Four goals for minors as they advance to decider

Final score

Photo: @GAA_2016

The Mayo minors opened their championship campaign in impressive fashion at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon this evening. Belmullet’s Ryan O’Donoghue was the star of the show at the Leitrim venue, bagging 3-4 as Enda Gilvarry’s charges ran out convincing winners on a scoreline of 4-11 to 1-8.

Ryan O’Donoghue opened the scoring for us within a minute of the start, when he did a quick one-two from a free before slotting it over. A minute later the same player was put through by Oisin McLaughlin and he rattled the Leitrim net to complete a dream opening for the visitors.

With just five minutes on the clock, our lads hit Leitrim the same way. Again it was McLaughlin who was the provider and O’Donoghue the finisher as the umpire went scurrying for the green flag for the second time. Paul Lambert followed this up with a point to stretch the lead to eight points.

Leitrim opened their account with a point by Darragh Rooney from a free, with Colm Moran responding in kind from play for us. Leitrim midfielder Niall McGovern then got his side’s first point from play, and their second of the evening, just after.

The home team suffered another body blow when Nathan McGee, latching onto a rebound from a goal attempt by Colm Moran, stuck the ball into the Leitrim net. Ten up at the end of the opening quarter, the Mayo lads already had one foot firmly planted in next month’s Connacht final.

Leitrim got the next three scores from frees, all knocked over by Darragh Rooney. Then a long bouncing ball in deceived the Mayo backline and it hopped, ’96 style, over the bar. The gap was now down to six points and that was how it stood at the half-way stage, our lads leading by 3-3 to 0-6 but having failed to score since the 15th minute.


Photo: @MayoClub51

The visitors got the opening score on the resumption, a free pointed by Oisin McLaughlin. Our next score a few minutes later also came from a placed ball, this one put over by Paul Lambert.

Those two scores steadied us, our next one effectively put put the contest to bed. John Maughan and Paul Lambert combined to play in Ryan O’Donoghue and the Belmullet youngster completed his hat-trick by flicking the ball with his hand beyond the ‘keeper to the net.

Sub Conor Stenson then thumped over a belter from play to stretch our lead to twelve points as the contest entered its final quarter. Leitrim’s next score also came from a sub, with Seamus Sweeney pointing from a free.

Oisin McLaughlin became the fifth Mayo forward to get his name on the scoresheet with a point from play. Jack Gilheany, from play, responded with the Ridge County’s eighth point of the evening.

Cathal Horan, finding himself up near the opposition’s posts, did the right thing and fed Oisin McLaughlin who pointed. Colm Moran then had a goal attempt batted away but the ref awarded our lads a free for a tug on the Westport player’s jersey in the build-up. Ryan O’Donoghue popped over the free.

The contest pretty much petered out from there. Enda Gilvarry emptied the bench, the tempo out on the pitch dropped (at least that’s how it sounded listening on the radio) and two further points, the first from a free by Ryan O’Donoghue and the second from play by Oisin McLaughlin, closed out our account for the evening.

Leitrim had the final say, though, when John Maughan was – incorrectly according to the lads on Midwest – adjudged to have committed a foul inside the square. The resultant penalty goal from Darragh Rooney was the final kick of the ball in this evening’s contest.

So, it ended in a comprehensive twelve-point win for the Mayo lads. They now go forward to the Connacht final, where they’ll face Galway, the young Tribesmen having got the better of Roscommon, by 3-11 to 1-7, in the evening’s other semi-final. The minor decider will be the curtain-raiser to the senior final at Pearse Stadium on Sunday week. Best of luck to our lads in that one.

Mayo: Adam Byrne; Cathal Horan, Donovan Cosgrove, John Cunnane; Brian O’Malley, Matthew Macken, John Maughan; Colm Murphy, Nathan Moran; Paul Lambert (0-2, one free), Ross Egan, Oisin McLaughlin (0-3, one free); Colm Moran (0-1), Ryan O’Donoghue (3-4, one free), Nathan McGee (1-0). Subs: Conor Stenson (0-1) for Nathan Moran, Sean Kenny for O’Malley, Tommy Conroy for McGee, Stephen McGreal for Egan, Liam Kelly for Macken, Ethan Gibbons for Colm Moran.

30 thoughts on “Four goals for minors as they advance to decider

  1. Gosh, well done to all the young bucks but it sounds like some performance by ROD.

  2. Well done to the minors tonight.
    Was listening to the match on Mid West, where Mike Finnerty did a great job in illuminating what was happening in Carrick. I know Leitrim hit a purple patch for ten minutes before half time, but once Mayo regrouped at half time, they seemed to purposefully close it out. They seem to have a good set of forwards too, with O’Donoghue to the fore, though I’d like to see more of Moran and McLaughlin judging what was being said on the radio.
    They’ll have it all to do though against Galway. They were missing lads tonight and to go down and beat Roscommon by ten points in Kiltoom was a serious win. All to play for!

  3. Just back from the game! Have to say wow! We are praying for a Dublin/Kerry type forward and then 4 come along at once! The first Set of Mayo forwards in my (tenderish) lifetime that can really turn and punish a team every mistake they make, which they did today! Excellent performances, none less than by my own clubman Ryan O’Donoghue! We were hoping to keep him a secret and unleash him on championship, but tonight had blown that out of the water! Pace, intelligence, two feet, the worry is for club and county, as has happened to us a couple of times before, that we will lose him to soccer which looks likely! Can’t praise the forwards enough, all 6 of them look like they could have a say in the future set up, but I don’t know if they have enough to drag that set of backs and midfield with them! Centre back also very impressive from our side..

    Interesting stat, 1 player on the panel from North Mayo??

  4. One talking point I forgot to mention, the farcical display from the referee.. He was equally disgraceful to both sides to be honest, but it was the singke worst display I’ve ever witnessed.. The crowd (both sides) were laughimg and cheering by the end, such was the comedy of it! Was there any mention on Mid West?

  5. Just back home from Carrick having seen an encounter which was a bit of a mixed bag. But that is always the way at this stage of the minor campaign with lads just after their Leaving Cert getting their heads around football again. Improvement will be needed by the final but no doubt will be forthcoming. The Leitrim backs did not know what hit them early on as Mayo’s movement was inch perfect.
    The ref [Galway’s Sean Hehir, according to the programme] was the other interesting point of the evening with a display as pedantic and pernickity as one could get, and that was the judgement of both sets of supporters. Some frees – including the penalty – were given for things only he saw – or imagined.

  6. Well done to the minors and good to hear that we have some good forwards!!!
    Agree with a post above about players that we can lose to other sports.its a shame but not a lot can be done on that matter.i have no doubt that if they were in Mayo both Gary Boylan and Cian Hanley would both be on our starting 15 and they both forwards!!! So let no one say we don’t produce forwards!!!

  7. not long back from the game, Ross Egan is a class act didn’t score but was vital in his play making role, he will be on the senior panel within the next few years. McLaughlin pace was frightening great prospect as is o’ donougue. horan was impressive, he played mainly as a full back and dominated throughout. macken and cosgrove were physically imposing also. so happy to see pace in the forward line, a joy to watch the movement early on in the game

  8. Sure sign of a good referee, when the players have to look to see which way he was pointing when he blew the whistle. I think he only knew himself what he was blowing for, half the time!! Team has potential and has at least two more matches now.

  9. Also at the match tonight.Agree with a lot of the posters so far.Very impressed with all the fowards,all were making runs looking for the ball also well able to take a score.I thought Donovan Cosgrove at full back was excellent throughout the game.I also thought the referee was a disgrace.He ruined the game with the constant blowing up for frees that were not frees. I have to say to be fair that he even gave Mayo soft frees

  10. One interesting thing i picked up on midwest on the refs decisions was he apparently moved a 50 in nearer the goal for desent, is that in the rule book?

  11. Ryan scored well tonight but, with respect, it was against Leitrim. Let’s see how he can do against serious opposition over the next two games.

    If he turns out to be a real talent then you would imagine that Mayo GAA is due a break and that someone might opt for the Green & Red over another sport, if made to make a decision. Let’s hope that the burning desire to wear our colours in Croke Park on Senior All Ireland Final day(and win!) supersedes any other potential sporting ambition.

  12. I have to echo what everyone above thought of the ref. Leitrim people around me at the game were equally baffled by the decisions of a man who wanted to be the centre of attention, and succeeded in achieving that wish. The ’45’ he moved up for Mayo was a disgrace. Two plain later 3rd tackles were given as yellow cards although they were evidently within the defined rules of black cards. And the penalty at the end just drew laughter from everyone.

  13. @Mayonaze
    I remember you posting about the league game between Leitrim vs Mayo which preceded the u21 championship, you said something along the lines that we were nowhere the standard a Mayo minor team should be. Would a 40 point win last night have met your standards?

  14. Standards in a lot of things in the gaa would want to buck up I suppose. Well done the minors !!! Great turnaround from the earlier show!
    V good weather here in Verona. Everyone is on the bog and the hay is a cynch!!

  15. Grand enjoyable evening in Carrick and a good, decisive win. What a lovely wee ground they have. There was more of an atmosphere in that small, half-full stand and with the ground probably only a tenth full than there was in MacHale Park the evening of the Galway game and that is no exaggeration.

    Happy with the win and what a revelation O’Donoghue was – it’s an awful tease seeing a player like that knowing you’re probably going to lose him! But that said we generally performed well as a unit. Galway will be a better match and it’s nice to know we have a Connacht final to go to.

    The referee’s performance was nothing short of comical. Farcical from start to finish, between interrupting the game for imaginary fouls and giving calls to the wrong side, and that ‘WTF’ penalty was the icing on the cake of a truly dismal performance. A trip to Specsavers might be in order.

    Ladies Connacht Final this Sunday in MacHale Park this Sunday at 4pm – this one should be an absolute cracker. I genuinely fancy Mayo to go all the way this year.

  16. Sean Burke,

    Why the ref moved up the ’45’ is anybody’s guess but a ref beside me reckoned it was possibly because a) a Leitrim player was within 13 m from the ball when it was kicked or b) the Leitrim player was waving his hands as the kicker was kicking. I have never, in over 50 years playing and watching, seen a a ’45’ moved like that before. Generally if a ref believes a player is infringing on the kicker he will “advise” him before the kick is taken. But yesterday different rules applied.

    By the way is Ryan O’Donoghue any connection to U21 Eoin? And did Paul Lambert’s dad play for Mayo for a while, in the 80’s?. I believe Lambert also played minor hurling for Mayo last year. And any connection between Matthew Macken and Eugene Macken who played minor for Mayo, in the late 70’s, I believe. It’s amazing the useless, uninteresting information sometimes found in programmes when the most interesting is left out.

  17. I can only help you out, AndyD, on the Ryan/Eoin O’Donoghue point. According to the lads on Midwest last night, they’re not related.

  18. No relation, currently 4 O’Donoghues on the Belmullet team, none related!

  19. Refs are having to do too much in the modern game X by the fact that they are only v v human. There is no comparison between what went on and what goes on! What to do about it??

  20. Anne-Marie, I agree with you to a point regards our Ladies team, I wish them well on Sunday. Against Cork in the league final, Mayo were the better team in every line except our full forward line. Despite loads of possession, much of it hard won against the best ladies team that ever played the game. Mayos play into our full forward line depended much too much on giving the ball to one player, Cork Staunton, Cork found this easy to defend, double and treble teaming her, if Mayo can learn to give the ball to the player in the best position quickly REGARDLESS, of who that player happens to be they may have a very bright future . I spoke to one of our Ladies players a few days after the Cork match, she agreed and was well aware of where the problem lay. She also told me an interesting thing, that the Cork ladies team that won 10 All Irelands in the last 11 years never got to play a game in Pairc Ui Caiobh, ‘Cork County Board’ need to take a serious look at themselves in the mirror. No wonder the ladies football organisation are a separate body to the mainstream organisation. The boys could learn a thing or two from the ladies, like the timekeeping, thing, the clock stops when the game stops, but surely the way suspension are conducted, anyone remember the Diarmod Connelly affair of last August!

  21. Alf Stewart, jeez theres a bit of sting in that!

    I stand over my comment/sentiment, whether those were my exact words, I’m not sure but I’ll take you’re word for it. Nevertheless its true, the performance of the minors on that evening (which was a draw) was nowhere near the standard required of a Mayo minor team and I don’t think many other of the Mayo supporters who were sitting around me in Carrick that evening would have disagreed. So, it was fair comment and as such last nights performance and result was much improved, so I don’t really get the point you’re trying to make to me?

    I do recall saying after the league game that Donovan Cosgrove was the standout player that evening. Now he’s captain.

  22. Yeah don’t think that was an unfair assessment. We could have lost that game in Carrick in the minor league and perhaps should have. Donovan Cosgrave was the absolute standout player that day, very exciting. But saying that Mayo were off the pace that day was a fair assessment. But it was the league, and minor football is weird, and even if we did lose that day it wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference!

    Job done last night. Well done to them but they won’t be getting too excited just yet I would imagine.

  23. Out of sheer curiosity I went back to see what I said after the Leitrim game which was that the performance was ‘way way way off where a Mayo football team should be’. Thankfully we won by a massive margin last night and the performance etc was ‘way way waaaay better’!!!

    Don’t see much wrong with that opinion.

    Is it not true that the league performance wasn’t good? I along with all Mayo supporters am very pleased with last nights outcome but the Connacht final v Galway will be real test. Let’s hope it’s a repeat of the league result in Ballinrobe.

  24. Just think it’s better to slightly temper your analysis of minors, they are young lads trying to do their best. Last night was a classic no win game for Mayo, squeeze by and they would be denounced as brutal….win comfortably and it’s only Leitrim sure. They have 2 more games at least and that can only be beneficial to the lads development as footballers.

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