FBD title claimed in the Dome

For the first time since 2012, Mayo are once again the winners of the FBD League. We beat perennial finalists Roscommon by 0-13 to 0-9 in tonight’s decider at the Dome to claim the Paddy Francis Dwyer Cup for the eighth time.

It was a strange old game this evening, with plenty of defensive play from both teams and little in the way of contact, especially in what was a particularly cagey opening half. The 4G surface in the Dome is made for running and there was plenty of that but little in the way of clear shooting and so the scoreline ended up far lower than those usually posted at this unique indoor venue.

A word about the Dome first. If you’ve never stood inside it, it’s impossible to comprehend the scale of the place. It’s bloody enormous and, with the temperature outside just above freezing and a misty rain falling, it was the perfect place to play tonight’s match.

There was a minute’s silence before hostilities commenced as a mark of respect to Pierce Higgins, who died earlier in the day. There really are moments when you realise that football isn’t the most important thing in life and that was one of them.

When Fionn McDonagh went on a run right from the throw-in and popped the opener over the bar, it looked like it would be the first of a dizzying number of scores. Mike and I remarked that we’d have trouble keeping up, even if the yellow ball would make it easier to follow the game.

The second point of the evening didn’t, however, come until the end of the first quarter. Roscommon had butchered a few scoring chances before then – a trait they’d keep up all evening – and, after they’d seen a free kick go wide off the upright, an attack for us ended in a free, which Ryan O’Donoghue duly popped over.

We had a great goal chance just after, with Bob Tuohy carving rapidly through their backline and letting fly but the Roscommon goalie was equal to the shot. Diarmuid drove over the resultant ’45.

Over twenty minutes had passed before they opened their account, with a neat score from play by Niall Daly. Soon after, we made our first switch – we’d go on to make ten in all – with Fionn, already on a yellow, giving way to Jack Carney. Just before then, a second Ryan free restored our three-point advantage.

Ryan got the next score too. He loves a mark, does Ryan, and he claimed a nice one in a good shooting position and duly knocked it over. He had the ball in the net after that but the goal was disallowed. I didn’t have a good view of it so I can’t say why it was chalked off.

Diarmuid Murtagh bagged their second point of the night on the stroke of half-time, as the Rossies broke rapidly and we got caught out of position at the back. That left three between the sides at the break.

They brought Donie Smith and Conor Cox into their attack for the second half. That increased their potency up front and, but for several bad wides, they could well have won this game.

It was a bit more open after the break but, in reality, this was a contest that never really caught fire. That’s no surprise, I guess – it was after all just a pre-season kickabout. Both teams will play with a far more combative attitude when they open their respective League campaigns next weekend.

Diarmuid Murtagh got the first score of the half, banging over a nice one from distance. We responded well, though, with Conor McStay showing quick feet before getting a left-foot shot away early to increase our lead to three. Then Bryan Walsh came steaming through and got pulled down just outside the large rectangle. Ryan did the honours from the placed ball.

We traded points, our one coming from Stephen Coen – who, along with Conor Loftus, put in an impressive shift for us in the half-back line – who was fed nicely by Diarmuid and clipped it over from out on the right.

Bob Tuohy’s second goal chance came soon after. Aiden Orme fed him with a peach of a pass and once more the Mitchels youngster bore down on goal, only to see his effort batted away. Diarmuid was off target for this ’45.

Bob departed the scene at that stage, with Aidan O’Shea joining the fray. As the switches continued, Eoghan McLaughlin (for Bryan Walsh), Paul Towey (for Conor McStay), Sam Callinan (for Donnacha McHugh), Cillian O’Connor (for Aiden Orme), Ruairí Keane (for Enda Hession), Ethan Gibbons (for Ryan O’Donoghue), Fenton Kelly (for Conor Loftus) and Joe Tuohy (for Stephen Coen) all saw a bit of action before the finish.

Of the replacements, Cillian was without doubt the one who exerted the greatest influence on the result. We were four up – with Enda Hession and Jordan Flynn both bagging nice scores from play for us – when he came on and for the next few minutes the game appeared to be petering out, as Roscommon simply couldn’t locate the posts, kicking three really poor wides.

Then Rory Brickenden was sent off – the incident happened down in the corner, out of my line of vision so I’ve no idea why he got his marching orders – and Donie Smith banged over two points in as many minutes to cut the gap to two.

Roscommon now seemed to have the greater momentum and, a man to the good, they had a decent chance of nicking the win.

We were then awarded a free close to forty metres out. Cillian did his usual prep, nice and slow, and knocked it over the black spot. Soon after, Conor Loftus raided forward, off-loaded, kept going, got the return pass and thumped it over.

Then Cillian, under pressure, clipped one over off his left. Already in injury time, we were now out the gap. There was only one further score, for them, but we were the winners by thirteen to nine.

It’s hard to read too much into tonight’s largely bloodless encounter. The focus for both teams wasn’t primarily – if at all – on the silverware on offer in the Dome and the contest reflected this. As a result, both sides will probably be happy enough with how this evening went, even if the punters will have left feeling they didn’t get the contest they might have imagined they would. That’s the FBD for you.

So that’s it for this year’s pre-season. Once upon a time, League matches were played with the kind of carefree attitude that you only really see in the FBD nowadays and you can be sure there’ll be nothing lackadaisical in anyone’s approach next weekend. The League is about to start, the real stuff begins here.

Mayo: Colm Reape; Jack Coyne, Rory Brickenden, Enda Hession (0-1); Stephen Coen (0-1), Conor Loftus (0-1), Donnacha McHugh; Jordan Flynn (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1, a ’45); Fionn McDonagh (0-1), Bob Tuohy, Bryan Walsh; Aiden Orme, Conor McStay (0-1), Ryan O’Donoghue (0-4, three frees and a mark). Subs: Jack Carney for McDonagh, Aidan O’Shea for Bob Tuohy, Eoghan McLaughlin for Walsh, Paul Towey for McStay, Sam Callinan for McHugh, Cillian O’Connor (0-2) for Orme, Ruairí Keane for Hession, Ethan Gibbons for O’Donoghue, Fenton Kelly for Loftus, Joe Tuohy for Coen.

51 thoughts on “FBD title claimed in the Dome

  1. 3 games in 3 weeks and 13 new players given a run out ; Ethan Gibbons, Gavin Durcan, Conor Dunleavy, Kuba Callaghan, Connel Dempsey, Ronan Carolan, Alfie Morrison, Ciaran Boland, Joe Tuohy, Bob Tuohy, Fenton Kelly, Jack Fallon, Aaron McDonald.

    In addition extra game time for Sam Callinan, Jack Coyne, Rory Brickiden, Donnacha McHugh, Conor McStay, Ruairi Keane and Paul Towey who have been in the panel but not featuring as regularly.

    All in all a successful preseason to win the completion with plenty of experience to come back. Looking forward to next week and seeing this team evolve. A win against Galway would set down a series marker for the season.

  2. @ No doubt – i would expect Paddy Durcan and Micahel Plunkett to be in the mix for the backs next weekend unless there was injurys picked up in training recently.

  3. Plunkett is a player I haven’t seen appearing on any panel so far this year. I think he’s important this year with Oisin and Lee gone. He’s well ahead of sone of the kids we have seen in defence in the last few weeks. Hope he’s back soon.

  4. Poor quality contest not helped by a ref that seemed confused by the set rules. Mayo accuracy the better or the two 13 scores from 20 shots and created a few goal chances. Rossies can’t be happy with their awful shooting of just 9 scores from 25 shots. Mayo defence didn’t give up any goal scoring chances and i think that will be a focus in the upcoming NFL.

  5. Very poor game all around we ar long way from connaught final young team I will give three years

  6. Loftus in the non-marking free role at 6 is one to watch. If you look at the modern game, the congestion is between the 45 and goal. McStay is looking for Conor to carry ball from here and kick pass, to break out of the congestion at speed. I’d still have concerns about him. Probably better for him this way, though, facing the goal than with his back to goal when he lines out in the forwards. Either way I think he tends to get turned over too easily. But I think his more natural game is running from deep.

  7. A nice boost for this young team to win some silverware. Well done to them. Agree with other posters, however, that this team is a long way off the standard to ever compete on a national stage like our previous golden generation did so distinctly over the past decade. I really like the management team that Kevin McStay has put in place. No doubt they will bring this team on over the next four years, and I know they will have greater ambitions for them, but I just don’t see anything more than a connaught title or two at the very best during their tenure. Will obviously depend a lot on how teams like Kerry, Dublin, Galway, Armagh kick on over the next couple of years. Hard to see them get to that level again.

  8. I’m not too excited or worried. It was a poor game for sure, looking not so much a final as an A v B training match. But clearly a further experiment in team shaping and giving fellas a game. I expect things to get much more serious from next weekend and we’ll know where we’re at…….

  9. Great to see Cillian in such good form
    Aido looked a bit lost but will come good.
    If the young Castlebar lad got the 2 goals we would be all talking about him,the fact he had the speed and vision to take the shots impressed me.
    A lot of frees given against the player in possession very quickly for both sides
    Is this a new dictat from the referees committee.

  10. The FBD has always been a competition where lads get their first senior county jersey, and with the new management, there was always going to be a lot of attention on what had they unearthed in their wide search for new talent. It’s always great to see new blood getting a chance. Maybe we should reserve judgement on the young lads and give them more opportunities to develop.
    It would be great if anyone could share updates on
    Paddy Durcan, Tommy Conroy, David McBrien & Padraig O’Hora? Are they training and available?
    Also, does anyone know are these lads in the current panel: Michael Plunkett, Jason Doherty, Fergal Boland and James McCormack.
    And one final question – is Eoin O’Donoghue totally off the radar these days?
    Hon Mayo – onwards and upwards for a good start to the National League campaign.

  11. Side issue, but does anyone know why mayo are wearing the New Jersey but still wearing the old shorts (which were the worst part of the last kit). I will be depressed if they continue to do that this season!

  12. Jr
    Your last paragraph is an interesting one, it is something that referees are seeming to lean towards. They seem to want to punish the player in possession if they should (God forbid) try and take their man on and get held up either legally or illegally. Most of the time they are being fouled, and at other times are given very little time to work themselves out of trouble. Then we have the other extreme of blatent over carrying outside of contact eg. one of our own players last night taking 11/12 steps before popping the ball over the bar. I really think this needs to be sorted as less and less players are taking the gamble to have a go. Our game as evidenced last night is in serious trouble, we don’t need refs exaserbating the situation.

  13. Wasnt a great game but another win and first cup for mcstay and first fbd totle in 11 years. Very early days only Jan and normally we never get to this final ha so I wouldnt loose touch sleep over I don’t think the ref helped the game at all and as another poster said it was a lot of the younger guys first televised match which would have made them nervous.

  14. Was lucky to get a ticket for the Dome last night. Very impressed with the venue, but not the match. Couldn’t believe it to be such a low scoring game, as all the previous games were of a high scoring nature. My positive from it was that Cillian looked sharp when he came on. Thought McStay would have put O’Shea in at edge of square to try him out there instead of roaming around the place. I think that the goal posts at the venue should be painted yellow instead of white as they don’t seem to stand out either for players or spectators. Onwards and upwards though for Mayo.

  15. Cloud9 – Fergal Boland dropped from panel. All the others on it AFAIK.

    But what about James McCormack? Thought he had been added originally with Oisin McLaughlin, McMenamon, Gibbons and McStay. And what about Oisín Mac for that matter?

  16. We’ve made 4 national finals in as many years

    We might be in “transition” but the standard has been set, and it’s quite high

    Talking to Galway on Thursday and he was telling me how he expects Galway to be beating us come championship. I point out the above and that most of our “fringe” players have played in two all Ireland finals, and I’m “bullish” about the season ahead

    We have the numbers to back up our confidence

  17. I was impressed with the energy that Ryan showed and willingness to make up ground. He really is some athlete and a force of nature, if our coaches can harness it in the right way he’ll have a massive year provided he can stay injury free. Other than that, very pleased that we’re looking at a lot of players between FBD and challenge matches. Can ask no more than that in pre season January.

  18. A poor game and made all the worse by a bad referee. Roscommon were brutal in the scoring department. As for Mayo not much better. Going for goals when points would do. The only question I have what is Aiden going to bring to the team apart from waving his hands ? We have a nice bunch of young lads coming through and a few more games under their belt will do no harm. Still its nice to get a bit of silverware at the beginning of the year.
    Lee Keegan was outstanding in Late Late show last night. My condolances to the Higgins family on their tragic loss.
    May his soul Rest In Peace.

  19. True Grit, Aidan might still place a valuable part this year but I’d agree, he’d seriously need to stop the hand gestures to his team mates. It’s very much a bad characteristic he has. It gives out the wrong signals and smacks of a player not taking personal responsibility.

  20. It’s the Fbd and January can we ease off on Aidan? Fair chance Aidan may not start this year. Cillian is not the most athletic player, Cillian will be starting, can we also then have Aidan starting? It’s not as if we will be lighting up the scoreboard with a Clifford. So, we do need to have a really hard working 13 of the 14 outfield players in my view. Exception being Cillian who should always be inside the oppositions 45, much like Kerry do with Clifford.

  21. Point taken JP. By the way, I’m not saying he’s not taking responsibility, I’m just saying that it looks bad, and probably annoys his team mates.

  22. As I have already posted elsewhere, not a lot to take from this game, except that it gave our young newcomers more game time and maybe was a help in bedding in the management’s new style/system. I’ve seen more intensity in exhibition games and the referee was far too card happy in a game of such low intensity. Good to see Cillian back in and, goal misses aside, I was impressed with young Touhy. Interesting to see Loftus at number 6,where the purpose seems to be to start attacks from deep, but I would be concerned that it will leave us too open defensively, down the middle, as I cannot see Conor as a strong defender. I completely agree with Knockingabout’s suggestion that the goalposts should be painted other than white, as it must be difficult for the players to see them against the bright background-I would suggest an even deeper colour than yellow, such as maybe blue. On now to the real stuff.

  23. With midfield options of Mattie, Diarmuid, Carney and Flynn we seem ok in that department. With a bit of work on his tackling could Jordan Flynn be the answer at chb? Big, strong, good in the air, terrific kick passer and an unbelievable engine. He could be a game changer.

  24. Where is Robbie hennelly,we need him as he is one of the best goalkeepers in the country, also Jason Doherty still has so much to offer, coner o shea should be brought back to the panel.

  25. Are you having a laugh Cashel? Poor ol Conor O Shea was on the panel all last year and I dont think he played 5 minutes so why would you bring him back? I agree with you we need Hennelly back. Jason Doherty has been a brillant servant but he has had an horific injury we cant expect him to come back and make an impact at inter county level

  26. I’m not saying we’re going to be winning all irelands every 2nd year or anything but I’d like to know how posters can be so sure this panel is only good enough to win connaught at best in the next few years. Does anyone remember the lonely walk out of is it pearse Park in 2010. I think I’d be safe enough saying not 1 person on here or anywhere for that matter saw mayo competing in 2 of the next 3 all ireland finals. My point is give them a chance and see where it takes them.

  27. Oisín McLoughlin couldn’t commit due to work commitments.
    Conor, Boland, Darren Coen and Fionan Duffy dropped my McStay.

    Good point on James Mc Cormack. He looked very good in the one game I saw him last year. Your typical Mayo footballer with athleticism and conditioning. Would hope he’s injured and will get a chance to put his hand up at some point.

    I’m not usually one for giving out about referees but have to say the one the last night was particularly poor and inconsistent.

    Does anybody have any info on who Mayo played in their second challenge game this weekend ?

  28. # clubman,I think the ”other”game was an internal A verses B game. Unlikely we would be playing another div.1or 2 team a week out from league commencing anyway.

  29. At last….The week of a meaningful Mayo game. Feels like an eternity since we attended a big match. With new management and ideas it’s hard to figure what team will line out but presume it will be backbone by the likes of Ryan, the 2 O’connor, Ruane, Hennelly( if fit) and Flynn.
    No doubt that’s a good point and I’ll add to it. Leaving Tuam in 95 after a bit of a drubbing and the Connacht Tribune reported that we were going nowhere and a young Kevin O’Neill would be a veteran before we became competitive again. John Maughan took over and Mayo were in the next 2 finals and should have won them both. Never say never!

  30. David moran retiring I see, that’s a huge blow for kerry imo. Thought he is still their best midfielder.

    His performance against mayo in limerick in 2014 was the greatest midfielder display I ever witnessed

  31. Yes a big loss to Kerry.

    Always seemed to save his best performances for games vs Mayo unfortunately.

  32. Catcol and Clubman51
    Whats the story on Conor Diskin from Claremorris not been brought in? Easily a better footballer than most of the players McStay has brought in this year.Frank Irwin is another ayer suprised not to see feature yet.

  33. I echo the above. I loved to see David Moran play. He is a class and intelligent footballer. I wish him well in his next chapter.

  34. Moran was class, for a big man he had such a graceful playing style. Struggled a good bit with injuries, they really delayed his initial development to becoming a top intercounty footballer

    He was outstanding in Limerick in the 2014 semi replay. 2 All Ireland medals is certainly not too shabby for anyone

    Jacko was surely hoping to get another year out of him, but the timing might not be the worst thing either – its a very long congested season now for them to give plenty of lads chances. Interesting to see does he revert to any of the experiments he tried early last year (e.g O’Shea/Spillane to midfield) or will it be ultimately Barry/O’Connor for the year

  35. @Ciaran, he has 3 AI medals. Was on the panel for the 2009 All Ireland as well. Top class midfielder who always got the better of Mayo in big games. I always wished he played for us because we would finally have a midfielder who wanted to kick the ball first and not start running with it.

    In fairness to Jordan Flynn (and I owe him an apology because I thought he was too slow for this level), he is very good for kicking first time.

  36. Correct you are GBX!

    To be honest if he was fit in 2011 I’m sure it would have been a 4th. Class act

  37. Wonder will there be a plan in place in McHale park to stop the pitch entrance sideline area from being dug up like last year.Could teams and match officials enter pitch from different areas maybe at the goal ends of the stand to protect surface or could there be some protective covering put down just inside sideline area.

  38. Of course it’s from Mayo David Moran got his football ability. David’s grandfather – his mothers father – was a Moyles man from the Crossmolina area. He moved to Kerry for work – got married down there – and his daughter married Oige Moran. Mind you Oige wasnt a bad footballer either!!

  39. GBXI, not sure what the Diskin story is; thought he was worth another look. I think Frank Irwin is on the panel. See my next post!

  40. Here’s a team we haven’t seen play yet, and that are AFAIK, panelists:

    O’Hora (not 100%yet)
    Oisín Mac
    Eoghan Mac
    Kevin Mac
    Conroy (close apparently)

  41. Matt, yes, sorry, you’re right about Eoghan. Don’t think I saw Gibbons? Substitute Mark Moran for Gibbons.

  42. I just hope that’s a real
    Sunshine Aidan has got not out of a bottle by the way he looks great

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