The All-Ireland senior football final has now gone to a replay on 14 occasions.

Since 1972, there have been five times when we’ve had to do it all over again. Stalemate on final day is a rare enough thing in the GAA's history.  

Ahead of this Saturday’s replay between Dublin and Kerry, there is the usual talk and no little guff about who will learn more from the first day and, crucially, who is feeling better about themselves second time around.

In 1996, Mayo "frittered away a six-point lead" against Meath in that year's decider in the words of then manager John Maughan.

A second day out was required. Maughan, it’s fair to say, was down in the dumps as he headed back west.

John Maughan in his time as Mayo boss

Recalling his thoughts to RTÉ Sport, he said: "I remember sitting on the train on the way home and saying who the hell is going to pick me up?

"I was just as shattered as the players. We were on the cusp of winning an All-Ireland final. It leaked away from us. I needed help."

That help came from an unlikely source.

He continued: "Through somebody knowing somebody, I was presented with a novel idea.

"A former All Black player came to our assistance. His name was Hika Reid. He played nearly 40 times as a hooker for the All Blacks and was never on a losing team. At the time, he was coaching in London.

Hika Reid (left) playing for the Rest of the World against Australia in 1988

"We turned to him. We handed him the whistle on the weekend in between and he took a training session. He spoke about the winning mentality and getting back up on the horse again.

"It was basic enough stuff, but it was coming from a different voice."

Present for that session was former Mayo star John Casey, who remembered the captain’s call that Reid referenced during his time as an All Black.

"The captain would shout 'minute, minute, minute’ and that was the call to play as if there’s only a minute left in a game that you needed to win," explained Casey.

"It was a case of all hands to the pump in pursuit of the victory. It was inspiring stuff."

Unfortunately for Mayo, Reid’s involvement, while "perfect for the situation we were in," according to Maughan, did not help Mayo in the replay as Meath prevailed by a point in a game full of spite.

Unsavoury scenes in the '96 replay

"I thought we played better in the replay, but you had that melee I just don’t want to talk about," Maughan added. 

In looking ahead to this latest replay, the current Offaly manager believes Dublin might need a little bit of a pick-me-up.

"Dublin will be disappointed with their performance the last day," he said.

"They will feel that they did not play particularly well. You could say five or six guys who did not play well on the day will relish the opportunity to have another go at it. They'll be hungry for it.

"Others will require a little bit of a pick-up. Jonny Cooper, after his sending off, will be wondering whether he’ll get the nod to start.

Jim Gavin faces a second All-Ireland final replay as Dublin manager  

"Michael Darragh Macauley may feel his position is under pressure. There are a myriad of different issues in the team scenario that you have got to deal with - a huge element of psychology involved.

"Jim Gavin might look at himself and say 'who is going to pick Jim Gavin up?'

"He is the guy that has to provide the motivation to energise the team again."

And what about the Kingdom?

Maughan, while accepting that the pendulum may have swung back towards Dublin, still believes that Peter Keane’s side are in with a great chance of stopping the five-in-a-row.

"If Dublin have a few more of their star players back playing well, they will feel they have a big opportunity," he opined.  

"I was confident Kerry would put it up to them in the drawn game and I see no reason why they can't put it up to them again.

"The experience that Kerry’s young lads got the last Sunday week will stand to them. People talk about their defensive frailties – but they were superb and manly on the day.

"Kerry are in with a great chance. I think we’re in for a cracker."

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