Game day – we’re in it so now let’s win it

It’s been a National League campaign that has gone far better for us than many – myself included – would have predicted in advance. So much so that this afternoon we find ourselves in this afternoon’s Division One title decider against Kerry, a contest that throws in at Croke Park at 4pm. Cavan’s Noel Mooney is ref and the final is live on TG4.

The fact that the game is on TV is of more than academic interest to me, I’m afraid, as medical reasons mean that, despite the fact that Croker’s just a short stroll down the road from me from where I live here in the capital, I have to stay housebound for a few days and so I can’t be there at HQ this afternoon to see the action myself. Never mind, many are being called to carry far worse crosses in this world than my slight inconvenience today.

The League is an odd bloody competition. Different teams going at it hammer and tongs at different stages – but never everyone at the same pitch on the same day – with every county doing their utmost to avoid the drop while, at the same time, feigning an air of insouciance at the thought of aiming seriously to win the thing.

Kerry, to be fair, not for the first time under Jack O’Connor’s leadership, have eyed League progression as a springboard for an all-out assault on Sam this summer. It’s no real surprise that they booked their place in the final with a game to spare.

Once our unbeaten run this spring had ended – against Kerry, as it happens – it looked as if we’d suddenly lost all interest in making the decider, a feeling that, for many supporters (again, myself included) hardened to near certainty after that galling two-point loss to Tyrone. As it turned out, though, we’d nearly done enough by then to make the final and last Sunday’s handsome win in the sun over Kildare made sure of this.

So, here we are in it. Can we win it?

Surveying the two teams – Kerry, bar Seán O’Shea (who’s named in the match day panel so might yet start), fielding with a full metal jacket Championship 26, while we’re missing a number of key performers, notably Rob Hennelly, Paddy Durcan and Diarmuid O’Connor – you’d have to say that this one is Kerry’s to lose.

We know from Tralee that there isn’t a whole load between the two sides but losing that trio – who all started and performed strongly for us in Austin Stack Park – definitely weakens us. Seán O’Shea didn’t feature for them in Tralee and, if he does start this afternoon, that’s another huge plus for them.

Added to that is the more settled nature of their team so far this year. For us, by contrast, it’s been – partly by design but also, in light of a chronic, unrelenting run of bad luck on the injury front, out of necessity – a case of constant experimentation.

All this mixing and matching will, of course, stand us in good stead over the coming months. We now have unparalleled squad depth and real choice in several areas, with options increasing as players such as Eoghan McLaughlin, Darren McHale and, yes, Cillian O’Connor (all of whom are in the match day panel today) come back into the reckoning.

We can’t, of course, forget either about the Galway match three weeks from now. Kerry meet Cork in the Munster semi-final two weeks after that but, realistically, the first Championship match Kerry will need to be in any way well prepped for this summer is the All-Ireland quarter-final so that means they can give it everything in today’s National League decider in a way that we so obviously cannot.

All of which points towards the likelihood of a Kerry win at HQ today which, on balance, is what you’d expect to see happen.

And yet.

They’re wary of us and with good reason. We’ve enjoyed a few happy days out at Croke Park over the last decade and among the happiest of these have been the ones against Kerry, in particular the League semi-final in 2012, the All-Ireland semi-final replay in 2017 and, of course, the League final in 2019.

Their recent record in Croke Park is, strangely, rather poor. Indeed, they haven’t played there a whole pile in recent years, which, even accounting for Covid, tells its own tale. You have to go back to 2018 for their most recent Championship victory at HQ, a three-point win over Tyrone in that year’s All-Ireland semi-final, and a year further back for their most recent League win there, which was, to be fair, in the Division One decider over what was then still very much the all-conquering Dubs. They won that one by a point.

That recent Croke Park record, which includes League and Championship draws with Dublin (the latter in the 2019 final) and a Super 8s game against Donegal from 2019, shows that this is a team that can get extremely jittery when a contest at HQ gets tight.

So the last thing we should be doing today is letting them ease into the game and allowing that forward line to purr in the way we know they can. That road will only lead in one direction for us. If we’re in their faces from the off and stick with them until the closing stages, turning the screw on them then, as we did so deliciously in 2019, that might well do it.

Then again it might not, but that, I guess, is the beauty of sport.

From our perspective, I hope we perform well today and that, above all else, we suffer no fresh injuries in this afternoon’s final. I hope too that Cillian gets a solid 15/20 minutes of action to ease him back into the fray and I hope he and Ryan cause a bit of damage together. I hope we win, of course I do, and, from my solitary perch within earshot up the road I’ll be willing us to do so.

Safe travelling to all who must be on the road now. With three Connacht counties and one from the far south-west there’s certainly plenty of mileage to be clocked up. As Friday’s crushingly sad news about the untimely passing of Red Óg Murphy proved so clearly, however, this one life we all have is precious so take it handy today and remember that, whatever happens for any of the four teams this afternoon, it is, at the end of the day, just a game.

Best of luck to our bucks, though – no matter how badly we’re hit or how much it hurts, we always, always, get back on our feet and go again. I truly thought that last September could well have killed the fire within us but not a bit of it. We’re back as mad and as keen as ever.

It’s that fire that sees us back, less than seven months on from the All-Ireland final, battling it out for national silverware once more. We might lose, again, but we know the lads will do what they can to win it and that’s not all they’re aiming to win this year either.

Lookit, we’re in it so let’s go out there and win it. I loves me county. Up Mayo.

167 thoughts on “Game day – we’re in it so now let’s win it

  1. Its great to be in the final and I am looking forward to it. Sorry to hear you are laid up WJ I wish you a speedy recovery.
    I would agree that Kerry are in a different place to us and with their strongest team available should have something to spare at the end.
    One thing that might help Mayo is that he Kerry Goalie does not have a great kickout and they are likely to go short a lot so if the Mayo press works we could dominate possession. They will probably go with a 2 man FF line so that might help us aswell. I would worry about S coen at FB although he will probably go on S O Brien.
    On a positive note our Forward division looks stronger than it was against Tyrone in AIF. You would need forwards to get 8 or 10 scores from play with 6 from frees and 4 from other areas to win an AIF. Not sure we are at that level yet.
    Safe travelling everyone and there is always hope with Mayo….

  2. Want to win today, but need to win in 3 weeks time. And if we were to win today, against the odds, not that I think Kerry are so far down the track from Mayo. It just that our injury list are lengthy, you could argue, we missing 6 first team players. And beat Galway in 3 week time, summer would open up for us. Imagine beat Galway, get few more off the treatment table, hopefully beat Roscommon and have everyone except Tommy and Harry back chopping at the bit. Wishing Mayo luck today, but especially Cillian, he has led the line, on and off the field for more than a decade. Ideally win today, but happy with no injuries and a performance,

  3. The reality is that we’re short over a third of our first choice team so that will probably tell against us- Hennelly, 2 O’Connors, Durcan, Conroy and E McLaughlin.

  4. If our marking of Clifford and Brosnan (not named to start but suspect he will) is better than the last day then we have a great chance of winning this one. They did the damage so hoping there is improvement there with our match ups. Mayo by 4/5…..

  5. Thedarkyfinn – there’s too much focus on keeping Clifford etc quiet. Kerry only scored 1-12 the last day. If we converted one of our goal chances in Tralee, I’ve no doubt we’d have won the game.

  6. Best of luck to all today – team, management and supporters and a speedy recovery to you Willie Joe. Imagine the sense of belief we’d get from beating a full strength Kerry with all our injuries. That said a solid performance and no new injuries would suit me fine just like most on here. Let’s make our voices heard this afternoon. Maigh Eo Abú!

  7. Kerry have a better starting team,Mayo a better bench
    If we can stay with them first 50 mins I think we can push on and win
    Best of luck!Up Mayo

  8. 15/8 looks generous for Roscommon, I think they have a great chance of beating Galway today in a tight affair.

  9. Wide Ball – I’m not necessarily saying focus on keeping Clifford quite but just felt the last day marking was loose on him and could have been better, so just expect an improvement

  10. Would love to see us there or thereabouts given Kerry are playing with a full hand. Best of luck to some of the lads that will be wanting to stake a claim for Championship in particular – hopefully we get the win!

  11. People saying mayo will be 4/1 support wise, I’d argue it’ll be 3/1 counties against 🙂

  12. I’m in the same boat as you Willie Joe.

    One of the reasons we lost in Tralee, was our number of unforced errors; misplaced passes particularly enable Kerry to mount serious attacks with overlaps. Our goalmouth was under constant barrage in the first half.

    If we can eliminate our error count and improve our shooting, we have a chance.

  13. If Paul Conroy was from mayo we’d have at least two all Irelands

    Absolute rolls Royce of a player

  14. Will be very curious to see how our forwards get on. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think we have improved our forward play since the All Ireland last year and it will be our downfall this year. Arent we very lucky though to get so many regular days out in Croker since 2011. Up Mayo.

  15. Very good game between Galway and Roscommon.. Conroy having some game alright, but Galway conceding allot of scorable frees!.. Shane Walsh is a huge loss for Galway.

  16. Yeah they definitely lack spark without Walsh.. Sean Kelly having a fine game too midfield. Wel be well up against it in that sector

    Comer certainly not the menace of old, but still a threat

  17. Galway pushing up on Lavan’s kick out, I’m sure they’ll try the same on us, especially if we have a relatively inexperienced keeper.

    Very pleasant game to watch, although not many meaty tackles going in so far. Exhibition match fare so far.

    Some run and point from Comer near the end of the first half, seems like he might be approaching full fitness again.

  18. Ciaran – Conroy is a class player, but surely a high scoring midfielder isn’t the missing piece on the Mayo team?

  19. I would say that we are missing a goal scorer at the moment, wide ball. Getting Cillian back would redress that problem in a big way, IMO.

  20. Very entertaining game if lacking real intensity. Comer walsh conroy serious players for us to worry about..

  21. Well that was very entertaining stuff

    The Rossies giving a clear reminder that this isn’t actually the Connacht final in 3 weeks time

    A fit Walsh would have been the difference today for Galway so I’d be still very wary of them in 3 weeks..

    They have match winners in Conroy, Walsh and Comer where we will be heavily reliant on ROD

    that said their defence is very much there to be got at and there’ll be goals in it for us

  22. Poor 3rd quarter cost us but we have plenty to work on and much good to take from game. Mayo will go into Connaught match as firm favourites unless well beaten by Kerry in next match. Comer, Conroy playing very well. Need more from Tierney and P Kelly will be back in. Great goals wins games!

  23. Congratulations to Roscommon, well deserved victory in an excellent Match.. As was the theme yesterday a case of goals winning game’s.. Paul Conroy didn’t deserve to be on the losing side . but it’s another loss to a neighbour for Galway… Shane Walsh not coming on until late in the game, which when he did contributed to a big improvement in Galway’s play.. But as this weekend has shown us Goals win game’s.. Congratulations Roscommon,.. hard Luck Galway and Comon Mayo . hopefully we’ll do it, hopefully Galway and Roscommon fans will support us in the Div One final.. Co’mon Mayo!

  24. Well done Roscommon, played well in defence, attack was good, 2 Murtaghs were brilliant, Enda Smith had better days.
    Galway relying on Paul Conroy again, Comer got stuck in for second half, S Walsh played well when he came on, other than that it was a tame affair.
    Mayo v Kerry will reveal a lot today, ??

  25. Hope this is as tight a game as the one we’ve just witnessed in the D2 final. Today I think Kerry will win as jack puts a lot of emphasis on winning league finals and the weather conditions will be more favourable to a kicking team and it will allow early ball into our inside line. Hopefully there won’t be an injury to any player today out there and hopefully both sets of supporters have a safe return journey.
    It will be interesting to see what team starts for both Kerry and Mayo

  26. Oisin out of panel, brickenden in instead. Paul towey into panel. Eoghan McLaughlin out and Conor mcstay into panel

  27. That galway defence is an utter shambles lads, joyce hasn’t a clue what a defender looks like. Silke, molloy etc are nice footballers and he has them playing marking roles in fullback line,scoring 22 and losing is unforgivable

  28. Its crazy poor Molloy in defence. No chance of an A.I with the defence im afraid. Connaught would be an good achievement. Mulkerins absence a problem.

  29. Clifford. What a player. Hard to follow the play with the jerseys on show in the sun today!

  30. Kerry should be out of sight. Gonna need to score something like 2-10 in second half to even stand a chance of winning

  31. We never got going in that half at all. All the lads missing is obviously a factor but we’re just so flat, all over the pitch. This could get a whole load uglier yet.

  32. The gap in quality between the two sides is an absolute yawning chasm

    Making Gavin Whyte and diarmuid O’Connor look like peak jack McCaffrey and Bryan Fenton

    And the sobering thing is Clifford is only in second gear and they’ve left about 2-4 out there

    Should be at least 10 in the difference

    Sobering stuff

  33. Kerry waltzing through our half back line..Kerry very good in final third but average in the other 2 thirds IMO

  34. Kerry getting frees and I struggle to see why! Ref has his hand up for advantage to Kerry constantly, mayo not allowed touch kerry runners..

  35. Lucky we are only 6 down. We are well off pace and intensity. The focus is clearly on Galway. Hope we keep it under doble scores. Expect plenty of changes for 2nd half..

  36. Kerry missing Sean O’Shea, Murphy, Moran, okunbor too and lads like brosnan not starting either so they’ve plenty of big absentees themselves

  37. Lacking pace and power. Poor decision making and basic skills all over the pitch. Terrible tackling particularly from the youngsters.

  38. I agree Willie Joe but we look so naive with our defensive tactics and lack any penetration up front. Fair play to Carr though.

  39. Only plus I suppose is all our scores have come from play. Gonna need a second half performance like we had in 2019. Gavin White is causing so many problems. We have created very little. Everything is slow. Gonna have to keep Kerry goalless in second half and also keep them to 6/7 points. Can’t see that happening

  40. Who in the name of God decided on the colours for the Jerseys today… not a clue
    We’re being completely outclassed by this kerry team 1st half and unless we can find some bit of magic in the second half this could turn into a hammering…

  41. I think it’s fair to say we are lacking pace in the backs with all the absentees !

  42. Mayo losing midfield battle, Kerry won every breaking ball there & Mayo defence is very loose, Mayo carry the ball into tackles get dispossessed & Kerry charge down the pitch & score, so simple when Kerry do it. Going to be a long second half but the championship is up in 3 weeks??

  43. James Carr doing well, outside of the very poor up front and midfield. Young half back line so don’t be too harsh on them.
    To me Mayo don’t seem that up for it, but we have them same issues up front as we did in the final last year not taking goal chances..
    Kerry will stroll to the final this year.. Not sure who has the fire power to out shoot them

  44. I don’t know what game the rest of you are watching but apart from two individually brilliant displays by White and Clifford Mayo are well in this. I expect us to be better second half. I fancy us to win the second half. Stupid Turnovers cost us a draw at half time.

  45. We are toothless up front. Missing players doesn’t even come into it.

  46. Toothless display. They’ve never looked like winning. Kerry are a serious team though. Clifford is different class. O Hora is embarrassing himself with his tough man antics and mouthing off. Clifford did his talking on the score board.

  47. A sore lesson being learned today. Shocking lack of pace in the backs and midfield and no scoring forwards and no plan in the forward line. It’s like yer man said about the Mafia: just when you think you’re out, they suck you in again. In today’s case, the reverse applies.

  48. Well ye have got a bad beating so it will be very tight in the championship match. Mayo very poor up front except for O Donoghue. Kerry very strong and will be hard beaten this year perhaps Tyrone can snuff out their attack. See ye in a few weeks.

  49. May not be a bad thing to get a beating like this in early April. I’m most worried about a defence that gives up scores so easily. The Galway game is a big problem if we cant put this behind us fast.

  50. We have too many Geaneys and no Cliffords.

    ROD softened the blow of losing Cillian last year, doesn’t look like we’ll have anyone to do the same this year with Tommy.

    Galway licking their lips, eagerly waiting to have a crack at us.

  51. Not that it matters a jot but that third goal was as clear as square ball as you’ll ever see. Foley was standing in the square before the shot was taken.

  52. Absolute embarrassment. Hopefully it gives a lot of lessons. Kerry are good but not that good.

  53. 15 points.. and should have been even worse

    Men against boys

    The only positive about Kerry’s return to dominance is being able to appreciate the majestic brilliance of Clifford. What a player

  54. Toothless up front but equally poor at the back. 3-19 conceded, absolutely shocking.

    Can those who don’t rate Clifford finally acknowledge the guy. He is a genius..and o Hora didn’t even play too badly.

    Very sobering defeat. Injuries notwithstanding, we don’t look to be anywhere close to Kerrys level. It’s only the league I know, and Tyrone shipped 6 goals to Kerry in the league last year, and we all know what happened in the all Ireland semi.

  55. That was some beating here in Croker. Embarrassing stuff. What the hell. Heaviest defeat in years. I am shook after it. Where are the ‘learnings’ today??

  56. “Kerry are good but not that good.”

    Yep that’s exactly it.. still think they’re far from assured to win the all Ireland.. Tyrone and Dublin once they get going will still fancy a huge cut at them

  57. This performance was on the cards since the Dublin game. Very poor forward play for many weeks now. I feel sorry for the players. The supporters mentality of saying they didn’t mind if they won the league or not was desperate stuff. Imagine Dublin, Kerry and Tyrone supporters behaving like that. We got what we deserved. A serious trimming. We are (at best) the fourth best team in Ireland. Up Mayo

  58. Relatively speaking is this Mayo’s worst performance this side of the millennium?

    I don’t even think the 06 final was this bad. For one this Kerry team isn’t at the level of that side just yet..

  59. Feels like 2004 and 2006 all over again…Jack O’ Connor laughing at us in the end. Never had respect for us and never will. Sure would you blame him….

  60. Reality check for a lot on here. I think Clifford read yer posts about him. Honestly I can’t wait for horan to be gone and I don’t care if I get kicked off for saying so. Ya we are missing a few backs but that was embarrassing.
    Same players that were useless in the final, last year useless again today.
    We are a laughing stock again

  61. No lessons learned no plan to their game. To many players missing irreplaceable especially Tommy Conroy !! I sure james is cursing the sigerson ?

  62. Very very disappointing. We were overrun. Kerry played a game based on speed, like hares running over the field away from us.
    Then they could score.
    And they had their defensive structure to keep us out.
    It was comprehensive. A complete trimming.
    Maybe it is just as well to let us know there is an awful lot to do. No sticking plasters.
    Jack O’Connor will be very pleased and will have his eyes on Sam now.
    We didn’t get a look in.

  63. Too many missing players. Fuck that he was a hard watch, we were stuck to the ground all game I thought.
    Watching Jack o connor laughing at the end just about able to stop myself from smashing my remote at the tv. It’s 3am here so time for bed.

  64. “Can those who don’t rate Clifford finally acknowledge the guy.”

    I think some comments on here last week will be framed down in the kingdom for a long time to come !!

    Some absolute dingers – O’Donoghue being better than Clifford being the coup de grace, I can’t see that one being beaten!

  65. We should have had a good few more scores… terrible shooting and 4 posts hit ..but I’m consoling myself with our lack of bite and our missing men. Will they make that much of difference…
    Square ball all day long. Kerry got a lot of frees for hard tackling…seems like you’re not allowed to tackle hard unless it’s a big lad like AOS…
    O Hora needs to shut his mouth and play the game…he was skinned raw…
    Otherwise great to see Cillian back…
    Bring on Galway…they didn’t see much of our hand today…
    Thanks WJ… and everyone. Great to have this site to let off some steam.
    Maigheo abú

  66. Only positives from today were probably Plunkett and Byrne and Cillian back. Really missed Durcan, Mullen and McLaughlin in the half back line. Had no pace at all.

  67. totally freak result, several of mayo’s clutch players missing, nothing went right all day, kerry got 7 up and easy for them to kick points then, read nothing into it. It would be a different game if they met again in July, remember tyrone getting hammered by Kerry in the league last year, it was the making of that Tyrone team for the year.

  68. Too many out today. Having said that it was still desperate stuff. Only positive I can think of is seeing Cillian back.

  69. This game was a hammering due to one main factor, the difference in tactics.
    Our forwards under Horanball continually faced ten or more defenders.
    Kerry attacked rapidly and all game had their full forward line with David Clifford 1 v 1.
    It’s the contrast in defensive cover faced by both attacks that left us so short.

  70. MOTM poll up. I accept this may not be everyone’s cup of tea on a day like today but the object is the same as always, i.e. to recognise the efforts of those who played best for us.

  71. Its only the league, they put six goals past Tyrone in the league last year, and we all know what happend in the championship…….

    Once Flynn is okay, no other injuries. We move on.

  72. Wouldn’t be too downbeat..no-one will remember this in a few weeks ..im sure with everyone back we’ll be a different outfit …

  73. Bad enough performance overall alright. Aidan O’Shea played well though I thought.

  74. First time my nephews ( 6 and 9) got to see Mayo in CP.
    What a baptism of fire.
    Interesting night ahead on the blog.

  75. Hang on now. The let’s move on talk hides the clear contrast in how many defenders either team faced in the attacking scoring zone.
    How is that going to change later on in the year?
    Galway were just shown a clear template of how to beat us.
    Load up scorers inside and kickpass it down to them before we have cover.

  76. Nightmares of ’06 came flooding back, capped off by that sour grin at the end. Only today I couldn’t hide behind the small consolation of 3 goals.

    And to the fella who said earlier this week that ROD is better than Clifford, cop on and stop making us all look daft

  77. @stephencawley are you for real? We got absolutely torn asunder and our back (especially o’hora) got humiliated. O’hora would want to cop his antics on. Kerry are better than everyone else, and we’re bad good as the rest, but deluding ourselves that we’ll match them talent wise later in the year?? If they under perform again maybe we’d have a chance. They’ve much better footballers though

  78. Where are the ones running down David Clifford now? But but he didn’t score in a Sigerson game!

  79. Hard to take away any positives from today and from the campaign in general. We have unearthed a few squad players put no one comes to mind that improves the team from last year. Apart from Plunkett looking like he has improved his game big time. Kerry will only get better in attack when Sean O Shea get back. Clifford is a joy to watch if all fairness!

  80. I for one would lay off o hora . I was happy to see him try and impose himself on Clifford, he got very little support from anyone else . Don’t think we have a defender who could do a job on Clifford at moment.

    We were slow all over the pitch and Kerry were on another level .

  81. Padraig OHora was totally hung out to dry by the tactics. David Clifford was getting good ball in loads of space 1 v 1 with no cover. He would eat any defender in that situation.
    The mgmt had no plan for Gavin White, process that a moment. We lined up Conor Loftus on the most powerful attacking wing back in the game.
    White then proceeded to destroy us up that wing.
    Completely predictable. If you face Kerry you plan for Gavin White. If you don’t yer just on a naive jolly to Dublin, nice lads the Mayo lads, up for the craic and the fancy burgers.

  82. @pat I’m his clubman and know him as well as anyone. Anyone can get destroyed by Clifford, that’s fine. There’s a difference between being a tough hard corner back and being a mouthy dragging yoke though and he’s crossed that line too many times for years and now the entirety of the country is talking about it

  83. It all good in the modern game having athletes that can go box to box and play anywhere from 5-12 but until Mayo have 4 out and out scoring forwards we will never win the big one , galway are closer to Sam than we are with Walsh,comer,finnerty , Conroy , we’re in serious bother in Connaught and for all you saying we could compete with Kerry think again , Sean o Shea and Paul murphy didn’t feature today , Sean o Sean being the second best player in ireland , after (not ROD) clifford!! Time for a change of management after the year in my opinion , we managed to keep the biggest young talent from playing in Oz and yet we’re throwing him in to man mark and sacrifice his game when we’re in desperate need for him to drive us on , I honestly can’t understand how we don have forwards capable of kicking outside 30meters , I’ve been to junior c games where you see more long range scores than what Mayo are producing…

  84. Need our 3 half backs back whice will make a difference. Hope Jordan Flynn OK for Galway game too. Thought maybe Ryan was not his best at free taking today possibly with Cillian waiting in the wings. Can’t understand after our history why our forwards are not more alert for rebounds off the posts, there were 2 goals there for the taking today from rebounds if we were more alert.

  85. @Stephenite I really don’t have a issue with it . You try and name a winning team that did not have a mouthy defender. You just hope that he backs it up and today I don’t think any of our defenders could have against Clifford. For instance I imagine Harrison is a nice guy but he would have been roasted also . Mayo far too often are described as nice guys .

  86. @Steohenite We’ve had enough nice guy defenders for years. They would have been taken for 2-7 by Clifford today.

  87. Yeah , that was the biggest embarrassment of the day, seeing O’Hora mouth away at Clifford & then Clifford roasting him, that’s how you do your talking . Anyway I feel a lot of the optimism I had about the team a month ago has been gradually eroded over the last few weeks . I’m finding hard to see how we have actually improved since last year. Mayo are still a top four team or so but has there been any real improvement? Has anything even changed that much in terms of tactical approach ?

  88. Wait until there’s a free every time o hora lays a glove on an arm. The seed was sown today. It happened Ryan mcmenimen and Francie bellew in the past. I hope I’m wrong

  89. Clifford was immense, today unplayable but let’s not get on Padraig O Hora’s, case he gave it everything and no one defender could have done anything more in the circumstances.. But where was the team plan for the mercurial David Clifford?.. Tyrone had had a team plan for Clifford last Sunday.. James Carr was our best forward today… Oh God, how come we have so many injuries?.. 4 or 5 terrible individual performance today, and Padraig O Hora certainly wasn’t one of them, .. Today’s performance was our worst performance in any national final that I can remember, and I can remember a few. .Mayo were nowhere near the level of Roscommon or Galway today. Lessons don’t seem to be learned!

  90. Okay, I’d appreciate if everyone could just follow the rules so (a) no naming players and declaring they’re “not good enough”, (b) no calling for heads, including the manager’s and (c) lay off Swanny, who, despite the impossibility of the task given to him, did as well as he could in the circumstances (and who’s to say his marker wasn’t mouthing at him too?). Aside from that, carry on.

    PS: To the usual trolls who only come out when we lose, your contributions will go the same place they always go, without anyone seeing them, so they’re the same waste of time on your part as they always are.

  91. Byrne showed he is a capable deputy for Hennelly

    Plunkett kicked two good scores

    Cillian back

    That’s all the positives

    Huge question marks over Horans in game management again too

  92. Anyone asking why Mullin was on Clifford in Tralee got their answer today
    O Hora tried his best but he is just too slow for him

  93. As pissed off as I am after watching that, Tyrone shipped 6 goals last year and how did it work out for Kerry after that? Are they favourites for the AI? Yup and looking at today rightly so, Are they unstoppable? Probably not.

    Mayo were missing 7 players today that when fully fit would all start..How many teams can cope with that?Having said that I would agree with JP up to a point in regard to the tactics altho some of the completely aimless ball that was kicked away has far more to do with terrible decision making and poor execution in my opinion.

    What I would take from Today is I am not convinced the panel is as good as a lot of people including myself may have thought. Take out some of our key players and the drop off in standard is significant. If we do not get some lads back for the Galway game I think we could be in serious bother.

    In regard to David Clifford, the Gooch is the best footballer I have ever seen but I think Clifford may yet surpass him..he definitely has all the skills plus he has serious pace..Best forward in the Country presently..I cannot see much of an argument to the contrary.

  94. When is the form of Stephen Coen going to be discussed properly? He stank the place out again today.

    I also wouldn’t be too hard on O’Hora. There’s no harm in trying to impose oneself on the Cliffords of the world. Unfortunately the way Horan sets up his teams is a dream for forwards like Clifford. He had it very easy due to our set up. We don’t seem to do team defending and one v one defending is a recipe for disaster when playing guys like Clifford who will just lap it up. Tyrone have showed the blueprint for how to handle him (and he can be handled) but our manager refuses to pay attention to these things seemingly.

  95. Hard luck Mayo no shame in that defeat Kerry were outstanding and their forwards sublime not many teams would have lived with Kerry today.Jack o Connor is a brillant manger and reserves his biggest beatings for us.

  96. Put this nightmare behind us. Lay off ohora. Where was Keegan, will he start against Galway. Hope Flynn is OK. Need a full team to complete at this level. Tactics?????

  97. Willie Joe – Clifford was giving plenty back. It happened right in front of where I was sitting. But he’s an altar boy to some who seem incapable of believing that plenty of forwards give as good as they get.

  98. Marking David Clifford is at best a damage limitation exercise. Swanny did his best but definitely needed someone more mobile on him. The only way to stop Clifford is to stop the supply..at times he is simply unstoppable.

  99. From the highes of surviving in division 1, the bonus of making it to the final, to now begin at the receiving end of a hammering to kerry, is enough to drive a man to drink.
    One thing Horan wanted when he came on board was to make Mayo competitive, and even though we didn’t win the big one, he did make us very hard to beat…that is until today.
    Where we go from here is anyone’s guess but they sure have left themselves with one mighty big hill to climb!!

  100. On further reflection losing to Kerry today may not be so bad, too many guys out injured and if we are being honest I think we preferred if Mayo didn’t make the League final.

  101. Absolutely enjoyed O’Hora v Clifford. He gave it everything. Mayo lacked pace in too many positions.

  102. People are losing the perspective on this a bit. A mix of James nallen and Keith higgings wouldve struggled on Clifford today. Thats not the point. Pinching sensitive places and pulling and mouthing only attracts the attention of refs and the media and helps noone going forward. It’s not the way to play the game

  103. There is no doubt that Clifford was brilliant today and no one is saying differently.

    As well as been able to call how he has played, brilliant in today’s case, it is also just as important to be able to comment truthfully on days that he has not been brilliant.

    Whether people like to admit it or not, he has days where he is not on song.

    Hard luck to our lads today.

    Time to get the plan together for three weeks time.

  104. To be fair Byrne should just get the MOM he saved two certain goals in the first half. If they had gone in well…

    Again breaking ball a major problem as has been the last two years but today no matter what way it fell a Kerry lad got his gang on it. We need to sort that out and get two wing forwards capable of doing just that.

    No intensity in the tackle it was criminal the way they came through the middle unscraped.

    Outside of Carr and ROD nobody else scored.

    And was it 2-10 to 6 points in the second half?

    Anyways, not long until we are back in action.

  105. O’Hora was not bad considering and got up the field and battled.
    I am sure Clifford is well able to mouth as well.
    You have to have more than a man on man approach for a guy like Clifford as well.
    We had a B selection out today take 6 or 7 top players out of any side in Ireland and see how they get on.
    They were first to every breaking ball and fought for everything worked way harder when they didn’t have possession.
    We have to get that type of fight into our game.Donie Buckley brought it before…we need it again.
    Kerry are a good side so are Tyrone they have both beaten us consistently now for 2 / 3 years….thats reality

  106. Hard to see anything positive after today’s performance. The only thing I see what amuses me is about all the great players that we are missing. All these great players played as well in games and did we win? I will say that in David Clifford he is the best forward to grace Croker. Also delighted for the Rossies. All we ever hear is Galway and Mayo.
    Still Galway can be thankful they won FBD. Another county like us getting carried away. I feel the pain for Mayo is not over yet.

  107. 10 years of a dominant Dublin thwarted our efforts to win Sam and probably another 10 years of a dominant Kerry to do the same when luck was been handed out we were back of the queue. Clifford will only get better without doubt rhe best i have seen in my 67 years

  108. They had 34 shots. We had 28. Watching it, it felt worse than that. Our finishing was shocking.

  109. People seem very sensitive around O Hora
    Nobody is saying he is a bad player. Just that he isn’t a good match for Clifford. He just isn’t quick enough
    He can’t mark him again if we meet later in summer . Simple as that .
    Mullin did as much as anyone could in Tralee but was still criticized . He was not burnt for pace and won’t be
    Trying to argue otherwise is silly.
    O Hora suits certain players . Clifford isn’t even that quick but he is too quick for him

  110. @moose 79
    100% correct “there is no plan “ there never was and probably won’t be. No tactical thinking or planning whatsoever

  111. Hi Willie Joe. very disappointing today when Rob, Paddy, Diarmuid , Oisin and of course Cillian were sorely missed. I feel I should not partake in the MOTM poll because if I were a player today I’d be embarrassed to win such an award. Nobody played well . Simple as that . Mind you, Galway weren’t much good either so I think we’ll get back on the winning trail in 3 weeks time . Keep the faith!!

  112. Today’s drubbing will result in one of two things, 1: Mayo are found wanting in finals?
    2: Are they saving themselves for the Galway game in 3 weeks?. I think it’s a combination of the two but Galway will feel very happy this evening.

  113. Half back line was very poor today apart from plunkett.
    And our half forward line shocking also. Half forward line bar DOC is a huge problem area going into championship.
    Don’t know who will fill the 2 wing forward positions.

    Tactically very poor. If you leave Clifford 1 on 1 he will destroy anyone .

    Plenty food for thought for Galway game.hopefully the injuries clear up.

  114. Lots of hysteria on here because half of Mayo’s first 15 got well beaten. Clifford qas unmarkable but maybe if we had McBrien Durcan. Mullin. McLaughlin and Diarmuid out the field he may have had a much reduced supply. Although I thought Rory Byrne was vey good we did miss Robbie’s kickouts. Get a few of these lads back and Cillian and McHale firing and we might still have a long summer.

  115. Don’t know what to say after that, only that I wasn’t expecting such a defeat. Feel a bit shocked not from the loss, but from the manner of the loss. Really hope this Mayo team will rise again ?.

  116. Said it earlier, a win today nice to have, not a need to have. However we crumbled to a nearly full strength team. Our injuries caught up to us. And Horan got tactics a little all over the place. Really disappointed with midfield, expect more of them

  117. Horan going man to man again in the FB line against a top class player in croke park. Never ever ever learns.
    Also a player who was diabolical in the final last year missing multiple chances still getting picked on the team.
    It’s a waste of time if you don’t protect your goal and also pick lads who consistently don’t deliver under pressure. Also why are 5-6 clubs dominating the selection on the squad with a number of mid size clubs with seemingly zero representation on the squad.

  118. Really disappointing day out. Not necessarily the defeat itself, but the nature of it and the final deficit.

    BUT – it’s far too early to panic.

  119. Joe you do not mark a player of Clifford’s quality with one player. You put a marker on him and sit a sweeper (someone good in the air) on front of him

  120. On another point. Are Kerry going to dominate the next few All Irelands.

    If that’s the case then it puts last September fully in perspective.

  121. Someone said Galway would be licking their lips looking at our defence….not sure about that.
    Galway are after losing themselves and looked very poor at times there today.Compleatly cleaned in mid field for 20 mins after half time.
    I seen Mayo get massive beatings off Dublin in league and come out a totally different side in championship.That was “the last team” so to speak…..I wouldn’t be giving up yet on these guys….however we do need to be able to adapt more to the situation we face……Rochford always had that strength it seems not to feature with Horan…..however we were devastated by injuries and that tol a tale in the end

  122. Have to agree.

    No plan. There just isn’t.

    No cover to help our corner back on a very good forward. Kerry play an extra man at the back at times which should free up one of our guys and we dont put him helping Swanny. Do we even realise hes been freed up?

    If there is a plan it is, and always has been, a basic one.

  123. Let`s not dog into the team tonight. They did`nt try any less hard today than any other day.

    Sometimes the Gods smile on you – – – sometimes they don`t !

  124. Aidan, I wouldn’t give up on Carney yet and with Diarmuid back and Darren McHale on the other side maybe a goer.However AOS stood up today and surely has to be included somewhere but he isn’t a scorer so maybe as a third midfielder.

  125. Gavin Whyte absolutely jogging through loftus at one point out on the sideline in the first half is the haunting image of the day for me

    That one moment was a microcosm of the game as a whole, outclassed and outfought

  126. “On another point. Are Kerry going to dominate the next few All Irelands.”

    Wouldn’t shock me if they lost a semi again this year, never mind winning the next few all Irelands

    They’ll face tougher sides this year than today I’m sorry to say

    Still have it all to prove in the big champ games in Croker

  127. 6 on 6 at the back again. Same in the all Ireland
    Final where we got destroyed in the second
    Half, leaving o’hora 1v1 against Clifford was
    Absolutely criminal by the management.
    No lessons ever seemed to be learned in
    This regard which is really worrying.
    Our strong squad myth blown apart today.
    Need the injured lads back for the Galway game

  128. Sobering stuff lads

    The sad truth is we were flattered by the 15 point defeat, could have been double that

    Struggling to find positives, at least we got to see clifford in the flesh again which should always be cherished. Made a show of o’hora on and off the ball

  129. It was said recently that this was the strongest panel in years. Perhaps it is and so
    the answer to all the questions and lack of All Ireland success is simple;
    maybe, including the sideline, we are not good enough .
    We have to accept it.

  130. Speed speed speed speed.
    Run run run run run.

    That was Kerry’s gameplan.
    That is what outclassed Mayo.
    This is why Kerry won.
    They dominated.
    Mayo couldn’t stop them.
    If we could have frightened them once or held them once, the game would have been different. Their momentum would have been stopped.
    (There were a few short balls that someone could have mopped up and buried or pointed but we were caught unprepared. That’s not hard stuff).

    That said, we all know, from all year so far and last year, that Mayo have faults.
    They were exposed cruelly today.
    Maybe that is for the best, ultimately, because we need to fix them.
    Kerry’s system shut us out today. We couldn’t deal with it – weren’t prepared, and had faults.
    Ditto – Tyrone’s system shut us out in the AIF. We couldn’t deal with it – weren’t prepared, and had faults.
    Maybe something can be learned and fixed from these two facts that repeated.

  131. Very disappointing.
    Too many players with pace missing, Durkan mullin and E Mcloughlin in particular.
    Horan really has questions to answer. Why was Loftus left on White. Given our resources, Enda Hession should have switched on to him after 10 minutes. How can you hope to defend one on one against Clifford?. No obvious defense system.
    But in was terrible given Kerry’s sweeper.
    Why didn’t we mirror their sweeper.
    While I predicted a win that was before mullin and E Mcloughlin dropped out the squad and I couldn’t believe it when I saw O’Shea start. He was gassed by hall time.. if o shea starts another game for Mayo,, I’m leaving the ground before the game starts
    Horan has to be ruthless or the county board will be ruthless at the season end.. sorry for the rant Willie Joe, but I hate Mayo been shown up as idiots

  132. Looking at the posts on here tonight I expect If Mayo get to yet another final tickets will be easy got because most of you wont be interested.
    I am going to make a list of depression merchents and will revisit in the future. Maigheo Abu.

  133. Lots of knee jerk rubbish being spouted on here this evening.
    Stephenite, are you sure you’re a club mate of P OHora? I doubt it somehow with that opinion. I would never dis a clubman or any Mayo player no matter what.
    A few basic facts lads,
    We played badly today
    Tactics didn’t work out
    No luck (frees)
    It’s April and a league final v the (current) form team
    The current form team had a full deck to pick from
    We didnt
    Kerry were lucky not to have a 2nd player sent off
    Clifford’s et al are well fit to sledge too

    One thing I will never do is,
    Stop supporting Mayo
    Walk out before a Mayo game finishes
    (Plenty in green an red leaving today with 10 mins remaining ffs!)
    Disrespect a Mayo player

    I watched Ros v G today. Enjoyable game but neither will beat us this year, I’m sure of it.
    Up Mayo!

  134. Excuse me RP Murphy? Il support mayo and P’OH more than any man and I love club far more than county. [Deleted] This is not a national forum it’s meant to be a frank meeting of mayo people to talk normally in relative privacy. I have amazing time for POH. I didn’t like what I saw today however

  135. Motm seems a facile exercise after an experience like that but I happened to vote for the 3 lads who are leading the voting byrne/plunkett/Carr, the only 3 who walked away from that shambles with a reasonable showing

    I’m still chuckling at some of the nonsense spouted about clifford on here the past few weeks, any kerry posters looking in must have been pissing themselves laughing at mayo fans saying clifford ain’t all that

  136. Fair enuf, but check back on your comments. You mention bout him being a mouthy yoke or something, and that the whole County is talking about him.. Come on ..
    Clifford and a few others were giving it loads too, and tbh not half enough I think. PO’H had an unenviable job today against a such a top player, and it might have been ugly, but he had to try whatever he could to stop the Kerry man.
    Stephenite, I don’t doubt your passion or loyalty, but PO’H would be the 1st name on my team sheet everytime. He’s one hard bastard an I don’t care what he has to do for us.

  137. Some amount of manure posted on here tonight. If we beat Galway this day 3 weeks no one will give a damn about today. Our objectives were far different from Kerry’s. This was their last meaningful game before an AIQF in 10 weeks time! They were far hungrier, it was blatantly evident. But no one actually gives a shit about the league, we won it in 2019 and got embarrassed by Roscommon and hammered by Kerry in the super 8’s….why?…because we lost the run of ourselves after winning a “national title”, sing songs in Times Square etc the cringe of it all. I for one am delighted we didnt win the league, no hype now and pressure all on Kerry. I fully beileve Dublin will catch them out in the semi’s.

    Last point, it is blatantly obvious at least 2 players today are not good enough, one is mentioned above, and has again spurned gilt edge goal oppurtunites infront of the Hill. You always learn far more in defeat than victory.

  138. RP Mc Murphy….you said Kerry had a full deck to pick from. That’s incorrect. They were without Paul Murphy, David Moran and Sean O’ Shea to name just three.

    Given the talent he was marking, I thought O’Hora put up a brave display today, apart of course from the mouthing and hard man routine, that I’m sure will embarrass him if he watches it back…I thought our team looked physically lightweight today in several positions.

  139. @Stephenite
    I sure O Hora is delighted to know that you have great time for him.
    You give out about him being mouthy and then go on to make comments about him anonymously on this blog,I’m not sure you have the higher ground there to be honest.
    O Hora is a starter for us in the championship and did a good few things right today, the fact that he was up against an umarkable,generational talent comes into it aswell you know?
    No Mayo player past or present would have done much better today in my opinion.

  140. Observer2, ok, slight mistake. I didn’t see Murphy, but Moran and O’Shea were togged and took part in the warm up.
    We have too many regulars unable to even tog.

  141. I have to agree with a lot of what Swallow scoops has said above. Genuinely think that was as good a performance as any of the Dublin team 6 in a row teams put in over years, Kerry’s movement off the ball was outrageous. Clifford just had it all, what pissed Me off most was that hession seemed to be sweeper in front of him first 10mins and then that tactic was abandoned, mind boggling, Horan was lifeless on the sideline in front me compared to the Kerry bench. Tadgh Morley sweeping today was every bit as important as Clifford at the other end, had the role perfected and drowned our full forward line out, unfortunately Horan seems reluctant to persist with that tactic when needed. And as for two certain players who were roasted for pace and intelligence positional wise today and neither taken off, I give up. Likes of boland must be tearing his hair out

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