It’s Tyrone

A very funny thing happened on the way to this year’s inevitable Dublin/Kerry final.

Indeed, of all the strange things in this weirdest of Championship years was how, once we’d felled the Dubs, Kerry became unbackable favourites to land Sam. Priced at 1/2 to win the thing out before they’d even made the final never made any sense at all and the utter ludicrousness of this situation was laid bare for all to see by a ravenous Tyrone team at Croke Park this afternoon.

I decided very late in the day to look for tickets for this game and it was from my vantage point in the Lower Davin where, along with Rob Murphy, I watched what was ultimately a compelling contest unfold this afternoon. For long stretches, this was a match of poor enough quality but it was rarely less than absorbing.

Early on, Kerry always seemed on the cusp of cutting loose but a mad six-point swing ten minutes before the break provided the first hint that this game might be about to develop an altogether different narrative. Kerry broke through for a clear goal chance, with Paul Geaney rounding the ‘keeper and squaring to Stephen O’Brien who, instead of swinging a boot at it, dived at the ball. I’m not sure if he was penalised for a square ball or for touching it on the ground but either way the goal was ruled out.

Two minutes later, Conor McKenna had the ball in the net down the Davin end. David Clifford had coughed up possession and a rapid downfield thrust, with Peter Harte and Niall Sludden to the fore, created the chance that McKenna finished with aplomb.

Niall Morgan’s monstrous free from just short of half-way put Tyrone one in front at the break. Before then Kerry had fought back well from three down to level the game and they still looked the likelier winners then.

Two black cards for Tyrone meant that they played much of the second half with fourteen players. Kerry were unable to profit from this double setback, though, as their much-vaunted forward line failed to click.

By the time Sludden came back on, with twenty minutes to go, Kerry had only managed to push a single point clear. They were two up at the second water break and with time running out, Darren McCurry now kicking his heels in the sin bin, that was still the margin between the teams.

Then Tyrone broke through for a second goal, flicked to the net by Cathal McShane after Darragh Canavan’s initial effort was saved. It all got a bit frantic then, with nine minutes of injury time played, and both sides had chances to snatch the win at the death but it finished all-square.

When the play restarted in extra-time, David Clifford had departed the fray. Never running properly all day, he’d cramped up late in normal time and could only hobble about after that, though he did land the final crucial score for Kerry – from a free – which ultimately sent the contest into extra-time.

A bit like us against Dublin, it was Tyrone who seized the game by the throat in extra-time. 1-2 without reply saw them shoot five clear and now Kerry’s goose looked well cooked.

To their credit, however, they then enjoyed their best spell of the day, shooting five of the game’s final six points. Crucially, though, they never managed to get back on terms as Tyrone hung on grimly to win by a point.

So, after all the chat on here and elsewhere since we downed the Dubs about how we’d cope with the threats Kerry were likely to pose in the final, our focus must instead shift northwards towards Tyrone.

They last contested a final as recently as 2018, losing tamely enough to Dublin after enjoying a bright opening quarter, but it will, of course, be the first time we’ve met in a decider. We did, though, meet at the semi-final stage in 2013 and in the quarters three years later, both of which encounters we won.

We’ve been installed as narrow favourites to win on 11th September, the first final since ’89 that we’re set to go into as the team fancied to win. But such tags mean nothing – as both Dublin and Kerry are now able to attest – and this has the look of a final that could go either way.

What today showed is that Tyrone, under Brian Dooher and Fergal Logan, are back in a serious way. In 2008, they beat ourselves, Dublin and Kerry on the way to Sam but until today they’d failed to best any of the three of us in the Championship since them.

Like our win over Dublin, today’s victory over Kerry will give Tyrone huge confidence as they head into the final in a fortnight’s time. Their win also poses a set of new and wholly different challenges for us, compared to what we might have expected Kerry to bring to the table.

Ultimately, Kerry’s limitations – for all the world, today they resembled Galway decked in Green and Gold – did for them against a hugely committed Tyrone team today. We can expect the same kind of obdurate approach from the O’Neill County in a fortnight’s time and while we’ve every right to head into the final with confidence, we’ll also need to produce our best performance of 2021 if this really is going to be the year when we finally get across the line.

109 thoughts on “It’s Tyrone

  1. Kerry have silky footballers but no steel to them whatsoever; we’d have devoured them in the final.

    Tyrone are a different proposition now, have serious momentum and in some ways seem like a mirror of ourselves- full of hard tackling, hard running and heart.

    They present a big challenge now.

    By the by, Kerry have now failed to beat a 14 man Dublin in 2019, lost to rank outsiders Cork last year and were outfought by underdogs Tyrone today, who didn’t even have a full panel this time last week. Yet no one is calling them bottlers. Very strange in comparison to how Mayo are treated after narrowly losing games.

  2. Have they the backs in Hampsey and NcNamee to bottle up TC and ROD.

    In 2008, Tyrone did a job on Tommie Walsh and Donaghy.

    You would have to say keep AOS in midfield. That’s an obvious weakness Tyrone have is the middle.

    Their bench did a job today so, it’s not won yet. It’s 50:50 at best.

  3. Kerry have also become a team that has forgotten how to win at Croke Park. They’ve played there eleven times since 2017 and have only one once. Strange that, despite this, they’ve been showered with such praise and lauded as the coming powerhouse.

  4. That really annoys me WJ, especially when we’re constantly subjected to snide little barbs from the media.

  5. It means nothing to me I couldn’t agree more Kerry have bottled the last 3 years. So much for all their greatness – they’re soft.

    Can’t understand people saying Clifford would have been out for the final had they got through – he had cramp nothing more. Once it sets in badly you can’t play on, you just can’t. He would have been fine for the final and what’s more if Kerry had won it would have brought them on leaps and bounds for the final. This is a good result for us. If Kerry had won it would have been a 70:30 match in favour of Kerry, now it’s 50:50. We need to absolutely respect Tyrone but we won’t fear them, let’s impose our running game on them and press hard on their kick outs.don’t carry the ball into traffic – they survived off turnovers today but were bad at securing possession off their own kickouts

  6. It’s going to be some all Ireland.

    Two teams who don’t know when they are beaten.

    One will lift Sam and the other team will be carried off on their shields.

    A battle of the ages and it’s going to be a dogfight.

  7. Kerry were 2 points up in the 69th minute before Tyrone carved them open for the second goal and Mattie Donnelly ran half the length of the pitch with not a Kerry man in sight.

    I couldn’t believe how bad that was defensively when they should have been minding the house at all costs.

    Will be a great final. Please god we can get over the line.

  8. Great win for Tyrone, always felt that they’d really put it up to Kerry, take David Clifford and Sean O’Shea away from that Kerry team and they are bang average at best. Tyrone fear nobody and will be full of confidence after beating the ‘Champions Elect’. We can win this final, but we will need to be at our best to get the result. We can’t start like we did against Galway and Dublin. Tyrone have quality all over the field, McKenna is pure quality, they will have no fear of Mayo, make no mistake, they 100% expect to win the All Ireland now. Don’t forget they relegated us last year. Full focus now required from Mayo, discipline could be the key to winning this All Ireland.

  9. Kerry to me look like a side lacking a lot of experience. Usually any side they have, including those in transition, have a sprinkling of Celtic crosses throughout the lines; you can’t buy that experience. Today they only had that in David Moran and Tommy Walsh coming from the bench.

    It’s very hard to throw in a bunch of young fellas and expect success at senior level, even if they have done well underage.

    The other thing was that Tyrone won all the 50/50s, absolutely devoured them for hunger. Time after time they gobbled up Kerry attackers who went down blind alleys looking for goals instead of tapping over.

    That said, I wasn’t hugely impressed with the quality of football itself. If we can match Tyrone’s intensity, that’s a huge part of the equation for us.

  10. @Mind the House: I can believe it alright. I’ve been saying it since they leaked four goals to a weakened Dublin in the league.

  11. Willie Joe, am I right in saying we were the favourites with all of the bookies going into the 2013 All Ireland final?

  12. Today we seen the most over hyped team since Dublin of the naughties found out, Kerry had done nothing to justify all the plaudits since the start of the year. Let’s not kid ourselves Tyrone were not great, its just Kerry were worse. Tyrone discipline was poor, Morgan was destroyed on the kickout and had Kerry not been goal crazy all day trying to prove their Kerryness they would have won comfortably. Tyrone played with power and heart but everything they did well Mayo do better. Over the two semi finals Mayo have way more scope for improvement. Mayo will have to put in a 70 min performance in two weeks but as of now I see us in the driving seat for this one.

  13. I was saying since the beginning of the year that Dublin still had a better team than Kerry. They ran up huge scores against galway, Tyrone in the league and Cork in the championship. The league game vs Dublin was the only relevant test they had. It ended in a draw only because of a last minute Clifford penalty. People talking about the 22 goals scored this year as if it had any relevance for today.

  14. I think one of the reasons Kerry were seen as Dublin’s sucessors was partly due to all those minor titles on the bounce and in fairness a pretty prolific forward line containing potentially the best footballer in the country. Today though it became very obvious it takes more than a potent forward line to win matches.

    I think history plays a role in this. Kerry are seen as Kerry and are never far from winning an AI…where Mayo are Mayo and will probably never win one..It’s time to stop judging based on history and start judging based on merit and on merit Mayo are now as close as they have ever been.

  15. Good point Mayomad about Mayo having scope for improvement. There is huge scope.
    We didn’t turn up at all in the first half against either Galway or Dublin and yet we are in an AI final.

    I wouldn’t like to chance it a third time and not turn up again in the first half against Tyrone in the final.

  16. Perhaps Kerry will regret not taking the opportunity to play the Munster final in Croker. It seems Kerry channeled all their energy this year into getting revenge on Cork!!!

  17. This will be an interesting final, well done to Tyrone, fully deserving winners today. They may not be as skilled as Kerry but definitely are a better team, which is what counts. Both Mayo and Tyrone will believe that they can win in two weeks, they have done it three times in the last 18 years, Sam will not be easy won!!

  18. Imagine.

    Pat Spillane said there were only two real teams in the competition. Kerry and Dublin.

    Where are they now ?

    Surely, people deserve accurate and clued in analysts.

    I cannot believe that my TV lisence money goes to pay for the gobshitery I endure week in week out.

    It’s more than insulting to sit down to watch the top teams in our national pastime, and to have to hear Podge and Rodge spewing out their gutteral bullshit with Miss smarmy making insulting wisecracks, and the decent fans, who by law, have to fund this bullshittery.

    Where I work, in the real world, my ass would be turfed out if I showed such disdain for my colleagues.

    Alot, not all, but alot of the punditry on Rte is a national disgrace. Running down young women and men from certain counties who have given their everything to become the best they can be at their chosen sport.

    I am seriously considering not paying my TV lisence renewal in protest at this buffoonery and taking whatever consequences come with that.

    I really have had it with these neanderthal, freeloading, jumped up, gone by their sell by date, slurry spreading, clueless rankmeisters.

  19. It really shows how arrogant Kerry truly are. The audacity of Cork dumping them out of championship last year…

  20. I agree with that Walter White. We could still lose in two weeks time and end up with nothing. It’s just the lazy thinking and regurgitated narratives that the media rehash time and time again that get to me.

    IMO Spillane was a disgrace today, between his April about Tyrone at the start of the game and his humiliation” comment about the All-Ireland final last year. If losing by five points to Dublin is a humiliation, what on earth is losing to a county who weren’t even sure if they could field a team until recently?

  21. I don’t think so, Peter – we were briefly favourites after hammering Donegal but after Dublin beat Kerry in the semi they were narrow favourites going into the final.

  22. Kerry lost today overwhelmingly due to playing like individuals taking the ball into traffic. You cannot, cannot, cannot take the ball into traffic against Tyrone.
    You also must not let them tiki taki downfield at pace cutting you open for scores.
    There were quite a few deep Tyrone handpasses over the top that likes of Dara Canavan ran onto late in the game examples.
    If Kerry got through today they’d be 20% better in the final, guaranteed. It’s be David Clifford motm and us heading back West sunken. We now have a 50:50 winnable final.

  23. That is exactly how the betting went that year Willie Joe. It’s so long ago that it’s a bit hazy now but the betting for the 97 final must have been very close following us nearly winning in 96 and us having beaten Kerry pretty comfortably in the semi final that year. If I remember correctly a lot of pundits tipped us to win the final that year.

  24. I guess now we can see why the Gooch and some other Kerry stalwarts weren’t buying into the hype about the current Kerry team.

  25. As the game went on the more I thought I’d rather play Kerry from a Mayo perspective. This Tyrone team are a bit of a mirror image of ourselves that when it comes to attitude and running power.

    If we start running down cul de sacs against these lads they’ll turn over the ball all day long. They are the best organised defence in the country from their years of blanket defences. When they get bodies back they know exactly where to be and what to do.

    I don’t like the favourites tag cast upon us either.

    It’s going to be one hell of a final.

  26. It looked like David Clifford injury was a lot more than cramp. He got an accidental knee to the thigh from Morgan when they were contesting a 50:50 ball. He would likely have been out for the final.
    I didn’t see this result coming at all.

  27. Good point Regina. Of course there might have been a bit of Yerra about those opinions. But in hindsight they probably sensed something. Marc O’Se on the Last Word, Today FM, sounded genuinely concerned about an ambush.

  28. Imagine.

    Almost a carbon copy of the move that got our comeback going against Dublin, took Kerry out of the competition.

    Diarmuids famous boot back to Kevin.

    The boot on the ball from the endline, except in Kerrys case it went to a Tyrone player and then directly to the net.

    Kerry were very poor today in their decision making. That square ball pass was something you wouldn’t expect an under 14 to make.

    Tyrone almost threw the game away themselves, with some poor shooting.

    If, I say If, we do win the final it’s going to be very difficult to find another suitable site to build another airport that we can name after James Horan.

  29. Great result for Mayo. We have nothing to fear from Tyrone forwards, can press up on kickouts and put Tyrone under all sorts of pressure. Will be given our own kick outs and just need to keep attacking and take our chances. We have this one!

  30. I thought that might be the case Turnip Head but wasn’t sure. That is the only final we started as favourites so..not that that counts for much once the ball is thrown in as we can quite clearly see from today’s result.

  31. And lest I forget for any alien visitors to the site.

    Condolences to the Kerry people, I’m sure heartbroken. We have been to that well too many times ourselves.


    Heartiest congratulations to all the Tyrone people. We look forward to sympathising with yea on Sept 11th.

  32. I won’t say i thought they would get beaten today but i thought they could get taken out if things fell the wrong way for them and Tyrone put goals on them.

    Any team that ships a lot of goals is always at risk of getting taken out.Conceding 4 against the Dubs in the league was a bad sign.

    I had a look at the u20/u21 finals list and Kerry haven’t been in one since 2008 so the huge talent pool is probably seriously exaggerated

  33. Turnip Head. 97 was the last time i felt this confident going into a final. Hopefully this is nothing like that.

    But that day is another reminder that performance is everything. Team has to turn up and go out and win it

  34. Tyrone turned up with intensity and Kerry wilted. The soft centre exposed as Tyrone ran at them. Clifford and O’Shea the only Kerry threats, what about all the other great Kerry forwards? Tommy Walsh beckoned from the bench suggests they aren’t as strong as the narrative suggests.

    A poor game quality wise, players heading down blind alleys to be swallowed up in the tackle. In contrast to the Dublin patience, this was two teams looking to run through the defense and create goals. It worked for Tyrone, not for Kerry. Their goal chances were badly squandered.

    The focus for us is now on Tyrone, interestingly enough I had a few friends message to say Tyrone would win, I didn’t agree as I felt the COVID impact would sap energy levels. I was wrong. The start for us needs to be on Morgan’s kick outs. He didn’t get many away yesterday. Tyrones runners from deep are a threat but we should have the half forward line to match.
    For me Aido starts on the bench. Midfield or half forward he will be bypassed by runners. I’d expect Mattie to dominate at midfield.
    I was hopeful Mullen would be back to mark Clifford, now I am hopeful he is back to play half back and I think he would have a field day from that position.
    I’d love to know Horan’s and McDonald’s thoughts as they watched on yesterday. I’d also like to know what Finn thought of the conditioning.
    Mayo favourites, the patronising “god bless your optimism” words from Lord Spillane still ring in my ear and no doubt in Cora’s too. As alluded to by others, the RTE coverage I felt was poor yesterday (sorry to mention this WJ as the focus should be on the football), however, halftime was like two fans in the pub. There was a lack of insight or analysis, which credited to Whelan, he did try and bring and provide analysis based on what happened. Still though, we are in a final, we don’t control RTE and the production of the game so I’ll move on.
    I hope Horan spends time focusing on beating a blanket defence.

  35. Lee Keegan, I think is the highest scoring defender ever in championship football.

    Arguably the best defender to have ever played the game, if you delve in to who he has been assigned to chaperone.

    He has harnessed hurricanes.
    Toyed with tornadoes.
    Consigned tsunamis to zimmerframes.

    There’s only one little bit of business that remains.
    One little medal missing.
    Let’s put that right on the night.

    Let’s bring the fight, and put that right.

  36. Interesting result and interesting comments here.Lots of people were talking about Mayo v Kerry final and I include myself in that Yet now that Tyrone have won some are saying Kerry are flaky, were overhyped etc Kerry had the winning of the game but messed up goal chances. I dont know what to think now. Tyrone were better today than we were v dubs when we just played fo the r last 15 minutes of normal time and the first ten of extra time. They have some really good players and their bench is strong. They will use every dark art imaginable as they always do to win.It was an amazingly energetic performance from a team which suffered so seriously with covid Imagine how much two more weeks will bring them on!!!!

  37. @Km79 it most certainly is. Not sure what excuse can be used if Mayo don’t win this All-Ireland now.

  38. Completely agree Centerfield. Best chance we have since 1997, when the whole county expected the team to finish the job. The resulting “performance” was so traumatic that I have been unable to watch it again in the intervening 24 years

    Yeah, we have a good record against Tyrone in championship. And we might well be favourites with the bookies. So what? None of that matters a damn when the ball is thrown in.

    The reality is that we have now lost 10 All-Ireland senior finals since 1951. When you lose that many, it’s not someone else’s fault. Anyone that thinks that this title is “ours” just because we’re not playing Kerry would do well to remember that. We have plenty to prove on the 11th, and there is no guarantee that we will.

  39. Nice WJ

    Please share your secret to securing a ticket today, lol. My brother and I are traveling 3,000 miles on game day and will need help with the last 400 yards!

  40. Well put DavyJ. We’ve managed to find all conceivable ways to lose in the past. Tyrone will relish this and will fancy the win all day long.

  41. If Dubs beat us and we’re in final, do you think they would have preferred to play Kerry than Tyrone? Of course they will be hard to beat but we have the team to do it. Mayo4Sam. We need to back ourselves and go and get the job done on September 11th!

  42. Tyrone both impressive and lucky at the same time.
    The impressive part was the bodies on the line intensity for 70+ and their energetic running game.
    The lucky parts were Kerry blow a goal and it goes up the other end for a well worked goal, then in extra time a Kerry player kamikaze kicks the ball straight to a Tyrone player just like Tommy Walsh failed to compete for a high ball vs Cork last year that cost the game. And Kerry nearly caught them despite their star man off the pitch.
    They were definitely a good bit more impressive than us in our game but we’ve room for improvement and time to do it. We can’t repeat Kerry’s mistakes running down blind alleys. Tyrone gave away the opposition kickout all day to set up defensively. I can see Darren McHale and maybe even Tommy C getting gobbled up by that stifling defense whereas Darren Coen could unlock them. McHale plays the middle where Tyrone are strongest. Aido could do damage at midfield where Tyrone lost out.
    One plus for us is Tyrone’s discipline doesn’t look great. 2 obvious black cards and they rode their luck with Kerry taking wrong decisions each time it was 15 v 14.
    I would also say Kerry intensity was very high especially 1st half but waned as the game wore on and their fitness let them down which is kind of inexplicable.

  43. Hope Tyrone have played their All Ireland today. Can they knock out another top 3 team, ie Mayo, this year? Trying to get into their mindset, i think they’ll be saying that Mayo have a team full of rookies and are relying on them to land Sam for the county for the first time in 70 years. Their mantra will be that the pressure will be on Mayo. Tyrone have a free shot at this.

  44. And let’s not fool ourselves… pressure is all on us. That weight of history has continuously been a factor for us in finals and it will be no different in two weeks. But certainly at the very least we’re as good as Tyrone and we’ll rightly fancy our chances. But people are deluded if they’re feeling any ways cocky about it.

  45. Agree with Revelliino, Pat Spillane started the show with a paroniod rant at Séan Cavanagh over the Covid situation in Tyrone.. Pat was reminding us that he only described Tyrone football as puke just once, unfortunately Pat the pundit has been ‘Puke’ several times.. I did remind reader’s of this Blog a few times during the week just gone that Tyrone could win this game.. It wasn’t a good result for my cultivating of a influential contact I have in Tyrone, who had virtually promised me a ticket for the All Ireland if Kerry won, such is life and tickets will also be like Gold Dust in Tyrone in the coming days, and very doubtful any will find their way to Mayo.. Someone asked me if I had any Kerry contact’s seeing as my Tyrone one is now out of the question.. I don’t, and this evening or tomorrow would I suspect be a bad time to ask anyways. .. The story of the game for me is despite Tyrone’s very deserved win, was all the big game changing moments went Tyrone’s way.. Kerry unbelievably butchered the first clear cut opportunity to score a goal, Tyrone took their very well constructed first goal chance very well within minutes.. Kerry cannot be happy with their second consession of a goal in normal time, and if that was bad the concession of the third one was diabolical.. Tyrone only won by a single point, but Kerry will be kicking themselves.. But it must be also noted how well Tyrone coped with a player black carded on two occasions… A question for the Kingdom will remain were Kerry spooked by the changing Tyrone Covid situation and changing fixture details over the last few weeks?…. We will need similar performance to the second half performance v Dublin or Galway both halves on September 11th and we have a great chance. Up Mayo!

  46. Mayo Fans Keep Cool.

    This is Mayos Year, Tyrone aren’t going to be fit for us.

    It’s a game for James Carr, COS, AOS to start!!

    Mayo Lads and Ladies book the table, SAM is coming West!!!!

  47. We have a good record against Tyrone in the championship. But that record is in quarter finals and semi finals. A final is a totally different ball game. Mayo will need to take this Tyrone team very seriously, and not fall into a false sense of security, believing that it is going to be easier, than if it was Kerry that they were facing. If we keep our focus, and go in to it with the right attitude, I believe it is there for us.

  48. And when this cross is finally laid
    Across the chests
    Of those
    Who’ve paved

    That wanton walk
    We all have made

    We’ll all join hands
    Our victory made

    But let us not
    Forget our pasts
    For victory lasts
    As long as victory lasts

    Under sod we lay
    May victory mark our dying day.

  49. Just checking in folks.

    To outta da blue and Tuam star. I haven’t heard from yea for quite a while.

    Commiserations to both of of yea.

    Sure !

    We might never win an all Ireland, but I wish yea could feel like like what it’s like to be a Mayo fan.

    We are mental.

    For any enquiries.

    Next year.

    We are goin again.

  50. Screw this AI with Tyrone. If anything I think this just got a lot harder. I had a feeling this Kerry had a soft underbelly, they have unbelievable individual talent but no real structure. Ran all day into dead ends, rather than taking their scores smartly like they normally do. Piss poor manager again didn’t know what to do to close out the game when they were on top. When they were in trouble it looked like their young lads just gave up. Eamon Fitz or Jack O Connor in my opinion would have closed out that game. Also I think that referee did not blow for a lot of Tyrones pulling and dragging. Having said that Tyrone deserved it today, much the hungrier side, what a turnaround in two weeks. We need to be ready for the dog fight of all dog fights, blood sweat and tears, this will not be pretty. I think we have the boys to do it no quarter given let’s be ruthless with these northerners!!

  51. If ever a Captain
    In combat falls.

    We’ll replace the ceilings
    Halls and walls

    But never count
    Our Captain out

    He’ll raise that cup
    Don’t ever doubt.

  52. I will not Rest by Revellino.

    Until the Sam Maguire laid
    Upon, wherein a tomb I’m laid.

    Let no man dare to lay a spade
    Until the football debt is paid.

    I’ll rise, I’ll rise, I’ll rise again
    3 pints of porter and 2 gin.

    But never
    Till the final quest.
    Bring Sam Maguire.
    And then I’ll rest.

  53. Oh chaffinch,
    Oh chaffinch.
    Oh chaffinch
    Oh Chu.

    Is that Pat Spillane that was talking to you.

    Ah, sure Kerry were brilliant, and vibrant, and bright,

    But chaffinch, sure Spillane is so full of shite.

  54. I can’t help but feeling Tyrone have shot their bolt a bit like ourselves against Dublin they put all their energy into beating Kerry it will take them half a week to come down from today’s high and recover energy after today’s win whereas we have a full 2 weeks of rest on them. It will be an almighty battle on the 11th but we have a better chance than if it was against Kerry. Kerry have hammered us in finals and don’t rate us so even though Tyrone are physical and formidable we have a 50 50 chance of beating them. Through in an excellent ref like David Gough and Oisin Mullin back in team then I think we might just shade it

  55. Abit off topic , but hopefully Pat Spillane isnt back for the final . Gees he’s hard to listen too . Same old nonsense ,”that was terrible quality football ” he says after full time when the sides are level and nothing between them in a high stakes game when the underdog had two men black carded. Yeah thats exactly what the viewers want to hear when theres a major premier league game on the other channel . First time in seven years the football championship wont have the predictable winners. You’d have to wonder sometimes.
    Really enjoy Joanne Cantwell presenting, suprised to learn shes actually from Dublin always thought she was a country girl.

  56. @Andy D: Fair enough, I overlooked Geaney and Murphy, although I still think Kerry are very callow.

    Thought McShane and McKenna were terrific for the Red Hands yesterday.

    A decent start for the final is imperative, no more of this playing catch up from the beginning, otherwise it could be a long afternoon.

  57. Apart from his obvious free taking ability, Niall Morgan is a weak link for Tryone. Went long with the majority of his kickouts yesterday and Kerry won the midfield battle. And his tendencies of runs upfield to steal the limelight usually don’t amount to much. His sprayed pass out over the side line yesterday late on in the game was crazy stuff. If Mayo press on his kickouts. I think they will reap rewards.

  58. Having viewed again, Mayo really need to block up the central channel where Tyrone try and break through with pace. We also need to push up and pressure the Tyrone kick out and attack at pace. We can’t allow Tyrone to set the defence, and if they do, our forwards can’t be as static as Kerrys. Similar in many respects to the approach Kerry took in the league!

  59. @reekclimber: Believe it or not, Joanne Cantwell was an All-Star footballer for Dublin back in the 1990s.

    I do wonder what Pat Spillane has to do to get his P45 at this point. For me he has always been a “woegeous” pundit, to use one of his mannerisms. He does absolutely no research on the teams beforehand, rehashes the same tired old cliches and his criticism is hugely personal towards amateur athletes and their management teams.

    It seems like he goes out of his way to be as offensive and mean-spirited as possible to any team other than his beloved Kerry and whoever wins the All-Ireland. His smug condescension to Cora Staunton a few months back on Mayo’s All-Ireland prospects being a case in point.

    The minimum we should expect now is that Pat never gets the gig for a Tyrone match again, given that he has proven himself incapable of neutrality given his puke football and vaccination outbursts yesterday.

    Come to think of it, I could say much the same about Colm O’Rourke too. One wonders how long we’re going to be force fed some of these fellas who have been on the air for three decades at this point and have gotten far too comfy in my opinion.

  60. Personally I’d have preferred Kerry in the final for two reasons. First I think we had the measure of them. Keeping Clifford quiet was the key to beating them and I reckon we were well able for that. Whereas Tyrone are a very different kettle of fish. They have some great players and a massive work rate.
    Secondly, beating Kerry in an All Ireland final would be more than special after all the heartaches they caused us.
    Anyway, we need to get ready for a war now because that’s what it will be and we need to be the aggressor

  61. Well done Tyrone. Must admit I was one of the many who weren’t expecting the red hand to prevail although I had expected them to put it up to Kerry. They’ll have that never say die mentality for the final after yesterday. They won’t be afraid of the fight and as someone already pointed out, they’ll be well aware that this a Mayo team full of young lads and will be looking to exploit that (why wouldn’t they). Fitness not an issue. McShane must be feeling that his second coming is almost complete and there’s a lot of experience in that team. New management has undoubtedly injected something new into that squad.

    Having said all that, we know Mayo have the wherewithal to do the business IF they can keep they play to their potential. As v Dubs, not conceding goals will be vital. Based on yesterday’s performance,Tommy C and ROD and whoever else will likely run into a world of pain if they try and carry through that Tyrone defence (although there will naturally be times when it will be the right thing to try). We have to do likewise at the back (and are well capable). If it becomes a kicking from distance contest then we have the players to meet that challenge provided they are on song.

    Truth is, no one has a budgies how the final will pan out at this stage. But this is the the first time in a long time that regardless of what happens in that game, no one will be able to hand on heart say that it went, or didn’t go, to script. It’s a genuinely tantalising situation which is very refreshing.

  62. If we need an insight into how the final will unfold we only need to look at the league match where they

    relegated us down to division two. They strangled us. For me that should be the template of how to approach

    the final.

  63. Fully agree with Dave J above. Tyrone have a goalkeeper and restart issue. He’s a big guy and will be able to cope with high balls in- but made the same mistakes repeatedly during match. I voted for Tyrone in the poll and I would give these guys full respect. They’ll be a tough opposition and leave it all on the pitch. And they’ve done a job on us in the past – albeit in league games. Our boys are well able for them but they’ll need to show a lot of steel. Tyrone would love to bully them. I’m bored reading the same over and over about Spillane and the rest. Better things to talk about.

  64. Yeah the Tyrone defence are well drilled and tigerish. Our forwards need to be ready and really up for this.

    Overall they looked fitter than Kerry

    Also for anyone who says it was a poor game, take a look back at our 1st halves v Galway and again v the Dubs.

    Lots done but a whole lot more to do.

  65. The disallowed goal from Stephen O’Brien was a square ball.
    Kerry are very overrated. They just aren’t what people say they are. Tyrone seemed to deal with their forwards easily. They would swarm the box whenever Kerry got close to the goal. The final is going to be a right battle.

  66. Spillane and o rourke aren’t much more than an embarrassment to themselves at this stage, would t it be a delicious prospect, please God that we do win in two weeks time, having to watch them both falling on their own swords. It would be a little sideshow to the main event!!

  67. Kerry fans are finding out now how spoiled they were in the 2000s when they had 5 or 6 of the greatest players ever on their team at one time.
    A back 6 that had Marc and Tomas o se, Aidan o Mahoney, tom o Sullivan, and Michael McCarthy. What a defence that was.
    The likes of Foley, O’Beaglaioch, breen wouldn’t get a look in on that panel never mind that team, yet all are starting on the current side.
    It maddens me how the media fawn over their “talent”
    Also Willie Joe – I wonder are we going to hear the fabled stories of how the kerry lads will be “hurting so ferociously” over the winter and “itching to set the record straight” next summer?
    A bit like they have been for several years now. It’s almost like we are meant to believe they hurt more than everyone else when they don’t win the AI?
    Give me a break, please.

  68. WE HAVE A PLAN !!!!! seriously though, have we? I’m talking about the homecoming. Sam will not be coming home because HQ will be keeping him with Liam. Has a tender gone out to all Mayo silversmiths to make a proper replica. ? Should I speak to my local TD who is the father of the Cork goalie to see if COVID restrictions could be lifted on 12th September? I know that if Kerry won , the ballroom in Kilgarvan was already decked out . Now I hear that McHale Park is not available. Ask Mr Prenty. HOME to the DOME???!

  69. I wonder what excuses will afforded to this magnificent Kerry team after this years failure? Could you imagine what would be said and wrote about mayo if we had their record over the last few years. Over hyped and over rated not just this year but every year, you can bet your bottom dollar that Kerry will hammer someone in a nothing league game in Killarney next year and be anointed the as the new kings of Gaelic footballagain, gimme a break, people going on about them dominating for the next 10 years. The reality is they have 2 class forwards, 1 class defender and a decent midfield when 34 year old David Moran plays. Where were all these unstoppable forwards yesterday? Or last year against cork or the year before against 14 man Dublin??? It drives me mad that people feel the need to tip the cap to Kerry as if they’re better than us. They’re not better than us and haven’t been for a long time! Rant over.

  70. As Maolla and others have said if Tommy C, ROD and others bring the ball into contact we are in for a world of pain. That’s a serious Tyrone defence but they have shown their red hand so to speak against Kerry and we now know what to expect. We need to do a Dublin on Tyrone. Slowly stretch the Tyrone defence, work the ball into scoreable positions, work like a dog defensively ourselves, keep our discipline in the face of what is likely to be horrendous abuse and slowly creep ahead. Then in the third quarter blitz them and see the game out in the 4th with pass the parcel. It won’t be pretty but at this stage I couldn’t give a fiddlers how we do it. Pretty football hasn’t done much for Kerry football lately. As others have said we are well capable of doing this but we need to bring it all on the day, we need everything we plan to go right for us and dare I say it we need a bit of luck. The luck we have never yet got in a final that is long past due!

  71. The dynamics of our preparations and tactics have changed, it’s a different game playing Tyrone than Kerry. This is going to be a battle of wills, skills and fortitude. Patience in possession, rapid counter attacks and a high press all required.

    I can’t wait:
    Burn the fucking boats

  72. beware of Tyrone, they are master con artists , they fooled the GAA over Covid , they beat the two Black Cards by faking injury for most of the 20 minutes, , they bullied Kerry all over the field. They will have some new tactic to ambush Mayo.

  73. Talked to somebody at the game yesterday and Tyrone were up to their old tricks off the ball all day, choice of Ref is vital.

  74. @Larry Duff: I would also add Séamus Moynihan to that list, a superb defender who would have been very good further out the field if Kerry had had a few more options at full-back at the time.

    As for the comments about the referees, we do too much complaining about this as a county and it’s out of our control who gets the whistle. I personally think the standard of refereeing has declined as players have gotten faster and fitter, and that the GAA should look at options such as having two refs á la Aussie Rules, using a TMO or even just getting linesmen and umpires to bring things to the ref’s attention (especially off the ball nonsense).

    But ultimately, IF we play to our potential it won’t matter who officiates. That’s the big challenge now up against a very decent and hungry Tyrone outfit.

    For once, we won’t be up against it in the media beforehand, as Tyrone get at least as bad press as we do, and they don’t have the same pull over the airwaves as the likes of Dublin and Kerry do.

    I know there’s a clamor from some outside the county to drop Aido following the Dublin game, but I think it would be unwise to forego his fielding ability, tackling and general work rate against a Tyrone side that look physical but also a bit on the small side.

  75. I stick to my guns, Mayo to finally land Sam Maguire. Have seen nothing from yesterday game to change my mind.
    I have planned a working holiday in Mayo on the week after the All Ireland final, commencing on the 12th.

  76. Absolutely Culmore, they need watching in that respect. But its unlikely they’ll fool anyone again this year. They’ve played their hand, mastering the covid situation. In hindsight now it’s quite clear Kerry smelled a rat. Tyrones fitness was curiously off the charts yday.

    So what do we now know? We know they’re super fit, they’re picking from a full and healthy squad, they’ve a super bench, management they trust in, and they’ve more room for improvement.

    So….We can’t use the excuse of ‘we didn’t know’ etc. We bloody know we’re going into a 50:50 game against a formidable and battle hardened side.

  77. We are the blueprint for how this Tyrone team play, I am sure of it. They are lifting something from our game plan. It will be interesting to play against them.

    I do not think we will defend as naively as Kerry did and I think we have the capacity to press Morgan’s kickouts a lot harder. He was a huge weak link for Tyrone yesterday. I also think they aren’t as strong in the middle. Midfield is an area we can target to win.

    Tommy Conroy and Ryan O’Donoghue are in for a tough time with that defence – they will be in our boys’ faces and in their ears. They need to remain calm and absolutely do not carry the ball into contact. This is what killed Kerry – bringing the ball into contact and immediately getting turned over. We are usually the ones doing this to opposition teams, but Tyrone did it well yesterday. We need to try and stay out of contact as much as possible – moving the ball quick, runners, quick movement. Kerry were trying way too hard to walk the ball into the net – if they’d taken their points, they might have nicked it. But they panicked a little.

    I think it will be a dogged affair, possibly low scoring. But it’s absolutely there for us. There was nothing unbeatable playing in Croke Park yesterday.

  78. I went for Kerry to win but always had reservations about their defence and it’s been proven correct. Tyrone aren’t even a goal scoring team and got 3 goals just by running down the middle. The final will be between two teams who are very similar in how they play. When Tyrone get everyone back they are hard to break down so we will need to turn them over and counter at speed. If it was Kerry, our speed would have caused Kerry so many problems. Also, Kerry’s fitness levels were very bad. Tyrones were better but I don’t think they come close to Mayo’s fitness levels this year. Mayo were the only team out of the four semi finalists that didn’t have anyone go down with cramp. This final will be tight and tense. Can Tyrone recover in time for it.

  79. Yes the fawning over Kerry is tiresome alright. Tyrone really dug that out yesterday.
    Tyrone out Kerried Kerry.
    Pat Spillane’s meltdown was embarrassing.
    I watched a short clip of it on YouTube and it was then I realised it was before the game started? Jaysis.
    Anyway, as the fella sez, we’ll need to bring our ‘A’ game to win, but win we will.

  80. I didn’t care who we got, may the best team win and on the day that’s what happened albeit with some luck. There’s a saying you make your own luck and to some extent that’s true, putting bodies on the line continuously helped Tyrone be lucky, it also forced Kerry into a high pressure game and they came up just short playing into Tyrone’s game plan. Kerry not as bad as people say they have a serious panel but defenders no better than any other top team. It will be very difficult to beat this Tyrone team. Our forwards will need to be clever. Tyrone’s panel are all good players but individually several defenders are not world beaters. But the way they set up yesterday flooding the defense makes them hard to beat. Kerry never really passed backwards or switched the play like Dublin would. I think we need to do that to some extent and tire them out a bit chasing the ball. Kerry stopped using the mark early on but easy scores can come from that. No ammount of flood defense can stop a free shot at goal. Equally it’s been pointed out that northern teams have been good at using the mark this year so our defenders need to be tight. We need to use the width of the pitch to make space. Tyrone have no Clifford or COC but Canavan is very clever at losing markers and McShane is very powerful. We can expect both to be available. Morgan was poor yesterday, that’s a plus for us if repeated and Tyrone’s midfield didn’t compete well at all on kickouts. However Donnelly may go to midfield with McShane getting on.
    As things stand Tyrone should be favourites. We can’t play to their strengths. Tommy C and ROD need to be very aware of the contact risk. Even AOS could get swamped repeatedly if we’re not smart.

  81. Well well well a Mayo v Tyrone all Ireland final .
    I think given how physical Tyrone were anyone thinking of not starting O Shea would be wrong but that just my opinion . I feel we will need his physicality up against these Tyrone fellas. Kerry were very poor yesterday their decision making up front was woeful at times . Over hyped by the media for sure but what they lack in comparison to other great Kerry teams is that steely toughness that bit of fight that can get them over the line . So back to Tyrone I think they will try to bully us and I can see them doing whatever it takes to put us off our game . If we can stand up to them and not get rolled over by them if the handbags start and go on and dictate our game we will win. Tyrone seem to like chaos as much we do what they do not have is the fitness levels to match our lads that and I think our bench can bring more of an impact than there’s .This is our year !!!!!

  82. I went to the game yesterday. It was an enjoyable game but it did not have the intensity of the dublin game. Kerry were poor but had chances to win it. If Mayo improve on their first half performances then this is their best chance in winning an All Ireland. Cool heads required from all mayo supporters over the next two weeks.

  83. We’ve yet to see any of our subs score 1-3 as per McShane yesterday. I think Tyrone edge us in terms of the bench. Canavan looks a terrific player, and Tiernan McCann was hampered by possible concussion yesterday, whereas otherwise he’d have been much more influential.

  84. Yes let’s keep it cool is right Peter. We’re there on merit, so are Tyrone but we have to perform at our best to win it, no doubt about that. No complacency in the county, respect Tyrone but no fear. We need to impose our game plan on Tyrone, let them react to us. Let us be the boxer (metaphorically) controlling the middle of the ring. Discipline will be huge especially if gough gets the gig. Keep it cool up until 4:45pm on 11/09/21, then be ready to go to war

  85. I honestly did not see Tyrone winning yesterday. They’ve surprised a lot of people and we now must plan for an altogether new challenge. They’re further along than a lot of us expected.

    The Mayo lads who’ve retired, namely Dillon and Andy Moran, always cite 2012 as ‘the one that got away, ie two new teams, not much between them, no great baggage etc. Personally I think Donegal were just two strong that day and we’ve had better chances since. In many respects though, This year’s final does have a similar feel, particularly as none of the players involved have celtic crosses. James Horan will have learned tactically since 2012 and won’t want to relive the mistakes of that day in terms of the match-ups.

  86. @ Liberal role in the tie . I agree with you on McShane but as far as I recall he was the only sub who did get on the score board . Can you see McShane scoring 1-3 against us ? I hope not anyway

  87. I think we’ll never get a better chance to win this. While Tyrone were impressive, I’m not sure they can improve much more on yesterday’s performance. They may have peaked by playing out of their skins to beat a soft-centred Kerry team (who should have won!). On the other hand, we have lots of scope for improvement. Dublin are still better than Kerry and to beat them will have given us huge confidence. The Dublin team we beat would have put that kerry team to bed easily yesterday. Taking goals out of it, how a team can score only 14 points in 100 minutes of football and still win beggars belief. Hopefully we get no more injuries, covid etc.! I know history doesn’t win future finals but we have absolutely no baggage against Tyrone in Croke Park. As far as I can remember, we’ve only ever lost once to them at HQ. Many of this Mayo panel will have fond memories of beating Tyrone in the 2013 minor All-Ireland final too. Of course it’s all on the day but I think if we approach this with our “A” game we will win this. Roll on September 11th!

  88. Liam, we won our semi by scoring 17 points and no goals in over 100 mins!
    I think this is a 50/50 final which is better than any of the other finals we’ve had since at least 97.
    My main concern at the moment is where our scores come from. it takes Conroy too long to get into games, and Tyrone will put huge pressure on all our forwards and plenty of verbals and off the ball stuff I’m sure. The likes of Conroy need to hit the ground running and be prepared for the rough stuff.

  89. Tubberman i agree with you 100% but with one caveat: the Dublin defence we faced was far superior to Kerry’s. But yes, if our forwards don’t get motoring fairly fast, we know Tyrone won’t wilt like Dublin did. Slow starts have killed us in numerous finals (2012 being one of the most damaging) but I’m still confident that we have to stuff to do it this time.

  90. I wonder did the emperor notice the chill as he drove south down the N7? We would have flittered that Kerry team.

  91. Hope not, mayomaningalway. Mcshane is a confidence player and hopefully our backs break at least even with him.
    Canavan, while he didn’t score, caused problems for Kerry and to my memory had a couple of assists. Very direct runner. A brilliant player.
    Tiernan mccann might not be a scorer but more often than not takes the game to the opposition when he comes on and assists others.
    Our subs haven’t exactly been shooting the lights out either!!!

  92. I wouldn’t be worried about McShane scoring 1-3 from play, I’d be more worried about him winning several marks and playing puck with our defenders confidence in the air. If fit I think we’d need Oisin Mullen on him, otherwise Stephen Coen.
    Similarities with Tyrone corner forward not finding form until late. I think Tommy C is more potent than McCurry but good forwards score if let. As good as O Hora has been lately, McShane is a very bulky guy.
    Mattie Donnelly had a slightly off day but he’s a top player and needs watching too.
    Like ourselves Tyrone needed backs coming up to keep the scoreboard moving. I think we might have the edge there but only just. Huge similarly in the 2 teams, just were a bit more adventurous.

  93. The gobshitery and buffoonery that went on before the game and at half time was like 2 fellas in a pub alright.

    Cora brings a touch of class to the whole thing despite that derogatory remark he made to her in Castlebar during the Leitrim game.

    Please God Cora will have the last laugh at around 7PM on 11th September when Aidan makes a “speech for the ages” from the steps of the Hogan.

  94. The narrative coming from the Tyrone side of things seems to be…”the whole world is against us,say we pulled a fast one on covid” blah,blah,blah. Thanks mostly to Spillane”s rant no doubt.
    This will galvanise them for the next 2 weeks of course.
    Mayo need to block out the noise and focus totally on winning a game of football.
    Yes we can!

  95. I think we’d have been 60:40 against Kerry but Tyrone levels out to 50:50. We have huge baggage with Kerry having been obliterated in a couple of finals. We don’t (yet) have the same issues with Tyrone.

    Similarly, you could sense that Kerry were still not over their historical trauma with Tyrone. They were still spooked and the paranoia from the likes of Spillane was testament to that.

    We can look forward to the final with a degree of optimism, but let’s not forget that Tyrone will also be delighted with the pairing. The lowering of Dublin and Kerry’s colours has given the entire competition a lift – although I’m not sure GAA HQ are thrilled with the result.

    We have plenty of time to tease through the details, but one thing that a couple of posters have mentioned is worth repeating – a slow start in a final is a killer.

    We have only one plan has become our mantra, but I’d like to add ‘ tús maith leath na hoibre’ right under it!

  96. If the final is anything like our last championship meeting it will be an abomination of a game. Christ but it was boring – the only thing that kept me awake was that it was close . Hopefully AOS starts and it won’t be as hot as yesterday cos that wouldn’t suit him, but I’d prefer to start him as opposed to bringing him on later . Could be a game for Darren Coen too – can’t be taking too much ball into their crowded backs – Coen on the loop from 35 yards and on song could pose them a lot of problems and open up them up for a surprise later

  97. Who knows, Covid19 may strike Tyrone again before the 11th, thus postponing the final for a few weeks.

  98. In my 66 years I have never seen my beloved mayo reach the Holy grail and here we are in another final and no matter who we are playing I have no confidence that we will win. They say it’s the hope that kills you and that is so true. I think even the most confident mayo supporter has a niggling doubt that we will find a way to lose. It has taken a lot of years and disappointment in Croke Park to break me but if you have no expectations you cannot be disappointed. I so hope that these wonderful young men who represent us can restore my lost confidence I would die an extremely happy and proud man mayo Abu

  99. Anybody see Gavin White running thru the middle of the field for
    Kerry yesterday?? Gonna be a big AI for Paddy Durcan, Leeroy and Mattie. I like our chances immensely.

  100. West Cork exile I am completely with you on what you have said. Isn’t it shocking that our history of losing has done that to us! There is no doubt but that we have more than a 50/50 chance and I should be confident but a little voice keeps telling me otherwise. I have grown to hate going to Croke Park on All Ireland final day and I don’t think I will go this time even if I get a ticket despite hardly missing any Mayo match since the 60s.
    I have great faith in these lads and I know they will give it their all and I hope above anything else they do it. Then maybe that little fecker of a negative voice in my head will be silenced for ever.

  101. Yes diehard like you I also hate going to Croke Park. My son who was born in London and raised in Cork chose to follow mayo I told him he might be better off supporting cork as he might avoid years of heartache turns out cork have only fared marginally better. As a student at u. C. C. He travelled to each and every league and championship game mostly on his own such is his dedication. He now lives in New York and still travels when work commitments allow. So for the likes of him the wonderful willie Joe who gives us the opportunity to rant or otherwise on this platform and all of the other young people of mayo I sincerely hope that we can end the famine and save them a life time of disappointment.

  102. We have a 2-in-a-row team on our hands right now. Tyrone will be tight but we know exactly what to expect. I have no doubt we would have beaten Kerry – they have a very poor defence overall and are a very predictable outfit.

    Did any of you punters back Tyrone at 6/1 – a crazy price – free drinks ?

  103. Agree with Our Time has Come that Kerry would have been a much more difficult prospect on Sept 11th – they had by far the better footballers on Sat but they lacked some tight game experience. Great comment re Revellino re RTE coverage – Miss Smarmy indeed – terrible comment to Cora Staunton in the wake of the Eoghan McLaughlin asault – well said Cora for calling out Small and hope young Eoghan is recovering. On that score former referee Rory Hickey has called for a TMO to be introduced to Gaelic football, esp for the big games – why not? Up Mayo

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