Details on Derry

Photo: Irish Examiner (Inpho/Laszlo Geczo)

So, after all these weeks of shadow-boxing, this coming Saturday we finally come face-to-face with knockout Championship football.

Derry are our opponents in what’s a winner-on-the-day All-Ireland SFC preliminary quarter-final tie and the match throws in at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park in Castlebar at 6.30pm. Brendan Cawley of Kildare is the ref, the game is being streamed live on GAA GO – with Mike on commentary – and there’ll also be live radio commentary on Midwest.

Although we’ve come up against the Oak Leaf County frequently in the National League, meeting them most recently at Castlebar back in March (more on which anon), we’ve only faced off twice ever in the Championship. Both of these matches were in the qualifiers.

The first such meeting took place in mid-July 2007 up at Celtic Park, where we were rather unceremoniously dumped out of the Championship. We lost that day by 2-13 to 1-6 and it was a day that saw both Ciaran McDonald and Pearse Hanley don the Green and Red for the final time.

That was the first year the blog was in action as well. My match report on the game for the blog is here.

The second and most recent time we met each other in summertime was ten years later, in the first round of the qualifiers of 2017. While we eventually won this one by a point more than they’d beaten us a decade before, this was after extra-time and also after we’d been given the scare of our lives by a team which that spring had been relegated to Division Three of the League.

Photo: Irish Mirror (Inpho/Tommy Dickson)

A number of players on the current panel featured for us then. Aidan O’Shea, Cillian and Diarmuid O’Connor, Stephen Coen and Conor Loftus (no-one needs reminding there, his screamer of a goal remains seared into the collective memory of Mayo fans) all played a part in that game ten years ago, as did the now injured Paddy Durcan and the suspended Fergal Boland. My match report on the game is here.

Much more recently, of course, we played them in the League, also in Castlebar, on St Patrick’s Day. They beat us by five points that afternoon but, as I alluded to in my match report on that one (here), this was a game we were as anxious about avoiding a win than we were losing it. Because of this, as well as the fact that Mickey Harte was whipping his charges forcefully towards a Division One decider, I’m not sure the outcome of that game may with justification be seen as any kind of barometer for Saturday evening.

Since then Derry duly did go on to claim the National League title, though it took a penalty shootout for them to get the better of Dublin in the final. Their excellent spring form did, though, see them installed as realistic All-Ireland contenders, with most including them in a shortlist of three along with Dublin and Kerry.

Jim McGuinness clearly didn’t get that memo.

Three weeks after lifting the silverware at Croke Park, Donegal tore Derry a new one up at Celtic Park. Targeting the Oak Leafers’ wandering ‘keeper Odhran Lynch, McGuinness’s charges ran in four goals – one more comical than the next – as they blasted Derry’s Ulster three-in-a-row hopes to oblivion on a scoreline of 4-11 to 0-17.

A month went by before Derry next took the field for the start of the Group Stage, this time in Salthill to face a Galway side brimming with confidence following their narrow Connacht final win over us a fortnight before.

While the feeling was that the Donegal loss could be seen as a bit of a blip, Galway playing with their tails up can be a handful for anyone. Derry learned this to their cost, as they sunk to a second successive defeat, this time on a scoreline of 2-14 to 0-15.

The wheels came off the wagon still further in Round 2. There were more defensive calamities, as a hard-running Armagh team cut through the Derry backline at will and dished out a chastening 3-17 to 0-15 beating to them at Celtic Park.

Photo: GAA

By now stories were emerging about mutiny in the camp and the possibility that Mickey might even be relieved of his command. It didn’t happen and calmer minds surely reasoned that a win over Westmeath would guarantee advancement to the preliminary quarter-final stage.

They got that win, in an extremely nervy fashion, up at Newry last Saturday evening where a late second goal put a gloss on what was in reality a close-fought contest against a limited enough Westmeath side. Derry won that one by 2-7 to 0-9.

All of which means that Derry will travel south on Saturday with all manner of questions hanging over them. Are they waiting to be put out of their misery? Or have they a kick left in them?

We won’t, of course, know the answer to these and other questions ahead of 6.30pm on Saturday. What we do know is that we’re the narrow favourites to advance but our own display against the Dubs last Sunday shows that the bookies don’t always get it right.

So let’s leave the last word to your good selves. Seeing as this tie will be decided on the night, it’s a straightforward choice in the poll as well. Time to vote on it.

Will we beat Derry?

  • Yes (77%, 753 Votes)
  • No (23%, 230 Votes)

Total Voters: 983

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76 thoughts on “Details on Derry

  1. Ah Willie Joe, your match reports were much better craic around that time. Some great one liners.
    Up Mayo

  2. W.r.t. 2007 game “ We started the match like the weather – horribly.” 🙂 classic… and only 3 comments on our exit match.. early days of the blog for sure

  3. The championship structure is so unfair. Kerry reach the quarter final by beating Cork from Div 2 , Clare from Div 3, Louth Div 2 , Meath Div 2 and the only Div 1 team they played was Monaghan who were relegated this year. So 3 mid table Div 2 teams, 1 mid table Div 3 team and a Div 1 team who finished bottom of league. If we reach the QF we will have played Div 1 team Roscommon x 2 ( I know they got relegated), Connacht champions and Div1 Galway, Div 2 Cavan, League champions Derry and All Ireland champions Dublin. This is not the fault of Kerry, but the provincial championship has two weak provinces. Some might say Kerry arrive at QF undercooked, but the other side of that coin is a tough qualification route really takes its toll . I am not sure what the answer is and of course the luck of the draw does play its part, but the system as it is does not offer a level playing field for all teams.

  4. Nerves kicking in already..

    But I’ve full faith we will get past this.

    I think we are as good if not better then derry if we can play like we did v Dublin and keep that tempo up.

    The thing as others said that I’d be weary of is Derry trying to wind our guys up on the field they will 100% try to do that so discipline is key here.

    We should be the ones with the winning mentality.

    The only team to really put it up to the dubs all year and some may say OK only round Robin but my Dublin mates said we knew ye would test us and said thank god for the Dublin /mayo matches they are always entertaining and still are..

    As I heard paddy Andrews saying he didn’t think this team had it in it and that mayo were done we never went away just lost our confidence.

    You have to hand it to mcstay he’s a shrude manager and definetly learnt from last year.

    I was giving out about our style of play and critical of management also at times but I wonder now was this all a plan to try and peak at the right time and save energy because my god we were a differnt animal v dubs and no one was expecting us to put in that kind of display.

    Mayo to win and us to be considered as serious contenders though I’d be delighted with reaching a semi for the first time in a few years we can do this time to fill mchale park
    ..!

  5. Whatever about any rumours in the Derry camp, one thing that seems daft about Mickey is him traipsing a load of grown men off to mass on match day. However he’s a shrewd manager capable of winning AI finals and throwing curve balls like the McMahon brothers in the FB line and the beardies beating Kerry, taking a somewhat injured Canavan off and bringing him back on. Not many managers with 3 AIs, Jim McG only managed one. Derry have been unlocked 3 times recently with high goal concession rate. However we’re now in knockout so they have to give their all. With home advantage and Mayo momentum we should be slight favourites but fans should not be complacent or overconfident, players won’t be but the mood can transfer. If Derry forget about recent troubles it’s potentially 50 50.

  6. I was asked last night was the semi finals an open draw. I believe it is I.e. all 4 teams in the one bowl and anyone can get anyone – is that correct ?

  7. Watched the off the ball clip last night and didn’t particularly see anything new to be up in arms about.so James o Donaghue doesn’t really rate us but the fact is that’s never going to change until we win an all Ireland.His point about us having to play 5 tough games including last Sundays to win it out being a very tough for anyone including Dublin and Kerry is very valid .That being the reason for mcstays total frustration at the end and Dublins relief.Derry have nothing to lose now they have been ridiculed and totally embarrassed.unfortunately the pressure switches on to us now.whatever about James o Donaghue being cocky I do wonder why paddy Andrews felt the need to have his breakfast or whatever he was eating in the middle of the discussion

  8. If we win the next day and the few with injuries get through it then we’ll have to reboot in 7 or 8 days. The odds are against us but if we can do it then there’s 2 weeks to a semi having come through adversity. It’s one game at a time, only a fired up performance wins the next day. Derry likely better than Ros who ran us to 2 points the 2nd time. Glass playing so many games for club and county was foolish but he’s a top player. McGuigan is a great forward and will take marking, Rodgers has been excellent for years and they have some marauding back. I think their squad is not too deep and if we can defend well and attack fast like the last day we have a good chance. Also need to decide how much we attack their goalie on his forays. I don’t expect them to abandon that plan as it’s risk reward and can help keep the scoreboard moving for them. With injuries etc. they’ll need the goalie coming out.

  9. @thedarkyfinn it’s an open draw, but repeat pairings from group stages are avoided & I believe repeat provinical final pairings are also avoided. So for example if it was Dublin, Kerry, Donegal & we’ll say Mayo for the craic. We couldn’t face Dublin. So they would need to factor that it.

    No point worrying about that yet. Need to get past Derry & then see

  10. Thanks Tony / Mayo focus
    I’m not looking ahead other than the game in hand just trying to confirm a question I was asked. So it is all into the one bowl and repeat pairings avoided from provincial final meetings and group stages. Hypothetically speaking though the further Mayo go the more likely a Kerry / Dublin semi

  11. I’ll probably end up with egg on my face but I’m sure Mickey, the shrewd and masterful tactician (some still believe), never contemplated he’d end up third from four, having to go on the road to face down a team playing under the radar.
    In no universe has Harte planned this – lets call it what it is- meltdown. Now, obviously, as others stated- no team becomes bad overnight but there’s an issue there. Maybe the dying wasp will sting Mayo on Saturday but I very much doubt it.
    I’d wager Mickey is cursing ever leaving the wee county. If Mayo leave this one behind them then management must put new mirrors on the shopping list because last weekend’s game plan was excellent. Why would anyone think they’ve not got another one for Ulster sides!

  12. Form and peaking at the right time and not to many injuries are the biggest influences on progression. Derry are lacking in most of those so will need to dig very deep I feel to beat us. I’ve seen all the Derry games minus Galway and thought they were poor in each game. Westmeath had all the ball the last day and got in plenty of scoring positions but couldn’t take them because of poor forwards rather than anything great defensively by Derry. If Mayo go a few points up early we’ll have Derry in trouble (always thought the same for any Mickey Harte team get ahead early then they have to come out and play)

  13. A fine evening and I’d hope for 20-22k, yew_tree.
    Like Donegal in the rain a few years back when I was heartened to see the turnout.
    But no point us standing there like planks……

  14. @darkyfinn, I heard they were bad against Westmeath from a colleague but I suppose what I’m trying to say (my wife tells me I don’t half go on) is Mayo are the team to beat on Saturday night. Mickey’s cunning plans worked against Kerry in the noughties because Kerry focused too much on Mickey having something up his sleeve. Interestingly, Mickey has never beaten Jimmy, a man deserving of the platitude, tactical genius..

  15. I’m in agreement Mark, Mickey I wouldn’t put on a tactical pedestal – defend deep, break fast, kick long when one on one. That’s his way and it hasnt changed much over the yrs

  16. @williejoe. That 2007 piece brings back memories. What ever happened to @the hat man. He/she was the only poster with yourself at the time. Regarding James o Donoghue he like ALL ex kerry players have never rated mayo and see us as a league below them and always will until we win sam. Lots of these pundit can get it completely wrong too. I remember coming from a league game in around 2011 after getting well beaten by cork and dublins Tommy carr stated “mayo are a busted flush” and we all know what happened after that and sure only 3 months ago these pundits had derry favourite to win or make the all ireland final and yes i know they still can but not in the way the”experts” predicted.

  17. @Thedarkyfinn: The QFs (& pQFs) avoid repeats of Group Stages & Provincial Finals as mentioned by @Mayo Focus. Could be interesting with wins for us, Louth & Roscommon forcing the winner of Galway/Monaghan to Dublin. For us it means Dublin won’t be an option if we win, so ~33% of Armagh/Donegal/Kerry with it increasing/decreasing slightly for various sides depending on who else gets through the pQFs that can’t match with any of those (looking at the modelling of expected wins comes out at 29% Armagh, 39% Donegal & 32% Kerry – https://x.com/StatsAndSolos/status/1802796297579085845).

    The semi-finals change it up and go for a no previous Championship repeats if possible, not restricted to group stages/finals (e.g. Derry v Donegal would be avoided if possible). Could end up irrelevant, could end up forcing specific ties without a draw (as happened in the Tailteann semi-finals) or could end up with it being unavoidable and the likes of Mayo v Dublin or Derry v Galway being possible again. It will all depend on how the QFs line up and who ends up winning through, so a lot of plates in the air on the potential scenarios there.

    For the QFs GAALeagueTables has a brilliant summary of the avoided matchups. I’d expect similar type stuff if it’s relevant around the semi-final draw.

    https://x.com/GAALeagueTables/status/1802678233512522086

  18. Great game on Sunday it has to be said, the one ingredient missing was the knockout element to the mindset of both teams and management setups. This allowed for a very different approach by both sides and there is no doubt in my mind that this game would have been a far more cautious and cynical affair if they were playing without that safety net.

    Mayo were underdogs in the opinion of more or less all the scribes and self proclaimed experts, this lack of expectation is a very liberating prise in an approach to a game like this. The management team can roll the dice and have a real go and indulge in tactics that could be considered risky or naive in a sudden death encounter. Mayo played on the front foot and they played with abandon and the Dubs did likewise and this gave us neutrals the football feast we were all craving, but now every team left in the competition has but one life remaining and this new reality will change the dynamic of every game we play in.

    I was hoping mayo would get a more favourable draw having played such an energy and emotion sapping encounter on Sunday, it will be difficult to get the team in such a battle ready state in a few short days to face a wounded Derry side. Derry are a very good side who have been absolutely humiliated on the field and on the print sheets and screens of the country. Heart will (if he has any hold of the dressing room and I believe he has) get the last drop of endeavour and effort out of this side, he has lost some crucial players in pivotal positions and this has taken from his hand considerably in my humble opinion. Mayo should have enough for Derry but if they don’t bring a big performance they will founder as Derry will offer a very different test.

    I hope ye get over the line injury free and if ye do I hope we don’t meet ye in the next round as we haven’t met any team thus far that presented significant and varying challenges that a team needs to prepare for the live ammo battles that lie ahead. Ye gave the Dubs the first taste of championship heat on Sunday albeit slightly risk free and this will sharpen them significantly I fear, I was shouting my head off in the closing stages of the game but they did as dublin do and crawled out on the right side once again. Best of luck on Saturday

  19. Maybe I’m mad but I don’t think anything James O’Donoghue said on that podcast was that controversial. Bit of a dismissive/snarky tone maybe, but nothing in the content of what he was saying was difficult to disagree with. Derry still could very well have a kick in them, and they have the players to do damage, especially after all the mockery, speculation and derision they’ve been subject to the last few weeks. If it turns into a dogfight, which it very well could, we could easily come out the wrong side of that when up against a wounded animal.

    It also isn’t wrong to say that we are in a very difficult position now, no doubt. We will have to play a number of very tough games back to back to even reach a semi-final, trying to rest and time form and avoid injuries. It would be a difficult route to an All-Ireland for even Dublin, even with their squad depth. Ridiculous to pretend it’s anything other than probably the most difficult route of any team left in the competition.

  20. No point looking back at recent Derry performances, we are entering a different phase of the competition and Derry will be a different animal firing on all cylinders.
    I expect they will go long with kickouts and get a fair return.
    We did show we can mix things about against the dubs And AOS is in the form of his life
    Mayo to win but it will go to the wire
    Time for supporters to row in

  21. Lads, if it was Dublin playing Derry this Saturday, I’d bet my life most would be backing the Dubs. Psychologically, people have to let 2021 go and see this for what it is…an opportunity to instill stellar confidence into a young team.
    Of course it’ll be a tough and rough battle… more of what’s needed to finally get over the line. It’s Mayo’s to lose and the fans need to stop buying into the past. Mickey will be the one with an arse like the Japanese flag throughout, not McStay.

  22. Derry will not roll over .. it’s a 49/51 game with mayo slightest of favourites… 1st proper knockout resets the odds.. yes mayo have FORM.. but we have to be just as ready for Derry as we were for dubs… we need to harness the dejection from not beating the dubs and go out with mentality to crush Derry early

  23. Be very interesting to know what the mood is like in the Derry camp…

    On all recent form this should be a comfortable Mayo win, an improving mayo side at home with lots of lads finding form against a Derry side off the back of a few very bad hiding with persistent rumours of fallouts/confidence/discipline issues…

    However it has the perfect makings for an ambush, so James o donoghue right from that pov.

    In some ways this represents the perfect game for Derry to get redemption, if they have anything about them at all in terms if character you would expect they are chomping at bit here to take down a top side on flip their season on its head
    again.

    Unless Harte has in fact lost the dressing room and they want to be put out of their misery, then you have to expect a backlash from them, they can’t have become a bad team in 2 months. Personel wise it’s only McGrogan on the longterm injured list, with McKinless, Conor Doherty and possibly Loughlin to return.

    How many times over the years (particularly with Kerry/Mayo) have we seen a big team stumbling along until they get that 1 big win that sparks their season to life.

    I still make Mayo favourites if they play anywhere close to level they hit last week but I am growing wary as the week goes on. Its the game Derry need

  24. Regarding James o Donoghue I don’t see why people are getting so upset, surely that’s what we want to see from outside pundits, ie talking Mayo down and dismissing their chances.

    Would we prefer it he went full cute hoor on it and started hyping Mayo up and cheerleading them. There’s enough within Mayo itself who insist on the cheerleading and the ‘Mayo4Sam’ nonsense without expecting outsider pundits to add to it.

    Let him criticise away I say. We want to get them in the long grass

  25. James O’Donoghue, many in the national media and certain people on our own local podcasts (not Mayo football podcast) have been negative and dismissive of the team and managment all year. These people are entitled to their own opinion but i wouldn’t be getting too hung up on what they say either, their opinion is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

  26. I wish people would stop getting annoyed by what pundits say about us. It doesn’t matter a damn what they think and we all know that Mayo sells, so they’re going to slag/criticise Mayo wheever they can for their own benefit. The facts are most people are fed up with us not having won the AI after all our attempts. Anyway, most pundits are full of shit and know nothing about what’s going on in the Mayo set-up. Pay no heed to them. We’re too long in the tooth and been around the block enough times to get distracted by gobshites sitting in front of a Zoom call.
    Also, it’s pointless looking beyond Saturday evening and worrying about turnaround times, possible draws etc. All that becomes irrelevant if we don’t win v Derry, so, Derry is all we should be concerned about. Eyes on the Prize!

    We have a very committed, promising young team (bar COC & AOS) and they deserve our support. They (players AND management) put absolutely everything into last Sundays game and even though we didn’t lose you can be damn sure the players felt like they did. They proved that they could go toe-to-toe with the AI champions and push them to their limit. They’ve set the level they can reach and now it’s up to them to keep that level and prorgess further. Therefore, it is our job to lift their spirits and make sure we out-number and out-roar the Derry supporters on Saturday. Get there in big numbers and make yourself heard.
    They deserve it.

  27. Agree Tony & Supermac – it’s all opinions & a lot of Mayo people hate anyone in media downplaying our team, even when it’s warranted. To be frank, prior to last Sunday, only last years games against Kerry was close to the level of a contender.

    It was nice to hear Andrews & Dick Clerkin acknowledge that we put ourselves back in the mix after Sunday’s performance. That was my take too, I didn’t really believe we had that level in us. Glad to be proven wrong.

    But we need to get over line on Saturday to keep moving up the ladder. You’re only as good as your last game.

  28. On attendance I can’t see there being anymore than was in the Hyde surely ?
    15k tops ?

    The main thing is that the support there is as raucous as it was for the last quarter of the Dublin game

  29. Completely agree, KM79. People are majorly over estimating attendances these days. On the Mayo pod, they talked about 22k in the Hyde for a non knockout game. There were 16k there in the end. And that was against the Dubs, the biggest supported team in Ireland.

    This weekend Derry will not bring more than 2k for a team hanging on by a thread and a 3 hour drive each way. People think 20k will turn up from Mayo? Not a chance. Probably 13-15k max in total.

  30. Will be my first match this season, so not the end of the world if I can get a decent seat! Fingers crossed Loftus rattles the net for old time’s sake. Given we’re in real knock out territory and the team put in a great performance would be a shame if they don’t get a proper crowd this weekend.

  31. Emmett Bradley saying no problem in Derry camp, and every totally behind manager. And if that true, what better way to stick it to rumour mill, that come out and knock Mayo out. Said it earlier, need Mayo need to be at it from first whistle, or we could be in for a long after noon. Finger crossed they are

  32. Still think we have not pulled the trigger enough to go for goals this season. Aside from ROD’s blocked effort by Fenton, we had Coen through to blast over and several other chances against the Dubs. The massive boost it gives you in a game can be seen in last weeks Armagh vs Galway not to mention Derry’s two heavy defeats. Derry will push up again and we have to be ready to counter and punish.
    I think we could win this convincingly and it would help to be able to run the bench to leave lads as fresh as possible for the QF. That said JOD is correct in that its the perfect Ambush fixture for Derry. My gut says Derry have fallen for the same trap as we did last year, by going flat out for the League only to meet a team that had timed their Peak for Championship. I have a lot more faith in Mayo after last Sunday.

  33. It’s going to take me a long time to shake off the image of Mickey Harte having an arse like the Japanese flag…..

  34. Easy for a Kerry man to be cocky when they play out of Munster.
    Very unfair system. Provincials mess it all up.

  35. Is it true the only match Mickey Harte has lost in MacHale Park and was many over the years was as Louth manager last year and that was a tight squeeze late on.

  36. 10 to 12k I’d expect for Saturday night, Derry might have brought 2k if it was played Sunday afternoon, the evening throw in will turn plenty away,

  37. Lads, I know its not explicitly called out in the house rules but can we declare an amnesty on discussing Mickey Hartes Arse in here please 😮
    Some of us are trying to eat lol

  38. I wonder if Stephen Rochford had any thing to do with the performance last Sunday?. I dont wonder really.

  39. @leantimes I stood close to the dugout on Sunday and it was Rochford the most vocal and giving instructions.

  40. Ah lads pay no attention to that off the ball waffle it’s designed to be click bate , far removed from the Thursday evening proper gaa discussions that used be on radio .

    Looking forward to this don’t doubt derry will be at their best but even so it’s a proper test for us .
    Use of bench and confidence is everything g to keep us fresh for this weekend and weekend ahead .
    If matty or Eoghan are missing they are losses but could probably get away without them this weekend.
    If Mattys out hopefully Diarmuids fit.
    Jack Carney has shook off the cobwebs and dirty diesel and hopefully is in form.
    Will need big game again from jordan flynn and no bother to him he’s hitting form .
    I’d keep Donnacha midfield and put him on glass .

    ………………Reape
    Coyne…mcbrien…Brickedeen
    Callinan….Coen…..Loftus
    ………Mchugh…Carney
    Mchale…….Diarmuid……Flynn
    …………………Tommy
    ………..AOS…………….ROD

    I think coynes lucky to hold his spot and surely Plunkett and Hession are pushing him hard .
    Think this game would suit plunkett to a t but let’s see.
    Loftus at 7 or halforward doesn’t really matter if diarmuid is dropping in around midfield.
    Mchale deserves his start and will link play aswell as have a goal threat . Hopefully Tommy’s bang in form, another big one from AOS and subs wise be hoping to see Carr, Cillian, Plunkett (either at 6 to rest Coen or roving role that coynes had last few games ), think should be game to suit Bob Tuohy too as he’s some asset if hits form .

    I said I thought we’d be the dubs, called the mchugh and conroy roles but think rochie has seen how near we are without key player in Paddy so hopefully unleash the o Conors and see if we can get more scores out of the halforwards

  41. @MO2023…Exactly, …I’m not one of Stephen Rochford’s critics at all, I was just being sarcastic at the lack of positive critique of Stephen Rochford this week. He certainly gets plenty of negative analysis by some on this Blog .

  42. Not getting in an argument but it’s Rochford coaching absolute fact , but mcstay is the manager and like what difference does it make.
    Rochford never liked media or spoke too honestly , mcstay good at that and then has deciding decision on team having viewed from far letting mulligan and rochie coach and training them .
    But that’s what a manganent team is , a team .
    No one man horan show here and think we will reape the rewards of it .

    Just on another note I was very disappointed with keith Higgins interview with keegan and william hill .
    He had to go corner back as tom Cuniffe was injured and that was part of reason for loosing , all he had to do was Mark one legged o gara and still couldn’t do that.
    Very disappointed with his attitude and to be honest never was a fan of Higgins as always rated the more honest and teak tough defenders like Cunniffe, Barrett, Harrison, Gary Ruane, Kenny Mort, Cahill, 2 Nallens above him as they were consistent and ball winners aswell as tight man markers

  43. @Outside of the boot, Higgins was a brilliant Mayo, he must have 4 All-stars, great out in front corner back that created great excitement in the crowd when he busted out of defence at pace.

    Our current defenders need to play from the front, first to the ball and be able to get the hand in also, v the Dubs the defenders seemed to be content in letting the Dub forwards win the ball, all this probably was to ensure no goal was conceded.

    A fatal mistake was made last Sunday, late in the 2nd half all Mayo players were inside their own half of the pitch, I would always have one player closer to the opposition goal, for a turnover, long kick pass and also keeps an opposition player away.

  44. I agree completely,No criticism of the Donegal type of football now,we are so,so lucky to have Kevin, and no management team and it is a management team,we will reap the benefits of Kevin been the manager,Stephen been the coach,I will not bend the knee to people who surely have got beaten by Stephen Rochford when he played for Crossmolina to win an all Ireland,and managed Corofin to win an all Ireland,we have very jealous posters on here

  45. I hope you’re correct Corick, championship starts this weekend in my mind. Anything before this was really a waste of time. A bit like the Euros in fairness. All the main teams are still there, and Derry were so poor against Westmeath, we should have a fantastic chance of making the 1/4 final. It’s all or nothing though for Mayo. Clifford’s powering Kerry and an aging Dublin are the main dangers of course. We have every chance. Now or never for AOS and COC I believe. Not sure how anyone could hang a question mark over the legend that is Keith Higgins.

  46. Hello,

    F.Boland appeal to go aheadl and Eoghan McLaughln fit to start on Sat

    (Report from Mayo News).

  47. On a side note and you will definitely agree Willie Joe..I hope the GAA take a good look at the euros which are going on now and force Derry to wear their mainly white jerseys…
    Would make watching the game much easier

  48. As a Mayo fan I have no complaints but I really feel for the Derry supporters,having to travel to castlebar for a 630 game,not really fair,without accommodation it’s a long day especially for young kids and a family,if we had to go there on a Saturday night at 630 we would all be going nuts,the gaa are crazy for this,accommodation also is too much on a young family
    Not right
    Up Mayo

  49. Only way to approach this game is to take the learnings and confidence from the Dublin game but reset as this is do or die. We have to assume that Derry will turn up on Saturday. We had an advantage that we could focus on Dublin for a few weeks, now we have only 6 days to prepare for this game.

    We will be favourite but will need to ensure that we bring high intensity but a calm presence as I expect Derry to try to rattle us. In some ways, thisvhas more pressure as QF’s would be a minimum expectation. A SF would be a good year. Bring it on.

  50. @New york Tommy 100 % agree..

    Not fair at all On Derry supporters obviously we want more mayo support there but the GAA have made an absolute balls of this.

    Why can’t they space out the whole competition so teams that have to do a pre quarter final get the same amount of time rested or give them half a chance recovery time wise?

    Why can’t they show half the pre quarters live and half on gaa go..

    Hopefully it’ll be a good match Saturday but I’m going to be nervous till the last second as we all will be.

    On another note meant to say how great was it to see Diarmuid o Connor back on Sunday honestly didn’t expect that such a boost!

    @ciaran 2 thanks for that.. Amazing news eoghan mc will be available to us v derry he’s such an important player.

    Really can’t see fergal bolands card getting turned over but who knows..

  51. I’ve posted several times past reacting to doomers after a bad result. Mostly optimistic before games no matter the odds. This week however I find myself reacting to mistreatment of Derry’s chances and their manager who has 3 AI’s to McGuinness’ 1 with the latter proclaimed a messiah. I’d treat any rumours about their camp with an absolute pinch of salt as anything else can lead to over confidence. We have to bring A game and supporters should not get overly cocky after a good game . We’re into knockout, no back door. Respect our opponents from here as overconfidence can seep into the team. Derry overcame a lot of adversity last year. Roll on Saturday and enjoy the occasion, do not fear, show respect and we may need the Mayo roar to get us over the line. Tight margins from now on.

  52. @Shuffy Deck…correct..you can be sure that despite the pundits take that all Dublin needed to do was turn up v Mayo in Dr Hyde Park ..Dublin didnt take Mayo lightly on Sunday, neither should the Mayo fans take Derry lightly (I dont believe the team will) …Take a lesson from the masters . DUBLIN.

  53. The west is best. Your not wrong. The real deal starts here. Harte has won 3 all Ireland s so I’d take the bad run they have been on with a pinch of salt. This will not be easy and possibly different tactics will be needed. . Its a big test for Kevin. I’m sure he s ready for it. Canavan was right… Fenton s block was a foot block.

  54. Hard for McGuinness to have 3 Sam’s considering he was coaching and managing in diverse fields since he engineered the dismantling of the Dubs in 2014.
    The current Derry squad was assembled by McGuinness’ second in command, Gallagher, not Mickey.
    Harte’s own players in Tyrone were the ones who saw his ” my way or the highway ” brand of obsolete football as holding them back, including the Tyrone Demi-God, Canavan.
    Mayo’s mgmt have the means and the players to beat Derry but they’ll never do it unless they have the confidence and support of everyone. Time to stop doffing the cap now.
    I hope he doesn’t but perhaps if McGuinness gave umpteen yrs of uninterrupted service to Donegal, he might acquire several more AI titles and be as untouchable in the eyes of his county board as others were. This young Mayo team gave the Dublin stalwarts the fright of their lives, not true of Derry thus far. I hope it’s the beginning of a long summer.

  55. Throw in to all that the issue we have often had of putting 2 good performances back to back. We do seem to be on an upward tragectory as re performances this year and fingers crossed that continues but we will have to bring our best again. No doubt.

  56. Good morning everyone, hope ye have a great day. We’re still in the Championship. Isn’t it great? I’m enjoying the fact we’re still in it and I want to keep it going another while.

  57. Mark dempsey. I well know who assembled the Derry team and I also know who assembled the mayo team and brought them to 2 final s 20 and 21. Tyrone never won an all Ireland until Harte came along. What I’m saying is. He s no fool.

  58. Yes mark. We are talking about proven manager s that have won all Ireland s. Intercounty. I’m surprised tom parsons and the GPA are not all over this 5 day turn around.

  59. Deals are being done behind the scenes at the moment I’m sure craggy. To be honest, the brains at HQ knew they were facing into a nightmare regarding fixtures, and, to give them their due, they’ve come out with the boss man saying things will be different next year.
    If Mayo topple Derry (and I’m hopeful) I dread the next game. I’m worried about Armagh and Donegal this yr, big time. Their physicality will be seriously hard to cope with after a bruiser against Derry. I’m not sure it’s possible to meet either until the semis but I’d fear the worst if it is

  60. I hear what your saying Mark and it’s sensible but if we get over Derry without any injuries , look at it another way, yes it’s an other quick turn around but Diarmuid will be all fitter for it , Carr, Eoghan, Mcbrien, Brick, Cillian will have 3 weeks of fitness built up in high intensity matches and we be all the better for it.

    Not looking past Derry as it will be a battle and if we’re near our best we will win but Donegal are very good and in your face but are they a better group of physical athletes than us I don’t think so .
    Our options between the 40s of Sam, Coen, Eoghan, matty, donnacha, Jack, jordan, conor, diarmuid Mchale in any order are as good if not better than donegals.
    A man marking job for mchugh, contain Michael langan and stop quick supply to gallen and Paddy mcbreathy and I think you have cut off the artery to their heart .

    Armagh can turn in on and are bigger but slow them down contest the kickers and all of a sudden they become very ordinary but all that said hopefully we get over this weekend and have to look forward to a battle in quarters and be it whoever Kerry, Armagh, Donies let’s look forward cause real summer football is here now

  61. First time poster, who often looks in here when my beloved Rossies are playing Mayo. I was in the Hyde last Sunday and have to say it was the best game of football I seen there in years. Great atmosphere for a neutral.

    No more than ourselves, Mayo got the toughest draw possible. I’ve read some very naieve posts here in the last few days regarding Derry. Posters writing them off as a busted flush and that old chestnut of “Trouble in the Camp”. Im genuinely surprised at Mayo supporters falling for this kind of gruff from a Mickey Harte managed team. Especially as you are long enough a the top end of football.

    I wish ye luck on Saturday but personally think Derry will win it, aswell as Tyrone in our game. Hope the County stick with Kevin McStay as he is a gentleman and shrewd manager, definetley building something in his home County.

  62. @western gael welcome.

    Don’t think anyone is writing derry off definetly we have to keep our guard up against them..

    Just showing confidence in our team and getting that winning mentality going
    I think that’s fair enough is well after the best display our guys have put out in a long long time..

    I think rossies will actually beat Tyrone.

    Why whenever we think we will win it’s mayo getting ahead of ourselves time to show what we are made of and I’ve no doubt we will mayo by 4.

  63. Welcome, Western Gael. I’m delighted you attended and enjoyed the game last Sunday.
    I was full of admiration for how the Rossies hosted that event and organised everything so professionally – outside and inside the grounds including the standard of announcements in the stadium. Roscommon town also looks impeccable.
    I hope ye triumph over Tyrone.
    On your comment on Derry, I accept your view and want to add mine, as much to counter and air it as anything else.
    There’s a poster on here called ‘The Heather is Rising’ – that name gets at something, a notion like ‘the sap is rising’.
    The time is now. Mayo have as much a chance of winning that game as Derry has and they need to go out there and do it. They have the gumption and I believe they have the resolve. That’s a good place to be in. Let Derry come with what they will – we want to win that game in Castlebar.

  64. Hi Clare and Swallow Swoops, and thank you for the welcome. Yes alot of work was done to refurbish the stand in the Hyde, the playing surface is nearly bang on to the Croker dimensions. It was great to see a truly gripping game of football with a bumper crowd from what we’re used to recently.

    Tyrone are a bogey team for us. I feel we have a mental block there from many defeats over the years. Majority of us would have preferred Galway over Omagh. We’ll see how it goes but im not hopeful at all at all.

    Genuinely hope Mayo beat Derry, but feel it is absolutely set up for them to announce the come back. Mayo struggle in Castlebar against defensive counter attacking teams, we have had great joy recently playing that way against ye there.

    I just read contributors talking about 3 games in a row and possible semi final pairings. I was thinking to myself do these crowd realise who they are playing? Derry were in a bad place for a few weeks sure, but like all sport winning is the best sauce, they have that now. Would love to see us both in the quarters so fingers crossed. As my Paddy Power account would state, I get more wrong than I do right!! Best of luck.

  65. Fingers crossed for us both, Western Gael. A team does need to be on their toes against Tyrone as they have some skilful wily players. But if ye are tuned in, there’s nothing to stop ye doing well because ye have the players to do damage.

    You are sharp and right to point out that Mayo struggle in Castlebar against defensive counter attacking teams. We need to be on our toes too and have the right attitude. I feel McStay has been addressing this and that we have been working on this style of play since last year. I feel that this has been one reason for the outpouring of discontent from supporters at what looked like boring, lateral, slow play. We might have been cutting our teeth at this type of game.
    I also feel that management was cueing things to be ready for this time of year. We’ll see if that’s right.
    Start well against Tyrone, Rossies, and good luck.

  66. Roscommon could well beat Tyrone considering Conn Kilpatrick’s ban. A slight upturn in form is all Burke’s men need to win this.

  67. What a surprise that the poster who consistently has the guns out for Jack Coyne has just announced that they don’t like Keith Higgins (???!!!) No prizes for guessing what (neighbouring) club they’re from… Keith was very honest in that interview and said that he was a bit annoyed at being moved back to corner back in three consecutive games that he had been playing in the half forward line. Do we expect players to behave like robots and never be bothered about anything?
    Derry will be a tricky enough test but I expect us to get the job done. I’ve been saying for a while that Ulster is a great championship because there are a lot of teams there on a similar level, I just don’t think that that level is very high right now – hopefully they won’t make a fool out of me on Saturday…
    People still going on about 2021 need to move on. I was at the semi final that year and felt that we supporters (most of whom had travelled to Dublin expecting to lose but went anyway) shouted and roared the team over the line. Contrast that with the final when there was dead silence as soon as it looked like the game wasn’t going our way before the entitled few that were lucky/well connected enough to have got tickets started streaming out the exits with twenty minutes to go. It was pretty galling to be sitting at home on the couch watching that after going to every other championship game that year (league was behind closed doors). The team weren’t the only ones who failed that year.

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