Minors edged out in entertaining encounter

On a sunwashed late spring evening at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park, the U17s of Mayo and Galway served up a cracking contest in this year’s Connacht MFC. Both sides enjoyed periods of dominance in tonight’s game and coming down the home stretch a draw looked perhaps the likeliest outcome. In the end, however, Galway snatched victory with an injury time free to win by 1-12 to 1-11.

We made one change ahead of throw-in. It was a significant one too, with influential midfielder Dara Neary unable to line out due to injury. Tiernan Egan started in his place.

Galway had more of the ball in the opening half and had a more polished look about them. They attacked with greater speed and in a more direct way but, for all that, we ended up level at the break.

Our attacks, by contrast, were built up more slowly and we got pushed to the wings as Galway blocked up the middle channel fairly effectively. The shawl was, however, no defence to Darragh Beirne’s Hail Mary effort in the 10th minute that dropped viciously over the ‘keeper’s head and into the net. That was our opening score of the evening and it went a long way towards explaining why we went in level at half-time.

Our other scores in that opening half came from Rio Mortimer, who shot confidently over after we’d held possession patiently as we probed for an opening. Gavin Forry knocked over a nice point to end a well-worked move and then a free from Darragh Beirne gave us the lead for the first time on twenty minutes.

The same player hauled us back on terms just before half-time, Galway having pointed twice in the meantime. That was the final score of the opening half.

Galway got the first score after the break, their rangy midfielder O’Grady waltzing unchallenged through the middle before firing over.

We enjoyed our best spell of the game after that. We got the next four scores, seizing a three-point lead and, for the first time, looking the likelier winners.

Colm Lynch smacked over the first of these scores from out on the right wing. Then Tommy Lydon, who came roaring into the game after the break, bagged the first of five second half points. The score came from a long ball pumped in that was claimed confidently and thumped over.

After Darragh Beirne pointed a free, Tommy Lydon bagged a carbon copy of his earlier score. Now we were three ahead and firing nicely.

It took a shellshocked Galway a while to respond. They eventually ended a fifteen-minute scoreless spell when Jack Heneghan fisted over. Then, after Tommy Lydon converted a free for us, Galway’s Ross Coen lofted a super ball inside to Heneghan who wriggled clear and slipped it to the net.

Tommy Lydon responded straight away for us. He let fly with a rasper from distance, which just fizzed over the bar.

Galway got the next two scores, however, to snatch back the lead. They were finishing strongly and the match went into injury time with the visitors still that point in front.

By now Galway had the full shawl unfurled as we probed patiently for a way through. A Galway foul gave us our opportunity, with Tommy Lydon stroking over the free to level it.

We then fouled the ball as Galway broke forward. The ball was brought forward by the ref – it was unclear why – but crucially it was now within range and Cox drove it over to seal a one-point win for the young Tribesmen.

The win means Galway are now certain to top the group and advance straight to the Connacht final. We still have a bit of work to do yet – with matches to come against Leitrim and Sligo over the next fortnight, most likely with a Connacht semi-final the week after – if we’re also to go forward to the provincial decider.

After tonight’s see-saw encounter between two well matched teams, however, you get the sense that this was just the first act. Indeed, on tonight’s evidence in what was a highly entertaining game, it’s very likely the pair will be going toe-to-toe once again in this competition in a few weeks time, only this time with provincial honours at stake.

Mayo: Conor Meaney; James Lavelle, Eoin McGreal, Yousif Coghill; Jamie Clarke, Rio Mortimer (0-1), Fionan O’Reilly; Tiernan Egan, Shane Cunningham; Colm Lynch (0-1), Tommy Lydon (0-5, two frees), Senan Guilfoyle; Darragh Beirne (1-3, two frees), Josh Carey, Gavin Forry (0-1). Subs: Conor Jennings for O’Reilly, Thomas Tuffy for McGreal, Conor Ryder for Guilfoyle, Ryan Gibbons for Carey, Matthew Leonard for Lynch.

We review the game in our Final Whistle podcast, which we recorded at MacHale Park and which is available to listen to on Patreon, details here.

67 thoughts on “Minors edged out in entertaining encounter

  1. Fingers crossed McGreal’s knock wasn’t too serious. He looks a serious prospect at the back and one we’d sorely miss if he was out for a while. Similar fingers crossed Dara isn’t out too long. Hard not to imagine his pace, strong running and long range scoring wouldn’t have made an impact tonight.

    Overall plenty of positives to take from a loss. I’ve walked away from lots of wins feeling less positive.

    Nice to see tactical changes at half time making an impact. Moving Lydon inside and Beirne out to centre forward had a huge impact for both. Dramatic increase in intensity around the middle following half time too so fair play to the management or the lads themselves for upping things there.

    One of those evenings where lots of things went wrong (passes kicked dead or no pressure turn overs given away far too often), lots of lads will feel they never got out of 3rd gear and struggling a little tactically with the first time hitting a very well executed blanket/quick transition (the 1st half especailly we took a long time getting up to pace with the level of physicality the ref was willing to allow both teams) and yet we’re walking away feeling unfortunate not to have claimed the draw against a very good Galway side.

    Really looking forward to seeing the lads get another crack at them. Have to imagine they’ll have learned a lot from tonight and will be all the better for it going forward. Plenty of easy mistakes to fix on show and lots of the things that are hard to coach looked impressive so overall a positive showing despite the result.

  2. What is interesting, there’s very few comments.
    Now here’s a guarantee.
    If Galway beat us by let’s say 6 pts, 1-13 to 10pts, there’d be a volume of posts about our Academy structure, people over rating our minor teans.
    It’s just a trend that the most volume of posts after an underage game is after a defeat.
    “See, see, I told ye that the sky is falling down with our underage”.
    As to the game, I am happy that we are very competitive and producing good forwards.

  3. We beat Galway twice last year and lost to them in the final so its hard to know what to say about this result. It appears Galway used the shawl to good effect and we were forced down the channells and got a fortutious goal in the first half i dont know what their coaching system is in Galway but they produce magnificent forwards. As regards to the senior title I think its between Dublin Kerry and Galway. Our forwards are just not clinical enough our midfield not consistent enough and our defence was a bit too easily cut open against Galway where they could have had 5 goals were it not for Colm Reape and again Roscommon cut us open for two goals so I shudder to think what David Clifford or Con O Callaghan would do to us if there isnt massive improvement.

  4. Entertaining to watch . Mayo much more direct in second half but with time up and a point down they started passing across the pitch. Referees will always blow it up when this happens and time has elapsed. Was nobody shouting Kick iit in; fortune favours the brave. Hopefully Mayo will have learned a lot from it.
    By the way, for a tenner it’s a pity the Connacht Council couldn’t give us better than a blank screen at half time. Surely there were supporters or club mentors who could have been interviewed.

  5. A very entertaining game on a beautiful sunny evening in Hastings Insurance McHale Park. The attendance was very disappointing though, as always for underage matches.I can’t figure out why Mayo supporters won’t go along and support our minors.They deserve it.

  6. Glorydays – where were Galway’s magnificent forwards in the league final? Only scored 11 points in perfect Croke Park conditions. Donegal were the only side with a worse scoring return in the league.

    There’s a reason Galway and Ros always play defensively against us. If it’s an open, high scoring game we beat them 9 times out of 10.

  7. Just to emphasize the point about our underage set up, Kildare consistently do well at under 20 but at Senior they are poor also Kerry went to extra time against Clare at under 20 and everyone knows football is mainly only played in west Clare. So I think too much emphasis is placed on underage ball apart from the 4 or 5 in a row All Irelands Kerry have won there underage is poor enough considering there football tradition, the aim is to get 4 or 5 lads from these teams to play Senior ball and that is if your lucky

  8. Anyone else getting a bit pissed off at the proliferation of games on GAAGO, I really wanted to see Monaghan derry this evening but can’t without paying. Surely big games like that should be free to air

  9. The only thing Supermac is that that volume of games were never available free to air, so buying GAA Go you are buying a much bigger volume of games you never had access to before.

  10. True JP but there isnt one game on tv today all on GAAGO with most old people below in Galway and Mayo not having computers or fibre broadband and 79 quid to buy the games. Radio for them so greedy gaa can get championship over so some lad like garth brooks can use the stadiums.

  11. Don’t forget there’s fundraising game in Aghamore at 7.15 this eve. “Together for Ger”. Should be a great occasion for a great cause.

  12. Derry looking very impressive so far

    Easy to forget they’ve only lost to Dublin and Galway in two seasons of competitive football

    Might not be far away at all

  13. I be reluctant to comment much on underage football as they are only kids. Especially now it’s gone to U17.
    You really cannot read anything into it given ways lads develop at different ages.
    Personally I would not be a fan of the academy system, some lads seem go in at 14 and stay there.
    The makeup of some panels would tend to have a bigger percentage of players from the management teams home club/area than you’d normally expect.
    Players also seem to be selected based on a couple of trials where there are large numbers and some fellas that are better footballers won’t even be at them for one reason or another.
    I’d be more in favour of multiple blitz days across the year at the different age groups where club teams are brought up for a day or weekend of games like a mini feile. Where Management get to see the players in action.
    I’d be against the publicising of county panels you see so much of at U14-U17 level on social media. These kids if in panels should be just let get on with it and enjoy the experience.

  14. Still think derry fall short of being AI contenders but by god that was impressive from them. Probably the best performance from any team so far. Decision making spot on, very organised, ab exhibition of shooting. Really really slick.

    They tick an awful lot of boxes and seem a bit more expansive this year but think the lack of depth will cost them the big one

  15. @Gizmobobs totally agree with you on that I am the same don’t like to comment to much on minors &under 17s unless I see some comments that are to negative towards them because as you said they are only kids at the end of day let them grow& develop lots of talent at under 17 & under 20 ( with new changes management wise ( hopefully) will make them shine again .

    Derry looked good monaghan did bounce back a bit but monaghan haven’t been that great so far this year yes they beat us to a much changed team but Derry did look good in fairness fair play to them

  16. Some Mayo gaa Clubs twitter pages are ran really poor, no score updates of tonights League games

  17. @wide ball the Galway forwards were kept at bay in the league final by our goalkeeper otherwise theyd have beaten us out the gate like Kerry did in the previous league final. If Galway had actually steadied themselves and went for points instead of goals they would have won. We have a lot to work but i expect a huge improvement Kevin and the management will see to that

  18. Then you have Bonniconlon who not only give you every score update but there starting 15, great service!!

  19. @Glorydays we have 1 fab goalkeeper in colm reape always said he was our number 1!

    Yes we do have lots to work on I think this break is a blessing in disguise now to and comments from Lee keegan on talking to eoghan mcghloulin and that to he’s bouncing to get back as are the rest of the guys to reassures me is well.

    I am sure mcstay &co have re watched the rossies game a 1000 times well a lot haha and gone over and over what went wrong but in reality we were just dead flat after going a 1000 miles an hour through the league.

    If Galway went for points instead in league final maybe they would have won but they also got quite a few wides and Shane walsh hasn’t hit his full form yet in my opinion anyway! We were deserved winners of the league if you ask me !

  20. Just wondering how many of the starting team against Roscommon would make the other top teams….??
    Anyone hazard a guess……?

  21. To be fair GAAGO is good value, it is easy to call the gaa money grabbers but that does not stack up as most money goes back on facilities etc.The reason that the split season came in was meant to assist the clubs rather than making more money making opportunities. Regarding the championship I think that it is from the quarter finals onwards that teams need to perform, Derry may be getting closer but have yet to perform in Croker. Monaghan have been playing on emotions in recent games, that will only get you so far and were found out to a degree this evening.

  22. Looks like Kiltimagh managed to field a team, glad to see it.
    Would be poor affair if one of the division one club teams had pull out of league.
    Achill75 it’s like all these things, getting volunteers to put in hours of work every week for nothing isn’t easy. Lots of clubs struggle to get PROs because of amount of time needed to do it right.

  23. The biggest barometer of our AL chances for me was Lee’s retirement..I’m pretty sure if he thought we were serious contenders he would not have retired. We are top 6 for sure. So AL QF or SF at best is our level this year…

  24. @Glorydays – “If Galway had actually steadied themselves and went for points instead of goals they would have won.”

    That’s not true. Sure they actually scored points after at least 2 of the goal chances. Majority of them were half chances for goals anyway.

    Anyway, if their forwards are so magnificent surely they wouldn’t be missing those chances!

    If we took our goal chances we’d have beaten Ros a few weeks ago and Tyrone in the ’21 final.

  25. I unfortunately did’nt get to see the minor game, but have got a flavour of it from the comments here and it seems that Galway employed the ubiquitous blanket defence. Not so long ago, most of these minor matches were a joy to watch, with open, free-flowing, attacking football, but in recent years, they have been infected with this “win at all costs” ultra cautious, ultra defensive approach, which has seeped in from the senior grade. Again, the GAA must take drastic action in order to change the balance away from these blanket defences and reward adventurous attacking teams, before the game is completely ruined as a spectacle. The existing rules and the way they are interpreted totally favour the defensive minded teams. Must say, I was annoyed reading details of our recent appointment and development plan/pathway for our underage players-it did mention skills, but also S & C, nutrition etc., etc. As far as I am concerned the total concentration should be on skills, the basic skills of Gaelic Football, catching, kicking, kick-passing, hand passing, shooting practice, for points and goals. This is the crucial stage for embedding these basic skills, so that they become a natural part of a players game and they feel completely comfortable with them. Would probably also include tackling coaching, although this could be tricky, as it is difficult, at the moment, to know what you can and cannot do, when making a tackle. There will be plenty of time for S & C and all that other stuff and I would leave it until after minor level, at least.

  26. @GlasAgusDesrg
    I used to be in that same camp as yourself on SnC.
    However, I believe they concentrate a lot of physical development characteristics and not on raw stamina. Raw stamina is just a checkbox exercise you can add in post minor.
    But from observing my own kids in gymnastics I now see the evidence that there are these physical development aspects that are a huge advantage if you can work on them.
    These take a long time and must be worked on in youth years.
    Itd exceptionally difficult to add this in post youth.
    These are the running, agility and jumping skills that minors have these days. Just observe how they run, they’re simply quicker over 10 yards and run with good technique. They are agile and explosive in changing direction.
    Just on a side note. One aspect of hurling that prevents a boring possession game is you can only take the sliotar back into your hand once.
    So the sliotar is not so easy to protect in possession.
    Yesterday in the Derry Monaghan game players were charging at each other like rugby centres.
    Fair play to the ref he called plenty steps/barging.

  27. @Lahanman that’s not true at all he’s said a million times it was due to family reasons he’s 2 little kids and that’s a lot of work and I know full well how much work it is as I am a nanny to 2 new borns and also the amount of commitment to inter County training as well as his young family is to much for anyone!

    He wrote an article and said this side are capable of beating any team on their day and are serious contenders and that he knows that they will come flying back in round robin !

    So no its not because he thought we are not serious contenders why he retired genuinely is because 2 young kids are a lot of work and he didn’t want to miss anymore time with them or rely on family members to help!

  28. @wide ball agree with you totally we could have said the same for the rossies if we didn’t let those goals in etc we would have won and as you said galways forwards weren’t as good as predicted if they were they would have won the match. Sorry for the double posting !

  29. Firstly regarding galway chances in the league final. If galway miss 5 goal chances they’re great for creating them and if mayo miss 5 goal chances they’re chokers. We know from our own losses that missed chances don’t put scores on the board. Regarding gaago I signed up before the new year deadline for 59 euro and think it’s great value and service and can check into a game if I want to as surely there will be some worth watching out of 38 games

  30. @Glorydays: Not sure where the “beaten out the gate” is coming from.

    (For context Stephen is ex analyst for Galway, Galway Ladies, Galway Hurling, Donegal and Corofin. Slight potential for a slight ‘anti’ Galway bias given he’s an ‘ex’ analyst but if you listen to any of his content you’ll see he’s a huge Galway fan and loves the team. Despite that does a decent job staying neutral and viewing the stats as quantitative rather than qualitative)

    Galway had a lower expected score than Mayo (including the 5 goal chances, a couple of which ended up as scores regardless so fluffing their numbers slightly), lower Expected Shot Conversion (where they were creating the chances/shooting from) and lower shots per phase. The terrible by their standards Shot Conversion (<50%) killed them on the day but even if they'd hit a relatively solid ~60-70% it was going to be a very tight game given the small number of chances for either side.

    Even just taking the 5 goal chances, only 2 of those got to the level of 50/50 chances and 2 (or 3? can't remember) finished in points anyway so taking those alone and saying they should have all been pointed (ignoring the impact this would have on everything else that would have happened in the game as a result) ends in it being level.

    A valid argument to be made in what a goal going in might have done to boost the Galway team, boost the Galway crowd or get Mayo heads to drop but given how much the game would have shifted it's impossible to say anything like that with more than guesswork. Personally, I'd always want my forwards going for chances like those… I'd just be hoping for them to be a little more clinical.

    (Well worth checking out Stephen's "The Square D" video on the league final. Does a solid job of taking a high level look at the Mayo defensive system, with its "tag a man plus one" as he likes to refer to it. Doesn't dive deep enough into the nuances of the system for my liking, where we've been hitting the issues during the year as it's constant attention and decisions being made, but touches on it slightly for the Kelly/Maher chance highlighting a poor call by Aido that helped Galway leading to it. A good example of how the blame being thrown or shifted to 6 can usually be attributed further out the pitch)

  31. Good stuff Tsu. I doubt we really created 5 goal chances but its water under the bridge as they say in Portumna, Mayo were better on the day and deserved to win but like most Mayo v Galway it could go other way next time. I see Dubs scraping away against Kildare which is surprising.

  32. Think they said 30k or so in Croke park. Presumably that’s the total for both semifinals?
    Fork stuck in provincials when see that, they be done.
    Will become the FBD, O’Byrne cup etc as stand alone preseason comps soon enough you’d imagine.
    Dublin going through the motions. Louth could pop them in Final, be nice if they did after what happened them v Meath, I wouldn’t back it unless great odds mind.

  33. Watched both games on gaago today and have to say the louth v offaly game was a joy to watch. Very little blanket on view with end to end football some fantastic scores and think louth scored close on 25 points from play. Offaly fought back in normal time and had a chance to win with the last shot of the game. For me it was a reminder of how good football is when it’s played to win instead of fear of losing. As for the 2nd game i don’t know were kildare very good or Dublin poor {maybe @clare has it right )but it could have gone either way and Glen Ryan probably upset some with his comments after about the venue and incidents during the game.

  34. No doubt, the first game was really entertaining because the teams are evenly matched but the quality was low – as you’d expect from two teams that are effectively division 3 standard. The blanket defense complaints are tiring. All good teams defend and attack as a unit, the game evolves. Nowadays there is a period of sussing each other out before things open up after half time. Football has never been better and will only improve with segregated championships. Watch a game from 15 years ago and the amount of wasted possession is cringe worthy.

  35. GBXI I’d have to agree, things could be tweaked to improve the situation but when hear people on about the greats of yester year and then actually watch back on TG4 the standard is pretty to very poor by comparison to current day.
    Basic skill levels of some of the greats wouldn’t compare to average county player now.
    This is not a slight on the greats, who rose above in their era. But the game moves on and standards rise, thanks to likes of these men.

  36. Maybe so GBXI , but it was far more enjoyable to watch. Very hard to watch now especially for a neutral.

  37. I watch lots of games as a neutral and most are good to very good. The all Ireland final last year was the best since the 2017 one and maybe better given Clifford and Walsh performances. Dub Kerry semi final was excellent. Armagh Galway quarter was great. This year is only just started but the league was excellent, across all divisions. Monaghan Tyrone was brilliant. Clare Cork was very good. The games in Connacht have been poor but weather was a big factor here. Football is fine.

  38. Croke Park, Today Dublin’s, almost ever present home, advantage.surley worth more than their 2 points victory over Kildare today. More in common with the Divine Rights of Kings and another Coronation of the Leinster Crown, just in case a pretender to the Throne might be good enough in a really neutral venue or heaven’s forbid in their own ground to take the Delaney Cup away from the Supreme Sovereign ordained by God . Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Long live Dublin in their Dublin Castle, bow down ye unworthy Subjects, Peasants and Coilties and all other malcontents who think their is something wrong about this, and all Hail the for ever Kings of Leinster.in their forever Carbon Neutral Castle. . Coronation taking place in Carbon Neutral Castle in two weeks time… President Joe Biden, leader of the free world, is not attending either the Coronation of Dublin or King Charles . And one more thing, Mayo for Sam and feck Coronations!

  39. @gbxi.you’ll be hearing about blanket defence for a long time to come I’m afraid. I watch games to see good scores, high fielding, kick passes,passion,man to man football where possible and edge of the seat tension not this 30 players in one half of the field shite and passing back and over until boredom. There’s no question there were plenty of mistakes today but sometimes that adds to the occasion. Remember if no team make mistakes we won’t have a game of football. Most games are not good as you say, you’ll occasionally find a good game but it’s moved to the club games now and God help us. Regarding your comment the quality was low in the 1st game i don’t agree or else give me low quality anytime over blanket defence (there it is again)

  40. The blanket defence is one awful game to watch we saw it in the Rossie v mayo game as others have said they did a blanket defence against us as knew it was the only way to beat us if it was an open game we would have won ..we beat them previous 2 times in open game plan.

    Blanket defence I can see why some teams do it to win but my god its awful boring to watch and kills any momentum from either side !

    @chesneychet agree think mayo & Galway are pretty evenly matched Atm be a cracker if we get ye in the round Robin in salthill ha!

    @leantimes that post was spot on haha!

  41. Some here building up the Dubs earlier this week, are they that good after all ?, I don’t believe they are.

  42. Mayo88 their no where near as good as 5 in a row team. But I’d still have them as team to beat.
    Poor today and still win, that’s the thing about them. We were poor against the Rossies and got knocked out.

  43. @mayo88 totally agree with you I really don’t see why people here& everywhere ha are building up the Dubs I know I did earlier in the year but my god they are no where near their prime years!

    They beat a Derry side who have been a division 2 side the last year yes they beat monaghan but monaghan have been poor tbh.

    They were poor today if they played against us like that when we are at our best or Galway they would have been beaten!

    I still don’t fear the Dubs and if we draw them next Tuesday( I still they think they will win leinstsr ) we should beat them in croker..

    I just think it’s wide open this year and despite everything as I keep saying mayo are going to come firing back in round robin even saw on some other forums advantage if we avoid mayo/Tyrone so just goes to show provisionals don’t mean much now with the new format !

    I’m sure the mayo guys are bouncing to get back come round robin !

  44. Derry look like they’ll beat any side that cannot match their level of organization.
    They are also shooting with a high % success rate.
    I’m confident Derry will beat Armagh in the Ulster final.

  45. So Donegal, Cork, Kildare and Westmeath are the 4th seeds. We’ll play one of them at Croke in the final group game.

    Sligo, Clare, Louth and probably Armagh the 2nd seeds. We’ll play one of them at home in the second group game.

    Galway, Kerry, Dublin and probably Derry the top seeds. We’re away to one of them in the first game.

  46. Was on the Kerry forum, some would like ourselves or Tyrone as they are looking for a challenge in the round robin. This is all new so let’s see how it plays out over the next few months.

  47. @wide ball bet we will get kerry was not shocked when we drew then in quarters last year haha

    @mikey it’s good thing some of the kerry lads want to draw &match us in round robin and see us still as a challenge just goes to show connaught championship does not mean much anymore just gets one up on your rivals haha

    In Lee keegans words not saying mayo weren’t disappointed with the loss to the rossies but we couldn’t keep that stamina up from the league so the break will do us good blessing in disguise we will be back with a force bring on either kerry in killarney or dubs in croker !

  48. @clare . You mentioned last week about us getting Kerry AND Dublin and were ”told”we couldn’t get both. I wouldn’t rule it out. It’s a strongish possibly. Louth will be brimming and Mickey H can hatch a cunning plan. Don’t write it off yet.

  49. Was at my first championship match today – in Croker. Hard to be hard on either team in the Louth Offaly cracker. Some of Louth’s points were sensational- what about no 14 Downey. No hesitation by either team, just go for it. Louth’s fitness and physique told in the end.

  50. @ GlasagusDearg,
    I would have to disagree with you on your statement.
    ” As far as I am concerned the total concentration should be on skills, the basic skills of Gaelic Football, catching, kicking, kick-passing, hand passing, shooting practice, for points and goals.”
    My own belief is, that this is the work of the Club at U10, 12 and up to U14 where it becomes competitive.
    I think U12 is the age where most of the emphasis should be, in the development of the basics skills.
    At this stage the lads know what the basics of the game are, so they are ready for skill improvement.
    To progress to U14, with the skill to, kick with both feet, solo with both feet, hand pass with both hands, and catch a ball over your head. If they have that foundation, they can develop themselves through practice, and making mistakes. It allows them the time and space later to work on their physical development and strength and conditioning, which they also need for the modern game. It’s just the way it’s gone.

  51. @2hops yeah I just have a feeling that we could get both the Dubs &kerry possibility alright louth will be full of confidence great for louth really .

    They might just do it after the Dubs display yesterday.. just goes to show the Dubs have not really been tested properly this year ok by Derry but as I said Derry have been a division 2 side so you can’t tell much until the Dubs face more division 1 sides …I do think they will win leinster still but you just never know louth could win it interesting times ahead !

  52. Good game between Offaly and Louth. Excellent score taking. Dublin looked laboured v kildare but won and will probably beat Louth as well to claim top seed spot. Armagh were effective v Down and it should be a good final v Derry who gave the best performance of weekend. A question. Can provincial winners be drawn against the team they beat in provincial final in round robin. For example can Sligo and Galway be in the same group. Can Clare and kerry be in same group etc

  53. @ to win just once, No
    Also you can’t play a team from your group vin quarter finals

  54. Willie Mac, I agree with most of what you say.
    If kids are not coached correctly up to 9 or 10 years of age, there is little hope that they will become very good footballers, by well coached I mean the following
    Ball carrying at speed
    Passing with head up
    Moving from a position to collect a kickpass
    Two feet used for kicking
    Catching the ball, OVER the head, catching the ball while stepping backwards
    Shooting, two feet with emphasis on angles etc.
    Sense of position, this comes with games.
    Soccer style shooting at goal when the ball is on the ground, this seems to be gone now, only the Soccer players in the team does this from what I see.
    Most important, a high fitness level.
    Proper warm-up before games, each underage game in Dublin I go to it seems that it takes nearly one full half for the team to start playing.

    One big question I have for Mayo in the group stage games, can they get up for each game, 3 in group stages, a preliminary game if the finish Second or third in group, a Quarter, Semi and a final if comes to that.
    That is maybe 7 games in as many weeks.

  55. I have being attending mayo games since we beat Dublin in a challenge game in swinford in 1979 and have great memories of standing at the bacon factory end with my next door neighbours as Willy nally ruled the air and we beat the league champions Galway.the skill levels weren’t as high as now but there was a huge level of excitement.over the last few years I have found it difficult to justify paying good money to watch the borefest that Gaelic football has become.I think someone mentioned on here how rugby continue to alter their rules to improve the attacking options for teams.the gaa’s answer is to introduce the totally ridiculous mark rule .Mathew tierneys mark in Roscommon game is a classic example where a cross field pass from Paul conroy who appeared to be standing inside the 45 when he kicked it and stepped back outside it .tierney catches the ball into his chest.where is the skill level in that that deserves a free shot at goal at a time when Galway were under pressure.the outrageous advantage Dublin are given by playing almost all their games in croke park goes unchallenged.the reason given was the huge crowds had to be accommodated .have a look around croker now the crowds are voting with their feet and not attending in huge numbers and who’s fault is it that the mighty dubs don’t have a venue that can accommodate a reasonable attendance.the shocking crap that some of the Dublin backs got away with during our battles with them in those incredible all Ireland finals is simply unbelievable.lee Keegans dismissal in 2016 final was a direct result of the hill baying for blood and pathetic weak refereeing of Maurice deegan .Philly McMahon was on punditry duty on bbc yesterday so I set fire to the television and went for a walk

  56. I wonder if Mayo nominated Ballina as our home venue – could we then play our home game in Castlebar and our final game in the neutral venue of Castlebar.
    I cant see why not – or are there different rules for some counties.

  57. 1985, I have been saying this for years and have to agree with Glenn Ryan assessment following yesterdays game, the Dubs and Kerry seem to always get the big decisions on the big day.
    Many of the Referees that are appointed for the finals actually work in or are located close to Dublin.
    Kerry were awarded 2 very soft frees in last year’s final v Galway when the game was there to be won late on.
    I have examined the Dubs tackling during their golden era, much of this was fouling when compared to the Mayo tackling in those finals.

    Three big decisions went against Mayo in 2017 final.
    Keegan held back by Kilkenny with both hands whilst bearing done on goal, no penalty awarded.
    Dubs were awarded a free when two of their own players crashed in to each other, not a Mayo man was in sight in 1st half.
    Cluxton put his two hands on Doherty’s back while in the small square and pushed him to the ground, again no penalty awarded.
    As for the venue choice for games why do other Counties agree to this?
    Re Kerry, Sean O Se should have seen the red card for pulling in the ball into the Dubs goalie head in last year’s semi final.
    David Clifford seems to get away with heavy type slap into the body of players.

  58. Louth are not going from struggling past Offaly to beating Dublin.
    So there’s absolutely no strongish possibility.
    If that miracle occurs, it’s more likely than not that we would not get Kerry and Dublin.

  59. It doesn’t really matter what no 1 seed we get. It will be a back to reality call for us and we are capable of causing a surprise.
    We’ll be going in fresh, injury free and under no pressure
    The big question is will we make tactical changes and my feeling is no. One man that is absolutely key to us is Hession. He is a player that quickly transforms defence into attack, a non believer in lateral passing and slow build up. Goes straight for the jugular….and that’s just what we need in our play…..I’d be playing him at 10 with sweeper role

  60. Hession at 10 is an interesting idea .I have to say I haven’t seen the benifit of Conor Loftus in his role .while he is a decent footballer I haven’t seen him contributing a lot in an attacking sense.i don’t recall him kicking any meaningful kick passes into the forwards which appears to one of the main reasons for playing him there.it’s unlikely though at this stage that the management will change that

  61. So who is everyone wanting in the group?
    That’s the draw I’d like. Not viewing Dublin as easy but then none of the provincial winners will be easy but an extra run out in Croker couldn’t do any harm.

  62. Joe – I think Derry or Armagh away first up would be a good test. That means we’d avoid the ulster runners up. I’d take any of the others, assuming they will be Louth, Sligo and Clare. I think Cork or Kildare might have a kick in them, so Westmeath or Donegal.

    Westmeath would be a group I’d think we have a very good chance of topping. We’d be fresh first game up, whereas Derry will have had a tough enough run through Ulster. I’d rather not lose to Dublin, Kerry or even Galway at this stage. That would be tough to come back from if we met again later.

  63. I have to agree with you 1985. We are unlikely to make any great changes tactically. Hopefully McLaughling and O Hora will be back in contention and give our half back line a bit of a buzz. Both Loftus and Coen are inclined to slow down play with short lateral passing. That’s one sure way of getting beaten in McHale Park. Slow the play and allow 30 players to congest into one half of the pitch.

  64. I have a feeling that we are going to be matched with munster winners I don’t know what it is just a feeling but I still think we are well able for kerry when we are at our best bring them on if so . Just think kerry will win munster as usual no disrespect to the other team clare . Clare are looking good though to they might fancy their chances !

    Either way whatever happens we shouldn’t be fearing any teams . If we can’t beat the top teams in the group stages of round robin as i said before May as well go home then.. never write off mayo though! We will be back with a force I’d bet my money on that one anyway ..

  65. @Mayo 88
    Yes, if the work is not put in at the younger ages then the skill levels are going to be low.
    You can see it at senior club level, players not being able to perform all those skills you mention.
    It’s too late for them to change that now, they can’t go back to U12’s.
    So it’s at the younger ages we need to concentrate.
    But for me it’s at the coaching level the work needs to go in.
    Good coaching makes better players is the mantra we need to instill within clubs.
    In my own club that’s a big part of the emphasis for the Coaching and Games committee.
    Coaching the Coaches. It doesn’t produce instant results, it’s a longer term project, but so worthwhile.
    Once that is instilled within a club it becomes the culture, and new coaches coming in to Bord na nOg see that and it becomes the norm for them to.

  66. So looks like we are getting the winners of munster which will be kerry I just knew it ha ! If I’m understanding the format right..

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