Longford 1-12 Mayo 0-14: disgusted, demoralised, defeated

Well, he certainly went out with a bang, didn’t he?  It’s been obvious for some time that the Johnno II era was destined to end in ignominious failure but tonight’s toe-curling defeat to a very limited, though game Longford team ensured that this wasn’t to be any old failure.  No, this was failure on a truly heroic scale as, just like happened in Sligo, we were found wanting when it became clear that we’d need to battle to secure a win.  Only this time it wasn’t a go-getting team like Sligo we lost to, it was Longford and our failure to beat them has got to rank as our greatest ever humiliation in the championship.  Thanks for the memories, Johnno.

Most of you will, by now, know how the match played out at Pearse Park this evening.  We played with a strong wind in the first half – did we win the toss and opt to do so, I wonder?  Strange choice if that’s what we did – but from early on, it was clear that we were playing equally as bad, if not worse, than we’d done at Markievicz Park a few weeks back.  Johnno had taken a hatchet to the team that had played Sligo – with six changes in personnel, including a new midfield pairing of Pat Harte and Seamus O’Shea – but tonight’s fifteen seemed even less comfortable playing with each other than the other lot had done and once it became clear to the home team that we weren’t going to put them to the sword with any kind of efficiency, you could see that they began to sense they might be onto something.

We got the first three points of the evening, the first coming after almost ten minutes from an Alan Freeman free but then Seamus O’Shea curled over a beauty from play and Barry Moran added another from play just after.  They opened their account with a free by McGee but Conor then scored from play to restore our three-point lead.

A blatant dive by Kavanagh – one that wouldn’t have looked out of place in South Africa at the moment – yielded another soft free for Longford, which the same player converted but we were back to three ahead soon after when Alan Dillon, shooting with his left, just made the distance from well out.

Another free for them cut the gap to two and then Masterson got their first from play to reduce the gap to the minimum with half an hour gone.  At that stage, it looked like we’d have to face the breeze with little or no lead to fall back on but then Andy cracked over a ‘45’ (when was the last time a Mayo player did this in a championship match, I wonder?) and he followed up with another from play to send us in at the break 0-7 to 0-4 in front.

At that stage, I didn’t have the kind of uneasy feeling that I’d had down in Markievicz.  Sure, the ref was giving them 80% of what was going and, yes, they’d have the wind with them in the second half but, for fuck’s sake, this was Longford we were playing.  If we couldn’t beat them, well …

Although they got the opening point of the second half, two nice points from play by Alan Dillon – who seemed to be coming into the match with effect at this stage – stretched our lead to four.  Time to kick for home, one would have thought, but instead they hit us with 1-4 from play without reply in the course of a ten-minute spell that turned the game completely on its head.

It all started with their goalie, Sheridan, haring up the pitch to initiate an attack that led to a well-taken point from play by Mulligan.  With the home crowd now getting behind them, Longford seemed to draw strength from this score and they proceeded to tear into us.  And we, of course, don’t really like getting torn into.  Hence the one-way traffic in our direction that ensued.

Now we were in serious bother – a goal down with twenty minutes or so to go – but it still shouldn’t have been fatal.  Freeman pulled a point back but then blazed over from about a foot out, when a goal would have put us right back in the driving seat.  Instead, Kavanagh landed a superb score from play to put them two ahead again.

A Mort free narrowed the gap back down to one but then a series of truly ludicrous attempts on goal ended with the home side managing to clear their lines, with their precious lead still intact.  The ref then proceeded to cap one of the worst one-sided performances I’ve ever seen by giving Keith a straight red for some back-chat after the stupid fucker had incorrectly penalised him.  It was a truly shameful refereeing decision.

But, even then, we could still have done it.  Alan Freeman landed another superb point and levelled again when they edged in front once more.  But they broke forward for another score and this was to prove the decisive one.  Alan Dillon was rugby tackled in the middle of the park, we were prevented from taking the free quickly and then the ref blew up early.

Longford were obviously delighted with themselves – as well they might as they had, in their eyes, taken down one of the game’s bigger teams.  They’ll need the same ref for the rest of their matches, though, as any half-decent team that gets a roughly equal chance against them won’t have any trouble putting a halt to their gallop.

The ref clearly affected the outcome of tonight’s game and we could well have won had we got anything like a fair shake in that department.  But that misses the point: it was Longford we were playing and we should have beaten them off the field, regardless who was reffing it.  The fact that the match was close enough at half-time should have driven us on in order to avoid the embarrassment of only beating them by a few points.  But it didn’t and so we ended up in the land of ultimate humiliation instead.

Few of the team can be proud of how they performed tonight.  Barrett and Vaughan were okay in the first half, Cafferkey was alright but Kavanagh enjoyed the better of the battle in the second half and up front Alan Dillon and the impressive Alan Freeman were the pick of the bunch.  Apart from that, it was grim enough, as the final scoreline suggests.

The one bright spot arising from the defeat is that at least Johnno has had the good sense not to drag this pantomime out for any longer.  His position was transparently untenable following such an ignominious failure and he deserves at least a tiny sliver of credit for falling on his sword in the speedy manner he did.

Where we go from here and how we pick ourselves up from the vertiginous collapse we’ve suffered over the last few months is one for another day.  We can, and hopefully will, bounce back from the lowly position we now find ourselves in.  Tonight, though, it’s difficult to do much more than reflect on our shocking decline and wonder how the hell a proud footballing county like ours could end up suffering the mortification of a championship exit such as this.

MAYO: David Clarke; Chris Barrett, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Donal Vaughan, Trevor Howley, Kevin McLoughlin; Seamus O’Shea (0-1), Pat Harte; Andy Moran (0-2, one a ‘45’), Aidan O’Shea, Alan Freeman (0-5, one free); Conor Mortimer (0-2, one free), Barry Moran (0-1), Alan Dillon (0-3).   Subs: Liam O’Malley for McLoughlin, Mark Ronaldson for Aidan O’Shea, Tom Parsons for Howley, Billy Joe Padden for Harte.

65 thoughts on “Longford 1-12 Mayo 0-14: disgusted, demoralised, defeated

  1. Car trouble saved me from this. I feel sorry for all the genuine Mayo supporters who had to sit through that.

  2. By far and away the blackest day I’ve known following Mayo. A complete and utter fucking disgrace.
    Only saving grace, it’s the end of O’Mahony.
    A fresh start is needed. Not just management, but players and at county board level too.

    Well done on controlling your language on the audio report WJ! Not sure how you managed it after the shite you’d just witnessed.

    Fair play to Longford, best team won.

  3. Before the abuse starts from some*, these lads train for months and months.Give their life to mayo g.a.a so to them I say thank you.Its one mans fault, that utter clown we have managing them.What the fuck has he done? If he wasn’t sure about the job then why take it. What was he at all year? Fucking Longford? A team that has only bet london and kilkenny! No game plan, nothing!I assume the team was left so late because he couldn’t be bothered looking for a pen.When you go johnno take billy fitz because i know everybody likes him(me included)but he’s awful.”It must be hard for trevor mortimer looking on,we needed him “,”when i look for gear i have to go to sean feeney,it’s too much for him”,”longford are a team that play great football”,”i’m not sure will johnno want the job next year” …a bit harsh,maybe its the humor i’m in

    p.s. thanks for the audioboo,I’m pretty sure it was not an easy thing to do after that

  4. Well done WJ for going to the game on our behalf. I don’t think I could have had the heart to watch another shite performance from them. What is up with this team? Is that the standard our team is really at? Most of these players have been part of Mayo underage teams that have been suberb at national level for the last few years. Our underage teams have been some of best in the country for the last 10 years. But when they move up to senior level they appear to lose all their confidence. Maybe a change of management will help a bit, but it just does not look like any of these players at able to make the grade at senior level.

  5. Do you think if Jimmy Deanihan got the kerry job,would he be let continue as a TD.NOT A CHANCE!Only in Mayo my friends.When youre depending on BJ Padden to save your bacon youre in dire dire straits.A dark day for Mayo GAA.

  6. I have to say that the performance tonight would test the resolve of the most ardent supporters. But David nails it in his comment above. You don’t win four U21 Connaught Titles, an U21 All-Ireland and get to two Minor All Irelands all in the last 5 years with poor quality young players. But as seniors, their heads were down. They were leaderless. You said it yourself WJ, they didn’t play like they even knew each other.

    And now that Johnno has departed the scene, I hope the county board has the common sense to appoint someone who will provide real leadership on the sideline. I firmly believe that the simple things done well is where we need to go. We have heard all the talk about the superb fitness levels, the best psychologists available and all that stuff. What the lads need is to get back to simply playing football and actually enjoying it. I didn’t see much evidence of enjoyment on the pitch tonight and the lads will not want anyone to be coming up with the “solve everything” theories, but it’s a place to start.

    In this, our deepest and darkest hour, my friends,

    Keep the Faith!

  7. What can I say! I’m shocked that Mayo have lost , you have such great players and a wonderful manager………..lets hope this is a turning point for the county. As GAA person I’m so disappointed for Mayo. wishing you the very best in the future.

  8. Bad bad day and mistakes that keep being repeated! Clarke’s kickouts to non existent midfield, Liam O Malley not up to standard how many chances does he get, mort should have joined his bro on the bench because he done f all, Higgins got done by bigger player!!! surprise there, baffling tactics, full back line rode, lightweight players battered and AOS finally being called in after half year of average displays! He is still learning, why are we relying so much on him? Bright points, Dillon and Freemen decent today and do not deserve this. We need to start from scratch and let McGar and the Morts remember, They need Mayo, not the other way around! If you don’t perform you shouldnt get picked. Johnno tried and failed, He stepped down immediatly and left us in a strange position of remembering a year we lost an AI final by 7 points as our last good year.

  9. I’m g’ad they were put out of their misery as they were never going to do any good under Johnno.
    Let him go back to the job his heart is in.

  10. HOW IN THE NAME OF GOD HAS IT COME TO THIS? JOM, THE COUNTY BOARD AND EVERY MAYO SUPPORTER now need to realise that we are all to blame for the current debacle that is the mayo county team. This is not a rant at the players, although they are not completely innocent, but here is the truth of the matter. Cast your mind back to Mayo’s last all ireland. Though that day was nothing to write home about it is what happened in the aftermath of that game that is to blame. What we, as a county let happen to put JOM in place was a disgrace….Why should JOM have ever worried about the results, we made it perfectly clear that we didn’t care what the rest of the country thought of what we did or who we screwed just as long as he was the man. I wonder what they think about us now? How can we expect a team to play with heart when the integrity of the county as a whole is in the toilet. You reap what you sow. Let us all enjoy……….

  11. “Sunday’s wasn’t the worst Mayo defeat ever – this is only the league, of course, and the bar is set pretty dang high for Mayo’s Worst Day Ever – but if the circle that Mayo are travelling in gets any tighter, they will soon be able to see their own tails wagging in the gloaming ahead of them.”
    The above words were penned by An Spalpín after the League final debacle to Cork in April. They see their tails tonight and thats for sure. This was no shock. This was coming for a long time. Replacing the manager is easy. Replacing a useless county board will be impossible. We have a bit to travel before we hit rock bottom. A Galway win over Sligo tomorrow will confirm our downwards spiral. When the likes of Sligo and Longford beat you, then you know the game is up.

  12. Paidi? JJ, this is not a time for jokes. Paidi is the answer to very few managerial questions. Ask Clare.
    Johnno will regret this period for the rest of his life, before anyone starts abusing him personally remember he has given a fair chunk of his life week in and week out to Mayo football.
    In one way if ya are not going to get any better ya are better off out of it but perhaps not like this. Players bear some responsibility, they needed to get the ball forward far quicker, but buck stops with Johnno and he had to hold his hands up. A sorry situation.

  13. Mayo football is not a political football.

    We sold our soul to a man who took delight in beating Mayo with Leitrim and their biggest rivals, Galway.

    Enough said

  14. The players will go back to their clubs and be out of the spotlight until next year. They can assess whether they are willing to start out again under a new regime and I think that some may not.
    The bar is now set very low for the new man coming in.
    We need someone who has hunger and commitment to the cause who will get to know every player inside out. He needs to be tactically aware and hopefully we will see our players develop into matchwinners again. The talent from underage is there if nurtured properly.
    As the song goes.. The only way is up.

  15. I said in a previous post that this was a turning point in Mayo football – for better or worse. It most certainly is a turning point.
    What I saw in Longford was a team that lacked confidence or belief. They were in a state of panic with 15 mins to go – going for goals when easy points were available. They seemed demoralised!
    The Cork defeat completely unsettled this group of players and management and not only did we not recover but we went down further. We are now at rock bottom and I feel sorry for everyone involved. It is easy to be angry and cast blame all round but ‘it is as it is’ and we are better to accept this and move on.
    This is a turning point for the better – things simply couldnt get worse!

  16. Lets hope blessing in disguise although hard to take. Sligo was bad but longford!!! I know people say we dont have the players but look at Freeman (from relatively nowhere this year to our stongest performer in over two games), surely there is more out there.Hopefully a fresh start in new year and maybe something to look forward to

  17. Lads our players are not that bad, most of them have proven themselves in the green and red.They are obviously not being motivated or there was a mood in the camp of disinterest which certainly comes from the manager.No game plan.Trevor Howley dropped for sligo because everybody knew before johnno he is a poor centre back.What happens today.Liam O Malley?Bj? Its not the players fault.Not one line filled after a fairly successful league.Johnno obviously didn’t care but there is still a very good team there,obviously a few changes needed and maybe the use of a game plan.

    innocentbystander-‘its not the time for jokes’ you know we support mayo, I certainly don’t look to them to give me some kind of light in life.We lost to a shit shit team, but a bit of perspective.Most of us will be in mc hale park for the first game of the league.No one died after all.On Paidi, I actually would give him 1 year because after that his tactics wear off.Do you think if he was managing mayo we wouldn’t atleast be looking forward to galway in mc hale park?He’s not the best manager in the world,but the one thing he does give a team is the most thing we need,In my opinion.

  18. JJ dont annoy us with talkof Paidi! The last thing this group of lads needs now is a ludher like him. And if you dont believe me ask anyone from Clare what he is like.

  19. Lads, where to from here…… Reports coming through that the senior lads left the dressing room in tears. Where did it all go wrong. I don’t think anyone believed we were All Ireland contenders but how can it have gotten this bad.
    Johnno is gone now so don’t see much point in bashing him. One thing is for sure he didn’t want this to happen. He’s a Mayo GAA man through and through. It hasn’t worked out and he has done the right thing and walked away.
    All we can do is try and get the right man in place for next year and see if we can salvage anything from this wreckage.
    Surely this is not where we are in the pecking order?!
    It’s raw right now but by the time the FBD comes around next January we’ll all be ready to go again for a fresh start.

  20. I understand that diehard. As i said he is not the best manager in the world and i said only give him a year.Clare? I think that was just to get back into management, 1st year at westmeath? remember that?which was the last time somebody but dublin won leinster I think.I understand he’s not a long term answer,but he would instill fight and detertimination plus he would love managing mayo. Right now is there a better option?

  21. We have a few options of our own: Noel Connelly, Pat Holmes, Ray Dempsey (if you want fight and determination), James Horan, Stephen Healy Charlestown, John Maughan, and I’m sure a lot more I cant think of right now. Or some combination of the above with the likes of Heaney or Nallen.

  22. Between 1994 and 2005 we reached club finals nearly every second year. Castlebar 1994, Knockmore 1997, Ballina, 1999, Cross 2001/03 and Ballina 2005. Interestingly we had our good inter county run in that period. Has club football slid in Mayo and if it has, is that where we need to remedy firstly. Changing manager and sending out the same troops to bat will finish us completly.

  23. good point diehard I suppose Connelly/Holmes are the obvious favourites. Surely,surley John Maughan will not be an option,has james horan done enough at management level?i doubt it.Stephen Healy is an excellent option, especially if he went on board with the former u21 managers.I do not think anybody has been impressed with Ray though

  24. Please If we are going to speculate then don’t bring past romances into it ie Pat Holmes and John Maughan. They like Johnno served us faithfully but we need a new man with a keen eye for rugby/boxer type backs and midfielders!

  25. Let`s put this into perspective…Longford only managed to beat kilkenny and london in division 4 of the league of which we topped division 1 two months ago and they`ve now put us out of the championship…football`s a funny owl game all the same!

  26. Hmmm. I was in Croke Park for the Cork drubbing in 1993 and in the Hyde when we got beat by Letrim in 1994. Dark days indeed

    2 years later we were within the bounce of a ball of bringing Sam home.

    We have good players-just not a good team.

    Who on that team would have the balls to stand up to a Ricey, or a Whelo or a Dara-fvcking no one!

    We have no leader!

    Comment about Andy scoring the ’45 was interesting. 89 Fitzy could bang them over. Sheridan likewise in 96 & 97. Mac in 04 and 06

    We have no freetaker!

    I was at a meeting last week and I heard a good one-when you change the way you look at things-the things you look at change! Is the solution right in front of our faces and we’re too fvckin stupid to see it.

  27. One other comment while I’m at it.

    I’m a big believer in karma.

    When we were sh1te in the late 70’s/early eighties one of my neighbors who grew up with Dermot Earleys father, every fvcking year, would really cheer us up with some cock and bull story about how due to political pull Earleys father lost out on a job in Mayo and ended up moving accross the Border to Roscommon.

    Kind of ironic that the greatest Mayo born footballer (even though he played for Roscommon) of his generation was laid to rest today, just as his native county suffered probably the most humiliating defeat in their history.

    Has a chain been broken today?

  28. Heres A Review For Yah.
    First Of All Your Under estamations Of The Longford Side Displayed Throughtout Your ”Review” (If You Could Cal It That) Is What Lost Mayo Their Place In This Championship In The First Place. They Clearly Went Into This Match With the clear idea that no matter how the longford side played , they would still win. how wrong ye were and rightly so. if anything mayo deserved what they got, with in the end was an outstanding defeat by the determend longford side who were willing to work for their place in this championship!!

    You Can Blame The Ref, Or The Breeze Or The Fact That Your Manager Chose The Wrong Line Out When The Mayo Side Should Have Been Concentrtiong on their individiual preformances.

    Your Attempt at a review (Review Meaning a non biast commantry on both sides) Is Pathetic, Blamming The Ref? (And By The way that ”dive” from kavanagh, which was clearly a push wasnt awarded a free kick so you may cheak your stats again) There Is Only One Reason Why Mayo Were Defeated Today And One Reason Only And Thats Because On The Day The Longford Side Were The Better Team, And i Wish Them Every Sucsess In Their Upcoming Draw And Matches.

    And If You Ever Need Any Tips On How To Do Your Job And Write Up an article That Actually Documents What Really Happend In The Match , ill Send You My Email

  29. The only good thing to come out of this result is the fact that every CLUB PLAYER will be delighted that the countybord is not going to mess with the Club games .Now that there “star players” are out of the picture.

    It also gives the new manger time to see all of the Players in the county. which in my opinion should be apionted with in the next 2 weeks so they can do this.

    All the leagues have to be looked at after that performance just to see what the players are like in the lower levels just look at the west mayo team and you will see that there is a wealth of talented players in the junior championship.

    Anyone who goes to club games knows that the current county players are not the best in the county because you see them getting beaten every week . In 96/97 when you went to a club game you could tell which players were the county ones even if you didn’t know there name because they were the one’s that delivered day in day out for the club and as such players should be picked on form not on which club you play for or the fact that you were a good minor.
    Take Micheál Quirke for an example every deadacated mayo supporter has seen him playing in the national league for the past few years and said he’ll never make a player yet he’s now playing in a Munster final for Kerry that type of player wouldn’t even get a trial in mayo.

  30. A dark day. Longford! Mayo football is at a crossroads. Where do we go from here?Perhaps its time for a genesis type report as Kevin McStay suggested in the Mayo news, a complete root and branch review of Football in Mayo, everything from how it is coached to how it is administered. Make no mistake Mayo football is in CRISIS. So lets not waste a good crisis to make the necessary big structural changes that will ensure success in the future. The question is, will the county board do anything about it.

  31. we have forgotten how to play football, forgotten to enjoy our football. we were not a happy bunch of players yday at any stage, it was like we were lining up for a firing squad. this certainly has come from management-no doubt. i was in cork for the league game and what has happened to our beloved mayo since then is incredible-does anyone know? Noel connelly is ready and waiting to lift us out of this shite. heard on radio on way home, 27 teams still left in the race for sam, i put my head on the steering wheel and cried. We will now do what we always try to do and thats KEEP THE FAITH.

  32. That’s all fair enough, Emma, and, having now having slept on it (sort of), I can accept fully that Longford deserved to win the game last night. It was, I accept, a bit ungracious of me not to give Longford due credit but, in case you haven’t noticed, I was writing (as I always do) from a Mayo perspective. This isn’t the Irish Times, I never make any pretence about being even-handed and always do my match report as soon as I get in the door from the game. As a result, they tend to be unvarnished pieces, which are very much of the moment. Given that Mayo suffered what must have been one of their most humiliating championship defeats ever, you’ll understand why I wasn’t writing in a detached way.

    What I do isn’t a job, by the way. And Kavanagh did get a free for diving! But still, best of luck to Longford from here on in the championship.

  33. Emma – the clue is in the box at the top of the screen…”www.MAYOGAABLOG.com”….If you think its one sided, sure go back to the slashers page on the Hoganstand…

    as regards the match……that was a joke…while we got no favours whatsoever from that ignorant pr!ck O’Cnamha (or however you spell it), the management and team have a lot to answer for….

  34. Emma, i think the fact that
    Longford were by so much the better team is the reason for the previous mentioned posts. Well done Longford and best of luck. Stilll doesn’t change the fact that mayo SHOULD be producing a better team.

  35. Emma – this is a Mayo site ya eejit.

    Also, you can’t say anything about journalism considering you’re punctuation and spelling looks the standard of a five year old. Just crawl back to that horrible,creepy town of Longford that I couldn’t get out of fast enough. Willie Joe’s blog is second to none and I’ve enjoyed reading it for some time now, since my sister directed my attention to it. I’d read it over the Irish Times any day.

    Mayo didn’t play anywhere near their best and that’s for sure but the ref played just as bad as him and he has been known to be inconsistent. Just an observation though not an excuse.

    I think we need a new leader. From that start this had been a bad state of affairs. In 2006, Micky Moran and John Morrisson got Mayo to an all-Ireland final after only one year in charge. What did they get for it? The sack, that’s what they got. The county board got greedy, they thought if two lads from the north can d this in one year, then imagine how Johnno could make these players perform. They didn’t think of the fact that it’s not about simply managing a team, it’s about bringing them together as Moran and Morrisson did.

    The contenders are Noel Connelly with Pat Holmes, Páidí ó’Sé will come out for them too but I can tell ye, if he so much as step foot inside Mayo I’ll chain myself to McHale Park! I had to complain to the Star newspaper years ago for what he had said about our players – which may I add are dedicated and don’t deserve any level of abuse from a man like that – and he only gave a flimsy response the next week. Okay, I have also heard about Moran and Morrisson coming back and also John Maughan who has been watching Mayo play in even their friendly matches this season. I don’t know if anyone has noticed this but he has been keeping a close eye on them these past few months.

    In short, it was horrific refereeing but even worse play. Different referee? Well, then, we would have beaten them narrowly but regardless, Longford are arguably one of the worst teams in Ireland. We should have beaten them.

    I heard about the ‘curse of Mayo’ a few weeks ago. I wonder if that has anything to do with us not winning an All-Ireland for 59 years. Maybe we should blame that bus driver in ’51 or maybe we should blame the management.

    One thing’s for certain: I’m a Mayo supporter, so I’m keeping the faith and the Mayo flag will be flying high outside in the garden in Galway today!

  36. Emma.

    Four in the morning, shocking spelling, mmmmmm…..

    must have been a good night in the Longford arms!

    Best of luck for the rest of the championship.

  37. Hi Willie Joe. Let me say from the outset that the post by Emma is a disgrace. She offers you tips on how to write a review. She should learn how to spell, use capitals and punctuation before she starts giving out her email. WJ, this is a great site. I am with you a long time. For it to remain a great site I hope we avoid the excesses of Hoganstand. Once it gets infected with that brand of comment its demise will be quick, just like our team. I want to thank you for the great work that you do, the informed comment and service provided and I wish in the strongest terms possible to dissasociate myself from the comments of Emma.

  38. Don’t know what to say, f@cking longford. We’re at an alltime new low, where do we go from here?

  39. ontheroad I think Emma just came to the wrong site for objective comment, but as mayoman says, the name over the door should have given a clue.
    jj, while I appreciate Paidi is a great motivator he has other negative points- and in the earlier spirit, here’s an anecdote to lift the spirits.
    Clare were playing Tipp in a challenge game and the bould P arrives into the dressingroom, throws the gear bag down, and takes off the shirt. Up next to the physio table and asks the physio “Will he be ok for today?, slapping the back of the player on the table. Physio looks surprised, murmurs, yeah, probably” Paidi goes back to his gear bag, and it’s two or three minutes of bemused looks before someone tells him Clare are togging out next door….

  40. Lads, Mayo football has become enough of a circus without adding a clown like Paudie. We need a proper leader, not someone looking for publicity at our expense.

  41. i know given his age and where he lives its probably unlikely but mayo need a man with motivational skills, tactical know how and the respect of the players….. Mick O Dwyer

  42. Amazed Emma’s piece made it through the rubbish filter. U probably need to get it recalibrated Willie Joe.Thanks for all the superb updates!!
    Im not too disheartened. Im looking at it as the start of something new…the end of a nightmare…the beginning of a new dream.If the talent coming through wasnt up to much I would be more concerned. Last nights performance is down to one man – the manager. That longford team should never have beaten us. The players did try yesterday which is more than can be said for the sligo game. However there doesnt appear to be any thought to our play and the “tactical” changes…well there are none. Both of these problems areas are down to the manager. If we do get the right personel in place we will be back to where we belong this time next year.

  43. Leave poor Emma alone lads. We fight tooth and claw to defend our county’s good name. We can’t blame Emma for doing the same. We have the rest of the summer for bitching. Emma’s right to have Longford claim their day in the sun.

  44. Emma should stick to washing up last nights glasses in the Longford Arm’s while us biased types talk about our downfall at the hands of a team we should really beat. Still credit to Longford, In a two horse race you can take nothing for granted and they showed us what desire and heart can do for a team.

  45. well said emma,all this fucking longford,cant believe we lost to longford lark from the mayo supporters,what a bunch of [ … ]. Remainder of comment deleted – WJ.

  46. Thanks Willie Joe and co for all the hard work over the course of the season however disappointing it was. This is an excellent forum to discuss Mayo football and long may it continue.

    Went to the game in Longford yesterday and can honestly say that I have never been more dejected after a Mayo performance. Unfortunately we have hit an all time low and I dont think there will be any quick fixes.

    We started brightly enough but even after fifteen minutes the writing was on the wall. Longford threw themselves into tackles and enjoyed a enormous amount of possession in the middle third of the field. We dont look confident at all when we are fielding kick outs. At one stage in the game Pat Harte timed his jump a second too early and the Longford midfielder caught the ball with ease. I fully appreciate that the lads train as hard as anybody and they didnt go out to deliver such an abject performance. There is something obviously wrong with the fragile psyche of our players when we can outplayed by one of the worst ranked teams in the country. Even when Galway were five point down approaching injury time today they still managed to dig out a result.

    Positives for the future:
    1. A new manager will bring a fresh approach to Mayo football and will hopefully cast the net out wider to all players irrespective of their club status. Expectations in the county are at the lowest at the moment and this may take the burden off a new manager coming in. When Johnno took over we all thought it was only a matter of time before Sam was making the journey home.

    2. The Mayo fans though dejected now will inevitably turn out in droves again next year as we always do. I dont know how many people have said to me over the years “never again” and will meet them at the next game. Blind Faith.

    3. We have a good shot stopping goalkeeper who concedes very few goals but needs to work a bit more on his kick outs.

    4. Our half back line has potential but needs to perfect the art of defending and not concentrating on marauding runs up the pitch. How mnay scores have we given away from this tactic?

    5. New players like Freeman have added a bit of drive in the forwards and increased our ability to win high balls. A great man to kick points too.

    6. We still have a quality forward in Alan Dillon who will have to lead from the front if we have any chance of moving on from yesterdays debacle.

    1. Players just dont look like they will die for the jersey. Look at the way Meath broke through tackles today and gave Dublin very little space when their forwards were on the ball.

    2. Too many average players playing for Mayo. This is harsh but I believe that there are a number of players who played yesterday should never be seen in a Mayo jersey again. I wont name any names because these lads have given up their time and energy but are simply not good enough. We have too many players who simply dont have the requisite skills or confidence to kick the ball over the bar from even 25 yards.

    3. Our backs and some of our forwards are simply too small to compete at this level. The Longford half forward line were big strong men capable of running though our half back line at will. The same thing happened time and time again also during the League Final defeat to Cork.

    4. Our County Board leave a lot to be desired and as they must shoulder their share of the blame for yesterday’s debacle.

    Looking at the Meath v Dublin game today I honestly think we are a long way off Meath’s standard not to mind Cork, Tyrone and Kerry. It’s horrible to be out of the Championship in June but it might be the wake up call that we need.

    Keep the faith lads. WE WILL BE BACK

  47. That’s an excellent summary, MayofaniKK, of what happened last night and where we’re at as a result. I haven’t had the chance to write anything considered on this as yet – I’ve spent the day seeing another team that’s supported in this house (the Dubs) getting rightly thrashed by Meath – and I’m away for a few days from tomorrow so it’ll have to wait a bit longer. Time is, though, something we’ve got plenty of right now.

  48. Lennongrad – I’ve already said, in response to Emma’s 4 am rant, that I accepted I was less than gracious about Longford when writing about our defeat to you last evening. What I said was, though, merely a reflection on us and not necessarily on the opposition – we were contesting an NFL Division 1 final a few months back while Longford were struggling to compete in Div 4. We expected to beat you and the fact that we didn’t shows how poor we are – that’s all there is to it. I can’t publish the rest of your comment, as it’s just a load of abusive bile, one that might be par for the course elsewhere on the net but certainly not around here.

  49. I am going to cotradict what I said a while back about us having the players, but not the manager but it seems we have neither.
    We have only one decent back(K Higgins who was poor this year) Are there no decent defenders in the county. I mean defenders, not attacking half backs. We have any number of those. When you compare K Cahill and James Nallen in ’96 to Cafferkey and Howley in 2010 you can see why we are a disaster. We just don’t have any good defenders in the county at the moment. Correct me If I am wrong. Was there any glaring omissions by JOM in the backline?
    We do not have 1 top class midfielder. All combinations totally cleaned.
    This is our best unit with A Moran, Dillon and Freeman genuine top quality intercounty standard.

    So That’s it. We have a very good goalie, one top class defender and three decent forwards.
    We do not posess the players of the strength and the quality of Brady, Nallen, Heaney and McDonald and even they could not seal the deal.

    The quality of senior(not underage) player is just not there. The U-21 wiining side have not progressed unfortunately.

  50. We haven’t had a full back for years. Dress it up any way you want but without that your gonna struggle. Now that the likes of heaney and nallen are fading that all important gap just seems so much more prominent.

  51. Was at the game and it was incredibly frustrating if not humiliating, the only consolation was that the match was not in the glare of the public eye (thank God for the world cup and the other big matches over the weekend). Mercyfully we didn’t have any of the panelists in TSG dancing on our grave, McStay didn’t have much to say and O’Cinneide gave due credit to the Larries. Dessie Cahill was wise enough to let it lie as well ‘cos the Dubs had their butts soundly kicked. At least our minors overcame the rossies, so we have something to cling on to for another couple of weeks.

    Where to from here? Well, sometimes you have to hit rock bottom, clear the decks and start again from scratch, to make progress. The new manager will be critical to where we are going, the main pre-requisite being the ability of the manager to give undivided time and dedication to the Mayo cause, unlike Johnnos juggling act where football surely came second to politics. A long road ahead, but with low expectations, a long lay off and a fresh start, maybe it will be possible to rekindle the passion again in 2011. The first task is to find a spine for the team – last night only no 14 (Freeman) could be seen as having the right stuff, 3,6,8,9,and 11 are up for grabs if we are to compete in the top tier. Apart from the management deficits, we have to seriously question the belief that we have the quality of players at our disposal.

  52. Spot on Topo D Rite.
    Was thinking about how we will be looked at but with all sport going on the glares and taunts will mostly be inward upon ourselves.

    No point adding my own game anaylsis as having near 60 comments at this stage is surely enough.

    As regards what we need going forward I do have definite views but tonight is not the date for this what with all of the frustration and raw opinion out there.

  53. Very very humiliating experience lads, glad that Johnno is gone, he was not able for it. It’s hard to say who will be given the fact that morale is so low, but I hope they don’t rush into making a decision. There’s a long summer ahead and a few likely lads might become apparent later in the year. Also, ex players don’t necessarily make good managers, and I don’t think ex managers would make good managers either!
    Cheers WJ for the opportunity to vent!

  54. I was at the game on sat – Ive been going to Mayo games since i was a kid in the mid 80’s and with the greatest respect to longford, saturday was the lowest point so far. Now, i actually didnt feel that bad coming out of pearse pk cos we were so rubbish it was hard to be disappointed. Coming out of croker in finals of 96 and 97 were miles and miles more painful!!! We were just so crap and disjointed on sat that even if we had scraped past longford we wudnt have gone too far.

    I wont get into what i think went wrong as its already been said but the COUNTY BOARD needs an overhaul and i would urge Mayo supporters who live in Mayo to try to do this.

    I have noticed a few ppl saying that Freeman was great – he did well against sligo and did ok against longford – someone here described him and andy moran as ”top quality intercounty” forwards. Jury is still out on freeman, i mean he has played ok against sligo and longford. Wasnt it him who missed a sitter in the dying minutes – he blazed a shot over the bar from a yard out?! I hate having a go at andy cos he is the kind of guy we need on the pitch but one thing he aint…and never has been..is a top quality intercounty forward. How much as he scored for mayo in championship football? He is a grafter and a scrapper and the kind of lad u need running around doing the donkey work, but he is not a natural scorer. Our most natural attacker is Aidan Kilcoyne.
    The simple and unfortunate reality appears to be that we dont have many top attackers in Mayo. One of the reasons our defenders looks good playing for our club sides is cos they are up against average forwards.

    Armstrong, Meehan, Bane, N Joyce, P Joyce would stroll onto our team. All can score more naturally than players we have. The only two we have are Killer and Mort(on his day – which are getting more rare by the year). Havent seen enough of freeman…

    On a plus!!!! As has been mentioned…we have had good success at u21 and minor over the past 4 years…we must have good young players…young o’connor from ballintubber looks like he will turn out good, as will the full back from minors in 09(keane/w’port) and the wing back from garrymore whose name espcapes me)

    FINALLY – WE NEED PEARSE HANLY HOME B4 WE WILL WIN ANYTHING…a o’shea is off to Oz next season…it wud be nice to have them both home in 3 years…merge them with the best of the minors from the last 2 years and the likes of kilcoyne and the best playesr from the u21(2006) team and surely we could have the perfect blend.
    MAYO FOR SAM ‘2013/14

  55. What a ridiculous report of the match. To be honest, Mayo have an awful lot of over-hyped players with massive egos. Longford were unlucky not to be at least level at half time as they were the pluckier team and a few bad shot-selections cost them. Keith Higgins has only got himself to blame for the sending off. The fact remains that Aiden O Shea does not have the heart for the battle, neither does McGarrity or Conor Mortimer – some of Mayo’s perceived strongest players. Longford’s free taker McGee was way below par and should have scored at least 3 more frees. Get a grip. Sligo wanted it more. Longford wanted it more and Mayo aren’t that good that they can cruise to victory with half-hearted displays.

  56. TH I totally agree. Football in the province is at a low ebb after a reasonably good period between 1996 and around 2005 at club and inter county level. Mortimer going around playing to the crowd is great when you are a few points to the good and coasting. When you need scores he generally goes missing. I was in Sligo yesterday and the only class forward realistically was a guy who has done it over and over again and is respected nationally for it i.e. P. Joyce. David Kelly is talented but other than that the players in Coonacht are not good enough it seems. I am not up on the coaching side but i hope we do not return to the pre 1998 era when Connacht football was laughed at for close on 30 yrs.

  57. Just looking at the them sheet on what was one of our darkest days. Many of them went on to have major impacts for the Green over the Red. Its really hard for me not to describe the last 8 years as glory times for Mayo football. What this team has done is transfer us from a county of varying hope to one of belief. As our results grew so did the crowds until like below in Kerry, Football has became a major part of what it is to be living in Mayo or being a Mayo person. As our people were forced to leave this teams soaring success knitted up together.

    Era’s are funny things, nobody draws a curtain or that, a shift just occurs, we wont make a semi this year is that the end of an era? the great Kerry team didn’t get a five in a row but the five all Ireland’s are seen as an era. Lads split up after that for one reason or another. The wonder is did an era for us finish with Dillon retiring and the fact of the matter is we are already in a new era transitioning as we realise the last one is finished. I think myself trying to define era’s is a waste in the present in fact it was always evolving and we have always been growing since 2010. The cycles can be looked at with time. I don’t think we need to go writing epithets more so I think it is an insult to men who might well come back next year and fight for their place and the ones who are already in the team with over tn years of football left to play.

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