Mayo 0-14 Monaghan 2-14: McManus engineers another great Farney escape

Well, that’s our unbeaten run gone. The supporting cast put in an understandably disjointed display this afternoon against a hugely motivated Monaghan team, for whom the wily Conor McManus up front ran the show. With Armagh losing at Tyrone, the visitors sensed another great escape in the offing and they finished strongly to claim a deserved six-points win and, with it, their place in Division One next year.

The good news, from our perspective, was that – as I said this morning – today’s match meant nothing to us in the grander scheme of things. We were already in the National League final next weekend and Galway’s win over Kerry at Pearse Stadium today means that it’s the Tribesmen we’ll be facing for the title at Croke Park.

The other noteworthy thing from today is that it told us a fair bit about ourselves, in particular about our strength in depth, or lack of it. Few of the fringe players we fielded did well today, Paul Towey and Bob Tuohy being notable exceptions.

It was already clear before today, by the way, just how good Sam Callinan is but he reminded all and sundry of this again with another excellent display.

We made one switch ahead of throw-in, with Paul Towey lining out instead of Ryan O’Donoghue. They made three changes before the off, the two in the full-forward line – in which both Jack McCarron and Conor McManus started – ultimately proving decisive to the outcome of today’s contest.

Although it was only at the end that the result skittled away from us, this was a game in which we never led. McManus showed his intent by firing over inside the first minute, we scored first two minutes later via a Paul Towey free.

They edged two in front, we bagged our second – and first from play – when Stephen Coen shot over after a long period of possession.

Soon after, Ryan O’Toole found himself in acres, of space, totally unmarked, when the ball was played to him on the right wing. He faced no challenge either as he bore down rapidly on our goal and planted the ball in the net.

We responded with another Paul Towey free but they scored the next two, the second a monstrous effort from well out from McManus.

Another Paul Towey free, this one off the ground, was the first of four scores for us without reply. Jordan Flynn, ending a move in which Paul Towey and Conor McStay were both involved, got the next one and Bob Tuohy, Conor again providing the assist, got the third.

Paul Towey then stroked over a 14-yard free to cut the deficit to the minimum. McCarron and Matthew Ruane swapped points as Monaghan led by a point at the break.

We introduced David McBrien for the second half, in place of Donnacha McHugh. We also got the half’s first score, another free from Paul Towey after he’d been shunted in the back when he’d just claimed possession.

McManus, inevitably, got the next three scores for them, the last of which was a free. The second one just scraped over, as Robbie – the sun in his eyes – scrambled to make sure it didn’t inadvertently land in the net.

We continued to run the bench, showing that what we were seeking from this game wasn’t of the do-or-die variety facing the opposition. Not least given that word was now filtering through that Tyrone were up on Armagh, meaning a Monaghan win would save them.

We brought on Darren McHale for club mate Kevin McLoughlin, with Jack Coyne replacing Padraig O’Hora soon after. Before the end Jack Carney (for Frank Irwin) and Ryan O’Donoghue (for Paul Towey) would also get a run-out.

O’Hanlon set off for a goal but his searing run from midfield ended with an expertly-timed dispossession by Sam Callinan. The Ballina youngster has made this his speciality in this League campaign and, while that turnover was spectacular, it wasn’t the only one he pulled off today.

After we’d cut the gap back to a single point once again – another Paul Towey free and one from play by Darren McHale – we ended the ten-minute period that followed without a score for either side by a Jordan Flynn point that levelled the game.

As our wide count mounted, I reckon we ended end the day on double-digits, Michael Plunkett, Paul Towey and Jordan Flynn were all off target, at a time when the visitors appeared to be wilting. Instead of piling pressure on them, however, we allowed them to gain valuable breathing space when O’Hanlon edged them back in front with ten minutes of normal time left to play.

Five minutes later, Bob Tuohy fired over a super point, fed nicely by Jack Carney. They responded immediately, though, and then twice in quick succession McManus claimed marks and converted both of them. They didn’t know it yet but the Farneymen were now home free.

We got one more point, a free from Ryan O’Donoghue, but they added a point followed by a penalty goal – scored, of course, by McManus – to complete their jailbreak. For the latter, O’Hanlon was dragged down by Jason Doherty, with Robbie gone wandering up the field. Jason got a black card for his troubles but wasn’t the foul committed well outside the square? Not that it matters or anything but it looked like it was.

So, the negatives from today are the loss of our unbeaten run, two more goals conceded and not too much to cheer from in terms of the displays put in by the fringe contingent. The positives have to include that no-one got injured, that the result didn’t matter a jot and that we’ve a Croke Park date to look forward to against Galway next weekend.

Such are the joys of playing a Round 7 match that meant nothing to us against a team to which it meant everything. Throw in the powers of a generational genius like Conor McManus – who weighed in with 1-7 today, as Monaghan claimed just their second ever League win over us on our turf – and I guess it should be no surprise to anyone that this one panned out the way it did.

Mayo: Rob Hennelly; Donnacha McHugh, Padraig O’Hora, Sam Callinan; Michael Plunkett, Jason Doherty, Stephen Coen (0-1); Bob Tuohy (0-2), Matthew Ruane (0-1); Kevin McLoughlin, Frank Irwin, Jordan Flynn (0-2); Conor McStay, Aidan O’Shea, Paul Towey (0-6, frees). Subs: David McBrien for McHugh, Darren McHale (0-1) for McLoughlin, Jack Coyne for O’Hora, Jack Carney for Irwin, Ryan O’Donoghue (0-1, free) for Towey

We’ll have immediate post-game reaction to and analysis of the game in our Final Whistle podcast, which will be online in a bit.

Who was our MOTM against Monaghan? Pick your top three performers

  • Sam Callinan (20%, 519 Votes)
  • Bob Tuohy (17%, 452 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (11%, 286 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (9%, 242 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (9%, 241 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (6%, 168 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (6%, 162 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (5%, 120 Votes)
  • Padraig O'Hora (3%, 73 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (2%, 52 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (2%, 45 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (2%, 45 Votes)
  • Rob Hennelly (1%, 38 Votes)
  • Conor McStay (1%, 36 Votes)
  • Frank Irwin (1%, 28 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (1%, 27 Votes)
  • Jack Coyne (1%, 26 Votes)
  • Darren McHale (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Donnacha McHugh (1%, 21 Votes)
  • David McBrien (1%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,250

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126 thoughts on “Mayo 0-14 Monaghan 2-14: McManus engineers another great Farney escape

  1. Think JP pointed out in another post, that a foul with a strong goal opportunity results in a penalty.

  2. Galway took an AI minor title off us last year …let’s make sure it’s not a league final next week.

    Are we as strong as squad as we thought?

  3. @spotlight yes we are still as strong as we thought we made 10 changes to our winning team this league so don’t think anyone can write them off after this game? My opinion anyway.

  4. @Corick Bridge agree with you and this is good for us Galway will go in thinking that they are ahead of us but then we will show up and rattle them fully believe we will !

  5. Not totally unexpected but our defence struggled and we did not take chances to pull ahead in the second half which would have made things interesting. It is always difficult when a team makes so many changes and some if the newer players showed some inexperience, and we struggled to deal with McManus and in particular coming down the stretch.
    It is funny how things can change, lose to Galway next weekend but will put a different complexion on the league performance. This will be a good test for the team next week and in particular from a mentality perspective.

  6. Was at the game today a good load of Monaghan supporters there and you could see what it ment to them at the end fair play to them they seem to manage it every year they deserved it , on the game itself I thought we played well with a slow first 15 but the game was there for us even though we had so many changes and guys coming back in , a lot of people seem to see each game as black and white as in if we win were top of the tree and we loose we’re no good but people don’t realise the grey area where a lot of different factors occur as in teams rotating players ,new guys getting a run coming back from injuries ,training blocks and playing against a team that needed points more and had their strongest 15 , people saying our depth isn’t what we thought but I think it’s very strong the way we kept it tight and worked hard was very pleasing to see , this game was a try out game for us and Monaghan were always going to throw everything at us and it was promising to see how we delt with it , as for the usuals hyping up Galway as they do every year and saying we’ll get a trimming shouldn’t be taken seriously, realistically Galway are definitely up there and are condensers with at least another 4/5 teams but been afraid thinking they’ll steam roll us is ridiculous it’ll be a hard tough game and very hard to call neither team will take a backwards step its all to play for

  7. Hoping at least one of Hession, Cillian or Tommy will be available to us next week or else we’re in trouble.

  8. While the result today for Mayo was meaningless the win was there for us midway through the second half. McStay will have learnt alot about his squad today so a worthwhile exercise. Some players on show are lacking g match practice and we’re well off the pace, others are not up to the standard required, at least not yet anyway. Standout player today for me is Bob Tuohy, a class act who will only get better.
    Regarding the league final it’s ridiculous thinking Galway will put a trimming on us, its 50/50 and I’d expect a close game.

  9. Hopefully our poor performance was down to a combination of 9 changes and heavy training
    Interesting to see how our backs deal with the Galway forwards, have we a back strong enough to hold Comer, can the backs perform as a unit and runs through the middle?

  10. Galway will be a real test in Croker. They look the real deal this year and think will be the team to beat in the championship. We will know where we stand after next Sunday!

  11. Tenacious yew..I would hope most Mayo supporters see the grey area and that nothingburger of a game for us was merely a chance for Kevin and Co to have a closer look at players..
    Absence of Paddy and Diarmuid very evident..
    Will be a serious test in Croker next week.
    Galway have motored nicely into a final with very little fanfare..

  12. Good question spotlight. I wonder. How many men will mcstay be thinking about as serious contender s after today. Who impressed. Callinan. Bob in spurts. Towy to a degree. Defence was poor. Keeper not great. Ball went in on his side. Doherty and mcgloughlin showing their age. Young mcstay and irwin alot to learn. Callinan the only real plus from today and yes I know it was a dead rubber but old failings were there in abundance. Kicking ball into Keeper s hands. Giving away possession Young mcstay at a crucial time. A lot of wides. Word of caution. Galway are a serious side.

  13. Final Whistle pod is up on Patreon. Mike and me on it, with post-match reaction from Kevin McStay and Conor McManus.

    League final confirmed for Croke Park 4pm next Sunday.

  14. Nothing to get too excited about after the game this afternoon. I was surprised they left Ruane, Flynn, Coen etc on the whole game in a pointless match. McLoughlin was taken off just after we leveled and had a strong wind at our backs. Hard to know why we couldn’t win from there. One has to wonder if we have actually improved at all. People really have got carried away after some very mediocre performances. I fear that we haven’t improved, but like all Mayo fans I live in hope. The 2 O’Connor lads are critical to our hopes. They along with ROD are needed on the field.

  15. Armagh must feel very aggrieved over the Mayo attitude to today’s match v Monaghan.
    The integrity of a competition run on a league basis implies both sides fielding their strongest available team (even when the result has no impact on one of the teams involved)
    If the Mayo/Armagh situation was reversed how would we feel?
    But then again empathy is dead and gone – only sayin … like!

  16. Mayo exile, I see where you’re coming from. But it’s none of Mayo’s business that Armagh got themselves in that situation. If they had won some games they wouldn’t have to worry about us.
    Today’s team have Mayo best chance for the competitions final, by resting key players, and getting game time into others who may be needed.

  17. So the request for a Saturday match not taken into consideration also two teams travelling to Dublin from connaught to a half empty stadium but then again close park mayo love to play in.

    I was there last year in the quarters and it was half empty by the mayo/kerry match and was not a good atmosphere at all.

    We shall see next week how we go I still would go for mayo . When we have the big guns back it’ll be a different story from today!

  18. Nice to get to the final as PJ said we have not won it in over 40 years so its overdue. Not sure where Mayo are but ye look good up front bits ive seen but Galway are improving slightly each game which is pleasing but Damien and Shane are not 100% and Cillian out. You would expect a tight game Im not sure how solid Mayo are at the back. Funny old format we could lose to Mayo in the league final, Connacht yet still win the All Ireland. Need a big squad and PJ has unearthed a few lads pity Kieran and Liam are out hard to know if Mulkerrins and McLoughlin will get back either. Mayo were to me the form team in the league but the way it went we could have won all games so perhaps the two form teams indeed meet in the final and Connacht filling top 3 places in Division 1. Roll on Sunday

  19. They should move League final out of Croke Park especially when 2 counties from same province are in it. Why not move it around each year to provincial grounds. Imagine the buzz in those towns and benefit it would bring.

  20. A poor match.

    Would rather see Monaghan stay up than Armagh. Only positive to take. Love travelling to Monaghan to matches. Their fans are a pleasure.

    But I think we’ll see a different attitude next week.

  21. Kevin Mcstay seemed to indicate in an interview that Cillian o Connor andHession not available until championship game. …

  22. I think next Sunday is our first real test of 2023.

    Galway seemed to have Kerry in their hip pocket all day and will have gained huge confidence from today’s game.

    I don’t think there is any doubt but both managers will be going all out to win the league next week, especially seeing as winning Connacht hasn’t an awful lot of importance attached to it this year.

    Well done to Monaghan. I’m delighted they managed to survive again.

    If today proved anything it is that there is plenty of more room for us to improve our squad depth.

  23. @alan that point was brought up on rte radio earlier but quashed fairly quickly. Corporate boxes etc are purchased on the bases of final etc… Sad but true.
    It would make sense but ya know yourself

  24. Conor McManus a joy to watch, one of the modern great forwards.
    Hard to read much into it from a Mayo POV, not too many stuck their hands up but tbf it was probabky disjointed from all the changes.

    I cant escape the feeling that the league final will be a prelude to an all ireland final of Galway v Mayo, imagine that was to happen, i actually dont think i could handle it, i would probably just go out and walk the dog that day for 2 hours

  25. The game being moved to Saturday as I said previously was never on the agenda. It was pure wishful kite flying.

  26. 100% agree with all that Supermac

    I have had that very discussion about Mayo Galway AI final with some Galway friends during the week
    Obviously it depends whcih side of the draw both end up on
    But it has a bit of a feeling of inevitability that we are going to meet in the latter knockout stages this year.
    I would barely cope with that match
    If we lost I’d have to quit my job and probably emigrate 😀

  27. I agree Supermac!!! I couldn’t handle it either!!!!! It could be a new humiliating way to lose a final for us if Mayo were to lose. Scream scream!!!! Although after 21 I possibly could sit through anything.

  28. But I’m not willing to go through that type of experience again and I don’t think our team are either. So we would win!!!! Carlsberg finally.
    So your turn Supermac 😉 😉

  29. @Chesneychet well done on beating kerry looking good. However I would not write mayo off after today’s game we will be a completely different side when we face ye next weekend and ye will probably be favourites now but that suits us.

    We didn’t need to win this and have a great chance next weekend and will want to make up for last years final.

    And to your point not sure where mayo are at? We are in a great place ATM we were bound to loose a match monaghan had the drive and hunger today and needed the win to stay up an fair play to them .

    I do question the penalty that was given at the end it was a free in if anything..

    Also we rested a good few players today as mcstay has gis eyes set on getting that league title. Win the all Ireland ? Ye are looking good but early days.

    Anyway be a cracker of a match next weekend against our old foes Galway :p but always great banter is well haha

  30. If people possibly want to complain about Mayo fielding a weakened team v Monaghan and the integrity of the league competition. In equal measure take into full account Kerry fielding a weakened team first day out v Donegal..Or if the GAA with full knowledge and foretaught fixed Sunday the week after Sunday next for Mayo as it turned out, but equally could have been Roscommon to play the first round of the Championship. If we want integrity for Derry, take into account exactly where the Division Two final will be held and exactly why one particular team should always have home advantage. Mayo have with their fitness, their team selections, their talents done more for the integrity of the league competition than most. Personally I would prefer a Connacht Venue for a league final between two Connacht counties, and really when you think about it, no reason whatsoever that it couldn’t happen. But important people in suits in Croke Park, want Mayo’s fans money in spent in Dublin. I often wonder why some sports journalist someday somewhere would find the courage and break the mold and ask someone in the CCCC some awkward questions now and again..Of course I know this will never happen while their is such a questionable attitude to fair play by those making the decisions in the Carbon Neutral Venue of Croke’s the only thing neutral about it!

  31. @KM79 I laughed at that haha I am in Dublin but still get the slagging from Galway mates all in good nature enough though haha

  32. A lot to ponder for Kevin Mc ahead of championship, im actually glad of the extra game next week now as a stiff workout v Galway might sharpen minds.

    Out of established players who may be in trouble in terms of championship,i think O’Hora, Hennelly, Doherty havent shown enough in past 12 months or so to be starting v the rossies. Touhy could well be pushing for a spot though, he is still raw but ticks a lot of boxes and doesnt hide.

    Very hard to know where conroy is at too, would have expected this to be the perfect game to give him the full 70. Any word of a injury setback there? Also, what has happened to eoghan mclaughlin?

    Really could have done without that ringing endorsment from that dose brolly in the papers today because sure as night follows day when he makes some grand pronouncement about a team the exact opposite of his prediction comes to pass

  33. Armagh have nobody to blame but themselves for going down, not up to Mayo or anyone else to give them a digout.
    Geezer must be under huge pressure at this stage, bit of a disaster for them falling through the trapdoor from a position of relative comfort, especially with all the rumours of unrest swirling around armagh this week

  34. Couldn’t attend today, so relying on others to hear how certain players got on. Glad to hear good reports on Tuohy.

    I genuinely beileve today’s result is good for us. No harm at all for the media to start focusing on someone else. Theirs no hype within the County, only lazy journalism and that annoying presenter on TG4 continually asking Kevin how can he “keep a lid” on fan expectation…we’ve seen this all before is the answer.

    I would urge supporters reading this, not to get drawn into the shiny trap that the league final is “must win” and lays down a “marker” for championship, because it doesn’t. No marker was laid down when we bet Kerry in 2019 only to be hammered 2 months later in Killarney. No marker was laid down when Roscommon bet Galway in last years final, only to get absolutely trounced a few weeks later.

    I would genuinely hope to see more game time given to players such as Hennelly, O’Hora, Plunkett and who ever else needs it.

    Its all eyes on Roscommon for me. If we get through next week with no injuries (remember Flynn last year) then ill be happy irrespective of the result.

  35. Too many changes what was in 10 from last week with 8 making their first start this year? and then up against a settled and full strength Monaghan whos need was far greater. Armagh probably won’t be happy but they didn’t get the business done elsewhere.

    Makes for interesting final and i think Galway have lost their last 5 Div 1 finals in a row including one to Mayo.

  36. @Margie totally agree with you think it’s def a good thing keeps us level headed and I hate the way whenever mayo doing well other counties and media are saying usual mayo hype there’s been none in ballina / Killala where I am from or crossmolina where I went to school ha.

    Agree with you .. mayo actually previously to this year have never done well at all in league just managed to survive and did that ever stop us getting to the business end of the championship?

    Galway will go in with their tales up next weekend let them we will be the same team we were during the league then with the big guns back and rattle them ! Hope for a good game either way ha.

  37. Armagh got enough help during the league without getting more help today – remember the performance if the referee in our game in Armagh. Similar against Donegal the ref gave them everything up there. Staying up was in their own hands today – and they couldn’t take it.

  38. I watched the mayo Tyrone match 25/02 on tg4.Enda Hession scored a wonder goal ,then shortly after was replaced and moved quickly to the dressing room.
    I just wonder what happened during play that he had to leave the field as there didn’t appear any injury on camera.
    If l am crossing any red lines ,please delete l only ask about what was seen by TV camera’s

  39. I’d say UncleSam the injury isn’t too bad. If he got badly hurt that time – he wouldn’t have played on for a further 5 minutes or so.
    Also I wouldn’t rule out any player just based on today’s game. It was a lot easier for individuals to impress in Donegal last week with all top class players around them and a Donegal team who are a shambles at the moment.
    Today we were playing a Monaghan team who fought for their lives and our lads were playing with lads who like themselves were trying to establish themselves in the squad/team.

  40. Galway will be favourites and rightly so on form .
    Think we were right to give fringe players a run out today . Great to have a trip to Croker to look forward to. At the start of the league without Oisin and Lee , I honestly thought we might be relegated.
    We will give Galway a good rattle on Sunday .

  41. Litening to Padraic Joyce interview after Kerry game, he is in no doubt taking in the league on way to Sam is in his sights. We will get the test this Mayo team needs next weekend. Very difficult to read much into todays performance. Five clear goal chances for Monaghan, we never threatened a goal. Towey tried hard, will benefit from the outing, O Hora still off the pace, Jordan Flynn blows hot and cold, Tuohy and Irwin will be better next year. Good to see Eoghan McLaughlin back in the panel. And how much we missed Diarmuid O Connor. His work rate is incredible. The extra width of Croke Park will help us.

  42. Uncle Sam he pulled up immediately after the goal
    Looked like ankle or calf region
    He tried to play on but was clearly uncomfortable
    Would imagine he is not far away

  43. Thanks km79, I was wondering was he caught by Morgan scoring that goal.
    That man doesn’t like attackers entering his cage.
    The covid 19 semi final v Kerry it is my recollection Clifford went to field a ball in front of Tyrone goal ,keeper comes out with knee up and shortly after had to leave the field with dead leg.
    Think paddy Andrews as a story to add to this.

  44. @Uncle Sam, I don’t believe that Niall Morgan touched Hession that time Enda scored his wonder goal. Despite Morgan’s legendary cat like reflexes on the night, all he touched on that occasion was fresh air, .. Like a magician, Enda Hession bamboozled Niall Morgan and almost everyone in the stand looking on as well, and the goalie like the rest of us was left to muse “Now you see it, Now you don’t” the ball rolled into the net.

  45. Whatever about the result, I need to ask just what happens people when they go through the turnstiles of MacHale Park that renders them incapable of holding onto their bank cards or children? And why the urgent compulsion to seek the owners (of the former, at least) during play instead of at half time?!

    Anyway, to the game. A mildly disappointing day, but it’ll dampen down any hype. which is no bad thing. It was a nothing game in many ways and the disjointedness was to be expected, but Aidan O’Shea explicitly said last week that we did not want to be beaten at home and in that context it was a bit irritating to lose. Seven points from play (I think) was a poor return with the poor shot selection hung a cause of frustration among the crowd. We had the beating of them despite being relatively below par. That said, there was a bit of dirty diesel blown out today for some – Padraig O’Hora, for example, definitely had a challenging first half but had been starting to get to grips with things before he was taken off. After today though, I somehow think Colm Reape might sleep a little more easily. It wasn’t Robbie’s best outing by any means, but then, it’s his first game in quite a while too.

    I’d not regard Bob Tuohy as a fringe player any more, I’d regard him as at the very least, nailed on in the 26, if not a starter. He is tenacious and is not afraid to either take on his man or a shot at the posts. And in a game with a lot of changes it was actually he and Sam Callinan that put their hands up. Towey did well on frees but not well enough IMO in open play to nail down a place in the 26. Jack Carney however has surely nailed down his place in the 15. The year has made a huge difference to him and he made an impact when he came on.

    I’m not sure Conor McStay is where he needs to be just yet, and I was surprised to see him left on for the full game. But when injuries are slowly starting to mount, there is no telling where we might need these lads, so what harm?

    Jason Doc is not a no. 6. It’s been tried, I wouldn’t be trying it again. I know I have in the past said that 14 is not the place for Aidan but I am now revising that to say 14 is not the place for Aidan when the quality of ball going into him is that poor. The kicking game was less evident today, but then, it’s rained cats, dogs and kangaroos all week and the pitch was surely heavy.

    Monaghan were full value for the win; the physicality in the tackle was evident. If only they’d played like that during their first six games, eh? McManus is a footballing god. One of the all-time greats. The Monaghan crew were delira heading home, and why wouldn’t they?

    The highlight of today was the sunshine on the terrace which signals the real start of spring. I refuse to think about next weekend at this point!

  46. Absolutely not true about a penalty outside 13M line in football. Was brought in for hurling but think they got rid of it again.
    Echo a few of the sentiments of others going to work Monday week if galway win?

  47. Firstly it is not Mayo’s fault that Armagh got relegated. They had 7 games like everyone else so no one to blame but themselves. Whatever about this game being a reality check for management it will hopefully be one for our more optimistic supporters and the media who have been rating us as the No 1 team in Ireland of late. Even the unmentionable serial Mayo critic said something to that effect. It is the league. True we were understrength today and had little to play for, but the notion that we have a huge panel of players up to championship standard is wrong. Worryingly we are suffering injuries which is going to take its toll. Our defence is still seriously suspect. Not surprising really having lost Oisin and Leeroy If Conor McManus, no doubt a brilliant player but in the autumn of his career can cause us so much trouble youd have to be worried about Walsh, Clifford O Callaghan etc at the height of summer.. I hope I am wrong but we could be in a serious place next Sunday evening if we lose to galway. For me its the league final and the opposition we did not need or want. Galway motoring really well, outstanding defensively and getting their forwards back. How they would love to burst our bubble . We have no choice but to go for it at full tilt now, Certainly not ideal with Roscommon the following week. It is a game we dare not lose. Another final defeat in Croke Park and to our greatest rivals is just unbearable to contemplate. Would have much preferred to finish mid table and look forward to championship . Hope I am just being overly pessimistic, but league finals have not been good to us with the exception of 2019. A win would give us a great boost, psychologically and otherwise. A defeat…. I don’twant to go there…

  48. A noteworthy moment for me in relation to Bob Touhy was in the second half when he won that free at the bacon factory end. He had a scatter of Monaghan lads around him. For the life of me I thought he was going to be floored, but he held his ground with surprising physicality and he won his deserved free. Aido rightly commended him for this straight afterwards. I love to see that. A super player is Bob, and definitely will push for a start come Champo. Likely to be next year before he really comes to the fore. But, that said, he’s still certainly one to watch for 2023.

    I actually thought the ball into Aido in the first half was excellent, again fairly low and into chest as it should be. The poor shooting and disjointed display overall can definitely be chalked down to the amount of changes we had.

    Well done Monaghan by the way.

    Up Mayo.

  49. Bob is going to be an unbelievable player when he adds a bit more muscle to his frame
    He reminds me physically of Matthew Tierney when he first came on the scene for Galway. A little lightweight yet.

    No idea why conor Mcstay played the full game. A forward who apparently is afraid to shoot won’t be much use in the summer . Baffling

  50. I think getting beaten, in this type of match, might be blessing. With the way championship set up this year. Teams, will loss a match, it how they respond will define season. So think, match next week against Galway has already taken more important than I like. But that what we must do beat them before Roscommon. Momentum funny, when it with you, every seems easy. When against you, like trying to swim against the tide.

  51. Have to say what a player young Bob Touhy is such an exciting player another ciliary o Connor in the making maybe?

    We are so lucky in mayo we have young guys always wanting to step in place of their heroes like keegan aido Ryan o D etc.. even on under 20s some exciting players like Niall hurley Ronan Clarke etc we are lucky current players inspire the younger generation so much we always have talent coming up.

    Onwards and upwards today was always going to be a dead rubber as others have said!

    Guarantee next weekend be a different story.

    @corrick Bridge he was being rested along with Tommy conroy and colm reape for next weekend

  52. Tommy too Corick, so I wouldn’t read too much into it IMO. McStay said he carefully planned the selection today, so it was likely to try different players.

  53. Clare – of all the players to compare Bob Tuohy with, it’s not Cillian surely!

  54. It was always going to be difficult today with so many changes and playing a team fighting for their lives. In fairness to McManus he really is a class act and he stood up today when it mattered most. It’s always disappointing when we lose but we need to move on quickly as our real season starts next week against Galway in the league final.

    Galway were very good today but it’s clear to see that Kerry are still a good bit off championship pace. Kerry are the bookie’s favourite for the All Ireland and they will be ready when it matters. Ourselves and Galway are third and fourth favourites with little difference in the betting. I don’t think there’s a whole lot between the teams and it should be a very tight game next Sunday.

  55. Don’t see any issue with today, we were still in it until the end and whole new team with exception of a few.
    Open spáce in Croke Park will tell us we’re we are, I fully expect to beat Galway in this one

  56. Congrats to Monaghan staying up. McStay was right to ring the changes – he prob should have left Aidan O’Shea out as well – he was double marked all game and looked like he needed resting. Bob Tuohy stood out for me as a real success story so far. The result was inevitable – a mixture of rustiness and lads minding themselves with one eye on the bigger games ahead. Armagh have only themselves to blame for going down. However, this lop-sided scenario with teams having nothing to play for could be avoided if a) 3 points were awarded for a win instead of 2 and b) there was at least a 3 week break for all teams between their last league game and their first championship game. Before today I didn’t really want to be meeting Galway next week but now that it’s decided I’m really looking forward to it. There’s no doubt that Galway are proven quality but to be the best you have to beat the best! This is an ideal test going into the championship – another chance to lay down a marker and give Galway something to think about. Sam won’t be handed out the next day but it could derail either team’s chances or copperfasten their belief that there’s something special to be had out of this year. After last year’s pathetic hammering from Kerry it’s absolutely imperative we give this game everything – we simply cannot afford not to. Our need to win next Sunday is greater than Galway’s – that’s why I believe we will win.

  57. Clare – is there any chance at all that you could spend a minute reading over the comment you’re about to post and making corrections BEFORE you post it? I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who’s annoyed by the fact that almost every comment you post is followed immediately afterwards by another one correcting a typo in the one just posted.

  58. @wide ball bad judge on that one haha I just meant he has the same confidence pace etc maybe I should have said another Lee keegan in the making !

  59. Interesting to see a different keeper in for Galway today, is Gleeson injured? I think we need to target their kickouts, that’s one place where we can hurt them, they have serious ball winners though, Tierney, Cooke, Conroy, so it will be a very interesting midfield battle.

  60. – McStay got plenty of questions answered today namely: – Who should be the No.1 ( Reape). – – Who is not physically imposing for intercounty (Towey who was to be fair very good on frees and Conor Mc Stay). – Who is off the pace ( Doherty who was at sea as a sweeper especially when McManus got 3 Marks in a row.)
    – FB line very vulnerable to pacey attackers, O Hanlon did a lot of damage
    – Too much punching of the ball rather than going for clean catches as we lost a tonne of breaking ball.
    – Tackling was very good at times.
    – Galway as the All- Ireland champions in waiting should be hot favourites !!
    – Could be very nice or very ugly on here next Sunday night, it’s a 50/50 game though will be some battle.
    -Well said Anne Marie and KM.

  61. @willie Joe well jeez sorry for my typos did not think that was the worst thing on here being said or posted but I will watch it or not post as much in future.

  62. I don’t think That’s fair Willie joe,
    I don’t think it’s right you having a go at people
    For making typos, people take time to post on forum
    Using phones , iPads and other devices,
    It’s not the first time you have called someone out for this , some people have also challenges with spelling for different reasons and want to post and feel it’s ok to do so without been called out for grammar.

    Clare made an effort, and tried correct it,
    Instead of having a go at her, you could add a facility to edit comments on blog.

  63. Well no worries @Olive kerrigan I won’t post again if typos annoy people thought this was a supporters blog ? bit silly really I will support elsewhere if the case typos annoy you.

  64. End of the league group stage and you’d have to say we are happy with where are at currently. Bar Brickenden, I am not aware of any long term injuries. Nice to see McLaughlin named on the 26 today and McHale come on. We have given a lot of players game time and realistically have a strong starting team, plus 5 – 6 players from the bench.

    With the exception of getting game time into fringe/returning players today, not much can be read into the game. The last ten minutes Monaghan pulled away, perhaps we could have won it but their need was greater and congratulations to them for another survival. McManus one of the finest players ever.

    Galway in the league final now and all focus will be on getting the win in that game. Looking at the team we named from the championship last year against Galway we are likely to only start seven of that team, with only one of those a back or keeper in Stephen Coen, granted Loftus started but this time he will be centre half back. Despite that, we still go into this game able to give it a right good crack against a good Galway team.

  65. Clare the typos don’t annoy me or anyone I speak to on football.
    I’m actually disgusted with reply’s above about your post.
    I wouldn’t loose sleep over it 🙂

  66. Sorry if it’s already been asked but when do league final tickets go on general sale? And same query for Mayo v Roscommon in championship?

  67. @SkyLineirl aw thanks I am not great with typos I must admit so sorry it annoyed anyone but thought the comments above where a bit harsh .. I won’t loose sleep over it thanks ?

  68. ? you asked me a question so I bettter answer back, harsh is a nice word for it to say the least.
    We better stop posting as I see some people are looking to limit the number of posts 🙂

  69. I think outside of the game itself one question answered today was the quality of the pitch playing surface . A huge amount of rain fell here during the week but it didn’t show on the pitch. In fact players got beaten on a few occasions by the bounce of the ball so seems we may have at least one problem solved.

  70. Clare, I don’t think the actual typos bother anyone really, it’s prob the correction post afterwards. Just maybe leave your post be if you see a minor mistake after you have posted even if it pains you 😉 However, I also think a bit harsh by WJ to call it out as there is a hell of a lot worse you could be doing for example what another poster has just done. A downright disgusting comment. Not nice at all. I’m actually shocked at the person who wrote it. Intolerant. Nobody agrees with everything everyone writes or enjoys everything everyone writes or even likes everyone but as my late uncle used to say please ‘keep it country’.
    Keep posting Clare.

  71. @SkyLineirl aw thanks yes we better ha it would make you not want to comment though I thought this was a good blog but sure I might just follow elsewhere thanks though !

  72. Sinead37 – can you expand on that point please? I can’t see any comment of a “downright disgusting” nature but maybe after six hours behind the wheel today my eyesight is failing me.

    Clare – nobody is saying you can’t post and, if you do or not, it’s up to you. I stand over what I said earlier and would agree with Sinead that it’s better not to follow up one comment with one straight after. That’s the annoying thing, not the typos, which others make too.

  73. Clare, nobody said you can’t post. It was a request that you read over your comment before you click ‘POST COMMENT’ . That should mean you don’t have to post so many corrections!
    Everyone makes typos, and people will know what you meant, you don’t have to post again to make a minor clarification. People want to read opinions, not corrections.

  74. Sinead37…. well said .
    Looking forward to next Sunday already.
    Great to be in the final .. Galway were very good today but Kerry will be a very different team in 4 weeks time .
    Galway going very well but won’t be fearing them one bit .

  75. My lord, Willy joe you should maybe read over your post, it certainly does not read the way you’re phrasing above.
    Clare at the very least deservers an apology,
    What is wrong with her putting a *typo when there is no option to edit, the * is common practice in messaging.
    Sinead is likely replying to people asking to limit the number of posts.
    However I stand over mine above and Clare deserves
    An apology.

  76. Skylineirl – with the greatest of respect, I’ll decide how I run this place, not you. On what basis can you possibly imagine you have any right to be calling for apologies? The level of entitlement is baffling.

  77. I firmly believe Clare was insulted to be honest
    And people followed up asking for her posts to be limited and also saying well said etc.
    I think it doesn’t bode well for them not to be referenced.
    It lacks a little class if I’m honest that Clare doesn’t
    Get an appology. But as a you said it’s your town,
    You’re the sheriff, but I don’t think I’m the only person
    Passing through your town who has a similar opinion.

  78. The disappointing aspect of today is we learned we do not have the depth of squad we thought we had. Galway were very good today and it will be hard to beat them next week. Galway and Mayo are the two best teams in the country right now. Galway will be confident they can beat us. That will be to our advantage. I think we can beat them but we can’t have too many injuries. Today just flagged a lack of depth.

  79. Keep posting Clare.You have posted good comments keep doing it.After today I would put Reape 1 and Robbie down the line. He actually didn’t look match fit today. I was at the match, and thought Sam was very good and Bob.There were a few players that did not perform when they got their chance. And May have played themselves out of contention.

  80. You can believe what you want, Skylineirl. I made a reasonable request, which I stand over, and which was made in the interest of keeping the comments section clear of a clutter of unnecessary additional comments. It wasn’t insulting – not that I have to justify anything to you – and I’ll certainly take no lessons from you on what does or doesn’t constitute “class”.

  81. Let me be very clear, I should have added limit number of replies per thread I.e no need to add corrections. Tubberman put it much better than I did in his post

    Time to all pull together and focus on supporting our lads next Sunday.

  82. As I said it’s your town and your the sheriff, I’m just a
    Passer by , stopping in every now and then and then off to other pastures. But I’m entitled to my view, and looks like this town ain’t big enough for the two of us tonight so I’ll keep on moving, but I’ll be back

  83. @Clare, Keep posting, I certainly enjoy your posts. Your enthusiasm and genuine support for the team is great to see.

    Have to respectfully disagree with Muckle in terms of squad depth. Missing from todays panel – Tommy Conroy, Cillian O’Connor, James Carr, Enda Hession. Currently, all 4 of them make any match day squad in the Country.

    Hennelly, Plunkett and O’Hora playing their first competitve match since 2022 club championship (longer in Plunkett’s case)

    As pointed out by a poster earlier, it seems some players showed why they are not considered as starting players, and that is what the league is about, finding out who is up to standard.

    We are at the start of our cycle with this managment team, and Galway are approaching the tail end of they’re cycle with Joyce. I genuinely beileve Joyce needs this league title more than we do. Walsh and Comer are getting on a bit, and the way the championship is so open, I think its do or die for Galway this year in terms of winning Sam. Joyce seems Hell bent on this league final, lets see what they’ve got…

  84. Really hard to see how Doherty is in the wider panel – a very good player since 2011 but at 33 and on the back of two recent ACL injuries and having never been a pacy player he’s getting game time in a defensive position. Just can’t figure it out. From watching club football in Mayo, Sean Morahan or Brian McDermott would be much better suited to this role.

    One thing I’ll say in agreement with the poster Clare is Touhy is the best teenage prospect I’ve seen since Cillian, even better than Diarmuid or Ryan at that age. He could easily be starting come championship. Whoever compared him to Mattie Tierney is very apt – Tierney is Galway’s best forward now.

    Next weekend will reveal even more for the Roscommon game and as Anne Marie said, injuries will no doubt be a factor in the team selection for the next two weeks.

  85. If we had to lose to keep a team up, I’m glad it’s Monaghan. Management may have regarded this game as a challenge and prepped accordingly with heavy work during the week. We were in it for a long time, but couldn’t really handle McManus. That said Monaghan missed a lot and left it dangling. Was disappointed in quite a few players today, but they are not bad players and probably need more games.

  86. Not the result we wanted today but with one eye already on the league final I’m not overly disappointed. Good to see younger lads in Callinan and Tuohy step up.

    Galway are the other form team in the country at the moment. Joyce and O’Neill have been doing well with them and they seem to be motoring nicely with a bit of freshness added to the squad.

    However, they have lost a few league finals (div 1 and 2), a connacht final and an all ireland final in HQ in recent years so their final record up there isn’t much better than ours.

    Plenty in Galway are confident this team they have is capable of winning national trophies, we will find out if they are in fact the real deal next weekend and if the hype train is real. They should have close to their full 2023 squad to choose from and are in the final on merit and if they beat us are genuine contenders for the year ahead.

  87. Tuohy a great prospect but I agree with km79. It may not be this year. Doherty definitely not the solution at 6. McLaughlin looked to be moving well in warm up, needs game time now to get him up to speed and same for McHale. Carney had immediate impact when introduced, we had a player running the show…
    The number of goal chances Monaghan created is worrying…but no hiding places next Sunday and thats what we want. The wider pitch will help us also… Castlebar has a real problem with potential pitch invasion…

  88. Galway supremo and living legend Pádraig Joyce.. as reported on “Allianz League Sunday” is not initially agreeing with the Allianz League Final being played Saturday next to accommodate his neighbours to the North and of course fair play, even after all my praising of the wonderful Tribesmen recently. .. And despite Stephen Cluxton another living legend, setting a precedent and returning to the Dublin playing panel , Lee Keegan has confirmed that neither he nor the Gooch would be returning to Inter County Action. And if Pat Spillane was still on the TV, he would almost certainly repeat once again, about the definition of insanity, repeating the same thing and expecting a different outcome!.. So I will just remind the wonderful and fair-minded Galway manager about the previous four times Galway contested a league division one final and of course lost them..It was always played on a Sunday!

  89. Leantimes 1998 and 2001 All ireland finals were won on Sundays .. and off course that’s all that matters at the end of the day…

  90. Willie Joe – is there any chance at all that you could spend a minute and consider how the tone (intentional or unintentional) of your comment directed to Clare could be perceived in a negative way. Some commenters have taken it this way and I can understand why.

    If you’re annoyed with people who are trying to make a correction perhaps you’d might consider reaching out to them directly or consider updating to the functionality of the comments section e.g.

    I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who’s mildly annoyed by the fact that there isn’t an edit function, an option to reply to a specific comment or give a comment a thumbs up.

  91. @Tuamstar, .. Oh don’t we all know it in Mayo. I’m actually against playing All Ireland finals on a Sunday myself..Midnight in Madagascar might suit Mayo for those games better..But we are talking about the league right now and I’m only trying to give ye a fair shot at winning the League,.. I know we’ll ye want to win it.. Mayo won 6 in Row once upon a time, ..I don’t remember it, but they were all played on a Sunday

  92. I personally don’t see anything wrong with any of the comments that WJ made.

    Nothing to apologise about.

    There do seem to be a couple of posters trying to kick up a fuss and bring down the tone of the thread, but most posters are way to smart to buy in to that shite.

  93. Jays lads, full on coronation st in here.

    In other news it’s getting harder and harder to like Peej, not that he’ll care. Turning into a bit of a whinger, thought Larry’s young fella was never going to walk again after some Mayo buck allegedly caused GBH. Twould be some craic if Mayo by some miracle manage to get within a few scores of the best team the world has even seen next Sunday.

  94. I enjoy Clare’s post but I dont think it was an unreasonable request from Willie Joe to proof read or check over what we are about to post.

  95. Making calls about the league final based on yesterday’s results is pretty stupid if you ask me. Both teams will show changes with as many as 10 or 11 in Mayo’s case. Add in the fact that it’s a final and against our greatest rivals and it all points to a stand alone game that bears no similarity seen so far in the league. Management, players and fans will spend this week in a totally different frame of mind and purpose. The thing with finals is you never know who is going to step up and steal the limelight or who will get rinsed. We’ll know by the time Supermac finishes walking the dog!

  96. On the topic of football – playing against Galway defense in Croke Park will definitely be interesting to see. I’m sure there’ll be a bit of shadow boxing same as there was in the Roscommon Div 2 final last year. Will be interesting to see Plan B if the kicking option is snuffed out by bodies back.

  97. I’ve seen it all now. Disputes over typos, lord above. I enjoy Clare’s posts & that’s all I’ll say on the matter.

    On to more important things. Mayo v Galway. Very hard to know. This may not be the last time our paths cross this year. It’s just a balls up that we have to play championship the following week. And we are not the only team in that boat either. I hope we go for it “awful very hard” but understandable if we don’t go full pelt.

    There will be fists flying that’s for sure, never mind skin and hair

  98. The typos stuff seems very petty.

    But anyway, when do tickets go onsale for the league finals?

  99. Clare is always very clear and incisive in her posts, give her and Mayo a break
    Great way to go into a final.
    I understand that the mother of 2 of the Kerry

    forwards is very ill at present I wish her well..
    This day next week we will know where we stand.

  100. Anyway back to the upcoming game against the fancy dans . Comer will start I’m sure of it , Walsh is a handful for anyone , if we give away five goal chances like yesterday , dans will bag three of them . We really need to start blocking up the central channel . Tbh I can see no. 6 been a really handicap for us as we head into the real stuff .

    They are really impressive at the back , it will take a lot of top performances from Ryan , Carr and conroy to get the scores required .

    Overall I’m not sure we are ready for this , there is nothing to suggest we have worked out a proper defensive structure to nullify silky scoring forwards . On the other hand galway were magnificent yesterday at it , I had to see was Clifford playing at all at one stage . Galway not giving opposition time to shoot at all , they’re on yer fookin boot before the ball lands on it .

    I go in hope rather than expectation to

  101. Let us all get one thing straight,this blog is provided by Willie Joe to give us a chance to see what is happening with Mayo ,it is always fair and everyone can post their opinions,I have been called a few times myself by Willie Joe so know that he is very faor,I really enjoy Clare’s posts and she gave me some information on James Carr today so thank you for that ,my own predictive text changes words sometimes so I sympathise with Clare ,but let us stop trying to tell Willie Joe how to run his blog,it is up to anyone to try and set up their own blog ,thank you to Clare for my information this morning,but I believe that Willie provide outstanding service

  102. Management should have learnt alot from yesterdays game, some of the replacements not up to standard and should be replaced on panel by some young players who are the future. Just like Clifford in last years final, nobody was able to mark old man McManus yesterday, what will Walsh and Comer do next Sunday with same defence. Apart from Aiden and Cilian its a young mans game and there is plenty of young talent coming through.

  103. Apologies for commenting but I think the complaint was with the immediate follow up with the correction, incessantly.

    The suggestion was to read what is written before texting. Then no need for a follow-up.

    It is very hard to get people to read what is written in all walks of living.


  104. In fairness Leantimes he did not say he would not accommodate ye. He said we will turn up at the designated time which is Sunday @ 4pm. I have been following Galway football live for 40 yrs now and Galway Mayo by and large would get up in the middle of the night to play each other any where any time. On the game itself anyone saying we are clear favourites should recall up to 7 days ago ye were clear favourites. In reality the league final is very 50/50 and both are all ireland contenders irrespective of the result.

  105. @willie joe sorry I will proof read my comments before I post and if there is anything typo I will just leave it . Thanks @ sinead ! And thanks to all who said they do enjoy my posts ha.

    I know it must be annoying to see double correction posts so I will just leave it if I see a correction in it.

  106. As a Rossie, I do enjoy the insight fully comments from posters but the above is petty. No reason why the final should not be played in a venue outside c.p but this will not happen. A half empty c.p will mean little atmosphere. On the theme of pettiness let’s hope both tear teams tear lumps out of each other while we wait in the grass?

  107. Wow, what a night!! Do we need an A in honours English to post here nowadays? We’re getting fierce polished around here it seems. I’m a long time on this blog and I have seen far worse comments than Clares, that received far less commentary and rebuke. I think people need to settle their gills a little and stop being so pretenious. Not everyone is posting from a PC or a laptop, or even a tablet. Some might be in cars or walking home while typing or some may have grammar issues. Big deal if they misspell, don’t use capitals where they should or their autocorrect takes over. Did anyone never hear of the phrase “play the ball, not the man”?

    As for the game itself, I think it played out as we expected with 10 changes to the team and 8 players making their first start of the year. It was disjointed, lacking any real flow of movement with signs of nerves and inexperince in certain positions. We had a mix and match of youthful nerves where inexperince and a desire to make an impression on management actually led to poor decision making and shot selection, allied to experinced legs lacking minutes and struggling to get to the pace of a team that was fighting for it’s division one status.
    I spoke to a Monaghan supporter before the game and he had little to no confidance that Monaghan would survive. I suggested that while Mayo had been going well, a much changed team would struggle to play as cohesively and we had no real skin in the game. It turned out just like that.
    For me, the game didn’t change my view of where some of our players are at. I don’t believe that Towey is of the standard we need from a corner forward and his points tally on paper looks good, but in reality 3 or 4 of those points were uncontested gimmes from 20m out, while his contribution from play was nothing near good enough to force his way into the reckoning. Doherty at 6 is a work in progress, much like Loftus at 6, but is months behind that trial and I don’t expect to see it again for championship. Irwin was nervy and snatched at 2 poor efforts into an awkward wind in the first half, but as a starting debut for a very talented young lad, what did we expect. Bob Tuohy will be a more regular feature in the seasons ahead but has made great strides already. Left footed, a big unit that can cover the ground so all he needs is time. McStay to me was the interesting one. Nippy, great balance and knitted play well together. Took too much out of the ball at times but there is something to his play that could be useful in the seasons ahead. For me, they are all for the future and not for this years championship.

  108. JKEL88 – it’s not officially confirmed as yet but Kevin McStay said in his post-match comments that this was when it would be. I guess it’ll be confirmed officially pretty soon.

  109. Sean Burke, I’d say McStay is going to stick with Loftus as he sees the 6 role more of a quarter back/playmaker type role, as opposed to a lock down enforcer type role. The problem with that is we have been open down the middle channel to runners coming through, and even yesterday, we never had a “plus one” or a sweeper dropping back behind our 6 and in front of our full back. McManus picked up two very handy marks that should have been cut out. Heaney will make hay in there if we don’t address it. But, I believe McStay wants Loftus in there for his movement of the ball up the pitch.
    For me, I’d have Paddy Durkan in there as he can do the job of 2 men, block up the midde channel with his strength and tackle ability, plus, get up the other end of the field to tack on a point or two.

  110. JKEL88 as the host of this blog has noted. Both managers I guess predicating on the time and day for the Div 1 final which has been on the Sunday @ 4pm most of the last few years.

  111. In regards to TypoGate I think WJ’s comment is fair. His issue is not with the typos themselves but with the double postings to apply corrections when 99% of readers know what they meant to say.

    But would agree with posters above that having a short window of time to edit comments would be helpful.
    Most other sites with comment boxes incorporate an editing tool that expires after a few mins so that it can’t be abused by someone who pretends they got their predictions right!

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