The morning after

It’s Monday, there’s work to be done, the bleary-eyed kids have been packed off back to school and normal life is there to be lived. But the sun is shining – it feels like the summer we never had – and we’re back in the All-Ireland final. (Thanks to Mayo Mick for the photo above).

I know I keep harping on about this but the feeling that Mayo supporters carry around with them this morning and will continue to do over the next three weeks is what gives the lie to the notion that we’re a long-suffering, cursed caste. Outside the obvious counties, how many people will get to experience their county being involved in six All-Ireland finals? Sure, it’d have been nice to win one or two of the five we’ve been involved in since 1989 but the fact that we keep coming back, keep knocking on that door speaks volumes for the county. If this is what long-suffering and mental frailty is all about then I’m all for it.

So, what are they all saying about us this morning? Let’s start with the nationals.

The Irish Times has Sean Moran’s match report, Keith Duggan with some quotes and more on the story of the game, Keith again with more quotes from our lads and Ian O’Riordan with quotes from the Dublin side. John O’Keeffe, who like many of the national tipsters had predicted a Dublin win, provides the analysis and he reckons that the way we had to battle for the result will stand to us in the final.

The Irish Independent has a match report (a truncated one by the looks of it, the paper version is sure to be a good bit longer), a colour piece by Joe O’Shea, post-match quotesa piece on James Horan (they don’t say who wrote this) and Eugene McGee’s analysis.

The Irish Examiner has John Fogarty’s match report, Ewan McKenna with two lots of post-match quotes (here and here) and a piece by John Fogarty on that non-story (which also featured on The Sunday Game last night) about the number of replacements we brought on yesterday.

Colm Gannon is, as usual, the first of the locals out of the traps with his match report in the Mayo Advertiser.

Other match reports:, RTÉ, Setanta, Hogan Stand, Breaking News,

Emmet Ryan – who was pretty much on the money in his guest preview here on the site – provides his tactical analysis of the game on

If you’re sick of all that wordy stuff, Sportsfile have some cracking photos, both of the game itself and of the fans. I couldn’t find any pictures of our crowd there but you might.

Speaking of pictures, Dermot O’Malley sent me on the one below of the giant Mayo flag on the Hill and I think that it’s appropriate to acknowledge – as others have already done here – the marvellous part that Dublin and their huge support played in yesterday’s contest. On the field they fought back like demons to hold onto their All-Ireland crown while in the stands and on the streets outside afterwards they were gracious and dignified in defeat. Fair play to them, they’ll be back again.

And in the meantime on we march, onto September 23rd and our decider against Donegal, the first Ulster/Connacht final since the Big Wind final of 1948. Will we do it? It’s time to vote.

Will we do one on Donegal in the final?

  • Yes (80%, 306 Votes)
  • No (20%, 78 Votes)

Total Voters: 384

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28 thoughts on “The morning after

  1. I cannot understand how the pundits and experts kept wondering before the game where the scores will come for mayo from! 9 lads scored yesterday, 9 against down,9 against Sligo and 11 against Leitrim!
    Joe brilly would want to be taken off the Sunday afternoon show, he has zero credibility and is out to insult lads that give their all in the depths of winter on training fields and put their lives on hold in pursuit of a dream for themselves and their county. There was no balance in his views at all, pat spillane was shaking his head while listening to him rambling about Mayo being the biggest ” screw ups in the game”.
    A good kick in the h— is what that fella needs.

  2. God it was a cauldron in there yesterday. Comments about us being cynical and stopping Dublin scoring remind me of a tale I heard of the poor black man buried up to his neck in the sand in the Colloseum in Rome BC

    The savage lion rushed and he tilted his head to the left and the lion missed…cheers all round; again the lion charged and with a tilt to the right this time to roars of approval he thwarted the savage; however the lion got cuter on the third attack and after a great ‘dummy’ landed on the mans face. All not over as the man promptly bit off the lions bollix; “fight fair you black bastard” bellowed the masses

    Let’s all enjoy ourselves for the next couple of weeks and I’m sure our gladiator heroes will come up with more winning ways

  3. Sorry to be a spoilsport on a great morning after – you might consider switching to another pub for the warm up. Was in Bowes on Sunday night and they switched over the Sunday Game – in mid programme – to golf which nobody was watching. And were belligerent about it.

  4. First of all well done to the lads yesterday. Great to see a harder edge but my god you would not want to have anything wrong with the old ticker.
    Great to see forwards step up. I don’t think we should bash those who wondered about where the scores would come. We all wondered and hoped if we are honest.
    What is great about this Mayo set up- and different too- is that Horan refuses to get caught up in hype, He is meticulous and needs to be. It is to our great advantage if we are run down before the final. Thats the way to have it. So lets hope Brolly goes into overdrive – he might need a brolly to keep off all the scores that will rain on him ! (Sorry I know that’s cheesy but it was a late night)

    Finally Let NOONE and I mean NOONE ever say Mayo supporters are not the best in the land. We are and win or lose that will never change.
    Davy Clarke should be given the freedom of Ballina if we win the All Ireland.

  5. So nice to finally hit the hay last night with a smile on my face and wake up with an even bigger smile!

    Didn’t make it to Bowes on Saturday but will make it for the 22nd, Desire and appetite won through yesterday, 70+ mins of football remain and you get the feeling these guys are gonna give it their all!

    Its going to be a fascinating contest if we continue to push intelligent quick ball down the two outside channels – stretch this blanket defence and then punch holes in it I think we could create a foundation that could see us getting over the line, its going to take another mammoth display from all 15+ involved but they have showed time and time again that they have the stomach for the fight.

    Summer may just be getting started 😉

  6. I would just like to echo my congraulations to the players and all the backroom team on yesterdays fantastic performance. Definitely my greatest day out in Croker. I hope there is more to come.
    It was some finish to the match and dear God – but we don’t like to make things easy on ourselves. Mind you at least two decisions led to points that certainly which shouldn’t have been awarded.

    No way was it a free when Ger Cafferky (my MOTM) was clattered into by Eoghan O’Gara and left stretched on the ground. Nor of course was that a 45 which resulted in another score for Dublin.

    How and never though – we had heroes throughout the team and yesterdays performance will surely convince them that they have nothing to lose in 3 weeks time.

    It will be a totally different game and diferent tactics but to be able to grind out another win yesterday (over the All Ireland Champions) and on their home ground says wonders for the courage and determination that this team exudes.

    Fair play men – you have done the county proud. I hope you go all the way now to the glory you deserve.

  7. Big decisions made yesterday and maybe in hindsight good that so many got a run out. Huge lessons to be learned – that ‘almost’ collapse ‘almost’ did my heart and that of those around me in.
    I thought Feeney tired a lot but Gibbons showed some nice touches when he came in.
    O Shea tired too but he was huge yesterday.
    My motm was O Connor. Without the 45’s to settle us we would not have won.
    Is Higgins the Man for McFadden or Cafferkey. Stop him – Donegal will find it hard. Lets believe we can do it. We have won nothing yet. 6 All Ireland appearances are testament that we need to save our voices for match day and afterwards. No hype now. No more losing. We have had some luck this year but we need a little bit more.
    One final point- Who will be ref? Surely Marty Duffy and his Donegal connections wont get it. WE had enough of McQuillan yesterday. Fair play is all we want.

  8. Deegan I would say. Higgins needs to be able to move around the pitch, it would have to be Caff or Keane. Main thing is to stay goalside of him at all times. I would imagine Vaughan could pick up Murphy, since he may drop back, plus the height issue. Vaughan was charged with Donaghy in the league semi.

  9. Somehow I just have a feeling our lads won’t be denied this year. There seems to be a strength and belief that embodies this particular group. And I’m a glass-half-empty type. 🙂

  10. Fantastic win yesterday.
    Proved so many critics (including my less than optimistic views) wrong and in style too. Thirteen points from play was magnificent. Great to see so much support there – I’m sure there will be even more for the final.
    Horan did wonderful planning yesterday. Cluxton’s kick outs weren’t reaching their men, Higgins wasn’t allowed upfield at all and stuck resolutely to his defensive task. Boyle, who was loose the last day, was left on the bench (I don’t really believe he was all that injured to be honest) and Dublin never really got a clear cut goal chance up until Brogan’s late chance. Kudos to him – he’ll need to reproduce this kind of form and more when planning for Donegal!
    The forwards delivered in style – Conroy backed up his Down performance and Varley showed his worth – their movement and ball handling was top class. That movement alone compensated hugely for Andy Moran – they were providing targets all day long. All the full back line was outstanding. Dillon and McLaughlin both vied for man of the match while Aidan O’Shea put in his best shift in a Mayo jersey ever. So, so strong and very comfortable on the ball.
    Both teams brought their form into the game – Mayo playing well, Dublin spluttering badly.
    The issues.
    Had Mayo lost that lead, it would have been their worst defeat in Croke Park. Ever. James Horan and co. have a lot to thank David Clarke for! So what happened?
    1. Injuries. Injuries to Keegan, Keane, McLaughlin, O’Shea (fatigue and cramp) left them suspect to Dublin taking over around the middle of the park. Which is what happened. Keane’s loss opened up a hole at the back that couldn’t be filled.
    2. Fitness? It wasn’t good to see Mayo lads go down with cramp with 20 mins left. And I’m not referring to the time wasting tactics either. A lot of players looked shattered at the end – Conroy’s handpass was a perfect snapshot of that.
    3. Breaking ball around midfield. Mayo did not win a ball when Clarke kicked the ball long in the last 20 mins, save for one fantastic Moran catch (which if he did nothing else in the game, was huge).
    4. Referee – though he had a good game overall, definitely decisions started going Dublin’s way. Cafferkey got penalised for a ridiculous free late on and there were a few frees that went Dublin’s way definitely (including a daft 45 call).
    The pluses.
    1. They held out. Usually Mayo teams don’t – good to see a more cynical edge to them! Well done Keith Higgins – were you watching Declan O’Sullivan?
    2. That last 20 mins will dampen spirits and focus the minds more. No harm.
    3. That last 20 mins will put Donegal as over whelming favourites – a very good thing. The hype will go into overdrive and the media will have them Mayo as massive underdogs.
    4. The subs made a difference. Feeney, O’Shea, Gibbons all made a difference and Barrett did very well all day, very tight.
    If Mayo can keep down the hype, you just wouldn’t know. As Willie Joe alluded to before, it is a little reminiscent of Kildare-Galway in 1998. Let’s hope for a similar kind of result!

  11. What I don’t understand is why mc laughlin flies so far under the radar he never gets any praise he has had a huge year ,mayos most consistent and probably best player in every game and never a word. Mc Hugh did this mchugh did that and never a word about Kevin mc .same way with mayo all year ,even after yesterday’s game their talking about dublins loss and mistakes and not mayos superior effort and talent and now on to the ai and all we ll hear about is the great donegal system , Huge underdogs all year and all ireland champs at the end of it. Gwan MAYO

  12. Just watched it again, we had three easy scores that went a begging for a better finish. Those scores and some wayward passes over distance will need to be addressed to keep in touch with the champions elect!
    Kevin McLaughlin gave conroy an amazing pass near the end,what a pass!! Docs point was a thing of beauty, textbook shooting. Aiden o se stopped a dub in his tracks and stole the ball, not a very mayo like thing to do and mcloughlins point that just dropped over cluxtons right hand side of the crossbar must have made Dublin wonder, give him an inch and this is what he does. As long as the fight is there and the injuries clear up Mayo have a glimmer against what is really a very strong donegal team.

  13. The beauty about this Mayo team is that the strength of the whole is stronger than the strength of any individuals.Im not sayin Andy Moran wasn’t a loss because he is a massive
    loss and we would be better with him,hes an all star and as Ciaran Mcdonald eluded to the
    last day,he would make any team in the country.What iam saying is,Every Mayo player fits
    into a role,they work hard and they do their bit for the team so maximise everything James
    Horan is trying to do.The man in the best position always gets the ball and every man is comfortable on the ball which is great.There is no such thing anymore as dishing off every
    ball to a Ciaran Mcdonald or ball going through about 3 or 4 guys,the whole system involves everyone.
    Mayo are very impressive moving the ball at pace,there is no lateral passing around the middle,it breaks forward from the half backline and the ball is moved into the danger are quick with lads breaking off them again at pace.That will be an important factor for
    the donegal game as they will swallow up a laboured handpassing team.
    Everyone did their job the last day although Vaughan struggled against an outstanding
    McCauley.Higgins,Cafferky,O shea,Dillon,Mcloughlin were all fantastic as was Clarke.
    We looked to run out of steam in the last 20,probably due to putting so much into having a good start.i dont think that will be the case against Donegal as i feel it will be cagey early on.Mayo need to keep doing what there doing and move the ball quicker again against Donegal,they have every chance of winning the game.Going by having everyone fit id play..Clarke,Keane,Caff,Higgins,Vaughan,keegan,Boyle,OShea,Moran,Mcloughlin,Doherty,Dillon,Conroy,O Connor,Varley..Barret had a big game but if go with Boyle if he was fit,but Barrett is more than capable of doing a great job also.Feeney will also have a big say.Seamus,Gibbons,Freeman,Mchale are al fantastic lads to bring also.

    Maigh Eo Abu

  14. Totally agree about McLoughlin. It’s bizarre how he seems overlooked by everyone outside of the county.
    Hogan Stand do this ‘if the all-stars were picked now’ feature on their website. McLoughlin hasn’t featured once on this, even after Sunday’s storming game.
    He should be a shoe-in for an all star and right up there for player of the year (along with Dillon, B Moran, McHugh and McFadden). He’s simply a class act, we’re blessed to have him.

  15. you are dead right pinger, we have an excellent panel , possibly stronger on our bench than donegal are…..all of those lads will play a part in the final like they did sunday…

  16. Rules for the Final/Game 5:
    1. We are only going because Donegal have to play someone before they are handed the cup, think of it it like an early Goal charity match. Continue that mantra to all and sundry to keep the hype down.
    2. Just like the Monsignor says, we’ll prepare the same way for Game 5, training at the same times in the same places. If you went to Game 4, make sure you are at Game 5 and wear whatever it is you wore last Sunday. Make sure your mother doesnt wash the underwear, stash it somewhere until you pack the bag for Dublin. If you werent there, dont go – and make sure you sit in exactly the same place to watch Game 5. If you went for a walk around the garden at 53 minutes when the Dubs were starting to come back, do the same again. We can leave nothing to chance.
    3. If by some miracle (refer to rule 1) Donegal decide they dont want Sam because they cant decide wether to celebrate in Letterkenny or Donegal town and we were allowed to have it for the year, someone needs to ask Croke Park to play “to win just once” instead of the Green and Red. We couldnt have it for the last day because it would have just sounded daft, but I might just shed a tear if we were being presented with the cup on loan and that blasted out over the PA system.
    4. Remember, if you are taking the doors off a car to spray paint them, they can be very difficult to get back on.Just saying like.
    5. If you have paint left over from the car, best way to keep a ewe steady to spray paint her is to put on a pair of oversized wellies (dunlops are good), grab her and stick her two hind legs down the front of your wellies. She cant kick and she wont get away, apply paint. I learnt this trick from a lonely Roscommon man.
    6. There arent too many places you can get red diesel on the road to Dublin and there are absolutley none in Dublin. So I would suggest leaving the MF 135 at home and getting on Corduff’s instead. I speak from experience on this one, still paying for that tow from Swinford Motors.
    6. There were only 2 tickets for Game 5 to be got in Cork, and I got them so theres no point asking anyone you know in Cork.
    7. If point 3 does happen, and your out celebrating in Coppers or some other such watering hole in the big smoke, remember that just like goats, Donegal women arent fond of shaving either.
    8. Pace yourself on the Sunday morning so that you can actually see the match, a PPH* of less than 1 is advised prior to throw in and get in for half time in the minor. However there are exceptions to this under rule 2 if that was not what you did for the last day. After game 5 tis up to yourself what PPH you want to apply (*PPH = Pints per Hour)

  17. This was the best Mayo display in Croke Park since 1951. I wasn’t there then but I have been at every Mayo match of significance in Croke Park since the semi final in 1967. This was the best. Some of the Mayo play and scores on Sunday last were breathtaking.

    We could not have scripted a better set of circumstances for the final. Media attention is primarily on Dublin and our ‘near collapse’. Donegal still raging hot favourites and still talk about a Croke Park jinx, funeral priests, curses and the famed game plan of Donegal. I don’t think for one second that this Mayo team pay a blind bit of notice to any of this. There is a confidence in this team and a belief that has stood them in good stead thus far.

    I don’t buy this Mayo collapse in the second half either. In simplistic terms the game panned out as follows. 1st quarter opening skirmishes, Mayo nerves. We gradually settled down and took over. 2nd quarter increasing Mayo dominance. 3rd quarter total Mayo dominance and some wonderful play and scores from all over the field. 4th quarter Dublin take over,. They get a run on us as a combination of their pride, our injuries, exhaustion and poor refereeing decisions give them momentum. Injury time we killed off the game and started to get on top again.

    It is rare that any team dominates a game from start to finish. Dublin were always going to have a period of dominance but we were able to respond. We killed the game by giving away frees close in. There is no way they were getting a goal. We gradually regrouped, brought on subs for tired limbs and took over again. They never got closer than two points.We finished the game the stronger team. It was not easy on the nerves with Dublin whittling away our lead and our history in Croke Park but it was actually more comfortable than it appeared at the time.

    We as supporters should take our lead from the belief shown by the team and management. Let’s enjoy the build up and embrace being in the final. We should believe in this team. They have gone about their business in a calm and confident way all year and while there were a few dramas they never turned into crises. They were dealt with and we are where we could only dream of two years ago after the Longford match. We are in a final that we should win. In finals in the past we played against superior teams and hoped that they would have an off day and we would play out of our skins. I am convinced that we are a better team than Donegal and that if we play to our potential we will win, whatever Donegal do. That is a giddy position to be in.

    Last Sunday at five o’clock in Croke Park I got a glimpse of heaven. I was sitting in the lower Cusack with wife and three kids beside me, surrounded by Mayo people and all standing with arms aloft, singing the green and red of Mayo at the top of our voices. It is tantalisingly close and this is our year.


  18. Great stuff, well done to that team, they are pure class, i have never seen a Mayo team with such a fine attitude , i honestly believe they don’t give a fook about anything negative anyone has to say. They have such genuine belief in themselves it’s incredible . Very proud of all things Mayo this weekend.

    Enjoyed the caic in Bowes too the other night, even if i was a bit steamed up .

  19. I’ve just put the bible in the attic and swear to follow the 8 commandments of east cork exile.
    Just one clarification re point 5. If you don’t have a sheep, will the dog do??

  20. No tonyk, unfortunatley dogs have a more flexible neck than sheep and can whip right around, they also have sharp teeth. I’ll leave the rest to yourself

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