Galway complete comeback with shootout win

The Padraic Joyce era got off to a good start for Galway at MacHale Park today. Six down with normal time up, his team dug themselves out of that hole over the course of the twelve minutes and more injury time that was played. The match eventually finished level at 1-17 each but, as they did twelve months ago in Tuam, Galway claimed the spoils in the penalty shootout, winning 3-2 to set up yet another FBD final against Roscommon.  

There was a fair sprinkling of supporters, the bulk, it appeared, from Galway around MacHale Park when I parked up over an hour before throw-in. It was evident then that Galway were going to bring a big crowd with them and so it was no surprise – even if it was still a shock – that the appearance onto the field of the visitors’ team that produced the loudest pre-match cheer from a crowd in excess of seven thousand souls.

The stronger, more experienced Galway team settled quickest into the contest. Shane Walsh got the game’s first two scores, the first from play, and with ten minutes gone they were four to one in front, our solitary score from Jordan Flynn, from a Brian Reape lay-off after a probing pass in from Paddy Durcan.  

A super fetch in the middle from Mikey Murray started the move that saw Kevin McLoughlin speed forward and shoot over. Then Diarmuid O’Connor picked out the unmarked Brian Reape inside. The goal attempt was blocked but Jordan Flynn picked up the breaking ball and pointed.

Walsh, again, scored for them after a mix-up led to a turnover out the field. We hit back, though, when Bryan Walsh pointed after a super, dogged rob by Padraig O’Hora. Kevin McLoughlin levelled it up soon after.

A shot from out the field that hit the post led to the score that put us ahead for the first time. Kevin Mc tapped the ball down to Brian Reape who fired over.

There was a break in play while Johnny Heaney was attended to and eventually taken from the field in a motorised stretcher. Conor Loftus waited to take a free while this was happening but when the time came to take it he shanked it wide.

Our next score elicited a loud cheer. Tom Parsons took possession at speed and shot on the run to increase our lead to two.

We then swapped scores. Varley, a constant outlet for inside ball for them, slipped his marker and pointed. At the other end, debutant Bryan Walsh bagged his second after a great pick-up under pressure.

Points from Daly and Walsh (free) hauled them level but we had the final say on the scoreboard before the break. They’d missed a goal chance and shot two wides besides before Michael Plunkett was felled as he stormed forward, Conor Loftus converting the free.

Galway were fastest out of the blocks on the resumption too. Varley, fed by Walsh, levelled it up and then a butchered restart gave Walsh the chance to bag the lead for them.

Fiontain Ó Currain went down following a scrummage for the ball after the next restart and, sadly, he stayed down. It took ages for the paramedics to get him sorted so that he could be stretchered from the field.

Galway had been awarded a close-in free after the incident when Ó Currain went down. Shane Walsh had to wait nearly ten minutes to take it but he made no mistake and Galway led by two.

They increased the lead to three shortly after Cillian McDaid was sent to the sin bin but then the momentum swung sharply in our favour. Brian Reape started this off with one from play.

As Galway deployed the shawl for the first time this afternoon, we were getting bottled up around the middle. It needed a bit of magic to unlock their backline and Kevin McLoughlin produced it. Brian Reape did all the hard work and when the ball hopped up for Kevin he poked it with his fist to the net.

Bryan Walsh smashed over his third from play to increase our lead. Fergal Boland – on for Conor Loftus – and Brian Reape (free) pushed us four clear. We were now winning all the battles out the field, with Reape and Boland combining to effect inside. A point for each of them increased our lead to six.

Normal time was now up but, due to the Ó Currain injury, a full twelve minutes of injury time was still to be played. Galway used that time to full effect, reeling us back in and then, to ice the cake, beating us in the penalty shootout that followed.

Key to their revival was the goal. Robbie did really well to parry the first goalbound shot away but the ball ricocheted out into open territory in front of the posts and none of our backs were able to grab it. Instead Varley connected cleanly with the loose ball from 14 yards to hit the net and cut the gap to three.

A low winter sun was now streaming down the pitch right into Robbie’s eyes, making the job of getting his restarts away all the more difficult. An element of panic engulfed the team too and so, in truth, it was no great surprise when Galway bagged the three points they needed to send the match into a shootout.

It was a tie-breaker that could have gone either way. Walsh scored, then Fergal Boland missed, then Conroy missed and Liam Irwin scored as did both Comer and Kevin McLoughlin. Varley hit the post to hand us the advantage but Gary Boylan missed and, when the ref ordered the kick retaken as the Galway keeper was miles off his line, missed again. Flynn then scored and Bryan Walsh’s effort clipped the crossbar and came back out to give Galway the 3-2 shootout win.

There’ll be frustration, no doubt, at yet another game we failed to close out. From six up with just the long injury time to play there’s no way we should have come away with anything but the win. Somehow we managed not to seal the deal.

With it, there’ll be some annoyance from James Horan’s perspective that he’s allowed Padraic Joyce to claim the first bragging rights in their sideline duel. Sure, we more than matched them today – and they fielded more of their big guns than we did – but the record will show that they prevailed, albeit only after penalties.

On the positive side, though, we saw several bright performances from the newcomers. Padraig O’Hora, Bryan Walsh and Jordan Flynn will all be very happy this evening with how today went for them and there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing plenty of all three of them this year.

Mikey Murray had some good moments too, as did James McCormack in often difficult conditions at the back. Up front, Brian Reape – who started brightly last year before falling down the pecking order – put in a great shift, especially when Fergal Boland joined the fray after the break.

So, both positives and negatives to start the year. But it’s only January so any high is never going to be very high, any low doesn’t count as a depression. Today was a useful run-out as we start to ready ourselves for the defence of our National League title, which begins with a tough trip to Ballybofey in two weeks time.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; James Stretton, James McCormack, Brendan Harrison; Padraig O’Hora, Michael Plunkett, Paddy Durcan; Tom Parsons (0-1), Mikey Murray; Bryan Walsh (0-3), Conor Loftus (0-2, frees), Jordan Flynn (0-2); Kevin McLoughlin (1-2), Brian Reape (0-5, one free), Diarmuid O’Connor. Subs: Fergal Boland (0-2) for Loftus, Colm Boyle for Stretton, Gary Boylan for O’Connor, Liam Irwin for Reape, David Kenny for McCormack.

83 thoughts on “Galway complete comeback with shootout win

  1. Where did this panic at end of game emanate from …………
    What’s the definition of madness again ?

    Inexplicable that he didn’t try a new keeper (who would be back up to Clarke who has got to be undisputed number one if fit all season ) . How is any keeper supposed to gain the necessary experience if he keeps going with both Hennelly and clarke in FBD !

    You wonder if Horan actually listens to anyone else’s opinion and is that why he has lost selectors again this year

  2. A cracking game, well done to all players..
    To any Mayo fan here who was at the game and stood in unison to applaud poor Fionntain off , I salute you..

  3. Good competitive game for the time of year.

    A few observations

    Hennelly – same issues still exist and difficult to understand why we didn’t give Byrne a go today

    O’Hora very tenacious and should be given a decent run in the league

    Flynn – superb and a big lad. Just what we need

    Boland – very clever player and made the forward line tick

    Loftus – I had great hopes for him but I’m afraid he won’t make it now

    Walsh – very eager and showed well. Worth a go in the league

    Irwin – has potential but didn’t look anywhere near fit. Should have held the ball down their end late on and it cost us the equaliser. Hope he gets more chances.

  4. Fantastic to have Tom Parsons back in the fold. We really missed him last year and his return is a massive boost to the squad.

  5. Free taking poor, decision making in final 15 minutes very poor. Chance to lay down an early marker against our likely challengers in Connacht. Very disappointing. And yes I know it’s our first game of the season but we are looking for lads to step up, especially in tight games and when the presssure is forced on them.

  6. Great game , high excitement for January – this fixture usually delivers a good game and a bit if excitement though. But how frustrating to lose like that after being six ahead. Plus ca change.

    Km79, I couldn’t agree more. It’s verging on lunacy at this point.

    Speedy recovery to Johnny Heaney and Fiontáin O’Curraoin – its never good to see anyone stretchered off let alone two players.

    Thought the new lads did well – Brian Walsh in particular.

    Roll on Donegal!

  7. Sounds like a good worthwhile workout for the time of year, good to hear some of the newbies showed well.
    How did Mikey Murray go in midfield? Think there may be a mf spot up for grabs this year

    Couldn’t give 2 hoots about the result as FBD is an irrelevance but slightly miffed at the inability to close out a big lead again.

    Funnily enough Joyce will probably be the more disappointed of the 2 managers tonight as it sounds like he has lost 2 starters to bad looking injuries with both men stretchered off. Id say when it comes to pre season comps. managers would take a clean bill of health over the result any day of the week.

    Have to say im dumbfounded that we arent looking at a 3rd option in goals in the FBD league, it appears the goalkeeping options are tied up between clarke/hennelly for yet another season. We will continue the endless RH V Clarke debate on here for the next 8 months. By all reports Rory Byrne was in the squad throughout pre-season, unless there is an injury there i see absolutely no reason why you wouldnt trial him in FBD. If not now, when?

  8. The way we squandered a 6 point lead is annoying. We just can’t close out a game. It’s been an issue for years and continues.

  9. I’d echo the positive comments about O Hora, Flynn and Brian Walsh. Boyle really upped the ante when he came on and Boland added real dynamism to the forward line, which seemed to really bring the best out of Reape too. Kevin Mc was very sharp. Still a bitter pill to throw away a 6 point lead, but a good workout all the same!!

    Hopefully for the league game against them we’ll be a bit tighter in the full back line, Varley & Walsh ran riot today. Good game for January to be fair

  10. Disappointing that we let a 6 point lead slip I haven’t liked 6 point leads since September 1996 and I have rarely trusted a Mayo keeper under a high ball since September 1996 either. It’s time to give Rory Byrne or someone else a chance between the sticks if for no other reason than the sake of my sanity

  11. Bitterly cold day at the Park but it’s great to see the green & red take to the field .I agree it is frustrating how we build up a good lead and cant close the game out this has been something of an issue for us for a number of years now and has to be something that must be addressed .Future definitely bright for Mayo football some serious talent coming through .O Hora really impressed on me .Strong and brave and always showing for ball .I saw him in a few games for his club last year just mad for ball.Boland looked well when he came on and certainly bolstered the forward line when he came on .All in all we held a very good account of themselves. Decisions now for Horan to be made ahead of League opener.

  12. I dont like to say but our goalie options have to be examined ,Clarke is pushing on but i feel new rules will suit him.i think this was loftus chance to show his stuff but i feel he has blown it.

  13. Beaten again in McHale Park. 6 points up and then the usual panic sets in. Hennelly lost the plot and this spooked the rest of the team. You can talk about positives but if you lose from a winning position it’s just blowing smoke. We have seen this too often before and we don’t ever learn from it. Boyler came in and showed the young lads what is required at this level.

    We don’t have a free taker if Cillian is not playing and he is not as reliable as he once was. We are still taking on the impossible shots.

    Great to see Parsons back and playing so well. What a point to lift the crowd!

    We will probably have to win 3 away games in the league to be safe this year as McHale Park is turning into a graveyard.
    Onward to Ballybofey and better days.

  14. Robbie is a good keeper but he has an error in him every game. Shlingermann was a viable option and we persisted with the same old and he is gone playing LOI.

    Nothing against Dave or Robbie, or indeed anyone who dons the jersey but in tight games kickouts and basic keeping errors have cost us. They are not the only issues that have done us but in every other position I see competition but in goal it’s not there.

  15. Couldn’t attend todays game, so won’t comment on the match itself. To hear we threw away a 6 point lead doesn’t inspire much confidence. Would a been nice to have another friendly next Sunday, and the likes of Flynn and Walsh get more confidence.

    I see a poor Galway buck broke his leg…i wish him a speedy recovery. When are the board just going to grow a pair of balls and rip up that horrendous pitch, its shocking bad. Its no coincidence that another amateur has suffered a serious leg injury in MacHale park. Theirs a serious trend developing….

  16. Auldstock I wasn’t at the game today and to be honest I have not seen much of Rory Byrne but if his presence would give us a chance of Sam then I would be interested in seeing him or is it once again that lads who don’t play get the most credit when we lose. Interesting to see that 5 of our starting 6 forwards scored only Diarmaid didn’t raise a flag. Disappointing to lose when 6 up and at home to Galway to make it worse. Our record in Castle bar with the honourable exception of the great win over Donegal is not good to say the least.

  17. Also, by my count we still had a substitution remaining, why didn’t management bring on Clarke (assuming it was within the rules) for the penalties given it is widely acknowledged that he is a better shotstopper than hennelly ( who is better on kick outs allegedly), think Tim Krul substition in World Cup semi by holland, Galway have rectified their goalkeeping problems since limerick, we however haven’t since 2013.

  18. Wasn’t at the Match… First of all and most importantly I want to wish both Galway player’s a speedy recovery with their unfortunate injury’s… Great to see that Tom Parsons back on the starting 15 for Mayo, inspirational.. Frustrated at the result, especially to lose a six point lead, from reports I gather somewhat self inflicted….12th of January is the as good a time to make mistakes, if there is ever a good time to make them….We need to learn, can’t keep making the same mistakes….1-17 is a great score to put up on January day….Fair play to those who showed up for today’s game, especially the Galway fan’s, traditionally not known for traveling in big numbers…. Maybe that’s what we can expect with the New Padraig Joyce era…. Mayo always bring big numbers, and I’m sure will do so again in Ballybofey in two weeks time…. Still waiting for the Season Ticket to come through the letter box, it will be well used as always!… Next item on the agenda, Destination Donegal!

  19. We keep blowing leads because we appear not to prepare our response to such an eventuality – our usual and by now, failed response, is to play on as if it was the opening few minutes. The key aim should be, ball retention – without the ball the opposition is impotent. Instead we persist in giving 50/50 passes in pursuit of god-knows–what and in the process resuscitating the opposition instead of frustrating it – I give up.

  20. Was at the nuig v ucc game,yery enjoyable nuig had chance to bring it extra time but missed 21 yard free.Eoin o donoghue classy great passer . Was marking oshea kicked some scuds into finnerty for marks.Matty ruane had some battle with kerry midfielder o conner won as much as he lost. Young finnerty
    for nuig very useful

  21. What a superb performance by the team in building up that 6point lead in a match we weren’t expected to win, but what followed was an out and out collapse. Shure the keeper had problems, but some of the fumbling and panic that swept through the team towards the end is mind-boggling and then to add insult to injury we lose the penalty shoot-out. In the big plan of things, the outcome of this match may be irrelevant, but any win over Galway should be treasured, and this is surely one that got away.

  22. Padraig ohora looked brilliant today…there’s a future for him in the red and green. Looked very much at home and made of tough stuff.

  23. It looks like from comments/reports is was a good day for P O Hara, B Walsh, J Flynn and B Reape.
    What about J Stretton, M Murray, J McCormack and C Loftus.
    You would have to assume (hope) Rory Byrne wasn’t available for selection today because he was away or injured. If not the game plan should be simple enough with every kickout now from the 20 meter line – get D Clarke to kick long into the opposition half 90% of the time and flood area around the breaks.

  24. Come on @Auldstock, such classic pre-season over-excitement! Rory Byrne isn’t far off 30 and he has played neither league nor champ for Mayo, you can shout for him to be picked in FBD but he’s not suddenly going to be county standard at (i.e. better than what’s there already) that age.

    Once again, this is pre-season. Little more importance than a training match.

  25. – I would say JH’s was using today’s game to finalize his panel and nothing else.
    – Of the newbies OHora, Walsh and Flynn stood out. Flynn made Eamon Brannigan look like a schoolboy.
    – Boland made an immediate impact when he came on for Loftus.
    – I thought our aggression and tackling was great for a lot of the game, way ahead of Galway.
    – Agree with others the goalkeeper debate looks like it will run for the whole of 2020.
    – Best wishes to O’Curraoin on what looked like a serious injury. Clever move by the Mayo trainer to go on the field and do a warm-up with our guys while the medical team were treating OCurraoin.
    – There is going to be some battle in Ballybofey.

  26. Stretton gave away an early free and looked a bit overawed

    McCormack was decent but didn’t seem to be very involved

    Murray was good… great catch and is worth further outings

    Games just pass Loftus by and his free taking lacks conviction

  27. Rory Byrne is 27, not injured and he was in Mchale Park today or rather he was just outside the front gate, selling programmes.

    Sure maybe he might get a chance in the league……….

  28. Inexperienced side or not, blowing a 6 point lead going into injury time is not good and should not be acceptable.

    Same issues persist with the goalkeeper, even if Horan is to stick with clarke and hennelly for the year after shlingerman and O’Malley opting out it’s insanity not to use the FBD to test out the next best. Who even is 3rd choice at the moment?

    Our full back line got a bit of a roasting. Stretton couldn’t handle Varley at all, McCormack a bit better but it’s difficult to expect a man who doesn’t play there to adapt to a specialist position like it while marking one of the best forwards in the game. Harry was ok.

    Half back line was good. Thought O’Hora had a great game, won a lot of breaking ball and really got stuck in.

    Midfield decent, a good return for parsons and a nice score too. Thought Mikey Murray showed a lot of maturity in looking for the ball and always being an option.

    Murphy the best of the half forward, seems a natural forward and deserves another look. Flynn worked hard and is rightly getting praise but he’s not a prolific scorer, the shot he took with his left from 12 yards out just about went over. He’s a good player but not what we need in my view. Loftus was ok but he’s running out of time, Boland was much more of a threat when he came.

    Mcloughlin was our best player, brilliant all day and gave that young Galway no.2 a roasting but god almighty don’t let that man take a free. I’ve never seen a player so good from open play so bad from the dead ball! Reape is a player I’ve always had a lot of time for but he’s just too slow at this level. His two goal opportunities were spurned because he just can’t get his shot away fast enough and he has take on his man cos he doesn’t have the speed to get away as was seen when he was out on the left in the first half with one man to beat. Ended up just taking a pot shot that was half blocked down. Diarmuid was Diarmuid, he’ll improve as the year goes on.

    I think our fitness levels were a fair bit ahead of Galways today, the difference was they were(maybe that should be are!) far more potent in attack.

  29. That should say Walshe was the best of the half forward line. Forgot to mention Boyle was his old superman self when he came on!!

  30. One point up in injury time and Hennelly takes a 45 against the breeze from the side line. Anyone that knows anything about how to keep a lead would have taken a short 45 and kept the ball until we were in a better shooting position. Hennelly looked like a goalie playing for Mayo for the first time. I am a fan of his but did himself no favours today which is a pity. Overall a good workout for both teams.

  31. I would have to question the future of this tournament. Serious injury, a raft of promising players for both counties playing at the exact same time in Dangan, both counties under 20s in action yesterday, Kilmaine and Oughterard playing yesterday, Corofin out next week, penalty shoot out!!!.

    Varley and Reape the standouts for me, 2 auld fashioned target men who can finish and are direct.

  32. Well done to Padraig O’Hora, Jordan Flynn and Brisn Walsh on three fine performances today. Hope to see all three get other chances to play in the national league. Would give James McCormack another shot at full back to see if he can build on today’s decent enough performance. Although Liam Irwin was only on in closing minutes – it was disappointing in how he got disposessed in the corner and failed stop his marker by any means possible get the ball up the field for Galway’s late equalizing point. Was also hoping for a bit more from Gary Boylan’s penalty taking seeing as he got two chances. As for our Goalkeeping selection – one can only assume that Rory Byrne is injured.

  33. Great game in Jan, credit to both teams and imo a draw was a fair result. Mayo were flattered by six point lead and Galway never gave up.
    Outstanding performances from O Hora and Flynn. O Hora had the tough task of keeping tabs on Varley for most of the second half, which curbed his forward runs but he stuck to the task.
    Flynn looked the finished article and has a bright future.
    Murray and McCormack performed adequately, both probably out of position. I’m not at all convinced Plunkett is a CHB, but has undoubted ability. Walsh showed well at times. Reape showed much better temperament than any previous outing and made a lot of good runs into space. Bit unfair to over judge any player on one performance. Thanks to players for serving up such an entertaining match.

  34. I’m a bit surprised at the level of pessimism over today’s performance. Galway had a very experienced team out and would have been very disappointed to lose that game. Letting a 6 point lead slip is disappointing but building up a six point lead from 3 down against the breeze and an experienced Galway team is fairly impressive. The positives for me were the return of Tom Parsons and very encouraging displays by some of the new lads.
    I’m really looking forward to 2020!

  35. Free taking issues again ….goalkeeping issues again…!!two of the most important parts of the modern game and we continue to shoot our selves in the foot…free taking will improve with cillian returning but I fear our goalkeeper problems will cost us….
    Well done to Brian Walsh ,I’ve seen him for the club and has great ability,just hope he gets more chances in the league and championship

  36. MayoDunphy – No Galway player broke his leg. The 2 stretchered off were for head/neck injuries.

  37. What was the extent of fiontán ó curraoin’s injury? The poor lad looked in a very poor way after it happened. There was very little movement from him. Please God he’s going to be ok and it isn’t anything major.

  38. O Currain was released from hospital this evening according to Galway bay fm. Head injury same as heanue, both expected to make a quick recovery.

  39. Great comments by all above. Sorry to miss it myself. Had to suffer Midwest commentary.. The commentary was ok but for Martin Carney who was most infuriating . Martin,, if what you say is funny. others will laugh. You don’t have to do it for them, obviously in the hope that they will follow suit. Serious analysis please!
    Commiserations to the injured, and I wish them a speedy recovery.
    Good luck to all for the rest of the year and thank you for your efforts

  40. Refreshing to see no blanket defence today.felt a bit sorry for the 2 James in full back line up against seasoned players. Imo it crazy starting 2 very inexperienced players in such a vital line. 1 newcomer and 2 experience players guiding him through would be ideal. Penalties aside a draw a good result against strong opposition. More positive than negative for me.

  41. Great to see new young players, O Hora remindes me of C Boyle. And the
    senior boys did well.
    Tom Parsons welcome back, such an inspiration. Lovely gesture from Tom clapping the stretchered Galway player off the pitch.
    Well done Conor Finn, on getting the team moving during that 12 minute injury episode.
    Delighted to be a proud Mayo supporter

  42. I felt that was a very good start to the year. If I’m honest I was afraid when I saw the team sheets that we might have got a bit of a pounding from galway. 1 – 17 was a great tally and should have been 1 – 20 with a few of the frees put over.

    I was delighted to be abe to tune in to Midwest for it. I had no problem with the commentary. I thought the lads did fine.

    Imagine how hard it is to fill in for the injury times and extended injury times too like there was yesterday. It’s not like you can play 3 ABBA hits until the game resumes.

    I heard a tale once of a young lad who got a chance to co-commentate with micheal o’muircheartaigh. Micheal had emphasised to him the impotrance of filling in when there were lulls in the game.

    At one such instance, the young lad started commenting about a big 52 seater bus that was parked behind one of the goals and where the bus might have come from and a good two minutes talking about this bus.

    Fully content he turned to Micheal to get his nod of approval for the fine job he had done filling in the time talking about the bus. Micheal smiled at him and said ” I didn’t quite catch the colour of the bus “.

    Anyway. I hope the galway lads that got injured are okay and back playing again soon.

  43. @Roger Milla: Because German teams practice shootouts every day after training 😉 It’s no coincidence that they hardly ever miss on the big day.

    Just watched the highlights on YouTube, not a bad day out on a heavy pitch. 1-17 is a very decent showing considering we had several inexperienced forwards out. It was also great to see T. Parsons back and to see him kick a lovely point in the first half.

    The Ghost of Mayo Past definitely did put in an appearance with the finishing line in sight though. We conceded two points near the end from crazy turnovers, with one coming from Hennelly trying to barrel his way through two Galwaymen rather than giving it to the free man outside him.

    It’s not too disheartening overall considering that Galway started with a stronger side than we did. Onwards and upwards.

  44. Players Ratings
    Hennelly 4
    Stretton 6
    McCormack 6
    Harrison 5.5
    O Hora 7.5
    Plunkett 6
    Durkan 7
    Parsons 6
    Murray 6.5
    Walsh 7.5
    Loftus 5
    Flynn 7.5
    McLoughlin 8
    Reape 7.5
    O Connor 5

    Boland 7.5
    Boyle 8


  45. Disappointing result for a challenge match,but bright spot giving plenty chances to criticise the goalie who only conceded one goal from play ,after parrying the first effort

  46. Not a bad start to year, but Mayo need to sort out Goal Keeper and Free Taker problems quick or they are going nowhere.
    Concentration by keeper and a proper free taker has to be worked on. Management has to coach the team on how to kill game in last few minutes when a point or two up. Bringing up keeper to kick a 45 from the side line against the wind was a very poor decision ,when all that was needed was to keep possession even if it meant kicking the 45 back to the keeper, and then losing possession in the corner in the last second was poor play and needs coaching on.

  47. What a game- for January
    Padraig O’Hora remember the name.
    O’Hora along with McCormack define the youth Mayo GAA needs to reassure our dominance over the next couple of seasons especially when our older plays begin to slow down season after season hopefully these youth along with Walsh and Reape can help with our biggest weakness (closing out games)
    O’Hora Cleaned the ‘Mighty’ Aidan O’Shea and was pivotal role in Ballina’s breakout season under Enda Gilvarry.
    But seriously DOC in the corner ??? he’s the next Brian Fenton play him in midfield where he belongs …..

  48. Surprised at how little a difference the new playing rules made yesterday, don’t think there was any advanced mark, and was also at the U20 game on Saturday and again I only remember one advanced mark, maybe it will take time for teams to get used to it. As an aside are the new rules also coming in for club football, I presume it is not just intercounty.

  49. That’s true, Blondie – aside from Cillian McDaid’s ten minutes in the sin bin there was little evidence of the new rules at all. The new rules are now part of the overall rules of the game so they apply for all matches.

  50. Was at work when this game was on but delighted for oHora. A class mate of mine in school, nice player. I do remember he was a fair bit younger than me but he’s not exactly youth. 25/26. Hopefully he develops a little with the league and can earn his place

  51. I have to admit I like DOC at midfield. He is a fantastic fielder of the ball among his many other attributes.May not be the tallest be he is a fighter .Anyone know what height DOC is?

  52. DOC is the ideal middle third player. He can tackle. He can pass opposition while in possession. He can score. I only wish we had more like him.

    If I was picking the team id name him at 11 with a licence to go where he wants.

    Provided they are fit…Ruane and Parsons will be midfield.

    I’d also have AOS at 14, influenced greatly by the mark being introduced (assuming its applicable for championship??) The prob for him at 14 in the past was he could win the ball but would be gobbled up by defenders.

    He’s not mobile enough for midfield but could be a great FF for several years to come.

  53. I thought that Aiden O’Shea had an excellent year at midfield in 2019 even though he was reported as carrying a niggle for much of the championship. So why is he now too slow? Two of Parsons, O’Shea and Ruane are my midfield combo for 2020 with Diarmuid at left half forward with freedom to roam and interlink with the midfielders. At least three top midfielders are needed in the modern game. I’m not forgetting Seamie O’Shea either.

  54. Not sure Diarmaid should be a summer starter. Has a great work rate but at the detriment of forward potency. We know he can kick spectacular points on a good day but more often than not it’s his work rate that’s valued by management. I can see some logic in corner forward role because of advanced mark, he has a great spring. To answer q’s on height, he’s usually listed as 6’2″. But I do think Carr and Coen if fit will get FF line roles ahead of Diarmaid. As a sub he could play a multitude of roles. For me Fionn McDonagh and maybe even Fergal Boland could keep Diarmaid out as they both have good work rates and can score probably more consistently. CHF may end up being Kevin Mc our best distributer or Cillian or AOS. We may have weaknesses in the backs Diarmaid could fill. Very rare that anyone loses him for pace. If a role needs to be found in forwards for AOS that’s one less space up there. Time will tell if Tom P is back as a starter.

  55. Listening to Horan after the match on the radio he seems happy with the performances of the players, throw the game away after being 6points up with 10 minutes to go, it looks a nothing has change for him, a new year with the same old problems, happy to loose again we need to change this or we will NEVER WIN ANYTHING!! Remember 1996 against Meath, Horan was in that team??

  56. I agree with previous posters having DOC as part of a 3 man mid field with Doc having a licence to roam. Games are won and lost around the middle 8 and we are particularly strong there. if we make that the middle 9 we could dominate games and give our long suffering goalie options for kick outs. I’d have AOS as a full forward or a defensive mid fielder. A line up like this,
    Harry, Stephen Coen, EOD
    Leeroy, Plunkett, Durkin
    DOC, Ruane, AOS
    McDonagh, COC, Kevin Mc
    Carr, Coen

  57. A few getting too worked up about a pre season run out. Take the positives, 1-17 scored from on paper a weaker team than the opposition, no injuries and lots of younger/fringe players getting a good run out giving James plenty to think about for the weekend.
    Two points on the advanced mark, you don’t need to be 6’4” to take advantage you just need to be out in front of your man. Also we need to be looking to be popping 20m punt passes to 5 or 10m inside the 45 to hopefully lead to a few handy points. No need for the big Hail Marys.

  58. Agree with still dreaming – Andy would probably get more advanced marks than Aidan O Shea because of his movement off the ball. One of the biggest weaknesses in Mayo teams over last few years is the lack of movement and work rate of forwards off the ball. Compare our movement to Dublin or Kerry forwards. Same problem with underage teams – forwards too static and easy to mark. Hopefully with Andy involved with u20s our forward movement will improve.

  59. The Monday match reports blog post may be no more but I’ve now gathered together all the links for the match reports, photos and videos from yesterday’s game. They’re all online now on the 2020 results page – here.

  60. A new season in every sense of the word but little has changed.
    I am sure it’s a weakness in Mayo DNA that tight games can’t be won.
    I listened to the Kilmaine game on Midwest on Saturday last, they had an abundance of chances in the closing stages of extra time to clinch victory but kicked two or three wides.
    Mayo v Galway, again let a big lead slip, missed some easy free kicks from close range.
    Mayo and Mayo teams need to close out those tight games, particularly the last 10 minutes, surely this needs to be worked on as the league progresses.

  61. All I can go by having missed the game is YouTube and it seems Diarmaid was on loads of ball as a 3rd midfielder so perhaps that’s a good tactic and he’s a very mobile guy to have in that position.
    I pay no heed to negative posters about losing the lead. Horan put on rookies near the end and the FBD is the place to do that. One more game vs Ros in January wouldn’t tell very much. We got through the game injury free unlike Galway. Horan should rightly be happy with a less experienced team than Galway scoring 1-17 in Jan, new guys tried out and at least 3 of those did well… O’ Hora, Walsh and Flynn. FBD irrelevant from bragging rights point of view. Add AOS, Leroy, Cillian etc. in the mix and we won’t be one bit afraid of Galway in the league.

  62. Have to agree there Shuffly Deck. There seem to be a lot of Harbingers of Doom given the result of an inconsequential FBD League game that was missing a number of first choice players and in which a number of our inexperienced younger lads put it up to a very experienced and largely first choice Galway team.

  63. Another thing to note was that we scored 7 from 15 chances in the first half, a 47% success rate, with 2 or 3 of those misses from frees. Our shooting % rose to roughly 52% in the second half so averaging at, roughly, 50% for the entire game. Scoring 1-17 at 50% success rate means we created a hell of a lot of scoring chances, approx 36 of them. That is fair going for this time of year and I would easily expect that % to rise to 65% or 70% when the sun is high in the sky. A similar performance then could yield as much as 25 scores, easily enough to win any game.
    At the other end of the field we had a totally experimental full back line against a very strong Galway full forward line and that experience will stand to Stretton and McCormack.

  64. Another point about the FBD. Good performances there could be misleading. Things change when the ground hardens in Spring.

    While it’s wonderful (amazing actually) to see Tom P back, what do posters think of his fitness? Has he a bit to go there?

  65. Tom looked pretty sharp to me catcol. A full 70+ minutes under his belt battling it out against the likes of Flynn & O’Curráin and a fine point for good measure will have done him wonders. Fast forward to the summer and he will be more than a match for any opponent.

  66. Stretton was marking Varley until Boyle came off the bench, at which point O’Hora switched onto him.

  67. Thanks Wide Ball, disappointing it takes three of our lads to mark an average player like Varley. Apparently he ran riot on Sunday.

  68. Re the goalkeeping problem surely 1 or 2 younger goalkeepers should be brought into the set-up so they can be brought up to the level needed through specialist coaching. If this had been done with O’Malley perhaps he may have stayed on board?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *