The curtain comes down on this year's championships this Sunday but before the props are put away there is one last fling at Croker when medal-laden Kerry take on Mayo in the 2004 All-Ireland SFC final.

Mayo have waited a long time for this opportunity to come around. Yes, they were involved in 1996 and again a year later but on both occasions Lady Luck failed to make it happen for them. Why this year then?

Because Kerry will be without two of their most influential performers, midfield dynamo Darragh Ó Sé and Seamus Moynihan, who only makes the bench.

So John Maughan has been handed a real incentive to guide his beloved Mayo to the Promised Land and his side certaintly won't be found wanting for spirit or fight.

However, a performance such as the Connacht men provided in the semi-finals would not win any silverware and that leaves doubt about their ability to raise their game when required.

Kerry are old hands in those type of situations, they can exploit any side that allows their guard to slip. Strong in defence and with a forward line that will test the mettle of the Mayo defenders, it would be difficult to vote against a Kerry victory.

Filed by Rob Wright