On the road back to Cork
Greetings, fellow Mayo GAA fanatics. Time to fill up the tank, check the oil and pack the ham sandwiches – the first road trip of the year is in sight. Devastatingly cheated out of an away game in the salubrious surroundings of Hyde Park last Sunday week, we have been consoling ourselves since with the prospect of a trip back to Cark, boy, for the second year running. And if it’s anything like last year’s there’s a hell of a weekend in store.
You’ll remember the sickening outcome last year as Mayo conceded a goal with the last play of the game to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Tom Parsons blasted back onto the scene that day and laid down a marker for the year ahead, and if his performances in the FBD League to date have been anything to go by, he is aiming higher for 2016.
The Club ’51 crew will again be making the journey south, some of us that are partial to the
drink culture on Saturday to make a weekend of it, others on Sunday morning. And all of us will no doubt be cursing the N20 and Paschal Donohue for making life difficult for everyone crawling along the windy road from Limerick (don’t mention Limerick) and the Real Capital™.
The game throws in at 2 pm in Pairc Ui Rinn,which leaves plenty of time for Mass on the way, and the man in the middle will be the one and only Maurice Deegan. Pairc Ui Rinn is of course Cork’s acting county ground while they spend a few millions worth of your money building a new stadium. There had better be comfy seats, that’s all we’re saying.
Tickets for this match are €10 if you buy them in advance either online or in Centra or Supervalu, or €15 on the day.
Getting There and Parking
(We’ve just copied this info from last year’s post because we work smart.)
- Getting to Páirc Úi Rínn isn’t too difficult. Anyone that has been to Páirc Úi Caoimh before, it is only about half a mile away. Follow our map below from the City centre.
- Parking however is not as plentiful as it is around Páirc Úi Caoimh (as limited as that is!). It is all mostly on- street parking around Páirc Ú Rínn so if you’re planning on driving get there early or you’ll have a bit of a trek on your hands and a traffic jam getting out.
- For anyone that’s driving down either on Saturday or Sunday, if your’re stopping at Supermac’s in Ballindine show your season ticket and you’ll get a free Tea or Coffee!
- We’re awaiting more info on buses from Mayo and Dublin and will update this it comes in – check back during the week!
- Barrett Coach’s : coach leaves Bangor at 7am, Crossmolina at 7:20am, Ballina at 7:30am, Foxford at 7:40am & Claremorris at 8am. Phone 086-2427347 to book your seat.
- Bus from Shrule : leaving on Sunday contact Tom Sheridan 087 9256326 for information.
- Most people travelling down to Cork the day before will have already booked accommodation (some of the more eager among us have it done since last October), but a quick search on hotels.ie and booking.ie reveals plenty of available accommodation for the discerning Mayo GAA supporter. So get on it!
On the Town, boy
- For any of you planning on travelling to Cork on Saturday, the first Club ’51
pissup meetup of the year will be happening in the inimitable Larry Tompkins’ pub on Lavitt’s Quay from 9pm. No GAA fan needs an introduction to Larry’s.
- Don’t forget to call into The Shelbour Bar on MacCurtain St. owned by Philip Gillivan from Westport. Last year, anyone calling in on match day before or after the match wearing a Mayo colours and with a match ticket got a free pint of Heineken – we’ll let you know if the offer still stands!
- Taxis :Add these numbers to your phone just in case you get marooned/stranded/kidnapped/lost in Cork. It happened to some people last year … but we won’t name names – you know who you are. For the rest of you, don’t say we never look out for you.
- Cork Taxi – 6, Washington Street West, Cork. Phone: (021) 4-27-22-22
- Douglas Street Cabs – 105 Douglas Street Cork. Phone: (021) 484 7600
- Yellow Cabs – 3 Courthouse Street Cork. Phone: (021) 487 7777
- Lee Cabs – 1A Popes Quay Cork. Phone: (021) 439 3977
- Satellite Taxis – Pouladuff Rd Cork. Phone: (021) 434 7777
Bring the Mayo GAA colour, like
The Green & Red of Mayo
Stephen Rochford and his Mayo GAA backroom team are embarking on their first real competitive game after a challenging winter, a very short bedding in period and with an injury-ravaged panel. This is the first big step on another very long journey, so let’s show our support. The more colour we can bring, the better, and the more noise we can make, the better. We’ll be giving our banners and flags another good airing this year, so help us out, bring your own and let’s make that stand a sea of green and red.
There will be no problem outnumbering Cork’s 14 football supporters; in fact, we might need to cheer for them too.
Last but not least – travel safe and enjoy yourselves. These are the days we live for. Up Mayo!!
Time to plan
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.
Maigh Eo Abú!
In the next of our series of guest posts, we’d like to welcome Shamrocks (yes, of course that’s his real name) to the hot seat to take us on a journey from past to present. For those of you who remember ’89, this will bring back some magic memories.
An unorthodox Mayo man of sorts, born in England and brought up in a rural north Wicklow village ’til I was 11 years of age, before moving to the homeland of Mayo. My father was a native of Achill Island, it was there we spent most of our holidays as kids. It was always Mayo from day one, it was part of who we were and the county team was where I identified my connection to the place that will always be home.
My first memory was the old Salthill in 1984, travelling down with my comrade and chauffeur, my father. This is where it all began , the adventure of the journey down west, the anticipation of seeing the flags out of the car windows and then to the climax of seeing the footballers of Mayo run onto the pitch. Unfortunately we lost out to Galway on that day. My memories of the game itself are not too clear, I was only 6/7 years of age I suppose, but it’s amazing how silly things remain in the head, like only knowing the name of Willie Joe 😀
The years went on and the same journey was taken. ’85 I got to see them lift the Nestor Cup in Hyde Park; that was special but again too young to really take it in . ’87 seems a lot clearer, a really low-scoring game against Galway in Castlebar, but another defeat.
1989 is where it really comes alive for me.
We as a family had moved down home at last, to a rural village in east Mayo, Kilmovee, where my grandmother came from on my mother’s side. The first game against Galway in Tuam. We never won there (at the time) so a draw was a mighty return and we easily did the business in Castlebar in the replay, McHale and Larry with the goals. Next it was the Rossies and another draw, the replay was epic and no Mayo supporter of my age or older will ever forget Jimmy Burke’s goal in extra time. Hyde park erupted into an explosion of green and red; it was just priceless. The semi v Tyrone was of course the first time a lot of Mayo supporters ever seen Mayo win in Croke park in senior championship including father/mother and daughter/son generation. I suppose it was a bit like what winning the All-Ireland would be like now. The weeks leading up to the final were indescribable in terms of excitement – all the towns were decked out, the songs were released. As a child, the memories are of sheer happiness, the crowds at Knock airport to see our heroes off, running after the team coach with my new school mates from Tavrane NS through the thousands of fans singing ‘Willie Joe, Willie Joe’’ – it is just something that will stay with me forever.
What a journey we have had since. The losing of finals down the years is what everyone likes to throw at us and of course it has been disappointing but is there any Mayo supporter out there who would swap all those journeys we have had in 89/96/97/04/06/12/13 for some form of mediocrity like the vast majority of counties experience ?
We are now in a phase where we have reached the last two finals and are about to contest our fourth semi-final on the trot. People are getting uptight about where we are at – have we still a chance or are we burnt out as a unit? There is a sense of supporters being divided on aspects of what should have happened in finals and other issues. The truth is nobody really knows, we can all guess but let’s be real, everyone has one thing in common – we all want the same thing.
So let’s get behind our bucks the next day in Croke park against Kerry, and roar them on. We are favourites with the bookies to beat Kerry in an all Ireland semi-final. Don’t be frightened by it, embrace it. Horan, Buckley, Prendergast and the panel have earned the fucking right to be a top team, now let us act the same, and fill her up with green and red!
James Horan’s first game as Mayo manager was an FBD game in Castlebar in January 2011. His league managerial debut also took place in MacHale Park against Down a month later. He opened up his championship managerial career in West London on a bright afternoon which almost went down in the history books as a black day for Mayo football. Two further championship games in very bad conditions dictated that he brought his men to Croke Park in July 2011 as Connacht champions but with the tag of serious underdogs to face Cork, the All Ireland champions. That day he made nonsense of Spillane’s ranting about Connacht football’s “Junk Status”, ridiculed Brolly’s assertion that Cork would easily progress and set the tone for some historic Mayo days in Croke Park over the next 3 years. For many that is the day that the Horan era really started. Now the Horan era is surely coming to a close and we face Cork once again. This time Mayo will be installed as favourites and rightfully so. Cork were physically and mentally superior to Sligo in Saturday’s qualifier. In Sky Sports high definition each man looked taller and broader, and even more importantly than this, they had far better ideas when on the ball. Colm O’Neill dominated the game ably assisted by Paul Kerrigan. Sligo had a patch of dominance and took a fine goal in the third quarter but the game was never in doubt. Keeping Kerrigan and O’Neill quiet will no doubt be key to Sunday’s game plan. Cork now have a huge step up in the calibre of their opponents in the space of a week. They started brightly against Kerry but were unable to compete with them as the game progressed. I think the match-ups will favour the Connacht champions and while we, as Mayo supporters, will never get used to going to Croke Park as favourites, the players and management seem to have no problems with it ,judging by our wins over Down and Tyrone. Regardless of our chances of lifting the blessed chalice in September, and regardless of whether he continues in the job, we cannot doubt that James Horan’s tenure has been a great success. Let’s keep enjoying it and hope fervently that Sunday’s game will bring him one step closer to immortality.
It’s August, and we are back to a familiar scene. Our opponents were confirmed on Saturday evening after Sligo were parked up by Cork.
When Cork emerged under the leadership of Brian Cuthbert, they looked to have prowess. They had a steady league performance, and with Kerry looking at sixes and sevens in the league, it looked from early on like they were the Munster team to watch. That theory was quickly demolished after the Kingdom destroyed them in the Munster Final by 12 points. And in a flash, Cork were banished to the dreaded qualifiers. They arrived in Tullamore on Saturday for a date with Sligo. Cuthbert made six changes from their Kerry hiding and unveiled a significantly revised game plan. A game plan that is now the new wave of vogue in Gaelic Football: overpopulate the opposition’s defence and stay there. This new wave was originally designed by Jim McGuinness and now, just like tight jerseys, it’s pretty much the new black!
At times on Saturday Cork played with only one player in the opposing half of the field. This style of defensive football was used on Sligo but in reality it was being introduced for their quarter final meeting with Mayo. But they have a lot of work to do before they perfect this style. On Saturday it worked for a while, then they drifted off course and looked unsure of themselves. Colm O Neill and Paul Kerrigan, seasoned players, were their star attractions; they looked sharp and up for the challenge. O’Neill finished with 10 points and will inevitably be a handful for the Mayo full-back line on Sunday, but with Keith Higgins now firmly back there, he’ll have the measure of the rebel. With the way the game is going now, it’ll be an interesting competition for Mayo, to see how they cope with the defensive approach. Fintan Goold started from the bench but replaced debutant, 20 year old, Ian Maguire and would look to have made enough of an impression to start on Sunday. Cork are jittery though, and tend to fall away when pressure is applied.
Mayo have never had a great record against Cork in championship. Horan’s men have looked slow to get going so far, maybe they are just warming up to this stage or maybe they are beginning to tire. Sunday will tell a tale. Big performances will be needed by every Mayo player. Will Mayo counteract the defensive trap? Will they need to?
James Horan’s men have shown heart and determination when needed in their Connacht Championship, let’s hope this continues through on Sunday.