Mayo v Meath, Sunday, 2 pm, Croke Park
This is basically a knock-out game for both sides. The loser will almost certainly exit the championship, while the winner will have a chance of reaching an All-Ireland semi-final. The game throws in at 2 pm and is live on RTE, if you can’t get near a television we will be bringing you live score updates of the game.
Mayo will travel to Croke Park knowing nothing but a win will suffice if they are to have any ambitions of reaching a semi-final. They were very poor against Kerry last weekend, they lacked a real leader and lacked the quality. They were completely outplayed by the Kingdom. Before that, though they had a good run in the qualifiers beating Down, Armagh and Galway. James Horan will be looking for some of his experienced players to step up to the plate. David Clarke struggled with the kick-out at times so that will need to be improved here. In defence, Mayo will need players like Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Chris Barrett and Donal Vaughan back to their best. Aidan O’Shea was virtually anonymous against Kerry so he will need to come into the game more also. Cillian O’Connor, Darren Coen and Kevin McLoughlin will look to have big games in the attack.
Andy McEntee’s Meath pushed Donegal all the way but Donegal upped the ante in the final 10 minutes and brushed the Royals aside. They will need to rack up a big score here in my opinion if they are to overcome Mayo as well. Andy McEntee will look to players like Conor McGill, Donal Keogan and Padraic Harnan. In midfield, Bryan Menton and Shane McEntee will likely continue their partnership. Michael Newman, James Conlon, and Cillian O’Sullivan will be the main men in attack once more.
Previous Championship Meetings
2009 Meath 2-15 Mayo 1-15 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
1996 Meath 2-09 Mayo 1-11 (All-Ireland Final Replay)
1996 Meath 0-12 Mayo 1-09 (All-Ireland Final)
1988 Meath 0-15 Mayo 2-05 (All-Ireland semi-final)
1967 Meath 3-14 Mayo 1-14 (All-Ireland semi-final)
James Horan speaking to RTE Sport said about this game, “They’re all big games,” “You have to try and win every game but obviously it’s a big weekend for us so we’ll prepare as well as we can.”
Andy McEntee speaking after the defeat to Donegal said to RTE Sport “With a little bit of experience we probably could have tapped over three or four easy scores instead of going for goal but I’m not sure that was the right thing to do either.”These are all things we have to be better at and that we try to learn from.
Mayo: 1. David Clarke – Ballina Stephenites, 2. Stephen Coen – Hollymount/Carramore, 3. Brendan Harrison – Aghamore, 4. Eoin O’Donoghue – Belmullet, 5. Lee Keegan – Westport, 6. Colm Boyle – Davitts, 7. Keith Higgins – Ballyhaunis 8. Donal Vaughan – Castlebar Mitchels, 9. Seamus O’Shea – Breaffy, 10. Fionn McDonagh – Westport, 11. Aidan O’Shea – Breaffy(C), 12. Ciaran Treacy – Ballina Stephenites, 13. Cillian O’Connor – Ballintubber
14. Darren Coen – Hollymount/Carramore 15. Jason Doherty – Burrishoole
Mayo are 2/5 to win this game, while Meath are 13/5. The draw is priced at 15/2. I fancy Mayo to come out on top here Mayo -3 at 11/10 looks a good bet.