Armagh 0-17 Mayo 0-17: late home surge to level it

When goalkeeper Colm Reape planted a cracking free between the posts from nearly fifty yards out with just four minutes of normal time left, we looked home and hosed against Armagh. Roared on by a raucous home crowd at the Athletic Grounds, however, Armagh bagged five points without reply – all of them from placed balls – to claim a share of the spoils.

Last weekend, we were delighted to snatch a draw and saw the point we’d gained against Galway as a point won. Last weekend, we sniggered at Padraig Joyce complaining about soft frees and too much stoppage time played. Today, the shoe was on the other foot for us in all those respects but an essential truth remains about both matches, in that a draw was a fair outcome to both games.

This afternoon’s match, played in front of over 14,000 supporters at a packed Athletic Grounds, finished in helter-skelter fashion but it was a slow-burner to get going. In fact, it never ignited at all over the course of a rather soporific opening half, at the end of which we were fortunate enough to find ourselves only two points adrift.

We made two changes before throw-in. Diarmuid O’Connor, as expected, didn’t tog and so Aidan O’Shea started instead of him. The big man proceeded to put in a dominant display for us. Our other switch saw Fionn McDonagh start instead of Aiden Orme.

The first half was a cagey affair and, from our perspective, a frustrating thirty-five minutes. There wasn’t much evidence of our supposed new kicking game, as we kept handpassing our way up the pitch and then circling out around the ’45 looking for an opening. It all looked very laboured.

Despite enjoying the bulk of the possession, we hadn’t much to show for our efforts in that opening half. Armagh were happy to sit back and let us play the ball back and over outside our scoring range, then hit us with fast, direct moves on the break.

With ten minutes to go to half-time, there was, though, just a point in it. Aidan O’Shea, the recipient of a few poorly directed balls in, caught one for a mark and converted it. That was our fourth point of the day, the others coming from Ryan O’Donoghue (two frees) and Fionn McDonagh.

Armagh put on a bit of a spurt then, stretching their lead out to four. They were full value for it too, playing down the hill in that opening half – listeners to the ‘Final Whistle’ pod will have heard Billy Joe explain this – where they had the wind with them to boot.

We got the final two points of the half, though, with scores from Jordan Flynn and blood sub Cillian O’Connor. Rafferty gifted his restart straight to Cillian who sought to lob the stranded ‘keeper but he couldn’t keep his effort under the bar.

We were a totally different proposition in the second half. Where before we’d been too slow and too lateral in our movements, now we were quick and direct. Much of the possession we were hoovering up around the middle went through Aidan O’Shea and his aggression and good distribution at last enabled us to open them up.

Now the scores started to come with regularity for us. Armagh had got the opening point of the second half but we then hit back with two. Aidan got the first of these and James Carr ended a great move to bag the second.

They responded with a Tiernan Kelly score and Ryan bagged his third pointed free, after a foul on Aidan in response. Then Rian O’Neill uncharacteristically boomed a scoreable free wide for them.

We were now taking a stranglehold around the middle and we hit them with four points on the spin. Matthew Ruane finished a fine running move to grab the first, Ryan with a free got the second, Jordan Flynn fisted over the third and another Ryan free, after he’d been clattered by O’Neill, got the fourth.

Armagh finally got some respite when Turbitt bagged one down the other end, a move in which Rafferty, roaming far away from home, played a significant part. Cillian, back on again, this time for Jack Carney, squeezed over a lovely score from out on the right.

Two more points from Ryan, one of them from play, stretched our lead to five. Armagh looked all out of ideas at this stage and we began to think that the points were in the bag.

Murnin pulled one back for them but then Colm Reape landed that long free. That seemed to be that and, with just four minutes of normal time left, it certainly should have been.

It’s hard to know what triggered our late, late collapse. We definitely seemed to lose our composure and more clever use of the ball could have seen us strike for a killer blow at the other end. Armagh also didn’t have too much trouble in getting the frees they needed to claw out the draw but we should still have held on and seen out the win.

The bags we made of an attack right at the death, which ended when Eoghan McLaughlin shot wildly wide with Rafferty stranded upfield, opened the way to their last desperate attack. That yielded the free that O’Neill put over to level the game.

The Armagh crowd celebrated that leveller with as much joy as we’d greeted Ryan’s fat-from-the-fire strike last Saturday night. And sure why wouldn’t they? Their team had refused to accept defeat and got their just reward at the finish.

We’ll definitely look on this one as a point lost. But, once the initial frustration of seeing victory slip from our grasp fades, I think Kevin McStay and his management team will be satisfied enough with the return we’ve got from the two League games we’ve played.

We’ve yet to win but we’ve yet to lose either. We can see already that we should be able to do enough to survive in the division while, hopefully, also doing enough to avoid having to contest a League decider.

In that latter regard, we may have inadvertently helped our League final avoidance plans today. That wasn’t, needless to say, what we were aiming to do in a game we had the winning of but in which we didn’t have the composure required to see out the win that was fully within our grasp.

Mayo: Colm Reape (0-1, free); David McBrien, Rory Brickenden, Jack Coyne; Stephen Coen, Conor Loftus, Enda Hession; Matthew Ruane (0-1), Aidan O’Shea (0-2, one mark); Jack Carney, Bob Tuohy, Jordan Flynn (0-1); Fionn McDonagh (0-1), James Carr (0-2), Ryan O’Donoghue (0-7, six frees). Subs: Cillian O’Connor (0-1) for Carr (blood) and for Carney, Eoghan McLaughlin for McDonagh, Darren McHale for Tuohy, Conor McStay for Carr, Donnacha McHugh for O’Shea.

Who was our MOTM against Armagh? Pick your top three performers

  • Aidan O'Shea (29%, 951 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (19%, 633 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (14%, 451 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (6%, 212 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (6%, 204 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (5%, 175 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (5%, 172 Votes)
  • David McBrien (2%, 80 Votes)
  • Bob Tuohy (2%, 69 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (2%, 67 Votes)
  • Colm Reape (2%, 60 Votes)
  • James Carr (2%, 52 Votes)
  • Fionn McDonagh (1%, 32 Votes)
  • Jack Coyne (1%, 31 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 28 Votes)
  • Rory Brickenden (1%, 26 Votes)
  • Darren McHale (0%, 16 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (0%, 14 Votes)
  • Conor McStay (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Donnacha McHugh (0%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,795

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114 thoughts on “Armagh 0-17 Mayo 0-17: late home surge to level it

  1. Learn from the performance, move on. Composure required but lots of positives and with plenty more players to come back.

    Kerry game will be a cracker.

  2. Great report Willie Joe. I think you haven’t accounted for one of our points and I think it can be attributed to Cillian O’Connor.

  3. Agree @Mayo13BG…lost composure / poor decision making at the end but new lads did well again.
    Plenty of competition for places on the 26 .
    Learn and move on

  4. We should be targeting a victory against Kerry as they’ll be really up for it as we’ve seen in our recent encounters, they take great (and I mean great) pleasure in beating us and it gives them a huge boost – remember how they celebrated after beating us in our meeting in Kerry last year. We need to treat it as the biggest game so far this year. I’m glad our lads have the next 2 weeks to prepare for it, and I’m looking forward to a potential tussle between McBrien and Clifford. I guarantee you they’ll have all their big guns back for this game, I hope we have a few lads back as well. Would it be too early to play Tommy?

  5. I thought coyne got a yellow in the first half and in the last ten minutes of the second. Aos and flynn did very well but both were caught in possession at a crucial stage of the armagh comeback. Reape is at sea under the high ball. Lucky not to concede 2 late on. The wrong mcgloughlin came on. Crazy shooting from eoin mcgloughlin. A point lost

  6. If I was McStay I’d make only one change for Kerry match: Cillian in for Jack Carney. Aside from that, go with the same starting team as today.

    Then, the key thing will be dominant and experienced subs coming in, ie Paddy, Swanee, and with the help of god Tommy Conroy.

    My anger is slowly subsiding.

    Special mention of course to Aido. What a performance, against a very good Armagh team. Despite what some posters think, we do all want to see him play well. Hope he keeps it up. I really didn’t see him pulling out a performance like that today. I’m thrilled for him. I’m thrilled for any Mayo player who plays like that. End of.

  7. Just to divert from the game today and as some people may have read, that plonker pay Spillane made some very insulting comments about Monaghan today on his twitter account. Won’t repeat them here but What an absolute gobshite he is thinking he can go about insulting people like that

  8. Read the small print next time Record!!! It says “Parody” account under his name!!!
    But, easy mistake to make.

  9. We showed good spirit to come back in the second half and it was a pity we did not hold on but the ref was no help. I like the gutsy play in the last 2 matches so we are well up to winning Connacht which for me would be a good year.
    Some good performances from Aidan, Ryan, Matthew, Cillian, Jordan. Some poor ones also from Stephen and Conor who were poor last year also so I think long term we should try a few new players in the half back line. Maybe we don’t have them apart from Patrick Durcan. Eoghan despite his terrible decision today will probably fit in there also.
    So more positives than negatives overall and sure even if we have not reached the holy grail it’s always a pleasure supporting the green above the red.
    As the great Paul Flynn said once you played Mayo with all the chaos the Dubs game plan went out the window. I’ll take that as a compliment all day long.
    Mayo always entertain and that to me is what sport is all about. Roll on Kerry.

  10. Liberal role,I agree Aido was great but tired at the end. Should have subbed 5 minutes earlier .

  11. Absolutely Jr, but that was management’s fault, not Aido’s. He had a stormer.

  12. Letting a five point lead slip going down the home straight is really disappointing but I would have gladly settled for a draw at half time. We were very poor in the first half and it was only when Aidan O’Shea grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck after the break that we started to fire. I would like to see Paddy Durcan back for the Kerry game to add some experience to the defence. Would also like to see COC start to take some of the pressure off Ryan, whom we have an over reliance on.

  13. The fallacy of so called attacking halfbacks was laid bare today. If they must go forward, then ensure they give the ball to a finisher & stop these ridiculous potshots, which appears to carry favour with supporters but statistically are a waste of time & energy. Such tactical & operational failures only energies the opposition.
    Far more beneficial to practice & implement ball-retention when leading, with time running out – just ask Galway last week & Mayo today.

  14. Just back, nice ground and a good atmosphere.
    Overall i was pleasantly surprised with our performance, first half against a strong breeze and did well to contain Armagh. We broke their kick out code in the second half and really did well on broken ball. Armagh brought on subs who made a difference in midfield and Armagh put a half back who pulled and dragged Ruane. With AOS getting tired and Rafferty hanging out in MF, we struggled to gain possession in the last 10 minutes. It should be noted that Armagh put on a full press so difficult to stem the tide.

    However 2 points in the first two games is satisfactory but the players will need to become more cynical, and decision making will need to improve but these are great games to gain experience. I would still like to see the newer players continue to start to gain these game smarts. Connacht will be a real test but whoever wins will be very competitive.

  15. Jordan Flynn at 6 anyone? FB line needs protection and he’s a good tackler and well able to get a move going…. I just think he’s at his best with the play in front of him….

  16. Isn’t Coyne really settling in quite nicely, no fuss, really bedding into the team I feel. A tidy defender who’ll be gaining huge experience from these games and will continue to improve. He’ll hold his place. He has quality. A Brendan Harrison type of player to my eyes. Stephen Coen could be under pressure from Swanee.

  17. As its only early february and just the second round of the league, I find it a little easier to temper my disappointment at not winning when 5 points up coming down the home straight. As long as McStay and the team can file this away, learn from it and use it to our advantage come championship then we’ll live with it. I think Kevin was a tad late in replacing Aidan O’Shea who was brilliant today but he was clearly gassed (as were a few others) by the time Armagh started running at us. There was nothing wrong with our tackling much of the time but the ref to be honest gave some soft frees to them – any contact at all and he was pointing to the posts! All we want is consistency from refs. We did something typical of younger less experienced players and went into blind panic mode when the pressure came on – something that can be worked on and will improve the longer these lads play. Colm Reape did fine – his kickouts were decent but hes very suspect under the high ball. It was a positive to have kept a clean sheet. If David Clifford starts for Kerry the next day that could be an issue – we might need to target scoring a few majors ourselves!

  18. I think Jordan Flynn got 2 points. Interesting display when you consider who is missing. We got caught on 2 or 3 occasions waiting for the ball rather than driving out to it which i hope we learn from. James Carr is worth persisting with if he finds cosistency he has all the basic ingredients to be a serious forward. Under Horan he was generally subbed at halftime when he started games even if others were performing poorer whereas Kevin and co are giving him a chance and his fitness for this level will improve with so much game time. Good signs in a super competitive Division 1. Galway and Monaghan to be relegated anyone?

  19. Michael Plunkett would be an ideal centre back. He has a great pass, can kick a point, is experienced, and can tackle, hopefully we see him with Paddy and Padraig soon. McBrien will be the starting full back when we have a full deck to pick from, I was impressed with him today, and he has seirious speed for a big man. I thought Kevin’s post match interview was alarming, a top manager wouldnt have been smiling after that last 10 minutes, let alone being happy to be going “back down the road with a point”. He’s a bit giddy in interviews, and doesn’t give an aura of authority. Maybe the players got a different talking to.

    The Galway bloggers on here are quiet today. Massive win for the rossies, who could habe a big say in the conaught championship.

  20. Just home. Very disappointing finish to the game. Should have 3 or 4 points in the bag. First half was dire. Can’t hit an empty goal. Fell apart in extra time. Put pressure on our own keeper and he gave the ball away. Put no pressure on their keeper and let him run the field. Don’t know why McStay was so giddy about a draw when we had the game won. Is he trying to kill AOS leaving him on until last few minutes. The blanket is awful to watch but look like we are stuck with it.

  21. Coyne is physically too light for senior it certainly showed today. Some really bad decision making in the closing stages E Mcloughlins in particular, great ball going into Aidan today and distributed it well fair play to him. Carney be lucky to start the next day.

  22. That’s ridiculous. Coyne plenty strong for intercounty. Go to specsavers you.

  23. We probably need good performances this time of year maybe as much as results and I feel we got a lot of good performances today. If i was to criticise management atall it would be that Kevin McLoughlin probably should have come in instead of mcstay for the experience to see out the game.

  24. Nothing won,nothing lost, really looking forward to the kerry challenge. Lord ,didn’t aido put in a stormer today, the young lads will feed off that too, I said it last week that if they make it their business to survive the division…..

  25. Some awful copping out by our fellas when in positions to shoot. Back passing dreadful to watch. Why don’t fellas just have a go when on their good foot, within range and a split second opportunity presents itself ?….

  26. A mixed type of game which we struggled to get to grips with in the first half but totally bossed it for 30mins of the second. A disappointing end obviously but there are positives to take and came away with a point. We had a lot of inexperience on the field going into that final 10 mins and it showed, Reape, McBrien, Brickenden, Coyne, Loftus (in a defensive role), McStay wouldn’t have felt that intercounty intensity before but it will stand to them in the months ahead. Which alot of experience to come back into the team, I’d be very optimistic for the year ahead.

  27. I’d say Monaghan are doomed alright but I think with Walsh and finnerty (not sure on comer diagnosis) returning for the last couple of games, Galway will dig themselves out eventually. Still don’t see Donegal picking up much more points to be honest, they bet a complete shadow Kerry side last week, and I feel they’ll struggle when the rest step up to chship intensity as the league goes on

    It’s still very early to be calling anything though. We’re not a whole lot better off than Galway in terms of points to be writing them off as relegation contenders while speaking bullishly about our own chances. Make no mistake that’s a point dropped today. It’ll all come down to the last day again most likely – at both ends

  28. Thanks Liberal, noted, appointment booked for specsavers. Delighted I’ve been wrong about Coyne must of been someone else I was watching

  29. Where all the last 5 Armagh scores frees? Was sure murnan (who was fantastic today – could he be one of the “finds” of the season in a new role in FF?) or turbitt snuck one from play in that period, but maybe not..

    Armagh have a lot going for them, went badly out of it in the second half but showed great spirit to pull out the draw and were fantastic in the first half. If they pressed up on the last Galway knockout they probably would have gone on to make an all ireland final last year. Very interesting proposition this summer. Traditionally as a county have always turned up in big games, they feed off momentum hugely and thrive on the fanfare generated from their incredible support base within the county

  30. Fair play to O’Shea but strong midfield displays by him in the league are common and credit to him for this. The concern is his influence wanes as the summer progresses. I can’t remember the last time he dominated a championship match in Croke Park.

    Hard to know how to feel after today. Some good individual displays. A relatively inexperienced defence which will really be tested by Kerry. Jury out on Loftus at 6. Letting a 5 point lead slip like that is unacceptable really.

  31. I wouldn’t read too much into McStay’s tone in after match interviews….he wasn’t even too gloomy after Mayo hockeyed his Rossies in that Croke park replay a few years back.
    I think it’s just his personality.

  32. @ciaran. 2 from play and 3 frees i think to make up the last 5 pts. You’ll get away with nothing here @williejoe

  33. – In the first half we really took keep ball to a new level (bad). Mayo were playing into a low sun but that is no excuse for turning back to your own goal once you got a pass, it was dire stuff.
    – Transformed in second half by going more direct, Rafferty for all his smarts keep kicking out to his left hand side where Mayo cleaned-up.
    – 5 points up and cruising even after missing two great goal chances… Armagh were gone and their supporters were resigned to defeat…
    – Then Stefan Campbell and Sub Duffy ran straight down the middle and drew frees from a chicken of a ref who was swayed by the home crowd. Two key frees against us were absolutely not frees , this give Armagh and their supporters oxygen and they kept pressing and got more frees and 45s and a draw..
    – Eoghan McLoughlins miss was unforgivable he is around the intercounty setup long enough to have eradicated this daftness from his play he needs to concentrate on the basics.
    – Aido MOM… McBrien bedding in, blanket disappeared for last 10 mins..more questions than answers.
    – Yet another county ground with a brutal PA system could not hear a thing , they might as well have been shouting from Australia.
    – Kerry next, massive improvement needed , is it there ???

  34. I wouldn’t be any way worried about meeting Armagh in the summer. They had two men on O Se and still couldn’t sackle him. We cleaned them at midfield and their lucky we were naive at the end.

    I’m raging none of our lads none of our lads fell to the ground in those closing minutes or dropped someone else to the ground more like.

    Had we done so we would have the 2 pints tonight.

    No, Armagh are average and won’t do much this summer.

    After the game any Armagh fan I spoke with all declared we threw it away. Simple as.

  35. Ruane was on the deck in the last few mins and proceeded to spring straight into the air for an assist moments later. The home crowd didn’t like that one!

    Decent game overall the consistent failure to give away match winning leads (for most other teams) is extremely infuriating and I hope McStay and Rochford take a serious look at it.

  36. Roscommon a nice league team beat a very poor Galway missing Comer, Finnerty and Walsh up front by 1 point in a very bad match so no im not quiet just yeah big deal but come business end Roscommon will like last year lose to someone like Clare in the qualifiers. Big issue again unfortunately is injuries which if continuing will leave us unlikely to advance in 2023. Mayo have 2 points so I wouldnt be relaxing just yet yerselves either. Its all to play for but so many matches so quickly the injuries will only increase.

  37. It was four frees and a ’45 for Armagh at the finish, so definitely five placed balls. O’Neill scored three (one a ’45), Grugan and Turbitt got the other two.

  38. Some of you may have read or posted on
    One of the longtime Mayo contributors on that forum went by the name of Farrendelin.
    Sadly, he passed away today.

    Farrendelin is the name of the townland he came from, he was a Knockmore man.
    He leaves behind a wife and two small children.

    I didn’t know him at all other than reading his posts on gaaboard, but he seemed a thoroughly decent man. A tragically young age to leave a wife and small kids. RIP.

  39. Do people see what I mean about bringing Aidan on as a sub in the first half around the 25 min mark?
    We didn’t have a whole pile scored by 25 mins.
    Aidan then could have finished the game strong. As it was Aidan tired, eventually taken off and we went out of the game during his tiredness and subsequent absence.
    We’re not brave enough to try it. But the truth is there is much more scoring done in the final 20 mins than in the first 20 mins.

  40. Well done Aidan, some shift, keep it lit! Reminded me of a young fella we saw in Longford many years ago.
    Will Diarmuid be out long? so bady missed all over the pitch today.

  41. I’ve gone back to re-check those final scores, including my notes on them (I was in the terrace behind the goal we were defending in the second half). Turbitt’s point was from play alright (that was the second score of the five) but the one before it (Grugan, free) and the three O’Neill ones after that were all placed balls, two frees and a ’45.

  42. NEGATIVES:1 point dropped Today for sure. With 5 minutes left of normal time We were I think 4 clear. This has been the Bain of many a Mayo Team down through the years rewind Meath in Croke Park in 96, we have No Killer Instinct to kill off a game. Until We Learn how to Mansge a lead in the last 10 minutes of a game We are going Nowhere. The Referee was a joke especially in the closing 7/8 minutes. An Armagh player only had to sneeze and he got a Free awarded.
    POSITIVES : This Team will learn from Today and last week. No wonder Kevin was in great form being interviewed a New Young Team being fashioned before our eyes and more experienced players to come back into the fold. Reape, Carr, Tuohy, Mc Brien, Carney are all settling in well. I would think Loftus and Coen are under serious pressure. Aidan O Shea was A Colossus Today and stormed through Armagh in the 2nd half. MOM performance and will always be as long as he can pull on a Mayo Shirt Lethal.
    Kerry be aware.

  43. Omg that is shocking news tubber , he went out of his way one year to meet me with an all Ireland ticket . A very sincere & genuine man

  44. We left a point behind us today, but the big picture is the development that we’re getting into our young players. McBrien, Brickendon, Coyne, Touhy and Reape are all learning on the job, and not at the expense of our division 1 status. We’ve still got 3 home games to get 4 points for safety and I’m sure that McStay and co are secretly delighted with how we’re playing. We’ve drawn against 2 of last seasons final 4 and should certainly have beaten Armagh away from home.
    We’re still drinking at the top table even with all the turnover and to put Armagh to the sword with Paddy, DOC, Conroy and Hennelly to come back, should give us great hope for the season ahead. Looking at the way that we got the best out of AOS today is another huge plus. As others have said, it was his best game in years.

  45. Dissapointing to not see young Paul Towey again today. Another game that just passed Jack Carney by, no real aggression or demanding to get on the ball, and no shots at the target, what are his strengths?
    Thought Enda Hession played well today much more suited to half back than in the corner.Full back line looking O’Hora McBrien and Brickenden and Coyne fighting for the corner back spot.Any word on Brendan Harrison fitness??
    Cillian looks really sharp hope he starts against Kerry in 2 weeks time what a beauty of a point that was with his left today.
    The Aido bashers will be quite tonight what a shift he put into today, you can see that he has been working on his shooting!!

  46. Aidan played a great game today. He tired at the end but he is a big man and it’s hard to sustain that effort for the full game. He covered a lot of ground. Was surprised he was not taken off a bit sooner. Ref did us no favours and give a couple of dubious frees. But fair play to Armagh. They showed great character.
    We need to be able to close out games. Hard to know where to play Aidan after today. We are still experimenting and it is difficult to see that we will have a settled first fifteen for the championship. This is not helped by the fact we are meeting Galway in the first round. However I do believe that both the players and management are giving it their all. Please God the hard work will pay off.

  47. What a load of rameis to discount the possibility of us having to contest a league final kerry never think like that we should go all out to win as many competitions as we can it only builds confidence and gives us a sense of power and dominance

  48. Just watched the match again and bar the last five minutes, I’m happy with that. I think there are slow signs of change in terms of what McStay and co wish to implement. McBrien and a Tuohy are settling in to the team nicely. Durcan is needed for his experience in the half back line. Criminal that we kicked that free when Ruane was still on the ground. The concession of the four frees and even the 45 to allow Armagh to reel us in was very poor. The game had lost any sense of shape by then and we need to work on that.

    Certainly though some of our play just after half time was superb, great movement, options off the shoulder as well as movement in the inside line. I thought O’Shea inside allowed us to have a real focal point at times. Cillian is looking sharp in his appearances. Flynn continues to play well, needs to concentrate for the whole game the only slight concern.

    After the doom and gloom of the departures I’m optimistic about a team forming that can compete.

  49. Kerry don’t have to beat two div one teams to win Munster, we have to beat ros the week after the league final . Absolutely no way is there any benefit to competing in a league final this year for mayo . (Gearoid)

  50. @Mayonaze

    Ive noticed in general you are a negative poster but if you cant understand that AOS plays better on tight provincial grounds rather than Croker I can’t help ya.Have you watched a lot of Mayo games?
    He’s not done too bad on the big pitches either but he has slowed down a bit now,still a top player for Mayo whether we use him from the bench(my preference )or have to parachute him in for situations like today.

  51. Had the pleasure of having Farrendelin as a friend, a gentleman through and through and an avid follower of the game, and a great club man, he will be sorely missed.

    Thoughts with his family, especially his wife and young children at this sad time. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

  52. Only knew Farrendelins name from other forum,shocking to hear,especially as he was a young enough man,RIP.

  53. MayoMayo1,dont know if you were at the game or not, but when Mattie was down, Fergal Kelly warned the kicker( I couldn’t see who it was) to get on with the play, or he would give a hop ball for time wasting

  54. Just to add on the scoring I made it the following for Armagh to get back level:

    Free – foul on the edge of the box
    Free – foul by Coyne
    Free – foul by McBrien after a poor handpass by Reape
    45 – when Armagh had a decent goal chance
    Free – foul by McStay

    Open to correction on the above but I think this gives an indication as to how debate can start about football as we can all watch the same thing and see different things!

  55. One more thing to add, as Craggy noted above, I think Coyne did get two yellows but didn’t get his matching orders.

    Given recent history of the number of players on the pitch perhaps it didn’t matter…

  56. A mixture of frustration, pride, optimism and exasperation after that match. Frustration at the dropping of a point, when we should have had the game in the bag, with a 5 point lead nearing the end and dominating. Our game management was poor-all we need to do was retain possession, wind down the clock and frustrate the hell out of them-instead, we coughed up possession cheaply on a number of occasions and took wrong options. Admittedly, we were not helped by atrocious refereeing decisions in giving Armagh three soft frees-in fact particularly the last one and the one where the attacker was surrounded and lost the ball were scandalous and never frees. Pride in the performance of this young team and all of the newcomers and optimism for the future. McBrien, Touhy and Coyne look the part, Hession, Mattie, Flynn, Ryan, Carr and Cillian did well and Aido was outstanding, despite being written off by many people-definitely MOTM. The first half we were poor, with slow over and back sideways passing, with no one willing to take the shot on, until, eventually, a poor ball was played. – in contrast, Armagh were much more direct. Thankfully, in the second half, we were much better and much more incisive and direct-we were superb, apart from the late collapse. The next match against Kerry will give us a fair idea of where we are. Getting back to the referee-this is the second time, I have seen him recently and he is woeful-I know the GAA struggles to get enough referees, but there has to be some minimum standard. Minor fouls drew yellow cards, anytime a player hit the ground seemed to be a free, proper shoulders were frees,one Armagh player, Campbell, I think, ran through the middle and kicked a point, after taking, at least, 10 steps and then Finn, I think, gets away with a yellow, after clattering Carr with a right hook to the head-an unfortunate Monaghan player got red, for a much less serious and probably accidental head contact. Not confined to today’s clown, but I see a lot of frees being given when players are surrounded and bottled up-these are not frees, in the rules,-maybe they should be or my preference would be to put the onus on the player in possession to use the ball or concede a free, if they hold onto it(a bit like in rugby). And I really wish the GAA would more Cleary define what constitutes a legitimate tackle, because I am completely mystified and you can see the exasperation on defenders faces-soft frees are a regular feature-players going to ground seem to almost always get frees and, of course, as a result, many play for the free.

  57. Similar to the game last week close to winning,losing and ended up with a draw. Two points from tricky Armagh,Galway games and unbeaten after them isn’t a bad start. Great atmosphere and attendance had the feel of championship game or be the chilly weather told us otherwise. A few weeks of training should bring the lads on, looking forward to remaining 5 league games this is certainly the best format comp the GAA have.

    @Chesneychet the rossies more than just a nice league team they also beat your Galway lads twice in recent Connacht final in Salthill. Looking at the Roscommon team that started yesterday compared to last summer I count just 5 same starters. They have introduced more young forwards in O’Carroll and Cregg shouldn’t Galway be doing the same with their underage success now that’s Comer,Walsh is gone? Biggest fear for any Galway supporter now is that they repeat their 2019 season when came directly after a good year in 2018.

  58. With ourselves playing Kerry next and Galway welcoming Tyrone to tuam, there’s every chance they’ll actually be ahead of us in the table in two weeks so I’m not really getting this dancing on their grave stuff just yet…

    The league can be funny with results varying wildly from one week to the next. I recall us surviving ourselves (and even making knockouts when 4 made semis) after very poor starts some seasons. Moral of the story making predictions after two games is fairly pointless. Tyrone took an unmerciful walloping in tuam in 2020 and then bet peak Dublin in the next round..

    If comer is out he’ll clearly be an astronomical loss but Walsh and finnerty will play roles in the league yet. They’re a better side than Monaghan, Armagh and Donegal, and well able to beat Tyrone at home so I don’t see them in real danger of relegation tbh. Roscommon, like Armagh, had every incentive to hit the ground running early doors so will always be tricky customers in the earlier rounds

    We’re probably 4 points from guaranteed safety ourselves so I’m definitely not looking down on anyone else. If we go pointless again in two weeks we’ll suddenly have a bit of work to do as we’ll possibly be in the relegation zone depending on other results

  59. @FW thanks for your kind comment on my contributions.

    That’s the exact point I was making!!! Aidan is annually very good in the league but when it comes to faster games in a wide Croke, Aidan has been far less effective over the last 5 years. If that’s negative, then so be it. I see it factual and therefore as a fair comment. Id love of he was brilliant in Croke Park, but he’s not. So unless new management can wave a magic wand then I can see the same trend happening again in 2023.

  60. Staying up in Division 1 is definitely a high priority for the future development of this young team, however, if we want to be playing in the All Ireland series this summer then a top 4 finish is crucial. There is certainly no guarantee we will make a Connacht final this year with Roscommon and Galway in the way, so our Division 1 ranking could very well end up being the deciding factor.

  61. @Ciaran, who is dancing on Galway’s grave?. I haven’t seen one blogger say they are going to get relegated. That was a big win for Roscommon, and in my view for Galway to improve they need to strengthen their panel. Obviously didnt see their game which sounded poor going by the scoreline, not uncommon thid time of year. But they can’t be relying on the old dogs of Comer and Walsh to reach the next level.

  62. I agree with Ciaran about not to be dancing on our grave just yet. Our panel depth or lack of worrying as very few of the all ireland winning 2020 u20s showing bar Jack Glynn. Tierney needs to get his mojo back. Damo suspected cruciate added to the dreaded cruciate Molloy now going through really means we have a lot to do. Caught the 2nd half of your game after leaving Salthill. Ye were surprisingly decent as thought Armagh would win. Altbough ye should have seen it out a draw is a good result. In my view they are the best team in Ulster and I don’t expect to get anything from our trip to the Athletic Grounds on March 18th. Fair play to the Rossies although they had all their big guns playing bar possibly Donie Smith. Staying in Div 1 our only goal now and then hopefully not crucified with injuries come late Spring.

  63. Aido at FF is some option for us to have up our sleeve if we can get the right ball to him. The straight ball gives defenders more of a chance. The diagonal ball gives them more of a problem. The diagonal ball in from Jordan Flynn in the second half was just about perfect. The defender had no option but to foul. Easy free.

    Some of our attacking play in the second half was very good. Some lovely scores. We should have seen the game out but the referee did us no favours either. Two of those frees at the end were rotten. A good point earned against a tough Armagh outfit on their own patch and as others have said there is no better place to learn for the younger players than on the job.

    Robbie, Paddy Durcan, Tommy Conroy and DOC are guaranteed starters who were missing yesterday. O Hora and Plunkett would also be close to the starting 15.

    Without any shadow of a doubt we are still a serious outfit.

  64. 45, dont know where you are getting your information but a top 4 league finish is not crucial to All Ireland series qualification. Barring some absolutely freakish 1 in a billion series of results all div 1 teams will be in the All Ireland series.

  65. Aidan did have a phenomenal game at midfield in 2013 QF vs Donegal. Was probably excellent again against Tyrone in semi but Dublin unlocked both O Sheas in 2nd half that year with Cluxton giving a masterclass in kickouts to more their more mobile and faster lads in 23 degrees heat. Kerry changed the template for midfielders the next year with Moran also very mobile as well as his aerial ability and a converted half forward as his midfield partner. The game has moved towards midfield mobility which means come summer any big man like Aido shouldn’t spend long in that part of the field. The other thing is squad rotation. A lesser player with fresh legs can do a lot more damage than a stronger player tiring. Note the McShane effect for Tyrone, he’s some sub to bring on. Aido is carrying no surplus but still at least a stone more than most players out there and is at a disadvantage. Same point could be made of Flynn who’s a big man too but maybe he’s a better engine than men of his size. So Aido’s role at FF could be 70+ but needs to help midfield to get himself into some games with no ball going in so in those games maybe 55 or max 60. His bro Seamus was good for about 50 to 55 for his last year or 2 before mistakes crept in. The stats guys should and probably are aware of that. One year we played Tipp in Crocker the stats guys were in same part of stadium as me and there ware a lot of them on the job. A very big back room team we had.

  66. Mayo by far the better team in second half and blew a five point lead by panicking and poor decision making when it counted.

  67. Aidan is actually pretty quick on a burst when he’s fresh. I’m not saying he’s blazing but he can move. But there’s a limit to how long a player of his build can stay fresh.
    This is why I’d like to see Aidan coming off the bench. In Croke Park maybe this is in the second half? Croke Park plays so fast and white heat championship is so intense.
    On tighter grounds I think Aidan could come on in the first half for whomever is off form after 25 mins.

  68. If the panel is so good as stated above why are we starting league games with Aidan , surely giving the panel members a first half run is better than the last ten minutes when we need experience on the pitch

  69. Wj. I was in the same end as yourself yesterday. That 1st point that Armagh kicked was flagged as wide and then overruled and given as a point. It was wide and well wide from where I was standing. Armagh lad’s around me couldn’t believe it was given.

  70. Just back after spending the night in Armagh, nice city ticked off the list.
    While I was disappointed we didn’t hand on in the end, I, like Mc Stay feel it was another good day out in the progression of his new team. This is the reason he got a 5 year deal. These new lads need to get exposure to the demands of top 4 football and they are responding brilliantly. Playing Cillian in a cameo role, and Aiden to lesser extent, is all part of year 1’s plan. They will not be there in year 3 and possibly year 2. They will give 110% before they retire so the young lads need this exposure to make that transition is seamless. Division 2 football next year would not be altogether a bad thing as it will not be as strong as this year. The experience gained this year will be vital in the progression for a good shot at the All Ireland in years 3 and 4.

  71. Why did we lose a 5 point lead at the end?

    I’m not being down on the players or critical here as these things happen and, in particular, this is a lesson for a young team.

    In my view it had everything to do with the extremely high and tight press Armagh put on us in the closing 7 minutes or so. It reminded me of how we pressed a shaky Dublin at the end of normal time in the AI SF in 2021. It seemed to squeeze us, and when Armagh got the ball and ran at us, they seemed hard to stop.

    Our goalkeeper was not our long-standing one yesterday. He had a good game but surely that press at the end on his kickouts was intimidating.

    If we could have got the ball up the field and scored, or recycled it a bit until we scored, that would have made all the difference.

    It’s a good lesson for us – that’s how I’m taking it.

  72. @45

    I assume you mean for getting a third seeding in the all Ireland draw.

    5th will guarantee that this year because there is guaranteed to be a division 4 team in the Connacht final.

    6th will likely be good enough, unless Kerry don’t make a Munster final.

    Ulster has spread it’s four division 1 teams out fairly well, so nothing guaranteed there. Leinster won’t have any effect this year.

    So stay up and it’s very unlikely you won’t be third seed

  73. There’s two benefits to making a league final imo

    One: our young team and new management get a taste of croke park

    Two: we could actually win the bloody thing

    Ultimately a league trophy isn’t what we want at the end of the day but imo we spent the last ten years cementing our place at the top table. It’s about time we started translating that into trophies.

  74. Looking back on yesterday I think there are a lot of positives to take from the game yes was really dissapointing not to finish with a win.

    However at half time I was hoping that we wouldn’t be to hammered and the commentators basically wrote us off saying no good without lee keagan or mullin.. I thought they where harsh we still have plenty of talented players yes huge losses but our young guys did well yesterday .

    Cillian o connor coming back to form , Jordan flynn had a great game , Aido was really good that position suits him, Bob touhy is an exciting player and yet to peak . Still waitinh for Tommy c paddy Durcan to come back we are still one of the best teams in the country in my opinion .

    Armagh came back storming in the last 5 min and the ref definetly didnt help us I thought was influenced by the home crowd a bit. I will happily take the point and mayo will learn from that collapse in the 5 minutes! Onwards &upwards should be looking at a win over kerry who are not on top form atm!

  75. Mayo should go all out to win League and go to win every game no matter what it is in. Whats better for players than playing a big game in Croke Park the Sundau before the Roscommon game or a tough A V B game behind closed doors in Castlebar with players knocking lumps off each other trying to make team. A win every game is the way forward.

  76. Ref mistakes evened out over the course of the game. First armagh free that was signalled as a wide was definitely over the bar and the point ruled out. First mayo free actually drifted wide and the point was given. Ref was a complete dose for both teams. But the only questionable decision on the last 5 points was the last free to O Neill, the other 4 decisions were correct, and how Mayo left space for Murnin to nearly bury a goal at the end and put armagh ahead by a point was ridiculous. Good game, but more needed.

  77. I dunno. If we got safe in the league I’d really try to build depth and protect vital players with a reduction in game time.
    Put it like this, if we lose vital players, guaranteed starters significantly better than their replacements, well, too much of that and the championship is already done.
    Jordan Flynn, Cillian O’Connor, Aidan OShea, Mattie Ruane, Ryan O’Donoghue. Do we need to play then in game 7 if we are safe? It is such a difficult season this year to make it to the business end. Developing depth and being lucky with injuries will be part of it.

  78. Though I’ve been reading a bit, I haven’t posted on here in an age, so this might be a long one, even though GlasagusDearg has said above pretty much everything I would have said.

    Firstly, I learn a new word every time I read one of WJ’s posts, so thanks for that, WJ. Expect ‘soporific’ to feature prominently in a column soon.

    Secondly, while I thought Aidan O’Shea was quite magnificent, I thought Enda Hession had a fantastic game. I thought his movement and distribution was excellent, and he ghosted up the wing more times than I cared to count during the game. I’d have thought he deserved more than 5% of the MOTM vote. But speaking of Aidan, it was interesting to hear just how complimentary the Armagh fans were towards him. I heard a lot of admiration being expressed around us and not just for his performance yesterday. Given the amount of crap he takes, a lot of the time from Mayo people, it was very refreshing to hear. Notable mentions too for Mattie Ruane, Jordan Flynn, David McBrien and Jack Coyne but we do need Paddy Durcan and Pádraig O’Hora back in there. I actually thought Ryan O’Donoghue had a quiet enough game by his usual standards and was a bit surprised to see him get MOTM, but scores count I suppose.

    In case there are any Armagh eyes here, their fans really deserve to be complimented. They are real footballing people who brought a brilliant atmosphere, and even when it was getting hot and heavy near towards the end, the geniality of their fans was exceptional. In fact every Armagh person we met over the weekend gave us such a warm and friendly welcome. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a weekend away as much. They are lovely people and gave us a great impression of their place, and while it’s not somewhere I would have really considered visiting before the weekend, I will definitely be making a return trip.

    The refereeing. Oh, the refereeing. In the first half; every time the game threatened to ignite, the blasted whistle took the spark out of it. In the second half he was extremely consistent because nearly every decision he made was baffling to both sets of fans. We can’t blame him for not hanging onto the lead, but some of those frees awarded were criminal. I also thought Cillian was lucky to stay on the pitch before half time after his tussle with Campbell right under the eye of the linesman and I hope we see less of that stuff this year. It’s just frustrating when refereeing is such a talking point, especially in an exciting game like that.

    We also need to get smarter, fast in situations like the one we found ourselves in with ten minutes to go. Have we learned nothing from our neighbours in Galway, who in turn have learned from the Dubs how to become experts and sapping the heat and life out of a game when it is in the melting pot? I am not a proponent of it but when other teams or doing it, which do we want to take – the high moral ground, or the win? Not one player dropped to the ground to slow the game down, we rushed to take a free we had no business rushing to take, we panicked in our kickouts and overall, we were incredibly naive. If there is one thing I would do immediately after a game like that, it is to take those lads aside and teach them that all is fair in love and GAA. It might not be the making of our season today, but championship is a different story and I hope we are a lot cleverer by next April.

    For Armagh I liked the look of Andrew Murnin and Ross McQuillan, when he came on. Amidst the reaction to Mayo losing the 5-point lead, I don’t think Armagh are getting nearly enough credit for the way they pressured the Mayo defence in the last quarter. They did a Mayo on it and pushed up with real aggression. In fact, they brought chaos, and they certainly gave us a taste of our own medicine.

    It was interesting too to note the reaction among the Mayo fans to the Roscommon/Galway game. I don’t know a single Mayo person who would admit to be a big fan of Damien Comer, but I can tell you that the news that he had been stretchered off was greeted with dismay across the board. No-one likes to see that. He has been so unfortunate down the years with injuries and god knows, we know all about that here in Mayo. I hope he makes a speedy recovery but if it is an ACL injury he will be a huge loss.

    Overall, I think we can be happy enough with our progress so far. Up Mayo!

  79. @Culmore get what your saying however it could be a full strength Kerry that Mayo face in that final and shipping another trimming would be awful preparation a week before the championship match v Roscommon

  80. Jesus, I am just spotting the news above about Farrandeelin – I hadn’t heard. Jesus, I am in shock – talk about putting things in perspective. Devastated for his family. May he rest in peace.

  81. Again I hear people on here talking about 3 …..or even 4 year plan s to contest sam. What’s the change in mindset. Horan handed over a team that was in the all Ireland 2021. Missing from thar is keegan. Mullin only played little in that year. Was injured for the semi. Also Missing was cillian. Now he is back. Its Sam or nothing and no daft excuses needed . Kerry have lost moran . Galway looks like without comer. Wish him a full recovery. So its all relative .how long were Rod and conroy playing before they stepped out on all Ireland day. Pretty much immediately. The point is that horan reached the final in total transition. This is not transition

  82. Great post Anne Marie.

    I don’t think any Div 1 team this year will have the luxury of resting their top players, i.e. if they think they’re ‘safe’ on the table. It’s tempting, but incredibly dangerous.

    The pattern so far of teams taking points off each other is likely to continue given they’re all playing at a similar enough level. So….. there might not be a big numerical difference between the teams that are relegated and the teams that end up in the final!!!

    So aim to win every match. Look, if we end up in a league final so be it. Personally I don’t think we will.

  83. Craggy boglands – you’re 100% right. What do people mean when they talk about 2 or 3 year plans? Who’s to say we’ll be better then… What if we suffer another injury crises in 2024/25?

    Sam Maguire is obviously the target this year. Are some of the posters being sincere by saying they’d be happy with a connacht title? A title which has been devalued significantly by the new championship structure.

  84. Great post Anne-Marie, thought Grugan and Soupy Campbell were outstanding too and Duffy made a massive difference when he came in… the real positive for them was O’Neill was actually quiet enough (what a talent though) but others stood up up-front hugely.

    They’re still a few short but do have the makings of a great team – by all accounts they’re down a few midfielders at the moment, which became fairly obvious in the second half. The funny things is their two best fielders of the ball are actually their goalkeeper and their talisman up front, what are the bets at some stage this summer rafferty could actually see action outfield at some point if they’re in bother?

    When the orchard wave gets going they can be very hard stopped. With the exception of Kerry, they’ll see no reason they’re not up there at the same level as the last few all Ireland finalists since Dublin’s era of dominance.

    Anyhow more short term, interesting game for them in two weeks against the high flying Rossies. Its actually a crucial round of fixtures all round. I wouldn’t give the loser of Monaghan and Donegal too much chance of staying up, while the loser of Tyrone and Galway are right in the relegation mix. Mayo could very well end up in the relegation places at the end of round 3, though ultimately I’d say a mid table finish is most likely

  85. I notice Colm Keyes was the only journalist to mention the soft nature of the equalizing free for Armagh.

  86. Let’s see how year one goes first , paddy d , Tommy C and O Hora will give them some boost in fairness . We might surprise a few this year yet , Connacht title would be massive but then after that have we a plan to combat the influence of a Clifford and Sean o se in a championship game v Kerry for example ?
    Avoiding injuries is so crucial nowadays , we were in bad luck last year in this regard . Think about how less of a side Kerry would be without Clifford . I’d wrap some of them up in cotton wool once we are safe in the league , if we can get to that point .

  87. With Tommy, Paddy, Padraig and Robbie as good as back. Mayo at 2/1 are great odds for Connacht. That’s likely our full deck squad wise.

    We lucky our injuries are returning as opposed to Galway who are on a bad run with Molloy, Comer et Al likely out for extended periods.

    I’d go for a London v Mayo Final.

  88. I have to agree with others about the Armagh people. Previously, I would have had a preconception that themselves and Tyrone were cut from the same cloth – prickly, to put it mildly.
    But every one of the Armagh people around me, and the people I chatted to on the walk back to the car were the soundest, friendliest of people.
    It probably helped that neither team lost, but it was a most enjoyable day out, a packed stadium, great atmosphere, noise, drama, and great football from both teams at times.
    Unfortunately the ref seemed to get caught up in the atmosphere and was determined to give the home support what they wanted – he went with the momentum.

  89. Yeah I’ve seen a few people on here talking about 3 year plans for Sam and it’s irritating as hell.
    You don’t ever see Kerry or Dublin or Tyrone thinking like that.
    What you do see in GAA is a first year manager bounce.
    That’s a genuine real trend in intercounty gaa.
    We have it this year and if this management team aren’t going hell for leather to win Sam in 2023 I’ll be disappointed.
    I wouldnt mind seeing Towey get a bit of decent game time against Kerry. He’s a natural scorer but maybe they don’t like his tackling and pressing ability?
    Think Eoghan McL is better off starting games and being subbed off at about 60 min mark. He’s got just enough raw talent to cause chaos for the first 60 min, but when you need cool heads and composure he’s not the guy, not yet anyway.
    Reape is a liability under a high ball and it would be kamikaze stuff by the management team going into a big summer championship game with that weakness in the side. It would be ruthlessly exploited by the top sides as we have seen many times before.

  90. Good point about Eoghan @Mikey3, starting him rather than bringing him in. Then again, say if we were chasing a game in the second half, he’d be very useful coming on in that scenario… running at tired defences.

  91. Mike 3. 100 per cent.. reape is a liability under a high ball. We seen it again on Sunday. Absolutely 2 hops … that’s the only plan I’m interested in hearing about. A serious cut at sam 2023. There is no world beaters out there. Did Sean o shea even turn up for the final last year. Over rated

  92. Ah craggy, Sean O’Shea is not over rated, he’s absolutely top class. Look at all he has achieved at his age. His composure and maturity. Many a day up until last year’s final he outshone DC.

    Eoghan is a nailed on starter come summer (Spring?!). He’s be minded because of Sigerson.

  93. Enda Hession getting 5% of the vote; what a joke! He gave a MOM performance. Well done to Annie-Marie for first pointing it out. Was sublime yesterday. His teamwork is top notch.

  94. Mike3 and Craggy, which goalie would you go for that hasn’t been susceptible to high balls….

  95. Gbxi. What has he achieved . He s a good freetaker. I think its too early to rave about him. Clifford yes but o shea has gone missing too many times for me. On the greatest day two greats stood up and had a shoot out. He wasn’t anywhere near them.

  96. Gizmobobs. Its a fair call. The answer unfortunately is the departed David Clarke. But henelly is a better keeper than reape I think.

  97. I agree Rob is our no.1 by a distance but we are absolutely right to be blooding Reape who is probably our no.2 as Rob will not always be available.. .it takes time to be comfortable at county level. This only comes with experience.

  98. If Michael Plunkett can get back fit he gives us a solid player option who can kickpass and make good decisions. We mainly need good decision makers when we are weighing up players for selection. Of course one needs a basic minimum of the required athleticism.
    Athleticism does not make up for inconsistent decision making in a player in my view.
    Enda Hession looks a really good shout for the five jersey, he played really well around that part of the field. He can run it, pass it, kick it and he’s growing in confidence.

  99. Rob will be our No 1 keeper when he is back available and its right the give the No2 Reape or Byrne game time, never know when they will be needed. However I dont think its the right approach to keep all three on the panel. Id much prefer if we had Rob and a No 2 (looks like Reape now) with a young development keeper taking the third spot (for example Jake Livingstone). This will server us better in the medium to long term.

  100. @Mayomad – Colm Reape is 26 and Rory Byrne is 30 both have plenty to offer in the medium-long term.

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