Game day – get down on it

After a four-week break, we’re back in Championship once action again tonight. Down provide the opposition in this Round 2 qualifier tie at Páirc Esler in Newry, where throw-in is 7pm. Longford’s Fergal Kelly is the ref.

Our Connacht semi-final defeat to Roscommon was costly for us in many respects. It’s given us a hard path to negotiate to reach the All-Ireland Series and, if we manage to get there, it’ll mean a far tougher run of games in the Super Eights than we’d have had if we’d gone the direct route.

But the most significant cost it has imposed on us is the threat of early elimination from the Championship. And that will be our lot tonight if things go awry for us up in Newry.

While we’re strong favourites to progress, I must admit I’m extremely worried about this evening’s assignment. Round 2 of the qualifiers is always tricky – Fermanagh in 2016 and Derry in 2017 both came close to toppling us at this stage – and an away tie to an Ulster county, one that has five All-Ireland titles to it credit, all won since we last had possession of Sam, is freighted with even more uncertainty.

I’m sure there’s been plenty of introspection since the Roscommon defeat. Hopefully not of the mournful kind either, because, maddening and all as this most recent failure to launch within Connacht has been, it’s not where the team’s focus should be now. We need to assess our shortcomings against Roscommon, for sure, but only in the context of what we need to do to get past Down this evening.

I’ve seen Down play already this summer, having travelled up to Newry to catch their extra-time thriller against Armagh, a match the Mourne County lost by the narrowest of margins. While they have their limitations, Down are a team who play with a solidly defined structure and with no shortage of heart. If we give them a sniff that this is a winnable game from their point of view, we could be in for a very tough time of it this evening.

We know we can do better than how we performed against Roscommon. But simply knowing isn’t enough. It’s knockout Championship football tonight, it’s kill or be killed, so we either get in the groove sharpish or our football summer is over for another year.

It’s a fairly stark choice and it’s also one that, should we prevail this evening, will face us again the week after. And the week after that too.

For now, though, it’s all about this match. Two teams will enter Páirc Esler this evening with hopes of going on a qualifier run that’ll take them into the glamorous surroundings of the Super Eights. Only one team will emerge from the venue, however, with those dreams still intact.

We need to ensure that the team who’ll do this is our one. We’ll only prevail in this one with a controlled, efficient display, one that has stripped from it the wild theatrics we’ve displayed all too often in the qualifiers.

Favourites we may be tonight but, make no mistake, this is a tough assignment for us. It’s one I’d expect us to be up for but I’d be surprised if Down weren’t tuned in for it as well.

Ultimately, though, it could well come down to who wants it more. Does that fire still burn fiercely within us? Does this team still consider itself as an outfit that can mix it with the very best when it really counts?

A solid, no-nonsense performance tonight, one that gets the win and earns us the right to be in the Round 3 draw on Monday morning, is what we need to see tonight. As ever, we’ll need a strong display out on the field combined with no-holds-barred support from the travelling fanbase to secure this. I think we we’ll get this but I also think it’ll only be after a tough battle.

Safe travelling to all those heading to Newry. Arrive early if you can and get into the ground early too, as there’s likely to be a bit of a scrum at the entrance closer to throw-in time.

Okay, let’s do this. Let’s get down on it and get the job done this evening. Up Mayo.

125 thoughts on “Game day – get down on it

  1. Now you have me singing that song WJ…get down on it… time to shine. Safe travels to our band of warriors…team and supporters. Believe. Maigheo mo chroí

  2. I wonder will McGloughlin play as a sweeper?. Thought he was brilliant in Richfords reign in that role. Hope to see a better defensive system today. Either we play a sweeper, or close the space between hb an fb lines. I’d expect Boyler to be holding the middle at all times, no need for him bombing forward, just mind the house.

    I think Coen could rack up a few scores today playing of Andy. Moran will hopefully win lots of ball, and if coen times his loop right, I can see him scoring 4-5 from play with those quick snap shots of his. He’s one a the most natural point takers i’ve seen play for Mayo, makes it look easy.

    Feel like im repeating myself again, but we really need a good start in this one, get ahead early and hopefully no stupid goals conceded. Slightly nervous but have a feeling we cant be as bad as we were against ross, and the fact this game is not in MacHale park gives me confidence.

  3. There a lot of doom and gloom on every forum I read regarding this mayo team now. It’s a little sickening. Unhappy camp etc?I!!!s there something I’m missing? Is the end really nigh?

  4. Down down deeper and down. Let’s hope we are not singing that at 9pm tonight. Hon Mayo, getting on the road shortly.

  5. Might be a stupid question but does anyone know can you pay with Euro at the gate if not how much Sterling do i need to pay i am traveling from Dublin on the bus and dont want to take out to much sterling as i am going back again today thanks in advance

  6. I think it’s a big mistake bringing Diarmuid back and replacing him with Conor Loftus. We’ve played 12 games this year, Conor has started twice (FDB & League), was substituted in the League game and has scored …. wait for it …. ‘nil points’, yep a big fat ZERO. Now, I believe that James’s selections are normally based on training form but come on – 2 starts in 12 games and nothing on the scoreboard plus Tracey, Carr, Diskin etc. left sitting on their backsides.

    I hope the published selection is a curved ball and he will field a team that is capable of a good win (not just a scrape by in extra time) and will give us the momentum we need to get to the super eights.

    Good luck to all in Newry this evening and please bring home the bacon – Up Mayo !!.

  7. On any given day, there are very good performers, mediocre and a few bad ones also, let’s hope 2 of the forwards have a great game tonight.

  8. A lot of talk bout team selection and arguments for and against in the last 24hrs. Not particularly happy bout it myself but they are the lads trusted to do the job so that’s it really. We need to just show our support as usual and try and help them get on with it and get the win.
    What’s curious to me is all the other innuendo and anger here in the last day or so, basically people commenting on stuff that neither I nor they know anything about. Fake news of the vicious variety. Not nice to read.
    Anyway for me my biggest worry for this evening is the loss of Ruane. We wouldn’t have won the league without his influence. Not just his own game but that way he has seemed to take some of the pressure off Aiden. This has led to Aiden having a magnificent senond half of the league and was also one of our best v roscommon. With them we’ve had a very balanced midfield which was hard to see happening with our more experienced midfielders out injured. That balance will be missing tonight.
    Still think we have too much for down though. Like Ros they will have to score at least two goals to win. We will have cover tonight to stop that, won’t we.

  9. Told you once before and I won’t tell you no more
    Get Down
    Get Down
    Get Down

  10. Best of luck to James and the team this evening. I hope they play well and we are in the pot Monday morning.

    Safe journey to all travelling. Enjoy the game and hope we are all smiling later on.

    Hon Mayo.

  11. Travelling up from Galway so nearly ready to leave. To quote Forrest Gump: Mayo are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get! Here’s hoping there are no soft centers tonight.

  12. A crazy theory might be that horan understands if mayo are to compete late summer it means 7 games in 8 weeks and there will be a lot of player rotation in and out of the squad and good experienced squad depth! For those not in the squad this week he wants them playing football and keeling sharp as they may well be in the squad next week if we make it through today!

  13. Game day at last!! Lets get the win without any more injuries. Think Cillian will start ahead of Andy.
    We’ll get nothing easy in Newry, if we’ve unscrambled the radar since NY and the Rossies we’ll be in he draw Monday morning.
    Safe travels to all.

  14. Glad to see a bit of reality setting in – a bit of bite is no harm – it may even galvanise the team to deliver the performance necessary to survive this dodgy trip to Newry and remain in the championship for at least another week. For far too long we’ve had to listen to those who had been getting too far ahead of themselves over the years as if this team were multiple AI winners….they owe us nothing blah blah blah…..only to be shocked and dismayed when the likes of Galway and Roscommon put yet another pin in the bubble. Lets see if our team truly takes Down seriously tonight, fight like deamons for every ball and earn their victory – then we can see where that leaves us for next weekends round of games.

  15. A solid, no nonsense performance really would be a welcome change from the heart attack football we have become accustomed to.

  16. Cillian not on the bench

    Subs are: Hennelly, Drake, O’Donoghue, Plunkett, McCormack, Coen, Murray, Treacy, Boland, Regan, Durcan

  17. I’m not sure I’ve noticed as strange an atmosphere (on this blog and elsewhere) leading up to a game as this one.
    There’s a not of negativity, apprehension, even some apathy.

    We really just need to get any kind of a win tonight and then try to build up a head of steam from there.
    Players, management and supporters all need to get their mojo back, because it’s been lacking lately.
    There’s an incredible amount of tension and narkiness about the place.
    Normally I’d be looking forward to any day Mayo are playing, personally I just want this game over with at this stage.

    In terms of the team, I’m a bit underwhelmed with the lack of youth and returning once again to players like Boyle and Moran starting the game.
    But Horan has clearly seen this team as our best hope of getting a win, which I suppose is what it’s all about after all.
    Maybe the hope is to get a good start and try and put the game to bed early. Down will then have to come out of their defensive shell, which will open up more space for our younger fresh legs to exploit when they come on.
    But I sincerely hope our substitutions are made earlier this time, rather than throwing lads on for a few minutes at the end.

    Good luck to all for tonight. Let’s get this show back on the road.

    I think we’ll win tonight, but it may well be a tough, dour struggle.

  18. Mayo 88 is right On any given day a number of guys will play well some will be ok and some will perform poorly We just need enough of our lads to perform well That bench is very inexperienced and you wouldn’t want them to be coming in to save the day for us so big pressure on the starting 15 Confidence is a huge thing We are coming off the back of a sickening defeat and Down are coming off the back of a win plus a decent performance v Armagh Plus I have never seen a Down team to lack confidence Tonight’s fixture is a real concern and I don’t care how we do it I will just be delighted to be in the draw on Monday morning Come on Mayo

  19. For season ticket holders do we need to print a ticket off or can we just scan them at the turnstile? 🙂

  20. It’ll be ok to buy tickets outside the ground later folks? Itll only be sterling payment? Have decided to go last minute……really want to feel this atmosphere close up and personal and support the boys!!

  21. You’ll be able to pay in Euro also. Just try to have the exact amount as getting change could be a problem.

  22. Mattie Ruane is injured, it would seem OConnor ,O’Shea and Vaughan are not fit enough to make the squad the 3 lads played with their clubs last night, Cian Hanley is apparently no longer on the panel. If there are any late withdrawals who does that leave ?.

  23. Laura – you can just scan your season ticket at the turnstile.

    Pullhard – there’s been no word that the game’s a sell-out so you’d have to assume that there’ll be a ticket van outside the ground. As far as I recall from when I was there for the Armagh game a few weeks back there’s a Euro price and a Sterling price for admission. Same for the match programmes.

  24. Hurray for all of us and the team! We hit the field later. Let’s have a great day and match. Good luck to all those travelling. Lucky things. Ye’ll be doing the rest of us a service by shouting for us at this first match of the qualifiers.
    I have no worries about our panel tonight – they’re more than capable of doing the job. Let’s hope they’re on point and ready to go. Some of Mayo’s best warriors are there and some new warriors are there too. Hurray for us! Good luck everyone! Have a great game!

  25. Thanks dudes!!! Let’s get this show on the road. Don’t we just live for days like these…c’mon mayo

  26. Right, Ger Bohan, I’ve let you away with more than enough sly cuts at this stage. That last effort, which I’ve now deleted – hours before a knockout Championship match – borders on treasonous. Some supporter you are – it’ll be a while before another comment from you is allowed up here.

  27. Conor loftus’s natural position is no.11. I hope he’s left there. Good luck to him and the rest of the team.

  28. Good luck to Mayo today and I hope ye win the game, I think ye will but it’s a tricky enough one for all involved. I hope we beat Cork tonight as to drop into that qualifier tank is not an inviting prospect. Never have I seen so many Kerry pundits pissing in in their soup and I think this could be a lot tighter than people think.
    Anyway I have flags to fly and dogs to feed before we hit for rebel territory and I won’t darken my door again ‘til about midnight, Saturday night games are great when they are home games but they are a pain n the arse when you have to travel.
    Safe journey to all and up Kerry and up Mayo

  29. Let’s not forget the late great Padraic Carney and Mick Burke today. Hope the lads invoke their spirit this evening and for all of us to remember their greatness as great Mayo men.
    Please be with us tonight, a night of all nights for the summer ahead. Rest in peace.

  30. A beautiful and poignant post Mairead.

    When greatness might lose its meaning, these men remind us what it was meant to mean.

  31. Revellino and all, we’ll all be tuned in – on the stands or on the radio, and we’ll be proud of the lads. I’m proud of us supporters too. Have a great day everyone. Let’s hit that field in our stride later!

  32. We just have to accept that the tonight’s panel is based on what’s happening at training and who’s injured. I have no worries. Down are a proud GAA county and will not go down easily.
    The way we play is more important than whos playing. Can we go at them with pace and reduce the effectiveness of the blanket defence. Have we movements that create goal chances. Have we free taking sorted. How will midfielders cope with the Clarke kickout?
    Lots more questions but some will be answered tonight. I expect win plus 5

  33. I know it’s a bit off topic but are any Season Ticket holders having issues with payment for the game today? Forty euros taken out of my account on the 11th by “GAA CC”. Nothing since then. Surely, they didn’t think Mayo were in the Connacht Final!?!

  34. Lots of green and red to be seen around Newry for those of you that couldn’t make it here we will shout a little bit louder for you here. Up Mayo

  35. Someone asked will they take Euro here the last game
    I was at in Newry they took Euro In the shop in the grounds I don’t know about the stiles as have season ticket but I think they did and I remember we got a warm welcome from the stewards etc that was nice to see when your away from home on a wet wintry night.
    Anyway no such problems with the weather today enjoy the game and hon Mayo

  36. Every year it’s the same. Our own fans but mostly other county fans and the media seem so black and white, no grey area regarding the team. Last year we lose to Kildare the end is nigh. The year before we lost to Galway and that was the beginning of the end, then by the All-Ireland replay we are the only ones who might take the Dubs. Win the league we are contenders for Sam, lose to Ross and we are down and out ( excuse the pun).

    Dublin we are not but we are also not Down or Leitrim just yet. Take it at face value, Roscommon are half decent this year. Galway are no Dublin but they are very decent on a good day and Roscommon finished with a few points to spare against them. We lost by one, not ten, against a Roscommon team that is probably the best it has been in many years. Even man city and Liverpool lose to lower level teams and pick back up. We have more quality and that seems to be what drags us into finals every year bar last.

    We are capable of beating Kerry twice in a row, which was just a few months back. Losing to Down would be a huge blow but any team that can win a division 1 title has it in them to make it at least into the late summer, regardless of a setback. Regardless of the bookies or the medias thoughts on a dead team.I highly doubt it is and I would certainly back this team to drag themselves to the super 8’s and then we will see where exactly we are at.

    As for today. I’d hope we win by a few and most importantly don’t pick up any more injuries because god knows we don’t need any more of those, or we could easily end up having an early summer if one or two more key players have problems.

    Big games for Loftus and McDonagh, Coen too. Need statements from the youth today.

  37. There’s a strange atmosphere to the build up of this game. It doesn’t even feel like Championship. That’ll change when the ball is throw-in though.

    Hopefully we’ll be heading home with a win. I can’t say I’m overly confident but putting all the negativity aside, I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of shape we’re in. A few early scores are vital for us.

    No more safety nets, time to get clinical Mayo.

  38. Safe travels to all,hope we get a good win something like eight or nine would do nicely,more worried by lack.of game time for S Coen and EOD we need to get a lot closer man markers,but we must hope that management know best,up Mayo

  39. Key thing for me is that the goal chances are stopped Sweeper on front of the FB line and take yellow cards where necessary.

    Team selection looks good.

    Shame if Hanleys gone looked like a fella with massive potential to me. Have to assume Coc/sos/vaughan are not fully right yet if not selected.

  40. I hope for our sake and the sake of the championship that this Mayo team find the resolve and have the ability to get to the All-Ireland series as if we don’t, it’ll be 2 of the easiest All-Irelands for Dublin and a further dent to inter-county football. Hopefully the rebellion starts in Newry. Best of luck lads.

  41. In Newry. Meeting lots of Armagh supporters hoping that we win! Hard to gauge what support Mayo have here but expect a good turnout. Beautiful sunny evening, little or no wind do no excuses. Let’s go Mayo!

  42. Sun shining here in Páirc Esler. Ticket van open for business. Cmon Maigheo!

  43. Great to see a big support in newry. The match will tight i don’t know where pp get a minus 6 handicap. Best of luck to the team. Hoping for s daren coen special from 45 out to win it

  44. Lovely evening up here…..MASSIVE Mayo support,was not expecting that.Just to let people know there is a free shuttle bus on a loop from the buttercrane shopping centre direct to the ground.

  45. Great news FW. Something came up and couln’t travel in that direction.
    Anyway it is really good that JH has gone with the tried and tested and possible fireworks from Fionn and Conor.
    There are lots of subs. It seems good to give the oldies a chance to rescue Mayo once again.

    Nearly there now. Maybe we will see the absent players next Saturday?

  46. David Clarke to the rescue
    Huge save at an important time
    That’s what I want in a goalkeeper

  47. not at the game but Down seem to get through on goal with ease. too quick for the Mayo defence.

  48. Yeah they’ve had loads of chances. Unusually we’ve been relatively clinical up front

  49. A win is a win, but we have A LOT of improving to do. Down waltzed through the defence at times.

  50. A lot of negative commentary from ciaran Whelan on rte radio. Glad to have got the win. Kerry just about squeezed through against cork!

  51. That was not comfortable. If we don’t tighten up in defence i really fear for us if we draw a big hitter in the next round. At least they worked a bit on the shooting.

  52. Agreed Liam.
    Too close for comfort. Shooting was better but we have defensive deficiencies that could come back to haunt us.

  53. Delighted for Conor loftus after the disgraceful way he was sent away from the last free against roscommon. Showed great mental strength today. I hope the goalkeeper position is now settled.

  54. So other round 3 qualifiers are:
    Kildare, Laois, Tyrone, Westmeath, Clare, Armagh and Offaly or Sligo

  55. We would have all taken a 5 point win beforehand, so happy enough with that.

    Massive improvements needed going forward, but it’s just about getting past that first tricky qualifier.

    Our forward play seemed much more clinical, but again we seem to have problems with our defence (not so much the actual defenders, but the defensive system).
    We’re just far too open at the back. A better team than Down would have exploited this much more.

  56. Overall worried
    And what’s worse is there is nobody else out there to threaten the Dubs
    Kerry’s “defence “ is a comedy show

  57. Sloppy enough. Only for Clarke’s 2 saves, we were in trouble. Teams attacking at pace cause us lots of trouble. We should have hammered them after our goal but let them back into it.

    Job done anyway.

  58. Qualifiers we could meet (In order of preference) –


  59. We knew Down would be tough but a 5pt win is fantastic. Confidence and positivity is way forward now. 1st game after 4week break was always going to be tough. Well done lads.

  60. Well done Mayo. Safe travels home to you all and let’s see what Monday morning holds. Always good to have lots to improve on and we sure do.
    Good to see few younger lads coming in and holding their own. Speed kills… hope we get a defensive system. We’re in trouble if we can’t sort that out. Who’s up next??
    Newbridge maybe!!

  61. Its all about the win at this stage but not sure how we tighten up at the back …
    Doesn’t look like there’s anything on the bench to improve things so it’s down to game plan from the sideline.

  62. Qualifiers we could meet (In order of preference) –



  63. Diarmuid, DOC and Kevin Mc seemed to be poor enough again this evening. If we can win another one or two games and these lads start hitting form – we could rattle a few yet. Will people who were at match give their opinions when they get a chance.

  64. The job is done. Very worrying how Down cut through us so often. Luckily they failed to execute the scores. What was also worrying was the way our attacks broke down on several occasions due to bad ball handling

  65. Always good to get the win, but game pretty much went as expected. There was always going to be an improvement in attack (couldn’t be any worse than last month), conceeded a goal yet again and were way too open in defence, keeping a poor side in the game. Horans game plan is and always was too open defensively, a flaw that’s not going to change and will cost us against better sides.

  66. Yes all 3 below par and Paddy Durcan missed a few uncharacteristic kicks too. About half the team played well. Kept letting Down back by unnecessary turnovers. Their free taking was shocking, far worse than ours vs Ros. On the plus side we took some really good scores. Down player seemed to get lucky with goal having mis controlled soloing twice. Clark very assured in air and with saves. Few dodgy kick outs. AOS excellent again.

  67. Well done Mayo, tricky game out of the way, midfield & forwards done very good, shooting boots on. Aidan, Conor, Andy good, Lee, Keith, Harrison fairly good, but Down tore right through the backs on a few occasions, that is a big concern Down the road, big gaps opened up, something to work on quickly, hopefully.

  68. Survive and advance. Keeper question answered. Love what Andy did today. Old guy’s not done yet, lol

  69. Well done Mayo. Things still to work on. Conor Loftus should be kept now. He did well. Fionn excellent. Aidan very good as well. Good Luck to the team for next week

  70. Box ticked .. No harm to have lots to improve on but we’re into the next round .. Well under the radar but we won’t fear anyone in the next round

  71. A wins a win but I don’t think we’re going far this year. We’ve regressed in defence at an alarming rate. A half decent team would have taken 5/6 goals off us tonight. There were times there where Zippy was left one on one in the square despite getting cleaned in the air throughout the game. I also saw Aidan O Shea twice being the second last man back when Down where running at us with acres of space. Only for some dogged defending, luck and David Clarke it could have gotten ugly. Good luck to Horan sorting that mess out.

  72. Average.

    Down created 5 goal scoring chances. We created 2.

    They kicked tonnes of wides.

    Yes we played with a plan which was more conscious of defending (not hard after the utter absence v ros) but the worry is that a very average down team, with respect to them, had countless chances but they couldn’t score in a brothel. Their finishing was hopeless.

    I thought our midfield performance was better against ros than it was tonight. We never dominated. Doherty was very quiet again on breaks.

    Kevin is not a corner forward. It’s not working. He let he ball slip twice tonight. In fact our general handling of the ball was unusually poor.

    Regan tries but he just makes the wrong decisions most of the time. It’s so frustrating.


    We won.

    David Clarke.

    Patience in possession and not taking stupid shots.

    We battled and dig it out at the back in the final quarter but boy do we have heaps of improvement. This performance would have struggled against a division 2 side.

    A big concern is our inability to create goal scoring chances. Won’t win a thing if that’s not fixed!

  73. Clarke, Aido, Moran, Fionn, Keegan very good. Conor, Barrett, Durcan-bar the shooting!- also solid. Harrison, Boyle, Diermuid average and Keith, McLoughlin, Regan, jason , Coen have had better days. Upwards and onwards but as others have said, wide open at the back where Boyle was effectively a sweeper but it didn’t work.

  74. Generally an improved performance, by which I mean far more of our lads showed up today. A worthwhile game as down asked questions of our lads up to the last few minutes. A win. Quite happy with that really, but feel we probably need another similar test next week before we would be ready to take on a top 10 team.

  75. How far we go this year depends on our manager deciding on, coaching, selecting and in game subbing to have a more modern defensive approach.
    If we go further with our current defensive tactics opposition teams are going to focus on that as priority number one. Taking Mayo for goals.
    Dublin league wide open for goals.
    League final wide open.
    Ros game wide open.
    Down game wide open.
    Pushing defensive numbers up on a blanket team was coached out of existence as a tactic four years ago post Donegal beating Dublin.
    We’ve regressed to what is widely accepted to be a naive approach to playing the game.
    It is good to get the win tonight, but we were cut open time and again.
    We had no plan for the well flagged Caolan Mooney. We were lucky to get that win tonight .
    Defeat would squarely have been on our defensive tactics.

  76. First of all,congrats to the Mayo fans(Trojans) who travelled today. As the song goes , Act like a brother and help wan another like the true hearted men from the county maigheo. Tough game against speedy opponents and I believe that down side are not far from the summit of Ulster football .as for us we need to sort out the tactics in front of Clarke and be more brave with the youth and we will be grand. Chin up and chests out lads so bring on Monday morning. Maigheo Abu

  77. I hope that’s got rid of the dirty diesel. There seemed to be a fair bit of it belching around the ground. I know we’re close enough to South Armagh. Anyway Mayo got the win that’s the main thing. At times we seemed porous as monsooned limestone. It was ridiculous how easy Down created space and should have scored at least two more goals. Not great to see Andy having to START. We won. That’s a big positive.” Reminder to self”. Clarke was my man of the match. That’s not great against a division three team who couldn’t get a score against Louth in their division three battle for promotion, for 40 plus minutes We won and we go into the cap on Monday and we get to go again. Come On Mayo!

  78. Well done Mayo and safe home to the brilliant supporters who travelled.

    I’m relieved tonight with that result. Listened on Mid West. I was delighted for Conor Loftus and I thought Andy played well.

    Surely we can improve defensively.

    Congrats to Colm, David Clarke and Keith too!

  79. The three young forwards Fionn McDonagh, Conor Loftus and Fergal Boland did the bulk of our scoring from forwards.
    The older forwards really didn’t bring across the line at all. Sometimes headlines get written clicheing straight over to “Experienced Mayo outgun Down”.
    It was actually more inexperienced Mayo that took care of the score getting and directing our attacks. Those three combined with Aidan and Diarmuid.

  80. Job done. Get out, get home, get rest, get recovery and hope for an easy draw on Monday. Hopefully no injuries picked up tonight either.

  81. The win tonight papers over the cracks. Defensively we were porous. Down’s poor kicking kept us in the game. AOS was immense. We’re a Super 8 team at best…….Let’s see what draw we get but this is not an All Ireland team.

  82. Based on tonight I agree with Peter. While we were a bit porous some of that was brought on by losing the ball up the field and them breaking at pace. Also Down did have some pacey players. We got away with it and probably put a bit more heat on them than their Ulster opponents but it is true that if they weren’t so bad at frees we’d be in trouble. Dublin would have driven on and beaten Down by 18 points yet we almost dragged them back in it a few times. With the kids autographs afterwards Andy was really enjoying the win having craic and laughs whereas Diarmaid and Paddy just looked more relieved though happy to win. An improvement needed regardless of who we draw. A bonus was Loftus steadied the ship on frees bar one not too hard one from the wrong side. Was surprised Evan was not tasked with some left footed frees.

  83. Actually it was Treacy had scored thought it was Boland. Still, it was our younger players including Diarmuid that lead us home. Add Aidan into the mix.
    Those in the 30 and upwards? It was only Leeroy showed well.

  84. Andy did okay as well, JP. He scored two points and it was his quick thinking that sent Conor Loftus in for the goal. David Clarke’s saves were crucial too, though his restarts were as hairy as ever.

  85. Unless we field a full forward line containing any 3 of Carr, Cillian ,Darren Coen, Diskin or Treacy, we will not trouble any top 4 team the Dubs ,Kerry, Donegal and Tyrone.We seriously lack height and pace in our full forward line.Doherty and McLoughlin are seriously out of form maybe a break on the bench would do them good.Regan doesnt look strong enough coughs up posession way too easy,Andy did alrite but seriously lacks pace can only see him play a impact sub role from now on.Fionn and Loftus were out best forwards today but Loftus maybe lacks strength against a top 4 side.

  86. Andy did okay, yes. Just in terms of outfield it really was the u24s with Aidan in my view primarily leading the way.

  87. I believe Andy did very well tonight – more than alright. He continually beat his man to the ball. This is because he’s makes intelligent angled runs to win possession; he’s the best in the business at it.

    I would love to see a physically imposing specialist FB come through in the mould of Kevin Cahill/Darren Fay. It’s hugely disappointing to see the complete lack of FB talent coming through either at 2,3 or 4.

    It’s funny isn’t it? Caff was MOM against Cavan in the league…and hadn’t been seen since!

    I also think it’s high time Horan was more transparent about our injured players; it would appear things are worse than being let on e.g. most of the injured players tonight were ‘a few days’ from returning after Rcommon game.

  88. Just in the door, long long trip, but worth every second after the W. McGloughlin and Doc seriously out of form. No defensive structure in the first half, could see the goal coming a mile away, same old 2 on 2 or 3 on 3 with Higgins 10 yards from his man. We’ll be bet up a stick against a decent team if Horan continues this naive and down right stubborn attitude towards defending. However, in the second half Boyle tended to do a bit of sweeping, but only when his marker retreated back inside their 45. It was by no means a dedicated sweeper role, time to put mcgloughlin as full time sweeper and let him attack the game from the front.

    Very pleased with forward play, we hit the post on a goal chance. Andy was immense, won 95% of ball that came his way, popped over a lovely couple from play. McDonagh good too, he’ll be a serious player in time. Regan justified why he was dropped, absolute lottery when he gets the ball, twisting, falling into tacklers, and shot selection is just nuts. Still worth a place on the wider panel, but certainly not a stsrter.

    Loftus excellent on frees. My life flashed before my eyes when Aido took a heavy fall in 2nd half, thought he was goosed. Anyway, the in depth analysis can wait, we’re in the pot Monday and thats all that actually matters. Well done to all players.

    Must mention how sound the Down fans were, complete pleasure from where I was standing.

  89. I’d echo those sentiments about the Down supporters, MayoDunphy. I was on the terrace across from the stand and they were all totally sound, really nice people.

  90. Correct in all your points MayoDunphy.

    Kev and Jason are well off form. Particularly Jason. Kev is being played completely out of position. Your description of Regan is spot on and I hate saying it cos he clearly tries but his decision making and execution are way off. Andy despite being a pensioner was our best forward today. He won nearly every ball.played to him. Did something clever with the majority of possession and his movement and intelligence was there to be seen.

    I just can’t understand the defensive tactics. It’s worse than naive. It’s negligent!

  91. A bit of a shambles today, but will take the win. Keegan in the 2nd half was immense, completely shut down Mooney who was causing all sorts of problems.

  92. Have to say about the down supporters the fairest i have come across the man beside me was very happy the way down played he said when leaving take a good team to beat us

  93. Definitely the soundest supporters alright. I’ll with out doubt return to Down for a couple of nights away sometime. A group beside us couldn’t beileve the amount of Mayo supporters that travelled, they were well impressed, and all in awe of Aido’s performance. They shout loud for their team but no abuse at our lads. Best opposition supporters i’ve ever seen, and lovely people.

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