Who’ll make the club final?

Many of you will, I know, be heading for O’Moore Park in Portlaoise on Saturday to shout for Castlebar in their All-Ireland club final against Kerry’s Dr Crokes. I’ll be on the bus North myself with the kids joining the Marino faithful who’ll be roaring for St. Vincents in their semi against Ballinderry at Páirc Eisler in Newry.  Ahead of these games, I’ve stuck up a poll to see who you think will emerge from Saturday’s penultimate round clashes to claim a place in the Croke Park decider on Paddy’s Day. This poll allows you to provide two answers so which two do you think will win through from their respective matches on Saturday?

Who'll make the All-Ireland club final?

  • St Vincents (36%, 114 Votes)
  • Castlebar Mitchels (32%, 100 Votes)
  • Dr Crokes (20%, 62 Votes)
  • Ballinderry (12%, 38 Votes)

Total Voters: 171

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21 thoughts on “Who’ll make the club final?

  1. Crokes v Castlebar is impossible to call, Crokes often flatter to deceive and are generally overhyped IMO (no better instance than the Munster final where they just about scraped through in the end), however any club team with the likes of Daithi Casey and O’Leary up front- never mind the most gifted player in the country will take beating.

    Like Mayo, Castlebar’s lack of a marquee forward could be telling- King has been of course a key player for them but he’s just not on the same level as the above 3 I mentioned IMO.

    I do think Castlebar will shade it though, with the likes of Feeney, Cunniffe and the talented Eoghan O’Reilly minding the house, Moran in midfield who can always chip in with a few scores and the likes of Richie Feeney winning plenty of primary possession I think they’ll do enough myself. Not to mention some good options from the bench- I believe the black card rule will be enforced too, though I completely don’t agree with it given it hasn’t been used in the competition yet

    The other match is a toss up for me, Vincents are a more star-studded side but I wasn’t overly impressed with them v Portlaoise- granted they never looked in danger of losing. Still any team that wins Dublin will take beating but I have a feeling Ballinderry will just grind this out- especially given the conditions this time of year

    Summary- Castlebar/Ballinderry final

  2. Think Castlebar might just about do it. Ballinderry look poor enough so fancy Vincents in that one. Club teams don’t need a marquee forward (although it does help) in the way county teams do. Castlebar are a well balanced team, if they can avoid a horrible start (which they did against us) they should go on and win the thing out. Good luck to them, the west needs all it can get, to avoid shite printed in papers on slow news days.

  3. I don’t know who’ll win what, all I know is that if Castlebar do make the final they better make sure they win it.

  4. I heard them chatting at the weekend about all the losses mayo male teams of all types have had in the last 25 years.
    If there’s anything odd, it’s that statistic.
    Makes me wonder if it really is a mind thing, or a curse thing?

  5. Well it’s not a curse thing anyways, that’s utter nonsense! It could well be a mind thing though. Saying that, we have some good statistics in those 25 years. An AI U21 title, a minor title and 2 (or is it 3?) AI club titles in there. We’re generally always in the mix at some level, and we should be proud of that. The mind is a funny thing though. Once we break that barrier once with the senior men, we’ll be laughing!

  6. Does anyone know if the GAA season ticket will get us in to the match in Portlaois on Saturday?

  7. nonsense ? oh, the curse is real alright, some around these parts they seen the ghost of Sam Maguire himself standing on bridge in tarmonbarry waving at cars with Mayo plates on them.
    tis pure true!!!
    mark, in all seriousness we have a shocking record in finals. I agree that if we can win one itll break the ice for others to follow.

  8. I think Mitchels have already beaten a better side in St Brigids and have nothing to fear against Crokes, if they play to potential they should win. Vincents should win the other semi final by a bit to spare to set up another Dublin v Mayo AI final.

  9. Willie Joe , Can i suggest the equivalent of a swearbox where the next person who mentions a curse has to buy us all a pint at the next club 51 meet up ??

    actually i think if castlebar can negotiate crokes then they should be favourites to win the thing. Best of luck to them !

  10. That’s a real tough one to call, I should know better by Sunday evening.

    I thought that ghostly apparition thingys only appeared around Knock and looked what happened there. All you need are a few deprived vunerable children. A cute hoare with a magic lantern hiding behind a headstone and “Boom!” State of the art church, airport, and a set of rosary beads, plastic Mary statue that can double as a holy water container, complete with a creepy padre pio badge and all for under five euros.

    Maybe we can make that curse work to our advantage. I’m not knocking Knock, nor am I knocking Knock people. All I’m saying is that a ghosts and curses are not neccesarily a bad thing.

  11. To answer my own question, the GAA season ticket does not cover the semi-final, but will cover the Finals in Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day.

  12. Yeah, its very hard alright to figure out why Mayo teams can’t seem to produce their best or play to their potential in finals. We must have a very good record in semi-finals. I was reading some very interesting comments that Joe Schmidt, the Irish rugby manager, made after the game against Wales, in the build-up to the big game against England.

    (Anxiety of players is now our biggest problem. Expectation leads to this. To meet that expectation you have to be bang on, on the day. And that’s our challenge)

    Have Mayo teams just not been able to handle this expectation, when they reach a final? Whereas they can be bang on in a semi-final or a quarter final, they just cannot reproduce this in a final. Does anxiety get the better of Mayo teams?

  13. I think so. Nerves on the day and then factor a bad start like donegals 2 quick goals and all the steam used against Dublin and not enough scores for it. Strangely then we settle in and play well once we are chasing a game.
    Blitzed on the days against Kerry early, though we showed great spirit to come back with the goals but failed to build on it in 2006.
    Also factor in the basic mistakes made, and I mean basic that let us down badly. High ball to a small forward with 3 dubs hanging out of him, crazy stuff. Free kicked directly to an opponent who tapped it over. 3 mayo lads tussling for a ball and it popped to a dub to tap it over. We make too many schoolboy like errors. That’s our real downfall, and they come from being nervous.
    Paul scholes of man united was the coolest ever to play a ball game, like he was in training field mode where it didn’t matter and you just hit it.
    I remember seeing a lad on a team I used play with, deadly in training, he’d clean up and score like a champion but on game day, a bundle of nerves and all mistakes. And that was at junior level, he just was nervous and that was it. No calming him down. Others loved the game day, not bothered about training or putting in an effort but on game day they were a different animal.
    My 2 cents

  14. I would like to see the next person who mentions a curse put in stocks outside MacHale Park on match days for the rest of the year where we could all make our feelings known to him/her

  15. Some very interesting points there alright David! I thinks that’s why last year James Horan didn’t mind Mayo been spoken about as real All-Ireland contenders. In fact I think that he wanted Mayo to be spoken about in this way. He wants the team to feel more comfortable in this situation. To be at ease amongst the elite teams. You’d just really hope that if we can keep getting to finals, finally it will dawn on the players that they really are good enough and that they will then play like they really believe that too. Also in most sports the bigger teams get the benefit of doubt, in terms of fifty fifty calls. When Man Utd were a big team under Fergie, they always got the big calls in their favour. While since David Moyes took over, this has not been the case. That’s another reason why James Horan wants to be seen as one of the big teams. Hopefully eventually this nervous energy and anxiety can be eliminated from our play. That’s why I’d love to see us make the league final this year. Then to play in a less pressurised major final, you’d hope that we’d be able to win and help turn around this losing trend in finals. Under James Horan in major finals, we have lost by 5,4 and 1 point, so we are getting closer to the holy grail! Keep the faith lads and lassies.

  16. Good luck to Castlebar today. Funny feeling about them. They have been behindup to now, played poorly and still beaten big teams. There is a big game in them I’m sure when they are going to click. Am expecting a good performance today. would be great for them to get through. Best of luck.

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