Minors make it to the knockout stage

The Mayo Minors this evening put in another strong performance in this year’s Connacht Championship, when they beat Leitrim by 3-8 to 0-4.

It was the team’s third win out of three appearances and it guaranteed them – at the very least – a place in the knockout stages of the competition. With our round-robin game to come, next weekend against Sligo, they’ll now be strongly fancied to advance directly to the provincial final.

In what was a cagey and defensive-minded first half, the home side gradually began to make headway against the well organised and deep-lying Leitrim cover.

The visitors opened the scoring, Jack Kelly pointing a free, and the same player then equalised from play after we’d got the scoreboard moving with points, also from play, from Josh Moyles and Kobe McDonald.

We edged ahead when captain Tom Hession radied forward and wriggled through the cover before punching over. Kobe McDonald added one from a free and then Fionn O’Kinsella finished a nice move to shoot over from a central position. We then traded frees, Darragh McCabe for them and Kobe McDonald for us, as we took a three-point lead into the break.

With the wind now behind us we hit them with 1-2 without reply in short order on the resumption. Fed by Kobe McDonald, Dylan Flynn shot over to open our second half account.

Then after Evan Walsh had dropped a close-in free short, the Leitrim ‘keeper got turned over and Oisín Deane chipped it into the unguarded net. The same player added a point from a mark soon after.

Leitrim had a goal chance when Jack Moolick won a high ball in and got his shot away from close range. Nathan Roddy did well to block his effort and Tom Hession did the rest, sweeping the ball clear.

We killed off Leitrim’s challenge with two excellent goals. The first came from Kobe McDonald, fed on the run and he continued on and shot confidently to the net. Then Mark Noonan launched a high ball in and Evan Walsh was on the end of it, batting it over the line for Mayo’s third goal.

The game fizzled out from there. Leitrim finally bagged their first score of the second half, with a point from Bailey McBride, with four minutes of normal time left. It was too little too late, however, as our lads eased to another decisive win in this year’s U17 provincial Championship.

Mayo: Nathan Roddy; Charlie Beale, Tom Hession (0-1), Daithí Butler; Barry Langan, Mark Noonan, Mark Sheeran; Josh Moyles (0-1), Kobe McDonald (1-3, two frees); Andrew Quinn, Fionna O’Kinsella (0-1), Dylan Flynn (0-1); Killian Conway, Oisín Deane (1-1, point a mark), Evan Walsh (1-0). Subs: Eoghan Loughney for Conway, David Hurley for Sheeran, Harry McHale for Quinn, Mark Feeney for Walsh, Sean Óg McGuinness for Langan.

23 thoughts on “Minors make it to the knockout stage

  1. Guaranteed straight into final now?only Roscommon can join us on 6pts and we have the h2h.

  2. That’s almost certainly correct, Cp. I hadn’t time to do the permutations when I was bashing out that short report on the game but I think you’re right.

  3. @Cp/@Willie Joe: Any idea where we can find the tie-breaker criteria for the minors?

    I normally use the Master Fixture List for that stuff for senior/20s, but it doesn’t include the minors. I’d be interested to see if there’s any detail on the Tier II and Tier III qualification too (only info on that I can see on that is John Fogarty’s report from last year, which only mentions 3rd & 4th going to Tier II without specifying if the 4th is from the Round-Robin only or if it includes the Shield Final or 3rd specifically being the losing Semi-Finalist as it does for Ulster. A little odd).

    I’ve seen a few journalists saying we’re through alright, so you’d tend to assume they’re right, but none specifically mentioning the various tie-breaker criteria so I’d always have that niggling doubt.

    If it’s H2H we’re already through for sure and if it’s SD we’d need to lose to Sligo by 17 points, so yeah. Can’t imagine we’d miss a final from here, whatever the criteria.

  4. Young Kobe McDonald didn’t lick it off the ground..

    You’ve a talent coming there lads.

  5. 2 hops,

    Will ye stop we had AFL scouts watching our midfielder on the 20s on Wed.

    It would sicken ye.

  6. Final Whistle pod on the Minor game is up on Patreon now. That’s our fifth pod of the week for club members, with one more to come on Sunday as well and a bonus written column on the way too.

  7. @Tom: Noonan had a great game, he’d have been the one pushing close alright, particularly in the second half when the game started opening up. He seemed to be a magnet for the ball at times, as seems to be his party trick this year and becoming a constant. I’d love to see his stats on interceptions. He took what looked a really heavy hit to near his head/shoulder and shook it off like Boyler in his heyday.

    That said… I’d have given it to Deane, personally. When the game was still tight enough to be worrisome, it was Oisín who created an awful lot of problems for them and managed to force a lot of the openings for us. His turnover & finish for the goal the pick of the bunch but he was constantly pressing and harrying the ball carriers, constantly running (with clever patterns having defenders second guessing which side he’d pop up on next) giving lads options inside and often picking it up deeper to unlock the door for others inside. In a game where space near the Leitrim posts was a rare premium, he was the one consistently involved in creating it.

    Great showings too from McDonald and Sheeran. Especially good to see Sheeran’s constant running as one of the newer faces tonight. He looked right at home and a constant thorn in Leitrim’s side, getting on an awful lot of ball before thundering down the line.

    @myself: Confirmation from GAA (https://www.gaa.ie/article/round-up-friday-s-electric-ireland-connacht-mfc-action-x5530) that it’s H2H and then Score Difference. They don’t specifically outline the rules, but they confirm we’re already through (with no mention of our SD) and that if Sligo lose & Galway win then Sligo would need the SD to remain in their favour after their earlier draw.

  8. TSU. Good to hear our young lad Sheeran played well. Colm Boyle mentioned him in the podcast too. Good to see lads from smaller clubs getting a look in, like Lahardane, Lacken, Ardnaree and Eastern Gaels.

  9. The semi final Roscommon v Sligo or Galway has been confirmed for the Connacht GAA centre. I hope it’s not the same for the final as I would like to see the final played in a provincial stadium

  10. Think Kobe did’nt get out of second gear and still looked a class apart. We don’t want any AFL scouts sniffing around him. Ye’re right lads-they don’t seem to go near any young Dublin prospects-I strongly suspect that they are “looked after”, if you know what I mean.

  11. Lads have to massively disagree re AFL. Obviously selfishly, we’d all rather none of our players went to Australia. But they get an opportunity to play sport professionally & that’s not an opportunity that many will get in their lives.

  12. A lot of good performances and it was great to see the mentality to stick to the gameplay without get frustrated and frantic. The voices on the line must be able to get through to them, very heartening. My personal standout was Tom Hession who had his hands full with young Kelly whenever Leitrim decided to attack but he stuck at it and drove Mayo forward and took a steadying point as well.
    On another note, I know it is all about developing players but how in hell the Leitrim management could view their plan as development is strange to say the least. Yes Mayo are more talented but what’s the point in selecting midfielders and 6 forwards and confining them within your own 45 even when you’re behind and in need of scores. Leitrim lads showed they can play and they have some really good players but they must be allowed to play or they’ll eventually opt out.

  13. Satisfactory but one would expect their points total to be in mid-teens.

  14. Scouts in all professional sports are probably not the best,but that’s there job, any young lad would be mad not to try and play professionally, I know it’s not ideal for counties affected but Gaa is amateur.

  15. Oisin Deane really makes that team tick. Great young lad.ong may it continue.

  16. @Mayo Exile: Fair… but you’d also expect a side to concede more than 4 too. Very challenging to put up those scores when the defending side never came out of their shell, even when a decent lead was established (A touch more surprising again when you see how talented Kelly was up top for them. He could be a real handful in a few years time when he’s teaming up with some of their current 20s).

    A bit of work to be done when we hit future blankets for sure, a bit like our senior side.

    The running channels inside were solid from Deane, Walsh & McDonald when he was in there. A bit of work needed as a team merging in the deeper runs from HF to HB in helping open up those pockets around the D for shooters to get into. A lot of the runs from deep a touch too vertical (straight down the line) rather than angled to make defenders have to make more decisions (a huge link between the number of decisions a defender is forced to make and the number of mistakes, cognitive loading you’d imagine an underestimated factor of fatigue), and a little too often it was individuals running rather that groups going together supporting off the shoulder to really stretch the defence.

    The fundamentals were solid, though. Nothing you’d think a couple of sessions (field and/or video) couldn’t make a big impact on.

  17. On the AFL debate. With Oisin into his second year out there it doesn’t seem like he’s getting much game time. 5 or 6 apperances last year and 1 from the bench in the opening 8 rounds this season. I would have thought he would be pushing for more game time. Unless he’s injured!

    Must be true what they say about going over young and picking the skills up at 18/19 and not 22/23 in Oisin’s case.

    He’s more than welcome to come back into the Mayo fold if it doesn’t work out. ?

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