The mourning after

Markham Cup presentation

It’s the morning after – I couldn’t sleep and have just seen the dawning of what promises to be another fabulous day weather-wise – on a day where we all have to start accommodating into our minds the reality of another crushing All-Ireland final defeat, all the more crushing because we know we left it after us. We’re all well versed in this process by now and, painful as it all is, it’s a familiar routine we must now start to put ourselves through once more.

I’m not even going to look at the papers today – my own routine on the day after involves a fair bit of blocking out and outright denial – and I doubt if many of you will be up for this particular kind of pain either. I’d say most of the accounts written about yesterday will struggle to explain the day in any coherent manner from our point of view – there are only so many clichés in the book – and they’re best left unread.

Forgotten, of course, in all this wall of sorrow are our mighty minors who must feel like a winning Lotto syndicate at a wake (if that’s not too tortured an analogy). They shouldn’t be forgotten, of course, and as the pain of the seniors’ loss starts to subside – which it should do by around Christmas – then yesterday’s uplifting seventh Tom Markham Cup success for us will grow in significance.

The minors’ victory also means that this evening’s official homecoming – full details of which are here – won’t be one of undiluted gloom and the kind weather as well as the silverware should draw a decent crowd to MacHale Park for the event. I’m not travelling west myself today (that’s part of the denial process and I’ll also be steering well clear of any of the Dub celebrations up here later on) but hopefully those of you located nearer to base will be there in numbers to welcome our young heroes home and to commiserate with our heartbroken senior lads.

85 thoughts on “The mourning after

  1. Firstly, thanks’ to the Mayo players & management team for a great year.

    Coming out of croke park yesterday was all too familiar, but most worryingly of all. I’m kinda getting used to it.

    I was nearly hoarse after the minor game and thought I wouldn’t last 10 minutes into the senior, but it was a very strange game. We were never given much opportunities to roar. The old failings came back to haunt us.

    I do think we could have won it, Mc hasn’t been playing well and I lost count of the number of possession he gave away. The game was screaming out for the introduction of Feeney at half time, also the only reason COC was on the pitch was to take frees, he spent the game avoiding the tackle and kept dropping deep. 8 points from frees is a decent return, but none of them were difficult.

    Finally, we looked way off the pace in the second half, we stopped countering Cluxtons kick outs and our runners off the ball stopped running.

    We had a better performance in last years final and looked devoid of any hunger in the last 20 minutes.

  2. Why, Mayo my love do you leave me heartbroken again? Have I not been faithful all these years, have I not stood by you, did I not first learn to love you during the dark days of the ’70s when nobody gave you a second glance? This was the worst of all though, because you seemed to have left your fickle ways behind you. Watch out for them Galwaymen I was told, but you gave them not a second glance. When you blew off last years gooseberries of Donegal my heart ached with renewed hope. You whispered such sweet nothings in my ear. What about Dublin I asked. Sure didn’t I account for them last year and in ’06 you said – have no fear. Ah, I should have remembered, you promised me the same in ’97. But you seduced me with that comback against Tyrone, you invited me in, you changed into your most seductive clothes, you beckoned me to the bedroom with your best come hither look and so softly did you whisper in my ear “Can you lock the door on the way out?”
    Maybe I should look for a new love. I’ve been living in Wicklow for a few years now and I can’t help feeling, at least you know where you stand with Wicklow, the Nora Batty of the GAA world. Good old Nora. No come hither looks, no chance of consumation. But, as Compo couls tell you, there was still fun in the chase without the risk of heartbreak further on, and sure you never know, she might, just once in a while, let you past first base.

  3. We lost because our players wasted too many good scoring chances and made poor decisions and some terrible scoring attempts.We played in to Cluxtons hands as he could vary his kicks as he pleased where did all our smart play go that we used up to now? We let Brogan rule the roost when he should have been shackled. The wrong substitutions were made Freeman and Seamus O Shea shpuld not have been taken off.If Cilliains shoulder popped again who would have taken over free taking duties? I dont like saying this, we gave.this All Ireland to Dublin because we were not smart enough on the line.Where was the point in putting in Jason Doherty so late in the game

  4. Very disappointed, didn’t deserve it. Dublin didn’t play too well either, there for the taking. Hopefully Horan stays on for another crack at it. Well done minors some good players who hopefully in 2-3 years can be pushing the seniors. This year they gave me the best performance Ive seen Mayo have in Croke Park – Donegal game and Connaught – Salthill Galway, so good memories of the year.

  5. Hawk Eye got it wrong yesterday. Keith Higgins kicked the opening point. Hawk Eye graphic showed it over but stated a “Miss”. The Dubs behind me were laughing. I was right behind the goal when ball sailed over. Dublin players accepted it as in , McQuillan knew that but umpire screwed it. That’s why ref referred it to Hawk Eye. They got that wrong. Still doesn’t excuse poor Mayo shooting and slow sideline moves. Too many half backs in forwards to many injured players in forwards and a couple of sacred cows that have never played well in finals . Two finals eminently capable of been won were lost.

  6. I,v said my bit on seniors and thats that till next january, but congrats to our minors and winning te all ire yesterday and them young men are the future of mayo football, i,v no doubt we,ll see a few them in the seniors set up within nx few years, so heads up it has,t been a bad year, our u-21,s are not bad either as they shouda beaten a galway team in tuam that went on to win the all ireland this year…..Future is bright..up muihgeo……I am lot more positive about mayo football after the last 2 all ire,s than i was in 04 and 06. Up Mayo……

  7. Feeling worse today than yesterday.Skipped college today cause i just couldn’t be fucked listening to people telling me wernt good enough .Too early for me.Ill keep a low profile for week or so to lick my wounds .

  8. Absolutely gutted. Devastated. Out of all of the final losses, this is the worst by far. Worse than ’96, and by god, that’s saying something. Woke up this morning after about three hours’ sleep feeling like absolute muck and I’m feeling worse by the hour.

    We gifted them a soft All-Ireland and I just can’t figure out how we didn’t take the game by the scruff of the neck and win it when we had the chances. And we had ample opportunity. The bench and sideline was an absolute disaster (no Feeney – wtf?) our shooting was a joke (just one of those careless wides would have made the difference) and Cluxton was just toying with us at the end. Only players that really stood out to me were Higgins, Keegan, Boyler and Ger Caff who despite Brogan’s tally I felt actually performed well. I feel dreadful for the lads after all the work they’ve put in all year, and Horan’s face last night at the “festivities” said it all but there’s no arguing with the fact that it was there got the taking and we simply left it behind us.

    It’s been a brilliant summer and the boys have given us so many great days out and so much to dream about, So much that could be said about the game and the bigger picture but sadly, unlike last year, today feels utterly hopeless. At this point, I just can’t see a way back for this team but maybe that’ll change when I move onto the next stage of grief and regain some logic.

    I’m sure the dust will settle and we’ll gather our thoughts and some of us will return with a more balanced analysis than this, but for now, I’m on lockdown. For the first time ever there’ll be no buying the papers, no rewatching the game. There’s only so much anyone can take and rubbing salt in the wound won’t help the healing process this time. Besides, some – and it’s important to say it was a small minority – of the Dubs yesterday managed to do a mighty fine job of that already. So it’s wallowing and despondency for today and back to the real world tomorrow.

    However, the minors deserve to have their brilliant achievement recognised and celebrated and for us that’s a glimmer of hope at least.

    WJ, thanks for all the top work you’ve done here this year and indeed for many other years. A pleasure to put faces to so many of the usernames here on Saturday night. I hope our paths will cross again.

  9. I don’t think today is the day for analysis from fans. The team and management did their best and the pain we are feeling must fade into insignificance compared to theirs.
    They’ll be back and so will we.

  10. Well in not going to comment on Horan .Feelings still raw.In fearness to Seamie he worked like a dog driving up the field and tracking.Maybe he wad tired maybe.Im not sure where Ado was for the game.If Freeman himself signalled to the line to come off then fair enough.I said it last nite Lee Keegan massive fucking game. Some bit of stuff along with Boyler.
    Our half back line weren’t able to attack at will like in past games.By not being able to go forward for their own scores with an exception for Keegan,it showed how fucked we are up front.We need forwards that like were playing for our minors.But we need a lot of coaching forwards and take them from being a good club forward to a top class prolific scorer at County level.2 would do.

  11. Cannot see why freezer was taken off,if Cillian got injured again five minutes later we were fucked for a free taker.Why was Richie not brought on.I think the game was crying out for him and he has never let us down when he has come on.I have huge respect for what JH has done for Mayo football since he took over when Mayo football was at an all time low but I think he got a few decisions wrong yesterday.We had some very poor shot selection which resulted in poor wides.If we can keep this management team and players together and hopefully find a few forwards then the day we all yearn for will not be far away.Remember Cork lost two in a row before returning to take Sam the third year.Can we do the same,why not? We didn’t play our best yesterday and still only went down by a point to what people are calling a brilliant team.If they are a brilliant team then we’re not that fucking bad.For me the home coming today is the last day of a brilliant year both teams have giving us,tomorrow we start looking forward to next year so for fuck sake get into McHale Park this evening and give the lads the support and encouragement they need to do it all again.I stood there last year in the pissing rain when Andy told us that if we stood by them they would be back,they didn’t let us down.I know we lost game 6 by a point but what great days we had and how many teams would love to be playing football on the third Sunday in September,they weren’t,we were and we can be again,Maigh Eo Abu.See ye all in McHale Park

  12. Had booked today & tmrw off work in case I had to head back to Castlebar for the homecoming. But will stay in Dublin now. Glad to be off though, couldn’t have faced work this morning, kinda wish it was raining. Funny how all the bunting looks so lonely now.

    But we’ll get over it, overall it was a fantastic year for Mayo GAA, really hope the whole backroom team stay on for one more crack at it

  13. I had said win loose or draw that id be getting a season ticket for next season.
    Contacted the GAA this morning.Season tickets go on sale in October.But was told there will be a waiting list if it was for the Dubs.That wont be a problem for me .

  14. Has anybody looked at the Hawkeye decision for Higgins’ first effort in the first minute? It looks very much a score to me.

  15. Thought it was a score myself to be honest.Apparently even the Dubs behind the hill thought it was over.
    Here lads this will cheer ye up a bit.
    clip of mayo minor man of the match given his reaction.I think i would have said the same.However his mother might have to wash his mouth out with soap.:)

  16. We’ll be back but its hard to take again 🙁 Fair play to JH and the lads for another top year. They’re credit to the county

  17. Just watched the game again. Some very poor aspects to our game let us down especially in the first half. A couple of those are
    Ger Caff kicking a free straight to Connolly for their first score.

    Players turning over & kicking the ball away: Barrett, Higgins & Boyle twice each and Dillon & andy Moran once.

    While cillians first free was difficult the 2nd free he missed was one he would normally put over.

    Mcloughlins two wides were poor. If they went over we had a chance of a bigger lead at half time which was crucial.

    One thing for sure is freeman shouldn’t have been taken off. He wasnt injured & had words with management when he was called ashore. If Cillian had got injured who would have taken the frees?? I think that was a bad decision.

    My last point is that Higgins was doing really well in the forwards. He should have been left there in the 2nd half. Mchale or Keane should have utilised to replace Cunniffe. Carolan as honest and hardworking as he is shouldn’t have been used ahead of Ritchie Feeney either. That change did more harm than good.

    Very disappointing day all around. I’m gutted but its just wasnt meant to be. My heart goes out to the players who work so hard all year around.

    Big congratulations to our minors. What a great bunch of young guys who showed no fear. The likes of doran, Kenny, hall, Coen, O Connor, plunkett, tommy goals Conroy, Doherty & others will ive no doubt progress to senior ranks and improve. We have to bring through our winners! Keep the faith. We aren’t far away.

  18. delighted for our minors and still gutted for our seniors. we will do it someday just have to be patient. they gave us a great summer and ill remember that. WJ this is a great blog, I really enjoy it thank you

  19. I thought the longer the game went on the more heroic Boyler got. He was putting everything on the line and we were winning back an incredible amount of ball in the backs and giving away a huge amount in our half forward line. The fact that our Half Backs had to stay back really showed how weak our forwards were – not good enough to win an All Ireland. This is why we have failed to win so many All Irelands and we have to tackle the coaching of our forwards at Club and County level to win SAM.

  20. Ok well you agree with me so Just outside ballagh .I posted un an earlier posts that coaching forwards didn’t look like it was emphasized at club level.It needs to be looked at if it hadn’t all ready.
    I posed the question could we have had a better Dillon,a better Varley etc if their talents were coached and nurtured at under age at their club.

  21. Mayo do have the forwards, that’s always been our strongest suit. What frustrated me so much yesterday was the supply. Really awful stuff. Was Horan convinced that running at Dublin would pay dividends? It didn’t, that was obvious early on even with the lead.

    Why not play football? Dillon and McLoughlin made names for themselves as plamakers, yesterday they looked lost, running the ball into traffic. We all know Horan is a pragmatist but if he just relaxed his grip over this Mayo team, allowed them to express themselves then the forwards would thrive.

  22. Despite the massive disappointment of losing the senior match, I’m home in mayo and I plan to be in Castlebar for the homecoming this evening. Being away, god knows when I’ll get the chance to see mayo bring home an All Iteland cup. I hope everyone will make an effort to be there, for we must thanks the lads and congratulate our mighty minors.

    @WJ. Your right, this will take some time to get over, but we will, maybe by Christmas, have a brighter outlook as we look to the league to vet new talent with an eye on getting back to Croke Park for a shot at glory.
    In the meantime. We will soldier on and this site will be a major part of that soldiering. It will keep us engaged and keep the dream alive, for as Mayo ppl, we’re one of the few ppl’s that start the year with a real chance of landing the big one.
    At home in Mayo now, looking out at Nephin, my focus shifts now to returning to the US, to family, work, weekend soccer tourneys with the kids, I feel privileged to be a native of the county and its ppl. We’re a Mighty County and one thing is certain, we’ll keep coming back, and we’ll keep trying until we win that blasted cup.

  23. Feeling gutted today but the team and management deserve our praise for a fantastic year. It is easy for us to criticise but the amount of work they put in week in week out has to be respected and appreciated. If this team can stay together plus a few younger players there is no reason they cannot do it next year, there is not much competition out there. Yesterday was definitely there for the taking but alas it wasn’t to be and I cannot imagine how the team and management are feeling. In respect to the match I was surprised Feeney wasn’t brought on however JH didn’t do much wrong all year and I for one do not intend to criticise him now, I really hope he, Buckley et al give it another year. It won’t be long until the league starts and it is now evident that the league is more important than ever. Well done lads and thanks for a great year and all the effort, three Connaght titles in a row and 2 AI finals is a great achievement and I have no doubt this time next year we will be celebrating. Huge congrats to the Minors they did us proud and the future is bright.

  24. Time for a reality check! We hated hearing it all year but we needier bite up front if we have any hope of ever landing the big prize. IMO next years league should be about letting the likes of carolan, coen etc have a go and see what others might be coming thru underage. We need a bit of a shake up there…

    Can nothing be done to convince Hanley to come home when his county needs him most??? Does he not love Mayo?? For the love of God if I had his talents there’d only be once place I’d be and I have no problem saying if he hadn’t gone to Australia we would have won at least one if he last two finals.

    I cannot u destined how so many Mayo fans simply accept his departure… we should be gutted he isn’t around. If he doesn’t return for a spell in the green n red history will record it as an enormous loss to Mayo football.

    We also lost the midfield battle.. Did we even win any of their kicks?? We hardly competed with them in this respect.

    The focus of the county board now must be to set a target of winning more underage titles. This in time will establish the platform for senior success.

    Dubs have won two u21’s in recent years. Before ytrdy ours was in 2006.

  25. Just like to thank Willie Joe and the other regulars.Been a long year, a lifetime ago since I sat behind Willie Joe on a cold night in Croker vs the Dubs in the league.
    We’re all hurting. Stared at the ceiling for a good hour this morning.
    Lads broke their balls all year for us, no matter how bad we think we’re feeling, they are worse.
    Until victory always.

  26. *cannot understand. Sorry typos on phone at work in Galway where I’m not sure which is worse, the slagging or the pity.

  27. Mayonaze..

    re Cluxton: I think they won 21/21 of their own kickouts.

    Saw you in the Davin from my seat in 309 Cusack. Big bertha and all.

  28. It’s very hard on the team and management. And now is not the time to criticise them. Support and encouragement is the order of the day. The criticisms will come in due course and rightly so.
    What is important now is not to lose faith and to learn from the experience and push on to being the best team in the land without question. Only then will we win the title and that is as it should be.
    I look forward to the day when we go to Croker fully confident of victory because we KNOW we are the best. That might even be next year. C’mon Mayo!

  29. I hear ya Mayoaze,
    I met a Kerry man who was feeling sorry for us and that he was supporting us and will next year if we are not playing them. I nearly got sick . What can ya say back. Thats why i try and keep low profile for a few days. I havent the heart to really talk about it to other people especially people outside the County.

  30. To any of the team reading this, well done, great year, and thank you for the glorious memories through out the year. Does anyone knw if horan will stay on next year?if he goes i think we are in trouble for a few years.

  31. Ah feck it anyway. We were too slack up front yesterday. Too many wides. Not enough scores from open play. Too many forwards didn’t score at all. Too many of our forwards cannot reliably kick a pint form 30 yards out. That is killing us. Simple as that.
    Anyway its like a funeral today or a wake. The post mortem will be commencing soon.
    Plenty of green and red there yesterday, even on the hill. Surely that support will be rewarded some day, but for now just feck it.

  32. Sport or football shouldnt be so important but it is in Mayo,it defines us as a people,ive been all over the world and whenever you meet other Irish people and tell them you’re from Mayo ,the first talk is of football.We”re chokers,bottlers,dont have the balls.I always argue my corner but the bottom line is until we take Sam,thats how we are seen.That game was there for the taking yesterday,Dublin were over hyped and we couldnt have went in to Coker better set up.We left it behind,its sickening but all too familar.

    However,we’re still the proudest county in Ireland,as i said ive been all over the world and always meet people from Mayo,theres no other place id rather be from.There’s a pride in Mayo people that you dont see from others,a sense of belonging and i fcuking love it.We will come back,we always do,we are Mayo.

  33. Its understandable that Dublin play as well in this game as other games. Their game is based on all out attack. The amount of attacks that our backs broke down time after time after time. I was actually surprised at the amount of space to our forwards gave the Dublin back line which was the foundation for the Dublin attack . In the Donegal game our forwards hounded their back line. I dont know lads. I do believe that Horan should wait for one more year. From where he has taken us in 3 years. Unless someone was to come in and bring us up a notch from what Horan has left off . But more than likely a new manager will need time to set a frame work i place. We need to keep our lads together . One or two forwards need to come in .Have we marqee forwards in Mayo ? Honestly lads have we?

  34. Devastated. Heartbroken. But resolute.

    Slept poorly last night and woke up this morning feeling crestfallen. Another opportunity missed. Another post mortem of what ifs. And worst of all, a wave of well meaning but patronising commiserations. And I didn’t play the game. I didn’t invest body and soul into Mayo football. The players and management did. Imagine how they must be feeling?

    It didn’t go to plan yesterday. When has it ever for Mayo. But we competed hard, gave absolutely everything and came up short. I was very proud of the intensity of effort and the commitment of all concerned. We came up short and the reasons why are for a discussion best left for another day. We had some real warriors yesterday, men like Higgins, Keegan and Boyle gave everything for the cause.

    They’ll recover in time and so will we. Losing is never easy. Not at this stage of the season. But we should not forget the effort, commitment and pride this team place in the Mayo jersey. I am very proud of each of them and grateful for all they have contributed to Mayo football.

    It’s hard to keep coming back. But we do. And we will do so again. We’re a stubborn bunch of f’ckers and we’ll get what we seek some day!

  35. Working in Dublin and seeing celebrations everywhere is torcher. Sam is coming to work in the next few weeks, might pull a sickie 😛

  36. Heartiest congrats to our minors as well as their mngt team. Thank you to our seniors and to James & co for an unbelievable summer. We are all feeling empty and sad today and we are only onlookers. I am imagining the desolation in the hearts of the panel of players and mngt. The loss is theirs and I for one have not earned the right to ridicule or criticise anybody associated with that loss. I did nothing other than attend the Mayo matches with no strings attached and thats still the deal.

  37. Just in the door from Dublin. Firstly, a genuine and sincere thank you to the entire Senior and Minor set-ups this year for giving us so many wonderful memories and for representing us with class, skill and a never-say-die attitude that has brought great credit to them, their clubs and the county.
    Secondly, I don’t know if I can take anymore of this heartache. I have a sick ache in my stomach all day and this defeat is so much worse than all the others. I wish I could say “well fuck it and fuck them and that’s the last time I will ever go to watch those f*****s again”. I wish I could, but I know I can’t. I know early next year the FBD will come around, followed by the league and the spirits that are devastated now will have mended somewhat and will start to raise again. At this point however, I don’t think I can ever go to another All Ireland final and be confident of a victory. As a fella said to me coming out yesterday after the match, “it’s nearly easier when we are hammered in the first 15 mins as opposed to that”
    Two more points, 1, Fair play to the senior players and management for the way they conducted themselves last night in City West, I am sure it was the last place on Earth they wanted to be. 2, you would swear the Dubs lost the match judging by their reactions after the game, it was wasted on them.
    There will be time for analysis and “where to go from here?” but for now the pain is just too great.
    P.S. I really hope that James Horan and the current set-up will stay for one more crack at it. I really hope they do because otherwise it could be a waste of the best Mayo side I have ever been privileged to support.
    Hon Mayo

  38. Devastated after that, but as most people have said the players and management will feel worse.

    Interesting analysis on Action81 blog where he reckons Gavin altered his game plan which forced us to follow, and resulted in both teams playing an unfamiliar style leading to a bad match. Still way too many unforced errors from both sides but the Dubs hit three massive points from out around the 35 that Mayo were just unable to do yesterday.

    I think the occasion got to us, I think the whole losing finals thing does factor into the players’ mindset – how could it not?

    Re the Higgins hawkeye point, I haven’t rewatched it on TV but at the match it looked like the graphic showed the ball was over the post. The way it is set up is that if any of the ball hits the vertical extension of the post, it is a miss.

    Getting ready to head down to Castlebar for the homecoming, great display from the minors. Any other year they would be the story. Really hope Horan stays on and gives it one more go.

  39. To be honest when you look at it, O’Connor had his shoulder injury, Andy Moran is almost back but not quite, Freeman had the flu and I think Dillon has been carrying a niggling injury all summer.

    That’s 4/6 of the forward line with some kind of issue yesterday and still they almost did it. If we can keep the whole team and management together and maybe find one more addition up front, I think they could have one more good crack at it.

  40. Horan has 1 year left in his contract and i think he,ll stay and give it 1 more shot with this bunch of players but he,ll need to buck up and bring a few of the panel now into the team in fbd an nat. league and give them games right thru, the league and holding div 1 status at same time, management had a very poor day yester. in my opinion, thers a nucleus of a good team still there afta yeserday and with u-21 and minors coming into the panel the future is bright…we will be back, into town to show support for both teams an espec. our minors who done the business and are the future of Mayo football………..

  41. Got so full last night while drowning my sorrows that I fell out of the bed at 3.20 am.

    Haven’t done that since high infants.

  42. If Freeman had the flu, which no-one knows for sure yet, then why start him in a full forward line where there were doubts about the other 2. Not looking to blame anyone but it is a fair question.
    Horan has just completed his third year of his 3 year contract. So, as for now, it is up in the air and really up to him as I imagine he would get an extension if he wants it. I hope he does.
    Maybe introduce Evan Reagan and Coen on a more frequent basis and give Carolan a few more starts?

  43. On another topic, if the black card rule was in operation yesterday there would have been 3 or 4 dubs sent to the line. Their constant dragging down and refusing to move for frees really worked against us.

  44. I hope Horan stays. We lost it in the first half had so many wides and made wrong decisions .i remember seeing andy shouting for the ball when mcloughlin had it instead he choose to bring it into a tackle and gave possession back to dublin. I felt we should have been five or six points up at half time that was the difference. we also missed freeman in fullforward he had the beating of O carroll for Dublin. We need to focus on getting forwards and blooding some under 21 players like Dubs . Thanks to the mayo team and managment for a wonderful summer and was great to see what happiness they gave our county for the past couple of weeks. how The sadness and disappointed we are expereiencing today is nothing to how the lads are feeling. To see the independent and see the picture of colm boyle been embraced by cluxton and the emotion from keegan is heartbreaking.

  45. Sick as anyone else this morning but I would ask all fans to let this one sit for a while until we judge the players and management.
    Im sure they feeel worse than anyone this morning. I hope all stay on for one more crack at this. The one thing I have learnt from football is if you stick at it you will get your reward. Just ask Therese Maher from Galway. Five finals lost and on her sixth final she won and was man on the match.
    Well done to Andy, Keith, Lee, Boyler, SOS and Cillian in particular. Thought they were heroic yesterday.
    And well done to minors. A great win and starts these lads off as winners. No curse there. Unfucking believeable..

  46. Cant believe a lot of what is written here.
    Diehard you are well named but what is the point of viewing everything through rose coloured spectacles.

    Firstly: Some of us were roundly criticised for saying Higgins is a corner back and should be played there.
    Secondly taking off Freeman was a stupid panicked decision.
    Taking off Seamus was pure nuts. Bringing on two guys who have not kicked a ball (almost) in championship was pure mad.
    And the high ball; This is the fourth All Ireland we have not dealt with the high ball. It is pure daft not to have dealt with that.
    I do not want Horan to stay frankly. His calls on the line do not suggest he has a clue frankly.Why wasnt Aidan or Seamus movedin?
    Maybe you do not agree and I admire him greatly as a man but not as a manager on yesterdays performance when it mattered.
    Are there positives:
    A fully fit Barry Moran for next year
    A fully fit Michael Conroy and Alan Freeman let play
    A proper Centre forward (Andy,Seamus even Barry)
    Maybe a more realistic approach from Mayomen.

    Most neutral commentators went for Dublin.
    They were right.

    To the lads I say well done.
    To management- Thanks for trying but you are not good enough.

  47. In fairness if you’ve watched Mayo at all for the last four years you will have seen O’Shea & Moran tried up front and it has failed miserably. Freeman had the flu and Hiram said O’Shea was spent. He was heading into the final 10 minutes bringing on a fresh pair of legs in midfield made sense.

    Higgins to half forward has been one of the few changes this year that was a success, he’s far more effective up there than in defence, as we saw yesterday.

  48. And anytime I’ve seen Seamus or Aidan moved in to full forward it’s always been a sign of desperation that has never once worked.

  49. To makingprogress;

    Great to see the contrarian (that’s contrarian as in a position that is opposed to that of the majority, regardless of how unpopular it may be) viewpoint as it opens up a debate and is cathartic. I agree and disagree with a number of points that you have made.

    I guess we all have opinions and some of us are more qualified than others but we all have a right to those opinions.

    1. Keith Higgins is a brilliant footballer, as Kevin McStay said last night if we could only photocopy him. One could argue that we should have brought on a full back (Kevin Keane maybe?) and left Keith in the forwards as our play noticeably deteriorated in this area when he went back corner back, additionally it may have been negligent to leave one of our fitter players on O’Gara when he pulled a hamstring late on.

    2. Taking off Freeman did look like a strange move at the time, I have heard he was suffering from Flu?

    3. I would have left Seamus on too, but to effect change requires the management to do something, not sure which 2 players you are referring to in respect of not having kicked a ball. I would have taken off Kevin as he was not having a good day but space was a premium and our normal kicking game became a running game which was not effective. The game looked like it would suit Richie Feeney as far as I am concerned he would have relished a game such as this.

    4. Presume you are referencing the first goal conceded. This was a goalkeeping mistake rather than not dealing with the high ball. If Robbie had stayed on his line for that ball it would not have been a goal. Robbie played superbly after that making 3 good saves which unfortunately resulted in points (although one via a 45 which should have been waved wide). To further reiterate the point nobody is saying Kerry can’t deal with the high ball despite a shot for a point by Diarmuid Connolly dropping short and finding its way to the net via a punch by Paul Mannion.

    5. two points here, Horan to stay and Aidan/Seamus moved in. To take the second point first, I agree I thought Barry Moran could have been placed in the square leaving Seamus on the pitch (replacing Kevin Mc instead of Seamus), Kevin was ineffectual at this stage and Dublin had a combination of Paul Flynn/Cian O’Sullivan full back. It may have worked it may not have. In respect of Horan I disagree, since he arrived we have contested 2 all Irelands in a row and despite not playing to our full potential just came up short yesterday.

    To sum up, Bob Rotella speaking about Golf says ‘Golf is not a game of perfect’, so it goes with Football, no team that wins an all Ireland will produce a perfect performance, Can you imagine the castigation Jim Gavin would have received had they lost. Emmet Ryan’s piece sums up the tactics well in his piece;

    Had any of the following occurred we would be getting ready for a replay or celebrating an All Ireland win.

    1. Keith Higgins (Hawkeve miss?)
    2. 45 that was not a 45
    3. Cillian’s free kick misses.
    4. Ger Cafferkey on Bernard Brogan free (not a free) late on
    5. Push on Donie Vaughan late on going for a ball 14 yards from Dublin Goal (not given)
    6. Cunniffe limping for last 8 minutes of the first half not substituted and Eoin O’Gara seeing this taking him on for a punched point.
    7. Tug back by O’Gara after Cunniffe gets in front of him not given by McQuillan leading to MDMc through on goal, saved by Robbie, leading to that 45 that wasn’t.
    8. Only 4 minutes of Injury time (while the Cooper injury alone looked like it took up 3 minutes (I have to review the tape)) if the 6 or 8 that I thought there should have been we could well have won (Remember Dublin were effectively down to 12 men).

    Anyway we are close can we climb the mountain again, yes we can, do we need to introduce more players? yes we do. Will it be good enough next year? nobody knows.
    But isn’t that the beauty of it.


  50. Very proud to be a Mayoman. Wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel pain and disappointment, but is as nothing compared to the players. We were close this time, touching distance, a umpires glance away from a draw, and a refs time assurance away from a winner. Can the players take the pain? Should they be asked to? Life and career deferred for another year long mission? Uncertainty and some jibes the likely result.
    Lets focus on our players, reassure them of our support. Lift them with our gratitude and respect, and encourage them for the future. More positivity especially for the management. Some of have been there as players and also managers. The negative emotions as manager are harder to take. JH did a good job on the line. That was the best Dublin team in 40 years perhaps, and we were close. Calls were made by the people who are better tuned than we are. Players have to trust each others and management. Supporters have to encourage all.
    Reality check: We have had the best year in my memory, I’m 50.

  51. Just back from the homecoming. What a turn out, the place was packed! Great reception for the minor and senior teams. It’s fantastic to see such support for our teams, they’ve given us a fabulous year.

  52. @makingprogress,management not good enough,that is pure shitetalk,they took the Mayo team over when Mayo football was an all time low and in three short years have brought mayo football to an all time high,3 Connaught titles,an all Ireland semi and two finals in 3 years.Tell me who could have done better.Agreed they made a few bad decisions yesterday but the whole country knows we a short a few standout forwards.Great turnout for the lads this evening

  53. Hi All,
    Apologies as I am the last person you want to hear from but if its any consolation you all should be very proud of Mayo they were great all year and only a kick in it at the end. I know how it feels believe me and its not nice but you have an awful lot to look forward to with the Minors winning too.

    Kind Regards,

  54. mayomaningalway, they’ll be back in 2014! Andy said that there is 6 or 7 years in this Mayo squad between some of the current panel and the talent that’s coming through from U21 and our All Ireland Minor Champions. Oh, and Michael Ring gave it loads too.

  55. Good ,good,the mood was positive glad to hear,in sure its not easy for them to come back to cbar empty and stand before their supporters from their point of view.the work ,sacrifice ,commitment,most people wouldn’t do it even if they were getting paid.Its going be extremely hard to come back third year in row,have to work even harder than this year and bring an added dimension that is going to put us ahead of the rest.Roll on League….

  56. Despite so many errors etc. we were within a kick of a draw. Without wishing to go on about it, I think Hawkeye has done us out of a draw. Keith Higgins’ shot in the first minute was inside the post. Even the visual on Hawkeye showed it, inside but somehow the verdict was ‘Miss’. I think if this happened in the last minute of the game we would all be raging about it but it seems to have been forgotten because it happened so early. Impossible to say the result would have been any different, but in the end thete was only one point between us.

  57. At homecoming in Castlebar this evening – it was an uplifting experience.The choreography was fitting and appropriate and the supporters were magnificent. My thanks to the organisers, those on the platform, the senior team and mngt. and of course the lead act, the minor panel and its mngt. And not forgetting the All Ireland Minor trophy, It was indeed a privilege being there.

  58. Mayo Mark and Tom61 – I’ve deleted those last few comments from both of you. The relevant house rule you’ve both breached is the first one, i.e. that comments shouldn’t be of a kind that are likely to provoke, attack or offend others. Knock it off, the pair of you, or else all that’s going to happen is that all your comments will end up in the bin.

    I know emotions are running high amongst some people but that’s all the more reason to think twice before posting. I’m all for calm and rational analysis of what went wrong for us yesterday but as I said earlier, today is not the day for this to happen.

    Martin the Dub – thanks as ever for your kind remarks and congrats to Dublin on your All-Ireland success. Every Dublin person I’ve met and have been in contact with since the final whistle was blown has been gracious and magnanimous in victory and you’re clearly no exception. Enjoy the win – what we wouldn’t give to be in this position but that’s the way it goes.

  59. That’s the second time hawkeye got it badly wrong says a lot about the technology used. Well done to all that turned out in C-bar this evening, nice to hear Andy sounding so positive.

  60. Davyd07, Hawkeye didn’t show all of the ball inside the post but certainly three quarters of it. Apparently its a miss if its not all inside the line, which is a bit unfair.

  61. I think hawkeye was right. Unless the whole of the ball is inside the post, it’s wide. The graphic showed that it was not inside the post.

    Horrible horrible feeling today. Took the day off work and Afraid to turn on tv or radio or buy a paper as would have to relive yesterday’s nightmare. Think it’s the toughest one to take. We were level with twenty minutes to go and when the game was there to be won, we didn’t look like we thought we could win it.

    Proud of the lads for what they have done for us all year. Hard to see them coming back next year again and giving the same commitment. I think Horan and Buckley would be a huge loss.

    Have we any forwards coming through that could make a difference? Regan maybe, don’t think Coen is the answer. What about Danny Kirby and Brian Gallagher?

    Sorry, bit of a rant, my head is all over the place today.

  62. I was just thinking if i was the Mayo manager id bring in one or two lads from the minor team.Defo 1 or 2 of them ready to be blooded.Plus your going to their youthful personality along with their experience of winning the minor title and i reckon that might put a spark into the other lads.

  63. Think 9 of the minor winning team will still be minors next year. There is enough in the seniors to be successful if utilized properly. But that’s for another day.

  64. to that dubs supporter well done on your win heartbroken over mayo losing but there s also next year and how could i forget minors terrific win also lot of dubs suporters giving out about brogan well they got there answer yesterday

  65. I felt very sorry for the mayo senior team this evening, they looked demoralised and while on stage it’s obvious they just wanted to jump into a big black hole. I was cringing at some of the speeches. Such bullshit.

    Great turnout by the mayo support though. Alot better than the pathetic turnout of last year. Through hail, rain or snow we should show our support to our team.

    Alot of support for the manager here which is both admirable and surprising. Some of the switches and substitutions were just baffling. We have come along way under him but it has to be recalled that last year the match ups were very wrong from the start in the full back line as well as the obvious mistakes made yesterday.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks…. Ive a feeling horan will stay on for one more year. Most will want him to stay but It will also be of interest to me with regard to the freeman “flu” story…. There’s alot of conflicting stories going around…..

  66. Don’t have the heart to go into the why’s, if’s, but’s and maybe’s. Maybe later.
    One thing I will say is that one needs luck – or at least the absence of bad luck – to win an All Ireland. With Cillian’s and Barry Moran’s injury problems during the summer added to Alan Freeman’s flu we did not have it.
    Another thing, all spring I was pointing out our lack of a ball winning full forward even though not everybody agreed with me. Alan Freeman’s emergence seemed to solve the problem and his absence yesterday emphasised it again. Our alternative forwards do not have either the fielding ability or the strength to take on a defender in front of goal and either score or draw a foul. The abolition of the square ball rule makes such a player even more important. Barry Moran lurking around the square would not have helped the composure of Rory O’Carroll and Stephen Cluxton.

  67. As with every Mayo fan at home and around the globe absolutely gutted. The game was there for us but once again the fickle finger of fate has contrived to work against us. Games are won and lost in small moments and although early in the game I think the hawk eye error did have an impact. An early point would have settled the nerves and got us rolling. Though we dominated after that we just never had the shooting boots on despite having Dublin rattled. I could go on but what’s done is done and soon it is time to look forward. Horan should stay for at least another year. 2 finals in 3 years. Whether he wins one or not in 20 years we will look back on these times as a high point in Mayo football. He has more than earned the right for another go. Finally, well done to our magnificent minors. What a superb bunch of young footballers. The future is bright.

  68. Congrats to our minor team. That was the first time that I have been priviliged to witness a Mayo team win an All Ireland. Comisseration to the Senior team. After the wounds are licked and the scars start to heal, I have no doubt that this Mayo squad can and will achieve great things. Congrats to the Dublin senior team. Despite both teams playing well below par you were the ones who found a way to win and full credit to you. Thank you Martin the Dub for your comments they are much appreciated and sounded sincere and honest. Enjoy your celebrations. I have so much I want to say but just don’t have any useful words. This healing is a process and must take it’s natural course. Time is hard sometimes to live through.

    So glad to hear that the home comming was postive. When you know what you’re capable of it’s hard to walk away.

    This still is a serious Mayo team and we can achieve great things

    I lived in America for a good bit and supported the New England Patriots. They’d break your heart (not near the depths of Mayo) but they’d hurt me inside all the same. In 91 they played 16 games and won 1. They went on to win 4 superbowls and remain a power house of American football. I know that means jack shit right now but in my mind it means something.

    I gotta hurt and i feel for the lads. My hurt is a fucking luxury compared to them lads and all they have sacrificed.

    Look I’m proud to be from Mayo and proud of this team that I have the priviliege to call mine. It’s hard right now but I believe that this Mayo team can and will achieve great things and I’m not going to analyise that.

    “Come On Mayo!!!

  69. Great turnout for the homecoming and, yet again, we turn out in great numbers to support our teams. The support for the minors yesterday was spine tingling and fair play to all our lads in the Hill, they took it and stunned the Jackeens.
    Cod, “Horrible horrible feeling today. Took the day off work and Afraid to turn on tv or radio or buy a paper as would have to relive yesterday’s nightmare. Think it’s the toughest one to take. We were level with twenty minutes to go and when the game was there to be won, we didn’t look like we thought we could win it.
    Proud of the lads for what they have done for us all year. Hard to see them coming back next year again and giving the same commitment. I think Horan and Buckley would be a huge loss”

    I echo your sentiments and thoughts exactly. Took work off and did not buy any paper or watch the “taped” Sunday Game.
    I think Coen, Regan and Gallagher are real options and need to be blooded, nurtured and supported. People are forgetting that bar, Moran, Dillion and Higgins, the remainder of the squad are 25 and under. Squad players like Keane, McHale and Gibbons are still young and will improve.
    Now is not the time to question the players, management or selectors. Now is not the time for apportioning blame. Everyone’s pain, hurt and (in my case) anger is too raw for anyone to make rational decisions. Now is the time for us to be SUPPORTERS and support these lads. When the dust settles in a couple of weeks, and the pain eases a little, then the time will be right.
    For me, this is the worst of them all.

  70. Ps. When I say dominated, I meant in that first 30 where we should have built up a reasonable lead. I’d also like to say thanks to the Dublin supporters here in Auckland who were very gracious in victory. I think they saw our pain and didn’t stoop to rubbing salt into our gaping wound.

  71. Hi all,
    Not going to make any comment on the match until I settle down.
    Don’t mean to use this fine site for personal messages , but I must say to Mayo Mad I’m very sorry not to be able to stop last night and chat,would have loved to. Please God we will meet again.

  72. A special word to minor corner back David Kenny , a winner of all-ireland
    minor medals in hurling and football in the same year.
    Our very own Teddy Mccarthy.
    That has to be a first for our county.

    That cup was in cbar this evening and i was honoured to see it.

    As for the senior game it is very difficult to swallow and hard to discuss.
    I believed beforehand if we played to our potential we would beat them well, as
    it turned out if we had played to our potential we would have destroyed them
    as dublin were poor which makes a one point defeat even f**king harder to take.

    TG4 wil show the final stephens day, we might watch it then.
    For now..few tough days ahead for us all, but we’ll rise again-we always do.

  73. The flag and bunting will be taken down tomorrow but it felt very strange putting away the jerseys, scarves and wristbands. Almost as if there was something final about it and the recognition that it is going to be a long winter. It will be 3 months before we see how the lads are going to come back from their heart-wrenching devastation. If we think it is bad for us, I can only imagine what they must feeling and they need time now to switch off and live a “normal” life and forget about football for 6 weeks. Use this time to look inside themselves and see whether they want to go for it again. Management and players.
    We are not far off but there is now a glaring fault that is undeniable and must be addressed. The reason of our inability to perform on the biggest of days HAS to be identified and fixed. Whatever it is.
    As I said, now we must support them and let them know we appreciate their efforts and sacrifices. We all feel absolute shit now but this will pass in the months ahead and we must ALL hang in there, together.

  74. By the way WJ, thank you for this wonderful site. I purposely stayed off the day or two before the final because I felt it was all said and done. Looking back now at my optimism then, I feel really stupid.
    I think over the days and weeks ahead this site is going to morph from a football blog site to a counselling site.

  75. I watched back the full game today. A very solid Mayo back line all year was very loose and were lucky not to concede 4 or 5 goals the save by Rob from O’Gara was superb. He probably should stay on his line for the first goal but Ger was also caught flat footed which isn’t normal for him.

    The lack of mobility in midfield was clear to see however Seamus O’Shea ran himself into the ground, Freeman was causing problems to their back line before taken off and Conroy made no impact.The overall fitness wasn’t as good as Dublins either maybe the warm weather took its toll?

    Andy Moran for leadership alone should have been kept on and probably would have rushed O’Connor on the late frees or take them himself. The fact this final ended in one point defeat supporters will forever say its one that was left behind or should have been won but for me the 1996 final remains the only final in 24 years that Mayo deserved to win.

  76. Evenin’ all,

    Another Dub here, just stumbled across the site. My compliments to all concerned, and it is frequented by a very knowledgeable football crowd. My own thoughts on the match yesterday…… I thought both sides were definitely below par. I would say its the least effective performance all year from Dublin. I don’t think Mayo played with their usual verve either. Maybe the occasion got to both sides. It is without question in my mind that they are the two best teams in the country, but, while obviously delighted with the result, I was a little bit let down with the quality of the game when you consider the talent on both teams. Finally lads, I wouldn’t rush to too hasty a judgement on you team and I hope this doesn’t sound patronising, but, you are nearly there, and I’d say when you get the monkey off your backs and win it, you’ll win a few of them.

  77. It’s great to see so many contributors holding off for now on their views of the match and instead thanking management and players for the sacrifices they are making in the quest to bring Sam to Mayo. Nobody feels the pain more and this expression of goodwill from the supporters will help them get over this a lot more quickly. It will be very much appreciated by them and could help to convince them to give it one more big push next year.

    Congratulations to the minors, no team tests you mentally and physically like Tyrone and this great win will already be helping these young players to develop the resolve and winning mentality that is essential to succeed at senior level.

    Amid all the gloating and bragging that goes on, it’s nice to receive a few messages from Dublin supporters who understand how we all feel at the moment so thank you.

  78. macdub, thanks and congrats on your win. If only Bernard Brogans dsd had stayed in Mayo!!!
    Both sides underperfomed but ye still handled the occasion better. Congrats.

  79. Firstly, a huge thank you to all who have given support, positive messages and ultimately commiserations to my Dad and I over the past few days. As life-long Mayo supporters, we’ve have our share of tough days, where you wake up and realise that it wasn’t just a bad dream… But yesterday was particularly tough. Dad and I barely spoke on the road back Wesht, our green and red flags still flying high… I had an unnerving lump in my throat all day and had to fight back the tears when I looked at the disappointment written across Dads’ face. The heartache was so much more severe this year as Horans’ team that we’ve supported thru the past 3 years, the team we watched improve thru the league and then shine in the championship campaign, the team we pinned our hopes on and who we knew had the talent to go all the way… this team unfortunately did not play to their potential on this, the most important of days. Although impressively dominant in the first half, we missed an embarrassing number of frees only to return at half time and watch out chances slip away. Dublin were the better team on the day, there’s no denying that, but there’s one thing that Mayo does better than losing All-Irelands and that is…
    Rebuilding our hope and hunger for the next season. It’s too early to start talking about Sam 2014 as it’s all still very raw and our hearts are heavy… However, the Mayo Minors showed such promise (with a few talented forwards!) in their victory that I an hopeful that the green and red presence will be around for the next few years, at least. I just pray that on the day we finally get to lift Sam McGuire, that I’m standing beside my father in awe of how all these years of ‘tough days after’ were all worth it, to win just once. Thanks to James Horan, his staff, and of course to all the Mayo team who made such sacrifices over the past few years and raised the hope and hearts of most of the country this year! Regardless of the result, I’m so proud to be a Mayo supporter and look forward to later in the winter when we’re strong enough to say once more, ‘Next year’….. Maigh Eo Abú!

  80. AIDEN KILCOYNE. Time for a return???

    He is a natural finisher. Something we are in desperate need of. We wouldn’t have won the 21 final in 2006 without him so he should be brought back home and given a gym programme ASAP in my opinion.

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