Game day – are we travelling more in hope than in confidence for this one?

It’s Austin Stack Park under the lights for us tonight. Our NFL Division One Round 3 meeting with Kerry throws in at the Tralee venue at 7.30pm where Denis O’Mahoney of Tipperary is the ref. The game is live on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player and Midwest have live radio commentary as well.

The pre-match polls here on the blog almost invariably exhibit a glass half-full outlook. It’s rare, regardless of the game and irrespective of who we’re up against, for a poll to show less than 50% support for a win.

For tonight’s game, however, this number is just a paltry 33%, with a clear majority of all voters – 54% – going for a home win. While these data are far from scientific, the poll’s outcome could, though, with over 900 votes cast, claim to be in some way statistically significant.

What the vote appears to say is that Mayo supporters heading south tonight aren’t exactly presuming that we’ll return home with the two League points that are on offer. Does this mean we’re travelling more in hope than in confidence?

It certainly seems that way.

If that is so, then it’s not wholly surprising, for a number of reasons.

First, Kerry – Lord love ’em – will feel they owe us one tonight. That Killarney loss last summer stung them badly and they won’t want us to add to that pain by our racking up back-to-back wins against them on their own patch.

The fact that they’ve already lost at home in this year’s League, albeit that loss to Derry occurred minus the Cliffords, doesn’t exactly help our cause either. Kerry are more in need of a win than we are and, in the League, that kind of greater focus is often enough of itself to tip a result in a particular direction.

With David and Paudie Clifford set to start for Kerry for the first time this year, it makes our task all the harder. Without them, they’re often a manageable enough proposition but are far less so when Fossa’s finest are on the field, as they will be from the start tonight.

The fact that Kerry have named what looks like their strongest possible side shows their intent for this game. We, by contrast, haven’t stacked our ranks to the same degree.

Should we bother turning up at all so?

Well, it deserves to be pointed out that we’re coming into this game on top of Division One. This isn’t a position we expected to find ourselves in when surveying our match schedule before our opening round clash with Galway a few short weeks back.

But we beat a badly off-colour Galway in Round 1 and then somehow managed to finagle an undeserved but highly satisfactory and long overdue home win over Dublin last time out. Who’s to say we won’t keep that winning run up tonight?

We’ve made five changes to the team that started against the Dubs, at least two of which appear to be forced. Conor Reid got injured early on against Dublin and the only reason that Paddy Durcan hasn’t been named to start is surely because he’s picked up some kind of knock as well.

Set against this, Michael Plunkett makes a very welcome return to the starting fifteen after a too-long absence, while Diarmuid O’Connor’s first start of the year adds strength and guile around the middle. Donnacha McHugh, meanwhile, was one of the underrated stars when we won so comprehensively in Killarney last summer and it’s hard to argue that either his or Stephen Coen’s addition to our backline weakens us in that sector.

Still, as many have said here on the blog over the last few days, it’s hard to see beyond a Kerry win. It’s always difficult to do so when we take them on at their own patch but our decent recent record in the Kingdom suggests that maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t be so downbeat about our chances tonight.

In truth, I’ve no idea how the game will go. I’m looking forward to being there, though, and it looks that, for once, the weather might play ball, with a possible lull in the rain while the match is on. Here’s hoping.

And here’s hoping too for the right result, both for the lads in Tralee and the ladies earlier on in Killarney as well. We’ll have Final Whistle pods from both games online for our Patreon club members later on this evening.

Happy hunting to both of our teams in action down south today. Here’s hoping for southern comfort on the double. Up Mayo.

152 thoughts on “Game day – are we travelling more in hope than in confidence for this one?

  1. Just afraid we’re too slow in our halfbackline and won’t be a threat going forward either .
    I like the idea of McBrien and Mchugh beside Clifford . MCHUGH is so disciplined and will follow every instruction to the last whereas mcbrien has all the physical attritibutes to deal with Clifford, but no one man can mark him so if he gets the required help, I see mcbrien doing well on him.

    I love the midfielders and halforward wing duo and how interchangeable they are but worry will we get enough scores there, if Jordans not got shooting boots on can Carney or tuohy tag on 3 points .
    I think they are growing into the rolls but tonight maybe a tester .
    Inside line again I don’t see enough scores there but if aidan is out deeper and the two boys get space they can make hay.
    Hopefully we see tommy hit top form as he’s a joy to watch when in that form.
    There’s definitely a role for cillian to come on and freshen it up but just would have loved to see a fit carr either 13 on his back and allow him drift out a bit but be an asset to the duo inside aerially as well . I feel he’s made for that role, he’s powerhouse running with ball, good in air and can win his own ball , sure his limitations start when he’s bottled up but if he could drift from corner out to halfforward and get on thr ball in space, then he’s hard stop.

    Anyways looking forward to it but fearfull I’d no changes before throw in that we will setup more defensive but not have the required support from that halfbackline that we usually have to assist the scoreboard , hope I’m wrong but it’s only Feb and we are boiling away nicely, this won’t make or break us .
    Beaten the Rossiez and the test against Derry be two games that I think we can judge us on but this is a freshot

  2. Kerry arguably need this more than us. They were very stung by last year, no matter what they say.
    I think the best we can hope from tonight is that the game is relatively close and that is driven by players putting their hand up in their attempts to make the team.
    We’ll probably need another 2/3 points but can’t see us getting any tonight. I’m happy with where we’re at. Not contenders for all-ireland honours this year but hopefully go one better than last year and make sure we’re in a position for a right good tilt at it next year.

  3. Hope mcstay gets them well up for this, no free shot. Can’t beat them by enough or often enough. Great to have MP back

  4. Good luck to our teams today,I am fairly confident about today,as I always say winning is a habit we need to keep our standards,safe travels to all supporters and hopefully a great game,up Mayo

  5. Excellent scene setter Willie Joe.

    Game day
    Game face

    Feeling good about this one.
    If Kerry are rolling out the red carpet for the league champions let’s remind them why we’re champs, and bring our dancing shoes.

    Give them nothing easy. Bounce back from bad luck and we’ll be fine.

  6. Cmon Mayo……Great League record in Tralee…..Play the running game and take these guys on. Play to win at all costs and the result will be the result.

  7. 5 changes , great to see DOC and MP back .
    Hoping to stay competitive for 70 plus mins .
    Build the panel for championship .
    Safe journey to all .
    Came down last night . Had a heap of pints with the equally as wise wing men so delicate enough this morning!!!
    Honestly, not overly worried about result once we stay competitive and give as many players a run

  8. A good use of fringe players who could be important come the championship, Diarmuid and M. Plunket. Would be nice to see a few of the newbies in the subs. A draw would be excellent for us!

    Go neiri le foireann Mhuigeo anocht. Mhuigeo Abú!

  9. Farcically unserious team named, Kerry by 5+ and that’s with David McBrien pocketing David Clifford, will show that our squad is so poor apart from 3/4 outstanding players

  10. Hope the players biding their time and now getting their chance give a boost of energy and enthusiasm to win this one. Kerry giving 3 or 4 fringe players a chance too.
    Interesting to see who takes up leadership with Paddy out. Who will add that running energy if they play a sweeper?
    I’d be for new players getting a chance in the FF line but do recall Aido caused Kerry untold problems last summer, they tried a few lads and none of them got to grips with him. Kerry’s FB line is weakened by moving O Sullivan out but their HB line probably stronger given his scoring stats.
    McHugh is very tall but yes still slight compared to surrounding Mayo backs. When marking I do see he’s pacey but on paper no match yet for Clifford, better chance on OS but McBbrien is our #1 physical marker. Sam would mark the other if playing. Less worried about Paudie, I’d say Eoghan Mac is a better match than Coen or Plunkett because Clifford’s pace needs to be matched.
    Not convinced by Kerry’s midfield but Carney unproven still too, should be interesting. If things not working can swap in Flynn to midfield and Tuohy also a good target.
    Interesting to see if we have hunger after bagging 4 points . I hope so, every game is their to be won notwithstanding the training schedule of both teams.

  11. May be good that Durcan is non starter in that others have to stand up. I expect Carney will love mixing it with the best. Big ask for Plunkett in comeback game. Great experience for McHugh, I think he will be exposed, but he’s on a learning curve and will be a lot wiser with a game like this under his belt.
    No weaknesses in that Kerry team. Even the bench is awesome. They’ll strut stuff, rain or no rain, however, we’ll be wiser after the event. Reality check coming our way.

  12. A tad ott there retro no?
    Theres 5 changes but its a very serious team, all the players coming in are very experienced.

    Indeed many would consider diarmuid, coen and plunkett to b championship starters with mchugh v close also

    As always with the league I won’t be losing the run of myself if we win by 3 or lose by 3. Everything in context so looking for good performance and certain individuals to show some form and really start to put their hand up.

    Safe travels to all, sickened I can’t get down, always enjoy the pints in kerry and the friendly slagging with the locals.

    Tell them nathin’ lol

  13. Great to see Plumkett back and the 2 lads given a rest. I’ll go for a 2-3 point win and for Clare and West Kerry to be the first Mayo blog affair seen as Valentines has just past and all that …

  14. Don’t go clare your great craic haha, ah no on a serious note everyone here has one thing in common we love our football and good healthy debate is good, not everyone will have the same opinion so come on no falling out here, all I hope is the boys put in a good performance regardless of the result because winning isn’t top important tonight after the opening two wins, good luck to the lads

  15. I don’t subscribe to Kerry by 5+ even though they’re capable of trimming us sometimes. I can see a risk alright especially with McHugh if given a difficult marking job but the league is a good place to try all that out. His physique is overstated, McBrien is stronger but McHugh can cover ground very quickly if a Kerryman breaks through so time will tell. Could be a midfielder in time with some more S&C. I’d put Brickenden in the same boat with proving himself although he’s got more experience and probably not as quick. Of the backs Durcan, McBrien and Callinan start and probably Coyne too so that leaves a lot of lads going for 2 places. Eoghan Mac has bagged 2 goals last summer and again in the league but his points return including from fisted attempts is still poor vs the chances he makes often out of nothing. If he can turn that around he’s a starter but until then there are others maybe not as flashy but who possibly deliver more.

  16. Wow, Mayo for Sam huh?

    Kerry have been shouting from the rooftops about their hurt. We need to show the same attitude as against Galway – lads we want to hurt te even more.

  17. Hi folks, I meant to post this early in the week but one thing standing on the toes of another resulted in me overlooking to do so. For those of you already in The Kingdom you are welcome and safe journey to those of you who are in the road at the moment.

    Mayo are staying in the Rose Hotel Tralee to the best of my knowledge, so it’s about a 10-15min walk from ASP for those who would be interested in heading there. The best GAA bars would be The Castle bar on a rock St, the Greyhound on Pembroke St, the Munster bar which is a few mins walk from the Rose Hotel. In the town centre other nice and well run bars to visit for a nice pint are McCafferys, Seán Óg’s, Teach Beag, Vals (all of the previously mentioned are in very close proximity to each other) The Brogue Inn a Rock St, Baileys Corner, john Mack’s and Paddy Mack’s both of which are in the town centre. You will get a good feed in the Brogue Inn and there are other good eating houses in the town so just have a peep at trip advisor.

    I am looking forward to playing Mayo as both teams will be going all out to win and they rarely disappoint. I hope Kerry get over the line in this one as we need to win our home games for the points to ensure D1 status in ‘25, naturally if we prevail this evening we will start to push for a League final spot as Jack has a thing about its importance heading into the war of the summer games.

    Duncan is a significant loss for Mayo as his ability to run at the opposition and poke holes in their defence is always a concern, when players see him go they give him support and thus creat a bit of panic and uncertainty in the opposing defence. Diarmuid o Connor is a welcome return for Mayo but it is hard to see him finish the game as it will be a pacy affair and all around him he will have players with a nice bit of work under their belt but it’s good to see him return.

    Anyway we will see what unfolds and I pray no player is injured and nobody is sent off the field. Enjoy your visit and safe journeys to all.
    Up Kerry

  18. Tonight I’m looking for just being good defensively and competitive.
    The form of Diarmuid.
    Will Michael Plunkett be an option for us in the rest of the year.

  19. When is the last time Diarmuid or Aidan scored (on the field of play) its seems like years ago I dont think Diarmuid troubled the posts at all last year

  20. Rakestreet,

    Now, now there is no need need for that kind of resentment, bitter hatred of us. ” Can’t beat them by enough and often enough”. We’re not sub human, nor rodents. We’re nice folks, like yourselves. I wouldn’t be saying that of Tyrone, Cork, or even Dublin, our nemesis since 2011. Fair play to them. They won against us, because they were better than us on the day. No excuses. It’s important to be a good loser, more important to be a good winner as well.

    I wish you all Mayo folks all the best for tonight staying down here in Kerry. Enjoy! And be safe on the roads.

    I’m surprised, the good people of Crossmolina wouldn’t like to hear that. I went out with a girl from Castlehill back in the good old days of 2006. Beautiful spot and terrific people. So I’d know North Mayo extremely well, having taught up there for 20 years.

  21. To clarify my last comment i meant when was the last time Aidan or Diarmuid scored from play not from marks or frees

  22. Greetings from the Kingdom.
    Looking at Kerry, it looks like they are going full throttle for the win.
    This is not Mayos starting championship team but more importantly we will learn what our championship 26 will look like .
    Not expecting the win , just hoping we stay competitive .
    Well done to the ladies earlier in getting a draw with a serious Kerry outfit.
    I’d take your hand off for a draw v the men but can’t see it .
    Great buzz around and good sprinkling of Mayo people here

  23. I always enjoy our games with Kerry and most other counties,only one county I feel has a chip on their shoulder with us,but everyone else I enjoy the r and the banter,hopefully we will be good enough to play down a market for the future,I certainly don’t want a return to our shite football narrative from some posters

  24. Final Whistle pod from the ladies game is already up on Patreon! Rob chats with Cormac Reape, Liam McHale and Fiona McHale on it. That’s the first of two Final Whistle pods we’ve got for club members today, with the men’s one to come later on.

  25. Delighted to see Edna H fit for the bench at least.
    Would also be nice to see big Murphy thrown in around the middle for 15 minutes till we see what he’s made of.

  26. Courtesy of wj
    Subs details as follows:
    16. Rob Hennelly
    17. Ciarán Boland
    18. Rory Brickenden
    19. Sam Callinan
    20. Diarmuid Duffy
    21. Enda Hession
    22. Aaron McDonnell
    23. Darren McHale
    24. James Murphy
    25. Cillian O’Connor
    26. Paul Towey.

  27. Haha I’m laughing at that reckon corick has been supping grandpa’s cough medicine early doors

  28. Ah so we are flogging the two boys. Whilst they are very important for us it does seem crazy even though I am nowhere near an expert on how many games they can play!

  29. Couple poor ones alright, movement for them poor again. Are we leaving Brickenden as isolated as O’Hora or Clifford?

  30. Sam adding points to his game now, exactly what I pointed out last week of things he needed to add to his game, great to see. This ref gives awful soft yellow cards.

  31. I’m afraid the referee is becoming a rather blatant Homer, with soft frees and 2 yellows for slight Mayo pull backs and none for a stronger Kerry pull back. Now Aido gets one-we’ll be lucky to finish with 15 with this clown. Will someone explain to him that every Mayo foul Is’nt a yellow card.

  32. Not bad play from mayo at all not hammering by any means so far anyway.

    Agree 100% ref giving very soft yellows in some cases.

    All in all though happy so far pity eoghan mc didn’t convert after that good turnover and his pace is so good to!

    No goals condeded yet that’s a big plus against kerrys strongest side.

  33. Kerry thankfully have let their shooting behind. Expect that to change 2nd half. Mayo have no energy not up for this.

  34. The game could be over already if Kerry were sharper up front. Our backs are loose so far and lots of passengers for us in the first half.

  35. 7 or 8 Kerry wides keeping us in it.

    Great see Sam scoring but have we been caught both times with counter punches after them? Is there no one dropping back for coverage when he advances?

  36. Sam very good. Aido standing there looking at him as he gets swallowed. Why is our ff line so deep.
    Kerry having a bad night in front of goals is keeping us in it. I expect them to raise the tempo but we need to see serious improvements in the ff line. Not good enough

  37. We are only 2 points down and yes kerry missed chances but our guys are putting up a fight we’ve made some mistakes no doubt about it not pretty from us at all but people said kerry would have 2 or 3 goals in against us at half time.

    Hopefully paddy recovers soon from his calf injury.

    I honestly don’t think being 2points down at half time isn’t bad calinan is making a huge effort.

  38. Mayo doing well in general play hope they can keep it up in 2nd half .possible they could get something out of this game, RTE hard to listen to …drooling over Kerry as usual

  39. I’d agree Paul, it’s a lazy performance so far (which doesn’t bother me much in the league tbh). We have done some ok defending but Kerry have hit some dreadful wides.

    A poor, scrappy game. Loads of errors.

    Bit disappointed with Bob. Shoved off two balls early on and hasn’t featured at all.

  40. Bob touhy is still very young going against what is obvs kerrys championship side wouldn’t worry about Bob Touhy just yet young and lots to learn that’s what league is for.

  41. Not sure what it looks like on TV but we are 2 points down playing second fiddle to Kerry.
    Kerry far more quality players.
    Hession for EmcL
    McHale for Bob .. asap

  42. I counted 7 turnovers/losses of possession as we moved the ball in the final third,in that first half, mostly due to poor hand or kick passes. It was the same against Dublin and it is killing us today and will in the Championship.

  43. I totally agree that it hasn’t been pretty from us at all..

    We’ve made alot of mistakes for sure.

    But I’m just saying that being only 2 points down against kerrys top side and no goals conceded is a good thing yes kerry got a few wides but so did we.

    It’s not a hammering so far.

  44. Please explain why Sam(clearly wreck tired) wasn’t taken off after getting the 1st yellow. Tired tackle for the 1st tackle, cranky for the 2nd .4 men on the sideline, what are they all there for. Ffs.

  45. Exactly as I predicted, because of that overfussy yellow card happy(for Mayo only) homer of a ref, we did’nt end up with 15.From memory, he has only give 2 yellows to Kerry, both for dangerous challenges and NONE for fouls. I have lost count of Mayo’s yellows.

  46. The ref had been terrible I hate complaining about refs but he is obvs against us tbh.

    But our guys our trying their best and no goals conceded against who is meant to be the player in the country I still think Clifford is the best player in the country tbh..

    No goals in 3 matches so far is a good thing soft goals in for us has been a curse for us!!

  47. Our management team have learned absolutely nothing from last year. Still making the same mistakes. We are a long way off genuine all Ireland contenders.

  48. Happy with the outcome, narrow defeat, no goals conceded and that with a totally overfussy and one sided referee, who did’nt even add on any time, after Kerry Kick-out had to be retake-he could’nt wait to blow the final whistle. I hope we don’t have the misfortune to encounter him again.

  49. Happier with the result than the performance if that makes sense.
    Some similar failings, but heart and effort as good as ever fair play to the players.

    Clifford though. What a player.

  50. So we are only a point down no goals in clean sheet again I’m pretty happy tbh with that.

    Yes we. Made ALOT of mistakes etc but soo many had us down for hammering not just from within mayo but outside to.

    Weve lots to learn and improve on and we missed paddy durcan big time hope gets better Asap.

    But all in all was not a slaughter match like many predicted only league as we say..

  51. @Gizmpbons fully agree the heart and effort from our guys is always there they never give up!

    Fair play to them boland stood up again today is well I thought.

  52. Shite first half from us but we definitely improved second half. Kerry didn’t play great. A very error ridden match but not unexpected for February.

    Good to see Diarmuid playing and for a lad just back he did well. In fact, he was far more influential than Carney or Flynn around the middle for us, neither of whom ever got into it. Boland was very good; just need him in the game even more. Tommy just needs time.

    Hope McBrien’s injury doesn’t have him out for long because our FB line is a bit light. Take him out and it’s arguably our weakest line which is unusual for Mayo. Glad to see Hession back. He’s needed.

  53. Seems like our team didn’t know whether they were meant to win or meant to lose……This ‘…fear of getting to the League Final..’ might have some truth to it. That said, lots to work on but I think this is a good Mayo team in development. If they tightened up, they were well capable of beating Kerry tonight.

  54. The Clifford brothers are unreal. Sam was wrecked yet was left on when on a yellow- why?? I dont know why Ballinrobe lads are named as subs, yet haven’t got a run. No goal scored by us.

  55. Clare who was talking about us getting hammered and slaughtered and surely once is enough to say something

  56. Strange game. Kerry should have ran away with it and nearly lost it. We were poor and nearly won it. Tommy conroy really of form. Its a worry since he came back from injury. Coc never touched ball when he came on. RoD DOC very good tonight. I was also very impressed with Brickenden regardless of his late wide. He injected pace and urgency at times.
    Class forwards difference in the end we dont have enough of them..

  57. Two minutes left. Scores level. We have 14 men. What’s the one thing you do? Don’t let David Clifford get the ball. Man mark him with two men – one in front of him. Basic game management. Sooo frustrating.

  58. Overall it was a poor game. Lots of poor handling errors from both teams. Shame about the result. I personally think Tommy Conroy is struggling to find form and hasn’t got back to the level that he was at before his injury, albeit early days since his injury. Other then ROD I’m worried about the natural ability and of our forward line. Sean O’sea and the two Clifford’s are so natural it’s scary at times. Or speed of movement with kick passing needs to improve. But overall it’s not to disappointing. 4 points from 6 after 2 away games isn’t to bad.

  59. @1985 maybe you missed something cause literally everyone on here said that we would get beaten by at least 5 plus.

  60. Take away the Cliffords and Kerry are very average.We should have double marked David Clifford for that last passage of play , everybody could tell what was going to happen.
    Another poor performance from Aido and no attempt at the goal oe assist of a score at Full forward and Jason Foley got a point off him the other end.Hes time is done there.Cillian needs a full game the ball is not been kicked into him when hes on.But his movement inside is way better than Aidan, more intelligent runs off the ball.

  61. Sean O’Shea touched the ball on the ground in the build up to one point, Callinan taken out off the ball while tracking O’Shea for another. Sam does similar and gets a second yellow. Flynn taken out on the sideline and Kerry go up the other end, can’t remember if they scored off that one but it was a pattern of soft frees for Kerry and us getting nothing.

  62. We didn’t deserve to win but we could have.
    Very inexperienced decisions by us after we drew level.
    Why oh why we didn’t work it so we got a shooting chance I do not know.
    It no good for Mayo to have any forwards who don’t score time after time.
    The ref a disgrace.

  63. Disappointed with the result but it’s OK. It would have been lovely to get the draw. At the same time, we were motivated and we had lots of energy.
    I was really impressed with Sam Callinan. Tommy Conroy was in great form too and that’s positive.
    I was struck with the huge numbers of mistakes in passing the ball – passing to the opponents, but it’s possibly down to the time of year. This definitely affected the result.
    I also think we were quite poor on our own kickouts. I know we can do better here.
    I feel we have room for improvement and this gives me confidence.

  64. @Achill75 100% agree with ya there.

    Agree with Aido I think he’s great sometimes though but I don’t he’s hit & miss….

    Agree to think cillian deserves more game time for me I think it should be cillian O Connor, Tommy conroy, Ryan O D forwards…

  65. Cillian o Connor james Carr Rod would be my full forward line , forwards are there to score , tommy c and Aido aren’t scoring forwards , both were non existent tonight as a scoring threat

  66. @swallow swoops totally agree to I def saw glimpses of the old top form Tommy conroy today even though wides. (needs more game alerts not forget his first starting game in a while)

    Tommy C is still one of the best foreard in the country.

    Kerry turned us over a lot for sure.

    I don’t know if you can blame reape for the poor kick outs though some of the blame had to be from our midfield to yes reape did have one or two poor kick outs but he still kept a clean sheet against kerrys top side. Would hennelly have done so?

  67. Tommy Conroy not a scoring forward
    If heard it all now ffs

    3 games in against Galway and last years two finalists
    2 wins and a one point away defeat
    Younger players getting more game time
    No harm done

  68. Spot on Paul B. Drag back on the 45 by Jack Coyne, yellow card. Drag back on Diamuid on 20 m line,no card. Pathetic ref.
    Even with all that should have played keep ball for last 3 minutes and held out for a draw but some great working in tight spaces to kick points in last quarter especially….just maybe we are finding a way around the blanket. That in itself is huge progress.
    Mc Brien going off is a worry.

  69. Don’t think we deserved to win, but a draw was there for taking. Positive played better than against Dublin. Not giving away many goal chances, but also don’t look creating any with our forward. Goal treats coming from our half back and midfielders. Although none created at all tonight. Don’t think Tommy back to best, love to see Cillian more. That possible our championship midfield, which happy enough with. Still a happer camper than after Dublin game, much better performance. Don’t care as long as don’t dragged into bottom half of table

  70. Clare a few people predicted we would lose by 4 or 5 points which is hardly a slaughtering and that was based on us having players missing which it turned out did actually play aside from paddy durcan.we gave it a good go in second half and a draw would have been excellent but very poor decision by brickenden to shoot from there especially as he looked like he didn’t want to kick it .overall we gave the ball away stupidly way too many times especially those hand passes down to a players losing by a point to Kerry would prompt a moronic mayo for sam comment is fairly baffling.Aidan o Shea looked furious at being taken off which isn’t a good sign but we will pick up the points we need in remaining games

  71. Not a great game but showed great character with 14 men and could /should have got a draw. Brickenden should never have called the mark and he knew it straight away he should have played on and maybe worked a score. Really strong kerry team on the field and mayo have more to hopefully strengthen the team. Agree callinan should have been taken off after the 1st yellow card.

  72. @clare @km79 he’s not a natural scoring forward , he’s not comfortable with playing with his back to goal , he doesn’t have that natural scoring instinct , he’s a wing forward and his strength is running at goal drawing defenders winning frees, the management should know this by now

  73. I’m pretty happy with our result.

    Yes we lost yes made a lot of mistakes (that’s what league is for)

    But it’s only Feb as they say…..

    Thought Sam calinan really made a good effort.

    Ryan O D class’s act as always

    Tommy C will get back to his best.

    We had some very poor turnovers for sure no doubt…

    But delighted we didn’t get any stupid goals in like we are well used to doing.

  74. Fair play lads no quarter asked or given.

    From my perspective Kerry were sloppy infront of goals and arguably should have been 4 or 5 up at HT.

    Mayo as is their way never stopped and pinned us back and we coul get more that 2 points clear.

    At the end of the day bar the points both teams will be satisfied.

    As fans we were looking at the new lads and fir me,

    Sam Callinan is a mighty lad reminds me of a certain former Mayo number 5.

    And for us Cillian Burke really stood up again.

    One other lad for us who rarely gets a mention is Shane Ryan exceptional tonight.

    Can I make a point without causing offence,

    Aidan O Shea should be an impact sub like Cillian O Connor now IMO.

    He’s big and physical but I don’t fear him infront of goal which should be his primary responsibility if he’s in that FF line.

  75. Tommy Conroy scored 3 points from play in an all irelsnd semi final defeat of the Dublin juggernaut. He scored 1-3 from play in a league game before that . Can’t remember against who. That’s just two games off the top of my head.
    Most mayo supporters are dismayed so see him tacking back rather than being deployed in full forward line.
    I’ll go with management (and previous management) on this one.
    We are lucky to have such a dangerous inside forward and it would be the most Mayo thing ever to try and convert him into a half forward. It won’t and should not happen.
    He is still finding form after a serious injury

  76. We got the result everyone was after. Hard to be too put out. Good performance against Tyrone would be handy

  77. Darren McHale should have been on several minutes earlier. He made a positive impact.
    We got all I asked for. Competitive.

  78. Paul – they beat Meath by 6 points in 2021. That’s the closest anyone got to them in Leinster

  79. A decent enough performance and we could have nicked a point. No doubt the negative brigade will find plenty of faults (in mid February). Would have been nice to have stopped Clifford getting the ball for last score but he is so elusive and so accurate – the best player I have seen. Ryan did well in full forward line but Aido and Tommy not so good. Feel Tommy may be better in half forward line. Some top class scores from us and from them on a February night. Both Sam and Rory did well bearing in mind they were in action mid week. Hopefully McBriens injury is not too serious. Every point in this division is hard earned and difficult games to come. But overall a good workout. Kerry named a strong team but some of them are not at required fitness levels yet. Absolutely no point in making championship judgements based on league games early in the year. Give lads game time, avoid injuries and stay in Div 1 is all that is needed

  80. Decent performance without stepping into top gear and without a few key players .
    Everyone was decent, most lads have more in them but some lads just aren’t standard to line out against Kerry . It’s no slight on them but Donnacha mchugh and Aidan o shea are great team players and squad men but can’t be starting if you trying to beat kerry .
    Mchale and Carr are better options in the 13 corner forward hybrid drop deeper role .
    With hession and diarmuid getting good run outs it’s a major positive and we stuck at it all of which is positive but just need that next level players and our top lads to be on form.
    For the rossies game be good to see hession start and mchale too , both will add more penetrative runs and a better chance of besting blanket defence of ross .

  81. While Darren, got a good point, one thing hope management have a chat to him about. Now he was bearly on pitch. But got a hand pass to him,and stood waiting for it, and Kerry defender came from behind and knocked away from him. You get away with that in club league here in Mayo, but not at this level.

  82. Strange match but the way it panned out we deserved a draw. Bloody Kerry, sickeners as usual, got everything from a useless ref. I don’t think we’ll fear them if we meet again. Sean O’Shea very overrated.

    Overall I was happy enough with our performance, apart from really poor turnovers/unforced errors. But hey, it’s mid February.

  83. Achill 75…..I dont understand ”take away the Cliffords and Kerry are average”………..I mean you cant take away the Cliffords they are born and bred and made by Kerry….. and you could say that about anything in any sport……..without a left hook Joe Fraser couldnt box.
    I am not sure its true either by the way.
    Of course you are right we shoulda done something else on the last play but I suppose already one man down its not easy to double team…..the losing of it was the decision making from the mark though. If we will learn from that its no harm and there is some grit showing in this team the way they stick to their work.
    Wish I coulda made it down…….Kerry is the place to watch football

  84. A juggernaut is a juggernaut until it is stopped. We stoped it. Tommy Conroy was sensational that year. Give him time to find form.
    The last thing we need to do is have one of our few natural scoring forwards scurrying around in our own half trying to win ball.
    Sure we would be as well off playing him as a half back as a half forward in that case ……he would have more grass in front of him to run into …….

  85. You can never say though our never guys just give up kept going till the last whistle as always.

    Just hope paddy durcan gets better soon he’s a huge loss and was so unlucky with injuries last year.

    I will say tho what a player David Clifford is? I mean at his age to fair play to him I can’t see anyone above him in the country atm.

  86. Liberal Role………..Big statement there S O’S is overrated…!! I’d fear every match. But credit to his marker if they can manage to take the sting out of him.

  87. MayotillIdie made a very good point I agree with………Much better and more flexible Mayo performance than against the Dubs. Some lovely spoils and counter attacks. Shooting still a problem for some. Great to see Fergal coming on nicely after a few years in exe….

  88. I can see improvements in areas, there’s more of a plan. We were very worried about our spine last year. We will probably all admit we are moving in the right direction at FB and CB. We are trying things at MF but we have a glaring issue at FF. Tommy should be WHF breaking lines. I said that in 2021 I’m saying it now. Ryan works like a demon and scores his share but we have no target man FF. I cannot understand how we can’t produce a comer like player in mayo. Are they not favoured by coaches or what. I follow club ball closely. I never see them. Are they favouring rugby? Catch turn and shoot…
    No disrespect any other county but lower division teams seem to produce them…
    Would it be worth a punt trying matty at CF?
    I dunno.
    I expected to be hammered tonight. It was disappointing not to get the draw but that’s ball. We are in a good position in the league. One more win should keep us up.
    @westkerry your 2024 POTY has a bit of work to do 🙂

  89. I’m not 100% sure if he’s there physically but Paul towey is the best thing you’re gonna get to a natural forward in mayo who shoots on sight, Aidan o shea on his 16th season in the full forward line & our natural forwards like towey left on the bench , we never learn, you need natural scorers to lift the ultimate prize

  90. Lack of a defensive structure again the big worry, and the lack of a set up around kickouts. Couple kicks went awry alright, but in general looking out the field was very little on until a eventually few lads started coming short. If we don’t have lads to outfield opponents need cluster and break or alternate options.
    Leaving Brickenden exposed one on one similar to O’Hora was tough, especially after the game midweek. And reminiscent of O’Hora v Clifford previously.

    But players effort can’t be faulted. We in good spot on 4 points after three games. Getting time into others important to develop panel. Otherwise looks like will have same personnel as last year less retirees but plus Boland.

  91. MartyK – Sean O’Shea is obviously a good player, but tbh I agree he’s a bit overrated. He has 3 all stars and a young POTY award.

    He regularly gets mentioned in the same bracket as David C but isn’t in the same league.

  92. How are we getting on for clean sheets in the league vs our record I wonder? May be that a deliberate tactical decision has been made to man for man Kerry and have different shape for other teams – rest of the league will hopefully give an answer to that

  93. Lads Re Seanie,

    Seanie is considered in Kerry as just behind DC.

    He didn’t have his best day today but still finished on 4 points.

    You don’t play or captain Kerry if you are overrated.

    He will be in with a shout as FOTY trust me.

  94. @Wide Ball funny enough I’ve heard Kerry people often say he is as important or in some cases more important than Clifford. Maybe we can’t see his importance, as we’re Mayo men & we’re not specifically looking at what he brings.

    Would be interesting to hear West Kerry, Gamechanger etc’s thoughts.

    Anyways. A decent display from our lads. Happy enough with that. We don’t look anywhere near as sharp & fit as this time last year & that’s not a bad thing at all. Derry are going at a serious clip. Very hard to keep that level up

  95. I know eoin needs games to be on his top form , but tell ya he will have hell of a battle to keep no 7 from hession soon , but it’s great to have such options .
    I really rate eoin but like colm mc Manamon back in the day , he has everything in his locker bar that final shot or composure at very critical point of a pass a shot or recycle .
    Imagine on form marading paddy, hession, eoin, Sam all running at teams from halfbacks , its maybe a role we could withdraw the corner forward and make him into an auxiliary additional halfback .

    I’m coming away very positive tonight, we don’t have the superstar player like Clifford’s and my god he is a class players , just oozes class and better than anything . We have to work as a collective and we do , everyone trying hard, diarmuid and Carney look as if they will work together, flynn and tuohy aren’t outright natural wingforwards but work so hard and can tag on some scores whilst also being super athletes for team game.
    Brickedeen showing he’s well able for it , Sam becoming a leader and influential man. Reape, Coyne and mcbrien pushing on gaining experience and everyday being solid 7s out of 10s.
    Boland and Ryan also very solid dependable and growing in influence with each game .

    Need tommy to come good to have any chance of being competive in all ireland hunt .Will also need James carr on top of this game and aided by cillians impact .
    Then squad game by maybe having on form ruane and Loftus to add to halfforwards midfield combos .
    It’s all positive but we need a few key men fit and onform and they just so happen to be our captain and Co captain

  96. Mayo Focus,

    The best compliment I can pay Seanie is that out of minor runs few years back 3 lads were picked out form a long way out to play senior.

    David Clifford
    Mark O Connor
    Seanie Shea

    Seanie and Clifford went straight into the seniors skipping thr under 20s.

    If Mark O Connor had stayed in Ireland Dublin would not have won 6 in a row.

  97. West Kerry is spot on re AOS and SOS. Good 2nd half comeback from Mayo but Kerry were sloppy in front of goal tonight. Very pleasing to see the battling qualities- the heart, the fire is there, however we are missing a couple of game changing players. No reflection on the lads that are in there, they give everything for the jersey, week in, week out. I thought management were sluggish tonight re: changes.

  98. as I said we made a lot of mistakes tonight no doubt about it. (turnovers especially)

    I still think Sam calinan is a future star in the making… As well as Bob Touhy.. Fair play to them tonight!

    Also I know I said it already but how lucky are we to have the likes of Ryan O D?! He holds his own doesn’t let himself get bullied around the place you need that in gaa ha.. He’s a great role model maybe one day hell be captain I’d say.

    Still think think Tommy C will come good was tonight one of the first games he’s started since injury or am I wrong? He’s still a hugely important player to us the pace he has would frighten anyone….

  99. Terrible football by us tonight especially in the first half. Slow ponderous handpassing across the pitch. A bit better in the second half. I can see why Liam McHale left. Rochford’s Donegal template all over it.
    We have 2 pacey forwards and a target man in the FF line and we can’t give quick kick passes into them. Kerry were as bad in the first half in not giving the ball in to DC. They made the same mistake in the All Ireland Final last year as they hardly sent any ball into DC. This fear of losing possession has the game ruined imo. The ref was completely biased but none of the Kerry lads on here noticed it.

  100. @clare he started every game club and county championship game last year + all the college games over the winter since his injury, you’re a bit wrong yes

  101. What ref decisions were questionable stick to the reek ?

    Sam’s first yellow maybe but come on now.

    There wasn’t any real contentious decisions.

  102. Management team are doing a very decent job tbh , its quite noticable we are improving in areas we were lacking previous but we have to gauge what teams look like they have the ingredients to improve most , kerry will sharpen up greatly and would improve greatly on chances converted from tonight into the white heat of championship , Dublin also have scope for improvement and would of beat us only for poor finishing and again yiud expect that to be polished come the serious stuff , Galway were rubbish but again you could argue with the return of sean kelly , cillian mcdaid and comer there ceiling for improvement is far greater than ours . To summarise imho i dont think you can put is in the mix at this stage , weve no diamond to unleash . You could make a case that tommy conroy has a chance to improve greatly as we know he is capable . Boland has been a solid addition but for now we are not serious contenders . I feared we would go backwards though tbh and that is not the case , we are still in the top 8 teams at worst .

    Its such a Mayo thing to do , lauded for working a winning score from a ryan o donoghue quick place ball pass to boland v dubs to then do the polar opposite tonight with brickedens attempt.

    Good effort tonight though overall , well done to all involved .personally think the dubs will have kerrys number come championship again .early days though for predictions .

    Arent cliffords shots very hard to get a block on ,no matter how close the defender is to him , its a truly amazing art his kicking style .

  103. Decent display by Mayo… Kerry, you feel have a lot more work to do…
    Mayo improved so much when O Shea was subbed off ( he wasn’t at all happy) but surely he must know his days of 70 min game are gone…
    Where are Mayo next?

  104. @James Nolan as far as I know Tommy conroys first start in intercounty was v Galway in the qualifier.

  105. Sam Callinan masterclass before getting cheated out of it by Paul Murphy and his refereeing team 3 days on from Sigerson heartbreak.
    This man is not a normal 21 year old. He has shown enough to be better than many many excellent players before him.
    Himself the only positive from today.

  106. Didnt like the attitude of Aidan tonight when he was substituted shaking his head walking to the line. He contributed very little in the Full forward line.Hes a patch of the player he was 5 years ago a nite he turned in a man of the match performance at midfield.

  107. Sorry now……..But Sean O’Shea overrated??
    I just cant see that……he is extremely talented and was being talked about in Kerry as special before he ever played senior and thats not easy to get that recognition down there……… and has a ferocious winner mentality which was evidenced with that kick in the dying second against Dublin in the semi when he had missed the penalty earlier in the game. I dont think it appreciated generally how hard that is to do when the guy is not having his best game……thats when the cream comes to the top…….
    Anyway I am sick of talking about Kerry fellas……
    I think we have a fair bit to look forward to ourselves and I am looking forward to the rest of the year

  108. I knew you would rise to that West Kerry with a typical Kerry answer. When you watch the replay you might change your mind

  109. @Sam og agreed aleqys said Aido has gotten alot abuse but that was the right call by mangenent. Cillian O Connor deserves to be started tbh instead.

  110. Tommy Conroys kicking technique when shooting needs to be worked on but can be easily corrected.He seems to be striking of the laces like a punt kick with lots of power rather than using the hook/instep kick with less power and probably needs to steady up more before shooting.Paul Flynn always said the just steadying himself up before shooting was the thing that improved his scoring the most.

  111. Aidan and Cillian showing the issues in this county. Two generational players being made rely on without any replacements after 12+ years of consistent all Ireland contention. Feel bad for them. Our pick, our tradition, our run, if we don’t produce long term replacements for these fellas during this run when will we ever….

  112. Tommy conroys injury happened in January 2022 .two years ago .cruciate injuries can take time but he should be recovered physically by now

  113. @clare no he started every championship game , started against Roscommon first championship game
    Quality > quantity

  114. Reeks : The ref was not the winning or losing tonight and its poor form to look for excuses.

    League game, little relevance.. Take it on the chin boy.

    Jasus last year I’d a savage night in Westport after our defeat… means nothing.

  115. @1985 David Burke won motm with his club in an all Ireland senior final 10 months after his acl surgery at the age of 34 which is a lot harder , I’ve great time for Conroy but it’s irritating people saying he needs time about an injury that was two years ago, if he’s not performing try towey, the lad knows where the posts are and is a natural scorer , it’s what mayo need , keep the score board ticking

  116. Tommy was electric in the first half vs Dublin last summer and when he came on vs Cork. Played an important role vs Galway too.

    I wouldn’t worry too much, his form will turn around.

    Some people on here lose their minds when a Mayo player has an off game. The reaction to Callinan and Brickenden in the sigerson game was case in point.

    The same people would also be going mad if our form was too good at this time of year!

  117. So easy for people to say people should be recovered by now from such a serious injury.

    It was one of the worst injuries you can get in gaa.

    He just needs his confidence back. He gets that with game time.

    Would people on here saying that he got the injury ages ago 2 years ago say any other forward in mayo deserves his spot more then him?? Easy to say he got the injury in 2022 unless your the actual player you’ve no idea what it takes to get back to full strangth.

  118. Aids has been immense for Mayo over the years but his role at FF is just not working. He is too slow and not a threat. We need to see Cillian starting to see is he the option for the championship. Sam Callinan was amazing in 1st half but should have been subbed earlier. Great to see Diarmuid back. We need a sweeper so not wide open at back, lucky Kerry did not have shooting boots on.

  119. Very poor decision by Rory Brickenden to actually shoot for a score at the end. We did not have any leaders on the pitch at that stage to advise him to try and recycle the ball and Mayo might have worked a scoring opportunity. Ref was awful. Definitely a Homer . He actually got in players way on a number of occasions. The yellow cards were very soft. Yet RTE didn’t even mention the sending off in their Analysis. We did well to keep Kerry at bay. Reepe only had one shot to stop , a very badly struck shot by Clifford in the first half.AOS was annoyed been taken off. He has given great service to Mayo. But I think it’s time to not start him. I thought he should have been taken off earlier. Also management should have acted when Sam got the first Soft yellow. In fairness to him he looked tired.
    Fair play to him for playing after the match on Wednesday night. Soft ground can take its toll on your legs.

  120. Clare the reason it’s easy to say Tommy conroys injury happened two years ago is because it did happen two years ago and as has been mentioned here conroy played very well in last year league final and in point is in five years time will he still be recovering from an injury in 2022 .repeating the same line over and over again gets very monotonous

  121. Think both teams will be happy enough with that. Good workout for both sides and loads to work on.

    We could have snuck it in the end which felt surreal as it always felt like kerry were comfortably ahead.

    Plenty of positives.
    – main one for me is we are not coughing up many goal chances for 3rd game in a row. Looks like this is being worked on to good effect
    – Boland continues to put his hand up
    – thought ryan o’d was immense in that 2nd half. Especially considering he was getting very poor supply. Most of the scores he had to come out looking for ball himself and making it happen. Real leadership from him
    – callinan v good for a man who was on the road a lot this week. Management hung him out to dry a bit as he was v tired for the 2nd yellow
    – showed good grit all round, hung in well and kept coming back at kerry
    – important minutes for hessian and doc

    – some poor game management in letting the cliffords work that winner
    – tommy c still not firing. We have to be patient with him though as he is a hard ground player
    – AoS very poor again. I couldn’t even tell where he was supposed to be playing, seemed to be back to that indulgent roaming game aimlessly going around picking up handy ball and contributing nothing in attack. Not sure why he wad in a huff when he was hooked as it should have been done at ht

    Anyway more positives then negatives. Plenty to work on. Roll on omagh

    Last word on the clifford bros though, what a pair of footballers, thought paudie was imperious tonight. Would have been great to watch him and Durcan go toe to toe

  122. I think with Tommy it is nearly there but not quite there. It seemed to me that his workrate was better tonight even if a ;ot of what he tried didn’t quite work. I would start him in Omagh instead of Bob in hf line. He probably feels the pressure to perform and is frustrated that it’s not coming together yet , but we’ve seen what he can do and should persist with him. After all it should all be geared towards having him and everyone else firing in the late spring into summer,the pitch surface tonight was greasy and hard for the speed merchants to get traction so could have nicked a point tonight but we should stay safely up, experiment more and roll onto champo in reasonable form.

  123. @2hops 100% agree I’m sure conroy feels the frustration I saw him in recent interview and said he knows he’s not at his full tilt since injury but said every game he gets his confidence back…

    I’m sure we all remember pre Injury v dub semi no one could stop him I saw glimpses in that him in tonight only league but people just need to give him a chance and stop staying his injury was in 2022 as I said don’t know any other forward in mayo that would match him to take his spot correct me if I’m wrong tho…

  124. Kerry had a strong team out and were the better team, altho’ we could have sneaked a draw, if we did’nt go for a score from the mark. We were nowhere near our best, missed Paddy. We had some good moments, but lots to improve on,especially and most importantly, our balls into our inside line, which were also very poor against Dublin. More experience for our younger players will help them develop. Thought Coyne had a good game, Brickenden looks more suited to the half-back line, Boland was excellent and McHale did well when he came on. Not directly blaming the referee for our defeat, but he did us no favours and I hope we never see him again. There are good referees and bad referees, but the worst are those whose decisions are inconsistent. He was way too card happy in the first, dishing out yellows for trivial, borderline fouls, only to Mayo players and I knew we wouldn’t finish with 15.Most annoying was two yellows out the field to Coyne and Sam for slight pull backs and sandwiched in between, a blatant pull back on Diarmuid as headed towards, about 20 yards out. He missed a clear pick up of the ground, by SOS, I think, which lead to a score and gave Moynihan a free in after he took 5 steps, a hop and about 8 more steps, and then had the neck to call Aido for over carrying. At the end, he ordered the Kerry Kick-out to be retake, but did’nt add on any time for this, in fact he blew up slightly early. @Paul.B. and 2 Hops have already highlighted some of these incidents. For me few if any of our first half fouls deserved yellows-he seemed to get over his yellow addiction in the second-maybe someone had a word in his ear. I sincerely hope he Is’nt entrusted with any important championship games.

  125. I thought ye played well with Callanan looking good. Some bad wides by both sides on what looked like a slippy pitch. Cillian O Connor didn’t appear to touch the ball in his time on pitch and Conroy is off his game but Diarmuid looked sharp enough in his first game back. Ye could have stolen it at end. Kerry goalie will cost them yet he is too far up the pitch. Clifford the difference as usual.

  126. It’s a strange blog where there was generally consensus that we didn’t want to make a league final, but to achieve that outcome we’ve got to lose some games. A 1 point defeat in Tralee isn’t something to worry about at this time of the year, especially when finishing with 14 men. I’m pretty happy with the spread of scorers from play, big improvement on 2 weeks ago

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