Mayo Football Podcast episode: A second look at the Derry defeat

With the dust settling on Mayo’s championship exit, we go back for a second look at how the year ended at the hands of Derry. 

Mike is joined by Billy Joe Padden and Colm Keys of the Irish Independent to reflect on the match itself, the way the game played out, and how Mayo went about trying to get the result they needed. 

The lads also chat about things that Mayo could have done differently and try to put the performance and the result into some sort of perspective.

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116 thoughts on “Mayo Football Podcast episode: A second look at the Derry defeat

  1. The biggest theme in this year’s championship was our inability to close out matches..leading in injury time against Galway, Dublin and Derry…and failing to win.

    Surely management need to learn to be more cynical and aggressive when looking to close out games rather than sitting back.

    I would not criticise our 1st half performance because context is everything…and it relates to our game against Dublin 6 days earlier…hard to get to the same pitch so quickly again.

    People say Derry were the better team the last day…not true. They had a decent first half with us not at full tilt…but scored shag all in the second half when we should have finished them off.

    There is no question that we are still too indirect when attacking..why not kick diagonal or pop passes into the Ff line more often…a point touched on by the national media as well.

    Still, you have to ask do we have the quality of player up front that Dublin and Kerry have..because any critiyof management must take that into account….they cannot turn water into wine.

    I honestly think we’re the 3rd best team in the country and have been extremely hard done by not to be in the quarters. For the last 3 years we’ve got the hard possible draw each time..Monaghan made a semi last year on the back of a softer draw.

    To think that Derry and Roscommon had lost 3 times as many championship games and still made the quarters….

    Can we find another forward, ball winning midfielder and can we learn to close out matches?

  2. Spotlight – You could argue that it was the same as 2023, not closing games. The collapse in the Cork game was what cost finishing 3rd in the group and derailed our season, the week before that we nearly let louth back into the game.

    If you even go as far back as the league in 2023 when we played Armagh, 5 points up coming down the home stretch and somehow the game ends in a draw.

  3. Michael Murphy, on balls.ie mentioned Mayo’s inability to get off incisive passes at key moments as being a big factor. When it comes to point scoring at times the running game can only get you so far etc. I’ve heard Paul Flynn saying something similar in the dim and distant too. I’m sure Mr McStay is pondering over the first half display himself. The problem being, neither time nor tide…

  4. It’s the absence of a coached attacking playbook. There is this myth that Gaelic football is too chaotic and you can only have a playbook in very structured sports like Rugby, American Football and Basketball.
    Plays that it is unforgiveable that we don’t have.
    1. Target man receives a ball inside a right footer or left footer come on the loop and shoot quickly in space.
    This one is absolute criminal that we don’t have it in the locker. A total stranger to Gaelic football would look at a few Dublin games over the years and figure that this is something that can be coached and is hard to defend against.
    2. The backdoor cut, handpass over the top into unprotected space.
    3. Big physical player receiving the ball facing goal coming at pace ball handpassed into his chest.
    Here is one that will get you going “Hang on a second?”
    How many times all season did Aidan receive the ball from a handpass with Aidan running towards the opposition goal at pace? or Jordan Flynn? Now think how many times we seen Aidan winning ball running away from goal and having to turn.
    You can see the pattern of us not having an attacking playbook with how often our players end up on the wings or 50 yards from goal standing up scanning trying to figure out what to do next?

  5. Great pod, always enjoy Billy Joe and for my money Colm Keys is the best national pundit in the business. Won’t spoil it for ye but one key takeaway from him was for us to separate the performances from the results. Still hurts, I think we’ve a very good team who will go far in the years to come. The one issue that needs fixing is the barren patches that develop regularly in our games and again it hurt us on Saturday. Bit more consistency through the 70 minutes and we won’t need to worry about closing out games.

  6. Some very good points there*JP. Great to see people using terms from different sports to cover Gaelic football. As a fan of multiple sports myself it shows insight into how Gaelic has evolved over the years. If we look at how Dublin consulted a basketball trainer (name escapes me) after their unravelling in 2014 to Donegal or how Kerry used Donaghy to great effect around the same time, we can only learn how important it is to adapt and diversify. Gas to think Con O’Callaghan, Kilkenny and Connolly all came from hurling backgrounds. McCauleys first love, like Donaghy, was basketball.
    Even with Donegal we see McGuinness returning with his array of knowledge from soccer coaching. There’s something in it to be learned, I’m sure, for Mayo down the line. Adapt or die as they say. Traditionalist thinking might be at the core of the issue within the county. I don’t know.

  7. It was sickening for Mayo to get knocked out the last day, especially on penalties, not to get to Croke park is always a disappointment. First half was always going to be a struggle with the exertions from the Dublin game, just needed to keep it tight for the first half and the second wind would come in the second half, but they were to loose in the first half and letting Murray kick 4 points was poor. scoring only 3 points was also very poor, the referee was shocking bad for not giving black cards in that first half, there was 2 or 3 blatant black cards for Derry defenders and didn’t even get a yellow it was a joke, and there was one more in the second half he didn’t give either.

    As everyone is saying Mayo need to learn from this year, three games leading in injury time and didn’t win any of them, the naivety is killing them but they have to learn from it and players have to realise this themselves.

    Goalkeeper and defence were ok this year, alot of young players back there and improving all the time, I have said it before that Coen is a weak link, he has a great engine and keeps running but does not offer much, he doesnt put in many tackles, doesn’t dispossess players, other players put in the tackles and Coen will pick up the loose ball and everyone thinks he is great. watching back the Derry game there was alot of Derry points where Coen was 5 yards off them, to slow getting out to them. He is the experienced player back there, the leader, should be leading the killing off a game and not let team get the equalisers/winners but teams have come straight down the middle and got there scores. Id prefer to see McLoughlin in the plus one role, he has the pace and power to get to opposition attackers and a good tackler, his footballing skills are still terrible, one good game against Roscommon doesnt mean he has improved, he gave away awful turnovers against Derry.

    Ruane and Flynn had a good year, a fully fit D O Connor was a big miss around the middle.
    Half forward line is disappointing, its disappointing in an attacking sense, Mayo don’t get enough scores or threat from this line. Flynn improved recently with a scoring threat, Boland was looking like he might provide a few scores but was quiet in the games he did play and then suspension came at a bad time, Mchale is decent and he might improve but didnt offer a whole lot. Conroy had to come out to the half forward line, for his own sake as it suits him more out there but also to give the half forward line an attacking threat. Ive been disappointed also with Carney, he is a good footballer and can kick with both feet, gets on alot of ball but doesn’t do a whole pile with it, he is well able to kick a score but doesnt even seem interested in scoring, needs to do better.
    R O Donoghue and A O Shea, have been 2 of our best players in championship, baffling why we cant get ball to the both of them quicker and more often. Hopefully O Shea stays on playing.

  8. Good posts above .My main concern this year as I’ve mentioned previously is that no new players made the breakthrough onto the team from the club championship this year ( bar Fergal who was there before )
    I’m still gutted but I do think how the player’s and management must feel.
    Mattie got back to playing very well thankfully but we never got a replacement for Tom Parsons in regards to winning the long kick out and attacking from there
    Our backs improved this year and we were peaking at the right time .
    Hope all the panel stick with it and we get a bit of luck with injuries next season.
    I’d imagine Kevin and his team will review over the coming weeks whether they will continue next season. I hope they do as we are not far off it .
    My hope is that we get another scoring forward or 2 to join the panel/ team.
    Thanks WJ for all your work.
    Unfortunately the blog ( no fault of yours) was pretty negative this year .
    Thanks again

  9. Got an email this morning in relation to the campaign to reopen the Sligo/ limerick rail line which told the story of the train passing through curry village in Sligo carrying supporters to the mayo v Sligo game which was played in the showgrounds in Sligo in 1948.I was never aware Gaelic football was played at the showgrounds and a very interesting piece.Anyway probably time to move on from this year.it’s very difficult to say there was any real improvement because the results don’t reflect that and to be missing out on the quarter finals doesn’t help to progress either players or tactical plans .on the management as I have said before I thought they were the right choice when they got the job as I thought mcstay deserved to get a proper go at it .in fairness they were a bit unlucky this year with paddy durcans injury which for me was a defining moment in whatever chance we had this year and in my opinion the farcical structure of the championship.The truth is there is no obvious alternative out there to current management.Had we held on in salthill the story would almost certainly be very different,yes we should have been further ahead and we have issues with closing out games but you can’t really legeslate for David gough basically losing his mind.The free in against Loftus is probably one of worst decisions by any referee ever .If we can somehow improve our midfield area and move away from this slow ponderous play we can have a say next year.I still think we are in the top 4 or 5 teams in the country

  10. Willie Joe, the minimum cost for the podcast is £6 sterling per month, not €1. At least for me.

  11. Variety in our play is the one thing I’d ask for next year. If we can have that element of unpredictability about our play, we can become serious contenders.

  12. The negative mental impact of not making the big weekend in croker is bigger than people think imho .Top players want it so bad , its a huge disappointment for our bucks .

  13. Joe Clarke – what we say is that it costs €1 a week (plus VAT) with annual membership (not €1 a month – I can’t see the economics of such a price adding up!), on which there’s a 13% discount off the standard monthly rate. I’m not sure what’s included/excluded from the £6 per month rate you’re quoting.

  14. @ Joe Clarke, works out at 6.15 euro a month for me. Price of a pint give or take. Literally the best value for money I spend. Thanks WJ and Co. for a great year, I often wonder are the opposition managers listening in as well !!!

  15. Watched moneyball again on Tg4 this week .. some lessons for us here… Don’t copy other teams .. play to strengths.. no left footed free taker HAS to be solved and I think u CAN make them.. handpassjng off both hands to be improved… running game! … score more goals! … we are not that far away as have most of raw ingredients… we need to develop a ruthless 2/3 pts lead per qtr mentality .. we always waste first halves ..and love comebacks too much.. no 1 fix just improve everything.. gotta go.. the crying has started again ..

  16. Agree @Bonni boyler it’s great value for money and espcially times like this it’s great to have to.

    Thanks also @wilie Joe for all the effort you put into the blog & podcasts!

  17. @Bonni Boyler – totally agree. Excellent value for money, you don’t get much for a Euro a week these days and lads and guests put in a great effort.

  18. Thinking about going into hibernation until January. Please god Jarlath brings the 3rd week in September back. That was an enjoyable break from the madness of championship. 6 months wait is a prison term.
    Hopefully WJ and the lads lash out the occasional Podcast between now and then but would forgive them the break too !!

  19. It’s always been our downfall to not close out games when we were in a winning position. Go back 10 years to that great team we had, struggled to hold off cork in the quarter final, had Kerry beaten both days and let them back into it and ultimately lost. Go back as far as 96 when we had Meath beaten both days and again failed to see them off. We’ve never had that cynical edge or been ruthless enough on too many occasions down through the years. Look at the dubs in ’17, took the lead with time nearly up and had a plan (albeit a very cynical one) to see out the game. We took the lead against them a few weeks ago with time nearly up and we had no plan on how to stop them getting the score they needed, you could say the same about the Galway and Derry games. With all the training they do and tactics and all the coaches they have tripping over each other and they still can’t see out games from winning positions after all these years.

  20. It’s taken me a few days to get over this one. I was gutted on Saturday night. But as the dust settles, I can’t help but think that we are actually not that far away from the top teams and what has cost us this year is not being able to close out a game. We done more than enough in the the last 2 weeks to beat both Dublin and Derry. If we can develop a more ruthless edge next year, we will be a dangerous team for anyone.

    I hope players and management are extremely hurt and frustrated with how the year turned out. I hope they use this hurt to drive them on next year. There is no outstanding team in the country, and we have as good a chance as any next year if we iron out these small problems. Up Mayo.

  21. @Rakestreet Always loved Moneyball and the book is worth a read. The book makes you appreciate the details on how to evaluate player performance.
    I’d have a viewpoint rimming bursts are overly valued compared to basic kickpassing skills.
    I’d have another view that tackling is overrated and goal scoring is underrated.

  22. Anyone else think theres great value in Galway at 4/1 to beat dublin ? Is comer ready for 70 mins ?

  23. Sean, I brought it up yesterday and I think there is, but as someone else said they’d be needing Comer and Walsh and bit of luck. 100/30 near me but I’ll be keeping my fiver in the phoca.

  24. When Colm pointed out that if we had beaten Dublin, our most likely QF opponent would be Louth, it certainly didn’t help improve the mood. Oh. What might have been.

  25. I’d be a bit worried about Sean Kelly’s form. Walsh and Comer maybe not 100 percent. If the dubs go 3 points up into the last quarter, there’ll be no road back.

  26. I think btw a pretty fair viewpoint. Raised today in the Western and I’ve been raising it all year.
    Why were mgmt not willing to sub Aidan O’Shea into the game early in the first half?
    The first quarter is always a low scoring turgid affair. Aidan’s performance graph would be shorter in duration but higher in impact if he’s subbed in.
    We took him off with 3 mins remaining.
    Yet we never once explored the option all season of Aidan coming in in the first half. How was that not something that the performance, GPS, match score analysis would tell you to try?

  27. @sean burke. Keep your money in your pocket. Dublin will beat galway easily. We did Dublin a big favour and brought them on a lot.

  28. The more time I have to think about it the more annoyed I get, with McStay/Rochford taking O Shea off in last three games, all three games we were ahead and looked like winning when he was taken off we lost our way and the games. The same mistake three times thats just not acceptable for supposed top class managers, wouldn’t happen in under 12 game. The man marking him last day McKeague is older than him stayed on and got last point for them and then not to take him back on for at least period of extra time worse again.

  29. Agree about oShea, criminal the way we used him.
    Our corner back conserving 4 points and taken off in all games is a big concern.

  30. WJ
    Will you be having the like of Colm Boyle and Lee Keegan back on again.
    Would be great to hear from them and the like of Cora Staunton on what they think the future holds.

  31. We have this habit of blaming managers and wanting them out.. But to be honest the players have to take some responsibility.. I remember ciaran Mcdonald saying yrs ago it’s up to the players once we cross the line… Sure you can have systems tactics and everything else in the modern game..the plus one etc.. But how is it a managers fault when a player can’t punch a ball over the bar from less than 10 yrds? I’ve saw it time and again with mayo.. And then we say what are they at in training.. We have the best players available it seems.. Players spend a long time practising kicking at training and I’ve saw mayo training sessions where this happens. One of the finals v dub I’m not sure if it was 2016 or 17.. The first quarter mayo kicked some of the worst wides from score able positions I’ve ever saw with no pressure on them.. How is that a managers fault? And some of those kicks came from o Connor Moran o shea etc.

  32. Every team sport ultimately holds the manager responsible for what happens on the field .look at the premier league and the merry go round of managers sacked by one club and then almost immediately signed up by another top club for instance jose morinho.Jim gavin won 6 all Irelands with Dublin.how would he have got on with Roscommon or Leitrim.Was John o Mahoney a brilliant manager or did he just get lucky with the group of players available to him at the time.If Jim mcguiness wins another all Ireland with a Donegal team going nowhere for the last few years will he be deemed a genius.I don’t there is any real pressure on mcstay at this point but if we don’t progress next year the heat will come on regardless of a player being unable to hand pass a ball over the crossbar

  33. Galway are missing to many star players and Sean Kelly not in top form if they had a fully fit team is give them the edge but I hate to say it we’ve given the dubs an extra boost by not being able to get the result v them. Dubs by 8 points.

    Wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Derry beat kerry nut with kerry having the break I will go with kerry for that one.

    Rossies /armagh is hard to call armagh remind me alot of us been so unlucky over the years!

  34. That’s a fair point Pete, but Aido couldn’t effect anything up in stands where management had him near the end of last 3 games.

  35. The difference is exactly that 1985..those teams had the players especially half forwards to put the ball over the bar.. Regardless of managers. I’m saying it’s not always the managers fault when games you should win are lost or there’s 14 wides kicked.. Yes managers can be blamed for certain things like the clarke/hennelly cock up that time or like leaving a man on a player who’s getting destroyed which mayo have done plenty times.. Ultimately the manager will pay the price I know.. If you don’t have the players unfortunately it’s difficult for a manager no matter who they are. One last thing, what is the last good game of championship football we’ve saw? Would the mayo dub game 2 weeks ago fall into that category!? Hard to know.. It was a, good game but since or before have we saw anything good in terms of high scoring open fast game?

  36. I agree with the mention above of us getting tough draws. This is going on for years. When did we last get the soft side of the draw in Connacht?

  37. Paul Towey was very good when he came on.. looked born to occasion… Eoin O’Donoghue needs to be given the league matches as I think his ceiling is higher.. Sam callinan needs to stay at 6 and 6 only… mchugh was great on Fenton but wasted in man marking Derry midfielders … he should have been put on Murray during games.. closing games is definite moneyball thing, DOC should not have passed the ball to callIinan at end.. but recycled it.. we hold on for 1 min game over…

  38. The narrative changes depending on how your year finishes. I remember Mayo winning Connachts for fun (5 in a row was it?) and the narrative being Mayo’s easy run does not do them any good at the business end and then the back door travels were turned as being a negative.

    When you think of winners the past 20 years of the all Ireland. They all had class forwards and a forward who could kick with both feet. Until we get that we are not going to win it. Strong runners, athleticism and heart will only take you so far.

    We need to be thinking medium to long term. Are the coaching standards within the county up to standard? Certainly the football at senior club within Mayo is in a terrible state. Intermediate and Junior is probably more entertaining but again standard is poor.

  39. Agree yew_tree.. Good post. Very important to develop skillful two footed players at underage.. S@c can be done and worked on but if you don’t have the skill you’re in trouble.. We had good team from 2012 to 17 yes, but we had some very average kickers of the ball.. Powerful athletes and runners but lacking skill. I’d also say in order for these players to flourish.. The blanket defending has to go.. It’s chronic stuff to watch everyone behind the ball, over and back and no space inside. And I’ll tell you another thing for nothing yew_tree.. The GAA won’t be long making changes when they see attendances down and the farce that is GAAGO.. Revenue is what they care about too don’t forget that.

  40. O shea wasn’t taken off in the last 3 games he played the full game v dublin. I wouldn’t be down on management for anything all year other than the o shea substitution in the Derry game it actually was the most unnecessary and costly substitution i ever witnessed

  41. Clare some history facts for you
    Galway haven’t beat Dublin in Croker since 1934
    90 years ago and the last time the Sheep People won in Croker was 44 years ago against Armagh
    So could history repeat itself
    I got about 20 whatsapps of the horse Mayo for Sam at Ballinrobe Races on Monday Night .

  42. Rugby teams nearly always have just one place-kicker for penalty/conversion attempts,regardless of where the attempt is taken. Is a rugby ball, because of its shape and size easier to kick than a Gaelic football? I know that the rugby kickers are professional and can use a tee,but it is interesting that teams do not carry specialist left and right kickers for penalties/conversions.

  43. I often wondered about this Wolfie. I wouldn’t have a clue about kicking a rugby ball, but it does seem to travel in a truer line . Wind doesn’t seem to play as much a part as in Gaelic football. On the Sunday game, I remember seeing a shot that seemed certain to go wide, come in at the last second. I can’t remember what game. They rarely look like they allow for the wind.

  44. The decision to take O’Shea off was strange from a logical perspective with 3mins remaining and being in the lead. Should the game have gone to extra time and it was felt fresh legs were needed he could have been subbed at that point in any case. What was the value to be derived? Can’t remember who replaced him but with the exception of Cillian we don’t have a replacement with the same experience and leadership status

  45. Nothing but club players leaving to America ,Do we really need the split season nonsence.All counties bar the 4 semi finalists can start there club championships in mid August. Lets just go back to the old system and bring back Minor games before the Senior games.is it any wonder people arent going to Gaelic matches with all these stupid changes.Just leave it the way it was.

  46. Subbing Aidan would have added 20 seconds to the referee allowance for injury time.
    So is it worth getting Aidan’s inexperienced replacement in or ending the game potentially 20 seconds quicker? Surely it’s better to not add 20 seconds to the clock.
    I can only imagine how that would have to be explained verbatim to our mgmt.
    This is detail, this is controlling the controllables.

  47. Pete, I thought this was interesting in your words above:
    “We had good team from 2012 to 17 yes, but we had some very average kickers of the ball.. Powerful athletes and runners but lacking skill…”

    I’ve been thinking something like this about our team – the Mayo we have come to know built around pace and runners since 2011. (We used to have power too. Do we still?)

    My point is that this was our unique selling point, the thing that made us excel and stand apart. Even now, when people are complaining about our slow ponderous play, I note our players are still selected for pace. Why is that? I think myself that strong running is still the main part of our DNA.

    And I agree with you that I think we are lacking that bit of precise skill across the team as it stands. Please don’t mistake that I am putting our team or players down. I’m absolutely not. It’s that I don’t think we’ve prioritised precise kicking, particularly for scores or from distance, because I think we were more interested in power and pace. That’s great but the lack of precision has been showing in our struggles with breaking down blanket defences.
    If we could pick out precise passes, if we could kick for points with precision, if we had the confidence to kick the ball accurately quickly without taking an extra hop or an extra second to steady ourselves we could unlock these defences with our accuracy.
    I think that the likes of Galway have the skill but maybe didn’t build a team around the same power and pace we have. We’re developing other facets to our game now.
    I’m not an expert on these matters but I do think accuracy pulls the puttings out of a blanket defence.

  48. @williamstown gerry crazy to think how Galway haven’t beaten them in a championship game since then.

    I just can’t see it happening we nearly did it with a fully fit team bar durcan obviously but Galway just have to many main guys missing can’t see it happening.

    Still don’t understand why we can’t law out a game it can’t be fitness were one of the fittest teams is it mentality really don’t get it.

  49. High time the championship playing field was leveled up somewhat.
    Ridiculous that Roscommon and Derry could lose their fourth matches in the competition this weekend. To lose 4 out of 6 games and still think you had a good season because you got to quarter final is plain stupid.
    Too many games and too many get out of jail cards at present.
    If we must keep provincials then they should be seeded or provincial round robins where Ulster and Leinster are split into two groups and top teams make final. For example Galway and Mayo top seeds in Connacht but Roscommon only have to beat one of them to reach final.
    Dublin and Louth. Kerry and Cork. Donegal and Derry.
    Provincial finalists into quarters where winners drawn against runners up from other groups to give the semi finalists. Not slagging Roscommon as it’s not their fault but to get to a qf by beating Cavan and Tyrone is laughable.

  50. Sam Og
    I agree 100%. It was never going to be any different. Young guys want to go to The USA in the Summer to have that experience. The idea that they were going to sit around Ireland to play football was never going to happen. Reality is that all but 4 Counties were gone in any case on August 4th after the quarter finals under the old system. …… all but 8 were gone by July 15th every year.
    This has been my worst year for championship attendance because games have clashed with kids sports which are still going on in April, May and June so you just end up with a diary clash and dont travel.
    I understand the primacy of club ….but County Football / Hurling are major vehicles for engagement in the grassroots as well and if that promotional opportunity is missed clubs will suffer as well as perhaps other sports will be become more appealing.
    Thing is though do club players actually like this system………..I actually think they might.
    Thats the contra-argument I guess.
    I would vote to go back to the old system ie post 2000

  51. Joe G
    I agree still and all for Roscommon to come off that streak and go up and win in Tyrone is some feat you have to hand it to them……..and they might have a say yet in the final 4. They have a decent mid field and good forwards. Remember they were close to getting to the league final last year and they beat us in Castlebar so just like Mayo they would probably feel they have underacheived

  52. How did i not know until this week that Galway haven’t beaten Dublin in championship since 1934…Just when I thought I was all out of ammunition.

  53. @Free…..That’s all well and good but they have played 5 games in a competition and lost 3 of them (twice against Mayo) and they are one of the last eight. That’s a ridiculous situation.

  54. No doubt – I saw that stat yesterday and couldn’t believe it, 90 years since Galway beat Dublin in a championship game. They would get some boost of confidence if they could get the win over the dubs this weekend.

  55. @Tony Freeman 90 years is true, but they have only met 8 times in that entire period. Galway are a dual county however and have won 8 football All-irelands in those 90 years and 4 hurling All-Irelands.

  56. @Sean Burke
    Galway at 4/1 to beat the Dubs?

    As with everyone else against the Dubs you need almost everything going your way to beat them.
    Galway would be needing the likes of Walsh,Comer and Kelly at close to 100% for starters and they look way off. A shame because you want to see the best players at their best. Kelly looks lame. Add to that the Dubs back at home again and their extra weeks rest the Dubs have courtesy of us.

    It doesn’t feel like Galway have the ammunition to go toe to toe and really put it up to Dublin. What they do have though is a good defence so PJ may go ultra defensive and look to stay in the game for as long as possible. If they can somehow get Dublin down the stretch then you never know but even then, the extra week off and the Dublin bench will most likely make the difference.

  57. @boomerz.don’t be killing my buzz. the big takeaway from that for me is they had 8 chances to beat the dubs and didn’t win any. 4/1 seems big odds alright seeing as Dublin weren’t very convincing against louth and less so v mayo but God is good and hopefully they will win easily Saturday (don’t tell the wife i said that).

  58. Boomerz – Some great achievements in that time but Galway still haven’t beaten Dublin in 90 years or Kerry in 59 years (1965) in a knockout championship game. Galway did beat Kerry in 2018 but not in knockout game (similar to Mayo v Kerry in 2023).

    Galway had a fantastic 3 in a row team in the 60s and one of the best pure footballing teams in 98/01but if this current crop of players in 2024 want to be considered genuine contenders they need to put out one of the big guns. A win against Dublin this weekend would put them there.

    If Galway can get over Dublin this weekend i’d be backing them to go all the way.

  59. Bookies have priced the group winners as red hot fav’s in each game. My tuppence worth is I think Roscommon could have a chance as Armagh can be Jeckle and Hyde. However if the real Armagh turns up they win. Also do we really know how good Donegal are ? they should be beating Louth though but may be tighter than the bookies think. The other 2 games I believe are more clear cut, Galway dont have key men at 100% so that will contribute to their downfall. Derry will play Kerry like they played us but Kerry will shoot quicker, take on the half chance, be more direct and break faster and that will win it for them

  60. @darkyfinn, watch McGuinness totally isolating Sam Mulroy. I can’t say I think Louth have a chance. If Sam has a temper the Donegal sledgers will expose it. I think of all the games that this one is a foregone conclusion. Love to be wrong BTW.

  61. I see Michael Murphy pointing out how Mayo dont have good kick passers of the ball especially in the half back line.Stephen Coen and Eoghan McLaughlin are particularly weak here, even Paddy Durcans kicking isnt brillant.I would like to see more footballing half backs in the Chris Barrett mould like Kerry play.
    Players like Enda Hession,James McCormack, Sean Morahan, Dara Hurley come to mind.

    In the half forward line we need a more flair players who can pick a pass like a Mark Moran or Paddy Heneghan.If the 2 point rules comes in soon, we are going to have identify more better kickers than athletes.Ethan Gibbons is another player who we need to look at again along with Aidan Orme and Niall Hurley.

  62. I felt this year that we had a lot of good footballers but didn’t get a settled team early enough.
    Hope Aiden stays on.

  63. Have the tickets got and going up in hope but cant for the life of me see Galway winning.
    When you have as many injuries as we have, the last thing we needed was a prelim qf, especially when 13-8 up with around 15 minutes to go and playing well against Armagh.
    Should have been beaten by Sligo.
    Take Comer out of the team and Mayo would have won Connacht.
    Derry self imploded against us(or McKinless did)
    Westmeath were well in it with 10 minutes to go.
    We did play well against Armagh but ironically its the only game we didnt win.
    Came good in the end against Monaghan(needed Comer).
    Walsh is injured, Comer hasnt 70 minutes, either does McDaid or Sean Kelly.
    I honestly think the Rossies could win.

  64. Jr I mentioned this earlier in the season about the constant switching of positions from game to game .The moving of mcbrien further and further forward was strange.we were years trying to find a full back and he needed to be left there and the defence built around him and there seemed to be different midfield and half forward combinations in most game .

  65. @Sean Burke…I’m only reading the messages now. Yes, I think 4/1 are really good odds. All the talk is that Dublin will have learned a lot from the match against us and it’s what they needed and that back in Croke Park they’ll step up a gear and lay down a marker but I’m just not convinced that Dublin are as strong anymore. I think Mayo showed they are beatable. Galway will feel they are better than Mayo and outside of Mayo you’ll find very few who would disagree, bookies included (whether they are all right or not is another matter), but Galway will feel quietly confident going into Saturday with little pressure. No one is giving them much chance. I just have a sneaking feeling about them. If they can get 40/50 mins from Comer and I think they will, then they will go very close. They have a tighter defence than Mayo and a reasonably dynamic midfield. The only potential issue may be their bench but I’d not be surprised to see Walsh appear with 15 mins to go with the game in the melting pot. So to answer your question, I think 4/1 is appealing. I threw a few on them at 8/1 earlier in the year (to soften the blow if they win it!). If they have a clean bill of health then I think they have a team good enough to win the All Ireland, and the injury problems earlier in the year which forced Joyce to blood more players that he may have planned to do, could in fact turn out to be a lucky stroke.

    Something in my gut says Kerry might win it this year, if they get over Derry and avoid Dub/Gal in the semi, I think they’ll win outright.

  66. Consensus amongst the Dublin fans I know is they’re expecting to be caught this yr and, some, think it’ll be a rather large scale loss when it happens. Are Galway primed to win this one considering the short recovery time? They’ll need lots of luck and a fully fit Comer and Walsh. Those 2, if ready, could wreak havoc in the lightweight Dubs defence. No secret they’re struggling with injuries and absentees. It’s Donegal for me all the way as Derry will wind Kerry up big time. Dublin might shade it versus Galway but can’t see them winning it outright.

  67. While I understand some will quibble about Roscommon’s route to 1/4 final, per stats & solos we have faced tougher opposition than any of the other teams. Granted we have been beaten by Dublin and Mayo (x2). But I still rate Mayo top 5 and Dublin 1 or 2. Cavan still finished 3rd in Div 2, while Tyrone in own back yard is beating a Div 1 team in last 12 knockout. All the teams were last 16 by virtue of league position and 1 Tailteann Cup winner. So Ros were top 16 and top 12 on merit. Whether we can hold our own in top 8 remains to be seen.

    https://x.com/statsandsolos/status/1805699798047375611?s=46&t=upCstAqzkTQY5JtOIziaYg

  68. Dr. Hyde – Roscommon no doubt have faced some tougher opposition in the championship but i feel the quibble is more down to their performances in the league and championship with only 1 win out of 10 games until the Cavan game.

  69. Galway always using the injury excuse , that didnt stop Galway supporters slagging Mayo when we didnt win All Irelands when we were missing key players like Andy Moran in 2012 and Cillian and Colm Boyle in 20/21.When are they going to beat a heavyweight in Croke park by that I mean Kerry or Dublin not Kildare or Derry.Joyces 5th season and he still hasnt beaten Dublin or Kerry.3 key men all 30 plus now Paul Conroy 35 Shane Walsh 31 and Damien Comer 30.

  70. True Tony. But counties with a small pick don’t have luxury going all out in league and then peak again in provincial championship and again in All-Ireland series. We learned that last year where Davy put a big effort into staying in Div 1, went all out to beat Mayo in Castlebar, drew with Dublin in Croke Park and then ran out of steam and lost to Kildare and Cork! It’s small consolation to Mayo now but Mayo were a tired team against Derry, mainly due to the huge effort against Dublin week before. Until this format changes, teams are going to have to balance better between league, provincial and group stages – unless you are Kerry and Dublin where you still know you have a handy provincial route to getting seeded in groups.

  71. Its not impossible to imagine Dublin, Kerry and Armagh all gone on Sunday night.
    You could argue Kerry are undercooked and Derry are on an upward trajectory with positive momentum.
    Remember they are no fools.
    Dublin should win but if Galway can get Dublin into the last 10 minutes and be tight to them then they have the ability to beat Dublin.
    Remember they beat us and we drew with Dublin …….I know that wasnt in Croke Park and thats a big factor.
    Roscommon were a Division 1 team this year and there is no reason they should not be able to take Armagh.
    None of the above is the most likely scenario but its certainly is not outlandish either.

  72. Sam og claiming we are using injury excuse and at the same time rattle off Mayos injuries when ye failed to land Sam..
    Knocking Galway in 98 in beating Kildare, yet ye failed to beat Galway in Castlebar.
    In 2001 Meath were heavyweights, they trounced Kerry in the semi final and thought they only had to turn up against us in the final ; but Padraic Joyce had other ideas and kicked 10 points in the final ( that’s a unbelievable stat ) .
    Bottom line whatever stat you and others can grasp at this week to make yourselves feel better than work away.
    Bottom line is as a dual county at the top table I’ve had great days witnessing All Ireland success in Croke Park and hopefully more to come in the future.

  73. Galway and Armagh are very similar.
    Both good teams but afraid to go for it.
    You cannot beat Dublin by sitting back.
    Armagh will have learnt from us and will man mark Smith.
    The question is will they have the confidence to go for it.

  74. If Armagh sit back like they did against Monaghan last year they are very beatable. If they cut loose, they should be able for the Rossies. Just hoping for some good matches myself. Wife is from Armagh so should probably shout for them but would be happy to see Galway and Rossies go through if I’m honest. Hopefully the West is Awake the weekend.

  75. Tuamstar – Don’t be getting wound up by what people are saying about Galway, bottom line is ye are in a 1/4 final this weekend and we are not. There will be a long winter of slagging and rising each other so enjoy the good weeks while you can. Best of luck with the game on Saturday.

  76. Good luck, Tuamstar, Chesneychet, Williamstown Gerry, Western Gael and all Rossie visitors to the blog too. May the road rise to meet ye in Croke Park and I hope yer teams give it a good lash for the West. I’d love to see ye put it up well to your opponents and come out the right side.

  77. Deepest sympathy to the Dillon family in Ballyhaunis on the passing of John Dillon .John played for Ballyhaunis in the late of 1950s .and he was a travel agent in Ballyhaunis .May he rest in peace

  78. Hard to think anyone but Dublin Kerry or Donegal will win it out now.. Be interesting to see where kerry are at exactly.. Obviously Derry will be up for it.. Will not give Clifford too much space you’d think and Harte will relish having a crack at them. Dublin have a second team that would beat Galway.. They are poor enough all through and if Walsh or Comer don’t show hard to expect finnerty or Tierney to do it all… Conroy the good player he is, pushing on now and will have Fenton to contend with… Galways half back line is pretty poor.. Can’t see anything other than 6 or more point win for the Dubs… Donegal way too strong for Louth. Half backs are on the ball more than anyone else because of the way the game is gone.. No one more só than Ryan Mchugh.. He’s a lovely footballer.. And Mogan at 7 very good too.. Both can kick a point and are quick.

  79. Galway for me ,personally dont rate the dubs as highly after seeing them in the flesh , full back line will get a tankin , if not tomorrow it will be Kerry at some point .

    kerry to easily account for Derry .

    Donegal will win .

    Armagh v Rossie , i cant call it .

  80. Must be impossible to get somewhere to stay if going to Croker.
    Shania Twain concert
    Longitude
    Taylor Swift
    Pride parade
    Four quarter finals
    Saw doctors

  81. Just saw the Kerry team named for the weekend.
    I just dont Know if they are all that strong,
    If we got any bounce of the ball at all during this
    Championship, we would have been a match for
    Any team left in the competition as shown
    In the Dublin display.
    So frustrating.

  82. I honestly don’t believe we saw the true worth of Dublin against Mayo. We got a draw on the day I know, but I don’t think Dublin were flat out at it that day. I’d be surprised if they haven’t another gear or two in them and I expect them to beat Galway fairly comfortably.

  83. I attended the Kerry v Derry semi final last year, Derry midfield got caught in the last 10 minutes trying to field the high ball from kick outs, Kerry employed a simple strategy of breaking the ball forward and the Derry midfield could not gain possession.

    Some very good individuals in the Derry yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if they beat Kerry.

  84. Could be well right west is best but it does amaze me anytime we have a bit of luck against Dublin /kerry or even Galway , its always their drop off rather than our bucks actually doing well . 2012 they were still drunk from 11 , rumour has it they made their way from coppers to croker that day . and sure 2021 they got fed up of winning and gave us one . This year sure they were only foolin about in the hyde and could of won by 100 points if they so wished. Sat will be interesting , personally i think it will be dublins biggest defeat in championship in a long time if comer plays the full game at full bore .

  85. @Bate the blanket agree with you have a feeling it will be really close and wouldn’t be surprised if Derry win but the effort derry put into our game and extra time I don’t know..

    Still going dubs by a good few still can’t call rossies v armagh if armagh bring their A game then it’s armagh all day but armagh are a bit like us you never which team will turn up.

  86. I saw Armagh in the flesh against Galway and was not impressed..
    The frustrating thing is we were so dominant against them and that slip up conceding 1 1 in 3 minutes has us were we are now.
    I honestly thing if the Rossies can get their forwards firing again then they will get through to the All Ireland semi final.

  87. Mike H I reckon ye have a chance v the Dubs especially if ye can get all your top players on the field . I actually think the dubs are not as good as they were especially defensively. Mayo forwards did well v Dublin and Galway have better forwards than us but ye do need to take them on and not spend half the day going laterally. Having said that the Mayo game may have brought Dublin on. I expect Armagh to beat Ross if they go for it like they can. If instead they adopt the same attitude as they did for most of the game v Galaxy, then Ross have a chance. I can’t see any hope for Louth who have done really well to get there. Finally I would expect Kerry to get the better of Derry but only after a battle and I expect Kerry to win it out. One final word on Aido and that substitution. I believe McStay did err with that. He removed him v Dublin last year and Galway this year as well. Aido had a great year but the irony is that many who are criticising his substitution were actually calling for him to be used as no more than an impact sub throughout the year while others were saying himself and Cillian should not be on the field at the same time. I definitely hope neither retire as they both have lots to still offer Mayo. Remember what Andy produced in the autumn of his career.

  88. Armagh are a really good side when they hit their peak they are the bookies 3rd favourites for sam.

    It could end up a Dublin v armagh final who knows wouldn’t be writing armagh off at all.

  89. Can’t see Galway getting within 4 of a rested Dublin and I expect Armagh to beat Roscommon. I could be wrong but the teams coming through the back door are at a disadvantage although Derry and Roscommon will take some heart and momentum from their preliminary wins. Not taking away from Roscommon – 100% deserved winners against Tyrone – but Tyrone were bad, really bad even when there was space when they attacked

  90. Embarrassed to hear McStay complain about the structure and appeals process for Boland.
    Lost the game in the first half, worst half of Mayo football since the second half in 81 against Kerry in the semi final.
    Didn’t cover himself in glory on the side line but got most things right against Dublin.
    Keep the mouth shut and watch the club championship carefully.

  91. For me it’s Dublin’s to lose. They will be hopping off the ground in Croker and I haven’t seen anything from Galway to suggest they are capable of beating them in a knockout game up there.
    Kerry are a bit unknown, just have a slight watch on David Clifford’s form this year. I’m not sure he’s at his absolute majestic peak compared to other years. Still of course an outstanding player and at 90 or even 80% of his best he is still probably the best player in Ireland. Issue for Kerry is I think they need him at 100% to beat the dubs.
    Armagh are very beatable by the Rossies and I think Donegal will take care of Louth comfortably.

  92. O’Connor seems to have found a broader range of scorers within the squad and they’ll be very difficult to beat if it all clicks. Derry might prove me wrong, but I just think Mickey burned too much fuel early on the road to make it any further.
    I picked up on McStay’s words too, Jr, and he was a bit OTT alright, but understandably so, considering the nature of their exit. Don’t think he’s over what occurred in the Hyde yet tbh. It must be very frustrating for them all as a unit and Christ knows the fans need a break, just a bit of luck.

  93. Walsh,Comer and Kelly all named to start for Galway. A boost for them if they are all fit.
    Dubs have a full deck. Mannion, McCaffrey and McCarthy named as subs.

    Galway will need everything to fall for them but I still think the extra week off for the Dubs will make the difference in the end.

  94. In fairness to mcstay the structure of championship is terrible but we were awful in the first half no doubt about it. He was a bit over the top as others said to but agree with @mark Dempsey the whole exit is so frustrating god only knows how the players&mcstay are feeling atm let alone us fans.

  95. I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m sick as a dog here watching the buildup to the quarter final weekend and us not there. Sickened

    Like a big party taking place where everyone you know has been invited except you

  96. @supermac feeling the exact same usually Fridays a great day but I feel so sickened is well atm!

  97. True. I’ve a distraction with the young relations staying because of the concert in the Aviva. I’d swap her and the lot of them for Croker…lol.

  98. Comer starting , he will fookin destroy fitzsimons if they can get decent ball into him , that fb line is goosed im telling ye

  99. With the quarter finals on this weekend it shows just how important the Dublin match was. McStay and co did go all out to win it and did way better than I expected. I don’t want to over analyse but we have the players that we have so it’s to get the best out of them as a unit and to be fair I think we have. Watching the minors play seemed that they were playing with the same kind of setup as most of the clubs do in line with Mayo seniors. I’m not sure what the school of excellence teaches our young players but as a novice all I know that if we keep doing the same things the same way we’ll get the same results.

  100. @Supermac

    I might be wrong here on the QF draw but just to sicken you a bit more if we’d have beaten Dublin it feels like the draw (on account teams couldn’t meet each other again) would have been something like

    Kerry vs Dublin/Derry
    Mayo v Louth
    Donegal v Galway
    Armagh v Roscommon

    We’d have had one foot in the semi finals with one of the big 2 gone which most likely would have been Dublin on the back of them playing 3 games in 3 weeks.

    All a load of ifs buts and maybes of course !!

  101. Mind the House – I suspect that was the main reason McStay lost it after the Dublin game. He knew we could have a favorable draw and a rest if we beat them. As he said himself small margins ! it was so important to top the group.

  102. @mind the house. Its very depressing alright. If we had held on against Dublin we would have had a great chance to win Sam this year.

  103. @mind the house. You’re not wrong.if mayo had beaten Dublin I’d expect Dublin would have beaten derry and then the only team mayo could meet was louth as they’d already played Galway, roscommon and Dublin. We have 6 or 7 months to chew on that.

  104. Supermac agree. Absolutely sickened we are not there. Probably even more disappointing when we can’t take solace in a 50/50 decision going against us or from kicking 20 wides. Only ourselves to blame!!

    A lot will depend on Galway’s approach tomorrow. Nobody beats Dublin playing defensively. You have to back your lads to play more of less 1 on 1 all over the field. It’s risky but sometimes it will coax Dublin into taking risks & possibly making mistakes. Sit back and they will pick a team apart at will. For Galway to win, they’ll need to absolutely go for it.

  105. Agree with Mayo Focus, Galway’s style at present will suit Dublin and unless Joyce rips up the script and backs his players to go toe to toe with Dublin i can only see one winner.

  106. Galway have named a very strong team on paper but as always the massive caveat with them is how many of them are actually fit, if they have lads like Kelly, McDaid only at 70% as they have been in last 2 games then they can forget about it.

    I also think Joyce should be sacrificing some of his big men for some speed, speed is everything against dubs in croker and that half foward line looks slow, he might need to bring Hernon or someone in.

    Much like the ongoing Mayo dilemma too I would hold back one of Walsh/comer for the last 20 minutes, you have to be finishing with your big players. The sight of comer or walsh limping off after breaking down 25 mins in would deflate them completely

    There has to be one result going against the head somewhat, Armagh could well choke as they often do with the favourites tag but I think I’ll call derry for the upset. I just have a feeling there be more twists in Derrys rollercoaster season, I think hitting rock bottom in the round Robin could be the making of them

    – Armagh (aet)
    – Dublin by 5
    – Donegal by 4
    – Derry by 1

  107. Thanks for that, CP. Very interesting given we can speak with knowledge about several of the teams in the QFs (Dublin, Derry, Galway, Roscommon).

  108. Jimbo, as much as I admire you’re enthusiasm you can’t be serious.. ‘we would have had a great chance to win Sam if we beat Dublin?.. I’ve been watching football a long time now and if you score 1 point from play and 3 in a half you won’t be beating much let alone win Sam.

  109. Galway definitely have to go for it. If they had Cooke in midfield I’d be giving them the nod. As others have said- the Dubs are on the wane. Can just see the elder statesmen getting Dublin over the line.

  110. Strong team named but we all know Kelly, Comer and Walsh not 100%. The Dubs expected by all to win and they probably will but I hope we go out and give it a right go. Cagey and cautious build ups won’t deliver a victory unless Dubs have an off day. We are big underdogs so should take game to Dublin, test their backline and see how good they still are.
    As for the other games Armagh steeped to get a draw against us, if they play to same standard Roscommon will win. I expect Donegal to win and Louth are missing a few lads which they just can’t afford. As for Derry and Kerry it’s hard to call it as Kerry have had no test and Derry are battle hardened and full of confidence now.

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