Game day – we’re off again

This is it – the start of another inter-county season. Markievicz Park is our home away from home today for our return to Division One of the National Football League, where, at 1.45pm this afternoon, we lock horns with Donegal. Cavan’s Noel Mooney is the ref and the match is live on TG4 with radio commentary on Midwest.

I don’t, I confess, have any clear idea what to expect from our lads today. One line of argument – on the face of it, a persuasive enough one – says Donegal come into this with far better prep done, in the form of four McKenna Cup matches, while we only had that kick-about under the Dome and a few challenge games, with Oisín Mullin picking up a knock in one of them, keeping him out of today’s League opener.

But then when you start to look at the team we’ve named – will they all start, I wonder? – and it looks, Oisín’s absence notwithstanding, like a decent blend of youth and experience. Maybe, then, we’ll do what we haven’t often done in recent years, which is to hit the ground running from the off in the League.

Armagh’s eye-catching win over the flailing Dubs at Croke Park last night showed that it would be unwise to take anything for granted in the League’s top tier this spring. Dessie Farrell’s charges head for Tralee next weekend so it’s possible that, when they take the field against us back at HQ in Round 3, they might still be waiting to get off the mark in the division.

We could be in the same boat then too. Or, perhaps less plausibly, we might arrive at Croke Park with two wins on the board from our first two outings. That’s all to be determined.

The first two points of that potential four-point haul are up for grabs today. It would be great from our perspective if we were able to grab them. After last September’s crushing disappointment, a win today would represent the best possible way to put distance between us and that ghastly All-Ireland final showing.

Will we do it? I think if we’re to win today it’ll only be after a battle but, of course, that’s Division One football for you. Nothing ever comes easy in the game’s top tier. Not for us nor, lest we forget, for our opponents either.

Right, it’s an early start for those of us domiciled in the capital, who have a cross-country trek ahead of us. So there’s no time for dallying here.

But, hey, isn’t it great to be back in that world again? Covid isn’t fully gone yet but it does appear that the worst of the pandemic is now behind us and today’s game will be the first Mayo match since March 2020 where there are no restrictions on spectator capacity.

In that sense, it’ll be good to get back to that kind of normality today. We could all, in so many ways, do with a large helping of normal life once again.

Safe travelling all today. A few of us from the podcast will be on Discord with our Patreon club members leading up to and during the game and we’ll be recording a bonus ‘Final Whistle’ episode of the podcast soon after full-time that’ll be available for club members shortly after that.

Here on the blog, our first MOTM poll will go live shortly after the game is over and there’ll be the usual match report a bit later on too.

Yes, in every sense, we’re all back again. Let’s hit the road, people. Let’s get this positive opening round start. Up Mayo.

108 thoughts on “Game day – we’re off again

  1. Best of luck to the lads today. Health issues at the moment mean I wont be attending but thank God for TG4 and looking forward to your post match podcast. Keep it up, it means so much to us Mayo supporters.

  2. Best of luck to Mayo today,hopefully it will be a great match with no injuries to either team and I will go for a modest win by seven points seeing as it is our first day out,safe travel to all and thank you Willie Joe for all the information you provide to all of us

  3. Fear
    Fear is a given
    Experience builds courage
    Keep going,your far more resilient than you think.

  4. Safe travel to you Willie Joe and to all . I was happy to see the team and subs named on Thursday and I hope that team actually starts. Looking forward to the TG4 coverage and looking forward to visits to Croke Park and Tralee later in the campaign. Keep the Faith! Up Mayo!

  5. Will be tuning in from London. Cannot wait to get home for a game.

    A good start to the league would be a tonic. We’ve tended to make life very difficult for ourselves during recent top division campaigns.

    Safe travels everyone. Up Mayo!

  6. Best of luck to the Mayo Team and Management Today as we start the 2022 quest for Sam. Will we see a change of play from Mayo and Sideline? Can we ignite Tommy and Eoin with good fast passing. Can we win the Midfield battle with a new pairing? I would prefer Aido to start at MF but the best of luck to Conor, I hope he takes his chance. We need a win. Hopefully we can do it. Safe travelling to All.

  7. Go neiri le foireann Mhuigeo inniu. Mar a deirtear as Gaeilge ‘Tus maith leath na hoibre’
    Essential to get a good start but it will not be easy! Look what we witnessed last ‘new kids on the block’-Armagh! What a performance!
    Bainigi sult as an cluife inniu! Mhuigeo Abu!

  8. Hello all. My first comment since september. Severe annoyance at horans arrogance and refusal to listen to selectors on the day. No ear pieces either. Were a very average outfit when it comes to the big day. Not the first time either. So horan wont get us over the line fir sam and thats a given. So i have accepted that and will look forward.

    Mullin has decided to stay. Great news for himself. Family and mayo senior team. But we must keep him out of the limelight. I would play him wing back. Take him away from central position and let him do his work from there. We dont want to burn him out like we done with diarmuid. He ran himself into the ground and now he plods about like a man not knowing where he should be. We must not do this to oisin.

    Hennelly
    O hora
    Coen
    Harrison
    Mullin
    Keegan
    Durcan
    Fionn
    Diarmuid
    Orme
    Ryan
    Eoin mac
    T conroy
    Doherty
    Darren coen

    Thats what id like to see

  9. It’s great to be back at it again with full capacity crowds and maybe a few additions to the team that we might not have been expecting to have this year.
    I haven’t a clue how this one will finish. I think we might come up a tad short today but I hope I’m wrong.
    Anyway best of luck to the team and management and let’s hope we see a good performance.

  10. We need 3 wins from the 7 league matches.
    A win today and it becomes 2 wins from 6 league matches.
    The next 6 months are going to be seminal for Mayo football in general and for this team in particular.
    Last years AIF and repeated failures on the big day has left many of us wondering if we’re all wasting our time ….
    supporters, management and players alike.
    We were all ridiculously over-confident going into last years final …. 80% to 20% here on the blog.
    It’s as though we think that when we beat either Dublin or Kerry then the job is done.
    Full focus for an entire campaign seems alien to our DNA.
    Our ‘in game’ management is also not where it needs to be.
    We do not seem to recognise the ‘clutch moments’ in games and have handled them badly over the last decade.
    I refer to goals conceded, goal chances not created or taken, cards, critical interventions and the like.
    There are usually 6-12 ‘clutch moments’ in a game and we’re doing badly on them.
    I’m hoping we can stay in Division 1 whilst unveiling a few new players and improving our ‘clutch moment’
    recognition and management.
    This is where we need to go in the coming months.

  11. Best of luck to Jason Doherty today coming back from injury. Best wished too to James Horan in his eight season in charge and final year of his second term in charge. Tough league campaign ahead but no reason we cannot stay in Divison 1 with all the learnings James has accumalated. Best of luck to all

  12. As others have said, with Dub beaten yesterday today’s match is one we need to win. Kerry will beat Dublin next weekend.

    Looking forward to today. Up Mayo!

  13. Big day today. A loss and we put ourseves under pressure straight away. Goalkeeping and midfield are areas of concern but a lot to like about team selection too. Looking forward to Orme, McDonagh and Doherty in particular. It would be great to see a refreshed Diarmuid ó Connor, the incredible ball he kept in play v Dublin will live long in my memory as the spirit of Mayo. A great game in prospect.

  14. Looking at the selected Donegal team, if Mayo forwards dont put up a big score today, then I fear for the future in Division 1.

  15. Best of luck to the lads today. A win would be crucial and looking forward to see Doherty play again. He could add that something extra to the forward line. I’m very interested to see how the midfield gets on.

    Maigh Eo Abú

  16. Very hard to call the game today but I would think the men in green and red will be eager to put the last game well and truly behind them and run out on filed with something to prove.
    Hopefully, the wind doesn’t ruin the game.

  17. Good luck team, management and supporters. To those in attendance in Sligo, enjoy!
    Brilliant to see Jason Doherty back today.
    Would be ideal to get a win – we can only hope.
    Yes, there’s fear but it’s invigorating to be back in the top tier. I think quite a few of our team haven’t played there before so they’ll be picking up good experience flanked by veterans like the two Docs, Aido, Keegan, Durcan.

  18. There’s an unwarranted fear in the Mayo psyche, some people will talk the team into relegation and thrive off the doom and gloom.

    If the team is prepared properly they will defeat Donegal in a tight game, if not they’ll lose by 2 or 3 points so it’s in the camps hands to get it right.

  19. Seated in stand with a few fellow pilgrims as we embark once again into the fog of another league campaign. Armagh have located the lighthouse and a shinning path lies ahead tor them. Dublin are foundering close to the rocks.
    Lets hope we are not sending up flares as this game progresses. But after the last two dreadful years i wouldn’t swap it for anything.

  20. Draw would be a brilliant result..
    Donegal management have chalked down 2 points for this game. And I think they owe us one ..
    Win lose or draw we need scores from the half forward line ..and at least 16pts plus on the score board..
    Best of luck lads …Hon the boys in red and green

  21. Great every is back, good look to everyone. Hope Mayo take a leaf out of the Armagh leaf book and let the ball in long, hopefully Jason Doherty can be our Rian o Neil, with o Donoghue , McDonagh and Loftus we may have the players to deliver the quick ball. Good test for our midfield today and middle sector. I feel Aidan will be needed early.

  22. Viper the first paragraph of your comment hits the nail on the head this type of mentality needs to change but maby it never will, looking forward to seeing how ormne goes hes definitely a different option at 11

  23. A last minute glance at last years panel and who is not in today’s match panel. I know that our defense has changed with Colm Boyle retired, Eoin o Donoghue, Jack Coyle out of Boyle, Ben Doyle still sitting on a Westport bench, injuries to Mullin, Hession and Mcbrien so it’s by wonder Horan has brought in Mchugh, Callinan and Keane for the league and maybe in to stay, sorry for the U20 panel. Ruane missing for a couple of games . Nobody has mentioned it but where is James McCormack and when was he given a proper chance around the middle. Have a lot of forwards who may or may not be in the managers plans, Mark Moran, Darran Mchale, James Carr, James Durkin, Darren Coen, Fergal Boland, Luke Doherty, Cillian o Connor. Has Luke Doherty ever featured even in a match day panel. Frank Irwin coming in again still U20 offers something different but I feel that some of these players will be let go this year if not already. Have the newbies Paddy Henegan, Jack Mahon, Fionnan Duffy, Justin Healy not in today’s panel , been retained.

  24. Feels like I’m getting soaked watching this on tv! Can someone there give the camera a wipe?

  25. Two things still the same.
    High ball will cause problems in the square.
    Durcan attacking but leaving space when he is up the pitch.

  26. Gawd… Mayo are all over the place…kicking into keepers hands with wind behind them. Looks like it’ll be a short stint in division 1… very poor showing so far

  27. We are very poor from 8-15. Same old story from last year, toothless in our attacking play.

  28. Jesus this is amateur stuff from tg4. Could someone wipe the screen, it’s like watching a match recorded on a 10 year old phone.

  29. It’s like watching a bad challenge match in a fogged up car, apsolutly awful stuff do tg4 not own a cloth , as for our performance in the first half second to every ball not getting going atal

  30. We had the wind and the only 2 scoring forwards that we have spend most of the half in the half back line. Same ol same ol

  31. Hard to look at and it’s not just the foggy cameras. Most of our forwards should be substituted. At least bring on Aidan OShea

  32. Robbie Hennelly keeping us in the match,.. lucky to be only a few points down… Game being played on Donegal terms!

  33. Learnings my ass. Our shot selection is very poor. Fair play to Donegal they look to have a plan and are well coached.

  34. Mayo playing into Donegal’s hand, basically the Donegal defenders move out to midfield and all the Mayo forwards go with their men, this leaving the Donegal goalkeeper to play as a Sweeper.
    Simple, leave one Mayo player to mark space, ie keep one or two Donegal defenders to mind their goals, ie, less Donegal guys to attack up the pitch.

    I have feel that we are putting off the inevitable until next year

  35. To think there have been calls to drop Aido from the panel

    That’s what’s behind him

    We will miss him when we goes

  36. Totally agree with comments, looking very poor 8-15, looking for the likes of Diarmuid to step up and take control but he isn’t looking like the player from 2 years ago. Over all we are losing the middle sector and our full forward line is starved of possession. Poor shot selection, poor distribution and delivery. Poor conditions and wtf TG4

  37. Not a great start for Mayo, Donegal missed two good goal chances, poor defence, Tommy Conroy is the only forward trying to have a go, big improvement needed in second half or else it’s Div 2 again next year.

  38. Tg4 should be able to do better it’s not good enough. As regards the game mayo are poor but missing 5 or 6 vital players where Donegal seem to be almost full strength. Think we will see aido early in the 2nd half.

  39. Can we now just put the goalie position to bed once and for all? Robbie Hennelly drew that game for us, he’s the man with the jersey, and entitled to it.
    And Jason Doherty, welcome back! Take a bow…

  40. Donegal should have been out of sight at half time but credit to us great workrate and intensity to force the draw

    Pity it took us so long to get going.. same old story as last year why are we so flat in first half? Left ourselves way too much to do.. if there were 10 more minutes we’d have won pulling up there..

  41. unlikely draw . Rob the saviour again ! awful game to watch but i’ll blame TG4. Great to see Jason back but he should have got a goal or two

  42. Think it’ll be a tough season for Donegal, they’re woefully limited outside of Murphy and McHugh . Mcbrearty not the player he was, injuries have been so unkind to him

    Can’t see them gathering many points which would be great news for ourselves

  43. Very lucky but will take it for the first proper match of the season. Donegal have much better finishers than us. We really have to discover new forwards during this league.

  44. Wow that was close a true game of two half’s when we steped up a couple of gears and stopped them playing the game in their own terms , hennelly motm kept us in it and and cool as ice got that monster free , aiden o shea really steaded things up around the middle hes made for dirty battles like that , would have bite your hand off at half time for a draw so onwards we go

  45. Don’t bother with the Man of the Match WJ..
    Just tell us Hennelly got it !!!
    Good to get the point…
    Awful conditions… poor game
    Great to see Jason back and play well

  46. Definitely Rob Hennelly man of the match, outstanding performance. Jason Doherty brilliant, Tommy Conroy fantastic, Paddy Durkin absolutely brilliant. Very good come back, well done to all.

  47. If today is anything to go by Galway will probably win division 2 pulling up. So we will need to finish the league strong to carry momentum into championship ourselves

    So I’m never too worried about the early games – as we should be looking to really up it coming into the latter few rounds – but a great bonus when you can get a point on the board

  48. Cant fault TG4 for lack of facilities at Sligo GAA.
    Cameramen did an incredible job to bring us the game at all.
    Credit to Mayo for battling qualities. Valuable point hard earned. Doherty back in great form well supported by O’Connor. Failure to win our own kickouts in first half needs to be addressed. Tough baptism foe newcomers.
    Interested to read comments from people who were at the game

  49. Vintage Mayo with the excitement. Some things don’t change. It’s a work-out for the heart.
    Hennelly outstanding. What gumption and fight Jason Doc has. He was brilliant and was the backbone of the win, in my book.
    Also thought Eoghan McLaughlin and Tommy Conroy were very good today.
    I’m sure the Mayo fans in Marckiewicz Park enjoyed things despite the rain. Lovely start to the League.

  50. Feels like a win and Robbie got it for us.Docherty back on top form and Harrision good too.However we made some really basic errors I think Tommy kicked pass over the sideline without pressure ROD went for a daft effort in first half that went 25 yards wide and Eoghan McLoughlin really made a bad error getting held up for traveling in the last minute ie shuffling from one for to the other. However to come back with 14 men in those conditions was impressive.AOS made a big difference…..life in him yet.Midfid is an issue without Ruane.Terrible on our own kickout in first half

  51. Not only did Robbie, win the point for us today.. he saved us from a hammering, a few great saves in the first half and a penalty save in the second!.. Man of the Match by a country mile.. Well done to Paddy Durcan and Jason Doc, really came into the match in the second half.

  52. By the way, re the comments about TG4 and the rain on the camera, the commentators said several times that the cameramen were doing their level best in the conditions and the infrastructure.
    As far as I could see, there’s no media tower or enclosed area in the Park.
    P.S. Viper and Tenacious Yew, re my comment mentioning ‘fear’, you are taking it out of context to make your own different point. This is very irritating. I’m the last one to relegate our team in any given year.

  53. Terrible first half by Mayo, good second half, Hennelly with a few very good saves and last free MOTM for Mayo. Time Horan picked the best team from start, too many player shave got numerous chances and have failed to show any form and the reason why they are in the panel never mind starting. Horan sleeping on the line again, he let Sean Patton dominate his own half of the field all day, all he has to do to stop that is leave one player close to Opposition goals, in first half all Donegal backs moved out the field and Mayo forwards followed them out, leaving Patton in control of his own half. Just leave one forward in forward position at all times,

  54. Thank you Rob, brillant saves, not to mention that last pt, for a min I was back to that Dub semi in August. Brillant.
    Well done Aiden, boy do we need you!!
    Welcome back Jason, brillant play today.

  55. Great fight from the lads today. Showed that desire that they have never lacked as a group of players in a mayo jersey. But my god..how many times are we going to make the same mistakes? Without a doubt we should have lost that game today. Donegal should have had at least 5 goals. Can someone please tell me that when Horgan says we are working on things, what does he mean? Every single high ball that went into the box today caused us problems. We are one on one the whole time in there. And we need to kick the ball more. Had a breeze in the first half and never put boot to ball. When we moved it quick we caused them problems but it’s not common enough. Call me negative but I’m not seeing us improving on the things that have cost us finals in the past. But good fighting from the lads.

  56. Absolutely delighted for Jason, kicking 3 points from play in your first game back in so long is incredible, also remember he missed nearly all of the club championship with the Injury.

  57. A lot of rubbish talked about Aidan O’Shea. He has been the backbone of this team for years and once again turned this match around for us today. Robbie was class as usual. Tommie very good when he got going. Diarmuid strong performance in 2nd half and great to see Doc back. When we get the full squad back, will be there or there abouts again this year!

  58. @Culmore, you see I can spot that in realtime, see earlier comment, some guys are great Coaches but Reading the game is a different skill.

    A O Shea contributed hugely to the fight back when he came on, it felt like he ignited the fire.

  59. @Swallow Swoops , I didn’t read your comment at all so I wasn’t replying to it.

    My point is there should be nothing to fear from the likes of Donegal, but that fear was there pre match , was completely evident.

    When we manage to be able to prepare a team that can attack a game from minute one then we have nothing to fear from anyone.

    A game that should have been won was left behind because we only played one half of football , pure and simple and the fact that Kildare managed to draw with Kerry makes it worse.

    Let the conversation not turn to making heroes out of anyone and forgetting that unacceptable first half.

  60. Great comeback from Mayo Today. It always takes a man getting sent off for us or a penalty miss or an opposing player getting sent off to ignite a Mayo Team. We have to start quicker in games getting early scores and pressing high up the pitch. Aidan and Rob were brilliant Today. Rob kept us in the game with 3 unbelievable saves. Aido swung the game in the middle for us when he came on. Paddy Durkin, Tommy, Diarmuid and Ryan All éxcellent. We need to keep 1 or 2 Forwards further up the pitch to enable quicker passing out of defence and to create space for our half backs to attack. Why don’t we start with our Best 15? Build a decent score and then empty the bench. Management always seem to do the opposite and bring on our best players when our backs are to the wall. Rob Hennelly Man of the Match. Hopefully Horan and Sideline have learned lessons again for the Monaghan match. Great point Today. Mhuigheo Abu.

  61. Galway looked sharp today but I wouldn’t read to much into todays game. Meath were embarrassing
    1-9 to 0-1 at half time.
    Meath are heading for Division 3 based on todays non performance.

  62. Just shows what we missed without Jason over last 2 + years, who wants to see Aidan left off after the turn around today, also thought Jordan Flynn made a big difference when introduced, no ball played to forwards in first half as midfield non existent and should have been changed earlier, well done Rob and Jason, great to have you back

  63. Two good saves in the first half, a saved penalty and the equaliser, again. Good man Rob Hennelly.

  64. Biscan, I heard Meath were planning to plag 14 men behind the balls. Should have sent the ladies. We are a better team with Aido on the field.

  65. Well how do you analyse that.
    Delighted with the final quarter, brilliant pressing and resolve to pull it out of the fire.
    Doc made a huge contribution on his return .
    I am the biggest henelly critic on here so only right I praise him when it’s deserved too. A clear motm (Langan superb for donegal)

    An awful lot wrong in the first 3 quarters, midfield remains a huge issue and coen struggled badly on mm

    Think it will end up being a good point though while the recriminations will be underway big time in donegal after another capitulation when they should have been out of sight

  66. willie joe. I know that you are multi – tasking but the subs that were introduced into the game should and used to be be included in m.o.t.m. poll.

  67. Aido turned the game for us today. The weather and conditions really suited him. Two of the half forwards pulled at halftime, but hard to blame those lads when we are bet up a stick at midfield again and our backs just run with the ball. I cannot recall a half forward that ever looked good under Horan. Even McLoughlin could never win an all-star in our half-forward line. We just don’t use the kick pass enough to move the ball faster. I cannot say that I saw any progress today apart from having the great Jason Doherty back. The same style of play that hasn’t got us over the line in the past. High ball into our goal mouth is still a huge issue of course and it’s close your eyes time when you see the ball getting launched in.

  68. We managed to pull it back but Donegal should have been out the gap at half time. A lot of the same problems there again I’m afraid which doesn’t make me optimistic about the championship at all.

    However, great to see Jason Doherty back and he has been missed. His cleverness and strength in the tackle are terrific.

    The goalkeeper debate has to be put to bed – is henelly perfect? No. But he’s the best option by a mile and has dug us out of a few holes now.

    Aa for Donegal…They’ve been getting the benefit of the doubt purely on good will since 2012, but the fact is they are hugely overrated.

  69. I was at the game……Conditions savage in the second half but the dogged determined comeback was great to see. I saw Tommie Park himself on the 14 yard line for the first 10 mins for direct ball that never arrived……Then he dropped back to forage for it……Donegal clearly dominant and I couldn’t understand why JH didn’t try to change our shape and counteract their tactics…..Can anybody tell me what Conor O’Shea brings to the table?……

  70. Great character shown again today. What’s new?. Robbie despite all the criticism really did the business today. What’s new? .Good changes made at half time by management .What’s new ?People writing us off after 35 minutes of first league game . What’s new. ?Brutal conditions in January. What’s new? Fair play to this Mayo team
    . Despite their obvious limitations and on a day when so much appeared to be going against us they battled to the death and left it all on the field. What’s new?

  71. Super second half. Well done lads.

    Kildare drew with Kerry. That’s good for us.

    Great to see Jason Doc back. He needs to stick chances like that in the back of the net though. Forgivable given he’s only back from a number of career threatening injuries. He’ll be hard to shift from the front 6 now. He must play in the FF line.

    Harrison sublime also. Knew from his club form he wasn’t far off.

    Just home. Time to put the kettle on. Drenched.

  72. Lucky draw, conditions were poor, I was on the terrace and cannot say it was enjoyable given the conditions and the performance. That breeze, rain was across the pitch, felt sorry for the camera man. I live in Sligo and just about warmed up again!
    We struggled to get going but while Donegal passed well and have a few shooters, they will really miss MM.
    Ultimately we showed character and that is why we will go further than Donegal in the championship. It is such a challenge for new players to shine in these games at the beginning of the league but they will have a better understanding as to what is required. Let’s see how the next few games go before we throw toys out of the pram.

  73. 2 draws already in div 1 and I suspect another one in the offing between tyrone and Mon, all of which practically guarantees high stakes for everyone on the final day.

    Think we seen the quintessential mayo performance today,all our known flaws and all our qualities there on display. Not much in the way of progress

  74. Is it allowable to field only 13 or 14 players. We seem to thrive on adversity…backs to the wall and we come out all guns blazing. Imagine if we could harness that attitude with 15 playing their hearts out…
    Well done Mayo. Great to see the character and more. Still a lot to learn but never short of heart.

  75. Better second half display, delighted to have Jason Doherty back as he was sorely missed and looks to be very sharp. We need to get the ball in earlier to him instead of players running down blind alleys. Conditions weren’t great to judge players but Aidan’s as expected turned the tide when he came on. Need to fix middle sector feel we need to try out a couple of new midfielders. Haven’t seen anything that has impressed me instead reverting to tried and tried and tried again. Tryout one or two of Connell Dempsey, Padraig Walsh, Gary Golden, Jack Carney when he is free from Kilmeena run in the juniors, Maybe Oisín Mullin is the answer. Looking at the strength of Donegal and other teams we need more physical present and height around the middle.

  76. If there was a transfer market I’d take Michael Murphy. Even ahead of David Clifford.

  77. Apologies, all – I was otherwise engaged there. I’ve restarted the poll with all the correct names, it was the most straightforward thing to do.

  78. 3 draws from 3 Div 1 games today, it’s going to be a fiercely competitive League campaign.

  79. Mayomessi, I agree we need tall midfielders with strength and/or mobility. We struggled with this last year. The AIF was an example.
    If we lose possession on our kickouts we’re left to rely on our harrying game, fighting for turnovers. We’re very good at this, thank God, but still it yields breadcrumbs often. This was the summary of the first half for me today. We were living on crumbs.
    As expected, when the bould Aido came on, he provided an outlet at midfield and Donegal weren’t having it all their own way.
    I used to love what SOS and Tom Parsons brought when we had them in midfield. They often gave us a springboard against Dublin and gave us a great fighting chance.
    I’d like to see us equipped at midfield against tall opposition and not at their mercy.
    (Full back line acquitted themselves well today despite missing regulars).

  80. What a weekends action..

    Oh why oh why can’t championship be this format.. imagine a weekend of games like this in the summer?

    Looks the type of year where very little might separate bottom from top half of the table

  81. We clearly need a new keeper, one that doesn’t make crucial saves during play, stops penalties or has the ability to score equalising points in games.
    That will allow people to bitch and moan a bit more I feel.

  82. Agree west is best. Curly finger for half forwards when they not the biggest issue seems an easy out.
    It was a day for the likes of O’Shea and maybe even Flynn.

    Was a good point in the end but to quote Swanee “we’ve only one plan”, and that appears to be the case still. Run, run, run. Conroy and Orme often stuck in the backs.

    Horrific conditions so no point going mad just yet, let’s see what Clones brings.

  83. At the end it was good to get the one point after how bad mayo were in first half. Good to see Jason back. All games today ended in draws. Super stuff from Armagh last night – Rian O’Neill superb and excellent tackling from the backs. On to Monaghan now and it definitley wont be easy up there.

  84. Robbie and AOS monumental today as well as our senior players; Paddy, Harry, Doc, Diarmuid,Ryan. We need a few newbies to show their hand! Difficult in winter conditions.
    Comhghairdeas do foireann Mhuigeo inniu. A point gained!

  85. Well said FBD!
    I know Robbie will get MOTM just on his saves and heroics at the end but a special mention on his kickouts.Two dodgy ones early on but after that it was top notch.Its only the last couple of years but his kickouts are now up there with the best,great to be able to improve such an important skill in his 30s.
    Aido might not be able for a full 70 mins in the open spaces of Croker in the summer but he’s built for games like today.
    Paddy was doing damage with his runs all day and Tommy was looking dangerous aswell.Great to see Jason back and 3 points from play.Ive yet to watch the game on TV but that’s my takeaway from being at the game.
    Huge,huge Mayo crowd today, if the attendance was 12k then about 10k were from Mayo,fantastic stuff!
    Donegal must hate playing us,by my reckoning the last 3 times we played them in the league we have come back to draw with the last kick of the game in injury time.
    Kevin Mac monster point off his wrong foot in 2018,James Durcan with a goal in the 77th min in 2020 and Robbie with a miracle free today.

  86. The biggest downer today is still the glaring lack of a fullback. We have failed to find one. Ball in square a huge problem. Lack of height.

    As others have said, only for Rob Donegal were out of sight in the first half. He was outstanding. A complete performance.

  87. Division 1 looks like it’s going to be duck arse tight this year every game is going to be a battle but as o hora said we love a battle we need to be getting our solid first 15 on the field consistently by round 4/5 to be ready for the Galway game , great to see Jason doing well today it’s been a long road for him

  88. Thought the biggest disappoinment today was tg4 coverage. Couldn’t even see the game at times with the water on screen. Thought that was basic stuff to keep the screen clear.

  89. Liberal role in the tie……Your comment noted. I agree……Couldn’t believe, at his age, how much ground M Murphy covered today and you could see how involved and influential he was in the first half. One of the greats really and Donegal lucky to have him…

  90. Agreed on Murphy. Probably the best player I’ve ever seen. He has everything. He should be taking penalties for Donegal. McBrearty is one of the most overrated players of the last decade.

  91. @GBXI.. Michael Murphy missed a penalty v Tyrone in his and Donegal’s last Championship game.. in a close game, the penalty miss (struck the post) and his Red Card a few minutes later were the two big turning points in a game Tyrone went on to win..

  92. @leantimes He also put Hennelly the wrong way the last time they played in the championship. I just think he strikes the ball with more conviction and he was in the zone today. Anyway it worked out well for Mayo!

  93. Donegal are fucked when M Murphy goes, there is no other team so reliant on one player

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