Masters semi-final on tomorrow

Mayo Masters

Photo: Mayo Masters Facebook page

The county final isn’t the only football match of interest on this weekend. Tomorrow afternoon in Hollymount the Mayo Masters take on their Galway counterparts in the All-Ireland semi-final. This clash is a repeat of last year’s Masters decider, with Galway coming out on top on that occasion, so I’m sure our greybeards will be gunning for revenge this time round.

Throw-in tomorrow at Hollymount GAA club is set for 2pm and all support would be greatly welcomed.

64 thoughts on “Masters semi-final on tomorrow

  1. The Irish Daily Mail reports today that Tony McEntee has been approached about the possibility of working with Stephen Rochford on a management team with Mayo. It seems he is very eager to become involved in inter-county management, but has already turned down an approach from Down. The Mail also says that there is no question of James Horan coming back.

  2. Just seen mention of that Stephen Rochford/Tony McEntee story. Here, courtesy of this thread on, is the Irish Daily Mail story on this by Michael Clifford:


    Mayo want McEntee to join management team
    Irish Daily Mail 23 Oct 2015 By MICHEAL CLIFFORD

    TONY McENTEE could be part of the Mayo football management team next season. It is understood that the Crossmaglen All-Ireland winning manager has been contacted about the possibility of working with Stephen Rochford — the odds-on favourite to be named as manager next month. McEntee is regarded as one of the hottest coaching talents in the game and is currently managing prestigious Dublin club St Brigid’s, but is understood to be keen to get involved in a senior position at inter-county level. Already this autumn, he turned down an approach from Down to take on their team, a position he was interviewed for, and made an impression, last year before the county board baulked at the proposed budgetary commitment. However, he remains interested in getting into the inter-county game. McEntee, a member of Armagh’s historic 2002 All-Ireland-winning team, made a sensational start in management when, along with Gareth O’Neill, he led Crossmaglen to back-to-back All-Ireland titles and three Ulster titles in a row between 2011 to 2013. The logistics involved in travelling to Mayo is one of the considerations which McEntee (right) will have to factor in, but the prospect of working with the five-in-a-row Connacht champions is likely to prove appealing. While nominations for the Mayo manager’s position will remain open until November 1, privately it is accepted that the search to replace the ill-fated Pat Holmes/ Noel Connelly one-year reign will not take long. Holmes and Connelly stepped down after receiving a vote of no confidence from the Mayo panel early this month. It is understood that contact was made with Crossmolina native and Corofin All-Ireland winning manager Rochford last week, who has publicly declared his desire to manage his native county. While former manager James Horan has been linked with the job and has not moved publicly to quell speculation of a return, it is understood he is no longer considered to be in the frame for consideration by board chiefs. This week board chairman Mike Connelly confirmed that the manager would be in place by the third week of next month at the latest.

  3. Would have no problem at all with Tony McEntee getting the mayo job ,,, big admirer of him as a manager but only as sole manager ,

  4. That would be some management team. It would really put it up to the players to deliver. I believe a certain rugby man who came on board under Horan in 2014 could also be part of the set up as S&C coach. Barry Solan will be remaining involved as overall director of S&C for the county.

  5. What can one say? A really new start. Exciting, but would still prefer J. Horan for 2016.
    If the players are happy, then i am.
    The chopping and changing may just be too much for 2016. Are we in transition again? Roscommon and Galway will be more settled.
    With trepidation. Ciaran 2.

  6. Not convinced about Buckley at all.
    I dont think any of these have any real experience.Has the Co.Board ruled out Horan without any consideration.Strange.Dont believe in compromise candidates.

  7. @hueyandlouis
    Both men have managed clubs to All Ireland titles. Both have won All Ireland’s as players. Do you mind me asking what you would call “real experience?”.
    Let’s not go down the road of fantasy managers that are unavailable such as McGuinness and O’Connor.

  8. Have to say there is some buzz about the latest management combination but I hope it’s not masquerading as a fuzz!

    Tony McEntee

    McEntee’s comments prior to our meeting with Donegal this year.

  10. st pats oldie, you would have to say he has a point, look at the finals we lost and how little we scored in those from play, its not good. I wouldnt mind mc entee being involved, but there can only be one boss, be it rochford or horan or whoever, one boss, one voice. Gavin duffy would be a very interesting fella to have for the physical conditioning, he has to know the ins and outs of training after his rugby days. He can only be a plus, buckley too, the players apparently think a lot of him and if they do, its good enough for me. It would be a good management, but, where does rochford go if his corofin team are looking for him on a sunday and its clashing with a Mayo fbd game? If corofin are still involved in the club thing, it might mean no rochford for Mayo.

  11. You can only have one boss. Rochford has to be that man but as you say that will get tricky depending on Corofins progress.
    McEntee questioned our failure to find new forward talent and the ability of those currently involved.
    Not the man for me I’m afraid.

  12. If Down were not prepared to carry McEntee’s cash demands it makes one wonder if a supposedly cash strapped Mayo can do so. Where is McEntee based nowadays, Dublin or Armagh?

    Regards John O’Mahony’s return as Mayo manager anybody with a reasonable memory will remember the eagerness which greeted his return. John Maughan realised it when he resigned in 2005 after a three point defeat to Kerry in the QF. And Co Board officials were at O’Mahony’s door within hours, no though of asking Maughan to reconsider. When O’Mahony announced his decision to take a year out of management the CB had to go searching and ended up with Mickey Moran. It must be remembered that it was the CB who forced O’Mahony out by insisting on imposing selectors over his head. Anybody able to envisage selectors being imposed on a manager today? John Maughan’s initial entry into Mayo management was something similar to O’Mahony’s return in that Anthony Egan was unceremoniously dumped to make way for him when he left the Clare job. After the Jack O’Shea disaster Egan had restored a large measure of pride to Mayo football. Granted they were hammered by Galway t]in the CF but only because of Mayo’s atrocious shooting. A problem which Maughan never quite solved in his term.
    I think that if O’Mahony had taken a different umbrella on his entry into politics many of today’s critics would have a different view, And he may have an entirely different set of critics.
    Finally O’Mahony in his second term had a team largely demoralised with heavy championship defeats over the previous 10 years. It was a team needing major renewal and few young players available to renew it. Only a handful of minors of the 2002 – 2008 vintage made it a contribution to senior Mayo teams either under O’Mahony or Horan.

  13. Some supporters are so enthusiastic with their support for the untested Rochford. It seems for some people the the club championship is the correct yard stick to use and I do not understand this line of thinking. How many semi finals will we compete in over the next 5 years. If your answer is 5 then I would not have any problem. This is the path to a system reset. To have someone in place that knows his place. We have a man in this county that can make this team better and he has done it before. James Horan is the man no matter what the board are saying. Lets stick to the tried and tested. Lets keep improving our team and not turn off the gas.

  14. It appears that the blame for decades of failure, in crucial games, by Mayo, is being attributed to under-performing forwards and the evidence would tend to support that.
    That may be attributable to a lack of raw talent or lack of coaching or indeed both.
    Would it not be prudent therefore to build future playing strategies upon the premise that we will not consistently put teams away through the brillance of our forwards. That implies a game-plan which seeks to conceed less than our opponents – it may not be pretty but beats the big-game-failure tag we could now patent. Wouldnt that be a searching scenario/ statement to pose to aspiring managers at interview.

  15. Tony McEntee is a great addition. I hope that he is acceptable to the players given he was critical of their decision to stage a heave. See extract from his article in Irish Mail from 4th Oct.

    The suggestion is that it [heave] bonds groups, hardens mindsets and drives individuals to perform at a higher level.

    The reality, argues McEntee, is somewhat different.

    ‘No. I would not say that at all. That period of time we got frustrated with ourselves in a lot of ways. I would say if anything, it detracts from the group. It certainly did not bring us together as a group, it was certainly not the bonding force that was required for us to win the All-Ireland following that in 2002.’

    ‘For me those two or three years were probably wasted years, where we spent our time fighting and looking for excuses and not being able to win the All-Ireland as a result of it.’

    Every time, McEntee look at Mayo these days, he sees his own orange-shirted reflection staring back.

    ‘It is a complete mirror image of where we were. Good enough but always knocking at the door, getting beat. After 2002, we had three years of relative success, but had that not happened for us in 2002, it was over. And for this Mayo group, they have one, maybe two more opportunities, but if they don’t do it soon, it’s gone for them.’

    ‘We probably kept going until 2005, but the last three years were all as a result of the buoyancy from ’02 and it we had not done that, we would have been gone long before it. ‘

    ‘The message is simple; standing shoulder to shoulder as they got rid of a management team will not be enough to make Mayo champions, but eyeballing a mirror and accepting that they have to account for their own failures just might.’

    And that is something which McEntee is not convinced that Mayo players have done.

    ‘Mayo is different, their management team had just one year. In Armagh at that time there was a real sense that we had gone as far as we could with the two Brians (they would serve for six years in full) and we needed a change at that stage.’

    ‘There is a real danger here with player power and I say that mindful of our own experience. Managers must manage and players must do what they are told.’

  16. I’ve always supported Horan but think Rochford is the right choice. Adding McEntee shows he’s not afraid to address a deficit in big game experience. It probably helps to have someone there who’s actually won one! The proposed setup has a very professional look about it

  17. Puckout We already have a professional setup. Pushing on from here is the challenge. I would trust the likes of MCGuinness if he were available. JH known how as he has done it before. The downside here is we have a long way to tumble down from, the next step is crucial and it appears we do not have the leaders in place to make wise decisions on this. That is my concern

  18. Trev,

    Who were Armagh players fighting with in McEntee’s time. Did he say? Maybe it was among themselves rather than bad managers or Co Board.

    Cork hurlers won All Irelands in 2004/05 despite a strike [or was it two strikes] as did their footballers in 2010 also after a strike. If a squad stays united all these struggles tend to make them stronger. As the old saying goes “What doesn’t kill makes one stronger,”

    I asked before why, if McEntee is such an outstanding manager or coach, he is being ignored by so many counties nearer to him than Mayo. I cannot recall getting an answer.

  19. . For as long as I can rem we ve had a prob with our forward play. Mostly it was due to a fancy style of play that seemed to become known as the Mayo style….don’t tackle me please and whatever u do don’t take the ball off me! I stopped being interested in this game until JH came along and put a bit of steel into the team! I’m as much a Mayo person as the next but I’m never under any illusions as to our worth or standing among the rest. I’d hope iid be the same if I was Sligo or Carlow or a Dub.Its obvious to any nut that Mayo will win nought till they score their scores through a well tried and trusted system of forward play where fellas are playin for each other to a plan in which the feckin scores are built up patiently accurately and with precision. There’s always been a kind of an individualist flavour about many of our ‘Greats’ and this applied to the past as well as now too.It occurs to me that ‘ Greats’don’t make a team. Rather does a team make the ‘Greats’

    I’d like to ask the question…when have we seen the above happening I’ve seen many great scores,points and goals over the years generally and more recently and so often I’ve found myself thinking in the back of my head that these were scores coming not from conviction and planning but with a taint of accident about them . I’d find myself thinking …not likely again type of score!

    The team now is one of the tops and I hope it stays there but still we re looking for someone to put something new into the forward div. We have the players but let us use them properly or else it ll all become so boringly predictable and pointless. And I’m not even bothered about our defensive frailties . We ve always had and have adequate backs. The ball has to be put away at the other end more often than in the past. Lot of talk about AOS +COC and others being this and that but they ll jus float by like all the others over the years if a new more effective ‘style is not put in place.

    So, I’m delighted to hear that Mr TMcEntee has no illusions either! Maybe this is a man to play a role in our fortunes and surely we need a newish broom regardless of who is the wielder!

  20. just to echo ‘ RosTown ‘ . About the names and clubs of the mayo masters squad. Maybe just in the match day programme one suspects.It would be great to see. A few years ago the Mayo masters team under the name St Patricks could play in the mayo competitions . Correct me if I’m wrong but I think GAA insurance purposes caused it to stop. I think it was junior B or reserve league. It was hugely beneficial for the masters squad but also for many average or above average shall we say, gaa club players who got to play against these guys. Big names from the past. Best of luck this weekend

  21. Getting back to the thread topic for a moment, the Mayo Masters lost yesterday to Galway by 0-11 to 0-9.

  22. Liam
    I take your point but that was club not county experience …a horse of a diffrent colour.Totally agree about McGuinness & O Connor…It was not me who made that suggestion.
    Horan has county experience and yes he did make mistakes and had shortcomings.Havent we all? Yet last year we would all have agreed only for Cormac Reilly we would probably have won the AI.
    I think thats fair to say.In any event since the players want James what would be so wrong with one year and then go for this dream team.

  23. I don’t know how the players feel but f the would prefer Horan back then I think it be foolish to go with rochford. It’s not setting a precedent either , its James Horans team if he and the players want it ,let them at it , they’ve not let us down yet and people would do wel to remember that.

    Now if Horan doesn’t want it like according to whatever paper it was yesterday (examiner?) said so , honestly think ye may forget about the quest for Sam . Some lunatics on here swearing by unproven men , how in the name of fook do you know how rochford will cope with a top senior county , what has macentee done , what club is he with at the moment and how is that going . Ye want to cop yourselves on shouting from the rooftops about a total novice to senior county management .club and county , two different worlds, top 6 side and the rest , two different planets. We drop out of that planet and we are snookered , we have to be very careful what we do here .

  24. Sean Burke, a bit harsh there. Im sure your familiar with the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Horan had 4 chances and couldnt take any of them. Is that not reason enough to give the job to an already proven all-ireland winning manager. You talk about differences between club and county. FFS a good manager whether it be sport, business or any social structure is a novice at some point in their career and they are good from the very beginning. I’d have more confidence of winning an all-ireland with rochford than horan. Both started out as club managers and one has proven better at that level. And don’t mention that corofin have a great squad. Someone had to put it all together snd get the best out of them.

  25. Robinbanks
    Very few club managers have actually been successful at club level.If they were the search for a manager would be very dimple indeed.Agree totally with Sean Burke on this.
    Hope Breaffy do it today…we are all.set!

  26. Whoever has the better quality forwards will win the big games , most quality teams in the top graðes at every level will have a well drilled defence as that is not as hard find as quality accurate scoring forwards .

  27. Disappointing county final total mis match. Castlebar look in decent shape to win another provincial title. Neil Douglas the stand out player with 3 goals from play, he was good at underage for Mayo surprising overlooked at senior level.

  28. Great win for Castlebar and well done to Dougie, I’m delighted for him.
    I’m telling ye folks, we have a forward in him. He has the right attitude. I’d love to see him get a proper chance for Mayo in League/Championship and to get tested at the highest level.

  29. Douglas is one we need to be taking a serious look at along with 3/4 more like him , himself , Reagan , Darren Coen, Conor o se , loftus, all have to be given a right good shot at it and if you get one or maybe even two starters out of that group we will have something different about us for 2016.

  30. The best footpasser, as he usually is, was Barry Moran. Kirby played well, as did Dougie. I know he struggled on D Connolly 2 years ago but Eoghan O’Reilly must very close to the senior panel. Such a solid player, I think he’d make a great sweeper, bit like Cian O’Sullivan.

  31. Sean, you are displaying a serious lack of knowledge regarding what is required at inter – county level, judging by the names listed. Evan Regan may have the potential, but that is maybe. Conor O’Shea at present is miles off what is required, and if he doesn’t show dramatic improvement he will not even be worth his place on the panel, regardless of who his brothers are.

  32. While Douglas’ finishing caught the eye today, the Mitchels overall team display was outstanding. They dominated every line throughout. Even when they were 14pts up they were still pulling 13 men back to crowd the defense and snuff out the threat posed by Aiden O’Shea and co. James Durkin is turning into a fine young forward with buckets of pace and skill – would be an automatic starter on any other club squad, yet has to settle for the role of impact sub at the moment such is the depth of the Mitchels panel. Once again Castlebar’s pivotal player was Danny Kirby, covered every blade of grass again today, and could thread the ball through the eye of a needle with his kick passing. His runs off the ball are superb and has a real poachers instinct of drifting inside to the edge square after he offloads whenever in possession around the forty….why he has not been given more opportunity to develop at Senior intercounty level is beyond me. Some great defending by Alan Feeney and Eoghan O’Reilly also today. Good luck to the Mitchels in their Connacht club semi in a couple of weeks.

  33. The Breaffy boys are a talented bunch of players and I think the boys should meet up in the dressing room after this debacle and get a manager that would get them across the line next year.These boys should leave no stone unturned until they win the final.

  34. Tonight is not the night for recriminations Magic. You would have to wonder all the same though if Jim O’Shea will have the stomach for another year involved after 18 years without getting over the line. That’s assuming that the players want him involved for the nineteenth year!

  35. I for one cannot see what anyone sees in Conor O’Shea. He hasn’t produced the goods at u-21 level at intercounty (where all are in or around the same age). He wasn’t too hot today either. I just don’t think he will go on and be like his two older brothers and have any impact for the senior Mayo team. It’s a pity as he has the ‘cut’ of a good footballer, but he doesn’t seem to be able to do the necessary things when the pressure is on.

  36. I thought Aidan and Conor O’Shea played very well this afternoon. I believe Breaffy are a better team than this. The manager is on the right road here. It is real difficult making the breakthrough. Castlebar were very good on the day. I was impressed with the Durcans Moran and Kirby. I didn’t think much of Kirby before this but he had a good one today. Castlebar have a lot of young talent coming through and their subs had a serious impact in the last 2 games. Great to see so many Castlebar people come out to support the Mitchels. Changed times indeed.

  37. I feel sorry for Rob Hennelly, none of the goals should have been allowed, umpires should have disallowed the first, Dougie took too many steps for second, so referees fault. Referee missed a blatant foul before the final pass for the third goal. So referee fault again. For the fourth goal the referee missed a tug on the geansai of Michael Hall so again referees fault. Robbie can hold his head up high tonight similar to the Dublin game. Hope Darragh O Shea was not tuned in.

  38. Mayo McHale Magic Mayo arrived on this site in the middle of the management controversity and has been giving it Dog and Bone ever since. I know your are a genuine Mayo supporter even if I do not support all of your views. At least we can agree on things Knockmore sometimes.

  39. Nice to see Tom Cunniffe playing today and looked very assured. (On TG4)
    He does add to the Mayo defence imo. Just a thought. Ciaran 2.

  40. 45 Absolutely agree re young Durcan. I could not believe it when he did not start in the semi final. When he came on near the end he played really well. One for the future I believe.

  41. Mitchels have unbelievable depth. Their passing is outstanding. A lovely football team and they have serious potential to challenge again this year. Proud Castlebar man and can’t wait for this day fortnight

    Also, on a side note, I’m so sick of this “definition of insanity” nonsense being spouted in a football context. It does not apply to football. It applies to science. Remember, it’s an Einstein quote! In fact, football is all about repetition. Until you achieve as close to perfection as possible.

    Anyways, side note!

  42. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Kirby should get an extended run at FF….steep him in it for a while till he gets a decent feel for the position.

    Man of arch for me was SOS.

    And of course the unsung hero of the day was the brass band with J Greham of Ballina playing the trumpet on the left wing. In fact as performances go that of the bands far surpassed that of the 30/40 footballers on view. Congratulations to all…..footballers and musicians alike and a nice Claremorris minor team.

  43. Watched the County final on TG4.

    Mitchells looked very impressive and even more so when forced with the absence of Barry Moran. I thought Kirby were very good and Douglas was the MOTM.

    But it was the old stalwarts who put them on the straight and narrow for all of this. Tom Cunniffe was very solid at the back and for me Richie Feeney was brilliant when he came on. The amount of ball he got on was exceptional.

    And when you have guys who can continuously win it, hold it and distribute it, then the platform is set for the others to shine.

  44. While Mitchel’s were supreme all over the field today I still think that there is a great future in this Breaffy team. They have some very promising young players coming through and in a few years time should, if they stay together, be a very formidable outfit. Castlebar have a few years on them in experience terms at the moment.
    I found it hard to understand Breaffy’s tactics today. Aiden seemed to spend very little time around the square when they were backed by a very strong wind in the first half. Which was the opposite of what I would have expected. Danny Kirby’s performance really questioned why he was not on our county match day panels this year. Another big question mark over the Pat & Noel record. Neil Douglas also made a point and is surely the match of Mikey Sweeney, Mark Ronaldson and maybe one or two more forward panellists. I have no doubt that Mitchels will be more than a match for Clann and will give Corofin a real run for their money. Get through that and who knows!

  45. Memo to Castlebar Mitchel’s kitman – next time please consider getting black numbers on players jersies. Maybe the almost illegible white is designed to confuse the opposition or spying mentors. It certainly confused me as a spectator not familiar with most of the players.

  46. AndyD – whatever about H&C at least they brought these lads into the panel this year – even if their exclusion from championship match day teams was frustrating. If JH ends up taking back the helm you can forget about these lads even making the panel as he had no time for Kirby or Douglas for whatever reason…?

  47. Watching the game on TV you could see why we are now one of the top ranked counties in the country but you could also see why we have not managed to get over the line in terms of winning an All-Ireland title. As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats and you could see that the pace, tempo and the intensity of the game was at a higher level than a county final that would have been played a few years ago in Mayo. You could see the condition of the players was at a very high level, especially those involved in the county panel, this has benefited players like Kirby and Douglas greatly.

    The effort and commitment could not be questioned and much of the build-up play and the kick passing especially was very enjoyable to watch but the old chestnut was still to the fore, you didn’t get the feeling that there were many forwards on the field who could consistently kick points from play between the 45 and 20 meter lines. Lots of play seemed to break down around the 45 meter line with bouts of lateral passing then. Breaffy had the wind in the first half but their forwards couldn’t kick points with the wind at their backs. I too was amazed that Aidan O’Shea wasn’t placed closer to goals at that time. They also had the perfect foil for him in young O’Reilly, you’d think that he would have been the best man to feed off the big man.

    I thought Richie Feeney did well too, he showed his experience and is a smart player. It’ll be interesting to see how Castlebar will do from here on, best of luck to them in the next round!

  48. HSE you have made some good points about the standard of forward play in today’s game, but tbh, I’m more concerned about our inter county goalkeeper conceding 4 goals in a club match.

  49. Knockmore Lad, I know what you mean alright but Castlebar were just a lot more solid at the back. I can’t remember their keeper been left one on one at any stage and Alan Feeney cleared one off the line when the keeper was beaten. Cunniffe, Feeney and O’Reilly were experienced heads at the back for Mitchels along with Newcombe. Breaffy really lacked a big presence in their full-back line. I think Michael Hall’s best position is right-half back rather than in the full-back line and I don’t think that he looked fully fit today, I think he has been out injured lately, as he is a fine player when on song.

    In saying that I would have preferred to see David Clarke in goals for the Dublin matches this year rather than Robbie but I’m not sure if he was fully fit for those games and management might have felt that a fully fit Hennelly was the better option.

  50. HSE;

    Maybe we are all now beginning to realise, that a half fit David Clarke IS always a better option than a fully fit Robert Hennelly.

  51. I agree with you on Clarke and always have said Clarke is our number one .

    As regards the few names I mentioned and you saying it proves I have serious lack of knowledge . I disagree , not much more I can say really, I have made it clear on several occasions , Evan Reagan has the stuff to do it and that’s what I believe and I look forward to the day he gets his chance on the big stage because he will excel in it , again that’s just an opinion . But sure we are entitled to one of them . Even if them opinions seem outlandish to people who just want to keep coming to Croke park with six workhorses in the forward line time and time again . Do I want Kevin mcgloughlin or Evan regan with the ball in his hand thirty yards out in an all Ireland final with a bit of space in front to have a kick , give me regan anytime and everytime . Mcgloughlin s instinct would be to look for a lateral pass or recycle where as regans instinct is to sail her over .

    One day youll realise the difference , it’s partly because the ethos of this team has compensated through Trojan work and severely intensive tacking from the forwards but it has just fell that tiny bit short at winning a couple of all Ireland’s

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