Looking ahead to the weekend’s action


Photo: MichaelMaye.com

The weekend is once more upon us and there’s action aplenty on over the next two days, with big matches involving the county in both hurling and football.

The hurlers first (for a change) where JP Coen’s charges are up against Donegal in the Nicky Rackard Cup semi-finals. This tie takes place tomorrow at O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny, where throw-in is set for 3.30pm. A place in the final against either Fingal or Armagh at Croke Park on June 4th awaits the winners.

Details of the team to play Donegal tomorrow are here. It’s an unchanged fifteen from that which lined out against Armagh last time out and that means that Keith Higgins starts again, at centre-forward. Well, I suppose it’ll get him used to appearing in attack once more for the footballers later in the summer.

The Mayo Advertiser have a preview of tomorrow’s semi-final – here.

The Juniors, meanwhile, have their Connacht final against Galway on Sunday. This fixture is the curtain-raiser at Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon, the first part of an attractive double-bill that also features the Connacht SFC quarter-final between Leitrim and Roscommon. The Junior final throws in at 1.30pm, while the senior match gets underway at 3.30pm. Ticketing details for Sunday are here.

The team named to face Galway in the final is here. The starting fifteen shows a number of changes from the side that narrowly prevailed against Sligo in the semi-final earlier this month, notably with the addition of two members of the All-Ireland winning U21s. Belmullet’s Eoin O’Donoghue comes in at corner-back while Sharoize Akram of Ballaghaderreen is named at wing-back.

There’s also a preview of the JFC final in today’s Mayo Advertiserhere.

Best of luck both to the hurlers and the Juniors in their respective matches this weekend.

31 thoughts on “Looking ahead to the weekend’s action

  1. The two U-21 lads should add some real impetus to the Juniors. Would be great to keep the winning momentum going across all grades.

  2. James Kelly from u21 is on the bench for juniors also. I think he has great potential as a centre back.

  3. Very interesting interview with Jim McGuinness in: the 42 dot ie
    He touches on a gameplan specifically Mayo could use to beat Dublin
    – Two tall men inside
    – Cillian on the loop
    – An 11 who can occupy Cian OSullivan
    Mentions how with OCarroll gone his cover is 5’10”-6′ type height. How Dublin are all 6′ and under bar Cian OSullivan at the back.

  4. Best of luck to the two teams today. It’s tough going to letterkenny gor the hurled but I think they will prevail. Presumably Keith will not feature for them. I galway seems strong in the junior football but hopefully the belief is with Mayo and I really hope Adam Gallagher can rebuild his career through it.
    Just put my predictions in for mini league..roscommon by 8 o think they really have to turn up tomorrow Tyrone by 5 and Kildare by 6. That should ensure I maintain my place bear the foot of the table….!

  5. Well done, hurlers. I expect a win and a return to the Christy Ring in the final.

  6. The “twin towers” approach suggested in Jim McGuinness’ article was one I thought might have been employed against Dublin last year but our management were too cautious and conservative. leaving Aiden alone upfront without support.
    The key is the 40 yards man, do we have a man who can dictate play from that position?
    Cillian is the most likely man in my eyes. With the right man there dictating the direction of play Cian O’Sullivan won’t be able to sweep in front of both big men. Dublin may counter by bringing half forwards back in support but their Mayo markers are not exactly useless in attack either.

  7. That interview with Jimmy McGuinness was on the wireless earlier today….Newstalk, I think. Anyway, he seems fairly convinced that it’s a tactic that the Dubs would find hard to deal with. In fairness I can see Aido, Big Bird and even Bigger Bird Danny K. forming a fluid attacking force with three other very mobile, cute bucks feeding and feeding off them…Cillian, Diarmuid, our own Kevin Mc, Doc and even Zippy. That’s pretty much what he was suggesting and on paper at least those fellas would play puck with any defensive set up. It might even be beautiful to watch. Anyway, all will be revealed.

  8. I’m sure Stephen Rochford will be focusing all of his and his players energies on London right now – such jibberish from an ex Donegal manager has no place in the stratagem of a group that will be looking no further ahead than the Connacht championship campaign at present.

  9. No doubt that the main concentration for the next number of weeks will be on the Connacht campaign but we have been through that for five years now. There is no point in only beginning to think about Dublin/Kerry or other likely QF, SF or Final opponents w couple of weeks before we meet them. Stephen Rochford will have been gathering information on all teams featuring at the business end of championships, even before he got the Mayo job because that is what all good managers do. Indeed to a lesser extent it is what all of us who have an interest in football do. If we did not there would not be much point in talking about football. As Roy Keane put it, fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

  10. I would worry about dublin when we are faced with the prospects of actually meeting them and not before. In the meantime we need to focus on developing our own game – our skills, fitness, attacking and defending strategies etc. Any one approach, such as twin towers, on its own, is unlikely to be successful. We need to be able to use the full spectrum of plays including the running game, the kicking game, the big man approach and adapt on the field as the need arises. My worry is that I thought the league might be used to start developing different patterns of play but I’m afraid I didn’t see much new on that front.
    My hope is that Evan Regan will develop into a top class IC forward and that the potential of Aidan O Shea as a forward will be fully realised. Those two things alone would add hugely to the potency of our attack.

  11. In relation to Jim mcgunness he was asked who could beat dublins and he said Mayo are best placed so he spoke of them. I think what’s interesting is that he believes we have a squad of players with physicality and talents to play a variety of strategys. I think this is what Stephen rochford needs to get right, a plan B, plan C so on. our running game is still an awesome weapon but we need the ability to change approach during games if need be.

  12. well done to the hurlers. interesting to see the meath minors walloped the millionaires this evening, is that minor competition a knockout or were dublin going through the motions and got caught out by complacency and will have a second chance?

  13. I cannot imagine us being as shapeless and one toothed up front this year under new management as we have been. People who should know very little about football have commented on the lacks and cracks present in our formations.And indeed , as Diedard points out we didn’t see much sign of renovation in the league sessions prob due to the fact that Rochford was focusing on keeping us in the division.Anyway you need players of a certain quality to enact what we think and hope the new man has in mind for the big days ahead!
    Diehard also rightly states that we need as many instruments as possible finely tuned and ready for employment as we progress through the battles ahead starting in Ruislip London next week.All our cannons might not be seen next week but a lot of people will be hoping to see some sign of of a new intent emerging in this bunch of iconic players.We cannot but be excited by the thought of what a mix we could be commanding by the time the big tests appear on the horizon.Graft grit and guts we have in buckets now for some time but missing has been that other ingredient of strategy. So as our Armada advances on London let us hope that we step on shore with a formation that will deal confidently and successfully with whatever is thrown at us.
    One thing that has occurred to me of late is that we aught not be predictable….is that part of strategy?We have seen Regan mostly receiving ball so far since his return while at the same time he has shown at club level that his foot passing is a treat to watch. In other words he too must be used for the full benefit of the team.
    I’m not 100% sure but I think in the League Final 1970…at times, Des Grifffith and T Fitz were all over the place causing turmoil in the much vaunted Down defence of the day…in a time when you played corner forward in a corner and no where else. And then there was big John Gibbons finding the big hole up the middle to bore through and crash the ball off the under side of the crossbar.
    What memories they are and roll on all the rest!!

  14. Tough outing for Roscommon today with Leitrim at home and Ros missing:
    – Conor Daly
    – Ian Kilbride
    – Ultan Harney
    – Cathal Shine
    – Kevin Higgins
    – Senan Kilbride (bench)
    – Cian Connolly

  15. Yeah JP it should be a interesting one alright, the Derry and Tyrone game will be one to keep an eye on as well. Both Leitrim and Derry have nothing to lose today so I’d say you’ll see both of them getting stuck into their opponents to see what Roscommon and Tyrone are made of. Best of luck to the Mayo Juniors too.

  16. Yeah well done to the Mayo Juniors! Again a Mayo team comes from behind late in the game to get a win so thats great to see.

    Derry were very poor alright and Tyrone looked very impressive so it’ll be interesting to see how they will progress. I remember reading an article about when Tyrone were playing Kerry in a minor All-Ireland semi-final in one of Mickey Harte’s early seasons. They conceded four goals in that game so from then on Harte starting using their defensive set-up. Its so hard to score a goal against them.

  17. The debacle of the day so far must be the commentary duet of the two Ms. Marty and Martin….dismal!
    Derry have good enough footballers but weren’t prepared for today’s game.
    Impressive Tyrone??….V…..13 Derry players.

  18. Inbetweener, Martin actually used the word “clinicaler”, which of course, isn’t a word.

  19. Tyrone will be hard beat this year. Remember who they lined out last year in the league in Castlebar? Tactically they nailed us that day.

    I took a spin up to Carrick today. Well done to our juniors, scrappy game and thought we should have closed it off better in the last 4/5 mins.

    Roscommon were impressive. They cut Leitrim apart when they wanted to. 1-21 is a big scoreline snd they could easily have rattled in a few goals but they took the easy point instead.

  20. Thats the thing about Tyrone, a lot of teams play defensively but they always seem to have lads up front who can score. They have these prototype corner forwards who can put scores on the board. They will be a dangerous team.

    Roscommon will be happy with the win. They are under pressure until they get to a Connacht final then after that they will have nothing to lose.

  21. I would not worry to much so early in the season,the reason people are talking about us is logically we are a top team and with luck we will get over tne line tnis year,I repeat with luck,if we lose big players it makes it so much harder,but I believe we have improved the panel this year, and with the determination the team have showed,and a new management who have bee there as players and managers I have great hope that they will have everything sorted,and with no fear of anybody we will gey that jug over the bridge and into Erris this year

  22. Are mayo fans meeting up anywhere in central London sat night? the pro 12 final and champions league final are on

  23. Well done Mayo Juniors today and our hurlers yesterday. Poor showing in the Sunday game double header….two poor one sided games. It really is a shame the GAA championship only gets going in August.

  24. I tipped Tyrone at the start of the year and didnt see anything to change mu mind today. Clinical would be the word I would use, tough to break down and seemed to have added a scoring threat that was not there last year. They are ones to watch, they wont be 11/1 for AI anymore after today.

    Regarding Ros V Leitrim, Ros will have learned absolutely nothing out of today other than a div 1 team can rack up a decent score v a div 4 team who played a large portion of the second half with 12 men. Then again im sure the are all saying “Ros have an AI in them” in every pub in Ros this evening.

  25. Everyone seems to be getting very excited about tyrone. I’m not! Not yet anyway. They beat a very poor Derry team today that conceeded stupid goals. Some of the Derry defenders and goalie were very poor indeed and weren’t IC standard in my opinion. Donegal will definitely test their metal and Monaghan won’t lie down too easily either. So let the hype continue for tyrone is what I say and in the meantime let us slip past London nice and handy without raising any headlines.

  26. I agree Diehard. Tyrone have been playing in division 2 all year. All they did today was beat a div 2 team again. While it does look extremely difficult to score goals against them, I wonder how their forwards will perform against a top class defence.

  27. Digits….it’s not so much their startlingly impressive inventiveness in the area of word use that gets me but that redundant shallow narrow and partial nature of the commentary! It’s an M&M special. You get the feeling this game has been played before.

  28. I dont see how people can be writing off Tyrone, yes they played div 2, but they topped the table with ease and had plenty of games to integrate their U21 winners. They were AI semi finalists last year and could have beaten Kerry but for a couple of missed goal opportunities. They may not win it out but they will be dangerous and personally I would rather meet Donegal or Monaghan in potential AI semi.

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