David Brady and Sean Boylan team up to recall Mayo and Meath's brawl and battles in 1996

Ex-Mayo midfielder and former Meath manager look back on the final and replay together

BY Raf Diallo 21:05 Thursday 22 September 2016, 21:05 22 Sep 2016

A younger David Brady Pic: Matt BrowneINPHO

Aside from the sporting action on the pitch, one of the most memorable moments from the two-game epic of an All-Ireland final between Mayo and Meath in 1996 was the brawl in the replay.

Two men who were there in 1996 were former Meath manager Sean Boylan and ex-Mayo midfielder David Brady and they joined Off The Ball to recall their memories of the two finals and the period in between.

The brawl in the second game took place only five minutes into the encounter. But why? 

"There was no intention for that to happen. All it takes is a spark and then there's a wildfire. And that's what happened," said Brady.

"You know each other so well and there's a battle of wits going on but it turned out that it became a physical battle and I was the youngest man on the field that day. I had to do a bit of ducking and diving." 

Although he then joked, "I ducked once and dived twice" to laughter from Boylan. 

Meanwhile, once Boylan's laughter had receded, he reflected on leading his team to glory after hauling back Mayo from seven points back at one point in the encounter.  

"I suppose the feeling afterwards was you were nearly made feel that you shouldn't have won an All-Ireland and that was hard to take as well. How Mayo were beaten, I don't know," he said.

"I never for a moment thought that we couldn't come back and maybe it's the optimism that's in me. But I always felt that and that's not being cocky." 

Brady also feels that "managers win replays. Teams win the games" and believes that is relevant ahead of Dublin v Mayo's upcoming All-Ireland final replay.

And he also added: "The manager that learns the most and the players that learn the most from their mistakes will win the All-Ireland. Mayo in '96 made the most simple and basic of mistakes, to give [Meath] the opportunity to come back. It wasn't unlucky. It was silly handling errors or giving possession directly to a Meathman." 

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