The night is pushing on, I’ve had a long day what with an U11 match up in Dublin this morning and then the drive west ahead of tonight’s rather elemental clash at MacHale Park. I’ve also got an early start in the morning to get back east for another match before midday there, so by necessity, this has to be a quick one.
The very short version is that we did way better than expected tonight but, in the end, didn’t do enough to claim the League points that were, for long stretches of the evening, tantalisingly on offer. The heart and conviction that was absent from our performance down at Páirc Uí Rinn last Sunday was evident in spades tonight but the battling performance the lads put in just wasn’t enough to carry the day. As a result, our long wait for a win over Dublin becomes that bit longer.
From the throw-in tonight – on a cold, wet and blustery night in Castlebar – it was clear that we were up for the battle. So too were Dublin and on a night of feisty exchanges Philly McMahon was ordered off on a black card with less than five minutes on the clock. The challenge for which he walked looked a bit reckless alright but I don’t think it was one of the specified black card offences.
Diarmuid O’Connor fisted over to open the night’s scoring but we spurned a number of chances to add to this, with the ball being sent into the inside line being very much of the low percentage variety.
Dublin took ten minutes to equalise – which they did via a Dean Rock free – and another ten to go ahead – a point from play from Diarmuid Connolly after Aidan O’Shea fumbled the ball close to our goal. We were back on terms quickly though, when Evan Regan was fed nicely by Jason Doherty and fired over.
At half-time we were a point down. Robbie Hennelly gave us the lead briefly with a marvellous ’45 driven over into the wind but they got one back from play and then Rock, with the wind at his back, pointed a ’45 with the last kick of the half.
We lost Tom Parsons to injury for the second half and although Jason Gibbons (who was named to start but didn’t, as Michael Hall – making his League debut – lined out instead) did well, we missed Tom’s presence in the second half.
With a strong wind behind our backs for the second period, our chances of upsetting those 1/4 odds looked okay at this stage and a glorious point from out the left wing from Diarmuid O’Connor gave us increased hope of doing so.
That was as good as it got, though, as Dublin roused themselves and three points in as many minutes – two from Rock frees, the other from play by McCarthy – gave them a cushion on which they were always able to rely thereafter. They resorted ever more to a strategy of keep-ball, circling incessantly around the middle third, throwing (often literally) the leather round, waiting for an opening to emerge.
We eventually pulled a point back from an Evan Regan free but our attacks never really had any potency and we never got a proper run at them. A point from sub Costello restored their three-point advantage with a bit over five minutes to go and while another Robbie boomer from a ’45 cut the gap to two, another Dublin point followed at the other end.
We had the final say on the scoreboard via another Evan Regan free but they had the final say as regards the result, prevailing in the end by two points.
On what really was a truly atrocious night for football, plenty of lads stood out for us. I thought Robbie did well – his kickouts were far more varied tonight and while a few of them went astray the conditions surely played some part in this. Ger Cafferkey was little short of magnificent, utterly nullifying Paddy Andrews, and Colm Boyle put in a wonderful battling performance (one that eventually saw him ordered off near the end on a second yellow, along with Dublin’s John Small who got a straight red, shortly after Jonny Cooper became the second Dublin player to walk on a black card).
Caolan Crowe, Shane Nally and Michael Hall all got a fairly full-throated introduction to high-level inter-county action, one that’ll have done them no harm at all.
On a tough night for forwards, I thought Conor O’Shea had an excellent first half while Diarmuid O’Connor drove us on repeatedly in the second half. Evan Regan did better than he’d done in Cork and will, I think, start to flourish in that spot as the days get longer.
It was great too to see Keith Higgins back in action. He got rightly stuck in after he came on for Michael Hall in the second half and we’ll be a whole load stronger with him on board over the coming weeks.
So although tonight we sit rooted at the bottom of Division One with no points from our first two games, it’s difficult not to feel a bit optimistic about how we’re starting to shape up. We showed a few hints tonight that there’s plenty of life yet in this team and I’d be happy enough that we’ll provide further and more compelling evidence of this sooner rather than later over the remainder of this League campaign.
Mayo: Robbie Hennelly (0-2, two ’45s); Brendan Harrison, Ger Cafferkey, Caolan Crowe; Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle, Shane Nally; Tom Parsons, Michael Hall; Conor O’Shea, Aidan O’Shea, Diarmuid O’Connor (0-2); Evan Regan (0-3, two frees), Jason Doherty, Mikey Sweeney. Subs: Jason Gibbons for Parsons, David Drake for Vaughan, Keith Higgins for Hall, Cathal Carolan for Sweeney, Darren McHale for Conor O’Shea, Shane McHale for Nally.
Finally, commiserations to both Ardnaree and Hollymount/Carramore who lost out to strong Kerry opposition in their respective club All-Ireland finals at Croke Park today. They both enjoyed great campaigns in getting all the way to Croke Park but sadly shared the same heartbreak today. Both of them can rightly be very proud of their achievements in getting as far as they did and coming so close to ultimate glory.
Who was our MOTM against Dublin?
- Diarmuid O'Connor (38%, 105 Votes)
- Ger Cafferkey (29%, 80 Votes)
- Colm Boyle (11%, 29 Votes)
- Shane Nally (5%, 15 Votes)
- Robbie Hennelly (4%, 10 Votes)
- Tom Parsons (2%, 6 Votes)
- Conor O'Shea (2%, 5 Votes)
- Brendan Harrison (1%, 4 Votes)
- Shane McHale (1%, 3 Votes)
- Jason Gibbons (1%, 3 Votes)
- Mikey Sweeney (1%, 3 Votes)
- Jason Doherty (1%, 3 Votes)
- Evan Regan (1%, 2 Votes)
- Aidan O'Shea (0%, 1 Votes)
- Michael Hall (0%, 1 Votes)
- David Drake (0%, 1 Votes)
- Cathal Carolan (0%, 1 Votes)
- Caolan Crowe (0%, 1 Votes)
- Donal Vaughan (0%, 0 Votes)
- Keith Higgins (0%, 0 Votes)
- Darren McHale (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 273
107 thoughts on “Mayo 0-7 Dublin 0-9: still pointless but far from hopeless”
Pleasantly surprised. Well done to all. Delighted to be proven wrong.
But, too much faith shown in some who we all know are not up to it.
However, we have replacements to come in, when they are ready.
We are not finished yet.
Whats the story on Freeman?
Far from hopeless but still brainless none the less. Dreadful tactics in the second half after a great effort up to half time. Counter attacking with the wind and home advantage in Castlebar? Absolute nonsense, go out and bloody play.
Some awful kickouts after half time coughed up needless scores and often, having waited three or four minutes to win possession from Dublin’s short passing game we’d turn around and kick it straight back to them, we never built up any momentum. Also Hennelly seems to consistently average about one front three from frees – that’s nowhere near good enough, especially when you are chasing the game and him coming up causes all momentum gained in winning the free to be lost. Just stay in goal and focus on your kickouts – because they’re not good enough at the moment either.
Also, taking a point from a free in injury time when a goal is obviously going to be needed and chances were so hard to come by was beyond stupid. As for the stadium announcer calling a substitution as Regan was taking a difficult free – has the man with the microphone no common sense at all?
For me this was worse than the Cork game – the Cork game was never going to be won but this one could have been and was thrown away.
Despite the loss, was happy with the performance. Diurmiad O Conner was outstanding along with Ger Caff Shane Nally was the best of the newcomers. The most pleasing thing of all though, was that we had our tactics spot-on, which inspires confidence for the road ahead
Can’t fault the effort tonight and the defensive system did it’s job however Mayo were fairly toothless going forward 0-4 with the wind was a poor return and probably why something even a draw wasnt got out of the game.
Cafferkey D O Connor best for Mayo on the night.
Em….. I would thoroughly agree – but why no change of game plan for the second half?
No points from play with a howling breeze behind us! Thought we should have opened it
up a bit. Dressingroom deficiencyI hate to say.
I can understand where your coming from and agree with a lot of your points declan . However I’d be much more confident that we have enough to push on from here and that we can get points on the bord against donegal and monaghan and stay up an long with possibly dare i say it win the league outright.
Caff and d o connor man of the match for me can’t choose between them. I wish a o Shea stay in full forward and leave him there.
Some great performance from the newcomers, I thought Nally and crowe stood up today. Conor o Shea is improving with every game, The full forward line was the only problem for me.Cant believe Mikey Sweeney stayed on the pitch so long. Even with better playing conditions would it make a difference.Evan Regan except for free offered little but I have to say he was up against better opposition than he was use to. This can only help with his development. Second bad game for Jason Doherty, someone has to tell him stop taking frees, and for hennelly to take less than 5 minutes to take one.
Agree declan. We really miss cillian for frees..is there no one else apart from hennelly? And don’t start me on the free when we were needing a goal..was not as much bothered by being soaked as I was leaving mc hale Pk thinking that game was there for the taking…don’t want to be overly negative as I thought they gave it socks but a lot of if onlys. .
And the support on such a savage night was fab..
Waiting for my toes to defrost after that!
Overall, I feel a sense of disappointment because we lost and I was one who was confident we’d put it up to the dubs today and voted for a win during the week on this site.
Defensively tigerish but it was a day for backs. Horrible for forwards. We really had nothing going forward which was a little worrying(it’s still only Feb!) apart from DOC who was excellent and imp AOS should have put into 14 for all of the 2nd half. We still need to learn how to make the most of his abilities! But he strikes fear into full back lines.
In the first half it was like watching rugby when we had possession, side to side and back over again. We could have used the space much better. We often had lads make runs and have to turn back to pop a fist pass in order to keep possession, it was all very laboured. Regan and Sweeney were too easily bundled off the ball and we missed two very kickable frees, in particular Doherty. How did he miss? I’ve always been a fan of The Doc but those frees should be bread and butter to him.
The positive to take from tonight was that the attitude was good and it was a good tough hard and intensive game for the likes of Nally, Hall who both looked solid. Parsons looked very impressive, his 1st half was a whole lot better than Gibbons in the 2nd half who didn’t really feature.
It would be great to unearth or see a new face come into form for us in attack during this league campaign because when Cillian is missing, we look average up front.
It’s much easier to rectify defensive frailties and despite what the press say about our defence it’s still one of the best in the country. Our problems lie in attack.
In terms of preformence I though that O’connor , Parsons and Boyle ( though a little fiesty tonight) were all stand outs. O’shea was far from his best and a little selfish at times. And Hall was stupid giving away way to many frees a lot of them just completely unnecessary.
Conor Loftus is a great free taker and will come back into the fold after family bereavements.
I’m happy enough we need to be fitter and sharper but that will come.
Delighted to see the real Ger Caff back.
Think we need improvements in goal midfield and free taking.
A much more hopeful performance indeed. The conditions made it very difficult but probably were a bit of a leveller for Mayo. Tactically the management did well. Dublin were very professional and just had that extra bit of skill and guile at match winning moments. Couple of key moments swung the game two points conceded when a mayo player needlessly got turned over twice in the first half by not releasing the ball quicker. Also two kick able frees missed in the first half and one in the second. That’s a four point swing. Defence was excellent but forwards not able to hold on to ball was the losing of the game. All of the newer guys in defence did well but no sign of a baby needed forward talent emerging yet. Loss of parsons was crucial aswell. It doesn’t look like freeman is going to feature but his frees tonight might have made the difference. Overall enough points will be picked up yet to keep us up….
Stephen coen will be a massive addition to the team and he is the one with enough intelligence to play the sweeper role.
Darren coen will be a big help in forwards too with strength and power could do well winning ball of o Shea.
Other than that I m not going to cause bother by pointing out who I don’t think is county standard but was evident this evening again.
For the third consecutive meeting with Dublin in the last 6 months we should have beaten them but didn’t.
Why do we persist with a free taker who misses on a regular basis from the 21 yard line and in and around the “D”? Is it to show us what life will be like when Cillian retires?
Why was our all star forward not positioned around the edge of the square for the entire second half and drop high balls in on top of him? We did it once and he caught it and would have won a free in from it if there was a referee on the pitch. Instead we played into Dublins hands while we had a gale behind us.
Great effort overall but lacking brainpower and tactical awareness. That, along with a lack of clinical forwards killed us tonight.
Sweeper system worked well in the first half
nally was good and could be a starter for us in the summer
I’d stick with Regan. average tonight but he could be a diff propspect on a fast pitch and playing off AOS
There was enough there to think we can get the 6 points we need to stay up
Ball did not stick in the except forwards cameo by AOS At FF
Kick outs were average at best
free taking return was very poor
thought AOS was only average today. 4/5 very bad turnovers.
Not sure what faith the manger has in the forwards he had on the bench as our backline was holding up yet most of the replacement where there first. With Douglas, Kirby Loftus Coen as well as some more experience players like freeman wanting to get game time these player may already be cast adrift. Ideally we need a couple of forwards to really make a difference. Maybe even Reape stepping up but it maybe to soon for him
All things considered, that was a very encouraging performance from us. We went at it from start to finish and the legs were gone by the end really. Pity we didn’t get the draw.
Ger Caff immense, likewise Boyler and Diarmuid. Tom Parsons was superb in the first half and his loss was the difference to the outcome of this match I feel. The man has savage strength and he always seems to have that extra second on the ball.
No points but lots to be hopeful about surely.
O Connor has the makings of a star but you would see more physically imposing full forward lines in some Minor teams.Real problems there.Is there not a big strong target man to be found anywhere in the county?
I see from the headline of this article that Mayo won the game, lol, they also lost it. Must be a first in Gaelic football? Only messin, WJ.
Too bad we didn’t get the kind of jammy goal Dublin would surely have scored with that last kick if we were leading by 2 points. I am happy enough, strangely, for a night where Mayo teams lost 3 games on the same day, but kind of annoyed that we could have beaten Dublin at the same time. I didnt expect either club to win but still, its a sickener to lose 2 more finals at any level.At least Mayo got the first half spot on, maybe could have opened it up a bit more in the second half, but, have to be happy enough given the loss of players for all sorts of reasons, Mayo will get a lot stronger over the next month or two and summer could be a very interesting time.
More heart shown tonight and i thought we did well. It could have gone either way. Regan hit his shot inches over the bar. Carolan hit post and Dublins 9th point was actually wide, We also missed a few so as i say it could have gone either way. We seemed bit heavy legged near the end so fittness is still bit off. Yes there were some negatives but lets not go there.
Fair play to all the guys. The Garrymore men are trying hard and there body language was alot better today. The next 3 weeks will sharpen them up and the arrival back off the unavailable guys will be bonus.
For anyone who watched the game on tv, would you agree the 9th Dublin point was actually wide? Definitely looked wide on the replay.
Delighted that despite injuries, late start back, new management, etc we managed to show the work rate and aggression that has been our hallmark over recent years. Certainly we had shortcomings and these along with a few dodgy decisions by the ref cost us the game.
Nonetheless our pride and morale are in tact and I think we are in a good place right now.
Great effort all that’s needed is 3 scoring forwards. I’m still confident that it will all come together so I’ll be going down to Paddy Power in the morning and putting 2,000 Euro on you guys to win AI. 162MOSAM
Hard luck this evening, as I said on this site we never expected anything else other than a tough time in McHale Park and any Dubs fan thinking otherwise would be naïve. I didn’t think the 09th point was wide but I am biased but one note from the way Mayo played……you guys can go man to man with any team so why didn’t you go for it in the second half.
Martin the Dub
I’ve been saying it all week to anyone that would listen that Mayo would put in a good performance this week and they did if only we had a forward to take the game by the scruff of the neck and win the damn thing there one forward from lets just say near the next parish to America that are no where near county standard and should be put out of his misery and dropped I know he is a sound decent lad who tries hard but sadly he is too light and small
Better performance tonight …
Thought Conor o she’a , Boyler , regan , caff did ok
Wasn’t a night for forwards ..
Hennelly kicked two frees from the same position,fair play….
Agree with Declan above though , he shouldn’t be coming up .. He should let the forwards kick them
At one stage in the first half , he came up to take one …. Then took it out of hands and gave it to o she’a ….
We definitely coughed up two scores from his indicisive kick outs …. He kicked straight to Dublin players … Having flash backs to last summer about it …
I would like to genuinely ask, is his flamboyant play work the risk again in a big game in the summer ?
On a another note Aidan O she’a looks way of the pace… He has a busy few weeks to try and get fit
That ninth point was good enough i thought. Kicker turned away as soon as he struck it and his body language showed he had scored it. Dublin were super tonight. Played the crowd, a really heavy pitch, outside the safety of Croke Park and also missing half their won team. And still won
They know they won’t be playing Mayo in those conditions in Castlebar come championship so to win tonight will be very satisfying indeed. they can now go back to HQ knowing that their usual fluid pass and move game played in Croke Park will be restored to normal with the added bonus of another notch against this Mayo team.
As to ourselves well at least we did’t get beat out the gate.
But on the other hand there are very little positives. It seems blatantly obvious after the past 2 weeks that we still don’t have any reliable freetaker for Cillian. If anything happens to him we’re goosed. Also when you look at last weeks game and this weeks we only scored an average of 9.5 points which is really worrying considering most of our first choice absentees are in defence.
The last point on the game I have is this. How come Dublin are so much more physically stronger and fitter than our teams? Is it a natural phenomenon or what is missing from bridging that gap. Because this was the most obvious appointment’s for me.Dublin were able to saunter around the place in the second half keeping possession of the ball at will. there was no one who was able to dispossess them in that middle third on our side.
Why not and what is the difference?
PS – I read that Dublin are only training once a week at the moment. Saving themselves for after the League and championship when they hope to step up a couple of notches in terms of fitness and physique.
I don’t want to insult anyone here but I will question the knowledge of those who are taking a swipe at the mayo full forward line. In atrocious conditions against the AI champs – who had a very strong team out, and are known for their defensive play, I thought the guys did well. They fought, harried won ball at times that was not in their favour and have an eye for creating openings. I def want to see these lads again on a dry pitch in conditions that suits their qualities. Before the negative branch get back on here, could you compare what the Dublin ff line delivered as a comparison. Then you may get an idea of just how much of an impact the weather had. For these guys to get a full game in is one of a number of positives for the management. I couldn’t care less if Mayo don’t get any points from the league. If we get a really strong panel together and have a number of players who have their hand up as a starter then its better than any league title. Don’t forget while the championship drags on for a ridiculous number of months it’s the panel that provide the opposition. Injuries may have forced some changes but for the lads like crowe, Harrison O’Hara, regan, cos etc to get proper chances to establish themselves is superb.
JPM – you’re right…Dublin did look fitter but they were also more composed in possession and used the ball more intelligently. That’s why they are All Ireland Champions. Remember back to the semi final replay. We were level at HT but we had expended far greater energy than they had and with 15 mins to go our half back line were out of juice.
Anyway, it’s very early yet this season so let’s not be too harsh.
However, it’s clear that our attacking buildup play and potency is very very limited when playing against the top tier teams. That’s why we have to employ AOS at the edge of the square and figure out how to deliver to him.
The best performance I’v ever seen from Ger Cafferkey. He was sticky, annoying and when he had opportunity to crunch someone legally he did.
Diarmuid OConnor was an absolute leader.
Good to see Cathal Carolan back fit n strong. He wasn’t on long, but seen glimmer that maybe he’s learned to keep his head up when in posession n his left foot was in use, never seen him use it much before.
Regan was okay. Again little ball in, bad conditions and Johnny Cooper is one of the best corner backs in the country.
Conor OShea showed a few strong runs and showed the advantage of big men.
– Counter attacking is too slow n often handpassing in circumstances
– No target man play at all. Dublin rarely were pinned back by any worries behind their half backs.
– General lack of size all over the pitch
– Lack of pace (Keegan, Higgins, Durcan) will help up that. But still lack of pace upfront bar Regan.
– Freetaking. There is no better freetaker than Fionan Duffy close to this level. He is the freetaker ahead of Conor Loftus for Crossmolina. But he must have some niggle at the moment? Hasnt featured for u21s in last two games. Another freetaker is Liam Irwin, who brings height n power also. We cannot continue giving up at least 2/3 points a game from frees.
* often handpassing in circles (correction)
Thinking about MOM all evening and there were so many positive performances I did not believe I could come up with one. Boyler narrowly missed out although he deserves great credit for his job on DC. Caff was sheer brilliant on Andrews. He could have beaten us on his own on another day. Parson was fantastic and I probably had him picked out at half time. Gibbons gave it everything in the second half. Vaughan upped his game so much since last Sunday. Brendan Harrison had another solid performance. Nally and Crowe worked really well also. Conor O’Shea continued where he left off last Sunday. Even Higgins was outstanding when he came on. In the end it had to be Diarmuid. That gap between himself and Cillian is getting smaller. A lot of our new players got a taste of what it feels like to play the best in the land. They were out on their feet but they kept going to the end. If the free taking had gone better for us we could have stolen it in the end.
A lot more bite in our lads tonight, albeit against a poor Dublin side who completely underperformed in difficult conditions, yet still managed to come away with the two points. A big improvement required ahead of the trip to the lions den in Ballybofey.
Hoofit-no disrespect but the difference between the two sets of forwards should always be judged in late summer.The Dubs fowards have produced year in year out when the pressure is on.Our forwards have not.Not from lack of heart or desire but because theyre simply not on the same level.We ended up playing AOS there last because we were desperate,robbing Peter to pay Paul.Hes a midfielder and a damn good one.Aside from the two OConnor we don’t have another forward that would get a sniff of the Dublin Panel never mind the Dublin team.Going all the way back to 96 and all the finals since our main problem has been our forwards not dodgy refs or bold boys from Meath etc…
And unless we find one or two in the next few months we will be a semi final team again.
Three observations having come home and thawed out.
1. We came home disappointed and, yet, very, very satisfied after that performance. Well done Mayo.
2. Diarmuid O’ Connor is a hardy bucko. He was so up for it tonight and took no shit. That’s exactly the tone and tenor that needed to be laid down.
3. Boyler was boiling, from an earlier exchange. He was always on course to take a premature walk in a game controlled by a shite referee.
Lots of positives best defensive display in a couple of seasons. Caff back too form and a management team who actually know how to set up a sweeper system. Im not too worried by the lack of scoring, COC will add to that along with Coen, Kirby, Douglas, Loftus. Also the system being implemented will be much quicker in the summer with training which should give more time too forwards.
Am I missing something with Conor O’Shea? He seems too be getting good reviews but I found him extremely frustrating. For me he showed a constant lack of effort when not in possession and his man got away too easily when dispossessed. He needs too work on this as we cant have any passengers at the business end of the season.
Finally, whos idea was it too have children stand on the pitch for 20mins before the match in that weather, I mean seriously, not a good idea.
AOS over the last two years has looked like a forward only. He’s been below par around the middle of the pitch, loses far too much ball and its a trend at this stage.
sorry to say it but Aos is a real one trick pony in ff. Turn and barge. He needs to learn how to look around him and lay off ball to other forwards.
It was a backs day and Ger was immense. Anyone with a balanced view on football agrees that our problem, despite the lazy view of us not having top class forwards, is that we concede too much, so we held a Dublin team to 9 points that roasted Kerry 7 days ago.
Liam Moffatt said we’ll have a clean bill of health across the board for Ballybofey in 3 weeks. We’ll beat Donegal.
Finally, they say you should never meet your heroes, but I met the great WJ today. He was even more impressive in real life. A young John Travolta with added wit for anyone looking to put a face to the blog….
Pjmcmanus I think if we’d have scored a few points from frees we’d have deserved the win, not stolen it. There wasn’t much between the sides on the night. Dublin were more clinical in attack. Although from their perspective it was a 6, maybe 7 out of 10 performance. Any day we lose in Castlebar, regardless of the level or competition, is not a good day.
Did Conor O’S play well? I didn’t think he made much impact at all unfortunately. Although I’d love to see him stake a place, I don’t expect to see him featuring in June. I hope I’m wrong because he has the physical attributes. Has he the technical skills or is he a clever enough footballer? Im watching him at minor and u21 and yet I’ve never seen anything yet to think he’ll be a prominent Mayo senior footballer. Perhaps I’m being harsh.
Re:AOS. If his ‘one trick’ is getting the ball and burying it in the back of the net, I’ll take that. Given our lack of free scoring forwards we need him in there causing havoc, winning possession, winning frees(when we have a fair ref) and scoring goals. If proper ball is delivered in, he’ll be a huge asset to us. It’s easier said than done but practice makes perfect. Having him on the 40 or out around the middle for long periods during the league means less practice for our team having him at 14, so while its grand throwing him in on the edge of the square against the likes of Sligo…it won’t do against the big teams who 1. Have tighter defences and 2. Put much more pressure on the man delivering the pass into the forward line.
Scanning through the comments here and not sure if mentioned but open to correction
We didn’t give up so much as a hint of a goal chance tonight. That surely has to be a positive. We are forever going on about conceding silly goals etc
I am far less worried about going down tonight than I was last night. Depleted squad tonight and could have snatched 2 points.
I would love us to get to the last 4 though and have another crack at Dublin before the summer
As the great JM would say “Lookit” Mayo have 75 per cent of what’s required to win AI. I recall after being beaten by Donegal in AI players demanded to know “how do we get to that level?” The concentration became on physical fitness to compensate for lack of potency/leadership up front. Can anyone say hand on heart that Mayo have or are likely to have a McFadden, O ‘Donohue, or Brogan or in other words when will efficiently making and taking scoring chances become a team trademark rather than the hope for the best play? Unfortunately, the truth hurts!
Without trying to wind people up or become known as a troll, as an outsider man on aran is 100% correct, mayo don’t have or look like having a forward or 2 that is capable of winning an all Ireland for the team ala Brogan, O’Donohoe, etc.
What happened when Boyler lost the head wit ref 1st and then linesman? Phillys attempt at sandwiching AOS backfired! And when he went off you sensed a good hard game of football was on the cards! How a person could say this was worse than Cork surely is ridiculous! I’m growing in hope big time after that and fair play to Rochford for getting the tactics almost spot on!!
By Christ, if someone told me at lunchtime today we’d lose by two points, I’d have hugged them. There are heaps of positives to be taken from that performance.
Firstly, that we fought, and didn’t lie down and let them bully us.
Secondly, that with such a depleted squad, we gave a decent account of ourselves.
Thirdly, that Ger Caff reminded us just why he won that All-Star. He was magnificent tonight. Boyle once again put his body on the line for us, and Diarmuid just oozed competence and class. I thought we put in a very solid defensive performance across the board. Our attacking play, on the other hand, was woeful.
Parsons was a big, big loss when he went off. Looked like a hip injury; I hope it’s not too serious. Gibbons did not have his speed or physicality unfortunately.
I do agree with posters above that there are a few familiar faces within the panel who just aren’t good enough, and who lack the necessary consistency and reliability. Whether we have any better is another question. At the moment, with our injury list, we certainly don’t.
All in all though, lots to be cheerful about. I expect us to win in Ballybofey.
My goodness Johno 63 there may be a lot of truth in what you say but calm down and take a deep breath lad
really great to see ger caff back to form after the amount of stick he got from media.
Johno 63 – I’ve had to delete that incoherent jumble of words you posted. Comments posted here don’t have to be literature but they have at least to make some basic sense, which that one from you didn’t.
Don’t know how Mayo didn’t win that game last night. It was set up so good at half time, our backs had held their forwards, the Mayo midfield had done so well, Mayo played with spirit and determination. But Dublin seemed to up their performance in second half and Mayo couldn’t impose themselves on the ball to swing game their way. Same story since AIF 2013.
But with a gale behind us in second half and putting AOS in FF, we only kicked 1 or 2 balls into him. I don’t think AOS is a FF but if we do play him there and then don’t even attempt to supply him with any ball never mind the right ball – that’s no improvement tactically whatsoever from last year. Could not believe Mayo playing the ball along 45m line in second half and not letting it in deep.
DiarmaidOC put in a good shift but we need a full attacking unit come later stages of the year.
Get caf was never the problem being left isolated to often by three half backs running forward and no cover.no full back line would stick that.would eat at any mans confidence.had plenty of cover last night and played a blinder.can’t understand why we don’t give more under21 game time like Donegal.
The ones we did are our best forwards now.cillian Aidan and diarmuid.could have won last night ya but plenty of time to improve.
We need to sort out our Full Foward line, O Shea a must and a Free Taker. We need Cillian O Connor. A lot of talk on this site consistently about a full forward which I have yet to see any evidence that he is up to it. If a decent ball goes in, you have to hold on to it. A look at the tunovers stats tell the story. We have to get more ruthless in selection and stop picking players that consistently do not come up to tge mark. Overall very promising and a couple of tweaks in the forwards should have us back in business.
I went to the match last night in the expectation that we would get hammered, and while we lost the game I was impressed with how we played, much improved from last week. we are still a work in progress. have patience and believe
One interesting player who might become involved now is Padraig Feerick. In Croke Park yesterday I thought he displayed good hands, skillful soloing to open up space (not as an end in itself) and a lovely floated 40-50 yard boot. Yes Hollymount didnt always capitalise on it but it was some of the best ‘dangerous quick n catchable’ ball I’v seen from a defender in a long time.
I seen Alan Freeman from my seat in the stand, He was looking for a place to sit, hope he got a warner spot than mine. Had he been playing it’s a no brainer w would have at least drawn the match. Very good spirited performance tough.again Henelly was excellent our best free taker easily in the absence of Cillian and the Freezer. I counted 18 players unavailable due to club commitments or injury. Some of the Mayo players are not fit enough YET,eg AOS. Bring back Freeman!
Rochford must decide where AOS is going too play, full forward or midfield. This coming in and out is not working as the game passes him by. For me he is a midfielder through and through. Its where he has the most influence on a game. I would like too see maybe Irwin or Kirby given a chance at ff. AOS did have two good games at ff but we simply do not have the proper footballers to deliver quality ball to him in there. Horan knew this and hence never played him at ff.
All the evidence yesterday showed Aidan currently isnt suited for midfield.
– He lost several balls delaying his pass or running into contact.
– His decision making was poor, putting long high ball on top of Mikey Sweeney. Putting Michael Hall in a footrace with Jack Mccaffrey up the wing
– Did he catch any kickouts?
– Still doesn’t look mobile enough for the position
Mayo did all that was asked of them in the first half last night – closing down the Dubs and keeping the score to 1 point was some achievement, especially against the wind. Second half showed the difference in the two teams – swagger. Dublin, All Ireland champions, League champions, and having sent Kerry home with their tales between their legs last weekend, had the confidence to go do their thing. Mayo on the other hand, new Manager not long in situ, team well behind in training, many players not available for one reason or another and coming off a hammering against Cork. Taking all this into account, I think we are now in a much better place than we were last week.
JP,I was highly impressed with Padraig Feerick.As you say he looked very composed on the ball.Worth a run to see if he can step up to IC level.
theres a clip on youtube showing coopers kick on Mikey Sweeney, its incredible stuff. how was cooper not given a straight red? and even more to the point why doesnt mikeys teammates go straight to the ref?
we are still far too soft, the likes of that crowd last night know the dirt and get away with it. cooper should have got a straight red, hes a nasty bit of work to lash out like that, sweeney was luckily not carted off with a broken leg.
How’s about this for an alternative forward line up.
These are only thoughts and messing about but giving Keegan more freedom and Carolan as pacey hard workers Cillian pulling strings at 11 we could then put diarmid at 14.
He has great hands pace and can shoot on the run in addition to eye for goal. (If only we could clone him )
Aidan in the corner to suit his left foot and Loftus as sharp pacey forward.
As I say only messing but if we had clones of diarmid and Keegan how much better would we be.
By the way I would have Kevin mc at no 6
Alan Freeman is/was far better than either of our starting corner forwards yesterday.He’s also a better freetaker than doc and can kick a 45. Is he not fit?
Ah Dave,I know Cooper plays on the edge and he caught Sweeney on the legs,but a sending off-dont think so.I think the ref got that one right,as Mikey got in the way when he was taking the free.
Busy times these! I have to say that I felt privileged to be present in that great ocean of a stand last night.To feel the intensity of the buzz generated about the place by the unbelievable commitment of two great teams,so unnaturally fit for the time of year was a joy to behold.The conditions so added to the spectacle that by the time the final whistle went one was at a loss that there was going to be no more tonight.
T’was like coming to the end of a good book or play or film. Afterwards you feel a great comfortable glow in yet innards announcing that much is well in our world!
I thought the kids were great,the Dubs I met were great and felt it a pity that Molly Malone didn’t get an acknowledgement of some kind from our over zealous loud speaker!
It was great to see the return of the pluck that was absent last week.Back on track as many anticipated.Its a pity the likes of Kirby,SCoen,Douglas and Irwin ar’nt around to benefit from these games like the on board newbies are undoubtably doing.
There’s not much wrong with this team but the little short comings need attention and will get it down the line.
AOS is a monster for the team but will he learn to lay it off and be cute in around the goal and show that bit of finesse which last night would have put Mickey Sweeney in for his goal! When?…it will come soon.
After they affect a turnover which they can do well they v often are much too hasty with the delivery upfield. Sometimes it’s the right ball but most times more composure is called for till more players are singing the tune…take time…what’s the smarter option?That ll come too!
Sin abhuil anois agus onwards to the next hurdle!
Agree with outside of the boot, with Duncan, Coen and Nally available I think we need to look again at either Keegan or Higgins in the half forwards. That issue of lack of pace has never been addrssed in the forwards and I still think we lost an AIF because Higgins was moved from half forward to full back line.
White blackbirds flying backwards in Kerry today
One poster having a go at Conor, I remember something similar being posted about Aidan back in 2010. A couple of year’s more we might be rewriting these words.
Fitz matrices head must be spinning..fair play to the rossies..hope it’s not at our expense.
No harm to see Kerry beat for a change well done to the Ross
It was great to see the two Mayo clubs in Croker yesterday, and though the results didn’t go our way through the day, it was a reminder of the strength of club football in the county, which is very encouraging. Ardnaree did fantastic to get to Croker, I thought they edged won the midfield battle, but unfortunately Templenoe inside line looked a class apart, they seemed able to score at will. They were unlucky to come up against a fairly unique cohort of young lads coming through at Templenoe.
Hollymount pushed St Mary’s a lot closer. They looked a little nervous at times in the first half, and ultimately St Mary’s seemed to get the scores at the right times. Hollymount panicked a bit after the first goal, and spurned a number of good scoring opportunities in the 5-10 minutes after that, and St Mary’s started to pull down the shutters. Still, Holly are a serious outfit.
A lot of rubbish on this page over last few weeks about the Rossies being a cert for relegation with down. Their forwards showed how to kick points today and all the talk about not a day for forwards did not impact them. Until we get a settled forward line that can win a 50/50 ball, turn and kick it over the bar, we are still not going to win anything. Some of the current lads need to be replaced, simple as that. We have a scrap on our hands now to maintain Division One status.
only good forward Mayo have are the o Connors harsh I know but that’s the reality.
Might have been a better performance but results not gone our way this weekend. Great result for Ros in kerry but that increases our problems. Kerry improve as league goes on and it will be a struggle to get the points to stay up. Our score difference is not good either after that hammering in coek’
Pj, all I said is that I haven’t seen anything from Conor o Shea to lead me to believe he will be a significant player for us. For me, he didn’t do a thing last night (but granted not many forwards did) but hopefully he’ll prove me wrong, but so far, I just don’t see it. Time will tell.
Big win for the rossies is right. Anyone watching their progress and going to underage games the past few years should not be surprised. They have some very good forwards, who appear more natural scorers than ours(which I hate to admit) smyth/murtagh, Harney too is a real prospect. Their midfield and defence are average but as I’ve said before, it’s easier to rectify deficiencies in defence. A forward either has the talent or he doesn’t.
Two or three natural scoring forwards can snatch you victory in a game you don’t dominate in terms of possession.
It’s clear Ros were and are well ahead of Kerry in training. Kerry though were very poor by their usual standards and Roscommon made the most of their opportunity.
This division is going to come right down to the wire. We should be targeting Kerry and Down as ones to win and we’ll more than likely need to pick up something from an away game.
Donegal seem to be buzzing. It’ll be a tough one. If we can come away with even a draw there it’d be a decent return but I’m really hoping to see more of Loftus, Regan and our attacking players. Does anyone know how Irein is progressing? We know we’re grand at the back.
Re: Castlebar…Kirby and Douglas have been around a few years now but never feature come summer. What’s all your opinions on these two? Can they make an impact at senior inter county? Do Castlebar have any other forwards worth looking at?
What are people’s opinions on Darren Coen? I’ve always heard mixed reports and haven’t seen enough of him to comment properly.
Disappointed that we lost a very winnable game. That’s two bad performances from the forwards in a row. It’s fair to say it will look different by the time we get to the summer. Best showing from the backs in a long time, Boyler and Caff were superb. I said before the game that the heavy pitch would suit us and it did. Good cover from the midfield in the first half but we were fortunate that the Dubs didn’t exactly have their shooting boots on. Can’t remember the last time the Dubs barely got a shot on goal.
After the results today it looks like we are going to have a battle on our hands. Rossies laid down a marker today and Donegal are on a roll after dishing out two hammerings in a row. The team needs to put in a hell of a lot of work over the next few weeks or we will not beat Donegal, simple as. Two difficult away matches and then we have to contend with Kerry at a stage when they usually come alive in the league. Will be getting worried if don’t beat Donegal…
After todays results it looks like it will come down to a straight shootout between ourselves Down and Kerry now to see who will be relegated this year.
Neil Douglas seems to have improved as a player. So I think he probably has the best chance of the Castlebar forwards.
Darren Coen still has this snatchy shooting problem. Can score a glorious point and then next time miss a much simpler chance. Often shoots quickly when has a bit more time to settle.
Good win for Ros. Kerry are missing a lot. They will struggle to stay up.
Donegal are flying. Theyve added in lads like Ciaran Thompson who is going well. Then lads like Mcbrearty and Mcniallais. Theyve a very physical forward line now. We should take note.
Down and Kerry to be relegated?
Why did Vaughan go off . Not one mention of him in any comments which doesn’t surprise me . Only ten per cent of people how watch these games can see what’s going on but I hope Rochford is not one of them because if Vaughan was not injured , taking him off on a night like last night was the prime reason we lost .
His strength , work rate , honesty and most important covering the kick outs was the reason we stayed with them for so long . We conceded 4 points in the 8 minutes immediately after his withdrawal . It took those the last crew half their tenure before they realised his importance to our set up and I hope our new crew are not heading down the same route
I shake my head at some of the comments here sometimes like the one idiotic one about AOS , and also at the general opinion in our County this week that we would be hammered .
Now we re all experts again a bit like Billy Fitz .
These are an exceptional bunch of lads , the best ever produced by our proud County and this year once again , if we don’t win it , these lads will have sweated blood in trying
I’m not 100% sure on this, Toto, but the lads on Midwest referenced injuries to both Tom Parsons and Donal Vaughan that resulted in both being subbed. I recall Donie needing treatment (shortly before half-time, I think) but that’s all the info I can offer.
Much of our problems in the forwards last night came from the inability of Sweeney and Regan to beat their man, even occasionally, and get a shot in. They do not have the size or physical strenght to win their individual battles. Our free taking was also a problem but so also was Dublin’s a problem for them. They missed the first three, remember, and Cluxton, if I recall correctly, also missed.
I have good hope that Conor O’Shea will make the grade and I’m also confident about Danny Kirby if he commits. Freeman has to come in against Donegal for freetaking alone. Who drops out? – one of Doherty, Sweeney or Regan in my opinion. Hopefully McLoughlin will also be back and maybe with the backs performing well we can afford Keith Higgins up front. Keegan was tried there before and it didn’t work out. I believe he is better coming forward from deep.
Last years panel
Robert Hennelly David Clarke
Chris Barrett Ger Cafferkey Keith Higgins
Brndan Harrison Kevin Keane Tom Cunniffe
Lee Keegan Donal Vaughan Colm Boyle
David Drake Michael Hall Patrick Durkan
Tom Parson Seamus O Shea
Barry Moran Stephen Coen
Kevin McLoughlin Aidan OShea Diarmuid O Connor
Mark Ronaldson Alan Freeman Alan Dillon
Andy Moran Cillian O Connor Jason Doherty
Mikey Sweeney Michael Conroy Evan Regan
Neil Doughlas Conor O Shea Dan Kirby
Last players to be cut Micheal Forde and Kenneth O Malley, Adam Gallagher, Enda Varley and Darran Coen Cut earlier in the year.
New players brought in or going to be looked at
James Stretton David Kenny Padraig O Hora
Caolan Crowe Shane McHale Shane Nally
Donnie Newcombe and Eoghan o Reilly to come in
Jason Gibbons and Ger McDonagh to come in
Cathal Carolan Andrew Farrell Darran McHale
Brian Reape Darran Coen Keith Routledge
So far I believe we has more than enough players for backline, Forward positions are up for graps not just in the team but also on the panel and their is also midfield position needed. Last year we finished with Parsons, Barry Moran and Seamus O Shea off the field and nobody to replace them. There is also room on the panel to bring in some young fowards for experience. The likes of Brian Reape and Fionan Duffy would be ideal. Looking at last years subs we carried to many small forward that at the tail end of the year when it where found wanting when things got physical. Be interested to see how the panel unfolds and what changes are made.
Typical corner forwards rarely perform in them conditions Andyd. Wait a while, have patience with lads, give lads a half a dozen games before you completely end their county career like ffs.Good things come to those who wait , regan will come good.
Pos Team P W L D F A Pts
1 Donegal 2 2 0 0 44 17 4
2 Dublin 2 2 0 0 29 21 4
3 Monaghan2 2 0 0 29 23 4
4 Cork 2 1 1 0 31 32 2
5 Ros 2 1 1 0 26 29 2
6 Kerry 2 0 2 0 27 34 0
7 Mayo 2 0 2 0 19 30 0
8 Down 2 0 2 0 18 37 0
Are we that naive that we think its going to be an easy game in Donegal with the way they are currently playing?
Correct kevin, that game will be an almighty tussle, the positive for us is, we’ll have 3 weeks training under our belts and should have alot more experienced players starting…that alone will give us a great chance!
I did not suggest that anybody be cut from thhe panel. That would be ludicrous before the end of the league, in my opinion, esp.in the case of Regan who has not got a decent opportunity yet. But I think I am entitled to express my opinion on basic principles of the game as is everybody else. Judge me in Sept next if you wish.
There are a few posters on this site who sugest that some regulars “who have not delivered” should be dropped without saying who these regulars are. Because they do not say WHO should be dropped they get what I call a fool’s pardon. When I post I try to say what I mean and only that, with nothing implied or between the lines.
Tom fell awkwardly 8mins before half time, he was holding his hip for the remainder of the half
How is Adam Gallagher not in panel?….delivered before in League under Hoan and that included taking frees.
Adam Gallagher had a hip operation, he is now back in full training for Mayo Gaels. Likely is being monitored you would imagine.
Thanks for that Mayo Mick Should start to improve once we get into the month of March as usual.
Lovely post there, Inbetweener 🙂
AndyD, as regards your “some posters” remark above, you have a point. I’ve at least three names, if not four that I privately worry aren’t or haven’t been delivering in the way we need, and Inknow I’m not alone in that, but I’m keeping my powder dry on that on the second week in Feb, because there’s a good chance a new regime and a new coach could make a massive difference to them and their role on the team within a couple of months. (Also, I’ve been spectacularly wrong before!!)
And personally guess I’m just conscious of who’s reading here too.
Meant to mention it in the earlier post but I thought that Shane Nally – again – was excellent for us last night. Looks like he’s been playing for us for years. And wasn’t Keith Higgins just raring to go when he came on?!
I think last night will have gone a good way in dispelling the doubts that were creeping in last week about the energy and the drive of these lads to keep going. Here’s hoping lots of healing within the next three weeks.
In the meantime the focus shifts to Castlebar Mitchels and their game v Crossmaglen in Cavan on Fri. Mouthwatering.
very exciting league campaign ahead. I for one am buzzing for the Donegal game. That run out against Dublin will do the players and management the world of good! I think there was more positives than negatives from last night. We scrapped and fought until
The end against the AI champs.
It’s clear also that most of our team were nowhere near as fit as some of the other division 1 teams are. Mayo should gradually get better over the next few weeks.
Rochford said their aim was to survive in division 1. He wasn’t lying. Massive few games coming up. Hopefully the panel get the heads down over the next few weeks and any aches and pains are gone come game time in ballyshannon. Be positive everyone.
Was at the Kerry Ross game today and with respect to Roscommon I don’t think they will trouble too many of the remaining teams. They have some lovely forwards and a couple of very well balanced and skilled backs. An old man behind me said he never saw a kerry team inflict so much misery on itself. ,!!
Roscommon well deserved their victory today and hats off to them but as badly as Kerry played they should actually have beaten them. Before someone thinks its sour grapes its far from it. I said to my lads they don’t deserve the victory full stop, shocking kick passing and the tactical approach was quiet frankly bewildering. Kerry kicked high ball against a gale and in the second half they tried to run the ball with a storm from behind blowing between the posts on the Roscommon keeper. In the second half BJ. Keane was woeful along with too many of the Kerry starting fifteen.
Kerry will do well to qualify if the returnees don’t shake the ground with skill or reputation. Quiet frankly my main concern is the result and chaos with the lack of options once the onset of the natural decay of age and injury bites into the guts of our team as the ridiculous demands of Championship dawns in, then the realistic options of available top drawer players to Fitzy will prove problematic. Don’t get me wrong I still believe we have the ability to trouble anyone of thr top teams but there is that realisation that we need the marriage of the future with the present and it doesn’t seem to be there. I believe this current team are quiet a magnificent team and I would not be surprised if they pull it out of the fire, but their hands will be burned and the scars will hamper any opportunity to return for the remainder of the decade ,,
Last week I saw the saliva dripping from the mouths of the Dublin subs to get a run, today I saw Fitzmaurice guessing as to what his options were, strange times. In three weeks we will have plenty of players to tipp the scales but we are now in a real dog fight to kep the nostrils over the ever increasing waves…
Roscommon deserved their win but in a strange way it might be the making of my team in 2016. Perhaps Eamon Fitzmaurice will realised that proven warriors need to be here to break the line, after its broken the youngsters will drive it on.
Nostrils are flaring and I pity Down as I think there is a major point to prove,, but maybe I’m living in hope!!
Good performance from Mayo considering the players we were missing. Our defence and midfield look like they will be sound for championship. If Cillian O’C doesn’t get back to fitness we will be in bother up front. Aidan O’Shea needs to pull his socks up!
I seen some great talent between Templenoe and St. Marys. Think ye will be alright from those. Bit tougher for the returnees from injuries, most were operations and were several established players.
I think depends more on a push on from younger crew to survive in league for Kerry. Returnees from injury wont be fit till likely May you would think. Which I guess tallies with what you’re saying. Spillanes certainly look top quality.
I agree with toto,we are very quick to criticise players or management,and as someone who was always shouting when I was younger I now realise we dont have the information that the management have in relation to player injuries or fitness,as regards this team and management ,I fully believe that in over fifty years of watching Mayo I have never seen a etter panel of players,some outstanding players over the years but never as many as we have now,so hopefully they get over the line this year
Too true, Corick Bridge – sadly, in the world we now live in everyone seems too quick to rush out criticisms of everything. Informed criticism is never a bad thing but this constant shoot-from-the-hip, often in total ignorance of the facts, is more than a bit wearing.
Twas first time i saw a mayo team defend well as a unit. Not a sniff of a goal chance was given up. Both sets of forwards did not set the world alight on saturday due to slippy underfoot conditions and good defending.
Aiden o shea got one ball in second half and was swamped by defenders. The free was given against him. If he was the full back and swamped by forwards in similar circumstance he would have got a free. Its funny sometimes how decisions go. Instead of bursting for goal he should burst out the other way and lay the ball off to support forwards coming in. He has a major habit[ that probably goes back to under 12 ] of wanting to burst through and over play the ball. Its not critisism its only observation. Hopefully coaching will get our forward unit in working order.
3 weeks till next match and it wont be easy. It never is against Donegal. Michael Murphy runs the show and is top class. Its good that rochy is working on getting defence sorted. For me i think we have the players for a Donegal style approach. Diarmuid. Kevin. Lee. These are guys who have massey ferguson 165 engines and can run all day long. Couple that with the speed of durcan and higgins breaking fast we could put a great system in place. There were glimpses of it the other night.
Setanta sports analysed Cian o sullivans role in the dublin team and how well he anchors the defence. His decision making and on field leadership is outstanding.
Mcguinness knew he did not have the resources dublin or kerry had so he had to get the best out of what was available. Rochford i believe has a great bunch of guys and now its up to him and his coaching staff to do the same …..
I was behind the goal at the game and O’Shea was barging with the ball that is why it was a free out. But the other Mayo forwards tended to stop and watch him rather than run in and support. Mayo only kept the score low because of the blanket defence, but its a double edged sword when you need to support your forwards.
you are right that there are many young players snapping on the edge of greatness but for some reason they are not getting a run, I think the kerry management should think outside of the box and develop some kind of a system that garners the opportunity to these exciting players and try to develop their talent so as to allow them to dovetail into the competition levels of the inter county levels and hope they can go on to be major players at that level.
Radio Kerry is a good barometer of the Kingdom for the mindset regarding the senior teams performance, it is available on podcast and to be fair it’s a very balanced opinion of the games played and the state of Kerry football.. Terrace Talk is a programme that goes out on a Monday night between 6 and 8 pm after each county game and is very insightful. It also captures the hangover of the bewildered, the optimistic and the hopeful,, smashing stuff !!!
TOO MANY LEVELS !!! before the grammar hawks swoop ,,
Only saw highlights this time but I have mixed opinions on Conor OS. In his championship debut he displayed a lot of the attributes you would like to see, 2 footed, pacy and big. Many here said he wasn’t effective but as I recall weather was crap and Rossies put 15 behind the ball. But then Andy Moran came on the field and showed the value of experience and pure focus on winning the game. Big contrast.
Then COS got no meaningful chance in last year’s league. Saw the county final and thought his workrate wasn’t high enough though some here said he displayed a never say die attitude in that game so maybe I didn’t recognise his full contribution. He put up a big score in an earlier club league game and no doubt can be a handful. Then good game vs Cork and critics here. Main point I think is the lad could do with a run of games, he could flourish. Faster and perhaps with more training fitter than his 2 brothers so definitely an asset to the panel.
In contrast none of our 3 lefties in the top corner have stood up albeit Regan had bad luck with injury before and we need to see Loftus in action. Andy Moran will probably leap frog them all if he regains championship fitness this year. Sweeney is probably just too small for any bad weather game. Kevin Mc can also be put top corner if none emerge as we can push Keith or Donie up into forwards into his position because of more backs emerging. Is Douglas pacy enough for left corner forward? Kirby may be better option as he’s big. Will Freeman get a chance to hold them from taking the other corner?
Do we need a kicking coach, Buckley great in most aspects of coaching but our shooting was sharpest in 2012 with Cian O Neill as coach.