Cillian O’Connor our MOTM from yesterday’s game


Okay, let’s wrap this one up: I’ve just closed the Man of the Match poll on yesterday’s game and by a comfortable margin the popular opinion is that Cillian O’Connor gets the award. Cillian bagged 32% of the vote, followed by Kevin McLoughlin on 10%, Chris Barrett on 9% and Donal Vaughan on 8%. Congrats to Cillian and to the rest of the main vote getters in this particular poll.

92 thoughts on “Cillian O’Connor our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. No one came even close yesterday. One of the few guys that can say he delivered what’s required.

    We’re looking to him now to set the tone for the rest of the squad.

  2. Well done Cillian and well deserved….He really is a great lad and still only in his early 20s wouldnt you be so proud to have Cillian as a son or a brother he really leads by example and that was a monster of a free 63 yards out i think….Yes Cillians performance and Fergal Boland was definetly plus points for us yesterday.

  3. I like Cillian but shouldn’t we be demanding more from him now as well. He contributes little from play. Sure he’s a sharpshooter from placed balls but doesn’t do it from play.

  4. Cillian has been a great player for Mayo for many years, i thought he was excellent yesterday. Our forwards do not play as a unit, it is something Mayo Managers down the years have failed to rectify, it was pointed out on the Sunday Game, how our forwards were isolated when in possession, even at this stage a forwards coach could really help.
    It was pointed out in JOE how Galway won the tactical battle (they mush have a forwards coach). There were two big hits on Diarmuid and Seamus, it had the desired result, why were not big hits on Galway players?
    Mayo are still in the Championship, Mayo were very fragile in their 1st back door match against Fermanagh, they have to be positive and very determined, if the attitude is spot on any thing is possible this year.

  5. Voted for Clarky – again.

    So Leitrim are still in the championship and Mayo are heading for the qualifiers.

    We could have had four goals yesterday: Kevin took his chance; Cillian’s 45 hit the post, but no one hung around goal to snap an opportunity. Paddy Durcan’s miss was criminal with a forward on hand to finish the move; finally the goal line clearance showed a lack of clinical finishing. And to rub it in, the Galway keeper and fb line gave us every opportunity. All day.

    What really bugged me was That Galway looked liked the experienced team and we were the novices. Looking for frees when refs have been told to clean me down hard on diving, and allowing ourselves to be roughed up right throughout the match.


  6. Gerard just read that statistical analysis done by on the game, it’s trully fascinating , what a great read, and I would encourage anyone with an interest in planning or setting up a team to have a read of it. It’s a pity the so called pundits on the Sunday game would never do anything like it..

  7. Watched the match a 2nd time today .. Im very surprised by the over reaction on the blog to this match. OK we lost by 1 point but we would have won by 4 or 5 if keith hadnt that rush of blood to the head.

    People raving about the Galway forwards but we out scored them 1-6 to 0-7 ..

    Thought cafferkey did ok on comer .. there isnt a fb in the country who wouldnt struggle on him ..

    Conditions were shite yesterday.. it was always gonna be a tight match ..

    Galway are a good team but i still think if we met them again we’d beat them ..

    Harrison to return .. keith to sweeper after suspension

    Boland doing well

    Andy needs to come on with 20 left

    Midfield a concern .. SOS looks unfit .. can Aiden get fitness to inter county standard .. what about leeroy there as an option

    Forward situation is an ongoing frustration .. rochford has to take the blame here .. didnt risk blooding an new forwards during league except boland .. i know we we trying to stay in division 1 but you have to take a few risks .. donegal did , so did monaghan ..

    Next 6 weeks will define rochfords tenure .. i really dont know what to make of him tbh

    But mayo are still alive and i believe the hunger is still there.. im keeping the faith for now .. this team have earnt the benefit of the doubt..

  8. Rewatched the game tonight and I have to say I’m far less despondent than I was yesterday evening.
    – Mayo before the sending off played some of the best football they’ve played under Rochford
    – Galway went all out for this game and while Mayo may think they were up for it, they truly weren’t, not in the same vain of a Dublin or Tyrone. Hopefully that’s the last year we go in with that attitude.
    – It was a cracking game of football to watch.
    – Andy Moran cannot continue to start, not because he’s not good enough but because we need him to close out games. Taking off two of your main “shooters” when the game is in the melting pot with no like for like replacements is crazy.
    – For better or worse we have to start entrusting the next generation with game time in the championship.
    Finally, I read a bit of the analysis in today’s papers. The contrast between quality journalism and Martin Breheny is like a white truffle and pig shit. Colm Keys wrote a very balanced piece that was critical of Mayo yet accurate and without bias.
    P.S. We’ll be the last Connacht men playing ball in Croker this year once again.

  9. Well done COC. The main man time and time again. A lotta ball to be played between now and late September and I still think we’ll be at it late on. A shite day yesterday and a sending off and in general a bit of a balls from our bucks but we’ve seen them bounce back year after year and this year no different.
    Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. I’m just glad they do.

  10. Cillian was very good especially in 2nd half when Mayo forwards were quite isolated due to being down a man. However I think he plays a bit ratty and on the edge too much and getting Flynn carded wasn’t great to see. Prefer if he would let his undoubted football skills do more of the talking. I know other teams can be cynical but I believe it actually drags down your performance getting too caught up on that all shite as the mind is more on aggreviances be it opposition or ref decisions than on making the next score.

  11. Shuffy Deck, Yes Cillian plays too much on the edge, in general and it’s always at the Refs discretion where exactly the same edge is. Yesterday the edge was on a different planet to the normal edge… In general Shuffy Deck you are 100% correct, but yesterday, that’s a different matter entirely Cillian was on the edge, and to my mind, did not go over the edge, even for the wrongly awarded black card to the Tom Flynn, Cillian was not seeking for him to be carded at all, it was a desperate, but failing attempt to dislodge the ball from a counter attacking Galway player, when Tom Flynn accidentally collided with Cillian, Dublin Joe done us no favors yesterday, but if he had bought some of the diving, and feigning injury especially from Damien Comer, Mayo would be finishing with single figures for a team. Fair is fair!

  12. Any word on length of Higgins suspension? I make it a standard 4 weeks which unfortunately wil rule him out of two matches, a big loss

  13. Thought it was a great performance by Mayo, certainly not down hearted, Andy Moran should have been brought back on in the last 5 min when his experience was needed Im afraid the kicks outs is still a problem and will cost us dearly against strong opposition . why not kick the ball along the ground and return it straight back to the keeper with the foot ,its when the recieiving player goes down to to collect the ball the problems occur.

  14. HSE
    uplifting article by Jim McGuiness- it definitely gives us a boast-
    his outlining of little details seem simplistic, ‘ watch the ball off the post’
    why can’t we do the little things ?
    i tend to agree that all is not lost- i was totally crushed driving home sunday night, i was desperately trying to find positives after such a disappointing loss ,but i couldn’t seem to muster any at all,
    now today- i have lifted my head again,im ready to rock,cant wait for the draw next week, i am determined to play my part, getting behind these mighty men,they have shown such heart and never say die attitude, as Andy said ‘WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER’ UP MAYO!

  15. I really hope we get an away game in the qualifiers….somewhere new and interesting. I think it could re-focus the minds. Another MacHale PArk slow burner is not what this team needs and in fact I think we play terrible at home.

  16. Its only now I can come round to speaking after Sunday’s disappointment. After time to digest I don’t think we were that bad and I have no doubt if Keith had stayed on the field we would have won. But the fact remains Mayo of a few years ago would have won that game sending off or no sending off. I think this team peaked in 2014. I thought that year showed the best football I’ve ever seen a Mayo team play. The reason that it was the height of their development under Horan who had the courage of his convictions to stick to what he though was right. I hope now Stephen Rochford can do the same. I like many here would not make the same decisions as he had made, e.g Lee at no 6. Dropping David Clare and Colm Boyle more recently, however I get the theory behind it. Stephen now needs to block out all external noise and stick to his guns if that’s truly what he believes is best.

    We are capable of beating any team in the qualifiers but the packed schedule makes it very difficult to see us going past the quarter finals. We will have most likely have one week to prepare after a tough 3rd round qualifier before we meet a Kerry. Going forward I am really worried about our midfield. We has the best midfield in the country a few years ago but these days we are lucky to break even. Possibly its time we looked at playing 3 midfielders to try and regain some lost dominance in that sector.

    But whatever happens this year its time to give serious game time to younger players next year. Possibly it may mean a few years in the wilderness but it has to be done. Some of our main guys, Aido, Cillian, Lee are still young and younger players must be exposed to these guys now while they are at their peak. As for the underage situation we certainly seem to be in crisis mode but I must highlight what I see every weekend. My son plays for one of the bigger clubs in the county and the underage structures they have in place are fantastic. Miles ahead of anything I ever received. Young, enthusiastic coaches, great facilities and a concentration on the skills of the game.

  17. Glad to see some positivity has been restored.
    Let us go along for the ride now & see where it takes us J.
    I think Yew Tree was stating a preference for an away draw & for some reason I agree –
    I think it would be good for both the team & for supporters –
    not exactly sure why but I guess as he said it, clear the head and re focus the mind.
    It’s only a max of 3 months, 6 games left of the championship season –
    I’m certain the team can focus the minds and give it everything they have & what will be will be.
    Hopefully it will be late September before any of them are given cause to sit back and think about things then.
    Anyway it may not be a fashionable thing to say but they are blessed to be talented & fit & healthy enough to be in the position they are in & be able to get up every day to train and represent their county. There are plenty who have had these opportunities taken from them too soon in many different ways – just take a look at young Jamie Wall from Cork, he is making the absolute most of the situation he finds himself in, but honestly perspective is a great thing. Maigheo Go Deo.

  18. @ Liam

    That’s a great post and we can all be sure that the panel of players and management have the qualifiers in mind as the best way to sharpen themselves for August. Galway got incredibly lucky with that goal line save after the even more incredible and unintended save with the trailing heel.

  19. So ye would prefer to go to Omagh than play Tyrone in castlebar. Because McHale has become a slow burner of late.

    Do ya know something there is something seriously wrong with the mayo psyche in general . there is a lack of real pride , I’ve read where some have alluded to this narrative before and rubbished it but its true some of ye are (deleted as truth is hurtful to snowflakes) . galway have it , Kerry have it , Tipperary have it , Dublin have it , Donegal have it but everyone knows mayo don’t . we are always looking elsewhere for inspiration , hopefully one day we will find that real pride from within . for a county that built an international airport on a bog , its strange the lack of county pride .

    Find yer pride, its the greatest place on earth . Maigheo

  20. Why do we, effectively, lose games in the third quarter?

    Opposing managers have sussed us: Galway last Sunday scored 3 quick points into a hurricane after HT. Cavan, and Monaghan in the league did it and Westmeath and Tipp in the qualifiers last year.

    We seem to be losing the benefits of our vast experience and others are eyeing us up as a soft touch.

  21. Sean Burke – Mayo can’t play Tyrone is the next round of the league. After that yes it’s a possibility. As for being deluded…I disagree strongly that we are not showing pride. As a Galway man said to me Sunday, Mayo people are the proudest people in Ireland.

  22. What Sean was implying was that somebody is looking forward to going around the country in the backdoor. Was the same person rooting for Galway on Sunday because the Connacht final (presumably involving Ros) would be played in MacHale Park too? I think this team will make the last 8. But I can’t imagine going much further.

  23. Mayo people are insanely full of pride about Mayo. You meet people abroad and you have to drag out of them where they are from. With a Mayo person you usually end up finding it out regardless of whether you asked.
    This isn’t to say there aren’t high stoolers wallowing in disaster. Of course there are high stoolers. There will always be high stoolers. You’d never get it out of them but they secretly love defeat. Will regale you with every tale of disaster since 1951. If you repeat something long enough and exist in it it becomes your thing. They’ve brainwashed themselves into enjoying defeat.
    I agree that a trip away somewhere novel would freshen things up.
    I’d love it if this weekends Club championship action actually counted for something in terms of a bolter. It is not a good place for a panel to be in that this weekends action doesn’t matter for panel selection.
    The nine highest scorers from play this weekend in senior and intermediate will contain I would say only one or two players from our panel of forwards. The scoring from play will be as usual dominated by the fringe guys who are getting close.

  24. The photo on the front should be enough to make the blood boil in any Mayo player that sees it – Comer standing over Diarmuid on the ground with his fists clinched. No Mayo player doing anything about it. FFS lads we were bullied big time last Sunday. Galway put in all the big hits last Sunday and we gave away the Mickey Mouse type of frees. We looked naive and a team of novices last Sunday.

  25. Forget about finding someone in this round of championship games. The panel is selected and that’s it for 2017. Even the so called development squad has been disbanded and players like Brian Reape (going to America I hear) and Adam Gallagher and the rest must wait till January! Surely players with the ability to kick scores should be at a premium and not discarded so easily.

  26. For that pride the negative fans need to ditch all negativity come kick off time. Not that easy to do, suspend it. I’ve heard fans slagging of players before a ball is kicked and called it out. Take no negativity from our own. If they think we’re going to lose stay at home. Surrounded by Galway fans on Sunday and no such problems though they don’t get as fired up about their own as we do either.

  27. The development squad has been disbanded!! Sorry, but then it looks like nothing more than a PR exercise.
    How can you select a development squad 8 months ahead of schedule.
    Send them off with a program!! Jese, thanks, pass the chicekn and broccoli and the barbells, I’m heading off on my program.

  28. Well done Cillian. As always he stood up when needed. My God we would be in serious trouble without him. I too am a bit worried about his extra agression of late. I feel he is taking almost too much responsibility on his shoulders and he appears a bit frustrated and there is a danger of him getting sent off. Now that really would be a disaster. I also note he is coming in for lots of criticism and abuse from the boo boys and nameless keyboard warriors who spout their usual anti Mayo bile on other forums. At least that probably gives Aido a break I suppose. Excellent article as always by Jim McGuinness. Was a super manager and now one of the best pundits. Agree with Sean Burke re getting home draw in qualifiers. Hope we get easiest possible team at home in this round followed by the easiest possible draw in the next round then. We need to get up and running and start to build momentum just like last year. We will be at our most vulnerable in the first game just like v Fermanagh last year and Longford in 2010. Forget this nonsense about needing hard matches. We got one of those on Sunday. What we need is to ease ourselves in, build up confidence and gain momentum. Though we lost Sunday we showed we have the appetite and fight for the battles ahead. We need to get Aido, Harrison etc fully fit and get our team selection right. Bring back Boyler, put Leeroy on the wing, have Andy on the field at the right times and play to our strengths which is attacking at pace from half back. I was despondent on Sunday but this team is nothing if not resilient and courageous. Time for our supporters to be likewise.

  29. Shuffly Deck,. Positively and enthusiasm is exactly what we need for our next match.. My final comment on the Post Mortem of Sunday’s defeat, Mayo, despite playing without some of our Aces and some others not as fit as we would like them to be, were better than last year, and the template is there still from last year, as to how to evolve.. The road has been travelled before, there were over 13 thousand. MAYO fans in McHale Park for the match against Fermanagh, it was fantastic to be one of them, The same bar stool moaners who weren’t there in Salthill on Sunday, or McHale Park last June either, were the same one’s looking for All Ireland tickets in slyly whispered requests to their Hard Core Mayo fan’s neighbours. I’m not going to indulge them any longer in pointless negativity. Life’s too short.

  30. Going through permutations…..Donegal/Tyrone and Kildare/Meath both on the A side of the draw. Loser from each likely to have too much for teams in round 2A. We could well meet one of those teams with in round 3A. Obviously we’ll have the not so small matter of picking ourselves up for a round 2A trip to Derry or Porlaoise first…..but no harm in having an idea of what’s coming down the tracks.

  31. There’s far too much being made of the decision to start Coen over Boyle. If Boyle started and we lost people would be critical that we’re not giving youth a chance, that we’re relying too much on the old warriors, the same faces who have been there for 5-6 years and who are worn out. It makes me laugh. People are always looking for someone to blame.
    I would agree that Boyler could have been introduced far earlier, especially given Keith’s absence and given the way the second half was panning out.
    But starting Stephen Coen was a totally reasonable call. He has enough experience and has been in the squad now for a couple of years and has done previous little wrong.

  32. Last Sunday’s result was hard to take. Keith Higgins getting send off was the losing of the game. But you can’t blame Keith, he has had way more good games for Mayo compared to poor ones. Even with us down to 14 we should have pushed on and won the game. We were only a point down at half time, and a hurricane wind on our backs. If this was James Horan’s Mayo team or Holmes/Connolly we would have won that game by 3 or 4 points even been down to 14. Mayo have gone back. I don’t know is it our players have played to much football or what. Example would be Lee Keegan the man won an all Ireland with Westport in February and the following Saturday night he was playing for Mayo against Roscommon in the league. Lee should have been giving a bit of time off, and played the Cavan game as his 1st game of the league, give him the Dublin match off as well. Likes of Keith Higgins and Colm Boyle have played so much football, its hard to keep it going, county’s like Kerry and Dublin can rest some of there older stars and they don’t play every round of the league as they have cover. The thing with us Mayo we don’t have that cover and we can’t rest these players or we would be relegated to division 2.
    But back to last Sunday. the sideline has a lot to answer for. Bringing on Danny Kirby to the full forward line, and then not hitting any high ball into him. If they weren’t going to hit in high ball into him, Conor Loftus should have been bought on, a natural forward. Taken off Andy Moran was madness, he was winning every ball that went into him, and least had another 10 minutes in him. Hard to make sense of the Colm Boyle situation, it seemed to be a tactical call, and Donal Vaughan played well, but Boyler is worth more than 5 minutes at the end with the game in the melting pot. Also bringing on David drake before Shane Nally, cant make sense of that. Galway had everyone back defending and Shane Nally as we seen in last year national league and also this year is a man who could have kicked an equalizer for us or given a good pass into the forwards. Shane Nally has got hard done by again this year. Evan Regan 1st shoot was poor, the shoot wasn’t on at all, but I’d say fair play to him for going for the 2nd shot, because 1 or 2 players before that, had an easier shot but they backed out, if you don’t shot you wont score as the saying goes.
    As long as we stay away from losers of Tyrone and Donegal we should make a quarter final and take it from there then.

  33. One thought is putting Stephen Coen at full back. I don’t think Stephen has a forwards instinct. He didnt have a moment of a pass or a score.
    Ger Caff just isnt that type of player to get close and put an early hit taking man and ball.
    When I go through our defenders Stephen Coen is the only one with the size and speed.
    Ger is big enough for Damian Comer but Comer was getting ball and turned and the battle is lost then.
    Donal Vaughan isnt agile enough he’d be vulnerable to a fast forward.
    Leeroy would be wasted there.
    All the others are simply too small for full back.
    It’s a critical position and without a sweeper prior history shows we concede heavily in scores/frees to the full forward.

  34. Positions mean absolutely nothing in the modern game that’s why coen is picked he’s cover for donie durcan when they bomb forward.the players are constantly rotating all threw the game that’s what I love about the modern makes since to blood coen he’s going to be the back bone of this team in the near future.
    We were set up perfectly when our full fifteen were on the we can learn how to cope if and when we lose a guy going forward,better it happened now then later.
    Galway are an improving side but beating a Mayo team this time of year doesn’t put them in the top 4 over night.
    Watched the game back a few times and Mayo looked very heavy legged.I’d be quietly confident we will do what’s needed but expect a real rollercoaster ride this year.that’s the Mayo way so enjoy the ride won’t last forever.

  35. JP ….Leeroy is 5’8′ and C Barrett is 5’9. The Belmullet man was the tightest and soundest of the backs on Sunsay and took no guff from The bull Comer. And as well, he’d have Da Clarke behind for insurance in high ball situations which are getting rarer all the time. I wouldn’t be a bit afraid to see him at no 3 but pos Caff will shape up as the weeks go on!

  36. Ah here . . leeroy is 5’11 , hes at least 3 inches taller than chris ..
    No way chris could compete in the air with comer .. coen could be an option
    I think caff did ok on comer .. hes a nightmare to mark ..

  37. I read Tom Parsons meekly requesting not to write Mayo off after last Sunday. The same Tom was given a masterclass in midfield play by dublins Brian Fenton not so long ago in the demolition job they did against us.
    When Tom gets his own performance up to the level of the great midfielders that are around in this years championship we can start believing that he is serious in his optimism. Last Sunday he tried hard, off the pace at times, needs to learn the skill of turning over ball without needlessly commiting pully draggy fouls and needs to be a far more vocal driving force to players around him. I suggest having a chat with Colm Boyle.
    The gloves are off, its the hard road now lads….

  38. Liberal I respectfully disagree. There are a handful of players in every team you don’t drop. Boyler is our version of Tomas or Marc o se. A 3 time all star and one of the greatest to ever play for Mayo, a current all star only aged 30. Nothing against Coen – he could still have played. But a position had to found for a fit Colm Boyle?? Why didn’t Vaughan slot in at full back and drop cafferkey, who is still not back at the level he was and struggled on comer?
    Lot of people rightly complaining about our poor underage performances. At the end of the day minor teams are about producing future county seniors. Let be just say this – you could wait FIFTEEN YEARS to find a player like Colm Boyle come through underage ranks. Then we leave him on the sideline in his prime. Second ridiculous decision by rochford in 8 months after last years keeper fiasco. I hate to say this but Holmes and Connelly were ran outta town twice as quick, for far less incompetence. Time current management upped their game and stopped trying to be mavericks and fixing problems where there are none. Can’t believe reape apparently going to America. Was looking forward to him getting game time in qualifiers.

  39. Could we get Cavan or Monaghan. They would love to get us in their patch, brimming with confidence after our indifferent performances in the league

  40. have a piece on who we could get in the qualifiers

    Round 2A: Best case – Laois/Wicklow Worst case – Derry

    Round 3A: Best case – Clare, Worst case – Donegal/Tyrone

    Round 4A: Best case – Cork, Worst case – Roscommon

    And then it’s Kerry in a quarter final.

  41. If if if if i know but…. I’d be worried hitting a Qtr against Kerry with only a week off. Anyway, one game at a time and all that jazz

  42. Ah there… you re right AT. I’d still prefer CB to Coen or anyone else bar Caff. Anyone know what Cunniffe is up to at present?

  43. Round 2A – Fixtures on July 1 (Draw on June 19)
    Pot 1: Four Round 1A winners
    Pot 2: Mayo, Meath/Kildare, Clare, Tyrone/Donegal
    A separate draw shall be made for home advantage. Where two teams who have already met in a provincial championship of the current year are drawn to meet, the winner of the provincial championship game shall have home advantage.

  44. Chris Barrett played full back in the league one year in Croke park against Dublin and got well and truly roasted by Diarmuid Conmolly.
    You have to be sensible. He’s not tall enough to play full back.

  45. One group lambasting players for not practising the dark arts, another group lambasting Cillian for using the dark arts.
    One group lambasting management for not bringing young players through, another group lambasting them for starting Coen.
    The icing on the cake was one poster writing the teams obituary after watching a few minutes of the match on a phone while sitting on a high speed train in the sound of France.
    Sweet baby Jesus, but this blog would give one of those giant stone heads on Easter Island a headache at times..

  46. Inbetweener…….Tom Cunniffe played for New York against Sligo earlier in the Connacht Championship.

    Looking at the assessment above of the possible Qualifiers route..The view on Round 4 is surprising
    Best scenario is Cork and worst is Roscommon ???
    Surely that should be the other way around ?

    As a sideline, there will be plenty of Mayo involvement on the sideline at next Sunday`s Roscommon/Leitrim game.
    Whilst the Rossies have Kevin Mc Stay, Liam Mc Hale and David Joyce, Leitrim have John O`Mahony and Michael Moyles involved.

  47. Congratulations Cillian, you well deserved it. I have just read a piece in and it really shows how we played. It stated that SOS was at fault for 5 points being scored against us. I stated in a blog a few weeks ago that Rochford was trying out a load of different players with Parson at midfield and none of them got 2 games in a row with him. I said then he was keeping this place for SOS. He even got rid of Jason Gibbons. SOS did not train with team all year and comes in when National Football League is over and then walks onto team. He did the same thing last year. Pundits are saying he ran out of steam after 40 minutes,
    You only get back as much as you put into it. Freeman. Gibbons. Douglas, all walked because they saw what was happening. They would only be kept to make up training numbers. It is turning out the same way for Colm Boyle, still the best centre back in the province, but he too was shafted for another player. We had Shane Nally left on the bench and we bring on Drake for his club buddy,
    We put Coen in at centre half forward ( another joke). We play a full back who did not train or kick a ball until a few weeks ago, and like SOS he too got caught out. Seen a bit Tom Parsons said today. He also is believing in fairy tales.

  48. I’d have to agree with you Liam, while there’s some sense being spoke there sure is a lot of rubbish too.
    It’s interesting, there were 90 comments on the first post after we bet Sligo, there were 180 after we lost to Galway. Just saying.

  49. Quote

    “OnTheDitch says:

    June 13, 2017 at 5:56 pm
    I read Tom Parsons meekly requesting not to write Mayo off after last Sunday. The same Tom was given a masterclass in midfield play by dublins Brian Fenton not so long ago in the demolition job they did against us.
    When Tom gets his own performance up to the level of the great midfielders that are around in this years championship we can start believing that he is serious in his optimism. Last Sunday he tried hard, off the pace at times, needs to learn the skill of turning over ball without needlessly commiting pully draggy fouls and needs to be a far more vocal driving force to players around him. I suggest having a chat with Colm Boyle.
    The gloves are off, its the hard road now lads….”


    Before you go criticizing and calling out individual players, you may want to go back and watch the game again.
    You are clueless, in fact I would say you paid about as much attention to what took place on the field last Sunday, as you have on the A and B side of the draws.

  50. @joemama surely you agree its time for our players to steer clear of the media, knuckle down and let their performances do the talking. At least one Galway score came from a clumsy foul from parsons, though I must admit he did have a great steal late on in the game and he never stopped trying. But I think potentially there is more to come from Tom. Im talking leadership, inspiration, getting the best out of players around him. Maybe you think thats a step too far for him, but we do need leaders.
    As for the draw I was clueless until the boys stepped in. Glad Cavan and Monaghan are far away from us, two right banana skins there, would you agree?

  51. Lads , there’s no getting away from it. I dont know which was worse.

    Dropping Clarke on 01st October which went a long way to costing us an All Ireland final OR

    Dropping Boyle and playing the 2016 player of the year out of position v Galway in June 2017. Then more tinkering in the last few minutes of the same game which left us with an attack that couldn’t score a pint in 7 minutes of injury time with a gale at our backs against a very average side who were panicking and flapping and praying for full time.

    Mr Rochford. Would you please stop tinkering with stuff that works well. Leave the best half back line in the country alone. Leave the best goalkeeper in the country alone. Try Loftus up front. Cant be any worse than what we witnessed from 70th to 77th minute last Sunday.

  52. Well said, Joemama!. True Grit, Joe. ie? where do I start?.. Someone writes an opinion, critical this particular time of some things that you happen to agree with. Where’s your evidence that Rochford was keeping a place for Seamus O Shea, Why not say he’s keeping a place for Barry Moran, or Donie Vaughan or Stephen Coen, all have played in midfield at some time or other,. As for SOS on Sunday, he took a ferocious hit into the back, and didn’t recover in my opinion. Diarmod O Connor, and Tom Parsons both took the same, Diarmuid had to go off immediately.. No thanks to Blind Dublin Joe for ignoring and thus encouraging such dangerous play… As regards ‘On the Ditch’ critique of Tom Parsons and what he said. What do you suggest that he sould say?. But Brian Fenton gave him a masterclass in midfield play. When,?. Seamus O Shea marked Brian Fenton in both All Ireland match’s, the Replay Seamus gave Brian a serious lesson in midfield play, because he learned the lesson Brian Fenton taught him in the first match. That was one the best midfield display I ever witnessed… Still I would welcome Alan Freeman into the Mayo squad, but unfortunately its out of my sphere of influence!

  53. Liam…that gave me a right good laugh….great stuff ….esp the Easter Island boys with their hands to their heads!
    Tks Obs 2 but I was wondering about the Ballagh Cunniffe ….u- 21.

  54. Jesus lads. …maybe a few of ya could contact the county board and put yer names forward to be next mayo manager !!..alot of bitterness towards individual players and management. ..time to settle a bit ,take our beating and get behind the lads again …ffs beginning to sound like the Rossies here with all the negative stuff. ..we would have won if Keith had not been sent off …sorry Wj. .not a reflection on your excellent blog

  55. @Leantimes, when mayo played Dublin in the league and while they may have not have matched up directly they both had midfield roles.
    This is how Fenton played on the night.
    Brian Fenton has yet to start a league or championship clash for Dublin and leave the field a beaten man.

    Given his status as the game’s foremost midfielder, cultivated in just under two years since his full debut away to Monaghan, it is arguably the most telling side-story in this unprecedented period of Dublin dominance.

    Fenton bestrode Croke Park like a colossus on Saturday night. His range of skills allow him to solo and kick off both feet, his strength carries him past and through opponents. His energy had him closing down Andy Moran one minute beneath his own posts and breaking the line like a rugby centre to create goal chances at the other end.
    Thats the inspirational stuff we need from ouridfielders.
    Mentioning the word inspiration, Colm Boyle is the Mayo Player that wears his heart on his sleeve. I assumed it was injury that kept him out andnot some tactical switch in response to the galway team selection

  56. Team i would like to see for qualifier game
    3.Cafferkey :needs to have alot more aggression
    5.Keegan :his best position bombing forward
    6.Boyler: how he was dropped I will never know
    8.Seamie needs to cut out giving away needless frees
    9.Parsons needs to bring alot more aggression to his game bullied by paul conroy
    10.Shane Nally deserves his chance of a few players that can kick long range scores and carry ball at pace
    11.Aidan O’Shea back in his best position where he can run at defences and win possession
    12.Diarmuid : put him back out in the wing.form has dipped playing in the centre
    13.Kev Mcloughlin
    14.Danny Kirby wud like to see him get his chance in the square was unlucky for the goal the last day
    Have Andy Moran and Alan Dillion ready for the last 20 minsof games when your struggling for a score and need a wise head not like the inexperienced subs brought on the last day under the circumstances

  57. Game against Galway was never going to be an easy one for us, being less motivated as a team with an eye on the bigger prize. Still think the back door route is best for us, allowing us to work out the kinks and keep focused on preparations. Will make it to the final again if we can get past Kerry.

  58. Leantimes. I’m not talking about last year. I’m talking about this year. SOS must get this big hit after the ball was thrown in. As to your comment Rochford was keeping places for Vaughan, Coen, (he was indeed) and for Barry Moran ( who has not kicked a ball since last November), and Alan Dillon who has not played a full game for his club since last October, and you have other players training their butt off, and don’t even get a look in. That is why we are now reaping our rewards. Time now to get this management and over rated players to leave the stage. You can cod some of the people now and then, but not all of the people all of the time. Even Willie Joe,s colum in Mayo News made sense.

  59. Congratulations to Cillian on the poll, tough game across the board and they were taking some brutal hits. Reading these comments we see how WE fans feel, imagine how the players feel! It’s not about when you lose, its when you quit and this team does not quit! We will still be in Croker September 17, gotta keep the faith! Thanks Mayo Mick for the draw outline!

  60. @th
    I would not argue with team an indeed comments, not criticisms, as to how players could improve or things to work on. I would add that Clarke needs to work on long kickouts, put a bit of drive into them rather than these nightmare floaters, which suit opposing players coming forward.
    Can any contributors enlighten me on our plans/strategies as a unit.
    We have a short passing game whichafter a lot of toing and frowing seems to open up opportunities for our two wing backs, occasionally goal scoring. Maybe other teams too are starting to cop that our danger men are keegan and durcan.
    Have we more strings to our bow than this? We dont seem to play a target man full forward who wins and distributes. We have forwards who roam freely, taking in a bit of sweeping work on their way, but dont ask them to take on a shot at goal from Forty yards, recycle recycle recyle, the safe option. Statistically it looks a lot better if a player completed his pass succesfully rather than try something creative. What is the team turning into.

  61. Good result for the GAA the last day. Galway will get more support now and we’ll bring support either way. More through the gates.

    Basically we have a early round loser, followed by a provincial semi loser, followed by a provincial final loser and a quarter with Kerry or Roscommon if we get that far! (Presuming Kerry win Munster!)

    Regarding the black card. Some people trying to deflect from the fact we only had 14 men. Look at the view behind the goal. See who had eyes for the ball and who didn’t.

  62. Also @th I would agrre with giving Boland a rest. His game has become very predictable, safe option basic pass, it will look good statisticaly at least. Im not sure Nally is answer, but worth a try as is Evan Regan and Loftus. There should be opportunities to try Kirby, but he needs to come with a plan.
    All this is the type of experimental work that should have been done in the league so that we were up and running by championship time but at least the back door may give us an opportunity to try some things

  63. @Ontheditch, I wish you could name a Mayo apart from David Clarke that played well versus Dublin in the League, it was a particularly poor outing from Jason Gibbons, who knows maybe that was what sealed his fate and departure from the Mayo panel?. I would also suggest that the All Ireland and replay would be much more important measure of a player!, Where SOS was particularly outstanding in the Replay, having had a few lapses of concentration the first day out….. @Truegrit, I never mentioned Alan Dillon in my previous post, but if he were fit to come on with 5mins to go,? I would certainly welcome it!.. The player I regret the most who is currently unavailable to us is Alan Freeman, at the time he left the panel, Stephen Rochford said that the door would be open to his return. But the onus is on Stephen to make that phone call to Freeman, I hope it happens. What I believe is happening is the evolution of Mayo, with as we witnessed on Sunday some excellent kick passing into the full forward, this would be ideal for Freeman, whom I believe is a good an inside forward as Cillian or Andy, if he could win and make stick his own ball,. With what is currently happening Freezer could prosper,! The old way of continuly attacks from the half back line, will not work at the highest level. Many times our back’s were out on their feet having to do all the attacking and defending late on, and our full forwards were totally under worked.. Personally I don’t think that Rochford is keeping a place for anyone, no single player is entitled to a place. I l’ll give you one example, Jason Doherty is a long standing starter for Mayo, but Fergal Boland has moved up in the pecking order, and is doing well, Fergal is part of the reason that Mayo kick passing to the full forward line has improved so much. I am of the opinion that, this Management team, does have a plan, and that plan is like last year designed for later in the year…. I watched the match again today, Mayo were probably a 7/8 out of 10,in most area’s, apart from our finishing which would not be better than a 6/10. This time last, no aspects of Mayo play would have reached a 5/10..And we are not as yet playing with a full deck. That’s my considered opinion!

  64. Was at the game on Sunday, thought Mayo played well. Galway players all playing on the edge and getting away with it. Joe bottled many more opportunities to give Galwaymen some cards. The scene was set when a blatant push in the back at throw in led to a Galway point. Both Comer hits were bookable in my opinion. When a player has possession the only option for the opponent is to knock the ball free. Shouldering is only legitimate if the ball is in open play to be won. Joe should also have booked him for aggressive pushing off the ball towards Higgins before he feigned injury, then Keith wouldn’t have had to defend himself. The GAA have a lot of work to do to protect their games. The best Gaelic players are playing soccer where they can show their talent and be protected from the thugs and hard men masquerading as footballers. Totally dissillusioned.

  65. What is it, 2 extra games (IF we win) by going the qualifier route? Seen someone mention on twitter I think that we could have 4 match’s in the space of 5 weeks, again, IF we win them. July 1st, 8th, 22nd and 29th or 30th of July.

  66. Keith has nobody to blame but himself ffs. Talk of him defending himself is crazy talk. He kneed Comer straight in the swingers. There didn’t even seem to be that much provocation. Certainly nothing Keith hasn’t seen in literally hundreds of games before.

  67. Here’s my thoughts
    1) Moan heads go back to listening to Joe Duffy.
    2) The same moan heads will be giving out about not freshening up the starting lineup another day.
    3) Forget about bringing lads back Freezer included as they will have missed too much championship standard training. Same for development panel lads.
    4) Yes give Kirby and Nally a chance but it would be at the expense of AOS and Boland. There are only 15 starting jerseys. Boland played well enough but safely.
    5) Caff was tested hard but Comer will be a handful for all defenses this year. I don’t see anyone better as he has a full back’s instincts which are different to corner backs.
    6) No point defending Keith, but obviously forgive him cause his discipline has been good over the years. What’s done is done.
    7) Criticism of SOS and Tom P is shite. Mayo had over 60% possession in 1st half and possibly similar stats in 2nd. We all here acknowledge the hit on SOS had an impact. Tom P had to try and tackle Conroy who was bearing in on goal. Would have been aye alive if he backed off. Conroy cute and played for free.
    8) Case for finishing with Andy but he was our best go to man especially in 1st half. We need the ball to stick early an not be playing catch up.I have no doubt Andy and Kevin Mc subbed because of GPS stats. The lads had to put in huge effort.
    9) Any suggestion that 14 is better than 15 based on the Kerry game is pure shite. More often than not a team will suffer. That particular game was heroic but we didn’t get nailed by illegal big hits some of which which were momentum changers. I couldn’t fault a single player for effort including ones played out of position at the end. Only management call which seemed out was Drake in forwards but he was probably assigned a role caused by us having 14. In any event management are not clairvoyant, when changes work a treat you can be hailed a hero. Only one who consistently came up with outside the box great calls was Cody in the hurling but he also had a great deck of cards. Gavin looks good but also with a very good deck.

  68. Assuming all are fit this is the team i would like to see start out first qualifier game: Clarke. Barrett. Coen. Harrison. Keegan. Boyler. Durcan. S o Shea. Parsons. McLoughlin. A o Shea. Loftus. Regan. Kirby. Cillian.

  69. I can’t get my head around the criticism Fergal has received. I thought, especially in the first half, that he was excellent. His kick passing was superb and he is a very composed lad. He is regularly chipping in with scores now too.

    Calls for more young lads to be called up. Correct me if I am wrong but 3 of last year’s U21 team started on Sunday. That seems to me like a fairly big jump. With one or two U21s on the periphery. That is a far bigger success rate so early on than, say, 2007, a year after we won the U21 title.

  70. Lots of varying thoughts on the team and what went right and wrong.

    1. The Boyle decision had no bearing on the game, Rochford was correct to make the change on Flynn. Vaughan and Coen both had decent games and Flynn had limited influence on the game. I would however question the timing of Boyle coming on. Subs at that stage are only useful if your winning and looking to kill off the game.

    2. Boland is doing very well and no reason to replace him. Hi game is built on passing quickly, there simply isnt enough movement or pace in front of him which results in fergal giving short passes. He is always looking for the killer pass be if there is no one showing for it then what can he do. To get the best out of Fergal we must have pace and movement in the ff line, Cillian and Andy have many attributes but pace aint one of them.

    3. Midfield is a major issue, we are not dominating there and as a result Clarke has to go short where his kickouts are targeted and scores are coughed up. Mayo hasnt dominated midfield since 2013, the last time AOS was there.

    4. Forward play was the main reason we lost on Sunday. The red card was a contributing factor but an inability to kick points with a strong wind and plenty of possession was the reason for the loss. Until Mayo get forwards who can score on instinct then there will be plenty more 1 pt losses in a final frantic 10mins. How many of those games have we already had.

    5. Lots of talk before the championship started about how this was the strongest panel in years, that imo is a load of rubbish. We still rely on a starting 15 and 5or 6 others, 21 players. That leaves 11 players and the 6 development players as not good enough to be considered for a matchday squad. For example I wouldnt know Caolan Crowe if he sat down next to me, Why are Dillon and Barry Moran on the panel when its obvious they are either injured or not fit enough to take part. All the while Douglas, Irwin, Gibbons sit at home, they may not make the starting team but at least they are available.


    Some interesting stats there. We scored 0 – 06 from 19 attempts for a conversion rate of 32%.
    It is clear we need someone else chipping in up front IF the policy of keeping our attacking half back line in restraint is to be continued. If we can go back to basics sort of speak and attack more from our half back line, I believe we will score more but likely concede more so it is about finding a balance OR bringing in fresh blood up front.

  72. Likewise the decision to replace Boyler @mayomark. I thought both Coen and Vaughan did well. While there’s definitely an argument for Boyler having been brought on sooner once Higgins got the line, it’s not like either player was a major factor in our defeat. For me the 3 major factors in our defeat were,
    1. Galway were more psyched for the game
    2. Keith getting the line
    3. Our lack of proven “shooters” left on the field in the last 10 minutes

    On the first point, there’s little doubt that the 10 year dominance of Galway still lingered in the minds deep down. Remember that last year was the first game Aiden O’Shea ever lost to a Galway team at any age group. Many on that team would have been used to beating Galway fairly handily and many felt that last year was just a blip and they were nearly right. A lot of minds are used to focusing on August and September. Hopefully that’s the last time we go into a game against Galway with anything other than molten lava in the veins and I’d put that picture of Comer gloating over Diarmuid on the ground up in the dressing room wall.

    On the second point, nearly all neutral observers and reasoned analysts agree that Keith’s dismissal cost us the game. It’ll irk the Galway supporters something rotten as they’ll feel we’re not giving them the credit due, but it’s the truth and they know it. However, it was not a harsh or questionable call so it was purely self inflicted and I think Keith has enough credit in the bank built up these last 11 years to cover this one.

    On the final point, this has been flagged again and again, we need to finish with our strongest 15 players on the field. Start Kirby, Regan or Loftus in the corner with the order to run yourself ragged for 50 minutes. Andy will have read the game by then, spotted any gaps and the 50 minutes the corner back has been running will level up the playing field for Andy age wise. It is worrying that with Galway flapping in the wind the last 10 minutes that we couldn’t engineer a score or free and McGuinness did point this out.
    All three issues are correctable though…

  73. That’s so true, Liam – if ever there was a man to get us out of a tight corner in those final frantic moments, that man was Andy Moran. A team with our experience should never have panicked the way we did: we lost all composure in that period and the chances we missed were shocking. In particular the goal chance where we had numbers over and should have done the tippy-tappy, volleyball routine that you’d imagine the lads could have done in their sleep. Instead Aidan Danny tries to burst the net from too far out and then Diarmuid tried to slap it in with the back of his hand, also from too far out.

  74. Ah lads, a bit of thought please.
    Moaning that we don’t have enough top class scoring forwards, and then moaning about Alan Dillon still being on the panel despite long term injury.

  75. With regards Alan Dillon being still on the panel, I thinks it obvious that he’s not going to walk away of his own accord at this stage. Dillon has been involved with Mayo for 20 years. If I’m not mistaken he played U21 for 3 years, a feat not seen again till Mattie Flanagan. He’s given the best years of his life to this county and I’m sure the thoughts of it all finishing are scary I’m sure, it’s part of his identity. He would have also seen that the opportunities for ex players in this county are limited, as was highlighted recently with the fact that not one player from the previous 20 years is involved with coaching in the county. Alan Dillon should be rewarded with a role within the county coaching set up should he wish to stay involved, as should Andy in another few years. The current coaches are as dedicated to the county as anyone, but much like teaching, after 20/30 years doing it you start to lose that enthusiasm that’s vital to imparting knowledge. It’s a job with long hours and given the GAA’s love for meeting about meeting, you can find yourself starting a meeting up in Bekan on a Tuesday evening at 11pm, as happened last week. Apart from drug dealers and pimps, who in the name of Christ wants to be starting a meeting at 11 o’clock at night?
    Who would be better to start coaching our younger players than someone straight out of the senior game, fit as a fiddle, full of enthusiasm and brimming with all the latest coaching and tactical ideas?

  76. Thought Barrett was very impressive on sunday. A great comeback and was missed last year. Up mayo

  77. Have to jump to Aidan’s defense here Willie Joe – It was Danny Kirby who took the shot for that goal chance followed by DOCs punch

  78. Good man, Mark – you’ve got me well covered today! I haven’t had the heart (nor the time) to rewatch the game back since so I had it in my head it was Aidan. Thanks for the correction.

  79. @ mayomad…
    BOLAND stood out in FBD for his ability to long pass accurately. I agree with you in that he gets very little opportunity to display this skill due to as you point out limited movement in front of. In fact a reliance on Andy to make the off the ball runs.
    Change of tactics or game plan required to give us an effective front line. Also opportunities from keegan durcan starting to dry up. We need more strings to our bow.
    My concern is not who we meet or when or where we play our next game but how we play should be the focus and what personalities we use to deliver the game plan including substitutions. Contributiors have identified the need for improvement in all sectors.
    Now whats the gameplan

  80. In other news, I’ve just noticed that the cumulative hit count on the blog went over 10 million at some point this morning. Go home, you’re all drunk.

  81. Liam I agree with you,a lot of posters wanted Lee moved to midfield, or fowards now he can only play no five,same with Ger we all waited for him to return now he is not fit,we would have won with Keith but he was sent off,I believe Galway were a lot better than last year their power was immense, the hits SOS took and DOC I have not seen that happen to Mayo players for years,as for blaming management since James Goran took over every player in the county got a fair chance and it has carried on since,as for C Boyle I think it was fifty fifty to be honest I was expecting it not because of any fault from Colm just S Corn has been very consistent, as for A Freeman three management teams gave him a chance so I don’t think he is the answer to our problems, going back to the game our kickouts were poor so even with fifteen players we have to work the ball from our own goaline to the other end of the field just imagine how much effort it took with fourteen and horrible conditions, most posters give great credit to player’s on the sideline perhaps that is the place to get a proper reputation, at least we still have a chance so we can still moan at players and management

  82. So its just as well to nod and agree .

    Keegan has not been as effective since going no 6 , so yeah I’d prefer to see him back at five.

    Colm Boyle should of been first man on teamsheet v galway .

    And wtf about it if we all wanted to see get caff back and not so gone on it now he is back. Things change , don’t work out.

    You’d think it was a mayo blog posters competition , idgaf whos right or wrong , ya change your mind according to how its going, maybe if our management had of been a little more impulsive and off the cuffe and changed their mind when andy sailed one over , personally i would of grabbed the sub docket off the official and ate the fuckin thing.

    I just want mayo to be the best they can. Don’t get downbeat a chairde ffs . its the last thing this needs now.

  83. Colm Boyle may well have made a difference, but certainly S Coen played well it is beyond a joke that players on the sideline are better than selected players,in my opinion we should have changed goalkeeper at half time to kick the ball sixty yards or more with the wind in our favour,but it is only my opinion, and it might not have made any difference, but it would have saved a lot of energy with players having to drop back to the end line to get the ball

  84. Is there any way of highlighting the most recent comments because it seems that some ‘new’ comments end up at random places in the pile (probably due to the fact that they need to be approved by the admin. before showing up). It’s just that I like keeping track of what’s being said and I wouldn’t have the time or patience to sift through all the comments to read the newest ones.

    Just for the record, I’m not complaining or anything. I enjoy the blog very much.

  85. Go to ‘recent comments’. Scroll down past the comment section and you will find.

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