Game day – keep the show on the road

It’s game day, with another knockout championship match – and a tricky one at that – facing us later this afternoon. If it all goes wrong for us today against Tipperary that’s our year of senior inter-county football over but if it goes the right way then it’s another step towards redemption for us, leaving us two hurdles away from the Super 8s.

For sure, today’s match at Semple Stadium is one we should win but, at the same time, it’s also one where it doesn’t require too much imagination to see us getting into serious bother. Our form all year has been, to say the least, less than fully convincing and if that’s the form we take with us to Tipp then we could be in for a tough evening.

Against Limerick we provided a few hints, though, that our performance levels are rising once more. Granted, you have to factor in the weakness of the opposition and also acknowledge that most of our scoring glut occurred late enough in the day in that game. That said, there was much to be encouraged about in how we went about our business in the Gaelic Grounds and we’ll need to see that and a whole load more in our display later today.

We still don’t know, of course, if the team we’ve named for the game is the one that’ll start this evening. There’s loads of experience in the team we’ve named and you’d have to imagine that if we make any changes it’ll be to up the experience further – most likely by starting Diarmuid O’Connor instead of Cian Hanley. Were that to happen, by the way, then it’d mean that for tomorrow we’d only be missing three players from the team we started against them in the All-Ireland semi-final two years ago.

Fielding such an experienced line-up – regardless whether or not any further tweaks are made before throw-in to the side we’ve named – demonstrates just how seriously we’re taking the threat that Tipperary could pose for us this evening. They’re a decent side, with an astute manager, and their plans for 2018 didn’t, one assumes, include elimination from the championship in Round 2 of the qualifiers.

Neither did ours. In a similar way to how Tipp’s defeat to Cork proved so costly to them, though, our utterly avoidable loss to Galway has come at a great cost to us. After tonight’s game, elimination from the championship gets added to the cost for one of the two teams.

It’s a cost we know all about at this stage but we know too what our road to the last eight entails. Today it requires us to take on and take down Tipp and, only if we’re able to do this, will there be any road there for us to travel further on.

Misgivings about our form aside, I’d be confident enough that we’ll get the win this evening. These lads have shown time and again over the last two years how hard they are to beat in the qualifiers and that experience, allied to match sharpness that is surely improving with every passing week, should stand us in good stead today. I’m expecting a tough examination of our credentials but it’s one we should be up for and one that should ensure our name is once more in the draw on Monday morning.

Right, time to start readying for road. Safe travels all who are taking the trip to Tipp today and, for those who like shouting, make sure to shout as loud as you can. Back later with the usual post-match stuff. Up Mayo.

78 thoughts on “Game day – keep the show on the road

  1. Excellent summation as to where both teams are there WJ and the stark reality of the consequence for the losing team. The only conclusion I’m sure you’d agree is that we don’t really know where either team is at. Are mayo coming good or is it too early to say, probably. Are tipp as bad as their result v Cork, who knows. That’s what makes today feel far more jittery than it really should be. Like your post alludes too and I agree, we probably will win but there is a possibility we could lose. I’m quietly confident but nervous also.

  2. I would expect Tipp to come out of the starter blocks at an unmerciful pace altogether with nothing to loose to try and rattle us and sow that seed of doubt. If that happens we just need to not panic and work scores and not take on ridiculous pot shots. Strong runners late on in the game could be the difference. You’re getting bloody good at this writing crack Willie Joe.. there”s a book in ya yet 🙂

  3. I don’t usually comment to much on here but enjoy reading the page.

    Couple of points in my view……yes we need to be careful in our selection of which of our lads pick up their dangermen but pick it, stick with it and then concentrate more on what we are good at.

    Stop using Keegan to do jobs in defence that other lads are well capable of doing. Use him how we want to use him. The same with AOS use him further up the field. Rotate him between 14 and 11. Get tipp worrying about our big names and our game plan!

    Let’s face it we all know mayo are not and have never been a defensive team. We are at our very best with the choke fully out and foot to the floor. We do this we blow tipp away nice and handy.

  4. 22 deg forecast at throw in time. would be in favour of roatation. Maybe Andy and Boyler coming in off the bench . experience coming in rather than coming out. may be start higgins at wingback

    management of the high ball going to be importabt Quinliban 6′ 3

    Somebody like Vaughan or Nally needs to sit on front of the FB line could lose if rhey stick a coupe of goals

  5. Subs: hennelly, drake, Crowe, nally, o donuhue, Kirby, COS, Regan, Loftus, DIARMUID, Durcan

  6. One game at a time, we are 100% well able to best Tipp. They will be no pushover and have talent but from 1-15 plus our 6 subs we are a more powerful team.

    Let’s play our game and not obsess about stopping them playing. They can fret about us.

    Green and red army about to take over Thurles.

  7. @NiallMc1983 Was really hoping to see Donie named on the program… would love to see him back on the field! Oh well.. will just have to wait a while longer!

  8. Getting a bit worried that Vaughan and Harrison are struggling to get fit. Would have liked to see Vaughan getting some minutes today. Getting ready to hit the road. Safe travels everyone

  9. Well done Willie Joe, great lead up to this one. Best of luck to the team and management and safe travelling to everyone!! Sing it loud and sing it proud below!!!!!

  10. Agree with you there Kieran. If we manage our own peformance, get Aidan moving down the middle and feed Cillian/Andy we’ll be fine.

  11. On whether Mayo are coming good or not, my take is they were ready for May 13. It didn’t work out that day but I rekon we’d have won with a few to spare were it not for the Red card because that changed out structure for 2nd half. Galway are a very competitive team so I wouldn’t underestimate that. I expect we’re at a higher level earlier in the season and we can expect to see some of that form today. If Tipp bring their A game, yes they’re well capable of being competitive and their FF line poses a threat. I think we can see our A game or close.. I have only doubt about 1 or 2 positions on the field but we have the subs bench to adapt. A lot of teams comment about Mayo being adaptable. It could be a cracker of a game but if it’s 22 degrees as predicted, then subs will be needed especially in midfield. Barry could get game time today.

  12. Watching the rugby and the Stockdale yellow card is almost identical to Diarmuid’s red against Galway. No doubt it was dangerous, but instinctive and without any real malice.

  13. Really excellent summary Willie Joe and hitting all the right notes . Spot on ( as usual )

    As you say it really takes no imagination to figure it could be a long evening . But it’s up to all of us , the team and 16 th man to rattle them and rattle them hard. Reading between the lines of Kearns comments you can tell his team are coming into top form . He is very confident . You can also tell he didn’t understand what happened to his team last day against Cork .
    If they get a great start we need to just stay in the game. If we are within reach of them with ten minutes left I believe we will win .Of course we don’t have to allow them a great start , and that would be everyone’s preference on this site. But we should not forget that it’s knockout football and we will all need to give our energy to supporting this incredible team in whatever way we
    can. Maigh Eo Abu

  14. Really hope that bench is not correct
    Need to be seeing Donie back at this stage

    Harrison too but he is a few weeks away by all accounts
    No Barry Moran again either …..

  15. Over the winter/ spring I’ve watched the Mayo Roscommon replay highlights a good few times. Mayo leading by 6 points and Ross hit us for 2, ger canning says that Ross are coming alive. Then 2 goals in 60 seconds and a third a few minutes later just to quench any embers of hope.
    When it’s needed they can do a lot of damage in minutes, today I think Mayo will aim to not allow tipperary any grip.
    Mayo 4-15
    Tipp. 1 -14

    Safe travels to all and enjoy the fine weather.

  16. I think we could see Barry today . Put it this way , he’d be more than useful today.

  17. No fluff in that analysis Willie Joe, thanks.
    I think our bench and fitness will get it for us should it get tight with ten to go.
    Safe travels one and all and Up Mayo

  18. “Rock says:
    June 23, 2018 at 12:08 pm
    Watching the rugby and the Stockdale yellow card is almost identical to Diarmuid’s red against Galway. No doubt it was dangerous, but instinctive and without any real malice.”

    Different game entirely there chief. Diarmuid O’Connor deserved his straight red card for elbowing Paul Conroy into the face and it was a nasty malicious foul then and its a nasty foul today. Indeed O’Connor should be serving a long ban. Imagine Philly McMahon had elbowed Andy like that there would be protest marches in Castlebar and petitions looking for a 6 month suspension. No real malice indeed!!!

  19. The closer it gets to throw in, the more confident i am of a victory today. I think we have a habit of talking up opposition sometimes in this county. The simple truth is mayo have operated at a higher level than tipp for the past number of years and if we play to our potential, we will win. Tipp are a solid side who arent far off didvision 1 football and they will cause us problems but i think they have regressed since we met them last in 2016 and we were too good then also. Hope im not eating my words this evening but im confident i wont be. Im predicting a comfortable win for us today. Safe travels everyone.

  20. Well done to the Mayo minors, a good score to put up. And I cannot agree with reamon about O’Connor’s hit on the Galway man. It ended up worse than it should have for Conroy, there was no intent to do the damage caused from what we can see on the video. Same goes for Sean Cavanagh getting an unwarranted red against Mayo last year. Sean’s arm landed on aos arm and bounced off and up the way. No red card, but such is life. Paddy Durcan was red or black carded against kerry in the semi replay , he had no part in the incident.
    Anyway reamon, diarmiad was red carded and Galway won so what else do you want?

  21. I’ve no real desire to argue the card again Reamon – Diarmuid was red carded and couldn’t really complain. I completely disagree in relation to intent – it may have been reckless but it wasn’t intentional.

    The comment in relation to Andy Moran is lazy. Mayo have Keegan coming back from an injury sustained to a deliberate bad challenge. The offender wasn’t sanctioned for it at all. If had been carded, well it’s been dealt with. No point looking for the death penalty.

  22. Also good article by kieran cunningham in the daily star today outlining his incredible scoring feats and trying to figure out why some people still question him as a marquee forward.

  23. I don’t think Diarmaid is a dirty player. His red in Salthill was for a 2nd yellow and in Castlebar it was instinctive as Conroy was charging at him at pace. Whether it was protective or a rush of blood is unclear but don’t think he set out to do ldamage and he showed remorse straight away. Maybe it deserved a longer ban.. was sitting beside some Galway players in a cafe the following evening and they were debating if it was deliberate or not with no consensus.
    I’d be happy enough with 1 game in his shoes and hopefully he learns from it and moves on.

  24. Ah lads we will agree to disagree as Im not going apeshite or anything about it. Looking ahead to today Im going to watch yer match against Tipp on the SKY and expect ye to win it. I see Monaghan look like getting into the hat for Monday. Enjoy the game.

  25. The Mayo bench not as strong as it should be when you compare it to Kerry or Dublin benches. Anyway the strong starting team should be more than good enough to beat Tipp by a bit to spare and warm weather like today will suit a conditioned team like Mayo more.

  26. Massive crowd in Thurles and a huge crowd in already in Semple Stadium! Love following this team. Lets roar them on. And the mighty Boyler making his 100th appearance. Also the big flag looks great on the terrace. Great standing ovation for Tom P.

  27. Mayo to win… leave the past and all the what it’s. Only Diarmuid knows if he meant it. But despite the loss of Tom P and the Harrison, Lee and Donie injuries we still have a formidable team. Thanks Mayo for making my heart beat stronger and with pride. You’re a super bunch of men and I’m very proud of you. Hup Mayo…all the way!!

  28. Class day, class ground! Fair play to the lads with the massive flag, looks deadly on the terrace!!

  29. Have been in Semple Stadium a no of times in the past, Tipp have the pitch well tightened up!!

  30. Absolutely shambolic stuff since the Tipp goal went in. Quinlivan all over Durcan and discipline issues AGAIN.

  31. Looking like a short summer I hope not but not much going right at moment.

  32. Aerial power of quinllvan very predictable but Durcan picking him up a complete mismatch. Bite the bullet and make change before we are punished further. We also miss durcans surges forward. Bench players need to step up to mark.

  33. I’m usually optimistic but from watching on TV we are in all sorts of trouble at this point. No big men left on the field and every time a Tipp kickout goes long they create a goal chance. Durcan is at sea on Quinlivan and Leeroy really struggling on Austin.
    Need to see more of Cillian and Andy in second half to have a chance.

  34. The obituaries for this team were half written for the morning papers. A stroke of luck plus superior fitness has got us out of jail. We live to fight another day. This team won’t go away.

  35. Well done to ye lads that looked a very tough match in warm conditions. Lady luck eventually gives Mayo a slice for the goal but the last 20 minutes were very impressive with Mayos fitness levels obviously at a high level. Rochford will be concerned about midfield cover with O’Shea also now out injured but into the hat ye go. Roll on Monday morning.

  36. Much better now but it all turned on a flukey goal! It amazing how sport works – Tipp just collapsed. No way were Mayo 8 points the better side, but when it mattered we stood up late on and delivered. James Durcan and Jason doc were superb second half, along with Diarmuid. Didn’t like the tactic of leaving Paddy Durcan man on man with Quinlivan. I know he did well in the second half but in truth Quinlivan could have scored a Hatrick of goals only for David Clarke. He really is an outstanding forward. Seamie will be a huge loss going forward, dislocated shoulder and according to Damien lawlor of sky he ended up going to south Tipp regional hospital to get it put back in. You’d assume his season is over which is cruel.

  37. Looking forward to Monday morning , the draw and booking tickets for knock….keep the faith everyone ?. Hope seamies injury not too serious……safe home everyone

  38. Flukey goal changed the game. A 6/10 performance. Scoreline flattered us.

    A soft draw please.

  39. Very disappointed as a Tipp man, we had a chance to go 4 points up and kicked it wide right in front of goal. 3 mind later Mayo get a fortunate goal and our goose was cooked. Think Mayo have a serious amount of improvement but they did it last year so have a chance.

  40. Delighted for Caff
    Some of the abuse he had taken here and elsewhere was over the top
    A great servant who is suited to some games and not others
    Can only imagine what would be said if he has been torn assunder today by Quinlivan ……

  41. McLoughlin keeping us in the hat with another outstanding industrious performance but we are far from a top table team. Big big improvement required…

  42. For anyone who thinks Mayo won’t fight .think again. Well done and best wishes to Seamie

  43. Well done Mayo came good In the end. We have loads of work to do but we are still alive. Seamus will be a huge loss I wish him a speedy recovery. Can see now why Durcan and Hanley are making the team
    Instead of Evan Regan

  44. Mayo will always be box office in qualifiers, never a dull game unfortunately:), j Durcan, Aidan and Doherty did well, gutted for seamei , we’ll keep the faith, long road ahead just the way we like it

  45. Summer extended thank god. Well done to Aidan softened a few up a lucky goal and class by Jason. Hope seamus recovers soon. Worried about spine of team.

  46. Fantastic bunch of lads. Well done again. James Durcan turned the game around. Thought Aiden had a great game. All over the place. On hols watching on sky and praying at half time like I never prayed before. Thank you God.
    Roll on Mon morn. If we could bottle that last 20 mins of play for other games we’ll be well on way to glory.

  47. That was a bit of a squeeky bum game. Didn’t look good for a long time. Our attitude was very good in 2nd half despite going 3 down. Some of our veterans had off days but the young guns & Jason & Kevin pulled us through. AOS won some big turnovers even when we were on the back foot. Keith, Lee and Boyler below their best but hot out there. Hope Cillian and Diarmaid knocks near the end don’t rule them out for the next day. Andy played well enough but no space afforded to him to shoot. The main criticism is turnovers most of which were our own making not by Tipp good defending despite them getting some good hits in. The Tipp defense was too packed to send in many of those passes. Hope the statisticians shed some light on unforced error turnovers. Ending on a positive our wide count was low.

  48. Will need a lot of luck this season. A soft draw next week is essential. Anyone who says otherwise is talking shite. No way this team can deal with 6 weeks of tough games. Vaughan needed more than even now too with such limited midfield options. Cork v kerry looks so exciting so far. Kerry look incredible up front and defending like a junior B team!

  49. Great fight back by mayo, fitness and experience really showed today, the loss of our 2 main midfield men is a huge loss, hopefully seamie can make a comeback this year, 1 game at a time and today shows we’re not dead in the water yet.

  50. DOC won that game for us me thinking he as found his position. Jason doc as well great game as well let’s see Monday. Mayo abu

  51. Luckily Mayos experience and 6 subs pulled them through but if Seamie is out for long, I can’t see where the muscle will come from and it will be over before we know it. I think Keegan to midfield is a bad move, he’s at his best when marking a top forward and heading up the pitch himself, not battling in midfield and being forward too often. Oh what I wouldn’t give to see Jason gibbons back in that panel.

  52. That midfield is very concerning going forward. Feel it could be very very thin if/when we come up against better teams.

  53. Always felt we would pull it out of the fire…even if the goal was lucky. Injuries mounting and bar the play in he first 5mims and after our goal, we were very poor.

    We looked punch drunk and a good team will knock us out eventually unless we improve. Any midfielder out there we can bring in?

  54. A win and we move on..But ..No Seamie and no Tom ..Feels like we are living on borrowed time if Im honest..Never needed a soft draw as much..

  55. A one point win was, at the end if the day, all that was required. We dug out a result in the second half as I always knew/expected we would. But why, oh why was Paddy Durcan left marking Quunlivan throughout the game, Tipperary goal included. Durcan offers so much going forward. Finding himself in an ad hoc full back situation against Quinlivan was never going to end well for us and thus the goal. David Clarke, maybe, when he decided to come, should have done so and made sure that somebody ended up in hospital. But, onwards and upwards.

  56. Hi Regina Dont worry these mighty men of Mayo will be there and will do it for Tom and Seamie Keep Positive

  57. This was never going to be an easy game. The second we were drawn against tipp, everyone knew it was going to be tricky. That is exactly what happened tipp have quality in Sweeney, Quinlivan, O Brien and Austin!
    There was no shame or surprise what occurred this evening, we still won by eight, flucky goal or not we turned the screw on them in the last 20.

    Obviously the big concern is O’Se out but that’s the big problem with the qualifiers, injuries! However, O’ Connor and the other O Se coped better in the second half with the tipp midfield better than when Seamie was on d pitch.

    Positives, we kept them to 4 points in d second half, Jimmy Durkan looks a good player and Loftus and Hanly do not hide when they come on the pitch.

    A soft draw, I’m not so sure, only Galway and Dublin have beaten us in champo on the last three seasons and by d minimum I might add(one point).

    Onwards and upwards, draw on Monday whoever gets us will be cursing themselves, because the fact is no one wants us.

    Yes, all d best Seamie but honestly did we suffer in the second half without him, factually no!

  58. Listened to the game on mid west and John maughan was full of praise for diarmuid at mid field, even saying he changed the game for us, regardless of the goal! Did it look like that in the flesh?

  59. Physically, we are severely depleted in midfield for the remainder of the championship. Athletically with Leeroy and Diarmuid, we are as good as anyone. In terms of power, we have an uphill task.

  60. Been saying it for ages, Diarmuid is a middle third machine. He’ll be midfield for Mayo for years BUT we are very light in thst sector now with Tom and Seamus gone. Where is Mattie Ruane??

    Loftus seems to have really fallen down the pecking order…

    Our full forward line never got going today. Why is Cillian drifting out field!?? Madness.

  61. Quite a few here writing our obituary at half time and early in the second half. Ye might have been better off roaring your support for a bunch of great warriors in Semple Stadium. Sure quite a number of them didn’t play well but they still hit 1 19. The injuries are crippling us and we could do with Leitrim or Clare /Offaly in next round (no offence to them). These guys are fantastic and the support in the stand was just brilliant. Fair play to all concerned.

  62. Half time comments were for the most part mabouf making obvious changes so that these great warriors would not be beaten. In particular the Durcan Quinlavan mismatch, whereby we sacrificed Durcans positive going forward role for man to man marker job, which he just didn’t have the eighth to compete and left isolated at times.
    What worries me is the lack of bench development. Bringing in subs with two mins or less to go shows that the management don’t believe they can do a job..big task ahead for us now because we are playing with regular core of players plus a bench that’s not firing..
    Easy draw on Monday please….

  63. With this scorching weather set to continue for another week at least, the GAA should insist that pitches are generously watered in the lead-up to next weekends matches. Health and safety should be a priority as the welfare of players are paramount. Players who take a heavy fall on the hard ground risk serious injuries, Seamie O’Shea is, unfortunately, one example.

    Some very late substitutions again yesterday, not sure what benefit it is to a mature player to be introduced at the 11hour when the job is done, a young guy I could understand. Danny Kirby is one example and I’d have to question what he brings to the table, his apparent lack of pace for summer football is a huge disadvantage, or am I missing something. Going forward substations will be critical and the players on the bench will be as important as those starting.

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