Two full decks


It’s just a week out – a whole week! – from our All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry. A little less, in fact, because this time next week, barring the need for a replay (I know! I know!), either ourselves or Kerry will have made it to the final.

Both camps have already held their pre-match press nights. While much of the content generated at these events will be released by the media in bite-size chunks over the coming days as the game itself draws ever closer, some of what Eamonn Fitzmaurice and Stephen Rochford had to say has already been reported on, in both instances by the Irish Examiner.

First up, Tony Leen had a piece on Friday with Eamonn Fitzmaurice which is here. The Kerry manager – as you’d expect – makes it his business to talk us up, saying that we’re finding our form at just the right time.

He also confirms that Kerry have no major injury concerns ahead of Sunday. Kevin McCarthy – who started in the League final back in April and lined out at centre-forward in the Munster final against Cork – is available, having missed the quarter-final win over Galway through injury.

Bryan Sheehan also missed that game for the same reason but he’s now fully recovered and is available for selection against us. So too is James O’Donoghue, who started against Galway but was withdrawn having failed to score. It later emerged that he’d picked up a knock prior to that match.

John Fogarty has a piece with Stephen Rochford in the same paper yesterday. That one is here.

Like his Kerry counterpart, Stephen was happy to confirm that we’ll have our full squad available for selection for Sunday’s semi-final. The player of main concern to us, of course, is Lee Keegan, whose foot problem saw him miss the replay win over Roscommon.

Stephen was able to confirm that Lee will train fully this week and will be available to play against Kerry. So too will Chris Barrett, who had “a bit of a foot injury” coming into last Monday’s replay but was still able to line out then. Jason Doherty, who came down heavily on his knee against Roscommon and was taken off soon after, trained as normal last Thursday.

In summary, then, it appears that both counties will be picking from full panels for Sunday’s semi-final. We’ll most likely name our starting fifteen on Friday evening but I’m not sure when Kerry will reciprocate. I guess we’ll find out as the week progresses.


51 thoughts on “Two full decks

  1. Have to say it’s daft that RTÉ gave a preview of Dublin and Tyrone last Sunday (instead of focusing on Mayo and Roscommon for the following day) and then, nothing tonight for Mayo and Kerry next weekend. It’s nothing short of disgraceful.
    That being said, I’m kinda happy they didn’t as the less press from a Mayo perspective, the better in my opinion. No wonder Spillane was stepping it up in the newspaper this weekend. Still think it’s wrong though, clear Dublin bias.

  2. Great to have the full panel available and avoiding a catastrophe over the coming days it should stay that way. Looking forward to it now. A victory over Kerry would be very ‘useful’ heading into September. Liam and Sam to cross the Shannon…Why not?

  3. Too right Rochfords brigade , the less said by the press analysts the better. They will be justifying the bookies odds by “putting us down ” and resurrecting old ghosts and canards . Not helpful to the cause I think. Even worse is listening to those disingenuous Kerry souls overestimating us in writing.

    Kerry are favorites to win this game . Correctly ,in my opinion ,based on form over four months or more. But we have a chance to upset the odds. It requires a total team effort with emphasis on improvement at midfield being the most important single thing. There are many other very important things but this is the key area we need to improve on ( imho ) If we function well at midfield ( hold our own ) we will have more than enough chances to win the game.

    After all we wouldn’t want someone 5’7″ fetching balls ( Paul Murphy ) cause Dara said that wouldn’t happen ( oh the cute hoor) and there’s nothing they’d love more in Kerry than a 5’7″ Kerryman fielding balls in the middle eight or picking up loose ball galore . Against Mayo ! That’d keep them yukking it up in an insufferable way.

    I believe if we do well at midfield and hold tight at the back then we will win. We have the ruthlessness and we have the determination and now I’d suggest the belief in ourselves. We have the brains on the sideline .

    But I have to say that Kerry are due great respect as always and will undoubtedly put us to the pin of our collar ?. Mayo to win by a point.

  4. A as player the most significant insult you can place on a team/player is to not acknowledge that team/player as an equal!! I quote from Thomas O’Shea “Mayo are a nice team, we love playing them”; as low as Dublin lowered themselves last year in trying to get Keegan sent off via the media by ex players, it pales into insignificance to the comment from O’Shea. This will be the case until we beat them at the business end of the year in Championship football. I believe in this team, assuming we can deal with the high ball into the fullback line, remove any trace of sentiment (there is no room for this, we can’t afford it period!). They have a very good full forward line, average half forward, good midfield, less than average half back line and a full back that looks going going forward, but the two corner men can be got at! other than their full forward they have excellent forwards to come on in O’Brien & BJ Keane. These two will need watching when introduced.
    The match ups from 2 to 18 will be vital, but if we get this right and tare into them like Tyrone did in the past we WILL come out on the right side

  5. We seen last year that our form was very up and down until the final, then we put in two massive performances. Hopefully we can do the same this year.

    Kerry’s main weaknesses are at the back so it would be great to see Kevin McLoughlin, Dairmuid O’Connor and our half-backs at times as well running hard at their defence to see how they cope with that. It’ll be very interesting to see what role Lee Keegan is given in this match.

    An interesting stat from yesterday was that Waterford scored 4-19, 4-14 from play, the exact same as what we scored against Roscommon.

  6. Pat Spillane yerras away in the paper about Kerry’s weaknesses and our form but then forgets himself when ranking the final 4 by putting us last and Kerry second.
    The least you’d expect at the business end of the championship is consistency in yerraing in a full article. Lazy yearraing, a sign of complacency maybe? ?

  7. Whatever about Spillane or anyone else from the Kerry media the team will be anything but complacent. They are totally focused on us as we are on them. It’s one game at a time and whoever puts in the passion to match the desire and talent will win it. I pray that this is what Mayo brings to the table. We are equally matched teams. Let the west team win… MAYO!!

  8. I don’t know about the rest if you but I am going to enjoy this week. Kerry are the ones likely to be more worried than Mayo and that’s because they Mayo have the players to actually win the game for a change. Was chatting with a dub yesterday, he said he’d much prefer to meet Kerry than Mayo if the dubs get to the final, he couldn’t understand where Mayo get the nerve to be as fearless of his team after all the losses!
    Anyways, I’ll say this, no matter how well we play outfield, the ball will be going in high and early to Clarke’s goal, sweeper needed in front of you know who and a big physical player to stand alongside donaghy and just prevent him from getting it cleanly. There’s a buck on the bench that might be suited to the job, tall and strong but not known as a defender. It would be risky as I see it but its a once off job and the instructions are simple, follow him around the square and if he moves outfield, switch to suit.

  9. I’m not expecting kerry to vary the kickouts too much. Think they’ll launch most of their kickouts to midfield. Would be hoping our lads go up and fist the ball and break up the clean catches at midfield. If we could end up with a fair % of the kerry kick outs I think that would be a great platform for us.

    I think we will be mixing up the kick outs. We’ll be seeing plenty of shorter kickouts. Think the backs carrying the ball forward will wear down the kerry midfield. At least that’s what I’m hoping.

    Really looking forward to it now. Think the management can really play a huge role in this one. A good game plan should see us in with a great chance.

  10. It’s a great week to be a Mayo supporter. One step closer to the dream BUT…….

    Cold reality has to set in too. The task ahead is massive. This, our best team in 70 years, have only beat Kerry or Dublin once in championship football since 2010. We’ve had 3 attempts at the Kingdom in 6 years and despite playing amazing football in two of those games came up short at the end of the day.

    Can we reach those heights again?Will that be good enough? It’s hard to know but I think we will need to.

    Hopefully last Monday was not a false dawn and a happy postscript to this team’s story.I like to think of it as a step up in form, a deliberate timing of our run for the year. If we perform we have a chance but that is all. Our forwards will need to be clinical and we will need goals.

  11. If we can hold to a reasonable degree their full forward line and bring a high tempo running from from 1st minutes to 76th minute then I think we have a great chance of winning. I just don’t see enough pace in the middle eight in this Kerry panel. They are might footballers for sure, but if I look at Donnacha Walsh, Johnny Buckley or Killian Young, I don’t believe they have the same pace as the likes of Diarmuid, Patrick Durcan, Kevin Mc or Lee Keegan. A big thing in the first 50 minutes if the likes of Jason Doherty, Diarmuid, Seamus OShea and Tom Parsons to run hard lines direct at the likes of Tadgh Morley, Paul Murphy and Shane Enright. These lads tend to foul if you run hard at their near shoulder. As I have observed with Mayo, our running game is even better if there are a few yellows spread out amongst the opposition defence.

  12. – There is no issue with our fitness, attitude and work-rate as those were all there in abundance v Roscommon the last day. Mayo will hit hard and really fight for this.
    – We know that Mayo will out-number Kerry in the terraces the next day and that the Mayo team will know all about it
    – It’s a given that Deegan will try to let the game flow (because that is what HQ wants) and as a result frees that should be awarded will not be awarded but that will/should hold true for BOTH teams
    – Therefore a lot of knowns but equally a whole lot of unknowns for e.g will Mayo switch on from the throw in ?, will Kerry be even a little complacent ?, will there be an early injury to a key player or more likely a melee with a few players getting carded ?.
    – Stop this deference to ‘cute’ Kerrymen (or women). Where did this rubbish of Kerry being cuter than anyone else originate, Danny Hely-Rae anyone ?
    – Stop being concerned about the Yerras in the media as they will not lower themselves to targeting an individual Mayo player. In reality you would learn more from Peig Sayers than some of those so called Yerra scripes.
    – As for the match well heck who knows, can I mention that word draw with a replay in a neutral venue (Pearse Stadium Salthill).

  13. Absolutely delighted there was no preview on TSG and no chance after the Roscommon game for the yerra brigade to get going. Hopefully not too much talk this week either. Let the two teams at it and they can talk about it after

  14. Let them talk. This fixation on yerra this and that is a load of nonsense in my opinion and only further perpetuates the notion that we have an inferiority complex when it comes to Kerry. The team hit a form line in our last game that I’ve not seen for years, it was breathtaking at times, regardless of the opposition. I’ve an idea in my head about the match ups and if I had to bet I’d back 4/5 of our guys to get the better of their battles. If we can win the fifth, and gain parity in midfield, we win the game. I’m not going to go into those match ups because at the end of the day, it’s pointless speculation, but I do think we’ll win, and maybe with more to spare than people think.

  15. Mayos attitude up to last Monday was not 100%. Thus the poorish performances. There is no danger of us being anything less than at full throttle against Kerry. So it’s game on! Whoever is the best team will win – no surprises, long grass or anything else. We will give it one hell of a go and have a great chance of beating them. I’m not sure they are as good as all that. I think we are more than a match for them in most aspects of the game. And we have a score to settle with them!

  16. Good question, Liam. If Vaughan picks up Donaghy, then Barrett will probably go. Harsh but hard to see who else.
    Kinda depends on tactics really.

  17. Cannot see either Barrett or Harrison being replaced. They are our two best man markers by some distance. End of.
    Choice is how to best deal with Donaghy & where to best deploy Leeroy …..

  18. Good question Liam. It’s harsh to drop anyone based on last week, but someone will have to make way for Leeroy. Not sure who myself. I think it may be a forward, maybe Diarmuid who could potentially be huge coming off the bench. Dublin often keep an impact player on the leash (a la MDMA). Probably depends on match ups, but it’s a good headache for management.

  19. We will need luck
    That word LUCK. God knows Mayo for whatever reason don’t seem to get that on the big days out in Croke park whether it be Kerry or Dublin.

    No own goals & no sendings off.
    The management will hopefully make the right calls during the course of the game if required.

    If the team is up for it and our key guys are tuned in & switched on and play at 110% of their capability then yes we can beat Kerry.
    The key to this for me – run at Kerry like the hammers of hell when we get over the 45 and draw the fouls.
    If our forwards slow down at all & start going lateral holding up the ball then that’s fatal because Kerry will turn over the Ball on us & in my mind that will be curtains.
    We seemed to play a lot that way this year up until the replay against Roscommon when we reverted to all out attack at speed which is our strength.

    A winning team needs a little bit of luck along the way.
    It’s time for mother luck to be on Mayo’s side starting Sunday.

  20. For Lee Keegan to come back in I see three options.
    1. Straight swap for Patrick Durcan. I think most likely, but I wouldn’t do that. Patrick Durcan is tailor made for James ODonoghue as a man marker.
    2. SOS drops out and Lee goes to midfield. The flipside to this is we went very well with SOS, Tom and Aidan all three on the pitch at the same time the last day. Are we a bit undersized without SOS on the pitch, possibly. Just think Tom would be a bit isolated here as the muscle around the middle.
    3. Diarmuid drops out and Lee plays that same role from defence to midfield to attack.
    Possible the best of all 3 options as you get Diarmuid coming on fresh to affect the game late on.
    Make no doubt about it. Kerry have a strong bench and we need to be reaching for strong options when we use our subs. The kind of role Diarmuid plays if we start both him and JDoc we have no true wing forward option to give us that final 20 mins boost. Your wing forward protect and provide. You honestly live and die by your wing forwards depending on if they are in or out of the game.

  21. James : You can get tickets online at or any local Supervalu or Centra store in Mayo

  22. The whole thing of the Kerry cuteness…They know their team is going to prepare well and are ready for battle.

    They can talk as much crap as they like. Building up the opposition, playing themselves down because they know the effort will be there from their own camp and they are ready to go the distance.

  23. It’s great to be heading in to the game knowing what works for us and what doesn’t work. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some additional tweaks as well to give kerry something else to worry about.

  24. I think keep David moran quiet and you keep kerry quiet. If you look at any of kerry’s stand out performances in the last 2 years, moran is lording midfield. He is their true leader. It is for this reason, I would put lee on Moran and stop him getting clean possession. Added to this, moran would then be forced to follow lee’s runs forward, leaving kerry short in midfield.

    I would maybe sacrifice a half forward for this.

  25. Whatever about Pat Spillane, when are they going to wheel out “The Bomber” to write an article on his thoughts on upcoming matters?

    Anyway lookit as the owl saying goes “Revenge is a dish best served cold”.

    We have waited 3 years and the dish has chilled. The time is now. Horan had said back in 2014 not to dwell on events in Limerick. I think his words were ” Its not good for the soul”. However now an opportunity has come along to right the wrong that robbed him and his men of their legacy. Dont be fooled again Mayo.

    Yeah, Kerry are favourites and rightly so. Just like they were in the 1996 semi final.

  26. To win on Sunday, Stephen will have to instil belief in the players. Mayo will have to be ruthless and show composure in defence and in attack (The composure Waterford had in the scoring of the three goals yesterday is an example for OUR TEAM). The belief and composure and determination Derek McGrath instilled in Waterford was wonderful to see. Kerry have lost THE Gooch, Aiden O mahony and Marc O She over the last year, they are not easily replaced.

  27. I think it is reasonable to suggest that we have been giving too much respect to our opposition & not focussing enough on what we do well ourselves. As someone said the other day we need to think 75% ourselves and 25% the opposition. We have been trying to copy the big guns and their game plans & forgetting that there are other ways to win a game. I think it is time to believe in our own game & inflict it on the opposition.
    There is nothing like winning the Mayo way!
    There are 4 main dangers to us on Sunday. The first is Donaghy who will be playing only 50 minutes but will it be the first 50 or the last 50 and how many of the 50 minutes will be at midfield/full forward?
    The second danger is their two corner forwards Geaney & O Donoghue.
    The third danger is David Moran at midfield and the fourth danger is the boost they’ll be aiming to get with 20 to go from the introduction of the likes of O Brien, O Sullivan & BJ Keane.
    We have to smash those 4 pillars.
    I would have Lee at midfield for this one directly tracking Moran.
    I would play Vaughan on Donaghy.
    I would not place Higgins or Durcan in our full back line as we’ll need those two to go at them further forward.
    For me Harrison & Barrett are our corner backs but neither would I shy away from throwing in a complete curved ball here in young O Donoghue whom I believe is ideally suited for relentlessly tracking down his Kerry namesake or Geaney. I want our attacking backs further up the field in this one & those are the risks I would be prepared to take for gains further forward.
    Finally we need to have a few boys waiting on the bench ready to cool the jets of the incoming Kerry subs.
    Time to go big game hunting on Sunday. Let’s take down a big beast. Time to believe.
    Mayo for me with a bit to spare.

  28. Liam – Great Question… No matter who gets dropped for Keegan to start, some other very good player will be starting on the bench, and many people posting here on the Blog are going to be unhappy…. I asked several knowledgeable GAA people during last week this very question…. The names that came up, were… Durcan, Barrett, Vaughan and Doherty… I wouldn’t like to picking which player should be dropped personally… But I would say this, I definitely would not drop Vaughan, Mayo are always much better with Vaughan playing in Croke Park…. And I am not saying that it should be any of the other 3 named either…. It’s very intriguing as to exactly what we will do, but I think we should embrace it as what it is, an abundance of excellent player’s from No 2 to No 9,…If you think about it, both Drake and Nally were hugely impressive of the bench last Monday, especially, Nallys 2 superb points in such a short time that he was given… .Another thing is that, Donaghy needs to be neutralised and we need someone with a big physical presence for this job… The names that came up were, Donal Vaughan, SOS and Barry Moran….. If it is to be Barry Moran? (I know that he hasn’t played much football this year, but he has to be on the panel for some reason, is this the reason?)… If this were the case, 2 player’s would have to be dropped!… Then again, it’s not a certainty that Fitzmorris will start Donaghy either…. I notice that no one is campaigning for Cafferkey to be brought back in, in the 2011 semifinal Caff done a superb job on Donaghy, but Caff in the match’s this year hasn’t been at that level at all,… However it’s still a possibility even if improbable…. It would be a very wise man or woman that would be able to accurately predict what the starting 15 will be for Mayo next Sunday!

  29. “Yuose won’t beat the Dubs”, called out one of the two middle-aged men in Dublin jerseys as I passed them on the way to the recent Mayo/Roscommon game.
    “But we’re not playing the Dubs today,” I replied
    Dub: “Ah no. I’m just sayin. Youse won’t beat the Dubs”
    Me: “All we have to do today is to beat the Rossies”
    Dub: “but I’m owney sayin….”
    “I know”, I replied, “but it’s not about the Dubs every day”.

    I was too far away to hear the next line but with 20 mins to go to throw-in, I was more concerned with getting to my allocated seat in the Cusack Stand than shooting the breeze with the locals. However, I have thought about that exchange a lot since. Since the start of the year, this has been all about the all-conquering Dubs, their level of perfection and all the usual blather. But on Sunday, we get an opportunity to take the next step and this time it is against the only team to lower Dublin’s colours in quite a while.

    Kerry is a proud footballing county. They are dying to get a crack at the Dubs again, and I think that this might be a factor in our favour. Have they taken their eye off us? Are they aiming to peak in mid-September? This is what Pat Spillane is afraid of and what the rest of the YERRA media machine will be homing in on for the rest of the week. Expect bombardment from all quarters – except that the main media focus is on the following weekend, the glorious Dubs and the prospect of a Dublin/Kerry final.

    We ran Dublin to a point last year over two finals and we are 9/4 for the match on Sunday. Make no mistake, we are well under the radar here. Despite the media’s insatiable appetite for all things Dublin, we still don’t have to concern ourselves with the Dubs on Sunday, just focus on beating Kerry – a task we are well capable of.

    Keep the Faith!

  30. Think harry donal v and Chris Barrett will be the full back line. Paddy colm and Lee will be half back. Think Tom and seamus will be midfield and keith will be named as a forward with a free liscence to cross midfield and carry the ball forward. Think the change will be in the forwards but I cannot decide who’ll be on the bench at the start. I could be wrong but that’s how I see things from the backs up as far as wherever Keith is positioned.

  31. Assigning Lee Keegan 5’10” to track David Moran 6’5″? That would not end well for us. They’d put every kickout on top of Moran. In general play he is far too big and powerful for Lee. With ball in hand David Moran can run straight through Lee. David Moran after all has no compunction about often running through two defenders.
    Lee might do well on Jack Barry however who I don’t think has got Lee’s agility or pace.

  32. Seems there are many of you that think that the Kerry media mafia are all involved in some master plan to somehow get into the heads of the Mayo players and corrupt their preparation for this battle. I’m sure that Rochford will like Eamon Fitz have a media ban in place with his team. No serious senior team would be allowed to thrall the papers of online media in the run up to a game of this magnitude. This game is huge for both teams, semifinals are an unusual event as in you are not in the final but you are so so close. It’s a game that can fray nerves and some players have a resulting off day.

    If a Fitzmaurice came out and said “we are in good shape and we should be able to get over the line against Mayo on Sunday” I think all here would be fairly quick to round on him. Imagine this blog if he said that and more importantly imagine the Mayo dressing room !! They’d take the door of the dressing room on the way out to the field. Every team manager regardless of the sport has to pay respect to the opposition as they will know that to suggest superiority would in all probability result in a major backlash from the opposition. Mayo and Kerry are two teams who have brought the fight to the dubs over the past few years and there is little between them. Mayo have turned a corner and will have a pep in their step in six days time I have no doubt, Kerry too will be very much awake and alive to the history between themselves and Mayo and after the Roscommon performance they will be ready..

    What the scribes commit to paper will matter little over the next week as no Kerry or Mayo player will be aware of them so it’s just the rest of us that have to wrestle with their words…

  33. The question who to drop for LK.
    I’d like to see LK play centre forward/ midfield clean up, push AOS between the 11 and 14 positions AOS would attract enough attention to allow our runners and quick ball into the forward line.
    The back 6 needs to stay as it is because if it “ain’t broken don’t fix it”, To answer the question, JDoc to be dropped.

  34. The flipside to dropping JDoc is that he has been the most accurate shooter from play. Think it’s 2 points from play each game and most of them from distance. By comparison Diarmuid isn’t as forceful as JDoc and isn’t getting as many scores from play. Jason is the experienced teak tough guy who has been operating at a high level for a long time. I’d be reluctant to drop him on his current form.

  35. @JP
    I agree about Jason Doherty and I also think he wins a huge amount of breaking ball around the middle. It’s surely a nice position to find ourselves in when we’re having a great debate about who makes way for the current player of the year and no single player seems to be agreed on.

  36. Sunday’s game could be a watershed for Mayo football in general or I should say we can make it so. We get over the top of this hill with conviction and our future must certainly take on a new aura …not just for the present team but for all teams to follow in the years to come.The Horans/Rochfords era will have elevated our footballing fortunes onto a new level where visits to HQ will be frequent and challenges for major honours will continue to be a normality.
    This game is more than a mere semi final of the All Ireland!

  37. Maybe this might be the game to hold Andy Moran in reserve with Lee Keegan taking his place with a license to go wherever he wants to go.

    Kerry are going to have a lot of firepower coming off the bench like Stephen O’Brian, Barry John Keane, Darren O’Sullivan etc. while for us Conor Loftus has been the only player really that we have used up front from the bench. So Andy could be the man to carry us over the line in a tight game.

    In saying that, if we lost, everyone would be saying why didn’t we start Andy, we could have been much further behind in the Clare game without him in the first-half.

    I think we need Diarmuid starting as when I seen Austin Gleeson score the goal that he did for Waterford, I had visions of Diarmuid or Kevin Mc doing something similar against Kerry. So in general we’d be starting with lads with the legs and finishing with lads with a bit of experience. It’s something to consider anyway and it just shows how hard it is to think of a player to leave out.

  38. We are getting all of our defenders to run from deep pop up and score and we should what. We should learn from our past mistakes. We done all the running in 2014 to last me a lifetime. How we get on this Sunday will depend on how well we defend. Take it from Tyrone and Donegal who have beaten Kerry in the last few years. Headless chickens ask their defenders to attack and get scores. It allows Kerry use their real strengths of kick passing and scoring when in space. Mayo need to keep it tight at the back and use the blanket. Kerry are masters of the blanket since 2009. Check out this for yourself on Sunday if you did not know already. Call it smarter footballif you like. We need to match their foot passing skills and their accuracy in front of goal.

  39. My own thinking on who makes way for keegan is, its gonna be Durkin or Duirmuid. Simply put we need serious running and firepower coming off the bench. Both add that, in spades. Jdoc does so much mullicking and hard graft that often gets overlooked and against Kerry that will be vital! Duirmuid brings speed and power running, that will be needed when the game opens up. Starting Vaughan as the man to mark Donaghy makes sense IMO as he will go long periods without activity in the game and Donie will stick to him. So in effect Rochie could well going into a semi final again with an unorthodox defensive unit. He will have a plan, we will need luck but im confident. Onwards…..

  40. I agree with inBetweener above. This game is more than a semi final. They have to beat them.
    The very best of luck to the team.
    The sooner Sunday comes the better – the nerves!!

  41. HopeSpringsEternal,… Dropping Andy Moran could very well turn out to be the right thing to do… It would certainly catch Kerry by surprise, in as much of their preparations would certainly be geared towards curtailing Andy… Last meeting of Mayo and Kerry, in the league Andy Moran ran the Kerry full back, Mark Griffin ragged, Andy won the MotM award..and Mayo won a match that they seemed to to have no hope of winning in the first half.. There is a certain synergy between Andy and Cillian and I feel that the absence of Andy would damage Cillians game as well …. If Mayo had the abundance of top class inside forwards as we have for defenders it might be a solution.. In my opinion, if for any reason, Andy couldn’t start, we would need to start Connor Louftus…. I think that Kerry would easily be able to shut down one marquee forward, but having two on the field more than doubles our potential for success…. I can’t agree with you, I am afraid that someone else will have to make way for the inclusion of the Player of the year, Lee Keegan!..

  42. I agree with diehard on his summing up of the forthcoming game on Sunday
    Come on Mayo

  43. Yerras in full flow.
    Spillane serving up a double yerra burger with cheese and a dollop of Mayo on the side.
    Hope the lads give it socks on Sunday
    Hon Mayo

  44. Yeah Leantimes, it is a hard one to call alright and would be a bit of a risk not starting Andy. My thinking as well though is that Lee Keegan scored 1-3 from play in one half against Roscommon and getting him running at the Kerry defence could see probably our greatest strength coming up against one of their biggest weaknesses.

    Maybe we can have that scenario anyway by replacing one of the other players, maybe Jason Doc but the Kerry defenders are hardy boys so Doc’s strength will probably be needed. He scored three points in Limerick in 2014, so he would be very unlucky not to start. We’ll see how it goes!

  45. I think Mayo have an excellent chance next Sunday, and I base this on evidence of Kerry – Galway game. The Kerry full back line imo is suspect – at times Ian Burke had them at 6’s/7’s. When Damo Comer ran at the defence he left 2 defenders in his wake bearing down on goal. I also think it’s important to start your best forwards, and set down an early scoring marker. Therefore, if Lee is fully fit to start, then if pushed, I would play him instead of Colm Boyle. Kerry of course will introduce pacey forwards in 2nd period, and it would be great peace of mind knowing that Colm can then be called on. Discipline, and tackling will need to be exemplary the next day. I have no doubt Mayo can do this…

  46. Subs of Diarmuid, Conor Loftus, Stephen Coen, David Drake, Shane Nally and Danny Kirby adds a decent mix of pace, size and footballing ability from the bench.

  47. Comers rampage while dangerous gave Kerry a timely warning and Fitz will plug that particular avenue by starting a pacy line blocker with a particular brief in hand. People speak of marque forwards and some here suggest that Andy be kept for an impact roll ??? Are ye insane ?? Moran. Every time that man wins a ball my heart tightens and I can tell you that the argument of Mayo having a marquee forward goes out the window when he starts. He is old but he has the vital instinct that so many Mayo forwards lack, he goes for the jugular and that is a defenders nightmare. Geaney and O Donoghue have that in their DNA and when they win the ball their first move is to turn and go straight for the opisitions goal,, if ye keep Moran as an impact sub it’s mood night Saigon in my opinion ….

  48. Think colm has to start. Defense are a much tighter unit with him on the pitch. We payed the price for not playing him against galway I think and made life difficult in later games for ourselves when he was substituted.

    As for Andy, he’s a great player alright. We are very lucky in the fact that he is an effective guy to start but he also does the business when brought on later in the games. He has.saved us in the past when introduced later in games.

    It’s a great sign of a team when it’s hard to predict who will be our motm. Some teams you can tell pre game who the likely motm will be but not mayo. So many top class players and not easy when anyone of them can turn in a stellar performance.

    I’m hoping that this weekend it’s a hard call picking motm I. e. several of the lads put in their top performance.

    It’s very difficult to pick the starting 15 but have to say that reading the posts above nearly everyone has made very strong arguments for their starters. It really is an intriguing situatuation to be in. A great sign that we have different opinions. God be with the days when we would be happy with about 8 starters and another 7 players to make up the numbers. A real sign of strength in depth.

    Hon Mayo.

  49. Forecast isn’t great for Sunday and if the Hill 16 end of the pitch is still problematic – and we lose the toss – Kerry will lump a few high balls in there early and it could be like the Johnny Crowley show all over again. They’ll look to bury us early so they can play their more attractive stuff later. That said, this Mayo side are a far superior team to that era.
    Vaughan to marshal Donaghy (IF they start Donaghy), with Higgins sweeping in front of them. No point in trying to wrestle the shtar in the air, it’s a needless waste of energy and it’s more important to get the hands in once he comes out of the air with it. It’s a huge day for Seamie O Shea to keep Moran quiet. If he does, or breaks even, then it’s there for the taking. Control in front of goals, recycle for the right option. Enough wisdom and experience to know it’s an 80 minute game and chances will be there, not to panic if tight coming down the home straight.

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