Search Results for 'Mayo camp'
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A Saturday evening in February is never the date to mark your cards for what you will expect to happen later on in the Summer.
Sarah Rowe and Grace Kelly tore Cavan asunder as Peter Leahy’s Mayo put a week of upheaval behind them to get their TG4 ladies SFC group four campaign off to a flying start in Clones.
Mayo suffered a crushing and embarrassing 12 point defeat at the hands of All-Ireland champions Dublin last Saturday. Dublin, having drawn their last two games which they easily could have lost, had me fully convinced it was set up for Mayo to end their great two and half year and 32 game unbeaten run in league and championship.
The first thing to strike me when I entered Croke Park two weeks ago was that Mayo fans had very obviously and deliberately populated Hill 16 in big numbers. The Blue army’s sense of ownership of the historic terrace, as reinforced during the 2006 ‘Mill at the Hill’, had again been challenged. While mutual respect remains, the Mayo fans’ sense of inferiority and their Dublin counterparts' sense of entitlement have both been eroded to a point where near equilibrium has been reached. The Mayo team too, learned some years back that nothing and no one is sacred in top flight GAA. That understanding did not come in some midnight revelation, but through years of proving it so on the pitch.
Two decades ago he was part of a brash young bunch of players who made their way into John Maughan's team that came from nowhere to almost claim an All Ireland title, but lost out to Meath after a replay. But he didn't hold a grudge against the Royal county as he ended up marrying a lady from there who "felt a bit of sympathy" for him. He broke his leg and dislocated his ankle in a game in 1999, and that more or less ended his serious playing career. But at the end of last month he tweeted "Playing Junior C Championship at 42 and at times trying to chase Colm Mcs nephew is a serious recipe for extreme stiffness on a Monday" Who is it you ask that's still playing football club football 20 years later chasing after the nephew of one of his team-mates from that All Ireland final? It's John Madden, the man who stood between the sticks for Mayo in those clashes against Meath.
The All Ireland quarterfinal is where Mayo wanted to be when the season threw in and they have got back there, they have taken a somewhat more circuitous route than they would have hoped, but that goal has been achieved. Mayo's championship form has been patchy all year, no more so than last weekend when they mixed the good with the bad, but they still got the result if not the full performance, they wanted to get there.
Mayo have been drawn to play Fermanagh on July 9 in their first qualifier appearance since 2010. It does pose the toughest draw they could have got however home advantage should make them overwhelming favourites. Fermanagh have two seriously good forwards in Tomas Corrigan and Sean Quigley, and their midfielder and captain Eoin Donnelly is an inspirational player for his county but we are dealing with a seasoned Mayo team who should be more than capable of dealing with their threat, Naturally Fermanagh folk are gutted as an away trip to Mayo was the last thing they wanted. It really was the nightmare draw for the Ernesiders. Incidentally Mayo are priced at 1/12 to prevail while you can get 7/1 on Fermanagh. I’m mystified at such short odds on Mayo.
Breaking something is easy. Fixing it requires much more skill and patience, and coming up with a better plan is not always as easy as saying the current one is flawed and not working.
Not long after captaining Mayo to their fifth All Ireland semi-final in as many years, Keith Higgins reflected on what had just happened out on the field of action in Croke Park. The swashbuckling Mayo number four had scored one point and been part of a new look Mayo defensive set up that nullified Donegal's main attacking threats over the 70 minutes on the field. "Satisfying is one word, I would suppose. I don't know how you would describe it to be honest" was his initial reaction when asked to describe what had just happened.