herald

Monday 18 December 2017

O'Mahony's Mayo kings of the road

WHATEVER happens over the last two rounds, this column must salute the Mayo footballers for the standout achievement of winning all three of their away league games thus far.

And not just any three games either, for John O'Mahony's oft-maligned men have launched a hat-trick of winning raids on the putative fortresses that are Tyrone, Derry and Kerry.

The only time we have seen Mayo in the flesh this season was at home to Dublin, when a stereotypically scattergun display augured poorly, especially when viewed through the prism of last August and their tepid late surrender to Meath.

Maybe we should stay away more often: Mayo have won their other four Division One outings in encouraging style, even swagger at times. Yet there's no guarantee they will even reach a league final: they are locked on eight points apiece with Cork and Dublin, boasting a marginally better scoring difference, but their last two games are at home to Monaghan (no 'gimme') and in Cork (daunting, even with that perfect away record). Cork travel to struggling Derry before hosting the green-and-red while Dublin, having surrendered their 100pc record, could yet be squeezed out as Galway (home) and Tyrone (away) are both desperate for points from a survival perspective.

Our prediction: Cork to make it, and Dublin to squeeze out Mayo on the basis that they will finish joint-second and as the Dubs won the head-to-head in Castlebar they would progress to the league final!

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