Poll: who’ll we be facing in the quarters?

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Okay, okay – there’s only such praise a man can take without his head exploding altogether so let’s turn the focus back onto the here and now. Saturday’s double-header at Croke Park will not only cut the last ten in the championship down to a final eight (barring the need for any replays) it’ll also reveal who we’ll we pitted against in the quarter-finals the following weekend.

The permutations are pretty straightforward. As neither ourselves nor Monaghan can meet our respective provincial final opponents in the quarters, that cuts down the options for both of us to three. In our case it’s Donegal, Galway or Tyrone while for the Farneymen it’s Galway, Sligo or Tyrone. A further condition, whereby previous meetings at the provincial stage are to be avoided where possible, lessens the chance still further that we’ll be paired with the Tribesmen – it’s only if Sligo upset those 1/16 odds in favour of Tyrone (where the handicap is 8 points) that this could happen.

In essence, then, it’s looking like either Donegal or Tyrone, with the outcome dependent on whether or not the former are able to do enough to justify the 1/2 odds on them to end Galway’s run in this year’s championship. If they are, then it’s Rory Gallagher’s charges we’ll be facing, whereas if they’re not it’s Mickey Harte’s men.

For the purposes of the poll, though, I think it’s only fair to include all three possible options – sure didn’t Sligo beat Tyrone the last time they met in the championship at Croke Park all those years ago?

Right, then – who do you think we’ll end up facing in the All-Ireland quarter-final on Saturday week?

Who'll we be facing in the quarters?

  • Donegal (66%, 240 Votes)
  • Tyrone (28%, 103 Votes)
  • Galway (6%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 366

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65 thoughts on “Poll: who’ll we be facing in the quarters?

  1. I think Galway will suprise Donegal and beat them confidence is fairly high in Galway and they are on a bit of a run and have good forwards they haven’t won a game in Croker in ages so they will be chomping at the bit for a chance at Donegal so I think it will be Tyrone for us in the quarter final either way we will have a job of work whether we come up a white and red blanket or Donegal one but we can do it

  2. Donegal are on another planet to Galway

    lacey’s absence narrows the gap alright, but Donegal will win by 5 or 6

    tyrone very comfortably in the other

  3. I have to agree with Roger and Ciaran that unless there is a complete Donegal meltdown Galway are going to struggle a lot. For me the Galway fullback line is very weak and their midfield while talented struggles with intense physicality. I think McGlynn will go to centre back with Thompson coming in at wing back so Lacey is not as massive a loss to Donegal really for this game.
    Tír Chonaill by 5 points.

  4. Galway will fancy it, and they’re a lot tougher physically than they used to be. But they never really looked like beating us, and Rory Gallagher will have noted how poorly they dealt with Aidan O’Shea (especially with Michael Murphy at his disposal).

    For me it comes down to where Donegal are mentally. They look war-weary at the moment, but unlike Cork they’ll be coming into this one with an extra week to sort their heads out. If they’re properly tuned in for the challenge I can’t see Galway having enough to beat them. That’s a big ‘if’ though.

    Fascinatingly poised game.

  5. Donegal are up there with us in terms of their physical development. As Galway couldn’t deal with our physicality, I can’t see how they could live with Donegal and come out on top after 70 mins.

    I think that Tyrone will suck the life out of the Sligo attack and will have the firepower in the forwards to do serious damage. I would expect that Sean Cavanagh will drift in and out of an Aidan O’Shea type role and cause havoc.

    Donegal by 6, Tyrone by a good bit more.

  6. I think AOS is much superior to a leg weary Murphy. Galway have more pace upfront and hence I think they can win. Galway are an upper division two side and I think this current right now Donegal team are also. Theyre heavily reliant all year on Lacy, McGlynn and Murphy. Cummins will have a field day I predict.

  7. Depends on Donegal’s appetite. As in 2013 when they lost the Ulster final they could fall apart. If they’re not at their best I fancy Galway.
    Regards Sligo, they have nobody near the class of O’Hara so I do not see them beating Tyrone. Indeed I think that could be another hammering. If I had to vote for our next opponent it would be a narrow vote for Donegal.

  8. As much as Galway have improved I believe it will be ourselves and Donegal in the quarter finals. I cannot see Galway having the physicality or the cuteness to get past Donegal. There is a kick in the Tir Chonail men yet, but they will need it to get past us. However, a wily, battle hardened, experienced group of men who know the road to Sam Maguire will be a big test for us. Don’t get too caught up in their loss to Monaghan as they kicked a huge amount of wides in that Ulster final and two of those wides could, on another day, have been called inside the post and therefore the win would be theirs! Granted, they have a lot of hard miles on the clock and maybe the hunger for another tilt at Sam is not quite there but, they still contain some of the finest footballers of this era in Murphy, McGees x 2, Lacey, McGlynn, McFadden and the ever improving McBrearty and they would have no fear of us. I would imagine Noel and Pat are preparing for Donegal and not Tyrone or Galway.

  9. It could easily be Galway.They may have too much pace for Donegal and they have decent forwards.
    Of course I am guessing a bit and I am wrong as often as I am right on these things.

  10. Who would my fellow Mayo fans rather meet….Tyrone or Donegal?
    I would rather face Tyrone being honest, I know we all hate playing against them due to their huge blanket but big open spaces of Croker suit us better than them.

  11. I agree on the praise WJ. It got out of control there for a while. TheyL be askin ya to run for president next? Donegal for me. Although shouldn’t matter. We have to win all our games now. Either way we will get a tough game, which is what’s badly needed.

  12. I think Donegal’s ‘demise’ in 2013 is still being exaggerated a bit

    Remember after losing to monaghan they still went out and beat Laois (who made 1/4 the year before) with little difficulty just 6 days after. They also started well against us, we did get an early goal but as far as I remember they had the better of the exchanges overall in the first 15 or so. We then got 2 quickfire goals again and that was that but it was a bit of a freak game where we could do absolutely zero wrong and they were missing key players and McHugh was far from fit. They folded meekly after we put up a big lead on them but a lot of teams would and freak matches like that do happen (Kerry Dub 2009, Meath Kerry 2001). Had we replayed that match a few times we wouldn’t come close to winning by that much again

    I can’t see them just lying down on Saturday against a team they know they can beat. Don’t know where JP gets this “division 2 team” from, they made Division 1 league semis this year (where they essentially threw the match knowing they had a champ game so shortly after) and had a damn better campaign overall than ourselves for example. They have made 3 of the last 4 All Ireland semis. Write them off at your peril

  13. Tyrone all day long Steve

    They’re the most overrated team in Ireland. Donegal are quickly becoming the most underrated team in Ireland!!!

  14. You would expect Donegal to win this but it depends on where there heads are at and how much belief they have in Rory. If their off form in any way and Galway get a sniff of blood no better ones to go for the kill. l saw DnaG the last time they were going through the back door system (after losing Ulster) against Laos in Carrick on Shannon and they were dire. They just couldn’t raise there level of intensity at all.. if Laois had any way about them that day they could and shud have won it. Injuries did play a big part in Donegals downfall that year, probably more so than this time out.. but I think Galway are a better outfit now than Laois were then. Looking forward to a good game of football as much as the result.. twill give us a good indication of what the competition form is like. Still have to say it’s Donegals to loose.

  15. Theirs more of a chance that Cristiano Ronaldo will line out at center forward for the Mayo juniors against Kerry than Galway beating Donegal. Galway are miles off them, i’ve been mentally preparing myself for Donegal since 4pm on the 19th of July. I expect them to beat Galway by at least 5. They still are a seirious team and will be one hell of a game for us in the quarters, a game which im not that confident about. Obviously i hope to God Galway beat them and we end up playing Tyrone, a team we would definetly beat. Sickend that Kerry have such a handy draw, their not “cute hoors” their just feckin damn lucky!!.

  16. When donegal are beaten they are a little more fragile than other teams, in mcguinness they had a leader that was North Korea like in his control of the team and their expectations. In 2013 they had their path broken with a loss in the Ulster Final and it seemed like it was an absolute shock to them and they were struggling to deal with failed expectations, they looked likev hey lost faith in their ability to go through the back door, Mayo put on a football fest that day and in thoroughly destroyed them with AOS cast in a leading roll forvwhich he should have revieved a solid gold Oscar.
    To be fair to them I thought that was the end of them and the beginning of the end of their system but I was wrong on both counts. I still don’t think they will win the AIF but they will test any team and will be uncomfortable opponenents for every team they meet until they realise that talk wins games in the dressing room and football wins games on the field of play. They have wonderful players but I won’t lament their systems passing.

  17. Its Donegal for me – but by the narrowest of margins. I think an improving Galway side will relish having a right good cut at them in the wide spaces of Croker. I’m really looking forward to this game – it could be a cracker.

  18. Donegal right now as in after their injuries and leg weariness are a Div 2 side in my opinion. They look leggy and Lacy is gone. Murphy their best player is reduced to a jog on the evidence of the Monaghan game. If you can contain Frank McGlynn and the McHughs driving runs whats left in the locker?

  19. I really do believe Galway will win this one. They’re due a massive game in Croke Park and have been building to this. It’s a game they’ll relish. Fascinating contest surely.

  20. I genuinely expected big things from Galway in 2015. They had the perfect chance. New manager who was billed as the man that would bring Galway back to the promised land. A perfect draw 2 easy championship games before meeting Mayo at home. A Mayo team who had lost their most successful manager a year earlier and all that negative stuff that followed. I wont go over Salthill again except to say they failed. That was their best chance for 2015. I am perplexed to see the same team progress this far but they have made it none the less. Karl Lacey is a huge loss for Donegal and will be sorely missed. When he plays well Donegal plays well. It is as simple as that. I cannot think of a sub which can replace his effect on the team. As in any contest it is 15 against 15 and so anything can happen. I still expect Donegal to prevail. I wish it were Galway but I do not believe it will be. Donegal will be formidable oponents in the quarter final. They could take the Dubs in the semi’s if they progress

  21. Galway won’t take the dubs in any game,, they may skin donegal but they won’t take an attacking team like Dublin,, more pills needed please

  22. I don’t think there was any situation in which Galway would have beaten us in Salthill. While it was close on the scoreboard, it was relatively comfortable and it always felt that we could go up a gear if need be.

  23. No situation? A very obvious situation if we hadnt been able to tog AOS then Galway had least a 40% chance of winning. We did not coast that game by any means. When you are heavily reliant on your full forward and being opened up at the back you are not comfortable.
    – Sice goal was no fluke
    – Cummins goal was no fluke
    – Our goal was flukey as almost never would a keeper draw on a ball like that.

  24. Actually think Galway in for a bit of a trimming on Saturday and wouldn’t surprise me if Comer gets himself sent off his discipline will get him trouble Donegal by no means gone yet !

  25. With Lacy out, Murphy not fully fit, and the Donegal defence not what it used to be, I gave Tyrone the nod. I believe Galway with a new lease of life, might have a bit to much pace up front for those weary legs to cope with. Well that’s the way I was leaning, until I read Juan’s comments, who I rate as the best forecaster on this site. Either way it promises to be a great game, with maybe a kick of a ball between them at the end.

    As regards the Tyrone/Sligo match, only one outcome for me, and that’s a win for Tyrone. Not saying that they are world beaters, but they have a way of winning ugly when they have to, and this has all the signs of one of those matches.

  26. Think Galway will beat Donegal. Tyrone will beat Sligo too I’d say.. Hence I think it will be the O’Neill countymen we’ll meet.

  27. I’d agree with Mark that there was no way we were going to lose to Galway. Sure, the goals made it closer than it should have been but never at any stage did I think we were in any danger of losing it. One factor that I think will be potentially huge on Saturday is how Donegal target Finian Hanley, because unless they get as lenient a ref as they did against Derry, Hanley won’t be long picking up cards if Murphy goes into the square and Hanley is pulling out of him as he did against AOS and against Derry too. The outcome of this contest alone could swing it Donegal’s way by 5-6 points.

  28. Would love to see Donegal lose at least we won’t have blanket defence nice to see football for a change

  29. Here’s what’s gonna happen…;)

    Tyr will beat sligo…and play us.
    Galway will beat d’gal and play monaghan.
    Kerry will beat kildare
    Dubs beat Ferm
    Monaghan will beat galway.
    We beat tyrone, but it’s tight.
    Mon beat kerry and the county goes into hype-overdrive(understandably).
    We score a late goal in controversial circumstances to deny the dubs who amazingly lose two semi finals in a row sparking off massive debate about ease of route thru leinster etc.
    Novel final Mayo v Monaghan..they go into hyper mode and like kildare in 1998 think they have it won cos they beat kerry, the reigning champs, in a semi final, but we pull away in the end and Keithy Higgins lifts Sam…9 years after lifting the u21 cup in Ennis. Billy Fitz is crying on the radio.

    Everyone happy with that? Off to the bookies and put your money down now. Ye heard it here first!! ;))

  30. Mayonaze – I take that 🙂
    Hard to believe the last time Galway won a game in Croke Park was the 2001 final which I was at myself. The smoke was still rising out of ground zero with 9/11 very much in everyones thoughts.

    Jesus it feels like only yesterday but it is a long time ago now and much has changed.

  31. I don’t know what will happen but what I hope will happen is that we end up playing Tyrone. Simple fact is that I think Donegal may be vunerable for their qualifier game but if they get over that they will be absolutely hopping off the ground to beat us. I’ve spoken to some Donegal people close to the team about this a couple of times and he claims that there is more hurt in that Donegal team from the hiding we gave them that day then their is from even losing the final last year. Now hurt doesn’t win games but I’d prefer to be facing a building Tyrone team than a battle hardened, talented (with Karl Lacey probably back) Donegal team on a revenge mission. We also have a bit of a jink over Tyrone over the years, they are one of the teams we always believe we will beat.

  32. And on Galway, they are no great shakes, I watched the whole match and the ref won it for them against Derry

  33. Nephin spot on,, I misread it and agree now that I read it properly and sorry PJ

  34. Can’t see Galway beating Donegal at all.
    Their full-back line is just much too vunerable.

    I can see Murphy being switched between midfield and full-forward, add in McBrearty and McFadden and that Galway defence is in for a rough old ride.

    As we showed against Galway, the gap between the top 4 or 5 sides is huge in terms of strength and conditioning (The only exception was Cork losing to Kildare, but their renowned brittleness and the 1 week turnaround can be held accountable there). Galway hilariously tried to mix it with us but just ended up looking foolish.

    I would give Galway more hope if they were meeting Donegal with the old 6 day turnaround in place, but not now.
    As we all know, anythng can happen on the day. But I certainly won’t be taking up those 2/1 odds.

    Unfortunately Sligo will be lucky to keep the losing margin down to single digits.

    Mayonaze – like the sound of that, please let it be so

  35. I know I’m a bit late WJ but congratulations on the success of the blog. I think someone already mentioned that there is nothing comparable for other county teams and I can attest to that. I started reading it during my time in mayo and got a wee bit hooked alright! Well, I must say I have some serious butterflies with all the talk of tomorrow’s games. I would expect us to beat Galway. Yes, we looked tired in the previous two outings (four ulster championship games would do that to the best of us, I’m only watching from the terraces and I’m tired!) but in no way would I compare it to the collapse of 2013. Monaghan played us off the park 2 years ago. This year, while monaghan, particularly McManus, deserve great credit for the first half performance I won’t get too panicked. I can’t see a repeat of the ridiculous amount of wides next day out. It will also be nice to have hawk eye at our dosposal 😉 I think the suggestion that we are now at division 2 standard is fairly wide of the mark.
    Tyrone will beat Sligo or I’ll eat my flag.
    On a side note, I know it doesn’t affect most of you guys til next Saturday but has anyone any good suggestions for parking. I usually just park in phibsboro but with it being Saturday I think a three hour limit applies so that’s not an option.

  36. Only advice on parking is that make sure you have a ticket. Clampers will be out in force at the sniff of a chance to take money off the Culchies from the country.

    I agree Donegal are in a much better place than 2 years ago. That was a freak result in their overall tenure as a team. And I remember the build up to that match and all the farcical nonsense about “collusion” from Rory Gallagher. Once I heard that I knew we were going to beat Donegal. They simply were not in the right place and when you hear comments like that from management something is very wrong in the camp. I assume he has got over that now.

    Also I think they were also unlucky against Monaghan this year and as Lorrie stated if there was a Hawkeye in Clones it could/should have been a different result.

    However doubts remain on the fitness of Murphy and Lacey missing. Shane Walsh is back for Galway as well and will play some part which should be a big plus. Although I don’t understand how if he is fit he is not starting.

    Kevin Walsh and Rory Gallagher were also on Galway Bay FM last night and both sounded confident and relaxed about the game. One thing that Walsh brought up which was very valid was not having access to the Corofin players until March. Now he has had them for 3 months he is much happier.

    Overall I got the sneaking suspicion from Walsh that he is really looking forward to this. Mind you Gallagher sounded calm and confident too.

    Bottom line (and seeing as the Galway races are on) – maybe the draw is worth a punt.

  37. I feel people writing Donegal off against GALWAY is insanity. I wish galway all the best and hope they do cause an upset, but as of yet I dont think they have earned the title of being favourites, Its a classic case of everyone saying maybe the Underdog can do it for a number of reason including there coming under the radar, ironically removing this advantage and next thing people are shocked when they lose. Remember Donegal came 4th in the top division and had by far the toughest championship campaign to get here.
    I find it amazing how, especially with the Monaghan and Donegal game, that everyone is saying how brilliant Monaghan were and how terrible Donegal were when there was only a single point in it, to me that doesnt make sense, yes I know Monaghan looked more impressive and Donegal were a pale version of them former selves especially with the likes of Murphy clearly playing with injury, but with the game decided by a very close last kick of the game it means Donegal are not to far behind Monaghan.

    But what I think will be the biggest difference between the two teams is donegal are winners, off the very top of my head mite be a bit off, Donegal have won 3 quarters 2 semis and 1 final in championship in croke park in the past 4 years, whereas no player on the galway panel has won a match at senior intercounty level in Croker. Galway mite come close but i think Donegal will be to experienced for them, Galway will be happy enough they got this far, get abit of praise of some of the fellas on the Sunday game and twitter, they will call it a good year, maybe im wrong but its up to Galway to prove this wrong.

  38. Lorrie – out around Griffith Avenue (Marino end) is good and isn’t used all that much. You can then head to Croke Park via Philipsburgh Avenue and just follow the crowd from there once you get to the bottom opposite Fairview church. This works particularly well if you’re in the Cusack as you approach Clonliffe Avenue from the right direction. Parking up by Griffith Avenue is good to for getting away as you’re close to the motorway from there too. Walk to Croker is under 30 minutes.

  39. Thanks for that WJ, I appreciate it. I’ll get out Google maps and have a look at the route to that area (i’ll be coming down the N2 or M1 depending on the mood that takes me). Is on street parking in that area not limited to 3 hours on Saturday then? Thanks again, and I promise not to take your parking spot if I’m making the return journey next week!

  40. Guys I don’t buy this “Donegal are still hurting after the beating we gave them in 2013”. What are they hurting about? It was only a Quarter final and weren’t they just after beating us the year before in the All Ireland final!!!

    I think Donegal will progress against Galway as the latter are being too talked up. (Did this happen to any other Connaught team this year?) They have a few aces up their sleeve but there is an overall team gulf I think. Donegal will be too strong.

  41. Lorrie,
    Once you get out of town as far as Griffith Avenue, street parking is generally free. If you use the car parks in the city centre, there is usually a Croke Park rate on match days. Look up the Croke Park parking on the Internet for details.

  42. Thanks Luigi, I thought that might just be on Sundays but that’s great. Hopefully we’ll be battling with the Mayo cars for spaces next weekend again 😀

  43. PJ Gallagher and his backroom team must be rubbing their hands with all the press of late. He won’t have to look far for material for his motivational speech.

    Donegal are one serious outfit who have the experience of winning Sam and the recent hurt of loosing it.
    Lacey will be a loss but overall they will be too strong for Galway. The McGee brothers will torment Comer from the off. Even a half fit Murphy will cause Hanley untold trouble then you have Gallagher and Mcelhinney who I believe will rule the centre.
    Add in the fire power of the 3 Macs, Mcfadden Mcbrearty and MacNiallais and you can see where Galway will have problems.
    For good measure throw in the industrious trio of the two McHughs and Frank Mcglynn and Donegal no longer look like a team on the wain.

    I fully expect a comfortable win in the end but I hope Galway can keep it tight for the first 10-20 mins just so we have a game.

    Looking forward to seeing Donegal in action tomorrow and it’s always good to get a look at the opposition. I just hope the weather is kind.

  44. Still cant make my mind up on what I want to happen on Saturday. Think Donegal are still strong They were poor v monaghan but only lost by point with a lot of their players
    underperforming yet its a big ask of an ageing team to play 3 big matches in 4 weeks On the other hand if they beat galway they may be rejuvenated and take on Mayo with a new lease of life and in fairness they do have some excellent players and I doubt the McGees will be as facilitating to AOS as Galway and Sligo were. Then theres Tyrone We usually do well against them but they have momentum plus the easiest run imaginable playing limerick tipp and Sligo for a place in quarter final How handy is that to restore confidence. No doubt they would be sticky customers and between their blanket defence , a good full forward line and their gamesmanship and expertise in sledging they could prove a tough test. And what about us Well some experts say we have not been tested but I think Galway tested us and that we played well v Sligo. But I have to confess to being worried about our FB line. On a positive note I feel if we get to semi we will play a very untested Dubs and we all know what happened to untested Dubs in semi last year..

  45. No Problem Gamechanger 10, I always enjoy your contributions, keep up the good work.

  46. Did anyone see the article on the Mayo advertiser Noel saying that Aidan o Shea should get fair play or something along that line do you think Donegal are going to let him dominate a game I don’t think so I coc could have a great game as everyone will focus on o sea and forget cillian

  47. Just heard on Utv Sport that Murphy won’t start tomorrow. Huge loss for Donegal

  48. If that’s true it is terrible as a player of his standard is always worth the admission price. He is the beating heart of that donegal team and without him they will struggle to beat any team in most of the top two divisions. Galway have a real chance here with two of their best out of consideration. Don’t like their style of play but I hate to see individual players of this standard sidelined at such a critical time of the championship and I wish them a speedy and full recovery.

  49. I would be very cautious of what is leaked from the Donegal camp .Murphy will make a big impact on today’s result .

  50. Devastating news re Melissa Patterson.Makes us realise we are lucky to have GAA to focus on.Tragedies like this are shocking and all our thoughts and prayers must go to the family and friends of this dear girl.She was a great Mayo supporter and please God her family will find some peace somehow.Ar dheis Dè go raibh a ainm.

  51. We now know its Donegal, so hopefully they will be a bit tired next Saturday. As i said early on Murphy played a big part in the game ,

  52. Yea Donegal it is.
    whatever anyone says will be close and tight and game is there for both teams.Mayo have slight edge I fear.Shocking by Galway.

  53. Galway fell asunder in second donegal have the forwards to hurt us if Murphy was injured I wouldn’t like to see him if he was 100% game will be tight it will be a serious test for us .

  54. Thought Donegal were in serious bother half way through but they put in some last 25 mins. Very big test next Saturday. Interesting listening to McGuinness on sky. Excellent analyst and so much better than some of rte guys. Reckons Mayo wont go defensive v Donegal and Donegal will get goal chances. Was disappointed with Galway in 2nd half It was there to be won but they didn’t grasp it Again a poor return by their highly rated forwards

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