Using Barry Moran  as a defensive sweeper against Donegal to negate the influence of Michael Murphy was a bold statement by Mayo’s joint managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

There is an appropriate symmetry in Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly being the joint-architects of the innovative tactical plan which has been the most ey(...)

Aidan O’Shea’s move from centrefield to full forward has helped facilitate return to last four. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Now that the sociology phase of the championship is over – ‘My poor man, how did your circumstances (your football!) become so poor? Something should (...)

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea will pose a huge threat to Dublin’s ambitions at  Croke Park. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

On the morning after Mayo fed Donegal through the wood-chipper in the 2013 All-Ireland quarter-final, Aidan O’Shea was king of the world. Well, he was(...)

Aidan O’Shea in action for Mayo during their All-Ireland quarter-final against Donegal at Croke Park. Photo: James Crombie/INPHO

Aidan O’Shea may be a natural midfielder-turned-full-forward – but he has shown this summer that he has a lot more to offer at 14 than a plain aeri(...)

Mayo’s Barry Moran in action against Donegal. “It really is horses for courses. So what worked against Donegal obviously isn’t going to work against Dublin.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

“I came on and went off again that day,” Barry Moran says candidly of his championship debut against Dublin in that tumultuous Ireland semi-final won (...)

Dublin manager Jim gavin has described Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea as the “form player in Ireland at the moment”. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

When Jim Gavin describes Aidan O’Shea as “the form player in Ireland at the moment”, he’s not just deftly talking up the opposition. If Dublin are (...)

Key men: Aidan O’Shea offers Mayo a new attacking dimension while Cian O’Sullivan is Dublin’s designated sweeper. Photograph: Inpho

Watching the images of Galway’s victory in the hurling semi-final brought to mind the similarities between their perennial quest for All-Ireland fulfi(...)

Aidan O’Shea gets away from Donegal’s Neil McGee and Mark McHugh during Saturday’s quarter-final: the Mayo player passed a big test in Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

I was briefly talking to Joe Brolly after the Mayo-Donegal game on Saturday. Now, I have a lot of time for Joe but he talks some rubbish at times. Aft(...)

Dublin footballer Philly McMahon at the launch of the Griffith College certificate in dual career development in sport: he said he is capable of marking any player. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Philly McMahon hasn’t seen Aidan O’Shea play this summer. The Dublin corner back missed the goal in Croke Park last Saturday when O’Shea caught the ba(...)

Donegal’s Neil McGee is unable to prevent Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea breaking free to score the opening goal in last Saturday’s  All-Ireland Gaelic Football quarter-final  in Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

There was a poignant moment at the end of the Mayo-Donegal game on Saturday. I was looking down at the teams coming off the field and Mayo were being (...)