Game day: the way back starts here

Mayo team v Galway 2016

Right, this is it – the day that could well prove to be a defining one for us in this year’s championship. With our safety net gone, it’s old-fashioned do-or-die championship football for us from here on. One slip and our year is over so it really is one game at a time for us now.

Fermanagh will pitch up at MacHale Park today hoping to keep their own dreams about the year alive. After their 2016 heroics it certainly wouldn’t have been their ambition to see their championship run ended in a backdoor match at Castlebar in early July. We can expect them to do everything in their power today to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

It was screamingly obvious that we came into the Galway match last month half-cooked. The price for our allowing this to happen is the scenic route we’re now on as we attempt to plot our way back to Croke Park in August. The first lesson we’ve surely learned from this unexpected turn of events was surely the one that Galway taught us three weeks ago, which is that every match has to be approached with nothing less than 100% preparation.

It should, then, be our hope and expectation that the display the lads put on this afternoon is one far removed from what was witnessed at the same venue last month. The Connacht title and the Nestor six-in-a-row may be gone for us but we certainly have the capability to demonstrate today that our championship is far from over. It could, and should, be about to get going properly.

Okay, enough blathering: time to hit the road west and all that awaits there. Back with the usual stuff after the event. See you on the other side. Up Mayo!

PS: Quick note for those of you planning on turning up early at MacHale Park today: Charlestown are playing Mountbellew/Moylough before the main event this afternoon, with that Leo Kenny Cup curtain-raiser throwing in at 1.30pm.

62 thoughts on “Game day: the way back starts here

  1. Safe journey Willie Joe enjoy the game hopefully we will get a good performance and the right result

  2. Thank God today has finally arrived. All the nonsense can stop regarding rumours etc. A good performance and we’re back on da road again. Remember it’s da same destination but different journey.
    Made me laugh we were top 3 before galway game 2 no hopers after. Remain calm we’ve a summer ahead of us yet ??

  3. Safe trip WJ and anyone traveling.
    Tis overcast with a heavy mist/drizzle which will ensure a fast slippy ball off the surface, so accurate foot passing will be essential (not our strong point!). So I’d expect a ball running, hand passing game from Mayo today in order to retain possession. Unfortunately that style of play is NOT what you want against a blanket defense so patience, discipline and accurate execution of shots will be vital.
    We have to play our part too, as SUPPORTERS. So let’s hear you and let the players know we’re not finished yet!

  4. Let’s get behind the team today and
    Get this thing that we all love so much
    Back on the road again!
    Maigheo Abu!!

  5. Willie Joe, on the evidence of the past 5 years, Mayo are always a bit under cooked in the early rounds of the championship and it was only through sheer luck – and Andy Moran – that we scraped through on at least 3 occasions. However, when the going got tough in those tight matches we always seemed to find that bit extra to see us over the line. This year, when Galway scored that goal our response was very worrying. All the bad habits of the pre-Horan era came flooding back and this Mayo team suddenly seemed indistinguishble from the many teams that broke our hearts over the past 60 years.

    Was that response a sign that an era has come to an end or was it nothing more serious than our preparation is geared towards peaking later in the year. There could be other reasons, was it the fact that we have an untried manager at county level or maybe the performance had more to do with the removal of Noel and Pat – remember them?- last year.

    I sincerely hope that all these questions are answered in the best possible way today and that we are starting another exciting journey in the quest for Sam. Unfortunately I can’t get to Ireland this summer so here’s hoping for a reassuring Mayo win and a great day out for all our supporters.

  6. There’s the sun now but it could be a goose and gander day….we ll see.Cant be sure what will come over at match time.
    One sure thing though is,that no matter how good a team is,the dominance can always be put down to an awful lot of plain simple hard work.Witness the successful teams of any sort.Sometimes I think the fancy skills etc override the work rate in our minds.Invest the work rate today and the skills will surface themselves.Boyler and DOC will lead the way today as they always do in all conditions. Hup Mayo!!

  7. Can we all get on our feet today and get behind these lads and hopefully MacHale Patk will feel like less of a morgue than it did the last day.

    Nervous as hell about this one especially given the conditions but I don’t doubt the character of the lads and I think we’ll come out of there smiling.

    Safe travels to those of you on the road and see you in the trenches.

  8. I’m ready for war bring it on !!! Safe travelling to all!! its lashing here in Galway

  9. Ok Mayo supporters why don’t we get the Viking Thunder-Clap ringing around the ground in McHaie park today. I’m sure there’s a bit of Viking in some of us. Willie Joe Padden in Croker against Tyrone in 89 springs to mind. We could give it a trial run today and by the time we get to Croke Park we’ll have it down to a fine art.

  10. Can’t wait for throw in and I’m sure the players are the same ! We all let ourselves down the last day. Everyone was too complacent. Let’s get right behind them today from the minute they come out to warm up.
    In many ways the qualifiers are ideal. Extra game time for Cillian. Extra games for Rochford to fine tune his team. And a good kick up the hole for everyone !
    Yes we are on the tough side but to win it ya have to beat the best
    Bring it on
    Up mayo

  11. Good man Km79!
    As someone lately said here, smile even though you’re sad….it won’t break your face!
    And watching Raonic yesterday in Winb.showed what hard graft can do …it’s a craft.Playing bad he plugged away,kept the face and overcame what was holding him back!

  12. For those of you on the road, conditions are improving here in Mayo. Wind, however, will be a big factor today.

  13. Well said ann Marie, time for players and supporters to stand up . Safe journey to all . Heading off shortly from wet and windy midlands ,

  14. Best of luck to Mayo today and safe travelling to all. One hundred per cent effort on the field and in the stands will be good enough. Hoping for a good start as our confidence levels need a boost and Fermanagh under the wily and clever Pete McGrath will thrive on our uncertainty should it arise. Up Mayo

  15. All this talk of – back-door ‘journey’; get back in August etc is in my view at best optimistic and more like complacency again!
    Bottom line is we have ONE game the equivalent of any All Ireland to win today – albeit Fermanagh not Division 1 standard. Same with Fermanagh and hunger, desire, organisation and togetherness will decide it – qualities displayed in abundance by Iceland and Wales in the Euros – but I’m nervous our camp have such reserves… hope I’m wrong – Hon Mayo!

  16. Praying that today mayo will burst into action and show us what they are capable of. My only fear is that the heads will drop trying to probe through the blanket defence. We haven’t been able to break it down for a while now. Hope today is the start of it.

  17. Day is picking up lovely here in Castlebar. Brought my two 5 yr old Dublin girls home for the weekend and heading in to game shortly for their first encounter of the Green n Red . Hopefully it won’t be their last of this year. Sam visited them in school last year…. much to my envy. I’ll be following Sam across the Shannon sometime.

  18. Robin banks

    Whatever else happens today, mayo dropping the heads because Fermanagh are too good will not be happening.

    Mayo to win this one well if the minds are right. It’s July, not February, it’s what they have been training for.

  19. Lovely day here is Castlebar now but a very strong wind. I’m glad as a bad day gives an advantage to the blanket defence. Hopefully there’s only one blanket defence on show today!!!

    Mhaigh eo Abu

  20. No matter what happens these were special years for us all in Mayo. If we lose its not the end either we have too many great footballers we can build from here no matter what

  21. Best of luck to all involved with Mayo today.
    In the first few minutes against Galway we seemed to be slow and disinterested, whether this was over confidence or lack of fitness, I don’t know but I expected them to up the gears. They did for the last few mins of the first half but then reverted.
    As said by many we need to start with high tempo and keep it up, keep the wide count down and don’t rush the shots.
    safe journey to all and Maigh Eo Abu

  22. Freeman in for Doherty. I hope Rochford isn’t reading this forum for advice !!

  23. It’s just half time bit zero pressure on the Fermanagh forwards. They are kicking points for fun.

    We need a serious improvement 2nd half, wind or no wind otherwise it’s cheerio for 2016.

    We look like we’ve no plan or structure. It’s just the same fare dished up in the league and in the Galway game.

    Let’s hope for a better 2md half.

  24. That was a piss poor first half display. It’s all or nothing now in the second half!

  25. Forwards playing in backs, backs in forwards. Aidan O Shea bent over huffing and puffing after 10 minutes. Cillian playing and obviously isn’t match fit.

    I saw the named teamed and was given hope. Tactics are baffling to say the least!

  26. More of the same..Once we choose nor to play with the wind that was a sign we were not confident. We should be going out to blow them away in the first 20 minutes….stand up Mayo in 2nd half..

  27. Strong wind there, I hope they up the tempo for the second half. What the hell happened to keane ? Was he tripped or was he looking for a free ?? If it was the latter it was madness. Good luck

  28. Mister Mayo are you having a laugh great play from Aidan for spotter?? It was clear dive and a joke he should be ashamed of himself

  29. Jeez Andy Moran!! Way too greedy, two/three options to pass to a man in a goal scoring position and he didn’t do it!

    Lads and lassies… We got outta jail today. The questions we had before today remain unanswered. Fermanagh were very poor in the 2nd half.

    But… We are still in it and live to fight another day.

  30. dont worry about aiden, its how its done. kerry and dublin do it, get used to it.
    that said, Mayo are a shadow of what they were and its hard to see where it will come from.

  31. The way forward is to go back to what we done before?, finished the game with more men from the teams of previous campaign’s than what we started with.

  32. Don`t think we could ever win again playing “more badly” My grammar is no better than

    the overall play. Something is radically wrong.

  33. It was a peno no doubt! And AOS played it perfectly. He was wreaking havoc in there at FF, they couldn’t handle him yet he couldn’t buy a free! It was deserved and class finish by Cillian, as usual.

  34. Not a vintage display. The subs all stood out and were needed at the time. Durcan and freeman were poor. Keane and Harrison were lucky to stay on. Coen is not a midfielder Barry Moran took over when he came on. We are learning more hopefully with every game and for me Boyle and Higgins are worth their weight in gold. They may not the accolade but when leaders were needed you know who to call. Great having DOC back don’t believe his brother is fully fit yet. I expect a few changes the next day

  35. Your obviously at the game mister Mayo to have that view on it. Wait till you watch it on tv. An absolute disgrace and not the first time he done it today either

  36. Penalty was a major turning point. To be honest i am embarrassed with that AOS dive.

  37. Aidan gets consistently fouled and gets F-ALL from ref’s. Give the lad a break.

  38. Listened to the game on Midwest,every year I say to all listening this is the year …but if I’m honest we’re going nowhere.can anybody tell me how a team so driven as to sack there management can become so poor.I’m 100%behind the players but FFS would lotus/Erwin or any of the u w21ai winning team be a better option than A.M.love the guy but time waits for no man

  39. A case of back to the future, has the team that finished the game the legs for Croke Park. A bit worring to see the oap’s coming on to put out the fire. Big moment in the game is the non penalty. Aidan should be embarrassed when he see’s it back (refs will give him nothing for the rest of the year) he was also on a yellow card at the time, Jarlath Burns was right to call him out on it. Boyler could be in big trouble for the incident that was highlighted during the game (69 min). GAA have set there stall out this year not overturning the McGee ban. That is the second incident this year with a players knee coming into contact with an opposition players head. He could be getting a ban.

  40. Was at the game and from where I was in between 20yard liner and 45 in the stand it was a stone wall penalty. Aido was coming out with ball and was tripped. Mc quillan had that much of a shocker he even gave penalty for wrong thing. Seen a meme and it does look like a dive however when I saw it 1st time I said penalty as did majority of supporters around me. Fermanagh included.

  41. Mickyg I think when you see it played back you will see it was clear dive and needs to be stamped out on no matter what player or county is involved.
    I did think O Connor deserved a peno

  42. I’m embarrassed that Mayo fans are embarrassed by O’Shea dive, he was dead right

  43. Ease up on Aido, he was getting battered around the place today and got absolutely nothing of Dublin Joe. Fair play to him he won a penalty, we won the game, move on.

  44. It was a dive but lets not be to critical Fermanagh got some soft frees too and I think there should have been a penalty earlier. We would have won the game even without the penalty, but I don’t know if we can improve that much to compete at the end of the year, A Moran need to learn to pass we would have won the game by a lot more if he wasn’t so greedy, hes a sub and he needs to except that, and do the right thing like Dillon did.

  45. Olive I have seen it played back. But in real time there was definite contact. Very quick to lambast and harass for dive. If mcquillan had given it for a trip there would not be half the outcry. I appreciate how it look looks but the camera was situated in the Mayo half of the pitch on the 45 line and I agrees does look bad but there was contact. I will not use this as a stick to beat Oshea considering he played his all and got little of Joe mcquillan except a yellow card. Lest we forget all the stone wall decisions he has never got. Are we going to lambast him for going down when he is tripped? About the game in general a poor 1st half In the face of a stiff breeze. Our fullback line was poor. Dillon coming on was winning of game as he always did the right thing. To think he was left sitting last year against Dublin beggars belief. Would have won by more if Andy passed but Fermanagh were dropping like flies at that point. Plenty to work on roll on next week. Support was unreal.

  46. How many bad decisions cost us big games in last 3 years,it’s about time we got one in our favor.fuck anyone who begrudges us this win and as for mayo people who have a problem with what aos did.would Kerry people have a problem with the gooch doing the same…

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