Mayo 0-17 Dublin 0-14: we’ve dethroned the Dubs

We did it, we only went and did it.

Dublin have been the greatest champions in the history of Gaelic football but their run was going to end some day. That day, in a mesmerising, chaotic and thrilling night of football at Croke Park, was today. We’ve downed the Dubs and, once again, we’re back in the All-Ireland final.

It’s difficult – with my brain still fizzling and crackling – to make any sense of this contest. It’s almost as hard to describe it. What I want to do now is drink beer, lots of it, and watch it all over again. Which I’ll do once I’m done here.

Okay, let’s wind the clock back to earlier in the day. We got to Croke Park at half-time in the women’s game – time pressures mean I won’t get to a match report on that one tonight, still less one on the camogie win over Tyrone earlier in the day – and the place was filling up as the second half of that game progressed. The women battled bravely to the end but Dublin never really looked in danger of losing it and were deserving winners at the end.

Dublin got the dream start in our match. They scored the first four points of the game and in that early period we were all at sea.

The game was being played almost exclusively in our half then, Dublin dominating possession as they held onto the ball for long spells, patiently waiting for an opening to present itself. When we did break out we butchered a few chances and a full 11 minutes were on the clock before Mattie Ruane banged over our opener from distance.

At the first water break we were six to two in arrears, our second point a free from Ryan O’Donoghue. It had been a poor opening quarter for us but it became worse from then to half-time, as we went in six behind.

A long-range free from Robbie Hennelly gave us a bit of relief, at a time when it looked like we couldn’t buy a score. Conor Loftus smashed over what in retrospect was a crucial score, cutting the deficit from a forbidding seven points to six at half-way.

But we were in serious bother at that point. Truth be told, our cause looked hopeless. Dublin had held the ball for close on five minutes near half-time and my fear was that plenty more of this bore-us-to-death football was to come after the break. We all knew in our hearts that Dublin don’t lose matches from this position.

The third quarter has, in this era of Dublin dominance, become the point of the game when they assert control on proceedings. It was, then, with a sense of dread that we faced into that pivotal period of the contest.

Pivotal it proved to be too. We went into that third quarter six behind but we emerged from it having cut that deficit in half. For the first time in a night that was about to get increasingly bonkers, the thought that we might actually do it began to seem less than ludicrous.

Dublin failed to score at all in that third quarter, a missed free by Rock showing that they were starting to feel the pressure. We bagged points from Ryan, a long distance free from Robbie and a real roll-back-the-years effort from the magnificent Lee Keegan as we began to take the fight to them in earnest.

James Horan had made a very big call by then. The experiment of playing Aidan O’Shea at full-forward didn’t work at all and he was having an unhappy time of it. James took him off at the 50-minute mark, sending James Carr into the fray in his place.

But it was an earlier replacement who was lighting up the big house with an influential performance that belied his tender years. Enda Hession had replaced Darren McHale, with Eoghan McLaughlin pushing up to the half-forwards and the Garrymore man was to the fore as our fast-running raids forward began to become the dominant theme of this contest.

The tide briefly turned back in Dublin’s favour. Paddy Small got a point for them but then his brother mistimed a charge on Eoghan McLaughlin and laid him out. Eoghan was stretchered off, Small should have gone too for an incident that was more of an assault than a challenge but incredibly Lane – who yet again today demonstrated he’s not capable of reffing a match at this level – waved play on and Dublin had a shot at goal, which Basquel boomed wide.

They added another point to stretch their lead back out to five. We were staggering again, seemingly on the cusp of buckling, with the champions ready to kick for home.

But then the narrative shifted again and it did so significantly.

Robbie took another long range free which was tailing off wide but Diarmuid O’Connor managed to hack it back into play where it was gathered by Kevin McLoughlin and rammed over. Jordan Flynn, on for the unfortunate Eoghan, knocked over another and the match was back on in earnest once more.

This time, though, we kept the foot on the pedal. Comerford idled too long on the ball as Dublin struggled to break out of defence and was penalised. A mini-schemozzle in what was now a fully-charged Championship battle saw the ball brought forward and Ryan popped it over.

Tommy Conroy then sashayed through the cover and blasted another over. Now there was just a single point between the teams.

Rock got one for them but seven minutes of added time was called, plenty of time for us to snatch, at worst, a draw.

The lads were now hunting every ball with a kind of feral intensity. James McCarthy got swallowed up and turned over, the move leading to a free for us, for which Byrne should have got a black. The pusillanimous Cork official, however, flashed the yellow instead.

Ryan converted that one too, cutting the gap once more to the minimum.

Dublin were now panic-stricken, trying to hold onto the ball near their own goal-line. Eventually, under huge pressure from us, they fumbled it, conceding a ’45.

It all rested on Robbie now. A man who has taken such criticism down the years – the vast bulk of it unfair – but it’s a unimpeachable fact that without Robbie this game wouldn’t have gone to extra-time.

The kick had to be taken twice as Robbie’s first attempt was impeded. There seemed to be an inordinate delay before he took the kick a second time but when he did it was straight and true. We were at last all-square in a contest which was now assuming the air of a classic, one that now was heading for extra-time.

Could we do it now? Dublin had gone to pieces in the final quarter but could our approach of raising chaos see us home or would the champions snap back into their winning style and dash our hopes yet again?

We got our answer soon enough in extra-time. They got the first score but the tide was now running strongly in our direction. For the first time in ages, Dublin’s jugular was exposed. We moved in for the kill.

Tommy Conroy’s equalising point was key to this as it prevented Dublin from slowing things down and taking the sting from our challenge. Then they lost Basquel to a black card and we made our numerical advantage count.

It was Tommy again, slaloming through at top speed, who smashed over the score that put us ahead for the first time. We only had our noses barely in front but the champions would never lead again in this contest. We didn’t know it then but the drive for seven-in-a-row was already dead.

Further points in rapid succession from Darren Coen – what a sweetly struck one that was – and Ryan pushed us three clear. I was trying to get my brain to process what my eyes were uploading but I was having difficulty doing so. Eventually, though, the realisation began to dawn on me that, yes, we were actually going to win the bloody thing.

Dublin came at us frantically but gone now was the languid, controlled demeanour we’ve all become used to. In its place was a scatter-brained, increasingly heedless attempt to claw back control of a game that had spun from their reach.

There was still enough time for another bad Small challenge – this one from Paddy, which ended James Carr’s participation in the game – and James McCarthy walked on a black in the final seconds, as did Lahiff. Dublin launched a few desperate balls into the square but we dealt with them easily enough.

It wasn’t backs to the wall at the finish. We were in possession in their half of the field when time was finally called. We were very deserving three-point winners at the finish.

We had heroes all over the place tonight and it almost doesn’t feel right to pick out particular players. But Robbie deserves mention for his precious placed kicks, so too do Ryan and Tommy for their scores, Diarmuid for his hard work all night, Enda for his youthful fearlessness, Jordan for the very important cameo he played and, of course, Padraig O’Hora for a performance that RTÉ adjudged to be a MOTM one.

For my money, though, the imperious Lee Keegan was our main man tonight. He’s never given less than 100% against Dublin and he gave that and more in this game.

So, it’s the end of Dublin’s long, long unbeaten run. They’ve been great champions and we’ve had some right old battles with them down the years. Often, tramping wearily out of Croke Park we wondered if we’d ever beat them. How sweet, then, it is to taste success against them tonight.

But, of course, we haven’t won anything yet and while our semi-final record over the past decade is a decent one, we know that it’s a different question where it comes to finals.

We don’t know yet who we’ll meet in the decider, we don’t even know for sure when it’ll be played. So, with those beers calling and the TV on pause, I think we can leave it there and savour this sweet win long into the night. Up Mayo!

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly (0-3, two frees and a ’45); Padraig O’Hora, Lee Keegan (0-1), Michael Plunkett; Paddy Durcan, Stephen Coen, Eoghan McLaughlin; Matthew Ruane (0-1), Conor Loftus (0-1); Diarmuid O’Connor, Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Darren McHale; Tommy Conroy (0-3), Aidan O’Shea, Ryan O’Donoghue (0-5, two frees and a mark). Subs: Enda Hession for McHale, Bryan Walsh for Plunkett, James Carr for Aidan O’Shea, Jordan Flynn for McLaughlin, Conor O’Shea for Loftus, Darren Coen (0-1) for Stephen Coen, Conor Loftus for McLoughlin, James Durcan for Carr, Brendan Harrison for O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea for Darren Coen.

Who was our MOTM against Dublin? Pick your top three performers

  • Padraig O'Hora (22%, 818 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (21%, 775 Votes)
  • Robbie Hennelly (19%, 686 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (9%, 313 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (6%, 236 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (6%, 212 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (4%, 136 Votes)
  • Mattie Ruane (3%, 124 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (2%, 80 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (2%, 70 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 52 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (1%, 26 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (0%, 18 Votes)
  • Darren McHale (0%, 15 Votes)
  • James Durcan (0%, 15 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (0%, 13 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Darren Coen (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (0%, 8 Votes)
  • James Carr (0%, 7 Votes)
  • Conor O'Shea (0%, 7 Votes)
  • Bryan Walsh (0%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,701

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190 thoughts on “Mayo 0-17 Dublin 0-14: we’ve dethroned the Dubs

  1. The last resort of the cowardly bully is to imploy the dark Arts off the ball and in front of a useless ref who bottled. It. 2 broken ribs a few weeks ago, bring it on. Knock out one of us in front of the same useless ref , bring it on
    Humble players me hole. To see McCarthy sent off was deeply satisfying and he got his just deserts. We scared the shit out of them . The young uns came of age tonight in the 2nd half. The less said about McStays defence of the tackle on Eoghan and his toeing the party line throughout the broadcast the better. He should be ashamed.

  2. What a brilliant team performance today i am still emotional about what happened today such a electric performance today .Well done to all the Mayo management and panel.

  3. Congratulations to mayo and fair play to ye but no point beating us and not winning sam so hopefully you will go on and beat Kerry or Tyrone and win sam!!

  4. W. J…they must be all watching it again and drinking beer. I’m delighted. Looking forward to having as many as possible fit and ready for the Kerry challenge. Exciting times. Fair play to our mighty Mayo spirit.
    Maigheo abú.
    Thank you so much for bringing joy to so many hearts today.
    Maigheo go deo.

  5. Too emotional to make sense of it at the moment. I’m just brimming with pride.

    Heroes. All of them. But I have to acknowledge what Robbie did tonight. He’s seen the other side of this for Mayo, but today he was nothing short of sensational. Fair play to the man.

  6. Brilliant performance by all the squad . The team got stronger as subs came on. Dub subs made no impact. Well done to James and his backroom team.

  7. Rock, I totally agree with you regarding Robbie, the man has taken alot of abuse over the years from several quarters including so called Mayo supporters so he deserves a huge amount of credit for todays win. Whatever happens in the final Robbie will be picking up the All Star this year which is thoroughly deserved, he has had a great season.

  8. On a total high!! Delighted for everyone. Can i vote for 3 men of the match…leeroy, padraig and robbie! Terrible hit.on Eoghan – it was shocking. Lane a disgrace. The Mayo Fals were unreal this evening. Let’s bask in this one for the weekend!

  9. Amazing.
    As well as thought could have went worried Cillian’s loss was too much
    But man did those warriors Ohora keegan Durkan Ruane Loftus Diarmuid Odonoghue and Conroy ever stand up.
    A special word too Rob hennelly. You have some many times being the bit of the joke and cause for concerns but absolute credit to you you owned it brought it to the next level and will go down in memory.

    James Carr while he missed his two shots caused a riot in Dublin fullback line. They couldn’t handle him and hope he’s ok for the final.

    Jordan Flynn too I have had concerns of but full credit to him what a superb and mature display.

    Brendan Harry is back and will be needed against cliffords but so good to see him back.

    Superb day no negatives many will jump on aido sad in coming off but it’s team first , if you not performing regardless who you are who come off and that is the testament of a real team.
    I really hope James Carr gets the confidence his talent deserves and kicks on. If he was in a purple
    Patch he be unplayable.

    Full credit to Horan and Ciaran Mc see him taking Aido Audi to one side and boosting harrrison before he came on.

  10. Correct me if I’m wrong but we’re unbeaten in our last 3 games against Kerry at Croker. Aiden O Shea will be eager to get going after what happened today. Oisin should hopefully be back. Bench looking stronger than ever. We go marching on.

  11. Well down to everyone of that panel.
    I hope McLaughlin is ok and firing fit for the final.
    That ref should bow his head in shame, he needs a talking to.
    Up mayo.

  12. Great summing up there Willie Joe. Loads of mistakes on a tricky night for football but our heart and courage won the day. Ref was totally inept missing a combination of black and red cards not helped much by his team of officials. McCarthy and Small should have both walked with red flashing and Byrne’s foul was black all day long and there were a few more blatant pull downs. If he dished the right cards we’d have pulled clear sooner. Very weak reffing.
    Anyway it doesn’t matter now, we’re in the final with our tails up and an appetite now for a war of attrition, 3 or 4 weeks to improve. I thought Robbie was magnificent today, huge return from kickouts and nailed 3 super long kicks on a slippery pitch. 9.5 out of 10, his greatest game for Mayo. Hession looks a real find now, Dubs never laid a glove on him. Keegan proved so many wrong today and look what RTE MOM meant to O’ Hora. A very proud moment for a lad who’s improved hugely this year and a true warrior. A true panel performance aswell. We overran them in the end.

  13. “Absolutely, we have only one plan” said Padraig O’Hora, they will be ready for the final.
    Huge credit to all involved, as fans we were worried about Cillian and Mullin injuries, as O’Hora said it’s a team not individuals.
    For years we bemoaned the concession of soft goals and the tactical set up of using Plunkett stopped this.
    Like the rules of this parish, I try and judge performance on fact, oftentimes for AIDO and Hennelly Mayo fans ignore this. Today wasn’t Aidos day. This has much to do with Dublin knowing how to mark him inside. For Robbie, he has been crucified by mayo fans, even this year we have heard calls for Clarke. Today, he will have silenced some – you can never hope to silence all – his place kicking was superb and his kick outs gave us a great base.
    Our defensive match ups today were spot on, Con, Costello, Kilkenny and Scully were all kept largely quiet.
    At midfield, Ruane, DOC and Loftus put in huge efforts.
    Our forwards suffered as their first task appeared to be nullifying Dublin attacks. This seemed deliberate with Horan looking to keep us in the contest in the second half.
    The maligned bench was superb for us today, Hession, Walsh, Flynn, Coen and Carr all made a difference. Wonderful to see Harrison back too. The competition for places must be incredible. Special mention for Boyler too – the sheer delight on his face at the end was infectious.

    A few things I found great to see:
    Ruane smiling at the start of extra time, like a man confident of the outcome.
    Horan the calmest man during any water break, he believes in the plan and leaves the shouting and roaring to us!
    ROD driving the team talk during extra time. He was like a man possessed but the players listened and Horan nodded – if you are good enough you are old enough.
    Nothing further or needed to say about McStay and Lane. We focus on what we control.
    WJ, as always, thanks for this forum, the ticket swaps, the build up and dropping words like pusillanimous into the match report make it a wonderful blog.

    Going to watch it all again! ???

  14. Losing Oisin to injury seemed to unbalance us in the backline. I was expecting Enda Hession to start in place of him but he wasn’t introduced until late in the first half. When he did come in a reshuffle was needed and McHale had to make way. Aidan had a difficult game to say the least, the missed mark was typical of our attack in the first half. We found it difficult to make any headway and nothing seemed to work for us. Our only scoring forward in the first half was Ryan O’Donoghue. But come roaring back we did and I can only give credit to the team for a heroic performance in all sectors of the field, from Diarmuid O’Connor keeping that ball in for Kevin, to Ryan and Tommy for stepping up and booming over points when they were needed the most. Kudos to Robbie for keeping calm under pressure and putting those vital ’45s over. Conor Lane has come in for a lot of criticism over the last while but he got the call about the fouled ’45 spot on. The Dubs are clearly not used to chasing the game in the final stages and dished out as much dirt as they could muster, John Small should have been sent off, no question. I found it hard to believe that James McCarthy would commit such a blatant foul in front of the ref with a goal being on but that’s what they revert to when behind. We have shown ourselves to be above all the petty nonsense and so it will be proven in the final. Up Mayo!

  15. Wha day, missed most of it, but Mighty Mayo are where we deserve to be, respect to Dublin Brilliant champions

  16. Horan for me MOM don’t see the option there but all legends couldn’t see it happening when Oisin was injured.

  17. I watched the game again tonight.
    What a performance from this young team.
    They are fearless.
    I pray that I don’t have to listen to Mcstay for another match involving Mayo.
    I used to have a lot of respect for him, not any more.

  18. Such credit has to go to this team and all previous teams. EVERYTHING against us yet again, and the lads still managed to dig out a win. Hope all the lads are recovering well, they all took some serious hits.

  19. Amazing performance tonight. Heroic stuff.

    There was one dark cloud unfortunately. Not for the first time Kevin McStay took the soup this evening. On what possible basis could he say that the ball was there to be won by Small when he elbowed Eoghan McLaughlin in the jaw and finished him for the match?

    Seriously Kevin is that your objective analysis of what happened there? After watching the replay- Really? Or did you have something else in mind? Best of luck with your career chief.

    Thankfully the Mayo players have the backbone to win matches against adversity even when the local analysts have other things in mind.

  20. Great to see the Dubs finally beaten, commentators have waxed lyrical about them being the greatest team ever. They may have been the greatest but they certainly couldn’t be called the most gracious ever. I still see that picture of Paul Mannion at the end of the All Ireland last year roaring and mocking Kevin McLoughlin as he sat dejected at the final whistle. That picture epitomizes Dublin’s graciousness for me and we saw plenty of that again today as Mayo started to roar back into the game. Of course, it doesnt help when you have a cowardly referee running the show. Had Colm Basquel buried that goal after the near decapitation of Eoghan McLaughlin those same commentators would be on waxing lyrical again about the greatest team ever. James McCarthy should have seen red for the elbow on the Mayo defender towards the end of normal time. Instead he was having a chat with Lane for the toss up at the start of extra time. Lanes first job at the start of extra time should have been to issue him with a red as some hurling referees have done this year. But what a display by all the Mayo players today. Hard to single out anyone in particular, but I thought Matt Duane was unreal today, his work rate immense.

  21. What a great win for Mayo tonight, loved every minute of it, honestly as the match got closer really didn’t think they could pull this off, but against all odds, they did it, phenomenonal team no question, well deserved and really thrilled it was Mayo who dethroned them. I have to agree with other posts on here tonight, lost all respect for Kevin mcStay, always admired his analysis and input but not anymore, shocking. And the ref, same absolutely shocking, Dublin antics went unnoticed, eoghan mclauglin and James Carr deliberate antics from Dublin no question, Dublin couldn’t handle them so take them out. Anyway outside of that fantastic win, so proud.

  22. Dub here. Always found myself drawn to this website in recent years after our many titanic battles. It is only right to comment tonight and pass on my massive congratulations. Today’s game Mayo were justified winners. Dublin have ran of road. But I want to compliment Mayos will, desire and balls to keep coming back. Your soldiers not just the lads on the pitch tonight but previous lads like Higgins, Parsons, Andy, Chris, etc they kept that flame alight. For goodness sake go and finish the job. Massive respect and congratulations.

  23. To think that colm o rourke said we might as well all go home at half time, that the dubs only managed three points in the second half, only one in extra time, redemption for hennelly!! that mayo pulled this off without cillian, oisin and to have aido hauled off early in the second half, to see young hession, walsh, ohora, taking it on fearlessly, conroys two extra time points, that’s only to mention a few moments that gives me the shivers, jesus what a bunch of stars!!! That is one of the bloody damndest games ever! Well bloody done, everyone!!!!!

  24. Forgot to mention, there were lots of good performances but Hession stood out for me, fantastic!! Take a bow enda hession the Future is bright. Superb!!

  25. @)P, and hardly surprised at Kevin Mc Stray, he called Fitzsimmons (red card offence in the All Ireland of last December wrong as well, he seems to be Staying a long way from the objective truth, and he has several examples of previous Gobshittery to his name by now, and I certainly don’t concider him any friend of Mayo and as an objective pundit of RTE he shouldn’t be either, but he should be objective and he isn’t not by a country mile) now Fitzsimmons is and has been a class corner back, and aberrations have been very infrequent by the Dublin man, but Today Kevin McStray, strayed too far from the truth for me to be ever considered an objective punter again, and Small should have to face the civil courts for what was one of the worst assualts ever seen in Gaelic Football fields in Ireland, RTEs pro Dublin propaganda machine must pay very well,.. only after SKY had shown the virtual assualt on Eoghan McLoughlin a few times, did RTE decide to show the assualt that would see you behind bars in normal life…

  26. Willie Joe, fair play for your report, you’re a real pro to get it out with so much to celebrate!
    What a performance by the team, panel and manager! Mobility & hunger delivered for us.
    Some nice comments from Dubs but great to beat them again (1 AI in 27 years (95), loads of money then 8 from 10!!).
    Kerry are probably very happy and smug.
    Still a final to be won – cuimhnigh ar Luimneach agus feall na (GAA/Ref).

  27. My nerves are so bad I dont even watch these games anymore.

    I listened to the beginning of todays game on Midwest, but when the commentators pointed out 3 bad calls in a row against us in the first 5 minutes…….I turned it off completely and followed the rest of the game on twitter.

    I knew we were in for a riding and boy, did Mr Lane oblige us

    The majority of the scathing comments on Twitter regarding his performance were not even from Mayo people. It seems like he pulled a proper Cormac Reilly and should be bloody well ashamed of himself

  28. Unbelievable. So much courage and character. If they can take that final step there’d be a great documentary there. Super stuff JH and all involved. Thought O Hora captured the mood of all Mayo people brilliantly during his motm presentation.

  29. It’s clearly a case of McStay foolishly overcompensating by being too cautious, fearful of being accused of taking Mayo’s side in a biased way. He needs to cop, be brave, and call it as it is.

  30. An outstanding performance from the Mayo team and management today, a proud day indeed.

    However, it’s hard to celebrate when Eoghan McLoughlin is lying in hospital tonight, knocked unconscious by a full-on shoulder directly to the head. At its worst he might suffer life altering injuries, I just pray he recovers quickly and that it’s not as serious as it looked. Get well soon Eoghan and when you do I’ll celebrate today’s great win fully and hope you can too.

  31. A Mayo player hospitalised tonight. If we don’t stick up for our own then who will?

  32. After the 2017 final, I remember posting on this site that we should
    Never give up, Never give in
    Never give up, Never give in
    Never give up, Never give in
    I”m glad to say that Mayo have that attitude in abundance; roll on the Final

  33. Willie and others, I hope is Eoghan otherwise OK. Did he get a head injury apart from the jaw? I really strongly dislike seeing those types of injuries. Please God, he is OK.

  34. Terrible news for Eoghan and Mayo if that’s the injury he has got from The Dublin thug.
    I have said it here before The situation with Mayo and referees is diabolical and it will be the same for the Final..
    Some posters on here think its moaning but the Facts are the Facts.
    Once again Conor Lane should be ashamed of himself and Mr Mcstay should really stay away from Mayo football.

  35. Just watched it all again. Unbelievable, emotional, unforgettable stuff.

    I feel compelled, though, to defend Kevin McStay. I think he called it wrong but the level of criticism aimed at him here is unwarranted. He called plenty other incidents right from our point of view, including what should have been a black card for David Byrne for the pull down on Kevin McLoughlin.

    He’ll be on the game day podcast tomorrow and you’ll hear more then but, for those of you willing to condemn him now, just put yourself in his position and see if you’d be as quick to rush to judgment. I’d agree he got the call wrong but so too did the ref and, to be honest, it’s with him that I’d have the main problem.

    Desperate news about Eoghan, hope he recovers soon. I’d also hope that Small might receive a six-month ban for the assault but clearly that’s not going to happen.

  36. I’ve been highlighting the ( at best) incompetent refereeing in our games with Dublin. Last years final had the full frontal by Fitzsimmons on Lee Keegan which I felt warranted both a red card and a three month ban.
    That hit could have been fatal.It happened in front of Coldrick and no card was shown. None. Dublin learned from this that they will not (really)be punished.
    Today Dublin were acting largely with impunity. I’m calling this “ incompetent refereeing” but we all know what I really mean. You’d have to be blind and not know the rules of the game to come up with some of those “ bottled”decisions today.
    Of course RTÉ would not show various angles of the hit on Eoghan McLoughlin for minutes because “ they knew”. They’re in on the joke. Sky showed it though. At least two hits (chops)today were to the throat including one on Diarmuid. These kind of hits look innocuous enough but can be fatal. Small will likely not get any reprimand for this assault which is reminiscent of the hit on John Finn in 1985.So the Dubs have been at this kind of stuff and getting away with it for a long time. We need a new approach to refereeing. Elite level refereeing is broken. It’s getting too serious now and these athletes need to be regulated properly. How McStay can live with not calling this what it clearly was – a shoulder to the jaw-is a mark of the man. The referee Lane looks and acts like he escaped from a nursing home. But elite level refereeing in general is seriously broken.

  37. I have to say, I am trying my best to put myself in Kevin mcstays shoes, but to see Eoghan maclauglin lying there and medics around him and still nothing from Mcstay, I’m finding that quiet difficult.

  38. Fantastic display and massive result today. Great credit to the players, James and his backroom team. A great day for mayo in croke park

  39. Leeroy’s interview post match was brilliant, whistling to himself before it started! Just looked again at the scorers, nine different scores for Mayo including two subs, five for Dublin with only one sub scoring.

  40. Out of interest, can the Gaa take retrospective action on the incident? I don’t remember it ever happening, I could be wrong.

  41. I could never warm to that Rte pundit not since 95 when Val Daly ran amock below In Tuam when he was joint manager or assistant with Anthony Egan I’m glad he never became Mayo manager. We need to keep the heads down now and focus on Kerry. Horan should put an all out ban on media duties for the players. I’d use Aidan as an impact sub the next day he had a bad game today but he has been a Collusus for Mayo football and I hope he gets to climb the steps and lift Sam

  42. Disappointed in you, Leantimes, as you know the rules here. These kind of online pile-ons wreck my head – we’ve had a great few days here on the blog, let’s not spoil it now. The real villains in relation to this incident are the player who assaulted Eoghan and the ref who failed to deal with it. That’s where the blame lies.

  43. What a fabulous bunch of warriorrs we have in this team .It reminds me of the motto of the 3 musketeers ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL.I am so happy i cant sleep

  44. Omg lads seriously u won the game fair and square best team
    Won. Try and win with a bit of class small tackle was hard and he
    was probably a red card. Cillan O Connor assault
    On Rory O’Carroll in the 2013 ALL Ireland final.
    9 sitches in his head……people in glass houses comes
    to mind.

  45. The ref only seen it once from one angel. It’s like Kevin Mcstay isn’t looking at all the replays. What’s he talking about when he keeps saying he squared up to him when it’s clear it’s not just shoulder to shoulder..
    Who did Stephen Coen replace at the start of extra time?

  46. Just heard the letter box rattle, the Sunday Independent has arrived—where’s Joe Brolix’s article —-see ye all later !

  47. I hope all the boys and girls living abroad in other countries don’t mind if I speak on behalf of them all. This huge win means an awful lot to all of us – it was not just any team – it was the Dubs – our huge opponents over the past years. Our time must be coming soon – it will happen. On days like today in foreign lands you want to be back on home soil with your own people. As the sayin goes – ‘it is a long road that has no turning’. Up Mayo.

  48. I’ll fully admit that at 1/2 time I said to my Dad that we needed a miracle to win that match. We didn’t need a miracle in the end, instead we watched an teak down collection of men, some v young (hat tip to Enda H) and a few older (takes hat off to Lee) stand up and fight like dogs for each other. The fire in them was incredible.

    I’m savouring this win.

    I said several times this game won’t be pretty and that I wouldn’t care. It’s a physical game, not a tickling competition. Yes the ref was bad, yes Small was reckless, yes K McS should have stood up for Mayo but we won, despite all that, and we won well. Tye composure show by Tommy C, Ryan, Darren Coen, J Flynn, Lee to pop over points when needed was excellent.

    I can watch the game back again knowing the outcome.

    Finally, seeing Robbie stand on our 45 to fill the gap that Comerford was booming kicks to in the 1st half was “fun”

    Lastly, Aidan had a bad day, shit happens. But as Padraig O’H said it’s a team effort.

    Recovery day and plan for Kerry or Tyrone.

    I wouldn’t want to play us right now.

  49. Any other year and that goes to a replay and we know how Dublin and replays go. Always felt if the 2015 and 2016 games had gone to extra time we’d have won one of them. Once we got level there was only going to be one winner. Dublin were sinking fast at that stage trying to hang on. Dono how Conor lane got the semi final considering his performance in the Meath Dublin game and Connacht final. Who and how do they decide who refs? There seems to be no accountability at all. Even though we were 10-4 down at half time, the only difference was scoring efficiency. We had created plenty of chances but missed some easy shots and frees. There was also no way Dublin could keep up that intensity for 70 minutes but didn’t expect them to wilt so quickly into the second half. I need to look at the stats because I thought we turned over the ball alot and very easily but at one stage it said we only had two less turnovers than Dublin which was surprising. Enda Hession was my man of the match. He was absolutely brilliant. To keep Dublin to 4 points for last 65 minutes is something else.

  50. What a win. We did it. We did it!!! Brain fried still. Can’t wait to watch it all back. Let’s go and win the feckin thing! Up Mayooo

  51. How brilliant was that. First of all a great report by you WJ after a game where it must be impossible to be rational and calm. A brilliant second half and extra time display from a team who has given us so much joy and make us proud in who we are and where we come from, The guts and bravery of team and management to turn around what looked like an impossible situation. Today is not a day to be talking about Kerry or losing finals or keeping feet on the ground. It is a day to celebrate and bask in a wonderful achievement. Times have been difficult for so many in the last 18 months and our team have helped to lift us in difficult times. Dublin were brilliant champions for 6 years but there wasn’t much brilliant about some of their antics last night. The guy who took out Eoghan McLaughlin just look at some of the things he did in 2016 and 2017 finals. I am no fan of the black card but the rule is there so it should be enforced, yet Lane handed out yellows for blatant black card offences.I too am disappointed at K McStay but I do think he is one of the better pundits. Maybe he shouldn’t be co commentating on Mayo games as he has to be seen to be impartial. AOS had a difficult night but there was no sulking when taken off. Instead he was encouraging and driving the lads on as all good captains should. Hope he doesn’t get into bother for being on the field having a go at Philly late on.To win without Cillian and Oisin and to lose others during the course of the game is some achievement. I wish all those injured lads, especially Eoghan a speedy recovery. Once again to players and management fair play to you and to Mayo people all over the world have a happy Sunday.

  52. Woke up this morning very happy and I’ll have my coffee and watch the game again.
    Thank you Mayo.
    Thank you Willie Joe.
    But as Keith Duggan says we’re past masters of winning semi-finals. The biggest climb is still ahead.
    As for McStay, theres an old saying if you have nothing good to say, dont say anything.

  53. Fantastic comeback, and a privilege to be lucky enough to have been there to see it. The team has always shown great heart over the last 10 years but I think that yesterday we are seeing this combined with better game management and tactical awareness than previous years.

    Dublin were great champions, a team that will always be remembered but they crumbled when we stepped up the pressure.

    I wonder is James looking to conserve energy in the first half so that we come strong in the second half, may need to tweak it as coming from 5 or 6 down is hard work.

    James always had great confidence, he has developed his game management now and out thought Dessie yesterday,

    I have huge respect for Robbie, to come back and show calmness under pressure despite previous criticisms demonstrates huge character.

    Leroy has shown that when he is freed from the shackles of man marking that he has a great football brain and a real leader. I could go on but huge thanks to all the players for their efforts.

    We have been here before with heroic semi final wins but this one seems different, these players are still learning and improving and we have a reasonable record against both Kerry and Tyrone and great to have this final to look forward to over the next 3 or 4 weeks. Our day will come.

  54. Let’s all remember and pray today for Eoghan.
    Its heartbreaking really.
    If these kind of assaults is NOT addressed by the GAA then any player and his family could end up in a tragic state. In fact there should be an Arrest made and a message sent to all that this is not tolerated in our loved culture sport.
    Speedy recovery Eoghan.

  55. And forgot to say if any of us did our work like Conor Lane yest, where would we end up???
    That’s right…..fired!!!

  56. The ‘promised land’ must be rather special if it can make me feel better than I feel today.
    Enjoy the newspapers. So proud . We have had so many special days following Mayo. Let us not take from this feeling by taking a swipe at Kevin McStay….he is one of ours and we all make mistakes.

    WJ….you are amazing . Your work ethic is only matched by this Mayo team . Thanks for the blog.

  57. Great report WJ. don’t know how you do it. I could barely manage to write a text all evening..
    Great feeling waking up this morning. There is plenty of drama to unfold yet with the other semi and let them off. Its great that the media attention won’t be on us for once. JH and crew can settle back in to it all. Let’s just hope Eoghan is okay and for no more injuries.
    Enjoy the papers and the reviews, and no doubt the re-watching. We have a bounce in our steps today and don’t we deserve it. We all know the bigger picture but let’s just enjoy today.

  58. Brian McIver stepped down as manager of the Derry Senior Football team, in 2015, after their loss to Galway. He was scathing in his criticism of Cork referee Conor Lane. The Derry boss said that match was the tipping point, after his experiences of poor performances by officials over the years. “I’ve had to step down. Everything in the GAA has moved on in the last 20 years, except for the standard of refereeing,” he said.
    “At the end of the day, games should be decided by players and not by referees”. Time for VAR, unfortunately?

  59. I have no problem with people calling out a wrong been done and Kevin got the call wrong. Wouldn’t we all be perfect if we got it right all of the time. If Kevin comes out and says ‘listen fokes, in looking back on it I got that call wrong, from the angle we were at it looked square on but clearly now it wasn’t. If he says that, then that’s the end of it for me. We move on and all hope and pray Eoghan is ok. What a brave young man. The GAA needs to look at this and a rugby type third official needs to be able to call play back following tmo viewing and instruct the ref to take action. Now for the papers?

  60. That’s fair enough WJ what you say in your defence of Kevin McStay. However I and I’m sure many here would like him to be questioned on the podcast about how he felt that assault on young Mclaughlin was a fair tackle, having seen the replays from numerous angles and still defended it? Equally the assault on Lee Keegan in last years final by fitzsimons was also deemed to be a fair tackle by McStay. Both acts would be criminal if completed in the street so how on earth can McStay stand over that commentary and defence of their “fair shoulders”? Is he blind? Seriously?
    Now I know the refs are the main ones to blame but McStay is not blame-free either. You see it sets a precedent, if these thugs (maybe harsh on the usually excellent fitzsimons but not small) aren’t called out and condemned for their actions, it sets the bar of what is acceptable moving forward – that puts players at risk.
    Neither am I defending a biased stance but look at what whelan and co did for Dublin in targeting Keegan in the build up to the 16 replay – and it worked. Pundits and commentators have an influence. I know who I’d rather have in my camp and it ain’t McStay.

  61. I have to say when we were regularly getting to finals and semi finals in the run between 2012 and 2017, I kept reminding myself to enjoy it regardless of the outcome..teams like this one do not come along often. After 2017 the gap to Dublin seemed to widen considerably..I watched the final last year hoping but never believing we could beat them..As disappointing as it was what I took away from it was was that there was a great bunch of young footballers ready to continue fighting the good fight.

    Yesterday was like those great days and epic nerve shredding battles in 2016 and 2017 only this time we came away with the right result. It really is unbelievable the emotion days like yesterday brings…pride, passion, fear, joy, anger, elation..My God I was wrecked after it but I was walking on air.

    After drive home, I had to watch it all over..partly because I couldn’t wait and partly because with two small kiddies the chances of getting to see it this morning were very slim! Huge huge performances from P O Hora, Leeroy and Tommy Conroy..Hession brilliant. Robbie Hennely stood up like the man he is and delivered big time. There would be no A I final to look forward to without him.

    In regard to Conor Lane I will keep it brief as thinking about his efforts at reffing a match leaves a bad taste. Dublin very clearly should have had two red cards and a black before he brandished a black card. That man should not be reffing at this level..He is completely incompetent and incapable.

    In regard to Kevin Mac..I will respect your wishes Willie Joe but if you watch an incident like the assault on Eoghhan Mac and you do not think it is a red card you should either a) Have a look at a rule book or b) get off co commentary if you are so worried about being biased that your eyes are telling your brain that’s not a red!

  62. Amazing second half and extra time performance. The young lads really stood up. I’m sorry to say it, but the changing of the game was the O’Shea substitution. He was slowing down play with his indecisiveness. Confidence looked shot and when the younger lads came on, it injected energy and pace into the game.

    Conor Lane was a disgrace as usual, and should never referee a major championship match again, but I’m sure the GAA will find a place for him again. And Kevin McStay didn’t cover himself in glory on the commentary either – never heard a Mayo pundit so delighted to see big calls go against his own county.

  63. I would have felt beforehand a total of 13 points in normal time would have seen us well beaten.. mad how things turn out

    While things were looking bleak at half time, I still felt there was a glimmer. AOS missed two absolute sitters, the attack was a little too pedestrian but always felt there was a purple patch to come. When you don’t concede a goal there’s always a chance. I felt Loftus’s score at the time could be significant enough, kept us within the two score range. Hession was already having a serious impact at this stage

    A few key moments then early in the 2nd half. COC hitting the post with a routine enough fisted attempt, and McCarthy blazing a goal effort wide – two of the greats of the game. Rock missed a good chance too. Kilkenny went completely out of it. By now we were really growing into it but still were struggling to show it on the scoreboard. Taking off AOS was a ballsy but significant move. Carr and Flynn both made their mark from the moment they were introduced and Conroy then started to really grow into it.

    I still felt Dublin would hit a purple patch but instead they got worse and worse as the game went on. Not one of their subs made any material difference (I thought the general pre-match criticism of their lack of bench cover was OTT but turned out completely correct), and in truth we should have won it in normal time. Extra time we just walked all over them and if we kept the foot on the pedal would have won by a fair bit more but this was irrelevant, Dublin still wouldn’t have scored a goal the way they were playing

    So we’ve beaten Dublin and done so without O’Connor and Mullin, some of our key players were below par, others were outright anonymous, with plenty of poor shot selection and decision making thrown in – mad isn’t it!

    So can we win an all Ireland? I don’t think we’re at the level we were a few years ago, I don’t think Horan even knows the best 15, yet here we are once again, one game away – and maybe in the best position we’ve ever been in!

    Now as we all know well at this stage, nothing is won at semi-final stage and for the first time in a decade Dublin aren’t the team to beat in Ireland – they’ve been second favourites with the bookies and rightly so. Kerry will be extremely formidable opposition, with a forward line the envy of the country. we’ll need to score much more than today that’s for sure. Its been a mad season though (we don’t even know if the other semi will be played yet – but I’d be shocked if wasn’t) and honestly how could you bet against Mayo after yesterday!

    We look like we own Connacht again, I feel we can only even improve overall and Dublin have well and truly come back into the pack (they’ll still be a formidable side going forward though). While of course it would be very disappointing to lose another final – but we’ll be underdogs again and rightly so – there’s definitely more a sense this time that if we don’t do it this year, that our time will be very soon. I’m amazed at how quickly we’ve adapted to life post Higgins, Barrett, SOS et al. We’re comfortably a top 3 side again

    Anyhow roll on the next few weeks. Lets hope the GAA come out today and clarify the situation around the other semi (Spoiler alert – it will indeed go ahead in 2 weeks,) and with the way the world is at present lets hope all our own preparations go extremely smoothly with no covid hitches or anything like that

  64. What a performance from this wonderful team and James Horan! I’ve been critical enough of his in game tactics but yesterday he was phenomenal. Can’t believe I couldn’t make it to Croker but I’ll get over it.

    Could not believe what I was listening to from McStay though. Awful dirge and he can just feck off at this stage.

    Wonderful performances throughout.

    Completely inept performance from Lane but that was to be expected. Doesn’t have the cajones for reffing at this level.

    We’ve been here before but let’s enjoy yesterday.

    Time for the fry.

  65. My proudest day ever as a Mayo supporter.

    We were surely dead and burried at the small whistle. Gone. But there are certain words and notions missing from the minds of these players.

    Dublin have been unbelievable champions and champions they have been, even yesterday Fenton was unreal, but yesterday was our day.

    I still have not grasped what we did or how we did it.

    For a spellbinding period of time last night I watched young men become giant’s. I don’t have words to describe how I feel. I really do have to pinch myself this time.

    I wished the team and management luck yesterday without believing we could win. That’s just a reflection of how good Dublin have been over the decade.

    To any Dublin fan reading, I know today hurts but know that yea have your names cemented in history. A brilliant team and this is why our win last night means so much to us.

    To the Mayo team and management. Thank you for giving me the greatest evening I have ever experienced in sport. Yea were unbelievable.

  66. 1.Agree with Mairead w.r.t eoghan, really hope he is ok ( suspected broken jaw) it’s a disgrace that game was not stopped. Kudos to Food4Thought for great very prescient post yesterday, you predicted an epic 2nd half comeback so accurately 2. as Mayo88 says, The canal is the scoring end. End of. Great decision to play into it for 1st half of ET when we won the toss- we got the lead and held it!
    3. This match is up there with “limerick” match, but sweeter as we Won!
    4. Kerry sickened now as WE, yes MAYO were the ones to stop the dubs
    Hon mayo, so f###ing proud

  67. And thank you Robbie Hennelly.

    I have never been happier for any sports person in my life. You were majestic.

    How will he do ?

    He lifted us in to the all Ireland final with the display of his life.

    Thank you Robbie. Maith an fear.

  68. @crikeymikey I count it as 4 games unbeaten against Kerry in HQ

    Semi Final 1st game in 2014
    Semi + Replay 2017
    League Final 2019

  69. Kevin Mc stay will come onto the Mayo news podcast and say one thing. What he says on the national stage is another thing entirely. I understand completely that he gets to be more impartial when he’s on the local scene. That doesn’t mean he has to be one-sided against us on big calls on the national scene.
    I had just about got over his call that Fitzsimons’ full frontal assault on keegan in the final was “50-50”. I listened to the pod during the week, where he was brilliant to listen to.
    His commentary on the assault on McLaughlin was frankly disgusting.
    I have nothing but respect for Kevin as a player (he was one of my favourites as a young lad) but his commentary on these matters is unforgivable.

  70. Unbelievable performance.
    Officials were absolutely useless!
    Disgraceful behaviour by dublin.
    Mayo have lost tight games but never went to such a low dirty level.

    Mayo management team and squad deserve all the praise. Roll on the final.
    Mayo forever

  71. A bit like the ballot paper I voted 1,2,&3 for motm but could have kept going as far as Tommy at 15 + E.Hession who made a huge difference. Still on cloud 9. Great, great day.

  72. I have had some time to let this momentous win set in . By god it is sweet . Half time I was thinking we could not get into this game . But I reassured myself that we couldn’t play any worse in the second half . Few name I want to mention . Ends Hession was superb when he came on . Slotted right in and was fearless .
    Rob Hennelly what a man . All the negative criticism he got for past mistakes and he took a courageous kick to bring us into extra time .
    Aidan O Shea . What a massive call to take the captain off . I watched O Shea as he got the curly finger he wasn’t shaking his head no decent whatsoever . Now that I admire.
    Lee Keegan / Padraig O Hora . Awh fuck warriors fucking warriors . I have being watching Mayo since 96 but O Hora is the hardest man I have seen in the green and red since Colm Mac.
    Finally I hope James Horan get the credit he deserves. Im sure other people can articulate what he has achieved better than I can .
    Now lads let’s fucking enjoy this and next week focus on next game . Nothing won yet .

  73. Have to say, we watched Sky recording of game this morning versus RTE broadcast last night.
    Sky commentary, discussion and analysis of the game is light years ahead.
    The RTE performance yesterday was so poor in aspects of Mayo & Dublin team performance plus Lane’s inepitude.

  74. What a wonderful win by these Mayo Warriors one and All, Players and Management. To banish a decade of heartbreak in one pulsating match.
    Heroes everywhere on the pitch. Robbie was a colossus what a Goalkeeper. The whole Team and Subs were magnificent. There is a glow in every Mayo Man and Woman Today lit by these Mighty Mayo Men. The Referee was a disgrace. The Dubs Antics near the end as their ship was sinking were a disgrace and I hope the GAA issue bans to these so called Footballers. And yet we took it All and Rose above it I hope Eoghan and James recover quickly. Bring on Kerry or Tyrone We are waiting. “There ia only one Plan”. A Fire has been lit.
    Mhuigheo Abu.

  75. Redemption for Robbie.
    I’ve been so happy to be so wrong .
    Unbelievable bottle from him .

    So many others to mention . Too many.
    But I’ll got for two anyways 😀
    Diarmuid . Always a man who plays his best when those around him are struggling. To keep that ball in at the end line when everyone else had given up on it. That was THE moment for me when I said “Maybe, just maybe…….”

    Tommy Conroy. Such a mature performance. Asked to play a different role which he did . And then came up with 3 monster points (I think it was 3)
    The Real Deal from The Neale!

    Up Mayo
    Absolutely buzzing 🙂

  76. I wonder if cillian was playing would Robbie have taken those 3 kicks? I am one of cillian biggest fans but think he probably would have taken them and has a poor record with 45s. A great display all round and for me keegan shades motm. I, like many more was disappointed with mcstay for not calling the foul and was shouting at the TV to do so as if he could hear me. Right decision taking off aido and a great decision to bring him back in when Dublin lobbying in the ball looking for a goal. Only good thing about lane not sending players off earlier is we won against a full deck (game was won when cards came) best wishes to Eoghain hoping for a quick recovery.

  77. Watched it back. Hessian outstanding when he came on. Several inspiring drives forward. He’s played himself into contention for final, if not to start then as first impact sub. A real force. A fine footballer and solid young fella.

    Hate to put any kind of dampener on yesterday, but there’s so so much we need to improve on. Turnovers, sloppy play, poor shooting. Nearly cost us. Won’t get away with it in final.
    In a way, the delay due to Tyrones situation will suit us on three fronts:

    -allows the wounds of yesterday’s assaults to heal, and other niggles to clear up. Harrison may again be in contention fitness permitting. Great to see. He always seems to have space. A class act.

    -allows us to work more on skills, gameplan etc for Kerry, a different challenge, a different animal altogether

    -most importantly, the extra couple of covid-19 weeks allows this young Mayo team to ‘come down’ from the euphoria and backslapping they’ll encounter from yesterday, given the significance of downing the Durbs.

  78. I can say this now without it sounding like sour grapes
    Conor Lane is an appalling ref
    Said it during the week. He isn’t up to it . This should be the end of him for big games

  79. Revellino, thanks. It does hurt today and thankfully we haven’t had to deal with that for a very long time. But I’m a long time Dub and remember all too well our barren years so can understand the euphoria for Mayo fans today.

    Ye were hungrier and more composed and fully deserved your win. Now go on and win the bloody All Ireland, Kerry will be raging favourites but who have they played? It doesn’t look like they will have a tough match against Tyrone so they really don’t know where they are. Mayo must use that and not take till the second half to start playing. You will be punished if you don’t hit the ground running.

    I’ll be shouting for you from Kerry, with my Dubs gone my wish is that you finally get your hands on Sam. But if you do I feel sorry for all the cows in Mayo, unless they can milk themselves.

    Best of luck, the whole country is behind you, except Kerry of course ?

  80. Agreed Mayomaningalway. Rte trying desperately to say Aidan wasn’t happy coming off. Darragh Moloney and that Joanne Cantwell. Rubbish. He took it like a man, went straight back to his seat, no shaking of head, no sour looks or anything. Rte mad to shit-stir.

  81. Mayo supporters are rightly outraged about the smash on Eoghan because we’ve seen it all too often by the Dubs, and invariably it goes unpunished by the officials and doesn’t much get highlighted in press.

    Then in 2016 Lee is absolutely blackened by Dublin pundits and ex-players and it ends up having the desired consequence He gets the line. No more.

  82. Last word on the commentary – Cora Staunton was terrific on the RTE panel. Stood up for us and fought our corner. We need more like her representing us in the media.

  83. Interesting stat I read was that in all of Dublins victories over Mayo since 2013, they kicked into the Canal end in the second half. The times they didn’t we either drew or yesterday beat them.

  84. Thought Joanne would bring Michael Lyster-standard leadership to RTE Gaelic Games commentary but now have no time for her at all……She’s clearly a not so impartial Dub herself………As for ORourke, his hatred for Mayo shines through every time. In relation to Kev McStay, he might be ‘one of our own’ but I was pretty disappointed when I came across his biography last week to see his choice of outfit for the cover photo…….a Ross tracksuit top……

  85. Would love to hear McStays thoughts on John Small’s hit. We don’t know what footage the commentators see. But if he saw the replays we saw, then he should be called out. It was an absolutely shocking challenge

  86. Emotional wreck . Still in disbelief at that performance from the second half on . Trojan workrate . Me worried beforehand about Leroy’s form, wtf do I know seriously. The man was electric .

    Thanks to the players and management for that , amazing pride in many mayo people this morning cause of you guys .

  87. I think Mike Finnerty referred to Tommy as “Brown Thomas” once on the podcast. Love it.

    Alan Kenny I posted a large comment with those details during the week. Whatever it is about playing into Canal End in 2nd half, it works. Aido won the toss yesterday and I was delighted when I saw him point to the Hill for first half.

  88. Here’s what Joe said about his beloved Dubs prior to the game-Dublin, like the All-Blacks or South Africa, serve a cause bigger than themselves. They have total respect for the game and the opposition. They do everything in their body to achieve the perfect performance. The needs of others are considered ahead of their own. It is inspiring and humbling. They provide us with a guidebook not just for sport but life.

  89. Still scratching me head. Feickin hell! For me, DOC scrambling to the end line to keep that ball in followed by Kevin’s conversion summed up the seriousness of the whole thing for these warriors. clawning themselves back and overcoming woeful reffing. Hope Eoghan’s OK.

    Maigheo Abu!

  90. Mayo Focus ya its very interesting. I wonder does that apply to other games or just one of those weird stats. I wonder is it to do with the stand and there is less wind than the Hill end.

  91. What a match. Really thought we were goners at half time and was afraid Dublin would come out in the second half and get an early goal and really bury us. So glad to be wrong as our wonderful players took the game to them.
    I would have been critical of James’s sideline management in the past especially the 2013 final and first game with Kerry in 2014. But in the last two matches he has got every call right including taking of Aidan. Who by the way did not react in a petulant manner despite what RTE said. Of course he was not happy but then if he was I would be really worried..
    I expect the second semi final will be put back to the 29th with the final on the 11th. Plenty of time for Oisin to be back.
    Finally best wishes to Eoghan for a speedy recovery. That was an assault nothing less and certainly not a mistimed tackle for a fifty fifty ball. Even if Lane did not see it as a foul once the player was clearly in trouble play should have been stopped. Thank God Dublin did not score a goal at that time.

  92. Joe Brollix is patronising again. What does he know about Mayo football? ‘tommyGoals they call him in Mayo’ !! superstar Tommy , I’d call him. Well done Willie joe in maintaining this blog. Up Mayo

  93. I shudder to think this game was defined by a single “fine margin”. T.G. we came out the right side of it.

    Miserable ending
    Final score:  Dublin 0-13, Mayo 0-12.
    Robbie fails to put over the 45, similar kick to Limerick in 2014. Time is up, Mayo are out.

    Wait a minute, what’s going on here…. kick has to be retaken. (apparently due to an extra Mayo man on the pitch?).

    Happy Ending:
    Final score: Dublin 0-14, Mayo 0-17. 

    Whew…. what a difference one decision made to the outcome.  

    Furthermore the kicker, known as the “villian” in a previous incarnation turns to hero. You couldn’t write a better script for “Mayo da Movie”.

    There were actually two prizes on offer in this year’s football,
    1. be the first to take down the dubs and
    2. win Sam. 
    We enjoy 1 for a couple of days or as the poster JP said after Galway victory “bask like the sharks in Keem Bay”. Maybe even an upgrade to the Seychelles?.

    Then back to the only prize that matters.

  94. We scored 7 points in the first 62 minutes. In the next 15 minutes we got 6 points. Thats just incredible. Still cant believe we managed to get level with them in those last 15 minutes.

  95. James 14:8…. “And the meek shall inherit fuck all.”
    A performance of biblical proportions.
    I have to quote others because I still don’t have the words.
    I loves me county.

  96. Brilliant, brilliant display by players and management yesterday – what a day to be in Croker!
    What we did yesterday was the same as we’ve done many times before against Dublin but this time it was different-:
    – a team with the perfect mix of experience, and youthful fearlessness
    – a Dublin team full of cockiness playing ‘keepball’ Instead of going at us as they’ve always done before
    – a good dollop of Lady Luck which has never been on our side before

    As regards McStays commentary, I’m a big fan, but I’m afraid he let the town down badly yesterday, – not only shying away from calling out dirty Dublin play but unnecessarily waxing lyrical about Dublin and rarely praising good Mayo play.
    EG Dublin make a mistake and it’s – “that’s a rare slip up from a wonderful Dublin player” and Mayo mistake = “he really should be doing better playing on this stage” – his true Dublin bias coming through in such simple remarks!

  97. I like McStay a lot . He has a lovely turn of phrase and is really insightful
    But
    He always goes out of his to appear unbiased on National tv when Mayo are on. And he ends up over compensating for it

  98. If K. McStay has the balls to come out and say he got it wrong, that’s the en of his criticism as far as I’m concerned. Even if Small goes unpunished for the assault, as much as it would annoy me it’s not what really concerns me. My concern is the ineptitude of the officials both Lane and Deegan. It was obvious to all and sundry that the way Eoghan went down he was seriously injured. Even if the “tackle” was an legit one the game should have been stopped immediately. God forbid if Eoghan had swallowed his tongue, these vital few seconds after such an obvious serious injury are so important. Yet the game was allowed to go on. Unless such thuggery and ineptitude are addressed by the powers that be there could be far reaching consequences for the game. What right minded parent would allow there child take part in such a “sport” if things like we say yesterday are allowed to continue (Small’s assault wasn’t the only such incident in the game). Above all the health and welfare of the players is paramount !

  99. My Left Foot .

    The free was supposedly retaken because Philly McMahon interfered ie walked in front of Robbie just before he took the kick

  100. P.S. Knowing our luck Deegan will get the final with Lane on linesman duty – God save us !

  101. Ha ha Joe1480…….”I love me County….. That’s the passion threshold we Mayo supporters too are at……. .Fair play to John Mullane for giving is that iconic line…….

  102. If the GAA / committee / congress are going to allow the violence displayed by Dublin to continue to go unpunished they should stand aside and let someone else run the sport.

    The very least the game needs is a TMO who can review the acts and show a replay to the ref on the big screen that Small repeatedly got away with yesterday .

    Conor Lane made a very brave call to retake the 45 that got us the draw , but that does not make up for his bottling at least three red cards for Dublin players.

  103. Rakestreet : Thank you. Here is that post again .

    Do Dublin want to be beaten by Mayo(subliminally of course )?

    There’s got be a certain fatigue underneath the persistent winning
    ”Oh no,it’s hard hitting Mayo again”

    There’s got to be an acknowledgement that despite being the greatest team to ever play Gaelic football they have been relentlessly hounded by Mayo and forced to come up with difficult answers time and time again. And they have. Every single time.

    And yet Mayo are still here,probing, asking difficult questions, relentless ( if not ruthless)And they seem like they always will be waiting in ambush.

    There’s an energy expenditure in maintaining this unbeaten streak.
    Its invisible and of course it is unacknowledged.Even the unacknowledging bit is a little energy sink of it’s own. You can compartmentalise as an individual for a period of time but as a changing team,over a decade ??

    Reality has a way of reasserting itself. Fantasies don’t go on forever. Systems and seasons of the universe have a way of causing shocks that in retrospect are not shocks at all.

    I mean Cluxton,McCaffrey,Mannion,Michael Daragh,Brogans,Connolly,
    McMenamin,Andrews and other nemeses are no longer here.

    Cillian ,Mullin, Doherty,David Clarke Andy,Tom Parsons,Seamie,Higgins,Barrett and Donie are not there.

    The universe is in a constant state of change. Time waits for nobody.

    And history rhymes.

    Mayo could go down badly in the first half but rise Sphinx like from the ashes in the second half to make the greatest comeback in the history of Gaelic football. Better even than prior comebacks against Dublin.

    I don’t see it happening the other way i.e.Dublin playing badly in the first half and not getting it together in the second half and Mayo holding on. But it could.

    And Kerry await in the final.

    Maybe it won’t be today. But maybe it will.

  104. What struck me yesterday was the young supporters, say guys 16 – 20 year old, they love to see the likes of me in action during the game from the stands, they love that bit of madness, it drives them on.
    Hopefully this new type of confidence / belief will see Mayo get over the line.

  105. Rewatching and just spotted this

    When Comerford gets done for over carrying in about the 65th minute, and Lane brings the free forward. Lane leaves what looks like his pencil behind when he runs in to new free location.
    Ryan O’Donoghue notices this and reunites Conor with his pencil before kicking the free
    Lane gave Ryan what looks like a very gracious and grateful thank you

    Just thought it was very classy moment
    Wouldn’t quite say it won us the game but it’s certainly up there in annals of most important random acts of kindness in Mayo football history

  106. I respect what you say about Kevin Mcstay.
    However it was a horrible assault on Eoin McLaughlin and he had ample opportunity to amend his original remarks that he saw nothing in it. Even,which it was not, shoulder to shoulder it is still dangerous play and is absolutely not allowed. Mcstay either does not realize this or else choose to ignore this. Fair play to Cora. She called it out first chance she got. Player welfare should come first and for referee to play on was a disgrace.

  107. @ FrostTHammer

    I watched that back and can’t figure out where the over carrying exactly was? He seemed to solo it every couple of steps. It was a crucial free to give us and we also got possession off the next kickout.

  108. I just listened back to O Hora interview
    “We have just one plan”
    I’m so proud of these lads !!!!

  109. High elbow into the face never has or never will constitute shoulder to shoulder. Never

  110. The emotion in OHoras interview was something else
    It’s a mystery how it has taken him so long to break through.
    I thought he was a little raw in the tackle last year. But he has been sensational last two games . Just sensational. Kerry forwards/Clifford will know all about him by the end of the final.
    We are going to do it .
    This group won’t be stopped now.
    A lot of monkeys off a lot of backs yday .
    As WJ said yesterday
    LETS DANCE

  111. I am over the moon for swanny AKA padraig o hora. I was in that mans class everyday of school and a friend of mine back in the day, just crazy to see him up there where he should be. A gent, half a mad man but in the best way possible.The craic and stories. It is beautiful to see him there. He was football mad in muredachs and he hasnt changed a bit. Very proud of you swan dog. Absolute legend.

  112. Yes Km79

    Martin carney nailed it on madwest radio. “Discipline” of Swannie in the tackle was key. Against Dublin?! The filthiest team going in my view.

  113. Lee Keegan was immense yesterday. Further evidence to support tge argument that he is Mayo’s greatest ever play. Hopefully he will get a Celtic Cross and fith All Star to prove it!
    Janes Carr had two bad wides but his running and pressure game was very important when he came on so he shouldn’t just be judged on those 2 wides.

  114. Great report lads – buzzing this morning!

    All the heartache is behind us.

    James Horan & Mac really don’t get the credit they deserve. Simply fantastic

  115. Do you know what I miss most today ?

    Sitting down with by beef, veg, yorkie puds covered in graveyard on my lap (well in a plate on a tray) watching Tyrone v Kerry, without my heart bounding , my head buzzing and roaring at the TV. Fu*k this Covid!

  116. Not sure what the fuss is about the retaken 45. Very simply, substitutions were been made at the time and the game could not proceed. Deegan was standing in the middle of the field beside Robbie and tried to stop him from taking the initial kick which put him off. If you watch it back you will see Robbies reaction to Deegan and Deegans position on the field.

    Listening to Pillar Caffrey trying to defend Small on Newstalk just now is sickening. Speedy recovery to young McLaughlin, unfortunately it looks like he will be a huge loss for us for the final.

  117. Just reading some of the comments above, and complaints about the supposed journalist and former footballer from Derry whose name I shudder to write, I’ve said it before and will say it again, I don’t understand why people bother reading him or the rag he writes for. All JB is interested in is JB, and his opinion should count for nothing in genuine football circles.

  118. Let’s remember that Malachy Clerkin predicted a Mayo victory – good job Malachy who has always been positive about Mayo, unlike so many of our Leinster (Meath:) colleagues!

    Good tweet from Joe Molloy in OTB @MolloyJoe
    Think the McLaughlin/Small incident is straightforward. Lining a vulnerable fellah up for a big shoulder is a great part of the game, but if you plough in with that kind of force and make contact with the head it’s 100% on you and a red card. Too dangerous otherwise

  119. Whether Small intentionally made contact with McLouglins jaw is irrelevant.

    He made contact and that’s a red all day long . Dangerous and reckless

  120. Yeah there’s no argument on the McLaughlin incident. If you want to go for the big shoulder it’s up to you to time it right. Small got it wrong, whether intentional or unintentional, it’s a clear red card.

    The way Lane let the play develop then when he could see Eoghan was badly hurt. That could very easily have led to a Dublin goal and put the game beyond our reach. A scandalous call that could have knocked us out of the championship!

    Best wishes to Eoghan on the recovery.

  121. @seanburke. Good to see you admit you got the keegan prediction wrong on a previous post. Thats exactly why I said I’d rather have him on the pitch than warming the bench. Hope you enjoyed your trip to Dublin. I’ll guess you did

  122. I didn’t touch a drop yesterday but still woke up this morning with a sore head. Only my beloved Mayo can do that to me!! Wow.
    Some great performances yesterday and credit to every member of the panel who sweat blood and tears for the cause.
    I was thinking about Robbies free that was going wide and ended up with the Kevin Mc score. The free goes wide and heads go down. Diarmuid ran past 4 Dublin defenders to keep that ball in. What a shot in the arm that must have given the team. Robbie runs back and we have our point, Diarmuid has an assist and Kevin Mc has a score. 3 players benefited from that moment.
    Diarmuid as usual got through an obscene amount of work for the team again yesterday. A word also for Stephen Coen who i thought was immense.
    I couldn’t’ finish without a line on Podraig O’Hora. An old fashioned defender who plays on the edge and brings an aggressive to us that I felt we were missing at the back. He has a bit of dog in him and that is what you need in a battle. Keiran Donaghy made the comment on Sky that is was clearly visible how aggressive our backs were in the second half.
    Our backline will have to be wide awake against Kerry alright but if we show the same levels of controlled aggression that we did in the second half yesterday then Clifford and Co wont have it all their own way.

  123. A team of warriors and leaders. We have the established older (some not so old), Lee, Steven, Paddy, Matthew and Diarmuid. And now we have a slew of new ones, Enda, Padraig, Eoghan, Tommy and Ryan. All these players put in MOTM performance yesterday.

    But for me it has to be Lee Keegan who gets the nod. Great to see one of the greatest Mayo footballers of all time back to his best on the big stage!!!

  124. So just to clarify again among all the media chatter – it is getting a bit confusing for me – what is the story with dates?

    Are Tyrone v Kerry to play each other or is there a date set or will HQ change a date? Or are Tyrone going on holidays?

    Also is the original final date open to change. Can anyone put it in simple language for me? (Dear Frankie – some of ye may remember that one …)

  125. On the McLaughlin incident, it was an obvious red card, Small followed through and made contact with the head, I don’t think it was intentional though, just badly timed. Call it assault, calling for arrests, guards etc is over the top, we still celebrate Tom Cunniffes hit on Peter Harte (maybe mistaken on the name of Tyrone player), that was a turning point in that game and Tyrone called assault for that one and we maintain it was a far, hard shoulder. Lane got it very wrong but only seen it from one angle in real time, no benifit of replays. What can’t be excused is that even though he didn’t deem it a foul, a man was obviously hurt and play should have immediately been stopped for attention to come on, ref also has a duty of care to players and he really failed on that and deserves to be removed for ref duty.

  126. I want to say a word too for Kevin McLoughlin. I thought he was a huge force of a man at 11 for a period of play yesterday. He was giving off an aura of a man twice his size and possible strength. He was commanding the place, dictating play and squaring up to opposition players.
    I thought – when I am seeing Kevin Mc doing this (bossing things, when he’s normally lower key) there is definitely something afoot here. They are single-minded. I was tremendously proud of him and just want to acknowledge that here.
    I got great delight from seeing Tommy Conroy drive forth unshackled and show what he can do (one poster here assured us that he could do this yesterday morning).
    But Robbie was sensational and I am just so so pleased for him.
    The men above – and all the team – stood up and showed us what they are made of yesterday. What a privilege it is to follow them.

  127. @Mayomad, In fairness I don’t think Tom Cunniffe’s hit and Small’s yesterday is a fair comparison. My memory of that hit on Harte was that it was a fair shoulder but he hit him that hard he made a complete ball out of him..It was like he was hit by a car..Tom Cunniffe was hard as bails. Only John Small knows if he meant it but he has form for this sort of play and that hit was extremely dangerous and a red all day long.

  128. A little side ball – my “MOTM” was Cora Staunton ( sorry Cora but you know what I mean), perhaps “Person of the match” might be more appropriate. You stood up to the two boys each side of you (why is the female analyst always placed in the middle?). You called it as it was not like the other two who called it as they thought they knew. You are a legend!

    And…as for the yera Man with hid did..did..dodder comments to you a few weeks ago ..” sure god bless your innocence Cora, Galway are going to beat you “, your composure was a joy to behold. I note that the great SP has not been used since..is there hope that the RTÉ sport’s management have coped on, I doubt it judging by Kevin Mc Stays performance last night.

    It’s amazing that my 7 year old grandson and my 5 year granddaughter who both live in Sydney ask me every time we meet on Zoom – “When is Cora coming back.”

    Cora, you call it as you see it and you see it as you call it – legend ,
    ,
    My

  129. @Willie Joe. That is pretty conclusive..no way you follow through raising your elbow in that fashion if your objective is a fair shoulder.

  130. A little side ball – my “MOTM” was Cora Staunton ( sorry Cora but you know what I mean), perhaps “Person of the match” might be more appropriate. You stood up to the two boys each side of you (why is the female analyst always placed in the middle?). You called it as it was not like the other two who called it as they thought they knew. You are a legend!

    And…as for the yera Man with hid did..did..dodder comments to you a few weeks ago ..” sure god bless your innocence Cora, Galway are going to beat you “, your composure was a joy to behold. I note that the great SP has not been used since..is there hope that the RTÉ sport’s management have coped on, I doubt it judging by Kevin Mc Stays performance last night.

    It’s amazing that my 7 year old grandson and my 5 year granddaughter who both live in Sydney ask me every time we meet on Zoom – “When is Cora coming back.”

    Cora, you call it as you see it and you see it as you call it – legend .

  131. Conor Lane said it was shoulder to shoulder and looking at the replay i have to say you can see Lanes point of view in real time but it is not his shoulder that is the problem it’s Smalls head making contact with Eoghan McLaughlin face / jaw that is the problem .

    As for Smalls attack on James Carr that was deliberate go watch it on “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqWw8yc7aJU&ab_channel=Revelation4%3A3” and watch it from 20 seconds in Small never takes his eyes off Carr and target his head / neck , at no time does he look for or attempt to get the ball , that is a red card offence all day long no matter what color jersey your wearing.

    It’s an assault and the GAA need to take action

  132. Sorry about the double post..but actually it is all the more significant, we need to highlight the biased against us ,particularly by the likes of PS. !

  133. Regrettably McStay has some form in this regard, as other posters have mentioned. Mick Fitzsimons hit on Keegan last December was clearly into the chest and Kevin adopted a see-no-evil stance on that one too.

    If he can’t be objective, then he shouldn’t be commentating/doing analysis on fixtures in which Mayo are involved. Neutrality has no place in journalism, especially when injustices have been done.

    You can bet your bottom dollar that if something similar happens to a Kerryman the next day out, Ó Sé won’t be slow in calling it out.

  134. Hi Jeff, can you/anyone else put up the link a bit better, I can’t get it by cut and paste!

  135. RahoonSean – I’ve deleted that comment from you.

    For your information, Kevin McStay was on the podcast and has more to say there about the challenge, having seen it from other perspectives. Personally, I still think he’s wrong but that’s my opinion and he has his. Like others, I’d be closer to Cora’s viewpoint on yesterday’s game, both in terms of the ref and Dublin’s lack of discipline.

    While I’m happy for everyone to express their own opinions on this issue, I’m not going to allow people to launch personal attacks on anyone and, to be honest, I’m getting more than a little annoyed that some think that it’s acceptable to post stuff like that here. It isn’t and I’m not going to stand for it.

  136. One ‘incident’ that hasn’t been discussed was the umpire calling Aiden O’Shea wide ball along the end line, Aiden stepped out alright be he kept the ball in play, umpire thought he was watching rugby ( and he himself was a 2 yards behind Aiden), spoke to Dublin fans afterwards who were inline with it and couldn’t believe it either.

  137. W J I wish I could communicate with you through a PM ! For the life of me I don’t know what personal attack I made. I would be very much obliged if you would communicate to me your objection to my comment via email ! As you say you have your opinion and k. Mc Stay has his, why therefore can I not have mine, where was my personal attack ?….? I appreciate your high standards on this blog but I also object to you calling my comments idiotic ! I too have high standards !

  138. I have to confess that I didn’t think we would win it and at halftime I was worried we were in for a right hosing! It was an amazing display of courage and commitment to hold Dublin to 4 points for about an hour. That’s seriously good defending!
    Tommy Conroy showed real character and skill to kick those points as did Ryan O Donoghue who was fearless throughout. We needed those lads to deliver and they certainly did. Kicking points like that under severe physical pressure and at a crucial time in a big match shows real character and has projected those lads onto a different level altogether. This is especially true considering that Aidan O Shea, to whom you would imagine they would have looked to for inspiration, seemed to be having a meltdown in confidence. They will grow as footballers from this and will have the confidence to know that when the chips are down they can deliver. They are the real deal.
    This is not to discount Kevin McLoughlin, who again showed his value to this team or Darren Coen and Conor Loftus who also kicked great points. And of course there were others too.
    And we made a heap of mistakes as well. If we can cut down on those and be a bit more clinical and composed in possession then God only knows where this could take us.

  139. Oh! And did I mention the ref? Please let that be the end of this guy referring senior IC football. Fair play to Cora for calling him out. She is a top class pundit. She calls it as she sees it and isn’t afraid of what others think.
    I also have to say I cringed a bit listening to Kevin McStay (for whom I have a lot of respect) justifying the hit on Eoin McLoughlin. I too thought it was 50/50 when I saw it live but on replay it was obviously a very nasty foul and a clear red card offence. Kevin too had the benefit of those TV replays but chose to stick to his opinion.

  140. RahoonSean – I’m not getting into any direct correspondence with you. I neither have the time nor do I feel it’s needed. You cast aspersions on a person’s character and you can’t do that here. It’s that simple. You can have any opinion you like on any issue you want but when you play the man rather than the ball you’re out of line. Read the house rules on comments (here) if you’re in any doubt about this.

  141. W J your house rules are very clear and I apologise if you fell I was “playing the man rather than the ball” my comments were merely aimed at a condescending comment and the way it was presented ! And while we’re at it you also should read the rules –
    Usage of Idiot
    The terms idiot, imbecile, moron, and their derivatives were formerly used as technical descriptors in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts. These uses were broadly rejected by the close of the 20th century and are now considered offensive.

  142. Fair enough, Sean – I’m not sure what rule book you’re consulting there but I take your point and withdraw my use of that term as a result. I’ll remove it from the comment in question now.

  143. No rule book, just merely a grownup attitude as to how we should behave towards others ,

  144. I can’t help but feel that Kevin McStay is pulling a classic “running with the hare and chasing with the hound” kind of thing.
    What he’s saying on the national stage is different to the local stuff. Have incredible respect for him as a player (as I said, was one of my favourites as a young lad) but his commentary on some brutal tackles on our lads was very poor.

  145. Looking forward to the Sunday Game and hopefully redemption for everyone, including myself (he! WJ?) !

  146. I’m certain I can’t add too much to the comments above. Still absolutely buzzing. So proud of our old dogs Keegan and Hennelly (Jesus, what a performance) but my god Tommy Conroy, Enda Hession, Ryan O’Donoghue were outrageous when it counted. I was livid at half time at how we set up until a wiser man than me (Trevor Naughton) afterwards suggested that it may in fact have been a deliberate tactic and of course he was right. Brilliant management if not heartstoppingly risky.

    It was a great night to topple an empire and make our way back to a final. And Padraig O’Hora’s interview upon receiving MOTM would have drawn tears from a stone.

    Massive call by Horan to take Aidan off and 100% the right one. I was so disappointed for him, specially against Dublin where you’d really want him to do well and silence his critics but he had an absolute nightmare. It was the wrong call to start him in FF and I hope that’s the end of that now.

    However we have to talk about Lane and indeed, the commentary.

    Our time has come, I completely agree with you – I would really hope that Kevin Stay is challenged on this. Yes, some of his other calls yesterday were bang on, but he got this so wrong and it was so serious that it has to be challenged. I watched the game back today and while you could almost (almost!) forgive the referee and linesman failing to either spot the challenge or stop the play, Kevin had the benefit of two replays and still yet he still – unfathomably – doubled down. Frankly that’s indefensible. And it’s not the first time. His analysis is very , very good, and he’s an excellent writer and but he often appears devoid of much belief in his home county. I can completely understand his wanting to appear unbiased, but neither Darragh Moloney or Ger Canning work too hard to hide theirs, and there is such a thing as overcompensating. Aside from that it, it is disappointing to see such dangerous play and dreadful officiating not called out – it literally places players at risk. So I look forward to hearing that conversation and hopefully hearing Kevin admitting his mistake. We all make them, after all. Maybe he’ll do it tonight as I’ve just spotted that he’s back on TSG.

    The re-watch showed that Lane did get a good few calls correct, not least the big decision to retake the 45 but he was so poor in this year’s Connacht final that it’s mind-boggling how he got this game. I first saw him officiate in the 2013 Connacht final v London where a number of dangerous challenges on our players were let go. He has form when it comes to player protection and he simply cannot get big games like this again. I haven’t felt rage like it since 2014. I hope Eoghan makes a speedy recovery, and that John Small is very ashamed of himself today. Dublin despite their magnificence in recent years showed themselves up last night and finally, the rest of the country saw what they have been doing for years.

    I think the GAA were correct to allow the extra week given the circumstances. Four weeks to a final is a long wait but it might mean we have Oisin back, and James Carr who also took a knock. It’s another four weeks for Brendan Harrison too. And a month for us to drive ourselves mad analysing and searching for tickets. Happy happy days!

  147. Ann Marie
    Small won’t care a single bit.He knew what he was going to do executed it perfectly and knew he would face no sanction.
    This will happen again.

  148. I dare anyone to watch this clip “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXB-NAwNz-E&ab_channel=Revelation4%3A3” , then still try to defend Small

  149. I’ll give my thoughts on the game tomorrow but I just wanted to point out that Kevin McStay has corrected himself on the Sunday game regarding the incident with Eoghan McLaughlin and outlined what he saw and where he saw it from. He stated on this evenings programme that it was dangerous and should have been a red card.

  150. FDBinashui I was really glad to hear it. I still can’t fathom how he couldn’t see what the entire country could, both in real time and in replays, but he has corrected himself now and that should be the end of it. I thought Oisin McConville spoke really well on it last night.

    At the end of the day while we can be furious with the poor refereeing, John Small is ultimately responsible for hospitalising a man, and that won’t be forgotten.

  151. In a mixture of excitement and moreso the fact I lead a dull life, I was interested to review the young team narrative and how it compared with last years AIF team. The team that started Saturday was actually slightly older than last December (26.1 V 25.9) I did have to take an educated guess at one or two players ages.

    The raft of retirements are fresh in the mind but when reviewed, 11 of the starting 15 lined out again at the weekend comapred to the December team, with only Clarke and Barrett retiring from the starting team. Oisin and Cillian would have featured but for injury. The five subs from last year all featured again at the weekend with Plunkett starting.

    The big impact is the change from 2019 where all six of the retirees featured.

    I guess whilst the panel is no doubt younger, that is two years for people to adjust to county football, two years for James and co to implement changes to the team and how we play and the fruits of that, especially in our defensive structures, are now appearing. This despite the two years being heavily disrupted owing to COVID.

  152. @MayoMayo .

    when it comes to the average age of a team , if you look at the most successful teams, there average age of the team is around 27 years of age. The prime age for a player is 27 so from looking at your sums we are getting closer to that age day by day .

  153. What’s most annoying about KMS is that he went out of his way to defend the tackle despite now saying he didn’t see it properly.
    John Small, Paddy Small and James McCarthy should have all received red cards.
    Some boys became men on Saturday, Eoin,Tommy. Enda etc.
    James Horan has improved as a manager with regard to his bench and tactics.
    Dublin were an amazing team but probably the most cynical ever play the game. Eye gouging, pull downs and gamesmanship like no others. (And referees let them away with it along with pundits including KMS)
    RTÉ analysis at the live game was nothing short of appalling. Cora held her own and has gone up as a pundit in my opinion.
    Pillar Caffrey should be ashamed of himself for his defense of the Small tackle.
    Brolly is quiet sad really, his way of making headlines to consistently denigrate amateur sportsmen.
    Thanks to Willie Joe for this forum again and the many thoughtful comments including many from Galway, Dublin etc. who know their sport and are fair in their comments.
    Most of all thanks to our teams (Past and present) for giving us the best that sport could ever offer.
    Padraig was right it’s what it means to all us. We’re in this together.
    We have only one plan!

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