Mayo 0-19 Dublin 0-16: Dublin rising quelled, Donegal challenge awaits in the final

We live for days like this, we truly do. What a day, what a result and now, in three weeks time, we have the All-Ireland final itself to look forward to. As that heartstopping final quarter of today’s semi-final unfolded so agonisingly slowly, I really feared we wouldn’t make it over the line but somehow we summoned up enough reserves and determination – which culminated in Keith Higgins claiming the ball on our goal-line right at the death – to get the result, to down the Dubs and win our place in the All-Ireland final against Donegal three weekends from now.

It shouldn’t have ever come down to that, of course, because we had the All-Ireland champions on the griddle and ready to turn up the heat with twenty minutes left to play. Ten points ahead and rampant, we spurned a good goal chance when Jason Doherty pulled the trigger too quickly (he could equally easily have punched it over the bar) and then when we lost Kevin McLoughlin to injury, we lost all shape around the middle and Dublin came at us in waves.

Michael Darragh Macauley almost single-handedly destroyed us from then ’till the end, rampaging through the middle as our centrefield found itself utterly eclipsed and the backs were forced to foul in scoreable positions to ward off the goal chances we knew could kill us. They still got through with a clear chance for a major but, one-on-one with David Clarke, Bernard Brogan wasn’t able to direct his shot sufficiently to evade the flailing arms of the Stephenites’ netminder and the danger was averted.

Eventually, though, we did manage to post the two additional points – one an utterly crucial free from Cillian O’Connor, whom I felt really came of age today – and the second a point from play from sub Seamus O’Shea that only barely sneaked inside the post. Although we still had to endure that final agonising passage of play as the Dubs tried to engineer a goal, we knew then that we’d at least get the draw. The joy of the large, loud Mayo following in HQ once we’d secured the win was, however, unconfined and emotional.

All manner of rumours were swirling round in advance of throw-in today, with the one about Dublin’s Alan Brogan being replaced by Ciaran Kilkenny (who on today’s showing looks a class performer, by the way) proving to be on the money. Colm Boyle’s late replacement by Chris Barrett was a bit of a shock, though, even if word of Colm’s non-appearance had begun to leak out this morning as the consensus seemed to be that Richie Feeney would start in his place. Instead, Chris Barrett was handed only his second championship start under James Horan and he went on to put in a fine performance.

Last Sunday’s semi-final between Donegal and Cork – which I was also at – was an intense encounter from start to finish and today started off in the same frantic manner. We took a while to settle, conceding two cheap points from frees early on, but once Cillian O’Connor had landed the first of three ‘45s into the Hill (the other two are here and here, by the way), we started to settle. He followed it up soon after with another one and when Michael Conroy got our first point from play in the 11th minute we had secured a lead that, those helter-skelter final minutes notwithstanding, we wouldn’t thereafter relinquish.

We really put it up to the Dubs in that opening half, with the champions visibly labouring and they failed to get a point from play until there was over 20 minutes on the clock. We perhaps hadn’t managed to translate our dominance into points by then – we only led by two at the half-hour mark – but a late scoring burst, with points from Kevin McLoughlin (two from play), Jason Doherty (a real beaut) and two from Enda Varley (one a free) sent us in six ahead at the break and looking good.

This was despite having lost Lee Keegan – one of our real key players now – with a nastily dislocated finger (the post-match news was that the Westport man should be okay for the final) after about 15 minutes. Richie Feeney joined the fray in place of Lee at that stage and immediately proceeded to get well stuck in.

With Alan Brogan now on for Dublin, you could sense that they were getting desperate but we still needed to close out the win in the second half. A bad miss just after the restart by Michael Conroy didn’t augur well for our ability to do so but once we got motoring again, we really began to rip them to pieces. Two frees from Cillian (here’s one of them) and points from Richie Feeney, one from play from Cillian and then another from Alan Dillon stretched our lead to ten. I really thought we’d eat them without salt at that stage.

We should have done and if Jason had buried that chance we would  have done but then the tide went out on us. We went over twenty minutes without a score, with Dublin knocking over eight points without reply in that period to cut the gap right back to just two points. David Clarke’s save from Brogan’s goal chance was utterly crucial but so too were those last late points from Cillian and Seamie. In the end these late scores were enough to get us there and while we won by three points in the end it was, if anything, a more tense final few minutes than our other win over the Dubs at this stage of the championship six years ago.

James Horan, speaking after the game, rightly praised our resolute defending but he also pointed to the numerous errors we’d made over the course of the seventy minutes. There were plenty of mistakes made, for sure, but that’s only to be expected in a contest of such intensity and I’d say the greater concern will be about the way we were blown away in the middle third from twenty minutes out. That’s definitely one to bottom out before we face the Church of Jimmy The Redeemer’s lads in three weeks time.

We had several stand-out players today, with Alan Dillon (MOTM on The Sunday Game), Keith Higgins, Cillian O’Connor, Kevin McLoughlin and David Clarke leading the posse in this respect. The backs defended like tigers and moved the ball forward swiftly and with purpose. They coped well with the pre-match loss of Colm (though he did come on the second half) and that of Lee after just 15 minutes and they fought and harried and hunted in packs right to the end.

Midfield wasn’t as great a success, although both Barry Moran and Aidan O’Shea had their moments. Barry kicked a glorious point in the first half and he won an absolutely crucial ball from a kickout late on, which led to one of the final two insurance points (I can’t recall which one it was) and Aidan fairly put himself around the place, winning three rousing first half turnovers.

The forwards were excellent – the same forwards who, according to some pundits, would struggle to get scores against Dublin’s sticky defence. All six of the starting forward line scored from play today and twelve of our nineteen points also came from open play. It took a while for the quick, low ball into the corners to pay dividends but as the first half wore on it began to do so increasingly. Then early in the second half when we cleared our throats and starting to roar properly we attacked with a venom rarely seen by a Mayo team at this stage of the championship.

It would have been a thing of beauty, for sure, if we had pushed on at that stage and given Dublin the kind of pounding it looked like we were going to. But, you know, the fact that we didn’t leaves us in delicious territory as we turn our gaze towards the summit and the lads from the hills. They’re still raging, roaring favourites and – much like Galway fourteen years ago – we’re likely to get the chance to come into the final unannounced and unheralded. This in turn will give us the opportunity, as the Tribesmen did to Kildare back then, of mugging them and carting off the silver.

But that’s one for another day. This win has still to be savoured properly and living as I do up here in the capital, I’m going to have a fair bit of fun doing that over the next few days doing just that. My own little Dub was utterly inconsolable at the final whistle and howled his head off for ten solid minutes but, as I told him would be the case in advance regardless of the result, he still has a team in the final and all the fun that goes with it. And it sure is set to be a fun three weeks ‘till the decider. Well done lads for getting us there and thanks for keeping the dream alive inside us.

Mayo: David Clarke; Kevin Keane, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Donal Vaughan, Chris Barrett; Barry Moran (0-1), Aidan O’Shea; Kevin McLoughlin (0-2), Jason Doherty (0-1), Alan Dillon (0-3); E Varley (0-2, one free), Cillian O’Connor (0-7, three ‘45s, three frees), Michael Conroy (0-1). Subs: Richie Feeney (0-1) for Keegan, Alan Freeman for Varley (blood), Colm Boyle for McLoughlin (blood), Jason Gibbons for Feeney, Shane McHale for Keane, Kevin McLoughlin for Doherty, Seamus O’Shea (0-1) for Aidan O’Shea.


60 thoughts on “Mayo 0-19 Dublin 0-16: Dublin rising quelled, Donegal challenge awaits in the final

  1. What a win. Grt stuff. Brilliant day. Had a grt time with my son Cillian and brother. Keith higgans what a man.

  2. Great credit to James Horan and the background team…they never panicked despite the forced changes in the halfback line and the Dub second half onslaught. Despite been on the rack for long periods in the second half, the players remained focused. My man of the match Alan Dillon showed great leadership and skill throughout. I felt things would go our way after David Clarkes fantastic one handed save in the second half. Well done to all. Great to see Andy Moran full of smiles, out
    on the field after the match, obviously a great inspiration to all.
    Well done to all.

  3. Conratulations to all Mayo panel and management, some serious bruises and knocks to heal in the next 3 weeks. I won’t be the better of this game for a week, these guys want Sam Maguire, thank god.

  4. Amazing, outstanding, incredible…and that’s just the fans! Well done to everyone who wore the green and red today, players and supporters. Heroes all. Now let’s finish the job in three weeks time.

  5. Gerard says:
    September 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm
    Congrats to James and the team.89,96,97,04 and 06 was associated with massive HYPE prior to the finals.Will 2012 be any different? Have we learned anything from them finals? Colm O Roarke stated that Donegal would be nearly impossible to beat,thats the statement i like to hear prior the final.Genuine mayo supporters would not want any Hype prior to the final.
    Commercial interests in mayo will want plenty of HYPE leading up to the final. We are underdogs for the final,lets leave it that way please.

  6. Great game what a fantastic feeling to see a Mayo team give as good as they get. I told Donie Vaughan when they were in NY at the Rockland pitch that if the got to the final I’d be home for it. Just booked my ticket can’t wait to enjoy the build up to the final

  7. 19 points against the ‘best defence in the country’, class is the only word for it, superb scores today and the way we held out against the dubs comeback was a fantastic demonstration of this teams will to win, Mayo teams of the past and most teams in the country would have collapsed under such pressure and I prefer that we were tested and didn’t run away with it, if that happened (although in my heart I wanted it) we would escape from under the radar and pressure of favourites would be on us and not donegal. We took some hard knocks out there today,Mc quillan was poor for us, but we fought like tigers.At the risk of being ridiculed, I dont see anything stopping us now. Congrats to all the lads who played , JH and his staff including Andy Moran whose delight at the end was what it would have been if he was on the field. Everyone of that team today deserves nothing but the highest of praise. Under JH we have taken some serious scalps……long may it continue. Maigheo Abu

  8. Wonderful performance, great scoring in the first half, came good at the end when it mattered. It got too close in the end but David Clarke’s save was the crucial moment. Alan Dillon legendary again.

    Great singing of The Green and Red at the end!

  9. Unreal showing for 50mins Dublin were played off the park however the Dubs finish strong and i thought like the minor game last weekend we would let a big lead slip again but credit to our lads they stuck at it for a deserved win.

    With Cork,Kerry taken out by Donegal it’s all set up for Mayo to bring Sam home and i think we can do it.

  10. Great day at HQ for James and the lads. Another big step up. Fantastic to be in an AIF. Hope to God the hype is kept down. James has a tough 3 weeks but I have every faith in the monsignor.

  11. Great day again, being a mayo fan is not for the faint hearted though and Jesus h Christ did we get it in spades today. Great stuff, was worried when I heard Boyle was injured, hope all these clear up for the next day. Mcglaughlin superb, keith was standout, feeney and Clarke, what a great scene in Croke park at the end, when they played the green and red and the hill could not empty, and had to sit and listen, wonderful, simply wonderful. Mayo abu

  12. What a display of skill, brawn and will to win. Not a complete performance, but in those first 50 minutes we gave the Dubs a lesson. I don’t think it is a coincidence that we began to lose it around the middle when McLougin went off, but we didn’t buckle. The best compliment that can be given is that Andy wasn’t missed asuch as we feared he would be.

    But we’ve won nothing yet.

    Up Mayo!

  13. Magnificent betimes other times hair pulling. Plenty to work on over the next three odd weeks.
    Gerard is on the button about the hype.
    Put a lid on the car flags for a while. Easy on the house and car painting too.
    And the lady will sing in three weeks time
    keep it steady Angus beir bua

  14. I don’t agree about the hype lads, getting to an all Ireland final should be celebrated by us the fans, it’s a unique thing and we should enjoy it. Car flags and songs and all that are not hype, they are part of the build up. Only 2 out of 34 get to experience this, enjoy it, hold your head high and thank God you are from Mayo.
    “Irish by birth, Mayo be the grace of God”
    Congratulations James Horan, Jimmy Nallen, Tom Prenergast, Cian o’Neill and all the fantastic players

  15. First time in decades I’ve been able to follow a Mayo game (from abroad) and THAT was MEMORABLE!

    It would be such a shame now if we can’t take it all the way, but nothing is won in advance. I know Donegal are favourites but I’ll be doing everything to try & get a few tickets cos 3 wins in 12 Finals is a lopsided statistic that will have its comeuppance sooner or later! Agree though, that there is a lot of scope for improvement to be made over the coming weeks.

    I wasn’t around in 50-51, but I have a personal connection. That said, I want to be there when 6 decades of legend is finally laid to rest.
    I just wish I could replay that Semi to a lot of friends & family here cos they just will not understand otherwise!

  16. The singing at full time was incredible. I thought the Dublin players were very gracious in defeat too – a number of them stayed in the tunnel to congratulate Mayo.

    It was a roller coaster of a match. Horan wasn’t afraid to make changes when the game turned Dublin’s way. The subs were fantastic and contributed greatly.

    This team is all heart, cut from different cloth. Mentally they didn’t fold after the onslaught. No panic. Horan’s zen-like attitude has pervaded the squad. This will greatly dampen the hype!

  17. Great result and performance. Plenty to work on in the coming weeks, which is the best way to have it coming into the final……… will keep both minds and bodies focused for future challenges.

  18. The Dub players not only gracious but many Dublin fans too were genuinely well-wishing on the way out of Croker and back to ‘Connolly Station…….Lots of thumbs up from the blues on the street, fair play to them.

    That spectacular investment in point kicking early in the second half was our lifeline…..But we deserved to win in any event……..6 points up at the interval and deservedly so. What’s different about this team, irrespective of the Dublin onslaught for 6-7 points in the second half is that our lads seriously believed, stood firm and didn’t fold when the chips were down. Brilliant save by Clarke to keep us in it, and we won it by scoring also not just by hanging on to our lead.

    The key to success is that there was absolutely no fear going into that match….Whatever the outcome would be, win or lose, there was no fear and that’s half the battle. For sure we’ve had well prepared teams in the past caught out by the jitters on the big occasion, but not today, that’s for certain.

    3 weeks to work on bits and pieces and I expect our team to be primed and ready for whatever comes their way on the big day.

  19. over the past few days we were talking about all the great times we had being mayo fans and our team,and then they go out andblow our minds with a performance for the ages.nos 1 to 23 had man of match displays today,we have no reason to fear donegal.glad i had sunglasses on cos i started to well up when all the mayo fans sang the green and red of mayo,what a proud moment roll on 3 wks time MAYO ABU

  20. Agree totally with First Generation Dub’s comments about JH’s zen-like attitude. It is surely no coincidence that this is best personified in Alan Dillon and Cillian O’Connor, basically 1st.and 2nd. generation successors to him at Ballintubber and now Mayo. The final five minutes showed clearly the difference in attitude now. Mayo conceded 7 points in a row at the end of the 1996 drawn final and could not respond. Today they did and landed 3 crucial scores after a scoreless period of about 20 minutes. Also Mayo lost 3 players through injury today on top of Andy’s absence but there was always a player to step in and fill the gap brilliantly. Jason Gibbons and Seamus O’Shea must have put down serious markers today. Both will have felt that they should have got more game time up to now but no walking away in the case of these guys. Finally, must echo comments about Dublin supporters who in general were brilliant and fair-minded today.

  21. Congratulations to all the squad and backroom team.
    Strongest Mayo team mentally that I’ve seen. Also great team spirit.
    This is a serious outfit that James Horan has put together. A young hungry team that wont give up.
    Maigheo Abu.

  22. Talking about serious markers, Chris Barrett was excellent today. Some fantastic blocks, body on the line, tight marking, good decisions, In and around the edges for a few years now, considering his lack of game time, fair fucks to him.

  23. Also, lessons learned from league final, we gave as good as we got, and were cynical when we had to. We take care of our own.

  24. Great Win, Congrats to all concerned and let us march on to the final
    with confidence and strength in our own abilities.
    We can do it this time and we must believe that we can.
    How will the allocation of tickets be solved?
    Cathal Henry.

  25. What a performance, so proud to be a mayoman. Dillon and mc loughlin surely shoo-ins for all stars now. If we play for 70 mins and don’t switch off we’ll beat Donegal. Amazing feeling to be back in a final again. Hup mayo!!!!!

  26. What a day! A mighty win – pride on a real high – AND huge room for improvement as well.
    I thought Kevin McLoughlin was immense and when he went off we slipped dramatically. I wonder if AOS and BM are actually fit enough and mobile enough for 70+ minutes at full tilt. They are very big men and it takes a lot to move those frames around a big pitch like croker for 75 mins! I feel we ran out of steam around the middle and that put us under huge pressure which we did well to survive. Having been 10 up we really should not have been in the position we were at the end – hanging on and praying for the whistle.
    Personally I would have brought in Jason Gibbons and Seamus O Shea earlier to shore up that area and maybe move aidan or barry into the edge of the square where they could get a breather and still cause damage.
    Michael Conroy had a great game and has great potential but I feel he paniced when he fisted that last chance. A point at that stage would have killed the dubs. I hope he learns from that because we will need to take all chances the next day.
    Having said all that WHAT A DAY!!!!!!!!!!

  27. mcLoughlin is a legend him coming back on bandaged up gave the rest of the team the belief and desire to close the door on dub,leaders all over the field,its so good to see im so proud of them

  28. Mighty bucks! As Young fella and others have noted, it’s no coincidence we lost our shape in the middle when McLaughlin was off and getting treatment. MDM ran riot during that time. Order and confidence was restored when Mc came back on and so we prevailed.
    This is very satisfying, yet there is much to improve between now and the final. Have some thoughts on that but will comment again oncen i get a look at the match again tonight.
    Mc was crucial though, very underrated IMHO.

  29. Great stuff lads, Its the entire panel & managment deserve enormous plaudits…& yes the Dubs too, the final 25 mins they brought conviction, power & almost unstopable football to the most memorable of occasions! It would have been cruel in the extreme to see them hammered, not that I or any of the Mayo fans near me ever relented in baying for blood Last year they reached the summit of their ambition after years of being there or there abouts,..Fair play to thr Hill they stayed around to applaud their fallen Champions and fair play they were gracious in defeat……Mayo have their critics, plenty for them to digest in the coming weeks. Some on this site have cited curses, omens & wind chimes as reasons not to believe. I know deep down they like me want Mayo to lift Sam but the weight of the past is burdening them, We got to forget the past, its past & nothing to do with the future! ….Forget the Hype, the rubbish songs polluting the airways of Midwest…
    I think we all know something now, we got a team to be proud of, a team of players that has brought working for each other to a new level. What a managment, performance this last 2 years if ever a team had plenty of excuses to lose it was Mayo today, but not a bit of ever entered the collective of this Mayo team. Look, Andy Moran out, Colm Boyle unable to start, Lee Keegan out after 15 mins, a nervous first 5 minutes & then, some of the best, most skillfull pacy inteligent seen in Croke Park for many a day…..& then held out against a truly heroic effort by Dublin for the last 20 minutes, couldnt be any better really….So very well done lads, ye will enjoy tonight no doubt, hope any bruises, cuts and injurys picked up today heal very quickly & there are certainly going to be a few of those, See ye all in Croke Park in 3 weeks time.. Thanks to the Dublin team, & Fans for helping to make it an occasion to bhold & good luck to the Dublin minors in the final, I think Mayo will adopt them v Meath, Hope ye do it!

  30. Great showing at HQ today,still baffled how some fans can’t do their bit & roar! (wearing some green & red too wouldn’t hurt either!).Hype is daft songs & Midwest phone ins…can’t see an issue with flags & bunting & showing of pride

  31. Didn’t think we do it delighted to be wrong. Outside of the last 15mins that must have been one of our best ever showings in Croke park? Looking back on the game we scored 0-19 v a very strong Dublin defence and could have scored 3-23 wow just wow.

    Let the hype flow sure Donegal will be doing it and it won’t matter to Horan ans co as they will keep away from it. It’s going to be Mayo year the famine is coming to a end!

  32. Watched the game from overseas in the early hours of the morning. Talk about edge of the seat stuff. I was basically celebrating at half time, delirious when we went ten up, then punching the table for the next 20 minutes. Great, exciting game.

    I thought Kevin Mc was absolutely immense. His work rate and his desire to win breaking ball is second to none. He is always an outlet and always pops up with a few scores. He’s not a big guy but he more than makes up for it with pace and guts.

    Dillon was a class act out there again and is really proving the doubters wrong.

    Clarke in goal was top class, as always. He did what you would expect of a captain with that last crucial save.

    AOS was great for the most part. His turnovers and strength was inspirational at times and really fired up the crowd.

    Higgins is an absolute hero for this team. How many times did he intercept ball into Dublin’s forward line and start attacks from there. He has amazing pace and rarely puts a foot wrong.

    Although the game was very entertaining and very end to end at times, it was littered with sloppy play. How many times did Vaughan turn over the ball on one of his gung-ho runs? I thought he was quite poor.
    Cafferkey had a good game by all accounts but he strikes me as much more of an athlete than a footballer. Sloppy passing and mistakes soloing the ball. That being said, he did his main job very well, which is all you can really expect of him.
    The forwards were unstoppable one minute and shocking the next. Some of the scores were fantastic and it was great to see that even though they all missed a few that their heads stayed up and they kept going for their chances. But again, some of the chances were wasted and that can’t happen the next day.

    The most notable thing about Mayo’s play today, aside from the defenders consistently turning over ball they had no right to, was the speed at which they counter attacked. They really do move that ball very well and have lots of pace all over that park.

    Can’t wait for the final! I really think that Mayo have a good chance. Quick ball into the forwards, first time offloading and shoot on sight. Basically what they did yesterday.

  33. 16 Mayo men on the field near the end not very fair,but fair play they got away with it !!!!!

  34. Well done to everyone involved from the manager and players through to the supporters.

    I thought we were immense and can’tbelieve in the analysis nobody in the studio picked up that it was when Kevin went off that everything went to pieces.

    We were 10 clear they pointed a 45 and then Kevin had to off which coincided with them pointing the next 7 points. Kevin then reemerged and immediately played a great ball through for goal chance for conroy. We then took the next point…

    Couple in the other injuries and you cannot praise the lads anymore. They were immense.

    Can’t wait – history beckens….

  35. It wasn’t good for the heart but a poor 15 minute spell over 70 minutes I can live with
    Have to agree that plans went out of the window when injuries/illnesses for Boyle, Varley, Keegan and McLaughlin happened so that has to be factored in
    However, we had goal chances in that period. Micky Conroy tried to fist a point when he had more time than he realised, Jason D screwed his shot wide and Cillian tried to place it in the top corner and these, had they gone in, would have cancelled out Flynn’s crossbar goal and Brogan’s saved attempt.
    Apart from all the Mayo players mentioned, I thought McAuley was immense and drove them on, even when they weren’t on top
    The media for the next 3 weeks will talk of Donegal and Colm O’Rourke said it last night and that suits us
    Brendan Devenney on twitter talked of Mayo qualifying to finish second so they will find it harder to keep a lid on thing than we will

  36. Heart attack stuff but you know you’re alive after a game like that! well done to all the lads esp townie Chris Barrett, immense performance. Bring on the bucks from the hills!

  37. Well done to Mayo – some excellent scores from forwards. Thought Conroy and KML did very well. Remember seen Conroy in Kiltoom in Connacht intermediate club final and was very impressed back then. Why Dublin did not start MD McCauley in midfield is anyones guess, a crazy decision as Fennel is shite. B. Brogan should have been taken off at half time. A very good performance for most of the game from Mayo , but in truth ye fell over the line at the end and was delighted ye won. Mayo had a sideline kick near the end of the game and player gave ball straight back to Dublin player, this resulted in very nervous last 2 mins, when the game should have finished on Mayos terms. Alot of the old Mayo failings have not gone away, “you will let me know when those lambs stop screaming, Clarice”?

    The 2 semi finals were hugely entertaining, absorbing games of football played at a very high standard.

  38. What a day. Got to agree Dub fans magnanamous. Kevin McLoughlin star of the day, heartbeat of the team for all of his time on the field. Just need to get that ball out of defense much quicker or the Donegal pressure will punish.
    Still what a result.

  39. Congratulations to all the Mayo team and management. This was a massive day for Mayo. We played 55 minutes at least of absorbing and delightful football. Players like Alan Dillon, Kevin McLoughlin, Cillian O Connor (what a brilliant young player he is), Keith Higgins, David Clarke, Ger Caff, Ritchie Feeney and Aidan O Shea gave everything they had to the cause. Cillian eased our big worries after the loss of andy Moran. He links so well Dillon from playing with Ballintubber. Mcloughlin going off to get his head wound sorted really showed what an integral part of the set he is because we struggled badly without him. The subs we brought like on played a massive role too. Jason gibbons caught made a massive catch when we were under the cosh as did big Barry Moran late on.

    We used 8 subs yesterday. Gaelic football has evolved so much now that every guy has to be ready to rock when getting the opportunity. It’s just a pity that a former member of the squad didn’t feel he could be part of a TEAM. That what we are and that’s why we are on an upward curve. James Horan is a man that I’ve been lucky enough to have played with and trained and played under. The drive and hunger that that James possess to win is unbelievable. That’s why mayo are in an all Ireland final. It’s also the reason why Ballintubber won their first senior county title two years ago. Hunger and Desire.

    We have to finish the job now. We have nothing to show for yesterday. The camp won’t see the Donegal match as an all ireland. Horan alluded to it in his interview. He never mentioned all Ireland. It’s the next game. That’s all. We can play better than we did yesterday. We made lots of mistakes and some players know they have to up their game. I’m worried about all our injuries especially to Lee Keegan. I hope all our players recover in time to face donegal. Up Mayo.

  40. Great day and a great win.
    Have to add my praise to McLoughlin’s performance. Really he has being performing at that level ever since he was moved to no. 10. Slightly overlooked at home and completely ignored by the national media. Key to us really. Him returning, along with SOS and Gibbons coming on turned it back to us.
    My other stars were Clarke, Higgins, Caff, Feeney, Moran, Dillon and O’Connor. Although no real player had a bad game. Vaughan lost some ball when he went forward and is not at the standard he was at last year. Having said that he stick pretty well with McAuley when he was on him. It was only when he was moved to midfield that he really motored. I think the option of Keegan at 6 and Donie on the wing (or Barrett or Feeney – we really are blessed in half backs) is a live one.
    I also hope this will show up some people who criticise Dillon. He’s been immense all year, is a big game player, has an All-Star and is on for another.
    The Dublin fans were great after it – all offering congratulations – I remember something similar in ’06 also.
    Bring on Donegal.

  41. Well done Mayo, absolutely delighted for ye all. But be careful with all this talk of avoiding hype. Enjoy the build-up. If you feel excited, give into the excitement! Life’s tough enough without suppressing such feelings

  42. I thought that Kevin Mc was top class and has been all year. His re-introduction steadied us and we finished stronger. Flags are ok but cut the hype. Leave it to the men on the pitch. No need for songs or any of that crap. Support the training fundraisers and stay away from the players – repeat stay away from the players!!!
    Whilst in soccer Ireland have the best supporters I think in the GAA the Dublin supporters are the best. Keep the faith we will get to the promised land.

  43. It was a fairly amazing performance, dohertys point really caught my eye. Aiden o se was immense, stopped a big dub in full flight and took the ball of him easily. I cannot say one negative thing about this victory other than the type of careless passes near the end to Dublin lads will sink us in the final and the simple points not taken near the end.
    Hat off to all involved, proud as always to be a mayomsn.

  44. Fantastic stuff. Well done to all the players and management, ye have done us all proud.
    But christ, they don’t half make us sweat! Nearly collapsed at the final whistle and thought the old fella was going to have a heart attack.
    A truly great day and fair play to the dubs for their sporting behaviour afterwards.

  45. dubs fans were very magnanimous indeed, great supporters they are,
    i think when i was young i used to enjoy mayo games but i have to say i dont anymore , far too stressful , brilliant build up , then two solid hours of stress with the vein in my forehead bulging , planty of happy mayos on the flight back to gatwick last night. then the enjoyment of watching it all again on the sunday game ,
    mcloughlin had his willie Joe moment yesterday , he was pumping blood from his head wound as they helped him off, then he returned and sparked our revival , magic!

    great to meet WJ , the brother , JPM , Chris-molina and An Spailpin in Bowes saturday night , the flight is booked for saturday again , Bring it on.

  46. So many times I have left C.Park with the young bucks totally devastat.ed after another “wrong result” – – – – – what a change yesterday – – – I may not be able to sing and I might have been hoarse but by God we gave it a lash and we gave the Sawdoctors a hand with the Green and Red of Mayo. The few remaining follicles I have left stood erect as we were joined in the “chorus” by some genuine Dub supporters. Tis moments such as that – – we live for – – simply brilliant. All the more so as I thought the game was slipping away from us – especially when Brogan got that ball over Caff – only for the mighty David Clarke to keep us in the game. There is something about this TEAM – –not quite sure what label to put on it – but I’d say “honesty” covers a lot of it – – that understated Ballintubber work ethic and honesty via Horan,Dillon, O’Connor, Gibbons – great men. McLoughlin’s sweeping up of breaking ball was badly missed when he went off – an intelligent reader of the game. I think it exemplified the spirit of the team to see the warrior returning to the battlefield with the head bandaged up.(Willie-Joe versus Tyrone Mark 2) The Monsignor will have learned a lot from that game – – still one or two positions to be fought for – a good way to have it for the next three weeks. It feels good – being from Mayo this morning – Well done to the Lads – Up the Green and Red.

  47. Well done Mayo. I think all the Dubs are wishing this team well but for God’s sake go ahead and win this one and bring Sam back to the West. If I am in Mayo I might even go and have a pint in Kilkelly to celebrate.

  48. Widow Cranky – There will be beer flowing in Kilkelly whichever team wins! A Donegal stronghold…

  49. Many congratulations to this mighty team, they were focused all thru and what mental attributes they displayed for the 76 mins. I believe we were playing 16 men today and will stand to the team in the final, together with us scoring 12 into the Hill in the first half, and playing before a capacity attendance, and beating the All Ireland Champions in their back pitch. Yes we are strong no doubt with a strong bench.

    They were all heroes yesterday, i am concerned a wee bit in respect of Donal Vaughan, he loves going forward , and has not the same love for defending, I know Aidan covered for him yesterday, but there must be a plan B and C for this area of the field. The Dubs were gracious in defeat as was there supporters, and I know they would love to see us bring the Sam to Mayo.

  50. Today and yesterday were two of the busiest days at work in The Mayo News that I’ve had in a long time but it was great to be working on such a great Mayo victory and looking forward with relish to the All-Ireland Final.
    With regard to the comments about hype, it is very simple. The players do one thing and the fans can do what they like after that. It’s an All-Ireland Final and we shouldn’t be afraid to enjoy it. This team will not be spooked by hype around the county, they’ll isolate themselves from it and concentrate on their own game.
    Cillian O’Connor spoke wisely about this afterwards.
    “Everyone knows there’s always going to be a bit of hype, there always has been over the years but I think we can deal with that. It is the same in every county, any county that gets to a final, there’s going to be excitement, that’s for the fans to deal with, for them to get excited and to get hyped up and that’s only a good thing in the county but our job is to make sure it doesn’t affect us,” he said.
    Enjoy it lads, so many fans would give up so much to be in our position.

  51. Hear, hear, Ed – we shouldn’t feel any need to suppress the enjoyment that is rightfully ours to savour from getting to an All-Ireland final. Many counties never get to do so, we’ve been spoiled in this respect (albeit not in how these finals have gone) and once again we’ve another one to prepare for. And, you’d never know, this one might be a final like none other we’ve experienced in the recent past!

  52. What a game is all i say.. The hunger they showed was like no other. Never panicked really even with the onslaught from dublin in the last 20min.. The difference is this time round we have the quality of player’s from 1-23.. The subs we can bring on are quality players,very unlucky not to make first 15 but still play major parts.. Watched in the “QUIET MAN” pub in Melbourne.. 12.30am kick off. A great atmosphere.. Bout 8 dubs together,and every neutral shouting for the green and red, The usual good old fashioned banter went on. One Dub said the most thing he feared was that Mayo down through the years always had one marquee player to watch. And this year we hadn’t and that’s what actualy he was afraid of and worried him and it ended up he was bang on the möney.. We had 23 of them.. He came bak to me after match and said now ya can see why that worried me.. Every single player ye had out there today were marquee players.. Everyöne played for each other and we were a pleasure to watch at times… Once again very gracious in defeat and wished us the best.. Well anyways 3 week’s from now it will be all done and dusted in croke park anyway, but if SAM happens to come across the Shannon.. God help us..

  53. Brilliant result. Kevin McLoughlin was outstanding and was missed when he had to go off for the head injury. We did however have a bit of luck on our side but then again we are due a bit of luck.
    Donegal will be a stern test no doubt but I think people are talking too much about their fitness levels and giving a bit too much respect. Cork changed their system to counter act Donegals style of play a foolish move in that players can not learn new systems overnight they will always revert to what they have been doing. Corks problem was their players just couldn’t play to their strengths.
    I dont think James Horan will be as respectful and one point to note is that the team that lined out against us in the league in March was the same 15 that lined out against Cork, thats a long haul and I wonder how fit they would appear if they were chasing the game.

  54. Hi All,
    I am a true blue Dubs fan but I just wanted to wish Mayo all the best in the final. You guys were very strong all year and I for one will be shouting for Mayo on Sunday Sept 23rd, enjoy it becuase its a great and very emotional day.

  55. Thanks for that, Martin – I live in Dublin too and have been met with nothing but good wishes from Dublin supporters since the semi-final. Much appreciated.

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