This Saturday, our hurlers bid to make history by reaching the Christy Ring Cup final for the first time in the county’s history.
In 2009, Mayo came agonisingly close to beating defending champions, Carlow, to reach the decider. Leading for the entire game, a heart-breaking goal at the absolute death clinched victory for Carlow, who went on to retain the title. But Mayo won’t be thinking about that on Saturday as their focus is fixed firmly on Kerry, who last won the title in 2011.
In the lead-up to the championship, Christy Phillip’s side enjoyed mixed fortunes in the league, winning 2 from 5 outings, but prior to that they succeeded in capturing the Kehoe Shield. Since the serious business has started, however, their performances have been far more consistent, losing once out of 3 in a tight contest in MacHale Park against Meath. The latest victory came in the quarter final – a terrific win over Wicklow in Arklow by 1-15 to 0-14 – a game in which only 4 Mayo supporters made the journey! We say fair dues to you 4, whoever you are, but boy do we need to make a bigger effort on Saturday!
Mayo hurler Corey Scahill gave us an insight to how much it means to get a big support on Saturday. “A big support on Saturday would be huge for us. We’ll need it to help keep us driven. It will have to be a solid 70 minute performance against Kerry and we are hoping to continue where we left off last time out!”
“Within the camp there’s a great belief that we can beat Kerry, but it will be our biggest test all year.”
Corey lines out for Mayo at MacHale Park against Wicklow in the league earlier this year
Corey and his team mates will be hoping to build on this year’s success so far and also on last year’s historic victory at minor level for the county in the All-Ireland Minor C Hurling Championship. They defeated Monaghan in the final, a game in which Corey scored 1-3. It was also the first half of an historic and unique achievement for David Kenny who won 2 All-Ireland minor medals in the space of a few weeks with the hurlers and the footballers.
Speaking about that success, Scahill remembers his time with that side fondly. “It was a great feeling to be a part of that team and winning the All Ireland C title was special. The county actually heard of hurling for a change! Our work was highlighted. It was a great way to finish our last year underage with an All-Ireland title, especially after losing the county final to Toreen (with Castlebar Mitchels).
So here’s wishing Christy Phillip’s, coaches Austin Kenny and Leo O’Connor and our boys the very best of luck on Saturday. And to anyone reading this, get out and support the lads! They’ve put in a serious shift this year and I’m sure they will appreciate the support. And please, post it, share it, retweet it, blog it, send pigeons and spread the word – 1pm, MacHale Park, this Saturday!
Back to work/school/college and reality for 2,500 Mayo fans who travelled last week. I can only assume everyone had as good a time as I did! I was lucky enough to have travelled with Jarlath Coady, an expert in all things New York, and despite him getting us lost several times, it was useful to have him around!
It was a hell of an introduction though. First of all, the landing was terrifying and I thought we were on the way out. After I said my goodbyes, we got off the plane and hopped onto the train towards Manhattan. We had to find our hostel. 1 hour it took. 1 very long hour. And it was raining. And by raining I mean it was the 10th WETTEST DAY IN THE CITY’S HISTORY. Seriously, think about that for a second. The 10th wettest day in the history of New York City and I’m out in the feckin’ thing with my suitcase, lost! I had to empty my shoes when I got to the hostel and when we were checking in, a guy had to follow us around the lobby to mop up the trail we left.
Everything I owned was soaked. But it was alright, I hung it all up, stuffed the runners with newspaper, panned out in the bed and ate my weight in Twinkies, Zingers and Goo Goo Clusters. It was exactly as wonderful as it sounds!
Like everyone, we did all the obvious sites. No real need to expand on that. The highlight of the week for me personally was running into a man and his young son in the Bronx. I had gone a stop too far on the train and took a roundabout way to the ground and couldn’t for the life of me figure how to get in. So I spotted the two locals and asked for directions. He told me he was going that way anyways and, in a famous New York accent, said “Go Mayo, right?”. His name was Billy Costello, a second generation Irish man who grew up in New York after his father, Francis, had moved to the Bronx in the early ’50s. His knowledge of Mayo was second to none. His young son was on his way to catching the bug too as he was about to attend his first Mayo game. Billy said how unbelievably excited his father was about the game and it was then it hit me that last Sunday was about more than football. It was great meeting so many Mayo people who had made a new life in the States and even better to meet their children and grandchildren.
After going in we got to work on the flags straight away, had a burger and chips and relaxed to watch the game. Bar two very heavy showers and some strong winds, the day was fine. From a footballing point of view it was a case of job done and onto Game 2. Club ’51 had just made their Championship debut too!
Picture: Stephen Grufferty
We did our best to keep the site ticking over but data charges were through the roof so we had to rely on the odd bit of WiFi we could get our hands on.
A great week in a great city but all the same, it’s good to be back.
See you all for Game 2!
So here we have it, our 3 T Shirt winners for this year’s Allianz Prediction League!
Congratulations to our winner, Alan Duggan, proudly flying the flag for Knockmore. Seamus Gallagher and Joe Gavin came 2nd and 3rd respectively and they get a t shirt each as well. Well done lads!
I think forgetting to submit my predictions for 5 of the last 7 weeks killed my chances, but that’s prediction leagues for you.
A big thanks to T Rex Clothing for providing the t shirts. Enjoy them lads, they are limited edition and very, very rare! Wear them proudly.
Mayo Club 51 Leaderboard — Start Week : 1
We have always said that there was no formal membership process for Club ’51 – simply acknowledging our existence makes you a member (and once you’re a member you can never, ever leave)!
ONE OF US
So we thought it’d be fun to reach out to all our members around the world with this new project. In the last few years, Ireland has fallen on some tough times. This led to mass emigration and that didn’t exclude the folk from our soft and craggy boglands! Personally, I can count the people in my year from school left in Castlebar on my two hands, and there were over 100 people in my year in St. Gerald’s. But such is life and the result of this is massive chunks of Mayo people being placed all over the world. We thought it’d be fun to reach out to those good people and send our soon-to-be famous Club ’51 flag on a long journey around the globe – hence Route ’51!
The journey started in Castlebar after the Derry game and made it’s way to Dublin a week later. After that, it made its way to the famous Edinburgh Castle for its first trip abroad and next on the list is New York City! Then, we are posting it off to our good friend, Robert Bashford, in Neu Isenburg in Germany.
Route ’51 starts its long journey in MacHale Park
Dublin native and adopted Club ’51er, Grainne Cleary, at Edinburgh Castle. Route ’51’s first stop abroad.
So we’ve got the ball rolling and now we want to hear from all of you abroad. If you want to get in on this, send us a message and give us a postal address. Whether it’s you, your friends or your family abroad, if you think they’d like to be involved, tell them about this and then tell us. We will get the flag to you, you will then get your photo taken with the flag (preferably at a famous landmark, but it’s not essential) and you will write yourself into history for eternity! You can send us said photo via this site, Facebook or Twitter and every photo should be accompanied by information on who is in the photo and where and when it was taken. We’ll keep this going until the flag is inevitably lost in some faraway land.
So it’s back to Croker again for us and the planning is well underway. “To stay the night or do a day trip?” – that is the question.
It follows what has been a fairly good league campaign, it has to be said. A shaky enough start with some very good individual displays and of course, we all met some new and friendly faces. Yesterday was a hectic one as we broke out our new flags for the first time. A few of you were asking us where they came from – www.flagmanireland.ie has been our supplier thus far and, in fairness, he has produced some quality gear in some very tight time frames!
Mayo Fans @ Mayo v Derry. Mayo Club 51 new flags.
And also, Michael Lyster and Eamonn O’Hara were fortunate enough to get their photos taken with some of Club ’51. We were in a rush, but being the good people that we are, we decided it wouldn’t be fair to say no after they asked. You’re welcome lads!
And then some of the players wanted in.
“Fair enough *sigh*. But make it quick”.
And we also presented our brand new and exclusive Club ’51 t-shirt to our first ever competition winner, Lorraine Kelly! She got this for designing a banner that we hope to get made up soon, which can be seen here. Well done Lorraine!
Anne Marie Flynn is pictured above trying to take the shirt off Lorraine. While we agree it’s a very nice shirt, we don’t condone such behaviour.
So it’s onto Croker again for the green and red. A big thanks to everyone who helped hang flags, fly flags, bake cupcakes, take pictures and simply contribute to the good feeling yesterday, and also to the players who were great sports. Here’s hoping we’ll be planning again this time next week.
Courtesy of AnnMarie Kenny. And they were class!
See ye Sunday!