Cillian O’Connor our MOTM from yesterday


Photo: Mayo Mick

The poll has closed, the votes are in and for the second time in this year’s championship campaign Cillian O’Connor has been adjudged our Man of the Match by you lot. His eight-point haul at MacHale Park, three of which were from play, and his all-round excellence in yesterday’s Connacht final garnered him 34% of the 190 votes cast, with Kevin McLoughlin (21%) and Jason Doherty (18%) coming in second and third respectively following storming performances by both of them in the provincial decider. It’s interesting to note that all three players to make the podium on this occasion are forwards, which is definitely a first for this particular initiative.

As well as this highly prestigious gong, the Ballintubber man – who was officially elevated to marquee forward status by the nation’s pundits following his standout display yesterday – has also made it onto the GAA’s Team of the Week (along with Robbie Hennelly and Lee Keegan) and in addition Cillian looks well on his way to winning the vote for the GAA’s Player of the Week.   Hearty congrats to him and to all the lads who performed so well in yesterday’s provincial decider.

UPDATE: Cillian has now been confirmed as the winner of this week’s GAA Player of the Week, securing 56% of the 2,700 votes cast.

15 thoughts on “Cillian O’Connor our MOTM from yesterday

  1. Well deserved for Cillian great display all round and kick pass for Lee Keegan goal just sublime. great vision to pick him out or was it the scream like a girl ! Must admit I did vote for Kevin Mac. With hindsight you kinda always expect Cillian to perform and it was so great to see Kev back in the groove that I really wanted him to win it. Just shows how good Cillian is to set such a high standard and when you think He is only 22 we are blessed to have a talent like his to look forward to over the next few years. Great to see Jason Doc right up there too .plenty to look forward to role on Croker. Well done Lads

  2. Well done Cillian on a scintillating performance. Similar to above, I always expect a massive display from him so didn’t even think to mention it.

  3. I did the same – I’m a huge fan of Kevin Mc and I can’t say how delighted I am to see him playing at his best again. But Cillian was superb – as he always is. Consistency is is middle name and he has, as long as he has been togging for Mayo, played with a maturity far beyond his years. He has it all, and our future is bright with him.

    Special mentions for Rob Hennelly (who this time out nailed the kickouts, not to mention that save), Aidan (who takes his share of criticism but put in a stellar performance on Sunday) Jason Doc (because it doesn’t always go so well for him – long may this continue) and Chris Barrett who, contrary to comments elsewhere was not “roasted” but instead put in a very steady shift after a shaky start (after half a year out, we’d all be a bit wobbly to start). I know Sunday wasn’t a four-star performance by any means and we all have concerns, but I can’t help thinking the best has yet to come.

    Incidentally, Aidan O’Shea last night confirmed on Off the Ball what we’d all guessed anyway, that the training schedule is set up this year to ensure that this team is primed to peak during the All-Ireland series, later than last year. We are already in a better position than this time last year, being relatively injury-free at this point in the campaign.

    It’s hard not to feel a tiny bit optimistic this morning.

  4. Agree with a lot of that Anne Marie. Indeed bar Richie Feeney not getting game time, I have no real complaints at this stage – Cork or Sligo are for another day.

    I like the way the management are varying things so far. New guys blooded in early games; a lot of big guys to match up/demolish the Galway giants; making 4 changes for a Connacht final – a big call. and good use of the bench – not perfect, but I’d give it 75%.

    And did anybody notice Peter Burke’s blinder? He seemed to be a 16th man for most of the first half, before Hickey gave him his marching orders. If he was tracked on these stats they are now using about distance covered, he would way be out in front.

  5. Heres where I am at after the dust has settled on the CF

    – Think win will do much to up the confidence levels which I felt were low coming into this game

    – Happy to continue the AOS in half forward line – hoping gibbons can re-take his midfield slot

    – Jason Doherty now knows the level he needs to perform at, we need consistency from him, he was immense on Sunday but this cant be a one off!

    – Aside from fitness levels i still don’t think Alan and Andy should start, we need freeman (with his mojo back) and my feeling is that sweeney should take the other berth

    thoughts anyone?

  6. Cant argue with Cillian getting MOTM, he was my choice and was as usual, so cool and professional in the way he plays. He’s one of the few players who you can consistently rely on to deliver a solid performance.
    Other than that, I was happy enough with the win…on the back of an average performance against a below average Galway team. Thats not a bad thing, its just the way it is, for no point in us been 100% in July when we needn’t be.
    I was thinking about the rationale for Horan decision in starting Andy and Alan the other day. The only reasion I can think of is that he gambled in that he wouldnt need a full strenght, 100% fit team to win this…however with a view to September, he will need a 100% fit, match ready squad of ~20 players who he can rely on, who are fit, up to match sharpness, who he can spring from the bench and make a real impact, much like Gavin has and continues to do in Dublin. Having said that, I was scrating my head when Conroy was brought on and then Mikey Sweeney, with maybe 10 seconds remaining on the clock! Its reasonable to ask, what were they thinking here?
    Anyway, depending on the opposition in the qtr final, I would expect Gibbons (if available) to partner Seamus in CF, half forward line to remain the same as Sunday and Freezer and Sweeney to partner Cillian up front, with Andy, Alan and Conroy to rotate in sometime in the second half, to continue to the warming for Septemeber.

  7. Mister Mayor, Anne-Marie and all others above, I could not agree more.
    I purposely kept away from posting for a day or two to let the hare sit, but I have to admit that I think we are in a very comfortable position. Horan has a fully fit squad to choose from (assuming Cunniffes injury is not a lengthy one) and there seems to be fair competition for places. Training is ticking along nicely and we are gaining momentum bit by bit. Thinking back to this time last year we are not at that level yet and that is a good thing, All Irelands are not won in July. We seem to have taken on board a lot of the mistakes from last year and have slightly changed things.
    Last Sunday was the first time in 2 years that our half forward line actually functioned like an efficient well drilled unit, both defensively and offensively. The use of A.O’Shea on both kick-outs was smart and some of our med-to-long range foot passing was vastly improved from the Roscommon game.
    A Dub, and a knowlegable one at that, asked me today, “how do ye keep coming back for more, how have ye not fucked before and behind ye and just called it off?” I told him because we have a group of lads that are the pride of Mayo, that there are 28, 29 maybe 30 other counties that wished they had our lads in their geansais and that as long as OUR lads believe they can win it I am not quitting on them. I’ll take All Ireland final heartache again, again and a-fucking-gain. I’ll take the snide “Dessie-eat-the-buns-Cahill” remarks (with his widescreen face) and jibes from other supporters. I’ll take all that to just win it once. We’ve only 3 more games to win. That’s all.
    These are great days people and make no mistake the bad days will come again. I just hope we don’t wait for those bad days to appreciate what we have today.

  8. I’m with Pebblesmeller.

    The current crop are absolutely exceptional. Some flaws there (the obvious one being they haven’t delivered the cup) YET. But no one can question the commitment, dedication and sheer relentlessness that these players AND JH have given to Mayo football.

  9. Very well put Pebblesmeller ! This is a great team and these are great days indeed .

    Was listening to Oisin McConville on Second Captains today and he said Mayo now have a the marquee forward in Cillian O’Connor . Its hard to argue! When the game got tough in Roscommon he threw some great shoulders and won some very dirty ball and then scored the frees and again yesterday he got the ball rolling with the first point and put Keegan in with a killer footpass to put Mayo into a comfortable lead . He maybe only 22 but there are times he puts this team on his back and carries them. The one that stands out for me was the league game in Cork when we needed to win to say in Div 1 – scored 2 unbelievable sideline balls. I really believe he will be the Mayo Captain before too long – A class act on and off the pitch. Here’s hoping his injury worries are all behind him and he has a healthy 2014. Its a pleasure to watch him in a Red and Green shirt.

  10. What about this full forward line next day coc Sweeney and b Moran big and strong for the cork game

  11. Well put all and yes Pebbles the improvement in the Half forward line ( the line that cost us the AIF last year imo ) was immense and to me the most pleasing part of the match. It’s very satisfying to see McLoughlin get his mojo back and Jason deliver a performance that cements his place. Jason did a lot of hard grafting that went unnoticed against the Rossies but he did that again on Sunday and showed he can take scores too. AOS looked like a new player on Sunday.and if he learns to move the ball a bit quicker he can be a real force at CF. From a Half-forward line that failed to score in the AIF to one that got 1-4 on Sunday and provided some great assists means things are looking up.

    Thought it was Men against Boys on Sunday with Boyler’s early bone-shuddering hit on Comer laying down an early marker in the physical battle. Galway couldn’t live with our intensity and while we looked assured and confident I thought they were tentative and hopeful. Deep down they looked like a team that didn’t really believe they could win and were happy not to get beaten by too much.

    Things are looking good with a full panel and two places up for grabs in the FF line and with Cunniffe and Gibbons pushing hard for places. Time for Freeman to step up ! Let’s hope everybody stays fit !!

  12. Agree All the way and others re half forwards work rate.
    Reading Finno’s account in Mayo News he says Doc didnt score against rossies
    I’ve read that elsewhere but I’m sure he took a great point early on
    He also got through an amount of work that day around the middle third he built on that performance Sunday
    I find the comments re Andy, harsh, he showed leadership in AIF and against Ros yet a poor day last Sunday and he’s past it ..please.
    I hope Lee Keegans post match comments about the press are tongue in cheek .keep focus on performance ,not perception abroad.

  13. Good man pebblesmeller. Truer words are rarely spoken.

    One way or another we will see if Mayo’s mental strength has been forged by our near misses or have we been too long left in the fire. I’ll trump for the former. This is indeed unchartered territory for Mayo. Mayo’s courage and determination will be tested like never before as we attempt to climb the summit for a third time in succession. We need to leave all the soothsayers, charletons and sound bite chasers in our wake and relentlessly press on, ratcheting up the pressure gradually until our indominatable spirit is all that we leave behind.

    There is a weight of expection on this Mayo team. That is only right and proper. We lost two All Irelands that we should have won. We need to right two wrongs. It won’t be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. I call things the way my simple enough mind sees things. We’re getting better as we move along. We’ve a bit to go yet and that’s for sure but we are heading in the right direction.

  14. After Sunday it is obvious that we are indeed dealing with an exceptional group of players. The fact that they are willing and able to keep going despite unmerciful disappointment says an awful lot for the character of the side. If we get to September and have a full panel to pick from we will give it a hell of a rattle.

  15. You’re right Albany, Doc scored Mayo’s first point against the Rossies, a fine long range effort.

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