Dublin 0-12 Mayo 2-11: we were up for it

Seeing as I posed the question in the pre-match piece I did this morning, it’s only right to provide a response to it in the match report. Yes, we were up for it tonight as we comfortably saw off a fairly woeful Dublin by five points, in the process recording our first League win over them in Dublin since 1971 and our first win ever over them in the capital in a regulation League fixture.

We went with an unchanged team tonight from the one we named on Thursday. Dublin made two changes to the starting fifteen they’d only named at midday, notably adding the highly experienced Mick Fitzsimons to their full-back line.

The rain had begun to spill down before we left the house to stroll down to Croker and a heavy, misty rain fell for virtually the whole game. That made handling tricky enough but there was little or no wind so the wet was the only weather hazard, albeit a significant one.

We had a goal chance right from the off. The ball was played into Diarmuid O’Connor and it looked like the opportunity to bag an early goal was on but he put it over. In truth, he’d been forced a bit wide so the point was probably the safer option.

Soon afterwards we did have the ball in the net, only for it to be ruled out for a pick off the ground by Diarmuid. He’d fed Mattie Ruane who gleefully thumped it home but David Gough had already blown for the infringement.

Mattie got a point soon after as we enjoyed the better start. But then Dublin began to play themselves back into it and by ten minutes they were level.

By then, Jordan Flynn was on yellow, for a high challenge, which looked a bit harsh. Gough was already letting a lot go – if you took the ball into contact, you were on your own – so it was surprising he reached for the card for what was our first foul of the evening. Ryan O’Donoghue followed him into the book soon after for a rather delicious hit on Small.

From then until we got our opening goal was Dublin’s best period. We sank back deeply and they threw the ball around from side to side, probing for openings. They found a few too, with Robbie having to get down smartly to smother Scully’s shot.

Dublin were on an advantage then and so, after the save, Rock popped over the free. He scored another one soon after, Dublin now having bagged four without reply to go two up.

If this were a boxing match, the next phase was one where a flurry of blows were landed in quick succession. And we were the ones whose blows hit home more forcefully.

Points in quick succession from Mattie and Oisín Mullin – a player who simply oozed class tonight – drew us level. Then Kilkenny put them ahead again, for the final time in the game as it happened, before we struck for the first of our two goals.

The score was made by Diarmuid O’Connor – who was magnificent from start to finish – who collected a long diagonal ball out under the Hogan, picking it effortlessly with his toe before providing an inch-perfect hand-pass to the in-rushing Jack Carney. The Kilmeena player hit it hard and low and the ball cannoned back off the upright, hitting Comerford on the head and pinballing to the net.

Jack’s goal? OG? Jack’s all night long in my book.

Aiden Orme, now a lively presence in the forward line alongside the irrepressible Ryan O’Donoghue, added a point and so, all of a sudden, we were three to the good.

Dublin didn’t panic – they so rarely do – and instead knuckled down to reel us back in. Two excellent points from play by McGarry bookended a Rock free (a daft concession, made worse when the ball was moved forward for dissent) and so we were back level again.

But then we struck for our second goal and this, it turned out, was the one that holed them below the waterline. Diarmuid was involved in this one too, winning a free out the field and driving a precision pass into Aiden who, with Ryan riding shotgun, bore down on goal. A quick one-two did the trick and, even though Aiden had Fitzsimons and Small in close attendance, the Knockmore player was able to leap and bat the ball to the net.

Kilkenny – Dublin’s best performer on the night – responded with a point for them. Then Robbie, with the final kick of the half, boomed over a ’45 to send us in three in front.

The tempo altered after the break. We went about our business in a more controlled fashion and while this invited them onto us more, our defence was well structured and they never punched the kind of holes that could have caused us damage.

The scoreboard went quiet too and nine minutes were played before the first score of the second half arrived. And when it did, it came for us with Robbie smashing over a long-range free to widen our lead to four.

Dublin did get a shot for a goal off soon after but Robbie was equal to it, pushing O’Dell’s drive over the bar.

At the other end our wides were starting to mount. They were bad ones too, with Jordan Flynn, Lee Keegan and Kevin McLoughlin (only just on the field) missing from good positions.

Then Michael Plunkett raided forward down the right-hand side – as he’d done a few times the last day in Clones – and found himself in space and within range. The Ballintubber man curled over a cracking score, driving another nail in Dublin’s coffin.

Dublin’s wides were starting to mount now too. Their trademark pass/pass/pass until the right chance opened up in the right spot was nowhere to be seen as instead players – even of the calibre of Brian Howard – took on daft, low percentage efforts that were never going to hit the target.

At that stage, the game was crying out for another decisive thrust by us to finish them off. We should have too, you know, and it was our inability to sink the dagger when the opportunity was there for us that meant this game didn’t end in a double-digit mauling for the home team.

Instead, we added points to make the game safe. Bryan Walsh hit a nice one over, after Ryan ran into traffic but offloaded to Aiden who fed the Ballintubber man.

Rock got a free for them but by now they were approaching the point where they needed a goal and, in truth, that was never going to come.

Michael Plunkett bagged his second of the evening – a carbon copy of his first one – to push us five ahead. Small got Dublin’s final score – to a deafening Croke Park silence – as the game went into injury time and, although five minutes were still to be played, it was a comfortable final five minutes from our point of view.

It was Diarmuid – very appropriately – who bagged the game’s final score. He’d been involved in a turnover out the field – Charlie Gilmartin, in whose convivial company Rob, Joe and I watched the game from the lower Hogan, noted then that this intervention was the one that had finally broken them – and then got back on the ball further up and slotted it over to seal a five-point win.

I think it’s significant in this team’s development that we backed up last August’s All-Ireland semi-final win with a victory this evening. While Dublin are clearly in a bad spot right now, our record against them in the League – especially at Croke Park – is abysmal so the win was never a gimme. In what was a well controlled performance we made it looked like a comfortable win for us.

It’s doubly satisfying that the win was achieved with an experimental team, with young players like Donnacha McHugh, Rory Brickenden, Jack Carney, Paul Towey and Aiden Orme all playing their part in a Mayo victory over Dublin at Croke Park. That’s a real positive for us as we seek to further deepen the pool of talent within the squad.

Then when you think of how the likes of Robbie, Lee, Oisín, Stephen (who did much to ensure our backline was well organised throughout), Mattie, Diarmuid and Ryan did tonight, it’s impossible not to be satisfied with our evening’s work.

A special mention is needed for Jordan Flynn, who was harshly sent off early in the corresponding fixture in 2020 and was booked early this evening but who still put in a strong shift afterwards.

So, we’re joint top of the table tonight – along with Armagh, who drew with Monaghan earlier this evening – and it’s the Orchard County we face next in a League campaign which we already know is not going to be one where the threat of relegation will be hanging over us.

With five points on the board after three rounds, we can now afford to think more expansive thoughts about this competition and, of course, the Championship campaign that’s set to follow hot on its heels.

Tonight, though, we can reflect on a highly satisfying win over Dublin at HQ. It was a contest we were well fired up for and for that we got our due reward. We should do this more often.

Mayo: Rob Hennelly (0-2, ’45 and a free); Lee Keegan, Rory Brickenden, Michael Plunkett (0-2); Oisín Mullin (0-1), Stephen Coen, Donnacha McHugh; Matthew Ruane (0-2), Jordan Flynn; Bryan Walsh (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-2), Jack Carney (1-0); Paul Towey, Ryan O’Donoghue, Aiden Orme (1-1). Subs: Kevin McLoughlin for Carney, Conor Loftus for Towey, Enda Hession for Mullin, Aidan O’Shea for Ruane, Fergal Boland for o’Donoghue, Eoghan McLaughlin for Plunkett (blood).

Audio report:

Man of the Match poll:

Who was our MOTM against Dublin? Pick your top three performers

  • Diarmuid O'Connor (29%, 880 Votes)
  • Rob Hennelly (19%, 584 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (13%, 384 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (12%, 370 Votes)
  • Oisin Mullin (11%, 326 Votes)
  • Aiden Orme (4%, 127 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (3%, 92 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (2%, 70 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (1%, 39 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 32 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (1%, 30 Votes)
  • Bryan Walsh (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Rory Brickenden (0%, 15 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (0%, 15 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (0%, 15 Votes)
  • Donnacha McHugh (0%, 14 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (0%, 14 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (0%, 11 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (0%, 11 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (0%, 9 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (0%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,513

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56 thoughts on “Dublin 0-12 Mayo 2-11: we were up for it

  1. Great win. Important that we followed through on that semi-final win over them last year. We finally got a league win in Dublin and blooded a number of new players. We weren’t perfect, but that’s the way we want it.

    A good night’s work.

  2. Ha ha……” a rather delicious hit on Small”……Absolutely and no harm to a guy who regularly deals the foul blow to opponents…….

  3. We have depth in this squad. The whole team worked hard and seemed to be enjoying it. They were really having a ball…..excuse the pun. The forwards were good but the defense were brilliant. Hence why Dublin had all those shots from way out going wide. Even when they breached our last line Robbie dealt with it. Dare we hope.

  4. I’ve spoken in the past about the significance of goals. Last August and tonight we didt concede goals to Dublin it’s primarily the reason we beat them.

    As we go on further in the league and into champo if we can cut out the concession of goals, in favour of scoring them, then it could well be our year.

  5. Great to win, esp in the Croker – good to see Diarmaid in form. Ryan should work on left foot shooting – would open things up for him – double marked tonight. Some of the new guys were muscled off the ball at times – more strength work needed there. Robbie v lucky with pick off the ground when he got into trouble. Up Mayo

  6. I thought the Dublin fans were appalling booing OShea every time he touched the ball and generally were very nasty.
    Also noticed how quick they left the sinkng ship….a few more losses and they just won’t show up…..brittle.
    Ho entry given the money Dublin GAA are gifted they should be ashamed of that display

  7. Great team game, young players outstanding, mixed well with seasoned players. Love the look of Brickendon, Towey. Hoping Jordan Flynn makes it in midfield.
    As always Diarmuid O Connor inspirational, class, class act. His workrate, his dedication to every tackle, his kick passing, his honesty, his attutide is class. Most under rated player but I think that suits him.
    Notice if theres another player injured or an incident he has the maturity to be the man to go and check it out, speeks to the ref, and heads to the management for instruction. Total athlete even on an off day. Go Diarmuid, you will always be our captain, continued success, true gentleman. Tubber men did very well.
    Hope Jason, Paddy, Brendan n Cillan return soon. ??

  8. Punditry can be a very uncomfortable place for those that have mocked and laughed at us down through the years.

    O’Rourke to suggest, that our lads were gloating after the win, and then suggest that we could end up paying for our gloating, that it would come back to bite us. I don’t have much time for O’Rourke at the best of times, but he set a new record tonight on the levels he can reach on the depth chart, and maybe he should be examined to try and discover what it is that’s making him hallucinate. I wish Horan had seen some of the commentary before he was interviewed after the game. He might have taken the head clean off O’Rourke.

    The half time on Rte was spent talking about the level of improvement the Dubs have made since their defeat to Armagh. Of course, the head witch suggested a couple of times, at half time, that there was plenty of time left for the Dubs to get back in to the game. You could see the hurt on some of the faces of the half time crew, on Mayo managing to beat Dublin again.

    The Rte Orchestra have now changed their tune. The symphony of bullshit has changed from ” the humble Dublin greats ” to the ” gloating Mayo gobshites “. A media fabrication (if anyone is wondered what else it is Rte produce besides the toy show). It’s actually disgraceful that a paid pundit can lie to the nation and try and spin this yob, about the Mayo lads gloating after the match.

    The lab experiment has backfired. The carefully controlled blue solution has boiled over and there is an emergency in the lab. They don’t know what caused the boil over, but of course that’s not important.

    O’Rourke now feigns sympathy for the wounded animal. A ploy to curry favour in the capital and ensure there will always be a seat for his arse in the Rte studio.

  9. Just watched it back again and I’d reiterate the point I made in the match report about Jordan Flynn. His distribution tonight was superb and I think the combination of Mattie and himself at midfield has the potential to work, they certainly complement each other nicely.

  10. O’Rourke is one pundit I could never stand. He’s a real Mayo hater. He’s outdated, and a bitter pain in the hole.

    Brilliant win for us tonight. Blooding lots of players. We’re building a strong squad.

  11. I’ll read the rest of this tomorrow as I’m drunk as a skunk. I got to the description of the “rather delicious hit on small” ?, that will be enough to avoid the hangover tomorrow I’d hope.

    Very proud of the lads tonight, well done to all.

  12. Having watched the game I must say fair play to Horan and the back room team. Clearly set up with a tactical plan to beat Dublin and the players executed it. A mixture of accurate kick passing, “Horanball” when required and most importantly a solid defensive structure helped us over the line.

    Half forwards put in a power of work, on second viewing I was impressed by how much work they got through, particularly Walsh. Flynn at midfield had an excellent game. It was noteworthy how Fenton and Kilkenny were nullified and not just by a direct opponent. Ruane, Flynn, Carney, Coen and Mullin all found themselves up against Fenton at one stage or other. Similarly with Kilkenny, who had McHugh, Mullin, Keegan and Coen keeping tabs on him at various stages. The movement and communication of our back line was excellent.

    Our forward play still needs some work, too often the last pass was under or over hit. As the game went on the decision making regressed, mind you, considering the effort that went before it this is understandable.

    The subs also gave us a nice injection when needed, Aido and McLoughlin (bad wide aside) were the steady older heads when required.

    Plenty to work on, a win against Armagh would do nicely to really allow a bit more experimentation and allow game time to all ahead of Galway.

  13. Well said Revellino. I think you are on the money. There often seems to be an element of RTE bias there. Some of these pundits (not all of course) try hard to hide it as of course they are on the gravy but you have to be a very good poker player to fully hide how you feel – it always shows. So well pointed out.

    Another thing to watch out for as 1989 has pointed out is if Dublin contine sliding (they may not but the odds are against them) is if their fair weather supporter base gives up. There were a good few of those during the big years who really knew damn all about the game. They may disappear and start a new hobby. I would never write them off but the Dubs are under pressure – there appears to be confusion and frustration kicking in. Heads are all over the place.

    Lets shout it loud lads – it may not happen but lets stick them into Division 2. Now that would be very pleaseant and surely worth a few pints of the back stuff 🙂

  14. Great performance by Mayo tonight, think everyone worked hard and played their part, one thing I did not like was the keeper coming out the field with the ball, please leave that to other teams as it is only a matter of time before some keeper is left caught out doing this .( Almost happened tonight.)

  15. Time for RTE to put Colm o Rourke out to grass now. It’s 30 years since he kicked a ball at this level. What relevance has he to the modern game?

    On the game itself, I’d call it a solid win. It was tempered by just how bad Dublin were. This is the worst Dublin side since the pillar caffrey era.
    When I look at new players at this level, it’s very harsh but the question I ask myself every time is:
    Could this guy make a meaningful contribution in an all Ireland semi final or final against the best 2 or 3 teams in the country?
    From last nights evidence, I think Orme definitely could, Carney might (but is unlikely to in 2022) and the jury is still out on Towey and McHugh. Flynn played well enough but his decision making is questionable at times (he’s definitely better than last year though) and as for Brian Walsh – I thought he was one of our weaker performers slowing down the play in possession a lot and could have been taken off sooner.

    It’s sounds brutal, but that’s where Mayo football expectations have evolved to over the last decade.
    Diarmuid o connor is 80/1 for FOTY if someone wants a Hail Mary bet…

  16. There was no gloating, We were four points up and started moving the ball around the backs
    to draw opposition, This is called game – management, If they had`nt done that we in this blog
    would be giving out HELL for not seeing it out, I have no problem with comentators. They see
    it their way. I reserve the right to see it mine,

  17. I don’t understand that criticism of Jordan Flynn, Larry – having watched the game back again last night, I thought he played very well and his distribution from midfield was excellent. On yellow (harshly) after just seven minutes, he never let it affect him and, aside from that poor attempt at a point in the second half, he didn’t do anything wrong.

  18. Willie Joe, the most pleasing aspect of this game was the decisiveness of it.We shouldn’t get too carried away because Dublin were poor . ORourke is a smart man and while we might like what he says about us, RTÉ will keep him on because he provokes us and provides debate. I love the criticisms of some of your posters. I thought that the ref was good overall and another ref might have shown red to ROD for getting retribution for Eoghan on small. !!! Great to see Oisin back . He would have been my MOTM . Let’s be beware of Armagh. Now i’m just waiting for Paddy Powers to open . 15/8 was generous??

  19. I put a post up on Friday that I hoped Jordan could put in a performance and I thought he was fine. His kick passing was very good and he held his nerve after the yellow card (John Small got away with one shortly afterwards on Lee)
    Jordan will improve with games and the big bonus was that it freed up Diarmuid.
    It was Jordan’s run and kick pass that set up the goal in Monaghan last week and he very nearly put Diarmuid in for a goal chance in the first minute last night.
    Jordan has all the tools for the job.

  20. We all have our opinions, in general I enjoy O’Rourkes articles and he has plenty of insights that are still relevant to the game today.

    Regarding the game, the most damning thing that we could say is what did we learn based on how poor the opposition. I did think that the defensive organisation was impressive once the Dubs delayed the quick ball. The use of the kick pass was good to see, and finally players got minutes. The intensity will not match the Galway game so will be very interesting to see how we shape up in the next few games to truly test some of the new players.

  21. Great win. Enjoy it in the moment and move on.

    Down under – in fairness we have a huge bandwagon support ourselves.

  22. I didn’t think Dublin were that poor.We didn’t let them play Hennelley got key saves and kicks and that makes a big difference to the outcome.
    I know its obvious but looking at the scoreline …goals win matches…..so often in the past and hopefully not in the future we would not take chances and concede 2 at the other end.Last night was the opposite.

  23. A rather delicious win at last for us in the league against the Dubs. It was obvious from early in this game that we meant business. It had a strange effect on the Mayo support as the usual roar of Mayo Mayo Mayo never got going. It was almost like we didn’t believe what we were seeing with our own eyes and the scars of so many poor performances in the past were holding us back. It also showed the trust and belief James has in the new recruits and that game will be a huge boost to their confidence not to mention a huge boost for the supporters also. Expect a huge crowd in the Hyde next Sunday. We can dare to dream again!

  24. It’s only the league etc. but that result has gotten better overnight. Felt like Jordan, Aldenham O, McHugh and Plunkett and probably Carney have earnt a starting spot for next week. Very encouraging when you think there won’t be Sigerson or club matches to worry about, and the fact that there’s 4 nailed on starters that should be rejoining. Was also happy to see Walsh get his point too, but from the TV it was harder to tell how effective he was. any points from the next match would be great

  25. Was Horan miked up last night? It seemed like he was. If so that’s a big positive, It hasn’t happened before, maybe he’s finally realised you can’t see anything from standing on the sideline.

  26. Never thought I’d be saying this about Dublin but you can only play what’s in front of you, and we played what was in front of us very well

  27. Watched the ladies in the rain in the Cusack, and the men from the Premium (long story). Watched it back too. This was an impressive win, because we took the lead when we goaled, never lost it (evens for a minute), and pretty much controlled the second half. Dublin were not brutal; the TV watch back confirmed that. They were competitive, fought for everything, really had our number on the high press, which caused us a lot of problems, and will be noted by others.

    Diarmaid led the team magnificently, we got vital goals, Jack’s all night long!, and Orme’s, who was very impressive. So was Jordan Flynn, especially so, when a harsh booking early on could have affected him. Great experience for the newbies.

    On the watch back, didn’t spend a lot of time on the pundits, but Eamonn Fitzmaurice on Co-commentary was a joy. Brought it to a new level.

  28. Good performance and we set the tone early on. Yes we malfunctioned a bit at times but were by far the better team for most of the 2nd half. Is there a sweeter striker of the ball from the wrong side than Plunkett? Made difficult angle look easy twice. The backs goal chance aside were very organised in 2nd half despite 2 rookies in there and Dublin threw out their Uber control everything script. It’s harder to do it when you’re behind and they failed. If even 1 of Kilkenny, Fenton, McCarthy, COC or Paddy Small can’t make championship they’re screwed, they might get away without small but not the other 4. Relegation is a strong possibility because no team left will be afraid of them and Kildare will be absolutely relishing their game now.
    For us 1 more game sees us safe. Not sure if making the the final is best outcome depending on how close it is to the Galway game. Happy to keep experimenting especially if we win the next one. Of the rookies Orme did best and adds height in the danger area. As well as 1-1 helped set up some other scores and like Diarmaid his long limbs wins us back some 50 50 balls we initially lose. Really liked our kicking game, it could be exciting and see us getting more goals. On a drier day we could have bagged 4 or 5. ROD Is a marked man by many teams but that frees up others.

  29. I do see Bryan Walsh’s talent and I think he’s improving and getting more confident each game. However, he needs to start contributing more on scoreboard and most of all he needs to stop making schoolboy mistakes. I have him down as the culprit for 2 Dublin points against the run of play. Once when he overplayed the ball, and the other when he was caught badly in possession.

    He reminds me a little of Jason Doc back circa 2012. It will be interesting to see if James continues to keep faith in Bryan. If he does, his confidence may continue to grow and he’ll stop overthinking it and may begin to play with more instinct and freedom. I like how he gets into dangerous positions and I like his movement. But there are other lads showing well also (and other lads to come back in) that will be competing for Bryan’s jersey so it needs to happen soon for him.

  30. A great win for Mayo. It was pretty comprehensive in the end and the team looked well organised all through the game. What impressed me most was our defensive structure and how tenacious we were when Dublin had the ball. We will face greater challenges this year but it bodes well for the championship.

    Hennelly was very good again. Brickenden played well and with more experience could be a good option at full back. I thought Flynn had his best game for Mayo, he was a commanding presence and he brings real physicality to midfield. Ruane is a serious footballer but he needs someone like Flynn bedside him when we meet big, powerful midfield pairings later in the year. It was also great to see Diarmuid full of energy and dictating play again.

    As regards O’Rourkes comments, surely at this stage we know what to expect from him and he shouldn’t even be mentioned on the blog.

  31. Well done lads great win,

    I was saying all week that Dublin were there for the taking and you delivered.

    They’ll enjoy division 2 ?

  32. On thing I noticed coming out after half time was how much the players were enjoying the game, cracking jokes with the ref and smiling tike they knew they would take out the dubs. Would love to know the banter that time between Ruane and Fenton . Ruane seemed to think he was being hilarious and Fenton didn’t look nearly as amused struggling to crack a smile, then Matthew hit him a friendly shoulder for good measure. Ryan was 50 50 red for that hit and game could have been a very different outcome if he got the line, we’d need to watch that craic and keep our discipline. In contrast Aidos big hit on Fitsimmons was 100% legit, jeez he’s some horse of a man.

  33. Great win, but key to Mayo winning, has generally don’t concede more than one goal. We have the defender’s to keep the opposition score board at a manageable level. Still think full back a problem area, but great to see new player been given a go. Looking at remaining fixtures, Armagh and Kerry forwards will test, our defensive strength, but this perfect practice for Galway in championship, which is the only show that matter in the coming months

  34. Diarmuid O Connor’s vision and footballing skills are sublime..Great to see him back on top form..
    Watching the game back over breakfast..Lovely way to spend a Sunday morning .

  35. Good to back up the win in August with one in the league, but ultimately it won’t matter a huge amount if the teams meet again in the championship. Both sides were missing starting players last night.

    Nice to sew it into the Redmonds and McMahons of this world, though.

    For us, we probably now have the freedom to experiment a bit and fine tune things ahead of the Galway game, if that’s what management want to do, especially given that we have Paddy Durcan, O’Hora, COC, Jason Doherty, Eoghan McLoughlin to come back. Alternatively, we can field strong sides against Armagh, Kerry and Tyrone and push for a final berth (guessing that the semi-finals have gone the way of the dodo?).

    The Dubs need three wins out of four (minimum) to avoid relegation. Looking at the fixture list, that looks unlikely given that they are away to Kildare, Tyrone and Monaghan, with just Donegal to play at HQ. For the first time in years, the likes of Meath and Kildare might feel they are in with a sniff of it in the Leinster Championship.

  36. I Rourke is harmless enough, the comment was a bit daft as the dubs would have played keep ball to infinity if they had a 5 point lead. A bad day at the office for him but I sometimes enjoy his wit.

  37. Delighted to have been proved wrong in my predictions. An excellent performance and important win. Onwards and upwards.

  38. Mind the House – Small didn’t get away with that hit, the re-watch last night confirmed he was booked for it. Quite right too. In Croker, I thought Gough gave us nothing but on the re-watch it didn’t look as bad as that.

    1989/Catcol – Despite what I said in the match report, the re-watch also confirmed that Dublin weren’t that bad. They competed hard but we competed harder!

    Catcol – I’m with you on Eamon Fitzmaurice, his languid contributions are easy on the ear. In one of the earlier rounds he was celebrating the end of the water break, saying how great it was the match was continuing on when “they could have been inside in a water break.”

    Puckout – it looked like James was mic’d up last night. If so, it was a hidden, secret squirrel kind of device – not like the big yoke hanging off Dessie’s lug – but I think he was. Lookit, Roger, Over!

  39. What was strangest, and possibly most significant, was how comfortably we closed the game out. For years (ever?) if Mayo are less than 2 clear goals ahead, they look nervy trying to see a game out, the Mayo crowd gets nervy, the opposition senses it and we end up clinging on, or losing the game.
    Yesterday, Mayo saw out the game calmly and with no fuss, and I never thought we were in any danger of throwing it away.
    A routine win against Dublin – hopefully the new norm!

  40. Lots of positives from last night. We are moving the ball quicker through kick passing much more. If anything we could have left the ball in quicker towards our full forward line because Dublin fb line was struggling so much but this is nit picking. Oisin showed exactly why we needed to keep him, he is so special. DOC, Flynn, Matty excellent but I thought everyone did well. Organisation at back really good when Dublin came at us. If Lee had pointed that time in the second half it would have been a candidate for point of the season already, the kick out from Rob for this move was sublime. Credit to James and his team, I have so much respect for all they do for us. Finally, thought support was good tonight in CP with a lot of noisy Mayo support around me. I know people are saying that 24k is a good crowd but it also means a lot of Dubs can’t be bothered to get off their arses and walk down the road to support their team playing at home. Anywho, I’m happy tonight, I think we have our eyes firmly fixed on championship but this good run in the league is important because championship will not be long coming.

  41. Key to getting where we want is improvement within yhe group.We are certainly seeing that.Jordan Flynn is a great example of that.
    Honestly though he can’t get a break and gets carded every game.
    If he keeps up him improvement it will be absolutely key for us in the Summer.

    Truth is I think what’s coming is better than what’s gone in terms of Mayo football.I can’t believe I can say that.
    The panel is looking very powerful.

  42. What a strange game . From the very first minute it just felt like this was not the same Dublin and we were going to win it. The nerves just were not there.

    It was really hard to pick out players who performed exceptional at game as performance was so good but also feeling we could have kicked on even more. Thought Matty was flying considering this was his first game . Need to rewatch game again but felt Flynn was steady and really did complement the midfield. He is not a half forward. This pairing works so much better than loftus in there.

    Must also congratulate DOC as he was everywhere. I’ve been a critic in past but he really seems to be coming back to form.

    Can anyone explain how Walsh stayed on as long ? I reckon he cost us at least 3 points and seems no connections forming going forward. He gives away a lot of frees tackling as well. Hope his jersey is up for grabs in next game

  43. Brilliant performance , well done to all involved . Loving Diarmuids improving every game momentum .

  44. Great to see how consistently good Rob Hennelly has been in this league campaign. His place ball kicking has been good,top class saves and gave a beauty of a 60m kick pass last night,his confidence is obviously up but I wouldn’t encourage him to go all Curran cake and set off on those (mazy) solo runs….just about got away with one last might but it’s causing a shiver today when I think of it…so I gave my mom nod to DOC .

  45. It seems he actually learned from the All Ireland defeat and recognise the need to move the ball quickly into the forward line rather than a measured, slow approach. There does feel like there is a change in the way it’s being played. Armagh, Kerry and us all try to get ball in quickly and all three top of the league. Dublin still trying to play their possession based style with less quality players. Armagh next, be interesting to see was their flying start due to being ahead fitness wise of everyone else or are they the real deal. Game was won in first half. Think we had something like 75% shot accuracy which is great. Dropped off in second half but that was about game management and even then beat Dublin 5-3 in second half

  46. We were clearly the better team last night and should have beaten Dublin by more and I believe we would have done so if we had more confidence. Particularly confidence for the younger players which will bring with it sense of calm to not rush a shot or panic pass a ball to a player in a poor position and when they find themselves in the pocket to go for the score. A game like that will do these young lads a great favour.. they will know they can mix it with the best or know what they need to do to mix it with the best. There should be a great bounce in training this week after that result. I agree Dublin were not great but they were better then previous games and they brought real intensity and purpose to the game, they did not want to loose to us, simple as that, Mayo are their litmus test for the year ahead and it will be a difficult place for them to be after that result. I still see them staying up though!

  47. A great game yesterday in difficult conditions. Two stand out points to take away. First is to do with Dublin. They look to be all over the place. I know it’s early in the year and they are trying out new players but something isn’t right. The culture of the Dubs under Gavin is completely gone. Gone are the days when they would retain the ball and always make the correct decision. The amount of ball they kicked into Mayo hands yesterday was terrible. Their full back line was terrible in my opinion and they had no options in the full forward line. I would be worried for them in the league but once they get everyone back it will interesting to see how they get on.
    As for Mayo I was impressed. The movement up front was brilliant. Hennelly was excellent too but for me Orme was man of the match. 1-2 in his first full game in croke park. Clinical finisher and fantastic vision. Can really pick a pass and proved that skill throughout the club championship. I want to see more of him in the full forward line. When Mayo kick the ball they are as good as what’s in the country. I know Horan likes a running game and against 90% of opponents I think it wins out. But against the best we need to mix it up. ROD, DOC, Orme, Kev Mc can all pick out great passes. When Cillian comes back the forward line will be exciting. Shout out to Ruane too. Thought he gave a good base in the middle.

  48. I’m smiling contentedly to myself……feck it, purring like a kitten, seeing the thread above. Absolutely massive to be seriously upbeat about the green n red yet again…..and this only February……..Keep it coming !

  49. Thinking back on it, I don’t think either that Dublin were actually as bad as they looked. It’s good for us to remember that because it gives context to our win.
    We had our homework done and knew how to expose their possible defensive weakness with a long ball.
    In addition, we had prepared a very solid defensive strategy to keep them out from scoring in the second half. That also included Lee making runs upfield drawing forwards with him.
    Diarmuid was in flying form.
    Things we did made them look ordinary.
    That said, it’s getting uncomfortable for them now with no points on the table yet.

  50. Things are looking up in fairness despite the injury count.
    Can’t but be impressed by Mayos use of O Shea. He has been a calming influence in all the games he has come on in and has made telling contrutions in all games.

  51. Great win for the us. Fantastic to see us starting so well as this had become a problem. Credit to Horan for showing faith in the young players. That will stand to the team in the months ahead. Great competition in the panel which is brilliant.

  52. I cant believe we have gone to Croke Park and won without kicking a single free out of the hand given that one of our biggest criticisms in years gone by was that we were overly reliant on frees.
    Robbie kicked one off the ground but I don’t think we had another free from within range all night. I don’t recall Ryan missing a free anyway.

  53. Something which struck me as the game went on in the second half was that the Mayo players seemed to be enjoying it immensely, confident that they had Dublin’s measure. A Dublin supporter told me this evening that it was Dublin’s Junior team. I agreed that they certainly played like Juniors but to describe Kilkenny and Fenton as Juniors was a bit harsh. The absence of Paddy Durcan, Padraig O’Hora and Cillian O’Connor from the Mayo panel more than compensated for Dublin not having Con O’Callaghan and James McCarthy.

  54. The result neither makes Mayo shoo-ins for Sam nor makes Dublin has beens. Mayo have the blocks to build with which is pretty obvious. Dublin know they have to replace some pretty formidable operators and that can only be done by being ruthless in the league. So Dublin will be a different animal when championship comes around and a dangerous animal at that.
    Been watching Mayo for 60 years and finally get the feel that this group really know what it takes. Hope I’m reading that correctly??

  55. You get nothing for beating Dublin in a league game or all Ireland semi final ? ,who are the last team to beat Dublin in a meaningful match ? ,the all-Ireland football championship is so open this year ?, I wouldn’t begrudge Mayo one ?

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