GAA Football

The Final Call - Who will lift Sam Maguire?

Terry Hyland is backing Dublin to beat Mayo

Terry Hyland (former Cavan manager)

"I THINK Dublin are going to win. Okay, Mayo couldn’t have reached the final in a more ideal manner having not played that well. And people are saying: ‘They’ve been holding back and they’ve been doing enough.’

“I find that something pretty difficult to do in a team sport. You may be able to do that in an individual sport – in athletics or horse-racing – I don’t see how you can do that in a team sport.

“To be honest, I don’t know if they could have played anybody that’s going to bring the pace and intensity that Dublin’s going to bring to it. Mayo have been in All-Ireland finals before – they were beaten in a semi-final replay [by Dublin] last year. So they have that in their locker as well.”

“You have to remember Dublin have lost three of their defenders from last year, so that can be exploited. When you break it down, you look at goals and points, chances and finishes and which balances out the highest on either side.

“People might say the goals came too soon for Kerry in their semi-final against Dublin – one of them was a mistake by Stephen Cluxton, and that was due to putting his kick-outs under pressure. Everybody is vulnerable when they’re put under pressure. It all depends on what pressure Mayo put Dublin under. But I go for Dublin by a couple of points.”

Prediction: Dublin



Raymond Galligan (Cavan goalkeeper)

“DUBLIN are going to be really hard beaten, but Kerry have shown the type of template Mayo need to play. Kerry have shown Dublin’s weaknesses to an extent and they’ve shown where they can get rewarded. Whether Mayo have the personnel to do that, we’ll find out on the day.

“But I think Mayo will give it a really good go. They definitely can do it. I remember watching them last year in the drawn game against Dublin and they nearly had it… But I just think Dublin’s bench and their athleticism coming into the last 10 minutes is unbelievable. It’s unbelievable what they can produce in the closing stages of games.” 

Prediction: Dublin

The cream of Ulster GAA give their verdict on Sunday's game:


Niall Morgan (Tyrone goalkeeper)

“I CAN see Mayo winning, without a doubt. Rather than going out in typical fashion and trying to wallop teams off the park and taking the risk and leaving themselves open in previous years, I think they have been limiting other teams this year.

“That’s the way they tried to play against us. They sat back and were more conservative and picked off their points.

“I don’t think they’ll hit as many from range as what they did against us – they did miss a few opportunities against us too – but there’s plenty in the tank from Mayo. If somebody was giving me money to have a bet, I would bet Mayo.

Prediction: Mayo


Thomas Mallon (Derry goalkeeper)

“DUBLIN came through the Kerry game after being five points down. They didn’t panic. Mayo have probably come under the radar, more so than over the last few years in getting to All-Ireland finals.

“If Mayo take their chances they will be well enough in it. But I firmly believe goals will win the game.

“How do you stop Dublin?

“You maybe stop three or four of them and they bring in another two subs. Dublin’s subs have been instrumental this year. And Kevin McManamon has been exceptional for them, Dean Rock brilliant from placed balls. If I was a betting man I’d go Dublin by four points and Stephen Cluxton to have a master-class.

Prediction: Dublin

Donegal's Odhran Mac Niallais is also backing Dublin to beat Mayo 

Odhran Mac Niallais (Donegal)

“It’s a tough one to call. Both teams have brilliant players all over the field and two very good managers going head to head. Dublin are obviously the favourites but you can’t write Mayo off.

They will have to limit Dublin’s attacks and by doing that you have to stop Cluxton’s short kick-outs and I think Mayo are well capable of doing that.

“I think the battle between Lee Keegan and Diarmuid Connolly will have a big say in this one, both of them are match winners, and Mayo have plenty of quality defenders to deal with the rest of Dublin’s firepower.  But I think it’s Dublin’s strength in depth and the form of Kevin McManamon that will be the difference for Dublin.

“Their subs will make a huge impact in the last 10-15 minutes because it will be a very intense match.

Prediction: Dublin

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