Mayo 3-15 Westmeath 1-14: still standing but badly shaken

Final score

Bloody hell: that was far harder work than it should have been. We won but the manner of our victory – in particular our ragged second half performance – was far from encouraging. We’ll really have to lift it next week if we’re to have any chance of getting past Tyrone.

But the good news is that there is a next week for us. Today was, don’t forget, another knockout championship match and that’s now three do-or-die championship matches we’ve won in a row this summer.  Today’s one – that major second half wobble notwithstanding – has got us back to where we’ve always wanted to be in August, back in the All-Ireland series, back at the business end of the championship.

The first surprise today was when news began to spread around Croke Park shortly before the team emerged from the dressing room that Diarmuid O’Connor would play no part in the game. Sure enough, when the lads sprinted out onto the pitch shortly afterwards there was no Diarmuid. Will he be there next week? I sure hope so because we could have done with him today.

In fairness to Jason Doherty, who replaced the talismanic Ballintubber man, he did plenty to justify his selection. He put in a hard-working shift and capped his display with a cracking first half goal.

We started the day, though, sluggishly enough. Eleven minutes passed before we finally opened our account, via an Evan Regan free, which cancelled out a free at the other end scored by John Heslin. The same player pointed a second free for them soon after but we then got going properly.

Andy Moran notched our first from play, a nice score after a surging run forward from Kevin MacLoughlin. Andy then played in Cillian O’Connor as we hit the front for the first time, with a second Evan free followed by a second from play by Cillian pushing us three clear.

Heslin with his third free cut the gap to two but then Jason Doherty blasted the ball to the net at the Davin end. Paddy Durcan raided forward soon after to push us six clear with a nicely taken point on the run.

They got their first from play but we responded with three top-quality scores at the other end. The first came from Cillian – his third from play, with nothing at that point from placed balls (on a day when he misfired badly on freetaking duties) – and this was followed by an outrageous score from way out on the wing by Evan Regan. Andy Moran then turned on a sixpence, shooting as he swivelled to stretch our lead to eight.

Disaster then struck for the Lake County. Their ‘keeper was, correctly, pulled for overcarrying and because the infraction incurred in the small square Rory Hickey spread his arms for the penalty. The settled consensus around where I was sitting was that this wasn’t the right call – on a day when Rory Hickey made plenty of odd calls – but it turned out it was perfectly correct. Cillian’s spot-kick was pretty perfect too:

We had them on the rack now. Our next attack yielded another score, a point from Kevin McLoughlin, which put us twelve points clear. At this stage it looked as if we’d win by as much as we wanted but then, all of a shot, the script changed, changed utterly.

It started with a wholly preventable goal, one we’re sadly far too used to seeing conceded. James Dolan was played in and, despite getting a good yank on his jersey from Kevin Keane, got his shot off which beat David Clarke in the corner.

From the resultant kickout the ball was lost and David Clarke suddenly found himself one-on-one with a Westmeath attacker. The Ballina netminder did hugely well to fend off the attempt to walk the ball around him and the danger of a second goal was averted at the cost of a free, which they pointed.

That cut the gap to eight points, which was the lead we took into the break, but that late brain-freeze fairly took the shine off what had been up till then a very encouraging first-half performance from us.

Eight points was, though, a big lead to take into the second half and when Westmeath emerged after the break they had a major job on their hands to make a game of it. But they soon showed that they were up for the fight.

They bagged the first four scores of the half, each one adding to the growing restlessness in the Mayo following. They were well-worked scores too but from our perspective the worry was how easily the Westmeath lads were able to cut their way through our backline and get their shots away without any difficulty.

A pointed free from Cillian settled our nerves somewhat and a cracking point from play by Jason put us back into more comfortable territory. Although they got the next score, we still looked to have the contest under control and when Keith Higgins fired over with fifteen minutes to go, you got the sense that we were ready to kick for home.

Only we weren’t. They got the next three scores, to narrow our lead back down to just three points. Less than ten minutes to play now and all of the game’s momentum was clearly with the resurgent Lake County.

Maybe it wasn’t as desperate a battle for survival as I felt at the time but while Westmeath were whittling away our once handsome lead the only analogy I could think of was the All-Ireland quarter-final against Meath back in 2009. That day we’d blown a six-point lead and ended up losing to very moderate opposition and I now had the fear of God that a Westmeath goal, followed by a few points, could see us plunge to a similarly catastrophic defeat.

Donal Vaughan – who was immense for us today – put us four points up, with five minutes or so left. Denis Corroon, booked earlier on for wrestling Aidan O’Shea to the ground in an incident where the Breaffy man bizarrely ended up with a yellow too, barged into Donie well after he’d got his shot away and he deservedly picked up a second yellow for his troubles.

A dangerous attack at our end saw sub Chris Barrett risk a black card by fouling just outside the large square. Heslin pointed and we were back in nervy territory.

At the other end Chris Barrett was hauled to the floor – a nailed-on black card offence, that yielded another yellow from the quixotic Hickey – and Cillian pointed the free.

Another Heslin free cut the gap back to three but that was their haul for the day. Another Cillian free put us four ahead and leaving them needing two scores to save the day. Instead we turned over their kick-out and Aidan O’Shea blasted to the net to seal a rather flattering seven-point win for us.

Stephen Rochford afterwards described our performance as “patchy” and I think that’s an appropriate enough summation. When we opened up on them we were great but our second half display was little short of shambolic. It was every bit as bad as that awful second half we put in against Galway back in June.

But the big difference today was that we won. And because we won we’re back in the big time. But because we’ve come through the backdoor it’s a provincial champion – Tyrone – we now face and, in this consistently competitive era for us, we’ve been singularly bad at beating provincial champions. Only once since our 2011 rebirth, in fact, have we beaten a provincial champion – Dublin in 2012 – but if we’re to keep alive in this year’s championship this is what we’re going to have to do next weekend.

After this evening’s Jekyll and Hyde display we won’t be heading into next Saturday’s quarter-final – at what’s likely to be a sold-out, full-to-the-rafters Croke Park – as favourites. But we will do so knowing that Tyrone would much rather be playing somebody else at this stage in the championship and knowing too that while we’ll respect them we won’t have one iota of fear about facing them.

Today was, in the heel of the hunt, a poor performance but it was still a winning one. It has got us back to where we want to be but next Saturday we’ll need to perform at a significantly higher level if we’re to have any hope of going further. Can we do this?

You can be sure that’ll be something our opponents next Saturday will be fretting about as much as we will ourselves. Everything will be on the line once more again then but that’s been the case for us since our journey through the qualifiers began. Next time, though, the stakes will be higher, the test facing us far harder. One way or another, you feel that all those nagging questions about us this year are set to be answered in some shape or form when we return to Croke Park this day week.

Mayo: David Clarke; Brendan Harrison, Kevin Keane, Keith Higgins (0-1); Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Paddy Durcan (0-1); Seamus O’Shea, Donal Vaughan (0-1); Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Aidan O’Shea (1-0), Jason Doherty (1-1); Evan Regan (0-3, two frees), Andy Moran (0-2), Cillian O’Connor (1-5, penalty goal and two points). Subs: Barry Moran for Boyle, Alan Dillon for Regan, Conor O’Shea for Doherty, Alan Freeman for Andy Moran, Chris Barrett for Keegan, Tom Parsons for Vaughan.


Who was our MOTM against Westmeath?

  • Andy Moran (31%, 129 Votes)
  • Donal Vaughan (26%, 108 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (6%, 27 Votes)
  • Kevin McLoughlin (6%, 24 Votes)
  • Brendan Harrison (5%, 21 Votes)
  • Keith Higgins (5%, 20 Votes)
  • Jason Doherty (4%, 18 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (3%, 11 Votes)
  • Conor O'Shea (3%, 11 Votes)
  • David Clarke (3%, 11 Votes)
  • Colm Boyle (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Barry Moran (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Seamus O'Shea (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Kevin Keane (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Chris Barrett (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Tom Parsons (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Evan Regan (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Lee Keegan (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Alan Dillon (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Alan Freeman (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 418

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141 thoughts on “Mayo 3-15 Westmeath 1-14: still standing but badly shaken

  1. I’m very sorry to have to say this but I greatly fear we are going nowhere. Two schools of thought: one, we are holding fire to hit the quarters full steam, or two, we are winning from memory and have slipped a lot from our best of the past four years. I hope and wish it’s one but I fear it’s two.

  2. The goal every year has to be to get to a quarter by whatever route.

    The quarter requires full capacity. The biggest match of the year.

    Win the quarter and anything can happen.

  3. Nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Defy anyone make sense of that. Very poor.

  4. Ragged a good description. An extremely un professional performance. The only positive an improved display from COC . It will be the end of our season next week.

  5. While I don’t think we’re good enough to win next week, the fact that we’re outsiders should see us raise our game at least

  6. I think we played football for 10 mins and then tried to save as much energy as possible for next week. I hope.

  7. I would suggest that at half time a lot of players felt that they did not want to get injured,or sent off,so I expect a completely different approach and mind set week,at least we are still there and with a good chance of progression

  8. Positives: Conor O Shea’ s performance when introduced. Andy Moran’ s intelligence. Vaughan’ s work rate. Harrison doing the simple things well. Higgins also quite good.Barry Moran’s contribution also telling too.

    Negatives: Switching off for the goal, lack of ruthless streak, still no obvious pattern of play, poor shot selection and kick out that went wrong would be punished by better teams.

    Missed Diarmuid and to an extent Parsons. Cafferkey continues to be missed.

    The signs are ominous. It will take something special or a consistent and solid seventy minute performance to advance next week. Everything looks disjointed.

  9. – That was like The Rory Hickey Rocky horror show, our players were not allowed to tackle they kept getting penalised.

    -Had we be playing Cork or Donegal today we would have been beaten and well beaten.

    -If Westmeath had decent forwards we would have been beaten

    -COC much better from open play but free taking was off. Regan skillful but cannot win his own ball and I am sorry to have to repeat this. Andy great first half, SOS got a lot of ball, Vaughan did a lot of work, McLaughlin super…..

    – General consensus leaving the match is that our goose is cooked v Tyrone.

    -If we have a big plan well then we need it for next Saturday, a repeat of second half and we are gone for this year . Time to show our hand if we have one.

  10. Delighted with the win and that we did it while playing bad, too often in the past we have blown teams away one week followed by a huge dip the following one.
    We go into next week well under the radar and are in the quarter final without any exertion, there is at least one great performance left in us this year yet and while we keep on winning I hope we hold that performance until most needed.
    We’re still in it and that’s where we have to be to have any hope of winning it.
    Maigh Eo Abu

  11. the kick out did not go wrong it was the pass afterwards.This is the best possible way to enter the Tyrone game—we will be given no chance.

  12. I think people are deluded thinking that we were somehow “saving ourselves for next week”. Anyone who’s played the game knows that you go whole heartedly into every challenge particularly at championship level. Really hope im wrong but I don’t think we can put a 70 min performance that is capable of beating Tyrone next week. Have to judge a team based on how they play this season, here and now. How we played in 2013 or 2014 is meaningless unfortunately.

  13. Was at the match. Writing is on the wall I fear. The team looks disjointed. They lack flow. My theory is that they are shackled by Rochfords new system.

    The half backs in particular lack the swagger of previous year’s especially when in scoring positions.

    To nearly surrender a 12 point lead is concerning. Despite this the talent is there to see albeit in short 10 minute bursts.

    Frustrating. Either way next week will be another rollercoaster!

  14. All over it in the first 31 mins and then the slide began..No explanation for 2nd half performance…We are under no illusions going into next wend BUT we are in the quarter finals and you just never know..

  15. Into the qts. and that’s it for now folks if we don’t have a wee bit more in the tank. And maybe we have.The reserves are never called upon until they are abs necessary and they probably will be both next time out.
    This was their big game and fair dues they pulled themselves together in the second half or in that part that i saw …. the wires must have fallen down here at 2-12 to 1-10.
    We won ….those who looked for a one pointer must be over the moon! So here’s cheers to them and on we go! Hup!!!!

  16. I agree near to hand with the positives, Conor o Shea’s best game. He looks more comfortable and mobile around the middle. Our half backs put in a hell of amount of work usually one would put fresher legs in but we kept throwing on forwards. Shane nally must wonder what he has to do to get a game. Coen should have been brought on too. It was the same in the second half against Kildare. Cillian and Aidan need to find their best form and fast.

  17. Worst half of football I have seen from a mayo team in the last 4/5 years. We were disjointed and none of our forwards showed up second half. No shape in the team what exactly is our games plan?? Aidan o shea needs to get his house in order and concentrate on the game not the referee. Performance show we are on a sloppy road as I have not seen much improvement since qualifier 1. I feel the end is next weekend the gas is running low. Personally don’t think the right man in charge and his lack of experience and leadership is now showing. Worrying times indeed.

  18. Was at the match, very frustrating When in total control,last 5 minutes of the first half sloppiness cost us a short goal and a point, could have been 2 goals! Second half started like we started the first. Have we progressed?. I don’t know if. Management woeful slow making subs, I think some worked to a certain extent. Barry & Connor OShea. Should have been made earlier. Andy was v good in FF but should have been replaced sooner. Taught Alan Dillon was far too pedestrian. We really missed Diarmuid., Don’t know what the problem with him is, hadn’t heard he was injured! & Finally that Ref, I’ve got a headache from listing to the polls whistle. I taught at one stage he was a going to be give a free to c one of the them. ‘Seagulls, that were in the abundance I have Croke Park today. he gave so many!

  19. Not concerned about the 2nd half, as I said before no point putting up a big score and having the media talking them up. in a perfect position going into next weekend, I expect them to explode into the game next weekend. Only worry is potential injury to keegan and D O’ C. Anyone know extent of his injury?

  20. Same again, we are not improving, players do not seem to have confidence in the set up and big names not performing. A real step back from our performances of the last few years. Cant see where the improvement is going to come from in Tyrone game if we continue with this set up!

  21. 12 points ahead to find yourself just 3 ahead entering injury time not good not good at all. Mayo lucky they were playing Westmeath today (a now Div 4 team) as i think any div 2 team would have beaten Mayo today.

    Can Mayo rediscover they true form in a week v Tyrone? or will the form stay the same which has been average to poor ever since that first league game against Cork in Jan. Next Saturday will tell all.

  22. Very concerned with that. I wouldn’t mind us dropping off in the second half but that was edging towards a collapse for a while.

    We seem to be just off the optimal in so many areas. Full back remains a concern. Midfield still not functioning as we’d like. And wasteful in attack at times.

    We’re in the quarters but yet to play for anything like 40 to 50 mins. A lot of work to do but very little time to do it.

  23. Clarkes kick outs a big problem, seamus O’Shea still trying to solo the ball into traffic, something wrong with Keegan and Aiden O’Shea. Conor O’Shea very impressive. Can a team improve to the extent that this team needs to improve in one week, I’m usually a glass half full person, but judging on today and the summer as a whole, I’m thinking we’re fu**ed next week.

  24. Best we can hope that the awful displays are over now when we are in the business end of season. Always great to be their again that’s a positive. Poor displays all over the pitch. A lot been said about our goal keeping position well after today not changed my opinion well and truly in the hennelly camp. I like Clarke a lot but didn’t go well today and could have cost us as all in front of him started to panic. I hope I have seen the worst of our team this year and it gets a lot better now otherwise it all over next weekend. We all know Tyrone are beatable let’s hope it is that stands up and does it.

  25. Holy cow! —– how did we manage to concede 1- 14 to a fourth div side. Cant see

    the other teams shaking in their boots. There is still a lot of stuttering and spluttering

    going on. We should have been out the gate. Most of the Donegal folk left at half time.

    They thought “it was all over”

  26. First Gen Dud says Mayo are shackled by Rochfords system.

    WHAT SYSTEM ?????????Please

  27. I’d say that Tyrone would have preferred if we had blown Westmeath out of the Championship. The reality is that we limped home. We’re still standing. That’s all that really counts for now. I remember Armagh having to replay Sligo in the quarters in 2002 and going on to beat Dublin in the semi’s by the slenderest of margins before defeating the might of a real Kerry team in the final. Mayo have the stuff and if we are exposed next weekend which I doubt very much, but doubt none the less, there will be a hell of lot of mirrors needed in that changing room. We got the job done. Let’s move on. Nothing much to see here, YET!

    “Come On Mayo!”

  28. Shambolic 2nd half .. no discernible system ..

    Can play great stuff for short bursts

    Keane was not the right man for heaslin .. the seagulls could see that .. surely a switch with keegan Higgins Barrett would have been better

    I don’t think you can just switch it on
    Mayo look a tired and often confused team lacking in leaders. Andy and Keith aside
    Almost blew a 12 point lead to a division 4 team .. Tyrone are playing on a different level ..

    Is is that 5 years of the road is just too long ?
    Is rochford system confusing the team?

    I’m baffled .. but I fear the worst next weekend .. has the feel of mayo donegal 2013 .. tired team mentally against a ferociously hungry team ..

  29. No game plan. Tyrone will run riot IF we continue like this. Anyway let’s enjoy tonight but u fear for us next weekend.

  30. Well were in the quarters where we want to be yes the second half was very disjointed I think we just switched off reading some comments hear we should not turn up next week but by following this team the last 5 years I don’t think we need to tell them that they need to step up next week and I think they will it’s going to be a different mind going in to this game we won’t be giving a chance all is not lost

  31. Never have I left a 7pt winning game with such a sense of disillusionment and foreboding. The game was over after 25mins 12 pts up but we let a div 4 side get back to within 3 and but for some poor shooting could have drawn level or worse.

    The positives, Cillian was superb, even though was uncharacteristically poor from frees. That was the only positive. Peiple saying players were good, did the simple things well, had a good tackle or two but to be honest that is the minimum required from every half decent player.

    The same old failings have resurfaced. Poor wides, yet again conceeding a very soft goal followed quickly by a fair attempt to conseed an even more soft one. Hennelly cant be blamed this time by the Clarke brigade.

    I have said it before on other threads that this team peaked in 2013. The lack of introducing new blood to the panel over the years have meant this team has stagnated and are now in decline.

    We can kid ourselves with thoughts of, now showing our hand, saving ourselves for next week, peak later in the year but who are we trying to convince. I try to see the positive in the team and will be there next week but I will have to admit that an AI is no longer in this team, the hunger and intensity is not there as it was before. Tyrone are a far far superior side to Westmeath and will punish us where Westmeath couldnt today.

  32. Folks, I think if we are honest with ourselves and unless there is a dramatic improvement next week then our goose is cooked! We look unsure, nervous, with no clear obvious pattern of play. 12 points up at but at the end we looked like we could have left it behind. This nonsense that we are saving ourselves is just that, as someone previously mentioned you cannot just turn it on when it suits as anyone who has played that game will understand. Anyways, we live in hope and stand by our team.

  33. By the way it was not Clarkes fault for the 2nd Westmeath goal chance, he found his man (Mcloughlin I think) but he gave it away. Thought Clarke was as usual solid throughout, no change required there.

  34. Was at the game. What a shambolic management display again. I really feel sorry for the players in the middle of this tactical mess. And we got rid of H+C for this. Kevin Mc one of the best half forwrads in the country playing as the closet defender to clarke and keith higgins in the half forwrad line. It beggars belief and would make a grown man cry to see it in operation.
    This team may never win an AI but what a pity that the likes of Andy and Keith have to put up with this nearing the end of their Mayo days.

  35. Knock out games are for winning and we won. Everyone is concerned about the performance but we are still in this. I don’t mind if it’s not pretty and that there’s loads to work on. We are in the quarters.
    One of the last 8. Something 24 others couldn’t do.

  36. Why are we always playing the next game,enjoy today,let management worry about next week,we had the game won at half time,I believe we have a good team,and management so I am sure we will be ready for next week

  37. Is Boyle gone for next game??. COS emerged today Vaughan excellent. Difficult to see an AI this year. Heading to Knock in the morning … never know. Look we are there these lads have done it before for us

  38. Wondering if people think there is only 1/2 a game in both Seamus and Aiden O Shea? From what I’ve seen these past 6 years Aiden at his best had only about 55 good minutes. Based on this, I recommend playing both from the bench next week i.e. second half only.
    Didn’t know Andy Moran had 65 minutes of football in him at his age. He has been a 30 minute man at most these past years.

  39. I think it’s time I took a break from this here site. There are some very bright, intuitive posters who I genuinely enjoy reading, however, there are a lot of fanatics. Unfortunately the fanatic only has two settings, total elation or total despair.
    Try and find the middle ground folks and enjoy the day.

  40. Let’s not forget Westmeath’s calibre in the chat mix.

    They came back from a thrashing against Meath last year.

    The next game is the true test for these lads.

    If they can do it well done to them if they can’t then so be it. They are still giving 100%.

  41. For me today’s result and performance was spot on.
    2 scenarios:
    1. We are a spent force with a manager out of his depth; or
    2. We are working through the gears slowly and are looking to improve enough to always beat the next opponent.

    Either way today’s performance is what you would hope for.

    Also, I think sometimes used supporter’s get very nervous and worried during games, but what we don’t see is the players on the pitch don’t look to have those nerves.

    I’m not saying we will beat Tyrone, but perhaps we should give our fine players and new manager the benefit of the doubt.

  42. Surprising game.When they were 12up people were leaving but 2nd half poor.We simply do not have enough scoring forwards.Cillian in my view started well but faded badly.McLoughlin dropped balls into keepers hands…a no no v Tyrone…and Too many failing to convert.
    Think Rochford slow to make changes.Positives for me was Barry and Vaughan.Not sure Conor O Shea will sustain momentum longer than 20 mins.
    Look we prophecised Heslin would cause problems and he did.Westmeath were generally poor but Mayo fell off too easily.
    Finally is there a factory somewhere producing shite refs? Hickey was shocking and both refs today have decided black card no longer needed now we into quarters.Consistency my foot.
    The best thing about Mayo is that they SOMETIMES perform under pressure but they will need week.No one from Mayo will have to worry about overconfidence that is for sure.
    We can.but hope.

  43. @mayomad , you seem to put up negative comments about Clarke after every game

    I thought he did well today , quick kick outs , was very alert and all but kick one to seamie o Shea found his man.

    In relation to the McLaughlin fumble , he put the ball on a plate to him and he got disposed Clarke made himself big and prevented a certain second goal

    What I would question with this Mayo management , why do they persist with this system when it’s clearly not working.?

  44. Hate to day I told you so, but was censored after the Galway game for making the comments everyone us making tonight. I certainly would gave liked to be proved to be wrong but Rochford appears to be way out of his depth and a team that were within a kick of a ball of beating Dublin last year are only a shadow of themselves this year!

  45. As a result of WINNING this evening we are again in the top eight teams in Ireland and we meet Tyrone next week in an all Ireland semi final. A Tyrone team that kicked thirteen wides in an Ulster final recently and were a beaten docket at seventy minutes only for their opponents to gift them the game in extra time- all eight minutes of it. Tyrone and Donegal, I believe, played at their very best in that Ulster final, a game which, to put it mildly, was total and utter skither only to be saved by the fact that it was a tight game and Peter Harte gave us all something to cherish. So, enough of Tyrone please.
    Mayo are again operating at about thirty percent of their potential all year while still retaining their long held league status and absorbing a new management team, a lateish start, injuries and trying to get new fellas online. This was Stephen Rochfords minimum goal for his first year in charge. Mayo slipped up against Galway, no question. But by playing well in games for about twenty or thirty minutes we are in an all Ireland quarter final. We may indeed go no further but I’ll tell ya Tyrone, or anyone else, will earn their victory. Our bucks haven’t gone back, we just haven’t seen them yet this year. I’ve been at and watched a lot of Mayo games and often had the feeling that , even when we dominated on the score board that we still weren’t controlling the game. I felt the boys were in control all the way this evening. There’s life in the old dog yet.
    Hon Mayo.

  46. SHOCKING! SHOCKING! SHOCKING! The amount of seagulls feasting on the remains of sandwiches from departing Donegal fans. The GAA must do something about this. It creates all sorts of sxxte. As for the second half Mayo performance, it was SH………….

  47. Cannot understand bringing on Alan Dillon,not the player he was. He got one kick of the ball and put it wide. Why did they not give a few of the younger lads a run out when they were well on top.Too slow putting on subs. Will have to go with the twin towers Barry and Aidan up front next day. I was at the Ulster Final and Tyrone were poor. They left Murphy one on one but Donegal never let in quick ball. Hope we learned.

  48. Ok ..normally don’t post anything on night after match .. A lot of critical stuff here and rightly so . I don’t like to be critical of management or players but would have taken Boyle off at half time with the card situation ( I think he is ok for the next day as black card would have ruled .. You can confirm that one WJ ) also would have brought on Barry and Tom much sooner . I honestly think we will improve next week and give Tyrone a good rattle but will need 70+ mins performance .. Keep the faith . There could be a sting in the tail of this team yet . Home now . Wrecked

  49. well done Mayo,game won, move on because next weeks game is a totally different thing entirely. I think next weeks game will show us a much sharper Mayo and I am delighted that they are in this position.
    Tyrone are a step up in quality but still not exactly scaring the pants off me, its a game Mayo are well capable of winning.

  50. Dont fancy our chances next week, im afraid. Just when we seem to get into the game, we take our foot off the pedal and sit back. Somethings not right in the camp, i think last years treatment of the management is praying on the players minds, they know deep down they handled the whole situation poorly and its like a huge weight on their shoulders.

  51. joet1480
    That post is factually incorrect on so many fronts it would take too much energy to individualise them.
    One thing is for sure..Tyrone are an excellent team and it will take an excellent performance to beat them.Anything else is just blather.
    Hope we have it in us to do just that.

  52. Like people are saying only next week will tell whether we slowed up or our deficiencies were exposed. The really worrying point for me was the lack of control in the 2nd half. What I mean is that it appeared wmeath had the game for the taking in the 2nd half – they hit some terrible wides. Usually when the better team takes its foot off the pedal, it has the ability to take control of game again when it needs to – we didn’t have that ability. They drove past out half back line in the 2nd half. – that’s what worries me.
    By the way is SoS doing much?

  53. Calm down lads. We won. It wasn’t pretty but we know where we need to improve. Next match only a week away. UP MAYO

  54. We won the game. We are in quarter final. Last 3 games were a means to an end. We have lots left in the tank. if we lose next week it will not be because of lack of effort over the 70 minutes. We do not have to peak to beat Tyrone. Let’s all have a little faith and stop giving out about a game we won very easily despite the Westmeath comeback. Did some of these posters actually think we were going to lose today? Get a grip. Roll on next week and eff the begrudgers!

  55. Tomorrow morning we will all wake up to the fact that, for the 6th year in a row, all involved in the Mayo squad will give us the privilege of supporting Mayo in August in Croke Park in an All Ireland quarter final.
    To all of the people who put their lives on hold, year-in year-out, to give us Mayo people this privilege, please accept my heartfelt thanks. Other than shout from my seat and comment here, I don’t contribute to getting there.

    After today, we all know that there is work to be done. Nobody here can do anything during the next week to change what will happen next Saturday. Our job is to show up on Saturday next and roar them on against Tyrone.
    For now, I’d ask everyone to be mindful that your comments are read by the players’ friends and families. These guys give us so much. They know what they have to do better than any of us. I’m just delighted that I will wake up tomorrow with August football to look forward to.

    Thanks guys.
    Keep her lit!

  56. the ladies on are saying that Mayo are in for a “paddling” from tyrone next saturday. I think they would be better off talking about how their galacticos are going to react if they reach for the 3rd gear next week against donegal and its no longer there.
    They are clearly very annoyed that we are still in it, even if they said a few weeks ago that we were not even on their ” raider”.
    The mind boggles as to what will happen if donegal catch them

  57. Well at least Donegal did us a favour and we avoid the Dublin/Kerry route to the final.

    We are back where we want to be as July ends. Just Tyrone and Galway (or even Tipperary) to beat for a place in the final. Just in a different order than what we would have expected.

    Remember we could have been tipped into the other half of the draw tonight if Cork had won and a draw had to be made. There is hope yet.

  58. Dave,
    Never being concerned about others’ opinions about Mayo. It’s bad for the soul.
    Just remember, opinions are like assholes. They are everywhere, but we don’t need to consider them

  59. Think there’s an overreaction here. At ht, I was very happy and thought we looked very good. Second half woeful but maybe we thought we had it won and were conserving energy. That’s my hope!

    We’re not firing on all cylinders but I genuinely think we have a huge chance next week. Tyrone are no world beaters and we looked devastating for 15 minutes tonight.

    Also doc will come back (I hope, he was togged today and warmed up) and he’s a huge addition. I thought Donegal were average today and Tyrone are a similar standard.

    If we win next week, it’s wide open for us.

  60. Ned, when was I negative towards Clarke? Read my previous post again, where is there anything negetive about Clarke. What I said was we are still leaking soft goals and that Hennelly cant be blamed this time by the Clarke Brigade. No where did I say the goal was Clarkes fault. Indeed nowhere in any post have I been negetive towards Clarke, I have always said that both Clarke and Hennelly are fine keepers and that I dont mind who plays in goal. I have always said soft goals were a direct result of leaving too much space between the back lines, this allows players to run at the heart of our defence. But if you can poit out where exactly I have been negative towards Clake then I would gladly amend the post.

  61. @fourgoal. Bit of perspective badly needed here after that game..As you wisely reminded us no one here has put their lives on hold or gone through the anguish of 2 lost finals and 2 replayed semi finals ..Would be much easier to throw in the towel but they haven’t…While critical analysis is important like Liam I feel the middle ground has been lost ..

  62. Can’t believe all the negativity of the blog today.Sure there is work to be done. But it was great to see flowing football today……not like an under eight game where you have 28 players running after the ball up and down the field with endless hand passes. Sure there is work to be done but I hope for the sake of football that we do get it right and we won’t have to watch some of the shite junior eight football that spells the death knell of football…..yes FOOTBALL…!!
    Mayo did not let the game develop from the opposition back line. They engaged high up the field and that was refreshing. Look again at the highlights of the Donegal/Cork game. There was no engagement in the opposition half from a short kick out for either side. What a pile of crap.Change isn’t easy but we have failed to get over the line with the old style. Let’s see if we can get this right and go all the way.

  63. JOB DONE ! That’s it . I have no worries that they will be switched on full!y next Saturday. Back where they want to be. Today was flat for everyone . It was just a game to get over and done with. End of story.
    Hopefully Keegan’s not injured and Diarmuid is back.
    I thought Cillian looked MUCH fitter today but still oddly short of confidence . Midfield was better. and as much as I have been against it the extra games have helped the Mcloughlin/Higgins switch. Thought Higgins looked more comfortable today!
    And a word for 2 stalwarts who have come to the fore…….Andy Moran first. He has given us a focal point and leadership in the forward line .
    And Donie Vaughan ! He has taken a lot of unwarranted stick in my opinion the past few years. He kept his head down and has come back in and been excellent in my opinion . He makes brilliant energetic runs that we have lacked all year. Doesnt always gets the ball but makes space.
    I think his “unorthodox ” running style makes him a bit of an easy target for some “Championship ” fans but I’m delighted to see him back doing his bit for the team. Even if he doesn’t start he will provide a massive option off the bench.
    And speaking of the bench……..I think that’s what will beat Tyrone for us !
    And I believe we will win it

  64. The highlight for me was that moment when there was 5 or 6 WM players around COC and he still managed a shot on goal in spite of their collective attention WM were very lucky it was not a goal of the season. No doubt here, my man of the match. COC

  65. I thought it would be hard to find a ticket next week for the match,but going by the general consensus on this site,most people will still be in the morgue writing this teams obituary.i know we did’nt have an excellent 2nd half,but i felt we showed enough in the 1st half to give me optimism going forward.the team eased off the gas and it happen’s.would i prefer we were ruthless and win by 20pts,not one bit,sure a 2nd half like the kildare game would have surficed.colm boyle taken off straight after his yellow showed where our focus was at and that is where most our player’s seemed to be in the 2nd half with one eye on next week.did i think for minute we would lose today.not a bit of it.big choice’s need to be made next week and that’s where this management should be judged.regan on a tightrope,s o’s not cutting it,d o’c and tom coming back huge boost,jason doc and barrett showing up also,kevin mc is working.c o’c played well,albeit his freetaking is a small worry,but i feel i will be proved right in saying this,the hotter the temperature gauge rises the better this mayo team will perform.hope this snipet of positivety does’nt burn anyone’s eyes.

  66. Watched the game abroad on TV and we did enough in the end to win comfortably. Thought Clarke was brilliant in goals, didn’t put a foot wrong. Lucky to get the penno, put away well though. Let Westmeath back into it much too easy at the start of the second half but always looked like we had the beating of them.
    I still think we will pose lots of problems for Tyrone, we do not fear them and we have a good record against them, they will be more fearful than us. I think they can and will beat Tyrone.
    I was surprised that Donal got MOM as I didn’t think he got on that much ball for a midfielder. Thought Andy had another good game, great in retaining possession unlike many others.

  67. Starting to see a pattern here. All the initial posts are very negative and given their timing would lead me to believe these people weren’t at the game or else were posting in the stands.
    The people at the game are now starting to post and it’s a different story.
    Joet1480 gives an excellent summation and fourgoals puts things in perspective. Some people should install a delay in their computer that doesn’t allow them to post for a few hours after a game, regardless of the result.

  68. I’ll take August football and see where that takes us.
    You can analyze this to death and be none the wiser.
    We’ll know better this time next week. In the meantime I suggest we all enjoy the topsy-turvy ride.

  69. Just back from the game .

    First comment , it was weird being there for a 2nd their type game . No disrespect but 27000 people left an eerie atmosphere compounded by the fact that there was only 3 scores in total at 14 minutes .

    Positives ,well we won and the subs or fringe players are making a contribution . Look it . After next weekend we will be either world beaters or calling for heads .
    Good luck to all who go as tickets will be a premium and let’s hope we prove that we are still a force to be reckoned with . It’s one match to focus on as the path should be less rough to the final after next week

  70. We won and are moving on and that’s all that matters. I suspect the team were surprised to be up 12 points in the first half compared to WM’s performance against Dublin. Intensity dropped off big time. I believe the talent is still there and will perform when the game is on the line. It’s better to be the underdogs for next week rather than going in over confident if we had beaten WM by 20 points. I expect next weeks game to be a closely fought game with the winners beating Gal/Tipp to reach the AI final. Maybe I wouldn’t be as confident if I saw the game today but I’m expecting a Mayo Dublin final.

  71. If Mayo get themselves right with a sustained performance next weekend they will win. We have better players than Tyrone. There is no basis for this current Tyrone team to be feared. If it was Kerry or Dublin next week it would be a different story with the way we are playing coming into this.

    Personally I would go long and direct against Tyrone early on and look for goals

  72. Liam Fair play to you, that was the funniest line I have read all year, , you are a legend boy

  73. Nobody has a crystal ball to tell the future so we just have to wait and see next week. I’m in the negative camp for 3 reasons; (1) our form all year overall has been poor barely surviving relegation (2) we failed to exert authority against Westmeath in the 2nd half when required and (3) generally it’s hard to turn on/off performances; we’ve been patchy all year and now we expect to beat a well drilled Tyrone team by suddenly “choosing to play well”. It’s never that simple; if this was Horan era we’d have railroaded Wmeath. Don’t forget we were a point down to Fermanagh at home with 5 mins left when we got penalty and a poor Kildare side cleaned our midfield at home. How can we genuinely expect to suddenly make a dramatic improvement next week as if there’s a carefully designed plan to be ‘under the radar’ next week?

  74. Tactics, structures and systems? Sometimes the animal appears only when the hunter confronts. That is next week. Every player must go beyond themselves, as Mayo players have in the past.

  75. I have taken the energy to provide a link above to Ulster GAA’s website and it gives a detailed analysis of the Ulster final, 2016. Based on the figures here Tyrone had nine wides in the first and five in the second. These are facts.
    We have a great resource here that WJ has provided for the presentation of cold hard facts, opinion and even a spot of good old hyperbole. We will need to be at our best to beat Tyrone, no question. And I believe we will be. No question.
    Hon Mayo.

  76. Does anyone know what the story is regarding Colm Boyle & potential suspension. The rule seems very complicated judging by the Irish times article

  77. Could be a long week this next one based on the volume of negative sentiment expressed here tonight so far. Firstly Kevin Mc in the newly designed mayo sweeper system is simply not going to change this season despite the pleas – It is not an orthodox type sweeper but it is there in order to curtail the volume of goals conceded as a result of teams running right down our centre. Last year we conceded 9 goals in 5 championship games, this year we have conceded 3 goals in 5 championship games. So it is bearing results. Now I know we faced the Dublin goal scoring machine in 2 of those games last year but one could well discount the galway goal this year as it was a gift from our keeper and on that basis 2 goals coming through our central defensive spine this year versus 9 last year is proof enough for me that it is having a positive influence on our results. The problem which was most obvious today due to Kevin Mc’s positioning is that our half forward line is depleted of a very fast attaching forward and a very fast man at tracking back after attacking half backs. Aidan’s pace dies off after 15 yards and with DOC out of action we suffered badly on that line in the second half. We did find an able replacement in Conor O’Shea today and unearthing this today might be an important piece of the jigsaw for next weeks game. Hopefully DOC is wrapped in cotton wool for the week, management I expect will look back over the team’s performance and their performance also, their very first as a management unit in Croker, and learn an awful lot from it before next weekend.

  78. I’m back home at last, thanks to my brother in law and his 7seater fully loaded,,! & we we’re still in the Championship. It won’t be good enough next Saturday, not by a mile. Management has to be act quicker, AOS was good for 40mins, but very little came from him the next 30.I know and I salute him for sticking away his goal in the last minute. But for me we can’t afford that. He wasn’t the only one. For me my MotM has to be Vaughan, I think we 70mins,Courage, running tackling, tackle braking, don’t think he gave the ball away once. Did ye see how he delayed his pass to Jason Doherty who stuck away his goal chance superbly! He drove trough for a badly needed point late on taking a heavy knock in the process the reduced Westmeath to 14 men. Andy a close second but I think ‘ 50/55 mins max is his limit nowadays and that’s bloody brilliant!…. Nest week it won’t be like today, But still I wouldn’t put it in past Mayo to deliver & I’ll be in there, believing Mayo can win. Hopefully DOC will be available and Tom Parsons available, more available to the help the team than he was a today, I mean more game time. I’d say the same thing about Barry! Why wait so long to bring them on? . Hope the management make better use of our resources and earlier! Look, it is a more by good luck than good planning but, there is an upside to Mayos lack luster performance to date, and that is that Tyrone will not know what to expect from Mayo. Rochford and Co have to know by now that, whatever the plan for today was it will be no good next week, so management will I believe will have no choice but to be change the plan,. Anyhow it’s another big day out next Saturday, sure to be the biggest GAA day of the season so far, my guess is for a full house in the Croker, so Mayo fans one and all, get yer tickets, I heard they go on sale 9am online, or by your GAA clubs, Super Value. Don’t let Mayo down, they will need all the way support they can get next Saturday, and it should be fantastic. Call me a romantic if you are want to but don’t write off Donegal V Dublin either! Oh what fun we might have?

  79. If we don’t know what to make of these Mayo performances imagine what it’s like for Mickey Harte and his team. They haven’t a clue what awaits them next week and I only hope we have fire in the belly. We can only play what’s before us and though we let a lot of lead slip I never doubted that we had a tank capable of running whenever we had to…and we did. I am really positive about Tyrone game and really looking forward to it. i expect intensity, focus and ruthlessness…and I beleiev we will get it from Mayo…as always…Maigh Eo go deo…

  80. joet1480,

    I firmly agree with the last points in your post above….I too felt that Mayo, although loose at times, held control of the game today for most of the game, notably our restarts and build-ups again and again from the FB line after a series of Westmeath attacks, and I was never worried that we were going to lose it. But your point about S Rochford’s possible minimum goal being to retain League Div 1 status in his first year in charge amazes me……His minimum goal even for a first year should be a very progressive pathway to the AI SF, at least, of this year’s Championship. This is a County team with top-table presence for much of the past 5 years. Any new management coming in should aim to build on that momentum and not have to dismantle and start again. It’s not just management….Any serious winning-mindset team have got to do some of their own thinking, organising themselves and pulling together, and then great things are possible. Look at Mickey Moran…….Got us to an AIF in his first (and amazingly, only) year in charge and didn’t have a ‘minimum’ minimum plan, I’m sure……Just straight into the thick of it and the team pulled with him, and beat the Dubs along the way. What I’m saying is that I’m sure that S Rochford’s heart and souls is in Mayo football – I can’t see an on-field strategy/set-up that he has that by its design is the ‘wrong way to go about it’…..Apart from the KMcL sweeper role, there’s not another play shape happening that’s obvious to me. I just think that the team just isn’t yet firing on all cylinders…..but will do……next week. I think our early big lead today ironically caught us and we took the foot off the pedal a bit and were surprised when Westmeath came back. But I believe that if we play to our real potential next weekend, we’ll be very competitive against Tyrone, a County we’ve had good success against.

  81. Amazing really how we tend to base everything on the most recent performance. CO Shea did well today so he should start the next day. Aiden not great today so should be taken off. Dillon didn’t score today so too old. Parsons came on too late so poor management etc etc. The fact is we did not play well today. We led by 12 at one stage, thought it was over and couldn’t get back in the groove again. Give some credit to WM I thought they were good in 2nd half. We are not playing well all year for some reason and face an uphill task v Tyrone. But we are still there and by sunday evening there will only be 6 teams left and we will be one of them. All is not lost yet.

  82. I admire peoples optimism about us turning it around and being ready for next week, I just cant see it after today. a top team 12pts up simply should not surrender such a lead. form cant be switched on like a tap, we have been average at best through out the year with little evidence that will suddenly change in a week. We were cleaned out of it again today in Midfield which is becoming a regular occurrence and head into a game with the likes of Cavanaghs and Donnelly operating in the middle. Possibly in the coming days I will look at things differently but finding it hard at present after todays showing.

  83. Said this morning I’d take any kind of win with no injuries!

    We have a very real chance on Saturday. Can’t wait!

  84. MAYO may beat TYRONE next week, how i hear you say. I really do not know they have not put in 20mins of good football all year, SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT lets hope for the sake of this team and all MAYO PEOPLE everywhere it is next week.

  85. The game was over when we went 12 up. Then the players seemed to switch off the power. And when they they needed it again in the second half they found it very difficult to turn it on. This sort of thing happens. I have seen this many times in the past at all levels of the game. Drop the intensity and its extremely hard to up it again.
    Mayo have been playing in fits and starts all year except in the cork game when they never showed up at all. This is a symptom of a tired team who have been on the go for a long time. It’s hard to play for a full 70 minutes with the levels of intensity we have been used to for an entire season. This is what we are seeing today.
    However, for 20 minutes or so in the first half we were absolutely devastating and blew WM away. I firmly believe we will see this again next week except for a much longer period. Why? Simply because we have to! It’s a mental thing. And yes I do believe we will win because I saw enough in that 20 minutes to appreciate what they are capable of – when they decide to get really stuck in.
    Keep the faith.

  86. Stutters happen in qualifiers. Kerry were gone against Sligo only for them missing a penalty at the death (can’t recall the year) and they went on to win an All Ireland that year. It happens, and teams get over it. We have 3 wins on the bounce under our belt and I hope we are really building a siege mentality. You could see what that goal meant to Aidan today

  87. Pressure is now really on the players next week. It’s the first big test since they voted out Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes last year. They felt they as players were up to scratch but management were not. Next Saturday will tell us if they were right or wrong. The blame the management card cannot be played this year. The ball is in their court now. Media and others will big time go to town on them if they lose and throw back the way they treated management last year. Next Saturday will tell us if players were right or wrong.

  88. Interesting two players fighting for regular spots on the team at the top of the MOTM, they’ve earned it and great to see. In my opinion a few of our key players today were subconsciously saving themselves for next week.

  89. We won a fourth round qualifier game by 7 points that now puts us on the same side of the draw that contains two teams who played in division two this year and one team that played in division three. The other side of the draw contains three teams who were in the top four positions in division one. I’d have taken that after the defeat to Galway. Roll on the next game!

  90. Colm Boyle will be fine for next week as he only got a yellow card. 2 yellows or a black and he’d have been suspended.

  91. As I said conor was the best of the o sheas. Aidan and seamus poor. In my opinion from watching county football barry and tom our midfield choice and Vaughan centre back

  92. Chicago! , haven’t seen your ‘Handle’ before on this Blog. But a very perceptive insight I do believe! ‘Finger on the pulse’ as they say in medical circles!.

  93. Those using Kerry 2009 as a comparison to Mayo now should be reminded that Kerry in 2009 had a panel of players that had senior AI medals in their back pockets from the 2006,07 and they could turn on form like a tap. Mayo on the other hand have no AI senior medals and the majority of the panel look tried and weary after been on the road non stop since 2011 the effort put in those years is now seen more than ever.

  94. Lads we are watching the dying embers of a great Mayo team…sad to see. Depressing we didn’t cross the line but it’s all over. We are in for a tough few years ahead

  95. Hate to say this but I don’t think the team believe in the system or the manager. That said if we up our performance we can beat Tyrone

  96. I dont know whwt that the hell roch is trying to do to this team , aftre manag… corofin to all ire victory i was very positive especially that they county board fuced up not appointing kevin mcstay and i still belev that and always will, but i said to my self , all right , but bringing in mcentee i says what happening here, a great footballer and coach i have no doubt , but we do not play the ulster way and never will and hope we never do , , its very simple now and im not at all too confident against tyronoe next week and in mickey harte, i aalways said 1 the best managers in our time, watched on the sidelines in mchale park in league game couple years ago and during both halfs he never , not once took his eye of the fieild , even when ball was balloned ovre bar or wide by either teams, any his selectors always up yo his ear and a whisper and still watching were his team lining up on kickouts ect…. class , we,ll see now next week end what rochford and mcentee are made off, we have the players no doubt , but its down to a game of chess now…………

  97. Sad thing about yesterday’s result is that we just don’t possess the passion to kill off a game and what’s more worrying is that we don’t have the ability to shutdown a game when we have a substantial lead. We all know that Mayo at a minimum will have a dozen wides in any game and we simply can’t rectify this but by now I would have thought we should have developed a ‘game shutdown’ strategy and execute it with success whenever required – especially yesterday. We all know that at times it is not a pretty site but it gets results and I knew in my heart yesterday that even with a 12 point lead we could still loose and we almost did – no strategic shutdown plan. We have a huge amount of talented footballers in Mayo but we don’t have a talented team (footballers+ management) and despite various management formats we just don’t know how to quickly execute game changing strategies and unfortunately I can’t see that ever changing with the current setup.

  98. Have to admit I got it wrong ahead of the game last night – was expecting a much improved performance on the Kildare game. The barometer of where we are really at is not good. A tired team out of ideas, and now realising a change of management can’t compensate for their own shortcomings. Not a good place to be facing an excellent Tyrone outfit who are determined to make the big breakthrough this year and will be determined to make amends for 2013 by not taking their foot of our necks this time around.

  99. All – there’s a rule in the book here about hand-wringing, oh woe is us, the end of the world is nigh type of comments. They serve no usual purpose and more than enough of them have been posted here unhindered at this stage since yesterday evening’s game. The focus now needs to be on our next game – there’ll be plenty of time for the wistful stuff once our involvement in this year’s championship is over.

  100. I don’t believe Tyrone looked like world-beaters in Ulster final, I think Mayo can give them a good rattle next week. Everyone writing us off will suit this Mayo team.
    I think Rochford having a tough first year, would think managers should get 2 – 3 years before they’re evaluated.
    Watching the performance of McStay’s Roscommon this year, at least Rochford has us playing in August and this Mayo team may have a shock or 2 in them yet. Hon Mayo!

  101. First of all I’m delighted we’re back to quarter finals and on a road allot longer than usual. For me yesterday performance was down to us holding back. I felt looking at the guys that they had allot more in the tank and they looked fresher coming off the field than against Kildare. So Job done in that respect.
    For me I think Tyrone could go on win all Ireland this year so we’re really up against it. They have there system nailed and we’re struggling working ours. That all said I did see some very slick movement from us yesterday and more of the same for the full 70 mins. It also looks like given our situation with cards, should we win on sat we most definitely going into the following match with suspended players. Anyway that most likely a mute point.

  102. Nothing beats an early morning coffee on a Sunday and a read of the comments on “the blog”.
    A source of common appreciation of a team whose lives have been dedicated to delivering the holy grail.
    However the sense of doom and gloom this morning is causing the coffee to turn cold, and giving me an uneasy feeling.
    Let’s put last night into perspective, and compare to a “common man” example.
    A dad comes home from work after a long and tiring day. (Daddy plays junior B with the local team). Little Johnny is out in the garden practicing his catching and kicking and calls dad over for a “match”.
    Dad changes out of the work clothes, heads out into the garden and starts the game. An Dad in early to mid 30s opens scoring with a few long range scores, dancing and soloing past his 9 year old. 7 points up he takes the foot of the gas. No need to push hard here, training later on and a junior b match at the weekend vs local rivals. Can’t risk an ankle twist on the rough lawn.
    Johnny gets into the game a little bit more. Pops a few over with his dominant right, but still tries the left. A skill his coaches have been working on over the last few weeks.
    Game over and both shake hands. Hand in hand they walk into the house for dinner. Johnny disappointed by the fact that dad won.. Heartened by the fact that he got back into the game.
    Dad happy that he won, didn’t hurt himself and has energy for training during the week. Next Saturday’s match is the test.

    Perspective people. Perspective.

  103. Jesus . WTF is wrong with you people . Will ye cop on to yourselves . Ye all are getting paralysis by analysis. I guarantee you all one thing . Tyrone will have to play awful well to beat us . Just wait & see

  104. That’s a lovely way of putting it League Legends….a grand perspective and well done!

  105. I’m coming here to gloat but I have my tickets for Saturday and am looking forward to shouting on the boys.

    The same team that you’d swear were hammered out the gate yesterday but won by 7 points having played stuck in first gear for the entirety of the second half.

    Make no mistake we’ll have to skip first gear for the full 80 minutes against Tyrone and find the upper ones but I believe that is still there for this team. We’re still not firing on all cylinders and we will need to start doing that otherwise our exit from the Championship will be in Early August for the first time in several years.

    Plenty to do for the next day alright but that game certainly is no foregone conclusion and Tyrone are tough opposition, but if we get Diarmuid back and some of the others who have not been in best form find theirs, I’d be confident of victory.

    Still all to play for.

  106. You can’t write us off,
    The first 35 mins was decent,
    Second half was worrying and I’m
    Hoping that the cause was just knowing what’s coming next week.

    If we play for 70 minutes I think we will win, but the a disjointed period will end in doom.

    We often scrapped to quarter final playing similar, so now let the real mayo stand up.

  107. Talking to a few fans in Dublin from various counties they think there could be a kick left in us yet. I wished I shared the same view. Tyrone have a team who totally believe in Micky Harte and implement his system to perfection. Can we say the same? I was very disappointed in out tackling yesterday. How many turn over had we ? Tyrone defend in mass but break at lightening speed. I know I’m being negative but based on our dorm this season I can’t see us winning. Hope I’m wrong

  108. Some extremely harsh comments in relation to this group of players having no AI medals. With a bit more luck v Donegal, better decision making on sideline v Dubs and a crackpot ref v Kerry – believe as I’ve said before that we could have won any one of the last 4 AIs.
    I have no doubt that the players have the ability. SR for me is the only one nit proven apart from winning club AI that in all honesty expect to win them every year. As a famous irish manager once said : it all stops with me I’m the gaffer or words to that affect.
    We have not come close to shooting out the lights in either league or c’ship and I’m afraid I don’t see a grand plan developing at all. I will travel on Saturday in the hope that we find something close to our true form. Kerry won their last AI with a team much older than ours is now so I stay hopeful.
    DV to cb to shore up the middle – pleased for him yesterday playing well.

  109. God almighty. The doom and gloom merchants out in force on here. They won, which is all they needed to do. I’d take a one point win in every match from here on out. What’s the sense is blowing away Westmeath in a qualifier match? What is anyone going to learn from that? Going by some of the comments here, we might as well not bother showing up the next day and just let Tyrone walk into a semi-final.

  110. Ok, good nights sleep and tickets sorted. Now on to the match.
    Cagey first 10 mins, followed by excellent next 20, followed by…mmmm…appalling lapses in concentration before half time (How did Westmeath not score a second goal???!!) followed by a very very flat second half performance.

    Kevin Mac really impressed me with his runs from deep on the counterattack – I can see what Rochford is trying to do here.
    Keith also seems more settled into his new role and played well.
    Much better grouping and competition for breaking ball on the opposition kickouts.
    Much better movement and support play in the first half in particular – Ripped open a Westmeath backline that Dublin struggled to break down.
    Vaughan also played much better – more like his old self.

    DOC a big worry
    Not clinical enough in front of goal (both points and goals)
    COC shooting still not where we have come to expect the last few years.
    For all the defensive changes, we still can’t defend a lead – With Tyrone coming in 7 days I can understand taking the foot off the pedal a little, but instead of a tight defensive wall and smart counterattacks to keep the scoreboard ticking over, we just let them steadily eat into our lead. If their shooting wasn’t so wayward, we’d have been in real trouble.
    Kevin Mac still not fully assured as a sweeper – I also think all those lung bursting runs from deep (and back again) contributed to his mistakes.

  111. Yes, bad and all as we were for big parts of that match, it was still a qualifier and got through it. Depends now on how much we have in the tank, mentally and physically. Scary how we were split open again and again yesterday, same as the last couple of matches, and with the quality of Tiernan McCann and P. Harte, we will have to have a plan in place for next week to curb this. Diarmuid was a massive loss again yesterday, and with that young man on our team there is always hope.
    If they are fit, Parsons and Barrett will be big additions.

  112. Ahh for cryin out loud its all very simple , Rochford is either a genius or an absolute clown. Only next week will we know the answer.

  113. Tom Parsons being able to play and Conor OShea going well was a big positive.
    I can see us leaving plenty big men from our 45 to midfield next Saturday. Tyrone are mobile but they lack size if yer talking about 6’2″+ with power. Higgins role will be to meet them in the middle and get pressure on their counter attack.

  114. I think it was a good thing that things played out as they did yesterday. How many times
    have we seen a team win a game by 20 or 25 points – Red Hot Favourites for next game – only to be beaten.
    The real problem is the Full Back position. Keane will try his best but will concede silly frees when there is no need. We have no one on the panel with experience in this position . Trying someone new is a big risk.
    COC a big improvement yesterday.
    For some reason Keegan has not played as well as we know he can, in any game (League or Championship) this year

  115. Someone is going to lose out next Saturday. If Tom Parsons starts who drops out? It would be very hard to leave Donal Vaughan on the bench. If Diarmuid is ok who goes – Doherty? Regan? It would be hard to drop Andy Moran. Chris Barrett will be disappointed if he doesn’t get playing and Big Barry will think he is in with a shout. This is not to even mention Conor Loftus or Conor O Shea.
    stephen Rochford has some big calls to make but I reckon he is fairly conservative in his choices so not much change I’d say. What he needs to do though is take action earlier in the game and not be afraid go haul off players who are not playing well and give a chance to others to step up.

  116. Why are so many moaning……..we’re in the quarter final ffs.
    We’re only adding fuel to the fires of those that brand us whingers and maybe they are not far wrong when we whinge after winning………….Thank God this team and management are made of better stuff or they wouldn’t compete at all out of fear.
    A Win is a win ,let’s grab it and move on.
    Ariagh agus Maigh Eo Abu.

  117. Best possible way to go into QF. Nothing expected of us—-we will be written off in media .I think there is a kick left in this team & management. Some ofour players have improved over the last few weeks .Tyrone are the media darlings at present–what have they achieved of late.

  118. Not much to add to the above, looked great for a lot of the first half but so alarmingly flat in the second.

    Real ominous sense of inevitability about next week for me, sadly.

  119. I would be more worried by the slow start than the fade out in the second. Not scoring in the first 10 minutes (after slow starts V Galway and Fermanagh) is a problem. I think Mayo felt they had the game won at half time and almost paid the penalty. Another worry I have is the poor tackling of Aidan O’Shea. He could easily have got a second yellow last night and he needs to get his body in the way to stop runners rather than be flailing with his arms. Anyway, I feel we can better Tyrone if we don’t go to sleep for spells as we have being doing in recent games.

  120. Having paid for my tickets I just wondered if all the seagulls had valid tickets as they had birds eye view, however they were not true supporters as they flew away in the last quarter of the match.

  121. Just want to ask the question is Cillian O’Connor right as captain of this side, or to put it another way is captaincy of this side right for CoC ??
    He seems to be playing with extra weight on his shoulders, was the same last year with Keith Higgins. Like managers/coaches not all the best players make the best managers/coaches or captains. Would prefer CoC to be freed from the extra responsibility and given the freedom to play as we all know he can. A number of times during the game Andy Moran took time to speak to CoC in breaks of play. Mayo are privileged to have many great leaders on the park, but need to find one who’s performances are not going to be affected in the role on and off the pitch. Roll on next week…..

  122. Coming home on train last night I have never seen such a depleeted crowd of supporters after winning. I was not 1 of them. Now I’m not saying I was overly impressed with the performance but the bottom line is the aim is to score more than the opposition. We done that. We also had wide range of scorers which was pleasing. From 31st min we were out scored by 1.10 to 1.5. Their goal came from pat Durcan not grabbing possession. Punching it instead. Straight to an opponent. U must secure possession and be composed.

    Dublin were not great against wm in their first half and there was fuck all made out of it. Just because our intensity dropped off in second half we are all of a sudden spent force. The main question is do we have the needed desire and passion to bring the intensity required to go further? We will know next Saturday eve. Some posters on here have crystal balls and we are beatan already. How good are Tyrone. ? Again next Saturday we will know. Until then judgement will be reserved

  123. Tipp hammering Galway, we have great chance, take out Tyrone and we have serious chsnce of final, age profile of our team is good,
    They will stand up next weekend I have no doubt..

  124. The comments in here make me nostalgic about the good old days when we actually were shite and didn’t have July and August days in Croke Park to be getting upset about. Far better for everyone in the long run.

    Shove over and make a bit of room there Liam, good man.


  126. The first 100 comments arnt worth reading here lads, doom and gloom BS. Went to a game with a kerryman and he couldn’t believe the negativity from our own fans after the game. As he said “yer in the quarter finals, who cares how ye got there”.
    We’ve gone from all Ireland contenders to the worst team in Ireland to the all Ireland contenders and back to the worst team in Ireland again. I shall hold my judgment until we are knocked out of the competition at least.

  127. Agreed Niall. Who’s cares about how we’re doing things so long as the job is getting done? If we fell over the line in an all ireland, I’d be happy. Bottom line is we’re playing football in the latter stages of the championship, which is what we want.

  128. To quote myself from an earlier post, “to get to a final you wear your overalls, when you get there you put on your Sunday best!”. July is not the time to be playing your best football, the third Sunday in September is. How many times have we blitzed teams in Croke Park at the wrong time of year? Normally followed by a less effective performance? I think management are taking a calculated gamble in terms of our tactics and physical preparation for the qualifier games in that they are aiming to do enough, without showing too much, to progress to the next round. I know that gambit bit us on the arse against Galway but, to be fair, playing division 2 and 3 teams through the back door was always going to be “do-able” for us at even 65% of our best.
    Now, we need to start putting our best football together for 45 to 50 minutes of games instead of 15 to 20. That is the challenge. We know they have it in them. We know they can beat Tyrone. They know they can beat Tyrone. Tyrone know we can beat Tyrone.
    There are 6 left, we are one of them. We are not finished yet.

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