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“At half time we said we’d nothing to lose and to just go out there and have a go” Mayo manger Frank Browne said in the immediate aftermath of his sides heart breaking All Ireland semi-final loss in Cavan on Saturday night.
Mayo have been involved in enough epic semi-finals over the last two years and have come out on the wrong side of the result at the end of the day that Sunday’s performance over Tipperary won’t mind them that much at this stage, with four weeks to put things right before they face either Dublin or Kerry in the final.
After Mayo's superb victory over Tyrone I have to pinch myself to comprehend that Mayo are playing Tipperary in an All-Ireland semifinal on Sunday. It sounds bizarre. If we go back to June 18 and after watching Mayo's poor performance against Galway, we firstly did not see Mayo getting to a semifinal and if they did we certainly did not expect the opposition to be from the premier county. Clare and Tipperary have both been very successful examples of the qualifiers in 2016 but Tipp's trouncing of Connacht champions Galway by nine points has certainly made them the number one success story.
The last 20 minutes in Croke Park last Sunday afternoon was very tough going for the Galwegians who had made the trip to Dublin support their team.
Was it a penalty? Probably not looking at the replays, but Aidan O’Shea has been fouled and dragged down enough times in his inter-county career and not gotten a free he deserved, some day a break was going to have to go his way.
There's no more room for error for the Mayo seniors of 2016, after five successive Connacht titles, rather than looking forward to a Sunday afternoon showdown for the Nestor Cup, they are back on the chicken and chips circuit of the qualifiers for the first time in six years looking to rebuild their fortunes on the backstreets of the championship. The first step in moving from those backstreets to the main streets is tomorrow afternoon when they host a dangerous visitor from Ulster at 3.30pm
Galway have not beaten Mayo since July 13, 2008 in championship football.
Goalkeepers are a different breed from the normal, the ones whose mistakes are remembered far more than saves they made, so they have to have a special bit of confidence in themselves, and Mayo's U21 goalkeeper Matthew Flanagan is no different. The Balla man has the strange history of playing for the county's u21 side in championship action before he did the same for the minor side back in 2014 and his have it a go attitude shines through when talking about that occurance. "It was strange, it just happened quickly, I was training with the minors and I got a call two weeks before the championship, they had a few injuries and asked would I come into the group and I said 'sure look, why not' and we hadn't the best day, but it was great to come in and get the game, sure I was only 17 at the time I think."
On a weekend that saw Mayo hang on for dear life to their division one status, you would imagine that would be this week's main topic of conversation, however the Mayo u21's rise from the dead in Markievicz Park against Roscommon in the Connacht final shades the limelight from their senior counterparts in what was a very satisfactory weekend all round for Mayo GAA. We all remember the 2013 minor final between Mayo and Roscommon for Liam Irwin’s stunning goal and Mayo hanging on for dear life at the end, the u21 final was a repeat, only three years later of course, with a lot more recognisable and familiar players on show.
Could it be possible that after the General Election Galway city would have no political representation in the Dail? Yes, it is, and it would appear to Insider that three of the main political parties – Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, and Sinn Féin – intend it to be that way.