The CCCC has suggested that supporters could have caused trouble outside St Conleth's Park if the ill-fared Qualifier between Kildare and Mayo proceeded there.
John Maughan feels that Kildare's negotiating tactics over the venue for their SF Qualifier against Mayo leave a lot to be desired.
Honestly, what is the point of my writing another post that explains the disappointment of being knocked out to Galway? Again. Having to listen to the other half boast about Comer and co. Again.
Talking in paragraphs about our great resilience in the qualifiers, again. Writing pieces for the blog was just pointless, I could just copy and paste an article from last year, tweak a few words and hey presto.
But then, last Saturday against Tipp, that all changed.
We went three points down and it looked as though that was it. The wheels had come rolling off, the goose was cooked. In my head I had already started scribbling down the obituary for this Mayo football team: 2011-2018, RIP.
James Durcan’s goal changed the whole momentum of that game. I honestly believe if that doesn’t go in, we go out.
One thing I miss about being a sports reporter in Mayo is getting to see all the stars coming through. You don’t know the joy of witnessing the likes of Diarmuid O’Connor playing at club level and just knowing that his name is going to be on everyone’s lips in a year or two.
I was hearing James Durcan’s name pop up all the time in the several groupchats I’m involved in. “He’s tearing it up for Mitchels, he’s the extra forward we’ve been crying out for”.
And whether he meant that goal or not, he has now become another player who the fans will pile their hopes and dreams upon.
Last Saturday’s performance and particularly Durcan’s goal has sparked an ongoing question in my mind that we need to address: Why does it take Rochford’s Mayo team so long to get into action?
It was the same last year against Derry and Cork. It’s only really when our backs are against the wall, properly stuck to the plaster, that we decide to kick it up a notch and seal the victory.
Durcan’s goal went in and it was as if the group on the field just went, ‘We’re Mayo, what are we playing at’ and everything started to fall into place.
Mayo remind me of that auld fella in a bar when a sing-song breaks out. The one that is a fantastic singer and everyone else in the pub knows it. They ask him to sing a song and he refuses a few times. Eventually, at the end of the night, he blasts out Spancil Hill and leaves the whole place on its knees.
It’s like they have a time limit before they realise it’s time to pull it out of the bag again. “Oh, 60 minutes gone, five points down, suppose we better go on and win this, lads.”
And it’s beautifully torturous. Scrolling through Twitter after the Tipp game and I was seeing tweets like “well worth the money in”. You could pay €80 for a Mayo ticket in the qualifiers and get your money’s worth. It’s not a game of football when they play anymore, it’s a full on Shakespearian play (which sadly has turned into a Shakespearian tragedy in September over the last few years).
There’s the optimistic start, the rocky middle, the climax and the happy ending. God help the men who play Cillian, Aidan, Boyler, McLoughlin, Clarke and the others when they turn it into a film. They’ll have some amount of a script to learn off.
You come out of Mayo games and you honestly feel like you just spent an hour and a half on an extreme water slide or on a roller-coaster ride.
Then there is the other side of the coin to the ‘leave it ‘til last minute’ approach which we have fallen into, which is simply that this Mayo team must be absolutely shattered.
I read some stat before last Saturday’s game that in this current era (i.e. from 2011 onwards) the team have played something like 48 Championship games, Tipp being the 48th. And in that time we have been beaten by three teams only: Kerry, Dublin and Galway.
You must applaud the sheer determination and bounce-back-ability of this Mayo team.
As well as those two points, if you consider Durcan’s goal to be the turning point in the game, it was just the bit of luck we needed this year. We’ve been so unlucky, firstly losing Tom Parsons and then, in Thurles, Seamus O’Shea. For once, we just needed the gods to shine down on us. Sadly it came at the expense of a Tipperary side who really had put it up to us for a good 50 minutes.
Or, if Durcan actually meant the shot and is confident and accurate enough to ping it in the net from those sort of angles, we could do with one of them each game, please!
Either way, when we were up against the ropes, I remember praying that my next article for the blog – which was going to be this week regardless – would be a happy one. Thankfully, it is.
I honestly couldn’t think what I’d do with myself if Mayo were knocked out on Saturday. The only thing that got me through work was the thought of Thurles.
Is that sad? If so, I’m a saddo, the biggest one going and I don’t even care. Because you know why? The thought of going again in Round 3 is what’s keeping me going through this week of work.
In the depths of winter, we would have bitten your hand off to be still involved in July. Sure, we’d love to be in Galway’s position but I’d rather be testing out my heart beat and blood pressure week in, week out then to have it untouched.
Side Note: It’s still ticking away for the moment, it’s a good thing herself is a nurse.
This great Dublin team – they are our enemies, but it is allowed to admire their greatness – also began their great run in 2011, winning their first of many successive Leinster titles in that time. It’s sad that one team has always been that little, tiny bit better than the other when it has come down to it.
But there’s no point looking back. It’s all about looking forward and so we march on now to face Kildare in Newbridge on Saturday evening. Taking one game at a time, of course, but knowing that we are two more steps away from the Super 8s.
It wasn’t too long ago that last we faced the Lilywhites in a crucial qualifying game. We’ll be hoping for the same outcome as we achieved in the 2016 game.
The post What’s the point? appeared first on Mayo GAA Blog.
The GAA has scored a PR own goal in the 'Newbridge or nowhere' saga, according to Joe Brolly who warns that Croke Park chiefs need to tread very carefully in their attempts to resolve the impasse.
Kildare county board have thanked the Central Competitions Control Committee for bringing its All-Ireland SFC Round 3 qualifier against Mayo back to Newbridge.
Now that the hashtag hurricane has abated, the stand-off finally sorted, thoughts can now start to focus firmly on Saturday’s Round 3 qualifier against Kildare. The match itself, I mean, the one that throws in at St Conleth’s Park in Newbridge at 7pm.
Tickets will, of course, be uppermost in everyone’s minds today. If, like me and so many others, you’re a season ticket holder then you’ve nothing to worry about. The county has, give or take, around 4,000 season tickets – both standard ones and the Cairde Mhaigheo variant – and all season holders will get a ticket.
It’ll be the terrace for the vast bulk of punters but, hey, at least you’ll be one of the select 8,200 inside and not one of the thousands set to be locked out of this fixture. The GAA has got bad rap for as long as I can recall about being a money-grabbing entity but it certainly can’t be hit over the head with that allegation on this occasion, having turned away a six-figure sum in gate receipts with yesterday’s about-face.
Many season ticket people – and I’d usually be among them – might also want to bring others, in particular kids, with them to the game. In my own case this isn’t an issue for Saturday, as both of my in-house match-day companions will, sadly, have decamped to the Gaeltacht by then, but it will be for loads of people. Suck it up appears to be the response of both the GAA and the populist mob to such concerns.
After tickets, I guess traffic and parking and all that will be next highest on people’s minds. Newbridge can be a tricky place to get parked even when going to a League game on a Sunday so a sell-out Saturday evening fixture with the Irish Derby also taking place in the locality will mean that they’ll need to get their act together locally if chaos is to be avoided. The sooner, then, that Kildare GAA publish comprehensive information on match-day logistics, the better.
But, of course, what everyone will want to know about is the team we’ll name for Saturday evening. Calm down, people – you know the drill by now. Team named on Friday evening, one or two changes before throw-in. And no, we won’t name our subs in advance.
Right, that’s it for now. There’s more to come on the blog today, though, first with a welcome return to the guest slot from a regular contributor from whom we haven’t heard much for a while and then later on this evening a short preview edition of the Mayo News football podcast. In the latter, Rob Murphy and I chew the fat about the Newbridge issue and Rob also talks match tactics with Billy Joe Padden. As I said at the top, it’s all about the match now.
Support the team wherever they play in the qualifiers. Play the Mayo GAA Lotto here.
The post Back to thinking about the match appeared first on Mayo GAA Blog.
I want to head out and grab a bit of this glorious sunshine but best get the coverage on yesterday’s rip-roaring qualifier out of the way first. Okay, here goes:
Locals: Mayo Advertiser, Connaught Telegraph, Tipperary Star, Nationalist, Tipp FM (includes post-match audio with Michael Quinlivan).
Nationals: Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, Evening Echo, Irish Mirror (live blog, match report), Irish Sun.
Others: GAA, RTÉ, Sky Sports (includes video highlights), The 42, Sports News Ireland, Hogan Stand.
Photos: Mayo Mick, Inpho, Sportsfile.
Video: Mayo Mick, GAA (match highlights).
There’s also some specific coverage relating to Seamus O’Shea – RTÉ have a piece on that (here) but there’s a better one in The 42 (here), as Stephen Rochford also goes into some detail in it on our tactics in the game yesterday.
The news on Seamie, as you’ll know by now, is bad. It’s a shoulder dislocation and he ended up in hospital afterwards, his season – barring an improbable miracle – over. Losing Tom was a huge blow and now losing Seamie as well really weakens us in such a critical sector of the field.
I know it gives other lads the chance to step up but how would Kerry or Dublin feel about their chances heading into this time of year if they were shorn of their first-choice midfield pairing? I think we all know the answer to that one.
The U17 match yesterday got a bit lost with all the focus on the trip to Tipp. Lost in the media too, by the looks of it, as I can’t find any match reports on their Connacht championship Round 3 win over Sligo.
They came out on top, in case you hadn’t heard, by 2-18 to 0-10 but that bad defeat to Roscommon in the second round, plus the fact that it’s Galway up next, means it’s unlikely they’ll feature in the provincial decider this year.
Right, that’s your lot for now. Back later on with the match-day edition of the Mayo News football podcast, which should be online at some point early in the evening. It’s another jam-packed episode, featuring all the excitement from Semple Stadium yesterday, with plenty of post-match reaction and analysis. A veritable host of voices make it into this one, including once again Tipp’s Declan Browne and special guest Tom Parsons.
Keep voting in the MOTM poll, if you haven’t yet done so, and, finally, best of luck to the ladies in their Connacht final against Galway this afternoon.
The post Sunday match reports appeared first on Mayo GAA Blog.