This long, long championship season


The flowers in the photo above are, I gather, known as Michaelmas daisies (Aster amellus), and they bloom every September at the bottom of our garden.  I always consider it a good year for us football-wise if we’re still in it when they start to flower but this year they’re already beginning to wane and our championship season has yet to end.

Yesterday was the Autumnal Equinox, with the earth’s northern hemisphere now tilting away from the sun’s rays as we head once more towards the cold and dark. Summer’s over – the sharp drop in temperatures over the past week confirms this – but we’re still in the championship.

This summer campaign started for us way back in May. This means that, when we play Dublin in the replay in eight days from now – the first day in October – our championship season will have a footprint that touches six months of the year. London in May, Galway in June, Fermanagh, Kildare and Westmeath in July, Tyrone and Tipperary in August, Dublin in September and again in October.

By the time we finish up tomorrow week – we will, won’t we? It can hardly go to a third match, can it? – we’ll have played nine matches in this year’s championship. This makes it not only by far the longest championship campaign we’ve ever been involved in, it also comes close to being one of the longest football championship runs of all time.

Only two other campaigns better our run this year in terms of the number of outings. The first was Meath in 1991, which is noteworthy as it occurred well before the back-door format was introduced. The second was Tyrone in 2005.

Meath’s epic 1991 campaign, which ended in defeat to Down in that year’s final, lasted ten games in an era when the straight knockout format still applied. It took the Royals eight – eight!– games to get out of Leinster that year, with four preliminary round matches needed before subduing Dublin and then two to get by Wicklow in the quarters. Nobody was complaining back then about the Leinster championship being a non-event.

In 2005 Tyrone also played ten games, drawing with Cavan and Armagh in Ulster, having to dip into the qualifiers following a controversial Ulster final replay loss to the Orchard County, then taking two games to beat Dublin at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage. Unlike Meath, the Red Hands’ long run was well worth it, as they lifted Sam at the finish.

By contrast, the back-door triumphs recorded by Galway (2001) and Kerry (2008) were completed in eight games. Cork went one better in 2010, managing to annex Sam by the qualifier route in just seven outings.

To further underline just how long this campaign has been for us, our run to the 2012 All-Ireland final involved just five games (including the decider itself). In the 2013 championship we played a total of six times.

As far as I can see, seven is the most matches we’ve ever had to play in the championship before now. This occurred in both 2004 and 2006 and in neither year did it involve a trip through the qualifiers. Instead, both campaigns comprised three games in Connacht and then four thereafter, with the semi-final having to be replayed in 2004 and the quarter two years later.

What really marks this one out for us is how late it’s finishing up. The 2000 replay was, though, even later as it didn’t take place until 7th October that year. Our 1996 rematch with Meath, by contrast, was played on 29th September, due to the fact that the drawn game was played on 15th September.

This year won’t, though, be the first time that we’ve played a championship game so late in the year. One hundred years ago, the county made its first ever All-Ireland final appearance and in that prophetic year the decider wasn’t played until 17th December, with the Connacht final not being contested until the start of October that year. 3,000 souls were huddled into Croke Park on All-Ireland final day two weeks before Christmas 1916 to see Wexford complete back-to-back championship title wins, as they got the better of us on a scoreline of 3-4 to 1-2.

A century on, we’ll be looking for a happier ending to this long, long championship campaign. It’s been a hell of a ride thus far, now all we need is for it to finish on the highest of highs for us.

PS: I checked lots of those historical points outlined above on Wikipedia. I know many people turn up their noses at it but I think it’s a wonderful resource and is a hell of a lot more accurate than people give it credit for. Today’s the day they’re making their annual appeal for donations. You could do a lot worse than to slip them a few quid.

Have you got your replay ticket sorted yet? If not, don’t forget that there are ten tickets up for grabs in Monday night’s draw for the Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto. Play the Lotto here.    

116 thoughts on “This long, long championship season

  1. WJ – As far as you are aware would another replay be held the following weekend if applicable? (I’m on holidays so I hope not).

    One benefit of a replay would be that if we win it would substantiate our claim to be the best team in Ireland as we’d have beaten them over two games.

    I was waiting for a media pundit to drag out a classic cliché from the match last week …..and Eoin Liston provided it yesterday i.e. that the rain impacted Dublin last weekend and we must hope it rains cats and dogs again next week. Honestly!

    Biggest issue now with extended campaign is impact on Mayo club championship….we may not have a representative in the Connacht club campaign. That would be unforgiveable considering Castlebar’s potential in the all-Ireland series. The whole structure needs to be sorted asap.

  2. I’ve no idea, I’m afraid, Spotlight – I guess it would be but there’ll be extra-time in tomorrow week’s replay if that’s needed. Alan Brogan had a similar argument to the Bomber’s, I think, about the conditions and how the Dubs couldn’t cope with playing in Croker in the wet, despite the fact that they play there almost all the time, in all kinds of weather!

  3. Thank you again Willie Joe,for this wonderful site,without it I would be completely lost,I wonder how many hits will be after Saturday,it will be all positive,so just over one week until Sam comes to Mayo,in Stephen we trust, up Mayo

  4. Thanks WJ – I appreciate the response.

    I guess in relation to the other issue until we actually beat them we’ll never get the respect/credibility we deserve. I think of how Tyrone ten years ago got begrudging respect from Kerry but only because they actually beat them.

  5. I like how they use wet conditions as an excuse even though they won last year’s All Ireland final in extremely wet conditions.

  6. Dubs are talking of the ‘wet conditions’ as if they were something freakish. There was no wind which should have helped both teams a lot. And who is to say that conditions won’t be worse the next day? As you point out Willie Joe, the season has turned and if I may reverse the song, Winter is Icumen in.

  7. Good man WJ. My initial reaction was one of regret at the finial whistle. I was sitting next 2 a sound Dub and we both agreed with 10 to go it was ours to go and win.. soft turnovers and poor kickouts cost us dearly in that period but by God did we show cajones to pull it back. It will take a performance of intensity and composure in equal measure. I think it will be our day on Oct 1st.

  8. January 3rd McHale Park at 2.00 myself, the boss and the two lippy teenagers shout out ‘up mayo’. God knows how many matches later including U21s, minor league and minor championships I find myself in section 302 the other 3 are in various seats in the Davin. My neighbour, his wife and 2 kids whose journey commenced on September 18 at 9 in the morning sit within touching distance of our esteemed leader in the Hogan Stand. WTF is going on. Surely loyal Cairde Maigh Eo and club volunteers should be given some priority. October 1st I am in 301. First and last whinge over.

  9. Sinabhuil,

    I’ll take your 3rd of January and trump it with my 2nd of January with the U21s. I am still searching for any sort of ticket and will keep searching. I’ve said this before we’re all in this together fair and foul weather supporters.

  10. Galway Exile, I think the feeling of regret, even though we were the ones chasing he game from the 20th min on right up until the 77th, is based on our failure to win a final in decades…the want and hunger to win and not doing so, regardless of the fact that we were 3 points down in the 68/9th minute, was not satisfied and as such we’ve to go thru it all over again. When you actually go and look at the game again and the stats we were given a lifeline by that final play.

    The regret too is that we expect Dublin to be much better the next day but so must we. It’s still in our hands…we can play much better too. We knew coming into last week that we needed a huge performance. In short, we didn’t get it. We must produce the goods the next day, it doesn’t matter if Dublin do or not.

  11. If I was a member of the Mayo team I would be amused at the notion that Mayo need a wet day to beat Dublin.

  12. When we finish on Staurday week we will have played more games in 1 championship season that the Rossies have in 3 🙂

  13. Look the general narrative out there is held by the majority i.e. Dublin won’t play as bad again and Mayo could have missed their chance. That matters not a jot because history will be written by the victors in the end, if its the Dubs that view will be held for ever more, if its Mayo no one will ever have been in doubt they could do on the second day…. a bit like everyone saw the property crash coming in Ireland.

    I’m on the fence i have to say myself. I am slightly less pessimistic for Mayo’s chances than i was last Saturday because I think Dublin probably fear them a bit more now and with good reason. Mayos refusal to lie down is a bit like Keanu Reeves with agent Smith in the Matrix…

    “You must know it by now. You can’t win. It’s pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?”

    Dublin’s frustration must begin to feel a little like Agent Smiths at this stage.

    I would still find it very hard to part with my money for Mayo at the bookies though.

    …but looking forward to it.

  14. btw…it took Mrs Anderson 2 further installs to finally beat Agent Smith….

    …whats the betting on another draw!

  15. Looking at odds I would say around 1 in 32 chance a second replay.
    1 in 8 70 min multiplied by 1 in 4 extra time.

  16. I met a neighbour of mine this morning and he told me dublin will improve and we won’t. I told him for a man that’s goes to mass every Sunday it amazes me u have so little faith. It’s level playing field next Saturday. Start again. I do feel we have weak link in midfield where mobility is concerned. But management have the job of sorting these things out. Both teams will have learned from last Sunday. I was thinking Diarmuid o connor to midfield and stick him on Fenton. What do ye think ?

  17. I had thought on Diarmuid at midfield but Fenton is a genuine 6’4″ and is athletic with long arms. So he has a major reach advantage on Diarmuid. He’s naturally bigger.

  18. Well Toughnup if your neighbour is correct then Mayo probably won’t deserve to win because despite what some may think, last Sunday’s performance, while ok, isn’t good enough. Improvement is a must.

  19. That’s true Pebbles about us and the Rossies but the sad reality is if we don’t go and win the f**king thing, the record books will show that neither county won the Big one and no one will care about the minor details. We’ll just be talking about more hard luck stories and creating a few new Finnertys for the talk shows of the future.

    Time to kick ass, bury the Dubs and take Sam west.

  20. Thats the spiritAll the way,they will kick ass I have been positive all year,and predicted a six point win in the first match,I have seen nothing to change my mind,we have the best manager,and felt we had the best panel,I still think so

  21. Saturday week to be dry and cool…will suit Dublin more unfortunately….

    Dublin won’t leave it behind next time…..

  22. Mayoman who cares about weather Dublin have to be beat sometime. Mayo have to improve. Maybe bring in Conor loft us and maybe mix things up a bit. Or put cillian out on the 40. What have we got to lose.

  23. Sinabhuil, , I think season ticket holders have reason to complain, who keep getting put into corners. Now someone is almost certain to say. ‘your lucky to have a ticket,’ even though you have a season ticket and have attended over 60% of match’s, which in my case (Croke Park) you can only miss out on one match, They. take the money out of your account regardless. Of course Croke Park don’t guarantee that your ticket will scan, and it’s your responsibility to check that it did for league matches! And no responsibility of those who you pay your money to…… Such is life, I think post All Ireland replay it’s something that needs addressing. The problem is with the GAA itself, it’s administration. The GAA (and I am a member of the GAA) likes to brand itself as a sporting movement of the people, since it’s foundation in 1884.. . However come the big. days, the little people are put back into their place, which is underneath the ‘Privileged ‘ who apparently must be pandered to. I wrote about this last June, when the shambles the seating arrangements for the Galway match were plain to be seen. I was particularly angered to see a woman being pressurised by a steward to give up her centrally located seat for, Eamon O’ Cuiv TD. 5.minutes before throw in. Of course the poor woman has nowhere else to go but into the corner and get drenched wet, such was the weather…. The Mayo county board decided to send two tickets to Senator Michelle Mulhearne for the All Ireland final, Michelle seems to have a sense of entitlement to two tickets. Mary Wilson exposed it on RTE that Michelle is as far from a loyal Mayo fan. as is possible to get … Many loyal Dublin and Mayo fans failed to get a ticket for last Sundays All Ireland final. The ‘Privileged’ of Ireland do very little for Ireland, and do very little for the GAA,. But they do plenty for the ‘Privileged’ of Ireland. Last Sunday’s All Ireland final, had plenty to remind us, the great unwashed of our place in the queue!. The ‘Privileged’ administration of the GAA, facilitate all this rubbish that goes on before the biggest sporting day in Ireland.. The spectators are expected to stand for the ‘arrival of the Arch Bishop, the arrival of the Taoiseach (with appropriate musical fanfare, a Bertie Ahearn idea, ) the Arrival of the President.. (again with appropriate musical fanfare)… Sure a visiting Alien would think that we have more in common with a Monarchy than a Republic with all this’ Pomp and Ceremony'”.. Is it the Vatican, or Buckingham Palace we are at? …. ‘I think it’s time to ask hard questions… A volunteer organisation like the GAA owes nothing to the’ Privileged ‘of Ireland, but it owes it’s very’ Existence ‘to the ordinary people of Ireland, and it’s diaspora… The’ Privileged Politicians ‘, TDs County Councillors ‘of Ireland get free tickets to all inter county GAA fixtures, (this being the case, those of us who actually pay for our tickets, pay, . for the privileged tickets, and.better seats, of these politicians) They also have right to buy tickets for the All Ireland final… Elitism worthy of a Monarchy, I would suggest.

  24. I called Croke Park today to inquire about the what if’s?
    So, according to Croke Park, if the match is tied at full time, they will play two 15 minute periods of extra time. If the match is still tied after extra time, the match wil go to asnother replay, likely to be held on Saturday 8th of October, throw in @ 5 PM.

    We better win next week or I’ll be broke and the wife will kill me!

  25. We have long range weather forecasters here that would be the envy of Met Éireann. The good weather will allow the Corinthians from the capital overcome the savage hordes from beyond the pale. Lets keep the narrative going. It was because of the weather, Kerry hangover, ball, pitch, culchies in the Hill, that stopped the greatest team of all time from winning.
    Anything but look at the real reason…….

  26. Just thinking. How come Connolly’s Jersey tears so easily. Would it have been given a touch of a razor blade in places before throw in . I have noticed that apart from Mayo Games Dublin Jerseys seem to tear very easily. Something for our management team to take into account I think. When a Ref sees a tussle and one of the players is torn Well?

  27. That list line should readWhen a Ref sees a tussle and one of the players jersey’s is torn Well?

  28. Willie Joe I am serious about this Jersey Issue. Hope you can tip off our Management Team. No harm if some of our Players Jerseys ripped easily both backs and fowards

  29. Leantimes and Liam , 2 great posts. One saying it as it is, the other saying it as the Dubs believe it is…….but like we all know that it isn’t.

  30. Well Cait, al I can give is my opinion..that’s all. On dry days Dublin usually destroy teams. Mayo played really well last Sunday..Dubs didn’t…that is my I feel Dublin will beat us..and probably well on Saturday week. I am not being anti-patriotic ….just realistic….
    Muigheo abu…

  31. Mayonaze I hear ya. I certainly not getting carried away. As I said it’s level playing field again. In every replay improvement is needed as both teams were not good enough to win. That’s about it. Dublin are very good at sneaking in behind the half back line and Fenton done it last year as well setting up brogan for a goal in replay. Management I’m sure done homework on him so it’s up to players to do their job. It’s not necessarily bulk u need in midfield. It’s mobility. That’s why i thought Diarmuid would be good option as his tracking is second to none. He could bring Fenton on a bit of a tour as well though he can cover some ground also. Dublin midfielders will do more damage to us than connolly. This area needs addressing

  32. Hi Willey Joe. Please could you contact me regarding what I believe to be a very salient point that has come up over the last hour or so. I have tried to email you at the contact email address but it<s not recognised.
    Many thanks JJ

  33. Mayoman…do you really think Mayo played well last week? I don’t. I think we played average. We made too many basic errors(rain or not), we allowed Dublin create 2/3 goal opportunities in first half. We only scored 5 points in 1st half. We created no real goal opportunity. We lost possession 55/45%. Dubln had more shots. Our best performance this year was in the quarter final and that was flawed too.

    Now, Dublin didn’t play all that well either, but Fenton had a stormer, small was man of the match..and their defence were never really under pressure. Yes, they play better on dry sod, but so do we!

  34. I had no bet on last week and will have none on either on 01 October but I stil expect Dublin to win the replay just like Kerry did in 2014 and Dublin in 2013. This Dublin team in Croke park, on a dry day, Saturday evening, having played poorly last week will be a totally different prospect I am afraid….. Dublin by 5 points unfortunately

  35. Mayoman..This mayo team on a Saturday evening with a dry day having played under par also with thousands of Mayo fans urging them on..anything can happen..

  36. You might be right and your opinion is in line with most pundits, bookies etc and places us back to where we were before 3:30 last Sunday but I think the argument or opinion (and I’m not singling you out on this) that Mayo players like Higgins, Boyle, Keegan, AOS, Parsons, the O’C’s, Andy require a wet surface to stand any chance against Dublin to be really insulting.

    Many of our lads failed to play to their potential in the rain.

    This weather argument is weak and flawed.

  37. If dublin are to beat us they will have to improve on any of their last 3 games. Their good but not as good as other years. That’s expected. Unforced errors are a killer and need to be minimised.

  38. I think this Mayo team will break all the moulds this time. Think they won’t settle for 2nd best. Need to develop our game to keep the same momentum when we draw level or go in front as we do when we fall behind.

    Funny, leaving croke park I booked my double room for Saturday for a fraction of what they’re being quoted for now – absolute rip off!!

  39. Did anyone hear Eugene McGee on the last word? His comment about “Mayo people need to pray in knock for rain to have a chance” was unbelievable. McGee seems to have a real bias against mayo for some reason, this is not the first time he has put the boot in.

  40. Willie Joe,.. Sure this Blog is far better than ‘Joe Duffy’ daily moan in!. Seriously tough I’m strictly sticking to the ‘Known’ facts!.

  41. You feel for us to beat the Dubs we just need to move the ball a bit quicker and ensure we get the ball to the man in the best position, when going forward. A perfect example of this is the point we kicked at the end. We moved the ball at a good pace, gave it to Cillian and he popped it over the bar. More of that please!

    While if you think back to the chance that Paddy Durcan had early in the game. Aidan O’Shea just held on for a few seconds to long, before passing to Paddy. Then Paddy had two men in better positions inside him, Cillian and Andy Moran but he went for his own shot that was blocked by Cooper.

    So in one example you had Aidan moving the ball quickly to the best placed man resulting in a score. Then you had Aidan and Paddy not moving the ball quickly enough to our main shooter in the best position. I’m sure our management team will be working on improving this for the replay.

  42. I have a snakey feelin we missed the boat. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope I am. Just a bad feeling about the replay. Anyway let’s give it our best.

  43. Personally I think the video analysis showing the runners in behind and that set play to free up Rock in behind is Dublins hand shown. It caused the two goals there wont be a repeat.
    I see us establishing a better attacking platform this time. The extra two weeks. Lads a bit calmer now. I think we are the fresher squad.

  44. I said it’s. ‘Much Better’ than. Joe Duffy! I should have said ‘It’s on a different planet altogether! And long.may it stay that way!

  45. I agree there HSE. Unless it’s a down the middle closer in shot the likes of AOS, SOS, Parsons, Higgins should be recycling possession to our sharp shooters. The goal every time we have possession should be to end it with a good attempt at scoring. Requires patience, support and a quickness to find the open man.

  46. Speaking of that Paddy Durcan effort in the first half, I though it looked like johnny copper did a foot block on it…which I think is a foul…can someone with more knowledge of the rules maybe clarify?

  47. I know what u mean Clonee Man…it’s a sickening feeling and the vast majority of Mayo fans have probably felt it at some point since last Sunday but you know what, it’s because we aren’t used to winning finals and we are underdogs and because we haven’t beaten Dublin in a few years and because they have 3 All Ireland’s in 5 years and heaps of league titles and are the best Dublin team since sliced bread. Throw in the media telling drip feeding you that Mayo aren’t Dublin or Kerry’s equals over the past few years and it’s entirely natural to have some doubt. It’s almost a form of self-defence. It’s very much linked and goes hand and hand with the theory that until this Mayo team win an All Ireland they’ve everything to prove. Whereas Dublin don’t. Kerry don’t.

    If Mayo won an all Irl in the pad few years we would all be far more bullish about our prospects in the replay.

    Fortunately I believe our players are a different batch to teams gone by. I believe they have what it takes to be champions. They didn’t play well enough last week to clinch it. We are all waiting for the seasons big performance. Saturday week is time to see it and if the lads produce it then we have every chance of winning. Why? Because we are good enough.

  48. Clone man, mayonaze, coming out of Croke park I was thoroughly convinced we would seal the deal the next day out and I still do. I 100percent believe its Dublin that missed the boat. Contrary to every pundit Dublin will not improve that much, Mayo have way more scope for improvement and I expect that to happen.

  49. Losing is not an option. That only leaves the draw or the win.

    I saw some of our own writing on twitter on Sunday morning “MAYO HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE”.

    What a load of shite that is. Nothing to lose (except for just an owl All Ireland final). Nothing important like. With that attitude you will win nothing. Thank Christ our players dont see it that way.

    Some people seem to be already accepting and expecting defeat in the replay. Get a grip or give your ticket to somebody else who is going to enter that stadium with a winning mentality. We will not walk out of there a beaten force. Just think of Dublin Des and Whelan later that evening. Ah Christ no.

  50. Stop feeding the trolls folks, just cause the usename has Mayo in it don’t be fooled.
    We had four All Ireland debutantes last Sunday, with Tom Parsons coming back from injury, are you telling me they will not improve. I heard McGee on the radio and I nearly broke the steering wheel with rage. However, we are what we are till we change what we are.
    Next time you rewatch the game, pause the moment Boyler gets the yellow card and the look he gives McMenaman, it would freeze a lake of lava. You cannot replacte the hunger these lads possess and when a person is put under pressure, real pressure, their true character emerges.
    Who do you think liked what they saw in the dying minutes of last Sunday’s game?

  51. Lads and ladies, don’t listen to the last word, don’t listen to radio 1, don’t listens to mouthy pundits from inside and outside of the county because none of these will be lacing up their boots Saturday week. Don’t read the Jimmy mcgunness or Joe brolly, don’t read brehany, Liston or McGee these men will not be giving out lads instructions and advice over the next week or so, don’t read comments on the42, don’t read reservoir dubs, don’t engage your neighbour, work colleague or postman who has seen one match this year and tells you that Mayo have missed their chance. Don’t listen to the so called Mayo supporter who tells you Dublin by 5 or who shouts abuse at our players from the stands, these guys do not have the good of Mayo gaa at their hearts.

    Our lads will not be beaten next week, they will just not stay down and in the end it will be the dubs that submit.

  52. We will win next week. Before last Sunday is the first time I’ve gone into a final expecting to win. I was not surprised by our performance only the two own goals and even still I did not get flustered or downheartened and still thought we would win. I was so angry to have drawn. I had to sit for 10-15 mins to cool down. I was ripping. Better than being devastated I suppose. I left croke park in no doubt that we would finish the job. Some of what I’ve read in the past few days has made me waver in my belief a bit but deep down I know this time our lads are not settling for 2nd best. I’ve forgotten about my chant!! Felt the supporters were so amazing last week and so behind the team that it doesn’t matter what we shout just as long as we make inspiring noise!! However, I need to get myself riled up again. I really felt like I was going to war last Sunday. I need to get like that again. I’m too calm now. I hope the players don’t need to rise to the occasion!

  53. More propaganda from Dublin’s Ciaran Whelan this time:

    With weeks of preparation and every level of detail covered, Mayo brought an edge to Croke Park that we had not seen before. The finger prints of Tony McEntee were all over it. They had a steeliness that you would have associated with the Armagh team of 2002 or the Tyrone team that emerged in 2003. They came to bully Dublin. They had already bullied Tyrone.

    Did Dublin underestimate the challenge? Possibly.

    Within the Dublin camp, there will be some soul- searching this week. Searching for honesty. Trying to put a finger on why their performance level dropped. Last Sunday will feel like a loss to the Dublin players, which can be good thing when honestly dissecting a game as a team.

    So now we’re bullies? Before we were too soft. It looks like the Dubs are really trying to get their message out there for the officials. It would be great to see us just come out and beat them, even on a dry day! Roll on the game.

  54. Disappointing to see some Mayo fans despondent about the possible outcome next weekend. I think we can do it the next day. I am still looking for a ticket for it. It was only yesterday that people knew what I was saying I was that hoarse. Give me your ticket and I will make good use of it. And then there are others on about 309 and 301 and 308. Are ye trying to rise the rest of us!!!.
    We don’t need to do much different than we did the last day. Tear into them from the off, tackle like demons when we don’t have the ball, go a few points up. Don’t concede the needless goals and press on. I don’t think the Dubs will have the stomach for it. Put in Aidan on the edge of the square with 15 mins to go and bring on Conor Loftus for Jason. I really do think that the lads know now they can win it. Hon Mayo

  55. Liam, im not sure what enraged me more about McGees comments, the one about praying for rain or the sheer joy he seemed to get from saying the long range forecast calls for a dry day. Blackcard McGee is a complete idiot has been!

  56. I believe we can not and will not wilt tomorrow week. I hope our fans in the stands and on the hill bring the same manic roaring and shouting next week. Just watched GAA show on TG4 and they said Dublin have most to improve on. I watched the game for a third time this evening and I would class our performance as average. Our intensity and spirit was there but ball handling and positioning at times most notably for the own goals was suspect.

    I believe Dublin will improve but we will too and I think we are in for a close encounter and God dam it we will fucking get over the line by he’ll or high water. The Mayo team won’t be giving up and I’m not giving up on them either.

  57. Rain didn’t do us much good against Galway. Very insulting to the Mayo team to suggest the only reason we were able to put it up to Dublin was that it was a wet day. That BS implies that Dublin are way better footballers which they’re not

  58. It is impossible to predict how the replay will unfold..could we ever have imagined conceding 2 own goals to Dublin and get a draw in the last minutes of the game..hardly..Can completely understand the view that we may not get over the line next time out.people are scarred, like it or not..that team isn’t tho and if they can face their demons then we should be able to also..Have made a conscious decision to read absolutely nothing except this blog for the next 7 days..the rest is all just b s..

  59. I hear you NiallMc1983. No matter how much you hit these heroes from Mayo they keep getting up. Year in year out, week in and week out, day in and day out. The motto is ‘ the war isn’t over till We win’. And that is the mind set of these men from Mayo. It is the mindset they insist on. It is the mindset Mayo needs. It is the mindset that will carry us to victory. So no talk of defeat. No talk of missing the boat. We will tell our grandchildren of the Mayo men of 2016 and how we broke thro, to bring Sam home to Mayo

  60. There are so many ways one can analyse and break this replay down looking at the varying strengths and slight weaknesses in each squad and the potential impacts of both management teams. But I feel very confident of one thing, that last Sunday will definitely have provided Mayo with a much needed psychological advantage when it comes to the latter stages of the game. If Mayo are level at the 60 minute mark, and there is no reason why it should be otherwise, then I feel that advantage will certainly kick in and see them across the line.

  61. Mayo are an all season team. Some of their best football has been played in dry calm weather conditions.

  62. Where are the tickets going for the replay. Mayo clubs only getting about 10% more tickets. Counties outside Mayo seem to be getting to get 1/3rd less tickets. So where are all the tickets from the Minors and reduced allocations to other Counties going. Could we see that hill swelled with Dubs next Saturday due to the stink they kicked up about last Sunday. In the interest of Croke Park to keep Dubs happy!

  63. The big difference between this replay and the last two is that our lads have two weeks to recover and prepare as opposed to 6 days in the previous two, plus there must have been unrest in the Mayo camp last year with the whole Connelly/Holmes craic. This time around it seems that there’s real unity between the squad and management.

  64. Yes Mayo will win folks, we took the fight out of Dublin and there supporters, I never doubted
    this team from start to finish. Lady luck just wasn’t there last Sunday. If we hold them scoreless for 30 min plus again they will panic big time .
    These Mayo men are fucking hungry,you can see it in there eyes,us supporters are fucking hungry too.
    So if you get a ticket and go,

    don’t leave croke park with a voice,
    Don’t be embarrassed to shout you head off f the person beside ya.
    Trust me the lads will appreciate it .
    These men will go down as legends.
    And the supporters won’t be far behind.
    Mayo by 4.Hon Mayo.Mayo Mayo.

  65. I know it’s a different code but Nicky English made the point earlier this summer in his IT column that wet weather often better suits more skilful players. He suggested the team that has skilful players will manage a slippery ball and will adapt better to difficult conditions.

  66. It surprises me that all the pundits seem to be treating last Sunday as a rogue event from left field. On the contrary we beat them in 2012, lost by a point in 2013 drew with them in 2015 and again this year. This is a trend not a surprise

  67. Folk
    wet or dry, we have to play better, whether that leads to a point win or a massacree, I don’t know or care. The only logical attitute is :
    We must play better.
    the players know that, they will deliver, this is the team
    MAYO RELOADED, love it richardmgd

  68. Agree with everybody you meet that we’ve blown our chance, that the weather hindered the Dubs, that the Dubs can’t be as bad again, that Mayo played way above themselves, that fairy tales can’t happen and lightening never strikes twice, that we gotta outa Jail the last day,,that we’re all saying novenas for rain and hurricanes and over in Knock and running up and down Croagh Patrick day and night and checking the death notices everyday to see if the last guys from 51 have passed away !

    Let it all build up inside of us like a slow pressure cooker, take every insult personally but say nothing, feel disrespected, know we have a score to settle, feed the hurt. Let us slip into Croker like meek, downtrodden, beaten people from the bog and then let us take the roof off the f**king place, tear them to shreds, rip their f**king hearts out and bury the f**kers under the Hill and head west with our heroes and Sam.

    Hon Mayo, payback time !!

  69. First of all,,,apologies to Jason Doc Well done Jason,,….and good luck in the replay.
    You’re a vital cog in Machine Mayo.
    Silly me, thought you were out of your depth .Good man keep it going

  70. Watched the game again there for the fourth time and I’m none the wiser. Everything that’s been said here and elsewhere, within reason and excepting hyperbole, is more or less true. It’s all a muddle!!!
    Still, Mayo gained more from that experience than Dublin maybe. The Dubs are there for the taking and the impression of them being unbeatable has been largely presented to us by the meja…and Mayo and Co are having none of it.
    Mayo for Sam.

  71. Read a lot of stuff tonight and Mayonaze sums it up best for me along with this quote that is doing the rounds.. we are what we are, until we change what we are.. so let’s change what we are and win this. I think Rochford will learn the most.. it’s just a simple case of whether this team can implement what he wants done.. I think they will, because whatever the odds on Dublin playing as bad again the odds on us getting such a ball breaking double own goal scoring start is off the richter scale alltogether. It so simple.. everything is stacked in our favour because once again no one believes we can win this.. not a scooby do of a chance.. But you know the players themselves will have it now.. they will communicate as much.. “you know what guys I have the measure of this fella, he has t anything else” and talk like that is infectious.. belief.. play it out.. Lets take it to the edge the next day and then some when we go over the precipice.. Believe

  72. First time poster, long time reader,. Firstly thanks for this blog willie joe, don’t know what I’d be doing without it. ‘All the way’ love your post, that’s exactly how I feel, and how I think we should all approach the replay. I felt it before the first day and still feel it now, our lads just won’t be beaten.. Actually think Dublin peaked last year and aren’t the same force they were.

  73. What’s Gone before is Gone

    Next Saturday at 5pm is the only gig in town.
    The weather is the same for both teams so forget about that argument.

    If it’s worth anything at all I think that game last Sunday will have brought Mayo on.
    Yes they made plenty of mistakes & they conceded 2 bizarre goals.
    But Mayo were not blitzed by Dublin in the last 15 minutes like Dublin tend to do all year to other teams.
    They are well in with a shout to win the replay.
    The guys just need to concentrate a bit more when moving the ball up field.
    The intensity in the tackle was spot on the last day.
    Aidan o Shea did a lot of hard work the last day with half of Dublin around him & I think he received a lot of harsh criticism over all.
    If I would change one thing – mix it up a bit more by switching Aidan from half forward to full forward more.
    If he’s a bit deeper at times at half forward he can be a fulcrum to set up the play a bit further out for the guys inside. Will need to off load the ball quicker though as sometimes he can hold onto it to long & get turned over.
    I think this would be a better tactic than just leaving him inside at full forward most of the time last week.

    Let supporters not be saying we’ve blown our chance.
    It’s a new game a new day.
    Remember 5 down at half time.
    I thought we were gone at half time.
    Second half we took it to Dublin.
    We didn’t give in at all or panic
    We just need to concentrate that bit more when on the ball & take an extra second before laying off the pass.

    I’m still going to believe we can do it next Saturday

  74. My iphone weather app is saying that it will be raining next Saturday…it also predicted rain for last Sunday a week from the day, so make of that what you will. Personally, I think we’ll beat them no matter what next Saturday. After all is said and done, Dublin f****d that game away. Connolly only had to play keep ball for less than a minute. That surely will be playing on their minds, it reminds me of Kerry v us in the drawn game, all we had to do was lump Barry back on Donnaghy and we would have held out..we did’nt and Kerry snatched a draw and we all know how the replay went.

    Im expecting our boys to be even more manic, more driven, more ruthless, as Rochford will be drilling into them how lucky they are to have another go at Sam, after us playing poorly..(note seamies give aways and the spurrned goal chances) we still have another crack at them.

    We need to get a couple of points infront after the first 10mins, then take the sting outta the game, no conceding stupid goals, just fake an injury and eat up a few mins, dont let them get into any sort of rythm. If we sneak a goal brilliant, but we need to be a couple of points up at halftime. Then, we need to go 3 clear on the resumption and start killing the game, foul them constantly outside the scoring zone, hopefully trade point for point, maintaining a 3 point lead. Then keep disrupting their play, start a fight a big melee, keep the clock ticking. Hope we are 3 up entering 65mins, then close it out as best we can.

    I’ve put my money where my mouth is and put a 100 on us at 5/2 on betfair. We will be All Ireland champions at 7.30pm on the 1st of October, I’ve seen enough to be convinced… D’jango will be unchained. One more game people.

  75. If Aiden is full forward , think he should stand in the dublin goal ( preferably on cluxtons toes ) and make his runs from there therefore receiving the ball closer to goal and drawing sweeper back and leaving greater space for the likes of Donie and durkan to run into .

  76. Folks earlier comment on the need for us to roar is key….the 16th man theory is spot on….management and players are doing everything they can to ensure we get the result…we HAVE to do the same…that is within our control….atmosphere last Sunday was spine tingling…need it again….forget all the commentary by experts and BELIEVE
    …we are MAYO we will win by two after another gritty game even in dry weather mayo abu

  77. Anyone know what’s happening with the 2,500 juvenile tickets for 10 euros each that Mayo have been allocated?? It’s a huge number of tickets and no sign of them been distributed yet to clubs….

  78. Every single ticket we get for the Hill dilutes them that bit more. By the looks of things we have received the same Hill allocation. They could not generate the noise they are used to there and that is so vital for us. Because of it, neither goal made me want to et swallowed up by the ground underneath me!! Get into the Hill and don’t dare swap your ticket!

  79. Well said mark. Its simply the truth, i was on the hill and it was brilliant apart from my flag stick been taken off me and there are people who get onto hill by jumping turnstile believe it or not its the truth. This is why the walkways are full id say. Some dubs have a pass for the handball social club and can get down past gardai with that pass and proceed to just push in by doubling up.

  80. To the doubters I would say suspend your doubt. When the fella beside me kept on about AOS in the first half I said believe in him he will come good, when he did it again I said we need to keep positive, didn’t hear much after that but no criticism left his mouth.
    All through the 2nd half I never stopped believing. When we went 2 behind I felt we’d fight back and we did. When we went 3 down I was still expecting us to fight like dogs and we did and when they announced 7 minutes and us still 2 down I said we have a real chance. This is high altitude everest stuff and we made it to the summit. Back down to a lower camp but still on the mountain and make it to the top at the 2nd great push. Keegan said in interview after the game all the team are thinking about us coming back to win it. For our part we need to be the 16th woman man and child.

  81. Hills are red and green far away lol great to know we will have lots of colour in the hill next sat. Done my heart good to see it last Sunday. Hill is intimidating full of blue. Nice to see a red and green invasion. Alan Hanson always said when ur outnumbered away from home u must silence the crowd and boy did we do that last week. More of the same. I feel we need more of our running game the next day to win. If dry day the long kick passing should work better. I’m convinced Diarmuid should watch Fenton. He plays fuck going forward. The platform for their attack. He is well able for him.

  82. Hey toughnup agree with you re Fenton, if we don’t put the shackles on him he will do major damage. In normal circumstances I would agree re Diarmuid but he doesn’t seem quite right, not functioning at 100%. Need big improvement from SOS but at least he gets to rectify that within two weeks.

  83. Fenton is the one thing that has me really worried. I would of said let Diarmuid track him but hes just not himself.

  84. Lessons are for learning. Vaughan so to stick with him. He has the mobility. I’d like to see Diarmuid shooting for scores next day .

  85. Constantly saying he’s doing nothing. I lost my temper with him in the second half and pointed to the hill and told him to join them lads in blue if he can’t support his team properly.

    Our support was amazing the last day, we never went quiet and I truest believe it made a difference.

  86. NiallMc1983 says:
    September 24, 2016 at 12:16 pm
    @shufflydeck, there was a Mayo man beside me who abused Aiden oshea from the start.

    Were you over in the cusack stand part of the dineen Hill part by any chance? There was a man in his 50s and he was an absolute disgrace the abuse he was dishing out!

  87. Fenton appears to be growing taller, broader and faster by the day. He is a lovely footballer, but can anyone tell me the amount of goal chances Dublin had after the first 20 minutes?
    What would everyone be saying if WE hadn’t scored for 30 minutes in the first half?
    What would people be saying if WE hadn’t scored for the opening 15 minutes of the second half, the famed third quarter when usually finish off teams.
    What would people be saying if the supposed fittest team to ever play the game were dead on their feet in the last 10 minutes?
    What would people say if the most supposedly in-depth bench in the country made little or no impact?
    What would people be saying if our supposed “process” saw a player rip the ball from his team mates hands and kick away a certain All Ireland title?

  88. Yeah, flag sticks into the hill is a must. Also what would look great is a huge green and red flag on the hill where Mayo are congregated. I mean a massive thing. A few foot soldiers to help you unfurl it and get it raised.

  89. This is war lads, a giant flag in the hill would be amazing. My ticket is the very back row of the cusack in front of the disabled section. I was told last week not too stand up because I’m blocking the view of people who can’t stand up which in fair enough. So I won’t have a flag with me for the same reason but I encourage everyone else to bring theirs.

  90. Would Conor O’She not be an option to put on Fenton at the start, he could be replaced by Seamie .Conor has the height and legs for Fenton and showed well in the games he came on in this year’s championship.
    Maigh Eo abu

  91. Niall why don’t u swap your ticket for a hill ticket…then u can bring a flag. I had a lower hogan ticket last week which was 1 row behind the Mayo team and u swapped it for a Hill16. People thought I was crazy…but I wanted to bring my flag (big Bertha) to the hill… Only for a stupid new gaa “rule” banning flag sticks(which clearly wasn’t fully enforced).

    I don’t have a ticket yet but regardless I’ll be on hill16 and have a plan for my flag. Big Bertha will fly next time. She was made especially for the 96 replay… 20 years later we’ve come to another replay. If we win, I’ll retire her. It’d be a nice completion to the journey.

  92. Good man Mayonaze. She will be badly needed on the hill. For once on this occasion she will not be sadly folded up and put away at the end of the game and taken home amongst all the gloom. Not this time. After 20 years of loyal service she will finally have her day in the sun and she will fly victorious on the biggest day of all.

  93. Mayonaze, I will indeed try to swap. I noticed that most of the Mayo fans in the hill were together in the corner. Are we corralled by the stewards once we go in?

  94. Good man, Jim Flag – “Some people seem to be already accepting and expecting defeat in the replay. Get a grip or give your ticket to somebody else who is going to enter that stadium with a winning mentality.” – hear, hear!! You & Juan have the right attitude – and that’s the attitude ALL of our supporters need to have, especially for this crucial replay. I have faith in our team, and I feel the lads WILL play even better on Oct 1st after reviewing last week’s game with Stephen Rochford & his team to see where they need improvement and how to put the Dubs in their place! I live in NY and flew home for the weekend of the All-Ireland 2012 and again in 2013 – I would love to be at this replay but was just home for a family wedding. The lads will do their part next week on the field but all of their supporters need to be SEEN AND HEARD in Croker, with massive displays of Green & Red (no pink or black or any other shite, pure green & red everywhere!!) and loadsa flags and banners all over the stands – especially the hill!!! Mayo WILL take Sam west next week – Maigh Eo Abu!!!!

  95. Niall…yep, Mayo fans were shepherded into one side of the hill. I generally go behind the goals but they kept that for the dubs! Typical.

    In saying this, I’d prefer to be in a Mayo section. While most jacks are ok there’s still an unsavoury element.

    Mayo supporters going to hill… Bring colours. Lots!

  96. NiallMc1983 and Southpaw no I was in the upper Davin. The fella beside me who was abusing Aidan was from Belmullet and it wasn’t that bad but having been beside a more negative Mayo called fan in 2013 I have enough of it at this stage and won’t be tolerating anything other than positivity again the next day in support of our team. While most players had one or 2 mistakes in a high intensity game and tricky pitch I cannot fault the honesty of a single player on the day. Their collective work rate was huge and they functioned better as a team than their opponents. I hope we can repeat that and learn from our own mistakes and that will be enough to bring back the cup. Let Dublin worry about themselves. It seems over yonder they’re a bit freaked out by the thought of a wet day. Well let them go in negative and us go in positive. If things don’t go Dubs way at any stage the hill will go quiet, doubt has set in, let’s feed it.

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