Search Results for 'Bernard Brogan'
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If one incident defined how much more Dublin were up for this game that Mayo it was when early in the second half, Aidan O’Shea got in behind the Dublin defence. He stumbled but fed the ball to Mark Ronaldson, who pulled the trigger. But out of nowhere Denis Bastick got back to not only block the ball, but gather it and break clear. It was an outstanding feat of athleticism and brilliance by the Ballymun Kickhams man.
At least one wish eventually occurred that I was hoping for as the four provincial winners are through to the semi-finals in the football championship, Mayo and Donegal by the skin of their teeth, Dublin and Kerry in a canter. It seems the day of having an All-Ireland winner that comes through the qualifiers is well and truly gone. Not since Kerry navigated their way in 09 have we had a winner through the back door. For the first time in GAA history the four provincial minor winners are also the same as the four provincial senior winners.
Now that 2013 has almost gone to the history books it is time to reflect on the year that nearly was. The Mayo senior team played their first game against Leitrim in the FBD league on January 13. Little did we know back then what the year was about to unfold. Mayo’s National League campaign was not of the consistent variety and after a convincing win at home to Kerry on February 3 we became expectant again. That was followed by four consecutive losses to Tyrone, Dublin, Down, and Kildare. The Tyrone game was a crushing defeat, Stephen O’Neill’s last gasp penalty winning for the red hand. Mayo were given a taste of Stephen Cluxton’s ability in the league game in Croke Park in March, the Dubs convincing winners; Bernard Brogan was unmarkable the same night. Worrying for Mayo were the losses to Down and Kildare, two games they should have won. Mayo were now in real danger of being relegated and had to beat All- Ireland Champions Donegal in Castlebar and then travel away to Cork to try to complete a miraculous escape. What was of great concern was the lack of goal chances and goals, Keith Higgins’ goal against Tyrone the only attempt to hit the net in five matches. Michael Conroy bettered that stat with a soccer-style finish against Donegal in a game in which Barry Moran was in superb form. Mayo well and truly ground out a result in Cork, winning by the slimmest of Margins 0-11 to 0-10 to achieve their goal of staying in division one of the league. It was a complete bonus that they sneaked into a league semi-final and had another big game in Croker against the Dubs. Confidence may not have been too high after Dublin easily won the league semi-final by 2-16 to 0-16. Bernard Brogan was untouchable in the first league encounter, Paul Mannion the star of the semi-final scoring 1-04. It really was amazing Mayo got to a league semi final despite losing four games on the spin while staring relegation in the face. Two goals in eight matches had to be a very worrying stat for James Horan and his management.
It has to end sometime. But not just yet, as Mayo's wait to stand on top of the mountain goes on for another year at least. There were no excuses from James Horan afterwards as he explained: "We had enough ball to win the game today. We just made too many mistakes, too many turnovers. I think it's that straightforward."
The first Mayo man I met early on Monday morning in the staff room just nodded at me. Smiled a sheepish, bashful smile, shrugged his shoulders, looked a tad embarrassed, and said nothing. And he was right. Because, unfortunately, there was nothing to say.
It has to end sometime. But not just yet, as Mayo's wait to stand on top of the mountain goes on for another year at least. There were no excuses from James Horan afterwards as he explained that "We had enough ball to win the game today. We just made too many mistakes, too many turnovers. I think it's that straightforward."
Mayo will make the long round trip to Newry on Saturday night looking to take home two points from the second of their triple header of Saturday night games on the run. The two points will be vital in Mayo’s quest to keep their heads above the pack as the league turns into its final four game stand from Saturday night on.
Mayo were 10 points to the good on Sunday early in the second half, leading 0-17 to 0-7, and yet they were reduced to stumbling over the finish line to win by three. Had David Clarke not made a tremendous save in a one-on-one with Bernard Brogan near the finish, which would have levelled the game, it would probably be Dublin who would be facing Donegal in the All-Ireland final.
Mayo were 10 points to the good on Sunday early in the second half, leading 0-17 to 0-7, and yet they were reduced to stumbling over the finish line to win by three.