Diarmuid O’Connor is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Our victory over Dublin at Croke Park yesterday evening was very much a team effort. We had cracking performances in every line and the number of strong performers that we had compared to how many Dublin had in their ranks was key to our success on the night.

One player, though, epitomised our collective resolve last night. He got our first score of the game and he also got our final score, he provided assists for the two goals that went a long way towards winning the game for us and he worked tirelessly from first till last. With 29% support in the poll, Diarmuid O’Connor is, according to you, the voters, our MOTM from yesterday’s game. Well deserved, too.

Others who featured prominently in the poll were Rob Hennelly (19%), who was chosen by RTÉ on the live broadcast as their MOTM, Michael Plunkett (13%), Mattie Ruane (12%) and Oisín Mullin (11%). Well done to them and to all of lads who played a part in the win.

78 thoughts on “Diarmuid O’Connor is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. Two scores. Two goal assists including an outrageous bit of skill. A mountain of work.

    Welcome back Diarmuid.

  2. A well deserved award. CHF may suit Diarmuid as it brings him into the game more that a wing position. In 2018 when he was midfield v Kildare in Newbridge he performed heroically but when our regular midfielders recovered he was back to the wing.

  3. A few comparisons to Newbridge for DoC and I’d say that if these matches are anything to go by that form is definitely back, but my God he was absolutely unreal that day. I remember seeing him on the pitch at full time and had to say how good he was – have never seen a sportsman that shattered in my life

  4. For the last 3yrs I have believed that we would never see the Diarmuid that burst onto the Mayo senior scene again.
    Yesterday showed that not only was he back but he is better than ever!

  5. So Kerry beat a poor Donegal team and Spillane is eulogising them and how they are learning even during the game.
    ” What I like about this Kerry team is blah blah blah “.

    Of course, Mayo have proved nothing yet to Spillane, and the only true test for Pat is when we play Kerry in Tralee.

    This is the same Pat that accused us of gifting the 2020 all Ireland to Dublin.
    He assured us that had Kerry reached that all Ireland final of 2020, they would have defeated Dublin.
    Unfortunately, Kerry couldn’t even reach the Munster final in 2020 nevermind beat Dublin.

    I cannot even get angry listening to Spillane. He’s harmless except to his own county.

    He starts early every year hyping Kerry up through the clouds.
    They must absolutely cringe in Kerry listening to him preaching every year how this Kerry team are going to wipe the floor with all the other teams.

    He has some imagination, each year, stating that Kerry are the benchmark.

  6. I’m really liking the look of Orme in the FF line. This is where he MUST stay. He actually reminds me of Cillian, ie excellent at winning the ball out in front and always making that yard of space. Has a great footballing brain, doesn’t panic in those first moments, is capable of seeing the pass or taking on his man. Head is always up.

  7. I think Spillane has a bit of a point though. Kerry are top on points difference and are at home against us. I wouldn’t fear them but respect them. The way to beat them is intensity and good play. We were very good allowing for the poor playing conditions yesterday and had a lot more urgency than Dublin apart from the end of the game. We won the ground war and to some extent the air war too. I think Spillane forgets recent history is we’ve been getting further than them although last year they probably had a better team than Tyrone but were out thought by targeting Paudie Clifford. Jack is more savvy than Keane but Jack is so dour I never want to see him win any game. Surely sport has to be enjoyed at some level. Kerry will win Munster and be favourites against Leinster champions but again coming in cold for AI semi. If Kerry beat us in Tralee I won’t care as they hammered Tyrone who beat them when it mattered. Pat is harmless same as O Rourke, they should be put to grass. There for the sound bites. At least Whelan played in the modern era.

  8. Diarmuid was absolutely brilliant last night. The pickup and vision to pass to Carney for the goal was something else. Back to his Newbridge standards.Reminds me of Ciaran mc’s pickup v Offaly in 97.
    Brilliant display, winning ball on the ground, he shouldn’t have. Well done and well deserved award.

  9. Had to laugh at Pat alright. ‘We’ll Judge mayo after The Kerry match’ . He has proclaimed
    Kerry the team to be judged against.
    This group of Kerry players have never done it
    When the pressure is on, but Pat still
    thinks they are the best in the business.
    Deluded once again.

  10. Wouldn’t it be only brilliant to beat Kerry at home They don’t look upon us as equals at least the Dubs treat us with respect.

  11. We have a great record away in Kerry funnily enough. The complete opposite to Dublin.

    Delighted that diarmuid proved the doubters wrong. He was always well worth his starting place IMO, even without scoring much. Definitely played within himself at times for whatever reason.

  12. Diarmuid has now established himself after this performance, as the natural no 11. He has nailed it now, and there should be no need for any more experimentation with this position. It allows him to play to his maximum potential. Wing forward does not allow him this luxury.

  13. O’Rourke is another clown with the smart remark last night, Mayo and it’s 70 year project. He wasn’t so smart with his development project in the boom, and whinged in the paper every Sunday about Nama for a good few years. Pity he wouldn’t poke fun at his beloved Meath at the bottom of Division 2, the big football force they are.

  14. Hate losing to Kerry more than any other team. Can never beat them by enough. They think they invented football down there. Ugh.
    Spillane saying “we’ll judge Mayo after they play Kerry” is a bit like Liverpool beating Manchester city in the premier league and Ian Wright then saying “we can’t judge them properly until they have played Arsenal”

  15. Nothing is won in February lads. Right now our main aim should be to blood a few new players and be ready for Galway or the Rossies, either could provide an upset on their day!!! We still don’t have a marquee forward, waiting on COC to come back, question is will he be the same player!!! Orme looks like a good find. All I’ll say is we all saw how the 2nd division suited Mayo last year, my bet is Galway are waiting in the rushes. Also no offense to Tyrone but had Clifford not being injured during extra time in last years semi final….Mayo where shocking in last years final against Tyrone. Had we played that badly against the Kingdom they would have destroyed us. We can bitch all you want about Spillane but the lad won 8 AIF medals. We need to concentrate on perfecting our game and not be worrying about what he has to say. I live in USA, I nearly punched a Carlow lad saying Mayo where arrogant and soft. I told him what the fuck does a Carlow man know about football, but in hindsight he is right. We have to play with a bit of meanness and arrogance and destroy everything in front us mentality. No mercy to any county. There are times during the last few years where you feel, fuck we are nearly over the line, and we let it slip, something fucking happens and the dream is wiped away. We can’t let this happen anymore!!! It’s Feb nothing is won in February !!!!

  16. Great Post Pittsburgh!
    I think we have more option now than ever in the forwards though.Yes we don’t know how Cillian comes back….or when of course….
    Yeah mantra needs to be nothing won yet…..
    “Instead of only one plan”…..
    I don’t think division 2 suits anyone….in fact if we played division 1 football last year we might have beaten Tyrone.We were a 25 minute team for last year and in the final not even that…..I think relegation cost us

  17. Good to be playing the Kingdom in Tralee……As poster said above, we’ve a far better ‘away’record against them. But same clever game needed against them as for Dublin. Donegal collapsed yesterday against Kerry without M Murphy so hard to judge Kerry by that game. But like us, they beat the Dubs so again a total gloves off approach advisable….

  18. I don’t really get the carping about Kerry on here from some quarters. Sure, it’s early doors in the league, and let’s not forget that Armagh are up there too. But one thing I have noticed so far is that O’Connor seems to be doing good work on Kerry avoiding the concession of silly goals, something that has really hurt them in recent years. Indeed, I think they haven’t conceded one in their first three games?

    It’s generally tough to win down in Kerry, as we found out last time we played them in the championship. People here should resist the temptation to get overheated, especially about Spillane. The local postman once delivered a letter bearing the address of “Pat B***ix, County Kerry”, straight to his door. Just about tells you everything you need to know.

    @Pittsburgh: I heard similar sentiments from a lad in our GAA club from Carlow. I mean, talk about a lack of self-awareness! Unfortunately, our poor final record allows people from minnow counties to punch up on us, they are best ignored in my opinion.

  19. Agree on Spillane and O’rourke comments above – they offer no real analysis only well worn cliches and barbs.
    But, I do think the Kerry game is going to give us a real barometer test of where Mayo are at.
    As good as the Mayo performance was on Sat, Kerry forwards are clearly a different prospect. What will be very interesting to see is who Horan picks to mark O’Shea and D Clifford. Our FB line is hardly a settled pick at this point
    On our forwards – Orme and DoC’s form are positives but Bryan Walsh’s form is so, so and RoD repeating past mistakes of bringing ball in to contact is so frustrating for such a talented player.
    Great start, but plenty of work to do yet.

  20. Well deserved MOTM for Diarmuid. Great to see him back as the great that we really haven’t seen since he spent everything trying to drag the team over the line in Newbridge

  21. The OTB comments on the half frwd line seemed fair enough this morning. We definitely have a few candidates floating around with DoC, Walsh, Loftus, Boland, maybe Towey a bit further back, certainly Carney. Kevin Mc looked very handy closer to goal yesterday, but obviously he could be on that line. It would be good to have a couple of the lads really step forward to nail starting sports with DoC. If we can do it, would we be better off in Championship with AoS keeping that impact role to make space for others? No point crying over it now, but if Orme could keep his spot in the corner DoC, Tommy and Kevin Mc in HF would look very handy.

  22. Your right Mike. Spillane and O’Rourke provide no real analysis. Just bullshit such as “Dublin looked tired”. Gave no credit to Mayo players. Winning all Ireland medals means you are a very good player but does not imply that you have the ability to analyse or become a manager. That requires grey matter. Wouldn’t pay too much need. Whelan at least did his homework and was able to give a good account. Don’t cod ourselves. Dublin will build and will be in the shakeup come August/September. I am just excited about our lads attitude. They were really enjoying themselves on Saturday. They play as a cohesive team and for one another. The dressing room must be a joy. But the sharpness and concentration is incredible. They have a winning feel about them. I know it’s early days but I think they can only improve. The only caveat is that it is hard to maintain this standard for six months..

  23. Exile. I presume u know Tommy most unfortunately is out for 2022. Never doubted doc. Top class. Was at the match. Plunkett reminded me of costello in 97 against offaly. Coming up and scoring nicely. He could play half forward. .Walsh towy and carney have a distance to go before they make a starting 15 for me. The real championship players stood up. Mullin doc matty.lee. o Donohoe quite by his standards but still made the goal.

  24. This is Mayo year according to Oisin McConville/Padraic Lodge on Morning Ireland sports -joking!
    We will be the butt of jokes until we get over the line!

  25. When Pat said we’ll judge Mayo after the Kerry match what he meant to say was we’ll judge Kerry after the Mayo match.
    No harm done.

  26. Craggy Boglands – unfortunately painfully aware of the Tommy situation. I meant “no point crying over it now” as that option is obviously gone for this year, but if we could get RoD, CoC, Jason / Orme in the FF line and had Tommy and DoC in the HF line looking forwards that starts looking like a very strong unit. Out of all of those, hopefully Orme can continue to grow and Jason doesn’t pick up any other knocks.

  27. Ya have to laugh at the dung that comes out of spillane and o rourke. I take no notice of them. Dinosaurs. They all had blue rte umbrellas lol their punditry is horrific and their presentation of the programme is even worse. Sky are streets ahead.

    On the game itself i thought we played very well. Flynn o connor ruane and mullin showed real leadership. Younger lads showed really well. We took a leaf outta armaghs book and put the ball in fast to the ff line. Good to see a bit of variation in our play. Well done to all.

  28. As I said last week “If we play for the full 70+ minutes we’ll beat Dublin” and that’s what happened but I think a few are getting overly excited by beating a Dublin team who are frankly a shambles at the moment and a pale shadow of their former selves.

    Regardless of whether you like Pat Spillane or not (and I’m not fond of him) but he is correct to say that we will be able to judge Mayo better when they play Kerry, it’s true.

    But even if we were to beat Kerry, it doesn’t really change anything apart from the 2 points gained, it does not tell anyone how a Mayo team would perform in an All-Ireland should they reach one again this year.

    Diarmuid did deserve to top the poll, absolutely, but I find it a little amusing that so many people say that he’s found his form again since the game in Newbridge, that’s something you would say if a players form dipped for a few games, not refer to a game back in 2018 !

  29. O’Rourke is a snide, droll, relic from the by gone days of football. In my opinion he offers absolutely nothing to the coverage of GAA, no entertainment, no tactical insight, no cutting edge thoughts, zero, zlitch. Surely, of all the recently retired players who would be far more relevant to the viewer, there has to be better candidates out there? O’Rourke was in his pomp in the 80’s, thats over 50 years ago ffs! Almost TWO generations!! What relevance has he to any new younger viewers? The game 50 years ago bares no resemblance to the game today. But then again, when you look at RTE’s coverage it is from a by gone era. You still have Ger “top of the right” / “disecting the posts” Canning and Dessie “who ate all the buns” Cahill out front and centre while TG4 and Sky Sports have left RTE in it’s wake, despite a massive funding advantage and the pick of the games.

    Spillane I have a bit time for because he is somewhat entertaining, self deprecating and has, literally, a drawer full of medals to back it up. He will obviously have a Kerry bias and while he is of a similar vintage to O’Rourke, Spillane was way more successful and for longer. An absolute freak in his prime with regards to fitness and aerobic capacity, as anyone who saw him on Jimmy McGees Sports Stars will remember, and unmarkable for county and country. His views last night on the challenge facing the serial All Ireland winning Dublin players was very interesting, and having been there himself he knows exactly what he is talking about. More so than O’Rourke.

    Mayo supporters need to toughen up and not be so sensitive to outside criticism. The facts are clear, we butchered and bottled some All Ireland finals (notably last years one), been unlucky in others (’96) and just beaten by the better team in 2 or 3 (’89, ’13, ’16). But the fact is, until we win it we will always be in that bracket of “good, but not great”. We will always be labelled as chokers, as per Philly McHans article. and until we win it that is the way it is going to be.
    Despite our relative progress in this league our two biggest tests are yet to come. Armagh in The Hyde will be our biggest test to date. In my mind, they are the coming team in Ulster and looks like it could be down to them or us to push Kerry for this years league title. A win in The Hyde will set us up nicely for a trip to Tralee, and as Pat rightly said, that will be the real litmus test. For both sides.

  30. Good to see R O D and Aiden giving Dublin players some of their own medicine. In the past Mayo players were taking it and not giving it back.

  31. Another superb performance from DOC.
    Horan and management deserve a lot of credit for this win. The experienced/newcomers combination gelled way better for Mayo than dublin. Both our goals coming from newbies. Orme in particular for me has a lot of quality and doesnt lack confidence. Competition for places now in forwards, especially scoring forwards.
    Horans use of subs cemented our lead and helped keep dubs at bay. We avoided the grandstand finish. It could very well be Boland’s and AOS best roles going forward. They succeded in keeping Dublin at bay
    All league matches are important in the progression of Mayo, but i agree the Kerry / Mayo clash will be a marker for both counties.
    One day at a time…

  32. Great post Pebbles. Regarding O’Rourke, he’s outdated not because of his age but because of his attitude. I know plenty great footballing minds older than him who really understand the modern game and never feel the need for bitter comments.

    His comment about Mayo gleefully keeping the ball from Dublin to see out the game, and how this “may come to haunt” Mayo later in the year, is not only snide and insulting, but it’s also way off the mark and completely untrue. Robbie even noted afterwards the pressure they were under in the remaining minutes. O’Rourke was just being a trouble-maker (I could use a stronger word) and had to put a negative spin on Mayo’s win. The sooner he’s ditched from RTE the better, but that’s unlikely to happen. He’s a horrible pundit.

  33. All – just a quick word of caution about posting comments of a personal nature about pundits etc. I’ve had to edit out a suggestion that a named pundit may have had drink on him and another making reference to property loans that a different pundit may have taken out. This kind of stuff has no place here and, given how widely the blog is read (55k hits yesterday) those posting comments of this kind might want to take a bit of care in case they find themselves in bother in relation to libel. I’m doing what I can to protect everyone (and myself) but it would help greatly if everyone gave a little more thought to what they’re posting and leave the wild stuff to the more unruly corners of the internet.

  34. Pebblesmeller, if the 80s was over 50 years ago, I’m in a bit of bother…I’m a good bit older than I thought.

    My own view is that Tyrone are the real litmus test for us. Kerry will be a great test too but when I look at Tyrone, I see strength, pace, skilled ball shooters AND a foxy management team. It’s the strength that’s very impressive.
    I think to beat Tyrone you have to defeat their management team, to win on strategy, organisation and thought. But that’s all a bit further down the line yet.

  35. Swallow Swoops, 🙂 I was never great at maths!
    Yellow card offence duly noted WJ. I’ll go for the ball, not the man, the next time.

  36. Could I suggest everyone just stop reading pundits articles and don’t watch them either.They are just trolls that are looking for followers on media and to enrich themselves.Dont comment on their comments either.I get all my news on here and the podcasts which have had great guests who played against us and for us over the last 15 years.
    Honestly I have no interest in other media….including Sunday Game when it’s on.

  37. @Swallow Swoops, Tyrone and Kerry are two completely different challenges which will require two different tactical approaches but like Kerry what difference will it make even if we were to beat them both in the league ?

    At this stage there is only one litmus test remaining for Mayo and that’s winning an All-Ireland, we already know they are capable of passing the rest, they’ve been there and done that.

  38. Could not care less what they said on RTE, it was a great match to attend and so uplifting to see the spirit in the squad and they way they went about the task in hand on the night. Ruane and Mullin made a great addition on the night. DO’C outstanding. Good performance from Orme and Plunkett. Robbie as solid as ever. Aido and Kevin Mc made an impression when they came on. All heading the right direction and looking forward to the Hyde on Sunday. We are in a good place despite the Tommy C set back!

  39. @1989, If I was the manager I’d effing make hay with every insulting comment or snide remark regarding Mayo before the boys cross the white line, I would use them to my advantage, it hasn’t done Tyrone any harm over the years.

    I wouldn’t get one bit hurt by comments, I’d milk every bit of motivation out of them as possible.

    The day comments hurt you is the day you’ve lost.

  40. Viper, to win the Ireland takes some steps, as you have laid out yourself. It’ll require development across the next few months.
    It also requires us to beat teams.
    No, the League won’t tell us if we can beat any team later in the year, but it can give us food for thought on the challenges different teams pose.
    Personally, I feel we know how to deal with the Kerry challenge and game.
    I don’t know if we know how to deal with the Tyrone threat. That is why I highlighted Tyrone as an interesting test of our development on our road to July.
    This is my estimation of things.

  41. Pebbles – 35 years since O’Rourke was in his prime if we take Meath’s all Ireland of 1987 as a starting point.

    O’Rourke is lazy, jaded, and it’s a mystery how he manages to command such prime time punditry space. I don’t think he anti-Mayo though. Part of the problem is RTE and its format: three pundits, one team A, one team B and then Mr or Ms in-between. What can anyone say that is of value in such a set up?

    I think part of our problem is that pundits as a whole desperately want or wanted Mayo to win All Irelands, or an All Ireland at any rate. They know what it would mean for us, and for the game. It’s a narrative that has built up and though well-meant, it doesn’t do us any favours. Tyrone were able to develop a better mindset coming in to the final: a sort of ‘f*** the begrudgers, everyone wants Mayo to win, nobody likes us, we’ll show them’

  42. Hopefully if we continue improving it will be other teams who’ll be worrying about us. Wouldn’t that be nice. Our strength in depth may make it more difficult for opposition to predict our strongest team. But I’d agree, it’s a long way off until the business end of championship so there are no guarantees how we’ll look then. Other teams may build momentum.

  43. @1989, agreed. Without getting into history too much but there is still a lot of negativity towards Mayo people in general in certain parts of the country which is a direct result of decisions made by the Land Commission.

    There will always be negative comments regarding Mayo and even if they won an All-Ireland there would be a cohort who would say “about time” so I think there is only one logical reaction to the negativity and that’s to use it to the teams advantage otherwise the snide merchants have won.

  44. I agree willie joe. We don’t need to get bogged down listening to what pundits have to say. Spillane has 8 all Ireland medal so he is entitled to say what he wants. At the end of the day we all on here know we’ll that until we deliver the sam across the Shannon… we will have to put up with this kind of rethoric. By the way that day is not far away I think. .

  45. A big thank you to players and management for making the drive home from Croke Park shorter. Great to get a win and to see so many young lads step up to the plate. On balance it seemed that the chemistry was just right on the field. The chemistry seemed to be lacking when we played Tyrone in the AI final. Say what you want about our Manager but in fairness he is very good at getting the best out of lads who are willing to give the time and commitment to the team. For me, staying in DIV 1 is a must to battle harden lads. After the last two years that we have had, isn’t it great to back on the road following Mayo again – guaranteed never to be boring.

  46. I find it amusing that posters are talking anbout winning an all ireland in feb after beating a dysfunctional Dublin team.
    And we’ll have to be a lot less sensitive about pundit comments.
    Only winning a final will answer the critics and thats fair enough.
    COC back increases the competition in forwards. Scoring forwards is our way forward…

  47. Great to see DOC playing so well. I remember the game in Newbridge in 2018 and thinking he could go on to be the best footballer in the Country.
    For whatever reason he doesn’t seem to have always hit the levels he’s capable of in recent seasons. As the old cliche goes form is temporary but class is permanent and that was plain for all to see on Sat evening. A simply exceptional footballer.

  48. The last thing I’ll say about O’Rourke’s comment is that I’d love to see one of our Mayo pundits challenging that sort of bullshit. O’Rourke is taking the piss, but is doing so on a national platform that has, like it or not folks, influence.

  49. Great to have such positivity after 3 games in the league compared to recent years struggles. A long time now since we have been beaten in the league now and the conspirators against Machale Park have a stronger argument. Wonder would 2 wins out of the remaining 4 games leave us in strong position to make the league final.

    The only date the players and management are thinking about is April 24th. And I think we as supporters are focussed on that big day ourselves. Nothing like the visit of Galway to try and overturn us but that’s for a brighter day.

  50. I watched the game back last night to see whether Dublin were actually as dire as I thought they were on the day… they weren’t. But they were of a level of ordinariness that we have not come to expect from them over the years, and they are not invincible and unassailable any more. That’s a good thing for the game in general.

    Saturday night was a very enjoyable one in Croke Park, but it was just that, a good performance against a team that is way, way off its best. Dublin were wide open in defence, and their decision-making up front was brutal. Had their conversions been a little sharper, we might have been sweating, and we had some poor misses, proving that our woes up front are far from over. I felt we could and should have put them away far sooner. But look, a win is a win, and a win against Dublin is always enjoyable, regardless of where they are at, and particularly when you are playing with a young and inexperienced team that looked very much at home in Croke Park.

    A few little moments of magic: Mattie’s tussle with Fenton, which he looked to thoroughly enjoy. Diarmuid’s delicious little flick to set up the goal for young Jack Carney. Diarmuid running his heart out. Oisin dancing his way through midfield. Orme’s tenacity up front. Plunkett throwing off the shackles – I confess I didn’t fully realise until I watched it back just how good a game he’d had. The confidence dripping off Robbie. The glorious kick-passing, which I hope we see more of. There was a sense at this game that Mayo are really enjoying their football, more so than I can remember for a while. That can only be a good thing. I do think that of all our players, Bryan Walsh really struggled, and I would be a little surprised to see him start the next day.

    As for the various bits of commentary around the game, the Dublin stuff is irrelevant; Philly is obviously trying to go down the David Hickey and Vinnie Murphy route and away with him. In light of how Dublin are playing right now, it’s just cheap noise. O’Rourke’s comment about Mayo’s “glee” did gall me; it was an unnecessary and snide remark about a team that was simply managing the game out well. The commenters above who suggest that he is past his sell-by date are correct; he really offers nothing in terms of either analysis or entertainment. I thought the way he and Seán Cavanagh openly laughed at Noelle Healy when she suggested that James McCarthy – 31 years old – might not have the legs he once had when he returns was downright ignorant and condescending. On the other hand, I thought Eamon Fitzmaurice, of whom I wouldn’t generally be a massive fan, was actually very good on co-commentary with Darragh Moloney – he had a good read on the game throughout and picked up on a lot of the off-the-ball stuff. (How has Darragh Moloney never heard that blasted bell on the Hill before? Or known the story behind it? And he a Dublin man?)

    Anyway, back to the games at hand. I do agree that the games against Kerry and Tyrone will tell a lot. I don’t yet rate Kerry to be honest; to date they have been over-hyped under-deliverers since that blasted All-Ireland in 2014, but the danger with Kerry is that this could change at any time. Nights under lights in Tralee are usually enjoyable. I feel we will give a good account of ourselves, but I think our toughest games are yet ahead. It was stated elsewhere that this was a must-win game, but it really wasn’t, however winning is a good habit to get into, so I would hope that we remain on this trajectory. Right now, the only game that is a must-win is the game on 24th April.

    Did anyone watch the Tyrone Kildare game yesterday? It was a fantastic game, despite the weather, and despite what I might have thought a few weeks ago, Tyrone have definitely not gone away!

  51. There are several commentators and pundits who’s opinion is not worth reading or hearing let along get worried about.
    There are a few who offer insight and analysis as opposed to tired opinions or their own agendas.
    Fogarty, M Clerkin, Oisin McConville, McStay, McGuinness are among the ones who are able to properly analyse games and are able to do so without the sly digs and personal agendas. Notably 2 of those five have won all Irelands, and 2 have managed teams at intercounty level, 1 with one being successful at both, though I don’t get the “he’s won an all Ireland medal or has x medals” as any sort of justification for what people write. You might never have won a medal in your life but you can still analyse games and phases of play as well as another. You can have won a single medal in the nineties as a passenger on a team yet be parroted by all in sundry with passages that are tainted with personal gripes and declared as gospel.
    Similarly you can have a hatful of medals but not be able to read without moving your finger under the words, as has been demonstrated by a number whose names are being put to articles. We also have some of our own former players who appear every now and again in the press who would be as well to stay out of it.

    People should be mindful of backstories sometimes, why someone is saying what they are saying, and what motivation they have for doing so. Often times there is bias and agenda that needs to be ignored or indeed in some cases, is the entire purpose of the piece, which should be accounted for when forming an opinion on it.

    As for Spillane pondering if Mayo are the real deal and holding judgement until we play Kerry, he’s not wrong. Kerry are sitting at the top and how we fare against them (and Armagh and Tyrone) will give us a better idea of where we really are.

    We did beat Dublin on Saturday night but so have Armagh and Kerry in the league this year. We should have beaten them by more, but we’ll take the positives from scoring 2 goals from the 6 or so chances we had. There’s a lot to be positive from Saturday’s game particularly given the team that was named and started, and how well some of the newer lads slotted in, and some of the not so new have improved. There’s also the fact that we have a number of players who will be coming back from injury and available in future games. We have 5 points from our first 3 games and have reasons to be happy with our progress and things that we know can be worked on.

  52. A great win on Saturday night and I enjoyed every minute of the game, your number 4 Plunkett kicked a few beautiful scores at key moments. Like yourselves it’s difficult to know where Kerry are at considering the teams we have played and the dreadful weather conditions we played them in. The Dubs are looking very disjointed and critically some of their best players are in a poor vein of form. They are also missing a few crucial players like McCarthy and O Callaghan that will bring an edge and focus that dublin are lacking when they return so beating them while the trees are bare might matter little come summer. In saying that it felt great to get one over on them but I hope they maintain their division one status as they bring something special to the competition.

    Newbridge had a local derby type of atmosphere to it with Jack having managed them and then jumped ship when he felt the draft from the open door at the Kerry county board. It’s a tight pitch and Kildare are no slouches so I felt we were a little fortunate to claw our way out of there with a single point. Donegal were very disappointing yesterday, in the first half I thought they were playing very smart ball considering the gale force winds and driving rain. I was concerned at half time that such was the strength of the wind that our lead would be overturned, how wrong was I. They played like the team defending a lead and apart from a purple patch where they won 5/6 of Ryan’s kick outs they looked clueless and showed no imagination in using the advantage of the wind. Murphy is a huge player for them I know but he’s coming to the end of the road with repetitive injuries etc so they should have a viable game plan with and without him.
    Armagh, Mayo and Tyrone are three games I can’t wait for, three different styles of play and all very challenging for Jack and his selectors. Tyrone are clearly well behind in their training but they will improve a few percent with every game and they play us in Healy so to steal two points would be a great result. Armagh are very clearly the team with the most work done and I expect things to get a little tighter for them as the league progresses, they play a similar game to us so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
    Saturday week ye roll into town and I think it will be a battle royal as ye always challenge us in Austin Stack Park. Horan has Mayo playing fast football whether it’s through the hand with hard running off the shoulder or early and direct kicking to the inside forwards making smart runs. Playing that style is very smart as it keeps the opposition’s half back line very honest as they can’t just leave the trenches and attack as a turnover would expose their full back line. Horan also has a knack of finding and developing new talent and the way they have gelled into the team will be very beneficial for Mayo’s campaign. A v B games will be edgy affairs with places up for grabs on several lines of the team. Horan knows now that his bench will be very strong and full of very eager players and that is just what he wants. O Shea coming off the bench could be a smarter option for the team as it is always a positive thing for a talismanic player to enter the battle rather than the deflating effect of taking one off which almost lifts the opposition. Down here there are many that think Mayo are a more dangerous animal without Aidan as they feel Mayo change their type of play to a slower more ponderous style that is too inclusive of him, by that I mean his status in the team almost results in players instinctively looking for him instead of taking more risky or indeed speculative options that if successful would be very rewarding.
    Anyway it’s great to be perished and soaked at football games again, I am in the autumn of my life and I pray to God I’ll never go through another pandemic again. Safe travels to all and enjoy your campaign in 2022, we just might a second time this year and if so let the best team win.

  53. Lovely post, Gamechanger : ) Welcome back!

    I did indeed notice the large contingent of local supporters kitted in hats and rain proof gear watching the game in Killarney versus Donegal. It was fierce weather but they were out in force. It was a great sight to see.

  54. Maybe it’s just me but I used to enjoy this blog a lot more when WJ posted a synopsis of an event and then people just offered an opinion with a short comment like having a pint with a few mates. Think many of the blogs now are equivalent of a short essay and too time consuming to digest. Just a thought if it returned to WJ composing and followers limited to a set amount of words in the format of a short observation or comment. Just my opinion to throw it out there. Great win Saturday I thought Oisín oozed in class

  55. “Deleted or in moderation” Who need’s the patience of a nation”?.. Willie Joe’s dedicated contribution, has made the Blog an institution..If you are looking for Gaelic wisdom?… Try “Gamechanger” from the Kingdom…. Facts and intuition, clearly on the button…
    “Revellino” has a way with words………
    As he hits all the right cord’s….. And he cheer’s up so many, with observances so clear and canny…As “Viper” tells what he’s thinking…Who knows? James Horan might just be listening!.. .. Would the pundits in RTE. know as much as “Anne-Marie’…. On the Craggy Boland’s the Swallow Swoops, with word’s of wisdom to motivate the troops.. And the fan’s, have endured, All Ireland ticket’s we have secured.. We’ve nearly had it all, life can be cruel and Football..No matter what they say, or who has said it, we journey on, And in this Blog you read it!


  56. Willie Joe do you inform the player when he has been voted Man Of The Match on this blog?
    I see five Mayo players on the GAA football team of the week and Diarmuid is one of the three nominees for footballer of the week

  57. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one @Liberal, even they sometimes see full frontal as “pretty square on” or ” not a lot in it”.
    Like others have said it’s best to ignore the pundits because they don’t matter.

    On Saturday night’s game, great to see more players chipping in with a few scores…so if it takes a while for Cillian to find his feet we will hopefully continue to get scores from 5 or 6 forwards, midfielders & a few of defenders. Great also to see Michael Plunkett doing a Chris Barrett on it and kicking a couple of beauties.

  58. Honestly couldn’t care less what results we get in the league as long as we blood new players, avoid injuries and avoid relegation.

    Supporters get far too giddy about the league. It regularly has little or no bearing on championship.

    Pittsburgh is right, our only focus should be on Galway. That’s the only game that counts and they are in the long grass. Remember that!

  59. @Mayonaze, I never get this focus on a game several games away, it doesn’t do anything for anyone and what exactly is “focusing” on a game so far away at this stage from a supporters prospective ?

    The focus should always be on the next game, the Galway game will be focused on when the time comes and we’ll know more about both teams then.

    I don’t think long grass comes into it when Mayo play Galway.

  60. Galway can wait in the long grass all they want, they have a lot of football to play before we meet. The hiccup of a postponement won’t do them any favours either.

  61. I would be careful about elevating young lads to the championship team based on one or two performances.Yes they show promise but that is all it is for now.I think Orme,Plunkett and Walsh ,Carney are great prospects but have huge strides to make.Our backs are shaky enough and I dont think full back problem is solved.
    you would have to say that Clifford,O Sè,P.Clifford,and Geaney will be a real test.
    Not sure either Aido is a 20 minute luxury…I have to be convinced he is not worth a starting place.
    How quickly we go from despair to euphoria in our beloved county.

  62. Re O’Rourke, Spillane etc, I can only assume they are still there because they have long term contracts or are lifers, RTE are a public sector organisation.

    My God they are pathetic

  63. Yes padraig I agree with you. O Neill will ask questions too next weekend. Full back is not sorted yet. Some of the young lad s won’t be on the championship team thats for sure. Kevin mcgloughlin was very good the last night I thought when sprung. One thing is for sure when we go to tralee we will need Kevin and aos for longer

  64. Just an aside – I have noticed a number of posts recently including Michael Plunkett in the list of our promising young players. Whilst Michael is a valuable team and squad member and had very good game yesterday, I am sure he would be both delighted and surprised to find himself in that list. I believe Micheal will hit the ripe old age of 26 this year.

  65. @ greenandred Michael Plunkett will be 27 this year so he is now at his peak and i am expecting a wonderful football year from him.

  66. Galway are not in long grass we are in Div2 due to poor choices last year. We appear to have improved but Mayo game will give answer to that question. Kerry are wide open at back I will watch with interest how Mayo perform against them in March. Its only early in year but games will come quickly. The Dubs are puzzling me I have a funny feeling there is a sting or two left there but Farrell isn’t helping them. Kerry so reliant on Clifford if he’s injured the medal is out. Armagh and Tyrone are the 2 from Ulster and will be hard bet later in year. Its a wide open championship.

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