Game day – time to raid the Orchard

We’re on the road today, with Google Maps pointing us in the direction of the Athletic Grounds where Armagh provide the opposition in this afternoon’s NFL Division One Round 2 fixture. Throw-in is 3.30pm, Fergal Kelly of Longford is the ref and the match is live on TG4.

The Cathedral City is a fair old trek from the west but it’s just a short hop from here in the capital. That’s the way it is with League matches for those of us domiciled up here – the home ones mean longer on the road, the away ones often less time behind the wheel.

I’m not sure how big the travelling support will be this afternoon but what seems sure is that the nicely proportioned and rather compact venue for this clash will be close to full for the game. That should make for a Championship-like atmosphere for the contest.

We’ve already got a taste of that this year, with a bumper crowd under the lights at MacHale Park last Saturday evening. That was at times a tough and uncompromising match and the frequent robustness of the exchanges then should stand us in good stead today.

That’s no bad thing because, as Billy Joe mentioned on the ‘Here Comes the Weekend’ pod, the Armagh lads like the physical side of things. Unless we come prepared to compete fully from that perspective, this afternoon could turn out to be an ugly experience for us.

We’ve named the same fifteen for today as we started the last evening. That doesn’t, of course, mean we’ll start with that team and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see us having two or even three late replacements parachuted in ahead of the throw-in.

Armagh made a winning start to their Division One campaign last weekend. Like us, they were up against neighbouring opposition, in their case it was Monaghan, and they came away from Castleblaney with a two-point win. Like last year’s NFL campaign, the Orchard County will surely be looking to continue this positive start and so a win over us – if they do this, it’ll be their first home success against us since 1994 – would be just the tonic for them.

We were a bit lucky to emerge from our meeting with Galway with a share of the spoils. Although we matched them well on the night, our ongoing tendency to cough up soft goals – a failing that’s bedevilled us for years and which the new management simply have to come to grips with – handed the Tribesmen the winning of the game.

They would have won it too had Seán Kelly booted the ball into MacHale Road when he’d gained possession after Ryan O’Donoghue’s sideline kick. Instead he kicked it straight back to the grateful Belmullet player whose sweet strike from distance earned us a point from what had been a fairly difficult encounter for us.

It’ll be no easier today. Armagh have – like us – plenty of work done on the training field already this year and they’ll be ready and more than willing to take the fight to us today in front of what’s set to be a large home following. This will be, for our youthful team, a test of their resolve, not to mention their will to win.

But this game – like every game of Gaelic football – is there to be won. We need to start accumulating points in this campaign and this afternoon is as good a time as any to start doing this properly.

I’m heading away before too long, by which time those of you travelling up from the west will doubtless have already been on the road for a while. Wherever you’re coming from, take it handy and here’s hoping we all witness the first competitive win of the Kevin McStay era later on today.

Best of luck too to the county’s women footballers. They’re down in Dungarvan this afternoon to face Waterford in the LGFA NFL Division One (throw-in 2pm) and, with no points on the board after two outings, they could do with some tangible reward for their efforts today.

Here’s to a productive day up north, here’s to a win in the South-East as well. Both will be difficult but both are definitely winnable. Let’s go and win both of them. Up Mayo!

121 thoughts on “Game day – time to raid the Orchard

  1. Well said Willie Joe. Will be on the road from 11am. Here’s hoping for a good performance and 2 league pts from today’s match. Up Mayo.

  2. Safe travels to everyone,hopefully a good game,it will be a tough,I will be happy with a five point win

  3. Safe travelling to everyone makin the trip north. Im thinkin coyne wont start. Hession back to corner and o hora onto half back line. Id like jack carney into midfield as its his best position. Im not a fan of loftus in at 6 but lets see how it goes. Twill be nice and physical today so everyone gotta step up to the mark.

  4. In the context of last week’s result from Division 1, our draw with Galway was probably a point dropped. At start of league Roscommon Monaghan Donegal would all be tipped to be in relegation fight. The wins for Donegal and Roscommon changed that narrative a bit. Tyrone dont focus much on league traditionally so they could drop into relegation scrap. Armagh are a top 6 team like ourselves currently.
    One possibility for me is today will be the first of 3 losses in a row leaving us requiring 2 wins from Monaghan Roscommon and Donegal to stay up.
    In terms of team today the FB remains a concern. Rory Brickendan is not championship standard in my opinion and Conor loftus can not hold the centre. For the championship paddy Durcan or Stephen Coen might have to drop back into FB line.
    2/3 Armagh goals could be possible today.
    Enjoy the game today and safe travelling to all….

  5. Lahanman , be a bit more optimistic! I was in Pairc ui Chaoimh last night and was thinking of leaving at half time when the home team were 8 points down but no one else was making a move!! Cork hurling supporters are just like us..Mayo football supporters. It’s never over till the Fat Lady sings!! I’d expect our lads to get stuck into Armagh today and hopefully get the win they deserve

  6. Confident we’ll get something out of the game today. Our younger players will have learnt a lot against a quality Galway side last weekend. A tough Armagh side will use every trick and dark art in the book in an attempt to bully us today. But there’s enough quality in our 26 to match them football wise and with a bit of luck we can sneek a narrow victory.

  7. Lahanman, I agree with all you said there. As I said before, last Sundays results couldn’t have been any worse for us. I think we’ll be well beaten today, an unsettled team with at least 2/3 current starters not of championship level all indicates a big Armagh win, who are well versed in their system…and physically more imposing. Their’ll be a lot bloggers panicking here tonight, as this fixture has come too soon. But I would only love to be wrong.

  8. @Margie I would give the guys nore credit but your entitled to your opinion of course and I hope your wrong ha!

  9. The Bear O Shea needs to start today or come on before half time to deal with the physical stuff from Armagh.

  10. Subs:
    Byrne, Callinan, McDonagh, McHale, McHugh, Eoghan McLaughlin, Kevin McLoughlin, McStay, Cilian, Aido, Towey

  11. And also Armagh are a good team but ended up going to penalties with Galway and we only lost to Galway by a point to a really weakened mayo team we also beat Armagh last year.

    Also last week everyone was saying that it would be a wash out by Galway hardly was? Yet people saying it couldn’t have gone worse each to their own and entitled to say it but I say just give this team time & get behind them only Jan .

    Tough test for sure but I am queitly confident hopefully mayo by one or two.

  12. Mayo by 4.

    Armagh pipping Monaghan last week after being gifted a goal and losing to Cavan week before shows they may not be as far ahead in their training programme as last year.

  13. If that 1st round set of results happened in round 4 nobody would take notice. Too early to panic and be so negative. Give the lads a chance

  14. Wouldn’t be a fan of Comer but would also love it if he was a Mayo man. I hope his injury isn’t too bad.

  15. Mayo are like headless chickens when they pass management team but same ol failings afraid to take on the shot instead passing from Billy to Jack. Armagh are way more fluid going forward Plus ca change!

  16. Awful poor forward play in the first half other than Flynn and ROD. O’Shea trying hard to be fair. Will see how we do with the wind in the second half. Can’t get over how poor Mayo have been today and last week taking their man on to try and create a scoring chance.

  17. That was a hard watch until last minute. They can kick it over the bar from play, we can’t… Backs doing well

  18. I’d have bet my life on Cillian to hit the net there. Hope it doesn’t cost us.

  19. I can’t believe that Armagh are leading,we are by far the best team,we will come good in the second half

  20. Started playing better since cillian came on thought for sure he was going to get the goal in my heart ha!

  21. Armagh corner back really shouldn’t be on the pitch after that challenge on James Carr. Nasty clatter.

  22. James Carr got the ”welcome to Armagh”there.
    Wind to come we’ll be there or there abouts.

  23. Some many people jumping the gun with negative comments. Really impressive second half. Aidan has been immense

  24. Touhy is the real deal. The new Mayo is about game mgmt, keep ball, and not having killed ourselves running, so we play some “football“, very good 3nd half. And Buckley has improved tackling again.

  25. Some of the refs decisions were very questionable, so many soft frees for Armagh, had it won but at least a draw is better then being beaten.

  26. Mostly good stuff with a few negatives but some of ye only see the negatives. So much to like about that performance and if one or two decisions had gone against Armagh instead of for them we would have won. McStay and co will be mostly happy I would think.

  27. Shoulder no longer allowed it seems. Ref didn’t give us a whole pile. O’Shea immense in the second half but visibly tired towards the end. Cillian O’Connor still critical to this team, only ROD is anywhere near him

  28. When it mattered, every single Mayo player went missing. After such a brilliant performance before that. Last 7 mins were a horror show.

  29. To be in that strong a position with 5 minutes to go and then collapse like that. Awful poor game management. Even still we had the game won with less than a minute to go only to lash at a kick for no reason.

  30. A lot of negativity on here and people said it would be a tough game and we came back in 2nd half yes we should have won it and gave away the ball a lot but I will happily take the point against Armagh at home.

    Only Jan and def improved when cillian came on etc .

  31. Great 2nd half apart from last 5mins. One to learn from that’s for sure. Aiden O’Shea outstanding young lads going well…Threatened goal a few times another day they come off. Happy enough overall plenty of positives to take from it

  32. Infuriating – that team is soft mentally and not ruthless enough – can’t ever finish a team off, we beat ourselves and have done for years

  33. The Ref from longford was terrible, he played for the draw & he got it, the Mayo backs imploded again, awful to watch such poor defence & distribution of the ball, took a quick free from their own 13m line, the ball was turned over & Armagh got their score to leave 2 in it, ridiculous to say the least.

  34. Left a point behind us today. Bad decision by Cillian at end to take on a shot from that angle with men free. Aidan ran out of steam and they got upper hand. Good performance up to last 10 minutes but disappointing finish from Mayo.

  35. Nothing really new, we need to learn to play to the death, but still great game and intensity.

  36. 5 points ahead with 3 minutes of normal time to go and still managed to draw.

    Very good performance for the most part, but disappointing not to get all the points.

  37. Ah lads the referee in that last 10 mins, mayo couldn’t buy a free and any contact on armagh and its a free, the last free and the one where the armagh played charged into 5 mayo men and lost the ball where horrific.

  38. heart in mouth stuff, where for majority of second half we were boss’s of that game. Then starting losing head. Lucky to come out with a point. Lesson must be learnt, keep playing to the end. Good thing first, Aidan O’Shea was outstanding, possibly only for 68mins. Then ran out gas. Love the pressing on there kick out, had them all at sea.

  39. Ref was poor today
    But only ourselfs to blame
    No game management at all in last 10 mins
    How can a player at this level not see the overlap and no one in goal …..
    Instead blasted the ball wide and gift possesion back to armagh

  40. “Decision making and composure can’t be coached .”

    Never a truer word spoken… Always been the way 🙁

    Poor aul galway have now caught the same bug aswell

    I think leading by 5 flattered us hugely tbh, but to throw that away was very deflating. When McLaughlin skyed that wide there was only one thing going to happen after that

    Thought oshea was our motm and still has something to offer yet

    The less said about the ref the better, but he was appalling for both sides

  41. Some comments a bit harsh. Mayo did well to go 5 up from 2 down at half time. No way was that a free at the end and we would be talking about a great win. Small things make the difference like ref decisions and Eoghan probably shouldn’t have taken on that last chance. some great individual performances. One thing for sure it was a long way ahead of what the pessimistic posters had stated here during the week.

  42. Ref was brutal in last 10 mins, I would say free count was 10/2 for Armagh during that period.
    Having said that, Armagh could have easily have had two goals in last six minutes, pure bad luck they didnt.
    Eoghan Mcloughlin second week in a row, took a stupid FFin shot, in added time.
    Mayo were leaderless in backline in last 15 mins. I though Coen had been taken off, until he stupidly took a quick free in fourth minute of added time, with Matthew Ruane sprawled on the ground next to him, Did he think we were losing ??.
    Some of the decision making was inexcusable.
    A shame because there were some heroic performances by Aidan O Shead, O Donouhue, Jordan Flynn to mention a few.

  43. The tide turned from that stupid free against Jordan Flynn – 5 points to Armagh on the hop from then. I don’t even see how it was a free. Soft and many soft ones after. Anyway we still had our chances before that to nail the coffin but we didn’t.
    Am happy we didn’t lose but fierce annoyed we didn’t win.

  44. We’re on the other end of a dramatic draw this week. We had that game where we wanted it with ten minutes to go. We’d done so much right but for some reason the structure fell apart. We’ve lost a lot of experience in defence and it showed today. The last two frees were extremely dubious in my opinion but no much we can do about it now.

    Flynn, O’Shea and ROD were excellent today. Hession drove on all through and Touhy is getting better all the time. Carney struggled to get into the game again and maybe needs a rest.

  45. Thought it was Cillian that took on that shot, should have known better, apologies Cillian

  46. What was McLaughlin at shooting a pot shot at the end with possession. Hes not a shooter. Full stop. Bad game management. Couple of westport players deadwood for the championship.

  47. Great 2nd half apart from the last few minutes, at least they know now that they need to work extremely hard on seeing games out. One thing I noticed is that when we were being pinned back we didn’t have enough bodies back to give an option to the player on the ball, we should have had the whole 15 back in our own 45 when they were chasing us down then breaking out at speed.

  48. We can complain about the ref til the cows come home – and he was terrible and completely overwhelmed and influenced by the home crowd. But you’re gonna get that from time to time. You cant be relying on the ref to win games. We should never have been in a position where a few soft ones could get Armagh the draw. Eoghan McLaughlin needs to work on his shooting and the basic skills, and that’s been talked about for 2 years now. He has no composure. Our defence basically imploded in the last 10.

    There were problems all over the pitch in those last few minutes. Serious problem with the mentality.

    Man of the match was Aidan who brought the physicality and created chaos every time he had the ball.

  49. I’m angry. I mean it can’t be overstated that Mayo played sublime football in second half up till 67th minute. Then utter collapse.

  50. I would have taken a draw at half time! Great block by Enda Hession otherwise we would be really disappointed!
    We need to learn how to close games but remember it is early season and we have PD and OHora to tighten our defence!
    Onwards and upwards. Let’s be positive
    Mhuigeo Abu!!

  51. Liberal Role in the Tie…. don’t forget that Mayo also missed two goals. Cillian with an open goal in the first half, and the weak effort cleared off the line in the second half.

    This was a point lost and anyone that thinks otherwise, is fooling themselves.

  52. Clare, I was getting ready to type an apology post to you. I did get it very wrong, thought we would get hammered. I would have taken a point at 3pm today. But their is no excusing the last 9 minutes no matter what the ref was like. Eoghan is around long enough to know how to wind down a game, yet he takes a half assed shot with acres of room in front of him. Not his fault we drew, as it was a collective melt down. Aidan was brilliant throughout and McBrien, Hession, Flynn did good.Kevin needs to take some blame on that result, no subs made in the last few minutes to halt momentum and break up the play.

  53. Need to be holding someone back around midfield. We were taking off big lads for little lads and we lost control around the middle as a result

    A lot of positives today, despite the end result. Game plan appeared to work out well.

  54. I would have taken that point and performance before kick off. Armagh missed a lot of scores they could have 5 or 6 up at half time. We didn’t look like conceding a goal today which is positive. Got 17 scores another positive. Matthew Ruane my motm. I know AOS did very well but the ball coming into him him is to straight needs to be more angled.
    Very enjoyable game..roll on Tyrone…

  55. A lot of good work undone by a kamikaze last ten minutes or so. We have a real, long-standing problem as a county with protecting leads; in the three decades or so that I’ve been watching Mayo, we’ve lost many seemingly impregnable leads, all through the age groups. I don’t know whether this is down to temperament or a lack of tactical acumen or what, but it’s not something that happens to any of the elite counties so often.

    We didn’t win anything around the centre in the last ten, having dominated for most of the second period. And we also missed three (four?) goal chances, two of which occurred when Rafferty was stranded up the field.

    The decision making also went a bit late on. Eoghan McLoughlin should not be taking on long range shots as he never seems comfortable from range.

    Shame really, as we really put them in a stranglehold with three quarters gone, Aido being outstanding. Ryan put in another great shift and our center eight played quite well for the most part, although we over did the lateral hand passing in the first half. Colm Reape had a good game in general, capped with a lovely free off the ground, although he almost got caught for a goal off a high ball again.

    A draw that feels like a loss this time.

    Also, we got almost no 50:50 decisions from the officials today. Definitely one or two fair shoulders got awarded as frees to Armagh, particularly Eoghan McLaughlin’s near the end, which drew them to within one point, I think.

  56. Let’s look on the bright side. No goals conceded, but might have . no goals scored but should have. OShea outstanding. Fully fit Cillian, Diarmuid, Tommy and Rob will be back soon…I hope . and , of course we haven’t lost a game in 2023

  57. We tore Armagh apart for most of that second half. Then disaster. It’s a shame. We were by a mile the better team.

  58. Liberal role in the tie “I’m angry. I mean it can’t be overstated that Mayo played sublime football in second half up till 67th minute. Then utter collapse”.

    That perfectly sums it up. No point blaming the ref.

  59. Mayo needed AOS on the pitch at the end. He gave his all but probably has only 50 minutes in him. Lots of positives. Kevin Mc would have been a good last 10 minutes sub.

  60. Should have taken o’shea off for last 7 or 8 minutes, his legs were gone and caused a few scores.

  61. Two hits to the head on Mayo lads…..Yellows each time. Says it all about the ref. But silly dispossessions cost us in the end…..

  62. Maybe too many subs late on. McStay, McHale and McHugh all good players but no time to get up to the pace of the game. Anyway if we win all these games we’d be in another league final which we all agree is the last thing we need.

  63. The s&c of the FB line showed but in fairness, they are doing well as a new unit. I don’t think they are getting enough protection from the line in front.

    I was bullin at the end so I didn’t post. It was very disappointing particularly how well the 2nd half was going. We got glimpses of how best to use aido, but then he started to drift deep and when he does that we all do and also he’s targeted by faster players.

    James Carr is improving but the main learnings from the last 2 games and 34 years iv been going to games is we need to be kicking scores from 30 metres. They were leading despite having half the possession but the difference was they kicked points, we were recycling.

    It got better but it was all a bit chaotic. The last play was when we should have recycled it!!

    Anyway let’s not be too hard on the younger crew in the next few days. Some lads out there played 3 games in a week.

    Rossies for Sam

  64. That first half our flaws were exposed in the backing. Everytime Armagh came through they scored. We were clueless in defence teams running straight through before we tackle/foul on the edge of the square. It’s far too easy back there and I don’t think O Hora or Durkin will solve it.

    Again our old friend the high ball into the square doing all the damage. I was behind the goal and I think the post saved us this time only just.

    AOS played his best game in years. When is the last time he scored two from play? Midfield gave a five star performance.

    That madness in the last few minutes reminded me of the 2015 semi final with Dublin. Where the dubs couldt get the ball out of their half and we reeled them in from seven down. Except this time Armagh turned the tables and reeled us in.

    I think we bottled it in those closing minutes. Someone needed to show for the ball or at least start a row but neither. Look the only good point from today was the point, we could have lost that.

  65. Agree with you there, Kickhams. It was a match when you’d miss Lee Keegan. He would have slowed that right down – started a scrap, drew a foul, something. He was brilliant for just deflating the momentum from a game when it was in the melting pot, always had that bit of cuteness and guile. Sorely missing today.

  66. @ Kickhams man I agree with you on AOS best I have seen him play in many a game . Won his mark and took his score and another time he was fouled I think Ryan slotted it over . The ball into him won’t work all the time but we just need to take our chance when it does .
    Have to say going to Armagh with this young team and getting a draw is a fantastic result . The other side of it is we need to learn how to close out a game . We were 5 points up and we let them back into the game . Yes the point could be made that their is a lot of young inexperienced lads on the team but how many times have we being in a situation like that and we just hold on to get something out of the game and we just say it’s the Mayo way .

  67. Over-analysis not neccessary after today. Some players just didn’t have the cop-on to play keep-ball when leading & time running out – end of! They spend hours doing S&C plus ball skills plus on-field tactics & then some do what they did today.
    Probably captive to that GAA mantra of ‘more scores’ when in fact ball posession ensures the opposition won’t score. I’m sick of it all.

  68. As james horan would say we will take learnings from today. Not ideal how we gave up the draw but it’s better than a loss.

    2 points on the board after 2 games isn’t the end of the world and it could easily have been a lot worse.

  69. Never get too excited or too downbeat with a performance but there is definitely signs there that there is potential in this squad to kick on and become a force . A Connacht title is not beyond us this year , it will be tough and a lot of it down to avoiding injuries and getting Tommy back on the pitch . Be great to be near safe come the Ros league game and I’d personally play silly beggars with selection of that unfolded and try all sorts of experiments .

    Aido was really good today for a decent period of the game . He seems way more alert to what he needs to do and a little quicker .

    Cillian added a lot too , I’m not convinced we can afford to have him as an impact sub yet though .

    Rod , Jordan Flynn excellent . Not convinced in keeper reape , looked sus again under high ball ,got a nice point though . Hession very good . Mcbrien looks like he’ll become a solid starter tbh .

    Criminal belt on Carr , deliberate forearm into the jaw .

  70. The free given for the ‘foul’ on Ross McQuillan on 68 minutes was pure filth and the one at the end was dubious at best.
    Saying that we really should have seen that out. A bit more keep ball needed at the end.
    Paul Flynn wrote in the week that for all the helter skelter with Mayo we needed a few calm heads at times, particularly down the home straight. How right he was. Eoghan had to be cuter there.
    The positives are we are unbeaten from 2 games many thought we’d lose.
    The negatives are we haven’t won a game yet!

    McBrien did very well again and we still have Hennelly, Paddy Durcan,Tommy C,DOC, O’Hora and Plunkett to come back.

  71. The contrast between Ryan O’D and Kevin McStay interviews was interesting. Given we threw away a lead like that Ryan was rightly disappointed. Kevin was happy…

  72. Swings roundabouts and lads…we probably got slightly more than we deserved last week, maybe slightly less than deserved this week. Overall a positive first 2 outings imo. We contested all that came in to the square today even if we got a bit lucky there. We found out that Reape can kick a long ranger. Aido swatting off Armaghmen before tapping over. Jordan was immense again . Bob Touhy has probably overtaken Jack Carney in a similar role. Mc Brien worth persisting with and Brickenden better today. Lots of positives in my book.

  73. Just a few points:
    – I didn’t expect us to get a result in Armagh today, but we dominated them for most of the 2nd half and that is a massive positive.
    – Sure, we threw it away at the end, but it’s better to learn these lessons now in Round 2 of the league rather than later on in the year in a semi-final or final, and I’m sure the lads will work their boll*cks off to try and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
    – I wouldn’t be too harsh on Eoghan McLaughlin for going for goal when *the goal was wide open*, and had he not gone for it and lost possession people would be crucifying him for that as well.

  74. Thought McStay should have been a bit more unhappy with letting Armagh back into it. A point is a point but these players need to learn how to see out a game. Thought Aida was impressive and some of the younger lads are getting a great bit of experience

    Not going to blame the ref at all, up to us to see out games.

    Reape has a great kickout but he’s not commanding enough in the box.

  75. Eoghan Mcloughlin booting the ball away akin to David Nestors flick over the head in the Hyde in 2001 both games ending badly.

  76. Disappointing that we didnt close out a game when we were well on top. Bit of same old story. On the bright side, Tuohy looks very acomplished. Flynn impressed me a lot today, growing in confidence with every game. Every game a learning experience. Plenty for the management team to work on. One refs interpretation of the foul is so much different than anothers…

  77. 17 pts away from home is a great scoreline. 3 or 4 super performances some good performances and good moves put together in the 2nd half. These are a few of the good take aways from today. See above for the bad take aways

  78. As the lads rightly say on the pod, we got no bounce from the bench, given Aido started (glad he did obvs), and Cillian coming in early.

  79. Finishing mid-table is what we want and so far so good. League final a week before Ros would be a rotten scenario. After McStay took over I believe everyone wanted league safety and signs of a future improvement. I reckon we have the latter and the former looks very viable.
    Reape was good. Backs were also good and victims of a few poor calls. Midfield is fluid and interchangeable, sound. Forwards had many good moments…..far more than bad. Flynn…excellent. Touhy…could be a very young legend the way he’s going. Carr was given some rough treatment and one agressor (Finn) should have seen red but he showed really well. Cillian as ever a class act and Ryan is an absolute gem. Finally, isn’t it nice to hear the deafening silence from Aidan’s detractors (you know who you are) after a motm performance. Class is permanent.

  80. Pity about the ending – some incredible performances – a young inexperienced team was bound to feel the effects of an intense champion style game v galway – loved that management stuck with the talented youngsters – remember Galway were flat today evidence of the intensity of the Mayo game – well done all

  81. Jordan Flynn is now a massive player for us. Unfortunately he gets absolutely nothing from referees and it’s hard to see that changing anytime soon.

    The strategy of getting loads of bodies back only works if the team doesn’t cough up frees. It was pretty obvious in the ground that the ref was reacting to every big shout from the home crowd. Not sure what can be done to deal with that issue.

    O’Shea’s performance was a big positive but will it translate to summer ball?

  82. Should have won today. For new team with new Manager not bad to be unbeaten so far this year. Last 10 minutes very poor show by both players and management. Players making poor decisions on the ball and Management making too many substitutions when not realy needed and failing to give proper instructions to players to close out the game when so far ahead. McStay happy with result, in contrast with Kerry Managher who never says he is happy with team performance always saying they will have to improve.

  83. It’s a great problem to have to be in a position where we need to figure out a way on how to hold on to a lead. Remember this is only a fledgling team and management combo.

    The performance was really good in the main today and despite the closing stages, this team will have gained a massive boost in confidence this afternoon with how they played Armagh off the pitch, away from home for the majority of the game.

    It’s a great start to the season.

  84. The awful finish by Mayo deleted all of their good play.
    5 points up with 3 minutes to go we should never have let Armagh back into the Game.
    With 29 seconds to go , What do you do if you Have The FFing Ball ?
    You Focking Keep it.
    Very disappointing Mistake.

  85. Revellino – don’t think the team will take a boost from this. Ryan O’Donoghue seemed very deflated in post-match interview after the game. And I don’t blame him. It should have been won. Probably felt like a loss to him. And I’d say he’s not the only player who feels like that.

  86. dreamysleepynightysnoozysnooze – Sure, they’re very disappointed but I’m sure when Ryan and the rest of the team take time to reflect on how they performed for most of that 2nd half they’ll see that there are a lot of positives to take from the game. As I said above, it’s better to learn these lessons in Round 2 of the league rather than later on in the year in a semi-final or even a final. We need to instill a bit of steel and composure in the team when seeing games out and I’m sure management will put extra emphasis on that going forward.

  87. 45mayo – but a lot of what we saw today is more of the same as we’ve seen for the best part of a decade. It was a big implosion today but the frailties are the same as they ever were.

  88. dreamysleepynightysnoozysnooze – Agreed, I just hope management have identified it as a major issue and will look to rectify it. Then again, they should have already been aware that has been an issue and should have had a plan in place for holding on to a pretty significant lead going into the last few minutes. It’s worrying that when our defenders were being chased down they had very little options around them and we ended up coughing up possession or giving away a free. It will be interesting to see what will happen when we find ourselves in the same position again, especially against the top teams. I’m hoping we get a similar test against Kerry.

  89. I’d say that Kevin McStay was a lot more disappointed than he let on but there’s no point in airing your dirty laundry in public..

  90. Liberal role a lesson learned I hope,at least management took him off when goalie outfetched him
    I am a great fan of Aido but we cant expect him to operate at FF with little or no games there
    Circumstances dictated he had to go to the middle today
    What a footballer Jordan Flynn has turned out to be, in a fight I would like him on my side

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