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Posts Tagged ‘ Mayo GAA ’

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: Final Four Aim For All Ireland Glory

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All-Ireland Football Semi-Final

Donegal v Dublin

This will be another rip roaring game of football, but tactics and how these sides approach the game will determine the flow as Donegal are designed to pounce on the opposition mistakes. Monaghan did this well for the opening quarter of their encounter with Dublin before fatigue and other factors allowed Dublin to breach the Monaghan defence and it started raining scores for the Dubs in Croke Park. This will certainly not happen this weekend. Donegal will go out to impose themselves physically and mentally in this game as Armagh did to Cavan earlier in the Championship.

The defence for both sides will be a key area Firstly looking at the Dubs, they will use their backline as their platform for their attack as they can’t afford to kick the ball long down field as Donegal will shut down that avenue very quickly, it may take a very long time for Dublin to breach the Donegal rearguard, but they will get chances. Monaghan’s defence held out for 25 Minutes, Donegal could well hold out for about 60 Minutes, but putting a figure on it, is very hard. Donegal will play ultra-defensively but they will need to push up on the Dublin kickouts, a thing that Laois did well against them in the Leinster Championship. They can’t afford to gift Dublin possession; otherwise it will be a matter of how long before Dublin breach through their defence. Stephen Cluxton’s kickouts could be a good indicator of whether Donegal are going to throw caution to the wind or set-up a real tough blanket defence. Donegal need to push up on Dublin, a thing Mayo (the last team to beat the Dubs in Croke Park) have been quite good at recent years. Continue reading

GAA: Kerry And Mayo Play Out Entertaining Draw

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All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final

Mayo 1-16 Kerry 1-16

Kerry and 14-man Mayo finished level on 1-16 each in an epic All-Ireland Football Championship semi-final at Croke Park.

The two teams must no battle again at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick next week as Croke Park will be unavailable due to the Croke Park Classic, an American Football bout between University Of Central Florida and Penn State.

Mayo have been the more consistent performer in recent times as Kerry are a team rebuilding from the greats of the last decade, but still a formidable force in the Championship. Kerry will certainly be more relieved as they took their chances in the last few minutes of the game to send it to a replay and could have possibly snatched it from Mayo’s grasp.

The first half was slow paced and lacked any real intensity as it was point for point for the most part as Kerry edged in front with some good play from Paul Geaney and Michael Geaney and some strong midfield play from David Moran. Kerry’s ball handling skills let them down on occasions as Mayo will be very disappointed with some chances they missed, including a great chance by Cillian O’Connor who failed to find the net. Mayo were reduced to 14 men when Lee Keegan deliberately kicked Johnny Buckley approaching half time. Kerry were somewhat better in the first half as neither side showed any real intensity. Kerry led by 0-9 to 0-5 at half time. Continue reading

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

GAA: Mayo Hold Off Cork As Monaghan Scrape Past Lilywhites

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All-Ireland Quarter Finals

Mayo 1-19 Cork 2-15

Mayo held off a resilient Cork side to secure a semi final date with Kerry following a narrow one point win at Croke Park.

The first half started at a slow pace with Mayo wasting a lot of opportunities, as Cork began to settle down more quickly. Cork took the lead with some excellent scores from Brian Hurley in the opening part of the first half. Mayo took longer to find their shooting boots, but when they did get going they got right back into the game. The game was point for point for most of the rest of the first half with a tense atmosphere developing between both sides.

The second half saw Mayo exert some control over the game and they looked like pulling away as they built up some a big lead with great points from Alan Dillon and Andy Moran. Mayo stepped off the gas which allowed the rebels back into the game and the reliable Donnacha O’Connor notched up 1-3 for his side with a superbly well taken goal to reel back the westerners. Mayo remained composed and their patience paid off when Aidan O’Shea rounded the Cork goalie Ken O’Halloran to give Mayo a much needed boost. It was to be tense once more as straight after this Brian Hurley cut through the Mayo cover to blast his shot to the Mayo net to keep the rebels within the game. Mayo seemed a little nerve wrecked after conceding this goal, but they stuck to their task and added some late points to ensure their victory despite some late pressure from Cork. Continue reading

GAA: Mayo Battle Rebels As Kerry Face Tribesmen

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All Ireland Football Quarter Finals

Cork v Mayo

This will be by far the game of the weekend with Mayo having failed to win an All-Ireland in recent times and this Cork side are looking for some redemption to overcome their poor showing so far in this championship.  Getting badly beaten by Kerry in the Munster final and their near miss against Tipperary will give them all the motivation they need to spark an upturn in fortune. Cork may have made into the All-Ireland quarter final stage but they have been far from impressive so far in this year’s championship.  Mayo will certain fancy their chances against the rebels this weekend as they have been far more impressive as the championship has progressed.  Mayo have been doing what is required of them to get to this stage of the championship and have shown some weaknesses in their play particularly in defence and midfield as they haven’t been as prominent as last year. Cork will need to use Paul Kerrigan’s influence once again to link up play between defence and attack and this could result in some problems for the Connacht champions.

Cork have been poor so far in this championship and this is the game that they will judge their championship on. Mayo will likely need to improve around midfield and more so around defence. Cork’s poor showing in the championship and Mayo’s need to perform to the same heights as last year makes this game a hard one to call. Continue reading

GAA: Big Guns To Battle In Provincial Deciders

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Ulster Senior Football Final

Monaghan v Donegal

Monaghan and Donegal are set again to meet in this year’s Ulster Final, a replay of last year’s provincial clash and this year’s division 2. Monaghan have been able to break Donegal’s stronghold in Ulster in the last two years and outside of Dublin and Mayo they have been the only side capable of stopping Jim McGuinness and his team. Monaghan will certainly needed to play with a fierce intensity as they did in last year’s Ulster final but it will be Donegal’s turn to be underdogs this time and this could suit them. Continue reading

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