Lee Keegan our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Photo: RTÉ

Right, this one was always going to be an open-and-shut case. Lee Keegan’s standout performance at Croke Park yesterday means that, by a proverbial country mile, he’s been voted our Man of the Match for the game against Roscommon.

Lee’s dominant display yesterday was the epitome of a player at the top of his game, a performance that underscored emphatically his position as current Footballer of the Year. The mark of a truly great player is to produce the business on the big day, when the chips are down and the team is dependant on you. Lee ticked those boxes in no uncertain terms against Roscommon yesterday.

His performance while playing in midfield in the first half yesterday also raised a few intriguing questions about where he might be stationed to best effect in the replay. Linked to this is the wider question of how we might – and I really think we should – reboot our forces for the next day, to ensure a decisive uplift in performance levels.

Lee’s barnstorming first half display would suggest strongly that he could provide much more to the party when given a more offensive role in the team. One for Stephen Rochford and his selectors to ponder, for sure.

Back to the MOTM poll, though, where aside from Lee and his 76% of the popular vote, others who featured strongly were Keith Higgins (7%), Colm Boyle (4%), Paddy Durcan and Jason Doherty (both 2%). Well done to them all.

75 thoughts on “Lee Keegan our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. Another colossus. He has to be midfield after yesterday.
    Thank you McStay.
    And put scoring forwards in the forwards and tell them stay there.
    We must have men in or near the square and go for the kill.
    We can go all the way.

  2. First comment since Sunday morning. I found follow Lee Keegan to war…what a player.

    On the match itself…not going to talk about it as it has been discussed in depth already.

    WJ – You had a busy night last night. I reckon many fans must have been posting from Camden Street bars and clubs…

    What a time to be alive…this Mayo team are never beat and never give up. I believe we will win the replay by 5 points.

    I hope even more Mayo fans travel on Monday.

  3. FAntarctic performance by Lee. I thought apart from the first 10 minutes our backs generally put in a good shift.

    I really do wonder about our sideline and some of their calls. Do they actually watch the same game or do they just have the standard pre planned subs. The 2 o sheas were poor and in my opinion Sos was lucky to make 40 mins. Aidan looked tired after a few big performances. How was seamus on longer than Boyle? Coen or vaughan should have been in earlier for him. Would Barry moran be brought into 26 for replay? Also thought it was bizarre leaving 1 man inside. A 2 man ff line would thrive in croke park. We need to stop letting teams get past us so easily and so early on. Also some of our lads neEd to have a go when they’re in front of goal and not turn back

    Lastly there has been alot of talk about the booing of rossies to andy etc. Ive seen grown rossie adults abuse kids in mayo shirts in the terraces in the hyde and last time we played there saw another man push a mayo lad over a concrete seat for trying to sqeeze past when they were losing. I hope we up our performance big time and quiten them next Monday. MAIGH EO ABU

  4. Keegan is hands down the best all around footballer in Ireland. He can shut down the best forwards and then score points with both feet from way out the field and score goals like he does. I am wondering who, in the history of the game could do what this guy does?
    If only we could get a few more degrees out of the rest of them, all together on the same day!! Anyways, Keegan is required to mark the likes of Connolly absent and reduce dublins/ kerrys/ tyrones/ etc chances on a given day, it would be nice if we had a ” bolter” to cut loose next Monday and hit Roscommon with a few goals.

  5. What a man to have in you team.
    Fair play to you Lee.
    When is the last time this guy has had a break; he’s long overdue one & 18th Sept seems like a good time for it.

  6. Hi Willie Joe is 306 comments after a match a record? Well done on the blog a superb outlet for us fanatics. Podcast is filling the analysis gap missing from other media. For all the talk of Roscommon great performance so much went there way yet they still couldn’t win. In 2011 in our break out game we beat reigning all Ireland champions Cork. Roscommon only scored twice from play in last 68 minutes. I expect us to win the replay. Keegan should stay at midfield Aidan at CF and Durcan at half back.

  7. I think anyone would gladly go to war with Lee.

    There is hope for us with him playing the way he is. His teammates must take heart from standing shoulder to shoulder with him. But of course he cannot do it on his own.

  8. I championed the campaign to #releaseleeroy last year but we have to do so now. What an footballer he is.

    Backs were fine would have Vaughan at 3 rest the same. Start parson instead of Seamus
    Loftus for Andy and go for a running game.
    Intro Andy as sub. Have three midfielders no sweeper and create overlap. Just overpowered them. This team has done so much just can’t die like this. They should nt be afraid or inferior or in doubt about anything just stand up for each other take off the shackles and collectively give 199% and they will beat anyone. Any team.

    Just strip it back keep it simple play off the cuff

  9. PK, your comments are in my opinion out of order re Seamus. SOS has had many great performances for us. Yes he ran out of gas but can ya blame him, midfield is brutal and he has played in all our recent big games.

    I can’t get on board with your Roscommon fans comments either but at least you’ve backed that up with an example, though isolated it may be. I had many Ros fans around me the last day and didn’t see any issues but clearly there were minorities elsewhere given the number of ppl raising it.

  10. Well done to Lee keegan if only we could clone him. I agree with onehoponesolo Lee should play midfield, Aidan at cf and durcan hb, with cillian staying up around the d , I think we will beat them in the replay, but only just , think this team is conditioned to win by one point , I’m beginning to think that’s what they believe .

  11. What a player.

    He’s been pretty quiet this season so far and looked to be struggling for form at times. His black card against Cork seemed to be borne out of pure frustration.

    We need to play him at 3, 5 & 9. Unfortunately this isn’t possible. And therein lies the problem.

  12. Our greatest ever player is Lee Roy, if Gaa was professional, he’d be worth a 100 million easy. The composure he showed for his scores was phenomenal. With him in our team we always have a chance. Funnily enough I think we should keep him at halfback, he needs the space in front to get his gallop up and then he’s unstoppable, a forward berth might be too congested from his starting position.

    Think caff done well yesterday, I’d persist with him. Andy won’t be happy with his performance yesterday and I expect a massive game from him on Monday, Cillian likewise. If we get through this replay anything is possible. My team for Monday would be:
    1. Clarke
    2. Harry
    3. Caff
    4. Higgins
    5. Durkan
    6. Barrett
    7. Boyle
    8. Keegan (man mark smith)
    9. Parsons
    10. Kmac
    11. Aido
    12. Diarmuid
    13. Doherty
    14. Cillian
    15. Andy

    Seamie, loftus, Vaughan first subs on. Aido to spend more time in FF.

  13. Must be the biggest margin of victory in these man of the match polls since ya introduced them to this place Willie Joe. It was a no contest.

    The question is where to play Lee in the next game. Is he wasted in the half back line? Worse still in the full back line. I think we need him in the half forward line. We need all the scoring threat we can muster and by God Keegan provides a scoring threat in spades. Goals as well as pints.

    Keegan in half forwards and Loftus in the full forward line for a full 70 minutes equals goals. These two are proven goal scorers with plenty of pints thrown in too.

    Aiden and Parson in midfield for me.

    Finally a plea to manager Rochford.

    Would you please throw away them blasting GPS monitors and go and watch the game from a good vantage point in the Cusack.

    Would you please leave Boyle on the field until he comes to a complete standstill.

    Would you please not decide who will be subbed and when he will be subbed on the Tuesday night before the game. Also start Loftus instead of bringing him on after 63 minutes. Fresh legs needed the next day so make use out of fellas like Kirby and Nally. We have a good enough panel if we play our cards right.

  14. jimwell said Jim flag
    The team is crying out for change but more importantly, fresh legs and energy .
    Rochford has several areas of concern .
    Now is the time for him to show courage and trust bench from the start..
    Boland, Kirby, Nally, and Loftus should all start the next day.
    Theses lads have shown enough to merit inclusion..
    Possibly SOS.Vaughan , Barrett, or Harry @ 3

  15. LK was a delight, no question. However, the positive from the game was the last 25 minutes
    of the first half. Rossies no score. It is that defensive structure that will thwart Roscommon next game and those that, hopefully, will follow. They were floundering, as Dublin were, in the first half of last year’s final. Spend this week recovering.

  16. Some people were suggesting Higgins be moved from full back line. Only for he was back there yesterday Roscommon would have scored another six scores. He has to stay there, especially if cafferkey is going to retain his place. Caff has no real ability in possession and always looked uncomfortable on the ball at this level even when he was at his best

  17. @ Jim flag,
    Totally correct in your points, the thing is this, would he lose his effectiveness if he has a marker on him instead of himself being the marker? At the moment he seems to find space so easily, maybe his man doesn’t track back and follow him? Another thing is this, I would not start Andy, bring him on for sure in the second half but have loftus in there and tell him he has 1 job to do and that’s to score, goals preferably but keep at it until the gate opens for him. Also Dan Kirby has to be utilized near the Ross goal and by utilize I mean feed high ball in and let him compete for it. If you get 50% return from that it’s going to pay off on the scoreboard. Basically put, we need to be the ones that’s troubling the opponents goal early and often until it puts daylight between the teams on the scoreboard.
    Full forward line of loftus Kirby and coc and stay near the goal, and also man for man marking in the Ross kickouts, don’t allow them the freedom of hitting it out to a free man at any stage of the game where it’s 99% certain of a Ross player winning it and setting up to play it forward. Full forwards have to be the first line of defense and it does work. And as far as caff looking jaded at fb why not put seamie in there if there’s a physically big player to be marked? If seamie looks tired out at midfield today, he may need to be moved so let coen and Barry Moran split a shift and run themselves hard for a half each. Donaghy, for example doesn’t like it when he doesn’t have the physical advantage over his opponent, remember how David brady shut him down ? Of course a small tricky forward would require a different approach but it’s horses for courses at this stage where any player who has the inate ability should be made to use that ability to get the team over the line. I probably sound like a madman, seamie at fullback? Barry and coen splitting the game and both getting half a game to empty the tank?
    The thing is that we need to change things to get through this patch and these players have been through enough already since 2011 to understand that being benched is sometimes the price to be paid.

  18. I would definitely move Keegan to the half forward line, I said it after the all Ireland replay loss last September . With the emergence of Harrison and Durcan, together with veterans like Higgins, Boyle and Barrett, we still have a really strong backline.
    Keegan is a fantastic ball carrier, explosive pace, can score long range off either foot, and rarely misplaces a pass, is that not a perfect #11 ??

  19. Also wanted to add, despite the death notices of this side’s demise neither Kerry nor Dublin will relish the prospect of meeting green and red when they’ve had a few weeks to recover. They will pray Roscommon win the replay. The finest team to play the game, according to Spillane, managed to beat us over a semi final, two finals and replay final, by a total of two points. Clearly, we are not far from being the greatest team ever, if any credence is given the bull they write.

  20. Well done to Leeroy, completely bullied Enda Smyth all day. The question is where to play him the next day because you can bet your house that Mcstay will have Smyth will be in at FF.
    I felt Rochford was naive in leaving Lee fullback second half, even with that he made bursts forward.
    Fully agreed with the previous posters in saying SR needs to abandon pre planned subs. Boyler was having a stormer on Sunday. Also with all due respect to David Drake he’s a half back why he came on for Doc when we have KIrby/Nally two men who can kick scores is beyond me.
    My worry for the next day is that the Rossie forwards have a lot of improving to do. The two Murtaghs were very poor the last day (maybe mayo backs deserve the credit for that).
    I hope with the addition of Parsons and a dry ball we can win on Monday.

  21. Well done to Lee, keep up the great work! I now make it that he has been man of the match 3 years in a row at the quarter-final stage. He has scored the following in those games:

    2015 v Donegal – 1-2
    2016 v Tyrone – 0 – 2
    2017 v Roscommon – 1-3

    That’s 2-7 in three quarter-final games, that is some going!

  22. I see some Roscommon supporters groups are trying to reverse the criticism that they are getting and looking for a joint standing ovation for the players in the 7th minute of the game.

    Personally I think these in-game ovations are pathetic, and in this case, I definitely ain’t buying it.

    We saw the reality in Kiltoom and on Sunday and many times over the years of their disdain for Mayo. We have driven passed them ridiculing us on the way home from Croke Park defeats. Actively looking to rub salt into the wounds.

    I hope Mayo Supporters groups take a “do gooder” approach here and promote this rubbish.

    We save our ovations for our heroes, and we’ll use our energy to shout Mayo over the line on Monday, and give the Rossie supporters the answer they deserve.

  23. Ger Bohan

    I am a proud Roscommon supporter and what I saw and experienced on Sunday was a great supporter atmosphere. I totally agree that the booing of Mr Moran was incorrect. In the Lower Cusack I heard very little of it. I also agree that the booing of the Roscommon free takers was incorrect. So if you and a few others on here (usually the same posters) are going to take the high moral ground then at least bring balance. I could pick out instances of Mayo supporters acting like fools themselves but what purpose does it serve?

    Posters here continually go on about getting jeered by Roscommon fans on the way home from Croker after losing a game. They forger to highlight the amount of Mayo flags up in support of your team each year in the county. The vast majority with no Mayo connection. We all see things through our county colour glasses and especially after a loss or a draw in a game you expected your team to win.

    There are gobshites in every county including Roscommon and Mayo. The passion and atmosphere on Sunday was electric and I for one would love this young Roscommon team to give us more days out like that. Ye as supporters are so lucky to have had the last 5 years with the Mayo team. I shouted on Sunday with all I had and I will do again on Monday. My fellow Rossie supporters around me and the Mayo fans were the same. All good banter and I shook hands hands with the 5 Mayo supporters behind me afterwards.

    I’m not on here to start arguments but I will not stand by and have some people put down my county or it’s people and tarnish everyone with the same brush. I had not commented on here for a long time until yesterday and I would hope to comment again. Hope to see ye all on Monday.

  24. Well said, Rossie Shane. The booing was wrong but the atmosphere in Croke Park on Sunday was still a hugely positive one, light years away from what we’ve experienced on other days, notably when playing Dublin. We’re all neighbours at the end of the day and will still be after this tie is decided.

  25. Time to move on from the booing…which in my view was a sideshow to an exciting game.

    Are we reallly that sensitive? Andy is the sort of character that would thrive on that sort of stuff. It doesent make it right but Mayo fans also booing a freetaker is not something I agree with.

    We have bigger issues to worry about on the field.

  26. If we’re to freshen things up Diarmaid needs to be dropped. He gives high work rate which is valuable but either Keith or Lee would be a better option, natural defenders who can sweep and attack but just better outfield ball players. The other player to be dropped to freshen things would be Andy. We know the stats that Andy can keep scoreboard moving for 45 and sometimes 50 mins but if Mayo are moving well in replay then Loftus can do damage or Kirby can be a big target man. However dropping Andy means only 1 running go to man inside (Cillian) unless Kevin Mc pushed up. If Kirby gets the start most balls in should be high which is risky going by how GAA’s most powerful player AOS can be nullified. So Loftus may be the one, however we know he won’t get out in front as often as Andy so it’s then back to a running game which is our best game anyway. Forwards coming deep and backs sprinting through. To mix in a kicking game and avoid predictability we need to push Kevin Mc into corner for spells of the game (10 mins in each half).
    The other player I would consider dropping is Jason who is a great worker at the expense of his scoring ability. Lee of Keith better line breakers / outfield ball players and Nally is 100% fresh, COS too but would prefer to see what Nally can do.
    Finally could management please stop subbing on Drake for a forward, it’s overly negative. I understand it’s trying to kill the game is the rationale but both COS and Nally will work back hard and COS in particular won’t get side stepped and unlikely to give away a silly free. Both are better footballers than Drake and the game is called football. Drake can come in for any wrecked defenders.

  27. RossieShane
    Of course you are right and we have had great days which we will savour for the rest of our days. I am always moved by the amount of Mayo flags to be seen outside the county when we make our trips across country and not least in your own county.
    A lot of these people are watching too much English/Scottish soccer. I remember a time not so very long ago when a chant of Mayomayomayo would go out when opposition were taking a free. This to me is far more acceptable and unique from one or 2 other counties fans who prefer to boo.

  28. Well said Ger Bohan.

    For information, in the third minute of added time, a bunch of thugs in Roscommon jerseys attacked two spectators in front of me. By coincidence I met these people later in Mountjoy Square. They were two quiet
    men from Dublin, both sporting nasty cuts, who won’t be returning to Croker in a hurry.

  29. On the full back debate I think Caff contributes least to the backs but that’s the same for Dubs previous FB Rory O Carroll who wasn’t a ball player…. and Dubs could yet be badly exposed for height in there this year. What any team needs to do is force Cian OS to come out and defend opposition HF line and then their FB line is 6ft max.
    Caff is playing ok in a specialist position. The only other player I would risk in there at this late stage of championship is SOS, freeing up a midfield slot. SOS is the only one with huge physicality, height and decent mobility, but opposition might then put a CF speedster in, nullifying the tactic. Of course we could counter that move by pushing SOS out to CHB and putting smaller more mobile man back in.
    But if we’re to start doing it now is the time. If it’s not done for this replay (and if Mayo win) then stick with Caff. Personally I would take the risk this time cause if we win Caff will likely have some trouble marking either Donaghy or Geaney. But I think management will avoid change which is lower risk option.

  30. Only one positive to be taken from the game. I’m POSITIVE we won’t win the all Ireland now.
    That’s not being negative, just being realistic. How can we with all these extra games, extra time and now a replay. All unnecessary mileage on an ageing team due to a poor loss to Galway. That’s where aughrim was lost as far as I can see.
    Well done to Lee, magnificent performance. To man mark effectively and have time to score 1-3 is some feat.
    Think aiden needs to be at FF, his man did too much damage going forward. Their fb line is very small, so something like this could be the difference the next day.
    Whatever is done we need to somehow shake it up a bit to come through on Monday.

  31. Well done to Lee, he is a very exceptional player who is almost hindered with his exceptional defensive talent, he would put the fear of God in the hearts of any back line if he was operating in the Mayo attack without defensive responsibilities. He was a well chosen player of the year and I was delighted for him when he got the award, a natural born leader.

    I think ye are a better team than Roscommon but the qualifiers have definitely taken their toll on the overall ability of the team to function at the general level ye are accustomed to. The two week break will be a God sent should ye get over an exceptionally well drilled and focused Roscommon team. I couldn’t believe the intensity they brought to the table on Sunday but that intensity level ebbed as the game progressed. The two goals were both excellent but they found their inside men with too much ease in my opinion.

    I wish ye good luck next week and I think Roscommon have pulled the rabbit out of the hat now and Mayo will get over the line, just.

  32. Well done Leeroy, fantastic performance on Sunday.

    He is by some distance the finest player I’ve ever seen don the green and red. A true warrior.
    McDonald was the most stylish and skilful I’d seen, but Keegan has everything you could possibly want in a player.

    I’m expecting a much improved performance on Monday, with us having a few points to spare at the end.
    But we’ve got to freshen up this team. We can’t start with the same players yet again. We keep going on about what a great squad of players we have, well it’s time to start f’ing using them. Some of our lads looked out on their feet Sunday.

  33. Keegan is the best footballer in Ireland at the moment IMO. Getting better if anything. People saying that Rochie got it wrong to leave him on Smith in 2nd half, possibly, but what would be said if he had switched him and Smith scored a goal in 2nd half?

    There have been a lot of comments about Rochie’s sub strategy since Sunday and I think the criticism is a bit OTT
    Parson for SoS – No brainer. Seamie looked tired and Parsons had a positive influence. Correct call
    Coen for DOC. Pity about the pickup but Diarmuid also looked tired and Coen did OK. Correct call
    Loftus for Andy – Andy put in a great shift and I think we all know he is not a 75 Min player any more. Correct call
    Vaughan for CB. Colm is a brilliant player but again it looks like he does not have 75 mins in the legs this year as he had been subed pretty much every game.

    no one of know what it happening in training or what the stats and monitors show about players fitness so on this we have to trust the management team. I can see the argument though for not staring Andy or Colm and having them on the field for the last 40 mins – when their influence may be most valuable.

    if there is one player whose lack of involvement baffles me it is Kirby. Strong, athletic and able to take a score. For me a great MF or FF option from the bench. However, as I said, I dont know what he is showing in training.

  34. Catcol

    Your story is amazing. I also met the same 2 men. I met them on that island bought by the Irish Lottery winner on the TV ad. They were from Mongolia and they were asking me for tips on how to steal the best sheep. I said don’t go near the Mayo ones that they needed good quality stock to steal. I told them everything I knew and they left the island happy. I then woke up, went to the toilet and returned back to sleep. I hadn’t met them at all and the incident never happened. A bit like your story. Hopefully next Monday we can both have another wonderful dream and maybe this time post it on the Banter Facebook page. The story might fit better there. Enjoy the game. Hope you don’t miss the action with the All out war in the stands.

  35. No way would I put Keegan in the forwards. Do that and the hunter becomes the hunted, it’s a totally different role to attacking from half back. Put the player of the year in his best position.
    There must be changes the next day, I would take out Andy, diurmuid, seamie, and caff. Put in loftus, Boland, Vaughan for seamie and Durcan in for caff. Barrett and Harry should be the man markers. Boland played well in the league until we met the northern teams, this game might suit him, diurmuid needs a rest, he got a very heavy shoulder in the 1st half.
    If Mayo start with the same 15/16 as the last few games I’d be worried and annoyed.

  36. Ger Bohan, regarding your comment saying in-game ovation being pathetic, I would remind you about the 13th minute ovation given in memory of Darragh Doherty, it was a special tribute to a special player.

    Also while the booing of Andy is uncalled for (im sure it didnt have any effect on his performance) I would agree with Rossieshane that the abuse the ros free taker got near the end was appalling. No point thinking we are whiter than white and acting the victim, both sets of supporters were at it.

  37. I would start Conor Loftus, move J Doc into Diarmuid O’Connors position and drop DOC to the bench.
    Three full forwards stay up there as forwards, COC ordered not to go beyond the 30 and let the other 11 outfield players do all the harassing, tackling, sweeping and winning of ball.
    And please GOD let someone run through the middle for the return ball after its been played out the sides. No better men than Andy or Loftus to pick out a runner. Acres of space available in the middle against both Cork and Roscommon when the ball was played to the wings but nobody running into it.

    lets not fool ourselves, we will start slow again, we have in every match this year, its not going to change now and it will be very tight. I wouldn’t be surprised if theres extra time.

  38. @rossieshane, you didn’t read my post.

    I said the attack happened in front of me. Are you claiming I imagined it?

  39. @Catcol I read your post fully and even I understood it. I’m claiming that it 100% didn’t happen nor did the follow-up incident of meeting those 2 gentlemen. Still I believe in the fullness of time, history will judge us kindly.

    Once again enjoy the game and may the best team win. Wouldn’t it be great if there was actually a proper rivalry back and we were winning every second match inside of our 16 year losing streak to ye. Would you be able to cope Catcol if Mayo were losing regular to those nasty sheepstealers from across the border.

  40. Well done Lee, we know we have the best players to beet any team on any day what’s wrong is players taking off when every one watching is saying what’s going on taking him off there is 2 or 3 other ones that should have been off I will not name any player Rochford needs to learn before it’s too late we are in quick sand here it’s up to Rochford to get us out before he is out and us too

  41. Lee Keegan is incredible after winning the all Ireland with Wesport he was togging out for Mayo 6 days later in the league win over the Rossies & 6 months later hes still the best player in the country
    What i found dissapointing was our goal scoring oportunities bar Lees goal there were none other…Maybe playing Lee as a attcking halfback & Conor Loftus from the start as he is one player who is not afraid to go for goal if its on might help….Danny Kirby hasnt had a chance since the Galway game where he should really have buried that goal chance but i agree he should get another chance to play.

  42. @rossieshane, I witnessed the attack in front of me, as did numerous others with whom I discussed it.

    Are you calling me a liar?

  43. A lot of comments have nothing to do with football.As I said last week Mayo and Ros have always been rivals but we live work marry and go oit in each others counties with no issues.
    There are idiots in every county but lets not have this soccer rubbish creep in.Shane Curran didnt help with his no one gave Ros a chance and we proved them wrong.He yes He picked Mayo to win.
    Enough nonsense.It is fascinating to see a team on the up match a team coming down and it is all to play for.
    I think this will be won on the sideline by a management team who out-think the opposition.Still think Mayo have better footballers but of course I am biased.A change needed but not daft changes as being put forward by some.
    The work being done as recovery as we speak essential too.Surely Barry Solan must have the knowledge here.
    Lets deal with next year,semis, etc later.Right now time to get it right.

  44. @Catcol sometimes we think we see or imagine things that didn’t actually occur. This can happen for a number of reasons. Tiredness or emotional weariness or an over active mind. There can be a number of reasons. Incidences as you propose would be regarded as assault or GBH and given the amount of stewards and garda there on any match day it would be reported. Also every seat in Croke Park is watched by camera so easily pick out the culprits. No incident was reported to any law enforcement body on the day or since. Nor was any complaint made to Croke Park of assault. They have a special incident room set up for match days. The big helicopter flying above keeps track also. Id say at this stage WJ might be getting a little annoyed at his blog been used as a tit for tat of what did or DID NOT happen. On that note I will leave you Catcol to your story and you can regurgitate it whenever you feel like to fire yourself up for battle.

    Keep up the good work WJ. The blog is a credit to you.

  45. @rossieshane, the incident in question was reported to a steward who called a Garda, who took notes and interviewed both parties.

    I met, by coincidence, the two gentlemen in question in Mountjoy Square afterwards.

    Are you still calling me a liar?

  46. I find this replay fascinating given the context it’s in and the overall nature of what we know about replays.

    The context: Mayo’s history with Mcstay/ McHale and all that goes with this.

    The nature of replays: whoever learns the most from the first day wins – this is a battle bewteen managers as much as anything, and again, note the point above on context.
    It’s a complete 50:50 still if you ask me. Given the way we’ve been playing we’ve absolutely zero right to think we’ll overrun the Rossies on Monday just because some like to think they’ve now played their hand. They won’t wobble again like they did on Sunday and if they take a nice lead they could bury us. They now have some experience of the big stage. We have been warned.
    Our match hardiness and fighting spirit is on our side, as well as the good form some of our big players have shown this Cship.
    So all things considered the odds balance out for me on this one.

  47. @Catcol the story will be a spider by this time next week it will have that many legs. I won’t be replying to you again. I would prefer to talk about the football if I’m not on the naughty step.

  48. On the football. I have a few pros and cons in regards to the Roscommon team for Monday

    I think any element of fear will be gone from us due to the match last Sunday. I can’t see how the Murtagh brothers, Enda Smith and Cian Connolly can be that quiet again. We also have had less games so perhaps we might be fresher.

    Now here would be my fears. I can’t see big Aidan OS having as little impact as he did last Sunday. I can’t see Cillian kick as many wides as last Sunday. I would also fear a fully fit Parsons.

    I would think and hope it is close again on Monday. The real winners will be Kerry with the less games but Galway exposed enough of their defensive frailties to give us all hope.

  49. What a difference a week makes. Last week Lee shipped some criticism for his black card. This week he is our hero. Truth is that he is a fantastic player who because he is human makes the odd error of judgement. Moral of the story is that we should never be so quick to pass judgement on players based on one rash minute or indeed on just one game. Earlier in season both Keith and Paddy Durcan got sent off but where would we have been without them sunday. Same goes regards performances. AOS was average Sunday but excellent in previous games. Likewise Cillian. Keith and Boyler were the reverse, excellent Sunday. though slightly below par in some previous games. The same goes for management, Some brilliant calls last year but a big mistake for replay. Also some excellent match ups on Sunday but the odd baffling decision as well On a slightly different point, some here are very critical of the Ross support because a stupid minority booed Andy. Dont tarnish their entire support because of a few idiots. Their support helped to contribute to a wonderful atmosphere as did ours and the vast majority of Ross support beside me were sound. Rossieshane is right. Travelling through Roscommon before our AI Finals there was a huge amount of good wishes to be seen. I wonder would we be so generous if the shoe was on the other foot. Having said all that I hope we give them a good hiding on Monday, not because of any dislike, but simply because they stand in our way. And if we win that I hope we give Kerry another hiding in two weeks. . time. Up Mayo.

  50. Catcol and Rossie Shane – only catching up on your exchanges now but can I take it that this particular debate is now over? I’ve more beef with you on this one, not because you’re a Rossie but simply that making comments directed at others rather than on the substance of what they say isn’t kosher so please accept this as a dirty look in your direction. You’re both reasonable contributors so I’m taking it that you’re now done with this one.

  51. Watched it a 2nd time. Felt Mayo were marginally the better team overall. To be fair they came back from 7 down.

    The narrative coming out of the media is this game will stand to Roscommon more than Mayo.
    I’m not sure if that is the case .. time will tell. McStay will probably learn more..

    The other narrative is that McStay beat Rochford on the line. That is indisputable.

    What frustrates me about the Mgmt is that they just arent making the correct calls on a consistent basis. Other than the All Irelands last year I feel the mgmt have underperformed. And for all the good decisions made in the AI, they went and made a crazy one that .. well there is no point bringing it up again.

    I said last week if Rochford matched McStay tactically we would win. I still think this is the case but Ive sort of lost faith in Rochford. He looked broken in the interview after the game. Maybe the pressure on him is just too much.

    But I think we nearly all accept that the AI chance is gone for this team. Would be great to see them go out and throw the shackles off a bit. Dont worry about the rossies. They are a decent side but thats all at the moment. If Mayo really ran at them and stop kicking 50/50 balls into Andy i think Mayo would be a 4/5 point better team.

    In terms of the team .. Think Donie should start .. he’s made for Croke Park
    DOC should come on, he looks exhasted
    Maybe Kirby to start, give mcstay something different to think about
    Pray that Tom is fit. With the mark, he’s vital to the team.

    Rochford and Co, the challenge is there. I hope you’re up to it.

  52. I think Lee should be named at half back with no instructions. Great players read games and he is a great player. At half back he gets to see the open space and he knows when to move. I’d still play aos between mid field and half forward so I’d be asking Tom to start. I would also start connor Loftus. Keith Higgins more forward as well. With an offensive half back line running at them in waves I believe we would unnerve the rossies and really put them on the back foot. Let them worry about us the next day. Vaughan has a good engine and should also be let loose to run at them. No sitting back and soaking up pressure the next day. Mayo are a very good team with many brilliant players. It’s time to let them loose and show the Rossies exactly why we’ve been to the last 6 all ireland semis not to mention all the finals. Forget about talking about fatigue and miles on clocks. There is plenty left in this team. And no more worrying about the rossies. We have to go out and do this our way Drive roscommon back into the fence behind the goals and we’ll be into another semi. Full steam ahead. Roll on Monday.

  53. I’d like to see a forward line as follows in the replay: Kevin McLoughlin, Aidan O’Shea, Conor Loftus, Evan Regan, Cillian O’Connor and Andy Moran. We should be aiming to get Conor and Kevin exploiting the space vacated by Aidan O’Shea, rather than depending on Boyler or Keegan to always have to be the ones to do this for us. Kerry and Dublin usually start with the inexperienced players and bring on the experienced player if needed. For us we can still bring on Jason Doc and Diarmuid O’Connor if we need to, if things are not working out for Conor and Evan. I think Andy should still start as remember in the Clare game we would have been much further behind at half-time only for him kicking 3 crucial points at a vital time. If we can get all of our players playing well at the same time, that will be key for us.

  54. Time for Rochford to give some vote of confidence in our subs bench. Parsons carrying injury and unfit to start yet he gets the not over kirby and company in second half or is it more tactics.
    I think kirby to start corner forward and bring on Andy is worth a try. We need a fielder in ff line and can not rely on AOS to be everywhere…

  55. @AT..agree that Rochford looked downbeat after the game..Maybe now he might look again at his decisions that seem to be based on that GPS system that we all love so much!!My two concerns last week were fatigue and sideline and I HOPE to see some improvement on Monday..

  56. CatCol and RossieShane
    Can I buy ye a point on Monday AFTER we have enjoyed the replay? I actually agree Shane that kerry are probably laughing their socks off and their biggest enemy now is complacency. Well I for one feel that my county will have no fear of this kerry team which is pretty much unchanged since 2014. They are still relying on Donaghy and D Walsh for God’s sake i e. if we beat ye. Ros CB kept Aido on the back foot for a lot of the 1st half but our sideline failed to come up with a plan to quieten him similar to what Ros did with Keegan. Hindsight is mighty! I would be hoping that his influence will be greatly reduced the next day. And I’m not in any way been critical of Aidan when i say that as he also got a power of work done the last day and who has been colossal for us in the championship.
    I think we need to mix it up a bit, reposition AOS if needs be and introduce 2 or 3 to freshen things up to try and confuse Ros but not sure if that’ll happen. I do think we have the players to carry us over the line. Id like to see us finish with our strongest team on the pitch.

  57. Generally balanced debate here lads, hate to bring up the Andy Moran thing again but you must add in the fact that it was Ros first time in Croker for 7 years, a lot of giddy fans there for the event and some did it for the pantomime factor, more fun than anything. However none beside me were booing. Yere fans are great at supporting the team and booing frees is part of that, I understand that, and Ros fans will probably re-learn that aspect as well in time. No problem with that all teams do it and most players are not affected anyway. On the game, I watched it back, the pace was very fast. I really feel ye upped it from previous games, and if ye get over us ye can improve further. Ye had the legs on us at the end, however will ye be mentally tired the next day due to the slog? That is the big question and possibly our opportunity. We are unlikely to score 2-1 in a 3 minute spell early in the next game and Lee Keegan is unlikely to score 1-3. Really fascinating for the next day and incredible memories from last Sunday, had great craic with Mayo fans all day and saw only typical west of Ireland banter. Really proud of our guys and may the next game be equally as good…

  58. Our slow starts in games has been going on for years now…is it a mental thing or tiredness or both? Surly you are fresher at the start of the game?

    Mayo seem to need to be 6/7 points down before we wake up.

  59. I think yew_tree it’s been ingrained into the team. It’s not tiredness because on many occasions this year we have upped the ante and got ourselves back in the game. It’s like the team are been brainwashed into believing that games are supposed to be tight. They turned on the burners in the Derry exta time and the Clare game to get back on terms and the Roscommon game when we were 7 down. It’s nearly like when we are behind we are well able to turn it on and when we are in front like in the Cork game the team are told to sit back and soak up the pressure (mind you taking off key players didn’t help there). We should be winning the replay and by more.than a point or 2 but don’t think the lads should be forewarned of a tight titanic battle. It sometimes seems.that when game plans aren’t working that the players themselves get us back into the games. It doesn’t seem like it’s sideline strategy thats sorting things out. More.than once this year I’ve had to say fair play to the players. It’s like they are winning these games solely on their own without any help from the sideline. The generals on the sideline really need to up their game. The players have been sorting out the issues themselves on the pitch and if anything some of the line ups and many of the changes made are very questionable. It was.these players.that were hammering the sligo’s and galways and donegals a few years ago. Thought last year barring the goalie switch that management did quite a good job. So far this year management have constricted the team and the lads have been carrying the management. Generals really need to up their game and help the team.

  60. Roscommon the next day have a problem to solve in how to curtail Lee. He can nullify Smith and still score heavily. Keegan to mark Smith but only if he plays at MF or half forward line. If McStay plays Smith in the FF line them advantage Mayo as they are changing their formation in response to Lee’s treat out the field, I’m making the assumption that Lee will not be asked to play in the FF line!!
    Mayo made the Rossie sweeper look great the last day, can’t happen again!
    D.Vaughan to start the next day – great running ability, just need to have someone coming off his shoulder each time in front of goal.
    Conor Loftus is not suitable to the FF line, CF is his best position where is facing goal and he will go for it every time, would not mind if he starts the next day.
    Andy played well in the since he won most balls sent into him, but he either lost it, shot wide, block down or did not lay it off to a better placed colleague.

    For Roscommon to win they will have to score goals (more than one); they have been told to go for goals at every opportunity. Mayo to tighten up, close down the center and we are half way there.
    Cillian OConnor to stop dropping so deep and hurt them the other end instead, his work rate is incredible but need more help from his teammates.

    Two changes for me; Vaughan & Parsons on for SOS & Caff.

    Mayo to win and show big improvement for Kerry match

  61. After watching the match again and I can’t help thinking this is a blessing in disguise. Am I the only one who thinks if we are to proceed we need another game (leaving aside the need for rest)? The issues at the back will not be resolved by A v B match or have a challenge match against the likes of ‘Meath’. So while I think it’s a huge ask for us and gosh how tired their legs must be .. if we’ve any chance in further games we need to this match. We need to find solutions for all the issues folks here mentioned.

    The other thing is Ross will not be as fresh as there were on Sunday and I don’t think we’re going to be any less tired. So I’m happy out with that. However, Roch will need to reflect on his own game decision making .. he will need to replay certain scenario and have a plan (he was found short in that area). Where I most worried is that McStay analysis on the match. One thing is for sure Ross will have answers to where they were exposed and will have a new attack on us.

  62. Well done to Lee Keegan, a truely ‘magnificant footballer’ as Pat Spillane called him last year. I have no doubt that in years to come he will be considered one of the greatest half backs to have played Gaelic Football. I think the Mayo management team have now to really consider how they are to use him from here on in. If Enda Smith moves to Full Forward in the replay surely we have to deploy Lee in the half back line so that he can use his attacking strengths from there. Likewise if we go on further, surely we cannot put him in the Full Back line to mark the Kerry dangermen.

  63. Where is Conor O’Shea? Is he injured? And why are Boland and Nally completely out of the picture? We need an injection of energy, the latter two could give us this the next day!

  64. Enda Smyth is an excellent player and was magnificent against Galway. You can see why SR gave Keegan a man marking on Smyth – Keegan had done a great job on Cavanagh last year and did the same with Smyth. If Keegan hadn’t followed Smyth into the full forward line and Smyth banged in two goals – we would have been very critical of SR. No doubt Smyth will spend time at full forward again the next day – who is going to mark him? Vaughan would be my choice.

  65. I wouldn’t be as harsh on Rochford as others have been. I didn’t see many people saying to play Lee in midfield marking Smith before the game and that was a great call. Boyle was substituted because he was wrecked, tbh he looked gassed after scoring his point in the 1st half. There was no trade mark fist pump to get the rest of the team going after. It’s understandable in a way considering he’s 30/31, the amount of minutes he’s played in the last month and his all action style.

    However, I would like to see Andy being kept on longer – what’s the worst that can happen? It’s not like a back being fatigued where a mistake could cost us a goal. Even if Andy is tired surely he can just let Cillian (or someone else) win the ball and then loop around to pick off scores. He would be more likely to score than Drake, Coen or whoever else ended up in our forward line the last day.

    I would make 3 changes to the team the next day, based on a combination of form and the need to have fresher legs on the field:

    Barrett, Harrison, Higgins (sweeper role again);
    Vaughan, Boyle, Durcan;
    Keegan, Parsons;
    Kev Mc, Aidan, J Doc;
    Loftus, Cillian, Andy;

    Cillian is not to go more than 30m from goal under any circumstances. He needs to play a selfish role similar to Bernard Brogan or Paul Geaney and save all his energy for getting scores from play and frees. Loftus can drop back to the HF line if needs be.
    DO’C and Séamie always put in massive work-rate but it just wasn’t going for them the last day, they should still offer something from the bench. Cafferkey did okay in parts but he is simply not playing well enough to hold onto a starting position currently.

  66. @steveLondon COS still injured. Saw him just over a week or so ago and had his arm in a sling.

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