Game day – time to secure our top tier status

This evening we pass the halfway mark in this year’s National League campaign. Tyrone are our opponents in this Division One Round 4 clash at Healy Park in Omagh, where throw-in is 5.15pm. Kildare’s Brendan Cawley is the ref and the match is live on RTÉ2, the RTÉ Player and on Midwest Radio.

After our back-to-back wins in the opening two rounds, much of the talk then was about how we might best engineer missing this year’s Division One decider. Last weekend’s one-point loss to Kerry at Tralee represents a slight course correction because, while we might still find ourselves sucked into a League final we’d prefer to avoid, we could equally slip into a relegation battle, which we’d prefer to keep away from too.

The best option in any League campaign is to secure divisional survival as soon as possible. The wins over Galway and Dublin got us most of the way there and, in truth, two more points should do it. This evening would be the ideal time to grab these.

No match is easy to win in Division One, certainly not this year, where all eight counties are capable of beating each other on any given day.

After their Round 1 win over Roscommon, Tyrone have lost two on the bounce. They never really looked like beating Derry at Celtic Park and they were poor when losing at Healy Park to Galway last Sunday, a defeat that leaves them closer to the trapdoor than they’d have wanted to be at this stage. They’ll be very keen to make amends today.

For our part, a win will all but secure our survival with three matches still to play. That would be a great position to be in and would allow us to mix and match our line-ups nicely over the remaining League games. That’s a luxury we could do with too, as the New York trip approaches and, assuming we take care of the Exiles, with our Connacht Championship meeting with the Rossies coming two weeks after that.

We’ve gone with a changed line-up for this one as well, by the look of it partly by choice but also to some extent enforced.

David McBrien hobbled off late on down at Austin Stack Park and while Kevin McStay was keen to stress afterwards that it only appeared to be cramp, the Ballaghaderreen clubman is absent this evening. So too, for a second match in a row, is our talismanic but injury-prone captain, Paddy Durcan. Those are two big players to be missing.

But Enda Hession, who terrorised Tyrone at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park this time last year, is back for his first start of the year. Injury plagued his year last year too and it would be great to have his talents to call on from here on this year.

Rob Hennelly also makes his first start of the year between the sticks. Colm Reape has done fine so far this spring but it makes sense to give Rob a taste of the action before the serious stuff starts up in earnest this year.

It’s a small bit surprising that we haven’t shaken things up a bit up top. Both Aidan O’Shea and Tommy Conroy are struggling for form – and for scores – right now and it’s easy to make the case for one, or indeed both, of them not to start this game. Once again, however, they’ve both been selected to line out but there now has to be a real onus on them to show they’re in the team on merit.

Diarmuid Duffy’s meteoric rise sees him start a League game for the very first time. A Minor two years ago, the 19 year-old Ballinrobe player has made major strides since then and now he gets his chance to mix it from the throw-in with the big boys. Here’s hoping it all goes well for him this evening.

We’re slight favourites to do the business in this one and we’ve a decent enough record against the O’Neill County on their home turf. But – as the 2021 All-Ireland final proved beyond doubt for us – we underestimate them at our peril. A repeat of all those handling and passing errors we witnessed down in Tralee could well see us come away empty-handed for the second weekend in a row.

There was a great discussion on our Here Comes the Weekend pod about how this match might go.

Colm Boyle felt that we need a faster start than we managed in the last two games and reckoned that, while we’re the stronger team, if we don’t bring a performance to match we could well come away from Omagh empty-handed.

Peter Canavan referenced the number of new lads Tyrone are currently blooding – they had seven first-season players in the team that played Galway – and his view was that if we play like we did in the second half down in Tralee there’s only going to be one winner. He did, though, also say that we’re not in a particularly rich vein of form so far this year and he reckoned that any lassitude on our part will provide his native county with a chance this evening.

Peter The Great isn’t wrong (he rarely is, in truth). We’ve only really played well in patches so far this year. However, some of the moves we’ve tried in the three games to date, many of them fractionally failing to come off, show we’re working hard to unlock defences in more unpredictable ways this year.

At the back, no goals conceded from three matches tells its own story. That was a major failing for us not just last year but the year before as well and it follows that bolting the door in defence makes us, all other things being equal, harder to beat.

So here’s to more inventive attacks and another helping of obdurate defending from us in Omagh this evening. If we manage that, we stand a strong chance of taking the points on offer and, with them, all but securing our Division One status for next year as well.

Let’s get this done. Up Mayo.

211 thoughts on “Game day – time to secure our top tier status

  1. I’ll be happy to be within 5pts today. Seriously.
    We are down a lot of bodies. This Tyrone team are good, you need to actually watch teams and form an eye test opinion.

  2. Thank you for your information Willie Joe,hopefully we bring our second half against Kerry,that should be more than enough,all best today

  3. If the Canavans get the same space to shoot as they did in Colleges final and as Cliffors got last week we are in for a big defeat. Whats wrong with old fashioned defending, like getting close to you man and put him under preasure for every shot, instead we are running after them about two yards away/behind giving them a free shot. Thats not defending.

  4. I’m hearing from a very good source, that mayo are starting with 2 at midfield for the throw in

  5. Paul, McBrien be the other almost definite starter you’d have missing. Pretty much full tilt besides.
    Loftus looks like back in squad today so most hands back on deck.

  6. @Paul: Paddy Durcan, David McBrien (?), Mattie Ruane (so far – wouldn’t be surprised to see him this evening), James Carr, Padraig O’Hora, Conor Reid and James Murphy the full list we know of at the moment of out/potentially out.

    You’d expect Paddy and David as definite starters when fit and any of the others pushing hard for a spot on the 26 (plenty would have James in the 15 but horses for courses there with McHale/CO’C/Towey all pushing hard too).

  7. I think WJ touched one our biggest challenges – playing in patches. The game in Killarney last year was one of the few games where we played for the majority of the 70 mins. Even the league final win over Galway was very inconsistent at times.

  8. culmore – If the canavan doesnt track hession like in McHale park last year for his wonder goal they are in for a big defeat.

  9. Is there a reason why the mayo team news never includes the subs. Do management deliberately hold back on naming them for some reason?

  10. I thought they were very defensive against us last week and it was very hard to break them down but they were vulnerable to attacks in from the flanks and direct running shown by Flaherty when he came in. I think Canavan was suffering last week from Sigerson and expect he will be a big danger to ye today. Based on the Galway vs Mayo and our win against Tyrone where Sweeney was unlucky not to get a second goal I would see this a good chance for Mayo to get the points. It will also test how ye are going against a massed defence. Safe journey to all Mayo people travelling.

  11. JP
    I don’t we can point to missing personnel as an excuse when you look at the tyrone list of absences, there is likely to b only 5 starters from the team who pumped is in 2021 all ireland final (Morgan, Hampsey, Harte, Kilpatrick, kennedy)

    Things I want to see tonight are a functioning forward line, the fact McStay seems to be double down on this forward line for pretty much the 4th game in a row suggests this is the attack he is going with for the year.

    Hoping to see more fluidity in attack with Tommy getting some confidence back and hopefully vast improvement from AOS if he has to start

  12. Plunkett, presumably this is a management decision because team sheets win games ya know 🙂
    Tyrone would likely have had the full squad list since Thursday or Friday anyway as would be issued for printing of programmes to CB.
    For all it’s worth anyway. Can be changed in last minute anyways. Can surmise some panel members based on social media posts earlier, McStay, McHale and Loftus pictured with Kevin and others in Lough Erne resort.

  13. 16. Reape
    17. C Boland
    18. McDonnell
    19. McHale
    20. MacLaughlin
    21. McStay
    22. C. O’Connor
    23. Plunkett
    24. Ruane
    25. Towey
    26. Touhy

  14. There’s never anything easy in Healy Park and it’ll be the same this evening. I don’t think there’s a whole lot between the two teams and like last weekend it’ll probably go down to the final few minutes. We need to get parity in midfield to have a good chance of winning this game and Hennelly’s long kick-outs just might make the difference. Mayo to win a very physical game by a point or two.

  15. Strong mayo bench named, only Durcan and mcbrien away from full strength at this stage I’d say. Ruane and Loftus will surely get minutes, by all accounts McHale motoring well so will be first cab off the rank in attack, if not starting.

  16. I always feel with Tyrone you need to not let them get a few points ahead early as they are masters at playing there gameplan in this scenario and stifling opposition. Better to get a couple of points ahead of them then they have to come out and play. Anyway I said earlier in the week I dont think this is a strong Tyrone team and they seem to be in a bit of transition and I’ve seen nothing in their performances to suggest otherwise. Mayo by 5 or 6 for me…

  17. Hi,

    Good to hear that the team are in the Lough Erne resort.
    If memory serves me correctlyMayo played very well the next day. This was under JH.

    Was it an overnight stay?

    Ciaran 2

  18. Strong enough squad – if our attack clicks for ten minutes we can win this pulling up.

    Defensively, if that’s what starts, a clean sheet and there should be enough there to chip away at a blanket. After Rory and Sam’s performances last weekend it’ll be interesting to watch Donnacha McHugh, Jack Coyne and Stephen Coen, should they start, as Tyrone will likely identify them as our least creative players.

    I’d still like to see more changes Cillian and McHale in attack, and it’d be great to see a Ruane or Plunkett start.

    Hoping Coen actually starts this one, and Fergal Boland doesn’t – Fergal has often struggled in the past to put together a run of consistent performances at this level. I’d reward the three he has just done by taking that pressure off him for a weekend. Let’s see what he can offer coming in with 20 minutes to go.

    I’m not sure Duffy will start – he’s a real bundle of fearless youthful energy which may or may not be what we want from the start here.

  19. Good to see Ruane back We have a number of players who seem to be injury prone Hession McLoughlin McBrien Carr McHale and Durkin and Cillian at this stage in their careers
    When McBrien went off in last years league final rhe word was it was only a precaution and he was out for weeks In the Kerry game it looked to be only cramping Hope it’s not weeks again

  20. Weather forecast is looking good – this will be a very interesting game. My gut says we’ll punish an inexperienced Tyrone team.

    We’ve been finishing strongly in our games so far this year. Tyrone will probably try to slow the game down to counter that.

    We look a much better team this year and I’m not sure the same can be said about Tyrone. Mayo by 7, assuming we take our goal chances.

  21. I’d like to see Ruane get some time as a half forward – always felt that should be his position. Hope Plunkett gets game time felt he was just peaking for Mayo before his injury

  22. I’d like to see Tommy get a few scores today. I’m sure himself and Cillian will rediscover form soon. Would like to see Cillian start also.

  23. Aos will have to stay around the middle for most of this to try and curb Kilpatrick and Co. Its hard to see Tyrone losing 2 match s at home I think.

  24. Four changes to the named team. In: Michael Plunkett, Matthew Ruane, Cillian O’Connor and Conor McStay. Out: Donnacha McHugh, Jack Carney, Aidan O’Shea and Ryan O’Donoghue.

  25. Cillian starting instead of Aidan and Conor Mc Stay instead of Ryan gonna be a long evening folks

  26. most people on here have got their wish,, no Aiden O Shea, hope it works out well but I done think that team is good enough to beat Tyrone in Omagh.

  27. Missing our three best players, David McBrien, Paddy Durcan and Ryan O’Donoghue. Pretty sure we’ll be a long way off them.

  28. Is it 5 players they have from team that beat us in final in 2021?
    We’ve a more experienced team, should still win in a tight one.

  29. Surely it would have made more sense to play Paul Towey or Darren Mchale ahead of McStay? Both men have played in the league so far this year and scored. So the decision doesn’t look to be based on what’s happening on the football field, or am I reading between the lines?

  30. Disaster
    He tweaked it first play and didn’t even get treatment
    He was stretching it for next few minutes

    Himself and Paddy having muscular injuries is not good

  31. Green&Red

    Ah it’s probably giving lads a chance. We need to find some young lads. Would McStay not be far younger than both? Of the similar age to Duffy and Callinan. The focus is on youth development which I am behind. Our own man Jack Livingston should be seeing game time too as much as I love Robbie.

  32. Great to see Mattie back. Kearney and Mattie probably the most athletic pairing in the country when on form.

  33. Mandarin

    I think Mcstay is older than Towey? Either way I wouldn’t worry about age but more so what the player is bringing to the team. Mchale and Towey both more comfortable scores.

    Sam lucky not to get a black on that tackle on Canavan. Poor game so far.

  34. @green&red this ref Cawley seems to favour Mayo a lot in games he’s in charge of. He got that award for the penalty wrong, Will take who’s complaining ..

  35. Pretty good first half
    No better man to stick a pen away than Cillian
    We overplayed a bit when we had the extra man. Hope it won’t come back to haunt us

  36. Mattie seemed to pull up before half time as well. Very poor game so far. Lucky penalty is the difference.

  37. Who did conor Loftus replace on the bench ,the mayo gaa twitter didn’t say, just says ‘Conor Loftus will be included in the subs “

  38. That was dire stuff. Pure snooze fest. Haven’t seen any individual quality. Soft frees/ soft black and pen sparing our blushes

  39. 2 points from play in 50 minutes , we aren’t winning anything anytime soon, no standout players , no scoring forwards to win big games on the big day

  40. Most of the crowd from Mayo.
    We will make a hero out of Dara Canavan like we almost always do if the opposite has any players of any talent..
    Long journey home…. Unless we get a miracle.

  41. It’s a league game…I wouldn’t be getting too carried away. Same when we win. That said I don’t think anybody is under any illusion that we are a million miles away from challenging for an all Ireland.

  42. No one is playing well. Our defenders all losing individual battles. Midfield, once again having no influence. Diarmuid didn’t start well but he is sorely missed in our centre third. He gets on a huge anonymous of ball. Carney doesn’t. Up front, we were patient in the first half but nothing first half. Very disheartening after 53 mins. We may still retrieve matters. It we do it’ll be ROD. I’d bring Aido on at 14 now cos we need a goal and direct ball might be better.

    How many times have our lads been swallowed up in possession.

    Tyrone scoring far easier. Our defence is being opened.

  43. We’re like a box of chocolates, you don’t know what you’re getting from week to week. We’re making Tyrone look great.

  44. Embarrassing 2nd half display from Mayo at both end of the field. Management played their part in it with too much chopping and changing of the starting team

  45. Good young player in the backs but no experience. Middle third is nearly as bad. Healy Park is not a good place for that! Could do with McBrien’s tightnesses and strength to give example at the back.
    Time to be settling your best 15 and subs from here on in. It’s not the FBD League.

  46. How feckin open were we just there for that last Tyrone free in where Carney fouls the Tyrone lad racing through. Acres of space. Wow

  47. Good young player in the backs but no experience. Middle third is nearly as bad. Healy Park is not a good place for that! Could do with McBrien’s tightnesses and strength to give example at the back.
    Time to be settling your best 15 and subs from here on in. It’s not the FBD League. You win both without effective Experience on the pitch for the full game!

  48. Actually good time to give us some perspective for 2024. We’ve found some good prospectives but need to get some more talent coming through. Lots of patience needed.

  49. Because he is an amateur player and you made a strange personal comment about wanting him to emigrate?

  50. Actually couldn’t watch it as was working glad that I couldn’t now. Jaysus what even…. how are we this far behind.

    Only the league as they say… No need for people to be panicking though.

  51. Good to be optimistic Clare, but if we don’t have scoring forwards now… Where will we find them for champo? Canavan and mccurry as accurate as they come.. If they get good ball.. Good night Irene.. Mayo as I say prob 5th or 6th seed for champo..miles off

  52. Paul, Ruane’s first game back this season. Hi passes in the first half were the reason behind the goal and 2 of the points if I’m not mistaken???

  53. That game shows how poor our panel is, when Tyrone got stuck in after half time ,we coulnt handle it. At least the game shows that some of our players are just not up to standard.. Time to play your best team at all times.

  54. Completely beaten on and of the field. Rudderless! Flat and lethargic!
    Hopefully next week?
    Hughley disappointing!

  55. @Great ball for sure I don’t disagree with that at all..

    You really never know what mayo is going to turn up do you??

    Least we will be tit lly written off now and no attention on us what’s so ever haha.

  56. I don’t think I’m buying this “we don’t have the players” there’s men there that should have gotten over the line less than 3 years ago. Horan would have killed for some of these young lads also.

    Hate to say it but coaching seems to be a problem here. We always seem to be 1-2 years behind in any trend or movement in the game. Attacking play possibly the worst in Division 1. And still 1 v 1 defending at the back.

    Get some innovation in.

  57. Full back line taken to the cleaners. How many times has mccurry caused damage against us? We never seem to be able to have a player to man mark him

  58. Tyrone A handul for any team when they get it right… They out worked mayo there in the 2 half, intensity as they are known for was very evident… You’d just wonder will it be an exit at quarter final stage again for mayo… 3 or 4 yrs in the doldrums again and maybe we’ll have a team to get back into finals consistently.. But sure that’s footie.. Hopefully change these fuckin rules and make it more entertaining… When u see the keepies out at midfield soloing and passing the ball it’s time to call it off.. For the love and honour of jehovah

  59. WJ i love your work but i wouldnt bother with a MOTM. Honestly, when a performance is as bad as that, motm stuff is unnecessary. Without getting personal or stepping over the line it’s okay to be unhappy with a performance. Calls by mgmt at the start, baffling to be honest.

  60. Calm down everyone! We have gone one end of the country to the other this past week. That’s tiring without matches. Yes boring match and not much to cheer for but their need was greater. It’s still only February. Could be worse. We could be Kildare 😉

  61. FitzMaurice pointed out when Tyrone bunched and broke on one of their kickouts. We seem to have no kick out strategy developed, e.g. Brickenden who had back to ball was it when Hennelly went for him.
    Left defender repeatedly exposed one on one again v opponents best forward.

    These things worry me more than the results.

  62. First of all I suspect Paul must be a troll so best to ignore him
    No need to panic we are more than capable of beating Monaghan and Roscommon. One thing is clear however we can never afford not to play from the start a fully fit Ryan O’Donoghue. And it could be worse you could like be a Man United supporter. Thank god for Ireland or it would have been very miserable day and not just a bad one.

  63. Some on here I haven’t seen comment before but some of that stuff is way over the top .we were very poor and we don’t have a midfield but this has been obvious for some time.Clare a lot of our problems stem from we don’t know what mayo will turn up .there is no structure to what we are doing.we are under pressure now but will probably get the points we need but that doesn’t mask the huge issues we soon as Tyrone turned up the intensity we were simply distroyed

  64. Bad day for sure but I think people need to relax a bit all I heard on here was that the league doesn’t mean anything and doesn’t matter if we play badly in the league or even get relegated. So long as we turn up for championship.

    But yet a 2nd loss and some people are saying we should have gone with a different manager.

  65. Let’s hope we are in the middle of heavy training
    And sure wasn’t everyone crying for lads to get a chance , and not to go all out for the league and try to finish 3-6th and ideally finish with wins

    So here we are

  66. Ryan o D 2 from play in 15 minutes , Tommy C another game of no score , need to stop putting these two in the same category , Ryan is our only forward

  67. Very poor from Mayo. I’m disappointed but will feel better if we can improve.
    Tyrone harried their opponents physically, were in their faces and gave them no space. They did this out the field. Mayo, on the other hand, stood off their men and when Tyrone had this space they just approached the posts and scored almost all the time.
    This is what made the Tyrone win. It wasn’t rocket science. Why didn’t we harry their players out the field?
    I know we are learning. But … this has to change.
    I remember this intense, close, physical tackling of players out the field is what Tyrone did to Mayo in the final in 2021. This negated Mayo then. I hate being outfoxed by any team and Tyrone love finding your weaknesses and negating you. It was too easy for Tyrone.

  68. Our handling was pathetic and that’s being kind. What the hell do they do in training and as for a style of play, it seems nonexistent. This nonsense of naming a dubious team on Fri and then sending out an even more dubious one to start is bordering on childish. Some of our substitutions seemed to be made for the sake of it rather than any tactical purposes. Fucking horrible drive home now with everyone in the car frustrated and pissed off. Hope the next time Kevin opts to put on a cabaret clown show he let’s us know before we buy tickets.

  69. I have to agree with others that have stated this over the past few weeks, midfield is a huge problem, I don’t just mean the two midfielders but the half forwards and half backs, just not able to judge or win the breaking ball.

    We cannot leave O Donoghue on the bench, probably the best forward we have, unless he was carrying a niggle.

  70. Lads, i have never seen such bad refereeing decisions in my life (2nd half from the off) . Tyrone probably shaded it in the second half but being penalised for a player facing the wrong way wtf. Could not understand the first 2 free kicks awarded to Tyrone. Literally no contact. bizarre second half. Losing the will to live.

  71. Feel sorry for supporters driving home from Omagh tonite.I dont think I could be bothered attending any of our away games for the rest of the year, up until the quarter finals in Croker. This Mayo team are not exciting to watch anymore.We are in lean times.Good job we stole them 2 points from Dublin.

  72. Someone above said McStay doesn’t know his best players in the county, I’m living in Galway, can anyone throw out names that should be in the panel that are not ?

  73. Paul – I’ve deleted that comment you made about a named player. That’s you done posting comments here for a while if that’s the level you want to stoop to.

    All – please keep the comments measured. It was a very poor performance tonight, we all know that, but please refrain from sticking the boot in. Usual rules apply on abusive comments about players – I’ve no desire to ban individuals from commenting but if you leave me no choice then I will.

  74. This year we are not competitive in the top 6 without close to our first 15.
    We did okay tonight.
    Colm Reape, David McBrien, Paddy Durcan, Ryan O’Donoghue and Diarmuid O’Connor available we are transformed.
    Tommy is waiting for dry ground, playing on this mud. The SnC looks like we can outrun teams but we’re not physically strong. Of the top teams we still have lads togging slim.

  75. Tyrone fully deserved their win and once they upped the intensity Mayo had no answer. Not wise by McStay complaining about “big calls” that went against us when a big penalty call was given. Mayo have decent first 15 but once some of that first 15 are injured or rested the strength in depth isn’t near the level it once was.

  76. @bonnie boyler the ref robbed Tyrone in the first half he gave us everything, only reason we were ahead at half time

  77. First the good news, we need have no worries about being in the league final and, on that performance, we are in no way safe from relegation. The first half performance was average and there is only one word for the second. SHITE! We were a total shambles and to stretch generosity a bit, we will put it partly down to all the changes. We got a reality check here and it might dampen down some of the super optimists. I could’nt believe the amount of posters this week, who were dismissing Tyrone, almost as no hopers, based on what evidence, I have no idea. To some, it seemed it was only a matter of how much we would win by, not if we would win-the highest predicted Mayo win, that I can remember, was 7 points. We will heve to roll up our sleeves for the rest of the league and show an awful lot more effort, passion and commitment. It was a horrible game of football as well.

  78. Willlie joe can you put the bus driver in the man of the match poll, he’s had the best performance bringing those lads home

  79. Paddy durcan and mcbrien from a defensive and attacking point of view are massive losses and it looks like doc is injured now, could be a tricky end to the league, again no points from tommy and no score from play from cillian big worry because we need those lads going well, maybe they are injured but where are Frank Irwin and ruairi keane, both very good in the sigerson but we are playing a teenager and have lads on the bench for all 4 league games who haven’t even got 1 minute of playing time.

  80. JP are we not always saying ifs and butts….. other teams are finding players while some big guns are out. Next week is must win now. No ifs and butt’s.

  81. @MO2023 fully agree with you there Tyrone def deserved the win. Totally agree we just don’t have the deot outside of our first 15.

    Ah did mcstay say that? That’s not great to be moaning about the ref from a manager by the sounds of it we were awful I’ll have to watch it later.

    When we have our best on the field as in Reape, Ryan O D paddy durcan etc when we have our first 15 on the field we are totally different team.

    I still think we wont be far off this year but people need to remember not to be soo harsh on the players they go out and Play for free I’m sure they know themselves how crap they played tonight they don’t need people online abusing them either.

    I guess we can only improve onwards and upwards..

  82. So did we want the manager to make wholesale changes to give fringe players gametime and also not to qualify for league final or not ?
    Hard to keep up at this stage

    We can’t not make a league final if we win all our games ……

  83. Shockingly lacking in direction in every way is the only way you could describe our play this evening.
    Yet again our forwards ran away from the opposition goal.
    It’s about time we removed The Rose Tinted glasses when we look at some of our forwards.
    I feel really sorry for some of our players who are doing their best but unfortunately their best is not close to what we need to win an All Ireland.
    At least we don’t have to worry about a league final..
    We will play better than tonight’s game .
    Maigheo Abu.

  84. The biggest negative by far tonight is Diamuid picking up a muscle injury. If we don’t have him and Paddy fit and sharp for champo we will struggle.
    No game time at all for Aido or Towey seemed a bit strange.

  85. Very poor performance from the “so called starters” on this team.
    We have this penchant in Mayo for putting rookies up on a pedestal.
    Tommy, Jack, Jordan amongst many others.
    It’s absolutely total nonsense.
    There are far too many Intermediate footballers ( I’m counting Sixteen & possibly more) that are 100% masquerading as senior county players. It’s not possible and believe me it doesn’t work. Unless you are playing at a top level for your senior club, you have no idea/ clue of what you are going to come up against. You can go back through the ages or times, it doesn’t work.
    Diarmuid has not obviously got to the pitch of the required tempo, etc.. but they insist on playing him. Sadly ( I’m a great fan of his) but this won’t work.
    Sad loss to lesser opponents

  86. Lads lads lads I know it was a bad second half performance from ye but really it’s a nothing league game in February.
    We played almost as shite in Omagh last week and somehow escaped with a win.
    Nobody knows what training plan teams are on in the background at this time of year.
    It’s all tailored to summer.
    I wouldn’t be panicking.

  87. And the only possible positive is fergal Boland’s ability to kick long range points.Matt ruane failing to catch a simple ball on our 21 metre line basically summed it up and hennelly kicking to brickenden with his back to play.nothing worked tonight .while there is no need for complete panic it was very concerning what was on view tonight

  88. GlasagusDearg, I agree with what you said here 100%:
    “We will heve to roll up our sleeves for the rest of the league and show an awful lot more effort, passion and commitment…

    I think we’re terrorised by this blanket or mass defending that we’ve had to deal with these last few years. We seem to be basing a lot of our attention on playing against this – and we’re improving against that system.
    BUT I think it is making certain things creep into our game too much, and we’re flat as a result, that is, relying on zonal defending (leaving lots of space and we tend to go into a holding pattern instead of being proactive), hand passing instead of more kicking and risk taking, and relying on breaks from our half backs. We need ruthlessness too and we need to devise *several* ways to be ruthless, not just to sit back.
    Perhaps this so-called failure this evening can be a blessing in disguise and help us avoid complacency in our game.
    It was a good wake-up call if we take it that way. For example, the safety net has been pulled away a bit tonight. Paddy Durcan, our usual rescuer, wasn’t there tonight to save us with some magic as he has done before. It lets the cracks show and that’s good – that we see them now.
    I’m proud of Fergal Boland. The lad has gumption.

  89. Disappointing result but feel Management will learn soo much from this defeat regarding our players.
    Presume Diarmuid will be out for the Rossies game .
    Think McStay will give us a glimpse of our starting championship against the Rossies.
    I’ll hold off on criticism of individual players .
    A few may have played themselves off the team and others impressed but all went out to do their best for us and their county

  90. @ James Nolan , yes Ref gave a lot to Maigheo first half, Maybe he was compensating. The commentary for me was bizarre as when the foul was replayed , I was struggling to see the offense. The second free in the 2nd half looked like an absolute dive. But my favourite was the commentary that the Mayo player was facing the wrong way. Not sure if that is an offense. no contact. @ Lahanman will do

  91. Eye test the Dublin and Kerry game right now and tell me our SnC is correct. There are novice Dublin players with the muscular build. Lots of our lads with middle distance runner builds. It’s ckear as you can visually get.

  92. MY BALL, I don’t share your faith in the management , no balance to that team tonight ok it’s only February but we should have chosen kerry or Tyrone to try and get 2 points it’s a lot of mileage for players and fans

  93. Lack of power was quite evident ,im afraid if ya cant see how we struggle physically you will need to pay more attention. When the heat came on tonight we wernt able . We are not a bad side but we wi?l need serious improvement to have a good championship

  94. Yes Lahanman, Dubs v Kerry is what we need. 2 teams who can kick the ball in high effectively and accurately.

  95. We got a lesson in what genuine top class forwards look like tonight. McCurry and Canavan schooled us with an exhibition of skill and accuracy.
    They wouldn’t be trusted in Mayo because they aren’t 6’2 and built like WWF wrestlers.

  96. Mayo should have tore into Tyrone in first half, they had plenty of ball but build up was too slow, no running onto ball, just f##k##g about hoping the goal would open up in front of them, they’re a better team than they showed tonight, I think they are waiting for the home games to win & stay safe in division 1, a bit of a downer tonight + Diarmuid’s hamstring is a bit of a worry but they’ll bounce back hopefully.

  97. I only saw the first half, missed the second so it sounds like I dodged a right bullet. Firstly how Kevin can complain about a ref after all the calls he gave us in the first half is a joke. This isn’t the first time he’s made some poor comments in interviews, need I remind people that he called one of his own players a baby last year.

    Secondly people have made comments about him selecting the best players in the county and what not. Now he has one Kilmeena player in the panel and 4 Ballinrobe players. Yet Kilmeena bet them in the county intermediate final last year. Ironically I believe Stephen Rochford lives in the town and helped train them last year. Is there a bias there?

    Same with Conor McStay today, why didn’t Towey or Mchale start considering they finished the game last week, both looking good. I made a point a few weeks ago as to why Eoin O’D came straight back into an FBD panel, which was heavily criticised. Why hasn’t he played a game yet? Seems like it was all for show.

    I definitely think there is a fair discussion to be had on his player selection but considering neither himself or Rochford never managed clubs in Mayo, is it surprising.

  98. Disappointed to hear McStay whinging about refereeing decisions consider how many big calls we got our way in 1st half. Pure deflection.
    Can’t always be the ref to blame when Mayo lose

  99. Con o callaghan seems to have rediscovered his mojo this year.

    That’s just what the chasing pack needs :-/

  100. @seanBurke. Would you agree huge intensity can look more powerful. If mayo gathered around the Tyrone players in 3s and 4s they would disposses the ball carrier and look powerful though i can understand the eye test too. Btw Dublin are destroying kerry at the moment.

  101. Just goes to show – the league is the league and you can’t read too much into it either way.
    We were awful tonight – are we that bad? Probably not. Are Dublin 10 points better than Kerry? Definitely not.

  102. Lose next week and we will be brought back down into a dog fight. Management tonight missed the point of puting out our strongest fifteen and guaranteeing safety.

  103. A result that was predictable to any level headed supporter but not a woeful result, look you need to give top forwards more respect and play an additional defender not an outright sweeper but say enda hession starting on front of halfbackline .
    Things went well in some cases, we are building enda hess back is great , need paddy aswell to be as good as we can be, eoin Mac gets more minutes, Stephen coen and bricks looked solid , but getting Sam out to 6 and mcbrien at 3 is a level higher of quality .
    Midfield is OK diarmuid is a big loss, although I’d love to have him deeper.
    Our 4 midfielders from 8 9, 10 and 12 needs our better players and them on form , flynns working well defensive but poor in attack, carneys working hard, matty done well got minutes in but needs that confidence on front of posts or sit deep and let others attack.
    Tuohy great impact when he came on .
    Add in Loftus to that mix and good options.
    Duffy will have learnt alot but needs another level ot two and probably one of hardest places to make first start.
    Frank irwin must be near getting a chance as he’s a good option at 10 .
    Boland super , going well.
    Mcstay lovely player and adds alot but can’t have him and boland in one team, it’s one or other .
    Cillian showed how ro hold up ball and be an option . Great stuff and great to get game into him, will be so very important.
    Tommy positive coming back into colour , some great breaks and ya coming back to himself.
    Good runout from Rod when came on , shows we can play him and cillian together .
    So predicable result, some players got chance but didn’t take it but we have two fine man markers in coyne and callinan but don’t leave them.utrerly exposed, show more respect, give them help and we will be a very competitive team add in tommy and cillian getting fitter and sharper

  104. Leaving off Ryan a big mistake, think Colm Reape should be the first choice keeper, cannot understand playing Tommy when he’s not scoring at all, young McStay shouldn’t be starting, why wasn’t Aidan brought on, Cillian not bringing much to the party, management a lot at fault I think, too much messing around, Boland showing up well, Aidan should be starting as he’s a warrior

  105. @MB99 – Totally agree with you! Too many of these players not playing Div 1 Senior Football for the latter half of the year. And it shows. In that time, losing fitness, pace, basic skill (accuracy in hand and kick passing particularly and “minding” the ball in particular) and quick thinking skills. I suppose an argument against the split season!
    Moderator of this page – I know you’re saying that you are deleting comments directly targeting a particular person. But please don’t pick and choose, there are comments up on this page about people who got a run out today, who did a lot better than some others on the pitch but I’ll leave that there. These players are under immense pressure as we all know and certain responses under this post are just appalling.
    Moving onwards – a middle of the table finish would be ideal in my opinion and I think the management and players would agree. Lessen the hype as it does more damage than it’s worth and also allow for a nice gap in between league and championship.
    And remember…. It’s just the league!

  106. See the Dubs laying down a mark for the Summer, can turn on the style when needed.

    D Clifford the most overrated player in Gaa history, stunned again v the Dubs tonight.

  107. What how can you say villian hadn’t an impact after watching the previous displays from our no13 in last 3 games

  108. @ Green and Red, sorry to harp on but literally I have Never seen such bad refereeing decisions in my life. really bizarre decisions. No contact. Will defer to Tyrone deserved their win, but the springboard was the first few decisions in the second half that looked like nothing on replay. very frustrating

  109. Clifford most over rated player in GAA history!? right, we’ve gone to the other side on this blog….

  110. Bonnie

    I didn’t see the second half so you could well be right. I just thought he gave us everything in the first half even a peno that was clearly a free. Either way I don’t think he should be blaming a ref in his post match interview

  111. Clifford is a class act for sure but ive always been of the opinion but hes not a mythical creature like some make out , Con o Callaghan just as lethal on his day .

  112. Wow did I get Tyrone wrong..

    They were desperate last week, and scintillating this evening. Canavan is something special, but we needed someone else to be tried in n him – McHugh?

    Really lost it in the first half. Scored one point during Tyrone’s (unlucky) black card. Couldn’t understand the TV panel incl Canavan snr being so negative about them.

    Still, one game, and guys needed minutes in the legs. But the lack of ability to win any breaking ball or kicks out has to be addressed.

  113. If Dublin and derry win mayo stay joint 2nd on the league table after 4 games. Not sure if it’s misleading or not.

  114. Hello fellow Mayo Buddys. I think its time we all SETTLE down and regroup as a unit! We need to back the team and show support for one another. ? We’ve been on this magical journey for some time now with ups and downs along the way and have overcome many obstacles. It’s early in the year so I’d call on each and everyone with Mayo blood to settle settle settle. WE need to shout from the top of our voices towards the business end of the year.
    I’ll be in Mchale park next week supporting our boys in my usual blue seat and my sneaky vape! Peace out and we will settle scores later in the year. Up mayo

  115. Honestly a hammering like this was on the cards and the championship will be the same story. We scraped through our game against Dublin (probably didn’t deserve to win) and beat a Galway team full of injuries. If we’d beaten or drawn with Kerry last week, it would have been lucky. A lot of the problems that were there last year are still there.

  116. Clifford is a great player but he can only do so much..

    You got to give it to the dubs though they are a class act

    Just goes to show league is league and you can’t judge to much on results as another poster said to..

  117. I wouldnt panic its only February and the league. But we have learned nothing about forward play. I would rate us as one of the beaten quarter finalists this year

  118. First free in to con kilpatrick looked to me that he tripped himself up but refereeing decisions weren’t a major factor.we were blown and someone says midfield is ok !!!!!!.watch Brian Fentons impact in midfield on opposition kickout.we haven’t one midfielder at the minute who is claiming any sort of decent possession in midfielder and Yea the game has changed but any top county still has at least one big midfielder who can get up in the air and win a contested’s put our kickout under all sorts of pressure without this option

  119. Small bit of perspective needed – before the game I predicted a comfortable win that was before I knew we’d be playing 6 players having their first start for the year (either a newbie or coming back from injury). Felt we were very lateral in the first half and didn’t take a few chances. We fell asleep for 10mins of the 2nd and the rest is history. No need to panic but Diarmuid injury is the biggest downer

  120. Tommy played very well, loads of ball stuck and he was a constant danger, much more improved than last few games.

    This blog is actually laughable after a game. Ob ious trolls like Paul come on, and then you have the sky is falling down brigade when we lose, closely followed by the Mayo4Sam brigade when we win an oul league game. Its a far more interesting doscussion during the week tbh.

    No harm to be getting a few wake up calls in the league, this is what its about. Not an easy division when your fitness isn’t way ahead of the rest. This is what I want to see, players being tried out in games that matter. They’ll either sink after that or realise the level that is required.

    In saying all that, their is something off about or tactics. But Championship is where its at so ill hold off on that until the season is over. The squeeze is coming on McStay all the same.

  121. Utter garbage. We have no attack plan. Lads were given a chance tonight to shine and have been shown for what they are, average at best, and against an average enough Tyrone side. Our forward line wondering what to do with it, panicking and recycling it backward across the half forward line all night. Running into dead ends, rinse repeat, dispossessed. Tyrone gain back possession long ball forward score. No driving forward taking on their man, no incisiveness, not enough long range shot efforts taken, pass the buck scared forwards who refuse to shoot. Not enough effort and execution. Diarmuid going off big a big loss and factor in result. O Donnaghue came on too late, made a bit of a difference, our goose was well cooked by that stage. It’s a testament to the standard of football we play that O Se would have made a huge difference tonight as a target man inside. Looks like we have no one else of that size who can will long ball inside. COC way off form. It’s the league, fair enough, but if we play like that for the rest of the league and we will be relegated on that level of performance. Not looking great, big response needed by all concerned.

  122. I actually thought our forwards did ok in the 2nd half when they got good supply. It was so rare, because our midfield had no control on proceedings Hennelly made numerous bad decisions on kickouts and his inability to deal with a simple pick up off the ground, led directly to a simple free in for Tyrone which brought them level. Not a good night for him.

    As I said already, it was another below average night for our midfield. We lost the middle third battle against Dublin, against Kerry and again tonight (we edged the first half but destroyed 2nd, when the match tempo increased). I hate to say it but once Diarmuid is gone we have no leaders, no ‘men’ in the Ger Loughnane fold to control the game, dominate and dictate play. Flynn is 25, he’s no kid. He has been decent for Mayo but we need much more. We also need a lot lot more from Jack Carney. What is he? 22? This should be his real ‘breakthrough year’, but so far I’m not seeing much. Mattie is just back so a bit unfair to judge him, but it wasn’t great this evening from him. He looked frustrated walking off. Coen was probably our best middle third player. At least he won a high ball and kicked a good score! He just lacks pace but has done more in the league so far than others in that section

    I didn’t buy into the improved Mayo defensive structure ‘hadn’t conceded goals’ thing over the past few weeks. I still thought we looked a bit standoffish against Dublin (they had loads of space and kicked some dreadful wires) and Kerry (acres of space but also kicked loads of wides). Tonight we were opened up hugely in the 2nd half.

    I’m a big proponent of trying things out in the league. And the league doesn’t count, as a competition except for those on the brink of entry to the Championship but I don’t think we played well against Dublin, we were 2nd best in Tralee and tonight was fairly dreadful fare. So it is a bit disappointing and disheartening. I wouldn’t mind losing if we saw a few fringe lads really showing well. Has anyone done so? Tuohy hadn’t come in since last year. Carney hasn’t. Flynn’s form isn’t great and our defence when you take McBrien and Durcan out looks very vulnerable.

    Finally, we showed no bite at all when the gauntlet was thrown down by Tyrone. We lacked fight, structure and leadership.

    The only comfort tonight is that it’s still February. That’s about all :/

  123. Tyrone scored 1-06 from play – 3 diff scorers. We scored 0-08 from play – 6 diff scorers. Many silly frees make up the majority of rest of the scores. Forgettable match and that is exactly what it will become by next weekend.

  124. Too many changes all at once. Two or three would be enough. The most disappointing aspect of our play was the almost casual approach and lack of intensity which Tyrone had in spades. One team well prepared the other with is cuma liom attitude.

  125. What a player con is though have to say fair play to the dubs they really know how to switch it on the class when they need to.

  126. Please stop with O shea as target man , stats prove ball goes in when he’s in there , ball comes out equally as quick .

    Cillian held onto ball used it wisely but ball was bouncing off aido, he was sloppy, slipping anf delaying passes , cillian used ball fast under severe pressure .

    I’m not against Aido but I hate how if he’s not playing he’s suddenly Prime Michael Murphy, let’s move on and let him settle into an impact sub role

  127. After that farce from both players and management, the only players I see guaranteed a place on the team are, Reape in goals, backs Durkan, McBrein, Brickerton, no midfield, half forwards, Boland and Flynn, full forwared line only Donaghue and a half for Aiden, No point in playing corner backs that cant mark their man, half backs that can only run are no good, midfielders that cant catch a high ball are no good, and forwards that cant score from play are no use to any team, the exception here is O Shea for 1st half for his height and strenght as we have no other player with that height and strength.

  128. A poster above mentioned ‘variety to our play’. I think a team like Derry are impressive in that regard.
    I found it astounding on a few occasions to see how they could ‘mix it up’.
    I know they specialise in mass defending. I assumed (one should never assume) that this was their rigid style of play. But on several occasions, I couldn’t get over their speed of attack, the accuracy of their forwards, their ability to kick amazing scores from distance and their willingness to play man on man (that is, to change to a completely different style against certain opposition or when the stage of the game demanded it). And they play with courage and desire to succeed.
    I’m not saying we copy the Derry style. But I think they’re inspiring to others – that you can excel and that you can play different styles of football well, not stay stuck in one style.

  129. How did we manage to best the Dubs. If we met them in the form they’re in tonight. I fear it would be a very different result.

  130. Don’t really understand mcstay. The ref gave us everything in the first half but as usual we were just passing the ball square and going nowhere with loads of possession

  131. @Dave Johnston we had a different team out to when we beat the dubs that wasnt our starting 15 yes some of them of course but I’m pretty sure a poster above said 6 of the guys starting tonight had their 1st start of the year.

    When we have our 1st 15 on and our best guys we can beat any team on our day.

    Wasn’t to be today we didn’t want go 100 miles an hour like we did last year through the league we tried out players today that’s what league is for. Not the end of the world.

    And hey we needn’t worry about being a league final now sure..

  132. Baller21 – the rule is that comments about individual players need to be fair and reasonable and shouldn’t veer into abuse. I’m still on the road back from the game (not driving, needless to say!) so it’ll be later before I’ve had a proper chance to go through them but I will be taking action in relation to any that go over the top in relation to any named player.

  133. Agreed ‘Outside of the boot’, no doubt we can look forward to a tedious week of how that proves AOS is the answer at full forward. When all known evidence suggests his impact at ff would have been minimal. Was the same nonsense being spouted after McStay has the temerity to (rightly) sub him in the qf against Dublin last year, as if he was suddenly going to spring the life and impact the game in the last 20 minutes.

    Not too many positives tonight though i am loathe to go too knee-jerk after a league game, win or lose.

    What does concern me slightly is our midfield, Ruane/DOC/Flynn/Carney, all fine footballers and athletes but they are idendikit athletic wing-forward types more than old fasioned ball winning midfielders.

    Also at what point do we start to worry about Tommy Conroys form and confidence? My hunch is that he will be fine on the hard ground in the summer but there is no denying he is currently miles off his best

  134. Dublin had a few newish players tonight – Murphy, McGarry, Gannon in year 2 – yet their S and C and power in their legs is miles ahead of most of our players. Some of us have said it before but our S and C looks totally inadequate and unsuitable for intercounty football.
    In terms of forward play – what Dublin and Kerry showed tonight- fast ball into forwards, good support play and players able to kick points off both feet from 30 yards out – this is miles ahead of what we can do.

  135. I actually thought Tommy looked a bit brighter tonight. He won a lot of ball & took his man on quite a bit..but he didn’t seem sharp enough to pull the trigger on a few occasions. He seemed to recycle the ball a lot, almost if his spark is being coached out of him.

    I seriously wonder if we are coaching our forward play at all. On many occasions, a forward wins a ball inside, they don’t even look up and the ball comes straight out again. What was the point of kicking it in in the first place. Call me old fashioned but give me a forward who will win a ball & have a pop, over this dross.

    These so called coaches & managers in this country have set our game back years..players afraid to shoot because it’ll look bad on a stat sheet. Flynn & Boland obviously don’t care much about stats & rightly so….if a chance is on, they’ll have a go. And fair play to them

  136. That was just the Dubs putting Kerry in their box… watch them relax back in to ordinary mode again now and ride out the league,unless they actually want to win the thing,but I’d say it is just bed in the few new lads and go for Sam again.

  137. Unfortunately championship results over the last two does not show we can beat any team on our day .the last two all Ireland champions beat us comprehensively at the quarter final stage and that basically looks like what our level is .Dublin were at another level completely tonight compared to when they played us and we are miles off the level we were at over the previous decade.we no longer have the physicality to overpower teams .For me Kevin mcstays demeanour after the game tonight was very telling.margies post is probably the most accurate, the truth of where we are lies somewhere in the middle but after watching Dublin and Kerry we are quite a bit of being all Ireland contenders

  138. I admire your optimism clare and I genuinely hope you’re right. But at present moment. Dublin vs Mayo both playing their best 15. We are well behind in terms of quality. Early days yet though.

  139. Dublin’s forward play tonight best I’ve seen so far this year. Kerry took some hammering in that match and it will be interesting to see if O’Connor can solve their midfield crisis but time is against him. In the first half it wasnt clear they had a midfield at all. As for the rest Dublin set the bar and its a big one to get up to. The Derry vs Dublin match will measure where the best of the rest is versus the Dubs.

  140. Well yeah the championship form was awful last year and I do agree with that.

    @Dave Johnston thanks! I do get it’s hard to be optimistic after a bad day like today v Tyrone and I think cause it was Tyrone to brings back bad memories of 21 is well for me anyways it does.

    I don’t think we will be anywhere near a final this year a semi would be a huge achievement though but I still think we will make at least the quarters.

  141. Pittsburgh, You say COC is way off form. Could you elaborate a little further ? , I’m intrigued

  142. Its quite worrisome to see a player of Tommys capability not having the c9nfidence to shoot . Just hope he gets it back soon .
    Be good to see james Carr get a run soon also. Im not too arsed about 2024 , we are shy of being contenders on too many counts , be a miracle to right them wrongs before championship.

    Dubs are a machine , sam is between themsleves and kerry for a change . Con o Callaghan ! Sweet divine hes the greatest ive ever seen .

  143. I said 6 but I believe it was 8 players getting their 1st start of the year and longer for some tonight. The stato’s can confirm… this was not a targeted game by any means

  144. @Thedarkyfinn thanks for the info! Didn’t get to see the game today.

    I mean 8 players getting their starts today and it’s all doom & gloom. I mean we were asking for players to be given a chance asking for hennelly to get some game time etc asking not to go full tilt at the league and avoid league final and mayo do that and yet it’s the worst thing ever.

    Yeah bad game doesn’t do great for our confidence but we had to try other players out.

    I get it’s hard to be optimistic for sure after that but people need to remember it’s only Feb as they say and all Irelands aren’t won in Feb as were told consistently this time last year..

  145. My doom and gloom isn’t so much player related but tactical:
    – no apparent kick out strategy
    – still leaving defenders isolated one on one when when clearly being over ran
    – attack plan not discernible

  146. If Diarmuid Duffy is good enough surely Niall Hurley is worth a try.Best scorer from play in the County for his age.

  147. @Sean Burke. Tommy’s form needs to improve fairly sharpish but I believe/hope it will as ground improves.
    Also not good to see Sam not getting to know how to play Canavan, you’d like to see him getting to grips with him a bit better, even if he is freakishly elusive.
    Rory Brickenden did ok tonight but he needs to loose that casual approach he has to going down to pick up the ball,or waiting for ball to come to him. He can be a big player for us but management need to have a word pronto to get rid of this bit of laziness which is all it is.

  148. As I said before Matt Connor is still ahead of Clifford as the best player of all time.
    2-9 against the best Kerry team of all time while
    Clifford poor against the Dubs again.

  149. Hopefully Derry have targeted 8 points and then give a few a rest……Hopefully…
    At the start of the year there was 2 league games I wanted to win. Galway and Roscommon. Not from a neighbour thing or any of that but purely from the point of view they are the games we need to win in connacht. I felt, win those 2 and maybe pick up another one and that will do. We won the league last year and we were applauded in the media and then bang, a week later the knives were out and we believed our own hype…
    I still think next weekend is big. Rossies don’t fear us. Not many do any more let’s be honest. They will come hopping particularly if they win tomorrow.
    We need to show there’s still fight in us and we will be ready come championship.
    Tonight was very disappointing but look at the size of some of the lads we put out tonight and then look at the new Dublin lads…
    We go with a full team next week now. No trying stuff. Full tilt. Fight in the belly. Championship levels. In their faces. I have a funny feeling that is the plan from a long way out.. fast and furious.
    I know around the middle is very worrying but we are at home, the crowd need to lift the lads next week. Win that game. Never mind whats going on elsewhere, get the points on the board but also say, we aren’t going away….

  150. I said it before the game when I saw the changes, there’s no way we’re going for the win here. How can you make 8 changes from last week, when we might have got a draw in Kerry and expect to beat Tyrone at home and in need of points. Was delighted to see Duffy getting a start, but we must remember that even the old hands starting for the first time this year were bound to be rusty . Lads like Plunkett, Mattie and Cillian.

  151. Whoever said that our loss today had somewhat to do with the mayo panel having 16+ intermediate players I completely agree!!!

    Players like David Clifford (an intermediate club footballer) are a testament to disadvantages that playing club football at a lower level can do – poor skills, poor shooting, not up to speed etc.

    Even in Mayo, our very own Lee Keegan (an intermediate club footballer until 2017) showcases the vast difference between players that play senior club vs those who play in a lower division. Intermediate club footballers are just not up to scratch compared with the incredibly skillful senior club footballers!

    The 3 “footballer of the year” awards between keegan and clifford further prove that very intelligent comment.

    Wait a second… how could they have such prestigious accolades if they don’t play senior club football??? Surely players don’t play senior club aren’t capable of the “next level” with county… surely…

  152. Funny enough Dublin don’t seem to have any problems mastering the two Clifford s. Mcstay was visibly rattled tonight. He needs to take closer order and forget about listening to Rochford s tactics of possession based football. It was plain to see in the first half. Championship is only around the corner.

  153. Paddyjoejohntom He not even close to the form he was in was in 5-6 years ago he can score frees still ok. But based off his peak he is miles off. At his peak form he was scoring 1-5 from play.

  154. Calm down, Pittsburgh – that’s no way to address another contributor here. I’ve edited out the histrionics from your comment and, as you’ll see, it now looks a whole load better.

  155. Wille Joe, your site, your rules. I didn’t like the nature of the posters comment sounded and felt like a call out to me. COC is one of the greatest Mayo players I have ever had the pleasure of watching. At his peak we can all agree he was majestic, unstoppable!!! Mother time and injuries have taken their toll which is only natural. At this moment with our state of play we don’t currently have the same caliber of player to replace him and it’s noticeable. I still feel his experience will have a major role to play this summer. It’s also still early in the year and after the injuries he has had, he is doing fine. He needs game time to regain some form and speed. Come summer he could still hold down a starter spot. If not, you couldn’t have a better man to come off the bench and make a major difference in the heat of battle. Right now we all seem to be a bit doom and gloom. If our forwards can get it together, a more in form COC and O Donaghue in a full forward line can provide serious firepower. If say Cillian can get to 75% of his peak career performance level and stay injury free I honestly believe that he still could make a huge difference for the team this summer. What’s worrying is our current forward play seems incredibly flat right now. There is no endeavor in it, we seem to play keep ball with it too much and run into brick walls. We have good long range kickers, so why against teams with the blanket defense are we persisting with constant ball carrying and recycling over-reliance on the hand pass. No directness, no incisiveness, utter confusion, no real game plan. Ball coming in is just too slow and results in dispossession more often than not. It’s horrendous to watch and you’d have to imagine is seriously energy sapping. Most of Tyrone scores came from counter attacks after we squandered possession. Tyrone quickly release it fast into their forward line and with the quality of forward, sadly better than ours, it results in a score. We do it to ourselves. Lots of things to ponder these coming weeks. Thank you for editing my previous comment, perhaps it was a little rash. Apologies to all concerned.

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