Who gives a diving duck?

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I’m quite happy about Mayo being in the qualifiers. Our whole county has been fixated for the last few years on this notion of ‘six games’: essentially what it takes to go from Connacht to the Sam Maguire. However, football is about a lot more than just six games.

The qualifiers does not mean all hope is lost. Kerry, despite being kicked out of Munster, managed to build their Kingdom up from scratch and raise Sam aloft in both ’06 and ’09. Tyrone have done it, Cork have done it and even Galway have done it.

It may just be the best thing that ever happened to this group of Mayo players. Normally when defeat in Mayo is experienced, it means that the year is finished but this time a lifeline has been provided and must be used justly. It’s more game time and, maybe with more practice, this could be the year that Mayo might make perfect.

We faced a tough opposition in Fermanagh on Saturday last. It was a sort of battle that we are not normally used of facing this early on in the championship. It was a firm answer to the questions asked by critics of our so-called leaders.

Keegan, McLoughlin and Aidan O’Shea were tremendous throughout, Alan Dillon’s second half addition was the breath of fresh (and experienced) air that was needed when we were under the cosh. The introduction of Barry ‘Big Bird’ Moran solved our kick-out situation as he was first to soar and field every ball in the middle of the park. Edwin McGreal of the Mayo News rightly termed Colm Boyle as ‘consistency personified’ – a man who always has a 7/8 out of 10 performance in him.

As for Diarmuid O’ Connor, his leadership is that strong that I was sure he was going to give Theresa May a run for next Prime Minister across the water. On that young man’s shoulders stands a footballing head with knowledge and experience way beyond its years while, from the head down, is a frame which can out-run, out-tackle and out-battle any man he comes up against.

Getting another chance through the back door came like a sigh of relief following the shock defeat to our neighbours in the Connacht semi-final. Although at half-time the last day against Fermanagh all hope was not lost, to paraphrase a certain George Hamilton, a county held its breath, and had been holding it for a few weeks at that.

As for that penalty decision? Who cares whether or not it was the right call or not, it was awarded and Cillian dispatched it perfectly. If O’Shea felt even the most minimal touch on his back he has every right to go down in order to try and win a free or a penalty for his team. The days of honest football is gone, folks, and it’s been replaced by blanket defences, low scoring matches and hand passes to beat the band.

Aidan O'Shea

Photo: UTV.ie

Call me crazy, but I felt sorry for Aidan O’ Shea after the controversy. This is a man who is pulled, pushed, hit and dragged in an attempt to stop him. Week in, week out whether it is club or county level, he is a target man and is surrounded by a minimum of three players every time he is on the ball.

After that decision on Saturday afternoon, it will mean that players will be given an illegal right to hassle O’Shea even more. Meaning that when he is ‘fouled’ in the square with all fifteen of the opposition pinning him to the floor UFC-style, the referee will remember that one time he dived in MacHale Park and will let the battle commence until the ball is lost.

Speaking of battlefields, our soldiers march on to the next stage of the qualifiers where we meet Kildare this Saturday evening. Home advantage is key, MacHale Park was a fortress again on Saturday last, with the volume back up to its usual level of ten.

In the last two league encounters with the Lilywhites, they have scraped by on a point-winning basis each time and we’d gladly take that margin ourselves at a third time of asking. They were six points up and cruising against Westmeath before being dumped out of the Leinster Championship, the same margin Fermanagh had at the break last week. Therefore, if déjà vu was to occur at half-time this Saturday, they will remember our comeback a week earlier, while also recalling Westmeath’s revival against them. This means that not only have we the locational edge, we also have a psychological edge. No matter how good Kildare’s start is, our finish will be much stronger.

I’m not belittling Kildare, as has been pointed out at length here since the draw was made, they are master navigators through the qualifiers. Every opposition is to be feared, every match from now on is scary, every minute indeed is scary because, like the soldiers on the battlefield, there may only be one shot between life and death.

The County Board have pleaded with supporters to remain off the pitch at full time. If (hopefully to be replaced by the word ‘when’ at full-time) victorious, I may just find myself next door in Páirc Josie Munnelly running off feelings of joy and relief.

93 thoughts on “Who gives a diving duck?

  1. We’ll need to evolve a little further this weekend. We’re definitely beginning to reduce the goal chances conceded to the opposition but are we sacrificing too much in terms of attack? Cillian O’Connor is getting on very little ball and we’re not releasing the likes of Regan into space.

    Still striving for that balance.

  2. I am one who certainly plans to stroll across our sacred green carpet and sample the smell of victory in the air once we put that Brady Ham Bunch to the carving knife on Saturday evening !! F@#k the rossies 🙂

  3. It’ll be very interesting to see how Kildare will set-up against us. Their manager Cian O’Neill was saying that the reason that they set-up so defensively in their two games in Leinster was to prepare for Dublin. They used two sweepers in those games. They were a lot more offensive in their game against Offaly, only using one sweeper. They did put up some big scores in the league and against Offaly so their strengths seem to be up front. We’ll see how we react to how they set-up anyway.

  4. If you were to approach this game as a one objective no consideration to tactics for further down the road, you could plant BM and AoS in the ff line and wreck havoc imo. They simply dont have defenders to deal with two big men like that. Sligo were the same last year and it was only Aido doing the damage.

  5. Willie Joe,

    You should try to encourage Mayo supporters to come out in their thousands. Ask all bloggers on here to encourage a few more friends to go. This group of players deserve our support. A few minutes on Midwest may not hurt if you have time.

    We should not forget the antics of Donnacha Walsh in getting Lee Keegan sent off in all-Ireland semi. Obvoiusly well coached by Cian O Neill. I never forgot that riverdance effort afterwards by Walsh and I lay the blame with O Neill. Piss poor gamesmanship. Expect more of same Saturday.

  6. All the talk has been about Aido, and the dive, but the fun only began when the penalty was awarded.

    Note the Fermanagh reaction? Straight out the Tyrone/Donegal template. Surround the ref, heckle, push, shove all around you, jostle and annoy the likely taker. All this lasted nearly five minutes – which were then added on, to our disadvantage. Andy was brilliant in that situation, taking the ball and taking control, deflecting the flak from Cillian and dealing authoritatively with the Fermanagh messers. He was worth his place for that alone.

    Cillian was spared most of the pressure, and he duly delivered with a master class in penalty taking.

    As I posted earlier, Fermanagh are not far behind Donegal and Tyrone in gamesmanship, borderline dirt and a liberal application of the dark arts. And supposing they had won, can you imagine what the narrative would be? Mayo? So naive not imposing themselves, not tough enough mentally, not able for the cute Nordies and so on.

  7. I expect a couple of changes to the team, maybe Vaughan in for Patrick durcan and Barry Moran in for coen ?

    What’s the situation with the injuries … Parsons , Chris Barrett etc ?

  8. How can Cian O Neill be deemed responsible for Donnacha Walsh s carry on. O Neill was involved with Mayo also. Hope nobody suggests he coached AOS in helping win that penalty. O Neill did his best with Mayo, moved on and did likewise with Kerry and is I am sure now doing his best with Kildare. Looking forward to game. I reckon it could be high scoring if weather is ok. Would also expect a better Conn final on Sunday. Surely Galway will come out of their shell and stop being so negative and surely Ross wont be as poor up front again. Huge downside for losers in that they are in action six days later

  9. Have to say I’d love to see a full forward line of Cillian, Barry Moran and Aiden oshea at some stage. Seeing those men walking towards you would surely put the shits up any full back line!

  10. One thing we got right on Saturday was that we closed out the match with a stronger team on the field than the one that started. It is a simple thing really that Dublin and Kerry use all the time. A lot of mayo people at club and county level have this traditional approach of painstakingly picking their very best footballers for the start. We should be thinking of the 20 man squad. Who do we need in the first half who will we need in the second half. How will we close the game with our best 15 on the field. Some people call for BM to start at midfield. Question is who will replace him on 50 minutes when he has given his all. Or who takes SOS’s position if he seen a black card at any point. Can we afford to start our best 15, I think not. Strategy is part and parcel of this game, and it served us well last Saturday

  11. If we dont care, then why are we still going on about it?

    Forget fermanagh. Its about the next game and nothing more. Move on.

  12. We really need to lay down a marker right from the begining of this match. In the Galway and the start of the Fermanagh game we didn’t get the throw in. It was only at the restart of the second half when we won possession and raced at the their defence when I thought, this is more like it, game on. We can’t have a slow start again, slowly finding our way into the game.. aside from it been bad for my nerves.. it just doesn’t send out a good message to the opposition.. especially with Kildare. When I think of Kildare.. I think mentally fragile, in the sense that if you get a run on them and build up a score their heads drop.. but the opposite is also threw.. if they get a run on us there’s no knowing what they are capable of.. it’s do or die stuff. If we get chances to put Kildare away we need to take them and we have to cut out these stupid mistakes like leaving Boyler isolated at full back. I’m liking the idea of the twin towers.. could be the game for it.

  13. Still think BM is an impact sub with twenty to go. Also , like Sean B sez above, BM, AOS and COC in the ff line would be very interesting indeed…a serious handful for any team. But maybe that is something to be tried out in Feb and Mar and not July and August. Ara, it’s all a muddle 😉

  14. Need to start better. We cannot go on with these slow starts it will come back to bite hard if it continues.

  15. One thing worth a mention is the really good home support we get. 13,000 last Saturday for a mid-afternoon qualifier – how many other counties would bring that number for a similar game? With the 7pm throw in next Saturday you can expect around 15,000. I believe ourselves and Dublin (football) are the only 2 counties to have sold out the allocation of season tickets (not the Cairde Maigh Eo ones) across either code. Says a lot when you think of Kerry and Tyrone in football and Kilkenny, Cork and Tipp in hurling.

    Also we shouldn’t underestimate the impact that this type of support can have on refs. There was a decent atmosphere in the ground namely for the second half last week and I think it may have played a part in the penalty decision. About 10 minutes before the penalty was awarded the supporters got very annoyed with the ref for not awarding a penalty for an apparent pull-down on COC – did it play on his mind when awarding the penalty?

  16. PJMcManus is right, when we get to Croke Park, we should be finishing the game with the best and strongest team. Against Dublin last year, we visibly wilted in last 10 minutes. Thats when we needed ‘legs’ coming off the bench.

    There is no way that Denis Bastick is the 1st or 2nd best midfielder in Dublin, but he invariably starts. When he tires they bring on McAuley and when Rock or another forward tires, they bring on McMenamin. If we are playing Dublin again, I would really like to see us springing the likes of Vaughan or McLoughlin or Durcan from the bench for last 30 mins or so so that we finish strong.

    Maybe we need to look at who we start with..

  17. Fair play to you 45……….in your short little post at the top of this page, you`ve signalled your intention to disobey the request of your own Co Board and tried to insult the supporters of 2 counties. Very classy.

    Is it any wonder we`re so popular.

  18. @Mayo51, Barrett and Loftus should be available for this weekend. Parsons will not be.

    Looking at the draw, there is a massive prize on offer for whoever wins the Connacht final on Sunday. Aside from the trophy itself, the winner will be into an AIQF where the most difficult opposition they could face is Cavan/Tipp/Clare/Derry. The loser will be facing into a 6 day turnaround.

    It will be interesting to see if we line out similar to the Fermanagh game i.e. with 5 defenders + McLoughlin. Does anyone know how good Kildare’s forwards are compared to Fermanagh’s? .

  19. Dan, yeah Kildare would have good forwards alright and they have midfielders who like to get forward as well. They have Emmet Bolton also, who’s father is a Mayo man, he would be from the same mould as our attacking half-backs. Remember the Fermanagh no. 7 scored 3 points from play against us, so Bolton wouldn’t want to be given that much room as he can score goals. They scored 1-22 against Offaly the last day. They also scored 1-21 against Cork last year when they beat them. At the back is where they would be at their weakest.

    You’d like to see us make a better start in this game, in saying that you’d also like to see us finishing with our strongest team. If you compare the way we ended the two games against Dublin last year, in the drawn game we were flying in the last few minutes, while in the replay we were out on our feet. It does make a big difference though if your changes are forced or not. Against Dublin in the replay, two early changes were forced ones. We lost Donie to injury and Seamie to a black card. Then we lost Tom Parsons to injury as well and Barry was knackered late in the game and he had to come off as well. We lost players to injury against Galway this year too which meant that we had to make some enforced changes rather than us been able to make more tactical changes like we did in the Fermanagh game.

    You would hope that this weekend it won’t be as close coming into the home stretch as against Fermanagh, you’d wonder what would be the reaction of the players and us supporters if we had Aidan O’Shea black carded for example with 10 minutes to go or if we conceded a soft penalty 5 minutes from time etc. Lets hope that it won’t come down to that. Either way lets cheer the lads to the rafters again this weekend!

  20. I watched some of the game again last night and thought AOS was fairly fortunate to stay on the pitch for the duration of the game. He put in a couple of tackles that were pretty lazy, particularly when he was on a yellow.

    Needs to tidy that up as he’ll be in the spotlight more Han ever over the next few weeks. Every action he takes will be scrutinised, with the baying masses screaming for retribution. I doubt the poor guy could get a free for gbh on Sat.

    The new mantra for us all has come from Andy – “We’re Mayo and we’re in this together.”

  21. I missed the last match so ill make the trip from the midlands down this week, if we get to a quarter final this year ill be happy, anything else will be a bonus, but WJ said this backdoor could be whats needed.

  22. Also worth noting if we beat Kildare the 4th round qualifier is on neutral ground. Depending on who we draw we could be be back at Croke Park on August Bank Holiday….but that’s getting a bit ahead. Need to focus on Kildare first

  23. I don’t want to harp on about this or give it more attention than it deserves but if you look at the Twitter panel on the side of the site you’ll see that Reservoir Dubs are tweeting #mayogaa stuff again. The poor sad eejits, they really have it bad.

  24. WJ – The dubs have a serious issue with us but I think it’s down to fear that on our day they know we can beat them. It all goes back to 2006 for me and hill gate.
    They weren’t happy in 2013 when Mayo got hill tickets either and seemed more interested in goading us after then actually celebrating their win. Then last year some of the abuse I had to listen to in the lower Cusack…this coming from Dublin season tciket holders….clowns.

  25. Yes Hope springs…hard classy tackling, no one on ones in our square , couple of big clean catches here and there from the Bird…a tonic, all up when the team comes on, more people up front on the ball, patience composure, quicker and cuter thinkin all around, a sprinkle of long range points and the usual dash of Mayo pride.That should be sufficient to wilt the lovely white Lilly.
    BY the way that was a rattler of a point blasted over the bar by DoC, fair dues ….. but with two free men inside for a dead goal!

  26. I have to be honest that I don’t know a whole pile about Kildare GAA despite me living in Maynooth for a few years! So I had a look on some of their message boards. The general consensus is they’re playing a defensive system that isn’t working and also they do not have a full back line capable of marking oshea(maybe a chance for BM to go in there for a while aswell). However they believe that Mayo are vulnerable and if we continue with our sweeper system that isn’t working they have a chance! They actually sound like they are in a similar position to us. It’s seems common knowledge that AOS will not get a chance by the referee next Saturday and ther plan should be(and id agree if I were a Kildare fan) to get him sent off or black carded. As usual aido gets all the attention so maybe it’s a chance for some of our other forwards to step up. I think rochford is correct to develop the sweeper system but I think this one is a game for our old style attacking running football. Get up a big score and go defensive in the second half.

    What team would people pick?

  27. Fuck the Dubs. They only sing when they’re winning anyway. They know full well that if we’re fully “at it” we’re the ones that can take them down.
    Their day will come, make no mistake.

  28. Ya I would think we will be going for a more direct running game NiallMc whilst keeping the sweeper.

    One point I want to make though is people are citing Higgins as the best corner back in the country, I think he is far from that and despite his All star he got roasted by JOD and the Dubs last year he hasnt being tight enough for while now, he is better outfield be it halfback or halfforward utilizing his pace, line breaking and break winning skills .

    Team I would go for ould be
    _________Clarke
    Harrison_____Keane___Coen
    ___________Kevin Mc
    Keegan_____Boyle___Vaughan
    ________AOS____SOS
    Diarmuid____Higgins___Carolan
    ________Regan___Cillian

    Thats a hard running line breaking team which may look ultra defensive but Kevin Mc could be moved forward after a while, just critical to get a good start and not concede a goal as they will be lorrying it in on top of fullback line.

    Moolick deserves all the respect he can get and their two midfielders will have the two Osheas running everywhere so its vital we conjest the middle too and in Carolan and Dirmuid you have two lads with massive energy who track back and also break lines at speed .

    Giving the option of man on the shoulder with Diarmuid , Higgins and Carolan should also allow Keegan to sneak up the field more.

    Keegan influence on this team cant be underestimated and his scores are always ones which raise the team spirits and are confidence boosters.

    Cillian needs to stay near goals and let the halfback do the hard work, his job is tap it over the bar likewise Regan , conserve their energy for scoring points.

    AOS will be well watched so a game at midfield might well calm the uproar about him and take him out of the spotlight on diving etc .

    Spring Andy and Dillon from bench if scores needed or change of tactic but be good to see other squad members like Carolan and O Shea having a run at a team who should suit them .

    As tempting as it is Loftus and Barrett cant be fit enough to play and after hamstring injuries sure another weeks rest would be advised rather than run the risk of loosing them for another 3-4 weeks?

  29. To be fair when you read stuff like that it just adds credence to what Tomás O’Sé had to say about that particular crowd earlier in the year, though it appears he should have perhaps been referencing to the fans rather than the players.

  30. I wouldn’t lump them all in the one bracket, Pebbles, so I’ve taken out that ‘s’ word. There are from my experience some dead sound Dublin fans too. Only not on Reservoir Dubs!

  31. There doing an official opening this morning and nobody seems to know the name of the cup!! Looks bad for us here. Tried Google and nothing!!

  32. Non – By ‘provincial cup’ do you mean the Connacht one, i.e. the equivalent for the ladies of the Nestor Cup? Or something else?

  33. @outside the boot.

    Agree with you on Higgins not being tight enough in recent seasons but I really think we’re missing a trick by not playing a big man in the full forward line in this game.

  34. Non – I just checked the back issues of the local papers. According to the Mayo News (5th July, photos on page 14 of the sports supplement) it’s called the CBE Cup.

  35. Clarke
    Harrison
    Keane
    Higgins
    Vaughan
    Keegan
    Boyle
    Sos
    Coen
    Kmac
    Aos
    Doc
    Regan
    Doherty
    Coc

    Just two changes. A good subs bench is more important than anything these days. Continue with kmac plan with Higgins further up.

  36. Kildare have a big physical backline perhaps we have evade them rather than battle them would be my thoughts.
    A Big man is an option we will need but I would like ot take AOS out of the limelight in FF and midfield will be one battlefield so proabbly best keep Barry for going in there .

    Ollie Lyons and Hyland will be more troubled with Regans twisting and turning rather than a high ball I feel but dont know Kildare too weel only seen them live when we played them and on tv besides .

  37. I hope they leave O’Shea at FF. we must not be side-tracked by the media frenzy. We have to leave two men in their with him also at all times. His presence alone takes 2/3 defenders out of the game so we must work around him and use that to our advantage just like the three card trick.

  38. It’ll be very interesting to see how we use Kevin Mc in this game. Against Fermanagh when Kevin was playing as a sweeper the no. 7 for them was almost playing a free role, unmarked. He scored 3 points from play. Emmet Bolton who plays no. 7 for Kildare loves to attack, so we’ll need to keep an eye on that. In the Galway game too, one of their forwards scored 3 points from play in a similar situation as he seemed to be unmarked as well. It’ll be interesting to see if someone like Shane Nally will come into the reckoning for this game at no. 7 for us, he actually played well in the sweeper role in a few of the League games, especially against Dublin. He has a sweet left boot as well. I hope if Freeman starts that he will play closer to the opposition goals rather than around the half-forward line.

    It was interesting to note in the Fermanagh game, Aidan’s time at full-forward was most productive when Barry was winning ball for us in midfield. It’s a real shame that Tom Parsons is out at the moment as if we had him in the middle of the field then it would give us some more scope to try the twin towers approach late in the game, when Barry is sprung from the bench. If you had Tom available it would also give you the option of starting with Aidan at full-forward more often. I’d prefer not to see Aidan starting around the middle of the field because their is probably more chance of him giving away fouls around that area, thus giving the ref more reasons to give Aidan a black card etc. I’d prefer to see him been the one fouled rather than him doing the fouling. I’d prefer to see him running at the Kildare goals rather than towards ours.

  39. I hope there isnt too many changes as the team could do with some continuity and develop further what they have been working towards.

    Possibly Vaughan for Durcan. Higgins back to the corner. Its not working for him at hf, he looks a little lost there and played much better in second half playing from deeper.

    Regarding the twin towers idea. This was done years ago with JOM when we had Dillon and Andy in their prime delivering balls. It was a failure then and I would expect the same this time as we really have no one capable of delivering good early long range passes.

    This is also a problem in the hb line. For all their talents, there isnt anyone who can deliver accurate long range passes into the forwards, I was hoping Durcan was the man but he doesnt seem to be going well so far.

  40. I don’t know why they’re upset with Mayo or anyone else, they win the league and Sam at an alarming rate and that’s not enough for them? Maybe with all the advantages they have it’s become too easy?
    Lord only knows how they’ll react when they are beaten and left to wait another year to take Sam back, imagine it, a full 12 months with no Sam.
    The heart bleeds for them.

  41. Not that our attitude impacts the team (I think) but I’m sensing a lot of the same attitude that we had before the Galway match around the place. People looking further down the road and considering the next opposition when we haven’t even togged out for the next match yet.
    Was our performance in the Fermanagh match so good that we are now overlooking Kildare?
    I seem to remember a lot of extremely cautious people before the Fermanagh game….why the sudden bullishness now? We were a point down with 6 minutes left in normal time lest people forget! 6 points down at half time!!
    I expect Saturday to be another dog fight and we’ll be lucky to get out of it. There is no evidence available from this years campaign to suggest otherwise.
    Everything else is just a bottle of smoke!

  42. That’s an interesting article from your guest WJ . Apologies I don’t know the writers name. But in respect I would have to say I think it’s a bit of a rose tinted view.
    Yes we could win AL through back door of course. But what would thst mean? It would mean winning our next 5 matches which ptentially could be after kildare, Donegal, Dublin, Kerry, and Tyrone. 3 of those games in a very short space of time. If we win by that route we will certainly be the most worthy winners for a long time!
    Yes we improved against Fermanagh and hopefully that improvement will continue on Saturday but the improvement is from a low base of form.
    We should beat Kildare but there is a doubt that was not there for similar games in previous years. The doubt concerns which Mayo will turn up. If we were playing any of the teams listed above who may lie in weight for us in the coming weeks we have not sen a performance this year by Mayo which would beat any of them.
    The biggest problem Mayo have is not converting scoring chances into scores.
    I think defensively we are doing well holding last 2 opponents to 13 s ores I think. While you would expect the better teams to get a few more maybe that is okay. It is our own inability to take scores that if not rectified will see us fall short once we meet a top team.
    In terms of cheating and diving I don’t think we should except it as an inevitable part of the game. It’s just morally wrong in the culture of GAA. Yes we must understand the context of the pressure of big games, the frustration of inconsistent refine, the huge commitment of players, their passion and frustration. But for those very reasons aligned with the culture of volunteerism, community spirit and supporters commitment and investment in their team. CHEATING IS WRONG. The GAA should take whatever measures nessecary including retrospective sanctions to stamp it out.

  43. Your dead right there east cork exile, I was delighted last week when I heard Pete McGrath talking up Fermanagh. It kept everyone on their toes. Like before the Galway game we have heard nothing from the Kildare camp. I thought there would have been an interview with Cian O’Neil by now, talking about his time with Mayo. Remember Longford beat Monaghan, so anything can happen from here on.

  44. A great mix of comments streaming in all the time. It amazes me how committed and in depth people continue to be day after day, up hill down dale! I contrast this with the great multitudes around the place who don’t even know what’s happening in McHale park on sat ,not to mention Sunday! Such is the nature of this life….so colourful and so many shades of those, not just the green and reds.
    As regards the playing of the ‘ sweeper role’ hate the term, is it not best executed by a sound aware no 6 with intermittent timely and flexible assists from wing forwards or maybe including a corner forward or what ever you have that can run. It’s funny how everyone can see things happening in the minds.I suppose that’s where it has to start!
    A few things I hope to see on Sat are…
    ••••Couple of quick free kicks..sign of a team in business..rare of late.
    •••••Couple of angled balls towards inside forwards…none of late…direct ball means receiver has to turn esp with no runner in sight!
    •••••• Half the points to come from distance …. few of late.
    •••••••Improvemt in quality of tackling,restrained terror!!
    •••••••general first touch to be tidied up!
    It’s an awful lot to be looking for but as the said about eating the elephant ….start with the tail. Or to be more at home,one game at a time!

  45. Is nt it a great thing we re not like that Dan? They must nt be up to much in their lives. Now what about a day on the bog or part of another day paring sheeps feet? And on the next day holding up the tails for the castrations!’! I’m telling you that would help the melody in their tune!

  46. C.B.E Cup for the Connacht Ladies Seniors and Gift of Life Cup for the Intermediates!

  47. And if they were looking for more,what about bringing in the roundy black bales in a wheelbarrow! That would surely occupy their hollow heads! But I can’t believe there are that many of them in it,so I better get on!

  48. I would not be giving one seconds thought to any of Dublin, Galway or Roscommon etc. at the moment. What I would say is though, we should be aware that if we slip up in this banana skin game against Kildare at the weekend, imagine how happy the Roscommon and Galway supporters would be coming to our back yard with us gone out of the championship. It does not even bear thinking about. That’s why we all really need to make sure that we give this Kildare game 100% concentration.

  49. Reservoir Dubs will be delighted with all the extra traffic lads, it’ll make them feel important. They’ll also love that they’re getting mentioned, because despite their protests, they spend a considerable amount of time nosing in here – god knows why, seeing as they keep insisting we’re no threat. If you’re doing a bit of forum-surfing in your spare time, I’d highly recommend the Sheepstealer one, at least that’s mildly entertaining 😉

    Look on a serious note, it’s all well and good until you’re the butt of someone else’s joke. At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, they have three recent All-Irelands they can wave over our heads, so I’d recommend that we just roll our eyes, suck it up and move on. It’s fierce obnoxious at times, but to be fair closer to home some of our own can be just as pathetic on social media.

    Rough week for Aido (and anyone that has defended him). If we are doing to do anything, let’s get behind him and the rest of the team on Saturday. And if anyone had any doubts that supporters and the atmosphere in a ground can in fact affect what happens on the playing field, I assume both last Saturday’s events and Andy Moran’s comments have put them to bed.

  50. Id say dub09 living up to his name Only jumped on the bandwagon in recent years No sign of him when dubs were shite and when theyre shite again he will be back to Liverpool or man u etc Doubt if his mammy brings him toast and boiled egg in the morning more lire a half can of dutch gold or that classy Bavarian brew for her classy son

  51. Agree Ann Marie, The siege mentality is building nicely! We’ve got to up the noise levels another notch on Saturday. The supporters have been spoiled over the last 5 years with some fantastic performances, it’s time to really get behind the team now and drive this thing on to Croker!

  52. I’d pay no attention to them, it’d Kildare we’re playing not the dubs. For what it’s worth I’ve met 2 of the current Dublin panel and thought they were complete gents and are probably a million miles away from the bottom feeders who spout on anti-social media.

    What did Andy Moran say? I must have missed that.

  53. Have all season ticket holders been debited or is there another ‘situation’??

  54. “We’re Mayo. We’re all in this together, players and supporters alike”. Or something along those lines.

    And how right he is. We’re in the qualifiers, backs to the wall to a certain extent and our most high profile player getting slated left, right and centre.
    So time for us all to gang together and give the team the complete and unreserved backing it deserves. It’s the least we owe them.

    I’m personally liking these qualifier games, never thought I’d say that. The quick turnaround and element of the unknown is exciting.
    Now if Kildare dump us out on Saturday…I will forever curse these qualifier’s and the clown that came up with them.

  55. Ah lads. Will ye all stop talking about the the poor auld Dubs. With the boredom of the Leinster championship to complete, they have nothing else to do at present, whereas we have a game to go out and win.
    Sure they have to create some bit of diversion to amuse themselves and get through these boring times.

  56. Jesus Christ, that reservoir dubs site is genuinely pathetic. Its actually quite depressing to think that supposed gaa people can be so stupid and ignorant towards another gaa team, particularly one their own team weren’t even playing. Truth be told, they don’t give a toss about the gaa, all they care about is themselves.

    But pride comes before the fall, and as often before, the dubs downfall will be their own hubris.

    Great to see we have gotten under their skin so much though. That could come home to roost yet.

  57. Important to differentiate between the clowns who post in some forums and genuine Dublin supporters, who are some of the most knowledgeable and witty that I know, as epitomised by Martin who posts here. We’ve some rare beaut’s in our own county and that banter page is a joke. I was lucky enough to be in a box for the first Kerry game in 2014. A pair of thoroughbred jackass’s wearing Mayo jerseys arrived just before throw in and proceeded to goad two old Kerry supporters aged in their 70’s, asking them did they get lost coming up and did they have any trouble finding Croke Park. The fact that the two old boys had probably witnessed 25 or more Sam’s being lifted and seen some of the greatest footballers in the games history didn’t even register with this pair of clowns. It was the other Mayo supporters in the box who shut them up and got them thrown out.
    The majority of posters on those forums are at a loose end since the premiership ended.

  58. Maybe it’s the boredom of not having an opponent worthy of themselves because of the money and population advantage?
    Nobody in Leinster cares anymore, look at Meath and Kildare, shadows of what the should be if the game was balanced. If the Dublin fans are annoyed now, wait til they win 5-8 titles in a row. Totally meaningless titles.
    Then they’ll have it all to themselves and can keep it.

  59. It seems to me that a lot of people here do give a diving duck as to how Mayo are perceived by the Dubs. Let’s get Kildare out of the way first!

  60. Forget about the Dubs. Their day will come (and sooner than they think).

    Im getting nervous about Saturday, hope wer not tired after a 7 day turn around. Kildare are a dangerous unknown quantity, This could go either way. Barry Should not be started as we’ll be goosed if theirs a black/red card or injury, we need him coming off the bench again with 20 to go…Dillon and Andy likewise. I’d go with same team again except play Freeman closer to goals. Vaughan might start instead of Durcan, id be happy with either.

    Can we all give Aido a massive roar when his name is called out before throw in, let him know we’re all behind him and in this together!!.

  61. I agree we should all get behind Aido on Saturday but I’ve no doubt he’s big enough [literally and metaphorically] to shrug off any negative attention he gets.

    He’s a seasoned campaigner for a guy his age and I reckon he’ll revel in adversity. He improved substantially from the Galway game and there’s more to come from him.

  62. Thats a decent piece albeit a shocking headline.
    I really feel we need S.Coen on Saturday and I also believe this one could be really tight.Kildare have some fine footballers Kelly Moolick O Flaherty and some others too.Their midfield is good and past performance means nothing.Mayo were beaten by a bad Galway team after all.
    I firmly believe the back door was a godsend and it has given Rochford a chance to learn which he will no doubt take.
    Hoping for another great response from Aido but dont see him getting too many penalties.

  63. I passed Croke Park an hour ago, I nodded my head and said I’d see her soon. It’s a pity she’s living there with all of them.

    All eyes on Saturday, absolutely nothing to fear but Kildare still demand respect. Hopefully we finally get a decent 70 performance and keep this train going.

  64. Feeling anxious about every match now. Every team is a potential banana skin at this stage. Kildare have the ability to run up big scores. They’ll give us plenty to think about.

  65. Nice evening for McHale Sat. Probably no wind which will mean quite a different game.These games are giving the team a great chance.
    Widdlin down rain prob on Sunday! It’s not fair on our neighbours but sure it’s all part of getting places if you’re felling up to it.
    Talking to some Ros people and I felt they are finding it hard enough to come to terms with what the team is up to……waiting and waiting and hoping like ourselves!

  66. The backdoor will only benefit us if we get through it as I think we would have a settled team and system by the end. I was extremely worried before the fermanagh game as I didn’t know how we’d play. I’m slightly more relaxed going into this challenge but Kildare still need to be given respect. They shocked everyone by beating cork last year and monaghan have also been dumped out of the qualifiers this year.

  67. Been reading the posts on reservoir dubs site and some of it is fairly harsh for sure. Some of it is just plain mean with no real grounding in reality but with the Euros over and the Premiershit not startin for another few weeks some ‘eh de boys in belue’ are at a loose end and their thumbs are getting up to mischief. I’m reminded that a fair share of these diehards dubs are, like we all know, the finest of people and GAA people to the bone… No question. The rest of them we don’t need to worry about. When the big wheel of sport and fortune turns and when things aren’t going well for Hill 16 at some stage in the future the twitterers response is something that will be examined by us all. Til then, they are more to be pitied than laughed at or taken heed of …. a bit like some of our own plebs.

  68. Kildare demand respect and are regulars around 1/4 final weekend and beat Cork last year. Their fans usually say they have one big performance in them every year….lets hope it’s not this weekend and our lads push on from our second half show showing last week.

    Met a few Kildare fans on the train a few years back…they said they go to as many games as possible in Croke Park whoever is playing…were shouting for Mayo (or so they told me) that day too….some great GAA people in Kildare.

  69. I recall the lilly white jerseys of Kildare flashing onto the pitch in Charlestown for a league match in the early nineties. I rem being impressed with the whiteness of the jerseys.I also rem that we expected to win easy.T Morley scored two goals and a few points but the rest must nt have been up to it!
    It was another of those tails between the legs trips back to base. There seemed to be a lot of those then!
    So the advice from our forefathers is, take not those Lilly Whites for granted for they like to come west.

  70. My adopted county Donegal had an epic clash with Kildare in 2011 winning with a Kevin Cassidy long range point in extra time. That was the making of that team in terms of self belief etc. I don’t expect it to be so for us and certainly not so tight but I do hope a really gutsy performance and a good win to set us up nicely for August. HON MAYO

  71. Well that escalated quickly…..We could challenge Resevoir Dubs to a duel like the different news stations had in anchorman 🙂
    For the record I’ve met great Dublin fans down the years….lately maybe I’ve just been Unlucky to be sitting near a few bad ones. I will repeat my view that social media in recent years has brought out the worst in GAA fans. That Mayo GAA banter page is an embarrassment as are pages like All Dublin fans and Hill 16 only. People get very brave behind keyboards and in big groups…..remember everyone all players of all teams are amateur and doing this for love of the game and their counties.

  72. Agree totally yew_tree: I know plenty of sound Dublin fans but those guys are idiots, and sadly we have that sort in our ranks too. As you’ve said, social media has brought on the worst in people in recent years and from what I’ve seen this trend is far from being confined to the GAA world.

  73. The last day we were two points behind with 5 +2et minutes left of the first half. We were playing into the strong breeze. In the next seven minutes Fermanagh got four points. What those seven minutes did was make a very manageable task quite a hard one.

    In fairness they were all good points, they all came from bursting team forward movements from the Mayo half and two of the were as a result of very long straight forward running from Fermanagh. In fact for all of these four points Fermanagh acquired possession in their own half.

    In this period Mayo had four unsuccessful attacking movements, in one long kick out, two wide’s (from far out) and a possession lost as a result of a long pass.

    Further to this two of their points were as a result of compressing the Mayo, allowing it to expand through a possession held retreat and then a ball played past the first wave of Mayo players, providing the Fermanagh attack with plenty of options to engineer a clear shot.

    Every Fermanagh forward move was aided by the breeze and every Mayo forward move hindered by it in that particular occasion.

    I think it would have been far more beneficial for the Mayo team to have slowed the game down. At that late stage in the half, seeing that Fermanagh were with momentum that half time was coming soon and that the breeze was bloody strong, maybe attacking was not the best option.

    If they had slowed down the game worked hard as a defensive unit closing down possession and not left such gaps that a man (10) could run 30 yards straight with the breeze behind him, we might have only finished that half 3/4 points down. We knew we were going to be starting the second half with a mighty breeze and could well have had that game closed out a lot sooner.

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