Sunday 18 February 2018

Rollercoaster ride of emotions puts years on Mayo fans

Derek Giblin (centre) with fellow Mayo supporters watching the All-Ireland final between Dublin and Mayo in Rocky’s bar, Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photo: Andrew Downes
Derek Giblin (centre) with fellow Mayo supporters watching the All-Ireland final between Dublin and Mayo in Rocky’s bar, Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photo: Andrew Downes

Caroline Crawford in Castlebar

Moments of pure dejection were scattered with ones of utter elation for Mayo fans who were left dazed and delighted after securing a draw with reigning champions Dublin.

Despite a game which saw the boys in green and red clock up two own goals, die-hard Mayo fans in Castlebar were in the main delighted with the team.

Derek Giblin (35) from Ballyvary was a man on his last nerve by the full-time whistle.

"I feel like I'm 40 by now. They should have won it, they outplayed Dublin but the two own goals were a huge factor in this game. The fact they stayed in it shows their mentality.

"I pray they can do it in two weeks' time, I think they can. There's already been five years added on to me, we'll see what the next game does to me," he added.

After a rollercoaster of emotion, Avril Coyne (24) from Castlebar was still reeling after the game. She and her friends had roared the house down at Rocky's bar, where Dublin's misses got as big a cheer as any Mayo point.

"I don't know how I feel, I just feel wrecked," she said.

She said she would be in Croke Park for the replay come "rain, hail or shine".

"I was trying to get to Dublin for this game but the trains were full. I'll be there next time if I have to beg, borrow or steal a ticket. They will lift Sam after the replay," she added.

John Murray from Castlebar was cheering on the team with his entire family.

"I feel about 102 today. It's typical of Mayo to go out and try, and lose a game, and then fight so hard they end up with a draw," he said.

The Mayo man, who has seen too much heartbreak over the decades, was wary about his team's chances for the replay.

"I've seen drawn games before and how the replays have gone for Mayo. The difference here is that Dublin have lost other drawn games where they didn't this time. Dublin will have to step up their game for the replay," he added.

Helena Joyce from Castlebar was sure it was going to be a draw from half-time. After cheering on her team without stopping for close to 80 minutes, her voice was almost gone.

"I'm on my break from work to watch this. I won't be able to speak for the rest of the day," she said.

The 26-year-old is convinced the Mayo side will take home Sam in two weeks' time, but revealed she wouldn't get a chance to be there.

"I just knew it would be a draw. I probably won't get to the next game because of work, I'm absolutely devastated. The mental strength of the guys was unreal and they will definitely take Sam home next time," she added.

Amy Corcoran (23) from Westport was supposed to be in Croke Park for yesterday's final and is determined to make it Dublin for the replay.

"We only flew in from holidays last night and couldn't make Dublin, but I'll be there to watch them lift Sam next time around," she added.

Ann Sheridan went all out to support the Mayo team, decked out in a green and red mohawk and feather boa.

"I thought more people would be wearing them. It's just brilliant. A great game and they can do it next time," she added.

Debbie Carr (25) from Meath was an honorary Mayo woman for the day, joining her Mayo college friends to watch the game in Castlebar.

"It would make you just want to join a football club," she said. "I'll be back here for the replay, what better team would you want to see beat Dublin?"

Irish Independent

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