Kerry 3-19 Mayo 0-13: hammered out the gate

Photo: Sky Sports

Now we know why getting to the League final may not have been the best thing for us.

Shorn of a good third of our first-choice starting team, we were simply no match for Kerry’s front-rankers. They tore us apart, inflicting on us our biggest defeat at Croke Park since that landmark hiding in the All-Ireland semi-final of 1993 when Cork had twenty points to spare over us. Kerry ended up just five shy of that margin and while you could argue with their final goal – a clear square ball – there’s no arguing with the palpable fact that they beat us out the gate at HQ today.

The unceasing litany of injuries this year has been tough to take and going into this match without such important players as Robbie Hennelly, Paddy Durcan and Diarmuid O’Connor was always going to make this a tough challenge, in particular if you add in all the others we’re currently missing. Then, to make matters worse, Oisín Mullin was late absentee today, with Rory Brickenden parachuted into the pivotal centre-back position shortly ahead of throw-in.

We led briefly, bagging the game’s opening score. A nice one it was too, Ryan O’Donoghue feeding Michael Plunkett out to the right and the Ballintubber man swung it over.

David Clifford, holding off Padraig O’Hora, shot high and over into the Davin to equalise before O’Brien, under no real pressure from our backline, knocked it over off his left to put Kerry in front. Matthew Ruane cancelled that one out but when Spillane bashed Kerry’s next one over from distance, with just eight minutes played, we’d never regain parity with them again in this contest.

Despite looking alarmingly flat and devoid of a coherent plan from early on, we were still in the game up until their opening goal. That came 24 minutes in, at which time were were three down, the two additional scores we’d got coming from James Carr, following a fine run through the middle, and Jordan Flynn, fed by Lee Keegan.

Gavin White, a menace down the left wing which we’d no answer to nor, it appeared, any discernible plan for, palmed home the ball. It was he who made the score too, scorching our backline down that left-hand side and laying it off to Geaney, who poked at it, with Rory’s attempted stop sending the ball spinning up over his head and into White’s path.

We had a brief purple patch around the half-hour mark, where we bagged three points – all from play – without reply. Ryan got the first, James Carr, following another surging run, got the second and Conor Loftus fisted over the third. They eventually roused themselves again, bagging the final two scores of the half to lead by six at half-way.

You could see we were in bother then. We should, in truth, have been in far greater bother but Kerry had butchered two clear enough goal chances. We knew, though, that, unless we got into this match, we could take a right mauling in the second half.

And what a mauling it proved to be.

They beat us out the gate after the break, outscoring us by 2-9 to 0-6 in a half where we were the ones who needed to up the gas to cut an already too large deficit. They absolutely thumped us and it was embarrassing to watch it happen, even if I was doing so in my Covid self-isolation at home.

Whatever game plan we came to Croke Park with disintegrated in that second period. Our marking at the back became too loose, with Padraig O’Hora left to paddle his own canoe against Clifford, with whom he battled mightily but in vain, we got cleaned out on the breaks in midfield and our forward play looked as unco-ordinated, disjointed and poorly executed as it had done last September, only this time against better opposition.

The result was predictable and it was total carnage.

Our cause wasn’t, in truth helped, when Barry drove straight into Jordan Flynn’s chest with his shoulder after the Crossmolina man had released the ball. Once upon a time that kind of stuff was an automatic red card but the unimpressive Noel Mooney flashed a yellow. That was Jordan’s day over with.

The ref also ordered O’Connor to the sin bin when Aidan O’Shea hit the deck but the replays confirmed that there was little or no contact involved. Temporary numerical superiority should have roused us but they outscored us four points to one during that period when we were a man up.

By the time it was back to fifteen aside their lead had stretched to double-digits. Cillian O’Connor was on by now, for the strangely muted Jason Doherty, and Darren McHale, another long-term absentee, would also get a run-out before the finish.

Had the contest died quietly from our perspective as we lay ten points adrift it wouldn’t have been too bad. Sadly, it didn’t.

Instead, they applied the finishing touches to this hugely one-sided decider with two late goals. There was no arguments about the merits of the first of those, blasted home – predictably – by Clifford but Foley was already inside the small square before the ball was played in and Rory Byrne was right to be extremely exercised that the goal was allowed to stand. Here, judge for yourselves.

So, what had been, on the whole, a very positive League campaign for us has ended in the worst possible way. It’s one thing losing a national decider – yet another one – but it’s another thing entirely losing one in the craven manner we did today. As prep goes for the Championship, this is exactly what we could have done without.

All we can do now, of course, is box it off, move on and shift the focus to Galway. After today’s opening game at Croke Park, we would have been well content at the obvious shortcomings to be detected in the Tribesmen’s losing display against Roscommon but those wrinkles surely pale in significance compared to the weaknesses Kerry proceeded to expose in our ranks.

We have plenty of hard work to do over the next three weeks, not just to to put in place a coherent plan to take on Galway but, at a more basic level, to rebuild our shattered confidence after the worst hiding we’ve suffered at Croke Park in close to three decades.

The lads to come back for us will help greatly in that, of course, and we can take succour too from the fact that the hiding Kerry gave Tyrone at the League’s conclusion last year didn’t do them any good in the long run. But we’re kidding ourselves if we think there are any positives to be taken from today and three weeks is a very short period to mend what was smashed to smithereens in Croke Park this afternoon.

Mayo: Rory Byrne; Lee Keegan, Stephen Coen, Padraig O’Hora; Michael Plunkett (0-2), Rory Brickenden, Enda Hession; Jordan Flynn (0-1), Matthew Ruane (0-1); Conor Loftus (0-1), Aidan O’Shea, Jack Carney; James Carr (0-2), Jason Doherty, Ryan O’Donoghue (0-5, three frees). Subs: Kevin McLoughlin for Carney, Conor O’Shea for Flynn, Aiden Orme for Doherty, Cillian O’Connor (0-1) for Carr, Darren McHale for Ruane.

Who was our MOTM against Kerry? Pick your top three performers

  • Rory Byrne (17%, 515 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (14%, 414 Votes)
  • James Carr (13%, 394 Votes)
  • Padraig O'Hora (10%, 314 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (10%, 293 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (10%, 287 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (7%, 209 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (6%, 166 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (4%, 124 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (2%, 53 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (1%, 41 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (1%, 35 Votes)
  • Darren McHale (1%, 32 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 24 Votes)
  • Aiden Orme (1%, 20 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Rory Brickenden (1%, 15 Votes)
  • Conor O'Shea (0%, 13 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (0%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,545

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138 thoughts on “Kerry 3-19 Mayo 0-13: hammered out the gate

  1. This management team have given us some great days out but have they gone to the well too often? Are they too jaded? I dont see anyone out there at the moment who could do much better remember the last time a vacancy arose there wasnt many applicants

  2. People getting very worked up about 2 games that were well off championship standard.
    Galway weren’t great while missing a few.
    Mayo weren’t great while missing a few more.
    Today will have zero relevance in 3 weeks time.

    O’Hora, though he battled away well against a genius. I wouldn’t knock the guy, couple of the other Mayo defenders looked way below O’Horas level.

    Very impressed with Rory Byrne and Tadhg Morley played the sweeper role to almost perfection.

    P.S. Well done to the Rossies

  3. The lack of a plan for Gavin White, the lack of cover on David Clifford and the lack of coordination in our forward play. This management team are not improving or changing core flaws in our approach.

  4. Three starting forwards not scoring again and no sub scoring from play

    The age old problem…

    And that’s only the start of our worries after today

  5. One to forget and move on. We have to pray that we get a number of key players back for the Galway game. All will be forgotten if we beat Galway and if we meet Kerry later in year, will be a totally different contest. Would not read too much into today’s result even though the performance was very disappointing.

  6. Tough day at the office. We were well beaten. Kerry just ran through us. Kerry hot knife. Mayo butter.. Today was a total miss match. I went to a good few league matches and honestly I was not impressed. I’ve no idea how Mayo managed to get to a league final but unfortunately we did. The crucial pass mayo tried to make was easily picked by the kerry backs. All our good work was sucked away. Time after time and not a Cindy Lauper in sight. Galway look formidable. It is all uphill now. Those men will be hurting. I think we needed that reality today. Tough to digest but it will pass through. Come on Mayo!!!

  7. Agree with JP.
    Horan has never planned for the opposition.
    Carry on with the same game plan.

  8. I’m not sure what else could have been done with Gavin White TBH. Hession could have been tried but Donnacha McHugh was the only defensive sub available today. Eoghan McLaughlin should be an option if we meet again.

    James Carr, similar to last week, flew out of the traps and looked really dangerous. Seems to gas out much quicker than other players. Probably needs a clear run of training and games if the body will allow it?

  9. Whatever people think about Galway – and there are obvious deficiencies – Conroy kicked 6 and comer 4 from play today.. combined with the outstanding Shane Walsh that’s 3 match winners in their ranks. Fat Larry Finnerty junior ain’t half bad either

    We just don’t possess that sort of scoring power at all. We just have to hope to absolutely clean them out further up the field to prevent any meaningful supply into their attack

    I’d say Joyce was fuming to lose as they did, but hel be a much more bullish man this evening..

    Won’t feel it coming around now!

  10. Very disappointing result to put it mildly. It’s hard enough to beat Kerry with a full strength squad, but the quite ridiculous run of injuries we have had made it impossible against a side who will be there or thereabouts when Sam is being hoisted.

    That said, some deficiencies from previous matches/campaigns have not been corrected. Most notably, the outright refusal to countenance playing a sweeper against the stronger sides like Kerry or Tyrone. Kerry destroyed us in precisely the same way that Tyrone did last September. The difference is that the Ulster men don’t have a David Clifford, which might have kept the score down a bit last year.

    It is the height of lunacy to go man to man with the best attackers in the country, given that we possess no really strong man markers in our defensive ranks since Chris Barrett retired. We have plenty of ball playing backs who can get forward and create/take scores, but sometimes you need a dour stopper like Francie Bellew. Failing that, provide some cover close to our goal, so that there isn’t a goal chance on every time the opposition run at our defense.

    Other than a lucky rebound off the post that came to Conor Loftus (who seems to be struggling to convert goal chances when they arrive to him), we didn’t create another goal chance, partially because Kerry kept fouling any time we looked like creating an overlap (something we might need to take note of).

    Kerry also won almost all of their lockouts, something which did not happen down in Tralee and midfield was an area we needed to boss if we wanted to run them close. It didn’t happen.

    Rory Byrne and James Carr the only real positives today. Aido has been a great servant to us, but he does not have the legs for a full 70 minutes any more, especially against the zippier sides.

    Ultimately, we might have overachieved in the context of this league campaign, given the constant injuries and need to chop and change selection, particularly in our forward line. When you look back on the games, we were fortunate to draw with Donegal and edge out Monaghan and Armagh, with Dublin and Kildare being the only convincing performances. Kerry and Tyrone both dished out lessons to us.

  11. Disgraceful performance. There are players on that panel who I wonder why they are there, not good enough. A yard of Kerry every time and our lads looked completely flat footed. Horan nearly laughing in interview after the game. I don’t think he cared one bit but fail to beat Galway and it’s curtains. Mayo people spend good money to travel up there in their thousands. About 20 Kerry people at it.

  12. Only positive of today was Cillian didnt get injured when brought on in the second half, even though the game was lost at that stage.

    Not being funny but watching the team get of the team bus pre match they didnt look like a motivated . Body language looked negative.
    A trophy is a trophy look at how many times the all ireland champions won the league in the same year.

  13. – Reality check this as WJ states above is the biggest defeat in Croke Park since 1993.
    – As JP and I think Jrb stated no plan for Gavin White, to think that any management team would start Conor Loftus on him and leave him there for the whole first half…
    – Diarmuid O Connor let run riot for first half.
    – 1/1 defence with no.pressure on ball carrier
    No zone defense, no intensity in the tackle, nothing.
    – Lost dam near every single breaking ball and at least a yard behind our Kerry opponents
    – Second reality check is for those few who keep saying we have a great panel , better bench etc, etc total and utter rubbish. I said after AIF defeat that we did not have the panel to win AIF, nothing has changed.
    – Sure we can bounce back against Galway
    – Time will tell if today was a outlier or not, we will know soon enough. MOM Plunkett.

  14. Cant argue wj. We just looked exhausted, physically and mentally, today. Generally off the pace in defence. We have to hope injured players coming back will rejuvinate the team. Were in a tough place at the moment. Over reliance on one or two players to get scores from play.

  15. “Time will tell if today was a outlier or not, we will know soon enough. MOM Plunkett.”

    We’re not as bad as we showed today obviously, but I think we rode our luck a bit in the earlier rounds to make a final, and I don’t think making two all Ireland finals in a row genuinely reflects our true standing – I think the covid truncated seasons benefitted us a lot.

    This is the year we’ll truly learn our real level I suspect.

    It’ll be the hardest fought Connacht title since 2019 so even making the all ireland will be a big task

  16. Firstly hard luck lads,

    It will mean Sweet FA in the summer.

    But can I just say if OHora wants to to act the hard man or become Philly then he’s trying it on the wrong man.
    He got his answer.

    All the best against Galway and we may see each other again in July.

  17. Just in so just the two points to make, , firstly,, you can’t have a plan B if you don’t have a plan A, and O’Hora was totally and I do mean totally out of his depth

  18. Technical Fouls Page 86 of the rule book

    4.9 For an attacking player to enter opponents’ small rectangle:
    (a) During Play (excluding Set Play), before the final play of the ball into the small rectangle.
    (b) In Set Play, before the ball enters the small rectangle.

    Exceptions:
    (i) If an attacking player legally enters the small rectangle, and the ball is played from that area but is returned before the attacking player has time to leave the area, provided he does not play the ball or interfere with the defence, a foul is not committed.
    (ii) When a point is scored from outside the small rectangle and the ball is sufficiently high to be out of reach of all players, the score shall be allowed even though an attacking player may have been otherwise illegally within the small rectangle before the ball – provided that the player in question does not interfere with the
    defence

    Foley was clearly not in the small rectangle when the ball was played.
    Definitely not a square ball.

  19. A hugely disappointing day for sure. But there are two ways of looking at it. Glass half full or glass half empty. Glass half full; we’re in the middle of a training regime that doesn’t include the league final. We were missing at least a third of our expected starting 15. Most of our players were on an off day that they can get recover from it. We were playing against the best team in country with practically all their full panel available.
    Glass half empty; We won’t get a number of players back from injury. We just don’t have the forwards to win an all Ireland. Despite the very good individual backs we have, we don’t have a defensive system to deal with the very best teams. I could go on, but I guess we’ll know in three weeks time.

  20. Well done to your team, West Kerry. They’re some outfit.
    Jack seems to have done good work with his already talented players.
    Championship around the corner – it all starts again now.
    Good continued development. Hopefully next time we meet the final score will be narrower.

  21. West Kerry, are you implying that Clifford isn’t well able to give what he gets? Because I can tell you he does, and he was giving it plenty today. He was right in front of me for the second half and I could see him at it.

  22. I also thought it a strange decision where our goalie jumped in the air, and Clifford seemed to me to nudge him with the hip, but the ref gave Kerry the free in.

    Cannot have any complaints. Kerry were clinical today. Very high level performance.

    Wj.
    A tough day to have to write up a match report and you not feeling great to begin with. Well done.

  23. Dreamy so was I right infront of it.

    It always amazes me why anyone thinks a forward wants to get involved in that.
    It serves no purpose.

    I know I’m a guest here and OHora is one of your own but he tried to act the hard man and it didn’t work out well.

    Clifford can mind himself no doubt he’s 6ft thankfully.

  24. By the way, to those saying that this was the worst defeat at Croke Park since 1993, I think that is to forget the trimming we experienced v Dublin in the All-Ireland semi final in 2019.
    The 2019 score was only marginally less than today. Dublin 3-14 to Mayo 1-10.
    It was comprehensive.
    Cork v Mayo in 1993 was of a much bigger magnitude.

  25. In regard the footballing stakes, I think we know who the better footballer is. in regard the hard man stakes that’s a different story entirely and I’m afraid David Clifford wouldn’t be able to mind himself in that match up!
    Tis however football they are there to play howeverand when it comes to that not sure anyone is a match up for Clifford.

  26. West Kerry, it amazes me that people think forwards aren’t well able to dish it out.

  27. Can someone answer me this, How can a county footballer regardless of were he plays be afraid to take on a shot.

    That has to a instruction because all those lads are capable of kicking a point.

    I think it’s awful to see a lad run into space look at the posts and turn around and recycle the ball.

    Hsppend multiple times today.

  28. Dreamy as I said he can mind himself but he isint the instigator and that’s obvious now lad.

  29. 7 goals conceded in last 3 finals (league and championship). Absolutely ridiculous at that level.
    Obviously no focus on improving that critical aspect.
    Zero goals scored in those 3 matches,also abysmal.
    If you went through the finals of the last 20 years that is the core problem leaking too many goals and can’t score them at the other end.
    The refusal to play a sweeper against the top teams is beyond belief at this point. If you don’t concede goals you are nearly always in with a fighting chance

  30. Thought O Hora was OK today .. like I don’t think many defenders in the country left unaided would have done any better .
    Kerry were soo on top and dominant that he was receiving handy handpasses.
    Actually I felt embarrassed at the end .
    Think some lads played themselves out of the team .
    Aiden O Shea is no longer suited to the wide open spaces of Croke Park and Kerry obviously planned and did expose his lack of pace .
    Stephen Coen was lucky not to get the Curly finger in the first half .
    Hopefully we get Diarmuid, Eoghan and Paddy back for the galway match .
    Was certainly a kick in the hole but it may prove a timely one if we can rise ourselves and try and win Connaught

  31. You would have to question our S and C program that allowed all these injuries to develop in just a few months. My first choice team would be R Hennelly (Inj) B Harrison (inj) P O’Hara L Keegan E McLaughlin (inj) O Mullin (Inj) P Durcan (Inj) M Ruane J Flynn (inj) F Boland( or K McLoughin if a sweeper is needed like was today and will be against Galway) A O’Shea D O’Connor (inj) T Conroy (inj) C O;Connor R O;Donoghue. Management experminted to much through the league campaign and failed to establish one consistant line of either defence or attack and without a specific formation it is difficult to establish a pattern of play. I think Management caused themselves more confusion than solved problems. This idea of naming one team and playing another is gone beyond a joke, we have a lot to do and not much time to do it in but as said beforehand one swallow and all that…

  32. Centerfield
    It’s just beyond belief now
    Looked out after a few minutes and O Hora was left one on one with Clifford . Continued the whole game

    Thats Horans way. He won’t learn . There is no point trying to pretend otherwise .
    Hard to defend him as a tactician when that happens over and over and over and over and over and over again

  33. Totally agree West Kerry.
    The word Recycle is ruining underage games too, the youngsters totally afraid to shoot in case they miss and the coach gives out.

  34. Ironic thing is a sweeper would actually suit Mayo’s game ie Kevin Mcloughlin in 2016. Thing is, Horan would never do it.

  35. The most sickening feature of today’s match for me wasn’t the performance or the result. It was the Neanderthals sitting behind me in Row 307 who spent the entire match abusing and denigrating Aidan O’Shea from the first minute.

    What is it about Aidan O’Shea that makes overweight middle aged men so angry?

  36. O Hora did ok. That said he Would be better off concentrating on defending instead of mouthing off at his opponent.

    Tyrone are the only team I can see stopping Kerry this year.

  37. West Kerry, and I would still say that the implication that O’Hora was the only one “acting the hard man” is incorrect. Clifford was fully engaging and it’s not a slight on the man to say so. He’s well able to dish it out and does – every top player does. They wouldn’t be where they are if they didn’t.

  38. David Clifford is the best forward I’ve seen in 55 years without a doubt, if he decides he’s going for goal he scores a goal 9 times out 10, he’s just a brilliant footballer, it’s a nightmare having to mark him because he is so gifted,

  39. I agree with Olive, a tough reality check. Its a case of one game at a time for 2022, but i think we need to be realistic about our goals

  40. Tyrone basically ran Kerry into the ground last year. Clifford, Foley and a few others dropping like flies with cramp. Tyrone actually look fitter this year and lads dropping off the panel would indicate the training and commitment levels have moved up a notch. I believe they are the team to beat and won’t for one second fear any team this year

  41. Why do we have so many injuries? Is there any other top team , div 1 or 2 that is missing so many players. Dublin missing one. Kerry ? Is it just bad luck or something else wrong?

  42. Left Boot

    When Kerry played Derry in the minor before your game with Dublin in 17 I said to a few friends not from Kerry that he would be our greatest ever.

    They laughed…I said I’m dead serous.

    And he will be regardless of what he wins.

  43. Big Mike,

    Clifford never dropped with cramp last year.

    We were tactically stupid last year.

    Tyrone won Sam and deservedly so but I’d love another crack at them.

  44. @P

    one question i would also have is how do people expect AOS to play well when he’s constantly moved to different positions.How could that be optimum for any players performance.
    How many players in the history of the game have successfully done the rotating from full forward to midfield thing like he was asked to do last year ( 2 completely different positions).

  45. P
    I was in section 307 also.
    The stuff coming out of those 5 kerry lads was absolutely horrendous. They were surrounded by young kids. Several people politely requested they tone it down. In fairness to a kerry dad sitting in front of us apologised at the end of the game and commented that those lads do not represent kerry. Stewards were told on 3 occasions, but did nothing. It really was very nasty.

  46. We had probably 7 or 8 missing today.It was an impossible task really and Kerry won the day.
    No point blaming Horan or changing management.
    We knew what Horan would bring we we hired him to unaminous approval.He is doing exactly that.
    Others change structure for example Dublin after 2014 and Kerry who now play Northern defence.James Horan won’t do that.He just won’t neither will he change an approach because of a particular threat from one player.
    We knew that day 1 or should it be day 2 when we gave him back the job.He was very vocal for example against OShea taking Donaghy in 2017 and watch the 2012vsemifinal if you need evidence of him refusal to drop guys back to stop the Dublin onslaught.
    Can’t judge much on today I still expect to beat Galway but there is one thing certain no matter what James will not change his set up and how he plays.

  47. If that’s aimed at me Dreamy, I never said DC couldn’t dish it out, just saying between those two there is one of them where no ‘acting’ is required.

  48. I thought O’Hora did fine apart from the goal (game was over by then anyway). He won several 50:50 balls and most of Clifford’s points were top drawer. Geaney got 4 from play off Keegan which is more disappointing from our perspective. Another worry would be Stephen Coen’s form. Compared to the 3 big championship games last year he’s like a different player. Don’t see how he can start vs Galway, assuming some of the injured backs return.

    On the forwards, Ryan missed 3 frees that he usually nails. Doherty couldn’t get into the game at all, surprised he waited on that long. Carney struggled with the pace and physicality Kerry brought, missed a handy point too.

  49. I managed to climb Croagh Patrick yesterday and it was tough and emotional but very enjoyable as well, but for a bit of suffering and pain I headed once again to croke park to see Mayo in the league final and once again there was no storage of pain and suffering for Mayo supporter’s.
    Kerry were a different class to Mayo today
    Poor poor play from most of our lads and
    What seemed clueless tactics from the sideline.
    It was great to see Cillian back and hope more of our injury hit lads will be back for the Galway game.
    We were well beaten today but in 3 weeks time
    We will head for Castlebar with hope in our hearts once again This is what we do to support our Team.
    Looking around Croke park today and seeing many of the small amount of ( Kerry supporter’s)
    Leaving the place long before David Clifford collected The National League division one cup.
    That maybe just maybe we Mayo supporter’s Left Croke Park with more than they did Today.
    Maigheo abu.

  50. James Carr showed his worth anyway. Considering what he’s done in his incredibly limited time in the shirt he deserves his spot, even if COC comes back in.

    [Deleted].

  51. After today the Rossies maybe are favourite for connacht, but Kerry are definitely favourites for Sam.
    Jack o Connor has them flying, look at the distance for their last goal, and he was definitely outside the square when the ball was kicked.
    Still think Mayo will beat Galway as I believe joyce has no idea how to set up defensively.
    A sobering day …

  52. Very poor display from the off, but when a team is set up like Mayo at this level, then the result is a foregone conclusion. It has to be stubbornness on Horan’s part that he refuses to play a sweeper after all these final losses. You wouldn’t see it at under 12 club level. People might defend Horan on here, but there is no defending it in my opinion. While Rory Byrne did well on kickouts and made a couple of decent saves I thought he should have been a lot stronger coming out in the one on one situations. He had 3 opportunities to take man and ball but didn’t take either. Clarke in his prime would have left his mark on the incoming forwards. All’s not lost of course. We will probably be back in Croke Park in the Summer, going man on man again and will be wondering as we head west, where it has all gone wrong again.

  53. I actually got the impression that quite a few of our players were exhibiting blue-black colour blindness during the game – so very fortunate that Galway will not be wearing blue! Of the many many misdirected passes one particularly sticks in the memory, when we were mounting an attack in the second half. One of our players picked out a player in space with a beautifully weighted pass off his left foot – only problem was that player was actually playing for Kerry! The ensuing rapid counter-attack left us with an energy sapping rush back “shadow chasing” all in vain – another morale bursting Kerry score ensued. Thanks West Kerry – as a lifelong Mayo follower I was not proud of OHora’s sledging antics – acting the Philly indeed and he got his well deserved comeuppance. Maigh Eo Abú.

  54. Today very disheartening.
    Don’t think too many of us mind being beaten in the league, particularly with so many missing but a mauling like that helps noone. Fans very deflated after it, won’t help confidence too. Players with credit in the bank after the league now will probably be short of confidence and with pressure on them from the Mayo public.
    O’Hora taking flack but he did as well as could be expected. No one can mark Clifford in Ireland. He’s a freak, a corner forward in a midfielder’s body who is extremely accurate and who rarely takes the wrong decision. He’s well on his way to being the best player I’ve ever seen play football. Anyone who compares him to any footballer in Ireland, and some on this site comparing Mayo forwards to him, are deluded. He’s different gravy.
    That said, no team left in the Championship will give him the space Mayo gave him. I felt very sorry for O’Hora at times, he was left in acres of space with Clifford and there’s only ever one outcome there. Geaney, as well, had a field day.
    I feel sorry in ways for Mayo. It was clearly a game they didn’t want, could see that from selections in the league at times. The only time Horan ever went for the league was in 2012 and 2019. It was a nuisance to Horan and that today. I also feel sorry in that they seem plagued with injuries. McHugh was the only defensive cover on the bench today when Mullin cried off and they clearly didn’t have the players to put in back there. I’m hoping they’re minding players for the Galway game – Durcan, McLaughlin etc and that that is why they were so overloaded with forwards on the bench today.
    They have major issues for the Galway game. Galway’s forwards looked good, Comer, Walsh and Conroy would walk onto any team in the country. Serious footballers. Their backs are definitely suspect – that last goal highlighting how easy it was all day to walk through them. However, Mayo’s supporting cast did not play well. Carney, Orme, Loftus, all had decent leagues but were very poor today. Orme hit some awful wides when he came on. Sincerely hope Flynn isn’t too badly injured with that ankle. Coen never gave up but did look very slow. Aidan O’Shea is given out about everywhere I look on these pages but if there are 15 players in Mayo better than him, I can’t see them. Mayo need him on the pitch, things would have been way worse today without him. The idea of him as a sub isn’t based in reality – yes, he’s slowing but in terms of ball winning ability and physicality around the middle of the pitch, Mayo still have no one better. If we get to the stage where we can afford him as a sub, we’ll walk the All Ireland.
    As aforementioned, I don’t mind that they lost. I mind that they got hammered. It brought back memories of hammerings that I have long tried to forget. While the 24th of April will be different – it’s hard to think today won’t have an impact and they will do very, very well to beat Galway based on anything I saw today.

  55. Anyone on here who thinks O hora was the problem today knows nothing about football. On the best player in the country who had probably 20 decent balls fed in, who could stop this??. And in fairness he O Hora won plenty. This game was lost in the middle of the park and in the forward line. I would be very surprised if we weren’t turned over 30 times today. Poor performance but let’s see what happens against Galway. Still along season ahead.

  56. West Kerry, Clifford did indeed go down with cramp last year against Tyrone, several times. I was behind the goal. Niall Morgan even stretched the leg for him on one occasion

  57. Willie Joe, I thought we had a decent relationship and I haven’t crossed the line prior to now. What on earth is wrong with saying that o hora is a serious tough defender but someone who also let himself down today with his antics, hands everywhere on Clifford and constant mouthing. I’m proud of every ballina player but that’s not what I want to see

  58. Hard luck lads-gutted for ye all. It was one of those days where nothing clicked for us and Kerry were on fire. On the plus side, NOBODY got injured-amazing, considering the long list of injuries to date. Welcome back Cillian.

  59. I have to pull you up there on two points, Stephenite. You’re making an allegation against a player based on what you’ve claimed you saw in the game. You’d need to be full sure of your ground there to be posting a comment like that in such a public way.

    Which brings me to my second point – if you think this place is somewhere for people to talk “in relative privacy” then you’re very mistaken. I’ve just checked now and there are already 62,578 page views on the blog today so this will undoubtedly be the busiest day ever. In terms of web traffic it generates, it definitely more resembles a national forum than a quiet corner, hence my reason – more to protect you than to protect me, as you’re first and foremost liable for what you post here – for deleting those allegations from your comments.

    Please exercise more case when posting here in future.

  60. I agree with Horan’s Brigade that AOS did well today, and showed ball winning ability and physicality around the midfield – he’s had a good league campaign in fact, even if he’s never been a score getter. Not sure he’s able for 70 minutes though. Coen is struggling. O’Hora did his very best – but the sledging is distasteful and not the Mayo way?.

  61. Maigh Eo Abú – hate to disagree with you – Flynn limped off with what looked to be a worrying ankle injury. To add insult to injury!

  62. At what point do you say enough is enough? I’ve travelled all over supporting these lads for over 30 years but I’m left with this same feeling time after time. We’re perennial losers and I cannot see that changing any time soon. Jack and Clifford will lead these fellas to several Celtic crosses and we’ll be left empty handed. Again we seemed devoid of any real game plan. No plan to cover space in front of Clifford, no plan to stop Paudie from pulling the strings, or stop White running from deep, or to shore up the 3/6 channel in any way. Decimated around the middle and no cutting edge in terms of getting goals. Turned over constantly. Shocking from players and management alike, no plus points whatsoever. Maybe the cold light of day will make me think again but at this minute I’m a long suffering Mayo fan checking out of the madhouse #cantdothisanymore

  63. Maigh Eo Abú unfortunately Jordan Flynn picked up what looked like a bad injury. Players consoling him on the ground. Then he got up and tried to run it off, hope more damage not done and that not too serious

  64. I’d lay off West Kerry a bit here, generally I find him a respectful poster.

    Honestly, irrespective of all the injuries, I think we are a bit behind Kerry anyway, even with a full strength squad. I do think with the cavalry back we would be much more competitive than today, but we do ourselves no favors with our tactical naïveté.

    It’s blindingly obvious that Horan is unwilling to tweak his system to go with a sweeper, and I think that will cost us again further down the line. The likes of David Clifford cannot be held one on one, especially if your system allows the opposition to arrow quick ball again and again towards your goal.

    Also, a lot of the talk was that Mayo would need to dominate centerfield, but Kerry won almost all of their kick outs, and that was without David Moran. Aido was bypassed completely and no longer has seventy minutes in him.

    Our starting forwards scored five points from play, nowhere near good enough to win any game.

    So much to work on ahead of Galway, at least expectation shouldn’t be too burdensome this time!

  65. Fed up and disillusioned after that display. Very unfair that P OHora was left isolated the whole game. No defensive plan again. Jack O”Connor had the brains to bring in an outside defensive coach in Paddy Tally. When J. Horan stayed on after last September, the backroom team should have been freshened up and that review by the bosses in McHale Park should have insisted on it. I hope Viper comes on with his analysis, its always excellent reading.

  66. Horan unfortunately never learns. He sat in the stands last year and watched Tyrone bottle up Kerry yet he deployed the same tactics in the Final and we got hit on the break. Same today and as O’Rourke pointed out on the Sunday game we are too predictable. Defence runs up the field and we lose the ball and leave gaping holes at the back.
    Then he picks 2 players who were completely off form in the League and leaves them on for the full match namely Loftus and Coen who unfortunately lacks pace.
    The Gooch pointed out that we need a target man in the forwards. AOS should be tried at FF as he is not contributing enough out field.
    The ref should have given Barry a red card but no mention of that on the Sunday game.
    Byrne, Carr and Flynn were positives.
    If we don’t change our style and kick the ball more we are going nowhere.
    Do we know the story with Oisin

  67. 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

  68. Mayolass you’re dead right, what changes have been implemented since the tyrone loss? The great dublin team often reverted to a blanket defence at various periods during a game.

    Watching o hora today reminded me of the 2014 SF replay below in limerick in which keith higgins and ger cafferkey were left isolated against james o donoghue and donaghy who created havoc. James horan still persisting with a losing defence strategy 8 years later.

    I know people will say its only the league but how has that affected o horas confidence and with championship in 3 weeks are we going to produce a well oiled defence plan out of the blue?

  69. You probably can’t use profanity on here but I’ve great time for Mayo football.

  70. Sticks for the reek…..I haven’t seen Sunday game but surely Aido has tried and failed against the big teams at ff now several times. He refused to show for ball against Tyrone causing us to carry balls into their tackles and be turned over but nobody seems to have noticed.

  71. Clifford destroyed o’hora and there is no shame in that as Clifford destroys everyone, he scored 8 points of rony mcnamee last summer in a losing efforts and mcnamee a much better player than o hora.

    I put as much blame on horan for leavinghim completely exposed 1 on 1, he really is wedded to horanball, one way of playing, man on man hard running game. Thats fine for blowing away 90% of the teams but you need to have something different up your sleeve for team’s like dublin/kerry/tyrone. It’s incredibly naive and a touch arrogant from him not to vary it up a bit.

    Even the supposed purveyors of pure football that is kerry realised they needed to cut out the naive defending, they bought I’m paddy tally and sacrified a scoring forward for a defensive workhorse in Adrian Spillane, freeing up Morley to sweep and the upshot is 1 goal conceded across the league.

    There are many ways to skin a cat

    If there is a positive to take tyrone got a similar humiliation at the hands of kerry in league last year and we all know how that turned out for them

  72. O’Hora’s behaviour was a disgrace. But Clifford gave him his answer by beating him up a stick. Horan did not prepare for today and we are seriously damaged. Not looking forward to Galway match. We need to remove any rose tinted glasses and call a spade a spade.

  73. There’s no issue with profanities here, West Kerry. Their use is neither encouraged nor discouraged but, like the salt and pepper, don’t overseason the pot in that department.

  74. Lads after a few pints and a stumble home in the rain.

    Ti’s only the league you had a good few top lads in dry dock.

    We lost on 19, beat ye in Killarney and then lost to Dublin.

    Nobody knows what the year holds.

    Hope springs eternal as the man says….

  75. Faith 51. AOS won a few balls in the Final last year including marks but failed to convert. It’s no use sending ball in that he has to run onto. The high ball is needed and if he does not win it one of the forwards might get the break. I think Gooch knows a thing or two about forward play. Anything is better that what we were at today.

  76. Lads talking about putting AOS at full forward again? Give me strength, how much years if evidence do you need to see that that doesn’t work. You can’t carry a man at full forward who won’t trouble the scoreboard. Jesus wept.
    Having said that he wasn’t in the top 10 worst performers today…
    S Coen is a worry, I was delighted to see him get the nod as captain this year but he has had an awful league and horan has a big decision to make on him for the galway game.

    Also think we may be expecting too much from doherty this year too, he won’t be shooting the lights out, tbf to the man he is after 2 hellish years of injury so need to temper expectations with him but he wasn’t at the races today

  77. Like someone said above – after nearly 40 years travelling to Croke park following Mayo and suffering defeats like today- it’s getting harder and harder to face the journey up and down. Everyone on here can read the games well and see our problems – yet nothing changes. Do management sit down after games and analyse what went wrong? Its very obvious what the issues are.
    Disappointing that some of the players who looked good last Sunday were totally ineffective today.
    Is any other top team going to leave Clifford one on one inside been marked by a player 3-4 inches smaller than him and two yards slower than him – not likely.

  78. I’m not proud of O Hora’s mind games today but I think people are giving it too much negative focus. Maybe if we weren’t steamrolled at the end, some of us wouldn’t need a distraction to avoid looking at the scoreboard, which is what I feel the O Hora thing was made into. A scapegoat and a distraction from the embarrassing result.

  79. Sticks for the reek….Mattie was caught in possession a few times that day because Aido wasn’t showing inside. Personally I’m in favour of a big man inside but he has to be able to win it high, out in front and above all be able to score. Tactically today were slaughtered. Far better off not getting to the final, we had a decent league and possibly found a few new lads but where are we now with Galway on the horizon?? I’d be worried

  80. I like James horan as a person he always conducts himself well. But as the man to lead us to glory I think he is sadly lacking he just hasn’t got a winners mentality as his losing streak shows and he seems to be devoid of tactical nous. I can’t come up with anyone to replace him as Jim gavin has retired and Jack ó Connor is otherwise engaged. We have for some years now had players well capable of winning Sam but because of bad sideline decisions have failed. So until we unearth a coach to match our playing talent the long wait will continue. Mayo Abu.

  81. It’s actually unbelievable how opinions change on a week to week basis. Today was very disappointing for us all, no doubt it was for players and management also. But it’s also the first week in April. Kerry put 6 goals past Tyrone last year in their league meeting. We all know how the season went for both. We beat Kerry twice in 2019 league and they bet us out the gate then in the summer. Today will have no bearing on 3 weeks time or later in the summer. Let’s wait and see and look forward to the next big game at the end of the month.

  82. The crazy thing about today was we were only 6 behind with 18 minutes left when O’Connor was black carded. If we could have reduced the deficit while they were down to 14 then it was still all to play for. They outscored us 4-1 and we collapsed in the last 10 minutes.
    We can only hope there is nothing too serious with Oisin and Eoghan and that Jordan has just a knock. With any luck some of the cavalry will return for the Galway game.
    Positives from today. Minutes for James Carr, some good saves from Rory.
    The one thing I noticed with Kerry was they were not afraid to give away frees once we got anywhere near their goal. Mind the House at all costs something we need to take note of.

  83. Through out the league the Kerry team today minus O Se and maybe one more was the team that played every game.

    Clearly Kerry set out to win the league knowing Munster was token wrapped.

    On the other hand did we every play the same team twice. We chopped and changed constantly and even today, etc the last minute no Mullin or Mcloughlin.

    So, their 15 competed in the league ours didt so, no surprise we took a sniping today. If without Durkin and D O Connor the next day out we might scrape through. But one thing is for sure past Connacht they’ll be needed along with our best 15. I think Horan knows what 15 is best. This league was all about game time. The final it would appear was just filling a fixture.

    This stuff about O Hora v Clifford is moot. Mouthing or no mouthing Clifford would have scored 1-6 anyways it’s what he does.

  84. No Sam Maguire cup was handed out today.

    Folk on here need to take a chill pill.

    Tyrone got the same drubbing off Kerry last year.

    That match was just a training session.

  85. Very disappointing today. Absolutely no surprise we were beaten but I didnt envisage a 15 point defeat. I absolutely could not believe the optimism of some before the game. Even with our best starting 15 we would struggle v Kerry. Take out 7 or 8 and we hadnt a hope. Some even said Ryan (who I have brilliant time for) was better than Clifford. Clifford is the best I have ever seen. O Hora tried manfully. Accusing him of mouthing is nonsense. Actually he gave Clifford a congratulatory pat after his goal. If you dont stop the ball going in to Clifford you have no chance. So much of what we did was self inflicted. We were turned over at midfield for their first goal, Kevin Mc kicked the ball straight to a Kerry man for their second and we gave the ball away in attack for their third goal. Our second half performance was similar to our second half v Tyrone in AIF. In truth our forwards are not good enough. None of them, not even Ryan would start for Kerry. Our midfield struggled as well and the nasty and uncalled for hit (way worse than sledging may I add) on Jordan Flynn did not help. We were missing our entire first choice half back line and are also minus Harrison in the full back line, while Stephen Coen has not had a good league. Up front Cillian’s return is a positive, Carr had a decent first half and Ryan was as busy as ever, but without Tommy C, a fully fit Cillian and Diarmaid, we are totally light weight. I don’t like criticising individual players, but Carney, Orme and Loftus are not playing well and Jason and Kevin Mc are shadows of the players who have been so good for us. I thought Byrne did fine in goals, but we miss Robbie. Leeroy did ok , Plunkett weighed in with a few good scores and Aido battled as usual. But I don’t think we are good enough. Easy to blame management after a loss like today, but if you don’t have the players you won’t win. While Galway were no great shakes today and their back line look suspect, our forwards won’t hurt them. Conroy, Comer and Shane Walsh will hurt us. In truth there is very little to be optimistic about tonight. If we don’t get a slew of our players back Galway will beat us. But we must remember it is only a game and the tragic news from Curry and Sligo this weekend should put all our whinging into context. Sincere Condolences to Red Ogs family and friends.

  86. On his podcast, comhra le tomas, tomas o se regularly commented how jack o connor and paidi put him on players that suited his abilities and game, thus enabling him to play to his strnegths. How often is that done under Horan? Very little i think. I think Rochford attempted to do it with andy up front and kevin mc as a roving sweeper.

    If anything Horan puts his men on players that expose them and take them out of their comfort zone – eg. keegan on con 2019 SF, mullin on con 2020, o hora on mccurry 2021, s coen on p clifford 2022

  87. Mind the House
    Eamon O Hara commented before the match on the Kerry fouling out the field and he said they were unfortunately getting away with it from the refs. A few cards should be dished out. The purpose is to give their defence time to reset.

  88. Of course you have a great time for Mayo @West Kerry sure havent we gifted ye a few all Irelands and league finals id say ye love meeting us in finals. No sour grapes though ye were miles the better team today. Clifford is a class act

  89. I’d say Spillane is so excited after today’s match, that his mouth is just moving and no sound coming out of it at all.

    He’ll spend the next three nights sitting bolt upright in the bed babbling to the wife ” This is the team I’ve been telling them about for the last twenty years “.

    I think 4 separate attempts came back off the Kerry woodwork. We never seem alert to these chances.

    Some people are saying the jerseys caused an issue with the clash in colour’s.

    Well fuck me, they must have mighty eyesight in Kerry because I didn’t see any of their kick passes going astray.

  90. I only post the very odd time on here….

    I’m gona suggest alot of arrogance shown today from Management to think that we could go man on man against probably the best forward line in the country. If the lack of a sweeper wasn’t evident at half time when you could actually drive a bus down the middle of our defence I don’t know what game they were watching. To leave O Hora so exposed for the full game was nothing short of an insult to the man!!!

    We all know our forward line is not the best BUT Kerry weren’t gona take a chance and used a sweeper to great affect……

    We are a long way off the pace imo and playing some lads that simply are just not good enough at this level…..no names required!

  91. Last Sunday the Chief was away. He was there today, to what effect?
    And look at the points Roscommen and Galway scored! And Limerick
    and Louth and Cavan and Tipperary. And we are unable or afraid to shoot.
    If forwards are not scoring under reasonable circumstances…..away with them.
    A wide is better than this passing the can.
    Reality check no doubt, so let us all cop on.

  92. I don’t see what all the fuss about O Hora and Clifford , tv picked up few words and a push over a 10 second period , what about every inter county forward that gives there marker a few words and little nudge after they score to win the mental battle , If more of our backs had half as much grit as O Hora maybe it would be a good thing !! Boyle, Barrett, Higgins would stand there corner !!
    Anyway on we go!! Nxt Game

  93. @Sticks for the Reek.

    The Dubs at their best were masters of committing tactical fouls when they needed to. Tyrone know how it’s done and now we see Kerry at it. Some will call it streetwise, some will call it the dark arts but as you say it allows the defence to reset. Something we could have done with today.
    Much to ponder but we had half a dozen of our best starting 15 missing today and no team in the country would cope with that.

  94. Hello to all. Firstly, I wouod like to say hard luck to Mayo today. Those words of empathised solidarity may feel empty to you, I have to go in and teach the kids of Mayo tomorrow. I do not want to sound in any way patronising nor condescending at all whatsoever.
    I’ve been treated superbly well by all of the kind folks of Mayo since I joined this forum nearly 2 weeks.
    You definitely know your football, I do try to feel your frustration and pain. I’m up here 19 years now. So I see it and feel it in as much as I can. I would love Mayo to win Sam, ‘To Win It Just Once’ that great tune from the Saw Doctors.
    All of the posts here are all correct in dverything they’ve said. Absolutely ?.

    We were stung last week by Tyrone, we didn’t want to concede any goal from play, nor lose in this league. Sadly Munster is the weakest or joint weakest with Leinster now, so we took the league very seriously this year. Our first 3 League winnings in a row since 1974. Jack O’ Connor is a winner, but he can be conservative. It was our best performance today since the League Final v Dublin in 2017. That’s 5 years ago next weekend!

    Very poor attendance today from 4 counties. 31,000! Kerry, a few handful diehards, an embarrassment. Like the terrific Soviet Union soccer team of the 1980’s, they played brilliant, but never had hardly any supporters at their games. I had a soft spot for them back then. There was zero atmosphere there today, at times the play was pedestrian, lacking championship intensity.

    Our team is all running, kick passing down the overlap, very fast on the counter attack, but I did see sloppiness and carelessness too. Our midfield is still non existent. But the game has changed too.
    Why on earths did Horan let Clifford be isolated on O’ Hora? Sucidal tactics. You shot a lot of wides, missing a few players,
    One rabbit doesn’t make an Easter! Neither does one swallow make a summer.

    You will see a different Mayo in a few weeks. I’d be worried about retribution by you, if we were to meet you again in the championship, today’s mauling will be used as motivation. Scoring is a big problem for Mayo.

    Clifford is terrific, but not our best ever, no way, he still needs to convince me a little more, wild shooting, he’s indiscipline on the rarity could cost us. He was not without blame today neither.
    O’ Hora was ran into the ground, he’s puffed red face epitomised that, chewing gum and constant sledging, if he tried to concentrate on his own game, he may have stifled Clifford a bit more.
    In the All- Ireland Final of 1980, Roscommon played football in the First Half, in the second half, they resorted to sledging, shirt fronting, punching, thry lost a game that thry should have won.
    Players concentrate on your own game, “don’t worry about the opposition, let the opposition worry about you”, my erstwhile coach of Clounmacon said to me in 1994. O’ Hora needs to heed that advice. He’s a damn good back.

    As for Tyrone, they are Spoilers, as they are aware of their limitations, so they spoil, stop, start, superb game management by them, but when counter measures are put in place, thst is up yo us and others to come up with a solution, they have no answers. Tyrone are a one trick pony, albeit, a very good one. Workmanlike, tough, rugged, like a T-34 tank, but nothing special, no flair, nor creativity.

    Remember, Tyrone last year were the weakest winners of Sam since Cork in 2010.

  95. @Mayolass, I’m sharpening the pencil but only time for a few lines tonight and don’t want to overload moderation.

    Reading all the comments regarding O’Hora.

    We must bear in mind that it may not have been the plan to have had O’Hora on Clifford as we don’t have enough information on Oisin at the moment.

    It’s funny I wrote a piece about marking Clifford last night and I mentioned a player with the ability to “psyche an opponent out”, however I did also say that “I’m not talking about sledging or anything like that” and that whoever was on him should not be “someone who will overstep the mark either” and that “regardless of who marks him tomorrow they shouldn’t be judged negativity if they don’t have a great day because he is a handful”.

    I also said you need “a brave defender who will who will occasionally mark him from the front but again never out of arms reach”.

    What happens on 43 minutes, O’Hora marks him from the front and wins possession, you have to back yourself sometimes.

    I also said that “A player like Clifford needs to be stuck to at all times even when the ball is at the other end of the pitch that’s all part of the psychology, if you let him out of arms reach literally at any point of the game then you’re losing”.

    I knew the minute I saw O’Hora marauding up the pitch that the contest was over between himself and Clifford but I’m not going to blame O’Hora for this, I’m going to point the finger firmly and directly at the sideline, if I had O’Hora in the dressing room I’d make it very clear to him, if I see you more than a metre away from Clifford at any point of the game you are coming off and finished with me for the foreseeable, but I have no reason to believe that any instruction like this or anything similar was given because O’Hora remained on him.

    That was the clearest pointer that there was no plan there, lets be totally honest about it.

    But I’d advise people not to focus too much on an individual, Mayo didn’t lose because of O’Hora.

    I’ve written a lot before about the importance of structure and various systems depending on the opposition, but it’s hard to criticize Mayo’s structure when there is no structure to criticize.

    There’s a perceived system alright, a one size fits all, which has turned from Horanball into Horanstall because like a Russian tank when it meets resistance it’s useless.

    You can have the greatest number of individuals you like but without structure you’ll soon end up like headless chickens when you face a good team with good structures in place.

    I don’t like to mention players generally but I’ll make an exception with regards to Michael Plunkett, it’s like having the painter plumbing and the plumber painting, we want men who can take their scores playing in the forwards do we not or have I misunderstood the basics of football.

    But let the fellas on big bucks figure all this out.

    If the orchestra is out of tune maybe we need to have a close look at the conductor and as regards to sledging we do not know if anything OTT was said, there’s mouthing all the time off camera and the kind of stuff that comes from some parents at underage games is vile so lets not virtue signal too much.

  96. I am not too downhearted, I think James played the game today to fulfill the fixture. I didn’t think he wanted to be in a league final. He has one thing on his mind and that is the All Ireland not some cup we will all forget tomorrow. We have won this before, three years ago and it was well forgotten about when we lost to Roscommon later that summer.
    Players got a run out in Croke park today
    Kerry showed their entire hand
    We didn’t show anything
    The result will calm us all down, winning today and the Mayo for Sam brigade would be in full steam for the Galway game.
    Roscommon strteched Galway, They showed themselves

    DOC, Hennelly, Oisin, Paddy will all be back for the Galway game.

    We got Cillian back. The only loss this winter/spring was losing Tommy( that was a big loss)

    I think we are okay – I really do

  97. Micko – but Tyrone still won last year, thats all that matters. We had the best chance ever last September and we blew it. Tonight we are as far away as ever. A hammering in Croke Park,like the bad old days. Seems to me nothing has been learned/improved and Its galling. Goodnight to you all.

  98. AOS changes the game at halftime, that’s a positive. Mayo needs to use that. Mulin, Durcan, O’Connor, is like Clifford, O’Shea and O’Sullivan for Kerry. I’m just worried we can’t take our scores. O’ Hora was our best player today, ya you’ll all laugh but he had a lot of ball, and a tremendous heart. Front 6 needs to be better. Next pre game, throw out the balls and hit them over the crossbar. Way to early line out for Galway, Byrne, Plunkett, Keegan, O’Hora, Durcan, Coen, Mullin, Flynn, Ruane, Boland, DOC, Carney, Orme, Doherty, ROD

  99. Great result today…..no one now expects us to do anything this year.

    Missing Durcan, Mullin, McLaughlin, Harrison and a few more

    Head down….ar$e up. Roll on Galway

  100. Very true Twisted wheel and Mayolass, still Firstly, Tyrone are incapable of doing back to back, they never have as a result of a lack consistency, they always have, tough and all as they are. Too many players have walked this year from them.
    Look then again, I still feel, we could get badly caught in a Quater- Final, if not a Semi Final. I do not believe we will win sn All-Ireland until 2024. I said that in 2015, so I’m still sticking to that.

    As for fulfilling a fixture, not showing a hand in any kind of final, I don’t buy it, when you get to a final, any final, it’s there to be won, you do not pass up on those not so everyday opportunities. Silverware is silverware. No such thing as a team in any sport not too bothered in a final. That just doesn’t cut the mustered at all. We wouldn’t pass that up.

  101. Today was a hard watch and, when I saw the two teams, I felt that we could get a bit of a hammering and so it proved. But I think that there has been a complete overreaction. We had a severely weakened team, while Kerry had, an almost, full strength side. I feel that it is a game that Horan did’nt really want and his eyes are firmly fixed on the Galway game. We displayed none of our usual intensity, didn’t pressurize the Kerry kick-outs, lost almost all breaking balls and 50/50s,our inside forwards didn’t show for the ball and were too easily beaten, our tackling and defending were non-existant and Kerry waltzed past us, as if we were statues. On the other hand, Kerry were much tighter defensively, used tactical fouling to break our momentum(we should have done the same) and were much hungrier. As regards David Clifford, he is undoubtedly a superb player and also has the size and strength also, but I would like to see us give him a few good old fashioned rattles(legal, of course) early on-don’t make it easy for him. A few positives-great to see Cillian back, Carr had a decent game and, hopefully, will get better, as the season progresses, with training and game time. I must have been watching a different game altogether and I cannot understand the criticism of Aido at all-I thought that he was one of our better players and he never stopped trying to drive us on, right to the end, both in attack and defence-you would be hard pushed to find many better today and, for me, he has had quite a good league-I think that he is an easy target. Today’s rude kick up the backside might do us no harm and will, hopefully, motivate us. I expect and hope to see a completely different Mayo against Galway, with much more physicality and intensity. Hopefully, we will have our top half-back line, Paddy, Oisin and Eoghan and D O’C back and we will need all of that against Galway.

  102. GreenandRed, Well summed up . I cant disagree with anything there.
    The only thing, id say no matter how many rattles Clifford got, he’d just keep coming back for more unfortunately. The man is built of steel, physically and mentally .

  103. Thought those days was long for Mayo in Croke Park. Back to the drawing board and the Connacht championship now and latter down the road if paired against Kerry again lesson of that trimming today taken in and not repeated

  104. Thought there was a big difference in intensity between the Div 1 and 2 finals. Mayo are not as bad as the looked and seemed to want to be anywhere else other than Croke Park. They certainly didn’t show anything today so can enter the championship as an unknown similar to Tyrone last year with damped expectations. Galway did not look great either even with most of their players back and they wanted to win that final. As for the Rossies, fair play to them–they are not going to win the All-Ireland but they win what they can win. Overall, its great to have 3 Connacht teams in the top division.

  105. O’Hora showed alot of heart and desire today more than anyother player. Didnt work out today against an unbelievable player. Manager could have switched markers? Jason Doc a player who Ive great respect for given his comeback from injury it wasnt his day 2day . Should have been subed earlier. Kerry played great after blackcard . Surely there should have been some tactical changes from Mayo at that point. Bringing on Ciliian ?
    Weird decisions from the sideline today.

  106. A bit unfair criticism on O’Hora. He was given a job with no real back up from management on what we all know to be an exceptionally gifted player. He gave a solid display – agreed though on his runs up front. With other players he could leave his man and go for a run but not on Clifford. This fellow has to be tracked all day long.

    A bit unfair the criticism on O’Shea. He tackles well and distributes well and draws frees. Better on than off – it just depends on whether he stays on for 100% or less of the game.

    Apart from that there was little structure to our set up. Galway forwards showed up but their backs let them down badly in the last 15 minutes especially. With our key backs hopefully returning it could be 50/50 in that backs v forwards department. Our forwards whilst not as weak as Galway backs you would hope we would shade it. Then it is down to midfield and we will hopefully have Rob back between the posts. It will be tight.

    Another very bad day at the office.

  107. Lads as west Kerry says it’s only the league. It comes down to this, stop running young lads ragged, and teach them how to kick comfortably off both feet. Make it compulsory at club level that all lads should be comfortable scoring off both feet, that’s how natural balanced scoring forwards are made. Every position/player on the field should be equally comfortable or better using either foot. Let young lads develop the skills first and not turn them into headless sprinting monkeys playing basketball. Have young lads concentrating more on scoring and on actual game time scrimmage. You need to be comfortable off both feet. You learn that in the heat of action. I watched Clifford today, rewatch the tape if you like, you all saw it, but half the time he doesn’t even look at the posts he just instinctively knows how to judge the wind, and where to kick it, right over the black spot. The Gooch and Maurice Fitzgearld where the same. You thought the Gooch was good, Clifford is the Zidane of Gaelic football he the perfect footballer, perfect size, perfect physique, simply out of this world unmark-able. Honestly people are giving O Hora a hard time on this blog, but Clifford was just insane today, awesome to watch. It’s possible he may even become one of the greatest of all time. COC is some player, he has been our greatest forward ever, but he is no David Clifford. Why is it that the Kingdom can produce these players every 2-3 years? What do they do differently down there in Kerry? My fathers a Kerryman from Lispole. Unfortunately he believes It’s that they have men with all Ireland’s medals training these lads, a lot of these trainers where the star forwards of the past. My point is they have a winning formula down there. And we should be taking notice on how they train them lads right from primary school up. I’ll be attacked for saying this but none of our boys have these natural scoring abilities, it just looks so awkward and they seem uncomfortable unwilling sometimes to even try rather recycle probing for an easier opportunity. Sure they do okay against weaker opposition, they are good ball winners but time and time again in the heat of the action, in high pressure situations the shot goes wide. It’s been like this with us since 1989 we have lost so many Finals by not taking easy chances when they present themselves. There is fine people training these lads, but something is a miss and not right. We can do nothing and keep being the bridesmaids or we can choose to change. Fitness can come later but skills take years to develop and I’m sorry but I don’t believe it’s been done at grass club level. It’s just run the bloody drill keep going, move. Hand pass up the pitch, run run run. I’m going to say this right now, I’d take most of Kerry’s fullback line and gladly replace them for each player in our forward-line today. Kerry were insane today, we looked disinterested like we didn’t want to be there. The thing is and it’s highly unlikely but this same Kerry team could go down and lose to Cork in the first round. I think we will be in the mix again this year but I cant see us winning Sam with that forward line. What we need the next day is to draw a line in the sand and go out and destroy Galway and make a big stinking statement that we will not go away. For you lads saying Aidan needs to play the whole game are you insane. He had a much better influence in the league this year coming in during the second half. With a forward line that weak, we need a ball winner and he’s our best. I think this will be the last year that this team has even a whisker of a shot of another final, some of those boys have just to many miles on the clock. But who knows, here’s to a good summer and the championship season. Any given Sunday!!!

  108. The age old problem of conceding goals and not scoring any continues to haunt us.

    All four winning teams this weekend in the finals scored goals but didn’t concede any goals. All four employed a sweeper to some degree to block that central channel.

    I don’t for a second buy this Kerry have showed their hand. Jack O’Connor has a system of quick ball into his forwards, play a sweeper to help mind the goal and used the league matches to practice it. They now are a team with a winning feeling.

    We on the other hand are going to go man to man, or else drop something in for the championship that isn’t tried in matches thus far and expect players to have picked it up and be able to implement it from training sessions, something I highly doubt.

    Feeling very deflated after the last few games.

  109. We were lucky that Tyrone beat Kerry last year in semifinal, we would have got as big if not bigger mauling from Kerry the only good thing about that would be Peter Keane would be in charge of Kerry and not o Connor

  110. Micko
    I don’t think Tyrone are incapable of doing back tp back.They are the story of football for the last 18 – 20 years.They went into that period with no all irelands and came out with 4.
    They bucked the trend and have shown they can beat Kerry every time.
    If they are incapable of winning 2 in a row then Mayo are definetly incapable of winning 1.
    Mayo will bounce back from today but win ur this year….hardto see

  111. “This stuff about O Hora v Clifford is moot. Mouthing or no mouthing Clifford would have scored 1-6 anyways it’s what he does.”

    I actually think he might have eased off a bit overall, or squared the ball instead of taking his own goal – but the minute I saw that embarrassing nonsense by ohora I just knew Clifford would be all out to bag a goal. And what a way to answer, fair play to him.

    That said there were a few times in the first half paudie, moynihan, Barry, O’Connor etc. were attacking on the middle third and ended up turning over possession or laying off to someone out the field as opposed to playing it into Clifford so I’d give some credit to o’hora for sticking to him tightly early on but class was always going to shine overall

  112. A difficult day for the players, management and supporters. Unfortunately, we could be up against another juggernaut for the next 5 years. Kerry played like an Ulster team in defense, and like former Mayo teams on the tackle and in close contact……..add to that some serious fire power…..It makes 2021 Final all the more depressing..

  113. Agreed Ciaran. Embarrassing stuff from Swannie. You just knew Clifford was going to raise a green flag after that.

    I’ll never forget how Tyrone’s Ricey Mc totally freaked out the Gooch: By saying absolutely nothing! Do the unexpected. But look, I don’t think Clifford can be knocked off his game not matter how you try to rattle him. He’s too good, and has a fantastic temperament. He’s an outrageous player, worth the admission fee.

    No, we need a sweeper. But it’s too late this year. We need to look to 2023 now I fear. Would Oisin, Paddy, Diarmuid really have made much difference today? Probably not. Kerry had blinding pace all over. And skill. And could turn goal scoring opportunities into goals. Something we’re largely incapable of despite having chances. It’s an age old problem.

    Great to see Cillian back but obviously he’s miles off match fitness which was evident. 15mins v Galway will be all he’s able for. Ryan’s misses were very worrying yesterday. I nearly feel it’s regarded as a sin to criticise him in Mayo. Don’t know where his head was at yesterday.

  114. Not true at all 1989, Tyrone are not the team of the last 18 – 20 years whatsoever. Yes, only sporadically, like a guerilla army in warfare, they’ve almost done it everything, in open play, fair play, pure football, they would be wiped, they know that themselves.They won an All-Ireland last in the final fair and square, but the route to it was not, therefore, it’s tainted, it’s questioned, sure everybody knows that.
    They’ve too many players that walked away this year.
    Secondly, they have not beaten us everything, that is factually incorrect, lost heavily in the Qualifiers in 2012 to us and then lost to us in an All-Ireland Semi Final in 2015, but you are right in just the finals, they have beaten us everything, except against our Golden Year’s team in 1986.

    Before last year, Dublin have been the team since 2011, 10 seasons.

    That’s not to say that Tyrone were brilliant, they were in the early noughties team, I still have huge respect for them, and look up to those players. Fantastic team that was, just don’t compare this current Tyrone team to that noughties team, as I alluded to already, they are the current weakest winners of Sam since 2010.

  115. If ohora kept Clifford scoreless yesterday nobody would complain. Our big problem was with the breaking ball.
    We could be a different animal in 3 weeks time

  116. Clifford acted like a true role model yesterday. I too was right in front of him while he was goaded. It’s the only word for it. Goaded. However, he shut his mouth and showed his class as a footballer and a respected young man with his talent.

  117. Micko
    I was thinking of finals.
    I think they have acheived far more in the last 20 years than any other team and I dont agree that it is tainted.
    Kerry and Dublin have tradition and in Dublins case they have massive money and home advantage in every game and they have a huge population. With all that Dublin should win 7 out of every 10 going forward…..or they under acheive in my view
    Tyrone beat both Mayo and Kerry last year and took the cup home.
    Sure they might not be as good as the previous era but the Kerry 2014 team were not as god as what went before but they still have their medals. I wish Mayo ”were the worsts winners of an all ireland in the last 10 years”……..
    Kerry are built for a long time and OConnor is benefiting from work put in for the last 15 years they will win medals its only a question of when.
    Mayo can do it too over the next few years…..I certainly wouldnt be giving up!

  118. O’Hora alone isn’t the problem. I remember Ger Cafferkey being mentioned in the same vein here many years ago, and Cafferkey was a much more natural full-back than P. O’Hora is. What happened in Limerick in 2014 is still a problem for us today, and it’s no coincidence in that regard that we have the same manager.

    The simple fact is that Tyrone showed the way in how to beat us last year, and evidently that lesson was not lost on coaches further afield. If we continue to leave as much space as we do in front of our full-back line without additional cover, teams will target us with fast ball, especially if they have a David Clifford, Damien Comer or Michael Murphy in their ranks.

    Kevin McLoughlin was very good in the sweeper role in 2016/17 under Rochford. I would like to say that this is something that could be tried, but two weeks is too short a timeframe to try it ahead of Galway, and tbh Horan gives a strong impression of a man who’s not for turning.

  119. Absolutely ? agree with everything you said there 1989, what great year that was too, you title heading. Loved that year. I wish Mayo wouod have neaten Cork back thst year.
    Only for us in Kerry, Tyrone would have no All-Ireland at all, we agreed to postpone the game, knowing full well, that covid was being used as a smokescreen in them covering up injuries in playing for time, like Yankee Doodle and the Brits invading Iraq based on the pretext of a lie of WMD back in 2003.
    We did Croke Park a big favour in saving face. If there was a Fair Play Award last year, we wouod have won it based on that alone. Wouod Tyrone have returned the favour in their shoes? Not a hope! Everyone knows that.
    I still think it was the right thing for us to do, in postponing the match and then playing it. We did it for the integrity of the game and our credibility.

    I agree with everything you have said though.

    Anyway matters little now. All in the past. Game over, ball burst.

  120. Micko
    I reckon they played the Covid thing alright….and Kerry did facilitate that to be fair.
    What’s interesting is their mentality though…..after taking a hiding from Kerry in the league they still thought they could do it.
    I hope our guys take the same attitude.
    I think they will.
    Anyway Kerry were full value yesterday

  121. Nora – role model don’t sledge players lying on the ground injured as the stretcher drives onto the pitch. Whatever Clifford said to Jordan Flynn really annoyed Padraig O’hora. Looked bad to see O’hora mouthing at Clifford but it looked away worse to see someone mouthing at an injured player. Surprised if you were in front of it you criticise one and call another a role model.

  122. Absolutely indeed 1989, superbly composed by you, I couldn’t have said it better myself, you encapsulated it so well.
    I just do not believe in this condensed GAA season at all. It was always lovely to see a run up to an All-Ireland in school’s in September, with a avalanche of injuries to players coming down the line, hopefully HQ will see sense in reverting the calendar back to type.
    I really do hope that Mayo recover from this, I Mayo to win an All-Ireland. The GAA needs Mayo.

  123. Am I crazy to think that Horan intentionally threw that game with an eye on not giving anything away for a potential AI final?
    – Our best forward ROD played most of his game on the half forward line
    – Stephen Coen marking a small fast forward in P Clifford who had yards on him
    – Conor loftus playing not been taken off despite not haveing any negative impact
    – Feargal Boland not being involved despite the Mayo attack crying out for a clever player
    – OHora being left 1 on 1 for the entire match against the best forward in the country
    – AOS playing the full game despite looking gassed by half time

  124. Just a thought…..I didn’t see that…..I would doubt he was abusing flynn…..
    Anyway as gamechanger said we could do with a few more like ohora

  125. Are we learning anything at all. Tyrone would never let white or O’connor get 10 yards. They would be blocked and they tied up the 2 Clifford s also. We just let them rip. Also our distribution was brutal. Fringe players had a nightmare except carr.

  126. Nora – another person who claims it happened right in front of them but doesnt seem to have seen what actually happened

  127. Forget about o hora marking Clifford. He made a fool out of himself with all that nonsense. Philly macmahon type shit. Not associated with mayo football. Embarrassing

  128. Top man Padraic O’Hora, defending his team mates, taking no shite from the poster boy, and battling it out to the bitter end yesterday.
    IMO, we need more like P O’Hora, and, medals or no medals, he is 10 times the man that the Indo writing gobshite mentioned above is. There’s no comparison whatsoever.
    I hope Padraic’s is the first name on the team sheet come April 24th, when we meet the ‘auld enemy’!
    Up Mayo!

  129. Padraig O’Hora played his heart out and was standing up for himself, do we want him to
    be a lovely fella and stop trying, cut this isn’t the Mayo way bullshit and get into the real world.
    Some people have short memories, did he not score two points from play last week v Kildare?

  130. The real world is Clifford scored 1.6. So it didn’t work having o hora on him.

  131. The real world is come high summer the Galways and the Kerrys won’t get that space or generous ball time when they face us.
    PO’Hora, Leeroy, Oisin an Co will be playing a different game, reminding the flakey few (esp those within) once again, what this Mayo team are made of.
    Roll on 24/4/22.

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