Looks like Lee should be sound for Saturday

The crowd in the stand at MacHale Park rose in unison in the dying moments of Saturday evening’s rollercoaster qualifier tie against Derry as Footballer of the Year Lee Keegan was helped off the field. He was hobbling badly at that stage, raising obvious concerns about whether or not he’d be okay to go back into battle once more just seven days later.

The Western People (digital and paper editions) reported yesterday that it was feared Lee’s injury was “worse than first thought” and that the player was being “monitored very closely” by the medics. The Mayo News today (report here) had, though, a more upbeat take on the injury – which they reported as a “bang on the shin” – stating that Lee is expected to be okay for the Clare match on Saturday evening. That’s what I’m hearing too.

That same piece, by the way, also reports that Paddy Durcan is expected to be hit with a one-match ban for the straight red he picked up during extra-time last Saturday. The sanction proposed – which the player can decide either to accept or request a hearing on – will depend on what’s stated in Maurice Deegan’s report but the infraction definitely looked like a one-match one. Ciaran Whelan’s assertion on The Sunday Game that the Mitchels man could be gone for a month was factually incorrect: time-based bans for such offences were done away with a few years ago.

That piece by Mike Finnerty also has a post-match quote from Stephen Rochford that’s worth repeating in full:

When we weren’t at our best on the field against Derry, and things were going against us, we were able to count on Mayo supporters to get behind us. Nobody should underestimate how important that is to this group of players and the management. There are no better supporters in the country and we really appreciate their support.

The atmosphere in the stand at MacHale Park the last evening was, for sure, something special. As wide after wide was racked up in the second half, the level of encouragement for the lads rose another notch. I’m convinced that the support drove the lads on as they battled to rescue the game and the dam burst of elation and emotion when that rocket from Conor Loftus hit the net was a moment to savour.

Oftentimes there’s talk on here about what supporters can and cannot do to help the cause. Stripped down to its bare essentials, though, the fan’s role is a simple one – to support the team, in particular when that backing is really needed.

It was a role that everyone (well, almost everyone – the most negative person on the planet, I won’t even call him a supporter, was seated behind me and I gave him a fair few dagger looks for the gloom-ridden, defeatist crap he kept coming out with) played to the full last Saturday evening. Well done to all of you for the part you played in this – the same again will be needed down at Cusack Park the next day.

Speaking of next Saturday, Tyrone’s Sean Hurson has been appointed as the ref for the game. We had the pleasure of his company as recently as the Connacht championship quarter-final against Sligo back in May. I can’t recall any details of his performance with the whistle that day, which I guess must be a good sign. Plus, he’s not Maurice Deegan.

Finally, congrats to Aidan O’Shea whose towering performance last Saturday earned him, by popular acclaim, the accolade of GAA Footballer of the Week. Well done, Big Lad. More of the same will be needed from him too in Ennis this weekend.

108 thoughts on “Looks like Lee should be sound for Saturday

  1. If the crowd in McHale Saturday didn’t make you proud of the county and its GAA supporters, the crowdfunding currently going on for the missing Breaffy player David Gavin certainly will.

  2. I was over on that side of the pitch..not twenty yards away from the heavy challenge that came in on Lee. He was off balance when the hit came in and appeared to role his ankle a bit.. sore at the time I would say. The most important thing, by the sounds of it, is that he has a clean bill of health. Don’t think Paddy will challenge the one match ban.. looked fairly cut and dry really

  3. AOS …… GAA footballer of the week …….but not RTE man of the match. Silly by RTE.

  4. I too was near Leeroys fall, was really worrying and god darn it if Maurice didn’t have a big smile on his face, of course that’s his normal disposition these days, camera friendly, but Toe to Hand you might have heard a few expletives roared at his shell like !!! All roads lead south, bus going from Shrule if anyone needs transport, time to up the ante maigheoabu

  5. In fairness the MOM was awarded by Bennie Tierney who had done a fair commentary to that point and will do Conor Loftus no harm at all, AOS has loads of them MOM.awards in the Cubbard.

  6. What changes do people think we should make for Saturday?
    Personally I think we need to start Regan for the left footed frees alone. We tend to get a lot of frees based on our electric running game. It could come down to that in the end and as much as I admire Kevin McLoughlin free taking does not come naturally to him. Seamus done well when he came on the last day and he shores up the middle well for us hopefully stopping the runners coming through.
    I also think Diarmuid will come in for Boland and Keith Higgins for Durcan.
    2. Harrison
    3. Caff
    4. Higgins
    5. Keegan
    6. Boyle
    7. Vaughan
    8. Tom
    9. Seamus
    10. Kevin Mc
    11. Aido
    12. Diarmuid
    13. Regan
    14. Cillian
    15. Andy.

  7. Would not argue with your team selection. Regan would benefit from being selected first fifteen. Prefer to take mcloughlin as sweeper from half forward line and keep full line intact.
    Your team makes a lot of sense.
    The trouble is we will not get a team announcement until Friday and even then we cant rely on it being the starting fifteen. Thats the kind of nonsense we are into.

  8. Watching on the laptop from 3000 miles away, I could picture poor Anne Marie and Michael Maye and a few others leading the roar. It was inspirational

  9. Willie Joe, no offence to you but can we bring in a new blog rule – no references to Sunday Game analysts.

    That is embarassing by Whelan. Very much agenda driven too towards getting a key mayo player suspended. No mention of lack of protection from that idiot deegan and hia bitchy tweet to a Mayo supporter on Monday says it all.

    Sunday Game is not fit for purpose

  10. we need more forwards on the bench. Dillon and moran have not kicked a ball all year. rochford has not tried out any new forwards only boland , its a rock he will perish on.

  11. Typical Sunday Same shite, “pundits”, and I use the phrase lightly, that don’t know the actual rules of the game! Not surprised really cos most of Whelans analysis is weak, biased and factually wrong.
    I think our blood is rising and there’s no way we’ll kick as many wides on Saturday evening. To be fair to management and our attack we created loads of scorable chances but the only thing that was missing was our accuracy and composure. If we repeat our performance the next day but tighten up a little in our middl third (which we’ve proven we can do) I think we’ll be fine.

  12. Clare don’t play a blanket, it will have been a while since we’ve come across that. Hopefully it will be a chance for our forward division to get some confidence back.

    Barret caff harry
    Keegan Boyle Higgins
    AOS Parsons
    Diarmuid Kev Boland
    Doherty cillian andy

  13. Re negative comments WJ, we had the classic statement from a guy sitting in front of us on Saturday, when he said, “ah, Mayo are afraid to win”.

  14. Great news about lee,he would be a massive loss, cant wait for the match saturday
    the jerseys are getting great wears with the qualifiers
    i too like others had tickets to go to coldplay,but one must prioritise,and i’m needed more in ennis to roar till i’m hoarse,i have settled my conundrum with the fact that i can always buy a coldplay CD 🙂
    as mentioned above about RTE/sunday game ciaran whelan is never fair or measured when mayo are playing, we are used to it so it should come as no surprise when he was spouting crap about durcan getting a month ban- that says it all imo,we are mayo and we are in this together !

  15. I think you have a point, Ger Bohan, in that it’s not hugely productive to focus too much on The Sunday Game analysts (a failing I’m responsible for too at times, I accept). We’re not the only ones saying that it’s a show that has seriously lost its way and I thought Paul Galvin’s view – here – was bang on the money. It’s fine to pick up on inaccuracies, omissions and bias on the parts of analysts but best to leave out the personal attacks on them.

    On that basis, Josh, I’ve deleted your anti-Whelan diatribe as it serves no useful purpose and doesn’t contribute to any kind of intelligent debate. Likewise, Jennifer K, I’ve toned down your comment as well for the same reason.

    Speaking of money, I’ve deleted the reference made (by Pebblesmeller) and then repeated by someone else about what analysts get. I’m not sure if this is accurate (though I’m happy to hear of hard evidence on this) and I’m not comfortable with particular names being mentioned alongside specific amounts unless and until such information is clearly in the public domain already.

    I’d just make a general appeal to everyone that the comments section here on the site isn’t provided to enable people to dump extreme points of view and unsubstantiated assertions in the way that, sadly, so much of social media is. I know I’m swimming strongly against the tide on this but I’m trying to promote reasoned debate here and to make the site a welcoming space for people from outside the county too. Partisanship and the green and red specs are fine but a bit more thought before hitting the Send button wouldn’t go amiss with some either.

  16. @WJ

    ” I can’t recall any details of his performance with the whistle that day, which I guess must be a good sign”

    well put WJ – because I can certainly recall his performance for 2 goals that should not have been allowed….so your instincts are sound on that one : )

  17. no apology required…you should only be concerned if the decisions are going against you!

  18. AOS needs to start in mf, he showed last saturday what a dominant force he is around the middle, his best and more importantly most influential position.

    We really need to start with 6 forwards, no defenders lining out in forward positions. If I were an opposition manager and seen Mayo lining out with two defenders as forwards , I would be doubling up on Cillian and Andy as that would be the only scoring threat. In that situation taking those two out of the game gives the most mediocre team a fighting chance.

    Start 6 forwards, release the team from reliance on tactics and sweeper systems (Im far from convinced its the way this Mayo side should be playing). A Mayo team playing to their strenghs, not trying to compensate for the strengths of one other team in blue will brush aside teams like Clare, Derry etc.

  19. Clarke






    Impact Subs:

  20. If we have learnt anything its that our fullbackline needs work and by that I mean we need someone else at Fullback .

    Caff’s form isnt good and he will be tested this saturday by both means fast tricky forwards and then their big midfielders going to FF and he as shown form to counteract either at the moment so best take him out of the firing line .
    Vaughan at Fullback would ease aerial threat and allow us to push up on their forwards .

    Its an area of massive concern for me and I have no issues with Caff but fact of matter is he isnt performing .

    We need to have other options readily available for that position be it Vaughan, Crowe or even Seamie, we need to try something different .

    Clare will test us in every sense but I just hope the lads are all the better mentally after that battle v Derry .

    It was probably the perfect tonic and whilst Clare will also look to play the ball, its no harm for us to allow opposition dominate the ball as we are a better counterattacking team than a team with 80 % possesion .

  21. Two of ye named teams close to the money. In mine I would start SOS instead of Donie and I would drop Boland to the bench. My opinion is he’s doing well enough but we have Doherty, Loftus, COS, Dillon and more available for half forwards. Team needs to kick to a new level and we need hugely effective half forwards.
    The other controversial one is Regan in the corner and to date he doesn’t contribute as much in ball winning, intelligence and scoring from play as Andy. Take our chances on a bit of unreliability from left footed frees as it’s more important to have opposition at sixes and sevens from open play in terms of game momentum.

  22. And I even forgot Kirby and Nally in that list of half forwards. Also wondering if Nally takes left footed frees for his club. Kirby’s best position IMO is 11 which unluckily for him couldn’t be taken from AOS unless one of them plays FF.

  23. But in my opinion thats the beauty of a combination of Parsons, AOS and Kirby that they can interchange .
    Seamie as an impact sub is the ideal role for him, now you play horses for course which musch to his credit Rochie does on regular basis but for me

    Gives us pace power, ball carrying skills, overlapping skills and unpredictability .
    WE can put big man in FF, put Lofts to 12, Diarmuid to midfield, plenty option but imagine trying to defensive a plan to stop that forward line rather than our current predictable and pedestrian forward line?

    Interchanging of positions would be key, Diarmuid could interchange from midfield to HF to FF line easily, likewise Kirby or Aido , only certains are the spine of team in Cillian, Mcloughlin and Parsons.

  24. Agree with Shufflydeck on RTÉ MOM. Benny Tierney was quite good on co-commentary when I looked back at it. His rationale for Conor Loftus was that he was the one who made the most impact. He was salivating about Loftus – said his pass into Cillian in ET was worth the admission price alone.

  25. Full back and AOS points.
    Yes strong argument for AOS in midfield also meaning Seamie held back and that would free the 11 position for free scoring Kirby to start. Kirby’s distribution is also excellent on a par with Boland if not better.

    Caff hasn’t been much off and not many scores have come off him if you check the stats. However I see Kerry are now using Donaghy. If we get that far only one of the elder OS bros can handle him, would have to gamble SOS as full back against them, Donie wouldn’t complete well enough aerially against 6’5″. That said Caff was calling to come off with cramp in 2014 when Donaghy made his impact. In replay Donaghy was good enough but JOD was their main threat. Donaghy goal came off a deflected block by Keith on JOD and ref wrongly awarded a penalty against Caff for a foot block on JOD that wasn’t. It was a soccer style tackle from the side. Keane lauded for getting stuck into Donaghy but ref awarded them some soft frees so which is better, Caff is wily and knows the full back role best. Strong case for sticking with Caff as each game is another step and figure out Kerry if we get that far. Only SOS is a realistic alternative.. could Coen cope with a Donaghy? Answer, no idea.

  26. I had a full rewatch last night.
    The passing in the forward line was only really working once Diarmuid, Conor Loftus and JDoc were on the pitch.
    That’s when you had instinctive forward passing to instinctive forward and everyone with either pace or physical strength. Granted, Derry were tired, but I’m talking about even seeing those passes or having the physical strength to burst through a tackler. I really felt we had the mix right at the end.
    Seamus was very effective coming on late. He seems to play a half forward role and I thought he did well.

  27. ..Anyway Kerry being the cute hoors that they are would simply move Donaghy out if he was getting beaten and move Geaney in. So a full back suited for both would be needed. Would be more worried about Geaney.
    Sorry for looking beyond Clare but any management looking for AI needs to also pick a team for the road ahead. Would not be complacent at all v Clare. They were ruthless dropping Keane last year for sweeper system and if it means being ruthless this year dropping Caff so be it.

  28. I agree outside of the boot, regarding players interchanging, it’s a big part of the game now. Aidan did that the last day, going to FF for periods. Also on your point regarding Caff at full back, rochford needs to look at options. If things pan out as we hope Mayo are on course to meet Kerry in the Q/final, and that donkey at 14 for Kerry will destroy get Caff in the air. So he definitely needs a plan b and that plan needs working on now. Clare will look to exploit caff’s weakness in the air too.

  29. as Galvin called it in his documentary CSI Sunday game – its definitely like a crime scene investigation every week

    Sky sports have the best analysts in Horan , Canavan and Mcguinness

    Really looking forward to Saturday , hope we shore up the middle maybe by playing a sweeper

  30. would like to see Diarmuid, Conor Loftus and JDoc starting instead of Andy , Vaughan and boland

    I thought Stephen Coen showed well for a lot of clarkes kick outs, I was really impressed with him

  31. We know Barry Moran sweeper works but against Tipperary it left us lacking mobility in attack. Means we’re unlikely to concede goals but lacking forward cut.
    We know AOS works against big men but he’s more useful elsewhere. SOS has the physical attributes for marking a big man and if opposition moves said big man outfield Seamie can do a job out the pitch to match or better his rival there.
    The other option is leave Caff and use Higgins as sweeper. Higgins is my preferred sweeper anyway as he has similar passing skills to Kevin Mc, everything he does is at pace and is a natural defender to boot. Kevin Mc can then be played as a roving half forward and helping win breaking ball which no one is better at. Higgins as sweeper means Boland dropped. Boland has now gained valuable experience and may be useful off the bench but keeping him on is keeping better starters off. People might complain at returning to the same warriors but in truth they are still the best available. We now have a very formidable bench, something we lacked against Dublin in 2015. I would also consider starting Doherty 12 ahead of Diarmaid (was he dropped or carrying a niggle into Derry game?). When Doherty turns over the ball sticks whereas Diarmaid sometimes loses it again.

  32. Agree with Morag apart from Diarmaid, he’s no longer a guaranteed starter.

  33. Playing Ger Caff with Higgins as a sweeper still leaves you vulnerable to the high ball into the square. Donaghy would get up catch it and either crash over the top of Higgins or still manage to burst free of him. You need to be bringing a fair bit of physical size to the table to put any pressure even with two tacklers on Donaghy.

  34. Team …..
    Say higgins replaced Durkan. .. same back 6.
    SOS TP

    withol aos dropping to Mf. Sos play as defensive midfielder. Kmc play at 11and JDOC move to hf.
    With coc and cl up top.

    This would leave A Moran to play the last 25 min. CL could move to hf.

  35. The secret to Donaghy is to starve him of supply, and force him to come out field and try to get his own ball. A mobile defender who can get out in front of him, can cause him alot of trouble.

    The problem with this, is now they have Geaney and JOD inside. Dammed if you do, and damned if you don’t. Cork were crap, but Kerry have an air to them this year. Their defense on the other hand does not like being run at. An attacking wing back could have a field day with them, they’d be forced to concede frees in abundance.

  36. Any high / good ball played into a good full forward is a huge problem for Caff at full back. Even on Saturday, one ball played into the square resulted in goal.

  37. the below are 2 articles well worth reading in relation to the Sunday game show.

    i thought Jim McGuinness’s point below in his column was very interesting:
    “People have agendas and at certain times pundits do try to spin stories to create pressure or a certain perspective. People get hot under the collar and use it as energy and drive and to get the best out of themselves and spin it back again”

    Also in the below Independent article, Michey harte made the following very good point:
    “It is a case of do we get quality analysis or do we get sound bites? That is the big difference. You need to be sure the people who analysing our games, some people would call them celebrity analysts, they need to be really mindful of the fact that it is not about putting someone else down to raise themselves up.
    “It should be about this insightful information we are sharing with people. Is there substance behind what I am saying or does it just sound good when it is Retweeted by someone who does not know much about what they read.


  38. think Ger caff is very suspect , from looking at the game again the last day I would consider him a major weakness and he will be found out badly if we progress further

    I thought he got in clarkes way for the goal on saturday

    have we any other options?

  39. Kerry’s top quality midfield means it would be hard to stop supply going into Donaghy…………but perhaps we’re thinking too far ahead!

  40. It’s my opinion that we are a far stronger team with an in-form Caff.

    Bear in mind he is only recently back from long-term injury, and every game is going to see him get sharper, quicker etc etc.

    A game Saturday against quick, nippy forwards is what he needs. Is it a risk if he’s off form? Sure, a little. In the scheme of things, is it a risk worth taking? Yeah, definitely. Every extra minute for Caff is a bonus, and he will improve and get better and more comfortable, in my humble opinion.

  41. All throughout the league the common theme was everyting would be grand when Caff returns. Now he isnt good enough/tall enough. Caff is the best available fb Mayo have by a mile. The goal v Derry I put down as much an error by Clarke than Caff. Clarke is supposedly in there beacuse he is better in the air and dominates the square better than Robbie, Clarke should have came and cleared man and ball plain and simple. Talk of SOS going to fb is actually laughable, different skill set, different style of tackling required. How many penalties would SOS have to conceed before people realise its a bad idea. Play guys in their best positions, enough with the cabinet reshuffling.

  42. There’s absolutely no supposed about it. I’m not rehashing this debate on purpose, but I will respond to mayomad.

    Clarke is absolutely the best keeper we have in the air, on the ground, in his box, and in every other facet of goalkeeping that we can think of. He is the best goalkeeper in the country and has been Mayo’s best for a decade. Was the goal on him the last day? I don’t think so, but it’s impossible to know what sort of communication or miscommunication went on. Maybe it was his fault.

  43. Mayomad – Clarke cannot be blamed – Lynch had a free run onto that ball with nobody near him – who was his marker?

  44. Mayomark, I would agree Clarke is an excellent keeper, Mayos No1 and rightly last years all star and it excellent in the air. I dont want to engage in who should play as keeper as at this stage either as Clarke is definitely the best option. Im just making a point as it seems the discussion regarding Caff all stems from the goal conceeded last saturday. As I see it the small square is the domain of the keeper and any ball that lands in there is the keepers responsibility to deal with as he is in the best position to attack it. IMO Clarke should have come and challanged for the ball, I dont necessarily think its down to Caff alone the concession of that goal.

  45. Goal came from outfield players not putting any pressure on the ball in. The ball in was nothing short of perfect. Lynch muscles his way past caff, Clarke comes to clear but literally bounces off Lynch. Conclusion; lynch must be made of steel.
    Please also note, we are playing Clare at the weekend not kerry.

  46. AH NOW – Excellent analysis of the goal – and good reminder that it is not Kerry we playing – but caution needed for any ball dropped in on full back IMO

  47. Am I the only one wondering why we are discussing how to handle Donaghy when we have a tricky game in front of us come Sat?? Win that game and we still have another match to win before we get to face Kerry. We could face either Cork or Roscommon in that one. Leave worrying about Donaghy and start worrying about Clare.

  48. I think we are being overly harsh on both Clarke and Caff and not analysing the most important aspect of conceding the goal which was the quality of the ball in. The ball was a beautifully floated diagonal ball which came down 2-3 foot in front of goal line. There was no space for Clarke to run out and get a good leap to attack it. Lynch was like a freight train coming in and even at that marginally got over Clarke to punch it in. I’m not sure if it was a square ball but regardless the quality of the ball negated options of defending it adequately. As a previous poster said re potential of Caff facing Donaghy cut the supply out and there wont be ball coming in. The Derry man who put in ball ran thirty or forty yards with no one getting near him to kick that peach of a ball in. Looking forward I think this will be another good test Clare will be flying and will target us big time. I be happy with a 3 or 4 point win but would not be surprised if Clare put it up to us big time

  49. St Pats Oldie – think the concerns are about balls into back line full stop – not just in prep for Kerry

  50. 100% agreed re Caff MayoMark. Give me a team with Caff in it any day over a team without. But as usual when something goes wrong he tends to be scapegoated, regardless of how exposed he is – something that happened numerous times on Saturday and in previous games when we were carved open in the middle of the field. The lad is back after an entire year out – an incredible achievement – so if he is lacking a yard of pace, it’s kinda understandable and he put in a solid shift against Galway I thought. I don’t see better out there – do ye? If there is, let’s get them in there. I can’t figure out why we abandoned our sweeper experiment when it was just bedding in. And on a related note, Kevin Mc should not be taking frees – it’s madness at this point.

    Not convinced that Regan should start – for me he just hasn’t done enough at county level to prove he can consistently win ball – not that the supply is great at times, mind! Yes, we could badly do with a left-footed free-taker (as per above) and I do like that he backs himself (controversial as that might be), but I’m yet to be convinced he can deliver at county level. I’d happily be proved wrong, though.

    Whitey, the support was incredble on Saturday. I was trying to behave myself to conserve the voice for a busy week ahead .. naturally I failed dismally. Expended a bit too much energy shouting at Brian McGuckian to get off the pitch. He ripped the absolute piss every time play was stopped and it was one of my highlights of the day to see him finally get sent to the line. Between that and urging the team to “not be afraid to win” as RichieH mentioned earlier (what a nugget), it was a busy day 😀

  51. If you check out the goal that Kerry’s Stephen O’Brian scored against Clare then we should be looking to do the same thing. He beat two defenders and planted the ball in the net. We should be looking to get Diarmuid O’Connor, Jason Doc and Conor Loftus to run at the Clare defence in the same way.

    In saying that I’m sure the Clare management will have seen the goal and penalty that we conceded and they will try to exploit our weaknesses at the back as well.

  52. HOPESPRINGSETERNAL = I agree totally, we need to get running at their defence, we don’t seem to be doing that this year.

    Also agree that Clare will have seen weaknesses from Saturday and will be exploiting. Two high balls caused a goal and conceded penalty.
    This is not a new problem, Donegal final 2012, Both epic battles with Kerry – the ball in on the backs caused chaos.

  53. I’v always thought the pressure on the outfield kickers is kind of ignoring the risk. Putting pressure on outfield is just a given. It’s like coming up with a platitude that “We need to take our chances” “We need to be more accurate in our passes” “We need to put more pressure on outfield”. All of these things at Division one county level are a given and have been for several years. A big full forward has an operating area quite large in front of goal. If they are good in the air and the full back has weakness the ball does not need to be all that perfect.
    James Horan started this thing of “There should have been pressure on out the field”. Across a 75 minute game you cannot hope to prevent a team kicking ball into that space in front of goal where the full forward is.
    Hence the best solution is always a big full back who can physically contest picked specifically for that full forward. Or as is most sensible and probably least risky, your regular full back with a sweeper in front of sufficient ability in the air to really reduce the risk. Teams move the ball too well and too quickly now in the middle third. That pass to the full forward is within range once you are within 60 metres of goals.

  54. Absolutely JP – you cannot play a game and expect there not to be times when the opposition get to play a ball in on the full back. Therefore there needs to be a plan.
    The full back needs to be strong enough to handle the threat or sweeper needs to be employed to provide support.
    There needs to be a plan because high balls will come in during the duration of game.

  55. I don’t think Caff has been playing that bad. I’d blame players out the field more for the goal then Caff as the Derry wing forward was allowed to kick the ball in with absolutely no pressure. And it was Barrett who gave away the penalty not Caff. Caff is excellent marking a smaller player, he may not get out in front but he generally gets a hand in or shepherds them away from the goal. If a 6’5″ full forwards goes we need someone sweeping in front of them, simple as. Once starved of possession it will be their instinct to move out the field to try to get their hands on the ball.

    And it’s Clare we’re playing, not Kerry.

  56. NiallMc1983 – Comments are not just about playing Kerry – it is a concern in general. Yes – it isn’t just CAFF – Barret was done for penalty , Keane was done for Murphy goal in 2012.

  57. if we do play Kerry we would have to go heavily defensive/counter attack approach. wouldn’t have a hope in a shoot out

  58. Dublin don’t use a big full back and bar Geaney seem to be getting away with it. Most teams have full backs not as tall as Caff though Monaghan’s Wilie bros are tough enough cookies and McGee is good for Donegal although Aido causes him problems. Most full backs struggle against big men.
    We’re not looking too far ahead because to win AI a team needs practice of certain tactics and take risks en route with the long road in mind. SOS isn’t a natural full back and neither was Joe Mcmahon when Tyrone threw him and his brother on Kerry’s twin towers and they beat them albeit with no shortage of pulling and dragging.
    The idea of SOS as defensive midfielder someone mentioned is probably also a good one and he can drift back any time we’re on the back foot.
    The idea of starving Kerry is implausible as they have a good midfield and possibly the best around in Moran. Sorry for mentioning Kerry but management need to plan for the likes of them now and hope the games in between are won by players playing in the here and now.
    Kerry like Dublin don’t like being run at and they have no giants in their FB line either.

  59. As for the goal, looked like Clarke’s fault to me. Didn’t come out with his usual huge conviction. He’s saved us many times but that was one he was less than 100%. The ball in was excellent and no pressure on kicker. Why didn’t we just put 15 behind the ball for the remainder. There was feck all time left.

  60. A fair point Shuffly. Play the percentages and the clock. After Conor Loftus last point to make it +3. You must know or at least a few players “We’re a couple of minutes beyond the 70 here”.
    You have give up two points and still get the one point win. Fifteen behind the ball you’re not very likely to concede a goal.

  61. Amazing – the other day me and somebody else on here questioned someone when they said Cillian was man of match. Didn’t criticise him, just highlighted why it wasn’t man of match performance. This was followed with bombardment of bar stool fans, always knocking amateur players etc.

    Clarke getting blame for Saturday? you are having a laugh. Clarke has served Mayo better than anyone on panel and was subject to worse management decision ever last year for the final. No complaints from him, comes back in, saves penalty and never lets team down.

  62. What’s the big deal. Clarke was the best positioned player to stop the goal. Can point to an easy pass in with no pressure on kicker or Caff being the wrong side but either way Clarke was last line of defense.
    I qualified what I said with Clarke has saved us many times in the same situation but on this one he didn’t get anything on the ball.
    Dessie Dolan on RTE said maybe Clarke got a call from a defender, possibly but I doubt it. To put any player on a total pedastill is foolish. Most goalies would concede a goal in same situation and most goalies are not Clarke.
    Clarke is a great Goalie, best in the Country, glad we have him.

  63. Cillian was put on pedalstal here yesterday when it was questioned how he could be considered for man of match.

    No player is beyond criticism. Being last line of defence doesn’t make you responsible for a goal, it’s the lines before that let you in and specifically your marker. Lynch had a run on the ball, that gives momentum whereas Clarke was stationary as ball pretty much dropped on him so all he could do was jump from standing.

    The defence have to challenge the runner rather than let him run in totally unobstructed.

  64. Interesting the confidence (complacency?) that seems to be pervading the blog at the moment.

    We were dire on Saturday. 18 wides is criminal, and Derry should have punished us more; they had a stack as well, but they ran our half back line ragged.

    Furthermore, look at all the things we had going for us on Saturday. Draw from Hell from a Derry view, after their hop to Waterford for the previous qualifier. No support, and facing nearly 12,000 baying Mayo followers, and up against a team with massive experience.

    We won’t have a lot of those advantages on Saturday. The Banner will be there in force and we’ll to well to break even in support, though I’ve no doubt we will.

    The team really has a hell of a lot of work to do to sharpen up and tighten up. Teams like Kerry and Dublin are only a dream at this stage.

  65. It’s the midweek hump Catcol, the roller coaster has slowly cranked it’s way up the big ascent. The initial panic after Monday’s draw has resulted in us now talking ourselves up to the point of beating Clare, beating Cork/ Rossies or more likely Galway and already looking at dealing with Kerry. But the laws of physics dictate that what goes up most come down and by Friday night posters will be gripped by a blind terror once again. It’s all part of the experience of the Mayo supporters magical mystical tour and that’s the thing I feared missing the most last Saturday evening with 65 minutes on the clock.

  66. – It must be dam hard to be a Mayo Footballer because there is a tiny percentage of ‘supporters’ that expect perfection. Anything LESS than the speed of Bolt, brains of Einstein, feet of Flatley and scoring ability of the Gooch/Canavan and the humility of Mother Theresa and you are a failure in some eyes.
    – Who knows how many fine future footballers will decide to opt out because they do not want to be measured by such high standards and reside in the fishbowl that is Mayo football. For all the ones that revel in such a climate there are some that simply don’t want the hassle.
    – Assuming we get at least a 50% improvement in our scoring rate AND our centre half back holds some sort of position or a sweeper fills it instead, we should be winning this by circa 8 points.

  67. When you think about it our two main problems over the last number of years have been us not taking enough of the chances that we create and conceding bad goals. We seen this again against Derry. So we need to rectify these problems.

  68. We had no problems with our backs in the all ireland series last year with our sweeper system—our problem was with our forwards & still is.

  69. Olive Kerrigan, in fairness we Mayo supporters have great patience, been in / at eight All Ireland finals in my lifetime and have yet to see a win, no player is going to be perfect or at their full potential for each match, but to win an All Ireland perfection must be demanded / sought from all Players, management all with the help of great supporters. Playing 1 or 2 sweepers in any match will limit the forward power of any team, and also means that there are free men on the opposition team when attacking the goal, its more or less robbing Peter to pay Paul.
    I see the midfield area as critical to our chances in this years Championship, Mayo will always have a number of wides in any match, this has been the case always even when we dominated the possession.
    The Clare match will be interesting, but I believe there will be an improvement on the Derry game ( I mean the normal 70 minute period ), thats all anybody should expect.

  70. Is my eyesight failing, or does the photo in the Mayo News show two fingers gouging D. O’Connor’s right eye?

  71. No Pat , nothing wrong with you’re eyesight. In fact, it’s far better than most refs.
    It’s disgraceful to see and not the first time we witnessed it. I remember a league game, v Donegal a few years ago and the same thing happened. Anthony Thompson on Kevin Mc Loughlin . Nothing happened then and don’t expect anything now.

  72. If Roscommon win sunday,and we beat Clare, that means we would play Cork in next match and Galway would play the winners of Donegal/Meath. If Mayo and Galway win the QF would be Mayo vRoscommon ,Kerry v Galway very very interesting.

  73. @Norris I thought it would be open draw for the QF opposition if Ros win Connacht?

  74. @Norris as yes I see now, but if Gway didn’t win the Don/Meath game it would be open draw.

    Lots of if’s but anyway…!

  75. Norris, I’m not a fan of going beyond the next game usually. But I would do anything to see that work out!!!

  76. Galway cannot play Roscommon in QF. The draw is subject to povincial winners avoiding defeated finalist from their own province. .

  77. Yes Banm it would be a open draw if Galway lose ,that why i will be cheering the Rossies on sunday,Mayo always come good in august.

  78. Note to Stephen Rochford and the Mayo team, despite what some poster’s are saying on this blog, We are actually playing Clare, in Clare, on Saturday, who knows Claire McNamara might be on the sidelines, who is also from Clare and Marty Morrisey might be doing the commentary for RTE who is also from Clare. One thing is for sure if Mayo get the idea that we are playing Kerry on Saturday, there definitely will not be a cow milked in Clare on Saturday night.. Considering that the cow’s in Clare might not be milked on Sunday night either if Clare beat Cork in the Munster hurling final!.. So now, are we all sure who exactly we will be playing on Saturday evening???.. I’m not really sure myself!

  79. Let’s hope for a Mayo win lest their be utter turmoil in the dairy industry next week!

  80. Any idea how ticket sales are going in mayo? I wonder will we be bringing a big following?

  81. Disgraceful that someone can come on here and call a player a donkey (puckout it was you)

  82. I’m hearing that the powers that be, are expecting 8,000 Mayo fans to travel. Expect to see 18,000 there so! Might bring some empty milk containers too, just in case 🙂

  83. Ger71, you should have used a question mark there for a question. It looks like this,?. Just for future reference for yourself!

  84. Tommie, I didn’t reference a player’s name, but you’d have to admit but there is a striking resemblance!

  85. Ger71 – comments aimed at taking a pop at other contributors (tongue in cheek or otherwise) aren’t allowed. Play the ball not the man/woman, in other words. Please bear in mind for future reference.

  86. Seán Rice mentions in his column a number of weeks back in the Mayo News the repeated leaks about late changes to our line-up. The switch of Robbie Hennelly in place of David Clarke was an open secret well before the replay got underway last October which gave Gavin time to plan on how to target Robbie and it was common knowledge in Pearse Stadium a good hour before throw-in that Colm Boyle and Jason Doherty wouldn’t be starting and that Donal Vaughan and Stephen Coen would. Leaks coming from the Mayo Camp prior to games always gives the opposition an advantage. Contrast Davy and the Clare Hurlers prior to the 2013 Final replay, Shane O Donnell in prior to throw in, big surprise which paid rich dividends. Mickey Harte big changes prior to throw in 2008 Final against Kerry, caught Kerry by surprise and helped Tyrone win the Final. Mickey Harte again prior to Ulster Final replay against Down (which Tyrone won by all of 15 points) Conor McAnallen from midfield to full back not a whisper prior to throw in. If we want to be WINNERS should we not be able to keep changes air tight prior to throw in?

  87. Don’t foul have our shooting stats for this years championship up on Twitter. It does not paint a pretty picture.

  88. what is parking like in ennis?
    what time are people getting on the road from the ballina area ?
    expect there could be traffic delays in Tuam and claregalway- is the Tuam by pass open,anyone ?

  89. Tuam bypass not open Jennifer.

    I’ll be leaving at maybe 1:30/2pm from Castlebar.

  90. @Jennifer K… don’t think the Tuam bypass is open yet… Parking in Ennis wouldn’t be the best, expect a bit of a walk! I’m leaving Sligo around 10am and going to make a day of it with the kids… Got tickets last night but see that there are none for sale on tickets.ie this morning, so anyone not sorted should be heading to Centra/Super Valu this morning!! Was chatting to the cousins in Clare and they’re expecting a huge home turnout, despite the hurling on Sunday… lots of people planning on going to both!

    Cautiously optimistic about this one!!! Roll on Saturday, HON MAYO!!!

  91. M17 not open until first week in November. A pity because when its open Ennis will be a breeze to drive.
    I plan on getting to Ennis early and get parked up and get a bit to eat. Ennis is a very busy shopping town with Sat parking hard to find on a “normal” sat afternoon.

  92. That’s right, Gerard, though it was heartening to see that there wasn’t a whisper (certainly not in my earshot) in advance about the two changes made just before throw-in for the Derry game.

    On parking and other practical info about Ennis on Saturday, there’s a good piece in the Mayo Newshere.

    And, no, the Tuam bypass isn’t open yet.

  93. thanks for all the info,thinking we might get on the road early and make a day of it with the kids,
    see how that pans out- underage football training to be attended to before we get going
    great informative piece in the mayo news,they seem to have all angles covered

    Cmon Mayo

  94. Getting there early is an absolute must, Jennifer K. To add to the fun, the pitch is close to the main shopping area – and Ennis is a big shopping town on Saturdays – so traffic and parking nearby will be a total mare.

  95. mark lynch was in the square about an hour before that ball came in. why was it not mentioned on the sunday game.

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