The Dublin dossier

dubsleinster 2016


Going the qualifier route has thrown up all manner of new experiences and new routines. For me, one of them has been to do a post on each of our upcoming opponents in the championship ever since our unexpected Connacht semi-final loss to Galway back in June.

At the start this was just to refresh my own memory about the county we were about to face and how life had been treating them of late but I’ve kept it up as the qualifiers morphed into the business end of the championship. And so here we are at the final.

Our opponents on 18th September need no introduction. Dublin – the six-in-a-row Leinster champions, defending All-Ireland champions, four-in-a-row League winners – are undoubtedly the form team in the country. Huge support, constant home advantage, more resources than Man City – sure aren’t they wearing the Man City jersey this year? – they’re the lads that have it all.

Seriously, though, that recent track record shows that Jim Gavin’s charges are a formidable groups of ballers. Since we beat them in the 2012 semi-final (the last time we bested them in League or championship, by the way), they’ve only lost once in the championship. That was the upset loss to Donegal in the 2014 semi-final.

They won all six matches they played in the 2013 championship (beating us by a point in the final), won four and lost one in 2014 and won six of the seven games they played (the other one being the semi-final draw with us) in 2015, ending up winning Sam again.

Since the Donegal loss, they’re on a two-year unbeaten run in the championship, a streak spanning twelve games (comprising eleven wins and one draw). Unlucky thirteen, anyone?

If you add in League fixtures, then their unbeaten run becomes even more impressive. They went through the whole of this year’s Division One campaign unbeaten, winning all nine games they played in. Last year they lost twice – to Cork and Kerry – with that latter defeat, at the start of March last year, being their most recent competitive loss of any kind.

Since then, combining NFL and championship, they’ve won 25 and drawn 2, an unbeaten run of 27. As I said, they’re a serious team on a seriously impressive roll.

Zeroing in on their 2016 record, the League went, all told, swimmingly for them. They had a Round 1 win by 2-14 to 0-14 over Kerry at Croke Park in late January, a Round 2 win over us a week later in MacHale Park by 0-9 to 0-7, a Round 3 win two weeks later back at HQ over Monaghan by 1-14 to 0-16, a Round 4 win, also at Croke Park, over Cork on a scoreline of 2-14 to 2-10, a Round 5 win up in Newry over Down by 1-15 to 1-7, a Round 6 win over Donegal by 1-10 to 0-7 at Croke Park and a Round 7 win over Roscommon in Carrick-on-Shannon by 1-13 to 1-12. Then it was back to home comforts at HQ for the semi-final win over Donegal by 1-20 to 0-13 and the final win over Kerry by 2-18 to 0-13.

Leinster was a canter too. Fixed to play at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny (because it had more seats than O’Moore Park but, of course, the travelling Dublin support chose to stand on the terrace behind the goal anyway) they beat Laois in the Leinster quarter-final by 2-21 to 2-10. Meath were no match for them in the semis, yet again proving that this old rivalry is cold in the grave as Dublin strolled to a 0-21 to 0-11 win at HQ. Westmeath were then put to the sword decisively in the Leinster final last month, by 2-19 to 0-10.

Onto the All-Ireland series where they made light enough work of a potentially tricky quarter-final against Donegal. Despite ending the match with just thirteen players on the field the Dubs only briefly had to rouse themselves beyond second gear in fending off Donegal by 1-15 to 1-10. Then last Sunday they came out the right side of a tough and tense semi-final against Kerry on a scoreline of 0-22 to 2-14.

So, then, that’s the recent form of the team that stands between us and a fourth Sam Maguire success. Let’s get the poll going on this one: it’s as tough an assignment as we could be faced with in a final, can we do it?

Will we down Dublin in the final?

  • Yes (69%, 1,073 Votes)
  • No (31%, 487 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,560

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109 thoughts on “The Dublin dossier

  1. I really wish you hadn’t published that forensic analysis of the Dublin output over the last few seasons. ?

    It’s pretty ominous but it’s also a little invigorating. We’re being written off in most quarters and I can understand why.

    They’re being lauded as the best Dublin team ever, they’re dominating the game and are seeking immortality.

    Dealing with that leads to two potential outcomes – we either ball up with fear and accept our fate or we embrace the challenge and actually revel in it.

  2. Dublin deserve to be favorites, but we are the only team left to topple them. And we can. We have more top forwards than ever before. If Cillian, Diarmuid, Andy are Aidan are all up to their best then we can outscore them. We have defenders who can score also.
    Our defense is improving also as with Harrison and Durkan growing in confidence.
    So if we put all that together we should beat the Dubs.
    I cant wait!

  3. As badly as I want this to happen I just can’t see us scoring enough to win this one.

    I most definitely think we can win it. Dublin can be beaten and I think we’ll get the chances to do it. My fear is our mindset in a scenario where we go 4 or 5 up. If we sit back which sub-consciously this team tend to do in big games when they get a lead, then I think the blue waves will start coming.

    For us to do it we need to keep going at them for the last 20 mins with no let up.

    Our lads have shown great courage and a never say die attitude in the past. What they need now is the ruthlessness, belief and to throw away the fear that comes with sitting back protecting a lead.

    I think the difference will come down to Dublin’s superior decision making and point kicking when the pressure is through the roof.

  4. In answer to the question , yes we can do it.

    Kerry showed their own frailties on Sunday and they exposed some of Dublin’s. I believe we are the second best team in the country and in the final on merit regardless of our path. We will need to be as good as Dublin on the day and we will need to have a plan. I believe the players will bring their A game and the management will bring a plan. If we lose after all that then fair play to the Dubs. But I firmly believe we will win and win against the team of the decade to make it even sweeter.

    I will then prepare not to see the Nestor cup or Sam again for at least another two years 🙂 🙂 😉 🙂

  5. We all know if Dublin play to 100% and are on fire then we won’t win. What we need is a performance like no other fro our lads and hope Dublin are not firing on all cylinders.

  6. At the end of the day, on the 18th of Sept 2016, Dublin will either become a four time All-Ireland winning team since 2011 with Kerry and Donegal nabbing one each and us having zero or on the other hand it will be Dublin three time champions along with us, Kerry and Donegal picking up one each. Does that seem like a fairer reflection of what has transpired in the past six seasons, I think it does anyway.

    The time of the shite talk is over though: this is our year, our name is on the cup, we deserve an All-Ireland title, it has to happen this year, Mayo for Sam, etc. etc. etc. Our name will be on that cup when we go our and put in a 70 minutes plus performance on All-Ireland final day worthy of All-Ireland champions and not until then. Something we have not done since 1951. Can we do that, I think that we can.

    It’s our job as supporters to get as many Mayo people as possible into Croke Park and bring as much color as we can and roar our lads to the rafters. So if Dublin win and become four time champions since 2011, then well done to them. If we do it, then well done to our lads. Roll on the All-Ireland final!

  7. Small Point @WJ. Dublin finished with 13 players against Donegal, not 12.

    Connolly was a red.
    O’Gara was a red.
    Fenton in injury time was a black, and he was replaced.

  8. Hi all,

    one of my colleagues at work is a manager of Balyboden Wanderers first team (the original Ballyboden club that split from St Enda’s in 1980) anyway they have the following offer for tickets for the final.
    He doesn’t mind if the tickets go to Mayo fans 🙂



    Pre-Match package including Bed & Breakfast in The Croke Park Hotel plus entertainment on Saturday 17th September 2016 and
    Two Stand Tickets for the All-Ireland Football Finals on Sunday 18th September 2016

    Tickets cost €5!

  9. This match will be won on the line. If we do not change the way we are playing so far this year, we will lose. We have to attack their weaknesses, push up on kick outs, high balls into the full back line, twin towers up front. It needs a radical approach from Mayo to topple this Dublin Team. Of course we need everyone at 100% as well. We can do it, it is in our hands now which is a great place to be as we head into September. Hon Mayo!

  10. Thanks, Jaden – I stand corrected. I was at the game and never realised Fenton was replaced but I’ve just checked one of the match reports and I see he was. I’ll amend the post accordingly. Pity, I kinda liked that Twelve Apostles reference!

  11. We gave one 70+”minutes performance V Tyrone, cagy, possession orientatited defensive performance all year. We had a bit of luck that day as well. The rest,a series of 10 or 15 minutes of devastating football brought us to the final… It’s not all luck, we can’t be that bad and get to the All Ireland final since unless we are actually very good… I wrote it before on previous posts all summer and it’s a bit like we are fighting with one hand tied behind our backs.. Dublin are an open book by comparison, pace, intensity, skills, belief,. Last year, Dublin knew exactly what we would do, Long ball into AOS all day, defended by hook or by crook, mostly by crook and ignored by the Ref, Dublin eventually got the better of us, but we let them off the hook.. Now they won’t be forewarned, as to how we will set up. That’s something!.. We need a successful kickout or restart strategy, as it is now called. Kerry paid the price, despite their playing their best keeper for the kickouts… Jim Gavin was quick to praise Cluxton, quoting 18″out 22 successful kickouts. , however he can be very vulnerable. Much more vulnerable than Jim Gavin wants Mayo to realise. A problem for Dublin is that all the King’s horses and all the Kings men missfire when Humpty Dumpty gets into a tizzy. Half time came at the wrong time for Kerry, Jim Gavin successfully put Humpty Dumpty back together again.. But his first few restart of the second half were long kickouts that Dublin had to be compete at midfield for, Dublin done well to win those possessions, But in the event same circumstances would or could Mayo not do better, I am certain they could. We have got to play offensively, we have a great offensive half back line to put Dublins famed half forward line on the back foot. We are more mobile than Kerry.. Now we got to play the Ref, Dublin will look to put in huge hits. I think they got the rub of the green in that regard last Sunday… Our Mayo pundits on the National and local media,we have to point out, Johnny Cooper should have gotten a yellow at least . Could have even been a red for the foul on Darren O Sullivan after he scored his goal . We didn’t see much of Darren after that. Many other incidents need to be kept in the mind of whoever is the Ref for the match final. Kevin McManamon big hit into the ribs of Peter Crowley . Not that I have feel in any way sorry for Peter Crowley , he done the same thing to AOS in Limerick. But we got to keep it in the minds that Dublin are not the Angeles Jim. Gavin would have you believe. Now Dublin will be without Jack McCafferry and Rory O Carroll, their defence is not as good without them player’s. The Sunday Game panel, came to the repeated conclusion that Dublins full back line is not vulnerable, if that’s so? , how did Paul Geaney score 1.04″from play. We have got to believe we can do it, but we got to do what makes it happen. Tiny things will decide this match,,!

  12. In fairness, Leantimes, the hits were going in from both teams the last day. O’Mahony’s one on McMahon was much the same as McManamon’s on Crowley and could equally have led to a pointed free for Dublin.

  13. The Sunday Game analysis is as much use as an ash tray on a motorbike. Not one of them highlighted the red-carded Tipp punch into McLoughlin (even though RTE footage was available) but instead said that McLoughlin made a meal of it. Even worse on Sunday, NO-ONE IN ANY MEDIA OUTLET pointed out the foul that Fenton carried out in the 34th minute, right in front of that incompetent excuse for a ref Gough. A hop-ball between MacAuley and Donaghy on the stand side, 30m from the Dublin goal. As the ball is in the air Fenton comes in from the side, fetches unopposed and relieves the pressure on the Dublin defense by playing it out! Right in front of Gough!!! Also, McMahon should have been black-carded for his abusive tirade on the umpire after the second Kerry goal, Gough gave him a yellow? It wasn’t a yellow card offence, it was a black!
    Word is that Gough was a shoe-in for this years final (he’s one of the blue-eyed boys in Croker) until his embarrassing performance in the Tyrone-Mayo game. He got a semi-final as compensation.
    Best ref out there this year is Brannigan and I hope he is the whistler on Sunday 18th.

  14. I am optimistic we can do this. This is our first final with all key players fit(touch wood) Andy Moran and Cillian were both injured in 2012/2013.I know Ger is gone though and that’s a big loss. This year we have a new edge with Andy so on form and COS is making an impact as well. AOS was kept scoreless for 146 minutes last year. Will this happen again?? Not so sure. Also we have a management that really seem to be adaptable and come up with new ideas. Having said that the opposition is possibly the most talented team ever and they can adapt too and will have a plan for us. Overall I sense this is going to be our year though

  15. I considered the way that tackling was handled by the ref to be the making of the game. There were big hits coming in all over the place – most of them were fair and legit, a few were not.

    Not blowing up when a hard tackle went in made the game a flowing affair, and a joy to watch. I don’t think either team on the 18th would shy away from a physical, highly mobile encounter.

    How will the game go? A few of the points of interest will be:

    * Pushing up on Cluxton. This is the starter for 10 for Mayo. Not pushing up on at least half the kickouts will cede primary uncontested possession to Dublin. That’s a death sentence. Mayo also need a plan for their kickouts – hoofing it into midfield will be punished, unless it’s planned and executed perfectly.

    * Playing McLoughlin as a sweeper. A defensive setup (which judging by the game in Feb is a distinct possibility) I think would be a mistake on Mayo’s part. Dublin have shown the patience and cuteness to unlock every manner of defensive setup. Playing a sweeper allows Dublin free reign to do the same, and face it, they’re better at it. McLoughlin looks better going forward anyway.

    * Discipline in the half-back line seems to be an issue all season. Rock will have a field day, unless this is tightened up. That aside, half-back is the strongest line Mayo have. They do have the ability to hold Dublin’s half forward line to a break-even situation. That in itself would be a fantastic achievement, and can provide a stifling measure to Dublin’s attack.

    * High ball into the Dublin full back line hasn’t worked for anyone yet this year, and AOS was cleaned out last time Mayo tried this. A running game with fast 20 meter kick passes to break the defensive formation is what is called for here. Kerry got alot of return from this method. They just ran out of steam from the effort. Mayo should have more in the tank here.

    * Rochford has impressed me in the last couple of outings – he really seems to be getting a real handle on how to get the best out of his panel. Tyrone were beaten on the sidelines in that game. Not many can say they outsmarted MH. When and whom to bring on and off, will be a huge part of deciding how this game pans out.

    One of the big pluses this year from watching Mayo, is the metal resolve they have shown, which was severely lacking in previous campaigns. While Dublin seem to fall asleep from time to time, they don’t panic, and their belief that they can and will win, never seems to falter. I honestly don’t see Mayo being able to match that strength of will. This is where Dublin beat teams, and it’s where they may very well persevere come the 18th.

  16. Willie Joe, agree with you, but Dublin like Kerry will use The Media to damage Mayo chances. They were quick to jump on the bandwagon about the AOS dubious penalty.. Do you remember the the song and dance they made about Diarmuid Connolly suspension that should have stood. We in Mayo had to be listen to the Sky ex Dub, Sennan Connell talk about Diarmuid Connolly and Philly McMahon as if was like the Kevin Keane light touch on Michael Murphy. in the quarters . How there was no reviewing of many Philly McMahon incidents, by the CCCC is a bit of a mystery last year. Definitely he should have received about 3 reds versus Mayo last year, the worst one was the blatant punches on Colm Boyle at the penalty incident. Actually the Media has allot of influence. It’s a long time ago, 1983 the first All Ireland I attended, got in for a quid, under 12,the wasn’t but said I was,! It’s been all tickets All Ireland odds since that over crowded day , the 12 apostles All Ireland, you should read the Dublin papers the following morning, Butter wouldn’t melt!. No harm to the keep the public reminded that Dublin only played one championship match outside of Croke Park in the last 10″”year’s!

  17. I’m just happy we are in the final and that we get 4 weeks to prepare mentally and physically for it. if we are to have any chance of doing the job, then coming out to try and blast dublin early will be our first and fatal mistake. We need to conserve ourselves and let the ball do the work as much as possible for the first half and a chunk of the second, it’s good that we have an improved panel and all fit but dublin are endurance athletes even more than they are footballers, we cannot match their running power.
    I have no doubt Rochford and co know this and will plan accordingly, and another huge issue is certain Mayo players carrying the ball into the tackle, a disaster, prepare to pass before you even receive it, it’s energy sapping and demoralizing to be surrounded by opponents and have the ball stripped while they dig knees into you.
    Maybe our biggest weapon is that our forwards are playing well between themselves and if they can take that millisecond and look for the better placed colleague near goal, anything is possible.i think Mayo could easily win the game if they manage it properly and don’t try outrunning dublin.

  18. Good point pebbles on Mcmahon’s abuse of the umpire, black card all day long. Ref bottled it in front of the hill. A brave ref required for the final.
    Hopefully the love fest with the dubs will continue right up to the final – best team of all time and worse possible time for Mayo to play them blah blah blah.
    I’ve no doubt Rochford and co are working day and night to get the tactics and match ups right on the day, both will be critical to outcome.

  19. Ken Ring the weather guy on Madwest Radio said the weekend of the Final will be a wash out . Will that help or hinder us ?
    Could end up a battle between Cillian and Dean Rock as to who is most accurate if its a proper wet day .

  20. For me a key area for Mayo is the tackle. Our tackling has been poor all year. Say what you will about poor refs etc but we do give away too many frees in scorable areas. The tackling has been loose and sloppy, I believe we gave away 9 frees to Tipp in these areas. If we give Dean Rock 9 kickable frees in the final it wont matter what we do attack wise, we will be beaten.

    Disciplined, organised defence is required, conceeding very few scorable frees. If we can manage this then it is game on in my mind.

  21. we can do it, no question. I’m focusing on the positives:

    1. Playing at full capacity we’re a better team than Kerry, who really should have had a draw, regardless of the plaudits Dublin are getting, much like Tyrone v ourselves.
    2. We have an extra week’s preparation.
    3. Andy’s form and movement will ask more questions of the Dublin full back line than the long ball strategy we employed against them last year, creating more space for others to exploit.
    4. The Dubs can’t be certain how we are going to set up against them until the ball is thrown in.
    5. All our leaders have stood up and been counted at some point in the last 2 games when its mattered to get us here. Time for them all to stand up in unison and face down the blue wave.
    6. We can shut Connolly down.
    7. We’ll be raging underdogs, right where we want to be.
    8. We have huge scope for improvement from the last day.
    9. Aido coming into form just at the right time.
    10. We’ve never had a more experienced outfit going into their 3rd final in 5 years.

    Negatives? Not going there, not in my vocabulary for the next 3 weeks. I’m going to quietly savour the build up to this one, and try to remain serene and sanguine throughout, though the scramble for a ticket might challenge that! These guys have earned our trust and owe no one but themselves. They believe and we must do also, its the least we owe them for the magnificent journeys they’ve taken us on since 2011. So when the patronising cajoling and tomfoolery comes our way in the coming weeks, as it always does, just smile back and say, “we got this”. Maigh Eo abú!

  22. Just looking at social media at the moment the “banter” seems to be getting a bit out of control. If it continues like this for a 3 weeks the atmosphere at the final will be toxic.

  23. We nearly did it. Donegal did it.
    Kerry almost too!
    Our best performance this year was McHale in Spring after Cork debacle v Dublin. What are we like at all? They are def the best team of their time! Regard the late scores of Connolly and McM, their patience and belief and daring, their cunning and continuing dominance. Well done ye Dubs!
    However,now ye have it all to do again and if ye do fair dues. But ye ll be conscious that it’s not over yet and between now and the 18th ye ll prepare for the ultimate battle of the year. Ye know that we in Mayo will be present on Croke Park pitch to prevent ye from mounting those steps after the final whistle.I ll also put it another way, we ll be there to do what is necessary to be the team to walk up those same steps … the first Mayo team to do so since 1951. So I know ye won’t be too disappointed if ye find yerselves standing and applauding this great Mayo team. It’s nothing to do with being deserving of it…no one does till they do it on the day and that’s just what we have in mind! Cheers!

  24. In getting to the All Ireland in recent years, Mayo have consistently beaten the reigning all Ireland champions. Well, this year Dublin are the reigning all Ireland champions. QED

  25. Don’t rise to the bait Behindenemylines. There’s only one place to do the talking now, and that’s on the pitch on Sunday 18th. Everything else is all bullshit.
    Take the advice of Exiled in Dublin and just smile back and say, “we got this”.

    We are the one team Dublin does not want to meet because they know we are the match of them. That’s why their supporters (most who are sound and knowledgeable) are mouthing off so much. They’re worried. They are right to be.

  26. That’s some record the Dubs have but all good things must come to an end ;). On a side note great to hear Burrishoole’s Tom Dyra and Westport’s Mark McCaffrey were called in by Rochie for some A v B games this summer. 2 great prospects for the future.

  27. I agree the use of Aidan O Shea will be vital id like to see him between 11 and midfield isolating him at full forward won’t work as we seen in the two Dublin games last year

  28. Great piece on the Dubs WJ well done to you.
    These are the inescapable the facts and there is no getting around them. This is a great Dublin football team. A joy to watch most of the time.When they are not a joy to watch is where officials of the games let us all down. I don’t blame the Dubs for that. What is the response of the bloggers on here recently. Trying to say there are deficiencies in the Dublin team. To say Cluxton is a weak link, or retrashing what is on the Dublin based national media.”They do not love us anymore” rubbish. Some of the solutions to Mayo’s perceived poor performances in 2016 are too weak to repeat. The conclusion I have come to is that many posters on here since the weekend never played the game themselves in any meaningful way. Instead rely on the experts that are employed in the formulate some kind of nonsense here. Mayo do not have a hill to climb on the 18th, it is a mountain. Irrespective of the outcome in this one, we will be the best team or the second best team of 2016 I will be there to support them this year next year and as long as it takes.

  29. Fear of failure ? Don’t believe so, we have failed, we have always rebounded. Failure has not killed us off nor will it ever.

    ‘ Everthing Mayo want is on the other side of fear, get over it’.

    Replace fear with defiance, the Mayo players will be defiant on the pitch, we need to be defiant in the stands and hill.

    Despite all the media fawning, this Dublin team will not be lulled into a false sense of security- they expect an ambush. Another chance for us to finally deliver with a blistering display.

    We need to score three goals to win.


  30. We need to bring something new to the final. Something that will unsettle Dublin. In ’06 we did the warm up in front of the Hill. That shook them for 20 minutes before they got going. Im not saying to repeat that but we need to throw a curve ball to get them a little flustered. Regardless, we will still need to over perform for 70 + minutes, and hope they underperform. That’s the reality. On paper they are a much better team, and we cannot shy away from that. That is why the Management team need to come up with a unique plan to beat them.

    Teams have been in this situation before. Thinking of Offaly who stopped Kerry for the 5 ina row in 82,Donegal against Dublin in 92, Down V meath in 91 etc etc, It can be done. But will require a huge work rate, Proper Planning, and ultimately belief. This mayo team are not a one hit wonder and are consistently in the top 3 in the country. Probably are the only team to come closest to beating them since 2014. So they need to keep reminding themselves of this

  31. Pj, if we have a mountain to climb then we make sure Dublin have to climb one too and we’ll see who has the stomach for battle at altitude. Lets focus on ourselves for this one, players and supporters alike, and let the Dubs worry about getting us on their radar.

  32. AOS will not be isolated at ff but I would imagine that it’s in the plans for him to make an odd smart visit there! Players will need to be be prepared to find themselves anywhere at any time and all the rest! What will we see that is new and has not been seen before?

  33. was only a matter of time Brendan before they got the call up…Tommy and Mark are meant to be real tough hewers, would add good physicality to the training sessions in these last few weeks

  34. I don’t see anything to be afraid of against Dublin,yes I believe they are the best Dublin team in my time,and possibly of all time,however this is certainly the best Mayo team in my lifetime,there is no need to have any fear of them,if we start at the goalkeepers,shall we say it is a toss up between them,possibly a very slight edge to the Dubs,we would have at least one in the full back line,two in the half back line,one at centre field,and at least three fowards,but it is on the sideline we will win,our panel is much stronger,and we have the smarter management,I believe it will be much easier than we think

  35. I wonder what the Boss is cooking up for the Dubs, make sure its our ball their playing with and let some of the air out of it, see how Rock deals with that, what about the former Rose of Tralee we have in the county, place her in center back! Maybe he is formulating a Mayo Hakka to inspire us just before throw in. Everyone in my house was born in Galway, oh the trials and tribulations of arriving at birth on Mayo’s sacred soil but I would not have wanted it any other way.

  36. Interesting piece from Jim Mc Guinness in the Times today about Kerrys use of Donaghy and the press on Dubs Kick out. Substitute AOS for Donaghy . I wonder where Kerry picked that idea up.

    “Kerry had set up with a very brave, attack-minded approach. Critically, they played orthodox corner forwards in Paul Geaney and Colm Cooper. By shuttling their big man, Kieran Donaghy, between the square and the middle of the D, it meant Philly McMahon picked him up but he also drew O’Sullivan in as well. And then they looked to hit Cooper and Geaney with the long ball over the top. It was another smart way of getting around the sweeper.
    Their first sign of this tactic was a vintage Donaghy fetch, and Geaney came on the loop and instantly chipped it over. Then there was a foul – harshly called, I felt, on O’Sullivan – when Donaghy had the ball. And those points gave them a chance to start working the Dublin kick-out. Kerry were going zonal. Every one of their players had their arms raised and were waving them frantically, trying to ruffle the Dublin goalkeeper. If you are Stephen Cluxton, all you see is movement and narrowing margins. But he dealt with it very well – until the moment came when he didn’t.”

    Dublin can be got at and no better men to do it than our boys . We have a history of upsetting The Dubs so cant wait to see what Steven and Co have in store .

  37. Weirdly I feel more optimistic about this match than I have for any other all year. Perhaps it’s because, even if we don’t win, I believe we will at least go down trying. Or perhaps it’s because somewhere deep down I just feel as though there is still one big performance in us. Mayo do up their game for Dublin and I think we give them the heebie-jeebies more than any other team. People have been saying that the weekend’s match was “the real final”, as though that should be an insult to Mayo. In reality I think Dublin wouldn’t have minded if that match really had been the final. They have had Kerry’s number the last six years, not so much ours.

    The only thing that has me worried is that the weekend’s match is probably the game Dublin needed to prepare them for a final. They needed a hard match that exposed some weaknesses in order to give them something to work on for the next couple of weeks and I would think they’ll have a lot of those problems ironed out before the next day. A better situation for us would have been if Dublin coasted through that match. But we are where we are and we have to bring it to them now and go hell for leather. I still think Mayo, more than anyone else, have what it takes to beat them. I think if they had to choose between ourselves and Kerry as final opposition, they’d take the kingdom all day long. There’s a reason for that.

  38. Don’t know what the complaints are about McManamon and the 45. Had to admire it myself and we need to do that and indeed we are doing that. Cillian and Aido are playing blinders all year and doing additional reffing as well.

    But this approach can be double edged and has come against us when refs decide they will move the ball on and a potential score by the opposition becomes a certain one. Which brings us to Mayomad’s point about tackling. It has been bad all year; has the emphasis been taken off this? Dublin are borderline dirt most of the time but get away with it. Ditto Tyrone. We seem to be forever conceding frees. Donie Buckley really needs to sort this one out.

    There are a few plusses worth mentioning (or repeating):

    * Four weeks to prepare: i know Dublin won last year having had to replay a semi final, but after the extra qualifier games, I think the four weeks suits us nicely.

    * All hands are on deck: at long last we have all our guys fit and straining at the leash. I hope this doesn’t change in the meantime, but it has taken since January to get to this stage and the constant injury and absentee problems have definitely contributed to the patchy performances.

    * Our bench: a follow on from the previous point. I’m sick to death of hearing of Dublin’s famed bench. Ours is as good if not better. Gavin has had to replace O’Carroll and McCaffrey thus depleting the bench, and if McManamon is a regular, Dublin don’t have a super impact sub. O’Gara? so, so or so what? Bastick? So, so. Mannion? Good. Andrews? Not great this year. Costello? Not so good this season. Con O’Callaghan is good, as we know from U21, but he hasn’t got a run. Meanwhile, we have Barry, Chris B, Tom Parsons, Conor O’Shea, Dillo and Evan. Conor Loftus has great potential too, though like O’Callaghan he hasn’t been used.

    Not predicting anything, but just analysing the balance sheet at the moment.

  39. We should remember that Tony McEntee managed a club team in Dublin so he should have some tips on how to set-up against the Dubs, based on his time managing in the capital. I would think that it was evident in how we set-up against Tyrone, that it was a big plus for us having an Armagh man in our corner against an Ulster team.

  40. While Dublin were impressive against Kerry, there is a lot of ructions coming out of the kingdom about decisions by the ref and yet another ref favouring Dublin. Non-issuing of deserved black/yellow cards, the throw-ball, Crowley being poleaxed – we should be alive to this.

    Mayo-people in the media need to push this point – why are Dublin getting so many decisions from home based refs? How long will this continue? Gough is involved with Kevin McManaman’s club, McQuillan reffing A v B games. Joe Brolly – unfairly – pushed a point against ourselves in 2012 that affected the reffing of the game. We have first hand experience of it happening. So why cant we push this point for 3 weeks before this game? Our guys in the media should play their part.

  41. Absolutely agree with themaestro. I’ve been saying this for years. plenty of Mayo men in national media should be highlighting this and making sure the AI final ref is well aware of this perceived bias. Brolly floored us before the 2012 final with his comments, they were outrageous but it worked. Time for our pundits to grow a pair and put the boot in – Casey, Brady, carney etc. guaranteed Kerry lads wouldn’t be long highlighting it in all the national newspapers!

  42. Had a look at the odds for this match, and According to paddy power, Dublin are 4/11 to win and Mayo 11/4, spread is 3points, Bernard brogan 13/2 to score first goal, Connolly is 7/1, and cillian o’Connor is 8/1, over 1.5 goals scored is 4/11, total points scored for Dublin 20.5 is ? and Mayo is under 17.5 @4/6 total points in game is ? for both under 37.5 and over 37.5. So going on above data the bookies have the game something like this,
    Dublin 2-14
    MAYO 0-17

  43. I think it’s a lot better for us when it’s pundits from other counties, making points that help us. For example after the Tyrone match, it was actually mostly the Kerry mafia that were going on about Mickey Harte’s ramblings been a bit rich coming from him, based on what some of his teams have done in the past. That suited us fine, while we moved onto the next match.

    I really hope that the likes of John Maughan, Liam McHale and Conor Mortimer etc. are not talking shite in the build-up to the final. Last Sunday Maughan made a comment like, most Mayo people are happy to be playing Dublin rather than playing Kerry in the final, as we have spooked Dublin in the past and have a poor record against Kerry in finals. It was a stupid comment to make. Keith Barr from Dublin, just said back to him, “Bring it on”.

    I think it has suited us this year not having Kevin McStay on the Sunday game as all he did really the past couple of years was rile up the Dubs and Kerry. It’s much better for us when its the likes of Jarlath Burns, Tomas O’Se or Dessie Dolan making points favourable to us.

    Look, at the end of the day, our players have to do their talking on the field and that’s what we want to see on the 18th of Sept.

  44. “I really hope that the likes of John Maughan, Liam McHale and Conor Mortimer etc. are not talking shite in the build-up to the final”

    HSE you are really living up to your name there 🙂

  45. Yeah Roger, we’ll have to try and gag them some way for the next three weeks!

    Ah I suppose the likes of Tommy Carr from Dublin does the same thing too, talks a lot of shite, so sur we’ll see how it goes anyway!

  46. Think it’s critical how we use Andy Moran the next day. If you consider our final and most important games since 2011 (2 finals and 5 semi finals since 2011 (including replays)), the following are our scorers from play.
    Consider that Andy didn’t play the 2012 Final, was taken off in the 2013 final (after scoring 1-2), came on as a sub 2014 drawn game and was replaced the replay (after scoring 1-1) and only came on as a sub in both semi final games 2015 – he is by far the most prolific scorer from play for Mayo in the key games.

    What is most startling however is that he was not on the field at the end of the game in either the 2012 or 2013 final (2012 for obvious reasons) or the 2014 replay. I think it’s crucial that we have him on the pitch when the pressure is greatest the next day and there should be serious consideration given to starting him, take him off after 20-25 minutes and then re-introducing him for the last 10-15 minutes like Canavan in 2008. Food for thought.

    Last point I guess is how little the rest of our regular forwards have scored in these key games from play (other than COC) and of course how much Keegan has contributed.

    Player Goals Points Total
    COC 3 6 15
    AM 2 9 15
    LK 0 7 7
    DV 0 4 4
    KM 0 4 4
    JD 0 4 4
    AD 0 3 3
    DOC 0 3 3
    KH 0 2 2
    EV 0 1 1
    JG 0 1 1
    MC 0 1 1
    RF 0 1 1
    SOS 0 1 1
    CB 0 1 1
    AF 0 1 1
    AOS 0 1 1
    BM 0 1 1
    PD 0 1 1

  47. According to bookies Mayo and tipp are complete outsider s could thes be the year of the underdogs.

  48. I fancy Tipperary to do it myself! But I’m hardly an expert on hurling,. But I was talking to Michael Ryan earlier in the year! Tipperary roasted Waterford, Killkenny found Waterford a bit of a handful! “If anyone can beat the Cats it’s the Premier,!

  49. On the subject of Connor Mortimer talking shite, I was at the Mayo, Tipperary match, but got a chance to see RTE coverage of the match on the following Monday, Connor was interviewed on the pitch before the throw in, Connor said, Mayo not to concede a goal and to win the by 5!. Now that’s fair foresight, I have wouldn’t call it shite!

  50. My head will be melted long before the 18th rolls around..Hope DOC finds his form as his pacy runs could make a huge difference..along with a pt or 2!!My views on the outcome of the game change daily ..nay hourly..

  51. Let all the bookies and pundits back Dublin talk about them as greatest ever the more the do it the better. As I been saying since euros wasn’t same said about Portugal same result please and we will all be very happy. We can all name unbeatable favourites who won nothing. Come on Mayo.

  52. I’m going to focus on the positive for the next 3 weeks because its a long winter after that win or lose. I’d advise all Mayo supporters to try to enjoy the next 3 weeks because we might never be back here again. Of course Dublin are favourites but if you compare the teams we are not that far away from them. Harrison-Brogan, Keegan-Connolly, O’shea-O’Sullivan, O’Connor-McCarthey. The match ups will be vital, Should Keane start? What is O’Gara is sprung in full forward? Even naming the teams is like a game of chess between Gavin & Rochford.

    We are going to hear alot of rubbish in the upcoming weeks about attacking Dublin from the start, laying down a marker, taking off the shackles etc etc if we get into a shoot out with Dublin we will lose, if we try to run the legs of Dublin we will lose. We need to be clever, know when to attack, know when to sit back, when to press, when to run however I am sure Mcentee and Rochford know this better then most and certainly better then me.

  53. Dubs won’t have a clue how we will set up. Targeting the kick outs is key. Personally I think we should lean towards conceding more of them in the first half. I think we should start the match with mobile midfielders – any of Seamie O’Shea, Tom Parsons, or Donie, who will be well fit to try and stop the Dubs building from their backline. Then in the second half we should take our cue from Kerry and push up, 12 players in their half if needs be. But the change for us in midfield during this period needs to be Barry Moran. His fielding is class this year and Cluxton will have no choice but to kick long. During this time we could also bring on some of the young lads like Loftus or Evan to put extra pressure on the Dubs options to go short.

    While Kerry weren’t bullied to the same extent as last years All Ireland final, there was still an element of it. While their were hits being put in from both sides I just felt the Dubs laid down most of the important markers. Take the Darren O’Sullivan goal….massive knock back to the Dubs but they made sure to flatten him thus curbing his influence for the rest of the match.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what we bring to this match.

  54. Team I would pick:

    D Clarke

    B Harrison,K Keane, K Higgins;

    D Vaughan;K McLoughlin,

    C Boyle, L Keegan,P Durcan,

    D O’Connor,Parsons, S O’Shea

    C O’Connor
    B Moran, A O’Shea

  55. I see two players that could be key to the outcome. We need a big game from AOS who has been improving each game and hopefully will be at his peak on the day. Bernard Brogan had a poor game by his standards against Kerry. He’ll be out to change that and will require very tight marking by Harrison.

  56. We will beat the Dubs because our team is stronger all over than last year. We have players that have all Ireland medals in their back pockets minor and u/21s. Our management team are very shrewd, with a new game plan for each match. Keegan will look after Connolly. Higgins on McManamon ,Harrison or Barrett on Brogan and Durcan on Rock. We have options for C.F.
    Aidan at CHF and Barry Moran at F.F. on Cooper. McLoughlin sweeper, with Andy Cillian and Diarmuid filling in the other positions.
    Push up on Cluxton on their kick outs and vary our own with an extra big man to contest the breaks.
    Introduce Loftus for the last 15 mins, they don’t know anything about him and he knows how to score goals.

  57. Brogan hasn’t been playing to his own very high standards all year. I expect he’ll try to improve on that for the final, but would Gavin do anything as left-field as maybe not even starting him for the final?

  58. Brogan had a poor game against donegal aswell and he was expected to explode against Kerry,he didn’t,don’t be surprised if he doesn’t even start,I think we need aos floating between half way line and the D we seem to stop our aggressive intensity when he goes into full forward,it’s like when he needs a breather he goes in but the problem is the rest of the lads take a kitkat at the same time so on the 18 th we need to stagger the breaks and don’t give them a second on the ball.

  59. @ KL, that’s an interesting post there, how we use Andy Moran will be very important alright. What you say about our scorers is very important to consider as well. If you look back at the Tyrone match this year, it was Lee Keegan that came forward to kick 2 crucial points to get us over the line. Against Tipp, it was Colm Boyle that kicked a very important point to put us 3 ahead in the second-half. Also in the first half it was Keith Higgins who drove us on and created our first goal.

    You’d really prefer to see Andy, Cillian or even Diarmuid knocking over those scores from play coming near the end of games rather than depending on Lee, Colm or Keith. You’d wonder is that why we end up been more open at the back too, if these defenders have to break forward to get or create scores for us. We seen Dublin at the weekend getting their important scores at the end of the match through Connolly, Kevin McManamon and O’Gara, forwards. We will need to see that too, our forwards getting these type of scores, if we want to win the big one.

  60. HopeSpringsEternal,
    “i really hope the likes of John Mawn, Liam Mchale and Conor Mortimer etc are not talking shite in the build-up to the final”

    Thats a good one. Funniest one i’ve seen for a while.

    You are asking a lot there i’m afraid. In fact that bird has probably already flown.

    It wont matter what they say. We will win anyway. We have nothing to fear. Shite talk wont stop us.

  61. Bernard Brogan only plays well when Alan on the team with him. Not the same player without him!

  62. Team I would pick:
    9. Mccaffrey

  63. Where ever AOS plays, he should not be taking any frees. Not even quick ones. His value to the team is much greater when he is an option for the free taker. Just by running out from the box when a free is about to be kicked, he drags defenders out of positions. If he stands right in front of Cluxton when he gets a chance, it will help fry his head.

  64. Has anyone noticed the comments from some dublin players after the Kerry match about sticking with the “process” when they fell behind? This begs two questions:
    1. What is that process they talk about?
    2. How do you screw up that process?

    This to me is the key to beating the Dubs.
    My take on it is that the process is about keeping posession at all costs. From Cluxton out they hold onto the ball until an opening occurs and then of course they have the talent to finish it off with a score. Keeping posession also means the opposition don’t have the ball. It is the best form of defence. And it involves being comfortable on the ball and huge work rate.
    Screwing it up? How good are Dublin when they don’t have posession? i don’t know but I reckon it’s worth finding out. Start with Cluxton and disrupting his kick outs. As has already been said – everyone push up hard and take the risk. Foul them or half-foul them in their own half if necessary if they look like building an attack. Keep posession ourselves. Yes this is easier said than done but if we are to win we need to be able physically, mentally and skill wise to do this.
    Bottom line is if we cannot come up with a game plan that our lads believe in and are able to execute then the outcome is predictable. It needs to be simple and straightforward and of course everyone is going to have to man up on the day. If Stephen and his management team can pull this off then they will have moved Gaelic football onto a new level. This is what it’s going to take.
    Go for it………… or bust!

  65. Hi I want to get a chant/song/inspirational line going that I really think could work at the match.
    Could we do ‘Stand up for the Mayo men’ to the rugby tune of ‘stand up for the Ulster men’ when they come out and through the match to drown out ‘come on you boys in blue’ Would be so easy to do and tuneful. Easier than our ‘Mayo Mayo’. Few examples at matches coming up. Imagine putting Mayo men in instead. I really think it could work. I’m going to try and do it anyway!!

  66. Sorry I know it’s out of place under this post but only saw the one where chants etc were being discussed 40 mins ago.

  67. Huge amount of ifs, buts and maybes about Mayo. We keep trying to console ourselves about Dublins perceived weaknesses. For example we make a big issue of Dublins poor 10 minutes before half time v Kerry, yet they played outstandingly well for the other 60. In contrast Mayo had a good ten minutes v Galway, Kildare Westmeath and Tipp but were sluggish for the remaining 60 mins in each game. The only game where I felt we put in a strong 70 minute performance was v Tyrone yet we only scored 13 pts against them and only 3 in the last 30 minutes. We wont hold the Dubs to 13. Lots of Mayo players have not reached the high standards of previous years. Even Cillian and Diarmaid, two brilliant players have only played in fits and starts. Andy has been great but Cooper wont let him out first to win possession so easily. Our midfield has been under pressure all year, our full back situation is extremely worrying though in fairness the backs have done well as a unit and the concession of so few goals is great. We are making a big issue of Cluxtons bad ten minutes but this guy is the best goalie I have ever seen and one blip doesnt change that. Some claim dubs full backline is weak but I didnt see much evidence of that sunday. Instead I saw a team with 3 of their forwards not operating at full tilt still hit 22 points and Rock who I consider the weakest of them play reasonably well from play and excellent from frees. On form Dublin are better than us and they beat us in 2013 and last year when I felt our players were playing better. We will need a monumental performance to win and Rochford and management will have to play a blinder. I live outside county and the only words of encouragement I hear is that ye Might have one big performance in ye. I cling to that hope too. I hope I am not coming across as too pessimistic, more realistic. I think this group of players have been absolutely brilliant and have given us all so much enjoyment and its been an absolute privilege to have followed them all over the country .Look back at all the unbridled optimism on this brilliant blog before previous All Irelands followed by some harsh criticism of some players and management when our dream wasnt realised. I hate such criticism. The players are fantastic. If they lose it will be because Dublin are superior and that may well be the case. We may win because sport can be unpredictable and maybe this is truely the year of the underdog. If that happens I will be delighted for myself and all Mayo people but especially for the players themselves. If we lose I wiiL wait until January and start all over again. Up Mayo.

  68. I will make small prediction re media. At the moment Mayo are completely written off. But it’s three weeks away yet. As we get closer to the game u will see a lot of hacks changing their tune and I he day of the game I’ll wager u will have something like 60:40 mix in favour of Dubs. That might not be a bad thing either … I don’t buy this thing that it’s great to go in as complete underdogs. In the same players can’t help complacency against minnows, everyone writing u off cannot be positive in the subconscious …now the dangerous underdog tag….that’s a different story….that’s the rallying cry to the subconscious that says…hell yeah,

  69. Diehard I’m delighted with that analysis for i believe that it’s the corner stone of their game.’We just had to go back out and go through the processes’
    And what else could these processes be? They are the means whereby we get the ball into scoring positions…good few long shots or whatever developes.And they had a couple of early long shots wide but straightened them out when settled.
    Mostly when he has the ball and is on the offensive he moves with pace in the direction of comrade… he takes it on and heads to where another is making himself available. Heads are up all the time and they keep at this in tantalising fashion till they make a dart for an emerging gap etc etc but they will know if there’s profit there and if not then back again.You never see him heading into a blind alley cos that’s not the process!…and there’s no spluttering…things are always done with conviction.
    Yer right, possession of the ball is the thing! It’s a practiced thing and you can see it deliberate in their hands.
    Other teams try to emulate them but don’t succeed as well cos they don’t obviously see the importance of it.
    I’m thinking by the time the big game comes by we ll have it well won on this site!!!

  70. I see GAA Season Ticket Holder payments will be processed on Wednesday 31st August so I would say to all lucky enough to be concerned.. make sure your card and postal details are correct and are up to date. Debit or Credit card makes no difference from what I can see so long as the expiry date is not about to expire in August or September. And of course you will need to have €80 in your account for each ticket.. which in my mind is steep, but then again Im not much of a concert goer so this is my little vice in life. Anyway we don’t need to be giving the GAA any reasons for not giving us tickets.. every ticket in a Mayo Persons hand is one less elsewhere.. so check those details

  71. Lots of clubs and charities organising draws with prizes of all Ireland tickets. I don’t think it’s right to be promoting them all. They are mainly priced at 5 each. I know some people who are desperate for tickets and are playing them all.

  72. By all means we need to target the dubs kickouts but we also need to focus on winning our own primary possession. Our kickouts need to be won. I think the kerry Dublin game showed the value of diagonal passing into the full forward line as well as the big ball in to a big full forward. Andy moran can do a lot of damage and has been doing all championship. In any event I don’t think the management team will be over bothered by our suggestions on tactics. Much like Joe schmidt with the ireland rugby team in his first year, Rochford has been operating on a match and opposition specific game plan.

  73. Yes, we can beat them if we go out with a positive mind set and take them on up front, not letting them dictate the game from the kickout. And if we go in front we cannot afford to go defensive, trying to protect a lead. We’ve lost in that situation before. Apart from the Galway game Rochford has shown the ability to set up the team for each game as it came and I have no doubt that he will do so again on the 18th.

  74. Besides the pressure of trying to win an all Ireland for the first time in 65 years 🙂 I think there is a lot less riding on this then there may have been in other years bar probably 2013 when we did feel it was now or never. However, we didn’t know then how resilient we have become.

    What I mean by that is this:

    1. We may well be playing the best team gaelic football has ever seen, and I include the Kerry “Golden Years” team who probably would have “only” won two or three all Irelands and definitely not four in a row if they were around today. Completely different sport now. Losing to them, not that we are considering it, would be no big surprise or shock so long as we put in a strong performance which I have no doubt we will. Kerry are deluding themselves that they put up a brave performance. They were outplayed for 60 minutes of that game, but whatever you have to tell yourself to lessen the pain that you are no longer the marquee brand in gaelic football, fair enough.
    2. We have a new management team that will be there for the next two years after this who have shown they are very capable at this level
    3 We are the all Ireland U-21 champions and have shown to date that we are one of the best around at bringing through talent over time
    4. The age profile of this team, while it seems to have been around for ages isn’t that old with some exceptions. I believe you will see a gradual changing of the guard over the next few years and it wont stop us being in the top 3 or 4 in the country.

    In summary what I am saying, is that while we want desperately to win, and I believe we have a right good chance, I think all Mayo fans know that we have proven we are a resilient crowd and that win, lose or draw the next day, we’ll come again. You can be sure of that.
    So that let be your response to the opposition fans and neutrals who over the next three weeks will helpfully tell you “Jays ye have to win this one”. No we don’t, because no matter what the only things you can be sure of in this life are death, taxes and that Mayo will come again.

  75. Inside of the Right – who are Dyra (your number 3) and 9) McCaffrey?.
    Are either of these McLoughlin and Parsons by any chance?.

  76. @east cork exile

    Very well put. Another positive note is that we might have solved the goalie debate once and for all. A number of Roscommon and Galway colleagues have suggested that we employ two goalies in order to keep a constant supply of ball kicked out to this gallant bunch of Corinthians.

  77. That’s the thing too, there is a lot of pressure on the Dubs as well to win back to back titles for the first time since 1977, which should weight a bit on their shoulders.

    Which will weight the heaviest then? Them trying to win two in a row or us trying to win our first since 1951, time will tell!

  78. @FDB
    What the poster is suggesting is that we give two Intermediate club footballers brought into the panel for A v B games their Intercounty debuts at fullback and midfield in an All Ireland against possibly the best team in the modern era.
    Makes sense…..

  79. Liam. Agreed. Sounds like a winning formula alright….

    With all due respect to the poster, the panel is what the panel is at this point. Adding in 2 new lads that haven’t worn a County Jersey before would be insanity.

  80. Roll up, roll up, the silly season is in full flow. Richie Feeney, Gavin Duffy and Ciaran McDonald are back in training and chomping at the bit.

  81. On a more serious note one of our frequent contributors to this blog has suffered a great loss and is in mourning today I would like to wish her and her family well at this very sad time for them. It puts heartache at football matches into perspective.

  82. Cantini – how about Galway against us for complete underdogs. 100% for Mayo I would say, particularly Galway media and pundits! Didn’t bother them, but it sure bothered us.

  83. Great post Eastcorkexile, my thoughts exactly. Sick off hearing “All Ireland or bust” for Mayo, its as lazy a cliche as “Mayo have no forwards” or “bottlers” “chokers”, ye know what I mean. Win or lose, we’re going nowhere….James Horan has ensured that. Sure, one or two players might call it a day but thats about it. The core of this group, Lee, Cillian, Diarmuid, Aido, Seamie, Parsons, Durcan, Cafferkey, boyle, have plenty of football left in them. Add in a promising set of U21’s to be blooded next year throughout the league and the future is bright, no matter what happens on the 18th.

    I fully beileve we can beat Dublin, it will be an almighty challenge but it can be done. The hype is’nt anywhere near 2013 levels, and that can only help. Delighted with all the pundits sniggering at us and writing us off, keep at it I say! The more haters the better. Siege mentality works wonders, ask Mourihino or Ferguson.

    Last point, im not buying this crap that a top performance can’t just be picked out of thin air! Look how we played against Tyrone one week after making Westmeath look like the Dubs. We completely turned it on against Tyrone, played smartly and navigated our way through them. Thats the sign of a class team…playing whats infront of you and adapting quickly and thinking on your feet, while doing enough to get the job done.

  84. I watched the Dublin and Kerry match back again. No doubt Dublin are serious outfit. They have 4 very key players,Cluxton, Michael Darragh,Connolly and Kevin Mc. 4 top class players. These lads were the leaders on Sunday for them.IMO these individuals are the heart beat of the Dublin team.I noticed the work rate they put in against Kerry when they didnt have the ball they tracked back to help their defense. There is no doubt about it that their forward unit is far superier than their defense. If we keep pressure on Cluxton, if we have righ men and right plan to keep Connolly, Kevin Mc and Michael Darragh out of the game for as long as possible we have some of the key ingredients to beat this animal.

  85. Of course Mayo can do it. Kerry put up an ok performance the last day, but the lack of a few leaders and “enforcers” around the park cost them. Mayo have the leaders and getting the match ups right will be crucial. I think Diarmuid O’C is due a big game as is Cillian. Barry Moran’s confidence should be high and as for Boyler… let the hare set!! Mayo will need to summon the competitive streak of 2014, and I feel that this time the Gods will look down favourably on them. Head up, chin up, and go for it bald headed for it!! By the way would be grateful if you throw a few cheers up for our minor team who will be up against a formidable Kerry outfit.

  86. Mayoman in Galway, I think you really need to add cian osullivan into that list. He is the heartbeat of their defence. However he is going to have aido to deal with, we need aido to pull him and another out of position to allow Diarmuid and Keith to run through them. I have no doubt lee will take care of Connolly although I’d be worried that all the attention around lee and the painting of Connolly as an angel
    Will influence the ref. I’d put Boyle on mcmanamen, that battle alone will be worth the entrance fee. Dublin will play min 3 midfielders and so we’ll have to, I’d keep parsons for the second half, we’ll need his power and legs. I think that Dublin will start with bastick with the intention of Michael dara being held in reserve for the same reason.

    I genuinely think we’ll be the hungrier of the two teams, they had two all stars voluntarily leave the panel last year, the so called greatest team ever, Kilkenny will be in gweedore for the next 2 weeks. That just wouldn’t happen in Mayo. I have no issue at all with this but it says me that football isn’t the priority for them. They had it all their own way for 60 mins against Kerry, that won’t happen in 3 weeks and when the battle is at its height we’ll see who has the stomach for it.

  87. Cork’s, Conor Lane has just been announced as referee for the All Ireland Final. He refereed the club final this year between Castlebar and Ballyboden. Not sure if he has refereed any Mayo game lately?

  88. Actually Lane refereed our minor win over Tyrone in the 2013 final and our Connacht Final win over London in 2013.

  89. He also reff’d the Mayo Galway game earlier in the year.

    “He’s been busy in this year’s Championship, refereeing the All-Ireland Quarter-Final between Galway and Tipperary, the drawn Connacht Final between Galway and Roscommon, the Connacht Semi-Final between Mayo and Galway, and the Ulster Semi-Final between Monaghan and Down. “

  90. And our game against Galway this year if I’m not mistaken …

    The Connacht Final of 2013 was one of his more memorable performances, and not for the right reasons.

    Still though, at least it’s not Dublin Joe, eh? 😉

  91. Man of Aran, we stood and applauded your young men off the field after their victory over Donegal,and we’ll stand and salute them again on Sunday 18th.

  92. To be fair – the Connacht Final in 2013 was always going to be one where the ref would give the underdog the benefits. Same was the case against Tipp this year, though to be fair to Coldrick he didn’t shirk the black card decision which I fully expected he would at the time.

    I’m a bit surprised to be honest – I expected to see Eddie Kinsella getting a run out – he did a good job of marshalling both sides in the replayed semi Final last year.

    i don’t recall much of seeing Conor Lane or him having any shockers. He did plant one of the Roscommon players when giving one of the Galway lads a black card in the drawn Connacht final this year.

    Anyone know what he’s like?. Does he let the game “Flow”, which I tend to read as an excuse for those who have benefitted from crappy decisions, or is he whistle happy?.

    I know, I know, we shouldn’t be concerned about the refs, but in all honesty they all have different styles and will let some things go and not others – we need to prepare accordingly as there really is no consistency between how each referee administers the games.

  93. I’d argue that Dublin’s key player now is Dean Rock…….due to his accuracy from frees. I think of Dublin’s 22 points last week he scored 13 from dead balls. He might not be as high profile as some of the others but he’s arguably there most important player now.

  94. Dean Scored 12 Points last Sunday.
    2 From Play (One of them a very decent attempt).
    2 45s
    8 Frees. He had 9 Frees in total, the miss being his first in this Championship.

  95. Ya no doubt about it Rock is very accurate from dead ball.I just feel Dublin play through the 4 players i mentioned above.Yes O’Sullivan is a good defender. Jaysus I hate complimenting Dublin.I think Donaghy was isolated with 3 or 4 Dublin players and no one to help him. They will certainly look back on it and see it as a missed opportunity.

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