Image: @Ladies Football
The ‘We Go Again’ rallying call is pretty apt this week because, just seven days after our agonising loss to Dublin in the All-Ireland final, there’s another All-Ireland against the same opposition set to be played at Croke Park. The LGFA SFC All-Ireland final between Mayo and Dublin throws in at Croke Park on Sunday at 4pm.
It’s our first ladies final in ten years. Back in 2007, when the blog was but a pup (a bit of an opinionated one at that), we were beaten by Cork in that year’s senior decider. The county’s ladies team last tasted All-Ireland success in 2003, when their fourth title in an incredible five-year spell was clinched with a win over Dublin by 1-4 to 0-5.
Sunday’s opposition have just one title to their credit – all of our four were won in that Golden Era from 1999 to 2003 – but it’s a more recent one than ours. This occurred in 2010, the one year since 2005 that Cork slipped up and failed to make the final, losing to Tyrone in the quarters. The Red Hand girls were no match for the Dubs in that year’s final, though, going under by 3-16 to 0-9.
Dublin have lost the last three finals – we feel their pain, really we do – all to Cork and all by narrow margins. In 2014, Cork came from well behind to win by one, in 2015 and again last year the margin separating the two teams was just one point. One point, eh … the yawning gap that exists between Gaelic football’s heaven and its hell.
But before anyone starts to feel too much sympathy for the Dubs, recall that they only beat us by a single, lousy point in quite agonising circumstances in last year’s semi-final. So, while they’ll be aiming to end a long run of final defeats, we’ll be fired up on a revenge mission. For sure in relation to last year’s loss. For definite to get one over on the Dubs more generally following the result in last Sunday’s men’s final.
The two counties’ progression to this decider in many ways mirrors how their respective male counterparts got on this summer. Like their lads, Dublin laid waste to all and sundry in Leinster before beating Waterford by 2-15 to 1-7 in the All-Ireland quarter-final and then walloping Kerry by 5-10 to 0-11 in the semis.
Our ladies, like the lads, lost to Galway in Connacht. But they picked themselves up in the qualifiers, although they only had the one round to negotiate there. Negotiate it they did, however, by beating Kildare on a scoreline of 3-20 to 0-8.
That win earned them a tilt at Ulster champions Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter-final, where a real battling performance saw them through on a 3-14 to 2-11 scoreline. Mighty Cork were next but, despite being complete outsiders, the Mayo ladies were once more superb, ending the champions long reign as they beat them by 3-11 to 0-18.
Dublin go into Sunday’s decider as strong favourites. Indeed, their 2/5 odds with Paddy Power mirror exactly what Jim Gavin’s team were priced at ahead of last Sunday. But what do you reckon: will it be the Mayo ladies who have the final say on Sunday?
Will we win the ladies final?
- Yes (85%, 169 Votes)
- No (16%, 31 Votes)
Total Voters: 200
All the proceeds from this week’s Mayo GAA Lotto draw go to the ladies training fund. Play the Lotto here.