Search Results for 'Joe McQuillan'
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This football lark does not get any easier does it. The feeling of sick in the pit of my stomach the morning after an All-Ireland final is an all too familiar feeling now after Mayo suffered another agonising one point defeat to Dublin in another All-Ireland final. The margin of loss makes it even more difficult to take. The level of Mayo's performance makes it hard to comprehend they did not win the game. Every mistake and refereeing decision will be scrutinised and placed under the microscope for years to come.
Sometimes it’s not about being the better team, it’s about finding ways to win games when you are probably second best on the day. Dublin were able to do that, they were able to get themselves over the line right at the end when it mattered most and they claimed their third All Ireland title in a row.
Two weeks ago I was fully convinced Mayo would get the better of Cork when the game was in the melting pot. Last Sunday in Croke Park I almost had a seizure and nearly required a defibrillator as fear gripped me for the final 10 minutes against our Connacht rivals Roscommon in the All-Ireland quarter final. A statement issued by Bray Wanderers recently was described in the national media as being “bat-shit crazy”. The game between Mayo and Roscommon was worse.
There has been a seismic shift in football power in Connacht in the last four years. After Mayo's 17 point drubbing of Galway in Salthill in 2013 it looked like it would take the Tribesmen light years to make up the ground. After slowly narrowing the gap in 2014 (seven point Mayo victory) and 2015 (four point Mayo victory) they have now caught and surpassed us, beating us twice on the spin in crucial Connacht championship semi-finals.
Mayo qualified for a round three qualifier clash with Kildare after coming from six points down at half time against a very well organised and fired up Fermanagh in Castlebar. It was a nervy affair which had us on the edge of our seats throughout. The game had incidents aplenty, none more so than the awarding of a controversial penalty to Mayo when the game was in the melting pot, near the end of the game. The coverage this incident has received in the media is similar to the coverage given to the passing of David Bowie or Prince, it went viral and was scrutinised in every forum, totally uncalled for in my opinion.
Liam Gallagher once described a gig he played in Slane Castle as biblical, what went in Croke Park last Sunday was nothing short of the same. It was the most anticipated All-Ireland semi final in living memory and it certainly did not disappoint. I arrived early to do a piece with Radio One outside the Croke Park Hotel alongside former Hill 16 favourite Barney Rock and the place was buzzing at 12.30pm. I ran into a few former team mates, namely David Heaney, David Brady, and Kevin O'Neill who had just flown in from the USA for the game. I also had a chat with current Kerry minor and former All-Ireland winning senior manager Jack O'Connor who was rightly cock a hoop about Mayo’s chances. He told myself and Brady that he was coming up to Mayo for a week after they eventually win Sam which he said could be in a few weeks time. I hope he’s right.
Joint Mayo manager Noel Connelly said last night, (Monday, August 17) that he expects both David Clarke and Tom Cunniffe to be back in full training this weekend as Mayo ramp up their preparations for their All Ireland semi-final against Dublin on August 30. Connelly was speaking on the day that Mayo attacker Micheal Conroy was ruled out for the season after picking up an injury in club action at the weekend.