Game day – home thoughts from abroad

This year’s Championship campaign begins for us 3,000 miles away from home. Gaelic Park in the Bronx is the venue for today’s Connacht SFC quarter-final against New York, where throw-in is 3pm local time, which equates to 8pm at home. Martin McNally of Monaghan is the ref, the match is being streamed live on GAA GO, with Mike joined by Colm Boyle on commentary, and there’ll also be live radio coverage of it on Midwest.

This is the fifth time Mayo have opened their provincial campaign in the Bronx but it’s the first time I’ve made the journey across the Atlantic for it. I knew in advance the theory about the occasion being so much more than the game that’ll be played later today but it’s only being here and speaking with so many involved in the GAA scene in this city that you realise this fact in practice.

We’ve had a ball so far on this trip, what with the baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Friday afternoon, followed by our full-to-the-rafters podcast live event at The Joyce and then the rescheduled St Patrick’s Day parade on McLean Avenue in the Bronx yesterday. In so many ways, this has been such a trip to savour.

As for the football game this afternoon, nobody is expecting anything but an extremely comfortable win for Kevin McStay’s team. Galway’s brutal suppression of London in Ruislip yesterday demonstrated the gulf between a top rank team and a Division Four outfit and you’d have to think that the gap between ourselves and New York will be quite profound as well.

That’s not to say that this will be demonstrated completely in the final scoreline today. Unlike McGovern Park, the surface at Gaelic Park isn’t one conducive to playing Gaelic football and you’d expect that it’ll take our lads a while to get into their rhythm. Once they do, however, they should be able to deal with business today in relatively short order.

Everyone over here recalls with fondness their historic victory over Leitrim last year. But they then cheerfully added that the Exiles targeted that game in a way that can’t hope to do today. It doesn’t help their cause that only five of the players involved last year are featuring for them today.

New York’s main aim today is to give a decent account of themselves and do what they can to limit the damage on the scoreboard. They know that, having played no competitive matches since last summer and with a much-changed playing squad from last year, even that could prove a tall order.

From our standpoint, we’ll be looking to get the result squared away with as little fuss as possible. We’ll also, you’d imagine, have a weather eye out for possible injuries and will want to run the bench as early as is prudent.

Looking at both teams’ likely objectives for the day, it’s not an unfair argument to say that we’re more likely to satisfy our aims than they are. As ever on any match day, we’ll find out the validity of that proposition later on.

For my own part, I’m looking forward to seeing at first hand the unique GAA experience that is a Gaelic football match at Gaelic Park. This trip has, in so many ways, already far exceeded my expectations and I’ve a feeling that this trend could well continue this afternoon too.

New York or no New York it’s normal service for us today on the blog and the podcast. You can expect to see the MOTM poll appearing soon after the game is over, with our Final Whistle pod and the match report here on the blog following afterwards.

But first there’s a game to be played and, from our perspective, to be won. So let’s go win it. Up Mayo.

123 thoughts on “Game day – home thoughts from abroad

  1. Brilliant podcast again lads! Its great that you a documenting what these annual trips out to New York means to people, at home and in the big apple. Loving hearing all the stories, brilliant stuff.

  2. Well done Willie Joe, nice to hear what’s going on in the Big Apple, I’d love to go there to Gaelic Park next time please God. Looking forward to the game but Mayo has to do the business & move on to next game, hope there will be no injuries & it’s going to be enjoyable to watch for you, I’ll be listening to Midwest so enjoy the match, Up Mayo.

  3. Is a weekend a bit too short in New York ?with all the travelling etc, one would need a week at least.

  4. Love all the podcasts great job!

    Need get the job done first half and then run the bench and not risk injuries.

    Was so great to see so many mayo people singing the green and red in times square and the little kids looked like they were having a ball singing their hearts out!

    Hoping we don’t hammer them out the gate to be honest!

  5. Just a quick question how much of this mayo panel would have played in 2019 vs New York?

  6. I’m beginning to think that it is a bit too short alright, Bate the Blanket! A few days afterwards to chill might have been a better plan.

    Mayo52783 – I’ve just checked those details on the blog’s results archive. Here’s the team and subs from 2019, with the names of current panel members in bold. Eight of the current panel played a part in the 2019 game, with Aidan O’Shea also involved in the games in 2009 (where he made his Championship debut, a month before sitting his Leaving Cert) and in 2014.

    MAYO: Robbie Hennelly (0-1, ’45); Colm Boyle, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins; Paddy Durcan (0-1), Lee Keegan (0-1), James McCormack (0-1); Matthew Ruane, Aidan O’Shea; Evan Regan (1-5, four frees), Jason Doherty (0-2), Fergal Boland (0-4); Kevin McLoughlin (0-2), Darren Coen (0-1), James Carr (0-2). Subs: Ciaran Treacy (0-1) for Doherty, David Drake for Higgins, Michael Plunkett (0-1) for Keegan, Conor Diskin for Darren Coen, Stephen Coen for Ruane, Andy Moran for Carr.

  7. Evergreenandred – the heading of the piece is, of course, a shameless bit of literary thieving on my part (which, I confess, I’m wont to stoop to on occasion here on the blog). It’s the title of a famous Robert Browning poem, which Clifford T Ward popularised with a hit song of the same name back in the Seventies.

  8. I don’t know about that WJ. On the 3 occasions I went it was for 5 days and unless you had the constitution of a horse it was long enough.

  9. I hear you, Nephin! I was thinking about a few extra days with the throttle eased off a bit but that could be harder to do in practice alright.

  10. I know WJ. As Garrett Fitzgerald said. That’s ok in practice but how will it work in theory.

  11. Aidan might have more championship appearances on that field than any player Mayo or New York.

  12. We’re busily fact-checking that claim over here, JP, and it appears to be correct! Aidan will have more appearances for Mayo than any other player if he starts today. No changes to the selected team is what we’re hearing.

  13. A day of shocks!
    Surely no more….
    A comfortable win and moreso no injuries is what Mayo need…

  14. Should be double digits today. Should be able to get a good run out for bench players as well. No need for some of these players to play a full game. The Astro turf can be a killer on the legs fully all get through injury free.

  15. Expect ye to win as well as we did yesterday. He should withdraw key players given that surface once the result is assured.

  16. Thanks Willie Joe. Didn’t realize he got the all time appearances today. I simply meant he has played now four championship games on the New York field. Probably more than anyone on the New York 15?

  17. Ryan is on fire but needs to be wrapped in cotton wool. 1-9 of the 1-11 says it all.

  18. If anything happens to O’Donoghue, our goose is cooked. Nobody else in that forward line doing much.

  19. Ryan has to be minded.. I’d nearly take him off.. only starting forward to score? Am I right?

  20. Tommy Conroy needs a score or 2 because if he can’t score here he’ll have to wear a jersey number higher than 16 for a while.

  21. Please pull him off now for the love of god , game is won . He is so vital for the hyde

  22. 7 more points and Ryan will beats Cillian record for top score in one match….

  23. Apologies cp.. Jack carney has a point..
    Still other forwards really need to step up…

  24. New York slicing through us for goals. And one scoring forward, don’t think the Rossies will be quaking in their boots.

  25. Colm Boyle sounds like the match itself.
    Not very interested and waiting to go on the beer with the lads afterwards.
    We will be lucky to get out without injuries with this ref . Few NY bucks trying to make a name for themselves taking down a few Mayo lads

  26. Artro turf difficult to play on I would imagine!
    Picture on GAAGO poor!
    Not sure why New York and London bring to the Connaught championship?

    New York did not have a serious match in 12 months!
    I realise it’s important from our diaspora point of view!
    Mhuigeo Abú

  27. Also bare in mind the guys may still be a bit jet lagged.

    But sloppy enough in front of goals for sure.

    You have to hand it to cillian O Connor he can nearly always nail a penalty in.. We probably will be underdogs for rossies now but sure no harm in that.

  28. That FB line is going to concede a lot of goals this year if they are allowed attack so much. Ball over the top on the whole time

  29. Coyne, callinan and Brickenden will be destroyed be a half decent team, midfield had a shocker

  30. Sloppy performance.
    Conceded 2 goals. They cut us open a fair few times.
    Missed loads of handy no pressure scores – same old old story! Thank God for the Belmullet Bullet.
    No way as clinical as Galway in London.
    Rossies will be rubbing their hands tonight.

  31. Coverage shocking, NY beaten by 15 points but never seemed out of it. Defence shocking, and we’re incapable of breaking lines. Tommy Conroy??

  32. We have become a one man team unfortunately in the scoring department.. God forbid Rod gets injured.. Mayo are fucked

  33. Poor enough stuff. Got the win which I suppose is the main thing, no injuries which is a bonus. We were cut open too many times in defence, imagine what Dublin / Kerry / Derry would do to that FB line. McBrien is our FB, need to leave him there. We are screwed if anything happens to Ryan, 1-13 is a serious tally. Today’s performance won’t beat the Rossies in two weeks. Lots, and I mean lots to work on.

  34. Watching it here on gaago. Only froze about 50 tines during the match. Not bad going. An easy win. Wouldnt really read too much into it. Did what had to be done. Ryan O donohue the clear man of the match. And not one bit jealous looking from afar at a sunny day in NY and thoughts of heading down the city for a night of pints. But the only consolation is that theyl be very expensive pints.

  35. @lahanman.i think 3_9 (18pts)is the record and if I’m right he reached 18pts twice.

  36. @thatteamwontstart, I agree our FB like have looked vulnerable all league and again, and without sounding like a broken record, but our midfield is just so average. We just don’t have guys who can dominate. We’ll beat most teams because we are dynamic around the pitch but when it comes to top teams our midfield has a lot to do.

    Hard to read into a NY game but I’d give us a 5/10 for overall performance. We’ll get a proper test in 2 wks. If we can’t beat Roscommon then forget about any notion of an going deep in championship

  37. Some big red flags there. We don’t really have any true scoring threat outside of O’Donoghue. If Conroy can’t score against New York, I’d be worried about when he meets much meaner defences. Unfortunately I feel he is a little one dimensional and predictable in how he plays.
    As for our own defence, New York being able to slice through for two well taken goals doesn’t exactly bode well for us down the line.

  38. You usually don’t get jet lag travelling westward (I.e to New York) Clare, more common after flying back to Dublin.
    Maybe it’s time we all stop making excuses and state the fact that letting New York score two goals is simply not good enough. If New York can do that, what can a Derry, Dublin, Kerry or even Roscommon do? McBrien is needed at fullback now

  39. Tommy Conroy should be dropped for Towey or Cillian for Roscommon on his form.Aido at Full forward still not working but no doubt McStay will keep persisting with it.

  40. You can read absolutely nothing into this match so no need for all the doom and gloom. It was nothing more than a glorified challenge match.
    It will have no effect one way or the other on the Roscommon game so calm down.

  41. If I was McStay I would seriously consider bringing in Niall Hurley to the panel ,hes the best scoring forward with ROD in the County.The lack of scoring power in the Mayo forwards is depressing.

  42. The standard 2 goals conceded in Connacht for this managment set up. We are so tactically inept defensively , its not funny anymore. The usual crew will be on trying to gloss over it, but we are going nowhere fast, a connacht title is a pipe dream with this continuos man on man marking in FB line. Reape roaring and shouting flapping his hands, be more in his line to concentrte on his positioning. Thats twice in league and twice today he was almost lobbed.

  43. Its a bizzare fixture ,fanfare aside , its a damp squib . There were more negatives than positives in that game if you were to gauge it on flaws , mistakes and individual performances . Our defenders are getting caught way too often , far too much weight put on rod s shoulders to carry out the scoring . I thought we looked weak at times and never really drove it home like galway did against london yesterdsy .

    Was privilaged to a bit of conversation with a rossie earlier and he was very confident they could turn us over .

  44. @ No doubt I just checked it in the results archive. Cillian got 4-9 against Tipp in 2020 semi. Ryan got 1-13 today I think.

  45. @JJ kelly well said!

    We will put it up to the rossies like we always do yeah they probably won’t be fearing us but sure no harm.

    Still think we will beat Rossies.

    The goals where sloppy to be sure though.

    @Achill towey couldn’t last the whole game I don’t think he’s good as impact but conroy is a half forward as @JR says to.

  46. Hardly a pipe dream Margie. Game was well over when the goals went in. Get in, get the win, job done. Spread of scorers not encouraging but then it is a strange fixture.

  47. I don’t think tonight will have taught us too much but , in light of toweys scoring ( and I will admit I’m on fence about him and did call him the new Richie Feeney) but he deserves his start and if doesn’t work out bring on conroy .
    ………………..Reape
    Coyne….Mcbrien….Callinan
    Durkan…..Coen……McHugh
    …………Ruane…Carney
    Flynn……….Boland…….Mclaughlinn
    …AOS……….ROD………Towey

    If he’d any game under his belt, I’d be starting Carr, think he’s what fullforward lines crying out for .
    Eoins no defender so free role at 12 should suit him .
    Brickedeen will start probably but mcbrien fullback is only option .
    Cillian showed well which is nice and diarmuid getting back to fitness , he will be needed , tuohy a good sub too but hasn’t just ate the hand of anyone to be starting in heat of championship .
    Darren mchale good impact sub too so ya we are where we are but surely have more to offer and be ready to go on the 21st

  48. Before yesterday’s game all I wanted was a good score and especially forwards to stand up against Div 4 opposition.
    5 out of our 6 forwards had scored by half time, with the likes of Tomo with his goals contributing from the bench..
    New York aren’t even in the National league and honestly I would be very disappointed with the scoring rate tonight from the Mayo starting forwards..

  49. Aido and Conroy still contributing zilch in attack and really should be under more pressure then they are at this point, ROD is carrying the entire attacking burden on his shoulders these days.

    If the other forwards arent going to fill their boots against NYC then they are hardly likely to at the business end of the AI series.

    Also, McBrien at fullback for the year please, for the love of god, He is an allstar standard fb, leave him there

  50. Thats all good and well JJ kelly but they are the same holes in defence that showed several times during the league and individually in sigerson .if we cant admit that some lads just dont have the indgredients for marking inside we are just in denial . We will come a cropper in a couple of championship games with an onfire inside line , watch it unfold

  51. I don’t think tonight will have taught us too much but , in light of toweys scoring ( and I will admit I’m on fence about him and did call him the new Richie Feeney) but he deserves his start and if doesn’t work out bring on conroy .
    ………………..Reape
    Hession…Mcbrien….Callinan
    Durkan…..Coen……McHugh
    …………Ruane…Carney
    Flynn……….Boland…….Mclaughlinn
    …AOS……….ROD………Towey

    If he’d any game under his belt, I’d be starting Carr, think he’s what fullforward lines crying out for .
    Eoins no defender so free role at 12 should suit him .
    Brickedeen will start probably but mcbrien fullback is only option .
    Cillian showed well which is nice and diarmuid getting back to fitness , he will be needed , tuohy a good sub too but hasn’t just ate the hand of anyone to be starting in heat of championship .
    Darren mchale good impact sub too so ya we are where we are but surely have more to offer and be ready to go on the 21st

  52. Well whether Tommy conroy is a corner forward or a half forward he is a forward that now doesn’t score.The same failings that been evident for some time appear again.New York were obviously never going to get near us but still exposed weaknesses.messing about with mcbrien and a midfield constantly changing with no one able to dominate that area .As gizmo said the same personal but constant rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic.I wonder do the management know what their best team is with players in their correct positions.don’t think anything was gained from this runout

  53. Margie, you’ll see more of that as year goes on I’d guess, looked like Coen was going sweeping but after 10 or 15 minutes that seemed revert to Colms job, so a risk Management seem happy to run with.
    NY won some amount of ball Infront of our defence, if we don’t revert to old school Sweeper, or at least some sort of defensive system we could get badly stung some game.

  54. Complete new full back line needed, sam might be worth his place but not corner back, McBrien now has to be fullback, didnt show as a midfielder. Aiden again had a great game but not a scoring player from anywhere. Towey looks like the only forward than can score apart from Ryan. Not confident now of beating Roscommon.

  55. I’m with jj Kelly.
    Game over. No hand shown. How often have we demolished weaker teams and won nothing.
    Look forward to Ros game.
    Máigheo abú.

  56. Tuamstar – So Galway back in the mix now as one of the top 3/4 teams after beating London and Mayo lads should start looking at booking their summer holidays ?

  57. @Tony Freeman sure it’s Galway for sam and mayo may as well book their summer holidays by the sounds of it.

  58. I will reserve judgement until after the Ros game. We will be set up different defensively for Ros and will have a different game plan for them. A few lads played with the hand break on

    Upfront tonight is the obvious concern thou. Surely lads should have been steaking their claim and banking 0-2, 0-3 against NY. At least give McStay a few decisions to make like. Goal opportunities left behind doesn’t bode well either.

  59. Surely AOS should have been substituted once he picked up the yellow.
    Difficult to keep the faith in the management team after that performance. Conroy should have gone at half time. Difficult to see a pattern in our play, some desperate wides and basic poor defending..
    A more sober performance required in two weeks time, that’s for sure

  60. No hand shown and when will we show this hand that has been so brilliantly hidden.Not trying to be smart but I have heard this line now for years.we won the game easily as we were always going to but conceded two goals again and Ryan io Donaghue is our only consistent scorer from play .I still think we will beat Roscommon as I don’t think they are particularly good but going forward it’s hard to imagine us beating any of the big guns

  61. we really shud think of not starting Tommy C the next day, very poor today , too 1 dimensional.
    Was looking forward at looking at Fergal C today and see the play maker role, was bang average.
    only 1 that can say had a good game was ROD,
    Did Cillian score bar the penalty?
    Rossies wont be losing sleep playing us

  62. We are still waiting to see a defensive structure and a forward plan – either McStay and Co are deliberately not showning there hand – or else there is no plan. Time will tell.
    The forward plan today involved lads continusuly running up the field with the ball playing short one twos and eventually carrying the ball into the New York backs and getting swallowed up.
    Little or no fast ball kicked into forwards running into space with lads coming at speed off the shoulder. Very easy defend out attacking plan tonight.

  63. Those calling for Conroy to be dropped need to look at his performances more closely. Off the top of my head he received the ball 3 times in that first half and was cynically fouled straight away. All tap over frees. He receives the ball always close to goal and the opposition know if he turns he’s gone, hence the automatic foul.

    Same up in Clones. His marker was glued to him, 4 easy tap over frees won by Tommy in the first half against Monaghan. He doesnt get a fraction of the space the likes of Boland gets…who had some bad misses today and only 1 point. Opposition mamagers would only love to see a player with Tommy’s speed the bench. Hes a nailed on starter imo.

  64. Does anyone know if names that were out of today’s panel will be available in two weeks time based on injuries? Very little comes out of that squad so I suspect not.

  65. It’s just a bit of a ridiculous fixture. No real barometer of anything. No point trying to draw to many conclusions. If anything the general consensus that we were poor is the positive. It means we will focus a lot better for Roscommon..

  66. Seeing as ROD’s tally has brought up the subject of highest individual championship scores, I’ve listed the top 10 here:

    Cillian O’Connor 4-9 v Tipperary in 2020
    Cillian O’Connor 3-9 v Limerick in the 2018 qualifiers
    P Solan 5-2 v Sligo in the 1949 Connacht Championship
    Ryan O’Donoghue 1-13 today v New York
    Conor Mortimer 1-12 v New York in 2004
    Cillian O’Connor 3-4 v Donegal in the 2013 AI Quarter-Final
    Aidan O’Shea 3-4 v Sligo in the 2015 Connacht Final
    Cillian O’Connor 3-3 v London in the 2013 Connacht Final
    Cillian O’Connor 1-9 v Dublin in the drawn 2015 Semi-Final
    Cillian O’Connor 0-12 v Derry in the 2017 AI qualifiers

  67. Margie, he’s in the full forward line and I don’t think he even had a shot at goal – very poor, won a couple of frees early on, but we were playing a sub division 4 team, and he couldn’t make an impression. The team can’t afford to be waiting and waiting for Tommy to find form.
    Towey, Cillian and Carr (if fit) would be better options at this stage.

  68. Our ranking won’t improve much as a result of tonight’s performance! I appreciate the need to give lads a chance and develop players but at this stage we could badly do with having a settled team. I think we badly need Diarmuid O Connor and Jordan Flynn back on the field. I also reckon Padraic O Hora needs to make a return- he may have short comings but he brings a hard competitive edge that I like.
    A lot of criticism coming Tommy Conroys way. He won quite a few frees if I’m not mistaken and those points count as well.

  69. @Margie, you’ve a real bee in your bonnet about Boland. Conroy has elite level speed which is crucial in a field sport like gaelic football and Mayo need him but as others have said he’s majorly one dimension – run hard at the defender. Not a particularly dynamic or smart player. Boland doesn’t have pace or power but he’s smart and way more naturally talented with the football. They’re both useful but Boland is playing way better this season, scored about 10 times more from play and actually wins lots of frees himself. Also Boland plays 11 because he has the ability to do so, Conroy doesn’t play there because he’s not as good.

  70. @lahanman.my apologies your correct. I was doing Cillian a disservice it’s even more impressive than I remembered.. Regarding the game not great viewing alright but no more than the league it probably won’t have much impact on what happens later in the year though it’ll probably show them they have work to do and maybe better than winning by 25pts and thinking all is fine. Someone posted roscommon will be rubbing their hands after that but sure didn’t mayo win by 15 times what roscommon did when they were in new York.

  71. Good man Tony.. Great to see you tipping Galway…
    I personally can’t see us winning Sam anytime soon, but fair play for sticking your head out..

  72. Gaa opening day of championship a load of rubbish.Provincial championships are dead and buried.Half the Country was watching Liverpool v Man Utd today.While Clones was not even quarter full for a local derby and remember the Ulster boys always tell us its a brillant championship up there .Jarlath Burns needs to address the Provincial championships soon.
    No real excitement for the upcoming games against Ross and maybe Galway in a Connacht Final.Coulnt be bothered going.Its just way too early in the year and does it really matter.

  73. We currently have 6 attacking backs…. the house is barely being watched, never mind being minded

  74. On the timing of the Championship, I think it’s a real issue now.
    There’s no lead into Championship, no build up, and the weather is shite. So it starts with no talk about it, and most people can’t be arsed going.
    That’s a far cry from the old format where there’d be weeks (too long) of a lead up to games.
    Even when it gets to the knock out stage, it all feels very rushed, no time for a build up.
    The GAA need to find another few weeks or people will fall out of the habit of going to games, and then there’s a bigger problem.

  75. Echo that tubberman , been saying it a while , it just doesnt work . What is it , 15 weeks now and its all over till feb 2025. The lack of build up and excitement is really starting to be a factor , supporters of the game are not enjoying it . I dont believe these are teething problems , i think we have got this wrong.

  76. @ultair.i presume you purposely was just concentrating on mayo players on your list.

  77. @GBXI, I used Boland there as an example, because he was voted as player of the league on here. He scored 1 point and kicked 3 wides today. Yet Tommy who won at least 3 tap over frees (off injured early in second half) is getting hammered for his performance.

    Im trying to highlight that Tommys impact on the team isn’t solely based on whether he kicks a point or not. Do people not see the space that is created for Ryan when Tommy is close to goal? He is not the problem here. If people on here get their way and he’s dropped for the Rossies, It will be far easier for them to double mark Ryan. Defenders cant risk leaving Tommy in any space, Ryan reapes the reward its plain to see.

  78. I don’t think finding extra weeks on calendar is the issue, the issue the the huge amount of pointless games.

    The NFL in America runs it’s season off in about 5 months with 32 teams competing of a reasonably equal grade. GAA needs similar system where there’s just one key competition, a league that builds to the knock outs.

  79. No doubt, that’s correct. Mayo’s top individual scorers in a championship game pulled from the database. Haven’t got any data for scorers in the championship as a whole. It’s likely that someone compiled the stats at some point but I’ve never seen it. Cillian’s 4-9 tally must be the highest of all time?

  80. Moose79
    McStay doesnt seem to have a clue.Just look at who he called in this year.No offence to Ballinrobe but 4 players who couldnt win an Intermediate title.Hes playing Aidan O’Shea at 14 where hes never had success.Dropped Boland last year and then called him back and now hes our centre forward.Last years centre back has dissapeared.He hasnt a clue who his best 15 is.
    I thinks hes our weakest manager since Jack O’Shea and Anthony Egan 93 to 95.
    The 16/17 team success for me was based on a very good Crossmaglen style of play from Tony McEntee with much better players.Rochford had a terrible tenure as coach in Donegal.We dont look like we have a plan at all now and the positions of some players are all wrong.

  81. Thia game doesn’t carry any weight, no need to read it into it top much. Horan nearly lost to london.

    The only isssue surrounds our game plan. Are we really not showing our hand? And if you never execute a game plan in league or 1st round, how can it suddenly spring to life in the heat of the championship? Derry have shown their hand and have an excellent offensive and defensive system that has been fine tuned during the whole league. Same with dublin. I highly doubt any top team is worried that Mayo are going to surprise them and unleash a coherent, organised, highly effective attack.

    What trick do we really have up our sleeve? I put the house car kids on this one. We will, hold your breath now, we will run the ball from the back. You heard it here. We will play Aidan full forward but play a handpassing game, aidan will drop deep, ryan will score, tommy will run blind, and the murtaghs will rip through the backs.

    BUT we still beat the rossies and people will say, you guessed it, without showing our hand

  82. @Moose79
    The lack of attention to Minding the House was duly noted. All goals conceded are bad goals to concede. We need to be less charitable.

    Hopefully we will come away with no injuries. I expect us to beat Roscommon and its hard to know where Galway are at. That’s some injury list they have and even if they get a few back it will take them time to get up to speed.

  83. Well said Achill75. And no I’m not someone who was bitter dempsey got the job. Mcstay spoke a very good game before taking the job, apart from a brillaint league last year little else to ahout about. Heres hoping they’ll bring 2p23 league form to cship

  84. Bandwagon.exactly this not showing our hand is the biggest load of nonsense I have ever heard

  85. I would much rather know who scored the most from play for Mayo in All Ireland Semi Finals and Finals against the likes of Kerry, Dublin, Tyrone and Donegal then who shot 13 yard frees and tap ins against Division 4 teams.

  86. @Bandwagon
    I was thinking that during the game. We seemed to be doing a lot of running with the ball and not much kicking of it. Whatever happened to quick ball into Aido in the right hand channel and him kicking marks off his left foot?

    The running game is like a comfort blanket to us and we can’t help ourselves.

  87. @Margie, Boland was involved in scores today too and his point from play was something few Mayo players can do. Anyway, Tommy won’t be dropped because some people on a blog are worried about him. His pace and ability to create something with that is not replaceable by anyone on the bench. He will absolutely start against Ross.

  88. @Margie
    I’m with you on Tommy. He’s a foul magnet alright. He got us over the line in last years league final. 3 times Galway had to foul him or he was in.
    He looks a bit low on confidence but nothing a Connaught championship won’t put right. We back our man.

  89. Connacht not Connaught obviously.
    The combination of a new phone and me having a drop on me!

  90. The provincial championships have never mattered less. It doesn’t matter how people try to dress it up. If they do matter (in the current format) then it means your team is one that hasn’t won one in a very long time and/or very rarely wins one…and therefore, a provincial title is to be celebrated. For counties with genuine All Ireland ambitions, the real championship starts in the group phase or even, arguably, in the knock out stages. The current format is pathetic and boring. It’s almost as though the ‘brains’ of the GAA sat down and thought ‘what can we do to minimise interest in the season and in the sport’?

    I didn’t even know Cavan v Monaghan was on today. 15 years ago or I’d have glued to it. I was far more interested in United v the scousers and Celtic earlier in the day. There is a very very simple solution to the GAA championship, one which will cause interest to soar, promote the games and local stadia (thereby benefitting towns from a revenue perspective), run to a clear and sensible calendar, from the perspective of both county and club BUT the GAA’s top brass won’t go for it because it will significantly reduce the power of provincial councils and they ultimately call the shots.

  91. @Mind the house, I had forgotten that about league final, your spot on!.If “assists”were genuinely ranked as a stat at the end of games, Tommy would be top of the pile…closely follwed by Aidan.

    @Achill75 – It may come as a massive shock to the bloggers here, but I completely agree with your post, well said.

  92. Humour me here lads I’d just like to see what people think of what I think with everybody full fit would be mayo’s ideal team and reoson for any changes.

    1. Reape
    2. Coyne
    3. Mcbrien
    4. Callinan
    5. Durcan
    6. Plunckett
    7. Eoghan
    8 ruane
    9 doc
    10 boland
    11 Tommy c ( needs to play deeper so he can make long runs)
    12 Jordan Flynn
    13. Aos
    14 bob tough / Carney ( both very tall and well capible of shooting )
    15 ryan

    With best subs being
    Coc
    Coen
    Hession
    Carr
    Poh
    Mchale

  93. @ Tubberman completely agree regarding the Championship format, it is too compressed and you end up with 6 months of no County games. Put the AAF back to the 3rd week in September.
    In terms of the GAAGo coverage, it was a very hard watch. The picture, lighting, everything was off putting, maybe it was all the coloured lines on the pitch.
    The Cavan v Monaghan match was my warm up and it was a cracker overall, very small attendance.
    Mayo out of New York with the win, Real Championship starts in a couple of weeks and I’ll reserve judgement until then.
    The Blog/Podcast coverage was the real winner for me this weekend. Brilliant content and wonderful stories from WJ and the lads, was kicking myself I didn’t make it over.

  94. @Margie I do need to put more thought on what Tommy is delivering in terms of winning scoreable frees. But it’s not a very sustainable playing style at his build to be just continuously running at the defence like that. Across a season you are surely going to get injured in one of those tumbles. Where I see he is struggling is in opening space or making a run to open space to receive to shoot and in passing in others for scoring opportunities.

  95. Bonni boyler/ tubberman, why would county season need be extended more than 6 months?
    If the pointless games were scrapped 5-6 months is plenty. The NFL in America is example I used earlier. 32 teams of similar standing due to draft system. Play league format to get to knockouts and job done.

    And realistically in GAA because of standard differential you’d we working with far less teams.

  96. @Mayonaze completely disagree, If you don’t top your group, it’s good night Irene come knockout stages, you’ll end up with 3 games, 3 weeks in a row, where a 2 week rested team like Dublin or Kerry will be waiting to batter you.

  97. @ Gizmobobs I agree a restructure is needed, I’m not familiar with NFL but agree league should hold more importance towards championship. I’m not really suggesting an extension just more time between league and championship and weeks between matches to build up anticipation. Bring back replays from quarter final stages and scrap the round robin and penalties. Its purely a selfish perspective from a fans point of view. The best championship in the past few years that I recall was the pure knockout. No chance for a Dublin or Kerry if they are knocked out on the day to get another chance.
    Maybe its nostalgia but I think the original layout that worked for years was the best.

  98. @FW, I heard Mike say he was our player of the league on commentary. But your right, I had the wites crossed.

    @JP – ah look I completely see where your coming from. He is not back to his absolute 20/21 best, and does seem to be lacking confidence that I thought was coming back in the Derry game. My main point is, even when Tommy is playing within himself he is an asset to the team being a “free magnet” as one poster brilliantly described him and pace he has. If he adds 2-3, points (im convinced he will soon) he’ll be topping the motm polls on here.

    We know he can score, hes proved that in the biggest of games! AIF 21, and im pretty sure he got a couple of beauts from play against the Dubs last year.

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