Mayo showed character to come back

Mediocre All-Ireland final

Mayo showed character to come back

The All-Ireland final overall was mediocre at best and there were a lot of poor performances from a number of big players on both sides.

The O’Shea brothers were well below par for Mayo. Seamus gave away four bad balls in a row in the second half when Mayo were on top.

But Tom Parsons, the man with strong Bundoran connections, had a fine game for Mayo. Tom’s mother Carmel is from Bundoran. His uncle Peter, who lives in Sheffield now, got a few runs for the county in his playing days.

Jim Gavin will be very disappointed with the performances of a number of his big names. Bernard Brogan was very poor and it was no surprise that he was taken off. Dean Rock had an off day from frees and Diarmuid Connolly contributed very little, though in fairness he was well shepherded by Lee Keegan. Michael Darragh MacAuley had a poor enough game in the middle of the field.

In fairness to all the players, the conditions weren’t great and it certainly was not a day for inside forwards.

In fairness to Mayo too, you have to give them great credit for battling back. They gave away two disastrous own goals in the first half and still managed to battle back in the second half to draw level. And they displayed great character at the end again to come from three down in the closing minutes to earn the draw and another crack at ending the 65-year famine.

The level of commitment shown by Mayo and the finish made it an exciting game and made up for the lack of quality.

As for the replay, I suspect Dublin will be favourites again as they would seem to have the most room for improvement. But Mayo should take heart.

Donegal championship

The championship takes centre stage next weekend and the race hots up for the Dr Maguire Cup, with the four senior quarter finals down for decision.

The big three going into last eight are Kilcar, Naomh Conaill and St Eunan’s. Glenswilly, with big Neil and Michael Murphy, cannot be discounted, but at this stage, are outsiders.

But with Naomh Conaill and St Eunan’s meeting next weekend, one of the big three will be gone by next Sunday night.

I fancy Kilcar, Dungloe, Glenswilly and Naomh Conaill to make the last four.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack