Shane Stapleton and football coach Steven Poacher preview the All-Ireland SFC semi-final clash of Mayo v Tipperary.
BY SHANE STAPLETON
Steven Poacher says it’s highly unlikely that Tipperary will catch another big gun in Mayo.
The Premier County were sensational in their Munster SFC final win over Cork, and are now just one game away from an All-Ireland final.
That would amount to an incredible achievement for David Power and his management group, especially considering their status as a Division Three outfit.
Mayo may just have been relegated from the top tier but they have consistently been to the latter stages of the championship.
“Tipp are a fine side with some brilliant footballers but it’s highly unlikely they will catch another big gun,” says Poacher.
“Cork were operating in the same division and they only beat them by a point in the league, and David Power said afterwards that they didn’t fear Cork.
“Kerry would have been different. And I think Mayo will have learned lessons from Cork saying ‘we can’t lose this game based on complacency’.
“With Mayo’s high press, Mayo’s intensity in the tackle, and Mayo are one of the best teams to press a team high and it’s why they’ve gotten so close to Dublin over the years,” he adds.
“They’ve got that physicality and they are going to put that Tipp defence under pressure, and they will more than Cork did.
“Mayo do have physicality. We seen the performance they put in on the kickouts against Galway, it was scary.
“Evan Comerford is a top-class goalkeeper, and one of the things overlooked against Cork was calling him out of goals for long-range frees.
“(Michael) Quinlivan and (Conor) Sweeney were probably as comfortable kicking them, but it slowed it down and it’s good game management.
“But (Colin) O’Riordan is a massive plus, some of the balls he fielded against Cork were heroic. It really was match-winning stuff.
“Mayo will have looked at that and will probably be something they think ‘we need to hone in on’.
“I don’t see this Mayo team ready to beat Dublin,” Poacher explains. “I think it is a side littered with half of the group from the nearly years, with another sprinkling of that Under-20 group unbeaten in the (2018) All-Ireland final by Kildare.
“They have unearthed a few and they’ll probably get over Sunday, but I think it’s too early to beat Dublin.”
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