Mayo v Tipperary: A History

Mayo v Tipperary: A History

On Sunday, we will take part in our 6th successive All-Ireland Football Semi-Final. That is truly remarkable, especially when you consider the last season we didn’t make the last 4. That year was 2010 after we lost to Sligo and Longford within a couple of weeks to put an end to a pretty awful campaign. I don’t think anybody leaving Pearse Park that day believed 6 consecutive semi-finals was even remotely possible, but here we are.

This time, we are looking forward to a match-up with Tipperary. This is one of the rarest pairings in Championship history. In fact, we have only played them 3 times: 2002, 1922 and 1919. And while our history with them is a relatively small one, it is not to say it isn’t a remarkable one. With 2002 being a relatively recent encounter, it’s easy to remember what went down. For information on the 1919 and 1922 games I had to dust down the old research hat from my college days. I ventured to the Castlebar Library and delved into their fantastic microfilm collections of both the Mayo News and the Connaught Telegraph. To compliment this, I had another read of James Laffey’s absolutely fantastic The Road to ’51. The research that went into his work must have been immense and it resulted in a most wonderful story of Mayo football through the ages. I’d recommend it to not only Mayo fans, but historians and Irish history enthusiasts also. If you take anything from this post, let it be that you go and get a copy of this book.

20160815_102548

The last time we met Tipp was in the in the 2002 Championship. It was a 4th Round Qualifier and it took place in Cusack Park, Ennis. 2002 was the closest Tipp have come to a Munster title in many a year, bringing Cork to a replay after finishing level in Thurles. Cork ran out comfortable winners in the replay in Pairc Ui Caoimh, winning by a margin of 1-23 to 0-7. That condemned Tipp to a showdown with ourselves just 7 days later. We had just overcome the Rossies and Limerick in the qualifiers in Castlebar and Hyde Park respectively after Galway had knocked us out of Connacht. I didn’t make the journey to the Tipp game myself, for reasons that I can’t remember, but I do remember sitting in the living room at home listening to it on the radio with my brother. I can’t quite remember what station it was, but it wasn’t Mid West, because some madman was commentating. It was great craic listening to it and, fortunately, we ran out 0-21 to 1-14 winners. We went on to lose to Cork in the Quarter Final by 1-16 to 1-10, but, if memory serves, that was an even more comfortable win for the Rebels than the scoreline may suggest. There are some snaps of our game v Tipp here.

The team and scorers that day can be found on the excellent MayoGaaBlog results archive here.

P Burke; K Mortimer, D Heaney, P Coyne; N Connelly, A Roche, A Higgins; D Tiernan, D Brady (0-4); C McManamon (0-1), T Mortimer (0-2), J Gill (0-1, free); S Carolan (0-3), B Maloney (0-1), J Horan (0-5, three frees). Subs: J Nallen for Roche (inj 38 mins); C McDonald (0-4, two frees) for Gill (41 mins); M McNicholas for Tiernan (58 mins); R Connelly (64 mins) for K Mortimer S Fitzmaurice for McManamon (68 mins).

On the comments section on our Facebook page, Mike Gallagher shared this brilliant footage with us.

Mac

Picture: Inpho

You have to venture back another few years for our next nearest clash with the men from Munster. 80 years, in fact, where we took them in in the 1920 All-Ireland Football Semi-Final. If the maths don’t seem to quite add up there, it’s because they don’t. We played out our 1920 All-Ireland Semi-Final in May 1922. It wasn’t uncommon for the Championship to get backed up like that back in the day, and it’s easy to understand why considering the War of Independence was ongoing. Mayo won Connacht in 1920 after beating Sligo in the final by 2-3 to 1-4 in Castlerea in front of just 2,000 people. That game took place on 22nd August 1920, while Tipp’s journey through Munster was much more fragmented. They played Clare in a Quarter Final in June 1920. That game ended in a draw and the replay was played in the following August. The semi-final and final, against Waterford and Kerry respectively, took place in February and April 1922. Both Ulster and Leinster were played out by August 1920 where Cavan and Dublin emerged, and they took each other on in the All-Ireland Semi-Final in September 1920. Dublin had to wait until our Semi-Final Clash with Tipp in 1922.

Mayo lost the game by 1-5 to 1-0 in front of a Croke Park crowd of 13,000-14,0000 according to estimates published in the Connaught Telegraph on 13/05/1922. The Mayo News  (18/05/1922) put that estimate between 15,000 and 17,000. Either way, it was, at the time, a hell of a journey for Mayo and Tipp fans alike. The two papers published a near identical match report, in which they bemoaned Mayo’s incapability in front of goal throughout the game. There was only a single point scored in the second half, by Tipp, in a game that was marred by a number of stoppages and a strong breeze which blew towards the “Cloniffe goal”, where Hill ’16 stands today. That was all she wrote for our 1920 Championship campaign. Tipperary went on to win the Championship, beating Dublin in the final in their first meeting after the Bloody Sunday massacre on 21 November 1920. It was rumoured that Dublin were caught cold by a battle hardened Tipperary team, as Dublin were unhappy at the gap of 2 years between their semi-final and their final. And Tomas O’Se reckons Kerry have it hard waiting a few weeks. The cheek!

You only have to go back a couple more years to get to our next encounter but, of course, it’s not as straight forward as that! The year is 1919. The Championship is 1918. Again, it’s the semi-final stage. Tipp were Munster Champions for the first time since 1904 (eh, that is to say, the 1902 Munster Championship). My head hurts typing this, but alas I’ll truck on! We had beaten Galway in the Connacht Final at some stage in 1918, and we took on Tipp in mid-January 1919. It’s hard to fathom an All-Ireland Semi-Final in the depths of January, but these were strange times indeed, and it seemed that playing and finishing a Championship in that Championship’s year was incredibly rare! James Laffey mentions that the 1918 Championship was largely fragmented by the outbreak of a deadly flu in Ireland, the now infamous “Spanish Flu” epidemic that ravaged the country. Sadly, it claimed hundreds of victims in Mayo and more across the country.

The Connaught Telegraph (18/01/1919) reported that the game took place in front of “several thousand spectators”. The Mayo News estimated that the crowd was in and around the 4,000 mark. It was reported that both teams we understrength and that, while the football wasn’t the most attractive, the contest itself was a good one. We lost this one by a single, last-minute point. The final score 2-2 to 1-4 in Tipp’s favour. There’s no shame in a defeat like that, considering the County Board were actually uncertain as to whether they could field a team in the days leading up to the game.

But the drama didn’t end there! In the same issue of The Mayo News (18/01/1919), there was a strongly worded letter that was addressed to the editor of the Irish Independent.

Sir, – On behalf of the Mayo football team, I wish to protest against the partiality displayed by the referee towards Tipperary in Sunday’s match at Croke Park. It was evident from the start of the game that his sympathies were with Tipperary, as was shown time and again by the storm of protest from neutral spectators with regards to his decisions. I now wish to issue, through the medium of your columns, a challenge to Tipperary to meet Mayo again, at a time and place to be fixed by the Central Council for any charitable object to be decided by the Central Council, preferably for the dependants of the Irish interned prisoners. For a fair, honourable and impartial referee, may I suggest the name Mr. Dunphy, Abbeyleix.

P. KILDUFF

Secretary, Mayo County Board; G.A.A., Fleming’s Hotel, Gardiner’s Place, Dublin.

I’ll bet any money that that ref was from Meath.

It doesn’t look as if Tipp took the bait on this one, because we assume they knew they were wrong and were, frankly, just too scared to take us on in a replay that we would have inevitably won. Add that to Galway’s theft of our All-Ireland title in 1925, that brings our real tally to 5.

MayoNews Jan 18 1919

We were also due to play them in 1922 for the 1921 All-Ireland Championship Semi-Final, but we received a walk-over, as tensions were high during the Civil War. Mayo actually agreed to reschedule the fixture after Tipperary had withdrawn, but a few days before the new date, Tipp had to, once again, concede the fixture. In the leadup to that game, we claimed the Connacht title by beating Roscommon by 0-24 to 0-1 in the first round, Galway in the semi-final and overcoming the Rossies in the final. Go ahead, read that again. Yep, we beat Roscommon twice in Connacht that year, and nobody seems to really know why! We lost the All-Ireland Final well that year to Dublin on a scoreline of 1-9 to 0-2.

IMAGE0012

Pic: Taken from James Laffey’s Road to 51. As outlined in the original caption, it is unclear as to why we were wearing Green and White jersies, but I’d love to get my hands on one of these. The picture is just too faint to make out the crest design, too. But this is a great image of a Mayo team from a very turbulent time in Mayo, and Irish, history.

So that is the extent of our history with Tipperary in Championship football. Most of it was nestled in the period 1918 to 1922, which was, easily, modern Ireland’s most turbulent period, suffering a flu outbreak, a War of Independence and a bloody Civil War, which led to the scheduling maze that I outlined above.

In summary, our history with Tipperary in the Championship:

  • 1918 All-Ireland Semi-Final, played in January 1919. Lost 2-2 to 1-4
  • 1920 All-Ireland Semi-Final, played in May 1922. Lost 1-5 to 1-0
  • 1921 All-Ireland Semi-Final, scheduled to be played in April 1922. Mayo receive walkover
  • 2002 All-Ireland Football Championship Qualifiers, Round 4, played in December 2004. Won 0-21 to 1-14 (of course, this game was played on time, but it would have been mad if this really happened!)

 

So, it’s quite clear, we owe Tipp, big time, for that horrible injustice in 1919! That’s the real one that got away.  No prizes for guessing what match report will be stuck up in our dressing room wall this Sunday.

H’on lads!

MayoMark

Mayo v Tyrone: A History

Mayo v Tyrone: A History

Our Championship history with Tyrone is brief. In fact, our first ever meeting in the Championship was in that famous day in 1989. And there’s good news: They’ve never beaten us in the All-Ireland series!

1989 – All Ireland Semi-Final

Our first ever meeting in the Championship came in August 1989. It was 38 years after our last All-Ireland Final appearance, and at the time, it was a relatively rare All-Ireland semi-final appearance as well. We overcame the Red Hand men that day on a scoreline of 0-12 to 1-6 in what was, in truth, a fairly dour affair. It was a little before yours truly’s time (I was 1) so I can only imagine the emotion that day. Sadly, we went on to lose to an excellent Cork side in the final, but it was a famous day which provided us with one of the most iconic Mayo football images of all time.

WillieJoePadden

Photo: http: //spailpin.blogspot.ie/2006/02/green-above-red.html

 

2004 – All-Ireland Quarter Final

When the Qualifiers first emerged in 2001, it opened everything up in the sense that games between certain teams weren’t so rare anymore. 2004 was a year to remember for us in many ways: We had overcome Galway and the Rossies to capture our first Connacht Title in 5 years, we reached an All-Ireland Final for the first time in 7 years, and, perhaps the highlight, we dethroned one of the best All-Ireland Champions the country had known.

Tyrone were hot favourites going into the game despite being pipped in Ulster by bitter rivals Armagh. That day in Croker will go down, for me, as one of the greatest ever days. When you think back to that Tyrone side, it really does put into perspective what our lads achieved that day. Even a fantastic goal from Stephen O’Neill couldn’t stop a relentless Mayo, who went on to finish the game 0-16 to 1-9. David Brady led with a fantastic performance and 3 points from play, with the likes of Alan Dillon showing why he had earned an All-Star that year.

In an incredible day at HQ, Fermanagh also knocked 2002 Champions, Armagh, out of the Championship, setting up a date with ourselves, which we ultimately won after a replay.

 

2008 – Round 3 Qualifier

A frustrating day at the office. From our point of view, one we should definitely have closed out, but lost out by a single point. The frustration started on the Monday, when it was announced that they would be bringing us to Croke Park for a Qualifier, which was unheard of at the time. That meant I couldn’t make the trip and had to watch the game on a tiny TV in the canteen at work. It’s ok, though, because at the final whistle, a work colleague of mine, seeing how upset I was at losing by the minimum, decided to calm the whole situation down by explaining to me that it was “only football”. That’s exactly what I needed to hear.

Conor Mortimer got the only goal of the game but it wasn’t enough to get us into the All-Ireland series that year. Although we led for most of the game, we were slowly but surely clawed back by the Ulster men. Even more frustratingly, Tyrone went on to win a 3rd All-Ireland in 6 years after a phenomenal All-Ireland series where they hammered Dublin, comfortably overcame Wexford and beat Kerry in a roller coaster final (Brian Dooher, remember him?).

 

 

2013 – All-Ireland Semi-Final

We had just annihilated the 2012 All-Ireland champions, Donegal, in the previous round. For a change, we were favourites against a Tyrone side who had slogged it through a long, tough Qualifier campaign, beating Offaly, Roscommon, Kildare and Meath before they put Ulster Champions, Monaghan, out in the Quarter-Final. Remember that day? The day Joe Brolly, bizarrely, questioned Sean Cavanagh’s gender? Aye, that one.

Tyrone with momentum are a dangerous side indeed, something we hope to replicate on Saturday. But in 2013 we were Connacht Champions for the 3rd straight year and aiming to get back into an All-Ireland Final. A sticky first half ended with a brace of fantastic Chris Barrett points which was the catalyst for us to go on and ultimately win the game comfortably. And that was without Cillian, too, as he had gone off in the first half after aggravating that infamous shoulder injury. Alan Freeman stepped up to kick 1-4 in a 1-16 to 0-13 point win. There are very few decent clips from that day online, so just enjoy Chris Barrett’s contribution again!

 

So there you have it – a very brief synopsis of our previous encounters with Tyrone in Championship football. Much like 1989 and 2004, we are travelling up as underdogs, although only very slightly. It’s a massive day for Mayo football, and if you are making the journey east, do your best to get in and shout on the Junior lads in their All-Ireland Final against Kerry. That game throws in at 2pm.

I’m not usually one for the whole “best supporters in the world” lark that players frequently come out with, in all sports world-wide. In fact, I’m usually quite cynical about it. But Andy’s latest one is on the button for me:

“We’re Mayo and we’re in this together.”

Go book your train or bus ticket, right now.

H’on lads!

Castlebar Mitchels – The Final Hurdle

Castlebar Mitchels – The Final Hurdle

There’s nothing quite like the build-up to an All-Ireland final in which your team is taking part, and while the mood around Mayo football isn’t currently at its best after last Sunday’s defeat to Kerry, the feeling around the streets of Castlebar is different. As Castlebar Mitchels approach the final hurdle and All-Ireland Club Final day looms,  every shop and business has some form of Mitchels-themed decoration on display – Main Street is absolutely plastered with red and yellow and when the sun shines like it has been in the last couple of days, it’s a fantastic sight. Even the dogs of Castlebar are getting on board!

Dog

Pictured: A dog in a Castlebar Mitchels hoodie. 

Upsetting the odds

In the past 3 years, this team has toppled some of the biggest names in club football, and have upset the odds while doing so. And when I say they upset the odds, I mean crazy odds like when they were 3/1 to beat Corofin in this year’s Connacht Final. A lot of people capitalised on it that day which made winning a second Connacht Title in 3 years that bit sweeter! In 2013/14, on the way to their All-Ireland Final appearance, the Mitchels defeated Corofin in Tuam, reigning All-Ireland Champions St. Brigids, and Kerry and Munster Champions Dr. Crokes. We came up just short in Croker, but this year they added Crossmaglen to the growing list in an incredible night in Breffni Park to give themselves another shot at the ultimate prize.

This squad is littered with talent, and I should clear something up. When I say they upset the odds, I am talking strictly bookmaker’s odds. I don’t know many Mitchels fans who are surprised at another All-Ireland Final appearance. There was always a feeling that winning the Mayo Senior Championship was a stepping stone to greater things.

On TG4 a few nights ago, former Cork Hurler Donal O’Grady predicted that Ballyboden would go on to win the title. That’s fine, of course it is. It’s an All-Ireland final and anything can happen in 60 minutes of high-intensity football. But his rationale for predicting a Ballyboden win, and I’m paraphrasing here, was because “Mayo teams freeze in Croke Park”. Maybe I’m over-reacting, but that is some seriously lazy, nauseating and frankly terrible analysis. You’d expect to see that in the comments section on a Facebook post, but certainly not on national television. But anyway, that’s beside the point!

On Thursday a couple of thousand will make the long trip east from Castlebar and I’m certain a few more will follow from other parishes, towns and villages all over the county. On my drive home from Claremorris from work every day I pass a sign just outside Breaffy wishing the Mitchels the best of luck in the final. That message comes from their closest neighbours and rivals. It’s great to see everyone rally behind the Mayo and Connacht representatives as indeed we all did when Hollymount-Carramore and Ardnaree Sarsfields took to Croker last month for the Intermediate and Junior finals. It wasn’t to be for them on the day but it was a massive year for Mayo club football with a hat-trick of Connacht titles and All-Ireland Final appearances. Hopefully, the boys from the county town can make it a bit more memorable and claim the Andy Merrigan Cup for the first time in their long and proud history.

12246816_10153956388413296_4282408405942636693_nPhoto: Jarlath Cunningham. For more of Jarlath’s pictures, check out the Mitchels Facebook page. There are any amount of cracking shots from the journey so far this year.

Pride of place is a funny thing. For the last 6 months I have been working in Claremorris – a great town with great people. But it was still a necessity for me to nail my colours to the mast (or tie a small scarf thing on my computer monitor) at the office even though most people don’t really take notice! All in the hope that someone will call in and realise I’m from out of town and maybe talk to me about the match. I love driving home in the evening and I love coming back into the town where you can see red and yellow flags and bunting left, right and centre.

Castlebar Mitchels fever

HA! That’ll show ye!

For me, it’s my hometown taking to the field on Thursday. It would be dishonest to claim that I was a clubman because, frankly, I’m not. They are the ones who put in the hard yards during the year on the training pitch, in the board rooms, selling programmes, teas, sandwiches and sweets during matches while everyone else enjoys the action. I go to all the Castlebar Mitchels games alright with my dad whether they are in town or across the country – The two days in Tuam beating Corofin, the day in the Hyde beating Brigids, Portlaoise for Dr. Crokes and the night in Cavan for Crossmaglen are some of my absolute best sporting memories. That is without even mentioning the Mayo Championship wins over Breaffy.  But most of my free time is spent across the town at a different club – Castlebar Celtic – populated by yet another fine bunch of volunteers who love their club and their town. Most of the lads taking the field on Thursday have dawned the green and white hoops at some stage in their lives, and we even saw Shane “Hoppy” Hopkins parade the colours around after beating Crossmaglen!

Castlebar Mitchels celebrate after beating Crossmaglen Rangers

And that’s because they are all of this town and they have represented it in many different forms, be it green and white or red and yellow. But this week it’s all about the red and yellow, it’s about our county town being in the national spotlight on our national day and for all the right reasons. Hopefully, that spotlight will continue into the night on the 17th. My gut tells me that it will.

H’on the Mitchels!

MayoMark

The man behind the lens: Matteo Scaccabarozzi

The man behind the lens: Matteo Scaccabarozzi

I’m sure, by now, most of you will have seen the brilliant video of Matteo at the match on Sunday. If you haven’t, you should have. So have a look!

I love this, as I love most fan videos as it captures the emotion in a crowd at special moments like TV never quite can. But this one came with a twist. When watching, I thought “this is great!”. My second question moved on swiftly to: “what kind of accent is that?!”. We had to try to track this guy down! And we did, fairly sharpish, with the help of some top-class creeping on Facebook.

Matteo Status Screenshot

 

See? World class creeping.

Balls.ie did a piece on his video here and the Mayo GAA Banter Page also tracked him down on Twitter! But another video he uploaded seems to have gone unnoticed! And, in fact, it is my favourite semi-final moment (which I covered here): Seamie O’Shea’s point late on against Dublin in 2012, and everything that surrounds it. Great video!

 

So the man himself agreed to answer a few questions for us about himself. Introducing Matteo Scaccabarozzi (my new favourite name of all time) from Merate, a small town of around 15,000 in the beautiful north of Italy.

Matteo Mountain

 

Where exactly are you from?

I live in Merate, my hometown, in the province of Lecco, 20 kms South from the Como Lake and 30 kms North from Milan. I’m 22 and I study Chemical engineering at university in Milan.

 

Do you follow any other sports or sports teams?

Yes! I’m an amateur cyclist and so I never miss the most important stage races and classics. Each year I go to watch the Giro d’Italia on the most important climb. My favourite cyclists now are Nibali and Cancellara but my hero has always been Marco Pantani and I really admire Fausto Coppi too. I support Inter Milan and sometimes I go to San Siro but I don’t follow soccer all that much. During winter I really like watching the NFL, I’m a Giants’ fan but I like almost any team except for the Cowboys and the 49ers. Another sport I like following is rugby but in this case I watch only national teams, since clubs in Italy are very weak.

What is your relationship with Mayo?

I became a Mayo fan before visiting the county. After starting following gaelic football I decided to translate the Wikipedia pages of the county boards in Italian. When I read the story of Mayo the misfortune they had, the legend of the 51 curse I said: this is my team. Besides the waiting is nearly the same Inter Milan had to undergo before winning the Champions League again and the spirit of the team is somehow similar to that of Pantani. He faced many injuries, accidents but he never gave up and at the end he won the Giro and the Tour. Mayo is similar: despite all the losses they suffered they’re always there, fighting for the Sam, they never gave up. In 2013 I visited Mayo, the same week of the All-Ireland final and I really liked it. I stayed in Westport, rode the Greenway and climbed the Croagh Patrick. The view of the Clew Bay from the summit is wonderful. I’ll come again to Mayo because I want to visit Clare Island, the Doo Lough, the Killary Harbour and finally the rock in the Downpatrick Head.

11987006_699028506895966_7102234694699949850_n

Courtesy of the Banter Page

 

What was the first Mayo game you saw?

The first game I saw was the semifinal we lost against Kerry in 2011.

 

What was the first Mayo game you attended?

It was the semifinal Mayo-Dublin we won in 2012. It was my first time in Croke Park, I saw the game from Hogan Upper I really liked the atmosphere. In 2013 I watched the final agains the Dubs just outside the stadium, because it was impossible to find tickets.

How many games have you been to?

I’ve been only to those two games, but I’ve never missed to watch one since 2011.

 

Do you have a favourite moment following Mayo?
Obviously the comeback against Dublin this year, the semifinal of 2012 was heart-breaking and we won but it was not so exciting. Even the comeback against Roscommon in 2014 was great.

 

Do you have a favourite player?

Andy Moran. He scores with class and when it really matters.

 

Are we going to win on Saturday?
In Italy we are very superstitious so I won’t answer the question. I think we can do it, it’s 50-50 both teams are really good.

 

Will you be at the match this Saturday?

Unfortunately my holidays ended on Monday, I’m in Italy now. I will watch the game on the net and be sure that my neighbours will notice it! I’m very envious of those of you that will be there!

 

 

Will you wave a flag for us at the final?

Unfortunately I won’t be able to come to Ireland, but for sure if we go through, the day of the final I will do it. That day in the morning I will have a bike ride with some friends on the Ghisallo, which is the holy climb for the cyclists of Lombardy and Como Lake in particularly. Despite some parts are really steep I will ride it with the green and red flag!! Maigh Eo Abu!

 

So there you have it! Mayo’s only (that we know of) Italian fan. Enjoy the game on Saturday Matteo. If we had 20,000 Matteos, we’d certainly rock Croker to its core!

Portiamola a casa Mayo!

 

 

MayoMark

Top 10 Mayo Semi-Final Moments (Part 1 of 2)

Top 10 Mayo Semi-Final Moments (Part 1 of 2)

As the lads prepare, yet again, for an All-Ireland Semi-Final, us supporters have to find a way of filling the long, painful void by doing everything and anything that is in any way related to Mayo football.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite old enough in 1996 to fully appreciate what had happened in the semi-final against Kerry. In fact, I was so gutted that Mayo had lost the minors that day that it had to be explained to me that it “wasn’t the big match, that’s up next!” That was lost on me at the time, but I was old enough a mere 12 months later to fully appreciate sitting in the old Hogan Stand to see us put Leinster Champions Offaly to bed. All that considered, here are some particularly magical moments that stuck with me, in no particular order:

*Note: These aren’t a list of top moments as such, just some of my own personal favourite memories.

Ciaran McDonald in 2006
Ok, lets just get the obvious one out of the way. This guy was magic and he gave us some memorable moments in the green and red. Not least on that day in 2006 when, as huge underdogs, we toppled Dublin. And I’m not just talking about his cracking winner – his point from the sideline in the first half of that game was absolutely majestic. He scored a similar one against them in Parnell Park in a league game not long after that – an absolute cracking game which we lost by a single score due to a late Mossy Quinn ’45. What a player this guy was.

Chris Barrett in 2013
When the chips were down and we needed something to spring us to life in the Tyrone game in 2013, up stepped our pacey full back. Not once, but twice. We had just lost our top scorer and young footballer of the year, Cillian O’Connor to a recurring shoulder injury and were trailing by 4 late in the first half, with only 3 points on the board in over a half hour of football. Barrett then marched up the pitch and kicked two spectacular points to bring the game, from a Mayo perspective, to life – the first point kick-starting a comeback and the second bringing us within 1 just before the break. Many consider those points as the pivotal moment that brought Mayo back into that game. Few, I feel, would disagree.

Seamie O’Shea in 2012
Apart from our absolute blitz of Dublin in the first 15 minutes of the second half, the score that stands out for me is the last one – the clincher – from Seamie O’Shea to put us 3 ahead. It never gets old listening to the roar from the Mayo faithful after that score. It was as much relief as anything else, as the Dublin lads managed to slowly claw their way back into the game. I love everything about this clip. The Mayo crowd chanting, the outstanding catch by the ever reliable Barry Moran, the finish from Seamie and the deafening roar from the crowd.

And it all could have been different only for…

Davey Clarke in 2012
What a moment. What a save. What a ‘keeper. Every time I see this replayed, I can still feel my heart drop when Brogan gets the ball. One of the best forwards in Ireland came up against one of the best (and in my humble opinion, the most underrated) ‘keepers. Thankfully, our boy won out this time ’round. Poor oul Darragh Maloney sounded gutted.

Keith Higgins in 2006
Passion, determination and desire. This last one was a toss up between Andy’s goal and this block. And marginally, our current captain came out on top. The entire team’s performance in the drawn game in 2014 was also considered, but this just pipped it at the post.

Dublin’s forwards were lined up. It was a foregone conclusion. They were going to equalise and bring this mammoth battle to a replay. It’s the 70th minute, the ball drops to Jason Sherlock. The fairlytale ending. And then Higgins produces an absolutely astonishing super-hero block that eventually leads to Mayo getting the ball back and killing the game off. My heart is pounding just typing this!

So, hopefully this post has entertained you somewhat in our wait for next Sunday. We now know Kerry are waiting for either ourselves or Dublin. Lets hope it’s the former, and we can replace a few of the above memories with some fresh ones!

Keep an eye out later today, where Robert Bashford will run you through Part 2. And if you disagree, let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

MayoMark

Page 1 of 612345...Last »
Sponsored by BizSpace.ie The home of Top Performance and High Quality in Affordable web design, hosting and cloud applications.