The final is there to be won

Every year since 2012 – bar 2018 – we’ve lost to the eventual winner of the Sam Maguire. That’s going to be the case this year too but we don’t yet know if that team will be Galway or Kerry.

Enough about us. The last two days were all about the two counties who have made it through to this year’s All-Ireland final, a match that’ll be played in a fortnight’s time.

Kerry, having finally got one over Dublin in the Championship for the first time since the Startled Earwigs meeting in 2009, will be very strong favourites to claim their first All-Ireland title since 2014. Galway, who won as outsiders in both 1998 and 2001, will, though, rightly fancy their chances of another upset title win.

I was in Croke Park today, perched in a perfect spot at the front of the Upper Hogan not far off midway, and I certainly got full value for my fifty quid. It was a match that took a while to catch fire but, when it did in the second half, it was compelling stuff.

Kerry should, of course, have been out the gap by half-time. Dublin – minus Con O’Callaghan, in the way we were shorn of the talents of Ryan O’Donoghue and Tommy Conroy when taking on Kerry in the quarters the other week – didn’t have enough penetration in attack. They ended up doing a lot of lateral passing, of the kind that our supporters were frequently tearing their hair out over this year, followed by some hit-and-hope shooting.

The root cause of this was that their transition to attack was too slow and, allied with more than a little shot-shyness up front, it was no surprise that the Dubs reached half-way with just a measly six points on the board.

Kerry, meanwhile, broke with pace when they went forward. David Moran sprayed a few delicious long passes right into the danger zone, the first of which evaded a number of players before it was eventually gathered by Seán O’Shea who finished brilliantly for the game’s opening goal.

O’Shea started the contest like an express train, with 1-1 to his name inside the first five minutes. David Clifford had his eye in too, languidly stroking four points from play during the game, as well as a free and a mark, though his scores dried up just after the resumption.

O’Shea’s goal rocked Dublin and when they lost John Small to a black card for a third-man tackle when they were four points down, things looked ominous. Even more so when Kerry then got a penalty but O’Shea’s spot kick was timid, Comerford blocking it with ease and getting O’Shea’s boot into his belly as he sought to gather it.

Kerry’s five-point lead at the break still looked decisive and then Clifford stretched that to six soon after the resumption. Just before that I thought Kerry were extremely unlucky not to get a second penalty.

Stephen O’Brien was pinged for touching the ball on the ground but the replay on the big screen seemed to show that it had bounced up for him and he was felled as he sought to get his shot away. That looked like a major let-off for the flailing Dubs.

When Dean Rock screwed a relatively straightforward free wide five minutes later, it really looked like it was game over. Indeed, the contest had never come to life properly up ’till then and it now looked as if it never would.

Cormac Costello’s goal, superbly finished into the corner, ignited the game at just the right time. Driven on after that by James McCarthy and a rejuvenated Ciaran Kilkenny, Dublin came at the Kingdom in waves and now they were punching holes in the Kerry cover.

But Jack O’Connor’s men managed to eke out a few precious points to stay in front, until Dublin eventually hauled themselves level as the game was going into injury time. An O’Shea free put Kerry back in front but Rock cancelled that out deep in stoppage time and so extra-time now looked set to follow.

When David Clifford was held up over 60 yards out from the Hill 16 goal, it didn’t have the look of a match-winning moment about it. Even when O’Shea stood over the ball and eyed the posts it looked, literally, like a long shot.

In truth, it was a shot to nothing. Had he missed it, few would have criticised him for taking it on. Dublin weren’t going to get the chance to come down the field again so there was nothing to lose.

And everything to gain.

It was, of course, a worthy way to win the game. A fitting riposte too, eleven years on, to Stephen Cluxton’s place kick that secured Dublin’s first Championship win over Kerry since 1977 and, with it, a first Sam Maguire success for the Jacks since 1995.

Seán O’Shea’s memorable winner today didn’t, though, win Sam for them. But it’s got them to the final – for the first time since 2019 – where they’ll meet Galway, the first time that’s happened in a decider since way back in 2000.

Listening in on the good-natured exchanges between the Kerry and Dublin supporters as they filed out of the Hogan today, one clear point of agreement between them was apparent. Which was that today’s game was the real final and that Galway would be no match for the Kingdom in two weeks from now.

That kind of chatter will be music to Padraic Joyce’s ears. His team are deep into bonus territory now and, regardless of how the final goes, he’s given the Tribesmen their best summer campaign for a generation.

But he knows, of course, that the final is there to be won. Dublin, when they went for the throat in the second half, exposed a few frailties in Kerry’s backline and Galway, with arguably a better forward unit than the Dubs, have the potential to cause that same rearguard a lot of bother.

Around the middle, Galway won’t be quaking either. David Moran only lasted 50 minutes today and Paul Conroy looks ideally suited to taking him on in the engine room, a sector where the Tribesmen look marginally stronger than the Munster champions.

Inevitably, though, it’ll come down to Galway’s ability to shut down Kerry’s highly vaunted attack. They did that admirably against Derry yesterday but the threat the Oakleafers posed was nothing compared to what the Kingdom are capable of when they start to motor. Whoever gains the upper hand there will surely decide the outcome of what’s set to be a fascinating All-Ireland final.

89 thoughts on “The final is there to be won

  1. All the pressure is on Kerry to deliver. Galway will see this as a great opportunity to create history again. The weight of history does not weigh heavy on the Galway lads. I’ve a feeling they will win it and for those of us here in Deep South Mayo that’s a nightmare scenario. If they do it then good luck to them. We had more than enough chances the last decade and couldn’t deliver.

  2. We have to get behind Galway, normal service will be resumed next year
    Maigheo Abu

  3. Galway going into this final in a great position they can definitely hurt dublin and o neill seems to have really got that defence working. All the pressure will be on kerry but I make it a 60/40 game

    James mccarthy was phenomenal for dublin, its a marvel to see someone who has won everything umpteen times digging so deep to inspire his team again

  4. Aside from Walsh and Comer the Galway team scored a total of 2 points yesterday – this, against a Division 2 team that stopped playing after 15 minutes.

    Kerry have their limitations but they are comfortably a better team. They will win by 5 or 6.

  5. Kerry got lucky today. Missed a penalty after 5 minutes of Dublin messing. Were 6 points up early in the second half and were hauled back in by the Dubs. Clifford went awol for most of the second half because of the yellow card as did not want to get a second. O’Shea saved more than his blushes with that last kick to win it. If it was to tie the match it might be a different story. Dublin took a few poor pot shots near the end. When Mayo do that we get slaughtered.

    Who will win the final?

    As a Mayo man living in Galway I have had to take a lot of abuse and worse still fake hard lucks every time we came up short in finals. As much as I dislike the yerras it would be unbearable to have to listen to the gloating if Galway win. I would probably have to move back to Mayo where there is safety in numbers.

  6. Can’t see Galway getting within 5 points of Kerry, on all known form.
    Galway need to hit the ground running, unlike yesterday.
    Shane Walsh needs to live up to his reputation, and start scoring points from play.

  7. I have no major dislike of Kerry people and great respect for the insightful and well informed posts gamechanger posts on here and on the other hand i know the slagging we will get from Galway people if they win theyre well able to call us chokers and who can forget the billboards they put up in a Mayo a few years ago after a match anyhow theres a few tools in every county. I hope Galway win i have great memories of being in college and working in Galway and i have to say they were the finest of people. I think Kerry will win for what its worth but if Galway win the best of luck to them. Until we develop match winning forwards we cant realisticially expect to win Sam Tommy and Ryan cant do it on their owm

  8. Great piece WJ

    Kerry have the better all round team, however they’re not nearly as good as made out by many, and there’s still plenty of limitations in their side. Tyrone very much exposed them last year in the semi, we did the same in Tralee this year, while there was lots of edgy moments both today and against ourselves a fortnight ago. They took a while to get going against cork too.

    To counter that they have had their great moments too, they played some superb stuff at times in the first half today, and of course the league final this year. I still think they’re a year or two off really becoming a real consistent and dominant force though

    Galway have been building lovely right since the beginning of the year, and Joyce has found a real settled team – lads like Jack Glynn, Dylan McHugh, Kieran Molloy, cillian mcdaid and Patrick Kelly and Rob finnerty have really integrated well into the side

    The hard cold analysis does point towards a Kerry win (not nearly as clear cut as some think though, the gap is certainly narrower than the bookies make out – Kerry are just not nearly getting enough out of their forwards outside the cliffords and O’Shea and there’s question marks over their midfield) but there’s just something about Galway this year.. they’ve now won three championship games as underdogs, most of this team have also won big underage games as outsiders (Conroy minor 07; Walsh, comer, silke under 21 2013; finnerty, mcdaid, McHugh, finnerty, s Kelly, Conneely under 21 semi 17; Tierney, paul Kelly under 20 2020), and quite simply the county has a fine tradition of taking huge opportunities like these. Also – great forwards always give you a real chance. I just have a feeling they may well do it, and Kerry’s wait will go on one more year

  9. “Dublin took a few poor pot shots near the end. When Mayo do that we get slaughtered.”

    Fully agree, Dublin looked every bit as pedestrian up front as we did a few weeks ago for large parts of today

    They’ve quite simply never truly replaced the likes of Flynn and Connolly (to collect kickouts, feed the inside forward line and score from distance) or brogan, Andrews, mannion and mcmanaman to win ball in the inside line and run properly at the opposition defence

    Take out COC they look bang average up front, if they lost Kilkenny aswell they might struggle to even win Leinster.. Costello is just way too hot and cold and Rock was absolutely anonymous today.

  10. It’s Kerry’s to lose , but there again so was the minor final on Friday for Mayo , interesting that the ref gave the penalty today but never carded the offender !,

  11. On Kerry’s progression, Galway don’t appear to have a chance. However, as Dublin showed today, fitness and penetrating runs open up their defence, Kerry’s defence. Galway may not have the manic running associated with Mayo. But should they turn it up a few notches I wouldn’t be surprised to see them rattle Kerry. As a heartsore Mayo supporter I am 100% behind Galway. I’d love to see them win and it would hurt me that it’s them, not us. But I’d still love to see a Galway win.
    Interesting few weeks ahead.
    Come on Galway.
    Maigheo go deo.

  12. For Galway to win they’ll have to stick rigidly to the style that got them there. They can’t get dragged into an open game or it’ll be curtains. Every team in a final have a chance and Galway are no different.
    Just read all the comments from the minor game. Ref poor yes, but I can’t believe the extremely dangerous tackle on a Galway player in the 8th minute doesn’t even get a mention. It was a stonewall red card and a tackle that could have changed that young lads life through serious injury. Thankfully he seemed ok but refs can’t be letting this sort of tackle go whether in an all Ireland final or a junior b game.

  13. As much as I’d love to see Galway win, I can’t see them within 8 points of Kerry in the final.

  14. If Galway win they won’t have ‘came out of nowhere’. They’ve been a good team for a few years now, at times hyped up, but they’ve plenty talent and are now finally beginning to get the best out of themselves.

    So Mayo people shouldn’t see it as the shock horror I’m seeing from some posters. This Galway team were bound to get their shot and are full value for their final place, playing good tactical football and playing as a team with self-belief and togetherness. They rode their luck against Armagh but all good teams get those breaks at times. It’s what they do from here that counts.

  15. Kerrys defence in the first half won the game for them. Galway’s defence on the other hand can really be got at and I would worry for them that if Kerry get a run on them they could get a tanking. All depends on how Galway set up. If Kerry win they could get the confidence to win a number of All Irelands

  16. Will be shouting from the rooftops for a Galway win and to put manners on Kerry. PJ to hopefully join the elite group of winning All Irelands as a player and manager.

  17. Toe to Hand, that’s the way I see it as well – that Kerry’s defence in the first half won the game for them. It was a strong part of the plan for a long time as they tacked on points up front to pull clear.
    I found it really interesting how it could be opened up in the second half though. Maybe the game itself opened up. For me, that’s something to chew on. Credit to Dublin for that.

  18. Sad to say the epic battles between Mayo and Dublin are over . Mayo and Dublin on a downward curve and both need to find scoring attackers. As a dub I was genuinely worried we would be hammered today . That there was only a point in it at the end suggests this Kerry team may not be as good as all the hype around them. That said if they win one all Ireland their age profile means they could be around for a few.

  19. Hard to believe Sean O’Shea was young footballer of the year as recent as 2019. Barring serious injury, himself and D Clifford will be tormenting opposition for the next decade plus. Depressing.

  20. Great read. I’m optimistic.
    Sean Kelly kept Clifford scoreless from play in the Sigerson this year, when we beat them in 2018 they had Clifford, O Shea etc and we were a much poorer outfit then.. Cian O Neill has been a massive addition this year and he was the one yesterday getting the lads to stop celebrating and get in the dressing room 10 mins after the final whistle.. He means business. If we do our homework I really fancy us..

  21. I think @John if Dublin had Con today they could have nicked it. Ended up much closer than I expected.. a great effort especially by Dublin’s more heralded players. Problem is I see Kerry going from strength to strength in the coming years while at best other counties including Dublin and Mayo will stay stationary.

  22. @P and aside from Sean O’Shea,David Clifford the Kerry team scored a total of 4 points today. If Galway curb the influence of those two forwards it will be half the battle

  23. @mayomagic.
    David Clifford disappeared in that second half when the game really started.

    Yes. He was excellent in the 1st half but then he vanished.

    He wasn’t even the best player in the Clifford household today nevermind the best player of all-time ?.

  24. Dublin, even with their toothless attack, were able to get at the Kerry defence today. If Con had played, we might be having a different conversation now. In fact, we more than likely would. I thought Kerry looked very nervy in the second half, especially after the Dubs goal, and there are plenty of vulnerabilities there. If they’d lost, I wonder what the discussion around Clifford and O’Se would have been – both were gone missing towards the end.

    If I were in the Galway dressing room, I’d be saying there is absolutely nothing to fear in that Kerry team. Galway have a great chance.

  25. Apologies WJ I just noticed there is another John posting here as well . So maybe I will change to JohnDub?

  26. That was a great game of football today. It had everything you needed including pace, skill, great scores and also controversy. Kerry in truth should have been out the gate but in the same breath I have to pay tribute to the Dubs for the way they didn’t thrown in the towel and fought back so hard in the second half. Coming down the stretch it looked nailed on for extra time and it was fitting really that it took an injury rime miracle kick to separate the titans. Sean O Sé’s kick was amazing when you consider how far out he was, that it was against the wind and even more importantly that he must have been nigh on exhausted after running himself into the ground for the previous 80 odd minutes in the scorching hear of Croker today. In fairness it looks now like it should be a great final and both sides will no doubt approach it with confidence. Who will win I don’t know but if the two teams involved play to their potential then Id say it will be another cracker to look forward to.

  27. This was the final kick from this Dublin team, in reality Kerry should have scored the penalty and they would have pulled away.
    Some great players over the past 11 years, McCarthy, Rock, Cooper, J Small, Fitzsimmons are on the way out, even Fenton is on the way downwards.
    Mayo have missed the boat and we can only watch Galway and Kerry battle it out in 2 weeks time.
    Kerry are back for a few years.

  28. Mayo88, I have to strongly disagree, those Dublin players you mentioned are going nowhere (that’s if they still have the appetite for hard training with all they have won already).
    Cooper might be tired, yes, but look at David Moran for Kerry and the influence he is having for 50 minutes. Cooper has the brains and is still a very effective defender for Dublin for half a game at least.
    I thought Dublin’s newer players looked much more assured today than last year. They had progressed nicely and I feel they can do more. I was surprised at Rock’s lack of impact from play today as he is normally very level headed, reliable and accurate.
    Costello’s goal was class.
    Those leaders on the Dublin team are crucial to set the standards and pace for the team’s progression over the next few years.
    Yes, Kerry’s attacking age profile looks very good!
    As for Mayo, who knows? I should start saying prayers. I do think the new manager could add a lot of good things and could be a game changer. We need a new gameplan to do ourselves justice for starters. I’d be happy to take it from there.

  29. @Mayo 88.. Except that it wasn’t a penalty in the first place.. I think the Ref a very good game overall, but I think he could have been helped out a bit by his umpires for the penalty decision… Kerry were rewarded for going offensive in the last 30 second’s of the Match, won a very difficult free to win and duly won it.. Second year in a row, Dublin have been undone by a long range place kick, Robbie Hennelly last year from a retaken 45 way out on the wing to bring Mayo to extra time. It was a wonderful match, by and large devoid of cynicism. Kilkenny, Fenton and McCarthy really stood up in the second half, but it wasn’t to be for them…Dean Rock missed only one free for the entire 2022 Championship, unbelievable record, unfortunately for Dean that was yesterday, and had he scored it, probably extra time and then who knows.. Could be a battle of the free taker’s in the final,..I suppose with Dean Rock,. Séan O Shea and Shane Walsh are undoubtedly the best place kickers in the country, the bar is incredibly high right now, never been higher. ..I think Damian Comer, is going to be a real handful for the Kerry defense..How do you stop him winning the ball and turning and scoring?… Unlike last year’s All Ireland final I expect both goalkeeper to stay largely in Goal,..It was bound to happen at some stage, but that’s twice in recent week’s that Goals have been scored against the team with the goalkeeper way up the field.. Damien Comer second goal yesterday v Derry, adding to Jordan Flynn’s chip of the Kildare goalkeeper a few weeks ago. Considering the quality of both Shane Walsh and Séan O Shea, fouling probably won’t pay inside 60 meters from goal…It should be another cracker!

  30. After reflecting on the 2 semi finals this weekend I don’t think we are in a very bad place, I think if we have everybody fully fit and a full forward line of Cillian in the form of 2020 ,Tommy Conroy and ROD of 2021, we are the 3rd best team in the country. I expect Kerry to beat Galway by 6 or 7 points in 2 weeks time.Galway have really beaten no one of real significance. Armagh and Derry had their first major knockout games in Croke park since 2007 and 2001. The problem I see coming is this Kerry team getting stronger after today and potentially going on to dominate the next 5 years or more.the Appointment of new manager is huge and we have to adopt a better style of play than just running the ball all the time.

  31. @Revellino David Clifford was double and trebled marked 2nd half than “vanished” and he still scored a point and create a few others for his team including the match winning free.

  32. WJ
    Is there a plan for coverage of the managerial appointment in terms of podcasts etc.
    Will be fascinating to get input from recent players and particularly the difference in playing for James Horan and Stephen Rochford …which is a direct question i dont think i ever heard asked…..

  33. Mayomagic. True enough about the rest only scoring 4pts but on Saturday against Derry Walshe and Comer scored 2-06 out of 2-08. I guess both finalists will feel if they can curb the opposition’s 2 main danger men they’ll be in with a big chance. I will be rooting for our neighbours but not sure if their defensive system will allow them enough territory to get the scores. I also find it strange that Kevin Walsh was continually crucified for defensive play but now Galway are getting praise for the same thing and something needs to change because 2-08 will not win the final and Kerry’s keeper won’t be acting the eejit.

  34. Some of ye must have given up completely as ye are in awe of the squeaky clean Dubs

    Ye have very short memories.
    Here are a few examples.
    The Dubs goalie pretending to be injured in an effort to unsettle the Kerry penalty taker, the camera showed this as clear as day
    The Dublin goalie shaking the uprights for O See final free kick ( a South Mayo goalie invented this many years ago ).
    Do ye not remember the dirty off the ball tackles and punches in the semi final v Mayo last year ?
    Do ye not remember the constant off the ball fouling late on in 2027 final ?
    Plenty of more examples to mention.
    Squeaky clean Fitzsimmons and Cooper with studs into the thighs of Mayo players in big games.

  35. Galway will win this pulling up, Kerry are soft, when the heat comes on, they wilt. Dublin are a pale shadow of the team from 2015-2020, they’re pretty toothless without O’Callaghan, if they had a full deck to pick from they would have beaten Kerry yesterday. If Galway keep it tight early on, they’ll settle into the game and eventually pull away. All the pressure is on Kerry here, although I don’t agree that this is a free hit for Galway, the engine room of this team has been on the road for a good while, as Joyce himself said, he thought they’d be here three years ago. Comer will win POTY.

  36. Great game yesterday, desperate game Saturday. But these games will have no bearing on final though most people use them as form barometers. In 2013 dublin beat kerry in a classic semi final, we beat Tyrone in an ordinary one. Likewise in 2016 Dublin beat kerry in a thriller, we were mediocre v tipp in the other semi. The form of those semi finals would have suggested we would have little chance in the finals but we lost by 1 in 2013 and drew in 2016. Semi finals are all about winning and kerry and galway did their winning differently. Kerry were excellent in the first half with O Shea and Clifford outstanding, Galway were excellent in the second half with Comer outstanding and Walsh deadly from frees. The other 8 forwards combined plus the subs were less impressive though . But the next day these lesser lights might shine. Both teams defended well, Galway exceptionally so. If Sean Kelly can keep tabs on Clifford ( like he did in Sigerson final, though sunday week wont be a wet night in Carlow) then undoubtedly Galway have a great chance. Clifford was unmarkable in the first half but Dublin and Fitzsimons in particular did very well on him in the second half. Despite his “disappearance” in the second half according to a poster, he kicked one excellent point, had two other shots on goal, was fouled for the winning free despite being double marked. Comer was really excellent on saturday but Galway have other very capable forwards and just because they didnt do it on Saturday doesn’t mean they won’t do it next day. Galway usually perform well in finals and I think they have a good chance to win. One final point and its a selfish one. I mentioned two star forwards from each county, Clifford and O Shea from Kerry, Comer and Walsh from Galway. Imagine if they had been missing. How toothless both those attacks would have been. Then look at Mayo. Without Tommy and Ryan for most of the championship. How different things might have been if those two lads were available.

  37. There was a lot of coverage all year (which dampened after the Armagh game, but is now gaining full steam again) about Galway’s over-reliance on Walsh, Comer and Conroy, yet very little on Kerry’s over-reliance on the two Cliffords and O’Shea

    Frankly I’d be concerned in the Kingdom about the inability of the likes of Moynihan, the Spillanes, Barry and D O’Connor to really grab senior inter county by the scruff of the neck in the big knockout games (bar in odd patches, ie Moynihan’s point yesterday- but he did little else). Brosnan and Savage looked flavour of the month in the league but have seen limited game time in championship, while Geaney and O’Brien were hauled off early yesterday, and both were equally uninspiring against Tyrone last year – I’d be surprised actually if at least one isn’t left out of the side for the final

    This is some far cry from the Kerry side of the 00s which had any number of attackers who could win games on their own. Only for they have one of the greats in Clifford and a top class talent in O’Shea they’d be further down the pecking order. Maybe the final will see some of the above players spring into life and “come of age” but the jury’s still very much out on that one. Quite simply when Tyrone really limited the supply into Clifford and O’Shea last year it was more or less the winning of the game. Not a hope that will slip past the likes of Joyce and Cian O’Neill

    There’s no doubting many of this Kerry attack will ultimately go on to become great players, but its a big ask for them to suddenly pull out a top performance in just two weeks

    Again, I still maintain if we had all our attack available and weren’t as wasteful or ponderous up front we would have really rattled them two weeks ago. No reason Galway – with a much better attack – can’t do similar, they’ll just need to fight like dogs out the field and clog up the middle third as much as possible

  38. Be interesting to see what percentage of Mayo support would prefer Galway or Kerry to win .I find myself slightly leaning towards Galway .

  39. after a period of reflection and having seen the standard of the two semis I am more pissed off but also optimistic:D

    We were missing our entire full forward line . Cillian was nowhere near match fit .

    Thats leaving aside any other injuries.

    Take any teams FF line out and see how they go. Just take Clifford out for Kerry, comer for galway and O Callaghan as we seen for the dubs. Never mind the whole line.

    Our lads will get a good break now to recharge . Hopefully we get the appointment right and the new man brings some fresh ideas and a couple of new faces. He doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. If we have a FF line of a fit Cillian, Rod and Conroy that’s as good as what’s out there .

    The gap between the top 6 teams is miniscule now . I just hope the unthinkable doesn’t happen in two weeks or I’ll have to emigrate :p
    If Galway were to reverse their trend of starting slow and get a few points ahead I think they could do it !

  40. Regarding galway scores the last day I’m wondering is it a worry for galway they didn’t kick a point from play in the 2nd half. 3 Walsh frees a palmed point by Heaney and 2 goals from comer one without a goalkeeper in place. Sometimes a win can paper over the cracks or maybe each game has to be viewed differently

  41. Lot of people seem confident Galway can do it. I am the opposite, id have given them a good chance v Dublin.

    Kerry have been impressive all year and yesterday is just the test they need going into an AIF.

    They have conceded one goal in the championship, unless Galway can get 2-3 goals they wont win.

  42. Galway might be able to select big and overpower Kerry.
    Gavin White is very likely out, their most physical defender. His replacement is likely Paul Murphy 5’9″.
    Galway could go with that new 6’3″ lad at wing forward, was decent this year in games from bench.
    Shane Walsh must run hard at tackle arms. The team must run hard at OBeaglaigh and the Kerry half forward line.
    Kerry have been coached to foul.
    Pump those legs hard and get a half foul turned into a full yellow card foul.
    Card count might decide this final.
    The balance of yellows, black a second yeloow, a black after a yellow.

  43. Good point KM79. I was just thinking along similar lines. Most people gave Dublin no chance against Kerry when Con was confirmed as being out. Yet, we were disappointed to lose when missing our 2 best forwards (plus Cillian nowhere near fit yet).

  44. A great game yesterday. Reminded me very much of the 2017 final. 2 heavyweights toe to toe and not giving an inch. A word on James McCarthy who is one of my favourite players of all time outside of Mayo. What a player. An absolute warrior. I always viewed him as a player who played tough but fair unlike some his comrades.

    Its Kerry’s final to lose and getting over the line like that yesterday could be the making of them as a team which is bad news for the rest of us. I think they will have too much firepower for Galway.

  45. “Galway could go with that new 6’3? lad at wing forward, was decent this year in games from bench”

    Who’s that? Paddy Kelly – who’s the only one I can see that fits the description – has started the last few games

    There’s more chance of Joe Brolly being on the RTE panel for the game than Galway making any enforced changes at this stage

  46. It was an ok game but not a patch on the the Mayo Dublin 2017 final which incidentally was won by a soft free like yesterday. How could Colm O’Rourke or anyone give so much praise to a game with 25% spent going over and back with no challenges. Of course it was Dublin v Kerry.
    And like the 2017 Final it was won by the team who the ref favoured. Sean O’Shea should have been at the very least red carded. He followed through with the right foot and hit the goalie with his left foot in the face. Reckless play. Remember he got a second yellow so he should not have been on the field for the last kick. So now we have Dublin Joe and Kerry Paddy.

  47. Sean Burke. I’m 100 % favouring kerry in the final. Don’t think I could watch galway win it. I’d rather tear my eyes out than see galway do it…even though I have a strong dislike for kerry too…

  48. @revellino…you seem to have a real bee in your bonnet about david clifford not being all that good.
    As much as I’d like this to be true its just wishful thinking, the lad is phenomenal and absolutely lives up to the hype. Yeah he was quieter in the 2nd half yesterday but still managed 6 points, 4 from play and a brilliant mark and won the decisive free at the end. Imagine if we had a forward giving a return like that, we’d be building statues.

    He’s the real deal,and while I don’t think kerry are the complete package by any means the fact they have 2 generational talents in Clifford and SOS who are still only 22 is a grim prospect for the rest of the country

  49. FWIW while kerry are rightly favourites I give galway a great chance in the final, they have a lot of ways to hurt kerry.
    …also to my untrained eye the way gavin white pulled up yesterday I would amazed if he makes the final which would be huge plus to galway

  50. Thanks, WJ, for the reports. For me, this final is ideally set up for a young talent – perhaps, Matthew Tierney, to show his full potential.

    Kerry always struggled with Mayo’s running game – powerful players like Keegan, Durcan and Vaughan pushing forward. I’d like to see the Galway half back line doing the same (in a co-ordinated way), when the opportunities arise. Of course, all chances created, must be taken.

    Pj will relish this challenge as he knows Kerry football so well. There will certainly be no hiding places – fitness levels and the team that makes the least mistakes (included picking up silly black cards) will carry the day.

  51. Gavin White wont make the final, he couldn’t put his foot on the carpet leaving the pitch yesterday. Huge bonus for Galway.

  52. Owen Gallagher is the tall wing forward a new player for Galway.
    If Galway start Rob Finnerty, Tom Sullivan will clean him.
    I think Galway have something with selecting tall.

  53. Gallagher has been very peripheral all year after the early rounds of the league.. O’Laoi, Paul Kelly, Billy mannion and Niall Daly ahead of him now in the pecking order on the bench in that area of the field (Cathal Sweeney could also play in hf line, and Dessie Conneely will come on in forwards guaranteed), will be shocked if he even comes on in the final

    No hope Joyce is changing anything now, all the starters have earned their place

  54. Okay, fair enough. But sending out Rob Finnerty is close to a guarantee that Tom Sullivan cleans him. He s too quick.
    Think they need to do something there.

  55. Surely Tom O’Sullivan will mark Shane Walsh? Finnerty will probably be marked by Graham O’Sullivan.

  56. Don’t know why you’re discounting Rob Finnerty so much either… he’s an incredibly talented player, and will certainly take watching by anyone.

    I guess its the age old recency effect at play (the Derry game was never going to suit him anyway), but against Armagh he scored 4 super points from play

  57. Its funny to think but the rank underdogs in both the football and hurling finals actually won the last championship match in the respective matchups

    Kerry and Limerick had plenty of the current squad involved those days too… whether they’ve both improved significantly in the interim remains to be seen I guess!

  58. Galway are underdogs, pressure on Kerry to seal the deal and it will be hard for them to re-focus in a short space of time after the epic yesterday. All in Galway’s favour. Gavin white will be a doubt too. And the other ace Galway have going into this final that Mayo never had is a manager who has walked the walk, been there, and won the AI. A huge bonus going into a final.

  59. If football is to be saved from five years of yerras then Galway have to win this. I thought a Dub/Galway final would be on the cards. Regardless of the absolute vitriol that we have heard from Galway fans down through the years I wish them the best – it would be good for connacht – and hopefully the final will not be a damp one sided affair. Good luck to both teams.

  60. Spoke to a friend from Kerry earlier, he feels they have to seal the deal and win it now and accepts there is huge pressure on Kerry to deliver the All Ireland. He feels they will beat us by 5+ as they have more experience of big days than Galway. It would be a serious game if Galway can raise it the gear I believe they have in the locker.

  61. If Tom Sullivan picks up Walsh I’d instruct Walsh to just run hard and straight through the tackle arm. Early yellow card all day long.
    Shane Walsh is 6’2″ 90kg, Sullivan is 5’10” barely 80kg.
    I think Rob Finnerty is a good player, but think the trend has been Kerry put Tom Sullivan on a forward in the inside line where he can blot them out and get joy the other end.
    When Paddy Small came on yesterday Sullivan was much less comfortable.

  62. Rob Finerty goes to ground very easily and refs copping on to him. I thought ref did well yesterday but refs need help. It looked like a penalty until you see replays. And how many times were players fouled to prevent fast counter attacks after winning turnovers. Cynical fouls unpunished.
    You’re always in with a chance of winning when you have leadership in forwards and Comer is colossal.

  63. It’s a one off game, never played before both teams if they could have planned it probably couldn’t have asked for a better way to get to the final…Both survived incredibly tight squeeze’s Galway by penalties v Armagh,..9 time’s out of 10 you lose game’s when you conceded poor goals like Galway did v Armagh. They never looked like conceding a goal to Derry.. But Derry never tried to exploit what seemed to a Galway’s weakness .. Galway need to eliminate this vulnerability as much as possible..No one better than a Jack O Connor team to hit your weak spot when you least expect it.. And in a very much rejuvenated David Moran, doubt that there is a better man in Ireland to send in a dangerous high diagonal ball into the danger area in Ireland… Will David Moran last the full game?. He did versus Mayo in the quarter final, but didn’t versus Dublin on a very hot day.. However he gave the ball away once it led to the Dublin goal and David was immediately substituted by the ruthless Jack O Connor..In 2006 in the All Ireland final after about 20 minutes, the then Player of the year Tomas O Shea gave the ball away once and was immediately replaced by Jack O Connor. It’s a very exciting prospect, it promise’s to be a great game. Another Mr Hawk-Eye will be worried about his place on All Ireland day, both hurling and football..Lee Keegan on the Saturday Game RTE live broadcast referenced one particular Mayo point ruled out by Mr Hawk-Eye late in the quarter final v Kerry, although it didn’t effect the result of the game, ..I remember the Kieth Higgins ruled out point by Hawk-Eye at the beginning of the 2013 All Ireland final, it never rested easy with me that Keith’s point attempt was actually wide…I wonder what happened with the Bookie’s? Had they actually paid out on Derry being ahead at half time on Saturday?… What about the 3 or 4 instances during the Tailtain Cup final between Cavan and Westmeath on Saturday where Hawk-Eye had overruled the umpires decisions, it certainly will have a few scratching their head’s, were they the correct call’s at all?… Who knows.. And will things be recitified by the time of the hurling final?

  64. Spot on Leantimes, O’connor will look to seal the deal in the first 10mins. I give Galway a great chance but it’s not beyond belief either that they’ll experience a right hammering. Unlikely though. But it’s still a possibility.

    Expect to see more bombs into the D and into the square by David Moran in 2 weeks time. What a wonderful kick passer he is, but equally importantly he plays with the head up and sees his colleagues forward movement, then acts.

    A final is a total one-off but I think the X factor is Jack o’connor, the experience he has, his tactical smarts and ability to instill belief. Joyce has yet to get a team over the line, or to even contest a final.

    All to play for though. Fascinating prospect.

  65. The first time that Hawkeye was used officially it got the call wrong.
    They had the hurling program running instead of the football or the other way around, I can’t remember. The call was obviously the incorrect call.
    It was hard to believe. It’s first time to be used and the wrong program was used.
    Wonder was Hawkeye used in any of our drawn finals or 1 point defeats?

  66. For Keith Higgins’ first point attempt in 2013 (Game barely a minute old).. I was behind the goal though and that looked genuinely just wide

  67. We don’t know really how many times Hawkeye has got it wrong, for those point attempt’s that are above the height of the post’s which is several how now can we be certain that Hawkeye has got the decisions right. But I suppose just lucky the the tv evidence was uncontestable for the Shane Walsh 45 and the lower trajectory of his shot gave us the perfect view. Many times at Croke Park Hawkeye seemed to contradict what I taught, even though I was never sitting in the ideal position to give a definite opinion!

  68. Who are the genuine contenders for the senior job? Does anyone know…

    ..it’s extremely quiet……

  69. You would imagine if Rochford was staying in Donegal, that would be announced already to save speculation?

  70. Surely with the application process now open, the names being put forward will be out in the public domain very soon.

  71. Puckout…Having a manager who has won an all-ireland is not the be all and end all..yes I’m sure it has minor snippets of usefulness but not overly important. On a wider note, I’ve read several on here say the new manager must have previously won an all-ireland. Again its useful but not a prerequisite…in a different code, but some of the best soccer managers who won multiple titles such as wenger, Fergus, mourinho never had much of playing careers never mind won anything as a player.

  72. @Joe. G.

    Yes thats my take on it also.

    Galway’s two main scoring forwards are Walsh,Comer and Kerry D Clifford,S O’Shea curbing their influence is key. Kevin Walsh put the building block in place for Galway and this year Cian O’Neill along with John Divilly has worked on the structured and tackling with Galway. Jack O’Connor knows better than most what it takes to win All Ireland and along with Paddy Tally has focused a big effort on their defense which had major issues under Peter Keane.

    As with the majority AI finals the team that defends best will win and don’t give away silly goals a big down fall for Mayo over the years.

  73. Cant really compare professional soccer manager to a gaelic football manager imo. Watch the brilliant tv mini series All or Nothing.
    A manager who was an all ireland winning player served under a successful manager. Its an advantage.
    O Connor took Gainey off shortly after half time.. McStay flagged it shortly before half time. Maybe O Connor was thinking of using subs sparingly. Both managers yesterday were AI winners as footballersas is Joyce and Gallaghe won All Ireland club

  74. Just one last point on the Hawk-Eye decision last Saturday..The Shane Walsh 45 was in injury time in the first half.. Imagine that it happened in a one point game, in the 75th minute..One team could be deemed to have won or lost in the wrong, the thousands of fans would be already streaming out of Croke Park.. How could the decision possibly be overturned as easily as it was when it happened just before half time?..It couldn’t really, with crowd safety in mind, could it?. .It wasn’t a Hawk-Eye decision, but the video evidence was even more compelling in the last minute of the Try/Goal scored (allowed) by Meath/Louth 2010 Leinster Final. Wonder if it had happened in the last minute of the first half would it, could it that decision have been overturned?.. Well it could have been, but I’m not sure it would have been…I think now that this welcome decision has been made, it would be more likely to happen in future if there is compelling video evidence of a genuine mistake!.. But it still happens at the last minute of normal time and the crowd has started to leave the stadium, a Match changing decision would need further thinking about, and you don’t have the time!…

  75. I think a combo of McStay Manager and Rochford coach is the best option IMO

  76. Thedarkfinn: i haven’t seen this combination before but i like it a lot, could it happen?
    i wonder, probably not?

  77. Proud Mayo Supporter, that is the best and most accurate comment I’ve read here in the past few days.

  78. Hoping for a Galway win but it’s a worry that other than the goal gifted to them when Derry keeper was careering around upfield they only managed 1-08 and only 1-04 from play. They must make the early running because if they have to chase the game Kerry will pick them off with ease.

  79. One thing of note David Clifford is yet to explode in Croker in this championship if he is injury free I think it will be lights out for Galway.

  80. The Darkyfinn
    That’s an excellent excellent shout
    I like that a lot
    Kieran McD to remain as part of coaching team too would be excellent

  81. Hoping and praying with every bit of energy I have that Kerry do away with the neighbours

  82. The darkyfinn & KM79 I really like the option of McStay as manager with Rochford and McDonald on the ticket also. I’d also love Paul kinnerk but no point approaching him until after Limerick finish up on Sunday

  83. Couldn’t see a McStay and Rochford double team. Both of them have too much managerial ‘status’ at this point, too high profile in their own right.

    As the saying goes, there can only be one cock in the yard. It worked for Tyrone last year but that was more down to us blowing it.

  84. I seem to recall Rochford saying after leaving his last Mayo tenure that he prefers coaching to managing.

  85. Yes our time has come if by any means we could get Paul kinnerk into the set up he would be a huge addition

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