Donegal 2-11 Mayo 0-13: no way back from those early goals

It wasn’t meant to turn out like this, really it wasn’t. We needed to open up on them right from the throw-in but instead got clocked for 2-1 without reply inside the opening ten minutes. Shades of 2006 – though in truth it never really felt like that – but we then clawed our way back into it. Dominant for the second quarter, only three down at the break and then we missed three glorious point-scoring chances early in the second half. We could have been level then but instead Donegal – surviving on small slivers of possession – added two to their total and, in truth, there was no way back from there for us.

So, the bad news is that we lost an All-Ireland final today but we can’t allow ourselves to wallow in this latest decider defeat. It’s for others to prattle on about how many finals it is that we’ve lost and all that but those cold statistics shouldn’t come into our thinking. We lost, yes, but today we died with our boots on and we had enough possession over the course of the seventy minutes to be far closer to them on the scoreboard at the final whistle.

That’s the frustrating thing: the first goal was a real hammer-blow, the second (which, of course, should never had happened but Maurice Deegan – who was worse than dreadful today – inexplicably failed to give us a close-in free and Donegal swept downfield to score) even more so but neither of these setbacks were fatal. We fought like demons – surviving a potential knock-out blow when David Clarke pulled off a superb one-on-one save – and we gradually inched our way back into the contest. But we needed a goal if we were to put it up to them properly and we never came close to getting one.

Indeed, despite all the possession and all the chances we had, we never got closer than three points to them and, deep down, as the second half ticked by it never looked like we would be able to pull this one from the fire. Donegal closed out the game in a calm and efficient way and they’re fully deserving of their first All-Ireland title for twenty years.

We shouldn’t, however, be downcast this evening. We have a team that could – if we see the kind of incremental improvement in 2013 that we did this year compared to last – push on and use the invaluable learning that comes as a kind of free add-on to today’s defeat to challenge for the ultimate prize again next summer. We were close but not close enough today but with a bit of improvement there’s no reason why we couldn’t be back giving it a right rattle again next year.

I’m not going to deliberate further on the game at this stage – my head is all over the shop, I can’t get any kind of coherent thoughts set down here and I have the practical matter of the post-match banquet at the Regency to go to shortly. I’ve also realised that I’m hungry … and thirsty too.

So, I’ll sign off for now but not before paying fulsome tribute to James and the lads for everything they’ve done for the cause this year. Those of us who just slope up on the day itself can only guess at the sheer amount of hard work, dedication and self-denial that must surely have gone into getting the team as far as today’s final. As I said yesterday, they are still our lads and we should be as proud of them now as we were in the raucous moments before throw-in.

We’ll learn from today, we’ll improve and we’ll come again. We always do.

Mayo: David Clarke; Kevin Keane, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan (0-1), Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle; Barry Moran, Aidan O’Shea; Kevin McLoughlin (0-2), Jason Doherty, Alan Dillon; Enda Varley (0-2, frees), Cillian O’Connor (0-5, frees), Michael Conroy (0-1). Subs: Alan Freeman for Doherty, Jason Gibbons (0-1) for Conroy, Richie Feeney (0-1) for Varley, Seamus O’Shea for Moran.

35 thoughts on “Donegal 2-11 Mayo 0-13: no way back from those early goals

  1. Yeah, agree WJ, those goals were disastrous, Murphy’s goal was class, McFaddens was wel taken but we should have cleared our lines from the rebound. I hate to say it but can’t understand why keane was on Murphy (scratching me head) but thats for another discussion.
    Anyway, still, I’m proud of the way the lads battled and didn’t cave. Sure, if we’re to win the All Ireland, it’s Kerry we must bate.

  2. If heart could win an all Ireland then we would be champions this evening. Unfortunately there are more ingredients required, like taking your chances and not spilling the ball when in possession. Anyway its all over for 2012 and what a roller-coaster ride this group of players have given us and for that we have to be ever thankful. I really thought we could do it this year but we really missed Andy.
    That we didn’t collapse after a horrific start is testament to the steel that this team possess and will hopefully remain in place for the future because unlike past times, this side has a very bright one. Thanks to all the squad and the management for the thrilling times they have given us this year.
    Congratulations to Donegal

    Maigh Eo Abu

  3. Might return but still won’t win, not good enough, to many players tried hard but still if the ball was there to be won, Donegal won it. Wanted it more, more quality, if Mayo had got the goal chances Donegal did prob would have missed them, how many wides did Donegal kick from in front of goal, can’t remember any, we did though. At least we weren’t embarrassed like before but if people are happy with that then your part of the problem with Mayo football. Loosers finish 2nd……….

  4. A year too soon, maybe two years too soon. Fair play to the lads for battling back from a disastrous start, these lads have bottle.

    We won’t win the all Ireland until we’re the best team in the country. At the moment we’re not the best team in the country, but we’re top 3 or 4. I’m convinced that this team will be back to finish the job.

    Keep the faith.

  5. We chased the game from the start, the goals were killers, and they win games at this level.. The team worked hard in the second half, had plenty of possession but took some wrong options. Alan had a poor game today, did not get on the ball at all, Andy was badly missed. Yes we will be back there is the makings of a winning team with this panel, however we need some forwards , Murphy and McFadden were the difference , marquee players and they showed it there today. We need a marquee player or two.

    This was a huge disappointment to us all, I expected Mayo by 3 to 4 pts. Now the Referee in my view had a poor game, the second goal came from a bad decision , when Mayo should have had free, still he waved play on, and the rebound tells it all.
    This team will learn from this loss, and will be back, they gave us a good 2011, a very good 2012 and wait for 2013, tghey will not go away.

    Thanks for the memories Mayo.

  6. Depression is setting in now.. We weren’t just beaten, we were well beaten, which means we’re quite a long way from lifting Sam. I thought we matched Donegal quite well for fitness and physicality, but unfortunately we are still a handful of players from glory. Just look at what just two lads,, Murphy and McFadden, did to us today.
    Try to enjoy the banquet WJ, thanks for this site.

  7. Firstly, congrats to Donegal, better team on the day! There are days when things work and days when they don’t. Today, Mayo played quite poorly. I’m not questioning heart and determination because that was there in abundance today. We just took silly shooting options, maybe with a bit more composure we would have gotten a few more points and maybe even won it but it wasn’t to be. We lost to “the best team in the country” by 4 points, playing badly. We had more possession and more scoring chances but didn’t use them. Today was not our day but no doubt in mind, our day is coming.

  8. Feel very sorry for players. Didn’t deserve that. Goals killed us. What a year tho. Alan, keith, Barry keep going lads. Will get there yet. Really believe that.

  9. First things first, THANKS to the players and management for getting to the final and to the supporters for supporting the team to the bitter end. Donegal were the better team full stop and I think that the majority of Mayo supporters never expected Mayo to get to the All-Ireland this year. Yes, we made plenty of mistakes but look at the pressure the player in possession was put under but there were plenty of positives i.e lots of possession, great steel and backbone.

    Our previous teams when they reached the All-Ireland final were at their peak, this team is still under construction and what we really need are two new forwards preferably a killer forward who will put the fear of god in opposing teams, surely there is one of them somewhere in Mayo ?. We need the full panel and the management to stay put for at least another year with the exception of one forward who has been a great servent to Mayo football but who may have too much All-Ireland final baggage to overcome……

    Who cares what the media and other counties think ?, we have to answer the critics on the pitch and WE WILL answer them but that unfortunately will not happen in 2012. So for Donegal the only way is down and for Mayo the only way has to be up and that has to happen in 2013 to keep the momentum. Safe journey to all of those traveling and remember when we DO win SAM it will be all of the sweeter, never give up on Mayo football, we are only holding it in trust for the next generation.

    Thanks WJ for this site, only discovered it since the semi-final but I am hooked, well done. The only dis-advantage of the season ticket is being seated too near the cameras as I found to my cost today….!!

  10. In my blog above I forgot to pay tribute to this site on how it makes the exile feel closer to home and become part of opinions and discussions. Thanks to all the bloggers, I enjoy reading everyone, whether we agree or disagree, its great to be able to participate.Above all thanks WJ for making it happen and for keeping it going, we are all indebted to you.

  11. Gutted. I really thought the long wait was coming to a end. Beaten by the better side as simple as that “We’ll learn from today, we’ll improve and we’ll come again. We always do.” i hope we do learn and come again but no guarantees in football 52 to 88 brought no final appearance.

  12. I’m not downhearted. In fact, I am quite optimistic, for the future. I’m a proud Mayo man. It’s been a great adventure, but not all adventures in life end perfectly. But sure most of the fun is getting there.

    We didn’t play particularly well today. We were missing our best player. (Do you think Donegal would have won today if they were missing McFadden or Murphy?) On a different day, and a different referee, we’d have won. Donegal, while not playing perfectly, played to their system, which has limitations. They also got all the rubs of the green, and a 4-point swing when Deegan didn’t give O’Connor his free. They were of course also lucky that Mayo made numerous minor and some major errors. (As a sidenote, they didn’t cover themselves in glory with diving, and their fans the same, booing.)

    Some players such as Dillon and Vaughan didn’t perform as they could have. Some others like Boyle, Keegan, Feeney and McLoughlin played out of their skins. Some tactical errors were made on the line, to be rectified next year. They shouldn’t have let Lacey mark Dillon. Subs should have been made earlier. They shouldn’t of lumped high ball in when there was time for points to be knocked over. Course, we shouldn’t of conceded the first goal at all, never mind so early, but sure that’s obvious. I have faith that today’s lessons will be learned.

    I’m delighted with the heart the players showed. I’m delighted with the determination the fans showed. We have a young squad (all under 30 I believe) who try to play good football, and they will learn from today and come back stronger.

    We need to learn too that there is no point being negative. There’s winning and there’s not winning. There should be no such thing as fear. We have not won 6 Finals now. At this point we have lost so much, we should have no fear of it. We should only think about winning. I just put money at 11/1 on Mayo winning Sam next year.

    KEEP THE FAITH.

    On the way home in the car, I was wondering when the draw for next year’s championship is, and when they’ll announce the fixture list for the league. I’m ready for the next adventure. Are you?

  13. Our full back line showed old failings and that ultimately cost us. A backs job is to ensure that if he doesn’t win the ball, that his man doesn’t either, but that didn’t happen for the goals today.
    Three times in the last year in big games we have been caught for goals from rebounds off the post. This is not all down to bad luck. We need less football and more doggedness from our last line. We need to be horsing man and ball out of it.
    Otherwise we were a match for Donegal even though we weren’t as good as against Down or Dublin. It’s part of their gameplan though to disrupt other teams and they were effective but I’d have liked to see how we would have got on, if we hadn’t giftwrapped the two goal start for them.

  14. Firstly, can I just echo Olive’s comments above and say a big thank you to the Mayo team for giving us another Summer to remember. OK, so today wasn’t our day. We were beaten, and deservedly so, by a team who had the same hunger but a few more Aces in their hand. It is important not to throw the toys out of the pram, unlike ’04 and ’06 I didn’t come out thinking the world has ended, it certainly has not.

    In the end, no doubt that the start killed us. It’s very hard to see how the first goal could’ve really been stopped, at least once it was kicked inside. People can argue whether Keane was the right man for Murphy, but Caff didn’t have too much fun against him up in Ballyshannon and was ultimately sent off that day so I would think that Keane would be (at least in size) the next man to have a crack at him. In the end I don’t know who would’ve been the best man for the job considering he can win a high or low ball.

    Too many players were ultimately beaten by their man and that really means game over. However, I look to 2013 with a great deal of hope, no doubt we will have to learn why we lost today, what we can do to change and what we can take from the Donegal style of play and use in our own while still playing our own brand of football. But for now, let’s just enjoy the rollercoaster that Mayo GAA team of 2012 gave us, congratulate Donegal, look forward to 2013 with the heads held high and wear the green and red with pride all year round.

  15. Mayo fought to the bitter end today. They were denied the same space that they enjoyed in all their matches up to the final by a very well drilled Donegal side.

    This unfortunately really impacted their performance; our forwards lacked composure and rushed their shots at goal, often snatching at the ball. The ball into the full forward line wasn’t poor it was more a case of what happened after it was delivered. Horan also must give responsibility for all frees etc, whether right or left hand side, to Cillian. 

    I thought the three  missed opportunities (all scorable) after the break from Varley, Moran, and Conroy were crucial. 

    A goal never looked on so points were critical this afternoon. Andy Moran was a massive loss today. The team lacked his leadership, guile, and play-making. It’s notable also that we didn’t score a Championship goal again since his untimely injury v Down. 

    Ok we conceded 2 early goals (the 2nd should never have happened after COC was clearly fouled) but our backs were solid after that.

    The team is young and is now battle hardened. We contested an All Ire semi, a National League Final, and An Ireland Final in the space of 13 months. Not bad going. The majority of the panel are also under 25! 

    The future is bright. All of the great teams tasted bitter defeat before winning the big one. A great season for Mayo. Next year will be even better.

  16. A great game from all the lads, they did us all proud!
    Samuel Beckett said it in a different context
    Ever try.
    Ever fail.
    No matter.
    Try again
    Fail again.
    Fail better.

    Beir Bua !

  17. Christ the pain of yet another All Ireland defeat when will it ever end? Poor start not winning midfield and not as fit the Donegal cost us. Many Mayo fans have said to me “where getting closer” why do we have to get closer before winning it? Donegal don’t two finals two wins and last year Dublin reached their first final for 16 years to win it.

    The team is young as is the manager Mayo will be back however the pain won’t go away unless we can find a TEAM that’s good enough to win the All Ireland.

  18. this is not good enough anymore.we are the joke of the country.first of all murphy should have been marked by cafferky.i mean a six foot three man against a 6 foot five man and cafferky the best full back in ireland.
    .first goal was a fifty fitfty ball full back should always be two feet behind full back and attack ball and player.a forward should never be allowed to catch ball clean in air at this level.second keith higgins is not a back he should be playing at full forward as a striker becuse he has so much speed and thats whats mayo are missing in forwards .they should use him like darren o sullivan of kerry.third why didnt cian o connor take all of the frees???he had an 80 per cent record before this.enda varley kicked three easy frees wide and i think we kicked 8 or 9 points in total wide.this is not good enough at this level.fouth certain players should have been taken off.alan dillon was marked out of it and should have been replaced by seamus o shea.richie feeney should have played from the start .he won all the the breaking ball in mid field when he was on mayo looked like a different team when he was on.also gibbons should have been put on much earlier for moran who got a bad knock on his shoulder.we have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and look at this game over and over again.if o connor took all of the frees and scored them we would have won.games are not won on paper their won the feild of play by players.it is up to the mananger to make the hard choices and quickly if players are not performing..alan dillon, moran(after injury to shoulder) feeney should have started.these are very hard choices to be made but they should have been made by the manager or management team.it is time mayo wake up and make these choices and smell the coffe or we will never ever win an all ireland.

  19. Jimmy McGuinness is a very shrewd operator. The Donegal game plan was to hit us hard with aerial ball into Murphy and it worked like a charm.
    What did he see in a defence that had only shipped two goals all year to go with this tactic as plan A?
    The answer must lie in the league match earlier in the year when Murphy terrorised our defence ending up getting Caff sent off because we simply couldn’t handle him.
    I wonder what part of our preparation was based on analysis of that league match?
    It is said that you learn more from defeat than you do from victory. That game should have been rich pickings for schooling our defence but it didn’t seem that way yesterday.

  20. A lot of mistakes made frankly and we are good at being nice after defeats. Questions must be asked as in any failure and this does not mean we are criticising the players or management.

    1. Does anyone believe that No.11 is Jason’s best position or that he is strong enough to hold down that position.
    2. Was Richie Feeney underused all year?
    3. Why did it take so long to make changes.

    It was old fashioned football that beat us not the system- long ball into big forward with back isolated one on one. Shades of Donaghy.

    County will never win until we ask the hard questions.

    Well done to all for great effort but lets ask why we came up short now.

  21. changes to late jason gibbons done more in the short time he was on than moran and oshea should have started richie had a great game backs wer roasted forwards to slow at taking scores thank god it was not corh or kerry we wer playing

  22. Here’s a couple more tweaks that might improve our chances in my view:

    Keith Higgins is wasted at corner back.
    We need to blood someone like Shane McHale and move Keith to half back where he could become our Karl Lacey.
    Aiden OR Barry at midfield.
    Too similar. We need one mobile midfielder.

  23. Incredibly disappointing result. Agree with many of the sentiments expressed above, we have a young side and we should improve over the next couple of years.

    However we also need to learn the lessons of this defeat. I think Jim Mc Guinness had a clear victory over James in the tactical battle. We all expected the opening 15 minutes to be tight and close, with Murphy continuing his role over the last few games coming deep and leaving Mc Fadden as the main inside forward for Donegal. Hence Cafferkey was detailed to pick up Mc Fadden, done gals anticipated full forward. However Murphy caught the Mayo management on the hop by sitting as an old fashioned full forward for the first 15 minutes, while our out-and-out full back Cafferkey ended up in the corner on Mc Fadden. This move, allied to a very nervous start by the whole Mayo team caused a mis-match between Murphy and Keane, and consternation in the Mayo defence. By the time Cafferkey and Keane switched, the damage was done. Donegal created 4 goal chances in the first 15 minutes, but after that there were few threats to David Clarkes goalmouth. Unfortunately the mountain was too big to climb.
    For that first goal, it was incredible the amount of space around Murphy when the ball was delivered by Lacey. He was standing on the 14 yard line, one on one with Keane, and there wasn’t another Mayo defender within 25 yards of them both!! 3 minutes into a final where every score was crucial. So bloody naive, never in a million years would the same thing have happened at the other end, no matter how much pressure the Donegal defence was under.
    We have to learn that you can’t win a game in the first ten minutes, but by god you can lose it.
    The second goal was really such plain bad luck. Cillian was fouled, then typically the ball came off the post into Mc Faddens hands. Interestingly when Dillon hit the post a while later and Cillian picked up the rebound he was fouled immediately. Donegal weren’t giving away a goal chance at any costs. Another lesson for us to learn.

    What was encouraging for us was the way the team responded to such a devastating opening period. Lee Keegan was fantastic throughout, Michael Conroy had a great first half, Kevin Mc Loughlin was decent throughout, O shea and Moran had their moments (although Gallagher cleaned up at midfield in the first 15 mins) and Boyle was typically whole hearted. Unfortunately too many others did not perform to their full potential. Keith Higgins was quieter than usual, Donie seemed very nervous at the beginning, while Dillon really had a disappointing afternoon. Doherty had a quiet day too, and i think he is not a centre forward, may be more suited to the corner.
    We need another scoring forward to get over the line in my opinion, but we are in the top 3 or 4 and hopefully next year will see further improvement

  24. I write this morning in a strange mood, with firstly the doom and gloom of losing the all ireland final but yet strangely enough I find myself being somewhat hopeful for next season. First things first though, congrats to Donegal. They were very clinical and they are very economical in terms of possession to scores.
    Reflecting on the game itself, I like many people here think that the first 12 minutes killed us and really it was always going to be a struggle after that. The second goal in particular seemed to suck the life out of the mayo support around me on the hill, and although there was still plenty of encouragement, I think attitudes changed from strong belief that we could win to hoping we could get back in the game. I believe that after the bad start we got we were always going to need a goal to really get back in the game and to be honest I never fully believed that we were capable of that. I think questions must be asked also as to why Kevin Keane was on Murphy from the start.
    As stated at the start of my piece, I do find myself somewhat hopeful for next season. A couple of things that I would consider would be:
    1. Bearing in mind that more counties are now going to try their own version of Donegal tatics I would like to see Keith Higgins in a similar role to Karl Lacey as i believe he could other teams serious problems if used in this way.
    2. For me its one of two with Barry and Aiden in the middle, as i think we need to have 1 person in the middle with the ‘engine’ to go ‘box to box’ (please excuse the soccer reference here).
    3. I believe that in Richie Feeney, we have a genuinely quality operator and he must be used more. I know his participation in games has been hampered by issues earlier in the year but a new year should bring a clean slate.
    4. In the final third, I believe that we need to find an 11 with more of a physique. I dont think that Jason is suited to here and may be better off deployed in the corner.
    5. I’m not near qualified as other posters here to suggest who else may be good enough from the local club scene who should be looked at next year. Are there and of the junior side who could be worth a look? Is Alan Murphy from Ballinrobe worth a look? (Know nothing about the lad but from what i’ve heard he seems to be a fine player). There was a lad from Claremorris who played U18 two years ago (i think) at 11 who stood out on a poor minor side that were well beaten by Roscommon who looked to have the physique and ball skills for a higher level. Are Castlebar’s Aiden Walsh and Danny Kirby (they were stateside for the summer wern’t they) along with Darren Coen progressing from underage? Could any of these be capable of making a serious push for a spot next year? Are they any other players who could make a push for next year that will be playing sigerson this college season?

    We’re still the bridesmaids of football today, but with reflection and hard work we will be there or there abouts again in Aug/Sept next year and perhaps our captain will announce our marraige to the world as Martin Storey did with Wexford in 1997. Dont forget its three only 3 months until we start off again. Now to take Paddy Power up on his 11/1 offer on us to win it out next year.

    Maigheo Abu!

  25. Once again the heartache lives on. yes we are proud mayo men and of team and the management. The harsh reality is mayo are not good enough to win an all ireland, not even next year. As far as I could see yesterday Donegal won this game in the first ten minitues, Gob done. This game from then on was nearly as bad as getting beat by 15 pts.
    Compared to the Donnies, Mayo were sloppy looked uneasy and gave Donegal far to much play in there half.

    Mayo need hunger and passion and the ability to shake of the demons, other wise there final will always be the connaucht finals.

    Well done to Donegall and I wish the Mayo team well.

  26. Not our day. The better and more evolved team won. The bad start was critical and really knocked us back although the lads never stopped trying. Not the time to conduct a root and branch assessment of the squad but I think there’s cause for optimism. We’ve one choice really, drive on or wallow is self-pity. This is a young side with lots of football ahead of them.

    We’re down but we’ll be back.

  27. The better team won on the day. McGuinness deserves alot of credit for taken a team with talented players (Durcan,McFadden, Murphy, McBrearty, Lacey and maybe the 2 McGees) the rest serious journey men to an All Ireland title in a mere two years. He transformed players like Neil Gallagher, Frank McGlynn and Rory Kavanagh – lads who would not satnd out from the rest in club football into giant killers. For this he deserves nothing but respect and is now without question the hottest thing in football.
    Mayo for once were the benefactors of a lop sided draw and to their credit yet again steped out on final day, they simply to not have the marquee players such as Lacey, McFadden or Murphy to make the big break through and in truth Mayo would have to be about 6 points a better team on All Ireland final day to win it by just 1, such is the burden on expectation over the last 61 years. But you guys will be back, thats the thing about Mayo no matter how much you get kicked around, Mayo will be back and thank God fot that.
    Good luck next year and hopefully our paths will cross, ourselves have competed in just 2 semi finals since ’89 ie ’90 and ’91, so while things may seem bad in yers they are God dam awful in ours.

  28. i appreciate alot of these comments but i must stress mayo are plenty good enough of winning an all ireland but the coaching system is all wrong.let me explain
    1 :defending: mayo are coached to defend from the front instead of goal side.that means a defender should always be two feet behind their attacker and attack the ball and player when long high balls come into square.this is basic stuff but time and time again mayo are wrong side of forward who are so easily beaten for goals .this is fundamental stuff,keep goal side and stop attacker from getting a point but fundamentally getting a goal.
    2 not natural defenders: mayo should have at least two natural defenders that dont go forward but defend.all of mayo backs want to attack with the ball and run out with ball and give short hand passing.this is the killer of mayo football.they should cut out all short handpassing at the backs.
    3:tactics:mayo have no tactics when it comes to an all ireland.
    cafferky should have been switched to murphy and told him to man mark murphy.
    keane or any other player should be told man mark mcfadden that would be there sole job for the day.if players are not told what their job is before the game then they wont do it.this also would take alot of pressure off their players.every player the night before all ireland should be brought in one by one and be told what their job was for this match.
    4:players not performing on the day
    players who dont perform on the day should be taken off after ten minutes.
    alan dillon who was”marking carl lacey”didnt perform at all. he was a contributor for first goal because he let lacey run forty yards up the pitch and there wasnt a sign of dillon on him.lacey gave an outstanding pass to murphy who buried it in the net.this should have been cut off at source with a tackle from dillon and number two should have been cleared by a natural full back .
    this game should be annalysed again and again.so should the defeats of 2004 2006 .it is not luck that win games but players ,tactics ,and proper coaching that every player should know his job the day of the final
    5 nerves and fear:
    every player of the morning of the match should be talked to by a phscologist.
    alan dillon who i admire as a footballer does not perform on the big day and this is nerves .he was outstanding all year against sligo, down, and dublin.on the big day he just freezes.alot of other player also freezes on the big day.this i must admit is very hard on the coach to spot and rectify.but it has to be sorted.all of the players should be talked to by a phscologists the morning of the final and if he or she thinks the player will not perform on the day then he shouldnt play.
    this is a very hard decision to make by the manager or management but it has to be done.these hard decisions has to be made if mayo are ever going to win an all ireland.i hope people think this is not an attack on any indivdual or mayo football.i am an avid mayo supporter but if mayo are ever going to win an all ireland then the hard questions has to be asked why do mayo come up short year after year .we have plenty of natural footballers on panel to win an all ireland danny geraghty,seamus o shea,feeney, ronan mcgarity,etc etc but alas alot of our best are not utilised in the right way.i hope and pray that the management look and annalyse this defeat and the defeat of 2004 and 2006 and see what needs to be fixed so at last mayo can lift the sam .luck has nothing to do with winning an all ireland planning ,coaching ,players on the field that do the basic things well on the day of the ireland has.everything to do with it.
    .i pray and hope that the management look indidual at every players performance on the day of this final and find solutions for next year for mayo to win an all ireland at last.

  29. Mayo are a very good team.They have some great players and sold not lose any confidence they try very very hard.Thanks for another wonderful year

    regards lob

  30. Two things….

    GET PEARCE HANLEY back at no.11

    And

    Aiden Kilcoyne in the corner. The former was the brightest product in 20 years and wud a massive addition. Killer is an out and out scorer. An attacking six of:-

    Dillon Hanley McLoughlin

    O’Connor Moran Kilcoyne

    Way more potent.

    Come home Hanley!!!!!!!

  31. I can’t say much with respect to Hanley as I haven’t seen him play, although ppl talk him up like he’s the messiah. Agree though that Killer has got to be tried again in the corner, perhaps in the league campaign. Of course, we’re all assuming Andy makes a complete, 100% recovery and gets up to c’ship speed and fitness all in the next 6 to 9 months. Anyone who’s had a serious knee injury can tel you, that’s a big effin assumption. As much as i hate to say it, Andy may not return to what he was. We should be planning for that scenario and use the upcoming league campaign to vet new options…just sayin.

  32. Why does Donegal feel its acceptable to walk away without shaking their opponents hands after an All Ireland Final, what does it teach our underage players?
    Disgraceful

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