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Mayo footballers reach fifth All-Ireland final since 1996

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 footballers reach fifth All-Ireland final since 1996

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.

Metropolitans stand in Mayo’s way

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It has taken a little over 210 minutes of championship football to get here. Leitrim, Sligo and Down all stood in the way, but were not up to the challenge. On Sunday things get very real, but this is what Mayo have been preparing for ever since the final whistle blew in the same venue in last year’s All Ireland semi-final against Kerry. They are back to where they want to be, their fourth championship game in a five game series they hope will end in victory and a place in the All Ireland final for the first time in six years and another crack at bringing Sam Maguire back to Mayo. But that is another battle to be fought at a later date, and all that will be on Mayo minds on Sunday is the game ahead of them.

Dublin to have too much for Mayo

Having watched Donegal in the flesh last weekend in their awe-inspiring victory over Cork, it is difficult to see either Mayo or Dublin stopping them taking Sam back to the hills for the first time in 20 years.

Dublin should have too much for Mayo

Having watched Donegal in the flesh last weekend in their awe-inspiring victory over Cork, it is difficult to see either Mayo or Dublin stopping them taking Sam back to the hills for the first time in 20 years.

‘It is amazing what a win in championship football can do for the feel good factor of a small town’

I was driving home from Dublin last Sunday evening when my good friend Pat Holmes eventually managed to get through to me on the phone. He could barely talk as his voice was practically gone. Normally, when Pat’s voice is hoarse, things have not gone too well. We had spoken earlier in the morning and I gathered then that he was nervous about playing Crossmolina later in the afternoon. I’m not so sure he was any the better after having spoken with me earlier as all I told him to do was to relax as there was a huge number of Cross lads out injured.

Time to get the foot back in football!

I don’t know about you, but I have been bored out of my tree watching Gaelic football in this year’s championship so far. As a viewing spectacle it has been very poor fare. Of course it is up to the various counties to raise their standards to those set by the likes of Dublin, Cork and Kerry, but watching the championship over recent seasons suggest that the gap between the elite and the rest is widening. The suggestion from both Colm O’Rourke and Kevin McStay, on last weekend’s Sunday Game, for a two or three tier system is surely going to become a reality sooner or later.

Time to get the foot back in football!

I don’t know about you, but I have been bored out of my tree watching Gaelic football in this year’s championship so far. As a viewing spectacle it has been very poor fare. Of course it is up to the various counties to raise their standards to those set by the likes of Dublin, Cork and Kerry, but watching the championship over recent seasons suggest that the gap between the elite and the rest is widening. The suggestion from both Colm O’Rourke and Kevin McStay, on last weekend’s Sunday Game, for a two or three tier system is surely going to become a reality sooner or later.

The classic pairing promises a great final

Didn’t the summer slip by so quickly? What summer? I hear you ask. But here we are again at All- Ireland final weekend and the majority of us are still hoping for an Indian summer. Alas, it does not much look like it is coming our way now. But, we have the football All Ireland to look forward to and, this year in particular, it brings the promise of its own ray of sunshine. This final has definitely tickled the imagination of all GAA followers. The Dubs are back. But are they? Time will tell of course. As with every year the hunt for tickets is on in earnest and, also, as with other years, they are again at a premium like the proverbial ‘hen’s teeth’. Indeed it will be felt even more intensely this year as the pairing of Dublin/Kerry attracts far more neutrals than any other possible pairing. Every year, I get more than a few calls from family, cousins, friends, acquaintances, and occasionally from people I have never met in my life all looking for a ticket for the final. As this is the first Kerry/Dublin decider since 1985 it is a major box office draw. I have heard it suggested many times that participating counties should get the bulk of the tickets for finals. While there is a strong argument for that it would be wrong to deny genuine lovers of Gaelic football the opportunity of being at HQ for the highlight of the year.

The Dubs dismantle Red Hand men

I did not get to watch the Dubs v Tyrone game until Sunday afternoon due to it clashing with our own club championship. Obviously I was aware of the result by that stage, but did not fully realise just how good the Dubs actually were until I watched a recording of the game. They were brilliant albeit against a tired looking Tyrone side. The Dubs played a fast intense refreshing brand of football that quite simply blew the opposition away. It looks as if the timing could be spot on as they have put their indifferent form from the Leinster Championship firmly behind them and are now beginning to play with enormous confidence.

 

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