Mayo 1-16 Kerry 1-16: heroic second half fightback


We’re no nearer to the All-Ireland this year now than we were ahead of throw-in today. Following today’s utterly enthralling drawn All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry at Croke Park, however, what we can say for sure is that this team that James Horan has built has unbelievable reserves of heart and guts as well as an indomitable will to win. At half-time we looked dead and buried but the second half comeback the lads engineered – roared on by the massive, spine-tingling support – was pure magic. We had to settle for a share of the spoils at the end but I doubt any of us leaving HQ today was disappointed at how this contest eventually played out.

Fair play to the Rose of Tralee. When asked by Keith Duffy during the half-time interval about her plans for later in the day, Maria Walsh cheerfully replied that she’d be out celebrating our qualification for the All-Ireland final. I certainly didn’t share her optimism at that stage – four points down and a man down too I found it hard see a way back for us then. Oh ye of little faith.

Up until Lee Keegan’s straight red – which on the basis of the TV replays looked incredibly harsh, even if what Lee did in the heat of the moment was more than a bit stupid – I was happy enough with how this contest was going. Kerry had, it’s true, opened up a three-point lead on us by then but we didn’t look under any severe pressure. We sure did after Lee got his marching orders.

Shortly before this, the flying Westport man had notched a point, which went over off the upright, ending a 17-minute scoreless spell for us. Minutes later, though, his involvement in this contest had been prematurely ended.

The opening quarter had been pretty much even-steven, with Stephen O’Brien’s early opener answered with an Alan Dillon point followed a great Cillian O’Connor turnover, then Cillian knocked over a free and James O’Donoghue pointed with his first chance. A David Moran point for them, following a slip by Jason Gibbons, was replied to by Cillian with a superb point following a fetch out in the corner. Buckley pointed for them and Cillian once more responded, this time from a free after a push on Alan Freeman.

By then we had a decent penalty shout waved away, when it looked as if Cillian had been taken down as he tried to go round the Kerry ‘keeper, scuffing his shot wide as he fell from the challenge. It looked a clear enough penalty from where I was sitting.

A ten-minute scoreless spell followed, then Kerry pushed three ahead and then came Lee’s point followed by his dismissal. By half-time we were four down and, in truth, looking like we’d given ourselves a mountain to climb after the break.

On the resumption, Tom Parsons came in for Jason Gibbons – who’d started in place of Chris Barrett, with Alan Freeman also lining out instead of Andy Moran from the start – but our job was made immediately more difficult when O’Donoghue pointed with their first attack of the half to stretch their lead to five points.

The tide, however, was about to turn and as the half wore on it became a raging torrent in our favour.

Alan Dillon started it off, pointing following a great catch by Alan Freeman and a quick offload from Jason Doherty to Dillon after Freezer’s goal attempt ricocheted back out. Two minutes later, Doc was pulled down and Cillian pointed the free to cut the gap to three.

Murphy added one for them just after but for the next ten minutes it was all us as we reeled them right back in. A foul on Alan Dillon resulted in another pointed free by Cillian, then came Colm Boyle’s screaming long-ranger and a lovely one from Alan Dillon following a super rob by Cillian. The Ballintubber man was rampant at this stage and in our next attack he landed a magnificent one from play from far out to tie up the contest.

Andy came on for Freezer at this point and was quickly in the thick of things, setting up Jason Doc for an equalising score after Walsh had edged them in front again. We then had a bit of a let-off, with the ball squirming through Boyler’s hands resulting in O’Donoghue bearing down on goal. The young Killarney man looked certain to hit the net but instead he fired wildly over. Andy, lurking free inside, was picked out soon after with a delicious ball in over the cover by Alan Dillon and the game was all-square again at thirteen each.

Then came the penalty, with Donal Vaughan bundled over in the square as he bore down on goal. It was a huge pressure moment for Cillian but he did the business in emphatic fashion, blasting us a goal ahead from the spot with a bit over ten to play.

Now we went for the throat and two more points from Cillian, the first a cracker from play and the second a long-range free, saw us surge further clear. Kerry were clearly reeling at this stage and although Crowley fisted one over for them they were reeling still when Hawkeye adjudged Andy Moran’s next effort to have gone over. Five up, five to play.

Our old nemesis Kieran Donaghy had joined the fray shortly after the penalty and in those frantic closing moments he made his presence felt. The first Hail Mary ball into him led to a foul on the big Stacks man that Sheehan converted but the second bore greater dividends for them as he fielded and offloaded to O’Donoghue to smash home.

Only a point in it now but we still pushed forward, with a chance of an insurance score going a-begging as Tom Cunniffe’s effort sailed wide. With the game in injury time, sub Kieran O’Leary bagged the equaliser and then Kerry had two further chances to win it – with O’Donoghue hitting the outside of the upright and Sheehan coming up short with a long-range free – before David Coldrick brought an end to proceedings.

Final score

It had been a truly heroic second half from the lads, where so many of them – notably Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle, Donal Vaughan, Seamus O’Shea, Tom Parsons, Aidan O’Shea, Alan Dillon, Andy Moran and the peerless Cillian O’Connor – stood up when we were really staring down the barrel. Regardless of how this championship season fares out, that amazing second half showing will live long in the memory. Fair play to you, lads.

So too will the huge, raucous Mayo support at Croke Park today. We were all a bit muted in the first half but when the lads began to motor after the break the place reverberated with a wall of noise from our lot urging them on to greater effort. It truly was a sixteenth-man effort from the stands today.

It was announced right after the final whistle that the match will be replayed next Saturday down in Limerick but this utterly ludicrous decision has already been challenged by the County Board who were out of the traps very quickly with an official request that it should instead take place in Croke Park on Saturday week. That’s the only sensible option – the notion of playing it at a ground that’s all but a home location for Kerry where the capacity is less than the 52,500 who were there today, and where most of that capacity is just terracing, is wrong on every front and should be resisted outright by our side. End of.

Wherever the replay is played, though, I’m confident we’ll do them. Sure, we won’t have Lee Keegan (unless we appeal the sending-off which, on balance, I think we should) but we have players like Brendan Harrison, Kevin Keane, Shane McHale, David Drake, Chris Barrett and, yes, Richie Feeney, any one of whom could slot into the backline the next day. With fifteen against fifteen, we certainly won’t fear them.

And so this marvellous rollercoaster goes on. We’ve no idea where it’ll end up, we still haven’t a clue if this is the year when Sam will at last winter in the county. But, you know, regardless of our ultimate destination, the journey this team is on is an experience in itself and today’s dramatic events at HQ add a whole new chapter to the book. Keep writing, lads, keep ‘er lit.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Tom Cunniffe, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan (0-1), Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle (0-1); Jason Gibbons, Seamus O’Shea; Kevin McLoughlin, Aidan O’Shea, Jason Doherty (0-1); Cillian O’Connor (1-8, penalty goal and five frees), Alan Freeman, Alan Dillon (0-3). Subs: Tom Parsons for Gibbons, Andy Moran (0-2) for Freeman, Michael Conroy for Doherty,  Mikie Sweeney for Dillon, Kevin Keane for Cafferkey.


Minors full time

Finally, a quick word on the minors whose long unbeaten run finally ended today in the day’s curtain raiser against Kerry. The defending All-Ireland champions never really hit the high notes today and time and again they put themselves under needless pressure by gifting possession to their opponents. The first half injury to captain Cian Hanley – who also had his involvement in the minor championship ended by injury last year – was a hammer blow, from which, in truth, the team never recovered.

Enda Gilvarry’s lads did, however, show admirable battling qualities as the game was flowing away from them and although they had to give way in the end to a strong Kingdom outfit they put up a good fight before they did so. Well done, lads, for all you achieved for the cause this year.

145 thoughts on “Mayo 1-16 Kerry 1-16: heroic second half fightback

  1. Fair play Mayo. Fantastic side. I am sligo man but long time Mayo supporter. Those lads something. Pride bursted through me watching them in second half. Stick it to kerry next weekend and rest of the jelous haters; do the same on 3rd sunday in September. Up Mayo.

  2. They were amazing yet again! From four points down to five points up, with 14 men! We’ll take a draw and go again! Maigheo Abu!

  3. Anything negative that I have commented on that group of players and management I take it back. That second half performance was as manly, heroic and brilliant as I have ever seen from any team. Humbled and proud to be represented by such great men.

  4. I have to say in all my years following Mayo football the second half of this match has been the best display i have ever witnessed from a Mayo side what a great bunch of players my heart wont take another week of waiting bring on the Kingdom we can do and we will do is Feidir Linn up Mayo!

  5. SO SO SO proud of this MAYO Team ,In my 40 years of watching mayo play , i never seen such much courage and belief in themselves .Thanks lads it a pleasure watching ye play .

  6. Up the panal what a team come on james and the team, even the ref could not beat us

  7. I’m currently in recovery in a bar just down from Croke Park. That was incredible, heroes every one of them and a credit to themselves and their county.

    Let’s finish the job in Limerick.

  8. I suppose I better pack my bageen. Cannot deny sheer guts of the men on the field. The 1951 semi, year 4 of Mayo Connacht 4 in a row, was a draw v Kerry. Mayo won replay, beat Meath in final and the rest is history. Well done on a brave performance.

  9. There’s a line from the film a few good men that goes something like ” you don’t need stripes on your arm to behave like an officer”.
    None of them mayo players today need a Celtic cross to be champions.

    Even if these group of players don’t go on to win the AI they should be held in the eyes of all mayo people all over this world as our champions.

    That second half performance in my opinion was the performance of champions.

    Thanks lads.

  10. At half time i honestly though we were going be hammered, but we were not. One of the greatest character performances of all time. Andy Moran is a legend, I thought he was brilliant. Thanks to all players for there sincere efforts today

  11. This was terrific. Just hope we can keep them grounded this coming week. One or two

    injury worries as well. A “game of two halves” for sure but we will need a full seventy mins

    to get over this hurdle. Hope they are given a chance to rest up and refresh.

    These are the days we look forward to during the winter.

    I take my hat off to this bunch of fella`s.

  12. One cannot be but humbled by the never say die attitude of this team. They are a great role model for any youngster in mayo or anywhere, never give in.
    Well done.
    The game today will do them the world of good.

  13. I suppose we were lucky in the end, as they missed 2 chances late on, thought the ref gave us everything after the sending off, pity we can’t have him again the next day,

  14. A lot of men stood up and answered tough questions there today. None more so than colm Boyle. What a warrior this man is. Inspirational. Aidan o Shea also outstanding. Alan Dillon – what a display again was it 3 or 4 again from play?? O Connor also superb in the second half.

    However lets not shirk from the tough questions. Firstly freeman and gibbons should not have started. They were lethargic, slow and not at the races. Gibbons in particular. David Moran and maher dominated midfield in the first half. There is a world of difference between doing it in the league and championship, as many a player has found out in the past.

    Parsons made a big difference when he came on. Andy Moran was also superb. He simply must start next week. We don’t have the luxury of leaving players like this on the sideline. Also we let a 5 point lead slip from the 66th minute, and in truth were fortunate not to lose. O donoghue missed a sitter in the last minute, although so did tom cunniffe. Cafferkey should have been taken off much sooner, the guy was barely able to walk for o donoghue goal. Bag mistake by mayo management. Very obviously injured, and probably doubtful for next week. Donaghy will surely start next week and the aerial bombardment will continue. I’d also question Hennelly in goal, David Clarke would not let a man catch clean ball 3 metres from goal like that in the 68th minute without taking his head off. Kerry are an ordinary outfit and if we throw the shackles off and really go at them next week we will win. Keegan could now actually play in the AI final if we win next week, whereas he wouldn’t if we had hung on today. Ironic! Finally the replay being in limerick is an absolute disgrace, and the gaa should hang their heads in Shame for allowing this to happen. Very proud of our lads today.

  15. Agree on the ref mayoforsam – some very dubious decisions went our way in the second half so I guess they balanced the red card out!

  16. I am so happy for james and whole panel, all those postors who say this player or that player should start watch this match again, leave it up to the management they see these every day so they know who to play

  17. Refs decision on Leroy was harsh, common sense should have prevailed with a yellow, but the ref applied the rule as it’s stated in the book.
    The peno call was spot on but only gripe I have is that the Kerry buck should have been black carded there.
    I think he reffd the rest of the game reasonably well. Let play continue for both teams although AOS was fouled persistently. More thoughts on how we blew a 5 Pts lead with 5 mins to go later. But glass still half full IMO

  18. Mac left boot .if you cannot see the effort and heart mayo put in the second half and over all every player gave it their best shot . they left nothing in the tank and was a great TEAM performance . To start slagging off players after what they achieved with a man down against kerry is unbelievable. Maby you should look at the game again before make more comments .I agree the replay should not be played in Limerick as it worth 3 to 4 points to Kerry

  19. I am so proud of Mayo, I just turned 50 and was dragged/begged to go to Mayo games since I was about eight. This is without doubt, the best most consistent Mayo team of my lifetime. They owe us nothing, we owe them an awful lot.

    No time or place for negativity, think of what they have sacrificed over the past four years.

    I feel blessed and proud to be able to witness them.

  20. Shame about our minors, but that’s a very good Kerry minor team. Bad day for us, went to Croker with great hopes 2day and not to win either game is so disappointing, why why can’t we ever beat Kerry .

  21. I have no shame in saying tears of pride near flew out of me . What men ye are ,there arent enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe that effort.

    Limerick for the replay is an absolute joke.

  22. After that I’m beginning to believe that our players cannot be beaten. With 14 men that was a supreme effort in the 2nd half against a very good Kerry side.

    I hope the game will be set for Croke park on Saturday wk. I implore everyone to call, email, tweet, facebook write or whatever to GAA HQ and implore them to let the replay be in Croke park. They wouldn’t send the dubs to limerick. Let’s not stand for their shit. We make the GAA what it is. It’s time to dictate to the clowns up there that we will not be treated like dirt. Let’s make some noise. Up Mayo.

  23. What a game,great bunch of lads everyone of them played their hearts out,so proud to be a mayo supporter,with that spirit,determination and guts they deserved to win it,happy with a draw,have we any serious injuries for next Saturday,what time will the game be played ,

  24. That was the best Mayo support I’ve heard in Croke Park since the 2006 semi final v Dublin unbelievable noise!

  25. Agree Patriot , We should as mayo supporters and anyone else out there who believes in fairness so bombard gaa head quarters the next few days to get the replay back to croke park Saturday week

  26. Just incredible

    We dominated the stands today. Mayo support was immense

    As for our team… Whatever happens. The best we have ever seen

  27. As I said earlier foreteen mayo mayo men in the galtymore we would have taken fifty kerry men dont care if its limerick tralee killarney or anywhere else we will win up mayo

  28. I honestly thought we were done for at half time. Down to 14 men and 4 points adrift. Disappointed we didn’t push on and win but with 14 men against a team like Kerry who can complain? The lads were absolute heroes today and this match will light the fire and give the players the belief that they are worthy of being at the top table. There will be questions asked in the coming days of course but right now let’s just catch our breaths and give credit where it’s due

  29. Ok – concerted effort to GAA about location of the replay

    Any one know the best channel to campaign?

  30. No way will we head to Limerick next Saturday.
    It’s time for Mayo County Board to announce that the replay is in Croker on Sat week.
    Enough of this crap about American Football in Croker in the High Season.
    So proud of the boys today … what character when our backs were to the wall.
    Aido .. you’re an absolute monster & Boyle, Dillon & Cillian so proud of you … you’ve done so much for our county.
    And Willie Joe you nailed it on the audio.
    Time to look forward not back … we can finish the job.

  31. For info – the County Board have already officially requested that the replay be played on Saturday week at Croke Park. James Horan confirmed this in his post-match interview. Absolutely no way should we be forced to play in Limerick – the capacity isn’t high enough and it’s as good as a home match for Kerry. They wouldn’t force the Dubs to play any replays there, that’s for sure.

  32. Mac left boot.

    Sometimes it is best to say nothing. For u today is that time.

    Lads were fantastic today. Andy is super off the bench!!!

    Very proud of 1 to 15 today. Horan is a legend.

  33. What a second half. I’m so proud of these guys attitude of never say die. In all my years of watching Mayo teams stand up and be counted this is the best. Limerick is a joke but with the American football game I guess this is what we have to deal with. I’m a proud Mayo man in Ny this evening.

  34. I’m as proud of any of ye but time already to focus on the next step. We were muck in the first half and superb in 2nd.

    Limerick is a farcical venue selection.

    1. On Kerry’s doorstep. They’ll have way more support than normal.

    2. They are far more familiar to playing there, not just in competitive games but I know they play challenge games there too. Fact.

    3. None of our lads have played there.

    4. An All Ireland semi final should not be played anywhere but Croker.

    5. What if Donegal v dub was tday and ended in a draw!? Clones?? No fucking chance. There’s no way Dublin wud agree to moving.

    Playing in limerick would be a joke.

    If we are forced to play there then do it in two weeks, not in 6 days after playing with 14 men bursting out of their skins to stay in the championship.

    We are all in this together. Let’s make Mayo an unstoppable force this year. C’mon!

  35. Fantastic 30 minutes in second half.Hope the experience convinces the team that they
    have great ability but it must be used for the entire game on Saturday.
    Without being negative the first half was not wonderful and we conceded five points in the
    last five minutes but this may well be down to exhaustion.

    How many times is it permissable to foul Aiden OShea? There must be some penalty.

    Everybody except Kerry people must be rooting for Mayo.Good luck .

  36. We’re between a rock and a hard place on whether it’s limerick next Saturday or HQ Saturday week. Saturday week gives them Kerry bucks, O’Sullivan, Sheehan and JOD to get back to full fitness.
    All things considered I say go to limerick next Saturday and finish them off proper.
    Meanwhile, we have serious issues of our own to address between now and then.

  37. Who cares where we play. Get a fair ref we will bate out the door who to praise James horan as manager, his back up team, and all the panel. Never seen the likes of them in over fifty years of following mayo

  38. Mister Mayor that’s why Connacht v Munster was tday. The GAA wud never have put on dubs v ulster champs tday for fear of it ending as a draw.

    It’s two fingers up to Connacht.

    I’d b concerned about it being in 6 days. Our team are in the go for years…as a team u it we have used way WAY more energy today. I don’t think we cud turn about in 6 days and expect to put in a ‘full potential’ performance.

  39. We could play them in any field in the country after todays 2nd half performance. If this was Dub v Kerry they would be calling it the best match ever.

  40. Fantastic 2nd half, well done to all involved and I too would have taken the draw at half time.
    Providence may have intervened here because if we go on to the final Leroy will be back and we will need him.
    Now let’s go on and finish the job against Kerry, they can’t handle us in full flow.
    Too many heroes today to mention.
    MaighEo Abu

  41. Hi All,
    As a neutral it was a fantastic second half of football and well done to Mayo with 14 men (probably undeservedly sent off) but to be honest James O’Donohoe could have won it for Kerry with that point kick that went wide. I think it will be hard for all the Mayo fans to get tickets if its played in Limerick and Kerry certainly wont mind playing there. Reminds me a bit of 83 when we drew with Cork and the replay was down there (but we still won) well done again today and hope its in Croker on Sat week, cheers.

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  42. Lads, like you all I am very proud of the performance today. Ok we played bad in the frist half but give credit to the defence of the first 30 mins. Everyone hoped JOD would be kept quiet, he was by 2/3 markers. Thought when we had to chase game Keith was awesome, marked JOD on his own. Kevin Mc had a quiet game by his standards in attack but again and again he popped up at no. 6.
    Roll on Limerick, I’m lucky enough as I live in Dublin and in-laws in limerick

  43. Well first I must take my hat off to Alan Dillion, best game I have seen him play when we needed to dig deep. Our management however, asleep again. 5 point up and “the Star” comes off the bench for Kerry. What would you do, you would tell the player marking him at midfield to follow him anyway even to the toilet. My God our full back could not walk and they let this happen. All we needed was to put one of our big men on the edge of our square for the last 5 mins.

  44. Lads/Lassies… As I said, I’m as proud as you all of our team and our county. But I’m sick of us being the great heroic bridesmaids. I want us to win. Win the All Ireland. Then let’s shower our team with praise. Until then, it’s about a focused approach and the opinion and energy of us supporters does matter. We rolled in Croke Park 2nd half tday..and it helped the team.

    The reality is that it took an almighty mammoth effort for us to come from 5 pts down to recover – as a result our lads r wrecked. If this game is nxt wknd then all of us hardcore fans MUST bring as many supporters as possible. Even better than tday. We r so close but Kerry will believe they can win the next day. Our team need us next day out, more than they’ve ever needed us.

  45. Proud, proud, proud!
    Didn’t give them a prayer at half time. Sloppiness ruled, a man down – one of our best and Kerry picking off long range scores, that we couldn’t buy.

    And then. Boyler I think was the real spark, but Aido, Seamie, Dillon (sublime point), and Cillian recovering from a bad first half. Not forgetting Caff – indeed all the full back line. Just amazing, and Kerry didn’t fold; lot of hard yards to get to 2, then 1, then draw, one down and back again. Really kicked on from the goal. Could see the Kerry response coming as they were out on their feet.

    As for the replay venue. Outrageous!

    Willie Joe, you should run a poll on this and it would be something to throw into the mix.

    A home venue for Kerry – no way.

  46. Lets go to Limerick, lets empty the county, down the Ennis Rd with ticket or no, make sure the lads know we are behind them. Loud and proud..

    Following Mayo for 30 years, never had this feeling of expecting to win against everybody and anybody around the country. Reading bitter and sad journalists trying to knock us at every opportunity, knowing the truth, believing in our fellow county men. Great time to be a Mayo football follower, I believe its now time for the Mayo supporter to step up and help drive the lads over the line for the next 2 games, Up Mayo

  47. I actually fully believed at HT that we would come back into it. I didn’t think we cud be up by 5 pts, but on that, we just ran out of steam. Reality is it took so much out of our lads that had the game gone on longer Kerry wudda won. We all would have snapped off a hand if offered a DRAW at HT.

    Martin the Dub – if dub v dgal ended in a draw tday how wud u feel having to go to Celtic park in Derry for the replay??? Cos limerick is effectively the same thing.

  48. I salut you Mayo senior team and James Horan and management team. What men, what hunger, what courage – just epic.

    Shame on any journalist that questions your stomach, your ability, your hunger.

    You made me very very proud of ye today, the Kerry crew beside me were shocked with 15 mins to go.

    Sure there are improvements but that can wait until tomorrow.

    We are still in this, Believe.

  49. This may not go down too well but not sure we got tactics or decisions right ‘on the line’. Agree with previous poster bout putting a big fella on donaghy. I hope it doesn’t cost us again.

    Yes in first half we kept JOD reasonably quiet but we posed no real attacking threat and Kerry scored from near every attempt in the first 35 mins. Outside if the boot stuff from their midfielders.

  50. Realistically… If Mayo had gone out from the start and had a cut at Kerry we might never have been in the position we found ourselves in. You could see how frustrated players were. McLoughlin had his worst game of the season. It lead to keegan lashing out. Terrible first 35 mins but we threw off the shackles, and through sheer determination clawed our way back.

  51. Hi Mayonaze,
    As per your question, I would be amazed if it was played in Celtic Park but I would go and see Dublin play anywhere if I got the chance and I know what I am going to say you will argue with but the Dubs don’t care where they play, cheers again on a great game today.

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  52. Mayo naze it does not go down to well, what more do you want, foreteen men against fifteen ref bad call for sending off, we will win the replay

  53. On this blog Mayo supporters have been questioned all year.NEVER AGAIN.We have thebest support of any team anwhere.
    Dillon and Moran have been questioned NEVER AGAIN.Superb leaders .Aidan o Shea worrth his weight in gold and thats some weight.
    GAA disgrace.Nothing new there!

  54. Willie Joe,

    Havent been to this site for a few weeks until today.I am rather surprised that your system does not flag when a blogger using an existing bloggers name signs up..

    From the original of the species – or so i thought.

  55. Heroic stuff. My God, have those lads balls. I was devastated at ht, thought dream was over. I didn’t believe.

    Second half has restored all my faith. Heroes one and all. Lads cramping all over place and kept showing, kept tackling, kept driving on.

    Limerick not ideal but personally I’d find it hardto wait 2 weeks to finish this job. Let’s go down in our droves next week and bury them.

    I have no doubt now we are better than them

  56. Corick bridge, I’m saying we played awful in the first half. Worst we’ve played all year. I felt I wasn’t watching my team.

    I agree ref was shit but that’s irrelevant in terms of how we set up.

    The emotion and pride of seeing our lads come back must quickly be put to one side and shelved. Emotion and pride wont beat Kerry in a replay. We need to be clinical and tactically astute. We only started play when our backs were to the wall.

  57. Mayo “E”xile,

    Don’t think any system will differentate for capitalisation. Apologies, I will change my name, don’t want any confusion.

  58. Just heard on the news that gaa said venue will remain Limerick. We can do the job next week, so proud to be from mayo – what a second half

  59. In a pub in Athlone… Getting a lot of ‘hard lucks’. Really annoying.

    If the GAA play that game in limerick then fuck them. Absolute disgrace.

  60. Limerick it is for next week. That is outside our teams control, what is within our control is who should replace Lee Keegan, should Andy Moran start, ( i think he should) and for as many us as possible to be present at 5pm next saturday in Limerick. We will win , i have no doubt.

  61. On Sunday game gaa confirming limerick.

    Feck them

    At very least it should be two wks.

    C’mon mayo fans …don’t let this lie

  62. If limerick then my not SAT WEEK?? 6 days is an insult. Out county board should insist on it being Saturday week.

  63. Thanks Mayo exile, that’d be helpful. Mayo Exile – this isn’t a discussion board per se so there’s no real “system” regarding users in the way that there is on gaaboard and the like.

  64. No way will our team be right for 6 days. After harsh red card and comeback they could hardly walk off the fiend today at full time. Asking them to do it in limerick next sat is a step too far.


  65. I’m so proud to be a mayo man today. On a serious note will Mayo appeal the red card. Will they ask about the strike to lee Keegan in that incident with Johnny Buckley. They should if Keegan is out for the replay then so should Buckley with that punch. Maigh Eo Abu.

  66. Fair play to the boys today. The best bunch of mayo lads since ’51 ,without Doubt. They may not win Sam but they sure as hell do not lie down.
    Well done to all involved, heroic stuff in the second half.

  67. Character beyond expectations. They were quite simply magnificent. Who’s shoes would you rather be in, Fitzmaurice or Horan’s?

  68. Next weekend might not be the worst time for us. Everyone should still be on a high and Kerry are the team who may need a little time for lads coming back from injury. It gives us a bit of space before the final also! Very proud of the team but don’t want to get sucked into any “moral victory” crap. Thought the ref was fair enough even if the red card was harsh, we should forget all that now. We definitely looked the better team and now need to put all the parts together and finish this. Great chance for Ritchie Feeney to get back in also.

  69. 50 years following Mayo and I have never seen a display like that second half. So proud of them. But Why oh why didn’t we play like that from the very start!!
    We need to stop worrying too much about donohue gainey etc and focus on our own game. We gave them far too much respect in that first half. When we play the MAYO way we can take them or anyone else either.
    As regards moaning about limerick the co board, management and team need to forget about that and instead focus all their energy on preparing for another big game. As for us the supporters……get down there early and roar yer feckin heads off!

  70. Let’s all just face a few facts:
    1. Game is in Limerick in six days.
    2. New Ref
    3. Kerry players have only six days to recover also.
    4. Rest and recovery is the key for players.
    5. Learning and planning is the key for management.

  71. Thought we didn’t look right today in first half, too much emphasis on stopping JOD, 3 men on him and totally ruined our style of play. Thought the ref gave us everything but for the harsh sending off, he gave us a good few soft frees.8 in total in scoreable positions against 2 for Kerry, can we have him again next week.

  72. I love Mayo. Love love love love love love love.

    FYI, if it’s a nice day next Saturday, it would be better to be on the terraced seating opposite the stand in the Gaelic Grounds. The stand is curved so you are a bit further away from the action, but importantly, most of the “seats” in the stand are just the seat, there’s no back on them. Tis rough on the auld back when you need a rest in between roaring the lads on.

  73. Delighted to see Parsons get a run. And he made a differance. And Dillon again. Good man. Two great games in a row. I must eat humble pie here as I thought he was gone after last year. There’s life in this old dog yet, one of the best servants we’ve ever had.

    Too much respect shown to O’Donaghue in the first half though. Higgins is well able for him. Trust Keith.
    Our half forward line should not have played so far back as an extra defensive ploy, cutting our own scoring efforts down drastically.
    If we played our usual attacking game we’d have far more on the board at half time.

    But a huge thank you to all, on field and sideline. Best Mayo performance I’ve ever see. And I’m following Mayo since the 40’s.

    For all they have done, they deserve Sam and hopefully will get their reward.

    Up Mayo.

  74. You just have to love these group of guys that represent our county so well. So proud. Limerick decision so wrong on so many levels. Players not thought about not all spectators that were at match today can be accommodated. Replay will be played under different regulations no hawk eye. If ref was using letter of law Crowley should have received black card for foul for penalty.
    Anyway its obvious the gaa think fuck all about grassroot supporters. Back our boys to finish the job in the replay

  75. Thought we were dead and buried at half time. Keegan, our best player in the first half, gone and playing horrendously. It had all the signs of an end of an era type of performance. Thought when O’Donoghue scored in the 36th minute, we weren’t just going to be beaten but that we were going to be hammered. Tactics were all over the place, long ball wasn’t working and we were constantly running into traffic individually, lacking support.
    BUT – what a second half performance. Outstanding. Leaders everywhere, kept running at the Kerry defence, they had no answer. Aidan O’Shea was incredible, absolutely incredible. Not far behind were Boyle, O’Connor, McLaughlin, Dillon, Moran – all brilliant. Heroes, every one.
    The crowd was brilliant, the noise unreal. Magic stuff.
    it would be easy to criticise them for not closing out the game but they seemed out on their feet and Cafferkey seemed injured for a finish, particularly when that last ball to Donaghy went in.
    Thoughts for next Saturday?
    1. It should NOT be next Saturday, An absolute disgrace to have it in Limerick, end of. Kerry play challenge games there, minor and under 21 games there – it should be in Croker, if not next Saturday, then Saturday week. And don’t get me started on their excuse. They need wiggle room if Dublin and Donegal draw?! I’m sorry?! Like the Connolly red card in ’11, the GAA are showing their unbelievable bias towards Dublin again, A disgrace.
    2. Cafferkey. He did not play well today but Keane has little or no experience there at senior level and Mayo have no other cover at full back. He looked injured coming off – I worry that he won’t be back in time.
    3. Barrett, Moran and Parsons in for Keegan, Freeman and Gibbons. Parsons got better and better as the game went on and he got up to the pace of the game. Barrett is a good option at wing back instead of Keegan. Moran was brilliant when he came in. Brilliant.
    4. Either bring in Richie Feeney properly or get rid of him. Why he hasn’t been brought in in the last two games is beyond me. Seemed a very straightforward switch today to bring him into the game instead of Doherty or instead of bringing in Sweeney.
    5. Get to the pitch of the game faster and go at Kerry. They showed today they are better than them. I actually think the tighter pitch won’t suit Kerry as much, they like the space in the forwards.
    Hopefully, it’ll shut up Tompkins and those clowns who still think this team are bottlers. This is one of the great Mayo teams and will always be remembered as such!

  76. Mayo fitness level will stand to them in limerick on sat,I say just get it over it ,Too much talk about it being not a suitable venue or date will only unsettle the team

  77. No point attacking journalists for having a go at Mayo when some of our county men come on here and do the same. How anyone can come on after that supreme effort and have a dig at individual players or management, well they should be ashamed of themselves. That group have given such a supreme effort over last 4 years. So what if every player did not play well. They are human beings not machines.And as for blaming management .Obviously it was Horans fault that Donaghy caught that high ball. For the last few weeks people have been calling for Jason and Freezer to start. Well they did today and although things didn’t work out for them it may work next week. I hope that those who find continual fault will be good enough to allow the rest of us to have their tickets. For me that was the most incredible courageous performance I have ever seen. Finally replay in Limerick is the most stupid thing I have ever heard, A bunch of college American football guys take precedence over these 2 great teams and their magnificent players.Simply unbelievable.

  78. A subtle suggestion for the replay, even though i am sure the GAA wont go back on their decesion. What about the AVIVA stadium. It is in Dublin, slightly smaller than croke park and it avoids the limerick bias towards Kerry ( at least geogrpahic bias) The GAA gave use of our stadium to the IRFU and Fai when there was a need. Now we have a need, granted for the life of me why they scheduled an american football game is beyond me but that is another argument.

  79. Wow!! It’s impossible to add anything more to what has been said above. What an utterly courageous fightback – so proud of the lads after that. I must say I was a nervous wreck at half time and had doubts. It was unbelievable the way they pulled themselves out of that.
    I wouldn’t be overly worried about the venue next week. We’ve showed today that we can face pretty much anything that’s thrown at us now!! Serious support from the crowd – proud too to be there with the oul man!!
    I’m finding it increasingly difficult to try and the analyse games like these! Although today’s game was one of a kind so the mind is still in a muddle after it.
    Lots to work on of course. I am sure they will be raring to go again.

  80. So proud of mayo people , players and supporters . All were class today. When the wheels looked to have almost fell off we lifted our performance . So proud of Mayo . Limerick is not a neutral venue . Gaa are ruining themselves as an organisation . Is the game even on rte for people that are unable to travel due to health etc . Put the American football in Limerick . If not Bring Kerry to the Hyde .

  81. Here’s the e-mail I sent to GAA headquarters at the address below earlier on tonight.

    I’m not sure if this is the right avenue for channeling any complaint at the decision to have the replay in Limerick but at least someone in HQ will read this in the morning.

    If you feel as angry as I am about the decision, please feel free to copy and paste the text as you see fit. It’s the least the team and management deserve after what they have given us today and on many other occasions over the last few years.


    Maigheo Abu!

    Dear Sir or Madam,
    I am enormously disappointed at the GAA’s decision to confirm the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick for the replay between Mayo & Kerry in six days time.

    As a Mayo supporter I am disgusted that adequate provision has not been made for a potential replay such as this to be played in Croke Park rather than in what can only be described as a non-neutral venue (from a Mayo perspective at least).

    It is also insulting to the grass roots supporters and the team and management of both counties that a non-GAA event such as the American football game taking place in Croke Park next Saturday should take precedence over an All Ireland semi-final.

    The proposed venue in Limerick is on Kerry’s doorstep and it’s a fact that their team is far more familiar to playing there than Mayo.

    I would respectfully ask the powers that be in the GAA administration, in the interests of fairness, to consider setting the replay for Saturday the 6th of September in Croke Park, which would allow both teams to recover fully from their heroic exploits today.

    The explanation that this date needs to be reserved for any potential replay of next Sunday’s other semi-final between Dublin & Donegal can only be taken on face value as bias in favour of one semi-final pairing over the other and does a great injustice to the people of both Connacht and Munster.

    I hope that you will consider this reasonable request from a die-hard GAA fan along with those from other fans with views similar to my own (of which I am sure there are many this evening).

    Is mise le meas.

    Seamus Thornton…

  82. I am really proud of the Mayo players. I am really proud of the Mayo management. I am really proud of the Mayo supporters. I am really proud to be a Mayo man. It was like we were all in it together today! If we do win the replay this game will really stand to us in the final. Today was the nearest thing you would get to playing in an All-Ireland final, the tension etc. It was unreal. Roll on the next game!

  83. What an utterly heroic second half.

    Yeah, there’s stuff to worry about for the replay and I’m sure we’ll all get into it during the week. But Jaysus, my heart was bursting with pride walking out of Croke Park today.

    And what an atmosphere. It was nothing short of electrifying.

    Not much point going on about the venue lads. Yes, it’s a disgrace, but it’s decided now. We should use the injustice of this decision to round up as many Mayo heads as possible and turn the Gaelic Grounds into a Mayo fortress. And the sheer disrespect shown to Mayo by the GAA tonight gives James Horan and his men a perfect motivator right off the bat.

    This Kerry team wouldn’t get within 10 points of Dublin in a final. There is no way they are better than us.

    If we run the ball for 70 minutes the next day, we will win.

  84. Just back from Croker – it was a truly a magnificent pride bursting performance from the lads an especially in circumstances where the chips were down big time. The decision to replay this match in Limerick is an absolute disgrace but its not the first time the GAA officialdom have messed up.

    Further salt is rubbed in the wound when the excuse given by the GAA “spin-doctors” is that the following week there must be a contingency plan for a Donegal / Dublin replay.

    How does one semi-final deserve a contingency plan over and above another one?

    My proposal would be play Mayo / Kerry Saturday week in Croker.
    If Dublin / Donegal is forced to a replay – send that to Limerick – the Dubs see enough of Croker anyway!!

    Now that they are GAA sticking to this stupendous decision, I hope Horan and the lads focus 100% on the job in hand – there is no doubt that Mayo have the beating of Kerry – irrespective of where the game is played and it is up to the GAA masters to ensure that at least 60% of the tickets go to MAYO GAA BOARD – as that would be somewhat a fair representation of the respective County supporters in todays attendance.

  85. Boys and girls,, Mark O Se was roasted today.. Not next weed I can assure you,, Donaghy has been unmarksble in training and will play more time next week maybe even start for Maher and move in when Maher comes on to replace someother player, with Star inside who will ye watch ??? Foul the runners when the high one comes in or try to take care of the big man,,, Bomber Liston said it mant times,, give him the right all and he will create havoc and distruction,,, be prepaired for plenty of it,,, great game today, wonderful performance from both teams. The sending off was outrageous as this a An All Ireland Semi Final and not some crappy gaim in the National League. Yellow and no more but it served your purpose and unsettled Kerry, the following refereing descisions were clearly an effort to balance the game as has been honourably acknowledged by the mayo public on is forum. Fair play and may the best team win next Saturday,,, on that no team except the Dubs love Croker more than us…. This is not a Kerry conspiracy,, but we will beat ye there ,,, (I hope and pray)

  86. Always read the text before you post,, just read it and saw the many spelling flaws… Sorry but we play better than we spell I can assure ye all !!! Watching the Sunday game on replay and the concentration is very much below par !!! Mayo or Kerry in the final lets hope this side of the draw wins ,, up the Westerners !!!

  87. The fans were amazing today. It was a honour to be there panel were amazing today. The management were amazing today.the GAA are rotten today giving Kerry a home replay so they can have there dream final. Kerry always win replays but Mayo can be immensely proud on all they have achieved these four years. Lee keegan is a legend. Hold your head up high…

  88. Great performance today. Well done to all concerned. Hopefully the job can be completed the next day. Believe !!!

  89. Am hearing that the replay won’t be televised on RTE, but rather on Sky Sports. Angry, anyone?

  90. Great display from the lads today, in fairness Horan earned his corn at half time. Who would have expected such a big game from Tom P, and Andy came on at just the right time. Even Mikey Sweeney got a decent run. I’d imagine Barrett in for Lee the next day, hard to call the MF and FF situation.

    The Croke Park lads knew well when they did the deal for the American Football that there was the possibility of a draw. They also knew that Dublin wouldn’t be playing in that semi. Any other county, they didn’t care about moving it outside Croke Park. I’m not having a go at Dublin per se, but the GAA management know they will lose money if the Dublin game isn’t played in Croker. Anyway, it is Limerick on Saturday, I’m more worried that Caff is injured and we have no-one to replace him. Let’s hope it is just cramp.

    As for the TV, I can’t find exact confirmation, but I know both Sky and RTE are showing all of the semi-finals and finals in both codes, so I can’t see any reason why they wouldn’t both show Saturday’s game.

  91. Why would this not be on RTE? There is nothing for it to clash with. Mayo were very good today when they got going, but we should not get so carried away that we feel next week is a foregone conclusion. Still a lot of room for improvement on the field and the sideline!

  92. It does rankle of a conspiracy that has partially backfired.
    Keegan’s sending off would have ruled him out of a probable final with the Dubs——- thus a severe problem for Mayo————- but as he was the most man Kerry feared in the buildup to this match, one wonders was any excuse used by Mr C to eliminate him from the game today and give Kerry the advantage——-thus setting up for the ‘Perfect final’ (now that headquarters are chasing ‘Sky’s Shilling’
    The predetermined replay venue could also be another attempt of trying to guarantee the final the GAA want.
    If the above be the case then the ‘Smart Ones’ forgot to factor in the grit of this Mayo and we may go on and have our dream final and they can go fuck themselves.
    Make no mistake, the only side that the Dubs fear are Us and that does not suit as the GAA are trying to promote a ‘superteam’ to increase their promotional package.
    MaighEo Abu

  93. God ye are a very paranoid group of supporters ,, do ye know how many times we have competed in All Ireland Finails only to be defeated by one two points with the knowledge that the decisions made by the referee on the daly were outrageous. ( Joe McQuillian) strands out with the distinction of the most brutal free giver ( for the Dubs) take it in the chin and move on. The destiny of the Mayo team is within the players hands,, not in the rule book of a perspective referee,,

  94. Still trying to process today. Along with ’06, that was one of the most incredible days I have ever spent in a Mayo jersey.

    On paper, a four-point deficit didn’t look like much, against a team who are arguably a shadow of their forefathers’ greatness. Even with a man down, on paper, it didn’t look like it was the biggest ask in the world, but the despondency among the Mayo support at half time spoke volumes. Nothing was going our way, and we knew we were in big trouble. Credit to Kerry today, who showed that they are anything but a weak team. When they got the first score of the second half, I will admit, I was getting very worried. And then, the battle really began.

    I have been one of the people here who has criticised the silence of the Mayo support when the chips are down. Let me very categorically say that today, that criticism was well and truly answered. I have never, ever been prouder. My spine is still tingling from the sound of the Mayo roar – we blew the roof off the place in the second half, the noise was relentless and I feel privileged to have been a part of that furious, defiant, wall of sound in the second half. It felt like the crowd was battling every step of the way with the players, and it was something special.

    Replay in Limerick is farcical – I don’t care how long it’s been pencilled in for, on principle it’s not good enough and I hope this week brings some developments on that front. I strongly believe we will beat them the next day, but a six-day turnaround will do us no favours in the long run should that come to pass.

    In the meantime, I will savour today – we might not have one, but it was one of the special days.

    Also, WJ, that’s probably my favourite Audioboo ever 😉

  95. WJ your audio was classic, nearly pissed myself, the raw emotion summed up succinctly, what a day, what a generation, roll on the replay, GAA HQ me hole, let’s stick it to them, bed calling, one eye open, exhausted, unquantifiable respect for this bunch of lads…. Mayo Abú

  96. What a performance from each and everyone of those lads in the second half. That never say die attitude from zippy, turbo Tom, boyler, seamie, Mc, Aido, Doc, Cillian, Andy and Alan was something special. Freezer will open up and explode yet, Jason will have a big say before the summer is out, Chrissy Barrett who dug us out of a hole last year against Tyrone will come storming back and pushing hard for a place. Caff injury permitting is due a big one and let o’carroll know who is the number one in the business. Robbie the next day will command that area like no other. And to Leroy look forward to seeing you back at 5 for the all Ireland. Thanks James and back room team for a truly remarkable 4 years. And on we go!

  97. Willie joe could you please delete the first comment from the poster mayo exile (with a small e). It’s one of the most insulting comments I’ve seen in 5 years of reading and commenting on this blog

  98. Huge effort by the lads yesterday, hopefully the turnaround is enough for them to recover….

    The Limerick decision is a joke of a decision, this time of year games should be played in Croke Park. Aside from fact Kerry have advantage of playing Gaelic Grounds much more often than Mayo, plus a lot less travel time!

    Why is the game also at 5pm, I live in Australia, this means viewing times range in the country from midnight to 2am throw ins……this in the first season of GAA Go designed for people based abroad to view the game. I appreciate that moving in the opposite direction the game is on in the early hours of the morning, however, a half three throw in is surely pretty reasonable. Anyway, will be watching no matter the hour!

  99. I’m not as ecstatic as most on here about the result…..of course relieved were still in it. I think ppl are on a high from the comeback in the second half, and that’s understandable, it was heroic…even epic! However, we won nothing and in fact, blew a five point lead with five min to go!
    Not much time left to fix that problem.

  100. It was heroic to have a 5 point lead with 5mins to go . The players that were on the pitch could not give any more . I would not knock them for losing a lead under the circumstances. Also I don’t agree with the use and non use of certain players but james obviously knows best . People calling for players to come in , players to be dropped etc . I think Alan Dillon and Andy moran deserve mention as the daggers were out for these two greats in the not to distant past . There is room for improvement especially on what happened in the first half . Think we showed Kerry to much respect . All there forwards scored . James O’D is a great player but so to is cillian . We need to play our own game and not limit ourselves to scoring 5 points in a half .

  101. Fantastic courage from the best Mayo team since 1951. They don’t need an All Ireland medal to prove this, they have already done so. Think Coldrick is getting off lightly here. If Lee’s sending-of was “harsh but technically correect” how does one explain the lack of a black card for Vaughan being professionally fouled for the penalty and the lack of a penalty for a “slight” tug on Cillian’s arm which caused his shot to go wide rather than into the net? Even the idiotic umpire could not see that Andy Moran’s point was between the posts!
    Regards the replay, Limerick an absolute disgrace and again shows the GAA’s total lack of respect for Connacht teams. A bigger worry though would be Kieran Donaghy – we could not handle him in 2006 and we seem no nearer to doing so now. Mayo should abandon the sweeper system and play to their strengths as they were forced to do in the second half.

  102. Mac’s left boot – I’ve deleted that comment from Mayo exile and it’s one that should have come down sooner but you’ll appreciate that it was a busy evening in every sense for me yesterday.

  103. I was full sure in the stadium that it was a penalty for Cillian, but on the replay considering where the ref was at, I can see why it wasn’t given. But it couldn’t have been a black card for Crowley’s foul on Vaughan. It was cynical, but it wasn’t a pull down – he barged into his back. There is obviously still some confusion over the black card offences. No excuse for the umpire’s decision though.

  104. Mayo full-back Ger Cafferkey was replaced, but according to Horan he will be fit for the replay. “Just both his calves were very tight. He couldn’t really run so we put Kevin Keane on for him.”

  105. Heart, guts, determination… heroic. Better than 06 as against better opponents. Said we’d need a miracle at half time time but we didn’t. Anyone dissing Kerry is misguided, we’ll need more of the same to beat them. Many of their players came of age. Had to pick motm, Boyle really stood out, AOS ran himself into the ground and must be the most fouled player in Ireland, Higgins sense of adventure (almost backfired for Kerry goal miss) marking the Country’s best forward AND making super runs, not a single mistake by any of our subs, awesome Andy, O Connor was one who really did it for 70 minutes even when chips down in 1st. And many more were heroic too. Voting for one unfair to so many others. But think I have to to see the result.

  106. No problem willie joe I thought you might be a bit tight for time yesterday alright. Looking forward to the game next week now seems like there’s no chance now of it being moved elsewhere so we’ll just have to go down to limerick and beat them down there

  107. Be delighted is caff is fit. Limerick will suit him better with less space and hopefully he will get a dig out.

    Massive well done to Horan on subs they were spot on.
    Loved seeing Mikey Sweeney on think he will have role to play next day too.
    Parsons must start what a performance from him great to see. Another superb athletic man for his size.
    Disappointed with gibbons but he will get chance to make it up again in sub role.

    Barrett should come in and play wing back I would imagine. I am a big fan of drake but don’t know win he get this game.
    Barrett will be finest on gaeary. He is great player Chrissy very determined and will gather a lot of breaks and likely to kick score or two as we know.

    Wow in terms of Boyle o Shea’s Kevin mc and cillians performances.
    Master class leaders each of them.

    I would let Higgins mark his man on man he done powerful job on him in second half.

    So hopefully caff is fit same full back line. Barrett at 5 Vaughan boyler half backs.
    Parsons and seamie centerfield
    Kevin mc Aidan and doh
    Dillon on floating role
    Cillian and freeman inside again.

    When freeman was played in fill forward he linked well with Cillian and kept the Kerry back line thinking.
    Their fullback line doesn’t fancy the high ball either so he is great option and will have grown in confidence from that performance.

    Delighted with lads was nervous about that game but really looking forward to next weekend.

  108. Mister Mayor, it was 8 minutes to go to be fair but yes I do agree with you, its an awful pity we didn’t get over the line and should have been able to close out a 5 point lead at that stage, but I would’nt have dreamed we’d get a replay at half time.
    Leeroy’s red card wont be overturned, I presume Kevin Mc will start at 5 with perhaps Freeman and Andy in the full forward line with Allan Dillon moving to 10?
    I’d suggest Tom Parsons probably has to start, Gibbons was very disappointing but he could still be an option off the bench.

    I’ve really sickened about how we are treated by GAA officialdom.
    They gave us a ref who was blantly pro Kerry – honestly, taking off the Mayo glasses would he have sent a Kerry player off for what he sent Lee off for?
    He gave us some soft frees at the start of the second half but they were in fairly innocuous situations. Kerry were fouling our man in possession all day but he wasn’t pulling them for it.
    Would they put any other county down in Limerick for the semi final when it gives the opposition an advantage as it does Kerry? Even if it is a slight one its just not fair.
    It would be such sweet justice if we won by a point and Kerry had a legitimate score waved wide because there was no hawk eye. If they had any honour they would join Mayo and come out and ask the game to be changed.
    In life you have to stand for something, and our group of lads show that they will stand up and be counted. They also leave the field with alot of honor, I thought Donnchadh Walsh’s riverdance impersonations were an absolute disgrace and he should be ashamed of himself as should any right thinking Kerry person. It was embarrassing and I think went some way in influencing Coldrick in making it a red when a yellow as what was called for.
    I have rarely been more disgusted by the GAA and the way it operates than I am today, the association really needs to look a itself and what direction it is going

  109. I have never experienced a Mayo support like that before. We really were the 15th man in that second half yesterday. My throat and chest are killing me!

  110. Sending off was ridiculous, but also the amount of abuse Aido was forced to take, pulls, drags and clotheslines. Is the foul dependant on whom it is on.
    Would Dublin be sent to Limerick, or anwhere out of Dublin??
    We now know the right level of respect for Kerry, too much shown in first half.
    Most importantly of all, our support came of age, thanks to the immense courage of the players, for once we played our part.
    Limerick, Lusaka or Little Rock, let’s go and do it.

  111. I was celebrating last night as if we had won it , magic game, great times. Horan made some great calls on the line. I groaned when I saw him bringing on Mickey C but he made hay!

    Donaghy will not start the next day, he is carrying serious timber, big chest and a big arse on him. We have to be ready for his introduction , it’s not like we haven’t seen this tactic before!

    Epic second half and proud as punch of Horan and his men, sitting in the hogan stand as the banners unfurled was spine tingling. “Party with Marty” I can’t wait.

  112. It should only have been a yellow card,but how can we be blaming the ref, he gave us 8 scoreable frees against 2 for Kerry, they could easily have had another 3 close in frees for fouls on Walsh especially ..honestly thought the ref gave us much everything that was going. Roll on Saturday hope all are fit as a couple of our lads were in trouble in last 5 minutes, or else we were staying down to try and close out the game.

  113. I was saying all month that we would win this match however when Lee was sent off I thought we were curtains. If we played like that in the first half we would have been out of sight. Lee’s dismissal was harsh but the ref was within his right and he gave us plenty of calls after the dismissal. Donaghy will have to be marked next time, no one even tried to tackle him. Our forwards were playing very deep in the first half also. Its looking like Limerick on Saturday so hope the support travels.

  114. I think some of us are being naive in thinking Limerick wont be an advantage to Kerry.
    If we forget the croke park argument for a min albeit a justified one . The actual venue itself , Kerry challenge games, underage from u-16 to u-21 these Kerry boys would be so used of it . Semple stadium would be fairer , Dublin played kerry there a few years ago in q/f i think, remember mauice fitz wonder sideline point.

  115. I’ve never watched a Mayo defence sit so deep than what I witnessed in that first half. JH employed sweepers against Donegal last year, to great effect, with Keegan and Higgins dropping back in front of the square whenever Murphy was around. Very different system this time around with both Cunniffe and Higgins playing out in front of O’Donoghue.

    This is why I worry, it’s too late in the year to be tinkering with systems. What worked last year should have worked this year – wing-backs sweeping back when necessary but other than that, press high up the pitch, get your half-backs into midfield and apply pressure.

    Both teams went long but the quality of ball kicked in during that first half was poor. Mayo are far happier running the ball and even that didn’t pay dividends unless we were on the counter attack. Lots of positives, yes and one of the greatest comebacks I’ve witnessed in Croke Park but we’re seeing the same half-baked tactical ploys on the pitch that have cost us before. Better we make those mistakes now than take them to an All-Ireland final, that might the biggest positive to take out of the match.

  116. Could not be more proud of our lads yesterday . What guts, what spirit, what Bottle.the second half was the very best I’ve ever seen from a Mayo team.Even if we don’t win Sam , that will never change.Really proud to be a Mayo man.
    Disgusted with the decision to be brought to Limerick.If Kerry had any bottle now , they would back us to have this changed.You can be sure if it was set for the Hyde they would complain.
    Only one way to answer that , go down there in our thousands and hammer them.
    Finally, our supporters were fantastic yesterday and like the team, we must do it all over again.

  117. First off what a unbelievable comeback in the 2nd half. The lads absolutely gave it everything in that period. Fair play to them and every Mayo person who can should try to get a ticket for Limerick and make it a home game for us.

    A number of points on the match itself:

    1) Agree with the thoughts on us playing too defensive in the 1st half. The sweeper system itself wasn’t necessarily the issue but the way we played it. With Caff and Zippy man-marking and Cunniffe sweeping in front that should give the half-backs license to push on a bit and follow their men. But for some reason they seemed to be told to hold their position. Donie was back-tracking and holding 6 a lot. When what was required was for him to follow Geaney (no. 10) who made unbelievable hay in the first half.

    2) Bar that initial tactical mistake (understandable though as Kerry usually drop a man deeper that they did) James got all the calls right today. He went for mobility in midfield with Gibbons and ball winning FF in Freeman (who did very little wrong while on). Subs of Parsons and Moran were spot on and made at the right time, kept mobility and ball winning potential there. The move of K Mc to wing back meant he could explode forward a la Keegan (Barrett and Feeney probably not as good at this aspect of the game). Micky C and Micky S came on when legs were flagging and were perfectly timed.

    3) Not much to be done with Donaghy. He came on at the penalty and played at midfield for 5 mins. Was moved inside for the last 5 mins, Caff got cramp between the time the first ball he caught and the second. Keane was being readied when the goal went in. Very little time for the sideline to react. He won’t play a full game though – carrying a spare truck tire at this stage – but we have to be prepared for him, he can still fetch and still has the quick hands of old.

    4) Larry Tompkins well and truly shut up yesterday! Plenty of bottle and guts on show. Dillon got 3 points from play and ran himself to the ground trying to cover 2 backs on short kickouts.

    5) Cillian supreme on tackling and turning over ball in the forward line. Kicked some excellent scores. Slotted the penalty coolly.

    6) What ever happened to persistant fouling earning players yellow cards? Crowley and Fitzgerald must have had 4 fouls each.

    7) We now know the way to beat Kerry. Play our own game to the max of out ability. Don’t let them breath from their kickouts. Push on and break with pace. Quick ball to Cillian, Freezer/Andy will give dividends if on. Let Higgins mind O’Donoghue and realise he’ll still probably score 3/4 points from play. By dominating possession we can keep him to that.

  118. John C – just seen your comment now. There’s no need for anyone to be packing any bags, what I put up on the site was an off-the-cuff sentence immediately after the game. I’m glad though that you now appear prepared to give this particular team some long overdue credit.

  119. My head is still spinning a bit. About to get a bit of lunch and sit down and re-watch the game and try to make some sense of it. I don’t even remember Mikie Sweeney being introduced!!

  120. The Donaghy factor was a massive one in getting them the goal obviously and his fielding is unbelievable. Everything seems to be complicated nowadays in gaelic football, to me its simple enough, Donaghy comes on you put your best fielder on him , it was staring us in the face in 06 and Brady done his job when called on, Barry moran would be my choice to do it the next day when the situation arises. Its as old a tactic as there is and easy enough to defend , even if he catches it clean, track the corner mens run, JOD changed his run direction very intelligently and we didnt block his run.

  121. Ya they won’t start Donahue but if he does come on put Barry on him. I have every confidence in caff but hope his confidence doesn’t take a knocking.
    Loved henelly coming at one stage taking head of geanry and pushing ball out. That took guts after last year.

    We shouldn’t be afraid of them play out own game and we will win

    OI brien starting will be an option as he looked razor sharpe and eye in for goals early on
    I think they will start him again and when puffed out intro dec o Sullivan.

    David Moran had game of his life in first half but parsons parsons out him to bed so don’t see them winning as much ball around the middle next time.

    Somebody said putting Kevin mc to 5. Interesting but I prefer leave him at 10 and start a recognized defener either Barrett feeney or drake.

    Ah it’s great stuff to be so proud of them hope we can push on even if we won 04- to 03 points next day I couldn’t care less get across the line.

    We are ripped this year ripped physically and mentally. Dog determined and if we get over Kerry I wouldn’t fear dubs or donegal.

    What a weekends football in store roll on weekend.

  122. Kevmy – I’ve never seen Mayo under JH double up on a forward. Did we show too much respect to O’Donoghue? Cunniffe looked lost in the first half, marking space.

    You have to play a sweeper system against Kerry. O’Donoghue is not a traditional full-forward, he wins lots of ealry ball by quickly breaking onto the forty so you need coverage in front of the D.

    Cafferkey was cleaned out under the high-ball, even before the injury. Would he benefit from another sweeper in front of the square? It worked against Donegal with Keegan and Higgins rotating sweeper duties in front of the square – imagine your two wing-backs tucked in and sitting deeper than normal, going zonal – it worked a treat in 2013.

  123. Only feel capable of posting any semblance of sense now.

    First and foremost – that second half performance was simply awesome. I’m following Mayo for thirty years and I’ve never been prouder. Sheer guts and determination. Never again should these players be questioned in terms of having ‘the stomach’ for a fight.

    As WJ has said, no matter where we end up this season we should always remember the commitment to Mayo football these guys demonstrated in Croker yesterday. As there’s no f’cking reason why we can’t go and finish the job! Now I’m off to buy a packet of strepsils, never roared as much in all my life.

  124. Mayo3G – agree, I’ve never seen us double-up but we often play a sweeper. Most teams now play with 2-man FF lines. We usually keep Caff and one of Higgins/Cunniffe on these with the other corner back sweeping between our FB and HB lines. This gives the HB line license to attack knowing that there is a man minding the house behind them.

    Yesterday though we played Cunniffe sweeping IN the full-back line and told Donie to hold CB. Usually he would have license to roam and pick up Geaney and burst forward at any opportunity. Although Kerry did change things slightly in that the spare man dropped around their midfield/half forward line rather than their half back line. This meant their no. 10 Geaney was an attacking threat moreso than in other games.

    Next Sat I’d like to see us revert to type, like we did in the second half. Go man-to-man in the FB line and having a sweeper holding the line around the 40. Let our half-backs attack the ball and follow their men up the field.

  125. Genuinely thought at half time we were in serious bother. Regarding keegan I will say straight out it was a red card offence. If I saw someone kick someone at an under 14 match I’d be disgusted. And he brought attention on himself I thought before the game saying he deserved a black card vs cork.

    I thought some guys showed real leadership. Cillian, aidan o.shea, colm boyle and andy were top class and I have always rated andy and think he gets too much shit sometimes. It was the same before last years final.

    I said on this blog after our match to cork that I’d worry about midfield and that kerry had experienced seasoned midfielders and that in my opinion I thought barry moran should be in there but was shot down. How many kickouts did we win yesterday and we clearly needed a man to win primary possession. David moran at half time had kicked the most scores for kerry from midfield. I thought sos was poorer than gibbons and in the last few minutes he let the kerry centre back waltz past him for what could have been a goal and got caught up in possession and turned the ball over and jod nearly got the winner only for the upright to deny him…oh my heart.

    It was a great show of heart but we failed to take the game and I worry at kerrys midfield dominance especially in first half and it looks like donaghy will move in ff where once again defensively cracks appeared. Donnchadh walsh caused problems too. Great heart by the lads but work to be done and a massive 70 needed

  126. Superb performance.

    Yet some things worry me.

    1. Kerry given a huge start yesterday. Didn’t think Cuniffe played as well as he can or Cafferky. Also we need more from Vaughan and a lot lot more from Doherty.
    O Sheas were terrific -especially Aidan- and Boyle deserves all the plaudits he got.
    2.Thank God we stuck with Andy and Alan. The criticism railed on them by some supporters was not warranted but in fairness it was not personal.
    Mayo support magic.
    4.Most of all the over confidence that is apparent now. Kerry are still in this game. There is nothing definite about the result. I believe we can win but please lets not overdo it. Better to stick to no medals yet. Sorry don’t want to be killjoy
    5. That ref!!! Feck me he nearly cost us the game. I thought some of the tackles on Mayo players he let go were outrageous. Frankly I thought we didn’t protest enough about the penalty not given and the sending off. Might not have changed anything but it would have let him know we knew how unfair he was. At least we are doing it now. No Kerry lad would have been sent off for that.Remember Tadhg Kennelly.He wasn’t sent off.

    Lets do it. No blowing just hope.

  127. Willie Joe, I took John C’s comment to mean he was packin his bageen… for Limerick 😉

  128. P.K. has read my mind. I agree 100% with his comments. As for next Saturdays replay I refer to the song ” Yesterday is dead and gone and next Sunday is out of sight. Help us make through Saturday night”. A new game and again we need to be focused. Freeman and Gibbons may be our heroes the next day. I think both would be great subs to bring on. As both players have an ability to up their performances from yesterday. I also agree with the TV pundits last night the top GAA””Gobshites don’t give a fuck for Mayo or Kerry. If the Dubs were playing yesterday and it was a draw the replay would be in Croker on a date to suit the Dubs, let it be one, two , or three weeks. This weekend the trains fucked us up , and next week the Grab All “Arseholes” has done the same. Our day will come and to hell with the GAA.

  129. As a Kerry man i must congradulate Mayo on a great 2nd half a good team of footballers with plenty ‘bottle’. Ref poor LK should have been yellow but letter of law? BTW Aidan O Shea is a powerful footballer for the past few years but a look at match will show he was fouled 6 times and he fouled 5/6 times.

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