Clare, Donegal or Meath?

Photo: GAA

We’re still standing and we’re in the pot for tomorrow’s Round 3A draw. This will take place on RTÉ Radio One on the Morning Ireland show just after the 8.30 news headlines.

In the bowl along with ourselves are Clare, Donegal and Meath. The Banner lads put Laois to the sword without too much trouble yesterday but Donegal had a right battle to get past Longford – and only pulled clear when the midlanders were reduced to fourteen men – while Meath also had to dig deep to see off Sligo.

I think we can all agree that another home tie would be preferable to having to go on the road next weekend but, whatever about location, which of the three would you like us to pull from the hat tomorrow morning?

Who would you like us to draw in Round 3A?

  • Meath (51%, 488 Votes)
  • Clare (31%, 295 Votes)
  • Donegal (18%, 169 Votes)

Total Voters: 952

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92 thoughts on “Clare, Donegal or Meath?

  1. A lot of people calling for Meath. Still dangerous so I’d prefer Clare.

    Our last championship match against Meath was preceded by the same complacency. We got turned over badly on that occasion.

  2. doubt there’Il be any complaceny after yesterday.

    There needs to be some serious shoooting practice done by the squad

  3. It was 1-12 to 1-12 over 70 minutes. Then it was 1-9 to 0-1 over 20 minutes to us, even though they had an extra man for 10 of those minutes. We seen in 2014 and 2015 we ran out of legs and players in extra-time against Kerry and Dublin. We seem to finish games strongly under Rochford but we are playing Russian Roulette at times.

    We kicked 17 wides, missed numerous chances and were opened up at the back a no. of times so there is plenty for us to work on. Again we showed plenty of heart, spirit and determination and that’s what’s carrying us through these games at the moment. It was great to see us produce a bit of flair as well, Conor Loftus’s goal, we’ll need to see more of that in the future if we are to stay in the race.

  4. The first 50 mins was as bad as I’ve seen Mayo for a long long time but they must be lifted by that finish. Donegal would be the best opponent for Round 3 as they have a pedigree that Mayo must take seriously.

  5. Picked Clare as Donegal and Meath will basically go close to injuring some of our players with the way they’ll play against a Mayo team.
    Clare have the best inside line of those three teams. Tubridy is a very good forward.
    Gary Brennan is dangerous also. But I just think we have too much for Clare.
    It is turning out that we need these qualifier games to find our first 15. Not good enough 3/4:way through second season.

  6. No easy match now, and it’s a bit pointless speculating on the draw as we have no control over it. Either of the three teams will bring their own challenge and whether home or away we must be mentally ready. We know we have the beating of any one of them but once again it will likely come down to the wire. Creating chances is one thing, but taking them is another. Composure will be key to how long we can stay in this years Championship, and in this regard there’s work to be done.

  7. Nobody will want us. Let’s hope Keegan is okay. Higgins will be in to replace Paddy.

    Coen and Vaughan need to drop out. We should start Loftus and Doherty.

    Forward line of:



  8. I would prefer clare if we go at them from the start and bring our shooting boots, stop the slow build up play aswel. Meath and Donegal will turn it into a very dirty scrappy game..

  9. Kieran , I think that should be the forward line too , where would you play aos ?

    Maybe hold off Andy and bring him in

  10. Start with Andy and finish with Loftus. The heat and attrition would be gone out of the game on the 50min mark, defenders legs would be tiring and space would be opening up. Loftus coming in then would be perfect with Aidan or Cillian alongside him in the full forward line. Loftus’ pace, balance and trickery would cause trouble and as for his eye for goal! Plus defenders don’t know him or his tricks.

  11. I’ve made this point on mayo gaa Facebook page ,another supporters page and tweeted mayo news ………..The “treatment ” AOS puts up with every game is as bad if not worse than any other player in the country BUT he doesn’t react so nothing is ever made of it ! Ciaran Whelan sitting like judge and jury last year when Connolly shirt was pulled had nothing to say yday ? AOS blood subbed after being struck on the ground for the second time ? Nothing to say ?
    So if we draw Donegal especially every mayo person with any influence in the media needs to highlight it all week……….and this is one of those places………time to look after our own like the Dubs do

  12. Vaughan had a quiet game, mind against Galway he stood out as one of our best. You don’t drop a player on one bad game, it is interesting SR seems to be naming Vaughan on the bench and then starting him a lot this year.

  13. Fully agreed with Km79 it’s time for the media to stand up for our team and players. No more Mr. Nice.

  14. Christ that game was some kind of perverse torture. Can’t remember a worse shooting performance, ever.
    It looked like the confidence had just completely drained from the lads. The lack of discipline was also a worry, it’s like the players are frustrated after years of near misses and are now just lashing out.

    But…they have some heart and determination. They just refuse to yield. You can’t be anything but proud of them and how they represent us.
    AOS was the epitome of that heart. He almost single handedly dragged us through that game, it was something special to behold.
    Massive respect to Conor Loftus as well. It took some balls to take on that goal chance, particularly when the rest of our forwards were misfiring so badly. The thing that most impressed me was that he took on the goal rather than take the easy option and knock it over the bar. We were only a point down, so no-one would have blamed him. Yet he had the complete and utter conviction to go for goal and struck it like there was never any doubt in his mind about where that ball would end up. Great point just after as well.

    We’re still there anyway. Massive improvements needed obviously.

  15. Didn’t get a chance to post yesterday evening but would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped out with the big flag before and after the game.
    With regards to the football, we are still alive which is all that matters. Lots of room for improvement, especially in the final third. Conor Loftus took his goal brilliantly when we couldn’t seem to hit the target at all. That took massive courage. His pass into Cillian in extra time was McDonald like. Pure class.

  16. With time nearly up yesterday i was not a plesent individual! I have followed Mayo for most of 50 years… that was very hard to take yesterday.
    I remember, it must be nearly 10 years ago talking to a friend and mentor at a wedding before a match.
    I asked him was he going to see the match.
    NO was his response , I’ll go into a room, with a tele ,on my own ! I’m not fit for civilised society when Mayo are playing.
    I know now exactly what he was saying.. I’m not sure can I take any more of this

  17. Clare or Meath in Castlebar would be ok Donegal away would be a dog fight and Meath away might be a dog fight too considering we had a tough game yesterday. I think it’s time to replace Ger Caff with Stephen Coen in full back Coen looks strong and eager I think that injury has taken a lot out of Caff and he’s not good under the high ball I don’t mean to be critical off him because of the massive effort him and the lads are putting in but I guess I’m being critical all the same

  18. I agree with Ken Kennedy. We need to be picking forwards who can score. Vaughan and Coen are not scoring forwards. Loftus has to start, Doherty needs to be played as a scoring forward not a workhorse; otherwise it is all down to COC and Andy again which is not sustainable against the big guns. Would also give Dillon 35 minutes if his fitness level allows; he will bring some structure to the forwards overall.

  19. We have a few players who seem to be struggling with confidence at the minute and afraid to go for scores. Encouragement is what those players need most of all now.

  20. Would prefer Clare at home. 2nd choice is Meath at home. Though we have put in an awful lot of poor performances at Mchale recently. The shooting is comical. We could have scored 6-38 yesterday if you add 2-21 that we ended up with to the 4-17 we missed. Christ 6-38. Enough to win most games i would say!!!

    Conor Loftus is the new “great white hope” (whatever that is) and must be started from now on. Take your pick of which of the “hit and hope” merchants he replaces. Plenty of candidates in that category after yesterdays “headless chicken in front of goal “demonstration.

    That assault on Diarmuid by Emmett Mcgugan or whtever his name is which you displayed brilliantly in a photograph on a previous post Willie Joe, needs to be taken all the way by the Mayo county board. A sickening act by a thug and surely cannot be just let go.

    Maurice Deegan should never be let ref a Mayo game again. Time now for the County board to put in a complaint against him. A complaint against a referee carries a lot more weight after you have won a game. If you complain after a defeat it is usually classed as sour grapes, whinging etc.

  21. Whew – just back in Dublin now and taking a quick breather before heading over to Croker for the Galway Wexford novelty affair.

    Do it the Mayo way?

    Hit 17 wides, the post/crossbar 5 times (or was it more?), wrap the game up with a screamer of a goal and a great point for good measure, and then let the opposition up the field to tap in a poxy equaliser under a high ball. Then bury them in extra time with a goal and a few points; no, wait let’s give them a penalty (and put a black card on the line while doing so), save the damn thing and really wrap the game up. No, wait again, let’s try a red card and make the last 15 minutes really difficult for ourselves.

    Doing the roller-coaster tour this year? No thanks, I’m following Mayo. On the top of the curve now and waiting to take the downward drop towards, Ballybofey, Ennis, Navan, or even Castlebar again.

    Here we gooooooooo!

  22. Absolutely dire shooting by Mayo yesterday until the last few mins and extra time.

    Make no mistake a repeat next week will see us out of the championship.

    That said..this win could be the making of us. Our backs were at 6s and 7s when Derry ran at us.

    Aidan O Se was immense and took (as usual) a lot of off the ball guff. Loftus hd the magic touch and I though Parsons caught some great ball.

    Don’t care who we get and while another home game would be nice I get the feeling we are due an away game.

  23. Aido was immense. What a player. Don’t care if he rubs some people up the wrong way. Haters gonna hate. Our forwards were paralysed by fear for 70 mins. I wrote here last week that Doherty should start at corner forward. I want to see him, COC and loftus at 13, 14 and 15 next week and stay there. Andy can come off the bench. F**k this 2 man inside line nonsense. Don’t agree with people saying Deegan shafted us. I thought he had a decent game. No complaints about penalty and their goal was not a square ball. It’s hyperbole to compare to Reilly in Limerick 2014. Does us no favours. The extra time will be great for us. Looked like a James Horan era team in those 20 mins for the first time in a few years. Just went out and buried them no bullshit.
    Finally Kevin mac should be banned for life from free kicks. Not a new issue either – he missed a 13 m free vs Tyrone in 2014 all Ireland semi final. It’s not fair on the lad to make him hit them. Great player but not the first cousin of a free taker.

  24. I just can’t figure out why we don’t play to our strengths.

    We ran at Derry yesterday for the 20 mins in extra time and scored 1-9.

    This is what we are good at. This is what will scare teams. Please, please, please…. More of the same!

  25. Only Mayo can put themselves, their fans and the neutrals that like them through the wringer like yesterday. I sat in my work van, listening to it and in those last few minutes I actually felt sick, a loss would have finished a few careers for sure, but being May, they pulled it out of the fire someway or other. No matter who they get next time, let the team play to their strenghts and just go for the thoat from the start, no need to defend like its kerry we are playing.
    There are likely only 2 teams that can stop this Mayo team , we know who they are and at what point we will meet them, so please let the team go out without the shackles and get over all challenges like they know how to.

  26. As such a big big loss as Paddy Durcan will be, I’m really looking forward to potentially seeing Keith play at 7. It should be an ideal position for him. If Lee is out Coen can go to 5.
    This line is my main worry the next day but we should have adequate cover. Nally a solid option too. It will well and truly test the strength and depth of this line for us.

  27. PJ I was forced to miss the match yday as I booked holidays around our expected games 😀 so I had to watch in an Irish pub in Tenerife which was fairly quiet …..I was restrained for 60 minutes or so……..but as chance after chance slipped away I began to forget about my surroundings…… wife and 6 year old arrived around that point .
    Lost it when Loftus scored and they left again 😀 😀 😀

    I don’t know if I would have “enjoyed ” it more or less in McHale Park but I’m disappointed to have missed it all the same

    After 60 minutes I was as close as I’ve been to giving up hope BUT they came up with the goods AGAIN
    Whatever else is thrown at this team one thing they are not is bottlers.
    Can’t wait for next weekend now

  28. Is Co Board going to address that asssult on Diarmuid. Horrific and that has to be stopped.

  29. While the game itself was a total non event as a contest you can’t but help contrast the assurance and confidence with which the Kerry forwards kicked their points and contrast it with our pathetic efforts yesterday

  30. Derry and Cork about the same level but the way Kerry eased past Cork in 2nd gear compared to Mayos 70 minute struggle was some contrast. On the draw Meath at home will be the easiest they aren’t much better than Derry or Cork! Clare are full running and like last year are putting all their efforts into the championship, they already gave Kerry a decent game and drawing them away won’t be easy. Donegal away would be the hardest draw but this is not the Donegal team of before and are in deep transition.

  31. MayoMark says:
    July 2, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    I just can’t figure out why we don’t play to our strengths.

    We ran at Derry yesterday for the 20 mins in extra time and scored 1-9.

    @Mayomark In Fairness that was against weary Derry legs that had empited the tank by the 60 minute.

  32. Mac’s left boot, when was the last time we tore into any team? We haven’t gone out and properly buried a team in a long time.

  33. Kerry looked very comfortable. They still have that knack of rattling up scores in a few minutes. Mayo will improve from yesterday, whatever about Kerry I’d be confident of beating Cork if Mayo meet them.

  34. Haven’t tore into a team in the championship since v Sligo in the Connacht final 2015 who would have guessed that Mayo wouldn’t reach the next two Connacht finals after that mauling? Before that you have to go back to 2013 when Galway,Roscommon,Donegal were all buried. That was a younger and fresher Mayo team back then than now though.

  35. -Mayo need forwards coaching
    -Mayo need an offensive strategy
    -Mayo management need to be ruthless – changes should have been made after the goal was conceeded

    – Mayos inconsistency gives the team an unnecessary bad image which does effect confidence.
    What happened to “Consistently Competitive” – the concept that put this team on the map as a top team. DONT LET IT GO!

  36. Only real difference between Mayo and Kerry is the forward coaching. Kerry forwards are drilled.

    Why is Mayo forwards not drilled ?

  37. Kerrys first wide today came after 42 minutes. Tells you all you need to know.

    No wonder they have 37 All Irelands and we have 3. Maybe they play with 6 forwards who know where the posts are or maybe they do target practice in training for some odd reason.

  38. Kerry have very natural footballers. They just find their scores very easily.

  39. Kerry footballers are coached and therefore look natural and find scores easy..

    Kerry players are born with the same skills as Mayo players. The difference are the systems, strategies and coaching ….

  40. What would people like the team to be for the next day ?

    How long of a suspension will paddy Durcan get Willie Joe ?

  41. Deegan is a snake in the grass. He allowed the Mayo lads to be pulled, dragged and punched until it was inevitable that a frustrated Mayo player would take justice into his own hands. Are the likes of him accountable to anybody. It reminds me of a parent being afraid to complain about a bully teacher in case the student gets more abuse. Can Rochford complain?

    Anyway we will have to allow for the fact we will have to beat ref and all. One great positive we can take from the game is that we have our centre field in Parsons and AoS. We also have solutions for the forward selections.

    Only real problem is full back. I think we have a problem with the high dropping ball. Donegan will play puck with us ( as he did before) unless we sort this out. No disrespect to Ger. He has the heart of a lion but I don’t think full back is his position. Maybe try him at left half back and put SOS in full back?

  42. The bigger question is:
    – why does the full back problem persist? – every football person in the country knows about this full back issue.
    – And ironically it was fixed, temporarily, last year

  43. I don’t think Caff is suitable at full back either. He lets his man out in front of him all the time and is very dodgy under the high ball. This is a problem position for us and I’m afraid Caff could get badly caught out against tall target men. I wonder are there better options for both Caff and the fullback position.

  44. I really hope its Meath for 4 main reasons : 1996, 2009, Colm O’Rourke, Bernard Flynn !!

    Enough said !

  45. Crunched some numbers there on second viewing

    Fergal Boland taken off was harsh and, frankly, wrong. I thought at the time he played very well but wanted a second look. He had 10 possessions, only gave the ball away once, and that was the wide he kicked. Two other possessions where we lost possession were two good passes by him that were not collected by forwards.

    Anyways, crunched Aidans numbers as well.

    31 possessions, gave up possession 4 times. 88% success rate.

    He won 5 frees that were kicked by Cillian. Also won one that he took himself and led to our first score in extra time (Mcloughlin score).

    He got one point himself and one came from his offload. Quality offload aswell to seamus who set up Cillian for a tap over.

    Brilliant performance.

  46. We pretty much played all last season without a recognised full back. Why? Because we didn’t have a replacement of the calibre of Ger Cafferkey. Sure Caff is not playing up to the high standards we expect of him this year so far but I do believe he is woth persisting with as we know what he can do. He is tall, fast, mobile, strong and is able to break up play on direct ball into the forward he is marking. IMO Stephen Coen or Kevin Keane are/were not fast enough off the mark or mobile enough to do the job that Caff can do. Give him time

  47. I wouldn’t imagine Ger Caff is either faster or stronger than Stephen Coen. Stephen Coen has a chunky strong build whereas Ger Caff is more rangey and long limbed.
    Ger Caff is taller marginally but has a noticeably poor ability to leap or contest in the air.

  48. For a tall man, Caff is very poor under the high ball. He can’t get up at all. He was caught out a couple of times during the match yesterday.

  49. Did Cafferkey win an all star at 3? I can only presume Rochford does not find the alternatives to be as good. It was pointed towards that when he tried Keith in the league, the last player I would play there. He’s a good ground footballer but suspect in the air.
    I think Boland might have been replaced after getting caught out not tracking for a goal chance and a point scored.

  50. Havnt watched it back yet but on the day I thought boland was taken off because his man was playing hell bursting forward and boland wasn’t physically able to track him.

    Can anyone confirm how long paddy durcan will be out for?

  51. I guess we will not really know the answer to the sprint one JP until we line them up with the starter gun 🙂 . What I did see last night was Stephen Coen been bet for pace alarmingly around the middle of the field but that’s probably not a fair comparison with a full back position. Stephen was not the only one scampering back and a lot of that was how high we pushed up on the Derry kickouts. When the ball broke in the middle favouring Derry there was huge open space in behind us with Derry players running off the shoulder from all directions. What did concern me was how switched off we were to this danger and to get to my point.. lack of fitness I can live with but lack of experience and awareness at this level can be very very dangerous. The two first players to be subbed were Coen and Boland and that’s no slight on them in such a physical game. This is do or die stuff we are in.. it’s a big call to try out a young inexperienced man in a position that will definitely loose you a game if it goes wrong. Loftus is different.. his intervention off the bench saved us and so has proven himself and is worth his starting place or at the very minimum a longer out the next day. Many people were lauding how resurgent Donegal were at the start of the year with a great blend of youth and experience.. only time will tell who’s approach is right.

  52. I think the real problem for a full back is that he has to do a standing jump while the forward coming in is jumping on the run. The co ordination between full back and goalkeeper is critical as the goalie has a chance to run at the ball albeit a short run. If the goalie says ” my ball” the full back stays down and back to save if necessary. This is the mistake that cost us the 2013 AI when Heenelly went up with Caff (I think) and Brogan fisted to the net. I think Ger stayed down yesterday but in fairness I think the forward was in the square. We conceded a goal against Kerry in the dying minutes when Donegan went high and fisted down to O,Donovan to score. Was that in 2014 semi final drawn game. However we have to work on this area. Or is my analysis flawed and I’m missing something.

  53. Just reading thru lots of the posts:-

    In my opinion, Mayo have as many ‘natural footballers’ as Kerry. Kerry have a far superior structure to their football championship. In short it allows players from small junior clubs play at senior level for divisional sides. Simple.

    Conor Loftus of course should be commended for his killer instinct and guts but before everyone goes overboard, the lad scored a goal and a point. Both very well taken sure but let’s not fall into the typical Mayo mindset of building up a young lad. He’s a forward. He’s meant to score. The fact that numerous other more experienced players failed miserably in their attempts to score yesterday makes Loftus’ contribution all the more spectacular. Sure, praise where praise is due but if we consider ourselves all Ireland contenders, and after yesterday some might laugh at the suggestion, but if we are, then we need forwards who can score on a consistent basis against the top teams. Don’t hype up a young player after one cameo appearance. I’d be telling him, ‘can you go and do it again’?

    Macs left boot:/ I agree with your full forward line. I’ve been saying that too about Doherty. He’s certainly not a prolific scorer but he’s a damn lot better than most others in the squad. Him, Cillian and Loftus would be worth a try with Andy, Kirby to come in.

    Finally, and I’m a broken record on this but we have the best natural defenders in the country. But we don’t have the best defence in the country. We were at best, average, yesterday. I cannot get my head around it?!! We were superb last Sept/Oct but have reverted to allowing teams saunter down the middle. Yesterday Derry had a goal opportunity in the first half when two of their lads cut down our centre and our lads were in sixes and sevens. A better team, Clare for example, would have buried those chances.

    Someone mentioned playing to our strengths. Our strength is that we have superb defenders. If Jimmy McGuiness had this squad he’s have won two all Ireland’s by now. It’s f&ckn simple stuff.

  54. Everything you have said sounds to be on the money muckle. The only other thing I would add is when the ball is coming in the air like that (50/50) the defenders on the ground in and around the point of contact need to block the running path of the forward so that the forward has to bulldoze and jump at the same time to get to the flight of the ball. You have to play dumb to what your doing and you will probably get clattered in the back for your troubles but you give your goalkeeper a better chance. If the goalie is going to get their first you got to read that and get out of dodge otherwise you will get squished.. cause if the goalie is gonna get a good run at it his job is to take man and ball and all with preferably both knees up so he won’t be in a hurry to do it a second time like:)

  55. Clare are a very good team in the real meaning of the word ‘team’. They held their own in div2 and have excellent morale. They are the only team in this bunch of 4 who probably expected to be where they are whereas Donegal Meath and ourselves all lost games we expected to win. That means they are in a better position mentally in that they’ll feel that they’ve nothing to lose.

    They are strong in midfield and have much better forwards than Derry.

    Meath…1996 and 2007 where they scored a goal that resulted from a scenario where a line ball was awarded to them. If a Mayo team can’t motivate themselves for a crack at the royals the it’s time to throw in the towel.

    Donegal. Dangerous. Tough. Dogged. Neither they nor us want to see one another.

  56. @mayo mark damn lies and statistics. I hope we do not put too much trust in retaining possesion fro possesions. As you we know its about selecting the best option going forward or backward as the case may be when in possesion
    I do agree with you that we should be playing to our strengths and giving AOS the freedom to read the game and decide for himself where he serves best worked really well.
    However I would be concerned as to how easily we were carved open through the centre yesterday. McLoughlin our best sweeper and I for one hope he is employed to close down those decisive runs next time out

  57. While I was sitting in Parc Tailtean waiting for a very disappointing performance from Sligo – a game that was definitely there to be won – I listened to Midwest radio and was amazed to see WJ has turned his hand to commentary. And a fine job he did too…for the most part!…but it would be remiss of me not to call you out in the number of occasions Derry players were “hanging out” of Mayo lads. The transgression however never appeared to happen in the opposite direction. Now maybe that was the case…maybe ; ).

    Anyway, if ye get Meath I see absolutely no threat to Mayo. The amount of unforced errors made by Meath was unbelievable yesterday. I don’t remember seeing so many at that level in a long time. Sligo missed 3 good goal opportunities over the 70 and Meath did not create one. Unfortunately we we’re absolutely shocking on the unforced error count ourselves and the normally reliable Murphy, who to fair has struggled with injury since the end of the league ended scoreless for the first time I can ever remember.

    Bottom line – Mayo I would expect to make short work of Meath. Home or away.

  58. Jaysus sounded exactly the same as the podcast! Was certain it was you.

    Ah well. Voice doppelgänger! Like varadkar and brian o Driscoll!

  59. If the team need a bit of extra recovery this week after the extra time, it might just be an ideal opportunity to get some shooting practice in. That’s all I’m saying!

  60. I see your point toe to hand. It is about communication, judgement and a plan. I think we have a very good defence overall. We just need to tweak the finer points. The high ball in is one of them. I also think that being focused for the seventy minutes is critical. A single lapse in concentration has cost us dearly in the past and nearly cost us yesterday.

  61. We are not playing well! We seem surprised that our forwards are not clicking but in honesty neither Stephen Coen or Donal Vaughan are natural forwards. Poor selection! At the same time Derry ran straight through the middle of our defence on several occasions and if they were any good they would have killed us. And we cannot cope with the high ball into the square. You would wonder what our management team have been at all year. Whatever they have been planning it certainly isn’t obvious on the field to me.
    I think all that is keeping us alive right now is the sheer guts and character of our players and the natural ability of some key players. Very annoyed despite the win!

  62. We created a huge amount of chances yesterday, but our finishing was woeful. Had we gone out, we only had ourselves to blame. Thankfully we live to fight another day, I honestly thought it was curtains for us before the Conor Loftus screamer. Fair play to the lad. Hopefully we will continue to create the chances like we did yesterday, & get a better return.

    Aidan was colossal yesterday, he was everything we needed & more. Cillian had a hand in a huge amount of our scores yesterday, out in front & a lovely lay off for the on-coming runner. He ended up with 12 points, but it could have been 2-15 at least, if he had his shooting boots on.

    The concern for me was how open we were when Derry ran at us. Once they passed midfield, they just sauntered through us. We didn’t appear to have anyone playing centre back for large periods of the game, which was quite incredible.

    Anyways, on to the draw in the morning. Great to be still in the mix!

  63. Extremely disappointed with Mayo’s performance for 65 minutes last night. We are in the mix yes and after last night’s performance we are all delighted. This will be short lived however as we will be wiped out of it when we meet the stronger teams. We simply have no hope of an All-Ireland if we cannot score. We are in awe of Conor Loftus after a great goal, yes but is what he is supposed to do? Why do we get so excited when a forward plays with conviction and confidence? Andy Moran to be fair is the only player who has performed in this way.. Players these days want to play in every position bar forwards. Until this is rectified we will never perform against the top teams.

  64. Mayo are still in it and that’s all that matters, Rochford stepped on the hot plate and his shoes are burning a little but that is the position he accepted, personally I think he is currently short of a yard of material to cover the entrance but to be fair he is doing his best with a stuttering forward line.

    I have just watched the pre match interviews of Fitzmaurice and Peadar Healy and I was concious of the obvious nervous didpisition of Healy. Christ these are just games and a amateur ones at that, Thomas O Sé gave him plenty over these past few weeks and I hate to see an honourable man like hem being undermined and put under unfair pressure like this. When Corks run is over and if he is trapdoor’d he won’t walk away with a mouth full of gum and five million in his bank account.

    He will walk through his front door and sit with his wife and kids who will no doubt console him but he will feel the sharpness of the jibes, years ago some clown with questionable social skills would visit his uninformed opinion on him and he could walk away shaking his head. 2017 brings gifts wrapped in barbed wire, the Internet allows clowns who never kicked a ball in their lives to describe with great detail how the game should have have been played and won. The view from the top of the ditch is clear and obvious. It’s an awful pity we can’t list them on the subs bench, Jees lads we would be up to our knees in Celtic Crosses if the management would only listen.

    Anyone who has the balls to step up and takes charge if an intercounty team deserves at least respect, I hated to see this great GAA man answer as he did. We are lying in the foxholes whine the snipers are shooting the brave.
    A rant but I hate to see this

  65. Ok, I am looking for a bit of clarity about Paddy Durcan and his dismissal. According to no neck Whelan on RTE it’s a months ban for boxing? Is that right? Or just a one match ban for a straight red?

  66. Yeah, clarification would be good. A one match ban – fair enough, can’t have any complaints. A month is a total disaster. Could miss three games that way, be shocking unfair. Can anyone properly clarify this?

  67. Sorry Willie Joe
    Perhaps the wrong forum but I think SR is also getting it in the neck, sometimes we just don’t have the cure and that’s not the Doctors fault

  68. Durcan’s offence was Category II so he misses the next match only. Time bans are for Category IV and V offences e.g. laying your hands on an official (don’t mention the war) or striking an official.

  69. Well Joet that all depends….that all round good guy Diarmuid Connolly punched Lee Keegan in the 2015 semi and he ended up with a zero game ban…don’t remember Ciaran Whelan mentioning a month ban then…I swear to God, the bias on RTE is f*&king ridiculous!

  70. Mayo doesn’t bury teams like Dublin and Kerry do because of our strengths and weaknesses. We don’t have the prolific forwards that they have, However, if we get as far as playing them, our own strong points, pacey good, strong defenders and a half forward line with great fitness and work ethic suddenly makes competitive with the big two as we neutralize their strong points.
    As for full back, he needs to be nearly the fastest man on the team over 10-20 meters and young Coen is far from that, at top county level he could survive at centre back, maybe midfield and certainly as a sweeper, he is an excellent footballer, fielder, reader of the game, kick passer.
    Loftus is everybody’s replacement for Andy but to me he is a natural half forward, better at running at the goals, and would benefit from Cillian’s and Andy’s popped passes. Clarke’s kick outs were outstanding today but certainly Caff cant keep playing- well usually-from behind, better full forwards will destroy us-don’t have an answer myself.
    Loads of positives, we created at least six clear goal chances, our midfield was immense, Doc and Loftus were great subs, Keegan was back near his best. Possible big negative, I couldn’t see a clear defensive setup or attacking plan, hopefully, they are gambling and holding their ace cards back.

  71. Also to echo Gamechanger’s comments, so easy to manage or criticise on a forum-like this one-but hard to manage an under 10 team.

  72. Why was Whelan saying the red card is a one month suspension? The rules state (I think) that its a one match ban.

  73. The reason Kerry are better drilled than Mayo are many but here are a few;
    1. Kerry have a club structure that allows all/any senior standard player to play senior club championship. This allows all players to train at senior standard at club level. Look at the kerry teams they have many more junior player than we do (and no, I’m not from a junior club, ask yourself why???).This also means that intermediate county champions are really a senior club (in any other county and junior team is really an intermediate team); this is because 8 senior team drop down from senior championship to intermediate and 8 more drop down from intermediate to junior to allow 8 divisional teams to compete in senior championship. This structure allow the county team to harvest all players as it allows cream to come to the top, -not so in Mayo as they is too much of a jump (not in possible) from junior club to senior county. Football in the county should be run like a business and currently it not! Its being covered up by these talented bunch of players!! Fact! just look at the under age structure its an absolute disgrace & it will come to the fore when this current crop of players go!
    * Kerry play a fast first time ball and lay it off to an on rushing player, Mayo on the other hand are ponderous requiring to hop or solo the ball before looking up and giving a delivery usually into COC.
    * AOS had a great game yesterday but if we are going to get the maximum out of AOS then he must play at FF. He a target man but his job should be to make all other forwards dangerous by breaking ball onto in rushing players. He will be able to do this even if he is double or triple marked. Moreover this allows winning the ball back that bit easier for the rest of the team as they will be a man down.
    * Kerry train with the ball at all training sessions; kick pass, shooting off both feet, hand passing
    * Mayo have played three championship so far and still SR does not know his strongest team! Conor Loftus, Jason Doherty & Diamaid O’Conor have to start the next day!!! Problems at FB, Stephen Coen is not a forward and is not a wing man; he is a FB or CB. In my opinion Andy Moran is best coming on when leg are getting tired.
    * Mayo did not exploit Galway poor No 1 , 2, 3 & 4; the same on Saturday with Derry who were also poor on the kick out but we did not push up – Poor identification of opposition weakness, and Kerry have weakness as well, Cork could have scored 3 goals against them yesterday.

  74. There are issues within kerry with club structure too. For example the intermediate and junior championship is straight knockout. By Easter Sunday this year the intermediate and junior championships were down to the semifinal stage. Therefore, for a lot of good intermediate teams their season was already over by Easter Sunday. This is not fair either. Hard to get it right to suit everyone I suppose.

  75. Cantina, I was convinced too so don’t feel bad. WJ, if you didn’t here the commentary you should have a listen. He sounds like you, very much so, as Martin Carney says.

  76. @Logic – we don’t even have an underage structure. We are miles behind other counties and f&ck all being done about it.

    It’s sad. Very sad and I’ve no faith in the powers that be in changing matters. There’s little or no innovation, vision or interest from them. Sure look at our results at minor and u21 since 2010. We’ve never had a more barren period.

  77. Just got the playback having been abroad for game and following points to make.
    1) Stop moaning about refs., I would give Deegan at least 7/10, one free against Doherty was obviously not a shoulder and he was slow to call frees against AOS, the worst waiting until he git a rabbit punch in the back of the head. But most of his calls over the 70 were correct. There was foul play but you’d need eyes in the back of your head. That’s the job of the full team of officials not just ref. Indeed Derry officials were up to no good interfering with Mayo players taking sideline balls and they should’ve been banished. I missed what happened Diarmaid.
    2) Coen and Donie not starters, neither quick enough over 5-10 when defending. Both useful subs.
    3) I would find a role for SOS next day, with Durcan out would play him centre back.
    4) Doherty probably worth starting ahead of Diarmaid next day. Haven’t heard any outrage at Diarmaid being dropped for this one and Doherty played with confidence when introduced. Keith will play wing back if Keegan out or wing forward (as sweeper) next day possibly instead of Boland.
    5) Andy and COC both hitting the woodwork too often. I was hoping management drilling in ruthlessness and Loftus was the one who displayed it along with Doherty.
    6) McLoughlin’s miss wasn’t too bad. Not warranting the type of comments on it anyway. I would however suggest AOS instead for the role, he took them in his first year as a senior. Otherwise Cillian off his left.
    7) Derry really had a cut and were efficient from long range for most of the 70. Mayo were only a few % off in intensity but a few % for any team bar Dublin means danger. Some players were 100%, others not. Some Derry scores excellent, the bad ones from our perspective were from runs through the middle.
    8) Whelan trying to dent Mayo confidence on TV so ignore him. Dessie fairer. And regarding comments on first half low return from play, it’s not our fault if opposition resorts to fouling. Most wayward stuff was later in the game.
    9) AOS and Parsons partnership… both players were great.
    10) Caff wasn’t a liability to the extent people say, drove a few dangerous balls over sideline and caught a good bit. Plays from behind but herds his man well. With sweeper in front against top teams he will be fine and most likely improving all the time. Has experience.

  78. My team for next day..
    Harrison Caff Barrett
    Boyle SOS Keegan or Nally
    AOS. Parsons
    Higgins (sweeper) Kirby Doherty
    Kevin Mc Cillian Loftus or Andy

    While Loftus has a real forward’s cut, Andy is a go to man with kicks inside and contrary to calls for running game we need a mix of tactics. Just needs to be bit more ruthless. Blankets can kill running game, we need an out front corner forward and bar Kevin Mc, Andy is our only consistent inside ball winner. Mc needed further out. Regan decent outlet when he starts but has habit of losing it again when confronted by 2 or more backs, needs more cuteness than shown to date.

  79. 1. Caff is playing his way back to senior inter county fitness after a year out with his longtime troublesome hamtring. He hasn’t even completed some club games ffs. We need to be patient and hope that he gets the games he needs to get back to his All Star levels. He sheppards his man wide and caught two high balls yesterday, is cool under pressure and a good passer out of defense. For all the talk of Comers performance in Salthill what did he score from play off Caff? 1 pt, after 16 secs. Nothing thereafter.
    2. Did anyone ever think that maybe Diarmuid and Seamie were not 100% fit and therefore not selected to start? We as supporters are not privy to everthing that goes on in the Mayo setup.
    3. Talk of replacing Andy with Loftus in the starting 15 is just plain madness. Replace him yes but starting is another matter entirely.
    4. Doc coming on and scoring 1-1 is great but that does not make him an automatic starter as his form this year has been poor. To both Loftus and Doc I’d be saying “grand, well done, now go and do it again”.
    5. The old “Mayo failing under the high ball” will raise itself again. That’s the first mistake we’ve made under a high ball in a long time. Plus when the 6’3″ forward is standing in the square when the ball is delivered it certainly helps. The question I’d ask is, how much pressure was on the kicker who delivered the ball? Absolutely none. He had all the time he needed to solo, look up and place the ball in.
    There’s no doubt we got out of jail but if we smarten up on our conversion rate (it couldn’t get much worse) we should do enough to get through the next round.

  80. If Pat Spillane was accused of wearing a Kerry jersey when doing his analysis on the Diarmuid Connolly incident then surely Ciaran Whelan could be accused of the same thing, wearing a Dublin jersey while doing his analysis on Mayo. Wasn’t he acting as judge and jury when talking about a month’s ban for Paddy Durcan. He also made sure that he highlighted the Lee Keegan incident, probably hinting that Lee might have to observe the return to play protocols which would rule him out for next week as well. Whelan was a little bit more restrained than Pat Spillane but he made sure that he got his points across all the same. Stephen Rochford did say it was just a bang to the shin that Lee got so hopefully he should be okay and hopefully Paddy will only get a one match ban as well.

    There was no mention of the eye gouging incident on a Mayo player though I notice.

    In relation to SOS and Diarmuid not starting, I’m sure our management team are aware that we could potentially have four games in a month so I’m sure it’ll be all about using our resources as best we can for these games.

  81. I didn’t see any Eye gouging on TV coverage playback so how could they comment if they didn’t see it. The P Durcan sending off was caught on a camera at distance. Looked like a strike in response to being struck. Pity the linesman only caught one of the 2 but the initial strike was probably what drew his attention to something going on. C’est la vie.
    Maybe SOS and Diarmaid were the injury rumours WJ was concerned about regarding idle speculation but in any event Jason Doherty won some clean turnovers. Diarmaid wins them too but sometimes loses them back whereas when Doc makes the hit he usually completes the turnover. Mayo were at our best with Kevin Mc and J Doc mopping breaks though I think that aspect is not needed as much with possession kickouts dominating. However we forced Derry long and could have had almost total domination with them 2 boys hovering. We played without an obvious sweeper and went back to looking vulnerable to goals and open down the middle. Was that the fault of Boyle or Keegan or was it Donie and Coen being left by pacey forwards, I suspect more the latter.
    As well as AOS Tom P was really good yesterday with some great fielding and won some valuable turnovers. Toss up for Mayo MOM. Hard to see SOS start next day unless it’s Centre back as I wouldn’t be convinced Keegan will be right in 7 days. Will be a big bruise from that bang, would need shin guards if they’re allowed and Keegan showed real cut any time he attacked. We get the most out of AOS in midfield and Parsons makes far fewer mistakes than SOS. Boland good on the ball but is a light lad who can and on this occasion was exposed on the back foot. Great lad to have but next day is an opportunity to restore an established warrior.

  82. The odds of us getting another draw at home have got to be very slim. In that event, based on current form, the next best I think we can hope for is Meath away, next would be Donegal away and finally Clare away. We will know very soon I guess..

  83. There were pictures all over social media of the eye gouging incident and a lot of people were contacting the Sunday Game about it but as I said there was no mention about it on the programme.

  84. I think no one will be thinking of football this morning. Just read that very sad news of the young lad from Breaffy.

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