Photo shows Mayo players regrouping for a team huddle at semi-final against Tyrone. Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
There’s an old yarn in Mayo that starts with 1951 All Ireland winning team stopping off in Foxford on their way back from Dublin with Sam Maguire trophy. Unfortunately, a funeral was underway at time. Legend has it that their inappropriate celebrations so incensed local priest that he vowed Mayo would never win an All-Ireland while any member of 1951 team was living – and so ‘curse of 51’ was born.
While many in county dismiss curse as an old wives’ tale, Mayo have failed to win an All-Ireland since 1951 despite six attempts (one a replay against Meath in 1996). And yes, three of players from 1951 team are still alive. This superstition, while it makes a good story, will be far from minds of current crop of Mayo players.
This weekend, they can sit back to see who they will meet in final when Dublin take on Kerry in Croke Park. Whoever they face, it is likely they will have support of majority of country given their current reputation of ‘always bridesmaids’. Those 62 years make for a long time for a county like Mayo to wait for an All-Ireland but there are many within county that believe that finally this year, wait might be over.
GAA fixtures this weekend – GAA Football Semi-Final
Sunday 1st September
Dublin v Kerry (15:30 GMT)
The GAA Gods love these games and ensure they always offer up something special. While it might be worrying for Dublin supporters that their team are odds on favourites to win, reality is that Dublin are form team and should overcome a Kerry team in decline. Dublin are fastest attacking team in country and if they click on day, they could give Kerry a serious beating and win by a big margin. That being said, Kerry have had four weeks to prepare and won’t lack motivation or desire taking to field against their historic and greatest rivals. I just can’t see Kerry lifting their performance to requisite level to beat this Dublin team.
Prediction – Dublin