Cork 2-7 Mayo 0-12: cruel loss after uplifting display

Post-match huddle

You come away with the same number of League points if you get hammered or if you lose unjustly to a last-minute sucker punch score. Having seen Mayo lose in both of these ways in our last two games, however, I know which one I prefer.

Today’s loss to Cork at a windswept Páirc Uí Rinn was sickening, cruel and utterly undeserved but what we got from the lads today was a hard-working and fully committed performance. We deserved at least a draw and we should, in truth, have snatched a win against a very wasteful home side but Hurley’s last-minute goal instead sent us home empty-handed.

Once we’d parked up a short distance away from the pitch, it was soon clear that another big Mayo following would be turning up for this afternoon’s contest. We made it down from the capital in time to get the spuds and then headed for the ground, which was already starting fill up, though the Cork hurling fraternity continued to stream in right through our curtain-raiser football clash at Páirc Uí Rinn.

The car had got a right old buffeting on the drive down from Dublin and the wind was blowing strongly at Páirc Uí Rinn too, with a strong breeze blowing diagonally across the field. We had whatever benefit was going from the elements in the first half.

As I struggled – yet again in a Mayo v Cork contest – through colour-blind eyes to tell the two sets of players apart (why produce a distinctive new away jersey and then not use the bloody thing when it’s needed?), what I could see was that we were putting plenty of players behind the ball. It was obvious from the outset of today’s contest that we weren’t going to let the Cork lads dance through our backline in the way that we’d allowed the Dubs to do two weekends ago.

Despite this, we made the worst possible start to the match. Two frees from Hurley put Cork ahead early on and then an uncharateristic mistake by Keith Higgins gifted possession to Hurley whose cross into the square was booted to the net by Collins.

Another tanking looked a distinct possibility, or perhaps a probability, at that early stage but, full credit to the lads, they responded very well to this adversity. So well did they do so that the home side didn’t score again until right on the stroke of half-time, a scoreless spell that lasted close to half an hour, during which time we turned a five-point deficit into a two-point advantage.

Leading the charge in this revival was the impressive Tom Parsons – he had a storming game on his first appearance of the year at midfield – who pointed for us straight after that Cork goal. The score came via a nice offload from Alan Dillon, who also played a prominent part in our first-half resurgence this afternoon.

Slowly but surely, we reeled them in. A wind-assisted fifty from Jason Doherty was followed by a point from play by Danny Kirby. Tom Parsons then added another from play.

Our tight man-marking on their kickouts paid dividends when O’Halloran was pulled for taking too long with a restart. Aidan O’Shea was fouled from the resultant hop-ball and Kevin McLoughlin stroked the free over to level the match up.

We spurned three chances to take the lead after this, with bad wides from Aido, Doc and Lee Keegan, but then Mark Ronaldson claimed possession, spun away smartly from his marker and stroked it over the bar. Donal Vaughan, raiding forward, smashed over a glorious long-ranger to increase our lead to two before Cork finally pulled one back just before the short whistle sounded.


We continued on the offensive after the break. Aidan O’Shea, despite being under intense pressure, managed to get his shot away to register our first score of the half. We should have added to this from Aido’s next burst, when he was fouled a good half-dozen times before he was finally felled fourteen yards out. Jason Doc made an awful hames of the free, though, hoisting it up into the wind and wide.

O’Neill banged over a nice long ranger for them but we then missed two chances to add to our lead. Both Jason Doc and Aidan were fouled as they burst forward but they got neither an advantage nor a free from ref Eddie Kinsella and both attacks came to nothing.

Our ire with the ref turned to disbelief soon after. Michael Conroy, on the field less than a minute as a sub for Alan Dillon, appeared to be pulled down as he tried to break clear. Incredibly, though, Kinsella showed Mickey a black card for the incident. I haven’t a clue what the rationale was for this and I can’t for the life of me see how it could have constituted a black card offence. In the ref’s view, it did, though, and Conor O’Shea came on for the unfortunate Davitts man.

Mickey C black card

Two points, one from a free, edged the home team in front but then Tom Parsons knifed through the cover and popped over his third point of the day to level the match up once more. Jason Doc, fouled as he broke through, pointed the close-in free and we were in front once again.

Mikey Sweeney had by now come in for Mark Ronaldson and Stephen Coen had replaced the injured Kevin Keane. The introduction of both helped us up the ante as the match entered its final increasingly frantic ten minutes.

Goold levelled the match once more with a fine point from distance but the wasteful home side – whose wide count was comfortably in double-digits by now – failed to build on it. Eventually we broke out, with Kevin McLoughlin, from a great catch and feed by Tom Parsons, cutting through for the lead point for us. Soon after, it began to look like our day when Mikey Sweeney fed Stephen Coen who banged it over to push us two clear.

There was a palpable air of desperation now to Cork’s attempts at rescuing the game. Danny Kirby should perhaps have got a black card for a drag down but Daniel Goulding’s free went badly wide as it became clear that only a goal would save the Rebels now.

And feck them, they got it. An attack up the inline, the ball fed across the square by Dorman where Hurley met it with a punch to the net to snatch the spoils in the cruellest manner imaginable from our perspective. At the death, Andy Moran – only just on the field – might have pulled the fat from the fire but his effort at a point didn’t have the distance and the game was lost.

But even though it was a loss, and a galling one at that, it was still a match from which we can take plenty of encouragement. The weak-willed surrender against Dublin was replaced by a fully committed and hugely hard working display, one that should help to dispel those doubts (which I admit I have shared) about where we’re heading this year.

Strong performers for us today included Keith Higgins (despite his first half slip-up), Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle, Kevin McLoughlin, Aidan O’Shea, Jason Doherty, Danny Kirby and Alan Dillon. Man of the Match, for me at least, was the excellent Tom Parsons.

While today’s narrow reversal means we’re not yet 100% sure of our Division One status, results elsewhere today means that it’ll now take a very unlikely combination of results and scores next Sunday to send us down. If we beat a Donegal side shorn of the services of the suspended Michael Murphy, we’ll almost certainly make the play-offs. So, on a day when we went down to the cruellest of defeats, we end the day in a decent enough position in Division One and also surely with a renewed sense of belief about our ability to do the business when the chips are down.

Mayo: David Clarke; Ger Cafferkey, Kevin Keane, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Donal Vaughan (0-1); Barry Moran, Tom Parsons (0-3); Kevin McLoughlin (0-2, one free), Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Jason Doherty (0-2, ’45 and free); Mark Ronaldson (0-1), Danny Kirby (0-1), Alan Dillon. Subs: Michael Conroy for Dillon, Conor O’Shea for Conroy (black card), Mikey Sweeney for Ronaldson, Stephen Coen (0-1) for Keane, Alan Freeman for Barry Moran, Andy Moran for Kirby.

86 thoughts on “Cork 2-7 Mayo 0-12: cruel loss after uplifting display

  1. If we take one player from this game its brilliant that it is Tom Parsons, his best ever performance. He can give a serious boost to our middle eight. The big lads like COS and Kirby need more game time before we see the best of them. Good to have plenty height available. Was happy that Andy showed the confidence to try for the equalizer. Still would like to see us release the ball in more direct. I dont mean aimless high ball but kicking it direct to the forwards.

  2. Damn it. A dirty rotten sucker punch of a way to lose a game. It’s do or die next week but at least the players are back with attitude it seems. Parson was man of the match on Midwest by a mile, keep her lit Tom. Hopefully SOS will be available next Sunday, we will need all hands on deck to stay in division 1 it seems

  3. Tom Parsons is probably our most athletic player. I’d be a fan of getting more quarter back type players on the ball earlier in the middle of the pitch. Dillon/Andy and Cillian are three lads we have who can play that role.

  4. Listened to it on the radio. It sounded like a great game to be at.Well done to all the Mayo supporters who traveled to Cork to support the lads. Martin Carney was on analysis on MWR and he was very enjoyable. Handing back the mic to the commentator when ever the action restarted, or at least that was how it sounded. I am delighted for Tom and I hope he can stay injury free.

  5. Gutsy performance but goals win games. Don’t mean to be overly critical but we need the start bagging goals if we wanna win anything.

  6. Great performane as echoed by comments but when the hell will we stop letting in goals at crucial times, just before that cork goal we had a free and instead of taking our time and waste timeon it we took a quick free, cork got it broke up the field and bang, goal, these boys are experienced enough to do this, not managment faulf even though i am critical of them

  7. Also listened on MWR…………nailbiting stuff and the sucker punch was a killer but a great comback,performance wise, from the disaster of two weeks ago.
    Tom Parsons seemed to have put in a brilliant shift but it seems that all the team and subs did the same
    Martin Carney a great addition to the commentry.
    Next up Donegal and a good home win would be very welcome.
    MaighEo Abu

  8. Bit of a sickener, but pride restored in full. Keith Higgins won’t make a mistake like that again. 12 behind the ball worked well. Tackling ferocious. Ref kept Cork in it with frees. Parsons superb, a revelation. Savage Mayo crowd at the game yet again.

    We don’t have any other finisher in Cillian’s class though. That’s what really cost us – we had plenty of chances to make our possession count on the scoreboard and didn’t. You’re always running the risk of a sucker-punch when that happens.

    Sort out our shooting and we will be very hard stopped.

  9. Great performance by the lads not all doom and gloom yet what s the story with cillian does anyone know.

  10. @Davy j.great to read a positive and constructive post..anyone know if tyrones beating today keeps us safe??

  11. We’re safe unless we get hammered by Donegal (according to my numerically minded 10 year-old in the rear seat). If Kerry beat Tyrone then they relegate them, if Tyrone win it’d take a huge turnaround on points difference to relegate us. Looks like we’re safe and will probably qualify for the play-offs if we beat Donegal, who won’t have Murphy due to his two black cards this year.

  12. Yeah I think results today ensure we stay up. Even if we were to lose on the final day we are ok…

    As it stands Kerry on 6, Tyrone on 4. They play last day so a Kerry win would keep us ahead of Tyrone/ a Tyrone win would have us all on the same points and our scoring diff would be good enough.

    Am I right?

  13. Are Mayo safe now?

    Tyrone on 4, Kerry beaten (!) and on 6.

    If we lose and Kerry win, Tyrone go down. If Tyrone win we stay up on head to head with Kerry???

  14. That was cruel. Should have came away with a point at the very least. Two soft goals did us in. Great showing by Parsons and thought Ronaldson put in a very good shift as well. He got a beauty of a point after gathering the ball and breaking away from his marker. Substitutes were disappointing, Mickey Conroy got about 30 seconds of play before a silly black card and I didn’t think Sweeney had a great game, looked a bit ponderous upfront. Backs were too loose. A shame we still haven’t figured out how to close out the tough games but best to be finding all this out now. With Michael Murphy out for Donegal we should be beating them at home and kicking on for the semi final

  15. Can’t get relegated now. So that’s sound.
    If Tyrone beat Kerry next weekend by 2 Kerry are relegated 🙂

    If Donegal win or draw they get fourth spot or higher (depending on result of Monaghan v Dublin)

    If we win we get fourth spot or higher (depending on result of Monaghan v Dublin)

  16. Mayo can only go down if Tyrone beat Kerry, and we lose by 10 points + the margin margin that Tyrone beat Kerry by.

  17. For the sake of the game i hope to see two northern teams go down next wend ..would be of no benefit to see Kerry go down..

  18. If we lose and tyrone win next sunday does it not go down to head to head and Tyrone stay up because of their win over us regardless of pts diff?

  19. Robbed but we could have prevented it,brilliant Mayo support again.Great improvement on the Dublin game from all the lads,Tom Parsons our man of the match,anyone know what Mickey Conroy got the black card for??

  20. JJ – if Tyrone win and we lose, Kerry and ourselves will be on 6; we stay up on head to head.

  21. It won’t JJ – if Tyrone win and we lose to Donegal then it’s a 3-way tie on 6 points between ourselves, Tyrone and Kerry, which will be separated by points difference and not by head-to-head. We’re miles ahead of both of them on that score so we look 99.999% safe.

  22. Some positives to be taken from this.

    Ok, now moving on. Why have we not developed a strategy to protect leads nearing the end of games….. Last year in Croke Park v Kerry the game should have been over and no trip to Limerick necessary. Oh, wait, a high ball into the Mayo goalmouth. Goal.
    Today, with the game almost over, we took a quick free kick instead of shoving the ball up under one of our jerseys…Seconds later, ball in back of Mayo net.

    Thrilled with Tom Parsons’ input today.. I’ve always had faith in Tom. I think he has so much to offer our team. AOS did what he always does. We are so fortunate to have a player of his ability and physical prowess in our ranks. But I want to see Aiden and his compatriots rewarded for their endeavours.

    I’ve seen so many good ones come and go since the first day I shouted for the red and green in 1969.

  23. If we get beaten by anywhere near 10 points again in Castlebar then we deserve to go down.

    Lots of positives from today but it was still a loss. Maybe the team don’t necessarily need a victory to stay up but the fans would like one at home.

    Another trip to Croke Park wouldn’t go amiss either especially for the younger guys like Durcan, Coen, Kirby, Regan, Harrisson, Douglas. Or the likes of Ronalson, Keane and Parsons for that matter.

  24. According to the table, Tyrone would have to beat Kerry by 18 pts. to be level with us now.

  25. Ah well shit happens

    Better now than in champ

    Great to see a better performance that was certainly the main thing

    We’re safe anyhow and that’s all that really matters

    Tom P is the man to partner SOS this year!

  26. Just in Gort having the spuds on the way home. Very disappointing but 2 point leads are dangerous. Neither team today looked to be going full throttle yet when we pressed then we were very good at turning the ball over. Wind was also a huge factor. Onto new weekend now

  27. Just to clarify further, I hope: Mayo (+3), Kerry (-11), Tryone (-20). If 3 teams finish on 6 then it’s points difference, which leaves us fairly secure on these differentials. Donegal, amazingly, are on +8, so if they lose, they look best placed of Tyrone, Kerry and themselves if it’s a three way contest.

  28. Let’s just beat Donegal and make the semis we should expect to win our home games and should go at them from the start and restore more pride at home

  29. I think it is far more heartbreaking to lose the way we did. This is what has lost us so much over the years and we are still doing it. Why weren’t 6 backs and a goalie parked on the line? They had to score twice to catch us and there was no time.
    I remember both Roscommon and Galway, with a Michael Meehan rasper, beating us with a goal in the last minute. The terrible thing was, it was nearly inevitable. You just knew it would happen, it did, and it still is happening. What happens to our heads? Surely it is just common sense to defend with your lives at that stage of a game. Once is just a mistake but repeating the same thing over and over makes one bow his head!!! Just saw the goal close up now, it should never have happened.
    I am not harping, after a great display by Mayo, but we have had many great displays and will again. But great displays are only soul destroying if we cannot close out the games.

  30. We stood of cork for goal that won the game for cork. We should have never allowed them such space for the fisted goal. Should we have been cynical like kerry pull them out the field when we were two up?.We put in a much better performance than two weeks ago. We really miss Cillian today and seamus o shea. Delighted for parson he is our only athletic midfielder in the panel. Any word when regan will be back? Fingers crossed for next week.

  31. Danny was alright – he alternated between full-forward and midfield, pushing out when Aidan O’Shea moved inside in the second half. He got one point and provided a focal point close to their goal in a way that we haven’t had for a while. He should definitely hold his place there the next day.

  32. Another query Willie Joe – while you’re on your feet!

    What did you think of the goalkeeping of Clarkie? Commentary on MW seemed to indicate uncertainty at times.

  33. We showed great heart, spirit and character today, which was great to see because I was very worried when we conceded the goal so early. We still lack that bit of cuteness to close out games and some more accuracy up front. We should remember that today we were without Cillian O’Connor, Seamus O’Shea, Chris Barrett, Tom Cunniffe, Evan Regan, Jason Gibbons, Diarmuid O’Connor and Andy Moran is just back as well. With a few of the U21s available now too, the competition for places should be hotting up in the coming weeks. Cork very very close to their first team today so overall, it just shows that apart from when the Dubs hit top form, there is not much between all of the other teams. That bit of cuteness is what could be the difference between winning and not winning ultimate honours. I thought that today when we won the late free that we took quickly, that we should have even called David Clarke up to have a pop at it to waste some time. Then even if the Cork defenders won the ball, try to keep them pinned in their own half to allow our defence to regroup.

  34. A very enjoyable game despite the result to be fair.
    Think most of us were wanting a much improved performance even at the expense of losing albeit in the hope that we would be safe from relegation, which looks fairly nailed on. Took a while for our lads to get goin there was no urgency to our game in the first quarter. Until we started to win some clean ball via Barry from our own kick out which was great to see. Our ability to turnover ball win back possession via the tackle was also very heartening to see. Parsons was indeed brilliant today, even more so given that it was his first start for some time. All in all plenty of positives our defense grew into the game after a shaky start thought Keane and Cafferky were great comin out of their line to win dangerous ball. Thought Ger showed glimpses of his best with some important block downs in the second half. However as others have said what happens to our heads when it comes to closing out a game, 71mins on the clock we needed to do whatever it took to close out the game make a cynical foul whatever. Hopefully management will work to fix what is an old Mayo failing at this stage.

  35. Delighted to hear that the performance was much improved. It sounded on MidWest as though Mayo were really up for it today and seemingly so too were the fans, with another great turnout. Days like today make me miss living in Ireland so much.

    It does concern me about Mayo’s apparent inability to close out a game. Anyone who was at the game, what would you do if you were wearing the Bainisteoir bib, out of curiosity? We just about got away with it against Cork in August last year, and it was our undoing in the draw and replay against Kerry, and again today against Cork. I’d like to see Doherty brought back in to half back line to add a bit more steel and hassle any opposing player that comes near the Mayo 45 yard line, and to (try) prevent long high balls near the goal.

  36. Doherty was being played in the half back line along with the likes of McLoughlin at different stages in the game. It looked like both Connelly and Holmes were busy giving orders and sending messages right till the end. I dunno maybe the inability to see the game out is a lack of focus or adopting the wrong mindset at a crucial stage. It is hard to know I suppose, but you would think that the players need to implement an attitude along the lines of win this at all costs and protect the lead. Of course this is easy to say when you are watching from the stands.

  37. For Mayo to go down, three things have to happen .1. Donegal have to win 2.Tyrone have to win. 3. Donegal would also have to beat us by fourteen points more than Tyrone beat Kerry.

  38. – We actually really deserved to win today
    -Won lots of clean possession and forced a lot of Cork turnovers
    -Back to expected workrate and team looked fresh and eager unlike two weeks ago
    – Tp had a mighty game and two of his points were great long range efforts.
    -Danny K can field a ball seemed to have wrong studs in first half and deserves to start next Sunday
    -As for winning Cork goal Mayo froze expecting a whistle ?. It was right in front of where i was sitting and i am sure they were waiting for whistle for free in.
    – We can win this league why would we not at least go for it now. What harm would a league title and cup do?

  39. Just back from Cork. Left in good time only to hit bloody Buttevant. The new Kinnegad!
    Thought you summed up a lot of things in your report correctly, Willie Joe, got the performance but not the result. Disappointing to be sucker punched with that goal though, we should be above conceding last minute goals like that. We should be prepared to not let lads through at that juncture.
    In reality though, the match was probably lost in the first half. There was a massive wind there and to be trailing by five after only a few minutes was infuriating. In fairness to Keith Higgins, his misplaced pass was probably the only thing he did wrong all day. Mayo did very well to pull Cork back thereafter. However, my main grievance from today is the way in which they went about attacking. When Holmes and Connelly joined, one of the first things they spoke about was having an alternative attacking plan and this has come about in the shape of a big number 14. It’s madness. Players just lumped the ball into Kirby who actually did well to win a couple of ball but eventually ceded possession as he had no support with him, owing to Mayo’s 12 men behind the ball. Horan realised very quickly into his reign that Mayo play better when they are doing things at pace, running at teams, threading the ball into the corner and having supporting runners. Kirby did ok today but only when he had players around him. Now maybe the idea has merit as a plan B, but not as a plan A. I much prefer to see three lads there and plenty of movement.
    On that note, I thought the forward movement today from Mayo was very poor. Several times, Aidan, Kevin, Dillon had the ball and to play it across the field owing to a lack of options up front. This 12 men behind the ball might shore things up defensively but it takes from attacking options. Donegal etc. wouldn’t be as slow as that. Mayo have work to do in this regard.
    I thought Parsons was good, without question, but I thought beside him Aidan O’Shea was a colossus. Time and time again, he won difficult ball, drew frees, took on responsibility. The pass he put through for Coen’s last point was truly outstanding. It takes about three or four men to stop him, usually illegally. You always have a chance with a man like him on the field.
    I thought they did superbly well in the second half, considering they were against such a strong wind. They looked very secure defensively running the ball up were doing well. Doherty and McLaughlin did well. Doherty mixed the sublime with the ridiculous. He kicked a good 45 in the first half, missed a shocking 14 yard free after Aidan did trojan work to win it, made a great run then in the second half and then chipped softly into the goalkeeper’s hands from about 10 yards out. He then made another great run and finished with a superb score. He needs to be more consistent and cut out the crazy mistakes!
    I still don’t know what the black card for Mickey Conroy was for. I think it was for diving but it made no sense. He went to ground, as is his wont, and then laid the ball off – and was then put off? He didn’t throw himself down looking for a free. Shocking decision. Unfortunately, Conor O’Shea was quite poor when he came, wasting possession on several occasions with some ill judged passes and shot selection. Of all the subs, Coen looked the liveliest, took his score well. Might be a little loose maybe. Time will tell.
    Dillon looked good on his return, there is still a place for him and Andy on that team, I don’t care what anybody says. Ronaldson looks good in fairness, kicked one superb score in the first half.
    I think they exercised the Dublin demons a little today, but they need to build on it now and put in a performance next weekend and beat Donegal. I don’t really care if they get to a semi final or not but they need a positive result after the no show last time out and the disappointment of today.
    By the way, Mayo’s support today was superb. Great bloody supporters. And most of them had to go through bloody Buttevant as well!!

  40. WJ,if TWO teams finish on the same points,scoring diff comes into play(highly unlikely at the bottom of table)…If THREE teams finish on the same points,head-to-head comes into play
    This info was on RTE Sunday Sport today as we came back from Cork.

  41. That just can’t be correct, Allforsam, in fact I know it’s not correct. If ourselves, Tyrone and Kerry are level on six points then as we’ve beaten one and lost to the other head-to-head wouldn’t sort anything out, only points difference can. It wouldn’t, in fairness, be the first thing RTE have ever got wrong!

  42. I have to say lads,we really have to curb our whinging about refs.It most cases(bar Limerick ’14) their decisions even themselves out.Talking to a senior member of our team,he felt that when we get on the backs of refs,it works against us in a big way.There were very young Mayo fans behind me screaming at the ref-it really sounded terrible and they only mimic their elders. To be honest I thought Kinsella did ok(I didnt see the Conroy incident but the fact that Kinsella went straight for black surely meant that he saw something).

  43. Opt2missteek, I agree with you in ways, Reffing is very difficult at the minute, with matches being played at such a fast pace and there being no proper definition of a tackle. Kinsella did ok today, except for that absolutely daft decision involving Conroy. No one seems to know what it was for.

  44. WJ, mabye someone that knows the right story on who goes down could enlighten us

  45. The lads have something to play for now next Sun. a win against Donegal will put us in the playoffs

  46. if two teams finish level on points, head to head decides.
    if three teams finish level on points its scoring difference.
    its been like this for years at both club and county level.

    as for the late cork score why did non one take the black card for the team. Kerry would have.

  47. RTE are wrong. A Mayo win, draw, a Kerry win or draw we are safe.
    We are 14 points better off than Kerry in points difference. we are sixteen points better off than Tyrone.
    If we lose and Tyrone win the situation is this.
    Tyrone have to win by two points over Kerry to stay up. If Tyrone win by one point. Donegal have to beat us by seventeen points for us to go down.
    If we get beaten by sixteen points. It will be on points scored ( not point difference as we will be level) in the whole of the league between us and Tyrone to see who goes down.

    If Tyrone beat Kerry by two points or more, Donegal have to beat us by 15 points more than Tyrone. If Donegal beat us by fourteen points more than Tyrone beat Kerry it will be on points scored between us and Kerry.


    This is not going to happen but for your info there it is.

  48. Okay, Opt2missteek, here goes:

    The Division One table as it stands tonight is here. We’re level on six points with Donegal (+8 on points difference) and Kerry (-11). Our points difference is +4.

    Derry were relegated last night and one of Tyrone, Kerry, ourselves or Donegal will join them next Sunday so it’s the outcome of the Tyrone/Kerry and Mayo/Donegal matches that’ll decide this, as well as also deciding who gets the fourth semi-final spot.

    Looking at the permutations:

    1. We win – in which case what happens in Omagh is largely irrelevant. Our superior points difference (in a three-way tie) and head-to-head (two-way) would then put us ahead of Kerry if they win in Omagh (and also ahead of Monaghan if they lose to Dublin). So a win would qualify us for the semis, maybe even in third place.

    2. We lose and Kerry win: then we miss out on the play-offs but Tyrone (currently on four points) are relegated.

    3. We lose and the Kerry/Tyrone match is a draw – same as 2. above.

    4. We lose and Tyrone win: then it’s a three-way tie on 6 points between ourselves, Kerry and Tyrone. Head-to-head cannot clearly be used in this instance so points difference then takes centre-stage. At the minute, we’re 15 points ahead of Kerry on points difference so if Kerry lose in Omagh, we’d need to lose by 15 points PLUS a point more than the margin Kerry lose to Tyrone, with Tyrone having to win (and us to lose) by enough to overturn our current 19-point difference (in our favour) against Tyrone. So, the most likely outcome is that either Kerry or Tyrone will go down in the event that Tyrone win, with Tyrone needing to beat Kerry by at least two points to avoid the drop.

    In summary, then, it’s only if we get the mother and father of a trouncing by Donegal (minus Michael Murphy) that we could possibly go down, and only then if Tyrone beat Kerry. That simply isn’t going to happen and, as JPM said earlier on, if it does then we’ll deserve to get relegated. Which we won’t. So there.

  49. Great summary Willie Joe, they went through all those permutations on Highland radio earlier so I was pretty certain neither Donegal nor Mayo could go down next week (failing some absolutely crazy scoring results). I’m happy my first and second loves will be playing division one next year! I will be pleasantly surprised if we take any points out of castlebar next week but I can’t really see it. There’s no getting away from the fact that we are a different animal without Murphy and by all accounts Mayo were coming back to where they can be today ( waiting for the highlights here).

  50. Unlucky to lose.dont like idea of 12 men behind the ball.think we need to play the Barcelona way!!! 2 points from full forward line says a lot really.anyway the league is for trying new players and new styles.see the minors had a good win over galway sat evening.supposed to be a good promising team with a few very good players.

  51. Great to hear Parson played really well. anyone that makes international rules at 19-20 has to have serious talent, hopefully he can push on from here. if he does we’ll have serious ball winning ability between himself the 2 OSheas and Moran.3 of these lads should be on the pitch at all times

    worrying that we conceeded 2 goals again

    Some serious work needs to be done on working on game situations where we’re ahead in the last couple of minutes. Mainly involving dragging, rugby tackling fellows to the ground to stop goals going in every other top team does except for us

  52. Today we had the good, the bad and the ugly. Ugly! Kicking a 14 yes free wide. The bad letting a dying team in for a late goal that they didn’t deserve. But the good was excellent – there was heart and courage in our comeback and great determination by most of the lads. They certainly restored pride in the jersey and will come good again. Funny enough we didn’t really get stuck in until the physical stuff started. And then we got serious and took them on. I reckon our levels of intensity will return to normal when the stakes are increased later on.
    I agree with everyone as regards Tom Parsons – he was excellent especially considering this was his first game in a long time. I always maintained it was a mistake by JH dropping him from the panel. Imagine what kind of player he would be now if he had those 4 years under his belt. Hopefully he will drive on from here and stay free from injury. Danny kirby probably does deserve another go but he needs to use the ball better. Mind you he is a big physical presence and could also make life difficult for defenders coming out with the ball If the ball is to be lumped into him he needs lads around to collect the breaks. Otherwise it is a useless strategy.
    A win over Donegal is what we need to focus on now and getting game time into some of the lads like Tom parsons, Danny kirby and Andy Moran.

  53. A bit of a sickener of a defeat but overall it was a performance we needed and we got that.

    Goals at the start of the league were to preserve our long standing Div 1 status ( done barring some mad results) and to unearth a few useful players. We found some new potentials in Ronaldson, Kirby, Regan, Durkan, Coen and O’Connor and we have seen a reemergence of Keane and Parsons with big Barry playing quite well today too.

    Overall a success then, I’d say and a good performance next week can build on that.

  54. You see this is why we keep coming short….

    Like against Dublin in the league last year, and Kerry in the championship we threw away a win. Alarmingly nobody seems too bothered!

    The lads played some great football today but I can guarantee there is zero chance of an All Ireland. We just don’t learn from mistakes

  55. A lot of positives to take away from the game today. Our full back line were solid and I think Caff should retain his place in the corner. Our half backs were also good making some vital turnovers. MIdfield was very strong. Parsons worked very hard on and off the ball and kicked some great points. Barry was also storg and a real threat in the air. I would not mind seeing any of the 3 (inc. SOS) playing centrefield. Half forwards played well overall, especially Doc. Full forwards were fairly good, but DiIllon and Ronaldson should have been feeding off Kirby as he ad no options once he won the ball. Personally, I would prefer to see Hennelly in goal. Clarke did well, but once he came out and was caught but danger was averted by Higgins & Co. Hennelly seems more comfortable in goal is an option for taking 45’s. Overall a good performance, onwards and upwards from here. Bring on Donegal.

  56. Much better display today but ……. when leading and going into injury time and in receipt of a free kick, I would retain possession at all costs, rather than kicking it away in the HOPE it might go over the bar. Our naivety keeps giving and giving … to the opposition.

  57. Ger, context is everything. Mayo football supporters needed a performance from their team to restore belief in our prospects for 2015. We got that. Yes, it’s frustrating that we let in a goal at the death. But come on. We were after a 14-point filleting at home. The team had to be doubting themselves. Give them some credit for the way they lifted themselves today.

  58. I’ve settled down at last after thoughtful trip home, one thing occurs to me I would like to see us going back to man marking and players being responsible for their man, might not be the way to go every time but watching the loose men on the opposition side can be frustrating

  59. Ger is right to an extent if these type of mistakes keep being repeated there is no chance of winning all ireland but let’s hope a lesson is learned after today they did fix a lot of things from the last match

  60. Good man Tom. Delighted for you . And for all the team.
    And for the sideline too.
    A great confidence boost, even with losing.
    We’ll have a good year again, please God.
    Nice and steady, one game at a time.

  61. It’s completely meaningless to be talking in the month of March about winning or not winning an All-Ireland. The key thing today was that the team restored a significant amount of pride following the Dublin disaster, that we lost it at the death (in a move where Stephen Coen was taken out of the play in the lead-up so arguably the score shouldn’t have stood) is of less relevance. Our Division One status is secure (barring a hammering by Donegal, which would have to be accompanied by a Tyrone win over Kerry) and we might even qualify for the semis. And don’t forget that today, against a virtually full-strength Cork, we were missing Tom Cunniffe, Chris Barrett, Patrick Durcan, Seamus O’Shea, Diarmuid and Cillian O’Connor and Evan Regan, all of whom will either be on the team or be pushing strongly to get onto it come championship time. Tonight isn’t a night for despondency, far from it.

  62. Delighted to see Parsons back in fold..Plaqued by injuries last year.. Excellent Athlete just need to be more consistent and improve his finishing.. One swallow does not a Summer make but he has Qualities worth pursuing..

  63. Well said WJ and all the other positives.
    The fact that we were beaten by a sucker punch ala Dublin last year could actually serve us to the good as it is only March and could galvanise this team further in taking the right options later in the year if defending a lead.
    MaighEo Abu.

  64. Sorry Willie Joe, little bit of disagreement about the “despondency” bit. I would call it realism. I have to agree with Ger Bohan and a few other posters. This is not being ‘negative’. As i said i would call it ‘realistic’.This has been going on far too long now without being corrected, brushed under the carpet and excused. Look at the facts, we have lost so many games over the years from this; games we could have and should have won. So how you can say it is “meaningless” now is a mystery. Already it is years delayed so it should be of the utmost importance now, at this late stage..

  65. I wasn’t at the game myself. What I took from the commentary was that the game was up for the taking and unfortunitly we didn’t grap hold of it and close game out .This has to be something that management needs to address. We had the chance of scoring 1-2 but we didn’t take those vital chances.On a positive note was good to see a response from the Dublin game and glad Parsons had a good game as too Dillon and Sweeny making a newsence out of himself.He might not the strength but he has the speed. Big game for us next Sunday.Is Murphy out for Donegal?

  66. I say it’s meaningless now Joe because the main thing we needed to see today was a positive performance, which was what we got. If we won, then sure, we’d be closer to a League semi-final place but even though we lost we can still do that the next day and we’re not going to get relegated. And it’s still only March and Cork only just beat us playing a full-strength team against us. Sure, the goal was annoying but I saw enough today to provide encouragement about the direction we’re headed in. I haven’t a clue about how far we’ll get this year but I’m not going to use today’s result to paint a picture of doom and gloom and I don’t see why others should either.

  67. Kerry on 6 pts with scoring average of -11
    Tyrone on 4pts with scoring avearage of -14
    Mayo on 6 pts with scoring average of +3
    Scenario 1 Mayo lose and Kerry beat tyrone then tyrone go down
    Scenario 2 Mayo lose and Tyrone beat kerry then kerry go down as their -11 will increase depending on the margin of their loss.Cant imagine Donegal Hammering us
    Scenario 3 If Mayo win —-Yahoo

  68. Some pride was restored today and there was massive improvement from the Dublin game. The management axed players from the Dublin game and guys who are hungry to play for the county played well. While the goal was a kick in the balls so to speak at the end it should be noted that players were on the pitch that more than likely won’t be there when we have a fully fit squad. We played with some intensity today and the hunger was there in many players.

    Parsons form is pleasing. I saw him
    Play for his club recently and he was decent. Some more game time and he will flourish I feel. Personally I’d probably start that team today against Donegal. Andy Moran is a welcome addition and needs game time so he could get a start too. Dillon still has it and pulled the strings today. A wise head on the pitch can pay dividends. It’s when he went off that cork started to come back at us. Cillian is missed terribly however but he needs time to have his knee right for bigger challenges ahead. Onwards and upwards.

  69. Just looked at the iPhone video highlights on RTE. iPhone 4 I’d say at that.

    Very hard to judge, but I thought the goals were shocking. We looked leaden footed on both and they looked preventable.

    Kirby’s point looked very impressive though. Catch, turn, feint, point. Nice.

  70. Agree with you 100% Willie Joe about all the positives to day. It’s just that i honestly feel that the closing out of games is more urgent than any other positive. We can play as great as we like and really perform well but all that is wasted, if we lose it at the end. It has to have a serious long term psychological effect on players and Mayo football. You could call me “a concerned supporter”. I’d bet everyone was gutted today. We had won, great feeling, and then “oh Jaysus no, a f..king goal!!!

  71. So, the two teams most guilty of “crimes against the game” are gone or about to go? Hey, maybe we are seeing a turning point in the game!!!

  72. We shouldn’t of let them in for a goal chance , we should of dragged a cork player down further out . I happen to be beside the dug out for the last few mins, I studied the four bucks, tried to hear what they were sayin and doing , body language etc. pateen was like the cat that got the cream because he shouted for a man to stand with arms up in front of cork free kick x2 which resulted in two wides , I honestly cringed for him the way he had his tongue stuck out as if his master tactic had worked on both occasions. There was a lack of coridination in getting the message out , I’m nearly 100% that they were encouraging the foul in the build up to the cork winning goal but there was a lack of communication somehow. The andy moran introduction was another fuck up, Connelly shouted at the linesman before the goal for the switch ,then pat and Collins shook their heads in defeat as if to say we’ ll have to leave it now for a minute . Buckley all the time commanded the line ( body language) and looked like he ws the one they all look up to. ( just an observation)

    Parsons was mighty, injury free he should play a big part in the summer ahead. I thought kirby done well and if he hadn’t slipped on three occasions in the first 15 minutes he could of been in on goal, promising stuff imo. Can’t understand though why we don’t have runners off the shoulder when we play a target man,it’s nonsensical , kirby/Aos clean catches, bang in you go Ronaldson and collect the lay off like when JOD broke our hearts last summer when collecting stars ball.
    Overall though I was happy leaving cork this evening,all round much improved performance and again AOS was instrumental in our good plays, the man is a beast.

  73. That wasn’t a full strength Cork team – Ian Maguire, Thomas Clancy, Ruari Deane and Kevin Crowley are all missing.

  74. The problem with the last goal was that there was nobody within an asses roar of Dornan when he zeroed in on the Mayo goal and got his pass away without any pressure. Maybe players were out on their feet after all their efforts but I thought more effort should have been made to get back. It was obvious at that stage that only a goal would save Cork. We also have to consider the number of simple wides Cork had. We had a few too and Doc’s attempt at a goal in the second half was very poor.
    Our performance in the early stages was as much a problem as the late goal. They had 1 = 2 on the board against the wind before we even got started. What was the problem with all the sliding and falling? Wrong cogs? And the fumbling and easy handovers?
    By the way, re Buttevant, there is no traffic jam [bar Galway] without a relatively convenient way around it. Buttevant was not on my route today but Kinnegad and Innfield often were and I was never held up for more than a few minutes. All you need is a good road atlas and the ability, which is not rocket science, to read it.

  75. Hello all, Thanks for the comments and match reports. It does not seem like a loss to me now. Look at poor Kerry and the worries they have.

    Most of all is the sense that this Management is good and maybe there was a little confusion in the last 3 mins. I recall nail biting stuff in Roscommon under Pat Holmes Management.

    What would be nice when the League business is out of the way is that James Horan be invited back for a night and show a solidarity between this management and his. I am sure it would be lively and cordial. The players would appreciate it?
    Congrats to Monaghan. cc(ciaran 2).

  76. It was a loss, but a loss which could have as easily been a victory. Good performances from defence (apart from a couple of costly lapses in concentration) and mid-field and workmanlike performance from forwards. We still don’t have enough scoring forwards to trouble the best teams.

    @ciaran cahill: James Horan is gone and we don’t need him back in any shape or form.

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