A look at Louth

We’re back in Championship action once again this coming weekend. Our Round 2 All-Ireland SFC group stage match against Louth is set to take place at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park on Sunday, where throw-in is 2pm. Cavan’s Noel Mooney is the ref and the match will be shown live on RTÉ.

We’ve only ever played the Wee County once before in the Championship, on a day when the Sam Maguire was up in the Hogan Stand waiting to be claimed by the winners. That was way back in 1950 and we won that All-Ireland final, our second Sam Maguire success, on a scoreline of 2-5 to 1-6. We did it like this:

It’s not quite as long since our paths last crossed in the National League but it has still been a while. The most recent time we played them was in 1998, when, in a season where League standings were being reorganised, we met them in a Section A game at Drogheda. We won that one by 1-8 to 1-6.

The most recent – in fact, the only – time we played them in Castlebar was in 1994 when we were both in Division Two. They won that one by 1-8 to 1-4. That result yields a fun fact as we head into Sunday: we’ve yet to beat Louth at MacHale Park.

In addition, the most recent time we got the better of them on home soil was as far back as forty years ago. We won that League encounter in 1983 at Crossmolina by 2-3 to 0-8. Prior to that, our only other home win over them was recorded in Ballina back in 1935.

So our home record against them isn’t exactly stellar. Admittedly we’ve only ever played them a grand total of thirteen times, twelve of those in the National League. We won eight of those meetings, lost four and drew one.

So much for ancient history. Of far greater relevance is how Louth are shaping up as they head to Castlebar on Sunday.

While they’ve been out of the League’s top tier for a long time – which would explain the absence of matches between us to date this century – they’re a county whose fortunes have improved in recent years. That upturn in form coincided with Mickey Harte’s arrival as manager at the end of 2020.

Photo: Dundalk Democrat (Sportsfile)

In the Covid-shortened League of 2021, Louth were promoted from Division Four to Division Three. In a full Division Three campaign last year, Louth topped the table and then beat Limerick to claim the divisional title.

This spring they showed they weren’t out of place in Division Two either. Indeed, they remained in the hunt for promotion to the top tier until the final round and they finished the campaign in third spot.

In Round 1 back at the end of January they lost by a point to Clare in Ennis. They lost in Round 2 as well, going down by three to Derry at Ardee. In Round 3, however, they got off the mark when they had two points to spare over Limerick at Ardee.

In Round 4 they had an eye-catching three-point win over Meath at Navan and in Round 5 they had another impressive win over Leinster opposition, beating Kildare by five at Ardee. They then underlined their promotion credentials by beating Cork by three in Ardee. That meant a win over Dublin in the final round would have seen them go up at the Jacks’ expense but it wasn’t to be, as Dublin won by seven at Croke Park.

Louth made it to the Leinster final this year, their first Delaney Cup decider appearance since the ill-fated 2010 final, but to do so they only had to beat two Division Three teams and only then not without a fair bit of effort.

In the quarters, they had to overturn an eight-point half-time deficit to beat Westmeath and so qualify for the Leinster semi-final for the first time in 13 years. They won that quarter-final match by 2-10 to 1-11.

In the semi-final they were up against Offaly, who had taken out Meath in the quarters, thus consigning the Royals to the Tailteann Cup. That provincial semi-final was a hotly contested one, with the prize for the winners a certain place in the Sam Maguire end of the Championship. The game went to extra-time where Louth eventually prevailed by 0-27 to 2-15.

Inevitably, the run ended against Dublin in the final. Although Louth opened brightly, once Dublin got into their usual Leinster final rhythm they went to town on their opponents, thumping them by 5-21 to 0-15.

Louth played their opening group stage match on Saturday. Unable to host their home game within the county, they nominated Páirc Tailteann in Navan as their home ground and it was there that they entertained Cork. The Wee County had won the corresponding League fixture but last Saturday, in a high-scoring encounter, the Rebels prevailed by 1-19 to 1-17.

This means that Mickey Harte takes his charges west knowing that his team needs to get something out of Sunday’s game to keep their hopes of advancement in the Championship alive.

Their cause will, though, be helped by the fact that Mickey knows plenty about playing Mayo in Castlebar, having prowled the sideline there many times, often to good effect, while managing Tyrone.

He knows plenty, then, about unfurling a blanket in the tight confines of MacHale Park. Having seen Roscommon profit from such suffocating tactics at the venue back in April, I think we can all guess the playbook Mickey will be operating from on Sunday. The fact that the same ref – who was, from our perspective, worse than abysmal in that game – is on duty on Sunday will, no doubt, have been noted by Louth, as I’m sure it will have been by our brains trust as well.

One difference from the Rossie game is that the current fine spell of weather we’re enjoying shows no sign of ending so, as Davy Burke’s team discovered on Sunday at Croke Park, all-hands-to-the-pump defensive tactics are extremely difficult to keep up for a full game. All the more so for Louth, perhaps, as a Division Two side, up against Division One opposition.

It’s not surprising that we’re very strong favourites to win on Sunday, even if the sight of Mickey Harte on the touchline, not to mention the twin threats of Sam Mulroy and Conor Grimes up front, might give us some justifiable pause for thought. Louth will definitely seek to make it difficult for us and do their utmost to drag us into the kind of dour contest that we so often struggle to deal with.

This is a game we should still win, perhaps with a bit to spare. But will we? Let’s end by testing the waters on that proposition.

How will we do against Louth?

  • Win (87%, 812 Votes)
  • Lose (9%, 84 Votes)
  • Draw (4%, 36 Votes)

Total Voters: 932

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215 thoughts on “A look at Louth

  1. Not only very strong favourites for Sunday, but after Dublins poor performance last weekend, Mayo are now a lot of peoples favourites..
    Eamon Fitzmaurice spoke yesterday and said what I’ve been saying all along.
    I honestly believe Mayo are the form team of the year and will win Sam Maguire in 9 weeks

  2. Unlikely that we will fall into the same traps as we did against the rossies and even if we did Louth wouldn’t be nearly as strong a team as roscommon so you would think we would eventually wear them down. But if history has shown us anything Mayo have a tendancy to get dragged to the opponent’s level. However I can see anything bar a relatively straightforward win. Incidentally while not the reason for our loss to the rossies Noel Mooney is a really poor and very weak ref

  3. Fair analysis WJ. Louth will struggle to contain our fast moving play despite a likely defensive set up. Who are their stand out players? Outside of Dublin game, theve done ok.

  4. @Tuanstar no one in mayo wants to start the mayo for same brigade haha we are just taking one step at a time they are saying Galway arevfirk favourites but as I said not sure I think so could be a team from the north that does it!

    Louth we shouldn’t taje them for granted and o have to feeling they will bring a defensive system as at @wilie joe says in the heat that’s hard to play against eek I’m a bit nervous about this one not sure why but we should heat them ..

  5. @Tuamstar, I’m actually laughing into my cornflakes here….! That’s the worst ever attempt of ‘yerra-ism’, I’ve ever seen. I hope you were posting that with tongue in cheek, so to speak becuase if it was a serious post then it’s fairly sad tbh.

    Also still waiting for you to tell us which bookies had Mayo ahead of Kerry after our win in Killarney – that was another of your lines. Remember? It was just plain made up, wasn’t it…

    Oisin McConville and Peter Canavan both said after our win in Killarney that they fancy Galway. One outright to win the All Ireland and the other said he fancied Galway would beat Mayo if they two sides met. Find a pundit, commentator etc who fancies Mayo outright at the moment.. and your imaginary ones don’t count. And in case you use the bookies odds again, the reason Galway are at 5/1 is because they still have to play Armagh. And Dublin are still outright fav’s because of the group they are in.

    Now, back to my breakfast 😉

  6. Willie Joe, Do you know how the season tickets will operate for this match as they all seem to say General Admission?
    Interesting history on Mayo vs. Louth but as in 1950 I believe we will be too strong for them. I expect to see some rotation in the team for this game.

  7. There’s no allocated seating for this game, The Islander, so, like League game, the tickets are general admission so it’s first come first served as regards where to sit, with no reserved seating in the stand.

  8. Think ye’re being a bit harsh on @tuamstar. He’s not the only one with that opinion and that’s fair enough though we’ll have to have sam in Castlebar for a week before i believe it.

  9. Boylesports had Installed Mayo 11/4 second favs to win Sam during the Dublin v ros game . I’m a bit of a nerd for the odds .

  10. On ongoing issues with the MacHale Park pitch is ridiculous. Heads should roll. Looks like clubs will be kept out of the venue again this year. Despite us all paying for it.

  11. @No doubt maybe a bit harsh ha but i saw a lot of Galway people are going mayo for sam across social media haha wonder is it to bring the mayo for sam brigade back and hope we fall flat on our face gain don’t know haha or maybe we are all just afraid to even think of sam after 21 don’t think anyone could blame us though haha !

    Hope there’s there’s big crowd to cheer on mayo in castlebar though meant to be good weather as they say to !

  12. I wonder if we’ll look make two or three changes this week? The prospect of a massed defence will require something a bit different from us.

    It’s actually no harm that we’re getting this challenge early in the campaign.

  13. One game at a time for me, no need to be looking any further and happy to talk up anyone else ! team selection for the weekend could be interesting as you’d expect the mgmt team to be planning against the blanket. We may see a few different starters and enders. Promised a hot day with no wind so heat may have an effect too.

  14. Louth have at least one outstanding forward Mulroy who may bebetter than Clifford at scoring, be wary Mayo.

  15. I’ll debate with anyone on why I believe ye are in pole position..
    Never mind the past . It’s all about the here and now..
    The Roscommon game aside , and we know how tough it was basically 6 days after a league final Mayo have been the top team this year..
    A fantastic new keeper, Jack Carney has been super along with the form of Aidan, Ryan o Donoghue, James Carr, not to mention Tommy C and Cillian to come back…
    Seriously I’m not on a wind up… if I was picking a winner now its the green and red….

  16. Louth’s defeat to Cork at the weekend might work out to Mayo’s advantage. If Louth want to get through the group, they have to attack on Sunday. Which means that we can counter-attack at speed, and will have space to do our damage. They can put the blanket in place if they want, but I highly doubt that it’ll work out for them – they are not at Roscommon’s level.

    We are notorious for false dawns, but in this case, I think we’ll back up a fine display in Killarney by doing whatever it takes to get the two points on Sunday.

  17. A one point win with no injuries will do me grand. I’m not too bothered if we don’t impress the pundits. Louth will fight for their lives and they will make life as difficult as possible for us. So we needn’t be expecting a stellar performance. Winning is all that matters.

  18. Please stop getting carried away guys, there are many twists and turns left in this Championship.

    Here are the life long Odds I have witnessed
    0 from 11, All Ireland wins.

  19. @Mayo88 don’t think anyone is getting carried away that’s the point were trying trying make 1 game at a time with louth & blanket defence to deal with..

  20. I agree with Clare take one game at a time but saying that we should be too strong for Louth

  21. For me, I think we can hit a higher top speed than Galway but Galway are very very solid. Can’t see them conceding sloppy goals. That is always a worry with us. They are not setting the world alight but they are consistent & seem to relish a battle.

    If it was boxing, we would be the slugger (Rocky Balboa) and Galway the jabbing machine (Vitali Klitscho). Helter-skelter suits us. Cagey suits them.

    A Mayo V Galway final? Could you imagine it. There would be no better way to win it, but a loss against them would be so so hard to take too.
    Lots of games to play yet so we may not cross paths again, but I have a feeling we will

  22. @Mayonaze, boylesports (who are generally the gold standard on gaa now) had Mayo shorter than Kerry for the outright all week, at 10/3 with Kerry at 7/2. They’ve reverted to 7/2 each now. So I think that claim was correct. Like Sean Burke, I’m a bit of a nerd for odds

  23. Don’t think anyone is getting carried away as there is no reason to be , we are in the mix that’s for sure and it would take an awful bad performance for us not to win Sunday . I think the reason a case is been made for 4/5 different counties is because there is no standout team . It will be a smash n grab year ala Kerry 2014 , one massive shift in limerick won them the all Ireland . Unfortunately I don’t think it will be our bucks , smart money is on Galway .

  24. Was the ref that bad in the Roscommon game?
    Think he allowed them blanket defend but then up the other end called the one v one defending harshly? But, unfortunately that can be a trend with a lot of refs. The blanket gets away with many half fouls by contrast it’s easier see that half foul one v one.
    Was there much else?
    Should we hold plenty pace and talent in reserve to finish out strong?

  25. Aidan couldn’t buy a free that day, JP, he had Rossie lads up on his back from start to finish. He was very quick with the whistle every time for them (including an early gimme one for holding off the ball) whereas for us it took an awful lot of fouling for us to get a free, despite the fact that there was constant fouling going on.

  26. Any word on venue for cork game or minor quarter final v Monaghan ? I’d rest aido Sunday tbh .

  27. @Willie Joe I to remember that it was painful stuff to watch hopefully the ref will be fairer all around at the weekend hate to be blaming refs but against the rossies he was very unfair to mayo .

  28. Plus the constant time wasting which he didn’t pull them up for. He told their keeper to hurry up numerous times with kickouts but didn’t once penalise him or hop the ball, just kept waving his arm to tell him to hurry up, it was infuriating. Very weak ref and surprised he is getting another game never mind a Mayo game.

    Mayo will comfortably beat Louth anything less than 7 would be a shock imo even if they park the bus, time wasting etc.

  29. And you can say he wasn’t the difference but he probably was all things considered soft frees, time wasting not punished, soft penalty etc. Anyway it worked out well for us in the end – so far.

  30. Looking forward to seeing the team the management goes with this time, hopefully no injuries etc. from last game. Will he start with the younger guys in defence with the explosiveness of Durcan, T.C & Mc Laughlin off the bench or vice versa is an interesting one. Hoping to see Cillian fit and get a run to get some sharpness before Q.F.

  31. People getting carried away about people getting carried away. It’s fine to speak positively about the team i think people are afraid to say anything in praise of the team for fear of being criticised. While mayo are in a good place supporters should be enjoying the build up and all that goes with it. The northern supporter mentioned a couple of weeks back had the right attitude about looking at the present. Let’s enjoy the build up like it should be. Regarding the game itself we need to try stretch our score difference on the table incase it comes into play at the end of the group so a big win for me please.

  32. Many years ago when Gordan Strachan ws managing Coventry they had just lost a game as a result of a few very bad refereeing decisions. An interviewer after the game asked Gordon for a comment on the ref’s performance to which came the reply ‘It’s my policy not to comment or talk about a referee and I’m not changing my mind for that plonker’.

    The Ross game was the worst refereeing I have seen for a long long time, I just hope it was a once off but it shouldnt be happening at this level..

  33. I too would be expecting a routine enough win on sunday.it will be too warm for a blanket but not a day for too much running either. I hope we play a bit more quick ball in.

  34. Good point by poster above that Louth have to get a result here. They will have to come out of their shell and we have the pace to punish them on counter attacks.
    McStay taking one game at a time. Some dreamy posters have us in the final.
    Hopefully we will see Harrison, possibly Brickenden, both have pace, I think I would be keeping Conroy under the radar. he’ll be explosive when we need him later.
    We know very little about Louth.

  35. I was talking to a Kildare man a few days after Ros beat Mayo in Connacht at a Juvenile game ( he wore the flour bag for the County ), I told him I was impressed with the Ros manager a Kildare man, he was sick that the Ros manager didn’t get the Kildare Senior job.

    Hope is what keeps us going but for people here in the 50 plus bracket, we have seen it all before, lack of good finishers on the big day, non start of players in the big games, bad Referee decisions etc.

    It’s great position we are currently in.

  36. The refereeing in the Roscommon game was bordering on comical.the first free he gave to Roscommon for holding off the ball when shown on replay from camera behind goal showed absolutely nothing happened.a fact confirmed to me by a current inter county ref.his very odd interpretation of what a hop ball is was laughable.a hop ball is a physical contest between two players to win possession which he appeared totally unaware of .so basically if he called a hop ball between Aidan o Shea and murchen from Dublin he would penalise o Shea for being bigger and stronger

  37. Thanks for extra context to my ref query Willie Joe and others. I forgot the time wasting. Wouldn’t wonder but they had it worked out to chop two seconds off each time. So let’s say a 60 second total time kickout. Next one 58. Next one 56, n then start chopping one second off. So you’re just pushing to the line of a refs patience. I recall a county match where guidance on how long to take a free came in during the game from a nearby water bottle holder.

  38. I forgot the second hop ball, that was the worst call of the season in fairness. There’s a really irksome thing sometimes of blanket favorable reffing. So you won’t get the multiple players fouling call, it’s called for holding on, then the opposition celebrate and get in that player’s face and ridiculously that free out is not overturned for such actions.
    It is actually a black card to do that very common thing of goading players after a score or after a turnover.
    It’s nearly like the ref then doesn’t want to spoil the party for the side who are playing like that.

  39. A few things mentioned.
    The ref was a bit frustrating at times vs Ros and hoped he improves for this one. If we’re well ahead it won’t matter.
    Paddy Durcan if 100% will not be left on the bench in any circumstances. Him and McBrien are the only nailed on starters in the backs, McBrien because we finally have a natural full back who’s quick, strong and aggressive and good in the air. There’s a case for Eoghan Mc but if Louth execute a good blanket in 1st half, he could run some blind alleys and get turned over whereas O Hora is not as fast as Eoghan but is canny and makes far fewer mistakes. A tight battling game suits O Hora in trying to find holes for others to capitalise on. I’d go with same as Kerry game, O Hora to start and Mac to come on.
    Some said a new tactic in the backs, for me the only new option for 2023 is Plunkett for either Coen or Loftus but I think both lads have enough credit in the bank to keep their jerseys. Callinan, Coyne and Hession can’t all start and I see Hession losing out. A great option coming in but the other 2 continue to do well and will likely get the nod.

  40. Thanks for the reminder about the hop ball incidents, 1985 – I’d forgotten about them. The more I think about it, it’s more than a bit shocking that he’s been given another Mayo game so soon after the pig’s ear he made of the last one. Says something about the GAA’s lack of quality control in this area. He shouldn’t have the same influence the next day but the least we should expect is that his incompetence impacts both teams equally which it clearly didn’t do the last time we had him.

  41. As for the Mayo for Sam, it’s too soon, this year is wide open. If Kerry survive through QF peril they will be back ahead of us with the bookies. Galway are very hard to beat but it’s all very tight margins this year. Come the business end if any team hits a serious grove for 15 mins or has a slight lapse during a game it likely settles it. Unlikely to get 2 chances. And Dublin are very good but not the machine of the Jim Gavin era.

  42. A nice point Shuffly Deck on our wing backs against the blanket. I agree. It’s more about football intelligence, not losing possession and being able to pick out a pass in a crowd.
    Now, where pace is great is late on where the blanket loosens up a bit. It’s far more effective when there’s tired opposition players and players on yellow or black cards earlier.
    I think we often made that mistake in the past of not adjusting our starting 15 and subs based on facing a blanket team.

  43. One thought, I know it’s not in our nature but should we concede kickouts for the 1st 10 or 15 and flood back and try to turn them over and if we get a 4 or 5 point lead on the break then they are forced to try and attack for the rest of the game and we should pick them off with our athleticism.

  44. Hession will have a part to play as he is a McHale Pk specialist.
    McBrien has pace, would make a great CHB imo. if Harrison available it would give option.
    Very little to chose between Plunkett, Loftus and Coen. The CHB ‘sweeper’ role as we play it, is the most difficult job on the pitch. Loftus, doing his best …we should be ok for Sunday.
    It takes balls to make changes but this is probably the game we could see a few…

  45. I was at the 1998 game – remember watching it lying down on a grassy bank, but little else except we won.

    And, I’ve also seen them in the flesh this year against Offaly. You left out one guy WJ in your analysis – Ciarán Downey. He didn’t do an awful lot against Dublin, but he scored seven from play (seven!) in the semi-final, some from impossible angles. Mulroy was anonymous against Offaly, but sparkling against Dublin. So, that’s three (at least) class players, including Grimes, who will do damage if they are let, and they are not afraid to have a go, first time. So we have to devise our own blanket to keep those boys in check.

    As for crystal-ball gazing, there’s a hell of a lot to come yet, for all teams. Whisper it, but the format is looking pretty clever. That Roscommon and Kildare match at a neutral venue – it won’t be a dead rubber!

  46. Don’t think there’s dreamy posters on here about getting to a final I think its quite the opposite many mayo people just taking it one step at a time ! Way to much hurt after 21 for us to be thinking of sam already its more people trying to stop any talk of mayo for sam . But it’s great to see us back in a positive way !

  47. Win by a few points and no injuries, then I’ll be happy !!,
    Lots of games coming up so strength of panel will be tested .
    I agree that Louth . If we could build up a 3 or 4 point lead by half time then they would have to slip the blanket to one side and try and win the game …
    They really have to win to stay in competition as I expect Kerry will have learnt a lot from their the defeat to us .
    Think the home crowd need to get on Refs back if he is anything like he was v Roscommon.. He was mind boggling that day .

  48. Ah lads, seriously stop whinging about the ref. Was he poor that day? Yes but not horrendous. Did he cause us to lose against Roscommon? Absolutely not. We were poor that day and fell into the Roscommon traps. They were better than us and fair play to them. Sunday’s result showed it was no fluke.
    If we’re better than Louth (and we should be), then we’ll win. That’s it. No mystery, no conspiracy. Up Mayo.

  49. Who is whinging about the ref .it’s just being pointed out how incompetent he was as he appeared to have a very weird interpretation of the rules and as he is again in charge of our game on Sunday it is very relevant.poor referees have a huge bearing on the outcome of games as we know to our cost

  50. The ref was un fair though yes Rossies were much better then us we were terrible . But the ref awarded rossies that penalty and denied another team a penalty for the same offence in a later match .

    He made some weird calls and should have penalised the rossies goalie for time wasting !

    Anyway wonder how mcstay & co are preparing for the blanket defence I’m just assuming that louth will bring 1 !

  51. We have a fair idea that Louth will come to Castlebar with similar tactics to Roscommon a few weeks ago, with the same ref in charge. I would hope that Kevin and the lads have learned from that day and will adapt accordingly. A more aggressive start by pushing up high on any attempt by Louth to play keep ball would be a start. Don’t let Louth settle and try and punish early turnovers with a goal or 2. Can we shift the Louth defence ala Derry into zones that we can exploit the resultant space. Can we win ugly if we have 2. Can we take one on one goal chances when they present themselves. A convincing win with signs we can adapt/have learned our lessons to a team trying to frustrate us would be ideal. Cillian/Rory or Brendan getting some decent game time would be a bonus.

  52. Id be happier with a narrow win against a dogged Louth team who we have to breakdown and will cause us plenty of issues in defense than to beat them by the 8 point handicap the bookies have us at.

    I hope them come and disrupt our gameplan and cause us plenty of headaches so we can see how the lads react.

  53. I think we can critique the ref performance but let’s not get personal with jibes.
    Beating Louth is primarily about stopping Sam Mulroy no. 1 and Ciaran Downey no. 2.
    They won’t score enough outside of those two.

  54. @JP who’s getting personal? It’s just pointing out that the ref was poor and as others have said it’s important to point it out as he’s the ref again in what will probably be a similar game to the rossies with which hopefully will be a better outcome!

  55. T’was me Clare, but in my defence I can’t spell incompotent correctly.

  56. @ Clare. The conditions will be totally different on Sunday, as will the Mayo team as will the opposition. I guarantee it will be totally different to the Rossies match Mickie Harte will approach this game differently to the Dublin. A result for Louth matters. The tactics will be negative, pack the defence, and rely on some turnovers. They will probably attack us up the centre, so that should be interesting. But Mayo have all the aces….

  57. @Shuffly Deck: Dublin dominated them on kickouts in the Leinster Final so I’d expect they’ll be trying a few different things against us and have worked on it a lot. I’d still expect that’s one of the areas we’ll really go after them in the early stages & given the quality of our press I’d expect a bit of joy.

    A big converted midfielder, well into his mid-thirties, kicking out to a narrow MacHale Park against a physically & athletically stronger (Louth’s S&C is improving fast but they’re still a few years behind a Galway/Dublin/Mayo there) Mayo side. He’d think all of his Christmases had come at once if we dropped off and let them get easy ball in hand. They’ll be aiming to do a Westmeath/Roscommon on ball retention for 5 minutes a phase and slowing the game/turning the crowd on the back of the home side. Can’t for a second see the Mayo management facilitating them in doing it.

  58. Agree tsudhonim
    I would go after Louth hammer and tongs from the start and try to break them early ( a la Kerry or Kilkenny). God knows it was done to us in the past. No time to settle- no time to build confidence

  59. I don’t know if it will be a hammer and tongs day but I agree we will put them under pressure. I expect they could have a lot of kickouts.
    But we need positive outcomes from the game too. Continue creating goal chances and being a bit more clinical in our finishing. I’m sure McStay and co have identified and worked on a solution since the Kerry game.

  60. QUOTE
    “Willie Joe says:
    May 30, 2023 at 11:43 am
    Thanks for the reminder about the hop ball incidents, 1985 – I’d forgotten about them. The more I think about it, it’s more than a bit shocking that he’s been given another Mayo game so soon after the pig’s ear he made of the last one. Says something about the GAA’s lack of quality control in this area. He shouldn’t have the same influence the next day but the least we should expect is that his incompetence impacts both teams equally which it clearly didn’t do the last time we had him.”

    His performance that day could be described in many ways, some I would not put in writing.
    As has been mentioned, a lot of very questionable decisions went against Mayo.
    in addition, the first half in which Mayo had the strong wind, it had close to six minutes of stoppages, he played less than 30 seconds additional time, fact.
    This is our second game since that one and he is back.
    Having said that, this is a game we should win, but he would be top of my list of folks to avoid in 2023.

  61. @The maroon Rover sure haha but I agree with you . Ref was bad though I hate blaming refs cause it sounds soo petty but he really was unfair to mayo but anyway haha

    @OnTheDitch I certainly hope it will be different outcome to the rossies blanket defence ha! I think your right though I think we will have way to much for them and to be honest we should mayo are in totally different league compared to louth no disrespect to them but we still shouldn’t take them for granted !

    Mattie ruane should be able to handle the center if they attack down the center he was in flying form near his best against kerry hopefully continues! Great to see his form coming back it def dipped since 21 last year but no one can blame him for that really.

  62. Important that we win our next 2 games as if 3 teams are on equal points , score difference will come into play and Kerry will have the advantage of playing Louth in the last game.

  63. Ref was poor v ross , but we can’t control what he does. Think we were off ourselves that day…squandered goal chances..not winning breaking ball…knocked back on our arses a few times too remember. Think we need to just focus on what WE can improve on and take the refs incompetence (which he definitely was)out of the equation.

  64. The ros game may well turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to us. Time to keep looking forward

  65. New pod up on Patreon – Rob with Ger Flanagan and Colm Keys setting the scene for the Louth game. Just two more pods to go after this one ahead of the game on Sunday!

  66. I think we will get over Louth with 4 or 5 points to spare but im worried about Cork that will be a bananna skin. Kevin Walsh would love to get one over on us

  67. I can’t see cork beating us they’ve been poor all year unless they bring a blanket defence haha just don’t think they have a chance well a slim one at that no disrespect to cork..I could be wrong now though of course haha they did beat kerry were they any good against louth?

  68. I’d also be more worried about Cork. I don’t think Sunday’s result against Louth really matters to us. A win would mean we can draw with Cork and win the group, but after cork’s win on Saturday, I don’t believe that we can lose to Cork and not have to hope to get lucky on score difference

    What type of teams are played in the last round is an open question ATM. Does home advantage outweigh giving your big guns a week off?

  69. Interesting nugget, Sam Callinan wasn’t born the last time we lost to Cork in the championship.

    2002, so I would think Donnacha McHugh and one or two more

  70. Oh I thought louth beat cork on Saturday maybe I’m being a bit harsh on poor cork haha always an upset they could be the one in our group hopefully not against us though haha

  71. For those of ye that are into ” odds” just go on line and look up a “Dutching Calculator” .. put in the figures that the bookie’s are offering, ..the bookie’s offer mostly “fractional odds” ..put in your value’s in “decimal odds ” eg 7/2 is 4.5 ..1l1 is 2.0 , ..3/1 is 4.0 ..one of 16 teams has to win Sam Maguire..you will soon see why the Bookie is offering you the Odds.. and why such odds are bad value.. and why they lay the prices they are laying,.. some are even laying Counties who are not in the race for Sam Maguire. ..

  72. I too from the get go am more worried by cork unless kerry give them a drumming and leave them little chance of topping the group. I expect kerry to beat them and louth.

  73. Why are Dublin and Kerry still at very short Odds to win the All Ireland with the two main Bookmakers ?

  74. @Mayo88 cause the bookies just love kerry and the Dubs really find it amusing the way they are still favourites don’t think either of them will win Sam to be honest ! Wouldn’t put my money on either of them anyway !

  75. In fairness to Louth, despite their reputation for being ultra defensive, they scored well against Dublin and Cork. They have 3 very good forwards in Mulroy, Downey and Grimes. Dublin took them to the cleaners when they went after their kick out. Ironically when they went after Cluxtons kick outs they had some success. Micky is a clever manager. He will have watched Mayo’s last two games with interest. Roscommon suffocated us and won. Kerry allowed us to play and lost. If you were Micky what would you do. Tend to agree with Mayo88 above. While we are going ok at the moment it is hard to be confident of outright success. The bookies can say what they want and people can say it’s all about now, not what happened in the past. But Mayo carry a huge amount of baggage on their shoulders and each time they lose a final that baggage gets heavier. Losing so many tight games v Dublin is hard on the Mayo psyche and even when we did eventually overcome them, we then failed to Tyrone. Now we have a good young but relatively inexperienced team who have yet to encounter the white heat of battle where the winner takes all and all sorts of questions both mental and physical are asked of you. The defence v Kerry was as inexperienced as I have ever seen and deserve immense credit for their performance. So for the time being I will watch and hope, but past experiences have taught me to shut up the Mayo for Sam stuff. I can only smile at Tuamstar installing us as favourites. He should definitely take a punt on his own county at those generous odds.

  76. Mayo 88. Odds mean nothing. We were 11 to 4 against kerry. Losing 11 might have something to do with it. Let’s keep the focus firmly on louth

  77. Boylesports actually have us down ad joint 2nd favourites with kerry now though odds don’t mean anything as@craggy bollards said !

  78. Give the ref a break. It’s not an easy job. I don’t think he went out to have a bad one.

  79. No very unlikely a ref would deliberately go out to have a bad one but when he appears to start inventing new rules then it needs to be called out

  80. On a completely different note… I think James carr is the most improved player under mcstay. Aos a close second.

  81. I have a system to gauge a team on the way to the final, it has proven to be correct generally.

    It’s not a rating for every player in their positions and the highest total being the winner but it’s the number of finishers on a team going into a final.

    I normally check the Outright betting each year going back to 2013.

    A mentor in the club asked me about the likely winner of the Tyrone v Mayo final a few days prior to the game.
    My answer was I see it as 3 or 4 scorers for Tyrone v 2 scorers for Mayo.

    I prefer to see where 4 or 5 players get 12 or 15 points in total rather than one or two players doing all the scoring on the lead up to the final.

    Best to take one game at a time.

  82. There are just 5 games in just over two months to win an All-Ireland. The next two outings and possibly the Quarter-Final (as likely group winners) will be against non Division 1 teams. That will leave two games to win against top teams.
    I think that Kevin McStay, Stephen Rochford and Co are likely to opt for teams with minimum changes, building a hardened team unit with familiar impacts from the bench.
    Louth and Cork will give opportunities for players to impress but maybe not as much for those that hope to break-in to a fairly settled looking starting 15 this summer.
    Hopefully we stay injury free and the subs keeping pushing the starters in every training session and game.

  83. Was at that league game in Crossmolina in 1983 as a kid. Can still recall them playing in the old jersey’s with the big St.Brigids crest….for some reason it stayed with me as a life long memory. Anyways back to the present day, and a feeling that Louth are going to make it a difficult afternoon for us. We should be able to get the better of the inevitable blanket, but not without a bit of a struggle. Derry in the summer of 2017 comes to mind for some unsettling reason…

  84. @45 wow I would say it did stay in the memory for a while! I actually went to school in crossmolina good old Gortor Abbey great school & town!

    I agree I’m really weary of louth I think we will have to much for them though but we always seem to win big games then get a little complacent or something the next game hoping I am wrong but still think we will come out on top we have way to much talent compared to louth no disrespect to them they will come with force I think !

  85. I was at the 1998 Louth game. It was a funny league season, the other memory I have was seeing Mayo play Kilkenny in Nowlan Park in late 97. There was a Leinster hurling match on beforehand. Most of the crowd fecked off before the football; seeing the All-Ireland football finalists unworthy of their time.

  86. @FrostTHammer ??? Mooney went wild in league game against Tyrone and then Roscommon and now we have the honour of getting him again.
    The Mayo crowd went wild with him in 1st half against Tyrone. He has a wild hand too – always up in the air looking for notice.
    He deserves the tiny bit of criticism he is getting here.

  87. Cloud 9. Could we not get a quarter final against Tyrone donegal monaghan

  88. @FrostTHammer my question marks were laughing emojis. Thought your post was entertaining.

  89. Ah Tuamstar you’re a tonic. As long as yee don’t win it iL be happy enough.

  90. @Brickaghman I don’t know maybe we are harsh on @Tuamstar haha but sure isn’t it great for connacht that Mayo, Galway, roscommon and sligo are all in contention for sam? Look at leinster & munster jokes of championships at least we are exciting sure and I love the banter between ourselves the rossies & Galway and sligo up & coming they will be rivals soon to! Great for the game long may it continue ( though in saying that mayo need to take it one game at a time all the time and nothing more loads more games & that ahead) haha!

  91. As good as Mickey Harte is he needs players of certain quality to carry out a defensive plan, he has that with Tyrone not so with Louth as they conceded 5-21 against Dublin in the Leinster final in a game that Dublin could easily have scored 8 or more goals. last weekend against a middle of the road Div 2 Cork team they conceded 1-19. Roscommon in MacHale Park was possession based and as Dublin found out in the 1st half Sunday it’s hard to score when you don’t have the ball.

    Should be no repeat of that here a Mayo will likely dominate possession on Sunday, Let’s be honest if Mayo play anything close to how they did against Kerry then Louth are going to concede another big score.

  92. Don’t forget about Kevin Walsh. He is involved with Cork now and has a pretty good track record against us. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

  93. @Mayomagic I do agree with you even though pretty weary of louth my dub mate he said we will batter louth but we need to take them seriously as they might cause us problems with blanket defence but I do think we will have to much for them !

  94. At odds of 1/20 the probability of winning is around 95% . In Mayo senior county history ones we didn’t win when similar you’d be looking at the likes of London in 2011 (draw) , Leitrim 94, Westmeath in 2001 (I think ) , Longford and Sligo in 2010 , they’re the ones that come to mind at the top of my head so I suppose it does happen & rare enough but probably more so than the actual percentage probability in our case .

  95. I hope the referee for Sunday doesn’t read this blog as he is the same one we had for the Roscommon game……and as for moving David McBrien out of fullback, I’ve never heard anything making less sense. It’s a specialist position and he’s made for it. We’ve been crying out for years for a solution at fullback and now we have one. There are plenty of options at chb and we don’t need to rob our fullback line to fill it.
    Mickey Harte will have his homework done as usual and will probably use that mind numbing Roscommon template. I can’t see a runaway win and would be happy if we show invention in how to overcome a 15 man defence if that’s how Louth play. Two points and no injuries will do so long as we show we’ve learned lessons.

  96. My mate was at the dubs/ rossies game he said there was a big group of rossies on the hill singing songs about and slagging mayo haha to funny they were thinking about us and we weren’t even playing them haha

    Haha if the ref is reading the blog maybe he’ll realise he invented some new rules in the rossies game :p haha

  97. Problem with this game is that it’s in Castlebar. If it’s not going well after 25 mins we would all do well to remember to support the team and not start bitching which only makes things worse.
    I believe that’s half the problem with our poorish record at home, we’re very quick to get on the teams back especially if in trouble with an underdog.
    Do we have a different supporter travelling to away matches I wonder as the support at away matches is usually very positive.

  98. @East Cork exile I’m sure I not all mayo fans that go to home games that start getting on the teams back when things are not going our way is it ?

    Sure all county’s have bad supporters that’s just the way of the gaa sadly and sport in general

  99. With all due respect to louth if it takes the supporters to win the game Sunday then we will only have 1 game left in the championship. Now atmosphere at a game is a different kettle of fish and it would be great if the gaa put a bit more work into atmosphere on game day.

  100. Agree with East Cork Exile. A lot of Mayo supporters will be going Sunday expecting a similar game to Killarney with no blanket defence and both teams scoring freely. The game will not be like that and could easily be something like 3 points to 1 after 25 minutes. You will then hear groans and lads shouting kick the fu#$%^& ball in – and when you look out you will see 6-8 Louth players camped inside their own 45.
    I still don’t know why the crowd were so good for that Derry game. The best I ever saw in Castlebar. I presume it’s more or less the same people that go to all home games.

  101. McStay and co will ave their homework well done. The know how to play Castlebar. High press and fast counter attacking. We have the players to execute this.
    What McStay will be looking for his a performance that says we are ready to play with the big boys. Good Kerry and Dublin teams never fear who they are playing next whether it bre league or knockout. They have the confidence to take on and beat allcomers.
    That will be the McStay way too. He won’t be rattling around in his head silly stuff like if we top the group we could meet so and so and that would be bad for us. Bring them on game at a time…..

  102. Atmosphere at the Derry game took off when loftus burst the net with that screamer .

    The atmosphere amongst mayo supporters has dramatically declined since 21 final , not heard on full on mayo mayo chant in a while . As a supporter I miss it tbh , we used to be able to create serious noise levels . I have a vision in my head it will come back this year in a semi final v Galway haha as Claire would say .

  103. I’m expecting changes on Sunday, ten or more.

    The result doesn’t really matter for us. Whatever happens we’ll still need to beat Cork (or at least draw)

    The lads who “didn’t have 70 minutes in them” in Killarney will start, I think. I’m not sure if Kevin was including Fionn McDonagh and Eoghan MacLaughlin in that statement but I am.

    Jack Coyne went off with an injury against Kerry. It looked facial or head related but I don’t think he’ll be risked.

    David McBrien and James Carr prone and won’t be risked, and I think Diarmuid O’Connor might be in the same boat.

    Padraig O’Hora needs more game time, he’ll retain his place.

    That’ll leave one last place in defense, and I think it’ll either be Michael Plunkett, honestly if he doesn’t play Sunday, I don’t think we’ll see him at all this year, or one of the two young lads, Callinan or McHugh.

    Bob Touhy will come into midfield, the trend so far would be to retain Mattie Ruane.

    I felt Jack Carney and Conor Loftus were central to the way we wanted to play against Kerry, and I don’t want to give teams anymore tape on them. I think Kevin McLoughlin will come in at 11. I’d be wary of playing two veterans, Kevin and Jason Doherty, in the same line. Jason started against Kerry, so might sit this out, or he could be named at 6.

    I think Aidan will start in the full forward line. Tommy Conroy will I think replace James Carr. I have no idea who is next up. It was Conor McStay early in the league, then Darren McHale around the league final/Connacht final. I have no idea who it is now. Obviously would be great to have Cillian back but I don’t think I’d start him. Orme might be the guy for me.

    Plunkett O’Hora Hession
    Durcan Coen MacLaughlin
    Ruane Touhy
    McDonagh McLoughlin Flynn
    O’Shea Conroy Orme

  104. The turf is footed, the silage half made. The mood will upbeat at Mc Hale. No worries there.

  105. What reason would the GAA have for not having details of the third rd games available to supporters ?

  106. Of course the result matters. You beat everyone in sight on your way to winning All Ireland. And that will be McStays attitude. This soft core attitude when we are serious contenders is unbelievable. A bad ref and not having to win, two lovely Mayo excuses before we kick a ball.

  107. @FrostTHammer: “The result doesn’t really matter for us. Whatever happens we’ll still need to beat Cork (or at least draw)”

    If Louth beat us they’ve the potential to top the group ahead of us regardless of what we do against Cork. It matters to keep control in our own hands, just as the Cork one will.

    I couldn’t imagine management treating this as anything but the must win it is or going with anything but his best bet at achieving that win. Inclusion in the pQFs, the 3 weeks playing on the trot more so than the additional game or tougher draw against a Group Winner, is really nasty. I struggle to see anyone coming through the pQFs winning it this year, it’s just too big an impact in an already condensed block of games.

    I’d expect to see a few changes alright (Durcan, Hession and Coen back in if they’re fully fit and ready to go) but I wouldn’t expect it anywhere near the 10 changes and I wouldn’t expect he’d be resting lads like Jack Carney unless it’s absolutely required.

  108. @2 hops, but is the turf home, hay / Silage fully saved and made ?

    It’s a very simple request that I’m looking for in the next few games, five or more scorers from play, frees etc

    Then the turf will be home, is the cutting of turf not 100 % banned in Mayo ?
    Or do ye get a Grant for preserving the Nature etc, sometimes I wish I was back in the Bog.

  109. @TsuDhoNim

    “If Louth beat us they’ve the potential to top the group ahead of us regardless of what we do against Cork.”

    – While this is true, it requires Louth to beat us and Kerry in successive games, a feat which would normally win you the All Ireland, Tyrone in 2021 were almost certainly the last team to do this.

    This is the least important game in the group stage, and the one where we can afford to get minutes into the legs of players we might yet need.

    To boot, Louth had a disappointing result only last weekend. I’d still expect my heavily changed team, with cavalry on the bench to win.

    Previous similar games, such as Roscommon and Monaghan in the league, saw loads of changes, and management appeared to want to take the sting out of those through their line ups.

    Whether right or wrong, I would think that management will have at least one eye on the quarter final and be working towards putting in a massive shift there.

  110. @Frost the hammer I disagree totally with that won’t be any changes mauve 1 or 2 certainly not 10 anyway!! It will be the samish team from killarney.

    Mxstay & co won’t want a dip in form after the big win in kerry and louth are a threat with the blanket defence .

    Of course the result matters? You certainly wouldn’t be hearing mcstay & co saying the result doesn’t matter they will name a strong team for the louth game game guarantee that !

  111. @FrostTHammer: I’d agree that team should have enough to win it and agree it’d be great getting minutes into legs. I just don’t for a second expect we’ll see it. Or anything close to that number of changes. A quick glance at Roscommon/Dublin, Sligo/Kildare or Westmeath/Armagh shows the dangers of hitting a game at anything less than 100%. It’s too big a risk to roll the dice on mass changes, even if the odds are still in your favour.

  112. @ontheditch totally agree with you !! You would not hear mcsstay and co saying this result doesn’t matter you go to try win every game and not take any team for granted either ! Be the same team they will name at the weekend.

    Sorry for the double post !

  113. @frostThammer.is the heat getting to you. Of course this game is important to win. Lose Sunday and it’s squeaky bum time for the last game and imagine the talk afterwards all the good work in killarney will be undone. Win and win well.

  114. Deel River – I’ve deleted that comment as it’s not based on confirmed information and you should know by now that comments spreading unconfirmed rumours aren’t allowed here. Please don’t post anything else along that line again.

  115. Calling it how I see it guys. If I end up being wrong, feel free to remind me of it.

    Cork’s win last weekend makes the result on Sunday academic. Win or lose and we will still have to not get beaten by cork.

    We’ll have a better idea when the team is named Friday, I expect 5 or 6 changes with more on the day.

  116. Is FrostHammers team so much weaker than the one that played Kerry that it would make it too risky to attempt? I’m not so sure it is. You could always bring on some of the other lads from the last game if we are struggling and it would send out a serious message of intent if we won with reasonable ease with this many changes.

  117. At FrostTHammer. Great teams only contemplate winning. Mayo are probably playing the most attractive football in the country. support lost at starting to believe again but it’s a long hard road. No place for non believers

  118. Deel River – I’ve now undeleted (if that’s a word) that comment of yours as it’s been brought to my attention that Galway Beo have reported that injury to Eoghan. Apologies – it was perfectly okay of you to post about it as there was a published source as corroboration for it.

  119. with regards the rumours about an injured player. The article about that, from a rival county no less, states that he played for his club in a cast last Sunday. The club played on Saturday and McStay isn’t allowing fully fit extended squad players line out for their clubs so he definitely isnt letting a front line player do so with an injury! There may be an injury but until we don’t see a player line out next Sunday I wont believe it!

  120. Top spot is all that matters. Avoid prelims. Go straight for the QF jugular. This is a must win game.

  121. Maybe quoting the source may make your job a bit easier WJ. but it’s not so good news. Hand surgery hopefully heals quickly. He will be needed for knockouts. Frustrating for the player

  122. Anyone happen to make the Westport game at the weekend?

    Something doesn’t sound right in that Galway BEO article saying he played the game in a cast. They haven’t been releasing panel members for games like that all year and the idea of one playing with an injury requiring a cast/surgery sounds very odd.

    A quick glance through the Westport GAA Facebook page suggests at least part of that reporting is questionable at best.

  123. @mayo88… just cut enough for the bonfires. It will be well dry by end July.
    Ps. Don’t be stuck for a few days in the bog.

  124. Apologies WJ, that’s where I seen the report. I should have said where I got it from.

  125. Cloud9 – I agree management will make few changes. But here are the ones I predict: Cillian for Aido (assuming Cillian is fit), and Bob Tuohy for Mattie. Those changes would make sense to my mind, and I would not recommend anything except our (nearly) best fifteen.

  126. But that report says he played club football last weekend with the injury , is that true ? My understanding was no panel members were playing club yet ?

  127. Sounds weird that they reported him playing with an inutry surely the club wouldn’t allow it sounds a bit weird to me ..

  128. There’s no way Kevin will make wholesale changes on Sunday. Our strongest 15 will take the field, to do anything else would be playing russian roulette with a full chamber of bullets. Remember the league game v Monaghan. If we get on top early and establish a healthy lead, then by all means introduce some of the lads you mention Frost T. If lads are putting their hands up in training they will get game time and I would trust our management team to make them calls.

  129. Also Galway beo is very unreliable kind of like the connacht telegraph lol wouldn’t believe that at all and coming from Galway one of our biggest rivals I’d wait till the teams named on Friday before I believe anything haha

  130. I also saw on our fb home page that someone said they were reliably informed that no mayo gaa player played for their club last weekend and it was ridiculous Galway beo making up stuff haha.

  131. Can’t see many changes, very important to win next 2 games.
    Louth will have learned from their last 2 games and our game against Roscommon that their best chance is to play defensively.
    Our challenge is to see can we open up a packed defense , if we can’t we are wasting our time.
    Use our bench when we need to or when we are home and hosed.

  132. Louth’s blanket defence is filled of holes. Cork against Louth scored 1-19 from 32 attempts. Dublin scored 5-21 from 37 attempts. Can’t underestimate the scheduling. Louth just one week to prepare off the back of a defeat. Mayo two weeks to prepare and off the back of moral boosting win away to Kerry.

  133. Lads I absolutely would not take anything Galway beo reports on as in any way fact…
    They live off Facebook notices and gossip and rumours.
    Not credible at all…..

  134. @mayomagic: Didn’t hear detailed enough reports to hear how Louth setup in the Cork game for one we didn’t get to see (most of the conversation was around Cork’s defence successfully sending Louth down channels straight into traps) but in both the Dublin and Offaly games they didn’t set the blanket. They, oddly enough given the success they’d been having with their defensive system, went offensive and toe to toe in both games to questionable results.

    Wouldn’t expect them to repeat the mistakes down here, though didn’t expect to make them in the first place, so wouldn’t expect them to be giving up a fraction of the chances they did in the Dublin game (which could have been a lot more than the 26 scores).

  135. @Tuamstar yes heard that about Galway beo before ha just doesn’t sound true doubt westport would let an injured player on with a cast even haha

    Louth will come bouncing in castlebar I’m iffy about them but we should beat them we are way better class of a team to louth if we can’t beat louth I would worry ha no disrespect to louth !

  136. A reminder re. the Minor championship. So far we have Mayo/Monaghan and Galway/Derry quarter finals confirmed. Tonight at 7.30 Dublin and Kildare contest the Leinster final and on Fri it’s Kerry v Cork in the Munster decider. Both games are live in TG4.

  137. Just wanted to point out that the article said that he supported Westport.. not that he actually played..

  138. @Amc: They’ve edited the story to remove where they’d said he played. Deleted a few of the tweets where folks were laughing at them for saying it too.

  139. @Anc I read earlier before they edited that they said westport let him play with the cast apparently!

    @TsuDhoNim yes I saw they edited it to how sad are they hilarious even haha!

  140. New pod up on Patreon – in this one Mike chats with Dan Bannon of the Louth and Proud podcast about how the Wee County are fixed heading into Sunday.

  141. Galway Beo is it a parody site or a real newspaper.

    “Mayoman in Galway pub opening after recent closure”

  142. Janey Mac Clare do you do any tap of work at all lol im only joking I enjoy your posts

  143. While I actually think Galway are deserving of the No 1 ranking, that Galway beo report is puke worthy. Maybe they should ask for Sam now. Rankings are like opinion polls. They change from week to week. You could almost feel their enjoyment on revealing Eoghan Mac injury. Great neighbours indeed. When Galway were useless as they have been quite a lot in the last 20 years, Galway beo rarely mentioned their football team. But now with the whiff of possible success football is important again. Never mind, the Arts festival and the races are coming up and that should keep them occupied

  144. Don’t even click on anything from Galway Beo. He is prob delighted with all the attention here. They live off clicks and esp targeting for these clicks on Mayo GAA Banter. I had to go after them to remove an article(if you would call their posts that) back in January – misleading information to generate interest to click on the article and going under a guise of caring and asking people to help but actually pulling the help away from where it was required. More misleading and made up info within the piece. I had to ask three times for it to be taken down or ammended. They are trash. No research done at all.
    Don’t rely on them as confirmation of injury to E McLaughlin.

  145. @sean Burke, I heard the Mayo mayo chant on the tv at the Kerry match even with the small support. I suppose the big Kerry support were kept quiet. I hear it at all matches. I still think it’s a hard one to keep going 😉

  146. Suggestions of wholesale changes are daft. We absolutely do need to win the game as Kerry are now in peril having to play a QF 1 week after a game and we are not if we keep winning. Any kind of win in the next 2 games is important to gives that 1 week advantage to our team rather than giving it back to Kerry. I’m predicting Kerry will be knocked out in QF by a division winning Ulster Team, Galway or Dublin because each will have a 1 week break. But for that to happen we need to win the group. I’m confident of this one and more wary of Cork (who were reportedly a good bit better than Louth in their duel) .. we play Cork on Neutral soil. However we saw what happened Armagh and Kildare so we cannot be in any way complacent about Louth. The good thing about Cork is no blanket at least not in the Galway Derry level. Louth could have some early tactical success but we should work it out and have a definite 2nd half 2 week recovery advantage with players also bursting to come on.

  147. The podcast with Mike and Dan Bannon was an absolute gem. Dan comes across as a real GAA man and listening to him should bring us back down to Earth. Perhaps we’ve become too complacent and entitled over the years so hearing him talk of Louth’s journey and struggles was enlightening. Dan estimates about a thousand Louth fans will be making the trek and here’s wishing them an enjoyable and safe trip but without the win to cap it!

  148. “Rankings are like opinion polls”

    100% this.. wait till Kerry and Dublin win handy at the weekend again and they’ll be back as the top 2 in the minds of many – I expect a lot of “class is permanent” “got their bad games out of the way early” “losing to mayo could be the best thing that happens to them” sort of comments to pop up

    Then it’ll be back to mayo and Galway two weeks later once they beat cork and Armagh – I’m sure Tyrone will start getting plenty of mentions too if they also beat Armagh. Sport analysis nowadays is basically all recency effect

  149. I’d still be very surprised if Kerry lose a quarter

    I’d be equally unsurprised to see some of Dublin, Derry and Galway as 2nd seeds also.

    Only 3 favourites won the opening 8 matches (all 3 by very small margins). There’s more twists to come yet

  150. I think there is far too much talking up and down teams over the past 2 weeks, probably due to the new structure and potential excitement it’s bringing.

    Probably better off not to be predicting likely winners at this stage, as expectations can be dangerous.

    Just plan for each game as they come.

  151. @JKEL88 independent probably just saw all the stuff online yesterday about eoghan I wouldn’t believe it till you see the team named tonmorow !

    Also sew Sheridan has stepped down from under 20

  152. @clare – The article i linked above says

    “Speculation that McLaughlin had undergone surgery on the injury – picked up in their thrilling win over Kerry – are untrue with a Mayo spokesperson confirming last night that it was “not a long-term injury”.

  153. @JKEL88 yes I know I’m just saying I wouldn’t believe anything till you see the team itself being named if he is injured thank goodness not a long term injury

  154. 100% Clare, great news its not a long term injury.

    Eoghan will be a big asset for us this year and by the sounds of Michael Verney article (who is credible GAA journalist) whatever injury Eoghan picked up will be only short term. The main reason i posted it was because he debunked the surgery part as being false.

  155. @JKEL88 thanks for posting the article : )

    yes just goes to show Galway beo are ridiculous haha yes very true the independent is usually pretty reliable at least eoghan will be back for the cork game whenever that is ha

  156. Hey All,

    Unable to attend the game in Castlebar on Sunday. I have a ticket for the game if anybody would like to take it off my hands for €15? Let me know

  157. Thats great if Eoin is only out for one game. I’d say their will be 2 or 3 changes to the starting team and no more. I see Paddy or Stephen coming in for Donnacha, as Louth have some seiriously physical half forwards, and we’ll need a bit more bulk around that sector. Donnacha was excellent the last day but I feel Kevin and co will go full on press from the start and not repeat the mistakes of Roscommon game (i hope).

    @Clare, you’ve got so much right so far, and im now a little bit worried about this one seeing as your not as confident. Yes I expect us to win, but it won’t be the walk in the park some people are expecting.

    Im nervous about this one now, genuinely had to check 3 times when I saw Mooney is the reff. What in the name of God is going on within the GAA? Of all the reffs we get him for the second home game in a row?? As incompetent a reff i’ve seen since Mr Reilly in Limerick. We need to get on this lads back from the start, especially if Louth do a roscommon an go down every 2 minutes to break our momentum. Seiriously we need to be hostile from the off.

    Last point, and Willie Joe please delete if not appropriate, but theirs alot of talk about betting odds on here this week that got me thinking. Are reffs in GAA monitored or allowed to have betting accounts? Are they allowed to walk into a bookies and place a bet on an up coming match? (I know theirs easy ways around this for them) but is it legally forbidden in the rule book? I ask because the GAA is officially “amateur” and all reffs receive allowances for matches, but with the influence one can have on the outcome of a match, are reffs being governed properly in relation to betting?.

  158. @Margie haha ah thanks. I dont know Judy iffy about it I think we will definetly win and we have much better players then louth and are a different class of a team to them don’t mean to sound disrespectful to them but it’s just the facts.

    I just think we always seem to get complacent after a big win . We put our best forward to prove everyone wrong that we are good enough to beat the best and we usually do .

    Then however when it comes to lesser teams we seem to let our guard down a bit and no not go full force and get ambushed then.

    I hope I am wrong though . I do think we will win be shocked if we don’t I just don’t think it will be a walk in the park like you say to !

  159. Dan Bannon, Mike take a bow. That was a brilliant podcast that put everything into perspective. We probably lose the run of ourselves from time to time and lose sight of how lucky we are to have such a wonderful team to follow and support. Anybody who thinks we have struggled with structures and support over the years should really listen to this pod.

  160. Management will have had a good look at how the Dubs went about dismantling Louth so good to have a healthy respect for Louth but we don’t need to fear them ,even if it takes a while to break them down we’ve been playing better quality teams all year and getting results. Stay positive all.

  161. It’s not inappropriate at all, Margie. There have been betting scandals in many sports all over the world and it would be naïve to conclude that such carry-on couldn’t happen in the GAA nor that refs, even those in charge of inter-county games, might not stoop to such activity, though of course identifying and proving such behaviour by specific individuals is another matter. I’ve no idea what the rules are around betting by those directly involved in matches, be they players, management teams or match officials.

  162. @Willie Joe: They’ve never dived too deep into the nuts and bolts of where/when/how a line is crossed. Likely intentionally, given the difficulties around enforcing such rules.

    “As a player, mentor, or official with a unique insight into team selection, tactics, form, or insider information, the best recommendation is to never bet on a competition your team is involved in. Legislation in Ireland and Northern Ireland outlines severe consequences relating to any potential match-fixing or abuse of insider knowledge, with penalties including a fine and/or imprisonment.

    Within the GAA, match-fixing or improperly influencing the outcome of a game for your financial gain or another’s could fall under ‘Misconduct considered to have discredited the Association’ dealt with under Rule 7.2(e) in the Official Guide 2013. Penalties for individuals or teams/units range from a minimum 8-week suspension to debarment and expulsion from the Association.”


  163. Tuamstar,I agree with you ,Mayo should be odds on favourites by now the bookies are giving money away

  164. Just looking at the games across the weekend.

    This third place team qualifying has made a lot of games dead rubbers.

    None of the games in group 1 & 2 are going to have a major bearing on the outcome.

    Group 3s games do matter after two draws

    In Group 4, Clare can be the first team knocked out. Derry Donegal matters for who tops the group.

    With very little jeopardy involved it’s hard to know what the quality will be like, but there could be some surprise results

  165. FrostTHammer – Teams like Louth, Westmeath, Kerry and Tyrone need to throw everything into this weekend to either get a preliminary 1/4 final or home 1/4 final. Teams like Cork, Mayo, Galway and Armagh can be going into next weekend playing a winner takes all to top the group with a win this weekend.

    There is plenty to play for in every game.

  166. @FrostTHammer: Best of luck trying to convince Tyrone or Armagh their game at the weekend has no real bearing on anything.

    With 3 of the 8 favourites (I watch moddelled predictions rather than odds but I’d expect the two to line up very closely) winning in Round One (giving Cork the favourite tags in their match against Louth despite how tight it would have been) I’d imagine you could be in for a few more surprises than you expect along the way.

    A lot of folks seem to be in this “no jeopardy” and treating all 3 qualifying places as equal. Baffling to me. The differences between finishing 2nd or 3rd are huge (both in terms of the opposition drawn and the home advantage). The differences from 1st to 2nd even bigger. Every point from every game matters (until you hit the rare genuine dead rubber where a team on 4 points face a team on 0 or 1 in the final round).

  167. @Willie Joe @Tsudonhim – thanks for that information. The legislation quoted seems loose in terms of actually betting on GAA matches. I don’t know any high level reff’s, but would love to ask one If they are allowed to have a betting account.

    @Clare, you hit the nail on the head, we have a tendency to perform below standards after a big win, so im expecting this to be quite edgy. I’d like to think the extra weeks rest will help us in the heat.

    I’d flip the tactics for this one and start the speedsters from the off. Kerry was about hanging in there until the last 20 mins and going for it with the fresh legs. I think Sunday we need to go for the jugular from the first whistle. Get ahead of these boys early and draw them out of their system. I’d start Conroy instead of Aidan to make sure we can press them better, and have more speed on the turnovers. Hession and Durcan to start aswell.

  168. @JKEL88

    That’s just not true.

    Firstly there’s no such thing as a home QF as all the quarters will be at headquarters.

    For Louth, Westmeath, Kerry and Tyrone, they will all need to win their final group game to go through, irrespective of how their games finish this weekend.

    Cork, Mayo, Armagh and Galway, will all be playing winner takes all to decide the group final games, irrespective of this weekends results. All can win their games this weekend by massive scores and none will be guaranteed to win their groups if they lose their final game

  169. @TsuDhoNim

    I expect that the Armagh Tyrone game will be pretty boring and possibly kick into life in the last few minutes. No jeopardy, and the football will show this.

    For me, there’s a big difference between winning your group, and finishing 2nd or 3rd, but I don’t see a big difference between finishing 2nd and 3rd. I think resting your key players in the final game is worth sacrificing home advantage.

    This is what I’m basing my calculations around

  170. I’d be on FrostT’s side of the fence here – I expect in as little as 2 or 3 weeks many won’t even remember the results of this weekend’s matches. We won’t in time be able to look back on this weekend as a landmark moment of any sort – whereas in a group with 2 teams qualifying this could potentially be the weekend that saw the elimination of Kerry or (virtual elimination of) Dublin. Even if both lose this weekend they’ll still qualify and one could yet even go on to win the All Ireland

    We don’t know what impact finishing 2nd over 3rd actually has yet until the preliminary draw is made. It seemed a regressive step for Mayo to lose to Roscommon yet ultimately it meant nothing. Armagh could lose this weekend yet get a softer prelim draw than Tyrone

    I guess you always want to improve your odds of getting more favourable draws, but is that really the most engaging selling point for this weekend’s matches? Most Irish leading sports coverage I saw last saturday evening were in relation to the URC final and championship playoff, it’ll be similar this Saturday with the FA Cup. The general public will get fed up of this format before long, like with the Super 8s

    I didn’t actually see any game last weekend, yet I don’t have an ounce of regret. There’s plenty of weeks to go yet with much more important action. I’ll watch the Mayo game sunday but will most definitely choose to enjoy this superb weather while its here over watching any other matches

  171. So important to try and win the group most likely now that kerry will finish second in the group if we beat louth on Sunday ( we should) . Kerry will have an extra game to play in preliminary so that’s not getting any benefit from resting key players in round robin anyway if you have to play and extra game in shorter time period preliminary.

    Also kerry will most likely end up with a tougher match for finishing 2nd against dubs Galway or Derry I think.

    Yes @margie totally agree with you! I say mayo by 4 or 5 points but won’t be as easy as most think say it might be pretty cagey !

  172. FrostTHammer –

    Sorry it doesn’t fit your agenda but it is true.

    Second place get a home preliminary quarter final against a 3rd place.

  173. @FrostTHammer: Pretty extensive study found the average home advantage is +4 points per game in GAA (ignoring advantages/disadvantages like pitch dimensions and playing higher/lower ranked teams). In the heat of a knock-out Championship pQF game and a decent crowd behind I wouldn’t be shocked if the delta went up to ~6 points.

    Assuming no massive shocks (a huge assumption I’d not expect to see – we’re going to have plenty more shocks along the way) you’d imagine it’d be Kerry in 2nd, one of Dublin/Roscommon 1st/2nd and one of Derry/Monaghan 1st/2nd so some advantage already finishing 2nd to be drawn against ‘weaker’ 3rd sides. Given the strength of those 3rd sides and the potential for some of the expected 1st/2nds to finish in 3rd though you’d absolutely want every possible advantage going into that pQF.

    1st is huge, can’t see the All Ireland Winner coming through the pQFs myself but seems to be a massive undervaluing of 2nd when you look at it based on stats and historic results (a lot of info released on it recently following the comments from Glenn Ryan) rather than just feeling it’s not that big a deal.

  174. I note that Michael Verney report says Cillian has a knee injury. Surely not? Wasn’t it hamstring?

  175. If only 2 eliminated this weekend games would have everything on the line for sure but the 3rd round then would be more or less dead rubbers. Enjoy the games while we have them cause we’ll soon be checking the fixtures for next year.. @clare you should apply to be @williejoe p/a I’m sure he could do with one.

  176. @TsuDhoNim

    How many points is an extra weeks rest worth?

    More or less than home advantage?

    Cork’s win has made it immaterial in our group but if we examine the scenario had Louth won. Mayo would be able to win the group on Sunday, and a Kerry win would knock Cork out.

    That leaves a final game between Kerry and Louth, where the winner would have a home preliminary but both teams would be guaranteed to progress and is it worth playing a strong team for what would hopefully be first game in three consecutive weekends

  177. @FrostTHammer: Not sure there’s any value in comparing those directly (imagine it’s modelled out there somewhere if you fancied looking, though can’t ever remember seeing a paper on it personally). You don’t get to pick a weeks rest vs home advantage with all else being equal. Even in the hypothetical situation you’ve outlined it wouldn’t be that straight forward.

    You’d be playing with/without taking that rest week off, with/without home advantage, against any of 4 second (lets say Kerry, Tyrone, Roscommon, Monaghan)/4 third teams (Cork, Armagh, Kildare, Donegal) [using the most likely modelled outcomes from https://twitter.com/StatsAndSolos/status/1662921237914419207/photo/1%5D.

    Whatever value you’d like to put on that week rest (and with the knowledge we are going to get more shocks along the way so those likely teams for 2nd/3rd won’t be perfect) I know which of the two scenarios there I’d be picking.

  178. Frost T you are complicating things , it’s as simple as this win all your games you top your , sin e .

  179. The more games, the more injuries that are picked up, particularly if game every week.
    The losers this weekend end, will have no hope or point going to and quarter final or preliminary quarter finals.

    The right fixtures should be that 2 teams from each of the 4 groups go through to quarter finals, no messing then.

  180. Remember our last foray in the super 8’s. Because we had been well bet by Kerry in our 1st game we had a knockout winner takes all v Donegal in our last game in McHale Park. Great win but there was a cost. We then had to turn around a week later and play Dublin in the semi final. We were eat alive after half time and it was generally accepted that the short turn around after such a high pressure game was a factor in our 2nd half collapse. The same potential senario awaits the 2nd and 3rd placed teams this year. That should be a timely reminder and surely a valuable lesson that winning all our games and finishing top of the group is a no brainer.

  181. @No doubt haha laughed at that my posts are not that good now and willie joe doesn’t need any help I’m sure thanks though :p haha

    Hoping it’s a good game either way ! @frost the hammer preliminary quarter finals are home advantage .

    I still think we will win on Sunday I’m sure mcstay & co have learnt their lessons and have prepared well for this one after the Rossies game . I might be hiding behind my cushion for some of it though haha

  182. @TsuDhoNimh , that 4 point thing is nonsense. I suspect you’ve been looking at a bit too much of Ewan Mackennas Twitter. He’s been repeatedly asked to clarify that 4 points nonsense and he never comes back with anything. Sure the average score in games used to be 20 points or so, 4 would be off the wall stuff!!

    Bookies would price a standard homefield as worth about 1/2 a point. For games like Galway v Mayo in either stadium, it’s essentially zero. For Mayo v Kerry, it was priced at over a point (Kerry perceived to have a big homefield advantage prior to the last game). Dubs in Croker would be probably 1.5 pts over Nowlan park this week, that’s about as big as you’d get. Donegals in Ballybofey would be quite high also. A lot of provincial meetings it’s minimal however

  183. @Stephenite: You’d be mistaken.

    The ‘4 point’ quantified figure (most of the other data just shows how skewed wins are to home sides rather than aiming to quantify it – though tonnes more of that to help verify the calculations) comes from Shane Mangan. He gathered it doing the background work for his GAA ELO Ratings system (well worth a look if you’re not familiar with it – the home advantage adding a +79 ELO rating). https://sciendo.com/article/10.1515/ijcss-2016-0006 (though the paper only scratches the surface on the Home Advantage calculations, worthy of a paper or two of its own in light of the recent discussions around Croker as a home venue for any side).

  184. @TsuDhoNim

    I doubt there’s anything significant on the value of an extra weeks rest. At least not in GAA, as I don’t think it’s really something that been in play until recently.

    Traditionally, I believe that one of the all Ireland finalists would have an extra weeks rest. I could run the stats on it but I don’t feel it has value. In those cases it’d be the difference between two and three weekends rest, which wouldn’t I’d imagine be anywhere near as big

    I’d rest the players because the game theorist in me tells me I can’t take the risk that I’ll end up playing a team who didn’t rest up

  185. @TsuDhoNim

    It just dawned on that this weekend will give us a very good indication of the value of an extra weeks rest

  186. The extra week’s rest is worth a lot more than home advantage. I’d say it’s anything up to 5 or 6 points. That’s why winning the group is so important now we’ve put ourselves in a good position. How often does the 1 week team beat the 2 week one. I’d say less than 1 in 3 times. The 2nd placed team in our group could win their last 12 game and play a fresh Dublin , Galway or Ulster group winner.

  187. Interesting paper TsuDin, i’ll have a good look through it later. I don’t see where the specific ELO (+79 in this case) directly related to 4 points? Perhaps its explained in there and il find it later

    As it is, it really has to be discounted, or else there is abundant money to be made with bookmakers who are vastly underplaying the affects of home advantage. Take Tyrone and Armagh this weekend as the simplest example with a 1 point spread. A 4pt HFA suggests Armagh would be -2 on a neutral and circa 4/7 (63%) to win, and would be -6 at home, circa 1/7 (87%). Nobody in their right mind would make Armagh favorites on any field in Ireland on their 7 day turnaround and after last weeks performance, never mind as short as the above.

    That’s perhaps an extreme example given they’re 2 Ulster teams nearby each other but the points stands. Bookies models are made from copius amounts of data churned by quants teams, with the added benefit of getting their pants pulled down when there’s mistakes, leading to accuracy through errors.

    Homefield is a fascinating subject though and there’s good differences. For Mayo, v a Connacht team it really is zero advantage with our record. However this week its probably worth something relatively substantial as Louth have to travel 4 hrs cross country with a small support to an unfamiliar pitch. Similar with Clare heading up to Clones

  188. Anything less than a 10 point victory should be seen as a bad day at the office if we are to consider ourselves serious contenders. We should go out and massacre weaker teams. People will say a win is a win. With all due respect to Louth, this is a team which Dublin bate out the gate, a Dublin team which drew against Roscommon last weekend. Is Cillian O Connor fit??? It would be a good game to run him out in if he is. I know it’s McHale park and I know it will be a 15 man Louth blanket defense. But after the Roscommon game I would hope that McStay and Co would have learned their lesson against a much stronger Rosscoman outfit. Time will tell I hope I’m proven right. But as people have already stated on this blog we do have a tendency to play down to weaker teams. Time to tear up that familiar script on Sunday. And lay down another marker and win the group.

  189. I see mulkerrin is back in the Galway squad for the weekend , you know things are clicking right when you’re getting long term injured players back to fitness this time of year . It’s that kind of championship that whoever stays injury free mostly could swing it for one of the top tier sides .

  190. Our Here Comes the Weekend pod went up on Patreon last night. Mike is joined by Colm Boyle on it to set the scene for Sunday’s game.

  191. @Pittsburgh, no need to massacre any team, ie, beat them by 10 or 20 points. 3 or 4 points is safe for me.
    What I mean is that why put all extra energy into one game, with little recovery time for the following game.
    It creates too much complacency with a team dishes out a hammering, this was a fatal mistake of Mayo since 2012.
    I want to see Mayo control games more, and are able to keep the opposition held for a game.
    Players got injured pushing themselves too the limit in a quarter final when Mayo were 15 points ahead.

  192. Go out and bate Louth on Sunday handy enough (6-7 pts) knowingwe never hit full speed. How we handle a 15 man blanket is important too. No injuries, no paperwork, maybe get Brendan and Cillian a few decent minutes.
    Any whispers on the Cork game venue? Limerick or Ennis? Thurles maybe?

  193. I’d imagine the same team named to start v Kerry will be named again with changes to the personnel on bench.
    It should be safe enough game to give peripheral lads game time in.

  194. mayo88 – in the event we lose to Cork would the group not be decided on score difference?

  195. Mayo Senior team is as follows:
    1. Colm Reape Knockmore
    2. Jack Coyne Ballyhaunis
    3. David McBrien Ballaghaderreen
    4. Sam Callinan Ballina Stephenites
    5. Paddy Durcan Castlebar Mitchels
    6. Conor Loftus Crossmolina Deel Rovers
    7. Stephen Coen Hollymount/Carramore
    8. Matthew Ruane Breaffy
    9. Diarmuid O’Connor Ballintubber
    10. Fionn McDonagh Westport
    11. Jack Carney Kilmeena
    12. Jordan Flynn Crossmolina Deel Rovers
    13. Aidan O’Shea Breaffy
    14. James Carr Ardagh
    15. Ryan O’Donoghue Beal an Mhuirthead
    16. Rory Byrne Castlebar Mitchels
    17. Tommy Conroy The Neale
    18. Jason Doherty Burrishoole
    19. Enda Hession Garrymore
    20. Frank Irwin Ballina Stephenites
    21. James McCormack Claremorris
    22. Donnacha McHugh Castlebar Mitchels
    23. Conor McStay Ballina Stephenites
    24. Padraig O’Hora Ballina Stephenites
    25. Paul Towey Charlestown Sarsfields
    26. Bob Tuohy Castlebar Mitchels

  196. Looks like club championship will be a straight shootout between Mitchels and the Stephenites 🙂

  197. Knew mcstay and Co would go with a strong team! So important to top the group. Pity no cillian still any update on him was it a hamstring injury?

    So eoghan is injured thankfully not a long term one though !!

  198. Gizmobobs -There would be 4 westport players in the squad if Keegan didn’t retire and McLaughlin and Brickiden were fit so don`t write them off either.

  199. I was being tongue in cheek JKEL88. Knockmore Similarly to Westport, outside of McLoughlin who will be 34 and McHale 30 a lot of their team is Under 23s. Their average age in 2020 when won was 21 I think. Ballina with players at their disposal should be pushing on this year really, they nearly all current or former Intercounty players at different age groups including 5 senior panel men this year. But Castlebar and Westport could indeed thwart them.

    Westport St. Patricks winning before and behind them at underage and massive numbers with 3-4 teams some age groups winning in different divisions at same age groups. The club have done massive work in fairness to them. But should the county board look at breaking them back out into their constituent parts of Westport and Aughagower even at underage only? With other clubs struggling for survival would be good to have another club with sufficient numbers at underage. Is Westports new pitch also being built in Kilmeena?

  200. Ideally this is a game to get control of early, and run the bench. On paper we should have too much for this Louth team. A game for our fringe players to show what they can do. Louth have nothing to lose and should go for it leaving them exposed. We are a big scalp and this would be a shock loss. My concern is we have been defeated in these types of games before. It shouldn’t happen, remember Longford. So I say go for it early and put it to bed ASAP and don’t play down to their northern football methods. If the weather is a washout I would say 4-5 point victory, but if conditions are ideal Mayo’s running game should be too much we should in all honestly be 10 points clear. Also use of the long ball over the blanket to Aidan. We should be causing a lot of damage. @Mayo88 , Mayo should look to inflict maximum damage as they struggle sometimes in a dogfight situation. Either way a win works, but let’s look to do it as impressively as possible and push on from there.

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