Mayo 1-12 Dublin 0-14: Boland’s beaut snatches long-awaited success over the Dubs

We’ve all got the scars from all those matches where we’ve lost out to Dublin by a single point. Games we could have won, games we should have won, but didn’t. Tonight, in a game where we didn’t play all that well for much of the time, it was finally our turn to snatch victory at the death. And sweet it tasted too.

In that frantic finale, we both had chances to win it but both teams spurned decent opportunities. Dublin’s final five attempts at the posts all went wide and we missed decent chances for points too. But then deep into injury time, Ryan O’Donoghue was fouled way over by the far touchline and, eschewing a shot at the posts, he squared it to the unmarked Fergal Boland who was in a central position well within range. The roof nearly came off the stand at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park when the Aghamore man drove it over to seal the win.

We lined out for this game as selected. Dublin made two changes to the team they’d named in advance, with Theo Clancy starting for Eoin Murchan, while Colm Basquel started instead of Lorcan O’Dell.

The first half could best be described as a game of two quarters. Dublin dominated the opening one but we pretty much took over in the second quarter, eliminating the four-point lead they had built up, as the teams went in level at half-time.

They got the scoreboard moving first, Costello pointing a close-in free after Fenton was fouled. We responded with a nice score from play, Jack Carney hoisting the leather high into the night sky and over.

From early on, Dublin sat deep and worked the ball fast through the hands when they won possession. Our first few balls in were turned over and soon Dublin’s dominance was reflected on the board. Points from play by Fenton, off his left, O’Callaghan and the lively McCaffrey gave them a three-point cushion.

So far, so familiar for this fixture. Dublin were moving sweetly through the gears while we chased shadows. On the bacon factory end terrace, the Dubs starting up singing, as, with just ten minutes played, Conor Reid was called ashore due to injury to be replaced by Donnacha McHugh.

Ryan O’Donoghue took a shot that didn’t have the distance. At the other end Costello was fouled and the ball was moved up for dissent. Straight in front of the posts form 14 yards out, the Whitehall player stroked it over.

We desperately needed to get some kind of toe-hold in this contest. Too slow to get the ball up the field and seemingly with no clear idea how to break down the deep-lying Dublin defence, it was hard to see how we were going to get back into it.

But we did, roaring back strongly in the second quarter. Our ball movement became faster, we ran at them through the middle and we began to give the umpires something to do.

A long-range free, aided by the wind, from Colm Reape yielded our second score of the evening. They scored next, when Bob Tuohy lost possession and Jack McCaffrey profited from the mistake to score.

Two frees from Ryan O’Donoghue were followed by a super effort from play by Paul Towey and suddenly we were only a point in arrears. Then Bob Tuohy hooked over a point from a tight angle, having done really well to claim a high ball in, and we were back all-square.

Two good points on the run from the industrious Seán Bugler restored a two-point advantage for the visitors. We then made our second switch, also enforced, with Stephen Coen coming on for Eoghan McLaughlin.

Two scores from Ryan O’Donoghue hauled us level at the break. The first was a cracking outside of the boot effort that fizzed over the bar, the second was a free after Aidan O’Shea had been fouled, with Dublin’s Lee Gannon picking up a yellow for his troubles.

The second half began much like the first, with Dublin in total control of proceedings, as they quickly re-established a three-point cushion. O’Hanlon, from a free brought up for some reason, drove it over from the ’45 and then Paddy Small landed an in-swinging free over from out on the right.

Costello got their next one from play but this one looked suspiciously wide on the right-hand side. Fergal Kelly consulted his umpires, the Dublin fans on the terrace behind bellowing loudly at the officials, and the score stood.

Three times in quick succession we tried dinked balls inside that were gobbled up by the Dublin blanket. It had all the look then of it being another deeply frustrating night for us.

We brought Tommy Conroy on for Paul Towey, showing a desire to run at them, and Fergal Boland took up that refrain with a great burst that saw him fouled by the flailing cover. Aidan, however, ballooned the free miles wide.

Then, out of nowhere, came the goal that altered the game’s trajectory. Diarmuid O’Connor wasn’t on tonight’s playing panel but this was a typical Diarmuid goal, with Stephen Coen his unlikely stand-in for it. Jordan Flynn was shooting for a point but his effort was marginally short and Stevie attacked the ball as it dropped from the sky and directed it to the net.

Now we had a whole different ball game. Dublin were far from finished but increasingly we looked like the team with the greater desire to win it.

A Costello free hauled them level. Then Aidan was fouled for the umpteenth time and, on yet another night when he found it hard to buy a free, this one was given. Ryan edged us back in front.

Back came Dublin, though, to get the next two scores, both from play. Murphy got the first one and O’Callaghan the second and now it was the Dubs with their noses back in front.

But, with eleven minutes playing time still to go (including the four minutes of added time), the visitors had done all the scoring they were going to do tonight. We hadn’t finished, however, and the brace of scores we bagged coming down the stretch won it for us.

Fergal was central to both points. Another surge from him drew the foul from which Ryan pointed the leveller. Then came all those wides – five for them and two for us – before the thrilling denouement in which we snatched the spoils.

Two points from two outings is a cracking start to this National League campaign for us. While we’re not sure of our top tier status for next year just yet, we’re a hell of a lot surer of this than most of the other teams in the division. It’s a great situation for us to be in at this stage of the year.

And beating the Dubs, at long last in Castlebar, is great too, all the more so because we won without playing all that well for long stretches. Winning, as we know, is a habit and getting a win on our home turf against a team that has beaten us so often at the venue is a real shot in the arm for Kevin McStay’s improving side.

Tonight’s match was a big test for us, one we’ve passed. After next weekend’s break, the following weekend sees us facing another searching examination, in the form of a trip to Tralee, where the Cliffords are sure to be coming out of hibernation for Kerry. Following tonight’s win, that’s a game we’ll now face into in fine fettle.

Mayo: Colm Reape (0-1, free); Jack Coyne, Rory Brickenden, Sam Callinan; Paddy Durcan, David McBrien, Eoghan McLaughlin; Jordan Flynn, Jack Carney (0-1); Conor Reid, Fergal Boland (0-1), Bob Tuohy (0-1); Aidan O’Shea, Paul Towey (0-1), Ryan O’Donoghue (0-7, six frees). Subs: Donnacha McHugh for Reid, Stephen Coen (1-0) for McLaughlin, Tommy Conroy for Towey, Cillian O’Connor for O’Shea, Diarmuid Duffy for Tuohy.

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

  • Paddy Durcan (29%, 717 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (19%, 456 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (17%, 424 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (12%, 286 Votes)
  • Sam Callinan (4%, 101 Votes)
  • David McBrien (4%, 88 Votes)
  • Rory Brickenden (3%, 62 Votes)
  • Jack Coyne (2%, 55 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (2%, 54 Votes)
  • Colm Reape (2%, 45 Votes)
  • Bob Tuohy (2%, 37 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (1%, 32 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (1%, 17 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Donnacha McHugh (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Diarmuid Duffy (0%, 11 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (0%, 8 Votes)
  • Conor Reid (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (0%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,151

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30 thoughts on “Mayo 1-12 Dublin 0-14: Boland’s beaut snatches long-awaited success over the Dubs

  1. Wasn’t it nice to see that we gave Dublin no goal chances but grabbed one ourselves? How many times have we had the extra possession/ territory but got sucker-punched by their goals?

    I thought defence was good overall tonight. Of course Dublin will get scores at times.. they have quality players! However, if you think about it, how many times did they cut us open?

    Sam Callinan was very good btw.

    However, the key concern is up front as always. We rely too heavily on ROD to crest runs and space in the FF line and to a lesser extent TC. But we need more options in the FF line- we need another ROD!

    Still, let’s be happy with 3 wins out of 4 against the Dubs.

    Also, they weren’t really any better than us tonight. They got off to the better start in both halves..but ultimately you have to turn your possession in to scores and they did not do enough of that-they were wasteful enough tbh …and paid the price.

    Just because a team plays the ball sideways around the pitch more than the other team doesn’t necessarily make them the better team. It’s about converting that possession in to scores.

    Still one more nippy FF please!

  2. Got the win happy. As I said loads thought we be hammered out the gate.

    Loads said only league does it matter?

    Mates in Dublin are like ye are our voodoo of football nearly laughed at that haha

    -fergal Boland really deserves some credit with more game time he could be some player for us. Came back after being dropped last year people said he played well only cause Galway were shite last week… Goes and scores the wining point tonight where Dublin shite tonight??……

    Reape still did we number 1 over he hennelly for me anyway.

  3. And yet, there were people up in arms before tonight, saying that Fergal isn’t good enough, and even after the game ,they don’t want him near the championship 15. Ya can’t win.

  4. Another game won with no goals conceded.
    The importance if ever we needed reminding of minding the house at all times.
    No goal chances coughed up tonight but we were open at the back for Fentons point early on. There was a man free inside if Fenton had spotted him. Management take note.

    Brickenden showed well again and he will get better with games. Definitely adds something to the back line I feel.

    A word on Towey. That’s 0-03 from play for him in less than 70 minutes of football. Plenty of improvement to come from him and a good panel addition for us.

    We’re going in the right direction. Not many of us apart from Corick bridge would have said we’d have 4 points from 2 games. The main thing for me was sorting the number 6 spot and stopping teams running through the middle of us. So far so good in that respect.
    Much to ponder and work to do but there are more positives than negatives

  5. A very pleasing result but quite a rough ride to get there. First 20 minutes it looked like we were going to get run over but fair play to the lads they dug in and got us back in it.
    The goal was the winning of the game and was typical of the type we usually concede to the Dubs. 4 points and a long awaited win at home v Dubs so can’t complain. Lots to work on in the two weeks before Kerry game and a few players to come back into action so in decent shape for first week in February.

  6. Really worried about our lack of a player to unlock a defence. Had to do back to hard running half back, and midfielder to get us out of trouble. How many 30 yard passes were intercepted by dublin sweeper. Bob caught one in first half. But a real worry, not been able to pick a pass, and then for our forward to gain possession from those passes. Good new was thought Reape solid kick out, Paddy is a born leader. Late in second half, we were pinned in, in our defence, paddy put on after burners and drove 60 yards up field, pressure off, attack started. Jack Carney done well, and alot to like about this guy, reminds me D’OC. Ryan, done well, sweet point from play. Fergal alot quieter tonight, but goes home hero. Waiting for Jordan do show us his undoubted talent, as we going to need him to show it if this going to be a long year.

  7. On Jordan,he needs to be moved back to no.12. Right half doesn’t suit his kicking style. He has been brilliant cutting in off the left and arching over scores but fair play to management for looking at their options .
    Most of the long ball to the ff line was pretty decent,dry night,dry ball , don’t know why it wasn’t sticking,but definitely more movement is needed in there,more disguised runs and better understanding needs to be worked on.
    Having said that credit is due to the lads for hanging in there and carving out a win(somehow) but in fairness having missed 3 reasonable chances late on we were probably the more deserving.
    Also on Reape’s role as a meandering keeper I don’t get the palpitations I used to and as someone above said the body language of those around him tells a story. There is a very high level of trust evident there,and those are the lads that know. We still need Hennelly getting game time….but maybe not just yet.

  8. Overall you’ve got to be happy about this evening.
    The crucial aspect is we didn’t give any goal chance away against a Dublin side who clearly targeted this match. They came to play.

    Our defence was really excellent tonight and Kevin and Co have clearly focused on this over the past couple of months and well done to the team for executing the plan. Our teams of old always found ways to leak horribly soft goals. We’ll win sweet feck all doing that.

    Our attack needs to improve and we still lack forwards but I think priority is strengthening the defence. I’ll take that tonight.

  9. Great to dig out a win tonight, can’t recall the last time we’ve taken one we didn’t deserve, even better was Kevin’s injury update on the pod, all should be fighting fit for round 5

  10. Gwan Stevie Coen, was in main stand and thought ROD got it at the time. 4 sweet points in the bag. Always great to beat the Dubs, who look in serious shape. Boland again with a decent performance and clinical last strike. We outdone the Dubs tonight when we didn’t really deserve to win, but did anyway. Roar at the end was worth the entrance fee.

  11. Enda McGinley co-commentating tonight. Utter scour from a northerner who quite obvious has a dislike of the Mayo football team. Dublin were the better team…..how about we played bad, lots to work on, we played well below our ceiling tonight and still pulled out a win. Thoughts on the game, O Donoughue had a cracker, needs to protected for championship. I would rest him for the final few games if we are safe. Aidan O Shea not his best performance tonight. Any of those Mayo forwards would be a better option than him ballooning his free kick tonight. Let’s put someone new in there and use him as an impact sub with fresher legs. The quality of ball is not good enough and early enough for him to take advantage honestly I feel it’s no longer an option moving forward. He has strength but not the legs or the brains to get around his man. Perhaps younger legs and a more natural forward would yield better results in front of goal. Cillian is brewing back nicely, Boland and Towey just need more gametime. Same issues however we need two more forwards to make a breakthrough. Paddy Durcan brilliant tonight!!! I’d be happy enough another two wins should keep us safe. Let’s build for championship freshness this year.

  12. After 2 league game s.. it appears that the full forward line is not working. . Dublin were the better team on the night. They found pockets of space and showed much better for the ball than we done. For the first 20 minutes we stood off in awe of them. We will take the points bur there’s alot of work to be done. Again u will say Reape what the hell are you doing obviously under instruction. He will get caught out. It’s pure stupid. Callinan was very good. Coyne quiet compared to the galway game. Also mcbrien. Brickenden fair play he kicked forward not like alot of our lads going lateral and backwards. Paddy massive. Carney excellent Again. Flynn not at it tonight. Rod very good. Aos poor enough tonight. Cillian not the man he was. Age caught up. Tommy I’m not worried in the slightest about. Now is the time to see our problems. Towy. Touhy Reid. Struggled tonight. Boland got on alot of ball. May have struggled to get into the scoring zone at times but got a.fine point to win it. He has been excellent . The key is.. He can kick from distance.

  13. And the ref. I thought he was poor. Too panikity. Pulling for everything. . Gave soft free s to both sides. We missed diarmuid o Connor tonight. But the attention now turns away from the half forward line more towards the full forward line. We are just not making it stick in there. Whether it’s the ball going in or the personnel inside. Aos is just not a.natural full forward and everyone needs a target man inside to cut out the back and over stuff was surprised how fit Dublin were. We were a bit loose at the back at times. It’s just the way they found space and used it. I hate to say it but they played some lovely football especially Fenton and mccaffrey

  14. Craggy boglands. Bit unfair to single out Reid considering he was taken off with an injury after only 10 minutes

  15. Get it right. Did not single out anyone. Read the post again. Towy. Touhy Reid. Wheres the singular in that. I actually expected them to against the all Ireland champion s. That’s what the league is for. Getting lads in with the best and gain experience. Please try not to twist my post.

  16. We got lucky tonight, the Dubs should have been out of sight long before the end. However, we won and it’s points on the board. Kerry will take us out if we play like that again and I don’t see much that will take us the extra step in championship football. When other teams get up to speed that Mayo team are in trouble.

  17. I came out if McHale Park disappointed last night with the performance. I ended up watching the match back and still feel that the result papers over a number of significant cracks. One positive is that the defence definitely appears stronger than last year. We are trying to play more direct ball into the forward line but not working. The key decision to be made is do we revert to running game only or persevere with this as a tactic but make changes to those in the ff line.

    As others have said, we will know more about ourselves once we have been tested by Kerry and Derry in particular. Last year, we seemed to think that our league performances/approach would be good enough for the championship, we seemed to pick a team and almost go unchanged before wit was too late and gaps were exposed. If we learn the lessons from this year then we may actually perform better later in the season, it is just too early to know yet.

  18. Very pleased with the result, I know it wasn’t a spectacular performance, compared to our running game against Galway, but every game takes on its own style, a few direct balls was played into the forwards but was over turned or beaten to the ball which raised the question are we strong enough in there for the direct play up front,?? If we want to kick the odd ball direct inside In my opinion Aidan O Shea should be in there as I think we haven’t many more options ,but fair play a great result and well done, Hon Mayo

  19. Unfortunately, I think it’s time to look elsewhere other than A.O’ S. in the full forward line. Aidan, has been a wonderful servant to Mayo for the past 16 years and he owes us nothing, indeed it is us, the Mayo supporters who owes him, for the true dedication he has shown over the years, never flinching, never complaining, always willing to take up any role that was asked of him (Fullback against Donaghy for example). We need someone more mobile who can win position in the full forward line, is such a person out there in Mayo, I don’t know, perhaps you guys with more local knowledge have someone in mind.

    To finish, Aidan, you are not done yet and I am by no means writing you off, but I now think you can contribute much more from the bench, when things need a little bit of a shuffle.

  20. I think a fully fit James Carr and Tommy Conroy will relieve the likes of Cillian and Aido having to play that role, but at the moment we need contributions from both. Aiden made some mistakes last night as did Cillian but both are still crucial to our fortunes later in the Spring/Summer. Paul Towey will improve with game time and Diamuid coming back will give us more options. So no need for panic yet,carry on experimenting would be my hope.

  21. Absolutely 2 hops. For sure carry on experimenting. We are practically safe in division 1. Now let’s use this national league to get ourselves right for championship and for god sake try like every one else not to end up in a final. Nobody else as in real championship contenders wants it. So doc. Hessian. Ruane. Carr. To come back. Move on swiftly and keep trying different things. We know from last night where the problem s are.

  22. We will never win anything with a forward wo doesn’t contribute anything, he cannot score, cannot catch the ball even though he is the tallest man on the field, always gives the ball away, doesn’t have the stanima to get around the pitch, he would not get o on the bench on most intercounty teams, yet every manager keeps picking him, no prizes for guessing who he is, Tell me I’m wrong!!

  23. Great stuff last evening, It wasn’t pretty but we won the game. This just might be going in the right direction

  24. Watched recording :
    Too much of the ball into ff line were slow lumbering lobs which afforded opponent(s) the time to get a hand in – delive low ‘bullet-like instead.
    Lots of players in shooting positions but chose otherwise and recyled, why? That’s fine if we’re running down the clock but passing-the-parcel, to a worse placed colleague, when in need of scores, displays an inferiority.
    Have we any players capable of cutting a swathe through defences now and again, thereby negating sweepers.
    Despite the poor standard of football from Mayo they nonetheless displayed guts & character, when the game was there for the taking/keeping.

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