Unchanged team named for Sunday

We’ve just named an unchanged team for Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry and I’ve just enough time to post details here before we head out for the day. Unlike the Kerrymen, we haven’t revealed our full 26-man match-day panel and have only named our starting fifteen, which is as follows:

Mayo (All-Ireland SFC semi-final v Kerry, 24/8/2014): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole); Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber).

70 thoughts on “Unchanged team named for Sunday

  1. Like I said in the last post, it’s hard to see that team playing as selected and I’ll be amazed if there’s not at least one change before throw in on Sunday. Particularly in the defence.

  2. Few interesting subplots alright

    Do Freeman and Gibbons come in?

    Is this 15 the one that’ll start?

    And if so, where does everyone play? vaughan to half back and Cunniffe as an “extra cornerback”? With AOS mid?

    We won’t know for sure until 3.30 sunday. It can’t come quick enough now, Up Mayo

  3. Well we know who who has the stronger bench!!! I hope we have a change or two before throw in Sunday.

  4. Yes Steve, based on the respective selections Kerry do. They have made changes and left themselves options off the bench, we have two in Gibbons and Freeman but given how little game time they have gotten in the white hot heat of championship this year, they are not necessarily options at 50 minutes anymore.
    I hate to be negative, but this is a fans site between ourselves and its all about opinions, and my opinion based on looking at our team and looking at theirs is that if we start with that team we wont win this game unfortunately.
    Will still be their roaring them on and I hope to God they prove me wrong but I think Fitzmaurice will out think us

  5. We potentially have just as good a bench if not better in my opinion Steve we just haven’t used it as well. In theory we currently have the likes of Feeney, Gibbons, Barry, Freeman to come in with guys like Mikie Sweeney and Conroy (who is prone to an odd wonder-game, he was mighty vs Tyrone off the bench last year) to also be sprung

    Declan is pretty much past it now, and Donaghy is so far finished it’s unreal. Darran O’Sullivan has been a huge disappointment since 2011. It may have been a super bench 3 years ago but there’s a lot of milage on the clock there.

  6. Agree with East Cork, Roscommon and Cork could have easily beat us already this year but for a couple of refereeing decisions goin our way. Kerry won’t let us off the hook as soft, hope that’s not the team that starts, Barrett will get roasted I’m afraid. Surprised Freeman not in from the start, think james has left himself open for a lot of criticism if we fail once again to Kerry.

  7. Our bench is not bad in fairness but our options have to include Feeney. No point bringing him on at 72 minutes. I reckon we will nick this one, no reason why not.

  8. Great team, mayo by seven, good luck to both mayo teams, hope all players get back safely

  9. “Agree with East Cork, Roscommon and Cork could have easily beat us already this year but for a couple of refereeing decisions goin our way. ”

    Ah here, for God’s sake, how anyone can think the ref squng it for us against Cork is beyond me! He was absolutely atrocious! Cork could (and should) have been down to 13 men by the 50th minute! They were filth and got a pile soft of frees in front of goal.

  10. Kerry would certainly be happy to see Barrett lining out after the roasting he got against Cork. I’d be hoping that before throw-in we’ll see Cunniffe moving back there with Vaughan moving back to the half-back line and, hopefully, Jason Gibbons coming into midfield.

    Who knows. James has got us guessing, so Kerry must be guessing too.

  11. I think Mr Brady/Coyne might be somewhat disingenuous. Always amazes me how all these new posters arrive around August and are usually very negative. I suppose that’s the one positive of your county getting beaten like dogs in early July, gives you time to go onto the good teams blogs and post shite.
    I’ll pick your sister up in Knockcroghery by the way Brady.

  12. east cork exile – Yeah I worry about Freeman and Gibbons etc and game time. The word that both are flying in training and were due to start was it seems way of the mark.

    My view on Andy is that he is better coming off the bench…he lifts the team and supporters. In fairness he was just coming into the game the last day when taken off.

    I would not be as confident as I was earlier in the week but then again I always get like that before a big game.

  13. Steve wait till 3.30 before we go speculating that any supposed change was “way off the mark”

    Dummy teams are a regular thing nowadays, though I dislike them myself, but that’s for another day

  14. Im hoping jh will make a switch or two, maybe gibbons instead of barrett and freeman in for andy,which would leave aos free to roam about the middle and not worry about chasing a midfielder around. He could also go with barry as his main strength his catching high ball. Gunna be one hell of a battle.

  15. Less of the negative talk. Apparently, having strong players on the bench, and not of the field making a difference, is a good move. If they have strengthened their bench, then they have weakened their team to do it. We need to stop getting tangled up in this nonsense about how the opposition have outfoxed us. We are psyching ourselves out. At the end of the day, they have named 3 guys on the bench that on form should be starting. That isn’t a positive for them and we need to realise that right now. I know if we had AOS, Kevin McLoughlin and Colm Boyle on the bench I would be a whole lot more sceptical about our chances, so really and truly, what the hell are we talking about? Personally, I think this isn’t the team that will take the field anyway.

    Remember back to the sting of Kerry hammering us. Remember how that felt. Think of all the talk of bottlers and lying down for Kerry. We are showing these fellas far too many niceties. We owe these fellas an right thumping, and we should be baying for their blood. We should be looking for our lads to smash into these youngsters and show them what playing this mayo team is all about. As one famous Kerry man said, ‘We need to crash into these fellas and test their pulse. Because these lads will play good football if they are allowed. Promise me lads that these fellas will get such a fucking shell shock that we will put them back on their arses for 10 years’.

    Put some faith in what our lads are going to do to them, they felt the sting we all did, they will want to put it right too. Stop psyching yourselves out.

  16. Ciaran, true and I am not a fans of dummy teams either. Doing so shows fear in my opinion. But with tactics etc who know what chess game Fitz and Horan are playing. Can’t wait for Sunday.

  17. Shouldn’t be too surprised that JH has named an unchanged 15. Andy and Dillo were always going to start an All Ireland semi final. That left the scope for change (Freeman) very narrow. You could also make a case for the inclusion of Barry Moran or Gibbons but they don’t have a lot of game time over the last few weeks.

    As TheMaestro says – time to show some faith and stop agonising over who starts and who makes an impact from the bench. We’ll need every single one of them firing to get over the line. We certainly don’t lack incentive – unfinished business here.

  18. Methinks we can safely ignore both team sheets & we’ll just have to wait till Sunday to find out for sure. The current pre-occupation with giving the opposition as little information as possible so that they can’t pre-plan their match-ups is winning out.
    I also think that this one could be decided on the sideline in terms of selections, match-ups, correct choice of substitutes & timely introduction, etc.
    This is where we really need to up our game.
    If we do this I can see us winning with a bit to spare.

  19. I think Man for Man this is how will lineup

    Keegan/DOS____Boyle/Big Red___Barrett/New Galvin


    KMc/Murphy(tight Marker)___AOS/O’Mahoney__Doh/Fitzgerald


  20. Difficult enough to kick score from the bench so no point worrying about Kerry super subs. Personally I would start with experience and try to get on top off opposition. Having experience on bench is great if team are in front or match is very close but bringing in old heads when opposition have a handy lead does not often work. JH is conservative in selections so while the starting team is not the one I would pick(two changes) I will put my trust in the man who brought us this far.

  21. So Horan has gambled the house on Sundays match…or has he? Not that it makes any difference, he is conservative, so its six from an eight ball perm up front bar Feeney who by now is possibly a pillar of salt. When Kerry were in their pomp and the yearly press night before the All ireland final came round, Ger Power on being asked for a quote replied “stick me down for whatever I said last year”. Horan could tell the press that the team of 2011 is the team to the last come hell or huigh water.

    It reminds me of Eddie O Sullivan, almost canonised for winning Triple Crowns but ultimatly lambasted for failing to ignite a tired team in WC France, was it 2009?. Eddie had his first 15 and Eddie wasnt for shifting. Nothing wrong with that by the way, managers manage and we comment. Along came Kidney, changed the narritive and hey presto we are Grand Slam winners despite Paddy Wallace nearly spilling coffee all over the script at the death v Wales. The present guy upped the anate again and we landed the Championship and the squad was utilised, no sacred cows, no hostages to fortune.

    We and Horan will be measured with an All Ireland victory. The Connacht four in a row will be revisted and placed along Roscommon 1977-1980 or various Galway runs. Unless an All Ireland is secured Mayo will be a team that profited in a province at an all time low. When London reaches Connacht finals, take out Sligo and Leitrim and come within minutes of ditching us, then the province is in terminal decline.

    Meanwhile Dublin has blended youth with experience, every game played in fifth gear. We regard a limping win over Roscommon and a slog against Cork as actually being tested when red lights should be flashing all over the place. Kerry have and are rebuilding, they may have not done enough against us for Sunday but if they do, then they will see daylight. Two young guys were given a chance v Roscommon. Then the vet’s were brought back and remained there. Despite my opinions on them both have done well, indeed Dillon brought Mayo home v Cork and thats what scares me. No young heads banging at the door saying “me..me..me”.

    The Kerry bench on paper looks good. However if the manager believed in them , they would be on the pitch from the off. This bull about finishing with your strongest team is a joke. Dublin finish strong becasue they have a panel of 30 that are seprerated by millimeteres and a mananger that is not afraid to test his engines. No other county has that depth. Take out Gibbons , maybe Freeman if he is given belief and what have we got? Feeney…top class but from featuring in very game last season bar the All ireland final he is now peripherlal to the cause. If Mayo win on Sunday it will be because of what starts the game, get settled and build up a lead then we can fight to hold it. Get pasted early then it doesnt matter who comes on, the green and gold poisen will have run through our veins.

    I havent commented much lately and I note a post up the page demurring about July posters and late comers so please pardon me, I was around this site when it started as a baby back in 2007. I once said that if this site becomes a fanzine then maybe it was time to move on. I havent quite managed to kick the habit but I still see a lot of “either you are with us or against us”. Me? …well having spent six decades prating for the big guy to come calling , I have developed a gimlet eye. I still want the effer to come but pardon me in my belief that the day is not yet. That said who am I but a mayo man who follow’s. This year the team could tear up the script and say fcuk to the likes of myself. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to have to eat my scewed views. Leave nothing behind this Sunday fir.

  22. Would expect to see one or two changes before throw in alright.
    Freeman to start ff?
    Barrett wasn’t great against Cork certainly but that’s the only bad game I’ve seen him play over the last few seasons in fairness (May have missed one or two games in that time).
    Surely though regardless of who is selected – ye will put Higgins on O Donoghue?
    He would be well able to curb him.Arguable the best back in the country.
    I think they will put Higgins on him and play a sweeper in front.Cunniffe and Higgins to do the man marking on the corner forwards.

  23. For a manager who I believe will lead to three all ireland finals, a lot of posters seem to have little faith in him.i think he his excellent. But then I have only been following mayo since the sixties, I know I have never seen a better prepared and organised mayo team, and that is not to criticise other teams or managers

  24. The fact that d o Sullivan and b Sheehan are not starting is a massive blow to Kerry.they are carrying injuries.o Sullivan has knee problems and Sheehan has an injury to his hip.if they were fully fit they would be named from the start.so my Kerry friends tell me.we shall see.

    O donohue has shoulder injury but not serious.everything is in place now for mayo to banish and avenge the hurtful defeats to Kerry down the years.god knows they has been enough of them.

    I agree with mc stay that Kerry have better forwards but mayo have a better battle hardened team.all they need to do now is get out of 3rd gear(ed coughin).

    Roll on Sunday.

  25. I agree with Galwayman about Barrett, he had a dodgy game against Cork but his record is proven. Listen, it will be a close enough game but with the exception of a few class players Kerry are an above average team whereas we are a good team. I said after last year’s AIF that the 2014 final would be a repeat of 2013 and I am sticking to that. My only worry is that the result will be the same but here is hoping. Best of luck to both Mayo teams on Sunday.

  26. If the teams start as selected then we’ll need the sweeper. Barrett probably improving in training as the summer goes on but it’s still a risk, I speculate Horan thinks we need him either starting or 1st sub in backs if we make the final. Otherwise bogus selection it’ll be Gibbons on & Vaughan back. Genuinely think Andy is and deserves to be ahead of Freeman. If Andy subbed need to keep option open to bring him back on. Kerry selection either bogus or else injury to D Sullivan and Darren O S looked well of his best fitness coming on v Galway. D Sullivan should start if fit. P Crowley seen as better than Young by Kerry people so that’s a possible strengthening but if that Kerry team starts it’s low on experience.

  27. Better be careful with those ‘fanzine’ comments Mr. Cuffe, the Positive Thought Police will be along any minute now to deem you ‘against us’!

    I share your unease about Sunday. We are conceding more scores in each successive game. We’re still switching off in games, and Kerry are the number 1 team you don’t want to switch off against. We are still conceding preventable goals. We are still leaving oceans of space in front of our full back line. And now these problems are suddenly going to disappear?

    All through the build-up to this game I’m hearing how we’ve ‘timed our run perfectly’, how we’re ‘doing just enough’, how we ‘haven’t got out of third gear’, how we’re ‘aiming to peak later this year’ than last.

    That’s mighty big talk for a team that hasn’t won an All-Ireland yet. You’d swear it was Kerry ’04-’09 that was being talked about.

    That said, I fervently hope that this proves to be the case. We’re at the business end now and there’s no room for messing. Kerry will cut through the nonsense like they always do and put us to the pin of our collars. JH and co. had better be ready with 70+ minutes of full intensity.

    Otherwise the show’s over.

  28. I like to call a spade a spade and regularly do but I feel some of the comments are negative in emphasis.
    This is an excellent team and it may not start this way.Have people forgotten the team named did not start the ladt day.If Horan is consistent it wont the next day either.But actually I think our big problem is not with selection but in what happens if the selection is not going well.
    I dont believe in bringing on subs in time added on or bringing on subs too late.We must react where there are problems.Funny I think James will on Sunday.And if he does the starting selection wont matter.
    Kerry will change before throw in hoping to unsettle Mayo lads.We are surely prepared for that.
    For those reasons I am positive ,not a member of fanzine or unconditional follower.But I makemy points then trust the lads to do their bit and James to do his.
    See you in Bowes.

  29. It’s a very good team, been interesting to watch it evolve this season – JH keeping an open mind regarding tactics and personnell.

    Vaughan grew into his centrefield role last day out and with Cunniffe and Boyle patrolling the forty I thought we looked mean in defence. It also gives Aidan the opportunity to attack more.

    Doc and McLoughlin are winning kickouts which is great to see, how do you mark up on five midfielders during restarts? Very tricky as Dublin have demonstrated.

    It’s definitely a team that’s evolving. If Andy could just relax into his role we’d be flying. Maigh Eo abu!

  30. TheMaestro I couldn’t agree more.. the best post of the day IMO.. sums it up really, lets go kick some Kerry ass.. C’mon Mayo

  31. No doubt about it, Kerry are there for the taking. The only way Mayo will be beat is if Mayo beat themselves. Providing Mayo do not have sustained lapses in concentration we should win without too much bother. If right was right, this Mayo squad should be going for three in a row, instead of striving just to make it back to the door.

    Mayo are in a third successive All Ireland semi final. These are the good times boys. Let’s enjoy the ride which has been freely donated by the sweat and effort of this great Mayo team.
    We need to play much better and I am confidant that we will.

    Mayo by 7/ 10 points.

    Lets go get them and take them apart bit by bit nice and easy like.

    We owe them that much.

  32. Interesting team selection , I had the honor of sitting in the company of 2 x mayo managers last week ,and of course the conversation turned to the present mayo team , .i asked the 6 million dollar question who would they pick as a starting 15 , What surprised me was both choose 14 out of the 15 James has named for this Sunday , except they both picked a different player in their starting 15 . they both applauded what Horan has brought to mayo football , total footballers ,team players , and a inner believe in their self’s.

  33. It looks quite clear to me.

    We will win up forward because their back line will feel a pull into the middle 8 battle. Dillon will have another big game and is well under the radar, which is fantastic. Andy will run his socks off for 50 minutes and be replaced by Freeman to do the same. Kerry will be busy marking COC, or he will run a muck. I cant see the forward line going any other way.

    Middle 8 will be a big battle but we will win it by a good margin. Just look at our middle 8!

    We might loose the full back line battle due to our relentless focus on attack. I hope our back line remains the same, but Cuniffe and Harrison are good back-up. Kerry will expect us to take the big fella with a fringe out of the game, so hopefully we dont get too distracted by all the talk about him. The reason we will loose the back line is to push on with our attacking game and that is a worthy cause as long as we stick with it.

    We should win by 3 and maybe 4 points. I cant see it any other way.

    If we persist with the attack. Take the easy goal chances we have let past us all year. Get more aggressive when they score goals (and they will score goals). We will win by 7+ points.

    If we get distracted from our attacking game plan by their forwards and the odd goal they will score, or turn defensive when we get a lead or get shaken when they bring on big names or some combination of these, we are in for a hiding. But I just cant see these happening this weekend.

    Can’t wait for Sunday.

    PS I overheard a Meath mouth blab on about how Mayo wont win but even if they do they will loose the next game just like 1996. FFS. When will it end.

  34. Looking forward to Bowes and to Sunday. And for anyone who thinks we will play a sweeper, just ask yourself how many times we have played one since Donie Buckley had come on board.
    Zero times. And no change from that for Sunday.

  35. Horan and these players deserve immense credit for what they have done. Regardless of how sunday goes I wont be turning my nose up to 4 in a row in Connacht. Its all very well saying that if we don’t win an AI title then we are failures. Well when I was watching Mayo in the 70s I would have been delighted with even one Conn title. Come to think of it , it took Mayo from 1955 to 1981 to manage 4 Conn titles that’s 4 in 26 years. I don’t know how they ll do on Sunday. Playing Kerry is always a concern and I remember a written off Kerry destroying Dublin in a quarter some years back. Whatever happens this team have given us a great lift and sense of pride over the last 4 years. I suspect that this will be JH s last year and it would be brilliant if he and this team were to succeed. No group of men deserve success more.

  36. Its amazing that there has been so much talk about the Mayo full-back line yet two of the Kerry players in their full-back line are 34 years old, Marc O’Shea and Aidan O’Mahoney. Imagine if we had two 34 year olds in our full-back line the media would go to town on us. Sur Andy Moran and Alan Dillon are only young fellas compared to them two boys! They also have a few players who are in their first championship season. With Bryan Sheehan on the bench, they are missing their first choice free-taker. The main man to supply JOD is not starting either Declan O’Sullivan. These are reasons to be confident but not to be over confident. You’d think that Kerry will try to take as much physicality out of the game as possible by moving the ball as quickly as possible. If the weather is not great then that should make the game more of a battle, which should help us and hinder them. They are still a very dangerous team and have a strong bench but hopefully we can make our greater experience count.

  37. Can’t believe it but was just in the company of Larry Finnerty, he said to me that there’s a few of the forwards on the current team that could hit the net just like he did against cork, I got a great lift listening to him as I was getting nervous about the game, but he also mentioned that the full forward line of Kerry could easily hammer 2 or 3 goals past us early on. In james we trust, roll on Sunday.

  38. Roll on Sunday. We have probably our best team since 51 but they’ll need their A game on Sunday.
    5 years without an All-Ireland in Kerry is almost famine times down there. Losing a semi final to Dublin last year really hurt them; losing another one to Mayo this year will be treated as a calamity. Make no mistake about it, Kerry are under pressure here, they will come out with all guns blazing intensity-wise on Sunday, we’ll have to match them and reach the same level as last year’s game against Donegal. I can only see it as a very close game with Mayo’s middle 8 giving us the edge to win it.

  39. How do you know this bendoverg? Very disappointed if that’s true. We need all men pulling in one direction now and he could have been a key man from the bench.

  40. head is very confused . really as former mid fielder and big fan of Donnie . thought he was totally lost against cork .got super point near end but gibbons is a far better mid-f . but all said and done we have to get behind our team . we have not won any all Ireland in the last 2 years but remember we have soo much to be proud of in this group of players. safe journey to all

  41. I think the fact that Kerry haven’t won an All Ireland since ’09 is more of a motivator for them and should be worrying for us. This Kerry team is building, Fitzy is a clever operator and probably has an edge on Horan tactically, just because its Kerry.

    There is a tendency to over analyze how football is played but possession is as they say, nine tenths of the law, therefore if we control the ball and gain significant possession, we deny those deadly Kerry forwards the means to inflict damage on us.
    If we execute on that, I think we have edge.
    However, this is Kerry and they believe, despite them playing down their chances, that they will beat Mayo. In fact, they fully expect to. If they loose they can rationalize it somewhat in that the team is still building and so on. It will knaw at them though, just like it still knaws at Cork.

    Many are nervous about this particular encounter, including meself…Kerry have inflicted serious hurt on us so many times, so its normal for us (supporters) to feel that anxiety. I can still see Star swatting David Heaney aside and scoring a smashing goal at the Davin end. Not nearly as formidable now as back then, he’s still a threat so I’d expect to see him at some stage, for our FB line has serious issues under a high ball in big games and that’s fact. Kerry know this very well too.

    Having said that, the Mayo players should look at this as means to an end, the opposition just in the way of our march to winning the championship.
    We still have the experience and talent, so I’d be surprised if we lost, yet shocked if we won by any more than 3 pts. It is Kerry after all.

  42. The named team is a good one imo, this same side handled Cork well for 50+ mins. in the quarter final. Granted Chris Barrett wasn’t at his best(return from injury etc.) but 2 bad games in a row isn’t in his blood.
    We are afterall very lucky to have this side injury free, unlike the last 2 years when we were dogged with such problems.
    We also have a strong experienced bench with the likes of Feeney (who certainly deserves more time on the field) Gibbons , Freeman & Barry M and also talents such as Sweeney,Drake, Coen and Harrison to call on if and when needed but at the Right time.
    I think that kerry worry about our ability to turn it on in the third quarter and are saving some legs to try and deal with that from the bench.
    One thing I am sure of, if our lads click on Sunday they will leave kerry in their wake………………but a dogged hard fought win would fit better……….. with the sublime click to occur next month.
    A solid win at 90% would be the ideal but that said, (as ED Harris in Apollo 13 ) Failure is NOT an option.
    Mayo by 4+
    MaighEo Abu

  43. BenDoverG – I’ve deleted that comment. Unsubstantiated rumours about players on the panel are out of bounds here – house rule 12 refers.

  44. We fear Kerry and with very good reason given our history against them. Despite the fact that we have a great team I can’t help but feel nervous about Sunday. The humiliations we have suffered at their hands still hurt.
    Powerful reasons therefore to go at them with a ferocity and intensity that will put them reeling for once.
    We may never get a better chance to avenge those awful defeats in 04 & 06. Maybe the time has come for them to start fearing us (for a change). Why not?

  45. If we can win on Sunday I don’t see it as being revenge for 04, 06 or any other of the losses we’ve had at the hands of Kerry recently. It’s about getting back to Croke Park on the third Sunday in September. A semi final win won’t change any of those results.

    The vast majority of this squad weren’t involved in 06 and their ambition is based on far more than exacting some kind of revenge.

  46. Hi Diehard,
    Kerry don’t and never have feared any team, believe me as a Dub its a great achievement to beat any team in a semi-final or final but as the legend Heffo said “beating Kerry is like winning 2 All-Irelands”….I actually think it will be a great match on Sunday and a close game…..the very best of luck to all the Mayo gang, cheers.

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  47. the unusual fact that both Mayo and Kerry both played The same openents all be it in reverse order Cork and Galway in their last two games gives plenty of cud for a stats man to chew on but it probably has little relavence to what will hapen on Sunday…
    But here is the fugures. Kerry 73 scoring chances in the two games delivering 45 scores while conceding 54 chances yeilding 24 scores to the opposition. Mayo 68 chances in the two games delivering 38 scores while conceding 58 chances yeilding the oppositions 33 scores. So Kerry convert 5 out of every 8 of their chances and concede 6 scores from every 11 chances they give away. mayo on the other hand score in 4 out of teir every 7 chances and concede 11 scores for every 19 chances they give away. so based on this insane theory Kerry will get 37 chances and Mayo 35 resulting in 23 scores for kerry and 20 scores for Mayo. So my prediction is Mayo 2- 18 Kerry 1-21. !!
    As you can guess by the above its hard to put the time in before Sunday.
    If I have anything sensible to say it is that I think Mayo will need to win the much talked about middle third battle by a considerable margin.

    To close to call…. Safe journey to those travelling and enjoy the game to all. I am heading at lunch time tomorrow…. cant wait but hopefully no more time for stats

  48. Martin: you always come on here (and other sites) with great courtesy and good wishes so here’s hoping we can do the business on Sunday and the Dubs the following week, then it’s the battle for glory……………and a 63 year drought to end after the best AIF in memory.

  49. Mayo absolutely have to give 70+ mins on sunday. No more 10 minute breaks in concentration in the second half, no more conceding of goals straight after scoring one and no more attacks of the jitters. Tactics are not as important in this game as honesty, determination and attitude. If mayo believe in themselves and go out and leave their guts on the field they will win. End of.

  50. I was told both gibbons and freeman are starting instead of Barrett and Andy with doine going to backs be interesting to see but who ever starts or come on will have one job in mind it’s time for mayo to make their own history
    Kerry will always be Kerry cute and the top don’t fear anyone but mayo won’t fear them either there has been a lot about Kerry forwards and JOD in the papers but take corks Colm o Neil Brian Hurley and Paul Kerrigan and you won’t find as good as them around
    Tom cunieffe Higgins and Caff will be well able hold there own in there
    So lets go mayo should be a great game up mayo

  51. Even if the team selected does start its no harm, dillon is a quality player and does score and set up scores, Andy too, if I was to be negative it would be Andy’s falling so easily, wrong studs? And no matter who starts lets hope they take a second look when near the goal and maybe take some of the chances that will arise for them.
    I was nervy all week but calm now, resigned to the fact that we are in a battle tomorrow but have the players, conditioning and skill to win this.

    Mayo 2 18
    Kerry 1 17

  52. Hi everybody, it’s my first time on this blog, and I must say how impressed I am with the in depth analysis .
    All I have to say is best of luck tomorrow mayo to the team, back room staff and supporters, you need a little luck on the big days, and I have a good feeling about tomorrow.

  53. Joe Ruane……….Great post……..I agree with all you say. We know every blade of grass in Croker by now and confidence in just being there was very evident in Cork game. This is a SF…Last SF against Kerry we won by 6……Have faith in Horan and his full squad……theyre breaking their balls on the training field and in all championship battles to date……they want the wins and they’re goin for them !…….With a bit of craft and guile and attacking play we’re well placed to pass Kerry and reach the third big one…..

  54. I know beating Kerry tomorrow will not change the 04/06 results and that the team or management quite rightly won’t see it as ‘revenge for skibareen’…..only a path to the final. But for me …….being the bad minded bastard that I am……….I’d give anything to see the feckers get a walloping. The pain is still there!

  55. Out of commission for the last few days so just catching up.

    Not going to comment too much on the selected team – except to say that I’d have Jason Gibbons, Richie Feeney and Alan Freeman starting, and Andy, Alan Dillon and Mikey Sweeney for impact in the second half. Worried too that Chris Barrett is yet back to his best for this challenge after his return from injury. But let’s wait and see what line-up is in place for the throw-in tomorrow.

    Great post yesterday John Cuffe – nearly reflects my thoughts completely.

    If we are depending on tactical substitutions (and I don’t count the desperation cavalry to the rescue in the Hyde), we are bunched. It’s not that we haven’t the players but seriously, we all know the usual suspects that come on first and inspire the opposition, while Freezer, Gibbons, Feeney and Sweeney keep the bench warm until all too late cameos!

    HSE was on about two 34 year olds in the Kerry full-back line which is correct, but possibly the fittest and most experience 34 year olds playing any field sport in this country. You can’t be comparing that to Caff (being given the run-around for most of this year) and Chris struggling to get up to championship tempo after a long injury lay-off.

    We are up against a Kerry team that is being re-built and they have some influential heads struggling with injuries and provided we manage to curb the supply to their two corner men and give those two boys a hard time, I think we will win despite not playing what I regard our best possible starting team and despite likely more mind boggling substitutions.

    Thereafter, you can ask yourself one question (with no disrespect to Donegal) – what are the Dubs weaknesses? I can’t even see over confidence being an issue for them because of competition for places and a ‘form’ selection policy.

    Best of luck to our Minors (we should all aim to be in before 1.30 to back the young lads) and our Seniors to win by 3 points. On Mayo !!

  56. Could9

    “You can’t be comparing that to Caff (being given the run-around for most of this year) ”

    Oh aye, those 2 frees he conceded in 75 minutes of play against Cork really humiliated the lad.

  57. Really annoyed with the abuse caff has been gettin. in the cirk game is was barrett who gve away the points from play, on both players. So the issue is his match fitness. Once Horan put Cunniffe bk in the full back link,,with Caff n Keith we wernt half as vulnerable. Awful easy to blame the fb line, our half backs and mid fielders need to keep tracking back and stopping the runner n wel b grand!

  58. Seems to me that Chris Barrett is fair game, yet Ger Cafferkey gets a fee pass! Well I’m kinda tired of that myself if I’m honest about it….however to use Chris Barrett as a scapegoat is folly!
    Ger has has been the only constant in the FB line all year, yet Barrett is just back from injury, yet he’s apparently the reason ( he’s not back to his usual self, doesn’t that’ve the pace…and talk like that) C’mon one lads, why we are conceding goals at such a fatal rate?

    We have conceded substantially more goals than any of the 4 remaining teams and our goal difference is the worst by a wide margin! That’s hardly all down to Chris Barrett! I challenge all of you to look again at Hurleys goal…Cafferkey, the last line of defense and closest to Hurley should have blocked that shot easily as it left Hurleys boot, but as we can see, he didn’t and the game was much closer than it should have been. Also, Cafferkey was easily beaten in the air by O’Neill more than once, Robbie made a great save on one of those shots and another time, O’Neill beat Ger again for Ger clipped O’Neill from behind; we were lucky to get away with that, O’Neill miskicked the ball, point is Ger was easily beaten. I understand ppl see and read games differently but those are facts. We talk about facts, but it seems that if the facts don’t fit the theory, then ppl just change the facts! I could go on and on, with examples in other games…but I digress.
    I’m hoping they have rectified this by tomorrow. I wish our FB line the very best tomorrow and hope to god Ger plays a friggin blinder. We just cannot allow Kerry the soft goals. It would be sickening to witness. If we stay tight there, we will win! But make no mistake about it, Kerry have studied this and will test it.
    Please lads, there should be no “sacred cows”on this team! That’s living in the past and look what that has got us….NOTHING.

  59. Agree Mayomod, TC did really well cleaning up – and you said ‘they weren’t half as vulnerable’ with Tom mopping up. And I agree it was Chris who was big failing v Cork – he’s understandably struggling to get straight back in to top Championship tempo after a long layoff with injury. And I don’t think he will start tomorrow with TC and Keith likely to be on man-to-man duty in the corners and Donal Vaughan back at wing back with Jason Gibbons starting in mid-field.

    Our tactics tomorrow could well be as much to dominate the middle third and cut off supply from a more defensive Kerry set-up to their deadly corner-forwards.

    MayoMark – I said : ‘ Caff has got the runaround for most of the year’ and it’s plain to see that ever since round one of the NFL, the Kildare game plan to pull him out the field worked and opened the central space in front of goal. I believe it’s the main reason we have conceded so many goals this year. Other managers have employed a similar tactic, and Caff isn’t comfortable in that role, preferring to play the traditional FB role in and around the big rectangle.

    I don’t blame him for this, but rather the management for not having a counter plan when it happens. Imagine if it happens tomorrow, how much more space would JOD and Geaney have to make hay – how much more difficult it would make it for TC and Keith? Not to mention Kerry raiders coming down the centre!

    I’m a Caff fan, but in his own territory like he was v Westmeath in the second-half on that pissy day in Mullingar. But I also think he should be a bit more aggressive and physical, bossing full forwards!

    On Mayo!!

  60. If I’m not mistaken it was Keith who was way off Hurley for the last goal v cork and slipped at the crucial moment……….not Caff! I have no worries about Caff. He will do well tomorrow I have no doubt. FB is a funny position and not everyone can play it but Caff is as good as we have and I reckon he will be ok. Defending the last 30m is a combined effort of a good few lads who have to be 100% tuned in to what’s happening and not just the FB line who often get a kicking for the faults of others. Stop the runners from the opposing HB line or midfield and life as a defender becomes a lot more comfortable!

  61. @diehard, indeed Keith did slip up, and that slip allowed Hurley to move in closer. Ger was right there….appears to have made a half attempt to block it but….if you watch if again, you’ll see what I mean.
    I agree it’s a tough position to defend. But that goal should not have been scored. We neeeed a guy or two to fall on the proverbial sword in that passage of play, but no one did.
    I think we are vulnerable undo that high ball simply because we don’t have a man there that can win that high ball and bully those MF’ers out of the way. Kerry will test it, dont be surprised to see “Star” if Kerry are trailing!
    But in the meantime, I think we will have to play a zone defense, not man to man, not sweeper this that, to ensure we don’t leak goals.
    Longer term Stephen Coen to me looks like a great FB prospect.

  62. Alright, lets focus on Saturday….its Limerick so here’s my starting selection for Saturdays replay with the Kerry fellas.
    Horan will probably name the same team as last time, same as Fitz but unlikely that team will start. Donaghy wont be named, but he will start….they’ll look for a quick one or two goals to sink our hopes early. If they get that, Donaghy can be withdrawn, job done…

    Hennelly (Clarkeen might get the nod though…Robbie made some strange decisons with the game in the balance IMO)

    Cunniffe, Cafferkey, Higgins

    Feeney, Vaughan, Boyle

    Seamus O’Shea, Gibbons (was off the match sharpness last day but will have done him good)

    McLoughlin, Aidan O’Shea, Doherty

    O’Connor, Freezer, Dillon

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