Minors make it four from four

The county’s Minor footballers rounded off the round-robin phase of this year’s Connacht MFC with a fourth win from four outings. Well ahead at half-time, the Mayo lads withstood a determined Sligo second half fightback at a sun-washed Markievicz Park this evening, winning by 1-12 to 0-11.

With qualification for the provincial final already assured, we made seven changes for this game compared to the side we’d started against Leitrim a week ago.

Despite this, however, we soon asserted control, with a point from distance from Evan Walsh followed quickly by a Kobe McDonald goal. This came when Dylan Flynn turned the ball over and quick hands from Oisín Deane put the Crossmolina player in on goal. He drilled it low and hard to the net.

Further scores from Evan Walsh (a free), Oisín Deane (a mark), David Hurley and Kobe McDonald (one from a free) saw us threaten to run away with it. We would have too, had we converted any of the three good goal chances we created but Cummins in the Sligo goal saved expertly each time.

Seven adrift at the break and with Galway leading against Leitrim, the Sligo lads knew they faced an uphill battle to clinch a place in the provincial semi-final. They fought back bravely after the break, though, twice in the closing stages reducing the deficit to a goal, but they never got closer than that.

We ran the bench in the second half and, understandably, we looked a bit disjointed as a result. In fairness, though, two of the lads introduced after the break – Joe Forry and Jack O’Malley – both got their names on the scoresheet.

So did Kobe McDonald and Oisín Deane, who both bagged scores late on, which made sure that it didn’t get too uncomfortable for us on the scoreboard in those final moments.

Sligo’s brave fightback wasn’t enough to see them progress, as Galway’s ten-point win over Leitrim in this evening’s other game sees them go forward instead to meet Roscommon in next week’s semi-final. We’ll then play the winners in the provincial decider in a fortnight’s time.

Mayo: Oisín Costello; Conor Coghill, Tom Hession, Daithí Butler; David Hurley (0-2), Mark Sheeran, Andrew Quinn; Josh Moyles, Eoghan Loughney; Harry McHale, Kobe McDonald (1-4, two frees), Dylan Flynn; Evan Walsh (0-2, one free), Oisín Deane (0-2, one point a mark); Seán Óg Cox. Subs used: Conor Kavanagh, Oran Murphy, Joe Forry (0-1), Jack O’Malley (0-1), Mark Feeney.

25 thoughts on “Minors make it four from four

  1. Started well in the game and could have been a lot further ahead, but great goalkeeping and some poor shot selection didn’t help Mayo’s cause. Mark Noonan was a huge loss in the centre of the Mayo defense and Sligo seemed to get through that channel very easily time and time again, winning a lot of scorable frees in the process. We seem to be very light defensively and the tackling technique is poor at times, which might be a concern for managment going forward when coming up against more physical teams. A lot of the defenders look great attacking, but not so hectic when defending. On the plus side, the link play between McDonald and Deane is a joy to watch.

  2. Thanks for the round up Willie Joe. Great that the lads won again. Building up a really strong panel.

  3. We’d all the looks of a side with nothing to play for at times…. but given we were a side with nothing to play for, hard to be too hard on the lads.

    The first 20 minutes or so, we showed great work rate and creativity to pull those 6 points clear. From there on, a combination of misses, soft turnovers and frees conceded (a huge combination of needless & needed) really halted our momentum and kept Sligo right in there. They’d a few really outstanding conversions from dead balls in the first half but thankfully the accuracy abandoned them a little in the 2nd and allowed us to maintain the gap for periods where they were on top.

    Probably the perfect performance going into a gap before the final. They did enough to win, just, with nearly everything still to work on. No danger of anyone’s feet not being on the ground & knowing they’re in for a real battle from either Galway or Roscommon.

    Costello in his first start made an impressive showing in goal, dealing well with some dangerous long balls around our square well. You’d imagine there could be a fierce battle for that number 1 jersey going forward. Quinn had some great moments from deep early on, getting on a huge amount of ball. Hopefully a few lads giving management some real selection headaches going into each game.

  4. Galway finished 3rd in the group yet have got home advantage for the semi final v Roscommon because the group match between the two was played in Roscommon. That all means Mayo will play Galway in MacHale Park in the final if the tribesmen win if the Rossies win the final will be in Hyde Park. Done a different way than the U20 this year when the semi final and final was neutral venues

  5. @mayomagic: I’m very open to correction, Connacht GAA have been awful about releasing any rules & regulations for their underage competitions this year to clear these types of things up so it has often been a bit of a mess, but John Stagg has Mayo guaranteed home advantage in the final from winning the Round Robin stage.

    All other games (i.e. the semi-final) operating on the old school alternative home/away setup.

    https://twitter.com/JohnStagg5/status/1789045036354576821

    John has been covering lots of the minor matches for MidWest. I’d be very surprised if he stated something of this nature as fact without significant reason to back it up.

  6. 2nd place in the group should get home advantage also if done right, what’s the point of finishing 2nd at all if not?

  7. Not my understanding of it. Since the minor group format was introduced it’s worked off the home and away system. I do agree 2nd and 1st in the group should be getting home games for the semi final and final.

  8. I never seen the ‘Green and Red of Mayo’ manifest itself quite so vividly as it did tonight in the Sky over Mayo. Northern Lights Amazing. Hope some of ye got to see the incredible display.

  9. Sadly didn’t get to see the Northern Lights @Leantimes but more importantly I did get to see the game thanks to TsuDhoNim! All in all this blog is worth it’s weight in gold.
    With nothing on the line last night the Minors did enough to keep the winning streak going and we’re never in danger of losing.
    Well done to all involved, it’s good to feel confidence in the management and coaching staff and the players seem to be buying into it as well.

  10. @mayomagic: You could well be right. Interesting that we’ve never had a result to test it (1st in the group has always been at home, facing a side they’d have been due to be home against under either system). Without a clear rules & regulations to follow it’s hard to know for sure.

    I’ll reach out to John and see if he can give any background on where his understanding comes from. The fact that Roscommon media had been told the semifinal was pencilled in for the COE last week and now suddenly it’s Tuam doesn’t do much for the confidence in anything media are being informed of.

    Absolute lunacy not having clear public regulations for a competition like this.

  11. Watched the minor game on Connaught TV and I’m now watching Offaly minor on Clubber, the quality in Clubber TV is a lot better, is the quality normaly as bad as last night,if so hard to justify paying it, couldn’t even make out jerseys

  12. Just watching the U20 all Ireland semi final. Rossies have tried their best but my god the forward play from Tyrone is a joy to watch. Direct ball, runners off the shoulder, composed recycling when needed and a clinical edge when the chance presents itself. Their 3rd goal was a beautiful exhibition of all the skills needed to win games. Tragic to see other counties move on as we stagnate. Minors are our only plus so far this year.

  13. Who are Clubber TV? I presume that there is no chance of getting Mhuigeo v Cavan match streamed next weekend! Mayogaa TV- no- tied up via contracts I presume?

    Cork v Limerick now- some match on GAAGO if you have! 2.24 to 3.24 for Luimneach. A classic 5min left!

  14. @Ahh not again: I find them about equal, in general. Both hit-and-miss at times, but very little of that is down to the service itself. The venues (some have awful viewing angles for the camera), weather and light (the sun made everything on the right-hand side silhouettes yesterday) play more of a factor than who’s providing it.

    (Not overly familiar with the teams involved but it wouldn’t shock me if InPlayer & Clubber were using a lot of the same external teams for their outside broadcast setups. I believe the same folks have served RTÉ & TG4 too at times when they’ve multi-game setups going and need an extra team down West)

    @Oiean acla: They’re a streaming service provider. They’ve done deals to cover most of Munster & Leinster games (all the underage stuff, hurling and football, and a load of club games and beyond). An annual pass (€150) gets you access to everything they carry, so you’d potentially pay a little less than someone here buying just Mayo 20s and minor games yet get access to many, many, many more games (the 3 year deal with Munster was for over 1000 games. I’d imagine Leinster about the same).

    Very unlikely to see it streamed at this point. Any Mayo stream would be pulling potential viewers away from the Derry/Galway match, so impacting on the GAAGO partnership (so on RTÉ and their profits). You’d fear a few too many toes to be trying to avoid stepping on for it to end up streamed now.

  15. Mile búiochas TsuDhoNim for your clear explanation of Clubber TV. Looks like I will have to listen to Midwest radio and the excellent MD and the legend Martin Carney. We were spoiled all year by TG4 who showed most of our matches.
    Good luck to our ladies today v Gaillimh
    Go neiri libh a cailini!
    Mhuigeo Abu

    Mhuigeo Abù

  16. I’m very disappointed with the TV coverage of the Tailteann. One game from 8 this weekend on any platform. Imo the TV rights for the All Ireland series should come with an obligation to show the same amount of Tailteann games at corresponding rounds.

  17. U20s lose out to Down by a single point.
    Down 2.10 0.15 Mayo
    Down’s first two scores early in the game were the goals.
    Hard luck to the Mayo lads.

  18. The management for the 20’s really seem like they got a free pass this year. Can’t understand why. It has been a monumental failure.

  19. The only difference I’d say Mayonaze is that the style of play definitely made for easier watching than in the past. But I only saw the Galway match and the Leitrim one and there were some crazy goals given away in the Leitrim match in the second half when we looked to be playing a version of Horanball. Very hard to tell when outside Mayo, but get the impression that this year’s bye is due to picking a young side – can’t imagine it’s anything else but the chop if there’s not real improvement next year.

  20. @Exile, I’d just be very concerned. It’s an absolutely crucial grade. In many ways, far more important than minor, especially since it went to u17. U20 is far more accurate barometer to future senior talent. I’m worried the management there now are the best in place to bring in what we hope are decent minor teams from 2022 and 2023. On the evidence of what we saw this year, you’d be very hard pressed to have any confidence even taking into account that they opted to go with a younger than normal selection. Surely players were picked on current ability not future potential ability? It doesn’t matter how it’s dressed up, the facts are we got beaten by Sligo, Leitrim and Down. We played 5 competitive games with a record of 1W, 1D & 3L’s.

    Sheridan got lambasted on here and he might argue he had far less opportunities with players than current set up have had. Anyway, it’s just been a terribly disappointing u20 campaign. Morale of players has to have been effected. That’s not good.

    Even in defeat, especially at underage, you can get some consolation if a player or two really shine. That hasn’t happened.

    Look at Tyrone u20’s. They look like men. Ready to take the step up to senior. Physically capable and not only that but brilliant football and movement. Light years ahead of us. Again, the same questions need asking. What the hell is going on in Mayo??? Conditioning? Where is it. Some of our lads even at 21/22 don’t look strong enough yet but we’re being told time and time again that we (Mayo) has everything in place, that no stone is left unturned… do we look like fools??

  21. Wouldn’t be getting fooled by U20 level as it’s even a step up for the best players to step up to senior level. Tyrone won U20 All Ireland just two years ago and while a handful of those players will become senior players they haven’t established themselves yet because strength and conditioning is another level for senior.

    Mayo lost to Down today by a point deep into injury time, Down I might add drew with Tyrone in the group stage as Mayo did against Roscommon.

  22. Roscommon with a comfortable 3-5 to 0-7 win over Galway in Tuam tonight in the semi. We’ll face them next week, in the Hyde, in the Minor Connacht Final.

    They’ve looked to be improving week on week with a few of their lads looking to be hitting form. I’d expect a tough battle as they look for revenge on that Round 1 defeat. Hopefully the lads can use the week’s rest to hit them at 100 miles per hour from the start.

  23. No doubt the two best are in the Connacht minor final. Young rossies have beaten Galway twice which is never easy at any level.

    The Connacht winner takes on Cork in the Quarter final and Connacht runner up has Kerry.

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