Mayo 2-13 Derry 3-15: no League final worries after madcap match

Before the ball was thrown in this afternoon at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park, we already knew we were safe in Division One. Kerry had done the needful over Roscommon in the early game so it’s now between them and Galway for who will occupy the second relegation spot.

With worries about the drop no longer an issue, that meant the greater peril facing us heading into today’s match against Derry was our apparent desire to avoid making the League final. After what proved to be a crazy enough game, we eventually ticked that box too, as the visitors left with the spoils on the back of a five-point win.

With Derry playing in their now primary mostly red strip it made for another bad colour clash for those of us suffering from that affliction. It’s not just in the area of match scheduling that the GAA needs to wake up.

We started the game brightly. Jack Carney had us up and running inside the first minute and then, when Ryan O’Donoghue was fouled, he did the needful from the resultant placed ball.

Aidan O’Shea picked up a yellow after five minutes in what was an incredibly harsh decision from an inexperienced ref who had a poor day on the whistle. All Aidan had done was win a 50:50 ball – it wasn’t even a free, never mind a card. His marker, Chrissy McKaigue, needless to say, did all he could afterwards to entice the ref to wave a second one at the Breaffy man.

McGuigan got them off the mark on seven minutes. In their next attack, Derry bagged their first goal, McGuigan hooking a cross in where it was met, like a soccer striker, by Loughlin who guided it past Colm Reape.

We hit back in the best possible way. Jordan Flynn came rampaging through the middle and thundered a shot to the net.

After we’d traded wides, McGuigan pointed a free for them. We had a let-off after that, when a flailing tackle in our square wasn’t adjudged to be a foul. That could easily have been a penalty for them.

Another McGuigan free edged them back in front but we responded with a fine score that featured Enda Hession and Matthew Ruane before Sam Callinan fired over. Then Tommy Conroy, showing a bit of cut to him today, took off and belted over what was, incredibly, his first point of the entire campaign.

But that was our final score of the half. They hit us with 1-4 without reply before the break leaving us with a major deficit at that juncture.

Mistakes by Colm Reape proved the origin to a point and a goal in quick succession. His restart out to the wing just failed to clear the 21 and, from the resultant hop-ball, McGrogan pulled on it as it squirted loose and over it went.

Then we messed up the restart and, quick as a flash, the ball was transferred to McGuigan who buried it.

All of our old failings in attack resurfaced after that. Shorn of our usual line-breakers, our attack degenerated into the kind of ponderous lateral doom loop that drives supporters nuts and which the opposition loves.

One such period of play ended with Sam dropping an effort into the ‘keeper’s arms. Down the field came Derry, with corner back Baker clipping over a smartly taken score.

By half-time, the atmosphere in the crowd of just under 10,000 – which was a decent turnout in the circumstances – was totally flat.

Derry’s third goal, blasted home early in the second half by McCluskey as our defence opened up obligingly to let the corner back saunter through at will, appeared to end the contest.

But then, somewhat surprisingly, we mounted an extremely spirited fightback. Nine points down after McCluskey’s goal, we reeled them back into two points before the visitors finally settled coming down the closing stretch and nabbed a few late scores to seal the win.

Aaron McDonnell had just marked what was an encouraging League debut with a point when Paul Towey came on for Fergal Boland. Within seconds the Charlestown player had the ball in the net and, suddenly, the game’s momentum was now all with us.

Jordan Flynn shot for goal but his effort was superbly batted away by Lynch. Colm Reape landed the resultant 45′ to cut the gap to four.

Then Lynch dallied too long in taking his restart, the home crowd baying now, and the ref pinged him for it. We won the hop-ball, Paul Towey firing over.

Aidan won a super turnover off McKaigue and as he tried to break clear, the Derry man hauled him down. It was a stonewall black card offence but the ref somehow didn’t see it that way. Aidan had managed to offload the ball and, with Lynch off his line, Ryan tried to chip him but the ball just went over the bar.

The place was really rocking now but that was when our comeback stalled. Glass, a peripheral figure for much of the game, lifted the siege with a point down the other end and three further scores, the first a McGuigan free and two from play from Toner, stretched the Oak Leafers’ lead back out to six.

Aidan, from play, bagged the final score of the day but the match was well done by then. Derry had done enough to win, we’d done enough to avoid a League final but had also upped our performance sufficiently to avoid what for a while looked likely to be a tanking.

So that’s our League campaign done and dusted to all intents and purposes. Neither ourselves nor relegated Monaghan have anything to play for next Sunday and I’d imagine we’ll see a vastly changed Mayo team named for that one. We might win in Clones, we might lose but it won’t matter a jot in the scheme of things. A bit like today, as it turned out.

Mayo: Colm Reape (0-2, free and ’45); Aaron McDonnell (0-1), Rory Brickenden, Sam Callinan (0-1); Donnacha McHugh, Stephen Coen, Enda Hession; Jack Carney (0-1), Matthew Ruane; Bob Tuohy, Fergal Boland (0-1), Jordan Flynn (1-0); Aidan O’Shea (0-2, one free), Tommy Conroy (0-1), Ryan O’Donoghue (0-3, two frees). Subs: Conor Loftus for Tuohy, Jack Coyne for Hession, Paul Towey (1-1) for Boland, Fenton Kelly for McDonnell, Kevin Quinn for Loftus.

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

  • Aidan O'Shea (22%, 558 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (17%, 445 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (11%, 290 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (11%, 275 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (9%, 235 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (6%, 162 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (5%, 138 Votes)
  • Aaron McDonnell (3%, 88 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (3%, 88 Votes)
  • Sam Callinan (2%, 57 Votes)
  • Colm Reape (2%, 49 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (1%, 36 Votes)
  • Donnacha McHugh (1%, 26 Votes)
  • Bob Tuohy (1%, 26 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (1%, 22 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Kevin Quinn (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Jack Coyne (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Rory Brickenden (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Fenton Kelly (1%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,247

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86 thoughts on “Mayo 2-13 Derry 3-15: no League final worries after madcap match

  1. We need to look at Hennelly again in goal..Reape makes too many errors at times under pressure…it’s a running theme at this stage! Don’t understand the idea that Hennelly should be frozen out and that Reape is so unquestionably our no.1. You have to rely on a keeper and Reape is a little too dodgy for me at this stage.

    However the real lesson today is what we already know…not good enough up front!

  2. Btw, some might say RH can be a bit dodgy dealing with the odd high ball. True- but overall looks a more reliable keeper to me than Reape- lessons need to be learned!

  3. 100% agree Spotlight. Reape hasn’t earned the right to be an automatic starter without question. Todays melt down was eerily similar to the Cork game and this game was nowhere near as important, yet the same story with him. 1-1 handed to the opposition on a plate.

  4. Three things were confirmed today – most of us knew this already:
    1. We have no defensive plan. Backs are man marking and have no appreciation of danger. Again today we saw backs following their forwards out to the sideline that allowed other Derry players walk through the middle.
    2. Reape is not reliable when pressure comes on.
    3. We are a good bit off the top three of Dublin, Kerry abd Derry. If Derry hadn’t eased off in last 15 minutes the result could have bern much wider.

  5. Correct Margie ..and no, it’s not a case of being overly hard on him . There is a pattern here that must be called out and to be fair it’s only dawning on me now.

    Goals win games and we have no chance with these blunts . It killed us today.

    Yes we were missing some key players but the key takeaways are Reape’d unreliability at key moments and the lack of scoring options up..all recycled endlessly with no real incision.

    Don’t allow talk of ‘it’s only the league and we were missing some key defenders/DOC’ to detract from that basic truth!

    We need to be truthful about our deficiencies and not seek false positives.

  6. This matched how far we have fallen down the pecking order. Brutal stuff unfortunately from Mayo today. Derry could have won by twice their winning margin.

  7. Spotlight, the biggest thing I learned today had nothing to do with our forwards. It’s that we didn’t defend in any way, shape or form effectively against a Derry team that could waltz through for scores.
    McGuigan was banking scores like a squirrel banks nuts for winter hibernation. Yes, thank you, I will take that score. Thank you for staying aside while I do the honours. No, sorry, we won’t oblige for you at the other end of the field.

  8. Verry very poor again from Mayo today. Score flattered us. Derry should have had 2 or 3 more goals in 1st half. Reape has been a problem for a while. Costing scores every game. Defensively wide open and our forwards won,t frighten any of the big guns. Very quiet year ahead for Mayo this year

  9. Wonder how Byrne has got no look in at all, Reape had off day today, but won us the league final singlehandedly nearly last year. Hennelly, as Derry game showed cannot seem play the sweeper role management want.

    We don’t seem to have defensive or offensive plans again, our best spells have been when it’s gone chaotic so to speak.

    Aidan O’Shea I thought done well today, but he’s not the FF player McStay said he was going to be he’s out the middle like otter years.

    We’ve no outlet upfront then, and when no defensive or kickout plan that’s discernible on top of that it’s worrying.

  10. well beaten in the end today but overall happy enough going into Championship if all players fit. Serious work to be done with keeper and kickout, also full back line needs vast improvement but with McBrien, Durcan and McLaughlin to come in should be much better. Ruane and Carney good at midfield. Time to stop Rochfords back and over passing when attacking it doesnt work. We need to run at teams and kick ball forward to different target man each time, we did it for a while in second half today and it worked. Think Towey shouild get full game against Monaghan and New York to build his confidence and then use him as a sub for rest of Championship when games open up after first 20 minutes. Aiden O Shea proved again today that he is needed on the team for his physical strength alone but where to play him, we cant have him running the length of the field all day, I would use him like Jim McGuinness used Neil Gallagher for Donegal last time, around centre half forward to collect the ball from defence and pass it on to the runners on the wings,that has him there for kickouts from both end and doing the hard lifting without having to run the length of the field all day.

  11. Funny though after the Tyrone game loads said reape was the number 1 one goalie and their was no question about it but now he’s not…. fair enough he had a bad day today for sure but honestly don’t think hennelly is any better.

  12. Not quite the 6 point Mayo win predicted Corick 🙂

    When Derry took foot off and we started pull back a bit the way they were able rattle off scores to pull away again was scary.

  13. Not going to name names but the whole defence was in disarray. Fortunately, Derry’s defence was almost as porous. O’Shea played well and both Glass and Rogers were subdued today. A reasonable performance in my opinion but there’s goals aplenty to be leaked unless McStay rejigs that defence. On s positive note, there’s time to fix it.

  14. Clare- It wasn’t just today that Reape has made these mistake. In fairness, I never saw such a pattern with Hennelly or that kind of kick-out melt down.

  15. I have been saying this about Colm in goals as far back as the Armagh game-in last year’s league. I was there that day as I was against Cork in Limerick, Also a melt down against Dublin last year in Championship quarter final. When pressure comes on he is very suspect. As he was today. I actually thought he should have read the situation for Derrys first goal. He should have come off the line to try and make a tackle on the goal scorer. That ball was inside the 6 yard line. He is very slow with his kick outs , several times today Mayo men ran into position for the kick out and he delayed the kick out for a second, they were then picked up. I do know that he had a brilliant game in the league final last year which I was at against Galway.But one swallow does not make a summer. Robbie got a chance against Tyrone, he did make an error or two. Where is Byrne from Mitchell’s, he has a good left boot on him aswell. He has not in my memory lets Mayo Down at any stage he got a chance to play. Surely Kevin and Mr Rochford can look at him again. Or is he even on the squad. The management seem to think we need the Keeper out the field, and they are hung up with the fact that Colm is a former forward. The other mentioned keepers are Keepers only. I think it’s time for a change. Tommy Conroy looked to be coming back to his best today. Also Aidan O Shea had a good game. I feel sorry for him. He is a very big man, but
    Even when he is being assaulted the referees don’t seem to give him his frees. Yet any small misdemeanour he does the free is given against him . Or he gets a yellow card like the one he got today. It was not even a free. It’s football we are playing , not tiddlywinks.

  16. Spotlight, the other side of it is who used Hennelly be working kicks to? We had more dominant aerial midfielders.
    The behind goal cameras TG4 show are great for showing lack of movement or structural kick out plans like bunch and break or side loading many other teams deploy, even underage.

    A greater worry is our lack of structural set up offensively or defensively. That was basically our championship team today, from what was available.

  17. Gizmobobs – we beat Dublin in championship and reached an AI final a few years ago with Hennelly in goals and Ruane/Loftus at midfield.

    We caught loads of high balls in midfield today and throughout the league. Don’t really see that as an issue personally.

  18. Not a good day for Reape but Hennelly has had multiple meltdowns and at the most costly times. No need to run through them but he clearly learned nothing between 2013 and 2021!

    It’s a tricky position now for us.

    Shotstopping:- equal.
    High ball:- reape by a country mile
    Kickouts:- hennelly only just. He was poor the last match he played.
    Free kicks:- Reape is better.
    Organising defence:- I don’t know.

    Also, just heard the match report on Mid West. What match was that lad watching?? ‘Mayo showed character’…‘write off Mayo at your peril’ ..seriously?! Mayo were awful in the 2nd quarter and 3rd quarter allowing Derry control the game and go 9 points up. The only reason we got back into it was cos Derry felt they had the game won. Ok, some credit for not throwing in the towel but the game was well up in reality. Anyway, it’s only the league.

  19. I thought we papered over the cracks today with our ever so slight comeback. In reality we we’re out played throughout the day. Defence seriously needs to get it’s act together, as for our forward line ( eyes up to heaven emoji ) There was little to no cohesion among them & none of the off the sholder support play we saw against Galway, Dublin & kerry in patches. It’s beyond frustrating that we can’t seem to consistently break down a blanket defence. Our 1st goal being the only direct passage of cut through play. I’m fully aware it’s only March but I fear for our back line come championship dispite being absolutely superb against Galway they’ve flattered to deceive since then. The forward line need to step up to the plate for 70 plus minutes & not just periods where we require key scores such as today & below in kerry.
    Hopefully it’s only a blip but we need to improve drastically come Championship if we’re to be in the shake up.

  20. Agree with posters complaining about the backs. No appreciation of the danger and just man marking. Being pulled out of position with ease.

    I saw a snippet of the Dublin game and observed McCaffrey just casually defending the play in front of him. Covering his area of the field and shepherding the play away to someone else along the line. So no lunging in, no fouling, no mad panic about to break out.
    Our back play today was light years away from this way of performing.

  21. Mayonaze – I would say Hennelly is at least as good on free kicks, but don’t disagree with the rest of that.

    Give Hennelly the Monaghan game, but I think we have to go with Reape in championship at this stage.

  22. Mayo were embarrassed into a response in the second half today. Were not in any way interested in winning the game today. 9 points was a little too much to lose by so they deserted the game plan and kicked a few long balls instead and got a great return out of it. Once we got it back to a reasonable gap we went back to carrying the ball around in circles with no attacking pace. Need Durk and McLoughlin back ASAP. Very little point going to Clones next week as will be worse than today. Roll on Roscommon when the real football begins.

  23. Wide Ball, and we still haven’t won Sam since 1951.
    Management are conservative in selections generally I feel, today we could have tried squad players and if lost so be it, be would have gotten good look at lads and gotten minutes into them. If we lost so be it, instead we went pretty much full strength with who is fit, lost and didn’t get meaningful minutes into squad players. It’s an opportunity missed IMO.

  24. Gizmobobs – not sure what our record over the last 70 odd years has to do with it… Getting our strongest possible team on the field in 2024 is all that matters.

    Aaron McDonnell got his debut today. Quinn and F Kelly were brought on for their debuts when the game was in the melting pot. Callinan, Tuohy and McHugh are all 20/21 so still growing as players. Today will bring them on too.

  25. Management have some thinking to do. They need to put in a structure, as today we were all over the place. We need to get away from this over and back play, going no where. This has Rochford written all over it. I see fellows with the ball on the edge of the D and are looking to pass it, usually back out the field. At inter county football if you are not fit to kick a point from there you should not be playing. Do we have a 3 rd choice keeping in the squad at all. Maybe it’s time to look at him.But we definitely need to do something to change things. I also thought Matt Ruane played better today than he has been playing. McDonnell did well for his first game aswell.

  26. It’s never the best of days for a man when both Liverpool and Mayo lose. It’s time to head out for a pint!!!

  27. Ah come on now Corick. We don’t have the quality anymore. Derry & Dublin would maul us in championship. Not to mention Kerry. And we could easily lose to Donegal, Tyrone, Armagh or Galway if the chips were down. We are as far away from an All Ireland as we have been in a long time.

    In a few years time perhaps. But we haven’t a notion of winning it at present

  28. Once our 2 worst players from last year Coen and Lotus are still relied on we are at nothing. I would like to see McDonnell given a chance at CB. He seems strong and athletic and he can’t be worse than what we have tried up to this. The problem is he will probably get one or two try outs where as others get years. There were loads of negatives today like the way the defence were standing too far off their men and none of them tried to get out in front of their men. Bad memories of Pat Holmes marking Maurice Fitzgerald were coming back to haunt me.

  29. Pay no attention to the League. Great Galway 3 in a row team lost the League Final to Longford in 1966! Mayo played well in patches today but the keeper meltdown before half time did them in. There will be high energy and plenty of running in that Mayo team come June and July. But unfortunately no marquee forwards like Derry and Kerry so AI semi final might be as far we get. Also Derry look very calm and composed in games.

  30. I hear ya Mayo focus, better team won and go on and win it now if ye can. As a by the by and staying on the soccer team Everton are in a precarious enough position now and the last time they were relegated from the top tier was…….1951. Just saying!!!

  31. Once Reape had his 60 second meltdown and gifted Derry 1-1, it was game over. Not the first time it’s happened unfortunately.

  32. Am I right in thinking Derry were pretty much at full strength today?
    Add in Paddy,David Mc, Eoghan Mc, Coyne,Diarmuid,Cillian and James Carr and the outcome is different. At least 4 of those are guaranteed starters and 3 of them are our quickest in the back lines.
    We found it difficult to deal with their runners. Our speedsters would have helped plug the holes and the Reape mistakes obviously didn’t help us.
    Dare we gamble and bring Ryan out to CF. A couple of great kick passes from deep today again. He would score as many from play at CF but with more assists.
    Any news on the injury front?

  33. Boland very disappointing at CF today,
    The ball he got on was easy ball and then
    He kicked every ball backwards or sidewards.
    Would move Ryan to center forward and Boland
    To 10

  34. Spotlight. Ah cmon now.. hailing Hennelly as our savouir. The man has has umpteen chances and no disrespect to the man but he has made more mistakes than most. We had one top tier keeper…David Clarke in the last 20 years, and didn’t fully respect him when we had him. Its usually not the keepers fault

  35. Credit to the team for plugging away in the second half. We very nearly reeled them in.
    We saw the benefit of Towey off the bench. He wouldn’t be in my first 15 but is some option to bring on when legs tire and there is a bit more space.

  36. Comments are a bit over the top, it was expected that Derry would win as they are going well. We were going well last year as well and we know how that ended.

    We need to stick with reape , it would be utter madness to go back to Hennelly after he cost us so many big games and his most recent performance against Tyrone was worse than reape today in my opinion

  37. Agree David Johnston about David Clarke but who shafted him for the replay but Rochford and he’s still hanging around

  38. Huge positive from today is Towey.

    A lot of people suffering from amnesia if they’re suggesting hennelly needs to be reinstated as no 1, we may as well bring back higgins boyle keegan and vaughan to sort out the defence.

    Suggestions too that carr diarmuid cillian etc would be game changers, that’s assuming carr will hit peak performance come cship without a single minute of league. All those derry players have had a serious exposure to D1 football and will start cship. Anyways get hennelly and the injured lads back and we’ll be bringing sam home

  39. Cora spot on with her analysis on Sunday Sport. She said we need a CB and our defence too passive.
    Maybe management needs new thinking.

  40. stop criticising Reape. He got very poor cover from our full back liine today. He was forced to go long in many of his kick out because no one was showing for the ball. He had to come outfield on numerous occasions because of our continuous back passing . He is the best goalie in the county and should definitely start in all championship games.

  41. Would love to know how folks who didn’t want us to take the league seriously and to certainly not make a league final think now. Surely mission accomplished, when we were flying against Kerry and Tyrone in the league last year we were told it didn’t matter as it was the league. Now our championship prospects are doomed off of the back of the same league games. I think we can beat anyone on our day, but the concern about lack of scores is evident and real

  42. @Bandwagon, No one is saying Hennelly is perfect. The gist of the argument here is this – Reape has played roughly 18 competitive games for Mayo. Off the top of my head, he has had little meltdowns in 4 of those games, all very identical, when the pressure was really put on – Armagh, Cork, Dublin and Derry. Thats means he has cost us big time in over 20% of the games he’s played. What people are saying is, he has no divine right to the jersey.

    Hennelly is the no.2, so lets get him minutes next week. Reape has had it a little too comfortable and he’s not justifying his automatic selection status at the moment, he waa nearly caught with his pants down against Roscommon aswell. All players should have someone breathing down their neck for they’re jersey, I recall Paddy Andrews saying thats what drove the great Dublin players on. He seems to be one of the only players this management team didnt inherit from Horan last season, but that shouldn’t make him immune to being dropped. Clarke was dropped for alot less in that AIF…….

  43. Michaelincork. Its everyones right to make a comment, on the blog. Some praise and some
    Are some what critical. But most are honest comments on
    What had happened during the matches. Colm had not one of his better days today. That is a fact. I for one have not been convinced by Colms performances of late , or indeed on a few occasions last year . Two or three melt downs like today. I have been in attendance
    At all Mayo’s matches this year and last year. Having attended a lot of Local Mayo Championship games last year.Would not say Colm is the best keeper in the county.

  44. You three, the worry for me isn’t the result or league final/no league final. It’s that lessons we hoped would be learned from last year still appear to on the to do list 🙁
    – defensive strategy TBD
    – Kick out strategy TBD
    – Attacking strategy TBD

  45. @Mind the house: Close, but not quite full strength.

    Conor Doherty definitely gets in there when he’s fit (a key runner in their forward line) and you’d normally expect Paul Cassidy to be starting too. A case to made for Declan Cassidy as well but border line starter/squad player rather than clear starter like the other two (Small caveat on Gareth McKinless and Odhran Lynch too, both just returning today from knocks picked up in week 2 against Tyrone).

    That said… you’d expect our lads returning to give us more of a boost than their few returning, so still an expected net gain there all else being equal.

  46. We are top 8 not top 4 but we knew that already. Our lack of clinical forwards was very obvious today especially with Ryan having a bit of an off day. Would anyone agree that there is something wrong with Tommy Conroy’s technique. He he doesn’t make good contact with the ball when he takes on a shot and on soloing he doesn’t seem to have the ball fully under his control?

  47. @Gizmobobs: Not sure I could blame strategy for much today, just big questions on the execution(s). Most of the bad chances given away today can be tracked straight back to individual errors (or in a handful of cases lack of pace in matchups that was always going to happen with Jack/David/Paddy/Diarmuid all missing – even at full strength Derry would have a few pace advantages on us across the field) rather than strategy.

    The McGuigan goal Rory got pushed off it way too easy. He’ll get demolished in the video session for that one. Easily fixed if we’d David in there on McGuigan… but the type of mistake we’ll need 2 to 26 avoid allowing for the rest of the year.

    For the McKinless goal we saw Jordan drop his man to press another that Enda had been tagging, no communication or handover happened, Enda took up a holding stance waiting to pick up a runner from deep while Jordan’s old man slipped in completely untracked to punish us.

    Huge fan of both Jordan and Enda but between the two of them we gave up the opening for that specific goal. Potentially a coaching issue if two of our relatively experienced players couldn’t execute a handover/switch properly in a man to man system built on that… but more than likely just individual error.

    I’d assume a little more fault on Enda not checking for a man in behind when someone randomly pops up taking his man, they have to come from somewhere. Plenty of fault on that one for Rory too for not blocking the run straight in on goal and instead holding off on his man no longer in a priority danger area. A couple of times we’ve had lads sticking with men when I’d assume they should have been switching to scramble defence to block the goal. Certainly seems to be some training work on that.

    All sorts of blame to throw around defensively today. Not too sure much of it was strategy related.

  48. I was looking back at our goals conceded and they were poor ones.
    Brick caught on his heels for the first one.
    Reapes mistake for the second shouldn’t have been fatal. We had enough men back but two went towards the ball and left Mcguigan on his own.
    Again we weren’t outnumbered for the third. We had equal numbers back but didn’t go to the ball in time.

    We’re missing key defenders to be fair but it was pretty basic stuff.

    We showed plenty of heart and what we’d give for a Ryan Mark 2 at CF. 2 great kick passes for Tommy and Towey. 1 goal and 1 very nearly a goal.

  49. The disappointing thing was that Derry, in all kinds of trouble when the lead was whittled down to two, managed to tag on another few points. Were our fitness levels up to it at that stage? I think not which is probably good.

    We conceded at least 1-3 from unforced errors – that’s rectifiable. I think we have a find in Aaron McDonnell, Towey’s goal was classic corner forward play, Aido is still indispensable, and Mattie is getting better. McStay can take some positives.

    Rory Byrne has to get a run against Monaghan.

  50. I’d be a fan of Colm in general but when he made the mistake with the kick out not crossing the 20m line we commented among ourselves that he should have held his hand up instead of arguing the toss and being irate…he made a mistake,own it,calm yourself down and concentrate on the next play straight away. Instead he gifted a goal from very next kick out.
    A job there for our psychologist… assuming we still have one.

  51. 2hops. Funny you say that. I said to my brother immediately after that mistake. Prepare for another straight away. Unfortunately it happened.

  52. Great time to get the wake up call. Mcstay really upbeat ahead of the match. Defence was brutal today. Paddy and mcbrien badly needed back. Keeper not good either. Tommy was brilliant I thought. Boland is back playing Rochford ball. The expectation of mayo in the championship is basically a semi final is great. Jesus poor horan got slaughtered for losing with mostly this team in 2021. A big step required by management. That includes defensive coaches and offensive Mr canny. Very slow on the line today. Doc Durcan and mcbrien to save the day. We will have to wait and see. We are simply not direct enough when attacking. Also cut wide open down the middle today.

  53. I think Gizmo you’re correct that it’s the same areas that need improving from last year. I’ve got to think it’s being worked on but we’ve lost buckets of talent and the replacements need more time plus we’ve got to hope some new talent is coming through in next few years. Few of the current crop are winning their individual battles at the moment & the league performances don’t indicate we’ve got a better hand to show latter in championship. Sure we might take a big name out in HQ but we’re well down the overall contenders list now.

  54. The famous question on the goalkeeper has raised its head again. It’s funny when we look back at things.

    Hennelly – brutal under a high ball. A poster earlier praised how he got us over the line against Dublin in 2020 but was completely at fault for both goals we conceded in the final to Tyrone.

    Clarke – he was the best but unfortunately his kickouts were very one sided and not accurate enough over longer distances.

    Reape – has had good and bad moments but seems to have a bit of both Hennelly and Clarke in him.

    The fundamental issue is the coaching of the goalkeeper role. We say that Colm gave away short kickouts but is there any bit of co-ordinated movement from defenders? We have the ball and we dictate where it’s going. Not Derry. There is no head nor tail to our kickout strategy and goalkeepers will continue to make mistakes because they are trying to do something that management have told them that simply doesn’t work. Ironically you don’t see Reape make these mistakes at club level.

    How Rory Byrne hasn’t been given a run over the last number of years is just the biggest joke I’ve ever seen. Has proven it in club championship on so many occasions in the past.

  55. All keepers can struggle with kick-outs in general- remember Cluxton in 2017 final. However for me Reape is prone to silly and costly unforced errors. This has happened a few times now. Personally I have never associated Hennelly with such silly and obvious errors.

    Another thing: The big criticism of Horan when he finished up was the constant running game with the ball being passed sideways and backwards with not enough long-kick passes in to the forwards- ‘Horan Ball’.

    Tell me, are you seeing anything different now?

    Could someone tell me what the new forwards coach is doing. I see no change, does anybody else?

  56. Craggy boglands – you’re dead right. Horan was nearly ran out of the county in 2021. All because we failed to win an all Ireland final. I don’t see us being any weaker this year on paper tbh. Yet many are resigned to us being semi finalists at best?

    We showed in the first 10 minutes and the second half today that we can more than compete with Derry. As we did vs Dublin and Kerry too.

    Whatever about up front we’ve loads of talented backs. No excuse for some of that defending so I’m expecting management to fix it.

  57. @Maumtrasna View: “… don’t indicate we’ve got a better hand to show latter in championship”.


    We were very poor defensively today so plenty of legitimate criticism to be made there… but saying no sign of a better hand to show later when our back line today was missing David McBrien, Paddy Durcan, Eoghan McLaughlin and Jack Coyne (four of our 6 fastest defenders on a day we were well beaten on pace) and when Colm Reape had his (significantly) worst performance of the year (and possibly a few years) is simply incorrect.

    On a day when our defence imploded (basic errors from consistently good players), our kickouts were dreadful by any of our recent game standards, we only hit 50% of our shots (we created more shooting opportunities than Derry – 29 vs 26 – where we’d normally get to a competitive 60-70% there. 2 missed inside the D, one on the edge of it and 3 more well inside normal scoring zone from those) and we missed a number of decent goal chances (3 goal chances blocked/saved inside the large square) we still managed to hold one the two form teams in the country to being 2/3 points coming down the closing straight and a 5 point victory. All on a narrow MacHale Park pitch that does wonders for Derry’s (or Louth’s) defensive system compared to a Croke Park/Hyde Park/anything other than minimum width.

    A little perspective is no harm at all. Plenty of positives to take from today and lots of room for (and rightful expectation of) massive improvements in the Championship.

  58. What I Don’t understand is that we have to be 6 or 7 point s down before we start playing proper front foot football and when we did yesterday we looked as good as anyone. But this bullshit back and over and boland was really guilty of it has to stop. When Rod came out and hit Tommy inside with a great pass it was delightful to watch but it’s definitely not in Rochford s rule book. A rule book that will never win sam. It now looks like either Tommy or Rod will have to come out to the forty. Mcbrien. Durcan doc. Straight in. Out goes brickenden. Mchugh. Probably ruane for doc. Although I thought matty was very good at times yesterday. The position of aos is still a talking point but the big topic now is the keeper. First of all he should not be allowed out the field. A kamikaze job. Everyone else is doing it so we will copy them. On his kick outs which is one of his primary jobs.. he seems to have 2 instructions. One was to go short. The other was to hit Bob touhy. Neither worked. The 6 position is back in question again too. Also how is it now so late that we are looking at those subs that came in or even the number 2 that started. The trying out of new talent seems a bit all over the place. I’m sure Paul towy would agree. All said and done I’m not writing mayo off for one second but a severe change in mindset by management required immediately.

  59. At least the league is nearly over. Plus we didn’t show our hand today. Onwards and upwards as the fella says.

  60. Not a huge amount to be overly concerned about. Most didn’t want us to qualify for league final. We didn’t. Most people acknowledge that Derry are one of the top three teams in country at the moment. They beat us. Most people know we are well down the pecking order. The league table agrees. Personally I thought today wasn’t too bad. Derry fairly close to full strength. We are missing a number of key players. Blame game up and running As always it’s those who don’t play who get the praise. We don’t have an outstanding goalie and Reape did make a few errors today as he has done in the past. Rob gets a bit of praise and even Rory Byrne gets mentioned. Backs concede 3 goals today after only letting in one in the rest of league. Personally if all players are fit I reckon 3 or possibly 4 changes are possible in defence.Boland was not great today but he has had a good league, so much so that his form has been used to criticise management for not picking him last year. Forwards not brilliant but 2 13 v Derry is not bad. So overall the match was a decent workout. It’s March, the 3 best teams in the country are fairly obvious and we are not one of them. We are competitive and can beat most on our day but can also be beaten by quite a few if we are not on our game. Galway have some top players to come back. Canavan and McCurry are shooting out the lights for Tyrone and Armagh and Jimmy are winning matches.. Overall an ok league for an ok team.Actually I think we may be in a slightly better place than last year when we won the league, but an AI semi final is the best we can hope for, though a quarter final loss to one of the big boys, similar to last year is a more likely scenario

  61. This is not the real Mayo lads. I’m sure the defensive carnage that was yesterday will be seriously worrying the cud chewers in the dugout. Plenty of ruminating to be done, but all is far from lost. My initial reaction was one of despair- but common sense tells me the real slim shady will stand up soon enough- he’d better anyway!

  62. McGuigan was not especially man marked yesterday. Treated like any other forward. That’s nice naive Mayo stuff. The ball he ran in to collect totally unmarked. Ridiculous at this level. If we meet them again David McBrien is to do a “You’re locked in here with me” Bruce Lee mindset. Mgmt think Sam Callinane is a man marker which he isn’t really.

  63. A few very good posts today. Spotlight says he does know what the new forwards coach is doing.
    My opinion is that he was brought in on the say so of Stephen Rochford as he played in a forward position for A very good Corrofin team when Rochford was manager.This playing over and back
    In the forward line will have to stop. We have chances to kick scores when we get into a little bit of space, but either are looking to pass the book
    Or passing back out the field. This is what they are been instructed to do. Unless u are 100% sure of a score don’t shoot. It’s restricting some good shooting forwards.On the goalkeeper. I can’t see how Byrne has not even been in the 26 this year.
    He had a very good Club Championship. Yet he seems to be not in contention at all. He was our number 2 last year, I think. Giving the chap a game in Monaghan next weekend in a dead rubber game with possibly a very weak Mayo team would not be very fair on the man either. No one seemed to want to win the league or be in the league final. All other positions seemed to be up for grabs, as management rotated a lot of players. But I still think they did not give the likes of McHael, Plunkett
    Towey enough time to have a good look at them. The goalkeepers should also have been rotated somewhat. I think Rob got 1 game in League, and 1 FDB league game, and Byrne got no game time at all. The league in competitive games was the time to look and see how these lads were going, and how they would do in pressure situations. I remember Byrne having a good game back only in 2022 in the League final that Kerry beat us in. I have seen McHael and Plunkett in numerous Club games over the last few years, and have been impressed by them.Both have had injuries but now seem to be injury free. Surely it’s time for some change.

  64. If we didn’t want to get to the league final, and it’s not clear what management’s thoughts on that were, then we had to lose yesterday.
    We duly did, but how much of the weaknesses on display was by design isn’t clear.
    Could mgmt have told Reape to abandon whatever kick out strategy they had? Seem unlikely.
    Could they have setup the defence in a way they knew wouldn’t be most effective against Derry, allowing them so many overlaps?
    Our midfield were doing really well yesterday for example, some brilliant high fielding, so why did Reape go short so often?
    I thought Conroy would push on after he got his point, but still didn’t pull the trigger on a couple of opportunities after that – I don’t think he would have taken the opportunity Towey got the goal from, for example.

  65. The big challenge for McStsy & Co. is to develop a settled team. Between injuries and retirements and lads losing form or going to Oz etc we seem to lack cohesion and consistency in the last year or so. Players need plenty of time playing together as a team. Maybe we can get ourselves sorted in time for this year’s championship but it’s not looking great right now.

  66. I come back to my point on the half forward line.
    Imagine yesterday starting Kevin Quinn and Paul Towey inside.
    Half forward line
    Tommy Conroy Ryan O’Donoghue Jordan Flynn
    Then Tommy is replaced with:
    Enda Hession Ryan “O’Donoghue Jordan Flynn
    In the above setup we are able to get much more out of our half forward line and it is a passing, scoring and running threat.
    Tommy was actually too close to goal yesterday. He got crowded out a few times.

  67. JP. I totally agree with u on the point of Tommy
    Playing on the inside line. Got crowed out a few times. He was obviously told to take on his man.
    He is definitely more suited to the half forward line. Use his great turn of pace to go past his man and then pull the trigger.Towey did take his goal well yesterday. He is a good choice to have IF GIVEN the chance. Management need to focus on picking the best players in the best positions for the good of the team going forward. This thing of where a player played a few good games and then seem to loose confidence / or form but still gets the jersey has to stop. The management need to see who is moving well in training and pick the team on form.
    Lads get complacent if they think that their place is
    Nailed down. We need a lot more competition for places.Fergal has done very well for us this year. But yesterday had a poor outing. The game and marking was a lot tighter than it had been up until now. I feel he thrives on loose play. Yesterday’s game he didn’t get the usual space he thrives on.
    He only got the chance to kick one shot at goal yesterday that he left short. Derry had a lot of home work done on him. Going forward I don’t think that he is the answer to centre forward position.

  68. All of our defenders need to have pace and impact in the tackle. There’s a certain eye test obvious trait to this that I’m sorry our mgmt are overlooking.
    We cannot be togging slow defenders.
    We cannot be togging long limb defenders with no true tackle power.
    There’s no, Ah sure maybe I’m wrong with this.
    Derry could not cut through Kerry or Dublin because there’s no defender togged without pace and power. If a player has a real slim arms and chest build they are not ready for this level. There’s work to be done to put on the even 3-4kg of extra power needed. If that’s not possible then they’ll never be impactful defending at this level.
    If a defender is slow then they are only an option as a late sub. But, honestly, why would we even make such compromises?
    I find it unbelievable that pacey six foot tall Aaron McDonnell took this long to see any action. For a debut he looked comfortable. We now enter championship and he’s been made feel he’s lucky to be involved at this level. Similar Kevin Quinn. How else can they feel? They’ve been sitting on the bench unused all year.
    Kevin Quinn only got minutes because Conor Loftus got injured. For his brief cameo Kevin Quinn was busy. He’s a scorer. Scorers thrive on confidence. I dunno. It’s been an absolute falling between two stools liquorice all sorts of a league from mgmt for me.
    It’s like they don’t fully have a handle on what a 2024 level for division one is.
    For me we can tog much stronger and be better tactically than we have been. We have pace, height and power. But we undo this consistently with selections starting and subs.

  69. It shows if quality ball is played to Towey he can score. Management seem to play him on wet , wintery days when it doesn’t suit him. Should be played more in the Championship. Also not bring him on the last minutes when the game is nearly over

  70. I think too many folks are naive.

    Mayo played more than enough football at the end of the 2nd half to win that game but they didn’t. (That was fully intentional)

    We came good at exactly the right time and conveniently took the gears down when Derry pulled 4-5pts clear.

    Given our injury list at the moment, Div 1 league status secured once more (all while not playing great but still tipping along) things are moving along nicely and we achieved what set out to do at the start of the league.

    The championship is going to be longer than many here think.

    McStay isn’t dumb and will have learned from last season.

    Keep the faith.

  71. How is there any question over the goalkeeping position? Hennelly is sound in games where the pressure isn’t on. We’ve seen the meltdown in all-ireland finals that cost us the game. Identical goals conceded in two finals against Dublin and Tyrone. He had his shot and was a good servant. Reape had made mistakes this year but has been very solid for the most part. He’s the number one keeper for the year. Has to be.

  72. I have to say JP that I wholly agree with you evaluations. Our defenders should be of the “mean, ultra physical and pacey” variety. They should not be of ” the light-weight, lanky, robotic, weakling athletic type” we currently have, many of which also appear to be short of natural football vision and skills. We should be playing fellows with a good coat of hair on the palms of their hands and intermittent flames coming out of their nostrils in their determination to win!

  73. I actually thought we showed very good tackling ability yesterday. Our men got in close and disrupted Derry players lots of times. Our players seemed to feel confident at this too.
    However, as a general rule, we stayed too far away from Derry attackers, and this was awful and lax.
    We also retreat too soon, as other teams tend to do. When we tackled hard, further up the field, in the second half, it was a joy to watch.
    Also – more long balls, please, before the opposition’s defence gets set.
    I LOVE Towey’s instinctive play when he gets the ball and the score is on. He kicks a good long ball too.
    I thought Stephen Coen looked VERY good early on and I believe that he has that quality and intent for the Championship.
    I feel Mattie is coming good at just the right time too.
    Good to see Loftus coming on yesterday. Hope he’s better soon.
    Did anyone else get frustrated at how often the Derry goalkeeper participated in play yesterday? He had a central role in attack. I’d have loved to have closed that down. I feel he made things a lot easier for Derry’s scorers by doing all the work he did outfield. Let’s be ready for him if we meet Derry again.

  74. Tommy + Joe.
    I feel after watching both Rob and Colm have numerous melt downs when the pressure comes on , ( Colm’s fourth time yesterday, ) Against Armagh in the league last year, Cork and Dublin in the Championship last year ,and yesterday against Derry. I have been in attendance at all these matches and witnessed them .It may be a time to change things and try someone else, in goals. I did attend the League final last year v Galway , where I have to say Colm was outstanding. But one swallow does not make a Summer. I don’t know who the goal keeping coach is, assuming Mayo have one,he must understand the need for a change aswell.

  75. LDR so you think we started our strongest team with intention of losing, rather than trying to add depth to the squad by giving panel players minutes? Interesting take.

    I think we went for it, it didn’t work, so we move on. When Derry took foot off we showed good heart to pull back, when we got close Glass and co upped it again for few minutes to kick home would be more my reading of it.

  76. We went for it surely but we hadn’t enough without mcbrien Durcan and diarmuid. I see armagh have abandoned the negative football this year and it has reaped dividends. If we abandoned Rochford s possession based negative football… we will go a long way in the championship. It’s the same team that reached the 21 decider less keegan. No mullin in semi. The only difference is the new management and Rochford ball. No not horan ball.

  77. @Chick79: Gary Matthews (former Dublin Goalkeeping coach for the prime Cluxton era) is over our lads since October ’22 or so. Can’t say I’ve seen much in the way of significant improvement or clever innovation around kickouts in that period. You’d imagine the pressure will be coming on and a few questions being asked.

  78. TsuDhoNim.
    Thanks for that information. Ye I would agree,
    I don’t see much changes. Don’t know what is going on in training, with keepers. But you would
    Think they would be working out some structure to kick outs defending etc .Personally I don’t agree with the keeper coming over our own 45. But what ever is happening at training it’s not working , on match day. I know Colm had a bad day yesterday, I think the keeper also has a job beside saving shots. But I have notice that Colm is fairly quiet on his goal line. The keeper has the complete view of the backs forwards and complete pitch. I would like our keeper to be a lot more vocal, telling backs to cover this or watch this loose man etc. Surely the Goalkeeper coach should be coaching this sort of stuff aswell.

  79. Chick79, in fairness to Colm I’d say the communication is one of his strong points.
    Agree on coaching side though, and it’s for whole team, our movement appears very poor on kicks, once or twice I thought some movement was made before ball was set for tee. I’ll sound like broken record but why we don’t bunch and break, or side load on kicks, especially if we struggling to gain possession against a stronger midfield is surprising.

    We have goalie coach, a defense and an a attack coach and a high performance or something such titled role as well involved, along with our managers and selectors we will hopefully see positive signs in the Bronx before we cut loose in the Hyde 🙂

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