Mayo 2-12 Monaghan 0-15: second half revival keeps NFL hopes on track

ScoreboardWell, one result went my way this weekend but there were two occasions – when we fell six points in arrears late in the first half and did so again early in the second – when it looked as if my weekend trip to the west was going to turn out to be an unfruitful one on both counts.  Both times that Monaghan had pulled clear of us, it seemed likely that they were going to give us a real pasting but both times we righted the ship with well-taken goals.  The second one – a right belter from Aidan O’Shea – was the one that did the real damage to the Farney lads, as we then added a further seven points (six from play) in that closing quarter to win by a rather flattering three points.

The victory means that we’re now within touching distance of an NFL final place, although the new head-to-head rule could yet scupper our chances of making the decider if we lose to Cork in the final round of games while the Dubs win up in Omagh.  We could well lose down in Páirc Uí Chaoimh – and we certainly will if we start in the same lackadaisical manner as we did today – but I can’t see the Dubs beating Tyrone in Healy Park so I’ve already (lightly) pencilled in April 25th for our first appearance at HQ this year.

I was slightly the worse for wear this morning, what with the unusually large quota of porter (well, what constitutes a large amount for me these days, which isn’t in truth a great deal) I’d had at and after the Blog Awards last night.  You’d have been forgiven for thinking that most of the Mayo team had been up half the night skulling pints as well, as they put in an utterly listless first half (in front of the nation on live TV too: oh, the shame!) which should have seen them go in at the break with a real mountain to climb in the second half.  Instead, a late Mark Ronaldson point and an even later Donal Vaughan goal cut the deficit to just two points at the short whistle.

Action shot first halfThinking about it in retrospect now, you can see that Banty really targeted this match (as opposed to their last one in two weeks time, which is away to Kerry) as the one where they’d get the two points they need to stave off relegation.  Johnno said as much in his post-match interview on Midwest, where he likened Monaghan’s attitude today to ours in Tuam last year and the Farney lads certainly gave it everything today, even when the game was slipping away from them at the end.  When the final whistle sounded, they looked absolutely perplexed at having lost a game where they’d worked their balls off and dominated for so long.  Johnno reckoned we were on top for no more than 20 minutes today but, as it turned out, that was all the time we needed to claim the win we wanted.

A feature of most of our matches this year has been how we’ve opened brightly and when Enda Varley shaped up to take a 21-yard free into the Bacon Factory End right from the throw-in, another positive start looked on the cards.  But the Garrymore man, normally so reliable from this distance, made a complete bags of this opportunity to get our noses in front from the off.

Seconds later, we were almost an early goal in arrears, when Kieran Conroy was beaten to the ball (which happened rather a lot today) but Liam O’Malley – who had, I thought, an excellent match throughout today – put in a superb block when a goal for them looked certain.  Their big no.3, Darren Hughes, lamped over the resultant fifty and two points, one from play and the other a free, sent the visitors three clear.

Alan Dillon then pointed this free to open our afternoon’s account and we could have had a goal just after when their keeper made a hari-kiri dash out the field after the ball. Tom Parsons got possession twenty yards out and should probably have lobbed it towards the empty goal but he opted instead to carry it closer and the goal attempt was blocked by a thicket of defenders.  Conor McManus, out ahead of Conroy, then pointed from play for them but Alan Dillon replied in kind for us.

We were already visibly struggling to cope with their hard-running, in-your-face approach and, to compound our problems, we didn’t seem capable of holding onto the bloody ball. Time after time, we spilled ball we’d won and, not for the first time, the culprit in chief in this respect was Aidan O’Shea.  Worringly, too, we were already reverting to Hail Mary balls into Aidan at every opportunity, none of which was producing any reward for us.

Two more frees from Finlay put Monaghan four clear and then Tom Parsons was rather harshly booked by the over-fussy and inconsistent Rory Hickey.  The resultant free was awarded almost sixty yards from our posts but Darren Hughes nailed it, to the delight of the large travelling Farney support.

We were now in a bit of bother and an atrocious wide from Trevor Mortimer did little to improve the tetchy mood that was beginning to well up in the stand.  Donie Vaughan raided forward and nabbed a point back but then Andy blasted a bad wide from not that far out.

Alan DillonOur troubles increased when Alan Dillon hobbled from the fray but it was good to have someone of the calibre of Mark Ronaldson to bring on and Mark turned out to be instrumental in our second half revival.  More trouble was on the way first, though, in the form of two more Monaghan points as the gap stretched to six and we were damn lucky not to concede a goal for the second one of these.

At this stage, it was like the first half couldn’t come soon enough and a little vignette shortly before the end seemed to sum up that half.  Enda Varley – who had a very quiet opening 35 minutes – was forced to double back and passed to Trevor Mort who fell over the ball and gifted possession to them.  It seemed then that anything that could go wrong would go wrong but all of a shot we turned the game on its head. Mark Ronaldson, fed beautifully by Conor, slotted over a point from the left and then Tom Parsons put through the galloping Donie Vaughan who smashed home a cracking goal to cut the deficit to just two points at the break.

It felt like we’d got out of jail and the obvious hope was that we’d kick on from there and close out the expected win.  Instead, we handed the initiative right back to them, with Jap Finlay knocking over three points, two from frees, to negate the goal we’d got right at the end of the first half.  A fourth successive score for them restored their six-point cushion, at which stage it appeared to be a case of how large their winning margin would be.

Keith HigginsCould things get any worse?  Of course they could – Keith Higgins went down in a heap and was in obvious pain as he was helped off the field.  Johnno said afterwards that it’s a knee injury and that – as was the case with Galway’s Mike Meehan the other week – the full extent of the injury won’t be known until a scan is done.  Good luck with that, Keith: here’s hoping that, like Meehan, the damage isn’t as bad as we all fear it could be.

Chris Barrett came on for Keith and he settled in well on the left flank as we finally began to ask question of the rampant visitors.  Enda Varley pointed a free for our first score of the second half and then Andy launched a high ball in that Aidan caught perfectly, turned and walloped into the net.  You could feel the frustration lifting from the Breaffy youngster as he celebrated exultantly and it soon became clear that this uplifting score had had a positive effect on his teammates too.

Conor had the ball in the net shortly afterwards but the score was correctly disallowed due to a foul pass to Mort – who had pulled smartly on the ball first time, sending it spinning into the corner of the net – from Aidan.  But Mort did get on the scoresheet soon after, from a free, and then Kevin McLoughlin advanced up the right wing to claim the leveller.

Action shotHaving all but won the game twice, you could see that Monaghan’s confidence was now draining away fast and, credit to our lads, they saw it too and applied the killer blows in an efficient and effective way.  Mark Ronaldson edged us in front for the first time with a point from play and Enda Varley arrowed over his first from play to push us two clear.  At the back, Ger Cafferkey replaced Trevor Howley with Ger moving into full-back and Kieran Conroy switching out to centre-back as we attempted to bolt the door on the Farneymen.

Jap cut the gap to the minimum from a free but then at the other end Chris Barrett was left with acres of room and all the time in the world to take aim and fire over from thirty yards.  They worked like demons to get the ball back down in our territory but a full seven minutes passed before they managed to get a score, a final free from Jap.  But time was now up and we closed out the game confidently with points from play, first from Andy and then a peach of a score from Tom to seal the three-point win.

We didn’t play well today but the scoreline says we won well so I guess we’ll go with the scoreline.  It seemed pretty obvious that we weren’t anything like as focused as we needed to be early on and we seemed to have real problems in containing Monaghan’s hard-working approach.  But then we blew them away in that final quarter with an economy of effort that was at the opposite end of the spectrum to the miss-fest that occurred against the Dubs.  Such a disjointed performance wouldn’t win every game – in truth, it’d fail to win any game that really matters – but it was enough to secure a win today.  Close to being jeered off at half-time, the lads ended up being clapped off the pitch at the end.

We had a number of good performers today.  I though Liam O’Malley was superb throughout, right from the off when an instinctive block prevented a certain goal. He repeatedly turned over possession in dangerous situations and worked hard all day in a busy backline. I’ve often been critical of Liam’s performances and so it’s only fair to acknowledge his efforts today.

Donie VaughanDonie Vaughan was obviously superb, not just for his 1-1 either, as he defended well and broke forward with menace repeatedly.  Kevin McLoughlin also had a fine game on the other wing.

Despite having their hands full a lot of the time, Seamus O’Shea and Tom Parsons both put in strong shifts at midfield. I like the way their styles complement each other, with O’Shea’s heft and drive contrasting with Tom’s more cerebral approach.  I think they’re starting to gel as a central unit – what does that mean for Ronan, I wonder?

Andy worked hard once again in the forwards, as did Aidan who finally got some reward for his efforts with his well-taken goal.  Enda was very subdued in the first half but came into it better in the second, while Mark Ronaldson played an important part in our second half recovery.   Both Morts have had better days in the jersey.

And so we now have one foot in the league final and, as a result, we could conceivably end up facing Cork (who already have both feet there) twice in April. Regardless of how the Dubs get on with Tyrone, qualification for the final is still very much in our own hands and it’d be great to make the final by beating Cork on their own patch.  It’d be even nicer to double the dose by beating them again at Croke Park but, for now, we need to stay focused on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh encounter.  And focused is what we’ll need to be once the ball is thrown in down there because those lads won’t let us off the hook in the way that Monaghan eventually contrived to do so today.  We’ve been warned, in other words.

MAYO: David Clarke; Liam O’Malley, Kieran Conroy, Keith Higgins; Donal Vaughan (1-1), Trevor Howley, Kevin McLoughlin (0-1); Tom Parsons (0-1), Seamus O’Shea; Andy Moran (0-1), Aidan O’Shea (1-0), Trevor Mortimer; Enda Varley (0-2, one free), Alan Dillon (0-2, one free), Conor Mortimer (0-1, free).  Subs: Mark Ronaldson (0-2) for Dillon, Chris Barrett (0-1) for Higgins, Ger Cafferkey for Howley, Pat Harte for Seamus O’Shea.

38 thoughts on “Mayo 2-12 Monaghan 0-15: second half revival keeps NFL hopes on track

  1. Whatever plan they had going out didn’t seem to happen but gutsey performance all the same. They showed great character coming back like that. Tom Parsons was my man of the match. OMalley and donal Vaughan very good also.

  2. Will the real Mayo stand up please. Once more long suffering fans put through the wringer. But a win is a win. Good stuff- 2-12 is a good high score. 10 of the lads scored so we are not depending on one forward. Goalie sound, O Malley was class, Vaughan excellant, Midfield good, , TM and AM worked very hard in half forwards, Varley dangerous, had a hape of goal chances and came back from the dead twice. Bad stuff- Whats the story with giving away all the soft frees lads?, Conroy roasted, AOS tried his best to be Monaghans best player in the first half, too many forwards too deep. Dillon and Higgans injured.( please god not the f…. cruciate) and a small crowd again. Where is all the support? Next week will be interesting. Mqyo oh Mayo we still love you.

  3. Good second half performance and showed a lot of guts and determination in the closing stages. Full Back is still a major problem for this team. Conroy didnt look comfortable at any stage during the game. We need to get stuck in from the very start because if that was against Cork we would have been beaten out the gate. Vaughan and Liam O Malley were in great form today. Hope Dillon and Higgins injuries arent too serious. Well done lads.

  4. The character of the team to up the gears so to speak when it really mattered has to ge greatly admired. Its a sign of a good team with the confidence to be able to do it. Mayo are improving as a side no doubt about. Now we’re also able to win ugly. Its been good having a stable manager such as Johno, the three years have flew we need to get him on board long term much like Sean Boylan in Meath, i feel there is an All ireland in this team, maybe not this year but down the road. Brilliant website by the way Willie Joe its the first one after gaaboard that i log onto after a match.

  5. As WJ suggests not a vintage performance but this performance might give us more of an insight on how we’ll fare in the summer months.

    Great character and determination and certainly a big improvement on how we disappered in the latter stages last year at croker against Meath.

    Get in there Mayo.

    Bring on Cork!!

  6. People on other sites saying there was a snap heard when Keith Higgins was injured. I hope that ain’t true. Very sluggish for long periods today.

  7. is it true that head to head results will decide final placings and not point difference? if thats the case we cant afford to lose to cork in case the dubs win

  8. Yeah. New rule in this year. If Dublin win next weekend and we lose, the dubs go thru as they beat us in the league. Scoring difference doesn’t count

  9. I hope Keith Higgin’s injury is not as serious as it looked. If it is we have a real problem in the full back line. Conroy looked very uncomfortable there today. You could tell that even Clarke had very little confidence in them by the way he came way off his line once or twice.

  10. I think i was at a different match to the first wo posters. Donal Vaughan was good,but defending first then attack… As for liam o malley, is he always two seconds away from disaster, he does something good then cancels it out by doing something worse two seconds later, it remind me of the james gill days, looking for trouble, wheres alan feeney? We really need a bit more of the physical stuff at the back, gettibg in the opponents face rather than letting them carve us through down the middle.. Seamus o shea above any other player has made a real step up this year, hes not the player i thought he was, and he sholud be a proper contender at 11 and 9 come summer.. Trevor Mortimer, if he was not captain would he be dropped by now? He ccontinues to give the ball away time after time, he can never seem to pick out the right option, i thought myself that varley was very quiet today, anytime he got it he lost it bar on good catch where he missed the resultant free. Better from aidan today, also big david clarke, excellent keeper.. Big blow for poor keith

  11. Good win, keeps us on course for final. agree with you there northmayo, parsons was solid from start to finish even when we were shipping water he kept plugging. As i left the ground today a ‘mayoman’ said to me ”we were fuc….. useless , same team that were beaten by meath..” i didnt agree but i wondered if that were a championship match would we have won it?? Seen keiths injury on tv, made me cringe looking at it, i hope im wrong but its not good lads. Its been a great league for mayo so far, it would be great to finish the job and win the damn thing.

  12. Jj, if you don’t mind me saying you seem to have a real problem with OMalley. What does a lad have to do to get a pat on the back. At half time he was the defender that had kept us in the game. Never once today did he seem out of his depth. Keith higgins would be a massive loss so fingers crossed it’s nothing too serious.
    Looking forward to the cork game. Whether we win or not it’s nice to have had a successful league campaign.

  13. Was at the game and enjoyed the stirring second half revival. We have demonstrated the ability to finish strongly in a number of our league games, and while that’s very important, I had the feeling in the last quarter that we were at a different level of fitness to the farney boys. After the match I bumped into Johnno and when I put that proposition to him he said that they are only having 1 training session a week at the moment, so, hats off to the players who must have great discipline and self-motivation to stick to their own fitness regimes – this is helped by such stiff competition for places. Well done to Johnno too, he is building a strong panel, with lots of players getting match time, and the team spirit, work rate and winning mentality has a lot to do with his leadership.

    Great to see Tom Parsons getting closer to his true potential, I would have given him MOTM by a whisker ahead of Donal V. Another 2 goal haul for mayo is impressive, it would appear that going for goals is a ploy, when they come off it’s great but we spurned a couple of chances when easy points were on offer. Still, the goals came when they were need most, so it is important to keep probing and not be afraid to give it a lash.

    Cork are now in the final, even if we beat them and the dubs win in tyrone, they will be level on pts with the jacks but would progress because they already beat dublin. I would be really p’d off if we were pipped at this stage, could that 1 pt loss to the dubs come back to haunt us ?

    Hard luck wj on not getting your just rewards at the ‘blogs’, not may coillte’s on the judging panel I’d say!!! Keep up the great work!!!!

  14. Dire first half. Clarke boots every kick out into the sky thus giving the opposition a 50/50 chance of winning it. I am after looking at the results on WJs archive for O Mahonys first league season in 2007. Its something similar this time around, poor starts mixed with strong finishes. After four years in charge O Mahony is as far from a full back, centre back and centre forward as he was back then. If Mayo go belly up this season its my hope he stands down. Rebuilding a team bull lasts only so long. Full back was skinned, centre back was muscled out of it and Clerkin and Finlay were better than our mid. What I saw in the first half today shows as far as I am concerened , we are miles away from a settled strong team with an identifiable game plan.

  15. In response to Topo D Rite I hope the players are keeping to their regieme and are not only fresh because of the one training session.

    Remember last year late in Salthill and against Meath we were dead on our feet but doing ok in some league matches. There has been a problem in the past with the timing of our peak performances – I hope this isn’t our Summer!

    Anyway fair play to the lads – 5 wins in a tough Division 1 and a likely final place. People knock the league but wouldn’t it be great to win it? There are only two National titles at senior level after all

  16. Fair mix of comments there. We are joint top of of a very tough league and someone wants Johno to step down? Jesus. Very few managers have instant success and building a team takes time. Yes we have problems at the back but there is no transfer market to buy full backs. U dance with the girls at the dancehall. Cant see Dublin winning next week and surely Cork will not play at full strength so great chance to get to final. Cork will be the team to beat this year. So a good chance to measure up. Still think O Malley was class 2day JJ and TM won a lot of dirty ball. Thought we looked cool in the last 10 mins and closed out the game well.

  17. North Mayo
    I am trying to be kind as i know your a real supporter but Liam O Malley is crap, a decent defender does not let cormac bane score 2-2 on him.. did you see the connacht final last year, when a poor footballer was running rings around him again..All quarter final,on the pitch a few minutes and conceeds a penalty, he is completly headless, its always been the same for liamy-decent league followed by terrible champioship performances, he caught a ball today he had no right to and then fisted it to a monaghan man, come summer liam o malley will take his place where he belongs… I always want a mayo footballer to do well.. Liam O Malley is slightly better than average club player– fact..
    I remember colm o rourke say last year ” same mayo play lovely football but no steel”, he is right, our defence seem to be only worried about attacking which is a pleasure to watch.. How many times will you see an opponent running at the heart of mayo hit with a shoulder.. It does not happen, there needs to be alot more ruthfulness and aggression from this mayo defence. Good result today and thats all that matters

    Hungrystarved51 there is no point listening to people like that who generally dont have a clue, this mayo team has serious potential, i really am excited about the likes of seamus o shea,donal vaughan etc. This in my opinion is the best team since 96…if i could pick the 6 forwards i would have harte,o shea,dillon,c.mort,o’shea,kilcoyne and the dept that goes with that is serious, possibly even better than 06, apart from mid field

  18. Sitting on the Press Shanty side yesterday.. (Marty and the boys seemed well impressed with our shiney new press box pity they had to operate from a rickety arrangement of ladders scaffolding and planks) I ranged through the many feelings of the Mayo supporter But in the end we dug out the ideal result .. a win in a game we should have lost. Now that’s sweet.
    Fair play to the lads who didn’t panic even though some had stinkers. Fair play to Jonno for keeping faith in O’Shea whom most of us would have taken off after 20 Mins Fair play to liam O’Malley for another never say die hour Tom parsons & Seamie for a fine double act in the middle D Vaughan & Mc Loughlin excellent wing play ,Andy hard work in the engine room. Good mass defense need more of that. All in all a good day at the office.

  19. great result. Still not convinced about us yet though. Our full back line is creaking and some day is going to give way completely. When will that be??? We might not have long to wait with cork up next although it might be in corks interest to give us an easy ride the next day if you know what i mean. On the Plus side we are getthing some serious scores down the other end with different players coming through each game and this is hugely encouraging however when the scores do dry up, as they did against dublin, we will struggle big time.

  20. Jj… I give up… You seem to have made up your mind and that’s fair enough. Whatever happened to “your only as good as your last game”!!
    I know the last round if the league is always played on a Sunday but jez… A Saturday night game in Cork would be great!!
    Any links to the papers yet WJ?? (I don’t know what I’d do on a Monday morning without ya!)

  21. I know, I know – first no tweets from the match yesterday and then no links to the match reports today: I wouldn’t really have deserved to win at the Blog Awards! Should have them up inside the next half-hour, North Mayo – just a bit slower than normal out of the blocks today (a bit like the lads yesterday).

  22. A great result from a poor performance in many sectors. Our midfield was very good but slightly let down by those around them on the breaking ball. In fairness to Monaghan they put in a huge effort. Our forwards lived off scraps and showed that we have some real potential coming through. Losing a player like Dillon early on would have sent us into a tailspin in the past

    It is a disappointment to see our footballing defenders get turned inside out. I’d be prepared to see a player turned a few times as a price for having big strong mullikers in there whose method was to take man, ball and anything else in his way.

  23. People are saying that we are no closer to a FB, CB and CF. I completely disagree with CF – I think we have loads of options there, Dillon and S o’Se the leading contenders atm.
    As for FB we have 2 options, Caff or Conroy. For me Conroy is not a natural FB but against a big FF (Donaghy type) who’s not that quick on the turn he’s fairly good. Against a quicker, trickier forward I’d prefer Caff. We have no other real options there for me so I think Johnno will go between the 2.
    As for CB. I think Howley has done quite well, often left manning it by himself, tigerish, tough and overall a good defender. He can have difficulty with a big ball winning type (like Sheridan last yr in the qf – which was prob his worst performance for Mayo). Overall though I think he’s done well. Again it is something where we could move conroy out there as we did towards the end of the match y’day. But Howley has to be the champ CB for me.

    Good result not great performance, mind you easily 60% of their scores came from frees y’day and I don’t think they ever looked liked cutting us up despite the fact they had good possession. We took our scores fairly well especially in the 2nd half – so lets hope the Dub game was an anomaly

  24. Hi Remember51, I am the one who has questioned Johnno and his ability to get the best out of Mayo football. I was delighted to see him return in October 2006. He took over a team that had played 4 major finals inside two years (2004-06 senior +U21 finals). Proof being he took that squad to a league final in 2007. This is 2010, I still believe we are miles of a settled team. Full back, centre back, midfield and centre forward are problems. We lack a sure fire free taker. That first half against the Blackburn of the GAA i.e Monaghan told us a lot about ourselves. In contrast Jack O Conner down in Kerry laughed away the idea of re-building. Down there he told the interviewer the Kerry people dont put up with such nonsense. This is the league, Mayo tend to do well in the league. Nothing new there. Twice our full back was left on his butt twenty yards from goal yesterday. The centre back was outmuscled a number of times. I want Mayo to succeed but pretending that we are on some kind of crusade and player gathering rubbish fools few. Incidently I noticed a spring in the steps of the Galway players in those last two matches v Dublin and Tyrone. Big Joe is down there to get it right first time not built to the future. The future is now, after 4 years I still cannot see a pattern to our play and no amount of devotion to O Mahoney a la Benitez will cod me. Sorry.

  25. missed your tweets yesterday willie joe but fair play to the club mayo boys they delivered the good on twitter, hard luck on your award but if you keep this standard up you will surely be in the shakeup again next year.

    Looking forward to the Cork game now… Nothing to fear , scores seem to come easily at the moment and a great record on the road.

    anyone got a link to conors disallowed goal that they are raving about in the indo today ?

  26. Hi Roger – I felt guilty about leaving you in the dark yesterday but it was a simple case of forgetting to take my phone with me when I parked up the car. Glad that the Club Mayo lads kept you in the picture.

    I’ve no complaints about the Blog Awards. Arseblog is a super site, consistently well written and often hilariously funny. Losing finals repeatedly also, of course, helps me to empathise better with what happens to us on the pitch!

    The highlights are on the RTE Player (link here). I haven’t looked at it myself yet but there’s 12 minutes or so of the action so they should have it. Hopefully it’s accessible overseas at this stage.

  27. Good result. That first half was as bad as we’ve been for a long time. But fair play to Monaghan, they came steaming into us from the off.
    Some of our ball retention was a disaster though, we gave away possession much too easily. Still, that last 20 minutes was heartening. I can think of many times in the past when we would have caved in.
    We really need to sort out our back line though. We need defenders who can DEFEND firstly. Cork will be a massive test. It’ll be interesting to see how our backs cope with Goulding, O’Neill etc, assuming they’re fit.
    A full back line without Higgins is a frightening thought…
    Cork have a very strong half forward line as well, I think our half backs will have to do a lot more defending than they have of late.

    Fair play to O’Malley. I’ve not been convinced of him in the past, but he was excellent yesterday.

  28. There were two huge positives from the game yesterday. 1) To be down by six points twice during the game and still keep the head and go on to win by three. 2) Strength on the bench, every player that came on was capable and added something different to the team. I think this really disrupted Monaghan. We showed savvy to go on and kill the game. A great result, to play so poorly in the first half, be out muscled all over the field and still come away with a win.

    I was v frustrated by AOS yesterday. To be honest I’d have taken him off in the first 10 mins. He spilled so much ball and when he did get his hands on it he passed it away to the opposition. Through my begrudging eyes though I noted he was a constant nuisance to the Monaghan FF line. He was tangling and awkward and they always kept am eye on him. Then in the second half he did get a ball in front of goal and buried it. This is the classic job of a big FF, to be awkward a constant nuisance and when needed to bang in a goal. SOS and O’Malley were superb. Parsons looked v good too. Mort Jnr was well marked and wasn’t able to penetrate, he was intelligent on the ball but didn’t get much of it. I think he would have scored more if he was brought in as a sub. What about Tyrone in the last kick of the game? And Galway on the up too. Exciting times.

  29. hi ontheroad. Just a quick reply. I know we have problems at the back and we are all concerned about that. I just dont see who you want to come out of thin air to solve these slots. Johno is trying everything he can at the minute by moving players around and sticking with some lads to build confidence. Lets look at where we stand at the minute. One step away from a league final having beaten Kerry, Tyrone and Derry away. We lost one game by a single score this year. I just dont see what Johno can do more. Remember this will be a long year and having a panel with different lads on different days doing the bis is what will win all irelands. Do we really want to start all over again with a new manager, and who would this Messiah be. Johnos record speaks for itself but he cant pull fullbacks out of his pocket.

  30. I think the best in the county are part if the panal. Can’t see how anyone else could make a difference.

  31. A lot of feedback WJ. Can you post all this on to Johno (maybe indirectly….like just pasting the link to his constituency office etc. cos as you know like all TDs he’s probably up the walls)

    So, do I take solace from the fighting comeback or exasperation from the overall game? The answer is of course yes to both. The way I saw the game was exactly as you described it WJ. We were lucky with 2 goals at very crucial times! Have to face it that we shouldn’t have won it as we only controlled it for approx 15-20 mins. God help the Monaghan faithful – they must be disgusted with not having at least a point out of yesterday.

    However when you look at the breakdown of scores you see that 6 forwards scored along with a midfielder, half –backs and substitutes. Also look at how many were from play. What was the percentage here – 90% maybe? Some difference to the Dublin game!
    Speaking of differences isn’t a week (similar to politics) a long time in football. Conor last Sunday was the talk of the county and this weekend he hardly got a look in. On the other hand this week Ronaldo contributed the excellent 2 points from the subs bench.
    Personally looking at it again on the telly I thought Parsons was superb at midfield and he was my MOTM. I thought his effort and workrate was magnificent and he got the score he deserved for this at the end of the 70 mins to seal the deal for us.

    Overall it was far from positive and the fact is that we won more by good fortune than good football. We were very lethargic and lackadaisical for 50 minutes and were out muscled in too many areas. I don’t think it bodes well for the championship when refs will be letting a lot more tougher belts go. But then again like so many bar stool managers I don’t know what’s going on in the background.

    Finally hard luck to you on the individual note. I saw one reference (indirectly) to not winning in Galway. Hard place to get a result as you know. If this is the case Hard lines but don’t despair. Keep it up. We need ya …Mayo needs ya.

    For my part after all my rants in this website I was thinking of contacting Eamonn
    Gilmore to see if he needed any more backup. This idea is of course ridiculous. As comical as watching how our Mayo team perform and trying to figure out how to fix them.

  32. Coilltemach I thoroughly agree with you about AOS. He bumbled and fumbled through most of the match, dropping most balls and passing the ones he did hold to the opposition. Then he scores a beauty of a goal (thanks to a great pass from Andy Moran) and all is forgiven. Surely there is a technique for catching and holding a ball.

    Keith Higgins would be an awful loss. Yesterday, Monaghan’s No. 13 Conor McManus was playing puck until Keith was put on him and he then disappeared without trace

  33. I’m glad Johnno had the patience to stick with AOS – a lot of managers might not.
    I think Aidan may be overly concerned with getting his name on the scoreboard in the belief that this is how he can prove himself to be a real full forward (a la Donaghy). The down side is that it can sometimes create a type of anxiety that ensures that you will find it really difficult to score. His celebration after the goal seemed to me to be that of a very relieved man.
    If this is the case (and only those who really know him are in a position to tell) then what JOM needs to do is get him to focus on other aspects of his play and create no expectation of scores in the next couple of games. Funny thing is when you do that – the scores flow naturally!
    If we can get AOS playing to his real potential then opposing defences will have a nightmare on their hands. And wouldnt be a delight for Mayo fans watching other defences having to suck it up for a change!

  34. A lot of ball went into Aiden yesterday, which he managed to break down but not hold on to.
    There was never another forward there to gather it.
    I was looking at gaaboard.com there. Posts On about negative Mayo supporters! Have to say where I was sitting no ones heads dropped. Always felt we would come back into it!

  35. OShea will be fine on good ground. He is rightly doing a lot of gym work to stengten up.Full back is still a problem.I would like to see Harte & Mc Garrity back to toughen up our middle area.Our inconsistancy is a worry.I must say Vaughan & OMalley have surprised me.

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