Ok we all know that the Mayo football team deserve to win an All-Ireland, but we look at five reasons that might give Mayo fans another year of pain.
While the Dublin ace has had one of his quietest seasons in recent years, All- Ireland day is a day like no other. Brogan has been there before when he was an even more central component of the 2011 winning set up. This Dublin team possess an even more balanced streak of pace and power than two years ago and the full forward will relish the more level spread of expectation across the six forwards. At certain stages in the semi-final Brogan showed some class that he undoubtedly possesses. He has not yet reached full tilt in this year’s championship, not yet stolen the show, maybe saving the best for last!
The final ten minutes
A notable factor in Dublin’s championship victories thus far is their ability to close out a game. They might have not been over impressive at various stages in the Leinster final against Meath, however Jim Gavin’s side upped the ante in the last ten minutes to clinch victory. This has been a consistent thread ever since and their victory over Cork and Kerry have shown a never say die attitude that pushes them over the line. Mayo will need to be at least 3 points clear coming into the closing stages should they wish to clinch the All-Ireland.
Without doubt, there will be a few uncomfortable silences in Mayo this week should any talk of substitutes arise. Dublin hold the upper hand on the bench stakes and the sight of Kevin McManamon warming up will cause the sweats for any Mayo fan who might have visited Flannerys the night before- or even not! Dean Rock has really found form in this year’s championship and won’t want to squander a second chance at an All-Ireland medal in 2013. Surely losing one medal to a team from the West in Croke Park this year is enough!
Cillian O’Connor’s shoulder
It looks like the dynamic forward will be back just in time for this Sunday’s showdown. The final is better for it, he has been in scintillating form close to goal and it was huge disappointment to see him replaced so early on against Tyrone. No doubt, there have been a few rosaries said to aid his recovery. However, Mayo fans will hold their breath with every tackle he takes this Sunday.
I told you so!
The hype surrounding Mayo’s preparation for this Sunday’s All-Ireland has out-taken any previous efforts. The Connacht champions have never gone into a final in September as favourites, and for a while, that’s exactly what they were. There has been “Mayo 4 Sam” posters posted online all around the world from Phuket to Peking, creating valuable PR for the GAA. However, Ireland been Ireland, the Irish love a good told you so. If Mayo doesn’t emerge victorious, there will be many a neutral on cue to tell the disappointed Mayo fan that this was their chance, and ye blew it!