Quick update

Mayo match-day squad v Donegal 2015

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

This is just a quick one to cover a few bit and pieces of news in relation to Sunday week’s All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin.

The first is relates to David Clarke, with the Mayo News reporting (here) that the Ballina goalkeeper is expected to be okay to line out in the semi-final.  He was forced off at half-time due to a groin injury picked up in a goalmouth scramble, when he had to rush from the small square to smother a goal attempt by Colm McFadden.

In that piece, it’s also reported that 25,000 tickets for the semi-final were sold in the first two days of this week. It’s now almost certain that this tie will be played in front of a full house at HQ.

The Mayo Advertiser is, though, a bit more downbeat on the injury front, with Colm Gannon quoting County board PRO Aiden McLoughlin who said that both David Clarke and Tom Cunniffe, who had to withdraw from the fray before half-time with a hamstring problem, are still doubtful for Sunday week. Aiden said that it was “touch and go” as to whether or not David Clarke would be available and that it would be next week before things become clearer in relation to Tom Cunniffe’s problem.

The Mayo News reported yesterday (here) that the County Board have decided to appeal Kevin Keane’s red card. I think they’re right to do so, though – as others have said on here already – it’s probably unlikely that he’ll get off.

From what I saw on TV there was a clear strike – a slap, not a very hard one at that – in relation to Murphy’s utterly OTT aggression. When the Donegal captain then started crying for his mammy and the ref consulted his umpires, who would have seen the whole incident clearly, then there was only going to be one outcome.

Murphy should, of course, walked too, on a second yellow (in fact, he should have gone off on a black earlier on) but I guess that’s all water under the bridge now. Good luck to Kevin with his appeal, the hearing for which is set to be heard at some point next week.

Old news, I know, but Joe McQuillan’s appointment as ref for the semi means that it’ll be the third Mayo/Dublin championship match in a row that the Cavan official has handled. In fairness to him, he was okay for both of the last two so let’s hope we’ll be saying the same after this one.

Incidentally, it’s been quite a long time since he’s reffed a match involving us. I’ve just had a quick look back through the archive now and I can’t find any record of his having officiated at any of our matches this year or last year. Which means, then, that the last time he did do a match involving us was the 2013 All-Ireland final.

Want to make a tangible contribution to the cause ahead of the semi-final? Support the Mayo Players Training and Welfare Lotto – full details here.

85 thoughts on “Quick update

  1. Thanks for the update WJ. Touch wood that David Clarke and Tom Cunniffe will be fit for the big game. It should be some atmosphere with close to a full house attending!

    The thing is, at the moment most teams that play Dublin don’t believe that they can beat them apart from maybe us, Kerry and Donegal. Yes they are a great team but so are we. We beat them by 1 point in 2012, they beat us by 1 point in 2013. The last time we played them in Croke Park, last year, it was a draw. That just shows how close the games have been.

    They have Diarmuid Connolly but we have Lee Keegan. They have Bernard Brogan up front and we have Aidan O’Shea. They have Jack McCaffery, Kevin McLoughlin can match-up against him. They have Michael Darragh Macauley, we have Seamus O’Shea. They have Jonny Cooper and we have Keith Higgins. Paul Flynn v Donie Vaughan. You could go on and on…. Maybe Cluxton’s kickouts, might be one distinct advantage for them but he is liable to make mistakes too as our full-back line have as well in the past.

    We should have a very good idea of how they will set-up, maybe Diarmuid Connolly might play closer to our goals to avoid a clash with Lee and try to cause problems for our full-back line but that could take away his aerial winning abilities on the half-forward line. We should be a bit more of an unknown quantity for them in terms of how we will line-up, what position will Barry Moran play in or will he even start for us? All in all its a fascinating match to look forward to. Roll on the game!

  2. It’s gas WJ one paper says one thing and the other says another. We could do with cuniffe but Barrett would slot in there to the FB line. Clarke is a bigger loss IMO but let’s wait n see. I thought the Donegal match would be close and I was wrong but I think the dubs will bring a higher level game. So it’s 50 50 I think. I think we shud continue with some cover for the FB line though. Heard today that joe mc is out for Tyrone with a hernia so I can’t see them beatin Kerry. But they might throw a few wallops Inta them.

  3. What an atmosphere there’s going to be. The first proper chips-are-down game of the year.

    Mayo fans will really need to be in full voice that day. And no going silent if things aren’t going our way!

  4. Shoot me now! Bit of fun analysis but way I see it panning out.

    Dublin holy trinity brogan, Flynn and Connolly = 1-7 from play
    Mayo tripartite Aos, CoC, Doherty = 1-4 from play

    Other forwards + subs dublin = 0-3
    Mayo = 0-3

    Frees. Dublin 0-6
    Mayo – 0-4

    Midfield/defenders – dublin 0-2, mayo 0-3

    Final score Dublin 1-18 v 1-14 Mayo

  5. Yeah can’t wait for this now, the atmosphere should be electric.. if we’re good enough we will beat the Dubs and get a shot at the title, if we’re not good enough to beat the Dubs it’s unlikely we would have been good enough to beat Kerry either.. that’s the way I look at it anyways.

    No one will shoot you Cantini but I do hope your wrong in that I believe Mayo will once again try to stop the opposition from scoring goals.. I expect a scoreline of Dublin 17 v Mayo 1-14 wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was a draw.. it will be that close. Shutting down and scoring long range efforts will be crucial. We need Cillian and his bro to have an absolute stormer next day out and the 45s have to go over. With a bit of luck we will have a full squad to choose from with direct replacement impact subs for all.
    This is where we want to be.. playing the best in August

  6. It’s at the very least, second chips are down game of the year. I would include galway away as well because of our record in the back door.

  7. Cantini

    You might be right or aos might make a name for himself and score 3 goals before half time.
    Mayo 4-14
    Dublin 2-13

  8. pleaee God Clarke will be fit

    He would be a huge loss

    Barrett could easily slot in for cunniffe

  9. Cantini, There was me thinking that we might score 4goals and numerous points.
    Everyone seems to be impressed with Diarmuid and Tom Parsons. The rest are already vouched for.
    What really impresses me is the way that Alan Freeman and Andy Moran took their points with their first attempt. This suggests to me we have a lethal full forward line now if the Management go for that. Either or both are likely to goal

    I would be hopeful that Cluxton kickouts will be countered. If Aido has to come out then so be it. I am sure the players will have learned so much over the years that they will adapt as the situation requires.
    Apart from that i really havn’t a clue but have faith that ‘Our Lads/Men’ will ruffle the Dub’s feathers.
    Looking forward so much to seeing how thei ndividual battles go and all the Mayo goals
    As an aside did notJames Horan play a sweeper in London(Trevor Mortimer maybe not) and i am sure he tried one for a while before committing to a running attacking game? Do correct me if i am wrong. Ciaran 2.

  10. Suppose bit early yet with the injuries but they prob want call up a back up keeper in case Clarke wasn’t fit.barrett be obvious replacement for cunniffe if he wasn’t fit with prob Harrison next in line.cannot see Keane getting off with that it was a clear striking offence even if he only slapped him.so there could be 3 vacancies to come into 26 if Clarke and cunniffe are out and Keane appeal doesn’t succeed.its all hypothetical yet but I would imagine maybe hall and Stephen coen could step into 26 as defenders and a sub keeper hard to know who that be as o malley away.maybe the junior keeper forkan.i still think all the pressure is on the dubs coming into this game after last year defeat by Donegal .

  11. Cantini ???? Really Dublin played Fermanagh Kildare Westmeath and longford and u comparing that statistics to Galway Sligo and donegal …. Wake up

  12. WJ check ur dates. Match not on sunday week. It the following Sunday. I really hope you haven’t double booked! !!

  13. If Clarke is injured who do we bring in as cover for Hennelly? O Malley has moved to Dubai for work o he is not an option.

  14. @NYC

    I’m not comparing statistics…i am predicting what each of the segments outlined will return to the scoreline. Nothing to do with statistics or results to date…if i was a bookie that is how i’d break it down is all…i wouldn’t worry about it too much.

  15. I’m reminded by some of the blogs that I’m almost afraid to be thinking the way I’m thinking. We ve been around this route so often before and always made a case for whatever team was on show. But being truthful and smart enough one always had to deal with many ifs and buts and maybes and you still had the bonfire material at the ready! Alas , the great banquet turned out v flat!

    This time around the mind is looking for the ifs and the buts but worryingly I’m not finding too many. There are some and they have been thoroughly pointed out. So too have the inherent strengths been well posted . But really and truely what Dublin defence will deal with AOS and co? You can’t seriously compare theDub midfield with our two ( or three or four). And really how much more differerent can it be against Dub in terms of defence..Brogan. V. Murphy?

    We have something new and genuine in each sector and as someone smartly pointed out there ll be loads of cross inspiration going on between our boys!

    We have plenty of reason to be feeling confidence cos we believe it’s well founded and still undergoing maturation and consolidation as the days go on.

    Having said all that it seems strange to be reminded that not so long ago atall things looked a little shady. Where would we be if Parsons had nt come along?….OShea hadn’t gone forward? And the bullit bitten at the back? But for the former two possibly still in Salthill scratchin!!

    So, here we go. The great big green and red ship will soon be adocking to wondrous cheer and celebration!

    C’mon the Dubs!

  16. Like others say I think Mayo have a fighting chance and could scrape it if things go right.
    I dont believe in spraying sheep or in the Mayo for Sam mullarkey but prefer to have a quiet confidence.
    I actually think.we can be a little bullish when we win and history should teach us to be a bit more cautious and consider more.
    For a start the way we played against Donegal would not be enough but I do agree we have more in the tank.
    I think someone other than Keegan will need to step up.His first two points were massive but he will be marked tighter the next day.
    Dublin are not ferociously strong but are very quick.That is what we must concentrate on.And for everyones sake we must play harder than ever before.We cannot allow Dubs through the middle again.
    I think Barry should start again but maybe stay in midfield and let Tom back.
    Donie will have to have the game of his life if he starts.He has it in him.
    Others love hype…I dont…but each to his own I suppose.

  17. Like others say I think Mayo have a fighting chance and could scrape it if things go right.
    I dont believe in spraying sheep or in the Mayo for Sam mullarkey but prefer to have a quiet confidence.
    I actually think.we can be a little bullish when we win and history should teach us to be a bit more cautious and consider more.
    For a start the way we played against Donegal would not be enough but I do agree we have more in the tank.
    I think someone other than Keegan will need to step up.His first two points were massive but he will be marked tighter the next day.
    Dublin are not ferociously strong but are very quick.That is what we must concentrate on.And for everyones sake we must play harder than ever before.We cannot allow Dubs through the middle again.
    I think Barry should start again but maybe stay in midfield and let Tom back.
    Donie will have to have the game of his life if he starts.He has it in him.
    Others love hype…I dont…but each to his own I suppose.

  18. Are Dublin better than last year? I have seen nothing to suggest they are better. They have walked all their championship games and look better than they are because they played far weaker teams .So the question is are Mayo better than last year? One thing is for sure we are tactically sharper than last year .We beat Donegal not playing at full tilt .We are stronger than Dublin and not afraid of them.We will beat the Dubs make no mistake about it.

  19. Dublin are better than last year for sure:
    – clearly moving quicker on and off the ball
    – The teamwork has got slicker, they have not been good teams they have played but they are doing smart things. Players lay the ball off before contact so how do you get a tackle in
    – The passing is absolutely on the money and now it from far more players than Connolly and Flynn. Dublin really must have been practising their passing like crazy
    So yes, they are better than last year. Fitter and better passing and the slickest of teamwork. Adds up to an overall improvement.

  20. JP its easier to lay your passes of when you have more time on the ball which Dublin have got in last few matches.

  21. I don’t think Dublin are actually better than last year, they were the best team in the country then (i’m amazed how much the hammering of Monaghan gets brushed off, as it was a tremendous result) who were caught out in a freak game. they’ve come on since 2013 certainly though

    Championship is strange like that with it’s knockout format (one off day, you’re gone). Liverpool, Porto, Chelsea were far from the best teams in Europe when they won CLs.

    I think we look better than last year though, whether that’s enough remains to be seen. AOS at full is certainly worth a few more scores and Parsons has been a great addition

    If last Saturday’s team and performance turned up v Kerry last year we’d have won with a bit to spare imo

  22. I think Mayo are better than last year. Parsons has been given consistent game time in Mayo shirt and has done well, SOS team work improved and Aido is worth a few scores in every game though Cillian is a few points worse so far he’s still a big team player and every week ‘s training since his return from injury will make him that little bit more potent a scoring threat. Diarmaid get on the ball lots and decision making good, his youth maybe gives an edge over Dillon 2014 though he is a very good playmaker if that’s needed.Andy looks good and so does Freeman and Barry probably in his best shape yet. Tom C back a bit from the great form of last year but Barrett is an able and probably very determined replacement with loads of experience. Keane if we had him might not play vs Dublin but would be in with a good chance if it was Kerry.

  23. As for Dubs, Cluxton is a lesser player now, Dubs bit worried about him on low shots, MDMA is either slightly back a bit in form or else teams are onto him. Doing great in training depends on match ups. Fenton is a talent and risk but could perform well… but not as good as Cian O Sullivan so the run around we got 2nd half 2013 not likely from midfield. Bastic about the same. McCaffrey, Connolly and Brogan have improved, McMenamon and Flynn hasve gone back small bit, Rock about on a par with Mannion but not as much a threat as O Gara but a good team player and Kilkenny has improved to be a very good player. O Sullivan probably better than Brennan (who was good apart from marking Cooper) and full back line same standard as last 2 years.
    Their subs bench has gone back a good bit and ours have improved a good bit.
    One of the kickout options we need to snuff is to midfielders heading out to wing. That was the one that ran the legs off O Sheas on a hot day in 2013.
    I think Dublin about same as last 2 seasons with better tactics and we’re maybe a tad better than we were with maybe better tactics if our line repeats good decisions. Their line is more proven.
    Overall there’s not much in it, in sport it’s millimeters so anything could happen.

    On Mayo again, Hennelly is probably better than in 2013 and Clarke if fit possibly bit better again but if Hennelly plays I can see a turnaround in Dubs fortunes with him kicking the winner from 55m in injury time. Mayo by 1.

  24. Dublin have one of the steadiest heads in the game Cian OSullivan pulled back as a sweeper so that is an improvement.
    The point about them avoiding contact, it doesnt matter what team they are playing have a close look at Dublin. A player will collect the ball going away from goal and he won’t even bother to solo, he’ll give it straight away. Can be the best defender in Ireland but when a team is playing smart like that by as a rule limiting moments where a tackle can be got in then it’s hard to win the ball back from them.
    The runners come at the player in posession going in the opposite direction and he often has more than one option.
    None of this was something they had up and running last year to the same level.
    Also look at the players they have added, they are not lighting up newspaper headlines but I watched them close in the league on replay as well and the following are good players who have improved the panel:
    – Brian Fenton – A very good foot passer. Still lacks a bit in brawn
    – John Small – A physical solid defender
    – New and improved Dean Rock – He’s better than last year from frees and play
    – Diarmuid Connolly – Had gone up another level again. Now he’s landing passes and the man receiving doesnt even have to move. He’s steering the ball past goalkeepers like a playstation footballer.
    – Ciaran Kilkenny – Now shooting 2 and 3 points per game.
    – Phillie McMahon – Playing the football of his career. Unnoticed by many but he is landing the ball on a six pence.
    On the negative side:
    Paul Flynn has fell back slightly. They haven’t played good teams, but none of the above dissappears because they face Mayo. All of that is based on either passing, scoring or fitness. Cilkenny might not shoot 2 or 3 against us but he’s clearly bringing far better shooting boots than last year.
    So after watching close throughout the league I am pretty convinced Dublin 2015 is better than Dublin 2014. But then I feel we are vastly improved as well.
    Hence I think it is set for a game of epic proportions where both teams know they have got to throw the kitchen sink at it and see where they end up after 70mins.

  25. ” but not as good as Cian O Sullivan so the run around we got 2nd half 2013 not likely from midfield”

    Didn’t Cian O’Sullivan play full back in the second half of 2013?

  26. Had a look and Bastick actually came on after 50 mins so COS did play the first 15 mins at mid alright. This was when the damage was done and the game was won so your point stands for me. Apologies!

    I do think COS>>>Fenton mid, so we’ve much more reason to be optimistic heading into the midfield battle this year

    That said they’ll no doubt come up with a similar plan to bypass midfield altogether

  27. They had 2 tactics that did the damage, midfielders sprinting to wings and wing forwards doing same. The first was to tire O Sheas and in 23 degree heat it worked.
    Parsons much better equipped than Aido to follow those runners if Dublin have a strong spell from kickouts.Countering this is about not giving them 3 yards starting advantage on wing side. The 2nd tactic is all about players response times from kicked scores or wides. Some hurling coaches have goalies pucking the ball before the one in the air even lands so their players learn to respond very quickly. This applies to short kickouts also. Forget celebrating good scores get back in position quickly.

    2 things outside our control would have won us the 2013 game, a cooler day and black card as they pulled us down repeatedly for last 10 mins though they were admittedly unlucky to have 2 walking wounded on the pitch.

  28. Good points JP and you’ve maybe convinced me Dubs are better individually, as I said tactically they’re better than 2014.
    One tactic the pundits spotted is defending the Dubs like to herd opposing players passing on from one to the other. Guessing there’s a weakness in this, one being attacking team gains 5 yards without a hand being laid if an attacker comes from nowhere to receive a pass they’re bypassed, another being it’s kinda like blanket so switching wings could tire them out. Hopefully management will have spotted this.

  29. Na, we played quite the part in our own downfall sadly, external factors or not. Think the first goal was the main thing that killed us that day 🙁 We had them absolutely rattled early on (0-4 to 0-1 up- the sole point they got being an absolute donation as well) and just handed them a leveller against the run of play. We never got going properly after that, after a wonderful start. Had we kept that goal out and got one of our own in the first half we’d have won Sam Maguire

    To be fair though, Rob hennelly played a huge part in it being so close after the goal. Some mighty saves

    We essentially didn’t even leave the dressing room at half time. We didn’t even score a point from play in the second half

    That match still gives me nightmares it’d be so sweet to get one over them as revenge this year!!

    The day I can look back and actually laugh at that day and 96 will be brilliant! Lets hope it’s on the third sunday in Sept 🙂

    All that said though, I still think 2012 was actually a bigger chance missed overall. hose two early goals…

    As I say some day we’ll laugh at all this! It’ll be soon 🙂

  30. Shuffly Deck just on your initial point I remember the Dub full back line being a big weakness for them in 2013. In all fairness Cooper and McMahon have come on in leaps and bounds since then

    This is countered however by our own improving FF line. remember all the ‘marquee forward’ shite back then!!

  31. Ciaran, your point is well made on Dubs first goal. Closest to being our marquee forward that year Freeman had flu and was taken off despite causing the Dubs some trouble (presumably with ROC trying to mark him), another change that reduced us before half time was Tom C getting injured and Keith having to return to backs as he was causing the Dubs trouble. We’ve a deeper panel this year and hopefully get through more of the game without knocks, Aido at FF is unlikely to be stopped for 70 and Cillian was just back from injury in 2013 whereas he’s a few months back this time.
    Their corner backs are good footballers but I wonder what they’re like under the high ball. What would happen I’d we had twin towers in there. Barry is 6’5″. And even with mobility the Fermanagh full forward who is a good player was scoring with relative ease so depends what Dubs are up against.
    2nd half 2013 shows importance of midfield as only Andy caused them trouble. Conroy was shooting from tight angles and Varley was played out of position in half forwards when he came on that day. Also I suspect the Dubs maybe over estimating ROC, is he better than McGee? Dub fans hate seeing him dragged to wings that’s for sure. Philly is a good footballer but leaves the house unguarded on his runs, if we manage to turn him or any roaming full back line player over need to go for jugular. Also not sure how good any of them are at marking Andy who is very strong.

  32. ROC is a classier player but not as tough or sticky as McGee

    He did a fine job on Donaghy when he came on in 2013 though, so it’ll be interesting

    You’re right Freeman was definitely winning the battle that day

    I wonder what the ‘trump card’ will be this time. Playing Barry around full back is hardly prudent in this particular match

  33. Possibly a lot of height in the Mayo forward line in the second half could be a trump card. Very hard to deal with as defenders stack up yellows.
    You have AOS, Barry Moran, Freeman as options from the likely 26.
    Compared to 2013 and even 2014 we have the subs now to maintain our speed out the pitch. Was watching Patrick Durcan, jese when he takes off up the pitch in support of the ball he is fierce quick. Good to have a lift in speed. We were badly caught out with that in games.

  34. Donaghy 2014 was better than 13. A classy player isn’t what’s needed for O’ Shea, it’s a sticky strong one. Plus Aido more mobile and probably stronger. Better all round apart from handpassing which Donaghy is super at.
    If Freeman can trouble ROC, then Aido a real big task for him. Most Dubs seem to think he’ll be fine, I don’t think he can do any better a job than McGee who probably shades it for #1 full back in the Country. They might bank on dominating the game but Fermanagh had 58% of the ball in first half last time. With MDMA in from start they’ll be more competitive in possession stakes but would seem a risky strategy if Dubs take the chance of 1 on 1.
    Let’s hope our management have their Trump tactic worked on and a plan B and C if any problems. Doing same thing again is bit too predictable. Connelly said horses for courses from now on so we can expect a plan. Also re match ups, I think Donie should play Flynn who has similar physique and Boyler on Kilkenny. Leroy on Connolly but if he swaps inside with Rock coming our lad should take him on a tour of Croker.

  35. Both Dublin and Mayo crashed out at this stage last year, in the All-Ireland semi-final. Us probably because we couldn’t hold on to the lead in the closing stages of games and because we conceded to many goals. Dublin probably because they were a bit to gung ho in attack and to open at the back as well as not been able to beak down a blanket defence. We should learn on the 30th of Aug which of the teams has learned from the mistakes of last year. Whoever has learned the most should come out on top.

  36. JP agree with you on Durcan’s speed.

    Couldn’t believe the run he made from very deep to the full forward line to receive pass which he offloaded to Doc who got the last point.

    Feel that pace will have to play a part against Dublin.

  37. If any of full back line struggling could put an experienced half back in and Durkan on, or any black cards. Still a bit high risk like Fenton for Dublin. He’s got pace but the 3 we have are battle hardened. Good lad to have in reserve. Wouldn’t get carried away with pace alone.

  38. Think you’re looking at AOS v ROC in pretty simplistic terms Shuffly Deck, you can bet the Dubs will have a severe plan put in place to limit him. ROC himself is a tremendous player, I’ve rarely ever seen him have a bad game. In what has been a real problem position since Paddy Christie retired

    You can bet your bottom dollar they’ll plan for Aidan far more than they did for Freeman in fairness

    Flynn or COS will probably play in front of him

    I hope this will ensure less attention is paid to COC, who is coming into this one nicely under the radar. I don’t care if Aidan gets 0-0 as long as we win!!

  39. I don’t think Durcan is fully ready for an AIS. Hopefully we’ll have one of TC and KK available to have an experienced bench option

    We could always put K Mc L back if we have to though. I’d have Harrison in sooner though, he’s around the panel a while now and saw action in the semi last year

    I’d always hesitate to substitute a defender unless required though. Too likely to upset shape

  40. Bernard Brogan scores v Mayo last couple of years:

    2015 League
    B Brogan (1-01)
    2013 All Irelan Final
    B Brogan (2-03, 0-1f).
    2013 League
    Bernard Brogan (1-10, 0-05f, 0-01sl)

  41. Is it right to be optimistic when Paddy Powers odds are

    Dublin 4/7 and Mayo 15/8?

    Ye bookies rarely get it wrong so we hope and pray that they this is one time they
    are way out.

    Good luck to all

  42. the reason the dubs are such short odds is that far more money will be going on them being they have so many (highly confident) fans

  43. It was only last year I heard a bookie on the radio say there was absolutely no chance that Donegal could beat Dublin.

  44. Watched a bit of 2012 and 2014 today. I would like to see Barry Moran on from the start. He is versatile. He could shore up midfield for kick outs and his size is going to be a concern if he moves in to swap with one of our forwards. We may need him to do some sweeping if MDMC is running through us. He also caught the last kickout in 2012 when it mattered.

  45. If I was the Dublin manager I would try to overwhelm Mayo around the middle third, get ahead and starve AOS of possession so that he would have to come outfield to get his hands on the ball. If this happens I fear Dublin would be well on their way.
    There are many aspects to playing FF and one of them is patience. A big FF can go a long time in a game and nothing happens for him. Then suddenly it clicks and bang the ball is in the net. There is a delicate and torturing balance to be struck here between on the one hand being patient and sticking with the plan and on the other risking your best player being completely out of the game for long periods. The temptation is to bring him out if things are not going well for him inside. These are the kind of awkward decisions that might win or lose the game and there is rarely a right answer.
    On the other side if I was Pat or Noel I would seriously consider a twin towers approach with big Barry inside as well as AOS for a while at the start. It would certainly fcuk up any plans they might have to double up on Aidan. But then it’s easy for the likes of me at a keyboard to take brave or stupid decisions. I won’t have to live with the consequences.

  46. Trevor Howley was the sweeper v London under Horan. The London corner back was unmarked for the game and kicked 2 points and nearly knocked us out. The lack of protection in front of the full back line cost us all Ireland’s in 2012 and 2013.

  47. One second now,who says that Kerry will be in the final for sure?
    I’ll tell you one thing Tyrone will give Kerry serious bother with their anti-football the next day!
    Did ye ever see such shite as was played the last day .If Kerry just happen to let in a couple of early goals and those fuckers get 14 behind the ball Sam won’t be going South any time soon.
    At least we’ll know a week before our game what the prize for beating the dubs will be..!


  48. The “twin towers” approach definitely has merit, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see it being used. Even Barry as a “roving” midfielder, who moves in and out. It would seriously throw them off aswell, as they’ll certainly be legislating for a COC/AOS partnership

    As diehard says though, it’s easy come up with tactics from our keyboards! I do think we need a ‘trump card’ here though, even psychologically it’d be great to rattle them early on if nothing else

    I’m not sure who we’d play as sweeper though if we are to deploy one. We might well only have 6 backs available, of the ‘usual’ 8 we use in championship. I’ll be plesantly amazed if Keane gets off, and there’s mixed news on Cunniffe..

    It’s a gamble playing a Harrison or Durcan both of whom have never started a champ game

    Maybe bring McLoughlin back but I think he’s at his best collecting breaking ball in midfield and popping up with the odd score

  49. I don’t think Tyrone have good enough all round quality to trouble the top teams. You’d pick 3 players at a stretch who might get into that Kerry side.

    Even if they ‘rattle’ Kerry early on (like they did with ourselves in 2013), the latter have some super options to call on in reserve.

    It’d be a huge shock if they somehow pulled off the upset, but certainly I’d welcome it. I’ve said it before I’d gladly give up my left arm right now for a Tyrone final for ourselves!!


    Not a whimper about our poor ladies facing Kerry in Limerick to morrow. Do women travel better or is it another bailout for McHale?

  51. Might as well enjoy the hype in the build, not is if it’ll affect the team, just make the build up more enjoyable! ????????????

    Mayo for Sam!!!

  52. I’m not saying the bookies are wrong, I don’t think there’s a big gap between the teams so that gives us a fair enough chance. If we’re really on our game and Dublin are any way off theirs I see us winning. If the 2 teams play to potential Dubs might be favourites but a single moment can change it. In 2013 Semi there was a single moment when Dublin beat Kerry. MDMA made a dive to intercept a ball between 2 Kerry men outfield the and it ended up in the net… the final score flattered Dublin as they put another goal and some points in after. Despite having edge in more positions and Kerry fielding a good few rookies 1 player ( Cooper) showed all his genius in 1st half to build big and unexpected lead for Kerry. O Sullivan went on him in 2nd half and made a big difference but on negative side one photographer had a picture of 2 Dublin lads sitting on him with one gouging his eye.
    But it was one single moment that one that game. Macauley interception. Tight margins. Last year despite probably 60% of the ball Kerry the tight margin was the 2 lads clashing heads and some refereeing decisions didn’t help either … though our early goals were against run of play the merit of 2 good forwards Aido and Cillian had us in a good place.
    Yes enjoy the hype.

  53. For me cluxton is key. He’s the best keeper in GAA history bar none. His kickouts have redefined the role of a keeper. We need to be so so alert on his restarts. He kicks out on average 8 seconds after the ball goes dead. Another thing which separates him from the rest is his ability to kick the dead ball 50+ metres from a standing position, thus negating the necessity to have a run up and therefore buying his receiver an extra second or two on the ball. I have no doubt dublin would still be waiting for a first AI title since 95 if they didn’t have him. We need to shut down his influence by whatever means possible. Concentration by our forward 6 is crucial after every dead ball. Also needless to say – landing balls in the keepers hands a la the 2nd half v Donegal will be fatal. If there is one team who will punish you there it’s Dublin. I feel big aido will cause ROC plenty of problems, I expect plenty sledging coming Aidos way the next day too.

  54. Red raw rotten watch 2013 and you will think again he came as sub never touched the ball this game will not suit him

  55. I enjoy reading the savy comments of contributors and would like to thank all for the pleasure it brings.
    Just a thought that I would appreciate your views on. I don’t want to detract from James Horans wonderful contribution to Mayo football but I do believe we were beaten by the 16th man McGuinness and Gavin in the previous all Ireland’s. I believe that the win against Donegal was the best tactical performance yet by a mayo magement team. Could this be the difference that will bring Sam to Mayo.
    An ‘older’ supporter who hopes to see Mayo win an all ireland before departing!!

  56. We beat Donegal by 8 points and Dublin beat Fermanagh by 8 points in the quarter-final games. The mantra from the media was that Donegal were a tired team. Surely even a tired top 4 Donegal team are a better team than Fermanagh. The second goal that Dublin conceded against Fermanagh was a very poor goal to concede but there has not been much said about it. If we had conceded a goal like that there would have been a lot more talk about it. Fermanagh scored 2-15 against them again this is not mentioned much but the 2-11 we conceded against Sligo is talked about all of the time.

    I would see it as a 50/50 game. Yes Cluxton is a great player but he is also liable to make mistakes when he is put under pressure. The Dubs are great going forward, the key is to put them on the back foot and not to concede cheap goals. If we can win enough possession and shore up the back then we should be in with a great chance. Keep the faith and roar plenty at the game!

    P.S. Best of luck to our ladies team against Kerry today, it would be great to get a win!

  57. The 2 bits of Dubs what seems like serious foul play in 2013 Semi spotted by photographers but it would seem not by officials are at


    Though how 2nd one was missed is anyone’s guess, can’t recall any red cards in that game.

    Although we usually perceive the Dubs as hard but fair, and not so cynical as the other 2 semi finalists any sledging should be taken by our players as a sign of fear from opposition and a distraction to the player committing the crime.

  58. Agree with Mac’s left boot that Cluxton has been best Goalie in history and our kickout strategy needs work. Also notice some on reservoirdubs site are worried about him on low shots and say he’s getting old. He’s certainly not getting any younger and perhaps not as hard to score goals against than in the past, a more mortal on that front nowadays.

  59. Mayomaningalway

    I got hill16 tkts but only out of fear of not being able to get anything else!!

    Like u I live in galway do my club has none.

    Does anyone know if stand tickets are available in Supervalu in Mayo??
    Or thru McHale Pk?

  60. HopeSpringsEternal you can’t really read into Dubs v Fermanagh, the game was over at half time, very hard to get yourselves mentally up for a second half you know you’re going to win easy. And the “Cluxton OG” was a disgrace to be awarded

    On the flip side of that I’d also read nothing into our 4 point win v Galway as I thought we could easily have won by more if we really had to, and the goals conceded v Sligo as I felt at the time it was very hard for our lads to stay 100% focused in such a non-event of a match. The damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

    As I’ve said, we have both justified our seeding now (Dublin probably 1/2 seed though in fairness, so would be expecting a final every year) and anything that happened before now shouldn’t be read into too much as they were all matches both teams should be winning to get to this stage (Donegal was very tough on paper, but in hindsight they played nothing like a top 4 team all year)

    The real action starts now. Probably more relevant is the recent head to head, which doesn’t make for pretty reading from our side at all, so I’m gonna ignore that one too :p

    Ah no, it’s a complete ‘all on the day’ match, Shuffly Deck is right when he says a single moment or two could swing it. My real fear is we get opened up like in the league but that surely cannot happen again? It does add credence to the “sweeper” proposal though..

  61. Anyone following Dublin’s line up. The pundits Cian O Sullivan is sweeper but that would mean one of the forwards playing Centre Back. The Dubs blog suggest he might sweep for ROC, that would mean a gaping hole at Centre Forward for us to target.

  62. Mac’s left boot – you are right on about Cluxton having watched some clips. So many of Dublin’s attacks start with his kickouts direct to his running half backs. I cannot see him changing that tactically because it works so well but we should be able to get some interceptions if we work on it in training.

  63. Just on that Cluxton OG (which I have to admit I didn’t see, apart from short clips of on the mobile afterwards) it’s been put to me that it was, in fact, a correct decision to allow the goal. The argument is that Cluxton stepped behind the line before Quigley gave him the dunk but that all the focus (not least because Quigley was laughing about it as he jogged back out) was on that rather than Cluxton having stepped back over the line in advance.

    The same person who raised this with me was annoyed that The Sunday Game failed to analyse the incident properly, despite having the technology to do so, with Ciaran Whelan instead content to point to a ridiculous decision made against Dublin rather than looking in detail on what had actually happened.

    As I’ve said, I didn’t see it (or see The Sunday Game that night) but it strikes me as an interesting – and very possibly correct – line of argument, even if (or, perhaps, because?) it goes against the prevailing consensus. Any other views on this?

  64. @ Mayonaze on mayogaa web site says there will be tickets will go on general sale on the week leading up to game from McHale park I’m assuming. I’m not sure if SuperValu have any stand tickets. Usually whatever is available on GAA.ie, tickets.ie or ticketmaster.ie will be same as what SuperValu would have. I tried to use my bring a friend option on the season ticket less than 24 hours after they went on sale and they were all sold. Twice I asked them in Croke park how many tickets were allocated to Mayo supporters no word back.

  65. Ano Willie Joe I seen it a few times, it was 100 per cent not a goal, it was very funny and obviously didn’t matter at the end of the day but Sean Quigley definetly pushed him across the line

  66. Muckle says: Let me have a shot at this one. The answer is that time will tell. I have always believed that when the players cross the white line they are in charge and not someone on the sideline. But the game has gone very tactical. It worked for us the last day against a tactically oriented team. JG was hailed a tactical hero against us in 2013 and a tactical zero against Donegal 12 months later with the same team?. The majority of people that contribute here do not believe that our current management bring anything additional to that table, if I am to consider their contributions over the last 10 months or so on this matter. I believe they have a good track record and they understand the game in the county better, but time will tell of course.
    Dublin are in a different class for many reasons. They are always playing at home. They have huge resources, they know that they can and do beat Mayo. This is to mention but a few of their attributes. Mayo have hunger and they are not going to go away. Kerry look really impressive no doubt, but in my humble opinion Sam will be won by one of the teams in the second semi final.

  67. Na, it def wasn’t a goal Willie Joe. Not that it mattered in fairness

    Yeah I’d say COS will sweep, they might play Flynn as a de facto centre back ( we don’t really play a fully orthodox CF ourselves when Aido goes in) or else start Small or Fitzsimons number 13 which is another option and play Bernard and Rock as a two man FF line

    I think Kerry are in the best position myself PJ but recent history suggests the two in a row is incredibly difficult to do

    I think this is setting up to be the best championship climax in years though, even though 2012 was very exciting too

  68. When kerry were in trouble in 2014 Donaghy came to the rescue every time. Have they another Donaghy for 2015., I doubt it. Their blanket defence worked really well last year for them but Donegal are out for 2015

  69. Gooch, darren O’Sullivan (now he’s fully fit again) and potentially Tommy Walsh are massive additions to them though

    The former 2 were outstanding in the 1/4

    They’re in the best position as they’ve been tested so far and have the easier semi

  70. Gooch, JOD, Donncha Walsh will pick themselves from here leaving Geaney x2, Darran, Tommy Walsh, Galvin, Stephen O’Brien, Buckley, Sheehan, Donaghy and BJK fighting it out for 3 places.


  71. I heard that reasoning at the time for giving the goal Willie Joe but based on where Cluxtons feat are at, in relation to the goal-line, when the ball came in first you’d have to say the ball didn’t cross the line.. it was only when he gathered and was starting to make his way back out that Quigley helped him back in again over the line (far too easily though I might add, he must be no weight at all).. so no goal for me here either am afraid

  72. Dubs for me best team in the country over
    the last 5 years. And they have 2 ALL-IRELANDS to boot!
    BUT, we have a wonderful habit of taking down champions (I know Dubs are not at present) – as our previous victories over then AI champions show (Cork, Dublin, Donegal – in that order)….
    Probably not a bad place to be at present – up against a Dubs side who are favourites to go through.
    We love this scenario in Mayo!
    I must admit, I always get more nervous before a big game v the Dubs, than ANYONE else.
    And that’s because they have that swagger/cocky thing, which at the moment
    can be backed up. They are “at home” and with their supporters (esp in de Hill), they can put the fear of God into you.
    Even thinking about it, with 2 weeks to go.
    Christ, a forward line that includes Brogan, Connolly, Kilrenny and Flynn.
    But I must say, one of my proudest periods I have watched Mayo play ball, was THAT 20 minutes of the start of the 2nd half last year, when with 14 men, Kerry had us on the rack, and we ran them off the pitch for the next 20.
    Plus the way we played the Dubs off the field for a large part of game in 2012.
    So that history of turning up for the big day gives me hope and belief.
    I am however, seriously worried about how we strike the balance between pushing up on Steo’s kickouts (VITAL) as against a defensive system which can limit (as much as possible) their attack.
    Our fitness, energy levels etc will have to be at their zenith, to cover and track their bursts and carry out effective turnovers.
    Hon and Hon again, Mayo!

  73. What I noticed with us last year is we had a big 15 mins in it where we upped the pressure and dominated as Overthebarshoutting mentioned .However one big problem we had was not closing out games and came back to haunt us. We had the chance to put Kerry away in both games but didn’t take it.

  74. Absolutely correct Mayoman…..
    20 minute spells of total dominance not good enough.
    Just using that as example of the fact that we CAN play and dominate the very best in
    We need to drive on and bury the opposition.
    With the Dubs, I am pretty sure we will have
    to dictate from the start and not let them settle.
    Divide and conquer!

  75. jod and michael geaney are out due to injury I am told by a Kerry mate. But Kerry are champions and serious opposition. This is something we should not be concerned with. Our opposition is Dublin and only a fool would ignore that fact.

  76. @ Ciaran, the point that I was making was that on our day we are just as good as the Dubs and us as supporters should believe that too. They beat Longford by 27 points and we beat Sligo by 26 points. We only conceded 11 points against Donegal, just 6 from play. Dublin conceded only 6 points against Westmeath, so the form lines are pretty similar. It was only after the two games against Kerry last year that we realised that we were as good as them. Likewise it was the same after the 2012 and 2013 finals, we realised that we were as good as Donegal and Dublin, when it was too late, they just did more of the right things on those days than we did which made them deserving winners on the day. Then we end up spending years talking about why we lost those games. Therefore before this semi-final we should fully realise that we are as good as the Dubs if we play to our potential, not in an arrogant way but with quiet confidence in our players abilities.

    In relation to the Dublin v Fermanagh game, if I was a Dublin supporter it would be the second Fermanagh goal that Tomas Corrigan scored, that I’d be worried about. It was a real mix-up between the goal-keeper and the full-back line. Cluxton seemed to be ruffled after conceding the first goal, so it just shows if he is put under pressure he is liable to make mistakes. If Tomas Corrigan and Sean Quigley can cause them a lot of problems then Aidan O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor should be able to cause them a few problems as well.

    Yes Kerry and Dublin have some great players alright but so do we. I wouldn’t be fawning over their players though, thats probably what happened to us in the past, we were beaten before the game even started. This current team are not like that which is great to witness. Yes they have some players that will cause us a lot of problems but we have plenty of players to cause them a lot of headaches as well!

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