Mayo 3-14 Galway 0-16: Connacht four-in-a-row secured with ease

Andy with Nestor

Two Connacht finals, two cups secured. That has to count as a good day’s work for the county no matter how you cut it. The minors (more about them in a bit) secured back-to-back provincial honours with a fair bit of dash in the day’s curtain raiser at MacHale Park this afternoon, while the seniors won pretty much at their ease in a Nestor Cup decider that never really came to the boil in the way that championship tussles between Mayo and Galway have done so often in the past.

As we surveyed the two teams’ warm-ups for the big game, it felt like Groundhog Day, with the visitors doing the same twenty-yard sprints and pot-shots at the posts that they’d done prior to the disembowelment they suffered at our hands in Salthill last year while we were doing our usual busy, small-sided matches routine. Once the ball was thrown-in, though, it quickly became clear that this much-changed Galway team wasn’t going to collapse in the craven manner that the 2013 variant had done.

Pre-match parade

The most visible change was the more defensive set-up the visitors deployed, with almost their whole team camped in our half in the opening ten minutes. They still got the scoreboard moving first, though, via a Shane Walsh free, but we quickly responded with a nice point from play by Cillian O’Connor into the Bacon Factory end, where we had the wind with us in that opening half. The Ballintubber man hoisted over a long-range free soon after to edge us in front. It was a lead we’d never lose from then on.

Even at this stage, Galway’s shooting was proving to be a bit on the wild side, with Cummins and Hoare both missing the target by some distance. Despite the way we had Andy deployed (far too) deep – leaving Cillian alone up top – we began to put distance between us on the scoreboard, with Alan Dillon played in nicely by Kevin McLoughlin for our third, following which Kevin landed a super solo effort following a looping run in from the right.

But we weren’t exactly motoring either, with Donal Vaughan shooting wide and Lee Keegan dropping a shot into the ‘keeper’s hands. In this early often-frantic period, we also had a plethora of misplaced passes, handling errors and all the rest.

Galway posted their first score from play when Lundy fisted over after a scorching run from out the right wing straight into our danger zone. As the first quarter gave way to the second, however, we continued to pull clear with a free from Cillian followed by another one from play from Kevin, who reacted quickly after a shot from Jason Doherty came back off the upright.

Galway’s response was two shocking wides, again from Cummins and Hoare, and we made them pay for this profligacy in our next attack, which yielded the game’s first goal. Cillian set it up, winning the ball in the corner and advancing in along the end-line before squaring it for the inrushing Lee Keegan to palm home.

Lee Keegan goal

Photo: Mayo Mick

A Shane Walsh free gave the Galway contingent something to cheer about but we could have had a second goal soon after when Jason Doc burst through but was hauled down by sub Kavanagh as he was about to feed the unmarked Cillian O’Connor. This was a textbook black card offence but ref Rory Hickey – who was even worse today than he usually is – failed to produce any card. Cillian tapped over the resultant free, though, to restore our seven-point lead.

Two more bad wides for the Tribesmen followed before Paul Conroy – who went on to excel in the second half for them – posted his first point from play. Alan Dillon hooked a shot badly wide from a good scoring position before Cillian notched his second point from play from an excellent Aidan O’Shea pass.

Kevin Mc arrowed over a superb point to extend our lead but wides from Alan and Cillian pushed our count on that metric to five (Galway had eight by then) before Cummins finally landed a score to leave seven points between the sides at the break.

Half-time

Although Galway had the strong enough wind in their favour in the second half, I wouldn’t say there would have been too much worry among the Mayo faithful as they queued for their teas and coffees (and the jacks) at the interval. We hadn’t filleted them in the way we’d done at the same stage of last year’s contest but we were comfortably in charge and looked well placed to finish the job without an awful lot of bother.

It was the visitors, though, who raised a bit of a gallop from the restart. A Barry Moran error from the throw-in led to a goal effort from Walsh, whose shot rocketed back off the crossbar with Robbie well beaten and the same player then claimed the rebound and slotted it over. Points from play by Conroy and Bradshaw followed and so suddenly the gap was down to four.

We should have had a penalty from our first attack of the half, when Lee was hauled down in the square, having taken an offload from Colm Boyle after the burst upfield by the Davitts man. Incredibly, however the useless Clare official waved play on.

Cummins hit a bad wide – Galway’s third since the break – before Doc pointed for us following a great surge by Chris Barrett. A Seamus O’Shea wide was then followed by another point from play from the increasing influential Paul Conroy, with whom Ger Cafferkey was having a right old tussle.

Galway made a double substitution early in the half and we made our first switch then too, with Alan Dillon – who never really got into the game at all – replaced by Michael Conroy. Soon after, Cillian – shooting into a tricky wind – knocked over a free to restore our five-point advantage.

We then had a goal ruled out, incorrectly I thought, when Aidan O’Shea pulled off an excellent rob and Doc thumped it home. By now, the home crowd was getting increasingly exercised at Hickey’s abject incompetence.

We had ourselves to blame, though, for the next goal chance we missed. Lee Keegan, loitering completely unmarked close to their goal, was picked out with a beautiful pass but he blasted his effort off the crossbar and over.

It was a case of third time lucky, however, with Jason burying the next chance that came his way. Nine up with twenty minutes to play, this was now another Mayo-Galway clash that wasn’t going to go down to the wire.

Jason Doherty goal

Photo: Mayo Mick

In fairness to the Herrin Chokers, they clawed back that goal over the next few minutes, with two frees from Walsh and another point from play (I’m not sure who got that one). Alan Freeman came on for Andy – who, in truth, should have been taken off much earlier – before Cillian pointed another from play. At the other end, another Walsh free cut the gap back to six.

But it was back out to nine soon after. The sideline were readying to replace Barry Moran with Jason Gibbons but had to postpone the switch when Bird got on the end of a move to bat the ball into the net from point-blank range. I mean, it wouldn’t really have been kosher, now would it, to sub a man who has just scored a goal?

Barry Moran goal

Photo: Mayo Mick

In the event, Barry was gone and Jason was on a few minutes later. It was an enforced change too when he pulled down Conroy (I think) inside the square. It was a bang-to-rights black card – as was the penalty award – but then so too was Kavanagh’s in the first half.

The result was already beyond doubt at this stage, with ten minutes or so left on the clock, but a goal for the Tribesmen then would at least have made for an interesting finale to the contest. Walsh’s spot kick was, though, expertly turned away by Robbie and, to add insult to injury, Walsh then thumped the resultant ’45 well wide.

From then on, the game petered out tamely. We made more switches, with Kevin Keane replacing Boyler, Diarmuid O’Connor coming on for Doc and then Mikie Sweeney getting a bizarre 10-second cameo in place of Aidan O’Shea just before the final whistle was blown.

Before that happened, they’d got two further points from play, we’d added another from a Cillian free – after a great burst from Aido – and we even managed to miss another goal chance when Kevin McLoughlin’s close-in shot was bundled away by Galway goalie Breathnach. None of this was of any real consequence, however, as we saw out the win pretty much at our ease.

Full-time

This wasn’t a perfect performance, either on the field or on the sideline (with the latter once again failing to make changes quickly enough and then making ones that, to be honest, hadn’t a whole pile of logic), but it was one that was more than good enough to clinch our fourth Connacht title in a row without our having to battle too hard for the spoils. It was also a win that earns us our ticket back to HQ in August, back to where the real championship action starts.

We had several strong performers today. Robbie had his best match in goal for ages, varying his kickouts to great effect and then pulling off that superb penalty save. Chris Barrett had his hands full at times early on with Cummins but the Belmullet man came into the game more and more the longer it went on. Ger Cafferkey also had plenty to do with Paul Conroy but it was a contest in which he gave as much as he got. Keith Higgins was excellent in the other corner.

Lee Keegan – who could easily have ended up with three goals to his credit – put in a much improved shift and Colm Boyle had a storming match at centre-back, where he set out his stall early on with a shuddering shoulder charge (for which he was incorrectly penalised) on one of the Galway forwards. Donal Vaughan put in a strong and steady performance too on the other wing.

The two O’Sheas, especially Aidan, did well around the middle. I know Aidan was named at 11 and partly operated there but he did most of his productive work operating at midfield where he showed once again that this is where he plays with greatest effect. Barry Moran took a long while to get into the game and never dominated around the middle in the way he often has but he did get a goal to his credit before getting black-carded.

Kevin McLoughlin was great, just great, lending further weight to the proposition that when the Knockmore man is going well, so too is the team as a whole. On the other wing, Jason Doherty put in arguably his best ever championship performance, one that saw him right in the thick of things in the forward line, bagging 1-1 in the process.

Cillian was excellent at corner-forward and it was great to see him knocking over scores from play – three in all – as well as his dependable return from placed balls. Neither Andy Moran nor Alan Dillon enjoyed productive outings, however, and both should really have been replaced prior to the start of the second half.

Mayo flag

But today isn’t a day for carping. Instead we should be celebrating the successful completion of a Connacht four-in-a-row by the county for the first time in over sixty years and the fact that we’re now definitely ahead of Galway in terms of provincial titles won. And once again we can start planning for Croke Park and an All-Ireland quarter-final date with either Cork or Sligo at HQ in three weeks time. The summer starts here.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Chris Barrett, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan (1-1), Colm Boyle, Donal Vaughan; Seamus O’Shea, Barry Moran (1-0); Kevin McLoughlin (0-3), Aidan O’Shea, Jason Doherty (1-1); Cillian O’Connor (0-8, five frees), Andy Moran, Alan Dillon (0-1). Subs: Michael Conroy for Dillon, Alan Freeman for Andy Moran, Jason Gibbons for Barry Moran (black card), Diarmuid O’Connor for Doherty, Mikie Sweeney for Aidan O’Shea.

*****

Minors victory parade

The day wouldn’t be complete without a quick mention of Enda Gilvarry’s mighty minors. The defending Connacht and All-Ireland champions got the day going in the best possible way by securing back-to-back provincial honours when they quelled a gutsy Roscommon fightback to win the minor decider by eight points.

Our lads seized control of the match from the outset, leading by 1-2 to 0-0 inside ten minutes, but the young Rossie lads hung in there to the break and beyond. When they pointed to go one up with ten minutes or so left, it looked as if the visitors might do it but instead Enda’s lads hit the gas coming down the closing stretch, scoring 1-6 without reply – with 1-3 of that coming from the excellent Brian Reape at corner-forward – to win on a scoreline of 2-16 to 0-14.

Both of today’s minor teams now head for the All-Ireland quarter-finals where both will face Ulster opposition, with our lads playing the losing finalists from up north while the Rossies will face the winners. There’s a good chance we’ll be seeing more of both teams in HQ, I reckon, a bit later in the year.

79 thoughts on “Mayo 3-14 Galway 0-16: Connacht four-in-a-row secured with ease

  1. Doc and Kevin mac man of the match, good outing for Barry it can only help him get up to speed .half forward line played very well, mayo did enough in second hear to get over the line

  2. A good solid performance from Mayo- Thought every player stood up and were counted today- roll on August Bank holiday weekend!!

  3. yeah, did enough, but to concede as much as we did could cost us down the road. we will never be happy 🙂 roll on croker

  4. Happy out with that overall. First of all, must say it’s great to see Chris Barrett back and looking fit. Thought he had a very solid first half and precious little went by him. He’s a massive plus in the back line now.
    I thought Vaughan in particular had a great game, snuffing out danger at every turn and looking very comfortable on the ball. Kevin Mac is back to his dangerous best and was played in the correct position. Aido had a good game and had lots of energy towards the end which was a real plus looking ahead. Unfortunately I’ll have to agree that perhaps Andy is a better impact sub for us at this stage; similar with Dillo. I thought Doc was effective enough and is getting on the end of things. Boyler and Higgins excellent as usual too.
    Roll on 3 weeks time.
    It’s great that we have pushed on a bit from the Roscommon game. Nice to see a good deal of positive energy from the Mayo crowd too.

  5. Meant to say big congrats to the Minors too on their Connaught title. I was impressed with Mikey Murray – looks a good prospect.

  6. Very pleased with that performance, I think Mayo have silenced some of the doubters today and we look well poised for a semi-final appearance at least. I thought Kevin McLoughlin was outstanding, one of the points he got in the first half was one of those where the pragmatic option would have been to lay it off but no he kept ducking and weaving and slotted over a beaut. He looked confident and assured and caused Galway some serious problems. Aidan O’Shea was an absolute engine and I think this has been his best outing for Mayo since Donegal last year. Is it just me or does he look a lot leaner and fitter than he did in the league? Half backs were excellent also, Keegan seemed to cover every single blade of grass while Vaughan and Boyler were solid in the HB.

    Not perfect however, midfield didn’t have an easy time of it, thought Barry Moran looked a little short of the pace and Seamus didn’t have his best day in the green and red. We seemed to give Galway a lot of space in the backs in the second half, they should probably have had at least a goal not counting the penalty which was brilliantly saved by Robbie. I think we’ll see a different FF line for the next outing.

    Overall two Connacht titles brought home and four in a row for the seniors. Big things are in store for the Green and Red. Onwards and upwards.

  7. Well done mayo seniors and minors. I have to mention 2 plays that we’re very in Mayo like until this bunch came along, first was CoC breaking a tackle and kick passing a floating ball to lee Keegan for the goal, it was poetry in motion. Second, can’t remember who it was but a Mayoman on the ball was dispossessed and the ball shot up in the air, as it was coming down our man was tussling with his opponent and rather than catch it, he kicked it very nicely into a teammates hands, classy stuff to watch. We are blessed to have such a team and management representing the county and I hope to high heavens they get a break and a bit if luck. I was was wondering who do we have on the bench to bring in to drive the team on, next thing up hops Jason gibbons, what a sub to have.
    Well done to all involved at all levels in both teams

  8. Have to agree with the above, Mikey Murray was excellent for the minors and would have been my man of the match. We mightn’t be looking hot in the U21s at the moment but there certainly is talent coming through.

  9. Disgusted with the same old loyalty crap. Sure we won but Galway weren’t great and we won carrying players.
    Andy and Dillon should have been replaced at half-time. Andy didn’t score and slowed the team down too much. Dillon got one point that an U-12 wouldn’t miss and contributed nothing else. and Conroy is our best impact forward sub option? He didn’t score either. Where are we going?
    Freeman should have started and what’s this bringing on Mikey Sweeney just ahead of the final whistle. And no Feeney to be seen?
    Same old loyalty stuff that will win Connacht but not Sam!

    Well done to the minors! A second big win against fancied opposition!

    Mayo: R Hennelly; C Barrett, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan (1-01), C Boyle, D Vaughan; S O’Shea, B Moran (1-00); K McLoughlin (0-03), A O’Shea, J Doherty (1-01); C O’Connor (0-08, 5fs), A Moran, A Dillon (0-01).
    Subs: M Conroy for Dillon (44mins), A Freeman for A Moran (53mins), J Gibbons for B Moran (60mins, black card), K Keane for Boyle (69mins), D O’Connor for Doherty (69mins), M Sweeney for A O’Shea (70mins).

  10. Roger – we play the winners of 4A which are the winners of Munster/Connacht Cork and Galway provincial runner up v Sligo and Tipperary – so I reckon it will be Cork v Sligo and we play the winners of that game??

    I have to say that although we have won Connacht and I thought Keegan, Doherty, Higgin’s A. O’Shea and McLoughlin were pivotal in that and produced some moments of fine football, I do have to say that I agree with Cloud9 – the decision making was very poor indeed and won’t cut it against another team in the next round of the championship. The Dillon – Moran combo is not effective anymore – they are impact subs – changes needed to be made here much quicker today. Freeman and Sweeney were two obvious replacements – I am bewildered at the decision to play Conroy ahead of them. I also don’t understand why Alan Gallagher is not getting a run – can anyone explain this? Richie Feeney is another powerful presence missing from the team. I am not trying to be overly critical or knock the fact that we have won Connacht today but at this stage we all know that we have our eyes set on the bigger prize and I just get the feeling that we are repeating the same decisions yet expecting different results. The reason I am so frustrated is that I firmly believe that the players on that team and bench are All-Ireland champions and deserve to have two medals at this stage. The one thing that gave me hope was when I saw flashes of Mayo’s attacking ability in the second half – there needs to be more of this – less indecision in front of goal and serious work on timing and rhythm getting the ball into the best man in position to score. Management need to stop relying on old formula, gain fresh perspective and open the floor to some of the younger renegades on the bench who in combination with our experienced players will inject some innovation and hunger back into our attack! Maigh Eo abú!!

  11. If you can,t enjoy a win like today it,s time to stay at home!! Two great wins and lets worry about quarter finals tomorrow. UP MAYO>

  12. Being brought on at the last second is a balls, it was done to me one time, I told the ” manager” where to go. Why would jh bring a lad on so late?
    The only blot on his page today in retrospect

  13. @mayofan, i presume you are reffering to Adam Gallagher not Alan. I dont want to breach the house rules here, and this just my opinion, but from what iv seen of him in the league, i think he needs a couple more years development before he’s ready for championship football, he could well develop into a fine player, but hes just not up to the other players standards at this point in time. I know people will say he scored alot in the league but the majority of his scores were from frees and i knew he wudnt feature come championship. Lacks the pace required if im honest. That said, with a good conditioning programme he could be a major player for us in the coming years, and i hope he will.

    Well done to both teams today, they done us proud.

  14. Roger, the situation now on our side of the draw (side A) is:

    Qualifiers R4: There will not be a draw – Cork will play Sligo and Galway will play Tipperary at neutral venues in two weeks time.

    If Cork beat Sligo (and you would expect them to) we will play Cork in the quarter finals.

    If Sligo beat Cork and Galway beat Tipperary we would play Sligo in the quarters.
    If Sligo beat Cork and Tipperary beat Galway there would be a draw and we could play either Sligo or Tipperary.

    We can’t, under any circumstances, meet Galway again in the quarters.

    So, to summarise, we will most likely play Cork next.

  15. thanks Juan-typo on the name apologies-Adam Gallagher. A player can only develop through experience and from what I’ve seen of him in the league-I thought he stood out in terms of pace and agility. Certainly a faster man than one or two that started up front today. I suppose my point is how does it benefit us to keep him on the bench particularly when we’re lacking some magic up front-these are the times to take some risks and inject some freshness into a team that are without question a little jaded from the massive effort they have put in over the last four years.

  16. To the poster who said Chris Barrett was very solid throughout I really don ‘t know what game he was watching..I thought he got roasted especially in the first half..Cummins could have had 5 or 6 points from play but for his atrocious shooting..Cunniffe to come back in for the quarter
    Major problem however is Horan still has no clue what his first 15 is or shall be..There are 23 who could in theory start the next day..That’s a major problem

  17. Can we cut some slack for team and management, they are at it all year .I think they done well good luck next time

  18. I’ll get around to reading comments in a bit. Overall it was an ok performance. Lots of silly mistakes against a very average galway team. Big congrats to is winning 4 but it’s at a time when every other team in the province is crap.

    conceding 16 pts against gslway is v concerning.

    The energy was back today. We need skill level and performances to improve a lot if we want to beat cork. They are NOT to be underestimated.

  19. Thought it was solid performance ..not perfect but that was not required.Barry did well as did Barrett.He was not roasted.Andy and Alan did not have great games and I would have liked to see sweeney on too.
    Doherty was very good and thats a bonus as is Aidans performance.Some very pozitive things…reading toomany negatives at this stage not helpful.
    Thought management did well today…credit where credit is due.
    Minors outztanding particularly Forwards.Great to see.
    Well done to all!

  20. Roger Wikipedia is absolutely correct!
    If cork beat Sligo in the qualifiers we play cork. Then we will play Kerry/Galway/Tipp in the semi final if we win

  21. i thought minor looked minor looked well today
    senior team. we need tom cuniff back as soon as possible.
    coc brillant to day. the ball still not going in fast
    enough

  22. I Think James and his management team did a great job with their selection of players to match Galway all over the field . Ok there was maby 1 or 2 mayo players who did not have a great game . Aidan o Shea done a great job on the kick outs and moping up ball around midfield, Hennelly was brilliant on the kick outs , Best game for doc in a long time ,got on a lot of ball and set up many scoring chances for other players ,CoC was his usual best , Half back line much tighter than in the league , LET ENJOY TONIGHT WITH OUR 4 IN A ROW IN OUR BACK POCKETS .

  23. I stand corrected but i believe that Mayo will be playing the winners of the Cork/Sligo or Galway/Tipperary in the quarter finals

  24. Have watched the game in full again.

    People can go on about negative comments but the reality is we need to up it in a lot of areas to advance further.

    The game was very pedestrian at times.

    Galway were poor. Very poor.

  25. I don’t think we can play Galway again in the quarters, or that Kerry can play Cork then, so it’ll be us against Cork/Sligo and the Yerras against Galway/Tipp then.

  26. Very happy with today’s win but we must remember that apart from two or three players I see this as an improving but still average Galway side. Much bigger tests to come and I would seriously worry about Cork (if its them we play).

    For me there remains questions about Alan and Andy starting together, lot of milage in the legs at this stage. They are Mayo football legends in my book and owe us nothing but time catches up on everyone. Now the question is here will JH sacrifice one for Freeman/Sweeney in our next fixture. Delighted with Jason Doherty today, I hope he keeps this form up. With himself and KMcL putting their heads in for brakes and hard work/running on the flanks it makes us so much better in my opinion. I think Chris Barrett found the going in the first half but he seemed to grow into the game as it progressed. Ditto Barry Moran. The game will bring them on no end. Substitutions at the end were poor form. Its not as if the players/team/management will gain anything from it.
    If there was one aspect that disappointed me today a little was during the first half when we were running at the centre of Galway’s defence it seemed to me that we tended to sell a dummy or two more than we should have, thus slowing up the play. I would like to at times see some more off the shoulder running/support in this area. I acknowledge that Galway had men back and this was hard to break through, maby a wider pitch in Dublin will help both the ball holder and support runners.
    Finally I would like to thank the whole squad and management for a four in a row. Brilliant achievement considering where we have come from.
    See ye in Dublin!!

  27. Well if and thats if Cork beat Sligo and Tipperary beat Galway then Kerry will have to play either. Kerry have played both Cork and Tipperary before .

  28. Horan can only do so much on the line. And overall he had done v well.

    Higgins saved Get Caff a few times. I like Ger, normally a solid no.3 but he needs to get his form back fast. The cork/Kerry attacks are a different prospect!!

    Half backs did well.

    Andy slowed it down too much and his handling was dodgy.

    Kev MC and the doc did superbly on breaks. Midfield was very good.

    Cillian was impressive too.

    Onwards

  29. What a great day for Mayo football. I really enjoyed watching this great team achieve their 4 in a row. I hope it will not be sixty odd years coming around again. either way it is safe to say that many of us fans will not see it again in our time. Our minors were fantastic also. I really liked the way they are using their bench during the game. I thought Galway were poor particularly in the first half. They improved a bit in the second half but they are well behind the Rossies I believe.

  30. Great day for Mayo today. Minors and Seniors both won. What more could you ask for?

    There is the weight of expectation on Mayo this year again. A connaught title even though it’s ‘”The Fourth in Row” will not suffice. We have to win the big one and once the after glow of todays win starts to wane, the wood will start to emerge from the trees.

    Mayo won’t win an All Ireland playing like they did today. That’s a fact. We will be annihillated by The Dubs (they are the only other real contenders) if we fall asleep at the wheel like we did during periods of the match. Mayo were fortunate that alot of Galways clear cut chances were poorly finished.

    Other teams will not miss.

    On the plus side we have improved since the Roscommon match and are heading in the right direction. We are not going to strike the fear of god into any team at this stage and that may not neccessarily be a bad thing. If we are tepid but just good enough to win the next two encounters and explode on the one that matters, that will do me just fucking right and dandy.

    We’re on the highway again.

  31. Hop it ref said it ,celebrity 4in a row and worry about the quarters tomorrow they did what they had to do

  32. Well done today to both Mayo teams, really impressed with the half forward line today, correct spot for Aiden I think. Galway forward were real good in the second half. Galway will take beating their next day out.
    Andy did ok today don’t know what others are on about. Alan a bit of the pace but will improve with game time. Would have loved to see Sweeney get real game time. Horan was spot on with doc. Much happier with team than I was all year.

  33. @ Patrick O’Boyle – Kerry haven’t played Tipperary, they have played Clare and Cork so far.

  34. We can’t afford to start Dillon and Moran, Dillon is a legend but has lost too much pace. Andy unfortunately doesn’t know where he needs to be playing, he wants ball out in front but then everything just stops when he gets it. We make hay when we move the ball fast witness our two second half goals and 2 other goal chances were generated by moving the ball at pace.
    Rory Hickey is an ABSOLUTE toolbox, and I told him that several times today from section 101 of the covered stand.
    Is he on commission for penalising players for touching the ball on the ground? Seems to be the only rule he knows.
    Galway were rubbish so lets not cod ourselves, did what we had to do.

  35. Errrisbeo, when fit, I’d fully expect to see Cunniffe starting at no.2, and I am very much a fan of his and rate him very highly indeed. All I can say is that I disagree with you on your views on Barrett, who I felt did very well considering he was coming back from a long injury layoff in a provincial final, against a Galway team that would have fancied doing damage against our full-back line today. No doubt it wasn’t a flawless performance, but he’s not far away at all in my view.

  36. agree with liberal role (long name).Barrett was very good today and grew into game.He is a serious bit of stuff.
    Wouldnt be negative like others.Would we not have taken a 1 point win this morning but yes I think Alan will do well to hold his place.

  37. If it was Dublin or Kerry (on their current form), we would have lost today.
    I’ve already given my opinion earlier on Andy, Alan and Michael Conroy, so I won’t go over the whole sad loyalty stuff in the forwards that I believe will stop us winning Sam this year.
    The bottom line is Freeman deserves to start, as does Jason Gibbons based on his league form.
    The Doc has finally broken through to join Kevin Mc and Cillian, who are both hitting top form.
    And in my book on the inside line, there is clear evidence that Sweeney could do a better job than Alan or Andy alongside Freeman and Cillian.
    Finally, Feeney appears to be banished to the wilderness – a shame indeed, because he is as dependable as JH was himself, when He himself wore the green and red!

  38. If you wanted a song to to be the soundtrack for today then we need look no further than the late Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’ . So many thanks to the senior and minor teams for giving us two great wins today.

    It was terrific to see Chris Barrett, Barry Moran and Jason Gibbons back on the pitch and this outing will surely bring them on a ton and further enhance options with the quarters looming.

    If there was one aspect of both teams play that stood out for me today it was the skill level and decision making of both our goalkeepers Matthew Flanagan and Robbie Hennelly. I thought both put in near flawless performances and contributed hugely in not only being the last line of defence but also the first line of attack.

    The only real negative for me in the Senior game was that we had 2 other goal chances in practically 1 on 1 situations and we missed them – these are not opportunities that we can afford to be missing when we are playing in Croker and certainly not against Dublin !

    Rory Hickey ! – Not EVEN specsavers can save that lad

  39. Surely there were more than 26,000 at that match today?

    For me, I am happy with our top 21 players, and we are very close to our best 15 in their best positions – Freeman and Sweeney for A Moran and Dillon, Gibbons for B Moran, tossup between Cunniffe and Barrett. Good subs to have.

    Let’s hope for no injuries in the next few weeks – we’re in the shakeup and it’s time to bring out the big performances now.

    As a side note, we could have won by 100 points and people would still be giving out. Don’t let it get you down, be happy 🙂

  40. Just to say, it’s only just July,time to know and do what is needed. That we did.
    Impressed by Hennelly’s distrubution, and the way we dealt with their midfield strengths, Great save also.
    Very imperfect, but enough lovely sparks to keep our odds short
    Credim

  41. Well done to both mayo teams . I’m going to have the best sleep of my life . It’s official we have a marquee forward .

  42. In my opinion, if a defender is consistently beat to the ball and turned by his man, he is cleaned regardless of the subsequent outcome..For example everyone agrees that Donal O Neill got beat up a stick by Cillian, but what if Cillian had inexplicably kicked 5 or 6 of those wide..Would it be said O’Neill had a solid game? Because that in effect was what Cummins was doing to Barrett..
    Listen theres no point beating around the bush, the 4 in a row will be forgotten unless we win Sam..And with potentially tricky Munster ties down the road in the next month we have to question some of the worrying signs in front of us

  43. Good to see a bit of inovation…AOS’s positioning, KMc where he can be most effective and B Moran given his chance. But Horan’s loyalty to players who have done so much for us but whose sellby date sadly has passed, is a concern. And substitutions when the game is almost over… come on.
    OK against poor opposition, but no longer. And when we are doing it now, what can we expect later?
    But well done ALL. A good day’s work. Credit where it is due. These guys deserve the ultimate award. Just concerned about these shortcomings and that if they are repeated AGAIN it may trip us up.
    Up Mayo.

  44. Delighted with that win today and felt it was the perfect result in a sense. Did what we had to do, won decisively in third gear, but not in such a way that will bring us any hype. Any day you win four Connacht titles in a row is a glorious one and I’ll be going to sleep shortly with a smile on my face.
    \
    it’s easy though on the back of a win like that to dismiss the niggling worries, and as per the last three seasons, I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at the sideline yet again today. Especially when I saw Conroy coming on, and though he did deliver a superb kick pass into the square at one point, not much else he did dispelled that incredulity. I just cannot fathom it (but then, I’m only watching games, not training). Andy and Alan at this point should be coming on from the bench – said that when I heard the team announcement, saying it now. Mikie deserved more than a perfunctory ten seconds. I also cannot fathom how our once-solid half back line goes missing every so often – there were times today you could have driven a tank through the middle and not touched a single defender. Then at times, you have our ff line playing so deep that there is no-one up front to collect a ball when we make a break. This needs to be sorted.

    There are lots of positives. Cillian was immense. He is now, according to Ciaran Whelan, our “marquee forward” (finally! we have one) but wait, we’re ‘over-reliant) on him. We just cant win, can we? Kev Mc was superb. Worked magic out there today. Doc was excellent – looked sharp and decisive. Aido put in a great shift, but he was playing in midfield, not HF if you ask me. I thought Barrett was great and got better as the game went on – for a man that’s been out for months, he put in a very decent performance. I can tell you, I was a damn sight more “roasted” on the terrace than he was on the pitch (as my new farmer’s tan will testify). And Hennelly was a giant – used his kickouts to great effect and of course pulled off that fabulous save. So plenty of positives.

    What really thrilled me today was that superb performance from our minors. And I hope it’s a sign of good things to come. Reape, Akram & Hanley stood out for me, but much like last year the team showed a maturity that was on a par with the seniors.

    Today was one of the good days. One to savour and enjoy. 🙂 Til next time ….

  45. A few quick thoughts on a great day with a senior minor double.
    I was impressed with our control around the middle but a bit worried by our defence which seemed a bit loose and vulnerable. Witness Shane Walsh’s shot off the crossbar early in the second half. if Galway could put 16 points on us i shudder to think what a more potent team would do.
    A big congrats to our minors who seem to be a team with huge potential. Just when it looked like the game was going from them they took complete control to run out utterly convincing winners

  46. Very good observation AndyD. Galway were indeed very poor yet put the 16 on us. Too loose and swashbuckling is our half back line.
    A better team would really punish that, but I suppose it’s only July, a poor Galway team, a Mayo in 2’nd gear and not willing to show our hand just yet.
    Good job by the seniors and great job by our minors.

  47. Fantastic result. I don’t think anyone will be getting to far ahead of themselves with talk of Sam just yet and that’s a good thing, Cork (no disrespect sligo, I’d love you beat them) will be far from pushovers and even then there’s the small matter of likely clashes with Kerry and Dublin to come. Sam or no Sam we really should recognise this as a golden era for Mayo football with the 4 in a row, two All Ireland finals as well as provincials and All Irelands at under age levels. Yes there have been some real gut wrenching heart breakers but mixed amongst that some moments of absolute joy. Fingers crossed for Sam, but come what may I for one am proud of what the team has produced over the last few years. Finally, WJ,, I don’t comment here often but I am here almost on a weekly basis catching up on the news and gossip. For someone living on the other side of the world in NZ this place is an absolute sanity saver, so thanks for maintaining this great resource and thanks to all those that post here.

  48. Just a slight correction willie joe, victories for Tipp (over Galway) and Sligo (over cork) will require a draw to decide which of the two qualifiers ourselves and Kerry play. Any other combination of results will not require a draw to decide who plays who

  49. A couple of quick points…
    1. I hope yesterdays performance from Andy and Alan will finally put to bed the argument that both can start a championship match together. Impact subs, and very good ones, must be their role from here on or else we can forget about Sam.
    2. Slightly concerned over Cafferkeys form. He is not dominating his man and seems to be playing from behind, and happy to do so.
    3. The use of AOS was excellent. As Whelan pointed out on the Sunday Game, AOS was loose for our kick-outs and showing for the ball and then was sweeping up breaking ball from their kick-outs. By keeping him free, it means that when we meet Dublin later in the year that Cluxton cannot target AOS’s marker with his kick-outs, as he did last September.
    4. Conroy??? I’ll say it again Conroy??? before Sweeney??? Come on.
    5. Fetch of the day goes to Donie Vaughan, even the pidgeons had to make way for that one.
    6. Hickey is a terrible ref. End of. There were too many instances to highlight of his poor decisions but here is one. He was correct to black card Moran, who was showing tiredness at that stage, but contact was outside the large square.
    7. Adam Gallagher, 14 pts in 3 consectutive league game, 9 from frees, plus 7 assists. Where is the lad??

    4 in a row and back to back titles, great work from all involved and thanks for these great days. Now, the real stuff starts. Finish this fucking thing.

    Hon Mayo
    7.

  50. I think any criticism from yesterdays performance is harsh.

    Mayo never got out of 3rd gear. Galway’s 16 points were as a result of mayo dropping off every so often and when they needed to they easily upped the tempo. Easy Easy.

    Also, why would horan start with his best 15, when there is no need. Everybody is raving about the dubs panel, but when horan uses his, he is criticised. It is too easy to be critical of players from the stand, in my opinion, there are 3-4 players who didn’t even make the bench, who could have started. I can only guess that everyone who made the bench has showed very well in training.

    Finally, we had 3-4 starters today all returning from injury and they are been lambasted above. We should be rejoicing the fact, that horan can be confident enough to give them essential game time and still complete our 4 in a row.

    Horan is taking a different approach this year and rightly so. Remember the definition of madness, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

    Maigh Eo Abu

  51. I thought it was hilarious that Ciaran, Pat and Des on the Sunday Game thought that our problem now is that we DO have a ‘marquee forward’! They’re great comedy, those lads – well worth staying up til 1am for.

  52. Great day. Hungover but happy. I honestly don’t think we will see a four in a row ever done again (unless we win 5 next year 😉

    Mayo man beside me giving out every time we got the ball and made a mistake..f’in useless we are he kept saying.Horan has no clue what he is at etc etc .I’m not proud of this bit but I lost it and told him to go fcuk himself and told him he is the type of know it all supporter we don’t need.

  53. We will never see a team like this again, on the subject of jh as manager, I dont think anyone can say there is a player in the county who has not got a chance, he can only start fifteen, so the players on the bench have to take their chance when they can, not many have left the panel so he must be doing something right.while with other managers that came before him there was always a nagging feeling that there was some players out of favour, I dont think that is the problem now . Also you dont win an all ireland in july, but you can certainly lose it, so be happy we are still there

  54. I wouldn’t be as negative as some of the comments above. We won! That’s all that really matters. There is no hangover from September and that was my big worry. These lads are starting to fire on all four cylinders. It was good to see Jason Doherty step up his performance. Hopefully he can now go on to fulfill the potential we saw when he first started.

  55. A great day for Mayo football yesterday, well done to all concerned. We cruised past Galway, won our 4 in a row and no major injuries picked up.

    I am in agreement with the earlier posts on who did well, who had off days, the ref and subbing Sweeney on stroke of full time.

    The consensus from last year is that we needed to improve in a number of areas be it tactics, match ups, sideline and US the supporters. A QF against a stung Cork where all the pressure will be on Mayo will highlight whether we have improved in those areas.

    Until then lets enjoy the results from yesterday.

  56. Just another thought on our starting 15 – if Andy and Alan D cant start together and Cunniffe is back for the QF is moving Barret to 5 and lining Keegan out at 15 a viable option ? Obviously he would play more a sweeping role while not having to primarily concentrate on defence and free to make those runs where he can really open up defences – Also he is a more natural finisher than Higgins who was used in a similar role last year.

  57. Just a side note. Being at game yesterday and watching it back today on record isn’t McHale Park the beautiful football stadium. Really shows up all the other Provincial grounds around the country congrats to all the staff and grounds crew.

  58. Good win by both Mayo teams yesterday. It looks like time has caught up with the 2 A’s (Alan and Andy) both great servants to Club and County. We were not firing on all cylinders yesterday. Chris Barrett took a while to settle. Donal Vaughan ( Mayo supporter calling him “Roadrunner”, runs everywhere but still not a defender. Barry not up to speed ( a bit like the 2 A,s). Half forward line brilliant. And what about Cillian? hard to believe that Ballintubber/Carnacon parish has the 2 best forwards in Cillian & Cora.
    Looking through blogs I cannot believe Ruanejos when he says Lee Keegan is a natural scoring forward? It was easier to score goals than points for the chances he got yesterday and also in other matches.
    As for the ref yesterday another gobshite with a whistle and no brains. Also well done to James Horan & Co. 4 in a row and next year Please God he will make it 5.

  59. Pebble – on the ball again but I dont agree with you about Sweeney vrs Conroy and ditto re Adam Gallagher. Any more Cillian’s out there? Great to see forwards winning their own ball. Well done Mayo. Nice day to be in the border country. Lets just take the title for starters and enjoy it for what it is.

  60. Enjoyed the game although was worried if Galway had got an early goal. It could have been a different match if they had got some momentum. Boyle had knocked that out of them in the first half with that shoulder on Comer. But it was worrying again at the start of the second when Conroy got through again after Walsh had got through. Our 1/2 backs need to remember to defend as well.

    Overall though as both halves progressed we got on top in most areas and that was the difference. Delighted to see Doherty had such a fine match. He was excellent especially in the second half. I hope he can follow that up now. The only criticism I would have of him is that he takes a second too long with the ball and can get caught in possession. He has to learn to move the ball faster. If he could master that he would be a top 1/2 forward.

    Also agree with posts regards the two As in the FF line. It looks like one or the other but not both. Barry Moran played well too. He took his goal well and had other chances in both halves but the final pass was just a little off for him. And the switch of AOS to 1/2 fw worked as well. He won a mountain of ball and his driving run in the second half to win that free was crucial as it helped again keep us ticking along.

    Plus – have to say congrats to minors. Enda Gilvarry doing a good job there and they look like a team suited to a dry hard pitch. After the bit of luck against Galway and yesterdays convincing performance who knows. Could be another big year for them.

  61. Happy with yesterdays display Mayo looked in control of the game. I think its a bit early to be writing off the 2 A’s just yet, its more how they are utilized to influence games. Hopefully will see young Gallagher & Sweeney feature more in this c’ship as they did show guile and intelligence in the few run-outs they had.

  62. Mayo won yesterday in second gear, lots of positives, all of the key players influenced the tempo of the game and dictated the outcome would result in a fairly routine win. The main worry was the gaps in the defence when Mayo lost turnover ball, need midfield or half forwards to cover when keegan/boyle bomb forward.. Freeman/Sweeney/Gallagher might have big influence later in the championship…

  63. ” Pebblesmeller says:
    July 14, 2014 at 9:07 am
    A couple of quick points…
    1. I hope yesterdays performance from Andy and Alan will finally put to bed the argument that both can start a championship match together. Impact subs, and very good ones, must be their role from here on or else we can forget about Sam.
    2. Slightly concerned over Cafferkeys form. He is not dominating his man and seems to be playing from behind, and happy to do so.
    3. The use of AOS was excellent. As Whelan pointed out on the Sunday Game, AOS was loose for our kick-outs and showing for the ball and then was sweeping up breaking ball from their kick-outs. By keeping him free, it means that when we meet Dublin later in the year that Cluxton cannot target AOS’s marker with his kick-outs, as he did last September.
    4. Conroy??? I’ll say it again Conroy??? before Sweeney??? Come on.
    5. Fetch of the day goes to Donie Vaughan, even the pidgeons had to make way for that one.
    6. Hickey is a terrible ref. End of. There were too many instances to highlight of his poor decisions but here is one. He was correct to black card Moran, who was showing tiredness at that stage, but contact was outside the large square.
    7. Adam Gallagher, 14 pts in 3 consectutive league game, 9 from frees, plus 7 assists. Where is the lad??”

    Agree with most of waht you say with the exception of #7, he may need a year or so.
    I also think Conroy is getting a bit bum rap, can anybody remember the league game V Kerry, when they really wanted to win that one, Conroy had a great game and fairly put his body on the line. He also has the speed and a dummy to go around opponents.
    Do not understand starting Alan and Andy, they owe Mayo football nothing, have been great servants, but do they have the ability to win a 50/50 ball and turn their man and head for goal, no, when they are in possession, it is way too predictable.
    Not 100% sure on A O Se in forwards, he still is inclined to carry the ball into the tackle too much, one time in first half yesterday he was about forty yards out nobody near him, and he continued to solo right down the middle until he was bottled up. (flashback to last week, when Kerry midfielder was in a similar position, popped it over the bar).

    Pebble, can you please omit FFbombs, no need for them, takes away from what are generally good posts.

  64. @ Pebbles – I believe he is referring to your choice use of “foul language” at the end of your post concerning “finishing the job”.

    F-Bombs ala Eamon Dunphy etc. I expect a video of you looking directly at the camera issuing an apology within the hour.

  65. I know that it’s not to everyone’s liking but the odd F-bomb is okay by me, as explained in the comments policy (specifically rule no.10), contextual usage being the key thing. FF bombs are a different kettle of fish entirely though!

  66. House Rule 19 contains an interesting reference to the handling of one’s bills. Would try it, but knowing my luck, it would probably not work for me. It seems like the first sentence from Rule 18 was forgotten very quickly.

  67. Good post JoeMamas except for bit at the end .Let the man express himself in his own way!

  68. Great to get 4 in a row.

    However, we are still exposed at the backs and goals are going to knock us out of the Championship if we dont harden up against strong runners coming down on our back line. Maybe, we are playing a cute game by letting this happen but it does not luck that way.

    Our forwards are in good shape, you could say that if an opponent put manners on COC we would in trouble but they would tie up 2 of their back line to do that and would open up other routes for us, all the crap that the media went on about last year always about forwards was rubbish. Its in the backs we need improvement. Worry, worry, worry.

    SUAS MAYO

  69. Yeah positives from that. Alot of talk before was about how good their midfield were but our lads played well kept them quiet and broke down balls smartly. But some of distribution was poor, hennellys kickouts can be predictable and I thought slow at times and an area that needs a bit of fine tuning. Cillian solid as always. Andy did get on a power of ball but was as if he was a bit nervy. People slated him last year but only for him in all ireland he made the goal.scored it and did other stuff too. Alot of talk of sweeney….very very light in my opinion which is a bad thing from here out. Anyway there seemed to be more competition for places and it kept lads on toes

  70. I thought it was a solid performance from Mayo. Never under pressure, always in control. Tried a few things out. Didn’t win at a complete canter but comfortable nonetheless.

    Lots to work on but it’s July so there’s plenty of time. Have to be happy with that.

  71. the standard of football in Connaught is not very high.How many players from Galway,
    Roscommon,Leitrim and Sligo would make the Dublin bench? .Perhaps,none.
    Galway scored 16 times while Mayo managed just one more. It was not a performance
    that gives much promise for September.

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