Finally – finally! – the countdown is almost over. It’s time to check the tyres and top up the oil in anticipation of the long trip to Killarney. It’s been a long winter – long than we’ve become accustomed to in recent years – but the competitive inter-county season is about to throw in at last. Sunday 2pm in Fitzgerald Park is the one we’ve been waiting for as Mayo travel to take on All-Ireland champions (it still sticks in the craw a bit, doesn’t it?) Kerry in their back yard. But a new year is a new year and forward we must look.
As competitive fare goes, this game is unlikely to reveal much in terms of prospects for the year ahead, due to the fact that both teams are missing a number of key players, but what’s really important is the points that are at stake. To take two points from the Kingdom from under their own roof would make for a satisfying start to the year, so Killarney here we come, and here’s hoping our old reliables and our new young guns get a good run at it and make the road home a short one.
Club ’51 will also be making the trip south to this stunning part of the country (don’t tell them we said that) and will be aiming to claim a significant proportion of Fitzgerald Stadium for the green and red. Anecdotally, it appears that the Mayo faithful are hitting the road in huge numbers this weekend, so if you’re looking for a place to lay your head, get on it ASAP otherwise you’ll be kipping in the back of the car. If you’re doing a day trip, amid warnings of unsettled weather over the next few days, be sure to plan ahead and leave in plenty of time -and arrive alive and unfrazzled. And for those of you doing the Ring of Kerry cycle on Saturday, may the wind be at your backs all the way, you mad yokes.
If this is your car, leave early. Like, tonight. (Pic: Balls.ie)
On The Day
In what is now becoming a time-honoured, revered and legendary tradition (a whole year old this weekend, in fact) Club ’51 will be assembling before the game in a local hostelry to mingle, give out about the weather and unanimously agree that Mayo is just as nice a spot as Kerry, we just don’t need to go on about it all the time. On the morning of the game, get yourselves to the Killarney Royal Hotel on College Street from 11.30am. Located only a ten-minute walk from Fitzgerald Stadium, we have it on good account that their hospitality is second to none. There is a traditional Irish lunch menu in the restaurant, or check out the bar/bistro menu where you can get bar food like soup, salads, burgers and sambos.
It’d look grand with a lick of green and red paint (Photo: Tripadvisor)
Parking Near The Ground
Parking is relatively easy, as Killarney has plenty of car parts in the town centre,none of which are a lengthy walk (15-20 mins max) to the stadium. The car parks on Lewis Road or beside Killarney Public Library (on the N71) are the closest, so if you want the handier option (or if it’s raining), get in there early before the locals take all the good spots.
The Night Before
For those of you travelling down the night before, you’re in for a treat as Killarney is always a great spot for a few sociable beverages. On the Saturday evening from 9pm, some of the Mayo faithful will be convening in Tatler Jack on Plunkett St. (right in the heart of town) so do drop in if you’re feeling the bit of thirst. Tatler Jack is of course notable for featuring as it does some jerseys of the hallowed green and red, namely those of Gabriel Irwin and the mighty Willie Joe Padden. So therefore it’s practically a Mayo pub and you should feel right at home. Get practicing your “yerras” well in advance and if you meet any Kerry people on your travels be sure to assure them that we’ll barely manage to keep it kicked out to them. Nothing like getting in some mind game practice well in advance of the championship.
Last But Not Least …
That should be all you need to get you set for the weekend. Only one thing remains and that is a reminder to get behind our lads. None of us have forgotten Limerick, and if ever there was a time a team deserved a strong show of support, this is it. When our lads appear on the pitch, don’t be shy, don’t hold back but cheer for them like you’ve never cheered before. It might only be the first game in the League, but it marks the start of an another long road for this team, so let’s row in behind them and just like in Croke Park last August, be the 16th man again. Bring a flag, claim the stand and make them wonder in Kerry if they took a wrong turn and ended up on McHale Road.
And most of all stand tall and be proud of the green and red – our colours – and all they stand for as we look to the year ahead.
MAIGH EO ABÚ!
PS: A sincere thank you to our Kerry informants Caroline and Jerry for the helpful information – we won’t tell a soul!
It’s that time of year again and the Allianz prediction league 2015 is now up and running! The prediction league will start on the 31st of January and continue throughout the league, finishing with the league finals at the end of April. To enter, you will need to log in and set up an account at www.allianzleaguesprediction.ie. If you have entered the prediction league in previous years, just log in to your account and enter.
Mayo Club 51 have joined again this year and we’ve set up a football mini league called … you’ve guessed it … Mayo Club 51. To join our football mini league just enter this code: DZD6MLxFkF1E
We recommend you to copy & paste the code when first registering for the mini-league.
There is no limit to the amount of mini leagues you enter (last year I was entered into 5 different mini leagues!) You only need to enter your predictions once each week, all the different leagues you are entered into will be updated automatically. The code above is for the football league. If there is enough interest in a hurling mini league, let us know and we’ll set one up. Although it’s mainly for a bit of craic and to test how well you think you know your football. We will do a weekly Mayo Club 51 mini-league table update here on the site. We’ll have a rummage through the attic and basement here in Mayo Club 51 and see if we can come up with a prize for the winner of the predication league at the end of April. If you have any problems joining our mini league please contact us.
Competition duration: The competition starts with the first round of leagues games in February and concludes with the last fixture of the leagues regardless of whether it is a final or not. If any fixture or a final is drawn and goes to a replay, then the replayed fixture will be included in the competition for predicting.
Extra Game weeks: An extra game week will be added if a fixture or fixtures are rescheduled for a week which had no scheduled fixtures previously.
Prediction Input: You must select a margin of victory for one of the teams or select a draw. Players will not be allowed input predictions for a week until the first day of the week or until all fixtures have been clarified for the week.
Changing a prediction: Just select blank where you had input the margin or click on the draw box again if you had predicted a draw.
Non-Input of Predictions: Players will be allowed to miss the input of predictions for one week when they will receive the average score of all players in the competition who input predictions for that week for. Players will be given half the average weekly score for any subsequent weeks where they don’t input predictions.
Scoring Update: Player’s scores for a week will be updated before the start of the following week.
Games cancelled or abandoned: Points will not be awarded for fixtures that are not played or abandoned. Replays or rescheduled games will be added to the set of fixtures for the weeks they are scheduled.
Overall Competition Winner
The player in the number 1 position on the overall leader board after the scores are updated for all the competition’s predictions, is the winner of the overall competition.
Scoring is based on regular time (70 minutes play) only. Extra time scores not included in the scoring.
40 points – Draw predicted.
Non Drawn Game
20 points – Correct Winning Team predicted +
10 points – Exact Margin of victory (= 30 points)
9 points – Margin of victory within 1 point
8 points – Margin of victory within 2 points
7 points – Margin of victory within 3 points
6 points – Margin of victory within 4 points
5 points – Margin of victory within 5 points
4 points – Margin of victory within 6 points
3 points – Margin of victory within 7 points
2 points – Margin of victory within 8 points
1 point – Margin of victory within 9 points
Players with the same score in the same league are ranked by their most recent weekly results.
The player with the better recent performance is ranked higher.
Sample Leaderboard Table (at the end of week 3)
As the dust settles on our first FBD campaign under Noel and Pat, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2015 and to the first real competitive action of the season. With that, we turn our faces towards Killarney and the first Allianz National League game against the Kerrymen who broke our hearts below in Limerick last August. The less said about that the better, and as a new era begins, we will be getting behind our lads more than ever. On that note, it’s time for a quick update on the Club ’51 front on our plans for that game and for the subsequent games in the League.
Seating groups are a good way of getting groups of supporters together in grounds with allocated seating. They were a great success last year and more and more people are either setting up or joining groups as the club grows. This year, you can use either your Croke Park or your Cairde Maigh Eo season ticket to join a seating group, and we have all the latest information and have started the list of 2015 groups in our post over here. We’ve had loads of enquiries already from people interested in joining a seating group this year, so if you already have one with vacant spaces or would like to set one up, let us know and we’ll put you in touch.
Getting To Away Games
We’ll be doing our usual car pooling posts (keep an eye on our forum here or contact us on Facebook,Twitter or email). Anyone with space in a car or a bus that needs filling over the coming weeks let us know! We’ll have information on parking etc. on the site too in due course. Don’t forget the ‘fiver for the driver’!
Your car doesn’t have to look like this, but it helps
If anyone is organising buses to Killarney for 1st February, let us know and we’ll post them here. We have one so far:
The Sea Rod Inn, Doohoma are hoping to organise a bus – for queries contact Sean on 0851698851.
From the first meeting in the Liffey Arms, Newbridge on 2nd Feb last year to various days out in Jury’s across from Croker these were a great success last year, so looking ahead to 2015 we’ll be continuing the new tradition of picking a pre-match meeting point close to the grounds for Mayo fans to congregate before games and grab a cuppa/lunch/tipple/whatever tickles your fancy. We’ll be announcing these here the week before games and are looking for suggestions for Killarney, Cork and Derry.
Similarly, there will be a good crew making their way to away game venues the night before so what better excuse to go for a couple of scoops and psyche out the opposition fans? We’ll also be making a weekend of the Dublin game so expect some Castlebar festivities to be announced close to St. Patrick’s weekend.
Sea of Green And Red
Image: Sean Óg Cafferkey
Part of the inspiration for Club ’51 came from these guys on Facebook who joined forces with us and were instrumental in making the Mayo support as loud and colourful as it was in 2014. We’re aiming for more of the same in 2015 and starting as we mean to go on. Last year Mayo revived an old tradition and we saw a huge increase in the number of flags at matches. Nowhere was it more evident than in the video below from the first Kerry game (scroll to 1.51). We want recreate the incredible atmosphere of that game many times again this year and you can play your part. If every household brings a flag, think of the spectacle we’ll create! So up you get into that attic and dig out the flags.
We have a number of Club ’51 flags, and if you’ve seen them in the grounds and want to get your hands on one of your own all the information you need is here.
We’ll also be attempting to do the following over the coming months:
Organising more charity events after the success of our inaugural table quiz last year
More competitions – watch this space
Some more displays. This could be in the form of stick flags, banners or any other sort of visual display. We are eager to get people’s ideas on this so please don’t be shy, and if you’re feeling creative don’t hesitate to make your own flags or banners.
‘Everything’s Coming Up Mayo’ by Lorraine Kelly and Mike Kelly
How You Can Get Involved
Making Club ’51 a success takes time and effort, but it’s also great fun and the more people involved, the better. So if there’s anything you’d like to get involved with, or if you feel you can lend some expertise, we’d love to hear from you. Be that writing some guest posts, helping us on our social media sites, volunteering at our table quizzes or sponsoring some competition or quiz prizes, we’d be delighted to welcome you on board.
Bring your own flags, but we are also looking for 4-5 people to become flag custodians and wave our flags on match days. We have a good few people on this front but still have some that need a good, caring home with regular matchgoers – and an energetic arm!
That’s it for now …
.. but keep an eye out for updates, and spread the word ( you can share our posts on Facebook, retweet us, get our logo tattooed on your face, or just tell people you meet).
And most importantly, get out those flags, warm up the vocal cords and play your part in becoming the 16th man this year.
It was a disappointing day at Croke Park yesterday but we have to remember it is still only early April! We can now look forward and concentrate on the up coming Connacht Championship, with Mayo’s opening match against New York over in Gaelic Park, the Bronx NY. With the semi finals after being played at the weekend, here’s how the Mayo Club 51 prediction league week 8 table looks like;
Mayo Club 51 Leaderboard — Start Week : 1
We made it. It’s semi final time. And both semis should serve up two tasty treats.
Cork having beaten Dublin already this season in Croke Park will be hoping to emulate the same result. But I’m sure the current league Champions will have something to say about that.Our big focus will throw in at 2, and after last weekend’s encounter I cannot wait. Derry come to the party with an impressive league campaign under their belt. They have evolved this season, and some will say they have become more united since the departure of Eoin Bradley. The younger brother of Paddy has opted to play soccer with Colerine FC for the spring.
I watched Derry’s first league game against Tyrone on TV and they were very impressive; they drew, but were unfortunate in the end not to win having come from eight points down to draw level. It was, of course their first Div 1 game in four years. Monday mornings I usually chat to two male work colleagues and we review the weekend’s sporting events, casually of course! After the opening round of the league we discussed the games and I mentioned that I thought Derry were a team to watch this season (I still do), and one of the lads, dismissed me with a laugh. I haven’t spoken to him about the games since and no, not because I took the huff!
We’ve come to the business end of the season now. Derry proved a poor opposition for Mayo last weekend, but it was clever from Brian McIver. He knew they were through and figured Mayo were going to meet them again this weekend. So his starting 15 got a week off to prepare and got an up close look at Mayo for free. They play passionately and very much as a unit. They have a number of standout players on the team this year, Mark Lynch at centre forward continues to flourish, he scored 1-6 from play last weekend against Kildare, he’s hard marked and attacks right through the middle so it’ll be interesting to see how Donal Vaughan, who also likes to attack, will cope with that. This season they look to operate with a two man full forward line consisting of 6 foot 4 Keelan O’Boyle, a UUJ student, and Emmet McGuckin, who scored a cracking goal in Castlebar, is small but good in the air and very powerful. How the Mayo defenders will cope with these two will be something to keep an eye on.
Last weekend James Horan gave Aidan O Shea and Jason Gibbons a rest day so a big performance will be needed from them to take on the might of Fergal Doherty and Patsy Bradley. Mayo are the highest scorers in the league so far followed closely by Derry who are playing quite a similar type of football to James Horan’s men. Their centre back adapts the same attacking role as Vaughan, so this may allow Keith Higgins and the Mayo half forward line some space to get scores. They have relied on outscoring their opponents throughout the league so this one should keep the scoreboard operator busy. Mayo will have to improve on their scoring as they are racking up quite a lot of wides this season, an area they will have to sharpen up in as they proceed towards the Connacht Championship and beyond. Cillian O’Connor has slotted back into his role as chief free-taker after his break through injury, and top scorer of the league for the county, Kevin McLoughlin (1-24) will hope to continue on from where he left off against Dublin.
This one will be hard to call. It’ll be a cracker, full of scores and open honest football from both sides. Because of their experience at this stage, I think Mayo will edge this one.
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