Time to focus on Tyrone


I sat down last night in front of the TV to have another good look at our evisceration of Donegal and it sure made for satisfying viewing. Our first half performance was something else, with the All-Ireland champions simply having no answer to our dizzying speed of movement and quickness of thought. What I thought was superb was the variety in the way we came at them – almost everyone who got the ball within scoring range was capable of doing damage to them on the scoreboard – which made it so hard for them to do anything about the green and red tidal wave engulfing them. In the end they were just swept away by it.

But now it’s all over and James and the lads will already have refocused their minds ahead to August 25th and Tyrone so it makes sense that we do as well. As many have already said in the comments, there’s no point yet talking about the All-Ireland final – the Sam Maguire won’t be on its plinth when the lads take the field at Croke Park on the 25th and only if we beat Tyrone that day will we even get to play for possession of it. So let’s park any talk of a fourth All-Ireland for now.

I’ve a related plea (two in fact) to make on the comments side. The first is in relation to the “I don’t see how we can … “ type of contributions to the debate that some keep insisting on throwing into the pot. While I don’t want to see us all turn into a bunch of Pollyannas, I really do think it’s time for a bit of belief to be shown in James and the lads. They’ve shown on the pitch that they mean business and a bit more backbone from the outside looking in wouldn’t go amiss at this stage either. We’ve got a serious team – undoubtedly the best Mayo team I’ve ever seen in action – and while we can and should debate our strengths and weaknesses against the opposition (which means we should only be talking about Tyrone now) limp-wristed contributions worrying, for example, about what the Dubs might do to us really add nothing to the debate and are, in my view, best left unsaid at this stage.

A related point concerns exclusives and rumours from within the camp. A number of you (rightly, in my view) called out David Brady and John Maughan for the way they acted the big guys spouting to the media about what was happening in training sessions. It’s absolutely the case that both should know better than to be bladdering like that in public and it’s equally the case that there’s nothing to be served by people posting comments here detailing inside information, regardless of the motives for doing so. The decision, for example, to start Chris Barrett instead of Richie Feeney was well trailed here and, in hindsight, I’d have preferred if this hadn’t occurred. I know all too well that this site is only one insignificant outlet in this information-soaked world but I’d still prefer if it’s one that keeps its counsel on stuff that doesn’t really have to get into the public domain until James wants it there.

Right, onto Tyrone then. I was in Croke Park on Saturday evening as well as Sunday (and I was also there for their qualifier clash with Meath the previous weekend) and I have to say I wasn’t overly impressed with them or, indeed, with Monaghan, for whom that Ulster final success was really their All-Ireland. Tyrone do, however, have a number of lads with All-Ireland medals jangling in their pockets and a few of their younger lads will have faced off against ours in recent minor contests so they won’t exactly have an inferiority complex when they trot out at HQ to play us.

A Tyrone guy I know has been insisting to me all summer long that they’d calf as soon as they met any half-decent side and he predicted correctly that Donegal would beat them back in May. I haven’t bumped into him since the weekend and I know that when I do he’ll be bigging us, as everyone else is too, but – with the bookies only offering 2/7 on us for the semi – that’s a situation we just have to deal with.

We’re favourites for a good reason, mainly because we beat the living shite out of the champions last Sunday, and we deserve to be strongly fancied to beat Tyrone too, given the respective form lines of the two teams coming into the contest. But match odds are only part of the story and once the ball is thrown in on the 25th those 2/7 odds won’t be of any help to us in getting us over the line.

The Sean Cavanagh affair is sure to have an impact on proceedings and while Tyrone’s collective seething at being called out for their ultra-cynical approach to the game (what surprises me is that it’s only being said now – they’ve been like this ever since Mickey Harte took charge of them) is sure to lift them, I think that, on balance, Brolly’s tirade is helpful to us as – much as it pains me to give that idiot any credit for anything – it could well influence how the match is reffed. Tyrone’s ugly approach is certainly in the cross-hairs now and that can only be of benefit to us.

Narrowing the focus down to team news, there’s a piece in today’s Irish Independent confirming that, with David Clarke and Kenneth O’Malley still sidelined, Rob Hennelly is set to start between the posts for us in the semi-final. The same report states that Tom Cunniffe’s hamstring problem shouldn’t rule him out for the 25th and that Michael Conroy is “making progress” with his hamstring complaint.

97 thoughts on “Time to focus on Tyrone

  1. Where did you watch the replay of the whole game Willie Joe?

    Is there anywhere to find this online?

  2. Tyrone game will be a walk over to be fair. People made a big deal of donegal but they had a dissmal league campaign had to qualify for knockout rounds and had injurys so we are overating the victory the last day.
    Mayo havent been tested yet we will basically walk into the all ireland final without a decent test and i fear dublin will play at at such a pace that it will be a shock to the lads who wont know how to react as they have meet medicore teams all the way to the final.
    Thats my fear, i just hope tyrone give us a good proper game as the donegal game wasnt a proper test to be honest.

  3. I had it on the DVR, Mayo Maori. I’m not sure if it’s available online as yet – it doesn’t look as if TV3 have made it available (or indeed if they have the online rights to it).

  4. You’re absolutely right about loose comments and keeping our powder dry.

    I’m down on the Cork Kerry border and the sound of silence from the Kerry boys all year is deafening. Nobody is talking about them either which makes Kerry the unknown force, Dublin or no Dublin.

    But you are also right in that we need to nail our colours to the mast and get behind a team that is as complete a demolition force as has ever worn the Red & Green.

    My only real concern on the 25th is how the referee will contain the physical element. A couple of strategic injuries is not what we want at this stage.

  5. Watching McFaddens reaction when he slipped under Aido’s pressure, trying to get our big man sent off was cynical in the extreme.Also,did anyone else think that Murphys challenge on Alan Dil(1st half) was a carbon copy of Aidos when he got the first yellow,yet the only result for the former was treatment to Alan’s ribcage!

  6. I agree WJ with your pleas your asking especially asking if people can refrain from saying i cant see how….. Its negatively.The team is confident and why shouldn’t they be and so should we.Confidence is one big key difference to that of the teams that were there before.I still believe that this team is best i have seen well most complete.My Galway friends like to remind me that Mayo are bottlers.But i like to correct them that this Mayo team has not bottled an All Ireland.Then i precede to ask them to remind me of what the score was between Mayo and Galway this year. They don’t like talking about that 🙂 To me i think it was crucial that the lads performed in last years final .It was the first time i remember saying ok in proud of the lads they were beating by a better team.To me that was the turning point. Mayo Maori the mayo and Donegal game is being showing in setanta to nite at half 10

  7. You’re right on both counts there, op2misteek – McFadden was rolling around clutching his face when he’s just slipped and fell and Bradley was screaming at McQuillan for a card. They really were a filty bunch of cheaters, so glad to see the back of them. The TV showed about four replays of Murphy clattering Alan Dillon – he was definitely out to cause damage and it was incredible that he didn’t get a yellow for it.

  8. Great comments from everyone with realistic goals to the fore now after the exuberance of the last few days.
    Great to see micky conroy on mend too.hard especially on David Clarke.
    Who will take Kavanagh the next day.Would Keith be the man for the job?and Who will take O Neill…still a big game in that fecker when he gets his wind back.

  9. Davo, have you not been listening to Willie Joe, Any reference to the All Ireland Final should be parked at this stage, as first off we’re not there yet and secondly, how do you know Dublin will beat Kerry. Talking to Dublin lads here in the city they are not overly confident as they know quiet well how dangerous opponents Kerry are.

    On the Tyrone Moneghan game, I watched it again last night on Setanta Sport and as I’ve said already on the previous Blog, this Tyrone team are as tough as nails. The very tricky underfoot conditions made it difficult for both teams and it’s true with a bit more composure Moneghan might have won it, but this Tyrone team are made of stern stuff and wont buckle like Donegal. They won’t mind been the underdogs and will relish the prospect of putting a halt to our gallop. They play with a lot of self belief and with a man down for most of the second half they never panicked and still kept coming forward.

    Mayo people would be well advised to keep their feet firmly on the ground and not get ahead of themselves, and as Aidan O’Shea said “The favourites tag means nothing when you cross the white line” !

  10. I think caff would be the man to mark o’neill, caff wud have a height advantage and that extra yard in pace to get out infront, he put manners on brogan last year and is the ideal canditate.

    Cavannagh is a diffrent story, i would like to see sos start on him, similar height and build. Need to be able to stay with him till he reaches the edge of the scoring zone and im sure vaughan an k mac will be on him like terriers.

  11. I watched Tyrone game again last night and many of there scores came from long range efforts. They seem to have a tactic of having late runners coming onto the ball from out near the sideline and boom. Sometimes running out from goal, and sometimes in from their defence. I think this is their way of beating the defence screen. I don’t think they have that much pace in the ff line, so I believe we need to close of all shooting positions from around the 45 meter line. With Penrose missing they will have a young lad in the corner I believe, this may be an unknown for us.

    Sean Cavanagh is a great player, no doubt about it, but his cheating won the game for Tyrone. First he pulled down a Monaghan man for a point and a yellow card. This card should have been the other way around. And then the famous rugby tackle. He will be watched like a hawk the next day, which is a good thing for us. Stephen O’Neill is one of the most accurate shooters around, from impossible angles on many occasions; it would be foolish for us to write him off after one or two poor displays. He needs to be marked tight and forced away from goal and into an offload as the other Tyrone forwards are not as accurate.
    There seems to be a discipline problem with Tyrone as another guy should have walked at halftime with Penrose and as I said earlier Cavanagh was a lucky boy also. Tyrone will improve greatly as a run out in Croke Park always bring on teams. We can have an off day ourselves. This game is no forgone conclusion, however I believe our form and spread of attacking options will see us over the line, but with a lot less to spare.

  12. Is Kyle Coney likely to be the man to come in for Tyrone? Followers of our minors down the years will no doubt remember him. Hasn’t had much of a run yet at Senior level but could be one for us to keep an eye on if he does get his chance.

  13. The missus and her family are all big Tyrone GAA heads, so I’ve had the pleasure of attending manys the Tyrone match in recent years, including 8 this year. I’m looking that and going “8?!!!!”

    I have a lot of time for Tyrone fans, they’re committed, they always travel in numbers, sure they might be a bit angsty at times, but who isn’t. Also, they don’t give a damn if and how their team is cynical, nor what anyone, especially on TV, says about them, so there’s no point in going there. They just want to win. I don’t think Cavanagh-gate will affect them at all, although it may affect the referee.

    They have several strong points and several weak points.

    Weak points:

    – Pascal McConnell in goal: Error prone, always tries short kick-outs even when they are not on, and when faced with a shot at goal, always throws himself to the ground. To take advantage of this, just lift the ball over him, and don’t retreat at kickouts. Tyrone compensate for his weakness by packing the defence and fouling.

    – Right back, right half back – No player has settled in these positions, with 3 different players in each role in the last 3 matches. PJ Quinn, McCrory and the most likely starter in the full back line Demot Carlin, are all short of pace. This can be exposed. In the half backs McGinley and McKenna have the pace, but don’t mark well.

    – Peter Harte, centre half back – for some reason, GAA.ie keep picking him out on the team of the week but ask any Tyrone folk and they’ll tell you they think he should be dropped. Holds up the ball too much, slow and ponderous like, fist passing often not accurate; we can turn him over and take advantage.

    Full forward line – Stephen O’Neill is extremely talented and can crucify us, but if he’s marked tightly, he doesn’t appreciate it and can’t get in the game. Darren McCurry is also talented and has a sweet left peg, but spends most of his time running the opposite direction from the goal. Whoever plays in the other corner will not have had much game time at all and won’t be sharp.

    Strong points:

    Sean Cavanagh obviously. Doesn’t do as much fielding as you might think. Just don’t fall for the shimmy. Best to put Seamie O’Shea on him on restarts and have someone near him like McLoughlin or whoever who can make the second tackle. Put Aido on Colm Cavanagh, who doesn’t have the legs to keep up with him.

    Cathal McCarron and Conor Clarke in the full back line. Solid defenders, BUT launch most of Tyrone’s attacks from the full back line. They power forward all the time, so we’ll have to counteract that. Not sure if that would suit Freeman and Andy Moran.

    Mattie and particularly Mark Donnelly. They are the engine room of this Tyrone team. They are up and down, linking the play all the time, and Mark in particular is adept at breaking the tackle and penetrating the defence. Apart from Cavanagh, Tyrone people would acknowledge him as their best performer this year. Their influence needs to be curbed big time. Job for Keegan and Boyler.

    Tyrone will make it close. Wouldn’t matter if they were playing London, Dublin or Mayo. They are hard to beat, they are full of steel, they will be out there expecting to take us down, no doubt about that. Just because we have been playing extremely well does not mean we are unbeatable. Mayo fans and team will have to be on song on the 25th. See you there.

  14. @ Declan It could be Coney, as he seems to be the first sub in off the bench in recent weeks. Tyrone supporters think he is made of glass though, as he has been injured so often. Not sure if he has a full game in him. It could also be Ronan O’Neill or Conor McAliskey. Either way, they won’t have much game time and won’t be particularly sharp.

    Of course, Mickey Harte could throw a curveball and put in an extra defender instead, since most of the time they only keep 2 men inside in the forward line anyway.

  15. Digits.
    Now that is analysis.great post…added to my knowledge…well written and sound.

    Willie joe….evisceration….have to look up that one!

  16. thats all well and good willie joe but i really cant see how we can beat Dublin , they will be exiting in their next game 😉

    utter pleasure with all the podcasts and papers at the moment. david brady is ubiquitous ( off the ball and second captains! ) and has done his county a disservice with his blabbing , i know these players turned journos need to justify their existence but that was something out of a training camp and david should know better.

    check out john casey last week on the excellent out in front GAA podcast , now that was great analysis, more from John Casey please !

  17. Mayo Maori, Facethebal (and Willie Joe),

    Note that Setanta Ireland are showing the Mayo v Donegal match at 10pm (not 10.30pm).

    BTW Willie Joe, I think we should take a few more days to luxuriate in the afterglow of a great win. Time enough next week for US to focus on Tyrone.

    I intend to offers some more comments after I see the rerun tonight (mess-up on Sunday recording on TV3, despite all my hi-tech equipment). To be truthful, I am still in shock on the many sided elements that made up the massacre, and need to analyse at some leisure.

  18. Any update on the fitness of Barry Moran and Jason Doherty? Neither likely to start against Tyrone but it would be great to have them ready to come in if needed.

  19. Digits with all that knowledge on Tyrone, you should immediately make contact with James, he’ll have you on his back room staff pronto. By the sound of it though, you would be safer keep that from the Missus. 🙂

  20. Digits
    Beware of fiery Tyrone women… do try and dig around for some more info on the REd hands though.

    Glad people waking up to David Brady and his blabbing. Really annoying. David was a great player so perhaps he could reflect and just stop now. Maughan too needs to get behind Mayo the right way and leave his ego where it belongs.

    Dont like to see people making their names off Mayo players.

    Horan has a huge job to do and deserves unconditional support in my view.

  21. The big change I see within this Mayo squad is that they simply don’t care who they play. This of course comes from the manager, from winning games and dealing with everything that is thrown at them. When we drew Donegal you could sense that this group of lads relished putting the defeat last year behind them.

    We have a semi final later this month. Nothing more. We don’t need to agonise on this forum about what Tyrone may or may not produce against us. We should simply look forward to what Mayo will do, how we will play and what we’re about.

  22. Re Brady here’s a thought. Is it not just cute hoorism? It builds up further mystique about how this team are getting such great results. It creates an aura of invincibility, has the other teams wondering etc. Theres no harm in it either way in my view.

  23. Well said WJ in relation to fans showing more confidence in the team and having common sense in relation to privy information.
    At this end of the season its the little things that separate teams.
    I firmly believe that we will win convincingly against Tyrone because up to know that is what this team has done to anyone it has faced.

    Galway win a fluke, we caught them cold people said.
    Roscommon wont be beaten as easy.
    Roscommon dealt with. Ah sure they are not as good as they used to be.
    Donegal will provide a stiffer test.
    Donegal sure are sliding they gave up the ghost after 10 mins. Not the team they were.
    Tyrone now they’ll test us. Blah Blah Blah.


  24. Hi WJ? Just wondering if your request for no info being passed on the blog a little severe. As far as I can see the info on the blog is often as much incorrect as accurate.

    And I don’t think it would have mattered much to Donegal (or any other team) whether they knew on the day that Chris Barrett was playing or not. By that stage teams have their own game plan in place regardless of the changes other teams make.

    So even if there was someone trawling through here to find out info on team changes or hints. Between all the players that were suggested and spoken about, opposing management wouldn’t have a clue what was the correct team anyway.

    In my opinion the only thing these posts give is something for the fans to talk about in the build up to the match.

  25. JPM – I’d still prefer not to see inside information being divulged in advance when there’s no good reason to do so. I’ve heard after the event that McFadden was carrying an injury into the game but that information never leaked out in advance so I don’t see what benefit there was in someone in the know on our side letting the world know that Chris Barrett was starting instead of Richie Feeney.

  26. It’s a foregone conclusion ! Dublin v Mayo in the All-Ireland Final.

    It’s far from certain Dublin will be in the Final at all.

    I predict Kerry will beat Dublin by 5 point’s.

    I watched Cork v Dublin again last night.

    Dublin have major weaknesses & are far from the finished article.

    Some of their decisions on the field I.e passing, going for scores were terrible & if Cork were any good should have beaten them.

    Kerry are laughing at the moment, keeping quite etc.

    They will beat Dublin no question.

    If Mayo overcome Tyrone which I think they will after a tough battle

    Mayo will beat Kerry in the final.

    It is written in the stars.

    For so many years they have hammered us but this time we will beat them.

    Limerick will win the hurling final against Cork.

  27. I agree re comments on Brady. We have an advantage when we are doing something our opposition are not. Let’s not blab things out until we have the results of that advantage.

    Digits, great analysis of Tyrone. You deserve a medal going to all those Tyrone games and gathering the jeuce. Did you wear your Mayo jersey or was it undercover.

  28. Biscan
    Seems advice on only referring to next match completely lost on you.

    Foolish to get ahead of ourselves in my view.

    Also training is behind closed doors for a reason.

  29. For those looking for a repeat of our game last Sunday it is being aired tonight on setanta sports at 10.30 pm.

  30. Im parphrasing here, but didnt Paidi O Se say something to the effect that Micko wouldnt even tell you where the game was on, thats how close he played his cards.

  31. Half ye bloggers who are outraged with David bradys “blagging” were the very ones posting the same comments up here last week
    Pot and kettle

  32. WJ

    Could you divide this site into A’s & B’s; because like our footballers the only battle we’re going to get is fighting amongst ourselves

  33. Too be honest when i heard Brady on the podcast i thought he was talking shite and so did the lads in the studio.Are the training sessions closed to public ? If they are then Brady should have kept the mouth shut.

  34. Can someone tell me where David Brady and John Maughan spoke about inside things about Mayo, i have great time for David as player and pundit but very dissapointed with him having done this, suppose David wanted to look like hes in the know.

  35. The comments have moved a long way and in a positive fashion since the Kildare league loss. After that game I believe that this site recieved the most comments ever in its history. Now blown away like “nice guys in the snow and the rain”

    You’ll always have the doubting Thomas who want to poke their fingers in the wounds and wiggle.

    I know what I see. As oppossed to other strong Mayo teams that lacked proper leadership, this one has a proper leader and that is why they will succeed.

    A couple of short months ago when I heard some egits clamouring for Horans head and replacing him with McSly or “High Kick McHale I was pissed off. These guys served Mayo and themselves well (on the back of Mayo and their own natural talents). Enough said.

    I was working with Sean Cavanaghs uncle today, inevitabley talk turned to the match. He feels I think Ha Ha that Tyrone have no hope. Had to restrain myself from telling him that he should read some of the comments left on this page after the KildareV Mayo league game to see how fickle and wishy washy some Mayo supporters can be…

    Instead I remarked that Tyrone have been in the 3 All Ireland finals in the last 9 years and Mayo have been in 3 finals in the last 9 years. Count how many All Irelands Tyrone won and then count up how many All Irelands that Mayo have won. That is my banter line.

    I believe in this Mayo team. The one very important difference between this great Mayo team and the other great Mayo teams of the past is now- We have the proper leadership. PRESSURE!!! PRESSURE!!! PRESSURE!!!!

  36. I agree Joe,along with confidence.Looking back at all the teams i have seen as far as 96 they are not in the league of our lads now.Can anyone tell me what the team of 89 was like? I have no memory and i never heard anything about them only that Cork beat us in final.

  37. Fitzmaurice in ’89 was a great free taker/45’s i think he was from lacken, didnt seem to contribute that much in open play. Tj kilgallon was a great player along with the mahers and anthony finnerty was a bit of a solksjaer in the final if memory serves me correct.

  38. Nice one Juan,how would they rate with our lads now individually and as a team?

  39. to Tom, David Brady was speaking on TV3 in the company of Daragh O Shea, Meath guy Liam Hayes who has been obsessed for at least a year that Mayo will not win anything until Aidan o Shea is at full forward.Daragh O’Shea has been very complementary to Mayo for ages, even i defeat to kerry in 2011.

    The pressure of commentating leads to ‘Gaffs; i guess. He did get an increduloud look from the others when he said the players had earpieces relaying information as to when to get the hand in etc.

    David Brady had predicted a close game. Martin Carney was also invited to contribute – he thinks Mayo will beat Tyronel but it will be a different type of game.

    Thankfully, James Horan has brought his footballing days with him. Also it is fair to say that James Nallen has been a big influence for the last three years.He surely must have a big hand in the defence and all the running he does!

  40. Have to say in not a fan of Liam Hayes.His attitude towards Mayo stinks.Only my opinion though .

  41. You’re right W J about inside information, should be kept inside. I for one thought we were all in this together, management , players and supporters. I’ve noticed with James if he wants something known to the public, he’s more than capable of doing it himself and it should be left to him. We will have all winter for bladdering about what knew or thought we knew when the deal is done.
    Or perhaps it’s my innocence to think we were all pissin in the one pot.

  42. 89 was a great team….and probably gone the whole way. These were the days before the qualifiers so if you were beaten you were out. I also turned 18 that year so it was the first real time drink was involved in my big day outs.

    We were narrowly beaten by Meath the year before, after having had a goal disallowed in the last couple of minutes for square ball. Meath went on to win it that year, so expectations were sky high

    First match was in Tuam. We dominated, but let Galway sneak a last minute goal to draw. Replay was in Castlebar and we won handily.

    Connaught Final versus the Rossies was in Castlebar which also ended in a draw. Replay was in the Hyde. Bollock$ Mickey Kerins gifted the Rossies 2 penalties, including one in the last minute, which game them a 1 point lead going into injury time. Mayo went straight down and scored a goal to win it, but Mickey disallowed the goal and gave mayo a free in which they scored. In extra time Jimmy Burke scored his famous goal

    I will have more time on the weekend and will give more details on the team itself

  43. @mayomaningalway, imo as a team they are a long way off our current crop, alot of them seemed as if they were being played out of position. Mcstay was in his pomp an great corner forward, mchale was young but played quite well, willie joe was very influential. Never rated peter forde or dermot flannagan in the corner back positions. Gabriel irwin the goalkeeper was a fine footballer.Their was alot of fine individual players but they wer’nt as good a “team” as this bunch, if you know what i mean. But football was alot diffrent back in them days.

    That said i really beileve cork were their for the taking in that final, poor old jimmy burke got an awful injury at full forward, (i think he may have sallowed his tongue, but i could be wrong) early in the game and that really knocked us out of stride.

    Agree with ye all on liam hayes, he seems to really have a vendetta against us, its getting quite annoying at this stage.

  44. I would never say a bad word about David Brady. He’d cut himself into small pieces and feed himself to himself before he’d ever do his County a bad service. Brady may not be media savy but that is the fault of the arena he finds himself in. Brady is (in my humble opinion) a proper Mayo ex county player. He is not suited to the bullshit of punditry, like the other faux Mayo pure Me Fein bullshiters. Brady is and will always be the real deal. Like him or lump him, Brady won’t sit on a fence, “Only Stone Walls…

    “Come On Mayo!!!”

  45. Cheers Juan and whitey.Nice to get some memories of that era.As i said i had never heard anything of that team or indeed haven’t seen any replays strangely enough.So whitey is you were 18 in 89 that would make you …….. 🙂

  46. The 89 team were a seasoned bunch and physically powerful team WJ, Tj , Sean Maher, Spanner Maher etc. Only problem was we met a Cork Team who were battle hardened after goin to war with Meath in the two previous AIFs. The hype was crazy i was on the canal end and it was absolutely jammed with Mayo supporters health and safety regulations were lax then to say the least. I remember waving the flag after a Mayo score and the flag flew off the poll and was returned minutes later by which time i had managed to get my hand down from the sky yes it was that crowded. Could have been worse though as i remember one supporter getting caught on top of the wire fence in front of the old Hogan stand as he scaled it to hail Mayo’s win over Tyrone in the semi. John o.M bought in the ex Ireland rugby coach Mick Doyle as a motivational speaker for the panel a week before the final. Those were the days……

  47. 89, I remember it well. Anthony “larry” finnerty hit a post and it went wide at a crucial stage in the game, we were on a roll at the time and would have gone clear in a tight enough game. Larry Tomkins for cork was outstanding and took control in the final few minutes to score 2 or 3 points to close out the game for cork. Cork were a good team but its one we left behind us when you think of the talent we had, kill gallon and willie joe, mcstay, etc etc.

  48. Gabriel irwin glenamoy
    Jimmy Browne ballina
    Peter forde ballinrobe
    Dermot Flanagan ballaghaderreen
    Michael Collins lacken
    Tj kilgallon Balla
    John Finn Claremorris
    Liam mchale ballina
    Sean maher Claremorris
    Greg maher Claremorris
    Willie joe padden belmullet
    Noel Durkan ballaghaderreen
    Michael Fitzmaurice lacken
    Jimmy Burke aghamore
    Kevin Mcstay ballina

    That was the starting team from memory.

  49. Joe Ruane:

    I would never say a bad word about David Brady. He’d cut himself into small pieces and feed himself to himself before he’d ever do his County a bad service.

    Funniest thing I’ve read on here! Nearly spat the tay all over my recently cleaned keyboard!

  50. LOL…when Larry scored his goal our section of the Canal surged forwards , then backwards and I and plenty of others ended up in a walkway and essentially didnt see the end of the game, as We were a foot below everyone else.

    I heard a great Sean Maher story a few years ago. Seemingly, when he finished playing, he took up rugby and one day hit a guy a shot in the ribs and broke one or 2. When someone remonstrated with him he replied “he was lucky I didnt hit him with my right hand”.

    Remember this is pre Celtic Tiger. Emigration was rife, work and money were scarce. You had RTE 1 and RTE 2 and Mid West for entertainment.

  51. mayomaningalway and juan , Liam Hayes s attitude may surprise ye , but try working with Meath people in general, same attitude applies.It all stems from the Land Commission who moved family’s from the west to the east, to undo Cromwells handy work . In 1996 they had banners up saying , Ye took our land but ye won’t take Sam. This was repeated to me the week leading up to the Meath v Tryone game . So don’t expect much change.

  52. Cork went 4 pts to 0 score up in the early stages. Larry Tompkins Dave Barry and Michael McCarthy and Barry Coffey were doing the damage until willie joe pulled one down from the clouds swivelled and booted it up and over the bar with 3 cork fellas hanging off him including a certain Conor counihan. I just know the roof nearly came off the old cusack stand. Magic memories.

  53. Jesus , lads that was some game Cork scored 16 of their 17 points from play and we still could have won. Jimmy Burke was on fire until he swallowed his tongue. I met him at the recent Connacht final and he showed me the scar to his head that caused it. It was said at the time to be the cleanest final in years and the day after in Maynooth is known to this day as. Mayo Monday , such were the crowds of Mayo people from home and abroad in the pub all day. Getting old now but I think I could manage one more day like that in September.

  54. Willie Joe, do you mind if I repeat my blog here, at a different time, in a different place. I feel it is relevant and possibly controversial?
    Jaysus all. You know me; Mr.Conservative and careful. Yesterday changed all that. I have never seen a display like from a Mayo team. They were magnificent!! They beat the shite out of one of the best teams in the Country. A lot of pundits and commentators tipped Donegal, including Sean Armstrong and fair play, Mayo were an unknown quantity and Donegal were All Ireland champions.
    I think too much is being said about Donegal being tired and etc. etc. They are one of the best teams in Ireland and have probably the best defence in the country and Mayo kicked the shite out of them, why??
    Mayo had a hunger, a passion and a swagger. They were so cool and calm and hit Donegal like a hurricane; huge men, and belted them. Did anyone notice how that when many of the Mayo lads hit a belt, they went back for a second one. Now I was dubious about this team but they are special.
    Now, forget complacency and tactics and if’s and buts. All Mayo have to do over the next two hurdles is to have the same hunger and passion and go out to kick the shite out of Tyrone, first, and than, whoever.
    No team in the country could have lived with Mayo yesterday. Repeat that twice more and Sam is coming home to Mayo. Let’s not think of failure. We have 60 years of hurt to avenge and avenge we have to. This is our year.
    No team, no matter how good they are, can function in a hurricane. All their tactics and skills are fucked.
    Remember Leitrim, under John O’Mahoney, came out like little dogs and hit Mayo, the favourites, in the Connacht final, like a hurricane and won that match, which they should never have won. They were eaten alive in the Semi Final. Why did they win? Think little dogs and a hurricane. Enough said!!!

  55. @ Fitzingalway – Always wear the Mayo jersey no matter what match I go to. Trying to rival the guy in the Antrim jersey who is always at matches! Always gets a comment as well.

  56. That 89 Mayo team had some great players but also a few square pegs in round holes. In particular John Maughan who had got his injury a few years before was never adequately replaced at number 6. He was not adequately replaced until James Nallen arrived in 1995 annd we had a different no 6 every year in the meantime. We has a surplus of midfielders, McHale, Kilgallon, Padden and two Mahers. Kilgallon had been injured for most of the summer and for the final was drafted into CHB. I suspect his fitness was not great and could have been the reason Larry Tompkins became so influential in the latter stages. We were also somewhat weak in the backup department and that was probably the reason so many midfielders were played out of position. None of our subs that day apart from Finnerty had any great influence on the game. Cork were stronger here – my memory is Michael McCarthy coming on to score 0 = 3 from play in the latter stages. Jimmy Burke’s injury was probably the crucial influence on the game – he was a key man at FF. After a slow start Mayo had got back into the game. Finnerty’s goal also got us back when Cork had built up a lead and had we got the second I believe we could well have won – it would have put us into the lead, It was Cork’s third final having lost the previous two to Meath and that experiance was also crucial. Incidentally Larry Tompkin’s reported comment to his fellow Kildareman Shay Fahy as they came off the field the previous year ” the trouble with this Cork team is there are too many Corkmen on it” sound very like it may have been true.

  57. After the previous 2 finals between Meath and Cork, this was viewed as a breath of fresh air, as the 2 teams actually went out to play football.

    This was a seriously tough Mayo outfit…..they went toe to toe with the legandary Meath team the year before amd probably should have beaten them

    If I recall correctly, there was an incident with Hayes in a challenge match (possibly at the opening of Kilmaines new pitch) when one of the Mayo players decked him. After that he never had a good word to say about us.

  58. I was pretty angry, shocked & disappointed at David Bradys comments re mayo training sessions and the methods the team are using in the national media. The only reason he said it was to show that he is in the know… I respect david as an ex-county player but It’s far from cute hoorism when anything comes from him…

    Some of the local media were pretty stupid with their comments on team selection too. If you ask me them pod casts are a load of nonsense and are just a boost of ego for some fellas who like the sound of their voice and they like to drop favourable comments on players they know personally and have been given private info on things going on the camp… Some of the guys who are involved in local media & podcasts have never played GAA, never played at a level higher that junior club football and never achieved anything at all…. Yet these are the same clowns giving ammunition and information to the opposition before huge games like the Donegal one.

    You can sure of one thing now, there will be no information coming from the mayo camp from now till the end of our campaign. And rightly so! It’s only right that the opposition are kept guessing at what the mayo team will be. Did anyone from mayo know that mark mchugh was going to start for Donegal? Not really because who recovers from concussion, a burst eardrum and a torn quad muscle so quickly??? There was rumours of course but nothing at all definite. Unlike the well telegraphed switch if Barrett for Ritchie.

    Anyways rant over…. Mayo to beat Tyrone by 3 points or more. Mickey Harte will have a plan for us…. It might work for a while but our hunger and determination will overcome them. It will set up nicely for the dubs or Kerry. I suspect Kerry could overcome them…. Never write them off… But to be honest I don’t give a monkeys who we face…. We are a serious outfit now and bring them all on.

    Exciting times. Up Mayo.

  59. Im on vacation, having a few beverages out on the deck so the memories are flooding back as Im sitting here.

    At the time also, it was rumoured that Gerry Geraghty was coming back from Chicago to linenout in the final. For the youth on here, Gerry was a cross between COC, AOS and Alan Dillon. He was the vice captain on the U 21 team that won the AIF up in Irvinestown in 1983 (at the height of the troubles). Eddie Gibbons, from Tourmaleady/The Neale was the captain and because he was sent off during the replay Paddy Buggy wouldnt present him the cup-gerry was presented the cup,and Gerry grabbed it from him-LOL

  60. Ah 1989…I was just finished primary school. I remember sitting in the Upper Cusack for the semi final v Meath in ’88 , it was the first time I saw Mayo play at Croke Park….the thing I remember most was the eerie kind of hushed expectation from the crowd that seemed to last forever as we all waited for the public address announcer welcome the Mayo team onto the pitch… My knees were shaking uncontrollably in nervous anticipation..then a voice came out over the speakers, I cud see the green n red jersies rush from the tunnel and the stadium erupted in noise! I was 11 and don’t recall too much about the game itself other than Meath were just that but better and that we wore a red/green/red jersies.

    1989.. Again up in the upper Cusack having been in the lower section for the Tyrone game. Yes olive, health n safety was not as strict back then…there was a crush going in to the stand before throw in..and I had to be lifted over a gate by a Garda. This only months after watching Hillsborough on TV… I was terrified! Our victory that day dispelled that feeling, thankfully. I’ve grown up most my life in Galway city so I kinda missed out on the hype in 89 but I rem coming out if Croker after the final feeling very proud. Gutter and distraught wud sum up post match final feelings since.

    “So c’mon Willie Joeand Kilgallon from Mayo, Dermot Flanagan, Seán Maher and John Finn….Jimmy Browne’ll light the fire and we’ll bring home Sam Maguire. John O’Mahoney’s men are always on the move…!” – that was our All Ireland song. If any if you that bit older than me know where I can hear that again it’d be much appreciated!

  61. Nostalgia messing with a few people’s heads here.

    Mayo were 10 points down against Meath in ’88. Liam McHale fisted 2 goals to briefly worry Meath, then got a 3rd which was disallowed (wrongly, I believe). But aside from those few minutes, Meath progressed serenely to the final. There was no ‘toe-to-toe’.

    Yes, the ’89 final was seen as the clean final (or the ‘friendly final’ as it became known). That was the problem. Mayo, then, had the muscle to play a much tougher game – as they showed in the semi-final against Tyrone – and should have done the same in the final.

    Alas, John O’Mahony was worried about giving cheap frees to Tompkins and instructed the defence to be very cautious in their tackling. Bad move. We’ve been known as ‘too nice’ ever since. Fortunately James Horan has other ideas.

    I too was in the Canal End that day in ’89 and it was a thrill to see Mayo get a run on them in the second half for a while. But once Larry missed the chance for his second goal, Cork stepped it up and were far too good in the end.

  62. Ps: David Brady is far from being subtle or cute when it comes to being interviewed. After we beat ros in the 2004 Connacht final he told the tv journalist “I didn’t come back from Australia to win a Connaught medal” – I couldn’t believe it when I heard it on the Sunday game!! Feckn keep yet gob shut and tell them how great the opposition are. You can talk big if you win an All Ireland …until you do, u shut it and keep the head down. Look at Kerry!!!!

  63. i was in the canal in 89 , had played u-14 for the parish that year and the club had put a ticket aside for me ,
    looking at chisels team sheet reminds me of how good these players were ,
    willie joe was the best in the country on his day, no matter where i go in the world and i meet irish people once i say i am from mayo , they mention his name, a complete one-off.
    liam machale was good but would become better, jimmy burke was top notch, may have been carrying a bit of a bolg if i remmber correctly but he knew where the goal was, class player.
    greg maher another favourite.

    we looked across at the sea of red , the cork fans had stars and bars confederate flags , japanese flags, US flags , anything with red and white, since then i have brought portuguese flags and even bangladeshi flags to mayo matches to try and rival that colour.

    and the feeling when finnerty scored , it was magic , the whole canal surged , we really believed we would win, i have been to hundreds of great sporting events all over the world but that was electric, then the surge again when he missed the second chance , were we sad when we lost yes but i was 14 , we thought we’d be back again soon , the real lows were 96 04 and 06 , 97 and last year were not those depths and neither was 89 , i was only young but i knew mayo were back , and that was important.

  64. In relation to David Brady he shouldn’t have come out on air telling the public about training but I’ve a feeling it was in one of the Sunday papers and it was an article on Donie Buckley read it on the way up to match …. The indo I think …

  65. Would give Brady benefit of doubt.both himself and his brothers laboured for Mayo.Comments were stupid…just no more of it please.All will be forgiven i hope if he keeps trap shut from now on.
    Wonder who ref will be….could have big bearing.O mahony was great in 89.almost pulled it off….was his second coming thst was problem.

  66. So Brolly is now advising SEan Kavanagh on Mayo according to this mornings news having rung to apologise to him. What an ass. I hope noone ever forgets his article on why Mayo should never be let play in an All Ireland again. Sure we can write him off as a nut job but he did us a lot of harm last year with his comments on cynical fouling just before the All Ireland. How he can go from berating Kavanagh one week-end to ‘discussing the pros and cons of Mayo’ We spent the next half an hour discussing the pros and cons of Mayo’ (Independent)
    Now of course it makes no difference- he makes no difference- other than hopefully to drive us all on. He is no friend to Mayo-thats for sure!

  67. Let him off,he can say and do whatever he likes this year.This team are only focused on themselves and their own performance.No sideshows in the media will effect them this year.Its a great feeling as supporters.Reading the usual shite on other forums sometimes gets me wound up,but not from here on in.Im putting full trust in the boys and focusing on what Mayo can do.Feic Brolly,Spillane or any other rubbish thats going to come out.We are Mayo 2013,we do our own thing ,we believe,we perform,we win.

  68. I doubt Joe Brolly knows anything about this Mayo team that Sean Cavanagh and the Tyrone team don’t know themselves already. Similar to Donegal getting info off Galway or whatever, it will have no bearing on the outcome of the match.

    We had a good team in 89 but I think time has built them up to be more than they were judging by the comments on this site. Cork were in the mix every year from 87-90, played four consecutive finals, lost in 87 and 88, then won in 89 and 90. Mayo made one semi and one final in that period and then faded away. If they were as good as they are being made out to be here they’d have won a load of consecutive Connacht titles at the time. Not that they were a bad team by any stretch, but it was another case of Mayo having a good, but not quite good enough, team. That side never beat a Munster or Leinster team in the championship – Ulster was much weaker at the time. I would say this team is considerably stronger both in terms of the first 15 and in terms of strength in depth. Whether that will get us over the line remains to be seen in the coming weeks and indeed years.

  69. Just after rewatching the Donegal goal from last Sunday. There was no way Mc Fadden was 14 yards away from the guy who was taking that free. I know it was a mute point at that stage, but surely one of our guys should have been picking him up, or(the ref should have thrown the ball up)

  70. 1989!! ahh that was some year, i always look on it as the year Mayo football was reborn. The county was buzzin, it was unreal, every town and village was hopin with excitement, the color was fantastic.

    I remember knock airport when the team left, there was thousands up to see them off, i was 12 at the time, when the team bus arrived we all started to run towards them and when Willie Joe emerged you’d swear the concrete underneath your feet started to move as the noise level just rose so much.

    We headed up on the sat night with the parents, the cars and flags were everywhere , the constant beeping caused your hooter to fail by the time you got to Kinegad.

    The memories of the game itself was Finneretys goal and also his miss. It was the start of it all but not for a min did i think back then we would still be waiting and the grey hairs starting to appear on my head. When Jimmy Browne said on the square in Ballagh on the monday niight, that they would bring the Sam Maguire cup back the following year, i really believed him, i was so confused in Tuam the following year when Galway knocked us out in the first rd. lol

  71. Ah 89′, all told, that was some year.
    Summer of Guns N’Roses and the Funky Cold Medina! I was only a lad, a young buck in Dublin when i met me future wife that June. Her being fron Cork, i ended up on the Hill 16 that day among 15 thousand rebels. Great memories really.

  72. Agreed that Brady should not have been blabbing about training techniques. Sounded more like naivety than anything else fuelled by the excitement of an exhilarating performance. The Mayo Mafia would do well now to give Tyrone some respect, not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because it improves our chances by keeping a lid on the internal pressure. This team is in search of the ‘perfect’ performance – you hear that from several of them- so let’s keep them marching to that goal. No more loose lips sinking ships.

  73. Nice hearing some of the great memories of 89.does anyone know where i could get the vid? I tried on line but cant find it or if anyone had a copy of it he game?

  74. Haha I remember that but was it not ..

    “Mayo will decaffeinate you Coffey”?:))

  75. Haha I remember that but was it not ..

    “Mayo will decaffeinate your Coffey”?:))

  76. Was also in the Canal end that fateful day.

    We lost in 89 because we let Cork race into a four point lead, sound familiar, and we lost by three.

    TJ Kilgallon played centre back, out of position, and I don’t believe he was fully fit.

    Finn got cleaned by Dave Barry, MOTM on the day, Finn was a good attacking half back but not tight enough to put the shackles on Barry.

    Flanagan got cleaned by a guy called Paul McGrath ( not the black pearl from Inchicore ) but I think he chipped in 3/4 points on the day.

    We weren’t hard enough on the day given the physicality of that side – we didn’t use it to our advantage. Colm O’Rourke wrote a well known article subsequently about ‘ nice guys finishing last’.

    Burke’s injury was a serious setback and if (Fat Larry) Finnerty put the second one in the onion bag when we were on top and a point in front, we might well have won.

    The real tragedy was that we had a serious team in the eighties that should have dominated Connacht from 85 onwards and didn’t. I saw a picture of them recently and they were a massive team with seriously good footballers.We had drawn with Dublin in the 85 semi final and lost a replay but we went on in 86 to lose to The Rossies in 86 in Castlebar – Tony McManus kicked a couple of late points to beat us after a game in which WJ played a blinder in midfield and we had an abundance of ball but threw the game away. The following year in 87 a very poor Galway team horsed and spoiled us and beat us by a point in Castlebar and we left another Connacht title behind us.

    I think the point I’m trying to make is that we would probably have won in 89 if we had won those Connacht campaigns and got to play in more semis and finals during those missing years – a bit like Cork did in Munster.

    Based on my memories so hope I’m not losing it !

  77. If memory serves me right, a missed point chance after Fat Larrys goal was the real reason we lost . Sure a second goal would have been great but that point , when we were on the up would have seriously worried Cork.
    On the 86 game v the Rossies , it was like a game of handball , W J kicked it in , it came back, he kicked it in again ,it came back,and on and on and on.
    I wonder what James Horan would think of the ball not sticking in that match.

  78. The oul fella had his flag from the 1950 & 1951 games up in the attic. Foolishly he gve it to my brother to bring to the Final in 1989 as it was deemed a good luck talisman. Of course when he landed home without the flag there was major ructions for about a month

    I alos remember old timers listening to mass on the wireless on the way up on the train, as madness and mayhem unfolded all round them

    No going into a restraunt either when you were in dublin…bring the grub with you. i remember meeting 2 brothers from Ballyvary, each equipped with a biscuit tin full of sandwiches. They got some slagging on the way up…..but were the most popular fellas on the way down

  79. I’ve purchased football DVD’s from that site before with no problems. They ship international too!

    The build up to the 89′ final was massive alright. I never saw Ballina town with so much buntings and flags adorning every pole and house. There was a flag shop at the top of King Street doing a massive trade!
    Even though we llost that one and coming back to Ballna that night, waiting for the team to arrive at Market square, there were hundreds if not thousands of ppl out to welcome them, for there was a feeling Mayo were back! And the drought would end next year! Of course it didn’t happen and we all have painful memories of lost finals since. It seemed we were happy to have been there.

    Looking ahead and focusing on Tyrone, I’m really interested to see how they will line up against us. Individual match ups are really important, particularly in big games, as we found out last year against Donegal. Penrose will most likely be suspended so Harte will have to deal with his absence. Gormley, although not carded, might also get a suspension for his antics on the way off too. I think that would be more of a blow to them. Regardless though, I think Horan will go about his preparation solely focused on getting the matchups correct and overcoming the Tyrone system, including the cynical stuff. we and everyone else may be focused on Sean Cavanagh’s ability, Horan’s objective wil be more strategic to win possession in the middle by changing things in the other two thirds of the field. Thoughts?

  80. I would concur that Horan will be primarily focused on winning possession in the middle. Tyrone’s tactic will be to break the ball and crowd the middle in an attempt to mop up – it worked well for them in the league game in Castlebar back in February so we’ll obviously need to be faster to the breaks this time around. If Mayo happen to get the upper hand in the middle they will simply resort to fouling, holding up the play and retreating players to cut off our attacking options. It will be vital to have the right man marking Sean Cavanagh – This is where the game could be won and lost and I think this job should be left to Seamus. It will also allow Aidan to concentrate more on winning primary possession and playing more of his usual roaming game.

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