This Sunday sees the first of the All Ireland Senior Football championship semi finals take place at headquarters. Tyrone will face reigning Connaught kings Mayo in this weekend’s decider.
Mayo are on somewhat familiar territory having reached this stage on numerous occasions in the modern era but have still yet failed to bring Sam home since 1951 having lost 6 finals since. However Mayo will go into the game on a high after they destroyed the 2012 All Ireland Champions Donegal last day out.
Mayo has gone through the year without facing much of a challenge. The county sailed through the Connaught championship and failed to break a sweat in the quarter final.
Noted performance from Mayo’s Tom Cunniffe, Lee Keegan, Aidan O’Shea, Alan Dillon and Andy Moran, have seen James Horan’s men breeze to this stage of the championship.
Mayo names an unchanged team to face Tyrone.
Tyrone has had a busy year. The Northern men were narrowly defeated in the league final by Dublin and looked like the team to beat for Ulster. They’re championship season did not get off to the start Mickey Harte had hoped. They were defeated by Donegal in the first round and banished to a full schedule of backdoor games.
On the road facing Offaly Roscommon Kildare and Meath seen Tyrone grow as a team and turn a few heads with regards to their cynical fouling.
Tyrone met the Ulster champion’s Monaghan in the Ulster quarter final. Tyrone was accused of cynical fouling and unjust behaviour. Joe Brolly was most notably furious with the behaviour of Tyrone’s Sean Cavanagh.
Tyrone has named two changes to the team that defeated Monaghan.
The two teams face off in what will ensure to be an emphatic encounter. In my opinion, Tyrone have to be treated as serious All Ireland contenders at this stage, but I think maybe Mickey Harte’s men have got away with one cynical foul to many . Mayo on the other hand have been beating teams by huge margins for a championship setup. Horan has his men well in order to banish the curse of 51, and to banish the ghost of previous failed all Ireland finals.
This game is too tight to call but it’s one that will certainly excite the neutral.
Mayo – R Hennelly; T Cunniffe, G Cafferkey, C Barrett; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; A O’Shea, S O’Shea; K McLoughlin, K Higgins, A Dillon; C O’Connor, A Freeman, A Moran
Tyrone – P McConnell; R McKenna, C Clarke, C McCarron; C McGinley, P Harte, C Gormley; C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh; Mattie Donnelly, Mark Donnelly, Joe McMahon; D McCurry, S O’Neill, C McAliskey.