It’s All-Ireland football final week, as we’re just days away from Dublin and Mayo facing off in Croke Park.
Mayo have taken the scenic route to the decider, after falling to Galway in Connacht. Stephen Rochford’s side battled through the qualifiers against Derry, Clare and Cork, two of which came after extra time. They then accounted for Roscommon and Kerry after replays to reach the final to set up a rematch of last year’s clash with Dublin.
The Boys in Blue experienced a routine march back to September, beating Carlow, Westmeath and Kildare in Leinster, before having too much for Monaghan and Tyrone in the All-Ireland series.
The most notable victory was the clash with the Red Hand, as many fancied Mickey Harte’s side to cause a huge upset in the run-up to the tie.
However, the All-Ireland champions blew the Ulster winners out of the water, in what was arguably their finest performance of the Jim Gavin era.
In the aftermath of the game, Tyrone stalwart Sean Cavanagh hung up his boots. The 2008 Footballer of the Year is fearful for Mayo in the final, and believes that the Dubs will take some stopping.
Speaking to RTÉ, Cavanagh revealed that he can only see one outcome next Sunday.
“The way Dublin are evolving they could easily win seven or eight All-Irelands out of the next ten.
“If you get a special group, most teams can maintain it for about to three to five years. When you go back to the start of this decade, Dublin had Rory O’Carroll, Bernard Brogan, Michael Daragh MacAuley, Ger Brennan and Diarmuid Connolly as the mainstays and now all of a sudden they have a new spine.
“Jim Gavin has done an incredible job in ensuring that guys remain at their peak and if they are not he will make the necessary changes.
“Dublin could win this All-Ireland playing at 80 percent, they don’t have to be at full power.”
There is no doubting Mayo will be up against it, but perhaps it has been their ability to match their opposition which has drawn interest in 2017. Can they take on final step?