Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Heroes Turning the Tide!

Winning is a habit best satisfied through positive results. In four days time Mayo will take the field against a highly fancied Kerry team who are looking to regain the title that seems like the natural birthright of every man, woman and child from the Kingdom.

On experience, the result seems a foregone conclusion, Mayo to start strongly but tragically capitulate as they fail to take their scores. But to judge this current Mayo setup on the failures of the past is an injustice. There is a growing sense of confidence around this Mayo team, and pundits and ditch hurlers alike are beginning to make noises about an upset this Sunday.

It’s hard to but a finger on what has changed in Mayo, years of failure had conditioned the county’s players to almost patent the ability to freeze on the big day. Memories of missed free’s from 14 yards, bad passes and give away goals has dogged Mayo fans for more than a decade.

Mickey Moran and his mind-bending sidekick John Morrisson have certainly played a major role in transforming the current Mayo players into high achievers. Anyone who was lucky enough to be present at the semi-final will testify that there was a more steely resolve about the performance.

However, as good a combination as they are, they can’t take all the credit. The tide began to turn for Mayo the day they captured the Cadbury U21 Football Championship. The victory over Cork finally allowed Mayo fans and players cross that chasm between winners and losers, a chasm which had become Grand Canyon-esque for the men of Mayo.

Current senior players, Keith Higgins, Barry Moore, Michael Conroy, Aidan Kilcoyne and Trevor Howley all played an integral part in All Ireland win. While, Higgins and Conroy are the most likely to take the field next Sunday the impact of this success and the winning feeling these players will have brought to the senior setup is arguably just as important as the return of David Brady or McDonald.

Its all about that winning feeling, winning breeds attitude, where else do you think Kerry get their strut or Kilkenny that unspoken confidence.

As a county Mayo has been slowly but surely turning the tide. Success at Minor, U21 and also by the Ladies of the county has ensured that there is now a generation of players in the red and green who no longer freeze on the big day but rather focus on feeding that winning habit.

On Sunday next Cadburys U21 heroes will take the field hoping that they can be the Mayo men who finally turn the tide and take Sam away from the Kingdom, and who knows maybe found another!


The Special 001 said...

Oh dear, oh dear , oh dear.
Unfortunatly, your article can now be read as a script for what actually happened, just not quite what you intended.

"tragically capitulate"

"freeze on the big day"

"missed free’s from 14 yards, bad passes and give away goals."

Looks like Mystic Meg can stop worrying.

The real special one said...

Yet again a mayo team that has trained hard for the past 10 months and has a accounted for some of the top teams in the land resembles a group of headless chickens on all ireland final day. Last sunday was supposed to prove that 2004 was a once off blip.
They never got to grips with kerrys powerful and intelligent running off the ball. Time and again a kerry player who was being tackled turned and released to a player comming at speed to assist. The view in mayo was that David Heaney was the man to take Donaghy but that fantasy was in the gutter after 10 minutes. David Brady did better than anyone this year in keeping the big man quite but at that stage it would have taken an act of God to change the result. The Mayo fightback before halftime needed to be carried on after the break but kerry extinguished that fire quickly. With total dominance by their midfield and half forewards the mayo inside line were starved of ball. That said the tenacious defending by the Kerry backs meant that any ball that did arrive was returned with interest.
Mayo lacked purpose and intensity in taking the ball out of defence and so many attacks were halted before they got to midfield.
There is still great potential for an all Ireland in mayo but freezing on the big day is turning into a habit.

Say it ain't so said...

Hey smuigin,
Where are you?
Writer's Block?