Some pre-match reading and listening for you

There’s now a welter of stuff out there about Sunday’s Connacht semi-final clash with Roscommon so, as we count down the hours until throw-in and it becomes increasingly difficult to concentrate on other things, here’s a one-stop-shop of the content that you might want to graze on.

Starting with today’s nationals, the Irish Independent has a nice, long piece by Christy O’Connor paying homage to Alan Dillon and the same paper also has a piece containing quotes from Liam McHale who reckons that the lack of competition in Connacht could come back to bite us in the arse later in the year. Tell us something we don’t know, Big Lad.

Over at the Irish Examiner, Mike Finnerty has an interview with Aidan O’Shea, who talks about John Evans (an old friend of the O’Shea family in Kerry) and his own new life based back home in the old sod. Today’s Examiner also has an interview by Terry Reilly with Roscommon’s 1991 hero Derek Duggan and if you haven’t yet seen John Fogarty’s thoughtful analysis from yesterday on how we’ve shed our nice guy image then you should really have a read of that too.

Speaking of John Evans, Hogan Stand have an article about the Roscommon manager which is worth a look.

Elsewhere, RTÉ have their match preview up – surprise, surprise, they reckon we’ll do it. So does Mike Kelly, who has guested here betimes, in his preview on his blog. And so too, by the way, do all of you who have responded so far to the poll here on the site, with 92% of respondents reckoning we’ll either win well or not-so-well.

The Mayo News, meanwhile, has a battery of stuff that’s worth delving into, if you haven’t already done so. There’s an opinion piece by columnist Noel Connelly, there’s an overview on the game by Edwin McGreal, there’s Sean Rice’s take on Sunday’s contest (this column also includes a nice tribute to the late Mick Mulderrig) and there’s a lovely feature piece by Willie McHugh on the late and very great Dermot Earley.

The Mayo News also, of course, has its now legendary pre-match podcast, which on this occasion was recorded at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence and where Rob, Ed and Mike were joined by John Tobin and a wonderfully deadpan John Prenty. It’s pretty much required listening.

Staying with the locals, there’s a match preview from earlier this week in the Connaught Telegraph (which concludes we’ll win) while, from the other side of the fence, there’s also a preview of the game in the Roscommon Herald (which reckons they’ll lose).

That’s your lot for now.

74 thoughts on “Some pre-match reading and listening for you

  1. I was there in 91 and it was indeed a mighty kick. No one in the place thought he had a chance. If I can recall correctly he was somewhere between 55 and 60 yards out, which would have been unbelievable itself, but with the wind against him it was truly remarkable.

    If I recall correctly the Mayo supporters even applauded the score

  2. I think the best free i ever seem scored was ciaran Mac against na fianna in longford. Near the left sideline about 40 meters out. Into a very strong wind. I see them raving about catching a baseball in the usa or kicking a ball over the bar in American football from directly in front of the posts but none of the ” miracles” they show on replay can touch what macdonald done. For an amateur sport it’s fairly spectacular what the top gaa fellas can do with a ball
    Kerry had a fella that kicked 2 frees over from 60 meters in a club game. Cillian OConnors sideline scores against cork in the league this year are things that were really top class too

  3. Whitey your recollection of that free is pretty accurate up to the point where you mention mayo supporters applauding it…maybe you are correct but im certain none of the mayo fans around me applauded!! Personally i just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me…

  4. Willie Joe,

    Thanks for your opening piece on all the interviews, very useful resource.

  5. i think that we can upset the odds this sunday and beat mayo, yose are far to confident and cocky. May0o may get a shock on sunday and be prepared for a group of fired up Rrossies. We might have stolen some sheep in the past but were not going to be lambs to the slaughter in Castlebar ever again. Ye slaughtered yere last lamb wan the bacon factory closed down years ago.

  6. Ah the championship doncha just love it! anyway..I think that mayo should win by a fairly comfortable margin on sunday. On paper we definitely have the beatings of roscommon fairly handily. we must treat them with respect however and play as if we were playing kerry or donegal from the throw in. long distance freetaking will be a problem without the great cillian. looking forward to it…see ye all there,,WIND over and out

  7. Some interesting reading.

    Your point evades me completely David.

    I have great time for Liam McHale- always felt we had a chance when he played well. Also think his stand on Pat McAneaney was well founded and sensible.

    Lot of negativity in Roscommon but the Daly’s wont be found wanting and Kilbride will pose a good threat. Donie Shine will play and will kick frees and Cregg is mobile. Not convinced about Higgins or indeed the full back line.
    Domican was the man marker. Like other bloggers I dont understand how there are more Padraig Pearses men than Brigid’s especially Stack and others. I know McHugh is in Boston and Ian Kilbride and Donnelly injured of course.

    It is not a foregone conclusion at all and unlike others I dont believe a win would automatically set us back. Others have won All Ireland through back door. That is not
    A prediction or likely as I think we will win but I for one would like to find out a bit more about us on Sunday. I also think Shane McHale HAS to make the team going forward. He is playing the football of his career.

  8. Making progress ,

    My point was following up on whiteys post. I was gobsmacked by macs point against the Leinster club champions that day while whitey was the same with the Roscommon score in 1991?
    No mystery. But I do ramble a bit when I have too much spare time so I was comparing the scores above against other sports that people think are out of this world. Professional sports at that as opposed to students and tradesmen

  9. makingprogress-that’s a good point. I am going to be a heretic and at the risk of excommunication from “the Mayo Church” I think it’s far from the end of the world if Mayo were beaten on Sunday.
    If we’re as good as many here are saying all we have to do is pick ourselves up and and forge a way through the qualifiers to the quarter finals. It might give us much better game time and experience helping to produce a much sharper team than a few easy games would.

  10. The best route to Sam is the shortest one and that is not via the qualifiers.

  11. The main thing for me is being able to go to a mayo match full of confidence and knowing that the teams will have a right hard go no matter what the opposition. I just look forward to watching them play. What a delightful change from always fearing the worst!

  12. After being fairly negative all round for the last couple of weeks it looks like the Rossies have finally whipped themselves back into their usual pre-match frenzy judging by the comments over on their site.

    Nothing between the two teams on paper, only two Mayo forwards would make the Roscommon team and a narrow Ros victory is now on the cards it would seem.

    Roll on Sunday.

  13. Mr. mc hugh who has all kinds of apinions on Mayo football and was a regular guest on midwest radio until some1 there copped on , reckons and he says ”stop dillion and you stop mayo” what ye thoughts on that lads, he was well marshaeled in las years all ire though……

  14. Agreed Bill. Of course the best route to Sam is the shortest. Kerry, a few years ago, almost got beaten in the qualifiers at Longford in buckets of rain but went on to great things.
    This is my worst prediction. I really don’t expect it to happen but if it does, as I said!!!
    Every cloud has a silver lining. There are always positives.

  15. I seen that Johno, McHugh is more a less just puffin out his chest about Dillon been kept quiet in last years final by his native Donegal.

  16. I think the Rossies will put it up to us on Sunday. They will not be over awed in the same manner Galway were. But I do have great faith in this group (even minus Cillian) to get the job done. We have great strength on the bench and that could be the difference. Midfield will be a tight battle and a good test for the O’Sheas. I think we might have a superior scoring power and should have enough to deal with Roscommon. Some great articles, the piece on Alan in the Indo being my favourite. For me, he’s has been the most important Mayo player for the last 5 years and his contribution to Ballintubber is incalculable. I’m hoping we beat them out the gate, but I can it being a tight affair.

  17. Good piece on Facebook there Willie Joe. A lot of food for thought. All very true. I suppose doubts have been ingrained in a lot of Mayo supporters over the years; all the matches we nearly or should have won.
    I was there in ’51; lot of water under the bridge. I still feel that complacency can affect any team, no matter how good they are.

  18. Hello,

    Update on the weather for Sunday. It will be bright with a few showers but not WINDY. Can anyone do better with the weather forecasting?. There seems to be agreement about a temp of 15c.expected,

  19. Willie Joe says:
    June 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Another piece about Sunday’s match that’s worth a read is this one by @seamusconwell:

    Can’t say i agree with that piece. While it’s great to have comfortable wins on route to the last eight it’s the harder games that really makes a team.

    Take 2011 each game in Connacht brought Mayo on and by the time they played Cork they were more than ready and likewise against Sligo last summer. Dublin have also encountered a tough leinster final 2011 they just about got past Wexford, in Munster you have the Cork v Kerry games I also remember Cork needed extra time to beat Limerick in 2010 but it didn’t stop them and Dublin from winning the All Irelands and Ulster always have tough battles.

    The margin of the win will mean little for Mayo on Sunday saying that have to hammer Roscommon to prove themselves is nonsense really.

  20. +1 totally agree Mayomagic. Winning games by large margins you aren’t finding much out about yourself other than the team you played weren’t able to match you.

    Going into the last eight against Kildare,Kerry etc without a competitive game is the last thing you want. When Galway won the 1998,2001 All Irelands they came through tough games in Connacht likewise with us 1996/97 this notion that you have run up big scores against lesser teams is much flawed.

    It will do Mayo no harm if Roscommon can put it up to us on Sunday and it’s better to find out any weakness now than in August.

  21. It wasn’t so much that Dillion was kept quiet in last years final, I believe the bigger issue was that he failed to keep Lacey quiet. 60% of Donegal’s scores originated from, or passed through, Lacey. I think Dillion was asked to do a job that he may not have been perfectly suited to. I think a more physical aggressive player should have played at no.11 for us that day to restrict Lacey and Dillion should have been moved to 10 or 12.
    Anyway, you live and learn. Dillion is our playmaker and leader on the pitch and I believe is our single most important attacking player. Experienced, brave, can kick points and frees, passes accurately from foot and hand, always assesses the options in front of him, remains cool and never ever goes hiding.

  22. I agree a tough test would be the best but I think like Kerry Cork and Dublin (even Donegal) we have to be able to play to our strengths whatever the opposition.
    What is important is that we learn more about ourselves even if we win well or horror of horrors lose. This team will be in the latter stages of the All Ireland competition whichever route it goes.
    I would like to see how we handle the free running cregg (plays like McBrearty), the tight marking Niall Daly (plays like Lacey) thehe should bescoring Kilbride (like Murphy) and the freetaking Shine (like McFadden) NOW I know they are not as good as their Donegal counterparts but some lessons may be extracted surely. Mayo didnt deal with the direct diagonal ball last year and it cost us. How will we deal with high balls to Kilbride or can we avoid fouling Cregg and Smyth who likes to fall into frees.
    Yes- Lessons may be learned. Surely Freeman will fancy his chances against Carty who is not as tight as he should be. Sunday will tell all!

  23. Do you think it will work out for him in the corner? Or will he move out come Sunday?

  24. Sean Burke says:
    June 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Two posters above, missing the point the facebook piece is making.

    Didn’t miss the point and reading your posts in here i’m not suprised you agree with him.

  25. MO2013 says:

    Hey? Whats wrong with agreeing with a valid point of view, have you a veto over what Mayo supporters should think?

    You seem afraid of ruthlessness , whats up with hammering a div 3 team?

  26. It’s not about been afraid or been ruthlessness any team from any given divsion can give the big guns a game this has been proved for decades and they weren’t really valid points. Some teams can also peak too soon i remember Galway in 2007 looked great against Mayo then ended up losing to Sligo.

  27. Sorry Sean Burke I’m with Mayomagic, MO13 and Mayoforeverandaday(could you shorten that, it takes me half an hour to write it). We must all be missing the point from that piece. It does have some sense but teams learn more from tough games!!!

    What did Mayo learn about themselves from Galway? It just put so many supporters onto Planet Zog, believing them to be invincible. I would forecast that Sunday’s match will teach far more and benefit the team far more if it’s hard going. (Mightn’t be good for the heart).
    It should prove a much more accurate barometer as to exactly where Mayo are at. A walkover will leave all the same questions that will need to be answered before the real heat.

  28. Sound, it’s just an opinion at the end of the day on how one thinks Mayo will go about their business on Sunday.

    The game has evolved dramatically over the last few years never mind decades, a lot of counties have missed the boat and there is a massive gap developing between top counties and middle of the road counties. This stuff is obvious and has been highlighted in the media a lot of late with the various thumpings thats been dished out. In the internet world of forums/blogs/social media, a lot seem determined to go against the grain and disagree all the time with the general feeling, it seems to be the norm nowadays.

    Roscommon have done some great work at underage in recent times from tedd webb to 21s, they have yet to arrive on the senior map with any impact and have done nothing to suggest it will be this year. Mayo on the other hand are driving on and dismantled a Galway side that had hammered Ross 12 months previous in the hyde.

    Everything points to a comprehensive Mayo victory and if you think otherwise maybe try pointing out to where its going to go wrong because on paper , its a knockout after two rounds.
    Time will tell.

  29. Sean we played Sligo div 3 team last year and beat them by 2pts it didn’t stop Mayo from reaching the All Ireland final, they were better team thanks to that test. 2001 Galway were knocked out of Connacht by Roscommon but they got back up on the horse and won the All Ireland.

  30. Sorry JoeMc (it is long but sure the weather is shocking)

    I think both points sustainable actually. We can still learn even if the margin is big but its easier if it is close. Problem really is that I think Roscommon are better than Leitrim or London so we need to find out about ourselves now.
    Roscommon are a way better than Galway in my view and it will be closer. As it stands if Shine plays (and he will) Roscommon have a better freetaker than us. Mayo need to move the ball fast but this is a young fast Ros team. Where they lack is in MIdfield and in physical strength (a bit like Dublin)
    Thats why I think Mayo better than Ros and indeed Dublin, but Cork,Kerry ,Donegal and even KIldare will present different problems.

  31. Why are Roscommon way better than Galway. Honestly i’m not trying to be argumentative , i just don’t get things like that. Galway are div two, Ross div 3, Galway beat them out the gate in the hyde last year….whats happened

  32. The arguments for and against being tested as you progress can both be supported.

    For every Galway,Tyrone and Kerry run to wins in 2001,2005 and 2006 where the qualifiers helped them, you can point to other teams where too many games wore them out, they suffered injuries and bad luck finished them off

    Kerry and Tyrone won the AI both through the qualifiers and by winning the province easily

    Dublin have ran into Kerry, Tyrone or Cork in the quarters or semis who all went on to win the AI, (and us of course who haven’t) and regardless of winning Leinster, the better team they have lost to was the reason, not weak opposition in Leinster

    Before Game 1, were Mayo better than Galway? yes, around 6 points worth of difference.

    Throw in an 80% conversion rate (a guess) a naive Galway defence, having 14 men for 30 minutes and 13 men for 15 minutes and you get a 14 point win

    Are Mayo better than Roscommon? yes, around 6-8 points better

    Will every pundit, journalist and man in the street predict a Mayo win? yes

    One team being good doesn’t make the other team bad, it just means they are better

    Hoping for a win is what we all do,

    Predicting a win will not bring forth the gods of misfortune – it’s what this blog is for

    PS The imposter posters on here this week stick out a mile. The rest of us know big words and how to spell them

  33. Sean, you hit the nail on the head there. You are dead right that everything points to a Mayo victory. I think they should win but two words that you used sums it all up “0N PAPER”.
    No one is actually saying things are going wrong but during the league a hell of a lot went wrong and hopefully this is being corrected.
    A quick story about “on paper”. Some years ago Mayo were in the Connacht final against Leitrim. A very good Mayo team, “on paper”, and a Leitrim team that hadn’t a hope. Leitrim came out like terriers and stunned Mayo, beating them all over the field. I was beside a Guard from Knock and the two of us agreed, Mayo didn’t turn up. When they recovered slightly it was all too late. Leitrim were champions. I clapped and cheered because that was their All Ireland. They were a very weak team because they were eaten alive in the Semi final.
    That is why so many are so cautious, note the word I use CAUTIOUS. This has happened to so many teams. I would love to be proven completely wrong. I would sing songs.
    You sound young and untouched by the scars of Mayo’s idiosyncrasies over the years and are entitled to your opinions and theories. I am old and battle hardened. We all support Mayo!!!

  34. Turned 36yrs on the 19th May , matey.

    It started for me in 84 in Salthill, lots of very disappointing days since and some good ones too.

    I have always followed the county team with great passion like so many others and hand on heart, i have never seen a team like this, there is a quality about them that is unique for a Mayo team, i can’t articulate what it is with justification but its there,they will leave nothing behind them, what you see is what you’ll get.

  35. Sean,
    I believe Roscommon have superior backs and in KIlbride Cregg Shine (if he plays) and Smyth they have better forwards.Galway lost Joyce and were rudderless,Meehan wasnt training,and having men sent off didnt help. They had lost their captain and frankly Mulholland has a style I dont like.
    I take your point about league divisions but several lower division teams often triumph over their higher ranked teams and will again.
    Now Roscommon wont beat Mayo in my view but I do believe they will run them a lot closer even though Mayo are at home and were away in Galway.
    Great point Joe Mc about Leitrim- underdogs often get momentum when they have nothing to lose. THis is true of Roscommon and Limerick last Sunday -even Sligo last year.
    And Ros really only are thinking about ONE game- can you or I or Mayo generally say that and mean it?

  36. It’s now apparent that Seamus Conwell facebook/livegaelic piece was nothing more that troll article. They are on twitter saying that they hope to catch someone and yours truly was the first bite.

    Ah well i should have known better. Maybe it’s the championship tension that’s getting to me.

  37. Jaysus Sean you’re only a lad. I’m twice that.

    I am seeing a new breed of Mayo player. Everyone expected them to fold against Donegal after the two goals. I don’t live in Mayo and all thought they put up a great fight. “A new breed of Mayo footballers” was said. This year will prove just where they are at but they need experience and a lot of football to win Sam.

  38. On a side note its a pathetic decision by Prenty and his cronies to not allow the Hyde to be a designated Connacht final ground anymore. While the Hyde is in need of repair, surely the Connacht Council could have forked out a few euros to carry out basic up-grading of facilities. This will back fire on the Connacht council as supporters won’t travel to that shit hole of a Salthill for a bout against Mayo. That Slattery report can fuck off, even its a convenient cover for Prenty’s vision of a 2 tier Connacht.

  39. Seamus Conwells piece is spot on. “Hoping” for a tight game is actually hedging ones bets and lacking in confidence. Either we are a better team than Roscommon or we are not, either this run of the last two years culminating into year 3 and peaking is just another Mayo mirage or the real deal.

    Contrary to some commentators I believe we blew last years All Ireland final and did so inside the first ten minutes. Didnt matter what we did after, we never looked like reeling them in. Also we never got a better chance to win one than against a team like Donegal who shouldn’t have spooked us. Had Kerry drilled those two early goals against us last September , they would have been out of sight at half time.

    Its simple this year…we either progress and win the damn thing or ….ah well we have been there so often. Roscommon are a team that nobody has factored into winning an All Ireland this year. We are seen as contenders. Either we step up to that plate or chew the comfort blanket and I am sick chewing. An Spailpín put it right early on this year…Mayo folk want one thing…the year to go by and appear on the third Sunday in September…every thing else is foreplay.

  40. Ah I disagree with the weather talk on castlebar sunday there is sure to be a biteen of wind to play a role in the game! Always is in the Wild West! Anyway..Alan Dillon was very good as a leader in the all Ireland a day when he was badly needed, I think that he has done a great service to this mighty county through the years..many a sacrifice the fella has made for mayo football! He’s given up many pints of the black stuff to stay in shape for championship games.! And even league , Roscommon shouldn’t pose a great test to mayo sure when were they last all Ireland finalists? I’m just being realistic here lads. Up mayo mighty mighty mayo

  41. Dont know about that John. We had two chances in 96,super chance in 97 and decent chance in 89.Of course we all want to win and it does not matter if it is by one point or ten…thats not the issue. The issue is what contributes to that. Tough games teach you a lot about yourself just as tough lessons in life help bring out your character. I believe that is maybe what Mayo have this year …character. Roscommon deserve respect and you are giving them none. Nowhere in your blog is there even a modicum for a proud footballing county. That is wrong. I do not think they are as good as Mayo but they havent kicked a ball yet and the club champions do come from there.
    I think (at the risk of repeating myself) they will run Mayo decently close in Mayo’s own back yard. Sunday will tell a lot.

  42. I have to agree with Sean Burke, this is a Mayo that we’ve not seen the like of before and that for me settles the history issue.
    I also think that the ‘not been tested’ and ‘the need to be tested’ mantras are missing the point that this Mayo have been tested to the ultimate already and have gained from the experience, suckers no longer but a hard tough outfit who know how to play and to win and win again.What was uncomfortable to watch for years is now a joy and one that has being rising steadily over the last 3 years………..yes, Sam wasn’t lifted (yet) and there was disappointment but the pride was restored in bucketloads.
    Yes Roscommon will come with their traditional will and do their best to usurp us but I believe that given the choice andwhat they relish about the challenge, the other top teams in the country would not willingly swap places with them at this point and time.
    Roscommon won’t fear us but no matter the outcome a lot of the rest will.
    Maigh Eo Abu

  43. John Cuffe says:
    June 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Seamus Conwells piece is spot on


    Spot on like this sentence ??..”If Roscommon come within a couple of points of Mayo on Sunday that does not mean Mayo have been tested. It does not mean that Connacht is becoming competitive again. What it actually means is that Mayo are not good enough to win an All-Ireland. That’s the bottom line.”

    Lets just look at the last four All Ireland winners

    2012 Cavan a div 3 team got within two scores of Donegal last year
    2011 Wexford div 3 team almost beat Dublin in Leinster final
    2010 Limerick div 3.4 team brought Cork to extra time
    2009 Longford,Sligo div 3/4 teams pushed Kerry all the way

    The bottom line is top teams have come through games that they were predicted to win without any fuss however they took alot out of those games improved and went on to win the All Ireland.

    Without some good players i don’t know are Roscommon enough to give Mayo a game but we will sure find out on Sunday.

  44. Sean, I’m with you on this one. Recent form leads me to conclude Mayo should win this game, decisively. Roscommon are a young team, a div 3 team still in the early stages of development. We on the other hand, are a seasoned, hardened bunch who, make no mistake have some flaws, but are primed for the now. A hard fought game with the Rosie’s does us NO good and could only add to the injury problems we have.
    What I’d love to see is for us to be up by 7 or 8 around the 60th and for JH to empty the bench with the young bucks who are fighting for starting places in the final. Finding out about ourselves? That’s how we do it.

  45. In the Connacht Championship in 2012 Galway defeated Roscommon in the Hyde 3-15 to 0-10, Sligo defeated Galway 2-14 to 0-15 in Salthill, apparently Galway underestimated Sligo and duly paid the price. In 1985 Mayo were defeated by Dublin in an All Ireland Semi-Final after a replay, a lot of Mayo supporters believed 1986 was going to be their year. Mayo played Roscommon in Mc Hale park (Mayo had a number of injuries),Roscommon knocked Mayo out of the championship. I sincerely hope that Mayo do not underestimate Roscommoon tomorrow.
    Wishing James and the team every good wish tomorrow.

  46. This week History was examined in the Leaving Certificate.

    It appears some posters learn no lessons from History.

    First of all tomorrows match is NOT the All Ireland- and history is littered with lower division teams triumphing over their neighbours.
    Secondly Mayo hammered Roscommon a few years ago and didnt learn anything. Many comments after had us winning the All Ireland easily.
    Thirdly , Mayo have enjoyed Division one status for years- what titles has that brought us.
    There are a lot of other variables forgotten about by over the top commentators. What about the underdog factor,hunger,and even youth. Include the surprise element,complacency and you get the picture.
    Mayo will win at home but not pulling up.They will need to be ruthless and learn lessons- one of which will not to to assume the Connacht title.
    Cork have Kerry to overcome- Dublin Meath or KIldare (who I think will progress) Donegal have to beat Fermanag or Cavan (I think Fermanagh will come throughh)

    These are all tests- Mayo will benefit from one too. If they dont get it- well you have to learn lessons another way (training like Kilkenny etc) but rampant optimism in a county starved of success simply does not fit well.

    Lets be calm, stop the arrogance, and move to Match 3 with a point win if needs be.

  47. Mayoforeverandaday!!
    Your points on history are fair enough eg, lower division teams sometimes beating higher divison teams.

    I just don’t buy into the notion that Roscommon are a good side , they have yet to show it in league or championship for years. Of course there can always be a danger of a turn up for the books, game but i just don’t see it for tomorrow.

    I see us dominating midfield all day long, i see our forwards getting more time to shoot than they are used to and fully expect them to take advantage of this, our backs should steamroll their forward line with the likes of Boyle and Higgans really imposing themselves . My only concern area would be Senan kilbride, will Caff be able to dominate him and prevent clean catching from the brigids man, maybe just break it all the time with Higgans waiting to clean up the breaking ball everytime.

    A point win will do any team to win but i still maintain it will be double figures.

    Have a good day everyone and bring some color , ffs the Rossies will bring thousands of flags, its a great sight when your team takes the field, Mayo have gone really bad when it comes to color. Donegal outdone us so badly ay last years final too. Its a few quid, put it under your feet after you hold it aloft when the team comes out, its no biggy.

  48. The superiority of Division 1 to hold out again, we will win by 5 or six. Its very difficult to even create an argument for how the Rossies could win, perhaps if the weather is crap like it was at the Hyde in 2011.

  49. Fair enough Id settle lads for a 5 or 6 points win! That would do nicely and suggest that it would be a bit of a challenge.

    Totally agree about the colour. Lets face it Football is all there is at present to distract us from poor weather,bad economy etc.

    Personally hoping McHale and Burke get a run along with Andy and Barry . Would still have a few doubts over forwards but tomorrow will put me in my place in that regard I hope.

    Lets hope for a good clean game with no injuries? Too much to hope for?

  50. As a ROS based Mayo man, the mood here is that Mayo will win but that the Rossies will not be bullied like Galway was. And I think that view is on the mark.

    For me I doubt that Sunday will tell us much about an area that James Horan appears not to have It improved for the long-run. For instance, it will be probably be August before we learn that the players filling the 2 and 6 jerseys stand up to the pressure in higher tempo knock-out Championship games.

    One area that I hope will continue to improve after a lean league campaign is scoring more goals! Again later on in the campaign goals will win tight games. So getting an attacking rhythm and confidence to go for goal needs more cultivating this Sunday.

    And another, I agree with John Burke, – Cafferkey v Kilbride could be interesting..

    Mayo to win but don’t under-estimate the Rossies. John Evans is a very good coach and they will be well organised, with no pressure whatsoever on them. Not the kind of opposition to take for granted!

  51. Liam Mc Hale former Mayo player and the joint manager of All Ireland Club Champions, St. Bridget’s Kiltoom, Co. Roscommon was credited with some peculiar statements on a daily paper during the week. I thought it was insulting to Roscommon. It is a wonder he did not mention the 1966 skirmish…………….. again?

  52. Shot Stopper,
    Very unfair post about Liam McHale. Liam has given a lot to Mayo football and is a thorough gentleman.He was right about 1996 (I presume thats your reference) and in my view McAneaney got off lightly that day for his decisions. He disallowed quick frees all day to Mayo and yet allowed it to Meath to score the crucial score from a quick free kick.. But we move on but its a sore point for many including Liam.

    Yes he thinks lack of competition in Connacht is a problem. So does Martin Breheny,Eoin Liston and a lot of others including myself.

    Overconfidence is a poor recipe for success. What have Ros to lose ? When did the Mayo forwards become such a potent force? Against Galway ? If Moran and Dillon not fully fit and Conroy out …well there are concerns.

    I agree with foreverandaday that Roscommon will be closer than generally acknowledged. They will not beat us and I take great confidence from the fact that Horan appears to be aware of the pitfalls and is not afraid but not cocky either.

    I totally agree with you regarding Liam Mc Hale. He deserves respect and always did his best for Mayo. I only met him a few times, once being the Sunday before the Ballina v Crossmaglen club final (.I think 1997 ) while having his lunch in a local pub .My little girl was a huge fan , but too shy to approach him , and on being told by a third party he left his table and came over ( meal unfinished.) to talk to her. To me this was beyond the call of duty.
    As regards the 96 replay Liam had little choice,I had heard some so called Mayo supporters abuse him for years, he’s too soft , won’t get stuck in, and a lot worse. I’m sure he heard them too, so imagine what he’d have to listen to if he just stood back. If those fellas supported the team properly, and Liam stayed on the pitch, I’ve no doubt we would have won that match
    So tomorrow lets remember , that’s what supporters do , support.
    Best of luck to all our lads , and here’s hoping for a good win.

  54. Well said, Nephin – on a day before a big match for the county we all need to be lining up on the one side, doing what’s expected of true supporters.

  55. Not much WIND promised tomorrow, its a pity.
    Fair point willie joe. Forget about giving out about players. Praise them up to the last for goodness sake. They will give everything on the field tomorrow and so what if they loose? they are honest individuals they give there all for the green and red. Sure what ever happens in tomorrows huge semi final at the least we will be in the backdoor. I will have a few pints of the black stuff win loose or draw. Just ask galway it is easier win sam through the backdoor.


  56. I predict

    Mayo 1 16

    Ross. .09

    Despite all the talk about this that and the other I think Mayos fitness levels are much higher than Roscommons. Just the way it is and this will be visible on the field as the game wears on.
    Liam Mchale is a gentleman by the way, I met him a few times and some of my family know him well. A sound skin as they say.

  57. Sean Burke – while I don’t agree with your assertion that mayo will steamroll Roscommon on Sunday, I have to say you are spot on regarding the lack of colour from mayo fans in recent years. I remember as a youngster back in the 90s attending Mayo games and the swell of pride you’d get at the sea of green and red on the terraces. Look at any youtube videos from that era and contrast the colour with the support in recent seasons, particularly in Connaught matches.

    Many mayo people (including myself) will watch this match from all parts of the globe, wishing they were there and envying those who are there on Sunday. Watching last years all Ireland final it was striking how much colour the Donegal fans brought in comparison to our own supporters. Lets get behind this fantastic team we have and make sure no set of supporters is seen or heard more than ourselves for whatever matches we play this season!

  58. I hope we don’t have to talk about a sweeper on Monday.

    98% of blogs are ignoring the fact that leaking goals puts massive pressure on the forwards to catch up and can ruin a team’s confidence. Donegal have a permanent sweeper, at least one; but what would they know, they only won Sam.
    Every position on the field is discussed and one of the most important facets of the game is ignored.
    Last year’s All Ireland is a good example but that’s negative talk!!!

  59. Wind,dont know where you are but where I am there is no shortage of wind,metaphorical and otherwise.

    Great to see comments about support. Time for us all to get behind the team.

    Rumours abound of course but lets hope thats all they are ..rumours.

    Mayo have good cover in backs— forwards look a little light to me.

  60. I’ll be watching in nyc.
    Where are the rest of you watching?
    Internet has made it easy for us

  61. Aussie Exile what Internet site can you watch the match on? I’m in Europe on hols so will miss it. I thought I’d have to make with radio commentary on MidWest.

    Mayo to win but only after 50 minutes of competitive championship football. Mayo will have the edge on experience and physical conditioning. Ros are in the early stages of their development and are building for the future.

    Mayo must be clinical – I’d like to see them continue their goal scoring form. A goal has the same value as 4 points in championship football.

  62. Looking forward to wandering down Golf Del Sur in the morning to get in position early to watch us reach the Connacht finall again hopefully. An appetizer of Cavan v Fermanagh will get the day off to a good start before we take the pitch.
    It’s a slight worry that Roscommon have had the beating of us underage recently as that might translate to senior at some point but not tomorrow I feel.
    Good luck to the lads tomorrow and safe travel to all.

  63. Agree with Nephin. Liam McHale is an out and out gentleman. No need for me to go into examples i’d say most on here have met the man.
    As for tomorrow we have to shout on the lads all day long! Please everyone, BRING YOUR FLAGS!!!! #HONMAYO

  64. Good morning to all Mayo folk around the globe from a dry but cloudy central mayo, its showery though in the Mullet and we can expect ere soon as well looking at the sky above……For me today i,m expecting a tough ole battle early on , but mayo winning by 4-6 pts which i duly backed yesterday at 3-1 in padd power in castlebar, What i,m hoping for today is the preformance and the team playing well with no more injurys and whether thats by a couple pts or 10pts dosent really matter to me….Enjot wat ever corner of the globe your in and be safe……UP MAYO.

  65. Hi!

    It’s great to see the piece caused so much division, and I mean that in the best possible way.

    Our passion for sport is driven by opinion and it wouldn’t be sport if we all thought the same.

    I’m just glad I didn’t write a piece saying we should be hammering Donegal haha!!

    Great to get the feedback.


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