Mayo 2-16 Kerry 0-17: Kingdom conquered

These are the days of our lives. We’ve known for a fair while what a special team this is but this year has proven the point beyond doubt. Today’s win over Kerry – a first championship win over the Kingdom in 21 long years – rams it home.

Going into today’s All-Ireland semi-final replay, I was full of the kind of apprehension I’d say most of you felt to some degree. We’d been the better team last Sunday but we hadn’t proved it on the scoreboard. Kerry would be more difficult to beat today – could we rise to the challenge?

But alongside this was the realisation that we’d never get a better chance to take down Kerry and, in doing so, break through that glass ceiling I mentioned earlier on today. Well, we did that in spades, yielding in the process one of the truly magical Mayo GAA days at Croke Park.

When the teams were announced twenty minutes before throw-in at a sun-kissed HQ this afternoon, I have to admit that my confidence levels soared. We went with the same fifteen that had started last Sunday but they made three changes – in addition to the one forced on them in the team they named last night – demonstrating in the process how much our display last Sunday must have spooked them.

Benched were Mark Griffin, Anthony Maher and James O’Donoghue, with Jonathan Lyne, Jack Barry and Tom O’Sullivan starting for them instead. This definitely felt like Round 1 to us.

A fear I had about today’s replay was the truism that the second day rarely plays out like the first. With that in mind, I was expecting Kerry to explode from the traps and go for us.

They went for us alright, but purely in the physical stakes. Tadhg Morley had wrestled Jason Doherty to the floor before the ball was thrown in and all day long they had the timber swinging. This thuggery produced the wonderful grace note deep in stoppage time when Donaghy got a straight red for landing a punch on Aidan O’Shea.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Aidan caught the ball from the throw-in and right from the off we went at them. Within a minute we were off the mark, Cillian pointing a free from roughly the same distance that he’d missed at the start of the drawn game.

Lyne equalised for them from play but a second Cillian free followed by one from play by Andy Moran got us settled into the game nicely.

As well as the weather, what was noticeable from early in today’s rematch was how differently it was being reffed. David Gough isn’t a man to ‘let it flow’ which meant that Kerry picked the wrong day and the wrong ref to roll out the rough stuff.

We got a number of early calls that I’m certain we’d never have got from Deegan. The crowd – 80% Mayo? – loved it. The players tore into Kerry with even more commitment. The first hint that today was going to be our day came floating across the warm late summer air.

But Kerry also showed they could play a bit. Three points on the spin – all from play – pushed them one up but that was the only time they’d lead all day.

The lead didn’t last long either. Another Cillian free levelled it up and then Kevin McLoughlin scissored the ball up in the air and I was still groaning at how he’d seemed to make a hash of the shot when the ball dropped just over Brian Kelly’s head and the crossbar.

Colm Boyle then came on a thunderous burst, the Kerry cover getting to him as he got his shot away. The shot went wide but the foul on Boyler was rightly penalised and Cillian popped over the 14-yard free.

Another Kerry foul, another Cillian free and now the gap was three points, a bit of daylight opening up between the teams. Geaney knocked over one for them to cut the gap to two.

Two minutes later, though, we struck for the game’s first goal, a score that really put us in the driving seat. Donie Vaughan had a pop at the posts but his effort didn’t have the distance. It fell tantalisingly in the square, however, and as it did the in-rushing Diarmuid O’Connor was there to palm it to the net.

Chris Barrett then raided forward to thump one over as we turned the screw. But we fluffed a few chances to ramp up the heat on them still further and instead Kerry cut the gap to five at the break.

The stats on the big screen showed we’d enjoyed over 60% possession in that first half but you didn’t really need numbers to understand that this was a contest in which we were in complete control. Kerry had fronted up physically and it had back-fired. We were literally beating them all over the field.

Two points of note from that first half. The first was David Clarke’s kick-outs, which Kerry pressurised as strongly as they’d done last Sunday. David got every restart away and I’m not sure we were turned over there once.

The second was how we played Donaghy. Donie went back on him early on, then Aidan drifted back, first to half-back, then right in on the Kerry full-forward. But this was a far more nuanced play by Aidan, as he competed for kick-outs and drifted back out the field, in the process dragging Donaghy to parts of the field he’d no desire to see.

We’d replaced Donie with Paddy Durcan just before half-time, due to what was later reported to be a hamstring strain. Let’s hope he’s okay for the final. On the restart, though, we made what was, by any measure, a ballsy switch, with Conor Loftus coming on for goalscorer Diarmuid O’Connor.

This was, for sure, a statement of intent. We were going for the jugular.

We didn’t hang around in doing so either. Keith played a long ball down the wing towards Conor, which a Kerry hand almost intercepted but crucially failed to control.

Conor grabbed possession and was off. The long, arcing pass he played into Andy was inch-perfect and Andy, with Cillian on his outside, bore down on the Kerry goal. A quick one-two with Cillian and Andy bundled the ball over the line.

Now we had them where we wanted them. Kerry’s woes were compounded when Darran O’Sullivan, a half-time sub for them, was ordered off on a black card.

A quick kill would have been truly delicious at that stage. One thing I’ll say about Kerry, though, is that they rarely lie down when the gauntlet is flung at them. Back they came at us.

Two points from Geaney cut the gap back to six but Jason Doherty calmed any hints of nervousness in our ranks by belting over a sweet one from play.

With twenty minutes left, we suffered a blow when Cillian walked on a black. Kerry were bursting through the middle, a three-pointer their clear aim, and while Cillian’s drag back probably wasn’t strictly speaking a black card offence, there was delicious unvarnished cynicism in the foul. He really took one for the team there. Conor O’Shea joined the fray to replace him.

Conor Loftus banged over a beaut from play but then two points at the other end cut the gap to four. Kerry were far from done yet and we were having to foul repeatedly to keep our goal-line intact.

I’m not sure when it occurred but there was a heart-stopping incident when Kerry had at least three shots on our goal, each block producing a louder roar from the Mayo faithful. Eventually they were penalised for touching the ball on the ground and the siege was lifted.

With Cillian gone, a pertinent question was who would take the frees. Jason’s first one was far from a gimme but he knocked it over with ease and this was a score we needed at that point.

Two points from O’Donoghue – who’d also come on at half-time – cut the gap to four. We were running the bench too at this stage, Seamus O’Shea giving way to Stephen Coen at this point.

Kerry then suffered a hammer blow, another one self-inflicted. Peter Crowley, on yellow since as early as the fifth minute, picked up a second yellow and Kerry were down to fourteen. Now they really had a mountain to climb.

Jason then blasted over a ’45, sinking the dagger still further and we followed it up in short order with two super points from play. Kevin Mc bagged the first and a roar like a thunderclap erupted around the stadium as Conor Loftus swung over his second of the day. Victory, now, was surely ours.

But back again came Kerry. We kept up our ¡No Pasaran! approach, coughing up two frees on the 21-yard line, both of which Geaney pointed.

Paddy Durcan got our final score of the afternoon as the match went into injury time. Paddy didn’t see out the game, though, as he walked on a second yellow soon after.

Kerry came hunting for the goals they needed but it was never going to happen. All they got for their efforts was another pointed free and their misery was completed when Donaghy punched Aidan in the face and got a straight red for his troubles. I have to admit I yelled “Who’ll mark you now?” as he trooped off.

Within a minute the game was over. We’d done it and we’d done it in fine style. Victories over Kerry in the championship are rare days indeed for us and the dam-burst of raw emotion and delight after the full-time whistle sounded was one that needed to be savoured to the full.

Because what we’d witnessed was one of the finest performances this current Mayo team have given. Lions on the field, cute as foxes on the sideline, this was a game won at both physical and cerebral levels. Fair play to all of them.

And so on this incredible odyssey goes, now all the way to the All-Ireland final. It’s taken us nine matches to get this far and our campaign is now set to equal in length the ten-game run Tyrone had to their win in 2005.

Who at this stage would bet against these warriors of ours going on to emulate that great Red Hand triumph? I wouldn’t and I doubt many of those who have travelled the road with the team this summer would either. Just one step away now. Up Mayo.

Mayo: David Clarke; Brendan Harrison, Donal Vaughan, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Chris Barrett (0-1), Colm Boyle; Tom Parsons, Seamus O’Shea; Kevin McLoughlin (0-2), Aidan O’Shea, Diarmuid O’Connor (1-0); Jason Doherty (0-3, one free and ac’45); Cillian O’Connor (0-4, frees), Andy Moran (1-1). Subs: Paddy Durcan for Vaughan, Conor Loftus (0-2) for Diarmuid O’Connor, Conor O’Shea for Cillian O’Connor (black card), Stephen Coen for Seamus O’Shea, Danny Kirby for Boyle, Ger Cafferkey for Barrett.

Who was our MOTM against Kerry?

  • Colm Boyle (41%, 637 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (16%, 242 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (10%, 158 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (8%, 131 Votes)
  • David Clarke (7%, 112 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (6%, 95 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (2%, 38 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (1%, 22 Votes)
  • Chris Barrett (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Seamus O'Shea (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (1%, 15 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Ger Cafferkey (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (0%, 7 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Danny Kirby (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Conor O'Shea (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,080

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223 thoughts on “Mayo 2-16 Kerry 0-17: Kingdom conquered

  1. Brilliant, just brilliant. Stephen Rockford one in a million. Completely out coached Fitzmaurice

  2. What much more can we say? I’m a long time watching and following Mayo, from div. 3 losing games in Portlaoise to today. I’ve never seen a more complete performance from our team. Best team from start to finish. Man for man, pound for pound, out fought them, out thought them, out ran them, out muscled them, out played them and always, ALWAYS, kept our class, dignity and manners throughout. Unlike Kerry today.
    Chest bursting with pride! MEN. ONE AND ALL.

  3. Don’t know what all the commotion was about ….. Men and boys! But game is in a state of chassis! However …..!!!!
    WHAT A BUNCH…! AWHAT A TEAM! We are beginning to get things together. Enjoy the evening all. Pity KERRY didn’t turn up …we could have had a game of football!

  4. Magic magic stuff and feck ye begrudgers!
    Can someone answer me what story with paddy durcan red card it was two yellows

  5. Yeahoooooooo. That is all!!!

    Still too buzzing to write anything coherent

    Our best result in modern history?

  6. Time to finish this crusade once and for all.
    Never looked like loosing today, hope its Tyrone in the final.
    Well done to all players and management. Great overall performance.

  7. Great victory Arrogant Kerry got what they deserved. Good to see our boys take none of their crap. We must improve more and we can. Boyle Higgins and Aidan were brilliant today. Up mayo

  8. Conor Lotus is going to develop into some player in the years to come. Ten out of ten to SR for putting him on when he did and his first touch was a divine pass to Andy. The future is safe with players like CL.

  9. Power packed display from Mayo with Kerry rattled and resorting to pulling and fouling from the off. They appear to be improving with each game and Dublin or Tyrone will be in a battle. Too many good performances to single out a best player which is a very good sign. Serious chance now for Mayo to take the title.

  10. Mayo excellent, Kerry poor. You won’t see that dirty b…..d Donaghy again. Finished now. That Kerry team would have been smashed by Dublin and beaten by Tyrone.

    Dublin to win tomorrow.

  11. Congrats to players , Rochford and management team. Brilliant performance. Your bravery and dedication are example to us all. Thanks so much.
    It feels so special to beat Kerry in championship. Let’s finish job now.

  12. Two yellows is sound isnt it? Just straight red

    How good was Doherty at the frees? Loftus was immense! Dare I say – the missing link?

  13. Great performance.Completely outgunned the Kingdom.I have never seen Kerry so ragged.Delighted for Rockford,got tactics right.AOS,Moran,Doherty,Mc Loughlin,Boyler superb.When u think that Leroy was very average and we still won by 5.I have a good feeling we will win Sam.Even bookies impressed as they have us at 6/4 which is short.

  14. One of the greatest days of my life. Had 3 of my sons with me and I had tears in my eyes at full time. We battered, bullied and bossed them for 75 minutes. Amazing what a fair ref can do and seeing Hassett ran to the stands like a dog summed it all up. The double save and the free out, the goaly kicking over the end line. Donaghy getting the line. The ghosts of Limerick are exercised and to top it all off I predicted the result (didn’t with Paddy Power though).
    Hon to fuck Mayo.

  15. Fitzmaurice will be getting slaughtered by the Indo now if the last week is anything to go by.

  16. Great victory and I’m happy for all on here. Mayo came to fight and would not yield an inch and hats off to them. Our keeper had a nightmare and our set up simply didn’t suit that Mayo team.

    To day is not about Kerry but it’s about a wonderful brave and resilient Mayo team. I bow and applaud ye as ye did it the hard way. I so sincerely hope that Sam Is carried aloft over the Shannon on Monday the 18th. Mayo Abú

  17. Delighted for Rochford and Doherty. Having two massive seasons after plenty of slagging. Loftus was excellent bar the turnover. Boyler may be first all star to get subbed in 9 games in a championship season. Up Mayo! !!

  18. This will mean nothing if we don’t win the all Ireland but today cannot be let go without comment.

    Lions to a man. No more no less.

    This team owes us nothing even if they never win an all Ireland. They have been worth every penny. There are only two bad days every year at the most. The rest of the time we are beating teams out the gate and winning tight ones. The full range. They never seem beaten.
    They are not going to go away. Who wants to stop playing? Why would you? It will be over long enough. In my opinion they have been unlucky to be at their peak against the resources and population of the Dublin machine. We have pushed them to the pin of their collar.

    The one year Dublin were caught on the hop in 2014 led the to the total injustice in limerick which was disgusting and to get Kerry back and their filthy tactics exposed, and highlighted by donaghys sending off was poetic. It means a lot to me personally as the injustice of that day grated on me for months especially given Donegal’s capitulation in the final. This also means we know we can beat anyone anywhere and we have now.

    The media’s hounding of Rochford all week has been disgusting. The man is an amateur who has a job and family to raise. Yes he made the wrong call last year but who was giving out about the deployment of Dillon against Tyrone or Barry Moran against Tipperary. Not a word about Kerry. Lazy smart arses like Matt cooper and Eamon Sweeney who I used to respect scraping the barrel for publicity. Keith duggan called them out on it today. I don’t want to know if they eat their words. I dontt care and I wont watch out for it. I have not listened to brolly and Spillane for two years and life is better for it.
    I use my own two eyes rather than listen to their fucking comments. Save that shit for premiership analysis of over paid millionaire prima donnas rather than our own local heroes.

    No matter what happens in three weeks I will be pencilling in dates and flights for league matches in February. Twenty nine other counties would love to be in our position. I exclude Dublin, Kerry, Donegal and Tyrone as relatively recent winners and Kilkenny who don’t give a fuck.

    A golden era

    Mayo Forever!

  19. A lovely post Gamechanger10 so thank you. Always enjoy your contributions here as you are fair balanced and very knowledgeable. Well done Mayo a great performance from players and supporters alike. Roll on the 17th Sept….

  20. I’m no expert but I think we are definitely a top three team now….what a game . There s a lot of shirts to be ate in the Sunday game studio….The cream always rises and today we showed them. Fantastic team Fantastic fans Fantastic Mayo .

  21. Gamechanger, thanks and a touch of class from an always welcome outside point of view.
    Still a big big ask to win it all but I think we deserve to have another rattle at it.

  22. Am so so proud of these players. Revenge is a dish best served cold. All the old mayo failings were gone today. They defended their lead, their arseholes never went and they were never gonna let kerry score a goal. Boyler was a pit bull. Have to admit the players and management made me eat my words. They will have no fear of final opponents. I’m starting to believe. Will durcan be ok for final? Was so sweet to see Donaghy walk

  23. So so proud of Mayo. What a performance. And the great news is that there are more in them. Couldn’t give a toss who they meet in the final – neither Dublin nor Tyrone will want to meet us! It might be useful if Dublin hammered Tyrone because they won’t have had a test all year and the pressure of a 3 in a row will leave them set up nicely for us. Magic Mayo! Mayo4Sam!

  24. Excellent post KOB. Fuck the Sunday Game. Fuck the Indo. And fuck Sweeney and Bernard Flynn.
    The only media worth reading for fair analysis is the Mayo News!
    I’m going to relish this 3 weeks!!!


  25. Mayo don’t do revenge (for 2014) but if they did that would probably be the best revenge in the world. Oh, and by the way this game will surely bring Kerry on!

  26. Not bad for a team lead by a “donkey” and a “marquee” forward obsessed with selfies! !

  27. Wonder will all the trolls in the media apologise to Rochford now. What a performance !!!!

  28. When is the league starting 🙂

    Unbelievable performance.

    Who said Connor Loftus wasn’t up to it ?

    Kerry bet off the pitch.

    Sweet sweet sweet revenge.

    Big arse donaghy.booted in to touch. Tricked ref into.getting aiden yellow carded.

    Greatest team of modern times. No doubt.

    On we roll.

    Hon Mayo. Let’s go. Legends.

  29. 4 finals in 6 years…and won a replay again one of the big two.

    Today we made a breakthrough…..just as Joe Billy demanded.

  30. Thanks gamechanger and hard luck – a gentleman.

    What a win. These men are heroic. Sitting down now to watch it back now that the heart rate has come back down

  31. Nice to see a fair bite at the cherry and it just proves what this incredible bunch of lads can do with a fair ref. Fair play David Gough.. .overall a good performance in my view. Nervous in the build up and still nervous at half time but my god what a bunch…. steel,determination,BALLS. Heroes the lot of them. Bring on the Dubs or Tyrone. ENJOY the night folks

  32. What a dull and pointless c/ ship it would have been without ye ,of all the heart stopping and unforgettable days over the years watching the green and red ,this year has surely been something extra special in my opinion. Keep it up mayo ,you re one game away from immortality! All the very best to ye all !!!!!!

  33. I might be a bit late or insensitive but Joe ruane is the brother still with us if so hope he saw that !

  34. Kerry man gracious with his comments.I have no doubt that all of Kerry would now wish Mayo to win Sam.

  35. Congratulations from a Kerryman, totally deserved victory. I think this team is playing the best football I’ve ever seen from Mayo in my lifetime. Colm Boyle man of the match for me.

    From a Kerry perspective, Fitzy was totally outfoxed by Rochford and that was the key difference from the first game. Happy that our young players were the ones driving on the team in the second half but the goals at crucial times were a killer for us and it was too much of a hole to climb out of. Bad decision to black card Darren but other than that no complaints on the ref.

    Best of luck in the final, I genuinely think you can go on to win Sam given that Tyrone/Dublin have had so few tests in the run in.

  36. Delighted for Mayo! And what an influence SR has had on ‘Game Management’ . Your ball retention, and overall confidence in own ability in second half was class. But do not get carried away, as comparibly, this was such a weak Kerry team. I think you have a much better chance of winning final this year, in the sense that you now have a class player in Conor Loftus to call on – he really gave Mayo a greater scope in attack.. But I’m sure all Mayo supporters will acknowledge that ‘Geoghie’ made a complete ‘tit’ of the match! I’m not making excuses, but he also did the same in Connacht Final, and should never see a Refs. jobs again…

  37. Great result for a great team. Told everybody in previous post that u were a better team than Kerry and that u would win easily .Never doubted Mayo would win.
    Now u play in an all Ireland final , hopefully against my team Dublin.
    I will cheer Dublin but if we lose ,I will applaud one of the finest teams to win Sam, Mayo!
    A great team with crazy ( in a nice way) supporters.

  38. Great result for a great team. Told everybody in previous post that u were a better team than Kerry and that u would win easily .Never doubted Mayo would win.
    Now u play in an all Ireland final , hopefully against my team Dublin.
    I will cheer Dublin but if we lose ,I will applaud one of the finest teams to win Sam, Mayo!
    A great team with crazy ( in a nice way) supporters.

  39. Fair play to Gamechanger coming on after a defeat and being so gracious about it. A true sportsman. For me today was more about putting away Kerry for Mayo’s sake and the record they had against us for 21 years. Management and team take a bow.

  40. Worked their arses off……..Colm majestic………Andy majestic……….all decking majestic !!

  41. Very decent of you to make those comments Gamechanger. Delighted with the win well done the lads and management. I fully believe we can now take the next step and win Sam these guys never give up we are proud to have them represent us.

  42. How sweet was that? Kerry had a harder edge to them today but this Mayo team stood up and played them off the Park. I am really enjoying this.

  43. Nice words gamechanger! Had a great text from Darren O’Sullivans first cousin who is a friend of mine. He said that they were desperate to win today but Mayo better team on both days and he hopes we win it. Got my maths wrong earlier and forgot Cork.

  44. Thank you Gamechanger. Great post KOD. Why does anyone doubt these guys? So so proud. Now the hard job of getting tickets.

  45. Job done.completely dominated throughout and dealt well with all the off the ball stuff from kerry.2 games will have us toughened and primed for the final.we look a better outfit than played in the finals last year and we will turn up tonorrow 3 weeks.expect dublin be the opposition again.

  46. Bit off the point ,was home in my midland base at 6:30 … My wife (mayo woman too) burst into tears after the final whistle ..kinda sums us up as a county and a people ..I feckin love Mayo

  47. Gamechanger Thank you for the good wishes. Kerry lead the way as we all know and have some classy footballers. Which is why it means so much for us to win today. I think Kieran Donaghy let your proud county down today with his behaviour and I believe he will be called out in Kerry first and foremost. Let’s make this count and go on to the promised land!

  48. Would love to join ya WJ but I’m fucked tired.
    I reckon you should go though!!

    Did Keith get RTE MOTM if yes is that the first time a fella only 5ft 7 won it.
    Interesting trivia question might come up sometime…….

  49. That was the sweetest Semi- Final win of them all. Wonderful stuff right from the first minute to the last. The key as with so many of our great wins was keeping a clean sheet it makes all the difference. Thought Kerry went looking for goals to early and passed up points chances but today we were not going to be beaten. A lot of journalists owe Stephen Rochford an apology and I look forward to plenty of humble pie on Monday. I must admit I had my doubts especially with the Aidan on Donaghy move and am more than happy to say today I was proved wrong.

    I believe it will be Dublin in the final as they have to much in my view for Tyrone.

  50. Brilliant today but a small point to make the way Jason Doherty took the 45 in second half,not a bother,but ciillian o Conner kicking off the ground from 45 or free from a distance is poor,maybe it’s time to change place kickers from the ground,could be the difference between winning and loosing all Ireland,see how rock from Dublin takes the hard frees from the ground ,it’s a great second option to have but will ciillian give them frees up????

  51. Wonderful. So happy for the Team, myself and all the Mayo people abroad. It was also a nice touch to give Ger Cafferty a couple of mins. He has always being a part of Team even when injured.
    I think they will have a wonderful 3 weeks and the subs will come on a bit.
    Anyway this Day has defined Mayo Football, no more don’t do Qualifers, Replays etc.etc, etc, etc
    Hope the Team stay in Dublin overnight and savour the Atmosphere tomorrow.
    Goodbye to the Pundits.

    Ciaran 2.

  52. The 16th man/woman gave his/her finest ever display also today to match the superb performance of our team and management.

  53. Doesn’t matter who Mayo will play in the final, i’m more convinced that ever before that this group of Mayo footballers will win the All Ireland in 3 weeks time. Get ready to party lads.

  54. Rochford first class today. The AOS experiment the last day was wrong but he changed it up. He had faith in his players which Fitzmaurice didn’t – had Kerry playing a way that did not play to strengths. Clarke composure on kick outs outstanding given short kicking not his strongest point – he must have done some work in last 6 days. Christ loftus is top drawer – inconceivable he won’t play big role in final. Moran his usual. Playing at his peak almost. Durcan excellent. Seamie on se I thought had his best game of the year. Doherty is to borrow a line from Full Metal Jacket “born again hard”! Should be taking the long range from what I saw (admit one swallow and all)…Boyle was just himself – always the same.

    Fair play – my incling was fro Kerry today. That changed when I saw o donoghue on the bench ….kerry blinked and were ruthlessly exposed. Enjoy today on its own merits. Can’t rule ye out now going all the way …lets see what tomorrow brings!

  55. Fair play Gamechanger, I always enjoy your posts but forgive me for enjoying this one a bit more.
    Magic, magic, magic, it’s crazy that an event in a sports arena aproximately 2,613 km away can mean so much, but it does, it means everything.
    As one of of the Mayaspora (Mayo Diaspora) my pulse is racing, my thoughts are racing, my faith is strengthened (I never lost it johnno) and all around me the locals are asking why I’m so animated. I try to explain but they don’t get it, nobody does, nobody else understands what this means, at last a fucking rub of the green, at last a fucking bit of fair play, at last we took the shackles off. We might never find the holy grail but we’ll keep fucking trying. This team are Magic.

    P.S – apologies for using the ‘f’ word but it is an accepted intensifier in most respected dictionaries, and today’s performance was intense.

  56. Meant to say I voted for Clarke because to get 10/10 under immense pressure in first half was the platform for this win

  57. It was a great team performance from back to front. I particularly liked the steady maturity shown at the back on restarts. The recycling was patient and decisive. I liked the way fellas came looking for ball instead of standing and waiting. Kick passing into inside accurate and well measured and ball contact by receivers was a joy. JDs stepping up is part of that extra level there’s in this group.They are a team on a curve and K Duggan’s question was pertinent but Keith hasn’t been the only one asking it. There’s a 20/30% improvement in this team still. If they come up with half they’ll surely be a force to be reckoned with come ALL IRELAND FINAL DAY…..Wheeeeeee!

    And fair dues to you Gameghanger for your honest and upright position always and your excellent thinking on the game.Of course this will be only a blip in the great story of Kerry football come the spring start up…. cheers!

  58. Awesome performance by the team AND the management. It ain’t easy outplaying kerry footballers and even harder to outfox cute kerry managers. Awesome just feckin awesome!!!!
    Going to the game tomorrow to watch our possible opponents. Not sure who I want to see us playing though. Suppose the ticket situation would be easier if it was Tyrone. It’s going to be a hell of a long 3 weeks. Surely this year, surely it’s our time.

  59. I’m reminded of Tony Hanahoe in the 70s for Dublin when I see Diarmuid O’ Connor. His job is to sacrifice himself all day. Then he turns up out of the blue. On more than one occasion this year. Well done on an opportunist goal (again)

  60. i run out of superlatives for this mayo team. unbelievable.

    i almost put up this morning that my prediction tongue in cheek was that we would tear kerry a new one today.

    today we tore kerry a new one.

    our half back line today was rabid. no other word. they foamed at the mouth from first to last.

    and this andy moran chap. unplayable. now installed as 7/2 favourite for footballer of the year.

    heroes to a man. every one of them

  61. The West is well and trully awake. Bring Sam West lads, finish the job, Those Mayo lads today are some warriors. Galway for Liam , Mayo for Sam..

  62. Heart rate just settling down: voice fecked again, what a total team + management + fans performance !!

    I have a feeling that we may (yet again) see a bespoke team shape/individual roles for next opposition. We must be very hard to prepare for, which Mayo will turn up, etc…..perfect.

  63. Sideline got it bang on today that has to be acknowledged.

    getting to back to back finals is no mean achievement.

  64. Cloontakiller doesn’t matter if you are 2425 KM away or in the west end bar in Bangor enjoy tonight like a proud Mayoman you are one of us and as Andy Moran says we’re Mayo and we’re in this together

  65. Absolutely, good to win but it means nothin if we don’t win the final.

    I actually think when Mayo look back they’ll think we shudda won by more.

    We were very tentative coming out of defence 2nd half and layer a high risk game.

    Plenty to keep the mind focus for the next day. WE ARE STILL IN IT….

  66. God it seemed like ages when Cillian got the black to figure out who was going to replace him i thought it would be Kirby got a surprise when it was conor Oshea but he did well….The best thing though out of all this Jason Doc then stood up and took some great frees when i thought it would be Kevin Mcloughlin that would take over them.
    Jason Doc has really improved since getting to Croke park games and is defo a big plus on last year as is the form Chis Barrett and Conor Loftus our kicking game running game and defence game has all improved on last year…

  67. Go raibh math agat Gamechanger…we’ve plenty more to do but maybe, we’ll get the breaks on the day…who knows. We’ll give it a lash.

  68. Here in the big apple,so happy and proud
    Time to book a flight home me thinks in 3 weeks time,I got a feeling this team is ready to lift Sam once and for all
    Some team,so lucky to be from mayo

  69. Thank you Gamechanger for your kind comments. I believe this Kerry team are a great with great footballers and a League title to boot. Today was not a good day at the office. They seemed to bunch in parts of the field and consequently looked uncomfortable going forward. We have won the semi yet again and this a familiar place for us.

  70. Everyone one of them a hero, won it on the line, won it on the pitch, won it in the stands.

    So proud today of that great team.

    But as one very, very, very bitter Kerry woman in section 304 took great joy in pointing out as she left in tears, we’ve won nothing yet.

    But by God we’ve got a team of hero’s.

    Colm Boyle, take a bow …..

  71. Our most impressive performance in modern times. Our best ever performance against a top team. I felt we were fitter based on the final whistle last week. I wanted to post that I thought we’d be comfortable but tempting fate and all that.
    We man marked David Moran pretty much today.
    Seamus OShea had a massive game.
    The consistency and confidence in the team I’v never seen it so good.
    Aidan moved around but always seemed in place for the high ball.
    Wondeful. Happy for all of us. Cheers to Gamechanger always an interesting and gracious poster.
    Hoping all is the best for you Joe Ruane.
    We can win this final, for once I don’t see any weaknesses and we have subs.
    Wonderful, brilliant, Mayo.

  72. Got the train west surrounded by green and red and a big happy head on me. Have watched the pass from Loftus into Andy over and over again online and I still can’t get over the breaks on the lad when he got back to ground. To stop so quick like that I’m convinced Andy would be a human version of a Porche 911. So happy for the team and management.. this moment will be savoured and rightly so. Thanks Gamechanger10 it’s a great credit to you and yours to win with respect and class and acknowledge yee were second best on day in a similar manner. Hopefully we can go on and seal the deal now but that’s for another day. Now time for a pint in the local

  73. Fell in love with Mayo visiting my relatives in Castlebar for the first time last month. I almost feel this team is spoiling me as a new Gaelic football fan.

    Mayo fans outnumbered Kerry fans at Fado Pub in Chicago ten to one and I look forward to seeing more red and green three weeks from now.

    Up Mayo!

  74. One of the sweetest days of living! All who watched Maurice Fitz single handed left and right foot demolition in 97, that suffered the devastation of 04 and 06, the vitriol of Kerry fans in Limerick in 14 , the brutal off the ball savaging of Cillian O ‘ Connor in the same match…will vent tears of absolute joy today….the Kingdom toppled and close to humiliated by an outstanding and astonishing performance by the green and red…21 years of pain exorcised …Keith Duggan has held off on the extended version of the ‘House of Pain’ despite the truckload of travails and traumas of more recent years..hopefully this is the year we turn it into a ‘House of Pleasure’…

  75. I’ve had many good days in Croker and for sure many bad ones but today has to go down as the most enjoyable and most satisfying of them all. People will say we’ve won nothing yet and that’s true, but to witness our guys putting one over on Kerry, the aristocrats of the game and especially after the limerick debacle can’t be over emphasized. What happens from here is for another day but for now, let’s savor the moment and sit back and enjoy Tyrone and Dublin tear strips off each other.

  76. Willie joe
    I’d like to vote for Rochford has man of the match
    I/We have questioned him
    He got everything spot on today
    Delighted for him

  77. What a day, what a game,Kerry tried and tried but we just super,Thank you Stephen Rochford, and your backroom team,Thank you, You wonderful bunch of players,Thank you subs that came on and the ones that didn’t,now one last push to get over the line.

  78. Well where do you start after that.

    I have always been a proud mayo man but after today I could not be any more proud to be a mayo man.

    Clarke – solid in everything he did and pulled off an excellent triple save (not to mention he is a pure gent)

    Aidan – put donaghy in his pocket which donaghy acknowledge by punching him at the end out of sheer frustration.

    Boyler – just awesome (this guy has balls of tungsten)

    Doherty – took responsibility for frees and nailed each in addition to a very good performance

    Andy – like a fine wine just gets better and better

    Seamus- work tirelessly and always took the right options

    Keith – usual from Keith excellent in everything and drove forward

    On ref, thought he applied the rules fairly and consistently which is great to see.

    Finally on Rochford, got match ups and all his calls right today. Well done and come 5 tomorrow planning starts for the 17 Sep

  79. Jesus I love this team… absolutely amazing bunch of players and i am delighted for Stephen Rochford. enjoy the few scoops WJ and well done to all the fans, especially the ones that made it to croker.

  80. Can someone just clarify the Durkans status for the final. I know 2 yellows is normally not an issue. I’m just worried that his red from 2 games ago may accumulate to take it out of the final?

  81. Hello all – first time poster. As the name probably makes clear I’m one of many based in the UK and proudly second generation mayo. My God those boys are something else! Willie Joe I’ve been following this website for years and the level of insight and passion is equally impressive. Thank you so much for your time and efforts. As others have rightly pointed out – gamechanger your comments speak to your class and encapsulate what sets gaa apart from most any other sports. I can’t wait to take the flight in September to Dublin for a fantastic weekend win or lose. Keep the faith. Maigh Eo Abu!

  82. Congrats to ALL, management Team, players ALL, supporters and everybody involved.
    Hard to pick a MOM they were all so good.
    We will improve further when the game is analysed.
    But steady as she goes, Kerry were not great. Because of our tactics and play probably. But keep the head.

    I was laughed at when in a previous post I said “Of course we’ll win ( on Sat) because we are going to win the All Ireland”
    Keep the head and I’ll be proved right. We have the MEN for the job. The “Boys from the Co Mayo” have grown up.
    Thanks to all outsiders for their gracious comments.

  83. All I could manage was a yell earlier. APOLOGIES but I have never been so proud of a Mayo team in Croker. To beat Kerry in a replay was so amazing and a glass ceiling just shattered by this team in a way no other Mayo team has done before.
    DONEGAL beat Kerry on the way to Sam in 2012 and I think we had to do the same before winning SAM.
    Just a thought.

  84. Absolutely brilliant, I was just thinking after the game, WHY was I so stressed all week about today’s battle & a battle it was through the whole game, Kerry thought they would out muscle Mayo today but it was MAYO who steam rolled them both mentally & physically and “what de ye think atdat Jo Brolly” saw RED as well, Great Day to be a MAYO SUPPORTER, I feel fantastic & Proud

  85. Boom boom boom let me hear you say Mayo Mayo!!!!!!! Instead of the usual chant of Mayo Mayo we should sing this. I was up North watching the game and when we went to the local we were greeted with this chant and it gave me goosebumps. Its brilliant.

  86. @north Mayo

    I thought AOS was talismanic today…but I don’t agree he put donaghy in his pocket. He was still the main threat right up to last 5 mins they had. He won a lot of ball and created a lot of chances but his teamates failed to oblige. Difference o shea today is he had a big impact out the field and Kerry scored massive OG taking o donoghue out in support of Donaghy at the start.

    But AOS is Mayos Eisenhower….closely followed by Andy Moran.

    I think seamie deserves a special mention today too.

  87. Willie Joe as I live in Dublin I would have loved to join you and the gang in Bowes for a knees up but when I got home and after the wife fed me the dinner, I grabbed the whiskey bottle and sat down to watch the match again, so no out for me now. Anyway, enjoy the evening and fair play to you for doing yet again a fine report and in quick time too.

  88. We’re are still here. We are still together.

    What a match. I’m so proud to be able to call myself a Mayo Man. We won fair and square. I can let Limerick go now because the lads have righted that wrong, albeit, the hard way. Sometimes that’s the only way. It can be lonely, it can be difficult but there is a way through, if you really believe. These men believe.

    Before the match, Ger said we would win by 2 or 3, I said 4 or 5. We’re still competitive as daft as that sounds written down. We are Mayo. . We are in this together. We are a band of brothers. He will hold on untill this is finished, make no mistake about that.

    Fair play Gamechanger. A gentleman.

  89. That was the proudest days I have followed that team. The difference was Mayo came to play football, Kerry came to stop them, and the positive approach won out in the end.
    These lads are only immense, and it seems the hard yards of the back door has been the making of them.

    While AOS played full back today, the approach was totally different. There was a load of shit about all the scores Donaghy had a hand in last Sunday The reality was he scored one point last week and none today.

    There was a real smugness in a lot of the commentary since the drawn game, that the lads blew out of the water.

    We may get used to more patronising bullshit in the coming weeks. We must savour today’s victory, but we must look to the final. This victory will be in vain if we don’t finish off the job. The victors write the history and it is about time we wrote our own history lesson.

  90. I shed some real tears at the final whistle today. What a magnificent day. Congratulations to Stephen. Quite clearly a competent coach and manager. What the feck do any of us know!?

    I’m not even going to mention any players. What a wonderful performance from absolutely everyone.

    Just put the feet up for viewing number 2.

  91. Great to see second generation exiles in UK and USA come on the blog.
    The way we identify with our great County is intense and spans generations
    What a unique journey we all are on

  92. I was fired up after the match waiting to respond in kind to 20 years of patronising comments by Kerry supporters after defeats. Sorry to say, every comment was respectful and congratulatory. Gentlemen and Women all.

    Having said that, there was something very satisfying watching Kerry on the field resorting to “the black arts” to try to curtail Mayo’s dominance, and failing! Especially satisfying was seeing Donaghy red carded, especially as he manufactured a yellow for Aidan early on (which I verified on the recording).
    There has been so much negative comment this year prior to today that can now be thrown back at the muckspreaders. I don’t want to get into that, but one thing that may be missed by many…To those that advocated Seamie be dropped – you should also watch the game back to see the amount his grafting across the pitch contributed to our win.

  93. What a performance. A very special day that will live long in the memory. Delighted for Stephen Rochford and the players who have given their lives to Mayo football over the past several years. A very proud day.

  94. Prob my best day ever in croker… so delighted for rochford, after all the absolute muck that was said and written about him, and this team, what can you say….. absolute,out and out legends. Ya just get the feeling they won’t be beaten…. up mayo.. ps nice post gamechanger. Gentleman.

  95. Agree Cantini,
    We surrendered a significant area of threat by omitting him and by the time he came on Mayo had the momentum and by God they weren’t going to surrender that position. I could hear the sound of the tsunami from the second quarter, mayo’s nostrils were flairing and they were collectively growing in belief, passion, aggression and were like great warriors who began to realise they had the opportunity to go for the kill. Ye did and it was a great day for the great GAA family of Mayo.

    A small word of caution, Gavin ant Heart were looking on with beady eyes,,, there are two great teams battling to meet ye on the other side. If ye play like ye ye did today I think ye can beat whichever one of them comes out on top tomorrow. Ye are very strong in defence and over the past nine games Rochford has developed a very dangerous collection of attacking and defensive link plays. The running off the ball is creating space and that space is being well used, fair play to to all involved.
    Warriors Are Ye !!

  96. @backdoor Sam, what I’d give to be in West End Bar on Monday 18th, I’d buy you a pint……a pint of champagne!!
    Enjoy the night my friend & indeed to all our Green n Red brethren, especially those fortunate enough to be in the esteemed presence of our host in Bowe’s.

  97. Doubt rochie at your pearl. He’s a man who won all Ireland clubs as a player and manager. Astute in both roles but will never get the real credit but tonight he deserves it.

    Being crying out to try diamruid in full forwards and how it paid off. Stick with aos at full but giving him roaving roll was class.

    Well done all players superb but most improved player has to be Jason doh. He’s a man co pared to player he was. Most improved layer by mile.

    Loftus and Kirby made big impacts and both will have big impacts when we do win all Ireland

  98. Gamechanger, I always like your contributions on here & to have such graciousness in defeat is to be admired.
    In my mind you’re a wise 60-70 year Kerry man – I wonder if I’m wrong :-).
    Can’t get to sleep, but by God do I need it.

  99. Who’s the donkey now ?

    Hope the hacks don’t start fancying our chances now. Theyve been wrong abut Mayo all year.

    Seamie was brilliant
    Clarke top drawer
    Mcgloughlin kicked a couple of great points
    If Bernard Brogan had palmed in Diarmuid s goal we would never hear the end of it.
    Connor Loftus take a bow

    Backs made kerry look like a nun trying to reverse a cement truck in to a tayto box. They were brilliant.

    Unreal team performance.

    Happiest I’ve ever been after a Mayo win.
    Life is good.

    Simpson, Release the hounds.

  100. It felt great today, what a win and what a team. Mayo were the better team better players and better pack.

    I always knew they would be!

    Now to see what tomorrow brings, I have this re occurring dream, Dairmuid Connolly exhausted and defeated looking on while Clark lifts Sam.

    Mayo Abu

  101. @gamechanger
    And apologies to all Mayo fans here because I appreciate they won’t give a flying f**k…
    But do u thing EF will go now. I appreciate he couldnt ignore his FB line problems but to take such drastic measures as drop o donoghue? And go semi-zonal…poorly!? Would Kerry people not prefer he backed his players in a shoot out. I think it is inconceivable that if o donoghue was from Mayo or any county for that matter he would not start…if u have that luxury u need to have some special talent on show.
    The last day I thought Ed said to hell with Mayo we are kerry and pick out team. SR did the opposite….but SR learned …he honed what he did in the first game. EF basically tore up the script even though he got within a paddy durcan equaliser in the 74th min….why complete reshape a team on that basis. History is written by the victors but even b4 throw in today I thought EF had buckled.

  102. Boom,Boom,Boom Let me hear you say Mayo, Mayo!!! We need every Mayo fan belting this out for the whole game to silence the hill.

  103. Maigheogalingallimh,
    I had the pleasure of being present at both Mayo victories and I have to say the taste of loss doesn’t ripen with age,,, but you have aged me a little. I still have a few birthdays before I gather my friends for my sixtieth. I would do emoji’s but I don’t know how to do them on this site.
    Enjoy the battle for tickets, not to mention the fight for hotel beds, this city is a financial trap..
    Somethings are just worth paying for.

  104. Don’t think so cantini.

    Didn’t matter what team kerry played today they were getting bet.

    Was strange though to start jod on the bench.

    Think Fitzmaurice will decide what he’s doing. He may go himself but don’t think he’ll be pushed.

  105. Now thats


    booted out of the competition.

    Just 1 more little order of business left to take care of.

  106. Watched the game on holidays today and couldn’t be more proud of that great bunch of guys today, all 21 of them. So delighted to see Kerry get their comeuppence at last and erase some of the wrongs of that 2014 replay. I was delighted to see that Gough was appointed ref during the week. I hope he prevails as ref and isn’t banished by the GAA after today. He seems to be the only ref in the country who gives a fair shot to the guy who plays the ball. He sorted those hard men from Galway out in the Connacht Final. There is too much thuggery allowed in Gaelic Football and it turns away a lot of good young footballers. He didn’t take any shit from the Kerry lads today either, fair play to him. Having said that, I thought Darren, Cillian and maybe Crowley were a bit unfortunate today. I was disappointed to hear Horan criticising him on Sky today. We complain for 3 years about injustices and then start whinging when a ref comes along who gives the benefit of the doubt to the player in possession. Up Mayo

  107. Cantini,
    In Kerry we generally don’t tend to go ballistic on the back of one result as every team has its day that the fans blame either the manager or individual players. I think he will get it in the neck and it was definitely a questionable call which may have cost us today but I personally think it may have been made more in response to his failure to feed Buckley last week when he was bearing down on goal in a dangerous position and Jameso failed to hit the team button. I think that moment of insular play cost him and indeed it may have ultimately cost us. That’s sport and I’m sure there were plenty of tight margins that would have given Mayo last Sunday. They now have another battle under their belt, they have beaten the best from every province and they are on a high going into the final. Happy days for Mayo,,

  108. Top class Mayo . Supporters are the best in the world . All players , panel, backroom are a credit to the County . Total control today .1-15 all the subs couldnt fault anyone 10 out of 10. Barely rememeber any wides or mistakes .
    Mayo seem to be the box office team this year in terms of column inches and general media attention . What a journey this is . whenever it began was it this year or 11 since the core of the team were u21 champions .Roscommon replay was the turning point this year so thanks again to them .

  109. I wouldn’t think EF should go unless for personal reasons . He has got a big return out of this team that was not expected when he took them on.Alot of aging fellas etc.
    He made calls but just didn’t work out or was not allowed to by our lads.
    They have a great bunch coming through.
    Who knows but losing one game is not a reason to go.

  110. Beautiful lads. Not good stuff but dirty football porn for us.

    Who cares how shite the game was. We bet Kerry around the place

  111. Great win today. Great performance by a great team. What a bunch of men? Mayo terrorised Kerry today with pure aggression and passion and belief.
    I only caught glimpses of the game at work today and at about forty mins I think there was 8 in it. Next time I looked @ 65 mins there was only four and Cillian gone. I have to say the ghosts of the past done a few laps of my head. Next time I looked Donaghy was walking of and I knew we were going to win.
    Do we know yet about Donie and was Diarmuid’s subbing tactical or forced?
    I noticed Big Barry warming up too in the highlights. A complete performance will lift the lads going into the final. Can Gough referee the final now? Any tickets …….

  112. So proud today.Really can’t put into words what i think about this amazing group of players , management etc. Rochy, you gave your answer today to those dickheads in the media & also to those closer to home( & there were more than a few). One player i have to single out is Jason Doherty. Did he lose a ball played to him over the 2 games? Then to take over the free taking duties after Cillian went off. The real unsung hero. Met Kevin Keane at end of game. All he said was “FINISH IT”. That’ll do.

  113. I couldn’t hazard a guess as to even 3 for MOM. Could be any of Clarke, Boyler, Seamus, Andy, Keith, Aido, Jason, Tom. All our lads played really well so I’d expect a very inconclusive result especially with the new system.
    As a team we played top stuff.

  114. We are getting the breaks
    The little bit of luck needed
    So many games so few injuries
    Let’s hope that continues for 3 more weeks

  115. Completely outsmarted Fitzmaurice tactically.
    Very disappointing to see Kerry resort to such spoiling tactics from start and their sweepers caught in no man’s land.
    I am really impressed with the way Jason Doherty has stepped up to the plate this year but a very classy performance all round.

  116. I had said on here that a draw was no good to Mayo. You need to take Kerry out on the first day. We left it after us the first day etc.

    Well now i am eating humble pie and it is delicious i have to say.

  117. Just finished watching the game again. Totally knackered but elated. Yet my feet are on the ground. We won today…hungry and passionate. A delight to witness. My voice is gone but am so proud of the lads… every single one of them. Immense performance and I believe. That’s my mantra… believe believe believe. Was proud to stand and roar in Cusack stand with my daughter. Thank you Mayo. Thank you supporters and now for bed!! Maigheo go deo

  118. You could not have asked for anything more from our team, management and supporters today. Well done to all involved. Roll on the final!

  119. Outstanding performance from a Number of players
    Clarke – best day in a Mayo jersey that I can remember. We lost 1 kick out and he kept a clean sheet (though superman Boyle slid in nicely to the rescue for one).
    the back lines, was at the game, and watched it back. Thought Barrett could have done better before I watched it back. When I watched it back, I revised my opinion. Higgins, Harrison, Boyler, Aido, Durcan and Vaughan when they were on were outstanding. I did think Keegan was quiet again today. I do think the Cellulitis is still holding him back, but I can see that he’s getting back to his brilliant self, and to be fair, Cellulitis or not, he’s start for any team in the country.
    Midfield Parsons and Seamie were excellent. Parsons his usual brilliant, bar an errant pass. Seamie much improve from last week, and Coen a very capable replacement when he came on.
    I’ll be honest lads, I can’t find a fault with Jason Doc so for me he starts and finishes every game, end of story. He’s the reason we play well when we play well and when he’s not there we’re awful. His nailing of the 45 and free kick when Cillian went off were to me crucial for us to maintain the score line cushion, not just in the board but mentally also. Clearly if teams want to target our best free taker, they need to bear in mind we have another who can do as well if needed. Any Burrishule lads able to say how he does club wise on dead balls?.
    Diarmuid – class goal and reminded me of his previous form, and a flash from his performance for the under 21’s last year. Loftus did better than I thought on second viewing when he came on. He can be a bit static in play but his 2 points showed maturity beyond his years and his pass to Andy for his goal was outstanding.
    Andy – what a man, what a legend. Having his best year by far. Nailed on for an all star I’d say, short listed for POTY too I would imagine.
    Cillian, I’m getting worried about his dead ball shooting, but he does enough elsewhere and he’s not the top scorer in the championship (by a virtually unassailable distance) by chance either.
    Kevin Mc never set a foot wrong today and himself and Jason Doc are 2 of the best and most consistently excellent forwards the county has produced on work rate alone.
    Kirby did well when he came on, he’ll certainly benefit from the run out and I’d like to see more from him, but he’s a bit to do to displace a number of starters.

    Special mentions to Boyle, Higgins, Aido, Jason and also to Stephen Rochford. The amount of horse manure that Rochford alone has had written about him is nothing short of a national scandal at this stage. The man is a fucking saint to have continued doing the job in the face of what has been said and written about him.
    And fair balls to him for sticking with his convictions and ignoring the absolute bile and filth that’s been written about him by scribes that are not worthy of tieing his laces. The amount of wankology that he has had directed towards him by some that purport to be some form of authority or omniscience of the game has been nothing short of scandalous, scurrilous and I’d hazard a guess is even bordering on libellous. I’m fucking delighted for him and if anyone deserves to lead a Mayo team to the holy grail, he certainly does for all the absolute bolloxology that has been directed at him by a number of poor writers who know nothing better than being able to offer a sly dig from behind the cover of a poorly edited rag of a newspaper, internet click bait site or even the licence fee funded national broadcaster. If they can’t give us an objective view, they’re pricks not worth paying towards as far as I’m concerned.

    In Rochford I trust, and Up Mayo.

  120. What a team of heroes !!

    Jason Doherty.. what a footballer.

    Colm Boyle .. inspirational

    KevinMc .. outstanding

    Stephen Rochford i doubted you from that the start .. forgive me

    To a man .. magnificent

    Its there lads.. ye’re good enough .. go on and win it now !!


  121. Lovely feeling walking out of Croker this evening.The lads put in a fantastic performance. I think rotating Aido on Donaghy worked well.We were all over them we performed better than Kerry in every area.Kerry playing with sweeper and playing deeper than on first day out it just felt to me that pyschologically we were one up.These lads have so much belief in themselves.I just stood up at end of game looked around and thought wow into another final.Incredible .Delighted for Rochford too he won the tactical battle hands down.Will enjoy this now and then focus on final.

  122. This was one of the best days of my life.
    I have been critical of Stephen Rochford especially after last years AI final. I thought putting Aidan on Donaghy was a mistake last week. I was wrong by a mile. Boy was it proven to be the right decision today. As was pretty much everything else he did. Well done Stephen and management.
    However, the one big thing they have done is develop a very slick kicking game which is coming more and more to the fore. It makes us far less predictable and way more dangerous.
    Many players were outstanding today but Boyler is more than just a top player – he is simply inspirational.
    A special word for young Conor loftus – a very classy forward.
    As for that nice mr Sweeney who writes for the paper – who is it looks like a donkey now?

  123. “Tactically, Mayo are lions led by donkeys” – donkeys can be clever too.

  124. That’s the second crosmolina man to take down the kingdom.
    Great day,Great performance,great day to be from Mayo.
    Gamechanger your a gent.
    3 weeks and counting any spare tickets

  125. Listened to your interview with Kevin mac 2 weeks ago. Looks like Rockford has finally got in instilled in him the confidence to match his amazing ability. I have not been a fan of Kevin’s decision making on the big days over the years but I think year we have a new man. What a fetch !! What a point !!! I’ve been living overseas for the last 30 years but was lucky to be there in the flesh for the Derry game in castlebar and with my mayo mad Australian partner in Innis a week later. Would love to be in croaker for the big one but will be cheering them on from a pub in sydney. Go you good things !!!!!

  126. So proud, words can’t do justice. I love this team, they would inspire anybody to keep going no matter how bad things get. This is more than Sport.

  127. Yeah, I think Eamon Sweeney’s stock might well have declined.. I wouldn’t blame Stephen Rochford if he were barred from the next Mayo GAA news Conference….. Not great for a GAA journalist…. Anyways it’s not for me to say…
    Tomorrow in the world we live in, unfair criticism probably will attach itself to Eamon Fitzmorris, and then possibly Gavin or Harte might join him….. Thanks Gamechanger for your gracious comments…. 8 hours after the event…. I think I experienced enough to know, firstly that it is possible to improve and secondly to win the final… We know it won’t be easy…. And it’s far from certain, what is for certain is that this team will give everything to do just that and reach our final objective….. What a great day!

  128. Absolutely delighted. Just had a great night out in the big smoke that included meeting WJ in person (can’t imagine you as the raving lunatic you proclaim yourself to be during a game… but then again I know what happens myself), and having a few scoops outside a pub where the mayo team were chatting and mingling with all and sundry. What a great bunch of lads. The only sour note of the evening was when I read through a Kerry blog forum I also visit regularly (Gamechanger you post there the odd time) to see some Mayo “supporters” post some awful juvenile comments when the vast majority of the Kerry posters were nothing but complementary on the Mayo performance today. Don’t think it will do any lasting damage to the Kerry footballing prospects, but just pahetic to be so ungracious after such a terrific victory (especially when we see how gracious our Kerry posters have been here today). Looking forward to relaxing and watching the other semi later today. Keep up the good work WJ (and all posters !!).

  129. My best day in a Mayo jersey from.beginning to end..From the well wishes in a petrol station in Athlone to the hoardes of Mayo supporters who made the trip to Croke Park and the sweetest gin and tonic in Mick Byrnes to watch a repeat of the game, it has been the perfect Saturday.Our band of warriors are making this the most wonderful Summer..Hope they are savouring some beers tonight!!

  130. GAMECHANGER always love your comments here classy as always sincere thank you !

  131. I think there was a boxing match last night but I’d rather be watching this for the 3rd time.

    Sweet sweet sweet victory . What amazing support again yesterday . One word “unity”. Unity with supporters . Unity within players . It will be hard to stop this train .

  132. Still a sweet and lasting victory the next morning.
    I had doubted Andy Moran starting. He is the favourite for player of the year. He is having his best ever season. Massive respect.
    Eamon Fitzmaurice is getting it in the neck in Kerry but … It was I think two major games in a row James ODonoghue had been taken off. Thats not a short amount of formline in tough championship. I felt he reached for the wrong player. Tom OSullivan is not physically strong emough or experienced enough for anyone on that Mayo 21 yesterday. A good footballer but it was a stretch to drop him in there. He was bossed off a few 50:50s and just looked not ready for that level.
    It was smart to protect the lead rather than seek more scores. Conor OShea did like he did in Tralee. Worked hard and held his ground.
    Stephen Coen arrived manning up on Anthony Maher. Pure farming strength in the wrestling.
    An enjoyable few weeks now.

  133. A hearty congratulations to Mayo yesterday. They are a credit to themselves and that’s saying something. Now, for that last step, I feel like the pick of Tyrone and Dublin won’t beat this Mayo team, but we have to have the cooler heads on the day and hope to get a fair shake from the ref.

  134. I just want to recap what our management team has done here.

    They are entering an all Ireland final without suspension, and with a bench that has gained a lot of experience. we are hard to set up against and difficult to predict. We have a multi positional disciplined team.

    Rochford and co have risked all in order to lift this trophy, playing men out of position to the bemusement of many, losing bad to Galway, stuttering in the qualifiers and now we have lads able to play in a multitude or positions. Rochford
    has stuck to his game plan from the start, even when the tide has gone against him and the blades sharpened. Just like what he teaches his players to do ‘stick to the plan’ ‘believe’.
    Many the corofin player predicted he was going to bring Mayo the championship, it is obvious to see why on days like this, and days like last year against Tyrone.

    Calls like dropping Clarke last year is what makes this management team great, the bravery there and now is selfless. Resting of older players against lesser opposition in order for them not to be lame for the semi shows their vision. There was never ever any point in blowing away Clare.

    To continue to make fearless managerial calls after facing criticism from many fans and journalists alike , this shows the greatness of these men as leaders. The real knowledge that if these decisions did not come off was there and that their managerial reputations would be ruined, shows just how selfless these men are in their bid for glory.

    To our management team I want my admiration to be noted.

  135. What a great win for mayo yesterday, watched the game while in France and I have to say that we showed a determination that I haven’t seen in sometime. This will be needed in spades to beat Dublin or Tyrone. Delighted to see Donaghy get the line – a Thug will always get caught out eventually. Enjoy your retirement!!!
    I remember in 2006 the feeling that it was our year but I see a different, meaner edge to these lads that will bring Sam back to the west.
    Up mayo

  136. What a day ,
    What a team, pride and elation yesterday was off the scale ,Rochford and co demonstrated a pure master class , hats off to them
    Our boys were ravenous , the swagger and confidence was savage ,
    Every single one of them lads were Just brilliant ,
    Jason doherty was immense , take a bow young man , he has nailed his jersey now for sure ?
    my mom yesterday was colm Boyle ,
    Jesus Christ he is just relentless ,
    Andy too is pure class, to be honest I thought my heart would burst with pride at several times throughout that 75 mins , complete unity evident on the pitch , Marvellous team effort ,
    complete unity in the stands , we are the best supporters , Andy was right when we said we are in this together , to all those horrid so called pundits and columnists that said we were done , what have ye to say today ??

    Side note- joe Ruane , delighted you and your brother enjoyed yesterday’s epic display

    Game changer – fair play to you

    Feet up today to watch other match ,

    Roll on the 17th Sep

    Mayo forever

  137. – Still buzzing after that, dam hard to hold a lead for so long. It’s a fine balance between containment and going for it.
    – Key moment on the pitch was our treble block and then Boyler putting his head on the line to retrieve the ball. That man has no fear.
    – Key moment of the day was a mute response to the Kerry team bus as it entered the Cusack stand. Mayo team bus entered 15 mins later with everyone still queing for stiles to be opened and they got some reception.
    – Nearly all our players won their duals but special kudos to Doherty for stepping in for the frees, just brilliant.
    – Gough actually implemented the rules to the letter of the law and we knew he would. Kerry picked the wrong team and wrong referee to mess with, he was consistent for both teams and that’s all u can ask for.
    – Thanks players, team and supporters and appreciate the kind words from gamechanger and laune ranger.
    – Could be another draw today.
    – #wewillnotbebeaten and #fillthehill

  138. What a team ,what a day to remember for the rest of our lives.
    It was a privledge to be in CP to see our lads in magical action. It was sheer magic..
    For me having lost a close family member last week with whom I would have started going to Mayo matches in the 80’s and 90’s and a die hard Mayo man/supporter tears were shed at that final whistle. He would have been bursting with pride as I am. I looked up so many times in CP saying I hope you are here in spirit.
    Life will go on as it does and this team will be etched in our hearts forever because of their courage and spirit.
    On we go now and we will. The belief is there now. Mayo Mayo.

  139. FDBinashui, I take my hat off to you.
    For any of you who just flicked through the Blog without taking it all in, it might be worth scrolling back to that brilliant summary of the match from FDBinashui. His piece, in my opinion, hit the right notes all through and none more so than highlighting that well taken free and superb 45 by Jason Doherty when Killian had left the pitch and most of all his scathing criticism of the press. Mighty man you are.

  140. Excellence all around. Proud to support this brilliant team. Can we wear the away jersey for the final, it seems to be our lucky one. Mayo Mayo Mayo

  141. HeeHee Gamechanger, I’d a feeling I was putting years on you :-).
    Like many posters on here the Citywest has been booked quietly in hope well in advance for the 3rd Sunday in Sept at a reasonable rate 🙂 – Heres hoping it will be a night of celebration to end all nights of celebrations.
    Thanks again GameChanger.
    P.S. I don’t think we can do emojis on here!?

  142. A Connacht double
    Galway for hurling win
    Mayo for Sam
    Mayo ladies for All Ireland

  143. Having the better taller goalkeeper was possibly worth six points yesterday. David Clarke made an excellent save and Diarmuid would not out jump him by comparison.

  144. Its crazy, if you told me after salthil that we would be in the final via beating kerry in.semi id of laughed. I doubted Rochford too.

    Never been as happy to be wrong. Down to the local clubhouse in Dublin today the game in such a relaxed proud mood, tis wonderful. Thanks to ye lads.

    We have been capable and in a position to win sam for the last five years now. I have believed since 13 we would win it every year , each year saying we are ready now . So maybe ill just enjoy the build up this time . Decided to book the friday to Friday off work , goin to go down home on the friday , enjoy it all, savour all the memories this team has given us . Not been to a homecoming since 89 either but ill be in castlebar on the 18th.

  145. Thank you Stephen and the lads for one of the best days of my life. Whatever happens on the 17th I am one happy camper today…….even without the alka seltzer.

  146. Congrats to Mayo. Deserved winners. Thought the ref had an appalling day. Decision on Darren o Sullivan was wrong. Habit of cillian getting opposing players sent off. Aiden not entirely innocent in the donaghy incident. Donaghy reacts to Aiden standing on his foot. Best of luck for remainder of championship.

  147. If you’d have told me 21 years ago when i came home from New York to watch Mayo beat Kerry in the semi final that I’d be 40 years of age, with nearly a half dozen young bucks of me own the next time we beat them I’d have laughed you out the door. Of every long walk I’ve had following Mayo football, the walk up the Ennis road in Limerick was the hardest in my life. We had witnessed such a blatent act of nastiness carried out in full view of 40,000 people that we couldn’t believe our own eye’s. I have always held Kerry football in high regards and I still do, but that day I saw a different side of them. I’ve thought of 50 better ways to say this but I can’t, they were thugs. My only regret from that day was that I didn’t join Mick Barrett on the field. Kerry attempted to bring that same game to Croke Park yesterday, but the open arena and fair marshalling by Gough stopped them bringing it to a bar brawl, which they would have lost also. The irony of them complaining about a referee is Shakespearean and was the sprinkles on yesterdays 99.
    One word of warning to all the doubters, trolls and media shite bags, when we win in 3 weeks I’m a coming for ye. I’ve the memory of an elephant and enough chips on my shoulder to supply Pat McDonagh.

  148. 3 years after what has to be the worst I have ever experienced outside a family member dying, we can finally put limerick to bed, regardless of what happens.

    The contrast between sitting in traffic outside Gort to sitting in traffic at the toll, everyone blaring horns, was immeasurable.

    I love Mayo!!

  149. Tyrone u-17 in black and red, have we started something??? Still on a high from yesterday’s massive win. We bullied them off the pitch which for me was really satisfying and sets us up for whoever we end up playing. As regards that I’m delighted to be back here to watch what should be a very interesting 2nd and 3rd place playoff game. This has to be our year, this will be our year!!!!

  150. What a day, what a win, what a group of absolute heroes. From David Clarke right up to and including Management on sideline. Harrison, Higgins, the mighty Colm Boyle, Barrett, Keegan, Durkan. Simply no way through even after the loss if Donal Vaughan. Tom & Seamie commanded midfield all day. Captain Cillian and the young Andy Moran. Kevin Mac as always a crucial part of our attack and Jason D. Full marks Jason. You nailed it. Great team performance from Aidan. Well done Mayo fans. You and this team have made a lot of friends today. 2014 is now in the past. If anything, it shows how lucky an all Ireland Kerry won that year. Fitzmaurice was found out today. And the classless Donaghy. Great feeling today. Lets do this again

  151. Good news from yesterday, sos coming good at the right time, when
    this guy plays well mayo are hard to beat, k.mcl like a new player runnig
    at opposition doherty looking good, loftus i think will be the real deal when
    he beefs up a little, coen still growing perhaps. There is fight in Mayo now
    it was a sweet victory ,2nd in my lifetime. j ruane -gamechanger ,two gentlemen
    slan anois

  152. I see sweeney has changed his tune. Now it’s
    Lions led by einsteins

    I’m hoping today’s match ends in a mass brawl with 40 straight red cards handed out.

    Poor rossies getting hammered in the u17’s

  153. Hats of to all involved ,what a performance from start to finish .Got goals at right time .Finally someone gambled on ball going short into goalkeeper hands (happens to often ).
    Will make it tough decision on Rochford between Diarmaid and Conor.Half each again and empty the Tank.

  154. If Carslberg did All Stars it would give Aiden O’Shea one for full back, presented by Sweeney, Breheny and Bernard Flynn…

  155. Well said Liam…you sound like my shadow. I felt ashamed at the Limerick debacle. I wanted to go out on the pitch too… I was angry and disgusted by what I saw. But these men from Mayo are amazing. We deserve nothing but we will bring home the bacon this year… always goes well with Mayo!! Enjoy the game today and keep focused. Maigheo go deo.

  156. Forever Mayo The colour of the jersey and the outcome of the result has no bearing in the real world. I find it sad that anyone might think it has. Having said that I like the new away gear.

  157. Watched the match again ,what can i say’ these men are for real ‘watch out Dublin/ Tyrone,we’re coming for you’!

  158. Was on a flight to Zurich this morning (plane was utterly superfluous as I was already in the clouds) when a chap walking down the aisle spotted my match programme. He still had the colours on from yesterday. Two of us just smiled and shared a fist bump.

    Wordless. Didn’t need to say anything.

  159. Willie Joe,

    There is some kind of mix-up as the Mayo Exile contribution @ 12.21 is not from me – the original of the species.

  160. That was the best day of my life because I met my heroes at the end of it in the Lemon and Duke. I’ll tell Ye one thing this is the year. So proud of them.

  161. Our 16th man had his best game yesterday. Loud and proud from start to finish. Imagine arriving on the team bus to such a warm and appreciative crowd. It made the hairs stand up in the back of my neck. This was a fore taste of things to come. Every move every kick was supported in the most positive way right to the final whistle. Then came the emotion thick and heavy with the realization ” I need to start sorting out a couple of tickets” . Deep down we love Kerry and Kerry football. The catching, foot passing, attitude, forward plays and great stars of the past. EF has built a fantastic team and they are currently the National League Champions and Munster Champions. We don’t need the pessimists reminding us that we have won nothing yet. We have just beaten the second best in the country for the first time in 21 years. Rest assured the team on the other side of the draw would have picked any other county before us and that’s good enough for me.

  162. Not only have we brought football forward in Mayo we have also given great hope to Derry, Clare, Roscommon and Cork. They will be thinking “it could have been us, If only”. They’re wrong though.

  163. The kickout Boyler wins at 6:39. That was the tone of the day. He had no right to win that 20:80 ball.

  164. If we win it Liam, will you tell me who you are, ever since that eating the chips comment , it has my head melted.

  165. Just on a tangent. I think some of the good vibe is also that we look so far from finished.
    Combine that then with the at least 2-3 young new players that we know are out there. We are not going away anytime soon. Simply handing on the mantle year to year. Stephen Rochford does seem to have brought on our skill level.
    The players look premiership lean. I would wonder is Barry Solan bringing back learnings from Arsenal. It looks like it.
    Chris Barret is fitter now than at any point in his career. His kick passing is like a whole new launchpad weapon for us.

  166. Ha ha Sean.. no but seriously everyone needs to be making those phonecards now. Beg, borrow and steal if you have too but get the promise of those tickets from people you may know in a position to give those commitments before someone else gets there ahead of you. We need as many people there on the day to make that 16th man swell to epic proportions. Pass on the panadol when yee have finished with it 🙂

  167. @liam
    I think it’s important to be a gracious winner as it is to be a good loser. Your depiction of Kerry as thugs is unwarranted. Gaa at this level is tough and the top teams regularly come close to crossing a line. Mayo players are no different and if u think otherwise u are looking through very green and red tinted glasses. We saw a couple of reds for Mayo in the run up to yesterday that were every bit as bad as Donaghy – I’m sure I don’t need to specify. I’m neither critical of Kerry or Mayo – they both play close to the edge and fair play to them …but if ur going around labelling players as thugs u better be sure ur own house is in order first. If Mayo are going to beat the dubs or Tyrone they are going to have to employ the same physicality we saw yesterday and that level of engagement by its very nature means lads will be close to the edge. Doesn’t make them thugs though.

  168. @Cantini
    I enjoy your posts and it’s evident you played football at the highest level, however, I don’t think you were in Limerick that day and I can tell you that not a single Mayo supporter who was will disagree with my statement. I’m no shrinking violet but that day was like something you’d see in Tubbercurry on the first Wednesday in August when the nice people have gone home.
    As for garciousness, you try listening to the stuff we’ve heard thrown our way over the years. I’ve had my fill of being a gracious person, I’m going to be a insufferable bastard (even more so)

  169. God almighty Martin Mchugh on radio 1 telling everyone what was on the Mayo dressing room wall ….Im not going to say what they were but it was our tactics for the 1st 15mins ….We dont need that coming out to the public id say its the last time he will get near our dressing room…
    Anybody else hear him…

  170. Thanks MayoMcHale. I had a few on board when writing that but in vino veritas and all that.
    Sobriety today has done nothing to change my views either.

  171. It was a pleasure to meet you yesterday at half time Willie Joe on what was one of the best days of my life. Hopefully three weeks from now we can top it!

  172. Well said @cantini every side have tough men I have rewatched Limerick and genuinely cannot see what would be so bad as to hold on to it 3 years on. It was’nt a Kerryman who kicked a man on the ground that day – that is not to be hard on COC a fine footballer and as a man in my own profession I am sure is not a thug. As a Kerry supporter I have had good days but some dats not so good. I suggest @ Liam you rewatch Tyrone 2003 after you rewatch Limerick. Swings and roundabouts some days you get what’s going and I hope Mayo gets ever thing going in 3 weeks.

  173. Jolyn, to be fair, if you want to read some impartial viewing of the game, have a read here:
    and note how many times it’s noted that the referree gives crucial decisions that result in scores to Kerry. Note it was the same baldy twat from meath that got Leeroy sent off in the drawn game that year.
    If you had been there, you’d have felt as badly about it as many Mayo fans have done since then.

  174. FBDinashuì I read that since when did ye Mayo supporters start quoting journalists as being fair next ye will be using Eamon Sweeney. Let me say at no time did I deny that the ref gave us everything going that day including a penalty. But we are not thugs because of that. The real bad luck you had that day was clash of Cilian and Aidan if you had them all day you would have beaten us and O Reilly out the gate. In fairness AOS should have had a few penalties v Dubs in 2015 as we could have in final that year. I have often asked what have refs got against AOS to not give him a free. Cian O Sullivan and McMahon in my opinion get away with a lot from refs. I will shout for ye all day the next day and I think ye can do it

  175. Liam … brilliant and exactly how I feel !! That day in Limerick changed us all forever I’ve always felt we had to beat Kerry to win the AI ( what’s that saying you haven’t really won Sam unless you beat Kerry ) the fact we did it so well the last day has also wiped 2004/2006 from my mind 97 was just a masterclass by that Kerry genius so I’ll give them that !! Roll on the 17th Roll out the Dubs we’re ready !

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