Details on Down

So we’ve been paired with the Mourne County in Round 2 of the qualifiers. Monaghan away would have been a far tougher assignment but this one is tricky alright. Winnable but tricky.

As it happens, Down are a county I’ve already seen in Championship action this summer, which is more than I can say of our own lads. Myself and the young buck went north last month to catch the Ulster SFC quarter-final tie between Down and Armagh at Páirc Esler and we got full value for the trip, in the form of a rip-roaring encounter that ended with Armagh squeezing through by a single point after extra-time, on a scoreline of 2-17 to 3-13.

The photo above, by the way, was one I took at the Newry venue that afternoon. I’ll come back to that match in a bit. First, though, let’s have some background on Down and how they’ve been getting on the last while.

Let’s take our most recent encounter with them as our point of departure here. That was in the League in April 2016 when we got the better of them in a nervy final round game that saw us secure our Division One status while Down ended their campaign with seven straight losses.

The most recent time we played them at Páirc Esler was also in the League. That was under the lights back in March 2013 when we lost a bad-tempered meeting by two points.

Our only meeting so far in the Championship occurred in 2012. Our paths crossed then at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage and we fairly showed the Mourne County a clean pair of heels that day, winning with ease by 3-18 to 2-9. But it wasn’t all fun and games for us that afternoon, as we lost Andy Moran to the cruciate injury that ultimately proved a fatal blow to our hopes of landing the All-Ireland.

Turning the focus back towards more recent times, it’s clear that Down have been struggling of late. Having dropped out of the top tier in 2016, they narrowly avoided – on points difference – back-to-back demotions the following spring. They were goosed both on points difference and head-to-head last year, however, when finishing joint sixth in the table with Cork and so they played their football this spring in Division Three.

Championship hasn’t been a whole pile better for them, though they did – by dint of an excellent upset win over Monaghan – make it to the Ulster final in 2017. The previous year Monaghan thrashed them in the quarters and then Longford beat them in Newry after extra-time in Round 1 of the qualifiers. Having got their revenge over Monaghan twelve months later they were no match for Tyrone in the Ulster final and then Monaghan returned the favour on them in Round 4 of the qualifiers.

Last summer they had an easy win over Antrim in the Ulster quarter-final before Donegal crushed them in the semi. Cavan then beat them by two points in Round 2 of the qualifiers.

Which brings us to this spring, where they had, as you’d expect, a more productive time of it in Division Three. They won five games and lost two, finishing in joint first place with Westmeath and Laois on ten points but losing out on promotion on points difference, with just a single point separating them from Laois.

Laois beat them well, though, when they met in Round 1, coming away from Newry with a 2-15 to 1-12 victory. A 1-12 to 1-10 win over Sligo in Collooney got Down moving in Round 2 and they edged out Westmeath by 0-10 to 0-9 back at Páirc Esler in Round 3. They had a 3-7 to 0-8 win over Longford in Round 4 and a 2-12 to 0-10 success over Offaly at Newry in Round 5.

Their 0-15 to 1-11 win over Carlow at Cullen Park in Round 6 put them firmly in the hunt for promotion. Those hopes were unexpectedly dashed when they fell to Louth – at home to boot – in the final round, losing by a single point on a scoreline of 0-10 to 1-6. Interestingly, their two defeats in that campaign both came at Newry. We’re not the only ones, then, to find it a bit troublesome to dig out home wins.

We’re nearly up to date now so it’s time to arc back to that meeting with Armagh at Páirc Esler last month. I didn’t, in truth, think Down were great shakes that day: Paddy Tally has them well drilled alright and they’ve a very structured defence but they’re a limited enough outfit and it was only Armagh’s chronic lack of ambition – unsurprising on the day, as they hadn’t won an Ulster Championship game for five years – that saw the game go all the way to extra-time.

Down got back on the horse at Páirc Esler yesterday in Round 1 of the qualifiers as they beat Tipperary by 1-13 to 1-10 to record their first backdoor win since 2014. The visitors led by a goal at half-time in what was a cagey, defensive contest but Down finished strongly to win by three.

From our perspective, we simply have to get with the programme where it comes to playing teams who adopt ultra-negative tactics. Blanket defences on their own don’t win games but you’ve got to tailor your own approach when faced with fifteen-behind-the-ball tactics. What you don’t do is commit everyone to attack all the time and leave your own barely-defended full-back line open to counter-attacks.

There’ll be plenty more chat on tactics, of course, before we head North on the 22nd. In the meantime, though, let’s end with a poll – how do you reckon our Round 2 qualifier tie with Down will go?

Will we do Down down?

  • Yes (81%, 852 Votes)
  • No (19%, 206 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,058

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91 thoughts on “Details on Down

  1. Tough assignment and a long tiring journey for the team to boot considering the road that lies ahead should they prevail. Still a slightly better draw than Monaghan away alright.

  2. Score goals and we’ll win. If its a points shoot out, we’ll come a cropper….again. Emphasis has to be on creating and scoring goals.

    On a side note, having looked at all the ties, the teams who come through round 2 will have a tougher time in round 3 than round 4. Id strongly fancy all of the round 3 winners to beat the provincial losers in round 4.

  3. Don’t really think Down are a blanket defensive team, get numbers back at times but a blanket that is full of holes. Fermanagh now there is a Ulster team that are a full on blanket defensive team and although they are out their tactics would have caused Mayo problems than Down will.

  4. Will be my first trip to Newry, so looking forward to it. This will be a tough game, first game in the back door can always be a challenge. A good start to the game would be important, otherwise Down will take confidence and we will end up in a battle.

    We are well capable of winning, victory is all that is important, not the margin. I hope that we trust younger players, bring on experienced players to close it out, and start to show that we can handle teams that play defensively.

  5. its a scandal that the game is still almost two weeks away….this format has to be binned, its high time. Is it two games in 4 weeks to potentially 7 in 8? madness. Anyway that’s another subject I guess.

    Down will rightly fancy their chances against us, because they know if they get a run on us we’ll be vulnerable. They’re in the best shape they’ve been in for some time & probably would have beaten Armagh had they not had a man sent off early enough. So the subsequent Armagh performances against Cavan should offer a reminder that any hint of complacency here will be punished for sure. That should sharpen the minds. I also expect that our lads will be angry having had to stew for 4 weeks since the Rossies. But Down can feel aggrieved also and will be equally bullish. If James can get the players to the right emotional pitch, we should be fresh enough to win the physical battle. Improve our accuracy by 50% from the Rossies game and we will win with 5/6 to spare.

  6. presumably Armagh v Monaghan will be the televised qualifier that weekend? Seems to be the pick of the games, monaghan looked shot against fermanagh so armagh could well finish them off

    Seems like a lifetime since the roscommon game now
    We will have analysed the down game to death by time it finally comes around

  7. Not a bad draw , in that we need a strong challenge and we’ll get that from Down .. It will be interesting to see what team starts .. Will Clarke come back , will Vaughan , Tracey etc get game time .. Who will take the frees ? Management and players will improve from Roscommon match .. Looking forward to it now .

  8. Down are a dangerous enough team to draw from a mayo perspective but I think ye will do the business up there providing Horan has a plan A and B as Tally is very familiar with mayo and will definitely have a few curve balls planned.

    The keeper issue should probably come down to the best shot stopper and high ball merchant as Down may well concede possession to ye and thus render the targeted kick out irrelevant.

    The players will have to be very disciplined as a sending off will have a serious impact against a defensive team. The last thing Mayo need is to be coming down the home straight without a big player in a tight game. Against Ross with the clock ticking ye found yourselves in a crowded defense taking pressurised shots and hitting wides. The main reason was defensive naivety and a poor kick out and all of a sudden ye were in the bear pit. The positive for ye is that ye only achieved a 44% accuracy rate yet ye still kicked 17 points and apart from two very unfortunate soft goals ye would have beaten Ross well despite having a mare in the day.

    The subs will be very important for Horan as if he gets his calls wrong it could shorten a few nails and tighten a few stomachs. Ye will need a bit of cuteness in that forward line and maybe starting Moran could cause them a few problems as he is good at winning frees and he is accurate, he also is a good man to use his movement to create a little disorganization in a tight defense.
    Will he throw O Shea in for a spell if they concede the kick out to create holes in their defensive structure with a few set pieces. I’m looking forward to the game but as I will be heading to the rebbel territory that day I will probably miss it but I’ll definately tune into Midwest. Good luck to ye on the day and safe traveling to all.

  9. Suspect that it will be a Sunday game considering how hard it is for Mayo fans to get to Newry .Saturday, regardless of time, would not suit many Mayo fans. That saying, logic does not always prevail.
    Location apart, it’s by far not the worst we could have got. If we cannot win fairly comfortably we have no business thinking we can go far even though Paddy Tally will have his best blanket out on the day. But I don’t think that blanket football is natural to Down so there may be a few holes in it if we can find them.

  10. Down will make the pitch as tight as possible.
    I have just returned from a mad few days abroad and still hung over since Friday last.
    Back to reality, Dubs smashing all before them, and now Mayo drawn against a div 3 team in their own territory, surely we should hang up the boots if a win of more than 6 points is not achieved.

  11. Are we looking at a 3pm throw- in the Saturday? Surely they won’t put it on at 7pm,it will be all hours before we get home.

  12. Anyone who thinks Paddy Tally is a one trick pony with a blanket defence is reading too much Joe Brolly, he is one of the most highly respected football coaches at county level going right back to 2003 when he was part of Mickey Hartes coaching set up.

  13. The reason we struggle against very defensive teams is because we don’t have the personell up front to accurately and confidently take scores around the D .Until we do teams like Down will always have a chance against us. In saying that I think we will do the business provided our heads are in the right place and we are positive. Hopefully management will be quicker to mix things up when required

  14. Mayo can surely do this .For me it has always been Clarke- no disrespect to Hennelly but Clarke has a steadying influence.
    Need to see McLoughlin and Keegan in tip top form. I think they could be suspect enough as one cannot last forever.

  15. Mayoman in Tipp – Armagh were division 2 this year. As Monaghan were drawn first and the opposing team were not Division 3 or 4, then Monaghan got home advantage.

  16. Newry will test the mayo supporters. It’s 3.5 hrs from most parts of the county. Earlier on the sat evening would help but tv will dictate that. Funny enough there’s more outside interest in mayo matches that a strong ulster tie. Says it all really. I would be surprised if it’s not televised. Will sky and RTÉ have one qualifier each?

  17. I believe Sky have an option for a qualifier game on that date.
    RTE have decided to opt for the Munster Final on the same day.

  18. Hope Down get their house in order for this match as there was a delay in the starting time for Tipperary game due to congestion and I presume there would only be a few hundred from Tipp.

  19. – Brian Cody dropped his own son from the KK team. JH should drop Robbie, Kevin, Keith and Diarmuid to the bench for the Down match because there should be consequences for individual players that underperformed against Roscommon.
    – We are probably one of the teams that have played the most qualifier games. As a result we have played on every size of pitch, faced down multiple blankets, seen every type of tactics and none and played against all levels of fitness and abilities. Down should bring nothing we have not seen before.
    – Mayo’s brute force physicality and experience should see us winning this well (+8).
    – Assuming/hoping the stinging criticism (a lot of it justified) provokes a response from the players and the management.

  20. For the tv it’s all about viewing figures. As it’s sky the match is on and available in uk, wont be surprised if its the Mayo v Down match.

  21. Pitch (138×81) size is very similar to Castlebar (137×82). That suits a defensive team. However, if we run hard at them and draw the fouls, we will hopefully have Cillian on board to exact appropriate punishment.

  22. Olive, if Aiden O’Shea or Lee Keegan had a poor All Ireland Semi Final by your logic they should be dropped for the final. Should James Horan stay at home because he didn’t perform to his full potential v Ros? Maybe we should leave it to the management on who should play or not.

    Louis, size of the pitch should have no bearing on the game, Mayo are well used to playing in McHale park so should be able to adapt to the size of the surface. Also we always run hard at defensive teams and the result is always the same, maybe time to try a different approach

  23. ? agree with Louis about having Cillian back and we need our management to be quicker in making changes by bringing on subs if certain players are not playing well

  24. Down will strip a ot fitter and leave league form way behind so we can expect serious opposition. Nonetheless, it should be an opportunity to keep blooding new boys.
    Unfortunately there is a sting from the Roscommon game and that is our inability to create goal chances and push on in the last quarter of game.
    Down will exploit any soft centre we have but I expect like other posters there will be a backlash from Mayo team and +5 points win.

  25. Jesus H Christ Olive, if ya leave out the players you’ve mentioned,then you can forget about a victory of ANY kind,let alone an 8+ victory!

  26. Olive, in that case we would have to drop at least 10 players for the game as that is at least the number who under-performed against Roscommon. There is a case for a change in goalkeeper but the other three you mentioned… not a chance would I drop them and I don’t think Horan would seriously consider it either.

    I think the players will have been badly stung by how ordinary Roscommon made them look and will be chomping at the bit to get out there and lay down a marker for the campaign ahead. Down are no world-beaters and Paddy Tally or otherwise we should be well able to dispatch them. Our record against Ulster teams has been good in recent years and I don’t see it changing against Down. But at the very least we must line-out with a view to using our full contingent of subs. Our last two championship games has seen us use fewer than the six allowed and to not bring in our third sub until the 71st minute the last day (a fact I only picked up on listening to the podcast) still has me scratching my head. We might just stumble into the Super 8’s but we haven’t a hope of getting to a semi unless the squad is rotated in an astute fashion

  27. Here we go again with the drop half the panel nonsense.
    We are NOT Dublin. We can’t afford to drop players at will as some kind of punishment.

  28. It will be 4 week’s since the Roscommon defeat when we take on Down… things change in a month, injured Player’s hopefully recover enough to be available for selection… maybe other Player’s have picked up knocks in training, who knows?…. Player’s could just be coming into good form or Visa Versa…. The Team can’t be picked ‘Exclusively’ on the last day out, but it’s the only we Mayo fan’s have to go on!

  29. Great report WJ and plenty of information on the Down team and setup. Very sorry for such a proud footballing county that they turn to Mr Tally and all his negative stuff. Down always had good footballers and they still have. I have no fear of Mayo. A great opportunity for injured players to recover some more, and younger players get more Championship experience. We may even see a new debutante to Championship football. The younger lads need the taste of Championship football, and they will only get this experience in the middle of summer. This could get tough and ugly. Remember we only need to be in the bowl the following morning. Everything else is just noise

  30. Hi, First i am very hopeful of a big Mayo performance on the 22/23 June. This is the County Team that beat Kerry twice in April.

    The jubilation with the League win followed by the New York Trip took its toll. James Horan had talked up the Captaincy of Diarmuid and how could he have substituted knowing it would only take a moment of brilliance from him to rescue the game?. D. may not have recovered from eye collision?
    James Horan wants his teams to dig themselves out of their own holes. He has reason to have confidence in them
    He build a squad and now he is not ruthless enough. I think the older players will know when it is time to go.
    Even i knew that Conor Loftus was the better choice for the last free.. He was very good v Donegal 2018 ,in the absence of Cillian The choice lay with the Captain. As others said Kev Mc does not like taking frees.
    There is great hope in the way things have played out. An easier game to take stock and will really know where we are after Round 3. Keep the faith.
    We blame others when we are disappointed.


  31. Forget about the size of the pitch. The posts are still the same distance apart and hopefully we will put plenty of balls between the posts and hopefully a few under the bar.

    Forget this respect mantra that pops up before every game. We need to bully, boss and beat Down and beat them well. We need to get back to where other teams respect and fear us. We need to administer a few hammerings in these qualifiers begining with Down.

    If we are going to have any type of summer we need to be ruthless starting against Down.

    It’s time to put the MoJo back in Mayo.

    Down should be shown no respect once the ball is thrown in.

    I’m predicting a very good Mayo performance and I’m hoping the foot is kept to the floor until the final whistle.

  32. On paper there is only one winner – mayo have better players in all the key positions. However, we were better than Roscommon on paper too… I’m expecting a tight nervy encounter all the way through (we really struggled to get the dirty petrol out in the earlier rounds of all our past qualifiers – remember Fermanagh and Derry a few years ago or Tipperary last year?). It comes down to whether we really have the stomach for a battle because this is going to be hard work to both play in and to watch. I just hope we can keep the door bolted a bit better at the back than we did the last time out and have our shooting boots sharpened. Mayo by 3/4 but only to pull away in the last quarter.

  33. Is Horan going to be naive enough to continue with a system of play that leaves our full back line totally exposed. While Hennelly has his faults – how many times in the league did he stop us from conceding 5-6 goals in matches. The game is evolving all the time – I hope Horan us is not too stubborn to see this and modify his game plan. Two improvements I would like to see against Down – regardless of who is playing – one is a better defensive structure to prevent goal scoring chances been conceded and two more direct foot passing into our forwards to give them a chance to create scoring chances.

  34. I agree with Olive regarding the 3 players. The point being that they all played badly the last day, the next game is not an All Ireland Final, but if these guys start the next day what message does that send out to the other players? They rightly will think some players are untouchable. Plus if we have ideas about a long summer we can’t send out the same team regardless of how players performs, it kills competition within the squad. And it’s not like we don’t have options for these positions. So yes why not start drake at 4, he seems to be no 17 for ages which means he is rated but yet rarely starts, and start Cillian and Carr in the forwards, hardly weakens us too much but sends out a message!

  35. With respect Sean who cares about the bookies?

    A few Mayo guys with lots of cash splashing it out early. This bookies odds stuff makes me reach for my revolver.

  36. If we were to drop every player who has a bad game there would be some turn over of players. Its a rare occurrence for guys to play consistently well in every match they play. I presume training is taken in to account when picking a team. If Mayo dropped all players who did not perform well v Ross we would have 10 new starters the next day. And what if a number of the newbies didn’t measure up then. We would need a panel of about 100 going on that logic.

  37. Of the 4 players Olive would drop there’s a case for 1 Robbie.
    Kevin Mc was quiet by his own standards but if you look back at the footage he still had a decent contribution and his passing was evident every time he had ball. Diarmaid was indeed quiet but he will be an important player for us this year should we make the super 8 so I wouldn’t go dropping him just yet.
    Keith I would use as CHB or sweeper, not corner back so good case for EOD or Drake to come in. He’s too good a footballer to drop but is still a star player if given a more free role.

    Alternatively Jason also underperformed. Picked up an ankle injury early on which looked quite bad. Somehow he wasn’t hobbling but it had to impact his mobility. However I don’t think he always poses enough threat as a forward and if another free taker is fully fit or in form I could see merit in changing it. Work rate yes. Players calling for. Jersey means some experienced player other than Andy needs to make way.

  38. As an aside for a moment, and for the week that’s in it, Roscommon have suffered a big injury blow ahead of Sunday’s Connacht Final.
    Ultan Harney suffered a serious knee injury, in an AvB game last Saturday morning, and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
    I heard this yesterday morning, but stayed quiet to obey WJ’s house rules.

    The Roscommon Herald have now broken the story.

  39. Observer 2,
    If Harney had got that injury a few months ago Roscommon would still be in Div 1. Apart from that this is a Mayo website, not a Roscommon one. Our only interest in Roscommon now is the outside possibility we may meet them in the Super 8’s.

  40. The really big issue for me is whether the players still believe deep down that we can win the All Ireland this year. For most of them, especially the more seasoned players, that’s all that matters anymore. This belief / hope has, in the past, given us the type of intensity and fire that wins games. Is that belief there anymore? Certainly it has dissipated among most supporters and understandably so.
    Time will tell. If that belief is still alive then we will blow Down away. If not we will struggle. Of course these lads are proud mayo men and will not let us down for lack of effort and will do their level best in Newry. But we need ( and more importantly the players need) an emphatic statement of intent. Let’s hope they still have it.

  41. With respect Diehard and without being too negative we haven’t a hope of winning Sam this year. We neither have a reliable goalkeeper or freetaker and forwards that are misfiring if we make the super 8’s and give a good account of ourselves we’ll be doing well

  42. Deep down you have to believe no matter what . Deep down I still believe (I’d never say it in public )and I’m one of the most droll , depressing and negative bastas you could come across.For now though it’s one game at a time .

  43. Andy – Harney has been one of the first names on the Roscommon team this year. And your comment is in bad taste. I expect you refer to the Tyrone game but he was Roscommons best player that day and top scorer on the field. Had it been a different ref the free would more than likely been moved in and Morgan red carded for dropping the knees like Donaghy from Armagh was.
    Anyway the poor lad wont be kicking a ball again for at least 12 months with the severity of the injury. Massive loss for us.

  44. South Mayo Exile personally i don’t really care what someone did in the league it’s what’s they have done under the gun in the championship that gives a proper barometer.

  45. Negative man Burke………I’m with you there for sure………year on year, you have to believe !

  46. team i would go with








  47. Centerfield- I was making a point about our lack of a defensive structure rather than promoting Robbie as our number one goalie. At moment we are giving up to many goal scoring chances and are too open at back.

  48. Olive has a solid point there but somehow is being lambasted for it. After a bad performance players need to be dropped. It focusses the mind of the dropped player, and gives an opportunity to the replacement who has been training all year or maybe several year to finally make their mark. People have been constantly talking up the depth of this squad all spring, let’s see if its really there. If it doesn’t work then you have these experienced players to come in hungry to regain their place.
    Ros started only 3 players who started conn final last year against us and then brought on 6 subs who all started last year’s conn final.
    You can’t beat hunger in a player.
    Nobody should be undroppable.
    At the moment we have an experienced team but an unexperienced squad.

  49. It’s not whether we supporters believe that Mayo we can win an all Ireland or not it’s what the players believe that’s important. That will be obvious to all of us in Newry one way or another.

  50. Harneys is a tough injury for Roscommon and a big loss before the Connacht final. I hope he makes a full recovery and wish him well.

    Olive would have Jim Gavin agreeing with her above re dropping under performing players. No sympathy in Dublin. Your either performing or your off. It’s probably a big reason why they usually always put in intense big performances. They know if they don’t, it’s the bench, or worse. I think that was Olives point.

    Managment have to shoulder their share of the blame for the Roscommon loss.

    No real switches made during the match and Cunningham had 5 subs used to Horan’s 1. It’s not like there was no reason for us to make subs with the chaos on the pitch. A poor performance from James on the day. Let’s hope that it’s his last one for the year.

    I expect to see several changes to the team for the Down game. Positional changes and a different starting line up. There has to be.

    How can a team of players believe they are going to play any differently if the same players are sent out again in the same positions ?

    It’s not just a win that’s required against Down. This team needs to come out and make a statement with this performance. Horan needs to get his starting team, his substitutions and on field switches right. He needs to spot where change is needed and react immediately.

    If he can do that all that for the Down game we will have no worries about progressing.

    I’m looking forward to this one.

    In my mind, Mayo’s biggest game since our last AI final.

  51. AndyD, yes it is a Mayo website…yet, some people were freely willing to discuss Donegal and Tyrone last Sunday.

    As for being free to mention that news on Connacht Final Week, I will take my direction from WJ on whether it was okay to mention it.
    Apologies WJ if it was wrong to mention it.

  52. Harney was powerful against us and no doubt was going to be a key man in Connaught final. Wish him well in his recovery.

  53. Yes the key point is that we badly needed to make substitutions, for two reasons actually. Underperformance and fatigue. It was so obvious and that’s what’s worrying.

  54. You’re fine, Observer2 – it’s perfectly okay to discuss other counties, especially neighbouring ones, as it’s equally okay for contributors from other counties to get involved in debate here. Healthy debate is always good, as long as it stays healthy. Best of luck to Ultan Harney on his recovery – it’s always sickening to see a player suffer a long-term injury like that.

  55. Totally agree with you on the defence South Mayo Exile.

    There’s a near total refusal in Mayo mgt teams the last 15 years to protect our own goal. What’s more the opposition know this and target it.

    with the Dubs there’s almost always an extra man there to help out the FB line.

  56. Of course they believe , the position we are in at present there is no addition talking about it (hypocrisy here as I talk about it) but they believe , it’s just a matter of getting through the next round for now . If they bring that steel and determination that’s in them we will be grand . Let’s sit tight for now and as usual turn up and roar them on .

    After we drew with ros in 17 , spoke very briefly to a player in the hotel and I’ll never forget how confident he was of winning the replay , that’s belief .

  57. PJ Down played Meath in under 20 & their football was a joy to behold–quick ball to the forwards. They won well.

  58. Belief is a fine thing indeed, but what we have lacked is preparation and composure.
    The lack of preparation has been in being so invested in the skill and SnC side that we rarely are commended for tactical ingenuity.
    Barry Moran sweeper is probably the last impressive bit of tactics.
    The much commented Alan Dillon masterclass was a red herring when you see how it was Tyrone lost that game we didn’t win it.
    In terms of composure then, well fitness n dedication counts too strongly and we don’t invest into our young players who have the composure element. Composure you pretty much have by 23/24 or you’ll never have it.

  59. Whats the chance of this been on TV as im on holidays, id expect with mayo its high, if we can squezze to super 8s I think we are still the only team that can test dubs

  60. don’t know if anyone was listening to peter canavan’s podcast, but he was full of praise for stephen rochford’s role with donegal.
    i swear, we will regret letting him walk away before this season is over

  61. Apologies in advance for a number of expletives, but who the fuck decided 7pm on.a Saturday evening travelling across the country. Jesus H Christ on a unicycle. Imagine if it goes to et. Some of us can’t make a wknd out of it. An absolute fucking disgrace buy it’s the same shower of shites that made us play in Limerick a couple of years ago.

  62. Dreamysleepysnoozy we the fans had nothing to do with Rochford going. I was sick as a parrot at how he was treated and how he went and still am the way he was treated was disgraceful. But if like John O’Mahony he goes on to win Sam with another county we won’t begrudge him. If the Mayo county board were serious about winning Sam they’d have made Jack O Connor an offer he couldn’t refuse he’d come in with a clean slate and be his own man people will disagree with me but I think we missed a trick

  63. It is ridiculous having the game at 7pm on a sat evening. So unfair to all mayo supporters, especially younger ones. 8 hr round trip and that’s how you are treated. You would wonder what influence the mayo county board have with this. Surely a throw in at 5 would have made more sense. Unless it’s on tv and that dictated that

  64. @dreamysleepy.

    “Letting him walk away” re Rochford.

    Don’t you mean he was forced to walk away.

    7 pm throw in is an absolute and utter disgrace.

    Dublin games have been scheduled in the past so they don’t clash with other snd that the Dub fans might want to watch.

    Having Mayo fans driving half the night to get home from matches is a real danger and health and safety issue. It’s only a matter of time before there is a serious accident travelling at night from matches. No word about these dangers from the powers that be.

    However they used their health and safety bullshit last year to try and bully kildare out of their home game.

    Absoloutelty no respect or cosidertation for the fans.

  65. backdoor sam, ok it was the county board who let him go, but there were plenty of mayo fans calling for his head…and now he’s doing the business with another county.

    7pm throw-in is ridiculous. the GAA clearly believe mayo fans will just travel anywhere.

  66. Any Mayo supporter with a drop of tactical knowledge knew letting Rochford go last year was a big mistake. What’s worse was there was no proper replacement for him. Horan was pretty much enticed back in after the fact.

    Rochford may have had some very close scrapes in the qualifiers but his record over three seasons was excellent. The only issue I had with him was on selections and poor substitutions in year 3 but it was a farce letting him go, regardless of ones thoughts on Horan. Every county with exception of Dublin and Tyrone would have seriously considered taking Rochford last October. Anyway…it’s not a good debate nor one any of us want to get into but I definitely agree there’s a significant chance of it coming back to haunt us over the coming seasons, particularly if Galway knock on his door. I can only hope he would opt to turn it down.

  67. Sorry to see that Ultan Harney has picked up a serious injury. . I wish him well with his recovery,…. With Damien Comer for Galway out as well, I have to say that they are two players anyone would look forward to see playing as a neutral….We in Mayo have our own injured Player’s and again, I’m sure any true fan of the game would love to see them fully fit once again…….As for the CCCC once again, and Paírc Esler, Newry , what are they thinking with their 7pm throw in, the far side of the country?… Isn’t there a Mayo man on the CCCC, maybe he lives a bit nearer to Newry than many of the rest of us in Mayo, I don’t suppose that they could arrange for an even later than 7pm throw in, could they?….. It’s a money making raket, someone has to pay for all these paid administrator’s in the GAA, and Mayo Supporter’s pay more proportionally than any other set of fan’s…. There seemed to be a very good crowd at the last fixture in Páirc Esler involving Down and Tipperary, so maybe the thinking was? ‘We can fill this Ground now with Mayo being a bigger draw, and it doesn’t matter what time throw in is at, maybe live TV as well’ more money to pay the paid administrator’s, after all the Golden Goose of the Leinster Football Championship is not nearly as Lucerative as before…Hey Lad’s what about charging €40 for a ticket to the Connacht Final while we are at it?… Look Lad’s Dublin will have to play “ONE” Game away from Home/Neutral Venue Croke Park when, and that’s more of an inconvenience for the poor Dublin fan’s, who cares if Mayo’ fan’s don’t get home until the early hours of the following day, so long as we have their money?

  68. I like Rochford and think he’s a good coach, but still think it was right decision and Horan is still the best man for the job. We lost to Rosscomon but we kicked 15 or 17 wides, cant blame that on Horan. We dismantled Kerry in League final and im not sure Rochford could have done that. Yes the shipping of goals is a concern as it was the last time but its a bit early to start management talk yet. we don’t know what we want at the moment

  69. @Up for the match. Whats the number of wides you need to kick before you make substitutions.

    You don’t think Rochford could have beaten kerry ? I thought he did beat them in the championship, but I could be imagining it.

  70. Up for the Match, didn’t Rochford dismantle Kerry In Croke Park a couple of years ago or doesn’t he get any credit for that.

  71. Maybe we should wait until Rochford actually wins something, before we canonise the man.

  72. True and he deserves credit for that, and some of the clever tactics he showed in defense, however consistent performance he never brought and in the end he was trying to get the last out of the current team. Despite the loss I think Horan is trying to build for the future

  73. James Horan loses one match and delivers our 1st silverware in 4 seasons and yet some people think Rochy is a much better coach.His substitutions in both All Ireland finals cost us dearly ,nevermind his last 10 minutes in Newbridge last year.He also held the sqaud development back by not introducing young blood sooner to the panel, he also overlooked the likes of Matty Ruane,Michael Plunkett and Darren Coen who have been our best performers so far this year.Let us judge Horan at the end of 2 seasons!! Way too early yet,I think it will come good but we need to have patience with the amount of youth introduced into the pane this season!

  74. @Chris Kelly, If you are making the case for James Horan, and comparison with Stephen Rochford… Substitions in the All Ireland Final is not the way to go…. neither are Substitions versus Roscommon the way to go!…

  75. yup, james horan hasn’t covered himself in glory with his substitution choices in the past and cost us at least one all ireland on the line. not to mention getting well and truly caught out against roscommon.

  76. Rochford deserves credit for our Croke Park championship performances in 2016 and 2017 but he failed to beat Galway in 3 attempts in the Connacht Championship. Would a Galway manager last a 4th year with that record against us? 2018 was pretty disastrous from start to finish so I think a change was needed and Horan was the best man available.

  77. Agree with wide all and Chris Kelly
    Slight set back but we may need another season to judge full impact,

  78. Olive, I think you have a very valid point re dropping players and I’m not sure why you are taking such flak for it, though I’m not sure I’d personally drop those four. Dropping players doesn’t necessarily mean they will not play in a game, it just means they don’t start the game. We have a bench – why not use it, and make it clear that no-one is guaranteed their spot?

  79. Olive is absolutely correct about players being dropped! It seems that one of Horans biggest flaws is he won’t substitute one of our grand stand players! But will always take off a passer through no matter how good they play, almost as if he believes they will turn something on and save us! Jason Doc shipped a very heavy hit early in the game and played like a man who was shook, should have been taken off before half time, Kevin Mc is not an inside forward and was having a mare, should have gone on 40 minutes, unfortunately the game passed Plunket by and should have gone after 45 or so minutes as Higgins should also have made way on the same! If them subs are made we beat roscommon pulling up, but we didn’t and Andy came in and bar 1 point, had a very negative effect. Some games he works, others he doesn’t, this one didn’t. We lost as a result of Horan being the old James and not the progressive man we saw latter in the league!

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