Still under the radar

Photo: Irish Examiner/Jim Coughlan

Less than 48 hours to go now from throw-in at the Gaelic Grounds and our Round 4A qualifier match still isn’t garnering any column inches. Cork is in the news alright but the focus is on the shiny, new and gorgeous-looking Páirc Uí Chaoimh, where close on 11,000 punters turned up last evening for the first match to be played at the re-built stadium.

Cork’s footballers, meanwhile, are being ignored by the media as thoroughly as they’ve been abandoned by their supporters. And sure we’re well past our prime so why would anyone bother talking about us?

That’s all grand – under the radar, in the long grass or whatever other cliché you prefer will do us fine. The qualifier route is, to a large degree, a penitential road and it’s only when you claw your way back to Croke Park and then shake your booty with intent once you get there that the world deigns to notice your existence once more.

Eoin Liston, to be fair, has clocked ourselves and the Rebels and, in case you haven’t seen his piece in the Irish Independent yet, it’s here. I’d have no major quibbles with Bomber’s analysis: Cork have plenty of talent, for sure, and it’s obvious that what’s largely holding them back is a lack of application.

If Cork do turn up with their A game – something they’ve failed to do for quite a while now – then we’ll need to make damn sure we do likewise. Hence, I guess, Stephen Rochford’s cautioning the other day about a backlash from the Rebels on Saturday and our need to be ready for this.

There’s no team news to report on yet and I guess it’ll be tomorrow night before anything happens on that front. Before then, by the way, there’ll be a bonus episode of the Mayo News football podcast going online so keep an eye out here for that.

While I have your attention, there are two initiatives from Mayo GAA that I want to draw to your attention.

First, it was announced yesterday that all money raised from this week’s Mayo GAA Lotto will be donated to the David Gavin Benevolent fund. All the Mayo squad and management are giving their backing to this very worthy initiative and the more people that play the Lotto this week, the better.

The jackpot now stands at €14,900 and there’s also a prize of €250 of Mayo GAA gear to be won. If you want to play this week’s Lotto – go on, you do – the link is here.

Second, there’s a Mayo GAA competition on Instagram for a Mayo jersey signed by all the squad, as well as a €100 voucher for Elvery’s. All you need to do to enter is follow the official Mayo GAA Instagram account gaamayo_official and tag a friend using #wherepassionsunite. The winner will be announced before the game on Saturday. Full competition details here.

43 thoughts on “Still under the radar

  1. Luckily I was out of the country for 2014 so I’m not too familiar with limerick for a game.Does anyone have any tips on where to have a handy pint or two before the game?A few of us driving down so any suggestions on a quick exit also appreciated!

  2. Ya never ever drink and drive!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And enjoy the game and have a safe trip

  3. There’s a small hotel almost across the road from the ground if memory serves correct FW. Definitely walking distance to Mackey stand

  4. First time poster but long time follower of this wonderful site. Really looking forward to a return to Limerick this weekend and in an attempt to wet my appetite further I have being trying to find online our reply against Kerry in 2014. Unfortunately I can only find very brief highlights.
    Does anyone know where this can be viewed?

  5. Cork have bounds of skill and talent and no results to back it up. Mayo in fairness to them need to be decisive when it comes to beating Cork. They will come at us fast and direct, there seems to be little tactical about their play but they are potent. I though that the main ones talking negatively about them after wards was Kerry journalists, same boys will be talking them up prior to playing them next year.

  6. I must say I’m really looking forward to the game now. Pretty much a full panel, bar some long term injuries. We are hitting form, albeit after a few scares, thats what Mayo do. We aren’t a team that dominates the opposition and we haven’t in a long time. Still i’m confident. Are Cork capable of playing well, yes of course they are. They won’t though as they haven’t delivered in a long, long time, and we won’t let them. They will try but we’ll over power them. We do need to lay a marker down and prove to the rest of the country that we still are a very tough team and when we get back to Croker no one will want to play us.

    One game at a time though.

  7. Many Mayo fans staying in Limerick Saturday night? Any pre and post game watering holes to recommend? Hopefully we can all sit back, relax and enjoy Galway v Donegal…in good spirits hopefully

  8. Despite all of the cautioning commentary from Stephen, I’m far from convinced that we will start well. We have sleepily skulked our way into our games so far this summer with an almost adolescent like lethargy, so it will come down to where this Cork team really and truly is placed in the subconscious of our players. Failure to respect and be concerned about the individual running power and scoring ability that so many on that team possess will almost certainly see us perish once again on that pitch. Will our players go at Cork from the beginning like men possessed or will they allow them get a foothold in the game? Mayo by a point or two but only if their intensity is fully tuned from the very start.

  9. Don’t like the venue for obvious reasons,,(2014)etc,had to play there as the yank took our field(
    CP), anyway, again we have to play above all that to win Sat.I think we have a great chance if our Management get their act together,as we have plenty of options now,and AOS now that he is coming back on form should play a big part if we are to win,is play him just outside the D play the high ball into him, have a young runner on both sides running off him! If we deploy this tactic we will get the result,hon Mayo

  10. Hoping we set out our stall offensively. That we play a target ff line for the most part that will set up scores for players coming through.
    At last the mayo campaign gathering momentum.
    Play defensively and we will invite cork at us. They may not be easy to reel back if they get their tails up.

  11. Only a couple a hundred coming from Cork for the game? Embarrassing from a county with a big population. Anyway its time for ourselves to rally the troops and get as many Mayo people as possible down to Limerick and turn this into a home game and take the place over.
    I wonder will the big Mayo flag be making the journey.

  12. @yew tree – If you’re staying in Limerick for the night Tom Collins bar off O’Connell st is a must visit. Clsssic old school city centre boozer with an excellent selection of craft beers

  13. My memories of 2014 is an epic game. Of course like all I was very disappointed but also felt I had just witnessed one of the greatest GAA games ever and was proud of our team’s never say die attitude and sad to hear of Horan’s departure afterwards.
    I would love to go back to Limerick but away on hols.
    Tips, if busy take the Craughwell route and skip past Gort, double back to motorway. Also if busy head off motorway at Sixmilebridge and park near Thomond. There’s a hotel beside the pitch with Carvery and loads of craic, at least it was last time.

  14. One thing that we have going for us in the build-up to this game, is that the competition for places in the team/26 man match day panel seems to be increasing, as the year progresses. This is good to see and should keep all of our players on their toes, no matter what Cork will bring to the party on Saturday. Best of luck to all of those involved for us in this match.

  15. I recall parking near Thomond and don’t recall any parking meters. It was only 20 mins walk from there to hotel / pitch. I think we came in Knockilasheen road via a back road from Sixmilebridge which worked brilliantly and parked off Old Cratloe Rd. May be able to park a good bit closer e.g. Caherdavin Heights.

  16. Tom Collins is a great spot, will be heading for there after the Galway v Donegal game. Few other decent spots are Myles Breen’s, Jerry Flannerys, Mickey Martins and the Locke Bar. If you’re looking for a late bar/nightlclub, Nancy’s, Red Hen and the Icon will be the spots. Not the best city for pubs for watching sport, McGettigans will prob be the best spot to watch Galway v Donegal.

    Think the first 10-15mins will say a huge amount about this game, would like to see Higgins pushed further forward, Loftus has to start, need as much gametime as possible, would like to see Kirby get at least 20mins off the bench, think he’s been a bit hard done by and offers something different.

  17. I’d be very pleasantly surprised if we start well. This team under Rochford doesn’t seem to be able to do that. Can anyone recall a game where we did.
    if that continues then we will be in a dogfight right to the end, Cork are collectivlty poor so far but good individually and our scratching ourselves for the first 25 minutes starts will give them plenty of hope.
    Never give a sucker a break is a lesson this team doesn’t seem to want to take on board.
    Hopefully I’m completely wrong tomorrow but I expect to be sitting on the edge of my seat in the Mackey stand for most of this.

  18. I’m not too bothered about how we’ll perform tomorrow. Save the big performances for the likes of Kerry and Dublin. I know that’s disrespectful to Cork, but f*ck it. I just hope it doesn’t go to extra time.

  19. A significant memory I have of our meeting with Cork in ’89 concerns the kind of form exhibited by the rebels in their previous games. I think you could say that they had been very wasteful when it came to scoring… ‘would nt score for snuff’ old phrase of the times. However, on the day we were more than surprised at their accuracy…. it’s what bate us in fact. I recall some shocking loose standing off….hand waving ….on the part of certain of the Mayo players as though they were defying them to have a go!
    Different game, diff times, different teams but the memory sticks like those burdock sticky things!
    Each game comes with its own agenda and if it were otherwise I doubt if we would be at all bothered! So I hope our boys stick like the sticky things, keep the hands down and take their scores pulling up!

  20. New to posting on this site but a fan for a couple of years, keep up the good work!
    Starting like we did against Derry or Clare will instill confidence in this Cork team. If we can hit thr ground running and get a few points ahead early, i can see Cork throwing the towel in and Mayo coming away comfortably. We are a top 4 team for 5 years now, we should have the confidence to put any team away.
    The 2nd half display v Clare was the type of football Mayo are naturally good at, quick running attacks. Deploy that game plan against Cork (and hopefully Kerry in the quarters) and both will find it hard to keep up with us.

  21. Can’t understand why people are afraid of this game based on 89. Cork were favourites then and had Tompkins and Fahy from Kildare. TJ Kilgallon our top midfielder had a hamstring and was played unusually centre back and Tompkins ran riot for first 5 or 10 mins when Cork put up a lead. They were perhaps the better team but we had a good chance to win.
    Bears absolutely no impact on tomorrow’s game though. We’re the favourites and looking for closer to a 70 min performance which I’m confident we’ll produce. And if Cork can beat a good Mayo performance then good luck to them.

  22. Cork very much under the radar. Mayo hot favourites tag. But if we let Cork at us from the start, it could go down to wire. They played well in patches against Kerry….first fifteen mins will tell us a lot…

  23. Just wondering if we are adopting a containment policy for the first half and then an all guns blazing effort for the second. If so I think this is good. We seemed to do this against Derry and Clare though Clare could have punished us further.

    Our third (and moving) quarter has improved hugely. Even against Derry, we were much better and created a hell of a lot of chances and indeed continued this right through to the fourth quarter.

    Don’t forget also, that one advantage of the qualifiers is that it gives us time (if we keep winning!) to iron out the problems and tweak things on the road. This has been happening so far. Would Loftus have got the game time he has had if we beat Galway and handled the Rossies comfortably? He might have been brought on for the last few minutes but it would be game time of the calibre of Derry and subsequently Clare. Nearly all of the match day panel have had game time at this stage and this is a real bonus, which, I hope, can continue tomorrow.

  24. That is a nice initiative for this week’s Smart Lotto. Does anyone know how much this Lotto is generating for Mayo GAA? Is it in public accounts?

    Looking forward to Limerick, but always nervous about Cork. They have some fantastic players. At the moment they are one of the most underperforming counties in the country.

  25. And McHales comments prior to the 2012 final saying we wouldn’t fear Donegal and isn’t it mighty we weren’t playing Kerry. I’d hope that it wouldn’t affect us but, at the very least, such comments are unhelpful.

    Cantini, we’re a county who have contested 10 AI finals days since 1989 and won none, so forgive us if we look anywhere and everywhere for the small margins. Other counties do it, ones with far more success than us, mind you.

    We get a heck of a lot right so we need guard against things that could potentially further stumble us. I think that’s fair and understandable at this stage.

  26. What`s the old saying? A game of two halves ! This time it will need to be. No settling down time.

    I don`t know if there`s something wrong with the warm up or what. I`ve watched it a few times (the one

    before they get to the stadium) and it seems robust enough. Dunno.

  27. Feck this “Play it cautious in the first half”
    Go at it hard from the start with our running game. This is what the team can do but seem
    to be stopped from doing so.
    No defensive set up and constantly playing long ball into an isolated full forward line.
    And I don’t want to see Cillian anywhere near the corner back position.
    If we see these issues tomorrow in the 1st half then my suspicions about the management will
    have been realised.

  28. Don’t think there’s anything wrong at all with warm up.
    Simply I think there are so much tactics in the modern game players minds are a bit muddled. When the tactics are tweaked and opposition tires and Mayo play with more abandon we do well. Tactics are needed but as Brolly said Donegal and Tyrone had lots of practice with blanket so it was lodged in their operating system so to speak. Last year took several games for us to get it fully working. This year fewer teams using blanket for whatever reason apart from Tyrone who could easily mess up the Dubs.

  29. Cork have actually been starting very slowly in their games this year as well. They only scored one point in the first-half against Tipp and were 6-1 down in the second-half before they got going. So if both of us start as badly as we have been doing in games this year, it might be nil-nil at half-time! Something has to give in this game, maybe both teams will start well.

    Traditionally Cork have been a come from behind team, remember in 2014 at one stage we were 7 ahead of them in the second-half but they came back to within 1 point of us in the end, scoring two goals late on. So that’s why if we get ahead of them we really have to try and kill the game and not let them get a sniff of a comeback.

    The last game I can remember from memory of us starting well in was the Cavan game in the league. We were 9-4 ahead coming up to half-time. Then we gave away a bad goal and a point from a free for dissent so rather than us tagging on another couple of points before half-time to be 6 or 7 up at the break, we were only 1 ahead, having to play into the wind in the second-half. So if we build up a lead, we really have to maintain it and not give Cork hope as I don’t think they will throw in the towel as easily as Clare did in the last game.

  30. It’s pointless looking back at the 89 final v Cork, todays game has changed so much.
    Cork were very much battle hardened going into that final, having been beaten by Meath in the 87 and 88 finals, in very rough matches. Cork had a few brillant players back then, Tompkins, Fahy, dual winner McCarthy, Cahalane, Barry and Counihan.
    Mayo will win tomorrow but it could be a tight affair, Donegal will also beat Galway and the draw for the Quarters will be interesting. I would nearly prefer to get Kerry at this stage as they will be better later on ( the Gaa will probably keep Mayo and Kerry apart in the Quarters draw ) Ideally Tyrone could do us a big favour by beating the Dubs in the semis, but I can’t see that happening too easily, could be shades of 2014 on the horizon.

  31. Whatever about staying Under the Radar, Willie Joe.. We need our own Radar to be nearing its precise best… I know it was a Castlebar man, that invented the ‘Torpedo’..Louis Brennan Both Cork and Mayo have a ship on their crest.. One of them is going to be sunk… And for whichever of the Ship’s is sunk,.. I fear it will be without trace.

  32. I expect us to win with six or seven to spare ,also I expect Galway to win think Ros caught them cold and Donegal have slipped a bit,up Mayo

  33. Get the Win V Cork and hope Galway take Donegal and we get the sheepsteelers in the quarter finals

    Would love a day in Croke Park v Rossies

  34. Interesting stuff there HSE.

    My point is that it’s hard to blitz a team for 70 minutes. And the bigger the lead you build up, the more vulnerable you become when the opposition get a sniff of it. This looked to be the Rossies’ case – remember Galway got back a 9 point deficit to 3 with a gale behind them. I still don’t know what exactly happened at that stage, though the Rossies steadied and Ian Kilbride probably played a part. Even Mayo the last day coughed up 3 points in the last few minutes – felt we shouldn’t have done that. Timing of substitutions is critical too; it’s becoming more scientific with GPS but there’s still an art to it.

  35. Yeah Catcol it is hard to blitz a team for 70 minutes, Dublin are probably the only team that can do that, as they have the back-up players to do this. Think back to the All-Ireland final replay last year, to be able to be bringing on the likes of Bernard Brogan, Michael Darragh MacAuley and Cormac Costello. Then in 2015 against us it was Alan Brogan, Kevin McManaman and Michael Fitzsimons, they brought on to beat us.

    In 2013, 2014 and 2015 you could say we ran out of steam and players in the big games. This is probably why Stephen Rochford wants us to pace ourselves more in games rather than having a gung-ho style. It is a bit of a Russian Roulette type scenario for us at times though, like in the Galway game in Salthill this year, we missed our chances and lost, likewise the free that Cillian missed to equalise against Dublin last year to bring the game to extra-time.

    In relation to building up leads, I think it depends on who your opposition is. So for us when your ahead of teams like Fermanagh, Westmeath, Clare, Tipp and Sligo you’d be fairly confident of them not delivering a sucker punch. They would be kind of used to putting in a big effort but losing in the end. On the other hand a team like Cork would be more capable of delivering a sucker punch as they have All-Ireland winners in their ranks. So for us if we are ahead by a few points and looking fairly comfortable, we have to try and make sure that we don’t concede a bad goal like we did in the Derry game. If we gave Cork the chance to take us out, like we did against Derry, Cork would probably be more capable of landing a knock-out blow. As the saying goes, ‘Never give a sucker an even break’.

  36. I see The Mayo team (that probably will not start) has been named. One change – Tom Parsons for Vaughan.

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