Odds-on it’s Cork next for us

Mayo Cork parade 2011

There’s been a bit of debate since Sunday about who we’re likely to face next in the championship so it’s worthwhile clearing this one up. The sense of confusion around this wasn’t helped by this article yesterday on the RTÉ website, which claimed that we’ll definitely be paired against the winners of the Cork/Sligo clash. While this is, indeed, the most likely outcome following the completion of the Round 4A qualifier ties on Saturday week, it’s not the only one.

The sole constraint that applies in the pairings at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage is that counties who have already met in the championship cannot do so again at this stage. This rules out Kerry/Cork and Mayo/Galway rematches (though, of course, either of these could occur at the semis). But the revised championship structure doesn’t – as that RTÉ report incorrectly states – take the form of Connacht Champions vs. Munster finalist or qualifier and Munster Champions vs. Connacht finalist or qualifier. Instead it’s Connacht (and Munster) Champions vs. Round 4A Winner, as the GAA’s own fixtures and results wallchart shows (pdf here).

In theory, then, we could get paired with Cork, Sligo or Tipperary on the August Bank Holiday weekend and, similarly, Kerry could draw Galway, Sligo or Tipp. Because of the constraint that applies, though, both Cork and Galway would have to lose on Saturday in order to trigger an open draw for the quarters – if Galway win, then the winners of Cork/Sligo have to play us and vice versa in the case of who gets paired with Kerry.

Which brings us neatly to the match odds for the Round 4A ties, with Paddy Power pricing the Rebels at 1/20 to beat the Magpies, while the Tribesmen are only narrow 10/11 favourites to get by the Premier County. From our perspective, it’s those 1/20 odds that are most relevant, which means that it’s literally odds-on that we will indeed get to resume our often tetchy relationship with the Donkey Ayters at HQ two weekends from now. If this is the case, it’ll be our first championship meeting with them since we dumped the then defending All-Ireland champions out of the race at the same stage of the championship back in 2011, thanks in no small measure – on a day of enormous collective effort – to this piece of individual magic:


37 thoughts on “Odds-on it’s Cork next for us

  1. Well at least we know we will be playing on the Bank Holiday Sunday (August 3rd) so at least can make plans for that.

  2. Bring them on! They were an absolute shambles against Tipp and Kerry and similarly awful last year against Galway with only Galway’s naivety costing them a shock win. Some of the players that helped dig out that one (Pearse O’Neill and Ciaran Sheahen in particular) aren’t even around anymore. They can’t decide who to play and any of their dual stars look like they haven’t kicked a football in months anytime they take to the field

    Actually just looking at how bad they’ve been all year from after the first 3/4 league games, I’d be absolutely in no way certain we’ll even end up meeting them. Sligo have nothing to lose and at least have a bit of momentum built up. I don’t have stats off hand but very often the teams coming through the back door seem to get through at the expense of a losing finalist (momentum being a massive factor and all that).

    Anyone remember 09 when Sligo should have dumped out the eventual AI champs- who bet Dublin by 20-odd points the week after? Antrim beat Galway a few years back. Stranger has happened. Frankly those odds are an insult to Sligo and I hope they’re highlighted and pinned up all over the dressing room wall.

    Wouldn’t it be mighty to see 3 or maybe even 4 Connacht teams in an AI quarter

    All that said, I’d certainly rather play Cork than Sligo. We’d win either way on all known form and up in Croker on AIQF day you’d have to think Cork have a better chance of giving us more of a test, even if this is the worst Cork team in quite some time

  3. More than likely it will be Cork and that would be another step up in quality. I wouldn’t fear Cork but there is no doubt that having them as opponents would focus the minds and ensure there was no complacency or thoughts of semi-finals, this scenario would be a possibility if we ended up playing Sligo or Tipperary. In any event I think the lads themselves, along with the managment, are far too cute to get sucker punched like that and will approach the quarter final in a thorough and professional manner.
    When we played Cork in the league this year they ripped us open in the first 10 minutes and kicked points from all over the place. Once we cleared out the lungs and rejigged a few things the game was over at half time. It won’t be so lop-sided this time around but I would still expect us to come through a match against Cork with a couple of points to spare.
    3 more games to win, that’s all.
    Hon Mayo.

  4. Is the constraint that counties who have already met in the “championship proper” cannot do so again – or is it counties who have met each other in “provincial finals” can’t meet again in the quarters?

    Championship is littered with counties who have already played each other meeting again, although that would be in the qualifiers. Either way it is a moot point, as Kenny Cunningham would say, at this particular moment in time.

  5. The GAA wallchart and fixture list state there are two1/4 finals is Saturday August 2 plus 2 round 4b games.
    I presume the two round 4b games will be at a neutral venue rather than Croke Park?

  6. Cork are vulnerable at the moment and would be there for the taking if they had got a tough Round 4 draw. However they have hit on Sligo who were well off the pace of what we now know to be a poor enough Galway team in Marky Park a few weeks ago. So, on that basis, it would be a huge shock if Cork didn’t make it through. With a win behind them though I think they could be much improved in the quarter finals so we will need to be on our guard.

  7. Going by previous years, its likely we’ll be playing in Croke park on the Sunday 3rd, most likely at 4 with the match before us at 2. Match’s on the Saturday will be at 4 and 7 with the Dubs most likely playing at 7 (unless Meath decide differently!)

  8. Why do they have to make it so fucking confusing ? Anyway i reckon Cork wont get it all their own way against Sligo. If anything Cork look to have gone backwards from the league. I wonder physiologically that defeat to Dublin in the league final has affected them considering the game should have being over at half time. Anyway Sligo ,cork or Tipp its definitely not the worst side of the draw. I do believe we shouldnt worry too much just yet about our performance. They are looking to peak later. I was worried if mentally this team was drained but to me they look like a team that is still hungry and may have another couple of tricks up their sleeve before end of Championship.

  9. Surprised that everyone is so confident of beating Cork (if it is Cork). We deserve to be slight favorites,no question, but, Cork will be much improved from the Kerry match. Galway scored 16 points against us and had almost as many wides on relatively limited possession. Cork’s FF line will be something like Gould, Hurley, O’Neill. I could definitely see those guys cause us lots of problems. We can beat them but we will need to step it up from the Galway game.

    It’s also a bit worrying that we can probably predict the Cork FF line better than ours at this point. Cillian apart, the other 2 positions could be filled by any of 5/6 players, and that’s after 3 champ games.

  10. mayo.mick, If Dublin beat Meath they won’t be out on August 2nd but the following weekend. 2 quarters (one is us) is on the Bank Holiday weekend while the next two quarters will be the following weekend. This is so as the other qualifier group catch up.

  11. Are the q/finals not separated into 4 days over 2 weekends, with Mayo playing on sat 2nd or Mon 4th??

  12. Mike, no evidence Cork will be much improved. Kerry wasn’t a once off, they should have lost to Tipp sure!

    There is no evidence at all they’ll just improve bar going on cliches “Cork are Cork” or stuff like that. On all known form Mayo will beat them comfortably

    Dunno how many times it has to be mentioned but most of Galway’s scores came in the 2nd half when the game was over and Mayo were clear as day in 2nd gear

  13. Cork looked off the pace and uninterested (shockingly) when they were beaten by Kerry. While I dont think they are a great team, they have many great players, who on their day can cause a world of hurt to any team.
    Having said that, I hope Sligo put it up to them and you never know what can happen. But, I’d expect to be meeitng the rebels in our qf…and bate them, then prepare for Kerry in the sf and then the Dubs….but Kerry and Dublin are a long way off for now, so lets just prepare for the bank holiday weekend and once again, look for an improved performance, with a FF line of Freezer, Mikey and Cillian and a win, with a bit to spare.

  14. Of course, you’re correct Steve, Dublin would be playing the following weekend. So many different dates my head is fried!

  15. Used to love the 4 the one weekend!

    Saying that the two I’ve most interest in are played together (Galway- hopefully- v Kerry and Mayo v Cork/Sligo) so it’s not all bad!

    Used to love this coming weekend too with 4 qualifiers sat evening. Now it’s only 2…

    It’s nearly a shame we know the quarters now… Loved tuning in for the draw, especially last year, the anticipation- would we get Cork, a handy enough tie v Cavan or the tougher draw (funny in hindsight!!!) Donegal!!

  16. mayo.mick…I think we are all fried, you would want to be a mathematician to keep up with the fixtures this year.

    I suppose we can’t say for certain we will play Sunday, though it does seem the more likely. The last two qualifier rounds on the Sat eve in Croker with our and Kerry’s quarter the following day.

    Ciaran – I used to love them all the one weekend too and loved tuning into the draw…I remember meeting a man in Ballinrobe about 20mins after we got drawn against Cork in 2011 and he sighed “awh…that’s us gone now” and we also had the infamous Brolly rant of “Cork will wipe the floor with Mayo” on the Sunday Game….we have come a long way since then.

  17. Am I right to assume that the date for the quarter final hasn’t been confirmed? The RTE site says Sunday 3rd August, the official wall chart says Sat 2nd August and the GAA fixtures & results page has TBC. Strange when the semi final and final are already confirmed…

  18. Is August 3rd the definite date? The gaa.ie website says that the two qualifier matches and the two quarter finals (ours and Kerry’s) will take place on Saturday, 2nd August and Monday, 4th August. No mention of the Sunday at all.

  19. What I’d assume will happen is one back door game and one quarter the sat and the same on sunday?

    Rather than two quarters the same day?

  20. The GAA schedule committee has made a complete balls of the schedule this year.

    For the past ten years all the four Q/finals were scheduled for August Bank holiday weekend, and it was the unofficial beginning of the all-Ireland championship.
    Having the four Q/finals on the one weekend gave the GAA the ability to mix and match so at least potentially avoiding a one third full stadium (see photo at top) for the last eight of your championship. you also had a lot of neutral supporters of fans of one of the four teams who would go to all four games over two days. In all honesty it was tremendous entertainment.

    This year, that option is gone as in their infinitive wisdom, they decided in the interests of ease of scheduling and allowing the provincial runners up not to have to play in a week (fair to be honest), that the Q/finals be split over two weekends. I am quite sure that they are now realizing the folly of their actions, (maybe not given the potential for their incompetence), as what do you think the attendance at Q/final double header between Mayo V Cork and Galway/Tipperary V Kerry will be, 25-30k not much more would be my guess. Cork fans will not travel after the hammering they got, not to many Kerry fans will travel to a Q/final V Galway or Tipp. It could be a complete embarrassment.

    What makes all of the above the more bizarre is that all it will take is a draw, between Galway and Tipp, or a draw between the teams in round 4 final round of “B” most likely be played on Saturday Aug 2nd in Croke Park as a double header at 5pm and 7pm, and the Q/final involving the winner will then have to be delayed for a week. You really cannot make this stuff up, but it is true. It actually happened to Mayo five or six years ago as due to Roscommon and Wexford playing to a draw in an early round of qualifiers, Mayo and Meath was pushed back to the following Saturday, not a big deal you may say except for fans of said counties that may had made other plans. As it was an open draw in those days, you did not know until the previous weekend who you would be playing.

    I guess my points are

    A) Why break up Q/finals on Bank holiday weekend, when you could pretty much guarantee two fairly full houses and market the daylights out of it, and generate some enthusiasm to boot.

    B) Why even allow for the possibility that one of the Q/final may have to be put back, not Mayo this year, as Cork will beat Sligo, but you get my point.

    I did not even get into how they came up with A and B sections. It really makes you wonder who is head of fixtures committee and what are they thinking. My recommendation, relieve them of their job.

  21. I Agree with Mick . Cork if they their game with Sligo should not under any circumstances be taken for granted , Just look at the odds the bookies has given them ,(and the bookies are seldom wrong )against Sligo . Cork will never, never play as badly as against Kerry. They too could be building up for later in the year ,,.They were one of he best scoring teams this year in the league.. SO for us to win against Cork our backs need to improve by at least 20% on the Galway game and we need to Pick 2 full forwards to help CoC , maby this type of game would suit Freezer ,Yes we should battle past Cork but i assure ye it will not be a stroll in the park .

  22. Cork will be hurting after their Munster Final appearance and will not go down without a massive effort to make amends. They will make the quarter finals – no doubt. They have a number of top class forwards that will rip us apart if we are not on top our own game. So lets just hope that our own preparations go well over the coming weeks and that we can put in a 70 minute performance on Sunday 3rd – anything less could be detrimental.

  23. Cork didn’t just play bad in the Munster final but they gave up the fight 10 mins into the second half and if I was a cork man is be more worried about that. That’s why I believe that the league final has got to their mental resolve.That’s why I think Sligo will give them a good game .

  24. First off , congrats to the best Mayo team I’ve ever seen, Winning 4 in a row is really special. Never really worried on Sunday and believe me , I’m a worrier.
    Now that we are back in Croke Park and everyone expects it to be Cork, I think we can handle that.
    Think back to March in Castlebar , yes they ran us ragged in the first 10 mins , but after that I think we led by 13 points at one stage having been behind by 4 or 5 . Ok, we went to sleep and only won by 4 but won.
    Cork led Dublin by 10 at half time and lost by 7 in the League final . ( notice anything there) leads given away. If I was a Cork man I’d be a lot more worried than the lucky fucker i am being from Mayo. Last Sunday much the same, we could do it when we had to and with very little time, did it against the Rossies too. Fair play to the minors also for making it a perfect day.

  25. Joemamas,

    You answered your question as to why the quarter finals are now split between two weekends i.e to give all beaten provincial finalists at least one weekend to recover.
    And you agreed it was fair
    So what is your point? Agreed it is likely that the Mayo & Kerry quarterfinals will have a very poor crowd. Cork and Kerry supporters will not travel in numbers. Tipp, if they win over Galway have a very small base of supporters and even Galway’s support base is greatly diminished. We will nearly have the place to ourselves. And no harm in that for a change.

  26. Club championship this weekend. Some big games, hope everyone comes through unscathed…

  27. What’s on in the Championship this week? A few of the bigger teams are already through. It’s no harm lads playing competitive ball anyways!

  28. AndyD says:
    July 17, 2014 at 2:51 am

    “You answered your question as to why the quarter finals are now split between two weekends i.e to give all beaten provincial finalists at least one weekend to recover.
    And you agreed it was fair
    So what is your point? Agreed it is likely that the Mayo & Kerry quarterfinals will have a very poor crowd. Cork and Kerry supporters will not travel in numbers. Tipp, if they win over Galway have a very small base of supporters and even Galway’s support base is greatly diminished. We will nearly have the place to ourselves. And no harm in that for a change.”

    Prefer to be in Croke park when it is at least half full, this situation is most likely dictated by provincial powers to be. Why there should be three or four weeks bet provincial games, Mayo played on June 15th v Roscommon on June 8th, next game July 15th makes sense ?. Then there is the made dash at end of July to fit all games in, it will not happen to Mayo this year, but imagine planning holidays around GAA schedule only for it to be changed week before due to a draw in another game.

  29. While Cork have some very good players, I am not sure that things are right in their camp at the moment. They lack leaders on the pitch, and from what I have seen, do not work at the required intensity around the pitch. Croke park is not the place if lacking both leaders and intensity. Will their dual players be more focused on the hurling sf’s?

    I was at the Sligo Limerick game, Sligo should have won by more, they showed Galway too much respect but have made changes to the team since then. They will need things to fall their way to truly trouble Cork, but if they are in the game coming into the last few minutes, have experienced players who could make it interesting.

    Either way, we cannot complain about the draw, if we are good enough, we can make it to the end of September again, plan to get to a club championship game this weekend, hope all players get through without injury…

  30. Forget the Munster final, cork will beat Sligo without much problem and be gunning for a shot at us in Croke park. I was in cork for the past few days and they don’t rate us too highly ( think we are passed it) and they are dying to have another crack off Kerry in a semi final.

    We need to be on guard for the next game and improve from the Galway performance which was only ok. We conceded way way too much against a mediocre galway team(16 scores and goal opportunities). Caf needs to sort things out at no.3. If he doesn’t we are in trouble. Overall our defence must tighten up.

    Also Dillon and Andy looked out of sorts the last day. We can’t afford to have 2of our 6 starting forwards to be way below par.

    Anyway..focus..one game at a time.

  31. After watching Dublin today: I think we can match them starting 15 on starting 15 but they have too much firepower on the bench for last 15 mins. I really think we play our usual game next 2 ( with a bit of luck) and switch to a Donegal blanket style if it’s dublin in the final. We have better players than Donegal, better tackling ability, more big men, and also more pace to break out. Dublin would not expect or enjoy it. Would be risky but maybe worth it?

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