Monday match reports

Hyde Park 2015

It’s the morning after the Hyde Park massacre and so it’s apposite I guess to be writing this one on Mayo soil, as the county wakes up to thoughts of yesterday’s massive win, a victory that sealed our 46th Connacht title, our second provincial five-in-a-row and, once again, a ticket to the All-Ireland series. These truly are special times to be a Mayo supporter and the many of us that know full well what the other side of the coin looks like can confirm just how special this team is and the wonderful days they’ve given us.

Before I do a quick ramble through the papers, I want to mention briefly the historical context of yesterday’s result. As I said in the match report, I’m almost certain that this was the highest margin of victory ever recorded in a Connacht final but I’ll need to get back to base and have a right look back at the records before confirming this for definite. What is clear, though, is that – thanks to Coilín Duffy (@coilinduffy) for this one – it’s the first time since Cavan did it in 1933 that a county has banged in six goals in a provincial final and it’s also only the fifth time ever in a championship game that a county has racked up a score of more than 40 points – this one was pointed out by Rob Carroll (@gaelicstats).

Right, then, onto the papers,

Mayo Advertisermatch report, quotes from Seamus O’Shea (who said the knock he got – to his groin – isn’t serious) and from Noel Connelly.

Irish Independentmatch report, quotes from Niall Carew and analysis from Eugene McGee.

Irish Examinermatch report, quotes from Aidan O’Shea and Pat Holmes.

Irish Times (paywall) – match report, quotes.

Others: GAA, RTÉ (match report, quotes from Niall Carew), The 42, Hogan Stand (match report, quotes from Aidan O’Shea), Breaking News.

That’s enough to feast on this morning, I reckon.

If you haven’t yet voted in the MOTM poll – where it’s already clear how that one is going – then please take the time to do so and also watch out for the GAA’s Player of the Week nominations where I suspect the Beast of Breaffy may have a shout as well.

Finally, although I know you’re not really in need of a giggle this morning and I appreciate that it’s a touch cruel on the Yeatsmen (and like many others, I did feel for them yesterday) but the latest championship re-enactment from Rory’s Stories (@RorysStories) is a small classic. Enjoy!

52 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. One more stat from yesterday – 6-25 (43) is the highest score ever posted by a team in a provincial championship final in any province.

  2. Hi Willie Joe

    Just wanted to bring to attention of all who were at the game yesterday and are season ticket holders I had my ticket scanned yesterday on entry but I hasn’t been registered in my account I have emailed the season ticket contact to query it – so if you were at the game yesterday do check your account to ensure your attendance has been noted.

    Onwards and upwards!

  3. “analysis from Eugene McGee”…is there such a thing?
    If by analysis you mean dusting off some well worn cliché from 1985 or thereabouts than yeah, it probably is

  4. Totally agree East Cork exile, you can add martin brehony to that list of incompetence.
    On another note interesting to hear spillane yet again talk up Kerry and their forwards in particular. If they were that good he’s be keeping quiet. As for the over analysis of the impact of gooch, it was laughable. Pity they’ll be beaten before we get a chance to play them!

  5. Thanks nally_stand, i sent of an email aswell.
    On another note, I received a call from gaa regarding payment of ticket issues, they claimed there was an issue with my card, but when i spoke to them they claimed it went through the second time. This also happened to my friend, has this happened to anyone else? They said my card wasnt linked properly to my account which is bs, its the same card i used last year and there are funds on it. The number gaa called from was an 087 number, so i was abit dubious, so i emailed and asked them if it was a scam or an actual member of the gaa. They rang me back on an 087 number to confirm it was the gaa. Still abit unprofessional ringing anyone on an 087 number, should really be a landline.

  6. Looking at the comments on a Kerry forum they are giving out about Aidan “baraging” his way to goal! Would love to meet Kerry later this year.

  7. despite the score line. I think mayo will improve on this performance.. 5 in a row , great achievement …. well done to all . . still places up for grabs . .

  8. Breaking news: Here’s ‘clarification’ on the Q/F line up from

    It would seem we will only play Galway if Sligo beat Tyrone, and Galway beat Donegal. If Donegal win it’s Donegal; if Galway win and Tyrone win, it’s Tyrone.

    Clear everybody?

  9. Yeah so chances are we would have to play Donegal and Dublin to make a final whereas Kerry would have to beat the winners of Fermanagh Westmeath in quarters and then probably Monaghan to make the final.

  10. Copying over from the other thread – My understanding of the quarter final draw is that provincial finalists can’t play each other and repeat pairings are avoided where possible:

    If Donegal win, we are playing Donegal.
    If Galway win and Sligo win, we are playing Galway.
    If Galway win and Tyrone win, we are playing Tyrone.

    I noted early in the first half at one point that Sligo pulled everyone back except one of their full forwards. Caff came over towards the sideline to ask what to do as his man had gone back the pitch.

    At this point they had the option of leaving two Mayo men back in the full back line on one Sligo man, one man marker and a sweeper. But he was told to stay man for man, so he slotted back as sole man marker and Tom Cunniffe went up the pitch.

    I hope, hope being the operative word, that this means they have rehearsed different defensive game plans and will be able to switch them on as needs be.

    Similarly, Mayo’s defenders kept jumping in on incoming ball yesterday (Caff in particular), hoping to win the ball first time and launch a counter attack – it’s a high risk, big gain vs big loss tactic that generally worked considering the opposition and scoreline. Their alternative was to not jump in and shepherd and pressure the Sligo men out the field and wait for numbers to filter back and choke the opposition. They opted not to do that. Again, I hope that they have practiced and will be able to make the right choice in Croke Park, because it might have worked for Sligo, but it is highly likely to go unpunished from now on.

    If we do end up against Donegal, don’t we all know they are going to stick Michael Murphy up top in the first 10 minutes and rain down ball on our full back line. I hope they’ll plan and practice for it straight away. Thankfully in Aidan O’Shea we have someone who can be *like Michael Murphy* in training.

  11. I can’t see Sligo beating Tyrone Digits. So on that assumption:

    If Donegal win, we are playing Donegal; otherwise, we are playing Tyrone.

  12. Lovely to be heading into August with that confident feeling again. Great day yesterday and these really are great times to be a Mayo supporter. Have to admit I was a little worried about the way we were exposed in the fullback line at times, although the lads minds undoubtably dropped to 98/99% focus because we were so dominant and those slight lapses in concentration at inter county level can be dangerous.
    Maigheo Abu

  13. Already, it’s getting just a bit tiresome reading the childish slagging and bitching about what some commentators and pundits have said. Who cares what they fucking say. We won and that’s all that counts. They are being well paid to write and talk and that’s what they do.. If they criticise us, maybe they are telling the truth. At times it is much more beneficial to be reminded of what we are doing wrong, (leaking goals), than heaping loads of praise on us , which will have zero effect on improving the team.. We were up against poor opposition yesterday and we got away with so much. Now the business end is reached and whoever we meet will be waiting… I do think that we can win the All Ireland, If we get our defence right, otherwise it’s the same as the same as…!! By the way “defence” is spelt with a “c”, we are not yanks yet. 😉

  14. Luck of the draw East Cork Exile! Some years it goes in your favour, others it doesn’t. Sadly the lads can only control the controllables

    That said Kerry had a similar ‘bye’ to the final in 2010…

    There’ll be twists yet!

    But on your point, how furious must Cork be that they left it behind them the first day out in Killarney?

  15. Yes the quarters are down for decision on sat 8th, I think the first hurling semi is on the Sunday. I think Donegal in the quarters will be excellent preparation for the likely match up with the Dubs in the semi. That is a long way off yet with teams like Kildare, Cork and Galway all having a say to stop this happening.

  16. Ciaran, this Cork team doesn’t seem to do “furious” except when it comes to playing us. They have some issue with us, not sure what it is, its if they can accept Kerry beating them (and God knows it happens often enough) but seem to feel that the “likes of us” shouldn’t be beating them. No evidence for that just what I have seen and heard when we have been playing them. Our beating of them in 2011 is still treated like the shock of all shocks when they had already lost to Sligo and other “lesser teams” in previous years.
    Anyway, I think its safe to say we wont be meeting them this year anyway.

  17. They’ve missed out on a serious opportunity of making an AI final though.

    They’d have been favourites to make it had they beaten kerry. They’re now 4th favourites to make it in their ‘half’ of the draw

    Dublin will prob ate them in the 1/4s

  18. So if we are to finally land Sam we could be looking at having to beat Donegal, Dublin and Kerry… such thing as a soft All Ireland there.

  19. Was anyone else impressed with out soft skills and foot passing yesterday? Ok you could say that in the next game we might not get as much time on the ball but we done the basics right. I remember when I was a young lad and Colm O Rourke was full time criticizing us for not being able to score .I think yesterway will show we have come a long way from that. The back line will have to be addressed going forward which Im sure it will . If AOS is marked heavily for next game it will give more space for the two Duirmuid and Cillian .Who will play sweeper ? Doc or Mclaughlin ?

  20. Yes regardless of the opposition, for the first time all year the kick passes into Aidan had the proper direction and height on them.
    Not Hail Marys that are very difficult to claim clean. Not out to the corners where he is away from danger. Perfectly flighted where he could get a score or create a layoff.

  21. IS anyone else worried about what we conceded yesterday. Not being negative, but 2-11 would have won many a Connaught final. its strange to think that for once our Forwards are playing excellent whilst our backs are struggling a little bit.

    Anyways it was good to see Mayo been so ruthless and killing the game of quickly. They lacked this killer instinct previously. Appearto be coming into the Quarters with a nice bit of confidence. Not looking forward to playing Donegal, as we normally struggle against the “Blanket”.

  22. Mayoman8…. Assuming we will beat Donegal or whoever we play at QF is not a very wise position to take…

    As Dessie Dolan said last nite ‘Mayo have kinda shown their hand’. Teams will know what to expect and while this doesn’t limit our ability to be successful it should make us wary.

    The last thing we can do is take any team for granted.

    It’s very difficult for even the bet teams to put back to back displays like the one we saw v Sligo.

    Important for us all to remember just how poor Sligo were.

  23. I just did a quick check using the Indo Handbook of Gaelic Games which covers games up to 1988 and it seems yesterday’s game set the record for both top provincial final score and equals that for the margin.
    In Connacht the top score and margin was 1967 by ourselves v Leitrim 4 = 15 to 0 =7. Margin 20 pts. [Galway got 3 = 17 against our 0 = 10 in 1982].
    In Ulster the top score seems to be in 1933 with Cavan’s 6 = 13 to Tyrone’s 1 = 2, margin 26 pts.
    In Leinster the top score seems to be Offaly’s 3 = 21 in 1973 [v Meath 2 =12]. The biggest margin in Leinster was 1955, Dublin 5 = 12 to Meath’s 0 = 7, margin 20 pts.
    In Munster the 1919 final, Kerry 6 = 11 to Clare’s 2 = 0 gave a 23 pt margin.
    I haven’t had time yet to do a full check on aggregate final scores but my bet is that there was also a record there yesterday at 60 pts. In 1970 Meath’s 2 = 22 and Offaly’s 5 = 12 fave a total of 55 pts. Of course we have to take into account that up to 1970 games were 60 minutes and from ’70 to 75??? were 80 minutes.

  24. Damo,
    I think you’re right to worry but when the heavyweights roll out against us I think we will see a different Mayo defence set up. They won’t allow brogan and co to go one on one near goal, not unless they really think they can out score them. It’s not easy but we have to trust that h +c will not be naive enough to allow goals to be given away with 3 games to be won to close this deal for once and all.
    If it was my call, get gibbons back in and keep an open mind on using seamie to outmuscle the like of Murphy or donaghy near goal. They will use that high ball tactic if our FB line of yesterday is left unprotected , or as someone else said, put 2 sweepers in there and since we have aos up front and he can actually win ball we still have attack options despite pulling men back.

  25. Hello all. Im away with work in Dubai so I have not been able to post on here over the last few weeks.

    just wanted to congratulate Mayo on a fine display yesterday. AOS is like a machine and I cant remember the last time I seen a full forward destroy a team like that. Does anyone think that if he had been playing in there the last few years that Mayo might have an AI now. Tom Parsons has been there a while but I never remember him playing as well as that yesterday. As an outsider ye look slightly better this year but as already posted on here the FB line looked dodgy. Tough draw also if its Donegal in quarters as I feel they will bounce back from yesterday.

    I hope to be back home in the next 2 weeks so I hope to be a more regular guest. I will forgive all the anti-Roscommon comments I read and glad to see everyone survived the “landfill” or as we call it “Dr Hyde Park”. I will let those go also. Ye have a great team right now so get behind them and dont worry about other counties or pundits. Believe ye can win it this year. Im working with 2 mayo men here and im trying to convince them that this could be Mayo’s year. Leave Spillane and Kerry to do their own thing and worry about them if ye meet them in the final.

  26. It a pity Donegal v Galway won’t be in sure many mayo fans would have went.roll on sat the 8th August!

  27. Aidan was full forward and centre forward previously but was not fit. On youtube there is the 2011 league game v Donegal where I noticed two seasons ago he actually played well but was lacking fitness. Now that he is so mobile he can perform for 70 mins. His speed and repeated attack ability now are incomparable.

  28. Interesting to hear Newstalk tonght..lots of analysis on the weekends games.

    They all still go for the Dubs.

    Donegal fans not happy about having to play in croker at7pm on a sat and possibly back again a week later. The more I think about it the more I think galway cud take them. We could end up against Tyrone yet…. Remember what they did in Castlebar last feb.

  29. What was the experience for season ticket holders in the Hyde on Sunday? I was there at 12.45 and was not able to get a seat in the stand. I was told all season ticket holders were in the open seats in front. While there I observed that if you don’t get a building job right first time it’s very hard to correct it afterwards, especially if you continue building on the same flawed foundation. Specifically, it is not possible to get a clear view of all of the pitch from those seats because the rise is too little. [I am average height @ 5′ 11″]. The near sideline is hidden which leads to people getting up to get a view of action close to the line. Not acceptable for what is supposed to be a top stadium. Yet there seems to be an almost pathological refusal of Hyde supporters to accept this or to accept that MacHale Park is a superior ground in every sense.
    I do not suppose there are many season ticket holders in Connacht other than Mayo. So it seems easy to treat season ticket holders / Cairde Maigh Eó members who are the regular attendees as second class citizens. Will Mayo Co Board or their reps on Connacht Council have anything to say on why season ticket holders were excluded from the stand as a matter of policy? I don’t suppose so.

  30. Lads Galway are an average division 2 team, while Donegal have been a top 4 team now for the past 4 years

    It’d really be a big upset if Galway turned them over- biggest of the champ so far. Am amazed so many are actually predicting them

    I’d be very confident it’ll be Donegal we play, and the hures won’t be easy to beat by any stretch. It’ll potentially be our trickiest QF in this ‘era’ along with Cork in 2011. Would love if Galway pulled off the upset but they really aren’t near good enough imo

  31. Donegal will beat Galway by 5-6 points, Although id love an upset i cant see it happen. So it will be Murphy and co for us in the quarters. Without doubt the hardest draw for any provincial winner by a country mile. Like others, i beileve we have some sort of defensive strategy kept under wraps, theirs was no need to employ it against either Galway or Sligo…..remember we tried it against donegal in the league.

    One thing i noticed yesterday was the speed in which managment put parsons back on Hughes after he scored his goal. Granted the damage was done but was good to see the line react so quickly as opposes to previous years.

  32. In regards to Dessie Dolan saying “we’ve shown our hand” i really don’t understand what he means? Did he think that other Counties never heard of Aidan O Shea until yesterday or what??. Liked him as a player but think its farcical that a man with ONE provincial title should be paid to “analyse” championship action….only in Ireland i suppose.

  33. Digits, If Galway and Tyrone both win, it will be a draw to decide who we play in quarter final. i.e. it could be Galway.

  34. Galway are no gimme for Donegal. A lot depends on how the Dunnies react to yesterday. Losing Ulster won’t sit well with them and getting an extra game and a harder route to Final isn’t ideal either. They’ve already had 4 games, none oft them easy and their form seems to be uneven after demolishing Armagh. Four more games involving Galway, Mayo, Dublin and probably Kerry is a tall order for a team that looked tired at times yesterday.

    Ideal game for Galway as they have nothing to lose and taking a form line through Derry will make them think that they have a chance. They also have good momentum after two wins against Ulster opposition, admittedly teams that Donegal beat also.

    Things have gotten a whole lot harder for Donegal after yesterday and a lot depends on their stomach for the battle and their ability to play two tough games in a week – if they beat the Maroons they’ll face a fresh, determined Mayo the following saturday.

  35. @ AndyD It was a first for me yesterday to be told over the PA to “squeeze up” to let more people sit down. I think there’s no one here complaining because the teams was so good and the weather was perfect – it wasn’t sunny or raining. On another day it wouldn’t have run “so smoothly” as the Connacht GAA guy tried to make out in his speech.

    Even little things like the place wasn’t clean – there were several faded coffee cups and wrappers under my seat that had clearly been there for a long time. You can’t even walk from the pitch level walkway up the way or vice versa, as there is a low wall in the way. Health and safety my hole. The place is the exact same as it was in 2012 despite claims of 100k expenditure (how much does a portaloo cost?).

    Quiz question: how many provincial finals have I had to bring a cushion in a bag so my arse wouldn’t get sore? Answer: 1, Hyde Park 2015

    After the match I passed all the cars parked on the Athlone Road – the furthest one was 2.7km from the stadium entrance – a 33 minute walk one way according to Google map.

  36. I didn’t wait for the speeches at the end but I understand that the Connacht Chairman is a Rossie so I suppose he would be happy that everything ran smoothly, whether that was the reality or not. I am told that there was ample room in the covered stand with lots of empty seats so why did they not invite those standing to sit there instead? And the PA itself seemed a bit short in clarity itself as I had difficulty in making out some of the announcements, particularly the presentation of the Galway 3 in a row team. Nor did I hear the request for us to “squeeze up”. And you are right about the parking on the Athlone road, I don’t think I have ever seen parking that far out. What it was like on the Castlebar or Sligo roads I can’t imagine.

  37. AndyD the constant anti Rossie posts are getting a little boring. Everything seems to revert back to your dislike of them or the place. Not one Sligo person I work with had anything bad to say about the venue or traffic and they lost by 26 points. I really enjoyed the day. I was up there early and there was a great atmosphere around. The locals and stewards which were mainly Roscommon folk were spot on and I think things went well considering all the comments beforehand about the choice of venue. MacHale Park was very rough before it was developed in recent times so im not sure when we became so precious. We won and you should have stayed for the speeches. Its not everyday we will win 5 in a row.

  38. Well said Mayo Madness and I’d agree with you wholeheartedly too. I found that any of the Stewards etc. that we spoke to were very helpful and seemed to be very genuine people. Well done to all involved. It was a most enjoyable day.

    I felt like a very proud Mayo man standing on the pitch at the end of the match watching Keith Higgins lift the cup and listening to the speeches, heres hoping that we will see more of that later in the season!

  39. AndyD – Give it a reset. I had no problems with the venue Sunday and was back in Mayo less than an hour after. Give me that over Salthill anyday.

    I don’t know where the Galway confidence is coming from…..1-2 from play against a terrible Derry team who could still have beaten Galway. Donegal are every much as home in Croke Park as any other team.

  40. Galway building momentum but just not scoring enough from play, they can’t get Shane Walsh back quickly enough. Wouldn’t rule out upset. Against either team our biggest advantage is the rest, we need a good defensive game plan. If it’s Donegal Mcelhinney is fine footballer but just not strong enough against better midfields which is why Murphy comes out so much. Need Caff/ Keane on Murphy inside and either Donie or a rabid half forward on him when playing midfield. McFadden looked good in league but can be snuffed out in white heat as we saw Sunday. McBrearty can be serious handful and needs attention. Sort all that out and plan for blanket and we have great chance.

  41. Willie Joe I dont think thats playing the man. Just stating that its getting boring and I had no probably with my experience on Sunday. With all the pre match talk about the venue etc I think some just want to find fault with everything. Maybe im too positive as a person and if so thats my fault. Btw how did the cycle go on Saturday.

  42. No worries, Mayo Madness – it’s just I’d prefer that differences expressed should be on the opinions rather than about those making them.

    The cycle went great, thanks – six and a quarter hours in the saddle, around four and a half of which were in the rain, with a good three hours where the rain just pelted down. The winds really picked up in the afternoon too to add to the fun. So the conditions were awful but it wasn’t cold and the route was great, as was the organisation of the event and the camaraderie on the day was fantastic. They wouldn’t let us go over the mountains to Tourmakeady (we were meant to go over Maumtrasna and then after Tourmakeady back to Westport over Lally’s Mountain in the Partrys) because the conditions were so bad at that stage so we ended up doing 152km on a flatter than expected route, back to Westport via Leenane along the Erriff Valley. I had bargained for more climbing in the training I’d done so the legs were grand the next day. I hope to do it again next year, when hopefully the day will be a bit kinder weather-wise.

  43. Sounds like fun WJ and it would have been a very scenic route on the way back. If only I was that fit but one day maybe. I never seen anything take off like cycling in the country. No matter where u go now the cycling clubs are out in force. Keep up the good work

  44. It was great and would have been out of this world altogether if the day had held for us. The Giro De Baile (130km in North Mayo, starting and finishing in Ballycastle) on 2nd August looks a great one too and would be easier than the Westportif as it’s shorter and there’s far less climbing in it. If the wind isn’t blowing too hard, it would be fine. I had that one pencilled in too but unfortunately not now due to holiday plans.

  45. Season ticket attendance has been updated today. Our trip to Ross was streamlined. Normal train at 1.28 from cbar. Special back from Ross at 6.25( same as the score. LOL). Seen the cup being lifted. Two beautiful pints of Guinness at the pub next to the station. Back in cbar at 7.40.

  46. All the Way there’s one thing I will fully agree with you on and that’s that Galway ‘have nothing to lose’

    Very true, and we saw two years ago against Cork, when they just went out and played with reckless abandon, they very nearly pulled off a shock. Tactical naivety cost them a place in the quarter that day

    That said Cork were all kinds of awful then, and while Galway have possibly improved in that time, they’ll be facing a MUCH stiffer test Saturday week.

    I’ve never truly fully rated Donegal since 2012 and thought last year they were completely overblown. They played very well in the Ulster Final, granted, but aside from that they were Blessed to scrape past an average Armagh team, Dublin beat themselves in what was as bizarre a semi as you’d see and a complete miracle match, and they were atrocious in the final

    I think ourselves, Kerry and Dublin are a good step ahead of them and have been ever since 2012, however they’re still better than everyone else (fairly even with Monaghan alright) and should have too much tactical nous and ability for Galway. You’d struggle to find 3 Galway lads max that’d make Donegal’s team

  47. Checking in here to see the craic after the weekend.These days I tend to try and leave it at least a day now to avoid knee-jerk reactions in the immediate aftermath (and to get a chance watch the game again). Usually most of the arguing and backbiting has been done by then 😉

    Firstly, what a day to be from Mayo. While I can’t say I got much enjoyment out of the game – if you can even call it a game; to me, it was more like an exhibition – it’s now clear that this Mayo team has proved beyond doubt that they have drive and commitment in spades. I don’t think anyone can question at this point whether or not the hunger is still there. Regardless of what happens from this point on, that is a group of warriors to be proud of and these are truly golden days to be savoured.

    Secondly, it’s good to see the season progressing and the unity within the camp. Despite what certain ex-players may have been trying to imply on the national airwaves on the weekend of a big game (attention-seeking much?) it certainly seems that tensions from earlier in the season have smoothed out as the time has progressed and management have bedded in. So that is reassuring.

    My immediate reaction after the game was a bit of disappointment that we had conceded two goals. Yeah, I know that’s negative after such a high scoreline, and on reflection, I feel it was harsh; we didn’t need to execute our defensive game and the lads were safe going forward. So as other posters have said, I am hoping we are yet to see the best of ourselves in that area in the knockout stages. Dessie Dolan might have said we showed our hand; I say we’ve shown them nothing yet in terms of defensiveness. I just hope to god there is more to show – our vulnerability under the high ball is a real cause for concern, but for now, I’ll lay off the lads on that front and focus on the 31 postives 🙂

    While Aido was just incredible, I am just so happy to see Diarmuid O’Connor progressing – like Pebblesmeller I remember saying after NY last year that he would be immense for us and I have seen nothing since then to make me question that – he just gets better and better. Tom Parsons was a colossus for us too and just the thought of seeing them in full flow in Croker makes the heart pound a bit. While the core of the team might be the same, it’s additions like those two that can give us the extra edge come crunch time. Good also to see Cillian back on form. Exciting times. Really relieved also to see us getting out of the Hyde with no major injury worries and here’s hoping our luck holds in that regard. Injuries have played a part in our seasons for the past four years so to keep injury free would be a major advantage.

    In terms of the venue and season tickets, it was made abundantly clear to season ticket holders before the game that they would be sitting in the uncovered area in front of the stand, so I can’t fathom how this came as a surprise on Sunday. Sure, the rise isn’t enough, and there were a lot of us (far smaller than 5’11”) on our feet at various points. But that said, we didn’t have any traffic hassle, had no bother finding parking within a ten-minute walk and got out relatively quickly afterwards. I thought the gardai did an excellent job of keeping traffic moving, right out as far as the N5 and the turn-off to Tulsk, so credit where it’s due. Those who travelled by train had a particularly nice, relaxed run of it. Contrast that to what it would have been like in Salthill! Also we found the stewards in the Hyde to be helpful and friendly. It wasn’t the ideal location, we all know that, but I think by Sunday most of us were over it and just happy to be there savouring the atmosphere. And thank goodness the weather held out.

    Serious credit to Sligo supporters on the day for their graciousness and general good humour on the day. It was great to see the vast majority of them staying until the bitter end to support their team. They were a class act, a credit to their county and I would love to see them win the minor (though I feel they left it behind). I feel that even in the early stages before we hit them hard that the players were panicking in sight of the posts – seems like nerves got the better of them as well as anything. We know well what it is like to get hockeyed in a game like that so I really felt for them on Sunday – I really hope they can pick themselves up and give Tyrone a game.

    All that’s left now is to look forward to Donegal/Tyrone/Galway – I feel it will be Donegal and I have no fear about meeting them, though no complacency either. Bring on the good times once again. Maigh Eo Abú.

  48. A Marie you right but I think Donegal can be beaten on sat week and I really hope so be nice to have to Connaught teams for a change

  49. The big thing we are all craving is Sam.
    I!d trade all 5 Connaught titles for just ONE!
    Time to ignore what pundits say and if they criticise us we should be able to take it on the chin.
    Not sure about our defensive plans – I hope to
    Hell, as some suggest, we have a very structured and strategic one to deal with a Kerry or a Dublin.
    Surely we have a serious defensive plan up our sleeves ready to unleash.
    Cause the Dubs would have got 6 against US on Sunday, if we were against them.
    But hey, it could be very well that as some of u say, we have our Default Defensive Mechanism.
    And one of yee mentioned in a post that though we bate de crap outa Dongle in that qtr final in 2013, we looked nearly unstoppable but struggled after that.
    Donegal no great shakes – were cat malojen on Sun, and I wudnt be shocked if Galway did a no. on them.
    Lukin forward to Qtrs and if we have that strong Def. plan in our hidden arsenal, who fekin Knows!
    Gwan Mayo!

    P’S I am hoping it is a good thing we conceded those cupla goals and nearly conceded more.
    Might give us plenty to work on and keep de “experts” thinking we are too soft at de back for de big 2.

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