Rebels uncorked

Photo: The 42

Okay, it’s definitely time to start thinking ahead to our next all-or-nothing test in this year’s championship. This one comes in the form of a Round 4A qualifier tie against Cork at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on Saturday week (22nd July) where throw-in has been fixed for 5pm.

Every match is a big one for us at this time of year. This next one, though, has added significance as victory in it will hand us our ticket back to the All-Ireland Series for what would be the seventh successive year.

Standing in our way are Cork. As somebody on here said the other day, they’re undoubtedly the toughest opposition we’ve ever come across in the qualifiers. Despite their fall down the rankings in recent years, Cork remain part of the GAA’s football aristocracy. They were All-Ireland champions as recently as 2010 and triple NFL Division One winners in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

In the pre-Horan era, Cork were always a team we couldn’t handle in the championship. They beat us in the 1989 All-Ireland final – a match that was well within our capabilities of winning – and then whipped us mercilessly in the 1993 semi-final. They beat us again in the penultimate round in 1999 and beat us too in the quarter-final, after our first successful negotiation of the back door route, in 2002.

That whole narrative changed, however, in 2011. Going into that All-Ireland quarter-final with the then reigning champions, we’d only championship win against them under our belt and that had taken place as far back as 1916.

Few gave us any hope of victory that day, with Joe Brolly famously dismissing our chances by sneering that Cork would wipe the floor with us. We upset the 4/1 match odds on us, however, by claiming a win that announced the arrival onto the national scene of James Horan’s New Model Mayo.

They then beat us in a bad-tempered League final the following April and we had a few other spiky enough League encounters with them before once more locking horns in the championship at the quarter-final stage, this time in 2014. This meeting was a far closer one and we were fortunate enough to come away from it with a one-point win.

Our most recent meeting with them certainly wasn’t a memorable one from our perspective. It was the first competitive match of the Stephen Rochford era – as it was for Cork manager Peadar Healy – and on that final day in January last year at Páirc Uí Rinn we were a complete shambles.

They beat us out the gate in that one but when that League campaign finished up we were retained our place in the top tier while they were relegated, on points difference, to Division Two. Life can be strange sometimes.

That unexpected demotion seemed to send the Rebels into a bit of a tailspin last year. Tipperary stunned them in the Munster semi-final, recording their first win over Cork in the championship for 72 years when they met in Thurles in mid-June.

The qualifiers brought a small bit of redemption, though, for Peadar Healy’s battered charges. They beat Limerick, back at Semple Stadium, in Round 2 by 2-12 to 0-9 and then accounted for Longford at Pearse Park in Round 3 by 2-9 to 1-6. Their run ended in Round 4, however, when they lost to Donegal at Croke Park in Round 4 on a scoreline of 0-21 to 1-15.

Some of you will, no doubt, recall that one as it was played on the same day that we faced Westmeath at HQ. I don’t think I ever saw a more soporific championship clash at Croke Park in my life than that one. Cork just seemed to be going through the motions and while it looked for a good while that they had the winning of the game, they just didn’t seem bothered enough to put in the required effort to do it.

Having been in Division One for so long, it might have been expected that Cork would make short work out of engineering an immediate return to the top flight over the course of this year’s spring campaign. This didn’t, though, happen as they won two, drew three and lost two to finish fourth in Division Two. While they were never in any danger of a second successive demotion, they never really made a serious push for promotion either.

This lassitude carried over into the Munster championship too. Overwhelming favourites to beat Waterford in the opening round at the end of May, they only escaped from Fraher Field with victory by a single point, 1-12 to 1-11. They did, though, turn the tables on Tipperary, avenging last year’s historic Munster championship loss to Liam Kearns’ side when they met them in this year’s Munster semi-final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Once again, however, it was a close-run thing, with Tipp hitting the front via a Conor Sweeney goal a minute from time only for Cork to respond in kind at the other end in injury time to eke out a 1-10 to 1-9 win.

Despite all the pre-match yerra-ing from the Kerry camp, the Kingdom had no trouble at all swatting the Rebels aside in the Munster final at the start of this month. Kerry won their fifth Munster title in a row at their ease in Killarney, cantering to a 1-23 to 0-15 win. Key to the win was a very positive start from the Kerry lads, with Cork never able to get on terms at any stage in the contest.

Unlike last year, Cork have to face into Round 4 of the qualifiers this time without the restorative benefit of re-acquainting themselves with victory via the back door. The record shows that defeated provincial finalists do poorly in Round 4, though the three-week turnaround they’re getting this year should certainly help.

The bookies appear to have made their minds up on the underachieving Rebels.  We’re priced as strong 1/6 favourites with Paddy Power to beat them on Saturday week, with the handicap set at -6.

That, then, is the broad-brush background on our Round 4A opponents. Let’s finish with a poll: how do you reckon we’ll get on against the Rebels this time round?

Will we defeat the Rebels?

  • Yes (84%, 589 Votes)
  • No (16%, 111 Votes)

Total Voters: 700

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80 thoughts on “Rebels uncorked

  1. That game in 2011 was one of my proudest moments in croke park. I went with a good friend of mine from Kerry. Although I had planned to return home I ended up in Quinn’s for a few celebratory beverages. There were people dancing on tables and belting out the saw doctors. My Kerry friend turned to me and said you wouldn’t see this with Kerry after winnning an all Ireland!!!

  2. I remember the 2012 ;league final in croke park. Wet day. Got absolutely soaked. Midway through the second half I retreated up under the cover of the cusack stand. Theres been a lot of great days out to the capital and across the country with family and friends since then and please god many more!

  3. Excellent summary WJ. It paints a picture of one team struggling to get traction on their downward slope to mediocrity and another battling to find that elusive extra 1% to get us to the Promised Land.
    I have no great worries about this one, in the same way I had no great worries about the Clare game. If we do our stuff we will win, simple as. I believe in the last 3 minutes of normal time in the Derry game, the boiler within the heart of this Mayo team finally stopped coughing and spluttering and fired into life. The gander is up in our lads now and I fully expect to see us become more dominant in games and for longer periods of time. I’m not saying we will win easily but I fully expect us to win comfortably in the end (something similar to the Clare game) but instead of only playing for the last 45 mins of the match, I think we will be that little bit sharper out of the blocks from the start.
    I fully believe we are in a better state of health this year than we were at the same stage last year. Cafferkey is playing his way back to fitness, Barrett seems to be finally injury free and consistently available for selection, and Coen is getting more game time (I thought he was hugely effective when he came on for Vaughan in Ennis and got through a site of ball and, thankfully, had NO shots on goal). Boland and Loftus are additional attacking options and there are tentative signs that Regan may finally be learning what is expected of him at this level. Those three lads in particular are a work in progress and we must be patient.
    Whether this is enough to make the difference only time will tell. However, they all offer additional options to management and that is a good thing. Whether they can come up with a plan to utilize the players at their disposal and make the sum of the parts greater than the individuals involved is another matter.

  4. Good piece willie joe. I watched the 2011 game in Schull with a friend We were the only ones wearing red and green jerseys in the place and boy were the locals in shock. Even still cork have not gone back that much in six years and Mayo have not improved much so next weeks game might be a lot closer than people think. What surprises me is that cork agreed to the date and venue. If I was not a Mayo supporter I certainly would be at the tipp v Clare game opening the new pairc ui chaoimh. How many cork co board officials will go to limerick. Anyway Mayo must start with gusto Attack attack attack. Up Mayo

  5. Was far more optimistic if not overly confident a few days ago but the more I’ve studied Cork the more I definitely feel this is one to be wary of

    Cork well and truly have nothing to lose and are being completely written off in all quarters so the pressure is well and truly off. In Aidan Walsh, Paul Kerrigan, Colm O’Neill and Ian Maguire there is real quality there, and you just could not write off a performance from nowhere

    In 2015 they sandwiched an embarrassing defeat by Kildare and a poor show v Clare (scoreline flattered them hugely) with a gutsy performance v Kerry where they were the better team and fierce unlucky not to win

    They very nearly dumped us out in 2014 after being given no chance by all and sundry

    I would have honestly preferred any of the other Provincial losers but we have to deal with this now!

    Hand on my heart I think Mayo will probably have enough but it could well be an ugly, holding-on job like 3 years ago. They don’t have a bad bench either

    Team selection for ourselves will be important. If Rochford is shrewd he will surely start dropping Vaughan, Coen, SOS or even Barry Moran deeper for stages as now really is the time to start preparing for the Donaghy onslaught

    Our forwards have not been prolific enough and if O’Neill gets a sniff at goal he’ll stitch. Concede 3 goals and we’ll lose imo

  6. Do not underestimate Cork. A repeat of our Derry and first half Clare performance and we will be dumped out lads.
    It will not be hard to fire Cork up….everyone has written them off, as someone said most of Cork will probably we in PUC to watch the Hurling and half their county board probably will too.

    If I was a Cork player with an ounce of pride I would be stewing. Add to the fact Cork don’t fear Mayo and well…..let’s just say the warning signs are there. I have to say I was pissed off when Mayo were laughed at in 2011 and bascially told not to show up… fact many of our fans didn’t show up that year either which as someone said made it one of the most enjoyable days ever supporting Mayo.

    Having said all that IF Mayo play how we know we can then we should win but the warnings are all there lads. We just need to go out and do our stuff.

  7. I have to agree with the general consensus that Cork are NOT that bad. There is not much fight in them lately but they have good players all over the field. Its hard to know what Cork will turn up but to keep them down we need to spring fast out of the blocks and rack up the first few scores to sink their hearts and lift out own.
    A good win here will set us on our way nicely for the Business end of the Championship

  8. Fully agree with the comments here. 1/6 is a crazy price for Mayo. Mayo deserve to be favourites but Cork have some quality players. Mayo will not get their own way in midfield and Cork have better forwards that Clare IMO. Would be very happy with a 2-3 point victory.

  9. @RiseAgain. I agree.

    Their shooting against Kerry was abysmal at times. They won a tonne of ball from the Kerry kickout, and could not capitalize on this by converting it to scores on the board.

    Their running at defenses is good, but doing something with it from 35 meters out, not so much. The bigger threat is high ball lobbed in – this is a tactic Mayo will need to negate. Not 100% sure how they’d achieve that, possibly restricting the quality of ball in would be the better approach.

  10. Jaded. …. high ball into the square. … that tactic will always cause trouble for this mayo fullback line.
    Kelleher. …caused mayo loads of bother in Parc ui Rionn in the nfl game of Feb 2016.
    Loads of pressure out the field might be the only way for Mayo to prevent this from being successful when a team has a big physical full forward like Comer/Donaghey.

  11. If a teams main weapon is bombing in high balls to a big ff then Mayo already have a strategy in place that is tested and we know works, Barry Moran infront of the back three, it snuffed out the threats of Murphy and Quinlavin in the past who are far better players at this stage than Donaghy.

  12. Our usual patter for the qualifiers has been, no matter who we are playing “don’t underestimate them”, “this could be the banana skin that finally catches us” and various other behind the couch type statements. Before the Clare game it was as if we were playing the pick of the rest in an all star team. Our pre match analysis, generally speaking, in this qualifier era has been very negative. We need to show a bit more faith in this team.
    However in this case, we’d be right to be wary. We are a better team than them, we should beat them, but if we start this game and put down a first half like we did the last two qualifier games, we wont. Cork are more likely to take the chances we have given Clare and Derry and we’ll find it damn hard to bridge a 6 or 7 point gap from half time onwards against tehm. They are very capable of getting a lead and stopping us playing from there.
    They have good players and, as WJ has summarised eloquently already, are very capable of one big performance irrespective of their form. If they ever finally get a decent management team (John Cleary for example) they will be straight back in contention. Babs Keating comments about the hurlers and mushrooms also applies to their footballers.
    It would not be unlike Cork to pull a big performance, beat us and then go and lose to the Rossies if they got them, in the quarters. Kerry would bate Cork up a rope if they got them in the quarters
    We need to be completely on our game. However, and I’m not counting chickens, if we do beat them and got Roscommon in the quarters I believe we would ate Roscommon without salt in that game. Anyway, lets see how this one goes first.

  13. “the hurlers and mushrooms”

    This is bloody well coming true again this year it seems!!!

  14. “Loads of pressure out the field might be the only way for Mayo to prevent this from being successful when a team has a big physical full forward like Comer/Donaghey”

    Yeah this was Horan’s tactic in 2014 and he got criticised for it, but in fairness there was no handling Donaghy that day when he got a sniff. Davy Moran turning into superman was a huge factor in them winning that match. All bets were off then when we couldn’t even win a break around the middle

  15. As someone said before, the “pressure out the field” statement is half nonsense. Its not physically possible to put pressure on the ball all the time, some ball will go in. If you don’t have a full back who can physically match the threat that that high ball is being put into then you that high ball will do damage and its not the full backs fault.
    The 2006 final showed us that when DB came on and Donahey suddenly wasn’t the world beater anymore. We’d have beaten Kerry in 2014 if we immediately brought Barry Moran on to counteract him. Remember Donaghy’s career was almost over at that stage, you could almost see Fitzmaurice thinking, sure I’ll throw the dice here, probably wont work but there you go.
    Kieran Shannon wrote about that last year (I think it was last year) saying that it wouldn’t have been Horans ethos at that time, they had such huge respect for Ger Caff that they felt it would almost be insulting to him to make that change. The thought process was that Caff would figure Donaghy out and get the better of him. Loyaylty to players is admirable, but if theres a physical mismatch theres a physical mismatch and no matter how good your FB is he cant overcome that.

    Regarding Mackey Stand tickets for the Gaelic Grounds, you can buy a ticket for the stand but its unassigned seating (unless your in the posh ard comharlie type seats and you wont be paying for them if you are). That’s why it says GA. So get their early if you want a good seat and want to sit together.
    I hate when stadiums do that, its so inefficient. YOu have to get their early to get your seat, there are always odd unoccupied seats here and there and you always get lads coming in late looking to sit together and annoying everyone walking around the stands looking for seats and asking for people to push in and all that.

  16. what do posters think the team should be for Next Saturday?

    D Clarke
    B Harrison
    C Barrett;
    K Higgins
    C Boyle
    L Keegan
    S O’Shea,
    K McLoughlin
    A O’Shea
    D O’Connor
    C Loftus
    C O’Connor
    A Moran

    I’m leaving out cafferky based on current form

    Doherty , boland , regan , paddy durcan ,barrett serious options off the bench.

  17. MB – I doubt Cafferky will be dropped but does need help under high balls. Durcan should also play but who to drop is the challenge. Higgins could play a sweeper role to get more experience. McLoughlin should play in the HF’s where he can contribute most. Absent injuries etc Rochford has some tough choices to make.

  18. Chicago. ..
    If higgins plays …. who do you drop from the front six
    Doc AOS KMC
    just asking as you don’t say?

  19. This is my starting 15:

    Higgins (sweeper)

  20. I’m worried about this one. Maybe it’s cos I grew up watching Cork beat us and sometimes hammering us. Hand on heart I think we have the ability to win and we will probably and hopefully shade it but we need to play from the very beginning if Cork gets a run on us and build up a lead it will be hard to catch them so let’s go with all guns blaring right from the beginning and see where it takes us.

  21. RiseAgain – a toss up between Andy and Loftus. Probably would go with Inside of the Right’s team. I think it’s a good time to test Loftus as a starter. He needs to bring more to the table than Andy which is asking a lot. Someone also mentioned Coen as a sweeper, having a backup for this specialized role so we don’t have to use McLoughlin.

  22. Agreed Backdoorman, we need to be very careful of Cork. They could be brilliant or terrible having given up for the season. Will have learned a lot from the Kerry game and if they improve their conversion rate they will be hard to beat.

  23. This is the way I would go about picking the team is… Most importantly. It’s a 21 man game nowadays, and you need to pick your best 21..pick 5 player’s that probably can’t play 70+minutes.. Decide then on the 9 players that will start and finish, pick them first. That leaves us with 12 player’s.. 6…will start and a different 6 will finish…. One sub will be left until very late in the match normally.. And in picking the 26 for the programme you have to pick a sub goalkeeper. ..In a utopian world this is the best way to get most of the total resources of the team, and will give you the best overall performance.. But as in life, Thing’s go wrong, black card’s, red card’s injuries… And preordaned plan’s may and probably will have to be tweaked.. I think I know my 21..and some well known and admired players are not on it.. There is very very little between the 12 players who won’t play the full 70+.minutes. In my opinion!

  24. I have looked at the options for team selection on the earlier posts, I think we need to look at other fullback options, where is Kevin Keane ?, is he injured ?. Vaughan was listed to play there, but he is a much better type of roving player, as he proved in the first All Ireland v the Dubs. If I were the Cork manager, I would be looking at this point for direct attacks. it should be noted that Barrett and Harrison played exceptional against Clare, but a slick forward unit will move out a corner forward ( Kerry guys come to mind ) thereby giving the fullback more room to get caught out, low ball or high ball, the fullback position is a big problem at the moment.
    I have been impressed with the way some / alot of the guys have improved during the course of the last two games, this tells us alot about their character. It can take a few high tempo games for a guy to get back to top form / up to the speed of the match, inevitably if a player is out for a year this will result in a drop in form. We all know that a sweeper will be deployed in front of the full back line when / if we come up against Kerry in the semi’s or the Dubs / Tyrone in the final. The tops few teams have so many options to attack, ie, low fast ball of high ball played into the full forward line or the slow build-up / carry the ball to the 50 yard line, then wait for runs of the shoulder and drag the defence from left to right. Lets hope the midfield area will be too strong for Cork.

  25. Leantimes, agree there that players starting should be fit to play 70+ which would mean Andy’s role to be an impact sub.

  26. We know Limerick is a tight pitch and Cork are big. That might sway you towards JDoc starting.Keith Higgins I think is needed higher up the pitch as a line breaker who can burst through where others fail.
    Stephen Coen is needed at 6.
    I would play a tall sweeper in front of Peter Kelliher in the first half. Follows Kelliher out if he moves out.
    Cork are extremely unlikely to win this game in a high octane athletic contest. They need goals from that high ball in.

  27. The problem with taking a sweeper from the half forward line is you leave a half back in marked. And in the modern game of attacking half backs this can be a terminal mistake. I agree that Higgins should be sweeper but he needs to come from the full forward line which means dropping Andy or loftus.

    If i was the cork manager I’d be looking to get a few early goals, high balls into the square and hard running at the centre of our defence. And I’d have a plan for Clarke too, always look for the man inside when in on goal because clarkey is damn near unbeatable one on one. If I’m Rochford I’d plan to negate this, don’t start 100miles an hours, settle into the game with a solid defence shape and a plan for the defending the high ball. Keep it tight. Then before half time hit the accelerator………easier said then done!!!

  28. Also since we can stick aido in full forward for training games we should be able to come up with some plan to negate the high ball.

  29. CH-icago.. Not exactly,. Andy can start alright and I would like to see him started.. My definite starter’s that would start and finish in an ideal world would be… Clarke.. Harrison.. Barrett… Keegan… Duncan.. Parsons.. AOS… McLoughlin… Cillian… (the 6 to come in and other 6 to start come from these player’s, it’s only my opinion and I don’t expect much agreement with me)… Starter’s are.. Diarmod O Connor…. SOS… Andy… Boyle… Cafferkey and Higgins…. 6 subs to be played are… Jason Doherty….. Louftus… Vaughan…. Drake and Coen… Coen being particularly unlucky not to be starting after his excellent display last Saturday….. Like Vaughan he can play in a number of positions and probably come on first for any number of positions, and has the ability to to change jobs during a match…. Hard choice’s and fine margin’s.

  30. Andy moran won’t want to be outside the first 15 and v dublin or kerry there are doubts if he is up to it. So given the way he is playing he will start but won’t be left on the pitch as long from q final on if they keep progressing.
    In the modern game even the corner back attacks and when marked at times. The challenge is picking them up in the right place – not too far out that leaves the hole in front of goal which is the point of the forward going back in the first place and not too deep that allows the oposition a shot at goal. The challenge of organising 10/12 players in your own half gets greater given there is no offside like rugby or soccer.
    I wouldn’t worry about complacency with this group, another positive from the Horan eta.

  31. In my previous post I only named 5 sub’s that I would like to see getting game time.. The other player that I would like to see come in is Danny Kirby as well as the considerable physicality that Danny being’s. His point taking from distance is excellent.. It is something that Mayo need’s.. From 6 attempts during the league, he nailed 6 point’s, all of them difficult shoe’s.

  32. Great to see such competition for the starting 15 and the game day 21 which is now more important these days. Feel that with Cafferky and Barrett back and Coen, Boland, Loftus, Regan and Kirby knocking we’re a better team than last year. Hope management do their homework on tactics for the Cork game and leave nothing to chance so we can see this great team perform in Croke Park again.

  33. Half time score in the Kerry v Cork game was
    Kerry 0-11 Cork 0-07.
    Cork missed a good goal chance and Kerry didnt have one wide.
    During that same first half they were 8 points to 2 down.
    They will not be a push over. Mayo will have to be at their best. 2014 was too close for comfort lets hope there is no repeat.

  34. I’ve been racking my brain trying to work out what team I’d like to see start, but it’s as tough to decide on as it’s ever been.
    I’d probably go with ‘inside of the right’s’ team, but I can’t justify leaving Coen out after the last day. Moran I can understand, as he can’t last a whole game anyway.
    And then there’s Boland, Doherty, Vaughan etc etc.
    Loftus I think has to start. He’s the future of our forward line and while not scoring, looked very impressive against Clare. He needs more game time and the confidence that will bring.

    It’s incredibly tough to call, but what a great position to be in. It seems like we’re finally injury/suspension free, let’s hope it stays that way for what will hopefully lie ahead of us.

  35. Vaughan took a black card for the team last Sat—and now people want to reward him with a place on the bench !!!!! We need his physicallity around the field.

  36. Cork have handy forwards and a competitive midfield. Their midfielder Aidan Walsh often sums up Cork, he can pop over three or four points from play using either foot and he can just as easily hit the corner flag with three or four chances as well. Like Cork, he blows hot and cold.

    Their weaknesses are at the back, like Clare. They have Michael Shields playing centre half-back but he is really a corner or full-back. They have never really replaced Graham Canty. Kerry used their kick passing game to break them down, with supporting players coming through the middle, as Cork weren’t using a blanket defence. So maybe using a kick passing game against them early on might work. They were very loose at the back against Kerry and at times against Tipp. The only team our kick passing game really worked against in the league was Roscommon, as they were very loose at the back the night we played them as well.

    We had seen that Kerry opened up the Clare defence very easily by running hard at them so that’s probably why we did the same against them in the second half, run hard at them. So it’ll be interesting to see what tactics we use against Cork. Mixing it up with our running game used as well, might be a good idea. As mentioned above I wouldn’t mind to see Jason Doc getting a start in this game to see how he would shape up.

    In saying that we beat Cork in the U21 final last year so those players involved will be looking for revenge I’d say. Tipp were 6-1 ahead of Cork at one stage but they still came back to beat them. So if we get ahead of them we can’t let them back into the game by conceding a bad goal etc. They won’t give up as easily as Clare did in the second-half. Best of luck to all involved.

  37. JR would you drop keegan,Boyle or durcan in favour of Vaughan or would you play him in the forwards? Rochford got a fairly torrid time on here for playing backs in the forward line v Derry.

  38. We play at least one forward in the backs at all times so why not start with an extra back.

  39. After Andys performance in the first half against Clare – scoring three points and having a hand in most of our other scores – i dobt think we can afford to start without him. I also think people are making too much of his age. Andy runs his own gym and is in great shape. I havent seen any sign of him tiring in the games he has been taken off in. He is still our main go to man inside in the ff line.

  40. need to get out of the blocks the next day if Cork get a chance to grow into the match could be in big trouble. Cork always dangerous.

    Real championship starts here

  41. Yes round 1 of NFL last year v Cork was the first competitive match of the Stephen Rochford era. Dare i say this will be his last if Mayo lose this game? TBH though i can’t see nothing but a Mayo win in this game. Now while Cork have a lot of talented players their problem is they seem to be total shambles on the line and believe Clare are currently better organized ,fitter and clued in team than Cork.

  42. Cork have the talent to bury us if they can find their top gear. Lets just hope that they can’t. Some serious individual footballers on that team with AI senior medals to prove their credentials. The toughest game of our summer to date awaits. We will only be in this game if we bring the same intensity and angles of running that we found against Clare in that second half. This will be a nervy one for sure but one we can win if the attitude is right from the very start.

  43. For the life of me, I can’t see why people, and there are a lot of them, were so impressed with Loftus in Ennis. He was east to get by, surprisingly slow in the chase back, won little or no 50/50 ball, had one sight of the posts which he when for while off balance. He did lay on a lovely pass to Cillian for the goal but that was it. Don’t get me wrong, he will have a big future with Mayo, and hopefully contribute well this year as an impact sub. To talk of him replacing Andy as a starter seems crazy, Moran had generally been our best forward in the first half for the last few years but fades when the game opens up. Loftus offers a change of tempo as a sub and I feel is better going towards goal rather than restricted with his back to it.

  44. Both andy and loftus started against clare which allowed k mac freedom in half forwards so both can be started

  45. Mayo Mattie ….
    Have a look at the first half from ennis again. C Loftus was the only one of the full fwd line (Loftus, CoC & Andy) who won hard ball in the full fwd line.

  46. Mattie, you must have been watching a different game to me. Loftus had a hand in most of the Mayo scores. He disposessed defenders, retained difficult ball and passed defenders. He continually looked for the ball. Did you see the flick to Keegan at speed out on the left wing which led to a point. And Cillians goal was not as a result of an unfortunate error by the defender as Dessie Dolan (God help him) said. Loftus cleverly stayed to the side of the pitch as the defender appeared to be considering a free down the centre to pick out his midfielder. Loftus “shows” him the space available. The trap was set. As he prepares to take the kick, Conor darts to his left, cuts out the pass, over the top to Cillian and goal. The lad has the eye of an assassin. Every time he got his hands on the ball he looked dangerous. His time has come. Starting 15 for sure

  47. We have to care a bit less about chase back with Loftus. Chase back has failed to be enough to win us the All Ireland. We’ve been missing that creative spark and he has been showing it.
    He’s played three matches and creatively setup or scored a goal in each one.
    We need that goal scoring/setting up creativity much more than tackling. He will improve his tackling anyways.

  48. My take on this particular discussion is that it is framed incorrectly. It should not be a question of Andy or Loftus, but who else will play alongside Andy and Loftus. COC, DOC, K Mc and AOS the likely complement.

  49. I think that’s right, Rock. With Andy, Cillian and Conor all playing high up, Diarmuid and Kevin Mc operating behind them and then the cavalry coming from deep, with serious options off the bench, we’re starting to look a whole lot stronger.

  50. Cork’s main strengths are when they get the likes of Kerrigan, Powter and Deane running at the opposition’s defence. So we need to be ready for that, especially early in the game. They have a big man option at full-forward as well, so it’ll be interesting to see if they use him. We don’t want to see us give away any more goals like the one we gave away against Derry.

    When you think about this current journey of ours, it really started when we beat a highly fancied Cork team, so we don’t want it to end with a highly fancied Mayo team losing to an unfancied Cork team. We would have gone full circle with no All-Ireland medals to show for it, perish the thought.

    If we exploit their weaknesses at the back, take our chances, be ruthless again as we were in the early stages of the second-half against Clare and don’t let them back into the game (as we did in the 2014 match), we should be okay.

    I know we can’t take our eyes off this game but IF we win, we’ll be playing again 8 days later. We did look a bit tired in the first-half against Clare, maybe having to play extra-time the week before played a part here too. So the use of the full squad will be vital in the upcoming weeks, IF we are still alive to fight the battles ahead!

  51. Creativity is the darlin word…the darlin word….. and we ll find what progress we make from here on all the more enjoyable the more we can dip into this honey pot! Nothing more uninspiring and limiting than listening to the one tune all the time. Even the old man Federer has opened up a new page of shots that will land him his 19th Slam this weekend and he’s only no.5. And like ourselves he’s been building slowly over the last couple of months….wisely and with patience, trying things and combinations and then letting it fly!
    And indeed WJ I can hear that cavalry bugle galloping in!

  52. Agree with Bohola on Loftus. He grabbed his chance against Derry and stole the show. Goal, point, and killer pass to Cillian who fluffed a great chance. Against Clare, apart from a bad wide, he did a lot of good work, and he has vision as he demonstrated for the first goal.

    I’m still worried about Aido though. That groin problem hasn’t gone away. He can’t sprint and this will come against him. As I said in another post, he stayed out of a lot of the action in the first half, so much so that I thought he mightn’t reappea after half time.. Blinder in the second half, his fielding is fantastic and so on, but he is still only at about 70% capacity. Other teams may be able to exploit this as the season (we hope) progresses.

  53. I agree that Loftus should start. He looked comfortable and decisive on the ball. I think it was a master stroke by Rochford not naming Andy Moran the night before the game and that motivated Andy to up his game when the opportunity arose.

  54. Congrats to.dc.on making.100 appearances for mayo.How many of the current panel have reached this milestone and how many mayo players down the years have.done likelwise? Good luck to Limerick next.weekend and keeup.the good work.Willie Joe

  55. Dan – from the team I listed above I wonder who would you leave out in place of Coen. I must say I agree Coen did well off the bench against Clare.

  56. That’s the thing, I can’t think of anyone that should make way for Coen (I don’t think I worded myself correctly). But it’s very harsh after his performance the last day.
    The only option I can think of is to start with the 16 and hope no-one notices…

    Coen in for SOS crossed my mind, but that could leave us a bit light in the middle and mean Aidan having to spend more time in and around the centre, rather than his current roving role

  57. We need to start thinking of a 26man team rather than a 15. Coen, Loftus, Vaughan and the rest of the extended panel all have a part to play in team Mayo its not necessarily about the lads who start the game, its just as important the ones who are on the field with 10mins to go.

    The replay last year, Gavin didnt “drop” MDMA and Brogan, he strategically brought them on at the time when they could be most effective. Im sure they dont care if they started or not they got the medals. Both Dublin and Kerry have substitution stratagies pre planned, certain players are selected to go flat out for 45-50 mins and are quickly replaced. Eg Bernard Brogan rarely stays on past 50 mins, he is conditioned to go flat out for a 50min game. This is the way Mayo need to be thinking. Traditionally Mayo have been reactive when it comes to making substitutions. Mayo need to be more proactive, our main subs need to be brought on around the 45min mark to get maximum effect. I wouldnt get too caught up on who should start the game. More important is who finishes and what time they are introduced.

  58. L ast time i was in Limerick was a league semi final v Kerry. We drew but lost the replay—ah to be getting old. the year 1969

  59. Well said.. Mayomad…. In any of us picking the Mayo starting 15.. There will always be things that we don’t know, and are known inside the greater team set up.. Many think they know, and maybe believe certain rumours that do the rounds from time to time… Many of these are complete balderdash… I remember prior to the 2014 drawn clash with Kerry, being told with absoulote certainty that Donaghey should be nowhere near the Kerry team, by several Tralee based Kerry supporter’s.. And given the reasons by these ‘Kerry fan’s’, who had an air of authority about their ‘fact’s’… Don’t think this was anything’ cute Kerry hoor ‘ about it either… They actually believed these rumours.. But subsequent events, proved how wrong they were… However, Mayomad, I disagree with you in this regard… Mayo player’s want desperately to make the starting 15… ..Only recently I spoke to a certain Mayo player and his objective is get back to making the starting 15..That will hardly come as a big surprise to anyone.. The management even in a successful team always has to manage disappointment of player’s who don’t quite make the team, the 26…the 21 that actually play on the day… Kerry have very recently lost an All Star goalkeeper, Not happy with the amount of playing time he’s getting,? presumably has something to do with it.. Tight margins.. Subjective opinions.. Not an easy Job.

  60. I think WJ has hit on a very important point in relation to the munster final and that was the kerry took an assailable lead very early in the game. But from then on the game was much more even not just on the scoreboard…yes of course having that big lead would have been in Kerry’s heads but I don’t rate the performance the “embarrassment’ Marc O Se rated it.

    Paul Kerrigan would get on any team in the country – including Mayo – their midfield has plenty of experience and ability. Mayo should win but despite Cork being somewhat in the doldrums this last few years the one thing a cork man never lacked was cockiness and confidence and if they were get the start Clare had the last day they would absolutely believe they could go to town – unlike Clare who mentally must have been thinking they were in bonus territory.

  61. That would be my fear exactly on this one, Cantini. If we give them a sniff at all, we’ll have a real battle to contend with but if we can control the game and the scoreboard early on (something we haven’t done in any of our four championship matches so far this year) then it could be plain sailing for us. This is definitely a game in which I don’t want to see us start slowly with the aim of finishing strongly. Cork have the quality to make that a very steep mountain for us to climb if we do this.

  62. Mayo will win but we need to up our game in the first half. I Iike anyone else in Mayo would like to see Mayo lift Sam but I feel it will be a three in a row for the Dubs. We are not afeared of them but they are they just have better forwards.

  63. Mayomayo, they have a lot going for them but a well fed horse isn’t bothered about the oats as much as a horse that’s starving. That may turn out to be the reason the dubs have to wait for 3 in a row.

  64. My team for Cork game
    1.David Clarke
    2.Brendan Harrison
    3.Ger Cafferkey
    4.Chris Barrett
    5.Lee Keegan
    6.Colm Boyle
    7.Paddy Durcan
    8.Aidan O’Shea
    9.Tom Parsons
    10.Diarmuid O’Connor
    11.Kevin McLoughlin
    12.Keith Higgins (sweeper)
    13.Conor Loftus/Evan Regan
    14.Andy Moran
    15.Cillian O’Connor

    What do you make of this team? Any changes? And does anyone know is Seamus Cunniffe or Eddie Doran in with the standby players training with the seniors that Rochford picked at the start of the year.Ger Cafferkey turns 30 this year and with Kevin Keane out with a long term injury we need to be developing a future Number 3 so vital a position it is.

  65. TB – Absent injuries or tactical changes that should be it. Coen will be disappointed but his time is very close.

  66. TB and Inside of the Right ….looks like ye’ve nailed it there between ye. SOS starting in one and not the other. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him coming on as a sub. I loved his threatening presence the last day …. he gave his all with his energetic here I come aggressiveness and maybe I’d like to see that again from him ….a good presence he is too behind midfield to do a bit of gap blocking with Higgins …if that is to be his role. The boss will decide.
    I too think we re in a better place than we were last year but I wouldn’t for a moment think that we re one more leg up now than we were then…. for every rose has its thorn and we ll be meeting the first batch in Limerick soon.

  67. Kerry v Leitrim in the All Ireland junior semi final will be on before the Mayo v Cork game in Limerick at 3pm i hear.

  68. There is a difference between the team that is named and the team that will start. The trend is to make 1 to 2 changes before throw-in to throw everyone off the scent. Players coming back from injury or suspension are never named on the starting 15 but usually start for players with an issue into the run-in. Therefore, PDurcan wont be named before throw-in but will be starting somewhere. There is also a trend of having very little change from the previous outing. There will never be more than 2 changes from the previous starting team. On that note the named team is easy to predict, but the starting team usually is more difficult. At the end of the day, its a waste of time and energy trying to pick teams as sometimes the management themselves don’t know until throw-in if a player can start or not. This method also disguises the fact that more backs than forwards end up on the field at throw-in. Heres my wasted energy at trying to guess what will happen.
    DClarke – Will be named and will start.
    BHarrison – Will be named but might not start.
    GCaff – Will be named and will start.
    CBarrett – Will be named and will start.
    LKeegan – Will be named and will start.
    CBoyle – Will be named and will start
    KHiggins – Will be named and will start.
    PDurcan – Wont be named but will start.
    DVaughan – Wont be named and wont start.
    SOS – Will be named but mightn’t start.
    TParsons – Will be named and will start.
    FBoland – Wont be named and wont start.
    AOS – Will be named and will start.
    DOC – Will be named but might not start.
    KMc – Will be named and will start. Never gets injured.
    COC – Will be named and will start.
    AMoran – Will be named and will start.
    CLoftus – Will be named but wont start.
    JDoherty – Wont be named but might start.
    SCoen – Wont be named but might start.
    DDrake – Wont be named and wont start.
    SNally – Wont be named and wont start.
    CCrowe – Wont be named and wont start.
    RHennelly – Wont be named and wont start.
    ADillon – Wont be named and wont start unless doing well in training.
    ERegan – Wont be named and wont start.

  69. Highking,.. Do you remember these two guy’s, they used to named on many match day programmes in year’s gone by… ‘An Other’ agus ‘Dúine Eíle’ . Two useful lad’s… Don’t think either ever got an All Star, All Ireland or even got booked in their lives… I went to a number of soccer match’s in England and from what I can remember, in the match programme the match day squad would be printed, and from that would be picked 11 player’s.. The Ref would be informed of the 11 about an hour before kick off… That’s a system that would suit both Mayo and Dublin very well, neither of us seem inclined to play the 15 player’s named on the programme… I think it has it’s advantages!

  70. AN Other and Duine Eile got a lifetime ban from the GAA about a decade ago. The same fellow would sometimes appear in the backs, midfield, forwards and as sub goalkeeper on the same team and sometimes on the opposition team aswel. Due to his level of versatility he never got an All-Star, as he could never nail down a set position, and usually got substituted just before throw in. It was very frustrating for him and his family every time they showed up. He now works as a Garda in Killarney and never again got involved with the GAA after his lifetime ban.

  71. Mayo must start well and get to the level of intensity that they are capable of but they must stop relying on a second half revival as that plan if it is a plan will come unstuck as other posters have noted when a team builds a big lead and it cannot be reeled in. I dont know if Cork can do that to Mayo but I would class them as much better than Derry or Clare. Cork will drive at the Mayo defence and look for early goals so it might be another white knuckle ride for the supporters of the green and red. Meanwhile Galway continue their revival against Donegal and while they are now written off following the Roscommon debacle I would not be surprised to see tyhem beat Donegal.

  72. Just watched the Dublin – Kildare match. Dublin without Connolly won by 9 points..could and should have been 12 .. Connolly was not even playing. If we bayte Kerry in the semi final (provided we get there) then we have a chance of slaying our demon. However Kildare are good but Dublin are formidable. I still think it will be a Dublin v Kerry final with Dublin to win as usual.

  73. One thing that stood out to me today was kildares use of the mark .. Won’t necessarily win ya the game but big advantage to dominate your own kick outs ..

  74. Got the first half of the team prediction right above having landed on the named 15 players. Now the next part of the prediction series is to predict the team that will start. From my theory above, PDurcan will start instead of either Brendan Harrison, SOS or CLoftus. Im going to go with my original hunch that CLoftus wont start, as Rochford likes to have more backs than forwards on the field at throw in.

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