The Kingdom cometh

Aidan O'Shea catch

Photo: Mayo Mick

This day three weeks is Paddy’s Day but while the countdown to the club final will continue in earnest both up here and in Castlebar in the meantime, the focus for the next three weekends switches back onto the inter-county scene.

I think it’s fair to say that our situation in Division One of the National Football League is set to be largely determined by how we fare out in the three matches down for decision over the coming three weekends. With two of these at home – and remember we’re the only county in Division One yet to play a home match in this campaign – and the other away to what’s perceived to be the weakest team in the top tier, this trio of matches represents a real chance to get our league campaign motoring. On the other hand, if we come out of these games still rooted in the relegation zone it’ll be very hard then to avoid the drop.

A tasty home tie against Kerry next Sunday – one, sadly, I’m going to have to miss due to commitments up here – is the first of the three, with a trip to Cusack Park, Mullingar, the following Sunday to face Westmeath (one I’ll definitely get to) next on the list followed by a tough home clash against Cork on the long weekend. I know there’s some talk of this one being switched to the Saturday night, due to the club final on the Monday, but I’m not sure if this has any substance or not.

We’ll start to hear news soon, I guess, about our elongated injury list for this coming weekend, which, combined with an equally significant tally of Kerry returnees, is set to make Sunday’s game a real challenge for us. We’ve done okay against Kerry in the league under James Horan – losing narrowly to them at MacHale Park following an extremely dodgy late penalty award in February 2011, drawing with them in our final round match down in Tralee in April 2012 and then beating them in extra-time in that heart-thumping semi-final the following weekend while we had an easy win over them in Castlebar last February in a match where Kerry failed to score after the break – and after our underwhelming start to this spring campaign (for both sides it must be said) it’d be a timely boost for us if we could keep this good record against the Kingdom intact.

Will we do it? Time for a quick poll to test the waters on the issue.

How will it go against Kerry?

  • Yerra we'll win (76%, 147 Votes)
  • Yerra they'll win (20%, 38 Votes)
  • Yerra neither of us will win (4%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 193

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24 thoughts on “The Kingdom cometh

  1. Team selection will be interesting, if there are any injuries at the back will Horan be tempted to put Higgins back? It’s a gamble leaving him in the forwards but one that has to be persisted with. He needs time to develop a role in the forwards where his speed is really badly required.

  2. I see that Kerry’s Conor Cox was the star man of UCC’s Sigerson Cuo win at the weekend. He played against us in Castlebar last year without setting the world alight but must be improving.
    Hopefully we will have at least a few players back and that the knocks picked up against Tyrone will have cleared up. Until we see the team I would’nt fancy making a prediction.

  3. Hopefully mayo beat beat Kerry and I am sure they want to get one over on mayo over what happened to the gooch as somebody said wonder will cillian be back for the Dublin game.

  4. I dont think were in a great place at the moment however kerry is in a worse one, and the fact that were at home i think will win. Good news for us is we have a few players to come back but its just getting worse for Kerry.

  5. I think most people in Kerry are perfectly aware that there was no malice whatsoever in the incident that contributed to Colin Cooper’s injury.

  6. Colm cooper is a much bigger part of that team than anyone else there, he will be missed.
    This is one game we should win, despite all the missing players. Home advantage and a big crowd roaring the boys on should swing it to Mayo.
    I’ll have to make do with mad west radio and pretend I have paperwork to catch up on next Sunday morning.

  7. Michael Gallagher reports in the Western that Seamus O’Shea and Donie Vaughan have returned to collective training. Also reports that Mikie Sweeney and Evan Regan are “odds-on to be involved with the senior squad in the coming weeks”, whatever that means.

  8. I’m uncertain as to the outcome against Kerry at the weekend but if i had the lads at training this week I would be setting up a few drills on (i) kicking the ball low and hard to the back of the net while running at full tilt (ii) not running into traffic and coughing up easy possession (iii) working the ball into score-able positions.. and if we could get those things right it would be a lot easier to predict the outcome of this game..

    The mindset also has to be right in that the lads should hit Kerry for six at the get go and be ruthless in finishing the game out as soon as possible at home. I know its only the league but this game is important not only in staying up, but it also shows where we’re at, where Kerry are at. I’m saying this in the context that It will reaffirm what most people believe.. both teams are passing each other.. in that Mayo are on the way up while Kerry are on the way down.. The only thing that may distort this fact are the number of players injured for Mayo at the moment which is why its a difficult one to predict

  9. That’s great news to hear Digits! Some players coming back from injury and two forwards that look like they have real potential getting a chance to show what they can do, in the future. After Connacht’s win at the week-end, added to this news, the future is starting to look brighter and I’m not talking about the weather!

  10. Just looking at the other games in Division 1 this week-end. With Dublin playing against Cork, that’s a top of the table clash, so it will be very interesting to see how this game will go. Both teams have a 100% win record so far, both teams have played Westmeath as well. It’s Cork’s first away game as they beat Westmeath and Kildare at home. Whoever wins, if there is a winner, look to be odds on to make the semi-finals. Derry are at home against Westmeath. If they win, they will be on five from six points. That’s a very good start, seeing as in a lot of quarters, before the competition started, they were seen as a team that would be fighting a relegation battle. Our two conquerors in the last two games meet, Kildare and Tyrone with Kildare having home advantage. If Tyrone were to win, again that would put them in a strong position on five points while Kildare would then be looking at the teams below them. On the other hand, if they win, they’ll be looking upwards rather than downwards. So it just shows that the game between Mayo and Kerry is a very important one. If there is a loser, then a semi-final place for that team, will be a long way off and a real relegation battle will ensue. While the winner, if there is one, will get a chance to start to look up at the other end of the table, rather than below them. It has all the ingredients to be a real battle. Come on Mayo, a win would be a great boost!

  11. That’s setting it out in fairly stark terms all right, looks like a must win game, anything less and it could be curtains for us. I’m surprised to hear talk of us having so many injury’s, it’s news to me, wonder who they are?

    This is one I’m pretty confident we’ll win, especially after so many of our players performed so well on the Connaught team at the weekend. And the fact that it’s our first home match, the lads will want to give a good account of themselves.

  12. Now that the break is almost over i would expect Mayo to kick on. Kerry lack squad depth and the returning Dr Crokes guys are hardly in great spirits. Westmeath are really just in div one for the year and it would be disappointing if Mayo don’t win that. The toughest of the next three games is against Cork however all the focus will and should be on Kerry.

  13. Its well known that Mikie Sweeney is part of the panel though club action was preventing him for talking part. The Regan inclusion is a interesting one did he make a uturn? if he was to return i suppose he wouldn’t be available until the after U21 championship

  14. Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle and Ger Cafferkey all went off in the Tyrone match with slight knocks. There has not been much news since, on their injuries so hopefully we’ll hear more in the coming days.

  15. this is not a doom and gloom post, far from it, there should be a bright future ahead for mayo football, as for now it looks like division 2 football for mayo next year, a good shot at the championship again, but only a good shot, on we go to 64 years, i do think we will get there before to long but not this team, its a pity because they were good enough all that was needed was( as they say down in kerry) a kuoot hore on the sideline, still we have come a long ways from the bad old days of the 60s 70s 80s we did not give up then, and we will not give up now, mayo for ever, up the green and red

  16. just to add to the last post, i have nothing against james horan in fact i think he is doing a fine job, just needs that little bit of help when the wall shows, i hope he looks for it and gets it.

  17. As far as I’m aware all those injury’s are more or less cleared up – but I guess we’ll wait and see….

  18. “looks like division 2 football for Mayo next year”

    You do realise we’ve only played two matches and have yet to even play a match at home! We’ve two teams who are also winless in our next two games

    With all respect this is absolute rubbish, wait till later in the league before making such ridiculous assumptions

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