Club Championship results round-up

The group stages of the Senior, Intermediate and Junior football Championships concluded this weekend and, with all group placings now decided and the draws made for the knockout stages and the promotions play-offs, the shape of things to come over the next few weeks is a whole lot clearer.

There wasn’t much in the way of Round 3 suspense in the SFC. Castlebar Mitchels encountered stubborn resistance from Ballyhaunis before they emerged with a two-point win and Ballintubber slugged it out with Garrymore this afternoon, eventually winning by two points as well.

This made Charlestown Sarsfields’ win over Ballaghaderreen the result of the round. It secured a knockout place for Charlestown for the first time since 2014, an achievement made all the sweeter for them, no doubt, by their elimination of the neighbours.

Aside from that, there were fairly routine wins for Moclair Cup holders Westport, as well as Knockmore and Ballina Stephenites. All three will harbour serious ambitions to go all the way this year. Belmullet’s big win over The Neale gives them hopes that they might be rediscovering the kind of form that carried them to a county final appearance two years ago.

Here are the Round 3 results in the SFC and what they mean in each of the four groups:

  • GROUP 1: Ballina Stephenites 1-24 Balla 2-12; Breaffy 2-10 Mayo Gaels 0-9. Ballina top the group with Breaffy also qualifying as runners-up. Balla go into the relegation play-offs.
  • GROUP 2: Westport 0-16 Claremorris 1-5; Charlestown Sarsfields 0-9 Ballaghaderreen 0-7. Westport win the group, with Charlestown going through as well as runners-up. Claremorris go into the relegation play-offs.
  • GROUP 3: Ballintubber 0-8 Garrymore 0-6; Belmullet 3-12 The Neale 0-7. Ballintubber top the group, followed by Belmullet. The Neale go into the relegation play-offs.
  • GROUP 4: Castlebar Mitchels 1-9 Ballyhaunis 0-10; Knockmore 1-13 Aghamore 0-8. Knockmore win the group on scoring difference over Castlebar Mitchels, with Ballyhaunis heading for the relegation play-offs.

The draw for the SFC quarter-finals was made this evening and here are the pairings that came out of the hat:

  • Westport v Breaffy
  • Charlestown Sarsfields v Knockmore
  • Ballina Stephenites v Belmullet
  • Castlebar Mitchels v Ballintubber

The relegation play-offs were also fixed, with Balla facing The Neale while Ballyhaunis will be up against neighbours Claremorris. The quarter-finals and relegation play-off matches will be played on the weekend after next.

Details of all the weekend’s results in the Senior, Intermediate and Junior Championships are here.

The draw for the IFC quarter-finals is here and for the relegation play-offs is here.

The draw for the JFC quarter-finals is here and the draw for the Junior B quarter-finals is here.

In women’s football, meanwhile, this weekend saw the first round of matches played in the LGFA Senior, Intermediate and Junior football Championships. Here are the weekend’s results:

  • SFC GROUP A: Carnacon 0-7 Knockmore 0-16; Castlebar Mitchels 2-5 Hollymount 0-11
  • SFC GROUP B: Burrishoole 0-7 Charlestown 0-7; Westport 1-15 Kilmovee Shamrocks
  • IFC GROUP A: Moy Davitts 1-14 Ballyhaunis 2-2; Swinford Killasser 4-9 Cill Chomáin 1-10
  • IFC GROUP B: Louisburgh 6-11 Davitts 2-8; MacHale Rovers 4-11 Kilmoremoy 2-8
  • JFC GROUP A: Breaffy 2-5 St Brigid’s 2-15; Claremorris 12-24 The Neale 2-6
  • JFC GROUP B: Kilmeena 3-10 Kiltimagh 1-10; Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin 3-6 Aghamore 7-12.

59 thoughts on “Club Championship results round-up

  1. Fair play to Castlebar Mitchels B. Having a second team comes with its own challenges as you’re always at risk of losing a few of your main men to the A Team as the competition goes on, so to be able to get a huge result in Round 3 deserves some serious credit.

    Some strong teams finished 3rd in their intermediate groups – Davitts, Kiltane, Crossmolina and Ardnaree being the 4 3rd placed teams. This will lead to some incredibly tough groups next year!

  2. Is there a problem in South Mayo football yet again they have no team in the quarter finals of the Senior championship.Even with recent schools successes of St Colmans and Ballinrobe Community school, still no clubs are competing in the final 8 of the Senior championship.Claremorris are a disaster at Senior level with there population and success at underage, Garrymore who have been the best team in the South for the last 20 years look to be going into decline with alot of there main players in the 30 plus bracket.Mayo Gaels look to have hit there ceiling of retaining Senior status. The Neale look like they will be relegated.In Intermediate Ballinrobe look a good bet to win the Intermediate and are the up and coming team in South Mayo with Hollymount there in quarters aswell .Davitts very dissapointing not even making the quarters and probably now deserved to be relegated from Senior Championship last year.Kilmaine in a relegation semi final and Shrule playing Junior.Its hard seeing a South Mayo team winning a Moclair cup anytime soon.
    You have to go all the way back to 1994 to Hollymount the last team in South Mayo to win a title.Shrule Glencorrib in 2005 the only South Mayo club to have played in a County final since Hollymount in 1994.

    Last wins
    Hollymount 1994
    Garrymore 1982
    Claremorris 1971

  3. Well done to Northern Gaels. Had to turn around a 26 point score difference and did so by a point. Into the Quarterfinals.

  4. @ Sam óg. Worrying. In particular the case of Claremorris who are producing great underage players. Clubs in South need to take a look at model setups that are succeeding in getting young fellas to senior level.
    Hugh Dedication required from the players themselves too. All it takes to break the cycle is to produce one county players. Look at the Keegan effect in Westport

  5. Yew-tree “Ballintubber and Garrymore would bore you to death. Awful football” Sean Burke “Ballintubber been like that for years” 17th/09/2023. Ah Yew-tree and Sean…I am so sorry you feel like that! Yes I suppose it’s that boring style (not standards) that has had Ballintubber in the last eight of the Mayo Senior Championship each year since 2008! Surely a record and perhaps a feat unequalled by any other Senior Club in Mayo!
    And Sean… do you remember that illustrious day in McHale Park a few years ago when we scored 9 – 11(surely one of the highest score ever recorded in the Mayo Senior Club Championship?) and against highly rated opposition? Truly did we bore you that day?
    And Sean has the renowned list of all time Mayo greats and All Stars from Ballintubber Club who wore the Green above the Red bored you down the decades…Paddy Prendergast (R.I.P) Ger Feeney (R.I.P) James Horan, Alan Dillon and Diarmuid and Cillian O Connor (all time highest scorer in the GAA) to name but a few Ballintubber Clubmen who have worn the shirt with honour and distinction?
    It is so sad that many contributors do not value the art of excellent defence and when to tactically use and implement such systems. Perhaps they are believers in the “we are the Brazil of Gaelic football…whatever the opposition scores we will outscore them” school of thought which is naivety of the highest order.
    Proper defending i.e., stopping the opposing team putting the ball into the net or over the bar and dispossessing them of the leather is equally as important as scoring goals and points at the other end!
    Indeed one can say with certainty that if Mayo had proper defensive set-ups and shape in the intercounty championship season just past we would not have suffered the lamentable defeats that we did!

  6. @Sean Hallinan… Ballintubber are a,terrific club with great players past and present.
    I would suggest Castlebar are very very defensively set up as well.
    I was at the Hollymount v Ballinrobe game and that was a good open game to watch with high scoring.
    The reality is though, most club and county games are now not entertaining to watch .( not just in Mayo )
    The problem with this is if games are not enjoyable to watch people may stop going to see games. Rugby is in the spotlight at the moment and while there may be injury concerns from parents. They do create a good sense of club / community, and the games are entertaining to watch and might attract more players and sponsors at a local level.
    Best of luck to Tubber in the championship

  7. @Sean Hallinan, To the defence of those lads who said it was “awful football” – lets call a spade a spade. It was a poor game of football. I often take great enjoyment out of watching a tight defensive game and seeing how teams try to unlock the defence (Castlebar vs Aghamore in Round 2 was an enthralling game!), but that game between Garrymore and Ballintubber was not one for the ages. Conditions were tough and mistakes were aplenty. Lots of loose handpasses, spilled balls and poor shooting made for a low scoring game moreso than top tier defending did.

    The game in which Ballintubber racked up the massive score you referenced was a nearly a decade ago, football has changed a lot since then. This is just how Senior football is now – low scoring on a good day and lower on a bad day. I wont judge any team for playing however it takes to win, but if someone else pays their fare to watch a game and they think it was poor, then they are entitled to their opinion!

  8. Calm down Sean you’ve taken the comments too personally. It was an awful game by both sides. It’s true that it’s a results business but the way I see a lot of teams being setup these days where is the enjoyment for players and fans?

    Garrymore for example needed a goal but for the last five minutes passed the ball back and across the field instead of putting a big man or two into the edge of the square and launching it forward. It beggars belief.

  9. Lateral play is acceptable when it’s switching the play from a congested area to one where there is space. But much of the cross field passing is pointless other than giving players a breather.
    Unfortunately overindulgence in lateral passing can win games. Not entertainment though. I can see supporters on both sides slow handclapping this so called entertainment in the near future.
    We have decent looking quarter final games on paper. Let’s hope we get a balanced approach from teams…

  10. @yew tree, and you see so many teams retain the hand passing possession tactics when chasing a lead and goal is required. Why is this? IMO and following my point last night, there’s so much mantra from managers these days to keep possession and ‘recycle’. I’m still playing club football and it’s ridiculous. Players are brainwashed into hand passing and vilified from the line if a kick pass goes astray, particularly if it’s a direct one into a full forward. Fair enough if the kick is very poorly executed but I’ve played in games recently and seen good kick passes that are 55/45 in favour of our forward and if he loses the ball the blame nearly always goes to the kicker. I genuinely cannot understand the slow build up recycle play. It rarely ends in a score. Instead it pulls your team forward, clogs up the pitch in the opponents half and leaves you extremely vulnerable to a counter attack.

  11. Defend in numbers and attack at speed…(but counterattacks needs to be practiced like, ahem, the way Jimmy McGuinness mastered it in 2012….not to open up that tinderbox again!!

  12. You can make that 3 teams we definitely wont beat next year in championship Dublin, Kerry, and Derry.Mickey Harte just announced as manager.

  13. What level of fitness do you need to do that?
    But their does need to be balance, variety, calculated risk taking in a teams play.
    Up to now we’ve been getting too much of one thing and not enough of the other

  14. I managed to get to a few of the championship games over the weekend and enjoyed them for what they were – intense slow-burning battles between local rivals. I wonder are some here setting their expectations too high. Club football in Mayo has been a slog for years now, and conditions yesterday almost ensured we would see low-scoring defensive football. We would all love to see end-to-end shootouts every weekend but outside of top-tier intercounty that’s not the reality of the game. Don’t see why Ballintubber should come in for in any extra criticism, they saw out the game without being spectacular. They’re hardly the only ones setting themselves up to concede the least amount of scores.

    I also find it curious that some here are not seeing the impact of current inter-county panellists. For me, Diarmuid O’Connor was head and shoulders above the rest yesterday. Breaffy’s two victories were built on their midfield and Aidan in the forwards. Paul Towey kicked an absolute screamer of a free for Charlestown yesterday. It would be hard to see Belmullet in the quarters without Ryan O’Donoghue driving them on.

    Regarding the games, I thought Garrymore were too reliant on Golden. He seemed to be stretching himself between midfield and the forwards. Didn’t think Garrymore’s current and ex-county players had enough of an impact. Tubber seemed to be using Gibbons as a defensive midfielder, which played to his strengths very well. Plenty of big hits all over the field. Surprised not to see any reds dished out.

    I very much enjoyed the Charlestown – Ballagh match. Yes it was low-scoring but could have gone either way right up to the end. Like Garrymore, I felt Ballagh needed to get more out of their ex-inter county panellists. Callaghan fought hard but for me Ballagh’s best performers were David Drake and Paddy O’Grady. I’m not sure either team would have made the semis but Charlestown fought hard and got their reward in the end.

    I do agree with others about there being a gulf in class within the senior rank. On current trends it’s hard to see the rural clubs keeping up with the bigger towns. Certainly there needs to be tweaks in the league if not the championship, some of the teams looked well out of their depth this year.

  15. As I see it the problem for many clubs is based in the pre season hopes. Too often you hear managers asked about their aims for the championship and you hear “if we maintain senior status that would be a good season”. Lack of ambition and coaching talented players to play puke football for the Holy Grail of senior status is as shortsighted as it is bloody boring. Is it really more beneficial to be boring as feck and achieving nothing in the senior ranks than to let off the shackles, play real football and maybe compete in an intermediate final?
    Just take Aghamore and Ballyhaunis for instance. After their first round borefest which was drawn it came down to which of them could lose by the least against Castlebar and Knockmore. Aghamore achieved this outstanding feat but Ballyhaunis are also likely to stay senior as well. The Neale look like favourites to go down but is that really a negative for them? Surely Tommy Conroy and his teammates would be better off competing against clubs of similar ability.
    The trouble is that the problems of senior will be just moved to intermediate also to junior. Perhaps someone can come up with a stratagem to reward entertaining attacking football or is the mind numbing anti-football here for good?

  16. @Achill why wouldn’t we beat kerry ? Did we not beat them twice this year? They are overated . we could have done better against dublin if there wasn’t so many fixtures at once. Derry we could beat also we can beat any team on our day.

    Anyway back to club football on the issue if defensive structure that a lot of teams do now it is really boring to watch and the passing back & forwards and not even aiming for a point why would some one want to go and watch that puke football?! @sean hallinan that is why not many appreciate the defensive structure as its ruining the game and we all know it .

  17. Mayonaze – yew tree, and you see so many teams retain the hand passing possession tactics when chasing a lead and goal is required. Why is this?

    Playing with fear. Safety first. Coaching. There are many reasons. Management don’t trust players to express themselves anymore.

  18. @Clare, I disagree that football is any more boring than at any stage in the past. Teams are now better coached and they don’t just kick the ball back to the opposition aimlessly, like what happened every year pre-2010. Some teams, like Castlebar, will need to be more expressive if they want to win it out. Westport, on the other hand, could shoot the lights out against anyone given their dept and level of talent. The good thing about the Mayo senior club championship is there are actually a lot of evenly matched teams based on this year’s results. Aghamore should have beaten Castlebar. Breaffy only lost to Ballina by one point. Ballagh were very competitive against Westport. Garrymore pushed Ballintubber all the way. The cream will always rise to the top.

    I’m not even slightly worried about the rural clubs. They have always survived. Some smaller ones may need to amalgamate but just look at Ballintubber in the last 15 years. Westport, while a big town, had never won a title before last year. Crossmolina will come good again when those U16s come through, as will Claremorris, and Ballinrobe. It’s all about who puts the structures in place and has passionate people involved, like Westport have done. By the way, Ballina (2nd biggest town in Mayo, aristocrats) haven’t won a senior title in like 15 years.

  19. @GBXI I would think Castlebar are playing the way they are to correspond to the talent they have.
    I suspect when the young lads on the junior team get more experience you will see a different Castlebar.Harte going to Derry brings to mind our defensive frailties, if Harte and company could make Louth hard to beat what would a good defensive coach do for Mayo.
    I see Spillane wants a forwards coach for Kerry, what they need is a few new forwards and a ball winning midfielder

  20. @GBXI you honestly think the defensive style of play I’d entertaining to watch?? Come on its puke football at its best teams do keep position without aiming for a point for long periods of the game and that’s been clear to see this year!!

    Don’t think brolly is a fan of nickel harte going yo Derry he said this is the worst thing to happen to Derry since the plantation haha

  21. @Jr, maybe I am over-rating Castlebar’s current level of talent but they have a lot of very good young players. Joe and Bob Touhy, Sean Morahan, John McMonagle, added to Paddy and James Durcan, Rory Byrne, Dougie, and Donnacha McHugh. They will be up there every year for the next 5-7 years. I rate the current management team as well.

    @Clare, the defensive football you reference is no more or less entertaining than any football that went before it is my point. It is just different. Also, it looks worse in club matches because they are only 60 minutes long instead of 70 minutes. One of the stupidest rules in Gaelic games.

    On the Harte appointment, a crazy move by Derry if true. They were nothing short of superb against Kerry this year, playing a very innovative and progressive style of football. The idea that Harte will come in and just take them over the line is fantasy in my opinion.

  22. It’s difficult not to see Micky Harte as a good appointment.

    Football wise what they were doing is not that far away from Hartes principles.

    But more importantly, if Derry want to remain competitive long term, they can’t have a manager insisting on working with as small a squad as Gallagher was.

    If it’s a case that there was a bad culture around the team, then there’s merit to doing it, and similarly there’s practical and coaching reasons, but to be successful long term you need to be cycling more players through the squad.

    If you are looking to build out a culture and be expansive with your playing pool, then Micky Harte is probably your number two choice in Ulster, after McGuinness.

  23. “@sean Hallinan that is why not many appreciate the defensive structure as its ruining the game and we all know it “.
    Dear Claire – many contributors on this excellent website including your good self currently seem to want and desire “entertainment” when attending GAA matches – Club and County.
    Do people honestly believe that players who have had an intensive, S & C, Gym programmes, running and skills regime for many months are doing it “to entertain” spectators! Not so – their sole aim as a team is to WIN Competitions most especially the annual prestigious championships they contest.
    If supporters require “entertainment” then perhaps the GAA should consider introducing “Cheerleaders” like the Yanks have to provide “entertainment” pre-match and at halftime. While it might stimulate “auld bucks” like me I don’t think it would be considered politically correct in these modern times! Alternatively supporters who seek “entertainment” aught to consider putting €40 with the modest €10 they pay at a GAA gate and attend a show by one of our talented national comedians who periodically visit local venues like the Royal Theatre!
    Seriously at the moment teams operate under the current rules of the game and they have every right to set themselves up as they choose. Can the rules be improved? – I believe, YES. There are at least two possibilities that deserve consideration –
    1. If a rule were to be implemented that four players (attackers) must remain beyond the halfway line at all times during a game – this would ensure the all-out blanket / everyone behind the ball defence would be severely curtailed and defunct. It should be the duty of Lines men to ensure teams complied with the new rule and draw the immediate attention of the Referee to non-compliance.
    2. Many 13 a-side underage GAA games prove to be exciting classics with high scoring averages. Thirteen a – side teams in Gaelic football should be trialled for one season in the National league. Then the emphasis would switch from packing defences to the pace and athleticism of the individual defenders and forwards. This would yield higher scoring opportunities, end the current supporter negativity and vastly improve the game as a spectacle.
    But until such time as these or similar changes come to pass (I will be happily ensconced in the local cemetery) – teams – Club and County can and will lawfully operate under the current rules as they see fit.

  24. 13 A-side at senior would likely only work if suggested rule 1 also implemented. 13 Aside adult games can be just as dour as 15 with 25 instead of 29 inside the 50….

  25. So entertainment is not a reason people attend Gaa god well the gaa should write this into there rule book . Yes the standard of coaching has improved but to the detriment of any attacking ideas .20 years ago the odd chance was taken and a 50/50 ball was kicked in.In soccer terms no team would ever cross the ball and a corner kick would be kicked back into the attacking teams own half for fear of giving the ball away.every sport evolves but Gaelic football has turned into an horrendous spectacle where you could literally have a 10 minute conversation in the stand without missing anything.Yes players go through the strength and conditioning and the hours of training and it’s great if you win something but do players actually enjoy this type of walking football we now have to endure.the crowds have noticeably dropped off over the last couple of years and it’s not difficult to get a ticket for the all Ireland final anymore.Of course it’s within the rules and changing the rules won’t alter that because the current highly negative coaches available will find a way around it.I am sure Jim mcguinness is locked away in a room coming up with some other form of horror to inflict on the game.change will only come with a complete change of mindset on how the game needs to move forward because people will continue to vote with their feet and especially if they are being told don’t bother to come to a Gaelic football match if you are looking for any form of entertainment.god forbid

  26. Most of us go to gaa games in our spare time to see some bit of excitement out in the field and also believe it or to be entertained. We don’t go to see teams pack there defence with 13 players and the opposition to handpass the ball back and over across the field for 3-4 minutes. There were a lot of intercounty football games this year where there was zero noise from the crowd such was the boredom with the football. People are voting with there feet now and staying away from this rubbish. Players aren’t enjoying playing this football either. If you are a scoring forward you want your team to have a system of football that will create chances for you to convert. As a forward you don’t want to be programmed to run back inside your own half everytime the opposition have the ball just to block up space.

  27. @1985, attendances at football matches are still high. The biggest determinant of this is competition, not entertainment. Fans want to see their team win more than be entertained, there are very few ‘neutrals’ in this regard. Also, anyone who thinks players at senior club level are doing it purely for enjoyment is naïve. They want to win and most want to better themselves, that’s why they are playing at a high level. There are lots of 50/50 balls kicked today as well. Look at Dublin’s first goal v Mayo this year in the quarters. Coaches like O’Connor, Rochford, Meenagh, O’Neill, Farrell are not negative – they are innovative. The skill levels of players have never been higher. Football is more high-scoring than it ever was before.

    Also, Jim McGuinness’ 2012 All Ireland winning team played a superb brand of fast, counter-attacking football. Much better than anything Mayo played while under James Horan in his final year, or the ‘style’ Mayo showed in nearly all their championship games this year under McStay.

  28. Well if you enjoy the current brand of football then fair play to you .Dublins first goal against us this year was kicked in because we had no sweeper in position.The attendances at games have dropped very obviously .Too many games of very poor basically what you are saying is we have an amateur game that lads don’t enjoy playing and people should go along to watch it to be bored senseless with endless passing the ball going nowhere just to keep possession.the mcguinness style of football was not superb in my opinion and relied heavily on having two generational forwards in Murphy and McFadden converting most of their chances.I was down at the davin end before the ball was thrown in at the 2012 all Ireland final and witnessed the attack on a very young cillian o Connor by the Donegal goalkeeper and the thug of a fullback which was a major part of that teams tactics and game plan

  29. I have followed football for at least sixty years,I must have missed all that excitingfootball down the years,admittedly we had the great Galway team in I sixties,the Kerry four in a row team, but I believe that the Tyrone and Dublin teams were equally as good,it is natural to believe that everything was better in the past ,but there was some shocking football down the years as well,as anyone who looks at the football served up by Dublin and Galway it that final can see,we have now the fittest and strongest players ever

  30. Fittest and strongest doesn’t equate to being better .yes alot of poor games over the years but the defensive nature of the current game is extraordinarily boring.There were very few good games this year .crowds sitting in total silence at games is a bit of a hint .we have too many parts of other sports integrated into our game including the totally ridiculous mark rule.I am not a huge fan of rugby but they have tried to improve their games by giving the attacking team the advantage where as our referees ignore clear fouls on forwards where hands are being left in when surrounded

  31. I would love to see a more attacking game, but enjoy a good strategic battle as well.
    Until rules change it is what it is and clubs and counties will adopt the Machiavellian approach.

    The fitness and strength levels have improved immensely over the years, but so has the skill. When look back at GAA gold games on TG4 the actual standard is pretty poor, but that’s not to detract from players of the time, like all sports and human endeavour things change and move on, records are there to be broken etc. they were the best at the time.
    How exciting the games were and the quality is open to interpretation, we won our last two all Irelands by scoring 2-5 and 2-8.
    The average scores in finals back in the day would often lend you to believe they were equally defensive if looked at on paper only.

  32. An awful lot of teams and sportspeople and teams are spending a shed load of money on fitness and tactics,I very much doubt that they would do so without believing that it pays off

  33. Yea it pays off by producing the sort of football we are now being subjected to .I agree gizmo alot of the games shown on gaa gold were of a very poor standard.I watched back the 88 semifinal and it was extremely poor .seemed very different at the point is if as much effort was put into attacking strategies as into defensive formations we might see an improvement in the general standard of the way corrick what Dublin Galway final were you referring to

  34. Part of the excitement and entertainnent of a lot of events is the unexpected and unknown.
    Comedy is built around the unexpected.
    Music concerts, you went the live version, not a digitized live reproduction of the recording.
    What is boring GAA spectators is the patterns and s?ów pace. One cen freeze a game on Gaa Go and easily predict a high % of the next plays.
    We need to move to 13 a side and make it harder for teams to protect posession.
    If you tale a ball into a tackle you don’t get extra steps. If you run at a defender set in position that is called for barging.

  35. @Jp The steps rule is a joke.
    Fellows with small steps like Darren O’Sullivan got away with murder.
    We don’t make it easy for refs eg no square ball from play but square ball after a free ,mark or sideline.
    Why not just get rid of the square ball altogether.
    Also how many know that if the ref calls for mark inside the 20 metre line and forward decides not to take it and moves on he can’t be tackled for 4 steps or 4 seconds, have never say it in action.
    Also the rule of a penalty for a foul in a clear goal scoring position puts too much pressure on refs in split second decisions.
    Now that I am on a rant Gaelic football is the only sport that you can score from outside the marked pitch ie a sideline kick.

  36. The goalkeeper being passed back to is a disaster for entertainnent factor. It makes the game more patterned and has increased the passing around inside your own half.

  37. @Jp .. Not sure that I agree with you..its up to the team without possession to get the ball back. Its high risk if the goalkeeper is up field and the ball is lost..Remember the goals by both Damien Comer v Derry, and another by our own Jordan Flynn v Kildare the goalkeeper caught in no man’s land..In such circumstances the goalkeeper might be seen as the villain (even if it was on instructions that he was out the field, and not his fault at all). On the other hand goalkeepers can be the hero’s, remember Monaghan’s Rory Beggan executing an excellent last ditch tackle on an opposing player who thinks he just has to kick the ball into the empty net, or the same Rory Beggan scoring a point. Overall I welcome the new role for goalkeepers, I think it adds to the entertainment. However I must admit that I didnt find it very entertaining when Mayomen failed to plant the ball into the empty net when our opposing Goalkeeper was way out of position.

  38. @sean hallinan course I want to be entertained a bit at matches who doesn’t… I know a team just aims to win every comp but come on its been boring as f**** this year cause of mass defensive systems.

    I dont blame the players as much for this more the managers who implement it into the players and team.

    It doesn’t show that the team has any actual skill by doing mass defensive systems either do you honestly think the rossies would have beaten us if not for their puke football style of play?

    Even the final this year was the dullest I’ve seen in a while! And you can thank mcguiness& harte for that to ha what a bore fest the match between Derry & donegal will be if they do both go for defensive styles haha bad call bu Derry I think to get harte in they were flying this year think its a backwards step for them!

  39. Just looked at the scores for the qualifiers in the senior group
    Balina …………….3-53….62 total
    Surprised to see league champions Castlbar as the lowest scorers but what jumps out at me most is that out of our top 8 senior clubs the lack of forwards making it for the county team.
    Of the 48 forwards that started for these 8 teams in the club championship guess how many started for Mayo against Dublin in the quarter final?
    Just 2. Ryan O’Donoghue and Aidan O’Shea. I know the net has to be spread far and wide but maybe it’s easier to look good against intermediate or junior teams. Surely we have more than one out and out forward among our top 8 teams good enough for inter county level.

  40. Fun fact – Mickey Harte’s ratification as Derry manager occurred exactly thirty years to the day since they won their one and only All-Ireland title.

  41. 1985 – I am sorry I upset you with my comments on “entertainment” and the GAA. Regarding myself and the “entertainment” gleaned from attending Gaelic matches; please understand the following is my own humble narrative. When I go to a game of football it is usually to support my Club, Ballintubber or my County, Mayo. If they win I am ecstatic, over the moon, happy as a sand boy or a pig in a sty! I am literally swelling and welling up with tribal pride, comparable to a giant “Silverback” trundling through the jungle thicket, snorting loudly and beating its ever expanding chest!
    If Ballintubber or Mayo is beaten, I am disconsolate, hell bent on having an immediate post mortem and getting to the bottom of the catastrophe. I might not speak to my dear devoted wife for three days; the dog would perhaps be liable to get an undeserved kick in the rump… mea culpa… Then I would often retire to a dark room alone with my thoughts, a bottle of the “Creátur” and a…nuff said!
    When I go to a match as a “neutral” it is mainly for me a “scientific expedition” studying intensely the passages of play and counter manoeuvres of the opposing teams. The knowledge is then stored away in my gigantic (pea) brain, fodder for my enormous ego and ensuring that I will be able to regurgitate my knowledge and duly impress with verbal verbosity any naïve fool who may care to listen!
    For me sadly it has nothing to do with entertainment, it is far more serious! Wasn’t it the great Archbishop Croke (maybe twas Eamon De Valera) or was it Bill Shankly (my mind is befuddled now!) who said: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
    But hark! It has been announced that a high powered GAA committee are to have a detailed review of the state of Gaelic Football! According to today’s Irish Independent a report by Martin Breheny on page 41 states “Led by the GAAs Coaching ad Games Development Committee, chaired by John Tobin it will feature many well-known names and the aim is to undertake a forensic examination and come up with proposals for improving the game.” “Entertainment has to top that agenda as standards have dropped alarmingly over the last 15 years” “No sooner calved than licked!”

  42. No Sean callinan you didn’t upset me . I have been attending matches since the 70s and have also been through the full range of emotions.I too enjoy the tactical side of the game to a certain degree until it gets into the entirely negative and extremely boring passages of play but can I say that your post was very cleverly and very well written.I just scanned it but will have to read it again

  43. @Sean Hallinan I have the same emotions as you after a club or County defeat.
    The All Irelands I enjoyed most were when Mayo were not playing.

  44. Can I put a really honest question up onto this platform.
    We are all complaining about the “state of gaelic football” ie has become very defensive, gone like Soccer, basketball and even Rugby where one team retreats for a bit the opposition have the ball and are putting all their efforts in trying to breach the defence.

    It is really a deflection from the truth where a very small number of Counties invent those systems of play and have won the titles.

    Will any changes to the Rules of play hold back the Dubs and maybe Kerry?, sure they will change) evolve the game even further to suit themselves.

    There is one single thing that remains constant it is the ability to score under pressure on the big day. No new rule will alter this.

    I haven’t heard of any Dublin players to announce their retirement.

  45. @Sean Hallinan. You reflect my own views as a football fan and, indeed, a fan of many sports. A passionate supporter of club(Ballinrobe),Mayo, Connacht, Ireland etc.,my first and main priority, is I want my team to win, ideally by playing in an entertaining fashion. I am not happy when we lose. I wasn’t a good loser in my playing days and I could never see the point of playing, if you were not upset at defeat. On the other hand, as a neutral, I like to be entertained and an awful lot of games now are borefests. So I am delighted to hear about this newly appointed body charged with coming up with changes to improve the game as a spectacle and I wish them well. I think the game needs significant changes and not just tweaks. There needs to be more reward for attacking play, the balance to be tilted in favour of that, along the lines of what rugby has done over the years. Mind you, there will then be the problem of getting the recommended changes past the dinosaurs in congress. PS. Brilliantly written, and, unlike a lot of the football, entertaining post Sean.

  46. Agreed – me too Jr and GlasagusDearg. Whatever about the “emotions” afterwards the “rumblings” beforehand can be a bigger problem! I can truthfully state that on the morning of a big match “Club or County” I have never, ever felt the need to take a laxative!

  47. Willie Joe, World Rugby seem to have listened to your pleas! Most matches have dark versus bright coloured jerseys. Ireland versus Tonga had Ireland in white against Tonga’s red, rather than green against red. Must be quite satisfying for spectators at the game.

  48. They have alright, Catcol, and they’ve done a lot of really good work in this area, both in recognising this as a valid issue affecting players, officials and supporters and then taking action to improve matters for all. The GAA remain in the dark ages, though, and there’s no sign that they even see this as an issue. I’m still cross-eyed after those horrendous colour clashes for the Louth and Cork games and it’s depressing to think that there’s no sign anything will be done on this front anytime soon.

  49. Surely in this modern age there must be some type of glasses available to counter act against colour blindness when one is watching a game?

  50. It’s not as simple as that, Bate the Blanket, and I don’t think it’s reasonable that the onus should be on every colour-blind person to find a solution. It would be far easier – and it is easy, if they’d only do it – for the GAA to implement a coherent set of rules to avoid colour clashes.

  51. It’s a hard one to understand, it seems like a no brainer.
    Would increase focus and use of secondary or tertiary kits and increase sales of same you’d imagine.

  52. Yes Willie Joe, that World Rugby document is very good. While I’m not colour blind, I do find that some games can be challenging: for instance that league game in Tralee in ‘22; the conditions were appalling, I was behind the goal, and trying to distinguish Mayo’s red from Kerry’s dark blue at the far end in the mud and rain was almost impossible. And, I wasn’t the only one.

  53. The pace of change in the GAA is staggering.
    Even when it obviously benefits our enjoyment of the game.

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