U21 semi-final line-up completed

Mayo u21s 2016

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

With the Ulster and Munster finals played on Wednesday evening and last night respectively, the All-Ireland semi-final line-up in this year’s U21 football championship – is this the final one before it becomes an U20 tournament? I’m having difficulty keeping up with these changes – has now been completed.

It was expected that Tyrone and Kerry would come through this week from Ulster and Munster respectively but both the defending All-Ireland champions and this year’s ante-post favourites were both beaten in their provincial finals. So instead of a Noughties redux clash between the Red Hands and the Kingdom it’ll be Monaghan against Cork in one semi-final, while we, of course, are pitted against Leinster champions Dublin in the other one.

Cork have now replaced Kerry as clear favourites to land the trophy – Paddy Power have priced them at 13/8 to win the thing outright. Dublin and ourselves are bracketed closely enough in the betting – they’re on offer at 5/2 while we stand at 11/4 – and Monaghan are priced as 4/1 outsiders. Full odds here.

Now that the semi-final line-up has been confirmed, and in light of the fact that the penultimate round is down for decision a week tomorrow, we can expect confirmation of the venue pretty soon, perhaps even later on today. TG4 cover both semi-finals live so the practice in recent years has been to play them as a double-header at a provincial venue. Given the discussion we had on here the other day, I’m now pencilling in a run down to Tullamore to catch the action live. Once the match details have been confirmed, I’ll post them here.


13 thoughts on “U21 semi-final line-up completed

  1. I would have put my house on Kerry beating Cork. Pleasantly surprised to hear last night’s result – a good reminder that nothing is a foregone conclusion in GAA.

    We do have a great chance here, but we need to keep the heads and stop dreaming of finals just yet. If we start against Dublin like we started against Leitrim and Roscommon we will be punished. But this team have the mindset of winners, and it will drive them on.

  2. Always warms the heart to see a Jack O’Connor led team lose. Serious teams left, that Monaghan team basically blew it in our minor semi in 2013. All to play for!

  3. Yes Alf familiarity breeds contempt but did you see St Brendan’s v Pats Maghera. The Northern team would have been more than v worthy winners,however the Kerry boys snatched /robbed it in the end while the vanquished wallowed and died in their extreme amount of possession and wides.
    K kept in touch throughout , though out of it and still got the nec scores at the right time.Is this U21 team of ours turning out something like that….no harm at all!

  4. 12 of Kerry’s starting 15 will be underage again next year so they must be putting their faith in the Minor teams that won the last two All-Ireland titles, they will want to put in a big effort in the next couple of years with these teams. They have not won a Munster U21 title since 2008.

    Dublin came from 7 points down against Kildare to beat them after extra time. They were 9-2 down at one stage. We did something similar against Roscommon so it just shows that both teams don’t lack self-belief. From our point of view we just want to see our U21 team play to their full-potential and that’s all we can ask for really. Roll on the game!

  5. Under 21 is always an odd one, bang average teams on paper often grind it out

    Id imagine every team will be rightfully confident

    As for ourselves it’s all to play for now, though as Anne Marie says we need to keep the heads, when all is said and done we’re probably a tad fortunate to even be still in it.

    At least we’re finally involved in the latter stages of this event again though!

  6. I wouldn’t be sure that 12 of their team is underage next year. Next year it changes to U20. More likely 5 or 6 are underage next year.

  7. That’s good news for our current crop of U21’s then. A few of them have another year of U21.

  8. One of your contributors called the Munster final well yesterday. Must say I am glad that the possibility of meeting Kerry in another final is gone.

  9. @ JP, that’s what it said in The Indo today anyway:

    (While Cork just about deserved victory, this young Kerry side – 12 of the starting 15 are underage next year – showed courage in coming back after Cork struck for two first-half goals.)

  10. Under 21 is funny though in that a lot of players often turn out being much better at 19 years of age than when they’re 21.

    So out of that 12 for Kerry it’s likely some will be left out next year in favour of one or two just out of minor. There’s never any real pattern from one year to the next

    A large majority of teams will be filled with 18,19 and 20 year olds. remember plenty of 21 year olds will be graduating/graduated from college, so may well move abroad also

    It’s such a tough age group to predict. The majority of players from certain counties are away in college during the week so a lot of teams don’t have the benefits of 100% preparation, while other teams are affected by club All Ireland, sigerson and senior inter-county commitments

    Tactics and stuff don’t have near as much of an effect, i remember galway in 2011/2013 and Dublin in 12/14 pretty much winning playing a caution to the wind, standardised free flowing, “quick ball in” type game, which would never be enough at senior level nowadays, against such professional set-ups

    So if Mayo can generate some consistency at this level I’d never truly fear anyone

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