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Bring on the blues

Ciaran McDonald on the attackMac on the attack Ciaran McDonald looks ahead during last Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final replay against Laois at Croke Park. Pic: Sportsfile


Edwin McGreal

Croke Park

THOUSANDS of Mayo supporters will travel to Dublin for the third Sunday in succession next weekend after Mickey Moran’s men booked their place in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final last weekend.
Victory over Laois has earned Mayo a crack at high-flying Dublin with Kerry waiting in the All-Ireland final for the winners. It will be Mayo’s second semi-final date in three years and Mayo’s manager was in animated form after last Sunday’s success.
“We’re proud and delighted to be there,” he began. “I thought we played quite well in the first half but we kicked seven balls either wide or into the goalkeeper’s hands. We probably should have been more ahead but we decided to regroup. It was very tight but that’s championship matches. That’s what we live for. Give our lads credit, we started to break the gain line again, we started to sell a dummy and go past, to give and go. We started to support the ball, play it and run at them.
“Aidan Higgins’ point was a hell of a one to open up. He had done a great defensive job on Billy Sheehan before he was taken off . We always say you cannot just stop a team, you have to be able to win the game by your own merits and not be looking for frees and things like that and that’s the credit we’re giving the fellas,” he continued.
Mayo trained just once last week, on Wednesday, with Moran keen to concentrate on recovery. He asserts that it worked out perfectly. “I thought we got into a rhythm rightly in the first half and thought we were on our toes.
“Training Wednesday night was unreal, I was worried because I thought it went too well. They were flying but they were hydrated properly and it’s a measure of them that the hydration results before training on Wednesday were the best all year which shows they put a lot of work into recovery.
“Dublin are joint favourites along with Kerry and it is a big, big ask but we have 30 lads in there who have trained all year and there is an honesty about them. At the start of the year I told Mayo people that I couldn’t promise a Connacht title or an All-Ireland but I could promise a family for a Mayo team.”
Just previous to this John Morrison had asked when were Mayo not going to be written off. “I’m not being derogatory to Dublin, Dublin are rank favourites. They’ve got their on merit, if we’re making up the numbers, then fine. It’ll be interesting to see if we beat Dublin what they’ll say, ‘Kerry will beat them’ and then we beat Kerry and there’s no one left, what are you going to say? At the end of the day we take it as a compliment.”

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