Juniors through to All-Ireland final

Mayo Kilkenny flags 25072015

I was preoccupied with other stuff yesterday and I only caught some of yesterday’s All-Ireland JFC semi-final against Kilkenny on the radio. By the time I tuned into Midwest we were already 1-5 to 0-0 in front at O’Connor Park and while Kilkenny made a better fist of things from then on they never really threatened us seriously and we won by 1-12 to 0-8 to set up a final meeting against Kerry, who beat Wexford in yesterday’s other semi-final.

The only report on the game that I can find is this one in The 42. The photo above was supplied by The Brother, who made the trip to Tullamore for the match.

The commentary on the game on Midwest was good fun, not least to see if co-commentator Billy Fitzpatrick would, for once, be able to shake off his usual downbeat demeanour. Not a chance – every good spell we had was one where we should have been doing better, when Kilkenny got a few scores we were in right bother and when we dug in and executed several turnovers these were only the result of poor ball control by the opposition. If all the human race may be classified according to AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, then Billy is surely nailed-on for Eeyore.

From what I could hear, though, one valid criticism Billy had – which was voiced by the other lads behind the mic as well – was how frequently Kilkenny burst through for goal chances, none of which they managed to put away. We know from bitter experience that if you let a Kerry player in on goal in an All-Ireland final, there’s only one outcome so, no more than the seniors, it sounds like we’ve further work to do in tightening up at the back before taking the field the next day.

The final is due to be held on the weekend of 8th/9th August, which is, of course, the same weekend that the seniors’ All-Ireland quarter-final is being played. With the Kerry seniors playing their quarter the previous weekend, the most sensible option might be to shift the JFC final to the weekend of 15th/16th but I presume this option isn’t one that’ll be considered by the fixture-setting powers-that-be.

The decision on where to locate the final will also be interesting. I know this is a far lower profile contest compared to last year’s senior semi-final but, on principle, there’s no way we should agree to Limerick as the venue for it. Ennis or maybe somewhere like Ballinasloe would surely be more suitable options from our perspective.

53 thoughts on “Juniors through to All-Ireland final

  1. I’m not sure where the report of several Kilkenny goal chances came from, but wherever it was, it wasn’t from the view I had of the match.
    Kilkenny set out to do a Westmeath style shutout at the start of the match, including the total lack of an attacking option. After going 1-5 to no score down, they decided to push up and over the remaining 40 mins of the match scored 8 points while Mayo added another 7.
    I don’t remember them getting even one decent goal chance and the main thing that worked in their favour was their passing. Our foot passing is the main thing that needs work as we gave away numerous good attacking moves with misplaced 40 metre passing attempts.
    Overall, I thought out defence was good as our lads forced the Kilkenny attackers into kicking from distance or kept them on the wrong foot, thereby preventing a shot.
    Bearing in mind that Adam Gallagher and Michael Forde were both missing, it was an encouraging performance and with a bit of work on the foot passing, combined with these lads being back, we should be confident that they can do the business in the final.

  2. Hello, just hapened to notice a goalkeeper named Slingermann saved Drogheda United. His first name is Michael. Was he a Mayo Minor goalkeeper who made ougrageous saves in Croke Park? A little of the topic

  3. Well done to the lads, it was great to get the win. Best of luck in the final!

  4. Ya slingerman being with drogheda last few years.he a good keeper.its one position we never had a problem with from Eugene Lavin Gabriel irwin Peter Burke etc

  5. Michael Slingerman must still keep an eye on the GAA scene. I remember Robbie Hennelly tweeting pictures of him attending a Mayo training session a couple of years ago. He had a workout with the lads. I think it was in the build-up to the 2013 All-Ireland final. He seemed to enjoy training with the boys as well!

  6. thanks Ken and Aidan, nice to know there is some memory left. He was just so good that day, i guess.
    There seems to be a new optimism for the Quarter Final. Must not get carrird away. Best wishes to Mayo J. in their final and Kildare.

  7. Pat Spillane has a very good article in Sunday world today.he reckons we have a chance but he says every team will have copped on to playing aos at full forward.he was saying conceding 2-11 v Sligo was to much and also that any team playing mayo would want to get there hand on the DVD of our league game v Tyrone.he also made a few good points about Donegal how Vincy Corey has held Michael Murphy scoreless from play in last 3 Ulster finals! And also Donegal have used 18 subs in this years championship and none have scored when came on.he also expects Galway to give them a game.

  8. Yes Luigi you are correct in what you saw as I was there too. To be honest it was not a great game to watch. We got over the line but on this display I cannot see us taking the title, in fairness our midfield ( Collins and Feerick) were not strong enough. Too many times they were pushed out of the way. Our full forward is a nice footballer and looked the pick of forwards. D. McGing was,nt bad and took his goal well. We made plenty of hard work for ourselves, way word shooting, wrong options when in had the ball. Still a win is a win and congratulations to all involved, also a nice support from Mayo.

  9. Is it just me, or does it seem very strange that these Kerry pundits, ex-players etc. always seem to be pointing out the flaws of Mayo, Dublin, Donegal etc. You’ll never see them doing an article about all of the goals that Kerry have conceded in the last few games or the lack of pace and height in their full-back line and goal-keeping positions. Its like as if they never want to mention the flaws or weaknesses in the Kerry team but always talk positively about them and point out the negatives in the other top teams. An example is, David Moran is a great midfielder, probably the best in the country but you’ll never hear it said that Kerry would be in big trouble if he was marked out of the game. You’ll only hear the positive spin, Kerry have the best midfield pairing in the country, just in case some team go out and try to mark him out of the game. On the other hand, Aidan O’Shea has been outstanding upfront for Mayo but the most thing you hear is, ah Mayo will be finished if he is held i.e. put a negative spin on it. Maybe its just me, but I’d love to hear the media start pointing out the flaws in the Kerry team and maybe teams might start exploiting them then rather than exploiting our flaws. Would Pat Spillane ever mention about teams watching a DVD of a Kerry match where they had difficulties and allow a management team to learn of a flaw in their team, I don’t think that he would give any pointers to anyone about how to exploit any of the Kerry flaws. If we were playing Kerry tomorrow, they would love if we didn’t have Aidan O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor lurking around their square as they might cause havoc against them, as they did for Cillian’s goal and the penalty he won against them last year down in Limerick. We need a couple of the pundits pointing out their flaws on TV and in Newspaper articles. Maybe put some doubts in their heads rather than in our heads. I thought that in the Sligo game, some of our backs believed what had been said about them in the previous weeks, that they were bad defenders when they’re not bad defenders at all.

  10. Really analysis seems to be hindsight in most cases.Also some of it is very personal as with Donal Og and Brolly on Sunday game.
    I am puzzled why referees like Reilly and Hughes continue to be appointed.Marty Duffy now frontfunner for All Ireland.Oh God that gives me the shivers…I may be unfair but its a disaster waiting to happen.

  11. I wish we would stop this ‘mayo for Sam’ crusade all over the globe, eg the Tour de France. I find it a bit embarrassing at this stage. It just sets us up for a fall every year. Let’s just win it without too much hype.

  12. I log on to this blog most days and it’ has kept me up to date on my beloved county mayo and it’s a credit to willie joe and all involved but sweet Jesus that mayo gaa banter page is a disgrace slagging off cork #slanlangers# Jesus what the feck have we won compared to cork in the last 63 years I’m all for a bit of craic but fuck me slaging off other counties when they are out of the championship is down right disrespectful

  13. Mayo 4 Sam! I agree facetheball better off using the figure “4” when doing that slogan.

  14. ya agree with the above regarding these Mayo for Sam things, it’s embarrassing

    Even the video that o Shea put up of them doing the headers in the dressing room , why would they do this …

    I know it’s s bit of fun . But surely they should be truly focused on the prize at hand ….. Sam ….

  15. I also think a o Shea would be better if he focused on Donegal and not putting that video online it give them a bad name I know it’s a bit of fun but the need to focus now

  16. Ah a video like that would not bother me….I fail to see how why that would give us a bad name? Seems players are enjoying training and having some fun, so what. If our opponents need to us a video as some sort of motivation then they are in trouble.

    Anyone following this team over the past 5 years know they will be fully focused on Saturday week.

  17. Video was for charity.They are very focused.Give them and us a break lads! And Mayo 4 Sam is harmless too.
    BTW lots of teams including Man U doing the header video.

  18. Cait – do you really think, after his performances against Galway and Sligo, that Aidan is somehow lacking focus at the minute?

  19. Spillane never mentioned that the Kerry team trained behind closed doors all summer long last year. They done the same in 2006 and one common thread with those times was the emergence of Star. I did not hear him say Mayo would beat Kerry in the semi before the game even though he was asked several times on air. He has not shut up saying that Mayo should have beaten Kerry in the semi and that we even had 2 chances to beat them. For some people here Pat is all seeing all knowing. The reality is he knows less that you realise and he always backs his county men to the hilt as Micko did in his day.

  20. These lads have given us some of the best days of our lives football wise. They give up weddings, holidays, nights out and countless family occasions to play football for Mayo. They put up a video of themselves having a bit of craic in the dressing room for charity and some [deleted] people have a go at them for not being “focused”. If ever there was a time when I wish people on this blog could be identified…

  21. People need to calm down abit about de video, its a bit of fun. Its ok being focused but sport needs to be enjoyed also. Same with Mayo 4 Sam, be loud, be proud, no harm at all and its great to see it.
    Also totally agree with @hopesprings, Kerry have every major newspaper covered with someone giving an expert opinion on the opposition. Liston is de worse of them, constantly having a go at Kerry’s next opponent.

  22. Ah lads for goodness sake people

    Does anyone actually think that doing something not related to winning an Ireland is detrimental to the mayo team? Do you expect them to base everything in their lives around winning the all ireland so we can be happy? Are people really that naive? Posting a video on facebook, unless it is revealing some serious tactical secrets we have, is going to have zero effect on this team. How anyone can think it’s taking away from the players’ focus is just beyond me.

  23. You’d wonder sometimes. You’d swear these lads were getting paid for what they do or had an obligation to people on the internet to behave like hermits at a wake for nine months of the year. Seriously, what do some of you actually expect from these lads? And implying they are not focused? Get the boat, seriously.

    Huey I though our video looked like much better craic than Man U’s 😉 And if these lads can’t have a bit of craic while playing for the county then what are they even there for? I enjoyed that video immensely and if nothing else it shows that team spirit is alive and well in the Mayo dressing room.

    PS Mayo for Sam!

    This has gone long past football and is now more aligned with identity. It shows the eternal optimism of Mayo people and it’s good to know that we can bounce back and enjoy the journey every year without taking ourselves too seriously. The only people it bothers are those who care too much about what other counties think of us. Mind you, the day we don’t need to use it any more will be a good one…

  24. Liam – while I agree in part with the sentiment you’ve expressed, I’d prefer if you aimed your fire at the point being made by those you disagree with rather than taking a swipe at them personally. I’ve edited out the offending bit of your comment.

  25. When I see the Kerry players making a similar video and circulating it, I’ll be prepared to look favourably on a Mayo effort. Until then, keep the heads down please.

  26. Paul Galvin wrote a fashion – yes, fashion – column for years in the Indo and made a documentary about himself (in which he wore at least one outfit that was absolutely ridiculous).

    Nobody in Kerry had a problem with it, because it when it came to doing his stuff on the pitch, he delivered.

    Should he have ‘kept the head down’? Did he ‘need to focus’?

  27. Yes Davy J, he did need to focus. His game in the latter part of his career went on the skids.

  28. So a twenty sec video of lads innocently heading a ball around a dressing rom warrants criticism ?? Laughable..

  29. Well put AM.
    It defines us as a people who, no matter how
    many defeats we suffer, we KEEP COMING BACK to try to land the big fish in the All –
    Ireland river.
    For me personally, I have got a whole lot of
    fun out of the “Mayo 4 Sam” thing.
    I even looked out for it in this Year’s TDF.
    Did it show up?
    I have had so many slag me over the yrs about us wearing our hearts on our sleeves – as if that was going to make difference between losin or not! Keepin heads down and being cute hoors an’ all dat shite!
    We don’t need to be over-analysing what Spillane DOESN’T say about Kerry and DOES say about the rest of us.
    That has NO BEARING ON NOUGHT either.
    Fly the flags, roar Mayo from on high and if anyone laughs at us what the feck.
    Sure Tis a bit of Craic.
    Paint the cars red and green.
    Paint urselves.
    Paint yer bleeding Focus too!!

  30. Why the hell did Aidan put that video up online? Fuck sake we haven’t a hope of winning Sam now 🙁

    Haha lads would ye ever lighten up. Christ above, it’s a bit of harmless fun. Some people seriously need to get out more

  31. Who kicked the bin It’s hilarious actually but donegal will use it as motivation and that could cost Mayo the game just be cautious

  32. They’ll have to get by Galway first Cait! I couldn’t see who was who myself though i only saw on phone!

    Nowhere else to ask, does anyone give Kildare a sniff on Sunday? They were very impressive sat, tactically superb, defended brilliantly and Niall Kelly was immense. Cribbin lorded midfield! Stranger things have happened and we’ve seen Kerry caught cold in quarters before (bet by Down, donegal this decade- could have lost to Monghan in 08 when at their peak). I’m not convinced Kerry are as mighty as people think, there are some weak links there and they were awful the first day out v Cork

    I honestly think it could be far closer than people think myself. naivety prevented Galway getting very close last year, and Kildare look to have really gotten themselves organised again. Kerry’s class will likely prevail in fairness but a shock genuinely wouldn’t amaze me

  33. Totally agree with the wans saying it’s just a bit of fun and it will have zero effect on teams performance , of course if we get knocked out , you’ll have the odd ejit saying it was down to the video of heading the ball we lost .

    The Mayo for Sam thing is friggin mighty, it took time to grow on me but I love it now. It’s not only great craic but it gets under the skin of other counties supporters . Why is that , well for one thing, Mayo is just better than most when it comes to stuff like that , people just have an aul gra for Mayo and fook the begrudgers who don’t like it.

  34. Also just to add, if Saturday doesn’t give our lads a reminder that we need to keep winning Connacht at all costs nothing else will !

    We cannot afford to take our eyes off the ball in our province at all, as Kildare showed the qualifiers can give teams a real second wind and lead to some serious upsets when teams build up some new found momentum

    Our lads have been tremendous in Connacht the last few years and we have gone about it in such a business-like way but we need to keep doing this as long as we are operating at this level!

    Anyone that thinks the qualifiers take a bit of the importance away from winning the provincial champs is very wrong in my view

  35. Ciaran, I think Kildare can cause a shock on Sunday. They are very athletic and accurate point takers and could cause the Kerry full back line lots of problems. But agree it would be a major shock. In any case they are blessed not to be meeting Dublin again.

  36. I think it’ll great to see the closeness of the players letting off a little steam from the relentless preparations. I really can’t see why it would concern people in any way whatsoever, these guys are like all good teams, effectively a band of brothers waiting for the orders, I say Happydays and good luck to them,,

    I agree with you Ciarán, this Kildare team are no slouches and they will give Kerry plenty of it. The only thing is the with O Connor getting that heartbreaking injury so early on and the black card it kinda whipped the wheels off the Cork wagon and things fell apart on them. Without those two huge losses things may have turned out differently but that said Kerry won’t get it all their own way, bottom dollar if Kerry don’t beat Kildare where would they be going anyway.
    The three best are Dublin, Kerry and Mayo and I think pound for pound that’s how the chips fall but any of them won’t fear any of the others and they are all capable of beating each other on the day. Donegal Tyrone and Monaghan are all capable of turning over any team as well but I think Tyrone and Monaghan will not reach the final, it could be Kerry Tyrone semi and that would be a fantastic battle. Donegal are dangerous but I think ye have too much for them should they beat The Tribesmen but there are great battles ahead and that’s only great for the game.

  37. Meant to say I hope that Alan O Connor makes the best possible recovery, great player with great heart.

  38. Getting ahead of myself as usual will it be a Kerry Dublin semi or how does it work this year hopes get a Galway win it will boost Connaught football

  39. Cait, If Mayo and Dublin win their quarter-finals then it will be a Mayo – Dublin semi-final. The only way we can meet Kerry this year is in the final.

    Agree with you Ciaran, the three-week break and the skipping of the often Angola-like qualifiers are very important to any team with ambitions of going all the way. It’s too easy to get ambushed by a fresh qualifier team as Tyrone have proved down throughout the years and Kildare so ably demonstrated on Saturday night. Whoever said the provincials don’t matter hasn’t a clue what they’re on about.

    It mightn’t be fair that Mayo can get to a quarter-final after 2 games while teams in Ulster have to go through the gauntlet year upon year but that is the system we have and we have to make the most of it while we can. How long before the championship is shaken up?

    Must say I think the championship is wide open this year. The Ulster teams all look dangerous while Kildare could surprise people yet. One or two of the behemoths will fall on the way to the final, just hope it isn’t us!

  40. Agree with ye lads- Kerry Kildare is far from a foregone conclusion! While O’Connor’s injury did affect Cork, I was amazed how solid Kildare remained, and they really have a powerful, athletic team. That could be just the tonic they need to launch them up towards the top table. The result flattered Cork a lot, would a 15 point win have been undeserving?

    Agree there Ultair, the Back Door can be a minefield, the further Mayo stay away from the place the better!

    And yes, I think it’s set up to be a fascinating last few weeks. I genuinely can’t call a winner, though gun to the head I’d go for the safe bet- Dublin. The draw is pretty lopsided, if Kildare or Monghan/Tyrone could turn over Kerry (stranger has happened) we would have a ‘new’ team in the final. Dublin will have no test till a semi on the other side though… Can you imagine if we could turn over the Dubs (if we win a Quarter which I’m far from 100% sure we will to be honest, Donegal are really worrying me), and we ended up playing a ‘newbie’ in the final!. Shades of Cork 2010 about it? :p we really need some luck!

    Anyhow it really has reached the Business end, so roll on Saturday. Sadly, I think both Saturday’s matches will be pretty straightforward though, but Lacey’s injury narrows the gap a bit.

    I hope Galway beat Donegal Cait, simply as I want a handier quarter

    Don’t give a toss about Connacht football improving, the longer we clean up titles the better, but maybe that’s just me!

  41. Kerry will destroy Kildare , absolute mismatch . Moran to Lord the middle and Kerry forwards to have a field day.

  42. You get the feeling that the quarter-final game could be a bit of a banana skin game for us, based on the way we played against Sligo, it will be very hard to re-produce that again. We were quite tentative in the first-half of the All-Ireland semi-final game against Tyrone in 2013 after our demolition job on Donegal in the quarter-final. It took Chris Barrett to turn that game around for us when he kicked two great points just before the half-time break. If we get through this game, then all bets are off. The great thing about us winning four Connacht titles in a row was that we backed that up with four quarter-finals wins. We can’t take these quarter-finals wins for granted, so to win five quarter-finals in a row will be a great achievement as not many teams have done that. Ourselves and Dublin have won four quarter-finals in a row, in the last four years, Kerry and Donegal were not able to do that, so it shows how hard it is to do. Heres hoping, that all going well we’ll get our five quarter-finals wins in a row as well as five Connacht title wins!

    P.S. Thats good news to see that The Mayo News are reporting that Seamus O’Shea will be fit for the quarter-final.

  43. Did you watch the Kildare game the last day? No-one in the country would destroy them on that form- even Dublin

    In fact if they were playing us I’d be very nervous

    There’s very little as unsettling as a well organised team with serious momentum, and most worryingly absolutely nothing to lose coming into a quarter full of confidence. Not only that, they can kick scores and have a top midfielder who can win ball at will. Their kick out strategy was tremendous also. Pound for pound the performance of the year for me. This was a Cork forward line who terrorised ourselves last year- lest we forget

    It’s similar enough to Galway and Kerry last year, the difference being that was an insanely tactically naive Galway team with an inept manager. yet they were a damo comer act of stupidity (not passing to Lundy through on goal with 15 to play, while 2 points down iirc) from having a real chance of an upset

    Kerry are far from the world beaters they’re made out to be, we should have beaten them both days last year and Donegal were a joke against them yet were unlucky not to snatch a draw

    They should have lost to this Cork team themselves the first day out

  44. Hopespringseternal I agree, but for Chris’ superb showing towards the end of the first half we were in a serious spot of bother altogether. He may well have won us that match- we looked all at sea in the first half

  45. Be careful wait you wish for Galway could have a score to settle with mayo sure did or did we not beat them by 4 points this year I still think Kerry are very beatable by the way

  46. For me that Kildare team is just far too inconsistent – every time you think they might produce the goods they let you down. I don’t think they have a prayer v Kerry. And if you had to put a gun to my head I’d be tipping Kerry for Sam again this year I’m afraid.

    Chris Barrett was immense that day in 2013 – his taking the game by the scruff of the neck and jump-starting us will live long in the memory. And if I recall correctly we were pretty confident heading into that game too. Take nothing for granted …

  47. To be fair Anne Marie this is their best Champ win in 15 years- and a lot of kildare people are rating it even higher than the Leinster Final that year

    That said they could well flop of course, but I hope I’m wrong! They have no real reason to tbh, there really is nothing to lose

    I’d eat my hat if we met Galway this year again Cait even if they bate donegal! Sligo ain’t beating Tyrone.

    That was the longest first half I’ve ever watched Anne Marie! We should have been beaten at half time.

  48. Yeah Ciaran, it was a very long half alright! As far as I can remember Lee Keegan scored a point for us as well and none of our forwards scored from play in that first-half against Tyrone. So it just shows that if we come up against a blanket defence in the quarter-final, it won’t be easy for us. Its all to play for anyway!

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