Mayo 2-17 Meath 0-14: Royals rumbled by Mayo’s final quarter blitz

Photo: Louis Gunnigan

The rollercoaster that is Mayo’s 2019 championship campaign continues … at least for another two weeks. Kerry and Donegal’s enthralling encounter finished in a draw in Croke Park, and so Mayo now know their mission in their final game of the Super 8s – it’s simple; beat Donegal in Castlebar and we will contest an All-Ireland semi-final for the eighth time in nine years.

Mayo took care of their own business in the first game at GAA headquarters today with an impressive final quarter display to see off a vibrant and game Meath side. The evergreen warhorse Andy Moran levelled for Mayo in the 55th minute and Mayo would go on to outscore their opponents by 2-5 to 0-2 from then until Ciaran Brannigan’s final whistle.

James Horan made three changes to the side named on Friday evening. Chris Barrett came into the full-back line with Eoin O’Donoghue making way. Kevin McLoughlin started in place of Keith Higgins with Fergal Boland starting ahead of Ciarán Treacy.

The game stuttered to get going in the early stages with Meath starting the game more brightly. They scored the first two points of the game through a Mickey Newman free and a Bryan Menton long range effort. We responded well with Darren Coen curling over a beauty from long range, which was arguably his most positive contribution where he unfortunately had a rare off-day in an otherwise stellar season.

Shane McEntee restored Meath’s two point advantage in the 12th minute. This lead was reined in with Fionn McDonagh curling over two points in quick succession with his majestic left boot after some nice team interplay.

Mayo’s deficiencies when ran at were soon exposed with Donal Keogan burning Seamus O’Shea for pace and forcing a point blank save from David Clarke. The ball spilled back to Mickey Newman and again Meath could not find the net as he chipped the ball over the bar rather than under.

McLoughlin levelled at four points apiece but Ethan Devine would put the Leinster side ahead again. Seamus O’Shea, on his comeback to the starting fifteen, had an industrious afternoon and almost scored the first goal of the game after a lovely one-two with Cillian O’Connor before hammering the ball against the post. It was a goal chance spurned but Fergal Boland soon equalised again for the Green and Red, cutting in from the left and firing over a nice right-footed point.

Mayo would finally take the lead for the first time with a Jason Doherty special in the 24th minute. Cillian O’Connor, the all-time championship top scorer, increased his tally by popping over his first free of the afternoon to extend Mayo’s lead.

It was 0-7 to 0-5 at this stage and Mayo were adopting a much more patient build-up in their play. This was in stark contrast to the frantic first half tactics they employed in Killarney last Sunday. David Clarke too was able to find his short kick-outs much easier in the first half this week too. However, these kick-outs would come under pressure in the second half.

Mayo should have taken complete control of proceedings at this stage but let Meath back into the game just before half-time. Mayo had a number of sloppy wides, blocked down efforts and balls dropping short during this period and one word permeated my thoughts throughout the first half – wasteful! Indeed Andy McEntee could level the same complaint at his own charges as they’d shot some equally poor wides.

Meath would pull the deficit back to one point through a Cillian O’Sullivan run and score off his left boot. O’Sullivan’s direct running was causing some problems to the Mayo defence. Meath corner-back Seamus Lavin embarked on a foray up the pitch in added time of the first half and his pointed effort meant that the teams would go in level at 0-7 each at the break.

The Meath full-back line were certainly having the better of their exchanges with the Mayo full-forward line and so at half-time James Horan introduced Andy Moran for Darren Coen to try to improve the stuttering attack. It would prove to be a shrewd move as the 2017 Footballer of the Year was in imperious form.

Mayo were again slow out of the blocks and Meath were the better team in the opening exchanges of the second half. Shane Walsh replaced the injured Newman late in the first half and his free would open the second half scoring. Fergal Boland, who was busy throughout, levelled with a left-footed effort before James Conlon and another Walsh free would put the Royal County two points to the good.

Some of the refereeing decisions were questionable at times but Mayo’s indiscipline in the tackle was proving costly. Clarke was also now struggling with his kick-outs as Meath pushed up and some ominous signs were creeping in.

Two more frees, one each from O’Connor and Walsh, left the score line 0-11 to 0-9 in Meath’s favour after forty-seven minutes of the contest. It was from this point onwards that the old dogs for the long road took command for Mayo. Trusted lieutenants O’Connor, Moran, Keegan, Boyle, O’Shea, Doherty, McLoughlin all put their shoulder to the wheel and came to the fore when needed.

O’Connor pointed another free after some hard running from Keegan and followed it up with his first point from play in the 52nd minute after some excellent play from Andy Moran. It was 0-11 each and the game was crackling nicely now. The loyal Mayo support roared into action, encouraged by efforts on the pitch.

Lavin, who was impressive throughout for Meath, popped up with another effort to nudge Meath in front once more. However, this was as good as it got for McEntee’s men as it was a lead they were to relinquish and not reclaim. Andy Moran’s movement was giving untold problems to the Meath full-back line and his beautiful dummy and finish with the outside of the right left the scores at 0-12 apiece.

Shane Walsh kicked two missed frees in succession having been unerring in his first three efforts. Mayo would punish this profligacy with Colm Boyle easing Mayo into the lead in the 57th minute. Boyle was courageous and inspiring throughout, putting his body on the line and making tackles in a typical Boyler performance. His score seemed to inspire the rest of the team and Lee Keegan soon slotted over another boomer and Mayo were finally motoring.

Hero of Limerick, James Carr, was introduced for Boland and he seemed determined to make amends for a disappointing showing against Kerry. Carr was full of strong running underneath the Hogan Stand and he fired over a classy point to give Mayo a three-point lead going down the home stretch.

The pivotal score of the game followed immediately after which saw the Mayo attack cut the Meath defence to pieces. O’Connor saw Keegan in space and he unselfishly popped a lovely hand pass into McLoughlin who was waiting in front of the Meath goal. McLoughlin calmly (and somewhat fortuitously!) hopped the ball before advancing around Meath ‘keeper Andrew Colgan to finish into an empty net in front of the Davin Stand. The Mayo crowd erupted and suddenly we had a six-point lead.

O’Connor coolly slotted over another free before Meath responded with two frees from Walsh. A bizarre moment occurred in added time when Colgan was black carded for body checking O’Connor and the referee awarded a penalty.

O’Connor stepped up and had his penalty saved for the second week running. Replacement keeper Marcus Brennan dived low to his right to keep out the penalty but Cillian was quick to the rebound and slotted it into the far corner to bring his personal tally for the day to 1-5. Jason Doherty would kick the last score of the game and Mayo ran out comfortable (in the end) nine-point victors on a score line of 2-17 to 0-14.

So where does it leave us? Well, I for one am happy to have next weekend off from Mayo action. I’m sure the same is true for James Horan and his troops. Minds and bodies are doubtlessly weary but it is time now to recharge the batteries and refocus. We may even have a few of our wounded soldiers available for selection next day out.

Photo: Louis Gunnigan

Unquestionably, a big test lies ahead in the shape of the Ulster champions but a knockout game against a big rival in front of a raucous Mayo crowd in MacHale Park sounds pretty appealing, doesn’t it?

Bring on 6pm on August 3rd. Bring on Donegal. Bring on one hell of a partisan Mayo atmosphere! Up Mayo.

Mayo: David Clarke, Stephen Coen, Brendan Harrison, Chris Barrett; Lee Keegan (0-1), Colm Boyle (0-1), Kevin McLoughlin (1-1); Donal Vaughan, Seamus O’Shea; Fionn McDonagh (0-2), Aidan O’Shea, Fergal Boland (0-2); Cillian O’Connor (1-5, four frees), Darren Coen (0-1), Jason Doherty (0-2). Subs: Andy Moran (0-1) for D Coen, James Carr (0-1) for Boland, Eoin O’Donoghue for S Coen, James McCormack for S O’Shea, Michael Plunkett for Keegan, Ciarán Treacy for McLoughlin.

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

  • Colm Boyle (38%, 834 Votes)
  • Andy Moran (21%, 463 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (7%, 157 Votes)
  • Seamus O'Shea (7%, 146 Votes)
  • David Clarke (6%, 125 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (4%, 96 Votes)
  • Fionn Mc Donagh (4%, 91 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (4%, 89 Votes)
  • Chris Barrett (2%, 39 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (1%, 32 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (1%, 31 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (1%, 26 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (1%, 16 Votes)
  • James Carr (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Darren Coen (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (0%, 10 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (0%, 7 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (0%, 7 Votes)
  • Ciaran Treacy (0%, 6 Votes)
  • James McCormack (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Eoin O'Donoghue (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,188

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114 thoughts on “Mayo 2-17 Meath 0-14: Royals rumbled by Mayo’s final quarter blitz

  1. Well done to our lads today. We still look a bit tired and heavy legged i thought and poor old Aido had a few brain farts but hopefully the 2 weeks rest will benefit the team bring on the Dennys.

  2. TG for Boyler and to a slightly lesser degree Andy.
    When all around him were struggling to lift their game, the bould Boyler was doing his best to lift the team and subdued Mayo support.
    An animal of a player.

  3. The fight showed by Colm Boyle was immense again today – he’s playing like a true leader and on the edge (I don’t care if it’s borderline….)

    Few weeks to recharge and regroup.

    Storm predicted for August 3rd.

    Green & Red Army.

    V good match report.

  4. Not a great display but a great win. Draw in second game a bonus. Could not cheer for Kerry of wish them well as stuck in my craw! We are still only a shadow of our 2017 incarnation with so many areas to work on. Still committing unforced turnovers and only operating at 70% capacity. Our hard running game has not been seen yet so expect a huge improvement in two weeks. Donegal will be a very difficult opponent and AoS will have to do a number on Murphy and Leroy on McHugh. Full back line will have to be protected as McBrearty is deadly. It will take everything we have available to get over the line. What an occasion we have to look forward to!

  5. Boyle unbelievable……..looks to have lost a stone and as fit as a fiddle…….I thought he was definitely out to pasture with the ‘wind down’ 20 minute games……Now back with a vengeance for full.matches……a great Mayo servant !

  6. A very (understandable) lethargic performance for most of game but fair dues to some old warriors – particularly Andy and McLouglin – for a great win in the end. Looking at many Kerry players go down with cramp etc. shows how much our lads performance – after 5 grueling weeks – wasn’t bad at all. The break will do us really well now and with a raucous home crowd – (c’mon everybody!), we can take Donegal in 2 weeks.

  7. Boyler, Boyler!! Better he is getting. Great to have Seamie back. (Also good to see Tom P there with team/subs). A worry now that Keith is injured -does it ever end.

  8. Boyle excellent.
    I can’t see any of these guys going for a few years and why should they.
    Admittedly we have mainly beaten lower division opposition up to now.
    Maybe they can flick a switch. They have done it before.
    No doubt a substantial improvement is needed as Kerry and Donegal were at a different level.

  9. Fair play Mayo. You just keep rolling along. No one knows how good we are and even Joe B and Colm oR know how bad we are. All to play for and let’s rock. Maigheo mo ghrá. Go deo

  10. Dear Mayo Team,

    Please put the feet up as much as possible over the next two weeks, rest, rest, rest, recover.
    Tough, tough 5 weeks it has been all things considered. Wow. I think we all need the break!

    Great having Seamie back and showing form, especially given the injuries to our midfielders. Gave a much needed reassurance there today.

  11. Yeah I think the leaner Boyler this year has helped with his fitness. What a match he played today.

  12. we’re in the last 5 now thats what i’m taking out of it.Had to play 4 weeks back to back decimated by injuries and still contending.

    Hope to Jaysus Diarmuid and Paddy are back in 2 weeks as we badly needs them

  13. I genuinely feel confident we will put in a big display in 2 weeks. Clear up any knocks, rest the legs. We have absolutely nothing to lose.

    We are in a one off game at home to get to an all ireland semi final. I think we all would have taken that after the Rossies game.

  14. Hope the boys are on the beer tonight, and don’t kick a ball until Wednesday. You cannot fault them with all the injuries we’ve had. For a team in transition, we’re doing okay. 70 mins from a semi final. Contrast that with the Connacht champions, who never got within an ass’s roar of beating Tyrone or a semi final, they now find themselves in an embarrassing situation of playing a dead rubber championship match! (They’ll lose that too). Im extremely happy with our efforts this year. Durcan, Ruane and Diarmuid start every game for me, so with 20% of our first 15 out injured, we’ve done alright.

    Lots of pressure on Donegal now carrying the favourites tag to castlebar, 2nd best team in the Country for sure. I hope we can keep it respectable ;).

  15. Our time has come – mayo fans around me said Keith got injured in training. Just watching Sunday Game – Marty Morrissey said the same. He wasnt togged. He walked across the field to sit with tom, matty and diarmuid.

  16. Our fate is in our own hands..Big task ahead against Donegal .
    Quite a difference in tempo between the two games today.Murphy and Mc Brearty looked at the top.of their game
    Totally unrelated but listening to JG saying that his players would regard their game against Roscommon as a test was just beyond condescending..
    Great to have a break …

  17. Andy Moran hands down man of match – completely turned game around notwithstanding Boyle playing very well.

  18. Great match report Tom. The beauty about today was the fact we played a bit of football for five mins and won the game. Plenty to work on but that’s the easy bit. The harder bit is getting the injured lads back.

  19. A 9 point win isn’t too bad really! The performance was ropey enough and our finishing wasn’t anything to write home about. But we are where we wanted to be – a do or die battle in Castlebar. Now we need to muster up the kind of motivation Kerry showed in Killarney and hit Donegal with a level of intensity we have traditionally reserved for the Dubs in finals. This is what will be required to win. Granted we are short a few but so are Donegal. Donegal are a good team but so are we – when we decide to get stuck in.
    I might be imagining this but one worrying development that seems to be happening is that we are being blown up for tackles that in the past we were allowed to use. Higgins, Harrison, Barret and Boyle have appeared unhappy with some of the decisions against them. Id hate to think that decisions have been made at a top level to curb our aggressive approach.

  20. I honestly think for Mayo to have any hope
    against Donegal they wil need most of the injured
    players back , just hope their availability,

  21. Well done, and I’ve no doubt that the 2 weeks rest will see a massive improvement. It’s a nice position to be in – going into a knockout game as underdogs having played conservatively, against a team that performed to its optimum today.

    Hopefully, some of the injuries will have cleared up. Good to see Tom Parsons on the field today.

    Improved performance from Fionn today, a little more composure and he’d have scored a few more chances – he’ll pick it up again..

    Carr dud ok too in his brief cameo – was fired up..

    Mayo supporters are the most modest out there..considering they are league champions – and all – lol… The bandwagon rolls on and to pot with the begrudgers..

  22. Andy Moran won that game to day when he came on we were a different team, he won every ball that was sent into him and made use of every one of them. Then when the game was almost won, A O Shea and Clarke gave thousands of Mayo supporters Heart Attacks with messing about, when will they ever learn. Having said that Clarke kept us in the game a few times with great saves and catches, Aiden still not up to full throttle.

  23. If this was the Heineken Cup competition, all ya would ask for would be a home quarter final ,we got that V Donegal ,how about getting a bit if luck for a change and maybe Tyrone can beat Dublin in Omagh,2 wins aginst Ulster teams and we are in the final again ,its very possible even though we have not hit top form yet ,would be nice to peak in August/September and finally David Clarke is by far our best goalie ,we got to forget about stats on kick outs ,don’t be afraid to kick long and take chances with winning breaks in mid field if a team presses up on kick outs ,

  24. Watched the game back there. What didn’t come across on tv was how tired a lot of our players were from about 10 mins in. 2 weeks break will be massive for us. We’ll def have Duran back, maybe DIARMUID and Ruane too.

  25. Goodman Tom. You got everything in there.

    Delighted to get this win over Meath.

    I like Fionn McDonagh. He can take a score, not afraid of the hard hits and does trojan work.

    Andy was brilliant and so was Boyle..Aidan o’shea covered miles of ground and seemed much more like his old self today.

    Think we’re lucky to have 2 great keepers.

    Robbie won us the league final and David sent out another message today to opposing forwards that, if it looks like there is a ball worth following in to the box maybe it’s better not to follow it.

  26. Brilliant to have this game to look forward to. Castlebar will be rocking. Does anyone else think Stephen Coen was left on Cillian O’Sullivan far too long? Reminds me of the criticism of Horan after the Kerry game. Surely he needs to act quicker when a defender is in so much bother?

  27. Well done to the lads today. Tbh, We made hard work if until Andy came in and brought some maturity to the attack with respect to holding possession, patience and knowing when to drive for the score or draw a fowl.
    The highlights were
    -obviously the win but the margin was important too. Couldn’t believe Marty Morrissey suggesting Cillian was going to tap it over the bar when points difference could be huge! Clueless…
    -Seamies performance in the middle, was immense
    -Boyler, he’ will surely die on the hill for this county
    -Clark’s command of the goal mouth and square.

    Lowlights? Well
    -Our kick passing, man we just seem to be off, like the timing is off, it’s hard to know why but again we kicked away a ton of ball under no pressure.
    -Cillian’s timing is off and while he scored the rebounded peno, he’s just not firing yet. That’s two now that he’s missed, unlike him cause he was a dead cert on the spotters.
    -Aido, I’m his number one fan, but man he does some stupid mad decisions sometimes. Like in contrast to Andy, or dare I say it, a Michael Murphy.
    -Clark’s restarts, again, I love the guy, and he’ brings it, but some of his restarts were shockin’. We got lucky a few times. I fear Donegal would punish us much more than Meath could of this is not sorted. What I’m suggesting is, i just have to believe that the coaches are working to improve his technique along with the fB and HB line movement. It looks like it hasn’t improved BUT it will surely need to as Rochford knows our plan!

    Anyway, lots to dicuss over the next two weeks. Get yer tickets and pack it with Mayo ppl. After all, it’s our house, not theirs.

  28. Well done to the lads today. Tbh, We made hard work if until Andy came in and brought some maturity to the attack with respect to holding possession, patience and knowing when to drive for the score or draw a fowl.
    The highlights were
    -obviously the win but the margin was important too. Couldn’t believe Marty Morrissey suggesting Cillian was going to tap it over the bar when points difference could be huge! Clueless…
    -Seamies performance in the middle, was immense
    -Boyler, he’ will surely die on the hill for this county
    -Clark’s command of the goal mouth and square.

    Lowlights? Well
    -Our kick passing, man we just seem to be off, like the timing is off, it’s hard to know why but again we kicked away a ton of ball under no pressure.
    -Cillian’s timing is off and while he scored the rebounded peno, he’s just not firing yet. That’s two now that he’s missed, unlike him cause he was a dead cert on the spotters.
    -Aido, I’m his number one fan, but man he does some stupid mad decisions sometimes. Like in contrast to Andy, or dare I say it, a Michael Murphy.
    -Clark’s restarts, again, I love the guy, and he’ brings it, but some of his restarts were shockin’. We got lucky a few times. I fear Donegal would punish us much more than Meath could of this is not sorted. What I’m suggesting is, i just have to believe that the coaches are working to improve his technique along with the fB and HB line movement. It looks like it hasn’t improved BUT it will surely need to as Rockford knows our plan!

    Anyway, lots to dicuss over the next two weeks. Get yer tickets and pack it with Mayo ppl. After all, it’s our house, not theirs.

  29. I’ve watched the match back in full. It was a good performance really, with a host of chances squandered. We should have won by 15+ really.

    -Seamie was immense, definite MOTM for me.
    -Boyler was excellent again.
    -Carr was electric when he came on, don’t know if he should start but he is a an absolute bull. Very like Con O’Callaghan in style.
    -Cillian was good, better than I remembered in person. He needs to vary the penos though, keepers have cottoned on that he always goes left.
    -A bit better in restarts, still needs work. It’s not all on Clarke either lads, the backs aren’t making enough dynamic runs to help him out.
    -I would leave Doc inside in the corner, he’s great at winning ball, so he might revitalize the kicked ball into the full forward line
    -Poor enough game from Aido, though he did pick up a knock early.

    As an aside, Marty Morrissey was atrocious on commentary. Made a mistake every minute, and a lot of his utterances added nothing and were stupid. He also needs to tone down the tweeness.

    McConville was brilliant. He’s only new but he’s already RTEs best co-commentator. He was insightful, fair and funny.

  30. I was nervous going into this game but the lads done really well ( for the last spell of the match anyway)

    Really hope we can bring a couple of players back who are injured (DOC and Durcan) both will be really crucial in getting over the line against Donegal.

    I have to say i was so impressed with the Donegal / Kerry match. It could have been an all ireland final! Both teams played unreal football – i can see why mayo will go in as underdogs the next day…..

  31. Great Donegal support yesterday and they will travel in numbers to Castlebar. Get your tickets now!

  32. @RastaJoe, completely agree with ya there about McConville. He’s brilliant, calls it very fair and unlike Paul Earley or Dessie Dolan, doesn’t make constant snide remarks about the Mayo team. Dolan just seems desperate to stay relevant, and will toe the RTE line to get the big games.

    On looking back on the game, I really like it when we get a win while playing in 3rd gear for most of the game. To me its always a good sign, all be it Meath are a mediocre side at best. But tiredness could have lost us that game, so credit to Horan for mixing it up a bit and bringing Andy on so early.

  33. Was I at the same game as posters who say Seamie had a great game? To me he looked off the pace, was left for dead a few times for pace and he and Aidan slowed down the play with needless soloing. The game will stand to seamie but I don’t think Horan can start the 2 of them against Donegal, they don’t have the pace for Donegal. Hopefully diurmuid and Durcan are both fit to start, they badly needed around the middle third.

  34. We were terrible yesterday
    Need a huge improvement
    Perhaps the rest will help.Something missing in our team, they do not seem to be playing to any real plan.Is there one last kick in the team.On kickouts you can not blame the goalie when you are strugling in midfield with no movent.

  35. Well done Mayo. This was an important win given the psychological damage that loss to Kerry last week could have done. Meath were the perfect team to play after that – game but very limited. After 5 straight weeks on the go I expected us to be leaden footed and lacking in sharpness yesterday but I think most people would have taken a winner takes all match v Donegal at home in the last round of the super 8s. What worries me is that Donegal were excellent yesterday and better than I gave them credit for earlier in the year. If they play like that again in castlebar we’ll really struggle to live with them. Every game is different!

  36. Hi, Good news on the in injurues fromJames Horan.

    Reading a bit between the lines Tom Parsons is likely to come on during the Donegal game. Now training fully. It would be so nice for him to get back fully after all the rehab. This is reported on RTE

  37. Also thought SOS had a really good 2nd half.

    Vaughan reallly poor again though. Change needs to be made there

  38. I thought SOS was very good. He secured plenty ball for us, was an outlet, moved ball on without losing it. Remember that SOS is simply a natural heavyweight midfielder, the opposition feel it when they try to get a 50:50 ball with him.
    I have to give credit to Andy Moran. That was a superb second half display from him. It would need rewatching, did we simply have more legs to finish out than Meath? We seemed to completely take over.
    Colm Boyle, my word, playing like a 27 year old.

  39. Great to get the Meath monkey off our backs, but serious issues remain, leg weariness being the chief one. Hopefully the two week gap now allows some tired minds and bodies to recuperate and maybe even allow some of the injured players to get back into contention.

    The return of DOC and Paddy would be a huge boost as it would allow for another option from kickouts. Opposition sides have figured out that we either go short or long to Aido and are pressing accordingly.

    Lads advocating for RH’s return…Einstein’s quote on insanity springs to mind.

  40. After what I have see over the last few months and 5 weeks I think Donegal will do it easy against us we don’t look good at it and it’s about building a team getting in young kids and James will do that

  41. – Played good football for 15 minutes which was enough
    – Should have been 5 points up at half time, had some very bad wides
    – Andy joint MOM for me because he got the scoreboard ticking when he came on. Boyler the other MOM because he kept driving forward and tackled like a demon
    – Lack of pace in particular SOS who got on plenty of ball but no longer has the legs to track and S. Coen who can man mark (a slow player) but is left for dead against a pacier player like Cillian O’Sullivan
    – The players back from injury in particular Fionn who had a good first half but tired badly in the second half. COC well below par from open play. Vaughan not sure what role he played, marked space and did bits but needs to add way more.
    – There are players still carrying injuries/knocks in particular Leeroy off form aside from a good 10 minutes, DOC definitely carrying some leg knock, Aido also looked off form and then seemed to dislocate his finger.
    – Did D. Coen get a knock on the head as I cannot see why he did not start the second half.
    – The expectation on a goal keeper is now unreal as the role has changed so much in the last two years. Rochford and JH have both dodged this decision, a new keeper SHOULD have been added to the squad two years ago as a understudy to Clarke.
    – What is the point of coming thru the back door when you get penalised all the way thru with matches on 5 consecutive weekends, time for all the County Boards to call a stop to this mismanagement of amateur players.
    – Great Mayo support again today, I could not believe the poor cheer Meath received when they came onto the pitch. We are not GONE yet.

  42. I was watching this in Budapest and with a Meath man. Friendly banter but he had a point. Thought mayo only play well when they need too. He thought they are capable of fighting Kerry or Dublin on the day but they just look like lost chickens until someone says go for it..

    We can, I really think put it up to Kerry or Dublin on the day but it’s actually crazy how fast we can switch from a division Carlow team to division 1.

  43. Thought it was a fairly lacklustre performance in fairness, played in fits and starts really. Boyle kept going throughout and was easily motm, Moran brought a bit of composure to proceedings too and Carr looked extremely lively on his cameo.

    Some of the lads form is really worrying at this stage though, thought Vaughan was really poor again,all teams now seem to be wise to Clarkes bad kickouts and putting more pressure on, dont think that is a quick fix at this stage. Leeroy was alright but a bit subdued, we need him at his old best to take out Ryan McHugh in a fortnight. AOS was really poor again, lets be honest he is having a poor championship outside of winning throw ups

    We are in a good place now though, a 9 point win playing badly with lots of room for improvement and injuries clearing up. 2 week break will do us good and Donegal themselves seem to have a massive injury list at the moment so i make that a 50/50 game, bring it on

  44. Get them! showing tickets now! got mine so can relax and enjoy the build up now…

  45. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but seriously, anyone who thinks SOS was anything other than excellent doesn’t understand modern football. It was a performance that Fenton or Colm Cavanagh would have been proud of. He was outstanding. He was never blessed with searing pace but he’s not slow either. We have plenty of other pacey players, making chasedown tackles isn’t what he’s in the team for.

  46. Can’t agree that Aido was really poor.

    First off he’s carrying an injury since the Armagh game and playing through the pain by all accounts so has to be cut a bit of slack on that. On top of that he’s played pretty much every minute for us this year, trying to hold the middle together on his own the last 3 weeks

    Second he picked up a hand injury half way through the first half.

    Third the midfield was asked to play a different game yesterday, especially in the first half, dropped deeper with the half forwards coming back more. This meant Aido wasn’t challenging in the air as much as normal. But he made himself available for kick-outs further back the field and secured possession. He also did his usual strong defensive work.

    Fourth I agree he’s a bit off in terms of handling yesterday – some if this is undoubtedly fatigue. Although I noticed in both games that players had a lot of issues. Reckon the pitch was bobbly and greasy

  47. Was the performance lacklustre or lethargic, or was it just that they were trying to conserve energy for the first 50 minutes after 5 weeks on the trot? I was watching with a friend who was having heart failure throughout and kept saying she was really worried about this one and I was always saying we just need to stay in touch with them until the 55th minute and then you will see our guys start to rack up the scores. It was clear from the Donegal game that Meath would start to fade from the 60th minute and I’m sure JH was aware of this. On the 57th minute Mayo were bombing forward and took control of the game from then on in… For what it’s worth, I believe that Donegal played a way more intensive game against Meath than we did, and even though it was in their home stronghold in Ballybofey, they still only beat them by 9 points. It was good for our guys not to go out and play a really intensive game for 80 minutes yesterday, quite a lot of the time players seemed to be just standing around rather than constantly running, so recovery should be a little bit easier as a result. Contrast that with the shift put in by Donegal against Kerry and the injuries they suffered… Hopefully the next two weeks will see all our guys getting lots of rest and maybe a few of our injured players returning… the 6/4 with Paddy Power might not be a bad bet at all…. Now, off to find a statue of Saint Peregrine Laziosi, the patrin saint of healing!!

  48. We did enough yesterday to win. There’s much more in us and the break is badly needed. It was really important that we get a win over Meath. Would have been sickening if it was them that halted our march.

    Seamie was turned and done for pace a couple of times but overall he did well considering he’s only back after a long layoff. Boyler was just immense and Andy showed pure leadership when he came on. I also thought Fergal Boland had a very good game.

    Keegan was quietly effective but only came into the game late on. Aido still not back to his best but the two weeks rest will do them the power of good.

    If we can soothe a few sore bodies and get a few more back in contention, then we’ll give Donegal a good old rattle. The potential match-ups will be really interesting. I’d like to see Keegan tag McHugh. Barrett should pick up McBrearty. It’s the kind of physical opponent that suits him, as I think he’s playing from too far behind against pacier inside forwards.

    Murphy also needs to be tracked but I doubt Aido and him will mark each other. Stephen Coen could be a right pest in this role?

  49. I think the team and manager deserve alot of credit.

    Since our demoralising defeat to Roscommon and in fairness, loss of the type of standout players that would knock any team in the country back on their arse.

    Add to that the players who have played with knocks.

    We have negotiated the qualifiers. We are 2 thirds through the super 8’s with a home game and progression to the AI semi final in our own hands.

    We couldn’t really ask for any more from our team. They have given us everything.

    A little break for them now and instead of having the daunting task of 3 qualifiers and 3 super 8 games to worry about we have 1 target now to aim for.

    Lord Jesus it couldn’t really get any better than this.

    Donegal are a very good team but rest assured, it is not a guided tour of Castlebar that will be waiting for them in Mchale Park.

    I think there is going to be 1 behometh of a battle in 2 weeks.

  50. I think Paddy mcbrearty picked up a injury yesterday don’t know if that will stop him playing in two weeks time

  51. Revellino, your post is spot on.
    It’s hard to know what people want. It’s an achievement for this team to have pulled this out of the fire & make it to a do or die quarter final (albeit Kerry Donegal draw doing us a favour). Hopefully some of those injured players can come back fit and strong for the show down in McHale.

  52. Wow I am hungover 😀

    And optimistic
    We again face donegal needing a result
    We have gotten it when needed against hem before
    We should have a MUCH stronger squad
    Win that and we will bounce into the semi final……….

    You just don’t know what could happen yet

  53. Fair play to this outstanding group of warriors who delivered yet again when they had to. 5 games on the spin,plagued by injuries and presumably some fatigue, yet they got over the line and set up a winner takes all home game v a very impressive Donegal. I am a little disappointed with the criticism of various individuals Sure they were not all outstanding yesterday but what do you expect. That they will all peak five weeks in a row and turn in marvellous performances each week. Get real. What we should be doing is praising the collective here rather than negatively focusing on individuals. Player X does it for us one day, Player Y the next. That’s what team sports are all about. Individuals don’t and can’t peak all the time. Lowry peaked in the golf yesterday. It was his third or fourth win since he turned professional. In other words he can’t be expected to perform like that every time he plays. The Mayo Collective has been outstanding since 2011 showing unbelievable consistency only matched by Dublin. They should be cherished and celebrated. This year despite all their trials and tribulations they have won the league, reached the last 5 of the Championship, and introduced a number of new players. Fair play to them all.

  54. Can’t see Parsons getting any game time against Donegal, mind games surely. Also Aido and Darren Coen picked up knocks yesterday. So much will depend on who we have fit to start and on the subs bench the next day and the same goes for Donegal!

  55. I agree with Revellino, Horan and Co did well yesterday and deserve all the credit for getting to this position.
    In any sport the key is to be able to reach the level of your opponent, Mayo should be the masters of this, the experience of those close games with the Dubs will stand to them, peaking at the right time, being able to lift the tempo of a match.
    What will Mayo be like when all 15 starters perform well on the pitch, it says a fair bit about a team that can win late on when all guns have been not firing. Meath did make mistakes, Ó Sullivan the ponytail guy was playing too far out the pitch, so even though Stephen Coen was caught badly for pace, it didn’t result in too many scores, maybe 3 points from passes.
    With my experienced eye I see something special about this Donegal team, Rochfords finger prints are there to be seen, they have great power, good in the tackle and know how to mop up the breaking ball, can shoot from distance also.
    I ask myself this question, out of the four teams left, which are the best equipped to challenge the Dubs, certainly not Tyrone, not even Kerry, but Donegal for sure and Mayo ( with the 4 middle players on board that are recovering from injury).
    Meath will play for their pride and will give Kerry a tough game in Navan.
    We will get our answers on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

  56. There are tickets for sale at the moment on the GAA website for the Donegal game – anyone that needs a ticket would want to move fast. Spread the word

  57. If you had to look at this as a neurtal I’d think the following
    – if the match was being played next Sat I would fancy Donegal by 3-4 points. They look like a better team now.
    – We will be at home, although I am not sure that really counts for much as our record there is not fantastic.
    – Key issue is who is back and fit for us – one or two players could change the dynamic a lot.
    – Durcan and DoC would be a huge boost. Realistically I think only Durcan will start though.
    – Darren Coen has to be fit, a lot depends on him now. Andy was electric yesterday – does he start now or held in reserve?
    – CoC, Higgins, Keegan and AoS will all hopefully benefits from the extra weeks of training and rest (depending on the case)
    – I am not in either goalkeeping camp, but think its naive to think that Horan will not give this one serious thought. There is a big decision to make there. I assume that decision is made this Tue or Thurs with a week to prepare
    – matchups will be key – if Donegal score 1-20 against us they will win. I think we need to restrict them to 1-15/1-16 max for us to win this game and to do that I think we need 55%/60% of possesion – A big ask.
    We can win this one – but, we’ll need to be a lot better than we have been over the last 2 weeks.

  58. Great to see Boyler just killing it – but is there a better shot stopper than David Clarke – miracles every match? I don’t agree that Darren had an offday – he got out in front and laid off some key passes. A good target man.

  59. Great article Tom, detailed and on the money. Well done to James, the management, and the team, they dug out a result, when they needed to. All to play for in Castlebar, fantastic warriors who will be ready to rumble on the day. Hopefully we will have some of the injuries sorted by then, the rest is a must, as some of the players are running on empty. Lots to work on, but plenty to work with, expect a strong team to play Donegal, and a ding dong battle to ensue, with Mayo winning after a titanic struggle.

  60. Great job Tom McLoughlin on the above, excellent piece, thanks for that.

    So where are we now? In the first half we looked knackered and it appeared at times we were getting by, almost on muscle memory. We were flat as a pancake in the stands and on the pitch. I kept repeating Billy Joe’s mantra, if we’re level after 20/30 mins that’s not a problem. So I wasn’t worried, but the lack of off the shoulder running was telling in that first half, I assume we can put that down to fatigue, 5 games in as many weeks at this level writes its own story.

    The introduction of Andy & Carr made a huge difference. As is always the case now, I was in the family section in 311 in the Cusack, so I got a great view of the movement of both as they pulled Meath apart, with really clever running, again and again. No coincidence that we outscored them so significantly in that last quarter. It was nice to feel Croker rock again to the beat of our drum as we drove at them. Worryingly, we gave them more than enough chances to get back into it after going 7 clear. Had Meath had an Andy Moran up front it would’ve been very different. Thats prob the difference between the two sides so if they can sort that they’ll be a force in the years to come for sure.

    So onwards to two weeks time. Rationale states Donegal will start strong favourites and you’d have to say, they’re performing at a level or two above us right now, in terms of structure and skill execution. However, their injury concerns seem to be tipping away from them, whereas ours, are tipping back towards us. That and the two week break gives me hope. If we get a few lads back, nice and fresh, you know we’re going to give it a right auld crack.


  61. Great post Revellino…ya nailed there. When everything is taken into account we are actually over achieving this year. Well done to all. 2 week rest badly needed….they are both physically and mentally drained.

  62. A year when we might least expect to get to semis, and here we are 70mins away from a semi.
    No matter what goes down in each game, there’s still only 1 word for these lads.
    We’ve been North, South, East, and now home West again, and hopefully with a great battle on Aug 3rd, we’ll be heading East again.
    Stayed for Donegal /Kerry game, super game, but with R/R and mental focus there’s nothing to say that Donegal can’t be taken out.
    To see Tom Parsons running on to the pitch will be a dream come true if it happens. T

    Being there in May ’18 to witness that horrendous injury, and to see Tom being stretchered off in pain, but yet had the presence of mind to put a thumb up telling us not to give up.
    I think we will witness a moment of pure resilience on Aug 3rd in McHale park.
    That alone should strengthen us all.
    Thumbs up to all again.

  63. I agree with To Win Just Once. Brilliant achievement to be where we are after 5 games on the trot, week after week. Do remember back to how we were thinking five weeks ago as we looked ahead at that journey? And that isn’t even with mist of the injuries. We did it – whatever IT is – we got through to be in with a shout.
    This team deserves serious credit.
    There was a big difference in performance and maybe even class between Mayo and Donegal/Kerry yesterday. But I’m not getting carried away by that. To compare Mayo to them just now Is like comparing apples and oranges. Compare them on game day in MacHale Park and it’ll be closer to a fair comparison. And maybe not even then. We need a win then if we can get it- we need to have improved enough for that. The element of mystery is still there.

    What a joy it was to see our two elder statesmen – Boyle and Andy – in such seriously good form yesterday. How lucky we are to have just plucky players.

  64. Things are looking up, we are in a game in Castlebar with Donegal on Saturday week, the rest will do us good, the extra few days will allow the lads to come fresh to the crunch game. We will have some of our injured players back and be stronger then at any time this year. Cillian was missed against the Rossies and in Killarney we were without Diarmid, Paddy, Ruane and Parsons. Against any team with close to a full team we can compete, Donegal have injury worries of their own. We can look forward to a huge Mayo crowd of supporters, on home turf, we have more then a fifty fifty chance, Up Mayo!

  65. The players should remember 2012 to motivate them.

    The Mayo supporters should still feel embarrassed when we think of that day – teh donegal support wiped us out.
    We (the Mayo support) have not performed well for years at MacHale Park – now we have an opportunity. Time to take it!! Get the finger out and get feckin’ vocal and bring colour. This is not a time for the ‘i’ll cheer if they lads on the pitch do something worth cheering for’ mentality.

    It’s all set up for Rochford to get one over on the Mayo co board (who treated him very poorly) and unfortunately, on all of us as a consequence. Him in their dressing room gives them a big advantage.

    On top of this, Donegal’s form has been electric all championship and they are very rightly the bookies and pundits favourites to beat us. Mayo will need to produce their best championship performance since the 2017 All Ireland Final to win this one. Can we re-discover that kind of form? Will our injuries clear up? People talk about Diarmuid and Tom but one will be rusty and the other will be rustier so in the heat of battle that Donegal will bring we really will be relying on out players who are match fit to do this.

    We need Harrison and Aidan back to top form cos it’s months now since either has been.

    The time for mediocre displays, wasteful shooting and being cut open at the back must end.

  66. Eyesontheball So you reckon Horan should have removed Cillian, Aidan, Keegan and Coen Wonder would we have won by 9 if that was the case It was our experienced players that got us over the line yesterday Nothing new there as they have been doing it for years. Goal came from Andy intercepting kick out, passed to Cillian to Lee to K Mc All made the correct decisions on the ball. You can’t buy experience

  67. It’s no harm Donegal are favorites and they have Horan in the backroom team that will put extra pressure on them remember they have a few injuries of there own so if we get stuck in to them from the word go and don’t give away a silly goal then we have a chance. Ok Michael Murphy will take watching but we have 2 weeks to come up with a plan. Would be great to see Tom Parsons make even a cameo appearance remember what he said when he got injured “my comeback will be greater than my setback” it’s all to play for

  68. To win just once, are you telling me that the players named yesterday had good games and in the case of one of at least one of them, aren’t injured?

  69. @Mayonaze totally agree with you there.I couldnt believe how outnumbered we were in 2012,truth be told I knew we wouldnt be winning that day after walking into Croker.
    Youre right,the Mayo support has been subdued at MacHale park for years,the exceptions being the fermanagh and derry qualifiers when the place was half full.
    We really need to change that so that when Donegal are running out onto the pitch they have a sinking ominous feeling,like i suspect Mayo did in 2012.
    We really need to bring the colour and the noise for this one.

  70. Unrealistic to expect Tom P to get any game time against Donegal. He hasn’t even played a club game in 14 months. Would be unfair on Tom also. He needs at least a few club games before he plays for the county again.
    Diarmuid seemed to have a cast on his wrist still yesterday. Hard to see how he could be fit for Saturday week. Paddy D and Zippy most likely to return.

  71. Just did what we needed too in last quarter of game, Mayo have another gear and we will need it for Donegal game, don’t think they are the finished article either

  72. All about nullifying Murphy and Ryan McHugh in 2 next weeks. What a player McHugh is though, doesn’t get half the credit he deserves, as for Murphy well we know him all a bit too well.

    Murphy could toss Aidan around like a rag doll, Aido will need that wrist of his fighting fit. Having Durcan back will be a huge boost and if Parsons comes on with 15/20 mins to go it will turn the volume up a bit which would help a ton.

    The real quarter final will soon be upon us.
    Donegal are mightier than us, better than us but they’re not US. 1-16 to 1-15 a late O Donoughue screamer to send us through ;))

  73. We have two weeks to get ourselves sorted and likelyhood that Durcan and others may be available for selection is a plus
    We all no the problems
    *Difficulty retaining possession from kickouts
    * F back line left one on one too frequently
    * Forwards taking wrong options or not clinical enough in execution

    We are a panel in transition, getting a fair bit of championship football under our belts at this stage. Media tell us we are not good enough to win an Allireland, tell us something we don’t know.

    I am looking forward to further improvement, one hell of a day out in Castlebar …..

  74. Looking back and reflecting I think yest was more about playing safely and slower pace to conserve energy, and avoid further injuries.
    A lot of kick passing in 1st half, kept the scores up with Meath at the same time, and around the 45 to 50 min, it was like a switch turned onn and up went the tempo for last quarter.
    Andy’s 2nd half appearance was part of the plan to turn onn that switch, and boy did he turn it.
    It was a deliberate tactic after 5 tough weeks and travelling imo. Brave move.
    Think we are all set up for a very different game in 2weeks.

  75. A couple of posters commenting on how Donegal outnumbered us in 2012. While this is true, don’t forget that they qualified from the first semi-final that year and thus had an advantage in snapping up the neutral tickets, something that worked for us against the Dubs on a couple of occasions.

    I was at both of the quarter-finals we played against them since and in no way did they have that advantage.

  76. *****TICKET ALERT!!!*****!

    Folks, no procrastinating please, get online and secure your tickets for this now, for you know Donegel will bring a massive crowd! tickets dot ie or gaa dot ie/tickets/

  77. @MaigheoGalinGallimh what Mayo supporters want is an All Ireland title…simples, anything less is quite frankly at this stage, a disappointment. Surely, you would agree?

  78. Tom Parsons should start back with his club Charlestown first if hes fit to play.Theres is a starred round of Senior League club games this weekend.

  79. Just purchased my ticket in Supervalu…They said in the shop there has been huge demand already. Delighted the game against Donegal is do or die and not just one to fill the calendar. Let’s make it one hell of an atmosphere in two weeks time.

    In all honesty I thought we were very poor yesterday for 55 minutes. I think putting it down to the team conserving energy or playing within themselves is wide of the mark. There were a lot of mistakes, poor decision making, poor execution. Looking at the game back J H cut a very frustrated looking figure watching the majority of the game.

    Andy’s introduction made a big difference. Darren Coen is a brilliant shooter but does not provide the same level of clever movement Andy does. He may not have seventy minutes in the legs anymore but his football brain is as sharp as ever.

    Donegal are going to be very tough to beat. We will have to raise it quite a few notches from yesterday. We desperately need some players back and some huge performances from our main guys. It is hard to see any players back in outside Paddy and Keith. It’s surely too soon for Mattie or Diarmuid. I am absolutely delighted to hear Tom is back in full training. I cannot see anyway he will play any part in the Donegal game considering he has no football in his locker for 14 months. Just to hear he has put himself in a position to play football again tho is brilliant news..A great guy and a true warrior.

  80. Lee Keegan and Donal Vaughan essentially had man marking jobs for the first 55 minutes plus yesterday. Lee was following Mcentee (their no 12) everywhere and wasnt looking for the ball at all. A fine job he did too.
    Some of our ball on the wings was just screaming for someone to make a run down the centre but we seemed to be more focused on minding the house.
    Then around 58 59 minutes we suddenly started going forward more, lee touched more ball in that 10 minutes then he did the whole game and we were way more dynamic.
    I think that was tactical and it did the job.
    Everyone needs to not focus on drawing a straight line between observation 1 and observation 2 to reach conclusion 1. I dont think we can draw much from this game except that Seamie O’Shea appears fully fit and we have more work to do on kickouts.

  81. Mayo did enough yesterday. They are hanging for the break after the continuous run they have been on. Horan really needs to get his match ups right for the Donegal game. The rest should do Mayo a power of good. The can recover properly this week. More recovery for the injured lads and a break for others below par to get their form back.

    Aidan O’Shea has been poor for a few weeks now. He’s definitely injured. Kerry really targeted Donegal with high ball yesterday. Maybe AOS could flit between full forward and midfield if he has an injury to be minded?

  82. Hearing from a good source that the game could be moved to Limerick to deal with the crowd,hope this isn’t true.

  83. Good one paddyjoe. It’s a home game in McHale park. Set in stone. McHale is well able to cater for the crowd.

  84. You know, thinking of this match in McHale Park, I remember listening to an interview Horan did with the Mayo News podcast, just after he landed the manager role, you might recall WJ? where he specifically targeted our home games and specifically our less than flattering record at home.
    He’s a smart guy and I’ve no doubt he was looking ahead and planning for a match such as this one we have against Donegal.
    Therefore, I’ve no doubt that Horan will have this team prepared and have the team ready to defend their home patch, much like Peter Kane and Kerry did in Killarney.

  85. Eyesontheball – your comment from earlier on today was brought to my attention and I’ve deleted it. While most of what you had to say was okay you made reference to two named players whom you said you saw out last night. It’s completely unacceptable to post anecdotal information of that kind in relation to named players, which is why I’ve deleted your comment in its entirety.

    You’re also in moderation as well, as you clearly can’t be trusted to comment here in a responsible manner.

    All – let this be a lesson. Anyone straying outside the permitted line (which is very wide and give plenty of latitude for everyone to post comments providing they’re reasonable) while I’m away will be dealt with in the same manner.

  86. Willie Joe I don’t think it’s a crime [deleted] and wasn’t having a pop at them in any shape or form, as I said they were nice fellas and chatting away to fans! But your house, your rules and all that but was no offence intended at all.

  87. Eyesontheball – neither do I but can’t you see the harm in your posting details and naming them in doing so? That’s where the problem is – with you posting information about people that you’ve no right to be putting in the public domain. I’ve even had to edit your half-apology as you’ve tried to post details again (without the names this time). A bit of cop-on wouldn’t go amiss.

  88. Didn’t get to see Meath live, and have a wedding to attend for the Donegal match – hope a Mayo fan occupies the seat I would have taken! We’ve been crying out for a bit of a break and hopefully we throw everything into this match. Donegal did look great yesterday but it will be a different game and you never know what sort of performance we can put in.

  89. Never felt as deflated after a 9 point win. Thought we were terrible for most of it. Spilling ball, picks up off the ground, playing stupid keep ball and dropping ball short. We kept Meath in the game when it should have been over by half-time.

    Ours looked like a junior game in comparison to Donegal v Kerry. Some very good shooting by both sides, And yet, I felt it lacked something. Donegal are NOT world beaters

  90. Horan did say in his interview that Mayo are playing below their capabilities. Hes the guy that oversees every training session, so he knows what he is talking about.
    Having a plan is one thing, executing it is another. We may be just a fraction away from getting it all right!
    Roll on Sat week and posters above say dont delay in picking up tickets. McHale Park aint seen anything like this…

  91. Any word on the knock Darren Coen picked up? I’m kind of presuming he was taken off because he was injured.

  92. MisterMayor, sure I know all we want is Sam Maguire but I’m afraid we have to be realistic too? I said heading to Limerick if all we did was knock out Galway I’d be happy. OF course I want them to keep going ALL THE WAY & I hope they do but I still feel with all the players out injured and niggles they’ve done well, there isn’t many other teams that could have pushed on through to get themselves were they are now, one match away from a AISF.

  93. We are a long time on the road between league and backdoor. Time to be realistic. But one big push yet, it’s all valuable experience for the new boys stepping up.
    Interesting to see 1,2 and 3 in yesterday’s MOM

  94. Looking at the video of Cillian’s penalty told it’s own story. The cheer which greeted Cillian’s goal was at least twice that which greeted the Meath goalie’s save.
    Apart from that I hope Cillian puts in sopme practice on penalties as the last two have been poor efforts. In my book they should be daisycutters aimed for the corner/back stanchion with a decent bit of power/ballspeed.

  95. Every column inch that is written about us being “Gone or “a busted flush ” is more wallpaper for our dressing room.. these stars continue to astound me with their resilience.. Andy looks like he’ll still be togging out whe he’s 50.. Sure, we’re not close to where we have been in our prime, but as another blogger mentioned…for a team I transition we are doing okay..

  96. I love the idea of having Andy to bring on when the going gets tough rather than taking him off in final 15 minutes as we’ve done over the last few years. If we have a full panel for Donegal game does Donal Vaughan make starting lineup (and play 80 minutes)??

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