Nearly there for the rematch


Photo: @louisemchugh

With all the brouhaha that’s been going on about the Leeroy and Diarmuid tango – which reached a delicious apotheosis yesterday with #ThingsLeeDid – you’d be forgiven for losing focus on the match itself. We can’t afford to do so, though, as it’s coming close now, very close in fact, with throw-in at 5pm the day after tomorrow.

Dublin apparently have their pre-match media thing on today (it could be on right now or it could even be over already – I’ve no idea on specifics there), choosing to go late rather than early. We, of course, had all that done and dusted early last week.

I’m told that Dublin may have been hatching plans to show the assembled hacks some bespoke Leemuid video analysis but I do hope for their own sakes that they didn’t go ahead with this. Even they must know what right asses they’ve made of themselves on that front this week. If they’ve dumb enough to do this, though, you can be sure that the clips they show won’t include the ones where Connolly should have got a black card for a drag-down (here) or a straight red for striking (here).

There’s no word yet on teams for Saturday. Both sides produced the same dazzling tactical manoeuvre in the drawn game, by starting the teams they’d named in advance, so this has heightened interest in the counties’ respective team announcements for the rematch. Maybe they’ll do the same again or maybe they’ll both revert to unveiling a few last minute changes. Who knows?

Both counties named their starting line-ups on the Friday prior to the drawn game and, according to the Mayo News this week, we’re likely to reveal our pick for the rematch around lunchtime tomorrow. In that piece, Mike Finnerty also says we’re set to name an unchanged team and I’d be surprised, to be honest, were we to do anything else. Dublin will, most likely, hold off until later tomorrow before they reveal their starting fifteen.

With Saturday fast approaching, this Mayo News piece by Edwin McGreal is worth a read as it deals with logistics in terms of travel, grub and so forth. The GAA’s own advice on circulation around Croke Park is also something you should have a quick scan over – it’s here.

As I write this, I’ve no idea what’s happening with the buses for Saturday. I know it’s all jaw-jaw on that front right now but if there’s no breakthrough in the talks then the strike could well go ahead, with all the chaos and dislocation that would entail.

Hopefully it won’t come to that. With a bit of luck, all the havoc and turmoil we’ll see in the capital on the day will be within the Dublin ranks as we go to town on them rightly that evening under the lights at Croke Park. It’s coming near, folks – time to get ready to go again.

Let’s finish, then, with a musical call to arms from the pupils of Moyne College, Ballina:

There’s one last and final chance to win a ticket for the replay in the Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto, with six tickets up for grabs in tomorrow evening’s draw. Play the Lotto here

38 thoughts on “Nearly there for the rematch

  1. I’d be astounded if Jim Gavin engaged in that sort of thing re prepared videos. I think he is smart enough to know that it would backfire spectacularly and in particular given the strong push back this last couple of days on the Keegan thing. Thingsleedid was being talked about by Shane Colman even this morning on newstalk.

    I took a preamble at one of the Dublin blog sites yesterday and its interesting to note that the perception of injustice (whether justified or not) seems to run as deep with them as on this site.

    There is also the mix of ‘mayo-hating’ enthusiast with the predominantly more ‘decent’ fans who have no time for that sort of theme. So while the rivalry between the parties is at its fiercest at the moment, and proper order too – this matters, it was comforting to see whether you culchie or a Dub, real GAA fans are pretty much the same across the country.

  2. Just curious, but does anyone know how the team go about things the last few days. When they leave work, met up, last training session all that sort of thing, logistics and the like?

  3. I think Diarmuid O’Connor should be ‘rested’ for this match. Ever since his injury last July he has struggled for form and I think we do need to ‘tweak’ our forward line. I think BM or COS should come in to add height to either midfield or the full forward line.

    In the match last week and the two semis last year we have come up a bit short each time; i.e. not scoring enough from the possession we have (Rochie referred to this also in his post match interviews). Principally the problem is that long balls are being played into the FF line but on receipt of possession the forward (usually AM or AOS) is surrounded by Dublin players and possession is lost. Part of the problem now is getting the HB line to support the forwards but they stayed back 2 weeks ago to ensure Dublin didn’t hit us on the counter-attack. The HB line, namely Keegan and to a lesser extent Boyle, is good for the odd score. I have to say that if I witness our FFs receiving ball, only to lose it to a group of Dublin players, it will be very annoying. our strategy here has to change.

    Whilst there will be talk of personnel changes on both sides I think overall two things will decide our fate as follows:

    (1) Goals, goals, goals…..Every time we play Dublin they score more goals than us and it results in us losing ( as Clerkin pointed out yesterday we usually have more scores but Dublin get more goals…and win). We have to score as many as they do or concede no less than them – this will make a huge difference; and

    (2) The other thing is belief. Does this team have the belief to push through and win if its 3 points up with 5 minutes to go? There are slight doubts on this point. We are good at recovering deficits but can we push through?

  4. Thanks be to the Lord God and his blessed mother we are only 2 days away I don’t think my nerves could take anymore at this stage I’m prepared to Mark Diarmuid Connolly myself

  5. Agree spotlight, we have a physical and height advantage that we are not exploiting enough. We must play to our strengths. I don’t think BM touched the ball the last day. We need at least one big man in the square for frees falling short to flick for a score and put pressure on Cluxton.

  6. Folks there is one definite which will occur on Saturday, when our team is being named ahead of throw in on the big screen, Lee Keegan will receive an almighty boo from the Dubs in attendance. Even little things like that can influence a ref.

    We named our team on the big screen second the last day and I assume Saturday will be no different. I feel we therefore need to get a few boos of our own in and pre-emp this i.e Philly, MDMA and especially Connolly.

    All we want is the ref to be fair but he needs to know that we’re as loud and proud as the dubs and won’t take any shit decisions lightly

  7. This one is going to be combustible.
    We are reaching the point of critical mass where we have to send enough water down the river to sweep the dam away.
    We brought half of what is required the last day with our containment game but this time we will have to ‘drive on’ as well.
    They’ve got what we want, they wont be giving it away easily so we are are going to have to wrestle it away from them. We are going to have to go through them and take it.
    The Dubs are feeling bullied so they will be looking to set the tone early on.
    We are going to need our four traditional divisions of North, South, East & West working as one. I propose that we place The Horseman of the Apocalypse at the head of our Northern Division, The Enforcer from Hell in charge of our Southern Force, Conan the Barbarian heading up our Eastern Troops & Vlad the Impaler at the head of our Western Division. I propose holding Vlad in reserve for the the second half to take care of their reinforcements and to mop up any remaining pockets of resistance in the city.
    I would respectfully suggest that our females close their eyes, stay in the barracks & close their social media accounts while the rest of us take the Oath of Allegiance.
    Last week I drove from Castlebar to Dublin and among the many road signs wishing us well I spotted one from a carpentry firm exhorting us to ‘hammer’ them, one from an undertakers firm telling us to ‘bury’ them and one from a legal firm seeking ‘justice’ for Mayo.
    When the Dublin leaders put it up to us we are going to have to do the ‘walk through’ … through and over their leaders whilst remaining totally disciplined … fire in the belly, ice in the brain. It’s ‘force of will’ time.

  8. Can I just say well done to the Mayo supporters who played a part in highlighting Dublin’s PR blitz against Keegan (including Willie Joe for his excellent piece and the Mayo Twitterati for ensuring the whole debacle descended into farce). It got a good airing on Off The Ball last night. I think it was Tomas O Sé who said that Dublin should really have waited until the latter part of the week so that time for rebuttal would have been shorter. Something to be on guard for next time around? Nevertheless I am hoping that this kind of silliness doesn’t become part and parcel of build-ups in the future as it takes attention from the positive aspects of the game which are far more deserving of discussion.

    But on we go, anyone who hasn’t read Tuesday’s piece from Billy-Joe in the Mayo News should give it a look. Puts to bed this narrative of Mayo not having enough to beat Dublin at their worst. The same level of defensive intensity with improvements in our tracking and scoring will see us over the line. I have my faith in this management team and squad who have given us so many good days over the past number of years. Saturday at 6.40pm… Believe people!

    Maigh Eo abú

  9. It’s about making g ur dominance count. On the score board. I feel a dryer day would suit Andy. Ball in hand he can unlock and stretch the dubs. I was thinking if he played a dillon type of role for a time during the game giving cian o sullivan bit more to worry bout. If we stretch them down the flanks open up the scoring area round the d

  10. As each and every one of us have heard the last few days since the first game Dublin won’t be as bad again! It’s as if Dublin just didn’t bother by choice to show up or something! Dublin did what they needed to do to win. That was Dublin at their best on that day and it was not good enough. Diarmuid Connolly was so wound up that he threw away the All Ireland title on his team mates. He went for a point because he was in Lee Keegan’s pocket all day and so he wanted to be the hero when he seen a chance. If that ball had went over there is only one place he was going to run and it wasn’t to his own team mates. Mayo need to play like that again on Saturday. Get in Dublin’s faces, they really don’t like it when they are actually marked man for man. Too many teams are afraid to play like that against Dublin over the last few years so the deploy other tactics and strategies and that is what the Dublin team have come to expect. They hate Mayo with a passion because the Mayo men show them absolutely no respect in their man marking. Mayo have matched Dublin all over the field in every game they have played. Except when it comes to putting away the vital scores as the game closes out. I have absolutely no doubt Mayo will do the same again on Saturday but we need to take our scores blow for blow going into the last 10. If we can do that this Dublin team will fold. Just like Connolly the other day they will panic lose focus and make the silly mistakes. We just need to be there all level going into the last five. Should Mayo Score a point then well it’s game over as far as I’m concerned. Dublin look good against lesser teams in the last five but they are afraid of Mayo and will probably gift us something stupid. Of course the Mayo team will need to keep cool heads aswell. Should they get a free there needs to be someone there to remind everyone of the mission and not get caught up in the moment.

  11. Hello All,

    Thank you all for the great year following Mayo, and getting some insight into how other people experience the thrill and despair. It seems a long time since the League and the hope that D.Kirby would be our new FF. Maybe next year.
    I am getting increasingly hopeful this week with the vibes coming from SR. I had been looking forward to James Horan’s accountf the Journey to Sam, but will be happy to wait for SR’s.
    This team will also provide the future Management of Mayo but that is for another day!

  12. As far as I know they meet up morning before, have a meal, short team meeting. Then bus to their hotel.
    With the late start for this one theyll probably go back to bed after early lunch. Then the main match meal around 2:00.
    Into stadium and there’d be various energy supplements in that gap.
    Right before taking field some kind of energy gel and similar at half time.
    Standard enough across the top 5 teams these days. We have a lot of big men theyre like racehorses. Lot of work to get them match ready as opposed to lighter lads like Harrison who could play a game at 3 in the morning on a mars bar and no sleep.

  13. There is definite change in behaviour in Mayo supporters this year.
    The buildup for the final was very low key and then on the day the Mayo support rocked Croke Park with huge vocal support. It’s the same this week, it’s as if we’re all playing on Saturday, everyone is a bit tense, focused and determined to get the tickets, not a lot been discussed about the match itself, just waiting patiently, preserving energy levels.
    Then like the players we’ll let it all out on Saturday evening in Croke Park.
    Bring it on…

  14. Cantini, spot on. Some of the exhanges have gotten out of hand; the problem with that is, it makes it easier to dismiss all commenters on social media as a result, when in reality there is some great insight to be gained. Here, of course, being a golden example of same.

    I just had to laugh at the article that appeared on earlier though showing Diarmuid Connolly signing autgraphs – and I quote – “after being mobbed by adoring schoolkids”. I swear to god, you couldn’t make it up … or could you?

    Joey, the females are tougher than you might think!! 😉

  15. After corofin beat st Vincent in club semi final a young lad ran onto the pitch for connollys autograph. He refused him. I thought ur no sportsman. To refuse a young lad an autograph was despicable. Mayo lads never refuse often staying behind after league games win or lose in freezing cold signing shirts and all sorts. They deserve our best support. I’m in section 328 hogan stand. U will hear me roar

  16. Backdoor Sam… I hope you too have a body like his!….all those back muskles ready to bow out!

    I will be pleased to see the same line out as last day….same everything else cept the mishandling in front of goal . It goes unseen and brushed aside as if the game is going to wait for us to do things right! Or as if we ll have a rewind to do it again!…kH and DV twice each. Options …Durkan/ Cillian/AOS/Andy.. As I believe…we had enough to win twice. This time we sure can do enough to win the once!
    I believe there’s stuff dammed up there within this team bulging to explode and when it does…Croke Park watch out!!

  17. Be on holiday s at weekend excited up Mayo please beat Dublin I still have that feeling that they can win.

  18. I have to come back at you on that point, toughnup. I’m not sure about that particular game – I was at it, but didn’t see the incident you refer to – but I’ve been at loads of other Vincents’ matches where he was more than willing to spend plenty of time doing autographs and photos for kids. He’s no different than our lads in that regard and, like them he gives generously of his time with underage groups at the club so to say he’s “no sportsman” is well wide of the mark.

    There is a wider point about the access Dublin fans – in particular kids – have to the county team when they play. There is no access, none at all, except when Dublin play away from home because kids can’t get onto the pitch at Croke Park after the game. Any Dublin fans travelling to, for example, MacHale Park can get up close to them after matches but not on home turf. That only happens once a year at a choreographed event at Parnell Park. Aside from that Dublin supporters’ contact with county players only occurs at club level.

  19. Reading that Connolly article reminded me of the scene from Rocky, where he’s jogging through the streets and all the kids start running alongside him, before he runs up the steps

  20. I hear u willie Joe. It just annoyed me. I suppose after this week I’m fired up over leemuid. I know u won’t stand up for him too much lol

  21. That’s there style alright. Blocking runs being made at all costs. Our boys need to be wide to it and leave an elbow hanging around

  22. There can be ‘no white feather’ on Saturday evening in the stands or out on the field. The theory that the dubs were unbeatable was put to the test two weeks ago and whatever theory line they are running with this time will be put to the test also. This game will be like all other previous meetings with dublin- tight, our management and players will, will like the last day, plan accordingly with this in mind. We will not puff ourselves out in the first 50-55 min a la last years replay, we will be cagey for long periods and go for the jugular late on.
    I believe this was the game plan in drawn game but a few errors at a critical period in the last quarter put us chasing it. We dont want to be chasing this one with 5 mins left, let them be the ones chasing it and we will put gavins ‘process’ to its ultimate test.

    Lets make some noise.

  23. Every other year I have felt nervous and jittery coming up to a final. This year not so. last Sunday week I never felt we would lose. I can’t make it to the replay so I am relying on you fine folks to shout and roar on our men for me. We are going to win this. Our time has come. UP MAYO

  24. Always Mayo, you sum up how I feel this year and at last match. I also believe we are going to win and that our time has come. Let’s make noise like never before.

  25. Thats a good point, I would normally be nervous before matches but at the final I wasn’t, but for different reason. I knew we could beat them but at the same time I felt Dublin might have to much for us. I don’t think I will be as calm this time as now I believe we can and will win
    UP mayo

  26. I’m not sure if this is allowed on here or not so feel free to take down if necessary.My friend has a nally ticket and needs to swap for any stand ticket as she is 5 foot nothing!Obviously willing to pay the difference as well….

  27. Getting close to the time now so going to go into a self imposed media moratorium here! Time now to concentrate on the game itself and leaving nothing behind us as supporters if we are lucky enough to have a ticket.
    As someone else said earlier in the week let’s make sure the lads can hear us roaring “Mayo Mayo” even before they come out of the dressing room and for a solid two hours afterwards. Let them be shocked at the red and green colour in the stands and on the terraces when they come out onto the pitch. Let us leave them under no illusion who we think will win. They simply deserve no less.
    Best of luck to all still searching for a ticket and safe travelling to all on the day.
    There is only one Plan and it’s the second letter in the alphabet.
    Maigheo Abu agus go deo!

  28. Rugby is THE game where jerseys are routinely almost ripped off players’ backs, yet you rarely see the jerseys themselves ripped. Yet Connolly looked like he had just been tackled by a giant prop the way his jersey hung off him. Strangely, Small, too, at one stage, had his jersey ripped in exactly the same place as Connolly’s! Gavin should send them to some other gent’s outfitters tomorrow.

    Or perhaps there is some semblance of truth in the reports that some Dubs are deliberately cutting the stitching in their jerseys so that they rip quite easily. Looking at some of the dirty tricks the Dubs are up to this year, I wouldn’t put anything beyond them.

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