Mayo 0-12 Monaghan 1-11: error-ridden display ends in defeat

So another year of competitive football is up and running for us but unfortunately this one – like last year – has opened for us in defeat. Unlike the thumping down in Cork twelve months ago, however, tonight’s two-point loss to Monaghan was wholly preventable, which I guess is why it feels so frustrating.

There was a great sense of anticipation in MacHale Park this evening ahead of throw-in. We’d arrived down early from Dublin, so early in fact that we had taken our seats in the stand a full hour ahead of the throw-in. Although we had the pick of the seats then, the stand soon began to fill up and by the time the match got underway there were over 10,000 souls inside the ground.

We started well, debutant Fergal Boland firing over a nice point from play to give us an early lead. We quickly lost our way, however, and with the Farney lads winning the battle around midfield and breaking quickly upfield with clever interlinked moves, we soon came under pressure. Three frees and a ‘45 from Conor McManus put them into the driving seat and their fifth point, their first from play, put them four clear.

We’d missed a few chances ourselves by then but looked off the pace all over the field in that opening period. We steadied ourselves well after that, though, reeling off five unanswered points to go in at the half-way mark a point to the good.

The first of these was a high quality one from out on the right from Evan Regan, the second was a Cillian O’Connor free, the third was one from play by Kevin McLoughlin and then Alan Freeman levelled the game with a super fetch, turn and shot off his weaker left foot. It was a free from Evan Regan that then put us ahead at the break.

To be honest, we didn’t really deserve to be in front at that stage as we hadn’t played hugely well in the first half. It looked, though, that we’d weathered the early storm brewed up by Monaghan and so appeared well set to push on in the second half.

That didn’t happen. An attack for us broke down at the Albany end – where one of our lads (I can’t remember who it was) looked to be fouled but nothing was given (a fairly familiar complaint for us tonight – Conor Lane put in a truly shocking evening’s work on the whistle) – and they counter-attacked swiftly. Conor McManus bore down on goal and as the cover converged he slipped it through to Darren Hughes who bundled the ball home.

We never really got to terms with them after that. They quickly tacked on a point after the goal, Cillian pointed a free for us, they got another one, Cillian got another free back for us, then they got the next two scores to go four clear.

Chasing the game now – a contest that got tetchier and more ill-tempered by the minute – we reduced the margin back to two points. Cillian got both of these scores, the first a beauty from the tightest of angles out on the left, the second from a free.

In the lead-up to that pointed free came the incident that should have swung the game our way. The increasingly ill-disciplined Farneymen were reduced to fourteen men when Karl O’Connell walked on a second yellow.

We had Tom Parsons on, who injected more drive and urgency to our midfield, and threw Andy on too but it was the visitors who showed more guile coming down the closing stretch and that was what won this match for them.

A point by Doogan gave them some valuable breathing space as the match went into injury time but two more points from Cillian, the first from play and the second from a free, reduced the deficit once more to the minimum. We had a chance to draw level too but instead it was Monaghan who notched the final score, another McManus special, to seal a two-point win for them.

It was a hugely frustrating performance from our lads. You can expect to see plenty of errors in February and that’s what we got but I guess what was more annoying was that when the fat was in the fire with ten minutes (plus five minutes added time) left to play we showed so little composure in how we chased the game. Every attack we made seemed overly frantic, every shot snatched and so the chances we had – and we had more than enough – to get something from this game were spurned.

It wasn’t all negative, though, and in particular the positive displays of the newcomers was good to see. Donie Newcombe had a storming game at corner-back and Fergal Boland put in a good shift at wing-forward. It was good too to see Stephen Coen beginning to settle in at centre-back and there’s every hope he’ll now be able to go on and nail down this jersey for the summer. And, of course, David Clarke saved our bacon more than once tonight at the back.

The reason, by the way, I’m so late penning this report tonight was that I ended up in the Sportlann after the game to discover that those kind Club ’51 people had put together a 10th birthday party for me and the blog, replete with a cake and all that I chomped at with relish. I have to admit I was rather touched and humbled by this kind gesture and I even had to rouse myself to give a short speech.

So, even though we lost this opening League match, it was still, all told, a memorable evening. There’s nothing like cake and buns to ease life’s many pains.

In any event, defeat tonight isn’t the end of the world. It’s only the first round of the League and we’ve plenty of matches left in which to secure our long-running Division One status for another year. It does, though, put a bit of pressure on us heading to Tralee to face Kerry this night week and, if that one doesn’t go to plan, our home fixture two weeks after against the Rossies will for sure have plenty of bite.

For now, though, all our focus should be on getting off the mark in Tralee next weekend. If we aim to eradicate the many early season errors we made tonight there’s every chance we’ll be able to do this.

Mayo: David Clarke; Donie Newcombe, Keith Higgins, Paddy Durcan; Colm Boyle, Stephen Coen, David Drake; Donal Vaughan, Danny Kirby; Fergal Boland (0-1), Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Jason Doherty; Evan Regan (0-2, one free), Alan Freeman (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (0-7, five frees). Subs: Diarmuid O’Connor for Regan, Tom Parsons for Kirby, Andy Moran for Freeman, Conor O’Shea for Doherty.

Post-match audio report:

Man of the Match poll:

Who was our MOTM against Monaghan?

  • David Clarke (68%, 380 Votes)
  • Donie Newcombe (10%, 54 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (8%, 43 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (4%, 22 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (1%, 6 Votes)
  • David Drake (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Danny Kirby (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Evan Regan (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Alan Freeman (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Conor O'Shea (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 558

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104 thoughts on “Mayo 0-12 Monaghan 1-11: error-ridden display ends in defeat

  1. Poor performance lucky it was only two point defeat. Clarke Mayos best player stopped a few Monaghan goals. Don’t think that Mayo midfield will play another competitive game together again. Only six points from play in 75 mins? And went long periods in both halfs without a score.

    D O Connor,Parsons,Moran etc must start next weekend.

  2. On a positive note, great crowd for the first match , newbies showed well, serious improvements needed, awful hard to get a decent ref!

  3. Not great I m afraid. Same as previous. Dont want to be too critical but Regan and Freeman taken off again, Looks like it will be back to Andy and Dillon and the other golden oldies again. No sign of new guys making the break through

  4. Newcombe did very well tonight…Boland very solid too. Kirby did reasonably well although was edged out by Hughes on a number of occasions The lack of quality in our full forward line remains a major concern…bar Cillian we have very little else. Regan and Freeman have no teeth at this level.

  5. Monaghan earned their win and just about. Like above, Beggins belters from distance the difference, missed a couple too although. No real head turners up front yet and without Cillian we’d be bet out the gate. It’s early I know but these home games are for the taking and takes pressure off later when we could be in a fight for div. one status. And the ref?…. I was as close to some of the play as he was and really can’t understand some of his decisions. The mind boggles.

  6. Disappointed but if we can stay up and find three players that really give us an extra push for later in the year that would be good. I thought Newcombe was good, Kirby did well, he could really serve as a good full forward. Seemed a little off the pace but we will get there

  7. Thrilled to bits for Donie Newcombe on his competitive debut. Outstanding performance

    Normal service resumed from Clarke. Best keeper in the country

  8. Thought Kirby showed well tonight.But he is not a midfielder…We were wiped out there..Clarke was excellent as always.To be fair we are missing Keegan,Harrison Caff and Keane in the backs….Always a pain in the arse to lose home games..Almost 11 000 on a freezing cold nite is some show of support. .

  9. No ins and outs about it. We did not win midfield and the Hughes boys bullied us and won. Felt they ran at us a lot in the first half and we were chasing back. Frees given away when the challenge should have happened up the field. For all the possession they had was surprising to lead at half time. Fergal showed well for ball and this game will help him move on. Clarke was outstanding. Onwards to Kerry and 30 points down on the leader board.

  10. Lane doesn’t seem to know that if you touch the ball on the ground it’s a foul. I don’t like starting by discussing the ref but he lost control of it in the 2nd half. A very poor display by him.

    Monaghan were tenacious, cynical at times(fouled McLoughlin at any opportunity and were dragging off the ball the vast majority of which went unpunished) but they were more up for this than we were. The concern now is that we might struggle to remain in the division if we don’t win the rest of our home games. Kerry, Dublin and Tyrone away are all tricky tests.

    Performance wise we were rusty, not unexpected. Lots of our regulars were inaccurate, a lot of wayward passing. Plenty of the usual lateral stuff. Of the newcomers Newcombe was most impressive!:), Boland started brightly but the game seemed to pass him by. Kirby was ok, lost a few aerial challenges early on but got more into it as the game developed. Drake was perhaps not tight enough in marking and was caught ball watching for their 5th point; anywat we know who our wing backs will be in the summer. Coen looked commanding and has potential. You can clearly see his leadership skills, barking out commands at Vaughan at one point. Has he the required pace? Not sure yet but he has plenty of good qualities.

    Regan, he showed endeavour but sometimes it looks like he’s trying too hard and lacks composure at crucial moments. Kicked a coupe of nice points but struggled to win 50/50 ball(same as last year) and lost control of it a couple of times which was frustrating. I’d love to see the stats on his possession count. This league campaign will tell us slot about him, provider he stays injury free.

    I actually thought we didn’t utilise Freeman enough; he looked our most threatening forward when he got the ball (Cillian played all over the park; I’d prefer to see him inside the opposition 40 for most of the game…remember a few seasons ago when he was scoring goals; that’s what we need from him). Freeman is a good ball winner when it’s played in right and unlike Regan he tends to win 50/50 balls. The supply into him this evening was poor though. If like to see Rochford stick with him at 14 for a couple of games.

    No point in mentioning our regular players, we know what they’re capable of come the championship but it would be wrong not to mention Clarke. He was without question, our man of the match.

  11. Always disappointed to lose but we didn’t really deserve to win that game. Beforehand I was mostly looking for something new and exciting in the forwards. But I saw nothing much to get excited about so far.
    I was disappointed in Evan Regan. I felt this was a big chance for him. He did kick one good point early on but apart from a good free never really got going. Alan Freeman caught a couple of good balls and got a good point off one of those catches but again I was disappointed that he couldn’t impose himself a bit more. Then again Wiley is a tough opponent. I liked Fergal Boland who I thought played well apart from one bad choice late on by going for a point that wasn’t really on.
    Kirby was ok but he seems a bit awkward close to goals.
    Not a great start but I suppose compared to the hammering we got this time last year it’s not too worrying.

  12. Just not enough scoring forwards to share load with Cillian. How long have we been saying that? We can’t win all the tight games depending on 1 man.

  13. Dublin will not lose to Cavan tomorrow.

    Despite some rickshaw refereing, Monaghan went out our gate, deserving winners. Early days. Mayo seemed to panic when Cillian shunned an easy free and tried o create a goal chance with 5 minutes of regular time left and five extra looming. If he was as bold in 2013 final, maybe our script would have different writing on it.

    The New England Patriots play the Atlanta Falcons in the super bowl tomorrow. I am a big Patriots fan. I lived there for a piece and my son and myself spent many a frosty day in Foxborough. I remember there landmark season of 91. They were 1 win and 15 losses at the end of there beginning. They wrote there own history since with three simple words, “DO YOUR JOB!”

    The upstart Falcons I believe will win tomorrow not because they are a better team. They’re not! I believe they win because they fully believe and the shadow of the Patriots tried and trusted greatness will not unfortunately be enough to overcome the unquenchable belief the Falcans possess this year.

    I hope I’m wrong. You’ll know it when you see it.

    It’s early days but Mayo need to really believe. If you can stay up watch the body language of the Falcon’s team tommorow night. They have no right to be in the superbowl but they are there. Go Patriots! You are up against a team who has never won fuck all just like you in 91. They’re up for it. I love Mayo.

  14. Very frustrating game.thought we got bullied today.a lot of bad decisions made by players all over the pitch.doc and donie running into blind alleys.
    Awful bad support play up front.
    You would have to wonder those McHale park suit this team at times.
    Still early days yet.

  15. Monaghan got the same number of points from play.
    Suggested I was making excuses for Lane performance, I’m not, we still had time and chances to at least get a draw. However he missed a belt on the head for Doherty and a foul on Freeman both in easy free distance and McManus blatantly pushed Keith Higgins to the ground to set up the goal though those are rarely given when a forward with ball in hand pushes.
    Missed a few others including Monaghan pick up off ground but we got away with the same on at least 1 occasion. Also missed the arm lock pull to the ground trick by (I think) Hughes on one of our lads making it look like Mayo foul. Should be a yell for that offense if caught doing it. Overall Lane was poor and Monaghan were serial fouling for most of 2nd half until one of them deservedly got a 2nd yellow. Mayo got yellows mostly for defending themselves on one occasion from being slammed into the side gate. Despite all that we were close enough to get a draw if good decisions were made.

  16. I asked a Monaghan man beside me ‘was that there full first team out today.. he said it was.. there might be one other player available good enough to make the squad but that was it’ he added. I would guess Monaghan have been training 8-10 weeks longer than us (they were clearly a lot fitter than us) and we had a 3rd placed midfield of sorts and we still had the winning of it if we didn’t do the same old panic and not take our points. It’s very difficult for teams like Mayo or Kerry to qualify for the league final if teams like roscommon, cavan and monaghan are training to be the very best they can be at this early stage of the season.. it means there”s very little down time for our guys. Clarke was immense and Diarmuid looks to have done a bit of strength and conditioning over the winter…should stand to him. I thought ref was ok have to say.. serious crowd too

  17. I meant to say it’s extremely difficult to even stay up in this competition never mind get enough points to get to a league final

  18. At the end of the day when we were a point down we had no one to step
    Up and put the ball over the bar, Cillian seemed to be the only option. I thought Kirby and newcomb played quite well and Boland showed a lot in the first half. I’ll hold judgement on regan yet but Freeman has got plenty of chances. Drakes man played hell throughout the whole game also. Under pressure now at the win the remainder of our home games as the the away games are so difficult this year.

  19. The ref was s##t. They’re training longer than us. That’s their full team you know. I’m just waiting for someone to come on here and blame the cold or maybe the grass was too long???
    Yes I know it’s the first game etc etc but if we are one of the top teams in the country, home games against teams like Monaghan are games we should be winning. When was the last time we lost to them in mchale Park??
    It was a poor display, error-ridden as WJ puts it. A game we could have won, a game we should have drawn but probably more worrying is that it was a game we could have lost by so much more.
    Roll on the double header on Tg4 tomorrow, should give us an idea where other teams are at.

  20. Thank you David Clarke!! A MAGNIFICENT performance. Would not like to see that scoreboard tonite if you not there.
    We’re in safe HANDS. Early days. Let’s not panic.

  21. Some saying back to golden oldies, I disagree. Andy will always be thereabouts cause his performances deserve it. Made immediate impact setting up Cillian score when he came on though after that team incohesion limited his creative input.
    Freeman for me did better than Cillian over the 55 game time as he was more often double marked and often despite that still won and even when dispossessed often got a foot or something on the ball reversing the turnover. Cillian got turned over a few times once in pressure cooker stage. Early in the game the quality of ball in just wasn’t good enough to either player and nothing went into Regan’s corner so he had to swap corners to just get in the game. Freeman should have stayed on also to give him free practice when game in the fire as backup to Cillian who could have been withdrawn. Regan missed 1 scorable free.
    Higgins would be better off in half backs or sweeper for his distribution with either Coen or Drake in the full back line. Both played fairly well but neither has Keith’s level of distribution yet though Coen’s looks pretty good.
    For individual performances I think all the new lads showed potential including Kirby in midfield, lost a few one on ones but won a few too.
    After the red card we should be been using the off the shoulder tactic which worked so well when we reeled in 5 on the trot in 1st half. We’d have beaten them then on scoring fouls. Though midfielders played well the winning primary possession bit they weren’t targets often enough whereas in contrast Kieran Hughes got some easy marks near the end when we had an extra man. I wouldn’t say we were badly beaten there but overall their pair had a bigger game.

    Our problem this time wasn’t as some say the quality of the FF line but for too much of the game the distribution in.

    Regan was only ok and lost some ball he had won but looks to have a laser boot when he does get a shot off. Still worth persisting with IMO. Boland has a future I think. Has quiet periods but on the ball he looks good.

    Definitely not as bad as Cork last year but Kerry have some decent training behind them so will be hard to crack next game. If they look good against Donegal then fancy them to beat us.

    Maybe small bit heavy legged with winter training but definitely not in the same state as 12 months ago.

  22. A winnable game but we didn’t look as hungry as Monaghan and some of our play was just pure stupidity. Donal Vaughan ran into I don’t know how many dead ends and others weren’t much better. There were moments where ball handling was very poor too. Cillian O’Connor was working hard and trying to create something but once again our forward play was seriously lacking. Evan Regan is not big enough in my opinion and Alan Freeman has had plenty of chances and doesn’t do enough to win his own ball. Not sure what has happened to Conor Loftus. Clarke our motm yet again.

    I know Monaghan have had more time in training and we’re missing a couple of players, but we really should be winning these home games and I don’t know why we aren’t having s proper go at the league generally. Winning a national title would be great and having a league title under our belt would be a boost going into the championship.

    Anyway Monaghan were the better team and deserved the win.

  23. We were well beaten in midfield and it’s very hard to win a game when that’s the case. In saying that when we got to within one point of them, we probably should have worked an equaliser against their 14 men.

    They were just sharper than us. Newcombe did well and Boland too at times. Clarke was really good and Cillian was our only forward who could consistently win 50/50 ball. Rochford is a bit slow to make changes as well. We could have done with Tom Parsons coming on sooner.

    I thought it a bit strange that Keith was given the task of marking Conor McManus. You could see that they decided to hit some long balls into our defence at the start of the second half which lead to their goal. McManus had a height advantage over Keith so I thought Paddy Durcan might have been given that marking job.

    Hopefully we’ll have a few more bodies back for the trip to Kerry. We’ll see how it goes anyway.

  24. Disappointing display. Newcombe a standout performer. Clarke obviously very good. How Danny Kirby & Donie Vaughan started ahead of Tom Parsons is a mystery.

    Once again Stephen Coen & David Drake were very disappointing. Monaghan drove through the middle of our defence time after time in the first half.

    Donie needs to understand that he is not Sean O Brien, his continued attempts to burst through the tackle were very frustrating.

    Fergal Boland has something to offer.

    Management need to start the best team, and stop trying to copy Dublin by bringing in star players.

  25. I still think Freeman brings something to the team that others don’t. He can win ball better than most of our other full forward options. He can score.

    The lad was double marked at times tonight and the ball into him was bordering on non-existant. I’d like to see him get a proper supply.

    Has he really has plenty of chances? He has made sporadic appearances. Any forward needs a run of games and the best forwards in the works can look average if the supply is off. Cillian had to come deep just to get involved. He was corner back at one point to get a quick kick out from Clarke. We are not using him properly in my opinon, we’re not maximising his ability and skill set. He should be terrifying defences, it’s a long time since he has. By the time the ball gets to our full forward like they’re generally outnumbers and insufficiently supported.

    Don’t really know what Conor O’Shea brings. He’s big and bulky but did nothing in the league last year when he featured in most games as a forward. I think he scored 2 points from play in the 2016 league. He looks likes a middle third player and that’s it.

    Disappointed Irwin didn’t get a run.

    Diarmuid is going to be key for us for years to come. Even when he came on he nearly scored a goal from nothing. He has a super ability to be and to get past players in tight situations. In my opinion he’s the most naturally talented footballer in our squad. It’s a pity we can’t clone him. He can play anywhere.

    What’s the story with Loftus?

  26. Just back in the door. Not hugely surprised we lost but still disappointed we didn’t get something out of it. Nothing new really to take out of it. It’d be easy be very critical but we haven’t the training done. Mistakes aplenty.
    Thought our half forward line, apart from Kevin McLaughlin, was poor. Boland did ok in spurts but he went missing for some large portions of the match. Doherty was pretty anonymous throughout really.
    Regan is still worth persisting with though he is far too predictable with ball in hand. Top inter county teams won’t let him shoot off his left foot too easy. He took a couple of nice scores in fairness.
    Newcombe was definitely the best of the newcomers. Boland deserves more game time. The suspicion is that while he’s a good footballer, he may not have the strength to really make an impact this year. He’s a worker but he doesn’t have the sufficient power that Diarmuid or even Doherty has to shrug off challenges on runs.
    I’d agree with the audio piece. More subtlety or variety is needed with the forwards. Mayo are at their best when running at teams but even still, they reverted to type pretty quickly tonight and they’re going to need more options and variety of attacks this year.
    It is only February and I wouldn’t be getting overly fussed. We haven’t the work done that others have but that will come. However, the Roscommon game is now huge as it’s hard to see them get anything from the three away games. So they’d need to be beating Donegal, Cavan and Roscommon at home and hoping that will be enough. I’d like if they gave beating Dublin a shot, mind. We haven’t beaten Dublin since Gavin took over, it’d be worth trying to change that.
    A word on Clarke. Outstanding tonight. Not too sure about the jersey(!!) but he was excellent throughout. That’s how you do your talking. Well done sir.

  27. Redcol, I agree re Drake, I’d have Nally ahead of him. I’ve never seen Drake play a game for Mayo where he has impressed. I’d give Coen a bit of time. He only turned 21 two months ago. He has a lot of talent and leadership skills. He’s a bit stocky. Needs to work on speed. I’m sure he knows this better than most! He smacks me of the kind of guy who’ll do whatever it takes to be the best he can. Very good attitude. He’ll be a big player for Mayo over the coming years.

  28. It’s not you, Rochford’s Brigade, it’s WordPress – a number of people (you included) are getting snared in moderation all the time and it’s still not clear what the problem is. We’re working on it but don’t have a fix as yet I’m afraid.

  29. Another great blog report, thanks so much! Love the cake, please send us all a bite to enjoy, what a special surprise!!!! 10 years – such a great accomplishment, thanks SO MUCH for all you do!!! Tough loss today, was hoping for a win to start erasing “those October” memories. The conditions looked tough, cold and wet. My regards to the players and all the fans that attended – hope you warm up soon. It was good to see Cillian nail so many frees and excellent work of the new players.We will continue to rise again. All the best to everyone and thanks for all the commentary, love reading the blog and all the posts. Maigh Eo Abu’

  30. Just too many handling errors, miss-placed hand/foot passes and dodgy solos/pick ups. Monaghan deserved the win even though we should have got at least a draw with them down to 14.

    Clarke and Newcombe were our best performers. Boland did well but his miss near the end was costly – a bit of inexperience showing. Kirby had some good moments but our midfield was well beaten as a pair. Cillian stood up in the 2nd half after a poor start. Regan and Freeman’s ability to win 50:50 ball was disappointing. Both guys show flashes of brilliance but not enough. It’s strange because Andy & Cillian don’t have Freeman’s height or Regan’s pace yet they are great at winning dirty ball.

    Diarmuid and Tom P must come into the starting 15 for the Kerry game. I’d bring Nally in for Drake as well. Very unlikely we’ll make the league final now when you see the 3 away fixtures we have so survival is the aim again.

  31. I posted here last night that we’d lose by 2, an so it turned out. Still, very disappointed that we lost, having been at the game, I felt we would turn the screw just after half time, but it was’nt to be. Monaghans speed and fitness really won the game for them. Seems we really love give ourselves a mountain to climb in the league.

    They played a very strong 15 and deserved their win. Newcombe played very well, seems to have what it takes!, same with Boland, but he needs a couple more years to fill out build up his power, think he has the potential to be a Paul Flynn type player. Regan scored some tasty points, he just struggles to break free from his man after collecting posession, don’t know how he can change this? Maybe he could flourish more running from deep towards the goal, as opposed to running away from goal to collect posession?. Freeman played well and has the potential to rattle the onion bag when given half a chance.

    Don’t think Drake offers us much, seems a bit of a journeyman in the squad, would prefer Akram to be given a run in these games, his pace would do damage at this time of year. Kirby offers a physical threat and could be better used as a full forward. Few more big guns from the start against Kerry and we might have a chance, if not, we’ll get destroyed.

  32. I wouldn’t blame Connor Lane for our loss, he sent off a Monaghan player and moved the ball in several times. Monaghan worked harder and wanted it more than Mayo.. We didn’t create a single goal chance. I go with the concensus here Clark MotM..saved our bacon several times. But you have to admire the kicking ability of his opponent in the Monaghan goal, Rory Beggan, he had some incredible kick outs a such range as we seen him scoring from almost 60 meters. We were disjointed, maybe we could have brought on a few subs earlier, possibly Tom Parsons earlier inclusion might have brought us nearer parity in the midfield where we were well beaten for most of the match. Newcombe certainly was very very good,as was Boyle, , Higgins done a good job on Connor McManus, what a player he is. Durcan done most to bring Mayo back into the match in the second quarter, he’s certainly the real deal, but I think he’s better at half forward. Kirby gave it everything, worked incredibly hard, made some very hard runs but frustrating his team mates didn’t pick him out a few times. Coen couldn’t be faulted for effort. Our full forward line didn’t really deliver, any of the three could have been withdrawn earlier and not complained, but I have to say that I taught Freeman was the best of the three, making the runs and providing a target that a good full forward should do. There’s plenty of hope for us, plenty to work on. Finally hope you enjoyed the party in the Sportlann, Willie Joe, that cake sure looked tasty, and I was starving leaving McHale Park, I might have scoffed the lot if I knew it was there. On to Tralee, no doubt we’ll be underdogs, sure it might just suit us.

  33. Cleaned out at CF for most of the game. Still have a reluctance to get quick ball into FF line. Otherwise, did well.
    Work to do.

  34. That match was almost as frustrating as the fog on the way back to Dublin. Very disappointing result. Would have been delighted to even equalise at the end and feel we’d all be immeasurably more positive if we had. The Boland lad is a lovely player to watch. Nice style about him. He’s a ways off being ready to start in the summer but you never know what more games will do for him. Ten points now in four games. Look knackered in the second half. He and Newcombe, who barely put a foot wrong, were a breath of fresh air on the right for a good while. Kirby did alright but he doesn’t look up to centrefield – not consistent or imposing enough. Another go at 14 perhaps. Durkan looked all grown up. Boyler and Donie charging into five Farneymen at a time. A shame neither Regan nor Freezer caught fire. Bit demoralising.
    One of the lads in my office, a Dublin GAA man, said to me on Friday that he didn’t rate Coen as a kick-passer – having watched him for UCD, I think – and I jumped to his defence as a reflex. But I had that thought in my head tonight I have to say that I found his distribution off the boot to be very poor, notably wayward. I still have him pencilled in as a starter for championship because he’s a huge presence and has so much more to his games, but I’d like him to stick to water-carrying and holding the fort if he’s gonna kick like that. In his defence, our age-old inability to make it stick in the inside forward line was in effect tonight and the pangs for our old off-the-shoulder running game are more pronounced with every match that passes.
    Broadly speaking I’m not that downbeat about the performance as many are here, though. Fuck it. I quite enjoyed the first half and when we dragged them in and overtook them it felt good. What also felt good was walking into a packed main stand again and hearing 10,000+ over the PA.
    Monaghan kicked about four or five cracking scores to be fair to them.
    Could do without the stress of a relegation battle but I think it’s on the horizon for one reason and one reason only: because we never seem to give the league a proper go.
    And I think we should.

  35. A few points to make. Firstly we were too slow in getting the ball into our attack with soloing around the middle allowing Monaghan to get back in numbers to defend. How many times did we lose possession around the 50/40 m line as we tried to work our way through their defensive wall? Secondly what is Cillian O’Connor’s role? We need him up front leading our attack, not as another all action player around the field. Thirdly, I am still unconvinced by Evan Regan. Yes, he is a very talented and accurate forward but he lacks the ability to win 50/50 possession and beat an opponent. We have had a mountain of such forwards down the years. I would have liked to see Irwin get a run today, even as a sub. I think Freeman has a lot to offer although I believe that he is better as a corner forward than full forward. Fourthly, we conceded far too many easy kickouts to Monaghan, especially early on. They did not reciprocate. Fifthly, I thought our full back line as unit did not remotely look like a full back line, far too porous and open.
    Both Newcombe and Boland proved worthy of further starts although Boland also looks a bit lightweight for heavy going and tight marking. Like most other contributors on this site I thought that Clarke was outstanding. No other keeper I know of has his bravery, reliability and good timing in coming out to contest with opposition forwards. Next best by a mile was Kenneth O’Malley, now unfortunately abroad as I understand.

  36. That was very close to the starting Monaghan fifteen. They’re a decent side and therefore we can’t afford to face off against them missing as many regulars as we did.

  37. Was clear monaghan were fitter and they deserved their win. That said looking at Mayo this yeR I’m looking for a forward to make a statement and I didn’t see it last night. We also move the ball too slow

  38. Clarke was outstanding best keeper in Ireland wish i was there had to watch it on tv as living in donegal will go to the donegal v kerry today so handy game is only a mile from the house

  39. It wasn’t midfield that had us 4 down early on it was the lack of quality in our balls in. Freeman was making some good runs which were not spotted by the kickers and not a single ball went into the right corner for ages and Regan had to come across to the other corner get on the ball. People being unfair on several players. Doherty along with Kevin Mc worked himself into the ground and they were our most prominent players. Boland on the ball very good and drew frees also but drifted in and out. Would have to say as a debut it was good. Pleasantly surprised by Newcombe, I think he’s moved ahead of Drake, maybe Coen and Nally and Hall missing out on his chance with injury.
    Criticism of Freeman way off the mark. Did well despite the quality of what went in… and double marked a lot of the time. Regan struggles to cope with double marking and tends to spill whereas Alan and Cillian both bigger and cuter.
    Also did we have a sweeper system at all. Those Monaghan goal chances were a bit shocking. We need to go back to the Tyrone Donegal template and not concede big scores. Imagine if that was Kerry what the scoreboard could look like.
    I don’t think any individual player did poorly. Drake was a bit too bread and butter in his distribution but besides that in one on ones all did well and no on cleaned. Really it was team play that let us down.
    The off the shoulder I’m a big fan of when done right Mayo are the best at it and our 5 in a row yesterday was mostly from that tactic but when running into major traffic can result in frees out and turnovers. Problem is we need a kicking game to avoid being predictable and that game hasn’t worked apart from when Andy in the team. Freeman in fairness was getting out in front and when even half quality went near him won most of it. The first few balls into both Freeman and Cillian were just too long.
    Best point came from Kevin Mc’s curved kick pass into Freeman who won it and avoided 3 defenders by moving onto his weaker foot.
    While Doherty’s work rate is very good he has not shown that kind of pass in his locker so I would play Keith or Paddy Durcan in half forwards this year. Both would have the same work rate but with Durcan’s pace and strength and Keith’s evasiveness and kick passing we could find those front line lads. Keith my preference. Along with Kevin Mc he’s our best kick passer. That’s the missing link. I also think Keith and Kevin could alternate as sweeper. Diarmaid could then be used a bit further up to threaten scoreboard more. Cillian tried a few killer balls in yesterday one with his left which didn’t come off but a spell in half forwards could be good to develop this part of his game. Has the peripheral vision but sometimes not the execution. Goch would have nailed those passes.
    Irwin probably deserves a chance the next day.

  40. So I would swap the O Connor Bros for a while. See what Diarmaid offers inside and let Cillian fine tune his kicking game in half forwards.

  41. Like the Tyrone game a few year back in McHale park we hit a wall on their 45 and go lateral cough up the ball and they hit us on the counter.
    We need more lads to take long range shots against these teams plus our passing off our weaker side was terrible.
    Where was Carolan last night not even on the sub’s.

  42. I must say Rochford is really testing me! Keep giving him the benifit of the doubt, but he is still going with the old tried and failed and it honestly seems that we have absolutely no attacking game plan at all. Maybe it just appears like that, but are players just told to play as you like and hopefully it comes together ? I was at two FBD games and two lads from mayo scored 0-9 and 1-8 respectively against mayo and they are not next or near the squad? Like lads that can put the ball over the bar! I really do sometimes think I really mustn’t have a clue and these people know way more than me, cos it must be that.

  43. The subs were: Robbie Hennelly, Eoin O’Donoghue, Ray O’Malley, Michael Plunkett, Eoghan O’Reilly, Tom Parsons, Shane Nally, Diarmuid O’Connor, Conor O’Shea, Liam Irwin and Andy Moran.

  44. Lads, Conor Loftus is injured. People keep asking what’s the story with him – that’s the story, he’s injured. He’ll be back but only when he’s no longer injured.

  45. Such a disappointing show with sloppy mistakes, and management hesitant to make changes. No need to panic.

    But certain experiments need to stop. We are not going to get to a stage where Freeman can be trusted in a big game. He has ability but pulls out of too many 50 50 challenges. More often he is the starting point of a counter attack. Would have liked to have seen Irwin.

    David Drake is another that has had his chances and failed to convince. While physically strong I feel he is languid and slow. We have young options like Michael Plunkett or a more consistent performer such as Shane Nally to turn to.

    We need to cop on and defend our home patch. Record there is nearly as unacceptable as the debt to pay for the dangerous toilet facilities and concrete walls surrounding the pitch. If we don’t we are going down. But without a ruthless streak we will only travel big far and the big dance will more like drunk uncle dancing than crowning glory

  46. Poor result. We obviously have no interest in trying to win the league. Survival in div 1 is the name of the game. It’s like Groundhog Day now in opening game of the league and the margin of defeat is the only variable. We play into the hands of the blanket defences by moving the ball laterally instead of letting the ball in to the forwards. Freeman was making runs all evening but very little going in his direction. We had an extra man for 15 minutes and nothing changed tactically as far as I could see. A crowd of over 10,000 turned up on a cold night and left as usual shaking their heads at the ineptitude displayed once again. What has Rochford brought to the Mayo set up?

    Only for Clarke we would have been bet out the gate. I shudder at the thoughts of Kerry next.

  47. It was a poor performance,I just can not see Alan Freeman or E Regan staying on the panel,can’t win a fifty ball ,F Boland will need a year of strength and conditioning before he is ready,D Kirby did not put his hand up either,we need some new forwards,but don’t seem to have any,it is why the ball does not go in quickly because no one is showing for it,the usual players played ok,Clarke was outstanding,I know we are looking more towards September but it would be good to see some of the fringe players make a statement,but there is a reason why they are fringe players,three managers have looked at most of those players and not trusted them,I am sorry to criticise players because I know the effort they put in all year round,so we should be very thankful for their efforts,but I have lost faith in some of them,also the referee was woeful,but woeful for both teams,so cannot blame for our failure

  48. I Just thought the intensity from the Monaghan defence was unreal especially in the first half. They had some star performer’s,Macmanus and the two Hughes’s. Imo Mayo only had one, David Clarke. Some of the forwards faded in and out of the game a lot. Serious inproovment needed for Kerry.

  49. Fair play to the lads..first game back, it would be hard to expect massive things right now..the good times are coming guys..Clarke was brilliant btw

  50. Not too big a shock being beaten. Size matters on a heavy pitch in early February and that aligned with key scores and not being at the pace of the game were the key differences between the teams in my opinion. I don’t blame the ref too much. Can’t really considering at a key stage of the game coming down the stretch we were only 1 point behind with 10 minutes to play at home against 14 men. A team of our supposed experience should have been able to at least claim a draw from that position.

    Next week will be very hard I think.

  51. Being far, far too slow to get the ball into our attack lost us that game – as it has cost us plenty of others. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell and at this point it’s getting a bit tiresome to watch.

  52. I’m getting abit tired now of this nonsense about staying up in the division…we all know how important it is but Jesus christ why can’t we go out and try n win the damn thing league…it hast harmed the jackeens has it….it’s early days but this management not giving me much cofidence for later in year….

  53. We won’t win down in Kerry….
    Not a chance n pressure builds then again
    At the end day nothing does more for team morale than winning n i don’t care what 15 starts
    They no respect for fbd or national league….we ‘ll win a couple games to stay up and the usual shite bigger fish to fry in summer…it doest help 1 bit I think…look at Mickey harte every year they try to win everything n their getting close again very close and you watch they come up against jacks….we cannot beat this dublin team n they know it I’m afraid….

  54. It’s time now to let few the ole heads go whether they like or not…..will management do it…
    No don’t think their ruthless enough and I don’t care who or where your from n I’d say the sameabout my own club… we will see
    We need a Cody in mayo football badly…..simple no prisoners

  55. Who do they need to let go John?

    We might as well give up I suppose. No chance next week and this team know they can’t beat Dublin. You’ve obviously got the inside track there that nobody else seems to have.

  56. John Lynskey back to being like England soccer supporters top of the world leading into a tournament and rock bottom as soon as we lose a game. Dumping veterans neither of whom started and one wasn’t even in the 26.
    Bit of perspective. Game 1 loss, later start than most Counties and for sure we didn’t click. Kerry further along so we have to use sweeper. Damage limitation next week and win is a bonus. Heavy winter training has an effect on the legs.
    Rochford was losing it near the end as players quite obviously not following his game plan. I could see him mouth FFS. So I wouldn’t go blaming the manager. Harder to implement a game plan if opposition have a better 15 out on the pitch and I still think he’s right to play the new lads. But at 15 against 14 the players did not up it or free someone up to do damage. P Durcan the obvious choice.
    League has a dual purpose but more important to blood players than win it out. How long would our joy last if we won it. A few days maybe compared winning an AI which would keep us happy for a very long time. I wouldn’t be dumping Kirby out of midfield yet. For a fella new to the position for county he looks a good player. The Hughes boys will get the better of most this summer so will need our top midfielders to win that one should we meet them again. Our only speedster is Regan and maybe Loftus when he gets back. Not sure either can win enough ball inside. So we should use inside men as ball winners and rampaging half forwards to do the real damage. How many scores did Brogan and Mannion get against us last autumn. Very few. Scores are more spread out these days especially with sweepers all over the place.

  57. Very disheartening regarding the forwards. Why aren’t a few new players being tried out? Same players being picked up front….and the same problems in terms of getting scores. We have some workhorses up front but what we need is someone who can put the ball over the bar. We are genuinely struggling to find scoring forwards.

  58. All – just a gentle reminder re tone of comments about players. I’ve had to delete a few contributions on this line already but just so everyone knows, calls for individual players to be dropped from the panel and such like aren’t what I regard as acceptable. The same rule as always applies – it’s okay to critique players’ performances from last night but stick to specifics and don’t descend to generalised trash-talking.

  59. Performance of management – time to take stock. The panel of players for this years championship will no doubt take shape over the course of the league. But one thing is almost certain, our management team 2017. And how important is the perfornce of that team, absolutely crucial – success or failure for Mayo will depend making the right substitutions at the right time, and ennsuring the team executes the game ‘plan’.
    So how many stars do we give our management team to date this year. Discussion needed.

  60. Bit of an over reaction to a first round loss here. The soft ground def suits a defensive northern team. Did anyone else notice them drills they were doing before the game where they were practising holding a man off the ball?!!They have targeted the first few rounds of the league and that’s grand until you get bet out the gate in the summer. I’d like to see us persist with McLoughlin at centre forward, he’s our best kick passer and could be the key to unlocking defences. Coen is a serious player and could slot into the sweeper role. As it stands McLoughlin and the two O’Connors are the only nailed down starters in the forward line for the summer in my view. All other positions are up for grabs.

  61. Disappointed by resul but not surprised.Allot to work on . Think we struggle against northern systems. Early days yet

  62. Against Monaghan we were extremly lucky to be one point down. So what needed fixing. This im sure was pencilled as a must win match to remain in the division.
    Midfield – not firing. Options introduce Tom Parsons or Diarmuid O Connor.
    Paddy Durcan underutilised in corner back. We needed his drives forward particularly in the absence of Keegan.
    Options, direct switch with struggling David Drake (and monitor) or slot Donie back.
    Full forward line making no impact.
    Options Liam Irwin for Evan Regan, who will have better days. Andy M for Freeman(or monitor)
    Instead we got an extended team talk at half time and more of the same second half. The winning of that game was on the bench, no doubt about that, imo.

  63. A lovely touch there Willie Joe by the Club51 guys, nicely decorated cake too, to mark the occasion.

    As for the game itself, it would have been nice to open with a home win, but there’s nothing soft about Monahan and I doubt if we’ll be the only team to fall to these guys in the League. Anyway it’s a long season and it looks like we’ll have to be patient for now and hope when the sap starts to rise, we’ll be good and ready.

  64. Reading press reports today we are now reaping late autumn/winter blood letting. The loss tied into ex managers diatribe to Indo. Mayo seen as having internal issues aligned to hard graft of losing AIF in October.

    I don’t fully buy that but we need to knock that narrative fairly fast. Seemingly Monaghan scored some long range points. Paddy Durkin anyone from wing back to launch a few. Stop playing square pegs in round holes. Give the likes of Irwin game time before we hit squeaky bum time. We know what Regan/Freeman/Doherty can/cannot do.

    We need to find two free scoring forwards. Those lads have had chances but don’t fire enough. Leave it too late and we back to veterans to keep us honest. Cannot keep going to that well. We need a few scrappers now like a fully fit Chris Barrett to secure the points. We cannot allow drift to grip.

  65. A bit surprised how upbeat most the comments are as I think we will face an uphill task to stay up after that..
    Given the missing players and conditioning levels – I dont expect we’ll beat Kerry, Dublin or Tyrone. Others wont be pushovers either.

    Just feel that there is an element of ‘groundhog day’ with these performances – forwards just lack the penetration, pace and scoring ability to hurt defenses – we’ve seen that now in so many big games . We really need to roll the dice and take some selection risks in the forwards. What’s to lose at this point?

    1. Kirby should be tried at FF for a few games. Has has more strength, pace and mobility IMO, than the other options. If it doesn’t work, what’s lost?
    2. Durcan has to be tried at HF – he has real pace and can score. Boyle, Coen and Nally is a good HB line anyway.
    3. Boland – Could Boland be tried as CF? We are missing a pacy CF who can actually drag defenders away from goal and win ball in the corner. Boland has pace, can score, he has good distribution and fast hands. He could link really well with the likes of Durcan, DoC and McLoughlin charging from HF.
    4. How about Lee Keegan at MF/HF when he returns – We need him further forward as again, he can score and has some gears to get past players.
    I think these are better options than Freeman, Irwin, Reape, Loftus, Conor O’S, Carolan etc, at the moment, at least.

  66. Mayo’s objective appears to be survival in Division 1, with no aspiration to actually win it. Once again, we will arrive in the championship with limited new talent and no national league title. We are neither winning the winter silverware nor developing our talent.
    Come championship, we will rely on the same legacy group of players, the same limited options with the consequential inevitable result.
    We need to take a multi year view which seeks to deepen our talent pool, even with the risk of losing our Division 1 status. The longer term reward however will be a better blend of players, a more competitive panel and more options on the field of play.

  67. I think as a county we should swallow our pride and bring in a forwards coach from outside the county someone like Oisin McConville or Colin Corkery or dare I say Peter Canavan the only thing that is stopping us winning Sam and indeed the league is a lack of composure in front of the posts it’s been like this now since ever I can remember. It would change until we do something positive constructive and different to change it

  68. For goodness sake – not developing talent? We had two debutants last night, one of which scored a terrific point (Boland), another who would have been man of the match only for a terrific goalkeeping performance (Newcombe). We have 2 of last year’s under 21s playing in DOC and Coen, and one on the bench in Irwin. So what else do we need to do to develop talent? Toto, your post suggests you want us to develop talent and simultaneously try to win the league. Well I’m afraid it’s very likely you won’t attain both.

  69. No matter what anyone says we need the Aiden and Seamus O’Shea!
    We are not nearly as good without them!!

  70. MayoMark.. Did you really read Toto”s comment? He says, “We need to take a multi year view which seeks to deepen our talent pool, even with the risk of losing our Division 1 status” !!
    The problem is we are only starting to develop talent..Most of our competitors have been doing that for years now and they are beginning to reap rewards !! We have been too cautious and expect instant stars without realising it takes time to give lads a chance to bed in..From the 3 matches i have seen, Mayo look like a second division team, compared to the others!!
    And lest anyone forget, Mayo played shite all last year. Every one was a dismal performance, full,of mistakes, etc, etc.. Yes , of course, they managed to scrape victories against lower teams but reality roared when they had the Dubs on the ropes and, once again, couldn’t finish.. Dublin couldn’t even score and we still couldn’t win.
    I don’t give a damn if loads of you are offended, that is the truth!!! So, if all the mistakes, repeated time and time again from the last few years, are not corrected, we will fail again once more.Wishful thinking and being proud of Mayo will never win an All Ireland!! We need an intake of new blood, even if it takes time.
    What the hell good is it to lose again and again and again!! Sorry, it doesn’t do it for me and I was there when Mayo won Sam!! This has to be said, popular or not..

  71. In fairness Kerry could well afford to “destroy” Donegal (and if I’m reading the score correctly they also conceded 1-17 in doing so, and won by a mere three points against a team that’s lost a heap of players in the past couple of months). They were nowhere to be seen last September or indeed, October. Our lads are what, three weeks off the plane after their winter break? Dublin beat Cavan by what, five points?

    So yes, it’s early days for Mayo, and a bit of perspective and calm really is needed here.

  72. The two most important elements of any team looked super sharp, the goalkeeper and the main scorer. It’s hard to judge the forwards on a night when yer midfield is struggling.
    Tom Parsons was noticeably more impactful when he came on.

  73. Carheenmik – I’ll tell you what’s not good enough. It’s your bloody comment. Go and read the house rules (here) before commenting again, in particular the bit about what’s permissible and what isn’t when commenting on players.

  74. Hardball – I’m deleting that comment from you, not because I don’t believe what you say in relation to the player you’ve claimed has been dropped from the panel but there’s been no official announcement or press report on this yet. It’s my long-standing policy not to allow unsubstantiated ‘inside’ stories of this kind (regardless of whether or not they are factual) on the site: if it’s true, it’ll be confirmed no doubt in due course so let’s leave it till then for the discussion.

  75. Happy overall with the game last night The squad are well ahead of this week last year for a start Monaghan deserves to win, just about. Freeman worked hard with very little return. I believe he will be picked again if he is fit. Boland impressed me. He moves the ball quickly when he finds he is not in a scoring position.Those playing around him need to copy this. I felt he was justified to take on the attempt at levelling the game at the death. Bad call or brave I would say brave.

  76. People should pull up the comments section from this time in 2016 & 2013 …same old despair ‘we’re going no where, road to ruin ‘ blah, blah, blah. The reality is we don’t have the players or legs to compete for a league & championship anymore.

    It’s one or the other

  77. Sweet Lord, the usual shite talk on this blog after a defeat seems to be back in spades. We lost to Monaghan, (who by the way have been twiddling their thumbs since last july, and targeted this game) and its all doom and gloom. Im sure the managment team, and fitness coaches know how to prepare for the championship more than any1 on here, if they see fit to train hard at this time of year, as opposed to October/November/December then so be it. We were flying when it mattered last year. Look how Monaghan an the Rossies finished up, bet out the gate in july by Div 3 teams after going hard for the league. If we scrape by again to survive ill be happy. Come championship no one gives a shit about the league…simple as.

  78. We will take Kerry next week in their own back yard.

    Our best performances and results the last few years in the league have been away from Mchale. Last year we beat nobody at home apart from falling over the line against relegated Down on the last day. Then there was Galway in June and a no-show from our guys. We really need to figure out why we are playing so poorly at Mchale. Okay we won a few back door games in Mchale but the opposition wasn’t the greatest and we hadn’t much to spare. When is the last time we played well there?

  79. Mayo Mark
    Two/ three players does not make for much of a talent development strategy. Here is the way I see it. Your playing panel is 20, player career expectancy is 10 years therefore you need to replace an average of 2 per annum. To find 2 you need to test at least 6 to 8 in a competitive environment, and not just the FBD league, a proper competitive environment.

  80. The team was in breaffy house for a recovery session this morning. Speaking with a few players they were quite upbeat about heading to Tralee next week. No injury concerns and more time together.

  81. At the end of the week-end we are in fifth position in the Division 1 table, the highest place that we could be, having lost our game. That probably is a big thing in this Division, even if you do lose then try to make sure that it’s by the least possible amount. We do have one extra days rest on Kerry as well as they played today while we were in action yesterday.

    I was a bit disappointed though that we didn’t get something out of the game but you could see clearly that Monaghan were just that bit sharper than us. In saying that I would have liked to see us maybe have brought on Tom Parsons at midfield at half-time and move Vaughan to the half-back line and take off David Drake. Also replacing Jason Doc with Diarmuid O’Connor might have been a good idea too at the beak. We are still doing that having Jason Doc, Kevin Mc and Diarmuid in the same forward line, quite similar players, we don’t seem to be getting the balance right between workers and scorers. You’d wonder is playing Keith at full-back the best idea also. It’s very early days yet anyway. We’ll see how it goes next weekend.

  82. Anybody currently watching Pat Spillane on league Sunday, he is making alot of sense. Still only early days yet.

  83. Its early days yet, once Mayo get all their main players back, normal service resumes. We will win 3 games and will be okay. Our main test will be Galway in the Championship, getting a bit wary of them now…

  84. Yes, I was listening to Spillane and basically he laid out some good analysis about our forwards i.e. not enough scores from play and also the fact that our kick passing was poor.
    Interesting to note that a newcomer (forward by the name of Scully) kicked some good points for the Dubs and got man of the match – this is exactly what we need coming through.

  85. From 2 to 9 didn’t score for us. If this was a low scoring game then they done there job, they didn’t. Our goal keeper is our motm says it all. Our forwards will always struggle, so play to your strengths all out attack from every turn over. E.g. D.v got 2 goals in 13 from cb. Everyone that one the balll went full tilt forward (except G.C)

  86. We ended up with a forward line of Boland, Diarmuid, Jason Doc (C O’Shea for the last few minutes), Kevin Mc, Cillian and Andy. You’d say that’s four worker/playermaker type players and two scoring type players. When maybe you’d be better off ending the game with Boland, Diarmuid, Cillian, Regan, Andy and Freeman (or Irwin for Regan or Freeman). Two workers/playmakers and four scorers. I know that Evan Regan and Freeman found it very hard to win 50/50 balls but it must be a bit annoying for them that they will always be taken off first compared to Jason Doc and Kevin Mc who pretty much are never taken off until maybe very late in the game, if at all.

  87. Can’t get to downbeat after one league game. I certainly didn’t expect to win 7 games out of 7!
    Monaghan are a very good team and it will stand to our debutantes to experience the blanket.
    Expect a significant response next weekend….Kerry will not have it all their own way!

  88. Re, Spillane comments on the Telly, Bah Humbug.. What’s a newspaper article written over a month ago to do with anything???. I’m not even sure he seen the whole match, just the very few minutes shown by RTE.. I’d guess.. Very True, Monaghan were better than us and well deserved their win… But if Connor Lane had spotted a fairly blatant foul on Danny Kirby in the first minute of the second half, Mayo would have definitely scored one point more and Monaghan one goal less.. I hope Kirby gets selected for the match in Tralee, hopefully as his Mayo team mates get more used to his selfless runs they might just pick him out with a good pass a few times, that was something I noticed in the FBD as well from Kirby. I also noticed that he didn’t reprimand his colleagues when they ran into traffic rather than find him after making lung busting runs into space. I imagine if Andy Moran made the same runs he would be found with the ball, or else the reluctant would be passer would get an earful, quite rightly so as well. An earlier comment I made about our ineffective full forward line on the night was probably a bit harsh, When I rewatched the entire match again, I noticed just how poor the early ball played into both Freeman and Regan was, Freezer in particular made some excellent runs only to be ignored time after time . I don’t think Kirby, Freeman or Regan are the type to roast their colleagues during a match, for the poor quality of the delivery or the non existant delivery. But I certainly hope Stephen Rochford and Co bring it to the notice of players when Mayo are collectively reviewing the the Match. For next Saturday, I’d like to see Vaughan back in the half back line, probably at the expense of Drake, and Tom Parsons partnering Kirby in Midfield. Now we need to figure out who’s going to mark James O’Donaghoe and Paul Geaney. Easy said but hard to do , let’s hope Spillane is shocked by the Mayo performance next week.

  89. We lost the game, too bad, let’s see what happens over the next 6/7 weeks and then we can honestly take stock of where we stand. Someone mentioned players running into space and being ignored, freeman has been finding space for ages and has been left unnoticed on the pitch. It must drive him mad, and if they were reviewing these games properly they would see him in space and being ignored by colleagues that didn’t see him or else chose to run into a wall of opponents. It’s disheartening, running and busting your ass only to be left standing time after time.

    Rochford should tell them all to look up and around for that second before making a pass or taking a shot.

  90. Don’t know, mayomanindublin. When O’Connell was sent off I had a feeling it was game over for us – has this team in its various incarnations over the past 5-6 years ever used the extra man to their advantage and won against 14 men?

    PJMcmanus, I agree re Boland – it was a disappointing miss but it’s actually refreshing to see a lad back himself like that when in a feasible scoring position instead of passing the buck and the ball to get it closer to the posts. More of that please.

    Leantimes, fair commentary I think, watched the game back yesterday and thought the same. I felt at the the time that neither Freeman nor Regan played well, but the delivery was shocking and on that basis I think HopeSpringsEternal makes a valid point re substitutions too.

    Looking forward to the road trip this weekend.

  91. What is this with not wanting to win the League ? Had we put out a stranger team (which was available) on Saturday I’m sure we would have beaten Monaghan. Now we play Kerry and if we lose that then the pressure is on and we will be forced thereafter to play our best team to survive. But the mental pressure of being under pressure may take more out of the lads then if they had played against Monaghan

    Am I missing something in this clever tactic of not playing your best team ? Winning is a habit…..losing can become a habit too so let’s be careful

  92. Because I want Mayo to win the All-Ireland. And I think it’s far harder to do that if you go balls out to win the league. We don’t have the kind of depth that Dublin do. An injury to one of our key players can be a total disaster for us. I want us fit and ready for championship. It’s not that I don’t want us to win the league, it’s more that I’m not pushed if we don’t.

    We had 2 debutants line out on Saturday. Both of whom did well. That has got to be a positive.

    Onto the next.

  93. Interesting comments below from Dublin’s James McCarthy (remember the last time that we beat Dublin in 2012, we did it twice in the one year, in the league and in the championship):

    James McCarthy wants Dublin to ‘keep on beating’ their rivals for Sam Maguire in the league, insisting it has been vital for their development. The Ballymun man admitted that they took great belief from their victories over the likes of Mayo and Kerry and credited those wins with helping build a side that is now chasing three All-Ireland titles on the bounce. “Around 2010-’11, we changed and we said that we were going to take the league really seriously and we said if we are going to start beating these teams in the summer, we are going to need to beat them in the league,” McCarthy recalled.

    “And our first one was when we went down to beat Kerry down there and then we started picking up these wins away and it just stands to you. A lot of teams have their best players playing in the league as well, so if you beat them then, you think why can’t you beat them in the summer. I know it is bigger crowd, warmer weather, harder pitches but it does make it a difference.” And with Tyrone coming to Croke Park on Saturday night, McCarthy doesn’t want to hand their rivals any initiative going into the summer.

    “It gives you that bit of, ‘Look, we beat Dublin already, why can’t we do it again?’ “Obviously Kerry, Mayo, Tyrone they are our big rivals as well and you want to keep on trying to beat them, or keep trying to get the upper hand on them like. “You don’t want to give them that little bit if they beat us – flip it if you like. They beat us in the league, and then they go, ‘Why can’t we beat them in the summer?'”

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