Semi-final scene set – Mayo News football podcast 2021 E17

There’s less than a week to go now to the All-Ireland football semi-final between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park. While Dublin are aiming to reach their seventh All-Ireland decider on the trot, where they hope to claim the Sam Maguire for the seventh successive year, Mayo are once again looking to put a halt to their gallop.

In this episode of the Mayo News football podcast we set the scene ahead of next weekend’s big game. Rob Murphy is back to host this podcast episode and he’s joined by Mayo News columnist Ger Flanagan and by me. 

We discuss Mayo’s form so far this year, focusing on the players who have been to the fore for the county since inter-county action resumed back in May. We also look at the major challenge Dublin will pose for James Horan’s team on Saturday, reflecting on Mayo’s long losing run against the champions and the chances for the Green and Red recording a long overdue win over them. 

The thorny issue of tickets for the match also gets a mention, in light of the reduced capacity of 24,000 that’s being allowed to attend what would in any other year be a full capacity sell-out fixture at Croke Park.

This episode of the Mayo News football podcast is now online and is available to listen to on iTunes, SoundCloud, Podomatic and Spotify. You can also listen to it directly on the Mayo News website as well as here on the blog using the SoundCloud player below or the one on the panel on the right.

The Mayo News football podcast has its own Twitter presence, @MayoPodcast, so if you’re a Twitter user you should follow us there to make sure you get the latest podcast-related updates, including new episodes. 

You can also subscribe to the podcast on your platform of choice and can do that here.

The Mayo News football podcast is produced and edited by Ger Duffy Media. The show is sponsored by Ceramic City and Swinford Motors, two fine Mayo businesses with whom we’re proud to be associated this year.

88 thoughts on “Semi-final scene set – Mayo News football podcast 2021 E17

  1. Paddyjoejohntom, you are super on the ball! Thank you for the tip. I joined the queue too, thanks to you. We’ll see what we get – no idea what we are in the queue for : )

  2. That’s the killer SwallowSwoops ,we don’t know what Q we are in. It’s a case of chancing our arm over the 24/48 hrs.

  3. Ah, jaypers, Tubberman! You have to laugh. I’m still in the queue anyway.
    Paddyjoejohntom, respect to you for being alert!

  4. Can we all join the queue, cause mayhem and maybe it will be a signal to these twits to let us know what is being queued for.

  5. That’s not a bad idea Mayointipp, it’s ridiculous That’s there’s isn’t some sort of guidelines.

  6. Yes, have reached end of queue and Tubberman is right that it’s the above games being offered (on tomorrow and next Wednesday, 11 Aug).
    As we know, we’re looking for Sat, 14 Aug.
    Like Paddy Joe, I feel that if our tickets are to come up it’ll be between tomorrow morning and Wednesday.

  7. I think more and more people will start joining this mystery Q. I got to the top, and as expected, there was no pot of gold at the end.
    Re -joined out of curiosity, and I’m now number 1432.
    I’m guessing this will be the trend for a few days

  8. Word coming through that Kerry Tyrone will probably be delayed by a week due to Covid issues in Tyrone- so final moves to Sep 4 if that happens

  9. * I would start the team that started the last day.
    * Aido: no contesting throws in, he goes where he’s needed. Pace is a worry if for instance Con gets past him, so others have to assist. 10 minute bursts at FF, with diagonal ball in. May need to be taken off late on.
    * No, repeat No, balls into Comerford’s hands.
    * Ronnie is giving us a great platform.
    * I’d be worried about our accuracy if it’s a windy day
    * I’m concerned about low scoring returns of Oisin, Lee, Eoghan, Diarmuid.
    * we beat a high quality, and tough to the point of outright dirty, Galway.
    * Pay attention to the wise words of Rochy on that brilliant podcast. Wise words about how formidable the ‘struggling’ Dubs are.

  10. If we beat the Dubs then this blog we will be looking back at the game and saying stuff like:
    1. That the old dogs have again delivered big time
    2. That Conroy, Donoghue, Mullen, McLoughlin and O Hora have come of age and are the new superstars
    3. Someone unexpected has put in a Stormer of a game….Loftus? Conor O Shea? Plunket????
    4. The Dubs were poor ( you’d have to say that because Mayo couldn’t possibly beat them if they were playing well….could they!!?) We’d have to listen to that I’m sure.
    5. A pity it wasn’t in front of 80000!!! (Negaholics anonymous!)
    etc etc etc
    The point I’m making is despite all the matchups, tactics etc a lot of lads are going to have to produce huge performances on the day. It is a great opportunity for them to really step forward and deliver. I simply say “Go for it without fear or worry and show them what you are made of!”
    And I look forward to 1000’s of comments here telling a great story from a thousand different angles.

  11. All the bookies and the “pundits” are of the same narrative re this match, Mayo won’t win. From a logical reasoning the facts are the facts, I won’t repeat them as we’ve all read them often enough. To, win on Saturday, and of course Mayo have an opportunity, everything must go right on the day (as my Dad always tells me, he’ll probably read this later on, hi Dad).

    Rochford himself mentioned on the podcast that we need to make some / have some luck to win. We surely do plus everything else. Full concentration for 80 minutes and absolutely no soft goals. 1 v soft v Galway and 1 soft ish.

    Mayo need to impose themselves on Dublin, if anyone stands off, even pre throw the game could drift. No manic aggressive play but be tough, get stuck in. We have pace and skill too.

    Most importantly we can’t be the team chasing the game, if we are then Dublin will hold possession for long periods all over the game.

    Stop, Murchan, McCarthy, Kilkenny, Fenton and O’Callaghan and we have better than a chance.

    Dublin need to stop, Mullin, Ruane, Durcan, O’Shea and Conroy…..

    Long week ahead but a great week

  12. One thing I think people may be forgetting is the following.
    Mayo beat the Dubs in semi final in 2012.
    Horan is always better equipped in his third year in charge, ie 2011 – 2013, 2019 -2021.
    There may be some that do not want to see his team beat the Dubs.
    I’m along time involved with football and know that the Dubs are short that 5 – 10 % going into Saturdays game from previous years.
    The pundits are not always right.
    I would rate Matthew Ruane ahead of Fenton so far in 2021.

  13. @Mayo88, I concur with you re Ruane v Fenton this year. Be fascinating to see how they both perform on Saturday. Ruane has the power now to match and better Fenton plus is very fast.

    I do think we are a better team than we were in December, despite the players gone or injuries.

    I don’t think Dublin are better than they were in December and a drop of up to 10% is about right.

  14. Mayo88………..If I’m correct, not just 2012 but we beat the Dubs in our last two AISFs against them, 2006 also……2006 (“Hillgate”) was like a Rambo movie finish – down 8pts against them in the second half a d major comeback to win by 1……..One of the greatest ever Mayo games in Croker……..So no reason to doubt our exceptionally fit current crop cannot run at them a d win this Satirday if all pull together…….

  15. Sean Burke……..I’d forgotten that one…. thanks for clarifying. But 2 out of 3 ain’t bad……

  16. Mayolass – supporters have a real easy job this week and that’s to support the team. If you think for one minute you can come on here and take a cheap cut at one of our players then you’re sadly mistaken.

  17. Anyone have any idea what’s going on with the tickets from clubs? Some people got their links, others didn’t and it all seems to be a bit of a mess…

  18. Hill 16 wasn’t open for hurling semi finals but will be next Saturday evening. (I wonder why?) That surely means less stand seats on sale next weekend.

  19. I’m in a queue of 3000 people on ticketmaster. I know well its for the minor finals but still won’t leave the queue………….

  20. Me too Niall Mc.
    At least these ones that run down the numbers aren’t too bad. You can be doing other things.

  21. Ah the good old 2015 replay , managed to get a block of four tickets on line , in the top row of the Hogan stand right on the half way line at 5-30 on the Friday night before the game , also managed to get four £15 Flybe flights out of Cardiff on the Saturday morning .

    4 points up with 15 minutes to go in the second half ,the Dublin crowd were silent what could possibly go wrong ! ,boy was that one hell of a long journey back to Cardiff via Stena line and British rail , although despite delays i still managed to be in the bar by the time the Hurling final started.

  22. As a Dub most of the comments are reasonably thought out. It’s a one off game and what happened before is not relevant, unless some
    Mayo players have a fear factor. It looks like it should be a great game and Dublin to win only if they bring their best ever form on the day. Mayo have a great chance and I like the look of the new set up. If Mayo win this one I will be cheering for them in the final. They deserve it.

  23. Cheers Hugh

    I think Mayo have a great chance at the weekend but then, I’ve thought that for almost 10 years. And we’ve gone incredibly close.

    Maybe this one will see Mayo get over the line but to be honest, I’ve zero interest in seeing Mayo win if we dont win the final too. If we get to another final and lose it’ll go down as another failed season. So, if we do win against Dublin, of course enjoy it but i would hope that every single Mayo supporter should be nothing more than mildly satisfied. Let the media hype up about the ‘end of an empire’s as they are already calling it. We are masters at this stage of winning semi finals. Are we not also sick to the teeth of losing finals. If we win at the wknd we better bloody do it a few weeks later too.

  24. @Aidan says:

    Question is there a Ted Webb cup this year

    Not this year unfortunately. A few blitz days was held in the Connacht GAA instead.

  25. Other semi postponed
    Final moved back a week
    An extra weeks prep for either Dublin or Mayo!
    Imagine if it goes to penalties now and there no need ….

  26. Surely they’ll fill croker for the final with another week added on . GAA need to start applying a bit of pressure . The revenue the GAA create for this country in general youd think they’d have a fair bit of muscle .open her up ta fook and let us at it

  27. The reason Hill 16 is open this weekend for the semi final and wasn’t open for the hurling semi finals is because the “home team” is playing.

    Also did anyone notice in both the hurling semis the team playing into the canal end for the 2nd half both won.

    Kick into the canal end for the 2nd half please Mayo if at all possible.

  28. Can’t help thinking that this game has perhaps come a year early for this young team. Take the present side and add Cillian and maybe Brendan Harrison at full-back and that’s a formidable team that will go toe to toe with any side in the country.

    That said, we need to come out of the blocks running, not letting the opposition build an instant lead on us like last December (and too many games in the past few years).

    I agree with the posters arguing to take Aido out of midfield, he just doesn’t have the legs for it anymore in my opinion, but is still capable of winning a power of ball closer to goal and doing damage.

    I would also agree with moving him away from the throw-ins as opposition teams have gotten wise to this tactic, frequently blocking him off as they know the ref will usually be following the ball in the air. This cost us a goal in the opening minute of last year’s All-Ireland final as McCarthy subsequently burned him for pace and created an overlap.

    The other thing is that we need to score at least one goal to be in with a shout, as realistically we’re not going to outscore the Dubs on points alone.

  29. Did anyone notice yesterday – the Cork manager was seen in tv at one stage taking a drink out of a bottle of water and appearing to throw the same bottle onto the field for a player to take a drink from it – surely totally against the Covid rules.

  30. Given the amount of Hill Sixteen tickets we normally get for a final it will be very interesting to see what % of the hill is green and red on saturday

  31. Sickened that I won’t get ticket for this semi- it’s a major buzzkill especially as I think mayo have great chance… ‘You are now in line… Due to demand, you may experience an extended wait time. Once you reach the front, you may begin to shop.4449 PEOPLE IN FRONT OF YOU” lot of waiting for imaginary tickets…

  32. BTW Brian Gavin in his ref column in the Examiner, was scathing about Lane in the CF.

  33. Stop moaning about Ref. At least he not biased. Some of our players are no angels and after reffing our last game we know what he is like.

  34. Jr Saturdays game is gonna be higher tempo and as u say knowing what he is like I hope he gets his calls right. He has job to do also

  35. Really enjoyable listen, great to hear the old team back together. Rob has been missed.

  36. Not saying Lane is biased but he sure gets a lot of those 50/50 calls and big decisions wrong when we are playing

  37. At least he is from a neutral province, and after the slating he got after the Connacht final he will be on his toes.

  38. Rake street. Have your finger on the button. Its going to happen ln the next 36 hours.

  39. Ah no! Not Conor Lane! He is just bad and shouldn’t be given games of this importance. He made a mess of the Mayo v Galway match and his decision not to give a penalty to Meath was very poor and screwed up their chances.

  40. Why is it the same pool of oul fellas getting these games year after year? Seems a real closed shop and gentlemas club type-set up. No young blood getting the big games, rugby and soccer have really reverted to younger more athletic type reffs.

    Seirious anticipation now for this game, usually a few days out I start to see reasons why we could win it, but not this time. These Dublin bucks are the absolute masters of taking the sting out of a game at the right time and holding posession for minutes on end. Even if we get a run on them, they’l start a row, feign an injury etc anything to stop the momentum…nothing wrong with that btw, we do similar.

    They’ll foul us continuosly outside the 35yd range, and I think thats where we’ll really feel Cillians absence. You cannot get away from the fact we consistently concede two goals in big games. The Westmeath goal in the league of the post was eerily similar to Walshs first…no lessons learned there.

    Finally, this whole “Dublin have regressed” is rubbish, it reminds me of the quote:

    “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he doesn’t exist”.

  41. @MayoDunphy: Fully agreed about the talking down of Dublin. With the exception of Cluxton, none of their recently-retired players were regular starters, and they could probably win the Leinster SFC playing a third XV these days.

    They will be up for it on Saturday, no question. The only thing that would change my mind would be an injury to Fenton, who really makes them tick. But the man plays 75 minutes every game and is never injured, a true athletic freak (in the nicest sense of the word) altogether.

  42. Is it any wonder Dublin hotel prices have gone through the roof with , Mayo , Kerry , Tyrone and the odd Dublin fan competing with Ireland and Azerbaijan soccer fans for a room . , All Ireland finals are played on a Sunday always have been and always should be .

  43. Jack Mccaffrey generational player huge loss.
    Stephen Cluxton generational player huge loss.
    Paul Mannion a good starter or reliable sub, big loss.
    Kevin McManamon, reliable sub, a big loss
    In pure running ability repeated sprints in the legs and top end speed in the legs all of James McCarthy, John Small, Jonny Cooper, Mick Fitsimmons and Dean Rock are down by the eye test and simple logic of either age/injuries.
    All of that means that if we bring a big performance it may be more likely to push is into a lead, rather than neck and neck when we inevitably get beaten by their bench.
    For pure running ability of repeated sprints and top end speed I think it’s the best we have matched up in that department.
    We have five newish players with genuine pace Oisin, Eoghan McLoughlin, Matthew Ruane, Ryan ODonoghue and Tommy Conroy.
    The others then are more kind of well conditioned stamina. Mayo Dublin clashes we often loss the team footrace badly in the last quarter. Just might he able to match that a lot better now.

  44. @ Mayodunphy, I do agree with you re the dubs happy to concede around the 35 yd line and hope that without Cillian we will not be as clinical and of coarse if we don’t covert those frees they will be happy to frustrate us.
    On another point regarding you don’t believe they have regressed, well if they haven’t regressed have they improved from last year from anything you have seen of them so far ?
    On Mayo would you feel we have regressed or improved from last year ?
    For me I can see improvements, more strength in depth , as a unit we have more fitness pace and power call it what you like and a few of the younger lads have come on from last year .
    So even if we don’t believe the narrative that the dubs have not regressed from last year have you seen anything better from them this year ?

  45. @Mayomaningalway,

    With regards your first point, I personally never have nor will judge Dublin on league or Leinster championship form (unless their beaten in Leinster). Leinster especially is a dead duck, and I genuinely feel they find it harder and harder to rise themselves for them games each year. So to answer your question, no, they appear to be at the same level as last year i.e provincial champions.

    On the Mayo question, personally feel we are weaker this year without Cillian, all time top scorer, most aggressive forward, born leader, currently in his prime. 100% we are weaker without him. We are also weaker without Chris Barrett, and in terms of high balls into the square, we are very vulnerable without Clarkie. Hennellys kickouts are going well so far, but I just can’t trust him under the highball. However, I do feel we are that bit quicker and stronger in certain areas, the summer ground suits us more than December. We have played D2 ball, followed by 2 D4 teams, last year we played 7 D1 games before championship, theirs no doubt that was far better preparation.

    Tbe Dubs will only have regressed when their beaten, a 1 point or a 20 point win it doesn’t matter. Them boys have won every game that matters to them for 6 years now. I genuinely feel they have tailored their season for these last two games. The only games that currently matter to them.

    I hope to God come 8pm Saturday evening i can come on here and say I was wrong they have regressed, we’re back in a final. I just don’t see it happening.

  46. Conor Lane robbed ROD of a perfect goal against Galway.
    Nobody could understand afterwards on why he blew the whistle.
    Even the Galway defender seemed confused.
    If that call was made against the Dubs it would more than likely be fatal.

    We may get lucky on Saturday and Conor may give us a few of the 50 / 50 calls.

  47. Think it’s a very negative attitude condemning the referee before we even play the game. If we win the referee won’t even be mentioned. Not surprising there’s a shortage due the amount of abuse they suffer.

  48. Start reffing games without bias and treat both teams equally and there’s no issue MayoJoe and the refs get the respect they crave. The issue arises when there is referee bias which has been regularly evident in the big games and that’s why fans get pissed off. Try and tell me the dubs haven’t got the big calls over the last decade. A great side but they are also very lucky

  49. @.MayoDunphy Dublin have clearly regressed, they are at 2012 level now when Mayo took them out, remains to be seen if Mayo are good enough to take them out again on Saturday. Let’s be honest won’t get many better chances than this.

  50. Criticizing a ref before we play isn’t a negative attitude. In this case it’s simply realism. I don’t trust Conor Lane to get the big calls right especially in a high stakes situation. He has demonstrated this clearly recently with ourselves and Meath ( involving the Dubs). That worries me.
    And there are far better refs around.

  51. He is an extremely poor ref . Nobody is saying he is biased . He is a poor ref who loses control of big games . He is a strange choice for this game too given that he reffed mayos last game . The GAA usually try to avoid that to prevent any personal scores from the game before being settled Etc

  52. Why not bring Video evidence when deciding on big calls, it works great in Rugby and Soccer.
    Very easy for any Referee to make a decision when they have the chance to see it again in slow motion and when there is a VCR Referee sitting in a seat with all the equipment around him / her.
    Sure we rely on this already to decide whether a close point is a TA or NIL.

  53. I recommend anyone to look back at the 2015 semi first half just 35 mins and come back with your view on Aidan OShea performance.
    Turn off the commentary, watch just one player Aidan OShea.
    The only only only only reason we were still in that game at half time was the impact of Aidan OShea when he was stationed close to goal.
    He won important scoreable frees and he won hard to win ball laying it off to the other photos.
    Now, for context, have a close look at who the six Dublin defenders are. A defence a level above the current Dublin defence.

  54. Above is the 2015 replay btw.
    I will pre the weekend come back with an overview summary of Aidan inside in championship against every Div 1 team in Croke Park.

  55. Hi JP.. I’m wondering do you know where Mayo gaa got their Cyro chamber. I’m sure AIG wouldn’t mind investing in a couple for us… 2015 was six years ago. Philly Mcmahon nearly hauled Dublin to all Ireland victory on his own that year.. Now he’s a bit player.. Big Aid while a magnificent specimen surely can’t be compared to where he was at six years ago??? Or maybe he can..

  56. JP, I have a fairly good memory and was in Croker for the 2015 semis v the Dubs.
    The problem was the quality of the ball into the full forward, it was a high kick that took forever to drop straight down, this is easy to defend where the ball is knocked down to a teammate. Aidan was all alone v 3 Dubs.
    This type of a silly high ball was used in 2016 final also.
    There is one type of ball that suits him, it’s a low trajectory cross diagonal type of ball where he makes the move to get it, this being kicked from the right flank.

  57. @outta the blue, at least you admitted it, the Dubs getting away with fouling as they are bed in the boys in Croker/ Gaa.
    Dublin are still using this tactic and getting away unpunished. It is holding their opponents free hand while other hand is controlling the ball. I noticed this many times v Kildare, no free awarded to Kildare.
    A Kildare player employed this cynical foul once, I think is was their full forward Flynn, and yes the referee did award the Dubs a free.
    All I’m looking for is fair play from the match officials and to knock the shite out of a few of those players, in fairness can we forget Cooper getting away with fouling in last years final, the “nice boy” Fitzsimmons should have seen the red card, John Small for his dirty antics, likewise his Ballymun teammate McCarthy.
    How could I forget Rock pushing a player each time he scored in the past.
    Maybe this referee will let the game flow, but I only hope my ticket comes through to see the Dubs get a beating, one point would be great but 6 even greater. If the Mayo games are not motivated for this game then they may as well pack it in.

  58. @Outta the blue, The Mayo available cryo chamber is owned and operated by Conor Finn head of SnC Claremorris, not joking.
    On the eye test Aidan at 25 in 2015 was not as lean as he is now. Aidan is 31 now, but, in my view to make those reheated 10-20 yard runs for the ball he’d be a bit quicker.
    That Dublin defence that year had a fair bit more big men in their prime about it.

  59. I think to criticise a referee as being biased is inappropriate, yes they may exist but more likely at club level than at inter county level and besides it’s almost impossible to prove. My criticism of Conor Lane is his ability, put simply he makes too many mistakes, errors of judgment, wrong calls, misinterpretation of the rules, call it what you want , but I don’t think he’s a biased referee. Two examples from the Galway game – disallowing R O’ D’s goal was a mistake, penalising A O’S for picking the ball of the ground was a mistake but neither of theses decisions were biased (in my opinion ). And another thing, with my green and red glasses on I don’t recall him making any wrong decisions against Galway but I’m sure if there are any Galway supporters on here they would quickly point out a few. Simply, I don’t think he’s good enough for the job on Saturday.

  60. Lads, we have no choice in the selection of the referee, best to get on with it now.

    @JP: Granted that McCaffrey is a generational player, but his last top flight game was the 2019 All-Ireland final. I’m not sure you can count him as a loss this season per se, given that he retired before the start of last season and they still went on to win Sam comfortably without him.

    Cluxton is a big loss but I’m not sure you can count bit-part players such as Lowndes, MacAuley, Mannion, McMenamon etc. as being pivotal to their team (not trying to disparage anyone with the “bit part” reference, just saying that they’re not regulars any more).

  61. Good detailed article from Kevin McStay on the Irish Times.

    Basically said the Dublin aura is gone and replaced by vulnerable and susceptible traits.

    You really get the sense that Mayo will live to regret it if this opportunity isn’t grasped with both hands on Saturday.

  62. @It means nothing to me, I’m more going off of the collective loss over the last two years, so very much these two teams.
    Paul Mannion was a big contributor off the bench last year.
    McManamon into 2019 added depth.
    Dublin have an excellent first 15. In my view the defence is down from their peak around 2015/2016.
    I think their bench is down a lot.

  63. As an aside, it’s fascinating to learn that Mayo GAA may or may not have access to a cryotherapy bath. Apparently they’ve been in Ireland for over a decade now.

    Haven’t we gone very scientific altogether?!?

  64. @JP: Yeah, I’d agree that their bench probably isn’t quite as strong as it was, serious amount of Celtic crosses have been lost their in past two seasons. But few of them even got off the bench on a regular basis last year, other than perhaps Mannion. Philly McMahon in particular has done a lot more in the tunnel than on the pitch recently!

    I’m sceptical about judging the Dubs based on Leinster. They have won 16 out of the last 17 titles and an element of complacency was bound to set in eventually, especially given that they’ve been walloping the other counties by double digits. As the great Del Boy would have put it, Leinster is “dead. Dead as the emu”.

    The one serious game they have played this season was against Kerry in Killarney and they put four goals past them with a weakened team. A lot of people are referencing the Kildare game but they still won by eight points playing in second gear.

    They know Mayo always turn up against them and will take it very seriously as a result.

    I think we’ll give it a good rattle as always but we are missing a lot of experience ourselves, and are probably a bit too generous in defence this year. Get a few players back next year and we’re a really serious proposition.

  65. First time seeing this blog great and fair comments I’m a big dubs fan looking forward to a great game on sat evening got my tickets yesterday I’m amazed year in year out the support mayo gets considering the distance and heartbreak anyway may the best team win looking forward going down to castlebar for a mayo v dubs league game hopefully next year up the dubs!

  66. Anyone know what the score is regarding extra time / penalties or a replay for the semi and final

    Cheers in advance

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