Mayo 0-15 Cavan 1-14: relegation looms after another craven display

Well, whatever that looked like in the flesh I have to admit that, from the sofa, it didn’t make for comfortable viewing. Back on home soil after that chastening defeat to Dublin some sort of redemption should have been forthcoming. Instead what unfolded – for me on the TV – was another alarmingly inept performance, one that gave a game Cavan side a shot at their first win in this campaign. It was an opportunity the visitors grabbed with glee, consigning us to our third defeat of the year and reawakening the spectre of relegation for us.

After a cautious start to today’s contest, with both sides probing for openings, we got off the mark first with six minutes on the clock. Kevin McLoughlin made ground and offloaded to Tom Parsons who punched through the cover before landing a nice score. Straight from the kick-out we intercepted and Andy Moran landed our second of the day.

Eleven minutes had passed before McKiernan opened their account from a free. In reply, Fergal Boland, fed by Paddy Durcan, guided the ball over from out on the right. From the same part of the field Danny Kirby – from a pop pass by Andy – belted it over to push us three clear.

A second McKiernan free for them, following an incident that saw Colm Boyle pick up a yellow, was responded to by Andy’s second point from play. McVeety notched their first from play after this, with Kevin McLoughlin answering this one via a free out on the right for us.

Conor O’Shea then thumped over a glorious long-range score but McVeety responded in kind for them. Two more high-quality points – the first from Danny Kirby with the outside of the boot from way out on the right, the second from the left by Conor O’Shea after some patient build-up play – stretched our lead to five points.

We’d done enough, you’d have thought, at that stage to ensure we’d go in at the break with a comfortable lead. It wasn’t to be, though, as McKiernan blasted over a super long-range point and then, on the stroke of half-time, followed this up with a goal.

From our point of view, the goal was a bad one to concede. McVeety ghosted unmarked into the danger zone, a long ball in found him and he offloaded to McKiernan who, with defenders flapping all over the place, kept his cool and shot to the net.

I have to admit I was already fearful at half-time. Our confidence nowadays is a very brittle commodity and that goal looked like it could have done serious psychological damage to us. Still, we had a full half to play in front of another large home crowd so this one was still very winnable.

Danny Kirby’s third point of the day was, then, the perfect start for us on the resumption. It was a start we failed to build on, though, as instead Cavan hit us for four points without reply to push two clear.

The scores all followed a similar pattern, starting with an increasingly pedestrian attacking effort by us, followed by a rapid downfield counter by them. When we attacked, they had fifteen behind the ball and we looked completely clueless about how to force an opening through the blanket. When they countered, though, it was old fashioned one-on-one stuff and they cut through our backline with embarrassing ease.

Andy, off his left as he came round on the loop, finally stopped the rot with a nice score. Donal Vaughan then passed up a great chance to level the match, shooting a bad wide from a good position on the left wing.

Another counter-attack from them yielded another score. Red lights were flashing all over the place for us now but still, maddeningly, there was no response from our sideline, despite an all too obvious need to freshen things up.

We briefly came to life, Danny Kirby kicking his fourth point of the day. Then Lee Keegan landed two sumptuous long-range scores to edge us one clear with just under twenty minutes to play.

At last we began to ring the changes. Our misfiring forward-line was screaming for alteration – where Conor Loftus hardly touched the ball all day, with Cillian strangely anonymous too – but instead it was Stephen Coen who came on for Donal Vaughan, just before Lee’s second rocket went over.

They levelled once more but then sub Shane Nally – who’d only just replaced Fergal Boland – knocked over one from out on the left to reclaim the lead. That should have been the signal for us to push on. Instead, we lost our way completely in the closing minutes, Cavan growing in confidence all the while as they realised we were there for the taking.

McKiernan – who was superb throughout for them today – landed a long-range free that David Clarke could only touch over his bar. Two wides followed for us, a really bad one in front of the posts by Tom Parsons and a long-range one from Lee Keegan, as Conor Loftus was finally called ashore, Evan Regan replacing him.

Cavan looked to have got the game’s deciding score when McVeety shot to the net but the goal was ruled out for a square ball. The Cavan centre-forward got the game’s next score, though, with our defence at sixes and sevens, as the visitors hit the front with time running out.

From there to the end was little short of embarrassing from our point of view. Our upfield forays showed no urgency or invention, Cillian O’Connor – who ended the day scoreless – missed two frees, they nicked another one and then ran the clock down with an increasingly confident display of keep-ball. They kept that two-point lead till the end and fully deserved their win. Fair play to them.

For us, though, the storm clouds are darkening. Very few of the lads looked up for the fight today and a number of players appeared to be out on our feet with most of the second half still to play. We were completely without purpose going forward and were cut open far too easily at the back. We looked, in short, like a team going nowhere.

It wasn’t just out on the field that we looked clueless either. It was patently obvious at half-time that changes were required but instead we waited, and then waited some more. Then, when we finally acted, the most obvious targets to come off were still left on the field.

It’s very hard to take anything positive from this display but, shocking as it was, you’d have to concede that today wasn’t hugely out of line with how we’ve been playing all year. A decent second half against Kerry and a solid performance against a very poor Roscommon is all we’ve to cling to so far amid the wreckage of desperately poor showings in the three other matches.

Today’s collapse, though, is, to my mind, the most worrying of the lot. After what Dublin did to us two weeks ago, we had every reason to expect that Cavan would be at the receiving end of a backlash this afternoon. Instead what we got was another malfunctioning performance from a team that increasingly appears to have lost its way.

With tough matches to come against Tyrone and Donegal in the final two League rounds, our Division One status is once more on the line. On today’s form, you’d have to say we’ll be doing well to get anything from these two games but we’ve stood up plenty of times before when hard questions have been asked. Those questions will be posed once more – with increasing clamour – following today’s dejecting defeat. What kind of answers we’re able to provide this time round remains to be seen.

Mayo: David Clarke; Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins, Paddy Durcan; Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan (0-2), Donal Vaughan; Tom Parsons (0-1), Danny Kirby (0-4); Fergal Boland (0-1), Cillian O’Connor, Conor O’Shea (0-2); Kevin McLoughlin (0-1, free), Andy Moran (0-3), Conor Loftus. Subs: Stephen Coen for Vaughan, Shane Nally (0-1) for Boland, Evan Regan for Loftus, Neil Douglas for O’Shea, Jason Gibbons for Parsons.

Cavan’s Gearoid McKiernan was, without question, Man of the Match today but who were our best performers? Take your pick in the MOTM poll:

Who was our MOTM against Cavan?

  • Danny Kirby (67%, 421 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (7%, 41 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (4%, 25 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (3%, 21 Votes)
  • Conor O'Shea (3%, 20 Votes)
  • David Clarke (3%, 18 Votes)
  • Jason Gibbons (3%, 17 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Neil Douglas (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Shane Nally (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Evan Regan (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 628

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152 thoughts on “Mayo 0-15 Cavan 1-14: relegation looms after another craven display

  1. Mayo are turning into a badketball team cant kick points from out field management hasnt a clue pity not a bad bunch of players

  2. We’re one-part clueless and one-part toothless in the final third. No leadership or direction going forward. Everyone looking for gaps, nobody creating them. Cavan played the sort of counter-attacking football we should be playing. Doesn’t bode well.

  3. I’ve been calling for a forwards coach but I think it’s too late for this team we were well beaten in midfield defence and up front. The management were very slow to make changes for example we were getting cleaned in midfield and we only bring in Jason Gibbons with 2 minutes to go. More worryingly that’s the second game in a row Mayo lied down and gave up.

  4. Toothless , lethargic, unthought . When Cavan have 14 men inside their 45 you won’t be able to hand pass through them. Massive ask to stay in the division now & difficult to see how we aren’t in anything but a decline

  5. We are learning nothing in the league campaign launched. Same rubbish performance every game. Wide open at back. Attack bringing ball to 40 and then no options. Our panel looks really poor with a lot of guys just not good enough. We need O’Sheas back, defensive structure from last year back in place and then hope that Collins gets his former back. Not likely to happen in the league so looks like Division 2 next year!

  6. We are learning nothing since the league campaign launched. Same rubbish performance every game. Wide open at back. Attack bringing ball to 40 and then no options. Our panel looks really poor with a lot of guys just not good enough. We need O’Sheas back, defensive structure from last year back in place and then hope that Cillian gets his form back. Not likely to happen in the league so looks like Division 2 next year!

  7. Healy park next week. After that a resurgent Donegal. I thought there would be a response to the last game.

    No player goes out there to play badly. I`m aware of that. But the pride and passion has somehow evaporated.

    That was like painting by numbers. Can`t remember when we last scored a goal. Could be a slippery slope now.

  8. Really poor. Stumped by a blanket again it’s not as if we’re not familiar with it yet.

  9. The end is near for this team I’m afraid , a lot of mileage on the clock ,
    Time waits for no man , higgins and Vaughan look to have lost there pace and can be turned very easy

  10. Cillian O’Connor looks like a man who has lost interest, to be brutally honest.

  11. See comment in previous blog “game day top tier status retention the prize today”.

  12. I think I’m a bit afflicted myself by the said plague …. in anticipation of this weeks prediction position…a right fiasco I expect!

  13. Poor on the field, and poorer on the sideline. To have left Cillian and Andy on the field for the whole game and them playing like they did worries me, and I’m afraid there are certain players who can’t be substituted.

  14. Very hard to be positive now. Everyone gets tired. These guys are no different. Maybe they can rally. Let’s see. Whatever we have had great days with them

  15. Kirby gave a great display not just scoring but worked very hard as well, he didn’t deserve to be on the loosing side of the match, Cavan were better than us, wanted it more than us. I feel like giving out stink about the performance of some of the Mayo forwards players. Management could and probably should have replaced some big names. But who will we replace them with? We don’t have the forwards that are proven performers at this level.. Andy,again delivered something and Connor OShea worked hard and got two good points in the first half. Our back’s are against the wall, and our backs will be against the wall again in Healy Park next week. Two OShea’s to come back, but could you drop Kirby after today’s display,.??

  16. To predictable why not give irwin match time . Tom parson looks out of sorts. Cillian looks lost and suffering from the loss of form . The next two games will be our defining moment of 2017 and championship prospects for the year. It will hurt mayo to be relegated and our neighbours galway going up .

  17. I think it’s clear the reason we can’t take certain players off no matter how badly they play .Thats mainly because we have nobody to replace them with . I would have taken COC off against Dublin & I would have taken him off here, maybe 11 doesn’t suit him or maybe he is out of form & finding motivation difficult, but sometimes you need to sub players or drop them no matter how big a name they have. Not questioning attitude but it’s clear enough players aren’t pushing the first 15 .

  18. Andy has been our best forward in the league (boland has impressed) but few others have featured at all so from the perspective of bring through new forwards or trying a new offensive structure the league has been a failure. A stark one at that. I think the dogs on the street can see that Cilian is not enjoying his football. For God’s sake play him in the full forward line and bloody well leave him there. His mojo is gone but will come back.

    We’ve been toothless in attack. We might as well have given the Cavan keeper a seat and a cup of tea. He was only required to lick the ball out.

    Our midfield (and I include winning breaks) has been fairly anonymous. Apart from the Roscommon game we’ve come out 2nd best most days.

    Defensively porous. Opened up time and time again. We looked brilliant in defence last September. Surely the obvious thing now is to revert to the same shape with the same players!??

    Tyrone will be very tough. I can’t see us winning but if we park the bus we could scrape a draw. The big game for us will be the last one v Donegal who will play like Cavan did today, only better.

    If we finish level on points with Cavan then we’ll go down. They have Kerry at home next weekend and then away to the rossies. I can see them getting 2points which means we have to win one of our remaining two fixtures.

    Hopefully AOS is back soon. Play McLoughlin as sweeper. Have Diarmuid and Doc back in the half forwards and Cillian inside. I just have a feeling we’ll take Donegal in the final game and that should be enough to cling on to div 1 status.

    Experimental time is gone Mr Rochford.

    Finally, very big game next weekend for our u21’s. Please get out to support them.

  19. And why are you so certain Rochford is the problem? The players forced the management change last time. It’s up to them to justify it.

    It’s my personal opinion that the team are jaded. The defeat last year has emotionally and probably physically drained them. They are too long on the go, too many times they’ve had to fight back and rally again and again only to come up short. That’s difficult for anyone’s mental health. I also think there are one or two in the team who maybe have lost interest or any e too tired to keep putting in the commitment again and again.

  20. Ah come on Patrick Alan Dillon was a great servant but he must be 34 years of age he’s not the anwser

  21. There are no excuses for losing that match. Instead it was all set up after the humiliation against Dublin to bounce back by relegating Cavan and making a tilt for a league final. I never ever thought we’d lose this match- Cavan have Roscommon to play yet so we need to beat either Trone away or Donegal at home.
    Midfield was poor today and up front we went round in circles. COC should have been subbed and some of the substitutions should have been made a lot earlier- SR is notorious for late substitutions.

    All in all it’s very worrying; this is arguably a worse defeat than against Dublin. Something seems wrong with the team- they should have found a way to win. Btw Cavan were missing a number of players.

    It looks like holding on to D1 status and winning Connacht is the limit of our ambitions this year………….then again ‘shur it’s only March’.

  22. I would normally be very annoyed by a display like that and give out loads about it. However, these lads have given a lot over the years and came very close to winning an all Ireland. They are tired and worn out by years of savage effort and intensity followed by awful disappointment. I think many of them are fed up with the whole business and cannot lift themselves any longer. This is natural and I suppose the surprising thing is that they have managed to keep it going this length.
    It would be great if they could manage just one more big performance to stay in div 1. That’s all I would ask of this group of players.

  23. All points above noted and I agree with all observations and sentiments. It’s a funny/peculiar one for sure……I see a clear linkage between our Dublin performance and today’s. That is, no forward, no forward at all, bar maybe Andy today, willing to work, willing to run the arses of themselves into space and support an attack……….In fact no ‘attacks’ at all to write home about. Yes I saw Donie too looking wrecked in a 1-on-1 chase back, and most other players looking very much out of sorts. Lee looking very frustrated and having to take long shots because in the second half particularly there was nobody willing to link up with another runner and go inside. We have lots of talent and lots of new talent, yet the few who are probably willing to work being let down by those who silently are unwilling and therefore the whole fecking effort falls apart. Mayo is better than this. There’s something amiss in the camp…….some shit going down for sure, that needs to be sorted quickly. It’s very obvious that we’ve thrown in the towel.

  24. Watched the game on TV here in Dublin and had to go for a walk afterwards to clear the head. First of all well done to Cavan. They came with a plan and once they realised how uninterested most of our boys were took the game by the scruff of the neck and were well worth the win. Relegation now steers us in the face as I can’t see us getting any points from Tyrone and Donegal. Cavan are likely to pick up the win they need.Truth is apart from the second half against Kerry we have been very poor all the way through and even Roscommon caused us problems but were not good enough to take advantage. .
    As for Mayo well those of us expecting a reaction from two weeks ago were sorely disappointed. We don’t seem to have any game plan. Our defence is a shambles as all the good work of last season has been jettisoned for reasons unknown. Kirby scored some fantastic points and can hold his head up as can yet again Andy but we were never in control in midfield. As for our forward play we do know don’t we that you are allowed score goals as it seems we have no idea on that front. Cillian nee has clearly lost his way but is to talented for that to be long lasting. We badly need the O’Shea’s back along with Ger Cafferkey. Unfortunately and I really hope they make me eat these words it is looking like a short summer.I

  25. Dunno where to start. Probably start with Cillian who really has not taken to centre half forwrd at all. And I think that it is becasue that position is no longer a traditional play making one becasue of all the defensive lineups you see nowadays. No space there anymore to pick neat passes or continually put guys through.

    Not unless you have attacking half backs which we seem to have given up on. On that Paddy Durcan very poor again today I thought. He did attack a lot but it was from too deep a position soloing up from the FB line. By the time he was in midfield Cavan had 12/13 men again behind the ball.

    Lee looked dangerous and took a couple of good points but he only made one trademark run of significance that I saw (one in the first half which went wide). I think he needed a rest after the club competition but unfortunately not given one and maybe too late now.

    I thought Andy played ok and was our most dangerous forward. Did any of the other FF line score? Very disappointed with Kevin Mcloughlin. he seemed to end up in the middle third all the time and along with the rest of them in there it just became very cluttered.

    Fair play to Cavan though. Came with a game plan and the belief they could win and kept plugging away. Going in at half time only one point down was a serious thumbs up for them and they duly went for it in the second half. They had the urgency then within the team to go out and get stuck in.

    We didn’t have that urgency at all. Same as Dublin game. I don’t know why everyone expected a backlash but it was a case again of players not knowing or not willing to put their bodies on the line to get the desired result.

    Big question is that now after 2 consecutive games can this slide be halted?

  26. Are we that bad as an outfit all of a sudden from last September…??.the set up of the team is very one dimensional and a bit clueless. Players out of positions and no apparent tactics, bringing on men in hope that they can perform magic…can we not kick a ball into space in front of a man..?. Kirby stood out today…the u21 lads coming through would want to play like they are possessed to make an impact and set down a mark. Its really really disappointing. Why are the corners so magnetic for us this season…..maybe someone lining up for a header in square…. I know it’s not easy to keep going to the well every year but we have a level of pride to maintain at the least. I hear the old argument that ” they don’t owe us anything”…well they owe themselves a bit of silverware after this journey together….the Westport and the u21 lads can vouch for how good it feels…. Maybe they are frigged from heavy gymwork …i don’t know…..pissed off….we are way way better than our last 2 offerings….

  27. Alan Dillon was super but his time is gone. At most he is a 20/30 minute man. Andy , despite being our most impressive forward in 2017 so far has this year in him and that’s that. Father Time waits for now man!

    I wouldn’t be sounding the death knell just on this team, sure there aging profiles in the squad but Harry, Lee, durkan, doc, McLoughlin, AOS, Cillian all still 27 or younger. Parsons is a couple of years older but still has a few years in him. Nally and Kirby have done well when given a chance. Diarmuid is class but isn’t back even near 100% yet. We’ve had some game time for u21 lads this spring, not enough in my opinion but it takes time for these lads to settle in to a senior team. Boland has been best to date. Loftus has hardly featured and didn’t do much today at all. Coen has been ok, nothing more. O’Donoghue too has done well. For u21 players, even All Ireland winning ones, the first real year is about slotting in. Next year in 2018 is when these lads need to be stepping up and putting in more consistent and man of the match performances.

    Maybe 2017 will be a bit of a nothing year for us and yes maybe a few of the old guard might hang up their boots and one or two others may become impact subs rather than nailed on starters. Transition happens to every team…

    We aren’t privy to what’s going on in trainings and we have no idea what plans etc management have in place. Some things are clear however. Cillian’s form is most concerning. He is way way off where he can and should be. For me, he’s being played out of position. We simply do not have the luxury to play him anywhere but the inside forward line. We know he can be lethal. He’s no use to us picking up breaking ball in our own half back line. Second to this our defence is being opened up. Sweeper timer. We have the ideal players for counter attacking football.

  28. After the Monaghan game I posted that I don’t understand this not trying in the league and that losing can become a habit same as winning can. Well it’s a habit now….

    What exactly has Rochfod brought to this team ?

    I don’t claim to be an expert but I would question the following:

    McL as sweeper not being used now why not ? We don’t get many games to practice it so why not do it in the league
    Surely Keegan and COC need a rest rather than playing in league games that we clearly have no interest in
    Why wasn’t Irwin or Reape given chances in the league ?
    Higgins is no longer a top defender so why are we not bedding him in to the half forwards where his pace would be vital ?
    Durcan at corner back…..we need new forwards not new backs so why won’t we try this guy up front….same goes for Keegan ?

    Management need to cop on or ship out

  29. After 34mins this looked like a run of the mill win without getting out of first gear. The goal gave Cavan confidence going into half time and sucked the life out of Mayo. In the second half Mayo made a very ordinary Cavan team look good.

    I would agree with some of the posters, this team simply are jaded, on the road a little too long. The OSheas were not needed today, it wasnt an overly physical game. Mayo didnt bring any intensity to the game and made to too easy for Cavan to pop over points in the second half.

    The team are at a cross roads I think, Rochford has some tough decisions to make, does he stick with the established players from last year and hope there is a kick in them or bite the bullet and make the changes that will have to be made soon anyway. I think he has to take emotion out of the equation and do whats best for Mayo football. It may mean writing off this championship but change is required soon or run the risk of slipping into a period of transition, just ask Galway, Cork, Meath, Armagh how those periods work out.

    The plus points for me would be the performance of Kirby, he really has something to offer and has to start the remaining games. I dont think he is a midfielder but definitely an option in the forwards, scored 4pts from play, two of them outrageous. Boland played well and looked to create but things were just too static in front of him. Nally added a spark when he came on but too late to really make a mark. These three are basically new to the scene and thw hunger shows. Loftus had a tough day but he just doesnt have the game time under his belt. Irwin should have been brought on, we needed to go direct which would have suited him. Conor OShea showed flashes of talent and scored two nice pts but sometime he just frustrates with his work rate. Too many times after passing he just stops and stands there with his hands on his hips. He has the talent but I think the work rate needs to improve.

    Cillian had a poor day, he is really off form, I dont think 11 suits him. He is hugely important so will have to play through it. Someone needs to tell him 45s are just out of his range. Better to pass and keep posession than kick it wide.

  30. The usual over reaction following two bad results is in full flow once again. I knew this was going to be a tough game with Cavan playing for their very lives.. win you have a chance to stay up loose you go down. I went to the game in hope more than expectation and not overly shocked we came out the wrong side of the result. Lack of concentration either side of half time cost us the game.. simples. Sure the result is disappointing but this stuff about this been the end for this team is awful manure altogether… what is this observation based on? Players that I would say let us down today were in defence.. Boyler switched off for at least 2 scores.. Conon O’Shea switched off for two scores and they were not alone.. simple mistakes. I think we put up a very good score on the board.. enough to beat any team especially Cavan.. but of complacency and concentration is what is costing us games.. not the ability of our players or the efforts of management. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if we go up to Tyrone and beat them.. simply because we will be up for it.

  31. There needs to be some explanation given as to why the defensive system that took a year to perfect has been all but abandoned and nothing new put in place. We are a shambles at the back since doing away with this.

  32. The elephant in the room is the kickouts,just to the fourteen yards or so it is killing our defense midfield and towards dropping back so far ,it is very hard to keep going without running out of steam in the heavy conditions at this time of year,yes Cillian is not playing well but we have tried out a lot of players but how many is even near his standard, hopefully when the OSheas and JOD are fit we will be able to compete

  33. A poster states: “I think we put up a very good score on the board.. enough to beat any team especially Cavan..”
    But it was not in fact enough to beat Cavan. You cannot argue that fact. Similarly this was as much a must-win match for Mayo as it was for Cavan but the only team that showed any desire and will to win was not the Mayo team. Hugely disappointed and not entirely blaming the players, I feel management have much more to answer for, I would love to know what, if any, is there plan for the team and what in the name of all thats holy was there actual Game Plan for today?

  34. Utterly clueless how to play against a blanket defence .. this is mgmt fault..
    Watch dublin break down the blanket .. it takes patience and movement ..
    I am on the borderline of losing faith in the mgmt .. we were so good defensively last year against tyrone and dublin .. why abandon that ? It makes no sense !!

    I dont believe rochford has some master plan .. this is illogical carry on ..

    Maybe the players are mentally exhausted and just need a year out t they werent in the 2nd half in tralee against kerry ..

    Go back to basics rochford .. you cant play open kick passing football against a blanket defense .. theyll pick you of on the counter attack all day long..

  35. I’m at a loss to know what was the objective of management with regards this League campaign. We haven’t unearthed much talent, Boland the exception. We have tried very few fringe players. We have dispensed with things that worked well in the past. We seem to be extracting every ounce out of players that needed a rest. We seem to have no clear system of play. We haven’t scored a goal from play in the campaign. We are cut open too easily and only for the heroics of David Clarke our problems would be worse. I think this team has done extremely well to bounce back so often. Next Sunday will be a day that will tell us if there is anything left in the tank, or are we looking at the demise of a team that has brought us great days.

  36. Looks like the end of the road for some of the older players…. so what if mayo goes down….Tyrone (and cavan) came up this year….clear to see it hasn’t affected Tyrone too much….now talked of as potential AI winners come September….absolutely vital potential new talent is included in AI run….to give the a taste and hungry for more information the years to come….see Dunlin…see Kerry…. or go again with the same tried and trusted

    Definition of stupidly….doing the same thing time and time again….and expecting a different result?

  37. Congratulations to Cavan on their first win in Division one for many a long year. They are rewarded for their efforts for the last few years. Gealic football needs good days for teams like Cavan. A win over Roscommon in the final game may be enough to keep them up now.
    As for Mayo the psychological and pysical effort of the last 6 years is showing and it’s an incredible testomony to the team to keep it going so long. A lot of guys need down time. The major fault is the management not giving it or admitting it.

  38. Why was Cillian not taken off today. Surely we have somebody else on panel of 40 who can take frees?

  39. I hope we are in the middle of VERY heavy physical training as the alternative is depressing
    2 main points on today
    1. What is rochford doing with Cillian ? He looked absolutely lost today ?
    2 . Is anybody going to pull Higgins aside and ask him to stop defending his man from 10 yards in front ? Absolutely suicidal from a full back. Caught for the goal. And for a harshly disallowed goal. In fact he was basically marking Boyle who was supposed to be sweeping in front of him. Meanwhile the FF was free in the box. Happened time and time again against the dubs

    Colm Boyle is also having a disappointing campaign . I’d have brought coen on for him at HT

  40. Very like the Tyrone game two years ago, struggled once we reached the 45. Disappointed to be honest, really expected a backlash after Dublin. To the poster looking for John Maughan as a selector, slowly back away from the keyboard, put down the brandy and go to bed.

  41. I’m not normally one for raising objection to most things but I don’t agree with the title given to the narative today Willie Joe.. Craven may have similar letters to the word Cavan but I think the description is harsh if not OTT. Yes the results is dissapointing and yes there wasnt an abundance of courage out there but Clueless against Cavan might be more apt.

  42. You’ll be a busy man the next few days watching this Willie joe ha

    On a serious note I wasn’t at the game today , think a few of our guys time has caught up with them

    Higgins was way off his man for every ball , Vaughan too looked v leggy . I was expecting a back lash and it was the opposite, the goal killed us

  43. I’m not one to generally panic in the league and in many aspects I don’t think it’s near as relevant as some want to make out, but it’s hard not to feel quite anxious after the last two matches

    Lest we forgot this is 12+ months now of mainly sub-par performances. We can say what we like but bar two gutsy (if at many stages inconsistent and sloppy) performances in the finals last year we had a very average 2016, benefiting a lot from a handy backdoor draw and an over-hyped Tyrone falling flat. I thought at the time it was understandable – a new manager coming in and some new things being tried out (e.g. McLoughlin sweeper).

    I thought it was set up for a vast improvement in 2017 but this is not happening thus far. Is the dreaded burnout we’ve feared materialising? Bear in mind these guys are a long time on the road, and mentally and physically have been through the ringer on countless occasions. COC is a shadow of his former self, the much-heralded HB line have looked slow and ponderous (save for two Keegan worldie points), DOC has looked burnt out, and the forwards have – if possible – looked less cohesive as a unit. Ok, the two O’Sheas still have to come back but these two more than anyone have bodies not particularly accommodating for more punishment

    That said Kirby and Conor O’Shea were too main positives, and while Boland is a while off yet he’s a real prospect. I don’t overly care about the league but teams like Monaghan and Donegal look in a great place to close the gap a bit by Championship, while Kerry will always be formidable. That’s before you look at Dublin. Right now September looks an absolute mile off which is worrying.

    We will learn a lot more in the next two matches though. It’s not too late to turn it around. It will give us a real indication as to the fight that’s present this year and how much will to win we have at this stage

    Quite frankly though this team owes no-one anything and even if it’s a “disappointing” year, we cannot overly complain, given the collective effort put in over 6 seasons at this stage

  44. Home Sweet Home Mayo and Mayo 78 (and any others whose comments in this vein I’ve deleted) – I’m not going to allow you to post comments of this kind on the site. If you want to post brain-dead insights like this, then please do so on your social media platform of choice and stop wasting my time clearing away your rubbish here.

  45. Juan,are the Mayo players that you are thanking for their service,the same ones that you referred to as c***s not 2 hours ago……..

  46. – Cavan came, build the wall with 14 Bob the Builders at times and deserved just about to win.
    -We on the other hand were clueless in Castlebar,
    – Who is in charge ? where is the plan ?why are they so lethargic? where is the heart gone ?why can certain players never be subbed ? What is wrong.???
    – Kirby, Boland and Conor O (first half) were the best for us. All others were poor to shocking bad.
    – We are NOT relegated yet so hold fire we need to win one of our remaining matches.
    – That is what these players owe themselves, future Mayo teams and supporters – Divison 1 at all costs.

  47. I know Everyone is angry / disappointed with today’s performance but you have to trust rochford. In his 1st season he brought us to the final and he did say that the football we see in the league will be different to the summer. He has added 2-3 players to the panel
    Which in itself is a huge positive. We also have a number of players due back.

    I would cut them some slack and trust that they are looking at different options for latter in year.

  48. Well said opt2misteek .. the fickleness of supporters ..

    good players coming thru from u21 .. all is not lost but huge question marks over mgmt ..
    Next 2 matches will tell a lot

  49. Despondent after that, first man to the. Bench today should have been Cillian then a toss up but certainly Andy stayed way too long, I agree Wiilie Mac, set up was horrid, mcloughlin lost in the front corner, no one to win breaking ball, ball landed inside our back line more than once only Clarke to beat, but where’s the mojo, the spirit, they don’t look fit, are we waiting for a big burst in the championship ? I’m sorry Mayomad the OSheas are needed every day on the pitch and two or three more like them, they draw defenders and give us a target, we need their physicality that I’m afraid has become patently lobvious, how and why did we spend the whole long match playing the same game when it was obvious it wasn’t working, a lot to do I’m afraid Mr Rockford

  50. I’m baffled by our tactics our forwards are lost and not one can score from distance. They were afraid to take shots and lost the ball time and time again in the tackle. Our backs are defending in front of their marker and men we depend on are seriously lacking at the moment. Makes for difficult watching. We have put ourselves in a struggle to stay up now..

  51. toe to hand… your comment “The usual over reaction following two bad results is in full flow once again.” The huge majority of posters here at the moment are using a thing called ” justifiable common sense”. You might remove your tinted glasses !! 😉

  52. Majority of Mayo players are in their prime – this idea they are tired is rubbish. Its up to management to get tactics right & implement an effective style of play.
    We need this team to get their pride & confidence back & start blowing teams away they used to.
    Might be time to go cap in hand to James Horan to get our mojo back !!!

  53. Two tough games ahead, cant see us taking anything from Tyrone, we couldnt break down an organised cavan defence and Tyrone do that even better. Donegal will be tough, alot depends on who shows up and whats to play cor on that day. We actually may be relying on Ros to beat Cavan to save us, now that would be interesting. You can explain awway the loss to Dublin as they are the top side in the country but Mayo should be beating the likes of Cavan week in week out. They are not a good side and were all but beaten before the goal. That gave them some confidence which we couldnt match which is a worry.

    Alot of posts and various opinions ranging from the team is finished to putting it down to heavy training and everything will be fine in summer. I dont necessarily think the team is finished rather it is jaded and in need of fresh blood. We simply havent been bringing through enough players over the past six years and its showing. The players that stood out today are Kirby Boland and oshea, relatively new comers, hungry and fresh. I was delighted to see Dougie take the field but it was too late to make an impression (imo he should have been on the panel for the past three years). Mayo needs to stick with bringing these guys thorugh along with the likes of Loftus, Irwin, Gallagher, Reape. We cant keep relying on Andy and Cillian, that’s not going to work anymore, they are marked men and are surrounded every game. Its not the end of the road for the team but it needs a serious injection of fresh blood. It may mean a quiet championship this year but in the long run will benefit the squad.

  54. There isn’t a Mayo melt down. This is still the same team that drew with Dublin and lost the second game by the smallest of margins. That was October, it’s March. The team is basically unchanged.In fact with Caf back for Summer ( fingers crossed )and a few U-21 and Kirby/Boland looking to be in good form you would argue, at least on paper; the team is stronger.

    This didn’t show on the pitch today. Very average performance. Except for Kirby, Boland and Maybe Moran. Management need to sub players when they aren’t performing. I really wanted to see Irwin so badly in that team today. . more than any of the U-21’s of last year. Anyone who has seen a lot of him knows what he can do. We sure won’t find out come Summer if he is good enough.

    Remember last year Mayo got hammered by Cork and had a topsy turvy league that we just about stayed up in. The league is not this team’s goal. Maybe teams like Roscommon, Monaghan and Cavan would love to win the league but I doubt there would be more than a quick round of Applause in Castlebar after winning the league. This is a championship team. It’s Mayo’s only goal. Has been for a very long time as we all sadly know .You can’t expect them to be as driven to win these type of games with all the nearly All-Ireland’s they have nearly won. No other county has had that level of heartbreak , it’s bound to have an effect but league I believe is not where the players ( especially the older players) will put their heart and soul into winning.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day but it certainly didn’t fall in a day either.I wouldn’t worry about decline until this team stops making Semis and finals. Whatever about a league loss to Cavan in March, even if it did come after a drumming from Dublin. The league is for finding players and styles of play ( granted we haven’t found much of either yet), championship is where they should be judged. Hopefully with the O’Shea’s back and Caff for Summer, an in form Kirby and a bit more from the youth (Boland in particullar) I won’t be singing the end is nigh just yet…but the pressure will be on for sure.

  55. I agree with Toe to Hand you should delete the reference to craven. That is one thing this team never was or is

  56. Thought Stephen rochfords interview was interesting after the game, spoke about all we did well in the first half and the game coming up against Tyrone, not a word about the second half, maybe he didn’t see it ??

  57. In essence, we ask the same 20 guys to maintain very high standards since 2011 so little wonder they are not hitting high notes in March of their 7th season, but I genuinely think we can get something in the next 2 games to stay up.
    However, it is clear the experiment of not playing a sweeper, keeping our best attacking halfbacks in defensive man marking roles and trying to unlock our forward talent by clever kick passing/greater use of half forwards isnt working on its own.
    Move McLoughlin back to sweeper, put Durkan and Keegan as attacking wing backs, persist with trying to have more kick passing half fowards to vary our attacks (as opposed to being our sole form of attack as is currently the case) and hope Cillian, Diarmuid & AOS get their form from 2014 back to push us forward from this slump.

  58. “Thanks for 2013, sending the Nordies back up the road, with their fyffes in hand like the 12th of July gone wrong.”

    To the person that posted the above comment, learn your history. They are not “Nordies”. They are Tyrone men, they are Ulster men and the are Irish men. They are our people. They don’t celebrate the 12th. They have endured abuse over the 12th . They don’t play “Fyffes”, they are called “Fifes” and you must be thinking of Rangers. Try living in the “Nordie” on the 12th like some of my family have and see what you think. Try telling any Irish Ulster man that you’d send him back “up the road like the 12th July gone wrong” and we would see how tough you are. You disgust me with your partitionist view of the GAA, by the way a 32 county organisation.

  59. I think S.R. would have been better off playing younger players as the senior players have no interest in league football.
    If Mayo get relegated, bouncing back up straight away is critical. Tyrone and Donegal seem to have benefited from a dip in to division 2. They used a blooming ground. Bouncing back would be critical!
    I think the senior players on this team are now only interested in the championship (might make the point of playing them in the league a little silly or stupid). Playing COC ans KMcL etc out of position pointless.
    I think we’ll have AOS, SOS back for Tyrone and Donegal and maybe Caff too.
    This team will rise again this summer, so can the conveyors of doom and gloom park it up!
    Hon Mayo!

  60. Absolutely right to call out anyone who you ‘believe sees things are better than they really are’.. no point in blind optimism. The difference between me and others is that I will wait until the end of the league to see whether we stay up or not and then form an opinion on where we are going based on evidence… I will wait and see how we get on in Connaught.. I will wait and see how we get on in the All-Ireland series. If we flunk out of all of those then people can rightly go hyperbole negativiy. I agree we are playing muck and it’s not surprising people are reacting negatively but it’s the over reaction shite of bring back past managers or bring back Dillon or find new forwards etc., blaaah. This could go down to the wire against a resurgent Donegal in Machale Park and I for one would afford this team that opportunity to show they can play with courage and conviction before burying the hatchet.

  61. After missing a few matches of late, I decided to take the trip down from Capital for this one, not sure what I was expecting but it sure wasn’t a defeat. Conceding the goal on the stroke of half time was a killer and it proved to be at the end, because from what should have been a comfortable lead was now just 1 misaberale point, and at that stage the writing was on the wall.

    Bar a few fantastic long range points, the second half was mostly spent knocking on Cavan’s defencive wall on their 45, and we not having a clue how to break it down, how we needed a target man in their square during that second half. If ever a team needed Aidan, this was the game.

    Management now have problems, and fixing them for the two remaining matches in the League seems a bridge too far. The new talent we were supposed to have unearthed doesn’t seem to be up to the mark just yet, so it will be up to the very tired looking regulars to once again dig us out of this hole. Hope they can do for their own sake, because if they’re looking for inspiration from the sideline, I think they’ll be waiting.

  62. Was/is Diarmuid injured?

    I still am of the opinion that Lee should have been rested after W’port campaign and brought back for the Donegal game. It’s up to management to just do this.

    Nally should have started all games.

    Team selections, replacements (and the timings of them) together with positioning and format have left many of us scratching our heads. I’d love to know what management are up to… They got it right as the season progressed last year but so far common sense seems to have left the building! This rather than the actualresults are what’s most frustrating.

    So far, it has been the most disappointing league campaign in years. Management might say they are trying new things and yes, the league is the platform to do this, but not one experiment has proven useful. Playing attacking wing backs at corner back. Not working. Playing Cillian out the field. Not working and most would be of the opinion that the things we should be experimenting with, ie: blooding players, hasn’t happened with the exception of Fergal Boland.

    Mayo went awfully close last Sept. There was nothing between the sides on either day. Only minor tweaks were are necessary for 2017. You don’t turn this inept over the winter. It simply doesn’t add up so I’m hoping Rochford and the team have a 2017 plan in place. Things are so poor in the league so far that it’s as if they’re actually doing this on purpose!!!

  63. Wake up at the back, Auldstock! Sure didn’t I provide the answer to that question the other day? The most recent time before today that Cavan beat us in a competitive match was in February 1989 where they won by 0-13 to 2-5 in Ballina in a Division 2 League match.

  64. Playing Cillian at 11 is all well and good, but we’ve nobody on the end of his passes inside as a result.
    Our lack of pace inside is frightening.

  65. Every other team above us in the table right now are playing to a well organised and defined game plan that they’ve been building on for years. Jesus like…even Donegal can lose 7 or 8 key players from their squad and still look highly organised and energetic while developing a new crop players (young lads who know exactly where the posts are regardless of the packed blanket defences being put up in front of them). Meanwhile our management are farting about with Corofin-style shite which has limited impact at Senior intercounty level – especially when the forwards don’t have the pace, power or free scoring shooting ability to execute such a tactic. This coupled with so many players losing their sparkle and opposing teams who now know they just need to park the bus – does not bode well. We used to be consistently competitive. Now we appear to be on a path to becoming consistently shit.

  66. Just back. Long day’s journey into I don’t know what.

    However, I have to take issue with most of the comments on the forwards. 15 points (was it one from a free?) against a 14 man defence ain’t bad. Kirby 4, Andy 3, Conor a beauty, Boland a beauty. I though they played sensibly against that defence (compare to Tyrone 2 years ago in Castlebar).

    But, midfield is a disaster area. We just didn’t compete at all. Is McKiernan the son of Dermot McCabe, who I seem to remember tormented us whenever we played Cavan last? We didn’t lay a glove on him. Only when Leroy and Nally hovered around there did we win any breaking ball.

    We are so poor (and management must take responsibility for this) at defending the counter attack. Cavan have learned from the masters up there and they took us to the cleaners breaking quickly and having the confidence to score – they even did this in the first half when we were on top.

    It’s not over. Ireland against Wales were terrible; they stepped up yesterday – with a second string! And, remember Barcelona

  67. Sarahmac “Rochford only spoke about the first half, maybe he didn’t see the second half”

    I think i know why that was.

    He knew he had set the video to record it and he was going home to watch it on the television and he didn’t want to know the result, so he left early.

    I see that Jason Gibbons is polling well in the man of the match. He only came on in the 70th minute. Must have been some couple of minutes for him.

    As for the game itself, nice to have 2 more owl pints in the owl bag and division one safety assured with 2 games to spare. Oh wait a minute.

  68. This team has a lot of unfinished business. Now is not the time to give up on them.

    Looking forward to the trip to Omagh next week.

  69. My worry is we did not have a plan. Cavan did and executed it very well. If anything we played into Cavans plan. Our slow build up play typified by crossfield passes going nowhere gave cavan the time to pull back players that had gone forward at their leisure and organise their defensive wall at the forty and work for the turnover. To give credit to Cavan they were well disciplined, rarely giving away the free.
    I agree with John above it was a day for the target man upfront and quick movement of the ball to the target man. No AOS today but we had kirby, conor o shea or even Parsons as possible target men. I felt sorry for Conor Loftus, he didnt get quick ball and when eventually the ball was driven into him it was poor quality. Very frustrating, he will have better days for sure.

  70. It may be that this team has exhausted their reserves and are at the end of the road.
    However I thought today that complacency was the biggest issue, taking on a team almost certain of relegation and all that. and we do not know what had been done in training during the week. Was the training workload bassed on the opinion that we would have little bother today?
    Regards the team structure it seems obvious to me that we have a major weakness at full back. We could easily have conceded three goals at least today from our inability to command the square. With Ger Caff and Kevin Keane out it is surprising we have not tried to find alternatives. There is afterall no guarantee that Ger Caff will make it back to full fitness. Is his injury not the same as that which forced Paul O’Connell to quit Rugby? And he was a professional fulltime player trying to get back to a much slower game than Gaelic football.
    Additionally our attack is far too slow in its build up with too much soloing around the middle third. Conor O’Shea was a major offender today in that regard. It”s like we do not wish to take on a defence unless they have all their cover back in place. On top of that Andy Moran was a lone ranger in the full forward line far too often. If a ball did come in to him he had two or three defenders to beat each time. Just like Aiden O’Shea at full forward in 2014. For all the expectations about Conor Loftus he did not look remotely like a player ready for senior county football today. He looked too light and small to be effective. Same as Evan Regan has done in all games to date while someting similar could be saId about Fergal Boland today. Why was Danny Kirby not moved up to the full forward line to give us a bit of punch and power there? It might not have worked but it was something worth trying. On top of our attacking frailties our dependence on our defence to support them leaves us very exposed to quick counter attacks.
    It will now be a major uphill struggle to get points from either Tyrone or Donegal. I shudder to think of the mayhem which either Sean Cavanagh or Michael Murphy could cause in our full back line while Cavan will probably pick up two points against Roscommon to move above us in the table.

  71. Tyrone had a very poor result also. They are beatable if we go for more pacy
    players and keep our big physical ones in the central positions. Keith is no fb

  72. Not too many positives to pull from todays display, except to say it’s still early days. Kirby is good and will be a great addition moving forward. The lads will be dissappointed with themselves. I look forward to the Tyrone match to see what oocurs up here. I know the lads up here abit and they will be waiting on the bleating Mayo men with open arms. There’s along road behind and a long road ahead. Cavan deserved their victory and if Mayo have no long grass left in this great Mayo team, well, we will have to wait and start to grow again. There is no way back now. We have come too far. Good man John Cuffe! I can’t stand the stench of ignorance either. Win lose or draw next week we are all proud Irishmen.

  73. 14 points from play against a blanket defence isn’t bad scoring it’s out constant and I mean constant concession of goals that’s killing us. Even the games we won could have easily been lost with all the goal chances we gave away. Keith Higgins is no full back and is not tight enough for
    The full back line in my opinion. I think/hope that management is taking a calculated risk playing him there in the expectation/hope that caff will be back for the championship. For the life of me I cannot understand why we have abandoned the sweeper system that we perfected last year. For all those demanding we jettison all the u21’s into the senior team, Conor loftus was made to look a fair bit off senior level today. It’s early yet but I don’t think I’ve been this pessimistic about our championship prospects in quite a few years.

  74. @sarahmc and girls aloud. Points well made substitutions were baffling and reluctance to take on shots from the forty was irritating. At least Cavan were prepared to have a go, fortunately for us they clocked up a fair few wides. Other possible goal chances all fell to Cavan. Did we test their keeper?

  75. Is this Mayo team gone by?
    Going through the motions against Cavan in a league game at home?
    Have they went to the well too often?
    Have they anything left?

    Playing Sligo in the first round of the championship at home and if?it’s abig if,playing Galway in Pearse Stadium?

    If they dont get the the attitude right,they are done!

  76. @Niall..couldn’t agree more re sweeper..Was one of the main talking points of the team last year..we persisted with it and mcloughlin found his feet in the role…Then you look back at the Cavan goal today and the shocking amount of space left completely open in front of Clarke..That would have been covered this time last year…Now if we can see that what in name of God is the manager watching..

  77. There’s always a bright side, I’m stuck here in a pub in Castlebar with, Cavan Men and Women buying Champagne for everyone all around. I won’t say the name of the pub now because it’s already Jammers and I don’t think any more thirsty Mayo people could possibly fit in. No sign of the party stopping either. And to think that someone once said that Cavan people were mean. Not a bit of it, to tell you the truth now I’m a bit steamed, ah someone is just after popping the cork on another Magnum, I’ll have to close now, Sláinte!

  78. While Boland is of slight stature;he didn’t put a foot wrong & found himself taken off first (I think?),this next game is going to be a dog fight after the bad blood & finger pointing & character assassination of Lee V Sean Cavanagh.
    Whatever muck we’ve to sit through time after time in home defeats;the squad better give the travelling support something to cheer about in Omagh.
    I said it previously – the last game in Omagh Adam Gallagher jinked & weaved through a packed defence;he’s tall enough & can take a free so his time is now.The benefits of hungry fringe players can’t be under estimated.Even purists like Barcelona resort to route one from time to time but we’re above all that,sure why would we send Gibbons or Kirby in for a plan B!…we haven’t even had goal chances;never mind a goal in the 5 games…it’s as dull as dishwater to watch

  79. Rewind over the last few years and you’ll see the same results in the league.
    And you’ll see the same comments.
    It’s March, it’s the league.
    Conor O’Shea, Kirby, Loftus, Nally and Gibbons are all getting a run to see how they fare against teams of the calibre that we can expect to meet at quarter final stage. And to see if they’ll make an impact in the summer.
    The only thing that I can see so far is that we are persisting with kick passing into one player outnumbered by 3 to 1. Especially against Dublin. And we don’t do that well enough.
    Today Andy was on his own up front.
    Cillian played around midfield.
    Tom man marked McKiernan. Seanie Johnston was man marked.
    15 wides against Dublin and a flat display today ( strange atmosphere for all but the last ten minutes by the way) will not be reflected in performances come May

  80. Just a quick one @ Relistic.

    Being realistic now who are the “more pacy players ” that management should play against Tyrone ?

  81. I still dont think we should be so harsh on these lads. I have always wondered and always in awe how they keep coming back after major losses in all irelands, they have to be jaded from trojan work down thru the years and still losing.
    I still believe championship will be so different.
    I also believe Cillian does not play well without Aiden and Seamus, and Alan, and I sure hope they return asap.I thought Danny Kirby was terrific today. Take the positives. Keep supporting and help keep their heads up. Has to be so difficult and disheartning for them.

  82. Disappointing today.Players very much off the pace. I would have thought McEntee would have had a better strategy for northern defences.
    Fail to see how Cafferkey can be expected to get game fitness in time while the lay off for O sheas is not a plus in my book.
    We have risen before and maybe Rochford has a much longer focus.I seriously hope so.Truth is we have only beaten an almost unrecognisable Kerry team and a team that havent won any match.
    Last two matches crucial.

  83. Bad performance and result .let’s all turn on the lads that have given us so much over the last 6 years and management that got us within a whisher of an all Ireland. Are we spoilt over the last few years .feck it is know we were bad 2day
    . Didn’t hear too many around me roaring on the lads when things were going against us . .

  84. Kinda going off the theme of this thread but ley’s just say this team in the next two years (by then the vast majority of the 2006 u21’s will be gone) don’t win an all Ireland, can we call them a ‘great team’? Is being great relative? Eg: if this bunch of players was the Kerry team instead of Mayo, would they be called great? Unlikely. In fact, we know they wouldn’t.

    If they were Galway would people there call them great? Some might but they’d be compared to 1998 and 2001, wouldn’t they? And they’d come up short.

    What are our standards in Mayo? What’s our benchmark? For certain there’s a huge tendency in the county to laud players who’ve won little or nothing on the national stage. Much more so than in other counties, where I’ve lived. This must have an impact on the psyche of some players who feel theyve ‘made it’, when they really haven’t. In Mayo, we love our football team, more than in lots of other counties, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t change this nor would I want it changed. While this almost over-enthusiasm comes with its faults. Hyping up in victory and despair in defeat being the obvious ones. The area I believe we need to look at changing is our attitude to what we define as success. Daragh O’Se has said before that the Mayo public treat the team like Gods. When you live most of your life outside the county you can see this. It’s clear as day.

    Do we need to raise the bar? Should we demand ultimate success as a barometer for greatness?

    I’ve no doubt many of the current Mayo team will deem it a failure if they don’t win an All Ireland. They might never admit this publicly but you can be damn sure they’ll think it privately. Can a team which fails to achieve its goal be deemed a great one? I don’t believe it can be.

    Time will only tell whether this bunch get there. I came away from Croke Park last autumn thinking this is close as this team has ever been. Defensively we were excellent and we were decent up the field. I don’t believe or I don’t want to believe that we’ve fallen so far down the pecking order. In fact, the unusual management decisions and selections are strangely giving me some sense of optimism tonight. Had we played with a sweeper throughout this league and with Cillian in the full forward line and with AOS in the middle or involved somewhere in the pitch then I’d be a lot more worried.

    An interesting few months lie in store.

  85. Time to get the snickers bars out. McKiernan’s father is a Cavan man. His mother is from Fermanagh.

  86. Jusn – your posts aren’t going up because of that disgraceful comment you put up after the game, which was a clear abuse of the hospitality afforded to you here. You then followed that up with another offensive comment, which a number of people have objected to, including some who mailed me privately about it. I think you’ve done enough damage for one day and it’s clear you need to take a step back and calm down before looking to post here again.

  87. Any opinions on putting aidan o shea at no.6? A holding centre back. Abit like cian o sullivan style. Aidan a very good tackler, is a big option for Clarke for short kick outs and gives a licence to keegan durkan or Boyle to get forward.

  88. I dont care what county you are,you cannot win a game in championship football without heart and commitment,it’s a given.In tight games it’s everything.Look at Kerry last night?They were never going to f**king lie down against the great Dubs,they were looking for their scalp.

    Personally if this Mayo outfit targeted Kerry ,the Dubs and Tyronne in the league and got a result but still went down to div 2 ,I would be happy.

  89. My thoughts:

    2 O Sheas back to midfield. Parsons benched.

    pick 6 defenders 4 forwards with Keegan and Durcan given free roles compress the space at the back when defending and act as runnners and feed of the OSheas on attack.

    Put Byrne on the bench in the event of Clarke getting injured.

    i thought the team played well for the first 1/2 hour today and i think there just a bit behind on fitness work which kept Cavan close however i’d be worried about the lack of structure and lack of clarity on what the management are trying to do. Also some of the top 6-7 of the U21 team have gotten no game time or are not even in the squad which is crazy for a team that needs to find players

  90. John Cuffe Spot on. Congratulations to a gallant Cavan side. Disappointment at that performance certainly, but I have decided to continue to support this team and for me that starts in Healy Park next Sunday. I am not worrying about Mayo, a team that has played Div 1 football now for 20 years, let Tyrone and Donegal worry about us. We have found ourselves in tighter corners and we have come out the right side on most occasions. We still need 2 points and I believe we will get them over the next 2 games. What good will the 2 points on offer today be to Cavan if we can get to 6 points. Some posters have let themselves down today by abusing great Mayo footballers. We all let ourselves down at some stage, but some posters are making a habit of it, and it is a very sad thing to see on here of all places.

  91. Apologies willie joe, should have been paying more attention, need to log on more often., been busy….

  92. Mayonaze I would classify them as the best team never to win an All Ireland. They would be a great Mayo team but that’s probably about it. That said the nature of their defeats & the fact that the wait goes on, means they are unlikely to be forgotten.

  93. I’ll say it again, we’ve been missing Aido, Seamie and Jason Doc far more than many are willing to give them credit for.
    Very poor result but to be fair, Cavan certainly deserved the win and made their opportunities count, particularly in the second half.
    Disappointed that Conor Loftus did not show as well as expected but unless we were plagued with injuries, we should have had many changes at half time.
    Fair play to Danny Kirby, I didn’t feel he had the minerals for this level before today, thought he was our best player today.
    We need to get our Injured men back and quick, and we need to start playing a sweeper again.

  94. That goal before half-time was a killer blow for us. We were cruising along in the first-half then that goal turned the game into a major battle. It’s very hard to change your mindset from a cruising mode into a battling mode. It reminded me of last year’s league game against Kerry. That day it was Darren O’Sullivan who goaled just before half-time. Then Kerry picked us off in the second half as Cavan did today.

    Lookit in the next two games we know that from minute 1 of those matches, the battle will be on. We’ll see how it goes, it’s still all to play for. We’ll know during the next two games if we still have the stomach for the battle.

  95. Centerfield, Could you seriously drop Danny Kirby from midfield to allow Seamus and Aiden OShea to play after today’s performance? Definitely both will be welcomed back by the Mayo faithful and both have allot to offer. But you also have to factor in the fact that neither have played inter County football so far this year. It’s allot to expect both of them to be at their best immediately. Some of our most experienced players are not yet at level required for Div 1… Some of our players are playing very poorly, especially Cillian and his free taking is not nearly at the standard we have come to expect of Cillian. Some players are playing out of position in my opinion. Paddy Durcan is one of the best attacking half backs in the country and I think his talent is wasted at corner back. We did improve in one area of our play today and that is that we didn’t concede as many goal chances. Our foward play against the blanket seems to lack enough of players willing to take a shot, except for Kirby and Keegan, too much ball retention until Cavan won the ball back and enivetably scored on the counter. They didn’t nessarly score after we took on the shot, wheater wide or a score, but we didn’t do it enough!

  96. Just a quick reminder to all to respect the ‘play the person, not the ball’ rule. There have been a few instances of this since the match, which has led to me being accused of not moderating the site fairly. I don’t accept this but with comments flying in thick and fast, emotion is often taking over. It’d make life much easier all round if everyone calmed down a bit and took the time to think twice before poking a stick at others. Thanks.

  97. Aidan o Shea at 6 No! Did you see the way John small went by him in the All Ireland final and popped over a point.O Shea is a top class midfielder and we need him running in the other direction!

    Today was disappointing.our marking at the back was poor .we have a bit of trouble at full back.

    Midfield were bet to even though Kirby got 4 outstanding points and well done to him.

    Up front we scored 14 from play but we were running into cul de sacs a lot.the blanket defence is hard play against but we got caught to many times on the break when we lost possession!

    I would like to see Cillian operate inside and Conor Loftus at centre forward and we also need to revert McLoughlin to sweeper for championship! Look it this is what the league is for trying different things!
    It’s all about Championship!

  98. Continuing to play Keith Higgins at full back does nothing for this Mayo team and does nothing for Keith’s confidence either. Continuing to play a speed merchant like Patrick Durcan in the full back line also does nothing for this Mayo team. We need him bombing up the field from the half back line.Disappointing to see management not getting the best out of these players by playing them out of position. Clueless in playing against blanket defence – – Cillian needs to be playing nearer goal – – missing the physicality of O’Shea bros to drive forward and break tackles or alternatively draw fouls. Sideline slow to react …….. then when they acted – scoring forwards were taken off and forwards who got no shot at the posts were left on.However some credit must go to Cavan too – the goal just before half time was vital for them and brought them back into the game.

  99. I would agree with alot of posters about Cillian O’Conor,he needs a break.He has become a passenger.Is he capable of kicking a dead ball from 50 yards over the bar when the team needs it?Also Cillian?if you are going to do some one of the ball ?just do it!Every Full back and Half back is just wetting their lips.

  100. right on the button Mayonaze. Management had to try something different.
    The issue is; try something different tactically or the same tactics with new (younger) players? Unless there is a massive improvement for both remaining league games then the championship approach is a no brainer – revert to last years tactics but it seems it will have to be with last years players. Some new blood offer depth.
    Either way the smart money is on Dublin again who seem to be ratcheting up their defensive game further. The external factor providing hope for Mayo is the bizarre situation with the championship being knockout. All major sports dominant competitions are league based so maybe Mayo at full tilt might take Dublin/Kerry slightly off par.

  101. Yes aidan I remember that surely. I also remember aidan o shea tryn to cover every position on the pitch dat day too. He’s not fit enough for that plus 4or5 lads pulling at him every time he gets the ball. Aidan needs two things and two things management need to enforce on him….discipline him to whatever position he is selected at, and stay the f**k away from the media!

  102. I am now convinced especially after today’s defeat,that we need A.O’Shea & S.O’Shea back on this team a.s.a.p.,if we are to have any chance of retaining our division 1 status,and in my opinion this has become more obvious as the league progress,

  103. Aiden and Seamus O’Shea played for their club this morning. If they were fit enough for their club, surely they were fit enough for their county? Steven Rochford said he hoped they would make themselves available for selection next week – or words to that effect. What’s the story?

  104. Another good day for the O Sheas, Jason Doc etc. As usual when we lose its the non players who grow in stature. Meanwhile Conor Loftus who so many were calling for gets his game but has a nightmare. We are not finding new players and are still asking the same guys seven years later to deliver for us. Some worrying trends though. While Keith did ok in general play he was again caught on wrong side for the goal. Boyler needs a rest. Yet again we struggled at midfield despite them hitting 5 from play. Cillian continued his poor form, Andy tried to rescue us yet again and once again we had no idea of how to deal with blanket defence. We spent all year in 2016 on using K Mac as sweeper but appear to have disgarded that now while teams cut through our defence. We have got one goal in five games from a dodgy penalty and in truth have not threatened any goalie. Meanwhile galway score 5 in one game. Worrying times indeed

  105. All you people moaning about players and/or management are just dead weight and need to be thrown overboard. I am 100% behind this team and management and people need to start changing their tune fairly rapid because your negative sh*t is doing nothing to help the squad. I’m sure the players sense it out there on the pitch. You’re all just contributing to the sh*t football and the mess that we find ourselves in right now.

  106. First, fair play to Cavan, they played with heart and did what they needed to do.
    As for Mayo, based on the comments above, some are convinced the defense is at fault, others think it’s the midfield, still others believe it’s the forwards, and some cite management. So which is it? Three things stand out to me.
    1. After the Dublin result, how on earth could the lads not be ready to absolutely shred Cavan from the opening throw-in? Everyone in the squad should be criticized for that, including the coaches. I don’t know what was said before the game, but it certainly didn’t light any fires.
    2. The inability to break down Cavan’s defense. Where was the creativity? A good coaching staff makes the necessary adjustments at halftime. And our substitution pattern was questionable at best.
    3. Terrible decision making. Countless times we telegraphed our passes, or played the ball right to a Cavan defender. Do this again next week and it will be over in the first half.
    So I guess everyone is to blame in this one. And every player to a man must look in the mirror and decide whether they want to be heard this year. If not, there are a lot of hungry youngsters chomping at the bit to get into the senior squad.

  107. Yes the two O Sheas played for Breaffy this morning .they have being out of football for a while so match practice is very important!
    We need the two of these lads at full tilt for championship and I would like to see Aidan placed at midfield.believe it’s his best position .

  108. We have the players, but I’m afraid our sideline is clueless, how some players who were having howlers were left on

  109. Well said John Cuffe. Anyway regarding the team, maybe time has caught up on the players. Higgins has struggled for over a year even at corner back. Vaughan’s legs don’t seem to have the same dash. I agree that the forward movement is cat. Will the 2 O’Shea brothers add something to address the situation? Let’s hope so.

  110. The full back experiment needs to stop now. It does not work. Boyler should be benched, he gave away silly free throwing the ball away and got a yellow, after getting a black the last day. Nally should get a run.
    What has happened with the intensity of the tackling? We were roasted through the middle, the half backs were non existant. Cillian is way off the boil. Really dissapointed with the teams effort to right the wrongs of the dublin game. Mayo still have no answer to the blanket system. Needed a game running of the players shoulder to break through the blanket. Do we even have a forwards coach? If we play that bad the next day, we will not win against tyrone, the masters of the blanket.

  111. Samuel Maguire, I’m genuinely not being funny here, but why do you think Keith is playing at no.3? It’s hardly because Rochford thinks it’s his best position. We’re not exactly rich with top class full back in the county and both of ours are long term injured. Of course Keith isn’t a full back, I’d say he’s acutely aware of that himself but you do what you have to do when you have to do it.

    Aidan at no.6? Eh, no. Mind you, Aidan at no. 14? No. Incidentally, we had a big man we could have stuck into the FF line yesterday and given that a shot, but he was left on the bench.

    As for the suggestion that Maughan be brought back? Lord above.

    Took stock of this overnight and of my own reaction to the game. It was frustrating and infuriating to watch and losing to a division 2 side was humiliating – nearly as humiliating as the way we cowered before Dublin – and twice as frustrating because the win in Tralee had put us in a decent position.

    However, we have been here before. I’ve felt like this before in the league, I’ve read the reams of comments like this before in the league. We all have. I don’t have an explanation for our abject performances over the past two games, but I can only imagine that if I were one of those lads that had been on the road for this length, I’d probably be finding it hard to summon up any kind of enthusiasm for playing Cavan in March too when the big prize is all that matters. I don’t know whether or not that’s the case of course but I do know that this time tends to react well when it’s backs are against the wall. I can’t see us getting a result next week but nothing would surprise me either.

    I’m frustrated with Rochford for not throwing our youth into the mix but equally I’m not privy to his rationale. I frequently felt the same in the Horan era and indeed reticence to test new players and make timely calls from the sideline were both key features of the Horan era, no matter how rose-tinted our glasses are now.

    Got a bit of stick last night for referring to this result as embarrassing but I stand by the comment. As supporters surely we’re allowed to react negatively to defeats too? But I’ll be above in Omagh next Sunday as I suspect will many of you doing what we always do and supporting this team. One thing is for sure, we cannot be any worse than we have been for the past two games.

    John Cuffe; well said.

  112. Yea MaighEo go deo. Thank you. So well said.
    Now is the time to shout louder and support even more than ever when they need us the most. Whatever happened to the 16th man/person on the team!! All this is part of the journey towards the champ’ship and they will look on it as part of that journey.
    Negativity oozes negativity. Let’s keep heads up and be positive for these guys. We so so owe them that,for God’s sake.

  113. We didn’t create any goal chance against Dublin, Roscommon or Monaghan . Our only goal is a penalty against Roscommon. There is clearly an issue with our forwards

  114. Really like the look of Loftus. Has a terrific football brain and can pick off some lovely balls inside. However, I’d be a little concerned that senior inter county football might be little too soon for him until he has some more conditioning work done. He still looks pretty light and was fairly easily dispossessed on a couple of occasions yesterday.

    One recurring issue that has been raised over the past 24 hours has been the lack of goal scoring chances. We had a golden opportunity yesterday when Andy fielded a poor kick out in the first half. Andy flicked it over but had Loftus and one other forward inside him, both unmarked. It was a clear chance forgone through one bad decision.

  115. I was about to mention that Rock. That’s part of Andys game that annoys me. It’s either greedy or he hasn’t the vision/head to see the pass. Still or best forward though!!

  116. I posted a comment about the Mayo midfield pairing after the Dublin game, and yesterday it proved right. I think its about time that the management see that it now is evident that its waiting for Seamie to come back. I feel sorry for the way they have fucked up this team. Imagine the management were gutless and clueless yesterday. The had not the “balls” to take off Cillian ( who is not playing well all year) also Andy. And we leave on Tom Parson ( who has also failed to deliver also this year) and we insult Jason Gibbons by bringing him on for the last 2/3 minutes. Parsons should be gone after 10 minutes in the second half. As somebody said in a earlier blog some players will not be taken off no matter how they perform. In the first half with a breeze in our backs we were not able to kick a ball from 30 metres out over the bar. When we cannot do that we are fucked. I watched Donegal last night and maybe Donie Buckley could sit down and have a good look at how this is done, because what he is coaching is as useless as tits on a bull. Maybe we will get a result that will keep us in Div I next year, but our management need to have the guts to replace players who are not performing well on the day. I said after the Dublin game they should play the same team against Cavan just to give the lads who had a bad day to make amends. Wales did this against Ireland and they got the result they required. We ended up yesterday putting on all the lads we dropped after Dublin game. I feel awful for the players the way they are fucked about. Its like putting square pegs into round holes. We await with our breath held to see what happens in Omagh.

  117. Dia daoibh
    Just watched the game after returning from rasai na gcalaill thall i Cheltenham. I think there is a lot of doom and gloom about the match which in my opinion is unwarranted and not doing anything for team morale! Cavan were more hungry than our lads but we were not to far of the mark! I was impressed with the new lads KIRBY BOLAND COS and I thought Loftus did ok. We only need to win one of the 2 remaining games to stay up. So keep the faith agus bheid muidh ceart go leor le cunadh De. Mhuigheo Abu- bigi linn!

  118. Anne Marie . Cavan are a division 1 side . It’s time people stopped looking down on these teams.. From what I saw there was only one division 2 side in action yesterday and it wasn’t Cavan..

  119. Instead of asking Mr Rochford why Joe Bloggs did not get a run yesterday you should be asking Joe Bloggs why he has not beaten his way out of the mill to the top by now. Fergal, Patrick, Brendan, Diarmuid just a couple of examples folks. Any manager will always go with his best squad. If a young guy from our club is not selected it not because the manager is more partial to a player from a neighbouring club. Some of the shite you have to listen is unbelievable.

  120. pjmcmanus, will the manager always go with his best team though? Clarke with an all star benched for the replay!

  121. Oileán acla – are you sure about that ? if we win one of the last two and Cavan win both theirs, they are above us, we then need Kerry to loose their last game should Cavan win beat them in the next round… I would not be so sure one win will 100% keep us up.

  122. Anne-Marie calling Cavan a Division 2 team is an ignorant comment. The type of arrogance that some Mayo supporters have developed. The scary thing is that in 13 days we could be the Division 2 team and Cavan well established in the top tier.

    I’m worried about our form. The players look heavy legged and missing motivation. The last 18 months has seen us get so near but yet you cannot forget the league performances last year and the scraping over the line wins against teams that are not in the top tier like Fermanagh, Tipperary and Westmeath.

    I’m worried about our management. Tactical slip-ups become more common place.

    I’m worried about Tyrone. They will play like Cavan, just at a higher level. If we don’t have a plan we will be destroyed on the scoreboard.

    I’m worried about Donegal for the same reasons.

    I’m worried about the lack of guys putting their hands up to replace the older guys on the panel. As said above they have to show the manager they warrant a chance.

    I’m worried about key players still injured and not having game time come Summer.

    I’m worried about Salthill. We have inflicted enough wounds on Galway to motivate them for many years. If we are not at the pitch we will lose.

    I’m worried that the chance of Sam is gone. Do these players think the race is run.

    I’m worried that the joys of the last 5 or 6 summers are at an end and we are entering into a phase of mediocrity. At best we only have one or two more shots at a long Summer with the current team. It was always going to end and we never knew how, but the time might be now and that hurts.

    We can just keep supporting and hoping though.

  123. Rochford has to carry on with the full back experimenting as there isnt an alternative, Keane is out and talk of everything being fine when Caff returns is foolish. Ger is returning from a serious injury and hasnt played for a year, I wouldnt be suprised if we see very little of him this year, he is not just going to slot back in as if nothing has happened, playing at championship standard, also he might get injured again. An alterative backline is required, Rochford knows this, at least he is trying to fix this problem.

    Talk of benching Cillian is rubbish, wheather he is playing poorly or not, he is our captain, free taker and go to man. Look at the last couple of mins of the drawn final to see why he needs to be on the field. All teams have players who cant be dropped, Dublin have Fenton and Rock, Donegal have Murphy, Monaghan have McManus. No matter how they are playing these guys need to be on the field for that moment when it really counts. In 2012 Colm McFadden was very poor in the league but McGuinness refused to take him off, he said Colm would be his go to man in the summer and he had too keep faith with him. Its the same with Cillian, he wont regain form sitting on the bench.

    Most years I dont really care much about the league and actually think relegation isnt the end of the world, Mayo would bounce back up. As long as there is some improvement through out the league then its fine. We have had poor league performances before against poorer sides and will in the future. Its the manner of yesterdays defeat that causes worry. Cavan are poor, Mayo were in total control up to the goal, we just had no response, no intensity. This at home coming off an embarrassing display in Dublin.

  124. Oh the negatives and the worry talk goes onn and onn. Could do with giving it all a rest.
    What if we go to Division 2. Wouldnt be the end of the world or the team. Mayo are like the Irish rubgy team, when the big games come, they are a different team. Lets have every team thinking we havent a chance, and maybe allow management and players to develop as the year goes onn with the experienced players and the young guns.

  125. We have the brightest young manager in the country, but some believe that playing football like corofin is rubbish, a manager and club that won a final must know what they are doing, some want J Maugham brought in,I believe that the players had something to say about that when Pat and Noel were in charge, some want players rested,but when players are not playing we want them back,it is the league, we will improve some of the younger players will be better in summer,but I will say as I have said before that we will not win anything without the OSheas, we know that our defense was fine last year,it will be fine in summer, our midfield will be much better with Shamie there,Widen will add strength to our towards,Jason will be able to win breaking ball at midfield, C Loftus will benefit from that strength along side him as will F Boland, we must give our backing to the management team,who from this time last year built a team that ran one of the best teams ever to one point over two matches,hopefully they will find that little bit extra for summer

  126. Mairead, surely the entire point of following a sport is that we react to what’s on the pitch in front of us? I’m all for supporting the team but if people are disappointed by a performance, surely they have a right to express that opinion? A drop to division 2 in anyone’s book while not the end of the world would not be ideal, both in terms of the psychological impact it would have and in terms of having competitive games next Spring (not that this appears to be doing us much good at the minute, mind.)

    Ger Bohan and Stan, I accept that slap on the wrist – it’s a fair point and consider me chastened appropriately. We looked far more like the Division 2 team yesterday. But it’s hardly unreasonable to assume that we should have beaten them – well – based on their results to date and our apparent position as the second best team in the country.

    Mayomad – you’re spot on re Ger – I’m looking forward to seeing him back but expecting everything to be just fine when he returns is fantasy in the extreme for all the reasons you outlined. He’s been out for over a year, he’s a year older, regaining form takes time and while he might have been having an excellent season this time last year it’s unfair to expect that he’ll instantly regain that form. I think you make an excellent point re not dropping Cillian also – I’m surprised just how much he is being criticised here.

  127. Well, well. I purposely laid low after the Dublin game, partly out of shock and partly out of giving time and space to assess what had just happened. I was prepared to write the Dublin game off as “one of those games” where everything went wrong for us and right for them. Foolishly brushing under the carpet the glaring deficiencies between both sets of players AND management. However, after yesterdays misguided, inept and tactically naive performance it’s time to pay heed to the alarm bells ringing in the distant.
    Right from the off yesterday Cavan were by far the better side. Without a shadow of a doubt. If anyone wants to kid themselves into thinking otherwise by accepting Rochfords explanation that their goal before half time changed the game, they are choosing to bury their heads in the sand. Simply put, that performance yesterday by Mayo was totally unacceptable and so far below the standards that have been set by Mayo teams over the last 5 years that the players and management need to have a long hard look at themselves and what they propose to do for the year ahead. Because mark my words, if that’s the best that they can come up with we will be a division 2 team next year and we won’t need worry about attendances on season tickets for the foreseeable future. It’s alright saying that “it’s only the league”, it’s alright saying that it’s only March, but, it’s not alright to put out a performance like that, at home, in front of a large adoring crowd that had to hold their heads low, again, only two weeks previous leaving Croke Park. Losing a game is one thing but losing like that is quiet another.
    The complete lack of in-game management for all of yesterdays match was shocking to say the least. It was Junior B stuff and I don’t mean any disrespect to Junior B players! The absence of direction and instruction from the line was bordering on negligence, the complete lack of leadership or on-field management by any of our senior players (apparently we have 4 or 5 leaders in there somewhere?) was damning on their part, and, the “mis-use” of our bench was pathetic. It was embarrassing (and must have been even more so for the player) to see Jason Gibbons being put in at the 69th minute of the match! What the hell was he supposed to do then??? Time and time again we carried the ball forward from our corner back positions (both with and against the wind from our own kick outs!) running the ball centrally up the field to the Cavan 45 line where we then proceeded to go sideways, over and back, over and back, over and back. Every time we were in possession breaking from our defense I counted 6, 7 or 8 Cavan players running back to their defensive positions inside their 45. They literally turned their backs on play and started running back to provide defensive cover. The obvious thing to do then was move the ball at pace, by foot, while there was still space in the middle and final third of the field. But no, we soloed up the field behind them, almost waiting for them to get into position, before we began our waltz across the MacHale Park pitch. The maddening thing is there was actually space in front of their keeper, in behind their defensive shield, and God forbid we would try and put Kirby/Parsons/Conor O’Shea in there as a target man to try and win a free or fist a ball over or, at the very least, make Cavan reshape their defense! McVetty had the freedom of the pitch and it took us an age to identify that the Cavan no.3 had been moved and was operating as a free-man in the middle third of the field. He sauntered up the field, untouched, and tapped over a fine score while our sideline and our players were wondering “where did he come out of?”. Higgins was cleaned out on 3 occasions before he finally got caught out for the goal, as he constantly gave his man way too much room. We didn’t win one of their kickouts or force a turnover of note in the entire game. We didn’t score for the final 20 minutes and never, ever, ever looked like getting a goal.
    I don’t buy the line either that is being put out there by some that “we’re not at that level yet, we’re a few weeks behind the other teams in preparation and fitness, we’re not all training together”, blah, blah, blah etc etc etc. That’s bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. An overused excuse when we play poorly and a get-out clause to protect under performing players and management. Are we the ONLY county in the country that are targeting the Summer months? Are we the ONLY county in the country that has 6 or 7 lads working away from their home base? Are we the ONLY county in the country that had a long year last year? No is the answer.
    Tyrone were heading for a league final until Donegal handed them their asses on a plate at the weekend. We can expect similar treatment up in Omagh. Donegal will do to us what Cavan and Monaghan did to us, only better. We are now looking to the Rossies to beat Cavan to help us stay up in the division and that is a hard cold truth today.

  128. I’ve booked my holiday to Portugal in September today. Quite frankly we won’t be playing football in that mouth, on the basis of yesterdays performance. We might as well of kicked about on the streets of castlebar .

  129. Not many now saying we don’t need the O’Sheas. They are and always have been vital for this team.
    Andy is our hardest working player but can not be effective without support in the FF line.
    We were too predictable – turning back every time we were faced by defenders. We need hard runners like Keegan and Durkan going forward with intent.
    Though he scored 4 points, Kirby didn’t have a great game as he won very little 50 / 50 ball and we lost the midfield battle.
    Pray for an early return to health for the O’Sheas, Cafferkey and Diarmuid.

  130. Comments of a harsh all be it comedic value not approved ? Not ment as anything but a funny comment wj. I apologise if I offended you and I’m not calling for his head just yet .

  131. Anne-Marie – you seem to be making the point that Stephen Rochford has no choice at the moment other than to play Keith at full-back. I disagree with you on this. I think Keith has proven time and time again that he is a brilliant corner back, one of the best in the country – – madness taking him out of a position he excels in. As well as marking his own man – he consistently sweeps up breaking ball around the square and drives forward at pace. However he does not have the physical presence for the full-back position and has been caught out several times by robust full-forwards. Also when employed as full-back he does not have the same licence to go up the field. I believe Donie Vaughan would be a stronger option – also could consider Crowe,Coen or McDonagh or even Brendan Harrison with Chris Barrett and Higgins either side of him. Hopefully Caff will be back but we do have other options. For me playing Higgins at full back is wrong on two counts (1) We are losing a dynamic, attacking No 4 and (2) we are “gaining” a mediocre No 3 – – – – not an inspired decision.

  132. Not an inch Willie Joe !! Whatever happened to “poetic licence” – – kinda thought you wouldn’t let that one go alright!!

  133. I can’t argue too much with you there Samuel Maguire – there is certainly no net benefit to us at present.

    I’m not convinced on Donie as option at 3 to be honest but Coen *might* be a better option. Or even Eoin O’Donoghue, but none of the above would strike me as bona fide full backs.

    It’d certainly be good to see Chris Barrett lining out again and I hope he has better luck this year.

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