Contrasting wins for Juniors and Minors

Photo: @MayoNewsSport

It was two out of two for the county at MacHale Park this evening, with the Juniors getting the better of Roscommon in the Connacht JFC quarter-final while the Minors saw off the challenge of Leitrim in Round 1 of the Connacht MFC. Two very different wins they were, by the sounds of it.

In the Junior match, it looked like our lads – up against a very strong Roscommon team featuring several senior players, some of whom had graced Croke Park in the recent NFL Division Two final – were doing well simply to hang in there. They made the most of the wind to open up a three-point gap at the break but the visitors stormed back and were three up themselves midway through the second half.

The Rossies were still two up with the match deep in stoppage time. It was then, though, that the tactical masterstroke made by the home sideline – which saw sub-goalie Mattie Flanagan brought on to play as a kind of sweeper-cum-quarterback (fly-goalie in other words) – paid off spectacularly.

It was the Balla man, stationed out near midfield, who created  the overlap that led to Ciaran Boylan crashing home a sensational winning goal for Jarlath Trench’s side. The final whistle sounded seconds later, with Mayo lads having pulled off a stirring 2-15 to 1-17 win.

Adding a further twist to this particular tale, it turns out that tonight’s match-winner is none other than the son of legendary former Meath manager, Seán Boylan, who was there at MacHale Park tonight to see his son in action. After tonight’s incredible finish, any remaining carping about 1996 will, I reckon, now have to cease.

The U17 match that was played afterwards had none of the same dramatics. The Mayo lads grabbed the initiative right from the throw-in and by half-time, leading by 2-8 to 0-4, they were well in charge. Tomás Morley’s charges went from strength to strength after the break, with Leitrim wilting badly as the home team cantered to a facile 4-20 to 1-8 win.

This Mayo side will face far harder challenges this year than they did in tonight’s Connacht opener. They did what was asked of them this evening, though, and, in doing so, provided at least some hope that this year could see an overdue upturn in our fortunes at underage level.

Well done to both Mayo teams on their respective wins this evening.

43 thoughts on “Contrasting wins for Juniors and Minors

  1. Brilliant and bold move to play fly goalkeeper . Score a goal in added time to beat a strong Rossie line up !! Well done to the U17s as well .

  2. Ole, ole!! If this Junior team never wins another match beating Roscommon, with last summer’s mutineers back in action, was worth it in itself. I doubt if I ever saw as deflated Roscommon team coming off the field. And then the couldn’t leave the grounds with a Mayo car blocking their bus. How sweet. And the entire Connacht championship set up for them with the final on 13th May [curtain raiser for Mayo Galway seniors] so they would not be losing anybody to the Senior team. But nobody told this Mayo team who fought for every ball and played excellent football when they won the ball. Now for Leitrim next Weds. I presume the venue will be Carrick as we played them at Charlestown last year.
    The minors played excellent football as well with their movement and combination excellent. This was the essential difference between the teams this evening. Mayo moved the ball with speed and accuracy while Leitrim lingered on it, soloed and hopped, before laying it off, or trying to, to static players. Mayo’s shooting was also excellent and they generally took their points when they were on offer.
    Nice to start the Championship season with a double win, especially with our old “friends” Roscommon on the menu.

  3. No mutineers was on that Roscommon team AndyD , Daly brothers back after spending last summer in the USA, Cathal Cregg was doing his PHD last year and had no time for county football, Domican back after spending the last 5 years in Dubai and Fergal Lennon,Ultan Harney back after spending last year out injury and unfortunately for Harney he got injured in that game again and him going off injured was a big turning point in the game. While it was fine win for Mayo against a stronger Roscommon on paper the truth is It was very wasteful Roscommon on the night at least 7 goal scoring chances created and only one taken and paid the price for that wastefulness late on.

  4. Just with the match on 13th of May coming into focus, what did the MacHale Park playing surface look like for the 2 games?

  5. In the words of a certain perma-tanned statesman, that win for the Mayo Juniors was “Uuuuge!”. Especially given the very strong line-up Roscommon had out.

    Given the fondness of a certain section of the Rossie fanbase for labelling us bottlers and whatnot, I wonder will this give them pause? I mean, they were favourites against us in 2011 in the Connacht SFC final; were winning against us for most of the 2014 Connacht SFC fixture; their U-21s were red-hot favourites to beat us in the Connacht final in 2016 (and were seven points up at one point); their seniors were nailed on to beat us last year in the All-Ireland quarters according to themselves; and last night they were also highly fancied and leading going into stoppage time, yet on none of these occasions did they actually close out the game.

    I’m hoping that Mayo can get over Galway on May 13th to further put this hypothesis to the test.

  6. Good wins last night, smash and grab v the rossies and the hammering to a weakened Leitrim. I thought the attendance was poor last night not much interest in the Junior and minor county teams or those matches were poorly scheduled putting a lot of supporters out? Did the game need to played in MacHale Park? surely a smaller ground closer to the Roscommon or Leitrim borders would be more suitable. The pitch is still not good, loads of bumps and sand the pitch will eventually need to be relayed but for now senior championship matches has to be played on it hopefully no serious injuries happen in the meantime.

  7. It means nothing to me, I wouldn’t worry about what the Rossies say. They’re well able to dish out abuse around September as you’ve aluded to. Fact is, majority of them would give there right arm to get a sniff of an All Ireland semi final, let alone a final!!. They try hard, but there simply not a footballing force of any description, Yes, they caught Galway last year, but that has more to do with Galways focus on that game. They could’nt even beat us last year when we were wrecked from X amount of games in a row. They’ve had the handiest draw possible 2 years in a row in Connacht. McStay constantly throws out there a young team, seems he’s trying to buy time within the County. I predict a qualifier exit after Connacht final, providing Mayo or Galway are 100% tuned in for that fixture.

  8. That’s a Photo for the archives alright.. five Roscommon men running after the Mayo fly-goal keeper out past the halfway line. Is this something we will see more of in the future? “Goalkeeper didn’t make final team draft because he wasn’t attacking enough” 🙂

  9. @ Mayo Dunphy: I’d argue the Rossies have had the softer side of the draw for the last four years, albeit getting beaten by Sligo in 2015. Last time they drew either of the big two out West was 2014.

    I wouldn’t mind them if they scoffed a bit of humble pie every now and then, and acknowledged that Mayo are a good side, but there’s a substantial element in their following who are full of it any time Mayo lose a game, and indeed exhibit an absolutely absurd level of confidence that they’ll beat us handsomely. That’s why results such as last night’s are especially sweet.

  10. It mean nothing to me and Mayo Dunphy it think a few rotten eggs shouldn’t paint all rossies with the one brush. They beat Galway by nine points last summer in Salthill, Mayo will gladly take a one point win Sunday week v Galway. And Mayo were far from wrecked last year, took them a while to find form but against the rossies in the replay,kerry both games and Dublin in the AI final Mayo were in top shape.

  11. Roscommon ‘s Shane Curran was the original fly keeper, rarely found minding his goal even when the other team were attacking.

  12. Dec M, I tried to put the teams up on the site here but, whether it was my slow typing or poor internet access or whatever, when I had all the details up my internet connection was broken. There is a fairly decent report on both games in today’s Indo with the teams but not thier clubs unfortunately.

  13. I’m not available to put up those links now either,AndyD, but will aim to do so later on. I’m away from base tonight so not sure when I’ll get to do it.

  14. My god. The animosity is rife. Roscommon didn’t catch Galway last year – we beat them by 9 points. Personally never seen/witnessed true roscommon supporters being absurdly confident of beating mayo – ever. I follow this blog for its up to date match reports etc, but if this indicative of the level of posters attitude I may find a new blog lol

  15. Have you been in a time capsule, Saoirse? Because it would have been hard not to notice the animosity even last year, between Kiltoom and the two championship meetings between the counties. Sometimes people don’t get on, that’s life.

  16. Give me the diehard Rossies above the fairweather Galway crows any day.

  17. Every year this debate comes up . Why are people so bothered about likes and dislikes of other counties , some Mayo supporters dislike Roscommon others don’t feel that dislike , it’s no big deal . Move on

  18. Blowing up a dislike that some have into something that is far from the truth is not right Sean. I know if Roscommon were regularly reaching All Ireland semi finals and finals i don’t think i would be worried or obsessed by what a few of my smaller populated neighbors are thinking or saying.

  19. Difference being, Primrose and Blue, that in that scenario you wouldn’t have to drive back through Mayo on your way home. A lot of Mayo people got a not-so-warm welcome in parts of your county following recent All-Ireland finals, so it’s kinda hard to avoid it from our perspective.

    Anyway, I fear that this has become a distraction from the main point of this thread, so I’ll try to make this my last post on this topic.

  20. I think people’s attitudes towards other counties fortunes is personnel and based on each individuals experiences.

    As a young innocent lad I shouted for any team that came out of Connacht.

    Living in Galway for over 14 years I’ve had very mixed experiences.
    The Galway hurling fan usually isn’t too bothered whether the Galway football team win or lose never mind the Mayo team.
    There are Galway football fans who would like to see Mayo lift Sam. How many there are, well that is the question.
    The amount of bad will that I have seen in Galway towards our football team though since moving here is sad.
    Some comments are I know said as a bit of fun. I have no problem with that and enjoy the banter with these fans.
    I have however sat at dinner tables at work and heard alot of what some of the other Galway thoughts are before someone cops on and realises there’s a Mayo man at the table. Luckily I’m thick skinned and well able stand up to any of the negative bullshit I have encountered.

    I’ve been told by Galway fans that they hoped.Dublin were going to beat us in past All Irelands. Sadly, they meant what they said.

    For genuine fair minded galway fans, I would always wish them well.

    The begrudgers though have totally changed the way I now look at some other teams and how they fare when they get in to the knockout stages. Going on my own experiences I would now find it very hard to support Galway against any other team. I’m sad to admit that, but how could I with all the bad vibes I’ve experienced towards our team.

    I’m not commenting to turn anyone in favour or against any other team, but my innocence in supporting other teams that I once would have had is long long gone.

  21. Personally I would always support a team from West of the Shannon when they reach an all-Ireland final. As a province We dont get there too often and we win so little. Like Galway and Roscommon there are Mayo football supporters who wold shout for the opposition when Galway and Roscommon are in finals. Just the way it is

  22. Primrose and blue, no one is obsessed with what Roscommon supporters think don’t worry. This particular topic arose after last nights game between the two teams…its hardly obsessing. Your right though, I couldnt give a hoot what the other 31 Counties say about Mayo, but supporters are entitled to dislike who they want.

  23. Living in London, and working with people from all counties, l must admit, its a lot of fun when we play the neighbours, and the slaging and wind up’s, is part and parcel of the craic, most of the time its not taking to seriously, however if it involves running down our current team and management from fellas in the pub, who are just saying it to rile u, its a different story, and I tend to let them know that, as for the 13th my money is well and truly on Mayo,

  24. Think there is more to be said for the overall passion of most Ross supporters who follow their county in good and bad times than a lot of fair weather fans from our southern neighbours who pretend to have no interest in football when things are going badly but become experts on the game and point out all our major flaws when their team is going well Not too fond of bandwagoners I think you should always support your country On a separate topic just noticed there is only one player from east Mayo on minor squad

  25. Personally, I support every other Connacht side in external fixtures other than Ros. I used to shout for our primrose and blue neighbours as well, but the rather deep-seated enmity I saw from them towards us put me off them permanently. There is, of course, a small muppet element within our support, and there are always honourable exceptions amongst the Sheep Stealers also.

  26. Don’t worry too much about Roscommon or any other fans not liking you or your team. It’s the old Irish affliction, begrudery, or maybe in roscommons case, just sheer annoyance that they were sliced and diced by Mayo in last years replay after the effort in the drawn game and the great score to level it near the end.

  27. Truth be told, there are assholes amongst us all folks. My wife and i went to every game last year, an saw plenty of bad behaviour. A few from our side winding up (to the point of abuse) a couple of Derry boys in McHale last year, and another example where a Rossie ‘fan’ just screamed abuse at us in Croker in the replayed game (and us totally ignoring her!). You will have these idiots among all fan bases.
    Personally, i’ve never had much hassle, lived in Galway for 12 years, an had plenty of craic with the ‘opposition’. The same in London, where i lived for 10 years, and had (an still have) great friends from Ros, Sligo an Galway.
    I always shout for the western side if Mayo are gone out, but, as i say, there’s always the few amadans, incl amongst our own.
    We went to all the games last year, but not sure about any this year, herself is due to give birth to twins any time soon, so a couple more additions to the green an red army pg.
    Looking forward to Sunday next – i fancy us this time, in what could be a tight game.
    Maigh Eo abu!!

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