Big test awaits us tomorrow

Mayo v Kerry

Photo: Breaking News (Inpho)

I get all the sudden interest in what’s happening at minor level but I have to admit that my focus right now remains squarely on the seniors. So much so that thanks to some nifty navigation on the diary front and thanks too in no small measure to an unfailingly understanding spouse, I’m now gearing up for a day return trip to Castlebar to be at the match against Kerry tomorrow afternoon. Nothing beats being there and all that.

This is a big match and a significant test for Stephen Rochford and his team. Both sides are hungry for the League points on offer and, having come through tough encounters last Sunday, both will be keen to keep their good runs going.

It’s also the first meaningful clash with Kerry since 2014 and all that. I know we met in the first round of the League last year but they were only just back off their holidays and weren’t tuned in to any significant degree that day. We can expect a very different and more profound examination from them tomorrow and so it’d be extremely sweet were we to give them the most difficult afternoon we possibly can.

I’ll be travelling west in the morning with a fair bit of hope and a good deal of confidence in our ability to do the business at MacHale Park. I see that 80% of you in the poll reckon we’ll do it and I think we will too, though I’m expecting it to be tense and tight.

Because I’ll be there I’ll be doing the usual post-match audio and will then stick up the MOTM poll before hitting the road back to Dublin. I’m flying solo, though, so it’ll be later on tomorrow night before the match report will be posted.

Here’s to plenty of noise and colour at Castlebar tomorrow and the right result as well. Up Mayo!

39 thoughts on “Big test awaits us tomorrow

  1. Mayo to win by 2 points.
    Very tough, physical encounter expected. A few cards. O Connor n A O Shea Will be targeted.
    Donaghey needs attention n the Gooch when he plays. Cormac….

  2. I’ll be tracking progress in this one from Victor Harbour in South Australia. Pretty hopeful we’ll do the business. Should be a great test for some of the new guys and a seasonal MOT for more established figures.

  3. Yes certainly a big test tomorrow and potentially a season changer. Win and we have huge momentum going into last two games lose and doubts will start to erode confidence. I think it will be very tight and we really need to improve our discipline from last week as Kerry will get scores from play so we don’t want to be giving away scrabble frees. I think we have an edge in midfield and are strong in defence but we should not go man to man to often. Jason Doherty is due a big game on the score board with a goal or two so ill give Mayo a win but it will be tight. Last week’s carry against donegal might just have distracted them a little to our advantage.
    It will be very interesting game in Donegal tomorrow to see how Ros get on and I wouldn’t rule out a shock win for them….But Mhaigh Eo A bhu…first

  4. Important I think to create an atmosphere of retribution tomorrow. No more than Kerry Donegal last week this game is more important for reasons other than the 2 points. Markers need to be set. The Mitchell’s spirit against Cross needs to be on evidence tomorrow. When I say retribution we need to be clever. Whilst Donegal set markers they also lost the game.

  5. Should be a very physical game tomorrow, we need to tighten up at the back, kerry have plenty of good forwards who can score unlike monaghan who depended on there freetaker for scores.

  6. It would be great to get the win tomorrow. We have two kinda newbies at each end of the field, Shane Nally and Brendan Harrison at the back and Conor O’Shea and Evan Regan up front. It’ll be especially interesting to see how they get on! It will be a big test for them. Best of luck to all involved.

  7. Safe journey WJ ,, see a tough physical game but not dirty ,, would settle for a draw to be honest ,, a lot depends on our subs ,,

  8. While most people think this is our year I think this team needs more time to adopt too Stephens way of thinking…when I watched Corrifin in their first year under him it was clear that some players were a bit too complacent and did not play the way he envisaged. Due to work commitments I only got to see last weeks game and I still see the same players making bad decisions at critical times..The forwards get there fair share of criticism but to be fair to some of them when they make there initial run the ball in not played in early enough. When they do receive it they have to much traffic to go through and are further away from goal. There were times last Sunday when the best option was to kick instead of carry and the ball was lost in contact.if we persist in taking the wrong options we will suffer. Were we two points better than Monaghan last week .I believe we should have beaten well but it did not show on the scoreboard. Its all about converting the chances to create and if we do not keep a 2/3 ratio today Kerry will beat us .. Wish I could be there .enjoy it and today will tell a tale

  9. As mentioned above already – todays’ will be a season defining game for a number of reasons. Really need to see our lads put down a serious marker for the year ahead against a strong Kerry team. Let there be no inch given for the full 70+ mins. Its win at all costs today !!

  10. if our defence stays solid like it has in recent weeks then we will win. For me Aiden needs to enter this game with fire in his belly. Though kerry have named 2 35yr olds in there defence they might lack a bit of pace so lets expose that. Mr bean(Aiden o mahony) likes to bully his way about so we wont be bullied in our own back yard. If our guys are not fired up for this then they never will be.

    Of course u never know what a game shall throw up. Black cards. Injuries. The plan can get altered in blink of an eye. Last week we showed that without a number of top names we got the job done and i think that will enstill confidence in our boys.

    What i dont want to see is gifting possession back to kerry on regular basis as it can drain the momentum from the team and supporters. If we use possession wisely and defend well we will win the game.

  11. Suitably embracing Toughnup! O’Mahony imagines himself to be in charge of the Kerry defence now and blatently seeks out players for his macho,within the rules treatment.Our fellas will be aware of this.The big fella is another yoke to be careful with!
    I’d hope we can hold onto enough ball inside to make the difference today.
    It’s going to be some day with the hurling and all and all! A great day out entirely for everyone!

  12. Is there anywhere to watch the game because I’m unfortunately away? I’d hate to miss this game!

  13. As Donald trump would say, ” we re gonna build a wall, a beautiful wall” to keep those Kerry crowd away from our goal, if we do that I think Mayo will get the points. Down are goners and cork are shaky too where as Mayo lost 3 competitive games and will beat down and I cannot see them giving Roscommon much in the line of a free run like our minors did on Friday last., so Mayo can and should give Roscommon something to think about. Has the manager of the minors been fired yet? Maybe we could get trump in to deliver the ” you’re fired” line to him?

  14. I think play it very tight with always at least eight back for the first 55 minutes. One extra in the full back line and one extra at centre back. Then use our superior youth and depth of bench to go for the game over those final 17/18 minutes (extra time).
    What condition will Sheehan, Donaghy, OSe, OMahoney and Cooper be in after a high tempo game going into those minutes.
    Btw I am ever so slightly entertaining the thought that this should be and will be our tactics for this year with Aidan OShea being used as an extra centre back. With him switching forward late on. Alternatively just leave him there at the centre back position for the full game to really learn the role and lower his expected mileage per game. How to attack Mayo centrally if you are going to be swallowed up by Boyle. AOS, SOS and Parsons? It forces teams wide into low percentage areas and having to make tight risk passes.

  15. Not on the TG4 anyway – Hurling and deferred coverage of Donegal and Roscommon

  16. Nope, I had searched too. Listen on mad wesht. Casey and Co do a nice job and you can clean the house orat least pretend to while you listen.

  17. Just out of the ground. We are awful going forward. God it’s so frustrating to watch. We have lads up front who wouldn’t make the panel of other ‘top’ teams.

    Our defence were opened up numerous times.

    We don’t seem to have any game plan when in possession. Slow, lateral, disjointed. Morale looks very low. Depressing.

    Trying to find any consolation and I can’t.

  18. Very poor again today. Have we nobody in the whole county who can kick a deal ball consistently?? Took Mortimer and sheridan for granted now look at us. None of our new players are up to it plain and simple. Still relying on Andy Moran introduction etc which tell me we are still same old mayo.

  19. so disappointing.

    Where are positives in this.Against 14 so little happened.Cannot see how we can be confident v Ros.They hold all the aces at the moment.Our style of play is not inspiring.

  20. So much waste today. Too many scorable frees missed. Hard to watch and even harder to accept. I can see it going down to the wire for staying in division one against the Rossies and mc stay and co. are on a roll and good luck to them. I could scream……….

  21. Don’t want to depress ye any further but I’m just leaving O’Donnell park here and I have to say Ross were very impressive. We appeared very hungover from last week, we lost it in the first half and never recovered from Roscommons early lead. Decent game and fair dues to Roscommon who got a crucial goal when we finally looked like getting back into it.

  22. Ah fuck it anyway. I’m looking at the photo on the RTE website there now and no penalty for the dragging in front of goal. I could scream louder………

  23. Jeepers. Not good. Against 14 and we knew we had to prevent goals to stop them. An old grandfather on the Kerry team had great fun stopping us, can it be that it’s mental issues? Relegation is on the cards because Roscommon are firing on all cylinders and we will end up with 4 points at best. And saying we are short on players now isn’t an excuse, Kerry bring players out of nowhere every year, we don’t or can’t, it’s an intriguing situation. I’m sure there is an answer as to why we could not prevent Kerry from goals and they had more chances that went over or wide. It’s looking bleak as of today and this summer will be painful for all involved because a turnaround will hardly happen.

  24. Not inspiring at all! Our complete lack of potency up front isn’t surprising. I don’t have the stats to hand but over the league so far I’d love to see a list of scores from play from our starting forwards. Any ‘stato’s’ out there who can provide this?? Galway and Roscommon are well ahead in attack. The way things are going it could be those two in the Connacht Final!

    Defensively I felt we were opened up too easily and this was most worrying for me. Kerry could have had another 2 goals.

    We had an extra man for the last 20 mins…u til DOC went off… Kerry looked like the team with the extra player.

    Another win for McStay & co I see….

    It’s not been a good wknd for Mayo football. The omens aren’t good.

    We need an inform Cillian back for the summer as well as Higgins who has to be played in the half forward line now cos the league has proven we don’t have anything coming through. Doc needs to get his mojo back. Kev actually was our best forward today (take him off the frees, for the sake of his own morale!).

    Lee needs to be in the half backs. We need him buzzing and with Durcan to come into the defence is might add a bit of attacking buzz.

  25. It looks like it’s the beginning of the end for this team and the beginning of a new order in Connacht football.

  26. To say this was depressing is an understatement. We were bad. With the other results today, it looks as though we are on the way down. I am thoroughly disappointed as this was a match I believed we could have won against an average Kerry team and yes they were average. There will be much disecting of the match in the coming days but some of the thinks bothering me are,

    1. Is Evan Regan injured? We lined out today without a recognised free taker, KMc 1 from 3, Robbie 2 from 5. This put us under pressure all day. Worrying that we seem to have only 1 or 2 players who are consistent free takers.

    2. Under Horan Mayo had tackling down to an art form, giving little away at least in dangerous positions and forcing turnovers which resulted in scores. Our tackling today was very poor, cant blame the ref, it was poor, simple as!

    3. This is my biggest bug bearer. Aidan O’Shea is not a full forward. This experiment must stop. At least a dozen 50-50 (hail Marys) into him and maybe two pts resulted. He is well marshalled by every team now and he simply does not have the skill set to play that position. Donaghy lorded it in midfield all day and caused havoc while we kept our best midfielder living off scraps in the box.

  27. Much as I hate to agree Dave a turnaround this summer does not look likely..very disappointing as I thought the win against Monaghan would get things going in the right direction..and as if the afternoon wasn’t bad enough my father (a Monaghan supporter) is piping up every few mins about how great this Roscommon team is.feeling nauseous.

  28. Pathetic performance today and not good enough. A theme of this team has been slow build up sideways back and back again…compare to Kerry fast build up get the ball in quick and a bit of brain smarts. I hope I am terribly wrong but I think we are seeing the beginning of the end for this team….have given us many happy days but we were always missing that little bit extra.

  29. As a county, some of us admittedly have a tendency to go very overboard after certain Championship wins, but boy do we do the absolute opposite (to a far bigger degree) after losses! 😀

    Relative to Championship, I seriously could not give a flying shite about the league to be perfectly honest. I’ve always seen it as a convenient platform to find new players for the upcoming season and to work on certain strategies. If we lose every other game I honestly don’t care if it means a Shane Nally or a Michael Hall can come in and make an impact during the summer. It will have been a useful exercise

    Lets try and come back down to reality for even a second though. We’re still comfortably the best Championship team in Connacht (Ros haven’t come close to a quarter in 6 years- didn’t Derry nearly win a league two years ago?), we are operating with a half fit Aidan O’Shea, no Cillian O’Connor, no captain, no Castlebar Mitchells players and a plethora of guys only coming back from injury. We have made the last 6 AI semis- lads, we haven’t turned useless over night.

    Tyrone got relegated last year and had their best championship in years, Donegal got relegated the year before and made an AI final. Clare got relegated in hurling in 2013 and won the feckin All Ireland. Despite what knee-jerk newspaper journalists might try and make you believe, the league is pretty irrelevant and doesn’t matter a shite come August/Sept. Will our lads – if under the cosh – in a big game in August simply start to think “oh hang on we were relegated in March- better roll over now so”!

    The lads have been extraordinary in champ over the last few years, giving 110% and giving us some great days out! they deserve a bit better than to be completely written off to be honest 3 feckin months before they even play a meaningful Championship match.

    People have short memories- it wasn’t long ago we were losing to Longford in Championship!

    Calm down folks, we can save the hysterics for if we get knocked out of championship in June!

    It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if some of those saying we haven’t a hope of winning Connacht actually come out and criticise us for losing to Dublin later in the year 😀
    By that logic you should be expecting us to not come within 15 points of them!

  30. Ciaran, think it’s difficult for supporters to get beaten at home while relegation becomes more of a possibility..completely agree with you that championship is more important but this is when some sort of game plan needs to appear if we are to be in our county colours for the latter summer months..

  31. Ciaran, you have some valid points, but……. this team have been doing the same thing for some years now and it has cost them dearly. People are looking for some realistic light at the end of the tunnel and, for now, It’s not very evident.!!! We have no free takers, forwards who cannot score, etc, etc.. Just wondering where they are going to appear from in a couple of months?? Do you know? Help us out here.. 😉

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