Mayo Football Podcast episode: Final Whistle – Mayo just edge out Monaghan

Mayo just edged out Monaghan by a two-point margin at Clones this afternoon to finish off their National League campaign with a win.

Mike was at St Tiernach’s Park to catch the reaction of Irish Independent journalist Michael Verney and post-match reaction from Mayo manager Kevin McStay.

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49 thoughts on “Mayo Football Podcast episode: Final Whistle – Mayo just edge out Monaghan

  1. I know there was nothing riding on this game for us, but sweet Jesus that was a desparately frustrating and concerning game. Playing v 14 players for 52 mins and you’d never think it as they were still the better team. Went 42 mins without a score from play. Only pulled away when they were reduced to 13 players for the last 9 minutes. Only looked like scoring goals when their exhaustion and inability to play out to reduced numbers, meant we turned them over inside their own defense. This was a Monghan B team, already relegated, decimated with injuries and without their 3 most potent forwards. The fact that we fell over the line and robbed them of a much deserved victory should send nalarm bells ringing throughout the squad and management. No one, and I mean no one, put their hand up for inclusion in a championship starting 15 and the fact that Darren McHale scored 1-1 put literally didn’t put a glove on the ball outsoide of that will further mislead the result.
    We have a hell of a lot of work to do if we have any pretensions of winning Connaught.

  2. So that’s the league done and dusted with safety assured and no pesky final to play. Other than that I’m not sure we achieved much else. Defensively it looked like we had improved in the early rounds but by the end we appeared to be back where we finished last season. Attacking wise Fergal Boland put up his hand and maybe Tommy was getting his form back at last but hard to see much more improvement and few new players to turn to. The Keeper situation seems more unsettled and confusing than ever with Reape and Hennelly not convincing and now Byrne also in the mix. Injuries have been and still are a cause for concern and McStay’s regular updates that don’t come to fruition just add to our worries.
    Finally this continual nonsense of naming teams with massive changes and then another raft of alterations pre-match is bloody infuriating to the point where I no longer buy match programmes.

  3. The trend that appears to be setting in is if you give an opinion on the basis of what you see in a game then you have an agenda.personally I was delighted mcstay got the job and still hope it comes right for him.The great phrase we can beat any team on our day doesn’t mean anything as you won’t be competing or winning all Irelands like that and we would probably have to beat at least 2 out of Kerry Dublin and Derry to win it .Yesterday was without doubt an opportunity to experiment and maybe we could have tried something really crazy like possibly playing with 6 forwards.Sam callinan had a few excellent performances at centre back and then suddenly he is switched to corner back to mark darragh canavan who a few days earlier had absolutely torched him and we know what happened next .I have sympathy for mcstay in that I don’t believe we have the players in crucial positions presently that can win an all Ireland and there is no magic switch that will now be turned on .where we finished in the league in fourth place is probably exactly where we stand right now “on our day”

  4. JoeG. I won’t agree with you saying no one played well yesterday. I thought that Mathew Ruane played very well, he was up against Monaghans
    Usual midfield. I would agree with your thoughts on Daren , he did score 1-1. He didn’t feel the wait of the ball other than that. He frustrated me that he was constantly looking for the ball but waited for it to come to him rather than go to the ball. It was intercepted on many occasions. He also tried to catch a pefercet kick out that he called for and no one near him with one hand. I thought Byrne in goal played well enough. His kick outs were good when they had 15 men. Also I could not fault him
    For the goal conceded. Monaghan had an over lap and cut our defence apart along the end line. He also made a match winning save at the death. I can’t understand how Monaghan created an over lap that lead to the goal , especially when they had only 13 men.Tommy Conroy showed fairly well also. Another few games and he will even get better. I would agree with other posters on this forum, that Tommy would do better in the half forward line.

  5. If we were told before the league started we’d beat Galway, Ross, Dublin and not concede a goal in those games and lose to Kerry by a point in a game we could have gotten someting out of and finish on 8pts Most would be very happy. We seem to have a full panel available or close to it so we should be positive enough going into championship. No need for the negativity and certainly no need to sharpen the knives, yes there should be a high expectation of this mgmt team but at least give them this championship to judge them.

    Yes a lot of yesterday doesnt seem to make sense but in the overall scheme of things doesnt matter. We dont know where they are at in the training cycle either – one of the commentators mentioned a few players ‘puffing’ early on in the game and that’s a sign of heavy training sessions they said.

    Also comparing last year to this year is like chalk and cheese, everything needs to be taken into context just look at the players available injury’s, departures, eperience and newbies etc.

    There was plenty of things I didnt like – my big one is to much of the lateral stuff, you dont see Kerry, Dublin Derry do this to the same extent they are much more direct so I hope that changes.

  6. Pebbles has been knocking around here for a long time and is usually close to the mark so when he’s exasperated it’s not good. I was trying to gauge was this a good league for Mayo but then I looked at the panel that got hammered by Dublin last summer. Basically Doc and Kevin mc have retired, Boland recalled. Apart from that it’s the same, no new bright forward, no notable change in style of play. Still playing Aido in the hope he solve all problems, everywhere. Still relying on Cillian to come on and save us,, still hoping Carr gets fit. There must be no good young forward in any of the 50+ clubs that is worth a decent run in the team? So was it a good league? Well Kevin will put a positive spin on it but like last year we’re going nowhere fast.

  7. Yeah, everything in context and I would have been happy enough with a 4th place finish with 8 points and a clean bill of health if offered at start of the league but I have to say I’m broadly in agreement with Pebblesmellers ‘Cup half empty’ view above.

    …and that’s taking into account the open questions below

    – have we improved our attacking options since last year?
    I would say no. Good to have Boland back and he guarantees 1 or 2 points a match but he is hardly a new find and when it comes to the bigger days I’m still not sure management will
    trust him. Tommy has shown flashes of himself recently but is still a long way off his 2021 peak. No idea where cillian is at formwise as he is only seeing minutes here and there. The AOS situation seems more confused then ever, it hasn’t been working for him at all at FF and his best performance in the league came v derry in that workhorse role out the field but is McStay really going to back to that at this stage having built the attack around him for 2 years? We need Carr to come back and be firing and he himself can be enigmatic. Basically it all comes down to how much of the attacking load ROD can burden because he is our most important player now by a country mile. I wouldn’t even bring him on the plan to NYC unless it’s just for sightseeing

    – Creativity in half forward line?
    Same as last year, Ruane/Diarmuid/Tuohy /Carney/Flynn all fine footballers and good tall athletes but they are for all intents and purposes the same player. The only bit of creativity we ever see in that line is when ROD comes out there but he is needed inside

    – Who is our defensive plus 1?
    After the disastrous Loftus at chb experiment last year it was imperative we identify a smart candy defensive ‘plus 1’ back there, a spare man who can sweep, sniff out danger and carry ball. We have loads of good individual defenders but the conor mccluskey goal fills me with dread. Players blindly running after their own men, noone depending space. I’d say Stephen coen will be entrusted with the role as he’s a steady pair of hands but can’t understand why someone like plunkett didn’t get a chance

    I predict we win Connaught as roscommon and galway are a mess but we are where we are beyond that, which is a top 4-8 side

  8. I think some people here are playing things down very much or are just struck in the fear that the Dubs have the All Ireland in the bag this year.

    I think it was a good league overall, the younger guys have really stepped up this year. The overall team and panel is far stronger this year with many options in some positions, and the guys that had injuries are coming right at this time.

    The Dubs and Kerry will have very easy routes to their provincial titles.

  9. Puckout Can you name any good forward in the county who did not get a run. I can’t. We have a few decent forwards in Tommy, who scored very little in the league, Jordan who can be good but inconsistent, Fergal who had a good league, kicked some nice scores but wouldn’t inspire fear in an opposition defence and Ryan who is probably our top forward. All good lads who when playing well can make a big difference.But we do not have a Canavan, Clifford, S Walsh, Con or McGuigan. Those guys are really top quality. In truth we haven’t had a really outstanding forward for years with the possible exception of Cillian. What we have instead are really hardworking forwards who cover back, tackle etc. That’s why we are a difficult team to play against. Attitude is usually spot on and as a team they work very hard to try to paper over a lack of individual brilliance. As I said even in the (fairly) golden decade we relied on the half back line to chip in with some crucial scores

  10. Hard to judge anything on yesterdays game seeing as there was nothing at stake other than a bit of pride for the monaghan lads and the mayo lads probably trying to avoid injury and the possibility of missing out on the trip to NY.. A bit like the Belgian team on Saturday v ireland they looked like they didn’t have the bit of bite you’d see in a competitive game and maybe the same with our lads yesterday. Regarding the line-up i imagine towey would be disappointed not to get a run after how he did the previous week and i can only guess management with the crazy defender heavy line-up they were using the free hit to work on something for further down the line though i don’t think it will be tried again.

  11. “We can beat any team on our day”. But most teams down to division 3 can beat us on their day. We don’t have enough quality players and that was evident during the senior club championship.

  12. If Coen does end up as a sweeper, do we run the risk of him potentially getting skinned for pace?

  13. Vaaldam – how did we wind up 4th in division 1 if there are no quality players in our senior club championship and division 3 teams can beat us on their day?

  14. @Vaaldam: “We don’t have enough quality players”

    I’d be interested to know compared to who and based on what?
    I’d fully agree we’re behind Dublin, Derry and Kerry currently in the numbers of top quality players (Dublin well ahead of the rest there at the moment) but I’d strongly disagree with not having ‘enough’ to give any of the 3 a game of it or potentially beat them.

    Any objective measure of teams currently places us firmly in the top 5 in the country. < StatsAndSolos' model, 5th (by 1 point from a 4th that didn't play Division 1 so greater room for error) < laoisman's ELO ratings, 4th < Shane Mangan's ELO ratings, 4th

    Glancing at the Division 1 table we ended the campaign (one where we were told by management they were going to come into it training later, learning from last year, & not hit top gear – which is exactly what we did – where we easily secured Div 1 status while sharing out minutes around the squad more than most) with the 3rd best defence numbers and the 4th best offence numbers. A league where we played quite poorly against Dublin, we never got near Championship level stats on intensity while they did, and still managed to pip them and only losing to Kerry in Kerry by a point (while having a first half straight out of our nightmares). All sorts of caveats on Dublin's and Kerry's shooting on those days, but those are things that could easily happen again even in Championship.

    We can obviously lose games to lower ranked sides, as can everyone else in the country. A quick look at 2025 predictions will still show odds for Dublin/Derry/Kerry being relegated and other (good) teams with far higher odds of going down than Mayo. Though, a quick look at our recent Championship exits suggests on evidence we're one of the less likely sides to go out to lesser opposition.

    23 – Dublin, the eventual winners.
    22 – Kerry, the eventual winners
    21 – Tyrone, the eventual winners
    20 – Dublin, the eventual winners
    19 – Dublin, the eventual winners

    You'd have to go back to '18 for a big shock defeat to Kildare put us out. A time when most of this squad were still down in 20s, minor or below so not sure how accurately we can attribute results like that to them.

  15. we had a fairly good league, but after all that we dont have a fixed team. No first choice goalkeeper, no settled corner backs ,our best full back played at chb. plenty of wing half backs any of about 6 could start. Midfield ok, only 2 forwards guaranteed to start, Ryan andTommy but even their positions on field not sure, about another six forwards could start but in what positions god only knows. The main challenging teams, Dublin, Derry and Kerry have fairly settled teamswith anyone able to pick at least 14 of their starting team. How can we have any teamwork or game plan when players dont know what position they will be in the next game.

  16. @culmore: Reape will hold the #1, by a distance. He offers sweeping & attacking threat neither of our other options can and neither Robbie (hasn’t had a good game on restarts since ’22, with just 3 very poor games by his standards in those 2 years) or Rory (didn’t see this one so going on MidWest/Mike’s Discord commentary) seemed to get off nearly enough accurate kicks to raise much pressure there (when all 3 are having off days it suggests the restart issues are further out than where the ball sits). All 3 fine options, we’re super fortunate to have them, but Colm will get the nod unless he has far worse days than the Derry game.

    Corner backs we’ve options between Jack, Sam, Rory, Enda, Donnacha, EO’D, PO’H, McDonnell and Plunkett. Not a bad place to be sitting. You’d imagine any two from Jack, Sam and Rory depending on the matchup and current form with Sam likely into the HB line if he’s not there.

    Whatever number David wears, whether it’s 6 or 3, he’ll be given a specific job to do that will have nothing to do with the number. Most days he’ll be man-marking a specific threat and following them wherever they go, sometimes he’ll be asked to protect the square or block the 6 channel but in none of those cases does the number on his back play a role in it. With the same going for Sam and Paddy. Never get the odd fixation on numbers given the tiny correlation they have to what happens on the grass.

    Up front if they’re fit you’d be shocked not to see RO’D, Aidan and Tommy all start. It’s the style we’ve been aiming for the last two years and based on what we’ve tried in the league exactly what we’ll aim for again this year. We’ll weave in McHale, Carr, Towey or CO’C for rotation/form at times, it’s gone well beyond a 15-man game, but the 3 will be the go-to for sure unless someone starts kicking the lights out in training/games.

    Behind those you’d expect Ruane, DO’C, Carney and Flynn to be sure starters when fully fit too. With a mix of Boland, Tuohy, McHugh (defensive man marking around the middle), Reid (potentially, hard to know where he stands in the pecking order after the injury) & McHale to weave in at times, with Boland most likely to get the most minutes from what we’ve seen to date.

    Injuries will alter that game to game but it’ll be relatively predictable once we’d know who’s out/back for a given game. Wouldn’t expect any big shocks in selections this year and plenty of room for folks like Hession, McHugh or McHale to grab hold of a jersey and make it their own if they put a run of form together. Most the lads haven’t got out of 3rd gear yet this year, which is no harm at all.

  17. Great stuff TsuDhoNim, hard to beat the fact based details!. Worth adding that since 2012, Kildare was the only team that ended our Championship and didn’t go on to win the All Ireland.

  18. Where is Conor Loftus by the way…..he hasnt been seen or heard of since Limerick. Is he still in the panel?….Surely he is too good a footballer to just drop completely………there is more to him than last year!!

  19. @FreeTheEastBank: He got (some, limited) minutes against Roscommon and Derry in 2 of the last 3 games.

  20. TsuDhoNim – I’ve visions of you sitting on top of mountain dressed as the wise monk. The Dalai Lama of the Blog !!

  21. It was very hard to say yesterday with the re starts.
    Byrne did do well with the restarts up until the Monaghan player was red carded. He had only lost one kick out up until that point. That was one where McHael called for it and tried to catch it with one had.(not keepers fault in my opinion)After that it was the extra man that got all the restarts. I was in Clones. I don’t think Reape is as good a keeper as either of the other 2. Byrne would be a good option for kicks frees and 45 ,s on right side of field. Has a very good left boot. Robbie has a good boot as well. Reape will probably start, but it’s only
    A matter of time before he will have another melt down when pressure comes on. I have now witnessed 4 of these at games. But management will decide, hope it is not to late though when they do.

  22. Well done to Mattie Ruane on being selected on the team of the week. By far our stand out player in Clones yesterday.

  23. Anyone know whats the story with Paul Towey? He’s been one of our best forwards in the club championship for the last few years…. named again to start yesterday and then dropped without any explanation and replaced by a defender Enda Hession? I don’t believe he’s injured? What does this do for a lads confidence? I think he has scored 1-6 so far in the league with about an hours playing time…. and we had other starting forwards yesterday that have played most of the league with 1 or 2 points in total to their name….I’m confused to be honest…. we gave Fergal Boland his opportunity with plenty of game time and he’s proven he’s a scoring forward for us…why not Towey? We risked ROD yesterday in nothing game really and apparently he could now have a concerning injury after limping out of the game….

  24. Paul towey is very highly rated by his club and when you see he scored 1-4 in very little game as opposed to Ryan o Donahue scoring 9 points from play in 7 games then it does make you wonder but James Horan didn’t use him much either so the management must have some reason for it

  25. U would wounded about Paul ok. He has not got a lot of play time . But he has done very well when he did. I would consider the same as a goalkeeper. The keeper can play a blinder and have one misshap, and every one remembers it. But not the saved he made previously. Paul Towey can be held for 40 or minutes, but in a flash he can score at will. He definitely deserves more game time.I did see our Management at several club championship games that I was at last year.But I honest believe it makes no difference to them , seeing lads play well at club championship time. I thought they would have used a lot more players in the FBD league and League. Also this picking a team and many many changes before thrown in is ridiculous, also program been printed on Friday and subs been given in to the printers, and we the genuine
    Supporters not seeing the bench until we appear at the venue, via the program. If the program is correct.

  26. Chick79 bit harsh on Reape considering impacts other keepers “meltdowns” as you call them have done for us previously. He also on biggest day he’s played so far done the business for us last year in league final. But agree room for improvement there, a kick out strategy would help. We do none of the basic tactics that many teams use like bunch and break or side loading from what I can see, or as say if in doubt drive it to other 45 and see how goes.
    Byrne probably deserving of more time alright, but wasn’t given it. We do not play with a sweeper under this management, that job is being given to Colm which obviously puts more pressure on him than past goalies, and it’s a role the other two would not be as comfortable with.

    Towey unfortunate, but he was out muscled numerous times in earlier rounds to the ball, which may be going against him. But no doubt he can score, if game opens up he could be an option.

    What would people say our offensive plan is in general?

  27. If youre getting out muscled in a league match ,its going to be very hard to get stuck in come the white heat of championship when the elite teams players are putting in the bone crunching hits but like a lot of people have said towey be a very decent addition to bring on in the latter stages of a game . Ill get hounded for saying this but i still have concerns over bolands physicallity come championship , lets hope im way off the mark as usual .

    I hope any Mayo supporter worth his salt will be eager to get tickets for the hyde , we really need to do our job as supporters for this one .

  28. I don’t think Towey is far away tbh.
    I expect he’ll get game time, although he is probably competing with a returning James Carr for minutes.

    I think both Towey and Boland have established themselves as options. Both could make big impacts yet this year, but it’ll be horses for courses imo. It’d be difficult to see either starting against a Derry assuming everyone is fit, but I’d be surprised if one of the two didn’t start against a Roscommon.

    And iirc Rochford was quite good for the most part tactically, but he generally saved the calls for the quarters on.

    We look in a really good place in comparison to our neighbours. Connacht starts in two weeks. We look strong favourites despite being away from home. It’s the immediate priority.
    Bag it. Wrap it. Move on to the group stage.

  29. We just don’t have the quality or physicality of yesteryear. How many of the current team would make the team of 2012 to 2017.Our underage teams are struggling at the moment, that leads to lesser stature of player moving up to the senior ranks.As for the keeper situation I think Reape is by far our best man.Seems to be a bit of bias against him, some people have very short memories, the man before him has had a lot more meltdowns in far bigger games. Was at the Derry game, when they upped their game he simply had no options to kick the ball to,none making proper runs or making space to drop a ball into. Maybe the management needs to work on that.

  30. Gizmobobs.
    I know what you are saying re Colm playing a kind of a sweeper. Fair enough. I am an old stager, and you will probably say we have to move with the times. The place for the goalkeeper is in the goals, well I don’t like them coming out into the other end of the pitch. Just because most other teams are doing it does not mean we should. Sooner or later we are going to get caught. Colm has very nearly been caught all ready. The other two keepers are Goalkeepers. Colm is a former forward.But to be fair to him he is been instructed to act as another back,/ attacker. I am just not a fan of this.

  31. @Gizmobobs: “What would people say our offensive plan is in general?”

    Hard not to be facetious on that one, as it’s super difficult to tell. I’m not sure I’ve seen too many clear patterns (hopefully that says more about my own shortcomings than our actual tactics).

    We seem to be trying to mix it up between kicking and running so we’re less predictable to opponents, but in doing so we seem to be struggling to get all our own lads on the same page much of the time. Tommy getting kicked high balls when his man has a foot or so on him, balls kicked short when our man is trying to turn for a backdoor cut, passes trying to be disguised being miss hit and going to ankles or lads getting frustrated and returning to lateral keep ball all looking a little too common so far this year.

    Transitions and fast moving ball we’re doing fairly well on, no big issues there. Possibly a little more risk taking or long kicking wouldn’t go astray but overall that seems to be functioning well. Lack of intensity has limited our usually higher turnover counts so limited how often we can punish from it, so not as noticeable as usual damaging teams there.

    Running game still seems fine, on the rare occasions we’ve (& by ‘we’ I mostly mean Paddy or Eoghan, yet to get it rolling across the whole side beyond the Galway game where they looked stuck in the mud) got it rolling. Hopefully more a comment on where we are with our training/fitness (last year we looked flying in the league, now we still look a ways from the peak for now – which is great assuming we get there in time for tougher games) than our inability to execute it in general.

    We seem to be aiming to kick way more than we used to, with both Tommy and Aidan frequent targets out in front. You’d love to see Aidan getting a few more aerial balls with good zip on them (can’t remember him receiving any in the league to date) and Tommy a few more when running towards goal rather than always away from it, but I won’t complain about a more kicking even on off days like Dublin where it didn’t stick at all.

    Against set defences the bigger questions pop up.

    We seem to be keeping our wing forwards pinned to the side line until balls are recycled to them on the loop, creating width and stretching defences a bit more, which goes a way towards explaining Jordan’s lower than usual scoring return and more coming from the central positons like Fergie. Not sure if we’re entirely winning on that trade off given how much damage Jordan/Jack/Diarmuid have often done from the wing down the middle but again until we get our full running game going it’s probably a little early to judge.

    At the same time we seem to be trying to work the ball into pockets inside the 20 either side of the large square (think of how many times Tommy received it on the stand side of the Albany End square or most of Tommy’s/Aidan’s tap over frees won from those spots). It hasn’t led to a goal just yet, but with hopefully more strike runners coming as fitness climbs we might see that paying off in time. And with both Aidan and Tommy growing in confidence game by game maybe a few more of them just swinging it over the shoulder for a score.

    Outside that it seems to be letting Ryan roam a bit and hope his brilliance opens the door for scores, either for himself or others, which thankfully it has a few times. There’s potentially triggers or scenarios for where/when/how he’s moving (with others around him) and taking up positions but having spent a few games watching our forward movement it isn’t obvious or intuitive to me.

    Lots to be said for being fluid and unpredictable, but when the efficiency on it drops it’d be nice to have a tried and trusted process to fall back on. Not entirely clear we have. Or that we’re trying to create the repeated patterns for one.

  32. Klopp – we won umpteen long kickouts against Derry so I don’t buy that at all.

  33. Klopp.
    No bias from me against Colm Reape. I’m totally going on what I have witnessed on the field of play. When pressure has come on he seems to panic. I have been at a lot of games . Armagh in Armagh Cork in Limerick and Dublin in Croke Park. Last year. This year against Derry, I attended them all. Witnessed the kick out to Derry man that ended up in the net. Kickout not going out inside 14 yard line v Derry resulted in point. I am a great Mayo Supporter who has the best interested of the team at heart. Definitely no bias from me against Colm. Any man that represents his County at any level is good with me. Colm did as u point out have a great game in last years final v Galway. But I believe he has been a bit iff since that.

  34. My hope regarding Towey; McStay knows his potential and capabilities at this stage and is holding him back until he is really needed. Last thing he wanted to see was Towey firing over points from all angles for fun against Monaghan. By all accounts, he is capable of that but plenty of time later for making a statement.

    That’s my take on Towey. It may be fantasy but hopefully not. From the limited amount i I have seen so far, he does look impressive. Has great balance, speed, good purpose on the ball and looks strong enough to me. There has been posts saying he is not physical enough but I haven’t seen evidence of this problem yet. Any ball he got, to me it looked like something good could happen.

    Let’s see what happens as the Championship progresses.

  35. @1985.You hit the nail on the head with your comment on that annoying phrase “we can beat anyone on our day” It irritates the hell out of me and is completely meaningless. It gets regularly trotted out after one of our poor performances, without any hard evidence to back it up. And you are right, it won’t win us any All Ireland’s, which is, I presume, what we all want. If I had my way, that phrase would be banned, along with many other overused words and phrases, starting with “amazing”.

  36. @GlasagusDearg: I dunno, I’d have thought it had a relatively clear meaning. Inconsistency. The ability to click & play incredibly well but the inability to do it consistently enough to win the Championship.

    In 2024 we’ve beaten the reigning All Ireland Champions Dublin in the league.
    In 2023 we beat the reigning All Ireland Champions Kerry in Group Stage Championship (& in the league).
    In 2022 we beat Dublin in the league.
    In 2021 we beat the reigning All Ireland Champions Dublin in knock-out Championship.
    In 2020

    A backhanded compliment if ever there was one given the connotations of not doing it often enough to simply be ‘great’ or even ‘good’. That said, we’ve shown we’re close enough to great sides to continually hurt them in recent years.

    Was interesting listening to Stephen O’Meara yesterday (former Galway, Donegal, Corofin & others data analyst). He was saying Derry had a great chance of winning the All Ireland this year but to do it they’d probably need either of Kerry or Mayo to beat Dublin for them. Derry’s style of play (or more importantly, Dublin’s style of play) was a poor matchup for that specific game, but either ourselves or Kerry potentially had the tools to take down what looked a fearsome Dublin side.

  37. Mayo are Sam competitive when they have fielding and plenty power operating jerseys 5-12.
    In that scenario we are able to beat a Kerry or Dublin in championship. That’s when we blitz even a top 3 team with a quick 1-3 unanswered and it can be game over pretty much. It’s the fielding aspect and having all our powerful strong experienced players fit and in form that has taken us down out of that level currently.

  38. Interesting to see how Dubs cope with Derry plan A this Sunday. I’m getting fairly miffed at some of the plaudits being bandied around about them. I seem to remember Kerry doling out a hammering to Tyrone one league campaign and something happening that summer to upend the sycophantic pundits that hadn’t shut up about their earlier victory. Only a fool thinks Sam is won before he’s been put on a plinth on All Ireland day.

  39. Facts are facts,as opposed to opinion,the facts are that we have beaten Dublin,Galway,and Kerry,over the last year,I would suggest that proves that we can beat any team when everything goes well for us

  40. Mark Dempsey I agree. I think Derry have been excellent in the league for sure and their attacking game has really involved, but realistically when have they been tested in this excuse for a competition? We were flying ourselves this time last year only to implode when we needed to be exploding.

    I suspect Derry might get a humbling at the weekend, and I also suspect it might not be the last – I could be wrong, but Dublin look fearsome at this point and they make it look so bloody effortless.

  41. Anne-Marie, the way they can bring in several players from panel and they fit seamlessly into their systems is a joy to watch (enviously).

  42. @TsuDoNim.I do know what the phrase means, but I find the use of it rather meaningless, if that makes any sense. In your list our our recent wins over Dublin and Kerry, one thing stands out-only the 2020 win over Dublin in the Championship, was at the business end of that competition. So maybe the phrase should be amended to “we can beat anybody on our day, as long as the games ar’nt in the knock-out stage of the Championship” I agree that it shows inconsistency, but, unfortunately, it shows that we mostly hav’nt been able to do it, when it really matters.

  43. @GlasagusDearg: Yeah, the context there makes sense alright.

    I’d be more inclined to look at it in the context of every side we’ve lost to in those knock-outs since 2012, except for a single shock defeat to Kildare in 2018, has gone on to win the All Ireland… but that’s all the same details, just looked at from a different POV. And whether you look at that cup as half empty or half full, it still isn’t a cup sitting in our trophy cabinet, so your point is totally valid.

  44. Some great post here that are based on data rather than gut.

    Cork could do damage to some team – Mayo included. I’ve been impressed by how strongly they finished the league, after a bad start. And that bad start was largely due to having to travel to Donegal and Fermanagh for the first two games!

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