By Iarla Muldoon
Kieran Donaghy’s current Gaelic Football Power Rankings (Apart from the Dubs)
Kieran Donaghy ranked the top teams in Gaelic football after the finale of this season’s league concluded with mayo snatching just their 3rd piece of national silverware since 1969.
Granted, the Dubs have top spot on the list, regardless of their 4th place finish in this season’s league. But Donaghy this morning, ranked the teams that have the best chance of stopping the Dubs’ drive for five.
After a third placed finish in this season’s league as well as coming out with a valuable three point win against Dublin in Croke Park, you get the sense now that the monkey is off Tyrone’s back.
After last year’s All-Ireland final loss to Dublin, Mickey Harte’s men have now the valuable knowledge and experience of a win against Jim Gavin’s men in Croke Park. Something that not many can boast of, and something not many know how to do. But Tyrone have done it and regardless of their 6 point defeat to the Boys in Blue in last season’s All-Ireland final, Tyrone will have a new sense of belief going into their next match-up.
The Tribesmen have been well criticised for their overly defensive set-up throughout this season’s league and with good reason as they finished 5th in this season’s league. Their defensive set-up did not help them whatsoever either when they came up against Dublin in Croke Park.
That 11 point loss to Dublin will be a dampener on the Kevin Walsh’s men coming into the championship but there is a huge boost for the galway camp on the way, the return of All-Ireland Club Champions Corofin.
“If Galway can go away now for 6 or 7 weeks and get these few Corofin lads inside”
“I think actually they just have a bunch of smart players (Corofin) and the more you can get into your forward line [the better] and then you have Damien Comer coming back”
It’s clear from watching him, Donaghy becomes increasingly more wary of the Galway squad as he talks. None the less it will be interesting to see how the Corofin contingent adapt to this team’s set-up.
Reluctantly, Donaghy named Kerry his number two rather than the number 1 opponent to the Dubs. Maybe a bit of long grass playing from the former Kerry star forward, but it’s hard to argue against the number 1 side.
Kerry have been hugely impressive in this season’s league and their young, dynamic side have an opportunity to come out of a remarkable league campaign and continue to grow as a squad of contenders.
“Kerry are a team, because of their age profile will not be the same team come July and August”
“Being a young team is actually an advantage at this stage of the year where you’ve come so far [that] your growth can be exponential”
Come July, this Kerry team will not be the same team they are right now. They will grow exponentially over the next few months and they will grow to become top contenders for Sam Maguire this year
“We’ll give Mayo number 1” - Reluctantly(while considering his Kingdom), Donaghy gives top spot to Mayo.
League champions at last. After that performance on Sunday, top spot is theirs.
Donaghy makes Mayo the team most likely to beat the Dubs this season and to claim Sam Maguire for the first time since 1951.
Mayo came roaring out of the traps under Jim Horan in this season’s league. After two rounds Mayo were back.
Two rounds later, after defeats to Galway and a thumping in Croke Park from Dublin, Mayo were finished. Written off. Over the hill.
A few weeks later ang Mayo are back (again). They just can’t be written off.
They have been the only side who have looked like beating Dublin over the last few seasons, and yet again they look like they are going to be in contention.
The one thing that might drive this team this season is that many are saying it’s now or never for Mayo. This team is a lot older than it was when they first came on the scene and they have had numerous opportunities to win Sam Maguire over the years/.
So if not this year, are they over the hill? Let’s hope we don’t have to think about that come September.
To catch Donaghy’s full Shot CLock and Power rankings, head over to our YouTube page.