Mayo 1-19 Roscommon 0-14: the view from the top

When you win, the miles fly by. I’m not long back in the door having covered the guts of 500km travelling down to and back from Castlebar for this evening’s Round 3 NFL match against Roscommon but a productive trip it sure was.

There was a nice air of anticipation in the rapidly-filling stand at MacHale Park earlier tonight as the minutes ticked by ahead of the 7pm throw-in. This was an important fixture for both counties, with each having their own reasons for wanting to come out on top in this derby clash.

We made two changes ahead of the off. David Drake, as expected, didn’t start and Conor O’Shea came on for him, with Donal Vaughan dropping back to wing-back, Diarmuid O’Connor taking up a roving midfield role and Conor slotting in at half-forward. The second change saw Evan Regan line out at corner-forward instead of Jason Doherty, who didn’t tog at all, his jersey instead going to sub Adam Gallagher.

Right from the throw-in we were on top in this contest. I haven’t seen any possession stats for the game but it felt like we owned the ball all evening and I’d say that in the opening half we had at least 70% possession.

We snatched a bit too eagerly at the first openings we created, Evan Regan and Conor O’Shea shooting wide and Cillian O’Connor missing a fairly routine free as well.

Having fluffed our opening lines, it was maybe inevitable that it would be the visitors who’d draw first blood. A point from play from Shane Killoran opened their account for the evening.

Andy Moran popped over our first point of the night in reply but Roscommon responded with two more scores into the Albany end. Three attacks, three points for them – an economy of effort that contrasted with our early huffing and puffing.

But then we took a python-like grasp on proceedings and over the next fifteen minutes or so we dominated the exchanges more or less completely. ‘Twas men agin’ boys in this spell.

Eight points on the trot we knocked over during this period. I counted six restarts in a row by Roscommon that we claimed, as we poured forward repeatedly and with effect.

Cillian knocked over the first two, both from play. Fergal Boland then cut through to fire us ahead (for keeps as it turned out) and, after a Cillian free, Fergal rounded off a glorious move to push us three clear.

Jason Gibbons came galloping through the middle to add another one. Then Cillian lobbed one in over the stranded ‘keeper who’d undercooked his restart and was lucky to see Cillian’s pot shot fly over rather than under his unguarded goal.

The last score in this flurry was the best of the lot. Diarmuid O’Connor was almost sent spinning by a robust Rossie tackle out on the right wing but instead he stumbled back, recovered his footing and hooked a glorious shot from long range over the bar.

They finally lifted the siege, via a Donie Smith point, but two black cards in quick succession then followed, with Shane Killoran and Colm Boyle both exiting the contest early. The Rossies were already down to the bare bones in midfield as a result but we had the luxury of replacing Boyler with Lee Keegan, the Footballer of the Year joining the fray to a rapturous welcome.

They cut the gap to four but then further points from us, by Donal Vaughan and Conor O’Shea restored our six-point advantage. That was the lead we held at the break but we had David Clarke to thank for this, as he got down twice in as many minutes just before the short whistle to pull off two incredible point-blank saves.

The big Ballina man scooped another ball to safety soon after the restart but minutes later his opposite number was plucking the leather from the net at the other end of the field. This was from a penalty emphatically converted by Cillian, after Evan Regan had been hauled down in the square as he bore down on goal.

When Kevin McLoughlin pointed soon after, it took our lead into double digits. It was obvious then, with not much less than half an hour still on the clock, that the Rossies knew the game was up.

The pace slackened visibly from there to the finish but we still kept on adding to our total, as the Rossies did to theirs. The lead oscillated between seven and ten points, finally ending the night on an eight-point margin in our favour.

It was the subs who got in on the act in the scoring stakes for us in that second half. Lee Keegan – who looked like he was really relishing being back in the thick of things at county level – raided forward to thump over two great points. Brendan Harrison, appearing for the first time this year as a replacement for Donal Vaughan, showed he has more in his locker than All-Star defensive talents by knocking over two points of his own from play. Conor Loftus proved a thorn in the visitors’ side following his introduction for Andy Moran and he too banged two over the bar before the finish.

We won this one pulling up, a victory that hoists us temporarily to the top of Division One. While that fact is something to be welcomed, what was better was how many good performances we saw in tonight’s game.

David Clarke was, quite simply, magnificent between the sticks tonight. He made four separate one-on-one saves over the course of the seventy minutes, stops that he made look routine but were anything but. Like vintage wine, our All-Star ‘keeper gets better with each passing year.

The tricky Rossie forwards gave as good as they got to our backline, a defensive unit that wasn’t really as tight as it will need to be when facing sterner tests than this evening’s. Where they were great, though, was in initiating lightning fast attacks from the rear, with Keith Higgins, Paddy Durcan, Stephen Coen, Brendan Harrison and Lee Keegan all combining to take the battle to the Rossies. Shane Nally shored up our defence nicely when he was introduced.

Jason Gibbons put in a really solid shift at midfield where we coped without Tom Parsons and Danny Kirby without any trouble. Diarmuid O’Connor – who finally looks back to his old self – was busy and inventive and in the thick of it all evening.

Fergal Boland had his best evening yet in a Mayo jersey. The more I see of the Aghamore dynamo the more I think he could be in this team for keeps. He adds a lovely touch of unpredictable devilment to our attack and for a small, light guy he showed tonight he can take the hits and can give them too.

Cillian’s three exquisite points from play provided welcome proof that he doesn’t solely contribute to the scoreboard from placed balls. He made a fair few scores for us tonight too.

Things didn’t really work out tonight for Andy Moran, Conor O’Shea or Evan Regan (for different reasons – in Andy’s case because he couldn’t buy a free all night despite being dragged back every time the ball was sent into him) but their workrate can’t be faulted. Evan would surely have goaled had he not been hauled to the floor for the penalty that Cillian then dispatched.

Conor Loftus provided us with a different outlet in attack and it’d be good to see the Crossmolina man get plenty of game time between now and summer. I’ve a feeling he’ll blossom in attack if given the chance.

Overall, then, there was plenty to like about tonight’s performance. It sets us up nicely for the next hurdle facing us in this year’s League campaign, our return to HQ this night week to take on our All-Ireland final nemesis. Dublin continue to set the standard in football right now so we’ll see just how well we’re really progressing this year when we lock horns with the champions at Croke Park. Another compelling tussle, I reckon, awaits us then.

Mayo: David Clarke; Donie Newcombe, Keith Higgins, Paddy Durcan; Stephen Coen, Colm Boyle, Conor O’Shea (0-1); Donal Vaughan (0-1), Jason Gibbons (0-1); Fergal Boland (0-2), Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1); Andy Moran (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (1-4, penalty goal and one free), Evan Regan (0-1). Subs: Lee Keegan (0-2) for Boyle (black card), Conor Loftus (0-2) for Moran, Brendan Harrison (0-2) for Vaughan, Shane Nally for Boland, Michael Plunkett for O’Shea, Liam Irwin for Regan.

Post-match audio report:

Man of the Match poll:

Who was our MOTM against Roscommon?

  • David Clarke (54%, 334 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (10%, 64 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (10%, 59 Votes)
  • Jason Gibbons (9%, 58 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (5%, 34 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (3%, 17 Votes)
  • Donie Newcombe (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Evan Regan (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Liam Irwin (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Conor O'Shea (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Shane Nally (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 621

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97 thoughts on “Mayo 1-19 Roscommon 0-14: the view from the top

  1. A very strong contribution from the likes of Boland and Loftus. Great to see the bear let loose. Won a difficult ball and laid it off.
    Dublin now a great test.

  2. Ah that was nice ! Rossies were very poor . A lot to work on for Mayo like wide count and a bit open down the middle at times but that’s not for to night . Positives was the win and bench got a run . Well done to all . We are just home in our mid land base . Think few pints in order

  3. Positives:- we pretty much dominated the play, got some nice scores.

    Negatives:- 15/16 wides! Some shocking ones really. Opened up by ros twice for goal scoring chances before HT. In the 3rd quarter Conor devanney had two goal chances but took two points instead. A better team would have scored 2/3 goals if given those chances.

    Boland has a very fine evening.

    Conor o Shea had a good first half, arguably his best ever for Mayo but lost his way in the 2nd, fumbling the ball twice and losing possession.

    Gibbons, decent first half. Faded 2nd.

    Regan, worked his socks off in fairness. Had some good moments and some not so good. When he won the ball he seems to lack that burst of pace to escape the clutches of the defender.

    Loftus looked useful when introduced. Some good scores but also a bit rusty which is excusable given he hasn’t played in a while. Irwin too, not on long enough to judge but showed his ability to win possession. Didn’t see enough of Plunkett to judge his performance but good for these lads to get a run.

    I thought Nally did very well when he came on. Won 3 50/50 balls. Very impressive.

    Newcombe had a tough night on Donie Smith. I felt Smith won that battle.

    I was amazed to see Keegan involved. Can’t understand how he wouldn’t benefit from a months rest? Am I missing something here!?

    The Ros forwards showed glimpses of their threat, getting some excellent points in the last 20 mins and we’d need a tighter defensive showing if we meet them in the summer. They created as many if not more goal scoring chances on far less possession than us and were able to kick some fine scores, efforts which some of our fellas were putting wide. This for me was the biggest disappointment on a night where we dominated the middle third. Ros really struggled out the field.

    Not sure how to feel coming away from tonight. Nice to win but it was frustrating at times. We missed a lot and didn’t score a goal from play despite owning possession.

  4. Well done Mayo. Nice to pick up two more points. To win playing poorly is always a nice position to be in. Roscommon unbelievably poor tho. If we had a more potent attackers we would have registered a cricket score. Dublin is going to be a totally different animal. Lets see our lads have a right go at them next weekend.

  5. One sided game tonight. Ross are a 2nd div team at best. Very little to be learned. But David Clarke again showed why he was awarded an all star. Superb in everything he did. The 2 O’Connors pulled the strings all night. Both of them operating throughout the field. Donal V starting to get fit and had a good game also Jason in midfield. Kevin mac busy around the 40. Boland is a class footballer. Stylish and clever. Andy has that ability to step past his marker but was fouled all night. Loftus showed ability in the short time he was on the field. Lovely point. Even R has not matched his early promise unfortunately.

  6. Did anyone ever think that maybe Keegan doesn’t want a rest??
    Boland must be a nailed down starter. Techniques, awareness of space and a lovely weight on his passes. Loftus and Conor O’Shea are putting heat on Doherty for his spot (not before time) and Cillian must be on the 40.
    Things taking shape in a very different attacking style, more like the Crossmaglen and Corofin styles under both McEntee and Rochford.
    Now, for the Jackeens.

  7. There was a massive gap between in teams in terms of play and yet ros still scored 14 pts…As Mayonaze mentioned already O Shea did well in 1 st half but you’d be pulling your hair out at times with some of his decisions on the ball..Gibbons was great in midfield considering he’s been out for so long..The buzz around Mc Hale Pk when Lee came on was brilliant..He’s some man to come on after the week he’s had..Interesting test in Croker coming up..we will know more after that than we do tonight..

  8. Nice display. Clearly things to improve on, let Roscommon in little too easily at times. Satisfied with it though. One more win and I feel we will be safe. Boland a nice player, a good find. No big predictions at this stage but we are going in he right direction. Roscommon on the other hand looked pretty much off he pace. I think they will get to a Connaught final but the goal surely for them is a quarter final place , on tonight’s evidence I can’t see them getting that far.

  9. 15 sides….sheesh!! Far from perfect and hard to judge it given the opposition but it’s two points and that’s a good thing. Leeroy and Harrison two apiece also. The younger fellas showed well I thought. The rossies support was very poor, although in fairness, they didn’t have a lot to shout about. Anyway a wins a win as they say and we’ll know more about ourselves after Croke Park.

  10. I’m a huge fan of Diarmuid but he looked like he only had 3 gears rather than 5! Great to see him back snd to get a game under his belt. He was out on feet with 10 mins to go.

    Pebbles:- management, medical team etc should decide when a player is to play. I’m no expert in this area at all but one would assume that Keegan having had zero break, since last Spring, would require one whether he wanted it or not.

    Also, as someone playing club football in Galway for many years, Corofin have had a style long before Rochford managed them. He was a very good manager for them but didn’t change much about their play. When he took the job they were already the dominant force in the county and they still are, although their star is waning.

    Anyway back to tonight…we played some lovely free flowing football but it’s the wide count that concerns me, you simply cannot gloss over 16 wides.

    Also, where was the Roscommon support? It’s like they’ve turned their back on this team? Ros looked like a team that doesn’t care about the league.

  11. Good win but we weren’t up against much. Two o Connors very good, boland and loftus excellent. Regan not great, I think he might be running out of time to be honest. When we don’t employ the sweeper we are quite porous down the middle but our attack functions much better. This is the big test for Rochford, figuring this out. I think the answer will probably be playing a deep lying midfielder who drops back when the other team has the ball, to get this right we need our two first choice midfielders playing together game after game so can hopefully develop later in the year.

  12. The only reason Lee Keegan played tonight is because Lee Keegan wanted to play tonight. There would have been zero pressure from the management and the decision was purely his. Sligo must be feeling very positive about having the Rossies at home in the championship. How nice was it to have the player of the year to replace Boyle when he got the black card, I think I actually saw Conor Devaney’s arsehole fall out of his shorts. Bolands pass to Cillian for the goal chance in the second half was sublime and he seems to be a genuine promise.

  13. Solid win by the team this evening. While I voted for Clarke who had a stormer, special mentions must also go to Paddy, Diarmuid, Fergal and Cillian. I am delighted to see Conor and Liam get a run. Those valuable points will help gives these lads more game time. As for Lee. He was itching to get going. A positive win!

  14. Great win for the lads tonight.
    I hope the debate is over now once and for all ,who should play between the posts.
    Lets have no nonsense about that any more.
    Clarke is as tough as nails and is a born leader.

    onwards and upwards.

  15. Good Win but Roscommon were deplorable. Boland has really put down a marker and will play Championship this year. Brendan Harrisson looked every bit the Allstar. Donie Newcombe had a tough night but all part of the learning curve at this level. Midfield was dominant. Conor mixed the good and bad but kept trying.

    Stephen Coen was very disappointing yet again. Conor Devaney took him for three points from play in 2nd half. Moved onto No. 23 who also kicked a point from play. He needs some time on the pine as he has had two years without a break.

    Also slightly worrying the amount of times David Clarke called into action.

    Can’t wait for Croke Park, time to break the streak !

  16. If Lee wants to regain his player of the year does he not have to have played a certain amount of games?

  17. Happy birthday Keith
    What an athlete and example to younger team mates. Briliant toniight as was
    F Boland andD Cllarke Great to see lk bh and cl back in action Well done to all the lads
    Best of luck nexf saturday!

  18. @mayonaze very good snopysis of the highs and lows of tonights performance. I would not argue with anyone of your points.
    I thought it was one of Cillian O Connors best games in a while. Maybe centre half forward is his best position but hes positioning and distribution of ball was way better. Seemed to enjoy his game tonight too, no cynical fouling, which was creeping into his game. Newcome never came to grips with Shine resulting in Clarke getting MOM performance

  19. The performance of the management shod come under some spotlight. Their task not getting any easier as these young guns put it up to more established players.
    So would jim Gavinand co. have managed things much differently? The main difference imo is that he would have introduced subs earlier. The Newcombe / Shine battle was crying out for a fix. Also Andy Moran was overworked and could have been substituted early second half. The positive for me was that all substitues made significant impact when introduced. Irwins intro in the 67 minute was way too late.
    Players are going to have to get used to earlier substitutions as our bench strengthens. Thats the way the game is played nowadays

  20. Well done to the lads. It was great to get the win tonight. I was delighted to see us producing a bit of quality up front. Roll on the Dubs!

  21. – Decent Div 1 team versus poor Div 2 outfit and Div 2 is where the Rossies will be for 2018.
    – By the time they had 5 points on the board this also had 5 cards (4 yellows and 1 black)
    – Gibbons had a good work out, Higgins went thru some amount of ball, COC all over the field as usually, Loftus nice few touches, Evan tried hard but I and others have said many time previously he does not have the physical power to win his own ball. Boland went for his scores and got them, starting to nail down a place for himself. I wonder is COS a better sub than starter as he did okay at the start but fumbled a lot of ball as the game went on.
    – Conor Devaney kicked 3 great points but no one marking him ?? , Enda Smyth got a few superb points as well.
    – I think our guys had half a eye on next Saturday night in Croker and as a result were playing well within themselves to avoid injury etc.
    – Leeroy got the best point of the night, unreal and he has been celebrating ahem all week …and rightly so
    – Back to the clip boards for the McStay/McHale, will be interesting to see if they revert to the reverse basketball game they played against Galway in the Connacht Finals last year.
    – As for us it’s to headquarters again to face the Dubs who have to travel to Ballybofey tomorrow so they have one less rest day and a bit of traveling to do for a change.

  22. First point is Roscommon were woeful but that’s for them to worry about.

    We played well at times especially in ist half when we moved the ball very well and kicked some excellent scores.

    It was great to see Keegan Harrision and Loftus back and all did excellent.
    Clarke was outstanding again.higgins was good.gibbons did well in midfield.
    Boland was top notch again as was the two o Connor brothers.

    Negative was we conceded 14 points against a poor team and Clarke made some great saves again but we are missing defenders and trying a few things so maybe that is to expected.

    2 wins from 3 is excellent and takes the pressure of playing the Dubs next weekend!
    Onwards and upwards!

  23. brillant result.i think cillian should play closer into goal.he would be far more dangerous and is a top finisher.we need to score goals from play and convert more of our chances.ANDY is only a 40 minute man any more.the young players need to get more game time in the league.IT SEEMS that rob hennelly will be the reserve keeper this year .if so S.R. needs to give him game time in the league because david clarke may get injured.i would play rob after the dublin game.i am really forward heading to croker next saturday.

  24. Valuable two points, but lets face it Roscommon were very poor. The Dublin game next week will answer a lot of questions, 1. Where Donie Newcombe is at this level, 2. If Ger Cafferkey dosent regain his previous form, when he returns from injury, are we in trouble, 3. Why do teams cause us so much trouble through the middle of our defence, 4. [Deleted]. Here a lot of people saying Fergal Boland is too light, well for what it’s worth he’s the most exciting player that has emerged for some time, the belts he took this evening and with little protection from the ref, were unreal, and he just sprung up and got on with it was a joy to watch.

  25. Well done Mayi this evening. Going in the right direction. Lots of out lads played well. It’s a good.time now to take on the Dubs. Should be a good one. Really looking forward to it.
    The Rossies were awful tonight. I thought they totally lacked interest and passion when they should have been trying to right the result of our last meeting. Not a happy camp.

  26. Hard to read to much into that result as sheepstealers were so poor. The positives for me: Harrison slotted back in nicely. Got 2 great scores aswell. Keith very good at full back. Gibbons very good after long lay off. Both O’Connors very good on the ball. Clarke was solid as expected. Boland and Loftus will be championship starters. Both are very smart on the ball. Think Loftus got 2 points after coming on. I know the game was over but he got more change from mcinnerney than Andy did.

  27. Evan Regan is still young and deserves a chance, he needs time and a run in the team, very talented footballer, ask any club corner back.

  28. I voted for D Clarke, what a performance big fella. Roscommon were woeful. Boys v Men for sure. Hope they stay in Div 1 though. We need a more competitive connacht. Very happy with Gibbons COS Boland Loftus and Nally. Harrison this time last year was the nearly, maybe man. Just look at him now.

  29. Cillian has flourished out around the 40 in the last two games and is actually having a much greater influence in that area. He probably hasn’t the sheer pace to prosper in the full forward line and as far as i can recall, it been a while since he wracked a decent score from play. He came very close from scoring a gem of a goal after being played in by Boland. Such vision!
    One other observation, but I thought some of the kick passing was top-drawer. Before throw in, the Mayo team was out on the pitch early and had some very impressive kick passing drills. I suspect this is something that is being looked at by management. The ability to move the ball at greater speed into the scoring areas. Great to see this Mayo team evolve!

  30. Great result. I voted for Jason Gibbons as well. After such a long lay off it was a serious performance to put in especially as he was on his own as a specialist midfielder. Ros we’re pure muck but hey that’s not out fault. Onwards and upwards.

  31. … for the first time in years I actually feel that we have a decent bench! We now have 20 + players rather than just a good starting 15. Can someone tell me where Seamus, Aidan, Ger, Alan, Danny, Adam, Jason, Shane, etc are going to fit in??!!

  32. Some very encouraging performances. Great majority of scores came from play. Cillians 3 points from play in the first half really stood out along with Fergal Boland. Jason Gibbons gave a great all round display in the first half, dominating midfield and covering back. faded a bit in the 2nd half which can be expected after being out for so long. A lot more foot passing in the forwards which is an improvement, Boland has a velvet touch in this department. One pass to Cillian in particular was sublime The wide count needs to improve but again it was down to shot selection, Conor o shea, Patrick Durcan and Evan Regan the main culprits for me. Lotus looked very assured when he came on. Great to see some of the injured players coming back. Over the panel is coming together nicely, definitely strength in depth, plenty of competition. counting todays match day squad, 27 if we include Adam gallagher a late entry and still this evening without the two Shea’s, Tom Parson, Barry Moran, Kirby, Alan Dillon, Reape, Douglas, Barrett, Cafferkey, o Donoghue, Michael Hall, Ger McDonagh and for the season kevin keane. Thats still nearly 40 players.
    Rochford has some tough decisions ahead when he decides to trim, there is few players that need to get on the pitch rapid or i came see the younger players passing them by. Ger McDonagh and Caolan Crowe in particular never seen to be able to get on the pitch, Barrett too is always struggling with injuries this time of year.

  33. People saying Keegan needs a rest is silly. He has played 2 games in 2017. He had da same time off as other lads before Xmas as most clubs played till December in 1 form or another. He’s a unbelievable athlete and if he wanted play and our medical team & mangement thought he was able to then wats da problem. All of a sudden people are experts in rest & recovery.

  34. Mayo kop 5 – you can’t simply state that named players aren’t county standard so I’ve excised that claim from your comment. It’s okay to critique players but you have to provide specific examples to support your claim when doing so. In other words, you need to perform at a higher standard.

  35. A good performance, but Roscommon were woeful and that needs to be said for perspective. The match against Dublin will give a better indication of where things are at. And going into that match, there needs to be some analysis given to the amount of goal chances that have been coughed up in the last couple of matches. Kerry could have been out of sight in the first half of the match in Tralee and Roscommon, as awful as they were, still cut open our defence more than once tonight. We can’t keep relying on David Clarke to make save after save. There are gaps in the back, no doubt. Needs to be addressed asap.

  36. Patrick Mc Auliffe, Mayomessi in his post has identified up to forty players of Co. standard,all of whom are ahead of Alan D. at this stage, in my view, so time for all to recognise and accept that time has run out on a great servant of Mayo football.

  37. Great game tonight, the team seemed more at ease, more confident and this allowed them all to work as a team. It seems their working the ball together was more natural-interesting comment earlier about kick passing passing drills before game. Kudos to the management team there and the hours the entire team puts in to training, long hours and daily dedication by all! Some beautiful attacks during the second half, it was poetry in motion as they moved the ball as a team, not appearing desperate. It actually seemed like they were enjoying the game. Great to see Lee return, you know he wants to be on the pitch at Croker so good to get some significant time tonight. Cillian seemed in a strategic role, managing the play and seeing everything with quick thinking, a true natural talent. Good to see Diarmuid start as well as other younger players like Fergal. Really increased our bench strength. Sad not to see Kevin there. Roll on to Croker and let’s end that Dublin streak and have the HQ PA play The Green and Red of Mayo for a second time within 2 weeks! Queue it up for March 4 and September 17! The start of something good! Maigh Eo Abú and Happy Birthday Keith! Thanks for a great game lads, it does the heart good, it’s what we all were wanting all winter = MAYO! IS! BACK!

  38. I haven’t seen him play in the flesh yet but all of the positive words about Boland are very encouraging. Sounds like his progress is one of solid incremental improvement, akin to when Diarmuid came on the scene, so long may that continue. Great to see Loftus get game time too. it’s still only Feb though, very early days and let’s not forget how many miles are on the clock for a lot of our guys. Happy birthday to Zippy too, what a servant and warrior he continues to be for the cause ???

  39. I noticed some new sproutings last night with a greater intensity of purpose on display. Two features were most pleasing….more discerning running resulting in creation of so many scoring chances. Not too worried about no of misses ….important thing is most shots missed were on!!! Scoring rate can improve. Still shy on goals but can see them come our way with increase in confidence.
    Harrison return and Loftus intro v important to team.

  40. Great result tonight. I know that Roscommon did not pose the greatest challange, but it looks like things are clicking with the team earlier this year than last.
    There was a flow and cadence to the team that is new and more purposeful.
    Special note was obviously Clarke’s performance between the posts.
    Unlike some I though Conor OShea did ok. I think he is growing into that team, and adds a mobility dimension to that wing position that is needed.
    All bodes well for next Saturday night where a win would certainly have us in a great position in early March.
    All is good, hopefully a short week ahead.

  41. Roscommon were very poor, that’s where I start my post here. However, taking that into account, I think we more than put them in their place this evening. We conceded 14 points, 5 of which came when Mayo pulled up, Mayo were guilty of being complacent in the last 15 and missed a bucket load of chances. We are conceding goal chances simply because we have no cohesion in defence as 2 in the full back line are out of position. Jason Gibbons played very intelligently, cillian was brilliant at 11, but against a better team is he going to be as productive, I’d hope so but we will see. Boland is as classy a footballer as we have seen in a long time, doesn’t half put himself about and is confident on the ball. Some of our scoring was top drawer stuff, our wides were woeful tho, I’d put most of them down to over eagerness as would I say the same about a couple players performances, just were over eager and it put them wayward. Thought the subs came on and were impressive so we are building! Next week will tell more, think lads like Harrison, nally, Loftus, plunkett were looking sharp and will be looking to break loose on croker and lay down a mark!!

  42. A load of shite that game . the lack of fight from Roscommon was sickening , couldn’t even manage to throw a dig.

    Too easy to cut through mayo , teams are creating goal chances far too easy.

    Newcombe was bet up a stick.

    Boland , brilliant.

    Don’t understand some posters saying Regan was poor, I thought he was very good.

    Dublin next . we will need to improve greatly but I have no doubt we will.

  43. Wj where are all the posters who wanted mc stay now? I’m glad people are beginning to see why he didn’t get the mayo job. Im hoping we can end dublins winning streak next weekend

  44. Nally seems to being prepped to have that sub role. He comes on and is a major influence each time. A win next Saturday is achievable and would place us well ahead of our form at this time last year.
    Agree that we seem to be attacking with much more intelligence.

  45. We had twelve different scorers from play which is a big improvement from our first two games and exactly what you want to see. With Parsons, Ger Caff, the O’Sheas, Barry Moran, Dillon etc. still not having seen any game-time so far, the competition for places will be savage in the coming weeks and months. Again this is exactly what you want to see.

    Slowly but surely the shape and balance of our team is looking better and better. Fair play to Lee Keegan as well for doing what he did. He is some man for one man!

  46. You have to give Newcombe and all the new players a chance—i remember seeing Tom Cunniffe getting roasted in Newbridge when he played first.

  47. Well done David Clarke AGAIN.
    Was pure joy to witness this great man in action.
    Feel the team begining to blend well now and the heartache of oct 1st 2016 is drifting further away. Mayo are back and our amazing team keeps on rolling even as early as Feb.
    Well done Lee Keegan. 2 classy pts too. Hope he did get to do some celebrating.

  48. Yeah Sean, I also thought Newcombe was all beaten by Donie Smith. It was a pity. I also thought Regan fared a bit better and had he not been fouled a couple of times would have notched more than 1point from play. He still struggles to escape from a tight marker. Let’s see how he does over the coming weeks.

    We dominated midfield but let’s be fair, Roscommon were very weak in that area until they brought Corcoran out. He’s not a 14 and you can be absolutely sure they’ll be different in the summer where they’ll look to crowd the area IF (note the capital letters!) we meet them in.

    The Ros forwards were more economical in attack than ours. We owned possession. Take away the penalty and they created more goal chances, all of which hit the target(saved or pointed) whereas we hit 16 wides and the only two real goal chances for me were Evan Regan where he was taken down for a pen and Loftus who took his point(we had one other effort between Irwin and Loftus) but IMO Dublin or Kerry would have bagged 3 or 4 goals on that percentage of possession. I accept our defence will be tighter if we meet them again but our inside forwards need more scores from play – we score 0-5 last night. The Ros inside line scored 0-7.

    DJ on your point re Keegan. I did say ‘I’m no expert'(look at my post) and I also said if sanctioned by the medical team etc then it’s fine for Lee to play. My point was that he could prob benefit from a rest. You said he played two games since Christmas. He’s been training non-stop and you can be sure wport played numerous challenge matches over the winter as all clubs do who are involved in the latter stages of an All Ireland club championship. It’s not just physical freshness, it’s mental and I hope none of us are on here in August lamenting a dip in form of our influential wing back.

  49. Having just read the comments above, I’m now of the opinion that what I thought was a very good win against the Rossies, now turns out to be anything but. It seems that what was a very poor Roscommon team, were able to cut through us at will and only for the heroic deeds of Clark, the result could have been different. And the forwards seemingly , despite putting up a very good score, were guilty of some dreadful wides and missed goal chances. The Management team didn’t escape either, as they have been called out for not making changes sooner.

    After reading all this negative stuff, am I the only one not feeling very confident about meeting the Dubs here in the capital next weekend……

  50. Surely a 20 foot bronze statue of Kevin McStay at the top of Croagh Patrick is now justified. He has completed his misson and then some. Not since the Greeks rolled up a big wooden horse to the gates of Troy has such complete destruction been achieved from within.

  51. Negative or constructive criticism if backed up by facts is fair comment and should be welcomed.

    To just look at the game and think, we won by 8 points and dominated possession, ‘aren’t we great, Mayo are back!’, yes one can adopt this simplistic form of analysis but I think most people who have posted here so far have pointed out areas/players who did well but also those who didn’t and areas where we need improving.

    You also also have to factor in the state of the opposition when analysing your own teams performance.

  52. Nothing to learn from last night. Roscommon woeful and despite our 13 different scorers I’ve seen nothing to suggest we have solved our inept forward play. Look it’s 2 points and I’d bank we will stay in division 1 now. Anyone else think Andy Moran should have been rested? Give youth a chance? Where are the McStay gang now? People see an “expert” on the Sunday game and think he knows it all.

  53. We will beat Dubs next Sat and we’ll be the 1st to break their unbeaten record(cant see Dongl doing it today)We not afraid of the Dubs and granted it’ll be a diff pace game,and I will go onn to say those guys aiming for league title this year. IMO Last nite was played in a preparation way for Dub ie no injuries and inexperienced tested and observed. Let’s all have faith and belief.

  54. I think we should all be realistic about the game last night. Roscommon were very poor and the win should be taken in that context. Time after time we ran right through the middle of them, that won’t happen in many games we play.

    Positive points were Keegan,, Harrison, Gibbons and DOC returning and getting a good run out. Very excited about Conor Loftus hopefully being able to stake a claim for a regular place. I genuinely think he’s the most promising forward we have had since Ciaran McDonald in terms of skill and ability. We’ll need them all, and it sets up next asstyrday night nicely. Croke Park should suit us. Onwards on upwards.

  55. Some very differing opinions on here about how where doing but a bit of perspective please. It’s round 3 of the league. If we had lost 3 games in a row I would not be panicking. What I have taken so far is that we are trying to develop an attacking style of play using a mix of running of the shoulder and quick diagonal ball across the field. To play this was we need a baller at 11 and I hope we stick with either Cillian or Kevin mc here. Fair play to ye management for sticking with boland, a lot would have said he is too light but the games under his belt are beginning to play divendends. Of course playing 6 forwards leaves us open at the back for sure, people saying Kerry would have scored 4 goals against us, well they didn’t 2 weeks ago but I think Dublin would. It’s something that management needs to solve. We still have a problem with our long kickouts and some players are still not performing as well as I hoped. The wides thing mentioned is a bit of lame duck, a lot of those were kicked when the game was over and I’d prefer to see lads having confidence to shoot as opposed to the Monaghan game where only Cillian was willing to have a shot.

  56. @Liam..Brilliant…Laughed aloud…Have to admit tho Mc Stay has had a rough foray into the world of inter county mgmt and I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes waking up this morning..
    Looking forward to Dublin v Donegal today..Hope Donegal give the Dubs a rattle but can’t see where a win is going to come from..Have a feeling a dinger of a game in store next Saturday night..

  57. Good win you could see the lads have been working on there attack play over the 2 weeks.
    Cillian had a massive game last night that point of his left as wj said could have easily being a goal.Higgins and Harrison thought their speed was brilliant for this time of year.
    Loftus very impressive will be hard to stop in croker.Reegan cos gave it their all bit more composer on the ball (final pass- shot selection).
    Plenty of time for target practice.
    Boland getting better every game.
    The reason for most the wides was taken on a shot instead of laying it of to a player in a better position.
    Competition for places like last night is what we have being wishing for years,long may it last.

  58. Mariead while I hope your right we have not beaten Dublin in our last 12 meetings….it’s 9 losses and 3 drwa and Jim Gavin has never lost to Mayo. True Mayo have never feared Dublin but we rarely beat them.

  59. One thing that is helping is the amount of good footballers 8-12. These positions are the platform of your attack. Yes not the same workrate and physicality if you take Boland for JDoc and Gibbons for SOS. But maybe workrate is overrated. As an aside Boland and Gibbons won a few balls back regardless.
    Diarmuid did well at midfield. I thought he was more comfortable there then at wing forward.

  60. It’s a bit worrying that David clarke has nearly been mom in all our opening games

    Don’t think Keith is a full back

    Was impressed with regan last night , showed v well , but needs to take better shots

    Fergal Boland has been a real find ?

  61. Delighted with the win last night lots of positives Reagan Loftus Boland to name but a few played well was very impressed with Conor O Shea especially in the first half Andy Moran seem to be available for everything I felt sorry for him in the second half everything was going through him when he must be tiring. Roscommon were poor but they were still able to pick off some nice points especially at the end. For a man that’s only back from injury I thought Jason Gibbons was superb and as for David Clarke he was unreal again he looks so commanding

  62. Have to agree with Sean Burke. Very disappointed with Roscommon’s fight. Even their supporters very subdued before throw in. They needed to lay down a marker, but the game in the first half could just be classified as a “nice game of football”. Some lovely foot passing, some great scores and a plethora of chances created. The penalty more or less finished the game. The worst preparation for next week. Mayo players had some much space, so much time on the ball, even poor handling wasn’t punished. However great to see Jason Gibbons lay down a marker when our Midfield options reduced. Would agree with earlier posters re Coen and Newcombe. Harrison’s return also a timely boost ahead of next week.

  63. What did people think of Mcloughlin and Boyle? Not heard anything re Kev mc apart from he got two points.

  64. Roscommon were poor definitely but who made them look poor? We could have beaten them by 15 points or more except for taking our foot off the accelerator towards the end. We also missed a few scorable chances. Yes they opened us up a few times and that needs to be sorted but I have no doubt it will.
    I was delighted to see the foot passing and the quick accurate movement of the ball. It is the way to go. Delighted to with Fergal Boland. I have rarely seen a foot pass of the quality he gave to Cillian for that goal chance. Wow! I think he is the real deal and as someone said earlier was well able to take the heavy stuff. I was a bit disappointed that Evan Regan didn’t cut loose. That said he created the penalty and another scorable free and was very close for a point from an awkward position early in the game. He deserves another game but he will have to show more on the scoreboard. I was also pleased with Conor O Shea. There was a time when I didn’t think he had what it takes at this level but he is improving. He is a very big man, quite mobile and can play football.
    Things are looking up ………….again!

  65. Don’t like the smart comments directed towards Kevin McStay. Great player in his day. Superb Mayo U21 manager. Superb club manager. Since when did Roscommon become our equals or rivals? Always an average awkward county with grumpy supporters. McStay like Maughan before him can only work with the material available to him. Cheap shots at him are disgusting.

  66. Yew tree, there’s always a 1st time for everything and it will be for us in Croker next sat even. Just wait. Cant wait.

  67. How did Roscommon run their opponents in their first 2 games so close?

    Anyway for ourselves, big positives in Boland and Loftus. New young scoring forwards. Think we scored 0-17 from open play.

    Negatives. 16 wides and were cut open at the back too easily on too many occasions.

    Still, nice to get 2 more owl pints into the owl bag and be sitting at the top of the owl table for a few hours anyway.

  68. Positives from lastnight:
    -We never looked like losing
    -We demonstrated fast ball handling skills and pace turning defence in to attack and looking unstoppable.
    -Fergal Boland was outstanding, he took a couple of big hits early on. Went on to win breaking ball, creating and scoring. Loftus also looked a constant threat when he came on.
    – 1-19 regardless of the wides is a fine score
    – Our kickout strategy was very effective.

    – They went through the middle of us too many times like Kerry did the week previous. We have to play some kind of sweeper against Dublin or will get ripped apart.
    -I don’t like bad mouthing players but Newcombe got torn apart lastnight. Was the weak link in our backline.
    -The high ball(our traditional Achilles heel) caused bother in the first few minutes but we got to grips with it well back there in fairness.

    I think we’re very well equipped to go and beat Dublin next week, were tuning up nicely after our slow start. We have to go out and show serious hunger and lay down a marker for the season ahead.

  69. Relax John, you’ll live longer. Some posts made in jest are just that. Not everything is about the establishment and fighting “the man”.

  70. Down here in Salthill watching Galway demolish Clare. Kevin Walsh has these lads playing to a structure and they have definitely improved from last year.

    They’ll be division 1 next season and I think it’s fair to say that Galway are well on the way back.

  71. McStay, like Maughan before him, can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear which sums up Roscommon football at present so cut the man some slack. We still have to get over the line ourselves.

  72. Roscommon I would say are lifting heavy rather than peaking for the league. Usually results in a lack of pace. They’ll be much improved for Championship.

  73. I think comparing Roscommon football to a sow’s ear is unfair. A lot of underage success, successive promotions, they stayed in Division one last year. Had they gone for it, they could have won a Connacht title last year. True, their players have not been the easiest to manage, but the challenge of taking on Roscommon was far more attractive than a lot of other positions that came up in the last few years. I watched, as many others on this blog probably did too, Roscommon Under 21s destroy Mayo in Castlebar two years ago. Subsequently we win a title at that level, but they were very close for many years. Raw material there, underage coaching structures good, club scene competitive-Bridgets led the way and won it out in recent years. I was disappointed they lacked fight last night but wouldn’t be writing them off yet.

  74. The positives our kick passing was good, Boland to the fore in that department. A new dimension to our game. Management deserve credit a lot of credit. Another positive we have a bench now which gives us a depth of talent. Cillian orchastrated a lot of good movement slick passing from the centre forward position and Diarmuid has the potential to make a third midfielder and give Clarke more options with his kickouts. Our possesion from kickouts was good. Acid test next weekend

  75. Think some of the smug comments re. Roscommon are in poor taste. Anyone remember league game last year v cork ??? Perspective it’s February people calm down.

  76. The worry for me is when so many supporters here were able to read where we were getting roasted, why wasnt our management. A real sharpness is needed in making chanes to fix problems. It has been an achilles heel of many of our managers.
    Dont mean to be over judgemental but its an area that needs some focus

  77. Agree BaconFactoryEnd. Firstly, the majority of Mayo supporters would have been in favour of McStay a couple of years ago and he was treated very poorly IMO by the co board at that time. This guy was a former Mayo All Star. Rumours then bandied about that ‘the players didn’t want him or McHale’. I dont think we ever saw any evidence of this from any player. The reason he didn’t get the job was down to money and his face didn’t fit for what the co board wanted. Their preference being for an individual(s) who would tow the party line. We all know how that worked out!

    McStay did a very fine job with St Brigids. A team who at club level were very similar to where Mayo were at, ‘almost there’. Very often this is a tougher job than taking over a team at rock bottom where the only way is up, like Kevin Walsh did with Galway or a team at the top like Jim Gavin where confidence and winning were a habit. When Rochford got his job he was being lauded as having done a great job with Corofin and fair play to him. He has mine and most others, full support. But McStay is in a situation in Roscommon that has quickly turned sour. The fallout with fergal o Donnell is well known and it’s clear as day now that sides have been taken and that there’s a major lack of unity and harmony. Seems like knives are out for him already. Obviously in the literal sense only! I think any manager would struggle in the current situation in Roscommon. It’s a bit of a mess. I’ve heard from many rossies (including former players) that outsiders are often judged harshly, ask John Maughan. Ask John Evans.

  78. Looking forward to going to Dublin next weekend.
    I hope there is a decent crowd of Mayo fans there.
    My view is that Mayo should go toe to toe with Dublin,no need for a sweeper.There is nothing to fear,they will be up for it and have got the players to put one over this Dublin team in their own back yard.They should be encouraged and allowed to express themselves as footballers .Also there should be an emphasis on the physical exchanges with this one.

  79. I would say just more of the same against Dublin. The only major change would be preventing so many runners in on our goal.
    We need a win over Dublin at this stage and I’d actually go all out to get it.
    – Start Harrison if fitness allows that
    – Same midfield
    – Bring on Leeroy and Tom Parsons to push the tempo as a finish the game lift

  80. A 500km round trip, an audio bulletin, and the usual high standard report all done and dusted late Saturday evening – and this is just a fan!

    Have to say I was very pleased by this all action display; don’t know what all the grousing is about. If you told me beforehand that we’d have no Parsons, Doherty, still no sign of the O’Sheas, Chris Barrett or Caff and that Andy would not really fire, I would have been pretty downbeat.

    But, what happens? We score 17 from play, dominate midfield with Jason catching a few Willie Joe type balls, move at a dizzying pace, demonstrate excellent kick passing skills, and get nearly all guys running into intelligent positions. Throw in a brilliant performance from the aforementioned Jason, continued improvement from Fergal Boland, points from all angles and eye-catching displays from Harry, Conor, Shane, Leroy and Michael Plunkett when introduced. I haven’t even mentioned the displays of the usual suspects, so what’s not to like? Yes the Rossies were bad, though they got some nice points, we had a lot of wides and we are vulnerable to counter-attacking play.

    To be sure, the crisis brought on by two dropped Dublin points will have some midnight oil burning in Coolock over the next week. But, isn’t this what we want in early March; have another go at those bastards and put one over on them.

    Let’s really bring the army to Croker next week.

  81. Kevin McStay is manager of ROSCOMMON-Couldn’t care less about the problems they are having.This is a MAYO site.Dublin is next-Let Stolen Sheep worry about the Rossies.

  82. Dublin will be hungry for a win next week after two draws on the hop. Two matches they easily could have lost and possibly should have lost. Expect a bit more bite from them next week.

  83. Boland or indeed Lofus have the potential to be as influential as Ciaran was in his day, great foot passer of the ball…

  84. Long way to go I now but Boland very intillent player and delighted with Loftus contribution on sat night. Cant argue with any of your points including sypathy for state of football in Roscommon considering the good underage structures they have.
    I was glad to see Mayo players taking on shots on when opportunities arose last sat rather than recycling the ball backwards and possibly being turned over after another string of short passes. Not too concerned about the wides. Conor O Shea missed one chance but was brave enough to take on a similar chance later and nailed it.
    A lot of positives going to Dublin next weekend..

  85. Interesting reading as always here . Congratulations to the team on their victory but as well noted roscommon were poor and maybe be focusing on championship. Kevin Mc said aa much last week. So I wouldn’t be getting over excited. Forward play improved bit it realky needed too. The problem at fullback remains and I feel thsts what cist us All Ireland last year. The 3 Dublin goals were all augmented by lack of a recognised FB. KK cruel injury and Caff is not back yet and nobody new unearthed so the problem remains. The management need to come up with something.
    I would see next week as a must win in terms of making a psychological statement. Mayo need to forget about performance and tatics and get the win whatever way they can.

  86. Next week a reality check for panel and management. I always feel it is almost impossible for any team to match the dubs for fitness at this time of year. So if we lost because we ran out of steam not the end of the world.
    As you say Roscommon were weak enough opposition so wel will knoww a lot more about our capabilities after next weekend. In many ways it will have the intensity of a championship game. So how will Boland fare againt the best. Will he need another year? I also thought Clarkes kickouts were better and we got a good return from them. Again a more realistic assesment after the Dubs. We are going into the game in a good mental frame of mind, the mix of top drawer foot passing and good support play is a new dimension to our game. Definitely not to be missed

  87. I must admit I was wrong about F Boland needing more s and c,looks the real deal,I also thought E Regan done well last night caught a lot of ball in front of his man so he has something to offer,C Loftus did well,Ros can not be to bad gave Donegal a good game who drew with Dublin today,we are a lot further forward than last season because Stephen has a lot more time this year,as a lot of players were missing until after the club championship ,this year he has more time to get systems in place,he is giving a lot of young players game time,I feel we will beat Dublin next week and will be well set up for the summer,must say I have no sympathy for K Mac as I felt he never stood for Mayo on rte

  88. I would like to see Shane nally get more game time thought he dealt with everything well when he was introduced in the last 2 games and is a very good kick passer.think Stephen coen struggled to make an impression yet again.fergal boland has been a real find and looks to have made the number 10 jersey his own.cillian looks to be at the top of his game on the 40, be interesting to see him pinging balls into aido when he returns.does anyone know if neil douglas ,ger Mcdonagh and Brian reape are still in current panel.

  89. Did I see Mayo87 saying Cillian will be pinging balls from the 40 to Aido when he returns? You must be joking . Cillian is not going to waste good ball. Aido is not missed one bit. We now are scoring 14 to 19 points per game. Is Aido missed? Not the slightest. All the forwards are buzzing with pace and flair. Aido would as usual be like a bull in a China shop. Let him earn his place like all the others. Can we do without him? Yes we can.
    I hope he and Mayo team management watched Sir Alex Ferguson on TV .Enough said.

  90. Ya know true grit, it’s not as though aos is getting paid by Mayo or making millions in sponsorship money. He’s an amateur athlete that tries his best every time he plays and has narrowly missed out on several All Ireland medals, it’s very sad to see a fan tearing him down like that, what would you suggest Aiden do? Stay at home and not play anymore?
    im fairly sure that Aiden will be doing plenty of his ” bull in a china shop” routine this summer and his teammates will be only too delighted to get a pass from him like the one Mr Keegan got in that replay last October, the pass for his goal.

  91. Dave. Aiden is no ordinary amatuer. He gets plenty of thousands plus car from sponsorship. All the others players narrowly missed out in winning All Ireland medal. Some people thinks HE has a divine right to walk into the team . It’s this bullshit that has us never winning a celtic cross over the years. I have not heard or seen anything written by teammates saying they would be delighted to see him back. They are playing away better without him, also face book, twitter, printed media, and radio & tv are not having to be filled with FAKE NEWS. Now if he was like any of the Dublin players who have several celtic crosses and they also can play football and don’t keep doing the same failed thing time after time you may have to put up with his nonsese. I have not said he should stay at home but if his bull in a chinashop routine is the way again this year we are again doomed to failure. Respect is earned on or off the field. Look at Brian Coady , he would not have a player with Aido,s attitude let near the team and he proved that and see how many titles he has won.

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