We’ve come a long way to Tipperary

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We’re in an all too familiar but happy sight as we set up for our sixth consecutive All-Ireland semi-final game in Croke Park. You would think that we couldn’t have asked for easier opposition to have in the final four but they frighten the hell out of me even more than if we were meeting Kerry or Dublin.

On top of that we have been beaten TWICE by Tipperary in All-Ireland semi-finals before this. Fair enough, neither myself nor my father nor just about my grandfather was born when this feat was achieved by the Munster outfit but, still, facts are facts people!

As Darragh Ó Sé so rightfully pointed out in his column in the Irish Times earlier this week, this is not a time for Tipperary fairytales. He claimed that his uncle Páidí Ó Sé reckoned that “Kerry had the beaten of Tipperary over the phone” in the lead-up to their games.

However, this is not a game that we can guarantee an instant success in, despite our red-hot favourites tag. We need to go out and play ball from the start, with no sluggish start like against Fermanagh where we know we can come back and win.

This won’t happen against Tipperary, as Galway well know, they will capitalise on the slow starts and punish us if we are lazy off the mark. We need the likes of Aidan O’Shea, Barry Moran and, with the help of God, a fully fit Tom Parsons in the middle of the park, fielding kickouts and collecting any breaking ball.

This is a part of Tipp’s game which is strong. Win the battle in midfield and you disconnect Tipp’s production line into their forwards. The short kickout is not an option the next day. Like ourselves, Tipp play a very high pressing line on opposition’s kickouts. We have to be confident in our midfielders like we have been in years gone by.

If the midfield line is cut off, their next port of call will be balls into the forward line with the likes of Quinlivan, Sweeney and Austin all brewing up a storm for Tipp in the last few games. This is McLoughlin’s time to shine, he will be asked to produce any knowledge gained about his sweeper role on Sunday and use it to full effect. If the midfield production line is cut off and the forward line are swept away by the backs and McLoughlin, it leaves us free to play quick, counter attacking football.

Tipperary have the quality, it has been visible at minor and U21 level but it cannot be repeated enough how blessed we are with talented individual players who, on their day, like against Tyrone, can gel vastly and put on a real show. Our bench will play a huge part the next day, we have experienced and talents substitutes who themselves can turn a game on its head. It is much stronger than the Tipp one and impact subs must be implanted regardless of the games situation, if we are barely holding on, fresh legs are needed, if we are making them walk the plank, the subs will push them overboard.

As Darragh Ó Sé said, this is no time to gift anyone any fairytales or be Mr. Nice Guy. We need to finish them off and if the chance comes, we tear them apart.

As Billy Joe Padden points out in his column for the Mayo News this week, we don’t want a repeat of Fermanagh in 2004. Then we were dragged, somehow, to a replay and barely scraped by. Two games that cost us dearly in the run-up to the final against the Kingdom a few weeks later.

We want to be coming out of Croke Park on Sunday not having peaked but having done enough to say, this is our year, whether we face Dublin or Kerry. And with no discredit to Tipperary, I feel we can do enough to put them out, without peaking a game too soon.

59 thoughts on “We’ve come a long way to Tipperary

  1. I feel we can beet Tipperary if our big players stand up like they did against Tyrone it won’t be easy because Tipperary will run at us all day if we can win middle of the pitch we will win I feel very nervous about this game every other county wants Tipperary to win like a Lester city did its up to our boys to say no two there fairytales of a run they have been having Galway were life less Derry were going no were when they meet mayo tomorrow I hope it some thing they have never met before come on mayo

  2. Ok, now I am getting nervous if we are relying on our Midfield and Sweeper. Neither are in my view is functioning properly. We need our Midfield back to their best on Sunday. Sounds like it could be a wet day so probably a low scoring game. We need to take our scores, especially frees. Hon Mayo!

  3. Win not having peaked, couldn’t agree with that. Dublin usually peak early to mid summer, Kerry sometimes risk peaking later. We were late to training this winter but at very worst any team would need to be peaking in August for quarter finals. We were close to peak last day but still with good scope for improvement so it’s time to hit 100% which is usually required to win a semi.. The closer it gets the more likely we could see Big Barry take the stage. Horses for courses again.

  4. Yeah, Shuffly Deck . I’m with you on Barry Moran, I can see him playing a similar role to that he played done versus Donegal in the quarters last year. He not alone, won almost all the long kickout’s of Paul Durcan on that day, he played deep and forced Donegal to go to the wings to find Murphy and McFadden. Lessening the influence of both of Donegal danger men, in the danger area. We need to minimise the influence of both Quinliven and Sweeney in a similar fashion. Barry was quite outstanding and indeed nominated for a MotM award that day.. Lee Keegan actually won the award, but Barry was close. Anyhow I think Mayo are now much more adaptable in general (obviously on that day, Connelly & Holmes surprised Donegal with their use of Barry and allot of Mayo supporters as well) what was good about it, was that it worked so well. Mayo need a plan for Tipperary whatever that happens to be, they also need to be prepared to fight like dogs, with both mind and body. The mind being the more important. What is very good now is that Mayo are not as predictable as in the UK recent past!

  5. Looking forward to tomorrow,i honestly can’t see were this fear and nervousness is coming from regards tipp.i actually believe with all this talk we are being more disrespectful to our own team,what have tipp done to create this level of admiration and fear,all i hear is the same 3 or 4 names being mentioned when talking of tipp.do people honestly think we will be beaten by 3 or 4 players,this is mayo people,we have 25 players if not more capable of making their team.derry were pretty crap lets be honest,galway are hit and miss.the physicality and experience mayo bring to the table is top class.i know alot of people will say tipp are a young team,full of running and play pure attacking football,but lets rewind to a tyrone team,who by all accounts were All-Ireland contenders with a running game,full of youth and experience,scorers in abundance.this mayo team will respect them i have no doubt,but when they cross that white line,that’s were it ends.nothing tipp have done in their preparation will prepare them for this beast,i expect mayo to phyisically impose themselves on them in the 1st 25 minutes,if they have the resolve to come back after that,then my hat goes off to them and then,only then will they get my admiration.cold i know.

  6. 50,000 from Mayo there tomorrow. 2,000 from Tipperary. A couple of hundred from Donegal and Galway and a few Dubs from the local area who might drift in on the wind if the premier league offerings arn’t up to much.

    We should take over the place with green and red and rock the place until it falls to pieces. Noise, colour and support that only one county can produce.

    Time to step aside now Tipperary. Mayo are coming. Get out of our way or you will be trodden under foot.

  7. Not sure if you can link Christy O’Connors article in the Times WJ, but it’s a brilliant read. Don’t be in late tomorrow folks, I predict a shock and awe assault on the Premier men in the first 15 minutes. A return to the full court press, Aido in full forward and blitz them, by the time Tipp catch their breath they could well be 2 goals down and reeling. Back to the defensive structure after that and with regards Quinliven, the bird is the word.
    Maigh Eo Abù

  8. Someday soon, I def wouldnt fear Tipp and I sure most of mayo support doesnt either. I thoroughly expect a Mayo win. Our superior physicality and deeper panel will alone get us across the line.

    I thinkTipp do deserve a little credit to be fair. They have won a minor title and got to an U21 final so they have been together for a while now as a team. Also any team who carry a goal threat as they do needs to be respected. But all in all Mayo will win this one. By the way who are the 75 people on the poll who thinks Tipp will win?

  9. @mayomad
    Your aware that numerous people visit this site with intentions that are not always on our side. If Mayo were playing the most severely afflicted residents of a south sea leper colony there would be a percentage who’d vote for the lepers.

  10. Fear Tipp, nah I wouldn’t either but respect our semi final opponents absolutely, as Rochford said thinking ahead to final is a sure fire way of losing the semi. Take our opponents very seriously because there’s a game to be won. No room for complacency and I don’t think the players or management will be in any way complacent. Tipp have about 5 players to take care of but unlike Tyrone most of the other 10 would expect to lose out to the Mayo bucks in a man to man game. For that reason they need to keep it loose and for at least 2 of those 5 to have big games. If that happens we have options on the field and the bench for coping. On the flip side if Cillian and Aido burst into the game tomorrow Tipp could be swimming in deep water without a lifeboat.
    Management will have analysed the scale of the threats and come up with a game plan so it’s up to the players to come out all cylinders firing.

  11. Jim…Tipp will have a lot lot more than 2000 at this.

    We need to be really really vocal tomorrow ragardless of how it’s going.

    Everyone going to Croker…make that extra effort. The team need and deserve it. That hush from the 2013 final still haunts and embarrasses me.

  12. Any of the mayogaablog gang around Dublin tonight for a few quiet ones to settle the nerves??

  13. Physical and conditioning superiority over Tipp will count for nothing if we don’t go out and use it to bully them as we did to Roscommon last year in Hyde Park when Division 1 survival was facing us. Or as Waterford did to Kilkenny in the their drawn semi-final a couple of weeks ago. Our lads must impose themselves physically and stop Tipp getting 50:50 possession opportunities, force turnovers, and shoulder them out of play – all within the rules. That has to be the mindset or Tipp are capable of doing to us what they did to Galway.
    The second factor that is critical now at be highest level is speed and Tipp have this all over the park. We have to match them and surpass them for speed specially when turning defense into attack. If we don’t, their speed is every bit as much of a danger as midfield dominance is, which has already been pointed out here by a number of people.
    Finally, if Tipp have a weakness, it’s in their fullback line – create the opportunities, go for them and the goals will come…
    A ruthless and enforcer attitude matched by total full-on commitment is what’s required to not only to beat Tipp on Sunday but to convince our lads that they have what it takes to go the whole way this year. Playing well in dribs and drabs and being lucky will win us nothing! “Vision without execution is hallucination!” On Mayo!!!

  14. Jim youre very optimistic on Mayo turn out. Think you said we d have 12000 in the Hyde for league game v Ros Think we fell a bit short of that. Expect we will have big support alright as its the last chance to bring kids for a fiver. As regards Tipp having 2000. Youre well out there as well. There is going to be a big Tipp crowd because at long last Tipp people have decided to get up off their backsides and give the football team the support it deserves. As far as I am concerned the more in Croker the better. The hurlers of KK and Waterford had only about 36000 in Croker and 30,000 in Thurles for replay eventhough Thurles is on their doorstep, yet we hear so much about the brilliant hurling spectacles v the puke football

  15. just watched that gaa its friday, plenty on tipp, feck all about mayo and no players/management on it. Id say rte were told where to go after the programme on diving. Thats the stuff for rte. Hon Mayo

  16. @mayoman..yep all Tipp. .no harm either. .Reckon we’ll have one of our biggest turnouts in Croker tomorrow..

  17. Michael cummins wants Mayo fans to let a big cheer for Tipp when they enter the field on Sunday as its their first semi final since 1935. Is he actually deluded?
    This is fucking war – an All Ireland semi final. Why would be want to lift the opposition with patronising cheers? Cummins seems like a very nice man, but unfortunately “very nice men” don’t win all Ireland semi finals.

  18. Let’s hope the Tipp crowd are singing Radiohead’s Creep at half time: ‘what the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here…

  19. Somebody had suggested that Robbie hennelly might start and you know what, the more I think about it the more I think it might happen. Tipp execute a high court press but if you can kick the ball over that and win it in the middle of the field there is a lot of open space to run into. Galway got 2 goals chances from this in the first half. I also think it’s odd Robbie was the only Mayo player released to his club last weekend, maybe for extra game time????

    Ok, ok I’ve had way too much time thinking about this game. Can’t wait now!

  20. It is going to be wet and windy in Croker tomorrow so this may dictate how the game is played. A one point win is all that is required and anything more than that will be a bonus. I don’t see us blowing Tipp away as it is not necessary. A calm controlled approach like we had against Tyrone is the way to go. We never really went after Tyrone the last day but held the head and got the result. Same again please.

  21. To be fair to Michael Commins he did say give Tipp a big cheer and clap but revert back to 100% supporting Mayo after that. Maybe we can politely clap Tipp on to the field for half a minute but obviously after that let them know we’re not here to take part were here to win. Roy Keane/Turbo Tom type tackle from Boyler optional

  22. “Maybe we can politely clap Tipp on to the field for half a minute”.

    Good God. Whatever Michael Cummins got is spreading.

    I’ve heard it all now.

  23. This is senior championship football not mini sevens or Irish dancing. Until the final whistle goes Tipp are our enemies – as Dara o Se said we are not interested in Tipp footballs fairytale. Rest assured they couldn’t care less about our All ireland drought either.

  24. I hear u macs left foot. We surrendered our nice guy tag long time ago. Respect means do ur homework. Prepare the grave. Then bury them

  25. I’ve known Michael Commins for forty years. A more decent or honourable man you could not meet. As a measure of the type of man he is and of the decency he epitomises he asked that we applaud Tipp when they run out on to the field. Michael got that wrong. As a previous poster said (correctly) this is war. Croke Park on All Ireland Semi- Final day is a cauldron of emotions. We shout for the red and green. And for no one else.

    We’ll let that matter rest there now and concentrate on those whom we have to beat into submission tomorrow. We’ve been nice guys for long enough. Some of us are getting old.

  26. Nail on head sourceoftherobe. Safe travels to all making their way tomorrow, I just can’t see our lads letting another semi slip through their grasp and that in a nutshell is it for me. this one is ours and no amount of goodwill towards tipp or questioning of our lads credentials is changing the outcome, we improve again and we let everyone left standing know loud and clear, we’re coming for them next, Maigh Eo abú!

  27. I’ve noticed many comments elsewhere saying Mayo’s physicality will see them through…what we haven’t good footballers? Fuck it I hope we trounce tipp

  28. The nervousness before a game is something that seems to haunt us since we lost to Galway. However, Galway peaked that night and even at that, the result could easily have gone the other way.
    We were in a much earlier part of the fitness cycle than we are now, just look at how much the physically bigger lads picked up in speed the last day. They will be up another gear tomorrow.
    Galway were tactically inept against Tipp. I’d say Liam Kearns couldn’t believe how Galway first conceded centerfield and then went man to man on Tipp”s full forward line. Mayo will make no such errors.
    No matter how I look at this, the only outcome I can see is a solid business-like Mayo win.

    Believe Folks, Believe

  29. Very well put Source of the robe and totally agree with you about Michael Commins absolute gentleman. On mature reflection we can clap politely for Tipp In the hurling. Tomorrow is about the Green and Red

  30. The article in The Examiner with Tony McEntee today was an interesting read:

    He enjoys being the outsider. Fellow selector, Kerry’s Donie Buckley, could be regarded as another but now into his fourth season with Mayo is well embedded. McEntee ain’t that. Not yet anyway. For all the philosophies he shares with manager Stephen Rochford, his independent voice is as much of an appeal.

    “There is a different way of dealing with somebody you don’t know. A lot of the players wouldn’t have known me, from playing, from management, from anything. And I think it allows me to bring in a different angle whether it would be how I view those players or in approaching them in respect to challenging them on different aspects of their football and that. I think that’s particularly useful when you have someone like Stephen who is very much a players’ manager in respect to dealing with people. He’s very much a good man-manager. With Stephen, Donie and Seán (Carey), we all complement each other well. It’s A1.”

    A group with conviction too. McEntee received that message loud and clear when they forced out Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes. “They clearly know what they want and in doing that they’re willing to put in the work to get the results. It wouldn’t make sense otherwise. This is their sixth All-Ireland semi-final in a row so they’re clearly a driven bunch. They’re very focused on what they want to do but having said that they’re not doing it on their own. They’re taking direction, they’re doing what Stephen wants. It’s not like the players are running the show and Stephen is just facilitating; it’s quite the opposite and they’re buying into it.”

    “There is this thing that players cross the line on their own. Not really anymore. They still need direction and guidance and you need to get messages into them. In the heat of battle, players aren’t expected to get everything right nor are we on the line either. But where we can give guidance, we do and isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? I like the idea that the “maor foirne” can go on and give instructions. I think it’s a positive step in the GAA and I hope it’s something that they don’t restrict.”

  31. Think about it the other way round. Tipp hurling fans clapping our hurling team onto the pitch in an all Ireland semi final.
    I would not want it and think Tipp don’t want it tomorrow either.
    Clap the fans in the pubs before hand if ye want but leave the nice boy antics outside Croke park until after the game. Clap them off if ye want.

  32. I’m more confident as it gets closer, a lot of faux respect for tipp out there. Kerry bet them in 3rd gear. Can see us beating the spread.

  33. Seriously??Clapping Tipp players??This kinda pisses me off if I’m honest..And it’s a bit bloody patronising..But Michael Commins is a gentleman ..I’m more interested in gladiators tomorrow. .

  34. Would it be possible to, maybe, leave the Michael Commins issue behind us? Yes? And concentrate on the bloody enemy? Tipp? Good.

  35. Goalkeepers 1 minute. Michael commins the next. I’m gonna try change subject. What position would we like to see Aiden o shea playing tomorrow

  36. The most pleasing thing about Mayo’s performance v Tyrone is that we finally saw evidence of some of the attributes any team with a chance of winning the All Ireland must have. It was controlled, disciplined, everybody had a clearly defined role and stuck to it. Overall, I’m beginning to feel more confident about our chances this year.

    However, there are still things to work on, many people are commenting on how good our defending was but Tyrone created 34 scoring chances and if they had their shooting boots on, they and not Mayo would be in Croke Park on Sunday. Goal chances were few and far between but that was because of the blanket defence employed by both teams.

    I think a performance like the one against Tyrone will be enough to get us over the line on Sunday but if we want to win by 5+ points we need to tighten up in defence and will definitely need a goal or two.

    Safe journey to all supporters and good luck to Mayo.

  37. Aiden in goal. Might aswell go for a complete change. Think we all just want the game to start.

  38. Hi – any suggestions where to go for a pint in Dublin tonight and meet a few Mayo fans ?

  39. In my mind the only team that have put it up to Dublin in the last five years has been Mayo. I think that Tipperary are here on merit this year, arguably more so than Mayo. Tipp have left Derry, Cork and Galway in their wake, Mayo’s notches are not as impressive. Fair play to Tipp and all due respect to them but the long grass has grown to long and needs to be mown but not just yet. If we win tomorrow that will be enough for me. Unleashed insatiable passion combined with cute tactics is the only way forward, if we prevail tomorrow.

    Mayo obliterated Donegal twice within the same timescale that Donegal beat Dublin. Mayo pushed Dublin to their absolute limits within the same frame of time. Mayo are still here, and we’re not going into any still night.

  40. Connollygf Aiden in their goal in over the line with ball in hand. Lol . Ya let’s just get on with it throw in the ball

  41. Good post, Four Goals and the most sensible line I have seen yet about this semi final. Mayo will win Tipp will loose tomorrow. Shin €

  42. It’s an interesting debate here this evening sparked by Michael Cummins. My perspective on it is that Gealic football is facing a lot of challenges an antiquated championship format. Dour negative defensive tactics, falling attendances, inconsistent and often poor quality refereeing and disciplinary structures. Along come Tipp playing Gealic football the way it should be played open free flowing exciting. Should we applaud it .. YES. Tipp also have the biggest football playing population in the country and if thst is how they are learning to play fantastic. Let’s see more counties adopt it.
    On yo the game itself. It seems the general consensus is Mayo just have to turn up to win. Just like before Galway! I think we will win tomorrow but it may be another unconvincing performance as they all have been this year but each time we did enough to win. You could say they were all professional performances from that perspective. I think Mayo should strangle game tomorrow as Tyrone or Donegal would and grind out s result. I’m not sure we would win a shoot out even against Tipperary. So Mayo by 5 in a reserved professional performances. ..ssfe travelling to all and enjoy the win. ..

  43. Mayo by 9, I think if we do t blow them away then we have no chance in final.
    A 1 or 2 pt win will show real weakness

  44. Lookit, as James Horan is wont to say, Tipperary are a Division 3 side and would be in Div 4 if they had not managed to beat Sligo in their last league game. So let’s take it one game at a time and approach this one with the old Kerry mentality, well-prepared, writing up their opponent’s abilities but, behind the scenes, more than confident that they would deliver Sam back to the Kingdom. (Of course, that was in days of yore when Kerry were ALWAYS the team to beat!) I well remember one All-Ireland final when they physically blew us out of the water- knocking our players aside like skittles. Now, in a change of fortunes, WE are noted for our physicality.
    The only danger is complacency which could lead to a lessening of intensity. Like Ireland’s soccer and rugby teams we always rise to the occasion when we’re playing a top side, but get mired down in poor play when we meet an inferior team. But I have great confidence that Stephen Rochford – who had most of us fooled earlier this year – is a master tactician backed up by a serious backroom team. Just as we now have the strongest subs bench we’ve ever had, I reckon.

    So onto Croke Park cautious but VERY confident. C’mon Mayo!!

  45. This must be the longest week of our lives. I enjoy reading all the banter here though from all bout team selection, tactics, etc but I’m going to trust Stephen and those incredible guys to get to AI final.What would I know anyway!
    What I do know and feel is that we shout and roar them on to the very end.We’re all in it together.Think we should adopt the lyrics from the euro song and it’s this
    ‘We’re born to fly
    So lets keep living till it all falls down
    Lets close our eyes and let the moment drive the whole world out
    We’re in this together,
    Hear our hearts beat together
    We stand strong together
    We’re in this forever,this one’s for you
    Waving coloured flags(red&green)
    We wont surrender there’s no standing down
    There’s a playing field
    It’sfull of winners,we’re breaking new ground.
    Oh Ah OhAh- MAYO MAYO.
    Safe travelling to all.

  46. To answer your question sourceoftherobe id like to see Ado rotate as he did v Tyrone.If we get good ball into him and have andy or Cillian running off him we will do damage.Id love to see Cillian playing closer to goal.

  47. Roar like he’ll
    If we’re well down at half time roar like he’ll
    If we’re well down with ten to go roar like he’ll
    Don’t let the lads down
    No cowards in the stands
    We will win

  48. How much or how little we win a semi by has absolutely no bearing on how we will perform in the final All we have to do v Tipp is win whether its by 2 or 22

  49. Ding-a-ling-a-ling-ling. All up, All up! Time for the streakies egg tea and toast!….and the juice.
    Have a nice day all.

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