A bit of Tuesday reading

Photo: Backstoryradio.org

It’s all a bit mad around here at the minute, isn’t it?

It’s taken me a little by surprise, truth be told, as work is busy enough right now, so I’ve been caught on the hop by the surge in traffic to the site since the weekend. This has seen the daily hit count reach record levels on Sunday – where a new daily high of 34,149 page views was recorded – with that target smashed to smithereens yesterday, when 46,931 hits were logged.

Thankfully, things appear to have calmed down a little today but I’d say this is just a collective pausing for breath before everyone gears themselves up for the weekend and all it entails. But a rest of sorts it is and for that we should be thankful.

On the way to the weekend, of course, there’s provincial action involving the county at both U20 and Minor levels. Tomorrow evening at MacHale Park the county’s U20s face Sligo in the Connacht semi-final (throw-in for that one is 7.30pm) and on Friday evening at Tuam Stadium it’s the Connacht MFC final against Galway (throw-in also 7.30pm). So it’s football all the way for the rest of the week.

Ahead of all that, how about a bit of light reading to distract you?

Let’s start with a bit of tactical looking back at the Armagh game. Aidan O’Rourke has a very good piece on the RTÉ website (here) where he talks about how our ageing titans – though, mind you, they’re not all ould lads – have adapted their hey-day playing style, a move he reckons could make us “more efficient and ruthless”.

Kevin McStay in the Irish Times today (€) also channels a similar end-of-era mood as he looks ahead to Saturday evening’s clash. In a piece that’s mainly focused on us, Kevin reckons that defeat could well spell the end for a number of long-serving players, an observation he says holds true regardless of who ends up losing. He could be right.

Back on the RTÉ website Peter Sweeney observes – as we’ve already done here – that this will be the first knockout Championship tie involving Mayo and Galway in twenty years. John O’Mahony features in this piece and here too there’s talk of what defeat might mean for some of the elder statesmen on both teams.

Back in the here and now of how we’re faring this year, Billy Joe Padden’s tactics column in the Mayo News (here) looks at how we won – and nearly bloody lost – against Armagh and considers what we need to focus on ahead of Galway.

Also in the Mayo News, Edwin McGreal poses three pertinent questions ahead of the showdown with Galway. I’ve a piece in this week’s paper too – that’s here – where I muse about sitting on the rocket that’s dually fuelled by the blog and the podcast.

Narrowing the focus back in to Saturday’s game and who may or may not be fit to face Galway, it’s being widely reported that Lee Keegan is out, Jason Doherty might be okay and Aidan O’Shea’s moon-boot might just have been precautionary. Pieces covering this: Irish Independent, RTÉ, The 42 (where, if you want to get annoyed, read the comments below the line. Sadness comes in many forms in this world.)

Right, that’ll do you for now. It is only Tuesday after all.

69 thoughts on “A bit of Tuesday reading

  1. Wj i know aos has big feet but to make him wear a moon boat is a bit much might wear him out for saturday.
    Nice piece on mayo news.

  2. WJ fair play, don’t know how u keeping ahead of the posse right now, the dander rises when we play the old enemy,
    anyone out there near Knock, could ye go do a few novenas and if back that side could ye conquer the big hill in yer bare feet or on yer knees or anything . Dear God let us beat Galway !!!! Nerves are very taut and it’s only Tuesday.
    Maigheo abú

  3. The imminent demise of the Mayo team have been widely reported since after 2013 final. Do people think as a county we’ll just stop playing football?! I’m sure there’ll be some retirements this year, Andy, Clarke, Higgins, maybe SOS. I wouldn’t expect too much more. We still have the likes of Keegan, Aido and Cillian in their prime not to mention the 2016 u21’s and the newbies like McDonagh and Coen that came in this year. There’s also last years U20’s coming up the rear. Every team has retirements and additions. It’s a natural progression, I actually think we’ll be stronger next year than this year.

  4. Yes, Willie Joe, your piece in the Mayo News is indeed very nice. Maith thú!

  5. Well said NiallMc. Speaking of the future, our U20 team has been named for tomorrow’s game v Sligo…

    Jamie McNicholas,
    Jack Coyne, Rory Brickenden, Oisin Mullin,
    Aaron McDonnell, Conor Beirne, Eoghan McLoughlin,
    Evan O’Brien, Gavin Durcan,
    John Gallagher, Paul Towey, Paddy Goldrick,
    Aiden Orme, Stephen McGreal, Tommy Conroy

    Won’t be around for the game myself but would appreciate updates from anyone who goes!

  6. Would start with


    O Donoghue



    SOS (Vaughan in after 25)



    We still have a strong team once AOS fit.

  7. I like the balance of the u20 team. I could see Oisin Mullins being the designated man marker in the full backline. This lad is senior level quick and powerful. The forwards are an experienced lot. John Gallagher, Aidan Orme and Tommy Conroy being the three go to guys. Should be decent options on the bench too with Nathan Moran, Kuba Callaghan.

  8. My only thought today is – Poor Leeroy. Devasted for him. Just looked back at match: see the way even when he was hurt, he still tried to track his man back. Never ever gives up.

  9. Delighted see Orme drafted in to team. Was very late call up to squad. Suppose his performance at senior level meant he couldn’t be ignored. Knows how to score and his tackling for a forward is superb. Hope he performs to his potential. L9oking forward game as know lot of lads having seen them from.U16 up at club

  10. I watched back the game yesterday. Thought Ciaran Treacy won a lot of breaking ball and was solid in possession. I’d start him the next day as I’ve a feeling molloy will start on that wing and Treacy would have the pace to keep with him. The Gaelic Grounds should suit his athleticism too. Play McLoughlin at 11 and McDonagh on the other wing.

    I’d be inclined to start Andy as he rarely does well as a sub. Give him 40 or 45 minutes and then bring in a fresh James Carr to change things up. Cillian and Darren the other 2 in the FF line.

  11. @Wide Ball, The Gaelic Grounds is a small pitch, Galway are a very physical side that play a blanket. Rewatching the Armagh match I thought Ciaran Treacy struggled with the Armagh physicality. I think he’d be better as a pacey sub. The first 55 mins will need big physical bruisers around the middle third.

  12. Gaelic grounds does not look small , haven’t a clue of the dimensions but to my eye it does not look small.

  13. @JP, the Gaelic grounds is a large pitch, the internet has somehow fixated on some incorrect dimensions of 137 meters by 82.
    It’s 144 long and I believe 86 wide, making it only marginally smaller than Croke Park.

  14. Goodbye Joe, we gotta go, down the highway.
    We gotta go, cause we were told “yea’ll do it my way”.
    “Coss a toin, yea’ll all be fine” but we said “no way”.
    Son of a gun we’ll have great fun goin down the highway.

    Take the pitch, rip out that stitch, let’s get it started.
    Let’s send our neighbours up that highway broken hearted.
    Win that ball run through that wall once the game has started.
    The mayo team and mayo fans will not be parted.

    So ref well Joe, cause we’re gonna go, down that highway.
    We gotta go, cause we were told “yea’ll do it my way”.
    “Coss a toin, yea’ll all be fine” but we said “no way”.
    Son of a gun we’ll have great fun goin down the highway.

  15. So much no matter what way it’s dressed up for Saturday depends on the man who wws wearing the moonboot on Saturday night post Armagh.

    He is the lynchpin plain and simple. From catching a high ball inside our small square to covering the halfback line either stripping possession or distributing it.

    Catching the throw in or fielding a kickout that’s being floating around the solar system for an eternity ;0)

    Or driving forward across the 45 to win a free (quick O’Connor tap over) or finally winning a ball in G g g g galways small square and literally driving the ball and whatever man in white and marroon who happens to be standing there into the back of the net (green flag raised instantly and 20k Mayo fans in Limerick go mental)

    Yes Keegan is a huge loss as is Diarmuid and Matty and everyone else but let’s trust that the moonboot is just for show and to send G g g g Galway down the garden path.

    Suffice to say the rest of the team are also decent too 🙂

    Up. Mayo. Boom.

  16. Can’t say I see the humor in referring to Mayo folk as such Sinead. Comes across as something we might expect to hear from other counties mountainous army of Twitter trolls and gobshites.

  17. I assume that is a quote from some unfunny “banter” page ?
    I do not read those pages and do not come on here to read them either

    Oh and I am from South Mayo 😀

  18. @mayo13gb pass the sickbag.
    That tribute to AOS might be the cringiest thing I ever read :-0

  19. Thanks for alerting us Sinead.

    Yes the Mayo fever is rampant at the moment.
    It originated from watching good football.

    The World health organisation has also alerted that there is also an outbreak in Galway. They are calling it the dreaded Galway fever.

    It is also highly contagious and they believe it originated from footballers trudging around in shite. It is spreading much quicker than the Mayo fever due to the over use of blankets in Galway.

    For the Mayo fever the WHO has advised to see a good doctor and for the Galway fever they have advised to consult a bad vet.

  20. Has a certain regular contributors handle been hacked? That’s the second smartarse unfunny comment in a week – the last one got a tick from the referee….

  21. Sinead37 – you and I are going to fall out if you think you can post this kind of stuff here. Last week it was insulting Armagh fans now this nonsense, which I doubt I’m alone in considering offensive. Consider this a final warning or else it’s moderation watch for you.

  22. It’s the ‘Mayo are Back’ page. Like Mayo weather. It’s a funny mayo page. It’s Mayo taking the piss out of ourselves. I really enjoyed Revellino’s song and Mayo13BG’s post after. Obviously nobody got what I put up. I wasn’t hacking or trying to offend. Sorry again. Take it down please WJ.

  23. Supermac… there is a host of cringe worthy garbage on this thread… There was me hoping it was a thing of the past. Ah well… Maybe soon people will realize there is no one else laughing. Well not with them anyway….

  24. I’m going to make a bold prediction we’ll beat Galway Saturday finish second in our Super 8 group tho I think we’ll actually finish first and beat Tyrone in the all ireland semi and play the Dubs in the final. I know we have loads of injuries but the amount of heart in this team is unreal think Colm Boyle and Andy Call me mad if you want but you read it here first

  25. Hi Wayne. I believe there is a cringe worthy garbage spray out now. It’s supposed be great stuff.

    Two sprays and you’ll be as right as rain, or in your case as right as Wayne.

    There is no charge for the first consultancy. Please continue to write in with your problems and I will help in any way I can.

    Kind regards.


  26. Slightly off topic (regarding season tickets), apologies if so WJ.
    Anyone with season tickets, make sure that your payment card details are correct and in date. I’ve heard of 3 people today whose season ticket accounts have been cancelled due to failed payments, in total 8 season tickets gone.
    My own experience, I had to opt out of the Down match due to family circumstances (1st time I’ve ever opted out since first getting the season ticket in ’09) and my payment card details were deleted from my account. Only by the luck of god knows who, I had my phone in my hand when the final payment demand email came for the Armagh match, otherwise all my season tickets would have been cancelled.

    Check your accounts and check them again, check your “tickets” tab when payments due to be processed, it should say Card/Badge or else Print at Home.
    If you have used the opt out and then have a failed payment, your tickets will be cancelled, permantly!

  27. Fair play to you Mayo Mick.

    That’s too bad for those people who have had their season tickets cancelled. I can see how it could easily happen if your card is updated before the ticket renewal payment is taken out.

    You will probably save some people losing their renewals with this post.

  28. Looking forward to Saturday night, does anyone notice how quiet things are around the Galway camp, like eerily quiet. Not a peep outta them.
    Whereas it’s wall to wall coverage with Mayo on social media, podcasts, papers and former players. Just hope we can back up all this talk come Saturday in Limerick.

  29. Wondering why game brought to limerick instead of hyde park, i also cant understand why teams have to play every weekend its unreal to expect a team to play 7 days after a dogfight , no time to let lads recover yu wudn put a donkey trough that.

  30. Mayo need to be able to go long on their kick out – i think they are better getting 60-40 result from that than seeking short every time. I would be amazed if Galway weren’t all over Clarke on the short kick-outs based on the last 15 mins of near heartattacks v Armagh….to be fair Clarke by and large passed that test but its a big ask for 70 mins. AOS is also playing out of his skin at midfield so i would back him – I can’t see Mayo winning without him continuing his run of form anyway so just back him.

    Easy from the keyboard.

  31. We might need to save Aidans legs in this one by allowing him to sit back in our own defence.

  32. The mayo camps itself has been quiet from a players and backroom perspective. Former players or pundits are being called upon as mayo are always a big talking point (and money maker) for these media outlets.

    I just hope and pray mayo can dig deep for this and maybe we might get a few lads back for the kerry match! We will need all the luck in the world going forward.

    I do agree though – we need AOS playing, we need vaughan to be at the top of his game despite his long absence and we need our play to be fast. Being patient doesnt work with galway. If you arent quick then in the blink of an eye every galway man who ever lived is in his own half of the field and you havnt a hope of getting into a scoring position.

    Looking forward to the preview podcast!

  33. I cant see how Aido will be right for Sat. Even looking back at the match he really was noticeably peripheral especially in second half. Others will likely have to step up which is obviously a huge ask. Big call for Horan. Obviously no one could blame him for even playing a half fit Aidan given his importance to the team currently. Not playing him would be a huge psychological boost to Galway. It will all hinge on medical assessment I guess. James is protective when it comes to player welfare so he’ll probably take the conservative option.
    It will be such a physical match that I’d rather a 100% fit midfielder lining out. Perhaps it’s an ideal time for Seamie to join the fray. Vaughan must and will start this game.

  34. I for one could do without hearing from Liam mchale and David Brady the week of a big match, pure bluster that does us no favours

  35. I see the Yerras are up and running early this week with Malachy Clerkin penning Dara O’Se’s witterings in the Irish Times.

    Apparently Kerry need Mayo in Killarney next week to put us down once and for all. Recent defeats cannot go unattended and this would be a great start for Kerry to the Super 8s. And of course – Mayo gamesmanship gets a mention.

    Nauseating stuff.

  36. Revellino – you just copied and pasted, without providing any reason why you were doing this, a piece from the Irish Independent. That’s copyrighted material so please don’t do that again. It’s okay to reference pieces elsewhere and provide links to them – that Indo piece is, by the way, here – but if you’re commenting you need to provide a bit of context as to why you’re linking to a particular article. All you did was dump the entire piece in without providing any reason for doing so.

    Supermac – have you listened to Liam MacHale’s OTB interview? I did and it was perfectly fine. No bluster there. I haven’t listened to the podcast featuring David Brady so I can’t vouch for that.

  37. Whatever about Aidan we must start with as strong a team as possible on Saturday.
    Anyone else like the FF line of D Coen, Cillian, Andy? They’ll all take minding and might make Galway think twice about attacking us in numbers.

  38. Thanks, Rock – that piece is here. The Kerry lads have had us on their radar for a few weeks now. First it was Eamon Fitz, now this. The day we’ll take any accusations about dark arts and gamesmanship from that quarter will be the day hell freezes over. What hypocrisy. Anyway, that’s not our concern for now and won’t be unless we can get over the very significant hurdle facing us on Saturday evening.

  39. @WJ Yeah i agree the Liam McHale piece was relatively harmless, even though the words ‘rumours of discontent in camp’ were uttered, why even allude to that?

    As for Brady, im treading carefully here as i dont want to end up in moderation but there are numerous examples of bluster and paranoia, his comments on Gweedore were ridiculous, talk of beating roscommon by 15 or 20 points equally ridiculous, predictably he seems to have rose to Fitzmaurices bait too and gone in bullheaded. It does us no favours

    Billie Joe and the guys in the Mayo News podcast are all the Mayo commentary i need

  40. Understood WJ.

    Yes I copied and pasted because anytime I try to link an article it has taken 3 or 4 hours for the comment with the link to appear. Then the comment appears quite a ways back in the comments ie not the most recent comment when it appears.

    Anyway I put it up for several reasons.

    a) The President of the Gaa doesn’t seem to have the figures to hand to discuss what has been one of the most controversial topics over the past year or 2. Should the top man not know these details inside out at this stage ?

    b) Another sports organisation was held over the coals and brought before government in relation to money matters recently. And rightly so. Much smaller amounts of money. I know the situation was different, however, I find it very troubling that when Tyrone asked if there could be clarification on money allocation they were ruled out of order.

    In American sports, the weakest team gets the 1st round choice from the college draft. It helps build the weaker teams and levels the playing pitch. They do all in their power to level the playing field. Green Bay with a very small population have won several Super Bowls for example.

    In the gaa the exact opposite appears to be happening.

    I’ve said before that I think that 95% of the work the gaa does is brilliant. Especially at the local grass roots leve. I think the higher echelons of the organisation should take a long look down the chain of command and conduct matters for the good of the games and take a leaf out of the books of their volunteers all over the country.

    Athletics, Boxing, Swimming, Soccer and other sports all seem to have a political watchdog ready to be let off the leash and snapped back in to their corner when the occasion arises.

    There is no such interference with Gaa matters. In fact I would say that past governments were complicit in ensuring big funding for the big Blue machine which is now marching to God knows how many all Irelands.

  41. Agreed re DB, Supermac! Less said, soonest mended and all that, though we know from the podcast too how easy it can be to ruffle feather at times, even if this is unintended.

    The preview episode of the podcast will be online tomorrow. Billy Joe will be back on it, Barry Cullinane too.

  42. Just trying to sort out logistics for Saturday… I plan on coming from the M7 for this… I vaguely remember that we parked at a hotel on the south of the city in 2014 and there were shuttle busses to take us to the Gaelic Grounds…. Does anyone know if there will be similar available this weekend and can anyone remember the hotel? Clutching at straws here I know!!
    Or would I be better going on through the tunnel and parking at Na Piarsaigh Club? I believe they will be offering parking…I can’t find a traffic management plan on Limerick Co Co’s website…

  43. Did anyone actually listen to what Brady said on the podcast? If you did and you think what he said was out of order then what Liam McHale said on Off the Ball on Sunday was way more outrageous!!
    I listened to both pieces a couple of times and they said nothing controversial to me at all. Brady actually dismissed the rumours about Cillian, had a go at Fitzmaurice for the same reasons we are all pissed off here with his recent analysis of Mayo, and he talked up Galway citing their recent record against us saying the game on Sat is 50/50 call between the two teams.
    McHale mentioned the trouble in the camp rumours in a pretty dismissive tone almost a yerra feel to it and if the O’Sheas or Bomber Liston had written stuff like this everyone would be jumping up and down on here about the Kerry propaganda machine and why aren’t our ex players out in force doing the same!!!
    Brady has said cynical stupid things to get media attention but that piece on the independent podcast had nothing in it same as McHale’s piece for Off the Ball.

  44. Absolutely right Ravellino, sure wasn’t it Bertie A’Hern who got the whole thing started. I see Dublin U20’s had a 26 point win over Longford. Of course this hasn’t nothing to do with funding tho, Dublin volunteers just work harder……..

  45. In 2014 we cut in to the left somewhere around sixmilebridge and got a back road into a street near thomond which was still only about a 10 min walk. Might be worth going through east Clare as all traffic coming from the same direction. Either that or skip the obvious exit for the stadium and double back.

  46. That’s fine, Revellino. I know it can take time for me to get to comments containing links but that’s how it is and there will inevitably be a time-lag involved there, in particular during the working week. Context is important too so thanks for providing that on the issue now.

  47. @NiallMC1983
    Spot on Longford volunteers just need to up their game that’s all!!

  48. Fully understand WJ and thanks yourself for putting up the link.

    The banter here at work in Galway has gone to a new level altogether this week. It’s been great fun and the Galway crew have been getting as good if not better than what they are giving.

    A win Saturday would give us at least another month of football.

    I know the manager and team will do their level best and that will always be good enough for me. A win though would be kind of sensational.

  49. Just a side note for people to think about, and it might have no affect at all on traffic, but the Irish open golf is on in Lahinch as well this weekend so keep that in mind before any mad detours a planned.

  50. Revellino, I just read that article in the Indo. At this stage everything that comes out of the GAA on the issue of Dublin finances is pure waffle. Everyone knows at this stage that hat has been going on, even those in power in the GAA know. The real question at this stage is why are the other county boards standing by and letting it happen? Donegal queried the “neutral” home game last year and Tyrone put in a request about county funding(rejected) but what are the rest doing? Why are they not standing together and demanding fairness across the board? What are they afraid of? The only way to make the GAA listen is to hit them in the pocket, refuse en mass to participate in national competitions next year will sharply focus the minds.

  51. @NiallMc. I don’t really blame the Dubs totally for this unfair finance allocation either. It’s just the people that have been shoving the chess pieces around the board that has allowed all this to happen.

    I know people are sick to the back teeth hearing about it and might even call it whinging but my main issue with the financial allocation issue is that their doesn’t seem to be an honest effort to fix the problem. John Horan arguing the toss of the coin on Dublins behalf doesn’t make me smile either.

    To rule a query about money allocations as “out of order” seems to be out of order itself.

  52. Yes Mayomad. All the other Counties should stand together until there is equality for all. I fully agree with you.

    Imagine this carry on and inequality in let’s say a workplace.

    It would not be tolerated.

  53. Thanks Mick for that. I have lost my season ticket after years of loyal support! Because of family circumstances I forgot to change the details of my credit card! Not a happy camper today.

  54. Revellino/all – this Twitter thread from Irish Mirror GAA correspondent, Pat Nolan (here) relating to John Horan’s press conference at the Super 8s launch yesterday is interesting and, frankly, rather disturbing. The alarm bells are sounding ever louder about this particular president.

  55. The ‘Alarm Bells’ have been going off for a While Now as regards all the Top Brass in Croke Park, and for most part the majority of aquesent County Board, Provincial Board’s… with in one istance the honerable acception of the Donegal County Board….If we ‘Our Representative’s the County Board (Mayo in our case) Roll Over on every issue…. We will be Rolled Over… and so will everyone else…. Time for a few GAA Journalist to take off the Blue and Bluer glasses and ask a few awakard questions!

  56. I truly believe there is something rotten at the core of the GAA. IMO it’s no coincidence a Dublin man was elected president just as there started to be rumblings about Dublin funding last year. Horan was put there in an attempt to spin the conversation but all he has done is show total ignorance and insulting every hard working volunteer throughout the country. The story is out there, Ewan MacKenna and OTB will continue to highlight the inequality within the organisation but it will take the county boards to finally stand up and say enough is enough, it will take sports council of Ireland to stop payments to the GAA like they did with the FAI until change is make.

  57. Well that was worth reading. An eye opening account of what might be coming down the pipeline.

    Weaker counties are almost been looked at as an inconvenience to the plans that are been hatched at the top. Pushed down to the bottom of the bin. The very counties that need a helping hand. More of a back handed slap they are getting.

    Journalists are been shown little or no respect.. It’s disgraceful that men and women who earn their crusts bringing sporting news to the public are looked down upon.

    It ssems now that Journalists are been handpicked to attend the big Presidents public appearances.

    The powers that be are wielding that power to strengthen the mighty and crush the weaker Counties. It is the total opposite to what good governance should be aiming to achieve.

  58. John Horan reminds me of trump, he doesn’t give a fiddlers about anyone else’s opinion but his own, he has utter distain for the little guy and his attitude towards journalists who dare to ask difficult questions is unprofessional at best. His obvious dislike of pat nolan at that press conference should really be ringing alarm bells.

  59. All counties should stand together and boycott next years Championship until equality is sorted out

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