Wednesday 17 January 2018

'The problem Mayo have is they only have one Lee Keegan' - Joe Brolly looks ahead to semi-final crunch

Mayo’s Lee Keegan
Mayo’s Lee Keegan

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Joe Brolly joins Will Slattery on the latest episode of the Throw-In to look ahead to the first All Ireland football final between Kerry and Mayo and his prediction is a surprising one.

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Are Mayo now back to their best or will their poor form come back to haunt them?  And how can they stop Donaghy and the aerial bombardment that will rain down on their full back line?

"It's clear what Kerry are going to do against Mayo," says Brolly. "It will be an aerial onslaught into the square. Belatedly Mayo have realised their problem in the full back line but the balance of the game lies in how they deal with the aerial onslaught."

But, he also thinks Kerry have some chinks in their armour as well, starting with star forward, James O'Donoghue.

"James O’Donoghue is over-rated. He made his reputation in two semis when he wasn’t marked. If O’Donoghue is tightly marked he’s not going to be that big of a factor.

"Kerry’s half forward line is also at a disadvantage. They're good footballers but uninspiring and Mayo’s half back line are so dynamic.  Can Kerry hold Lee Keegan? Can Mayo contain the Donaghy threat?  That’s where its going to be won or lost."

As to who will win?   

"Kerry are the safe bet because of their efficiency and ruthlessness," says Brolly.  "But you know, there's something about Mayo, something buoyant about them now that they are back on track after Roscommon. I'm going to go for Mayo."

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Subscribe to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's weekly Championship podcast, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every Monday, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé, Brendan Cummins and John Mullane.

Subscribe and listen to The Throw-In podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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