot of width (easy to do in Croker), it is very hard to get anything out of Donegal by going down the middle. I like the idea of SOS and DV doing a man marking job on MM and MacFad, or at least playing sweeper roles, plus playing there would allow both players to break forward when we have possession, as they are both very good at this. I’d play Higgins and Keane as corner backs, for FB i just don’t know, but Cafferkey no, just not commanding enough. This is the one criticisi I have of the management team, to not have found a number one FB.

  117. Sean Burke. One thing that wont happen “Rossies to have a guard of honour for Mayo as AI champions”. Also they may not meet in first of league. You go back to AOS against Donegal in 2013. Yes he was MOM that day but what did he do in the next game? And yes Murphy is by far a better player than AOS. I,m sure Murphy gets the same amount of attention as AOS gets in matches and I don’t see their manager complaining like a piece I read in Mayo Advertiser by NC. Murphy is a class act and is one of the best forwards in the country. Roll on Saturday, its the last dice for the West.
    And don’t worry Sean our day will come to bring home Sam.

  118. So Donegal it is!

    Watched them on Saturday and I think it’s very fair to say they well and truly mixed the good and the bad against what was a very average Galway team (and while I’d love to come on here all smug about my correct prediction, it was fair to say I was eating quite a dash of humble pie Sunday evening after initially believing Kildare would give Kerry a game- worst ever performance in the latter stages of an All Ireland?)

    That said there was enough shown by Donegal to cause us enough element of concern. On paper and looking solely at hard, cold facts I have us as 5/6 points favourites coming into this one, but in clashes between the ‘big 4’ intangible variables all-too-often play a significant role (we only saw this too well first-hand with that Reilly prick last year in Limerick). This time however one of those those variables that will be a talking point in the build up is ‘preparation time’.

    How much momentum do Donegal have? WJ mentions the history of teams coming through the back door, and being very dangerous with wins under their belt, but another poster does rightly point out this is generally more attributable to those that go out earlier in their province. It is very hard to ignore our own lack of competitive action though and if I was being honest I don’t think it’s ideal preparation time for either team. It does in a way have shades of 2013, Donegal beaten by Monaghan, bounce back easily enough in the backdoor, however pick up a few injuries and then come in completely under-strength and over-played against ourselves, who are well rested. That was a complete freak game though and lightening very rarely strikes twice

    I don’t think Donegal are as good as some people think, and I thought their season last year was completely overhyped with one freak win. However they are still a damn tough nut to crack and I’ll be very honest, I have a bad feeling about this one. We have struggled against ‘blankets’ before (Tyrone in league this year being the most recent episode- fully granted that this was on another level to a Championship QF in August, but not wholly incomparable), and that full forward line can cause us a mountain of damage. I have a sizeable fear we will concede a number of goals in this one, and I do think we are relying on simply outscoring them down the other end.

    All over the field we are a better team than them overall, have better players overall, have a far better bench, have played better football since 2012, but our backline has been so leaky this year and those 3 inside will be only waiting to pounce.

    Gun to head, I think we probably will sneak it but it could quite easily go the other way. I give the winner little chance against Dublin in the semi however, so if we are to lose I won’t be overly upset- it’ll be another season where we go out to another top 4 team and it might well be easier bounce back from a QF with more time to lick the wounds. Next year, we can’t have as tough a draw again- this year to win the AI we will very likely need to beat the previous winners- as, provisionally, we are on the ‘minefield’ Ulster side of the draw. So we could very easily find ourselves in Kerry’s position this year

    That said it’s all about the here and now and I’m thoroughly looking forward to what should be a fascinating clash. We haven’t lost championship in Croke Park since 2013, haven’t lost a quarter since 2009, and haven’t lost to a provincial loser since 2010, so at least the omens are in our favour. I don’t think we’ve lost a Championship game as favourites in 70 minutes since 2010

  119. I would imagine that Noel is “playing” the media by throwing them a scrap of quotes and for them to report and spin things his way. I think his aim is to put pressure on the ref, via the media, in the hope that Aido will be better protected and more likely to win frees. If we can play a couple of early balls into him and he can win them, if he can get turned and heading for goal well the only option really is to foul him. If we win enough fouls in central areas Cillian should do the rest. It has the double effect of putting extra pressure on the Donegal tackling to be clean and precise, particularly if there are a couple of cards thrown their way early on!
    If it was me, I would line Aido up at no.11 and then position him in the right corner forward position bringing McGee and, more than likely, one other with him. Pull the Donegal defensive shape askew and open up the scoring zone in front of goal for our other forwards. We do have other forwards you know! In effect we use Aido as a decoy! While the focus of the Donegal defense will be on a player that we remove from the central play it will force their defense to reshuffle.

  120. I hope we don’t name our tea too early as Donegal wont be naming their team until Friday night .

  121. The Mayo News are reporting that the team will be named on Thursday and that it is expected that no changes will be made to the team that started the Connacht final. They report that everyone is fit, available and ready for action. They also mention that Cilllian O’Connor is now training consistently and getting back to himself.

  122. Again no disrespect to Sligo, but you know the Connacht Final was an absolute non-event and practice session when you actually have to look up what Mayo team even started that day, just to double check!!!

    I won’t believe it till I see the Telegraph version though 😉 😉

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