Casting our minds back to last Sunday, what a weekend we had in Derry and what a nail-biting finish. And what a feeling heading back down the road to know we had two more points in our pocket after hanging on to secure the win. And what about that support? Not for the first time, Mayo away support outnumbered the home sides (significantly so) and the noise in the stand was fantastic.
In keeping with that theme, this Saturday sees one of the highlights in the Mayo GAA calendar as we welcome the Boys in Blue to MacHale Park for the now customary Saturday evening game under lights. It has to be said, the Dubs’ travelling army always brings a bit of fun to town, and we’re looking forward to giving them a warm Mayo welcome. We’re also looking forward to showing them that they’re not the only supporters who can generate an atmosphere!
We need you
The Club ’51 crew are starting to ramp up their efforts for the year and we’ll be putting in a special effort on Saturday night to really make MacHale Park a Mayo fortress. That means we need colour and we need noise, so this is where you come in. We need you!
Bring a flag
Mayo Fans @ Mayo v Derry. Mayo Club 51 new flags.
Mayo flags in Croke Park
On this massive occasion, we’re asking as many as possible among you to wear your colours and bring along a flag. Big flags, small flags, car flags, it doesn’t matter. Give it to the kids to wave, wave it yourself like you just don’t care! We’ll have all our flags and banners on show, the Dubs will have their hats, flags and headbands, make sure you do too.
Bring back the Mayo Roar and make some noise
When the team runs out and after the national anthem – get on your feet and roar! This is going to be one tough battle, so let’s make it a battleground. A win would be massive, so be the 16th man and get behind the lads. Do what it takes to keep the atmosphere electric- beat a drum, start a chant, throw out a few bars of the Green and Red of Mayo. Embrace the bank holiday weekend and let your hair down. Having no hair however is not an excuse to sit in the corner like a wet blanket (and we’ve seen enough of blankets lately).
Drown out the Dubs and Take the Hill
The Dubs are well able to sing when they’re winning, but we can be every bit as good at making a racket ourselves. We’ll have our work cut out for us though and will need help! We’ll be congregating this for this game on the terraces behind the Bacon Factory goal on the Sportlann side of the pitch. And all you Dublin fans are welcome too!
We’re hoping that, with some collective effort, we can turn the entire end from this:
If a group of well organised priests’ house keepers from a small, remote island off the west of Ireland can do it for an All-Priest over 75 indoor soccer grudge match , then why can’t we? Even the great Fr. Romeo Sensini couldn’t handle the pressure that day.
After the game
Because it’s a Saturday night, it’d be rude not to go for a sociable pint or two with our friends from the Pale. Join us in An Sportlann after the game and who knows where the night will take us!
MAIGH EO ABÚ!
Another inter-county season comes to a close, and Kerry are champions again. I’m not sure what to think of that to be honest, but it is what it is. It was a season of mixed emotions. Nerves, pride, anger, sadness – we had it all. But it’s behind us now. January just can’t come quick enough.
As we all know by now, Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes have been installed as the next management team to take our lads forward. There are also reports suggesting that Donie Buckley and Ed Coughlan are staying on in their positions. This would be a terrific boost and would add to some much-needed continuity for this side. We know the new managers Noel and Pat will represent us brilliantly like they did with many of the current group back in 2006 and we wish them all the luck in the world.
Yesterday’s game in Croke Park drew the curtain down on the 2014 season and while we didn’t land the main prize, our own Cillian “Not a Marquee Forward” O’Connor finished the season as top scorer for the second year in a row. That’s a terrific achievement for someone who was still playing U21 football last year! Well done Cillian. The second of many, I’m sure.
In Club ’51 news, we’re extremely proud to announce that we have made the finals of The Blog Awards Ireland 2014 in TWO separate categories: Best Sports Blog and Best Newcomer Blog. We are thrilled to bits and we want to thank absolutely everybody who has contributed to the site in any way since we kicked off in late December. We’d like to invite everybody and anybody to join us on the 4th October at the Westgrove Hotel, Clane, Co. Kildare for the main event. You can get tickets here. There is an 80s theme for the night too, so bring your best 80s Mayo clobber and we’ll have ourselves a right party!
There’s plenty of GAA action to keep us going this weekend, too. On Saturday at MacHale Park, Noel Connelly’s Hollymount/Carramore side take on Belmullet in the county intermediate semi-final replay (note, this game is NOT in Limerick) with Ballyhaunis awaiting the winners in the final. On Sunday, Mayo and Connacht Champions Castlebar Mitchels continue to defend their crown when they come up against Garrymore in the senior semi-final at 2pm and that’s followed by the second semi-final: a mouthwatering clash between Knockmore and Ballintubber.
That should bridge the gap nicely for another week at least, so get up to MacHale Park and enjoy the show!
In the meantime, we’re off to compile a list for our potential acceptance speech.
Well… Well, well, well… We see some familiar faces here today. Some welcome… Some not so welcome.
Enjoy the weekend!
The bauld Ciaran Mac inspired us to roar at the telly
Nostalgia week continues with a view from someone living far away cross the ocean , far away o’er the foam.
The life of the Irish expatriate on the European mainland is, on the whole, a happy and fulfilling one. You have chosen to leave home in order to enjoy the opportunities afforded by a job abroad and you can enjoy the culture of your adopted country and still, thanks to low cost air travel, return home on a regular basis and also invite friends and family to visit. The script for the Irish male on most Saturdays in Europe is along the same lines in every country. Get yourself into the local Irish pub with all the English and Scots and watch as much football and rugby as the landlord can fit onto his screens. Sundays however can take a different turn. On Sunday the pub may still be full but there will be one corner TV showing the big premier league game and in the other corner, the big Irish heavyweight, the GAA.
Our brethren in the US historically have had a different experience when it comes to viewing our games. The Astra satellite shadow does not fall over the North American continent and as such they have always been reliant on service providers to ensure that they see their county men in action. Pubs all over the US welcome hung over Irishmen on a Sunday at hours ranging from 4 or 5 AM in San Francisco to 8 am on the east coast. By welcome I mean greet them with an ignorant door man demanding 25 dollars entry fee.
The down under experience is another step into dedication. I was in a pub in Melbourne at about midnight one night and an Ulster championship clash was just commencing, the place was packed and it was on every screen. How do these lads get up for work the next day?
I have been in Croke Park and Castlebar for many of Mayo’s finest days and for a few disasters as well but I remember watching us beat Tyrone in Amsterdam in 2004, just myself and a lad from Ballina whom I had just met roaring at the telly. I watched us lose to Galway in 2003 from O’reillys pub in Frankfurt. The day we beat Cork in 2011 I was in the Irish Pub in Bornheim. The famous day against Dublin in ’06 I was in the Anglo Irish pub with about 7 dubs, I simply could not afford to come home.
So folks , when you hear about lads turning up for All-Ireland finals from foreign countries I can see where you might feel aggrieved that they somehow manage to score a ticket and you did not. But don’t forget although we left home a long time ago our love for our team is just as strong as it was then. We are blessed with GAAGO this year but it was not always the case ,I know a man who took a flight in America to fly to a city in another state with a pub that was showing a Mayo game. You hear English accents and American ones as well in Croke Park when Mayo play, lads fulfilling their father’s wishes to see Mayo lift that chalice, bitten by that same bug that you yourself have. We are all the same or as they say in Thailand, “Same Same but Different”.
Mayo for Sam.
It’s the second weekend in July and we are preparing to make history. Honestly, at this time of year, as Mayo football fans, what more can we ask? We have two teams representing us on Sunday in the provincial deciders. Our seniors attempt to win their 4th title on the trot against the auld enemy while our minors defend their crown against Roscommon. We are also aiming to see our first back to back senior/minor Connacht Double since 1996/1997. History beckons! How sweet that would be indeed, but as we always say, that’s in the lads’ hands now. And best of luck to them.
As for us, the plan remains the same. We’ll have a couple of new recruits in the form of flags with us at the match, after announcing our first and second-placed designs in our schools flag design competition. We’ve got a couple of cracking designs that we can’t wait to unveil. But we also need people to wave said flags, so please come and join us beside the media tower at the McHale Road side of the ground. Absolutely everyone is welcome and the craic is always good so come along and introduce yourselves. And bring your own flags – there’s going to be a huge crowd there so let’s make it a colourful one (a green and red one!).
We’ll be there from 11am or so setting up for our minors and we would urge absolutely everybody to come cheer on YOUR All-Ireland Champions as they take on the Rossies! They put in a hell of a shift in Tuam and the least they deserve is a good, loud support from the Mayo faithful on Sunday.
Here’s to history!
It’s Wednesday, and we’re heading towards the better half of the week, meaning it’s time once again to lift the heads and start looking forward to the weekend’s GAA action. This Sunday sees Mayo welcome Derry to Elverys MacHale Park in the final round of the Allianz National Football League, at the later throw-in time of 3pm.
Mayo are in a promising position, with a win against second-placed Derry guaranteeing us a spot in the semi-finals on April 13th. Two intriguing deciders lie ahead, with Dublin travelling away (for a change) to Tyrone, but it’s Castlebar on which we’ll be focusing and in a practice run for the championship days ahead, Club ’51 will be ramping the campaign up a notch and starting to make ourselves seen and heard.
Sunday will see us moving out of the stand and onto the terraces for the first time, and will be basing ourselves beside the media tower (on the bacon factory side). This will allow us to congregate in one area, regardless of what time we arrive at – something that has, up to this point been difficult in the stand.
We’re combining forces with the formidable Sea of Green and Red campaign, a phenomenon which started a great conversation over on MayoGAABlog in the run-up to the Tyrone game last year and resulted in a visibly increased level of colour in Croke Park. The Sea of Green and Red campaign just appealed to anyone attending the game to bring a flag. It was that simple, and it worked! We want to start bringing that level of colour to all Mayo games this year, starting next Sunday – but we need your help.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and generosity of some of the readers and contributors to this sitev (thank you!), Club ’51 have started to build a collection of iconic flags and banners, which we hope will become a feature at Mayo games, not just this year, but for many years to come. On Sunday, we’ll be debuting another bunch of these, which we hope you’ll spot in the ground, as well as a couple of larger flags that have kindly been donated to the cause. We really appreciate your contributions and hope you’ll like how we’ve used them.
What can you do?
- You could bring your own flag – yes, it’s that simple. Big or small, plain or patterned, as long as it’s green and red and someone’s waving it. If you’re bringing little ones, get them to help – they love it! It might be “only the league”, but why not?
- Wear your colours – hats, scarves, headbands, they all add up.
- Help us to cheer! You don’t need to do a banshee on it, but it’s amazing the difference a chant or a cheer can make to the atmosphere. If things aren’t going the way we’d like – that’s when the 16th man is needed the most. So join the rallying cry and let’s get behind our team and cheer them on to a place in the sem-final.
- We like noise, but please, if you’re bringing something noisy be considerate of those around you – no-one wants to be deafened. And if it’s a vuvuzela, leave it at home.)
- JOIN US on the terraces! This is group effort and everyone is welcome – the more the merrier. We’ll be easy to spot, we don’t bite (much), you’ll have a great view of the game and we can guarantee you’ll have a bit of craic while you’re there (though you might need waterproofs!) We’re not aiming to become another Hill ’16 – far from it – but if you’ve ever felt self-conscious shouting at a game while getting daggers from the refined people surrounding you, this is the place for you.
We’re delighted to see the level of support behind the Mayo team this year, and Club ’51 is really taking off. We have a lot of exciting plans in the pipeline for the year ahead, but we need help to get them off the ground. So if you’d like to become involved in any way, be that writing or taking photos for the website, contributing ideas, sponsoring us some prizes or flags (we’ve some more competitions coming up, including one for the smaller folks), helping to organise events and meet-ups or simply standing with us to cheer on the team on match days (the most important thing of all), then get in touch via the contact form.
See you on Sunday- Maigh Eo Abú!