Game day – win it and see where it takes us

Can you believe it? It’s already Round 7 of this year’s League campaign, with another year of spring football all but done. Today we’re back on home turf, with Monaghan providing the opposition at MacHale Park in a Division One match that throws in at 2pm, while the ladies take on Cork in the curtain-raiser at midday.

Regardless of how today’s match goes, we can already conclude that this has been a very satisfactory League campaign from us. The consensus before we got going was that we needed to give significant game time to newer lads while doing what we could to retain our top tier status. I think we can all agree that these objectives – and more – have been successfully achieved.

It’s nice, for a change, to be heading into a Round 7 match without any niggling concerns about relegation. Today the questions we have are different ones. Will Tyrone do us a favour and open the door to the Division One decider for us if they win and we beat Monaghan? Do we want to be in a League final at all? Why on earth shouldn’t we?

Let’s deal with the Tyrone point first. That one is out of our hands. Tyrone might beat Galway up in Healy Park today, but they might not. What happens there is completely out of our control and so, to all intents and purposes, is of no interest to us.

What is of relevance, though, is how we do ourselves this afternoon at MacHale Park. While we’ve finally begun to rediscover the joys of winning at home this spring, the place is still a long, long way from being a fortress for us. Monaghan won’t, I’m sure, have any fears about coming to Castlebar to lock horns with us and, in truth, there’s no reason they should, given how poorly we tend to play here.

When was the last time we performed really well on home soil? We were okay – though no more than that – against Cavan but you have to go back a very long way to pick out the last time we played well at the venue. Kildare in the qualifiers back in 2016 was, I suppose, the most recent time we fired on all cylinders there.

Which is a way of saying that we’re long overdue a good home performance. That should be the aim today, on a day where the wind won’t be howling and the rain won’t be tumbling down. The sod will still be heavy, of course, and the dimensions will be too confined for the expansive game we play but there’s nothing we can do about those factors for today’s game.

Monaghan will be tough – possibly bordering on rough – opponents. All-Ireland semi-finalists last year, they’d consider themselves – with justification – our equals in the pecking order at this point in time. They come to Castlebar, however, still unsure that they’ll be in Division One next year so they’ll have plenty of motivation to do what they can to get the win.

So there’s plenty to play for today. For us, maybe even the chance to get to a League final, for the first time since 2012. But, more to the point, the chance to end the regulation series of matches in this year’s League campaign on a high, as well as the opportunity to bag our third home win this spring and our fifth this season.

That’s more than enough incentive for us. Whatever about qualifying for the League final we need to build on last weekend’s hugely positive result in Tralee, by sealing back-to-back wins and seeing where that might take us.

Best of luck to James and the lads today and special best wishes to James McCormack who is set to make his full League debut for the county this afternoon. Best of luck to the ladies in their game too. Let’s get behind the county’s teams to the full today. Up Mayo.

40 thoughts on “Game day – win it and see where it takes us

  1. Best of luck to the lads and management today another win and a good performance would be great won’t be easy though as Monaghan has a lot to play for but if we win we might have a trip to Croker this day week to look forward to.

  2. Best of luck to Mayo today and well done on a successful league so far.
    Strange mix on the train today with Mayo, Monaghan, Kerry and Roscommon supporters on board.

  3. It’d be great to follow up last weekends performance with the same again. I don’t see why we can’t?

    Get the win, see what happens and then either 1 more league day out or else head down for championship.

    It’s been a good league.

    The fire still burns.

  4. Think Horan is playing a blinder with team selections. The new lads must be bursting to play and the older lads the same.
    Its nice to play this game with no relegation fears and hopefully in good weather.
    It will be interesting all round.
    Monaghan are tough cookies and never much between us.
    I have voted for a win every time a poll is done like a lot of other mayo people im sure so cant say how scientific it is but what the hell.
    Up Mayo.

  5. Best of luck to lads today.
    Either way it’s all very good to date.
    Wouldn’t it be lovely to see Cillian make an appearance for last game. Especially if we make a final we might need him.
    Hope there’s no injuries most of all.

  6. Can’t make it today, are there any options to livestream or is MWR the option for the game?

  7. I think we can win today against Monaghan but it wont be easy. This team like last weeks has not played together before in a competitive match but in saying that its up to the new lads to show us now what they are made of.

    JH is not afraid of throwing in these new lads in at the deep end so its now sink or swim time. its great to see another mixture of Mayo Talent being given a chance to play. This is what the League is all about unearthing some gems for the Championship this summer and having a healthy experienced bench come crunch time in the big summer games something which we have failed at before. This will stand to us in the heat of battles to come.

    As for the League I think it would be of immense benefit for all Players to play in a national Final in Croke Park, just think of the experience for the young Guns. It would be a fantastic reward also for our main warriors to finally win something at HQ when you think of the commitment these lads have given Mayo Football over the last years and go somewhere towards erasing the heartbreak and hurt from losing AI Finals.

    I know its out of our hands really as we are depending on a Tyrone win v Galway but I feel Tyrone are turning a corner and will beat Galway in Omagh. Of course we have to match that with a victory over Monaghan today but I think given last weeks performance against Kerry we are now full of confidence and are getting a really athlethic skilful side together under JH.

    So why not try and push on today and reach the League Final, lets stand up and face these Monaghan lads and let other Counties know we are back!
    Mayo to win today, Tyrone to do us a favour and lets look forward to a League Final next week. Best of Luck to our Mayo lads and lassies today.

    Go neiriegh an tadh le Mhuigheo,

  8. R Hennelly
    C Crowe
    D Drake
    C barrett
    D Vaughan
    J Gibbons
    C Treacy
    C o Shea
    J Carr
    B Reap
    C Loftus

  9. James Horan putting a lot of confidence in the younger guys to perform, Reape Carr Tracey hopefully can get on today as well. Monaghan will be tough and will naturally try and get in their faces as usual.

  10. Horan treating this as a game where a win is a bonus
    Which is fair enough
    Tyrone have a right shot of making final now imo

  11. Two goals from Kev McLoughlin. That honeymoon seems to have done him the world of good!

  12. O, mother of God, this was a close one at the end but who cares, we’re in the final.

  13. Gograts one and all,
    can’t wait for this game weather we win lose or draw it will be a great occasion. I was hoping we were going to avoid Galway as I dislike the way Walsh lines his team out, I thing he does them a great disservice as he has a very talented team

  14. I was right, Tyrone did indeed decide Mayo,’s fate, they beat the Dubs and Galway.
    Great to be in the final, but Kerry will be much better this time.

  15. good result, but why did they let 14 man Monaghan back into the game and leave it a one score game in the end when they should have gone on and won it by 10 or 12 points. Also conceding 19 scores at home is not good enough.

  16. Hi All,
    Many congratulations to both Mayo and sound Kerry man Gamechanger 10. To be honest I have huge respect for both counties and I think next Sunday will be a great free flowing game of football. The very best of luck to both sides well deserved….. ( but I hope Mayo win!!

    Kind Regards
    Martin the Dub

  17. That’s a good win with an inexperienced side and lots of experimenting. Monaghan were scrapping for their place in the division so no surprise they came back into the game.

  18. That was a win win today, young players got great experience against a team that were playing for they survival and never was going to letdown. Also by not having the bigger names on the bench the young player were under extra pressure to know that they had to win this game by themselves bit with the help of the magical Kevin Mcloughlin. Think he could play anywhere and still look good. James Horan has played a blinder all through the league, he has shown that we do have quite a few older players but we also have a younger crew biting at the bite to get in. There will be cuts for the championship but it won’t be easy to make them and so it should be. He built this team and he is on the road to rebuilding a new generation of Mayo heros. Cant wait for the final no matter what team he picks i think the Rockford debate has been put to bed, its night and day on how to introduce and blood young players.

  19. Well done Mayo great to be in a league final
    Will be tough against Kerry especially after the way their forwards played today but I think our need is greater and we should refuse to lose and bring home the cup

  20. Conor McManus has the patience of a saint. Still out on the pitch 50 mins after the final whistle signing autographs and posing for photos with all the Mayo fans. As for that point he scored out wide inside the 20m line? Outstanding.

  21. Delighted to be in the league final & with the ammount of new players we have developed a serious squad
    It wont be easy against a Kerry team with David Clifford but we have beaten them already this year
    It should be a great occasion big crowd & wouldnt it be great to see Diurmuid Oconnor lift the cup in Croke Park
    Mayo for the League Title

  22. FW, if I heard correctly on the radio, it’ll be a triple header on Sunday – camogie and hurling finals followed by the football final at 4pm

  23. 4pm for us in C.P.. Can’t wait. What a feeling if we won league this year.
    Hope David C is ok, magnificent 1st half from him. Pleasure to be at such a game today.
    Well done to all again.

  24. Good win overall but I’d be worried by conceding 1-18 and the manner in which we slackened off in the second half against 14 men. Especially so given the quality of forward that Kerry have to call on.

    Will the inside mark rule apply in the final? Presumably yes.

    Good to see K Mac smashing two goals in. I’m a big critic of Rob Hennelly too but he did well when he came on, hopefully the news on Dave Clarke is good.

  25. Mayomessi, to be fair to Rochford he had all these young lads in the development panel last year. Had he been manager this year it’s fair to say he would have introduced them too. Off the top of my head Rochford gave debuts to Boland, Loftus and O’Donoghue.
    Carr looked like a man bursting to get ball when he came on, McCormack did very well (he’s a big unit) and Coen found a huge amount of space in the forward line. McLoughlin is a magician though

  26. @ultair, thanks a mil.

    I hope Clarkie is OK. Super save in the first half.
    McLoughlin is the most under rated Mayo player.He never fails to deliver. Crazy he’s never won an all star

  27. David Clarke was back on the pitch after the match, he was laughing and joking with the Goose, seemed fine

  28. Flights a fortune but great to be heading over for another match in HQ. you really get some great days out with these lads

  29. It’s been a very good league campaign and we’ve a real chance to add a national title now. Reading and listening to people over the last week talking about not wanting to get to a final makes me wonder why they follow sport at all.

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