Lee is sound for the semi-final

Photo: Irish Sun (Sportsfile/Ramsey Cardy)

I know we can look back now on Sunday’s match in a relaxed state of mind. I doubt too many of us were wholly chilled out, though, when it was confirmed that Lee Keegan wouldn’t be lining out in the rematch with Roscommon. In the event, Lee wasn’t required but we didn’t know this beforehand.

Post-game, Stephen Rochford was quickly able to confirm that the current Footballer of the Year will be fit to face Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final on Sunday week. Speaking to the Mayo News (here) the manager said that, if it had been necessary, Lee could have played for up to 25 minutes.

Seeing as the game was over after Keith’s goal on 23 minutes, no such requirement arose. As we continued to pound the neighbours up to the break and beyond, the sensible decision not to play him at all was taken.

In that piece linked above, Stephen was also able to confirm that we’ve no fresh injuries worries ahead of Sunday week. Jason Doherty was withdrawn soon after landing heavily on his knee on Monday but it seems that was no more than a routine bang.

So, with a yawning gap of a week and a half to go until our next championship outing, we can all relax a bit and enjoy the feeling of being back in an All-Ireland semi-final for the seventh successive year. Oh, before I forget it, that’ll mean a Bowe’s gathering the night before. Tradition demands it at this stage.

Another tradition at this time of year – when Kerry are the opposition – is to haul the yerra-ometer out of storage, plug it in and run the musings of former Kerry greats, who are now in the punditry game, through it. There are two pieces to be tested to get us going, from two of the Ó Sé brothers.

First up it’s Tomás in yesterday’s Irish Independent (here). Not much in the way of the desired content here, I’m afraid. He compares us to Kerry in 2009, reckons we have a running game to hurt the Kingdom and will come into the semi-final as the most battle-hardened outfit. So far, so predictable.

But how about this for forensic analysis:

In a strange way I think it was the kind of result and performance that will ground Kerry for the next fortnight. They’ll come to Croke Park and know to expect war.

Well, who’d have thunk it: a grounded Kerry side heading into an All-Ireland semi-final expecting war? That’d be a novel one, wouldn’t it?

Right, onto Darragh over at the Irish Times (here). Big brother tends to play it for laughs a bit more and lays on the Kerryman shtick with a larger trowel.

In fairness to Darragh, he does pay Kevin McStay a nice compliment in today’s column. He remarks that it’d have been far easier for Kevin to have stayed up in the media area on co-commentary duties rather than taking his chances down to the sideline, where he ended up seeing his young team getting crushed. He’s right, you know.

But Darragh can’t help himself and is soon back joshing around. In making the point that Keith Higgins is unlikely to be claiming any marks on Sunday week, he states that the Ballyhaunis man is no more than 5′ 7” in height. I’m not sure exactly what height Keith is but you can safely add three or four inches to Darragh’s estimate.

Darragh also shows that he’s up there with Tomás in the forensics department. He says that those cute Kerry lads will have seen how we pushed up so effectively on Roscommon’s restarts and he reckons they’ll be planning accordingly. Oh bother – I really thought they might have missed that subtle ploy of ours.

In summary, then, lame enough stuff from the two lads but then much of this punditry lark is of that kind. By the way, if you haven’t yet seen the wonderful satirical take on how to construct your own Jim McGuiness column then you really should take the time to do so. It’s here.

Right, that’s enough laughs for you for one day. Back to work, you lot.

61 thoughts on “Lee is sound for the semi-final

  1. Well, I’m 5’9″ depending what clogs I’ve on. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Keith in the shop last week, he’d at least 6″s on me. Mustta been the clogs he was wearing….. 🙂

  2. The old sarcasm is rife today .Good stuff.Surprised no one mentioned how the best coach in Ireland got it so wrong.Ah well we all make mistakes.

  3. Last year Toe To Hand described this Mayo team excellently. He likened them to a Massey Ferguson tractor being driven at full speed in high third, throttle pulled to the last, bouncing down the road and the wing mirror covered in shite. This analogy describes perfectly the way Keith Higgins in particular set up Andy’s goal and took his own seconds later not to mention the elusive KMcL. The wing mirror covered in shite signifies that we are going forward with absolutely no regard for what we leave in our wake. Long may it continue. Some have compared this performance to the thrashing we handed out to Donegal in 2013. I disagree. This was on a different level altogether. Although the winning margin was similar we allowed ourselves an odd break in proceedings against Donegal. Against the Rossies we were relentless for the seventy four minutes or so and proved that we have still a highly functional arsenal of WMD should we need them. With Lee back in the fold the Kerry match has become even more interesting! I’ve a feeling Kerry will be met with fire, fury and power the likes the etc etc…..

  4. Jaysus your a harsh man WJ.

    I’m not sure what you expect from football punditry. I think there is little doubt that Kerry would be much more complacent about Mayo had Mayo snuck through by a point last week. You can ask managers up and down the country (ask Stephen Rochford about Galway in McHale last year) – it doesn’t matter a damn how you try and drive complacency from a team – its something that sits in the sub-conscious. Mayos performance up to last Monday would have been in their sub-conscious and lets be honest it wouldn’t have them quaking in their boots. After Monday I think any prospect of them being complacent is well an truly gone. I’d say Eamon Fitzmaurice will ultimately be grateful for what Mayo did on Monday as talk is cheap – Kerry players saw with their own eyes Mayo are a force to be reckoned with.

    I also think its a fair point by Darragh on Mayo pushing up on the kick out. Of course they knew Mayo would look to do this but it is the first game they exercised that plan so effectively and intensely.

    Pundits have a easy job relativley speaking but sometimes they can’t win. If the O Se lads were saying Mayo are serious threat, Mayo are favourites because they have had proper tests unlike Kerry etc…they would be accused of sticking to the Kerry script. In fairness to both, neither has gone down that road.

    yes there is a lot of stating the obvious but I find that somewhat refreshing – football by and large is a simple game generally won by the teams with the best players – anyone that has listened to Off the Ball on a regular basis but never seen the sport would think that an All Ireland medal could only be won by a player after exploring their inner turmoil and finding redemption following going on sojourn with the Dali Lama and that you would need a Phd in Pyschology and “Sports Architecture” in order to manage such a team.

    The game is not as cerebral as we sometimes like to make out nowadays. When it boils down to it the decisive factor in winning All Irelands will be the players – players like Sean Cavanagh, Maurice Fitzgeralds, Brian Fentons, Peter Canavans, Padraig Joyces, Ja Fallons, Darragh O Ses…..and who knows maybe yet Keith Higgins’, Aidan O Sheas’ or Lee Keegains’

  5. Trevor Naughton has started a #YerraBingo hashtag on Twitter. Expect a bit of craic from that

  6. @cantini You’re totally right in what you’re saying, in my opinion when Dublin beat the Leinster teams the only analysis that’s needed is that they have the better players. Tactical analysis becomes more important from this stage onwards but I find it unbelievable how little the quality of the players on display seems to be on the pundits minds. In the case of Dublin, having a pool of players 10 times the size of most counties is generally the reason why their players are better but shr that’s an argument for another day!

  7. The pushing up on re-starts is an interesting sub-plot though.

    If we are to sacrifice an attacker so as to cut out the threat of the 3 men up front it’ll greatly affect our press – one of the stronger aspects of our game (the strongest?).

    As in 2014 Kerry will only be delighted to see us with a man in front of the full-back line. When Lee got sent off we really let the shackles off and – in truth – should have won it with little fuss

    Of course then came in the big menace and suddenly we scraped a draw. He only needs one chance!
    No sweeper would also mean more men around the middle to challenge the likes of Moran and Maher/Barry, and Geaney/O’Brien letting in ball to the dangermen

  8. SquareBall to put things in context lets not forget Donegal were reigning all Ireland champions in 2013 whereas we were playing a decent (but no more than that) Roscommon side on Monday. Kerry are a different animal as we all know! David Moran is one of the finest midfielders going. Geaney and o’donoghue if let play will punish any team. Can we beat them? 100%, but it will take another 100mph workhorse performance with serious intensity and a few hammers to be hammered along the way!

  9. @ FourGoalMcGee Get your #YerraBingo suggestions in and we’ll see if we can his the jackpot!!!

  10. Fair point OurTime Has Come. Still confidence has greatly increased both on and off the pitch since Monday which should bring the most crucial element to the team – BELIEF.

  11. Yerra Bingo suggestions:

    Yerra, the worst kind of animal
    Yerra, twould have made no difference
    Yerra, he won a couple of minor and 21s is all
    yerra, the dubbbzzz?
    yerra, i knew by him
    yerra, tis no harm to have a few boyos from the town
    yerra, timmy dowd wozn’t bad but he only played few games
    yerra, if it twasn’t ourselves we be delighted to see Mayo win it.

    Interestingly on the last point I was sitting just behind Darren O’Sullivan at the 2015 All Ireland final and he was absolutely disgusted Mayo didn’t win it…he was shaking his head the final whistle and just let out a fairly loud “for fuck sake”. True it may have been more in hate of the dubs than love of Mayo but I still thought it was interesting for him to be so overt about his feelings.

  12. Donaghy is a consideration obviously but Geaney and O Donoghue are possibly the two top corner forwards in the country when they click. I can imagine the only man for Donaghy is Vaughan with a good sweeper to play under him to mop up. Possibly the best man is Keegan as I saw him do an excellent man marking job on Tipperarys Quinlivan, mind you he got away with a lot of tackling that was as mildly as I can put it, over the edge !! but that is what the best bring to the table. In any event Rochford simply can’t afford to take from his running attack a man of Keegans outstanding ability.

    Many think the Kerry media are on a wind up to somehow unsettle Mayo when they clash with the Kingdom ??? I’m sorry but I can’t understand this paranoia. Will the stunning attacking play of Mayo, the clinical goal finishing, the angled running of Mayo to disorient Roscommon’s defence and Mayo’s ever reliable ability to stop and strip the opposition of the ball (all of which were on alarming display on Monday) not be like hearing the war horn being blown from the highest tip of the castle turret ?? Kerry will always be very wary when meeting Mayo but it is only natural for any team to slip unrealisingly into mild complacency if you are meeting a team that have consistently staggered over the line against opposition that we would not or have not been unduly troubled by or have recently put to the sword.

    Last Monday was a very different Mayo to what we have witnessed this campaign, watching Mayo this year was like watching a great car and driver struggling with the conditions because his team kept choosing the wrong tyres. That game shows what Mayo can do when they are at full tilt and as ye showed last year ye can beat any team in this kind of form, well Mayo have now hit this very form and I can assure you that Kerry are now wide awake and there will be no complacency on the 20th.

    The one difference will be that Kerry will probably start one or more of O Brien, Darren O S or Jonathan Lyne in the half forward line to give them the speed in that department to track that pacy half back line of Mayo. It will also keep them a little more honest than Roscommon did by bringing their half forwards deep thus allowing ye to attack at pace when the high press on the kick outs yielded possession to ye. Kerry won’t be as naive I can assure ye, also Kerry will be confident that their middle eight will be able to win their fair share of long kick outs and if Mayo are committed to the high press we will definitely pull back and go long in the hope of the mark and making space and going low and fast to our two inside corners or a scud to the big man with the other two screaming past him and picking up the breaks.

    I think both semifinals will be wonderful games and to be truthful both Kerry and Mayo need this particular encounter to prepare them for a tilt at the opposition in the final. It will be a great occasion for all and I hope we come out the right side of the result just like all here for the opposite.
    Ciarrai Abú

  13. I was down in Kerry last month for few days holiday. All the talk, and I mean all the talk, was of a Kerry/Dublin final. When I mentioned Mayo they would give the usual “they’re a lovely team” “would love to see them win it” and “you’ve some lovely players” but that was it. It was maddening to listen to but when your in the county with 37 All Irelands wheeling out the “we’ve been in 6 semi’s in the last 6 years” line doesn’t hold much water. There’s only one way we’ll get that respect and that’s to beat them, we need to earn it. I 100% fully believe we can beat Kerry on Sunday week, the same way I knew in my heart we would not lose to Roscommon. In order to do that they need to harness that same anger that drove them on Monday, that feeling of disrespect that drove them onwards like men possessed for 70 minutes. I was talking to a Roscommon supporter after the game and he said that the game did neither team any good, I told him that while the game did Roscommon little good it was just what Mayo needed. It provided us with a perfect confidence boost before one of our toughest matches in years and reminded us all what we are capable of.

  14. I know of 2 Kerry fellas who have the flight tickets home from the UK already booked for the weekend of 17th September. Saw the confirmation email.
    Landing in Dublin Saturday 16th. Heading back early morning on Monday 18th if i remember rightly.

    They can write what they want in the papers and spin it how they want but at the end of the day its not just Jack O’ Connor who laughs at us if somebody suggests that we are a serious threat. They are in the final already and quietly making plans for it.

  15. Trevor Naughton,

    Does Gamechanger 10 count in the Yerra bingo. If he does I just got “Lee Keegan and over the edge”, ticked.

  16. Does anyone know what the story is with Barry Moran lately? Is he training/getting back to fitness? Would love to see him coming on against Kerry

  17. @Jim Flag

    as John O’Mahoney said on a year til sunday many moons ago….”there’s only one way to answer that lads”

  18. It’s bred into Kerry to expect to beat Mayo. If we beat Roscommon by 50 points they wouldn’t be bothered they’d still come to Croke Park with that swagger and fully expect to beat us. It’s like us playing Sligo or Leitrim we always fully expect to beat them. If you believe you can win it’s half the battle Kerry always seem to find a way to win against us but I think if we keep our shape and discipline and keep 15 men on the field and play our running game we can beat them but I have a feeling it will be a draw you heard it here first lads.

  19. I said it before the Roscommon replay that Parsons & Vaughan to start and Mayo to win easily. In truth I didn’t expect the level of performance, it was exceptional, how much of it was down to Roscommon’s lack of desire is unknown.
    Other than giving us a right to play kerry there were other positives such as;
    1. S Nally (0-02) looked good when considering first game time in 2017 championship, put his hand up for future consideration.
    2. C. Loftus again showed promise
    3. All starting 15 were impressive
    4. SOS improved 75% on the drawn game, did the simple things and did them well

    Room for improvement/opportunities/challenges
    1. A.Moran, wins a lot of ball, but is slow to lay it off. There are more scores here if he learns to lay it off quicker.
    2. What A.Dillon brings to the party, for the life of me I don’t know. Does not do Regan or Boland confidence any good. Would have been an ideal game to bring these young lads on IMO.
    3. Even at this stage, don’t know who will mark Kieran Donaghy, there is no obvious choice. I would like Rochford to state in training; there is a no. 3 shirt up for grabs (to man mark Donaghy) and see who wants it most in the next two weeks. Options would be Vaughan, Moran, So’S. We really need to address this position and as already mention hammer the hammer!! If this were address it would give us an extra defender to bring on when Donaghy is taken off with possibility his marker.
    4. AO’S & COC to stay closer to goal and Aidan to lay off more ball.

    We played well the last day, but if we get the match-ups right there is more, much more in this Mayo team.

  20. To be fair, a few years ago when I was abroad and coming home for matches I would always book flights, day off work etc. at least a month in advance. I was always taking a chance but if Mayo didn’t get to whatever stage it was I’d just make a long weekend of it at home.

    Even in my current job it’s highly encouraged to book even a day off 4 weeks in advance as it’s a specialised role

    I know a lot of Galway hurling fans have a few days and in some cases the week off after the final booked since the Leinster Final.

  21. There should be a poll who should mark Donaghy!!!

    Joking aside, it is a tough one. Harrison is needed for Geaney, Higgins for JOD.

    I’m torn between Vaughan and SOS. Keegan is needed up the pitch

  22. Good to have Lee back for semi. Its great to have a strong bench. On a more serious note, while everyone is concerned about the Kerry forwards and rightly so, they have seriously good backs. Dont be fooled by the chances Galway had. Galway never looked remotely like winning that game and Kerry were at less than half pace. We are so quick to base all our judgements on the last game. So when Mayo drew with Ross they were a tired old team, but 8 days later they are fantastic. Kerry put a pile of goals past Kildare some time back but didnt win AI that year.Mayo knocked lumps out of everyone in 2013 but didnt win AI. Mayo can beat Kerry if our players play very well. Most responsibility lies with how the players perform. Rochford did not go from being an average manager to being a great one in 8 days and McStay did not go in the opposite direction. Kerry will expect to beat Mayo and why wouldnt they because the have beaten Mayo any year they have played them since I remember, back to the late 1960 s with the exception of 1996. Mayo will hope to beat Kerry, but as we know its a serious challenge. Kerry have not only beaten us frequently, they have hammered us on occasion. 1981, 2004, 2006 in case we may not remember. This is the best Mayo team most of us ever remember, but the only big team we have failed to beat is Kerry. We came desperately close in 2014, losing a 4 point lead in the first game and a 7 point lead in the replay. Such statistics show just how difficult we find it to beat Kerry. They will swagger into Croke Park after having paid us a few patronising comments and then expect to win before they play their real rivals, Dublin in the final. Were we to beat them, it would rate as the best achievement by this wonderful team. We have a chance, but this is Kerry we are playing and not Roscommon, Clare, Cork or Derry. Kerry are the real deal, so to beat them we will simply have to be excellent

  23. Donie on Donaghy. And sweeper to meet him wen they land as Donaghy won’t be beaten in the air. Good idea to stop the flow into him aswell maybe. Keegan back in aswell obviously.

  24. A lot of obsession with marking Donaghy, Galway’s fb line is very weak so wouldn’t pay a lot of attention to this as he will play a roving role between ff and midfield, donie should mark him and put a sweeper(mc loughlin) in front of him to collect breaking ball when his in ff line,when that tactic for Kerry doesn’t work they launched balls in at angles to geaney & o donoghue

  25. I think Mayos game has to be all about physicality and intensity in tackling. Pound for pound I think Kerry have better footballers and disrupting their ability to play will be the key battle.

    Mayo are stronger however and fitness wise are well able to impose themselves in a high intensity physical game. Would be mistake to obsess too much about donaghy. They have 2 other lethal inside forwards that would love that. They are not reliant on him to win ball.

    Matters not what we say. Rochford and co will make their own plans – but sure that’s what it’s all about.

  26. is anyone giving mayo a chance what about putting seamus o shea to mark donaghy and aidan at full forward

  27. It`s not all about the big fella. Our backs are going to have to track the runners who will come flying in

    like an express train to take the layoff. Or circling him to pick up the crumbs. That`s the bigger danger.

  28. Ciaran …..
    Look at 2015 & 2016 v Dublin. Higgins is not a man marker …..

    Mayo’s two best markers are Harrison & Barrett.
    I would go with Harry on Geaneye & Barrett on Donoughe.
    Higgins licence to cause havoc up the pitch.

  29. A question… I have a wedding in Florence next weekend…never been so disappointed to have such an exciting trip ahead of me. I saw a post last week asking where I could watch the game…in Florence…any ideas please.
    On the M9 this morning I was driving my 12 MO Seat Leon about 7am. A big 151 MO jeep cruised past me and we shared a fair bit of motorway together. It felt good to have another Mayo soul alongside me. I suppose that’s what this team has done to us…made our journeys a little more exciting and interesting. I feel connected to other Mayo men and women and know our blood isn’t just red… it’s green and red and always will be.
    Though I cannot be there on 20th I expect we’ll be home for the final and I don’t care if it’s Dublin or Tyrone… Thanks and Maigheo go deo

  30. RiseAgain – I agree with you there on Higgins, JOD would get the better of him, just cannot risk it and besides Keith has shown his value up the field a number of times now.

    Congrats to the team and management on the performance against Ros. Let’s be honest though and say for whatever reason Ros played very poorly the last day. Just look at Keith’s goal and see Jason screaming for the pass with acres of space around him in front of goal. Probably had capitulated at that stage. Kerry or Dublin would have scored 10 goals against them. Great to see the running game back, just need to protect at the back when we’re counter attacked, a weakness in the past that hopefully we’ve worked on. If we limit the supply to the FF line and break even at midfield I think we have a good chance to come out on top.

  31. Lots of flags appearing outside houses and on cars since Monday….amazing what one result can do. The buzz in Mayo football is back but then again those of us who have been traveling with the team through the qualifiers have been living the buzz all summer 🙂

  32. 100% Yew-Tree. It’s mighty what that win has done, it’s reinvigorated everyone. Once again, despite the predictions of doom after Galway, we are the last team from Connacht still standing. I think it’s really going to ramp up next week as despite what the bookies say, these are pretty much the same teams as 2014 and there wasn’t much between us then.

  33. Sean – exaggeration to make a point that Ros were very poor and we shouldn’t get carried away about the result. Lots of positives from the game not least the confidence boost it has given the team, just what the doctor ordered!

  34. Sure, we need to plan for the high ball into Donaghy, especially given the form he’s in and our history against him. But if we defend as a TEAM then it doesn’t become so much about how to mark one man. Our defensive structure must be such that every man knows what his role is. For instance, if we decide to break the ball instead of catch it, who’s going to be there to mop it up, etc etc. If Donaghy doesn’t start, how to we mark the other speedsters, etc, and plan for scenarios like that.
    We’re obviously going to deploy our running game so we need to be clear on who’ll chase back if we’re turned over. Tactically it’s going to be such a key run-in now for both camps.
    I like the fact that we have Lee to return, and nobody knows for sure where he’ll line out and how we’ll use him. Interesting too to see how will we use Aidan. There’ll be many subplots. It’s a match to really savour.
    I’ll repeat it again but please Cillian, stay near to goals!!! It cannot be emphasised enough how important this is. We need him sharp and fresh for the whole match and not sprinting back deep into our own half and him becoming shattered and cramped in the process . We also have an option of high ball going in, if we have Cillian and Aido in there, together. We’ve yet to really see that, one supporting the other around the square. Cillian is well able to win his own ball. I don’t think Aidan will spend too much time at FF but perhaps it’s an option for periods of the match, depending on how things are going. But he needs support.

  35. Cantini I’m not sure if it’s true that pundits just simply can’t win. It would be refreshing if once they played the ball down the middle and just told it as it is..no auwl bullshit. An example of this would be to say.. you know! honestly I haven’t a scooby doo how this game will go. If Mayo turn up against Kerry like they did against Ros well then it’s game on. You would expect with the consistency Kerry have shown all season coupled with winning the national league that they will be there or the thereabouts anyway. But one would have to question Mayo consistency and there lies the rub.. they could crash and burn or bring everything to the table to beat Kerry for the first time since 1996. Kerry pundits could say ‘off course I don’t want the later but I hope this game lives up to all the hall marks that it is potentially billed to deliver – enough said now let’s go play football’. In other words the truth! But I guess that don’t sell papers and their are pressures from other quarters to drop hints and innuendo.. and that is not paranoia that is fact. History points to these facts and IMHO it’s a crass underhand abuse of position, win at all costs tactic that has engulfed the GAA in the last few seasons. This is a very timely piece by Willie Joe.. and it will be very interesting to see how long these people will be able to howld their whist before before they self combust. Not long one suspects.
    Great post to win just once.. says it all. And yes I hope that Massy’s wing mirrors have completely fallen off for the amount of shite on them.. no looking back lads.

  36. I d say its quite likely that Mayo will revert back to a more cautious conservative game v Kerry. I know a lot here wouldnt like it but our management rarely send out a team in gung ho fashion and the last thing they will want is a shoot out v Kerry. Kerry forwards would be more likely to win a shoot out.

  37. Dreamt last night Rochford asked me to mark Donaghy. I remember goin up for the 1st ball, I didn’t even try to catch it. Donaghy caught it clean but I made sure my right heel landed on Donaghys right foot. The poor devil hobbled off the pitch. I didn’t touch a ball after that and was subbed but I got man of the match. Woke up after that and no sign of the man of the match trophy either.

  38. Sound and ros were poor , I just dont agree that kerry or dublin would of inflicted much more.damage , very rare hammerings go above 20plus nevermind more.

  39. There are more players to worry about other than Donaghy – Correct! However we have the backs to cope with the smaller faster kerry players. As a manager you want the opposition to work hard for their scores and not get easy majors; like a long high ball in caught by Donaghy layed off and goal. This is too soft a score and is a real killer and a easy out for the opposition. That’s why the Donaghy treat needs to be nullified. If he does not start then we need to have a play B and if for example it was B.Moran who was selected to mark him, then don’t start Barry.
    But please lets not hear the words of not worrying about the opposition and play our own game, we need to do both; ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’!!!
    I for one believe we have better players than Kerry, we had in 2014 and we still have, but we need to be ruthless, relentless and remember ‘Limerick’. Revenge would be sweet!!!!!!

  40. Hope ye can win but make no mistake they dont respect ye one bit. There is a saying in Kerry “thank god for mayo” in respect of handy all irelands. Galway are respected due to the wins against them in all ireland finals as are Down but Mayo are laughed at or more usually pitied. Its time Mayo got some respect but winning it on the field will take a huge effort and even then its only a semi final win but ye have got to start somewhere.
    Sorry to be a downer but ye need hate to beat Kerry like the Dubs and Tyrone have.

  41. Ray, that post made me LOL. Galway and Down are respected in Kerry, too funny. Galway haven’t beaten Kerry since the 60s & they bottled it again a couple of weeks ago, Galway let Kerry do as they wanted in a training game & were beat before they got of the bus.

    Anyway, let’s just wait and see what happens, you can be damm sure though Kerry won’t fancy facing us on the 20th, I doubt they gave a second thought heading up to play Galway. As for Down, will ya stop.

  42. Think we have to prepare maybe 25% on containing the opposition and 75% on our own attacking strategy.

    What would worry me most is the change in pace that kerry might inject if they took off Donaghy and brought on the likes of Darren o’s.

    A team become comfortable with the pace and tempo of a game and can get really stung when the pace changes.

    Had it from a good source that when kerry were preparing for mayo for the semI final a couple of years back they trained hard for 70 minutes and then Fitzmaurice would blow the whistle. Everyone had to increase the tempo from the 70 to 75th minute of training.

    It’s going to be a mammoth task to win this game and we won’t be getting to any final until we have the final nail in the kerry coffin.

    I really believe we have the players and the management to get the job done but if we thought some of our earlier games were heartstopping this one is going to be a complete nail biter. And that’s with us playing at 100% for 75 minutes.

  43. Think there is a different game afoot this year by the Kerry scribes (with full back pockets).
    They are talking up the young lads on the team, knitting a cloak of invincibility, perhaps. But will we ever be up to them.

    One game won’t be enough against them, we will need to mix it

  44. @AxelM – There’s a bar in Florence called the Fiddlers Elbow that will show the match. Was in there on my Honeymoon, many moons ago.

  45. Well done to the team management and supporter’s,roll on the s.f.,we can win this game but we need to believe in ourselves .I think we now have confidence and skill to achieve this, and if the team needs motivation just remember Limerick 2014, Hon Mayo

  46. If I was Rochy I would have Brendan Harrison on Paul Geaney, Lee Keegan on Kieran Donaghy he always cleans out the Star men. Chris Barrett on James O’Donoghue and leave Keith Higgins at Half back sweeping.
    In Midfield I would have Seamie doing a man marking job on David Moran breaking ball away from him and turning over, he lacks pace too whick will suit Seamie.Tom P to pick up Jack Barry. Peter Crowley is a cert to pick up Aido and will foul him all through like he did 3 years ago.
    Team v Kerry
    Donal Vaughan would be very unlucky on Roscommon form but who can you drop from our brillant backs ,Shane Nally and Danny Kirby need to be introduced earlier when game opens up in second half both capable of shooting long range points outside the D.

  47. Kiltimagh17,
    Not a bad team but you are sarcraficing yout best attacking player on a player that might be used only as a decoy for the initial period of the game, personally I would hit him early and often with high ball to unsettle ye but that might be the last thing on EF’s strategy.
    On your suggestion that Moran is a slow midfielder I’m afraid I just can’t make sense of it !! David is a powerhouse and covers all areas of the field between square to square. As I said earlier I can’t see any other option for Rochford outside of Vaughan that would be balanced and keep the required edge to Mayo’s attack. To be honest who would put their heads in the managerial stocks when it comes to the top teams, win and you are the toast of the county, lose and you are just toast. I would hate to be in a position to make a marginal call that could go either way as if it goes wrong the bleating sheep waiting for the official retrospective correct call will be then enlightened to the point that they all could see the error the moment he made it,, how many All Ireland’s would we have won if they had only got the job !??

  48. Gamechanger 2010. Yes David is a great Midfielder for sure probably the most skilful midfielder in the game ,great passer and high fielder.but he hasnt blistering pace.Brian Fenton has showed him up for that before particularly in All Ireland final in 2015 and last years Semi final.On the Keegan/Donaghy matchup I think is good in that Lee will compete with any type of player, best man marker in the game and he will frustrate Donaghy and will have him chasing after him up the field away from goal.

  49. Our best man markers are not Harry and Barrett, they’re Keegan and Keith. Keith in the last 2 years has tended or chosen more to mark space but if he wants to purely man mark he can do it in the corner. He still has the pace especially against a lighter player like JOD rather than a big fast guy like C McManus who can push him away. However I think Keith is more valuable as marauding sweeper. The FB will be either Caff, SOS or Donie (Barry won’t have 70 mins in him and hasn’t I think yet made the 26).

  50. … and I don’t buy into the Caff can’t mark Donaghy idea, he’s the most experienced in the role, however I wouldn’t start him for 2 reasons 1) A ball playing defender who can also attack is more useful to the team dynamic as we saw the last day (Harrison and Donie) and 2) Donaghy drifts out at various stages. For that reason my preference would be SOS cause whenever Donaghy heads out Seamie can make him run in the wrong direction. That would only be if management feels we can play someone other than Seamie in midfield. I think Donie or Leroy could do a job there with AOS roving out for kickouts. 3Rd alternative option for midfield is Keith with Keegan sweeper but I think Keegan is our defender most likely to score.

  51. Lee Keegan is too short and light for Donaghy. The obvious candidate is Donal Vaughan.
    Keegan marked Quinlivan, but Quinlivan is lighter/shorter than Donaghy.
    There will need to be a sweeper in front and I believe it should be Diarmuid. Diarmuid is tall with long arms. When he gathers posession he rarely loses it. To get the ball to Donaghy they would have to get it over the top of Diarmuid but not too close to David Clarke.
    I would go Patrick Durcan on James ODonoghue as ODonoghue needs a chunky speedster to mark him.
    Brendan Harrison on Paul Geaney is a good matchup as Geaney does a lot of dummy solos sending the defender to one foot but shooting with the other. Brendam is our defender most physically equipped to readjust and get pressure on the the actual shot. Brendan has had the most blocks this year I think. Blocks have a player by player wide variation.

  52. Thanks Jaden for the fiddler’s elbow… I’ll remember you and your honeymoon companion…and hope it’ll be the beginning of a new love affair for Mayo football… look forward to meeting you in the final!! Cheers. A

  53. Shuffly Deck I mean no offence, but in my opinion Keith is not one of our best man markers anymore, & he is so much more effective when he has the license to go forward. Harrison is our best man marker in the inside line in my view, he is a natural. Keegan can do a job in there if needed, but it takes so much from his natural game. The management will have a plan no doubt, but I hope we don’t shackle all our attacking defenders.

    As for Caff on Donaghy, we saw what happened in 2014. Donaghy absolutely destroyed us, and unfortunately our sideline didn’t give Caff any help or make a change that might have won us the game, & potentially an All Ireland. This management team will not be that naive, I hope.

    Dublin don’t have any fear of Donaghy, they know how to nullify him. The same way they always nullify Aido when he plays inside. We are in for a big battle, Geaney, O’Donoghue, O’Brien, Barry John, they will all pose huge problems if we are not at full tilt on Sunday week.

  54. we should not get too stuck up on donaghy ., we have to play our own game too, run at them , dominate the middle third and springboard the attack from there. if keegan is in the full back line that’s a result for them before we start, we need him in the middle third . we will never win by overloading the full back line, look how suspect their defence is. galway had 4 or 5 goal chances,

  55. AxelM – You are more than welcome. They used to have a candle at the bar in the Fiddler’s, with markings down the side to show time as the candle burned. It started with “Happy” up top, and went all the way down to “Boris Yeltsin” at the bottom. I’d be curious to know if it’s still there.

    As an emergency location, there is a bar right beside the Duomo called “JJ Cathedrals”, nice spot, and they have an upstairs windows seat with a great view, if you can get it. The window opens right out, almost like a patio. Lovely to sit and watch the world go by. The barmen were always Irish, and I’d say they show the match. Handy backup plan.

    To eat, no matter where you go, get the “Florintine Steak” – it’s for two typically, and it’s MASSIVE. 30Oz kinda massive. A Lemoncello to wash it down, and yer sorted.

    On the match, this is a tricky one. Not gonna blow Yerra up yer arses lads, this is a mountain. If you think there is a single Kerryman who’s genuinely not expecting Kerry to Maul Mayo – then you are mistaken. I’ve played the game of Yerra Bingo long enough to spot the smugness in it’s utterance.

    Retreat into your shell, and Kerry will pick you off easily. Concede the Kerry kickout, and you may as well not get off the bus.

    You simply have to take the fight to Kerry, I’m not 100% sure they will expect that. Galway made them look very ordinary when they ran at them. People might think it madness to try and tempt Kerry into a shootout – but for every score you concede, if you stick one back at them, then their easy enough run this year might start to work against them.

    The team might have the Stones to do this, but do the management?

    I’m looking forward to this one. In fact, both Semis hold alot of promise. Dublin V Kerry is most likely, but no foregone conclusion. Anything would be better than 4 drubbings that the Quarters served up. They should rename them the “Hung, Drawn and Quarters”.

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