It’s Down

Photo: Mayo Advertiser

The draw for Round 2 of the qualifiers has just been made and we’ve been paired against Down.

The Round 2 ties will be played the weekend after next. The GAA will confirm details on dates, times and venues for all the Round 2 fixtures in due course. As Down played in Division Three this spring they’ll have home advantage so it looks like it’ll be a trip to Páirc Esler for us.

More on the draw and its implications for us later on.

71 thoughts on “It’s Down

  1. If we can’t beat them we are as well off out
    Not a gimme but should be beating them
    Gives Horan a chance to show off his tactical nous ………

  2. This will not be easy.. a team managed by Paddy tally who knows how to beat mayo

    This could be the end

  3. Tricky away game. The 2nd hardest draw we could have got.

    What is simple though is this…if we set up and play with the strategy employed v roscommon then it’ll be a tight game. If we set up with a proper defensive structure (something Down will definitely do) we will win.

  4. I was at their match against Armagh, Sean. They’re very defensive alright but would be a few notches below Galway’s ability. Our troubles with blanket defences plus home advantage will give them hope but this is definitely a game we can and should be winning.

  5. Mayo should win this as long as they keep the wide count down and focus on shot selection. Need the forwards to start to take responsibility for the poor shooting and against Down they will get an opportunity to show they can do it.

  6. Not exactly the one I was hoping for but it could be worse Down certainly won’t lack confidence They should have got promoted this year and took Armagh to extra time before beating Tipp yesterday First game for us in back door is always tricky but as WJ said we should be good enough to win

  7. Sean Foy dont be so negative.This could be the end?? We are an experienced outfit and we should be well able to beat a team who are in Division 3 of the League.We need to look at the Limerick hurlers one bad start against Cork will not define there season, I expect the same for us !! We avoided Monaghan and that was a good draw for us.

  8. Could be better. Could be worse

    Down are good enough to keep us honest but we should beat them by 5+.
    Tally is excellent coach and connaire Harrison will cause us problems but at the end of the day it’s div 3 versus div 1 winners

  9. km9 if don’t beat them will be out. Down only struggled to beat Tipp yesterday who were well beaten by Limerick and they failed to get out of Div 3 so no need in trying to talk up Down here.

  10. It will take winning but I have little doubt.
    If the heads are in the right places we will progress.
    Improvement on the last days innings definately a must now.
    A nice stern test to begin the qualifiers.

  11. Did I hear Oisin McConville correctly when he said ‘the one team everyone wanted to avoid in the draw was Monaghan’??

    I know if I was a Mayo player that would piss me off. Regardless of whether he was ‘talking them up’ just cos Armagh are playing them.

  12. Yes we should win this but it poses a big dilemma. Risky to put in some of the younger players but it’s the younger players who will be the least predictable for Down to play against. So big decisions have to be made but there’s a smell of damned if you do and damned if you don’t off it

  13. @Mayonaze I’d say he said that in the context of the ‘one team to avoid from the Round 1 winners’

    No need to take umbrage, we should be ‘professional’ about it and just take care of business!

  14. Tricky but in fairness Mayo should be winning this comfortably, Down were in Div 1 in 2016 and in the last league game travelled to Castlebar although they were already relegated, mayo won 1 19 to 1 16. Since then they have been poor , but Paddy Tally is an excellent coach and he will relish this one and as some pointed out, he knows how to set up against Mayo..

  15. @Mayonaze, he did, but he meant the toughest in that side of draw I reckon, not out of the full 16.
    Limerick analogy is correct, we should be able to regroup…

  16. also interesting…..the last paragraph of Colin Sheridan’s article in last week’s Mayo News. A cautionary message perhaps???

    “Athleticism often valued over bespoke skill. And while that serves a broader purpose, it won’t dig you out of a hole in a qualifier in Newry on a damp June evening.
    Wait and see.”

  17. We should be winning it but theres no guarantees.
    No doubt if we do win, it won’t matter what the margin, we could win by 15 points and someone will be along to make reference to lucky goals or somesuch.

  18. Tough draw but as others have said one we should hopefully be able to win. If things do all go our way it would be good to have got a win against another defensive set up. Nice to have a team in the crosshairs again after that pit stop in no man’s land.

  19. Mayo should win this one but this will be all about how Horan sets up to play. He knows what we can expect from Down, they will set up defensive line around the 45, look for turnovers and hit on the counter. Will Horan stick to his template? If he does then it could be a difficult day but scrap a win or will he trust in the young forwards we have, give them early ball, protect our fb line and possibly win this game comfortably.

  20. It’s not bad – for me – as I can nip down from Dublin! Bit of a journey for the team and supporters

    As the draw was coming through and the options were narrowing, I had a dread of Derry at Celtic Park, but when I check Apple Maps, Derry is a shorter journey from Castlebar.

    Free-taking, free-taking, free-taking.

  21. Agree with Catcol. The way that Down play and assuming we will have 55-60% possession means that there should be plenty of frees for Mayo. Goals will be hard to get against Down and 14/15 points could win this game, but, would not be surprised if half of that comes from frees. We need Cillian back for this one.

  22. Haven’t been to Pairc Esler before.

    Does it meet the criteria for hosting this fixture – big number of Mayo fans and so on?

  23. Excepting the Armagh game, Down are a low scoring, low conceding team. Didn’t concede many goals in the league but that was Div 3. We have to be up for this one. Plenty of frees so we need COC in from the start. Could have been a lot worse. I’m quietly confident.

  24. It’s grand, Catcol – it’ll easily accommodate the kind of crowd you’d expect to be there. Stand is small enough but there’s plenty of terrace space. Decent pitch too.

  25. John Maughan will fancy Offaly’s chances of being in the next round after being drawn at home to Sligo…

    Monaghan were first out of the drum against Armagh, but I think Armagh will have home advantage there, having been in Division 3 this Spring.

    As for Down, let’s show them some respect.
    Most Mayo people were super confident of beating Kildare and Roscommon ,and we saw what happened.
    This is a tricky match for Mayo. Imo, , we are vulnerable, and while Down wouldn’t be in the class of Donegal, Tyrone or Monaghan, they are a very decent team.

    Yes, Mayo are justifiably favourites, but some comments above, such as ”’if we can’t beat them”’, are disrespectful to the opposition.

  26. Pairc Esler Newry Field size: 138 × 81 m
    McHale Park Field size: 137 x 82 m
    Newbridge last year Field size: 135 x 80 m
    Croker Field size 144m x 86m
    Another tight pitch against a Paddy Tally blanket defence team, will not be easy.
    Newbridge been the smallest County pitch in tge Country with Newry not alot bigger.

  27. How are Down feeling about this one Willie Joe? Surely it’s not the team they wanted? Or do they think we are vulnerable and there for the taking now?

  28. At this point, just want the game to happen now. Would love if it was tomorrow. Theres just been so much talking. Rumour mill is I’m absolute overdrive. It’s doing my head in.

  29. More I think about it this is the right draw for us.
    We should be winning it comfortably of course but down are decent enough to ask some tough questions. Tally is an excellent coach too and will be another opportunity to see if we have figured out how to breach blanket defense.

    Better this than beating Leitrim or offaly by 30 points and learning nothing

  30. Supermac, we were never going to be beating anyone by 30 points and we will struggle to win this game in my opinion

  31. Observer2, Armagh was Div 2 this year so that game was will be in clones. In fairness Kildare and Roscommon are better than this current Down outfit..

  32. The pitch size is concerning but I have to admit I wouldn’t fear that Down side at all . I really hope we approach this game properly and show savage intensity in the first quarter and we could really establish a lead to knock their confidence . Tipp have gone backwards at an alarmiNg rate and were odds on to win that game yesterday with twenty mins to go.

  33. Thanks Chris Kelly.
    Always struck me as a very tight pitch thought it was a good bit smaller than our own.
    Those complaining about atmosphere won’t be complaining at this one as only vocal die hard mayo supporters will make the journey and I’d expect a large down crowd as its such a glamour fixture for them.
    Not the worst draw really, I’d expect down to ask questions of our lads but over the full 70 I’d be confident of the win.
    Didn’t comment after the ros debacle but read all the comments, yes all of them, even the very tired at this stage goalkeeper debate, which I’m sure will rear its ugly head any time now. In general I think it’s was all a bit overly negative and I’m sure a win this week will swing the pendulum probably too far in the other direction.
    I’m hoping for a comfortable but hard fought win. Mayo by 4.

  34. It could have been worse, but if we play our running game of old we will cut through any blanket defense. The confidence to do it is the only thing stopping us. If we set up and play like we did in both Kerry games during the league campaign we should win. It’s not a gimme, but the win is there if our lads play to their potential.

  35. That’s exactly what I wouldn’t do Tomas. Down will set up defensively, bottle us up and the likes of Caolan Mooney will counter attack into the space.

    It’s a game for holding defenders in position and using fast direct kickpasses into the ff line before down get their blanket set up.

  36. We will need David Clarke back to boost the confidence of our defence. We’ll need someone who can kick a decent percentage of 45 metre frees.
    We’ve been playing at a much higher level than Down but if we get some basics right we should be in the bowl next day.

  37. That’s spot on Wide Ball. If we run at them it’s straight into the blanket we run. We know how that story ends.

    I thought Donegal’s tactics against Tyrone on Saturday were very interesting and extremely effective. For the most part on Tyrone’s restarts they all retreated back behind Tyrone’s fifty and let them have the kickouts. Morgan went short every time and then it was handpass, handpass, handpass all the way up, Donegal retreating all the while. By the time Tyrone reached their fifty the shield was set and Donegal bottled up every attempt to break through – they made Tyrone’s attacks look like us on a bad day in February. Then when they had the ball, Donegal attacked rapidly, frequently kicking the ball long and with variety so that their forwards had space and momentum as they poured forward.

    The other thing Donegal did was to go for long kickouts. Not high, hanging ones but well-directed ones hit at head and chest height. I lost count of the amount of marks Donegal claimed from their own restarts and they won close to half a dozen in the final quarter of the game. It was a ballsy approach but they trusted their midfielders – where young Jason McGee was excellent – and it paid rich dividends for them.

    So, defend deep, attack rapidly. Which, when you think about it, can often be the inverse of how we take on teams who deploy fifteen behind the ball. It’s really past time that we copped on how to play teams who play like this.

    Also, we need to sort our bloody restarts as it’s an issue that afflicts us no matter who is in goal. David Clarke’s are too predictable and that looping trajectory of his gives the opposition too much of a window to claim them while we all know Robbie’s problems. Getting this right could – with Aidan and Mattie in the middle – be a real weapon for us, whereas more often than not it’s a gaping wound.

  38. I know this comment will get a few boos but,

    I’m of the belief that we pay the opposition too much respect.

    I would love the team talk to end with
    “now let’s get out there and beat them like the Div 3 team they are”.

    I don’t believe direspect or overconfidence had anything to do with us losing to Roscommon.
    A bad set up and poor execution was our downfall.

    Galway are not a great team. They are good but not great. So respect when we play them is in overdrive. Too much respect.

    I feel we should be going out the next day with the mission to win this and win it well.

    A little less respect this time and a little more of the ruthless intent.

  39. If I’m correct it was playing Down in Croke Park in 2012 that kick started the Glory days of James first reign that day Mickey Conroy scored two goals think it was day that Andy did his cruciate anyway we went to beat the Dubs of course and the all Ireland final. Hopefully we can use this game to get back on track it’s a tough test but we are where we are

  40. Exactly the draw both sides really needed.

    Down at home will be formidable opposition. Lost after extra time to neighbours Armagh and regrouped well to win a hard fought one against Tipp.

    But it’s what mayo need as well. Question is what style play will they use and just how brittle is this Mayo team now after that Ross defeat. I think they’re very brittle and could easily revert to type ans collapse when hard questions are asked. Also could play brilliantly and win easy. Really depends on what team turns up.

    Thubg is Round 3 could be a killer draw if all strong teams get through. Need one hard win before that. And in fairness if we can’t beat Down then no business thinking of anything beyond for this group.

  41. Spot on Wille Joe. That said I expect your last paragraph will bring the house down altogether as there are some that can’t see that issue with Clarke’s kick-outs. If anyone needs reminding of the damage check how Dublin targeted them to great effect in the 2017 League match in Croker, where the Dubs took possession of 5 of the short kick-outs from that evening. One of them resulted in a Goal, as I recall. I’ve no details on how many of the long ones we got (very few I would imagine) but I recall Clarke being lauded on the shot-stopping that evening and getting the MOTM from this site.
    There is no doubt that Clarke is a better “in the square” keeper but his restarts are a serious issue and you have to be a better shot stopper if you’re going to be kicking the ball out to the opposition more often than not. If you’re not able to retain possession from the kick-out, then your keeper will have a lot more kick-outs to take. It really is quite the conundrum for any Manager to decide between the first 2 choice keepers.
    I’ve seen nothing of Schlingerman since his days in Minor football so I’ve no idea if he will offer any solutions either.

  42. I say give Michael Schlingerman a chance in this game against Down he is a reputable goalkeeper as he has proven for Sligo Rovers .
    Look at the Donegal Keeper yesterday he was brilliant and he played in goal at one time for Finn Harps

  43. Forget the bull…. about the size of the pitch,the ref,defensive systems or their trainer. If we tighten our defence properly & play to our potential we should win this game. Playing against packed defences in not a new concept any more.

  44. Couldn’t agree with you more WJ, plus every opposing manager knows we are going to run the ball which makes it easier to set a defence up to counter. Our running game isnt what it once was without Boyle and Vaughan in their prime so we need to evolve. With a potential ff line of Coen, Cillian, Carr supported by the likes of Duirmuid, McDonagh, Boland, Doc, KMc, there is no reason we can’t add quick counter attacking ball into our ff line. They could do serious damage with the right supply.

  45. There will likely be 1 game televised and you’d imagine Monaghan v Armagh is the most attractive. They do like showing our games in fairness so you never know.

  46. if connacht final is a drawn match the replay is fixed for 22nd,so mayo v. down should be on sunday the 23rd

  47. Knockingabout – if there are any such updates they’ll be picked up by the media and you’ll get them there. This isn’t the place to go fishing for or supplying info on developments which haven’t yet been reported on publicly.

  48. Caolan Mooney is a serious operator and could do damage if a marker isn’t up his ass from the very start. I saw him in Croke against Armagh and he was impressive, really impressive.

  49. How about “saw him in Croker against Monaghan”, to make some sense of that last post!

  50. Have we already forgotten the lesson’s of Roscommon?… Gaelic football is not a precise science. Thinking that we should beat Down by five point’s, because they are a Div 3 Team, Why?….We are away from home, with Paddy Tally at the Down helm, a guy who was with Galway when they planned and succeeded in defeating Mayo a number of times…. Advantage Down I would say…. Down are after coming off a 3 point’s win over Tipperary, at Páirc Esler, Mayo are coming off a one point loss to Roscommon…. Who can really tell?… Ofally easily beat London, and London should have beaten Galway,
    keep in mind the divisions Team’s are playing in!…, Div Two Donegal beat Div One favorites Tyrone, in probably the performance of the Championship so far… Remind me again, who were the strong favorites when we played Roscommon a few weeks ago?….. ..A Stat for everyone….In the last Championship Match that David Clarke started in, “Newbridge or Nowhere’ his restarts were 100% successful.. That’s right almost 30 restarts all found it’s Target Mayo Mayo man….several times finding Diarmuid O Connor hugging the sideline, in the tightest Pitch we have played in , and without our ‘then’ regular starter’s in Midfield due to injury, Séamus O Shea and Tom Parsons….. And we conceded No Goals!….His restarts can be at times ‘High and Hanging’ as they were V Cavan in the league.earlier in the Spring, for a period of time in the second half, but for me it’s a ‘No Brainer’ as to who should start in goal… I can’t predict the future any better than anyone, but my slight expectation is that Down might try and get an early Goal V Mayo and upset us, it’s important for us not to succumb to a sucker Punch like that… The first quarter will tell us allot, forget ‘Horan Ball’ keep it tight play a sweeper and don’t concede any Goals…. let’s not be playing ‘Catch Up’ to a ‘Paddy Tally’ tutioned ‘Galway Shawl’ type of outfit who will counter attack with purpose if we give them the space to do it…. For me, a few changes in the starting 15, and let’s have used at least 5 of our subs by the 60’th minute…. one might be able to be kept for the unforseen until the Guy puts Up the added minutes sign!

  51. I’ll be shocked if there’s a sweeper. It’s not the horan way. There may be changes in personel, but I dont see him changing much about how the team actually play. Which is why I’m concerned about this game. Horan has never been adaptable. He has a style of football that he believes in and sticks with.

  52. Leantimes – the stats from that game don’t hold true for you there. We had 32 kickouts against Kildare per the post match analysis, and won 25 of them. 6 from those 7 that Kildare won were after the 51st Minute, pretty much exactly the wrong time to be conceding your kickouts in a close game.

  53. FBD, I stand corrected…Clarke did not have a 100 % success rate in Newbridge or Nowhere 25 from 32 restarts is still a fantastic stat, and well superior to our opponents on the day …24 from 25 up to the 51 minute is pretty awesome… Maybe the heat of the day, coupled with Stephen Rochford”s decision not to bring on Substitues , and Kildare making full use of the bench has something to do with it…. After the 51 minute, is not a good time to be conceding possession to your opponents… I’m sure if we had fresh Legs on the pitch like our opponents, that stat would read better as well…. When Everyone has fresh Legs at the beginning of the Match, or late on .and kicking the ball stort to your opponents is goal conceding callamatous , as we and others are finding out to our cost!

  54. We’ll never know I suppose. That being the case I’m fairly sure I recall Clarke putting one over on the sideline that day, and also kicking out to the right hand side where there was no Mayo player late in the game.
    Clarke not beyond having a few clangers himself but I just find the continual bashing of Hennelly as tiresome, while any errors made by Clarke are quickly airbrushed out of the narratives.

  55. People gloss over the shortcomings of Clarke, absolutely.
    The fact is, there wouldn’t be a goalkeeper debate if it was as cut and dry as Clarke being so much better. He is the superior shot stopper, no doubt, and perhaps that’s the kind of flashy stuff people notice. But his restarts have been a problem in the past. Hennelly receives a lot more scrutiny due to the nature of his meltdown in 2016 and has been more closely observed and criticised ever since. People forget the rationale used for picking Hennelly that day too – Clarke’s kickouts had gone awry at crucial moments in the first game.

  56. FBD. I never mentioned ‘Hennelly’ in either of my two previous post’s, never mind ‘Bashing’ him… I am making the case for Clarke’s inclusion…. which to my mind is on merit….. The Fermanagh Goalkeeper made a similar error V Monaghan which ended up a goal late on in the Match, with the consequences that Fermanagh are out of the Championship… The Galway goalkeeper made a few similar short kickout errors V Tyrone, to greatly assist Tyrone coming back from 7 points down, and Win, on the last day of the regulation Football League match’s…On that particular day, we in Mchale Park didn’t know nor care as to the reasons why Such an unlikely occurred in Healy Park …All we cared was that we were going to the League Final…. And I never mentioned it before, but thanks for the Present Galway, much appreciated, we had given ye a few presents in the previous few years!

  57. Good discussion on tactics and playing style folks.
    I don’t think Horan will alter his views on how the game should be played regardless of the opposition.
    I expect to see all the Horan-esque characteristics of hard running, high half back line, one v one at the back and perhaps, just perhaps, no change of keeper.
    James Horan is 100% sure of the style he wants to play and he’d take alot of convincing to alter it.
    Do I agree with his rigidness to an all-out, fast paced running game at all times, no, no I don’t. But, it’s more than likely what we’ll get against Down.

  58. Agreed, Bob.
    I don’t see Horan changing tactics now. He plays the game the way he plays it. You know what you’re getting with him. He’s not going to suddenly employ a sweeper now, having never believed in it. That’s what makes this a tricky assignment.
    And no, I would not be surprised to see Hennelly kept in goal. Horan likes him and believes he has the best game for the style of football he wants to play.

  59. Leantimes, it was a general comment and not directed at you specifically as regards the Hennelly bashing. Dreamysleepyetcetc puts it well in his post just prior to your last one above however.

  60. Regardless of which keeper or what team James picks, I hope to God, there’s some time spent practising the free taking and the forwards are put through their paces on hitting the target. A repeat performance like the last day and it will be curtains for us.

  61. Similar to the Roscommon game if we allow ourselves to be dragged into a dog fight it may be curtains above in Newry. Horan has never managed in the qualifiers and has a very inexperienced back room team. Hopefully lessons were learned against Ros the last day.
    Looking forward to going to Newry, never been, Down have a great grá for the game like ourselves.

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