Kildare 0-21 Mayo 0-19: we’re out

We’re out.

And we’ve no complaints either – Kildare fully deserved their 0-21 to 0-19 win over us at St Conleth’s Park this evening. We never took tonight’s game by the throat and this ultimately proved fatal to us when Kildare came at us with energy and not a small amount of confidence in the final quarter.

So, first up, fair play to them. They fully deserved the win and it’s a huge win for them. As well, of course, as a huge loss for us.

My boomerang route from Dublin to Newbridge via Connemara earlier today turned out to be an easy and fairly relaxed one. We left the home place before half-nine and less than seven hours later – which included a pleasant interlude over al fresco lunch at my most westerly point – I was parked up in the multi-story car-park at the Whitewater. I know I was musing yesterday about possible parking problems in Newbridge but, for my own part at least, it was a total breeze.

I’d picked up the trail of the Mayo match-going contingent when I came off the M6 at Kilbeggan and at Portarlington found myself in a queue of MO-registered cars snaking round a corner coming through the town. Just as we crossed into Kildare a bit outside Monasterevin I saw the first Mayo flag fluttering from a car and the Green and Red was in abundance everywhere in Newbridge as I strolled at my leisure up towards St Conleth’s Park.

The ground was almost empty – aside from the stand, where the seats were already taken – when we took up our position on the high terrace behind the goals, just under where the Sky Sports operation was situated. By the time throw-in came around, though, St Conleth’s Park was full but not overly so and while our crowd were in the majority we weren’t overwhelmingly so.

They got the start they wanted. After Stephen Coen opened our account they quickly hit back and with fifteen minutes played they were seven points to two to the good and growing in confidence.

We had the best of it, though, from then to half-time. Two Cillian O’Connor frees, a beautifully judged one that swung in on the wind by Paddy Durcan, another Cillian free, then another one from Paddy and another Cillian free put us in front. Little did we know it but that would turn out to be our best period in the game.

From then until half-time both sides had their moments, with a Niall Flynn free closing out the first half scoring to leave the contest tied at nine points each.

We looked comfortable enough then. We were in a contest, for sure, but not in any kind of dire predicament and I felt we definitely had it in ourselves to drive on and win.

Ten minutes into the second half, by which time we’d pushed two points clear, it looked as if the script was going along predictable lines. We were asking questions of them and it looked then like we could put some real daylight between us.

But back came the home team. A close-in free by Flynn followed by one from play after a turnover out the field brought them level.

We pushed on again, Jason Doherty coming nicely off the shoulder to fire over.

That was the final time we led tonight. Daniel Flynn boomed over the equaliser and then with ten minutes to go Feely put them in front.

Hopes that we had an extra gear ready to kick in were now starting to fade as instead it was an increasingly confident home team who upped the ante and went for us. They edged two in front but a ’45 from Cillian – a conversion that looked like a crucial score at the time – reduced the gap to one.

Then Eoin O’Donoghue smashed over a massive score from out the wing to level it up. Could we now kick for home?

But another Kildare point, secured following another turnover out the field, restored Kildare’s lead and a minute later Niall Kelly burst forward and took the right option by punching over.

Another huge point, this one from Paddy, reduced the gap once more to the minimum. As the exchanges got increasingly frantic with time running out it was Kildare who struck the final decisive blows, two further points giving them a three-point cushion deep in injury time.

We got the game’s final score, from a free by Andy, with what looked like the entire Kildare team stationed on their goal-line. They weren’t to be bested now and seconds later David Gough blew the final whistle, ending the game and ending too our involvement in the 2018 championship.

We’ve no complaints – how can we? Kildare were well up for this and I don’t think we were to the same degree. When push came to shove we didn’t have the energy or reserves within us to power on and get the result. We simply ran out of road.

So that’s it, our championship over before the end of June. It’s the first time we’ve failed to reach the All-Ireland semi-final since 2010 and the first time we’ve had our season ended so prematurely since the evening we lost to Longford.

In that sense, this loss feels – in its immediate aftermath – very much like the end of an era. This bunch of players have given us some incredible memories, ones that will always be treasured by all Mayo supporters, but tonight will surely mark the end of the road for some of those great warriors.

Tonight’s, though, not the night to speculate on that or on wider issues about where we go from here. We’ve lost, we’ve got to take it on the chin and, for all of us, start to make alternative plans for the rest of the summer.

Mayo: David Clarke; Chris Barrett, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Paddy Durcan (0-4); Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1), Stephen Coen (0-1); Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Aidan O’Shea, James Durcan; Jason Doherty (0-2), Cillian O’Connor (0-6, five frees and a ’45), Andy Moran (0-3, one free). Subs: Eoin O’Donoghue (0-1) for Boyle, Donal Vaughan for James Durcan, Conor Loftus for Doherty, Cian Hanley for McLoughlin (black card).

Audio Report:

Man of the Match poll:

Who was our MOTM against Kildare? Pick your top three performers.

  • Diarmuid O'Connor (43%, 767 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (25%, 433 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (14%, 254 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (4%, 72 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (2%, 42 Votes)
  • David Clarke (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Cian Hanley (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (1%, 20 Votes)
  • Ger Cafferkey (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (1%, 17 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (1%, 16 Votes)
  • James Durcan (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Eoin O'Donoghue (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (1%, 13 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 12 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (0%, 8 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (0%, 8 Votes)
  • Chris Barrett (0%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,121

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156 thoughts on “Kildare 0-21 Mayo 0-19: we’re out

  1. So 2011’s quest for Sam McGuire has come to an end in Newbridge 2nte for mayo in 2018.

    A SERIOUS squad for the last 7 years, a squad that the whole country will never forget for whatever reasons.

    For me personally we wer up there with the very best for the last 7 years. The best fans was wat I’m so very proud of. We travelled everywhere!

    Bowed out 2nte against kildare. “Newbridge or nowhere”???
    Best of luck to ye lillywhites?

    I watched 2ntes game and for me alot of lads just did not show up. Doherty, diarmuid and paddy durkan kept it afloat for long periods but it was not to be!!!!

    Andy, clarkey, boyler, “zippy” Higgins(the few I can think of atm) absolute heros????yer decision is wat it is. Ye have been just phenomenal for our county.

    As said already it’s the end of the road for this mighty mighty mayo team. Ye owe us absoultey nothing and have been a joy to follow and support through thick and thin.

    On a final note hope tom Parsons and sheamie have a speedy recovery?

    Keep the faith mayo

  2. By my reckoning the gaa are now out by just under 4 million by mayo supporters . Thank god we need a break,

  3. Gutted for those players. We will never see their likes again. So sad. Losing our two midfielders was just too much on top of all the other injuries. And no All Ireland after all them hard years on the road. I am so down.

  4. The end of our run for 2018 sadly. Kildare fully deserved their victory. They had the legs in the final 10 mins. Maybe last weeks battle caught up with us. Very proud of all of them. Some outstanding performances from DOC AOS and Paddy D in particular. Thought kirby couldve been introduced in midfield to contest high ball. What can we say though. This is a team who have given their all for the last 7 to 8 years and it seems to be the end of an era. Theyve lit up every championship and come back year after year. A great bunch. Great ambassadors. A well deserved break for them. They owe us nothing.

  5. Goagain2018
    I reckon its time to change that handle to 2019
    What else is for it??
    It’s a very empty feeling tonight

  6. It’s a heartbreaker but I know Mayo will be back. Too many injuries and visits through back door. Time to rest, enjoy, relax, regroup and start all over again when the time is right. So proud of this team, players, subs panel management…thank you from the bottom of my heart. Maigheo go deo agus arís an bhlian seo chugainn. Míle buiochas…go deo

  7. Not in the slightest has this kicked in. Truely do not know what I and all the rest of us will actually do all these weekends. Gutted for those lads an absolute bunch of legends. Thanks for giving my family and I the greatest days out, ones I will bring to my grave and please god one more very special day whenever it comes, I hope we see it.

  8. Lads, they’re not dead.

    If there’s anything we know about this team, they will be back next year.

  9. Fairplay Mayo team and support. Too many key players injured and some not long back from injury. I dont think its the end, some good players coming through and some key players still in tere prime.

  10. Desperately disappointed, down but not out.

    Paddy Durcan was heroic this evening. Aido battled manfully and Diarmuid was nigh on superhuman in his efforts.

    Unfortunately the injuries have depleted us and they caught up with us tonight. Seamie and Tom gone. Harrison struggling to get fit. Donie subject to a walk on five minutes. Keegan and Barrett only working their way back.

    The break might be no harm for tired and bruised bodies.

  11. Gutted to have lost but proud of our bucks to the end. Hope not too many hang up the boots just yet. Well done to my townies Chrissy and Eoin who scored a great point. Hope for the future. Hope our boys enjoy the summer off and get heart for the fight once more. Maigheo abú. Thanks WJ for all your efforts.

  12. Very proud of the effort the team put in over the last number of years. We’ll be back strong again next year, lads like paddy d and diarmuid to drive them on. Cillian is still only 26. The break will do them good

  13. Legends all of you who had the honour to wear the green and reds over the last 7 years. Once again thank you from the bottom of my heart .

  14. I was walking out of the ground and a kildare man in his mid 60’s said to me I’m delighted we won but I’m sadder that ye lost.

    The days out teams and squads have given us all since 89 have been incredible. The last 7 years in particular have been spectacular. Alas we didn’t get to see Sam being raised in Croker but such is sport.

    There is no question that they won’t rise again. Massively proud of them all.

    Just ran out of steam today. Kildare’s subs won it as they ran at us and we couldn’t cope.

    Anyway, I’ll take a few days to mull it over and then wonder when does the FBD start.

    Out but NEVER down.

    Finally, huge thanks to Willie Joe for this wonderful facility to read and share.

    Mayo 13BG

  15. Proud to be from Mayo, now everyone take a rest and re-group, football is in our blood, we be back for January. Let the lads mourn and move on Maigheo sbu

  16. Couldn’t agree more on the sentiments expressed by all on the achievements of this team – 30 counties would give their right and left boots to achieve what this band of warriors did.
    Looking forward I think we have to learn from the rugby fraternity on better approaches for developing a pipeline of players that can be prepared to perform at the top level, there is too much of a gulf between very good club players and the standard required for the top table. Horan dragged the county team systems into the ‘professional’ era, we need to move on to the next level of county football ‘professionalism’ including the systems for a proper ‘development’ squad. The bar has moved up, we are not doing enough to stay with it. This is a 3-5 year project.

  17. Thanks to this team for giving us great summers and something
    to talk about every-time you met a Mayo fellow person.

    They owe us nothing. I hope they get the space they need this summer.

    I wish Kildare “Good Luck” and was very proud on how the Mayo
    fans handled the defeat, all very pleasant and immediately wished Kildare fans
    well. We were very gracious in defeat.

    I will miss reading about Mayo in the Sunday papers, but hey, it could be worse.

  18. Every dog has there day, and by God this Mayo team has given us some days. Injuries did stretch us this season but once again their effort can not be questioned.
    It is possible the end of the road for a good few soldiers but that will open the door for some young blood. Tonight is not the night for a post mortem but I will respect this team for ever for what they have done for Mayo football.
    We may regress for a few seasons but we will be back very strong in no time and the quest will go on for Sam. I know I hate people saying this myself but this has to have been the best team of all time to never win an All Ireland.
    I thought the reduced amount of ourfans did count against us at the finish.
    Mayo Forever

  19. I’m devastated. I feel that this season was a bridge too far. I don’t think the team is finished by any means but successive seasons is tough going especially with injuries. They need and deserve a break. I was late to the party but since 2012 these guys have been my heroes. I look up to every single one of them. I think about the team daily and their character, guts and determination has helped me in everyday life. I will remember the croke park days forever.

    this defeat was coming and to be honest I think the super 8’s would have been very difficult for us. The so called home advantage wasn’t going to suit us. We prefer the straight route of quarters and semi in croke park.

    I visit this blog multiple times a day but rarely contribute. Willie Joe your a class act! Mr consistent and you run an amazing outlet for us mayo fans. I will keep an eye out for updates over the summer but maybe not as frequent;-) thank you very much!

    lastly there has been young guns who put their hand up over this campaign. I am confident for next season and the benefits that this rest will bring.

    Mayo will be back!!!

  20. I said after last year’s final that this bunch of players couldn’t do any more to win Sam than they did last year. Deep down I think the players felt the same. Never got the zip back this year. What a 7-8 years they have given us. Owe us nothing. End of an era no doubt.

  21. While I’m not happy we lost I’m not going to say anything negative. This squad have gave me the best years supporting Mayo over the last 8 years and I don’t think it’s over for them yet. Diarmuid O’Connor was just brilliant for us today and got my vote, I think that midfield might be best suited for him on that showing. Another big mention for Paddy Durkan… what a game he had aswell, 4 points from play today and did any of ye hear the sky sports commentary say he ran 16km last week against Tipp according to his stats??? That’s crazy especially as a box to box midfielder in soccer playing champions league usually averages 10 or 11km a game.

  22. Just correct score Willie Joe, digits wrong way around in the text, not the headline.
    What a great job you do here……it will be a less busy summer for you.
    As for the team, what a journey, what a great period to live through despite not winning Al Ireland. There will be a transition period and a tangible and realistic target is to win Nestor cup.
    This could have happened at several junctures last year, today time caught up on so many stalwarts.

  23. Thanks for this blog.

    Thanks to the management, lads and the lads who have retired in the last few years. It’s been a great journey and one twenty eight or nine other counties would love to have been on.

    I hope no one is too rash,including management and take the summer and the county championships to consider and have a decent break.

    Please God Zippy does not go. In my opinion one of the best players in Ireland. Paddy and Diarmuid my pick tonight. Immense.

  24. Just to follow up on KOB’s comment above. Whatever happens with management, whoever retires over the Winter, as long as Higgins doesn’t retire I’m happy. The best I’ve ever seen play for Mayo and still clearly so much to offer.

  25. The back door killed us. Too many games coming too close together for an aging injury hit team. Reaching a Connacht final must be a minimum requirement in future if we are to have any chance in the super8s.

  26. What an era this has been .. such fun, such heartbreak, such friendships but if going to lose I’m happy to be out early and let the lads rest up and we will still have a decent side next year .. AOS, Paddy D and DIarmuid immense today .. of course I’m gutted but I think without TP and SOS and a few of our big guns slightly weary looking it may have been a tough super 8 for us ..thanks for all you do Willie Joe .. we move on !

  27. It’s really sad that they not won it but manager of team let it down over last few years. Simple as. P

  28. Just from a neutral point of view, I have never seen so many soft frees given for both sides, incredible at times. Lads, go back and shout for your clubs, history says that Mayo will never be down for long. The real supporters will be shouting on these lads when they pull on the club jersey. Finally Willie Joe, from a Galway Man you are an honest broker and a huge assett to your fellow mayo fans, I could sense the disappointment in your voice, it’s only a game, the enjoyment will always be in it for you.

  29. Thanks to this magnificent team for giving 7-8 wonderful years they have been brilliant and owe us nothing. This game tho could have been won and was still in the melting pot with 15 minutes to go. I thought we could have freshened up the team with a few subs a bit earlier especially on a hot energy sapping evening. Anyway the lads and the management did their best and I hope they have a good rest and break and recharge the batteries. Next year will be an exciting year of rebuilding and new faces and in the meantime we have the Under 20’s to support and some wonderful memories to look back on. Finally Willie Joe a huge thanks to you for all you do on this blog it’s a Godsend roll on the Fbd and the league.

  30. A step too far tonight. It was always going to be a tight affair but to be fair to kildare they had that bit extra in those last 10 minutes. Their bench had a bigger impact.
    Deep down we all knew the all ireland dream was gone when Tom got injured. Then Seamie. No harrison. No donie. Tonight it caught up on us.
    I feel a strange sence of relief. I think we would have struggled in the super 8. A bad defeat, maybe losing all 3 matches. This wasnt a bad way to bow out.
    Aiden, paddy and Diarmuid were magnificent tonight.
    End of an era in a way. 3 or 4 could go but there is talent coming through. Would be great if the u20 could do something.

    The last 6 years have been incredible. The endless comebacks. The magnificent days on the road and up in croker. The great bond amoung the supporters.

    Ultimately it was all about these incredible bunch of men who defied the odds over and over, again and again. Sometimes its more about the journey that the actual destination. And what a journey it has been. Lifr changing in many ways.
    Thank you lads. Heroes to a man!!!
    Thanks Willie Joe. Magnificent site.

    This team is not done. It will continue to evolve and will be back. And we’ll be there with them.

  31. Very sad and mellow feeling tonight.
    I honestly believe that this bunch will give it 1 more year in 2019 as they were scuppered by injuries this season. Harrison, Barrett, Keegan, Vaughan, Seamie, Tom and Big Bird all had their seasons massively curtailed by injury and I don’t think they’ll let this be the way this team finishes. Thanking them for what they have given us premature, they’ll give us more next year.
    I’m emotionally drained supporting the guys for especially in the last 2 years and I’m sure the players are emotionally and physically drained as well. A break will rejuvenate them to make 1 huge push in 2019. I may sound, or even be, naive but they have 1 last push in them in 2019.

  32. Have posted several times about this wonderful mayo team. No consolation but everybody’s second team and the team we all fear the most .
    Every Dub supporter will join me in saying mayo deserved at least one AI in the last few years .
    U still have the nucleus of a great team and we will soon welcome u back to Croke Park.
    For now can I just thank a great mayo team , their great followers and all the friends I have made over the last number of years .
    Also u are lucky to have willie joe n this amazing blog!
    Mayo Abu.

  33. In hindsight I think we were fooling ourselves thinking we could power on without Seamie or tom, the muscle and strength they bring was badly needed tonight but even with them it was going to be a hard struggle in 2018. But that’s it, time for a good break, take stock of what we have and piece it together when the time is right and go again in January.

  34. WJ – I have immense respect for u and all Mayo supporters despite our disagreements this week on venue – but I do feel Cian O Neil is fully vindicated in showing great leadership in standing up to CCCC – most of the country behind him I would suggest – not just keyboard warriors.

    Having said that many people will say this is the end of a great and glorious Mayo odyssey.
    I disagree with that. Diarmad O Connor showed tonight he is the future of mayo midfield –
    Maybe it is because he is more responsible than anyone else Mayo were in this position that he stepped up but irrespective- what a performance.

    Aidan O’Shea also exceptional. There is a lot of hope for mayo and training their bollox off again for next 7-8 weeks I don’t believe would have brought them to promised land this year. These lads need a break. They can’t discard Diarmad Commollys like confetti – the same warriors will need to enter the fray again and a rest will do them a world of good. People like Aidan o shea and more need a summer off. Cillian O Connor needs a big break – 3-4 from play hints at his capability. 0-0 from play in his last 2 games hints at where he is at – he is young enough not to be done yet.

    It’s a tough day for Mayo fans – but it is was great game. The dubs will rest easier tonight. I think Kerry will give them something to think about. Kerry saw what was happening a few years ago – it is no fluke they win 4 minors on the trot – they conceded the battles because they recognized they needed to start again to win the war…by god they are a long way from that but I have a real feeling they are on the right path.

  35. Like everyone else, I am so grateful to this bunch of lads for the last seven years. They have given so, so much of themselves to try to win the All Ireland, and there truly is no justice in sport when they couldn’t get over the line in one of them. They were unlucky enough to meet in this Dublin side what I think is one of the three best teams to ever play the game.

    They have given so much enjoyment to all Mayo people and have given us all so much to look forward to and talk about for so many years. They have given a huge amount of pride and confidence to the people of Mayo and you can see that pride whenever you meet a fellow Mayo person.

    Last years run was possibly the greatest mental feat I have seen from them. To lose an All Ireland Final by one point after a replay, and then to battle back through all the tight games and replays, only to lose again by one point, well how could it not break you a little bit.

    This year was one too far, we weren’t going to win an All Ireland especially with the first choice midfielders gone. I think the fact we have gone out early may allow some of the players and management to make their decisions a bit easier. Similarly if there is new management in place, it gives them a bit of leeway to make changes next year. They can be more wide ranging rather than the “tweak” or “one extra player” of previous years.

    Finally, if Galway run through and win it this year (a la ‘98) it will leave me questioning the point of anything!

  36. Tough day lads. We will be back. Feels like we ran out of road. Fair play to Paddy Durcan. Thanks Willie Joe.

  37. I don’t think galway will win the all Ireland this year. They could not beat dublin with 14 men in the league . Kerry will be out for revenge for getting beaten in the league. I think Kerry are the time most athletic team to match dubs.

  38. Mile buiochas to foireann Mhuigheo and to the manager and his team. They came up short this evening and comhgairdeas do Cilldara. Faraoir we really missed Tom and Seamie. Was talking to Seamie in the fir toilet and it puts things into perspective. Mile buiochas to WJ for providing this blog.
    The Brady ham company were giving out ham sandwiches this evenng on the way in. I thought this was a lovely gesture! Lets keep supporting the team by buying the Mayo lotto tickets and lets support our under 20 team!
    Go neiri libh i gconai agus le cunadh De bheid foireann Mhuigheo aris

  39. Bruce Your Galway are out in 2 weeks v Kerry You will have all your answers then I feel.

  40. Young Duirmuid O Connor would have died on the pitch for us to night on the pitch. His passion is a reflection from our supporters. I’m so proud of this team and as someone else said this team will never ever be forgotten come what may. To be fair a long summer be no harm for the lads recharge the batteries and get out of the pressure cooker. See ye all in January with the help of god

  41. Did anyone go out to our lads on the field afterwards? Please say some of Ye did. I couldn’t watch it as my little one was in a show from 7-9pm tonight. I don’t want to watch my recording. Will sit in the box along with last few all Ireland losses until the day we win an All Ireland. Then I will sit and watch without heartbreak.
    So proud of these guys. I hope they go crazy for the summer and have all the fun they can. Can’t bekieve it.

  42. Zippy. Stay. You have serious pace and ability and can add real value for another year or two.

    I agree with Cantini. While there’s an end of era feel to all this plenty of our lads are only in their mid and late 20s. An extended autumn/winter break will do us no harm whatsoever.

    Don’t tell me lads like Aido, Diarmuid, lee, cillian, kev, doc, paddy Durcan won’t get a crack at another all Ireland final! We have guys like Coen and Eoin OD who will continue to improve at the back. We need another centerfielder and just one lad who can score freely and on a regular basis. I haven’t seen that in any of the 2018 newbies. Maybe it’s time to see what this Grim Reaper is all about or James Carr who Andy nanechecked last year.

    Most of our team will be back. Keep the faith.

  43. Thank you Mayo Senior Football Team
    It all started for me August 2011 against All Ireland champions Cork in Croke Park
    Qtr Final.
    Did I ever think that day before the game started that I would be so lucky to see Mayo involved in so many brilliant days out in Croke Park especially All Ireland Finals
    Father Time catches up in the end & while its very sad to loose I think tonight is probably not a total surprise between all the injury’s suffered this season etc

    They all need a well earned break particularly the older squad members and indeed a few of them may decide to call time. That’s for another day.
    Enjoy a well earned break and thanks to each and every player involved through the period 2011 to 2018

    Thanks Willie Joe for this blog and the unbelievable work you have done over the years. A well earned rest.
    Rejuvenate, evaluate and begin again next year.

  44. I think the lads died with their boots on and couldn’t be faulted for effort. Diarmaid was just heroic, we’ve had so many heroes during this great era but the was probably the most heroic I’ve seen. Stretchered 3 or 4 times with pure exhaustion he kept getting up and driving Mayo forward even with his legs cramping at the end. Andy was close to one of those wonder goals from a free at the end but in truth Kildare deserved this day and you would have to say they were heroic very much as a team this evening. I really hope the go far this year. Thanks again to our brilliant group of players and hope to see them back fighting it out again next year.

  45. Well done to Kildare. Deserved the win on the day. Best of luck to them in the next round.

    As for talk of the end of the road, I think we just need to get a bit of perspective. We were missing our two first choice midfielders, and barry moran. We were without probably the best corner back in the country in Harrison. We had to my mind the best player in the game, keegan suffering with two serious injuries in one season. Add to that Vaughan’s lack of fitness, and C O’Connor and A Moran’s lacklustre form. Also, to my mind, we got our tactics wrong today and we were slow to make changes. All these things add up to a loss on the day. No more, no less.
    It just didn’t go our way this year. These things happen in sport. That doesn’t mean it is the end of anything, other than this season.

    Personally, I think our lads have needed a rest for a while. I don’t think staying in D1 is all it is cracked up to be either. We would be better off going down to D2 and giving some young lads a chance to find some form and confidence, that simply cant happen when you are facing Dublin, Monaghan, Tyrone, Kerry, etc week in week out. D2 was the making of most of the players in this Galway side for example.

    I think they will go away and come back with a point to prove next year. That might be without one or two faces, but no more than that, I believe.

    One thing I will say, let’s check the mayo gaa gossip that generally circles these events, at the door, and leave it there. Teams can lose games some times.

  46. Ah, TheMaestro. Well said. They don’t call you that for nothin.’ Nice one.

  47. I donated to that go fund me for a big thank you holiday to the team. They deserve something.

  48. Wilma Rudolph quote:

    Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion some day.

  49. Just gone through the comments and I’m glad to see – though not in any way surprised – that the vast majority were fine. You’re a credit to yourselves and it makes it so much easier for me dealing with the small minority who can’t keep what they say reasonable. What we have here is unique and tonight, on the toughest of nights for us, proves that. Thanks.

  50. Gutted for those heroes that have proudly worn the green and red for the past brilliant 7 years the loss of TP followed by SOS against such a strong physical team was a step too many.Harrison Vaughan and co will be back chomping at the bit next year fresh and hopefully injury free .Thanks WJ for the brilliant free service you are providing for us you better get a few grinds in the gaelige before the young buck gets back .The big loser tonight is the 2018 championship without the thousands of green and red supporters it will be a boring and dull affair the restaurants between Mayo and Dublin will feel the pinch in the coming weeks.

  51. Thank you Willie Joe for this great site that will help heal us all in coming days/weeks.
    WHat the hell are we going to do for the summer? What the hell will they all do without Mayo in the championship? It’s boring already.

  52. Didn’t read any comments. Bitterly disapointed, but not to be. Wanna thank each and every player for the greatest of days through out the last 7 years. Days and victories that we’ll take to our death beds. The pride in our County is at an all time high, and thats owed to these fine men. Yeah, we never won it, but fuck it, we dined at the top for so long. That roar, seconds before throw in on All Ireland final day will live with me till my last breath….Only the select few Counties who made the final day, can understand that. Dont know what to do for the rest of the summer, maybe i’ll give cricket a bash?.

    We hurt tonight, but rest assured, as sure as the Sun rises in the East, we’ll be back. We’re too thick and stubborn to know any other way. Couple a players might step away, but the nucleus is there. A rest is well and truly needed for these guys. Keep the heads up high people, take no shit from anyone, we are fucking Mayo and we will be back.

  53. Diarmuid o Connor came of age tonight and is now the best midfielder in Mayo. It was the first time since (ironically) Kildare in 2016 that he hit top form. Should be our number 8 for the next decade.
    As pointed out by wooly Parkinson tonight – one benefit is that we won’t have 2 weeks of David Brady talking absolute shite across the media before the All Ireland final. Every cloud has a silver lining I guess!

  54. Jesus, that road home seems to get longer every year. It feels to me that something that started with a bang in 2011 v Cork has ended in a whimper v Kildare in 2018. We got a serious reality check today. Losing our first-choice midfield and being dumped into the first round of the qualifiers is not what serious All-Ireland assaults are built on, not even close. The team has soldiered on relentlessly into the latter stages of the championships in recent years and today it all became just too much. We looked out on our feet in the last 15 minutes and Kildare knew we were there for the taking. As predicted by many they pushed up hard on our depleted midfield and defence and as a result we expended a lot of energy carrying the ball up the field. In fairness, Aidan O’Shea could not have done more today. He was awesome, whilst taking dog’s abuse. He fielded some magnificent ball throughout the game but sadly found it very difficult towards the end. Diarmuid O’Connor ran himself into the ground, on another day he would have converted that goal chances towards the end. I didn’t think Coen had that bad of a day either, though many will probably disagree. The game was certainly lost in defence. Doesn’t take a genius to point it out but concede 21 points in any game and you’re unlikely to come away with a result. There’s plenty of scope to strengthen things in that sector and make us a team that are again hard to score against.

    We’ve walked the tightrope in league and championship in recent years and today we fell off. That’s sport for you. Whether we like it or not the team finally has time to properly recuperate and get refreshed. Let’s hope it gets used to the max and before we know it we’ll be back out on a freezing cold day in Kiltoom.

  55. Very proud of this Mayo team. Just think we need someone or a new system to bring the better young players through.
    Don’t think we can really blame management or anything else. We need a free scoring forward to take the pressure off Cillian. Hope they really put the energy into transitioning our young players to senior level – other counties can do it quite well. Think Mayo have got to a level that there should be no “end of an era” just bring on the next generation.
    See you all back in January (won’t be 30°C so wrap up).
    Mayo for ever!

  56. Just in the door back home.
    Feeling numb, feeling empty, I’m going to miss the we’ve had every one of the last 7 summers.
    Some of the lads will go, and they’re well entitled to. I’ve said it before, they owe us nothing, they’ve given us so much already.
    The biggest feeling i have is such utter, utter pride in having those lads represent us. We have been on a roller coaster. Maybe a 6 month break from the Jersey is what they need, what we all need.

    Poor Tom Parsons in the front row of seats just looked stunned this evening after the final. whistle. I shook his hand as I walked by, said nothing, there was nothing to say. Marty Morrissey at the gate on the way out, holding his microphone, he wanted to talk, I couldn’t talk, nothing to say, all I could think of was pride. It mightn’t have come across on the radio.
    We’ll be back.
    Green and red forever.
    Mayo Forever.

  57. The only reason Wooly is saying that Larry is due to the fact that him & Brady have beef going back to last year

  58. While i won’t deny i’m delighted, thirty seconds after the final whistle i was feeling really gutted for this great, great team. One of the best teams ever, period.. And followed by a truly remarkable set of fans.
    I think in all likelihood one or two may hang up the boots, but the end of this team?
    Not likely.
    I hope we go on to proof that it took a quality side to make ye fall on yer sword.
    Sin é..
    Rest up and come back stronger.

  59. Thanks yourself WJ. We were taught by good example.
    The eyes are a little red tonight I’m not embarassed to say. Not thinking about myself but for the players and their families and managment. And the same players will be thinking about us fans too. They give life and limb for us and their county. We’re the luckiest fans in the country and I think we all feel what they feel tonight and they feel what we feel. The eyes are red but it’s only because of the love of the county.

  60. In my comment above, I should have thanked you Willie Joe, for this blog. It’s truly amazing, you’re a credit to the County. Maybe a six month break from it is needed for you also, you’ve given so much.

  61. I think the county board should let the proceeds of the lotto go towards a holiday for the team next week.

  62. But will they, Done Deal? That’s why I’m willing to try and do it ourselves for them.

  63. I’m more proud tonight than disappointed. The really amazing thing about this great team is that they managed to go on for so long despite all the devastating disappointments. It had to end sometime and perhaps it’s better it ended this way than for a tired bunch of heroes to suffer a humiliating defeat later which could well have happened. I’d be surprised if there weren’t 6/7 retirements. They’ve given it all and done us proud. Thanks lads you’ve done us proud!

  64. I don’t see why they wouldn’t Sinead. It would be great promotion for the lotto too. The county board no more than the supporters owe it to the players. 5000 people donating 20 each would be 100000.

  65. They deserve something. I really do hope that take advantage of this summer off football.

  66. Another year over far earlier than anyone expected and Mayos record for 2018 was not good reading

    P 15 W 5 D 2 L 8

    Worse part of it all was basically Mayo bringing their average league form into the championship. Tom Parsons clearly was a massive loss to Mayo no like for like replacement for him and i doubt if the like of Keegan,Higgins,Barrett who missed most if not all of the league were up to championship pace at all.
    Also you only have to go back to last year when Cork,Derry and Roscommon should have beaten Mayo and its only so often that you sail close to the wind that you will eventually crash.
    Loads of question to answer yet as to where this Mayo panel of players go from here now but they won’t answered until 2019 now. So to the players you have been a credit to your county and selfs just enjoy the time off now to recharge the batteries and give it one right go again next year.

  67. Ah so gutted for them guys, Lord they gave it there all.its not the time to say this now, but it was plain to be seen in the first half, that we needed a injection of pace in the second, and as usual the subs came on to late, plain and simple.

  68. Its a weird feeling. As we had lost twice in early stages in two years, this one in the aftermath was nearly like surely this isnt it, there is another back door right? While I am gutted for the lads, I am also so privileged to have been part of what we have had since that God awful day in Longford. Sure there hasnt been any Sept final medals to wear (or even Oct!) but we have had some glorious days out. Like the lads we will all need to take a break from this and refresh our batteries, but I am confident we will be back fighting again next year, better and stronger.

    On a final note as I was contemplating what the hell am I going to do for the rest of the summer is go to see the U20s in their semi. Dont forget them lads!

    Thank you Willie Joe for your constant stream of information and patience. Thank you to Swahili and Revellino for the great laughs. I will be checking in for more great laughs!

  69. Hope our super warriors have the summer of their lives which has been put on hold for last 8 yrs. They deserve a break even tho I doubt they feel that tonite. Owe us nothing. In a few months we’ll be onn the road again with ye God willing.
    Tks WJ for this blog. It’s been remarkable for all of us in last few years.
    Just want to say a thank you to the lovely Kildare man who took a look at my son this evening, put his arm around him and said. ‘Don’t be disappointed ye’ll be back next year’. Says it all for now.

  70. From Pearse Park to St Conleth’s – eight years of extraordinary highs and of deep cuts of devastation….broken tears, raw feelings and cascades of phenomenal joy…all thanks to a bunch of magnificent men who put in the hard yards of abstinence and dedication …the greatest green and red team ever….

  71. A few pints later and the emotion I have to admit has got to me.
    The defeat and the acceptance that this era has ended has finally passed is now reality.

    I would like to sincerely thank each and every player who have played their part , ye have made me and all belonging to me proud Mayo people . The memories I will cherish , your achievements surpass anything football related per se . Each and every year members of our clan would gather from all corners of the world to watch ye play , it’s so much deeper for Mayo people that only Mayo people can understand .

    I’m heartbroken for ye but please remember you bucks are responsible for so much positive , your names will be forever remembered in Mayo folklore. Thank you . From a staunch supporter .

  72. Thanks to:
    The many players
    The different management teams
    The supporters

    You’ve brought us closer than ever and given us days with friends and family that we’ll never forget. We are forever indebted. Hope to see most of you in 2019 after we’ve all had a good break. This is the end of a chapter not the story. Our day will come.

    Finally Willie Joe thanks for this place, needed even more on nights like these!

  73. I knew since the Galway match we didn’t have what it took to go all the way this year.

    Some hilights to make us smile on this tough night for Mayo football.

    2011 -we became Connacht Champions by beating Roscommon on a wet day and we beat the All Ireland Champions Cork.

    2012 – we won 2 in a row beating Sligo in a tight game in the Hyde we then beat Down in a one sided game and we bate the Dubs on a sunny day 0-19 – 0-16.

    2013 – 3 in a row for us having cast London aside on a sunny day we then Hammered Donegal ,we bate Tyrone thanks to a penelty from Alan Freeman and 3 points before half time by chris Barrett.

    2014 – 4 in a row was claimed when we showed Galway how to do it before we went down fighting in Limerick.

    2015 – 5 in a row was claimed having put up a cricket score aginist Sligo 6-17 – 2-09 , Cillian O’Connor’s penalty and Andy’s point to gained us a replay having trailed by eight aginist the dubs.

    2016 – Fermanagh , Kildare westmeath and Tyrone ( Lees points ) and Tipperary were all put to one side.

    2017- Derry Extra time , Clare 5 down in the Ennis sunshine , Cork in Limerick again Extra time , Roscommon 2 early goals before Lee’s goal, then Came the replay 4-19 -0-09 . Kingdom toppled thanks to paddy Durcan earning us a replay before Cillian and Andy combined just after half time we had them on the ropes after that went in and got the kerry monkey off our back.

    So all in all a good innings for this team . Future may look bright having won 2 All Irelands in those years both in 2013 Minor and 2016 under 21 side. As well as that, our under 20s side look pritty tasty so if they can make the step up with a few years of transition then we may be eating off the top table in Ireland again .

    It’s a bad day for us but then again it was coming some time unfortunately .

    Thank you to all the mayo Teams , managements and most of all we should stop to thank one another , we together are the best supporters in the world year in year out we pack the cars ,trains and buses with Green and Red we are in this together no one goes this journey alone it takes a lifetime to bring Sam home . Together we are one and nobody other then us understand that .
    Keep believing ??

  74. I don’t comment on here very often although I’ve been following our team on here for years. I live in Manchester never been to a game but I live for the green and red
    As ye all know these lads owe us nothing we have to take our hats off to them for giving us seven years of pride in our county .but now is the time to move on if we are to keep ourselves in the top flight

  75. As I’ve expressed before, I have a great affinity for Mayo as both my parents came from the county. But as Swahili recently observed, I was always caught between 2 stools, but nevertheless, he displayed good managerial nouse in selecting me at no. 6 on his Willie Joe blog all stars 2018. I have really enjoyed the banter this year, and as previously stated, this blog – managed by Willie Joe, is of huge benefit to Mayo GAA. And as WJ has stated a blog is just as good as its participants – and ye are exceptional. Enjoy your fine summer, and I’m sure you’ll be raring to go again in Jan. We’re next up against Kerry, and nothing won easily there. But, so far, injury wise we have been relatively lucky. TBH, I am hoping that we can play to our potential, as I am convinced we have the raw material to win the damn thing..

  76. Very sad to see Mayo knocked out tonight as the Championship wont be the same. The team have provided some unreal drama and excitement over the years. It is a punishing schedule for teams in the qualifiers and unfortunately Mayo cannot afford as yet to rest their top players.
    While this is a Mayo blog, I would say that match reports are not biased and opposition teams are given due credit. It is good to see fair play.

  77. For what its worth and I’ll probably get slaughtered on here for having an opinion i don’t think the problem lies in the team i think it’s in the management

  78. It feels like a wake on here tonight! 🙁

    For all the midfield concerns we had, I thought we won that battle. Aidan and especially Diarmuid were excellent, but I thought Stephen Coen put in a great shift as well. He might not be that tall but he spoiled and broke a lot of kickouts. No silly turnovers from him either.

    Conceding 21 points is not good however. Need to find a couple of midfielders over the Autumn/Winter when you look at the age profile and injury status of Tom/Seamie/Barry.

  79. Hello all have read the blog religiously over the last number of years but never posted before. The blog is a credit to Willie Joe and all who contribute to it. I just felt I had to give my tuppence worth tonight. I am of a vintage that stood on the embankment where our new stand now sits in McHale Park so I remember the bad days and boy we had some of those. But this crop of players have given me the best eight years I have ever experienced and for that I thank them wholeheartedly. Tonight we are disappointed but a new era beckons, the odyssey will begin again and I can’t wait.To all the players, management teams and supporters thank you again.

  80. Jesus, they’re not dead lads and lassies, they lost a game of football. They , just like the fans, will be back and refreshed in 2019. No wake needed, we will return stronger.

  81. All of the starting 15 played championship football before rochford 3 years ago except for one. We wouldn’t have seen Diarmuid midfield only for injuries

  82. Thanks a million lads for the past (or nearly past) eight years of thrills and excitement even if there were a few disappointments along the way. But I always say better better be disappointed late in the year than early. Even if a few decide that their time is done and they feel that they can contribute no more I would say that a footballer’s reputation is not built on what he has won but rather on how he has played the game. None of this Mayo panel can have any regrets or worries in that regard. Again thanks a million, and to those who decide to continue I assure you that we will be with you next year every step of the way.

  83. Forgot to thank yourself, WJ, for all your work on this site over the past, is it eleven, years now. How you do it and keep the idiots in check I do not know. You deserve a holiday and I hope you take the opportunity over the coming weeks. Close the site down and put you feet up. I propose that somebody with more computer skills than I have would set up a fund to pay for it. You probably won’t agree but I’ll run the risk of being out into moderation anyway.

  84. This site like the team this last 7 years is a credit to the people of Mayo and to yourself WJ. There have been some memories made and while the crusade has ended for now, I’d hope the 20s can inspire a next generation. Can’t say I’m too shocked bout the result, we just ran out of road in the end, we have been sailing too close to the wind for the last couple of seasons and I felt this was gonna happen sooner rather than later; DOC was inspirational and he has giving us a starting point in the future, there will inevitably be changes both on and off the pitch, but that’s exciting the journey will start again, i for one cant wait, thanks for everything, you never gave up and put steel into mayo football and set a standard going forward for the future. Mayo abu

  85. I have to say that I am surprised that David Clark is so low in the voting for MotM.. His best ever kickout /restart’s display, many taken in lighting quick fashion, very Cluxtonesque.. And kept a clean sheet.. And indeed to Echo many other poster’s, a big Thank You to Willie Joe for this Blog…. But sure there more football to be played in 2018,.. The Ladies, and the Under 20s..and if course the club championship can now be played just like normal countries.. I’ll watch the replay on the Telly and see if my perception from being at the game is still the same!

  86. While I fully acknowledge people feeling it’s the end of an era – it really isn’t folks , the spine of the team will remain the same . There will be changes in management potentially but we’ll be back stronger next year due to the break . We are now paying for our marathon in last year’s championship

  87. It’s not the end old friend, it’s just goodbye for now!

    Really think the last two years in particular caught us. For the last three years we have entered the qualifiers and opened ourselves to chance. On two occasions we prevailed and truth be known, threw away two All Irelands!

    And so began this year, league firm Poor but survived, injury ridden and hangers on we survived d drop to division 2.

    Championship delved a harsh blow with injuries and no revovery of form, alas the loss to Galway in Castlebar always going to be costly but not sure when.

    Tonight in d Newbridge we witnessed a team I believe that cud not find d next gear in order to beat Kildare. They smelled blood and went for it their water man or bsckroom team member an ever present on d pitch, no doubt reinforcing the fact we were for the take!

    In the end we cud give no more, last year 1 games, replays included, extra time, and all d rest we made a final and to my dying day, believe we kicked away, not mighty Dublin doin d 3 in a row!

    What now? Well Andy Moran, Barry, D Clarke likely to hang up d boots, a possibility, Higgins, who knows.

    Nothing negative, noting curt, nothing but admiration for a group that gave us long summers, summers to plannaround, through Horan’s time a guaranteed semi and later, Rodge and Podge(homes and Connolly) two days out in early September.

    Under Rochford, well I think we will all agree we made life difficult for ourselves!

    Two finals, through d shark infested waters that are dvqualifiers we came through.

    More games than d mighty Dubs, who tonite must be quietly cuffed.

    Gone is their threat and surely an easy path to 4 in a row!

    Don’t know for sure what d future is for Mayo football but this group gave us all superlative days out.

    The first year since 2011 without a semi but pity the group w/o a medal for show.

    Yes Sinead37 I was on the pitch and shook the hand of a few of d panel as they left d pitch, disappointed to answer your query.

    In conclusion didt see it ending in Newbridge but there u go, who really did.

    Until February, goodbye and …

  88. No one died. Six months is a long time in football but it’s a very short time in real life and we’ll be back on the saddle again in January. I think there is a transition period required – but going forward, over the next 4-5 years, a decent team can still be built around Harrison 25, Paddy Durcan 24, Diarmuid 23, Aido 28, Kevin Mac 29, Leeroy 29, Jason Doc 29, Cillian 26, EOD 22, Hanley 22, Coen 23 and James Durcan 24. That’s a dozen or so decent players there who won’t be hanging up boots anytime soon. As I pointed out on this blog before, there is no player under 22 on the senior panel which is remarkable and quite unprecedented. There are 2 reasons for that – either the players of that age arent good enough, or rochford doesnt trust them and decided consciously to stick with the old guard.
    Personally I suspect it’s the latter. There has to be 2 or 3 decent players aged 20 or 21 that should be able to get on the squad. Over the next 3 years we need to identify another Dozen players of similar collective quality to what is mentioned above. Preferably with stronger physical power and pace. Loftus and Boland are 2 players who should come into the bracket of the named players above but they have a bit to go yet in my view. A new goalkeeper will also be needed at some point.
    I’m really looking forward to the u20 semi coming up. In addition, the club championship should now be given centre stage over summer in the good weather to see if any rough diamonds can emerge, particularly in the smaller clubs. I was struck by the kerry u20 side the other day who were mostly selected from clubs I never heard of, it was remarkable. I’m convinced we are missing a trick here. Keep the faith everyone, we will be back!

  89. I can’t believe people still think that there’s youth in the county that Rochford simply doesn’t “trust” or hasn’t given time to. It isn’t there. Underage success doesn’t guarantee senior success and most of them aren’t cut out for it for a variety of reasons. We got Diarmuid from that U21 group, which is good going as it is. This group we have now is once in a generation. We aren’t Kerry, who saw the writing on the wall regarding Dublin and planned accordingly at underage even if it meant sacrificing a few All-Irelands over the last number of years.

  90. Hard luck to Mayo…always gave value for Mayo.
    The God’s had it stacked for Kildare yesterday…but fair play to them.
    As for now the main thing is that Tom Parsons and Seamus O Shea make a full recovery .
    On a slightly negative note from watching on TV and also said to me from Kildale supporter at the actual match…Dermiuid O Connor who covered some ground. .looked on the verge of collapse and uncomfortable for last 10 mins .
    In anything health is most important and Mayo backroom team should reflect on there practice yesterday.

  91. A bit of an empty feeling this morning as July starts. I feared all along that we just might miss out on the Super 8s and how difficult is it going to be for us all watching that on the TV. Our players have been magnificent since 2011 and have given me and so many Mayo people the greatest of sporting memories imaginable. They have made us proud of who we are and where we are from. They have conducted themselves with dignity on and off the field. How fitting that when they finally went out of the Championship it was in the best game of the season. Because this team has been involved in pretty much all of the best games in the last number of seasons. Think of 2012 v the Dubs 2014 v Kerry in semi final and replay, 2015 v dubs in semi final and replay, the following year v dubs in final and replay and of course pretty much every game last year. Not only will we miss them so much but the whole wider gaa community will miss them and the championship will be poorer without their high octane edge of the seat performances. Thank you to each and every one of them for all the pleasure they have given. Fair play to Kildare and their supporters. I hope the have a good run and if they make the Super 8s they are entitled to one game in Newbridge Finally I am glad to see so many positive comments on this blog. No doubt a few will sharpen the knives but the blog reflects how genuine, passionate and appreciative the vast majority of Mayo fans are . We have the facility to do that here and for that WJ you deserve our gratitude. You always have been the 16th man. Keep up the good work.

  92. Of course as a rival fan admiration and respect for this Mayo team. Being going to Mayo Galway matches since 1982 and up and downs in equal measure. To the Dub supporter John I get what your saying but don’t agree with all that. Mayo are not everyone’s second team. Mayo folk I know and I know plenty from down through the years would hate being viewed as that even if it was true. As for the team most fear well my biggest fear is that Kerry will come along and take your mantle and be no addition or betterment to the game in general.

  93. Waking up in Castlebar today, the sun has gone in, literally and metaphorically.

    I have been following Mayo (almost uninterrupted) since 1989. I haven’t kicked a ball and I’m wrecked. I can only imagine how the lads feel. I’ve decided that I am going to embrace the next six months break to recharge and re-energise for 2019/2020 and beyond.

    I have been waiting for Diarmuid O’Connor to come of age at senior level. After last night’s performance, I’m already excited for 2019. He’s the foundation stone of what could be the next era of a great Mayo team.

    As for management? I feel that they have had their chance. However, that’s out of my hands and I’ll support whatever decision is made at county level.

    Thanks to WJ for an excellent blog. Superb writing skills and an unbiased view. After scanning FB earlier, this is the only safe place for Mayo people today. Be kind to one another. No one but us can appreciate our journey.

  94. I have been supporting this great county team since I came to live in Eire some nine years ago. I have never felt such pride as I watch our lads come out onto the pitch and play their hearts out each season through all weathers. The loyal supporters are out on their own when we see the green and red hailed on terraces, houses and cars. Thank you for the joy and tears , as Arnold said “ we will be back’

  95. I feel the same way as the majority. It’s a defeat but it feels like something more. All I can say is thank you to the players and management for all the hard work down through the years. You’ve done us proud and we’ve had some journey the last seven years.

    I was there in Longford in 2010 and I remember feeling dejected walking out of the ground that evening. We were all over the place in every sense and we didn’t know where we’d go to next. Yesterday was another qualifier loss but it has all changed. We’ll definitely come back. Maybe the break will do the players and supporters the world of good.

    Calculate whatever money you would have spent going to Croke Park this summer and stick it into the piggy bank for New York next May!

    Thank you WJ for the work you’ve put into this site. Your web traffic will take a hit this summer!

  96. The home venue turned out to be very important, the tight pitch 10 m x 8 m narrower and shorter than croker kildare were able to block the centre channels, kildare utilised their subs and timing of their introduction far better than mayo. ( The hor conditions and we only decided to use three.?) .first and third quarter wides and turnovers coupled with us being behind left us. Chasing the game instead of the other way round. fair play to kildare they stuck to their gameplan, this year is over for us as supporters and maybe the remaining year is what is needed for some of the players to rest mind and body, it will be hard watching the neighbours over the next few weeks, we have set a standard for ourselves I just hope that we can get continuity for the next generation of mayo players.

  97. There is nothing more that I can add to all the positive comments above. Thanks to all the players, coaches and supporters who over the last number of years have given me memories I’ll cherish for the rest of my days. u20’s are out next week v Derry….

  98. Greetings from Porto.

    Sickening feeling – not available in ‘Irish’ pub due to Portugal match so had to follow via RTE live update. Nothing worse, believe me.

    Compounded by at least 10, 000 dejected green and red supporters here trooping out of Praça da Liberdade after their exit to Uruguay.

  99. I think the level of disappointment and frustration was summed up when 2 of our most disciplined players in Kevin Mc and AOS got the line late on .
    Not even sure what the black and second yellow were for?
    Also not sure why Andy and not Cillian took the last free. And then just drop kicked it!!!!!

  100. Yesterday was the end of an era, now it’s time to look forward. We have 7or 8 experienced players who are young enough to be around for another 4 or 5 years, we have another 7 or 8 young players ready to step up, there are also some fringe players and some very good club players and hopefully 2 or 3 from the u20 team
    Who can also step up. With these players I believe we have the basics of another team that can challenge for Sam again in the next few years. The key will be the right management team.

  101. God has seen it fit to end Mayo’s tribulations. Dealing with disappointments is part of life and how people process and cope with them is crucial to how they are going to move on, recover and hopefully persist. Much in the world in which we live is not under our control, the only things that we do have under our auspices are our actions, reactions and coping skills and some comfort can and should be found in having that.

    I venture to say that, deep down, most of us knew that this Mayo team were on borrowed time anyway. Not being able to identify fresh talent and the natural wastage through injury etc. was going to catch up on this squad sooner or later. A team can’t go on forever without ‘add ons’. Kildare had a cause last night and they used it to drive them on to a well-earned win. Congratulations to them.

    Rochford has come in for some stick on this forum – some deserved and some a bit unfair. The talent is not in the clubs at this point in time and he cannot be blamed for that. Overall, his appointment as manager has produced the sum total of nothing tangible and if we are to get back to the top table again I believe we require a fresh approach.
    Posters refer to the Kerry approach to Development squads being a four or five-year project. If you talk to the Kerry lads they will tell you that it’s a lot longer than that and starts at primary school. In that respect, we are light years behind them and their underage results in recent years exemplify that.
    Losing means someone else is better than you. That despite your best effort and innate talents, you failed. Losing unites aspects of our humanity that otherwise seem completely unrelated. Mayo will be back.

  102. It’s like a bad dream but nothing lasts forever its time to rebuild our team thanks to all the players for years of fun died fighting could not ask for any more we will be back just one thing thanks to Steven Rochford for his time it did not work out do the right thing and go be with your family you did your best

  103. Morning, i watched the game last night, at half time i thought Mayo would push on and Kildare would tire but in fairness they kept going and i think Mayo just couldn’t shake them off. My initial thoughts after the full time whistle was how weird it would be not to see Mayo in Croker this year. A break may be the best thing ever, a chance for them lads to enjoy life a bit.

  104. Stephen Rochford and his team have done a great job and deserve great credit.
    I would just like to acknowledge the greatness of this heroic Mayo team and our incredible supporters!!
    Well done Aiden, Keith, Colm Cillian Andy………
    A pleasure and an honour to be a Mayo follower.
    The future? One observation – when have Mayo not been at the top table over the past 30 years??
    Never – onwards and upwards!!
    Willie Joe, you are a top class journalist who has always been both passionate and fair minded – a rare quality!!

  105. Its over for this year , thanks to players for many great games for the last few years . Not the time to complain about management but I have said it on here numerous times whats the point in bringing on subs in the dying seconds of the game, yesterday Mayo were in control coming into the last quarter and Kildare brought on a few subs who went on to win the game for them , Mayo left players on the field when they were nearly exhausted in that heat and made no changes till it was too late .

  106. Heartfelt commiserations to all Mayo supporting folk. The rest of us can’t really feel this particular pain – we can only guess what it must have been like travel with your team on the journey of this last number of years.
    But we can express our appreciation for the unique character of the team and its supporters, especially those on this site and of course to Willie Joe for the effort and dedication that goes into creating and facilitating a really special place.

    The rest of us have interesting matches and challenges to look forward to but its true to say that this hot beaming summer has lost some its sparkle.

    Well done and thank you.

  107. Our big problem over the last few years has been our subs. We used them very badly over the championship. Also i feel we were too loyal to some players. Was O,Donoghue not worth a starting place? Should we have blooded a new goalie over the league? Why have guys on the panel who never see game time? Why bring on the same subs with a few minutes to go? Thanks for all the effort but i think it is time for a shake up. i understand we do not have Kerrys talent but you cannot expect different results from the same process. Having said that i yhink Kerry will come unstuck with their back line.I has been a privelige to follow Mayo since 1964.Thanks for the memories

  108. Hard luck to the lads.

    Hopefully we can look at developing a few extra, quality players and have a strong go from the start next season.

    Up Mayo!

  109. One of the greatest achievements of this team is that they are hated by some outside Mayo. We were always a “nice” team and everyone’s second team. This didn’t bring us much had a few hammerings in finals.

    These lads were tough as nails, took no prisoners and were willing to get down and dirty to win if needs be. All great teams have these attributes such as Cody’s Kilkenny and (whisper it) Gavin’s Dublin.

    The fact that so many Dub fans in particular hated us meant they feared us. We were the only team they didn’t want to meet. God, it’s such a pity we couldn’t get that one win against them (apart from 2012).

  110. Anyone know date, time and venue for u20 All Ireland semi final? After Saturday we need to support our future.

  111. David Mc L

    I hope that you got sorted for a ticket yesterday.
    I didn’t see your post when I refreshed the browser. But the ticket went to a good home.

    Hard Luck to the lads. Thanks for the memories.

  112. We were just not good enough yesterday and have not been for the last three years running. Yes I am disappointed buthat we need to face the reality that an all ireland is as far away now as it ever was. I can’t see this team lift it again for next year. How can they? And we should not lambaste them either if they don’t.

  113. I don’t agree for one minute that young talent isn’t in Mayo. Big step up for sure to match Higgins Andy and co but given the right encouragement and developent physically and mentally, we can rebuild quickly.
    It was always going to be about a panel of players, we didn’t develop that depth or give fringe players opportunities. Even last night Kildare outsmarted us with their timely use of substitutions….

  114. U 20 semi finals are scheduled for 14/15 July , as far as I know no official times or venues.

  115. Going to be strange not having to plan weekends in Dublin in August and September but that’s life. Well done to the lads for all the efforts over the past few years. I think now more than ever it’s essential to win or be in the Connacht final. We’re not guaranteed another hot summer or Sam Maguire coming to mayo but we have to look at the stats and recognise too many losses in games where we should have been able to enforce our way of playing and not pay so much respect to teams from lower divisions.
    Well done WJ, I have always enjoyed the blog whether at home or away, like now. Enjoy the rest lads and those who return in January, let’s see some consistency in play and positions.

  116. Bruce you are dead right-plenty dubs hated us as to did a good few nice guy Kerry supporters. As far as some of those were concerned we outstayed our welcome as did Tyrone when they became dominant with the likes of Pateen whinging about them and their style. GAA is not just about those dominant 2 counties. It is right that the players receive all the praise for their effort over the years. They have represented their county with a lot of honor and dignity in both victory and defeat and unlike Cavanagh have refrained from any kind of gloating. However, you as fans also deserve great credit for the way in which you have conducted yourselves and that was really evident in the dignified way that defeat was accepted yesterday and is a testament to your upbringing. Going to Mayo games since ‘78 and we haven’t changed as a people-warm, friendly, good craic and always 100% behind those who represent us. For all the heartbreak we have suffered, we have also had plenty good days and this team have made us dream of more and I for one would not want to be from any other county. It has been a rollercoaster journey over the last number of years and I am proud to have been associated with it.

  117. Neither cilian or Andy should have taken that last free as both were knackered and to make it worse Andy tried a drop shot, Loftus for me should have taken it fresh legs and a bullet of a shot

  118. The big reason behind Kerry’s success is that their club system allows lads from tiny rural clubs (eg: Dromid Pearses/Declan O Sullivan) play divisional senior football. Overall this results in the ‘average footballer’ in Kerry playing at a higher standard. It produces greater numbers of better than average players. Simple. If Mayo did it too we would reape the results.

    We are need investment in skills at primary school. Not just togging out teams in a cumann na bunscoil competition.

    Mayo need to get the house in order to be successful.

  119. Thank you Willie Joe for all your hard work on here, it’s a credit to you. Its raining here in North Mayo and it’s reflecting my feelings. The sun has gone down but tomorrow it will be out again. Was going to give the Kildare match a miss as I was wrecked from driving but I decided to bring my little fella with me and go anyways. Kildare were deserved winners and the supporters were gracious to all of us in the green and red. It hard to fly Boeing 747 with 2 engines (so I’m told!) and with TP and SOS sitting in the stand like injured war hero’s we were always going to struggle, if not yesterday evening then definelty in the super 8s. I want to thank every Mayo players over the last 10 years for giving me and my family some of the greatest enjoyment travelling the roads of Ireland. There might not be a big Silver cup in the bag but the fuckin PRIDE they have bestowed upon us as a footballing people is massive. I could finally walk among the in laws in Kerry with my chest out and head held high. No more are we the pushovers or bottlers.
    Finally on the gofundme idea Patrick from Mayo, great idea just change the destination from Barbabos – …they have a massive sewage problem on the island and I think our lads need a break from the shite ?

  120. Disagree JP2, that drop-shot free late on is a specialty of Andy’s. Seen him doing it for club lots of times, and has had success with it. Given there was about 20 Kildare lads on the line he did the best he could.
    End of an era for. Gutted.
    There may be retirements and if not, a number of the older guard may wait on and choose supporting roles next year. I truly hope they do but we need youth starting and that is for sure. Even if it means the doldrums for a couple of years. The old warriors are no longer able to lead the fight and I hope Rochford or whoever the boss is next year recognizes this. Building needs to start immediately.
    There is an excellent u20 team there and a lot to be optimistic about.

  121. Firstly WJ apologies for a poor taste joke that was posted in my name a few days ago by a so called mate of mine. It won’t happen again.

    Anyway to the match. These players owe us nothing and a break will go them good. However I have to say that the losing of the game was in our poor use of subs. Only using 4 on a hot day like that…and 2 of those on way too late. Hanley is a fit guy who should have been given more time. Bad use of subs has been a feature of this manager and nothing is being learned……..not hard to see where change has to start

  122. All you can ask is that a team gives it’s all on the pitch and this team has done that and more… We will be back as proud as ever next year.

  123. Thanks to the team for all the truly memorable days out over the last 7/8 years. Warriors all! We’ll be back!

  124. Thanks to the players for an incredible 7 years. What they did since 2014 in particular was superhuman resilience. It had to end sometime and I’m glad it did not end with a hammering by Dublin or Kerry. Once we lost to Galway it was inevitable we couldn’t survive in the new shortened season. It’s a tragedy that we didn’t win Sam once but 3 sets of management just made wrong calls at crucial times. That and a lack of squad depth.
    We will be a dangerous team next year and hopefully get a kind draw in connacht for easy passage to super 8. But for now let’s just say Thank you for the journey….

  125. Just want to say thanks to all involved in the blog ye do supper work booked a holiday this morning a little pick me up to all the players ye did us proud all we can ask for is give us ? per cent and ye did hope the older players stay around to help out with the rebuilding a new team take care everyone and have a nice summer but it will be strange one too

  126. It’s disappointing today surely but maybe the Under 20’s can pick us up though Derry have a good Under 20’s team too all we can do is support them and roar them on. I think the break will do Mayo good and next year we will meet New York first and maybe avoid Galway till June at least. I think tho we need to start the league better next year by all means give more young lads a chance but build a bit of consistency and a winning mentality. It’s not a day for hammering management because in fairness they have given their all too over the last 3 years but I can’t help feeling that we left that game behind us and if we introduced our full compliment of subs with 15 minutes to go we’d have won maybe they were thinking it might go to extra time. But in fairness Kildare deserve their victory and I hope they do well in the championship. What ever our management and players decide we will be with them again in the four corners of Ireland from January on. To anyone that’s feeling down today id say to them they’re are still great days ahead this is only a temporary setback a chance to regroup and catch our breath Mayo football will never be down too long. Keep the faith.

  127. ” We are need investment in skills at primary school. Not just togging out teams in a cumann na bunscoil competition.”

    What percentage of ns teachers in Mayo are male ?

    Also can’t for the life of me understand why we have our finest footballers working in other parts of Ireland when it can easily be sorted , not in all cases obviously but most ceartainly some .

  128. Have we given up football? You’d swear by he commmets online that Mayo football is dead…far from it.

    I’d urge you all to get behind our fantastic u20 team who play Derry in the semi final in 2 weeks time.

    We are out but we are not dead. Up Mayo

  129. Pride.

    After seven rollercoaster years that’s what we’re left with. No matter how bleak the scoreboard or the blows we took, this Mayo team never once bent the knee to anyone. Whatever happens in 2019 and beyond, they gave us not just some of our most treasured sporting moments, but the best summer days of our lives.

    Memories are legion but a few that will always stand for me:
    -Hanging on, somehow, to beat the new aristocrats Dublin in 2012.
    -Trimming all Ireland champions Donegal in 2013 with Aidan O’Shea half man, half colossus.
    -Coming back from the dead, a man down against Kerry in the drawn game in 2014 and the roars deepening as we inched back, point by agonising point, during the second half.
    -Galway in 2015. No more to be said.
    -Andy to Cillian to Andy versus Kerry last year. That, at last, was that for the gorilla on our back since 1997.
    -Lee’s goal in the 2017 final. For that brief but glorious few minutes, believing that the long journey’s end was finally in sight.

    Thanks for it all lads. To borrow a phrase, not men, but giants.

  130. Dont write anny of these guys off having 4 months extra off this year will make them hungrier than ever next January.Its going to be a lot easier pick up the baton than losing by a point in the capital last October.On a more serious note im unpacking the rucksack from yesterday and i honestly believe the Brady ham would be divison one while whatever Brennans used would have home advantage in the qualifiers.I will thank the players personally but fair play for your patience in this jungle

  131. Not sure but I’m hearing it could be Sligo…hopefully a huge Mayo crowd supper them no matter where it is

  132. I feel that I should be walking through a funeral home, giving my condolences to every mayo person before I say a prayer at the coffin. That’s genuinely how I feel. Everyone I meet just wants to talk through the post mortem and give themselves solice! It’s not gonna happen tonight, tomorrow or next week! But the U20s now are are main focus, we have some bright talent and hopefully they can flourish.

    The end of the road is now here for some of our hero’s, they have bleed green and red and they should have no regrets for their service to our proud County.

    Truth is, we have been treading water all year, injuries have blighted us, and we played last night with several players who were not near fit! I’m not going to speculate as to who might depart the team, but rather I’m going look forward to the players who could step up/in!

    Our story does not stop here!!

  133. Management so called mistakes get magnified when a team loses. They are the ones who have to make the calls. Our management hampered by not enough new guys grabbing jerseys the last 3 years. Gavin would have lost his sainthood status last year for starting O Gara had Mayo won the day. I hope management stays on, many a good management team getting nowhere near Mayo in championship. For whatever reason Loftus hasn’t yet become the dangerman we know his talent suggests. Hanley just needs more club time to hone his skills. A few others management don’t trust but suspect training games are showing a gap. Eoin OD is a great talent to come into the backs. Coen was good in the first half yesterday so perhaps their patience there was justified. Ruane could get a look in soon maybe some U20’s could bolt. We’ve been unlucky with Transition. Maybe flooding the league with newbies to start next season is the way to go even if it risks relegation which has done no harm to Donegal pre McBrearty’s unfortunate injury. Kerry could beat Dublin this year and Galway aren’t far off either though losing Duggan could be their undoing.

  134. Loftus on far too late was the biggest mistake IMO. Just can’t tolerate that shit of bringing a lad like that on with a couple of mins to go . Boyler was systematically brought off throughout last year’s championship, yet when it was obvious to the eye he was completely out he was left on past that point in two games this year. Go figure .

    Realistically needing replacements for .

    David Clarke.

    Chris Barrett.

    Colm Boyle .

    Seamie o Shea

    Tom Parsons.

    Ger Cafferky

    Andy Moran.

    David Drake .

    Evan Regan

    Barry Moran

    If Higgins could be a panel member next year I’d keep him . I’d doubt he’ll stay on though.

    Our lack of big men could prove costly over the next two to three years .

  135. Read most of the Comments!… Re the ‘Newbridge or Nowhere’ a match that deserves the title of a true ‘Epic’ It ended in heartbreak for Mayo and extacy for Kildare..
    I strongly disagree with anyone who thinks that the Dub’s will be celebrating our demise…. I still stick to my original opinion that the venue is not up to the standard a match of such importance and anticipated demand … However I wrote earlier last week, that the ‘Victor’s’ write the history… And Cian O Neil is now a hero in Kildare.. The reason why Dublin will not be celebrating, is that, now ‘Home Venue’ advantage and perceived advantage, has been elevated to a new status .. Cian O Neil, took his inspiration from Kevin McStay and stuck to his gun’s… Who from the other Super, 8”s is not going to follow the lead of Cian O Neil and insist that Dublin don’t get 2 match’s in Croke Park.. If you think about it in an actual fact matter.. Dublin are not really entitled to play any match in Croke Park, seeing as Parnell Park is their home venue… So I say that it’s advantage Kerry… Not that I will be shouting for them… On yesterday’s match I think, despite the heartbreak of the our defeat, it was Mayo’s BEST performance so far this year…. It was also Kildare s best performance for 20 years… Sport is ruthless, but it’s also fickle.. Speaking to a number Kildare fan’s before throw in St Conthleth Park,.. ‘Cian O Neil’ was a dead man walking, the knives were out, and after what was going to be Mayo’s expected victory in the minds of a few Kildare fan’s , Cian O Neil would be gone and good riddance, apparently several very good Kildare players would not play for O Neil…. Such is life and those Kildare fan’s have already forgotten the word’s spoken before yesterday’s epic match…. Mayo this year, especially mirrored the performance of Tipperary hurlers in the Championship, injuries to too many players, and a team who’s strategy, following an early defeat was to stay in there until August was to be then at our very best, despite the irreplaceable loss of some of our star players… In truth if Kildare performed like that yesterday in Croke Park versus Mayo, I still think that Kildare would have won… The question is would Kildare play as well if the match was in Croke Park?.. I suspect not…. I hope Kildare get to the Super 8’s…. and play Kerry in St Conthleth Park and hammer the shite out of Kerry… Wouldn’t that be great!

  136. Great to see such positive comments here .. A wonderful team that gave us some excitement over past 8 years .. Lets be positive and give major support to our U 20’s ..

  137. The overwhelming feeling following the match was one of disbelief. What made the result so difficult to comprehend was there were far fewer occasions yesterday when I genuinely felt that we would lose. My confidence was a lot lower last weekend during the Tipp match. For some reason, yesterday I was convinced that the team were playing “within themselves” and would find another gear in the closing stages.

    It is always difficult to remain objective and fair when analysing a painful loss, but it’s also important to do just that, as failing to analyse may lead to the same mistakes being made again.

    The team lost by two points, but in truth, it could have been by more. Whilst Neil Flynn ended up with a healthy looking number of points, some of his frees were really poor and had he been more accurate, we could have lost by more. In addition, there were 2-3 decent goal chances that the Kildare guys missed.

    It’s difficult to pin point exactly where things went wrong yesterday. It certainly wasn’t one thing, but even untangling the key factors is proving difficult. Dan Flynn looked too quick for Ger Caff in the opening stages, but I felt as the game progressed, he was kept fairly quiet. Some of the issues seemed to be our own doing.

    The sweeper’s role should again be looked at and discussed. As important as the sweeper can be in the modern game, it needs to be employed correctly for it to be effective. It puts me in mind of the “pseudo-sweeper’ role Holmes and Connelly concocted before the Dublin matches, which highlighted that simply employing a sweeper is not enough. They also need to know what they’re doing. And it should also not be at the expense of sacrificing a player’s own skill set. Keith Higgins, for me, is at his most effective when he is powering out of the back line, ball in hand, causing chaos. He is an opposition’s nightmare because his runs are disciplined – you will not see him sprinting aimlessly across 50 yards – and with his pace [which he still has in abundance], he is a handful for any All Star defender when he is bearing down. It was no coincidence that he was our standout performer against Galway after . he was relieved of sweeping responsibilities when we were reduced to 14. Handing him the responsibilities that come with sweeping often robs him of some of those talents I feel.

    For Lee Keegan, he is often described as a brilliant man marker, but again, we saw an unfit Keegan yesterday subdued and hamstrung by these man marking responsibilities. It may nullify the opposition, but is done at the expense of many of his other strengths. I feel over the last few years there have been some occasions where Lee has had to focus more on an opponent’s game than his own. The argument is by curtailing danger, it allows his team mates to flourish, but ironically, there are not many in the squad that have the talent that Lee Keegan has to take advantage of this.

    The use of substitutions also must once again be queried. In searing conditions, our first substitute arrived onto the pitch in the 56th minute. There has sometimes been the feeling that we are too slow to respond to what is actually happening during a match. Preparation for matches seems to be thorough by way of a Plan A, but Plan B/C/D does not seem to always be forthcoming. With a depleted squad, the possibility of having viable alternatives diminishes, but as with last weekend, you do still get the sense that Stephen Rochford and his colleagues are still unsure of their best players and indeed their best positions.

    Seeing how brilliantly Paddy Durcan played yesterday, it continues to baffle me that he was employed as a full back last weekend. Whilst he certainly improved in the second half of that match, I felt once more we were not utilising our own players’ strengths, and instead focused more on nullifying opponents.

    I have seen some calls for Andy Moran to move to the bench, and/or some feeling it may be time for him to hang up his boots. Looking at his continued contribution yesterday, I would disagree with both of these calls. His runs as a forward are a defender’s nightmare, and in spite of his age, he remains the most active of our inside forward line in terms of movement, dragging defenders away, and creating space for others. Andy continues to show for the ball out in front, and is always good for a few scores.

    It is the static nature of some of his team mates that would be greater cause for concern. For example, if we take out the Limerick anomaly, Cillian scored just one point from play in the other three Championship matches this season [granted he was a substitute in the Galway match]. It is of course worth noting he scored a breathtaking 3-9 against Limerick, but against Division One or Two opposition, he was marked out of matches. We must once again ask the question of where he is most likely to be effective from in open play.

    Diarmuid O Connor produced a performance of sheer magic. He was powerful, unrelenting, commanding, and overbearing. Kildare struggled massively when there was breaking ball around the middle and when there was donkey work to be done because Diarmuid [and Aidan more in the second half] began dominating. Kildare, however, were in tune with Mayo’s dominance here, often by-passing midfield by going from front to back, making the most of their extra man back. Our strategy on their kick outs was inconsistent too, sometimes forcing the keeper to kick long by marking the space in front of him zonally, sometimes leaving that space and dropping back, sometimes marking the space but then not having the right amount of ammunition to deal with the breaking ball [Diarmuid and Aidan are only human and couldn’t deal with being double- or sometimes triple-teamed around the middle].

    There were moments when you truly felt Mayo would pull away. After the first half scare – very speedily remedied with quick fire free kicks – there were times when it looked like we would kick on. Diarmuid at one point put over a lovely score right after Kildare had scored one themselves, and that appeared to be our way of saying “anything you can do we can do better”. Later on, both Kevin Mc and Doherty kicked points whilst off balance, and it looked around then that Mayo would find the extra gear. Strangely, it never came in the way that we became accustomed to.

    Perhaps we left ourselves too much to do. Perhaps, as some of you have pointed out, this was the manifestation of the last few years spent on the road. Bear in mind in 2017 we played only 2 of our 10 matches at home. This season we were on the road for our three qualifiers. The qualifier route, whilst giving us some wonderful moments over the last few years, adds a huge amount of minutes to players’ legs and a huge amount of hours to travels. And so perhaps yesterday was one journey and one match too many for a depleted team and squad.

    Perhaps we simply give ourselves too much to do during matches, which itself becomes mentally and physically draining. Recall last year we were staring defeat in the face against Derry, Cork, and Roscommon. We also trailed for much of the first half against Clare. We continued our pattern this season with deficits to make up against Tipperary, and then finally, Kildare. Many matches we used phrases such as “getting out of jail”, but as any seasoned prisoner may attest to, eventually you get caught. To borrow a phrase from Malcom Tucker, it feels “like the Shawshank Redemption with more tunnelling through shite and not enough f’n redemption”.

    Quips aside, my disbelief remains. It should not have ended like this. We have been spoiled since 2011. We have become accustomed to heading to Croker in August and September [and even October the other year]. Spoiled by a group of players who, may we never forget, have full time jobs like the rest of us do. Spoiled by a group of players who make sacrifices that most other 20- and 30-year olds would struggle to keep up for longer than a month [Dry January tends to come to a dramatic end on the 1st February for many]. Spoiled by a group of players who train in miserable conditions in January when most of us are sitting by the fire cursing the draught in the living room. May we never lose sight of what this group of players have given us all, and how they have given it to us. It’s for that reason that it is all the more painful that things came to an abrupt end yesterday, still in the month of June.

    What now? Time to regroup, analyse, and reflect. Management and players may have had their seasons ended much earlier than they anticipated, but hopefully it will allow time to make decisions based on the head rather than on the heart. But I hope that ageism doesn’t get in the way. Just because a player is a certain age doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s a spent force and should be relegated to the bench or the doldrums of retirement. Some of our older lads still have a lot to give – they have seen it all, know what to expect, and – usually – handle the pressure of big matches with a grace and stoicism that can only be admired. One abject season – and let’s be honest with ourselves, this has been overall our most disappointing season since 2010 – should not mean a mass clean out, so much as an analysis of what is required to get back into Croke Park for the business end of the season.

    Next season, with everything going well, we will have our midfield duo back at our disposal, plus some of our other “go-to” players back to full fitness. There is still much to be optimistic about.

    For now, we will spend the summer wondering what might have been. We’ll watch the Super 8s with intrigue, devastated that we’re not part of this format, but I guarantee you we will watch some of those teams and think “you know what, we’re not that far off at all”.

    All is not lost. Don’t panic.

  138. Thanks to the Players and the Three Management Teams for the last seven years,we had great days out supporting a great Team. Looking forward towards next year, young players have to be brought onto the panel, the national league should be used to blood new players, like Kerry and Donegal did (forget about this proud record of staying in division one at all cost). Who ever is in charge next year has to have a forwards coach on board ( Tyrone have Stephen O Neill, Kerry have Sheedy and Fitzgerald and Dublin have Sherlock).

  139. Let’s be honest sooner or later we were bound to run out of luck / ideas and lets not forget the number of times we pulled it out of the fire since 2011 . now hopefully a chance to rest up and start afresh next year might just be the tonic we need.

  140. Right now I’m unable to write very much. Broken hearted for those great warriors. What will we do for the rest of the summer. Thanks for the entertainment, thanks for the memories. Till another time…

  141. Every cloud has a silver lining as they say and as the wife pointed out last night we can know have two weeks all inclusive in both Spain and Bulgaria in the coming months especially the first week in September instead of flying over from Wales another 6 times .roll on next year.

  142. Jeff I hear you! I was facing head on into clashes with the missus over attending b in laws engagement party next week and hols in Spain 2 weeks later but that’s all sorted now! Add to that the shocks I need to replace on the carplus replenishing stocks of smalls which had been neglected for the past while.!

  143. I’m utterly despondent but just want to say thank you to that group of players and management, who have given me some of the best days of my life over the last 7 years. An empty summer and long winter awaits but I’ll be ready to go again in January. Thank you too, WJ for running this site we’d be lost without you.

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