The day before

Good luck Mayo sign

Photo: @SandraGanley via Twitter

So, here we are again – it’s the day before yet another big day for the county at Croke Park, the seventh time we’ll be appearing at HQ in the championship under James Horan’s stewardship, where the prize on offer is the right to play for the big pot itself at the same venue next month. It’s so easy to become blasé about our involvement in the championship at the time of year when nature’s colours are turning but, you know, we shouldn’t. It hasn’t always been like this – under the last management, we got just two summer outings in Croke Park in four years and one of those was in the qualifiers – and it won’t always be thus either. So while the ultimate destination may be the thing that’s uppermost in everyone’s minds – until we win the bloody thing, it is, I know, hard not to think like this – at times like this it’s worth taking time out to savour the journey as well.

It’s a journey that most of you clearly feel isn’t going to end tomorrow either – a whopping 86% of the 383 who responded to the poll on the site (which I’m now decommissioning) have declared we’re going to do it tomorrow. The bookies have us as strong favourites and so too do the pundits and the journos in today’s papers. I don’t have time at the minute to wade through and provide links to what’s in today’s dailies but I did sit down and have a leisurely read through the print version of the Irish Times earlier on and their glowing phrases about us are still pinging around my head.

Anyway, it’s a Saturday with stuff to be getting on with so that’s what I’m off to do now. Safe travelling to those of you who have yet to set out from the west – there’s a big, big Mayo crowd on the march for this one from what I’m hearing – and sure maybe a few of you might even make it to Bowe’s later on this evening.

Best of luck, by the way, to the ladies whose All-Ireland quarter-final against Kerry got underway down in Birr a few minutes ago.

37 thoughts on “The day before

  1. Can’t wait for tommorow felling home sick in Canada was home for Connaught and quarters have to say only for this site takes a lot that away you cover every angle it’s a brilliant site

  2. I’m a little on the worried side now – must have listened to/read 40 pundits by now and I think only 3 of them have tipped Tyrone ! It all reminds me of a semi final between Kerry and Meath in 2001 where Kerry were hot favs to dismantle an ageing Meath but left having been beaten by 15 points! Oh Well nothing to do now but get myself to Croker and support ! What do I want to see? I’ll take the one point win please ! Best of Luck to both teams and safe journey to all

  3. If you haven’t got your flag yet then please go out and buy one now !! Our minors and seniors will need us tomorrow so lets show them that we’re there for them, in large numbers and with plenty of colour… Up Mayo.

  4. According to Malachy Clerkin on the front of today’s Times Sports section we haven’t lost an All Ireland semi final since 1999……

    Was 2011 v Kerry just a bad dream or something?!? Poor mistake. It’s hard to take articles or opinions seriously when such glaring errors are made.

  5. Commiserations to the Ladies on such a close call, hope the heart ache is eased tomorrow for them.

  6. By jaysus i enjoyed that.Enjoyed the music and some very nice shots of the lads in action.

  7. That piece was brilliant Michael. Really getting me even more in the mood for tomorrow.

    Wish the next hour of work would just pass quickly and I can make my way into Bowes and really get in the form for the match!

    Genuinely think we are going to do it tomorrow, and in some style. Style on the pitch,not necessarily on the scoreboard. Predicting a Mayo win by 4 points

  8. Nice picture Sandra – lets hope Andy leads the Mayo Team to the final tomorrow!

  9. Ya might have to brush off the cobwebs tomorrow morning Mike Kelly after the session in Bowes 🙂

  10. Hope everyone in mayo gets behind the lads tommorow minors included wud really love to be home for it but I’ve to settle for my regular bar stool in woodside.. I like the look of this mayo team it will be tough battle with Tyrone ..hope mayo will keep their heads,safe journey to everyone that’s making the journey up to the big smoke

  11. Bought a new Jersey today – got 20% off using the O2 promotion. (Every little helps). It is time to stand up and embrace our favourites tag like the Kerry teams of old.

    Roll on tomorrow

    Up Mayo

  12. Thanks for the complements guys. It was Conor Walsh that came up with the idea, I just put my photos to it and put it together. He is brilliant on the piano. Enjoy the banter in Bowes tonight, home early mind!! See yee all in Croke Park tomorrow, remember be in in time for the minors. Don’t forget the flags and safe travelling to everyone. #seaofgreenandred

  13. The journey from hope to belief is a long and winding one. I feel the journey is almost complete. Tyrone will not beat us tomorrow. They are weighed down by their medals. The hunger is not on the same scale as ours. We will prevail.

  14. A truly awful defeat incurred by our ladies today – not by its margin but by the circumstances. When oh when are we going to cop on that you dont preserve a lead by willy nilly trying to increase it. You “stuff the ball up the jumper” (in rugby speak) and render the opposition impotent. But I dont expect anyone in the GAA fraternity to subscribe to that – least of all the opinion formers and scribes who will bleat the usual cliches when evaluating the most recent give-away. Thank you to all the Mayo Ladies teams for their achievements over the years, particularly Cora Staunton – you all deserved even more success than came your way. (or is that a cliche)

  15. I just don’t see Tyrone living with us for the full 70 minutes. Conor Gormley is going to get burnt for pace – what odds a red card?! Enjoy the day everyone. Looking forward to seeing Conroy making a difference when introduced. Mayo 2-14 Tyrone 0-12.

  16. Tough loss for the girls today.

    The countdown has started, mass this evening, up early tomorrow morning, make sure the Internet is workin, make the breakfast, clear the lot of them out to Sunday mass, and me sit (well, pace back and forth!) and watch the match in peace!

    All going to Bowes tonight, be safe and don’t drink too much!

    Safe journey to all making the trip to Croke Park, I’m always MIGHTY proud when our lads take to the field, goose bump stuff!
    Be there early to suport the youngsters, and good luck to our lads in both teams. We can win both matches if we play to our potential. Mayo by 7 at a canter.

  17. Jaysus I never sleep tonight.. can’t wait.. Tyrone to pack defence, scrappy first half with Mayo leading by three (long range scores are order of the day).. Freeman catches one out of the sky at the start of the second half and bursts the back of the next.. Tyorne try to close the gap and pour out of defence to attack.. Game over

    C’mon Mayo

  18. Soft wind around tonight up here in Tyrone. I live on a ribbon of a road. My home juts out and all passers must pass under the eave. I just put the flag out and I watched it for the full of five minutes to be sure she wouldn’t wrap. She’s going good, flicking gently and resting flush, my colours full bloom and then the flick again. The sound of Mayo in the Tyrone air.

    They tell me up here that against Donegal,we dealt our hand. I tell them that we have two, we’ll leave the sleeves to you.

    No whinging here. No magic here. We have finally learned from all those honest but misguided times.

    The flag full bloom and then she flicks…

    “Come On Mayo!!!”

  19. Nice reply to the Tyrone guys Joe Ruane.

    It looks to me as though Alan Dillon, Andy Moran, mcloughlin and Freeman are due a big performance which Tyrone do not expect. Some may say they have been having big performances but there is definitely another gear in these four if heavy pressure comes on our game plan.

    Tyrone will concentrate on o’connor, the o’shea’s, Vaughan and Higgins as being our ‘hand” but our hand is much broader than that.

    This is going to be fascinating.

    Lets go Maigh Eo

  20. Ya i have heard people say that we have shown our hand against Donegal.But that is all muck talk .All we have shown is that we have hammered every team we have come across.Put in a superb performance last time out.Wasnt afraid of the favourites tag.I think deep down Tyrone think Mayo can beat them i really do.Peter Canavan reckons that we could loose because not handling the favourites tag too well.Meaning if we do perform that we will win i think that says a lot.What Canavan forgets is that we have being favourites for in every game so far this championship all with good outcomes.Roll on Sunday COME ON MAYO!!!!!!

  21. Iv rewatched the tyrone games against monaghan and meath this evening, if we can literally re-produce 75% of the donegal performance we will win this game by 5 points. It would take a major melt down by our bucks yo lose this game, i just cannot see it happen. We just need to beileve tommorow and shout our throats off for the team.

  22. Weather forecast for Sunday:

    Sunny with some cloudy intervals. High near 70.

    Perfect for us lads!

  23. Joe Ruane you just penned a classic well done sir.
    Sleep comes hard these nights.
    Hope the men get the couple of hours they need.
    They won’t let us down.
    Let us not let them down.
    Do what we want them to do
    🙂 keep the intensity from start to finish
    🙂 be patient
    🙂 don’t give up
    🙂 believe

    I can’t wait for breakfast in the smoke
    Come on game five

  24. Love this blog!! excellent insights and helps us Mayo die hards stuck on the opposite side of the world (Australia) keep up with the news. The links given for the articles in our national papers are a godsend! Keep up the good work!! Mayo can do it this year. We have the faith the skill and the mental toughness to match any All Ireland champions of old… HON MAYO!!

  25. The closer this game gets the more worried I am. I really hope the air if euphoria which seems to have enveloped the county since the Donegal game has not seeped through to the players. Otherwise we are in big trouble, no better man than Mickey Harte to exploit it. Anything can happen in sport, look at Antrim hurlers today, and to be honest, if ever I saw a team primed to be ambushed as big favourites going into a game it’s mayo in this game. I get the sense some people here think this game will be over after 25 minutes, that would be brilliant of course, but very unlikely. It’s gonna be a battle to the end, nobody ever hammers Tyrone, even when Dublin beat them 2 years ago it seemed like a hiding but there was only 7 points in it. Have faith in James Horan to ensure we deliver a performance though, and I expect a nailbiting 70 minutes with us to come through by 2 or 3 points. Everyone in croker scream your lungs out for the lads would so love to be there. Up mayo!

  26. Joe ruane where in Tyrone are ya I’m in Dungannon heading from dales or Mc graths to teach them the words of the green and red of mayo. They’ll not forget the beating they’ll get today UP MAYO

  27. hi, At last, looking forward to the day. So glad I can afford a ticket,can park nearby and am alive. Never felt less nervous about a game because of the near certainty that the Mayo players will give of their best. I also remember how nice other supporters were they were beaten or beat Mayo – a lot more gracious than I am. Said nothing about the Kerry ones but they can’t probably help it.

    Will cheer but my voice is on the low side. Here’s hoping to see all the smilling Mayo faces today and spare a thought for the gallant losers. Who could live with those blistering Mayo runs?

  28. We need to keep an eye on Stephen O N if he drifts out to 40 and stop Sean Kavanagh. Other than that, if we play to form, should not have a problem. Come on the lads!

  29. From Belmullet, living in Donegal now for 43 years Wife & family from Donegal so you can understand where I was last year. I always fly my Mayo flag at home in Donegal, of course alongside the Donegal one,this year its flying higher than ever. I honestly believe we will cross the bridge in Ballina with Sam this year. God bless the boys in Red & Green. Good luck today…

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