League opener against Cork coming into view

Cork v Mayo 2015

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

It’s Thursday already and so our League opener against Cork down at Páirc Uí Rinn – and it is being played in Páirc Uí Rinn, not in Mallow or anywhere else – on Sunday is coming into clear focus. Fun fact, by the way, about Sunday’s venue: did you know that in a former life it used to be Flower Lodge, the home of, among other soccer teams, Cork Hibernians? It was, you know. The story of how Cork GAA, the cute hoors, got their mitts on the venue is told here.

Like ourselves, the Rebels are starting out 2016 under new management, with Peadar Healy – who was in Conor Counihan’s backroom team when they won the All-Ireland in 2010 – now the man in charge, having taken over from Brian Cuthbert. They’ve made a decent start to the year too, winning the pre-season McGrath Cup last week, though they didn’t have to face Kerry in doing so.

Cork have a very good record in the League in recent years. They won a hat-trick of NFL titles between 2010 and 2012, beating us in two of the three finals they won then. While Dublin have been top dogs in the League over the past three years Cork have actually topped Division One in each of the last two years, winning ten, drawing one and losing three (one of which was to us) of the fourteen regulation Division One matches they’ve played since the start of 2014 (figures courtesy of this piece in today’s Indo).

By any measure, that’s a decent record – ours, by contrast, over the same period is one that reads P14 W7 D2 L5 – and although I don’t have the stats to hand (come on, when is the Cork GAA Blog going to get its results archive online?) I’ll go out on a limb here and speculate that their home record is a fairly impressive one.

They beat us, of course, down at Páirc Uí Rinn last March but only did so thanks to a late, late sucker-punch goal (admittedly one – us being us and all that – you could see coming from some distance away). The most recent time before then that we played them at their patch it was in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, where on a horrible cold and wet day in April 2013 we chiselled out a marvellous backs-to-the-wall win, garlanded by those two superb line-ball scores from Cillian O’Connor.

The Ballintubber man – who features in a piece in Irish Sun today (here) – won’t be in the team we name tomorrow night and neither will several other regulars. Cork have said they’ll be naming their starting fifteen later on this evening – at 8pm to be precise. I’ll post the details here when they do so.

In advance of those team announcements I guess it’s time to test the temperature on what has always in recent years been a spiky enough fixture. These are two counties who have developed a healthy dislike for each other of late – which I guess dates back to 2011 when we had the temerity to record a championship win over them for the first time in almost a century – and I doubt there’ll be any love-in between us the next day either.

The bookies have the home team marked down as clear 1/2 favourites to win on Sunday but are those odds justified? How do you think it’ll go on Sunday? Time to vote.

How will we do against Cork?

  • Win (47%, 167 Votes)
  • Lose (41%, 145 Votes)
  • Draw (12%, 43 Votes)

Total Voters: 355

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14 thoughts on “League opener against Cork coming into view

  1. There’s no real logic to it, Mayofaninkk, just as there’s no proper logic to League fixtures generally. It’s also the second year in a row that we’ll be playing Dublin in Castlebar.

  2. Can’t make head nor tail to it meself Mayofaninkk! But it seems to go in 2’s. I’ve also heard numerous times about the “2 year cycle” ? but I cant get me head around it, maybe someone could explain again?

  3. I believe the league scheduling is based on the premise that a team should have 3 home games one year and four home games the next. So this can necessitate playing a team home or away twice in a row.

  4. Re the 2 in row away to Cork, as I understand it a new draw is made every two years, This I presume is year 1 of the current cycle and next years fixtures will be the reverse of this year. Then in 2018, assuming the league structure remains the same, another draw will be made. This same system is used for county leagues – I’m aware of that as I was on a county CCC for a spell.
    Regards Seamus O’Shea absolving referees of all blame for our recent SF defeats this is very generous of him and probably prompted by what he admits was a silly reaction to a foul on himself. But winning a semifinal is a difficult job in most cases, players will of course make mistakes as will referees. But when the referees mistakes repeatedly disadvantage the same team and favour the same team(s) one has to start asking questions.
    Going back to the Diarmuid Connolly case, was the chairman of the DRA on that occasion the same Hugh O’Flaherty who resigned from the High/Supreme count back around 1999 over his intervention in the case of a drunk driver [Sheedy case] who was jailed for killing another motorist in a car crash? If so I would contend that a person known for doing favours for a friend or the friend of a friend was not a suitable person to chair a semi judicial panel of any kind.

  5. seamie got the black card for reacting to jenny coopers antics, he had better be prepared and not take the bait if he wants to give himself a chance of winning anything in 2016. jenny and co know exactly how to act when the like of seamie gets annoyed, hands down by the sides and fall as if shot, then look at ref for help in the form of a card, the dubs are like premiership “stars”, take jilly mcmahon as another example of lying down for no reason, they act the injured party really well and seamie and co better be prepared to ignore the taunts or pay the big price. I watched the Mayo vs kerry and dub games recently, both have it down to a fine art.
    i have no doubt that rochford sees this too and will take the steps to correct it. Mayo, should be aiming to win the league if they get a few early results, forget this idea of waiting for summer, go and win the league if you have even a glimmer of hope to do so.

  6. Mayo will indeed be looking to be as competitive as they can and if their emerging form gets them a few early results then the natural way to go is to have a go! And was nt it always the same? FDB is a starter…..league is the same except with a bit more intent and both are preps for the summer endeavours!

    Good luck to management,new players,old hands and all travellers to the game on Sunday. It ll be a bit of a diversion from this bloody weather!

  7. Now maeve in fairness our boys can do the lying down big girls blouse style too ,Tis part of the game at the top table unfortunately . 2012 semi we really did go to town on them type of antics .

  8. Cork have a very physically strong, footballing, full forward line , who are well fit to score.
    We need , physically strong players in our full backline,to hold them out.
    Small light corner backs will be bullied, as will small light forwards.Cork bullied our small forwards in the past,( in Croke Park ), so lets select physically strong players, especially for heavy winter pitches.
    It would be nice to do well in the league, before return of missing players ( club tied and injured ) and then on their return , we would have a really strong panel for the championship.
    Looking forward to season ahead.

  9. Just seen the cork team , Hurley and Goulding in ff line look a dangerous threat for sure.

  10. Talking of bullying, I had a bird’s eye view of Johnny Cooper bullying Brian Hurley in the league final last year. It was a master class in mouthing, niggling, pulling and dragging.

    Hurley was beaten up a stick and he hardly won a ball let alone do damage.

    I’m sure our boys are far too nice to be at that sort of thing.

  11. The late Con Houlihan once commented that Flower Lodge (Pairc Ui Rinn) was the only venue where one could pick blackberries while watching European football.

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