Poll: who would we like to draw in the quarters?

The August Bank Holiday weekend is starting to come into view and this coming Saturday the Round 4 qualifier matches take place, with the draw for the All-Ireland quarter-final due to take place that evening once the Round 4 matches have been completed. We don’t have all that long, then, to wait before learning who our opponents will be the weekend after that.

Of the eight counties that are still left in the qualifiers, the only one we definitely can’t be paired with are London, as repeats of provincial finals aren’t allowed (but earlier provincial ties are, which means we could in theory draw Galway). In our case this is, one suspects, a moot point because the Exiles are unlikely to get past a rejuvenated Cavan when they face off in the first of Saturday’s Croke Park triple-header. This constraint could, though, impact on all three of the other provincial champions if – as could happen – Cork, Donegal and Meath all make it through to the last eight.

While I think Galway and Laois will give Cork and Donegal respectively a good rattle next Saturday, both big guns should have enough to prevail, though you would wonder if Donegal – with their aura of invincibility now well and truly smashed and with their injury list continuing to mount – will be ready for another scrap so soon after Sunday’s bruising defeat to Monaghan. It could be Laois’s limitations that’ll save the All-Ireland champions in that one.

If Donegal had been paired with Meath, I think their task could have been much harder. Along with Cavan and Monaghan, the Royals spent this spring plying their trade in Division Three but Mick O’Dowd is managing a team on the rise and they’ll relish the challenge of facing a Tyrone side that looks anything but convincing at the minute. If there’s to be any upset in this weekend’s matches, I reckon it’ll be in this one.

Anyways, I’m wandering off the point. As things stand (i.e. before Saturday’s Round 4 games) there are seven possible opponents we could be drawn against in the quarters, i.e. Cavan, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Laois, Meath and Tyrone. Which one of these would you like us to draw?  Time to vote.

Who would you like to see us draw in the quarter-finals?

  • Donegal (32%, 86 Votes)
  • Cavan (21%, 58 Votes)
  • Meath (17%, 47 Votes)
  • Galway (11%, 30 Votes)
  • Laois (9%, 25 Votes)
  • Tyrone (7%, 19 Votes)
  • Cork (3%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 273

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82 thoughts on “Poll: who would we like to draw in the quarters?

  1. Even if we beat Meath we could loose someone to injury or a red card. Mayo are a bit rusty at the mo. I will stick to what we know best Galway

  2. The harder the better , no fear of any of them. I think we are looking at Cavan/ Cork/Meath or Donegal, all them teams are more physically imposing than anything we’ve played so far but surely to gawd they’re well aware of that.

    My only concerns are over lads fitness levels, Dillon is not himself, Andy did not do his usual running around 5/6 darts in different directions and lose his marker, thought he looked a tad lethargic at times. That could also be a ploy of saving himself for the bigger tests ahead (fingers crossed).

    The championship has never been as exciting. Can’t wait till the draw and then the long weekend.Dublin will get Cavan, hq will see to that.

  3. sean I cant see cavan beating Tyrone.
    Mayo will play one of these in my opinion…

    I would want cavan out of those then tyrone cork and then donegal

  4. I think Mayo will raise their game for most teams. However, this draw could define Mayo’s season. The one team I do not want is Cork as I think they will have learned a lot from the Kerry match and will be relatively fresh. If Donegal do get past Laois, they will be under serious pressure with injuries and freshness and Mayo should be able to really wire into them. I think Mayo would beat Cavan, Meath, Galway etc. Whilst I don’t think Tyrone will win Sam, I still think they’d be a tall order for Mayo. Lots of hard games behind them etc. Having said all that, Mayo are a better team than them, in my opinion. All to play for but Cork are the one team I’d fear in the quarters.

  5. Wouldn’t fear any team especially Cork with Counihan at the helm, seems like he picks a team and closes his eyes and hopes for the best. Never seen such a tactical meltdown as last years AI semi (yes including 97 when Maughan decided to change 4 positions instead of a straight swap).
    Bring the 1/4’s on, let’s get this show on the road. 7 week championship about to start for Mayo.

  6. JH will have the team primed to start the way they did against Galway with high intensity and agressive tackling. Cork and Donegal would be tough, any of the other 5 are on a par. looking forward to Mayo putting down a marker regardless of who we play. Cork and Donegal would be tough, hope it’s Donegal.

  7. Alf Stewart

    Counihan did win an All Ireland with Cork.writing them off is foolish.

  8. My preference would be winners of Tyrone/Meath. Cavan wouldn’t be much better than what we’ve beaten in Connacht. Tyrone/Meath would be a noticeable step up from what we’ve met so far, but would still be a match we coud win, and would bring us on quite a bit.

    Cork or Donegal would be a very formidable hurdle for a quarter-final. But if that’s a hurdle we have to jump, so be it. Donegal didn’t get one soft game in Croke Park last year. Didn’t do them any harm.

  9. The one I don’t want is Cork as I feel they represent the most serious threat.
    They are an imposing unit when they get their game going & have been waiting in the long grass.
    Any of the others would be easier including Donegal as I cant see them going to the well on three successive weekends.
    Tyrone are at a certain level but are manageable & also have the successive weekend problem. Possibility that a fresher Meath could take them at the weekend.
    Although Cavan would probably constitute the easiest draw I think it might be better for us going forward to get one of the others as I feel we need an ‘established’ team to extract the best from ourselves.
    We need to concentrate on ourselves at this point & on getting our forward unit sorted out. The biggest concern going forward would be on getting some sort of decent return from our injured forward axis of Dillon/Moran/Doherty/Conroy. It will be difficult for us if there is little or no input from these guys. Does anyone have an update on the injury situation ?

  10. Cant see any realistic input from Doherty or Conroy.

    Dillon has huge strides to make before being match fit and Andy- well we will have to trust he will get sharper.

    Agree Varley and Coen do offer something to us with Freeman, O Connor, Kevin , and Carolan.

    Maybe we should be placing more faith on those who ARE fit.

    Hope we get Cavan who are overhyped .

  11. Watched the match again last night and could see a bit more logic in the substitutions this time around:

    Coen took a very heavy knock just before his goal and had drifted out of the game a bit after that – taken off at half time as a precaution.

    Freeman had a number of very heavy challenges and was twice treated on the field – taken off to save him for the next day as the match was won at that stage. Conroy needed a run to get him back to match pace. Any further news on the hamstring by the way? We could do with him fit in August as an option in the FF line

    Keith was pushed up to wing forward into the place normally occupied by Carolan. This was facilitated by taking off Feeney and introducing Vaughan. Giving Keith a run there shows that the No12 shirt is still up for grabs.

    In a straight swop, Varley came in to give him a run and to save Andy for the next day. Neither decision provided any new information to JH

    McHale came on for Caff. Again, he had been treated on the field and the video showed that he was uncomfortable prior to coming off.

    3 of the subs were coming back from injury and the game was won before they were introduced.

    On what I could surmise from the rerun, I expect the team to be as follows for the quarters:
    1. Depends on who is fit. Will still be Hennelly if Clarke/O’Malley are out
    2. Cunniffe
    3. Caff
    4. Most likely Keith but could be Barrett if Keith is reassigned
    5. Lee
    6. Donie
    7. Boyler
    8. Aido
    9. Sheamie
    10. Supermac
    11. Cillian
    12. Most likely Carolan but could be Feeny or even Kieth
    13. Andy
    14. Freeman
    15. Most likely Dillon (if fit) but Coen also possible

    As for who I’d like to get, I couldn’t care less! We are able for any of them!!!

  12. A good mid-level side that can give Mayo a test is what im hoping for. In that bracket I put Meath,Cavan, Laois and Galway. Any one of those sides should give Mayo a tough game but Horan’s men should come through with a win and an improved performance. Galway in particular would be good because there is no way they would be as bad as the last day out.

    Donegal, Tyrone and Cork would all be extremely tough prospects in Croke Park, particularly if Mayo are in any way undercooked but they are all very beatable for the current side. Preferrably they will end up on the other side of the draw if they reach the 1/4s but if, as expected, they all win through then we will have to face them at some stage so why not get the first one out of the way and show the country what Mayo are capable of.

    Unlike previous years Mayo can head into the quarters knowing that they can and should beat any team drawn against them. For once let the opposition worry about not wanting to draw Mayo

  13. Lads and lassies, if we have any ambition at all we will take whoever the draw throws at us. I wouldn’t read too much into the London match. Yes it was a poor game, but has any team been consistent all year? Dublin in the first half against Meath were nothing special, Kerry in the second half against Cork likewise, etc etc.

  14. Don’t think anyone should be writing off Cavan so easily. Croke park will shit them..they r a super fast team who did really well to beat a decent Derry side away from home.

    Cork are as fresh as anyone and most of them have an All Ireland medal so they know how to do it…I think they feel they have a lot to prove in Croke Pk, they r constantly being criticised.

  15. I pick galway, for I believe they will bate Cork…and then we we will bate them again. End of.

  16. Not overly worried about who we get as I’ve no doubt we’ll beat any of the 7 teams.

    Saying that, Cork does look the dodgiest draw, in that if they can get their selection right they certainly have the players to still mix it with the best. It’s certainly not ideal going from playing London in that cakewalk to playing a team like Cork in 2 weeks

    Cavan should be a handy enough win but it probably ensures we now enter an AI semi without a really tough challenge- no disrespect to Cavan but we should be putting teams like them away with relative ease.

    Meath/Tyrone might be the ideal draw. We’ll beat them but will be given a decent challenge, certainly much more so than we’ve gotten so far.

    I honestly think Laois will beat Donegal but even if the latter bounce back they are incredibly vulnerable at this moment in time and there’d be no better time to play them.

    Anyway, we’ll just have to wait and see and beat whoever we get paired with and advance to our third semi in a row.

    For what it’s worth I voted Galway!! But I can’t see them turning over Cork in all honesty.

  17. I think one thing is for sure and that is after the next match we will truly see what form Mayo are in.

  18. Please please please let it be donegal. What better way to get season going and concentrate the players.
    Luigi your team selection is probably right. Cant see keith going to halfforwards but……..
    Wud be hard to drop barrett tho. Thought himself and cuniffe were excellant on sun.

  19. When I saw this poll, I knew Donegal would be top. Thats Mayo logic for you – take the most difficult route possible. Those who voted for Cavan or to a lesser extent Galway (Cork will beat probably beat them) are logical thinkers. Bullish stupidity will get you nowhere.

  20. Personally,I think there is no excuse for Mayo this year. Nearly every team has injuries…Meath Shane O rourke, Donegal Lacey and others including maybe Murphy, Cork Colm O Neill, and the list goes on.

    If we are not good enough better to know sooner rather than later.

    No team left (ok-London maybe) can be written off including Mayo. All others have strengths and weaknesses. I dont think Cavan Laois Galway or London or even Monaghan are real contenders. Donegal may regroup maybe not but all others are threats to Mayo. Are any of them good enough to beat us— not if we play to our full potential and correct decisions are made. Thats a big ask- but winning an All Ireland is precisely that – a huge ask.

    Sentiment v Experience,youth v experience,tried and tested v those going well.

    These are not easy calls and if Horan gets then right he’s a hero – wrong well dont need to say more.
    Lets enjoy it and hope -once again- that this is the year.
    Are we better fixed than in 96,97,2004,2006,2012- I believe we are because each defeat has taught us a little. Whether that is enough we will see.

  21. Have to agree with COOL HAND LUKE, well said.

    WJ maybe you should add any of the above to that survey. It’s luck of the draw next weekend we have to be prepared for anyone and we’re good enough for any of those teams.

    It’s the business end of the championship – can’t wait?

  22. I can’t understand why everyone is getting so hung up on who we might get in the quarter finals at the weekend. We still don’t know what four teams will get through, so let’s hang loose for a few more days and then we’ll see what the draw throws up.

    Last year I was up in Donegal when the draw was made and the supporters there were none to pleased to be drawn against Kerry, with Cork waiting in the wings. Yet Jimmy was able to hatch a plan and get his team in the right frame of mind, to take on two of the strongest teams around and squeeze the life out of them.

    Mayo may find themselves in a somewhat similar situation this year, and if we’re hoping to land Sam in September, then we must be ready for what ever obstacles come our way. Are we good enough – only time will tell !

  23. if mayo draw donegal the media will have a field day writing mayo off all the talk will be on donegal

  24. If they get past Laois i think it will be Donegal, then Mayo will have the chance to knock the defending All Ireland champions for the 3rd year in row. Can’t see Monaghan reaching the semi final so could be Mayo v Cork or Tyrone.

  25. COOL HAND is on the ball! There’s no excuse(s) for us this year…regardless of the injuries, bad luck, refereee’s, weather, draws etc. There’s no,… “ah sure we’ll play better against a better team next day”……We must play whoever we are drawn against and we should be fairly confident no matter who that is. There’s no safety net from now on.

    Now, there’s something to be said about who we would like to draw. I’m sure other teams are looking at the four provincial champs and musing over who they might prefer…and its likely (with the exception of Donegal) most would like a draw against mayo because rightly or wrongly, we are seen as a soft touch, particularly at the business end of the c ‘ship.
    Why? Because we have yet to win it…yes we’ve been close, yes we’ve beaten the previous years AI champs now, twice, but there are no prizes for that.
    Nothing short of winning Sam would be disappointing. No excuse.

  26. Was listening to an interview on the radio this morning of COC.Seemed well up for the next game.What comes across is the confidence.I love it.Lads i have a funny feeling that Laos can pull off a shocker at the weekend.Wonder what odds i could get for a Meath and Laos win?

  27. Meath in quaters,donegal in simi and Kerry in final and a shit load of revenge Dished out on way…wouldn’t that be class?

  28. Agree with you Rosseneri, I voted for Cavan but only on the basis that I don’t think Galway will make it.

    We’re probably at our most vulnerable in the Quarters given our easy run through Connacht and a distinct uneasiness about the fitness of Dillon and Moran with O’Connor just back from injury and no sign of Barry Moran with Conroy probably gone and no sign of Jason either. We could get turned over by a team that we would beat with a fitter panel.

    I would least like to draw Cork, to my mind dark horses for Sam and if they get into our side of the draw, they can avoid both Kerry and Dublin ( like ourselves ) until the final. Donegal and Tyrone could also beat us although I believe that we would beat both but would prefer to avoid them.

    So I’m all for the path of least resistance while we give our troops time to get fit.Kerry have won numerous all-irelands in this fahion by peaking for a couple of games. My dream draw is Kerry/Donegal, Dublin/Cork, Monaghan/ Meath or Tyrone and Mayo/ Cavan. Not too much to ask for but we’ll have to take what we get and do it either way.

  29. Agree with you “All the way”. Them 4 ties is the exact draw we want. Best possible scenario. Well said Rossoneri above too. Cavan is who we want to meet next. However it will be Cork we get. Can see that coming a mile off and we need to start preparing for them and their tactics now. A huge step up from what we’ve faced in the previous 3 games. We would only beat them if we keep the wides down to 5 or 6. Simple as that.

  30. Sorry lads. Dont agree. Think donegal is exactly who we need at the min. The players need a good challenge and mentally would have been preparing for donegal in semis anyway. They are vunerable now and play like monaghan so it would be good preparation for semi assuming monaghan and ourselves get through. So its logical that mayo people want donegal and who wouldnt like to knock out the invinciples. No bullish stupidity here rossie. Just bullish logic.

  31. Bring on Donegal.
    I wanted us both to win through and meet in the semi, as I felt we would take them. So let’s take them now (assuming they make it).
    Donegal are no supermen, despite what Brolly and his media friends might think.
    All year they have been below last years standards, which is understandable after reaching the holy grail last year. The Monaghan result was no massive shock.
    While we are without doubt a better team this year.

    I’d probably rather avoid Cork, but that’s for the simple reason that I’m over there bank holiday weekend. A win for them over us and my week would be fecking unbearable…

    Whoever it is, bring ’em on. We are where we wanted to be at the beginning of the year, so let’s enjoy it and let the others fear us.

    Anyone know how Conroy is doing? Had a look on twitter and he’s very coy on the seriousness of the injury.

  32. Forgot to mention Galway – I’d be amazed if they got within 10 points of Cork.
    They scraped past Tipp and Waterford and beat a much overhyped Armagh team (remember who Armagh had beaten in the previous 2 rounds), having home advantage all the way.
    Michael Meehan may well carry on his good form on Saturday, but it’ll be nowhere near enough to prevent a heavy loss.

  33. I’m extremely worried with our forward line aside from cillian is there any other forward who can be dependent on when he is needed..
    Freeman …. Hasn’t lived to potential as of yet
    Coen…. Too early
    Varley…hot and cold
    Moran…clearly rusty
    Dillion…best days are behind him
    Mcloughlin…does most of his work winning breaking ball,which he does brilliantly
    Feeney…more of a utility player
    Murphy…unknown outside club football
    Conroy…scores the hard points misses the easy ones far too regularly

    Listen I love mayo gaa I’m not trying to upset anyone but I think we lack serious firepower against stronger opposition

  34. i say we will get tyrone is there many minors from the tyrone minor team that beat mayo cillian o c was on the mayo side hope mayo eat them

  35. I love the comments about other teams fearing us. I don’t give a shite if they think we are crap and no good as long as we beat them; that’s what important.
    What does it matter what others think; actually I do think they don’t fancy meeting us but who cares!!!

  36. surry about that i just asked as i saw mark donnelly playing for tyrone against kildare and think he was the one that beat mayo correct me on this

  37. Think we could take Donegal.

    Cork too strong at this stage.

    NYC thats daft frankly.Freeman.Feeney.Varley.OConnor .Moran .Dillon.Coen all can score as can the two ose bros,higgins,keegan,vaughan,and boyle.even cuniffe has scored. Game not played as it was…remember mcglynn and lacey last year.hard work also vital.
    That kind of over negative talk as bad as some of the over positive stuff.
    Know its well meant but misplaced at this time.

  38. Sorry John griffin I hope my “daft talk” is completely daft and we can march on to the semis …I agree with your verdict on us taking donegal

  39. wouldn’t write off Meath,Galway or even Laois (Donegal will have a hill to climb after last Sun) . Would love to get donegal next, we know how to beat them.After that……anyone of the lot.

  40. No prob NYC.We are all hoping we are right…none of us have crystal balls but I really hope we can pull it off this year as do we all.

  41. Given our injury / match fitness situation I feel that facing Cork/Tyrone/Donegal in two weeks time would come a bit too soon. Any of the others are beatable even if our performance levels were to remain off tune going into the bank holiday weekend. Id expect the team to be in much better shape come end of August and better positioned to take on a top tier team at that stage..

  42. Have felt for ages it will be a Mayo Cork/Kerry final call me crazy cant get it out of my head … But am worried Clarke not fit for qf + the other injuries hope it is Donegal we draw though on sat eve… They were set up to meet us in the semi finals (came from the horses mouth side kick to Jim)

  43. Don’t mind who we get in the 1/4 final. If we are serious about pushing on and winning the AI we have to be prepared to beat whoever is put in front of us. On a personal level I would love to get Meath. We owe them a good beating and my first all Ireland final in 96 and what happened that day still lives strong. Also the Aul Fella is from Louth so I was brought up supporting anybody but those shower of …………….

  44. It’s not who we meet in the quarter finals that matters. It’s how we are fixed ourselves. If we had all our players at 100% we would take anyone. Unfortunately, injury has weakened us – just how much remains to be seen. Apart from McLoughlin and Cillian o connor (and he is just returning from injury) we cannot say who will be playing in our forward line. Conroy is injured, Dillon and Moran are short of their best, Richie Feeney is on and off the team, same with Varley, Coen is a rookie and I’m not sure what the story is with Carolan. Horan may have to make some very big calls and I feel he will.
    We really need a settled team or this could go horribly wrong. I’m not as confident as some people on this forum. The crucial thing is getting through this quarter final and bringing our key players back to full fitness. Then worry about the next step!

  45. I hope we get Tyrone or Cavan, mainly because they will have played every week recently and they could be shattered by the time they meet us especially Tyrone. We have largely had the Indian sign over them in recent years. No way do I want to meet Donegal. They are a wounded animal at the moment. I expect them to destroy Laois and be seriously up for whoever they meet in the quarters. I hope they meet the dubs and knock them out setting up a semi final against Kerry!

    Some mayo fans here are getting carried away. No one can be happy with the performances against Ros and London. Some players are playing through injury and its pissing off that they aren’t rested. Mickey Harte wouldn’t take a chance on his valuable assets ie Stephen O Neill yet our management are with various players. If Cillian fell awkwardly on his shoulder when he came on or was met with a heavy hit we would be fucked.

    I don’t think any team will fear facing us. We lost to Tyrone, Dublin [twice], Kildare and down in the league. Monaghan beat us in a tough challenge a while ago. Cavan had us on the rack with their blanket defence tactics in the 1st half in a challenge a while back and if they continued with their tactics until they changed them at half time they would have beaten us comfortably….

    We need to keep our feet on the ground. We have a massive opportunity to progress but nothing will be easy at all against any of the teams that are left. If Monaghan and mayo progress in the 1/4s then we could face each other in the semi finals. Kerry, Dublin and maybe Donegal could be in the other side of the draw…. I’d take that especially when we have more questions than answers at the moment…. We have problems at 6, defensive players except caff are kicking & handpassing the ball away as well as giving away handy frees, problems in the middle [there is a lack of mobility and athleticism there], Dillon is struggling with injury, andy isn’t match fit, Cillians shoulder could go again anytime, no method to forward play, injuries to Conroy & Doherty.

    I might be pessimistic but I feel my points are realistic. We could be caught cold in the 1/4s and with our form currently only average I’m just more hopeful than confident that things will click like they did against Galway….

  46. Mayonaze, I was going to get you on that wonderful comment but the faster and superior mind of John Griffin beat me to it.

  47. Patriot, I agree with everything you say. That is a very good compilation of points. I don’t think it is pessimistic at all. It is as you say, realistic. So many get offended at realistic comments if they are not favourable and at times they haven’t a clucking fue.
    We really do need as easy a draw as we can get, to have a bit of breathing space and sort out injury problems. It would be so different if we had a settled team.

  48. Living in New York for the last 10 years I’ve got to know lots of gaa fans from all over Ireland and like most I’ve to watch the games in the pub(bar) but I get the sence from most that most counties do not fear us…..even Cavan people

  49. Sorry to ruin your dream Eddie k but I think we cannot meet Donegal in the semi , it’s Monaghan or the team that beats them, and can’t be them as they met in Ulster final. We will have to take revenge in 1/4 final or AIF.

    By the way , London not in the poll as we cannot get them in 1/4 s

  50. I’m with you on this one Patriot, Donegal are far from finished and come the quarter Finals draw they will be there, I’m pretty sure of that. I’ve just watched the match on Setanta to-night and even though I was mightily impressed with Monaghan, it seemed clear to me that Donegal were caught cold and completely underestimated the opposition. When this happens to any team it’s almost impossible to turn it around in the course of the match, especially if the opposition sustain a very high tempo for the seventy minutes, and Monaghan to their credit managed that.

    So for all ye guys who might like to write off the men from the hills, forget it, they are too good a team to go quietly – I’m not saying they’ll win the All Ireland, but I have a feeling they could yet spoil the party for one or two of the favourites before they depart the scene. As for Monaghan, this was one of the best performances I’ve seen from any team all year, but they will struggle to repeat that again and unless they get a very favourable draw, could fall at the next hurdle….

  51. Dan says:
    July 23, 2013 at 9:20 pm
    The Monaghan result was no massive shock.

    Of course it was massive shock, Donegal defending All Ireland champions and unbeaten in Ulster since 2010. Monaghan were playing out of div 3 this year and fell over the line against another div 3 team Cavan.

    It’s a long time since we had result like that, i remember Sligo beat tyrone in 2002 but that was before Tyrone won their first All Ireland.

  52. i agree that we can potentially be caught cold in the quarters,
    last year and the year before we were the ones who came out of what was perceived as a poor connacht with two tight final victories, we caught cork and down completely unawares.
    this time we have processed through and with an unlucky draw could be playing a marquee team like donegal or cork in a quarter or even worse be caught out by a perceived weaker team ,

    huge pitfalls this year , after last years final the only progression is Sam. anything else will be a massive disappointment.

    give us another quarter-final like our last 2 and many fears will be eased,

  53. NYC green and red says:
    July 24, 2013 at 12:14 am
    Living in New York for the last 10 years I’ve got to know lots of gaa fans from all over Ireland and like most I’ve to watch the games in the pub(bar) but I get the sence from most that most counties do not fear us…..even Cavan people

    I have to agree with NYC. All the other counties feel they can beat us. We are still seen as having flaws. Up to James and his band of merry men to destroy this notion. Will miss the quarter final. Hope I can pick it up in a pub in France.

  54. I am not bothered who we get as I don’t fear any of them. I would particularly like Donegal though. They will have enough to beat Laois but then having to face a much stiffer test 7 days later will be too much for them. I had us down to meet, and beat, them in the semi-final but I would take it a couple of weeks earlier. The boost we would get from beating them and facing into a semi-final would provide us with huge momentum and belief. The biggest opponents we have now are ourselves because on our day we can beat anyone.I am not being arrogant but I firmly believe that we are better than any of the above.
    My only area of concern is the make-up of our front 6 players. For me, the only players nailed down in the starting line-up are McLoughlin at No.10, Conroy at No.15 and O’Connor at No.11, 13, or 14. Where to place the remaining 3 from Feeney, Dillion, Carolan, Varley, Moran, Doherty or Coen is what I am unsure about.

  55. I think it’s exactly that uncertainty as to our forward line combination that makes me a bit nervous. Who is fit to start with and then after that who is good enough. The team practically picks itself from 1 to 10 but from there on it’s uncertain.By the way Pebblesmeller, you left out Freeman who I think will be the No 14 and I don’t know how you have Conroy at 15, given that he’s hardly played at all and went off injured again on Sunday – is he fit ?

    For what it’s worth my forward line reads Supermac/ Cillian/ Feeney Moran or Dillon/ Freeman/ Coen. I wish we could play Cillian closer to goal but i don’t see any other credible option at centre forward.

    I’d much rather see us get a middle of the road draw so we can get our forward line functioning and face the bigger guns in the semi final. We have no control over that and will have to face what we get. But we should be careful what we wish for !

  56. We have to be one of the most moany counties. Lads will ye dry up and stop complaining. You can only beat whats put in front of you and they were 3 poor teams. We never got out of 3rd gear. There are still 2 more gears in this team that will be used in the open road thats to come

  57. We cannot meet Donegal in the semi final. Assuming we get through the quarters we meet Monaghan or whoever might beat them in the quarters and they cannot meet Donegal in the quarters. Monaghan will be a difficult proposition as they are in bonus territory and all the pressure will be on Mayo.
    I am convinced we need Cillian O’Connor in the full forward line as he is the best finisher around and goals will be vital. Points will be very hard won with the defensive system used by Monaghan and a goal is worth three. My team assuming all are fit: Clarke; Cunniffe, Cafferty, Higgins; Keegan, Vaughan, Boyle; O’Shea & O’Shea; McLoughlin, Feeney, Dillon [or Carolan if Dillon does not greatly improve]; O’Connor, Freeman & Moran.

  58. All The Way, I completely forgot about Freeman and I have to hold my hand up and admit that the lad is really begining to show his talents. I was sceptical for a while but his performances in the championship this season have been very very good. He was one of the best players on the pitch against Galway and even though he didn’t score alot he did alot of dirty work, took alot of punishment and set up a number of scores. In my mind he was man of the match against Roscommon and he did very well on Sunday and I was puzzled as to why he was taken off. the only logical reason for his withdrawal must have been because Horan wanted Dillion and Moran to have as much game time as possible to aid their recovery.
    My inclusion of Conroy is on the assumption that he is fit. He offers our attack something that none of the others have, blistering pace and an ability to run on the outside of the corner back and still get in behind him. The hardest thing to defend against is pace, and while occasionally his shooting can be a little wayward, his willingness to show for the ball and take his man on is a real asset.

  59. Yeah I was puzzled when he took Freeman off but the game was done and dusted at halftime so it was probably a health and safety issue given some of the hits London were putting in. It may be the same with Coen, I thought he would have been given him more game time particularly after scoring the goal but he had shipped a couple of heavy knocks so taking him off may have been a sensible move. The last thing we need are more injured forwards.

    I take your point on Conroy, Pebblesmeller, if he is fit ?

    Like the look of that Full Forward line AndyD if the half forward line can sacrifice Cillian, he was immense against Galway at CF, running the forward line and creating goal chances for all around him.

  60. I think that our style will have to become more like the Donegal/Monaghan style to counter their style, or any other opposition we may meet along the way. Running and defense will be a greater part of the half forwards role and that a centre forward will not be able to effect such a great influence on the game. We will, I believe, need to get the ball into the full forward line as quickly as possible before defenders funnel back and that O’Connor could fit in in front of a Moran / Freeman two man full forward using his distribution ability. This, I think could also limit the role of an opposition sweeper.

  61. With our injuries, we lack a potent attacking forward line. Even with Mickey fit, he doesn’t score a lot, yet he draws tonne’s of score-able frees, hence the reason he and Cillian’s fitness and inclusion is SO important.

    I agree though with NYC that living over here, other county supporter’s don’t believe we are a serious team, nor a serious challenger. Any of them feel we are the easier draw in the QF and will be super confident of progressing. Those big mouths have a point….until we win Sam.

  62. My team for 1/4 final Clarke Cunnife Caff Higgins Keegan Boyle Feeney 2 OShea s Mcloughlin Vaughan Dillon O Connor Freeman Moran

  63. I also fear that we may be caught cold in the quarter finals, no real test since league semi final. We can not underestimate any team at this stage. (in 04 Tyrone who were champions from 03 were coming through the back door and when they drew mayo in the quarters it was alleged that they jumped for joy, Mayo duly defeated Tyrone). Last Sunday Monaghan were written off by all the pundits, but they they believed in themselves that they could deaf Donegal and as a result they played with confidence and utter determination. I do not believe that Mayo believed in themselves that they could defeat Donegal last September. I am following Mayo since 1966 and I can not understand how Mayo supporters get offended if the pundits tip our opponents, nothing to be gained by being favourites, if written off prove the doubters wrong. One game at a time, this is game four, no point in looking further ahead. I hope James selects his team on form and not on past reputations.

  64. The reason Donegal are leading this pole is not so much that we’d all love to play them but more so we owe them one!!!!!!!

  65. Mayomagic – it was a shock no doubt, but not a massive shock.
    London beating Mayo, Galway beating Cork this weekend would be a massive shock for me.
    You can turn the league thing any way you want, remember Donegal and Monaghan will both be Div 2 next year.
    Monaghan are no mugs, they have been on the verge of an Ulster title for the past 5 or 6 years (bar a 2 year slump) and have a top manager in charge in Malachy O’Rourke.
    This was last chance saloon for a few of their veterans and they played like they knew that. They had the hunger to win and Donegal were lacking the desire they had in nearly every game last year. Understandable I suppose for All-Ireland champions.

    Still, just my opinion. Some saw it as the biggest shock in years, I personally didn’t.
    Saying that, I didn’t have money on them to win or anything! Although for some reason I backed the draw.

  66. Dan London could shock the likes of Leitrim,Sligo but were never going to shock the current Mayo team. Galway beating Cork on Saturday would be no bigger shock than Cavan beating Derry.

    Sunday was only Monaghan’s 3rd final Ulster in 25 years and in one of those finals Tyrone beat them by 10 points they haven’t won it since 1988. Both will be in div 2 next year however Donegal will be promoted right back up while Monaghan will be lucky to avoid the drop. In my opinion it was the shock of the summer and unless Cavan beat one of the top four sides that result is unlikely to be matched.

  67. I agree with Mayormagic on this one….if we’re honest, not many saw Monaghan beating Donegal in the Ulster final. That is the biggest upset so far, barring London beating Cavan this weekend.

  68. Dear everybody….

    I told ye the draw (see my msg on the Monday Match Reports!!)

    Don’t doubt my inside information!!!!!!;))

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