The road ahead for the minors

Win or lose yesterday, the minors were guaranteed a place in the All-Ireland quarter-finals but the lads’ victory over Galway at McHale Park not only secured the Kilcoyne Cup for the third summer on the trot, it also meant that we were guaranteed a last eight tie against the beaten finalists in Leinster – Offaly – and not that province’s surprising champions, Longford.  Is that why yesterday’s win brought all those flags out onto the balconies, I wonder?  (My thanks to The Brother for the photo, which he snapped the other day in the lovely city of Porto).

We’ll be fancied, I’d say, to progress to a third successive All-Ireland semi-final when we face off against the Faithful County at some stage over the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend.  As Ed McGreal points out in his match report in the Mayo News, however, we were far from dominant in the middle third yesterday despite the fact that both of Galway’s first-choice midfielders were absent due to injury. Until that barrage of goals went in, we were in no way comfortable yesterday against a side that Ed judged to be “average, at best” and so it sounds like we’ll need to shape up in a major way if we’re to be involved at the business end of things this time round.

We’ll certainly have earned our place in the final, should we make it that far because, assuming we get past the Offaly hurdle, we’ll then be up against either Tyrone or Kerry at the penultimate stage.  Kerry lost out to Cork in Munster this year but they’re still Kerry while Tyrone gave the reigning All-Ireland champions Armagh a right hiding in yesterday’s Ulster final.  Whichever of them it is, we’ll have our work cut out on August 22nd, should we make it that far.

On the other side of the draw Cork, Armagh, Longford and Galway will be battling it out and whoever emerges from that corner will be tough to beat too.  For now, though, Tony Duffy and his team have more than enough to think about as they start to plan about how best to deal with Offaly in the quarters.  For the minors, it’s very much one hurdle at a time from here on.

11 thoughts on “The road ahead for the minors

  1. WJ, you are starting to sound like Johnno! Talking up the opposition. Only joking. We should be confident, this is our third semi but really like the U21s before them since 2006, we gotta win a final , otherwise it becomes a case of deminishing returns and another layer of Mayo big day defeats. We dont need that. Minors are fickle and anything can happen. Despite us churning out U21s and minors to beat the band , arguably Roscommon got more out of a single batch (2006 minors) than we have out of three in a row minors and 4 in a row U21s in Connacht. Boiled down we got a single senior Connacht title each. Even Sligo got that and they have nothing at underage like us. Puzzling times ahead.

  2. Lads, it is ok expecting to get to a semi-final simply because we are playing Offaly but remember minor level is different. The county may not have a tradition but may have an exceptional group for all we know, and lost to an exceptional Longford team. It will be wait and see.

  3. will always have total respect for those offaly boys. Isnt it the biffos that have an all star in every position in both codes??? They certainly wont fear Mayo thats for sure.
    Anyway for all our recent success at underage we havent seen it reflected at senior level yet. We got a much better ( and quicker) return from our U21 team in 94/95 with many of them key men in 96/97 and for many years after.

  4. ted is that stat true? about offaly having an all-star in every position in both codes??

  5. lads if you havent read the kings of september then get it, liam currams mother wearing his all ireland hurling medal from 81 to the football final in 82 where he won the football medal to match it… offaly a proud GAA county..

    but our minors can beat them…

  6. I can wholeheartedly back RogerMilla on that one, Kings of September is one of the finest GAA books of the last 10 years or more.
    WJ Sorry for going off topic here but I see the Mayo News story about the GAA’s decision to disband the Masters football ( a grade they wouldn’t even provide medals for last years final) because, it was becoming “too competitive” Surely this is not the real reason, I’ve heard some other story about them folding the Masters grade into the 7 a-side GAA version of tag rugby, or ‘kiss-chase’ as it’s also known as.
    Why take away the meagre support they provide to a grade which provides one last hurrah for some old heroes and maybe a last chance to represent the county to some who never made it at senior level? Mean-spirited. The same organisation will make great media play of playing a cumann na mbunscoil inner city Dublin final in Croker cos it loves to play up the inclusive multicultural nature of the GAA.
    Quote of the year by John Evans to the effect that ‘Intelligent fools’ are running the organisation.
    The decision is shameful and wrong.

  7. Nothing official as yet, Esther, but I’ll post the details here when they’re published. Someone was saying on the site here earlier this week that a double-header with the Galway/Longford quarter-final is likely, with Hyde Park the obvious venue for it.

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