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Posts Tagged ‘ James Horan ’

GAA: Donegal Crush Dublin As Kerry Edge Thriller Against Mayo

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All-Ireland Senior Football Semi-Final

Donegal 3-14 Dublin 0-17

This was an interesting tactical battle as the 2012 Champions Donegal crushed Dublin in this All-Ireland Semi-Final. Ryan McHugh was the crucial individual who finished with two brilliantly taken opportunistic goals and also Colm McFadden added the third goal to put the game beyond the reigning All-Ireland Champions.

Dublin started the game brightly and established an early lead with long range points from Diarmuid Connolly and Paul Flynn, both influential figures in this part of the first half. Dublin were not going to be able to keep scoring long range points no matter how good they are made out to be, this was more evident as the game progressed. Dublin raced into a five point lead at one stage and it seemed a tall order for Donegal to come back, but they did as the game dragged on. Donegal never panicked and this coupled with good scores from McHugh and Michael Murphy kept them within touching distance. Dublin failed to deal with a high ball in that resulted in McHugh finishing his low shot to the Dublin net. Dublin were very comfortable up until McHugh struck and there confidence was rattled as Donegal began to impose themselves on the game. Continue reading

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GAA: Mayo And Kerry Eye Final Berth

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All-Ireland Senior Football Semi-Final

Kerry v Mayo

This will be a very interesting tactical affair as neither of these two sides have met in the championship since 2011, with the Kingdom emerging on top for most of the recent battles between these two sides. Mayo have yet to show us why they have made it to this stage of the championship, playing rather poorly with plenty of room for improvement. Kerry have had some hiccups to their play and they have left their defence very exposed on occasions, for example in the All-Ireland quarter final they conceded two relatively easy goals to Galway while Clare also put two past them in the Munster Championship.

Looking at both sides in depth, I would have to ask the question, are these two sides ready to win an All-Ireland at the moment? This is certainly a question that has puzzled me for a while, Kerry haven’t won a title in five years while Mayo haven’t won one in almost sixty years. Kerry’s Defence has at times this year been a little too nice to the opposition and have conceded goals a little too easily for my liking. Kerry’s midfield has been relatively okay so far this year, but they haven’t been as dominant in this area in the last few years and this is possibly a reason for them being left exposed in defence. Kerry forwards have been the main highlight to their championship as they are improving with every going season, with the absence of Colm Cooper due to an ACL tear. James O’Donoghue has been the main star for the Kingdom in the past two seasons and Mayo will certainly need to keep a close eye on him. Kerry still have some experienced forwards like Paul Geaney and Michael Geaney to help take pressure off  O’Donoghue. Continue reading

14 Man Derry Overcome Mayo As Dublin Comeback Stuns Rebels

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Derry and Dublin both emerged victorious from this weekend’s semi finals to set up a pulsating national league final in two weeks time.

Derry 2-15 Mayo 1-16

Mayo started this game well, showing solidity at the back while establishing an early lead but Derry would have the final say. Derry pegged back their opponents despite some poor handling errors from their forwards as Cailean O’Boyle slotted the ball into the net. Mayo soon regained their composure as Andy Moran pulled a goal back. A challenge in the lead up to Moran’s goal resulted in the oakleafers being reduced to 14 players as Fergal Doherty received his marching orders for a second bookable offence. However, despite the sending off and Mayo having an extra player to their advantage, it was Derry who dominated the remainder of the half to establish a single point lead at half time. Continue reading

Dublin Claim 24th All-Ireland Title While Mayo Minors Impress

Dublin v Mayo - GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final

Like that , it was all over.

140 minutes that would forever shape the history and destiny of Mayo GAA culminated in minor success and senior failure as the men from out west were swallowed up by a sea of blue that brought Sam Maguire back to Dublin after a one year absence.

All Ireland Senior Football Final

Dublin 2-12 Mayo 1-14

The Sam Maguire has returned to Dublin for the second time in three years after a one point victory over Mayo saw the boys in blue prevail in yesterday’s All Ireland Final.

Dublin’s ability to convert opportunities proved crucial in the second half as they edged out the westerners in this game  with an excellent brace from Bernard Brogan the main difference between both sides. Continue reading

All Ireland Final Preview : 3 Key Battles

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Ahead of this weekend’s All Ireland Final  (full preview available here) , Danny Morrissey looks at three key areas in which the success of Dublin or Mayo will hinge on.

1.       Midfield

The midfield contest is somewhere I’m sure James Horan and selectors of Mayo will have looked at and will be hoping to dominate if they are to be successful come Sunday. Aidan and Seamus O’Shea in my opinion shade the Cavanagh brothers as the best midfield pairing in the country and are a large part of the Mayo success train. The Dubs will match these guys up with Michael Darragh MacAuley and one from Cian O’Sullivan or David Bastick. This part of the field is where I feel Mayo hold the real edge. No disrespect to the Dublin trio but this is possibly Dublin’s weak area with Meath earlier in the year more than matching up and dominating for periods in the middle. Kerry with an average midfield nearly had enough last time out too with the Dublin midfield at no point this year dominating this section of the field. Mayo will try and pressurise Stephen Cluxton in goal to avoid any short kick-outs and go long where the O Shea’s will want it up in the sky. Yes MacAuley is a good fetcher of the football and the others hard workers but if the O’Shea brothers keep up their fabulous form to date they will dominate here which might enhance Ciaran Kilkenny , the Dublin fulcrum of attack at 11 , back into the middle to help out thus reducing their attacking threat.

Either way I’m sure Mayo will have looked at the way Meath approached and had success in the early part of their game against Dublin and hope to emulate that. For Jim Gavin and Dublin they will hope their midfield pairing will rise to the occasion and put in their best performance to-date, something that will be required and more to nullify the threat the O’Shea brothers will bring come Sunday. Whatever way it unfolds the outcome of Sam will very much hinge on the dominance here. Continue reading

All Ireland SFC Preview: Dublin To Edge Tight Encounter

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A turbulent summer comes to an end this Sunday when two titans clash at headquarters in the All Ireland Final. Their journey to the final has seen them outlast 31 other teams enroute to Croke Park amid a season complimented by numerous historical incidents, ranging from London’s journey to the Connacht Final and Croke Park to the controversial introduction of hawk eye.

But now the dust has settled and only two teams remain, who will take home the illustrious Sam Maguire?

All Ireland SFC Final Preview

Dublin v Mayo

Mayo have failed to win an All Ireland since 1951 and have been coming up short in every final since. However, Mayo have been improving a lot in the last few years and I would expect that they will win All-Ireland between now and 2016, but i don’t think it will happen for them on Sunday in Croke Park.

Dublin have been impressive to date , particularly in the high scoring thriller with the Kingdom which saw them emerge victorious by seven points to claim their place in the All Ireland Final. Mayo need to prevent the Dubs from running riot in Croke Park to stand a chance of ending a 52 year silence in the west.  Mayo will need to punish every mistake their opponents make and need to be ruthless when the opportunity arises. I Still fancy Dublin to score more easily than the westerners because their forwards are more suited to the occasion of winning an All Ireland. The Mayo defence will be given a real test from the direct running style of the Dubs. Dublin should edge this game on the scoreboard.  This game will be fast paced, hard hitting and very physical. Mayo need to show the hunger, desire and passion that they have failed to show in the last number of years, but importantly they need to show something unique to win an All Ireland. Mayo need to be careful in their defence as Dublin will score goals especially with Bernard Brogan back to his best. Possession will be crucial in this game, but Mayo need to convert some simple chances like they failed to do in their previous games, like score a 21 yard free right in front of the post. Dublin will be rock solid when it comes to converting frees and this is one advantage that they have over Mayo.

Mayo have already names their starting fifteen for the final , fielding a team that shows no changes from their semi final victory over Tyrone. Crucially for Mayo manager James Horan he has been able to name top scorer Cillian O’Connor in his starting ranks as the forward has overcome injury.

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has yet to name his team.

Mayo team :  R Hennelly; T Cunniffe, G Cafferkey, C Barrett; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; A O’Shea, S O’Shea; K McLoughlin, K Higgins, A Dillon; C O’Connor, A Freeman, A Moran (Capt).

Verdict:  Dublin

*Read Danny Morrissey on three key battles which could define Sunday’s final here.*

All-Ireland MFC Final Preview

Mayo v Tyrone

This game will be extremely interesting because you have two very different brands of football being played here. Tyrone will try control the pace of the game and try to keep up with Mayo for most of the game and then turn the game in their favour. I think Mayo will emerge from this game as winners as they have been putting up big scores and have been scoring goals more at will than their northern counterparts. Tyrone have plenty of ability to prevent Mayo from scoring a lot and pulling away in this game. Mayo have shown more promise than previous years with most of their forwards scoring goals. Mayo will need to find the back of the net on Sunday to claim a minor title, something which they haven’t achieved since 1985. Tyrone will keep the game as tight as possible by deploying a structured defensive system , commonly referred to as a blanket defence.  Mayo’s young guns should come through this showdown as they have shown more resolve this year than in previous attempts. This curtain raiser may not set the tone for the senior final but one thing is for sure, the future of Mayo GAA is destined for success.

Verdict:  Mayo

Image courtesy of Inpho.ie

Has Anybody Got a Ticket?

It happens every single year. All-Ireland Final day approaches, your local club is fresh out and every single one of your contacts has mysteriously disappeared at the same time. So you have to come face to face with reality – you simply haven’t got a ticket. However many enterprising individuals take their begging to the nation, and this year is no different. Dublin man Ray O’Brien, who has lived in Mayo for the past 12 years has recorded and uploaded his Song for Sam up on Youtube, where it’s already garnered almost 800 views.

And it’s not half bad either:

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