Mayo 0-20 Cavan 1-8: easy on a sunny evening

We’re back on the horse.

After the disappointment of the Connacht final a fortnight ago, we needed, at a minimum, a win today against Cavan at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park. We got that, easing to a nine-point victory over poorer than expected opposition in a match played in glorious summer evening sunshine in front of around 9,000 punters.

We made one change in advance of throw-in. Aidan O’Shea – whom Kevin McStay confirmed afterwards suffered a clash of heads with Jordan Flynn in training during the week – didn’t start, with Cillian O’Connor lining out instead.

We got down to business early doors. Five shots, five points. All from play, all from different players. The only criticism – as Colm Boyle pointed out on the Final Whistle pod afterwards – was that three of these were decent goal chances.

Darren McHale – who fully justified his selection with an impressive centre-forward showing – got us going and points followed quickly from Matthew Ruane, Eoghan McLaughlin, Cillian O’Connor and Ryan O’Donoghue.

Cavan opened the scoring with an Oisín Brady free on 14 minutes but Ryan responded in kind straight away, knocking over two placed balls into the bacon factory end, from which direction a stiff enough swirling wind was emanating.

They made their first substitution at the end of the first quarter and would make two more before half-time. By then, though, they were only four in arrears, having scored two on the spin right before the short whistle.

We could – and arguably should – have been out of sight by then. We’d only shot one wide – this didn’t happen until the 28th minute – but our inability to find the net meant this game was at lot closer at the break than it really should have been.

We upped the gas on the resumption, though, bagging five of the next six scores, to push our lead out to a much more comfortable eight points. Ryan (a free), Cillian, Stephen Coen, who had acres of room and all the time he needed to stroke the ball over, Mattie, with a neat chip off the left, and Conor Loftus, only barely on the field, bagged these scores.

We’d started to run the bench now. Conor had replaced Jack Carney, with Bob Tuohy coming on for Donnacha McHugh at the same time.

Brady pointed a free for them but we hit back with two more from play, courtesy of Ryan and Darren.

With fifteen minutes of normal time to go, to as big a roar as the modest crowd could muster, on came Aidan O’Shea and team captain Paddy Durcan, replacing Tommy Conroy and Eoghan McLaughlin.

Cavan got a goal, which won’t make comfortable viewing when the video analysis is done. There was a bad defensive mix-up, Colm Reape made a point-blank save and then Conor Loftus appeared to have saved the day but when he was stripped of the ball, it fell to, I think, James Smith, who booted it to the net.

The score stung us back into action at the other end. Cillian, from an Aidan assist, rammed over a nice point and then Ryan clipped over another one. Both players scored a point each again before the finish, by which time our points tally had reached a nice, even twenty.

Sam Callinan spent the final ten minutes of the game in the sin bin. In real time I felt it was a harsh call, as Sam was driving forward when the collision happened, but Colm Boyle assured me afterwards that it was 100% a black card offence by the young Stephenites man. Boyler knows!

Right at the end, Paddy seemed to twist his knee and fell to the turf with no-one near him. That was until the kids streamed onto the pitch seconds later, engulfing him before the medics took over. Hopefully he’s okay – he can’t catch a break at all on the injury front this year.

This was far from a perfect performance but perfection wasn’t what was required today. What we needed was a win and we got that, with a bit to spare as well.

It’s one game at a time for us now. This one’s done and dusted and now it’s on to Hyde Park in a fortnight’s time where a second Group Stage win will guarantee us a place, at a minimum, in the preliminary quarter-finals.

A win over Roscommon in a fortnight’s time and we can start to turn our thoughts to the Dubs. For now, though, for the second time in this Championship campaign for us, it’s all about the Rossies. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Mayo: Colm Reape; Jack Coyne, David McBrien, Donnacha McHugh; Stephen Coen (0-1), Sam Callinan, Eoghan McLaughlin (0-1); Matthew Ruane (0-3), Diarmuid O’Connor; Jack Carney (0-1), Darren McHale (0-2), Jordan Flynn; Cillian O’Connor (0-4), Tommy Conroy, Ryan O’Donoghue (0-7, five frees). Subs: Conor Loftus (0-1) for McHugh, Bob Tuohy for Carney, Paddy Durcan for McLaughlin, Aidan O’Shea for Conroy, Paul Towey for Ruane.

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

  • Cillian O'Connor (25%, 639 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (16%, 415 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (16%, 397 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (12%, 300 Votes)
  • Sam Callinan (6%, 163 Votes)
  • Darren McHale (6%, 161 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (5%, 118 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (2%, 49 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (1%, 38 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (1%, 36 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (1%, 34 Votes)
  • Jack Coyne (1%, 31 Votes)
  • Colm Reape (1%, 30 Votes)
  • Donnacha McHugh (1%, 27 Votes)
  • David McBrien (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (1%, 19 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (1%, 19 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Bob Tuohy (0%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,254

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47 thoughts on “Mayo 0-20 Cavan 1-8: easy on a sunny evening

  1. Pray that Paddy’s injury isn’t as serious as it may look because without him we are a much lesser team.

  2. Thought Cillian back in at Full Forward today was a huge positive.He had more points from play than Aidan has scored in a year from play in championship.My man of the match.was showing all the time, ball should have been kicked early several times to him today but wasnt, went short as usual.

  3. Agree Cillian back is great to see. Even rusty, and he was, he was still a huge addition to the attack

  4. Definite improvement in the forward play. Mayo anticipated a defensive Cavan strategy and counteracted it by stretching the Cavan defence from sideline to sideline. Quick hands and hard running in the scoring zone along with some good shooting from distance. Certainly have learned from last year’s Louth debacle at the very least. Cavan very blunt in attack with a high wide tally. Disappointing to concede a soft goal and not to convert any of our chances. Cillian O’Connor is back with a bang and great to see him getting a full 70 minutes. Defence and midfield were solid. Our retention from kickouts was high, while turning over a good portion of Cavan’s. Some nice depth to the bench when even Enda Hession and Fergal Boland aren’t getting a look in.

    Strange atmosphere at the game. Felt more like the last round of the league where we’re safe from relegation. Keeping the powder dry for the big days no doubt

  5. @Mayonase we miss Paddy mainly for his leadership qualities.
    Time for others to step up to the mark.
    Coen is also a great leader
    I think Cillians leadership qualities have been missing in the forwards.

  6. McStay said Paddy Durcan was walking around in the dressing room, and is hoping he just jarred his knee. Praying this is true!

    We’re in great shape for the Rossies. Delighted to see a very fluid attacking display for a change. A few goals would’ve been nice, but we can’t always get what we want!

  7. But its his game intelligence, hes one of best football brains in the country.Sees things before anyone else does.The Cavan D looked way less congested than in the Galway and Ross games ,which I think was down to Cillian and Tommy playing with plenty of width and Ryan playing deeper on the half forward line.Ball still not been kicked enough for Cillian and Tommy to do more damage.

  8. Mayo1992 – That’s positive to hear McStay say that about Paddy. Still it’s likely his season is done though, let’s just hope no serious damage or surgery required.

  9. Galway getting the band back together as well looking at highlights. Kelly looking fitter, Tierney and Walsh as well. Great :/

    Red card huge turning point obviously, hopefully Comer isn’t bad after it, be an awful way see a player lose out.

    Positive news on Paddy, expect will still take a while though.

  10. Positive news on paddy if he is walking about, if it was the dreaded ACL he would be heavily limping still

  11. Oh why was eoghan McLaughlin playing in right half back position .he would be much better playing on left wing. Very sunny in the stand and it was hard to get the mayo chant going. Still a great win. Roll on to Hyde park.

  12. The hope is that eoin is cutting in on his good side , that running direct he mitigates being shepherd out wide and blazing wide or running out of space least cutting in from right he can bandpass onto a runner or make space to shoot on left …

  13. Time to ditch the negativity at this stage. Even The Sunday Game only highlighted poor play in their analysis of the game.
    Mgmt criticised for bringing on Durcan, but the injury he got today isn’t related to the latest injury he had.
    A 9 point win at this stage of the championship is a good result.

  14. Delighted Cillian did well. Hope he stays in now. Too good of a footballer not to be making use of.

  15. Yes Tubberman, Eamon pointed out the fact that several times some of our forwards ran towards the player in possession rather than clear the space for him by taking a defender out of way. I wouldn’t take it as a criticism, but more as good advice and I would hope Kevin was watching. We all know what they did well, like scoring 16 from play and fair play to them for that. But by taking his advice, imagine what we could do. He’s no dope.

  16. Agree Nephin. Thought that was very clever analysis to be honest. We run in to traffic far too often. First thing they are taught in Kerry when loose… find space

  17. Analyze any game over 70+ minutes and you will find plenty to be critical of. No harm atall to highlight it,and hopefully our own video analysist will have picked up on this and more . We have 2 weeks to get ready for Rossie engagement and should be a spring in training this week. No serious collisions and maybe decent news on Paddy this week.

  18. I don’t know what to think.Not quiet sure what is going on in the game. Delighted with the win but everything seems so hard, going up the field, back again, up again, run into the opposition….and ball goes down the field.
    Can’t make up my mind if Cavan were difficult to break done ( don’t think so) or we have a way of playing And unable to divert from that. Really hope it’s the former.
    Really hope Paddy is OK. Took the gloss off the day.

  19. 2 hops – Totally agree, this time last year we went down to Killarney and overturned the all ireland champions in their own back yard with ease, it severed us no good. Today was far from perfect and there is plenty things to work on next week at training.

    We now have 2 weeks to prepare for the rossies while they likely have a 6-7 day turnaround after playing Dublin.

    With the exception of Duncan’s injury today we are in a good place after todays win for over the next few weeks.

  20. It shouldn’t take analysis from a Kerry man on TV to point this out to our Mayo forwards & management.. Cillian as always was instinctively pulling his man away to make space.. but what were the rest of them at? running towards the player with the ball congesting traffic. This is the type of stuff that’s taught to 14 and 16 year old fowards. Hope Paddy is ok.. we need everyone if we are to have any chance. Tommy was well off it today

  21. Great to see Diarmuid & Cillian back. It felt like we were driving without a seatbelt with no Diarmuid the past few weeks.
    Hoping PD injury isnt too serious.
    A lot of talk about the Mayo supporter numbers being down, still a nice crowd of true supporters there who got to witness a good win.

  22. Mayo win by much the same margin as Kerry. Yet the Sunday Game focused on Mayo’s poor play. Kerry got no such negative analysis.The Sunday Game looks more like a lame duck of a show. Too many games to analyse and paying lip service to most matches. Mayo were efficient today without being spectacular. Yes, it wasn’t perfect but we didn’t slip back into our Louth performance of last year. There is a definite and gradual improvement. Defensively we were solid and scored some tasty points. A good day all round.

  23. The plus was the performance of the O’Connors.
    Useful run for Darren McHale and Loftus looked a threat going forward
    On the negative side, we have only one playing. Slow build up, string a dozen passes together, give the opposition an opportunity to set up their defensive stall. And then go about trying to create a scoring chance by attacking from side to side.
    Imo, we are very heavily coached to play to this one format. We will struggle against better opposition. Rochford spent about 5 minutes issuing instructions to Loftus before he came on, Towey got a similar lecture. It says it all for me.

  24. I did notice a difference where other teams go with direct power down the middle on counter attacks. Check the second Galway goal.
    Cillian on form is huge.

  25. @Stevie Knight: Which part of The Saturday Game analysis did you think was untrue or unfair?

    Eamon & Enda right up there with the best analysts in the country (Dean Rock, James Horan & Peter Canavan – back in his old setup where he was working with Ruairi O’Connors on Sky – the only ones consistently at their level) and everything they pointed out was completely true.

    We were utterly dominant for the first 35 yet only had a 4 point lead. Not sure you can compare that to Kerry who weren’t quite as dominant (only glanced at their 1st half late last night before switching over to Usek) around the pitch but easily stretched out an unaselable lead before taking their foot off the gas.

    Nothing said last night was harsh or untrue. A few small tweaks to runs made and we’d have opened up a number more good goal chances against both Galway & Cavan. Notable how often Kevin mentioned wall passes in his post match interview, which is exactly what the runs made were trying to produce, I’d imagine it not just a coincidence.

    No harm at all. We beat a Dublin playing much better than us, Galway needed a last minute kick to beat us on a great day for them where we had a stinker (36% from play in the 1st half and Ryan kicking 1/5 from play) and we put up 20 points on a day we were literally getting in our own way up front.

    Huge positives in all that, ones we’d never usually associate with Mayo sides. No huge work needed to resolve those issues either. A good constructive criticism video session and a session of training or two dedicated to banging in goals could make a world of difference there, while also boosting confidence. If it’s keeping folks righting us off in the meantime all the better. Lovely spot to be in.

  26. Delighted to see Cillian top of the poll. A great asset to have back fully fit. He has a great football brain. I wasn’t at the game so can’t comment much on players or performance only that a 9point win is better than most predicted and very nice indeed. Goal conceded only negative for me and maybe Tommy was quite

  27. Highlights on The Saturday Game were terrible. Was it captured on a handycam or a smartphone? The worst coverage I have seen of a Championship game. Waterford playing football at Fraher Fields would have had better coverage. Eamon Fitzmaurice’s analysis was good though.

  28. What stood out for me yesterday was how Mayo had total control yet the handling and hand passing were iffy to say the least. Umpteen times moves broke down due to a fumble or a misplaced hand pass. It looked to me like this happened because of the extra speed we attempted to do things at and if that’s the case then I say it’s a plus point. Keep up this tempo and tidy up the handling and movement and that would answer many of the criticisms that have been aimed at the team. Ryan was exceptional again and Cillian and Ruane taking some of the scoring pressure off him helps. Sam Callinan is made for the centre half role and if Paddy gets fully fit along with McLaughlin they would once again give us that attacking thrust from half back. Cavan were poor enough but Mayo gave a much improved performance.

  29. @TSuDhoNim couldn’t agree more with your post.. this is the type of analysis by an excellent commentator we crave. Winning and under the radar, opportunities to fix shortcomings!!
    Positives Cillian, Darren McHale’s contribution, another point from Conor Lofus , hard running and the return of Diarmuid creates some balance and for the first time in a while a partner around the midfield for Matthew Ruane, another positive putting in a good shift, a great fetch over his head (and most thinking he can’t) 3 points from play in back to back games, not bad for a player that picked up a knock in the warm up.
    We need Tommy to regain, discover form, run in straight lines not back into traffic and shoot on sight
    Finally please please God Paddy Durkin cuts a break, was devastated for him, his family watching his reaction but we wait until we know.

  30. Well done team and management.
    We didn’t take our goal chances as Boyler pointed out . But I’m quiet happy with the win .
    I was expecting more from Cavan after their win against Mon and they should have beaten Tyrone .
    Hard to be critical of any of the lads really.
    Not perfect but job done. Forget about the Dubs
    Back to the Hyde we go , thet will be delighted to get another crack at us.
    Job done , move on .

  31. I’d agree with that too, JoeG. The addition of Cillian and Darren in the forward line brought, speed as well as greater movement and variety in attack. Diarmuid’s increased fitness was a real plus and another Mattie 2021 performance didn’t hurt either. A good few positives, all told.

  32. A slight worry in the backs again. We stand off our markers on almost all occasions . The amount of unclaimed marks Cavan didn’t take was unreal . I counted 3 in the first half alone and that was with a strong wind . 3 points missed opportunities . With Buckley still there it is very “ unbuckley lile” to allow that to happen .
    Diarmud was top class . Was the link man to all the half back to half forward movement . Decision making was very good from for diarmud .
    As for Cillian , delighted for him . A very clever footballer .whilst he won’t be happy with some of his play you can rest assure if it’s on, he will take his shot . He made a huge impact .

  33. Looking at the rossies I can’t see them getting a result v the dubs but you never know. If they do get a hammering off the dubs they might be deflated after that and only a week to recover till they play us after we have a 2 week break of recovery after a decent win with lots to work on to.

    Cillian O Connor must be a guaranteed starter after that and Darren mchale Diarmuid o Connor back is a massive plus to..

    We’re still a bit under the radar and Galway gone to 3rd favourites for sam but better to be not in the spotlight atm.. not in a bad place to be in.

    please God may paddy durcan be Ok. So unlucky with injuries

  34. Callinan deserves credit for his performance in the 6 jersey some great interceptions and a threat going forward also thought Darren McHale brought something different and delighted to see the forwards move the ball so fast popping passes with quick hands tho they need a bit of tidying up at times. Cavan were poor but I’m hoping it was down to mayo early intensity as much as cavan showing they’re a Tailteann cup team. Hopefully we get paddy back soon and with McHale and Diarmuid starting the bench looks impressive when we think Hession didn’t get a run. Let’s beat the rossies in 2 weeks time and see what happens after that tho with this shambles of a format mayo have probably done enough for a preliminary qfinal as it is hard to see cavan picking up any points in the group.

  35. Roscommon will be a tougher test and Dublin will tell us where we really are. We’re lucky it is coming in this order,
    as it gives management time to fix and improve lots of
    Skills annd tactics. It also gives our inexperienced backs more time to gain more confidence and gel better as a unit before the Dubs come hunting.

  36. Not being a party popper on Paddy but you can walk very comfortably on a damaged ACL, I think before we rule him in or out we wait for the results of a scan once the swelling has gone done.
    ACLs hinder twisting and turning movements, deceleration etc. Straight line walking is no problem.

  37. Callinans performance at 6 a definite plus. Roscommon in Hyde Park should get us right the Dubs. I would expect to see Cillian starting, it will help him gel with players around him. .many posters have suggested Tommy C to half forward and it may be worth a try. Variation in our play and creating goal chances are still issues, Cillian might improve our chances and Darren McHale looked innovative at times. Introduction of O Shea helped us manage the final quarter

  38. Think Tommy not doing anything to keep a place. Aido has being playing well and Cillian has proven he deserves a jersey. We all know what talent Tommy has, but this season he is not doing enough to hold down a starting place.

  39. Justoutsideballagh – If James Carr was fit i’d say he would be putting pressure on Tommy. Tommy gives us another dynamic in the full forward line not many others offer and usually gets us 2-3 tap over frees a game by his runs. If he could just chip in with a few points from play or even paying for marks on top of it he would be more than worthy of his starting spot.

  40. Just watched back the Saturday game.very strange format with the camera panning between the heads of the hurling panellists and alternating between football and hurling.almost as ludicrous as Martin carney acting like a giddy teenager with his bizarre commentary.didn’t hear it yesterday but after his comment on the tv Years ago that Paul Finlay was the sort of player that you would stand up naked in the snow to watch “ nothing would surprise me .interesting analysis by fitzmaurice and enda mcginley or are we allowed to mention analysis of a game in case upset the critics police that thinks John maughan was the mayo manager in 1993 .Anyway a win is a win .great to see cillian o Connor doing his thing .what would this lad have achieved had he not been so unlucky with injuries.a truly class act .one game at a time now and see where it brings us

  41. It’s fantastic to see squad depth and competition for places mchales always had potential but just struggled to put it together hopefully now he can.
    Quality player with pace a good brain and left foot finishing which is required .

    For Rossies be comfortable starting Sam at 6 and putting O Hora in fullbackline .
    Hope coyne gets his bite back soon and maybe someone show him videos of harrison as I did think after his first season he was second coming of harri .
    All in positive, Boland had point to prove when he comes on and his class could be difference maker against a more.static Ross defence .
    Hession will have his power running and.did.a good job on o carrol so don’t be surprised to see him start .
    Loftus and Aido will be wanting to start and putting Carney under pressure.
    Flynn seems to be playing himself back to top form.
    Coen and diarmo showed their importance, mchugh nailed on starter so all extremely positive and it will take a squad with players with different skillets for different tasks and opposition to succeed with games coming thick and fast .

    Tommy C should be sat down and made watch his youtube highlight reel until he leaves the room bouncing and brimming with confidence . All good tho cream always rises to top

  42. Bob Tuohy playing for Mitchels along with Rory Byrne and Michael Plunkett for Ballintubber this morning a positive from Kevin to see this.Hopefully all the subs from last night bar Paddy and panelists feature in all the later games.

  43. I think Roscommon will be smiling if we don’t start Aiden considering the havoc he caused earlier.
    Big decisions to made

  44. Roscommon mightnt have time to smile , dubs in croker and then our bucks in the hyde , id have them odds on to be buried on both occasions .

    Any official news on paddy ?

  45. Galway have serious momentum now with two massive wins – Mayo will need to beat Dublin to get some momentum. I still think we will beat Roscommon but only a win against Dublin can spur us on to a good season now as tall an ask as that is.

  46. Good win last night – got the job done without too much fuss; we beat, hammered, Cavan because we took them seriously. One game at a time, and have options in terms of style and personnel. Having Durcan and Carr would be massive, but that may be a forlorn hope.

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