Club results

With the club Championships now fast approaching, the Senior Football League within the county is moving rapidly towards conclusion, with a number of games down for decision this evening.

Moclair Cup holders Westport advanced to the Division 1 final, as they got the better of Garrymore by 0-13 to 1-6. Oisín McGovern has a match report for the Mayo News on that game, which is here.

The other Division 1 semi-final, between Castlebar Mitchels and Knockmore, went all the way to penalties. The teams were level at the end of normal time, at which point the scoreline stood at 1-8 to 0-11, with Mitchels’ Neil Douglas bagging the goal.

By the end of extra-time, the sides were tied at 1-12 apiece, Knockmore’s goal coming from a penalty. It was penalties all the way from there on too, with Mitchels emerging the winners from the shootout.

In the Division 2 semi-finals Bohola Moy Davitts narrowly beat Ballyhaunis by 2-7 to 0-11 while Belmullet got the better of Balla by 1-12 to 0-9. In the Division 2 relegation final Killala beat Kilmaine by 1-16 to 0-13.

97 thoughts on “Club results

  1. Interesting to have both Mayo goalies in a penalty shootout
    Terrible way to loose a game.

  2. JR don’t think Reape played, both teams had several championship starters not on.

  3. Could be a touch of that in it JR 🙂

    Other factors likely county lads having a break before gets to the big stuff, and several lads still in the states.

  4. Colm didn’t play for Knockmore against Castlebar Mitchels. Hard way to lose a match but thems are the rules

  5. Isnt it funny how JP McManus and Adare Manor, Kerry Group and AIG all sponsor the best 3 Gaa teams in the country.Alot of success coming down to money.

  6. Money’s a huge factor now a days, the S&C of the Limerick lads clear today as they ground Kilkenny into the ground.
    It’s one of the reasons we so consistent also. We are one of the big spenders.

  7. We were ahead of them all with s&c, pushing cars around the car park.
    I understand that on that evening there was no pitch available to McDonald.

  8. Is most of that mileage expenses and renting out Bekan of John Prenty.We havnt one state of the Art gym in Mayo.

  9. Correct, most would be travel expenses, accomodation, food, medical/physio, pitch rental etc.
    Other stuff wouldn’t appear in any official accounts, so to speak…. 🙂

  10. Just back from Croker. Limerick’s second half was titanic. What a team. Told a Limerick lad beside me on the Hill, I was from Mayo: ‘we were like ye’ he said, ‘keep believing’. Wise words.

  11. Aye, but they knew there were issues and went about correcting them. We know there have been issues for 72 years but are doing little or nothing about it. I don’t see anything changing in that area either under the current CB. We need someone with a bit of vision and drive to move things along. Very little has changed after the appointment of our coaching officer. It’s all a little depressing unfortunately.

  12. Time to stop feeling sorry about ourselves.
    It’s 100 times worse for the players.
    I refuse to believe we will not win an All Ireland in the future.
    Limerick are the template.
    Couldn’t win feck all and were considered soft.
    We will do it when we are good enough.
    Fuck everyone and everyone else.

    Get back on the horse and go again

  13. @Remember 51 agree with you! We will get there one day I’ve still no doubt about that. We will bounce back again next year as always!

  14. August 19/ 20 for club championships.
    Leagues are nearly over, thank god. No one took them too seriously. How could you, when your clubs best players are not allowed play.
    Format of league all wrong too. Case in point Balla.
    Won all 7 league games in division 2 A , won the quarter final v hollymount/ carramore , that’s 8 games won and cos they lost to belmullet yesterday , are division 2A next year. Unless the format changes. A league is a league, not a championship.

  15. Limerick absolutely brilliant. Once you win one AI the pressure is off. Unfortunately we couldn’t win the one to get us up and running. Wonder will KK supporters blame manager Lyng for second half collapse or just accept they were beaten by a better team

  16. I’m afraid money won’t drive that ball over the bar and look at the efficiency of limerick today. We have a manager. Assistant manager and a multiple backroom team. Never as big. We still couldn’t figure out the last kick of the game against cork.

  17. @to win just once yeah totally agree once you finnally cross the line and win a all Ireland the pressure is def off.

    @craggy boglands the whole history around mayo and finals stigma etc def has an effect on players also I think . Time to move on from the cork game and let’s just hope it’s a better season next year ha I for one going to try blank it from my mind haha

  18. Clare. . Like any professional management setup…. you have to look back to move forward.

  19. @craghy boglands yes I agree and I did also say that questions needed to be answered and in fairness to mcstay he came out and gave a detailed enough interview on it . What’s done is done and I just hope they learn from this year.

  20. Can add it to the 40 or so combined years of intercounty management learnings they have between them already Clare 🙂

  21. We will get back to finals again sure look at dublin their first final in 2 years since we knocked them out in 21 i think we should have least made a semi this year which is dissapointing but I don’t think we were ready this year to win Sam so in a way I’m glad we didn’t make the final as I don’t think we would have crossed the line this year .

    I’ve no doubt we will one day but just don’t think we were quite there this year and obvs we weren’t ha but I don’t think we’re far off at all!

  22. Our day will come if we make it come. Hard to believe there isnt a Mayo person alive under the age of 72 that has seen Mayo win Sam.

  23. The first half is finding your feet, the second half is blow the opposition out of the water. That’s what good teams do.
    We are quite the opposite. We build up leads and then go free fall.
    But management have to take responsibility for the way we play tactically.
    Dublin players know going out they are 45 minute players and will be substituted.. they go full throttle before they make way. That way the Dubs ensure there is no dip in their performance
    They are always strongest at end of game

  24. South Mayo Demise

    Both kilmaine & the neale relegated to Division 3 joining shrule glengorrib.
    Vast areas of south mayo playing division 3 football cannot blame population decline more people than ever living there now

  25. Going back to limerick. They won 3 u21s not so long ago and never converted them to a liam Mccarthy. So management a lot to do with their success. Every player interviewed reiterate s thar fact. And like real champion s the minute the cats got that second goal.. leaders emerged all over the pitch and they retaliated with a deluge of fine points straight away. It was like a light bulb moment.

  26. The thing I really admire about Limerick hurlers is that they don’t look for help from the sideline. You often hear John Kiely referring to the players running the show on the pitch and how he creates the culture for them to lead. Jim Gavin and Jim McGuinness had the same school of thought.

    I worry that in mayo we have been more focused on athletes, S&C etc instead of focusing football qualities and intelligent football players. One poster here referenced our lack of scoring forwards and they are right. Are any of our attacking players comfortable of both feet? Do we make the right decisions down the home straight in big game when it’s tight? Tactical we were off this year but at the same time I wonder are our players in game management good enough regardless of management calls?

  27. The winning formula, any player on that Limerick team is capable of stepping up as leaders. We are lacking in that mental strength. I thought Niamh would make a difference but we had key players doubting themselves this season.
    Leadership doesn’t happen overnight, particularly young new recruits, the second goal from Kilkenny, absolutely galvanized Limerick into top gear.
    We are a bit away from that. But there is a fair chance in the next few years we will be tough enough to compete at highest level.

  28. Very hard to be positive or depressed with limericks recent successes. Positive given where limerick were only 7/8 years ago and the rapid improvements since then to be talked about being one of the best hurling teams of all time. Or depressed when I honestly cannot see us make a similar improvement (one championship win would satisfy most). As other contributors have said our structures are just not there. Coaching players to deliver in a similar vein that limerick produced in that second half. It was truly phenomenal. The confidence to stick to the obvious game plan and the players to man up and take personal responsibility on the pitch.

    We can all dream and hope this can be us someday.

  29. In the next few years aos cillian Durcan diarmuid. Will be gone. Depends on how long we are talking about waiting. Also coen and ruane

  30. I’ve been listening to our demise is around the corner since 2014.
    There’s plenty good young players will come in.
    We need to stay around genuine 4th-6th best team and we’ll just get a run one year.

  31. JP, how long have we been listening to that? Good young players will come in.. Maybe but I don’t see it for 3 or 4 yrs. Mcstay doesn’t have the luxury of waiting on these players.. If he has another bad season, the pressure is on him, thsts just the way of management, it would be a different story if he got time to build teams like Sean boylan… But times have changed. I look around the club scene in mayo.. And I’m looking for a good cb, midfielder, centre forward.. I don’t know if they are around

  32. I’d be playing paddy at 6 nxt year and let him gallop up the field and get a couple scores like he does, and he can hold centre when needed. Either side of him is a prob as is midfield and forward line so the management team have a hell of a job.. I don’t want to be negative I just don’t see the players there over the nxt few yrs to win an all ireland.

  33. Horan was a great man to build a team. Did it twice from nothing. 2910 beaten by Longford. 2018 beaten by kildare. From him we have mcgloughlin hessian rod conroy. Carr mcbrien were in the squad the latter injured flynn paddy diarmuid. In comes reape coyne callinan. Are all of those not good enough?. Most if them got us to the final 2021 obviously we lost keegan and mullin

  34. Craggy, apart from rod Tommy and paddy.. Where do we get a spread of scores? How is our middle eight so bad?

  35. O shea doesn’t score, carney doesnt, diarmuid didn’t score in champo this Yr.. Ruane was poor.. Flynn chipped in yes.. Who was other half forward, mcdonagh… Doesnt score. So if rod or Tommy doesn’t do it up top..and we don’t get scores from half forward or midfield. Where are we going?

  36. Kick it in – I agree with you on the forward options for scores. We are limited. I feel we have always struggled in that department. I referenced the importance of players with both feet. We don’t have them and I don’t know are they being coached enough at underage on the fundamentals of the game. A 2 footed forward is twice as dangerous as a one footed player.

  37. Exactly greenandred.. Look at cormac costello perfect example, very comfortable off either, as is Clifford but we’ll try not compare Clifford to anyone else.. He’s different bisto. Look how effortless diarmuid connolly used to kick scores from 40 yards off the left. Your right it’s not being coached properly, they should be having training sessions where you must use left foot only.. Its such an advantage. Especially at underage level so there not raw come senior.

  38. I think if you look at kerry for an example.. Maurice Fitzgerald cud and did v us in 97 kick a score with his left foot off the fuckin ground while holding onto the fence out under hogan stand.. Unbelievable, I’ve not seen it done since. Go to Mike frank Russell.. Brilliant off both feet, then Gooch.. They watch, study and most importantly practice at a young age.. We don’t produce that, cillian is decent off left but we just don’t produce these type of kicking forwards.

  39. @kick it in.

    It’s not just clifford, I would safely say all 6 starting forwards for kerry are 2 footed, they wouldn’t be playing otherwise.
    Skills come first in kerry from an early age, they are all expected to be able to be comfortable off both feet and competent kick passers. The s&c and development work can come later.

    I’ve always felt the culture in mayo right down to u12 level has been athleticism and running hard

  40. To much focus on winning, not that I’m for this craic of not having competitions underage, or the alternative where everyone is a winner we seem to have introduced with shield and plate finals.
    But from our development squads underage likes of U14, U15, U16 etc. it should be all about developing these types of skills as a priority over all else.

  41. God how did we get so close to Dublin in all those finals without these two footed players.

  42. Maybe if we had them we would have beaten them craggy, not got close to them. I’m nearly sure costello came off bench in one those finals and kicked a few scores with weaker foot.

  43. Gizmobobs is correct, should be developing these type of skills… But not even that, when a player does get the ball, what is he trying to do with it, what are his options.. I love this ah mayo are a running team.. Running where? Into a blanket it seems v most teams

  44. I Don’t care who plays up front. Be it Clifford himself playing for mayo . The type of negative rubbish we played in the championship even he would score nothing. Missing the point here. This management refuse s to put the ball in. Majority of the time. No point in looking at the players. Management want possession football. Slow. Sideways backwards. Like it or not. That’s what we did.

  45. Carr cillian ruane carney could all score but not in this 2023 system. Plenty scores. System big problem

  46. Think some being a bit harsh on aido etc and Kearney etc saying they didn’t score diarmuid is still one of our most important players to even if he didn’t score.

    Ok mattie ruanne didn’t have a great year but he’s been on/ off since 21. He’s one of the best midfielders on his day .

    I agree with @craggy boglands def the system is a problem .

  47. Matt ruane is a decent footballer but as a runner.I find it difficult to describe him as a midfielder because he doesn’t perform the main function of a midfielder in terms of Winning possession and waiting for that non existent form to return is’s also seems our management still believe that Conor Loftus can be turned into a hard tackling defender.I have to say I missed the part where he came bursting out of defence at pace and sprayed passes into our full forward line

  48. @1985 yeah that’s fair enough.

    I feel bad for conor loftus I think he’s a good player and he never asked to be put into number 6 hope he stays on next year .

  49. Being harsh on Carney and Aiden…?
    Oh come on now clare
    Nothing wrong with expecting a forward to score!!
    That’s why we fail to win big games
    Always an excuse and now it’s the system not the players..

  50. Agree entirely with Craggy on Horan’s development of players.

    Think he would be perfect for the U20 role and I was actually disappointed to not see him in the running. We have had two great minor teams in a row now and by all accounts the u16s are very good too. Would be great to see a proven developer like Horan over them.

    Where Horan lacks in in-game decision making, there is no one better at getting new players to the pitch of top level inter county football.

  51. @Tomthumb it’s not exsuces but the system obvs didn’t work did it ? Management do have a part to play to and fair play to Kevin he came out and gave a detailed interview .

    And aido does get a fair amount of abuse also Kearney is pretty young and I see potential in him. Obvs nothing wrong with expecting a forward to score but I people need to lay off aido a bit . I don’t blame him v dubs game at all and management taking him off was not a fair call at all !

  52. Craggy – do you think it’s better to have lads that can kick with both feet or just the one? All we are saying is that it’s good to have players who can kick off both feet. Isn’t it amazing that all the best forward players in the game can kick off both, Clifford, Mannion, Walsh, Con, Kilkennny, the list goes on. For the length of time the lads put into their game, you would hope that they would work on their weak side. How long have we gone without a left footed free kick taker?

    I agree 100% that our system (or lack of a system) was poor this year and that can hinder things but we have not produced a real marquee forward for awhile now. I know Andy won player of the year awhile back but it seemed more a once off year for him. Cillian very good but more so from frees than open play.

  53. @Geeen &Red fair points there.

    I would say though that Tommy conroy is a key forward?

  54. Clare – Tommy is good and lively no doubt about it, but I think a lot of his game is built on speed. I also think he doesn’t play with his head up enough. Definitely a talent but still needs to sharpen up on a few key areas to take him to the next level. But then again management should be helping him out in those areas too. Is Tommy comfortable off both feet?

  55. @green& red yeah that’s true he wasn’t 100% this year but got to take his injury into account to. I have think he will be hard stopping next year.

    Yeah exactly management should be helping in those areas and I’m sure they will.

    I agree with you that we need them to work on their left foot kicking much more yes we’ve prob concentrated on strength & conditioning a lot but you need that to keep up with the top teams but we def do have areas we need to work on no question !

  56. Had an interesting conversation last night with the mother of a top intercounty forward. In chatting, I told her about my 10yr old grandson whose main ambition is to play for Mayo . He’s pretty good and practices all the time. I’ve always encouraged him to use his weaker hand and foot as much as possible. Anyway, she said when her lad was young, he spent hours kicking a tennis ball against a wall using both feet. When he had it mastered he put a mark on the wall and tried continuously to hit the spot, again using both feet. From watching him play, it certainly did him no harm. He’s highly accurate.

  57. Hopefully we unearth some talent in the club championship.
    There is of course a big difference between club and county.
    Find a few natural defenders first.
    People will be putting forward names here who will just not cut the mustard at county level,either not good enough or strong and brave enough.
    I remember a few years ago a great white hope from Ballina who just did not make it.

  58. Ah baloney about systems, those boys had chances all yr to kick the ball over from 30 or 40 yards out, which they can’t do.. Every team has a, system but it doesn’t stop Brian Fenton from scoring or diarmuid o connor from kerry hitting 1-3..there’s no way mcstay is telling these fellas not to shoot when they can. Horseshit.

  59. @kick it in pretty sure quite few of them can kick it over the bar . Flynn got q good few decent scores as did Ryan o d Tommy conroy being a bit harsh now.

  60. I would think that the message from management is to “be patient”, and this, particularly with our younger and less experienced players, leads to over conservativeness

  61. Frost. Your right. Too cautious. No horse shit about it or were you watching a different television all year. Even when we hit a few scores and get ahead we go back to the possession system that someone so much believes in. We seen it against louth. Cork. Galway armagh. . Instead of driving for home we stop and try and hold out. In our offensive play we play around the forty . Wait Wait Wait. Maybe a runner will drive and probably turn back to retain possession. Because at that stage all of the opposition have a defensive screen in place. Now tell me kick it in which is what everyone wants. Is that not a fair assessment of how we played in those matches?

  62. Clare, we can’t be continually naming rod and Tommy as our genuine only scorers, when they are quiet, who scores? That’s my point excuse the pun.

  63. Craggy, did u see o sheas miss v cork? Or his miss v Dublin.. Can’t blame systems for that? Did you see efforts from carney v galway and Cork? Yes I know they play around the 40 over and back and it’s woeful to watch.. But you see the dubs and kerry players able to score.. Diarmuid didn’t score in the champo are u telling me he wasn’t allowed or in position to? Flynn a season or two wasn’t a renowned scorer.. Now he’s one of our only ones.. Do u see what I’m saying… Blaming a system is horseshit

  64. @kick it in ha I suppose I get it but who else would you have on the team from the clubs then ? Like is thereany outstanding forward in the clubs other then who’s there Atm. ?

  65. I think e. Mcloughlin had an awful miss v galway too when it was easier score.. Don’t get me wrong rod and Tommy missed a few sitters too but it’s mayos continuous failure to kick scores from fairly good positions over the years.. I think matty ruane missed one v Dublin a couple seasons ago, it was one of the worst misses I’ve ever saw.. 20 yrds out and kicked the fuckin thing wide… So I spose the system was to blame for alot of these wides

  66. See that’s it Clare, I don’t know if there’s any truly outstanding forward ready for inter county

  67. We have to look at diskin and boland. I’ve seen boland kicking from distance off the bench last year but we Don’t seem to want those players. My point is. Is it not better to kick it in and if you lose it in the opposition full back line is it not better than playing around the forty. Losing it and allowing the opposition a run on us with no defensive screen in place. If we lose it in their full back line we still have all our men in place. Or am I talking horseshit here.

  68. @ craggy

    Well my point was simply that it’s hard to differentiate between “be patient” and “wait for something to happen”. As the team gains in experience this should improve.

    I wouldn’t say that the rest is quite as straightforward as you made out. The logic behind keeping the ball on your is that the opposition won’t pressure you as much as they would closer to goal.

    If you kick it in, then that ball is either coming back out or going dead within 10 seconds. Whereas a short simple hand, and you should be in roughly the exact same position in 10 seconds.

    There’s basically two ways to defend with or without the ball. For a team like Mayo, you need to be able to defend with the ball more than without because the vast majority of teams you play will allow you to have more possession.

    Now I would at the same time tend to agree with you that we can do more with our kicking against the blanket. Things like kicking into a big man and being setup to press around, but these are the kind of thing that takes time on the training ground to build, and I don’t feel management had that kind of time this year.

    If you try to something like this off the cuff the likes of Sean Kelly, Murchan and the pacey Kerry lads are just going to eat it up, and in those situations wouldn’t you nearly be better giving it to Clifford on his own 40?

  69. Honestly don’t know why fearghal boland was dropped in the first place ??! I was surprised felt sorry for him never given a chance and he’s a proven scorer .

    @kick it in fairness point I just hope management practice on kicking skills haha.

  70. I do agree all 6 forward s should be able to take a point from 30 35 yards. We are talking about the best 6 in the county. 3rd biggest county in Ireland. But I see alot of give it to the shooter going on in underage club games. Has it crept into senior intercounty. The Derry kerry game was a great example to any team. Thought Derry s point scoring from distance was brilliant in the first half. Some efficiency. . I get what’s your saying frost but how many times have we lost that ball that we are trying to hold on to and carried it into the tackle and Lost it

  71. I do agree all 6 forward s should be able to take a point from 30 35 yards. We are talking about the best 6 in the county. 3rd biggest county in Ireland. But I see alot of give it to the shooter going on in underage club games. Has it crept into senior intercounty. The Derry kerry game was a great example to any team. Thought Derry s point scoring from distance was brilliant in the first half. Some efficiency. . I get what’s your saying frost but how many times have we lost that ball that we are trying to hold on to and carried it into the tackle and Lost it

  72. Ha, no craggy your not talking horseshit, it’s actually more frustration with the rules for me if I’m being honest.. The blanket has made an absolute hames of the game as a spectacle.. You’d be lucky to get one or two open matches.. When teams have 14 inside their 45 it’s awful hard find gaps, hence my attitude toward kicking points, if rules were changed we’d see more one v one, more kicking, more fielding etc.. But it is what it is for now.. All about keeping possession and not making mistakes, then if you’re lucky to have a few sharpshooters like a Clifford, con, costello or whoever you prob will win.. But as for pure football… It really is horseshit at the moment.

  73. The rules are a shambles and very complicated, eg forward can be in the square for a kick in from open play but not for a kick in from a free,sideline ball or mark.
    Simple eliminate the square ball.
    For a forward mark outside the last rectangle the player need not put up his hand and can advance 4 steps with out being tackled, haven’t saw it used much but unrefible.

  74. I totally agree. It’s muck. Rule changes needed asap or nobody will go to watch it. . The mayo louth game killed me. And plenty more. Monaghan armagh. Derry kerry was my highlight of the year especially first half. Spillane was right. Puke football

  75. Also Gaelic football is the only sport I know of where you are obliged to score from outside the field of play ie side line ball.

  76. @craggy

    The answer is always going to be too many times, even if it only happened once.

    It’s not really what cost us though, that was not being able to secure primary possession for long spells of games.

    The root cause of both is probably the same. We didn’t get the balance right in the middle 8.

    And that’s understandable to a large extent. We started the year with a novice full back line and had to play a half back line and midfield focused on protecting them. As the season went on that full back excelled and probably exceeded reasonable expectations, while still being vulnerable to the odd rookie mistake, and we probably weren’t able to adjust our middle 8 accordingly.

    Prime example, would be Eoghan Maclaughlin. Eoghan is too error prone to play in front of an inexperienced full back line, but when Eoghan did come in later in the season, he looked very much like he hadn’t played enough football, and wasn’t really clicking with those around him.

    McStay touched on this in his interview. He said something like the way the season went he wasn’t able to give fringe players as much game time as he’d like. I’d have Eoghan and O’Hora in that category, possibly even Cillian, and it’s probably the reason that when push came to shove in championship we were calling on the experience of Kevin McLoughlin and Jason Doherty

  77. @Craggy Boglands

    You’re right and the reason that football has got this way starts with the Dubs and “the process” where they retained the ball until they got into the scoring zone and then and only then they would take on a shot. All possession based of course with a lot of lateral hand passes. It was lauded as genius by some at the time but by God its a hard watch.

    I found it hilarious when Roscommon held onto the ball for 6 minutes at Croke Park and gave the Dubs the runaround. Good for them. It was that incident that seems to have prompted calls for change.
    It seems it was OK for the Dubs to play possession football but now everybody else is doing it things have become boring and changes are needed.

  78. No it was donegal 2011 v Dublin.. That started it, the dubs in fairness have always tried to play football. As we have along with kerry in those yrs.

  79. Ya. Dublin in fairness do play football the tradional way. Harte really started it. Mcguinness took it to another level.

  80. I’ll say craggy that tyrone used more intensity in getting 2 players and 3 around the opponent, they didn’t adopt the blanket as such, they kept canavan mulligan o Neill up.. The clips v kerry in 03 deffo changed gaa, but mcguinness made a balls of it.. I remember as soon as the ball was thrown in for alot of those donegal games everyone turned and sprinted back inside the 45. They won a handy all ireland playing that dung, and of course it was against us. Funnily enough in the final they lamped in a couple of balls early and 2 goals got.. Game over.

  81. I think I was saying last Yr was the worst ever, I think don v down, my god it was chronic. I really hope they make changes.. I’ve my own ideas, what do you folks think? 3 or 4 changes to make the game a better spectacle?

  82. I think Mayo GAA needs a Mayo JP McManus to pump money into the grassroots and academy like Limerick hurling has done or we may never see Sam in Mayo again. The top teams like Dublin and Kerry are almost gone semi professional at this stage.

  83. @kick it in.
    I’d agree with you donegals style of play was putrid to watch in 2011, with the semi final being the nadir but there was a clear focus on getting the defence right and keeping the back foot locked.

    In 2012 they built on that played plenty of good football on their way to winning it and were full value for it. They weren’t afraid to go direct when they sniffed out weaknesses as we found out to our cost.
    Then again, he could afford to focus on defence as he had a full forward line with McFadden and McBrearty, 2 stellar marquee forwards

  84. Whatever about the JP money, Limerick won 3 underage all Irelands in very close proximity and that was the basis for their team. Now that’s a n easier feat in hurling but the template is there. Even getting to a semi or final regularly and winning 2 AI’s in 4 years would go a long way. The current Kerry team won 4 under Jack which probably won’t be replicated again.
    On the shooting skills I’d disagree though with the Kerry worshiping. Most Kerry players are scoring with their dominant foot. Clifford gets some of his right and O’ Brien got a good one the last day off his left but that’ the first time I’ve seen him do that in championship. Sean O Shea can probably do it but most of the others are good forwards & no better than ours or Galway’s – would Moynahan start for Mayo or Galway? Adrian Spillane? Looking back at the Derry game I think Derry were in a great position and blew it. Several wides in 2nd half (a young fella no. 10 was a bit headless) and then near the end Kerry cracked the Derry goalie’s kickouts for 3 or 4 consecutive kickouts and that was that. One team spurned their chances and the other took theirs.
    I’d say Dublin bar Scully who gets a poor return from shots are a more two footed team than Kerry, Kilkenny certainly is top drawer in this regard and Costello is very good. Mannion seldom scored 2 off his right before in Championship bar against us this year and his replacment Small is left dominant. Don’t get me wrong, almost all inter county forwards are 2 footed, just that most crack a bit on their weak foot when faced with frantic chanpionship space / pace. Jack Carney got some lovely scores off both feet in the league but dried up in Championship. He’d in a similar mould to Galway’s Tierney and Cooke who are more experienced versions of the same type of player. I’m in the camp of he’s young (only 2nd season) and will come good. Cillian hit some beauts off his left in cameos this year and Diarmaid over the years has gotten several off the left as had Kevin Mc off the right. Tuohy looks like a sharp shooter on the run and his % success in the league was very high but deemed too raw for 2023 but can expect to see a lot more off him especially with 6 months in the Gym before next year’s league as he’s about 6’5″. If we could push Ruane into half forwards, he has a lovely strike of a ball, otherwise just use our midfielders for 50 mins and swap others in (Flynn, Carney, Tuohy). Carr isn’t afraid to use the left but inconsistent %. A few of the U17s in their 2022 run look to be lovely shooters but they are still very young and need 2 years S&C in the panel so they won’t be bolters next year. We’d be relying on the pick of recent U20 teams and get them into the S&C programme.
    No team can compete without S&C first and skills 2nd. I saw in my own club training, some lads had lovely skills and didn’t show in a game because the althleticism required. That said need to have very good skills as a prerequisite too but althletes are the ones rising to the top because they’re able to make space to shoot. The pick of the Limerick Hurlers are mostly huge men either in height or width. Shefflin was ultimately a better player than DJ Carey who was incredibly skillful because size means you can avoid being overshadowed in the odd big game. DJ was marked out of a few AI’s and Henry wasn’t. The problem with half forwards is they’ve to work so hard, it makes getting those scores that bit harder when your lungs are burning. Trying to get that space. People keep going on about Boland but he’s small by the current game’s standards and most of his best games were in the league. How much space would he get in the championship? McDonagh was scoring plenty early in his career but has to work hard for the team, same with Diarmaid. We could bring ROD (or Cillian) out to HF (making space for Carr and Tommy to both start) in 2024 as Kevin Mc will be more fringe or retired and possibly the same with Jason unless he regains a bit more zip with another season past serious injury although age not on his side either. But that means keeping up and coming players like Carney and Tuohy out. Seeing how Dublin are using Kilkenny sparingly, it seems like we could similarly view the half forwards as a position to burn lads for 55 and run the subs.

  85. Good analysis Shuffly. Any explanation as to why some players went off form?
    We played decently to built up a 6 point lead, but what happens to the mindset when we hit a setback and compare to how Limerick ignited when Kilkenny scored that goal?
    That mental fragility is a real worry going forward.

  86. Shuffly, that all sounds good in theory.. Putting it into practice a diff story. Shefflin was well marked by Cork in 04 to 06 aswell.. He wasn’t necessarily a btr player than D. J…it was a different era too.. Peter Canavan isn’t exactly a big man or the strongest but yet considered one the best forwards ever.. Two footed aswell.

  87. Shuffly,I believe that you have got it spot on,perhaps it is because of my age and watching Mayo for so long, I now go to games to enjoy the banter and football and a few pints after ward’s not to criticise either players or management from either team,I have had many great days following Mayo not always successful but with different memories from players and many good friends,some who are no longer with us but we enjoyed great days,I won’t get upset about a loss or get over excited if we get over the line in our quest for Sam, some day we will get there,perhaps I won’t be around but of one thing I am certain we will be successful at some stage,for now I am more than happy with the league title

  88. Good stuff Corick… Who was your favourite mayo player you’ve watched over the yrs?

  89. Far too many to have a favourite one,I started off with J Corcoran,big PJ Loftus,J Morley, J Carey,J J Cribeen J Gibbons, W McGee,J Burke,D Griffiths, of course the outstanding C McDonald, and now a lot of the team from 2012onwards,but for sure some players will come along and give us more memories,I am seventy three years,and am still optimistic,and confident

  90. Kick it in,an outstanding miner footballer from our minor winning team in 1966,was JJ Timoney from Ardnaree,unfortunately too small to make it at senior,another outstanding player from Belmullet was Seamus Nallon who should have got many games for Mayo,you have got me trying to remember a!l the great players I have had the privilege of seeing J Lindsey, P Kilbane,W Nally,but as I said far too many to mention,P Corrigan was a lovely footballer

  91. Kick it in,I had a real brain malfunction,two outstanding footballers were Liam Donoughe from Belmullet who knocked Brian Mullins out of his stride in a league final,and of course M Conaghtann from Claremorris,who woo grace any team

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