Who’ll win the final?

So, despite both of them being pushed hard by Ulster opposition this weekend, it’s going to be a Kerry/Dublin final this year.

Monaghan and, in particular, Derry made it hard going for their vaunted opponents but in both cases the favourites won out. This means that, for the first time since 2019, it’s a meeting of the game’s two biggest powers to decide possession of the Sam Maguire for the next twelve months.

That final three years ago – which was only decided after a replay – was won by Dublin, with the sting of defeat felt by Kerry that day made even more painful by the fact that Dublin were completing the fabled five-in-a-row, a feat the Kingdom, despite all their titles, had never managed to do. The Dubs, of course, went on to win a sixth All-Ireland in a row, this one at our expense, in the behind-closed-doors Covid Christmas final the following year.

Prior to their breakthrough All-Ireland final win over them in 2011, Dublin hadn’t beaten Kerry in the Championship since 1977 and the most recent time they’d got the better of them in a final was 1976. Since 2011, though, the Dubs have added final successes over Kerry in 2015 and again in 2019 so if they beat them in this year’s final that’ll be four decider victories over the Kingdom on the spin for them.

Kerry finally stopped the rot last year, their semi-final win over the Dubs then being their first Championship success over them since the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final. But you have to go back as far as 1985 for the most recent time the Green and Gold have beaten the Jacks in a final. I was at Croke Park that day, we beat Cork in the Minor final which was the curtain-raiser to the Senior decider.

This year’s final is a hard one to call and, for the bookies at least, it’s close to a 50:50 contest, with Kerry favoured very marginally. It took a replay to divide them the last time they met in a final and last year’s semi-final was only decided deep in stoppage time.

So, in what’s likely to be an extremely tight tussle, which of them do you think will do it? Let’s test the waters with a vote on that.

Who'll win the final?

  • Dublin (60%, 647 Votes)
  • Kerry (40%, 426 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,073

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177 thoughts on “Who’ll win the final?

  1. Absolutely disgusted for Derry. Yes, they faded in the end but McQuillan absolutely rode them with some horrendous decisions.

  2. I could equally make the case for either of them in the final, I wonder will it will be easy to get tickets? ,,no minor curtain raiser as well any more. I was at the 1985 All Ireland Final as well, Willie Joe brace of goals from Kilmaines Michael John Mullen one scored without his boot gave Mayo glory on the day . It always seems easy to get a ticket when Mayo are not there. Croke Park was far from full today and yesterday for a double header Down/Meath as well from the TV pictures it looked like plenty of empty seats as well. So I imagine it will be easy enough to get one. The two best teams in the final no doubt, the last 4 probably the 4 best teams as well. Both semi finals were compelling very high quality and in the balance right up to the last 5 minutes. At the end of the 2023 Championship what’s the chances of one of either David Clifford or Stephen Cluxton being declared the greatest footballer of this century?. Kerry will I fear need to find a little more from the supporting cast or its advantage Dublin. Who will be the Ref?. Sean Hurson and David Gough are way ahead of anyone else in my opinion. Some in Kerry wont want a Tyrone Ref , Kerry fans might not have any complaints about Dublin Joe Today but they wont want him to whistle an All Ireland Final involving Dublin.

  3. I think Kerry. The standard today was of a different level to yesterday and they won without even playing well.

  4. I have never seen Croker as empty for a semi final as today, looked less than half full.

    Mayo and the Dubs have brought the biggest crowds for years.

    I don’t care who wins the final, Derry were shafted throughout that game today.

  5. @Bate the blanket yeah it’s like kerry fans were just sitting at home waiting for the final way more Derry fans there . Derry were so unlucky feel so bad for them should have been a derry / dubs final.

  6. Today’s game showed both teams well organised defensively & both with top fitness. It showed that in the end the management need the players to execute. Derry players were on top with 10mins to go and missed a few good chances. Kerry hung on and turned a game that was slipping away from them. In the end, it often comes down to which team has the players to get the few scores from 60min to 75min in the crunch games. And the crunch games are the pressure ones where the players know they have to fight like dogs to survive and win and to execute those crucial scores when your body is wrecked tired. Derry were close today, management systems worked but a few on field execution failures & they left the door open, Kerry got off the hook. Mayo alas have never had enough players to execute the crucial scores in the dog fights. Fair play to Kerry, think they’ll take the Dubs on todays showing.

  7. To be fair to Kerry since the Tyrone debacle in 21 they’ve gotten very good at digging out tight bigger games – semi and final last year, plus today – so they’ll be very hard beaten.

    A long time since a group of players has defended their first title, even the dubs failed to do so a decade ago as well as this Limerick crop. Is this one where experience wins out?

    Dublin have been phoning it in a bit this year – I guess when you have Celtic crosses falling out of your arse it’s hard to get motivated for provincial and round robin games – but at times they’ve switched it on when needed, however they’re not a patch on their 2015-19 selves, and
    I still don’t think they’re actually fully sure of their best team.

    Yet I hope they win it. Dessie is very unfairly maligned in my view for a dead honest and nice guy, he’s left no stone unturned all year and he’s gotten the 26 best players in the county togging out again. They still play some excellent attacking football and seeing probably my favourite footballer of all time and the Dublin GOAT James McCarthy lift Sam as captain while collecting his 9th Celtic cross would be an absolute sight to behold.
    also I worry what kind of a monster might be created if Kerry do win. I can’t see Dublin having the stomach to topple them next year, Derry look to have maxed out, Tyrone are done for the moment, as are mayo, Galway are playing within themselves and will probably lose Cian O’Neill. Unless cork or Kildare come from nowhere I can’t see anyone else competing with them in the near future. Next year could suddenly be a three in a row and then there’ll be talks of 5… At least a Dublin win in two weeks keeps them honest for another while yet..

    Very, very hard to call, this could literally go any way and I wouldn’t even rule out a hiding one way or the other either! I’ve reluctantly voted Kerry though. Sean O’Shea motm

  8. Currently in peak holiday season, still in a cost of living crisis, about 7 hours total travel time from Tralee/Killarney to Dublin and back, or else remortgage the house to afford a hotel, the expense of tickets, food, travel, drink, etc., the fact they’re the most decorated county in the country…hardly a great mystery Kerry don’t bring the whole county up to an all ireland semi

  9. @ciaran to be fair not sure how well liked dessie is among the players my dub mate had a fair few mates playing under 20s and some younger ones in current squad he said some just walked away as couldn’t deal with him.

    But also though dessie does get a fair amount of abuse to be sure hard stepping in after jim gavin like..

    I think dubs will win the sam. How will they come back next year though ? After shoving away the young guys I thought that was mad harsh tbh. These 6 in a row guys won’t be around forever if they do win it they surely won’t stick around next year? Will the young players that got shoved come running back ? I question that one tbh .

  10. True for you Ciaran..add in the fines /penalty points and higher cost of insurance when you try and make Dublin and back to the Kingdom a round trip in 7 hours total.

  11. I voted a Dubs win. D.Clifford can be unmarkable but I’m sure Dubs will try to close down his supply line ,they won’t leave him one on one inside and if they can keep him to 4/5points I think they have a better spread of scorers in their front 6. I don’t think Kerry midfield will be able to close out Fenton’s influence for a full game. There’s much more to come from Kilkenny & McCaffrey. It’s a final I’m looking forward to.

  12. Such a hard one to call. The bookies edging ever so slightly toward Kerry and the bookies are very accurate having a Dublin win by 7 yesterday (correct) and Kerry by 3 today (would have been correct only for McGuigan to inexplicably kick a point from last free) Think kerry may just do it with what I consider the greatest footballer ever in their ranks. Having said that the Kerry backs were under all sorts of pressure today and would be gone now but for the heroics of their goalie. Interesting that Monaghan only got 6 points in second half, Derry 4 and ourselves 3 while Tyrone didn’t trouble the scoreboard much in second half either. This is where the games are won and lost. Even Galway last year faded in the last 10 minutes. Hence the need of some managers to try to finish with their strongest team.

  13. Warning – bad language coming up

    Coming out of Croker today I met a very elderly Kerry woman, (and I’m not too young myself).

    Kerry woman (KW): Where are you from yourself?
    Me: I’m Mayo actually
    KW: Arragh Jaysus what’s wrong with ye at all?
    Me: Well we beat Kerry anyway
    KW: Kerry are in the final now.
    KW: We didn’t show our hand at all today
    KW: What did you think of Clifford?
    Me: Thought he was poor enough in the second half
    KW: You know fuck all about football. Is it any wonder Mayo can’t win anything.

  14. McStay must appoint a defensive coach next season or we are going to have no hope in beating Dublin or Kerry in the 3 remaining years of his tenure.

  15. Think it’s a no brainier, can’t understand how Kerry are bookies favourites. They got beaten fairly by a good Mayo performance (granted wasn’t knock out football but still they don’t like losing in their own back yard). Didn’t see the Cork game as was on GAA Go but I understand Cork could have beaten them that day. Yesterday Derry could easily have turned them over with a little bit of the rub of the Green.
    Dublin on the other hand unbeaten in the Championship, never really looked like losing against Monaghan and blew Mayo out the gap a fortnight ago. Mccarthy for POTY I

  16. It’s all about timing and the Mayo team that constantly challenged the Dublin 6 in a row side would be outstanding favourites against the current contenders. I don’t see Dublin or Kerry improving much over the next few years as both will be shedding a few stalwarts and unlikely to have as good quality coming through. So it’s certainly possible that the likes of Derry, Galway and ourselves can improve again and reel them in.
    Was in Westport on Saturday evening and was impressed with Kennedy for Westport who were a bit too strong for Aghamore and won’t be far away come championship I reckon.

  17. We’ve seen it time and time again, turnovers at crucial moments are decisive in close games. Both superpowers got a right good rattling at the hands of Ulster teams. My miserly fiver is on Dublin just about, but if it’s Gough reffing they’d both better watch the close contacts. More sorry for Derry than anything else today…they had Kerry on the rack. The dubs were more in control of their semi.

  18. I’m going for kerry. Changed my mind 2 weeks ago after backing Dublin in early spring.. Again i say any of the top 6 would win the all ireland if David Clifford was with them unless maybe mayo would figure out a way to lose it cause we’re kinda good at that and nobody gives us credit for being so consistent in figuring this out.

  19. I think Dublin will take it. Definitely seems like the last dance for a lot of them, Mccarthy/Fitzsimmons/Cluxton will surely all call it a day after this and go out on a high.

    Their squad has strengthened since last year while Kerrys has been diminished with the loss of Moran and no newbies putting up their hand.

    It’s probably all going to come down to whether clifford can carry them all on his back again.

    Was rewatching the derry game last night and they will be sick. They were undoubtedly the better team,left 4 goal chances behind them and few handy points coming down the stretch. Derry were 4 or 5vpoints the better team yesterday but that man Clifford…..he is a freak. Honestly think you could stick him in the leitrim team and they would be contenders

  20. Neither team is as outstanding as some of their garlanded sides of yesteryear, IMO. The Dubs are very impressive from midfield up but can be got at at the back, even if Mayo and Monaghan didn’t fully exploit this. They have been giving up goal chances and Cluxton made one worrying slip from a speculative long ball yesterday, although his kickouts remain excellent.

    Kerry have a phenomenal player in David Clifford, but some of their other forwards haven’t clicked fully, the likes of Seanie O’ Shea and Paudie Clifford in particular. Their midfield is also a worry, haven’t fully replaced David Moran IMO and although Diarmuid O’Connor and Barry were good against Tyrone, Glass and Rodgers bossed centrefield for long spells yesterday. Would have to fancy Fenton and McCarthy to get the better of that battle on current form.

    Would give a hesitant vote to the Dubs based on them winning midfield and using this as a platform to squeeze Kerry in the second half, like they did against us and Monaghan. Dubs by 3-5 points.

  21. I would be concerned at how easily Kerry coughed up goal chances. Stephen O Brien had huge impact of bench. Had Derry a little more composure in last quarter, we’d be talking about them today. Dubs will have motivation to win this one, they are getting my vote.
    As for Mayo, if the management want to see the importance of a CHB, they should look at performance of Gareth McKinless, he was immense. They had several ‘go to’ players, who could score from distance. They had a robust defensive system that they believed in and was well marshalled throughout the game. No shortage of leadership and inspirational players throughout the field. Gaelic football is frightenly strong in north today.

  22. Hope the Dubs win or else we will be replacing one dynasty with another.
    Some surprises in the Mayo. League , any stand out players.
    Derry have shown the worth of a good defensive system.

  23. @ontheditch
    Agreed on McKinless, thought he was absolutely phenomenal, a proper wrecking ball of a number 6.

  24. Padraig McGrogan was a huge loss early on, after scoring an inspirational point.

  25. @JR yeah agree hope dubs win it I’ve a feeling they will take it ha

    Mcstay needs to bring in a top defensive coach asap!

  26. Derry had a spell in the second half where they created chances but just lost a little composure, chances they were taking in the first half.
    Just remember most of the Derry team were 4th division league players not so long ago. There’s a template there for any county. GAA is flying in Ulster as a province, Down were a very young team starting a journey.
    @Clare, we persisted with an airy fairy defensive system built around converting a lightweight forward to the pivotal CHB. Plan B was more of the same. Unfair on players and the fragility of the ‘system’ filtered through and affected the whole team. Credit to McBrien and DOC, they held us together as best they could. Book stops with McStay, he’s the big boss or puppet on string. He needs to sit down and talk to himself.
    The positive is we have the players willing to go the extra mile for their county

  27. If Derry took their points instead of going for goals they would have won
    As they say if you score a point the other team have to score 2 to get ahead of you.

  28. Catcol I’ll have to agree with the Kerry woman so your comments anymore will come with a good grain of salt !!!!!

  29. I think Dublin will win even if David Clifford carries the Kerry Team again.They really are bang average without him but I think Dublin have more big game players like Mannion,Fenton,McCarthy and even though Con has been off lately there’s no way he won’t finish a season without a big peformance especially if Clifford’s shooting the lights out at the other end.But if Clifford has a bad day I really don’t think Dublin will be stopped.Dublin also have a much stronger bench then Kerry,the people Dessie can bring on like Jack McCaffrey for example I think in the dieing stages that will hurt Kerry unless they are 5-6 ahead.

  30. Darren Quinn for Garrymore man of the match in Garry v Tubber kicking some lovely scores
    Oisin McLaughlin most impressive for Westport against Ballinrobe
    Ethan Gibbons and Mark Cunningham racking up big scores from play for Mitchels
    Aidan Orme playing very well of late for Knockmore against Aghamore maybe deserves a spell of games in National League next season, still one of the most talented forwards in the County just needs a bit more time to deliver at County.

  31. Just wish we were going up to Dublin in two weeks time for another big day.I know we aren’t near the standard of our 2016 and 2017 teams but i think that embarrassment against dublin didn’t do us justice.Imagine if Jordan’s goal had counted I don’t know why it didn’t would of been a different game!

  32. With everyone calling for a defensive coach and I agree something needs to be done, but what in Gods name is Buckley supposed to be doing.

  33. @ Achill 75 great to get updates on the local games for us living far away.
    I think the Castlebar lads you mentioned are young.

  34. @Nephin not very much apparently Buckley needs to up his game but yes it’ll take time with new management and that so hopefully be better next year haha

  35. Thanks for sharing that, Catcol. I enjoyed it.
    “Arragh, Jaysus, what’s wrong with ye at all?” That sums it up pretty well. I’m still feeling quite childish and sulky that we’re out of the Championship.
    But it’s starting to feel good that we have things to improve on next year.

  36. Clare,

    You can barely hide your dislike for Kerry.

    Derry could have won yesterday however their shooting let them down in the 2nd half.

    As for the Ref he was poor for both sides.

  37. @west kerry I’ve no problem with kerry ? Kerry people are lovely . It’s an opinion bases on a team
    Clifford carried kerry again yesterday .

    I’m a bit tired of you always coming on here and getting annoyed at me just because I stand by my own opinion that lots of other people have to .

  38. Agree. The club updates are great. And agree re taking your points. Maybe Derry coming from a lower division were probably had a high conversion rate of goal chances not so easy against Kerry.
    Orme is a class act for Knockmore and is county standard. Game time and self belief for him.
    Oisínn McLaughlin and Kennedys good club footballers. Darren Quinn an interesting player.
    Keep the club match reports going..Castlebar could be supplying a fair quota of county players in years to come.
    Buckley more fitness and S and C. Rochford pulling the strings re defensive strategies. I don’t think Donegal would take him back.

  39. The 2022 Mayo senior football backroom team is all follows:

    Manager: Kevin McStay

    Coach and assistant manager: Stephen Rochford

    Coach and selector: Donie Buckley

    Coach, selector with additional responsibility for club liaison: Damien Mulligan

    Coach, selector with additional responsibility for county under-20 liaison: Liam McHale

    Head of Medical: Dr Seán Moffat

    Head of Athletic Performance: Conor Finn

    Psychologist: Niamh Fitzpatrick

    Lead physiotherapist: Garrett Coughlan

    Niamh would be good for Orme, Carney and other youngsters.

  40. A great two weekends in store for us. The most striking aspect from Kerry yesterday was their calmness all the way through, no panic despite going into the last stretch a few behind. Amazing what an-ireland does for mental fortitude. The dubs on the other hand keep getting different lads to deliver at key times…again winners mental strength is there for all to see. In a year where some ageing giants of the game have delivered at the very highest level might there be a no 26 jersey for David Moran??

  41. Clare,

    It’s because you are constantly beating that drum about Kerry.

    A team in back to back finals and defending champions.

    But you know better I suppose.

  42. @west kerry this is a blog lots of others have said Clifford was carrying kerry yesterday on this blog to.

    I’m an entitled to my opinion its like your digging for an argument here .

    I like to hear others opinions from outside of the blog your posts to but stop with the digs I don’t know better at all ? It’s an opinion.

    This blog is play by the ball not the person rule . @willie joe ?

  43. @West Kerry

    I’m curious on what the local view on this Kerry side is.

    For me, David Clifford aside, this is the worst Kerry team of my lifetime. My reason for saying that, is that I don’t feel that anyone else is even close in the conversation of “all time Kerry greats”. Murphy, Geaney and O’Brien are for me good servants. Seanie O’Se and Paudie Clifford might with a few more medals make it there, but outside of that.

    Not intended as disrespect, there are after all probably 30 counties who’d only be too delighted if they could measure up to the worst Kerry team of all time.

  44. @West Kerry, I was at the game as a neutral yesterday, I see things differently as to when Mayo would be playing.

    This is nothing against Kerry, but the Referee absolutely saddled Derry, no question about this whatsoever. I wonder how can modern day Officials get away with this.

    Kerry and the Dubs will always get the calls on the big days.

  45. FrostTHammer,

    I don’t think Kerry get the credit they deserve IMO.

    Ryan, Foley, 2x OSullivans, White, Paidi, Seanie and David would get on any team.

    They’ve been in the business end of the championship for the past 4 years.

    Kerry have the athleticism and smarts to match Dublin.

    I just find it amusing that some posters cant give credit it’s hard to fathom or its just disingenuous.

  46. The O’Sullivans, Gavin Whyte, Paudie C and O’Shea would make most Kerry sides of any era, then you have the likes of Foley, Morley, Jack Barry and Diarmuid O’Connor who are very suited to the modern game, while previous players wouldn’t be, so its very hard to compare. The Kerry side of the noughties probably came to the end of their lifecycle in 2013, they won a fortuitous All Ireland in 2014 but I’d still rate this side higher than Kerry of the 2010s, and I’m not sure what your lifetime covers, but they’re certainly better than Kerry sides of the 90s

    Nostalgia bias always plays a role, but even in the 2000s the entire starting 15 wasn’t fully stacked with top players – that team did have a broader range of superstars though, but that side was prone to plenty of off days also.

  47. West Kerry I think Clare has been consistent in her remarks about Clifford carrying Kerry.while I don’t necessarily agree with her it has become obvious that Kerry with Clifford and without him are two very different propositions .He will without doubt become the greatest player of all time and Kerry rightly utilise him at every opportunity.As for Kerry getting credit well if Mayo do finally win an all Ireland I wouldn’t care less if they credit for it or not.I can’t really call the final but I would edge towards Kerry

  48. Genuine question maybe especially for those dismissing the league. Who is in the better position at the end of the year mayo or meath. Mayo won the competition seemingly nobody wants to win beating arch rivals galway in the final in Croker, beat kerry away in the group stages of championship and failed badly to Dublin in the quarter final and ended the year with a bad reputation whereas meath lost to offaly (equivalent of sligo for us)in leinster and then went on to win the tailteann a competition nobody wants to be in by beating down (a lesser team than roscommon for us) and ended the year on a high with plenty of praise. For me i don’t know what to think anymore are we supposed to go to league games next year and hope we don’t win some of the games going against all supporting is supposed to stand for. My head is fried from trying to figure it out.

  49. 1985,

    Any team with Clifford in it will always be worse off without him.
    No different to Con or Fenton or McGuigan.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion even if its not supported by the actual truth.

  50. West Kerry, I happen to rate Kerry. And I think we’ll know a lot more about Kerry and our opinions when the final is over.
    It’s easy to throw assertions about (I’m not talking about you in this) but those with the strong opinions go fairly quiet when their views don’t tally with outcomes. They back down then or reframe.
    You are entitled to be proud of your team. I happen to think a lot of your forwards can score.
    And for example, a much underrated player, downplayed across the board, Stephen O’Brien came on yesterday and made a decisive contribution.
    Jacko isn’t one of my biggest favourites but do I think for one minute that he’ll send the Kerry team into an All-Ireland with one scorer? No.

  51. West Kerry I agree every top team has a go to player but Clifford is basically unplayable and that’s not a criticism.Jesus wouldn’t we love to have him .if he is there then obviously most attacks will be directed through him .

  52. @ no doubt. I think there is a bit more structure to Meath. Improvement will come from structure and game plan. But it’s not our concern. We got two brilliant semi finals. The big winner is the new structure, barring the one week break for a set of matches. There are more teams now in a healthier place for the extended championship games. Derry a second division league team progressed to a brilliant championship side. They are the people’s champions, for giving us such entertainment, we remain the great pretenders, with a very expensive management set up.

  53. I know Kerrys success means they tend to not get alot of neutral support but Mayo and Kerry are two very similar counties.

    Rural hard working people on the Atlantic with the same challenges and toughness in our peoples.

    I just don’t know how anyone can cheer for Dublin outside of the county.

  54. In fairness Kerry won easily against Tyrone with Clifford shooting only 1 of 9 shots.
    So Kerry can win big games with Clifford misfiring.

  55. There is a lot more to this Kerry team than Clifford alone. As people have named above some great players on that Kerry team outside Clifford. I would certainly like to see at least 5 or 6 of them playing for Mayo.
    The quality of the game yesterday was miles ahead of the game Saturday evening. I think Kerry will be too good for Dublin in the final. What they do well in Kerry is have the structures in place to bring along these players continuously. The best thing that happened Kerry this year – and the worst for Mayo – was the beating we gave them in Killarney. Just the wake up call they needed.

  56. Worst Kerry team in a lifetime? Jeez that seems harsh to me. Both Cliffords, Paul Geaney, Seanie Shea, White, Crowley, Tom O’ Sullivan the younger, Foley and even Shane Ryan are all excellent footballers. They also have a few excellent subs, the likes of Burns, O’Brien and Brosnan were all good yesterday, and would probably all make our team.

    The worst Kerry team I’ve seen was either the one in the early 90s or the one in 1997 which beat us, which is hardly saying much for us. Maurice Fitzgerald carried that team on his back that day.

  57. I just think clifford is in a different league then any player in in country that’s actually actually compliment . He does carry the kerry team. Any county team including mayo would love to ha a David Clifford.

    Yes kerry have some other decent players but no where near the likes of Clifford and just the facts.

  58. Have a question to ask you folks which was worse Reapes charge on Heaney in league final , or Ryan’s charge on mcguigan yesterday we know what refs done in both games but which was most dangerous , we owe it to players to be honest leave a hand on Clifford n it’s a free but Derrys talisman got no protection what so ever ,

  59. Clare – there isn’t another player in the country near the level of Clifford. We all agree on that.
    I think the supporting cast in Kerry is much better than some people give them credit for.

  60. @West Kerry…I doubt if too many contributors here will actually ”cheer” for Dublin outside of their own. The question was who do we think will win and of course none of us have a clue really.
    Personally just hoping for a good game of ball ,which I think we’ll get and I’ll applaud skill and good play from both sides and hope the best team win & it’s not decided by a referee’s balls-up.

  61. Clifford showed real leadership. Back in defence doin his bit. Not just waiting up the other end waiting for ball to arrive. I would not say he carries kerry. He does exactly what his strength talent and determination can do. And that is to score with impunity from all angles under the severest of pressure.

  62. @ontheditch. I know it’s not our concern but my question still stands. Who had the better year mayo or meath?which would people be more content with. Play at the highest level with a bad finish or a low level with silverware at the end.

  63. Clifford is class.
    Our problem this year started with playing a weakened team against Monaghan, winning is a good habit.
    I have been following Mayo for over 55 years and hand over heart I am not fully confident of us beating any team.
    That came home to roost with our games against Louth and Cork this year.
    We need to develop a ruthless streak with player’s afraid of the line if not performing, mainly the established players.
    New lads need time to bed in.

  64. Alot of talk on here about how the ref won it for Kerry yesterday. I watched the game back earlier and tbh I don’t really buy that narrative. Clifford wrongly pulled for a perfect shoulder. On the other hand the Ryan/McGuigan collusion probably should have been a free out. The only reason I say probably is because I’m not really sure what else Ryan was supposed to do. The ball was bouncing high so he had to leave the ground..should he have pulled out? Obviously no. Should he have stayed front on? Maybe, but I think there was a good chance of a head on collision in that case.
    In terms of the final, there is no doubt it is very evenly poised. I think the semi-finals exposed potential weaknesses in both sides. Interesting couple of weeks of debate ahead.

  65. Kerry are good – but heavily reliant on Clifford and O’Shea for scores – Between them they had two-thirds of Kerry’s total haul yesterday. All their subs managed a single point between them. If that’s not the definition of carrying a team, I don’t know what is.

    Full back line is prone to giving up goal chances with direct running. Derry did it yesterday, but were denied by their own lack of a clinical finish, and a decent stop or two from the keeper. Mayo tore them apart with direct runs.

    My concerns as a Dub would be, (other than the fact that Clifford cannot be marked), Kerry look to be in peak condition, they are not panicking at any point, and they’re playing on an edge that refs seem ok with.

    That said, we have a better Keeper, and a better midfield – the latter of which will go a long way to starving their forward line of ball – which is really the only way I can see to negate someone like DC, who seems to manufacture a shooting space out of thin air.

  66. No doubt meath had the better year the blooded lots of new players from.where they were they have made progress in championship , we have gone back 3 wins out of 6 and we hung on against louth and galway , might add with a lot of help from galway ,mayo had a bad championship simple

  67. @Jayden yeah agree with you.

    I think ye will win as I feel the 6 in a row guys are going for one last push for 1 more all Ireland with that bunch of guys and have a loads of different players they can rely on

    Hopefully mayo get to play ye next year again with a much better outcome for mayo :p haha ye were better then us though so fair play .

  68. After watching the first semi I thought monaghan showed up Dublin age early on and I was thinking the Kerry forwards will eat Dublin backs. But the kerry half forward line weren’t great yesterday. Not sure what spillane and moynihan brought. Dublin are very strong in the half back line. Iv said Kerry all year, I stick by it but Dublin will be highly motivated an not one bit over awed.
    Great to see Damo Comer is keeping one eye on retirement… He’s a natural, he should sign up now 🙂

  69. Meath had a better year than Mayo?


    How a League title and all Ireland quarter final, worse than winning a competition that you’re only in because you couldn’t beat Offaly?

    Meath were good enough to play for sam last year. Just being in the Tailtean is regression for them, and it’s not as if they were there because they couldn’t beat a Dublin or even a Kildare. They lost to Offaly, a side who didn’t even make a Tailtean quarter final.

  70. People want to see a progressive season for their county. Derry Monaghan Meath Westmeath Down Cork. We spiralled downwards from a high in Killarney. How much had an airy fairy defensive system, stubbornly persevered with, to do with our downfall? Did it put a strain on the whole team? Who was responsible for the hair brained system. Why was Jordan Flynn the only ‘go to’ half forward? Why did Ruane Carney lose confidence?
    More questions than answers. Plenty for McStay and co. to chew on over the winter

  71. If you call beating Division 3 and 4 teams a success for Meath you are deluded.
    Beaten by Offaly in the championship.
    They will struggle to stay in Division 2 next year.

  72. We may have to listen to colm o rourke go on a fair bit next year haha not a fan of him but fair play he brought meath back up from the bottom.

    I wouldn’t say meath had a better year then mayo tho 2 totally different competitions I mean how would meath have done in division 1? ..

  73. @West Kerry

    Very Peter Canavan like, the way you skirted the question

    You’re probably right that they don’t get the credit they deserve, but the reality is that if they hadn’t been making the later stages then we wouldn’t be having this debate because they’d unarguably be the worst Kerry team of modern times.

    When you’re the victim of your own success, you really should not expect sympathy from the actual victims of that success

  74. It’s funny how people here talk about “progression” re their County teams.

    For all the different managers, S and C Coaches, video analysis, Dieticians, Psychologists, money etc involved with team management we are now where we were in the 1970’s, which means that Dublin and Kerry are leading the pack for years, they both had blips in certain periods but are never too far away from the top.

    I have witnessed Mayo and other teams fail to make the breakthrough, like Derry yesterday, they had the chances but just couldn’t take them when the game was there to be won.

    Maybe Mayo are destined to never win it.

  75. I think Gary Neville former Man United player summed up a game like this when you just dislike both teams as much , “it’s like choosing someone to sleep with your wife “

  76. As it stands Meath are the ONLY Team 100% qualified to play for Sam in 2024, even if it is a bit of a stretch to think any of the Div 1 teams wont make it . Strange to think that whoever wins Sam, Dublin or Kerry , are not 100% guaranteed to play in the competition as it currently stands. The official attendance yesterday was only 43,000 has to be one of the lowest attendance for an All Ireland Semi Final played in Croke Park.

  77. Meath in a better position than Mayo,you must not even realise that the ball is round

  78. Meath is another sensitive subject in Mayo. But they made progress, they have potential. Chaotic is the only word I can think to describe Mayos season.
    Mayo had many bites at the cherry over the years and did wobblers. There is no guarantee that Derry or any northern team will not go all the way. I’d be fearing for Galway tho. Did Walsh progress to greatness?

  79. Are people getting a bit carried away with Meath winning the Tailtean cup? Honest to God its a nothing cup lads like Brian Stafford Robbie O’Malley Liam Hayes Trevor Giles id love to know what they would make of winning a tailtean cup. Seriously Sam is the only show in town the league and everything else is just noise. I dont care if we lose every game in the league as long as we find two midfielders than can actually field a number 6 who can patrol his area like the Derry no 6 yesterday and a few half forwards that can score. None of this lateral nonsense. Of course we might get relegated to division 2 so what id did Dublin no harm

  80. Didn’t do Derry any harm either but that’s some wish list. Throw in a management team that know their arse from their elbow

  81. @Achill75 thanks for sharing that! Great to see Ryan io D is enjoying club football again .

    @sean burke I laughed at that haha .

  82. Meath miles away from winning anything serious.A lot of players from Tailteann cup counties in America for the summer.
    Club football is at a very poor standard in Meath.
    Very seldom do you see a Meath club team win a Leinster championship game and if they do it is against one of the weakest counties.
    Meath suffering from a surge of population from Dublin families and it will take years and a lot of effort to turn things around in Meath.

  83. I reckon the Dubs will beat Kerry in the final.
    Both teams are a bit open at the back early in 1st half of games.

    I just feel that the Dubs are holding back a bit, I mean McCaffrey has not shown his best this year.

    Kerry corner forward has lightening pace, ie, left corner forward that played yesterday.

    Gavin White is excellent on the attack and the goal yesterday was all about pace and great movement.

    Still I think the Dubs may just shade it, better Midfield and ball winning capabilities.

    Dubs weakness is Fitzsimmons and Byrne in fullback line and maybe Scully.

  84. @ jr. Hard to argue with that. They have the population though and probably the resources. The GAA too have to address the monster they have created in Dublin. Meath will be one of the counties targeted for development.
    There’s also the status of Tailtean Cup. Westmeath did not let the competition down this year and the GAA will be investing in Meath to fly the flag next season.
    But again Meath is not our concern. We have our own headaches.

  85. Someone said there kerry rely to heavily on scores from Clifford and o shea.. Imagine if mayo didn’t have conroy or o donoghue.. Jesus who would score at all.. Kerry have plenty to chip in don’t worry about that.. We have no scoring power from half back to full forward.. Apart from the 2 boys… Jesus christ I mean Aidan O Shea was supposed to be our version of Michael Murphy one time.. He just lays off the ball now.. Just doesn’t score.. Nor does midfield.. Flynn the odd point but jesus it’s slack.

  86. @kick it in now thats a tad harsh flynn has been one of the guys to stand up this year. Aido has been good also bar obvs against the Dubs.

  87. Ah I don’t think so Clare.. I said flynn was decent but o shea doesn’t score.. At all.. He was bad v roscommon v Cork he missed a sitter at the end and v dub no good so there is substance and evidence to that.. But you need all your forwards scoring.. If one has an off day, you need another to stand up.. But my point isn’t just o shea.. We’ve no goal threat or nothing

  88. @kick it in true aido went missing v dubs but I put that more down to management tbh and the tactics.

    V rossies I think the whole team was flat. Cork I really don’t know what happened there but was very infuriating !

    I agree with you we need all forwards to be scoring of course ..but who else in the clubs are at inter County level to step up forwards wise? Your right though regards Ryan o d and Tommy c thank god for them and Tommy c will be back full 100% be hard stopping him.

  89. For all sorts of reasons I hope David Clifford lifts the Sam Maguire Cup this year.

  90. I know Clare, it’s annoying surely but not raising one white flag in seven all ireland finals can’t be all management’s fault either.. Awful easy blame management when things go wrong.. But the players are out there and have to work it out themselves sometimes.

  91. On your other point, I don’t know who’s better than what’s there, I’ve heard a few names bandied about, but if they were good enough theyd be there, like who is shooting the lights out for their club? Westport are current champs, who’s their best forward.. Mcdonagh doesn’t score heavily either… Orme is not good at inter county level so I mean bar conroy and rod.. Its slack about

  92. @kick it in but we have the players I’m not just blaming management but management have a huge part to play in how games are won and lost .

  93. We don’t have the players clare..i think that’s fairly obvious now come on. Only paddy from 5 to 12 is consistent.. Then rod and Tom… So ever are these players and esp forwards or midfielder who scores??

  94. Management send out a team with a plan yes, but we don’t have the players able to carry that plan out for 70 mins… Its as simple as that.. Look at Mccarthy and Fenton at the weekend or Clifford and o shea.. Like they are leaders.. We’ve none.

  95. Kick it in is correct, Mayo players not clinical enough when the goal opportunities arise, we have seen this in many big games, 3 times v Tyrone in 2021 final and a missed penalty, about 4 sitters missed v Kerry in Killarney.

    Kerry and Dubs just take their chances that is what sets them ahead of the rest.

    Myself and the young fella witnessed the Kerry goal yesterday, how many times have Mayo players got this type of a palmed goal with brilliant movement from a number of players in a semi or final ? the Dubs invented it.

    The trouble is Mayo cannot put up a big score in a semi or final.

  96. @kick it in what about colm reape? Is he no good then? Only paddy is consistent ? What about cillian o Connor when he’s fit?

  97. @kick it in I can see where your coming from maybe it’s just my hope against coming in here haha but i think with time the team will develop they are still a very young team ( I’m just hoping next year be be better ) haha

  98. I fully appreciate your loyalty and hope clare, and I hope mayo do something soon too but I can’t see it.. As bate the blanket said there mayo are very poor at 2 v1 situations that end with a palm to the net..dub and kerry are excellent at it… Ah now colm reape is OK but he’s a goalkeeper and o Connor is prob nearing the end and injured alot.. Plus he’s not ahead of rod or Tommy and won’t be a half forward. So the options are limited

  99. @kick it in the hope is getting limited at this stage tbh ha ha but loyalty not. I think this year must be our worse defeat in a quarter final in how long? I thought last year was bad but jeez..

    Cillian Def not ahead of Tommy or Rod I just hope the aussies don’t snatch either Tommy c or Ryan o d haha

  100. @Clare

    This year, like last year, was our worst ever quarter final defeat on the scoreboard. I think I’m right in saying that we’ve only lost 5 in total, and the others were all by 3 points

  101. Kick it in, I totally agree with you on our absence of scorers in the forwards, or even scorers, full stop.

    I believe management has not encouraged players as individuals to prioritise consistent, dangerous, lethal scoring. I agree re Aido. I love him to bits and it’s not his fault but management are not letting him off the leash enough to score from play. What is the point having a player in the full forward line who will not cause a threat to the scoreboard from play? *It’s tying our hands* when it matters.
    What all this means is that we are toothless in many games when the opposition squeeze us. We cannot get out of tight corners with accurate, reliable scoring. It is an essential weapon to have.

    We all have been so concerned with winning Sam that we place our eggs in the running game basket or in a gameplan that relies on overpowering our opponent and unleashing a broad range of scorers, who can score on their day. They’re just not encouraged to prioritise their scoring skills as a first, core aspect of their play.
    It’s an odd argument to make but it’s what I see. We need some power back.

  102. Should be pointed out that for all the talk of defensive systems that the final will be played by only two teams in this year’s championship to reach the magic 20 at HQ

    (In normal time. Louth did against Offaly but needed extra time)

  103. @Swallow Swoops

    Interestingly Ryan actually addressed practicing kicking scores in the video shared above. According to Ryan, you have to be very careful in how much kicking practice you do because overdoing it can lead to persistent hamstring problems

  104. That’s interesting, Frost. So many things to keep in mind.
    Now that I’m typing, and realising McStay was a great forward himself, I remember that we did try for goals this year. It’s one positive step forward. I remember Enda Hession scoring one and I think Eoghan McLaughlin has been practising going for goals.
    I’d love to see us advance by having reliable scoring skills.

  105. Swallow, the interesting thing about names mentioned is they are both really defenders.
    It’s largely the running from deep/off the shoulder type goals we’ve come accustomed to the last 10 years.

  106. It was identified back in the 96-97 era that Mayo lacked the clinical finishing to consistently win big games on the scoreboard. I don’t think we’ve really improved in that department despite all our many long campaigns over nearly 30 years.
    I don’t know why we can’t produce enough effective scoring forwards to improve our scoring rate.
    But coaching has got to be part of the solution, and we need to start at underage before we spend another generation wondering why we can’t get our hands on Sam.
    And there’s other areas McStay & co need to address but scoring is a perennial problem.

  107. Good luck to Dublin and Kerry but I couldn’t care less who wins it…
    Sadly I see no future for Mayo in this game either. Too brittle and no real bottle when the game is there to be won. It seems to be in our DNA and I am finding it hard to feel hopeful. Maybe it’s a bad night for me but…
    Wish the women the very best against Kerry. At least they fight and show desire to win.
    Take care Mayo folk.

  108. @kick it I’m. Agreed 100%

    And most peoples on heres solution to our attacking woes next year? You guessed it. Playing AOS on the edge of the square for the umpteenth year running despite a large body of evidence showing it doesn’t work against the top sides. He’s a great lad but he won’t score so he is essentially a luxury player up there.

    We also need a total revamp of our half forward line again I feel, athletes over footballers seems to still be the school of thought there

  109. Good point about the scoring backs, Gizmo.
    Maumstrasna View, thanks for the context over a longer view.
    MO-díreach, keep the faith. I remember this Kerry team in 2019 looked lightweight and a long way off a cup. Who disputes their credentials now? A lightweight team doesn’t mean you’ll be that way forever. I think despite the psychological reeling we experienced this year (supporters, I mean), there were huge lessons there, if we are able to take them. If we’re serious about wanting to improve, we need to learn from them.
    For all the distaste and disappointment of bowing out early, I still think we are in a much better place than a Meath, for example, not that that’s a comparison we’d want. We went with the troops; we ventured; we got shown up badly and the carts capsized. We’ll go again. Hopefully, we make a more convincing show of it next time.
    This is a new team (not the 2017 version) and I think it will take two or three years to develop to a higher, tougher level. I’m also convinced by the points posters made recently about us needing to develop physically.
    Management steer things and we need to see a better direction from them.
    P.S. Derry were coming up as far back as 2017. It’s not completely overnight.
    P.P.S. Is DOC our Clifford? Are we useless without him? (Said jokingly).

  110. Reape had a good season for Mayo but in all honesty he is not in the class of Beggan, Cluxton etc. He may well improve on his kick out strategy but the way the likes of Beggan, even Rafferty from Armagh and the Derry goalie play such huge roles out the field while Cluxton even at 41 gets so many of his kick outs spot on. McBrien and Coyne are really promising as are a few more defenders, but Paddy is our main man at the back and it may take another year or two to get our 6 starting backs up to speed. Midfield is a concern despite Diarmaids performances with Mattie having a number of sub standard games. Our half forward line has again been a disappointment. Jordan has had a good year, Jack Kearney may have potential but we need a bigger scoring contribution from this line. Our FF line is a threat. Ryan, J Carr Aido and Tommy have done some very good things with Cillian waiting on the wings, though we have no one near the Clifford or even McManus standard. We have a lot of good players but very few great players and often it is these great players who get you over the line

  111. Lads and Ladies, to get a sense of where the current Mayo team are at I recommend ye go and watch back the 2017 final, I did so earlier this Evening.

    The current squad are a good bit of the team of 6 years ago, the physical strength of the players, the quick movement in play the crazy fitness levels were clear to be seen.

    Also Dublin Joe rode Mayo that day, 2 clear penalties not given in 2nd half, Joe gave Mayo 2 frees instead.

    We played back the incident a few times where a concussed or confused Peader Andrews ran into Costello, flattened him and Dublin Joe gave a free to the Dubs in injury time of the 1st half,

    How he still gets away with it is beyond reason, yesterday was Derry’s turn to get shafted.

  112. I still maintain 2021 was the best chance to win an all Ireland. While that Mayo team was not our best in recent years neither was Tyrone. We weren’t playing Fubkin or Kerry. The handiest all Ireland they ever won. Had it not been for their covid delay and Clifford going off Kerry would have won (and probably in turn walloped us out the gate). But man we didn’t even show up that day. A total fcuk up.

  113. Bate the Blanket, we were absolutely superb in that final. But I don’t agree on the ref that day. On the day istelf I thought he rode us, but I didn’t on reflection. That free at end of first half was given because Vaughan had hands on the back of Dublin player, if I remember correctly. The first peno decision (Doherty I presume), not a pen in my view.
    Lee was defo fouled for that 2nd incident, but ref had already given the foul before that.

    I do always wonder though if McQuillan would have sent off John Small, if Vaughan hadn’t inexplicably pole axed him & got himself a red too. It was so easy to send Small off, considering Vaughan was getting a red too

  114. 14 on 14 didn’t suit us against that Dublin team, given how dangerous they were in attack. 15 on 14 might have, although knowing us we could have found a way to mess up that situation up too (Kerry didn’t manage too well with a man advantage for 45 minutes against the Dubs in the 2019 final).

    Will never understand what was going through Donie’s head in those moments, you could see Aido urging calm beside him just before he ploughed into Small (some hard man btw, went down like a proverbial pile of…)

    As regards the Tyrone final, I still think we could have salvaged a draw out of that one, even playing badly, given some of the chances that we missed. But everything was wrong about our approach to that one, from the fiasco with the tickets before to the tactical set up to alleged arguments on the line to the missing of simple chances in front of the posts. Truly an opportunity missed.

  115. @Mayo Focus, Philly McMahon held back Doherty by putting his arm around his shoulder then instantly Cluxton pushed his 2 hands into Doherty’s back, a clear-cut penalty.

    It was refreshing watching this game last night, even my 17 year old Son couldn’t get over the great game played by all but one or two Mayo players, COC had a poor game by his standards, got one great point in last 20 minutes from way out the pitch.

    A game Mayo should have won surely, Doherty also missed a sitter of a goal chance

    The physical strength of the Mayo team from 2013 up to 2017 was off the charts.
    The close in tackling and ball winning power was way ahead of the Dubs.

    A O Shea had his finest game in a Mayo jersey in that final, Parsons and S O Shea absolutely controlled midfield.

  116. @ to win just once, Beggan took up a position on the 50 yard line to force Cluxton to kick to the other side
    The Derry goalie was way out the field with Clifford unmarked in front of goal, both dangerous strategies.
    R eape is not the fault of us not winning our own kickouts, no movement for him and nobody able to get the breaking ball, it is a whole team fault.

  117. Beggan was two or three years in the Monaghan squad before breaking through.

    Cluxton made his debut in 2001 because the regular goalkeeper was injured, and he returned and replaced Stephen before the end of that years championship.

    Both are legends in their own right but neither were thrust straight into the limelight to extent Colm Reape was

  118. Mayo didn’t seem to have any kickout strategy whatsoever. Reape is certainly not to blame for that. That’s purely a management and coaching issue. Nearly every Under 12 team in Mayo would have a kickout strategy. It beggars belief that McStay, McHale, Rochford, Mulligan or Buckley were not able to sort that out. You think they could have allocated some time to this area during their 3 and 4 hour training sessions.

  119. @Jr , watching that match back again, while Colm Reape has the greatest range and all around is a superb Goalkeeper. 2 of his restarts in the first half, one straight to Ryan O Donaghue and a score , and one to AOS then on to Ryan O Donaghue and another score. Maybe the thinking was that with Colm’s incredible range, he would be able to beat the press when it came on . But when the press came on very hot early in the second every one was covered up to a hundred meters from goal. No overload on any side from Mayo giving him an option to go long, no hard running to go short. Colm only needs two steps back and then boom he has the accuracy and range up there with Rory Beggan and Niall Morgan the two best in the business. However Colm takes a few seconds longer to address his options, it gives the
    opposition crucial time to press even harder. I wonder in the circumstances of the first ten minutes of the second half v Dublin, would Robbie Hennelly with his experience, and I imagine his demanding of options by outfield players been a better option?. As soon as Kevin McLoughlin came on, Colm Reape got his restart away to Kevin in the blink of an eye , one Knockmore man to another, the type of restarts that Stephen Cluxton was getting away all the game. Its easy in hindsight to see where our collective meltdown came from in the first ten minutes of the second half. We Mayo collectively had a similar meltdown V Cork in the last ten minutes, where frankly we blew it. I think Colm Reape with his incredible range is the future for Mayo, but things to work on for Colm and the Mayo outfield players to get the most from his outstanding talent.

  120. I keep saying this, but I would love to know what Mayo management did in 2013 that they didn’t do in 2012, the S & C improved two fold in less than a year.
    Mayo were physically the strongest team in 2013 – 2017, bar one or two of the very light players.

    The football was much better than also, the game gone very slow now.

  121. Westisbest – kicks out are only effective if you have midfielders to catch, or devastating support to gobble up the breaks. We were woeful in that department in critical games. Yet, we still scored enough to beat Galway.

    We’re all talking now about the qualities of Dublin and Kerry (despite some wobbles at the weekend) Harsh reality is that after 30th July, one of those teams will have fallen short, and boy will their frailties be brutally discussed, in the aftermath.

  122. BateTheBlanket – I remember the Doherty miss in 2017, it was a bad one. But didn’t Dublin go straight down the pitch and miss a one-on-one themselves.

    At the end of the day, we can go on about Vaughan’s challenge and poor decisions etc. But what killed us that day in the end, the same way we’ve been killed many times, was conceding a stupid early goal.

  123. Ryan O’Donoghues thoughts were interesting.

    “Most games are won by the Team with the higher conversion rate”

    “Our conversion rate against Louth and Cork was 50%. Not good enough at this level”

    Against Cork, “we didn’t execute our game plan in the second”

    On Dublin, “we probably expected to do the same to them as we did to Galway. Score 1-4 without reply”

    “The most disappointing thing is we failed to do ourselves justice”

    On three weekends in a row, “at the time we didn’t think it but in hindsight, coming at the end of a tough group stage, it almost certainly did make a difference”

    (Not exact quotes)

  124. I have always attended matches for the entertainment and banter with both friends and opposition,a few drinks on the way home,and discuss the match ,I never feel the need to attack the management or players,I have noticed over the last while that posters appear to wallow in criticism of players and management,I can’t understand why they bother to attend matches at all because they appear to enjoy criticism of players and management,some of our players are getting very severe criticism starting with one of our outstanding goalkeepers who managed to to represent Mayo with distinction after all the criticism,it has moved on to C Loftus,E Mc Loughlin,S Coen,M Ruane,the last time I checked it was a fifteen man game so it should be criticism of the whole team or none they give up their free time to entertain you and me,not to play badly,I would like to imagine that people go to entertain them selfs rather than find fault,I am well aware that for some reason a few posters have a problem with our management,I can’t imagine why,but if I be so bold as to suggest,if you don’t enjoy the game,perhaps you should give it a rest until you are in a better frame of mind

  125. As well as we played in the 17 final, and regardless of what you think of refereeing decisions (nothing ridiculously contentious here if I recall) and Vaughan etc., we were still 2 up after 62 or so minutes, and I recall we missed 3 excellent straightforward chances near the end of the first half

    It was still there for us, but ultimately Dublin were able to capitalise when it went into the melting pot.

  126. @Ciaran, have a look at how many steps Con O Callaghan took for the goal in the second minute in 2017, penalty decision for Mayo downgraded to a free?. No real action taken with the mass pulling down of Mayo players in the final minute, issued one black, should have been several.

  127. @corick Bridge I’d say people are being critical of management as they have a huge part to play in how teams perform and how a game is won and lost .

    Mcstay deserves some credit but we fell apart v cork and no back up plan we should have one for that one I question management I also question managements tactics over the Dubs game also but its mcstats first year in charge so hears hoping next year be better ha

    Colm reape I think has been really good this year he’s only young and will grow and develop course he’s nit like cluxton but in time who knows .

  128. Leantimes, still 2 up with less than ten minutes to go – that is the only bottom line.

    No matter what happened that game was there to be won.

    It would be far more forgivable if it wasn’t a now hugely recurring theme

    And who knows – COC’s goal was probably what actually spurred us on more early on. It was canceled out in minutes

  129. Would anybody have any Hurling Ticket for the weekend they would sell? Friend of mine home from England for it, from Limerick but not able to get a ticket.

    Any help appreciated

  130. We’ve another podcast up on Patreon, with a rather special one to come as well later on in the week! Billy Joe is back on for this one, talking about David McBrien, Ryan O’Donoghue and Ciaran McDonald, as well as providing his thoughts on last weekend’s All-Ireland semi-finals.

  131. Clare ,I believe that some posters have a agenda against the management,but my point is that as someone who has followed Mayo since the sixties I would have been very miserable if I only attended games to criticise players and management,please enjoy the game,the banter and a couple of scoops after the match,it will keep you young

  132. @Corick, agree some players getting to much stick most are fully amateur with basic expenses. Others get a few more perks like cars etc. All well earned.
    Management also should not be subject to personal abuse, I’m sure they are all trying there best and are decent Mayo men.
    But where money is involved, as with any type of employment it should be performance related and reviewed.
    Year one review was already completed, so let’s see if year 2 of 4 shows progress.

  133. @corock Bridge I get you sure agree that some players are getting to much abuse as @gizmobobs says only
    amateurs and give up loads of free time to represent their county .

    But management do try their best but loads of money is being spent so hopefully their 2nd year will be better always takes time to jell with a new management team abd new faces in the team !

  134. I wonder about these reviews by county board with management at the end of the year. Is it just a box ticking exercise.
    Are the people on the county board qualified enough and know enough about intercounty management at the top level to ask the right questions and the hard questions.
    I would love to see someone like Brian Cody or Jim Gavin bern part of the review team. Managers that know what it takes and have done it all.

  135. @corick bridge. I fully agree. For years i went to games with a slight innocent perception that the team will play their best and I’ll shout for them to win. Now from this blog it seems if it’s a league match i shouldn’t want them to win and maybe if they score a goal I’ll go to the toilet to celebrate. We would all love to win the all ireland and there’s a time to be serious about it but enjoying the game and a good day out should be a big part of the whole experience.

  136. Another thing I am unsure about is all those posters criticising the management team not been local to the club’s even though they are only a bend trot from the club’s,at the same time calling to outside management, I just can’t reconcile the two,for your information I am completely behind our management team and expect them to prove their experience next year

  137. Another thing I am unsure about is all those posters criticising the management team not been local to the club’s even though they are only a hens trot from the club’s ,but are calling for managers from outside the county,I remember J O shea,and B Mac Donald

  138. @corick Bridge sometimes it’s better to have a manager from outside the county no nonsense just goes does the job and no county politics if from outside of the county .

    Yes I agree with you that expect mayo management to do better next year but also think that people are entitled to critizize management is well agree that to much abuse has been aimed at certain players but end of the day management especially in county’s like mayo / dublin kerry etc get paid a lot so it’s totally reasonable to critizize them from time to time.

  139. Clare you seem to have taken to a criticism of management of late, McStay , Buckley etc. I am not sure if this is done to protect the players or if it is just explicit criticism of management. Personally I don’t always see the need to scapegoat someone when we lose , either player or management. I’ve seen it for years, Maughan cost us All Irelands, Horan cost us All Irelands, Rochford cost us All Irelands etc etc. As a Supporter who has followed Mayo throughout the 70s, ( not one provincial win) who was in Croker in 1981 ( 2 19 to 1 6 v Kerry and failed to score in second half) and 1993 ( Cork beat us 5 15 to 10 points) I am actually grateful to the managers who have taken us to the brink of glory. I have attended all the finals we lost, some by huge margins, some by the minimum. I have been desperately disappointed but didn’t feel the need to find someone to blame. Now we are in a new era under McStay. Of course we were disappointing v Cork ( last 10 minutes) and Dublin (second half) but we have had worse seasons (league title, Kerry beaten , Galway beaten twice in big games, lots of new lads blooded). More often than not we lose games because we are not good enough, because the team we are playing have better players than us or because they play better than we do on the day (as we did to Kerry in Killarney) The two best teams are in the final now. Some say Derry were better than Kerry. But were they. 4 points in the second half is not good enough. Derry were outstanding for long periods but when the pressure came on near the end they folded. They couldn’t deal with Kerry pressing their kick out and players who had been so brave for so long now were unwilling to make themselves available. It’s not cowardly, it’s human nature. It was not the fault of the Derry manager similar to most things which happen on the field is not always the fault of the manager. Mayo beat Kerry because so many of our players played well and we lost to Dublin because a lot didn’t play well. The manager has a role but the players have a greater role. So as you’d say yourself this is only my opinion. I watch Mayo a huge amount, I support the team and management, I am elated when they win and disappointed when they don’t, but I don’t always feel the need to blame someone else when I am disappointed.

  140. @to win just once I’m always in support of mayo as ye know full well but I’m not deluded either haha

    There was things that had to be brought up v cork the collapse in 2nd half and no answers Stephen coen taken off ? Even paddy Andrews did a podcast on off the ball and he thought that was a mad decision no back up plan at all.

    V louth ok hot day yes and hard going didn’t blame management for that one .

    But then came cork did so well and then bam..v dubs why play padraig o hora when clearly not fit enough and no game time in such an important game ? Yes hes a great player not faulting him but .. and why drop conor loftus to bench to?

    I think mcstay has brought a bounce back to this team no doubt and did well an got league title yes but I think we peaked to soon tbh . I’m always in support of mayo and always will be don’t fault the players at all we have a great squad and still one of the top teams in country .

    But come on some questions need to be answered by management. I think they will get better next year no doubt and players seem to like playing under mcstay and only his 1st year in charge and I’ve no doubt they will improve next year but sometimes you have to ask the hard questions as much as you hate admitting them..

  141. I’m not scapegoating anyone either plenty of others have called out management to on certain areas.

  142. I think it’s just human nature to win just once, natural instinct. Sure look at management quotes in aftermath and the terminology used about some of the players.
    Some of it could be just subconscious deflection.

  143. Personally, I like this management team and I think it is important to recognise it’s their first year and they’re working with a team that includes many new players. I believe that they are proud Mayo and football people and that the team aims to progress.
    However, I do think it’s interesting to wonder about management strategy and choice of game plan. We know we use the running game a lot and we attempt to overpower or bamboozle teams. I think it’s valuable to wonder about long range scoring, priority given to accurate shooting in general, amount of shots taken, our choice of midfield strategy, our choice of half forward strategy, whether we decide to use possession football a lot, whether we choose to be conservative and recycle against blanket defences or not. I’m using the word ‘wonder’ here and with enough viewing of games over time we might be in a position to make some informed criticism. I think year 1 doesn’t give lots of room for big criticism yet, thank God.

  144. The 70 minute performance in Killarney was as good as anything I’ve seen from Mayo ever

    The league final and Galway championship game were two of the most “must win” games I can ever remember.

    Not sure if it’s a mayo or Irish thing but we are far too eager to criticise and far too reluctant to praise.

    You would think as Mayo fans we’d be a lot better at savouring the moment by now

  145. Lean times no one is scapegoating , people are giving their own opinions and for what it is , I agree with the thoughts on management.

  146. @frost the hammer it’s their first year and was always bound to be some issues and I think they have done well considering it’s their first year don’t get me wrong.

    But your still entitled to point out some of the faults by management this year if I’m not wrong there was plenty on hear doing that after louth, cork dubs game etc.

    I’ve no doubt we will improve next year and it takes time to jell as new management but there’s also nothing wrong in pointing out the mistakes that were made this year either. Savouring the moment ? By what getting a hammering in one of the worst defeats from the Dubs in a quarter final in how long?

    And don’t get me wrong I like the management team also and I think mcstay is a genuine nice guy and I’ve backed him from the start and always going to be errors in a management’s team in first year but there’s nothing wrong in pointing out flaws either especially if your from mayo ha.

  147. Am looking for two stand tickets for the hurling final. Any offers would be great.

  148. @Robert agree with you totally not scapegoating at all they are opinions mcstay is a shrewd operator and I’m sure he will have learnt from this championship I hope and will stand to them next year .

  149. @Catcol, there’s a chance that tickets for the Hurling Final will go on general sale later this week. Keep an eye on the GAA’s social media accounts on Thursday / Friday. They went on general sale in 2019 and 2022, KK did not take their full allocation in them years. If not, there’ll be plenty of tickets floating around Dublin before the game, no Minor game and the cost of tickets, (90 euro), means that there’s generally plenty of spares.

  150. @Clare

    The comments on here after the Monaghan game were embarrassing. It was witch hunt territory.

    “Monaghan were great. McStay should be ashamed of himself”

    To be honest I wouldn’t have put you in that category. I can’t think of anything you have said that was over the top, and I’m a little perplexed on how you seem to have become the poster child for the anti McStay brigade.

  151. @frost the hammer yes I agree that those comments were terrible.

    thats pretty harsh of you tbh I’m not a poster child for the anti mcstay brigade at all.. I was not one of those posters I’m just asking simple questions that should be asked at the end of championship.

    I think mcstay is the right man for the job and it takes time to build up in his 1st year he’s done well and brought confidence back to the guys that was just not there last year.

    All I did was ask some questions about their tactics? That not allowed? Ha

  152. @Clare

    Please read my comment again.

    I said: “I’m a little perplexed on how you seem to have become the poster child for the anti McStay brigade”

  153. Questions:
    Will Kevin Mc , Hennely and Jason Doherty stay for another year for cameo roles?
    Will Aiden and Cillian comitt for another year?
    If you were Loftus would you still play?
    If you were asked to be a makeshift CHB would you accept?
    Will management cull some of the players that didn’t cut the mustard in the championship?
    Will management have a good look at their own structure and make changes?
    Will the club championship throw up some new raw talent?

  154. @JR


    Will Kevin Mc , Hennely and Jason Doherty stay for another year for cameo roles? Hard to see any of these committing to another year

    Will Aiden and Cillian comitt for another year? Injury Dependent both still have plenty to offer and i would be very surprised of either called it a day.

    If you were Loftus would you still play? 100% he is the same age as Colm Basquel who is only making a name for himself this year. Conor has plenty to offer to Mayo as a forward over the next few years.

    If you were asked to be a makeshift CHB would you accept? Management`s decision with player buy inn, dont see an issue here, hindsight is great but if it had worked out we would be calling it a masterstroke.

    Will management cull some of the players that didn’t cut the mustard in the championship? I think most at risk are lads who were dipping in and out of the 26, the performance of our starting 15 just wasn’t consistent enough , it was no one players fault, all had their ups and downs.

    Will management have a good look at their own structure and make changes? This is very important and hopefully we see some fresh ideas for 2024. Kickout strategy, defensive system, midfield and half forward line sorted.

    Will the club championship throw up some new raw talent? It always does but i would be very surprised if come next May / June we have more than 2 or 3 new faces in our match day 26.

  155. @frost the hammer I’m not a poster child for the anti mcstay team brigade at all even if I seem it I merely was just pointing out things that went wrong and questioned the management tactics didn’t mean to sound harsh on mcstay .

    I think they are a good management team and i was delighted when they got the job.
    Sometimes you need to ask the questions for themselves is well and I’m sure they will .

    I think they did great this year considering it was only their first year in charge and brought confidence back to players.

    I was just a bit confused as we all were in what an earth happened the end of the cork game ? That was the hardest to take tbh. Dubs are dubs and always a threat but I think they should have kept with conor loftus starting abd shouldn’t have started padraig o hora as not enough game time since injury .

    They will bounce back next year as we always do and I will be cheering them on including mcstay&co as they are good just need to tweek a few changes in their tactics.

    @JR yeah good question I do feel bad for loftus tbh.

  156. I watched the 16 final v the dubs and the 06 semi in recent weeks just to see how the football has changed.. Its amazing really how easy scores were got and how entertaining the 06 semi was, with hill gate and that.. The fielding in the game from pat harte and indeed Shane Ryan was brilliant… Unfortunately all that is lost now and the openness of 15 v 15. My point is we had forwards like mort, McD, dillon, moran who could score.. A long way off that natural talent now, it’s something that’s hard to coach.

  157. I’d expect between 2-4 retirements, likely 2-3.
    Another 2-3 will likely walk away from set up as will know they won’t have a chance being picked and won’t want to be training aids. Add to that a couple more will likely be dropped and you have 7 or so panel places to be filled for next season.
    Would not be a fan of the seniors taking over the under 20 set up. They have a liaison in McHale already, let someone else show what they can do. Even if the U20 gig is most thankless of management posts given the competition structure.

  158. @Gizmobovbs, What do you think should be done as regards squad?
    I think any players over 30 who remain have to have defined impactful role.
    So if that’s Aidan OShea a sub coming on at midfield on 55mins so be it.
    If that’s Cillian coming on at 13 on 60 mins, so be it.
    Personally I think we need to rebuild heavily next year using squad resources for younger players.
    If the performance ceiling on a player has a max of 7/10 and more typically 5/6 out of 10, regardless of age it’s time to look at a higher potential young player.

  159. That’s a good piece in the Mayo News@WJ.
    There’s truth in all those issues you point out which were highlighted here ,as well as at matches and anywhere else that Mayo people met and talked football

    The most worrying point for me was the lack of on field leadership. You would have to question if this group really wanted it enough. Were some of them a bit too quick to down tools when the going got tough? Did we stop making the runs for our own kickouts when Dublin put a bit of pressure on in the 2nd half v the Dubs? Could our forwards have tried a bit harder to lose their men when we had possession further out? We got pushed about a bit too easily against Roscommon and Cork in particular. We spoke about D.Vaughan’s rush of blood but it showed he wasn’t letting a team mate be blackguarded without consequences.
    If there isn’t a good bond between team mates or no great buy in to what management is trying to do you can sometimes find lads looking for the easy option. Maybe a certain amount of this can be put down to fatigue this time… maybe.
    I think McStay is quoted as saying he wants lads to show character so I’m hoping everyone involved next year are ”all in” or else be satisfied with club football.

  160. Clare,I certainly don’t see you as anti management,in I enjoy your enthusiasm and I was not pointing at you about people being anti management,I believe that you are a great cheer leader for Mayo and I hope that it continues for years to come ,and that we can finally see Mayo at the summit,

  161. First time looking in here in days. Jesus poor @Clare is being completely mis understood. From the start of the year Clare has been uber positive about the new managment. She continually posted that McStay brought a bounce back into Mayo football. Clare was the only one I saw on here predicting we’d beat Kerry…..Just because Clare quite rightly states that Managment have questions to answer at the end of middling to poor season, it doesn’t make her some leader of a witch hunt.

    Managment have 100% got questions to answer. But will the questions be asked? – I doubt it.

    I don’t buy this narrative that its managments first year, wait till year 2. In my mind, most Counties get the new mamager bounce in year 1 (Tyrone 21, Kerry ‘22 Roscommon ‘19) or a new manager introduces a radical new style of football that takes players a year to adjust too. like McGuinness in 2011. We have got neither from this set up.

    I am now personally extremely sceptical of McStays abilities as a manager of a “Big” team. His interactions with the media suggest to me that he is trying to make people beileve we had a good year, and alot of people are buying into that. I certainly am not. Our year was horrendous.

    The one image I can’t get out of my head is Kevins hands on his hips in Limerick, when Cork were reeling us in. He looked shell shocked and was puffing his lips and looked out of ideas. I saw zero leadership there, and nothing was done to stall the monentum. No signal for a player to go down or start a row, nothing. Not completely his fault but it didn’t look good. Thats where our season turned to pot.

    Pressure is on him big time in year 2, lets see if he learns the lessons he said he would….

  162. @margie aww thanks : ) yes just do feel they have some questions to answer I mean I thought last years quarter final exit was bad but this one was even worse exit .

    I think we will get better next year and there’s some positives to take from the year but as you say Margie its only right to say management should answer some questions. I still think mcstay is right for the job but be interesting to see what happens next year!

    I’ll still be cheering them all the way always haha

  163. @Kick it in, we must be telepathic.
    We watched the 2016 final last night.

    This year’s championship games don’t come anywhere near the 2016 and 2017 finals.
    Even this year’s All Ireland won’t match those past finals for sheet intensity.

    For anybody that needs to be reminded of where Mayo were really at a few years ago, I think it will do ye good to watch those back.

    The young fella couldn’t believe how powerful, fast and good Mayo were, I have to admit it was refreshing to look at those brilliant games.

    Mayo midfield, S O Shea, Parsons absolutely destroyed the Dubs, Fenton was living on crumbs.

    The pace and sheet ferocity in the tackle was the best I have seen over many years.

    And the 2017 final was even better again.

  164. Darragh O’Sé today said that Kerry had “scar tissue” from their defeat to us in Killarney this year, that this drove them on. It reminded me of Jack O’Connor last year saying that their narrow win over us in Tralee gave them huge belief for the year, ie to dig out wins from tough situations, and was the catalyst for subsequent success.

    When will Mayo stop becoming a team used by other counties as a springboard. Similarly with the Dubs over the last decade, saying “yee brought out the best in us” etc. We simply don’t yet have the template to win. It’s beyond frustrating.

  165. I don’t mind stating this.
    I don’t believe the current management can bring or will bring Mayo to past levels, I mean fitness and power levels same as or on par the 2016 and 2017 era.

  166. Any ticket(s) available for tomorrow? Will accept any section in Croker. Thanks ???

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