Search Results for 'Stephen Cluxton'
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The Mayo seniors are feeling the pinch of having played seven championship games to date - but their minor counterparts will also reach that total of championship games played tomorrow afternoon when they take on Dublin in the All Ireland Minor Football Championship quarter-final in Longford.
The good news first.
For those of you who decided to go to Croke Park last Saturday night, it was a good decision. It was a game that had pretty much everything, full of twists and turns, it certainly was not for the faint hearted and nothing beats being there to watch the action unfold and embrace the atmosphere. I was asked by someone tuned in to the radio if my wife has my life insurance policy updated as I apparently nearly had a heart attack live on air. I have no doubt Mayo will feel like they lost this game, being in such a commanding position in the second half and with a numerical advantage for 45 or so minutes, it looked like it was a case of by how much would they win, but their inability to kill of a team that was not playing well and had only 14 men will certainly worry James Horan.
Had Jack McCaffrey’s late effort made its way between the posts at the end of a crazy, madcap, frantic and frenetic clash between last season’s All Ireland finalists to hand Dublin victory, it is doubtful Mayo supporters could have left Croke Park feeling any more deflated on Saturday night.
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.
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.
I was at the two under 21 semi-finals in McHale Park last Friday evening. It was a wonderful evening for football and the football on view was good too. The first game between Aughamore and the combined forces of Hollymount and Carramore had a dramatic finish. For long periods Aughamore looked the dominant side and appeared to be cruising to a fairly comfortable victory, but the Holly/Carra boys never stopped believing in themselves and persevered right to the very end. They finished strongly, eventually winning by two points. The Aughamore boys appeared shocked that they had not managed to close out the game and they will scratch their heads for a while yet wondering how they managed to let this one slip away.
The Galway footballers were knocked out of the championship on Saturday in Navan after being beaten by a point, 0-11 to 0-10, by a limited home side.