DUBLIN WILL BE ready to put the ghosts of their Castlebar “annihilation” to rest when they meet Mayo in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final, Michael Dara MacAuley says.
The All-Ireland champions were torn apart in McHale Park last March when a 0-20 to 0-8 defeat derailed their hopes of making it to a second successive league final.
Though MacAuley has been one of Dublin’s standout performers this summer, playing himself onto early longlists for the Footballer of the Year award, he can’t forget the embarrassment of that grim Saturday evening.
Now he hopes that he and his team-mates can use it to fuel their fire and move one step closer to retaining their crown.
“Anyone who was down in Castlebar that day for the league game and got the annihilation that we got, it’s definitely something you won’t be able to ignore,” the Ballyboden St Enda’s clubman said. “Everyone’s going to be up for this game.
We have to set that wrong right this weekend and put in a big performance and give it 100pc.
We’ve seen how good this Mayo team are and the performances they’ve put in this year — particularly against us. If we’re just one percentage off we’ll be in trouble. We really have to bring our ‘A’ game this weekend or the summer’s going to be over.
If there were any positives to be taken from the Castlebar game, it was that it forced Dublin to stand back and take a long look at where they were heading before the spring was even out.
“It was the biggest hammering I ever got in a Dublin jersey, so these things don’t come lightly,” MacAuley added.
“We really had to have a good look at things then because things weren’t going right if we were losing by so many points. But we took stock and straightened out a few issues for the next game.
Mayo had a super performance; they were very clinical. Everything they touched turned to gold and we were just the opposite. It was just one of those days, but Mayo were super — hands down they were better than us.
Sometimes things just don’t click on the day.