Game day – we need to back up last week’s display tonight

After the rain and the wind in Salthill last Sunday, it’s back to home turf tonight where the breezes are expected to be lighter, the rain should hold off and the generator will be humming loudly to power the lights at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park.

A big crowd is expected at tonight’s game – on our Here Comes the Weekend pod, Mike was saying that it’s likely to be more that 15,000 – where All-Ireland champions Dublin provide the opposition for this Round 2 National League Division One clash. Fergal Kelly of Longford is the ref, he’ll be throwing in the ball tonight at 7.30pm and the match is live on RTÉ2, with radio commentary on Midwest as well.

When the Dubs comes to town, it’s always a big night in Castlebar. Every time they’ve rocked up at MacHale Park since 2012, however, they’ve dominated proceedings and they go into tonight’s game on the back of four straight wins in this fixture at our place.

This is a record – part of a wider issue about our extremely poor home form against all-comers – we need to put straight. Tonight would be an excellent night to do this, not just to get the win as an end in itself but, more importantly, to back up last weekend’s excellent opening round showing against Galway.

The win in Pearse Stadium has been well raked over at this stage. We did a lot right in that game but the rather shocking shortcomings in Galway’s display surely tempers any over-enthusiasm about how we played.

Even though Dublin come into tonight’s game off the back of an unexpected reversal against Monaghan at Croke Park last weekend, they’re sure to be a completely different proposition for us compared to Galway last time out. That loss to the Farney lads puts Dessie Farrell’s side under a bit of pressure and so they’ll turn up tonight seeking to make amends and claim points from a game that they’ll clearly have targeted to win.

You’d like to think that this fixture is one that Kevin McStay and his colleagues would have circled as a must-win one too. Our home record in general is embarrassing and our record in Castlebar against the Dubs is particularly poor so we should – as Colm Boyle has said more than once on the pod in recent weeks – be doing everything in our power to secure the right result tonight.

I still have a cross-country drive to do so I’m going to leave it there for now. Back later on with a match report from MacHale Park, with club members having a Final Whistle pod to look forward to after the game as well. We’ll also, by the way, be doing a Final Whistle show after the LGFA National League game against Dublin at Ballina tomorrow afternoon, a match I’m really looking forward to getting to as well.

So, here’s to us giving a double dose to the Dubs. That would certainly make for a satisfactory Bank Holiday weekend. Right, time to get moving. Up Mayo.

133 thoughts on “Game day – we need to back up last week’s display tonight

  1. Dublin team named. No Fitzsimons,Mccarthy or John Small in starting line up. Can’t see the subs list.
    I think its the same team that started the Monaghan game last week.

  2. @Mind the House: Word around Dublin has always been that Cluxton and Fitz wouldn’t be back until late in the league (with a little worry that Clux might not be coming back again, especially when the stories of Pat Gilroy stepping away came to the fore) so it’ll be interesting to watch how that pans out. Can already see plans changing down in Kerry with the Clifford’s back a game early after the defeat.

    I’d be shocked if we don’t see at least one of the other two come in for Cian Murphy and wouldn’t be at all surprised at both coming in.

    The only naming 15 rather than the 26 the newest iteration (or irritation) of naming false teams. Hopefully they extend the Championship rule to the League sooner rather than later.

  3. Mayo by 5 or more possibly. Based on respective performances last week. We good bit more training under belt than them.

  4. No excuses..Mayo have to win if they want to build psychological strength for the championship.

  5. We need to produce another good win.. But bet I’ll hear on here if we do win oh dubs we’re poor haha

    Glad to see reape seems to be the number 1 keeper.

    The feeling in dublin is that people aren’t to confident saying mayo are fitter.

    We shall see.. Sticking with mayo by a few points.

  6. Yeah I reckon Mayo to win by 5 looking at the teams named, that dublin defence looks incredibly lightweight and torn asunder by a very green monaghan attack last week. Though John small makes a huge difference if he is parachuted in

    Conversely Mayo more or less at full strength safe for DOC and Tommy. Seem to be fitter too for the time of year too.

  7. I think E Mcloughlin will be exposed defensively. He should be in HF line or impact sub. Not sure about his Westport teammate at 3 either but I hope they both prove me wrong. It will be interesting to see how Towey does. A natural scorer a rare breed in Mayo. If he can adjust to this level he could really add something for championship..

  8. Time now for Boland to put down back to back performances. I hope he does but this is the test.

  9. Same bench as the last day, surprised that there is no frank irwin or ruairi keane on the subs today after the sigerson the last day.

  10. if the backs are as good as we think they are and Dublin are goal starved we will win. The self belief we can gain from a win tonight will be of enormous benefit going forward. Mayo by 4.

  11. Only weakness in McLaughlins game is discipline. He is inclined to drag and give away silly frees in good positions. But he is outstanding as an overlapping attacking half back. Very willing runner and gets others out of trouble. I don’t think he’d have the same scope in a half forward line imo. Don’t fix something thats not broken, just improve his tackling and Eoin will be fighting for an all star.

  12. I agree with comments that this is a test within our grasp.

    Players like Towey and Boland just need to bounce upwards.
    It’s more formidable for our defence. The 3 and 6 switch shows that management don’t want to be caught by Dublin tactics as in last year’s Championship. Please God that works.

    I see a Mayo win with skin and hair flying.

  13. Lots of inexperience in the subs . Great to see them exposed to these game days and hopefully some will make an impact if brought on.
    Hopeful rather than confident.
    I’m genuinely excited about the team selection.
    Brave but necessary by management , championship our only priority this year

  14. A few positives from last week, much smarter in possession and fewer cheap turnovers compared to last year, and our subs actually contributing to our win. Great to see two natural scorers on a Mayo team, hope Boland and Towey can cope with being more closely marked. Nearly forgot mention no Connor Loftus at chb.
    Things that need to be looked at include O’Donoghue and Conroy playing head down football, taking ball into heavy tackles and inevitably turning over hard won possession. Overall a promising performance last week, wishing our lads the best of luck this evening.

  15. Giving McBrien a run at 6 is a good move and a big test for Brickenden at 3
    Boland as 11 also an interesting experiment and giving Towey an opportunity to show he has the necessary physicality and work rate
    Would like to see Ciilian get more time today
    We need more from our full forward line than we got against a very poor Galway defense
    It would be nice to get an update on players such as Diarmuid Mattie and Hession and a few others
    Don’t understand why everything has to be so secret in Mayo

  16. @Paul agree regards towey think Boland will be able to handle it not saying towey can’t but let’s see..

    I’m iffy about towey getting bullied around the place but hopefully I’m proven wrong.

    Still a mayo win I feel the dubs mates are worried for this one..

  17. Packed out mchale park great to see sadly couldn’t make it but atmosphere as always looks great between us and the dubs should be a cracker… come on mayo!!

  18. Dublin unbelievably defensive because they know we struggle against that, why we don’t just go at them and draw frees.

  19. Not too worried about the result tonight our younger lads will learn loads tonight about whats required at this level. We are still a long way off

  20. Have to be happy to be level at the break with Dublin having more of the ball. Mayo really need to kick on for the win now as it’s a Dublin team without nine first choice players

  21. 8 each, but we’ve been pretty dreadful. Our defenders are all losing their personal battles and the Brik/McBrien switch so far makes us look weaker. Granted you cannot judge after 35 mins, but neither of them playing well. Sloppy standoffish at the back overall.

    Carney and Jordan anonymous first half. McLaughlin off, did he take a knock? He needs to go forward in possession. Far too much backwards too from him.

    Far far too much lateral backwards shite. I’m not sure how we are level. Dublin look far more composed and controlled the game more.

    Let’s see what happens…

  22. Slow to get outta the blocks but we’ve done well to level it. Won’t be much in it I’d say.
    Top man Willie Joe, thanks for all.

  23. In fairness Mayonaze there was nothing much for us to get excited about until the last 10 mins or so. Hard cheer watching Dublin passing it around. Hopefully we have woken up now and run at them more in second half. There is never enough mayo near the goal to support scoring and yet flooded with blue both sides no matter what end the ball is at. Anyway things looking up.

  24. Still level…

    I’m hoping here maybe praying for a come back us from us in 2nd half time to bring on Tommy conroy & cillian O conor…….

  25. Lucky to be level, should have the legs on them in second half.
    Playing more standoffish than would have anticipated. Hopefully better second half.

  26. same old bad habits from Mayo, standing off instead of getting stuck in and roughing up the dubs a bit.

  27. Got the matchups slightly wrong from the off.
    Dublin have done their homework and are keeping whoever Sam Callinan is marking inside.

    Durcan playing corner back on Small has me scratching my head a little – we’ve missed him further forward.

    Boland doesn’t look physically strong enough in the first half – and Towey has struggled to get into things.

    If we can start well and take a quick lead in the second half we’ll win out I think

  28. Paddy gives us something to shout for. I’m happier with Ryan this week. His point from play was a nice one. Reid and Touhy needed to be going in closer to the Dublin goal and being available. And AOS not there when the ball coming in. Anyway we were settling and getting more into it.

  29. Some very poor defence in first 20mins, O Callaghan running the show out the field, full forward line anonymous mostly, they need to show quickly for ball coming in, Paddy Durkan having a great game, come on Mayo

  30. Should have kept with the same team from last week tbh….. No time changes with Dublin.

    Need to bring Tommy conroy in.

    Only ‘the league’ as so many said on here including myself but hid hope the 2nd half is better.

  31. Hello all,
    I haven’t posted on here for ages, I hope all had a memorable Christmas and I pray you all have a safe and happy 2024.
    For the first 20 odd minutes I was fearful for May but ye steadied the ship and have stood up with some badly needed attacking football by breaking the lines which was badly needed.
    The Dubs will reset now and and may change tac slightly to break the Mayo resurgence to reclaim the momentum. For me the dubs may have too much as they have a few big players to trot off the bench but Duncan is flaming and as we know he has all that is required to drive a team to a victory. Hope ye get over the line big time

  32. @paul 100% agree I’m totally optimistic but feeling deflated even for me..

    Paddy durcan Def the right choice for captain anyway the leadership he brings never say die attitude and some where questioning why he got to be captain to…

    Hopefully we can pull it back least it’s not a hammering though……

  33. Why the F@ck are we not running at them ?
    What the F@ck did AOS take that free?
    I’m ready to go home now
    Now we scored !! God we don’t deserve it.

  34. Mayo look to be very centralised in their attack with little or no width to draw the dubs out of position coupled with with too many players preoccupied with defence in their structure. The dubs are too comfortable in defence and are crowding ye out. A goal for Mayo would be great to seed confidence right now

  35. Why was cillian O’Connor not starting?? And Tommy conroy totally wrong call.

    Our starts up should be Ryan O D cillian I Connor and Tommy c!!.

    We need diarmuid O conor & enda hession hopefully back soon from injury.

    It’s All over the place tbh tonight.

  36. At least it’s not a hammering.

    Plenty in here saying only league doesn’t matter if we get relegated..

    Loads said dubs would hammer us…

    Hasn’t been great from us at all bar paddy durcan(class act)

    Don’t be harsh on reape (still number 1)would hennelly have done any better? Doubt he would have.

    We haven’t beaten dubs in castlebar since 2012 has that stopped us going far no.. Yes been a bit messy .. But I’m gonna go we have to improve haha

  37. And fergal boland gets the winning point…..

    Are everyone who doubted him gonna say dubs were poor tonight??

  38. @Clare, can you see now why Cillian wasn’t starting? I don’t think he had one positive impact while on the pitch. Should have just left Towey on.

    Fergie showing some leadership there.

  39. Better to win when playing poor than to lose when playing good. Thought brickenden played well. Good that no goal chances were conceded

  40. Hopefully our luck keeps for year. Soft enough free at death for the foul on ROD from a kickout that should have been a Dublin 45.
    Will gladly take the points, but worrying seeing old failings resurface again.

  41. Certainly got the rub of the green there late on as I doubt think O’Donoghue was fouled for that late free and it looked like a 45 to Dublin just before it not given.

    The goal out of nothing proved a huge score and one can see why they brought Cluxton back.

  42. @GBCI yeah I can tbh thought we need a sure scorer but get what your saying for sure.

    Fergal Bowland is the man don’t know why some doubt hon after tonight he deserves some credit even we get a fluke win haha

  43. I think it’s vitally important that we completely move on from this game. It was one we didn’t deserve to win and if we start thinking that that we bet the dubs and all is well, we would be wrong. Luck was on our side today and fair play to the lads for working hard to get a result. But it looked as if the dubs never really left 3rd gear today and we were bursting ourselves.

    Also that ref…. Absolutely terrible for both teams. The level of inconsistency in his decisions was beyond bad. How can AOS not get a free right in front of goal 10 minutes before the end and then ROD gets a very soft one right at the end.

    Good result, but as Jose Mourinho once said, some times the better team loses.

  44. Mayo forwards need more work on movement in tight spots and more importantly to run at defences.

    The highlight for me apart from Coens goal was the brilliant catch by Carney with three Dublin players contesting the ball, on both sides it appears one or two players are on the way down rapidly.

  45. I don’t know how Dublin lost that.

    I have to say Jack Carney improved a lot 2nd half but Jordan was completely missing. He hardly touched a ball.

    The goal. You have to give credit to Coen – he took the chance and scored it, but Jordan’s effort should have gone over.

    McBrien was better when he went to 3. Though Brik struggled a bit. Bob same.

    Our defending overall was very poor. We had lots of players back but we were chasing shadows; early examples being one Fenton’s tap over and then McCaffreys score, then near the end one of Dublin’s last moves when yer man fisted wide. We had about 5 lads ball watching. Really poor.

    Boland, very quiet. Nice point at end of course but nothing other than that.

    Tommy and Cillian improved our attack. Their movement alone was far superior. Towey is good when he has space but he can’t beat his man and isn’t physically strong enough. Pity cos he is a great shooter.

    Some say the league is as much about performances as it is results. We got the result but we definitely didn’t get a performance.

  46. Hard fought win, fantastic, defence tightened up again after 15mins in second half? Mayo team need to watch that slow start in each half! but Paddy Durkan was magnificent as was Ryan O Donoghue, McBrien played very well on O Callaghan, Carney played well, Good win all round but work to be done. Mayo will take a lot from that game against the Dubs, great stuff.

  47. Honestly don’t know how anyone can question fergal Bowland after that..

    Paddy durcan an absolute star we have in him only league but he would walk onto any team….

  48. Clare – the bigger question is why the management just dropped him before a ball was even kicked last year.

  49. It was 100% a free for Ryan at the end – he was looking for it but that doesn’t make it less of a foul.

    Paddy Small getting two shots at his free was far worse.

    Dublin were far better than Galway last weekend, and we invariably had to show more concentration in defence.

    Dublin had firm control on the scoreboard twice and bottled it – if we’d done that there’d be uproar. Not that the result has anything to do with the level of uproar from certain fans.

    Clean sheet. Fought our way back from the brink twice, and when the game was up for grabs we were the ones to get our nose in front.

    Shades of Tralee 2022

  50. A fully fit Paddy Durcan is like a new signing, absolutely immense in both games.

    Great to beat dubs despite lots of mistakes and under performance across the pitch.

    A win with loads to work on. You’d take that

  51. Credit the effort and resolve to keep going but the performance was actually poor. Hard to believe we won it.
    Some very average performances. Right side frees still an issue. Ball does not stick when played in to FF line. We are very reliant on scores from winning frees by driving at defenders, which is a bit of a lottery with refs.
    Only credits were
    1. Dont think we allowed Dublin a goal chance
    2. Defense improved as game went on afer very poor start.
    3. Showed good smarts to win the game at the end

  52. Now that’s a character building win.

    I’ll be honest I felt Mayo fortunate to take 2 points this evening.

    Dublin were really good in that first half and Paddy Durcan dragged Mayo back when it was to behonest not a reflection on the game.

    Dublin must wonder how they were level at HT.

    I thought AOS was fortunate to stay on as long as he did but having said that how he didn’t get a free with Fenton on his back is beyond me.

    In a strange way this game reminded me of Kerry last week, Derry came down fully stacked and won by a point with Kerry missing key players.

    I was fairly happy enough at the end last week and I’d imagine Dublin will be too as they’ve more to come back in.

    Cillian O Connor looked off the pace and he really needs to convert those chances 3 misses.

    Really like Ryan O Donoghue and Tommy Conroy both are very exciting and more than anything ODonoghue is a very smart player demonstrated with that last free.

    Well done see you in Tralee in 2 weeks.

  53. Credit to Fergal Boland for getting that last point but as ever our forwards have a lot to work on. And please keep Aidan off the frees. Good win but loads to work on

  54. Our defending was very worrying at times. Not sure what the strategy was but it wasn’t great. Dublin wasteful 2nd half. Too many of our boys either standing off OR caught ball watching. Yes, we got a clean sheet but I think that was more to do with Dublin than us.

    Genuine question, how many of our players had a 7/10 performance?

    I like Boland but take his point out and what did he do tonight? Keegan said he found it a lot more tough than last week.

    Anyway…early season. As someone said above, move on. LOADS of work to do…

  55. Ah lads, call it as it is. Cillian was muck. Four missed shots I made it. Created space my eye! If Towey came off the bench with the game opening up and played like that he’d be panned. Remove the bias.

    @Mayonaze, Boland wasn’t very quiet, he won 3 scoreable frees by running at Dublin, 2 of which were converted and one Aidan should have scored. He also scored the winner. Honestly, after the first two games Boland has been the best player.

  56. @Glorydays with you there wonder is that cause towey was only a debut really tonight…

    Was very messy perfermance but a win is a win against the all Ireland champs and they threw everything at us tonight.

    Still think reape is our number 1.

    Fair play to fergal Boland he deserves the credit.

  57. Well done all the backs , special shout out to Brickedeen, didn’t know how he’d fair against the dubs but no bother to him full credit .
    Paddy went to corner back at start , man’s too good we need him halfback always .
    Mcbrien done superb on an inform con.
    As I feared biggest threat was Jack mccaffrey , we hadn’t anyone agile enough for him but that’s where diarmuid will come in .
    Carney was superb and Jordan had off night on kick but always there to lend a hand .
    There’s a game plan in tuohy going to inside forward line but he’s very good talent in halfforwards come middle.
    Sam’s too class defender and won more frees than his man in the tackle , one loose pass aside this lads an immense talent .
    Boland tidy and patient but just remember to move ball forward

    Inside forward line is painfully obvious we need cillan at top of his game to lead and pace all around him with tommy and Ryan given more space .
    Aido doesn’t work no more , games moved on ned pace and cutting edge of tommy, Towey and Ryan to battle out for corner s and add in carr when he comes back but cillian as focal point with aido as his sub. When cillian came on sure he didn’t score but he made space created havoc and scared them .

    Showed great heart and a great crowd helped drag them across line . Should be at least safe now so continue to experiment but I’d suggest park Aido and try the youths

    Hard luck to eoin mac he was on a tough task man marking fenton but hope not serious injury

  58. It’s two more points. Early season mistakes from both sides. Can’t see Dublin for Sam. And Mayo developing players that will take another year to harden up. Very impressed with Carney and Brickenden, great learning experience for Tuohy and co. But it’s going to take a season. Paddy D outstanding leader. Discipline still an ssue in terms of giving away silly frees.

  59. Thankfully that one went over at the end to spare Cillians blushes. Very poor misses from him. If he’s to be an impact sub he needs to be scoring.
    Aidan was left on too long. Height in the front 6 is once again an issue. Dublin read most of our attempted long kick passes. I’d like to see matty ruane tried at centre forward. He can catch, break a tackle and score..
    Jack Carney really grew in to the game. ROD, brought the fight and paddy was excellent. Wouldn’t be too hard on the backs, they are learning. That was a good forward line Dublin had and no goal chances…
    It feels a bit weird, winning a game like that but we’ve thrown away enough tight games so let’s take the bit of luck and move on.

  60. We didn’t really deserve to win that. Paddy Durcan dragged us over the line again. Nothing was sticking for the forwards at all. Towey struggled with the pitch of it and Boland, aside from his point at the end, was physically bullied off the ball more than once. Conroy should have come on sooner to inject pace and directness, which was sorely missing.

    I’m not convinced anything is going to be any different this year. The play was still painfully lateral and laborious at times. Nobody wanted to take it by the scruff of the neck except Durcan and he won’t be able to do that every single time.

  61. A change we won a game we should have lost. A few things from game, McBrien has to be fullback, Sam at CHB and Durkan at wing back. S Coen needed around the middle, T Conroy needs space to run at defences, Cillian needs to start before Aiden at full forward, he is far more cuter and will score a lot more, thats not hard. Aiden for last fifteen minutes only. While Boland got the last point and most otherswould not go for it, it was Ryan who made it, most others would go for the point from there and most likely miss from that tight angle. Nice to win a game at the wire , one we should have lost.

  62. Lads will ye go easy on cilian not easy come into a game like that but the man got on the ball won frees and scared the shite out of Dublin, 2 and 3 falling at his feet jumping into tackles .
    He’s a bit part to play if we do anything positive .
    He’s the intelligence, that can’t be thought .
    Sure inform Rod TC, Carr and maybe towey pending his next few displays are ahead of him but if chasing a game or looking to close it out , get him on no one better than him

  63. ……A County hurler
    who for a split second sees a gap and the posts will take a shot……Why can’t our forwards and attacking midfielders do the same…shoot ! No, they see the gap, cower out of the shot and look for a back pass offload…..then the whole shit starts again. Thats our big problem, nobody willing to have a scoring shot from inside the 45 in live play. For me, the most exciting and effective Mayo moments are in forward play, supported runs with very quick offloads to a parallel runner……Great gains made. Team needs to practice that non stop in training…

  64. We need to select the best option of the left footed freetakers in Mayo which is either Cian McHale or Kevin Quinn. Every division one team has a left footed freetaker.
    To my eye test there’s a big gap in muscular power and build on average compared to Dublin.
    It’s not splitting the atom to try and find out what they are doing differently than us on that front.

  65. @dreamy agree with you there. Can’t see anything changing this year unless we have a proper plan to break down defences when they sit deep. When it’s helter-skelter, we’re as good as anyone..when it slows down, we are awful & that’s putting it mildly. Good teams won’t play into our hands come summer.

    We won that with fight & guys which is good to see.

  66. Pretty disappointed at the negative comments here. We were nowhere near as bad as a lot of ye are making out. There’s definitely some problem with the mentality of a lot of fans whenever we play the Dubs, completely overreacting in their criticism of the performance. We struggle against a good defensive setup but our lads started to figure it out and ground out crucial scores. I don’t know what these critics expected, it was always going to be hard against the best in the business.

  67. I think that 10 and 12 roles will be ideal roles for lads who are there and then let eoin Mac be pushed up and battle with diarmuid, irwin, Loftus, Reid for the roles to supplement Boland and Tuohy/flynn/Carney.
    It’s all about a squad game and showing strength and depth from bench to add to what you have on field , freshen it up and tag on additional scores .
    Were going right way but Stephen coen shows his worth, reape too coynes nailed on , well done donnacha mchugh too great athlete and 100% genuine lad in all aspects gives his all and worth his salt, controversial or not but I’d have him before o hora

  68. @dreamy, tell us the times Boland got pushed off the ball? Not once from my recollection, nor did he lose the ball once. 3 scoreable frees won. Plus the winning score when all of his teammates, especially Cillian, were failing. He might not be the new Paul Galvin but he’s been excellent so far. Credit where it’s due.

  69. Final Whistle pod is up!

    MartyK – Swannie is out injured as far as I know, as are Enda Hession, Diarmuid O’Connor, Mattie Ruane and James Carr.

  70. Not a perfect display but good to win a tight one, the goal was key to get us back in the game. Started both halves too tentatively.
    Paddy Durcan is the man…

  71. I thought the ref was very poor tonight. Giving handy frees to both teams when there was minimal contact.
    A win is a win – but as someone said already – are we going to be any better this year come championship compared to last year. Hopefully

  72. @Narty k a county hurler who got the winning point of the game sure(who loafs wrote him off after v Galway to) and still some here give him negative reviews I don’t get it..credit to a guy where it’s due.

    In Dublin my dub mates are like we gave everything we had for this time of year and threw it at ye.. But ye come away with the win said was messy course but what isn’t in league said fair play also few of my Dublin mates said fergal Bowland is a player to watch out for.

  73. Only February…only the league… only a middling Dublin team…only another 2 points…but it’s a nice feeling all the same.

  74. I haven’t commented for a while as I have been dealing with health issues. However after reading what has been posted so far I felt I had to say something
    I cannot believe the level of negativity following this win. For goodness sake we have just beaten the All Ireland champions. The team which hammered us last summer Yes it is only the second league match in February but please give the team credit for sticking at it and finding a way to win

  75. Very lucky to win. Whilst aidan didn’t get some deservable frees, we were awarded extremely soft frees that certainly wouldn’t be given in cship – a few on boland and one on flynn come to mind.

    The toll of recurrent losses is obvious to see in Aidan’s composure in front of goal, he completely lost all technique for that free (was striking well last year – but when it’s the blue jersey…) and he immediately called on ryan to take the next free from the right which he had just won.

    How is towey meant to develop by leaving aidan on and taking him off. Give him the game time aidan has nothing to gain from staying on. And I’m not having a go at o shea, I always think he is a key player.

    I think we are always too lenient on some players. As someone said if boland/towey/carr came on and kicked the wides cillian hit we would be criticising them. The frees cillian missed in previous all irelands must be somewhere in the subconscious when he lined up to take that one as it was in a very similar position to the one in front of the hill in 2017. Certainly utilize their experience to coach younger forwards but i dont think we should be relying on them to win all irelands after 6 failed attempts. Time for new faces.

    And you can call me negative all you want but we’re not all ireland contenders. It’s plain and simple. And thats not based on tonight, it’s simply our lack of scoring forwards compared to top teams dublin kerry derry. Look at con tonight and his ability to score we dont have that class. If he cant do it there’s mannion, basquell, scully, kilkenny, jack mc, fenton…etc. will o shea, diarmuid, carney, boland, ruane, tuohy, tommy score heavy against a tight mass defence when ryan is kept quiet…we know the answer.

  76. We’ve beaten the all ireland champions, so? We have managed to do that in much tougher matches, championship matches, all ireland semi finals. Remember 2021?

  77. Clare….point noted tks…….It’s just this apparent unwillingness to shoot when in range and posts in sight that kills me……

  78. Performance wasn’t 10/10 but we got the 2 points and now have a bit of breathing space to try out new things for the league.

    Hopefully Conor Reid’s injury wasn’t too bad.

  79. Why does Cillian have to take frees when he comes on, we have a free taker on right it’s left we need

  80. Be interesting to see how McStay and Co approach the rest of the league when it’s now known only two points is needed in the remaining 5 games to secure Division 1 status.

    Great to beat Galway, Dublin but both weren’t near full strength and it’s early February so won’t be get carried away.

  81. Im here Paddyjoe!!!!! Im delighted for Fergal, he took his chance and executed it well. I’ve never doubted his skill and technique when kicking a ball, in fact I highlighted it on here earlier. Its his other aspects that I don’t think will cut it in real knockout football. If im honest I see Tuohy as a better starting option come the real stuff.

    Great to nick a win playing below par. 4 points is a seirious return and another win should see us safe. Hoping for more experimentation from here on in. No pont having all these Ballinrobe lads taking bench spots if their not getting game time.

    That was by no means our best starting 15, so it makes the win a little sweeter. I’d argue that a fit DOC, Ruane, Carr and Hession make our starting line up in championship. So room for improvemebt if we meet the dubs later in the year.

  82. I agree jj kelly
    The team grounded out a great victory,if we won the all Ireland there would still be people giving out,great result,Mc Brien and callahian still very young but starting to cement there defense line,no goals conceded and dubs never looked like scoring a goal,another win and we are safe,then we can play different players,I’d like to see us in a league final,we are going to New York a week later,no big deal,we should be beating New York with a 2nd team,
    Look foward to seeing Mayo in Gaelic park soon as I can’t go back so it a great day out for me and my family

  83. Well Done mayo playing The all lreland championship that was all out for the two points lots of improvement needed like alot team this time of year but step in right direction

  84. We just beat the all Ireland champions yes was super messy even I agree to that but the dubs threw everything they had at us.

    Loads on here thought we would be hammerd out the gate.

    I myself thought paddy durcan was immense as always for us.

    Looking back lots of positives we held up even with some changes.

    My dub mates couldn’t believe they lost at end they were like how do ye always do that..

    Lots to work on for sure but legue is for trying stuff come Sam we be different animal hopefully ha.

    And fair play fergal Boland.

  85. Thats a very good point New York Tommy………No goals conceded against Dublin. Another takeaway from the game.

  86. That’s an interesting take @Margie but Touhy could be argued to have the same limitations as Boland. His ball skills are high, nice foot passer, decent pace, superb stamina, not afraid to shoot but he’s not aggressive, whatsoever. That’s the only thing that will hold Tuohy back, especially as midfielder.

    @dreamy, I must have missed those. Boland will hardly come up against more talented and organized defences like Dublin’s but the experience will only benefit him. I think management will see him and Paddy as being the two big plusses (bar the 4 points) from the first two games.

  87. @DreamySleepy…agree fully with you

    @Retro; ah now, hardly a masterclass for Jack!!?? Fenton was far superior to him first half. But Jack was much improved 2nd half; and showed leadership.

    I’ll agree Boland keep plugging away and probing. A decent effort from him.

    I’d agree with those saying to cut Cillian some slack. He’s not back to fitness yet. Yes, his kicking was off but anyone who reads/studies the game and especially forward play, will appreciate Cillian’s movement and spatial awareness is way ahead of most others in our ranks. If he can stay injury free then his performances will improve. Tommy will improve too.

    How long will Enda Hession be out? He’d be like ‘new signing’!

  88. Both teams played defensively but crucially Dublin found it easier to score against Mayo’s packed defence in the first half than vice versa.
    They were finding pockets of space and getting scores. We seemed to be giving up these pockets.
    Can we stick more doggedly to our defending?

    On the other hand I liked the look of Cillian. He’s level headed and can hold off his marker. Importantly, he showed he was willing to shoot from distance (though he didn’t get the score). Against packed defences, we NEED players with the gumption and ability to take on those shots.
    Boland again shows he is accurate and I thought he handled himself well.
    I’d love to see Sam Callinan attacking more because I believe he has the smarts and leadership qualities to do so.
    I was missing Enda Hession tonight.
    I hope we’ve learned lots.

  89. Played poorly and beat the Dubs .
    4 points now and lots of learning’s from today’s game .
    The negative comments on this blog lately are a bit puzzling.
    Few here still peeved off Dempsey and McConville didn’t get the gig …
    7 points should see us safe…and leave us in a position to still try more fringe or players returning from injury.
    Bottom line this evening, we stuck at it and got lucky with the win.
    Learn and move on

  90. We conceded no goals but Dublin attempted to lob our keeper from distance twice because he was out of position. It’s not having a go at reape as no matter who was wearing number 1 Jersey tonight would have been coming out filling space. It’s a tactic we need to improve on or we will be caught out some day in a big game if nobody is covering back once the keeper comes out the pitch.

  91. We are building a nice panel now ………Reape is such a commanding and calming presence in goals. Can’t underestimate how important that is . The Dubs tried a couple of high balls in but realised there is no longer a weakness there due to a combination of Reape and Brickenden/McBrien.
    I too thought Carney was excellent. Tuohy also showed well. Great to see them kicking on.
    Cillian did look rusty but he will improve as the year goes on and is a vital option. Looks like he will share gametime with Aido.
    Aido mishandled a couple but he is the focal point of our attack and overall did well. The ref did him absolutely no favours . At one stage he was fouled twice in one attack and got nothing. One of them may even have been a hand trip.
    Finally a word for the goal scoring hero Stephen Coen 😀
    Fair play to him. A great moment for a player probably appreciated more by those who play with him and his managers than supporters.

  92. Yeah Tony, I’d agree. I thought Reape came out too much. He was often receiving a ball in our halfback line when there was another defender free. I’ve no problem with a keeper coming out but he should be the last man back almost all the time.

    If the podcast are speaking with Kevin can they enquirer about Hession, Carr and Diarmuid. Three starters when fully fit.

  93. My Ball I haven’t heard those names mentioned here in a long time!! Think people have well moved on, we are where we are. The management team is the management team. They are heavily experienced and heavily funded.
    Mayo are in a good position now, can probably start trying players more. We’ve went as championship strength as we could really in first two rounds and it’s paid dividends so should allow us try more things and hopefully develop greater depth.
    After two rounds more positive than negatives.

  94. Great to beat the Dubs and psychologically that sky blue jersey carries some mental baggage for us so any win over them is important. As usual with the league its very hard to tell where either team is at in terms of fitness and tactics – thars only logical at this stage. Important we keep building towards the Connacht championship – any other win we pick up in the league would do us but from here we need to be single minded in our focus on winning connacht and going deep into the all-Ireland series.

  95. Dublin looked like they wanted this tonight so it’s a damn good win for us. We didn’t play great, there’s lots needs improvement but Kevin’s winning matches.
    It’s a farce that this could be a great competition all the way to the final if the championship start wasn’t bang up against the league final. We need to prioritize championship prep above league and at least these 2 wins give us some leeway there.

  96. A patchy performance, a lucky enough win, both true.
    The main taking from this game as far as I’m concerned is that we didn’t cough up a goal chance – same as last week, albeit against a poor Galway team.
    If you don’t concede goals, you’re likely to remain in the game coming down the stretch, and then you have a chance to nick the win, which is what we did this evening, and what we’ve been on the end of countless times.

  97. @Tubberman
    Think of our most notable wins in recent years. Dublin AI semi final 21. Galway league final and championship last year. Kerry in Tralee.
    The common theme was we didn’t concede a goal in any if them.
    It has to absolute priority that we mind the house. An over my dead body mentality to conceding goals.
    So far so good in that respect.

  98. Wonder could we think about Diarmuid at full forward? We mainly need someone who will win it and lay it off. Paul Towey suffered as he had no reliable target man to work off at 14.

  99. Mayo fans truly do love the misery, judging by many of these comments. Nothing is ever good enough, even beating the AI Champions against the run of play at home, where we’ve in recent years struggled to impose ourselves.

    After years of disappointment, we feel the need to obsess over every chink and every weakness in the team, running ourselves down at every opportunity. At this point if we did manage to win an All-Ireland I’m convinced there’d be lads here giving out about the performance.

    Every win won’t bring an excellent performance. Every excellent performance won’t bring a win. It’s good to get the rub of the green the odd time, an imperfect win, arguably on the back of Dublin bottling it is just fine with me.

    Quite satisfied with the fact that we have four points in the bag in February. Quite satisfied that we have a captain who is a born leader. Quite satisfied that despite a bunch of injuries and players returning after long layoffs that we are mixing it with the top teams, as is our place. That’ll do just fine for now, thanks.

  100. @Anne Marie. Well said.

    God help us if we ever lose a game. Willie Joe you’ll have to put the blog into a week of mourning.
    Oh for us ever to come out on the right side of a tight game with Dublin.
    What we have is a relatively young team with players learning on the job. Callinan,Mcbrien,Carney,Coyne,Brick,Towey. They will get better and better. I’m convinced of that.

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