Clarke Knew How Dublin Felt Last Year but There'll Be Little Sympathy Today

Article excerpt

Byline: Philip Lanigan

With Pat Gilroy's newlook Dublin travelling to Castlebar for a topof-the-table National League clash, Mayo goalkeeper David Clarke hardly needs to be reminded that one of his best days in a county jersey came against the same opposition.

if the clock had stopped after that thrilling All-ireland semi-final final comeback in 2006, Mayo supporters would still be wearing smiles on their faces. instead, three weeks later, Clarke went through the pain of picking the ball out of his own net four times in an All-ireland final.

So he felt for the Dublin players last August when Kerry put them through a similar traumatic experience. After Mayo's own disappointing defeat by Meath at the same stage last summer, it says something about both counties' determination to set things right that they head up Division One after a couple of rounds.

'You don't like to see any team getting beaten like that - we've been on the same side as that ourselves,' he says of the damage inflicted on Pat Gilroy's side by Kerry last year.

'it was very disappointing for We weren't overly happy with our performance in the win over Tyrone in Omagh ourselves the way things ended so that's where our focus is.

'Kerry are a different kettle of fish when they get up to Dublin. they can do things to teams that not too many other teams can do.' Much as Mayo have bounced back, following up an emphatic victory over Galway in the first round of the National League with a battling onepoint win over tyrone, he has been impressed too with the manner in which Dublin disposed of Kerry and Derry.

'this Dublin team has a lot of changes and seems to be playing a different style of football. But they're all good footballers, very strong. With the club All irelands that they've won, they have high quality players coming through.

'it just shows how strong Dublin football is that they've had so many debutants in so far. And then you've a lot of guys with experience to come back in. they're always big and physical and hard to beat.' After playing in the starting 15 in the first two rounds of the league he continues to jockey for position with Kenneth O'Malley, who lined out in goals for the recent FBD League final victory over Galway.

that came on the back of that hardearned win over tyrone. …