Dublin 3-15 Mayo 1-14: failure to land knockout blow proves fatal

AISF replay final score

This evening’s replay was so different in every sense from last Sunday’s drawn game. By half-time we were in a better place and with twenty minutes to go we were four to the good and had them at our mercy. A crucial five minutes then passed when we failed to ram home our advantage. Lee Keegan dropped an easy chance for a point short and we failed in that defining stage of the game to stretch our lead still further.

Instead, we endured an 11-point swing, conceding 2-5 without reply and were outscored by 3-5 to 0-2 over that final fifteen minutes. As collapses go, this was more calamitous than what Dublin had experienced last Sunday and this one was fatal. Out with the tide, once again, went our hopes of making it back to an All-Ireland final.

Right from the start today, the mood inside Croke Park was immeasurably better than last Sunday. The moronic booing of individual players aside – and our lot’s catcalling of Diarmuid Connolly every time he touched the ball was as stupid as the barracking they gave Lee, Cillian O’Connor and Aidan O’Shea – the atmosphere inside the ground was, at least where I was sitting, relaxed and easy-going.

We settled quickly today. We traded points with them till the break, some of ours really cracking ones from play, and in that opening 35 minutes we both had our moments. Overall, though, those periods cancelled each other out and we reached the turn level on ten points each.

The first half was played at a furious enough pace but the nastiness that characterised so much of the drawn game seemed noticeably absent. I’d give a lot of credit for this to Eddie Kinsella who reffed the contest excellently from start to finish and kept a firm hand on proceedings throughout.

It was perhaps predictable that we should be the ones to lose a significant player for disciplinary reasons. I didn’t see what Cooper did to provoke Seamus O’Shea but from the corner of my eye I saw Seamie throwing him out of the way. I don’t think we could have had any complaints for the black card that followed.

It wasn’t a disastrous set-back but Seamie’s a big player for us and his withdrawal meant Andy Moran was pitched into the fray a bit sooner than we might have wanted.

Our best period came after this, though, capped by Cillian’s goal which put us four points in front. Andy laid it off perfectly to him and Cillian did wonderfully well to finish despite being off-balance as Cluxton pawed at him as he shimmied around him.

It was all perfectly set up for us then. The Dublin support – so big and boisterous when the Dubs are in the ascendency but so quick to disappear to nothing when things start to go awry – was stunned into silence and the battle out on the pitch was going our way.

Forward we swarmed repeatedly but every attack we made failed to produce any further reward on the scoreboard. And boy were we made to pay.

Both of Dublin’s first two goals came from our kickouts. The second one was the fatal one – Barry Moran had bizarrely been taken off and Robbie, equally bizarrely, chose this moment to boom his first kick out the middle, a middle where our team was shorn of ball winners. MacAuley won the ball unchallenged and seconds later McMahon was bundling it into the net after we’d failed to prevent Brogan burrowing up the inside channel. Our goose was cooked then.

The third goal looked preventable too. MacManamon was left in acres of space and was allowed to advance unimpeded on goal but even then I felt the shot shouldn’t have ended in the net. But it did and that emphatically ended the contest.

We’ve no complaints – how could we? We were well beaten by a team that overran us in the final quarter. I guess my argument would be that we should have been able to keep that particular genie inside the bottle but we weren’t and when the Dubs came at us in full flow we simply had no answer.

AISF replay pre-match huddle

In that sense, this evening’s semi-final replay defeat is easier to take than it was that awful evening down in Limerick last year. There’s no sense of injustice this time, no blaming the ref or cursing our luck or anything like that. We came up short, we were beaten by a team that eventually proved itself to be more resilient and – when the chances finally opened up for them – more clinical.

But, of course, in another way it’s worse, far worse. This defeat leaves us further away from the summit compared to last year, which in turn was further than the year before. This bunch of lads have given their all and more in the pursuit of ultimate honours – and they deserve all the praise and admiration we can give them – but tonight the Holy Grail appears a more distant, unattainable target.

We know by now that these lads won’t give up, we know there’ll be another push next year and once next year comes we know we’ll all be there again rooting for them. Hoping beyond hope that this time it’ll be our year.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Ger Cafferkey, Donal Vaughan, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan (0-1), Chris Barrett, Colm Boyle; Seamus O’Shea, Tom Parsons; Diarmuid O’Connor (0-2), Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Kevin McLoughlin (0-1); Barry Moran (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (1-6, five frees), Jason Doherty. Subs: Patrick Durcan (0-1) for Vaughan, Andy Moran (0-1, a free) for Seamus O’Shea (black card), David Drake for Boyle, Alan Freeman for Barry Moran, Stephen Coen for Parsons, Mark Ronaldson for McLoughlin.

268 thoughts on “Dublin 3-15 Mayo 1-14: failure to land knockout blow proves fatal

  1. gutted.Lost focus.Ro v unfocused…putting on gloves…crowd got to him.Poor by so many including sideline. Sorry for the lads…gave it all but its not enough

  2. Ah well
    Where do we go from here.

    WWhet 4 points up and didn’t know what to do. The dubs did and so would kerry. That for me is the difference.

    Thanks to all the lads for another great year.

  3. I agree totally list focus and didn’t hammer the hammer opportunity for point dropped into goal keepers hands lost the ball the lead to Dublin equaliser. The game plan was the same as last week dublin changed theirs mayo didn’t. I feel so sorry for those guys they deserved more.

  4. So disappointed, yet again. It was there for the taking…..yet again! Well done lads, just a pity the killer blow couldn’t be delivered. C. Boyle off, B. Moran off, S. O’Shea off ???? Fairly big chunk of experience to go at such a crucial point in the game and then to be replaced by “shakey” forwards. Gaping hole left in the centre! K.Higgins & Ger C were well off the pace today. Dearly missed Donie! What an unsung hero!. When is Mayo going to stop making stupid, silly, handling mistakes? Dublin short kickouts….once again, for the 2nd time in 1 week, mayo failed to learn & reciprocate.

    PS. What did Pat Homes mean in last weeks interview when he said that “I didn’t realise we only got 1 point from play in the first half ???????????

  5. Well management were poor and the question of macstay over looked came back to bite when playing top teams? I felt sorry the players and seamus o shea. Mayo did not change their long ball into aidan. It was bizarre even Spillane mentioned it where was the change in direction? It was so lateral no width all clustered on to one side of the pitch

  6. No complaints really with Dublin’s win.

    Turning points
    a) Seamie’s black card in the ~38th min…forced our hand too early I thought.
    b)We had them on the rack @55th min, 4 pts up, Keegan missed an easy chance to put us 5 up….next score was dublins first goal I think…

    Disappointed with our approach, just allowing Dublin to walk every kick off out uncontested….
    Anyway, heads up lads. Its a bitch loosing for sure, but no shame in losing to a top 3 team.

  7. Desperately disappointed more for the players than us supporters They gave so much but in truth were not good enough. Were lucky to be level at half time as dub forwards kicked great scores while we kicked aimlessly towards Aido. Had great opportunity in 2nd half but losing Seamus was crucial and Barry going off made it worse. No doubt an element here will point finger at management but when Barry worked v Donegal they were geniuses. The fact is we conceded 3 goals in 9 mins and were outscored 3 5 to 0 2 in last 15 mins and truth be told our defence has struggled all year. Our subs with exception of Andy and Durkin did little while their subs did well. No point whinging or blaming Connolly or any of that. Tonight my thoughts are with the players who have represented us so magnificently for the last 5 years. How gutted must they feel. Can they come back again. I hope its not the end of an era.

  8. Hard luck lads but the better team on the day won……………..some very tired players there in the last quarter.
    Question now is , will these lads have the heart to push again after being so close for so long ???
    In any case thanks for the past 5 enthralling years.
    MaighEo Abu

  9. Thought Barry Moran sub was a bad idea. Game seemed to turn afterwards. Can’t really complain as Dublin closed it out well in last 20 mins. Dissapointing for everyone – players must be sick.

  10. Hard luck to our lads today .I’ll do a post mortom later. Thought our support were fucking amazing.

  11. Lads it beginning to sound like a “funeral” here…yeah its hard losing,. but many of this team are still young, not even reached their prime yet, so many of them will be back.

    But the bar has gotten higher and many of them just wont make it back for whatever reason…BUT we’ll have new young bucks to take their place…the likes of Durkin, Coen, Reagan, the list goes on…so chins up!

    Anywan who writes the obituary for this team is stone mad.

  12. Seamie should have known better, that was a stupid decision by an experienced player. As was said above, it forced our hand 4 mins into second half. All that stuff was not going to be missed this time around and for Seamie to do it right in front of the linesman!!!
    We had them on the rack but failed to make it count. No failures or blame on anyone’s part as they’ve all given their all, we just came up short that’s all. Thanks to everyone involved for another great year and we’ll winter well and come back stronger.
    Hon Mayo.

  13. Gutted for the lads but the better team won in the end. Its heart breaking for them after everything they’ve given over the past 5 years. Probably the end of the road for a couple of them now as the sun goes down on another exciting but ultimately disappointing season.

  14. Luckey I’m a KIlkenny man 🙂 Something to look forward to tomorrow and wash away my mayo blues.

    Year on year I’ve followed Mayo football. Year on Year it’s been polarised by the same powerful excitement and bitter disappoitment.

    I feel so bad for the senior players who have been around for so long. How much more can they give…..and take. They deserve a medal for, dedication, determination and heart.

    Great to see the youngsters, D. O’Connor & P. Durcan coming into their own.

    I think its now time for a changing of the guard, some players and definitely mayo management. I think we need a fresh perspective…….from an outside manager. We also need more new talent.

  15. Well? The best team won at the finish. I feel for the lads. I won’t be right for weeks. I wish that there was some curse or god that could help them. On this day we were not good enough, plain and simple. The best team on this day won and I will have to draw some comfort from that and wish them well. Dublin won fair and square. We had our chances but did not or were not able to take them. This feels like real grief again but I take some solace that we were beaten by a better prepared team this time and fair play to them. I wish Dublin well and feel for the lads who have given so much of themselves. They are the ones and the only ones who will end this thing. I fucking love Mayo and am a proud Mayo man llike all of you. We will get there.

    Come On Mayo!!!

  16. A general warning for all – this isn’t the place to come to trash-talk individual players or management. We’re all desperately disappointed but I’m not going to allow individuals to use this site for cheap shots.

    JC and Realistic – you’re both in the sin-bin for those comments which I’ve now deleted.

  17. Truly gutted for the lads. They gave another great year. Truly lit up the summer of 2015 with many exciting days. Dublin were a better team on the day. Their bench is better than ours. Great excitement again in croker and around the town. Both games felt like an AI day. Best of luck to the Dubs. These games will be the making of them.

  18. I wouldn’t be too hard on anyone involved with that team. The goal that got Dublin back into it was a miss hit that was going wide until Brogan deflected it in. We were probably beaten by a better team after that and the Mayo team seemed to wilt a bit towards the end. Not surprising after last week’s exertions and the hard running in the first half.

    As always we will hopefully get over the winter and start again.

  19. This team have brought us all on a long journey. This is just another twist on the road. No recriminations should be delivered to any player. They have far more than any fan has to this cause. The disappointment will fade. This team we are blessed with will not. I know it’s tough now to think of next season but this team will win an all Ireland. It will be next year. We will win this fucking thing. Back off on the abuse

  20. So are we allowed to criticise the management at all? I think we went too defensive when we went 4 points up. That’s just my opinion and I don’t mean to offend anyone.

  21. Birthday today and i had one wish ..thats gone ..have shed my tears of frustration..they are nothing compared to what mayo team will shed..literally nothing left to say ..

  22. Good , willie joe while I am very disappointed I want to say this has been the best few years so cannot criticise either team or management, it is time to consider how well they have represented us.how many of us would put our lives on hold as they have done

  23. Sorry to hear that Regina. I reckon we’ll be back in a semi-final again next year and anything is possible from there!

  24. Thanks W J , i know we are all very disappointed right now , but these lads owe us nothing .They have given us 5 great years of blood and guts .Also our new management have done fairly well in their first year . SO NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO START LAYING INTO OUR TEAM AND MANAGEMENT .

  25. Thankfully it was a good sporting game. We can have no complaints the best team one. Dublin ultimately had more match winners and brogan and mcmanamon delivered when called upon. Mayo are a couple of quality players short in key positions but we all knew that deep down anyway. Feel for the players and congratulate them for their effort and courage. It will stand them well in other areas of their life. It’s only a football game at the end of the day and let’s all remember to put in the context of the terrible suffering in the world we witnessed on our TV screens this week. Safe home to all. The traffic is cat!

  26. wJ.

    Don’t think any amount of analysis can sum it up better than ur 2 sentences above.

    McCauley picked his day to resurrect his career. McMahon was MOM for me even though rte gave to an excellent Andrews…I guess he was lucky to be there but that is neither here nor there. Was no excuse in the end….a gallant performance but the cornerstone of mayo strength – midfield was their unlikely weak point in last 20. Andy Moran showed his worth again….will be huge loss when he packs it in.

  27. I just want to say thanks to the Mayo team for giving us five fantastic years I’m bitterly disappointed it was there for the taking when we were four up we should have pushed on but we didn’t and it was not to be I for one will be out in the cold and the rain in January and will keep cheering on whoever represents us in a Mayo jersey as long as God gives me the health to do so. Thank you Willie Joe for giving us this platform to express our views

  28. A bit disappointing that a small section of our support have again chosen to turn on the management and players when we lose. I think the whole setup gas been a credit to our county this year, they all deserve our respect, particularly on the days they don’t win.

    Believe it or not it is possible that we’re just not the best team in the country at the moment, not every defeat is ‘lost on the line’. Dublin were better today, and being brutally honest, they have more top players than we do. It is hardly surprising – they have far more clubs and a much bigger pick than us.

    Our players deserve their reward at national level and I hope they get it, but even if it doesn’t happen we should be massively proud of their efforts regardless. I know I am.

    To finish on a positive – Dublin and Kerry are both on the opposite side of the draw to us next year, we will have massive opportunity to make another final. We’ve added three excellent new players to the team this year, real top class lads. If we can find three more by this time next year we won’t be far away from an All Ireland.

    Up Mayo!

  29. Hi All,
    The last thing I want to do is patronise any Mayo person but I have to comment that you should be so proud of your lads they were magic and are magic. When you think of how hard it is to get to a semi-final it puts into context what your lads and my own have sacrificed for our sake. I know a lot of good Mayo people and was lucky enough to meet Willie Joe on Thursday and I now consider him another good Mayo person that I know. I know what its like to be beaten at this stage and earlier as a Dub, we were hammered in 2008 and 2009 and it broke my heart. Mayo will be back and you will win the All-Ireland that’s for sure, you have some great young lads coming up and some great experienced heads. That’s enough from me but I know as well as you all the pain goes quick when you have a great team to look forward to in 2016 and you lads do, cheers and take care.

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  30. Hard luck lads,it wasn’t to be.Thanks to every member of the Mayo set up for another great year.Disappointed but proud.Totally disgusted with all the so called Mayo supporters who turned their backs on the lads from 65 minutes onwards but then again ye won’t be seen again until were back in Croke Park.These players deserve better.

  31. Good man Martin, well said as a true supporter may you have the best of luck in the final, I must say I have always found Dublin supporters very good so I was disappointed to see so many negative views on here a very good game played in the best spirit so it makes up for the last day

  32. For a while there we thought there was a chance of pulling it off, but getting over the line is another matte. Sadly Croke Park continues to be a graveyard for us and it’s hard to see it changing anytime soon.

    Had the opportunity to go down and watch the Team leaving the dressing room and I have to say, my heart went out to them. What ever about us supporters, we can give out for a bit and move on, but seeing the disappointment on these lads faces, you realize what hurt really is. Sport can be so cruel sometimes, but for Mayo it goes on and on.

  33. Well done Martin. Thanks for the words of comfort.

    Unfortunately I now don’t think this great bunch of players will ever land Sam but that’s for another day.

    We were four up and had them rattled. We missed crucial chances and if we got them, I think they would have folded. Keegans miss was huge but he was immense throughout.

    They blew us away with their bench from then on and were deserving winners. However first two goals were flukes and I’m not sure about legitimacy of second but I’d have to see it again.

  34. Mayo have no one to blame but themselves, alot of people saying 5 great years but how is losing great.. Poor sideline decisions have cost 3 all Irelands.. Aiden o Shea the best mayo player just left on his own, complete waste of talent.. Handy goals given away because a solid defensive structure cant be put in place.. I’m a Clare man who’s been following mayo because my old man use to bring me to the games and I do feel sorry for the players but something has to be done about management.. It’s ridiculous its the same thing every year that’s costing all Irelands, best group of players mayo ever had but no one to make the right decisions and I know they’ve been up there last 5 years but in fairness with this group of players a child could get them to the semi final..

  35. Thanks to the Mayo management and players for another great year, already looking forward to next year Galway and Rossies coming to Castlebar , Jesus Diurmuid OConnor was fantastic if only there were another few of him and his brother Cillian.

    Dublins bench really won it for them we needed everything to go right, Donie was a big loss as was Seamie…..Ithink Dublin will beat Kerry now they have their mojo back , imagine that we will have lost to the eventual winners 4 years on the trot
    Mayo forever

  36. I walked a while with sorrow, but never a word said she, but I learned a lot from sorrow when she walked a while with me.we have certainly learned a lot about sorrow following this great county of ours, but we will be back because that is what we are, up mayo

  37. Really gutted but thanks to players and all involved. Especially you WJ for brilliant website. Not the time for snap judgements on anyone’s part. We have to aim for 6 in a row in Connaught next year and on to win the damn thing.

  38. We just ran out of steam. We were 4 up, chance to go 5 up and suddenly conceded a point down other end. Kick outa were poor and let in an unlucky goal. 2nd goal was questionable and suddenly we were out of it. So close and yet so far at the end of the day. A gallant effort but some day we have to push on beyond a gallant effort and this will require that we learn on the line which did not happen today. Aimless balls into Aido were a killer and sapped our energy. Great effort by the Team but they deserve better from the sideline.

  39. Declan, I like your thinking and it’s more positivity like that that we need. Fuck the begrudgers, these are OUR lads and we all either win together or lose together. There’s no jumping ship when the going gets tough. If that’s what some want to do well off you go. I’m for sticking. We’re blessed with these lads and, ok it didn’t go our way today, but if there’s breath in my body next January I’ll be there, in the pissing rain, roaring our lads on against Sligo IT or NUIG or whoever. Just like this year.
    Our day WILL come. We didn’t deserve to win today, that’s all. But the blood will rise again next January.
    Hon Mayo. You did us all proud.

  40. On the road home and my heart is breaking but for some reason it’s not as bad as last year nothing will ever be as bad as last year today the better team won I honestly thought we had them with 20 mins to go thought some of the lads looked wrecked and we were missing that killer instinct I’ve gotten to the stage supporting that I’m
    More gutted for the team & their families than I am for myself thanks for everything you’ve done on this site Willie Joe delighted you got to meet some of my crew today 🙂 keep the chins up everyone we won’t be down for long!!’ Maigheo Abu always!

  41. I know the wounds are raw but seriously lads, many of you need to cop on!

    We lost today to a top team, possibly thee top team in the country..semi finals are about the best 4 teams in the country, of which we are lucky and privileged to be one.

    The nature of the championship has changed in that the gulf between the top 4 and the rest is huge, therefore its reasonable for us Mayo supporters to believe we will be back in this same semi final a year from now….and one of these years, we’ll get the combination of talent. players and management correct and we’ll win it.
    We obviously haven’t got that combination just yet, but its tantalizingly close!

    So hang in there…the players, management and supporters will get over this in a few weeks, enjoy the holidays, be back in January trying some new options/players with an eye on the holy grail in September.

  42. The mayo supporters were fantastic all year. From Kilmaine in Feb, to Salthill, The Hyde, and 3 great days in croker with a wonderful atmosphere ans excitement. This team will never die. I can see Dublin win this one and I wish them well. Kerry for the minor perhaps.

  43. Your never as good as they say you are and your never as bad.
    We’ll be back, we always are.
    Maigh Eo Abù

  44. As a Dub I’m delighted with the win, but I remember sitting in the same seat as today back in 2006 when Mayo ripped us apart in the 2nd half….with Mortimer, Dillion and Moran doing the damage. In 2012 we never got close, you won it in the first half and we couldn’t live with the pace. Upshot is you win some you lose some, but the Mayo players & team ( and fans ) never fail to turn up and compete….its only the roll of the dice that decides these games and the Dubs got the rub of the green today. Looking forward to seeing you next year and having the banter. Safe home

  45. A real sickener for all Mayo people but most of all for the players and management. Yet I believe that management were too cautious – faint heart never won fair lady and all that. I could never see the sense in conceding the Dublin kickout, particularly since we know that Cluxton does not handle it well when he is denied his handy option. And when when we were in the driving seat we did not push for home. It was not just Keegan’s shot into Cluxton’s hands but we generally did not push for home at four points up. The Aiden O’Shea at full forward trick did not work today again, partly because he had little support up front. When the ball broke between Aiden and the Dublin defenders there was no Mayo player in the vicinity to even contest it. Was it not worth trying Barry Moran up front with Aiden before taking him off? That would at least have taken some of the attention off Aiden. Cillian’s general play has been poor all year and I think that is because he is not allowed play his natural game as a forward. Compared to even two years ago he was only a shadow this year. At times today he was back as far as the corner back position. How do you get scores when your top forward is in defence?
    However there is always next year if God spares us. I’m looking forward to the FBD, Meantime good luck to all the lads with their clubs for the rest of the year. And good luck to the Dubs v Kerry, and esp. to Martin the Dub. It’s always a pleasure to read your contribution here, Martin.

  46. Mister Mayor We could have put the “top team” in the country away today when we were 4 points up. We changed then to a more defensive strategy and tried to hold onto the ball instead of driving at them and putting the game beyond them. As I said earlier on; I don’t mean to offend anyone but that decision to play more defensively cost us the game, in my opinion. I still think we will be back in a semi-final next year and hope the tactics are different if we’re in a similar situation.

  47. Bloody gutted again. Anyone notice how long Keith Higgins stayed on the pitch after the match on his own. Hope we get to see him and the rest of the warriors that do us so proud year after year.again next year. Keep the faith. There’s many,s the county that would love to be in our position.

  48. We’ll go nowhere under this management. Should have been McStay… I said it this time last year and earlier this year.

    We could have won it last wk if we were smarter on the line. McStay is smarter, more cute ….

    And now he’s off to the Rossies

    On today’s game…

    Boyle and Keegan were clearly out of juice by the 55th min. We exhausted far more energy in the 1st half while dub scored far more easy.

    They were better. We laboured to score, they made it look easy.

  49. Looking on the bright side – we have found three gems this year in Diarmud O’C, Tom P and Patrick D plus maybe Declan D. The key players are still young enough and management can get our defensive system up to speed for next year! Frustrated? Yes but definitely Optimistic! What a journey we have been on over the past five years! Let’s not give up when the Holy Grail is within our grasp!!!

  50. What a trojan effort from the team, was a fantastic effort up until Dublin’s first goal…maybe if Keegan’s effort had gone over. But look beaten by a better team, at least we can say that unlike last year. Another fine year for Mayo football and sure look I won’t go there but Connaught play Ulster in the Semi Finals next year, we’re good enough to reach the summit again!

    The wait goes on, but the dream never dies. Mayo forever!

  51. Absolutely gutted so disappointed.we had that game and made a mess of it.
    There was a lot of bad calls made by management today.ist one was starting Vaughan he simply wasn’t fit to play at all.the black card Seamus o Shea got to hit us hard.ibthought taking off Barry Moran was crazy!.
    We had to many handling errors and running into cul de sacs! We cannot expect to concede 2 goals and win at this level and it has come back to haunt us again!
    A lot to learn for everyone management and players we will be back.hreat performance by Diarmuid o Connor hope he gets young footballer of year!
    And to the mayo people I won’t call them supporters who left before the final whistle stay away in future ye were a disgrace leaving early! Support those lads til the end they put in so much effort all year and they are a credit!
    Be a long winter but we be looking forward to fbd and national league and a trip to London in May!

  52. Thanks to the team and management. Your sacrifices are so appreciated. All was left out there and you could do no more. You will succeed, I have no doubt about that.

  53. I Won’t be back in croke park ever again .sorry to say it but I can’t put myself through that heart ache again . I’ll go to all the league matches up and down the country but I won’t go to croker ever again.

  54. hard luck to all the Mayo lads, I really mean that and I am a proud Dublin supporter! last week I said to my younger brother that if Mayo keep playing Aidan up front on his own Dublin will win. like you can’t waste a guy like him up front after last week why not put him half forward and let Keegan, Boyle, Cillian, and Dermot O’Connor run off him and stretch the Dublin defence. like its a simple game and I know what its like when poor decisions are being made on the line, your left thinking if I can see this how in God’s name can the bench not see it too! at least today’s game flowed and it was not stop start. all I can say is keep the faith cause I never gave up on Dublin when they were down, and if there is a God then surely some where along the line a team like Mayo has to come good and get Sam for a Great team and Great supporter’s I guess we shall meet again next year! keep the faith Lad’s and all those fine looking Lassie’s from Mayo.. Slante

  55. Agree with Mayonaze about the management. The players are of the same mind.

    They piggy backed on a winning team and nearly got lucky. On the days when the players needed guidance they had none. I think that is what the magnificent players will find hardest – facing into a winter with nobody to push them on in January

  56. Bernard Brogan killed us again. We never seem to counteract him properly.However the best team won. We don’t have a full back line, been the case since K Cahill and KMort era, this is part of the reason why we have to play so defensive. if we went out playing open toe to toe against Dublin it’s possible we would ship 5-6 goals.Also we have maybe 3 forwards of the required standard that can finish and distribute properly

  57. Well done lads for giving everything. I can’t imagine what it is like to experience falling short again after giving so much again this year. This was a transition year for management. There were no clear tactics. It was pressup but not too far, defend but keep guys forward, man to man but no one keeping an eye on their loose man, play twin towers but horse in any old ball. We had so much possession but didn’t make use of it. Long balls in “just cause”. Great to watch from a neutrals perspective but who cares about them. Played into dublins hands. Still proud to be from mayo. Taxi man asked me what I thought about a mayo man not getting the line for inflicting a wound on a man that received 12 stitches in the first match. I informed him there were no stitches. Really distorted perspective in Dublin this week. I used to think maybe we whinged and had distorted views of mayo games. If nothing else we remain in the reality sphere with continual high hopes. Up Mayo

  58. Hard luck to the Mayo lads. Thanks so much for a wonderful year! We forget how lucky we are sometimes to have a team that bring us back to Croker year in, year out and they always play with pride. So many others envy us, im so proud to be from Mayo!!!! The Mayo support in Croke Park today was unbelievable, gave me shivers down my spine at stages!!!! Well done everyone! When we do finally win Sam it’ll be even better after all the heart ache. I believe!!!!

  59. Being a top 4 team is seriously impressive. Getting to Croaker, year in year out, is some track record! The accolades and awards of team members are many. The self sacrifice, the dedication, the hunger is abundant. The support, encouragement and passion of supporters is second to none. Elvery park is magnificent. Every ditch and cranny in the county has a lost or burst football! It all magic….and that’s for sure…….but…..

    Loss…. We’ve been getting over “loss” since ’52
    Getting there….. We’ve been trying to get there since ’52
    Getting the right combination….. We’ve been trying that since ’52
    Hanging in there….. that too since’52

    And, isn’t each year the same, ……the match day buzz, the slog to Dublin, the big fry in Feericks, the guzzled last minute pint in the Big tree, hoarse throats, pre-match arguments with friends & strangers, the post match haze, the emotionally drained soul and the thought of the long drive home…… stuck behind some slow bastard!

    Ye just can’t buy, bottle or sell any of this.

    Suffice for me! I’ll have another 63 years of it!

    Probably kill me if MAYO ever win!

    Until next year………

  60. – Beaten by a better team, their forward subs made a difference ours did not.
    -The tactic of kicking the ball just shy of the square with the hope that Aidan was there ready to flick to the net did not work the first time nor the fifth time in a row. That was crazy waste of position at this level of football. Players need to lookup to see if there is anyone in position.
    -Dublin mid-field ran riot in the last 12 mins as SOS gone, TP gone off he looked tired and Barry also subbed likewise. MDMA played he’ll during this time and Fenton of course got a goal.
    – Thank u team for a super 5 years and to all of the management team for taking on this most onerous of tasks.
    -Well done to the super Mayo support for the noise and colour.
    – Well done to the Dublin support who know how to win and who were very respectful as we exited the ground.
    – Best wishes Meliaman and Martin The Dub. Supporting the dubs all the way against Kerry who are still in pole position.
    – DOC young player of the year IMO.
    – For us back to the rebuilding that I have always thought this year and next year is all about.
    – Finally thanks WJ for this brilliant one stop shop for Mayo GAA.

  61. Not a time to dissect tactics, too gutted.
    I was pretty confident last year that this team could come back stronger than ever with new management to freshen things up. Less confident this year that this great group of guys can raise the bar one again to another level next year,
    but if they can…, rememberer, for four years now we have been within a whisker of winning. Any talk of us not being good enough is rubbish, every team needs a little bit of luck at crucial times to win – which we haven’t had (yet!!).
    We can moan about refs, defence, sideline tactics etc. till the cows come home, but, if this team and whatever management group we have next year can improve our performance another few percent – then WE CAN DO IT!
    One last point. I started supporting Mayo as a young kid in the 1970s. Despite growing up on the east coast, my kids also support Mayo. Why? This team is far and away the best team we have ever had in my Forty odd years on the planet and has given us us more highs and reasons to be proud than any other bar none. Mayo doesn’t give up, every time we fall down we get back up and vow we will do it better next time.

    Roll on 2016…

  62. Another valiant by our heroes again today, thought they were going to do it today for a long time. I thought we were on top all over the pitch for the first 15 or 20 mins of the second half and then it was like a bomb went off. Dublin were not playing well and then a fortuitous goal and our world caved in. It’s difficult to understand but we have been somewhat brittle in the full back line for a number of years now and so it was again today. Sligo scoring 2-11 did scare me a little earlier in the year but I thought we had papered over the cracks enough to get by. Lost by seven but that did not reflect how close we were to progressing. Once again this team have enthralled us with their dedication, honesty, skill, integrity and endeavour and make me proud to say I’m from Mayo. I will go into work on Monday with my head held high as usual happy to have supported the lads into the month of September yet again.

  63. It’s been some 5 years , these guys have been a unique bunch on and off the pitch . We will never fully know the sacrifices they have made to give us some 5 years . Although dejected tonight if u are a true Mayo fan we regroup we pick it up and we get back out their for 2016. Thanks Willie joe for keeping a great blog going.

  64. Fair result,,,, I just want to say how proud I am of this group of players ,,5 years of honest effort ,,,they are a credit to their county ,, also to WJ ,, thanks for this forum ,, not great at the typing but really enjoyed the Craic all year ,,, THANKS

  65. @ John Jennings You may feel bad now BUT what if you don’t go to Croke Park WHEN Mayo actually win the Sam Maguire cup – Imagine how bad you’d feel then! We want you in Croke Park and every other Mayo man, woman and child who can make it!

  66. @John Jennings: why in the first place did you ever support MAYO football? I’m sure it was not just to see them win…….loose or draw.

    I watch my kids play every weekend. Every weekend it’s the same result……”lost again dad”. Will I stop supporting and encouraging them? Never….win, loose or draw. They need me…… like mayo needs you.

  67. Ok let’s get a few things straight. “Always next year “excuse is a typical mayo gaa supporters phrase . It’s just getting old at this stage . Win SAM and that phrase will go out the window. It annoys me that we haven’t won it yet and come next year it will be the same phrase dragged out of our mouths . I’m proud of the lads today well for fifty minutes anyway .

  68. Think some of you need to take a second look at that young Syrian kid on the beach in Turkey and get a bit of perspective. How quick to get the knives out and start denouncing players and management.
    Wouldn’t like to be stuck in the trenches with some of the fickle posters here.

  69. Jesus John Jennings I know it’s hard when your team lose’s but they were out played in the last 15 mins, by a better team with much better players.. so why are yo being so hard on your team that have given so much, sure they haven’t won Sam for the last 63 years but they will some day.. so keep the faith Man I know its tough, but so are the Mayo team
    Dublin are just that bit tougher and that was very clear today. up the the Dubs were bringing Sam back from the Kingdom.

  70. I’m not taking away from the Dublin victory because they were the better team in the last twenty minutes. However knowing what that mayo team are capable of doing is what frustrates me.eg the last ten minutes in the first game where was that today ?

  71. I do understand the desperate sentiments, it just seems to be a sense of enough is enough now. It is/was ALWAYS in our grasp, doesn’t anyone think that? Once again poor decision making on and off the field have led to a day like this. Absolutely nothing has been learnt. I have been on the sympathetic side of the fence as a true and passionate Mayoman for a while and I am beginning to get proper pi&%ed off now, the disappiontment has transformed into genuine anger. I understand wholeheartedly the sacrifices these guys make but why run yourselves into the ground after 55 minutes when you just have to use your brain and navigate yourself into a controlled/confident position? Aidan O’Shea was completely wasted, doesn’t anyone see that? Fantastic bunch of players but time to cop on for God sake

  72. I’m disappointed for everyone tonight; players, back room team and the thousands of fans who travelled.
    But think of the journey we had in 2015. Killarney to Castlebar, Derry to Cork, Salthill to Roscommon and 3 days in Croke Park.
    We are so so so lucky to live in this Golden Age of Mayo football. They give us so much, and only ask our support in return.
    Our children have travelled the length and breadth of the land to follow the red and green, what an experience!
    Eventually our day will come, of that I’m sure. We are not far away. A few tweaks, a few new players and some luck will see us land the big prize.
    Let’s recover from this bad day at the office and start planning for 2016.
    Thanks lads for all the effort, enjoy the break and return refreshed ready for another run. In 2016.

  73. @john jennings:

    Sound. When we do win, Will you want MAYO to win every AI after that….. to keep the faith?

    Every year I faithfully think we can win. By the same token, every year I think we can loose too. For me, that’s the rub! Will we?

    And I firmly agree with you! I’m sick of the attitude and rethoric “ah they were great”, “Ah there’s next year” blah, blah blah… and the continuous, soul destroying, faith sapping losses.

    Before we win, somebody is going to have to admit that we are not “winners on the day” and then apply some of the winning magic that the winning teams bring on the big day!

  74. John, i am on your side. I understand it well but now is the time for no discussion whatsoever, as emotions are clouding judgements. Much later in the year, i will give the plan for Mayo to win Sam, a plan, once again that most posters wii not agree with.
    I cannot understand how so many do not look in-depth at the fact that Mayo have not won an All Ireland for 64 years. It doesn’t seem to sink in that there has to be something wrong somewhere. That’s for another day. Sleep well folks!!!

  75. Hi all in Mayo. Tough day today for both team and supporters. I really believe Mayo have to bring in a Manegment team from outside the county. This is a very very good Mayo team but being trained poorly.What were they doing today with sweeper?????? Backs running aimlessly. Brilliant forwards today felt so sorry for them esp Aidan o Shea when high ball wasn’t working no change in game plan. Didn’t know how to deal with Cluxtons kick outs! The cross field passes the daubs used? Mayo need a manager that will take this team to the All Ireland final and up the steps of the Hogan Stand to collect Sam Maguire. All the best Dave ( Kerry)

  76. I am completely with John, I think what he is getting at is a mental problem, dare I say an inferiority complex tainted with a slight sense of arrogance, as in ‘we are utterly confident in the system and tactics we use’ They obviously don’t work and these bunch of players deserve a hell of a lot more than that. The foundation is in place and has been for a long time. For fans, it continues to be a quest filled with hope, But, I have to say, the Mayo lads looked wrecked in the last 15. Remnants of a Donegal team playing at the same high level the last 6 years. As I said, no improvements the last years. BIG changes needed

  77. We missed the physical stuff we had them out on their feet last week with the big hits .Andrews points were unreal all from difficult angles they recovered better after the six days than we did .The final score flattered them they were not 7 pts better team than us .I thought SOS was going to get a straight red I felt he would be first to be taken off for Andy .We will rise from this it was a big ask for a new management to come in and finish the deal in the first year 2016 is only around the corner let’s stick together and see where it takes us we are after having 5 great years these men owe us nothing it’s our choice whether we follow them or not.One big dip in the pockets for Monday nights lotto to show how much we appreciate them for the great years .

  78. Not long home and the result still has not sunk in. Dublin were the better team on the day and I would like to congratulate Martin the dub and other genuine Dublin fans on their victory today. I have however a feeling that kerry are waiting in the long grass.
    On ourselves i need to see the match again but Mister mayors earlier post summed it up for me.
    Finally I want to thank our players for the effort and dedication they put into mayo gaa every year, we have had such great days out and some not so great days but I for one am so proud to be from Mayo. Maybe we’ll do it next year, maybe we never will get to the promised land but that is part of us now, the dust ourselves off and try again attitude. Be proud of your county even on the dark days because greatness awaits we just have to be patient

  79. Have’nt read any comments. Absolutely gutted, keegans under hit shot to put us 5 up was the turning point i think. Congrats to the dubs. We’ll be back again. And, as said during the week, we have a favourable draw next year. Genuinely think we’ll be in a final next year, provided the other top 3 teams meet in semi final, i know its hard and we are all gunna go into mourning for a while BUT we WILL be back!!!! Keep the faith

  80. @Up Mayo & @John Jennings

    MAYO have got to get to grips with the fact that its a 70 minute game…..and all 15 men to play consistently for all 70 individual minutes of the game.

  81. A few points:
    1. Aido is not a full forward and both games past him by being stuck in there. The service today was the worst yet. There is far more to his game further out the field.
    2. What were the sideline at today? Left us with no midfielders hence no ball and no supply. The bench were pretty poor – the options that were brought on and no supply of ball by then
    3. This is Mayo’s best group of players for some time. We need a leader off the pitch that has won things and can help navigate this team through tough periods of a game – not make silly changes that make things worse.
    4.The players are technically good, they have big hearts and are still hungry for success. We need a sideline that can work to bring the best out of them. This team has regressed this year.

    I think Jack O’Connor will win his second minor title in 2 weeks. The Kerry job is not vacant and won’t be. I think the county board should nail him down. He’s smart, a winner at all levels and a leader.

    I think this group of lads deserve to be given a chance to build on James Horan’s great work.
    Let us finish this project!!!!

  82. I would totally agree with Mayo and co in what he or she is saying, when Mayo were 4 points up they did not need to run them selves into the ground. they just needed to hang onto the ball keep it and make teams work to get it back. look at how Dublin killed the game in the last 10 ~ 12 mins back and forth defence to keeper back into mid field back into defence and then once they had the extra man that any team would fail to pick up after playing piggy in the middle for 2 mins the ball was of loaded to that player James McCarthy and away Dublin were again. Kerry do it, Donegal do it Tyrone are masters at killing games off, and if Mayo ever want to win Sam they have to use their best players properly Aidan o’ se was so poorly serviced it was unreal even if he caught any ball he had 3 Dublin players round him and the next Mayo man was in mid field. he is an outstanding footballer and if he goes from the team well I can’t see this team going anywhere without him, one player does not make a team but
    he is not just any player. who can Mayo get to lead them in the best way forward that will plan for all types of tactics and game changes that are needed in this modern era of G.A.A Football. cause the management they have now did not learn from last week. that’s very poor and the team deserve’s better for what they give for the cause.

  83. Thank you David Sheehy for your comment. ” Mayo need a manager that will take this team to the All Ireland final and up the steps of the Hogan Stand to collect Sam Maguire. Outsiders, like yourself, commentators (who are all on Mayo’s side), have been saying this all year..

  84. Analysis is not what is required here. I feel the sentiment that is the soul of Mayo. A greatness beyond success. It is the heartbreak for the players. Not for ourselves as supporters. But for the players who gave it their all. And we are all connected to them. That is the Mayo community. I know Keith’s mother and father. I went shooting with his grandfather. Michael Conroy ( Keith’s cousin) is cut out of him. Know his father and mother too. This is what breaks my heart. I know how proud Michael Conroy of Brookhill Claremoriss would be of his two grandsons. And yet this is what makes Mayo great. Our hearts ache for others…….not for ourselves.

    And from this we will rise again. And that is the measure of our success…….our ability to dust ourselves down and try again and again. Because The war is not over until we win.

    And so lads. Thank you. Thank you for trying again and again. No one will blame you for calling it a day. But that is not your way. We will be back. Because we are strong. And I thank God for knowing you and the pleasure you have given us.

    A Mayo man who keeps coming back for more…….until we win……cool hand Luke…..hey

  85. Well summed up WJ and no arguments there. Agree with yourself & Livenhope that it’s easier (in one way) to take this year; we were beaten fair and square by a team who simply possessed the killer instinct we did not. Our fears of a sledging match were allayed and it was a game played in a sporting fashion. There is no sense of injustice hanging over us like last year. Which, of course, makes the thought of the loss last year sting even more. The thought of what might have been.

    Feel so devastated tonight for our county, for those who walked the walk with these players all year, but also the thousands of supporters who travelled the length and breadth of the country with them. It’s hard for us to see a way back at this point, but how much harder for the players?

    I’m too exhausted to analyse the finer points of it, and have no will to start pointing the finger at this stage. What’s the point? Why does it even matter? What I will say though, is that once again it feels like we have been the authors of our own misfortune and that, more than anything is hard to take. It’s absolutely soul-destroying.

    And while I’m so, so proud of that bunch of lads and so grateful for the days they have given us, I can still hear the merciful roar of the Hill today after that second goal, and the “bottlers” jibes of the classless victorious (a small, football-illiterate minority )ringing in my ears. I do know it’s not true; I know we were beaten by a better team, but as long as we don’t win we will have to live with that label. And therefore tonight, for me at least, is a night of utter despondency.

  86. I hope some players don’t walk away with current management.I sense frustration with tactics used against dubs. Cillian has not been able to play to his potential this year. Pat Spillane was spot on when he said that mayo game plan against dublin was a short rehearsal on the training ground in a short period where dublin has prepared over months

  87. Just Home.. Can’t understand how our management started Vaughan . After three minutes it was obivous he was not fit. I accept Vaughan himself would want to trry but our management got this call very wrong which allowed some Dublin players gain confidence and pick off scores, Then we loose S O Shea and the management take off B Moran and Parsons , No midfield left,, Aidan did not have a good game and when moved to mid field it did nort work. No plan B,3 goals conceded at the end of game when we should be closing things down . Connelly and Holmes did win a Under 21 ALF for Mayo but if youj look at the players they had anyone would have won it and they were lucky to win it

  88. Anne -marie you capture the highs and low of tonight. because there was highs in croke park tonight for mayo , our team played so well for so long, mayo supporters were fantastic again tonight. NO words can describe how true mayo supporters feel right now Its a honour to support our mayo team . its a pleasure to be part of supporters like yourself. WE WILL BE BACK again, thank you willie joe for your great site ,

  89. I don’t mind losing but the Dubs generally in their “big day out” persona are just such a hateful, classless bunch of scumbags I find it very difficult to sustain the rage.
    The genuine Dublin GAa person is the same as you’d find in any county but the rest of them are so poisonous I just can’t envisage ever again setting foot inside Croke park when we play them.
    This Hill 16 “best fans” stuff is bullshit, they completely go missing when their team needs them, as they are so embedded in their outlook in that morally bankrupt game across the water, its apt that “you only sing when your winning” describes them.
    Never thought I’d be shouting for Kerry in an all Ireland final, but if they win by 20 it won’t be enough.

  90. I don’t understand why some people here are saying that now is not the time for analysis. When you scroll down to write your comment it says “Speak Your mind” and that’s exactly what most people are doing so why shouldn’t we analyze the game and talk about where things went wrong and question the managements decisions (in a respectable manner of course)

  91. A fine Mayo team has enthralled us now for five years & have fallen just short of the ultimate prize. What do we need to take us to that next level? Firstly, an injection of new, fresh blood, maybe 3-5 new players. Secondly, a refreshed management, maybe somebody from inside or outside the county to identify & rectify recurring failures. Thirdly, more honest assessment of shortcomings. For example, recurring comments that we have some of the best defenders in the game, clearly not the case. James Horan has taken team into the elite. Now we need to grasp the nettle & take the decisions which will move the team into the winning phase. The shortcomings are obvious.

  92. Going ok for 50 plus minutes but out fought out scored on and off the field in the final 15 minutes. Semi final was probably lost last Sunday when Mayo kicked wide after wide before Dublin got their 2nd goal. The largest margin of defeat for this group of Mayo players in the championship since Kerry in 2011 that was beginning of something good for this panel hopefully that result today wasn’t the beginning of the end.

  93. Agree with you east cork, what I witnessed today first hand wasn’t pretty, they bullied us on the field and In the stand, hope Kerry teach them a lesson and give them a hammering.

  94. @ East cork exile I totally agree with you about some of the Dublin fans. The stuff I’ve been reading all week on social media has really opened my eyes to what they think of us and I’m not talking about an angry Dub teenager posting vile stuff about Mayo people, it was coming from women and men who looked like normal human beings and looked sophisticated enough, but the stuff they were coming out with and name calling was horrendous.

  95. I feel like my dog just died, A horrible empty feeling and that there’s nothing I can do to bring it back How on earth must our players feel tonight after all the efforts since 2011?
    I’m very proud of our Mayo team, they are a credit to themselves and their families. All I can say is don’t make any decisions just yet, you played the pick of 10 Mayos today and that’s lost on so many people,they think dublin is just another county. Dublin have vast numbers of players and money, it’s going to be a complete joke in 5-10 years time when they are still mopping up Leinster titles and winning every league and every second Sam, the rest can only hope to gather crumbs dropping from the table when the dubs are full. 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018 etc,etc, you can expect something along that pattern for Sam in dublin.

  96. There is no doubt that players and management gave their all. But how did we end up in a situation where we had to bring a lad on for his championship debut at Midfield when he doesn’t even play there for his club.

    These lads have been tremendous warriors, but maybe the boardroom antics earlier in the year are coming home to roost.

  97. More kudos for the lads for their efforts all year.While the absence of midfielders was bizzare at the end…the bit that got me each day was OVERhit passes into Cillian & Aidan & UNDERhit shots at points.How we made stars out of Philly McMahon & Paddy Andrews beats me

  98. Key Management decisions had a huge bearing on the match.

    dublin kick outs We allowed cluxton to kick to a free man all day instead of pressing like the 2nd half last week.
    Playing with 1 inside man all day was madness, with no support for o Shea or o Connor.
    Why was big bird taken off. From the moment he left the pitch Dublin started to win midfield as Aidan o Shea was brought back and did not track his man. 1st Dublin goal was a clear example of not tracking men.
    Last rant is the deployment of colm Boyle as a sweeper when he is much better at flying forward..
    Our return of scores from play in both games was very poor and the spread of scoring players even worse.
    End of year review “we need more scoring forwards”
    “We’ll be back”
    hopefully Holmes walks never liked him no backbone and he always bottles it in Croke park on the big day. Both as player and manager.
    Connelly has the makings of a good manager and players respect him

  99. There have been some daft comments since yesterday’s defeat but the suggestion that Mayo should seek Jack O’Connor’s services as manager takes the biscuit. Firstly Jack is a teacher nowhere near retirement age so how he could manage Mayo is beyond imagination. Secondly he is most unlikely to leave Kerry. There may not be a vacancy as Senior team manager there but there are other positions available to him and other contributions he can make, e.g. U21 manager in 2016
    Only one outside manager has ever managed a team to success – and guess what? He was a Mayoman rejected by Mayo when in his prime. His second coming as Mayo manager was not successful but at that stage I believe he was burnt out as a manager. Nor did he have the crop of young players who have come through from the 2005/2008 minor teams and which is the backbone of the present team. Probably half of the team managers of the past 30 years around the country have been “outside” managers. That their record has been so poor speaks for itself. Our own experience of outside managers has been pretty poor also. I know Mickey Moran got us to an all Ireland final but it was with the team John Maughan built and Moran carried all of the weaknesses which that team exhibited into the 2006 final with even more disastrous results. So give me a break from the “outside manager” joke. If there are managers “outside” of any worth why are they not doing something with their own counties?

  100. I see that Jack O’Connor was named Kerry U21 manager for 2016 back in June and is already working with his players – a Kerry U20 development squad. So put the Jack O’Connor for Mayo project to bed. Meanwhile I understand that Mayo are still thinking about an U21 manager for 2016. Someday soon, maybe, we’ll make a decision. Or we could decide to sleep on it for a while longer.

  101. My definition of a forward: A fearless, highly instinctive player who makes and takes the chance to kick the ball, at every possible chance, from at least 35m out, from any reasonable angle, from left or right Boot, while in play and put it over the bar, consistently.

    The Mayo senior team has nobody that fits this profile.

    I’ll never understand why our forwards, ball in hand at 35m-40m out, with space to shoot, have to plough into the opposition or walk the ball into the 22m before taking a shot! It’s as if they are afraid to take a chance and/or lack the confidence and/or skill to do so. Our forwards just don’t go for it. This is prevalent in big games.

    Having said that, It was a pleasure to see young Diarmuid O’Connor, go for and blast points over the bar, from play, from distance. No fear! We need more like him.

    IMO, this is one of the missing pieces in our puzzle: Killer instincts, with killer left and right boot! Until the team finds the likes of a Brogan, McManoman, Cooper or O’Donovan, and the backup to feed & support such players, it won’t have the scoring power to “win” an “All-Ireland”.

    If I could write on this post next year that it was great that ALL 6 forwards scored, from play, from distance, with both right & left boot, won their own ball, made their own chances, had 100% passing success and played hard for every individual minute of the 70 minute game…….then maybe we could get away without a Brogan et al and win an AIF.

  102. “Fred Molly junior”
    There is a hardcore of genuine Dublin gaa fans who travel all over the country with their great spirit colour and banter, but there is also the “super Sunday” brigade who have only ever travelled as far as Dublin airport for a flight to Spain who really don’t represent the genuine fan in a fine light.
    Mayo also has its fair share of eejits aka “mayo kick Barrett” who don’t behave appropriately.
    Croke park should be suitable for kids and families as we will lose the heart of the GAA if the carry on which people have mentioned and witnessed is allowed to take over
    But the hill is no place so softies and is great craic

  103. I am amazed how fickle the Mayo support is and how little they really understand about football. Last week if Mickey Sweeney’s shot, to win, had not been blocked down that performance would have been hailed as a tactical masterclass and the Management genius. During the week everybody said we need to run at them like we did in the last 10 minutes which we did for 50 minutes but then ran out of steam. Parsons and Barry Moran were out on their feet so there is no point in leaving them on the pitch.
    You can only play with the cards you are dealt and unfortunately we are not blessed with the quality of full backs that we had in the past but getting a sweeper system to cope with the quality of Dublin takes time to develop.

  104. We took off our midfield and they got 2 goals from 2 kickouts. A kerry man said to me get jack o Connor in and ye will win an all Ireland. Our sideline continues to let us down with strange calls

  105. Well said martin the dub, best of luck in final and ye were the better team on both days simply as that, and a lot of nastiness crept in last week , no need for it, the dubs are 1 of the best i enjoy and many more love meeting when ye come to castlebar, ye miss trains , lifts buses the whole shabang ,just like ourselfs really… on the match , not goin to mention any names, but i did,t think after fbd and league we improved enough to beat this dublin team, we found a couple and we need to 2-3 more off the b squad starting in january, imean tarting and not this craic, 4-5 different teams every game you tog out ,these lads need to be playing more or less with the chapionship team thats starting in june-july.. not happy with management and if mcstay takes up with the rossies it will come back to haunt us, i hope he wont, john omahony comes to mind.few them has to go now great servants, no doubt, gave us great days, again another manager comes to mind , coady from kilkenny, ruthless we need that in mayo , now more than ever, these lads will be back i have no doubt , were not far away, hand on heart this is a good bloody dublin team , yes we ve had them on the rack a few times down the years, but they learned a lot more out the hammering they gave us in castlebar in the league thann we did, ..we will or no team either will win with individuals, ma feiners as the saying goes and thats 1 reasons were not in all ireland final…last sunday , maybe thats a good thing for this squad, the panel i mean not the team …. cut out a load tha shite supermen t shirts and fecking hair styles, as the dubs woud say what a load of bollocks, anddwe,v had enough that shite as we say our selfs down the years……believe mayo , were not far away, i am a die hard, but hand on heart i did,t think we,d beat this dublin team ,the pundits whether you like them or not are never far wrong in any sport, and if you think as mayo men or women, people out side the heather motherland county gives a shites this morning bout us, well iv heard it , sick listening to it , i cut them sraight to the bone and ask them what county their from……keep the heads up we will be back, were not ready yet for the summit and i mean that…………………..

  106. Look it is ok to criticise and evaluate.I would not like to be hard on players who are feeling down today as we all are.
    It is hard to be positive.Beaten again by goals and our options very poor.We started with 4 midfielders and yet lost midfield.Hard to believe.We did not push on their goalie they did on ours.Actually they looked fitter..had a bench..and we didnt.We found Diarmaid and Durcan which is good.Now we need Evan and Coen and Drake and a few others.We need to use Aidan at midfield with others running off him or not at all.
    Management made poor calls in my view.It was clear Boyle was out on his feet.Took too long to sub.Taking off Barry silly when we most needed him.And they did not know what to do with Aidan.
    There are some players who try but are not consistent.It would be a good time to reappraise now.
    Finally thanks lads.Of course we will be back.No one near us in Connavht yet.They will get better but life offers opportunities and we will be ready when yhey come.Good luck to Dublin..I found their supporters less arrogant than Kerry.
    Life goes on and we will focus on other more real and immediate chances until the next championship comes around.
    The GAA has let us all down…farce after farce…no accountability.
    They are a stuck in the mud dishonest organisation at the top.Change badly needed

  107. Really depressed right now. Congrats to Dublin, they are joust better than us. More skilful and look fitter and better trained.
    Line of Dublin season ticket holders opposite me were complete assholes though calling our players scumbags knackers and thugs…how ironic. Really has to bite my lip yesterday.
    Add to the “greeting” and mocking Mayo fans got passing through Roscommon last night just called of a fucker of a day. Fuck it anyway.

  108. Fair play to all involved, once again they tried their best, gave up so much, in reach for the holy grail for our County. They did us proud, against a county 9 times our population. We will get there.

  109. Great efforts by the players this year and all other years. Much appreciation for that.
    There is still much work to be done in terms of how the team is coached. It’s something I’v harped on about and it was evident in all the league and all the championship.
    We seem to still focus on skill drills of tackling, handpassing, posession etc. Even both Elverys videos showed such drills from an actual sessions. We don’t have any deficit there, for at least two years overall we are possibly the best tackling and posession handpassing team.
    The huge deficit has been:
    1. Team does not have its counter attack practiced like a system of plays. Off the cuff football by the individual should only sit in a framework of well practiced teamwork.
    2. Team does not have sweeper or systematic type defending practiced. Off the cuff defending with no obvious pattern of closing down space. Defenders very easily get drawn away from in front of goal.
    Just those two alone lead to a lack of goalscoring at one end and conceding too much at the other end. It should have been a huge portion of training since January.
    When I read that players were learning their hand position for receiving ball and stuff like that. That’s like going into the nth level of detail before you have covered step 1 which is to have your teamwork/plays/defensive system at a very high level. After that point you add the polish with extra refinements such as hand position.
    Yesterday I mean it took no coaching or even a practice session to be able to tell our sweeper to stand near the square and face out towards play. This was pretty much what Barry Moran did successfully when he played sweeper.
    To those who say Aidan OShea is not a full forward I would say look at every ball that was kicked to him. Two problems with it.
    1. By the time it was kicked we had soloed and handpassed so much that Aidan was double covered.
    2. Sometimes the ball was hanging in the air so Aidan even ends up triple covered. You can see a 3rd defender closing in with all that hang time.
    Frustrating to see a team like Corofin have all of this nailed on better than Mayo have working with almost entirely club level players.
    In general we made progress compared to 2014 but this was with our fitness and extra refinement of handpassing. We were pretty exceptional with handpass accuracy.
    Our kick passing has been quite poor. Our half backs, midfield and half forwards are far too slow to kick ball in. Therefore our target men inside cannot time their runs.
    Compare to Dublin yesterday, 2 or 3 passes and then ping the ball into the corner to a man on the burst. Yesterday SOS/Parsons turned back inside almost every single time. Our half backs regularly take too much out of the ball.
    The players are there, the fitness is there, the motivation and efforts are there.
    Management could definitely improve the tactical side and substitution side.
    I actually believe in terms of a coach we need a change. Started with Cian ONeill he progressed us to a certain level. Donie Buckley came in and made us the best tackling team in the country but more in terms of our forwards and middle third. Still our defenders get turned very easily or lose their men.
    You couldn’t deny that we’re focussed on the wrong things on the training pitch, Aidan was looking out at men in space turning back inside or hitting in skyscraper passes and it was the 5th September. Not doing down players efforts but just stating that they haven’t been coached well on the two clear priorities. The fluidity of our attack and the number of goals conceded have been well flagged in media and in scorelines of our games since 2012. We actually should have it coached by now, which is the remit of the coach. Management work with the coach. Coach sets out what is practiced in training. The man has made great efforts travelling up from Clare, but I mean our sweeper did not know what he was doing yesterday and our middle third were going sideways and backwards with the ball clearly showing they are not comfortable with target man play. We have improved in general into the top 3. To make it into number 1 for certain requires a fresh coaching approach. The thing about trying the same things over and over again and expecting a different result rings true here.

  110. No need for a change of management. But their role is to manage guys who take care of fitness, coaching and tactical side. Tactical side to be honest I’d prefer a lad who never played the game but knows how games are won to a very high level. The tactical side is pure game theory. Our management don’t get this yet. Things happen on the pitch and we need to have a management conference on the sideline? Why? We know our players strengths and weaknesses. We should know what our switches will be to certain scenarios. As soon as the pressure comes on we seem to be in a permanent all hands conference on the sideline trying to figure out our response. Eamon Fizmaurice, Jim Gavin, Jim McGuinness they never have to get all heads into a huddle mid-match. Gaelic football is relatively predictable in what you need to do to win and what you need to do to counter your opponent once you really know your own strengths and weaknesses as a team and of your players.

  111. For what it is worth leave M cStay where he is, the is a bit more to it than talk on rte, even cake Curran is able to do that. Whatever Noel and Pat will do in the future as regards their position we don’t know but leave Mcstay for the Rossie.

  112. My last post was responding to someone calling for change of mgmt, think their post has been deleted.

  113. Like most I don’t feel as bad as last year. We weren’t good enough on the day.

    People calling for a change of management after one season is a joke…. It’s shocking behaviour.

    I think H&C were slightly handcuffed this year as we have been so close under Horan there was presure to stick mostly with the Horan way.

    I think they have shown some tactical nous this year (barry at sweeper against donegal) and have fully blooded some new players. Yes they have made mistakes but we can’t change management because they lost a semi to Dublin…. It’s ridiculous.

    I was in Ruislip in 2011 when under James Horan we drew with london. Should we have sacked him that year?

    I think this result gives them a manadate for making changes now, hopefully they can do it.

  114. Mayonaze – if every supporter had your mindset, how far do you think we’d have got this year? I’m all for letting people voice constructive criticisms of the team, management and the whole set-up but I really do think that at this stage you need to find some other outlet to express your your quite sad and pathetic negativity. I’m thoroughly sick of having to read it here.

  115. Years of defending the number 1 thing you have to remember
    “Guard your goal at all costs^

    too often we leave opposing players unmarked with a free run on goal
    Clarke is a better keeper than hennelly as he doesnt get drawn to the Ball as much as Hennelly and he commands his square with authority and goves clear instructions to the lads in front of him.

  116. All – I appreciate that most comments being posted here right now are fine and level-headed (and please keep them coming) but I have to issue another warning to those minded to post ultra-negative defeatist stuff (which is so, so easy at this time). Comments of that sort that aren’t welcome, will be deleted and will result in a time-related ban from contributing further here. If you want to be critical, then be constructive with it, otherwise find somewhere else to express what you want to say. Thanks.

  117. We all see the actions of our own team and the opposition differently.
    Yes, we made wrong choices, mistakes at important stages, but look back, so did the dubs.
    dubs had the edge overall and it was a difficult balance where to hold them, too many of them could get Andy points
    So proud to be Mayo, and the team and setup. However bad I feel they must be washed out. Now the need our support most.
    Of those who ran away when things weren’t going right, I probably have got a straight red if they went past me.
    When does the FBD start??
    Thanks for the blog WJ

  118. Mayo Mick

    Connelly and Holmes were handcuffed due to Horans 3 years before.

    Thats the best one i have heard yet. (i know Holmes can be caught chasing shadows sometimes)

    They had little or no game plan bar launch missiles in on top of AOS, they made wrong decisions in taking of Barry Moran who was not out on his feet and also by not pressing the Dublin Kick out all DAY.

    Even if we had one yesterday i would still say we have the same problems which are futher highlighted in detail by JP above. We solo the ball way too much from Half back to Midfield instead of using the kick pass to move the ball toward the danger area quicker.

  119. I haven’t slept great for a few reasons…Mayo’s defeat was hard to swallow and I felt they didn’t do themselves justice when they had Dublin on the rack. BUT I am very proud of our men and the teams of workers who have supported them right through the year and years. They are bloody brilliant and I know we will be back. Please let us learn from our mistakes cause there is so little between us and the ultimate goal…All_Ireland Glory!
    The other reason I slept badly is because a dear friend of mine is dying and I am going to say goodbye to her today…it kinda puts it all into perspective. Thank you Willie Joe and every man, woman and child? that posts on here. We are some family and I am a proud Mayo man.

  120. Thats a good point Mayo Mike. For all we know one of the key challenges Noel and Pat have faced is that the players revert away from the tactics that have been prepared?
    Hence we solo the ball too much and our sweeper goes missing. That might actually be part of the problem, to give Donie Buckley a break, in fairness to the man it’s probably hard to change players out of a system they were in for four years. I still think though in terms of giving the players a boost into 2016 there will need to be something fresh in terms of ideas.
    I’m still very positive about this team. If you look at the guys who are all set to have big 2016 seasons.
    – Tom Parsons (First year injury free, he will be more confident attacking next year)
    – Diarmuid OConnor (He will be stronger next year)
    – Patrck Durcan (Was just starting to really lose the rawness. Made huge strides from first league game. This lad is improving at a rate of knots)
    – AOS (Please remember that specialist positions like full back or full forward take at least three seasons to learn properly. Aidan is in year one. I wouldn’t count his first seasons)
    – Stephen Coen (Still raw will be better)
    In terms of young talent to come in and supplement there is pleny about.
    Defenders – Darren McHugh, Darragh Ruane, David Kenny. Young lads that could be good bench options as they learn next year.
    Midfielders – Jason Gibbons. Needed back physically stronger and more confident. We need plenty of height.
    Half forwards – Conor Loftus. Injury free this lad has more skill with ball in hand than most other Mayo forwards u21/ FBD/League he can learn his craft at a high level
    Full forwards – TJ Byrne. This lad will end up a serious player if we develop him a bit more. A naturally big guy, imagine what a year under Barry Solan would do for him.
    Brian Reape – The most accurate goal shooter in Mayo country rep or club football. Again powered up a bit has serious pace to be an impact sub. Getting one/two goals per game every game at every level he plays at.
    Fionan Duffy – Not many know about this lad. Would it be fair to say something like a Diarmuid Marsden? Stays close to goal and is made of teak. An excellent prospect but needs to be part of a country setup to bring him up.
    Michael Forde/Danny Kirby – Would imrpove into next year.
    Overall I am very excited about the idea of some of those young players coming in. They have skills and pace. Obviously being young players their first season would be about strengthening and improvement. But the likes of a TJ Byrne or Fionan Duffy are already physically ready being so naturally strong and well built.

  121. Fair play WJ in regards that particular poster and deleting his comments, clearly has an axe to grind. I expect a few more negativity merchants to pop up over the coming weeks.
    At the start of this years campaign I genuinely felt that a semi final would be an realistic target, given we had new management and needed a few new players.
    The management made a few mistakes yesterday ( mainly taking off Barry) but I feel the first game took more out of the lads than we realised. However, the management have shown a tactical awareness and given a full year to work on a system they will no doubt be better prepared for next year. We have found some real stars in Durkin and Diarmuid, with Parsons in the form of his life and the overall age profile of the team right.
    The night is darkest just before the dawn.
    Maigh Eo Abù

  122. Liam and Willie Joe I read that comment before it was deleted. I don’t agree with what Mayonaze says about McStay but surely deleting posts like that is spinning of the highest order?

    All is not rosy in the garden. If we don’t take a hard look at our failings we will never succeed and management on the biggest days have had massive questions raised about them.

    Personally I think James Horan resigned in haste last year and would rather he was back.

    But the boardroom shennagins did hurt us this year

  123. Mr T

    As I said, that have made mistakes. However, no doubt we could probably disagree with what the mistakes were.

    I think most people accept that the Donegal performance showed a step change in maturity and in some periods we played with our heads rather than hearts which is what’s needed to win AIs.

    My main point was that calling for that change after one season where we lost a semi to Dublin is ridiculous.

  124. Fred Molloy Junior.

    Your county yesterday reached an All-Ireland final after a superb display of football. And yet instead of taking joy in that and celebrating it, the best use you can find for your time is coming over to an opposition team’s discussion board and telling us to shut up?

    I actually feel sorry for you, and I genuinely hope you find a life soon.

  125. Ger – it’s all about context. It’s so easy to stick the boot in at the minute but this site isn’t a platform for that. I think any fair-minded person would accept that I do everything I can to keep the debate flowing but I can’t and won’t accept the site being used by people to make cheap and lazy pot-shots at a time when it’s so easy to do so. I know people think they have an entitlement to let the world know what they think about everything and that’s fine but I expect, and demand, a certain standard here and make no apologies for that. If I didn’t the place would have been overrun by trolls long ago and, to be honest, I’d have stopped wasting my time and money on keeping such a place going.

  126. I think we made far more mistakes on the line yesterday than taking Bsrry off. We haf no shape up front. Long aimless balls in with no support for Aidan. We were even less organised at the back with Dublin running riot for the last 15 mins. It is a huge lack of respect to these players to have selected the Management Team the way the County Board went about this. We have the best bunch of players since 51 and let them down badly.

  127. Mayo Mick

    Maybe i am being abit harsh on the Management but it really does get to you when year after year we seem to get so close but due to the same old failings we fall short.
    We need to learn from our mistakes, management need to make changes on their feet, Players especially the forwards need to be allowed to shoot more freely.

    I played for club who had a fabulous bunch of players but we kept getting knocked back at the final hurdle. we changed that and have had years of Success since by doing three key things.

    1,analysed our previous failings and improved on them (ie passing
    2. Defended as if our lives depended on it and “Do not give away goals”
    3. Get the ball as quick as possible to you danger men. (2 or 3 quick handpasses to midfield/half back and then kick pass to full forward line diagonal or other.

    I see people mentioning players i for 1 find it amazing that Ruairi o Connor is not part of the Mayo Set up. Same height and Build as Diarmuid with speed and fitness to add.
    Also Young Shaughnessy lad from Claremorris, he might not be tall but he can look after himself, win his own ball and kicks with confidence.He also has an abundance of speed which we lack in the full forward line.

    we have loads of Half forwards.

  128. Great post JP and even in the middle of the despondency last night my sister and I were teasing this out. We have some very promising young forwards at club level if they have the will to join the setup and we have the vision to pick them out and bring them along.

    Still picking up pieces of my broken heart this morning, but after last year, I thought I’d never bounce back, yet by June I was dreaming again. It’s the same for most of us. Despite how it feels now we will bounce back, more hardened than ever.

    There are plenty of conversations to be had about selection and management and game plans but to be honest it’s still all too raw (for me, anyway) at this point. Lashing out when in anger will achieve little. But it needs to be talked about, and it will be.

    AxleM, your news does put it into perspective, and indeed yesterday I thought of Darragh Doherty and his family many times. Best wishes to you.

  129. One thing I most certainly am not is arrogant . And I recent your comment . I simply asked the question where was our fire and intensity in the last twenty minutes as it was in the first game.

  130. Where Do We Go From Here?

    Living abroad, a recurring theme of conversation with other Irish (non-Mayo) people is that it must be difficult to support the Mayo team. I think supporting the Mayo team is easy. We are blessed with a team that plays with passion and pride. They give everything for the cause and have never let the people of Mayo down for lack of effort. The same goes for the semi-final replay defeat to Dublin. There is a general acceptance that we were beaten by the better team on the day. I would be of the opinion that incorrect tactical decisions were made but H&C won’t have been the first managers to do that and won’t be the last.
    I had something of a nightmare last night. In my nightmare, I had moved home (which isn’t the nightmare, that’s an ambition) and found myself amongst a crowd of Mayo supporters after a defeat (the nightmare). I kept asking them what they thought about the defeat and all I got for a response was ‘To win just once’. I woke up pretty pissed off. I sat up and thought long and hard about why the lyrics of a song would feature in my REM cycle. My conclusion was this – ‘To win just once’ is a mantra that perhaps has become ingrained into our psyche as Mayo people. We would do anything to win just once. It lacks specificity though. To win just once won’t be enough. There is a hunger for more. There are new generations of footballers to inspire. There is a current generation to aspire to. Despite the fact that Sam has continued to elude us, Mayo have had a successful few years. Horan took the bullshit out of Mayo football and with the help of people like Donie Buckley, introduced a tenacity in the tackle, lung bursting runs from half backs and half forwards and an even deeper connection with the fans. We love them, plain and simple. How do we build on this success?

    There were criticisms aimed at Mike Connolly after he got his new role in the county board. Someone new was needed for a new direction. If Mr Connolly wants Mayo to progress then he needs to have another look at the strategic plan. That plan needs to be updated and I have no doubt that there are plenty who read WJ’s blogs that would put their hand up to assist. The passion of the players is matched by the passion of the fans. If I was home, I would give up as many spare hours as I could to help. As a primary school teacher, I am excited for the day I move home, get a job and start coaching a school team. A Gaelic Football team is on the agenda for the school I’m at in Scotland. If I get my way, they will be wearing green and red.

    A county I would be looking at would be Tyrone. A lot of criticism is aimed at Tyrone for their perceived darker edges to their game but the setup they have in Garvahey is amazing. £6.7 million is a lot to pay for a legacy but they are obviously serious about not fading into irrelevance. Discussions on posts on this blog have been had before on the topic of fundraising but there are enough proud Mayo people around the world that within a few years, we could fundraise enough money to pay off a large chunk of such a figure. The biscuit tins in New York will have to be consigned to the bins lads. The empty USA and Kimberly biscuit tins were maybe sufficient twenty years ago, but not now.

    If we had something like Tyrone in Garvahey, it could be used for county panels from U14 upwards. We need to start catching all promising players entering secondary schools and have them in a structured environment for training. Train them to play the Mayo way – tenacious tackling and lung-bursting runs, overlaps and confidence in shooting (like the O’Connors against Dublin). Train them with the aim of fixing some less refined aspects of our game – defensive structures and dealing with high balls into the full back line. Barcelona would be another team that do something similar. All their teams are trained with the same system and game plans. They have a consistent stream of players ready for the first team. We need that.

    I don’t believe Mayo are going to disappear into irrelevance next year but we cannot afford to stand still either. There are valid questions about decisions made on the sideline this year but it’s not like the managers were shite all year. They could learn an awful lot from this year.

    We have all learned that Diarmuid O’Connor is an incredible talent. He has been immense all year. Nailed on for Young Footballer Of The Year. Patrick Durcan is another. Brilliant. I’m unfortunately too far removed from the club scene after so long living away to know of other upcoming talents but you would expect there to be some players of promise.

    Onwards and upwards for next year.

    P.S. I saw mention of McStay in the comments. I expect him to take on the Rossie job with Fergie O’Donnell. Joint effort.

  131. Better team won,God those dubs are seriously fit,all I hope for now is that the bulk of that team have the heart to come back(some will probably retire)but most are still young enough to give it another go.let’s take the winter/spring to refine and master a formidable defensive format and if we stick with aos up front work on delivering the right balls in with support running,the head was down coming out of Crocker yesterday,we’ve been here before I know it’s hard to take but let’s space a thought for team and management our heartache is tiny in comparison I for one am so proud of the effort they put in on our behalf.they need us more now than ever before.MAIGHEO ABU

  132. My head a little sore this morning had to let of steam last night. Lads we can talk about performance,tactics,management, scoring forwards all we want but the bottom line is we have not learnt to close a game out .4 points up and we sat back. We done it last year as well. Remember Cork nearly beat us.We have to close the fucking game out lads.I feel for our guys this morning .We will be back……

  133. Good to see some looking to the future. We have more players to shore up the team with if some of our more established heroes decide to move on. Every organisation needs succession planning and the Mayo senior football team is no different. If McStay wants to take an entry level position in county management we should welcome it as this. If a job in Mayo comes along it he may be better prepared for the step up.

  134. sorry Anne Marie you did’nt read all my comments thats your bad not mine.. I have outlined how Great mayo are and agree with alot of people on here about what needs to change… some people were on here bad mouthing Dublin people and saying how unfair it is about the amount of people we have to pick from.. how many people live in Killkenny or for that matter Kerry and look what them two outstanding teams have.. nobody is complaining about them, but when Dublin get a little success its everything and anything about how unfair the rest of are treated and Dublin have some kinda of freebe with Ref’s and the like.. well that is just not true. we are a Great Team and I was pointing my anger at mike heveran and Kingofoxford for their tainted view upon how we the Dubs have got to an All Ireland Final..so Anne Marie life is sweet dont believe what they say about sugar its good for ya! see ya next year

  135. Fred – I’ll let that one pass but your previous comment crossed the line and I’ve since deleted it. This is a Mayo site so it’s not surprising, on a night of intense disappointment for us, that a small minority might go OTT but I think if you followed what everyone had to say then you’d see that this wasn’t the overall sentiment. I’m all for people from outside the county commenting here but I’d expect more tact and, to be honest, a bit more cop-on from someone from the opposition coming on here in the aftermath of a big match defeat for us.

  136. I made a number of points earlier regarding Mayo’s performance yesterday.
    I feel the talent that is coming through is good enough, the fitness and physical conditioning is up there with the best.
    Jim McGuiness has been preaching it all year what the pros and cons of this team are.

    So why can every pundit in the country identify our short comings and make suggestions on how to fix it. But yet, our sideline get it wrong at a time when our players had battled through to take the lead. I feel the decisions made on the sideline systematically deconstructed all the years good work and the high intensity game our players were putting in.

    I think know Noel is a clever guy and was a great player. But is the game going like Rugby where we need a backs, forwards, midfield coach? If it is I think the game is getting out of hand.

    Maybe it’s time for a cap to be introduced on the expenditure in the game.

  137. Feel bad for the lads six day turn around was to much for them with very little impact from the bench.they were made use sub’s to early.think lads gave all they could the better team won on the day.after the final whistle I looked down at my 6yr old and saw him crying I ask him why and he looked up and pointed to a all alone Keith higgins standing in front of him.god you have to feel for Keith threw warrior.keep the head up Keith the good days are near.total respect for all these players and us supporters think we have it hard.thanks Willie Joe for this great site.

  138. Yesterday we were found wanting in a number of key areas.
    1. From an early stage the back line struggled to cope with Dublins direct incisive runs
    2. Indecisiveness in the forward line when it came to taking on responsibility for shots selection
    3. No change to tactics from last week so easy for Dublin to anticipate and react to our game plan
    4. The main plank of our game plan was to use AOS as our target man, did not work last week…and guess what….????????
    5. Lack of vision and variation in our kick outs forced Mayo to build from the back whereas in the past our platform was always from winning primary possession and the breaking ball at midfield. We were forced into short kick outs which has never been our style of play.
    6. Last week we benefited from Dublin’s lack of discipline, points from placed ball were 11 whereas only 5 yesterday. Over the years we have overrelied on the placed ball as a source of our scores. This hides the fact that we are not getting enough from play.
    We need to reflect on the talents we have and develop a number of options on how best to use those talents. Mayo is a strong, proud and passionate football county but we need to be clinical in our delivery.

  139. thats fair enough Willie Joe but there is plenty of your fellow Countymen and Women Calling people from Dublin poisinous, and a hateful bunch of scumbags.. I have not used that type of wording about any of my fellow Country Men or Women and I would not do that over a football game. as a fan and supporter of the game there is always going to be a bit banter between fans.. like when Mayo were running riot basically the start of the second half up till say 55 or 56 min I had to listen to some nasty stuff being said by Mayo fans about kiss Sam good bye, I dont hear them scumbags in the hill singing, and what was said about connolly was, well you can imagine. I know lots of Mayo people Westport, Castlebar, Ballinrobe is a joy on a Summers evening so all in all people can get emotional but I in no way am anti Mayo or any other team for that matter. do people from Dublin act in a stupid way yes! do other people from around the Country of course they do and thats why people are doing all they can to come and live here on this Great little Island of Eire cause were else would you get an atmosphere like yesterday in Crocker, maybe heaven maybe. so Willie Joe I’m not hating on anyone I have nothing but love for all the people of this amazing Country. cant wait for the hurling to start its gonna be EPIC really feel a classic! your site is a Credit to ya, and so is your team we had 16 years of nearly, nearly nearly, but it will come for Mayo ya’s can’t give up now to much has been given, defo be there about’s next year. best of luck F.D Molloy Junior!

  140. Very disappointing but by the end we can have no complaints. Once again a lack of firepower upfront and defensive naivety let us down. We can do nothing with the lack of firepower you have to use the resources at your disposal. However even the worse teams can come up with an effective defensive plan and hopefully we will learn our lessons. We haven’t in the past and it’s now time for P&N to go away for the winter and put a plan in place. If they don’t and we have the same naivety next year then questions have to be asked. I think a lot of the critism of the management is unfair. The same people criticising them now are the ones calling them tactical genius’so after the donegal game.

    Next year we are due to play a northern team on the semi’s so maybe our route to a final won’t be as tough.

    Looking forward to FBD first weekend in January

  141. We were five points up and lording over the Dubs, at that stage everything looked rosy, and as far as anyone there could see, management had done there homework and the whole team were working to a master plan, this was going to be our day.
    Then suddenly self doubt seemed to creep in, we started to miss good scoring chances, stopped supporting the player on the ball, and fall back into our shell, why was that?

    In my opinion the players seem to lack self belief, this surely has to do with the many years of failure on the big occasion. And this is where we differ from other successful team, who all have achieved success in recent years. Changing that mind-set would be the key, but that’s the conundrum with Mayo. We all know success breeds success, but the longer the loosing streak goes on the harder it’s going to be. Blaming management can be an easy option, but sometimes players have to take responsibility’s too.

  142. Great bunch of lads. Don’t think they have the right men in charge but that’s the bed we made.

    Reality is 7 semi finals and 2 finals in 5 years. Fantastic achievement.

    Fact is that we won 2 of those 9 games. We are a little short. One of the best teams. Third or fourth best but not the best.

  143. Kerry & Dublin are currently ahead of everybody else when comes to the overall quality of a squad, especially with the ability of subs coming on and making an impact. We suffered from this yesterday re Dublin. Can’t fault the efforts of those who play for us at the moment but until we get to the level of squad quality where Kerry & Dublin are currently at, an AI will remain out of reach.

  144. I don’t feel sorry for the mayo supporter who I do feel sorry for are the players.We as mayo supporters are so privileged to have a team like this to support.Why do we follow them in such great numbers is because everyday they tog out they will give ther all and will be there are thereabouts at the end.They are the most consistent team in Ireland for the last decade.Sure we haven’t won Sam and we are disappointed but we are so proud of the lads.How many new faces have you met following this team,From talking to people from the 4 corners of Ireland and you being from Mayo the conversation always turns to the team and how lucky we are to have them.Sure the tactic might not have been right today but are we a better team then last year YES.Will we be a better team next year YES.what great times we had and better days yet to come.Mayo supporter till the day I die

  145. Willie joe , you are right, I have spent most of my life critical of mayo management, and players, but for the last five years we have had the right systems in place. Last year felt really bad because we were the better team, this time we were beaten by a far better team so we can not be as critical of the team or referee. What we do now is of course down to players, and management. I am more optimistic this year because some new players are putting their hands up and hopefully a few more will do so, as for having a go at management I have always had the opinion that previous managers had a blind spot about certain players, but since james horan took over I believe he gave everyone a fair crack of the whip, also with this management. We need luck and also a few new players to put more pressure on team, we need a proper centre forward, and a good sweeper, all the best to this great team, if any of them feel like packing it in thank you for all the excitement you gave us.

  146. PM_90
    Great post but can we do it and will the powers that be go along with it?

    Defeat is always hard to take and harder I’d say for us in Mayo because it seems to be our lot……………….That said, when H&C took over last year most of us on here were hoping that we might make it 5 in a row Connachts, thus a quarter final but we would have seen a semi as a bonus…………….we got that plus a replay so I think we were ‘successful’ in that short space of time.
    It took an enormous effort from all involved in Limerick last year to raise it once again and carry on being competitive…………………let’s hope the legacy can be carried on.
    MaighEo Abu

  147. Will you let anyone speak their mind will Joe.. Why won’t you let nay negative comments go up? there are a lot of deletes going on

  148. @ maigh eo 4 . I understand your point completely and would agree with it, but, i feel that many here are very “down” now, disappointed and emotional so analyses, at this stage, to me at least, may not have the interest of others, just at this time. Don’t worry, ma man. it will come.. 😉

  149. I was thrilled to see Barry Moran on the field. At last we’ve copped on, I think. Barry ff and Aiden cf. Or Barry and Aiden ff. But do we ever learn. Aiden was wasted at ff on Sun, so what do we do????? Same again!!! and expect a different result! Maddness.
    But the players were and ARE great. With a few new players they can be there or thereabouts soon again. Tough, but please keep going. You can do it.
    Thanks for everything.

  150. Still stunned and dulled by yesterday’s experience but the gloom is lifting thanks to the many fine blogs here. I share in all the congrats and commiserations to players management and fans.

    Yesterday,much was good and more was bad and the end result was not good enough once more.However a new Mayo football culture has been established here which will keep us knocking at the door always.

    It seems that enough brawn and steel is present in the team but in the absence of an adequate amount of football. Our failure remains to choose the correct options,find men in good positions and to build the scores.Its a major part of the game and it’s where generally we were raw.Aos cannot be asked to be our only forward option. He has played the role magnificently but…..!

    Anyway, heads up and match on. It’s still a work in progress which will give us endless joy along the route.

    C’ Mon Ma

  151. fred molloy junior my comments were made before the game and are true facts, Dublin won the match yesterday because they were the better team over 70mins on the day fact, if you want to insult mayo people go to the dubs websites they will love you there good bye.

  152. last year i was disapointed because i believe if we had beaten kerry we would he beaten a declining donegal and won the all ireland, this year is not as bad because if we had won yesterday i dont think we would have gone on to wi it. As its been pointed out in todyas papers we neither pushed up or defended. Under horan we had great belief in our own ablility to win the game going forward, we didnt show that and showed dublin to much respect especially in the first game. When Mc manamom came on for dublin we should have reacted on the line because it was the dublin signal that they were rattled and they were going to throw the kitchen sink at it. our defense fell to pieces after that and the gaps opened.
    A O shea is a great player and he give his all but a forward has to be able to turn on a sixpence and get score like Brogan can, alot of our attacks were laboured and slow, we had to work much harder to get scores and thats hard on the legs.
    This managerment team have done ok in there first year but i dont think they will get us over the line, they will have to look at the dark arts of defending and pick a system that every player understands and can buy in to and that is developed early in the league
    Role on next year it will be a long wait

  153. Thank you to all our panel members and management for another exciting year, I’m not sure where we are headed for but I hope that you keep the fire lit on this Sam quest. Dublin will be back next year regardless, deep pockets and vast numbers will see to that and we may easily find ourselves in a final next year where either Kerry or Dublin will be the opposition. That’s the thing to keep in mind, with the power and development of this current squad it’s well within them to be up there in 2016.
    Aos got some atrocious passes his way yesterday and last week too, that killed his game before he even started, the supply in to him has to be cleaned up and division 1 is the perfect place to clean it. our defence was asleep while billy McMahon from ballymun walked in to almost get a goal, we made him( a limited defender) look like a hero, that can’t happen, our boys didn’t look around to see if there had been a runner and almost cost a goal. There’s definite need for some fresh legs and minds in our defence and 1 or 2 more lads to bolster d oc, CoC and aos up front, maybe we should just start using them in the league from game 1 and let them at it a bit more? Get cathal Carolan back in, Jason gibbons, Fionan Duffy and these type guys with freshness in the bodies. Let even regan have a string of league games to develop a bit, and above all lets find the right way of getting aos on the right ball near the opposition goal. My money is firmly on aos to lead Mayo at ff or chf if he is used the right way and if someone like regan makes themselves undroppable then all the better.
    Anyways, come on Galway in the hurling final

  154. Well, the rawness of that defeat is fading away faster than I’d thought it would. Beaten by a better team on the day. Made a few bad mistakes which you just cannot do at this stage of the championship, and we got punished for it. 4 points up and we should have pushed on, tag on another point or 2 and I think Dublin would have cracked.

    @JP, brilliant post!

    I’m actually thinking of facing into processing the photos now, then catch the hurling. Roll on the second Sunday in January! Another chapter begins.

  155. We lost again because we keep making the same mistake when leading. Contrast Dublin’s BALL RETENTION after they took the lead in the 2nd half with Mayo’s lack of wit in that regard when four points ahead That was the time for Mayo to play KEEP BALL and not the lunacy of kicking 50/50 balls to colleagues in pursuit of scores they didnt need, and in the process get turned-over. Until we get the leadership and know-how to close down games when ahead, we shall never reach the promised land. I realise there is little appetite for such a strategy amongst Mayo supporters, who have yet to learn that the team which retains the ball dictates the play and in the process frustrates the opposition. When players and supporters have suffered enough perhaps then it may dawn on them that there is a better way – Im not holding my breath however. My gratitude to the Mayo players and mngt for all the excitement and expectancy – you can easily deliver when you start playing cuter football.

  156. If you had asked that question a year ago JJ I’d have said no but it’s hard to be so certain now. Without blowing smoke up anyone’s arse, WJ’s blog and a group like Club 51 are a new type of movement within GAA. I’m not suggesting these groups try to influence things but if the county board were to engage with knowledgeable members of such groups (who clearly have the team’s best interest at heart), is there anything to be lost by doing so? I think not. It would be a fresh approach to the way things are done.

    I recall people discussing how to improve things in Mayo and someone made the suggestion that more people got involved in coaching and volunteering with their local club. According to the GAA Coaching and Development website, Billy McNicholas is the contact for Mayo for Coaching and Games Development – could a group of posters from the blog who were interested contact Billy and perhaps run a weekend of coaching classes for those looking to get more involved with underage football? It would be a slightly different way of meeting fellow posters than in a pub before a match but I’m sure there is bound to be a few who have always been tempted to get more involved. I’m hoping to start my coaching courses this year through Scottish GAA. When I move home, I’ll be looking to get involved straight away with the club.

    I realise I have moved off topic somewhat but what I would love to see is more positivity after what has been an excellent 5 years from the Mayo team. Use it to inspire more, not to ask what might have been.

    Ask not what your county can do for you, as it used to say on the back of programmes.

  157. Still absolutely devastated. After watching the game again, it doesn’t get easier. 4 points up with 16 mins to go, thought we were going to see it out. 1st goal was the game changer.. they scored point to bring it back to three. We take off Barry (strange decision with Seamus gone) and Robbie who had a great game from kick outs yesterday, went long to McLoughlin as under pressure putting gloves back on after tying laces. Aiden not fully switched on, back in midfield mode didn’t track Fenton run and alas test is history. Small moments just change the game. After that, engery was drained from our lads and fair to Dublin but kicked on and finished the better.
    Well done to the Mayo lads, a credit to the county. These lads are once in a lifetime. We’ll be back next year, and with some little changes we can do it.

  158. I’d love to see Danny Kirby Adam Gallagher and Evan Regan given a proper run in the league to see what they can do we need to freshen up the team a bit which is only natural after 5 hard years on the road thanks to the Mayo team the panel and the management for all their efforts they did their level best and didn’t set out to lose

  159. @ Mayo Exile.
    “I realise there is little appetite for such a strategy amongst Mayo supporters, who have yet to learn that the team which retains the ball dictates the play and in the process frustrates the opposition. When players and supporters have suffered enough perhaps then it may dawn on them that there is a better way – Im not holding my breath however.”
    That is the kernel of Mayo’s problems.. We need more comments like that and more people thinking like that. Otherwise, it’s same as, same as, same as!!!

  160. First comment from you is it, Kyle? Kinda shows, I think. There are plenty of negative/critical comments at the minute and the only ones deleted are the ones that broke the rules on commenting, which you might have a read of (here).

  161. @PM_90 Billy McNicholas is a sound fella and I’m sure he’d be accomodating towards coaching. Getting qualified as a coach the GAA will do all to support that process.
    I’m a firm believer that improving Gaelic footballers is on the one hand smart coaching and on the other hand simply owning a football. Anyone see Diarmuid Connolly staring around bfore the parade balancing the ball on the back of his hand and then sliding it over into his palm. The kind of footballers who owned a football when young are usually the better ones. Too many of our young club players only practice at training and don’t own an ONeills. You’d never see a basketballer not own a basketball or not have a hoop available nearby. For all the huge investment into facilities etc. we would move the skill base of our players way up by investing heavily in footballs. As naive as that sounds check any research on soccer players who made it to the very very top level. They practice crazy amounts of hours on their own time. Given that an ONeills has a different weight and feel to it it is necessary to own one when young. The cost is a bit prohibitive though.
    On the coaching side then there is too much of just splitting kids into two teams and playing a game. The smaller weaker kids will get hardly any touches of the ball. A recipe for young player dropout and frustration. Properly teaching basic skills to a high level and then small sided games is the way to do.
    People wonder why Kerry are way out ahead. There are a number of factors at play.
    In quite a few of their towns the pitch is right beside the town. Colm Cooper lived right beside the pitch.
    The other factor is coaching. From the 1930’s to the early 1960s Kerry were coached by the first modern coach Dr. Eamon OSullivan. He was a guy way ahead of his time. They mopped up a tranche of titles in these years with OSullivan moving Kerry out ahead of the chasing pack. Part of OSullivans squad in the 60’s was Mick ODwyer who went on to mop up another tranche of titles. Part of ODwyers squad were Paudie OShea, John OKeefe, Mikey Sheehy who have helped Kerry at senior and other levels. Part of Paudie OSheas squad were Eamon Fitzmaurice, Diarmuid Murphy, Declan OSullivan who are now involved in coaching and management.
    Down in Kerry they actually don’t believe it’s some freak of nature that they are better. They are proud to be able to trace it back to Dr. Eamon OSullivan, who traditionalists are often keen to white wash out of the picture of those early All Irelands.
    If you want better players they have to train more like basketballers and work a lot more on their own time on their skills. This gives you players with the requisite skills to pick a panel from.
    Then in terms of panel you work more like American footballers where you are not having to try to make it up on the day. Sounds like a recipe for boring football but that would be the approach Dublin take and their football is great to watch.
    For me really well rehearsed teamwork in full flow is a great sight. Still leaves plenty room for the individual. Stops physical defensive teams from getting a grip over you. No one is left isolated trying to think what to do next. His team mates open up the options for him.
    It wouldn’t actually be that hard to dramatically lift the skill base of the club base we pick from. Medium investment in coaching and bags of footballs for high potential players. We will be capped to some degree if the club level skills are not high enough.

  162. Exactly, go back through the years, it is the same reaction. Ah,the lads were great, they did us proud. That is absolutely true but why settle with that? The trend continues…get through Connaught with ease, win the quarters, hope creeps in, expectation and failure. As Joe Brolly said we learned absolutely nothing from last week. Apologies for being morbid but onwards and upwards seems completely inappropriate and I think it is completely acceptable if people start to ask some serious questions now, especially regarding belief and tactics. These are the two outstanding issues that have never been addressed through the years.

  163. Fred – I’d agree with most of that: no county has a monopoly on stupidity! Whatever about supporters having a cut at each other the one thing that really annoyed me from yesterday – which I referred to in the match report – was how the Dublin supporters booed Lee Keegan, Cillian O’Connor and Aidan O’Shea every time they touched the ball while our supporters did the same to Diarmuid Connolly. Really bad form by both camps in my view.

  164. Your comment is up there, James – it’s just a long way back at this stage (there are 191 comments and counting so far on the match report).

  165. I think the general comment appears to be In Full Support Of The Players And The Healthy State Of Mayo football.

    There has been the usual questioning of the sideline decisions.

    I’m away from the club set up for the last few years, but any guys that know the club’s and the you players in them, are there other players out there, either young or more mature.
    Where are all the fine young minors and under age players gone to??

    Anyone know?

  166. For me it is worse than Limerick last year. Coming home that day I felt we deserved to win and were cheated. Yesterday I had that awful funeral feeling – a horrible reality that you don’t really want to accept but know you must adjust to. And that reality I suspect is that the tide is going out fast on our team and God knows when it will come in again. I fear it might not happen in my lifetime.
    Finally my thoughts are with the lads who must be devastated today.

  167. i Agree with that diehard, however a year is a long time, Horan was good but he didnt learn from his defensive mistakes maybe this mgt team will.

  168. There are young players out there. Some of them need a fair bit of skill work as they have naturally the physical side covered. The more common is that they need a lot of physical work to be ready.
    We don’t necessarily need as many new players as we think anyways. Our problems were more setup and tactical. In terms of deficiencies in the squad right now.
    – Full backline needs a young lad with pace and size. David Kenny still seemed tad light, Darragh Ruane is in my view the highest potential U21 defender. He’s the best defender in the club U21 championship now for last two years going into his third.
    – Centre back. Someone with ability in the air, 6’1″+ Michael Forde could be an interesting player to try to develop there, he played wing back at minor.
    – Wing forward. Conor Loftus looks an obvious option.
    – Centre Forward. Diarmuid OConnor looks the best bet moving him in from the wing. A great shooter from play. Makes every pass and can solo past people by using intelligence rather than head down. He’ll score more moved in from the wing.
    – Corner forward. Evan Regan is needed. I can’t recall a single score coming out of the right corner all year. Need an out an out corner forward who bags 2-3 pts a game every game.
    – Midfield. It would look like we need Jason Gibbons back to have four midfielders of SOS/Barry/Parsons and Jason Gibbons. A good man to come in and maintain the pace into the last 15 minutes.
    – Roving forward/Shooter. This looks a role suited to Cillian, pretty much the way he played yesterday. Got 1-1 from play and was dangerous, he took up no set position, moved around.
    – Target man corner forward. TJ Byrne is a good lad to develop as a guy who can win ball in his own corner.
    – Goal poachers. Lads who stay close to goal late in games to pound on opportunities. That perfectly describes Fionan Duffy and Brian Reape.

  169. Can’t Argue with the result yesterday, best team won, we had the chance halfway through the second half, but honestly at the match at four points up I sender fear on the team, I think Dublin seemed blood and went for it I watched the whole match again today, Mayo were brilliant, as we’re Dublin on trend of attacking football, w got the forest good break on the game, we HAD to go for it with total conviction, w didn’t and didn’t deserve to win. As for management tatics and decisions. The long ball into Aiden OShea hadn’t been the success it was meant to be. Quality of the ball delivered not nearly good enough, secondly every time it came back out it energised Dublin. Thirdly after the infuriate loss of Seamus O Shea for what was a yellow card offence, but a stupid foul by Seamus at the same time. A team with so much brilliant midfield players ended up in an all Ireland semi I final with no known midfielder. That was game set and match for Dublin match. Connelly & Holmes need good reasons for talking of Barry and Tom, bad decisions on my book. Also Jason Gibbons should have been on the panel. We’re not that strong that we can do without such talent. Vaughan’s injury cost allot probably shouldn’t have started, and Cunniffe absence was also badly felt. But my overriding memory was that it was a privilege to be in Croke Park yesterday supporting the best team that has ever played for Mayo IMO. What wonderful support Mayo has out was incredible, even better that the drawn game. W can ask no more!

  170. @ JP, you are a great asset to this blog. Long may it last. 🙂

    @ diehard, i know where you are coming from. I’ll be the new manager next year and it will all be onwards and upwards. 😉

  171. Jp, what about michael plunkett? I thought he was a brilliant minor? Has conor o Shea any chance? I also like the look of michael hall

    in reality, it will take a while for these players to come through but I’d hope to see more of coen and regan next year. Think he could be good for anchoring the centre of defence. We need a man that doesn’t get pulled out of there following a man to stop the crazy concession of goals like brogans yesterday and flynns penalty.

    I don’t want to write off any man but we are likely to lose One, if not two, of the panel to retirement now and the 2006 under 21 team will almost all be over 30 next year.

    I really hope I’m wrong but I fear, like a poster above said, that the tide may be going out on this team. However I also feared that last year and we were very competitive this year

    On the plus side, we have found durcan and doc this year so a few more new faces next year could freshen things up

  172. Evan Regan looked good in the league, before the injury. Young O’Connor looks really good as does Durkin. Brendan Harrison looked really good at times last year and in the league. We REALLY need a modern day full back – not sure who’s around.
    Where is Conor O’Shea gone? -Injury?
    Think the team need a couple of natural inside forwards – that can shoot on site
    Would Kirby be a good addition?
    If we look at Kerry and Dublin, they have another team the bench as strong as the one on the field. This level of competitiveness breeds hunger and raises the bar for all positions.
    Do we have players that can be serious options for all positions?

  173. Well that just finishes a truly horrendous fucking weekend with Galway losing the hurling.

  174. Just watching Galway lose (or Kilkenny win) another all-ireland makes me wonder how we can turn this thing around. Galway won another all-ireland minor (their 10th since 1983) but there is no Guarantee that that folloows through to Senior.

    Some Thoughts;

    1.Back our under-age players. How do we do that? well the obvious way is through scholarships for our talented youngsters at Secondary and Third level (even post graduate for Gods sake)

    2. How many potential Mayo players have we lost to emigration (I read some time ago Tom Parsons was flying back from Cardiff to train)

    3. Put more effort (and yes Money) to the academy structures in Mayo

    I know if there was an educational/scholarship fund set up I would support it. (God if I won the lotto I wouldn’t spend the bloody money on the stupid stuff you see on the ads)

  175. ! The comments should be limited to ,say,200 words.

    Now,We lose because we are not good enough either on the field or sideline.

    Three backs and three forwards are needed if All Ireland is achieved.

    Too many excuses.We do not have enough top quality players and this is not to
    belittle the effort of all who deserve enormous credit.

    I wish all well

  176. Conor OShea, Kirby all with the panel. Michael Hall is with the panel. Just a pity he wasnt a bit taller. But he’s quick and a good footballer.
    A line should never be drawn through any footballer. Barry Moran is in way better shape for football this year. See the effect on his game with his extra mobility.
    Regan alone being added in could really ramp up the forwards. That’s three shooters, Cillian, Diarmuid and Regan. Two wasn’t enough this year. The other thing is that he’s that extra option out in the right corner. We were a bit obvious with the ball to Aidan and Regan can race across as support.

  177. Heroes for players , average ( at best ) management .
    Like Brolly’s analogy to the charge of the light brigade , heroes led by mediocrity is futility. Make Cillian O Connor player manager.

  178. Just read pat Spillane piece on the Sunday world and John o mahony in irish daily mail. Both made the same point lack of ruthless and same personal. Mayo need to develop the players from the last 3 years from their development panel and use the junior championship like kerry did to bring on those players. I get a sense players on this current mayo senior panel are in need of a forward coach. Is donie buckley going to stay on. Mayo could do with a coach like Kilkenny forgaty. I do feel sorry for the players like dillion he giving so much. I think having reflected over the 2 games last Sunday was the one that got away.

  179. Its depressingly repetitive. Win Connacht handy, win quarter final proceed on to semi and maybe even final and come up short. What does this tell us. That we have been in the top 3 or 4 now for 5 years but that in truth we have not been good enough. Our players have been magnificent but there have been so few changes in 5 years. Only DOC. Durkin and to a lesser extent Parsons have broken into that team. We have had to rely on the same warriors and they are not always going to play well all the time. So for example yesterday Keith and Colm and a few others were a small bit off their usual high standards so we suffered as a result. Despite our belief that we had a strong bench the fact is that Dublins was simply better. Yes we keep getting punished for naive mistakes and that has been the case for the last 5 years. I think our best way of playing is the strong running way that brought us success. We just dont seem to have mastered the sweeper and kicking in aimless balls to our best midfielder converted full forward is not effective. . Another thing that is repetitive is our reactions as supporters. We are so positive when things are going well convinced that this is our year often without reasoned analysis. So Aiden at FF v Sligo and Galway was a master stroke and Barry as sweeper v Donegal was poor genius. The fact is that until these things work against the kerrys and dublins of this world they cant be said to be an outstanding success. Then when we lose management have got it all wrong. Aido was never a FF and we have no concept of how to defend properly. I hate the blood letting after a bad result as much as the result itself. Its all negative with some. Lost on the sideline is something I have been listening to since John Maughan allegedly lost it for us in 1996. Now I have to admit that I was not too impressed when this management got the job but in fairness to them they tried a few different approaches in an effort to get us over the line. Some worked, some didnt and I think excessive criticism of them is unfair. As for the players, as I said earlier I think they have given us so much and anyone who has ever played sport knows that you cant perform exceptionally every single day. The suggestion that we would have won if Keegan had scored that point to put us 5 up is nonsense. Does anyone seriously think Dublin would not be able to overcome a 5 point defecit in the same way they overcame a four point one. So on a final note Well done to the players you have done us proud. To the management not a bad first year, some things worked. some didnt. To the supporters keep backing this team and go easy on the criticism, we all want the same and lambasting eveyone will never bring success And to WJ thanks for this great site which enriches our lives so much.

  180. My father was in the Regency last night and had the opportunity to speak to some of the players. They are devastated of course (the sight of Keith Higgins cutting a lonely figure on the big screen was heartbreaking) but are fully intent on having another cut next year. We are fortunate to have such dedicated servants who give blood sweat and tears for their county. We should be rightly proud of them for the journey they have brought us on for the past number of years.

    Unfortunately at no stage during the match did I really feel confident that we would kick on and grab the game by the scruff of the neck. We seemed to be making the same mistakes as last week. Bad balls into O’Shea – he seemed slightly better supported than last week but not enough, not pushing up on Cluxton’s kick-outs (the times last week that Cluxton kicked it long we made hay) and affording Dublin too much space at the back. Philly McMahon should have had a goal in the first half. Scoring the goal and going 4 points up could and should have been the start of the green wave but the two bad kicks seemed to knock the wind out us, as well as the support whose groans could be heard all over the stadium. Panic began to set in. As mentioned above the Dubs smelled blood at this stage and as has become depressingly inevitable they got maximum returns out of their purple patch whereas we didn’t even come close.

    We can’t have any complaints with the result. Dublin were ruthless and were simply better on the day. They have the experience with grinding out wins on the biggest stage. Strip away Joe Brolly’s usual hyperbole and he is right. We haven’t learned from previous mistakes and have not got the necessary defensive systems in place that will win you big games. Being honest we are also short of personnel in the forwards. If we had been able to score from play in the first half last would we now be looking forward to a final in two weeks? I think a problem for us this year is that key players have not performed to their high standards this year. Whether that’s a result of bad coaching or burnout I don’t know but maybe management need to take a more macro look of the team and everyone’s role in it.

    I am loathe to criticise Noel and Pat at this stage. In a job where the only benchmark is whether we take home Sam Maguire or not it has been a baptism of fire for them. I don’t think many expected us to go all the way this year, certainly not after the disappointing league campaign. The players had James Horan’s methods ingrained in them and it is difficult to reinvent and refactor after just one season. We are also playing in the era of awesome Dublin and Kerry teams, no handy All-Irelands for us like there were for other teams (Cork in 2010 come to mind) so if we are to succeed we simply must bring in fresh blood and beef up the defence and attack. If Aidan O’Shea is to remain in his target-man role then we have to nail it down in the training ground and in the league. We should set up from early next year on for how we expect to beat the big teams. A long hard at what went wrong and how we can rectify things is needed now. If certain players have to go then so be it. Fitzmaurice isn’t afraid to drop big players if necessary and neither should we.

    We have the bones of an All-Ireland winning team in Mayo but we need to flesh it out. We may be all despondent today but think back to the good days and the times we put big teams to the sword in Croker. Those are the days we live for and they will return again.

    Hon Maigh Eo

  181. Very grateful to this bunch you gave us a great year looking forward to the league and the bus trips from shrule keep it up very proud to be a mayo man

  182. @play football like Mayo do! – Evan Regan played for 10 minutes before he got injured!

    I just hope we’re not putting too much pressure on this guy, it seems that some here have him down as the answer to our attacking woes.

  183. Just a few reflections on the weekend.
    Firstly thank you WJ for the site.It is an outlet for views and you moderate it well. I do not agree with all the moderations but I absolutely accept they are in good faith and necessary and fair .
    I believe it was right Connolly played yesterday.If Keegan got off and Keane so should Connolly.It is the process that is wrong.Applying a legal standard (Judge O Flaherty) to amateur sport is dangerous and the result is that a precedent has been set and the law works on precedent. No player should now fear being sent off.
    I also think that the system with black cards is unfair. According to their own definition what Seamie did was not a black card. Once again a major decision affects a game.
    I despair of the GAA for the following reasons:

    1.What other organisation would sacrifice its main game for a concert and move it almost into the territory of one of the teams. Add in a biased ref who has not apologised or whose decisions have not been dealt with and you despair. Martin Sludden also made a howler which cost a county who do not appear regularly in a Leinster final a Leinster final and it was brushed under the carpet.Simply there is nothing to stop it happening again. Counties like Mayo and Louth need to take chances when they come and to be denied in 96 and 2014 is hard to take. WE knew then its significance but today it seems even more significant

    2. What other organisation has technology at its disposal and refuses to use it.Reference the All Ireland today buti especially the crazy penalty decisions this year.Why not have a TMO like rugby?

    3.Is it not enough for Dublin to have home advantage without putting on an unapologetic Dublin band beforehand to rile up the crowd. Balance was provided by a Kerrymam..Daithi O Se –you could not make it up.

    4.The situation with trains into Drumcondra was dangerous yesterday and today. Where is Heath & Safety – Not GAA you say but can they not lisise with Iarnród Eireann.

    5. What is the point of match day programmes. They are in fact misleading. Did any football team line out as advertised this year.

    6.The GAA may be an amateur organisation but its officers are professional. They are a disgrace.

    Dublin were better than mayo yesterday, and maybe on both days. That does not excuse any of the above failings.

  184. We do have a great bunch of players – just need to keep feeding in the few new ones through each year and test them out in the league. We have good minors coming through and a great training system in place. It’s important that our young players get playing time and learn from the established players.
    Think its equally important that we hold our dominance in Connaught. Mayo football is in the top elite group and we need to keep it there until our luck changes on big match day and learn from playing these top teams each year.
    I remember going to Mayo games a child during the seventies, the replay against Dublin was our first real big performance in Coke park that I remember.
    I also recall the way our teams used to give up long before they should – I think a trip to coke park was treated as a day out for both team and supporters with no real expectations.

    Now look what we achieved since ’89. We are now a consistent semi-final team, and making the final. The last 2 years have been stationary, but with a change in management, we can expect that.
    If we keep chipping away at it and improving our underage structure the final dream will be achieved.
    We have the talent – we need to stop trying to copy systems that are 2-3 years ahead of us and developed our own. It’s only then will be be truly the best – All-Ireland contenders.

    Our day will come!

  185. Was it necessary of our main man going into this game to purposely take jersey of Connolly and wear it off the pitch?
    I’d question killer instinct and all that!

  186. JP you mentioned some great young players these men should be in a fitness programme with a development squad most of them are u21 next year it would be helpful if we had an u21 management to oversee their progress and blood them in to the seniors step by step.The men that put their bodies on the line for us for the last 5yrs haven’t become bad players over the weekend some fresh blood to spice things up and keep the pressure on our present squad .

  187. I don’t agree. I’m all for fair play etc. But it does question our winning mentality. ..correct me if I’m wrong but he wasn’t closest to Connolly?. My point being…This was his first reaction after losing, where was his head?…..like the media too much. You’d expect a guy who in fairness hadn’t delivered yet on the big stage and who this year was leading our charge to act different. All in a lack of killer instinct shown by all when in driving seat.

  188. In the cold light of day our management have to take the responsibility. They are the people trusted by County Board to make the correct calls. To be honest they have not.
    Some bloggers are saying we got 3 new players this year. Only Diarmuid O Connor showed as someone who has ability and he only 20 years of age. Patrick Durcan may be if he gets more game time. Tom Parson is long enough around and the last 2 games he wasn’t up to it. Yesterday he was replaced. Management should have given the new players a run the day we beat Sligo. 10 points up we could have replaced any 5 to give the new lads a run. Couldn’t figure why Alan Dillion didn’t a run yesterday or the day before. It was the experienced players that Dublin brought on yesterday who won it for them. We replaced 5 players yesterday that were all over 6 ft and had experience and replaced them with lads that had only 2 championship games under their belts. I have to agree with Joe Brolly we at management level have not got what it takes to take us to the ultimate. I feel sorry for the lads who have put in their might and main the last 5 years and only to be frustrated by bad management decisions. I wont be one bit surprised to see a few players pulling away next year. To the players who brought us pride in the gansai the last 5 years I salute them. Thanks for the memories and they were good ones.

  189. not a hope jack o connor would manage mayo,he will probably win his second title with the minors in 2 weeks time,going taking over u21 next year and the plan is to move on to the seniors in a few years time.The problem for mayo,cork ect is that there is a new wave of very talented footballers rising in kerry.I mean in the last 12 months they have won 2 hogan cups,a minor, junior and senior title,all ireland junior and intermediate club titles,and two more finals coming up.Seems to me that kerry and dublin will dominate football over the next 10 years at least

  190. Once again Willie Joe well done for policing the site.. l don’t know how u do it, I havnt the patience to read half the comments on here. I am very disappointed with the result more for the player’s than anything else.. can they keep comi g back?
    The winning margins between the top three teams are tiny, miniscule in fact.. consider that with a three player turn around, Vaughan, SOS and Connelly.. granted people will say Connelly didn’t do a lot but he still has a brilliant football brain a d ran all day. We had no one to bring on late on and we ran out of juice. There bringing on MDMcC with his direct running killed us.. We are very close.. so much so I think the Dubs will beat Kerry by a greater margin than they beat us. I hope we come back but thats the choice of the players.. Thankyou 4 you efforts

  191. Okay, Fred – I think you’ve had your fun now. This isn’t a place where opposing supporters can come on to gloat so please find somewhere else to amuse yourself. You’re not welcome here.

  192. Wensamsuun – you’re way out of order there. If you want to abuse people then please find somewhere else to do it as here isn’t the place for it.

  193. – I attended the hurling final today supporting Galway.
    – The intensity of Kilkenny was unreal, ever ball was attacked as if their life depended on it. It was relentless intensity and will to win.
    – I wonder what enjoyment many of their supporters actually take from winning. I was amazed at how many left before the cup was presented.
    – Tips we could take from Kilkenny are numerous we need to look at what makes a successful county successful.
    -The time is now for a wide ranging review and strategic plan to be re-ignited.

  194. toe to hand wouldnt agree with u that dublin will beat kerry by that much,in fact i think kerry will beat them,fitzmaurice is the best manager in the game at the moment,kerry wont let dublin build from the back like they did yesterday

  195. When and if you look at the scoring returns for Mayo in this years championship it is clear that the main problem is not defence but attack. Our top scorer from play in 5 games was Aiden O’Shea with 4 – 6, most of it in the rout of Sligo. Granted a fair few frees came off his efforts as well. After that our top scorer from play was Cillian O’Connor with 2 – 5. Next was Lee Keegan with 2 – 4, Diarmuid O’Connor with 0 – 7 and Jason Doherty and Andy Moran both with 0 – 6. All Irelands are not won with those sort of scoring returns. Part of the problem is that our forwards spend so much of their time and energy helping out in defence, and why wouldn’t they when the game plan is to concede possession to the opposition on every kickout. Had we contested those Dublin kickouts the ball would have stayed in the scoring zone more often and scores would have been so much easier to get. When Lee Keegan kicked that ball short yesterday he had made a lung bursting run and had no forward ahead of him to take a pass. Do not blame Lee.
    I have questioned all summer long why Jason Gibbons and Danny Kirby were not in the squad. Result yesterday was that we had only one midfielder [Aiden] in the latter stages of the game. Yet we had Andy Moran, Alan Dillon, Mark Ronaldson, Mikey Sweeney and Alan Freeman as forwards. There was no conceivable way all of them were going to be needed. Andy Moran had to be an automatic choice as a sub as had Alan Freeman for his freetaking skills if Cillian was out but at least one of the other three were surplus.

  196. Apologies Wj just a bit peed off with some of the antics!!!!hope the following applies to wat I already said” is minic a bhriseann bheal duine a shron”!! Hope this is within the rules WJ. Otherwise I’ll have to appeal to the DRA!!!!

  197. To the Mayo team and management a massive thank you. To WJ once again thanks for this site its a true gift to genuine Mayo fans.

    For me a few things have to happen if we are to proceed. I have to agree with a lot of what Ultair says above.

    We need to bring on at least two more forwards that are going to consistantly score 3-4 points a game Cillian needs help. All other Top 4/5 teams have them. we dont.
    We need to cut out this shite of conceeding goals. For the last 5 years it has killed us in every big game and that is not coinsidence.

    From here we decide do we go defensive and us the FBD and League to nail it. We learn to defend we learn to attack from Defense we learn to control games and win. if we want to be successfull we have to do the above – kerry dublin and donegal have all done this.
    We dont have enough qaulity to be otherwise.

    Hopefully the lads or most of them stick together. I believe theres an All Ireland in them. Lets ses where P & N take us from here

  198. Something that is really winding me up is people saying that OShea played s***e or the tactic of playing oShea at FF didn’t work.
    The simple fact is that you could put the Bomber, Donnaghy whoever u like and play absolute s***e ball into them that was dished up yesterday and they wouldn’t do any better.
    Why are people not talking about our non existent half forward line. God what would we give to have Pierece Hanley playing center forward for us now

  199. That’s fair enough, Wensamsuun – apology accepted, no need to involve the DRA and the eminent Justice O’Flaherty. I think we were all similarly hacked off but I’m afraid it’s all water under the bridge now.

  200. James Maloney Some great points which I completely agree with. I thought the referee done really well tonight and it is important to acknowledge this. I thought we defended really well in the first half. There is more work required on our defensive strategy before next summer. When we run at the other team the ball has to go over the endline every time.

  201. In fairness something and I’m not sure wat needs to be done about the sledging! Managers can’t hide behind it! It’s a plague that’s going to spoil our game!!!

  202. The reality that’s it’s over for another year is hard. I try to balance that against what it must feel like for other counties who can only dream of feeling what I am priviliged to feel tonight. Others counties like Fermanagh who rattled the dubs celebrated their defeat because just for a fleeting moment they had the opportunity to experience what I have sometimes taking for granted over these past five years. Moving forward we must put romantic thoughts away and develop a ruthless streak that the dubs possess in spades.

    Spades we have used to furrow out the ridges only to see our hard work scooped away by roosting crows. Their is a deep underbelly of cynicism evident in our game the no amount of tactics and training on frosty nights will ever be able to overcome. Take for example the black card to Seamus O Shea.

    Why did Seamus have to leave the field? Is it because he threw Johnny Cooper to the ground because he was overcome by childish petulance? No, the reason the spine of our midfield had to leave the field of play was because, Mr. Cooper after failing to break the leg of what will most likely be the YPOTY football career last week incited the incident by railroading Seamus in anticipation of a direct reaction. Cooper got what he wanted. Seamus was black carded and Cooper stayed on the field. Not bad for a weeks work I would muse if I was a cynic.

    This is not sour spuds. Few teams will overcome two goals in a minute. We had our chance in game one, no doubt. We should have had a free given to win the match at the death but instead the dubs were given a “freefree” which Cluxton at the time was to rattled to convert.

    As I said early on the best team won but we have what I believe to be the best team in the country. Mayo will never win an All Ireland honest. That is the way the game has gone . Headbutting, legbreaking attempters, and driving brains out of skulls are rewarded. Training and drills alone are left to dreamy fools. We need to wake up. We have the team we just need to work on our cynicism and structure our game plan on how to implement that aspect of our game to its fullest potential.

  203. eremaldisle, it will be interesting to see the Kerry tactics.. fitzmaurice is good I’ll grant you that but this will tell how really good he is. I don’t think I could take us been beating by the eventual winners two years in row

  204. Just looking at the match day program and Diarmuid Connolly isn’t named in the 26 , so what’s the story there. Is the 26 named the official panel or not. If it is , he should not have played and if not, the Gaa are charging a fiver for nothing.

  205. Andy D

    I think you have summed it up well. Looking at the 140mins v Dublin paints a starker picture. Top 5 scorers from play over 2 games:

    1. Kevin Mcmen…. 2-2 (only played about 40% of time)
    2. Andrews …. 0-7
    3. B Brogan…. 1-3
    4. & 5. C Kilkenny & PmcMahon…. 0-5 & 1-2

    All dublin. Cillian o Connor next for mayo with 1-1 and diarmad next with 0-3.

    You need marquee forwards to win all Ireland’s and over those two games those stats don’t suggest Mayo have that. COC is a fine player and excellent free taker but I don’t think he is a Mcmenamin, an o donoghue, a Ciaran McManus, a Bernard brogan etc….we all know the names…there is only about 10 of them. It may be to do with the way he is asked to play….far too often I saw him down on his own half back line and I can’t see the point. He is not a Michael murphy type that thrives on the outfield physicality. To me he looks like he is a poacher but he ain’t going to do out there. You never see brogan out past the 50 or McManus for that matter….these teams know these are the players they require scores out of. A o S seem to be getting a bit of stick in some posts here but I would say over the 2 games just short of half mayos scores came through him – just isolated too often.

    Having said all that I think diarmad o Connor – if he comes on again another step from first serious year – he has serious potential to be the answer to the prayers.

  206. Please, please, please, please can people from now on stop this rubbish talk of:

    1. Its our year
    2. Our name is on the cup
    3. There is no way we will lose this year
    4. We are on a mission
    5. Nothing will stop us
    6. I’m naming my baby SAM as my wife is due the day after the All-Ireland final
    7. Nothing will stop us this year
    8. We have more hunger than all of the other teams
    9. We have more desire than all of the other teams
    10. We have more hurt than all of the other teams driving us on

    etc. etc. etc.

    The same rubbish is talked every single year. Do people not think that all they are doing is putting more and more pressure on our players. We will win SAM when we win SAM and not before. Some of those comments just look so stupid when we lose but people just keep on setting themselves up for a big fall. Please, please, please, please just give the players space and not over burden them every single year.

  207. Still too raw in the mind . Tonight feels like an adolescent teenage break up . Just trying to find your feet again .

    The reality is we lie somewhere between the the first game and the second game . Both teams proved they could score heavily in short periods .
    We were always going to labelled with something what ever the result . It just at the moment we are easy targets for the usual suspects .
    This team for 5 years now have given so much to the rest of us . It shows at u6,u8,u10,12 level as these future prospects are growing up knowing Mayo are a great team with so much pride in their supporters .
    Sam will come in you generation for sure .

  208. Misdirected anger all over the shop over the last few days. We have been extremely lucky to have been a top 4 county over the the last few years.
    Willie Joe set up this website during the not so expectant years. I feel that because it’s the best gaa fan site newcomers of the snap chat generation who post their last bowel motion online think it’s a forum for same. It is great to have somewhere to catch up on mayo football express excitement and disappointment but remember it’s your county you’re you’re discussing – players play, keyboard warriors don’t for the most part. Be proud of where you are from. The mayo panel gave their all this year again. We can ask nothing more unless you are wiling to tog out for trials and commit for the long term.
    Thank you Willie for the best gaa site in the land. There is a lot other counties could learn from it.

  209. Firstly just to thank the team and management for another good year of Mayo football. No complaints about yesterday – the best team won and I hope Dublin go on to win the final now. Looking back on the stats for both games I feel the opening up of the game yesterday suited Dublin a lot more. I feel its clear that playing a slower tempo game is definitely the way to get under the Dubs skin but you have to be clinical when you get your own chances and were miles off what we produced in last years semifinals.
    Anyways its another year of learning over us and onto the next one.

    Congrats to Willie Joe here too on another fantastic year for your website. All the articles, newsitems, comments and links really add to the enjoyment and build up to our matchdays.

  210. @teams heel

    I think you have a point there. I wish Diarmuid well and hope he plays a stormer in the final but I can’t help thinking that some players are too fond of looking for photo ops.

  211. Look at Tyrone this year – knocked out first round and stuck at it. They did enough to get through and changed their game for each team. They even had Kerry tratiled for a while.
    They go out and play their own game and each player knows exactly what they should be doing. Like England, New Zealand etc in Rugby, they play on the edge of the rule book – it’s what needs to be done to win.
    Sometimes to win – you can’t be afraid of loosing. I think this is the biggest factor with Mayo is their fear of loosing.
    Saw it in the 1st game- once it looked like it was over and they went for it, as they had nothing to loose- the weight of expectation was removed from their shoulders.

  212. @eremaldisle, i think ye kerry boys got a handy one last year and will be fully exposed against the dubs. Yer backline won’t hold them over 70mins. Dubs by 6-9 points.

  213. One thing that we also may take note of is the direct connection between Kerry Schools and Kerry county and club success at minor, junior & Senior.

    2 Hogan cups in the past few years, and the managers of these schools are none other than Eamonn Fitzmaurice and Jack O Connor. i watched a programme about St Brendans Killarney a few weeks back and you see the people they have in charge and involved with these schools.
    what do we have in Mayo. St Geralds, Colmans still strong but get caught out in All ireland Semi Finals, St Muredachs are not the force they once were and ST Nathys have’nt done anything for years.

  214. Mr T,

    That contribution was, I’m afraid a bit of nonsense.
    I don’t think that Kerry’s current senior success can be put down to schools success. The last two Hogan Cup successes have had no impact yet – they may have in the future but we have to wait to see. Nor do I recall St Brendan’s having had consistent success in recent years.
    Regards Mayo schools I cannot recall Muredach’s or Nathy’s having success in years – so what’s new? As best I can recall Nathy’s last Connacht success in College’s A football was 1968. Their only All Ireland was 1957. Nathy’s also depended on Roscommon and Sligo footballers as much as Mayo. If you disagree I can list players from each county. I cannot recall Muredach’s ever winning a Connacht A title. If Mayo had a mainstay football school it was St Jarlath’s as most young Mayo footballers from the south of the county gravitated there. That’s all changed since boarding ended as it has all round the country.
    Kerry have had great success at Intermediate and Junior club level but, considering everything, remarkably little at Senior Club level. Probably their tradition of amalgamations of Junior and Intermediate clubs has had an impact on their success at All Ireland level. Amalgamations were tried in the past in Mayo [in the late 1950’s?] but after success for North and East Mayo were not continued. Why? Were the amalgamating clubs more interested in their own local affairs or was it seen as detrimental to Senior Clubs?

  215. @AndyD Amalgamations were tried in Mayo in the late 1990’s, where players were taken from junior clubs on a North, South, East and West basis. I’ve always liked the concept of divisional sides in the senior championship but they do depend on there being a strong enough club being Junior.

    If you were to do this now the North would be strong with Ardnaree, Ardagh, Killala, Lahardaune, Lacken, Ballycastle, Moygownagh, Kilfian, & Ballycroy. The West could also be decent with Kilmeena, Achill, Louisburgh and Balla. The East would be weak enough with only Kilmovee and Eastern Gaels being Junior this season, and the South wouldnt be represented with no exclusive Junior clubs in that area.

    Of course if you add the intermediate sides into the mix then its a different story altogether.

  216. hard luck lads its tuff to take but we will be back i hopp for sam again still hurts like a b@@@@@d but they have 26 great players. we maybe have 5

    it was some roar from the hill twas right feckin scary boys no place for the weak. wish the canal end was still there its countrymans hill we are starting to look a bit like arsenal nice football no silverware. tis a shame

  217. Reflecting On Saturday evenings heart break, I think the Mayo management made a number of bad calls.

    1. Not pushing up on the Dublin Kick out was a disaster – this gave the Dubs chance to build – we didn’t learn anything from last week
    2. Leaving Aidan o Shea isolated in the full forward line, too many times balls were kicked into Aidan with three Dublin backs around him, where were the support, runners ?
    3. We had four Midfielders starting on Saturday, in the modern game this was ludicrous, surely a scoring forward would have been a better option, this would provide us with scoring power and an option in midfield if a player was injured or black carded
    4. Goalkeeper – Time and time again, Hennelly has been a liability, he can do some good things and kicks well, but other times he’s a liability – he was fixing his gloves for the first goal , panicked and kicked it straight to a Dublin player. Our full back line were out of position.
    For the second goal he had the ball in his hands and was bundled over the line, I don’t think Clarke would make these mistakes. Although he is not as flamboyant, he does the basics better and is the better option.

    Andy did ok when he came on, but when the Dublin corner back attacked his legs were clearly gone, will he wait on ?

    This is the best team we ever had, with one or two changes and better decision making by management we are not too far away

  218. The thing about Mayo is the fans and team seem to take great enjoyment in hammering inferior teams like Sligo this year. But when it comes to playing teams of a similar standard when they have the chance to pull away and be ruthless they freeze and play conservatively. Even against Donegal they kicked balls into keepers hands and missed goal chances.

    At least the 5 in a row was achieved this year so it will go down as a successful year anyway:)

  219. PJ (whose name I’ve just changed to ‘PJ 2’) – can you please use a different handle? The names PJ (and JP) have already been spoken for by two other long-term contributors.

  220. ok Willie Joe I note you point.

    Do you agree with my points? don’t like criticizing players or management but feel my points are valid

    The defeat is very raw, when the game was in the melting pot, we buckled…..silly errors and poor judgment

  221. Thanks PJ 2 – this isn’t a discussion board in the proper sense and so it’s a bit of a free-for-all in relation to user names and all that so thanks for your understanding on this point.

    I’d agree with most of what you’ve said. I wouldn’t describe Robbie as a ‘liability’, though – he’s a talented keeper and while he made mistakes the last day, he wasn’t the only one and also he was excellent in the drawn game. I’m on record as saying David Clarke would be my no.1 but I still think Robbie is one of the better keepers around.

  222. Mayo should have used the Sligo game to perfect the sweeper system they intended to use in the later rounds (Similar to what Tyrone did against Sligo). It would have kept the score down but would have got invaluable practise and maybe ironed out a few errors.

    But Mayo do like a good score fest against inferior opposition don’t they.

  223. tipper score fest is no good unless your a bettin man minus 8 points at say 6/4. at least i got a good few bob of mayo again sligo but well spent now. boyler was all over the place but so was the defence in general for 3 goals. if we can come back it would be something to see long way till june in it. sos cost us bad took the bait of cooper and hook to line and it was a sinker! ya cant choke a man and drag him to the ground not now anyways. ah let all bad luck go with it

  224. He’s one of the better keepers around, However some of his decision making is very erratic to say the least and yes I would consider him a liability. I presume we are all entitled to our opinion on this blog.

    He makes mistakes at crucial times.

    Do you think there will be any retirements from the panel WJ ? Dillon , Andy, Clarke , Higgins, they are all around a long time.

  225. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion alright, PJ 2, as long as it’s fair-minded and doesn’t tip over into trash-talking. You’ve given your opinion on Robbie and said why you hold that opinion, which is fine.

    I’ve no idea at this stage what will happen as regards retirements. I’d expect that anyone contemplating bowing out will take a while to have a good think about it first and they need to be given the time and space to do this.

  226. That’s Fine Willie Joe, just feel he is too suspect to be our no1, in big games he makes game changing errors

    I suppose your right re retirements, this team is not a million miles off, they need to bloody new players

    The addition of Patrick Durcan and Diarmuid O Connor this year has been brilliant,

  227. Tipper you sound like a Sligo man with a chip on his shoulder. I can’t think of many teams who don’t take pleasure in winning, be it a hammering or a one-point win. I have to say I didn’t think Mayo went overboard after the Sligo game. We would have been better off with a tight intense game like 2012 where we might have found out something about ourselves instead of learning absolutely nothing. If anything, the Sligo game may have made us slightly overconfident in AOS as a target man and as a result we didn’t refine the system as best as we could. It has been mentioned in this thread that unless your systems can hold up against the top teams (i.e. Dublin and Kerry) then beating all the Sligos in the world still won’t bring you to the summit.

    Hindsight is 20/20 but the warning signs against Sligo were there. Plenty of commentators (myself included) brushed off the concession of two goals as a result of the team taking their foot off the pedal as they knew the game was won. How silly that looks now. What management must do over the winter is to get their best coaches together and work on a solid defensive plan. For four years in a row now conceding goals at the wrong times has cost us dearly. We simply must shore up the defence, implement it in the league and refine it against the big teams. Thankfully we are still in Division 1 which gives us a huge opportunity to mix it with the big boys. None of this keeping your cards close to your chest. Anything less and we will all be back here this time next year wondering where it all went wrong.

    On a related note, it’s not something we have any control over but while the decline of Connacht has almost guaranteed us football in August/September it has hurt us in that we have to wait until the semi-final until our problems are exposed. Perhaps we need to be more ruthless going forward.

  228. we need lads to bust other lads up its the only way boys like bust them up in a fair hardy type of way. or the training regime needs to be tougher like how was dubs so fit in the last 20 were was the stamina guess thats a new level we have to reach.

  229. juan seems to me everyone thinks that every all ireland kerry win are handy ones,i thought mayo and donegal were in the top 4,no way dublin will beat kerry by 6 to 9 pts

  230. look we might not like it but every Dub is a serious player even the ones they bring on Alan brogan Kev mac Mike Dara turned the game, before them boys came on we should have been sailing into the final. we have to stop with this they have more to choose from. ya can only field 15 again 15. sure if that was the case china should win the world cup ya know. unless we hammer that mentality home we will be a top 4 team, sure what good is that, do ya think the Leinster’s that Dublin win mean that much with the teams there baitin. or even for that matter our Connachts! the 3rd feckin week in Sept is what matters. but then again look a Ritchie Johnson he’s a jockey he has been runner up to Mcoy for the last 16 year, I hope we don’t have hope that Kerry or Dublin have a bad campaign to get an All Ireland on the board, like in all sport ye want to beat the best in a final. its a very big ask for a team that has given so much and got so much heartbreak in return I fear to say it but next year could be the straw that breaks the camels back one way or the other.

  231. Andy d
    You are obviously the oracle on all matters gaa
    I myself am not a GA nerd but instead prefer to use the skills I was gifted of speed strength and 2 good feetas well as having a good general knowledge of the GAA
    What I was really trying to point out is the coaches (jack o Connor, Fitzmaurice, Murphy burns etc) who are involved at colleges level in Kerry whilst back in good old mayo we have damn all as far as I know involved in our secondary schools
    Jack o Connors school has won a few all Ireland’s

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