So then, Meath it is

Well, at least this part of the waiting is over – we now know that it’s Meath we’ll be facing in next Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final in what will be our first championship clash with them since, well, I don’t need to remind you when that was.  It looked for a good while this evening that they were going to beat Limerick – who, for much of the game, had the appearance of a bunch of hurlers trying to play football – comfortably enough but two goals (the second of which looked a clear enough square ball but was allowed to stand) hauled the Shannonsiders back into it.  They nearly forced extra-time but in the end came up short once again by a single point.

PJ rang me just after the final whistle and we were in agreement that the match had all the appearance of the kind of encounter you’d see in round 2 of the NFL.  The contest was littered with basic errors, such as passes being sent flying all over the shop, comical handling mistakes and balls being dropped at an alarming rate.  Limerick were especially guilty of this latter fault, as time and again their attacks broke down because they simply couldn’t keep hold of the bloody ball but the Royals made a fair few errors of their own over the course of the seventy minutes and, in those frantic final minutes, they didn’t seem to know which way was up.

I was at that first round Leinster clash between Meath and Dublin back in early June and Meath looked fairly club-footed and clueless that day.  Based on what I saw on the telly tonight, things haven’t changed hugely within the Royals’ camp in the eight weeks that have passed since that game and tonight’s performance had all the hallmarks of an average Division 2 side playing at the kind of intensity you’d normally see in March.  As PJ said after the game, buying the Combo tickets is likely to prove sound forward planning on our part: I know one shouldn’t tempt fate where our lads are concerned but it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that, if we play to anything close to our potential the next day, we’ll beat the Royals pulling up.

19 thoughts on “So then, Meath it is

  1. Meath looked very, very ordinary indeed. We certainly got the easiest of the quarter final draw based on what I saw tonight. No excuses if we cannot beat them especailly with Bray missing. Can you still buy the combo ticket?

  2. It certainly looks that way and Bray’s red seemed to be a straight one so that’s him out. They can’t afford to be without a player of that quality. With our ability to hit goals this year, we could really go to town on them, I reckon.

    Just checked the GAA’s website – unfortunately, the Combo packages are no longer on sale. If it’s Kerry, there’ll be no problem getting to the semi-final (assuming we make it, of course) but it’ll be a different matter if it’s the Dubs, especially if 2006 was anything to go by.

  3. Thought This evenings game was dire. If we dont beat Meath and Beat them well next week, we might as well forget about it. Both Sides this evening were very poor. We have yet to be really challanged. This wont stand to us when we hit the big guns!!

  4. Meath looked very laboured – were they tired or unfit?. They won their share in midfield but only because Limerick let them, and they played a lot worse than the Munster Final showing. Ward, Farrell and Bray looked good enough to win their own ball and took their points but the Meath defence at times was woeful. Limerick were able to run at their midfield and defence at will and Meath were often guilty of ill-disciplined tackling (especially around the neck) and giving away kickable frees. Harrington looks especially poor. Could be just me, but Ward and Byrne don’t look strong, they look overweight. Mayo’s fitness levels should be too much for them after a winter of SAQ.That said, we have to beat them and do it well, without picking up any suspensions or injuries. I didn’t see anything tonight though to worry about

  5. If Barry Moran is out, do you think Conor will go in or maybe Austin O’Malley?

  6. tom parsons in full forward dont think austin o’malley is gud enough, he s had his chances and shown nothing of note especially in the championship, tom will win ball and maybe has a bit more pace than barry and will no doubt cause damage especially if the meath full back line played like they did tonight

  7. This good of winning in Galway will be wiped out if we fail to beat Meath. They definitely look poor and were in some ways lucky that Dublin did not beat them by much more.

    Meath are a very mediocre division 2 and have done nothing in the recent two years to suggest they can beat us. Interestingly it will be clearer after today but the National League form appears to be holding up well.

  8. Forget what division Meath are in. Wexford were div 3 last year and reached the semi final. Likewise Fermanagh had a good run. I am a little surprised to see a certain giddiness creeping back into Mayo supporters. Firstly if we beat Meath by one or twenty points next week wont alter a single thing about 1996. However if they beat us in horse racing terms they will saddle us with bile. Better that we had kept our powder dry and looked forward rather than backwards. We wanted them is the vibe I got from all the GAA sites. I live in Meath and be under no illusion, they also want us. We are deemed the weakest of the top four. They wont fear anything about us. We are basing our new strutting attitude on a soft win over a young team from Ros that froze and a Galway team that are slipping of the radar at the speed of knots. If their performance against Donegal is anything to go on then we have problems. Nicky Joyce made Liam O Malley dizzy in Salthill. Donegal shackled him. We may beat Meath, we may not. One thing is for sure ; we will know that we are in a battle when the dust settles.

  9. have to agree with ontheroad. Putting Meath in as the complete underdog is a dangerous place to be positioning ourselves. They might not be the Meath of by gone days but expecting any Meath team to roll over or that we just do our thing and we will win is ignoring a lot of gaa history. Underdogs do raise their game for a crack at at the higher rated opposition and favourites can drop their guard. It happens every year and as ontheroads says it would be an awful waste of the win in Salthill if we were to fall next Sunday. Mayo need a top notch performance gainst Meath with or without Bray.

    On Barry Moran loss – regardless of who gets in on the starting 15 I hope ity’s just a straight replacemnt and no positional shifting around to the team which has now emerged with a fairly settled look over the championship.

  10. I think there’s no doubt but that we’ll be strong favourites going into this match, regardless of whether or not we want to be, and, on recent form, that’s to be expected. Sure, Meath view us as the weakest of the provincial champions but don’t forget we’re the only Connacht champions post-2001 that have been able to make it past the quarter-finals and past form would suggest that when we do win Connacht, we’re good enough to punch our weight at this level, certainly against a team that can’t hold its own in Leinster.

    I can’t see Johnno and his colleagues allowing the lads to drop their guard ahead of this game and I think it’s only if we do that we’ll have problems against them: if we play to the standard that we can, there should be clear daylight between us. They have some fine footballers, for sure, but, on last night’s evidence (and what I saw of them against the Dubs) they don’t look either all that fit or all that organised. The Bray incident, as well as a whole load of clothesline tackles they perpetrated, would suggest that discipline is a problem with them and our lads – especially the likes of Pat Harte – will need to keep calm and make sure that our football does the talking.

    I don’t agree, OTR, that NFL status doesn’t matter – results like Wexford are the exception rather than the norm at this time of year. Who were the last All-Ireland champions who weren’t playing in Division 1 of the NFL? I can’t remember off-hand but it’s got to be a while ago. Also, I think you’re a bit harsh on Galway: they played a hell of a lot better against us than they did against Donegal. They were lining out six days after losing to us whereas Donegal were on a high after beating Derry. I think, though, you could be right that it’ll be a battle (literally) next Sunday but it’s one I’m confident we’ll win and, most likely, win well.

  11. Maye NFL results don’t matter WJ however have a loko agains that Meath team. Thing noticed is they may not play the pretiest football but they are big big bucks… Joe Sheridan will win a lot of ball (just becasue he is so big) and that fella in the full forward line is big as well. I think Meath will be a tougher prospect than people give them credit for. After all they are now on a winning up slope and this game might have also been the proper one to toughen them up a little bit more prior to a 1/4 final.

  12. I think it is far to say that NFL status does matter – 6 teams left in the championship – all Division 1 bar Meath

  13. I definitely don’t think we can see ourselves as so good that we will win this game easy. Any win will be very satisfying and a good days work.

    Look at Donegal today – this team beat Galway last week. We beat Galway two weeks ago. We really don’t know where we are at.

  14. Of course Meath can win next Sunday, but we are favourites for the reason we are playing better than them this year. While it is possible to pull a good performance out of nowhere, it tends not to happen.

    I dont care if our supporters are over confident, the important thng is that the players and management are not. I think we can give our honest assessment of matches here safe in the knowledge that we do not influence anyone in the Mayo set up.

  15. if we were to use galway v donegal as a bench mark, we are in deep shit. cork, Tyrone and kildare’s pace, passing,(hand and foot)physical strength,fitness, backs ability to attack and score and forwards ability to defend and tackle. alot of ball won cleanly in mid 1\3. the general standard of football from all 3 was very good. jom and co have a lot of work to’s hoping that Tyrone and cork have peeked two weeks too early and Kerry and Dublin peek 2 weeks too late and meath are just shit

  16. Lads after today, the only thing thats clear, is that like every year neither the experts nor ourselves have a clue what way things are going to pan out. Its an amateur game, no matter how professional people feel its gone, and it seems most teams in the last 8 anyway can give eachother a good rattle. No-one saw Kerry’s pasting of the Dubs coming, and some people were even predicting Donegal could scare Cork. Ah sure this time next week we should know it all!! Lets hope we’re looking forward to a semi, and a result the same as 1996, for that particular game at least.

  17. Now that all the Combo tickets are sold out I hope everybody in Mayo and Meath realise they will be paying semi final prices for both the stands and the hill(30euro). What can the supporters do? Any ideas? The GAA should have warned the supporters previous to this or have more Combo tickets available.

  18. Are you Mayo Guys still looking for Semi Final Tickets?
    I’m from Meath so I will keep an eye out for some!!

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