Game day – the summer starts here

It may only be Easter Sunday but, for the purposes of our inter-county season, today marks the start of the summer action. This afternoon at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park we’re up against Roscommon in the Connacht SFC quarter-final, a match that throws in at 4pm and for which Cavan’s Noel Mooney is the ref. It’s being shown live on RTÉ2.

We come into today’s Championship opener as the newly crowned National League winners following a campaign in which we were the most consistent performers in Division One. It was a spring campaign we capped off in a very satisfying way at Croke Park a week ago, when, in what as an understated but controlled display, we got the better of Galway to claim our 13th League title.

But the League is now over now and, like everyone else, we’re starting off on our Championship journey, facing into a radically-changed format for the competition. Old certainties about how best to approach the summer campaign have to be re-evaluated this year – for example, is the front door really the optimum route now? – as every team grapples with what is, for the lot of us, a leap into the unknown.

Roscommon are in the same boat as us in that respect but, aside from that, we come into today’s game from different places. We’re the strong favourites to prevail today, they’re the underdogs and, as Colm Boyle pointed out on the Mayo Football Podcast ‘Here Comes the Weekend’ show, this game is effectively a free hit for them, as it’s a game we’re expected to win.

They’ll come to Castlebar buoyed by their strong showing in Division One this year. There’s nothing shabby about securing third place on eight points in what was, once again, a dog-eat-dog top tier League season.

The fact that Roscommon lost three games in a row, having first secured their Division One status by winning their opening three matches, is probably of slight concern to them. They did, however, finish the League strongly by walloping doomed Donegal in their Round 7 meeting a few weeks back.

They’ll also take heart from the record they hold of beating us in Connacht the last three times – in 1970, 2001 and 2019 – we won the League. They’d dearly love to add 2023 to that list.

Davy Burke has got a good tune out of the Rossies this spring. Ending their yo-yo shifting between the top two divisions was a significant achievement and the confidence they’ll have got from their success in holding their own in Division One isn’t to be underestimated.

Castlebar won’t hold any horrors for them either, for the simple fact that they beat us the most recent time we played them there in the Championship. Our team for today, however, contains just four survivors – Paddy Durcan (who captains the team this afternoon), Matthew Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor and Aidan O’Shea – from that match in late May 2019.

A more relevant former meeting is, however, the Division One match we played them in just over a month ago at Dr Hyde Park. That was one we could have won far more comfortably than we eventually did but credit for our inability to do so must go to our opponents who hit us for two second half goals that kept the outcome of the game in the mix right to the finish.

We didn’t show our full hand that day. Roscommon’s defence have yet to deal with Ryan O’Donoghue and Aidan O’Shea operating in tandem from the off and, assuming both Tommy Conroy and Cillian O’Connor are sprung from the bench at some point, we’ll also have a variety of options to hit them and hit them hard.

It’s their forward line that’s been spoken of more highly coming into this game. While this is undoubtedly a talented unit, our attack was ultimately more productive during the spring and, with the all-time top scorer in the Championship held in reserve, there’s every hope that our attack will demonstrate its mettle today.

Elsewhere, we look stronger than they do, both at the back and around the middle. Shorn as they are of the services of the injured midfielder Tadhg O’Rourke, we look to have a clear advantage on them in and around the engine room.

This all points to a likely win for us today and you’d have to think that this is a game we should be capable of winning. Roscommon have, though, the ability to make it tough for us and the wet weather that’s expected later on is sure to be welcomed more by them than it will by us.

There’s every chance, in fact, that we won’t get to witness a full-throated Championship tussle today. Regardless of whichever team comes out on top, we ‘re both headed for the same destination afterwards and it’s there that the real Championship questions will start to be addressed this year.

Whatever kind of match today’s one is, it’s still – for good or ill – our first outing in this year’s Championship. Call me old-fashioned but my first instinct would be that we have to go for the win today with everything at our disposal. If that is, indeed, our attitude, then I’d be confident of our securing a win to start our summer campaign. Even if it still is only Easter Sunday.

Right, time to sort a few things up here before hitting the road west. Time too to get this Championship campaign on the road. Let’s get to it. Up Mayo.

185 thoughts on “Game day – the summer starts here

  1. Does not look like Summer in Mayo this morning. Conditions will have a big impact today!

  2. I do think Mayo teams operate well when confident so I do think it’s important they get a win today. That said, it is clear that the real championship starts in the last 16 groups. It’d be good to get a good seeding in that too. Might make it more manageable. A Wet day will be a good test for our full back line. Roscommon are a good team and have strong forwards but I agree with Willie Joe, it’s around the engine room we look to have the edge.
    I felt for Andy last night. As good a manager and coach as I’m sure he is, it really does come down to your players and the level they’re at. Think he found out last night what Leitrim’s real level is. That NY team didn’t have any preparation matches in advance yet still found a way to win. Not great from Leitrim.
    Anyway, here’s hoping we see a decent performance and get the win today. Particularly hopeful some of the young bucks, the likes of Coyne, McBrien, Carney and McDonagh and Carr (not that young, I know) maintain their league form and play well. We know what the rest can do.

  3. The weather conditions will likely play a big part today. Whoever prepares better for them has one advantage regardless of personnel on the pitch. Being a home pitch and given how meticulous McStay seems to be, I think we will be prepared for the rain and any accompanying 30”40kph wind. Even the toss has significance. Assuming the wind is tricky play into it and fight like hell to stay close for 35 as it will be more open to easy scores in the 2nd. A 4 point deficit for the team playing into the wind in the 1st half is a good return. If we have the wind will need to blitz them.

  4. We remember the summer championships of our childhood as hot sunny days, when we wore crepe paper hats and were struggling to eat the ice cream before it melted into liquid. A bit different today. Wet and windy, still with the cool feel of Spring.
    But it’s still championship. The Rossies are coming and the road to Croker beckons. As New York showed last night, and as the Rossies showed the last few times we won the league, shocks can happen. However, I sense that Mayo is a different beast this year and that this will be our day.
    Safe travels to all.
    Up Mayo

  5. There is another heavy band of rain on its way which will make the pitch dhe pitch surface very slippery. I think we have enough in the tank to take the Rossies. Good luck to all.

  6. Best of luck to Mayo today. It will be a day for getting down and dirty. We have plenty of grafters who will come into their own today and see us home with a few to spare.

  7. Definitely a day for ducks here in Cbar.
    Terrible conditions for a game.
    Mayo by 3.
    Please God no injuries..

  8. Good luck guys this will be a tough test and it will really tell us where we are atm. I do think it will be mayos day though even if I do sound biased ha.

    Mcstay and Co are well aware that the Rossies can bring us back down to earth and they won’t want a repeat of a 2019 episode !

    Mcstay will be determined to first championship game under his new management and against the Rossies they will be determined to win this . Shocks can happen as others have said as we saw with new York and fair play to New York!

    Home advantage mayo by 5 or travels to all and here’s to a good game hopefully!

  9. Mayo more than capable to win this, but still have to approach this as with hunger and professional attitude. This not as easy as you think, have come down of a high, to build themselves back up, to start again

  10. Yeah Louis….i remember those days too.This doesnt feel right but i suppose I am just old

  11. Three Championship debutants in the fullback line, plus the goalie and also a man new to centre back in this competition at this level.

    While all have had good National League campaigns and are probably the best form players right now in those positions, the lack of experience worries me greatly against the Rossies in the Championship.

    They have very good forwards, and threats coming from the back with the Daly brothers and Stack.

    Our defensive system, which wasn’t as good as their stats-wise in the League, could (likely will) be tested.

    We need to start well and remember that in the League, Roscommon finished games (home and away) very well with the introduction of likes of Smith and Hughes from the bench.

    Finally, I wouldn’t have much of a liking for these two or what they have to say but I agree with these two comments.

    Philly McMahon wrote yesterday’s Irish Independent: “We do not know yet if Mayo have the stuff.

    Joe Brolly writes in today’s Sunday Indo: “If I were them, I would go down to the Moy and fire those nice new medals in the river. Then get ready for war.”

  12. I doubt anyone thinks this will be easy .Roscommon are now an established division one team and the weather conditions will make it into more of a lottery.god knows what weather conditions await the winners in salthill .an horrendous venue at the best of times.I seem to recall a championship game between Galway and Sligo being called off due to the conditions in June .to my knowledge the only time that’s ever happened.I remember the 1986 match between ourselves and the rossies when we were rightly ambushed on a hot day in castlebar.Liam McHales championship debut I think.I suppose the older generation will always associate championship football with the long summer days .I don’t believe the current format enhances the competition in any way .anyway good luck to our lads today

  13. All the best to the supporters who travel today take care on the roads,hopefully it will be a great game with no injuries to either team I am confident that this Mayo team is different not content to be second best,with a management team who are used to winning all Irelands,thank you again Willie Joe for the wonderful blog

  14. @Cloud9 I can’t stand either phily or brolly as I Said yesterday haha they never had any love for mayo at all same for o rourke .

    Don’t agree with the comment of firing the medals into the river yes it was only the league but the league is important now as it links to sam so it was well deserved and any county would have loved to have a won the division 1 title and the medals. Have no time for brolly what’s so ever !

    Championship is different and it’s where it starts and hopefully we will shut up all the negative articles such as Phyllis and brolly but they will always have negative stuff to say about mayo football I think ha!

    Anyway best of luck guys not the end of the world if we do loose but mayo by 5 or so ! And a happy Easter to willie joe and everyone on the blog hope it’s a even happier one come 6 o clock or so haha !

  15. If we get the wind in the first half, take it and use aido. We seem to not take it when we get the chance. The day that’s in it, save the legs a bit and use the wind. I’m not on about lumping it but we have good accurate passers so let’s use them.
    Discipline will be important today. I think Rossies will be in our faces early. Keep it calm, no silly cards..

    Lots of focus will be on aido. I have a feeling JC could click today….

  16. Heard there’s a storm coming in start of next week this weather is probably the beginning eek !

  17. @clare & @mattd – I agree with you both. Just trying to lower the expectations and nail it that the League is in the past and the Championship is starting from scratch.

  18. Mayo are more than capable of winning this match today.
    Management will know Roscommon are gunning for us and will have prepared the players for a dog fight. The weather conditions will be tricky Today. I would have a fit Kevin Mc Loughlin named as a half forward but playing as a sweeper in front of the full backs if he had been fit just think his experience would have been vital. Very worrying how often Galway got in for 4 goal chances last week cutting us open only for a couple of stunning Reape stops Galway would be champions.Hoping both Management and players have a plan to protect our soft middle. We will need one Today especially with a wet. Slippery ball. It’s definitely a day to use good direct ball into O Shea and Carr. I’m thinking Aidan could make the difference Today. Ryan playing well in the forwards need more from Mc Donagh and Mattie needs to stamp his authority in Midfield. So a big Test Today. Mayo will win it. A 1point win with no injuries would be fantastic.
    Safe travelling to All.
    Go neirigh an Tadh le Mhuigheo.

  19. Difficult to predict what kind of game we’ll see today as both teams are through to the last 16. Some improvements on last week would be welcome, I’d like to see fewer cheap dispossessions and more composure on hand and kick passing. It’s going to be even wetter this afternoon so fingers crossed there are no injuries. Good luck to our lads today, they’ve done us proud so far.
    Great to see a Mayo team playing inter County camogie, they lost to Tyrone but they ran them very close. Also, well done to the u17 hurlers, Kildare are a level above us in senior hurling so it’s very encouraging to see our youngsters beating them.

  20. Looking forward to the game – we’ll be going all out for sure.
    Easter dinner cooking times all tied to throw in time ?

  21. Unsure what to think today.Confident yesterday of a 4 or 5 point win but a lot of talk around last night of 3 or 4 of the named team out through injury.Time will tell!!

  22. Will be leaving shortly for Castlebar, while I know that it will not be a disaster if we lose, as we are getting closer to the game time the more I want to win today. Should have enough but will only know by about 6 this evening.

  23. Outnumbered 100 to 1 down the town here ,hope it’s just the early train effect from Dublin via ros and castlrea.

  24. Didn’t think we showed our hand in the league with them so Mayo to be singing in the rain here ! Mayo by 8 plus !

  25. I’d be hoping Mayo by 4.. hopefully team as selected starts but who knows except the inner camp.. I do think Roscommon are good, just I don’t see them in the same light as Galway, Kerry, Dublin..
    Brolly is a sad man saying that about the medals.. less than 1% of GAA players become county players.. way less again actually win anything.. and he says that.. he’s one of these guys who just can’t let the limelight go.

  26. D day in April! And the rain pissing down not exactly a championship day vibe about. Pound for pound we have the more natural scoring forwards and I am sure mgt have noticed weakness in the Mayo defence ie through the centre back line. If e smith was played here we could make hay (pardon the pun) what ever happens I know we will show great fighting spirit #rossieabu

  27. Im headin down to the moy to throw brolly in the river then get ready for the rossies lol

    The confidence in the camp will be extremely high. Mayo will have too much for the rossies

  28. Mayo by 7 or 8 today. There’s a huge gulf in ability between the two squads. Only going to be one outcome. Some great performances on the New York team last night. Good coverage and commentary too.

  29. Weather will be a massive leveller. Major banana skin today. McStay will know how absolutely determined and intent the Rossies will be – I just hope he has been able to get that forewarning through to the players. Fall over the line with no injuries would be a massive achievement after an exhausting and draining week for the entire squad.

  30. The real stuff starts today, the shadow boxing is over. This could be a hard watch considering the conditions. Lets keep our early season momentum going. A one point win will do me. Losing is just not an option.

  31. I heard a story recently of a man looking for directions in knockmore .brolly arrived out of a house in his wellingtons and said he know any of the neighbours.the bould joe has one all Ireland medal no doubt a great achievement but the man talks as if he was the greatest footballer of all time and the most lethal goal scorer ever to haves laced up a pair of boots.i wonder when he is out and about in knockmore and ballina does he spew this absolute nonsence.meant to say didn’t know any of the neighbours

  32. Terrible conditions for good football today, the weather will suit the Rossies better than us, if we conceed more than one goal and I think they will get three in them conditions, then its Mayo out of the Connaught championship.

  33. The Maroon Rover – I wouldn’t describe today as the real stuff. Although it would still be a sickener to lose!

    Would really burst our bubble after such a great day last weekend.

  34. Good luck to the management and the team. Let’s hope for a good game and above all no injuries.

    Hon Mayo.

  35. Good luck everyone. It’s great to be seeing our team on the field again.
    My view is – let’s take this game bit by bit, do what we have to and get the win. I’m a wee bit allergic to being too sure of victory beforehand. It’s in our power if we want it.
    Go n’éirí linn! Mayo by 3.

  36. Wind is picking since morning too so conditions will definitely be tricky. Team that deals best with it I suppose, will prevail.

  37. Joe isn’t the worst…he wants Mayo to do well but has put the team on notice that league medals count for nothing when the ball is thrown in.
    I hope if things go wrong we don’t start accusing the team of the overconfidence stuff because we beat galway last week.

  38. @joe2.i don’t agree we have the more natural scoring forwards as roscommon have a lot of accurate forwards though I do think we have a better team overall. Good luck to all involved.

  39. It’s 26 degrees here in Alvor Portugal, and I’ve found a nice local pub who will show the match AND turn the volume up. 2Euro for a large beer as well and a pool table to keep the kids happy.

    Being shown in the Irish pubs but with no volume as the Premiership takes precedence.

    Mayo by 3, think there will be a few goals in it for both sides. Hopefully a tough but fair game with no injuries.

  40. Eoghan McLaughlin and Tommy Conroy start instead of David McBrien and James Carr. Ruairí Keane and Aiden Orme added to the bench.

  41. Mcbrien is a big loss. James Carr as well. Hopefully neither seriously injured.

  42. Obviously McBrien and James carr are injured. Not great news and Weakens our bench

  43. Changes as predicted, the cramp story last week didn’t add up.

    1985, Brolly is actually excellent around this neck of the woods, great with the kids and helping out with fundraisers etc. Bes in the local and is very sociable in the area and is always great craic. I’d take that story with a pinch of salt or maybe even a wee porkie?

    Interesting analysis on RTE in lead up to game.

  44. With Clare beating Cork, Westmeath, Clare and either Sligo or New York will now be guaranteed to be in group stages.

    Todays result becoming less relevant, we should still win by 5+ IMO

  45. Agree McBrien is a loss, but am I the only one a bit happy to see Tommy and Eoghan start a full throated championship game today? With the number of games to come over the summer, being able to mix and match to accommodate changes will be vital.

  46. Best of luck today and for the remainder of the championship with one exception of course. Roscommon will be up for this game and they could have a slight advantage with the extra prep time but last weeks final should give Mayo a positive bounce once they tighten up in the back and snuff out goal chances.

  47. Serious lack of patience and composure being shown at the moment.

  48. Naive naive naive. Roscommon far cuter in the conditions. Few snowflakes on our team not up for the battle

  49. Very hard to see how we can this game from here.nothing happening anywhere on the pitch.a simple hand pass over the top opens us up again

  50. It’s like our forwards spent the week practicing the press and forgot we have to score.
    Roscommon probably had 6 attacks there and deserve to lead.
    The changes didn’t help and I’m not sure where mayo heads are at but that’s awful stuff..

    A rest might be no harm…

  51. Dire stuff.. be a serious come back to pull this one out of the fire.. disappointed with key players showing impatience

  52. Roscommon to win easy, worst football from Mayo I’ve seen in a long time, defence is pathetic, midfield non existent, against the wind second half, it’s game over, Roscommon to win by 10 or 12 points

  53. The funny thing is Tommy Conroy could
    Make hay in the second half when I expect Roscommon won’t sit as deep having the wind on their backs

  54. A break of 4 weeks might do us good. The Rossies have their homework done and making the best of terrible conditions.

  55. I’m finding this game very fascinating. Excellent discipline from Ross. From the body language of McStay before the game, I feel Mayo are happy to get their six week break. Good refereeing throughout the first half. However, we could do with Cawley reffing at the shake up of the championship.

  56. Midfield getting beat. Forwards doing nothing. Getting opened again. Not like Roscommon are doing anything particularly special but we are just playing very naive.

  57. Time for a bit of mayhem! Probably have booked a week in the sun and want the 5 week break.

  58. glad i didn’t travel 170 miles to see that rubbish. As you say Willie Joe , we need Cillian in the pitch and a bit of calm and less of bad temper. We can still do it!

  59. Ya roscommon will more than likely kick on here, hitting us hard passing the ball well off the shoulder mayo couldn’t be anymore opposite.

  60. Are we playing a sweeper with a gale behind us?

    Result isn’t important with the championship set up, our defensive structure however….

  61. The second goal would have been a killer if it came a bit earlier. We had recovered well from the first goal and were beginning to dominate until that one went in. We were wobbling after that and the Rossies had their tails up. Half time came at a good time to get them back into the dressing room for a reset.

  62. Conroy will have even less space in second half .Roscommon just to sit back now and tack on a few points

  63. Mayo are in a tight spot now as they will have to be more adventurous in the second half and with that wind they could be vulnerable to the long ball as they commit to attack. I don’t like what Roscommon are doing but they are playing the conditions smartly, not sure who won the toss up but in those conditions it was smart to play against the wind in the first half as the game will loosen up in the second half and the wind could be the ace up the sleeve. Hope Mayo win this one with the tactics Ross have deployed

  64. A few things notable from a wise Mayo88,

    McStay looked under serious pressure before the game started, the first time I saw it this year.

    No attacking penetration yet.

    I was worried when McBrien didn’t start

    Mayo can still win but there needs to be many changes, positional also.

  65. Can’t defend our goal as per usual. The common theme of the last 20 years

  66. Awful, terrible, dire, woeful. Difference between League and Championship. We need to wake up, get stuck in and take the game to them in the second half.

  67. No need for major panic today, we will come back into it in second half l. We could still sneak it.

  68. Need to move nr 6 further up the pitch and bring on a defender right now.
    2 forwards needed also

  69. Can’t agree Thatteamwontstart The free count is overly biased in Roscommons favour

  70. Roscommon fully deserve their victory we blew loads of chances we need a break for a few weeks to give our injuries time to heal its not the end of the world

  71. As people pointed out all through the league, teams will run through us, and bang in the goals and goodnight Irene

  72. Desperation from our lads. Loads of opportunities to kick points but instead going for goals. No harm in losing. They need a Holiday after there exertions in the League.

  73. It’s clear to me that having the Keague final 7 days before a championship game was utterly scandalous and very unfair. Croke Oark should hang their heads in shame. Congrats to Roscommon. Deserving winners today

  74. John 51
    Shorter run and we’ll still go further than Roscommon.
    I will not comment on the referee today.
    We all saw what he was like.

  75. Don’t blame the ref, don’t start hurling abuse at our players. Take a few deep breaths and realise its a week since we won the league and we are still in the group stages. The same people saying we’d win handy will be the first throwing stones.
    It’s shit losing but it wasn’t there today. That’s okay.
    A rest might be no harm. Let the focus be on Galway and Ross now.

  76. The league jinx continues for mayo!

    Full credit to Roscommon, their workrate was heroic. Some glorious scores, while mayo – except for cillian – are afraid to shoot in front of the goal from 30 yards

    Great value for their win. Galway won’t get anything soft in the Hyde

    Break won’t do mayo harm, but there’s no prospects of an all ireland with such a limited attack. Bet up a stick in midfield and a guy completely out of position at 6.

  77. Will people finally accept that league is f#cking irrelevant and quit mistaking reality for negativity!??

    We were beaten fair and square even if the ref was comical.

    A lot of soul searching required. Few of our lads, if any, played anywhere near what one might describe as ‘good’.

  78. Well done to the Rossies.

    We were a bit below par all over the pitch. Maybe no energy from last week.

    Cannot put up that kind of score and expect to win.

  79. Our time has come – we will see ye later in the summer, if ye get there.

    The Rossies brought some intensity, they will have a say in this championship, fair play to them. Thought referee did a good job today, no soft frees either side.

  80. Roscommon won their All-ireland there again today.

    Conditions played into their hands. Brutal their tactics of going down at every opportunity to stop the game. How much time was the ball actually in play for the second half?

    And you also have to question the referee. Thought he gave them every 50 50 going at crucial times. You’d have to laugh at the two hop balls he penalised Aido for near the end.

    No harm to give the lads a rest for a few weeks. We’d have absolutely nothing to gain from beating Galway again in two weeks time. Let them heal up and focus on getting things right for the Group stage.

  81. The ref was abysmal but forwards incapable of shooting from 25 yards and running into tackles in search of frees they were never going to get isn’t anyone’s fault but our own. The game management was horrendous, complete lack of composure. Trying to walk goals in when if we’d just taken our points, we would have been right in it and might have even knicked it.

  82. Very poor display and extraordinarily naive.not much point pushing up on the ros kickout if your midfielders can’t win the ball .smith allowed clear run for numerous catches.alot of energy was put into last Sunday and none of our big players got going today but yet again conceding goals that were totally avoidable have been our undoing

  83. No Midfield, Mattie not up to it unfortunately and hasn’t been for a long time, roscommon dominated that crucial area. Fair play to them

  84. No complaints. The best team won. But christ it can be frustrating following mayo. They let you down like a ton of bricks when you least expect it. The man of the match poll should be interesting today because very few players stood up for the cause today.

  85. Tactically nieve from us and tactically astute from Roscommon.. they played the conditions so much better than us. We also have problems around midfield.. Mattie and Jordan both taken off which is a worry

  86. Our time has come ,

    Did you watch the game ! , we were like headless chickens out there , especially in the first half when we had the wind at our backs , Roscommon usually win games by kicking from distance yet they cut through our midfield like a hot knife through butter to score two goals and were value for far more than their winning margin

  87. Well done Roscommon. Better team won. Their defence was very tight but Mayo didn’t really trouble them.
    The next game will be interesting. We’ll see where Mayo are really at.
    Maigheo abu

  88. Congratulations to Roscommon..they came with a plan to win the game executed it and it worked. Management and tactics no better than last year. Some very poor substitutions…and no plan B..or even plan A !

  89. As a somewhat neutral that was exciting.
    Enda Smith best player on the pitch.
    Diarmuid O’Connor never gave up, some engine.
    I won’t be putting my house on Galway.
    50/50 game

  90. No question we were completely flat following the league final last week.
    One has to question the wisdom of the GAA bosses who allowed championship to commence a week after a league final.
    For now mayo have to suck it up and life themselves for whatever is coming down the tracks…

  91. I mentioned before match, we need to get down from high of last week. We didn’t, we lost, can’t blame ref. But might be a blessing in long run. 6 weeks block of training, get heads right, and go again

  92. Out thought on line? fair play to Davy Burke, seems like a likeable character.
    Playing sweeper with a gale and pressing up on kick outs when being beat in the middle.
    Roscommon very deserving winners, fair play to them.

    No need for major panic, only need to win/draw one of our next 3 games to progress. Plenty time to put house in order. But we seem very slow to change things.
    Style of play when pressure comes on is no different to past years.
    League final and psychologically getting up for it a factor.

    We’ll go again.

  93. Same story as last year but this year we have less injuries,much more depth,a league title and not having lost a massive game in croker.Small setback but not massive.The break will be good because these lads need a rest,in reality if we had won we probably would have gone on to lose to Galway in Salthill or Tuam so better to get the loss now and have so much and so long to improve.Cillian should of come on earlier and refs decisions were questionable at times especially the black card situation and two hop balls that Aido won but was somehow roscommon free on both occasions!

    This loss doesn’t feel as big as Galway last year.

  94. Great play from Roscommon, tactically they were miles ahead of Mayo, their dogged defence was spectacular & their scoring was unbelievable, well done Roscommon.
    Mayo football today was bad bad.

  95. For the people that held the love in for Galway for last years AI final… Keep an eye on the comments coming in…

  96. @Joe2 no time for that ! Best team won roscommon had a 2 week break from games where we have been playing games nearly every week.

    Not the end of the world weather played a big part in it to .

  97. Disappointed. Big picture maybe not a bad thing.
    No harm not to be going to salthill. At least not yet anyway

  98. If a foul is committed then it’s a free.some people call them soft frees for some reason.we have no complaints today on either score .we just weren’t at the pace of the game right from the start.crazy to see our players running directly into 4 or 5 Roscommon players.a few on here will have their day gloating and good luck to them .it doesn’t take away our league title.Roscommon were hungry today and they will cause Galway problems

  99. @John51 bit immature there.

    can see all the Galway comments in now for sure ha @moose79 I might go into hibernation haha not the end of the world we have time to recover in 6 weeks we will come back stronger and fighting .

    Best team won no question.

  100. Agreed Moose79 a lot of dirty digs coming in from the tribesmen, you’d think we’d been knocked out of the championship and they were going for 5 in a row.
    News just in padraig Joyce is whinging again that the Connacht semi final will now be in the Hyde rather than Pearse stadium. How could the GAA bring such an injustice on his football purists?

  101. Roscommon had the perfect anti-Mayo game plan. Mayo were not mentally prepared for this one. The break will do them good.

  102. Our defence has several rookies and was always a concern, for me, going into today. However the real worry for me now is our midfield and half forwards. Ruane, Flynn and Carney no influence. Diarmuid was the only one who played well.

  103. @john51…sure we are both happy so John..absolutely great beating Galway and the crybaby PJ in Croker last week….seeing them lose another final while we pick up some silverware…in the whole scheme of things today doesn’t really matter.

  104. Nobody likes losing- but this maybe a blessing in disguise.
    Gives players five weeks to regroup
    Gives managers and coaches a moment to gather their thoughts
    We are in the group stages anyway

    The goal is winning Sam not the provincial championship that is on the verge of being deemed meaningless anyway

    If we can win by losing , today is the perfect illustration of this strange phrase

  105. I freaked last week and Willie Joe banned me I think and ye can freak today but calm down. It looked shite conditions ball scuttering all over the place a battle which Rossies always relish and well done to them. I still think we will beat Roscommon in the semi but hang on its not over. Mayo will still be in last groups as we will if we win or lose to Roscommon. As for refs im not sure was is or isnt a foul anymore it appears to depend on whos reffing it. As my old friend from Mayo said to me last week”isnt it great to see football in the West riding high” food for thought as the Kerry and Dub lads look on. Enjoy the 6 weeks maybe a long break but McStay is no fool and will manage it. Happy Easter Eggs.

  106. Best team on day won, rossies more hungry for win Again goals conceeded and failing to go for scores up fron still think we will go further in Championship than the rossies.

  107. Ah lads. For anyone saying that the weather played a big part. Have a look In the mirror. We were completely outplayed today. What would a Dublin team at the peak of their powers done to that roscommon team today. Very poor showing today.

  108. small margins….we had 2 goal chance first 10 mins did not take them…Rossies then score 2 goals that’s the difference….

  109. Yep. Ruane hasn’t influenced a game in over a year. It’s a problem.

  110. Just can’t make space in castlebar. The space isn’t there when you pack two teams into the one half. Very negative from Roscommon breaking up any chance of continuity in the play made it a terrible game to watch.
    Mayo will benefit from break. Back to the drawing board for sure. Major look at how we are defending. Diarmuid O Connor suberb as always, collosal, leaves nothing behind
    We have the break we need. …

  111. I’m very relaxed John51, Whenever I get stressed I just remember the time Shane Walsh started a scrap with padraig o’hora and the pretty boy got thrown on his arse. That calms me right down. Nice footballers in Galway

  112. Thought we were a bit fortunate against Galway last week between them missing goal chances and some handy frees. Those frees predictably weren’t given today and Roscommon took their goal chances. Worryingly when teams don’t allow games to turn into transition fests going up and down the field we still look a bit clueless. On the plus side plenty time to take stock now.

  113. Cannot believe the amount of fans commentating on here who think that losing today was a blessing in disguise , there is nothing that boosts confidence like winning week in week out . Now i know the ref had a poor game ( not as poor as us) but the game was well and truly lost before he gave several poor decisions against Aidan late on .

    Several times during the game Roscommon committed big numbers on a Mayo player in possession , including 7 or 8 on O’Shea on one occasion which meant we had vast numbers in open space yet we never looked like taking advantage , Roscommon on the other hand took advantage of our wide open midfield to score two cracking goals.

    We did create two goal scoring chances early on , but from there on in we never looked like giving the Roscommon keeper anything to worry about .

  114. I’d never usually go after the ref, but christ to night he was atrocious. Roscommon were still the better team and we were second best everywhere in the pitch, just very frustrating at some of the calls. No harm not having to meet Galway again so soon, and the boys could do with a break. Never easy losing to the Rossies though.

  115. Best team won by country mile. A very poor performance from our team. Diarmuid was immense as usual! Most of the team innocuous! How we missed Kevin Mc Loughlin today!
    Maybe the break will do good time will tell!
    Not overly optimistic after today!
    Comhghairdeas to the Rossies team and management!

  116. I am all on for taking the positives out of a bad situation.

    I have to admit I’m not up to speed re the layout of the All Ireland Series.

    Is it 4 groups of 4 teams, the Provincial winner as seed nr 1, the Provincial losers as seed nr 3, what incentive is there for the Div 1 League winner, ie, seed 3 ?

  117. Blaming the ref as usual won’t cut it lads.
    No excuses for that result and performance. Abysmal stuff all round.

    I’d struggle to nominate 3 names in the motm poll.
    The most disappointing thing of all was the lack of cuteness and game smarts, rossies played far the smarter game

  118. I think we were just flat out from all the games and tbh maybe the 6 weeks break will do us good.

    Hard luck to the guys .

    These guys go out for free and give up there spare time.

    We will be back in 6 weeks time and I will still be there supporting them .

    Well done to the rossiee onwards and upwards mayo!

  119. The league winning curse strikes again. Roscommon fully deserved their win, but that was an awful watch. We really lost that game in the first half. When you elect to play with the wind, you need to go in at half time in front. We left 2-4 behind us in the opening half. Roscommon set up to contain us as much as possible, getting the two goals was an added bonus for them at HT. I thought we done better at times in the 2nd half, however, when Mayo turned over Roscommon twice in the 2nd half close to goal, we really should have gone for goal, on one occasion there was an open goal! Our inability to take on shots at times was worrying.

    Also worrying:
    -The lack of form our midfield have at the minute. Not going to name anyone here, but they cleaned us out in the 1st half.
    -Carrying the ball into the tackle and getting turned over, can’t do that against teams that set up like the Rossies did today.
    -Opened up again down the middle.
    -Injuries, McBrien, McLaughlin, Carr, Hession….

    It’s not the end of the world though, we have 6 weeks to re-group and re-adjust. In the grand scheme of things, winning Connacht has little currency going forward, the serious stuff starts at the end of May. Lots of football to be played yet, glad in one way we don’t have to go to Salthill in 2 weeks, I think we need a break. We’ll likely have to play Galway again further down the line.

    I won’t say much about the referee, he wasn’t the reason we lost but he was poor.

  120. Blaming the ref and the weather is clutching at straws lads. Get real. Bit of self reflection for once wouldn’t hurt

  121. Roscommon defence was incredibly strong the final whistle..
    We never seemed to get a grip on the game at ANY point.
    Midfield were at sea which is a worry..
    We got absolutely nothing from ref.Nothing.
    Glad the lads are getting a break..Clearly needed.They are not machines.
    I think we forget that sometimes..

  122. First of all, congratulations to Roscommon very deserving winners on the day..I think Mayo should avoid winning the League in years when have already drawn Roscommon in the first round of the Connacht championship from now on..We can win it all other year’s no problem. Their was a minor miracle in McHale Park this evening..The Ref although not looking like Padraig Joyce, could actually have being Padraig Joyce in disguise, and his interpretation of what the rules of Gaelic Football were pure Joyce in relation to Mayo.. Good Roscommon in the Hyde in two weeks time and we can get a further update on what is and isn’t a free from the expert authority on refereeing from Mr Joyce if Galway don’t win..I’m actually surprised that Padraig Joyce brought his team to Portugal last week, because of the Green and Red colors of Portugal, it must have been pure purgatory for Padraig.. It should be a humdinger in the Hyde in two weeks time…May the best team win, the best team won this evening, it’s back to the drawing board for Mayo.

  123. Mayo pulled that game no doubt about it, Connacht Championship is finished , will still end up further than Roscommon like we have every year since 1991.

  124. Well done, Roscommon, especially in the second half. Your tenacity was remarkable.
    Joe2, you’re showing your real feelings, I believe.
    This is another example of a heavily defensive team in action.
    How far will that football style take Roscommon?
    A poster above mentioned fine margins. I believe this is correct. Get a few points ahead on one of those teams and it’s a different game.
    To consider that is very interesting indeed for me.
    How good are those teams then?
    This is big boys’ football now in Championship. How will our team get on with the big boys? I believe it’ll be very interesting to see. This is an unknown for us, a step up in our development, and I think we can mix it with them.

  125. Mayo 88

    Competition format
    Provincial Championships format
    Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster each organise a provincial championship. All provincial matches are knock-out.

    All-Ireland Championship round-robin
    Sixteen teams progress to the All-Ireland Championship round-robin:

    The 4 provincial champions
    The 4 beaten provincial finalists
    The 2022 Tailteann Cup winners (Westmeath)
    The 7 next-ranked teams, based on final position in the 2023 National Football League
    Position is based on standing after promotion and relegation are applied and after finals are played; therefore, the top two teams in Division 2 outrank the bottom two teams in Division 1, and if the 2nd placed team in Division 2 wins the final, they are ranked above the 1st place finishers who lost the final.
    If Westmeath reach the Leinster final, then an 8th team will be chosen based on league position.
    The other 17 county teams compete in the 2023 Tailteann Cup.

    In the All-Ireland Championship round-robin, 16 teams are drawn into four groups of four teams. Each team plays the other teams in its group once, earning 2 points for a win and 1 for a draw. Each team plays one home, one away and one neutral fixture.

    The top three in each group advance to the knockout stages; first-place teams to the All-Ireland quarter-finals, and second- and third-placed teams to the preliminary quarter-finals.[6]

    All-Ireland format
    The four second-placed teams play against the third-placed teams in the preliminary quarter-finals. The winners of the preliminary quarter-finals advance to play the group winners in the All-Ireland quarter-finals. Two semi-finals and a final follow. All matches are knock-out.

  126. @Achill75 agree we didn’t really need to win it anyway as nearly guaranteed into the Last 16 .

  127. Where do we go from here? Surely there has two be two better forwards to bring on than Conor McStay who isnt even the best forward in the Stephenites (Evan Regan is) and Jason is 32 and has had serious injuries. Two great guys for sure but they wont worry the scoreboard

  128. Match report and, for what it’s worth, MOTM poll is up now as well.

    Just a cautionary word to all – emotions are always high in the aftermath of a defeat so please keep what you have to post on the reasonable side. I won’t have much in the way of tolerance to anyone who oversteps the mark.

    John51 – anyone from outside the county who comes on the blog trolling in the aftermath of a Mayo loss isn’t welcome. You won’t be posting here again.

  129. A dose of reality.Cant blame Loftus for this. Completely flat.Cant blame Sido I think only 2 balls into him
    Ruanes form is a big worry
    Rest of used properly can rejuvenate us.
    U20 players can now compete with a full deck, perhaps a gem might come out of their campaign.

  130. Too emotional to make a coherent effort at a rational post. I just hope all posters who thought a 6 week break with some quality R&R are correct. We are on the back foot now with a big mountain to climb. Slán leat for now.

  131. Mayo, were hyped for this game by all the national media and all coverage about how great ye are! And I can’t post a simply message to portray this madness!

  132. In the long run, strange enough, the best result. Management had a poorish day, O’Shea should have played midfield in the first half to stop the long ball option, Reape, 7, good frees, decent kickouts, Coyne 7, prob won his duel, Coen 5, for togging out on a wet day, McHugh, solid 6, Durcan, expected a lot more, 6, Loftus, who? 5=time to drop this idea, McLaughlin, naw 5, Ruane 5, poor, O’Connor 6, only for effort, McDonagh, 5, Carney, even worse 5, Flynn, 5 worst game in ages, Ryan, 6 not his best either, AOD maybe 6 at a stretch, Tommy, terrible, hate to say it, 5. Subs COC the man 7, just for that point, should start from now on, no more BS, McHale, unlucky, better than any of our half forwards IMO, will be back, conor Mcstay; must know someone???
    Away so ye will know better from the live match.

  133. Think we’re all a bit surprised by that.

    Maughan may have been right during week. Mayo simply not good enough to win the All Ireland this year.

  134. Thanks John,
    Nothing really lost today. 6 weeks to prepare for the 3 group matches.

  135. @Joe2 it’s ridiculous comment to make when we just lost I’m guessing your not from mayo ? Maybe leave that kind of comment off bit immature to say the least.

    It’s not a simple message it’s winding mayo fans up after a disappointing result and very immature of ye. We do have a great team and will be still at the business end at the championship get a life and save your immature comments for another day !

    I think a 6 week break will do us good tho.

  136. Posters, how would you have won that game? Or what instructions would you give the team so they’d win?

  137. @Clare i I’m not trying but all media outlets were hyping Mayo up no ends and the bookies had ye 1/3 on even do we finished 3rd in the league. No one respected our capabilities!!

  138. Joe2 – hyped up by who? The whole talk the last week was how Galway missed all their goal chances. Everyone said it was going to be tricky vs Roscommon. I suppose if you want to take offense you’ll find something.

    Speaking of hyped up, will Roscommon win a championship game in Croke Park this year? Were you alive when that happened last?

  139. @Joe2 eh loads on here respected your capabilities we all said it would be a tough test your not doing roscommon any good and actually giving your fans a bad name by coming on here like this with those types of comments maybe just go enjoy the win like a mature person instead maybe an idea ??…

    And we said the best team won ye had a longer break then us and that was no penalty maybe the ref had money on ye . Ha were basically already in the last 16 pretty much so we didn’t need to win this anyway!

    Best team won but don’t come on here with comments like that it’s being a sore winner !

  140. Joe2…no one in Mayo was particularly excited or hyped after last week….but if Roscommon ever win a league you will see its nice all the same
    In all fairness what have Roscommon delivered in the past 30 years…nothing….might explain you getting so excited?……..maybe keep your focus and advice a bit closer to home…..
    Take an U12 team and coach it….i am sure you would work wonders

  141. @wida ball all podcasts and newspapers predicted a handy Mayo win and the prodigal son on the Sunday game predicted the same!. I am not being petty but I born was in 1988 so I have witnessed more heartbreak for ye than us.

  142. @Joe2 and also ye won’t beat Galway so enjoy the win while ye can best team won today but we were way off our game today maybe we did throw it to give us a 6 week break ? ha the ref was terrible to I’m not one for blaming refs but as I said that was no penalty at all !!

    But also on the day we were just not good enough and played well below what we can play at we just looked dead flat on our feet .

    We will be back in 6 weeks time onwards and upwards I’m off to have a drink and switch off from gaa world for a bit till the dust has settled and the trolls have creeped back into their box.

    Up mayo always we will bounce back from this !

  143. Joe2 – I’d safely say not one pundit or podcast said it would be a handy Mayo win. Why not enjoy the evening instead of making stuff up on here?

    Right so you’ve never seen Roscommon win a championship game in Croke Park. I was there for the Clare game last summer, would you call that heartbreak? Hopefully the players don’t lose the run of themselves tonight…

  144. @Wide Ball you’d think he’d be out celebrating or enjoying a few drinks over the win instead of trolling on here guarantee the Rossies and Davy will loose the run of himself his interview afterwards was a bit ugh he didn’t say hard luck to mayo or anything at all typical ..

    Anyway hard luck to our guys we will be back they need to rest being going 100 miles an hour the last while and still lots to be positive still proud of them and we will get past this bump in the road sure we’ve had worse losses havent we?!

    Anyway as I said I’m switching off till the dust settles haha!! Chin up everyone not the end of the world/road at all probably will be good for us in the long run!

  145. I was at the game today with my son and allthough we were on the sideline, we were well prepared for the rain. I wasn’t prepared for Mayo though, and apart from one or two, we underperformed throughout. We were poor tbh, and made some bad decisions (possibly on the sideline too), and maybe the legs were still a bit heavy one week after Croker. It has to be hard to recover physically and mentally from that.
    But, no excuses, congrats to Roscommon, they were the better side and managed the game and conditions very well.
    I wished some of their fans luck the next day out, that will be an interesting game.
    I still think K McStay and backroom have done a great job so far and I firmly believe there are great days ahead of us this year.
    Today’s was just a forgettable one.
    I hope all the injuries are of a minor nature, time for some r and r and I’m sure we’ll return a different animal in a few weeks.
    Up Mayo…and as always thanks WJ.

  146. Was sacrificing Sam and Bob really worth it today, obviously from a panel perspective we can’t afford those losses and throw Hession in there that can’t actually play due to injury, touhy is probably our only other Midfield option but he’s stuck in with the u20s.

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