Easy enough in Enniskillen

As has already been noted in the comments, we won this evening’s challenge match up in Enniskillen where we overcame Fermanagh on a scoreline of 3-14 to 1-12. Because it was only a friendly tie, there wasn’t the usual tsunami of social network updates for this one but the redoubtable @fermanagh4sam (see, they’ve got their own Nigel) kept the world updated on this contest – a fundraiser for the very worthy Together for Sam cause – which drew a crowd of around 1,000 to Brewster Park.

It was a comfortable enough win for the lads by the sounds of it – we led by 1-10 to 0-5 at the break, the goal coming from Donal Vaughan, and we were threatening to run away with it early in the second half when Alan Freeman notched our second goal just after the restart. However, a goal soon after for the home side – from a rebound following a penalty – followed quickly by a few unanswered points threatened to make a game of it. Sub Alan Murphy put an end to any such worries, though, when he banged in our third major of the evening to seal what was in the end an eight-point victory.

So, aside from scoring more goals in one game than we’d managed over the entire course of this year’s NFL, what else was noteworthy about our Erneside performance this evening? Well, having not made the trip North for the occasion I’m at a bit of a disadvantage but it’s always interesting to look at the line-up in matches such as this and, courtesy of @MayoGAA, here’s how we lined up in Brewster Park this evening:

Mayo (SF Challenge v Fermanagh, 4/5/2013): Kenneth O’Malley (Ballinrobe); Michael Walsh (Ardnaree), Shane McHale (Knockmore), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore); Lee Keegan (Westport), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), James Burke (Ballymun Kickhams, Dublin); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Richie Feeney (Castlebar Mitchels), Cathal Carolan (Crossmolina); Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Darren Coen (Hollymount/Carramore). Subs: David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Kevin Keane (Westport), Keith Rogers (Ballaghaderreen), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber), Conor O’Shea (Breaffy), Alan Murphy (Ballinrobe).

A few interesting pointers in that selection, with experimentation the order of the day in the full-back line, James Burke making a welcome return to the fray at wing-back (a ready-made replacement for Boyler should the need arise?), Aido back in the engine room, another run-out on the forty for Richie, Alan Freeman getting yet another chance at full-forward and Darren Coen finally getting a chance to impress at corner-forward. So, how did they all get on? Haven’t a clue, I’m afraid – that’s challenge matches for you.

21 thoughts on “Easy enough in Enniskillen

  1. Unfortunately I didn’t make it either but on another note let no one be fooled that Galway will be easily bet.A Mayo v Galway fixture is about as unpredictable as it gets! That and them on the back of an U21 All Ireland title! We will have it all to do!!!

  2. It was a relaxed enough outing but Mayo’s defence kept enough pressure on to have Fermanagh back pedalling quite a lot – ball in the 21 area being played back out to midfield by their forwards, All in all, while they took some good scores, you could see why they are Div 3. Galway on 19th will be a different story. It was good to see Aiden O’Shea back at midfield, his natural position. Alan Freeman had a good outing while Darren Coen was prominent without turning possession into scores. He had a goal bound shot blocked by a defender and a few wides into the bargain. Aiden O’Shea had a point when a goal looked more likely after going through the defence while Cillian had a shot direct at the keeper when he seemed a bit off balance. One wondered when our goal troubles were going to end when Vaughan hit home. One good point is that we seemed to escape without any more injury problems.

  3. I totally agree with Wensam Suun, Galway will be difficult to beat in Salthill, they defeated Derry in Salthill who went on to win Division Two of the league. Winning the under 21 title has to be a boost to the Galway Seniors. Galway have defeated Mayo in 90,98 05 and 06 after Mayo appearing in the All Ireland Final, is 2013 going to be different? Galway have started the mind games ( Padraic Joyce stated that Galway would need to improve a lot if they had a chance to beat Mayo and John Mullholland (bookie) has offered to hand back money if Galway win). If Mayo are not mentally and physically prepared for May 19th history will repeated. Mayo will need leaders on the field on Sunday week.

  4. I think Jamesie n the lads wont worry what Galway are, or are not doing.Think they’re going to be complacent??…..jeez give them some credit.What annoys me reading the site sometimes is that some people are always jittery-if team A sneezes they jump,if team B farts,they run under the bed ….let others worry for a change and leave the prep of the team to the guys in charge in anam de

  5. To 45. Varley (late sub) 2pts. Freeman 1gl 2pts. A O Shea 1pt punched. S O Shea 1pt. McLouglin frees 2 or 3. O Malley 1 45.

    Coen may have got 1 directly from a ball in after throw in. Cant remember Cillian O Connors frees? Too far away to know what numbers scored a few more.

  6. To 45. Sorry forgotabout Ritchie Feeney’s 2 pts in first half -directly from where he got the pass from over 35metres. Replaced before the end and did get a knock.

  7. Thanks Ciaran – good to hear that there was good spread of scorers – even if it was just a challenge game.

  8. Just seen the result of Leitrim vs New York. A fairly sobering result for a ny team that really believed they had a hope. Does Leitrim county board pay for the trip?
    Probably a few Leitrim clubs are capable of beating New York, it’s hard to see the future of this fixture if that’s the limit of the New York challenge.

  9. Feel for New York. Clearly something seriously wrong out there. With the pick they have they should give many teams a run. Once upon a time they played for the national league and were damn good, winning it a few times. Legends of the calibre of Big Pat McAndrew, Roscommons Bill Carlos beat the then mighty Cavan for the title. Still any time a Connacht team run up a nice score over there , they tend to have a reasonable championship. Perhaps the GAA should run of a mini international tournament allowing the winners a crack at the last 12 stage of the All Ireland series. Make it meaningful. Instead of the black card bullshit awaiting us because referees are afraid to do the job as currently demanded.

  10. John
    You need only walk through Woodlawn any evening and stop off in the popular bars and restaurants, there are very few new young fellas fresh over from ireland. Same any weekend in the diners, lots of Irish but they are older than whats needed to play at the level needed. There is a good club scene alright but onnlya handful of really standout players. The new immigration laws have stopped a lot of lads coming and then you hear and read about the Australian lifestyle and climate, try a new York winter out for size
    Arctic!

  11. Scoring 3 goals is good even if only in a challenge.

    Still, a bit surprised at the lack of new/fresh forwards in the team and subs. Regan, Dillon (surely needs a run in a challenge or some game time?), spring to mind. And surely one or two others knocking on the door?

    Also, what’s the story on Tom Cunniffe?

  12. I think with that goal, Donnie may have cemented his place at CHF……oh..sorry, I meant CHB.

  13. I think it would be a shame for NY to drop out. They pushed Galway very close a couple of years ago.IMHO, this is an opportunity for the GAA to strengthen the games over here.

    Send out 5/6 really good players on Scholarship for a year. Have them go to college, train with the NY team and then spend the rest of the time coaching youth teams.

    I can’t tell you how much it does my head in when I meet irish Americans who think rugby is the National Game of Ireland.

    Actually hurling is really taking off in some of the most prestigous universities over here. Some teams are co ed believe it or not. There’s a great documentary on an exclusively American Hurling team-Called the “Barley House Wolves” from NH. Its comprised almost exclusively from soldiers from NH National Guard who were on layover in Shannon. There was a hurling game on TV and they couldn’t believe their eyes. I think they won’t the North American Junior C Championship last year.

  14. I may be wrong, and Salthill will prove it if I am, but I think this Mayo team have a harder edge to them than previous teams which should bring them through on 19th. Perhaps Galway’s U21 success will lift them but they won a few underage over the last 10 years or so without making any impact at senior. Unless Mayo are totally overconfident they should come through even with the current injury list.
    Regards Donie Vaughan I still do not see the reason for the criticism on his attacking instincts. Keith Higgins does not attract the same reaction when he moves forward which he does regularly. Of course Donie will leave leave a gap when he moves forward but somebody else should be deployed to cover in these situations and cover back automatically. The day of everybody sticking rigidly to position is long gone and modern football demands that the most is made of every players ability whether it is defending or attacking. Seamus O’Shea strikes me as a natural to fall back into Donie’s position when he goes forward.

  15. Have to say I’m not surprised new yorks team is poor-there is a recession in America too lads ye know!

    The vast majority of good footballers who leave Ireland in the current recession are in Australia. There are over 30 gaa clubs all over Australia, some of which have over 60 lads training with them 2-3 times a week. The size of Australia, plus it’s distance from Ireland means that a team from there will never play in the all Ireland championship, but I have no doubt that if you took the best 30 players in Australia right now and trained them hard, you would have a team who would beat half of the current county senior teams. The standard of football out here at the moment is very high, sadly a reflection of Ireland’s economy at the moment

  16. It is extremely worrying that nobody has a clue of the fifteen that will start against Galway, and that the team will not have played together as a unit in any level of game.

    This tells me that the organisation is way off compared to last year. Not even the units such as the backs or the forwards have played together.

    And too many fellas are without game time.

    We are going to be really up against it.

  17. I think it’s a positive that no one is sure of the starting 15 for Salthill and it’s good for the players for 2 reasons – its keeps the players motivated, the likes of Richie Feeney, or Shane McHale or Darren Coen will feel they have a great chance to prove themselves in a tough game. If they play well in Salthill they keep their place. 2nd reason is it pushes JH outside his comfort zone, he’s forced to pick guys outside of what he knows is his first 15 and this will help to add real depth to his squad. A injury free Mayo team would win fairly comfortably in Salthill, with injuries we’ll have really tough game that hopefully we’ll come through and almost as importantly hopefully a new forward in particular will stand up and take responsibility. That would be ideal.

  18. According to the Indo Andy was back “taking a full part in the warm up” for the Fermanagh game. They are saying he will probably be an impact sub for the Galway game!

  19. The Galway game will be tough, as games against our old foes always are, but the first couple of weak as water, knee trembling posts on this thread are ridiculous. If your afraid of Galway in the first round forget about it, they could always spring a surprise if we’re not at the right pitch but I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

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