It’s still only pre-season so the win we recorded over Galway in this evening’s FBD League semi-final, played in the Dome at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence, doesn’t really count as the first win for the county under the management of Kevin McStay. It’s still a sweet one, though, not least in light of the fact that it’s the first time we’ve got the better of the Tribesmen in the FBD since way back in 2010.
The extremely experimental starting line-up we fielded this evening, along with the bunch of newbies we had on the bench, suggested that our main focus from this game was to get game time into as many players as possible. Galway seemed to have a similar enough mindset, though they had a small bit more in the way of experienced heads on from the start and were also able to call on more established performers from the bench.
I only saw the first half of this game, on the Connacht GAA livestream, as I was heading to Croke Park to shout for Tooreen in the hurling (more on that anon). The half of the game I did see was one where Mayo took a decisive hold on proceedings, tackling hard all over the field and pushing up aggressively on Galway’s restarts. First half goals from Paul Towey and James Carr – after an outrageous fifty-yard delivery from Rory Brickenden – helped to push our lads ten clear at the break.
Galway obviously didn’t want to depart from the Dome having suffered a total scutching so they understandably beefed up their challenge for the second half, for which they made four changes. One of the replacements, Tomo Culhane, had a major hand in Galway’s second half revival, bagging two goals, while Damien Comer, introduced a bit later in the second half, was also to the fore in helping to propel them back into contention.
Culhane’s second goal whittled our lead – which had stretched to eleven points early in the second half – down to just two. Rory Byrne then made an important stop from another Galway sub, Nathan Grainger, before Bob Tuohy, who’d started the game in place of Conor McStay, had the final say on the scoreboard, his closing score sealing a three-point win for our lads. We won at the finish by 2-18 to 3-12.
So, tonight’s win sees us qualify for a first FBD final since 2012, which was also the most recent time we claimed pre-season provincial bragging rights. That’s enough to warm hearts on a bitterly cold January night but, from Kevin McStay’s point of view, being able to bag the win while at the same time seeing so many fringe players in action will surely have been doubly pleasing.
This year’s FBD final is on at the Dome next Friday evening, pitting Kevin McStay for the first time against Roscommon, his former charges. That’s another one he’ll want to win, while also continuing to experiment ahead of the start of the National League at the end of this month.
Mayo: Rory Byrne; Jack Coyne, Rory Brickenden, Sam Callinan; Fenton Kelly, Stephen Coen, Donnacha McHugh; Matthew Ruane (0-1), Jordan Flynn; Fionn McDonagh (0-1), Bob Tuohy (0-1), Bryan Walsh (0-3); Aiden Orme (0-5, one free), James Carr (1-2), Paul Towey (1-4, two frees). Subs: Gavin Durcan for Carr, Connell Dempsey for Walsh, Kuba Callaghan (0-1) for McDonagh, Conor Dunleavy for Kelly, Fenton Kelly for Coyne (blood), Ronan Carolan for Towey.
Our Final Whistle pod, reviewing this evening’s match in the Dome, is now online for club members.
65 thoughts on “Galway downed in the Dome”
Impressive in patches from Mayo. A few take home points from the last few games.
~ The press Mayo are putting on. In particular the forward line turned Galway over a lot today. A mark of Donie Buckleys training.
~ The variety of running the ball and the use of the foot was refreshing.
~ The conditioning of Mayo for this time of year is very high. I say this with caution. Under McStay Roscommon blazes a trail for the first few league games a few years back beating Kerry before others caught up.
~ Our back line still has a lot to prove. Galway waltzed though us in the second half and when they ran at us and let the ball go looked dangerous
Overall you would have to be pleased with display. Our fast transition and ball skills look sharp while we seem to have added a more kicking dimension to our game.
Also interesting how we set up with 15 behind the ball at times in the first half.
Final Whistle pod is now online for club members, with Mike, Billy Joe and post-match reaction from Kevin McStay.
I would like to see our centre back- whoever it is – play a role more similar to Tadg Morley from Ky. Protect the D and cut down on goal chances.
While Stephen Coen played well today – I hate to see our centre back inside the opposition 45. Several times in the second half today Galway went straight through the centre of our defence with no cover there and we wide open.
I didn’t see the game but the spread of scorers is very interesting even in a league game, all our forwards scoring while our defenders are scoreless. Is this a sign of a change from McStay to more quick passing to forwards or trying to work our best scorers into position? Or is it just an FBD and I should stop trying to analyse a game as I said I didn’t watch!
The binefit of this win over galway is having another competitive match to look forward to.
Nothing beats game time and it will be another opportunity for management to see who puts their hand up for the bigger challenges that lie ahead.
Didn’t see it but sounds like a good result. Looks like we have a 15 for next weekend who did well but should feel like they need to do better.
McStay will probably get some criticism for not bringing subs in earlier, but you know, he will have learned at lot about when the right time to pull those lads out.
Will be interesting to see if they do two matches again next weekend. Shows good organization from the management
I like the fact that the strongest Mayo 15 played that challenge match V westmeath (and won) this morning. Then on top of that an overall satisfying performance this evening. The parting of the red sea through our defence was worrying at times V Galway but as Billy said on the pod, we had too much inexperience there. No harm, it was a good run out.
Galway in League in two weeks time will simply be box office. Can’t wait.
Galway were terrible in that first half. Seemed like a lot of them had no interest, at least PJ made the four changes at half time to show them he means business. Much better second half and he used all the subs bar the sub keeper and John Daly..
Mayo had that new manager bounce, full of running , fit, hungry, and a new system ( dare I say a shawl) break in numbers with the ball, and pushing up on kickouts.
At least Galway got a dress rehearsal of what to expect in two weeks..
@Tuamstar – That was a very inexperienced Mayo side (as was Galway). I would expect lots of changes for both in 2 weeks time.
There were plenty of positives from the performance. Towey,Orme and Carr contributed heavily to the scoreboard. 2-11 between them was a good night’s work. Bryan Walsh also kicked 3 lovely scores. He was another with injury problems last year. Hopefully he gets a clear run.
I could have swore I saw a Mayo blanket in the first half. All 15 behind the ball on a number of occasions.
Second half we were too open through the middle and we almost paid for it at the end. It will give Kevin Mcstay plenty of food for thought.
Does anyone know the score from earlier in the day and who the scorers were?
Good run out basically what it was but always nice to beat Galway any time, we were the fitter side and made it count in the first half in the second half Galway pulled up the socks but we kept them at arms length, coen mcdonngh ,ormne stood out while Kelly ,bob touhy and coyne done well ,long road in the season yet but good first few steps
Liberal, are you ruling out Ruane, Flynn, Carr, McHugh Carr etc. As potential starters? 🙂
Good performance today, agree with Clubman in that we definitely further into our conditioning compared to Galway, which is natural enough as they had a longer season last year.
Hope Coyne is ok.
Interesting game with good performances from Orme, Towey, Walsh, Carr. Though there was some good fielding by Bob Tuohy at times too. He won’t play many big games this year but he’s a real prospect for 2024 onwards. Fenton Kelly also impressed.
However biggest lesson for me tonight is that Robert Hennelly is the most important man on the entire panel to our chances in 2023. There is an absolute gulf between himself and Byrne, and there’s no shame in that as Robbie would be in the top 5 keepers in Ireland I’d say.
Haha not at all Gizmo, good point! Ruane and Flynn definite 100% starters but certainly no other guarantees I feel. Time will tell. Its all about the heat of battle. That’s when we’ll know if they’re good enough, and some of the lads you mention there have still a lot to learn.
But come two weeks time you can be sure that the team lining out will substantially be made up of the team that played Westmeath this morning. That was my main point really.
I couldn’t help but notice that the actual playing surface in the Dome looked better than the playing surface in Croke Park having watched both the FBD and the intermediate hurling final in quick succession on the TV..The Dome is a fantastic facility especially with the rotten weather we’ve been having for the last two months solid..One slight but easily rectified problem I noticed was that with the white background it would be much better to play with an orange or yellow ball for the watching TV audience..I also noticed that there was hardly any need for trainer’s or medic’s coming on the field of play to deal with any injuries, something that I would guess would be very unlikely if the match was played outdoors in this weather… Good result for Mayo high scoring and fast paced match!
thought the same myself Leantimes. didn’t they have a yellow or orange ball in english soccer when it snowed? back when pitches were shite and players didn’t throw themselves to the ground!
@Tubberman..I’ve seen the Orange or Yellow Ball in GAA often.
No doubt the ease that galway ran through our defence is a worry. And agree with you southmayo exile. No 6 should stay and do his job stopping the runners. Another thing I noticed in the sligo match the keeper reape was out on the half way line in the first half and again Early on last night Byrne was out from goals too. Now the keepers job is to command his square. Win high balls coming in and find his man with his kick outs. Beggan tried this complete nonsense last year and got egg all over his face against kerry . I hope this is not a ploy of our new management team because its a fools game. On the forwards they done really well yesterday. I wonder what injury has Jack coyne picked up or did he play any part in the previous match against West meath. Surely not. I have to agree with the above poster about mcstay s roscommon flying Early on in the year too . Its great for management to get another game to look more at some lads too.
It was a case of giving as many lads a runout as possible and trying to implement stuff from the training pitch. Other than giving us another game next week against the Rossies the result was unimportant. The truth is if Mayo had played a stronger team against that Galway lineup we would have won it quite easily but by the same token if Galway had started a stronger team against that Mayo lineup then they would have won. No point in reading much into 70 minutes of shadow boxing except the odd performance that sticks in your mind. For me that was Sam Callinan who just oozes class. For one so young he is calmness personified.
Fenton Kelly caught my eye last night. He’s very comfortable on the ball, which is always a good sign that a player can transition to this level. To be honest, despite some physical mismatches against Johnny Heaney a couple of times, I thought he looked a more likely type than Callinan or McHugh. Another season of S&C and he could become a very handy option. I like both Callanan and McHugh but they looked a touch shaky in possession at times. Coen is a great organiser – he’s almost like an on field coach moving players around and organising the structure. There’s a reason why about 4 Mayo management teams in a row love him despite him never really getting the same love from Mayo fans that some of our other regularly starting defenders have over the last decade.
I think Coen will be one of the first names on McStays teamsheet this year.
Another thing to watch this year is if Buckley can improve Jordan Flynn’s tackling technique, that would be massive for the team if he can. Flynn is a beast in the tackle but so far in his career has given away far too many frees
A few of my own thoughts on the game.
On the overall I think we are developing players to compete. Being realistic a good level for us is top 3-5 teams in the country most years. You can win a Sam at that level
One can see the physical difference between the older players like Stephen Coen in his prime and the younger lads.
It might be worth sticking with some young lads even if a year or two early. Getting games into them so they are really ready at 22/23.
Bob Tuohy is a fine fielder. A lot of potential as he gets stronger.
Paul Towey and Aidan Orme shooting accuracy is promising.
Midfield is a concern. I just don’t feel we have a true All Star midfielder at the moment.
Regarding midfield. Jordan Flynn for me continues to impress. He’s mobile,can tackle,can take a score,good in the air and he’s one of our better kick passers. I think it was Flynns ball in to Towey for his goal last night? The main thing is that he is on an upward curve.
Matty will know himself he needs to improve on last year.
Diarmuid played midfield against Sligo. He has all the attributes to play there.
We have decent options
Came away from the game thinking Jordan Flynn is well on his way to winning his first all star
@Retrocut – thought the same, this time last year the lad was being written off by many due to his indiscipline, he is now one of our main players and rarely has a bad game.
I think we’ve good options in midfield actually between Flynn, Ruane, Carney, Diarmuid and Aidan can play there at times. Maybe Bob Touhy can be a bolter this year as well.
The full back line would be my main worry. We pretty much have to cross our fingers that 1 or more of Coyne/McBrien/Callinan/Brickendon make the step up to established starters.
Watched it back – coming from Belfast, heard first half on RNG, no second half. Got home checked Twitter, seemed to have it won, watched back, then with 5 to go, have we won, back to Twitter. Phew.
Is the Dome pitch quite small?
Felt it suited Galway’s game, and Galway will be quite happy. We dominated, had a blanket defence and yet, we conceded 3-12. That said, I like the look of Coyne, Fenton Kelly, and Tuohy again. Towey had a good game and that will do his confidence no end of good. Felt the midfield did well. JP?
Presume McStay, McHale and Rochy’s sideline performances were coordinated. Are they ‘controlling’ specific players?
Some have referenced McStay’s Rossies doing well in the early season. But, as he has rightly pointed out, he has to do it this way. The season is so short and compresed, it’s starting from now. Kerry won nearly all their games last year, and peaked in July, and there are more games this year, so the squad system is vital.
PS – liked Bryan Walsh’s game a lot. Powerful and good scores too. Sub Callaghan’s point was a gem.
@retrocut – thought a player was on his way to an all star based off a game in the FBD? Are you serious?
Catcol – are you able to rewatch the stream? I wouldn’t mind having another look at some of the scores but it’s asking me to buy it again. Seems a bit ridiculous after paying 10 euro you can’t watch it back!
Jordan Flynn has been fantastic. He must be a real inspiration for a lot of the lads. It’s down to a lot of hard work from a lot of people, and is a credit to the culture of and around the group.
As McStay keeps saying, the attitude in the group looks good. We’ve quite a few there who lads there who look like they have put the work in recent seasons, and maybe just need a run of games to build the confidence needed to really start to shine.
I’d be inclined towards an unchanged team for the final but bring a stronger bench.
You would imagine that the logistics of having a challenge match next weekend would be easier with the final on Friday, and make it possible, to have guys play both games.
There are a few lads coming back from injury like Tommy Conroy and Eoghan McLaughlin who I’d maybe prefer to give 20 mins on the dome surface, than a outdoor pitch at this time of year.
Friday night match in the dome might not suit some of the players for work and college. This could potentially lead to some changes
All in all, it’s hard to say that 15 didn’t earn their place in the final. Perform like yesterday and there’s no reason they can’t be competitive against the Rossies. More experienced bench and earlier subs are the obvious ways to prevent yesterday’s second half drop off. Not a big deal in an FBD semi, but finals are different
I would agree that our midfield is decent and our options are decent. My point is do we have a midfielder in the running as one of the top 3 in the country? Brian Fenton, James Mccarthy, Conor Glass.
Full backline I’m thinking we might have to put Paddy Durcan back in the corner.
If I had to pick our strongest 15 right now, everyone fit and available. Something along these lines:
Hession – O’Hora – Callinan
Durcan – Coen – Eoghan McLaughlin
Flynn & Ruane
Carney – Diarmuid – ROD
Conroy – Cillian – Towey
Then there’s guys like Irwin, mark Moran and some others I have probably forgotten.
When you list the options out it’s not a bad panel at all. I think we clearly have some inexperience in the back half with some depth needing to be developed.
Hennelly is also critical in 2023.
The better news is it’s easier to find defenders than attackers.
Whisper it quietly, but that might be the best set of attacking options I’ve collectively seen on a Mayo panel in a long time…
I’d really fancy Jordan Flynn in his current form on Fenton. I’d love to be able to run Fenton around for awhile and then spring Flynn on him.
Diarmuid on McCarthy would be interesting
This time last year our options were O’Shea, Diarmuid, Ruane and Conor Loftus. 3 All Stars. Flynn and Carney look like future All Stars. I’m not sure how much more improvement we can be expected to make in 12 months
Wideball, I’ve just tested it and that seems to be the case. Absolutely ridiculous, that you would have to pay to watch it back.
PS Agree with poster who recommended a coloured ball. Coulndn’t make out a lot of high shots for points.
Actually thought Jordan Flynn had a quiet game last night.
Young Touhy from Castlebar outshone him and caught some really great balls and looks the real deal..
Naturally an indoor game in January on AstroTurf is miles away from teo weeks time..
Key for Mayo is no injuries next week.
All Ireland final tomorrow, I’d probably have O’Shea and Plunkett instead of Callinan and Towey, based on their work to date. Wouldn’t necessarily think that it’s most balanced team but outside of maybe Loftus, Kevin mcloughlin and Doherty, the rest are potential. At the moment you have to say, that list of players showing potential is increasing.
Our attacking depth is looking positive. Defensive options aren’t maybe as far along in their development
Early days. FBD is a glorified challenge/development league. The fact it was indoor must also be taken into account. Nice to get the win but it’s about bringing through and developing the younger lads.
League game in 2 weeks will be a different kettle of fish. We are in a transition period. Staying in division 1 and a Connacht title would be a good year in my opinion.
@Tuamstar with all due respect I don’t know what game you were watching. I thought Flynn was our outstanding player and was heavily involved in the game.
Can we stop talking about All Stars and future all stars. Their only a bi-product of us getting to the business end of the championship. I’m sure if you ask Leeroy/Higgins or Boyle they would swap all their all stars for a Celtic cross.
I would agree that we are ok around the middle for now. It’s the back line that worries me. As a previous poster said it might take our best attacking back Paddy Durcan to go back to the corner to put out a few fires. It was notable for me in the club championship how much better Padraic O’Hora played at 6 than in the FB line. Hession was a first day minor level also. We are blessed with attacking defenders but finding it hard to get out and out defenders like Chris Barrett, Eoin O’Donoghue etc. Donnacha Mchugh took out a lot of good players in the club championships so he could be a potential man marker.
@wideball. Willie Joe has a link up on the reports thread where you can watch back almost 30 minutes of the game.
Paudie Clifford is a disgrace, coming out with that tripe about the ref in his speech. Such an awful look for the GAA.
So much for referee respect.
I’d be hoping we get a look at Ethan Gibbons in a Mayo jersey in games to come also. If he can bring his club form to intercounty he could be an option at 10 or 12. Certainly not afraid to take a shot on.
Ya guys that is probably the main difference between Kerry and Mayo, Paudie Clifford is super confident as is his brother, not afraid to call out the match officials in his victory speech.
Mayo guys too humble particularly in finals.
Clifford made a fool out of himself. Did people see the Fossa player say F off to the opposition mentor when he offered to shake his hand.
We can’t have players calling out referees in a victory speech. I know of a case where a club player pulled the piss in a devious way of a referee about a match reffing in the refs private life attending a match. Fair play to the ref he reported that player as a post match incident.
The game will end quickly not slowly if the refereeing becomes untenable.
Assume you are taking the piss there Mayo88.
He’s an absolute embarrassment coming out with that scutter after winning an all Ireland with his club. Talk about an ungracious winner?
The ref and linesmen walking away with heads bowed while a winning captain calls them out (incorrectly too) is a horrendous look for the GAA.
On a separate note, I’m looking forward to us winning Sam this year and Larry McCarthy presenting the cup to our captain Leeroy Mortimer!
@Mikey3 Was there some name mixup yesterday in the trophy presentation?
I’d imagine Clifford will ring the ref crew to apologize today. He’s bloody badly advised if he doesn’t.
If I were to highlight the disgraceful incidents in that match, a lad full of adrenaline coming out with a heat of the moment comment (which I agree was unmerited – and so will he in hindsight – but hardly outrageous) would be well down my list to be honest
They need to do away with those nonsense acceptance speeches anyway
anyone have the team and scores from game with Westmeath on Saturday. Who played well.
A lot of club games are not all that entertaining.
Blanket defence and stop the oppositions two best forwards. Then championship being played in the worse weather time of year.
The game does need an entertainment factor.
Blanket football is prevalent now for more than ten years.
Whatever about Paidi Clifford’s speech, that Tyrone elbow to his jaw was as bad as I’ve seen. The worst I would say since I saw a Tyrone fan give Tomás O’Shea an uppercut as he rushed onto the field – to ‘celebrate’ Tyrone winning the All Ireland.
Kerry and Fossa give as good as they get, let’s not kid ourselves. Tadhg Kennelllys elbow at the start of the 2009 final was every bit as bad. David Clifford was sent off for systematic fouling. The referee and linesman got most calls correct except possibly the Fossa midfielder who should have seen red. Let’s stop blaming Tyrone/Ulster and referees here, same thing last weekend with Gough.
Players have a responsibility, holding off the ball, fouling high up the pitch to slow the play, checking midfielder runs, feigning injury, late hits, use of the knee, interference with face/eye area. All seen in the last 10 days. Is that the refs fault? No. We’ll end up with no refs.
I can see the day(and it could have happened yestrrday) where the ref either goes to the line to ask the mentors to speak to the players or worst case scenario abandon the game(imagine, in Croker on live TV)
Simple solutions to the ”issues” in Gaelic football.
1, Two Referees on the pitch for all Intercounty games.
2, The use of Video analysis ( as in Soccer and Rugby) for dangerous play / penalty decisions etc, this will help officials to make the right call immediately. We have it already in Croker to check for dubious points.
3, Only the team Captains can speak to the match Officials as the spokesperson for the team.
4, All 6 forwards not allowed into the defensive zone, ie, past midfield, likewise all 6 defenders not allowed past midfield zone
5, Dangerous play to be severally punished.
6, The kickout to be taken from 21 yard line, with no player less than 30 m away from the goalkeeper.
Kerry teams have now found that tough edge to deal with Tyrone teams, they have learned this from experience.
“3, Only the team Captains can speak to the match Officials as the spokesperson for the team.”
My instant reaction to this was, if I make my goalkeeper captain, how much time can I waste and how frustrating for everyone else would it be
The GAA can easily reduce/remove violent play from the game by getting rid of the convoluted appeals process where players nearly always get off on technicalities and impose proper punishments. Right now there is little or no consequences for the violent behaviour we see every week on the pitch (and from the sideline). Red cards should be reviewed using video evidence and refs report in the week after games, reds either upheld/rescinded, end of story. Mandatory lengthy match bans for violent play. Lengthy bans for abuse of officials. Teams forfeit games for instigating mass brawls. No appeals process where solicitors get bans overturned on technicalities. Players will stop this kind of behaviour when there are actual consequences for their actions, right now there isnt.
FBD final live on TG4 this Friday night?
I wasn’t aware of that happening to Tomas OSe Catcol…disgraceful
Yes, Pullhard, I was in the Hogan Stand and had a bird’s eye view of it. Crowds allowed on in those days after match, I just couldn’t believe it. Your team has won an AI, and that the first thing on your mind. And, yes I agree Big Mike, Kerry are no angels, and the Kennelly hit was very bad, as was the blackguarding of Michael Murphy in 2014.
FBD Final confirmed for TG4 Friday, coverage starting at 7.20pm.
Be interesting to see the Team selection for that one.
Thought we certainly played very well in the Dome in the first half with what was a largely second string team with a lot of new and fringe players getting game time. Second half was different gravy with Galway getting into goal scoring positions far too often for my liking. That experience will stand to those lads no doubt and better to see it happen while eking out the win, it’s an opportunity to learn from the mistakes.
Our more experienced players which now include Jordan Flynn, as well as Matty, Stephen Coen were clearly the backbone of the team and we bossed midfield throughout the game. I thought Fionn McDonagh did very well too – linked a lot of play and terrorised the Galway half backs particularly on the kickouts.
It’s only FBD league but nice to get a win over the neighbours all the same. Overall I’d say it was near enough in terms of the experience levels of both teams, Galway perhaps shading it with the game time of the players they had.
As for the Junior Club Final – I’ve only seen replays of the various incidents. Not sure Paudie Clifford has any right for grievances at the sending off, and his comments were fairly inappropriate. I’d hope he’s corrected on that behaviour on and off the pitch. That said – the Elbow he got was shocking and I’d expect the GAA needs to start addressing that sort of nonsense in a more serious manner. Mayomad has it right with the current appeals process, it’s not fit for purpose and basically it’s down to who can get the best laywers, and that isn’t new either.
Just a quick question for anyone who attended the game at the Dome in Bekan. Are you given a designated seat number when you buy a ticket or is it first come first served? Am hoping to bring my father to the Mayo v Roscommon FBD final on Friday night.
Its a pity all that nonsense happened in the junior final as we really should be fully celebrating one of the greatest individual performances you’ll see from anyone. Despite having up to 4 lads on him at stages and obviously far poorer service than he’s used to with Kerry, Clifford still managed a whopping 8 from play in January football.
I know its still early in his career but he’s already the greatest I’ve seen. he’s now won 7 trophies in the last year – Sigerson the only final he lost
make that 8^^
One last thing, a serious Breach by a player on or of the pitch or by Spectators to be made a Criminal Offence, subject to the same Rules as the man on the Street.
@Ray Friel, no numbered seating, first come first served. Filled up fairly fast too.
Only watched the first half so far but was a little concerned about the defensive side of his game.
There was a number of times he seemed really unsure about his positioning.
He was maybe a little unfortunate in that the camera meant it was happening right in front of me. Walsh might’ve been doing the same thing over the far side and I don’t think I’d have noticed