The morning after

Scoreboard after Mayo Donegal 2015

Photo: The Brother

With all the tension that’d been building inside me for days, I should have been able to sleep last night – I should still in fact be asleep – but I can’t sleep. I’m still buzzing after yesterday and while I still can’t accept that I wasn’t there to see it all in the flesh I’m delighted that we’ve another massive game to look forward to at the end of the month.

But I am on hols so I’m not going to do the usual here-are-all-the-match-reports post this morning. This is just a quick one before braving all those hours of incessant sun that surely lie ahead once again today.

The first point I should make is in relation to Donal Vaughan. It’s now clear that I got the wrong end of the stick about his availability for the Dublin game, with yesterday’s black card not having put him into suspension territory. That’s a huge relief, I have to admit – we’ll need Donie’s experience and all his hard running against the Dubs for sure.

Second, just to confirm the match odds for the 30th with Dublin installed as 4/7 favourites for it. They’re already dissembling furiously, of course, about being put up on such a pedestal and are doing what they can to big us up but those numbers don’t lie.

Third, match tickets for what’s sure to be a sell-out fixture went on sale as early as last night so best not delay on that front. There’s no word yet on arrangements for season ticket holders (I’ll certainly be availing of the Bring a Friend option if it’s being run again to get the kids into it) but I’m sure there will be before too long.

Want to see again the Beast of Breaffy beasting and besting half of the Donegal backline? Of course you do – it’s here.

I haven’t done an update on the Facetheball prediction mini-league for a good while but you might like to know that I’m now heading the field there (just the mini-league, not the whole thing). I went for Tyrone and a big win by us (+10 was my prediction) and this has pushed me to the summit for the first time this summer. I’ll stick up the table at some point over the next few days if I get a chance.

That’s about it for now. Just so you know, I’ll be far less active on the site this coming week as I plan to chill out a bit more and let all the tension wash out of me, having spent the first week (and more) out here stoking a furiously roaring furnace. I think we can all sit back and relax, where it comes to footballing matters at least, this week and reflect on a job well done on Saturday. Soon enough, we’ll be getting back into battle mode for the next huge hurdle facing us.

Finally, don’t forget to vote in the Man of the Match poll if you haven’t yet done so. Lee’s out in front at the minute with Tom, Barry and Aidan featuring prominently there too. It’s a tough decision, I know, to make – even for a knee-jerk online ballot – as all the lads really gave it socks yesterday, including those on the line.  Back tonight with the result of that one.

95 thoughts on “The morning after

  1. Enjoy your holiday Willie Joe and wear that Mayo jersey with pride this coming week I had the pleasure of sitting beside Anne Marie and the Club51 gang at yesterday’s game and once again the Mayo supporters were fantastic this Mayo team are very special bringing us to 5 all Ireland semis in a row it’s hard to pick a man of the match from yesterday as they were all excellent maybe Lee Keegan shaded it anyway roll on the Dubs

  2. Still thrilled especially about the way management went about this match.They considered it and executed it.
    Big performances all round.Now we need to keep our heads grounded.Yes we can beat Dublin but they can also beat us.It is all on the day.It is the tried and trusted players who will do it.Talk about Hall or Regan or Harrison should be for another day.
    Dublin are a seriously good team and anyone who goes with they have not been tested nonsense is simply not living in the real world.But we are a seriously great team and if the boys can play to capacity and we support them fully we can beat them.
    So impressed with Keith Highins yesterday as well as other lads.Jason was very good and of course Leroy and Aido.
    Fair play to Robbie too…his substitution was seamless.Andy and Alan did what they had to…impressive all round.Best year so far.

  3. Fair play Willie Joe.. great to have you feeding our need for debate from far afield. The beast of breafy clip I could watch all day, great hands, balance, strength and skill.. Low and too the corner, sweet, twas a crucial score at a crucial time in the game. We were struggling up to that to get the crucial blow.. Mcgee was given AOS a fairly torrid time and he was starting to drift to the corner and out the field.. it was great to see Noel chatting to him and sending back in.. be patient and it will happen.. All in all it was a great management and team performance but as they will say themsevles we have things to work on.. like when AOS came back into midfield it wasn’t until Andy came on that calm was restored, he held up the ball, linked up play, prised an opening and took the score.. you can’t buy experience like that. The papers will be interesting over the next few weeks as they all try to build us as invincible. . We will enjoy this for now but we have been here b4.. for now let’s enjoy the fact that ROC and the Dublin management are looking at the beast of breafy, saying, “how the f*^k do you stop that” ahhh happy days

  4. Thanks for update on tickets WJ, got them on Ticketmaster last night. Have a great holiday. Hope we have a full squad includinh Kevin for Dubs. What a mouth watering prospect.

  5. Good man Willie Joe.
    This morning was just thinking on Canavans assertion that Barry wasnt a good sweeper.
    – Dealt with by catching or punching all high ball
    – Kept himself within 20 yards of goal. I believe we were not interested in our sweeper goin out to help out like situation where Murphy pointed from the right
    – Hassled a player into handpassing wide
    – pulled off a brave block.getting a belt of a boot in the process
    Now here is the tactical clincher. He was a mid range kickout option on the left on our kickouts
    – He marked Neil Gallagher on their kickouts. We don’t care if Barry catches these, Tom Parsons, Seamie and Aido are also getting involved on our or their kickouts. You can add to the mix Diarmuid as he is familiar with catching kickouts.
    We had four county midfielders and one u21 midfielder yesterday. We never looked like conceding a goal really.
    Its the height options we have that can trouble Dublin.
    When Freeman is sprung almost all our forwards are 6’1″ upwards,.that is a problem for any defence.
    Just to note from the league game Kevin Keane had some good stops on McManamon. He is dangerous at punching holes. But its nearly good to have two full backs with yellow and black card situation. Noel and Pat are being smart with the bench. Could play Cafferkey and Keane. Probably wisest to have that yellow/black card cover.

  6. Anyone any idea where i could get a copy of the full match online or extended highlights? I have searched the internet to no avail.

  7. Listening to Jim McGuinness on sky would like to see if we could bring him in as an adviser to talk to the team for rest of the campaign. He could really bring something in terms of belief as we need that against all opponents left. We should leave no stone unturned.

  8. It was mentioned here by a few lads, pebblesmeller being most prominent, that we would deploy a new defensive strategy yesterday. The way both players and management seemed to draw attention to our FB line after the Sligo game now looks like we pulled off a “rope a dope”.
    We now go into a semi final against the Dubs and it’s they who have to come up with a strategy to counter us. Jim Gavin and Rory O’Carroll are now faced with a colossus who scutched the meanest, nastiest and undoubtably best full backs in the country. I said we’d beat Donegal by at least 5 points and I’ll say it now, we’ll beat Dublin as well.
    On a side note, I hope the CB are starting to stockpile bronze already. It’s going to take at least 7 tonnes of the stuff to make the lifesize statue of Aiden that we’re going to build on the top of Croagh Patrick this year after we win Sam.

  9. Still basking in the glow of yesterday. One of the really good days. What a band of warriors, what a crowd of supporters. Back later to catch up on everything. WHAT A DAY.

  10. That was a great example of game management yesterday. As already stated the back room team really had their homework done and we can have great confidence for the next day. Caff was magnificent which is really important as we will need him to maintain that form in such a key position. Sorry to see Keane sent off and I’m sure he’ll be sick when he reflects on it today, but Murphy was the instigator and I was disgusted to see that kind of carry on when the game was clearly over.
    Isn’t it amazing to be in this position, looking forward to another semifinal? I really believe this team just won’t accept defeat and are going to kick that door down very soon!

  11. First up credit to the whole management team. For 4 years James Horan gave us steel but yesterday Pat & Noel retained the steel but added shape.
    This was the best ‘shape’ I’ve ever seen in a Mayo team. We were very difficult to break down & kept a clean sheet. Winning matches at this level is so much easier when you don’t concede goals. It means you don’t have to score as much at the other end.
    Make no mistake taming that Donegal outfit was no easy task … in my view they are just as dangerous as Dublin or Kerry … so we can look forward with confidence.
    Yesterday was a day laden with danger & Noel & Pat could easily have ended up in ‘intensive care’ rather than on the winners rostrum so that left us all rather nervous.
    It could have been the day when the wheels came off the trusty wagon that has been rolling for 4 years but instead we left Croker aboard our brand new 152 MO BMW.
    Secondly huge credit is due to the players. Barry Moran has had to endure a lot of bench time over the years but yesterday was a day of deliverance for him & the way he protected our full back line will forever live in the memory. Ger Cafferkey too had a day of deliverance & we had truly outstanding performances from Aido, Lee Keegan & Tom Parsons. Well done all. Over & out.

  12. Barry Moran is a credit, a true pro. As a mate of mine said to me a few weeks ago, it doesn’t matter when, Barry is always ready to make an impact. He rarely starts but always makes an impact. Possibly one of our most underrated players in the last 20+ years.

  13. I’ve said this before, but these are great days to be a Mayo supporter.

    Forget Dublin, forget the other semi, this was a performance to savour.

    Yesterday, some further pieces of the jigsaw fell into place. I had been underwhelmed by the half back line all year. Well, they answered that one, aided too by Barry and Aido in the second half.

    People have said that they were tentative in the first half. Perhaps, but I was still mightily impressed. We were dominant, doing very good things, but letting a couple of unforced errors let Donegal get closer. Tom Parsons, Seamie and Barry were emphasising our power, while Lee, Keith and Boyler were making pacy runs and hitting great passes that gave the forwards serious options. Class, I have to say oozed all over the field.

    I thought Jason looked a bit one paced early on, but my son rubbished me on this, and boy was I delighted to be proved wrong, Three great points to boot.

    And the Michael Murphy type use of Aido? Brilliant. The goal? think I need to see it about ten more times to fully appreciate it.

    And, the late late burst with Andy adding zip, a beauty, and Freezer hitting a glorious point, that had the Donegal fans jeering initially and then shaking their heads.

    Will talk about the management separately.

  14. Was great to see Andys accuracy yet again from acute angles on the right.
    Delighted for Alan Freeman. He could be a real goal threat versus Dublin. Ghosting into the space vacated by Aido.

  15. Hi All,
    Very well done last night an excellent win and you guys look very good. See you all soon in Croker cheers.

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  16. Unreal performance, Barry was brilliant as a protector of fb line, could’nt have asked for more. Tom Parsons is playing himself into seirious All Star territory. I dont know if the few pints before hand had me a bit glazed but i couldnt keep track with all our interchanging of sweepers, and players popping up all over the place it was brilliant to watch. Im sure Gallagher was scratching his head not knowing what we wer at.

    The only negative aspect i have is, I was convinced all year that pat and noel had a defensive plan primed and ready for deployment against the dubs…to catch them on the hop. But, with the way the quarter final draw went it had to be rolled out earlier than expected. If we had played any of the other teams we would have set up man for man and giving nothing away,…luring the Dubs into a false sense of security in the process but Donegals quality simply demanded that we show our defensive plan, which is a pity. The cat is out of the bag defensively now, but still, Dublin have an awful lot to worry about!

  17. Excellent win yesterday. Great era for Mayo football and supporters
    Got my tickets online this morning for semi final. Only downside for me is that kids will be wearing the Dublin jersey the next day but will revert back to the red & green for the final. Anyone wanting tickets get online fast and let’s outnumber the Dubs. Our day will come….. soon

  18. The Mayo team is on the main road at long last and is surely in a position to realise its undoubted potential,now that it has shown that it is capable of playing as a team with pace precision power and above all patience. There were great probings and recyclings towards completions carried out throughout the game,better than I’ve seen before.
    A joy it is to look it over again and see the maturity and professional demeanour of the players during the game and particularly afterwards. It says that we re here to do a job and we know how to do it.I can’t recall having seen this attitude dressed in red and green that many times in my time.The team has discovered it’s missing link and low and behold we find that it’s not rocket science after all!
    So many aspects shone out but will mention 1…quality /timing of kicked balls to receivers..spot on. 2…availability of free man for ball 3… That marvellous missing link ..cover at the back!!
    ‘Twas all likened to a play in three acts v appropriately. And I could see that but also the scenes within the acts and the acts within the scenes which really and truly brings it all down to how to play the game as it ought be played in these days.
    Hard to pick out individuals on such a day but have to admit of a whale of an admiration for B Morans and J Dohs contributions.
    Two big BOOS to M Murphy and Mc Cann.
    Yup Mayo!

  19. Cillian a little quiet yesterday maybe he saving it for the dubs great battle between d o c and James mc in 3 weeks can’t wait

  20. A comment on yesterday, did ye notice how the players talked to each other, directing others into the gaps etc. ??

    I am now going to brag and brag…. The following is my post from April, just after the Donegal league match….Only a few posters spotted it, i.e. Pebblesmeller.etc….

    “Just a little bit of light here: In the second half, that was the best defensive performance from a Mayo team in my 70 years of watching Mayo. It was massive. They completely suffocated Donegal. Now before the “pure football ” people start screaming; from that defence, allowing Mayo 5 wides, enough scoring chances were created to win the game by 1 goal and 6 points. Now put that it your pipes and smoke it. The forwards fucked up in a display that would upset a division 4 team.
    If Mayo hold that defensive screen from now on, they will be very hard to break down, for any team. All that has to happen then, is the forwards start learning how to score. Then things just might happen!!!! “

  21. Fair’s fair, Joe – you certainly spotted it that day! The lads did well to keep that particular bazooka under the tarpaulin in the months since then.

  22. Delighted for ye and your great team.
    I would however have a word of caution for all those anticipating a cut off Dublin as they are a totally different team and they are no donegal regarding defensive tactics. Mayo play football like the dubs so it is a little more tricky to get the balance right as the Clingons play a system and Dublin play from the hip largely speaking. I think the top teams have the systems number at this stage but skill and flamboyance are a more difficult butterfly to capture so hold the reigns a little more tightly and don’t pop the cork on the best bottle just yet.
    Personally I would prefer to meet the Dubs in the final if we made it as Mayo have so much motivation not to mention the warriors path to the final. I was speaking to a fairly good pundit recently and he reckoned that if Mayo take the dubs they will kill the curse and lift the Canister.
    I won’t say I hope ye do but if ye do I will gladly stand and applaud Higgins.as he lifts the Holy Grail. Well done yesterday on so many levels,,

  23. Have to give the lads on the line big props. We’ve tended to malign our management for the key decisions made and not made against top opposition but they got it spot on yesterday. Loved that we played the game on our terms. Looked rock solid and played with utter conviction.

    We’re coming Dublin.

  24. Joe Mc I was actually thinking about that very post of yours yesterday, believe it or not – went back to hunt for it last night but couldn’t find it. You were spot on!

    Patience and keeping calm was the key to breaking down that defence yesterday and we displayed both in spades.

    There were only two real negatives on the day for me – Keane’s red card and possible injuries to Cunniffe, Moran and Clarke. The former was beyond frustrating – so unnecessary. The latter, we won’t panic about just yet.

    The fact that we so seamlessly re-shaped our team yesterday was impressive. We were scratching our heads from the outset wondering who was playing where but when it became clearer – wow. The sideline had it sussed. So many leaders on the pitch but for me, Lee, Tom, Barry and Seamie stood out. So glad to see Caff remind us again what he can do. And to see Freeman come off the bench and nab a point? Flipping magic.

    But even our “quieter” players yesterday put in massive shifts. Kev Mc chipped in with a beaut of a score. Andy’s contribution made the heart sing. Cillian & Diarmuid by their standards didn’t stand out, yet I know when I rewatch it it’ll be clear that Cillian in particular covered a serious amount of ground and both were creating space. This is no bunch of individuals. This is a team.

    I don’t think we showed our hand completely either. We might not have totally turned the screw, but neither did we relinquish control. We still have a strong bench – with the likes of Harrison, Regan, Conroy “unknown” quantities. I also genuinely feel we won that game yesterday at about 65% capacity – it wasn’t a flawless performance by any means and we are better than that. But a major positive was the clean sheet – that made the day for me.

    It’s damn hard not to dream at this point. The next game brings with it the biggest mental obstacle and the test of both our team’s and supporters’ mettle. Yesterday I felt from 10 minutes in that we would win out easily in the end. The next day will be different. We’re coming off the back of a run of defeats by Dublin – a team who despite recent wins have plenty to prove yet. But yesterday reassures me that our mindset is right and we have the physical and mental strength and the smartness to edge it.

    It’s going to be a long three weeks, but let’s savour every second.

  25. I agree totally Anne Marie about winning and not at 100% .What Kerry showed last year is that you have to change style of play to fit given match as they did against Donegal in final last year. I also agree Anne Marie that we have not showing our hand. If one were to watch the second half on how we went from blanket for some periods to using a sweeper and O Shea going back I’d be a little bamboozled .There is 2 big games left. We are in a semi final and we have yet to peak. If we can get over the Dubs and end up playing Kerry in final it won’t be hard to put in a huge performance .Ps I couldn’t give two fucks we used blanket defense for periods 🙂

  26. One reason it might have been hard to follow positions was Barry went to wing for our kickouts and to Neil Gallagher for their kickouts.
    Regarding Dublin just to warn there are two defenders having a serious year in passing. James Mccaffrey and Phillie McMahon. They’re even a notch above OSullivan. When Kildare freed up McMahon he played hell. I’v been tracking him all year and he is landing the ball as accurate as Connolly.
    Connolly – Lee Keegan
    Mccaffrey – McGloughlin is able to manage being annoying and still attacking. Diarmuid has a height advantage on kickouts but Mccaffrey has a big leap. Im afraid he’d a tad pacey for Diarmuid. But then Diarmuid is a good lad to run at defenders. JDoc – I’d prefer JDoc was played like yesterday. Free roving shooter who tracks the left wing and wins breaks. This game might see Higgins track Connolly like he tracked McFadden. This frees up Lee Keegan.
    Great thing is we have plenty options all over the pitch. But would like to see term having to react to us. Aido will learn a lot from yesterday. Like the one in three rule. He only needs to win one in three balls in.Anything else a bonus. As he’s winning it n creating frees/layoffs/goals he can be patient.

  27. Really impressed by tom p yesterday ..he seemed to pop up everywhere..dont want to get carried away as its only a quarter final ..however as the whistle blew yesterday my father ( a staunch monaghan supporter) used a phrase he never uttered for mayo before ..”theyll be hård to beat..”

  28. Tom Parsons is giving us top level mobility around the middle. Second in the running tests, which puts him ahead of two of Keegan/Higgins/McGloughlin. Impressive for a bigger man.
    Looks like Donie Buckley has really helped with his tackling, had a beaut of a steal. Combined with that he’s catching two or three kickouts, he’s counter attacking at pace with his head up. He’s had a good long uninterrupted training and series of games. Touch wood continues. Tom Parsons playing top stuff and Barry Moran sweeper!!! Someone would question your sanity in 2010.

  29. How about Men of the Match. Half the team were very close. Tends to go to those who’ve scored and what a great performance from Lee coming forward from defense. As JP described so well Barry Morans role in the game is top of my list. We’ve talked at length about shoring up defense. Well we saw Barry’s contribution there as well as his role in midfield. Joe Mc, I wouldn’t worry about letting the cat out of the bag. If we get past Dublin it wouldn’t be a surprise against Kerry. We Ned to perfect it now. Juan, I also noticed the communication and leadership in defense, great to see.

  30. Chicago, I actually think it’ll be Tyrone Mayo will meet in the final after they hopefully overcome the Dubs. It would mean a few more tactical tweaks but I believe the management are well up to the task.

  31. Great solid performance at the back yesterday – directed by Ger Caff.
    Think this was the platform we needed to stop their forwards.
    The guys at the back Caff, Barrett, Boyle & Big Barry were communicating very well on the pitch. We seemed to be operating with two sweepers (Barry & Boyle) in the second half – Big Barry in the box with Boyle in the space between the box and 20m line being as positioned by Ger Caff.
    The game plan with Big Barry really worked well were he alternated between back(box actually) and midfield.
    Higgins and Keegan seemed to be operating further forward than I would have expected for most of the game at least.

    Back to the drawing board again to try to stop the dubs but at least i think were have given them more to think about in terms of stopping us this year.
    They will probably need to tweak their own setup.
    Good to see the subs (Andy & Freezer) get on the scoreboard too.

    Backs and Midfield were outstanging (Donegal only got 6 points from play and at least two very, very soft frees).

  32. I voted for Lee but could equally have given a vote to Aidan, Seamus, Tom Parsons, Barry, Jason, the always superb Keith Higgins and Kevin McLoughlin. Cafferky did well on Murphy, Boyle, Vaughan excellent etc. The much praised Donegal forward line only had Murphy scoring from play. McNiallais, McFadden, McBrearty did not score.
    The Dublin game will be different again. Cluxtons restarts must be targetted. They will fear the Mayo midfield which may now have Barry Moran in there as well. The half backline can cause damage and Aidan will give Jim Gavin something to mull over. I recently heard a Dublin supporter stating Rory o carroll is the best full back in the country. I did not comment.
    The final comment about the game Saturday was that the ref David Gough had a great game. Let play flow, advantage where needed and nothing stupid. As for Marty Duffy- straight red for ruffeling the lads hair- rignt in front of Marty. Incompetent refs are a big fear from here on.
    Well done Mayo team and management. Keep her lit.

  33. WJ, I was thinking more along the lines of having teams other than Kerry and Dublin in the AI final over the next few years. Give hope to other teams. Agreed Tyrone not the model by a long shot. Kerry will be the team to beat for the AI IMHO.

  34. I thought that was it, Chicago – couldn’t help though to have some fun at Tyrone’s expense in light of their ridiculous play-acting yesterday. If we do make the final, though, I’d expect Kerry to be the opposition: Paddy Power have them priced at 1/3 to beat Tyrone, odds that sound right to me.

  35. The choice of Barry Moran as sweeper turned out to be a master stroke. It gave us 3 aspects to our play that we have lacked in previous campaigns:
    1. It liberated the rest of our defenders from the terror of aerial bombardment and they all prospered as a result and all gave sterling performances.
    2. It allowed us to play our best two midfielders in their selected positions and they also prospered and put in immense performances. In relation to Parsons he has been the best midfielder in the county since 2008. His absence from his rightful position was one of those inexplicable aberrations of the Horan era.
    3. It frees up Aidan for the full forward position where he can do most damage. It is now clear that he is almost unplayable in the position and the flaw of running into traffic and being turned over are disappearing from his game.
    I was very disappointed with Cillian’s free taking and most of all by the tame shots into the breadbasket of the goalkeeper when scores should have been racked up by players who were not under any great pressure. Both of those flaws can, and no doubt will, be corrected.
    I would also like to see Kirby added to the panel in place of one of the smaller running forwards as an injury or black card to any our four big men could diminish a new found system that worked very well yesterday
    I hope Cunniffe’s injury clears up quickly as he seemed to be coming back to form yesterday and at his best he brings great “fuinneamh” to the defence.
    On a personal not I prefer Hennelly to Clarke as he has greater physical presence, is better in the air and could possibly knick the odd long range free. The only contribution I would find major fault with was Vaughan’s. I may be missing something but I don’t see what he brings to the party either in defence or attack.
    We are approaching the point of optimism and leaving the realm of hope.

  36. What a performance by our lads. They answered so many questions. As a Mayo supporter I’ve never left Croke Park in better form.

    So now, it’s down to the really really exciting part of the year. Three teams who play football and Tyrone left in the race for Sam. What we witnessed yesterday between 4.00 and 5.30 was most distasteful and has no place in our great and noble game. I admire Micky Harte and acknowledge his many fine traits as a man and as a public figure. But surely, surely, if he is to be lauded for his county’s achievements then, equally, it must said that the conduct, behaviour and tactics of his charges have his fingerprints all over them.

  37. Super win yesterday, and my own fears about goal concession were well and truly allayed. Barry Moran is the best fetcher we have and I’m delighted to see him get due recognition.

    Great to see Lee and Kevin Mc back on the scoreboard too.

    If the defence keep performing at this level, then we are a serious threat to anyone left in the competition. Particularly now that Aidan O’Shea has reproduced his FF form against the best backs in the business.

    Tremendous atmosphere too. August 30th is going to be electric!

  38. Since so’s went into full forward cillian has be very quiet season it’s like as if his not used a o Shea being in there would you agree or disagree maybe he just had a off day maybe against Dublin he may get his form back.

  39. I am not one for analysing tactics but yesterday I was full of nerves before the match and literally gobsmacked after the match at how it turned out. I felt we would beat donegal but how would it happen. I thought we played the game our way as someone said earlier a game with 3 acts, I also remember Joe Mc s post from earlier this year. What a gameaand I will no longer worry about our tactics, I think the 2 boys have that in hand. Gamechanger 10 you certainly have a way with words, and phrase from my youth springs to mind, can’t remember it right now but something about dazzling and baffling!! Maybe we will go all the way or maybe we won’t but I sure as hell am going to enjoy the ride. At the start of the year we released our new kits with the tag line This year it’s different…….

  40. Had a third look back at the first half. Tom Parsons getting in tackles or pressure on so many vital occasions. Gough pulled him for a soft free on Lacy. Parsons who makes up 5 yards on McGlynn to force him to a tighter angle and shooting wide. In some o these plays it’s literally only Parsons of our midfielders who has the speed to get pressure on the man in posession. The comment about players communicating is accurate. Really was teamwork from 1-15.

  41. Yes Cait I noticed that .I do however have a feeling that we will see Cillian play more of AOS in Dubs match. Dublin are weak under high ball and we need to exploit that whether it is Adian beating his man of knocking it down to Cillian but I definitely feel they will play closer together. Can’t wait for it now.

  42. I enjoyed that win, I really did. Reading through the posts all week, I shared some of the nerves that were felt, and this continued right through to the end of the first half. I think this was due mainly to the fact that it was management’s first outing with this team in Croker. They duly delivered.
    After Aido’s sublime goal (have been watching it on repeat, WJ!) I felt that was the game. I agree that we still had a couple of gears and the fitness levels of our lads were unreal. I couldn’t believe Barry was deployed as sweeper, but hats off to him, he was superb. He has never whined about his use as a sub. I love this attitude and is a sign of a united squad. We now know he will give his all to any role that management see fit for him. Well done. I don’t know how we’ll set up against the dubs, and I shall not worry about it. There is a marked improvement with our tactical awareness and it is breeding confidence all around. I reckon a different defensive system will be required to counter the dubs, though. This is a team and it’s clear now there is a serious cohesiveness to the whole outfit. We are coming along nicely.
    I was really impressed by Kevin Mc and, of course, Leeroy. Given the speed of inter-county football, Kevin’s speed and ability to dodge and change the direction of play in a split second cannot be overstated. Yesterday will give him great confidence.
    Barrett and Hennelly coming in were seamless changes and all our usuals performed very, very well. I thought Tom Parson’s physicality was particularly noticeable yesterday and the tackling overall was brilliant. Patrick Durcan has some burst of pace and makes brilliant runs, getting into great positions.
    I didn’t get a good look at the K Keane incident, but he shouldn’t have reacted. If there was provocation from Murphy it was shameful given that they were well beaten at that stage. Fair play to the Donegal supporters afterwards though – several of their faithful congratulated us and urged us to really push on from here.
    I can’t wait to see the highlights tonight. Come on Mayo!!!

  43. I’m assuming KK got 15 votes in poll because he gave Murphy a good slap 🙂

  44. Bill Connolly, I agree fully with your point about needing Kirby at least in the subs panel to give us an extra option. If any of our big men yesterday got injured it would have seriously impacted on our gameplan. I made that point last week on this site but was thinking more in terms of using Barry Moran upfront to give us an extra option there. I also believe that having so many running forwards / wing/corner forwards in the subs list is unnecessary. They will never be all used. Indeed I would like to see Jason Gibbons back in the panel as well.

    Aidens goal was the key to dismantling the Donegal challenge yesterday while Keegan’s really finished them. Just prior to Aiden’s strike Donegal, having narrowed the gap from three to one point, would have been looking forward to the break with optimism but instead they went in four down and, more importantly, knowing there was absolutely nothing they could do with the threat of Aiden. Mayo’s second half tactic of sitting back and defending their lead left me damn nervous for at least twenty minutes.

    Much has been made in today’s press reports of Donegal’s “weariness”. Tyrone also played last week without looking the least bit “weary”. When you know the game has slipped away from early in the second half and nothing you had planned is working you will naturally seem “weary”. Beforehand much was made of Mayo’s lack of real opposition in the runup but that, which would have been a big issue had Mayo lost, was forgotten about.

    Willie Joe, take the week off and enjoy the sun. You have earned it and meantime we supporters will try to relax as well. And we will maybe “worry” a little about Galway’s hurlers next Sunday for a change.

  45. We should all contribute to that player fund lotto. I’m sure a big burst of cash pre Dublin game helps with costs. There is probably a 3 day camp planned. Fine tune the gameplan.

  46. Great win yesterday and great support.if u asked 10 supporters to name the team yesterday morning none would have Barry Moran starting and wow what a performance.it was hard to know where certain players were lining out at times but credit to management got it spot on.thought Donegal were so negative there were times where there big shooters were 50 or 60 yards from goal and this played into our hands.we will have to be weary the next day the dubs will play 3 inside all of the time and therefore it will be a totally different tactic of a game plan needed.thought we looked very fit very hungry and our tackling was superb.boyle Vaughan Keegan outstanding in defence.seamus o shea and parsons put in some work.doherty and mc excellent as was aidan.a lot to improve on we dropped a lot of ball short in 2nd half .would be concerned with injuries to cunniffe with hamstring will be touch and go.dont know what happened Clarke.we are where we want to be.make no mistake there’s huge pressure on the dubs now.they know we will be seeking revenge for the pasting they gave us in the year.there be pressure on them to after the Donegal semi last year and they will need to come up with a plan for aos.its vital also we pressure cluxtons kickouts as he doesn’t want to kick the ball straight down middle! There huge pressure on the dubs going into this game.we going into this game with but momentum and on back few good performances and we look sharp and hungry.

  47. Lads and ladies…………….All of your comments and opinions noted and very much enjoyed !

    I was at the game yesterday, high up in the Cusack, and was hugely impressed particularly with the calm methodical way our guys went about defending our second half lead when the pressure came on…….Took it to the 8 point mark, then if Donegal got 1…2 back, take it down the field again and take back 1….2 of our own…..always maintaining that margin. It was done in such a calm possession-retaining way, that I have to say hats off to the management who devised that tactic and the lads, 1-15 who executed it !!…..As a poster above said, we out-Donegaled the Donegals…….The defensive tactics, sweeper(s) etc have been much analysed above, but just to add that everyone in the country knew how deadly Murphy and Mcfadden can still be, and it was, if I’m to be honest, a combination Donegal possess that would put the fear into most counties’ defenders……..but not our boys – how well, with sweeper support, they went about neutralising that threat, and holding M Murphy to 1-2 points, only, from play…………..and no goals………a masterful display from the full squad, and one that can be retuned again to meet the needs of the Dublin game in three weeks time……Certainly winnable if we fire on all cylinders again. Absolutely no doubt about that !!

    Finally, a nice story from the terraces……..Behind me sat a Tyrone lady and her small band of 4 sons, aged between 7-11 yrs, all bedecked in red n white jerseys. She was obviously an animated, passionate and very informed supporter in her constant match dialogue to her team throughout the first Q-Final. After the Mayo V Donegal start, which they all waited on for, I turned around, and to my surprise, 2 of her lads had Mayo jerseys on, and were giving it full voice for our fellas !!………….She explained that they loved Mayo…….they’d met our Cillian on the sidelines of a Jordanstown College match he was playing in and he had won them over with his niceness and attention to their questions about being a county star. From his kit bag, he had given two of the lads a training jersey and tracksuit top from his own 2013 Mayo campaign, which thrilled them…….So impressed were they by Cillian’s approachability and modesty that her father even said to her ‘….wouldn’t I be a very happy Daddy welcoming that young man in the door with XXXX’….her sister !!

  48. Just thinking about the management and what they have brought to the party:

    Dealing with Pressure

    Every game since they started has been a pressure game.

    League: Blood new players, but don’t lose vital games. Schedule the training to peak at championship, but don’t let opposition get yards on you. All defeats were evidence of a decline, all victories just keeping our heads above water.

    In the end the team stayed up comfortably; some new players were blooded and they survived an injury list as long as your arm.

    Galway: Defining match, acid test. Passed it well, team selection justified with Andy doing very well and Ronnie being an effective sub. Getting Tom Parsons actually fit and match ready a significant achievement. Placing Aido at FF begins paying dividends.

    Sligo: pressure match, drive for 5 etc. Management downplay this, game a non event, but team and tactics display ruthlessness and relentlessness. Yet Sligo’s 2-11 a stick to beat them with.

    Donegal: first outing for management in Croker. Great tactical acumen shown with defensive strategy and the liberation of key defenders, Keegan and Higgins

    AI season still has its course to run. However Solan’s S&C work, Buckleys enhanced role as coach and selector and good on pitch decision-making has made the team more impressive this season.

    More impressive? A few new players (O’Connor, Parsons, Ronaldson, Durcan), freshness of a different approach; strength, at a higher level I think; variety in team set up; a dash of cynicism – Donegal in the league, Galway close out, killing the game yesterday, Barry’s how do you do to Murphy at half time.

    Still early days, but I’m enjoying it all.

  49. No mentioned caff had great game great to see it as he got so much stick after Kerry last year do his confidence a world of good.

  50. I think yesterday’s performance was eminence it shows we no one trick pony and we here to win whatever it takes but with principal. Yes coc wasn’t at races on frees and shots but work rate tackling and on kickouts was acceptable. I never realised Barry could be that good for us but put ur body on line like that as he hid can’t say enough. We looked so solid at back first time in 5 years. To win it the hard way this year will be as one journalist said the greatest sporting achievement in Irish history. I’m beginning to believe u see game faces of our team I wouldn’t want to face them that’s what I love. They want it and believe they best team roll on best party our country has ever seen followed by Ireland winning rugby World Cup.

  51. A big aspect of yesterday’s win was we had 8 different scorers to donegals 4.and Murphy kicked 0-8 out of that so it was a good job defence and offence by us.

  52. The simple fact now is we believe we can out score any of last four and defend it. I agree with other posters we need kirby as back up and on bench however we have best midfield pairing left in last four if they stay fit. Parsons and sos no one can live with that guarantees at least 60% procession

  53. – That was a great team effort both on and off the pitch.
    – We won the mid-field battle which prevented Neil Gallagher from having his usual influence.
    – We could and should have won by probably 15 points
    – Exceptional display and workrate from Leroy and Tom P for the entire game .
    – COC to bounce back to his usual high standard against the Dubs which is already looking like a sellout.
    – Different strokes need to be pulled against the Dubs.
    – The first game was there for Monaghan to draw but despite their greater physical power the could not make it count. Tyrone continued with their driving, timewasting and general un-sporting behaviour which really is a disgrace.
    – Time now for the CCC to review videos of all semi-finals and dish out red cards to the cheaters. Brolly was right about Sean Kavanagh and his bother is just as bad.

  54. I have great admiration for what James Horan did for Mayo and this is not meant to undervalue what he brought to Mayo football but he also made mistakes.
    I think leaving Parsons and Aidan Kilcoyne out as well as Ronaldson rank among the really big ones. Imagine what Parsons would be like by now if he had three more years of conditioning and experience under his belt!
    Also not placing a big man in or around Donaghy last year in Limerick was possibly the difference between being AI champs and also rans. If yesterday proved anything it proved that. Horans justification was that it is the job of outfield players to prevent the ball going in!! Sure it is but stopping 100% of high balls going in as a defensive strategy is daft. But all of that is now water under the bridge……
    I have been preaching about the value of AOS as a FF since I first saw him clean out the Galway FB (Fahy or Hanley?) in Tuam when he was only a snottery gasúr. Aidan’s large frame is not really suited to the type of running needed in midfield even though he has had some utterly outstanding displays there. At FF or thereabouts he is a lethal weapon something we have not had before and something all top teams always have.
    At last I feel we have a balance in the team that can really threaten the big guns. And fellas on the line who so far have shown the kind of intelligence and adaptability we need.
    Hon Mayo!

  55. One thing I noted on the clip of the AOS goal, was him turning after it, ready for kickout – great focus
    Again on communication a lot of communication as he went back when the big bird left
    We’ll nor mention the selfiee nutmeg

    Great day, only the quarters, need to step up for the next one, let no one mow the grass on us

  56. Enjoy the holidays WJ. Take the break cos I’m sure the site will certainly be busy when you get back. As to the game all I can say is congratulations to the players and to the management on a very businesslike performance. Games at this level are not meant to be glamorous or anything else. It’s results driven for the top counties at this stage of the season.

    Thinking back to yesterday whoever was going to lose was going to be viewed on as on the downhill slope. Donegal had not won Ulster so this match was all they had to regain some sort of recognition for their efforts for the year. Similarly we came through Connacht rather untested (not our fault) but again if we had fallen it would have been viewed as a step back for this team. Thankfully and fair play to them it wasn’t and they showed again their determination and true worth. Fabulous group.

    The next step is another big step up again but that’s for another day. For now all I can say is congrats to the team. Really enjoyed that performance and as a supporter I hope they get the proper recognition across our great County that they deserve.

    Because they certainly do deserve it.

  57. While yesterday was a thoroughly enjoyable professional performance, the dubs should now be only in our thoughts. The way we stop Dublin is stopping cluxtons kickouts. They killed us in 2013. I only watched the second half of that match I couldn’t bring myself to watch the whole game but what I noted that bar 1 kickout cluxton kicked all of his kickouts towards the cusack stand side. Whatever means that we can disrupt his quick kickouts we should do be it throwing a boot on a ball that goes dead, standing in front of the ball stopping him kicking the ball quickly etc. We have been at the end of cynical tactics over the years so it’s payback time. They will reckon that they will be able to exploit our full back line but the lads are well capable of dealing with them. On the other hand I reckon we can exploit their full back line which is their worst line. I’m very proud of the lad’s and I just want them to achieve what they deserve for their total dedication.

    Finally thanks WJ for the blog it’s absolutely brilliant. Enjoy your holidays

  58. I congratulate the team and management on the victory yesterday but I think a lot of you on here are getting way too carried away. Our performance yesterday was far from perfect and that was against a very average Donegal side. I’m just afraid the players will take their foot off the gas with this over-reaction from the fans. I’m not criticising the players attitude but I know from experience that when you praise a team so much they tend to fall apart in the next game. We need to be ruthless!!!

    P.S. This is intended as constructive criticism. I’m not here to start stupid arguments. We all want this Mayo team to be successful and I believe with the right attitude we will!

  59. Parsons and Kilcoyne had injuries interfere with their training and availability. This is the first year in five years Tom Parsons has had a good season of football and conditioning work without injury. Touch wood continues.

  60. I am disgusted at the way Tyrone play-acted yesterday,At the best of times there are horrible shower of nastines , but yesterday they devalued the game of gaa football to a new low . If this sort of thing ( diving ,falling down as if they were shot , and trying to get opponents sent off ) is allowed to creep into Gaa football god help us all . Headquarters brought in the BLACK card a few years ago to stop dragging, and pulling down , but they need to serious look at black carding this sort of shit . If people want to watch big MEN ,DIVING and CHEATING then watch soccer ..Mayo makes me feel so proud the way they play ..

  61. how many season ticket holders in mayo. Have dublin way more considering they have ones in upper cusack and hill?

  62. Thinking ahead to the Dublin game I do not think that we will be able to deploy a sweeper such as Barry as this will automatically give Dublin a loose defender to take Cluxton’s kickouts. Marking all defenders closely is the only defence against those kickouts. If Dublin are allowed easy possession to work the ball upfield they will murder any team. Whereas if Cluxton is not allowed his handy kickouts he becomes very frustrated as we saw in the last league game in Croker.

    Re season tickets, I think Dublin and Mayo are the only counties with limits on ticket numbers. I’m told that people failed to get season tickets for Mayo in the past couple of years as they were all already taken up and tickets only became available if people did not renew. Apparently only death was causing people to not renew.

  63. I’d obviously rather Tyrone Cait, in case we win, but I’ll eat my hat if Kerry lose- Tyrone haven’t a hope

    If we do lose to Dublin at least themselves and Kerry should be a great final unlike last year in fairness

  64. Longtime reader of this page, first time commenting! First and foremost congratulations to the team on an impressive win yesterday and their commitment to the jersey for the last 5 years. Fully believe we are just as good if not better than Dublin. It will be a fascinating semi. Mayos patience against the blanket really stood out in the game as up to Aos goal, the blanket defence had caused problems, but once that goal went it tore up Donegal.. Kudos to pat and Noel as this was obviously worked on behind the scenes, they never panicked and when their chances came they took them, Donegal were rattled by those opening wides, and Donegal were jagged from previous matches, Mayo were full value for their win and will seriously give it a right shot against dubs. Overall job done with lots more work to do but we are where we want to be and so far looking good! Bring on the dubs

    Side note – Agree with all comments about Tyrone. Sideline view and could see every little stunt they were doing (Monaghan were just as bad). While were no saints either, something must be done about their consistent tactics and antics. I have the upmost respect for Mickey Harte and past Tyrone teams of the 00’s but this current squad are taking the game to a new low.

  65. All gods and media will be wanting Kerry Dublin final that’s why I want Tyrone and Mayo final forget the blanket defence

  66. michael murphy set up keane.Think he has sullied a lot he has done which was positive with this ‘bad loser’ tactic.

  67. I think Whelan brought up a great point about Couxtons kick outs saying how he may by pass the midfielde and go beyond. We need to be careful about this.

  68. Hi, still spaced out. I supported this Management from the start as the best to replace James Horan. I see continuity and improvement in football skills but what is so impressive is their team spirit. Pat Holmes’and Noel Connelly’s personal knowledge of nearly all the panel from their under 21’s days and club management really invigorated that spirit, where it might have waned under James Horan this year and any other manager was really a no brainer once the pair were available.
    As far as i recall Tom Parsons was studying in Wales and was not always availabe apart from injury. He was never left out as such. No doubt mistakes were made but then Mayo almost lost to London in Ruislip and now they are the new Aristocrats of Gaelic Football. We must stop the bitching.

    The day we beat Cork in 2011 was a bit like this. As an aside if anything happened to Cillian, Alan Freeman is a great man to have.

    Next year in the League will be the time for the new entrants. If there is one thing we must have learned about this Management is to leave the decisions to them whether john smith would be worth a gamble.
    Thanks for all the years going back to John Maughan. I was in England during the Dark Years. This team has been coming for 20years if not 54.
    Can Cluxton be as good again? Ciaran 2.

  69. Just watched the Sunday game, all praise for Mayo etc; etc. What really pissed me off was, when the others were really laying into Tyrone about the diving and dragging and so on, Des Cahill kept harping on and on about Monaghan being just as bad, when it was so obvious that most of time they were just reacting. Was he trying to bring some kind of a stupid balance or something???
    It is great to see Tyrone being shown up for what they really are, blackguards!! Mickey Harte should be ashamed of himself and what they are bringing to Gaelic football. I hope Kerry beat the living shite out of them. That’s what they deserve!!!!

  70. ok Joe Mc
    Agree about Tyrone but I remember Donnachda Walsh and several Kerrymen not exactly non cynical when they played us also.No love for either team frankly.

  71. Got to watch the whole game earlier and very happy overall. Even during our slack spell the lads worked very hard. The lads who dropped shots short will hopefully learn from that. Andy was probably in party mode for the missed pass and practicing his goal shots but game well won by then. The most impressive thing was the tackling and how hard our lads went in legally. Buckley has obviously been drilling this in again so we’re at 2013 level on that front. Donegal got a few soft frees so we should probably have kept them below 10 points but overall ref was good. Also Caff’s form looks good. Saw Keane’s sending off and it was minimal strike, unclear if hand was open or closed so hopefully they give him the benefit. It was a get out of my way slap and push not an attempt to hurt the guy by any means. Would be very unfair to rule a lad out in injury time for something that minimal. Ref consulted umpire so he obviously didn’t see it properly.
    With Dublin we probably need to pick a team which counters their forward mobility especially Brogan who is very good at making space to shoot off either foot. Might be more standard man to man but with half forwards flooding back to help. Definitely need to push on them and squeeze them into the middle for Cluxton kickouts. I feel Dublin have 3 or 4 weaknesses we can exploit but have some very good players too.
    Disappointed with Murphy’s aparrent poor sportsmanship mouthing at officials as he’s a super player besides.

  72. Great win yesterday and serious congrats and well done to our players and a special pat on back to management who got tactics spot on. But I think we should not go over the top just yet. When we win we tend to get over excited and see no wrong. There were several excellent performances yesterday some quite good ones and some were just ok. Good to see Caff back and competing well but to say he had a great game would be a massive overstatement. Barry did his job very well Clever move by management but I doubt if that type of tactic will be employed v Dubs who bring a very different set of skills. Our midfield were excellent yesterday but remember how Cluxton outfoxed our midfield in 2013. Afew of our forwards misfired yesterday but then everyone is entitled to an off day and they will need to be at their best v Dublin. Keanes sending off is a sickener and theres no point blaming Murphy as Kevin should not have raised his hand. Hopefully it can be appealed because he may well be needed v Dubs. I think it would be silly to think all our defensive problems are solved just because we held Donegal goalless. Likewise while I have to admire management tactics yesterday it does not mean that they are geniuses and Horan was not as tactically clever. Like when judging players things should not be judged on just one game. Things are going well. The players have been brilliant, the management excellent so far. Huge tests now await. Dublin have the potential to be fantastic and Kerry are Kerry. Not forgetting TYrone though to be honest I would like to forget them. Two more big performances and we could all be in dreamland.

  73. Very ‘professional’display yesterday. Did the job perfectly. Donie Buckley a huge influence.Barry Solan also. Great to see management willing to listen to other voices.So much for those who were not willing to give them a chance.Many of them on this site. A lot of the same people wrote of our chances in last few days. Not much sign of them since yesterday. Never give up on this set of men.

  74. Agree with To win just once that Dublin have potential to be great but very happy with our tackling so they won’t have it handy. Also agree with change of game plan as mobility not height is Dublin’s strength. One thing we can’t do is let Cluxton kick long to the wings to mobile midfielders and wing forwards. Force him down the middle and clog it up. Match ups important again. Pressure on their kick passing also important as they move it quickly that way.
    They have some weaknesses this year, no team is perfect. We should adapt again for semi. We’re now a really good team so no reason to fear them, respect yes but believe which I’ve no doubt we will.

  75. Starting point for the Dubs would be to pull out the video from 2013 and analyse everything that went wrong.

    compress the space in the middle of the pitch let them go very short if they want but make sure there going into heavy traffic in the middle.

    Brogan must be double marked this time.

    Critical not to get into an open running game against them again

    would expect Dubs to pick a midfielder to help OCarroll

  76. hueyandlouis, let’s get a balance here. Every team has one or more who play close to the line. Tyrone are being highlighted for consistently diving, slowing the game, sledging, fouling, trying to get others sent off, etc; etc. Did you hear the comments on the Sunday game? The panel castigated Tyrone. You are insulting Kerry here. Just because we allowed them to beat us doesn’t make them badies. To follow that line of reasoning we should hate the Dubs and Donegal as well.

  77. stuckinclare, “A lot of the same people wrote of our chances in last few days. Not much sign of them since yesterday.”

    Very few on here wrote them off. Many were dubious and rightly so. We’ve had plenty of cock ups in the last few years so everyone’s outlook is not too confident. It’s called, “reality”.. and by the way, we still haven’t won anything!!!

  78. Kerry were bit cynical last year pulling and dragging out the field but don’t blame them refs didn’t police it properly. But diving is a different matter, not one GAA fan wants to see this diving crap coming in from soccer. Ye won’t see the rugby lads doing it and they take serious hits. Influencing referees to send lads off aka Donncha Walsh and Michael Murphy needs to be stramped out.

  79. As for double marking Brogan, not if we put Keith on him. Also Caff did fairly well on him in 2013, not to blame for his 2nd goal, 2-2 was very flattering. But Keith could keep him to about the degree of influence Donohue had last year.

  80. Watched the Sunday Game last night 3 times (our part) most thing that impressed me was were the seconds after the final whistle and how composed and focoused the team were no jumping for joy or anything like that more like job done … Next …. Hope they appeal that red card 🙁

  81. “Very few on here wrote them off. Many were dubious and rightly so. We’ve had plenty of cock ups in the last few years so everyone’s outlook is not too confident. It’s called, “reality”.. and by the way, we still haven’t won anything!!!”

    Amen

    LOL if you dare predict against Mayo you’re writing them off. FWIW, I fancy Dub in the semi, so I guess I’m completely writing us off so like the bookies

    Is there anything worse than those that come out of the woodwork after a win and chastise those for daring to predict against their own county in what wasn’t far off a 50/50 game

  82. Drop the negativity and just support the team. Sport is unpredictable, enjoy the roller coaster.

  83. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet but in the build up I predicted a blanket of sorts, a Foxford rug, would be employed and that the game would be won or lost by the tactics we utilized. The tactics were beyond perfect and the disciplined way the lads carried their orders out on the pitch was a joy to behold. Brains on the sideline and heart on the pitch, it made me burst with pride seeing us play in such a controlled dominant manner. Withdrawing the Bull of Breaffy back into the half back and full back lines with 15 minutes to go was a great call also and was exactly what was required. We all knew at that stage, as Donegal did too, that as long as we kept a clean sheet we were home and hosed.
    A point of note, I can’t see Keanes card being rescinded as it was a clear strike to Murphys jaw (in fairness it’s a big target!) and a silly action by Keane. Maybe that’s why he is on the bench??? Another point of note, I don’t recall seeing such a convoy of Mayo traffic heading to and from Dublin as I saw on Saturday, and I’m a long time travelling. A constant stream of cars heading east and then through the night heading home again. We’re nuts for football and these are special days to enjoy. These memories will live with us for the rest of our days, regardless of Sam coming or not.
    Now is not the time to get hyper though as, like the players themselves, we’ve been here before and must use our experience of these days to “hold the candle steady!”. Yes it was a wonderful performance against a battle-hardened outfit and it sees us progress to a semi, but the next day will be a totally different game against a team full of pace, penetration, running and mobility. All that Donegal lacked on Saturday. However, we too are bringing something to the event and there isn’t a full back in the land that can hold our big Aido once he is supplied with good ball. Enjoy the next 2 weeks before the butterflies start their merry dance in our bellies again. Then we diesel up and head for the East to give them Jackeens something to think about.
    Remember, we owe this Mayo squad everything. We owe them more than we can ever possibly pay back. They have given us wonderful days, evenings, nights of conversation, anticipation and heart bursting pride. They’ve given us a pep in our step and shown that we’re a long way from pushing coaches around An Sportlann car park in preparation of us getting hammered out the gate by Cork! They’ve made sure that we are no-ones fucking whipping boys anymore. We certainly owe them for our lacklustre performance in the 2013 final when too many of us went missing and silent as the game was in the melting pot. No-one will tell me that didn’t happen because I was there and it did. If the truth hurts, tough. Don’t forget that terrible feeling we had walking out of Croker that day when we all knew, (players, management and supporters), that we didn’t do ourselves justice. We knew we left it behind us. Don’t forget that empty sickness we felt all throughout that Autumn and into the Winter. Don’t forget to bring those stomach churning feelings with you on Sunday 30th and use that pain to roar our lads over the line.
    HON MAYO.

  84. Ya hurt himself saving that shot that he was penalised for handling the ball on the ground witch they didn’t show on the Sunday game.

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