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IT Sat, Aug 4
 

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  • 16:42
    Live from Dublin City, it’s Saturday evening/night!

    Yes we’ve reached the quarter-final stages of the All-Ireland football championship. We’ve got two games tonight in Croke Park. Dublin take on Laois at seven o’clock but before that it’s the quarter-final everyone has been talking about – Down v Mayo. Well it’s the one that everyone in my home county of Down has been talking about anyway.

    Of course Cork play Kildare and Kerry take on Donegal at Croke Park tomorrow too so we really are being treated to some mouth-watering action this weekend.

    Tonight reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin are hot favourites to overcome Laois in the second senior game at Headquarters and despite some indifferent performances this year the Dubs should have enough to see off Laois. Laois fans, feel free to tell me why I’m wrong.

    Here’s a fact for you. Down have never been beaten by Mayo in the All-Ireland football championship. Admittedly, Mayo have never been beaten by Down either. Somewhat surprisingly this evening’s encounter is the first time the two counties have met in the Championship. Mayo remain somewhat of an unknown quantity but are slight favourites to progress to the semi-finals. May the best team (in red and black) win.

    The atmosphere is building and there are a few talking points to focus on before throw-in at five so make yourself comfortable because you have a whole evening of football in front of you.  I'm Ciaran Daly. Let's get going..
  • 16:46
    First up, the GAA last night released a statement that related to the Sean Quinn rally in Ballyconnell last Sunday night. Prominent members of the GAA including Mickey Harte, Sean Boylan, Colm O’Rourke and Jarlath Burns all attended the rally in support of Quinn.  Here’s the GAA statement

    The GAA is a non-party political organisation whose individual members may, of course, decide to take positions on a range of issues in accordance with their own personal views.
    As an Association, however, it would be entirely inappropriate for the GAA to become involved in matters outside its remit

  • 16:46
    Take from that what you will.
  • 16:50
    Then there was Joe Brolly’s column where he appeared to have a pop at Kerry and some of their players.  Well Pat Spillane took him on live on television and Joe had to use all of the skills he has learned as a barrister to counter Pat’s argument.
  • 16:51
  • 16:57
    Pat Spillane was on the offensive there but he was very much on the defensive when Seamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney joined him on Championship Matters during the week. McEnaney first told Pat that he was leaving his post as Meath manager before going on to label Spillane as anti-Ulster.
    Spillane’s response of ‘I suppose we’ll agree to differ' on this was fairly dismissive. No?
  • 16:57
  • 16:58
    Here’s Philip Reid’s preview of the first quarter-final – fill you boots.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2012/0804/1224321449937.html
  • 16:59
    We’re off!
  • 16:59
    Wide number one for Mayo.
  • 17:01
    Goal chance. Conor Laverty took on a shot soccer-style but David Clarke saved well for Mayo.
  • 17:01
    Eoin McCartan has been booked already. There are two minutes gone.
  • 17:04
  • 17:04
    5 mins -GOAL! Mayo Jason Doherty with the finish
  • 17:07
  • 17:07
    7 mins – Mayo lead 1-1 to no score. The Westerners are definitely the better team in the early stages.
  • 17:09
    MAYO : D Clarke; K Keane, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; B Moran, A O’Shea; K McLoughlin, C O’Connor, A Dillon; M Conroy, A Moran, J Doherty.

    DOWN: B McVeigh; D O’Hagan, D Gordon, C Garvey; N McParland, K McKernan, B McArdle; A Rogers, K King; A Carr, M Poland, C Maginn; E McCartan, C Laverty, B Coulter
  • 17:09
    Mayo have been absolutely dominant at midfield. Down need to not hit it at the Aidan O’Shea and Barry Moran.
  • 17:09
  • 17:10
    10 mins – Mayo 1-1 Down 0-1.
  • 17:11
  • 17:11
    Referee has awarded a free in for Mayo. There was an advantage but why not take an opportunity to slow up the game, eh?

  • 17:12
    Conor Garvey made a last ditch block on Andy Moran who was going for goal.
  • 17:13
    Is there a more frustrating feeling than watching your home county playing poorly in the Championship? Now, I know how Armagh fans have felt for the last five years.
  • 17:14
  • 17:14
    Aidan Carr moving up through the gears – I make no apologies for bad puns.
  • 17:15
    GOAL! Kalum King with the finish
  • 17:15
  • 17:15
    Coulter started it. There was some nice play involving Laverty and the usually cumbersome King was able to slide the ball into the net.
  • 17:16
    17 mins – Mayo lead 1-3 to 1-2
  • 17:16
  • 17:16
    Mayo probably cannot believe they are only one point in front. They have been utterly dominant.
  • 17:18
    Poland to Carr and we’re even at 1-3 apiece.
  • 17:18
  • 17:19
    Mayo had a lot of possession but Down were back in numbers. I think it would be fair to say they employed the blanket defence there. Comfy!
  • 17:20
    Conroy converts but Mayo almost had a goal.
  • 17:20
  • 17:21
    The movement of the Mayo forwards is excellent.
  • 17:21
    Niall McParland has gone off injured for Down. He has been replaced by Aidan Brannigan
  • 17:22
    O’Connor was very unlucky with his effort which rattled the Down crossbar.
  • 17:23
    Down have a free in which they should convert which will mean we’ll be back on level terms.
  • 17:23
  • 17:23
    24 mins – Down 1-4 Mayo 1-4
  • 17:24
    Mayo are still winning all of the ball in midfield.
  • 17:25
    The old adage – Take your points and the goals will come – someone should tell Mayo. They should be miles ahead but they’re drawing because they keep going for goal.
  • 17:25
  • 17:25
    Mayo lead 1-5 to 1-4
  • 17:26
    GOAL! Mayo have a second goal. What was I saying about going for goal too often?
  • 17:26
    Mayo 2-5 Down 1-4
  • 17:26
  • 17:27
    Every time the Mayo forwards run directly at the Down defence you can see the terror in the defenders’ eyes.
  • 17:28
    Michael Conroy got the second Mayo goal. He had little choice but to shoot for goal on that occasion and luckily for him he was able to find the net.
  • 17:29
    Down’s kicking has been aimless. Mayo’s play has been a lot more direct and a lot more accurate. They deservedly lead (he says through gritted teeth) 2-5 to 1-4
  • 17:31
    Andy Moran definitely has the beating of Dan Gordon this evening.
  • 17:31
    Donal O’Hare is on for Eoin McCartan. Two subs in the first 32 minutes from Down. It’d make you wonder why Donal O’Hare didn’t start?
  • 17:33
    MISSING – If you have seen the Down midfield please report it to the relevant authorities. They were meant to be in Croke Park this afternoon but so far they haven’t shown up.
  • 17:33
    Mayo now lead 2-6 to 1-4
  • 17:33
  • 17:34
    Mayo are bullish. Down need the half-time whistle.
  • 17:34
  • 17:35
  • 17:35
    Half-time – Down 1-4 Mayo 2-7
  • 17:36
  • 17:38
    Mayo deserve their six point lead. Apart from the brief period when Down nabbed their goal, Mayo have been by far the better team. Andy Moran has been excellent in the full-forward line and Aidan O’Shea and Barry Moran have ruled at midfield. In fact Mayo are unlucky only to be leading by six.
  • 17:49
  • 17:51
    Down have a lot of work to do. They have been very poor. Rodgers and King in midfield need to get involved as do McKernan and Maginn if Down are to get back into this.
  • 17:52
    Liam Doyle has replaced Conor Maginn for Down.
  • 17:53
    Mayo should score from a free immediately after the restart.
  • 17:53
    Mayo 2-8 Down 1-4
  • 17:54
  • 17:56
  • 17:57
  • 17:57
    Dan Gordon has moved out to midfield
  • 17:58
    Damien Turley is on for Conor Garvey for Down
  • 17:58
    Some teams do tactical fouling where they concede some distance from goal. Down are fouling in positions that Mayo can score from.
  • 17:59
  • 17:59
    Down’s distribution has been horrendous.
  • 17:59
    Mayo shout for a penalty. Not given.
  • 18:00
    GOAL! Michael Conroy palms into the Down net.
  • 18:00
    Mayo lead 3-9 Down 1-6
  • 18:00
  • 18:01
    Down fouled close to goal. Mayo took the free quickly and worked it to Conroy who had an easy finish.
  • 18:02
    Mark Poland and Lee Keegan both booked for off-the-ball nonsense.
  • 18:03
  • 18:03
    Seeing replays of the Mayo penalty shout. The referee probably made the right call. There didn’t seem to be much in it.
  • 18:04
    46 mins - Mayo 3-9 Down 1-7
  • 18:05
    Alan Dillon with a great score for Mayo. 3-10 to 1-7 they lead.
  • 18:05
  • 18:06
    The Dublin players are watching this match with huge headphones on. Do you think they’re listening to Queens ‘We are the champions?’
  • 18:07
    Michael Conroy - Mayo goalscorer (INPHO/Donall Farmer)
    Michael Conroy - Mayo goalscorer (INPHO/Donall Farmer)
  • 18:09
    This is an abject performance from Down. It won’t do Mayo any harm but they might have wanted more of a challenge if they’re to meet Dublin in the semi-final.
  • 18:10
    Andy Moran was chasing Liam Doyle and appeared to turn on his knee. He’ll definitely have to come off. That’s very unlucky for him.
  • 18:11
    Alan Freeman replaces the injured Andy Moran.
  • 18:13
  • 18:14
    56 mins - Lee Keegan adds another for Mayo. Mayo 3-11 Down 1-7
  • 18:14
  • 18:15
    Both teams will want this to be over as quickly as possible. Down could do without the humiliation and Mayo could do without anymore injuries.
  • 18:16
    Declan Rooney on now for Down in place of Benny McArdle.
  • 18:16
    Richie Feeney replaces Jason Doherty for Mayo.
  • 18:17
    You know there’s not much of an atmosphere at Croke Park when you can hear the players shouting to one another on the pitch.
  • 18:18
  • 18:18
    Carr adds another point for Down as if it matters. Mayo 3-11 Down 1-8. Under 10 minutes to go
  • 18:19
    Andy Moran’s injury has been described as ‘significant.’ Bad news.
  • 18:20
    62 mins – Aidan O’Shea points for Mayo. Let this end.
  • 18:20
  • 18:21
    Michael Conroy, scorer of  two goals has been substituted. Enda Varley replaces him
  • 18:22
    Mayo and Down have never played each other in the Championship before today. Is it too early to say that Mayo are just Down’s bogey team? Yes, I’m clutching at straws.
  • 18:22
    Aidan O’Shea replaced by Jason Gibbons
  • 18:23
    Mayo will be happy to progress but they needed more of a test and the injury to Andy Moran is a real worry.
  • 18:26
    68 mins – Mayo 3-16 Down 1-8. Enda Varley with the latest Mayo point.
  • 18:26
    Higgins and Laverty both booked for grappling off the ball.
  • 18:27
  • 18:27
    Alan Dillon has been named as the man of the match. I’m staggered that it wasn’t a Down man. Hard to argue with Dillon’s selection really – he has been excellent.
  • 18:28
    Dillon has added his fourth point of his game. Mayo 3-17 Down 1-8
  • 18:29
  • 18:29
    GOLAZO! Benny Coulter strikes soccer style into the top corner. Nice finish, pity about the team he’s playing with. Down 2-8 Mayo 3-17
  • 18:31
    There are five minutes of injury time. We’re in the third minute. To say it hasn’t been a classic is a major major understatement.
  • 18:32
  • 18:32
    Aidan Carr has scored seven of Down’s nine points.
  • 18:33
    Full-time: Mayo 3-18 Down 2-9
  • 18:33
    Well, the good news is the second game can’t be any worse than that. Mayo were simply far too good for Down.
  • 18:34
    The major worry for Mayo is the injury to Andy Moran.
  • 18:37
    Ask Colm O’Rourke about Sean Quinn!
  • 18:38
    So Dublin v Laois? Is this going to be similarly one-way traffic? Please let Laois put it up to the Dubs.
  • 18:39
    Joe Brolly says he’s heard from a reliable source that the Dublin training sessions since the Leinster final have been very hard-hitting.
  • 18:40
    Diarmuid Connolly starts in place of Alan Brogan who has a tight hamstring.
  • 18:47
    Read Seán Moran’s piece where he explains that Dublin just have too much quality for Laois to handle - http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2012/0804/1224321450658.html
  • 18:48
    The sight no Mayo fan wants to see - Andy Moran injured (Inpho)
    The sight no Mayo fan wants to see - Andy Moran injured (Inpho)
  • 18:49
  • 18:52
    Dublin and Laois teams

    DUBLIN: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, R O’Carroll, P McMahon; J McCarthy, K Nolan, C O’Sullivan; E Fennell, D Bastick; P Flynn, D Connolly, B Cullen; B Brogan, MD Macauley, E O’Gara.
    LAOIS: E Culliton; C Healy, K Meaney, P O’Leary; D Strong, J O’Loughlin, C Boyle; B Quigley, C Begley; R Munnelly, G Walsh, D O’Connor; B Sheehan, P Clancy, C Kelly.
  • 18:55
  • 19:00
    And we’re off
  • 19:03
    Kevin Meaney has been booked for Laois already
  • 19:04
    There’s a lot of off-the-ball stuff going on
  • 19:04
    Paul Flynn scores the first point of the game
  • 19:04
  • 19:05
    Mayo minors easily beat Tipperary in the minor football quarter-final on a score-line of 0-19 to 1-8
  • 19:06
    Laois are back on level terms. Colm Kelly with the score.
  • 19:07
    Laois are in front now. Ross Munnelly had so much room there.
  • 19:07
  • 19:08
    Brogan (at least I don’t have to use the first name all the time now that Alan isn’t playing) cut in from the left and blasted over the bar. 0-2 apiece.
  • 19:08
  • 19:12
  • 19:12
    Munnelly puts Laois in front. 0-3 to 0-2
  • 19:13
    Laois are keeping Dublin at bay…for now.
  • 19:13
  • 19:15
    Colm Kelly misses the chance to put Laois further in front. The booing at Croke Park from the Dublin fans is cringe worthy.
  • 19:16
  • 19:16
    Ba-stick it over the bar! Dublin are level
  • 19:16
    Dublin have acres of space in midfield.
  • 19:18
    18 mins- Gary Walsh scores from play for Laois. They lead 0-4 to 0-3
  • 19:18
  • 19:19
    18 mins – Bernard Brogan levels it up with an easy free.
  • 19:19
  • 19:20
  • 19:20
    The point of the game so far. Colm Begley applies the finish with style
  • 19:21
    Clancy and O’Carroll are both booked for an altercation off-the-ball.
  • 19:22
  • 19:23
    Kevin Nolan takes a shot that shows us why he’s a defender.
  • 19:24
  • 19:24
    The Dubs have taken the lead. The next 10 minutes are going to be crucial for Laois.
  • 19:26
  • 19:26
    26 mins – Ross Munnelly has drawn Laois level.
  • 19:27
    GOAL! Dublin 1-6 Laois 0-6
  • 19:27
  • 19:28
    It was a strong run from Michael Dara Macauley who attempted to fist it over the bar but Laois defender John O’Loughlin got a hand to it and it diverted it into the net.
  • 19:30
    If the Dubs go into a more substantial lead by half-time you’d have to feel that Laois won’t be able to sustain a challenge in the second half.
  • 19:35
    Laois have plenty of possession but they’re not looking as incisive as they were earlier in the half.
  • 19:36
    Gary Walsh gets the last score of the half. They’re still in it.
  • 19:37
  • 19:37
    Half-time: Dublin 1-6 Laois 0-7
  • 19:38
    Like it wasn’t enough for Dublin to get the ‘easy’ draw – they had to go and get a fortuitous goal.
  • 19:39
    So the Sunday Game theme music – everyone knows it but isn’t it annoying?  I’m just inviting abuse there really, aren’t I?
  • 19:42
    Colm O’Rourke believes Dublin are the much better team. Am I crazy in thinking that the game has been pretty even?
  • 19:44
    Joe Brolly thinks Bernard Brogan is trying to do too much. Go on Joe, call him a choker!
  • 19:47
    Four men into one ball doesn't go. (INPHO)
    Four men into one ball doesn't go. (INPHO)
  • 19:50
  • 19:52
    Dublin’s goal wasn’t really Michael Dara Macauley’s goal. That’s according to Joe Brolly. He went on to say that he said that with 'respect and affection' for Macauley. Affection? Michael and Joseph sittin’ in a tree…
  • 19:54
    Laois are within two points of Dublin and the lads in the RTE studio have written them off. Dublin’s bench is very strong though I suppose.
  • 19:57
    Stephen Cluxton scores the first point of the second half for the Dubs.
  • 19:57
  • 20:01
  • 20:01
    Diarmuid Connolly has been replaced for Ciarán Kilkenny – the only Kilkenny likely to see football action at Croke Park.
  • 20:01
    Colm Kelly with a huge free to reduce the arrears to two points again. Shut the boo-boys up too
  • 20:03
  • 20:03
    Paul Flynn scores after a quick break from Cian O’Sullivan.
  • 20:03
    43 mins – Dublin 1-8 Laois 0-8
  • 20:05
    That was a cynical foul. Two Dublin players fouled one Laois player. Ouch!
  • 20:05
  • 20:07
    Colm Kelly has been excellent all afternoon for Laois both from the dead ball and from play. Dublin 1-8 Laois 0-9
  • 20:08
    The Dubs are committing some really cynical fouls out there. Paul Flynn was the culprit that time.
  • 20:08
  • 20:09
    Dublin 1-8 Laois 0-10

    Padraig McMahon replaces Walsh for Laois.
  • 20:11
  • 20:11
    Dublin – contentious point. Was it over? Hard to tell. It probably was.
    Bastick off – Kevin McManamon on
  • 20:13
    Bernard Brogan has been booked. He’s not having the best of days. We’ve said that more often this year than we did last year
  • 20:13
    Philly McMahon has been replaced by Ger Brennan on the Dublin team.

    MJ Tierney replaces Damien O’Connor for Laois
  • 20:14
    Kevin McManoman has already injected more pace into the Dublin forward line. Shouldn’t he have started?
  • 20:14
    Nine wides now for Dublin
  • 20:15
    Make that 10 wides from Dublin – Paul Flynn’s effort just now was wild.
  • 20:16
    11 wides now for Dublin – four in quick succession for the Dubs. They should be out of sight.
  • 20:17
    Colm Begley has been shown the yellow card for hauling Kilkenny down.
  • 20:17
  • 20:18
    58 mins – Dublin 1-10 Laois 0-10
  • 20:19
    How come when Dublin players commit fouls and prevent frees from being taken quickly they don’t get booked?
  • 20:19
    MJ Tierney scores for Laois. Dublin 1-10 Laois 0-11
  • 20:19
  • 20:21
    Tomás Quinn has replaced Bernard Brogan. Are Dublin getting nervous?
  • 20:22
    Kilkenny is booked!
  • 20:22
    Seven minutes left and Dublin lead by two points.
  • 20:23
    Quinn puts that free wide. That’s Dublin’s 12th wide. I’m going to say this – if Dublin play like this for the rest of the summer – Cork or Donegal would relish meeting them in the final.
  • 20:24
    It takes Kevin Nolan, a defender, to score. Dublin lead by a goal with five minutes to play.
  • 20:24
  • 20:26
    66 mins - Tierney converts a free for Laois – Dublin 1-11 Laois 0-12
  • 20:26
  • 20:28
    Dublin retaining possession well there to be fair to them. They know how to run down the clock. That will have taken some of the pressure off them.
  • 20:29
    John Have you forgotten dub have to play mayo in semi before they get to a final?
  • 20:29
    I didn’t say Dublin would make it through. I just said that Cork or Donegal would relish playing them in the final.
  • 20:30
    Paul Flynn has been awarded man of the match. Hard to pick one today really.
  • 20:30
    Jack McCaffrey replaces Eoghan O’Gara
  • 20:31
  • 20:31
    Cluxton has a cool head – 45 converted. Dublin 1-12 Laois 0-12
  • 20:31
    Full-time: Dublin 1-12 Laois 0-12
  • 20:31
  • 20:32
    Dublin will play Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final on Sunday 2nd September.
  • 20:34
    Referee Cormac Reilly signalled that there would be at least an additional minute of injury time and proceeded to play only 40 seconds of it despite the fact that both teams had made substitutions in that time. Still, Laois realistically were never really going to get the goal they needed.
  • 20:35
    Joe Brolly has been highly critical of Pat Gilroy’s tactics today. He thinks Dublin should’ve been out of sight and made poor substitutions. Joe Brolly being critical? Never!
  • 20:36
  • 20:36
    ‘A tale of managerial incompetence’ is Brolly’s assessment of Dublin’s performance today. Come on Joe, tell us what you really think.
  • 20:44
  • 20:54
    So now we know Dublin will play Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final. That’ll be at Croke Park on Sunday Septemer 2nd.

    Laois might look back on their quarter-final with a few regrets, knowing that they were effectively beaten by an own goal. Down will look back in anger at the manner of their performance.

    Dublin flattered to deceive before eventually getting across the line – a skill they have been honing all summer. If they can do it once more against Mayo, they’ll be in another All-Ireland final. The Connacht champions will prove to be their toughest test so far if their performance against Down today is anything to go by.

    Mayo may have progressed with ease but they can count themselves unfortunate to have lost Andy Moran to injury. It looks unlikely that the centre-forward will be back to play against the Dubs.

    Tomorrow’s action promises to be tasty. Cork play Kildare first in the 2pm throw-in before Donegal take on a resurgent Kerry afterwards. I’ll be back with the live-blog tomorrow so I’ll be personally offended if you don’t join me for that. Until then….
  • 20:56
  • 21:40
  • 21:53