The day before

AISF 2015 pre-match parade

So the week’s flown by and already we’ve reached the day before the replay of our All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin. Are we nearly ready for it? We’ve little choice but to be.

Last night it was a case of another night, another Diarmuid Connolly appeal, the second unsuccessful one he’s now made against the one-match ban proposed by the CCCC following the red card he picked up for striking Lee Keegan (and let’s not forget that little detail) in the drawn game. Dublin are now, as is their right, considering if they should head for the last chance saloon that is the GAA’s Disputes Resolution Authority. If they do, then the DRA hearing will have to be held at some point later on tonight.

It’s difficult to find fault with Dublin doing what they can to get a key player off the hook for such an important game (I’d imagine we’d do the same if we were in that position) but a disciplinary process that allows three separate appeals to be taken is one that’s seriously in need of reform. It’s a one-match ban Connolly has been hit with, not the death penalty, so a system that allows one appeal (which should carry the risk of the proposed punishment being doubled, to cut down frivolous appeals) should surely be enough. That issue, though, is one for again and so Dublin may well be back onto the appeal merry-go-round once more tonight.

Two points made this morning about how the DRA operates are relevant here. The first one provides some legal context for how the DRA operates:

The next is procedural:

In relation to the latter, tomorrow’s 5pm throw-in time is obviously a relevant factor. Another long night appears to be on the cards at Croke Park.

Meanwhile, Dublin look set to name Connolly in their team tonight, providing, I guess, they go ahead and announce their starting fifteen before the appeals process is exhausted. As we discussed yesterday, including him in their 26-man match-day panel was the only sensible thing to do, otherwise he couldn’t have featured tomorrow, appeal or no appeal. Once he’s in the panel, then it’s all the one whether or not they name him in the team-sheet they release tonight. If the DRA decision doesn’t go their way, their match-day panel is reduced to 25 but that’s the chance they’ve had to take.

That Irish Examiner piece also says that Rory O’Carroll’s availability for tomorrow is still in doubt, while there are concerns relating to both Jonny Cooper (withdrawn in the second half last Sunday) and Alan Brogan (who was involved in a nasty looking head-clash with Paul Flynn just before the end).  I still wouldn’t be surprised to see both O’Carroll and Cooper named to start with Brogan, like he did the last day, coming off the bench in the second half.

Over at the Irish Independent, meanwhile, Donnchadh Boyle has an utterly ludicrous piece, full of ifs and buts and maybes to set out an argument as to why Dublin will have a “siege mentality” going into tomorrow’s replay. The only direct quote he can muster for this drivel is one dating from 2012 from Pillar Caffrey (which is of the “dem culchies is all against us” variety), as he joins the dots from the free count against Dublin (for fouls committed) to the Connolly case (which arose from a strike) to reach the ridiculous conclusion that Dublin will feel under siege at Croke Park tomorrow.

Really? Playing in their 52nd successive home game in the championship with upwards of three-quarters of the crowd behind them, I wouldn’t be wringing my hands with any such worries for the poor embattled Metropolitans. (Then again I’m not trying to sell newspapers in Dublin). The most person I reckon who’ll feel under siege tomorrow will be Eddie Kinsella, with every free given to us being met with a wall of baying invective. The more I think about it, the more crucial reffing will be tomorrow. I just hope Kinsella is prepared to give us 50:50 – that’s all we want, that’s all we’ll need.

Staying with the Indo, Tomás Ó Sé has, by the looks of it, two pieces in today’s paper. In his one focusing on the match, Tomás reckons Dublin played the hard man too much the last day (in the local patois hereabouts, that would be chalked down as statin’ the bleedin’ obvious) and that if they focus more on football the next day they’ll win out. Hmmm: can the likes of Cooper and McMahon suddenly switch to being choirboys? As the saying goes, I’m not sure they’re the type of players that could.

In his other piece, Tomás gives out yards about the black card and I’m 100% with him on that. I’d have the sin-bin back in a heartbeat myself but that’s a cold weather discussion point, I accept.

Back to the Examiner, where Monaghan’s Dick Clerkin is building a good reputation for himself as a refreshing new voice on the scene. In this piece in today’s paper, Dick focuses on a number of positive cameos from the drawn game to show that all of Sunday’s action wasn’t of the negative variety.

Finally, if you haven’t yet seen the superb piece on the Mayo Club ’51 site about Italy’s biggest Mayo GAA fan, then take the time to read it – here. And we think we’re hard core: good on you Matteo, we know you’ll be with us in spirit tomorrow evening.

Support the lads ahead of the replay: go to the Mayo GAA website (here) and click ‘Play Now’ to contribute to the cause via the Mayo GAA Players Training and Welfare Fund Lotto.

118 thoughts on “The day before

  1. Can’t make this match but I have faith in this group of players who owe this county nothing and who richly deserve the top prize!
    Maigheo Abu!
    Good luck to all our amazing supportes!

  2. Please god Mayo keep their discipline particularly Cillian Leroy and Aido as cards will be given in the early stages for anything that’ looks out of order as a way of containing things, this is vital, Jeep the heads lads and play cute, see ye all there #thejourney #maugheoabu

  3. For years I’ve heard supporters telling the players not to be bullied or intimidated on the field. Well now is the time for the supporters not to be intimidated or bullied in the stands. An element of the Dublin support will try their best to intimidate Mayo supporters tomorrow, so be prepared. Don’t be ignorant or foolish but by fuck don’t be silenced either. The dubs tried it on the field the last day and got their arses handed to them, let it be the same in the stands tomorrow.
    98% of both supporters are salt of the earth, but when you add the late throw in and the extra pints, the Hill will be rocking, so stand your ground, roar the lads to victory and silence the Hill.
    Maigh Eo Abù

  4. How the hell is it only a day away? 😀

    And even worse how the hell is an appeal still allowed go on for a player? A DAY away!

  5. Is it true that connolly could play extra time tomorrow in the event of the game finishing level again?

  6. The sense of outrage being felt in Dublin quarters at the CHC upholding Connolly’s one match suspension is understandable and it arises out of the way that the GAA and the media usually treat Dublin. Dublin has the biggest fan base, they generate the most money and Ireland’s largest stadium is right in the middle of their county. Because of the population and number of GAA clubs in the county, they always get more tickets for the big games and their use of soccer-type chants gives their supporters a focus for collective noise during a match. As they are never required to leave the county for a championship game, they feel an ownership to Croke Park and especially to the Hill.

    This is compounded further by the GAA, in that they always get the same dressing room and always warm up in front of the Hill. The media fawns all over them (in order to sell papers to their large fan base) and they are portrayed as the white knights that save Gaelic Football from the terrible influence that comes from the North of the country. Jim Gavin feeds off this by never publicly acknowledging that he may have some problems. In fact, he actually feeds it through not commenting on such things as whether or not O’Carroll actually DID get 10 stitches on Sunday.

    All of this leads many Dublin supporters to feel a sense of superiority. Dublin is ENTITLED to Croke Park, the Hill, THEIR dressing room and the fawning media. This then extends to an entitlement to win EVERY match.

    When that is challenged, it is met with outrage. This week, the media cried foul and all hell broke loose. Charlie Redmond’s intervention was typical of this mindset. And now there is an attempt to build a siege mentality around Connolly. This guy got the only straight red in a match that could have produced many more and he is a victim!

    Remember, the siege mentality is being built by a team that has a dreadful discipline problem, their own (effectively) 82,300 seater stadium that they don’t have to pay a cent to maintain, their own dressing room, a bigger ticket share than anyone else, a media that is tripping over them trying to give them every break and enough sponsorship money to run a small country.

    And they are being discriminated against?

    As they say in Dublin “Aw here….”

    Tomorrow can’t come fast enough!

  7. Why are most of you obsessed with this Connolly non-sense? If he plays, he plays. We are more than capable of dealing with him, as was shown in last Sunday’s game.

  8. It’s not, Mac – I saw something about that earlier on (can’t remember where). If he’s out he’s out for the game plus any extra-time (notwithstanding the “extra-time is a new game” convention).

  9. Jaysis Four Goal Magee. Not holding back there!

    I expect that post to be all over Hill 16, Reservoir Dubs, All Dublin GAA Fans, in about an hour’s time and look forward immensely to the frothing at the mouth that will ensue. 😀

  10. Anybody going on the Hill tomorrow i would say get there early. The England v Ireland rugby starts at 14.30 and should finish by about 16.10 or 16.15. I’d say plenty of Dubs will watch this either at home or in the pubs near Croker and then head off in to see the boys in blue. The green and red should already be inside and taken sections of the Hill.

    Stick together people. The vast majority of Dubs GAA folk that i know are decent people but there will no doubt be a few fellas “acting the jennet” and no doubt one or two “Mayo jennets” there as well unfortunately.

  11. maigh eo, simply because if Connolly is out it weakens them considerably. Lee has shown that he can totally nullify someone like Connolly. If he doesn’t have him to worry about he can do a job on someone else, or indeed loosen the shackles and be worth a couple of scores for us.

    I, for one, really hope that he does not play.

  12. With you there Liam, there is an onus on Mayo supporters tomorrow evening like never before. Bring the flags and roar your support loud. It’s the least this group of players deserve!
    Hon Mayo!

  13. I can’t roar because I still have barely any voice since Sunday which has made my first week in a new job somewhat of a challenge. Need to figure out an alternative plan fast 😀

  14. The best summation I’ve heard yet McGee, spot on. As an aside, did anyone see Damien Comer’s tweet last night siding with Connolly and having a dig at Lee? He’s a cracking footballer but I doubt Mensa will be asking for his membership fee anytime soon.
    I f*#king love that we finally have some hard, edgy players who play right on the limit, too long we have been the nice boys of Gaelic football.

  15. Have no sympathy for Dublin or Connolly, the dubs would be laughing to the bank if aos and CoC were both banned for life from croker starting today.. And the siege mentality is fine provided you have to players to instill it in, Dublin don’t. They won Sam 2 years ago and 4 years ago,and the league the last 3 years running, they couldn’t keep up the show and when you see Alan brogan being brought on at this stage of the year you know that the dubs either ignored the younger forwards in Dublin or else they weren’t good enough. Anyway, the Mayo players won’t show one ounce of sympathy, if they get the chance they’ll drive it home.
    On the field tomorrow I hope that some of our boys take a final look up before taking a shot near goal, we shouldnt be even here talking about a replay, we had 2 opportunities near the end of the game to take goals but the wrong option was taken, a look up near goal and Mayo will get the goals needed to get past Dublin.

  16. With Connolly out, Alan Brogan still recovering from his clash with Flynn and Cormac Costello no longer in the Dublin panel, the options from their bench are not are good as the papers would have us believe.

  17. Had to laugh at Comer’s tweet last night – the lad hasn’t a clue and his county are years behind the leading pack. The hashtag #ScorelessInSalthill came to mind…

  18. Should be a tight game, you can easily look at it from a point of view from either side to point to victory for them. Will Dublin insist on fouling again or will they call Mayos bluff to see can their forwards score from play? Will Mayo press up on Cluxtons kickouts from the off and try to win ball this way? Who will start instead of Connolly? Alan Brogan if he has recovered from his knock is a primary contender and he can usually deliver good ball into the brother who was starved of possession the last day. Will Jim Gavin throw a big curveball and not go for an obvious replacement for Connolly and instead push McCaffrey up into the half forwards whose pace would be a real problem for Mayo nearer goal. So many questions and so little answers

  19. Four goal McGee,
    Willie Joe’s piece is good. Nothing wrong with yours either. Two words come to mind. Nail and head.

  20. I hope connolly gets a last minute reprieve. It would make it a level playing pitch and leave no room for excuses. However, if o Carroll doesn’t play it’s a huge loss for dublin. I hope Lee is mentally strong enough for the abuse he’s gonna get from dub supporters. The forwards have to step up and score more from play. Please please let freeman come on early

  21. Hold on. Is anyone really suggesting they would like to see Connolly on the pitch tomorrow?/
    This guy when he gets his head right could single handed, win it for Dublin.

    If he is out, we are in my opinion favourites. If he plays, we are evens at best.

    So, CCC, DRC, ABC, DEF, please don’t overturn Connolly’s red card.

  22. I would have a genuine fear, especially with the late throw in, that there could be a lot of tension in the stands tomorrow. A lot of Dublin fans have taken this persecution complex way way too far and its starting to get very nasty on social media. It is incredible that they have made a victim out of a man with a deplorable disciplinary record both on and off the field even though he got what was a nailed on red card.

    Some of the posts by Dublin fans (begging for retweets) are nothing short of incitement. I am, in the main, referring to the picture of Cillian which they seem to suggest shows him punching Connolly (it doesn’t, nor does the video of course which the screen shot was taken from because if it did, then that is the point at which they would have frozen the image for circulation). But then again, McMahon, of course, didn’t headbutt anybody-it was Aidan’s fault for ‘pulling’ him towards him!!!

  23. “Hold on. Is anyone really suggesting they would like to see Connolly on the pitch tomorrow?/
    This guy when he gets his head right could single handed, win it for Dublin.”

    Finally someone that agrees with me Tony!!

    I watched the 2013 semi back wed night, he was scary good. Won the game for them

  24. Connolly is one scary dude from that picture. The various appeals should be thinking about increasing the penalty not reducing it. Lee is lucky not to have suffered serious injury from that incident.

  25. I agree with you Liam. Mayo supporters might get some abuse from a small minority of Dublin fans but we can’t be intimidated as said previously get into the hill early in a group. I was watching Alan Brogan getting treatment at end of game Jaysus he looked shook I didn’t see what happened but be looked dazed.On Connolly even if we gets off there is no way he can be mentally right for game .I believe that Dublin will commit same amount of fouls as they are not on the same level as us to tackle within rules however tomorrow they will commit those fouls further out the field. If we can stop getting wrapped up in tackles we will cause damage but we must commit bodies no man can be left isolated. Cluxton will be nervey coming into game let’s test his fucking metal as Paudi would say and test it early. Good early intensity from our lads to ask the Dubs questions of themselves. Hon Mayo !!

  26. Ciaran and Tonyk….. i am with you on that, i’m praying his ban gets upheld. let people not worry about this crack of the dubs ahving ” no excuses”. The losers will be long forgotten and any winging will be just perceived as sour grapes. we just need to concentrate on supporting our lads.

  27. That wasn’t the Lee Keegan incident, Chicago – that was another assault that occurred earlier and it’s Diarmuid O’Connor who was having his head pushed into the ground. It was included in the tweet I embedded in the post but it’s not relevant to the sending-off incident.

  28. Thanks WJ. Sad to see such a talented footballer resort to assaulting players. And he’s one of the leaders that his team mates look up to.

  29. I would say Connolly is a long way from “getting his head right” lads at this present time.

    If he did play tomorrow i’d say he would be more likely to get sent off again than win the game single handedly for them.

    We will win if we go about our business and take our chances. We have the measure of them whether he plays or not.

  30. I think you’re right, Jim. Key to this would be his threatening demeanour as he was walking off when he was pointing back to Lee and looked as if he was telling him what he’d do the next time their paths crossed.

  31. “Watch your back” is what I lipread when he was walking off. Whether or not that’s right, I don’t know

  32. Yeah its very hard to know will the Connolly incident help us or hinder us, did Lee Keegan getting off last year for the replay in Limerick help us, I don’t think it did really. Did Kevin Keane getting off his ban help us, I don’t think it did either. So its a hard one to call if Connolly gets off, if that will help or hinder them. If he does not play then maybe all of the other players will up their performance by 5% as we often see when a player gets sent off. Remember the way we played last year against Kerry in the second half after Lee got sent off, that was probably our best 30 minutes of football all year. One thing is though, if Connolly had kept his cool and not got sent off we might not have this replay as chances are he would not have missed the last free that Cluxton did. Maybe the Dubs should be giving out to him for that rather than having sympathy for him. We have to get our own house in order anyway, you’d expect a big improvement from us which hopefully will be enough to get us over the line, whoever they have playing for them on the day.

  33. If Connolly plays he will not be as aggressive, same as Lee last year. In any circumstance he’s one of their most dangerous forwards. If he doesn’t play and the rest of the team up their performance it will mean conceding more frees and cards for them.

  34. Safe traveling all Mayo fans tomorrow. And at the game focus on OUR team and giving them the support. Ignore any abuse or intimidation that may be thrown our way.

  35. Right, enough of the talking, no-one knows what the feck is going to happen tomorrow so lets stop talking about it and get it over with.
    The longer the week has gone on the more I really wish we had just finished it off last week.

  36. When I heard a few months back that Eoghan Ogara had done hes cruciate & would be out for the year I was secretly delighted all we need now is something to happen to Connolly I thought ….and now it has he should not be be playing tomorrow. We now have to take this opportunity and go for the win early in the game Dublin will lose their discipline and could be down to 13 players by the end.
    On a separate note I thought the Dublin fans were the great the last day shaking hands with a lot of them at the end,
    I had to wait for the bus to Galway so had a couple of pints in the hill 16 pub, I was the only person in there with a green and red shirt and the singing was brilliant the dubs really enjoyed me joining in with the “the auld triangle” so I gave them a hearty version of the “west awake” the whole pub gave me high fives.

    enjoy the day everybody
    Mayo to win

  37. For anyone who hasn’t managed to get a ticket, there are online tickets available again on… There seems to be some available for each stand

  38. We will be badly outnumbered tomorrow so we really need those of us attending to bring the biggest green and red flags you can get your hands on. You know – huge, gigantic ones and fill the place with a beautiful sea of green and red.

    The rules are the same as last week.

    1. No negativity feeding down from the stands.

    2. Roar the “Mayo Mayo” chant with all you have in you. When the chant starts up, please join in.

    3. When the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, let it all out. Go for it. Your help will be needed like never before.

  39. Jim Flag,

    You’ve hit it on the nail there!

    Leave nothing behind – just the same as the lads on the pitch.

    No negativity just roar down our support to the lads.

    I’m not a fan of booing the opposing team either.

    Hopefuily after tomorrow we’ll be thinking about how to bring even more colour and noise to the final itself!

    Safe travelling to all!

  40. Watched the match again last night, COC was unbelievable. I think our tactic of not pushing up on the full back line for the kick outs worked well and if we took our scores it would have been hailed as a master stroke. Aidan definitely needs more support and a better supply of ball going in. COC hit him with a peach of a pass for the penalty that was not given so more of the same would open the Dubs defence. Looked like a wide from Bernard Brogan and cannot understand how Hawkeye not called for. Our wides at start of 2nd half were really bad so if forwards have their shooting boots on tomorrow and we use the same tactics, same starting 15, cant see us losing.

  41. I thought the first point that we scored against Dublin was a real template score to get. We were very patient with the ball and worked it really well through a no. of players then found Lee in space and he popped it over. It was interesting that it was Aido that set him up with a lovely pass, Aidan was out towards the wing that time. It might be a good idea at times to use him as a decoy to leave space for us to exploit down the middle. I’d like to see Cillian play around the D as well at times. He seems to need a bit of room to operate in. He is well able to kick points from distance and the ball he played into Aidan, with his left foot, for the penalty claim was the best ball played into Aidan all day. I agree with you there justoutsideballagh!

    Having someone to support Aidan then will be key, to feed off him. Kevin Mc was in this position at times last Sunday but it didn’t really work. We need an extra scorer in there I think. Cutting out the long diagonal balls going into our final third will be vital. I thought that was great to see when Chris Barrett punched the ball away from Bernard Brogan, hopefully we’ll see some more of that tomorrow.

  42. There’s so much attention on all these appeals by Dublin…honestly, our lads will have planned on Connolly playing in this game, and Lee quiet’n him again. Simples.

    If the latest appeal fails and he’s out, then its clearly a tremendous loss for them. Regardless, we must still play our game, take our chances and punish them when we get the chance.
    Who cares if Dublin bitch and moan that it wasn’t fair…of course its not! Life isn’t always fair, we’ll take any advantage we can get…and we’ll march on to the AI Final and soon forget about Dublin’ and their moan’n.

  43. This ‘siege mentality’ thing is getting out of control.

    The media (Boyle’s piece in the Indo a case in point) are feeding this and it’s adding to the tension ahead of tomorrow’s game.
    It’s really pretty simple. Connolly struck Keegan and was correctly red carded. The replays proved he struck Lee, so what the fuck is the appeal for? A few Dublin players were out of control last Sunday, so I have no idea how this can be turned into a ’31 counties against us’ scenario.

    As for this campaign to cheer for Connolly on the 12th minute tomorrow, are they for real? This clown arguably cost them the game last week and has now lessened their chances of winning tomorrow. How is this thug being seen as some sort of victim in all of this?

  44. Can anyone tell me why Dublin has not named their team yet ,less than 24 hours before the throw in , and Mayo named their team 48 hours ago . Its seems the Dubs can make up their own rules to suit them .

  45. east cork exile.

    You’re talking my language. For sure no one knows how things will turn out tomorrow, and that’s what makes it such an intriguing match. And you’re dead right when you say we should have finished it off last Sunday. Yes we might have come back from the dead in those last hectic seven minutes, but when Andy put over that equalising point, the match was there for the taking. Dublin at that stage were in shock, and clearly hanging on for dear life and we just couldn’t land that knock out blow.

    It’s now a new game and we have to do it all over again. The atmosphere wl be hostile, the ref will be more nervous than the players, and the Dublin supporters, all fifty thousand of them will be baying for blood. Cool heads by our players will be paramount, it would be an incredible achievement to pull this one off. Fingers crossed that we do it.

  46. Freespoon
    Maybe if you had even the slightest pinch of knowledge of what these players commit from their lives to this sport, a horrific injury like a cruciate rupture would not bring you any joy. On the field of play these guys are warriors but I guarantee you for the most part they are gents off it, no different than any mayo man out there tomorrow. There are a few players that I wouldn’t me mad about but I would respect them and what they have sarcraficed in their personal life to represent their county.

    A few posters have suggested that if Mayo had a few more minutes they would have won it,, well to be honest they had sixty (more) minutes where they played a very defensive game to try to stop the Dubs from scoring goals. They failed to support AOS and anything that was kicked into him had to be won cleanly as he had no runner to break it down to, madness IMO.

    Ye have to have a more defined strategy as the game progresses. Holding them is obviously very important but equally important is the necessity to register scores and to ramp up the pressure. Donegal sat back in 2011 and invited them to try and score, mayo had shades of this tactic last Sunday. When they aren’t swashbuckling down the field raising the green flag their fickle supporters quieten and that nervousness infects the players on the field. This factor is evident in most teams but the dubs have this hugely vocal following and they need that noise to reassure them that all is well. A quiet hill is worth three points at least so Mayo will have to push up and strike. The time to do this is when the high winds soften allow the canvas in the sails to sagg after about fifteen minutes, that’s when ye should attack with more intent and not have one or two forwards inside struggling for possession and support. If Connolly misses the game your odds will drop sharply I’d imagine,, Cluxton has a chocolate head so turn up the heat and watch it melt,

  47. When will we finally know about Connolly?

    Glad I have the Ireland match to distract me for a while, and the huge result in Georgia!

  48. mayo/meath man

    The rule states that the list of starting 15 and 11 subs have to be provided to the organising committee by 9am on the Thursday before the game. It doesn’t say that it has to be announced to the public and most county boards only give 15 names to the public anyway. We have no idea what (if anything) Dublin has provided to the committee. They may have given the full list, with Connolly named but requested that it was not released until the appeals process was exhausted. If that is the case, I would have thought that the Mayo management would have been given sight of the “first 15 list” by yesterday morning.

    If Dublin had provided nothing the delay in doing so will cost them €1000 plus a possible loss of sideline access for the manager (though I think handing out that sanction would be very unlikely)

  49. I think there could be another curved ball thrown into the mix tomorrow, Danny Kirby could feature at some stage up top with Aido going back to the forty it worked well in the league games,,,i think we may need fresh legs….

  50. Folks,
    Am I the only one here who has seen one particular word once too often? I’m referring to the word ” Connolly”.

  51. @ Sourceoftherobe I had a little bit of a go at a few earlier on about the obsession over Connolly. It’s making us (the fans) look pathetic and nervous, a bit like an U12 team when they realise the opposition are much bigger than them. I wouldn’t be surprised if the people who are constantly inquiring about Connolly are among the same who left Croke Park last Sunday when we were 7 points down!

  52. Best of luck to all travelling tomorrow. No need to tell you shout your heads off
    Won’t make it myself, prior commitments prevent me, but I will insure that I’m parked in front of a TV somewhere shouting encouragement so loud maybe some of the players might even hear me?

  53. Em …. yea – it`s not about the opposition anymore. It`s about us .We really need to

    bring a seventy minute performance to the stage.- We now know we can do them.!

    But I have a little worry worming in me. The ref will be more severe this time. He will

    be told by his “union” not to let things slide. Be firm from the get go. I don`t want to

    see any of our fellows walk the line. they will have to be fiercely focused on the

    round white thing. AND NOTHING ELSE. Go for it lads this time . It`s your field.

  54. WJ you’re a fellow club mate of connollys at Vincent’s, im curious to know how he is viewed around the club – is he a well liked and well regarded individual or do you know him personally at all? His image at a national level is obviously quite negative in general, despite widespread acceptance of his status as one of the most talented players in the game. Interested to know if he’s a different person within his club?

  55. I don’t know what to think , never been as stuck for words, don’t know what to expect.
    Best of luck to ye bucks, so proud of this panel.

  56. Come on mayo. Posters who say the hope Connolly plays are kiddin themselves. I’ve first hand knowledge of this guy, and the reality is he cud win it on his own. If in the mood

  57. Why would we be worried about the ref? A sharp ref who keeps a handle on things will protect our players. CoC, Aiden, Kevin Mc all got savaged by the dubs. If they get a little protection they’ll create havoc. As for Philly Mc, O’Gara and these headers being more restrained, well as was said earlier, “it’s not in their nature”.
    Maigh Eo Abù

  58. People need to stop wondering and worrying about Connolly and his pointless series of appeals. He’s suspended for the game tomorrow – end of. What we need to be concerned with is who will take his place in their starting 15.

  59. I hate to hear talk of a 70 minute game cause in reality we need to be prepared to give everything for 75-80 minutes…never allow the opportunities that have been gifted to us! You see how a few minutes makes such a difference when Dublin thought they were home and hosed…full throttle for 75 minutes…Forrest Gump!!!

  60. Forget Connolly and Dublin. Focus on what we have and what we’re going to do.

    For me one of the crucial decisions revolves around how we get more out of Aidan O’Shea. On a second watch of the drawn game he was more influential than I thought. He won plenty of ball and just needed runners to dish it off to. If we can get that right we’ll create goal chances.

    I’d like to see McLoughlin further out the pitch as that’s where he tends to do his best work.

  61. Looking forward to game tomorrow and here hoping Mayo by 2 and cillian have good game again and Galway in hurling hopefully a good weekend for the west.

  62. Best of luck to our lads of course, but no mistaken, its a HUGE weekend for us “culchies”.
    The West can conquer this weekend, Mayo over Dublin and Galway over KK for the McCarthy cup..then we’ll be back in 2 weeks for Sam..
    Wouldn’t it be something?

  63. Can’t wait for tomorrow. We shouldn’t be concerned about Dublin just concentrate on our performance. We showed them too much respect in the first half the last day. Push up on cluxtons kickout and squeeze the life out of them. Let the team empty the tank and we’ll empty the tanks in the stands. We’re going to do it!

  64. Not overly concerned about Dublin, more concerned about the news saying Mayo naming unchanged team. Surely management cannot be putting Drake out again .

  65. Make no mistake Connolly is a massive loss to them, there best player by a country mile, it would be the same as us missing Aidan for the game tomorrow. So very confident of a 3 or 4 point winning margin with Cillian on song from the frees again.

  66. Barring 10-15 mins in the 3 rd quarter I hope we play the same game, yes give dublin the kickouts within the 21 and let them work the ball up the field slowly, it’s not their game. But in the 3 rd quarter make sure the scoring opportunities we get are converted, simples!!! we have the legs and physicality on these guys the last day and the 2013 AIF proves that. BELIEVE!!!

  67. I see another past hero of the Dubs, Vinnie Murphy, similar in nature to Connolly! Is whinging about the rough nature of Mayo tackling and how the Dubs got sucked into copying us. Did you ever the ” bate of it”? Obviously said to influence Mr. Kinsella. And there was I thinking that we were one of the best disciplined tackling sides in the country. No standing off the Dubs this time, straight into them early and put the frighteners on them all over the pitch, in a controlled disciplined fashion as always. Hon Mayo

  68. I couldn’t care less whether the Dubs are bitching and moaning or not or whether they feel hard done by. Hard done by is a ball bouncing over the bar to lose an All Ireland, having a key player wrongly sent off, being forced to play an All Ireland semi-final replay v Kerry in Munster, hard done by is OUR story. So f**k them and their hard luck stories cos we have a lifetime of hurt and hard done bys! And, if there’s a God above, that lifetime of hurt and pain and “oh so close failures” will be unleashed tomorrow evening against those cheating shower of thugs. I hope that the smiley smirk of Galvins is on the other side of his face by the time we finish with them.The blood is up and there is no way we’re losing this game. Our boys have hearts of granite and deserve a battling display from us in the stands.
    Mayo by 5.

  69. Forget aConnolly as long Mayo play well I be happy and I hope some Mayo fans don’t leave the match if Mayo are 7 down Mayo need Al support they get right rant over the weekend

  70. I will be watching the match tomorrow in the Hibernian pub in Raleigh, NC owned by Niall Hanley from Claremorris. Crazy to have 2 Claremorris men shouting at the Telly 3,500 miles from home……I might have to start drinking pints early….should be a great game, we will take it if we believe we can take it.

  71. If Mayo play the way we all know they can then it’s Mayo by 2 or 3. Either way, I admire those lads and all the work they put in so I hope they can honour that effort with a win tomorrow.

  72. Connolly has failed for the 3rd time to get his suspension overturned. He will not play 2moro!,Bring the tae and sambos Dermo! And enjoy ur last day out of 2015 from the bench!!!

  73. I think I’ll pass on that one, Mac’s left boot – I’d prefer not to drag my club affiliations into it and don’t want to personalise the issue either. This is inter-county, not club, so the debate needs to stick to this level.

  74. C’mon Mayo boys! Go up and win!
    2012 is the last time we won as underdogs…if we want to be champions then tomorrow is a bridge that needs to be crossed. Then a very quick turnaround to focus on the final test.

    Seize the day.

  75. People are losing the run of themselves! You would think it’s Bolt versus Gatlin or Good versus Evil! The Dub supporters are the salt of the earth! Give over with the whinging and enjoy another great game involving a great Mayo team!!!!

  76. What a strange week, you wouldn’t know if you were coming or going. At work all I could think about was this game tomorrow, and how would I manage my players and tactics if it was myself in the hotseat. Then, I got to thinking about last weeks comeback, it had nothing to do with h and c, it was down to the will and want of the men on the pitch. They done it, nobody told Boyler to run into the dubs and draw a penalty or Andy to rob the ball of cluxtons and nearly bury it, they know what’s needed and will deliver it as needed tomorrow. And the attitude of CoC, firstly to stick that penalty and secondly the calmness in the interview afterwards on the pitch, he’s a class act. 82,000 screaming at him and he buried what could turn out to be the most important goal in decades and then he stands there chatting as if he was talking to a neighbours about the weather.

    My prediction is

    Mayo. 3 16
    Dublin2 12

  77. Time for pause for me now I think and gather the breath. Plans are drawn up, let’s trust in management. Drawing the wind, and will use it tomorrow in full voice.

    There are a lot of issues thrown up that deserve consideration by the GAA (e.g. as WJ says 3 appeals processes has to be an indication of some seriously needed reform) then there is the growing gap in professionalism of players vs. amateurism seen in confusion over rules, black cards and refereeing inconsistency and I believe the real risk that until someone is seriously injured, in a highly charged cauldron that is CP, the GAA will not take action. However, that is for another day, tomorrow is about noise and colour from us and especially if things look bad at any stage, (temporarily) we must believe as the team does. So, outnumbered though we will inevitably be, let’s give it welly tomorrow, especially in times of need, let’s try think of the team and not our dreams!

    Finally, the Mayo Italian fan referenced by WJ above provides a little light relief. As I referenced yesterday on his opinion of McMahon is colourful to say the least. This guy deserves recognition (apart from which could be the big breakthrough for sales of Mayo jerseys in fashion conscious Italy!) A true member of Cairde Mhuigeho in the literal sense.

    Safe travelling to all tomorrow, get the noise and colour going in support of our wonderful team. I trust this time tomorrow we will be debating set up for the final!

  78. Fair enough WJ – fully understand why you’d not want to get drawn into a debate like that here. I was curious though, as I do find Connolly a quite intriguing character with a well documented chequered past and obvious high profile. Don’t think I’ve ever really heard him speak though in the media. He’s the kind of player that could produce a fascinating autobiography when he hangs up the boots. Bit like our own Ciaran MacDonald.

  79. ‘Once more unto the breach dear friends’..
    A famous battle cry, and tomorrow the battle is a game of footbaI..a very important one at that. I agree with alot of the above sentiment..i hope Mayo keep it tight from the throw in, maintain our dicipline under all circumstances, cut down error/wide count an offer more support up front.
    If we can do that and ‘keep boots on throats’, the blues will be buried long before the end.
    We as fans must also respect the game, and its traditions, an not allow ourselves to be dragged into any negativity, amongst our own and from the opposition. The majority of fans from all over our nation can stand together and applaud, without being segregated, an long may that continue.
    So let the game commence.
    May the best team win, Mayo hopefully!!

  80. That Cluxton miss was some butterfly effect moment. If Connelly didn’t get involved in acting the bollix he would have surely pointed that kick as per his previous attempt. Saying that I don’t think Mayo team believe in fate. I’m sure theyl do the job tomorrow

  81. Does anyone know if Vaughan is fully recovered or is it a smoke screen? Injury looked bad enough on sunday…

  82. any word from the Man from Del Monte!?

    Anyhow I just hope for a big performance from the lads, everything else will take care of itself then

  83. Connolly has been cleared to play on Dublin Gaa Twitter ….. This game has entered into a new ball park ….

    Up Mayo

  84. Joe
    It seems he got off! What do you have to do to deserve a suspension? Murder, manslaughter, GBH? If he did the same out on the street he would be arrested and charged with assault.
    Siege mentality? One whose under siege? If we lose and he has had any part in it I will be seriously pissed off with the GAA.

  85. This may turn out to be a good thing. Now we have a chip OUR shoulders, a grudge, a sense of unfairness. Let’s unleash that and every bit of venom stored up from several bouts of injustice over the years and win it in spite of all this sh* t that has been thrown our way. Ware into the fcukers!

  86. Connolly off you couldn’t make this up.

    If you murder someone you’ll probably be ok nowadays

    What an absolute farce

  87. Conolly gets off in early hours, GAA reaching new levels of craziness. I mean why is there is 3 levels you can dispute these issues. Again though Dublins have too much power within the GAA and this proves it.

    It’s up to Keegan to put Connolly back in his pocket like last week and try and get on the score board a few times as well. 100% sure he will.

    Back to the game still think we’ll win and Dublin will have no excuses. Some tweaks to the game plan and team needed and we’re away.

  88. It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, the few thousand miles exclude me from having a direct voice as I don’t see as many games as I’d like too and so don’t feel qualified to comment like some of the rest of you. The blog here and comments and twitter feeds from some of you are invaluable resources, eternal thanks Willie Joe. I have seen all our championship games this year and, unreasonably for the internet age, I’ve taken a while to form and express my thoughts on the team and management.
    I have nothing but admiration for every single one of those footballers, last Sunday was just the latest in a line of matches where they brought me to tears of pure pride. Their football for the last 5 years has been fabulous.
    I would like to say though that I think this summer the management have been excellent. Lets forget the cloud they arrived under and the fact that some people think that because Pat didn’t do so well 14 years ago means he’s still shite. By my count, we’ve won 3 national titles at all levels since 1985 between senior championship and league, U-21 and minor. Pat has been manager for 2 of those 3 wins. The Barry to sweeper move was a brilliant and surprising innovation. Credit to the management. Everyone said that won’t work against Dublin, and they had a radically different plan last week. We did OK in the first half but Donie going off had a massive negative impact on us, I think that we didn’t recover organizationally from his loss til half time. Pat Durcan will be a fine player but as yet I would say he doesn’t have the entire trust of his fellow half backs and also probably felt inhibited himself from his natural running game because of the occasion when he came on the last day.
    We were a different team in the second half last week, such a different performance that you have to give credit to someone changing the mindset or correcting issues that existed at half time. The @dontfoul twitter had a couple of interesting stats from the game, from half time to the 57th minute Dublin had 2 shots from play and scored 2 points in total (1 from play – McMananon’s goal chance and Connolly’s free) before their second goal. We trailed by 1 point for most of those 22 mins and kept them at arms length defensively. If we had half a pair of shooting boots on we’d have been leading by a couple by the 55th minute. I don’t subscribe to the “management were slow to change things” idea, Andy came on when we were dominant and if he had kicked his 2 chances we would have been ahead. That was a change made at the perfect time that no one can argue with and how many other changes can you reasonably make to a team that’s on top?
    I have no skin in this game except Mayo winning. No voice in favour or against anyone in the camp. I have to say though that since game 1 in Salthill the organization and professionalism of the men on the sideline has been apparent to me. We have a clear structure there, Pat and Donie Buckley in the stand with a detached and elevated view of the game and probably Gooner Solan in their ear with fitness stats making rational and thoughtful decisions and Noel on the line encouraging and cajoling and bossing things like only he has amongst Mayomen in our time, but critically not making emotional decisions.
    We have a great chance of beating Dublin today, it’ll be a combined team and sideline effort to accomplish that and no doubt we have another surprise or two up the sleeve. If your there, save your ire for the 15 fellas in blue, don’t bollock the ref, don’t bollock our lads. The 20,000 of you that are there are the voices for the 200,000 of us that can’t be. Roar yourselves hoarse.
    Up Mayo.

  89. When the DRA publish their decisions, do they ever mention potential threats of high court injunctions?

  90. Ridiculous him getting of, but look, they’re no stronger than last week and the challenge is the same!!!! We need to bring the same .. Hopefully ref has a good day and makes the right calls.

  91. To be honest mentally, it’ll be hard to get yourself into the groove, one less thing for Dubs to moan about too. But between Kevin Keane and this…a red card means absolutely nothing.Who would be a referee?

  92. Windy City,what can I say…..after all the stuff thats been written in the past week,that was candy for the soul!.

  93. Ok this is very disappointing ,,, we can’t let this ruin our build up to the game 2day … Honestly if we are not good enough to beat a full dublin team then we certainly would not beat kerry ,,, now I do believe we can beat the dubs but will have to play really 4 70+ mins!! safe journey to all ,,, time to make the sandwiches ,,,,

  94. I cannot believe the news that Connolly has gotten off. This is a disgraceful decision. The GAA has fallen completely into disrepute and has abandoned its duty of care for its players. This also puts a serious dent in our chances this afternoon. Its up to our lads now to rise above it and somehow find a way to get the better of what will now be a buzzing squad of Dubs.

  95. This is very confusing, the only source seems to be Dublin gaa twitter. Rte the times and others are reporting it but none have independently verified from what I can see.

    It was tweeted at 5am….. Which is even odder. I am still not sure if true.

  96. Never mind about the Connolly thing, a day for cool heads and to just get on with it.
    If we only did one thing today it’s to keep our head up when in attacking positions. At least two goal chances spurned with lads not looking up.

  97. Diehard, you should be right but you’re wrong. Connolly did do that on the streets and worse, but as on this occasion he was/is a free man.
    Delighted he’s playing, when we beat them i don’t want them to have any excuses.

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