Mayo must ‘do or die’ against Dublin

Mayo Dublin senior football championship final
1 October 2016; Diarmuid Connolly of Dublin and Lee Keegan of Mayo during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Stephen Rochford will be hoping that it is ninth time lucky for his Mayo side as they look to seek their first Sam Maguire Cup since 1951.

And they couldn’t be more up against it as Jim Gavin’s side, thought by many to be the greatest football team in history, are sniffing out their third All-Ireland Senior Football title in a row.

The teams don’t meet that often in the championship, but when they do they have resulted in some classic encounters, with Dublin coming out on top eight times out of 14, with four drawn games, including the memorable replayed final of last year.

And Mayo’s ‘curse’ lives on as they have lost eight finals since their last win; 1989, 1996 (draw and replay), 1997, 2004, 2006, 2012, 2013 & 2016 (draw & replay). It is the longest unbroken sequence of losing finals in the history of the competition, having previously been equalled on seven with that of Cork between 1891 and 1911.

Mayo Dublin senior football championship final
1 October 2016; Bernard Brogan of Dublin and Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea following the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Dublin’s path to the final this year has shown just how far ahead they are in terms of the rest of the country, having amassed double-point victories in all but one of their championship outings this year.

But Mayo were written off by many before the provincial championships were even concluded, with many pointing out their decline since the replayed final against Dublin last year.

But they have come into form at the right time, and it cannot be doubted that they are the worthy opponents for the final, looking to exact revenge for their loss in 2016.

Silver lining

Dublin have played five championship games on their route to the final, and it could be argued that their biggest test came from Carlow in their opening Leinster championship round.

Turlough O’Brien’s men, who travelled to London in the qualifiers, gave Dublin a physical test in the first half before succumbing to Dublin’s superiority which set the tone for the rest of their progress to the final this Sunday.

Pick up your copy of this week’s Irish World for our full Dublin vs Mayo preview


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