Game day: stay in the race


A week on from our last all-or-nothing qualifier challenge, here we are again facing into another one. Kildare come to town this evening and later on tonight we’ll either be looking forward to the prospect of Round 4B two weekends hence or else the 2017 FBD.

It’s another big challenge for us – whatever the match odds might say – and one that we’ll only come through if we’re firing a lot better than we did for large stretches against Fermanagh. Another performance like we put in over the course of the first half the last day and we’ll be in serious bother but a full seventy minutes resembling how we did after the break then would be closer to the mark required. Ever the optimist, it’s the latter rather than the former I’m expecting.

I’ve a long day ahead of me myself. I’m out the door in a few minutes heading for Westport and the 120km variant of the Westportif cycle. Then it’s a quick dash back here to get changed, refuelled and out the door back to Castlebar. A full day, a full evening and the right outcome all round – that’s the hope for today.

Best of luck to the lads this evening. Back with the usual nonsense afterwards.


50 thoughts on “Game day: stay in the race

  1. That’s some trip you have today WJ so I’d recommend a change of bike at some stage!! You re the man!
    And I’m out the door to to act as ‘sweeper’on the bog….to sweep some of the water offa the turf! It’s a great looking morning.
    Hup Mayo!

  2. Good luck with the cycle. With a team having a nice blend of age and experience, I’m cautiously optimistic for the second time this year

  3. Hope you get the weather for it WJ. And it holds for this evening. Hopefully you don’t have to run the last part of it like Froome the other day!

  4. All the best to the boys this evening. .hope aidan has the game of his life after last weekend and there are some happy mayo heads leaving mchale Pk tonight..Will have to follow the goings on via Twitter. .in Melide..Dorothy was right.there really is no place like home.?

  5. Good luck with your own endeavours Wj. And good luck to our boys this evening, looking forward to it now. And ditto re Aiden, I hope he has a stormer, might shut up a few asses around the place. UP MAYO

  6. You would want a far size carrier on the bike for the tae and hang sangwidges for that long journey.
    Enjoy your day wj.

  7. As has been noted here over the past few days, we were within touching distance of Fermanagh going into the latter stages of the second quarter, only for concentration to slip for a few minutes and bang, they were six points up going up into half-time. We’re at the stage now where we should be maintaining our consistency, keeping the scoreboard ticking over and settling into the games quickly. The business-end of the season has started earlier for us this year and it’s time we played like a team who will be competing strongly in the latter stages of the championship.

    If we can maintain the progression we showed in the last game’s second half we should be able to get past Kildare without running ourselves into the ground. We’ve got strength and depth all over field and plenty of experience to bring on when necessary.

    This team has showed us time and time again what they are made of… I hope there will be another good showing from the support to roar them on! Hon Mayo!

  8. I,ll keep an eye out for a man walking like John Wayne this evening w.j. . Time for the lads to #*#* or get of the pot this evening, personally I hope we do line out as selected but have my doubts. If we can improve another few % today with yet more changes in the team then surely we’re heading for our main objective of being ready to cut loose with 20/22 players at the business end of the championship. C,Mon Mayo.

  9. Best of luck Willie Joe today,and good luck to Mayo this evening,safe travel to all

  10. A bit nervous about this evening as I think there’s a bit of complacency and attitude about that “it’s only Kildare, sure we’ll beat them handy”!
    We haven’t seen much form from Mayo so far so I don’t know what to expect from them. Here’s hoping they improve from last week.
    Staying in the draw is the most important thing but it would be nice to see Mayo get into top gear for a while this evening too. Hon Mayo

  11. Best of luck WJ on the rothar, some outstanding views await you. Best of luck also to management, players and coaching/medical teams today. Ye all proved that there’s life in the auld dog yet, we never doubted it.
    On a purely selfish note, the ladies football club I’m involved with will be shaking a few buckets around MacHale Park in the hope that we fill them. Ye might throw in any loose change ye have? It’d be much appreciated. We’re the poor relation when it comes to funding so every cent helps 🙂
    Mayo by 5 in another improved performance.
    Hon Mayo.

  12. Another big challenge for us tonight. A repeat of the attitude that was there heading into the Galway game and we’re in for long autumn break. Play with the inconsistency shown in the Fermanagh game and, while we may sputter past Kildare, it will effectively signal our 2016 campaign nearing and inevitable sunset before August comes around. However, I don’t think either will happen tonight – this group of players are intent on getting their shit together and with the leaders of the coup also keen to ensure they don’t suffer a national media lynching (they’ll have witnessed enough of that between the Galway hurlers and the penalty incident last weekend), I think we will see this team show that they can get back to the standards they’ve set for themselves over the past few years. They won’t win an AI but they can show that they can still go toe to toe with the best teams in the land.

  13. Hard to believe we are starting Andy Moran. Donal Vaughan at Midfield! Still no shape to our team selection or play. You would have to wonder where we are going this year and certainly seemed to have taken a big step backwards from last year. Hard to understand really given the players got what they wanted in terms of Management change. Would have thought they would be out to proove a point yet to date they are lack luster at best and we are only still in the championship due to handy home draws

  14. What feels like a long wait is almost over! Now looking forward to Mayo taking another step to Croker.

    Interesting piece on a link between Mayo and Kildare in today’s Irish Examiner.

    The Lily-White’s midfielder Emmet Bolton talks about his Mayo roots – his father’s from Mayo – and he travelled with his father to Mayo games up to his mid-teens. His father has eight brothers, he explains, and “a couple of them played for Mayo, a couple of League games, and an uncle of mine Oliver would have played Masters’ with Mayo.”

    Emmet says when he was growing up Mayo “would definitely have been my second team. I would have watched the likes of Liam McHale, Ciaran McDonald, James Nallen, thee sort of guys.

    “Dad would still follow Mayo and I’ve an uncle who still goes to every single Mayo match but with me involved, he [my father] goes to the Kildare games and if there’s a clash he’ll be with us.”

    Am I correct in saying I think Emmet’s father is from Belmullet?

  15. Good Luck to the Mayo team this evening. Hopefully everyone will play to their full potential and we get the right result. We as fans love this time of year and thank you Mayo for giving us so much enjoyment.

  16. John McHale I played with an Ollie Bolton for Aghamore. Any relation to the Kildare midfielder?

  17. Time to make a statement but that statement might just be a 1 pt win in a good game!
    Really think Coen must start…think he is the future!

  18. Good luck to Mayo today. Nice and steady, no injuries, suspensions or shlobberring and a good team display. Mayo by a few…….

  19. Enjoy the spin WJ.
    Best of luck to our bucks today. I hope they will show the same fight that they did in the second half last week. I’m looking forward to seeing again how Keith does. I think we will see him winning a lot of ball around the middle area and bedding in to a more forward position from there. If he plays off two bigger men at midfield he will give much needed mobility and link the forward play and break the defensive line. I think this is where we will get the most out of him, one of our most important players.
    Kevin will continue to sweep and this is our best strategy as far as I can see. Really looking forward to this one. Continue to get out and support them with gusto folks.
    Come on Mayo!!!

  20. Mayo man in Tipp, yes Ollie would be Emmet Bolton’s uncle. You’re right, the Bolton family are from Aghamore and not Belmullet as I said.

  21. I see we are still experimenting with our team selection.

    Im saying that good to see Andy Moran start.

    In a sweeper system we need 2 inside forwards that are ball winners. Freeman for all his qualities as a finisher is not a ball winner.

    Based on that team I’ve changed my mind and think we can will this comfortably.

  22. Lads ye should know well by this stage not to be reading into team selections until the ball is actually thrown in

    I have a feeling we’ll win this one very comfortably, that said any win will do as the qualifiers can always be a bit of a minefield. Looking forward to it now

  23. I’ll be interested to see how our forwards line out because I don’t think that’s the team that will start.

    Against Fermanagh we took the sweeper from our half forward line which left an attacking half back free and we paid for it as he scored 3 points from play. Against Galway we took the sweeper from the full forward line which completely blunted our attack. it really is a fine balance and one we Havnt got right yet. But we get another bash at it today!

    Mhaigh eo Abu!

  24. JustOutsideBallagh I think you’re being fairly OTT to be honest! Firstly, there’s zero guarantee that’ll be the starting team- I mean when do we ever actually pick the named 15? Also, I wouldn’t exactly write this side off just yet, it’s incredibly premature to be saying we’ve taken a “big step” backwards from last year. We had pretty much the same issues up front and glaring holes in our backline in every match in the 2015 champ.

    We’ve played two Championship matches of note this year, one in which we had a severe off day, granted, yet we probably still should have won and perhaps would have won but for a horrendously conceded goal. I think it’s a bit disrespectful to Fermanagh to call them a “handy” home draw, they did make the last 8 of the Championship last year and gave Dublin as good as they got. They’re well organised and can kick scores from all over the field. I saw a stat on Twitter- I think MayoGaaBlog may have Retweeted it – which showed their scoring return in the first half last week which was insanely impressive. Pretty much north of 90+ of their scoring chances converted I think it was

    Not directed at JustOutsideBallagh, but I think so many Mayo fans got way too carried away in 2015 after- lets be honest- a harmless run to the semis. It was pretty fanciful at best to think we could beat that Dublin side with huge deficincies up front and gaping holes in our defence yet the hype went into absolute overdrive. On the other hand, people are very prematurely writing us off this year too I feel. Our real level in general, probably lies somewhere around the middle. I don’t really think we’ve gone back much at all, and certainly it’s too early to make any definitive statements on whether we have

    Our real peak level was probably 2012 and 2013 and I think we’ve taken a step backwards since

    Given the right draw, however, I still could see us making a final- though I think we’re quite a way off Dublin’s level and a step down from Kerry (who could both end up in the opposite half, draw depending). Wouldn’t mind a crack at the overrated Tyrone

  25. I think Tyrone have a great chance this year, I really do. From what I’ve seen of them so far, Peter Harte and Tiernan McCann look to be the two form players in the country. Running and supporting from deep and stretching the opposition is crucial to the modern game and no other two players do it better. They look to have the bit between their teeth this year.

  26. I’m afraid I agree with you Ciaran we are probably on a downward curve we were very poor in the league and I was worried at half time last week maybe we are nearing the end with this fine team but they deserve our support until the bitter end take every game as it comes and see how far we get

  27. The 2nd 35 minutes against Fermanagh really showed what we are capable of..A full 70 mins of that stuff and we could still beat any team in the country ,there’s life in the auld dog yet.

    Watching this one behind enemy lines in Kildare today, hopefully I’m the only happy man in the pub come half eight this evening.


  28. Yes, John Mc Hale, I believe Emmet is a nephew of Ollie of Aughamore and indeed Ollie Lyons is son of Des, Ballyhaunis and Kathleen , Lahardane.
    Both Ollie B and Des had the great pleasure of trying to teach me in Crossmolina , many years ago.

  29. Near certain boltons roots are not belmullet but brosna/ carracastle area just outside balagh.

  30. get the win today and no injuries and we should be very happy. I predict we will win

    Mayo 2 16
    kildare 1 14

  31. You would be thinking that this team is on its last legs given the performances of late and the age of some of them. There’s a lot of realism coming through the blogs concerning how long our journey will be this year. I’d like to think that we re a bit off our dying kick yet and even when that comes it can pack an awful powerful punch.
    Let’s cheer them on this eve like we never did before and keep a bit for the next step!
    Met G Caff today….knee all wrapped up. Won’t be seeing him till Nov at least! What kind of bits and pieces have they at all now a days? A grand lad.

  32. today“““tight,tight,tight at the back.
    quick winnable ball to our forwards & hope we take our chances

  33. Hopefully more of the same from second half last week
    Keep ticking along well under the radar

  34. Come on Mayo!!! Hoping for a big performance from the Oracle, Cillian O’Connor

  35. This back door run will be the making of Mayo once they avoid a landmine. Best result would be a heart attack finish of one point up after a physical belter. In the past Kerry won the All Ireland through the back door after scraping over the line against a few teams that you would have expected us to beat well. That’s the nature of the back door, every game is your last if you don’t win and that stark reality is is what makes lesser teams play out of their skin.

    Delighted Andy is starting as he has great experience and is like James O Donoghue in that he just goes straight for the oppositions goal when he wins possession which is something that is lacking in your forward line. I hope he has a good game while he is on, I can’t imagine he will finish the game so SR will probably tell him how much time he has so he can expend his energy and efforts in a measured timeframe.

    O Neill hasn’t exactly knocked the lights out as manager thus far in my opinion. Personally I felt he had far too much input in the Kerry set up while he was here with us, he was after all meant to manage the physical conditioning of the team but it is my understanding that he wanted a say as a selector. He looked to have far too much of Fitzmaurice’s ear and I think he influenced the decision to delay the introduction of Donaghy in last years final when it was quiet cleat to all present that the conditions demanded his presence in the square. I hope he continues to err today and I hope Mayo get over the line in this one. Aiden had better be careful as the cross hairs will be on him big time,, anyway good luck and safe driving.

  36. I can’t remember many Saturday evening games going well for us?

    Really looking forward to this one though, and plenty of noise!

  37. Looking forward to game. Looking for the performance we had the second half against half against Fermanagh. We must show some improvement and I think the lads will deliver this evening. I’d like to see the intensity we brought in the second half of Fermanagh game and to use the space and not bringing balls into tackles.
    Hon Mayo !!

  38. Cork in bother against Longford 4 down at half time. Anyone still complacent about Kildare?

  39. If Rochford really wants to out fox O’Neill he should start with the team selected in the positions selected. O’Neill will be planning for KMc at sweeper and Keith inan advanced position.

  40. No Loftus or Barrett in the subs. I suppose it’s unreasonable to expect them to be even close to fit yet.

  41. Much much better performance in that first half. Bit of a lull in the middle period and not gaining the foothold we should be in midfield, but for the most part vastly improved intensity levels and decision making

    Keep this up in the second half and things starting to look very positive again

    Miles better than anything we’ve shown in champ to date

  42. Moran was a constant thorn in their side and created great space for the other two tormentors,, WOW, that was some first half and it created a glimpse of the real Mayo. A deserved coroner of the triangle of power, brilliant despite the natural slackening in the second half but that drop in intensity will cost ye in Croker.
    Delighted for ye well done !!

  43. Meant to say midfield in the second half was not up to the required standard,, Dowling gave an exhibition for Kildare so hats off to him, bigger texts await ,,

  44. We did enough to win and played in fits and starts. Kildare were quite poor apart from their midfield dominance, worrying for us.

    Lots to improve on. Lots.

    Diarmuid, different gravy! We need Cillian back in form.

    We really struggled to get the ball into players in scoring positions.

  45. Well done to team and management,we are in the for the next day,so another day to look forward to

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